New Holland Library

Mrs. Joan Betzner, Media Specialist

Welcome to a new school year!

Summer flew by and another school year has begun!  A new year brings excitement and anticipation.  It is a time to learn something new, reconnect with friends, and participate in all the special things New Holland Elementary has to offer.  Hopefully, you had some time to read over the summer. If not, there are lots of new books waiting for you at the Library.  It is always fun for me when the carton of books arrive, and I can unpack them and look them over before they get ready to go on the shelves.  I enjoy introducing these new books to students and am happy when they check out one of them to read.  A book is really not useful if it just stays on a shelf.   It needs to be read and enjoyed! So come see what is new in the Library. Here are just a few of our new selections:

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Summer Reading

Summer!  What a great time to relax and read!  Reading can be done anywhere whether it is the backyard, the beach, the mountains, in a car on a long road trip, or in the airport.  It is important that students keep reading over the summer so they don’t lose the gains they have made in reading during the school year. There are so many wonderful books available, and you can get so many for free.  All the Lancaster Public Libraries offer Summer Reading programs.  Students also can access Overdrive that offers free e-books.  Students use Overdrive on laptops, tablets, and phones.  They can visit and enter their school user name and password.  Download the free Overdrive app to make it easy to connect to Overdrive. There are lots of Summer Reading Lists available online that offer good suggestions.  Browsing the shelves of the Library is another way to find books that interest students.

Here a just a few suggestions to get you started on some fun Summer reads.

Grades K-2

Ice Cream Summer by Peter Sis.  Get the scoop on some fun history, math, and more on this book all about ice cream.

Fly Guy by Ted Arnold.  There are lots of books in the Fly Guy series, both fiction and nonfiction. Readers can learn quite a lot of facts from the Fly Guy books.

Give a Mouse A Cookie by Laura Numeroff.  Young children love this book, along with others in the series like Give a Moose A Muffin, Give a Pig a Pancake, and Give a Dog a Donut. 

Nursery Rhymes, Fairy Tales, Alphabet books, and Counting books are also fun summer reads.

Grades 3-6

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo.  Raymie prepares for the local beauty pageant and becomes friends with her quirky competitors.  DiCamillo has written several books students enjoy, so check the shelves for more.

Pax by Sara Pennypacker.  Peter leaves home to reunite with his beloved pet fox, Pax.  This is a great read for animal lovers, but be aware that there are some sad parts.

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.  A young orphan is sent to live on a farm but the brother and sister who planned to adopt her wanted a boy.  Anne manages to convince them to keep her.  Girls will enjoy all of Anne’s adventures.   There are several books in the Anne of Green Gables series.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the Long Haul by Jeff Kinney  Everyone seems to love the Wimpy Kid series.  The Long Haul is in movie theaters, so encourage students to read the book before or after seeing the movie.

Wings of Fire by Tui T. Sutherland.  Anyone who enjoys fantasy will like the Wings of Fire series that transports the reader to a world ruled by different tribes of dragons. So far, there are 10 books in the series, and once a reader is hooked they will want to read them all.

Have a wonderful summer of reading!


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Celebrate Libraries!

National Library Week is celebrated in April.  First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries – school, public, academic and special – participate.

This year’s theme is Libraries Transform reminding all Americans that today’s libraries are not just about what they have for people, but what they do for and with people. Libraries are places of creativity where people can meet to share a hobby, discuss books, watch movies, share ideas, and use technology.

The New Holland Library has a wide variety of books for students on all types of topics.  We have videos for teachers to use in the classroom.  We offer World Book online, and other online resources students can use for research or just to look up topics to satisfy their curiosity.  We offer Overdrive which is a huge library of e-books and audio-books students can access on their laptops, tablets, and phones. Our Library reaches beyond the school building and most of the resources can be accessed 24/7.

Our school Library plays an important role in supporting literacy.  We provide books for students to read for pleasure, and for school assignments.  We love seeing our students find books that they enjoy reading.  We love working with teachers to provide books to supplement what students are learning in the classroom.  We love the New Holland Elementary Library and believe it is certainly worth celebrating!

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Overdrive Exploration Night

New Holland school families are invited to the Overdrive Exploration Night on Tuesday, Feb. 28.  The event will be from 6-7:30 p.m. at Blue Ball Elementary and is sponsored by the District Libraries.

Overdrive is a library of e-books and audio-books that students and parents can access for free.  It is sponsored by the Lancaster-Lebanon IU13.  Books can be checked out on electronic devices such as phones, tablets, and laptops.  There are books for all age levels from kindergarten through 6th grade.

With Overdrive, students will always be able to find something to read, even during the summer.  Parents can use it to find fun books to read to younger children.  There are fiction and nonfiction books, so readers will always find something that meets their interests.

The night is going to be informal with lots of hands-on practice.  So, bring everyone in your family who wants to learn about Overdrive.

If you have questions, please contact me at the New Holland Library.  Hope to see you on Feb. 28!


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Series of Unfortunate Events

It is great to see a book made into a movie or a series.  I think it helps draw students to the books and encourages them to read them.  The Series of Unfortunate Events is a series of 13 books by Lemony Snicket that has proven popular with students.  Happily more students have become interested in this series because Netflix’s has adapted several of the books and they are now available to watch. 

The books follow the adventures of three Baudelaire children, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny, after the unexpected death of their parents.  They are sent to live with a distant relative, Count Olaf, who is only interested in getting his hands on the children’s fortune.  The children have one horrible experience after another, but still manage to stick together and be optimistic that something will change and that their life will get better.   They meet quirky characters and encounter one unfortunate event after another.  Throughout, they show courage and determination. 

Students who have read the books will enjoy the television series.  Students who haven’t read the books will most likely be encouraged to read them after watching the adaptations.  Unfortunately, season one of the Netflik’s series only covers the first few books.  Viewers will either have to wait for series two, or head to the Library to check out the other books to find out what happens to Violet, Klaus, and Sunny.

It is a series worth reading!

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Holiday Reads

The holiday season is a great time to read.  Most people are familiar with holiday classics like A Christmas Carol, or A Charlie Brown Christmas, but there are many, many holiday books available.  Here are just a few:

12-daysThe 12 Days of Christmas by Jan Brett is a beautifully illustrated book that retells the famous Christmas carol.  Jan Brett is known for her wonderfully colorful illustrations that make this book a delight to read and enjoy.

farolitos The Farolitos of Christmas by Rudoffo Anaya is set in New Mexico.  Luz is worried that tradition of the luminaria will not happen this year because her father is away and her grandfather is sick. She decides she will carry on the tradition of creating little lanterns, farolitos, that will be lit all over her town on Christmas Eve.

peteStudents seem to enjoy Pete the Cat books by James Dean and will not be disappointed in Pete the Cat Saves Christmas.   When Santa falls ill, Christmas may be cancelled.  Pete steps in and makes sure no one is disappointed on Christmas day.

newbery-christmasThose who enjoy short stories will like the Newbery Christmas.  12 authors, all who have won the Newbery Medal for children’s literature, have contributed a Christmas story.  Each is wonderful and different and will put the reader in the holiday spirit.

Animal lovers will enjoy Santa Paws to the Rescue by Nicholassanta-paws Edwards.   When a big ice storm hits the town, Santa Paws does what he can to help young and old to make sure everyone has a wonderful holiday.  Horse lovers will like Jingle Bells by Cathy Hapka.   In 1915 Wisconsin, a horse named Jingle Bells, is worried he will be replaced when a member of the family brings home a jingle-bellscar for Christmas.

The Angel Tree by Daphne Benedis-Grab combines a holiday story with a mystery.  Every year in the town of Pine River someone sets up an Angel Tree.  People put wishes on the tree and they all come true.  Four angel-treechildren in the town are determined to find out who is responsible for the Angel Tree and for making so many wishes come true.

There are many more holiday books in the Library.  Happy Holiday Reading!

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Thanks for a great Book Fair!

Another Book Fair has come and gone and it was a great success!  The Book Fair is definitely a school-wide effort and depends on the help and generosity of our school community.  The PTO generously provided a $7 coupon for each student which allowed everyone to participate in the Fair. Every student was able to purchase one book.  This generosity makes our Book Fair truly special.  Parent participation in Box Tops for Education and other fundraisers helps provide money for the coupons.

Special thanks to all the parents who were able to volunteer to set up the fair, help during our preview day, assist student shoppers, and work the cash register.  We could not do the Book Fair without these parent and grandparent volunteers.

Thanks also to everyone who shopped during Conference days. It was great to meet so many parents!  Many parents sent in some “extra” money so students could buy more than one item, and this is also appreciated.   We also had some people take advantage of the Online Fair to make purchases.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of the Fair. Proceeds are used to purchase books for the Library and also to support some special programs like Breakfast and Books.



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Book Fair is coming!

180119_bookaneer_book_fair_clip_art_logolgOur school’s Scholastic Book Fair is just one month away!  The Book Fair begins on Thursday, Nov. 3 and runs through Friday morning, Nov. 11.   Students will come to the Book Fair during their Library Special.   Parents and families are invited to attend during Conferences on Thursday, Nov. 10 when the Book Fair will be open from 1 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.   It will also be open from 8:00 a.m. until noon on Friday, Nov. 11.  The Book Fair is a great time to pick up some holiday gifts!

New Holland students are fortunate because our PTO provides a $7 coupon for everyone.   But, in addition to this coupon students may want to bring additional money to make purchases.  More information about the Book Fair will be sent home closer to the date.

If you are not able to come to the Book Fair, you can make purchases at our online Fair from Nov. 3 through Nov. 18. Any purchases that are placed online are shipped to the school for free.  To access the online fair and to get more information about the Book Fair, go to

If you visit this page, you will also find information on how to download the Scholastic Book Fair app.

Book Fair funds support the Library and enables it to purchase new books.  Funds have also helped support the Breakfast and Books program.

We are looking forward to another fun Book Fair!

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Pumpkins, Pumpkins!

This is the time of year that pumpkins are just about everywhere.  The Library is no exception.  There are lots of books that feature pumpkins.   Grab one, and enjoy!

pete-the-catPete the Cat Five Little Pumpkins by James Dean is a cool adaptation of the familiar Halloween song.  Pete the Cat puts a special spin on everything.  Sing along or read along with Pete, and enjoy the colorful illustrations.

Another favorite cats is Splat.   splat-the-catIn Splat the Cat and the Pumpkin Picking Plan by Rob Scotton, Splat is determined to find the biggest pumpkin.  Once he finds it, he can’t figure out how to get it home.  Read to find out how Splat solves his problem.

Gail Gibbon’s The Pumpkin Book pumpkin-bookprovides information on everything one needs to know about the types of pumpkins, how to grow them, and how to cook them.  It also explores legends about pumpkins.

What happens when a pumpkin starts rolling down a hill?  In The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis, the Baxter brothers find a wonderful pumpkin for Halloween, but find themselves in trouble when the pumpkin gets away from runawaythem and begins wrecking havoc in the town!

Mystery lovers will enjoy The Peculiar Pumpkin Thief by Geronimo Stilton.  Halloween day is just a few days away when the pumpkins in town disappear.  Will Geronimo solve the mystery and save pumpkin-thiefthe day, or is Halloween going to be without pumpkins this year?

The classic, It’s a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, is one that many people read every year.   This story by Charles Shultz tells how Linus is determined to sit in the pumpkin patch waiting to see the Great Pumpgreat-pumpkinkin.  Meanwhile, his friends are having fun trick-or-treating.

There are many more pumpkin-themed stories in the Library!  Check them out!



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Welcome back!

Another school year has begun!  Hard to believe that the summer has flown by again.  When school lets out for summer vacation it appears that there are lots and lots of days ahead, but before you know it everyone is heading back to school.

I am looking forward to another year of working with students and welcoming them to the Library.    This will be my 3rd year at New Holland Elementary, and each one has been great!  One of the best part of my job is helping students find books they enjoy reading.  We have gotten some new books in over the summer, and I look forward to introducing them to the students.  I also enjoy teaching students research skills, how to access a variety of print and online sources, and how to use technology.

Students come to the Library once a cycle for instruction and book selection. But, they are always welcome to stop in to look for books during homeroom, or anytime their teacher sends them.  I hope everyone will enjoy Library Special and discovering new things to read this year!

Here are some books that are great for back-to-school reading:


Young readers will identify with Biscuit as he goes to school for the first time.  In the book Biscuit Goes to School by Alyssa Capucilli, Biscuit follows the bus to school where he meets his teacher and and his classmates and discovers school is fun.

In Show & Tell Bunnies by Kathryn Lasky, Clyde is nervous abbunniesout what he should bring to school for show and tell, but ends up sharing a wonderful surprise with his class.

miss brooks

Miss BrooksLoves Books and I don’t by Barbara Buttner tells the story of a first grader who refuses to read and can’t find anything she likes in the library.  The Librarian, Miss Brooks, tries everything she can to turn the student into a reader.

Many students enjoy the My Weird School Series.  A great one for the beginningmiss daisy of the year is Miss Daisy is Crazy by Dan Gutman.  The new teacher at school, Miss Daisy, has some teaching methods that surprise and baffle her students.  With titles like Coach Hyatt is a Riot and Dr. Brad has Gone Mad, students love this humorous series.

averageOlder students will enjoy About Average by Andrew Clements.   Jordan, a 6th grader, is upset because she feels that she is just average. She worries that she isn’t a star at sports, and gets average grades in the classroom.   But when disaster strikes her town, she realizes that she has some special skills and is definitely above average.

Look for these and many more titles in the Library!  Here’s to another great year of reading at New Holland Elementary!


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