All posts by tpretz

I am the elementary librarian at The American School in Japan.

Congratulations to This Year’s BookMark Challenge Winners!

There were hundreds of submissions this year and it was extremely difficult to pick just four winners per grade level. Due to the high quality of this year’s entries, there are more winners per grade level. Thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s library bookmark challenge.

Grade 1

Kodai 1B, Liam 1H, Ellie 1R, Hal 1R, Sara 1R, Miki 1F, Shin 1R & Kayra 1S

Grade 2

Kieran 2D, Madeline 2D, Verity 2D, Cora 2P, Yamato 2P, Yurika 2P, Alisa 2T, Emily 2T, Ana 2Y & Emma 2Y

Grade 3

Mya 3B, Neela 3B, Samay 3B, Ayu 3T, Connor 3T & Owen 3T,

Grade 4

Ako 4I, Ken 4I, Luca 4I, Anna 4M, Greg 4M, Jasmine 4M & Riley 4S

Grade 5

Ryan C. 5C, Joongi 5F, Sofia 5F, Callie 5H, Kei 5H, Kiera 5H, Dylan 5R, Rania 5R, Helena 5V, Isabelle 5V, Leah 5V & Pia 5V

Note: Photos of the winning bookmarks will be posted on the library blog and displayed in the library windows later this week!

2020 BookMark Challenge

Winners from Previous Years

Don’t forget to write your name and class on the back of your bookmark before turning it in.

You can give finished bookmarks to Ms. Pretz at the beginning or end of library class


You can put your finished bookmarks in the “mailbox” outside of the library.

The Final Countdown Results

Which grade level checked off the most boxes the last month of school?

Survey Results: I read…

  • a favorite book – 92 students
  • out loud to someone – 84 students
  • a picture book, regardless of my age – 83 students
  • a fiction book – 109 students
  • a nonfiction book – 76 students
  • a graphic novel or comic book – 95 students
  • a book in a genre I had never read before – 59 students
  • a digital book – 86 students
  • an audiobook or read-along story – 83 students
  • a book on a Kindle – 38 students
  • a news or magazine article – 56 students
  • the first book in a series – 89 students
  • a book with a girl main character – 88 students
  • a book with a boy main character – 94 students
  • read outside – 66 students
  • read an award-winning book – 66 students
  • read a recipe or the directions to make something – 70 students
  • a book that has a movie based on it – 82 students
  • a rhyming book, poem or novel in verse – 59 students
  • a book that was a parent’s favorite when they were a kid – 55 students
  • a book that was recommended to me – 70 students
  • a book and recommended it to a friend or sibling – 62 students
  • a book that was a present – 78 students
  • a book in a language other than English – 60 students
  • a book set in another country – 80 students
  • a book by an author whose nationality is different than mine – 76 students

Conversation Starters – Race, Racism & Resistance

Titles currently available in the ASIJ ES Library

“To counter bias, research from Harvard University recommends acknowledging and naming race and racism with children as early and as often as possible. Children’s books are one of the most effective and practical tools for initiating these critical conversations; and they can also be used to model what it means to resist and dismantle oppression.​” Source:

More titles to consider when starting conversations about race, racism and resistance.