All posts by tpretz

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

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.

If You Like…Tearjerkers & Books with Heart

As a result of several students requesting sad books, tearjerkers and books with heart, I have created this list of recommendations. Although I do not regularly seek out “tear-jerkers” or sad books, it came as a surprise to me as I was making this list that I had read most of the books on this list at some point in time in my life.

Then I began to dig a little deeper. Many of the books on this list will tug at your heartstrings. They are books with characters you will remember long after you have finished the book. Quite a few books on this list have won top literary awards in children’s literature.