How to be an Avoca West Viking!


Thanks to Mrs. Scozia for helping the 1st graders create Viking self-portraits, and Ms. Michael’s 4th graders for their words of wisdom! If we all follow their great advice, this year will be be the best year ever!  Pop in the ITC to see more portraits, find books about Vikings, and/or create your own inspirational card to be displayed in the front hallway!

Welcome to a new year of reading!


My promise to each and every student is to share the magic of reading!

Visitors are always welcome!

While I will be updating this blog from time to time, I will be using our Facebook and Twitter accounts almost daily to share resources, new books, student book reviews, author visit highlights, inspiration, and more! Please follow us on Twitter @avocawestITC and be sure to “like” our facebook page, Avoca West ITC. I’m looking forward to an amazing year!

Mrs. Geidner

See what’s blooming in the ITC!

spring reading

On Monday April 11th, our 3rd-5th graders were treated to a visit from best-selling author, Peter Brown. Our students were engaged from start to finish, and were so inspired by Peter’s presentation. Needless to say, there is a long hold list for Peter’s first novel, The Wild Robot. Thank you to The Book Stall in Winnetka for sponsoring this visit!





In other news, we are in the midst of a major weeding project! It’s time to make room for all the wonderful new titles we are so fortunate to add to our collection each year. I am deeply grateful to both my student and parent volunteers who have helped me undertake this massive task! I truly could not do it without them! Get ready to enjoy a fresh, updated space!
weeding help

Winter happenings in the ITC!


Cold temperatures and gray skies are the perfect excuse to curl up under a blanket with some great books! Many new titles have arrived in the library recently! Be sure to stop in and check them out!

More Flags, More Fun!

The Six Flags Read to Succeed challenge is back and is open to students in grades k-6! Read for six hours and earn a free ticket to Six Flags! Please return your completed reading logs to Mrs. Geidner by February 26th! Unfortunately late logs cannot be accepted. Additional copies of the parent letter and reading log are below.


Battle of the Books!

Good luck to all of our 4th and 5th graders who are participating in the Battle of the Books at the Glenview Public Library! You have worked hard to prepare and will make Avoca proud!

Welcome Aaron Reynolds!

Thank you to The Bookstall in Winnetka for bringing best-selling author, Aaron Reynolds, to Avoca West last week! Kindergarten-3rd graders learned and laughed a lot as Mr. Reynolds stressed the importance of writing what you are passionate about. He also read aloud his most recent book, Nerdy Birdy, which teaches children how to break the “friendship force field” and embrace not only the commonalities that they share with others, but also the differences. A wonderfully positive and powerful presentation!

Fall into Reading!

Our annual pumpkin decorating contest is back!

(2014 Pumpkin Entries)

Pumpkin Contest Rules:

One entry per child/group. (one entry=one book display)
Pumpkins/gourds may be created individually, with friends, or as a family.
Pumpkins should be decorated in a way that represents a book or book character rather than a TV or movie character.
Be creative! Feel free to use pumpkins/gourds of various shapes and sizes!
Please do not carve pumpkins!
Bring your decorated pumpkin to school anytime during the month of October, ideally the week of 10/19.
Students and teachers will be voting during the last week of October.
Pumpkins need to be taken home on Halloween.
Have fun!

Summer is (almost) Here, and the Reading is Easy!

summer reading

It’s All About Them Books! No Kidding!

Click on the link above to watch a fun video reminder that all library books are now due! The first grade level to have all books returned and fines paid, will enjoy a special prize! Thanks for getting all of our treasured books back to be enjoyed again next fall!

Summer is (almost) here, and there is no better time to get lost in a great book! I have attached several reading lists with suggested titles. Future 6th graders can’t go wrong by getting a head start on some of the titles from the 2016 Rebecca Caudill list. Likewise, future 3rd-5th graders can start reading books from the Bluestem list! The 2016 Battle of the Books (BOB) list is for future 4th & 5th graders who would like to get a head start preparing for next winter’s book battles! (More info about BOB can be found on Glenview public library’s website-see link below.)

2016 Rebecca Caudill List

2016 Bluestem List

2016 Battle of the Books List

Still looking for more reading fun? Try some of these links to area reading programs, ebooks, more lists, games, author visits, and more!
Book recommendations & resources for parents:
More book recommendations & contests:
Book reviews by kids for kids:
Arbordale ebooks:
Free online summer reading club:
Free Barnes & Noble book
Author & book events at The Book Stall in Winnetka:

In addition, don’t forget to sign up for any of the amazing summer reading programs at the Glenview, Winnetka, Northfield, and Wilmette public libraries!

Glenview Public Library

Wilmette Public Library

Winnetka-Northfield Public Library

I hope you will find these resources to be helpful!

It’s been another great year in the ITC filled with great books and your wonderful children!!   Best wishes for a summer full of great stories, imagination, and adventure!

Mrs. Geidner


Snow is falling, and books are calling!



Too cold to go to the library?  No problem! A new ebook service called, Epic! will bring the library to your child! Think of it as a Netflix for children’s ebooks with thousands of high quality books. The service is $4.99 a month, but there is a 60 day free trial which will hopefully get us to warmer weather! Please click the link above, or contact Mrs. Geidner ( for more details.

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 10.34.39 AM

  • February 2-February 6: Coin Wars & Bubble Gum Day were a huge success! Click this link to watch a highlight video: Bubble Gum Day 2015!  Thank you for supporting our therapy dogs from Adventures With Bailey!
  • February 20th: SIX FLAGS READ TO SUCCEED FORMS DUE! (Grades k-6)
  • March 2nd: National Read Across America Day (Dr. Seuss Day) 2015


  • March 9th: Award winning author, Dav Pilkey & Caldecott award winning illustrator Dan Santat, will be presenting together for grades k-3!
  • Early March: Monarch Voting (Grades k-3)
  • Mid March-Early April: Reading March Madness!

The Fall Season is Full of Treats in the ITC!

d3 Students, staff and parents at Avoca West came together with 1,884,017 participants from 84 countries around the world on September 15th-ish to celebrate International Dot Day! Here is a video that captured some of the ways in which we made our mark. Watch for the next edition of The Vision for more highlights!

The Great Pumpkin Decorating Contest!

Celebrate your love of books this fall by decorating a pumpkin for the
5th annual Avoca West Library “Great Pumpkin Decorating Contest.”
Enjoy this video of last year’s entries!

Pumpkin Contest Rules:

One entry per child/group. (one entry=one book display)
Pumpkins may be created individually, with friends, or as a family.
Pumpkins must be decorated in a way that represents a book or book character.
Pumpkin cannot be carved.
Bring your decorated pumpkin to school anytime during the month of October.
Students and teachers will be voting during the last week of October.
Pumpkins need to be taken home on Halloween.

Battle of the Books!

Recently the school liaison from the Glenview Public Library came to talk with our 4th and 5th graders about the Battle of the Book program. Registration begins online on Wednesday, Oct. 1st. Visit this link for more information, and to view the 2015 book list. I look forward to cheering on many Avoca West students in the next few months as they prepare for battle! Please let me know if I can answer any questions. GO VIKING READERS!

The PTC/ITC Book Fair is coming!

We are beyond excited to again be using Anderson’s to host our fair this fall from October 20th-23rd! Watch for flyers to come home with students soon, as well as more details both on the PTC website and in the Thursday blasts. The fair is always a big hit with students, staff, and family alike and we are so grateful to the PTC for making it possible!

Author Visits!

Accomplished author, David Adler, visits with kindergarten-2nd Graders on November 11th! Visit Mr. Adler’s Website to learn more about him in preparation for this wonderful visit sponsored by The Book Stall in Winnetka!

New York Times best selling author, Chris Grabenstein, will present to 3rd-6th Graders also on November 11th! In addition to his American Library Association notable award winning book, Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, Mr. Grabenstein has written: The Riley Mack Adventure series, and The Haunted Mystery series. He has also co-authored The Treasure Hunter series, The I Funny series, and Daniel X: Armageddon with best selling author, James Patterson. This visit is generously sponsored by our fabulous PTC.

There is no better way to learn about the writing process than interacting with authors! We are very fortunate to have these two accomplished authors coming to share both their secrets, and their passion, with our students! Watch for order forms for signed books from both authors to come home soon!