Darlington School Blog

Darlington School
Melinda Holmes
Director of Library Services

Melinda became Darlington’s director of library services in 2006. She holds a B.S. from James Madison University (Va.) and an M.S. from Longwood University (Va.) Melinda is past treasurer of the Association of Independent School Librarians Board of Directors and past president and program coordinator of the Georgia Independent School Librarians Board of Directors. She also serves on the One Book Many Voices Committee for Rome and Floyd County. Melinda and her husband Marcus, who is dean of residential life and head of Thornwood House, live on campus with their daughters, Addie (’17) and Julia (’18).

Holiday Book Recommendations 2016

12/16/2016 12:42:00 PM, 329 views

As a holiday treat for our patrons, our librarians have prepared the following list of book recommendations. These books are delightful and will provide hours and hours of reading pleasure over the break. Tis the season... for the love of reading!!


"Oskar and the Eight Blessings"

by Richard and Tanya Simon (fiction picture book)

The year is 1938 and young Oskar is a refugee escaping the devastation of Nazi Europe. As he arrives in New York City, all he has with him is a photograph of his aunt whom he has never met and her address. As Oskar walks through Manhattan on this Christmas Eve and 7th day of Hanukkah, he experiences small acts of kindness along the way. "Oskar and the Eight Blessings" is a heartwarming story of compassion, new beginnings, and the spirit of the holiday season. It is a reminder that even in bad times, people can be good.


Buddy and Earl"

By Maureen Fergus (fiction picture book)

You might think that Buddy and Earl are an unlikely pair when it comes to friendship. Buddy likes to play by the rules and Earl has an imagination that knows no bounds. Buddy’s world becomes a bit more exciting when this small, prickly creature comes into his life. If you enjoy fun and adventure with a little bit of silliness, you will enjoy reading "Buddy and Earl." Better yet, this is just the first book in a series of delightful stories about a friendship that is truly special.


"Finding Winnie- The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear"

By Lindsay Mattlick (nonfiction picture book)

Finding Winnie is a remarkable story about the real bear who inspired the creation of the beloved Winnie-the-Pooh character.  In this true story the reader follows Winnie’s journey, a journey of friendship and devotion that leads her from Canada across the ocean to an army base in England during World War 1.  For her safety, Winnie is taken to the London Zoo where she is well cared for and meets a new beloved friend, Christopher Robin. Perhaps, like me, you didn’t know that Winnie-the-Pooh was actually based on a real bear. I especially enjoyed looking at the album in the back of the book which shows photos and diary entries from Harry Colebourn who rescued Winnie as a baby bear.  I hope you enjoy it too!



 by Gordon Korman (children's fiction)

In this 8th installment of the Swindle Mystery series, we are once again joined by Griffin Bing and his friends. Their holiday break has been ruined because instead of going away for winter break, they have been signed up to volunteer at a local Christmas village...as elves. And it is NOT EASY being an elf. Santa is up to no good and Rudolph is being played by a Doberman who makes up his own rules wherever he goes. This winter wonderland has lost its sparkle because Griffin is being blamed for the disappearance of a prized Christmas possession worth over $10 million. It is up to these elves to get off the shelf and track down the Christmas theft! Recommended for 3rd-7th grade readers



 by Deborah Wiles (children's fiction)

Let’s take a trip back to the year 1962 when Franny Chapman just wants some peace. This is hard for Franny to find when her best friend will not speak to her, her sister has disappeared, and her uncle is fighting the ghost of a war in his head. Her saintly little brother is no help and the cute boy across the street just makes matter worse while the whole country is afraid of getting hit by a nuclear bomb. Set during the Cuban Missile Crisis, readers will be immersed into the story of a girl trying to deal with the changing world around her. Join Franny as she navigates a dangerous time in both her history and our American history CountdownRecommended for 3rd through 7th grade readers



 by Sarah Weeks (children's fiction)

When Polly Portman, Alice’s great aunt, passes away, she leaves her secret pie crust recipe with her only housemate, her cat. With the upcoming pie contest, everyone in town wants to get a hold of this cat but how do you leave a recipe with a cat? Now it is up to Alice and her friend Charlie to put the pieces together and figure out the not-so-secret recipe for happiness: family, friendship, and the great reward in doing something for the right reasons. Recommended for 3rd through 7th grade readers


What Light"What Light"

by Jay Asher (young adult fiction)

Sierra has grown up on her family’s Christmas tree farm, but spends every month of December away from home, selling Christmas trees in California. She feels like she lives two different lives. She feels even more so when she meets Caleb at the tree lot, a boy with a painful past, looking for a way to come back from his mistakes.  What Light is a heartfelt story about redemption and romance—a perfect, cozy read for the holidays.  



 by Melinda Braun (young adult fiction)

Matt is beyond excited for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go cross country skiing in a thrilling but harrowing pass through the Rocky Mountains. The perfect way for Matt to let loose a little with his best friend and a group of carefree adrenaline junkies. Then their guide takes them off-path…and straight into an avalanche. This book is a non-stop survivalist adventure that is great to escape into over Christmas break.


Fantastic Beasts"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay"

by J.K. Rowling (young adult nonfiction)

Magizoologist Newt Scamander’s arrival in New York is marked by disaster when his magical case is misplaced and a few of his fantastic beasts escape. J.K. Rowling's screenwriting debut does not fail to delight die-hard Harry Potter fans and newcomers alike—it’s definitely worth a read if you can’t get enough of the delightful movie.


salttothesea.png"Salt to the Sea"

by Ruta Sepetys (young adult historical fiction)

Best-selling author, Ruta Sepetys has written another winner! After her visit to Darlington School in 2014, Mrs. Sepetys researched and published "Salt to the Sea," a historical fiction novel that details the story of the greatest maritime tragedy in history. Through the eyes of four desperate teenage passengers seeking safety and freedom on board the Wilhelm Gustloff, Sepetys tells the story of the tragic historical event that has never been told.


atticus.png"Following Atticus"

by Tom Ryan (adult nonfiction)

A heart-warming story that tells how a tiny puppy touched the heart of a newspaperman, opening his eyes to the beauty of life and its possibilities. Through their adventures, readers find an inspiring tale of love and a lesson of being true to yourself.


grandmother.png"My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry"

by Fredrik Backman (adult fiction)

This is a charming story about a young girl whose grandmother dies and leaves her many letters. These letters send young Elsa on many adventures and bring life to her grandmother's stories.


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