Russell Library Program Home Page
Welcome to the Reading Program Home Page. Once you are logged in, you will be taken to your Reading Home Page.

   Beneath the Surface (Teens)   
Enter your user name and password and click on the Login button.
Important Messages
New to Beneath the Surface summer reading site: Cookies and Books with Mel, our Nutmeg books expert extraordinaire! In this engaging, new series, Mel will highlight the Nutmeg nominated books and make a cookie recipe to go along with the book. In April, you'll get to vote for your favorite Nutmeg book as well as your favorite cookie! The benefits of working with Mel is tasting the cookies. The candy cookies were awesome! Enjoy....

Check out our new booktrailers!:

Make your own slideshow with music at Animoto.

Make your own slide show at Animoto.


As promised, here is the delicious recipe for the cookies from Cookies and Books with Mel.


11/4 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1tsp baking soda
1/4 salt
1 cup sugar
6 top cooking oil
1/2 pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 '
Line 2 cookie sheets.
Sift dry ingredients together.In a separate bowl, whisk sugar with oil. Add vanilla and sour cream whisk until it is very smooth.
Fold in dry ingredients to mixture until just mixed.
Drop dough on to cookie sheets by teleological 2 inches apart.Lightly spread each cookie into a circle using a spoon.Bake for11 minutes and cookies are firm to touch. Cool completely.
Spread favorite filling on flat side of cookie. Top with another flat side of cookie to create moon pie

Quotable Quotes:

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.”

Lemony Snicket, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid

It's back to school day! I hope everyone had an enjoyable first day back....(I hear some grumbles and groans out there!) But hey, there's a three day weekend coming up....Enjoy!

SURVEY: Are you interested in keeping up with Beneath the Surface website? I cannot offer prizes but this will be a great way for you to keep reading and writing. I will also continue to post book trailers, Nutmeg cookies and books with Mel, your reviews, etc. If you are interested in participating in this site throughout the school year let me know by email at:

Thanks, Kate
Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great (Extreme Challenge)
Judy Blume
In this story by Judy Blume, the main character is Sheila Tubman. This story takes place in Terrytown during the summer. The problem is that Sheila has to spend three weeks at a house that has three boys and their family live when this family travels to England. She doesn't know what to do.

I liked this book because Sheila decided to have fun then to mope around for three weeks.

Lataviah also recommends: Are you there, God?, It's Me Margaret AND Fudge-A-Mania.
Fudge-A-Mania (Extreme Challenge)
Judy Blume
In this story by Judy Blume, the main character is Peter Hatcher. This story takes place in Maine during the summer. The main problem is that Peter unwillingly has to spend three weeks next to his sworn enemy, Sheila Tubman! At least his best friend, Jimmy Fargo is coming.

I liked this book because it ended with a very romantic touch!

Lataviah also recommends: Are you there, God?, It's Me Margaret AND Deenie.
Are You Ther God? It's Me Margaret (Extreme Challenge)
Judy Blume
In this book, by Judy Blume, the main character is Margaret Ann Simon. This story takes place during her 6th grade year in New Jersey. The main issue in this story is that she had to move all the way to New Jersey, away from her grandmother. When she gets there, she has to go to a new school and meet new friends all while worrying about her period.

I liked this book because it shows how hard it is to choose a religion when you aren't born into one.

Lataviah also recommends: Blubber AND Iggie's House.
Walter Dean Myers
In "Monster" by Walter Dean Myers, the main character is Steve Harmon. This story takes place in Harlem, New York during the summer. The main problem in the story is that Steve is on trial for murder, and may be facing the death penalty at age 16. This has happened because people who are supposed to be his "friends" have tried to pin him to the crime.

I liked this book because the format is written as a movie script which makes the book interesting.

Lataviah also recommends: Harry Potter #6 AND Theodore Boone: The Kid Lawyer.
Theodore Boone: The Accused
John Grisham
In "The Accused" by John Grisham, the main character is Theo Boone. The story takes place in Strattenburg during the school year. Theo is being accused of $300 worth of electronics from a shop. It is hard for Theo because most of the evidence is planted in his locker. He thinks it is a couple of kids that are involved in his mothers court case.

I liked this book because Theo has to clear his own name for a change.

Lataviah also recommends: Monster AND Twisted.