For our next book read The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. Just recently the movie trailer for Everything Everything came out. That is Nicola’s first book, and a lovely story. The Sun Is Also a Star is even better. It’s the story of Natasha and Daniel…

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

When: Thursday, March 23rd at 7:00pm
Where: Uncommon Ground (Clark and Grace)


–Published January 23, 2017





We’re planning another author visit in February!!! We’ll be reading Chicago author Ted Goeglein’s Cold Fury. This is appropriate for Middle schoolers – grades 6th to 8th (any school) and they are welcome to read the book and attend.  The date for that event is Monday, Feb. 13th. Ted will be spending part of the day meeting with students and will be back for book club with our parent/teacher book group and the middle grade students that would like to attend. Dinner will be provided.

When: Monday, Feb 13th 

Time: 6:30pm 

Location: Hamilton Library


–Published January 23, 2017




Author Visit — HAMILTON WELCOMES Penny Warner!

Award winning author of the Code Busters Club series of books to visit on 1/19/17.


Penny Warner will be visiting Hamilton Elementary to talk about writing, codes and the Code Busters Club! Your child can per-order book(s) to be personally autographed by the author at the event. Please see the attached form to pre-order. Contact your students teacher for more information.

Forms and payment are due back by Tuesday, 1/16.



–Published January 13, 2017





One School the Whole Wide World 

This winter we are sailing the seven seas and exploring the world through stories. Turn in a list to the library of the 7 books your child read from each continent by Alexander Hamilton’s birthday on January 11th, 2017.

The goal: read a book about a place in or character from each of the seven continents (or as many as you can). Below is the form to record your books and a suggested list. Where in the world will reading take you?!



–Published December 20, 2016





Happy 2017! For this month, read the graphic novel American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang to January. Mr. Yang is currently Library of Congress’ fifth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. This book was the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award and the first to win the American Library Association’s Michael L. Printz Award. It also won an Eisner Award. You will want to buy it or get it from the library, no e-reading this one!

When: Monday, Jan. 23th 

Time: 7:00pm 

Location: Uncommon Ground, Grace and Clark location

*** We’re planning another author visit in February!!! We’ll be reading Chicago author Ted Goeglein’s Cold Fury. This is appropriate for Middle schoolers – grades 6th to 8th (any school) and they are welcome to read the book and attend.  The date for that event is Monday, Feb. 13th.

–Published December 19, 2016





For a holiday read, we’ve selected What Light by Jay Asher (NYT bestselling author). Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon but every year they move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. That’s where she meets Caleb, not your perfect guy. What Light is a love story that’s moving and life affirming and completely unforgettable. Ages 12 and up.

For a holiday treat, we’ll meet at Liz Mouse’s house and have a light pitch in. Bring a dessert / salad / or appetizer to share. Liz will provide soup and beverages and a cozy fire!

Also, for our third year in a row, we’ll continue the tradition of a favorite book swap. Bring a paperback copy of one of your favorite books wrapped with no other identification on it except a tag that gives a clue about the book in a few phrases or tells why you like it. For example, “Cute love story set in historical England.” or “Exciting tale of a young girls’ escape from slavery. Best Revolutionary War historical fiction for children.”

When: Monday, Dec. 12th 

Time: 7:00pm 

Location: Mouse House, 4853 N. Leavitt St.

*** We’ve moved the graphic novel American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang to January so we can enjoy a holiday read in December. Mr. Yang is currently Library of Congress’ fifth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. This book was the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award and the first to win the American Library Association’s Michael L. Printz Award. It also won an Eisner Award. You will want to buy it or get it from the public library, no e-reading this one!

–Published November 15, 2016



This month’s Hamilton Parent/Teacher bookclub selection is The Light Fantastic by Sarah Combs. Seven tightly interwoven narratives. Three harrowing hours. One fateful day that changes everything. The Light Fantastic is a tense, shocking, and beautifully wrought exploration of the pain and pathos of a generation of teenagers on the brink—and the hope of moving from shame and isolation into the light of redemption. One of several recently released books for middle grade and young adult that deal with the topics of terrorism and shootings in a post 9-11 world.

When: Monday, Nov. 14th 

Time: 7:00pm 

Location: Uncommon Ground at Grace and Clark


–Published October 6, 2016




This month’s Hamilton Parent/Teacher bookclub selection is Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. This spooky book is great for mature 4th grade and up, we think. There is also a movie coming out, just in time to scare your pants off before Halloween!

In order to see the movie (directed by Tim Burton) of this book, we are meeting in October, after it’s theatrical release. So join us for discussion at the Taqueria at 1450 W. Webster at 6PM for eats. Movie at Webster Place at 7PM

When: Wednesday, Oct. 5 

Time: 7:00pm (6pm for dinner at Taqueria)

Location: Webster Place Movie Theater

–Published September 3, 2016




If you are interested in helping at Hamilton, we can get you in the room where it happens!

Monday, Sept. 26 at 8:00AM in the library  – information about volunteering in the library or with the book fair.

Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 8:00AM in the lunchroom – information about volunteering in any other capacity (in the classroom, prepping materials for teachers, at school events).

If you can’t make either meeting but want more info about volunteering contact Ally Lang at

–Published Sept. 22, 2016



Back To School 2016-17

What YOU Need to Know About the Hamilton Library

Your child will check out a new book every week. In order to do that, 2 things…

  1. They must return the book they checked out the week before.
  2. They must have no overdue books.

If your child is in 4th grade or higher, they may be allowed to check out 2 books per week, per teacher discretion.

If your child has lost or damaged a book… (It happens. Mrs. Mouse once took a Hamilton Library book to the Wisconsin Dells. She paid for a replacement.) you will need to pay the replacement cost for that book. Your child’s teacher will be able to tell you what the cost of the book is. Mrs. Lang ( can also tell you the replacement cost. If you need to discuss a lost book, please contact Mrs. Lang.


The Hamilton Library is run 100% by parent volunteers. New books are purchased with funds we raise. So go to the book fair, shop the used book sale and be sure to return all the books your kids check out so we don’t have to replace them.

If you want to help out in the library, we would love to have you. There are many jobs: re-shelving books, reading to classes, helping with random bookish tasks. Please contact Ally Lang to find out when and how you can help

–Published Sept. 18, 2016





Make a plan to attend our last book group of the school year. We will be taking a few moments to recap thoughts on one of our books from last meeting: The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brusker Bradley.

Our new book for this month is The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore. This is a great opportunity to dip your little pinky toe in the warm waters of fantasy novels if you haven’t already jumped in the pool. The book has a tiny bit of magic, and maybe even some characters with strange powers. Try it, you just might love it.

When: Monday, June 6th

Time: 7:00pm

Location: Uncommon Ground 

–Published April 30, 2016




“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…”

Join us as Hamilton Literacy Night celebrates Star Wars. Did you know that since the George Lucas published the first novel, Star Wars: A New Hope in 1976, over 200 books have been written that take place in the Star Wars universe, from modern novels by award winning authors, to graphic novels to the hilarious illustrated books by Chicago author Jeffrey Brown, there is a Star Wars book for everyone. This night of family fun features crafts, activities, games and prizes!

Literacy Night is Thursday, May 5th from 5:00-7:00pm.

All week the Scholastic book fair is open. Buy books to enjoy and support fundraising efforts for the Hamilton library. When you buy books from Scholastic, we get to buy new books for the library! The book fair is open May 2nd through the morning of Friday, May 6th.

–Published April 25, 2016



Special book group coming up. We’re giving you all extra time. We won’t meet in March, but our next meeting on April 11th will be a great one!


1. Book One is Tommy McKnight and the Great Election by Danny Kravitz
You are going to want to buy this one from Amazon:
Because the author will be coming to book group! In addition to being a friend of Liz Mouse, Danny is an Emmy award-winning writer, songwriter, and a professor of screenwriting at Columbia College in Chicago.
This book is great for kids of about age 8 and up. Just 100 pages! Your kids are welcome at book group this month, hence an earlier time and more kid friendly location. See below.

2. Book Two is The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
This Newbery Honor book features the story of a girl with club foot who is shipped out of London with her brother during WWII.

These two stories are ripe for comparison, as their young protagonists (9 and 10 years old) struggle to overcome the difficulties of a physical disability in the 30s and 40s. Even if your child only reads Danny’s book, you should have them come to meet the author!

When: Monday, April 11th
Time: NEW TIME 6:00pm

–Published Mar. 1, 2016




February is for love…book love! Also it’s for that random extra day the calendar needs every 4 years…leap day.

Join us back at Uncommon Ground on Mon, Feb. 29th at 7:00PM.

Our book for this month is Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman.

This book is going to be fascinating, I just know it. Plus it won the National Book Award, so other people think it is fascinating too. Hailed as “a brilliant journey across the dark sea of the mind; frightening, sensitive, and powerful. Simply extraordinary.” The author is connected deeply to the topic through the experience of his own son’s mental illness.

–Published Feb.1, 2016




A fabulous evening was had before winter break by all of us who made it out to Uncommon Ground with special guest, author James Klise. The discussion of his book: Art of Secrets was greatly enhanced by the opportunity to ask the author about his writing and editing process, his feelings about the characters, and what projects he is working on now.

The Art of Secrets, winner of the 2015 Edgar Prize, is a novel about a high school student whose family’s apartment is destroyed in a fire and the resulting mystery that emerges over a collection of outsider art meant to be a fundraiser to aid her family. It was exciting to read a book set in Chicago. We also took full advantage to get our next book pick suggested by James Klise himself.

For our January Meeting, we will be reading What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell. This National Book Award winner sounds like equal parts mystery, coming of age and historical period gem.

***The Hamilton Parent/Teacher Book Club meets once a month on a Monday evening. Our book choices are most often young adult or middle grade fiction to keep us current with what our kids are reading or will soon be reading. Past books include: Go Set a Watchman, All The Light We Cannot See, The Mysterious Benedict Society, We Were Liars, Flora & Ulysses. All are welcome! To be added to the book club email list, send an email to Liz Mouse at

–Published Jan 1, 2016




A few of the Hamilton librarians are big Young Adult novel fans. In early 2016 we are looking forward to reading these new releases:

Morning Star (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

The Last Star (5th Wave #3) by Rick Yancey

Front Lines by Michael Grant

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard


–Published Dec. 16, 2016




Are you looking for a way to celebrate your child’s birthday with them at Hamilton? We have a fun solution for you. On or near your child’s birthday, you can bring a book to donate to the Hamilton library. We have a special stamp to mark the inside of the book indicating that it was donated on behalf of your child. During your child’s class time in the library, you can read that book aloud. Please contact your child’s teacher to arrange to be a reader during library.

–Published Nov. 12, 2015




Do you have any books you are no longer reading? Well here is a great solution for you. Please bring them to the Hamilton library! We are looking for books to share with students who may not have books at home. We would love to have fiction or non-fiction, paperback or hardback, any ages. What isn’t passed on to students will be sold at the Used Book Sale in June, all profits to buy new books for the library.

Donated books can be dropped off behind the library desk in room 106. For more information contact Ally Lang at

–Published Oct. 7, 2015




Hamilton Elementary has a fantastic library filled with books for all ages. Our fiction collection ranges from board books to picture books, to early readers and chapter book through middle grade and young adult fiction. Our non-fiction selections include everything from Autobiography to Zoo animals!

The library is exuberantly staffed by parent volunteers who serve as librarians and readers during class visits. Volunteers also take time to pop in and shelve books and read with small groups. In addition to allowing students to check out books, the library hosts: book fairs, family literacy nights and in school creating writing opportunities.

Fueled by volunteers, donations and book fair funds, the Hamilton Elementary library is truly a place where students, teachers and the school community come together.

For more information about the Hamilton Elementary library and how to volunteer contact Allyson Lang at

–Published Sept. 8, 2015