NC Ghost Stories and Mountain Speak

Hello Readers,

Today’s Inkling meeting starts to brings to an end our focus on Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty.  I know many of you have not had a chance to read this great story, but remember he will be at Quail Ridge Books on Saturday, so you might be able to snag a copy there, and get a cool autograph.

For our final two meetings before track out I would like you to think about one of the following activities to work with.

  1. Spend some time working on your Serafina Art Contest project.  Remember the contest runs until November 15, 2015. (I have a cool pottery idea in production.)  Think about how you will share your work with The Inklings as well as how you will submit it to the contest.
  2. Work on the Serafina Riddle Contest.
  3. In Serafina and the Black Cloak, both Serafina and her father use some interesting vocabulary.  Some might call their work usage choices Mountain Speech.  Spend some time reading about NC mountain speech and then write a short story or dialog using some of the interesting vocabulary from the website. Use the comment tool to share you work.
  4. Serafina and the Black Cloak is not a true ghost story, but it certainly has the elements of a good old-fashioned horror story.  Spend some time reading up on some other ghost stories from around the NC world.  Report out on your favorite tale (comment tool), or the one that will keep you up tonight.

Our next read will be The Map To Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis, who also live in the great state of NC!  The book is available from Scholastic for only $6 and I have some great reading challenge idea swirling around in my head.  Cinder will most likely come after The Map To Everywhere for those of you interested in that read.

Read on,

Mr. H

T-Shirts…. The Results

Hello Readers,

I am pleased to announce, after a very spirited voting season, that we now have the winning T-Shirt ideas for both The Inklings and Guys Read.

So with 34.24%, just edging out the second place idea, this is our 2015 Inklings T-Shirt.

Remember the shirt will say Inklings where it now says Journalism and in the ink pot it will say Salem Middle School.  The final cost will depend on how many orders we make, but it will most likely be somewhere around $13 per shirt.

The Guys Read Shirt was not nearly as close, or exciting.  The winning shirt will be…

This shirt will say Salem Middle School above the line and then Guys Read below the line to the right.

Voting is now closed, so I hope you are happy with democracy and will enjoy the final choices.

Order forms will come out soon and the shirts will be ordered shortly, hopefully so we can have them when Track 4 returns at the end of October.

Read on,

Mr. H

Serafina and the Black Cloak: Art Project video

In The Inklings Book Club we have been reading, and talking about Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty.  One of the things we have been looking into are the art and riddle contests that Mr. Beatty set up.

The Serafina Art Contest is coming up, and my friend Aidan and I wanted to try to do  something to enter into the contest. The contest is meant for kids, teens, and even adults to enter their art work and win a cash prize. If Aidan and I win, we will receive a prize of 1000 dollars (I’m not saying we’ll win). For adults, the prize is $3000, for teens it’s $1000, and for kids it’s $500.  So this is our 1000 dollar idea.

This video is a remake of the scene in the book when Serafina is catching rats one night, and stumbles upon the “black cloak” feeding himself the soul of a young girl. Serafina then wakes up and describes the happening to her father and answers one of his questions with an answer related to the Biltmore estate’s signature commercial lines.


Read On,

Sean and Aidan, the kids from Guys Read and Inklings


Video and Photo Permission

Hello Readers,

This post is mainly for parental units.  As I have explained in many Guys Read and Inklings meetings, I like to let parents know that we do tend to make videos and post pictures of our reading challenges on the web.  Most parents have already done a school release for photos and videos, but I want to be sure it is fine for me to upload images.

I am attaching the permission forms for both Inklings and Guys Read, just in case a member has lost their note.

SMS Guys Read photo and video permission


Please let me know if you have any questions.

Read on,

Mr. H

Inklings T-Shirt Ideas and Voting

Hello Fantasy Lovers,

Today we release the 2015-16 Inklings T-Shirt ideas for your voting approval.

Voting will be open from now until our next meeting on September 15.  The winning shirt idea will be announced at that meeting and then we will produce order forms and figure out the overall cost.  Most likely the shirt will be around $15 as we will only be ordering around 20 total shirt.

Take a minute to review the shirt designs, and remember the design is just that, a design idea, below the picture you will see how we will bend it to fit our Inklings will.

Inklings Tshirt ideas 2015

So go ahead and vote….

Remember to vote early and vote often

Read on,

Mr. H

Serafina and the Black Cloak Signing

Hello Readers,

This past Saturday a group of student readers found themselves at a local Barnes and Noble for a quick talk and book signing by debut author Robert Beatty.  Mr. Beatty was in town to promote his new story called Serafina and the Black Cloak.


I just finished Serafina, and will write more about it soon, but I will safely say that you will surely love Serafina and the creepy mystery that develops at the Biltmore House.

It was great fun to hear Mr. Beatty speak about the formation of his first novel and then meet him, if only for a few seconds.

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I have loads of thoughts about the story, and some good ideas swirling in my head, plus Mr. Beatty and Disney/Hyperion have a few contests that some of you Inklings might want to enter.

So we begin this Thursday (August 20) in Mr. H’s classroom (2407) from 3:15 to 4:15.  Make sure you have a ride lined up and join us for Inklings.

Read on,

Mr. H

New Inklings Read

Hello Readers,

On Tuesday I book talked the novel I am currently reading and we watched a book trailer that really hooked a few of our student readers. That story is Serafina and the Black Cloak, the debut novel by Asheville author Robert Beatty. I just found out that Mr. Beatty will be signing copies at the Barnes and Noble in Cary this Saturday starting around 2:00. I’m going to try and get down there for the visit, but if you are free on Saturday and interested in meeting the author of a really good local story you might want to check it out.

Serafina and the Black Cloak will be the first book for the Inklings this year.

Let me know if you have any questions.
Read on,

Mr. H

ps. Go watch the book trailer on Mr. Beatty’s website…it’s awesome.