Percy Jackson Party!

A Percy Jackson themed party took place in the library recently and it was filled with competition, laughter and stomachs full of pizza. It was led by Aisling, Henri, Aitor and Shawn.

The group was split up into teams for a quiz on the book series which led to arguments on who really was the ultimate Percy Jackson fan. Teams Hermes, Poseidon and Athena got into the next round of competition.

The powerful gods and goddesses had a snack break while the stations were being set up. In the next round there was – pin the eye on the cyclops, three headed dog and ambrosia bobbing.

Although the children were disgusted by the other players spit in the water, they powered through and Hermes even bobbed 8 “ambrosia” (AKA apples)!

In the end, team Athena won the competition! Congratulations!

To celebrate we watched the first Percy Jackson movie while eating Pizza and drinking blue Calpis.

It was very fun and we hope to see you at the next Library party!

It’s a Party in the Library!

Dragons spent their summer reading all over the globe, and last Friday we got together in the library to celebrate a summer of reading. There were delicious snacks from Dragon Dining; raffle prizes of pencils, notebooks, bookstore gift cards and lunch in the library; and fun activities and discussions to fill our time. Let’s keep this enthusiasm for reading going all year!

Check our Facebook and Instagram later this week to see the results of our green screen session where students posed with the covers of their favorite books from the summer.


Library Council LockIn

Congratulations to Aisling, Amelia, Justin and Vivien for hosting a successful library LockIn recently. The library council members ran an adventure themed evening filled with awesome activities, delicious food and of course, reading!

We definitely appreciated Ms. Urqhardt’s help. She kicked off the evening with a survival scenario team activity, where students had to prioritize which items would be most important if they were stranded after a plane crash.

There were make your own kebabs for dinner. Big thanks to Mr. Broughton for spending the night AND manning the barbecue.

After dinner we had a very intense game of glow in the dark Capture the Flag. Our unique campus made for excellent competition.

Vivien led the masses in a wild game of Werewolf, as students tried to figure out who was the predator and who was the prey. It got wild. 🙂

After an evening of fast paced fun and adventure, it was time to settle in for some reading time before sleep. Students shared their favorite adventure stories with each other and then crawled in to sleeping bags to read before “sleep”.

In the morning, in true survival fashion, students cooked their own breakfast of pancakes on the grill (inside hollowed out oranges!) and S’mores, everyone’s favorite breakfast food.

As always, the library LockIn was an amazing evening of adventure themed fun. Thank you to all the students and adults who worked together to make this happen. We hope to see you next year!

Hogwarts Comes to Life in the YIS Library

A huge congratulations goes out to Vivien, Justin and Aisling of the YIS library council for throwing a successful Harry Potter party this past Friday. 

There was butterbeer and pumpkin juice to drink,

Pottercorn and chocolate frogs to eat,

Harry Potter house mugs and ties to make. 

Of course, no Harry Potter party would be complete without a little bit of Quidditch: Brooms Up!

We ended our evening with a read aloud of the first few scenes of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”. If you haven’t read the play yet, stop by the library today to put your copy on hold! Thanks to everyone who came out to have some fun and celebrate with us. See you at our next lock-in.


Welcome Back

It’s a new school year and we’ve got a new library space for you! Come by the library today and check out all of the changes.

More Space: By deleting dated materials from the collection, we were able to remove several shelves and open up more space. Now we have a dedicated secondary space in the back for study hall students as well as classes, plus a wider elementary space in the front for reading and whole group instruction.

Japanese Nook: We’ve got a Japanese nook with the Japanese language books and three couches which is reserved throughout the week for our Japanese class visits as well as any other mother tongue classes. When it’s not being used for studying Nihongo, anyone can settle in and enjoy.

New Hours: The library will be open from 8-5 Monday through Thursday and 8-4:30 on Fridays. As always, you’re welcome before and after school, during break and lunch. Come by today to check out a book.

New Picture Book Shelves: Our new record style shelving means it’s easier to see the covers and explore our picture book section. Come in for a shuffle through; you might discover something new!

Of course, some things will stay the same:

Food in the library: Snacks and small lunches from home are okay. Full cafeteria meals need to be eaten in the cafeteria.

Sakura Medal Books: They’re here! We’re processing brand new Sakura medal books. Check in this week to see when they’re ready for you to take home.

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A big thanks to our student helpers, without whom we couldn’t have made these exciting changes happen.


Sakura Book Bowl 2016

11 schools from Tokyo and Yokohama participated

Congratulations Sakura Book Bowlers! In a tight finish, the YIS book bowl team won 2nd place at the 2016 Sakura Book Bowl competition. On Tuesday April 12, eleven teams from international schools all over Tokyo and Yokohama came together to compete for the honor and glory of winning the Book Bowl championship trophy.

Over the course of the school year, members of the book bowl team read the 20 chapter books that are contenders for this year’s Sakura medal. Book Bowl includes five different rounds of competition in which teams had to answer questions that showed their knowledge of the stories by identifying quotes, recognizing symbols, and answering comprehension questions.  There is also a highly competitive expert round, where one representative from each team goes to the front of the room to answer questions about a specific book they’ve been assigned to know inside and out.

While YIS students were pleased to place 2nd at the book bowl, they said the best part of participating is getting to work as a team and read a lot of really interesting books. 4th and 5th graders are eligible to participate every year. We hope to see many of you join us next year as we attempt to win back the trophy!

Thank you to Adam Clark for taking photos of our day.

WordUp! 2016

Word Up March 2016-3-XLThe library is happy to have hosted YIS’s first spoken word poetry event, WordUp! 2016, on Thursday March 17th. It was a powerful evening of sharing a mixture of original pieces and personal favorites.

Thank you to to Adina, Ms. Barbour & Ms. Katy, Mr. Stanworth, Juna, Sam, Aru & Sukran, Vivien, Mr. Snowball and Mr. Clark.  It takes a lot of courage to perform, and you should all be proud of your efforts.

We hope to see you (and many others?) reprise your performances at STITCH 2K16 on April 28th.


Dōmo arigatō: An Anthology of Thanks

お礼 – Thank You photo by Flickr user under CC BY SA 2.0

Naomi Shihab Nye san, dōmo arigatō for the three wonderful days you spent with us at Yokohama International School. Everyone cannot stop talking about how fabulous it was that you came into our lives. There’s amazing writing going on, and the ripples of your visit are still being felt. Thank you so much for being your authentic self. You were kind, giving and just over all lovely. Please come back anytime!

We wanted to thank you for your time and generosity, so the best way we could think of to do that was to share some more of our writing with you. Here is our Anthology of Thanks, made of poems from our community.


302 Sunsets – Number Two

A Third Hand – Leah Edwards

Chinese Face – Adam Y.

Compliments – Larissa S.

Dear Naomi – Andrew Hutton

Mrs. Nye, See You Again, The Cat & Goodbye Mrs. Nye – Langston D.

Untitled – Dennis Stanworth

What she brought with her – CB


Upcoming Visit: Naomi Shihab Nye


The library will be hosting Naomi Shihab Nye, a renowned Palestinian-American poet, essayist and educator,from Wednesday January 20- Friday January 22.  While she is here, she will conduct writing workshops with students as well as give a community wide poetry reading on Friday from 4-5 pm.

Naomi Shihab Nye describes herself as a “wandering poet.” A poet, song-writer and novelist, she has spent 40 years traveling the country and the world to lead writing workshops and inspiring students of all ages. Nye was born to a Palestinian father and an American mother and grew up in St. Louis, Jerusalem, and San Antonio. Drawing on her Palestinian-American heritage, the cultural diversity of her home in Texas, and her experiences traveling in Asia, Europe, Canada, Mexico, and the Middle East, Nye uses her writing to attest to our shared humanity.

Naomi Shihab Nye is the author and/or editor of more than 30 volumes. Her books of poetry include 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East , A Maze Me: Poems for Girls, Red Suitcase, Words Under the Words, Fuel, and You & Yours (a best-selling poetry book of 2006). She is also the author of Mint Snowball, Never in a Hurry, I’ll Ask You Three Times, Are you Okay? Tales of Driving and Being Driven(essays); Habibi and Going Going (novels for young readers); Baby Radar and Sitti’s Secrets (picture books) and There Is No Long Distance Now (a collection of very short stories). Other works include several prize-winning poetry anthologies for young readers.  Her collection of poems for young adults entitled Honeybee won the 2008 Arab American Book Award in the Children’s/Young Adult category. Her new novel for children, The Turtle of Oman, was chosen both a Best Book of 2014 by The Horn Book and a 2015 Notable Children’s Book by the American Library Association. The Turtle of Oman was also awarded the 2015 Middle East Book Award for Youth Literature.

We hope you enjoy her visit to YIS!