Novel/Literature Study Guides in Overdrive!


What a joy to be back at school! We continue to add new resources to the Overdrive library to serve you. This month we have added many novel/literature studies to Overdrive and we have created an easy downloadable list for you. These studies are all printable PDF’s.

You can find it here: Novel/Literature Study Guides in Overdrive

If you need any assistance with Overdrive please feel free to contact Pippa at or Natalie at We would love to help you get started with Overdrive and access these (and many more) amazing resources!


Mysteries in Overdrive

September 15th was Agatha Christie’s Birthday. In honour of this amazing mystery writer, we thought it would be great to highlight a few of our wide range of mysteries in the Overdrive library.

Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Just after midnight, a snowstorm stops the Orient Express dead in its tracks in the middle of Yugoslavia. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for this time of year. But by morning there is one passenger less. A ‘respectable American gentleman’ lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside . . . Hercule Poirot is also aboard, having arrived in the nick of time to claim a second-class compartment — and the most astounding case of his illustrious career. Grades 9-12

Mini Mysteries

Judy Moody’s Mini Mysteries – and other Sneaky Stuff for Super Sleuths by Megan MacDonald

Join detective Judy Drewdy to create a way-official detective kit, solve six mini-mysteries, and sharpen real-and-actual sleuth skills. Chock-full of advice for the would-be sleuth and bursting with activities, here is an uber RARE diversion for fans of Judy and for anyone who loves a good mystery. “The Great Class Heist” is just one of the whodunits tackled by Judy Drewdy and agents Dills Pickle (a.k.a. Frank), Spuds Houdini (Rocky), and James Madagascar (Stink), who need readers’ help in cracking these cases! In addition to six solve-it-yourself missions, kids can get in the mood to create a detective kit, sketch suspects, test powers of observation, puzzle through ridonkulus logic puzzles, write super-sneaky codes, and more! Grades 2-3

The Perilous Journey

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart (and other titles)

The Mysterious Benedict Society is back with a new mission, significantly closer to home. After reuniting for a celebratory scavenger hunt, Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance are forced to go on an unexpected search–a search to find Mr. Benedict. It seems that while he was preparing the kids’ adventure, he stepped right into a trap orchestrated by his evil twin Mr. Curtain.

With only one week to find a captured Mr. Benedict, the gifted foursome faces their greatest challenge of all–a challenge that will reinforce the reasons they were brought together in the first place and will require them to fight for the very namesake that united them. Grades 4-8

Eye of the Crow

Eye of the Crow by Shane Peacock

Sherlock Holmes, just thirteen, is a misfit. His highborn mother is the daughter of an aristocratic family, his father a poor Jew. Their marriage flouts tradition and makes them social pariahs in the London of the 1860s; and their son, Sherlock, bears the burden of their rebellion. Friendless, bullied at school, he belongs nowhere and has only his wits to help him make his way.

But what wits they are! His keen powers of observation are already apparent, though he is still a boy. He loves to amuse himself by constructing histories from the smallest detail for everyone he meets. Partly for fun, he focuses his attention on a sensational murder to see if he can solve it. But his game turns deadly serious when he finds himself the accused — and in London, they hang boys of thirteen.

Shane Peacock has created a boy who bears all the seeds of the character who has mesmerized millions: the relentless eye, the sense of justice, and the complex ego. The boy Sherlock Holmes is a fascinating character who is sure to become a fast favorite with young readers everywhere. Grades 3-6

Boxcar Children

The Boxcar Children – The Lighthouse Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner (and many other titles)

Renting a lighthouse is unusual, but even more so is an unfriendly boy’s peculiar behavior. Grades K-2

39 Clues

The 39 Clues – The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan (and many other titles)

What would happen if you discovered that your family was one of the most powerful in human history? What if you were told that the source of the family’s power was hidden around the world, in the form of 39 Clues? What if you were given a choice – take a million dollars and walk away…or get the first Clue? If you’re Amy and Dan Cahill, you take the Clue – and begin a very dangerous race. Grades 3-6

The Case of the Lost Boy

The Buddy Files, The Case of the Lost Boy by Dori Hillestad Butler (and other titles)

The Edgar Award–winning first book in Dori Hillestad Butler’s Buddy Files series
King’s family is missing, and he’s been put in the P-O-U-N-D. Why doesn’t his beloved human, Kayla, come to get him?
When King is adopted by Connor and his mom, things get more confusing. The new family calls him Buddy!
Then Connor disappears!
Buddy (aka King) has some big problems to solve. Mystery fans and dog lovers will be swept up in Dori Butler’s entertaining story about a smart, funny, loyal dog . . . and left eager for Buddy’s next adventure. Grades K-2

Hidden in Plain Sight

Hidden in Plain Sight by Chris Auer (and other titles)

Eerie stories surround the old Victorian mansion-turned-museum known as Eckert House. But what was once thought to be fiction may prove to be fact after twelve-year-old Dan Pruitt makes a gruesome discovery. Dan and his friends set out to uncover the truth, but will their search lead them down a path of danger instead? Grades 3-6

Mystery of the Melting Snowman

The Mystery of the Melting Snowman by Florence Parry Heide (and other titles)

It’s snowman season in the neighbourhood, but the Spotlighters discover that someone’s not just playing! They find a curious iron figurine hidden inside one of the snowmen. Who was hiding it—and why? When a stranger comes looking for it, it’s clear the Spotlight Club has another mystery to solve! K-3

Reviews by Overdrive

Training in the Learning Commons

Hello Learning commons folks :)

October is Training or Professional Development in the learning commons. and our team is excited about sharing and meeting with you at Community Connection centres, and also in the comfort of your own home via our virtual classroom.

If you are interested in:

  • Discovering what is available in your physical and virtual learning commons
  • How to download software, borrow an item etc.
  • Want to know about collaborating with others on Ning

Please come to our first one hour session on Blackboard Collaborate on 1st October @ 10.30 Pacific time, and meet with Shandra, Pippa and Natalie.

What will you need to do before such a meeting?

Click on this link half an hour before the session is due to begin.

Participant Link: (to invite others, email them this link)

You will be prompted with a download option.  Click on the download and if you are good to go a new window will pop open with your virtual classroom.  It takes a couple of minutes to download.

If you are brand new to using Blackboard please review the following tutorials, especially the first one.  This is highly recommended for all new users!

We look forward to seeing you at this session where we can connect and learn more about your information needs:)


Pippa, Natalie and Shandra!

Back to School Greetings!

Greetings and welcome back to a new school year with Heritage Christian Schools Blended Learning Commons :D

We hope your first week back is going well, and you have enjoyed opening that new curriculum!  Or maybe you have not hit the books yet,  but are enjoying the last few rays of sunshine, or celebrating not back to school with a WOW day!  Whatever you are doing we pray the Lord will bring great learning this year, and blessings in your online environment!

We thought we would introduce our learning commons team, and point you in the right direction to get you started in the learning commons this fall.  Shandra Wiebe is our online librarian and she works from Kelowna!  She is your go to lady for all things related to how L4U works and reference retrieval from the catalogue.  Kelly Wiebe is back on track with shipping and she does an awesome job of getting all things shipped to you in fine shape .  Natalie Sing is our curriculum consultant who loves helping families find curriculum to suit their needs, whether it be e books, websites or digital databases.  Jessie Davis is our campus co-ordinator and she is available for campus reference queries and events in the physical commons.  Sherri Funk is our campus reading specialist and she loves teaching music and reading skills.  Erin Duncan is our Forum and Ning moderator, and she keeps the peace in all things social networking.   New this year to our team we have Rachael Freed former HCOS alumni returning as a teacher and kit writer for the learning commons.  Welcome Rachael!  Then of course there is me, Pippa Davies who does a bit of everything in the cloud, but loves helping students, staff and parents find the right information at the right time!.  We all runs webinars related to websites, subscriptions, and research, and we love to co-teach anything in the literacy realm.

  • Learning commons passwords to use both the E library on Overdrive and the campus physical commons catalogue L4U are emailed to you when you enrol with the school, or when you email Shandra Wiebe our online Librarian.
  • Please check your junk mail folder for passwords.  We have found in the past that when you enrol your  L4U generated passwords may often get sent to junk.  We are working on fixing this.  This is only for new enrolling families.  If you are unsure at all please email Shandra 
  • Watch the Getting Started video on our website.  Just five minutes long it will point you in the right direction!
  • Our blended commons has a large variety of digital databases and subscriptions and we want you to know about all of them!:D  Please scroll through the alphabetical listing of our subscriptions to find learning resources to meet 21st century learning.  New this year we have Pebble Go and Nallenart L’art De Lire French curriculum.  Your teacher will help you get started by sharing the list of usernames and passwords.  Please make sure you do not share these with other school students.  We are only paying for HCS blended commons families.  Beth Johnson is in charge of signing up patrons for the different databases.
  • This month there will be a Getting Started webinar on Blackboard Collaborate and we look forward to seeing you all there with questions.  Registration Link to come soon.
  • Ning is back in the swing! if you have not seen the green icon on our website, and you have a student aged 13 and older please send them my way to join our private social network,  moderated by both Erin Duncan, Natalie Sing and Pippa Davies.  Students, parents and staff meet to share music, photographs, websites, learning experiences and more! All events planned on the Ning encourage discipleship and community, along with competitions and prizes.  If you would like an invite please email Pippa Davies New this month we have a mentoring program for new grade 8/9 students and our older senior students.  For more information check out this group page here.  There are also icebreaker games for you to check out on the events tab!
  • Our summer reading challenge is still open to all our avid readers from K-12 who would like to share their book reviews.  For more information go here or to share your book review go here.
  • Please follow our blog by signing up on the learning commons website.
  • Information on all book clubs will be updated shortly.  But in the meantime here is a sneak peek!

Natalie shares more on the latest in the way of curriculum with her article on Canadian Historical Fiction.  What a great way to meet social studies learning outcomes than by reading great non – fiction books!

Shandra shares some important booking information for kits on L4U.

Lis Johnston, HCOS learning services consultant shares about learning styles in her book review on The Big What Now Book of Learning Styles.

Current awareness newsletter on Scoopit.

From all of us to all of you, cyberhugs and blessings!

The learning commons team!

Booking Unit Study kits in L4U

When you are a booking items in our physical L4U library, please be sure to choose a loan period of 49 days. When an item is not available for a particular date, the system supplies several optional dates, but the dates shown are sometimes very short. Please be sure to look over the dates carefully. We will not ship for shorter periods, especially to outlying areas. Your homeroom indicates your shipping time:

HCOS – local Kelowna patrons
HCOS2 – 2 day shipping, HCOS3 – 3 day shipping etc.

The shortest period we allow is 36 days for locals, 2 and 3 day shipping zones only.

When booking unit studies, please remember there is a limit of 3 kits per family at one time. We do not allow back-to-back bookings or double bookings. We want to ensure as many families as possible will have access and we thank you for understanding!

You may receive an email from us indicating that you will need to rebook an item, or that the item is not available at all. We are adding more copies of unit studies to meet the demand, but this will take time. Other options we offer:
– we have parent guides available online which you can access and use books from other libraries
– we have digital unit studies that can be accessed on Overdrive

If you are not able to book a particular unit study, please contact Shandra Wiebe, Pippa Davies or Natalie Sing for assistance.

“The Big ‘What Now’ Book of Learning Styles” – Book Review

This summer I enjoyed a book written by one of our past CHEC speakers, Carol Barnier. ‘What Now’ gives humorous and practical examples of how to discuss various learning styles. All too often as a Learning Services Consultant, I have teachers sharing about children struggling with their schoolwork.  Often the struggle is not necessarily because the child has a learning disability or a cognitive challenge. Perhaps the child is not having his/her learning style considered. It’s easy as a parent or a teacher to teach in the way that we learn.   Barnier suggests, “The goal is to find the key – any key – that will unlock the door to understanding for every child in our care.”

In The Big ‘What Now’ Book of Learning Styles, Carol states that various learning styles, such as auditory, kinesthetic, and visual, all need to be addressed when teaching children. In order to meet children’s learning styles we need to teach using a multi-sensory approach that makes learning more enjoyable and easier to retain. Carol has written a chapter demonstrating how to teach various subjects – Spelling, Math, Writing, Geography, Science, etc. – utilizing the various learning styles. Subject icons before each suggested lesson identify the learning style or styles that lesson will accommodate.

In her last chapter, Carol writes about incorrect assumptions that we have about our children’s learning process. For example, if someone takes time to process, it does not mean that they are lacking intelligence. Also, some students that are active during learning need to be active in order to learn effectively. This chapter also encourages us to be accepting of creative answers from children, who may not always answer exactly the way we want them to, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t answering correctly.

Carol says that when we try to teach children using a style that works best for us as learners (and not the student) it can be “a recipe for frustration”. Perhaps there is more than one type of learning style that work? In order to keep track of what style is effective, she suggests keeping a journal when teaching, and taking notes on what works. Spending time figuring out what type of style(s) work for your learner takes much less time than wasting years on curricula which use learning styles that don’t help your student learn.

Carol presents lesson ideas that are fun and much more interesting than workbooks. She’s a strong proponent of teaching using songs or ditties. These are methods that become more memorable for a child when trying to recall information. She also suggests that when teaching children it’s important to teach them concepts that are part of a scaffold (ideas that build upon other pieces of known information.)

Some other techniques Carol uses are:

  •  Involving the children in the lesson: For example, when children study the planets, have each child be a planet dressed in a color or carrying something that would represent the planet/sun and stand in proper order. Play music or games from the era/area that a child is learning about in geography or history.
  • Ways of doing review: games such as “pairs” where one card represents the word and another the definition, or the practice of requiring a child to respond to a review question before each turn on any given game.

The most important message that can be taken away from this book is that all children can learn. It’s a matter of parents and teachers finding the right ‘key’ to unlock the learning for each child.

Carol completes her book by demonstrating to us how important it is that we praise our children’s work more than we criticize it. We want our children to know that we believe in them and to help them to believe in themselves. Most importantly, I believe we need to teach our children that God created them with the ability to learn and that each of them is special and has a unique learning style.

I hope you get the opportunity to read The Big ‘What Now’ Book of Learning Styles and enjoy Carol’s insights into the different approaches of teaching.


Other Books By Carol Barnier:


If I’m Diapering A Watermelon, Then Where’d I Leave The Baby?

How To Get Your Child Off The Refrigerator And Onto Learning


Book review by Lis Johnston. (Learning Services Consultant)

Curriculum and Book Sale!

This Thursday, September 4th 10am – 5pm in the library at
Heritage Christian School 907 Badke Road, Kelowna

We have some great curriculum deals and lots of fiction books as well!
We can accept cash or cheque and PO numbers from HCOS.

Spread the word!

If you are looking for something in particular, email Shandra Wiebe at

Canadian Geography Digital Overdrive Kit

Canadian Geography Kit

We have a brand new kit available in our Learning Commons! Canadian Geography. We continue to add these digital kits to our collection and you can find them all here. If you need assistance getting started in Overdrive please let us know! Blessings from your Learning Commons team!

Canadian Historical Fiction on Overdrive (by topic)


We have added another new list on our Reading Lists page for you! This is our Canadian Historical Fiction organized by topic with links directly to our Overdrive library. We have a growing selection of Canadian Historical Fiction at all levels for you to explore. If you have yet to take advantage of our Overdrive Library I suggest that you start with some of these great books! We also have an extensive collection in our L4U library of Canadian Historical Fiction – I suggest you check out some of the great titles available there as well.

Don’t forget about our Summer Reading Contest!! We would love to see you participate!!

Client Codes and PINS for L4U Library and Overdrive

As we prepare for the new school year, we are receiving lots of requests for access to the L4U library, which offers books, curriculum and unit study kits, and Overdrive, our E-library which also offers curriculum and books!

If you had an account with us last year, your client code and pin remain unchanged.

If you are new to HCOS, you will receive your client code and pin in an email sent from L4U. It is important that you add L4U to your safe senders list and/or check your JUNK folder for the info. Your students will also receive emails – the email is sent to the email address supplied by you when you enrolled them. We will be adding new patrons weekly until October, so please watch for the email!

One client code/pin – TWO libraries!

Important Notes:
1. Only one LIBRARY account is set up per family, under the parent’s name. However each parent and student will be sent a client code and password. Students cannot book items in the physical library; all items must be booked through the parent account. However, Students can access e-books through Overdrive!
2. SAVE your new client code and pin! *You can log in using your LAST NAME instead of the client code!!
3. To learn how to use the new L4U system and learn about our shipping guidelines, visit: How to use the library.
4. Go to the library webpage at L4U library and log in.
5. You can access Overdrive details here: Overdrive
6. Please don’t hesitate to contact Shandra Wiebe regarding the L4U library or Pippa Davies should you have any queries regarding the E Library.


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