The Sugihara Story


At the end of last week and the beginning of this week, Grade 5 classes read the story Passage to Freedom by Ken Mochizuki and illustrated by Dom Lee. This very powerful story tells of Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara (1900-1986) and how he saved approximately 10,000 Jewish refugees during WWII.

We had some very interesting discussions about the moral dilemma he and his family faced when confronted with a difficult decision. We also learned that the ‘Golden Rule’ is universal among all people.




Grade 1-5 have really enjoyed the story of Hachiko written by Pamela S. Turner and cleverly illustrated by Yan Nascimbene. This true story of a loyal Akito dog, set in Japan in the 1930s, touched our hearts and made us remember how important it is to always remember our friends.

There is a movie version of this story, set in America, and you can watch the trailer here:

The boy who dreamed of cars


Honda: the boy who dreamed of cars by Mark Weston is the inspiring true story of Soichiro Honda who started the Honda Motor Company.  When he was seven years old, Honda saw a car for the first time.  He determined then that he would learn how cars worked and would build them in the future.  His lifelong perseverance and commitment to making his dream come true is a great example for all of us.

We even watched a Honda advertisement in some of the library classes!  IST is not promoting the purchase of Honda products, but this commercial does help us understand how one man’s determination and dream affected so many of the things we take for granted today:

The IST elementary library has many other excellent biographies and autobiographies.  Please see me if you need some ideas for what to read next.

Sue Toms

Elementary teacher librarian

Origami-mania at IST


This week we’ve started the origami craze at IST! We were delighted with Nathaniel Lachenmeyer’s book The Origami Master and we all wanted to try to make an origami bird. One of the simplest origami birds you can make is a duck and you can follow the directions in the video below.  We have many origami books available to borrow during the Christmas vacation, if you wish. During the Christmas vacation, IST Elementary library will be open 8am-1pm weekdays (except public holidays). Happy holidays and keep reading!