Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"I Am A Genius of Unspeakable Evil..."

Well, I have read the most conflicting book-- "I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want To Be Your Class President" by Josh Lib. On one hand, it's all sarcasm and evilness and on the other hand, it's really very touching. Oliver Watson is the typical chubby seventh grader, subject of taunts, criticism and physical abuse at the hands of his fellow students. At least, that's what you see. What you don't see is a seventh grade genius who has found a way to make millions of dollars, a way to make those insensitive louts who plague him pay for their abuse (I love it when the bullies get a cream on their hands that creates zits or gives instant gas when they abuse Oliver) , and a way to deal with his less than attentive father. All those seventh grade mixed-up feelings of frustration, hatred and even maybe that first crush appear in this book. Perhaps the best description of this book would be to cross "Animal House" with "James Bond", add seventh grade
boys and shake well.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Robert Sabuda's Pop-up Cards Free!

If you are looking for an interesting craft for your kids, Robert Sabuda, the award-winning king of pop-up books, has a website that offers free patterns for seasonal pop-up cards. (The Christmas tree was fun but the reindeer has more of an "ooooo!" factor. The turkey is much easier than it looks and I can't wait to try the snowman.) Also, ask at the Youth Services desk to see his "Alice in Wonderland" book. It's just amazing what this artist can do with paper!
For more information:

Thursday, October 29, 2009

On to Thanksgiving!

Now that all the storyhours have celebrated Halloween, it's time to move on to Thanksgiving, a holiday known for eating lots of your favorite foods and watching football. Little known facts: Did you know that there were 15 men and boys named John on the Mayflower? That the Mayflower traveled at a speed of only 2 miles an hour? That the Indians used cranberries to draw out poison from wounds? That Americans eat almost 45 MILLION turkeys at Thanksgiving? No wonder we're stuffed! Get it? Stuffed? Oh well, these facts and others can be found in "Let's Celebrate Thanksgiving" by Peter and Connie Roop. There's some corny jokes in there, too. For example:

What letters did the Pilgrim boy say when he saw there was no food on the table?

When things went wrong, what could the Pilgrims always count on?
Their fingers!

When does Dracula eat turkey?
At Fangsgiving!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Witches, Aliens and Fifth Graders

We have a new series for juniors called "My Unwilling Witch" by Hiawyn Oram. Rumblewick Spellwacker Mortimer B. (RB for short) is the cat of Haggy Aggy, the unwilling witch. In the first book "My Unwilling Witch Goes to Ballet School" Rumblewick complains in his diary about Haggy Aggy's unability to be a proper witch--imagine, she wants to be a ballerina! Well, we both know that some ballerinas are divas and Haggy Aggy turns out to be the diva supreme! Do you think a diva like Haggy Aggy would dance the Little Match Girl in rags instead of a fluffy tutu? You do? Then you don't know Haggy Aggy! Second through fourth graders will enjoy this short series. You'll find these books on shelf under J ORA.

Also new, "The Doom Machine" by Mark Teague. Here's the blurb from the back of the book: "When Jack Creedle spots a flying saucer, not everyone believes him. After all, he spends a lot of time in juvenile detention and isn't famous for telling the truth. But when he unexpectedly teams up with Isadora Shumway, the daughter of a brilliant scientist, these two unlikely friends set off on an intergalactic adventure filled with fast-paced twists, turns and spins. Strap yourself in for a wild ride brimming with humor and a cast of colorful villains and heroes. Award winner MARK TEAGUE brings a strikingly fresh new voice to the world of children's fiction." Check it out in our new books under J TEA.

Lauren Myracle brings us her new "Luv Ya Bunches", describing the beginning of school for fifth graders. There's the new girl Violet, enthusiastic Katie-Rose, quiet Yasaman, popular Milla and that evil queen bee Modessa who creates a plot that will wreak havoc on the other girls. Middle school can be a pain but these girlfriends work together to bring down that ghastly Modessa. You'll find this book in our new fiction under J MYR.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Circus is Coming!

Kindergartners through second graders, did you know that our storyhour will be performing in our own circus? Yes, it's true! Register Saturday, August 29th at the Youth Services desk if you are interested in being a clown, strongman, tightrope walker, tumbler, lion tamer or lion. We will perform for your parents on Sept. 30th or Oct. 1st. Fun will be had by all!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pool Party Friday!

Today is the last day to turn in your reading logs for library reading dollars or raffle tickets. The library store will close on Friday the 31st so bring in those reading dollars while we still have some good prizes left! And don't forget, the pool party at Dolphin Lake is also on Friday and the winners of the raffle buckets will be announced. Sun, fun, good friends....I can't wait! See ya there!

Friday, July 17, 2009

New Avi Book Coming!

In September, the new Avi book, Murder at Midnight, will be released. I scored a copy at the ALA conference last week and enjoyed it thoroughly. Premise: Master Magnus is a magician and a philosopher in Italy in 1490--strange combination, no? Being a magician pays the bills but with a superstitious monarch in charge, Magnus must be wary of drawing undue attention to himself. Fabrizio, the street kid who is also Magnus' assistant, opens the door one day to find a mysterious person shrouded in a monk's robe, warning that Magnus is in danger. Too late, it seems, as Magnus is hauled to jail shortly thereafter. Using ignorance as a weapon, a plot to overthrow the king gains momentum and it is up to Fabrizio to solve the mystery of who is using Magnus to further their own agenda. Throw in a printer's devil, a coffin and a room full of bones and you have a recipe for a great read! Look for this awesome book soon!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Corny Animal Jokes

Okay, it's cloudy out and we need some laughs. Check out these corny jokes!

Q: What do you get if you mix a sheepdog and a rose?
A: A collie-flower!

Q: What are crisp, like milk and go "eek, eek, eek" when you eat them?
A: Mice Krispies!

Q: How do you spot a modern spider?
A: He doesn't have a web, he has a website!
Q: What happens if you eat a hot frog?
A: You'll croak!
Pretty bad, huh? Don't forget that we'll be featuring Animal Bingo this Wednesday in the library's meeting room at 4:00 p.m. See you there!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Library construction and new paperback series

Well, things are just moving right along with our library renovation. By now you'll have noticed the colorful paint and wallpaper and beautiful landscaping. I can tell you that when the interior construction is all finished, you'll be blown away! The Youth Department will have some new shelving, a larger play space and our own story hour room. Color and function will rule here soon!

I also wanted to let you know about three new series I have purchased. All you second thru third grade horse fans will be reaching for the Bella Sara series by Felicity Brown. Third thru sixth graders will welcome the Phantom Stallion series by Terri Farley and the new Vet Volunteers series by Laurie Halse Anderson. I have also expanded our selection of the Geronimo Stilton series.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Check out Exotic Animals for Awareness Youtube!

Hey, go to and check out the video of our Exotic Animals for Awareness program! It's awesome! Thanks, Sandy Sullivan's son-in-law!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Exotic Animals and 300 People--What's Next?

If you came to the library Wednesday, you know the crush we had in the meeting room with our Exotic Animal Rescue program. Did you know there were 300 people in there? Not me, though--that big ol' snake was just too much! Next Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. we will feature the Ocean Adventure Scuba Divers who will talk about swimming with great white sharks! Join us, if you dare!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer Reading Registration A Success!

Golly, we're tired! Did you know that we registered a total of 600 adults, teens and children for our summer reading program, Read on the Wild Side? And have you seen how many books have been checked out in the Youth Department? Lots of bare shelves out there! We know you're reading now but please continue if you go away on vacation. And if you signed up to be a Junior Friend of the Homewood Library, remember to send a picture of yourself with your Friends bag taken on vacation and you'll receive 5 library reading reward dollars. Such a deal! Thanks for making our registration day a total success. You know, the pool party really isn't that far away so start earning those reward dollars now! You'll need to have earned 10 before you can go to the party. Read on, library-ites!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tomorrow is Summer Reading Registration!

Tomorrow is our summer reading kickoff! Beginning at 9:30 a.m., everyone who registers for our summer reading program, Read on the Wild Side, will receive a ticket for a free yummy Dairy Queen ice cream treat! Parents work? No problem! We will continue to register until 8:00 p.m. You may still register after tomorrow but tomorrow is the only day to receive a Dairy Queen ice cream treat. I hope to see you all there!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wild Things!

I have a new favorite book--Wild Things by Clay Carmichael. Zoe has been sent to live with Uncle Henry when her mother passes away. After living with a mentally ill mother who forces Zoe to raise herself, Zoe has a hard time trusting anyone after her mother's suicide. In her mind, "everyone leaves." Uncle Henry, a fiery red haired reclusive artist and heart surgeon, has his own issues with trust after losing his wife to cancer. The stray cat that lives under the house sees a kindred soul in Zoe, yet holds back, fearing she too will leave. All three struggle to find love and trust in another human being. Well written and immediately engaging, you will struggle to put it down before bed! This book is best for fourth thru eighth graders and I think it's an award winner!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Let's "Read on the Wild Side!"

It's hard to believe but summer reading is just around the corner! Yes, registration begins June 10th and our theme is "Read on the Wild Side". To help you get into the mood, I have found some jungle crafts that will send you and your kids to your craft supplies pronto. My favorite is the monkey puppet! You'll find directions for the crafts here. Enjoy your craft!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Brides, Bums, and Monsters

It's that time of year when all little girls dream of weddings and brides. In "How to Get Married by Me the Bride" by Sally Lloyd-Jones and Sue Heap, our little bride gives sage advise as to the best way to insure you are marrying the right person. For example, "...NEVER get married when it's dark because you won't be able to see and you might marry the wrong person." The illustration shows the girl marrying a buffalo! This book will certainly keep you laughing!

If you are the parent of boys, I know you're familiar with the chicken butt joke. ("Guess what? Chicken butt!") Well, in "Chicken Butt" by Erica S. Perl, a boy irritates his father with that refrain until Dad has had enough. The son starts in again with "Hey, you know what?" and promises he won't say chicken butt. We all know that he won't keep all of that promise, don't we?

In "I Need My Monster" by Amanda Noll, Ethan's monster has gone on vacation for a week. How is he going to sleep without his monster, Gabe? Ethan knocks on the floor to let other monsters know his needs and interviews monster after monster. Some have manicured claws and that just won't do. Some have the required jagged claws but are either girl monsters (ew!) or have extra long tongues that don't look too threatening. Finally the intimidating Gabe returns and things go back to normal.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fairies are here!

We have just processed the new Disney Fairies series and they are flying off the shelf! If you are in first through fourth grade, you'll enjoy the adventures of Tink, Rosetta, Beck, Prilla, Fira, Fawn and Bess as they face difficulties and find solutions to situations you yourself may have encountered in some form at school. You can also learn more about each fairy and play some games at Disney's website.

Another book you may be interested in is Fortune's Magic Farm by Suzanne Selfors. Isabelle works in a dreadful factory in a constantly dreary, rainy town to support herself and her grandmother. A surprise inheritance leads her to Fortune's Farm, a place where the sun always shines and magical things happen. Isabelle wonders how she can bring the magic of Fortune's Farm to her hometown to help her friends. But Mr. Supreme, the evil factory owner, has his own plans!

I, Lorelei by Yeardley Smith is a book that will be received by middle schoolers.
As the Swan Catalog says:"In letters to her recently deceased cat Mud, eleven-year-oldLorelei chronicles the ups and downs of her sixth-grade year, during which her parents separate, she gets a part in the school play, and she becomes friends with the cutest boy in her grade." Whew! Sounds like one busy girl!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hoping for Spring!

I don't know about you but I am soooo ready for spring! Too much snow, slushy streets and gray skies! These three books really lifted my spirits and I hope they lift yours, too.

Easter Bunny Blues by Carol Wallace is an Easy Reader chapter book, meant for those children just learning to read (approximately first thru early third grades). The Easter Bunny has the flu and Petey and Old Jack are determined that children will still get their Easter baskets. All the animals on and around the farm contribute time and resources to create the baskets. Cooperation is the theme here (along with a little springtime magic!)

Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas is hysterical! Large, brightly colored dust bunnies have fun rhyming words, except for Bob. For some reason, he just doesn't seem to be into rhyming words. Bob saves the dust bunnies once this picture book! Hey, that reminds me that spring cleaning is around the corner...poor dust bunnies!

Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms by Julia Rawlinson tells the story of our old friend Fletcher the fox as he becomes alarmed by the appearance of what he thinks is snow. Fletcher rushes to his friends who have just migrated or have just come out of hibernation to alert them to the situation. They all hurry down to play in the snow but find spring blossoms drifting down from the trees instead. Tiphanie Beeke's beautiful illustrations fill each page and will have you hungering for spring flowers and gentle breezes!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lincoln's 200th Birthday and Valentine's Day

What an exciting week! First we will be remembering Abraham Lincoln on what would have been his 200th birthday on February 12th. If we all lived our lives as Lincoln lived his with integrity, honor, intelligence and humor, this nation would certainly be better off. Check out our Youth Services window for famous quotes from Lincoln, spoken by your favorite children's book characters. My favorite? "The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend." Wise man, Abraham Lincoln. Want to learn more about Abraham Lincoln? Check out the Smithsonian Institute.
And then there's Valentine's Day on Saturday, February 14th! Red and pink paper, candy and lots of hugs and kisses from your parents make this the best low maintenance winter holiday ever! Don't forget to give your parents extra hugs for dealing with all the snow this year. Come on, spring!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

James Patterson says READKIDDOREAD

One of the most prolific and popular authors, James Patterson, has created a website promoting reading: When Patterson's own son seemed indifferent to reading, Patterson not only began to write children's books, he created this website to help kids, parents and teachers find those books that will appeal to kids who just don't want to read. Much like Jon Scieszka's, Patterson has assembled a site that is easy to maneuver and appeals to kids. Not only does he highlight current fiction and nonfiction, he also lists these books by style (great illustrated books, great transitional books, great page turners and great advanced reads) and then breaks it down into age categories. Colorful book covers make the site appealing and by clicking on each, parents or kids can read a review of the book. Books listed there are current and popular here at the library so I know Patterson has really done his homework. Try it out!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's awards time again!

An exciting podcast from the ALA midwinter conference announced the winners of the Newbery and Caldecott awards yesterday. This is the equivalent of the Oscars here in Libraryland! This podcast had Ms. Barnes and I glued to our monitors and gasping in surprise, as there were some unexpected winners. How many of them have you read? I just finished "The Graveyard Book" and it was spectacular! If you are a fifth through seventh grader, you should read this unusual horror book. Imagine, a child raised by ghosts in a graveyard and saved from death with the help of the Sleer. What's a Sleer? Imagine a huge snake with three corpses' heads....creepy!
Here are all the winners and honor books; why not check a few out and compare notes with your friends and teachers? Just a reminder, some of these books are found in the Youth Adult area of our library and could contain mature themes.

Newbery Medal

"The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman

Newbery Honor Books

"The Underneath" by Kathi Appelt

"The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom" by Margarita Engle

"Savvy" by Ingrid Law

"After Tupac and D Foster" by Jacqueline Woodson

Caldecott Medal

"The House in the Night", illustrated by Beth Krommes and written by Susan Marie Swanson

Caldecott Honor Books

"A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever" by Marla Frazee, Harcourt, Inc.

"How I Learned Geography" by Uri Shulevitz, Farrar Straus Giroux

"A River of Words: The

Story of William Carlos Williams", illustrated by Melissa Sweet and written by Jen Bryant

Batchelder Award

"Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit" by Nahoko Uehashi

Batchelder Honor Books

"Garmann's Summer" written and illustrated by Stian Hole, translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett

"Tiger Moon" written by Antonia Michaelis, translated from the German by Anthea Bell

Belpré Author Award

"The Surrender Tree: Poem

s of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom" by Margarita Engle

Belpré Author Honor Books

"Just in Case" by Yuyi Morales

"Reaching Out" by Francisco Jiménez

"The Storyteller's Candle/La velita de los cuentos" by Lucia Gonzalez

Belpré Illustrator Award

"Just in Case" by Yuyi Morales

Belpré Illustrator Honor Books

"Papa and Me" illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, written by Arthur Dorros

"The Storyteller's Candle/La velita de los cuentos" illustrated by Lulu Delacre, written by Lucia Gonzalez

"What Can You Do with a Rebozo" illustrated by Amy Cordova, written by Carmen Tafolla,

Carnegie Medal

"March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World"

Coretta Scott King Award

"We Are the Ship: the Story of Negro Baseball League" by Kadir Nelson

Coretta Scott King Honor Books

"Keeping the Night Watch" by Hope Anita Smith

"The Blacker the Berry" by Joyce Carol Thomas

"Becoming Billie Ho liday" by Carole Boston Weatherford

Geisel Award

"Are You Ready to Play Outside?" written and illustrated by Mo Willems

Geisel Honor Books

"Chicken Said, 'Cluck!'" written by Judyann Ackerman Grant

"One Boy" written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

"Stinky" written and illustrated by Eleanor Davis

"Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator" written by Sarah C. Campbell

Odyssey Award

"The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," written and narrated by Sherman Alexie,

Odyssey Honor Audiobooks

"Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady," written by L.A. Meyer, narrated by Katherine Kellgren,

"Elijah of Buxton" written by Christopher Paul Curtis, narrated by Mirron Willis

"I'm Dirty" written by Kate and Jim McMullan, narrated by Steve Buscemi

"Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale" written and narrated by Carmen Agra Deedy

"Nation" written by Terry Pratchett, narrated by Stephen Briggs

Sibert Medal

"We Are theShip: The Story of Negro League Baseball" written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Sibert Honor Books

"Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and Rediscovery of the Past" written by James M. Deem

"What to Do about Alice?: How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy!" written by Barbara Kerley

Wilder Medal

Ashley Bryan, author and illustrator of numerous books, including "Dancing Granny," "Beat the Story-Drum, Pum-Pum" and "Beautiful Blackbird."