Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I'm Bored!

Wow! What parent hasn't heard that lament. All the hustle and bustle of the season leaves you and your child with a letdown after it's all over. I use the Family Fun website to search for crafts for our story hours and love the fact that they also suggest some amusing little or no cost games to play in the house on a dreary day. Try out the Sumo Wrestlers! How about Wall Football?
If you want to learn about a new computer technology, try out Glogsters. Flying penguins, puppies who wag their tails, and other fun graphics allow you to produce your own animated posters. So fun!
For the younger children, starfall.com will allow you to read along with the storyteller. You can also make a avatar of yourself! Just have fun!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Holiday Book Suggestions

I heard that groan! Yes, it is early to shop for Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa but with the economy the way it is, we all find it easier to spend a little at a time rather than save that huge outlay for one weekend. Here is a few of School Library Journal's Best Books of 2010:

Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton.

Seasons by Blexbolex.

Me and You
by Anthony Browne.

Clever Jack Takes the Cake by Candace Fleming.

The Boss Baby by Marla Frazee.

Don't Want to Go by Shirley Hughes.

Dust Devil by Anne Isaacs.

Monsters Eat Whiny Children

by Bruce Eric Kaplan.

Snook Alone by Marilyn Nelson.

Animal Crackers Fly the Coop
by Kevin O'Malle

Take some time and check these out. These are just a few of the excellent books mentioned in School Library Journal's article.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thanksgiving Craft

Isn't this the cutest Thanksgiving craft? I love the turkey tail feathers made from scrapbooking paper! And it's a functional snack container! You can find information about this craft at:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Two Bad Thanksgiving Jokes

Why did the turkey sit on the tomahawk?
To try to hatchet!

Why did the Pilgrims eat turkey at Thanksgiving?
Because they couldn’t fit the moose in the oven!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fitting In

Ever feel like you just don't fit in?
In the newest Dear America book, "The Diary of Piper Davis: The Fences Between Us" by Kirby Larson, Piper Davis' life has totally turned around. Her brother Hank has enlisted in the Navy and is stationed at Pearl Harbor. It's 1941 and blackouts are standard fare. Her Japanese neighbors have been sent to incarceration camps and her pastor father has decided to join them to show his support. There's no word from her brother, food rations have been cut, and Piper is learning how intolerant and fearful people can be. My favorite quote:
"...even if we can't do much about the fences that get built around people, when fences get between people, it's our job to tear them down." You'll find this book in our new book section. It is appropriate for 4th thru 7th graders.

"The Gnome's Eye" by Anna Kerz tells the story of Theresa, an Austrian girl whose family has emigrated to Canada after World War II. According to Hazel Rochman of Booklist, Kerz immigrated to Canada as a child in the 1950s, and she drew from her own experiences of the journey in this lively, detailed novel that follows a Yugoslav family from a refugee camp in Austria through a horrific ocean crossing in a crowded ship and finally to their arrival in Toronto. Young Theresa personalizes the struggle, as she describes in her honest narrative her anger at having to leave her friends behind, her failure as she gets Ds at school, her hostile classmates who tell her to “go back to where you came from,” and her grandmother, who calls her “homely.” Theresa's mother finds works as a cleaner and her father as a tailor, but even after they are employed, the family tension and fighting remain. Theresa knows some German, and that helps her reach out and connect with Yiddish neighbors. The immigration drama will hold readers: at first “she cannot talk and understand” in the schoolyard, but it is a milestone when she learns to stand up for herself and say, “Shut up!” This may be found in our new book section. It, too, is appropriate for 4th thru 7th graders.

Last but not least, "Carmen Learns English" by Judy Cox is a great way to introduce tolerance to our smallest readers. Carmen begins school speaking Spanish, her native language. She is teased by other students because of her accent. Her teacher, la senora Coska, speaks Spanish and realizes that Carmen is being teased. She asks Carmen to teach the class simple Spanish words, thus bringing peace and harmony to her class and most of all to Carmen. Carmen brings her understanding of English home to her little sister, completing the cycle. While this is a picture book, I think it is appropriate for anyone, even adults.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Familiars, Deadly Curses, and Dark Magic

Three fantasy books have come in at just the right time--just in time for Halloween! You'll find them in our new book section at the front of the youth department.

The first book, "The Familiars" by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson, involves wizards and their familiars. What's a familiar? According to Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, a familiar is "a spirit often embodied in an animal and held to attend and serve or guard a person." Aldwyn an ordinary alley cat, Skylar the sassy blue jay, and Gilbert the friendly tree frog are left with the daunting task of rescuing their wizards when the evil Loranella captures them. Is Aldwyn truly just an alley cat? Who will save the land of Vastis? This book will be great fun for 4th thru 6th graders.

The second book, "The Crowfield Curse" by Pat Walsh, is set in a medieval abbey. William lives at the abbey and is out collecting firewood when he hears a cry of someone in great pain. Upon investigation, he finds a curious creature with his leg caught in a terrible animal trap. The hobgoblin is unlike anything William has seen--it has a pointed face, furry ears, and a body the size of a cat. William brings it to the abbey for treatment and it warns him that a mythical being doomed by an ancient curse is buried beyond the graveyard. Old magic, deadly curses, and the fae bring this story to an exciting conclusion. This book would be best for junior high students.

Last, but not least, "Reckless" is a book by one of my favorite authors. Cornelia Funke, perhaps best known to you as the author of "Inkheart", has created a world that is based on the fairy tales you've grown up hearing. Only this is a dark world, one of fear and fairies and deadly moths. After his father's death, Jacob discovers Mirrorworld and enjoys his dark adventures there. But when his little brother Will enters Mirrorworld and encounters the Dark Fairy, she curses him. He begins to turn into a stone statue and Jacob will have to risk his life to find the antidote. What will cost Jacob in the end? This book may just give you nightmares--and isn't that the test of a great junior high book? :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fall Coloring Pages And Crafts

Here's a few sites with cute coloring pages for those loooooong days when you are bored!



Or how about a craft?




Wednesday, September 15, 2010

If you liked "The Lightning Thief"....

Oh boy! Do I have a book for you! If you are one of the millions of "Lightning Thief" fans, you're going to want to check out "Laughing Wolf" by Nicholas Maes. Felix Taylor and his father love history and Latin. In the year 2213 they are considered weird because, after all, Latin is a dead language and, really, what can that old history teach you? Well, plenty! When the plague rears its ugly head and people start dying, it's up to Felix and his friend Carolyn to travel back in time to find the exinct flowering lupus ridens (or laughing wolf), the only remedy to this horrid disease. But it's 71 BC and Spartacus the former slave and Pompey the Roman are warring. How will two kids from the future escape their clutches? Take Ancient Rome and time travel and roll them together for a breathtaking, breakneck race to save mankind.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

K-2 Registration Has Begun!

I know it seems like we've just started our summer activities but it's time to register for our fall session of K-2 Storyhour already. K-2 ( kindergarten thru second grade) will meet on Wednesdays or Thursdays, September 8 or 9 thru September 29 or 30 at 4:00-5:00 p.m. We're planning a Teddy Bear Party, learning about safari animals, playing a few games, and making amazing crafts. Throw in a few short movies and we'll be having a ball! You may register at the Youth Services desk. See you there!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

African-American Series for Girls

We've had some requests lately for more African-American literature for boys and girls. While finding new series for boys has been a bit difficult, there have been 4 notable new series for girls.

Stephanie Perry Moore has created 2 new Christian fiction series for girls. In the Yasmin Peace series, 14-year-old Yasmin deals with minor and major issues as she navigates school but her faith helps her along. In another series by Moore, 10-year-old Carmen Browne also finds her faith to be a comfort as she too deals with minor and major issues. These books can be found in our paperback series section.

Nikki Grimes, poet, artist and author, is well-known for her Danitra Brown series. Her new series featuring Dyamonde Daniel has proven to be another home run for Grimes. Dyamonde Daniel is a girl with a powerful take-charge attitude and a heart as big as the world. In the first in the series, "Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel", Dyamonde is the new girl in school who longs to fit in. Confidence is not a problem with Dyamonde but she can't figure out why she hasn't made friends after a week in school. And why is that boy over there so grumpy? Leave it to Dyamonde to find the answer. Third graders will love Dyamonde. Check her out! You'll find her on the junior fiction shelves at J GRI.

Colleen Murtagh Paratore has a new book, "Sweet and Sunny", that features another perky girl, Sunny Holiday. Sunny is convinced that there should be a Kid's Day and is promoting it among her friends, with the thought of introducing her idea to the mayor. Sunny's father is in prison, her mother has lost her job and when a girl insults Sunny and Sunny hits her, Sunny feels hopeless. Her friends encourage her, though, and she's soon off and running. You'll find this book in new junior fiction at J PAR.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"As Easy As Falling Off the Face of the Earth" by Lynne Rae Perkins

Wow, you think you have problems? Ry is on his way to camp when he belatedly opens the "Urgent!' letter he had received from the camp. Surprise! The camp is closed. When the train abruptly stops and he hears the conductor telling a passenger that there will be a 40 minute delay, Ry tries to call his grandfather but there is no cell phone reception. Thinking that he'll get better reception outside of the train, Ry starts to walk further and further away from the tracks-- except the train has started to move, leaving Ry deserted. Ry walks the tracks for miles, his nose starts to bleed, staining an already tattered tee shirt and he finally hitches a ride on a boxcar. Sitting with his legs dangling over the side of the boxcar, one of his loosely tied boots falls into the water. When the train approaches the trainyard in town, Ry jumps off and hurries to hide behind a pile of rubble to avoid security. Unfortunately, he doesn't see the protuding piece of steel that smacks into his head right above his eye, making it immediately blacken and swell.
Now all this happens in the first 25 pages and it just goes on from there. You see, not only is Ry having a bad time, so are his parents and Grandpa. Shattered masts, missing dogs, sink holes, and an airplane with duct tape holding it together all converge to make a humorous and exciting story.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sid Fleischman 1920-2010

One of my favorite children's authors passed away on March 17th. Sid Fleischman was 90 years old and had written a dearth of books. Known to practically every middle schooler in the country, Fleischman's "The Whipping Boy" won the prestigious Newbery Award in 1987 . Sid Fleischman really knew how children's minds work and wrote his books to captivate and entice them.

Why not take some time and revisit "The Whipping Boy" once again? In case you have forgotten or never have read this book, here is a synopsis: this is the story of a poor boy, Jemmy, who is drafted to take the punishment for the spoiled prince because, after all, no harm shall befall a member of royalty (even if he really needs a spanking.) Prince Horace demands that Jemmy shout or cry while being punished but Jemmy has too much pride. When the prince decides to runaway, he drags along poor Jemmy. But Jemmy was raised on those mean streets and, in the end, Jemmy is the one who saves the prince from himself and others.

There are many other books by Fleishman I'm sure you'll enjoy, the latest being "The Dream Stealer" that can be found in our new book section. Goodbye and thank you, Mr. Fleischman!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Scooby-Doo, Guan Yu and Beowulf: A Thrilling Trio

If you wander back to our youth graphic novels (now located behind the youth services desk, toward the backwall), you'll find a great selection of fiction and nonfiction titles. New this week are the first three books of the Scooby-Doo graphic novel series, call number J GN SCO. Also new to our shelves are these nonfiction titles: "Guan Yu: Blood Brothers to the End" based on a Chinese legend, call number J GN GUA, and "Beowulf: Monster Slayer" based on a British legend, call number J GN BEO. You'll find thrills, chills, and spills in all of these books!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Changes, Changes, Changes

By now you've noticed the changes in the youth department and perhaps are perplexed as to the location of some of your favorite items. You have probably gotten used to the new shelving in the early reader/board book area. Yesterday we made further changes to tidy up some loose ends. The phonics books have moved to the lower level on the early reader shelves and the board books have moved to their new location beneath the windows in the former puzzle area. They are housed in plastic tubs that are easier for little fingers to use and peruse. This freed up space for our ever-expanding early readers collection.
We now have our Caudill, Coretta Scott King and Newbery award winners moved to their new location on the back wall of the new storyhour room, making it easier for parent and child alike to find that assigned book. Take advantage of our new sitting area, perfect for those third through sixth graders who like to lounge as they read. This space will have further improvements over time so keep your eyes open!
Puzzles and kits can be found hanging just east of the paperback racks. Graphic novels are on the backside of the same shelving unit. Paperback series are on the north wall of the sitting area so if you are looking for Geronimo Stilton, Scooby-Doo, American Girls or any of your fun, favorite reads, you'll find them there.
All in all, it has been an exciting transformation and it's not done yet! You will be truly surprised at what's coming next...but I can't tell you what that is. You'll just have to keep coming in!

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Exciting Adventures of Jeff Corwin

Want a captivating read to while away the hours? Try "Jeff Corwin: A Wild Life". You know who Jeff Corwin is --he hosts that nature show on the Discovery Channel where he's picking up snakes , racing after various mammals and swimming in the ocean with sharks. This book tells the stories behind those adventures. For example, Corwin went on a dive to observe great white sharks. He was in a protective cage, wearing a very heavy diving helmet. The air to the helmet was obstructed and Corwin was unable to attract the attention of others on the dive to get help. He swam out of the protective cage to the boat and only after he had been pulled into the boat did he find out there was a 16 foot great white shark circling him! And what about the time as a child when he ran into the house with a garter snake dangling from his arm--still biting him! And the time a jealous elephant grabbed his arm and shook him like a rag doll! As you can see, there's enough adventures here to keep you captivated for quite some time! You'll find this book in our paperback section, call number J PPB C.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Good Twins, Bad Twins and Those Evil Baggetts

Well, if you ever thought your family was a trial, I have three books that might just change your outlook--in fact, your family will look golden! These books will keep you on the edge of your seat!

In "William S. and the Great Escape" by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, seventh grader William S. Baggett has had enough of his bullying father, tormenting twin brothers and their life of living on the wrong side of the law. He's been saving his chore money and is ready to leave when the twins decide to flush his little sister Jancy's hamster down the toilet. William and Jancy both know that for their safety it's time for them to go and, with their two youngest sibs Trixie and Buddy in tow, pack up and begin their journey to Aunt Fiona's. By now, the police have been notified and it's up to William to find a way to outsmart his father and the police to get to Aunt Fiona. But will Aunt Fiona want them all? This deserving book won the Parent Choice Silver Award. The call number for this book is JH SNY.

"Yes, I Know the Monkey Man" by Dori Hillestad Butler is the sequel to "Do You Know the Monkey Man?" This story of thirteen-year-old T.J. Three weeks ago , T.J. found out she has a twin sister and a mother, facts her mentally ill father has kept from her. Now her sister Sam and her mother want her to come be a part of her mother's wedding. Since Gram and her father are both hospitalized, T.J. and her dog take the bus to her mother's house. Feelings of fear, grief, and envy wash over her as she learns to deal with her new family. Why did her father not tell her her mother and sister were alive? How she copes with this emotional tidal wave makes an engaging read. Call number J BUT

Peg Kehret's "Runaway Twin" is an awesome story. According to School Library Journal, "Sunny Skyland has missed her twin sister ever since they were separated at age three after their mother and grandmother were killed in an automobile accident. Sunny has kept her memories of Starr alive over the past decade and in seven foster homes. Then, the discovery of a canvas bag containing $800, with no claimant, spurs Sunny to travel from Nebraska to her old neighborhood in Enumclaw, WA. Sunny is an experienced runaway who plans carefully and tells no one. She boards a bus for the first leg of her journey but then complicates her life by adopting a stray dog. Her trip is thwarted by a group of teenage boys, and she survives a tornado. She does reach her destination, but not with the expected ending." Call number JH KEH

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Star Wars:The Clone Wars Has Arrived!

We've just received a new Star Wars series called Star Wars: The Clone Wars. You'll find all fourteen shelved in junior fiction under J STA. These books will grow with you, as they start with an easier content level and work into a more complex storyline. The illustrations are a combination of the older Star Wars movies and the new Star Wars cartoons.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Charlie Small Journals

Hope your holidays were as awesome as mine. Now, though, it's back to school and all that homework. Please take time on the weekends between science fair and animal projects to read a few relaxing books.
Boys, you know that reading can be a little boring at times--too many classics are required reading and, let's face it, they sometimes can be really yawn-inducing! We have a new series for you to try, though, called The Charlie Small Journals. These journals supposedly washed up on shore and there are doubts that Charlie Small, an eight-year-old, really had these adventures. On each book is the plea, "If you find this book, please look after it. This is the only true account of my remarkable adventures." I'll let you decide if they're authentic or not!