Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine is about Caitlyn, a girl who has been identified as having Asperger's Syndrome. Caitlyn's condition seems to be somewhat more severe and closer to moderate autism, however.
Identified as odd by her peers, Caitlyn's problems escalate upon the death of her brother. Caitlyn's brother had been acting as a behavioral aide for her and helped her to analyze different social situations. Social situations that may seem clear-cut to others are a maze for Caitlyn.
Caitlyn is mystified by how she "should be" experiencing the tragedy and by how her father is coping with the death. Meanwhile, the general community is coming to terms with the tragedy in relation to her brother's death. How can everybody find peace? How can Caitlyn find her own peace? Read this National Book Award winner to find out!
August is Audio Appreciation Month! Celebrate this event by checking out various audio book and music titles at your library! Here are a few recommendations for children.
* indicates Series
The library has audio book versions of many popular titles shown below in audio compact disc format.
Children's Audio Books
Harry Potter* by J.K. Rowling
One of the most popular fantasy series about a young wizard named Harry Potter. Harry attends the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and makes new friends, learns new magic spells and goes on a quest to defeat the dark wizard Lord Voldemort.
The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart
Nicholas Benedict, an orphan afflicted with physical ailments and narcolepsy, is sent to a new orphanage where he encounters depraved bullies, difficult circumstances, and a mystery that could change his life forever.
39 Clues* by Various Authors
A series of intriguing adventure stories written by today's popular authors such as Rick Riordan, Gordon Korman, Peter Lerangis and more. These audio books will engage readers by combining card collecting, reading and online gaming.
Besides compact disc, you can also download audio books to your digital audio player, including your iPod, smartphone, or home computer via OverDrive Digital Library or OneClickdigital. Using your digital audio player, you can transition or navigate to other chapters of the book without having to change discs. Here are a few recommended digital audio book titles:
Children's Digital Audio Books
Artemis Fowl* by Eoin Colfer
A popular fantasy and action series about a young master criminal named Artemis Fowl. Artemis gradually develops his moral character as he works with the fairies to help defeat enemies and save the world.
The Mysterious Benedict Society* by Trenton Lee Stewart
Reynie Muldoon, an orphaned child with special abilities joins an elite team of four talented children and they become the Mysterious Benedict Society. They soon go on an adventurous journey of espionage to defeat a villain who plans to take over the world.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians* by Rick Riordan
A young boy named Percy Jackson discovers that the legendary Greek Gods still exists and goes on an adventurous quest to prevent a devastating war between the gods.
In addition to audio books, the library also has a substantial collection of new music CDs and downloadable new eAudio and eMusic for all ages! Please see a librarian at your library for more details.
True (...Sort of) (AR 6.0, Level 3.4) by Katherine Hannigan, the author of Ida B, is about an unconventional character who doesn't know why she seems to get everyone angry. Misunderstood, everyone keeps putting Delly down. Finally, she decides that she will act out!
Brud is a terrible basketball player. The problem is that he loves basketball! How can he ever become good at the sport that he loves?
Then Ferris moves to town. Delly befriends her because she does not speak; Ferris does not criticize her. Brud befriends her because Ferris is an amazing basketball player and teacher.
If you are a person who doesn't quite fit in at school, you may find a friend in True (...Sort of). Though Ferris has her issues, she accepts her two new friends when no one else will help them. And what is friendship if not for acceptance? Enjoy this great book!
Donald Sobol, the author of the Encyclopedia Brown series died on July 11th. He was 87 years old.
Encyclopedia Brown has been a staple for 2nd and 3rd grade readers for decades. Each book features several short mysteries which remain unsolved until you check the back of the book for the answer. I've always considered these books great for reluctant readers and for budding mystery fans.
His last book, Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Soccer Scheme is scheduled to be published and next year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of his first Encyclopedia Brown book.
Thanks for the mysteries!
Moon Over Manifest, by Clare Vanderpool, is the story of a young twelve year old, Abilene, who is sent to live with her father's friend in Manifest, a small lazy town in Kansas. She feels abandoned by the father she loves and is at loss for why he would do this. She only knows that her father had changed after her sickness, when she had an accident and her leg became infected. So, now, alone, in Manifest, the town where her father considers home, Abilene is trying to sort our her father's past and his identity and her own destiny. Through the course of a summer, she discovers Manifest's history, her father's history, and her own place in Manifest's destiny.
A Newberry Award Winner for 2011, Moon Over Manifest is, in my opinion, a simply wonderful book, but I would not recommend it for everyone, because its narrative is sophisticated and complex with three threads which the author skillfully weaves to reveal a narrative which is a colorful depiction of life in small town Kansas. This book is a book for a good reader, probably a girl, and for someone around 6th or 7th grade because the main character is young, but the scope of the story is big and the narrative complex.
I often receive requests for picture books to introduce children to a new baby on the information desk, and oftentimes, I am hard pressed to name a few good titles. Here are two that I have run across, which I like: Mail Harry to the Moon and There's Going to Be a Baby. Mail Harry to the Moon by Robie H Harris is funny and wacky, and I'm sure more than enough young ones may identify with the main character, who is fed up with his or her little baby brother. There's Going to be a Baby, written by John Burningham, a renown author, is touching and sweet. The story recounts the story of a young child anticipating the birth of his sibling. I love both, but they are so different.
Here are two titles that your child may like if he or she particularly likes wise cracking, smart alecky characters. In The Getaway by Ed Vere, the mouse, who stole the cheese, is driving a motorbike to run away from the elephant investigator, and in Cat Secrets by JefCzekaj, a cat is reading a book, titled Cat Secrets, but the cat does not want to give away secrets to anyone who is not a cat--especially to you, the reader. Both are fun and sharp, with a caustic attitude.
Some of my favorite going to bed picture books are : Bedtime for Frances by Lillian Hoban, Maybe a Bear Ate It by Robie Harris, Wynken Blynken and Nod by Eugene Field, and Clara and Asha by Eric Rohmann. Each is special in its own way. Bedtime for Frances describes a child's reluctance to go to bed so perfectly that your child will see reality mirrored in fiction. Maybe a Bear Ate It is funny and imaginative, and Wynken Blynken and Nod and Clara and Asha are magical.
Children love to read books about animals and the Children's Room at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library has just received some new fun ones that I'd like to share with you.
Chloe (2012) by Peter McCarty. Chloe has ten older brothers and sisters and ten younger brothers and sisters which puts her right in the middle where she's happy to be. Chloe especially enjoys the evenings when the whole family gets together for family fun time. One evening dad brings home a surprise which threatens to ruin the family fun time that she loves. What can the surprise be and how does Chloe manage to bring everyone together? We first met Chloe in Henry in Love by McCarty and I think that this bunny will be having many more adventures to share with us, so stay tuned.
Dini Dinosaur (2012) by Karen Beaumont. After having a great time playing in the mud all day Dini Dinosaur is ready to take a bath, or is he? Children will laugh at Dini's antics but of course with mom's help Dini gets his bath and lovingly gets tucked into bed. Sweet story. Be sure to check out the other books by Karen Beaumont; another one of my favorites is Who Ate all the Cookie Dough?
My Rhinoceros (2011) by Jon Agee. What kind of animal can you buy in a store called "Exotic Pets?" A rhinoceros of course! Our little friend buys one and at first he is quite disappointed since his rhinoceros doesn't do much: he doesn't chase stuff, he doesn't roll over, he just sits around and keeps to himself - BORING! So it's off to a rhinoceros expert who tells him that rhinoceroses only do two things - they pop balloons and poke holes in kites, how pathetic! Or is it? This special rhinoceros, by using its talents, is able to catch two bank robbers plus our little friend learns about another one of its talents - this rhinoceros can fly! What a fantastic pet and what a fun book! Mr. Agee is the author of a dozen highly acclaimed picture books; check out Milo's Hat Trick, Terrific and Nothing.
I Got Two Dogs (2008) by John Lithgow. John Lithgow has written many books for children but this one is my favorite. The book , which is a song and is accompanied by a CD, is about two dogs named Fanny and Blue who are much loved by their owner. It's wonderfully illustrated and it is such a bouncy song that you won't be able to get it out of your head! Just listen:
Our Independence Day will be on Wednesday, July 4th. The library has several books and resources to help your child learn more about this special holiday and discover fun and memorable ways to celebrate it! Here are some recommended titles:
Independence Day: Birthday of the United States by Elaine Landau
Learn about the meaning and history of Independence Day, the day when the United States declared its independence from England in 1776. This is a substantial book that contains historical facts about this holiday, information on how it is celebrated and two fun projects that you and your child can work on to celebrate: "Glitter Sparklers" and "Celebration Ice Cream Sundae."
Fourth of July Fireworks by Patrick Merrick
Ever wonder how Fourth of July fireworks are used and made? This book contains intriguing information about the Independence Day holiday and the fireworks that are used to make this holiday exciting, festive and memorable.
Star Spangled Crafts by Kathy Ross
Have a fun Independence Day by creating something special! This book will teach you and your child how to make a variety of Independence Day themed crafts, such as a firecracker lapel pin, a flag mosaic, an American eagle magnet and much more!
Here are fun ways to celebrate Independence Day:
Please see a librarian at your library for more recommendations.