When You Reach Me (AR 6.0, Level 4.5) by Rebecca Stead is partially a tribute to Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. Stead's book won the Newbery Award in 2010. If you like science fiction, mystery and historical fiction, you will enjoy this unique story.
It is 1979 and Miranda is helping her mother to prepare for her appearance on The $20,000 Pyramid quiz show. Miranda, foundering after the loss of a friendship, finds new friends when she decides to work at the deli near her school. Soon, she starts to find mysterious notes with information that could have only have come from the future.
Miranda learns about racism, epilepsy, time travel, and friendship as she progresses through her sixth grade year. Do you think she will be able to help the person she is supposed to help? Read this and find out!
Lanyards by the yard, painted rocks, sand-cast wax candles, tie-dye t-shirts?
Its officially summer now, and if you recall these activities fondly, roll up your sleeves and teach a new generation how to get creative with what's on hand!
These books might get your creative juices flowing...
Don't forget to check out these craft programs at the library this month!
Zero compares herself to others. She feels isolated and not very special in the world of numbers.
With a little help from her friends Zero begins to appreciate that she has a special place in the world of numbers. She has true value.
Zero is written by Kathryn Otoshi.
June is National Safety Month! Learn the tips and best practices on how to stay safe by checking out the following titles!
Safety by Liz Gogerly
This book contains helpful advice about staying safe in today's fast-paced world. Learn about the real concerns to pay attention to at various places: at home, at school and more.
Play it Safe Online by Phyllis Cornwall
Learn how to avoid certain hazzards and dangers online. This book provides tips and advice on how to remain safe online such as not posting certain pictures, how to limit personal information, choosing secure sites and more.
Traffic Safety by Nancy Loewen
Traveling this summer? This book will help you discover common transportation hazards and learn how to avoid or handle them.
Safety at Home by Mary Lee Knowlton
This book provides helpful tips and advice for kids on how to stay safe at home. Learn how to avoid common home-related accidents and injuries by reading this book.
Say No and Go: Stranger Safety by Jill Donahue
Even though your neighborhood might appear safe, dangerous incidents may randomly occur. This book will help you know what they are and how to handle them. Learn how to effectively know your neighbors, watch out for strangers and dealing with people at the doorstep.
For more recommendations, please see a Youth Services Librarian at your library.
We're adding online story times to our YouTube channel! Here's the latest: Lover Boy / Juanito el Cariñoso : a bilingual counting book, written by Lee Merrill Byrd, with illustrations by Francisco Delgado. Here’s the link to the English version and here’s the Spanish version. Enjoy!
I have just discovered a beautiful new series of books about energy, the environment, photosynthesis, and ecology. They are co-written by Molly Bang, a famous children's author and Penny Chisholm, an MIT professor. I love these books because they convey the magic of the universe through the lens of art and science. The pictures are absolutely wonderful, each conveying the energy, the light, and the power the sun gives. In My Light, the first book, Molly explains how energy is transformed from the light energy into various forms of water, wind, and plant energy to give us life and strength. In the second title, Living Sunlight, she explains how light is transformed into plant life on earth. Through wondrous pictures, she explains photosynthesis. In her third book, Ocean Sunlight, she explains how plant life enrich our oceans and seas. Again with wonderful pictures, she explains the ecology of oceans. A wonderful series, I could not recommend it more to children, parents, and teachers.
Nowadays, with our new emphasis on non-fiction reading in schools, this is a wonderful introduction to life science. This can be read to pre-schoolers up to lower elementary, and it could be a wonderful introduction children of older grades. If you would like to teach more in depth on photosynthesis, phytoplankton, or marine snow, you could look them up in the back where the authors provide more information.
Just to provide an anecdote, I read Ocean Sunlight to my four-year old, and he loved the book so much that he requested that I borrow Living Sunlight. Not only so, after reading Living Sunlight, he was asking about photosynthesis and the cycle of how plants produce oxygen and how we breathe oxygen. It goes to show that one can really teach science to children at a very young age.
May 17th is the birthday of Gary Paulsen who was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1939. He ran away from home when he was 14, and joined the carnival. This began a wide array of occupations: construction worker, engineer, sailor, and ranch hand to name a few. He was working nights as a satellite technician for an aerospace company in California when he was struck by the sudden inspiration to become a writer. He walked off the job that night and never went back. About writing, he says: "I just work. I don't drink, I don't fool around ... The end result is there's a lot of books out there." More than 200 books, in fact, including Hatchet (1988), about a 14-hear-old boy who survives nearly two months in the northern wilderness, and his most recent novels Woods Runner (2010), Lawn Boy Returns (2010), and Liar, Liar (2011). From The Writer's Almanac edited by Garrison Keillor, May 17, 2012.
Grace is thirteen. She’s become withdrawn since her Dad, a policeman, was killed in a drive-by shooting about a year ago. Her sister, Regan, decides she needs Grace’s help with a project. Regan wants early admission to what she considers the best college, and with their Mother’s approval she drafts Grace to "help" her. The scheme? Adopt a shelter puppy and train it to become a service dog. The last thing Grace wants to do is help Regan with anything. She sees Regan adjusting to life without their father and Grace resents her. She feels that Regan is being disloyal to their Dad’s memory.
But here they are at the animal shelter looking at dogs in a totally chaotic setting, Grace can barely stand the noise, all the barking and scratching, when something strange happens – a dog talks to her! Not a very cute dog, actually a gray-and-brown-mutt, an "…unkempt, prickly coated mutt…" (page 5). Grace convinces Regan that Rex is the dog for them. Sure he’s no longer a puppy, but he tells Grace that he’s smart and trainable and cheap! As they leave the shelter with Rex she starts to think: "My mom and sister thought my coming here would help me get back to normal. Instead, I heard a dog talk. I think that’s either irony or payback." (page 9)
Is Grace really hearing Rex talk? Together can they solve the mystery of her Dad’s shooting before Rex leaves Grace to become a companion to a needy little girl? Can Rex help Grace to re-connect with her friends and get back to her “normal” life?
Randi Reisfeld and HB Gilmour are the co-authors of several books including the T*Witches series. The two began work on What the Dog Said several months before HB Gilmour died. Ms. Reisfeld completed this book in her honor.
Maurice Sendak died today. He was a transformative author and illustrator of books for children. Where the Wild Things Are is his best known title, which won the Caldecott Medal in 1964. As a child, I spent many hours listening to Really Rosie - a musical based on his books with music by Carol King. You might enjoy reading them too!
April 27, is the birthday of Ludwig Bemelmans, author of the ever popular, Madeline books. He was born in Meran, Tyrol, Austria (1898) and came to New York when he was sixteen years old. He worked in a series of hotels, then started his own restaurant, which became very successful. He didn't think about becoming a writer until a friend in the publishing industry happened to see his childlike drawings on the walls of his apartment, and suggested that Bemelmans write and illustrate a children's book - and that was Madeline (1939), which begins: "In an old house in Paris, that was covered with vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines. In two straight lines they broke their bread, and brushed their theeth, and went to bed. They smiled at the good, and frowned at the bad, and sometimes they were very sad. They left the house at half past nine, in two straight lines, in rain or shine ... the smallest one was Madeline!" - Source: The Writer's Almanac