Calli lives in a family of over-achievers. Every single person in her family, including her parents "go for the gold." Except Calli. She is happy being an average fifth grade kid, but doesn't know how to fit in with her extroverted family, who want her to be an over-achiever, too. Especially torturous is her father's version of the ABC's. Her brother and sister, Alex and Becca, each announce their achievements during the ABC's. But Calli, the "C", does not feel she has anything to contribute. Until, she meets Noah. Noah isn't like other kids. Her approach to Noah changes life for both him and her in ways she could never have imagined!
Along the way, Calli learns that her parents have issues of their own. Her older brother brings some sanity to her world with his understanding of the family dynamic. Becca, meanwhile, has a hidden secret, too.
Calli Be Gold (AR 6.0, Level 4.2) will reach the heart of any kid who doesn't really fit in, whether at school or at home. Michele Weber Hurwitz clearly understands the problems that upper-elementary or beginning middle-school kids have in this stellar debut novel. She cleverly uses humor to offset some of the serious issues her characters face. The combination of humor and pathos made this book a page-turner!
I could not put it down until the wee hours of the morning! This adult librarian was in tears from about half-way through the book all the way to the end. I was also laughing, as well, so I am sure my family thought I was becoming unhinged. I can wholeheartedly say that this book is the best book I have read so far this year. Try it and see for yourself!
Thanks to a Library Services and Technology Act grant and about a year's worth of hard work, we've created three walking tours of downtown San Jose that you can take using your smartphone and your feet!
There are three tours to choose from:
A Walk Around the Plaza - takes you on a loop around Plaza de Cesar Chavez
Tragedies and Calamities - a no holds barred look at some of the tragic events in San Jose history
Old Santa Clara Street - highlights some of the great architecture that has sprung up and come down over the years.
Don't have a smartphone? Come join us on September 10th at 11:30 for a group tour using smartphones and iPads to take A Walk Around the Plaza! We will meet in front of the Art Museum - 110 S. Market Street. I'll be there and I hope you will too!
From Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, the team that brought you the adventure-packed Peter and the Starcatchers series, comes Science Fair, a hilarious and thrilling story about foreign spies and middle school science projects. Toby is a geeky boy who is tired of the rich kids always winning the science fair at his school. He and his friends try to think up a project that will let them finally win the big prize. Meanwhile, Grdankl the Strong, leader of the unpronounceable country of Krpshtskan, has decided to wage war on the United States and send his minions to destroy us. However, they become sidetracked by the television shopping channels. Meanwhile, plots arise regarding Toby’s parents’ Star Wars memorabilia, an evil teacher, a mad science store owner, and a Wienermobile that will keep you glued to the book and laughing your head off.
What if you could live forever? By forever, I really mean forever. You would never die, no matter what. You would be immune from all diseases, survive any accident or harm inflicted on your body. Better yet, you would never age. Living forever is an interesting idea to think about. Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt is a beautifully written and exciting adventure book about eternal life. Winnie Foster is a 10 year old girl who lives a perfectly sheltered life in a "touch me not" cottage at the edge of a wood. In the wood is a spring that bubbles up from the ground. No one knows about this spring except the Tuck family who once drank from it. Those who drink water from the spring never grow older. They stay exactly at the age at which they drank from the spring. On an August day, Winnie sneaks out of the cottage and ventures into the wood. Just by chance she encounters the Tuck family and learns the secret of the spring. The gentle and kind Tuck family must take Winnie with them to keep their secret from the rest of the world. Winnie’s family wastes no time in sending out a search party to find her, but unfortunately the search party includes a crafty and evil man who suspects the powers of the spring water and wants to possess the spring and the promise of eternal life. A confrontation at the Tuck home ends in disaster and the adventure that follows will keep you turning the pages until you reach the end of the story. This fine book received rave reviews when it was published in 1975 and was named one of the most important children’s books of the twentieth century by School Library Journal. It has become a classic that will remain timeless. Like a lot of good books, Tuck Everlasting was made into a film in 2002, but the film took liberties and changed important details in the book. Read the book instead, or try the audio book if you prefer to listen to the story. Tuck Everlasting is a book you will never forget and will want to read again and again.
Do you suffer from perfectionism? Do you worry so much about your homework that you can’t get it done? Or do you always feel like you could have done better? What to Do When Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough by Thomas S. Greenspon will help you understand about perfectionism. It explains the difference between doing your best and being a perfectionist. You will hear about how people become perfectionists and learn how to ease the pressure of being this way. There are activities to help you think of yourself differently and tips on getting help from the people in your life. It also talks about when perfectionism progresses to something worse. This book gives simple steps to help you be more realistic with yourself and feel better about yourself.
Drumming is the oldest form of music. It’s natural and spiritual, and just plain fun. It’s international and intercultural – all cultures have some form of drumming. Drums can be played with hands or with sticks, and sometimes with brushes. Hand drumming is often used in music therapy due to its tactile nature. Some animals drum as well! Drums can be used for music or communication. They are used in the military to motivate or to set a pace for marching.
I could be in the minority, but I hate wearing black. It makes me feel depressed and morose. I love to wear color! Color can make you feel happy, peaceful, or exotic. It also influences how others perceive you. Color can make you look shy, confident, or approachable. By dressing in colors, you carry your chosen mood with you wherever you go. You affect not only your mood, but the moods of everyone around you. These books can help you find what colors look good on you and to understand how they affect your lives, and they are all available at your library.
Bay Area Consumers' Checkbook is a magazine published twice a year (with occasional updates). Like Consumer Reports, it is nonprofit and unbiased and gives you advice on making wise decisions and choosing what's best for your needs. Unlike Consumer Reports, it evaluates local businesses and services rather than products. Their evaluations are based on subscriber surveys and are less sensational and inflammatory that what you will find on free-for-all websites (such as Yelp.com). They provide ratings on such topics as price, timeliness, customer service, etc.
San José Public Library does not subscribe to their website (www.checkbook.org) but we do provide back issues of their magazine at ten library locations. The King Library has five years worth of back issues, but the branches that have it typically keep six months to two years of back issues. Or you can subscribe to their print or online magazine for a fee from home.
Are you burdened with too much stuff? Are you drowning in a sea of personal clutter? Do you have good intentions of weeding and organizing your possessions, but have never found the time or been able to rally the enthusiasm to do so? You are not alone. It seems as if Americans have way too much stuff and the popularity of the television programs Clean House, Storage Wars and Hoarders is proof that clutter is a concern for many people. For those who are in need of inspiration and guidance to eliminate the clutter chaos in their lives, here are a few resources to check out at San José Public Library.
You might want to begin your quest with Lighten Up: Love What You Have, Have What You Need, Be Happier with Less, by Peter Walsh. This book shows readers how to audit and trim down not only their physical junk, but also how to come to terms with the emotional and financial junk that permeates our lives. Walsh believes that living with less can lead to abundant happiness.
Peter Walsh has also written It’s All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff and an accompanying workbook It’s All Too Much Companion Workbook: The Tools You Need to Conquer Clutter and Create the Life You Want. These two books are helpful step by step guides for organizing a clutter free home.
Put your stuff on a diet with Lorie K. Marrero's book The Clutter Diet: The Skinny on Organizing Your Home and Taking Control of Your Life.
Don't have enough room in your house for one more book? No problem. These ebooks can be downloaded and read on your home computer or eReader device :
OK. Now what do you do with all the stuff you have decided you no longer need? What about selling it? Toss, Keep, Sell: The Suddenly Frugal Guide to Cleaning Out the Clutter and Cashing In, by Leah Ingram offers strategies on how to prepare and sell your unwanted items for profit using the Internet and other resources.
The annual Santa Clara County Fair is coming up soon: August 4-7, 2011. Maybe I'm old fashioned, or maybe it's because I grew up in the country, but I love this yearly event. I can't wait to see the cows and rabbits, the quilts and knits, the jams and pies. And getting into the fair on Thursday and Friday is FREE! Free parking AND free admission! Now, how can you pass that up? I want to see the exhibits, eat some cotton candy, listen to the live music, eat a candy apple, ride the rides, eat a corn dog, see the exhibits, and then eat whatever’s left!
This year all of the county fairs across the country are celebrating 200 Years of Fairs. According to the fair website, the first recorded modern county fair was held in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in September, 1811. Panels depicting that first fair, the history and highlights of fairs since, and the future of fairs, will be on display in Gateway Hall as an exhibit titled "Made in America - The Story of the Modern Fair."
And, of course, you can read about fairs at the library, too!