- May 26 & 27 - All libraries CLOSED for Memorial Day
When is the last time you went to a sleepover? Why not plan one today? Sleepovers, also known as pajama parties or slumber parties, are a great inexpensive way to have fun. You don’t need to buy a lot and you don’t need to be a good dancer. Kids often have sleepovers for special occasions like birthdays, but you don’t need a special reason to have a sleepover. Just find a date that works for you and invite a bunch of friends. Have everyone bring pajamas, a toothbrush, a sleeping bag and pillow, and a favorite snack to share.
You can watch movies, bake cookies, give makeovers and play games. Some favorite sleepover games include Truth or Dare and pillow fights. You can play music and talk or play board games (or all three!) until the wee hours. In the summer you can sleep outside under the stars. Here are some books with more great ideas on having a sleepover. You don’t need a reason – it’s always the season for a sleepover!
Oh no, the book I want isn’t on the shelf. I really wanted to read 'The Hunger Games' but it’s checked out… everywhere!"
Or maybe you finished all three Hunger Games books and are wondering what to read next.
Well the Library has a nifty tool to help. Click on Books and Media at the top of our site. In the section about books, click on What to Read Now (NoveList). Enter your library card number and PIN to enter NoveList. Entering the title "Hunter Games" you come up with a list that includes terrific books from authors such as Scott Westerfeld and Nancy Farmer.
NoveList lets you type in a title, an author, subject or keyword, and then creates a list of similar books for you. You can even refine the list by pace of the story, setting, audience age group and more.
Give it a try when you’re wondering what to read next.
Wonder Struck (AR 4.0, Level 5.4) by Brian Selznick is a beautiful book. This title follows the story of Ben and Rose. Ben's story unfolds in words and Rose's story unfolds in pictures. Both characters are connected by a desire to find people that are missing from their lives. After the death of Ben's mother, he yearns to find his father. Ben's mother, Elaine, has told him nothing about his father. However, after accidentally finding information that may lead to his father, Ben sets out for New York City, where his father last lived. Will Ben find his long-missing father?
Rose is desperately unhappy living with her father. She has been creating a scrapbook about the career of a mysterious actress, Lillian Mayhew. Feeling that Ms. Mayhew can help her, she sets off for New York City. What will she find there and how will Ms. Mayhew help her?
Both stories are set apart by fifty years. However, both characters are similar in that they are both deaf. What is truly remarkable about both characters is the lack of sadness or anger about their disabilities. Both courageously go to one of the largest cities in the world, sure of their purpose. The reader is immediately drawn into both stories because of the remarkably life-like drawings and compelling stories.
Brian Selznick, the Caldecott Medal winner for The Invention of Hugo Cabret (AR 4.0, Level 5.1) once again makes a movie-like book. Mr. Selznick has said that his interest in this story began when he learned about the new sound technology in 1927, which would affect the deaf community. Prior to 1927, both hearing and deaf people could enjoy the movies together. After 1927, deaf people were left out of the experience of enjoying film.
Downton Abbey is a British historical drama that has been showing on Masterpiece Theater. If you liked “Upstairs, Downstairs,” you will love this show, but due to modern film techniques it is even more beautiful. The story follows the Crawley family and their household staff. It takes place at the beginning of the 20th century with season two carrying the family and staff through the First World War. It has given PBS a surge in popularity in the last year and a half. According to EW.com, “…the second season "Abbey" audience was 25% larger than the first round. The show is also delivering a much younger audience than the usual "Masterpiece crowd", with female viewers 18-34 up 251%.”
Shirley MacLaine is set to join the cast for the third season, which should draw even more viewership to this popular show. Dame Maggie Smith has been a bigger draw for me, but in my eyes the biggest star of the show is the glorious costumes. You can sample Downtown Abbey (and Upstairs, Downstairs) by checking out the DVDs at your local library. You can also read about this wonderful series here. Enjoy!
According to CNN today (February 25, 2012), there has been a fourth inquest into the case of Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton and her claim that a dingo stole her baby Azaria, aged 2 months, while the family was camping near Ayer’s Rock in Australia. This tale was brought to popular knowledge in the 1988 film A Cry in the Dark for which Meryl Streep achieved an Academy Award nomination. The movie was based on the book Evil Angels by John Bryson.
Chamberlain-Creighton was cleared in the first inquest in 1981 then sentenced to life in prison in the second in 1982 when the jury found that the mother had slit the child’s throat. That verdict was overturned when a baby’s jacket was found half buried near a dingo nest in 1986. “In 1988, a Royal Commission set up to review the evidence formally quashed convictions for both husband and wife,” according to CNN. The third inquest, in 1995, left an open verdict which Chamberlain-Creighton and her former husband Michael are trying to correct to show what they say is the true cause of death – a dingo attack.
The 2012 inquest was taken on in Chamberlain-Creighton’s move to get her facts down and show that dingo attacks have been significant and are a true danger. Read more about dingoes at your library.
The coroner adjourned the fourth inquest.
Hiccupotamus (AR 0.5, Level 3.3) by Aaron Zenz is great for the kid who is first experiencing hiccups! Poor hippo is suffering from the hiccups as he runs into various friends. Exaggerated rhymes and hilarity ensues as hippo inadvertently causes all kinds of trouble.
Hippo's friends carefully research (a super sight for this librarian to see) ways to eliminate hippo's hiccups. Spinning, vinegar, and other remedies don't seem to work. Finally, hippo's hiccups cease. See what happens in the surprise ending. If you read this picture book with emphasis on exaggerated hiccups, you are sure to see your kids laugh uproariously!
Amelia Bedelia is the classic, humorous series about what happens to someone who takes everything too literally. Peggy Parish's Come Back, Amelia Bedelia (AR 0.5, Level 2.1) takes the unusual plot of displacing Amelia Bedelia from the Rogers' household. Usually, everyone is understanding and tolerant about Amelia's misunderstandings. This time, however, Mrs. Rogers has had enough and fires Amelia.
Since Amelia does have to make a living, she blunders through other jobs as a hair dresser, file clerk, assistant dressmaker, etc. The reader will laugh uproariously to Amelia's hijinks!
The Amelia Bedelia series is an excellent resource for kids on the autistic spectrum or English language learners. This series demonstrates what happens to a character who takes everything literally. Children with autism will learn to be amused to see themselves in the Amelia character. This series is also an excellent way for children with autism and for English language learners to learn colloquialisms and slang.
A lot has changed since Margaret Wise Brown published the children’s classic bedtime book Goodnight Moon in 1947. It was a quieter, gentler world back then. There were only kittens, mittens, combs and brushes for little bunny to say goodnight to. The only tech stuff in bunny’s room was an electric lamp and a rotary dial telephone. Not so in Goodnight iPad : A Parody for the Next Generation. Writer and illustrator David Milgrim under the pseudonym Ann Droyd has written a fun little high tech parody of Goodnight Moon for adults. Goodnight iPad is a humorous study of those of us who are plugged in, day and night, to our high tech electronic gizmos. Instead of kittens, mittens and a bowl of mush, bunnies say good night to iPads, BlackBerries, YouTube, Facebook, LCD Wi- Fi HDTV, MP3, email, Nooks and digital books. Even the fireplace is a faux plug in electric model. Little bunnies are busy with headphones, iphones, cell phones and the great green room is buzzing with the constant tap, tap, tapping, and click, click, clicking of keyboards as bunnies text, tweet and play Angry Birds and Doom. Finally, Mother bunny has had enough and announces , "Goodnight remotes and Netflix streams, Androids, apps and glowing screens," and ends with "Goodnight MacBook Air, goodnight gadgets everywhere." Gathering all the gizmos in her arms, she sends them flying out the window to restore peace to the house. Parody and fun aside, Goodnight iPad is a clever commentary on society’s growing attachment to high tech devices and their pervasive presence in everyday life.
Check the City of San Jose's website for information about Fish Camp starting on April 27, 2012. The City is proud to provide this camp, which is located in the Sierras, near Yosemite National Park.
The Parks and Recreation has a wonderfully dedicated staff. In the past, my kids have enjoyed summer camps and afterschool programs. The kids love the wonderful staff in the Parks and Recreation Department because though they are strict, they definitely make the activities fun. One of the counselors at the afterschool programs even invented a new wheelchair game to teach kids about compassion for other kids.
If you are thinking about camping this summer, definitely check out http://www.sanjoseca.gov/prns/familycamp/ for important deadlines for getting a spot on the campgrounds this summer!
Twelve-year-old Derek is looking forward to a great summer with his best friend. Mom and Dad, of course, have other ideas for the Calvin and Hobbes-loving Derek. Two words: Learning Camp! YIKES! Even worse, he must spend more time at Learning Camp with that goody two shoes, Carly! ICK! What is a fun-loving skateboarder to do? All he has left is his faithful dog, Bodi.
Solve a ten-year-old mystery, of course! Derek finds a clipping about a mysterious death that occurred in Martha's Vineyard when he was just a toddler. When he brings up the clipping to his Mom, she becomes mysteriously close-mouthed. What is she hiding from Derek? And why does the clipping mention that the girl died while trying to save a two-year-old toddler? Is it a coincidence that Derek happened to be at Martha's Vineyard when it happened?
Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans are sure to enjoy My Life as a Book (AR 4.0, Level 5.2) by Janet Tashjian. Each cartoon, drawn by the author's son, is laugh out loud funny. Find out what happens to Derek when he manages to convince his parents to visit his grandmother in Massachusetts!