Monday, May 25, 2009

Summer Reading 2009

Summer Reading is fast approaching (the official kickoff will be Tuesday, June 30th) and in order to better promote the programs and events happening this summer at the Newport Public Library, the librarians in the Children's Department will be making the rounds and visiting the local public and private schools. Watch for me and my fellow Children's Librarians around town in the next few weeks and be sure to say hello! We will be visiting as many K - 5th graders as we can to get the word out.

Don't forget, you can register for the Summer Reading Program now by visiting the Children's Department, calling 401-847-8720 ext. 204 or by registering online.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Book Buddies: Year 2 in Review

Another fantastic year of Book Buddies has come to a close and I wanted to take a moment to reflect back on how far we've come!

We began the year with 6 members (many returning from last year) and over the last 9 months we've seen the number grow to 16! I love that we had such a diverse group of kids and I hope we will be able to maintain that in the years to come: 9 girls and 7 boys with all five Newport public elementary schools represented as well as members from St. Michael's and Cluny. We also had one homeschooler! This kind of diversity is exactly what I hoped for with our book club - bringing together kids from varied backgrounds who might not otherwise ever meet and get to know each other. It has been wonderful to see how everyone has gotten along so well.

We read some amazing books this year beginning with Saffy's Angel by Hilary McKay in September. We read three books selected by the club members: The Demon of River Heights (Nancy Drew), The Ocean of Osyria (Hardy Boys) and So B. It. We conducted three more author interviews with Marlane Kennedy (Me and the Pumpkin Queen) in October, Nancy Springer (The Case of the Missing Marquess) in January and Sarah Weeks (So B. It) in April. The authors were fantastic and we had a wonderful time interviewing them. A big thank you to each of them for their time and their willingness to participate in our book club. It was such a thrill!

Finally, we read more widely this year than ever before! It was important to me that we branch out and read different genres and types of fiction and we did just that with mystery, fantasy, realistic fiction, two graphic novels and a novel in verse. My hope is that we will continue to try new things in the years to come.

Thank you to all of the club members who showed up each month having read the books and with an eagerness to discuss them. You are what made our book club great! I hope that all of you will return when the book club starts up again in September. It's sure to be another fantastic year of reading with more author interviews and excitement to come!

I want to also thank everyone for reading this Book Buddies Blog. I have thoroughly enjoyed writing about everything our club has been up to this year as well as posting literary-related items of interest. It's nice to know that people are out there reading this blog and paying attention to all that we are doing. I will continue to post to the blog all summer so check back for updates on summer reading 2009 and the theme "Be Creative @ Your Library!"

Have a great summer!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Meeting Wrap-Up: Punished by David Lubar

The Book Buddies Book Club met this past Monday for our end-of-year party and to discuss our final book, Punished! by David Lubar. It was a fantastic meeting with a great turnout - we had 10 book club members present!

We had a great discussion about word play and about our new friends, anagrams, oxymorons and palindromes. Some of us were familiar with these terms before Punished! but for others they were brand new! I asked everyone about the statement Professor Wordsworth made to Logan when they first met in the library: "Words aren't always enough." (p14) Everyone had ideas about this but we agreed that one example to consider is saying you are sorry. Sometimes saying sorry isn't always enough and it does not necessarily mean that you are being sincere.

We talked about puns and why everyone groans (especially Logan's teacher, Mr. Vernack) when Logan makes a pun. We talked about the three quests and how Logan was able to solve them.

Overall, our club members really liked Punished! and would recommend it to their friends. We found it funny AND educational, a great combination.

Following our discussion, I put everyone's newfound knowledge to the test with an activity packet of oxymorons, anagrams and palindromes. Everyone did very well solving the riddles and proved themselves masters of language!

To celebrate our second year of Book Buddies, we had cake and ice cream which everyone enjoyed. We talked about what kinds of books we might want to read next year and popular choices included the Chronicles of Narnia series (specifically The Magician's Nephew) and the Spiderwick Chronicles. You'll have to stay tuned to see what books we take on next year!

It was a great meeting and I will miss everyone over the summer. Thank you for a terrific year!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Word Play and Figures of Speech

"A bicycle can't stand alone because it is two-tired."

I was just getting ready for book club on Monday and I found a great website that I wanted to share. It's got links to great sites that give examples of anagrams, palindromes, oxymorons and puns. Also be sure to click on the link, "Figures of Speech Sites." There are explanations and activites for all kinds of figurative language including similes, metaphors, idioms and my favorite: onomatopoeia.

See you Monday!

Meeting Reminder

Just a reminder that the Book Buddies Book Club will hold its final meeting of this school year on Monday, May 18th at 3:30pm in the Children's Program Room. We will discuss our last book, Punished! by David Lubar, and have a party to celebrate another wonderful year of the book club. There will be plenty of food but if you'd like to bring something let me know!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 15, 2009

First Edgar, Now Agatha...

A couple of days ago I posted about the nominees and winner of the Edgar Awards (mystery awards named in honor of Edgar Allan Poe). Well, another famous mystery writer has awards named after her which were just announced as well. The Agatha awards (named for the incomparable Agatha Christie, pictured above) were announced at the Malice Domestic annual conference on May 2nd. Here is the list of nominees in the category of Best Children's/Young Adult Mystery:

And the winner is... The Crossroads!

When eleven-year-old Zack Jennings moves to Connecticut with his father and new stepmother, they must deal with the ghosts left behind by a terrible accident, as well as another kind of ghost from Zack's past.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Children's Poet Laureate Presents...

National Poetry Month is now over but since poetry is wonderful all year long I wanted to pass along this video link. Children's Poet Laureate, Mary Ann Hoberman, has filmed a series of video podcasts available online at the Poetry Foundation's website. In them, Ms. Hoberman reads from her own work as well as from the works of other classic poets. Check them out today!

And while we're on the subject of poetry, the Children's Department has just gotten in two new fantastic poetry books that I encourage you all to check out!

Beginning with this poem featuring the title words...

Eau De Forest: A Woodsy Cologne

It's spiderwebs
and dogwood trees,
a muddy trail,
a blue-green breeze,

A nest, a leaf,
a sycamore trunk,
A whiff of pine,
a hint of skunk.

Can you beat that?

Try this one which reminds me of Shel Silverstein's For Sale...

Eyeballs for Sale!

Eyeballs for sale!
Fresh eyeballs for sale!
Delicious, nutritious,
not moldy or stale.

Eyeballs from manticoves,
ogres, and elves,
fierce dragon eyeballs
that cook by themselves.

Eyeballs served cold!
Eyeballs served hot!
If you like eyeballs,
then this is the spot.
Ladle a glassful,
a bowlful, or pail -
Eyeballs! Fresh eyeballs!
Fresh eyeballs for sale!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Summer Reading Preview

Summer is just around the corner and with it the annual Summer Reading Program at the Newport Public Library! This year's theme is "Be Creative @ Your Library" and will celebrate everything arts-related including music, dance, theater, photography, culinary arts and much, much more!

To celebrate the arts, the Newport Public Library is hosting an imaginary Carnival of Creativity. When you register for the program you will receive a map of the carnival which includes suggestions for different activities you can do to explore your creativity. To complete the program, you'll need to read 6 books, log the titles of those books in a reading log, and complete at least 2 activities in 2 different areas of the carnival - see the map for details.

The program officially kicks off on Tuesday, June 30th with a craft program for children ages 4 - 8 and continues through August 13th. During that time we will be having lots of entertainers and special programs for kids so be sure and check the Summer Reading calendar and website for details.

Sign up now by visiting the Children's Department or calling 401-847-8720 ext. 204. In the coming weeks you will also be able to sign up online so stay tuned for that. If you have any questions, feel free to comment on this post or visit us at the library!

Friday, May 8, 2009

2009 Edgar Award Winner

The 2009 Edgar Award winners were announced on April 30th. The nominees for Best Juvenile Mystery were:

And the winner is... The Postcard by Tony Abbott!

While in St. Petersburg, Florida, to help clean out his recently-deceased grandmother's house, thirteen-year-old Jason finds an old postcard which leads him on an adventure that blends figures from an old, unfinished detective story with his family's past.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Anagrams, Palindromes and Oxymorons - Oh My!

Punished! is a book filled with word play. Logan must complete three quests in order to stop his incessant punning and the quests involve anagrams, palindromes and oxymorons.

Here are a few other books overflowing with word play that you might enjoy...

Double Trouble in Walla-Walla by Andrew Clements

It's an ordinary morning in Walla Walla until Lulu, her teacher, the school nurse, and the principal are all infected by a word warp which makes them reduplicate everything they say.

Born to Drive (Otto Undercover #1) by Rhea Perlman

After thwarting bad guys to win the Yazoo 200 race, with the help of his trusty racecar and his eccentric Aunts FiFi and FooFoo, Otto Pillip receives a note from his long-lost parents inviting him to join the secret family business. Includes words spelled backward, anagrams, and palindromes.

Cat's Eye Corner by Terry Griggs

When Olivier is invited to spend the summer with his eccentric grandfather and his even more eccentric third wife, Sylvia de Whosit of Whatsit, at their strange old mansion, Cat's Eye Corner, he knows that he is in for a real and true adventure. And, Olivier is not disappointed, for on his first morning at Cat's Eye Corner, his step-step-stepgramma sets him off on a scavenger hunt to keep him amused. As Olivier forages in and around the seemingly ever-changing mansion in search of all the items on his list, he acquires various odd friends, including a witty fountain pen and a resourceful dragonfly. Together they find all of the items, stop the nasty Mr. Mirrific from rewriting the dictionary and other literary classics, and generally have a grand adventure. (School Library Journal Review)