Monday, August 24, 2009

September Book Buddies

The Book Buddies Book Club for readers in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade is back! The first meeting of the new school year will be on Monday, September 28th at 3:30pm in the Children's Program Room. Registration is required so don't forget to sign up by calling the library (401-847-8720- ext. 204), posting a comment on the blog or emailing me at Everyone needs to register, even if you were in the club last year.

And now....drumroll please.....our first book will be: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Kongisburg! A classic book from a fantastic author and the perfect way to start off the new year. Copies of From the Mixed-Up Files are available at the children's desk or through the Ocean State Libraries Catalog. Visit our website to get to the catalog or ask a librarian if you need help.

Having run away with her younger brother to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, twelve-year-old Claudia strives to keep things in order in their new home and to become a changed person and a heroine to herself.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Back to School Books

School officially begins in Newport on Wednesday, September 9th. To get you in the back-to- school spirit, here are a few books you might want to read...

The Return of the Homework Machine by Dan Gutman

After discarding their infamous homework machine, four friends, now in sixth grade, find themselves once again at the police station, this time giving testimony about an incident involving a powerful computer chip, a Grand Canyon treasure, and a dead body.

Babymouse: Dragonslayer by Jennifer Holm & Matthew Holm (Bk 11)

An imaginative mouse who likes to read heroic fantasy novels finds herself on the school math team as it prepares to compete for the coveted Golden Slide Rule.

The school lunch lady, a secret crime fighter, sets out to stop a group of librarians bent on destroying a shipment of video games, while a group of students known as the Breakfast Bunch provides back-up.

No Talking by Andrew Clements

The noisy fifth grade boys of Laketon Elementary School challenge the equally loud fifth grade girls to a "no talking" contest.

School Spirit by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel (Suddenly Supernatural, Bk 1)

Like her mother, a professional medium, Kat has been able to see dead people since turning thirteen, and although they would prefer to be normal, Kat and her best friend come to terms with their own talents while helping free the spirit of a girl trapped at their middle school.

Science Verse by Jon Scieszka

When the teacher tells his class that they can hear the poetry of science in everything, a student is struck with a curse and begins hearing nothing but science verses that sound very much like some well-known poems.

Monday, August 17, 2009

End of Summer and the Beginning of a New Book Buddies Year!

Congratulations to everyone who completed the Summer Reading Program this year - great job! Many books were read, many programs were attended and the fair was a great success! So thank you to all the wonderful readers out there! If you haven't completed the program you have until the end of August to log all your books and pick up your certificate, free book and toy prize. If you have any questions about summer reading, feel free to call us at the library at 401-847-8720 ext. 204.

Now that summer reading is behind us, we're working hard getting ready for the beginning of the new school year. The Book Buddies Book Club will be back this Fall so don't forget to sign up! If you were in the club last year you still need to sign up again this year. I know how busy you guys are so I find it's best to start fresh every September. However, I would love it if everyone wanted to come back again this year!

You can register by posting a comment to the the blog, calling the Children's Department at 401-847-8720 ext. 204 or by emailing me at Stay tuned for details on the first meeting and information about our first book!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Book 7 of the Summer Reading Book Challenge

Book 7: Bird Lake Moon by Kevin Henkes
"Twelve-year-old Mitch and his mother are spending the summer with his grandparents at Bird Lake after his parents separate, and ten-year-old Spencer and his family have returned to the lake where Spencer's little brother drowned long ago, and as the boys become friends and spend time together, each of them begins to heal."

I have to admit I've run out of steam a bit with the Summer Reading Book Challenge...I have been reading (a lot actually) but primarily books for older kids (like high school) or adults. So with Bird Lake Moon, I'm digging into my book archives and picking one that I actually read awhile ago. However, Bird Lake Moon is a fantastic book and one that I've been considering for Book Buddies for a long time. And since I'm not sure exactly when we'll get to it, I thought it was worth putting out there now and a great book to end the challenge with....

Bird Lake Moon is one of my favorite Kevin Henkes books, second only to Olive's Ocean (a fabulous book for middle school readers). There are many similarities between the two - tweens coming of age, summer vacation, tragedy, all revealed with tremendous heart through beautiful writing. In Bird Lake, I enjoyed getting to know Mitch and Spencer and watching their friendship grow. No question, both boys went through a lot of hard stuff at very early ages. But it was a pleasure to watch them grow and mature and deal with their problems.
Heartbreaking in parts, Bird Lake Moon is a much more character-driven than plot driven. It is a quiet story but one filled with hope that I think many elementary readers will enjoy.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer Reading Week 7: Carnival / Circus

Well, this is the last week of summer reading. It's hard to believe that the summer is winding down...didn't it just get started? This week to close out our summer of creativity we're looking at books about carnivals and the circus. We're having our very own Carnival of Creativity Outdoor Fair to celebrate the end of summer reading this Thursday, August 13th from 10:30am - 1:00pm. The fair is going to be held in Aquidneck Park adjacent to the library. Bring a blanket, chairs and a picnic lunch! The Outdoor Fair will include storytelling by the amazing Katie Latimer, a performance by the Ocean State Children's Choir, a presentation from the Elite Academy of Dance, a puppet workshop with Sue Klau, sand art, face painting and a cake walk with cake donated by Katrina's! Children who have completed the summer reading program will also receive their certificate, free book and toy prize. We will also have drawings for grand prizes and for the PawSox tickets! It's going to be lots of fun and I hope to see you all there!

To The Big Top by Jill Esbaum (jE Esbaum)

When the circus comes to the small town of Willow Grove in the early 1900s, best friends Benny and Sam enjoy an exciting day helping set up the tent, admiring the various animals, and anticipating the big show.

Who Put the B in the Ballyhoo? by Carlyn Beccia (jE Beccia)

A rhyming alphabetical description of Big Top life and attractions, interspersed with facts about particular circus acts and personalities of the past.

P.T. Barnum: Genius of the Three-Ring Circus by Karen Clemens Warrick (j920 Barnum)

A fascinating biography of circus owner P.T. Barnum.

The Carnivorous Carnival (Series of Unfortunate Events, Bk 9) by Lemony Snicket (j Snicket)

On the run as suspected murderers, the unlucky Baudelaire orphans find themselves trapped in the Caligari Carnival, where they must masquerade as freaks in order to hide from the evil Count Olaf.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Book 6 of the Summer Reading Book Challenge

Book 6: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

“In the valley of Fruitless Mountain, a young girl named Minli spends her days working hard in the fields and her nights listening to her father spin fantastic tales about the Jade Dragon and the Old Man of the Moon. Minli’s mother, tired of their poor life, chides him for filling her head with nonsense. But Minli believes these enchanting stories and embarks on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man of the Moon and ask him how her family can change their fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest.”

I absolutely loved Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. It is a beautifully written, magical fantasy/folktale that transports the reader into another world. I loved that Minli's tale unfolded in stories: "The Story of Fruitless Mountain", "The Story of the Old Man of the Moon", "The Story of the Green Tiger and the Tea", etc. It really shaped the narrative and added to the fairytale feel of the book. I also loved how the red thread ran throughout the story and brought everything around full circle.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is full of rich characters and settings. Readers can look forward to meeting the peach tree monkeys, the buffalo boy, the guardians of the city, Da-A-Fu and many more remarkable and memorable characters. In addition I feel it's worth mentioning that Mountain is one of the most beautifully designed books I have ever seen with gorgeous full-color illustrations sprinkled throughout and color chapter headings. Every detail was considered and the author should be very proud of this brilliant achievement. I have always enjoyed Grace Lin's work (her The Year of the Dog was a Book Buddies hit) and I intend to share this one with my book club readers and young library patrons as well.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Summer Reading Week 6: Writing and Poetry

Unbelievably we are actually into August and beginning our 6th week of summer reading. I can't believe how fast the summer is going! I hope you all have been reading up a storm and have made it to some of the wonderful library programs we've had this summer. Don't worry, it's not over yet! We still have two jam-packed weeks to go!

This week our focus is on writing and poetry. I feel a little like a broken record, but once again, there are many great books on this topic (see the non-fiction j800s) and below are just a few fun suggestions... So enough about that, and let's just get to it.

Read a Rhyme, Write a Rhyme compiled by Jack Prelutsky (j811.54 Rea)

A wonderful collection of poetry and "poemstarts" that will inspire you to write your own poetry!

Examines the history of writing and provides instructions for making special inks, using various alphabets and codes, and creating personal seals and private letter drops.

Ellie McDoodle: Have Pen, Will Travel by Ruth Barshaw (j Barshaw)

Eleven-year-old Ellie McDoodle illustrates her sketchbook with chronicles of her adventures and mishaps while camping with her cousins, aunt, and uncle.

Trial by Journal by Kate Klise (j Klise)

In this illustrated novel told through journal entries, news clippings, and letters, twelve-year-old Lily finds herself on the jury of a murder trial while conducting her own undercover investigation of the case.

I hardly need to promote the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books...they are so popular they're never on the shelves! But I like them a lot and I like that it's a diary written by a boy.

Greg records his sixth grade experiences in a middle school where he and his best friend, Rowley, undersized weaklings amid boys who need to shave twice daily, hope just to survive, but when Rowley grows more popular, Greg must take drastic measures to save their friendship.

And some writing websites....