Wednesday, January 27, 2010

February Book Selection

The February book selection will be Highway Cats by Janet Taylor Lisle. We will meet to discuss this book on Monday, February 22nd at 3:30pm in the John Clarke Children's Program Room.

The cats holed up in Potter's woods are a tough bunch. Thrown out on the highway, forced to fight for scraps, they're long past expecting any favors from the world. So when three tiny kittens arrive, miraculously escaping a deadly highway crossing, the cats take note. Who are the little survivors? How did they get so lucky?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January Meeting Wrap-Up

Seven members of the Book Buddies Book Club met yesterday afternoon to discuss Mudshark by Gary Paulsen. Everyone thought that it was a quick read and very entertaining! We also agreed that it was one we would recommend to friends!

We talked about the character of Mudshark (Lyle Williams), the kind of person he is and where he got the name "Mudshark" (from being one of the fastest players of Death Ball, a local sport combining soccer, football, rugby, wrestling and mudfighting.) We discussed the skills that made him the school's best problem solver and locator of lost items and how he felt about being upstaged by Ms. Underdorf's "psychic" parrot.

We discussed why the principal asked him for help and agreed that his plan to return the stolen erasers was very well thought out and that it was very nice of him to protect Mr. Wilson. We thought at length about what was really going on in the faculty washroom and enjoyed re-reading the principal's morning announcements.

Many of us enjoyed reading about Ms. Underdorf's "armadillo" and the various cases Mudshark was able to solve for his fellow students.

Overall, we really enjoyed Mudshark and look forward to reading more books by Gary Paulsen.

We spent some time discussing other books with boy detectives including Encyclopedia Brown, The Hardy Boys and Half Moon Investigations. We also talked about other books we've been reading. A couple of book club members have been working on C.S. Lewis: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Magician's Nephew. Another member is working on the Percy Jackson & The Olympians series. Other books currently in progress are Old Yeller and The Mouse and the Motorcycle.

To round out our meeting we worked on some valentine cards and had snacks including chocolate chip cookies.

It was a wonderful meeting and thanks to all of the Book Buddies members who attended!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Meeting Reminder

Just a reminder that the Book Buddies Book Club will meet this Monday, January 25th at 3:30pm in the Children's Program Room to discuss our January book, Mudshark by Gary Paulsen.

I hope you enjoyed the book and I look forward to seeing you on Monday.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Katherine Paterson

On Tuesday, January 5th, Katherine Paterson was named the new National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. She succeeds the first children's ambassador, Jon Scieszka, and will hold the position for two years. Katherine Paterson is an amazing author who has written many books for children and young adults. Here are just a few of her books that you might like to read:

Bridge to Terabithia (1977)

The life of a ten-year-old boy in rural Virginia expands when he becomes friends with a newcomer who subsequently meets an untimely death trying to reach their hideaway, Terabithia, during a storm.

The Great Gilly Hopkins (1978)

An eleven-year-old foster child tries to cope with her longings and fears as she schemes against everyone who tries to be friendly.

Lyddie (1991)

Impoverished Vermont farm girl Lyddie Worthen is determined to gain her independence by becoming a factory worker in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the 1840s.

The Day of the Pelican (2009)

In 1998 when the Kosovo hostilities escalate, thirteen-year-old Meli's life as an ethnic Albanian, changes forever after her brother escapes his Serbian captors and the entire family flees from one refugee camp to another until they are able to immigrate to America.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Newbery Winner Announced!

The American Library Association's Youth Media Awards were announced yesterday at ALA's midwinter meeting in Boston. The Newbery Medal went to When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. There were four Newbery Honor books as well: Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin and The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick. Congratulations to all!

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1980s television game show, "The $20,000 Pyramid," a twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose
On March 2, 1955, an impassioned teenager, fed up with the daily injustices of Jim Crow segregation, refused to give her seat to a white woman on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Instead of being celebrated as Rosa Parks would be just nine months later, fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin found herself shunned by her classmates and dismissed by community leaders. Undaunted, a year later she dared to challenge segregation again as a key plaintiff in Browder v. Gayle, the landmark case that struck down the segregation laws of Montgomery and swept away the legal underpinnings of the Jim Crow South.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

In central Texas in 1899, eleven-year-old Callie Vee Tate is instructed to be a lady by her mother, learns about love from the older three of her six brothers, and studies the natural world with her grandfather, the latter of which leads to an important discovery.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Minli, an adventurous girl from a poor village, buys a magical goldfish, and then joins a dragon who cannot fly on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon in hopes of bringing life to Fruitless Mountain and freshness to Jade River.

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick

Twelve-year-old Homer, a poor but clever orphan, has extraordinary adventures after running away from his evil uncle to rescue his brother, who has been sold into service in the Civil War.

Check out Publishers Weekly for the complete list of winners.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Saturday Movie

Don't miss our monthly Saturday matinee this Saturday, January 16th at 2:30pm in the lower level program room. The January movie is The Water Horse based on the novel by Dick King-Smith. For ages 6 and up, rated PG. No registration is required - just drop in!

How do you keep a secret this big?

In 1930, on the coast of Scotland, eight-year-old Kirstie finds a large egg which hatches into an unusual sea creature, and as he grows her family must decide what to do with him.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Boy Detectives

Lyle Williams, aka Mudshark, is his school's best problem solver and locator of lost items in Mudshark by Gary Paulsen. Here are a few other boy detectives you might like to read about...

The Hardy Boys: The House on the Cliff by Franklin W. Dixon (1959)

Teenage detectives Frank and Joe Hardy investigate a supposedly haunted house reported to be the hangout of criminals.

Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective by Donald Sobol (1963)

Whenever 10-year-old Leroy (nicknamed "Encyclopedia") Brown's father, the chief of police in Idaville, has a difficult case, Encyclopedia always manages to solve it at the dinner table. So, he decides to open his own detective agency.

Half -Moon Investigations by Eion Colfer (2006)

Twelve-year-old private investigator Fletcher Moon, nicknamed "Half Moon" because of his shortness, must track down a conspiracy or be framed for a crime he did not committ.

The Puzzling World of Winston Breen by Eric Berlin (2007)

Puzzle-crazy, twelve-year-old Winston and his ten-year-old sister Katie find themselves involved in a dangerous mystery involving a hidden ring. Puzzles for the reader to solve are included throughout the text.

Grk and the Hotdog Trail by Joshua Doder (2008)

Twelve-year-old British schoolboy Tim Malt and his dog, Grk, set out on a new adventure while in New York City, where they seek to discover who stole the Golden Dachshund from the National Museum.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Author Gary Paulsen: Part 2

Gary Paulsen is a children's and young adult author who has written a tremendous number of books during his career. Here are a few links I encourage you to explore to find out more about this amazing man:

Author's Website @ Random House
Information from Scholastic
And this interview about Mudshark!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Author Gary Paulsen

Gary Paulsen is the amazing author of our January book selection, Mudshark. He has written many books for children and young adults including Brian's Saga and the Culpepper Adventures series. Here are just a few of the other wonderful books he has written that I highly encourage you to read:

Dogsong (1985)

A fourteen-year-old Eskimo boy who feels assailed by the modernity of his life takes a 1400-mile journey by dog sled across ice,tundra, and mountains seeking his own "song" of himself.

Molly McGinty Has a Really Good Day (2004)

When supremely organized seventh-grader, Molly McGinty, loses the notebook she relies on to keep her life in order she spends the day in chaos.

The Time Hackers (2005)

When someone uses futuristic technology to play pranks on twelve-year-old Dorso Clayman, he and his best friend set off on a supposedly impossible journey through space and time trying to stop the gamesters who are endangering the universe.

The Amazing Life of Birds: (The Twenty Day Puberty Journal of Duane Homer Leech) (2006)

As twelve-year-old Duane endures the confusing and humiliating aspects of puberty, he watches a newborn bird in a nest on his windowsill begin to grow and become more independent, all of which he records in his journal.

Lawnboy (2007)

Things get out of hand for a twelve-year-old boy when a neighbor convinces him to expand his summer lawn mowing business.