Thursday, April 29, 2010

May Book Selection

The Book Buddies Book Club will get together for the last meeting of this school year on Monday, May 24th at 3:30pm in the John Clarke Children's Program Room. We will be celebrating another great year of books and reading with an end-of-year party. All who have participated in the book club this year are welcome to attend.

Our May book will be Half Magic by Edward Eager.

"It all begins with a strange coin on a sun-warmed sidewalk. Jane finds the coin, and because she and her siblings are having the worst, most dreadfully boring summer ever, she idly wishes something exciting would happen.
And something does: Her wish is granted.

Or not quite. Only half of her wish comes true.

It turns out the coin grants wishes - but only by half, so that you must wish for twice as much as you want.

Wishing for two times some things is a cinch, but other doubled wishes only cause twice as much trouble. What is half of twice a talking cat? Or to be half-again twice not-here? And how do you double your most heartfelt wish, the one you care about so much that it has to be perfect?"

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April Meeting Wrap-Up

The Book Buddies Book Club met yesterday afternoon to discuss Free Baseball by Sue Corbett. We had a great discussion followed by a phone call with the author!

We began by talking about Felix and his relationship with his mother and why he was so angry with her. We thought about why he ran away at the baseball game and whether or not that was the right thing to do. We were a little split - some members thought that occasionally there might be enough of a reason to run away despite the dangers.

We discussed Felix's relationship with Vic and why they got along so well. They spent a lot of time together and shared a love of baseball. But they also had a lot in common - they both lost people they loved - Felix lost his dad and Vic lost his wife to illness.

We had a great time talking about Homer and what an amazing dog he was and all the unbelievable things he was capable of doing.

We spent time discussing the moment when Felix realized he was never going to see his father and what a turning point that was for him. One of our club members did a great job reading the passage aloud (page 91) so that we could all experience it again and talk about his feelings.

We talked about what happened to Felix as a baby, how he and his mother escaped from Cuba. I read the author's note aloud about Cuban refugees and we thought about what a difficult situation that is and how scary it must be for immigrants.

Overall we really enjoyed the book and look forward to reading more from Sue Corbett. In fact, club members got into a friendly squabble about who would be checking out Ms. Corbett's newest book, The Last Newspaper Boy in America.

Following our discussion we had a delightful telephone call with the author, Sue Corbett. She was eager to answer our questions and gave us very thoughtful answers. We asked her about where she got the idea for Free Baseball (a visit to a ballpark where she lost track of her son) and if she's working on anything new right now (yes, a novel in progress). She loves baseball and has been a lifelong fan of the NY Mets. She doesn't have a golden retriever like Homer (who was based on a real dog named Jericho, who was the mascot for a minor league team, the Miracle) but she does have a beagle named Louie.

She told us about why she chose to include such a disagreeable character as Maryann in the story and how it's important for her characters to overcome obstacles. Maryann being as unlikeable and nasty as she was made Felix a much stronger person.

She is trained as a journalist and has no answer for what she would be doing if she wasn't a writer. As a child she wanted to be a gymnast or a figure skater. She loves her job and fondly remembers her local children's librarian when she was growing up. She's an avid reader and believes that she could never have become a writer if she wasn't a reader first.

One of her favorite books growing up was The Boxcar Children because they were like her family (4 kids) but they were living on their own (!) which was thrilling to read about as a child.

She talked with us a little bit about The Last Newspaper Boy in America which she said is a valentine to newspapers. She was a newspaper girl as a young person and she wanted to preserve that experience since there really aren't any newspaper boys and girls now. Also because she's a journalist she has great affection for newspapers and wanted them to be remembered by the tech savvy youth of today who are primarily getting their news from the Internet and other sources.

Ms. Corbett was absolutely delightful and we were thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with her. A BIG thank you to her for her time and willingness to participate in our book club. Another great author experience!!

Read on for Cynthia Leitich Smith's interview with Ms. Corbett and get the whole story on how she came up with the idea for Free Baseball.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Meeting Reminder and Author Phone Call!

Just a reminder that the Book Buddies Book Club will meet this coming Monday, April 26th at 3:30pm to discuss Free Baseball by Sue Corbett. We will have snacks and talk about the book followed by a phone call with the author! Ms. Corbett has graciously agreed to talk with us about her book and her life as a writer so be thinking of some great questions we can ask her!

See you Monday!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Barbara O'Connor Interview!

The Book Buddies Book Club had the pleasure of interviewing (via email) Barbara O'Connor, the author of our March book, Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia. We loved the book and were delighted that she was willing to take our questions. Click here for the transcript of our interview.

A BIG thanks to Barbara O'Connor for her time and her thoughtful answers to our questions.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Earth Day

Earth Day (April 22nd) is fast approaching, reminding us all of the importance of taking care of the Earth. Here are a few books that celebrate the environment and living green:

Just Grace Goes Green by Charise Mericle Harper
Grace can do a lot of things...but can she save the planet? Or at the very least, can she help her best friend Mimi get her favorite stuffed animal back? Lots of exciting things are happening to Grace and her friends. Most exciting of all, Mimi's older cousin Gwen is coming to stay with Mimi, and Miss Lois's class is going green! For their "green" project, Grace and Mimi aim to inspire their friends and classmates to conserve plastic bottles. But a far more important issue is that Gwen has taken a strong liking to Mimi's favorite stuffed toy, Willoughby. Just Grace uses her empathy superpower to figure out ways to make her best friend feel better, and she makes a difference for the environment too.

Annie Glover is Not a Tree Lover by Darleen Bailey Beard

When her grandmother chains herself to the tree across from the school to save it from being cut down, fourth-grader Annie wants to die of humiliation, but when she dicovers the town's history, her attitude changes.

Judy Moody Saves the World by Megan McDonald

When Judy Moody gets serious about protecting the environment, her little brother Stink thinks she is overdoing it, but she manages to inspire her third grade class to undertake an award-winning, environment-saving project.

You Can Save the Planet: 50 Ways You Can Make a Difference by Jacquie Wines (non-fiction)

Describes fifty useful things that readers can do to make their homes, schools, and neighborhoods more environmentally friendly, including how to save water around the house, what to do with kitchen leftovers, and why appliances should not be left on standby.

Friday, April 16, 2010

April Vacation Week Events

Next week is school vacation week and we have some wonderful events happening at the library to keep you busy!
On Monday, representatives from Casey Farm will present a program about bird life cycles and efforts to preserve an endangered breed. See an incubator, eggs and live chicks! No registration is required for this free program held in the lower level program room.

On Wednesday, children ages 4 to 8 are invited to come for a princess party! Visit with Cinderella and hear princess stories. Become a princess with nail decorating and face painting. Registration is required and is limited. Held in the John Clarke Children's Program Room.

Finally, on Thursday join Mary King and she sings "Songs from the Sea." Clap, sing, and dance along to songs featuring fiddle and bodhran (Irish drum). Enjoy the sounds of the mountain dulcimer and participate in the story with both sound effects and motion. No registration is required for this free program located in the lower level program room.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Baseball Books

April is a great month to be reading a baseball book for book club (Free Baseball by Sue Corbett) because it's feeling like spring out there which means we can all spend more time outside and because MLB is back! The Red Sox are back in action and I love that they started the season by beating the Yankees! Keep your fingers crossed that they can keep it up...

Here are a few baseball stories you might enjoy this month:

The Aurora County All-Stars by Deborah Wiles

For most boys in a small Mississippi town, the biggest concern one hot summer is whether their annual July 4th baseball game will be cancelled due to their county's anniversary pageant, but after the death of the old man to whom twelve-year-old star pitcher House Jackson has been secretly reading for a year, House uncovers secrets about the man and the history of baseball in Aurora County that could fix everything.

Top of the Order by John Coy

Ten-year-old Jackson lives for baseball, but becomes distracted by the approach of middle school, his mother's latest boyfriend, and the presence of a girl--his good friend's sister--on his team.

Keeping Score by Linda Sue Park

In Brooklyn in 1951, a die-hard Giants fan teaches nine-year-old Maggie, who is a "Bums" (Dodgers) fan, how to use a technique to keep score of a baseball game which creates a special friendship between them.

Henry Aaron's Dream by Matt Tavares (biography)

A powerful tale of a kid from the segregated south who would become baseball’s home-run king. Before he was Hammerin’ Hank, Henry Aaron was a young boy grow ing up in Mobile, Alabama, with what seemed like a foolhardy dream: to be a big-league baseball player. He didn’t have a bat. He didn’t have a ball. And there wasn’t a single black ball player in the major leagues. But none of this could stop Henry Aaron.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Rhode Island Children's Book Award...Winner!

The voting for the Rhode Island Children's Book Award took place a few weeks ago... and we have a winner! The winner for 2010 is Amulet. Book 1, The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi. Amulet won with 858 votes.
The list of nominees for 2011 is out and includes such wonderful books as Umbrella Summer by Lisa Graff and Redwoods by Jason Chin. Our display is also up here in the Children's Department and all of the books are in, so come into the library and grab one today!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month and the Children's Department has put up a display of some wonderful poetry books to get you inspired. Here are a few new poetry books to kick off the celebration...

Poetrees by Douglas Florian (2010)

18 poems celebrating the wonder of trees - perfect poetry to celebrate Earth Day, April 22.

Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse by Marilyn Singer (20

A collection of short poems which, when reversed, provide new perspectives on the fairy tale characters they feature.

A Curious Collection of Cats by Betsy Franco (2009)
32 unusual poems about cats.

A Whiff of Pine, A Hint of Skunk: A Forest of Poems (2009)

Take a lighthearted romp through four seasons in the forest with these whimsical poems.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Reading Week

This week (April 5 - 9) is Reading Week and the theme this year is "Catch the the Waves of Literacy!" This is a terrific lead-in to our upcoming summer reading program, "Make a Splash! Read!" (Stay tuned for more about that in the coming weeks). To celebrate the librarians in the Children's Department will be visiting many of the local public and private schools every day this week, so keep an eye out for us around town. And if you see us at your school, be sure and say hello!

We've also put together a display of some wonderful water-themed books in the Children's Department. Come and in and find a great read today!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Author Sue Corbett

Sue Corbett is the author of our April book, Free Baseball. She has written two other novels for young readers:

12 Again (2002)

Twelve year old Patrick's mother is missing and unless he can get her back, he faces a life of waiting on his brother.

The Last Newspaper Boy in America (2009)

Wil David, twelve, became his town's newspaper carrier this week only to learn he may soon be unemployed...Now, with a clueless brother, nosy neighbor girl, and some rocket science on his side, Wil is fighting to save his route--and realizing there's more at stake than one kid's job. Along the way he just might unravel a carnival mystery, expose a con artist, rescue a little town, and become a true hero...