Thursday, May 27, 2010

Book Buddies: Year 3 in Review

It's hard to believe another year of Book Buddies is over! We had an incredible year with some amazing books and more author interviews!

We began and ended the year with two "classics": From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler in September and Half Magic in May. While the group was somewhat divided on From the Mixed-Up Files (some felt the book was quite dated), everyone loved Half Magic and the adventures of the Jane, Mark, Katherine and Martha. In between we read fantasy (The Chocolate Touch), mystery (Mudshark), and our first animal book (Highway Cats)! We also read our first Roald Dahl (Matilda - I've been wanting us to read him for awhile) and a terrific baseball story (Free Baseball).

We interviewed 4 more authors this year: Kate Klise in October (Dying to Meet You - interview via telephone), Janet Taylor Lisle in February (Highway Cats - interview in person at the library!), Barbara O'Connor in March (Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia - interview via email), and Sue Corbett (Free Baseball - interview via telephone). All of the authors were wonderful and we send them each a big thank you for their time and participation. I'd especially like to thank Janet Taylor Lisle for coming to the Newport Public Library and joining us for our book discussion.

Thanks to all the Book Buddies members for taking part in book club this year. Have a great summer and I look forward to seeing you in September!

Monday, May 24, 2010

May Meeting Wrap-Up

The Book Buddies Book Club met today for the final meeting of this school year. We had a terrific meeting and book discussion of our book, Half Magic by Edward Eager. We also had cupcakes and cookies to celebrate!

Half Magic was written in 1954 so we began by discussing the things in the story that felt outdated and the things that we thought felt very current. Some thought Martha's adventure which began at the movie theater was a little outdated but overall we felt that the story could have been written today.

A few members identified the most with Jane because she is the oldest sibling (like they are) but a few believed themselves to be most like Katherine, someone they saw as very smart and good at making decisions.

We all loved and totally agreed with the children's assessment of grownups (pages 122) and have experienced grownups like these in our own lives. :)

We all liked Mr. Smith but understood Jane's inital reaction to him. She remembers their biological father the most and it's hard for her to think of him being "replaced." But Mr. Smith is such a likeable guy and so fun to be around (and a believer in magic - rare in an adult) that it made sense for her to come around in the end.

We've all heard the expression "Be Careful What You Wish For" and we talked about what that means and why getting your wish might not always be the best thing. We looked at examples in the story of wishes that didn't go very well, from Carrie, the talking cat, to what happened to the children's mother in the newspaper office.

Our favorite parts of the story were Katherine's wish to travel back in time to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. We were also intrigued by Jane's wish to be part of another family. That adventure turned out to be more scary than anything and made us think hard about making wishes, especially making impulsive wishes.

We all loved Half Magic and would recommend the book to our friends. Overall it was a great meeting and a great way to end the year!

Thanks to all the Book Buddies Club members for participating this year!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Meeting Reminder

Just a reminder that the Book Buddies Book Club will meet this Monday, May 24th at 3:30pm to discuss Half Magic by Edward Eager and to celebrate the end of another great year of reading! All who have participated in book club this year are welcome to attend. Special treats will be served!

See you Monday!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Make a Splash - Read!

It's almost time for summer! The Children's Deparment is busy preparing for the 2010 summer reading program which is a water-theme this year: Make a Splash - Read! The program will officially begin on Wednesday, June 30th with a storytelling performance by the Tandem Tellers at 10:30am. But you can sign up now by visiting the library, calling the Children's Department or registering online.

It's going to be a terrific 8-week program featuring performers, puppet workshops, a family video games day, a sing-along, a craft program the outdoor fair and much more!

In the next few weeks, librarians from the Children's Department will be visiting the local public and private schools to promote summer reading. Look for us around town and be sure and come and say hello if you see one of us.

For more information about summer reading, visit the library and pick up a calendar and brochure. Or visit our website for all the details and reading recommendations by grade level. And don't forget to Make a Splash - Read!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Magic Books

In Half Magic, four children experience magic one summer after double-wishing on an ancient coin. The children's department has many, many books about magic and wishing. Here are a few magical books you might enjoy:

The Magic Half by Annie Barrows

Eleven-year-old Miri Gill feels left out in her family, which has two sets of twins and her, until she travels back in time to 1935 and discovers Molly, her own lost twin, and brings her back to the present day.

Ibby's Magic Weekend by Heather Dyer

While visiting her two troublemaking cousins, Ibby learns about a magic box the boys found in the attic in their country home. She soon stumbles upon the strange tale of Uncle Godfrey, a professional magician who mysteriously vanished many years ago.

Drizzle by Kathleen Van Cleve
When a drought threatens her family's magical rhubarb farm, eleven-year-old Polly tries to find a way to make it rain again.

Any Which Wall by Laurel Snyder
In the middle of an Iowa cornfield, four children find a magic wall that enables them to travel through time and space.

Wish: Wishing Traditions Around the World by Roseanne Thong

There of many delightful ways children from cultures around the world help their wishes come true. From birthday candles to giant kites to lucky pennies, here are 15 fascinating ways to make a wish, whether big or small.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Author Edward Eager

Edward Eager (1911 - 1964), the author of our May book, Half Magic (1954), worked primarily as a playwright and lyricist before becoming a children's book author in 1951. He wrote 10 books for children including the 7-book Tales of Magic series of which Half Magic is the first.

Knight's Castle (1956)
Four children are whisked away by a magical toy soldier to a land of chivalry and knighthood but keep muddling the course of history.

Magic by the Lake (1957)
On a vacation with their mother and stepfather, Jane, Mark, Katharine, and Martha find themselves overwhelmed with a lakeful of magical adventures after Mark captures an ancient turtle that seems to have extraordinary powers.

The Time Garden (1958)
While spending the summer in a house by the sea, four cousins, Roger, Ann, Eliza, and Jack, discover a bank of wild thyme whose magic propels them on a series of adventures back and forth through time.

Magic or Not? (1959)
An old well that might be magical makes an exciting summer for James and Laura and helps them right an ancient wrong.

The Well-Wishers (1960)
An old wishing well has a magical effect on a group of children.

Seven-Day Magic (1962)
A group of children must learn a magical book's rules and how to tame the book's magic.