Thursday, March 28, 2013

April Book

Our April book will be... King of the Mound by Wes Tooke.  We will meet to discuss the book on Monday, April 29th at 3:30pm in the John Clarke Children's Program Room. 

Copies of the book are available at the Children's Desk or can be requested through the Ocean State Libraries Catalog.

Registration is required. If you would like to join Book Buddies (for readers in grades 3 - 6) we would love to have you! To sign up, call the Children's Desk at 401-847-8720 ext. 204 or email me at

Hope to see you all in April!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March Meeting Wrap-Up

The Book Buddies Book Club met yesterday afternoon to discuss our March book Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia by Barbara O'Connor.  We had a great discussion followed by our very own spelling bee!

We began by talking about the main character, Bird, how we would describe her and who she is as a person.  We all found Bird to be kind, happy and someone that we would want to be our friend.  We spent time discussing Bird's relationships in the book, with Miss Delphine (a good friend to her and a good listener), her parents (who don't really seem very interested in Bird), and Harlem (who turns out to be a great friend).   We especially felt bad for Bird that her father has to travel so much for work and that she doesn't get to see him very often.  We talked about friends we know and even our own situations in which a parent is absent for various reasons and we don't get to see them very often.  It made us think about how important it is to have both our parents in our lives.

We talked a lot about Harlem's problems, his sad relationship with his mother and his growing relationship with Mr. Moody, his father.  We thought about what a tough spot he found himself in, needing glasses and not feeling like he could tell anyone.  Many of us decided that even though it was a risk, he should have told someone sooner about his vision problems instead of pretending to be dumb at school.  We know that there are always adults in our lives who are willing to help us no matter what the circumstances.

We discussed one of the major themes of the book, that not everyone or everything is as it seems, that you have to look beyond the surface of things to the heart of what is there.  People can definitely surprise you.  One of my favorite lines in the book is Bird's realization about Harlem: "I realized that all those times when he looked like he was glaring at the world out of meanness, well, he was just trying to see, is all."

Some of the other surprises we found in the book were Mr. Moody's apartment (we loved Bird's description of it), that Mr. Moody was interested in being a good dad to Harlem and that Miss Delphine got a rose tattoo on her ankle!

One of our book buddies readers asked some really good questions during the discussion.  She asked about our favorite part of the story (the spelling bee, when Miss Delphine gets a tattoo, Bird visiting Mr. Moody's apartment), what prizes we'd like to win in a spelling bee and who we related to more, Bird or Harlem.

We agreed that even though Bird and Harlem didn't end up winning the spelling bee, Bird achieved her dreams of Fame and Glory because she learned how to make and be a great friend.

Overall it was a terrific meeting with a lot of interesting discussion.  We finished up by having a very informal spelling bee of our own which was a lot of fun.  We have many terrific spellers in our group and everyone did a great job and worked well together.

Thanks to all the Book Buddies members who attended and I look forward to another great meeting next month!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Meeting Reminder

Just a reminder that the Book Buddies Book Club will meet on Monday, March 25th @ 3:30pm in the John Clarke Children's Program Room to discuss our March book, Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia by Barbara O'Connor.

New members are always welcome.  Visit the Children's Desk or call (401847-8720 ext. 204) to sign up.

See you Monday!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Spring!

Today is the first day of Spring!  Here's hoping that really good weather is on the way....

A New Beginning: Celebrating the Spring Equinox by Wendy Pfeffer

The spring equinox signals the time of year when the days are getting longer, the growing season has begun, and animals give birth to their young.  This book explains the science behind spring and shows how the annual rebirth of Earth has been celebrated by various cultures throughout the ages and the world.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

New and Recommended

I've recently finished a few new middle-grade chapter books that I really enjoyed!  If you are looking for something new to read, check out one of these great books:

Destiny Rewritten by Kathryn Fitzmaurice

Eleven-year-old Emily Elizabeth Davis has been told for her entire life that her destiny is to become a poet, just like her famous namesake, Emily Dickinson. But Emily doesn't even really like poetry, and she has a secret career ambition that she suspects her English-professor mother will frown on. Then, just after discovering that it contains an important family secret, she loses the special volume of Emily Dickinson's poetry that was given to her at birth. As Emily and her friends search for the lost book in used bookstores and thrift shops all across town, Emily's understanding of destiny begins to unravel and then rewrite itself in a marvelous new way.

Hold Fast by Blue Balliett

On a cold winter day in Chicago, Early's father disappeared, and now she, her mother and her brother have been forced to flee their apartment and join the ranks of the homeless--and it is up to Early to hold her family together and solve the mystery surrounding her father.

Ruby Redfort: Look Into My Eyes by Lauren Child

Thirteen-year-old Ruby, a genius code-cracker and daring detective, gets an anonymous call setting a challenge that leads her to the headquarters of Spectrum, a highly secret anti-crime agency that needs her help to crack a code, but soon Ruby uncovers dastardly plans of the Fool's Gold Gang.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Books for St. Patrick's Day

Looking for something to get you in the St. Patrick's Day spirit?  Try one of these great books...

Green by Laura Peyton Roberts

Abducted by leprechauns on her thirteenth birthday, Lilybet Green learns that there is more to her family tree--and to her bond with her late grandmother--than she ever imagined.

The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech

In the little town of Blackbird Tree live two orphan girls: one Naomi Deane, brimming with curiosity, and her best friend, Lizzie Scatterding, who could talk the ears off a cornfield.  Naomi has a knack for being around when trouble happens and knows all the peculiar people in town.  But then, one day, a boy drops out of a tree. The strangely charming Finn boy. Then the Dingle Dangle man appears, asking all kinds of questions. Curious surprises are revealed. Soon Naomi and Lizzie find themselves zooming toward a future neither could ever have imagined. Meanwhile, on a grand estate across the ocean in Ireland, an old lady whose heart has been deceived concocts a plan. . .

O'Sullivan Stew: A Tale Cooked Up in Ireland by Hudson Talbott

When the witch of Crookhaven, a village on the zigzagging coast of Ireland, has her horse stolen by the King and strikes back with famine and disaster, Kate decides to save the day by getting the horse back for her.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Rhode Island Children's Book Award Winner!

The voting results for the 2013 RI Children's Book Award are in!  The winner, with 750 votes, is....Sidekicks by Dan Santat!

Coming in second place with 675 votes is Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea and in third place with 576 votes is Won-Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku by Lee Wardlaw.

There were 6,791 votes received from 72 schools and 2 public libraries. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Book Buddies Interview with Barbara O'Connor

Back in March 2010 the Book Buddies Book Club read Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia for the first time.  I haven't repeated a lot of books over the years but this year I decided to mix in a few old favorites along with some new material.  Fame and Glory was one I wanted to revisit because it's such a terrific book and I remember the book club having a lot of fun with it the first time around.

One of the fun things we had a chance to do last time was to interview the author, Barbara O'Connor!  We've interviewed over a dozen authors over the years - it's always such a fun thing to do and a real treat when authors take the time out of their busy schedules to talk with readers.  Ms. O'Connor was delightful and answered all of our questions thoughtfully and with enthusiasm. 

So here we are again and I thought I would re-post the transcript of our 2010 interview


Friday, March 8, 2013

Spelling Bees

In Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia, Bird and Harlem partner up in the spelling bee. Here are some other great spelling bee stories:

I Put a Spell on You by Adam Selzer (2008)

When Gordon Liddy Community School's resident tattletale-detective, Chrissie Woodward, realizes that the adults are out to fix the big spelling bee, she transfers her loyalty to her fellow students and starts collecting evidence. Told through in-class letters, administrative memos, file notes from Chrissie's investigation, and testimony from spelling bee contestants.
Regarding the Bees by Kate Klise (2007)

The seventh graders at Geyser Creek Middle School are preparing for a spelling bee and a horrible standardized test called the BEE, and try to smuggle their mascot--a bee that spells--into the local spelling competition.
Akeelah and the Bee (2006 - DVD)

Responding to a threat by her school's principal, Akeelah decides to participate in a spelling bee to avoid detention for her many absences. Much to her surprise and embarrassment, she wins. Her principal asks her to seek coaching from Dr. Larabee, an English professor, for the more prestigious regional bee. As the possibility of making it all the way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee looms, Akeelah could provide her community with someone to rally around and be proud of.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

March Author: Barbara O'Connor

Barbara O'Connor is the wonderful author of our March book, Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia.  She lives nearby in Massachusetts and writes biographies in addition to children's chapter books.  Find out all about her at her website and read a terrific interview!

Some of her other books for children include:

On the Road to Mr. Mineo's (2012)

Summer days drift by slowly in Meadville, South Carolina - that is, until Sherman the one-legged pigeon flies into town and causes a ruckus. First Stella, who's been begging for a dog, spots him on top of a garage roof and decides she wants him for a pet. Then there's Ethel and Amos, an old couple who sees the pigeon in their barn keeping company with a little brown dog that barks all night. The pigeon lands smack in the middle of Mutt Raynard's head, but he's the town liar, so no one believes him. And when Stella's brother Levi and his scabby-kneed, germ-infested friends notice the pigeon, they join the chase, too. Meanwhile, across town, Mr. Mineo has one less homing pigeon than he used to... 

The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester (2010)

After Owen captures an enormous bullfrog, names it Tooley Graham, then has to release it, he and two friends try to use a small submarine that fell from a passing train to search for Tooley in the Carter, Georgia, pond it came from, while avoiding nosy neighbor Viola.

The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis (2009)

In Fayette, South Carolina, the highlight of Popeye's summer is learning vocabulary words with his grandmother until a motor home gets stuck nearby and Elvis, the oldest boy living inside, joins Popeye in finding the source of strange boats floating down the creek.

Greetings from Nowhere (2008)

In North Carolina's Great Smoky Mountains, a troubled boy and his mother, a happy family seeking adventure, a man and his lonely daughter, and the widow who must sell the run-down motel that has been her home for decades, meet and are transformed by their shared experiences.

How to Steal a Dog: a Novel (2007)

Living in the family car in their small North Carolina town after their father leaves them virtually penniless, Georgina, desperate to improve their situation and unwilling to accept her overworked mother's calls for patience, persuades her younger brother to help her in an elaborate scheme to get money by stealing a dog and then claiming the reward that the owners are bound to offer.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

March Featured Author of the Month

Lois Lowry (birthday March 20) is the featured author of the month!  Ms. Lowry has written many books for children and young adults including The Giver and Number the Stars which both won Newbery Awards, the Anastasia Krupnik books, and the Gooney Bird Greene series. Her newest book is Son, the fourth book in The Giver series.

Find out all about her and watch a video interview. Visit the library today to check out her amazing books.

Friday, March 1, 2013

March Book

The March book will be... Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia by Barbara O'Connor!  We will meet to discuss the book on Monday, March 25th @ 3:30pm in the John Clarke Children's Program Room.

Copies of the book are available at the children's desk or can be requested through the Ocean State Libraries Catalog.

Registration is required. If you would like to join Book Buddies (for readers in grades 3 - 6) we would love to have you! To sign up, call the Children's Desk at 401-847-8720 ext. 204 or email me at

Hope to see you all in March!