Category Archives: Kids

The Water and the Wild by Katie E. Ormsbee

51IWu+0o1kL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_By Rebecca Tischler, Reference Department

When your best friend, when your ONLY friend, is dying, what else are you supposed to do other than make a wish for him to get better. So when Lottie finds a strange girl in her bedroom offering to take her to medicine that can cure anything, Lottie follows. She follows down through the roots of an apple tree into another world filled with magic, adventure, treachery, and the chance to save her best friend.

This debut novel contains a charm reminiscent of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It’s a fun surprising adventure about the realities and importance of friendship, with a little magic thrown in. The beginning is a bit heavy in descriptions that slow the pacing, and the author can get caught up in metaphors.  However, Ormsbee has painted a world for us, and the writing is lush and vivid, and matches the “taste” of the story.  The cast of characters are endearing, and well-rounded with each trying to work through issues (Lottie has to break through her innocent self-absorption, Oliver is painfully shy, etc.), and they complement each other as a whole.   The ending perfectly sets up for a continuation of this story without leaving the reader on a cliff.  Overall, it’s an optimistic, fun, magical book that I think older children, and adults, will all love.  I hope there will be more.

 

Being Released April 2015

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Say Hooray, Hooray For Dr. Seuss Today!

By Stacy Parish, Children’s Department

Would you read it in the car?

Would you read it over thar?

Everyone from near and far

Will enjoy Seuss’ latest star.

Although Theodor “Ted” Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, passed away more than two decades ago, his unique and enduring talent keeps yielding amazing treasures. According to the publisher Random House, Geisel’s widow Audrey was remodeling their home after his death in 1991 when she found a box filled with pages of his writing and sketches. It was set aside and rediscovered 22 years later, in the fall of 2013 by Audrey Geisel and Claudia Prescott, Ted’s longtime secretary and friend. Among other work, they found the complete text and illustrations for What Pet Should IGet?

Told in Dr. Seuss’ signature rhyming style and featuring the same brother and sister from his 1960 classic One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, the tale perfectly captures the childhood milestone of choosing a pet and also underscores a valuable life lesson: making a choice can be really hard, but sometimes you just have to persevere. An added bonus to What Pet Should I Get? is an epilogue by the editor that discusses Dr. Seuss’ creative process, his interest in animals, and the fabulous “Seussian” creatures throughout his work.

suessAfter Ted died of cancer at the age of 87, Audrey was placed in charge of all publishing and licensing matters, and she remains a fierce guardian of her late husband’s legacy. “While undeniably special, it is not surprising to me that we found this because Ted always worked on multiple projects and started new things all the time—he was constantly writing and drawing and coming up with ideas for new stories,” said Audrey in a statement on the website Seussville.com. “It is especially heartwarming for me as this year also marks twenty-five years since the publication of the last book of Ted’s career, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

What Pet Should I Get? will be published by Random House Children’s Books on July 28, 2015. Of course, you can celebrate this prolific and amazing author at any time by stopping in the Children’s Department at WCPL and checking out our selection of Dr. Seuss titles.

Read them, read them, you will see

They are fun as fun can be!

What To Read After Rick Riordan

by Stacy Parish (Children’s Department) and Liz Arrambide (Children’s Department)

“I love Rick Riordan’s (pronounced RYER-den, rhymes with FIREmen, sort of) books! I have read his Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, his Heroes of Olympus series, and his Kane Chronicles series. What other juvenile fiction books based on Greek, Roman and/or Norse Mythology are available?”

Well, we are just so very thrilled that you asked! Below is a suggested reading list compiled by the beautiful minds in the Children’s Department of the Main Branch of WCPL. You can also find some great recommendations at Amazon.com, and straight from the (Trojan) horse’s mouth at Rick Riordan’s website and blog at http://www.rickriordan.com.


Underworlds series by Tony Abbott (Greek)

  • J F Abb
  • In the first book in the series, The Battle Begins, Owen is just an average kid with an average life, until his best friend Dana disappears right before his eyes. Owen brings their friends Jon and Sydney into the loop, and they embark upon a mysterious, mythological search-and-rescue mission. AR level 3.6.

Loki’s Wolves by Kelley Armstrong (Norse) AR level 4.4.

  • J F ArmLokisWolves

Frostborn series by Lou Anders (Norse)

  • J F And
  • A millennium ago, Arthur Pendragon’s last surviving grandson led the survivors of Britain through a mystical gate to a land of bright magic and dark creatures. Now, a thousand years later, the descendants of those exiles face a threat that could destroy their peaceful, prosperous kingdom. AR 4.9.

The King of Ithaka by Tracy Barrett (Greek)

  • J F Bar   
  • Sixteen-year-old Telemachos has a great life on his island home of Ithaka, which is ruled by his mother Penelopeia while Telemachos’ father Odysseus is away fighting the Trojan War. But Ithaka’s citizens are demanding a new king, and it is up to Telemachos, with only a vague and mysterious prophecy to guide him and his two best friends to accompany him, to find Odysseus and bring him home. AR level 5.5.

Juliet Dove, Queen of Love by Bruce Coville (Greek) AR level 5.0.

  • J F Cov      51CN4OwragL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

The Mythic Misadventures series by Caroline Hennesy (Greek)

  • J F Hen     
  • Pandy, aka Pandora Atheneus Andromaeche Helena, has a fantastic prop for a show-and-tell project at school. She knows the box that Zeus himself gave to her father must never ever be opened, but accidents happen, right? And now it’s up to Pandy to capture all seven evils that escaped from the box, or go down in history as the girl who ruined the world. This fun series begins with Pandora Gets Jealous. AR level 5.5.

The Last Girls of Pompeii by Katheryn Lasky (Rome)

  • J F Las
  • In the summer of AD 79 in the city of Pompeii are two girls named Julia and Sura who lead very different lives. When the girls learn of the plans their parents have for each of them, coupled with the impending eruption of Mount Vesuvius, they are forced to confront the true meaning of freedom. AR level 5.1.

Goddess Girls series by Joan Holub (Greek) AR level 4.5-5.5

  • J F HolGoddess Girls Joan Holub Suzanne Williams Simon & Schuster

The Roman Mysteries series by Caroline Lawrence (Rome)

  • J F Law
  • In the first book of this clever and engaging series, The Thieves of Ostia, amateur detective Flavia Gemina and her friends must solve the mystery of who beheaded the guard dog belonging to her neighbors (who are secretly Christians.) Although some of the descriptions of the violence that occurs may be too graphic for more sensitive readers, this book provides an intriguing glimpse into the customs, attitudes, and culture of the Holy Roman Empire. AR level 5.2.

The 13th Sign by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb (Greek)

  • J F Tub
  • What if there were 13 zodiac signs instead of 12? And what if you accidentally unlocked the 13th one, Ophiuchus, and that infuriated the other signs? In this fast-paced book, Jalen does exactly that, and along with her best friend and her brother must battle in the streets of New Orleans to get the signs back where they belong. AR level 4.4.

 

Time Warp Trio series by Jon Scieszka (Various eras/locations) AR 3.5-4.0.

  • J F Sci

knights_HC97801423006952995367n54688                                      

                                                               

 

 

How to Teach Your Baby to Read by Glenn and Janet Doman

babyBy Liz Arrambide, Children’s Librarian

Occasionally families ask us what books do we have to teach very young children how to read. Most of the books we carry are designed for older children. Megan Sheridan has written an excellent article on this blog explaining fun ways to teach basic early literacy skills.

For families that want to teach their young children (under age six) how to read there is an excellent book: “How to Teach Your Baby to Read: the gentle revolution” by Glenn Doman and Janet Doman. Glenn Doman and his research team started in the 1950’s to see what they could do to help children with brain injuries increase their capacity to learn. The researchers learned that their methods helped the children to learn to read. They were surprised to find that a brain damaged child could read at ages three and four when their peers could not.

The institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential began to theorize that very young children seem to be learning differently than children who are six years or older. A child learns language by being shown an object and then being told the name of the object. The team experimented and found that this type of learning can be extended to teaching a child to read. Very young children can learn that the sound ”ball”, a physical ball and the word “ball” all mean the same thing. Their in-depth research showed that this facility of the brain disappears at age six.

As a young mother, I was intrigued with this book. I tried their methods with my then two and half year old child. We had a lot of fun and she learned to read really well. When she started Kindergarten, she tested at a third grade reading level. I’ve tutored others in reading since then. It was much easier for my daughter to learn to read using this method. She didn’t have to be taught about “consonant blends” or the “er” sound etc. She didn’t go through these stages. For interested families, this revised edition offers a fun and easy way to teach very young children to read.

On the 1st Day of Christmas, One Librarian Blogging: 10 Charming Children’s Christmas Books

By Stacy Parish, Children’s Assistant Librarian

polar‘Tis the season—for reading! Here is a non-comprehensive, totally subjective, but thoroughly festive list of Christmas books for children. In no particular order:

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg: This “new classic” and Caldecott Medal winner has amazing illustrations and a sweet, inspiring story about a boy’s Christmas Eve journey with Santa Claus and other children to the North Pole. (The page with the wolves is my favorite.)

grinchHow The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss: “Maybe Christmas perhaps . . . means a little bit more.” Join The Grinch on his night of marauding and morning of soul searching when he learns that Christmas came to Whoville even without the boxes and bags.

Olive, The Other Reindeer by J.otto Seibold and Vivian Walsh: Colorful, whimsical artwork combines with a hilarious storyline about Olive the Dog for a fun holiday book that is sure to make anyone’s Christmas a little merrier.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: In October of 1843, Charles Dickens was giving new meaning to the term “starving artist.” Deep in debt and under huge obligations to his publisher, Dickens began crafting what would become the quintessential Christmas story, and creating one of the most memorable and enduring characters in English literature in Ebenezer Scrooge.

auntieAuntie Claus by Elise Primavera: Is Sophie’s eccentric great-aunt Auntie Claus just another weird New Yorker, or is there something else going on there? Snuggle up and accompany Sophie on her yuletide adventure. (There are also some fun sequels!)

Christmas In The Barn by Margaret Wise Brown: There are two editions of this lovely interpretation of The Nativity; the original was published in 1952 and alternated pages in color and black-and-white, similar to Brown’s classic Goodnight Moon.  The 2007 edition keeps the simple, beautiful original text but features all new illustrations in full color.

reindeerThe Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett: Teeka, a young Arctic girl living “in the shadow of Santa’s Winterfarm,” has been tasked with getting Santa’s reindeer ready to fly on Christmas Eve. The creatures are not responsive to Teeka’s tactics of yelling and bossing. She realizes that to prevent the annual sleigh ride across the skies from being a disaster, she is going to have to come up with some new motivational methods for Bramble, Heather, Windswept, Lichen, Snowball, Crag, Twilight, and Tundra.

The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg: A mysterious stranger rides into a small prairie town one cold November night. (No, it isn’t Clint Eastwood.) The stranger’s identity is revealed to a young girl named Lucy, and he tells her of the legend of the candy cane and provides the answer to the town’s dreams. Will Lucy in turn share her newfound knowledge?

comfortThe Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson: The horrible Herdman horde is a lying, cheating, stealing, fighting, smoking, cussing bunch of social outlaws. When they decide to commandeer the annual Nativity program at the local church, the congregation is caught completely flat-footed. However, the result is one of the most unorthodox—and hilarious—Christmas pageants ever.

Welcome Comfort by Patricia Polacco: Life is no sleigh ride for foster child Welcome Comfort at any time, but especially around Christmas, with no family or friends, no presents, and no Santa Claus. But when Welcome makes a new friend in the school custodian Mr. Hamp, his fortune just may be changing.

Happy holidays, and happy reading!

Read to Your Child: Doctor’s Orders!

By Megan Sheridan, Children’s Librarian

Has your child’s doctor told you to read to your little one?  If not, maybe you’ve heard about this; the American Academy of Pediatrics has advised pediatricians to urge parents and caregivers to read to their children (read the article).  Why are some doctors doing this?  It’s because reading to children, especially ages 0 to 5, plays a crucial role in preparing them for success in school and in life. Reading to very young children is not about teaching them to read but getting them ready to read.  The American Library Association (ALA) has built a program around this concept called Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR). As more and more data about the importance of Early Childhood Literacy has been published and analyzed, groups like The American Academy of Pediatrics and others are urging caregivers to read to their children.

You might be overwhelmed or even intimidated when an article, book or doctor tells you to read to your child.  You might wonder “what books should I read to my little one(s)?” and “How do I prepare my child for Kindergarten?”

Created by Rebecca Tischler

Created by Rebecca Tischler

If you’ve asked yourself these questions; don’t worry! You’re probably already doing many things to get your child ready to read and if you’re not, it’s easy to start and never too late.

There are five activities to develop your child’s early literacy skills: Talk, Read, Sing, Write and Play. For a quick explanation of these activities and examples of how to do them visit this website from the Hennepin County Library in Minnesota. The five activities can be done in your daily routine. For example, simply talk to your child about the world around you and the activities you do every day. Talk about how pretty the white clouds are in the sky and how the cozy the blanket is. Don’t feel silly talking to your newborn when you’re changing her diaper or getting her bottle ready. The more your child hears you talk the more words she’ll learn and this is vital for early childhood literacy development.

If you, like most parents and caregivers, feel stretched for time and have a busy life, you might not get as much time to read with your children as you would like.  That’s okay because you can still do reading activities without a book!  Read street signs out loud as you pass them by in the car when your little one is in the back seat.  Look at cereal boxes in the grocery store and read the names of the cereal out loud. Do this for infants too, and not just for toddlers and preschoolers.

By talking, reading, singing, writing and playing with your child every day she will not only be prepared for school and life but you will have fun together. And that’s one doctor’s order that is easy to follow!

Resources:

  • To find examples of great books to read to your child, visit Let’s Read on the Williamson County Public Library website and click on toddler and pre-school tabs on the right.  This will bring up lists of books that are just right for children in the 0 to 5 range.  We also have board books which are wonderful for babies and toddlers.  Believe it or not, by giving your baby or toddler a board book and letting her play with it you’re getting her ready to read! Your baby is learning how to hold the book and turn the pages. These are the building blocks of literacy and it’s never too early to start teaching them to your baby. She might even put the book in her mouth and that’s okay! That’s how babies learn about the world around them.
  • tree

    Click here for the PDF

    Zero to Three has some great information about how to choose a book for babies, toddlers and families. There is also a more in depth explanation of early language and literacy development on their website.

  • For more ideas on how to develop early literacy skills download the ACPL Family app, which is FREE! It has wonderful examples of how to do the five early literacy activities every day.
  • The Library of Virginia has an easy to understand visual of the five Early Literacy activities. An image of a sun and a tree is used to illustrate the components of Early Childhood Literacy. The caregiver is the sun. He or she makes the difference in a child’s early literacy development. The fruit of the caregiver’s interactions with a child, of doing the five activities together, is that she will find it easier to learn to read. Click here for more explanation:

 

Do you have any more books like Number the Stars by Lois Lowry?

By Liz Arrambide, Children’s Department

In the Children’s Section in Franklin, whenever we are asked (and it’s often) “Do you have more fiction books about World War II?”, usually the class has been reading Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. So here are some great reads that feature different aspects of World War II:90a

  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (JF LOW in the Newbery Medal Collection)
    • In 1943, during the German occupation of Denmark, ten-year-old Annemarie learns how to be brave and courageous when she helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis.
  • Is it Night or Day? By Fern Schumer Chapman (JF CHA)
    • In 1938, Edith Westerfeld, a young German Jew, is sent by her parents to Chicago, Illinois, where she lives with an aunt and uncle and tries to assimilate into American culture, while worrying about her parents and mourning the loss of everything she has ever known. Based on the author’s mother’s experience, includes an afterword about a little-known program that brought twelve hundred Jewish children to safety during World War II.
  • The Romeo and Juliet Code by Phoebe Stone (JF STONE)
    • During World War II, eleven-year-old Felicity is sent from London to Bottlebay, Maine, to live with her grandmother, aunt, uncle, and a reclusive boy who helps her decode mysterious letters that contain the truth about her missing parents.
  • Romeo Blue by Phoebe Stone (JF STONE)
    • During World War II, Felicity Bathburn is living in Bottlebay, Maine, with her eccentric relatives and their foster child Derek, whom she has grown to love, but when a man claiming to be Derek’s true father arrives and starts asking all sorts of strange questions Felicity becomes suspicious of his motives.I-Survived-the-Bombing-of-Pearl-Harbor-1941
  • I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor by Laura Tarshis (JF TAU)
    • Sand flew up into Danny’s eyes. And then from behind him, a huge explosion seemed to shatter the world. The force lifted Danny off his feet and threw him onto the ground. And then Danny couldn’t hear anything at all.
  • Blue by Joyce Hostetter (JF HOSTETTER)
    • When teenager Ann Fay takes over as “man of the house” for her absent soldier father, she struggles to keep the family and herself together in the face of personal tragedy and the 1940s polio epidemic in North Carolina.
  • Ted & Me by Dan Gutman (JF GUMAN)
    • When Stosh travels back in time to 1941 in hopes of preventing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II, he meets Ted Williams, one of the greatest hitters in baseball history. Includes notes about Williams’ life and career.
  • Jump into the Sky by Shelley Pearsall (JF PEARSALL)
    • In 1945, thirteen-year-old Levi is sent to find the father he has not seen in three years, going from Chicago, to segregated North Carolina, and finally to Pendleton, Oregon, where he learns that his father’s unit, the all-Black 555th paratrooper battalion, will never see combat but finally has a mission. Includes historical notes.820910
  • The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss (J 940.5315 REI)
    • A Dutch Jewish girl describes the two-and-one-half years she spent in hiding in the upstairs bedroom of a farmer’s house during World War II.
  • I survived the Nazi invasion, 1944 by Laura Tarshis (JF TARSHIS)
    • In one of the darkest periods in history, one boy struggles to survive. In this gripping new addition to the bestselling I SURVIVED series, a young Jewish boy escapes the ghetto and finds a group of resistance fighters in the forests of Poland. Does he have what it takes to survive the Nazis — and fight back?
  • A boy at war : a novel of Pearl Harbor by Harry Mazer (J F MAZ)
    • While fishing with his friends off Honolulu on December 7, 1941, teenaged Adam is caught in the midst of the Japanese attack and through the chaos of the subsequent days tries to find his father, a naval officer who was serving on the U.S.S. Arizona when the bombs fell.
  • Courage has no color : the true story of the Triple Nickles : America’s first Black paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone (J 940.541273 STO)
    • Examines the role of African-Americans in the military through the history of the Triple Nickles, America’s first black paratroopers, who fought against attacks perpetrated on the American West by the Japanese during World War II.
  • The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the impossible became possible on Schlinder’s List by Leon Leyson (J 92 LEYSON)
    • This is an amazing story of a young boy who lived in Poland when the German Nazis invaded. The Nazies rounded up all the Jewish people and only let them live in certain areas of the cities. Leon and his father evemtually worked for a man named Schlinder. Leon was ten years old and the youngest person on the now famous Schlinder’s list. This is his true story.

Supporting School Age Children and their Reading at Williamson County Public Library Children’s Section

By Liz Arrambide, Children’s Librarian

Frequently Asked Questions

What resources are available at the library to help my children find books that they can read?

Answer: We have lists available in the Children’s Section that are some of our favorite books for different grade levels. Feel free to ask us where they are. These are also available on our website. Click on our Kids page. On the right you’ll see “Let’s Read Books Lists”. This will link you to lists of books by grade level.

My child is reading at a specific reading level. How can I find books with that reading level and are your books color codes by reading level?

Answer: Many schools use Accelerated Reader (AR) reading levels. The child takes a STAR test on the computer. AR reading levels are given in two numbers such as 3.2. The first number is the grade level.   In this case the child is reading at a third grade reading level. The second number is the month. This child is reading at a third grade, second month reading level. We do not have the books color coded by reading level.

You can use our on-line catalog to find books by AR Reading Level.

  1. Go to our website: http://lib.williamson-tn.org/
  2. On the left put your cursor on “Find books and more”.
  3. Click on “Classic Catalog”.
  4. In the first box that says “title”, use the down arrow and change it to read “ keyword”.
  5. Determine the interest level of your child. Select one of the following.
    1. LG (lower grades) Kinder thru 3rd grade
    2. MG (middle grades) 4-8th grades
    3. MG+ (Middle Grade Plus) 6-8th grades
    4. UG (upper grades) 9-12 grades
  6. Write the AR in capital letters. Then enter the interest level also in capitals. Then write the numeric level. So I would write: AR LG 3.2 and up comes a list of all the books at that level.
  7. You can limit it by Selecting Children’s. Then click on “modify search”. Put a check on” limit search to available items”. Select the “location” you want.
  8. This method works fairly well. Sometimes books that are at other reading levels also are pulled up. Double check that the BL (book level) is the one that you are looking for.

There is also good website: The AR Bookfinder

This site can also help you find the AR Book level for books that you have at home. You can also use it to find the AR reading level of the books on our reading lists.  They now also have the Lexile level.

My children prefer to browse looking for books. How can I help them find books that are not too hard or too easy?

Answer: Have the child open the book and read a page. The child holds up a finger for every word missed. If more than five words are missed on a page, the book is too hard. This is often called the 5 finger rule. You can also tell by how fast or slowly the child reads. If she is reading the text very slowly and not missing any words, it still could be hard for her to read a chapter book at this speed. Try a book a little easier.

At school my child has a DRA reading level. How do I find books at that reading level?

Answer:

  1. The DRA test is given by the teacher rather than by a computer test, such as the AR Star test. Here is a chart that gives the reading levels by various reading programs/tests.
  2. Here is an article that explains about how to find books using the DRA level.

How do I find a book using Lexile Reading Levels?

Answer:

  1. Here’s a good article.
  2. This website finds books according to Lexile.
  3. In the Williamson County Library Catalog follow the directions of #3 above.  Instead of putting in an AR Reading level, write the number of lexile followed by Lexile. So if you write 830 Lexile you will get a list of books that we own at that level.

My child is struggling with the basics of reading. How can I help him learn to read?

Answer: There is an excellent website named Progressive Phonics.  It has a systematic collection of books that teach you how to instruct your child. The books are in color. They are funny and have parts for you to read aloud and for your child to read out loud.

What are some fun ways to learn the words they don’t know?

Answer:

  1. Notebook: You can keep a notebook and offer to write down the words that your child doesn’t know. This way you know what patterns need to be taught or reviewed. If you need to, you can look them up on the Progressive Phonics website.
  2. Play Memory: Make 2 flash cards on index cards for each of 10-15 words. Mix the cards up and turn the cards over. Each person takes a turn, flipping over two cards at a time. When the person finds a pair, he keeps them until the end of the game. The person with the most pairs at the end of the game, wins.
  3. Personal Speller: Make on a computer or in a notebook, a personal speller. This is a list of words in alphabetic order that the student has trouble understanding or spelling. This helps the student learn to read and spell the words and is very handy to have for writing assignments. This works well for older students.
  4. Post words that are being learned on the refrigerator or on a dry eraser board.
  5. For difficult words or word patterns, find a little tune to use as a memory devise. The B-I-N-G-O part in the song Bingo works well for the “ight” word family.
  6. For words that may be difficult to learn, may try writing the word using art supplies. Words like “though” might be hard to learn, but fun to do in crayon, glitter and glue. Spending the time on each letter might help make a connection. This can be hung on a cabinet, so it is easily seen.

My child is reading above grade level. How do I find books that are appropriate for his/her maturity?

Answer: We have grade level lists. These books are appropriate even for younger children. We often suggest lists that are above the grade level that match their reading level.

We know our child’s reading level. Does she/ he have to read at that level all the time?

Answer: Particularly children who are reading above their grade level find that they like to read at different reading levels. Sometimes they will read books that their peers are reading. Sometimes they enjoy quick, fast reads. Other times they want a challenge. It is good for students to read at various levels. This way they’ll read books that are meant for their age group as well as enjoy the challenge.

My child’s teacher says that although he is in third grade, he reads at an eighth grade reading level. How do I find appropriate books?

Answer: This is a challenge. One way to approach it is to find books at the next reading level up. So in this case, it would be fourth grade. If he stretches up to eighth grade, he’s going to miss a lot of great books and be in material that he’s not ready for. Going through the fourth grade and then the fifth grade lists, he’s going to have a lot of fun and occasionally will find a more challenging read and enjoy it. Another great resource is The Volunteer State Book Award lists. These are books and authors that are selected by librarians across the state for their great writing and have been published in the last few years. The kids vote on their favorites at the end of the year. We keep lists from preceding years, because these books are still great books and we have lots of copies.

I want to read out loud to my kids. What are good books to read?

Answer: Parents often find that it helps to read one grade level above where the children are. This way, they are exposed to ideas and vocabulary that the parent can explain.

If you need help, feel free to ask the Children’s and Young Adult library staff. They’ll be glad to make suggestions. Have a great adventure!

 

Back to School!

By Jeffie Nicholson, Adult Services Manager

Book List by Julie Duke, Youth Services Manager

The first day of school is an exciting time for parents and children. Many of us experience different level of anxiety as the summer ends and the school year approaches. Make the beginning of school an easier transition for first-timers and returning students with some of these easy tips!

1. Practice the morning and evening routine. Give yourselves a week or two before school to ‘reset’ your internal clocks and on a sleep to rise schedule that will be the norm for the next 9 months.
2. Let them pick out a school supply with you that will help them get excited about the school year. It can be anything from unique pencils to their backpack. It’s fun to have something special and gives one a sense of control over events.
3. Remind them that everyone is nervous and excited even the teachers! First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg is a funny picture book that illustrates this point perfectly.
4. Visit the school before the first day. Lots of our local schools have an evening opportunity to visit before the first day so everyone gets to see their classroom and meet each other. You can still visit the playground and walk around the outside of the school. Returning students could have a playdate on the school playground as several are open to use year-round.
5. Talk about it. Be realistic and optimistic. For some, it can be disappointing if the first day isn’t as wonderful as they thought so temper enthusiasm with realism. Be prepared to deal with ‘the teacher didn’t let me lead the line’ disappointments with the fact that there are still 270 days of the school year so plenty of opportunities are left to be had.
6. Read about it. A book about the first day of school is a great gift. The library also has several to choose from to help prepare for the big day. Our favorites include:

o   The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn (Parents may need a box of tissues when reading this one)364588

o   The Ticky-Tacky Doll by Cynthia Rylant

o   Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate

o   Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss

o   I Don’t Want to Go Back to School by Marisabina Russo

o   Amelia Bedelia Goes Back to School by Herman Parish

o   Arthur’s Back to School Day by Lillian Hoban443799

o   The Berenstain Bears Go Back to School by Stan Berenstain

o   Mouse’s First Day of School by Lauren Thompson

o   How do Dinosaurs Go to School? by Jane Yolen

o   First Day of School by Anne Rockwell

o   Emily’s First Day of School by Sarah, Duchess of York615265

o    Clifford’s First School Day by Norman Bridwell

o   Biscuit Goes to School by Alyssa Capucilli

7. Take lots pictures and give lots of hugs. Make time that evening to talk about the first day with your child, their work and any special moments that they had on the first day of school.

Miniature Horses at Leiper’s Fork

By Emily Anglin, Leiper’s Fork Branch Head

Cowboys and Cowgirls gathered from all over the Leipers Fork area in July to hear cowboy and horse stories at Leipers Fork’s Cowboy Story Time. I read one of my favorite stories to the children, Are You a Horse? By Andy Rash. It’s about a cowboy who gets a saddle for his birthday, but he doesn’t know what a horse even looks like! We also enjoyed an award winning book about miniature horses: Bucky & Bonnie’s Library Adventure, written by our very own director Dolores Greenwald and library staff.

Now we’ll get down to the real reason so many kids and parents were here. To see our very special guest Buddy the miniature horse from Angel Heart Farm. He was such a sweet little fellow. The children enjoyed getting to pet Buddy and have their pictures made with him. Yes, we had a horse inside the library!

What makes Buddy such a special horse? He works with children that have chronic and life-threatening illnesses. Buddy’s human Tracy Buddy4Kujawa, founder of Angel Heart Farm says that “it’s our mission to bring horses and children together for healing.” “We have created a safe and caring environment where children can experience the warmth and peace of bonding with animals, which has a positive effect in the healing process.” And that is why Buddy is such a special little guy, along with all the other horses on Tracy’s farm. Angel Heart Farm is a non-profit organization. If you’d like more information about this organization visit angelheartfarm.net, if you’d like to see some books about cowboys and horses visit your local library branch.

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