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Hooray, Hooray for Father’s Day! 9 Great Books Celebrating Dad

By Stacy Parish, Children’s Department

Let us now praise . . . Dear Old Dad! Yes, that fixer of bicycle chains and broken hearts. That guy, who ferried you and your giggly girlfriends to the skating rink or the mall, and reluctantly agreed to let you out of the car a little ways down the sidewalk so that you wouldn’t be seen climbing out of a very uncool Dadmobile. The fellow who coached your youth soccer team and took everyone out for ice cream afterward, rain or shine, win or lose. The man who escorted you down the aisle and tried valiantly not to let you or anyone else see the tears in his eyes. The one who will always be there for you, and for his grandchildren.

Here, in no particular order, are nine great books that celebrate Dad.


Tad And Dad by David Ezra Stein. Tad the Tadpole just loves spending every minute with his super cool awesome dad, including sharing his lily pad for sleeping. But when Tad begins to grow bigger, the lily pad starts to become a bit crowded. What to do? Caldecott Honor winner David Ezra Stein’s sweet story of familial love will amuse and delight, and may look a little bit like your own life.  1

 

Kevin And His Dad by Irene Smalls. This Parents’ Choice Gold Award Winner chronicles a day Kevin and his father spend tidying the house, doing some repairs, playing ball, seeing a movie, having milkshakes, and just sharing each other’s company. It is a graceful and powerful celebration of the bond that exists between boys and their dads.2

 

Dad and Pop: An Ode To Fathers and Stepfathers by Kelly Bennett. The protagonist of this story is a very lucky girl indeed. She has a father and a stepfather who are very different in many ways, but they share one trait without question: they both love her very much.3

 

Horton Hatches The Egg by Dr. Seuss. Horton the Elephant sat and sat on the egg Mayzie the Bird laid (and abandoned) because “I meant what I said and I said what I meant . . . An elephant’s faithful one hundred percent!” Horton’s patience and love is rewarded a thousandfold by the creature that hatches out of the egg that he protected and nurtured. Pure magic!4

 

How To Cheer Up Dad by Fred Koehler. Little Jumbo’s dad is having a bad day, and LJ has no idea why (hint: it’s LJ’s own mischief-making that is causing Dad’s consternation.) Fortunately he does know how to cheer Dad right up. Fred Koehler’s whimsical debut is a lovely tribute to fathers everywhere, and to their own high-octane Little Jumbos.18079483

 

Dad Runs Away With The Circus by Etgar Keret. In this wildly imaginative picture book, Audrey and Zach’s father joins the circus, travels the world, and becomes a star. Dad’s message to Audrey and Zach: you’re never too old to follow your dreams. This is the debut children’s book by acclaimed Israeli writer Keret.6

 

Rock On, Mom & Dad! (A Pete The Cat book) by James Dean. Pete’s mom and dad are total rock stars, as they do so much for him. But how can he show them how much he appreciates and loves them? His rockin’ surprise is a result of Pete discovering that it’s not what you do, but how you do it, that matters–as long as it’s from the heart.7

 

My Dad The Magnificent by Kristy Parker. Seems like no matter how cool your dad is, there’s always someone whose dad is just a little bit cooler. When Buddy’s new friend Alex brags about his firefighter dad, Buddy can’t resist being drawn into the game of one-upsmanship and invents a new and increasingly exotic persona for his dad each day for a week. At the end of the story, Buddy realizes that his plain old dad is pretty magnificent, even if he wears a business suit instead of bunker pants.51qp0BtQYrL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

 

The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish by Neil Gaiman. More graphic short story than traditional children’s picture book, this witty and whimsical book by the author of Coraline explores what can happen when you want something so badly that you’re willing to trade your own father for it . . . and then what happens when Mom gets home and learns what you’ve done.8

Thanks for reading. Happy Father’s Day to one and all—


(As always, the opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and in no way reflect upon the beliefs and principles of Williamson County Public Library, its employees, or their fathers.)

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GARDENING BOOKS AT WCPL

By Sharon Reily, Reference Department

Feel Free to Browse!

In the 635 call number range you will find a great assortment of books on all aspects of gardening – from flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables to organic gardening, water features, roses and container gardening. Have fun browsing for the just the right book!


 

Good Basic Gardening Guides51lwbJmwU-L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

American Horticultural Society Gardening Manual (635 AME)

Square-Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew (635 BAR)

The Garden Primer by Barbara Damrosch (635 DAM)

How to be a Gardener by Alan Titchmarsh (635 TIT)

Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening (635.0484 ROD)

The Southern Living Garden Book (635.9 SOU)


 

514c5x57xqL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Books for Tennessee Gardeners

Best Garden Plants for Tennessee by Sue Hamilton (635.0975 HAM)

50 Great Flowers for Tennessee by Judy Lowe (635.0975 LOW)

Tennessee & Kentucky Month-by-Month Gardening by Judy Lowe (635.09768 LOW)

Guide to Tennessee Vegetable Gardening by Walter Reeves (635.09768 REE)

Herbs, Fruits & Vegetables for Tennessee by James Fizzell (R 635.0975 FIZ)


Gardening Magazines

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Country Gardens (PER COU)

Fine Gardening (PER FIN)

Organic Gardening (PER ORG)

The WCPL Children’s Department and the Terrific, Fantastic, Very Good, Not Bad Suggested Summer Reading List

By Stacy Parish, Children’s Department

Yeah, my humble apologies to Judith Viorst for so shamelessly ripping off her title like that.horrible

Why should kids read during the summer? Because I said so. Because the experts said so. Because it’s fun. Because you can score some cool prizes from us, just for reading a few books, listening to a book on CD, and attending any (or all!) of the fabulous special programs we have at Main and all branches. (More about that in a minute.)

What should kids read during the summer? I’m so glad you asked. Start off in May with Faulkner, ease on into some Chaucer for June, and then progress to Tolstoy by July. (Yes, I’m kidding.) If you have an avid reader child at home, you really don’t even have to ask that question, because more than likely they already know what they want to read. It’s tempting to recoil in horror if your kid wants to plow through the popular ones such as Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants series or Jeff Kinney’s wildly successful Diary Of A Wimpy Kid books. My personal un-favorites when my kids were younger were the Junie B. Jones books by the late Barbara Park. Junie B.’s atrocious grammar and obnoxious behavior pushed me to the outer limits of my patience every time I read them with my younger daughter, which was nightly for what seemed like a millennium but was really only a few months. (Disclaimer: my fellow University of Alabama alumna Barbara Park was a tremendously talented and wonderful human being and is greatly missed by the kiddie-lit world.) Whether you have a ravenous reader or a reluctant reader at home, the song remains the same: whatever it is, if it gets them engaged, go with it. However, if you still need some suggestions (and you’re still reading this blog, bless your heart), here are a few selections by staff members of the WCPL Children’s Department to get your summer started:

The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli. AR level 1.0.
After swallowing a watermelon seed, a crocodile imagines disastrous results. Bold colors and whimsical writing make this a fun choice for the picture-book set.watermelon

The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers. AR level 2.8.
Henry loves to eat books and is on his way to becoming the smartest person in the world, until he starts feeling quite ill and decides maybe he could do something else with all those books he’s been (literally) devouring.boy

Come On, Rain! by Karen Hesse. AR level 3.6.
A young girl anxiously awaits a rainstorm to bring relief from an oppressive summer drought.rain

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, And A Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall. AR level 4.7.
The first book in a series chronicles the unforgettable summer that four spirited girls have with their widowed father in the Berkshires. A National Book Award winner.penderwicks

Half Magic by Edward Eager. AR level 5.0.
Facing the prospect of another dull summer in the city, four children suddenly find themselves caught up in some extraordinary adventures after discovering a coin that grants wishes. This series continues in Magic By The Lake.magic

How Tia Lola Saved The Summer by Julia Alvarez. AR level 5.5.
Miguel is not thrilled that a family with three daughters will be living with them for the summer. Luckily, Miguel’s aunt has some tricks up her sleeve guaranteed to take this summer from worst to first.tia

Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. AR level 5.5.
The first book in the phenomenal series, in which Harry Potter finds himself rescued from a grim and joyless life with his insufferable aunt, uncle, and cousin and transported to the fantastic wizarding world of Hogwarts.harry

The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan. AR level 7.0. 
Fifteen-year-old Will reluctantly becomes an apprentice to the mysterious Ranger Halt and winds up protecting the entire kingdom from danger. This is the first book in the Ranger’s Apprentice series.apprentice

All these fabulous titles, and thousands more, are available to be checked out from Williamson County Public Library. Oh, and while you’re there (remember earlier when I mentioned cool prizes?) sign your child up to participate in the 2015 Summer Reading Program. It’s fun, it’s fabulous, it’s free. Happy reading!


** As always, the opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and in no way reflect the philosophies or principles of Williamson County Public Library, its staff members, their parents, children, friends, or housepets.

Did you like THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT??? Then read THIS…

By Erin Holt, Teen Librarian

So many teens come in saying they have read The Hunger Games and Divergent and want MORE just like it! Check out this awesome list of titles and check our shelves or talk to our Teen Staff!


If you want another book about the little people sticking it to “the man”:

  1. The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley–The origins of Robin Hood explained with a girl-in-disguise among the Merry Men, longbows, and an insane fight to the death with Guy of Gisbourne. (Shelved in Adult Fiction. Very YA friendly.)
  2. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner–There is no better questioner of authority than Eugenides. Much like Haymitch he is always at least three moves ahead of his opponents.
  3. In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez–A fictionalized story of real sisters who worked in the Dominican Republic opposing Trujillio’s dictatorship as the Butterflies much in the same way Panem comes to rally around the Mockingjay.  (Shelved in Adult Fiction.)
  4. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys–In 1939 Lina and her family are forcibly taken from their Lithuanian homes and moved to Siberia by invading Russian forces in this quiet tale of resilience and resistance.

If you could care less about Peeta/Gale (but, seriously, Team Peeta!) and want more heroines as awesomely tough as Katniss:

  1. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld–Minus the Twilight Zone references to perception and beauty, this book basically IS The Hunger Games. If you like one series you’re basically required to like the other.
  2. Graceling by Kristin Cashore–Katsa’s name sounds a lot like Katniss. She is also a lethal, killing machine ready to do more than her share of the rescuing in this fantasy adventure.
  3. Plain Kate by Erin Bow–For Kate, being a skilled wood carver is dangerous business as she must survive accusations of witchcraft and the loss of her own shadow in this grim tale. (eAudio file only)
  4. The Bride’s Farewell by Meg Rosoff–Pell running away from her wedding in 1850s England takes as much strength as it does to survive the Hunger Games. Don’t let the genre shift fool you. Pell is tough as nails. (Shelved in Adult.)
  5. Bonus: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman–Half-human, half-dragon, Seraphina is a talented musician and possibly her kingdom’s only chance to divert an all-out war with the neighboring dragons.

If you like action, action, and action with more action thrown in:

  1. Legend by Marie Lu–This is my #1 read-alike pick for The Hunger Games. Action, violence, revolution. And it’s a dystopian set on the ruins of the United States of America to boot. (Leiper’s Fork, Nolensville, but not us.)
  2. Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber–Perry knows taking his family’s dowdy exchange student, Gobi, to her first dance is going to be a drag. He doesn’t realize that will largely be due to all of the people Gobi plans to assassinate before the night is over.
  3. Bonus: Little Brother by Cory Doctorow–Set in post-9/11 San Francisco, Marcus is on a quest to hack his city from the sinister clutches of a Homeland Security.

If you like stories about ruthless characters learning how to be “real” humans and engage with the world:

  1. Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi–Nailer eeks out a living tearing down ships for scavenge. When he finds a clipper ship–and its owner–Nailer has to decide if he wants to claim the scavenge of a lifetime. Or do the right thing.
  2. The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan–Nick and Alan have always been on the run from magicians. Nick has never liked anyone. A final confrontation with one of the fiercest magicians in England might explain why both of those things are true. (eAudio only)
  3. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers–Ismae could have died when her mother tried to abort her pregnancy. Instead she was marked by Mortmain and now she serves him as an assassin nun in 1485 Brittany. (College Grove. We do have eBook and eAudio)
  4. Bonus: All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin–Paper is scarce. Coffee and chocolate are illegal. It’s a bad time to be a mafiya princess and heir to a chocolate empire in 2085 New York. It’s an even worse time to consider dating the new District Attorney’s son.

If you want more crazy competitions:

  1. Divergent by Veronica Roth–Being marked as divergent means Tris can choose to join any faction. Choosing Dauntless means embarking on a grueling, harrowing initiation process that she might not survive.
  2. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas–After a year of hard labor, assassin Celaena Sardothien has a chance to reclaim her freedom. All she has to do is win a competition against other cutthroats and killers to become the champion of the king who first arrested her.
  3. A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix–Khemri is a Prince–faster, stronger, smarter. But is he fast, strong and smart enough to survive against the thousands of other Princes all intent on becoming Emperor of the galaxy? (eBook and eAudio)
  4. The Selection by Kiera Cass–America Singer is one of the Selected, a lucky girl with a chance to compete for the prince’s affections in this cross between The Hunger Games and The Bachelor.
  5. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater: Sean is a boy with everything to lose in this year’s Scorpio Race while Puck is a girl with everything to gain. But in a deadly race with lethal water horses there can only be one winner.
  6. Bonus: Princess Academy by Shannon Hale–One of the girls from Miri’s village is going to become a princess. But before that can happen all of the girls will need to learn what being a princess really takes.

If you’re in it for the dystopian or post-apocalyptic vibe:

  1. Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry–A zombie apocalypse with a wild west sensibility and some very gruesome trading cards.
  2. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi–A dystopian that’s part X-Men, part jailbreak, all action.
  3. The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch–Two-thirds of the population are dead from a vicious influenza strain. People called it the eleventh plague. (Shelved in Adult. eAdio also).
  4. This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers–Zombies are here and, frankly, Sloane is ready to let them eat her. Unfortunately the students trapped with her in the local high school want to live. (eAudio only)
  5. Bonus: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund–Post-apocalyptic retelling of Persuasion. You know you want to.

If you want epic world building:

  1. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher–Finn knows he belongs Outside Incarceron. But in a prison so vast that nothing ever enters or leaves, how can one inmate ever find his way out?
  2. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson–Long before Wendy came to Neverland, a fairy and a girl with feathers in her hair had their own stories to tell. (eBook only)
  3. The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud–In a world where London is ruled by magicians with demons doing their bidding, a djinni and a young magician strike an uneasy detente to see if both of them can survive the machinations they have set in motion.
  4. The Blue Girl by Charles de Lint–Imogen would never want to be normal. Even if that means she has to deal with a lonely ghost, dangerous angels, and an imaginary friend who just might be real.
  5. Bonus: Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox–An alternate history/fantasy set in 1906 New Zealand where dreams are tangible things that can be scavenged and put on view and nightmares are very, very dangerous thing.

If you want an impossible romantic relationship:

  1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer–A sci-fi retelling of Cinderella with aliens, cyborgs, plagues and a whole lot of trouble.
  2. Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel–Steampunk zombie romance with a post-apocalyptic setting and the ultimate star-crossed pair. (eBook and eAudio only)
  3. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare–Clary can see parts of a hidden world. But when she starts looking into that world, it looks back.
  4. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl–There was a curse. There was a girl. And in the end, there was a grave.
  5. Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan–Friends don’t let friends date vampires. Too bad Mel’s best friend just fell in love with one.

 

This post was written by Emma Carbone for her blog. An updated version can be found on her blog, Miss Print.

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

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Romance titles that TEENS will LOVE

By Erin Holt, Teen Librarian

There’ve been so many times that our Teen staff have been asked for “safe” romance novels for their teens, starting at the age of 12. So we decided to create this awesome list of safe teen romance titles.  Check it out!

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han 51vsd5j8hXL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_– What would happen if all your crushes received your love letters…at the same time?

The Summer I Turned Pretty, It’s Not Summer Without You, We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han – Follow Belly on her journey over several summers, including a best friend, two love interests, and a love triangle

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith – When four minutes changed everything in 24 hours.

Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins – Companion novels revolving around friendship, love, and travel.5231173

The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg – What happens when Penny decides to give up boys and dating…

All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin – NYC in the year 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal and teen Anya’s mafia family is accused of poisoning chocolate that they have been distributing

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler – BFFs Frankie and Anna spend a 20 day vacation together, making a bet that they can meet one boy per day.

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn – A sweet fun read involving books, New York City, and teen love interests.

71LkLmxqgjLSloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty – Follow Jessica Darling as she navigates through school, boyfriends, and more after her BFF, Hope, moves away.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – A beautiful love story, taking place in 1986, between 2 misfit teenagers.

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen – A story about a girl…and the cute guy next door…

Just One Day by Gayle Forman – The lives of Allyson and Willem is transformed in just 24 hours

*See the Teen Library staff for a complete list of titles*

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!

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.

Bird Appreciation Books 101 for Children—Starters

By Lance Hickerson, Reference Assistant

My fourth grade elementary school teacher was an avid bird watcher, even when she was teaching class. We might be in the middle of multiplication tables, when a rare bird at the class feeder would turn our attention from the wall-to-wall chalk board to the windows behind us. I had no idea at the time how I was being taught a love of nature in general and of birds in particular. Bird watching has been a highly rewarding hobby ever since.   Since it is only natural to want to pass on a love of nature and birds to the next generation, I am always on the lookout for books in the library that might instill, and maybe even ignite, aviary wonder.

Among the many good books out there, here are a few I came across.

I.   Starting for K-2nd grade:

  1. Feathers For Lunch

Feathers for Lunchby Lois Ehlert (Harcourt, Inc.: 1990, 36 pages)

Storyline: A housecat escapes to the outdoors and encounters twelve species of birds, but is unable to catch even one. Along the way the cat and the reader learn something about each bird, from its appearance to song.

Sideline: The birds are shown by effective cut-paper illustrations. Along with the birds are cut-paper plants common to the bird’s environment.  So a plant book as well as an animal book.

Bonus: Several back pages contain more information on each cut-paper bird

  1. BirdsongsBirdsongs 2

by Betsy Franco and Steve Jenkins {illustrator} (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2007, 40 pages) Caldecott Honor Medalist

Storyline: The book begins early one morning and goes through to the end of the day identifying some 11 birds and their sounds. The illustrations sport a dimensional appearance due to being refined cut paper designs.

Sideline: There is a counting theme throughout as the birds call out their songs a given number of times. In addition to bird sounds, children can practice counting.

Bonus: The last few pages tell interesting “feathery facts” about the birds.

  1. Aviary Wonders Inc.: Spring Catalogue and Instruction Manual

Aviary Wondersby Kate Samworth {author and illustrator} (Clarion Books: 2014, 32 pages)

Storyline: This wonderfully illustrated book is an imaginary and futuristic catalogue that permits readers to design their own birds. There is more to the bird than most imagine as choices include types of beaks, tails, legs, wings, flight patterns, and colors.

Sideline: The reader learns about various extinct birds in our history. There is an environmental, conservationist theme throughout.

Bonus: By involving the imagination in applying bird anatomy, the reader becomes aware of many various markers that are important for understanding and identifying birds.

  1. Birds: A Guide to Familiar American Birds  A Golden Guide - Birds

by Herbert Zim and Ira Gabrielson {illustrated by James Gordon Irving} (Golden Press: 1987, 160 pages)

Storyline: No story but rather a straightforward and simple guide to 129 birds commonly seen in America. Each bird has its own page and is illustrated by colorful and accurate drawings. The simplicity of this now classic book makes it a wonderful beginner’s guide. It is important to supplement the many photo books available today with artful drawings like here, for the drawings can emphasize significant markings of the bird that photos often do not. For instance, because I had seen the Wood Thrush painting in this book, I was able to recognize a real Wood Thrush in nature several years later.

  1. The New Birder’s Guide to Birds of North America: Peterson Field Guides

A New Birder's Guideby Bill Thompson III {illustrations by Julie Zickefoose and Michael Digiorgio} (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014, 368 pages)

Storyline: No story but a wonderful new beginner’s bird guide to common birds in America. Carefully selected photos and drawings help in positive identification. There is just enough information to make it interesting and useful. It’s the best new beginning bird book to bring into the field with children. It might well become a classic in its own right.

Bonus: Wow Facts are given for each bird disclosing interesting and significant information

What to Read after “The Fault in Our Stars”

By Howard Shirley, Teen Library Assistant

Did the release of The Fault in Our Stars get you craving more quirky teenage love stories?

Here are five more titles you might enjoy…

Eleaneleanor and parkor & Park by Rainbow Rowell [YA F ROWELL]

This 2013 release beautifully tells the story of two high school misfits who develop a surprising mutual affection during their bus rides to and from school in 1980’s-era Omaha. Though the description may sound trite, Rowell’s writing elevates a familiar story to must-read status.

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson [YA F MAT]amy and roger's epic detour

Matson’s debut novel, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour is an ode to traveling and new experiences—a love story just happens to pop up along the way. Like in The Fault in Our Stars, dealing with mortality is a theme of this book, though less directly. It’s an entertaining read that will make you appreciate little bits of Americana along the characters’ road trip.

Dash & Ldash and lily's book of daresily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan [YA F COH]

The same duo who paired up for Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist team up again in this fun back-and-forth story of two bibliophiles who exchange thoughts via a notebook in a bookstore. Of course, the suspense and excitement leading up to their potential real-life meeting is the central purpose of the book, but these two authors know how to keep the pages turning throughout.

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler [YA F ASH]the future of us

A teenage romance with a slight sci-fi bent, The Future of Us tells the story of two teens in the nineties who happen to discover their future Facebook accounts when they access the internet for the first time. The future they discover on Facebook is not the one they envision for themselves, which leads to an interesting pursuit of how to reconcile the past, present, and future.

Stargirl stargirlby Jerry Spinelli [YA F SPI]

Stargirl is aimed at a slightly younger set, but it remains an elegant story of the ups and downs of high school popularity and teenage love. Spinelli draws you in and doesn’t let you go as he writes about two very different people who are nonetheless drawn to one another. It’s a quick-read, but it’s worth checking out for the quintessential quirky character, Stargirl herself.

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