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Winter staff picks, part 2

How are those New Year's Resolutions coming along?  Any book clubs started?  If so, stop by the desk and let us know....we'd love to hear about it! Meanwhile, here are the rest of the staff picks as promised...

Erin's Picks:   

Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry-  AUDIO CD J F SPE and J SPE

In this classic story, young Mafatu sets out to prove himself to his father and his tribe by battling his fear of the ocean that swallowed up his mother years before.  The audio book version, read by Lou Diamond Phillips, adds quite a bit of suspense and an additional edge to this gripping story of adventure and survival.

A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen- AUDIO CD J F NIE and J NIE

When the Berlin Wall goes up in 1961, young Gerta's life is changed: she is stuck in East Berlin with her mother and older brother, while her father and younger brother are in the west.  The city's two sides are divided and vastly different.  Border patrols are keeping watch 24/7 over communist East Berlin, making it almost impossible for its citizens to escape to freedom in the west.  It's been four years since Gerta has seen her papa and Dominic, and during that time, all she can think about is freedom and reuniting her family. Many have lost their lives trying to escape East Berlin-is the impossible dream of reuniting her family a risk worth taking?

Grumpy Pants by Claire Messer-  E MES    

Penguin is in a grumpy mood and nothing is helping. How will he turn his frown upside down?

Jen's Picks:

The Dream Jar by Lindan Lee Johnson  E JOH

 This is the perfect book to get your littlest friend to dream some wonderful dreams.  Who doesn't want to dream a "dreamy dream" every night? Sometimes you need a dream jar to fill up with happy thoughts to help you have magical dreams and not worry about sea monsters.  This book offers beautiful, wistful illustrations that put you on a sweet path to dreamland!

The Girl Who Could Not Dream by Sarah Beth Durst  J DUR

Sophie's parents run a secret shop where dreams are bought and sold.  When Sophie dreams, her dreams become real, so she is forbidden to have any.  Sinister events are set in motion when she is accidentally seen by one of her parents' customers, and it's up to Sophie to save her family.

Rise of the Guardians by Dreamworks Animation J DVD RIS

This epic adventure tells the story of a group of heroes with extraordinary abilities.  When an evil spirit named Pitch tries to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes and imagination of children all over the world.

Liz's Picks:

Little Dog Lost by Monica Carnesi  E CAR

Based on a true story, a dog is saved by the crew on a ship after he is found floating on sheets of ice in the Baltic Sea.

Elvis: The Story of the Rock and Roll King                            by Bonnie Christensen  J B PRE  

A wonderful picture book biography of Elvis!

 Mouseheart by Lisa Fiedler  AUDIO CD J F FIE 

An ordinary pet shop mouse escapes and finds himself on the streets of Brooklyn.  It is quite an adventure for him as he tries to navigate the bustling city and learns some powerful secrets.

Chris's Picks:

Capture the Flag by Kate Messner  J MES

Join Annie, Jose, and Henry as they team up to solve a mystery which resembles the National Treasure movie.  Three students with different interests join forces to find out who stole the original Star-Spangled Banner.  Follow these super sleuths, who are stranded by a snowstorm at the Washington, D.C. airport, to see if they catch the thieves and recover the beloved artifact.

Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society                                 by Adeline Yen Mah   J MAH

Following the traditional Cinderella plot, 12 year-old Ye Xian is thrown out of her home by her abusive stepmother.  She finds safety with "Grandma Wu" and joins her martial arts school, and the Secret Dragon Society. While training, CC (Chinese Cinderella) discovers that the Dragon Society is part of the Chinese resistance movement, and she finds herself part of a dangerous mission helping American soldiers during WWII. Strong, loyal, and courageous female characters, but fast paced and interesting for a boys' read too!

The Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan  J GN PHE

Happy New Year of the Rooster!

rooster

Happy New Year ...again!!!  Happy Chinese New Year, that is! Following the Chinese zodiac, 2017 is the Year of the Rooster. The 12 zodiac symbols possess different character traits, and cycle every 12 years.  People born under the sign of the Rooster are believed to be very observant, hardworking, resourceful, courageous, talented, and have a lot of confidence! If you were born in any of these years, you're a rooster: 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017. The  websites below have some fun facts about the different Chinese New Year traditions, including the zodiac traits. Check out the year of your birth on one of the sites and see if your personality matches the characteristics!

TravelChinaguide.com

natgeorooster

National Geographic for Kids

Topmarks.com

Here are a few of the animal personality traits from Infoplease.com:

  • Rat: quick-witted, smart, charming, and persuasive
  • Ox: patient, kind, stubborn, and conservative
  • Tiger: authoritative, emotional, courageous, and intense
  • Rabbit: popular, compassionate, and sincere
  • Dragon: energetic, fearless, warm-hearted, and charismatic
  • Snake: charming, gregarious, introverted, generous, and smart
  • Horse: energetic, independent, impatient, and enjoy traveling
  • Sheep: mild-mannered, shy, kind, and peace-loving
  • Monkey: fun, energetic, and active
  • Rooster: independent, practical, hard-working, and observant
  • Dog: patient, diligent, generous, faithful, and kind
  • Pig: loving, tolerant, honest, and appreciative of luxury

This year's celebration began on January 28th and will last until February 11th. Most families begin the celebration with housecleaning before the New Year to sweep away and clean out the previous year's bad luck.  Then, there is a family celebration dinner, which includes fish to bring good luck.  In fact, many customs and traditions relate to ensuring good luck for the year. Instead of wrapped presents, red envelopes with money are given as gifts for good fortune.  Firecrackers are lit to scare away bad luck and welcome the new year.  Even wearing red underwear is said to keep away bad luck!  The Lantern Festival closes out the celebration with the famous Dragon Dance in many places.  Lanterns are hung as decorations, carried in  parades, sent skyward, or set afloat in water. Watch the video below from History.com:

Of course, we have books for you to learn more about Chinese New Year and the culture of this area.  Here are a few:

 
J 394.261 SIE

 
J 394.26 SIM

 
J 641.5951 LEE

  
J 915.1 RIE

These are just a few of many books we have available if you are interested in exploring this culture.  And don't forget to look around online at CultureGrams on our website.

 

It's a great resource to learn about other countries and their customs.       Stop in to see us, tell us about your celebration, and Gōng hè Fat Choy!!

Snuggle up with a Staff Pick...Winter edition, part 1

imageswinter

Even though the days are getting longer-(really!)-it's still chilly, and that's the perfect time to snuggle up with a staff pick!  Some of these would also be a great choice for a book club selection as mentioned in the last blog. Here are a few of our choices:

Scott's picks...

 Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus  J PRE
When the Nazis invade Norway, teenage Espen becomes a young spy for the resistance movement.  Living in constant danger, he and his family seek a way to escape the war.

Explorer: The Hidden Doors edited by Kazu Kibuishi   J GN EXP 
The next in a series of graphic novels brings together seven great comic artists to tell seven stories of strange doors.

Wildwood by Colin Meloy J MEL
When Prue McKeel's little brother is kidnapped by crows, she must go into the Impassable Wilderness, a strange and fantastic realm, to save him.

Carolyn's picks...

Baking by Laura and Jess Tilli   J 641.815 TIL
Winter is the perfect time to make some delicious baked goods! Try the sweet Strawberry Jam Shortbread Cookies or the savory Mini Sausage Batter Bites.  The recipes have simple step-by-step instructions and beautiful photographs.  Tips, techniques, and symbols on when to ask for an adult's help are included.

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown  J BRO and Audio CD J F BRO
Roz is a robot who is shipwrecked on a wild island with no idea who she is or what to do.  She must figure out how to survive in this hostile environment.  She adopts a gosling, and the island animals start to welcome her into their community.  Then one day, everything changes, and Roz must fight to survive again.

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanore Estes  J EST
A young girl moves to a new school and is picked on because she wears the same dress every day.  She tells her classmates that she has a hundred dresses at home, but they don't believe her.  Her classmates pick on her but later regret their behavior.  It's a touching, timeless story about being kind to others.

Alissa's picks...

Katie Woo: Who Needs Glasses? by Fran Manushkin ER MAN
Katie's friend Pedro gets new glasses, but he doesn't want to wear them.  When he tells his class that he loses them, can Katie figure out what really happened?

The Familiars by Adam Jay Epstein & Andrew Jacobson  J EPS         Magic isn't just for humans!  Aldwyn, an orphan cat, wanders into a pet shop and is adopted by a wizard.  But when his wizard and new friends are kidnapped, Aldwyn needs to use his own kind of magic to save them.

 How to Survive in the Wilderness by Samantha Bell  J 796.5 BEL
Wilderness survival shows are all the rage, but could you make it out in the woods alone?  This handy book preps readers with things like daily tasks, types of wood to burn, and how to avoid dangerous bacteria in drinking water.

Dana's picks...

Dog vs. Cat by Chris Gall    E GAL
A dog and a cat, both newly adopted, are forced to share a room.  They don't really get along, finding fun ways to torture each other, until a howling, smelly, terrifying newcomer unites them in a common cause!

 The Forbidden Stone (Copernicus Legacy #1) by Tony Abbott  J ABB  
It begins when four friends receive a strange and coded email from Uncle Henry just before he dies.  The four set off for Germany to attend the funeral and discover that Uncle Henry has left them another confusing message that they must figure out.  They end up on a dangerous quest to unlock an ancient and guarded secret that could destroy the world.

 Accidental Keyhand  by Jen Swann Downey    J DOW
In the Ninja Librarians series Book #1, Dorrie and her brother Marcus accidentally open a portal to Petrarch's Library, where they discover a secret society of warrior librarians who travel in time protecting the world's greatest thinkers from torture and death for sharing knowledge and ideas.

Check back soon for the rest of the staff's picks, and be sure to visit this area in the library to see all of our choices and pick up a list...happy reading!

New Year, New Goals...

Image result for 2017 free image

As the year begins, thoughts and conversations revolve around making new resolutions or changing behaviors.  Mostly, these changes are about doing something differently or better, eating habits, or exercise...so this year, why not commit to exercise your mind? An easy way to do this would be to read a little more, and a fun way to read a little more would be to start a book club!  Adults do this, classrooms and schools might too-even libraries have programs (see Guys Read or Girls Rock here at NLPL), but kids can try it with friends, classmates, cousins, neighbors or family. To get started, you might need a little help from an adult (parent, teacher, librarian, etc.) or older sibling to get organized and maybe help with the first few meetings. Get a few friends, set some ground rules, put together a list of book suggestions, and you're good to go!  The websites readwritethink.org and Scholastic.com have some helpful suggestions for kids and parents:

readwritethinkscholastic

 

Pbs.org has information for a more parent-involved club, including ideas for a mother-daughter group and guidelines for getting started as well :

pbsbookclub

Reading becomes a social activity for kids in book clubs and promotes so many benefits: respecting others' ideas and perspectives, building cooperation & collaboration skills, being accountable by being prepared and keeping track of books read, just to name a few ...and teachers will be thrilled when comprehension improves! Creativity abounds when an art project relating to the book is part of the meeting.  Book clubs can also be a springboard for community involvement after a discussion- for example helping at a pet shelter, volunteering to help keep park areas clean, or recycling projects- or any other theme found in books.  Kids learn to listen to each other and make decisions together (respect and collaboration again) regarding how often to meet, where to meet, which books to add to the reading list, will there be snacks, and the list goes on....!  Of course, the Youth Services Staff will be happy to assist you in finding appropriate books.  A place you might start would be in our Staff Picks section at the front of the department:

staffpick-area

or the Caudill, Bluestem, and Monarch State award nominees:

:caudills      20160721_165314     20160721_165307

So in 2017, exercise your mind, enjoy time with friends, and cozy up to a good book- you might enjoy the results! In my humble opinion though, the best result of a book club is fostering a love for reading!!

book

Christmas Around the World

haphol

The holiday season lends itself to learning about traditions from other countries. Discovering customs from your relatives' homelands can add new traditions to your celebrations while touching on the history of America being a "melting pot" of cultures. When you visit the following websites, you can click on a country to see how Christmas is celebrated there:

Christmas Around the World from Kids-World-Travel-Guide.com

chr-world

Christmas Around the World from WhyChristmas.com

whychr

If you want to learn more about your ancestors' homelands, our library has a very useful resource called CultureGrams.  It can be found on our webpage in the Research and Learning tab >Homework Help:

homeworkhelppg   cultgram

Adults with a library card also have access to ancestry resources- Ancestry.com and Heritage Quest under the Research and Learning tab:

ancestwebpg

Perhaps your family is looking to start a new tradition? Try one of these suggestions from pbs.org:

pbsholiday

or Parents Magazine:

parentsmagholiday

And just for fun, here are some "Santa sites" to explore:

Google Santa Tracker has a few learning activities, a few coding activities, and of course, fun games...

google-santa

NorthPole.com  

northpole

This website has the option for kids, parents, or teachers to set up an account-which allows you to write a letter to Santa and receive updates- or just visit the website, which includes crafts, recipes, gift ideas, reading activities, and more games!!

And finally, check out the NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) Santa Tracker  for more games and activities, as well as information about NORAD and a countdown to the sleigh sendoff:

norad

As always, we have plenty of books-from all around the world- to help you learn more about your homeland traditions:


J 394.2663 THO

 
J 394.2663 MAN


 J 394.2663 END

We also have many holiday stories, movies, and music cds available to make the season bright.  Come visit us and we'll help you find something to cozy up with on these chilly winter nights!  Wishes for peace and happiness during this busy holiday season from all of us in the Youth Services Department!!

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