Big Kids

Harry Potter news!

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Have you heard the big news? Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

No, J.K. Rowling isn't publishing a new Harry Potter book, sadly…but she is involved in writing a screenplay called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them starring the fictitious author Newt Scamander. The story begins seventy years before Harry Potter arrives on scene, set in a secret wizarding community in New York City. No news yet as to when we can expect to see this on the big screen. Find the press release on J.K. Rowling's blog here. There is also talk that this will be the first film in a series!

Graphic Novel Characters: Best Friend Adventures

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There are some great characters and friendships in graphic novels. From best friends whose differences only bring them closer and add to their adventures, like in Bink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo, to loveable “pet” monsters who need help finding their home, like in Jellaby by Kean Soo, to sassy but sweet unicorns to help you through your daily ups and downs, like in Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson, graphic novels have it all.

For a sneak peek at Phoebe and Her Unicorn check out the book trailer below.

Book Cover for Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson

For more information about Phoebe and her Unicorn: A Heavenly Nostrils Chronicle, check out the Dana Simpson website at www.danasimpson.com. There are links, event info, an author blog, and even some info about the upcoming second book in the Heavenly Nostrils series called Unicorn on a Roll due out in May!

 

A few other graphic novels to check out whose characters have made great friendships and will surely become fast friends as you share their adventures are The Misadventures of Salem Hyde by Frank Cammuso, Knights of the Lunch Table by Frank Cammuso, and Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke.

Happy Reading!

Juvenile Fiction Selection: The Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry

Wyatt Palmer is an eighth-grader at Culver Middle School in Miami, Florida and along with all his classmates is on his way to Washington, DC.  This trip is supposed to be full of museum and monument tours but turns into an adventure that they could never have imagined, and not in a good way.  On the plane from Miami to DC Wyatt's best friend Matt becomes suspicious of the strange men sitting in the seat behind them. Determined to find out what they are up to Matt gets a hold of one of their bags and steals a small box that he thinks might be a detonator.  The boys draw way too much attention to themselves and the strange men, and end up almost getting kicked off the trip and that's just the beginning.  Soon the strange men are in pursuit of them and what they stole.  The boys, with the help of Wyatt's crush Suzana, are in a race to keep themselves from getting caught and stop the two men before they can follow through with their presumed attack on the White House, all while trying to slip under the radar of their teachers.  This is a laugh-out-loud story and will be sure to please even the most reluctant of readers.  (Grades 5-7 School Library Journal)

Caldecott Medal Winners

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The 2014 Caldecott Medal winner will be announced on Monday, January 27th.  In celebration, the staff of the Miller Park Branch has picked some of their favorite past winners:

Photo of Alina holding the book The Little House  Photo of Bree reading the book The Hello, Goodbye Window  Photo of Brian holding the book Where the Wild Things Are  Photo of Julie holding the book Sylvester and the Magic Pebble  Photo of Kate holding the book Kitten's First Full Moon and a cat puppet  Photo of Kris holding the book Owl Moon and an owl puppet  Photo of Sarah holding the book A Sick Day for Amos McGee       

On Saturday, January 25th, the Miller Park Branch will be hosting a Caldecott Crafts program at 11:00 a.m. for ages 3 and up.  Registration is required.  If you would like to attend, please go to UAPL's Events & Programs calendar to check for openings and to sign up.  To learn more about the Caldecott Medal, please visit the Association for Library Service to Children's informational page.  

Feel free to share your favorite Caldecott Medal winner in the comments section below!  

It's a Fact: Summer is Mesmerizing

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hypnotism

Today most of us think hypnotism is a party trick that makes people act like chickens.  But it's creator, Franz Anton Mesmer, thought it could be used to treat many of the illnesses of his day.  In 1774, Mesmer began using his method of staring into a patient's eyes while making “passes” with his hands to free the flow of “the process of life” within the body.  By 1784 enough people were interested in this procedure that the king of France commissioned a study of Mesmer's practices using the scientific method.

Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled all of France by Mara Rockliffe tells the story of this investigation in a whimsical look at a true moment in history.

Take a look at other hard-to-believe scientific discoveries in Weird Science: Mad Marvels from the Way-Out World by Matthew Lake.  And if you'd like to try using the scientic method yourself, check out True or False? by Andrea Mills.

Fun Series to Keep You Reading

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The end of Summer Reading Club 2014 is fast approaching, August 2nd to be exact.  Here in the youth department we spend a great deal of our time helping young readers find the next great book.  Because as we all know, finding the right book makes all the difference.  In the summer I like to recommend funny and entertaining series that make you want to keep reading and give you the opportunity to stay with characters you have come to enjoy.  Here are some first books in my favorite series for middle-readers.  Hopefully, with these titles, you can keep the little ones reading strong through the next two weeks and after!

The Adventures of Nanny Piggins by R. A. Spratt

The Popularity Papers: Research for the Social Improvement and General Betterment of Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang by Amy Ignatow

Swindle by Gordon Korman

We Are not Eaten by Yaks (An Accidental Adventure) by C. Alexander London

Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Sternberg

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

 

It's a Fact: Facts are Awesome!

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Did you know that in Oklahoma it is illegal to make faces at a dog? Or that finger-sized fish called wrasse nibble the gunk off a shark's teeth?  The world is full of interesting, awesome, and curious facts.  I've always wondered how an arena can be an ice rink one day and a basketball court the next.  Learn how it happens in the Time for Kids book, Big Book of Answers: 1001 Facts Kids Want to Know.  Browse through Animal Planet's book, Animals: a Visual Dictionary for the answer to how many eyes can a spider have.  Afraid of rats?  Discover how African giant pouched rats are helping to keep people safe in Friend or Foe: The Whole Truth about Animals that People Love to Hate by Etta Kaner.  Nod your head if you love fact books as much as I do. But not if you're from Bulgaria (as I learned from Adam Frost's book, The Awesome Book of Awesomeness).

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