Big Kids

Juvenile Fiction Selection: Courage for Beginners by Karen Harrington

Mysti Murphy is starting seventh grade and so far nothing is turning out as expected.  Her best friend Anibal Gomez has blown her off to become a “hipster” and gain the attention of a pretty girl at school.  Meanwhile, Mysti has plenty of problems at home.  Her family has a secret; her mother is agoraphobic which means she never leaves the house.  Mysti and her sister keep this secret and their father takes care of everything that needs to be done outside of the house.  Things take a bad turn when her father falls and suffers an injury that lands him in the hospital for a long stay.  Now it is up to Mysti to move beyond her mother's projected fears and find the courage to help herself and her family.  With the loss of her best friend Mysti ends up at the “loser island” lunch table and eventually befriends a strong and sassy Rama Khan who helps her find that courage.  Mysti is a character that you'll be rooting for from beginning to end!  (Grades 5-8 School Library Journal)

Get to know John Rocco!

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Are you a fan of the cover art for Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson & the Olympians, The Kane Chronicles, and The Heroes of Olympus series? 

Image of The Lightning Thief book cover   Image of The Red Pyramid book cover  Image of The Lost Hero book cover

Then discover the illustrator, John Rocco, who has also written several books of his own, including Blackout, a 2012 Caldecott Honor book.

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to hear John Rocco give a presentation at the Mazza Weekend Conference. He was such an entertaining speaker, and some of his more memorable stories involved a shellfishing boat, Whoopi Goldberg, the movie Shrek, and his childhood with a lot of curly hair.

To learn more about this talented author/illustrator, visit his website or check out some of his books below:

Gardening for Kids

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Now is a great time to get started on a gardening project. It's great exercise, you get to play in the dirt, and you can learn some things about nature! There are lots of gardening activities to try, from growing your own fruits and vegetables to attracting birds, butterflies, and other wildlife to your backyard. Don't worry if you don't have much outdoor space - lots of gardening projects don't need much space at all.

Check out the titles below to get started on your gardening adventure!

Read Across America Day with Dr. Seuss

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March 3, 2014 marks the 17th year of celebrating the National Education Association’s “Read Across America Day” and Dr. Seuss’s birthday. To help support this occasion, the Lane Road Library is hosting a Dr. Seuss Craft day on Wednesday, March 5 at 4:00 for children ages 2 and up. Stop by to make your own “Cat in the Hat” hat and a Lorax finger puppet. Check out the following links for more ideas on how you can celebrate at home!

                                  

http:// www.seussville.com/Educators/educatorReadAcrossAmerica.php

http:// www.nea.org/grants/886.htm

 

 

Juvenile Fiction Selection: Audrey (cow)

Audrey is a Charolais cow living a happy and poetic life on Bittersweet farm, that is until the day they take her mother away. Confronted with her new reality, Audrey, with the help of many farm friends, devises an escape plan to avoid her “food cow” fate. Inspired by the true story of Charlene Mookin–aka “Cincinnati Freedom”–this story is a fun adventure for animals lovers of all ages.  

Surviving the Family Road Trip

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Does your family argue over who gets to pick the music on long car trips?  Do you need a cure for the “Are we there yet?” blues?  Pack a good supply of family-friendly audiobooks for your next road trip.  Audiobooks are entertaining as well as educational. Children will be exposed to a wide variety of literature and improve their listening skills.  And, you can add to the experience by trying some of the following fun activities.

  • In-Car Casting Calls: Try making up new voices for your favorite character.  Act out a few scenes.
  • Geography: If the book's setting is real, discuss how far away the location is, how you could travel to get there, what the weather would be like, etc.  If the location is imaginary, have fun making up these details.
  • Listen for Clues: Periodically stop the audiobook and have everyone guess what's going to happen next.  
  • Create the Sequel: When the book is finished, have everyone make up a different ending.  Or, imagine what would happen in a sequel.  
  • Interview the Author: What would you ask the author about the book?  What questions are left unanswered?

Listening to audiobooks and playing these games will make the car trip seem shorter and offer a terrific way to involve the whole family in a lively discussion.

Here are some favorite audiobooks for family listening.

Charlotte's Web by  E.B. White
read by the author
(3 hours 16 minutes)

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
performed by a full cast
(4 hours 57 minutes)

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
read by Lynn Redgrave
(13 hours 31 minutes)

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny – Detectives Extraordinaire! by Polly Horvath
read by the author
(4 hours 30 minutes)

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry
read by Jim Dale
(approx. 9 hours)

Great Books for Newly Independent Readers

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Scholastic has a new early chapter book series called Branches. These books are great for newly independent readers with high-interest content and illustrations on every page. Some books are formatted as early chapter books while some have more of a graphic-novel feel. There are thought bubbles, graphic panels, and funny pictures to keep your young reader engaged. The levels vary but are generally intended for readers in kindergarten through third grade.  I love to recommend these to parents who are looking for a a begining chapter book for a child just ready to take a step away from early readers. To find specific levels and a list of all the series you can visit the Scholastic website at http:// www.scholastic.com/branches/ or click on the links below to reserve a copy today!  

 

Spirit Animals!

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Do you like the 39 Clues books? If so, you might want to try a new series called Spirit Animals. Just like the 39 Clues, each book will have a different author and you can join in the adventure online.  

In Spirit Animals: Book 1 Wild Born, four young heroes discover the special connection they each have with a wild animal and set out on a dangerous quest to save the world of Erdas.  

Want to know more about it? Watch this video of Brandon Mull, the author of Book 1, or visit the Scholastic website and create your hero and summon a spirit animal of your own!

 

It's a Fact: Spring is Nesting Time

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bird's nest

Spring is in the air and birds are building nests all over town.  Learn all about the wide variety of nests you can find in Jennifer Ward's book, Mama Built a Little Nest . Identify which bird built the nest using the  National Geographic Kids Bird Guide of North America . And birds aren't the only animals that build nests. Check out  A Nest is Noisy  by Dianna Hutts Aston to explore the incredible world of nests. 

 

 

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