Big Kids

The Wreck of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald

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   On the evening of November 10, 1975 the cargo ship SS Edmund Fitzgerald got caught in an early winter storm.  Facing near hurricane-force winds and waves up to 35 feet high, the ship suddenly sank to the bottom of Lake Superior.  All those aboard lost their lives.

   While there have been many shipping disasters on the Great Lakes, the sinking of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald remains the best known.  Singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot wrote a hit song about the tragedy in 1976.


Check out these books to learn more.

Poetry Contest Winners for Grades K-4 and 5-8

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Recently the Teen Advisory Board of the Upper Arlington Public Library held a poetry contest with three divisions.  The K-4 grade winner was Katie H. with her poem “Garden” which appears below and the grade 5-8 winner was Ainsley D. whose poem” I Am Sunshine” also appears below right after Katie's. Congratulations to both winners!


The richest garden high up on the hill
had the smell of roses
a slightly pointed breeze
the hum of the bees
the richest soil
the biggest trees.

A warm but not cold wind
brushes me
the ripple of the pond
as I skip the stones
the rock is smooth, the rock is flat.

The richest garden high up on the hill 
in which I visit every day.

-by Katie H.

I Am Sunshine 

I am sunshine
Dancing all around
I am beauty
Clothed in swirling clouds
I am happiness
Laughing at the sun
I am fearlessness
With my hair undone
I am wind
Knowing all things
I am fire
Love songs I sing
I am water
Quick and carefree
I am earth
Wrapped in mystery
I am a Girl. I am free

-By Ainsley D.

On President's Day Don't Forget the First Ladies!

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The third Monday in February we celebrate our Presidents. 

Let's also celebrate the President's wives, daughters and sisters that were America's First Ladies!  


From Martha Washington to Michelle Obama, there have been 44 first ladies.

Martha Washington portraitMichelle Obama portrait

Here are some fun facts about the women who really ran the White House.

dolley madison portraitDolley Madison (#4) was well known for saving important documents and the portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart during the War of 1812.  The portrait is 62 inches by 97 inches!  You can view this famous painting at the Smithsonian .  She was also hostess for the previous President Thomas Jefferson, whose wife had died many years before.  

Lucy Hayes portraitLucy Hayes (#19) was from Ohio and started the first Easter Egg Roll in 1877.

frances folsom cleveland portraitFrances Folsom (#22 and #24) married Grover Cleveland in the first wedding ever held in the White House in 1886.

caroline harrison portraitCaroline Harrison (#23) was an artist who helped decorate the first Christmas tree in the White House in 1889. Mrs. Harrison was also responsible for bringing electricity to the White House.  

Pat Nixon portraitPat Nixon (#37) was the first First Lady to wear pants in public.

Hillary Clinton portraitHillary Clinton (#42) was the only First Lady to be elected to public office. She served two terms as United States Senator from New York. Hillary was also the first to host a webcast from the White House.  

Eight Presidents were Ohioans!  Canton, OH is home to the National First Ladies Library in America, the only one in the United States.  It is the former home of William and Ida McKinley (President #25) and features rotating exhibits in their home and the education center next door.

Happy Mr. and Mrs. Presidents Day!

Super Power Saturdays: Creating Your Own Superheroes and Graphic Novels

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Welcome back everyone! This is the last post in the Super Power Saturdays blog series. We have covered a lot of different books this summer – super powers in fiction, graphic novels, middle school reads, and more. If you missed any of these posts, or just want to re-read them, links to them are at the end of this blog post. Now, after all these great stories, it’s time to take that super powered inspiration and channel it into creating our own stories. So, to wrap things up we will look at books that can help you create your own stories, graphic novels, and characters, and even find out how to break into the writing business! A few great ones to start with are:

Image for Website - Make Beliefs ComixFor some online fun creating comics check out Make Beliefs Comix. It’s an interactive website that has different online features and options, as well as printable downloads and writing prompts, to help you to create your own comics.

For links to these and other great books about creating your own stories, graphic novels, and characters check out the Creating Stories and Graphic Novels book list in our catalog. 

Blogs in this Super Power Saturdays blog series:

Booklists from this blog series:

Happy “Super Powered” Reading Everyone!

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 Into Nature!

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While planning your family's summer activities remember to include the Metro Parks summer programs into your calender. Free family programs include hiking, canoeing, fishing and storytime activities for preschoolers.  You can access the Metro Parks program and events calender at 

Before you begin your adventure at the park, stop by the Upper Arlington Public Library for some great books on nature.  Here are some suggestions to get you started…

Dragons Everywhere!: Fiery Stories For Ages 4 and up

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dragons love tacosDragons are everywhere!  There have been many great picture books published in the last couple of years that explore all aspects of dragon lives.  If you love dragons, check these out!





  • Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin 
  • Me and My Dragon by David Biedrzcki
  • How to Be Friends With a Dragon by Valerie Gorbachev
  • Not Your Typical Dragon by Dan Bar-el
  • King Jack and the Dragon by Peter Bentley 
  • Have You Seen My Dragon? by Steve Light
  • Lovabye Dragon by Barbara Joosse
  • The Crocodile Who Didn't Like Water by Gemma Marino
  • Waking Dragons by Jane Yolen


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