Big Kids

Juvenile Fiction Selection: The Not-So Itty-Bitty Spiders by Amy Marie Stadelmann

This is the first book of the new Scholastic Branches series Olive and Beatrix.  Olive and Beatrix are twins sisters but while Olive is “normal” her sister just happens to be a witch!  Beatrix loves to use her magic powers to play tricks on her science-loving twin and Olive's best friend Eddie.  When one of Beatrix's pranks ruins Olive and Eddie's science project they decide to play a trick on her and rig up a bucket of spiders to fall on her head.  Unfortunately their plan goes all wrong when the spiders get into one of Beatrix's potions and become giants spiders on the loose. Now Beatrix and Olive need to work together, along with the help of Eddie, to save their town from the giant creatures.  Perfect first chapter book for emerging readers who want a little magic in their stories.

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!

Clover's Luck by Kallie George

Clover's Luck is the first book in The Magical Animal Adoption Agency series.  Clover has always considered herself unlucky and especially with pets.  Her most recent one, a pet bird, flies off into the forest and when she goes chasing after her Clover stumbles upon a flyer advertising a job at an animal adoption agency.  When Clover goes to ask about the job she is hired on the spot and soon learns the secret of M.A.A.A.; it's full of magical animals.  Fairy horses, magic toads, witch kittens, unicorns, and even a baby dragon are among the animals available to adopt. Just as Clover is feeling her luck might be changing she gets left in charge of the agency and a sneaky witch shows up causing all sorts of trouble.  Can Clover overcome her bad luck and help the animals find good homes?   (Grades 2-4 School Library Journal)

Get Into Nature!

Renee's picture

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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