Big Kids

Letters, Notes, and Messages...There is More Than One Way to Tell a Story!

Jennifer's picture

A lot of books are set up in a traditional novel style, but others use letters and notes to tell the story instead. This can be a really fun way to read and get to know the characters. It may even spur an interest in writing some letters yourself! I’m sure a friend would love to read the story of your days in a letter just for them!

Book Cover for 43 Old Cemetery RoadA fabulous example of this letter style (also called epistolary novels) is the book series 43 Old Cemetery Road by Kate Klise. It is told in letters, messages, and notes exchanged between a little boy, the ghost who haunts his house, and the very grumpy writer who moved in. They seem an unlikely trio, but are really kindred spirits who form a unique and wonderful relationship - all built around their beautiful, fun, sometimes grumpy, and often witty, letters! There is also lots of fun word play, and a big dose of mystery, in each novel. It’ll keep you guessing, and laughing, right to the end! For a sneak peek check out this fan made book trailer.

 

 

For more letter style books try one of these:

Happy Reading!

Juvenile Fiction Selection: The Chicken Squad:The First Misadventure by Doreen Cronin

Those funny chicks from The Trouble with Chickens are back in a series all their own. Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie are not your typical chicks. They might be cute, but they are also daring and always ready to solve a mystery or fight crime. When a very scared squirrel named Tail comes to tell them about the “big and scary thing” that has landed in the backyard, the chicken squad is on the case. With the use of some strange camouflage and deductive reasoning the chicks investigate the big, green, round, and shiny object that just might be from out of this world. Beginner chapter book readers will enjoy these hilarious chicks and the wonderful illustrations that capture all the silliness this story has to offer. (Grades 1-3 School Library Journal)

Ready for More?

Laura's picture

What's better than a really good book?  A new book in a wonderful series, of course.  There are some great sequels on the way.  Visit our catalog to reserve your copy today. 

Lemony Snicket keeps his readers guessing with When Did You Last See Her? the next book in his All the Wrong Questions series.  Fans of funny books will enjoy Hard Luck: Diary of a Wimpy Kid #8 by Jeff Kinney.  and Guinea Dog 2 by Patrick Jennings.  For non-stop adventure, you can't beat Dan Gutman's Genius Files books.  The fourth book in this wild ride, From Texas with Love promises to be action packed.  And let's not forget about adding a little magic to our lives.  Wendy Mass revisits Willow Falls in The Last Present.

Winter Reading Club at UAPL

Dena's picture

Brrrrrrrr!!! Winter is definitely here, which means more time to read! And, it also means that our Winter Reading Club has begun. Here is the scoop:

Who: Kids of all ages! (infant through 12th graders)

When: Jan. 5th through Feb. 15th

Where: You can pick up a Winter Reading Club coloring sheet at any UAPL location. 

What: This works similar to a color-by-number painting. Each coloring sheet has a winter animal; the picture of the animal is divided up into 8 sections. On the back of the coloring sheet you will find a list of reading and literacy activities. Every time you complete one of the activities (you get to decide which activities to do), go ahead and color in a section of the animal on the front. Once you have completed your 8 activities and colored in your winter animal, just fill out the bottom slip with your name and contact info, remove that slip from your coloring sheet, and return the slip to any UAPL location. Upon your slip submission you will recieve a bookmark and be entered into the grand prize drawing for your age category. 

Grand prizes will be drawn at each location on Monday, Feb. 16th; winners will be notified by phone, so please write legibly!

Categories for prizes are divided by age/grade:

  • Infant-PK: Grand prize winner will recieve a board book and plush Curious George.
  • K-2nd: Grand prize winner will recieve a blacklight book kit.
  • 3rd-5th: Grand prize winner will recieve a Deluxe Art Set.
  • 6th-12th: Grand prize winner will recieve a gift card to Michael's arts and crafts store.

Once participants have colored in a sheet and submitted their slip they are free to grab another sheet and color again! 

Picture Book Selection: I Have a Dream

A good book to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day is I Have a Dream illustrated by Kadir Nelson.  The words are from Martin Luther King Jr's speech delivered over 50 years ago.  Kadir Nelson is an amazing artist that has brought to life Mr. King and others that believe in equality for all peoples.  Recommended for ages 5 and up.  

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.

Stuck inside? Start a sewing project!

Renee's picture

As the weather becomes frigid the kids may be itching for new activities to explore. Why not bring out that sewing machine that has been collecting dust and put it to work with a great new sewing project? It’s a great activity to work on together and it might just spark a lifelong interest. The Youth Department has a great collection of sewing books waiting to be discovered. Here are a few book suggestions to start you on a new sewing adventure.

  • Sewing Basics: All You Need to Know to Begin Sewing Clothes and Home Furnishings by Wendy Gardiner
  • Sewing with Felt: Learn Basic Stitches to Create More than 60 Colorful Projects by Buff McAllister
  • Customize Your Clothes (Be Creative) by Anna Claybourne
  • Made by Me: a Book of Lovely Things to Make by Jane Bull
  • We Love to Sew: 28 Pretty Things to Make: Jewelry, Headbands, Softies, T-shirts, Pillows, Bags & More by Annabel Wrigley
  • Simple Sewing (Klutz) by The editors of Klutz

Super Power Saturdays: Juvenile Graphic Novels - All Kinds of Powers!

Jennifer's picture

Welcome back to Super Power Saturdays! Last week we looked at super powers in juvenile fiction and even looked at ways to find our own unique powers in the post What's Your Power?. This week takes us into the place that started it all – Graphic Novels and Comics. From traditional powers like super strength and flying, to magical abilities, to super heroes in space there are a lot of great graphic novels and comics out there that feature some amazing and unique super powers. Some great picks are:

One of my favorites is Zita: The Spacegirl by Ben Hatke. In this three part series Zita and her friend Joseph are unwittingly transported to another planet where Zita and Joseph are swept up in a series of adventures and where Zita dons a green cape and becomes known as Zita the Spacegirl! For a sneak peak check out the book trailer:

 

And for some more fun don’t miss Sidekicks by Dan Santat which features super powered animals. See the book trailer for a look at the adventures these animal heroes have.

 

For links to these and other great graphic novels in our catalog see our Juvenile Graphic Novels – All Kinds of Powers! book list. And for the juvenile fiction list that was featured in the May 30th blog post What's Your Power? see the Juvenile Super Powered Fiction book list.

Don’t forget to check back in two weeks (June 20th) for Middle School Powers! And then again the first and third Saturday in July for more great super powered books.

Happy “Super Powered” Reading!

International Chess Day is July 20th

Jennifer's picture

It is time to celebrate all things chess! Sunday, July 20th, is International Chess Day and it’s time to play! And read! Not only do we have lots of strategy guides, from beginner to advanced, but we also have lots of great chapter books about kids who love chess. And if that is not enough check out the movie  Searching for Bobby Fischer. See the trailer below for a sneak peek. 

Book Cover for Gollywhopper Games

And if chess is only one among many games that you love to play and can barely stop playing in order to do anything else – do not despair! We have some great books about games that incorporate games and puzzles for you to solve right into the story! My favorite so far is Gollywhopper Games and Gollywhopper Games: New Champion. Both are about a toy company who puts on a nationwide competition where participants must solve several rounds of puzzles and games, narrowing the completion down bit by bit, until there is one winner – who wins 1 million dollars!  The book’s website gollywhoppergames.com has games, puzzles, and contests.

For links to these books, other books about games and puzzles, and/or chess books in the library catalog, see the links below.

Happy Chess Playing!

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