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!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is here!

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child cover

A bit about the new book: 

Yes, it is considered the eighth Harry Potter book. 

Rowling was involved with the creation of the story itself, but is not the writer of the newly released book. Instead, this book is a written play created by Jack Thorne, a British writer and producer of award winning shows and movies. This book is written as a screenplay–if you've never read a screenplay, just FYI–it takes some getting used to. There isn't any internal dialogue, and readers may regret the lack of detail. But, hey, it's Harry Potter.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is now playing on a London stage.

What's it about? Well, Harry is all grown up now, and the story actually picks up in the train station scene that you might remember from the end of book #7, in which Harry and family are dropping off son Albus for his first year at Hogwarts. Without providing spoilers, I will say that the story is about coming to terms with living up to the reputation of being the Boy Who Lived, and dealing with being the son of the Boy Who Lived–both challenging roles. 

PSPUT YOUR COPY ON REQUEST NOW!! Seriously. 

Juvenile Fiction Selection: Masterminds by Gordon Korman

Serenity, New Mexico is an idyllic town where everyone has everything that they need, the lawns are perfectly manicured, and there is no crime.  Serenity is small and there are only thirty kids living in it, including Eli Frieden.  Eli has never left Serenity and why would he ever want to?  All the kids have pools, he has his friends, and his father is the mayor and principal of the school. This town seems perfect and Eli is perfectly happy to live there.  Everything changes the day his best friend Randy convinces him to ride their bikes to the edge of town.  Something strange happens to Eli when he hits the town limits; he gets terribly sick and has to be rescued.  The next thing he knows Randy is getting sent away to live with his grandparent's in Colorado.  Things are changing in Serenity, especially when Eli discovers a secret letter Randy has left him that leads to even more surprises.  Eli teams up with two other kids, Tori and Malik, and together they discover that Serenity is not at all what it seems, and neither are they!  (Grades 4-6 School Library Journal)

Juvenile Fiction Selection: The Book Scavenger

Emily and her family are moving again, this time to San Francisco.  Emily loves to play Book Scavenger, an online game with complex puzzles leading to discovering books hidden in places all over the world.  She teams up with new friend James to follow clues in an odd book they find. They want to figure out the secrets before the men who attacked Emily's hero, Book Scavenger publisher Garrison Griswold, solve the mystery or come after the friends.

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.

Picture Book Selection for Travelers

Adele and her brother Simon are coming to America from France to visit their Aunt Cecile, who takes them on a train trip to see the United States!  Simon is more interested in seeing all of the sights than in keeping track of his belongings, which become lost from New York City to San Francisco.  See if you can find what Simon lost in each picture.  The detailed drawings and sweet story will delight readers of all ages, but particularly those ages 4-8. 

Young Adult Selection: How to Hang a Witch

Samantha Mather, a descendent of the Puritan minister Cotton Mather, has had her life turned upside down by the mysterious illness of her father. When Sam and her stepmother move into her father's house in Salem, MA, she finds herself shunned by most of the townspeople, including a group of girls who call themselves The Descendents. As strange and unexplainable events start to occur, Samantha realizes there are dark forces at work in Salem. Help comes from an unlikely source, a 324-year-old ghost named Elijah. Recommended for grades 9 up.

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