Big Kids

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: A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord

In this new book by Cynthia Lord we meet Lily, a young girl who lives with her grandparents near the shore and blueberry barrens of Maine. Lily's summer is just starting and she is feeling a little lost since her and her best friend Hannah have started growing apart. While out walking, her blind dog Lucky slips from his leash and runs across the blueberry barrens and it is a girl named Salma who catches him, using her sandwich as bait. Immediately a friendship begins to bloom between Lily and Salma, the daughter of a migrant family living in town for the blueberry-picking season. Salma and Lily spend the summer painting bee houses in Lily's grandparents' store and are growing even closer when Hannah starts coming around again. Hannah is the reigning Blubbery Queen and sparks an interest in Salma to compete in the local annual pageant. Together the girls help to get Salma ready for the pageant and all learn a few things about friendship and belonging along the way. This is a wonderful summer read for realistic fiction fans!  (Grades 4-6 School Library Journal)

Picture Book Selection: Douglas, You Need Glasses

Douglas is a sweet little dog whose nearsightedness often gets him in trouble.  He chases leaves that he thinks are squirrels, misses safety signs like “wet cement”, and sometimes goes home to the wrong house!  Finally, his owner, Nancy, takes him to the eye doctor, where he gets his first pair of glasses.  Kids who wear glasses, as well as kids who don't will enjoy this funny story. Recommended for PreS-Gr. 2.

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.

Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon

Castle Hangnail is in need of a master! Dark Sorceress, Evil Wizard, or Wicked Witch, it doesn’t matter. These minions just need someone to follow and to help save their “good” evil castle before it's shut down. Molly is in need of a place she can express her magic and be a witch – especially a wicked one! When this unlikely group meet, things take unexpected twists and turns. Will they accept Molly – who seems just a little too nice to be truly wicked – to be their master? Can Molly save Castle Hangnail? And what happens when the real dark Sorceress shows up to claim her castle? Find out by following Molly and her minions in this darkly adorable story. (Grades 4th – 6th)

Fun Series to Keep You Reading

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The end of Summer Reading Club 2014 is fast approaching, August 2nd to be exact.  Here in the youth department we spend a great deal of our time helping young readers find the next great book.  Because as we all know, finding the right book makes all the difference.  In the summer I like to recommend funny and entertaining series that make you want to keep reading and give you the opportunity to stay with characters you have come to enjoy.  Here are some first books in my favorite series for middle-readers.  Hopefully, with these titles, you can keep the little ones reading strong through the next two weeks and after!

The Adventures of Nanny Piggins by R. A. Spratt

The Popularity Papers: Research for the Social Improvement and General Betterment of Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang by Amy Ignatow

Swindle by Gordon Korman

We Are not Eaten by Yaks (An Accidental Adventure) by C. Alexander London

Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Sternberg

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

 

It's a Fact: Facts are Awesome!

Laura's picture

Did you know that in Oklahoma it is illegal to make faces at a dog? Or that finger-sized fish called wrasse nibble the gunk off a shark's teeth?  The world is full of interesting, awesome, and curious facts.  I've always wondered how an arena can be an ice rink one day and a basketball court the next.  Learn how it happens in the Time for Kids book, Big Book of Answers: 1001 Facts Kids Want to Know.  Browse through Animal Planet's book, Animals: a Visual Dictionary for the answer to how many eyes can a spider have.  Afraid of rats?  Discover how African giant pouched rats are helping to keep people safe in Friend or Foe: The Whole Truth about Animals that People Love to Hate by Etta Kaner.  Nod your head if you love fact books as much as I do. But not if you're from Bulgaria (as I learned from Adam Frost's book, The Awesome Book of Awesomeness).

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