For most folks summer reading means fun, lighthearted beach reads. However, as summer winds down, you may find yourself in need of a break from the saccharine. If you are looking for a summer read with some substance and meaningful discussion, then look no further than Tara Sullivan’s “The Bitter Side of Sweet.”
This is Sullivan’s second novel and her first title for middle grade readers, but make no mistake — the subject matter in “The Bitter Side of Sweet” is not for the faint of heart. This novel deals with child slave labor in cacao farms along the Ivory Coast. Brothers Amadou and Seydou go to work one season on the farm in order to help bring in money for their family in a small Malian village. However, two years later they are still on the farm with no idea how much money they have earned or if it will be enough to pay off the debt they’ve incurred for living and working on the farm. Then one day a new girl, Kadisha, is brought to the farm. After several failed escape attempts on her own, she enlists the help of Amadou and Seydou to plot another escape. You’ll have to read to find out what happens next! Continue reading “The Bitter Side of Sweet”
When you think “libraries,” you never really associate them with breaking the rules. But on Friday the 24th, after the Columbia DBRL branch was closed, library patrons were
throwing airplanes from the highest reaches of the library and star-gazing all night long (well, actually,
only until about 10 p.m.). Party with the Stars Plus Paper Airplanes was the name of this event, and a great time was had by children and adults alike.
After the library locked its doors at 6 p.m., patrons began shuffling through the back doors to get started folding their paper airplanes and helicopters. Children and parents watched in amazement as their paper creations soared, hovered and weaved their way down the three stories of the library.
Continue reading “Breaking the Rules at the Library!”
With the changing of the seasons we have a new group of award nominees in the children’s sections of our libraries, all with shiny new orange stickers and ready for Summer Reading! This might leave you wondering about the 2015-16 award nominees with the purple stickers. Where did they go? Which books won? Have no fear! We have several copies of each title; they just been moved to their permanent homes in the regular stacks. If you are interested in which 2015-16 nominees won, read on!
Missouri Building Block: “Naked!” written by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi.
This a hilarious story is about a youngster who discovers the only thing more fun than running around wearing nothing is running around wearing nothing but a cape.
Show Me Readers Award: “Trouper” by Meg Kearney, illustrated by E.B. Lewis.
A three-legged dog remembers his time as a stray before he was adopted. Continue reading “2016 Book Champions!”
It’s spring time! Most people look forward to sunshine, warmth, rain, rainbows and flowers. But spring also brings severe storms. If you have a young one in school, it’s likely that they have practiced where to go and what to do if a severe storm or tornado strikes, but do you have a plan at home?
While severe storms may be scary, talking to your child and practicing how to react with your family will make a scary situation easier. A storm becomes severe when it produces hail one inch in diameter and/or high winds over 58 miles per hour. There are a couple of steps to be storm ready. First, know the difference between a watch and a warning. Next, make a plan on where to go and who to contact if you and your family members were to get separated. Have your child help create an emergency kit in case you need to spend a long time in a shelter or the power goes out. Finally, practice your plan to check your family’s knowledge on where to go.
Here are some things you and your child can add to your emergency kit: Continue reading “Severe Weather Plan”
In honor of Valentine’s Day (February 14) and Random Acts of Kindness Week (February 14-20), we thought it would be fun to create a list of some love and kindness themed books that the library offers for young readers. It is never too early to teach and share the value of love and kindness.
One of my favorite things to do each year is create Valentine’s Day cards with friends and hand them out at local nursing homes and hospitals. Just a simple way to spread joy. (This is double the fun if you have kids who can deliver cards with you.) Below are some of my top pick books to encourage kindness in young readers. Click on the book title to check library availability. Happy reading!
Start Early Books:
“How Kind!” by Mary Murphy
Continue reading “Kindness is Contagious”
January is National Be Kind to Food Servers Month! To celebrate, you can read my new favorite series – Lunch Lady by Jarrett Krosoczka. The heroine is a mild-mannered cookie-serving lunch lady by day and a super secret agent by night. Cleverly disguised to blend into their cafeteria surroundings, Lunch Lady and her sidekick Betty use gadgets like the lunch tray laptop, taco-vision night goggles (you can see at night and everything looks like a taco) and hairnet-nets to keep the school safe from bullies and sinister cyborgs. Lunch Lady serves up laughs and justice while she fights off mutant mathletes, crazed authors and – worst of all – a league of evil librarians! She’s someone you want around if it’s lunchtime or crunch time! Continue reading “National Be Kind to Food Servers Month”
Each year the American Library Association honors books, videos, and other outstanding materials for children and teens. Selected by committees composed of librarians and other literature and media experts, the awards encourage original and creative work in the field of children’s and young adult literature and media. The following titles and contributers are some of the 2016 YMA winners.
“Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear,” illustrated by Sophie Blackall and written by Lindsay Mattick.
A woman tells her young son the true story of how his great-great-grandfather, Captain Harry Colebourn, rescued and learned to love a bear cub in 1914 as he was on his way to take care of soldiers’ horses during World War I, and the bear became the inspiration for A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh. Continue reading “2016 Youth Media Award Winners”
Here’s a craft that allows you to combine three wonderful things:
1) Young children
2) Fine motor skill development
3) Minimal mess
Don’t believe it is possible to do all three at once? Read on, and find out how you and your child can make a simple bird feeder! Continue reading “Make Your Own Bird Feeder”
“The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art“ by Barb Rosenstock is about the artist Vasily Kandinsky, or Vasya as he is known in the book. When young Vasya is given a box of paints by his aunt, the paints began to hiss and sing when mixed together! Vasya’s reserved family never knew what his paintings were supposed to look like (was it a house or a flower?), but to Vasya it wasn’t representation, it was about the music that the combinations and arrangements of different colors made. Vasya eventually uses his talents and creativity to paint the first completely abstract painting. It is thought that Kandinsky had synesthesia, a rare condition where the senses are blended, which is why he could hear the colors. Kandinsky turned this possible challenge into a gift which gave him unique perspective on his art. Continue reading “Books We Love: The Noisy Paint Box”
New Year’s tends to bring a refreshing feeling and a thirst for change. What better way to start off the new year than by making a New Year’s resolution? The new year presents us with an opportunity to make a change; whether it’s to become healthier, lose a habit or do something just for fun! With limitless possibilities, it can be daunting to pick a resolution and stick with it. But the library is a great resource to find ideas and information to help kids get started on making a change for the better! Here are some ideas for New Year’s resolutions and some books to complement them: Continue reading “New Year, New You!”