Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Read all about it!

Mr. Gawne kindly shared this link to an interview with talented Polish-born artist, Jan Pienkowski who is noted for his work in children's literature:


In Britain children's literature has a long, rich tradition and is highly respected as well. Click on the link on the top of the page to see more articles about children's books - then go find them at your local library or bookstore!

Remember, if there's a book you're looking for that isn't published in the US or is otherwise hard to obtain, you can request it for free via inter-library loan through KCLS. Just fill out the form on this page:


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...!

I hope everyone is managing to stay safe and warm as we have all sorts of interesting weather! With driving conditions hazardous, this is the perfect time for sitting inside with a great book. Right now I'm reading The Magic Half by Annie Barrows, a magical story about a 5th grader, Miri, who is sandwiched between older twin brothers and younger twin sisters. She always feels like the "extra" one in her very special family - until the day she has a very special adventure of her own. This is a perfect book for you Penderwick fans, or anyone who likes time travel stories.

My daughter, Pippa, is devouring the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage (Magyk, Flyte, Physik and Queste) which provide nice, meaty reads for fantasy lovers. She also took a detour into biography to read She Touched the World: Laura Bridgman, Deaf-Blind Pioneer by Sally Hobart Alexander. This book, by an author who is blind and suffers partial hearing loss herself, talks about a remarkable woman who learned to communicate with sign language before Helen Keller and who was very famous in her own time.

What are you reading in the midst of this winter storm? Leave a comment and let me know!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Meet Brian Jacques

Brian Jacques (pronounced "jakes") is the prolific author of the Redwall series of medieval rodent adventure stories much beloved by our students across many grade levels. His latest book, Doomwyte, the 20th in the Redwall series is a recent addition to our library collection.

Read this interview with Jacques and get to know the man behind the books, then visit his website (http://www.redwall.org/) to find out more about the series!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Winter break reading list!

One of my favorite things about winter break is having hours to lounge around with a mug of tea, my daughter, my cat and a pile of good books! And if you are traveling, you will surely want some books for the plane or audio books for that long car ride. Take a look at this year's winter break reading guide:


If you access the library website through the Current Families section of www.ows.org you will also find lists from previous years.

Happy reading!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Got folktales?

Folktales are one of the most enduringly popular genres with children of all ages, including teens who devour young adult novels inspired by these classic stories.

It is no secret that many folktales fall into common types that are echoed in cultures throughout the world. In fact, Finnish folklorist Antti Aarne first classified many folktales by motif in 1910 and his system is still used today.

One way to find variants on a beloved folktale is to go to this website:


Sur la Lune "features 49 annotated fairy tales, including their histories, similar tales across cultures, modern interpretations and over 1,500 illustrations."

More serious folktale fans should check out Margaret Read MacDonald's The Storyteller's Sourcebook, available at the public library, which indexes literally hundreds of picture books and story collections. This will open up a treasure trove of family reading!

It is a thrill (as well as an engaging topic for discussion and inspiration for one's own writing) to read a variation on a beloved story that has been passed down through the ages.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Mock Newbery Awards

Unlike many other literary awards, the Newbery selection committee does not publish a short list – leaving everyone in great suspense until the announcement of the winners each January! In anticipation of the next round of winners, why not conduct a Mock Newbery of your own? I recorded some of the titles frequently mentioned on lists from public libraries across the US and they are shown below. Please be sure to check age recommendations (the Newbery is given for distinguished literature for young people up through age 14).

Check back here in January or go to www.ala.org/alsc/newbery.cfm to see the list of official winners!

42 Miles by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer
Along Came Spider by James Preller
Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look
Becoming Billie Holiday by Carole Boston Weatherford
Bird Lake Moon by Kevin Henkes
Black Box: A Novel by Julie Schumacher
The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
Brooklyn Bridge by Karen Hesse
The Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
Clementine's Letter by Sara Pennypacker
The Comeback Season by Jennifer E. Smith
Deep Down Popular by Phoebe Stone
Diamond Willow by Helen Frost
A Difficult Boy by M.P. Barker
The Dragon's Child: A Story of Angel Island by Laurence Yep
Eleven by Patricia Reilly Giff
Grow: A Novel in Verse by Juanita Havill
The Facttracker by Jason Carter Eaton
The Floating Circus by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech
The House of Djinn by Suzanne Fisher Staples
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I Am Apache by Tanya Landman
Jeremy Cabbage and the Living Museum of Human Oddballs and Quadruped Delights by David Elliott
Jimmy's Stars by Mary Ann Rodman
Keeping Score by Linda Sue Park
Keeping the Night Watch by Hope Anita Smith
Knucklehead by Jon Scieszka
Little Audrey by Ruth White
Magic Half by Annie Barrows
My One Hundred Adventures by Polly Horvath
Nurk by Ursula Vernon
Outside Beauty by Cynthia Kadohata
The Porcupine Year by Louise Erdrich
The Postcard by Tony Abbott
The Possibilities of Sainthood by Donna Freitas
Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
The Remarkable & Very True Story of Lucy and Snowcap by H.M. Bouwman
Rex Zero, the King of Nothing by Tim Wynne-Jones
Ringside, 1925: Views from the Scopes Trial by Jen Bryant
Savvy by Ingrid Law
Seer of Shadows by Avi
Shooting the Moon by Frances O'Roark Dowell
Six Innings by James Preller
Storyteller by Edward Myers
Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers
Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris by R.L. LaFevers
A Thousand Never Evers by Shana Burg
Trouble Begins at 8 by Sid Fleischman
Trouble by Gary D. Schmidt
The Underneath by Kathi Appelt
The Unnameables by Ellen Booraem
Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor
The Walls of Cartagena by Julia Durango
Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls
We Are the Ship by Kadir Nelson
The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Introducing... the first American Children's Laureate!

Did you know that the United States now has a Children's Laureate? The Library of Congress selected Jon Scieszka (pronounced SHESS-ka) as the first ambassador for young people's literature. Check out his new site:


Also not to be missed, his Guys Read site: http://www.guysread.com/, full of books that appeal to guys of all ages (as well as many girls)!

The UK has had Children's Laureates for a few years now. Get some more great reading ideas from their website:


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Running out of books?

In case you find yourself wondering what to read next, the public library has reading lists for all tastes and all ages! There are millions of items in many formats at your fingertips. Place holds and have them delivered to the branch nearest you.

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm looking forward to curling up with my daughter, my cat and a few good books over the long weekend! I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Looking abroad for books

While the world of American children's literature is certainly booming, don't forget all the amazing books being published overseas! Travel the world through the pages of some of the best children's literature by following the links below:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Neuroscience for Kids

Check out this fun University of Washington website, Neuroscience for Kids:


It has memory games, experiments and other fascinating information. Then borrow these books from KCLS or the school library and learn even more:

Aha! : The Most Interesting Book You'll Ever Read about Intelligence by Trudee Romanek

It's All in Your Head: A Guide to Understanding Your Brain and Boosting Your Brain Power by Susan L. Barrett, Pamela Espeland, and J. Urbanovic

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Welcome to the new library blog!

Welcome! I am hoping that the new library blog will be a convenient way for me to communicate with students and parents. I am planning to update it regularly with a mix of interesting links, book recommendations, announcements about local events, and more.

Please feel free to send me comments, questions and requests! I want to hear from all of you.

Happy reading!
Ms. Simeon