Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Boys Without Names

I tend to be reading kind of heavy fiction lately. First A Million Shades of Gray, and now Boys Without Names, by Kashmira Sheth. But it's just so good, I have to talk about it. This is another one that I wouldn't recommend for anyone under like 4th or 5th grade.

Gopal and his family live in a small village in India and have lost their farm. They are forced to move to the big city to avoid their creditors. After having a roof over his head his whole life, he is forced to live on the streets and beg with his family to try to get enough money to get to his uncle's house in the city. While trying to find a way to help, he is lured away from his family. He ends up a prisoner with several other boys, forced to make beaded frames, with the threat of physical punishment and loss of food and water if he doesn't go fast enough.

Will Gopal find a way to get away from the factory? Will he ever see his family again? What will become of him and the other boys in the factory?

You know how to find out...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Calling All Parents: Learn to Live Sustainably

Viviane Simon-Brown, Oregon State University professor and statewide Extension Agent, will encourage you to live an uncluttered, focused, and rich life by living sustainably. You will learn how your values and beliefs play an everyday role in what you do socially, financially, and environmentally. You'll learn how to articulate your values to make your daily life easier. Everyone in attendance will receive a copy of the Living Sustainably: It's Your Choice workbook and guide, published by OSU Extension to use during the workshop and to take home.

Parents, please join us for this 90-minute workshop in the Library Community Room on Tuesday February 23rd at 7:00 pm. And be ready to enrich your life!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Crafty with a Modern Twist

I'm always on the lookout for new craft books, especially ones that feature simple crafts, inexpensive supplies and awesome design. Todd Oldham's Kid Made Modern takes it's cues from modern artists*, interpreting their style into kid-friendly designs. From bubble wrap printing (genius!) to paint sample tiles, these are innovative and exciting crafts perfect for 7 year olds up to teens. With a few supplies and a little free time, you and yours can easily make any of these 52 projects.

*I only wish some of the modern artists original works were shown in the book. Oh well.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Million Shades of Gray

From the Newbery Medal-winning author of Kira-Kira, Cynthia Kadohata, comes her newest book, A Million Shades of Gray. It takes place during what we know as the Vietnam War and is the story of Y'Tin, a young boy from the Rhade tribe. Y'Tin has the distinction of being the youngest Rhade elephant handler ever, and he dreams of being able to train others to handle elephants with his gentle style. When the Americans leave Vietnam, he and his family are forced to leave their village for the jungle to face the North Vietnamese Army and the Vietcong on their own. His courage is tested. His friendships are tested. Even his relationship with his elephant, Lady, is tested. Despite a grim setting, it is a story of hope, friendship, and family. For upper elementary students and older.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Biography Resource Center

You may have seen Anna's post in January about some great online resources that the kids can use to help with their homework. Another one is the Biography Resource Center. I've seen a lot of kids asking for biographies lately, and I always make sure to tell them about this great resource. It's actually a database made for grown-ups, but there is a ton of great biographical information that kids can also use. I strongly recommend using it when working on a biography assignment.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Trucks, Tractors and Trains, Oh My!

Does your toddler love trucks? And trains? And construction machines? Here are some of my favorites. While you're at it, take a couple of old shoe boxes, some string and some crayons and create your own vehicle parade.
Truck Duck by Michael Rex

Freight Train by Donald Crews

Trucks from the Bright Baby series

Machines at Work by Byron Barton

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Celebrate with Books

One of my favorite blogs The Brown Bookshelf celebrates Black History Month with 28 Days Later, highlighting a different African American illustrator or writer every day of the month. It's a great way to find new books, learn about the writing/illustrating process and support diversity in children's books.