Saturday, September 25, 2010

Author to Watch: Donna Gephart

I recently ran across a couple of books by Donna Gephart that I knew I wanted to read. I had seen the cover and title of As If Being 12 3/4 Isn't Bad Enough, My Mother is Running for President! Who wouldn't want to read a book with a title like that? And then I saw a review on another book. I didn't realize until I went to pull those off the shelf that they were by the same author. Here's the caption on the cover of this one: Dealing with an ex-best friend, a new girl best friend, and a heartbreaking hamster, David Greenberg is learning...How to Survive Middle School. And on the cover is a real hamster holding a microphone. Again, with a lead-in like that, of course I wanted to read it! A heartbreaking hamster who apparently can sing, too???

Anyway, I was not disappointed. Both books are from the point of view of a middle-schooler (one is a boy, the other is a girl), and the reader gets to experience all of the fun, difficulty, heartbreak, and fear along with the main characters. I highly recommend them for 4th grade and up, and I know I'll be watching for Donna Gephart's next book, Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen!, publication date pending.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

LEGO Construction Zone

Starting this Sunday, September 26, the Library’s Puett Room will become a LEGO construction zone on the last Sunday of every month. Kids ages five and up can drop in to work on their creations with other LEGO fans. We’ll supply the building blocks; kids bring their creativity. And while your family is here, you might as well check out some books about LEGOs as well. Here's a sampling of a few:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Swarms of Fantastic Creatures

What do you call a group of unicorns or sea horses or fauns? Author Jacqueline Ogburn decided to make up her own terms to refer to these and many other magical creatures. Add to that the beautiful ethereal illustrations of Nicoletta Ceccoli and you have an amazing book for your creature-loving youngster. At the end of the book Jacqueline shares a little information about each of the creatures mentioned, including their country of origin and their role in stories. Spend some time pouring over each of the rich pages of A Dignity of Dragons: Collective Nouns for Magical Beasts.

Friday, September 17, 2010

What Did You Think?

The Washington County Cooperative Library Services wants to know what you thought about the Summer Reading Program. The Tigard Public Library participated in this county-wide event. Take a short survey to let us know what you thought of the performers, prizes, promotions and more. Next summer's just around the corner (at least planning for it is!), so give us some information to make things even better. You've got until the end of September to take the survey. Thanks!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Egyptian Paper Beads

Calling all elementary-aged kids!!! Do you want to make jewelry like the ancient Egyptians did? Join us as we make our own paper bead necklaces and bracelets on Saturday, Sept. 18 from 1:30 to 2:30 in the Puett Room.

Monday, September 13, 2010

It's Magic!

Our first Fall Super Tuesday is a magical experience. Presto the Magician will be here Tuesday, September 14 at 7 p.m. with some amazing fun that will keep you laughing. With impossible (and educational) magic tricks, Presto will keep the entire audience entertained. Join us in the Community Room to be amazed!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

School's Back!

School's started, which means homework is right around the corner. In addition to the wonderful resources available in your library (books and librarians, of course), don't forget the awesome resources available from your online library (ebooks, magazine and journal articles, encyclopedia and more).  There are databases about countries and states (CultureGrams), science experiments (Science Online) and current events (Kids InfoBits). Unlike the Internet, these are all updated, fact-checked, accurate resources for your student to use. And as always, your librarians would be glad to give you or your student a quick how-to for these homework helpers.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Countdown by Deborah Wiles

Franny is having a rough school year. Her best friend is acting not like a best friend. Her sister is moody and secretive. Her brother is obsessed with atoms. Her crazy uncle wanders the streets calling out for soldiers to get into line and salute. And America is in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis, which for Franny means duck and cover drills.

Franny's story is compelling, with realistic emotions (moody, hurt and confused) and family dynamics. But what really placed Countdown by Deborah Wiles above and beyond was the author's use of historical data. Wiles combines school report-type essays, actual photographs and public service propaganda, and quotes from speeches and news reports to provide background and context for her story. What could have been disjointed, was in fact natural and necessary to create a complete picture of Franny's story.