Tag Archives: scavenger hunt

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Hidden Gems in the Middle Grade Mystery Genre

29 Aug

mg mysteries.png

Mysteries are some of my favorite types of books to read. Here are ten middle grade mystery titles that you may or may not have heard of – enjoy!

  1. Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
  2. Greenglass House by Kate Milford
  3. The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry
  4. Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
  5. The Detective’s Assistant by Kate Hannigan
  6. The 39 Clues: Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan
  7. Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective: The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit by Octavia Spencer
  8. The Underdogs by Sara Hammel
  9. Knightley & Son byRohan Gavin
  10. The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill by Megan Frazer Blakemore

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Book


Book Review: Mr. Lemoncello’s Great Library Race

15 Jun

31226744.jpgI was so excited to get an ARC of Mr. Lemoncello’s Great Library Race by Chris Grabenstein at BEA a couple weeks ago and bonus – I got it signed! This has become one of my favorite middle grade series for its adventure and library focused scavenger hunts. This most recent title in the series is foucsed around Mr. Lemoncello’s most recent family, fun game – FABULOUS FACT-FINDING FRENZY, but when rumors come out that Mr. Lemoncello stole his very first board game idea from a quiet, little, old lady, the kids join forces to not only win the game, but to clear their favorite game maker’s good name.

I love that as a reader, Chris drops in great titles from literature throughout the text, plus includes a complete list at the end of the book for you to enjoy. The best part for me is the puzzles and scavenger hunt style of the story which I think is very intriguing for kids and a lot of fun to read.

For educators and librarians – you can download your own library scavenger hunt from Chris’s website, he’s more than happy to Skype with classes and library groups and has a host of the great resources on his website.

Twitter Booktalk (140 characters or less): Kyle & his friends play Mr. Lemoncello’s Fact Finding Frenzy game to help clear his good name as they run, ride & fly to find the truth.

Title: Mr. Lemoncello’s Great Library Race
Author: Chris Grabenstein
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 10, 2017
Page Number: 288 pgs.

Lunch Lady Party

7 Oct

Last week I hosted a Lunch Lady Party based on the graphic novel series by Jarrett Krosoczka. I thought this would have a really well attendee p roger am as the books are constantly checked out, but sadly I only had 14 kids registered specifically for grad 2-4 and at the program, I ended up with about six kids who actually shows up for the program and none of them had actually read any of the books.

For the program, I read the beginning of the very last book, Lunch Lady and the Schoolwide Scuffle. After reading aloud, I let the kids gather art supplies to create their own lunch lady gadgets. At first, the kids just stared at me, but then they started thinking about what they wanted to create and spent almost 20 minutes creating meatball slingers, nunchucks, and more. I have found that the Ida need a decent amount of time to really get their imagination going.

When we finished up our lunch lady gadgets, we went on a scavenger hunt looking for the ten villains from the lunch lady series. I made copies of the villains from the bookS and taped them around the children’s department. This is where I found the kids are really impatient and don’t take the time to really look. It took the kids more than 20 minutes to find all the villains and in the end they were all working together to find the villains.  

Overall, I was disappointed by the low attendance of the program, but the kids had a lot of fun making gadgets and going on a scavenger hunt throughout the children’s department.

Mr. Lemoncello’s Great Library Escape

26 Aug

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's L ibrary  coverThis week we offered a scavenger hunt as one piece to our three-part series culminating in a Skype visit with Chris Grabenstein.  The best part?  We used the Mr. Lemoncello’s Great Library Escape on Chris’s website and had to do very little prep for an awesome night of fun!

We ended up with 10 middle school kids who decided to break up into three groups to work together to solve the ten clues to figure out the ultimate answer sheet.  It was definitely an interesting group of kids – some we know really well, others were new to our programming, and a few who weren’t really sure they wanted to be there.  But, in then end, everyone got involved and had a lot of fun.

The clues first had to be figured out and then the kids went to the online catalog to figure out where to find the answer sheet to each clue.  This had the kids all around the children’s department from award winners to graphic novels and nonfiction.  Once all the answer sheets were collected, the kids then had to figure out the picture clues to fill in the missing words on the answer sheet.  Our program took just about an hour, with a lot of help from my co-worker and myself, but could easily be shortened or lengthened as needed.

My co-worker and I realized that the kids really needed a refresher course in using the online catalog and understanding how to find call numbers, especially in the nonfiction section.  They had a really difficult time understanding how to find a specific book once they had the call number.  I’m hoping to do some form of an extension activity or offer one-on-one sessions to teach kids how to effectively search our catalog and find books on the shelf.

Overall, the kids (even those reluctant ones) really got into the scavenger hunt, figuring out clues and looking for answers.  I’m excited for the next step which will be our book discussion followed by our Skype visit!

39 Clues Scavenger Hunt

1 Feb

As a children’s librarian it is my job to come up with new and exciting programs for kids from kindergarten through 8th grade.  Not such an easy task, but probably one of my favorites!  I decided to host a 39 Clues party that is inspired by the hit series the 39 Clues.  Currently, this 10-book series is flying off library shelves.  And after reading all 10 books I can see why.  The series moves very quickly – each book is about 200 pages, but you can’t put it down!

39 clues logoThe premise of the story is that 2 orphaned siblings are sent on a scavenger hunt around the world while trying to prevent their relatives from finding the clues before they can.  The clues are promised to make them “the most powerful and influential people on the planet.”  Not only are the books exciting to read, but Scholastic created an entire card-collecting, online game to go along with the stories.  And the plus side – there’s a history and geography lesson within each book – I was even learning some new things! Needless to say, I had to create my own scavenger hunt inspired by The 39 Clues in my library!

I created 3 clues for each book that coincide with a famous person, place, and artifact discussed in the book.  The 4th clue for each book is a word that when combined with all the other 4th clues creates a sentence – “Only together can we fight the true enemy, the Vepsers.”  The clues are questions that each team must research to find the answer in a specific library book where they will also find their next clue.  For example, the questions for Book 2 are:

Question 1 – An armonica is made up of what type of material? (glass)
Question 2 – Who wrote the musical composition The Magic Flute? (Mozart)
Question 3 – What is the capital of Austria? (Vienna)

This program is geared toward grades 3 – 6 hopefully with 3 children to each team and combining the younger and older kids together to encourage teamwork.  With the scavenger hunt, we are also going to have a discussion about the different families that are part of the Cahill family, as well as discuss the new series coming out and the possibility of a movie.  We also created about 15 trivia questions, which kids love to answer.  For a snack, I made sugar cookies in the shape of fish which I plan to ice with red frosting.  Saladin, the children’s cat in the series, will only eat red snapper which is what our snack will be for the night!

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