Tag Archives: summer reading

The Solar Eclipse Experience

16 Aug

Solar_eclipse_1999_4_NRAt this point (especially if you work in a library), if you haven’t heard about the solar eclipse then I want to be you! We applied for the NASA grant and didn’t get it, so my children’s and teen programming librarians decided that we would offer a program anyway and buy some glasses for the program participants. We went back and forth on how many pairs of glasses to order, how popular we thought the program would be, who we could have come in to actually do the program, etc. We were finally able to get one of our middle school teachers to put a program together for us (right before school started and she was kind enough to volunteer her time). We decided to only order enough glasses for the program participants and opened the program up to 40 kids. Well, needless to say, the program is completely filled with an additional 25 kids on our waiting list.

I come into the library yesterday morning, ready to open my office and I seen an email pinned to my door, it’s from Amazon. They’re refunding us our money for the glasses because they cannot verify with the manufacturer that our glasses are properly certified. I have 40 kids planning on coming to a program in less than 36 hours who are expecting glasses. It was not an enjoyable way to start my day.

After hours of searching online, calling local retailers and doing a ton of research, we made our decision. We’d proceed with the program, email the participants ahead of time explaining the situation, provide the kids with instructions and materials to create a pinhole solar eclipse viewer and hope for the best. So far, I haven’t heard any major complaints, but as the director I made the tough call to choose not to hand out our glasses. My librarians did the research and chose the glasses that appeared to be certified (and it says it right there, printed on the glasses), but I don’t want any eye injuries as a result of handing out faulty solar eclipse glasses, so that’s where we stand. Meanwhile, we’re continuing to field calls from community members asking if we have glasses to give away and trying to get into the solar eclipse program that has been full for a month.

I can’t wait for the eclipse to be over.

 

Go Camping with Picture Books

4 Aug

camping

My parents were (and still are) pretty cool – they’d pack all four of us up (with the dog), maybe some cousins and we’d go camping all around western PA in the summer. We had a small pop-up camper and I absolutely loved every minute of it! So I’ve created a short list of picture books about enjoying the outdoors and going camping!

  1. Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems by Kristine O’Connell George, illustrated by Kate Kiesler
  2. Flashlight by Lizi Boyd
  3. Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping by Mélanie Watt
  4. Maisy Goes Camping by Lucy Cousins
  5. S is for S’Mores: A Camping Alphabet by Helen Foster James
  6. Duck Tents by Lynne Berry, illustrated by Hiroe Nakata
  7. Yes, Let’s by Galen Goodwin Longstreth, illustrated by Maris Wicks
  8. Camp Rex by Molly Idle
  9. A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen
  10. The Camping Trip That Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and the National Parks by Bob Rosenstock, illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein
  11. Bailey Goes Camping by Kevin Henkes
  12. The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids: How to Plan Memorable Family Adventures and Connect Kids to Nature by Helen Olsson

YA Beach Reads

14 Jul

ya beach.png

I always want to go to the beach (or as they say in Southeast PA – “down the shore”) and then I get there. I don’t care about the sand, I love the ocean… it’s the sun. From the viewpoint of this very pale girl, the beach is such a pain in terms of applying sunscreen. I have to re-apply every half hour to hour if I don’t want to burn, I can’t use the spray (it doesn’t provide enough coverage) and if I’m at the beach, I’m wearing a swimsuit which means there’s a lot of surface area to cover in sunscreen – legs, arms, back, ears, etc. It ends up being more work than anything else! But that doesn’t mean I don’t absolutely love the idea of the beach, so here are ten YA titles that take place on/near the beach.

  1. We Were Liars by e. Lockhart
  2. The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
  3. The Summer After You + Me by  Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
  4. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
  5. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
  6. Sixteenth Summer by Michelle Dalton
  7. Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
  8. Be True to Me by Adele Griffin
  9. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
  10. Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider

Reader’s Choice

8 Jul

Summer Reading is in full swing and without a doubt we’ve had parents requesting classics, literary books, and titles that will challenge their kids, rather than picking up the Diary of a Wimpy Kid title for the 100th time.  And while classics, literary fiction and challenging works have their place, I strongly believe that kids need to learn to read for fun rather than what’s required of them. As an adult, when was the last time you read something that was required of you (outside of work)? Or that you read something that challenged you?

I just spent the last three days reading a Nora Roberts trilogy – sappy, romantic, happy endings, the works. Nora Roberts tends to be my guilty pleasure books, I know everything is going to work out in the end, they don’t take much thought process, but I love them. If kids only read things picked out for them by teachers, parents and adults – how will they learn how great reading can be? When kids read the same title over and over again, it’s because they like it, the book makes them feel confident in their skills and isn’t that what we’re looking for? Confident readers that enjoy reading?

So the next time you stop by the local library or bookstore, allow your kids to peruse those titles that make them want to read and maybe slip in a few read-alike titles that a librarian or bookseller can suggest, maybe they’ll pick up those new titles right away and if not, when they’re ready, they will! Happy Reading!

Children’s Resource: Reading Beyond Booklist

16 Jun

ReadingBeyondLOGO-_FINALI’m so excited to promote this amazing booklist, just in time for summer reading and all those parents looking for books for their kids who read beyond their grade level.

The Reading Beyond booklist is a list of “75 titles chosen by the ALA-CBC (American Library Association & Children’s Book Council) Joint Committee to provide guidance to parents, caregivers, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and anyone interested in discovering books for children who read at an advanced level and are seeking more challenging, but still age-appropriate, books.” (CBC website)

The list is broken down into three areas:

  • Kindergarten & 1st graders reading at a 3rd grade level
  • 2nd & 3rd graders reading at a 5th grade level
  • 4th & 5th graders reading at a 7th grade level

This list was curated with special care looking for diverse titles in different genres in the hopes that there is something for each and every child looking for some new titles. And I know, because I was able to be on this amazing committee working on this list for the past year. It was not an easy list of books to come up with as there was a lot of back and forth – whether the content was appropriate for the reader, whether the reading level was too easy or too difficult and ensuring that diversity was well represented with the list.

Share this great curated and annotated reading list with friends, family and your libraries!

%d bloggers like this: