Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Story of friendship in 1926 South Carolina

Fuqua, Jonathon Scott (2002). Darby.* Grades 4-6.
Set in 1926, nine-year-old Darby Carmichael lives in Marlboro County, South Carolina where racial tensions are high. Her father owns a store and is a farmer who employs black sharecroppers. One of Darby's good friends is Evette, the daughter of a sharecropper. When Evette tells Darby that she wants to be a newspaper editor, Darby begins to have writing ambitions of her own. Evette helps Darby with her first newspaper article for the local paper and after that Darby is a local celebrity, but when Darby begins to observe and write about the racial inequality and tension in her town, some citizens are less than thrilled. Unfortunately, her family becomes targeted by a group of whites that disagree with Darby's opinion.
This is a great story about a young girl who is not afraid to speak the truth, no matter the consequences. Great book for a book club or classroom read-aloud.

*NPL does not own this title.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Depression Era Murder Mystery

Collier, James Lincoln (2008). The Dreadful Revenge of Ernest Gallen. Grades 5-7.
Set during the years following the Great Depression, Gene Richards begins hearing a voice, which asks him to solve a mystery involving a murder. At first, Gene tries to ignore the voice, but each time the voice returns it becomes harder to do so. Then he learns that his friend Sonny's dad also heard a voice, which urged him to walk off a construction plank and die. Gene believes that this is the same voice he is hearing and must figure out a way to solve the mystery before the voice convinces Gene to hurt himself or worse.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Comic Workshop at the Needham Public Library!

If you are in Grades 3-6, enjoy graphic novels and drawing, you can join Gareth Hinds, illustrator of Beowulf, King Lear and other graphic novels for a comic workshop!

Time & Place:
Monday, May 4, 2009 from 3:30-5 pm in the Community Room.

Participants will learn about the various stages of illustrating a story and through examples and exercises presented by Mr. Hinds will be able to create their own illustrations. Explore some of his sketches and books online: http://www.garethhinds.com/books.php.

Registration begins on Monday, April 27 and is limited to 20 children. Visit the Children's Reference Desk to register or call 781-455-7559 ext. 204.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fun Picture Books and an Online Art Class

If you are looking for some funny picture books to read with your children, look no further!

You'll enjoy Jarrett Krosoczka's Punk Farm and Punk Farm on Tour about farm animals who-- unbeknownst to their farmer--decide to start a rock band and then go on tour!

If you're interested in how Krosoczka illustrated these picture books, click here to watch the picture come alive on Just One More Book's video of a special art class with the author.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

What would happen if you invented a new word?

Clements, Andrew (1996). Frindle. Grades 3-5.

Nick Allen always came up with clever schemes to stall a teacher right before the bell rang, which usually meant no homework, but this year is going to be different. Nick is in the fifth grade and his teacher Mrs. Granger does not tolerate any type of nonsense. When Nick asks a question right before the bell, Mrs. Granger asks him to find out and report on the answer the next day! His report leaves him with an idea--he decides to get back at his teacher by inventing a new word, "frindle," which spreads like wild fire throughout the school. Soon Nick can't control the popularity of his new word and neither can Mrs. Granger. This new word catches the attention of the media and entrepreneurs, who sell products with "frindle" written on them and "frindle" is eventually included in the dictionary. Find out how Nick feels about his new word and whether he and Mrs. Granger can look past their differences.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Fans of Rick Riordans' Percy Jackson series

While you're waiting to read the The Last Olympian, the final book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, why not read some other books about gods, godesses, and other mythological characters.

Here are a few suggestions:

Abouzeid, Chris. Anatopsis.
In the realm from which the Greek gods ruled the universe thousands of years ago, the immortal witch Anatopsis uncovers the true objectives of her demi-god tutor Mr. Pound and attempts to prevent him from carrying out his evil plans.

Deming, Sarah. Iris, Messenger.
After discovering that the immortals of Greek mythology reside in her hometown of Middleville, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Iris listens to their life stories, gaining wisdom, beauty, and startling revelations about her past.

Henessy, Carolyn. Pandora Gets Jealous.
Thirteen-year-old Pandy is hauled before Zeus and given six months to gather all of the evils that were released when the box she brought to school as her annual project was accidentally opened.

Jones, Diana Wynne. The Game.
Sent to a boisterous family gathering in Ireland by her overly strict grandmother, orphaned Hayley feels out of place until her unruly cousins include her in a special game involving travel through the mythosphere, the place where all the world's stories can be found, and where some secrets of her past are revealed.

Mebus, Scott. Gods of Manhattan.
Thirteen-year-old Rory discovers a spirit world that thrives alongside his contemporary New York City, filled with fantastical creatures and people from the city's colorful past who have become gods and goddesses and who have chosen Rory to perform a dangerous mission.

Ursu, Anne. The Shadow Thieves. (The Cronus Chronicles, bk.1)
After her cousin Zee arrives from England, thirteen-year-old Charlotte and he must set out to save humankind from denizens of the underworld, Nightmares, Death, Pain, and a really nasty guy named Phil.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Once upon a time...

Myers, Edward (2008). Storyteller. Grades 5-8.

Jack has always excelled at telling stories to his family, friends, and just about anyone who will listen. After turning seventeen, he decides to leave his small village of Yorrow and find his fortune in the world. His journey steers him to the royal city where he meets the sorrowful king, his daughters, and son. After successfully meeting his first task, Jack is appointed the royal storyteller. He decides that he must help the king overcome his sorrows and bring the kingdom back to its better days, but it seems that the king's son, Prince Yoss, has other plans. With the help of a bird named Loquasto and the eldest princess Stelinda, Jack will take on Prince Yoss and his evil plan to rule the kingdom.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What can you make with wire and bits of junk?

If you were Alexander Calder you could have made art!
Check out Tanya Lee Stone's Sandy's Circus: A Story about Alexander Calder. Stone looks at the beginnings of Calder's artistic process, his new art, and how he created his now famous art pieces, including his mobiles. Quirky and colorful illustrations portray Calder's imaginative and extraordinary artistic creations.