Friday, September 25, 2009

Farmington, MA in the 1850's

Barker, M.P. (2008) A Difficult Boy.  (Gr. 5-8)

Children in the United States today aren't bound as servants when their parents owe too much money, but indentured servants were an important factor in how this country was colonized and developed.  In this fictional account of 19th century Massachusetts, Ethan's father, a farmer who is better at planting than at managing his finances, sends his 9-year-old son to work off their debts to the family's creditor, a local storeowner and respected business man. The other bound servant, an Irish boy several years older than Ethan, is a victim of the storekeeper's violent discipline. Ethan, who sees beyond the rude stereotypes that the other farm workers have against the Irish, befriends the older boy and slowly pieces together their master's unknown dark side.

This is a fine work of historical fiction with strong characters, a well developed setting, and a plot that reveals ethnic discrimation, struggles with poverty, and small-town social classes of rural Massachusetts more than a century ago.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs: the book before the movie

Barrett, Judi (1978). Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.

Chewandswallow is a tiny town where it rains orange juice, snows potatoes and peas, and blows in gusts of hamburgers. The weather brings in all kinds of treats, three times a day, and the townspeople look forward to each meal. Trouble begins, however, when the food is too big to eat and starts to destroy the town. Imagine a flood of spaghetti and giant pancakes that cover the school! The townspeople have to find a way to live and eat in peace.

This classic tall-tale brings weather and food together in an imaginative adventure that will leave you laughing, wondering, and maybe a little hungry.

** Did you see the movie? Send your review to the Children's Library and have it published on this blog!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Congratulations, Summer Readers!

What a summer! The summer reading program was a success, thanks to the 233 independent readers who read 2,965 books and the 93 read-to-me's who listened for 510.8 hours. If you signed up for the program and met the goal (5 books or 5 hours), don't forget to pick up your goody bag. You certainly earned your prize!

Now that school has started, stop by the library to pick up books for school, for your own learning, or just for fun. We have great new books about everything from buried bones in colonial Maryland to a book of colors in Braille to the zany (fictional) adventures of space travel in Victorian England.

Come back for reviews, reading suggestions, and more information about everything happening in the children's room.