Thursday, October 29, 2020

News podcasts and book suggestions

News Podcasts

Here are some links to news podcasts for kids. 

Books that encourage art exploration

When I Draw a Panda by Amy June Bates

When a girl draws a panda, it comes to life and helps her embrace her own creativity and unique way of seeing the world. She might not draw it the way others do, and they might encourage her to make changes, but the panda she draws (along with other creatures) is the one that makes her happy.

Beautiful Oops
by Barney Saltzberg

The author gives suggestions for what to do when we create a scribble or paint a blob. How do we fix our art when it doesn't look exactly the way we want it to look? Saltzberg would say that none of these things is a mistake and all can be made into beautiful art! 

The Dot
by Peter Reynolds

Art class is over, but Vashti is sitting glued to her chair in front of a blank piece of paper. The words of her teacher are a gentle invitation to express herself. But Vashti can’t draw - she’s no artist. To prove her point, Vashti jabs at a blank sheet of paper to make an unremarkable and angry mark. "There!" she says. That one little dot marks the beginning of Vashti’s journey of surprise and self-discovery. What can you make from a simple dot? 

Brookline Public libraries are providing a new service! Families can pick up a bundle of 10 picture books at a time-- no need to reserve in advance, just go to your library and ask the staff person for a "picture book surprise" bundle! Here's a description of how it works.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Author interview & voting for favorite books

Massachusetts' Children's Book Award: 

Here's a challenge for students in grades 4 - 6: the MA Children's Book Award list is out. On it are 30 titles. You are encouraged to read at least five of the thirty titles so that you'll be ready to vote for the best one this spring. The official website is here

 And added these resources for the contest: MA Children's Book Award:

Author interview: 

Here's an interview with Dusti Bowling about her newest middle grade book, The Canyon's Edge. Bowling is the author of Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus. I haven't read The Canyon's Edge yet, but it's on my list-- it's been getting great reviews. 

Kids Vote For Books!

Kids of any age can vote for their favorite books here: Voting starts today in this contest run by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Books about voting

 Book suggestions

The Oboe Goes Boom Boom Boom
by Colleen AF Venable 

This funny description of each instrument in the band might just help you to find your perfect instrument! The band director leads the reader through each instrument and how each one works. Felicity frequently interrupts by banging on her drum, but by the end even she has chosen just the right instrument! The last pages contain short biographies of some real band members who inspired the characters in the book. 

Cubs in the Tub by Candace Fleming

This nonfiction book tells the story of Helen Martini, the Bronx Zoo's first female zookeeper. In the 1940s the rules about keeping wild animals weren't as strict as they are now and we knew less about how to properly care for animals like tigers in captivity. Mrs. Martini's husband worked for the Bronx Zoo and when some tiger cubs were being ignored by their mother at the zoo, he brought them home for his wife Helen to care for them! She treated them just like human babies and they thrived to the point that she could return them to the zoo. This became a tradition of bringing home animals for Helen to care for until she established a nursery at the zoo. The story of a groundbreaking woman who stopped at nothing to care for animals who needed her help. 

Anya and the Dragon by Sofiya Pasternack

Anya and the Dragon is the story of fantasy and mayhem in tenth century Eastern Europe, where headstrong eleven-year-old Anya is a daughter of the only Jewish family in her village. When her family’s livelihood is threatened by a bigoted magistrate, Anya is lured in by a friendly family of fools, who promise her money in exchange for helping them capture the last dragon in Kievan Rus. This seems easy enough, until she finds out that the scary old dragon isn’t as old—or as scary—as everyone thought. Now Anya is faced with a choice: save the dragon, or save her family.

Collection of books about elections and voting: 

Here are some titles from the Lawrence School library that are about voting and elections. 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Halloween books

 Book suggestions

Chirp by Kate Messner

When Mia moves to Vermont the summer after seventh grade, she's recovering from the broken arm she got falling off a balance beam. And packed away in the moving boxes under her clothes and gymnastics trophies is a secret she'd rather forget.

Mia's change in scenery brings day camp, new friends, and time with her beloved grandmother. But Gram is convinced someone is trying to destroy her cricket farm. Is it sabotage or is Gram's thinking impaired from the stroke she suffered months ago? Mia and her friends set out to investigate, but can they uncover the truth in time to save Gram's farm? And will that discovery empower Mia to confront the secret she's been hiding--and find the courage she never knew she had?

The Problem with Problems by Rachel Rooney

Have you ever met a problem? They come in all shapes and sizes, and can pop up at the most inconvenient times. But you should know some things about problems that will help you make them disappear...

The author and illustrator personify the problems as brightly colored creatures and help teach strategies that will make problems disappear. A creative and entertaining story to help with all types of anxieties and worries. 

She Was the First: The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm
by Katheryn Russell-Brown

Even as a young child growing up in the 1920s, Shirley Chisholm was a leader. At the age of three, older children were already following her lead in their Brooklyn neighborhood.

As a student at Brooklyn College, Shirley could outtalk anyone who opposed her on the debate team. After graduating, she used her voice and leadership to fight for educational change. In community groups, she stood up for the rights of women and minorities. Her small stature and fiery determination often took people by surprise. But they listened.

In 1964, Shirley took her voice and leadership to politics, becoming the first Black woman elected to the New York State Assembly, and in 1968, the first Black woman elected to Congress. Then in 1972, she became the first Black woman to seek the presidency of the United States. She pushed for laws that helped women, children, students, poor people, farm workers, Native people, and others who were often ignored. She fought for healthcare. She spoke up for military veterans. She spoke out against war

A collection of Halloween books at Lawrence School library: 

This collection contains some fall and Halloween-themed books that we have at the library. Students in grades 3- 5 can request these for curbside delivery and soon, when grades 1 & 2 reenter the building they will be able to request books from the Lawrence Library. Stay tuned. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Book Suggestions

The Vanderbeekers: Lost and Found by Karina Yan Glaser

This is the fourth book in the Vanderbeekers series and it doesn't disappoint. The Vanderbeeker kids uncover the mystery of who has been living in the garden shed and why! This leads them to try to help out a friend (as they always do!). At the same time their upstairs neighbor Mr. Jeet has some health issues that impact the whole family. Always fun, funny and full of heart, the Vanderbeekers again rise to the various crises that life throws at them. Can't wait for the next book, due out next fall (2021)! 

We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly

Cash, Fitch, and Bird Thomas are three siblings in seventh grade together in Park, Delaware. In 1986, as the country waits expectantly for the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger, they each struggle with their own personal anxieties.

Cash, who loves basketball but has a newly broken wrist, is in danger of failing seventh grade for the second time. Fitch spends every afternoon playing Major Havoc at the arcade on Main and wrestles with an explosive temper that he doesn’t understand. And Bird, his twelve-year-old twin, dreams of being NASA’s first female shuttle commander, but feels like she’s disappearing. In the weeks leading up to the launch of the Challenger, readers follow the three siblings as they face their own day-to-day struggles. Realistic, historical fiction by a Newbery Award winning author! 

The Next President: The Unexpected Beginnings and Unwritten Future of America's Presidents by Kate Messner

This fascinating nonfiction book traces the history of the presidency in an interesting way: what were the next presidents doing when George Washington was elected? What was Donald Trump doing when John F. Kennedy was elected? And what are our future presidents up to right now as we get ready to elect our next president? Interesting facts about each president and what they did before they became president are presented to the reader with beautiful illustrations. 

My First Book Club

Candlewick Press has developed their website to include lots of materials for learning at home. One section is called My First Book Club.  They suggest lots of intermediate chapter book titles like Mercy Watson, The Infamous Ratsos and Princess in Black. Each title comes with resources like puzzles related to the book, a suggested activity, coloring page, and discussion questions. 

Curbside Pickup is up and running for grades 3 - 5! 

Students can request print books from our library by placing a hold on them in the library catalog, and then stop by Lawrence to pick them up on Tuesday afternoons from 2:30 - 3:30 pm at the door by the school garden. I hope to expand this service to additional grades, but am starting slow to make sure I can do it well and safely! Stay tuned! 

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Boston Book Festival & book suggestions

Boston Book Festival is online through October 25! 

Kids' events are listed here. Jerry Craft, author of New Kid and Class Act, will be speaking on October 25. There are lots of author and illustrator events to check out between now and then. There are some on-demand storytimes listed here. Take advantage of the online format and see what the BBF has planned! 

Book suggestions

Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of Us
 by Lauren Castillo

Hedgehog lives on a teeny-tiny island with only her stuffed dog, Mutty, for company. When a great storm carries Mutty away, she embarks on a quest to find her friend. Following the trail of clues Mutty left behind, brave Hedgehog meets a wiggly Mole, a wordy Owl, a curmudgeonly Beaver, a scatterbrained Hen and Chicks, and a girl who's new to the neighborhood, Annika May. With bravery and teamwork, there's nothing that can stop these seven from finding Mutty, but along the way they discover something even more important: each other. Beautiful illustrations by an award winning illustrator accompany a reassuring friendship story! 

Ways to Make Sunshine
by Renee Watson

Ryan Hart has a lot on her mind--school, self-image, and especially family. Her dad finally has a new job, but money is tight. That means some changes, like selling their second car and moving into a new (old) house. But Ryan is a girl who knows how to make sunshine out of setbacks. 

Hello, Neighbor! The Kind and Caring World of Mr. Rogers by Matthew Cordell

In difficult times, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood provided a refuge for children and their families alike; a way to understand and talk about what was happening, and find hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Groundbreaking in a quiet, generous way, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood introduced a generation of children to the wonders of the world in the comfort of their own living rooms. A picture book biography for all ages by Caldecott Medalist Matthew Cordell.

Monday, October 5, 2020

New book suggestions & district library page

Book suggestions

Younger Readers

Run, Sea Turtle, Run: A Hatchling's Journey by Stephen Swinburne

Beautiful photographs illustrate this nonfiction book for younger readers. Follow a hatchling's treacherous journey from nest to sea. Science writer Stephen Swinburne creates an engaging first-person narrative from the sea turtle's perspective. The drama of the hatchlings' race to safety is captured. 

Middle Grade Readers

Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen! by Sarah Kapit

Autistic eleven-year-old Vivy Cohen won't let anything stop her from playing baseball--not when she has a major-league star as her pen pal. Vivy loves baseball and is perfecting her knuckleball when the novel begins. Her mother is particularly concerned about her being the only girl on a team of boys, but her coach has faith in her and she gets advice from a major league pitcher with whom she has begun exchanging letters. Told in letters and emails, this realistic fiction sports story introduces readers to a character with determination and hidden talents. Vivy works to ignore a bully and gain the respect of her teammates with detarmination and grit. 

Upper Grade Readers

Golden Arm by Carl Deuker

Lazarus “Laz” Weathers has always been shy, and his issue with stuttering when he speaks hasn’t helped. Stuck in a Seattle trailer park, Laz finds baseball helps him escape from the world of poverty. When he gets an opportunity to pitch for the rich kids across town, he has a chance to get drafted by the major leagues. He's dealing with lots of conflict outside of  the game of baseball, however-- will he let those issues derail his baseball career? 

Have you tried our District-wide Library page? 

The Brookline school librarians have been collaborating since March to provide read alouds and activities for K - 8  students. Each Monday new activities are posted for grades K - 2, 3 - 5 and 6 - 8. Click here to see what we've shared in recent weeks. 

Thursday, October 1, 2020

 Book suggestions

Younger readers

Sadie and the Silver Shoes
by Jane Godwin

Sadie is the youngest in the family and is used to wearing clothes that are hand-me-downs from her brothers. She is allowed to choose new shoes, however! When she finds sparkly silver shoes in a store, she is sure she's found the perfect pair. Losing one of the shoes seems to be a tragedy...until she meets a new friend who has a creative solution for the missing silver shoe. 

Middle Grade Readers

Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet by Zanib Mian

Omar and his family have just moved, and he is NOT excited about starting at a new school. What if the work is too hard or the kids are mean or the teacher is a zombie alien?! But when Omar makes a new best friend, things start looking up. That is, until a Big Mean Bully named Daniel makes every day a nightmare! Luckily, Omar's enormous imagination and goofy family help him get through life's ups and downs. This is the beginning of a new series. 

Upper Grade Readers

Village of Scoundrels by Margi Preus

Based on the true story of the French villagers in WWII who saved thousands of Jews, this novel tells how a group of young teenagers stood up for what is right. Among them is a young Jewish boy who learns to forge documents to save his mother and later goes on to save hundreds of lives with his forgery skills. There is also a girl who overcomes her fear to carry messages for the Resistance. And a boy who smuggles people into Switzerland. Exciting historical fiction. 

How to....

Have you seen our "how to" library? Click here to view screencasts made by the librarians of the Brookline Schools. Learn how to sign up for a library card, sign in to your library account, search for ebooks, and more!