Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Little Chick That Could

     Is this in our job description?  On Monday morning Kari and I arrived to the sound of a peeping chick still in its shell.  It had started pipping on Friday afternoon during our staff training day.  What a surprise to find out it had not hatched, but was still in its egg letting us know, "I'm here!  I'm here!"  Over the weekend I watched the live webcam assuming the worst.  By 10:00 a.m. Kari and I could no longer take it.  We asked Tami, our Communications Coordinator and chicken expert, to please help the chick hatch.  She gladly accepted the challenge as she had been drowning out the sounds of its cries with her headphones.  With a warm washcloth and a cup of warm water, Tami gently removed its shell careful not to tear the membrane.  Miss Abby, worried all night, came in early to help.  After assessing that all looked well, it was soon flopping around in the incubator.  It had yet to stand as its claws were curled due to a possible temperature issue within.  By the end of the day it had its first assisted drink and its little feet taped to flatten them.  I assure you, this was the humane thing to do.
     On day two, we all breathed our sighs of relief after arriving to the sound of chirping.  I came upstairs to find Miss Abby kneeling down on the floor like the mother of a newborn next to the birder cage where our little baby was resting, his neck crooked, his head still matted.  "Oh, Abby, you can see his little leg feathers!"  Throughout the morning he was given a neon green electrolyte mix to help hydrate him.  By the end of the day, Miss Abby was feeding him egg yolks (of all things!) as he was still too weak to peck his food. 
    Today he has been thriving on more egg yolks, water, electrolytes and vitamin E.  Each day our anxiety grows less and less.  I have to admit my own anxiety when it lies down to nap as I am soon reminded of the sleepless nights I endured for my own human child 13 years ago.  Now, it is as if I am an aunt watching while Miss Abby rushes to its side, feeds its, and make sure it has had a bowel movement.     
    Who knew that Kari and my first few weeks in the library would entail caring for a chick whose entry into this world was such a difficult journey?  None of us could have known that.  
    When I first came to interview at Grafton-Midview Public Library this summer, I came with a set of assumptions about the people who work here.  I had taken a five year hiatus from the library world and was teaching.  There were not many libraries I wanted to work, but Grafton-Midview was at the top of my list.  It wasn't simply the progressive nature of the library or the professional support the system provides for its staff, though these were really great reasons.  What has become apparent to me through our little chicken's journey up the mountain is that my assumptions were true.  The people at Grafton-Midview Library are wonderful.  Even though I have been away from the library world for five years, my co-workers and our little chick has me thinking...knowing... that I can.  
    Stop in to meet Kari, me (Katie) and our little chick (a blue cochin who still needs a name).           

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Upcoming Fall Fiction 2019

 don't know about any of you but when I hear the words, New Books, my heartbeat quickens in excitement! Thanks to Penguin Random House's BookBuzz, we have an exclusive look for you at some of the upcoming Children's and Young Adult Reads for the Fall.

OH MY GOSH! Jan Brett has been my favorite Children's Picture Book author for as long as I can remember so I am definitely excited for her newest book here! Her beautiful illustrations and reimagined folklore stories are such a joy to read.
The Tale of the Tiger Slippers is Jan Brett's reimagining of a powerful Middle Eastern folk tale that celebrates hard work and appreciating your roots.

A quirky, cautionary tale from beloved New York Times bestselling picture book creator Oliver Jeffers. 

In the faux-documentary style of The Blair Witch Project comes the campfire story of a missing girl, a vengeful ghost, and the girl who is determined to find her sister- at all costs.
Image result for we really do care tami lewis brown
Inspired by current events, this picture book shows the importance of compassion, empathy, and demonstrates how even the smallest act of kindness can make a difference.

Image result for strike zone mike lupica
A timely and heartfelt follow-up to #1 New York Times Bestseller, Heat, about a young baseballprodigy and his immigrant family living in today's America.
Told in two distinct and irresistible voices, Junauda Petrus's bold and lyrical debut is the story of two black girls from very different backgrounds finding love and happiness in a world that seems determined to deny them both.
Fans of Cassie Beasley's New York Times bestselling novel, Circus Mirandus, have long been clamoring for one thing: to go back to the circus! They will finally get their wish in this masterpiece of a sequel with even more magical creatures and surprises.
Image result for we speak in storms
A powerful and haunting debut Young Adult novel about friendship, acceptance, and learning to let go as the balance between the living and the dead is upended. Perfect for fans of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.
Soon to be a Netflix Original Series! The New York Times and USA Today bestselling series, with over two million copies in print! "Terrifyingly fun! Delivers big thrills and even bigger laughs" -Jeff Kinney, author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Image result for dr. seuss' horse museum
A never-before-published Dr. Seuss book about creating and looking at art. 
Okay, I think we're all a little bit obsessed with the Royal Family whether we admit it or not. Something about the glamor and intrigue always seems to bring us in which is why this Young Adult Fiction release is so exciting!
What if America had a royal family? When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne. Like most royal families, the Washingtons have an heir and a spare. A future monarch and a backup battery. Each child knows exactly what is expected of them. But these aren't just any royals. They're American.
Image result for strange birds celia perez
From the award-wining author of The First Rule of Punk comes the story of four kids who form an alternative Scout troop that shakes up their sleepy Florida town.
A family, separated by duty and distance, waits for a loved one to return home in this lyrical picture book celebrating the bonds of a Cherokee family and the bravery of history-making female pilots. 
Inspired by her blockbuster phenomenon, Wonder, R.J. Palacio makes her graphic novel debut with an unforgettable story of the power of kindness and unrelenting courage in a time of war. 
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray comes a gripping, extraordinary portrait of love, silence, and secrets under a Spanish dictatorship. 
In the vein of The Hate U Give and Girl in Pieces, comes poet Morgan Parker's pitch-perfect novel about a black teenage girl searching for her identity when the world around her views her depression as a lack of faith and blackness as something to be politely ignored. 
An enthralling debut perfect for fans of Children of Blood and Bone set in a North-African-inspired fantasy world where two sisters must fight to the death to win the crown.
The uplifting story of an HIV-positive teen, falling in love and learning to live her truth. "Romantic, funny, and unflinchingly real." -Becky Albertalli, New York Times bestselling author of Simon Vs. The Homosapiens Agenda. 
Everyone deserves to shine in this sparkling new book from the New York Times Bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, Chris Grabenstein, and co-author J.J. Grabenstein-just right for fans of Word of Mouse and The Fourteenth Goldfish. Shine on! might be the catchphrase of twelve-year-old Piper's hero--astronaut, astronomer, and television host Nellie Dumont Frisse--but Piper knows the truth: some people are born to shine, and she's just not one of them. That fact has never been clearer than now, since her dad's new job has landed them both at Chumley Prep, a posh private school where everyone seems to be the best at something and where Piper definitely doesn't fit in. 

From Paul McCartney- an action-packed picture book adventure celebrating the fun that grandparents and grandkids can get up to.

Let us know which ones you are the most excited for in the comments below! 

Happy Reading! 

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Celebrating National Poetry Month

When I was in school, many of the poems we had to read a) made no sense and b) were therefore kind of boring. As I've gotten older, my appreciation for poetry has grown and I've also noticed that children's poetry collections in particular have really blossomed. Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky are classic children's poets that have certainly paved the way and made poetry more accessible and fun for kids, but today I want to highlight some other notable poetry in GMPL's collection as well as share a few ideas for how you can celebrate National Poetry Month at home.

If you've been in the children's area at GMPL, you've probably noticed this shelf where we like to display books relating to a certain theme. It's not always obvious - we've done books with numbers in the titles, books with blue covers, books about ghosts. This month we've included not only poetry books but also novels written in verse, or a story told through a series of poems. The books in the display change slightly throughout the month as people check them out (please check them out - they're not just for show!), but the theme remains the same. My favorites in this current display are:

- Mirror, Mirror, written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Josée Masse. This book, and its sequel, Follow, Follow (click the titles to place a hold) are known as reverso poetry. A reverso poem is one that can be read both forwards and backwards. Here's an example from Mirror, Mirror called "The Road".

It may be such
a fairy-tale secret,
this much 
I know;
The road leads
you need to go.

You need to go
the road leads --
I know
this much.
A fairy-tale secret?
It may be such.

Pretty cool, right?

- Enchanted Air: A Cold War Memoir by Margarita Engle. This collection of poems tells the story of author Margarita Engle's childhood during the Cold War in Cuba. Before I read this, I hadn't had much knowledge of the Cold War (the school year always seemed to end before we had time to cover it in history). This first-hand account of this tumultuous period is beautiful and heartbreaking while also being easily digestible because of its verse format. 

If you'd like to celebrate National Poetry Month by creating your own poetry, here are a few activities to try:

1. Ekphrastic Poetry: Choose five photographs (either taken by you/someone you know or found via an image search on the internet. Unsplash is a great free resource for beautiful photography). Think about how they make you feel, and use your five senses when writing your poem. There is no length limit and there are no rules!

2. Blackout Poetry: Find a newspaper, magazine, or old book (be sure to ask permission first!). Find a page with lots of words on it and draw a circle or square around words you want to include in your poem. Using a marker or pen with dark ink, color over all of the other words except the words you selected for your poem. Here's what Miss Liz's finished product looks like:


3. Make your own magnetic poetry: 

You will need:
  • Magnetic tape (½ inch wide). You can find this at craft stores.
  • Plain white paper


  1. Come up with 50-100 different words. Make sure you have:
  • Nouns (people, places, things)
  • Adjectives (words that describe nouns like “funny” or “big”)
  • Verbs (action words like “sing” or “laugh”)
  • Adverbs (words that describe verbs like “slowly” or “always”)
  • Articles (a, an, the)
  • Conjunctions (and, or, but)
  1. You can either hand write these words or type them up. Use a 16 point font that is easy to read and double space between the lines of words so there is enough room to cut them out. Press “Tab” between each word.
  2. Once all of your words are cut out, stick them to the magnetic tape. Be sure the entire word is backed by the magnetic tape before you cut the strip.
  3. Create poems with your words!

***Alternatively, you can cut words out of magazines or newspapers that inspire you instead of coming up with your own.

If you try out any of these activities, let us know. We'd love to see!

Saturday, March 2, 2019

"She believed she could, so she did": Some of our favorite new biographies about women

At the Library, we've noticed that many of our younger patrons come in looking for a biography to read for school around this time of year. With March being Women's History Month, we thought it would be fun to highlight some of our newer biographies about powerful, confident women who faced a variety of hardships in their lives. To place a hold, click the title of the book or call the Library at 440-926-3317. All descriptions and pictures courtesy of Goodreads.

Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist by Sylvia Acevedo
A meningitis outbreak in their underprivileged neighborhood left Sylvia Acevedo’s family forever altered. As she struggled in the aftermath of loss, young Sylvia’s life transformed when she joined the Brownies. The Girl Scouts taught her how to take control of her world and nourished her love of numbers and science.

With new confidence, Sylvia navigated shifting cultural expectations at school and at home, forging her own trail to become one of the first Latinx to graduate with a master's in engineering from Stanford University and going on to become a rocket scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Nothing Stopped Sophie: A Story of Math and Impossible Dreams by Cheryl Bardoe
When her parents took away her candles to keep their young daughter from studying math...nothing stopped Sophie. When a professor discovered that the homework sent to him under a male pen name came from a woman...nothing stopped Sophie. And when she tackled a math problem that male scholars said would be impossible to solve...still, nothing stopped Sophie.

For six years Sophie Germain used her love of math and her undeniable determination to test equations that would predict patterns of vibrations. She eventually became the first woman to win a grand prize from France's prestigious Academy of Sciences for her formula, which laid the groundwork for much of modern architecture.

Harriet Tubman: Freedom Fighter by Nadia L. Hohn
Harriet Tubman was a brave woman who was born enslaved in Maryland in the 1800s. After risking everything to escape from her slave master and be free, Harriet went on to lead many people to freedom on a journey known today as the Underground Railroad.

This book covers some of the amazing aspects of Tubman's life: She led 13 escapes—all successful and at great personal risk—between 1850 and 1860. This book also covers some of the lesser-known amazing aspects of her life: During the Civil War, Harriet Tubman enlisted African American men to be soldiers. She served as a spy. AND she led a battle under the command of a Union Army colonel!

Eliza, The Story of Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton by Margaret McNamara
We all know the story of scrappy Alexander Hamilton and his rise in American politics--but how much do we know about his workmate, inspiration, and stabilizing force, Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton? Margaret McNamara employs the letter-writing style of the period to tell the story of Eliza Hamilton, who was born into a family of considerable wealth, power, and influence in Albany, New York, in 1757. Eliza was expected to marry into a similarly powerful family . . . until she met and fell in love with the charismatic Hamilton. She stood by him throughout his tumultuous life, and after his death, she single-handedly collected his papers and preserved them for historians and musical-theater writers of the future. Eliza outlived Hamilton by fifty years; during that time she founded the first orphanage in New York State, raised funds for the Washington Monument, and kept the flame of her husband's memory and achievements alive. 

She Dared: Bethany Hamilton by Jenni L. Walsh
Growing up in Hawaii, Bethany Hamilton loved to surf. But one day, she was in her favorite place, out on the waves, when a tiger shark suddenly attacked. Thirteen-year-old Bethany lost her left arm.

As she fought to recover, Bethany wondered: Would she ever surf again?

Follow Bethany as she got back on her board and fearlessly chased her surfing dreams. With the strength of her family and faith behind her, Bethany knew she could become not only a professional athlete, but a champion and a role model.

Tell us: who is a woman who inspires you?

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Beyond Caldecott and Newbery: (Lots) More Book Awards You'll Want to Know About

In the wonderful world of children's literature, there are two annual awards that seem to reign supreme: the Caldecott and Newbery Medals. The Caldecott Medal is given every year to the artist of "the most distinguished American picture book for children" and the Newbery Medal is awarded to the author of "the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children."

At the Library, we like to mark these award winners with a special sticker to make them easier to find. Readers are often encouraged to read one of these award winners for various library challenges or school assignments. While these award winners are probably the best known, there are many other awards given to books you won't want to miss. The Caldecott, Newbery, and other award winners are announced at the Youth Media Awards every winter. The 2019 Awards took place just yesterday, and we're excited to share with you some of the lesser-known award winners. Keep reading to learn more about these awards AND take advantage of the opportunity to suggest more for purchase if you are so inclined. The list is long, so grab your favorite warm beverage and get comfortable!

While we do our best to have the latest and greatest books available in the Library, some fly under the radar. If we currently have the book in our collection, you'll see it linked so that you can read more about it in our catalog and place a hold. After viewing the awards yesterday, we put in orders for a few of the winners, which we'll note. If a book on the list is not currently in our collection or not on-order and you would like the Library to have it, please click here to fill out a Suggestion for Purchase form. 

Caldecott Medal: Hello Lighthouse written and illustrated by Sophie Blackall. Click the link to place a hold!

Newbery Medal: Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina. We have this title as a Playaway audiobook! Click the link to place a hold. 

Coretta Scott King Author Award (recognizing an African American author of outstanding books for children and young adults): A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riots of 1919 by Clare Hartfield. We have ordered this title for our teen collection! Click the link to read a summary. Please call the Information Desk at 440-926-3317 to place a hold.

Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award (recognizing an African American illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults): The Stuff of Stars, illustrated by Ekua Holmes. We have ordered this title for our children's collection! Click the link to read a summary. Please call the Children's Department at 440-926-3317 ext. 3 to place a hold.  

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award (established to affirm new talent and to offer visibility to excellence in writing): Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson. Click the title to read a summary. To suggest for purchase, click here

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award (established to affirm new talent and to offer visibility to excellence in illustration): Thank You, Omu! illustrated and written by Oge Mora. We have ordered this title for our children's collection! Click the link to read a summary. Please call the Children's Department at 440-926-3317 ext. 3 to place a hold.  

Michael L. Printz Award (for excellence in literature written for young adults): The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. We have this title in our teen collection! Click the link to place a hold.

Schneider Family Book Award (for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience):

Mildred L. Batchelder Award (outstanding children's book originally published in a language other than English): The Fox on the Swing by Evelina Daciute. Click the link to place a hold!

Pura Belpré Awards (honoring a Latinx writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm, and celebrate the Latino cultural experience):

  • Author Winner: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo.We have this title in our teen collection! Click the link to place a hold.
  • Illustrator Winner: Dreamers illustrated and written by Yuyi Morales. Click the link to place a hold!

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award (most distinguished informational book for children): The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian's Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman. We have ordered this title for our children's collection! Click the link to read a summary. Please call the Children's Department at 440-926-3317 ext. 3 to place a hold.

Stonewall Book Award (exceptional merit relating to the LGBT experience): 

  • Children's Winner: Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love. Click the link place a hold.  
  • Teen Winner: Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender. Click the title to read a summary. To suggest for purchase, click here
Theodor Seuss Geisel Award (most distinguished beginning reader book): Fox the Tiger by Corey R. Tabor. Click the link to place a hold! 

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults: The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown. Click the title to read a summary. To suggest for purchase, click here. 

Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature (promotes Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage): 

Sydney Taylor Book Award (outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience): 

And there you have it! Hopefully you've found some new books to add to your to-be-read list! Happy reading!