Friday, November 11, 2016

What We're Reading

From Ms Kelly:
Hey, parents!  Looking for a series for your middle-schooler now that they’ve finished Harry Potter? Try Holly Black and Cassandra Clare’s new series, Magisterium.  Like the Harry Potter series, Black and Clare create a world in which magic exists in this coming-of-age story set in the modern U.S.
In the first book of the series, The Iron Trial, we meet our protagonist Callum Hunt.  Call’s father has spent his whole life telling Call magic is dangerous, and to avoid it at all cost.  Now that he’s twelve years old, Call fears his upcoming entrance test to the Magisterium, a school of magic that tests all the young mages, but only accepts the best. Although most young mages in the world would love to go to the Magisterium, Call knows of its dark reputation, and with the help of his father, plans to fail the test and live an ordinary life.  Will Call be able to keep his magic hidden, or will he be forced to leave his father and embrace his magical future at the Magisterium?
AR Level: 5.6
AR Points: 13
Magisterium series by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare:
1.The Iron Trial
2. The Copper Gauntlet
3.The Bronze Key

If you like The Iron Trial, you’ll also enjoy these Readalikes:

The Novice by Taran Matharu
Misfit guys find themselves enrolled at magical schools where they must uncover deadly secrets.

AR Level: 6.5

AR Points: 16

The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co.) by Jonathan Stroud
Lucy Carlyle teams up with Anthony Lockwood to investigate London’s ghostly epidemic.

AR Level:5.1

AR Points: 14

From Ms. Kim
Click Here to Start by Denis Markell
Image result for click here to start book

When Ted's great-uncle dies, he leaves the entire contents of his apartment, including any treasures found within, to Ted.  Little does Ted know that he, along with two friends, will end up becoming a part of a real-life escape-the-room type computer game.  The 12-year-old just happens to be an expert at these games but soon realizes that there might be some real life danger involved as he works through the puzzle.

If you like Click Here to Start, you’ll also enjoy these Readalikes:

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein
Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker, Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape
AR Level: 4.5

AR Points: 7

Greenglass House by Kate Milford
At Greenglass House, a smuggler's inn, twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers' adopted son, plans to spend his winter holidays relaxing but soon guests are arriving with strange stories about the house sending Milo and Meddy, the cook's daughter, on an adventure.
AR Level: 5.4
AR Points: 15
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
After passing a series of mind-bending tests, four children are selected for a secret mission that requires them to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules.
AR Level: 5.6
AR Points: 18

From Ms. Abby
The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox

Something is not right at Rookskill Castle, a rundown Scottish manor shrouded in mystery. The castle is a temporary boarding school for children escaping the Blitz, but soon it’s clear there is something terribly wrong. There are clues hinting that a spy is in the house, and there are undeniable signs of a sinister magic. When the children in the castle’s temporary boarding school begin disappearing one by one, it’s a race against the clock for twelve-year-old Kat Bateson, her two younger siblings, and their new best friend. 
AR Level: 5
AR Points: 12

If you liked The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle try these readlikes:
The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker
Set in an alternative 16th-century England, Elizabeth Grey is the only girl in the king's elite group of witch hunters. When she's framed for being a witch herself, Elizabeth finds freedom at the hands of the world's most wanted wizard and her loyalties are tested
AR Level: 4.2
AR Points: 13
Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
When boarding-school student Oscar Drai meets Marina, she promises him a mystery and takes him to a secret graveyard deep in Barcelona, where they witness a woman dressed in black lay a single rose atop a gravestone etched with a black butterfly. Their curiosity leads them down a dangerous path, and they discover a decades-old conspiracy that puts their lives in the hands of forces more sinister and mystical than they could have believed possible.
Not an AR reader.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Web Wednesday

Halloween might be over, but learning about witches is interesting all year round! Recommended by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) for its educational value, you have to check out the Salem Witch Museum website:

The website features interesting facts about the infamous Salem Witch Trials, including videos answering kids’ most common questions about the horrible historical events. The museum itself is housed in an impressive building, complete with somewhat creepy reenactment scenes. It would no doubt make for an interesting, if not, disturbing visit. But, since Massachusetts isn't around the corner, take a look at their website to learn about a piece of our country's earliest horrors.

It’s a must check out for your elementary/middle schooler. While a good portion of the website focuses on information that would be necessary for an actual visit, children will find it to be a reputable and worthwhile reference for school projects, or just to satisfy their curiosity. All photos are property of the Salem Witch Museum.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Harry Potter Extravaganza! 

Well, they're back! The buzz this week has been all about the highly anticipated release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. In this post, I'm going to give a little bit of an overview of the entire series. I know that typically, I address books that are more geared towards the younger children, but this week I wanted to do something that the tweens/adults would enjoy!

I, myself, just finished the entire Harry Potter Series for the first time. I know, I'm probably one of the only avid readers who has not read Harry Potter, but the wait was worth the while!'s_Stone.jpg 

Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That's because he's being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he's really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright. From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny. 

The Dursleys were so mean that hideous summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockheart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls' bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny.

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone--or something--starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects...Harry Potter himself? 

For twelve long years, the dreaded fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the  apparent heir to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.

Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well. And the Azkban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, "He's at Hogwarts...he's at Hogwarts."

Harry Potter isn't safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst. 
Harry Potter is midway through his training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup. He wants to find out about the mysterious event that's supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn't happened for a hundred years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. But unfortunately for Harry Potter, he's not normal - even by wizarding standards. And in his case, different can be deadly. 

In his fifth year at Hogwart's, Harry faces challenges at every turn, from the dark threat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and the unreliability of the government of the magical world to the rise of Ron Weasley as the keeper of the Gryffindor Quidditch Team. Along the way he learns about the strength of his friends, the fierceness of his enemies, and the meaning of sacrifice. 
The war against Voldemort is not going well; even the Muggles have been affected. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses.

And yet . . . as with all wars, life goes on. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Harry receives some extraordinary help in Potions from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince. And with Dumbledore's guidance, he seeks out the full, complex story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort -- and thus finds what may be his only vulnerability. 

 Harry is waiting in Privet Drive. The Order of the Phoenix is coming to escort him safely away without Voldemort and his supporters knowing - if they can. But what will Harry do then? How can he fulfill the momentous and seemingly impossible task that Professor Dumbledore has left him? This conclusion to the Harry Potter series is full of love and loss, triumphs and blunders, and finally reveals all that Harry Potter fans have been dying to have revealed! 

And now the moment we've all been waiting for....
P.S. If you have not read the Harry Potter series, there may be a few spoilers ahead! 

This new installation follows Harry Potter, 19 years after his defeat of Voldemort, where he is now a husband, father of three children, and an employee of the Ministry of Magic.
However, this story is more about Harry's youngest son, Albus Severus Potter as he travels to Hogwarts with his father's unwanted history and fame right behind him. 

What Everyone Should Know:

  • While Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is indeed a book, it is set up as a script.
  • The play premiered in England on July 30, 2016 
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is more about Harry's son, Albus, than Harry himself. 
  • In the Special Rehearsal Edition, there are a total of 308 pages. However, where it is a script, it makes for a quick read. 
  • Your favorite characters will return! Ron, Hermione, Draco (as well as their children), Professor McGonagall, and many more!  
About The Characters 
Harry Potter 
1. The main character of the series; Harry Potter is a brave young orphan who lives with his aunt, uncle, and cousin on Number 4 Privet Drive. On his eleventh birthday, Harry receives a visit from the giant, Hagrid, who tells him he is a wizard, just like his parents were, and that he has been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. 
Also, Harry Potter is the lone survivor of the Dark Wizard, Lord Voldemort, who hasn't been seen or heard from since the murder of Harry's parents and the attempted murder of Harry, himself. Harry Potter is truly an amazing and complex character who you will love reading about. 
Ronald (Ron) Weasley,h_539,w_882/t_mp_quality/screen-shot-2015-01-09-at-7-50-55-pm-check-out-what-ron-weasley-has-been-doing-since-harry-potter-png-218059/check-out-what-ron-weasley-has-been-doing-since-harry-potter-218059.jpg 
2. Ronald (Ron) Weasley is Harry Potter's best friend. They meet on the Hogwarts platform/train and they instantly become great friends. While Harry and Ron are two peas in a pod, like any friends- they fight. Ron is one of the seven children of Molly and Arthur Weasley, who act as parents to Harry as well. Ron is fiercely loyal, but also slightly insecure, seeing as he is friends with the most famous student at Hogwarts. 
Hermione Granger 
3. Hermione Granger is also a close friend of both Harry and Ron. Hermione serves as the brains and the voice of reason between the two boys. She is described as incredibly bright, and an overachiever. While at first the boys don't like her, the three become close friends after Ron and Harry save her from a mountain troll. Her parents are both Muggle (non-magical beings) dentists, who support Hermione through her Wizarding studies. 
Neville Longbottom  
Neville is also a friend of Harry Potter. His parents were both Aurors (detectors of Dark Magic), but were driven insane by Death Eaters who put them under the Imperius Curse. Neville lives with his grandmother, when he is not at Hogwarts. He is also extremely gifted in Herbology, but is frequently mentioned as one of the worst in Potions.
Draco Malfoy 
 Draco Malfoy is Harry's biggest nemesis at Hogwarts. His father, Lucius, was a Death Eater and Draco follows in his father's footsteps. Draco is also a pureblood wizard, and he believes that anyone less than pureblood is not worthy to be at Hogwarts. 
Hagrid is definitely one of my favorite characters in Harry Potter. He is a half-giant who is the Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts. Hagrid also has an affinity for Magical Creatures- the deadlier the better! Overall, Hagrid is a kind friend to Harry and wants nothing more than to have his own pet dragon.
Albus Dumbledore   
Albus Dumbledore is the Headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He is also a mentor to Harry Potter. If I could describe Dumbledore in one word, it would be mysterious. He appears to be the epitome of all that is good and just at Hogwarts, but we learn in The Deathly Hallows that he actually has a mysterious past. 
 Severus Snape  
Severus Snape is the Potions Master at Hogwarts, although everyone knows it's actually the Defense Against the Dark Arts position he wants. Professor Snape is very harsh on Harry because of Harry's parentage, and the fact that Harry is rotten at Potions. Snape used to be a Death Eater, but is now a teacher and one of Dumbledore's trusted allies. While Snape is a very strict and demanding teacher to Harry, in the end he'll end up being a beloved character. 
Fred and George Weasley   
Fred and George are twins, and two of Ron's older brothers. The two twins live to make mischief, but they are also very loyal to their friends. They are Beaters on Gryffindor's Quidditch team. 
Ginny Weasley  
Giny Weasley is the youngest of the Weasley children. She is also in Gryffindor with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Ginny also has quite the crush on Harry Potter. Ginny is one of my favorite characters because she is very quiet but she can also be very sarcastic and witty when called to it. 
Lord Voldemort 
Lord Voldemort is the villain in the Harry Potter books. Once a Hogwarts student, much like Harry, he turned to the Dark Arts. Lord Voldemort is also known as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, and You-Know-Who because many wizards are afraid to speak his name.  
Anything you want to add about the Harry Potter books? Tell us about your favorite Harry Potter book, character, or simply how you enjoyed the books.


Thursday, July 28, 2016


Well, we are right smack-dab in the middle of summer! It doesn't matter how old or how young you are, one of the highlights of summer vacation are... BEACH TRIPS! 

Whether you spend all day working on your tan, combing for seashells, or swimming in the water, there is no shortage of activities for you to do at the beach. 

Here are a few books for the little ones to help them prepare for the best beach trip ever!

While it is completely normal to bring a Frisbee or a Shovel & Pail to the beach, a piano is probably not on the list of items you should take to the beach. This fun and crazy picture book will make you laugh out loud at the wild antics that one little girl takes to bring her piano to the beach. How in the world will this work out?!pxvgzMNfZ1nRiJTw0coSw6po!WgF19IVXSUjl1ciZ7VYO!MrIpqNQxgWMZOxO7nbASp+W5SBQKW/u34+1F!EVWH7ngw7NLVXIcKIKW2pmYA+Gl!w8rbMsYEtKUWFdnW30MCanFZgW+4GMRZ!0E5dFFzPFFvj8MPeAIGAhFmZGsg17Rbv38GVfiGWsW1OYzkgsRAdZgmVYczu 

What could be better than the beach? How about a PUPPY at the beach! In Biscuit's First Beach Day, Biscuit travels along with his owner to the beach. Read along as Biscuit flies a kite, plays with a beach ball, and oh so much more!  

Duck is a very adventurous bird.. His friend Goose? Mmmm, not so much. One day, as they are lying in their meadow, Goose says that he never wishes to leave their meadow, so what does Duck want to do? Leave the meadow! As they are wandering along, they come to s place they have never been before... The beach. Will this newfound beach bring adventure and excitement or will it be a flop? Find out in Duck and Goose Go to the Beach.!pxvgzMNfZ1nRiJTw0coSw6po!WgF19IVSJEpS8iBX1lhG99Cjm3Y9sksSxHZymU8xoTCuRylHu9/WceGgDUNlCA8RPHOz66AbHHs4RI12Vqg+OoBRGBrKx2plCphEkAr3aizNSRpuGHkIoDZcS4gLRs3LNNbucM2t4e7qxWsqy5knrwDZNvDzQtQ5iDKyCBWtzAWMsmQ+7PK 

Whenever Chu sneezed, bad things happened.... 
On a hot summer's day, Chu and his family decide to go to the beach for some summer fun! However, everyone knows that when Chu sneezes, bad things happen. Will his sneeze ruin the day or will it bring a new sense of fun? 

Little Critter was always one of my favorite picture book series as a child. I love how these stories display the new experiences that many children go through daily. 
In this Little Critter book, Little Critter, Little Sister, and their Dad decide to go to the beach. I'll give you a couple of little spoilers.. This book contains seagull attacks, hot sand, and *gulp* jellyfish! Find out more in this loveable story At the Beach with Dad. 

A Penguin at the Beach? What a conundrum! But everyone needs a vacation, even our feathered friends! Penguin is tired of sledding and skiing, so he decides it's about time that he takes a tropical vacation. 
 When he arrives at his tropical destination, he soon discovers that sledding and skiing are not normal beach activities. However, he meets a friendly crab who is willing to show him the ropes on this whole "beach thing". Follow these two friends as the discover the beach and their friendship. 

If you have any beach books that you would like to share with us, or if you want to tell us about your beach experience, shoot us an email or post a comment in our comment box below! 


Monday, July 18, 2016

Pokemon Go

Well, if you couldn't tell by the picture then I'll just go ahead and tell you what this week's post is about.... The new virtual reality app-Pokemon Go!

For those of you who don't know, Pokemon Go is a virtual reality app that uses your smart phone's GPS and camera to allow you to catch monsters in the real world. While I have never played this game, I have seen friends and Patrons playing with this app and it does seem to be a fun and interactive way to have people get up and get active!

However, like every game or gadget there are always downfalls. For one, people seem to be so absorbed with the game that sometimes they don't seem to see anything else in the real world. For example, I was driving to my friend's house the other day so we could go for a hike together. As I was turning on to her street, a man walks out into the street with his phone in his face, playing Pokemon Go. Luckily, I saw him in enough time where I could stop and avoid hitting him, but he did not seem to be at all bothered that he was walking out into open traffic to find a Pokemon monster. This is also a good example of why you should not play Pokemon Go while you are driving.

There have also been complaints of people trespassing onto Private Property or to National Parks/Memorials. In these instances, if you are going to partake in Pokemon on private property, then explain to the owner what you are doing and hopefully, they will let you take a look around to snag that monster!
When playing Pokemon, try using the buddy system as much as you can. There have been several reports of violent acts, such as robberies, of people who have gone out alone to play and end up being robbed. Parents, if your child is going to play Pokemon Go, invite yourself along or make sure they have a trusted adult with them while they are playing.

For Pokemon Go, they want to access your Google data (including browsing history, emails, etc), which could potentially be a breach in security. The founders of Pokemon Go are working on a way to make sure that players' information is not being breached, but until then be careful!

Now, I don't want anyone to think that I am just listing the downfalls of playing the game so let's get on to the positives now.. Shall we?

As I mentioned earlier, in order to catch the monsters  you have to GO OUTSIDE and look for them. This is such a fun way for kids to get active, that they really aren't even thinking about the physical aspect of it. Also, they receive a reward (the monster) for their physical activity.

Another great thing about this app is it allows people to see certain places that they may have never seen otherwise. On a recent camping trip, I saw a few people wandering through the woods looking for monsters. While they were looking through the woods, they were absolutely in awe of the state park they were walking through and I heard one of them say "I probably never would have come here on my own". Our Library is a Pokestop and we have had several people come in to look for monsters and some of them have signed up for Library cards or even just perused through our shelves. Thank you, Pokemon Go!

I am attaching a few articles I have found that give some useful tips for playing and keeping safe.

Hope this information helps you have a fun and safe time while Playing Pokemon Go! Any questions, comments.. Just type them in our comment box below!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Goldilocks and the Three...

We hope that everyone had a fun and safe 4th of July WeekendNothing beats fireworks and barbecues as well as good times with family and friends.

Now that we're getting back into the swing of things, I thought I would share a little scenario that happened this last Saturday, which was actually my inspiration for this week's post. 

As many of you know, we have chairs set up in our main lobby, where Patrons can just sit and read, or simply relax. I suddenly realized Saturday that I had never sat in any of these comfy-looking chairs before, so I decided to try them out. 

When I sat down on the first one, I said  "This chair is too hard". So I moved on to the chair across from it, and when I sat down, I said "This chair is too soft". A coworker of mine laughed and said "You sound just like Goldilocks". 

Later that night, I looked up the Goldilocks books that we had and realized we had WAY more than just the original "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" story. So this week, I decided to share a few of the wacky Goldilocks books that we have in our collection.

The Silly Story of Goldie Locks and the Three Squares is a fun re-telling of the original Goldie Locks. In this story, we meet the great-great granddaughter of the fairy tale Goldilocks, who like her Grandmother, finds a house in the woods and decides to take a look around. 

This re-telling not only retells the original Goldilocks and the Three Bears story, it gives you a fun and easy math lesson. Since this is a beginner book, I would recommend this book for ages 7+. 


Jan Brett is one of my all-time favorite children's authors, not just because of her amazing illustrations, but because she tells older fairy tales/fables that we sometimes forget about. 

This is the original story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, where Goldilocks wanders into the woods and stumbles across a house, where little does she know, three bears live! I don't want to spoil the whole story, for those of you who have not read yourself or to your little ones, but this is definitely a good one. 

Have you ever wondered, "What would it have been like if one of the Bears came into Goldilocks' house?" Leigh Hodgkinson does just that in Goldilocks and Just The One Bear,  where the Baby Bear from the old fairy tale visits a house in the big city. What will happen to the Baby Bear when he does all of the things that happened to him and his family in the woods? 

This fun and heart-warming story really made me fall in love with the Goldilocks and the Three Bears story in a whole new way.  

While the three bears go out for a walk, Goatilocks decides to take a little peak into their house to see what kind of mischief she can get into. What will happen to a goat when three bears find her rummaging through their home? 

AR READING POINTS: 0.5,204,203,200_.jpg

This was definitely not the typical Goldilocks and the Three Bears retelling that I was prepared for. In Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs, the three dinosaurs are PURPOSELY trying to get Goldilocks into their house so they can trap her and well... Eat her. 

Will Goldilocks fall for their diabolical scheme or will she discover their plot before it's too late? 


Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas is a Chinese retelling of the original Goldilocks the Three Bears story. 
One Chinese New Year, her mother sends Goldy Luck to the pandas next door with a plate of turnip cakes, but the pandas are out and disaster follows. Includes a recipe for turnip cakes and an explanation of Chinese New Year.

This amazing retelling is definitely a way to show your little ones a little bit of a different culture, and how other cultures have the same problems we do with little girls causing disaster in bear's homes. 


Check out these charming and funny Goldilocks retellings, so everything will be "just right" when you're reading them with your little one(s)!  


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

National Hug Day

It's National Hug Day!! 

Celebrate this day by giving those you love a great big BEAR HUG and reading one of these 
hug-tastic children's books!


 The hug machine is available to hug anyone, any time, whether they are square or long, spiky or soft.

A huge bear is wandering through the forest - but wait a minute! Who's that he's hugging? A beaver? And a moose? And a bird? And a tree?

Welcome to the world of Big Bear Hug, a contemporary fable about a bear who has an appetite for hugging everything in sight - even creatures that bears have been known to eat. One day, the benevolent bear meets up with a human. This human proceeds to do something the bear cannot understand: he raises his axe and begins to cut down a tree. Suddenly the bear doesn't feel like hugging anymore and must make a difficult decision on how to stop this destruction in his forest.

The environmental message of Big Bear Hug is both funny and powerful, while simple enough to engage very young children and show them the awesome power of a hug.

Could you imagine no one wanting to hug you? Poor Ella porcupine is just hoping that someone will hug her someday very soon! Will she finally receive a hug, like she's always wanted? Find out in Hug Me  

AR Points

Book Level 

In this Beginner book, Howie is trying to find someone in his family to give him a hug but everyone just seems to be too busy. Read this adorable book to find out if Howie Finds a Hug.

AR Reading Level: 1.1
AR Reading Points: 0.5

 A collection of eighteen short poems celebrating love and friendship between animals, from cats and sheep to giraffes and crocodiles.

AR Reading Level 

AR Points                                                                                                                                             0.5 


A perfect book to read to your toddlers. This fun board book shows how hugging, as well as singing, kissing, etc. can show your little ones you love and care about them! 


Hope your day is filled with hugs of love and friendship!