Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Our Favorite Books of 2017!

We've read some great books this year in the GMPL Children's Department and want to share with you some of our favorites. Click the title of the book to see it in our catalog and place a hold. Pro tip: books also make great gifts! Happy reading and a happy 2018!

Miss Abby's Top 3
1. Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder
Why: I thought the world she created was really interesting, and I liked that it had an open ending. It wasn't tied neatly in a bow. I thought the concept was original and really enjoyed seeing Jinny's journey, both her successes and failures. She was a very real character to me, good qualities and flaws.

 2. Serafina and the Twisted Staff by Robert Beatty
Why: This series has just the right amount of creepy and fantastic/magical elements to be really intriguing to me. It was a very engaging story. I needed to know what things were going to play out, and I like the characters and world. It's mostly realistic, yet contains magic. It made me think about how I feel about magic's place in the world we live in. 

3. The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall
Why: This was a clean, simple, good story. It takes place over one summer and follows sisters and the shenanigans they get into. Each sister has a distinct personality. It's kind of a coming of age story, yet takes place in a very short span of time. It's a good snippet of childhood, I think. 

Miss Kim's Top 3
1. The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors  by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Adam Rex
Why: We've all played the game but I can bet we have never thought about WHY Rock and Paper and Scissors need to battle.  This book begs to be read aloud to a group of slightly older kids.  Just before summer break, my own 3rd grader and her class loved it!

2. Escargot by Dashka Slater, illustrated by Sydney Hanson
Why: I can truly say that this is the only book I feel I need to read with a French accent.  There are even some interactive bits to get kids involved in getting Escargot the snail to his salad.

3. The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands
Why: I have been listening to many different books this year but this was one of my favorites.  There was puzzle solving, code breaking, explosions, mystery, apothecaries, and it all takes place in 1665 London, just before the Great Plague hit in full force.

Miss Liz's Top 3
1. Real Friends by Shannon Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Why: Making and keeping friends is not easy, and this graphic novel based on the author's own childhood experiences is one of the most relatable friendship stories I've ever read. Fans of Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson or any of Raina Telgemeier's graphic novels will love this. 

2. The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen
Why: Ever wondered why wolves howl at the moon? This hilarious picture book will give you the answer, along with many belly laughs along the way. 

3. Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
Why: This story set in the 1920s off the coast of Massachusetts is full of adventure and mystery while being beautifully written at the same time. I loved the backdrop of the rustic Elizabeth Islands and often felt as if I were there myself. Crow's courageous and spunky personality is really endearing and readers will definitely be rooting for her throughout the entire book. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

NaNoWriMo 2017

Happy November and Happy National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)! NaNoWriMo started in 1999 in San Francisco, CA and has since grown to a worldwide celebration of aspiring novelists, young and old. The goal of the adult program is to write 50,000 words (the length of an average novel) in the month of November. Participants update their word count daily on NaNoWriMo's website where they can connect with other writers and receive feedback, encouragement, and inspiration.

NaNoWriMo also has a Young Writers Program (YWP) for authors under the age of 17. Participants can challenge themselves with a custom word count and receive access to a kid-friendly library of resources similar to the adult website. Throughout the month, writers can track their progress and receive badges for reaching various word count goals. Hit with a case of writer's block? The Dare Machine and Writing Sprints tools provide prompts and challenges to reboot your creativity.

What happens after November? The challenge doesn't stop just yet! December and January are traditionally thought of as editing and revision months to get your story in tip-top shape for publishing. Want to challenge yourself again? Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July gives writers another chance to continue their story or start a new one.

Think you're up for NaNoWriMo? Let us know in the comments! Then, come visit us at GMPL to stock up on your favorite novels for inspiration. We also have some nonfiction books to help you get started:

Happy writing!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Thursday Three: Family Game Night

Family Game Night

My family and I had the opportunity to attend a day at GenCon – an entire convention dedicated to gaming.  Held annually in Indianapolis, GenCon started 50 years ago and has been growing since the beginning.  This 4-day convention sold out for the first time ever and is said to have hosted almost 208,000 attendees

So for this Thursday Three, I thought I would share three family friendly games we played at GenCon.

Sticky Chameleons by IELLO
Ages 6+, 2-5 players

Use a sticky chameleon tongue to capture bugs!  A roll of the dice will tell you which color and type of but to try to capture.  Get the right bug on your tongue, get it off the table as fast as you can or another player might steal it!  When you collect the correct bug, you collect a token.  The player with the most tokens at the end of the game wins!  Kids will love this game for the sticky tongues used to catch those insects.
Purchase directly through IELLO or Amazon.

Kingdomino by Blue Orange
Ages 8+, 2-4 players

Try to create your kingdom by matching dominoes with different terrains.  Your land can only be 5x5 and the order of play changes round to round.  There’s a little bit of math involved here – from sequencing numbers to adding points.  There’s also a bit of strategy needed to score the most points at the end of the game. 
Purchase directly through Blue Orange or Amazon.

Sparkle*Kitty by Breaking Games
Ages 6+, 3-8 players (Release date October 3, 2017)

This game isn’t even out yet but we can’t wait to own it!  We got a chance to play a demo at GenCon.  Choose a princess (of course I chose Princess Bookworm!) and build a tower.  Get out of the tower by saying nonsense “spells” created by matching cards by color or symbol.  The first princess to get out of the tower is the winner.  This was easy to learn, fun to play, and even my 11-year-old son enjoyed it! 

Only available for preorder right now through Breaking Games.

Do you have any favorite games to play as a family?  Comment and let us know!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

What We're Reading Wednesday: Humor

What is the tallest building in the world?

A library because it has the most stories!

Today is National Tell a Joke Day so we are going to share some books that make us laugh.  Don't worry, there will be more jokes along the way.

Picture Books

The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors 
by Drew Daywalt; illustrations by Adam Rex.

Ever wonder why we play this game?  Here's your chance to find out!  Rock, Paper & Scissors each want to battle but are having a hard time finding someone worthy of their skill.  It's only when they meet each other that the find what they have been searching for all along.

Click here to reserve a Library copy.

Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Greatby Bob Shea
How can Goat compete when Unicorn can make it rain cupcakes?  All Goat can do is make just OK marshmallow squares.  When Goat introduces pizza to Unicorn, Unicorn thinks it might not be that great to be a unicorn after all.

by Cirocco Dunlap; illustrations by Olivier Tallec
A mouse warns the reader that this book will not be fun.  Tell that to the flying whale, glow-in-dark worm, and dancing creatures.
Click here to reserve a Library copy.

Joke Break!

Librarian:  Knock, knock
Reader:  Who's there?
Librarian:  Winnie.
Reader:  Winnie who?
Librarian:  Winnie you going to return your overdue book, hm?

Beginner Readers

Fun with Ed and Fred
by Kevin Bolger; illustrations by Ben Hodson

Ed gets to do all the great stuff: go the beach, ride a horse and has a nice dog.  Fred on the other hand, not so much.  He wants to do all the great things Ed does but somehow ends up with the not-so-great things.Click here to reserve a Library copy.
A Pig, a Fox, and Stinky Socks! by Jonathan FenskeFox wants to play a trick on Pig, using Fox's stinky socks!  Pig is not fooled and Fox gets stinkier and stinkier with each trick.Click here to reserve a Library copy.
The Adventures of Otto: See Pip Point
by David Milgrim
Pip points at what he wants and Otto is willing to share.  But giving a balloon to a mouse may haven't been a good idea as Pip gets carried away!  This story is perfect for very beginning readers.Click here to reserve a Library copy.                                                                                           Joke Break!
Why didn't the mummy want to leave the library?

He was too wrapped up in a good book!

Juvenile Fiction

How to be a Supervillain
by Michael Fry
When your entire family, going back generations, are supervillains, you are kind of expected to be one, too.  It turns out that Victor doesn't have an evil bone in his body.

A serious subject -- a parents' divorce -- gets a humorous take. Winnie's parents are so competitive that even their divorce has to be completely equal.  Winnie's time is split between the two but she is able to have Wednesdays to herself.  When this arrangement seems to be changing, Winnie and 9 friends vow to stay in the treehouse until their demands are met.

I, Funny: School of Laughs
by James Patterson (#5 in the I, Funny series)
Jamie's school is in need of funds.  Jamie has the brilliant idea to start a comedy class for fellow classmates.  Only problem is that being funny is a lot easier than teaching funny.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Tech Tuesday: Total Solar Eclipse

On August 21, 2017, for the first time since 1979, people in the United States will be able to view a Total Solar Eclipse.  What is a solar eclipse?  Check out this video from PBS and Ideastream for a simple explanation.  Since it's not something that happens often, here are some websites and apps to help you keep track of it when it happens and the best way to view it.

from NASA

First, check out the NASA website for all things Total Solar Eclipse!  Here you will find information about eclipses, maps, safe viewing tips, and really anything you would ever want to know about eclipses.  And if you can't get outside to view, they will even have a live stream available for viewing.

from NASA's Solar Eclipse livestream

Another fun website to check out for eclipse information is  There are maps and videos and on the right side of their page, under the countdown, you can put in your town and the website will tell you exactly when the eclipse will begin, how long it will last, and what you will see.  Try it out!

We will all want to look at the eclipse as it's happening but it's important to not look directly at the sun.  If you don't have special eclipse viewing glasses, you can create a simple pinhole projector to view the eclipse using just paper, an empty cereal box, and some tin foil.
Follow the directions in this video from NASA's eclipse website.

Want to track the eclipse on your mobile device?  Check out these two apps:
iOS |  Android

Eclipse Safari
iOS |  Android

Any plans for viewing the eclipse on August 21?  Is anyone taking a road trip?  Tell us in the comments!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Maker Monday: Back to School

We've been seeing school supplies in the stores since July.  I'm sure many took advantage of Ohio's tax free holiday this past weekend to purchase school supplies and freshen up our wardrobe.  Class lists and bus routes are coming soon (if they're not here already).

It's just about time for Back to School!

Some of us have a few weeks before school actually starts so today on our blog we'll share some DIY school supplies that you would make with things you probably already have around the house.  Click on the links for directions.

Never lose your place when reading with these page corner bookmarks.

from Tally's Treasury

With just some paper towel tubes, empty cereal boxes and paper, create this recycled desk organizer.

from Mod Podge Rocks blog

Make your pencils fun by topping them with monsters!

from Red Ted Art

Keep all those fun pencils in one place with these Minecraft pencil holders.

from Red Ted Art

And finally, how about these cute Emjoi locker magnets?

from Surznick Common Room

Have you completed any back to school crafts?  Share your ideas with us.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Fun Fridays!

It's August!  The days are still long, the weather is hot and you've still got a few weeks before school starts.  Take advantage of the last days of summer vacation by checking out these fun, local events!

At the Grafton-Midview Public Library:

Summer Reading Ends
Tomorrow, Saturday, August 5, is the LAST DAY for the Summer Reading Program and the LAST DAY to get your reading logs to us to collect any grand prize tickets you may have earned.  We will draw the winners Monday morning, August 7.

We had over 300 kids signed up for the program this year!  Thanks for working hard to get those reading logs done.

Other Programs
Summer programming comes to an end in August but don't be a stranger!  We have all the books, magazines, audiobooks, cds, movies, and video games you need to keep busy throughout August.  And keep an eye out for our next program calendar -- so many programs to look forward to this fall.

Local Events:
 Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka

Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka
Friday, Saturday & Sunday, August 11-20, 2017
Lorain County Metro Park's French Creek Theatre, Sheffield Village, OH

The beloved children's book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, comes to life on stage.  Follow the story of five lucky children who win the chance to tour Willy Wonka's chocolate factory.  Tickets are $10-18.  Click here to purchase tickets and for more information about the French Creek Theatre.
Lorain County Fair-Wellington, OH

The 172nd Annual Lorain County Fair
August 21-27, 2017
Lorain County Fairgrounds, Wellington, OH

So much to do here!  You'll find animals, crafts, music, and (my favorite part of any county fair) FOOD!  Kids 8 and under are free; kids ages 9-16 are $5.  Check with the Grafton-Midview Public Library for a coupon for free admission for kids 9-16, with paying adult, while supplies last.  Click here for complete schedule of events and all the information you will need about the Lorain County Fair!

Do you know of any other great family events happening in and around Lorain County this August?  Let us know!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Thursday Three

Three Kids Books to Read Before Their Movies Hit Theaters 

As book lovers, we have high expectations when it comes movies based on our favorite books.  Walking out of a movie theater after watching a book-to-movie adaptation often leads to conversations that start with, "Well, in the book they did it this way," or "They left out a whole scene!"  We think that every single scene, description, and conversation should be exactly the way it was in the book.  

There are, of course, exceptions to this, and we may love the movie more than we ever enjoyed the book.  (See The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, and Shrek)  These instances are few and far between.

Here are three upcoming movies based on children's books that we are looking forward to, even if we will continually compare them to the original source.

1. Wonderstruck

Movie release date: October 20, 2017

This 2011 novel by The Invention of Hugo Cabret author Brian Selznick is told in text and illustrations.  The text tells the story of Ben, a boy who ventures off in search of the father he has never known.  The pictures tell a story 50 years in the past of Rose, a girl so infatuated with an actress that she leaves a safe place in search of her.  Both stories are told simultaneously yet they are in symmetry with each other.  It will be interesting to see how the movie accomplishes the double storytelling.
Click here to see the movie trailer for Wonderstruck.

2.  Wonder

Movie release date: November 27, 2017

Auggie was born with a severe facial deformity and home schooled his entire life.  As he is starting fifth grade, Auggie will begin attending public school.  Auggie will find that it will be difficult to be just another kid in the school as he deals with classmates who cannot look past his physical appearance.  The story is told from different points of view so we are curious to see how that translates to the big screen. The novel inspired the Choose Kind anti-bullying campaign and there's no doubt that the movie will create even more awareness of the topic.

3.  A Wrinkle in Time

Movie release date: March 9, 2018

Hopefully this will be worth the wait!  A Wrinkle in Time was published in 1962 and author Madeleine L'Engle received the 1963 Newbery Medal for her "distinguished contribution to American literature for children."  The story revolves around Meg, her brother Charles Wallace, and friend Calvin who set out on a space & time traveling mission to find Meg's missing father.  Looking forward to the larger-than-life characters of Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey).

Did we miss anything?  What are your favorite (or not so favorite) movies based on children's books?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

What We're Reading Wednesday

Tales with a Twist

In the Children's Department, we currently have a display featuring a type of story called "fractured fairy tales" -- unusual spins on familiar stories.  This could mean anything from telling the story from different characters' point-of-view to using different characters to tell the same story.  Here's a list of just some of the great fractured fairy tales we have at Grafton-Midview Public Library.

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka

AR Level: 3
AR Points: .5

According to Mr. Alexander T. Wolf, you've got his story all wrong and he's here to set you straight!  He had no intention of blowing down those pigs' houses.  Can he help if his sneezes caused the poorly built houses to collapse?  You may start to sympathize with the Big Bad Wolf after reading this version of The Three Little Pigs!
Click here to reserve a library copy.

Falling for Rapunzel by Leah Wilcox

Product Details
AR Level: 2.7
AR Points: .5
Rapunzel is stuck in the tower and a prince has found her and wants to rescue her.  He calls out the famous line, "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, throw down your hair!"  Rapunzel is just too far away to catch what the prince says.  So she throws down her underwear!  The prince keeps trying and Rapunzel keeps misunderstanding until she finally figures out what she thinks the prince wanted all along.

Little Red: a Fizzingly Good Yarn by Lynn Roberts

Product Details
AR Level: 4.4
AR Points: .5
In this Little Red Riding Hood retelling, it's a boy, not a girl, who is traveling to see his grandmother.  Every week he ventures through the forest to bring Grandma sweets and his family's famous ginger ale.  He knows not to venture off the path and the one time he does the wolf is right there to cause problems.  Little Red uses what he knows to help him out of a tough situation.
Click here to reserve a library copy.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Product Details
AR Level: 4.6
AR Points: 8
What if Cinderella, or Ella as she is known in this story, was cursed to obey every order given to her?  You can bet her stepmother and stepsisters take advantage of that and make Ella do whatever their hearts desire.  Ella makes it her mission to break the curse and live a much happier life.  Newbery Winner.
Check out the film version starring Anne Hathaway (but read the book first!).

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
First in the Tale Dark & Grimm Trilogy

AR Level: 4.6
AR Points: 6

Hansel and Gretel become the heroes of this story as they find their way into other Brothers Grimm stories and provide assistance to other characters.  Fair warning from the author himself, “This is when things start to get, well . . . awesome. But in a horrible, bloody kind of way."

Other titles in the series: In a Glass Grimmly and A Grimm Conclusion
Click here to reserve a library copy.

Rump: the True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff

AR Level: 4.4
AR Points: 9
Rump's mother was only able to tell Rump part of his name before she died.  He is constantly teased -- the boys call him "Butt".  It isn't until he discovered that he can spin straw into gold that he feels his luck will change.  Rump ventures out to find out his whole name and change his fortune forever.
Click here to reserve a library copy.

Visit the Children's Department at GMPL to find even more fractured fairy tales.