August 2nd is National Coloring Book Day

When I was a kid I really loved to color. It was one of my favorite activities. It made me feel so happy and relaxed and I’m sure my mom was thrilled that I was doing a nice quiet activity that helped develop and improve my fine motor skills. Since I grew up coloring has had an explosion in popularity and there are adult coloring books, fancy pens and colored pencils. In our house we’ll be having a family coloring party to celebrate with the Oceans of Possibilities coloring book I made below.

If you’re looking for some fancier coloring for yourself and your older kids you can check out this great Creativebug class 30 Coloring Pages: Get Creative with Colored Pencils.

K-Pop in the Stacks

Are you a member of the BTS Army or a Monbebe? Do you love watching fancams and dance videos? K-Pop is taking off and whether you are an avid fan or just learning about it these books will give you a peek into the K-Pop world; where aspiring stars go through intensive training together to see if they can persevere and become idols.

Check out these amazing YA titles while you wait the next comeback.

Once Upon a K-Prom, Somewhere Only We Know, Shine, I’ll Be the One, K-Pop Confidential, Idol Gossip

You can check out K-Pop music and more K-Pop books on Hoopla with your library card.

Start a Garden with Your Library Card!

Spring is here and our seed library is open. In past years my kiddo and I have grown tomatoes and peas from our seed library seeds. We’ve really enjoyed container gardening on our patio.  There will be seed bundles to grow herbs and vegetables, as well as special Bee-way Builders! It’s been a great way to help my kiddo understand where food comes from and to get her to try some new things.

In addition to the seeds, the library has lots of resources and important information on Gardening for kids where you can learn about what to plant, local growing seasons, controlling weeds without chemicals and much more. Once you learn how to sow and save your seeds from your harvest, you can share with the library and others if you’re interested.

2022 Youth Media Award Winners

On January 24th the American Library Association virtually announced the winners of the Youth Media Awards; it’s like the Oscars for books. The top awards went to Donna Barba Higuera for The Last Cuentista; winner of the Newbery Medal and the Pura Belpré Children’s Author Award; illustrator Jason Chin who won the Caldecott Medal for Watercress, written by Andrea Wang and the Asian/Pacific American Award for Picture books; and Angeline Boulley for Firekeeper’s Daughter who won a Printz Medal, a William C. Morris Award and an American Indian Youth Literature Awards Young Adult Honor. For a small sample of the award winners look below; you can watch the awards and learn about other award winners and honorees here.

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature: 

The Last Cuentista written by Donna Barba Higuera

Habia una vez…There lived a girl named Petra Peña, who wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, like her abuelita. But Petra’s world is ending. Earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children have been chosen to journey to a new planet. Hundreds of years later, Petra wakes to this new planet–and the discovery that she is the only person who remembers Earth. A sinister Collective has taken over the ship during its journey, bent on erasing the sins of humanity’s past. They have systematically purged the memories of all aboard. Petra alone now carries the stories of our past, and with them, any hope for our future. Can she make them live again?

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children: 

Watercress illustrated by Jason Chin and written by Andrea Wang

Embarrassed about gathering watercress from a roadside ditch, a girl learns to appreciate her Chinese heritage after learning why the plant is so important to her parents.

Coretta Scott King Book Award recognizing an African-American author of outstanding books for children and young adults AND Coretta Scott King Book Award recognizing an African-American illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults:

Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Floyd Cooper

A powerful look at the 1921 Tulsa race massacre, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in our nation’s history.

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults:

Firekeeper’s Daughter written by Angeline Boulley

Daunis, who is part Ojibwe, defers attending the University of Michigan to care for her mother and reluctantly becomes involved in the investigation of a series of drug-related deaths.

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

Young Children’s Awards: My City Speaks written by Darren Lebeuf and illustrated by Ashley Barron

In this charming ode to city life, a visually impaired young girl travels around the city she loves, enjoying all it has to offer.

Middle Grades Awards: A Bird Will Soar by Alison Green Myers

After a tornado, Axel, who loves birds, finds an injured eaglet, and helps to rescue it–and also helps to resolve the problems in his broken family, and draw his father back home.

Teens Award: The Words in My Hands written and illustrated by Asphyxia

Near-future Australia is controlled by Organicore, a company that produces the “perfectly balanced” synthetic meals that have all but replaced wild food, but Piper McBride, sixteen, deaf, and cued white, begins to wonder if wild food is as dangerous as Organicore’s propaganda says.

Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States:

Temple Alley Summer written by Sachiko Kashiwaba, illustrated by Miho Satake and translated from the Japanese by Avery Fischer Udagawa

From renowned Japanese children’s author Sachiko Kashiwaba, Temple Alley Summer is a fantastical and mysterious adventure filled with the living dead, magical pearls, and a suspiciously nosy black cat named Kiriko featuring beautiful illustrations from Miho Satake.

Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States: 

Children Award Winner: Boogie Boogie, Y’all written, illustrated and narrated by C.G. Esperanza

Lively and colorful with a read-aloud beat, this picture book celebrates the rich culture of the Boogie Down Bronx, inviting readers to an epic block party!

Young Adult Award Winner: When You Look Like Us written by Pamela N. Harris and narrated by Preston Buttler III

A timely, gripping teen novel about a boy who must take up the search for his sister when she goes missing from a neighborhood where black girls’ disappearances are too often overlooked.

Pura Belpré Award honoring Latinx writers and illustrators whose children’s and young adult books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience: 

Youth Illustration Award winner: !Vamos, Let’s Cross the Bridge! Raúl Gonazlez

Using their new truck to carry party supplies over the bridge, Little Lobo and his dog Bernab are stuck in traffic and decide to throw an epic party to pass the time.

Children’s Author Award winner: The Last Cuentista written by Donna Barba Higuera

Habia una vez…There lived a girl named Petra Peña, who wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, like her abuelita. But Petra’s world is ending. Earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children have been chosen to journey to a new planet. Hundreds of years later, Petra wakes to this new planet–and the discovery that she is the only person who remembers Earth. A sinister Collective has taken over the ship during its journey, bent on erasing the sins of humanity’s past. They have systematically purged the memories of all aboard. Petra alone now carries the stories of our past, and with them, any hope for our future. Can she make them live again?

Young Adult Author Award winner: How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love With the Universe written by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

When she takes a job as a “merch girl” on a tour bus full of beautiful influencers, Moon Fuentez, the twin sister of a social media star, questions her destiny as the unnoticed, unloved wallflower she always thought she was.

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children:

The People’s Painter: How Ben Schan Fought for Justice With Art written by Cynthia Levinson ; pictures by Evan Turk

A lyrically told, exquisitely illustrated biography of influential Jewish artist and activist Ben Shahn.  In this moving and timely portrait, award-winning author Cynthia Levinson and illustrator Evan Turk honor an artist, immigrant, and activist whose work still resonates today: a true painter for the people.

Stonewall Book Award—Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Award given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience:

Children’s Literature Award winner: Too Bright to See written by Kyle Lukoff

It’s the summer before middle school and eleven-year-old Bug’s best friend Moira has decided the two of them need to use the next few months to prepare. For Moira, this means figuring out the right clothes to wear, learning how to put on makeup, and deciding which boys are cuter in their yearbook photos than in real life. But none of this is all that appealing to Bug, who doesn’t particularly want to spend more time trying to understand how to be a girl. Besides, there’s something more important to worry about: A ghost is haunting Bug’s eerie old house in rural Vermont…and maybe haunting Bug in particular.

Young Adult Literature Award winner: Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

“That book. It was about two women, and they fell in love with each other. Have you ever heard of such a thing?” Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can’t remember exactly when the question took root, but the answer was in full bloom the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club. America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father–despite his hard-won citizenship–Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book:

Fox at Night written and illustrated by Corey R. Tabor

Fox—the hilarious trickster character featured in Geisel Award-winning Fox the Tiger—overcomes his fear of monsters when he meets real nocturnal animals.

Our Favorite Children & Teen Reads from 2021

As 2021 comes to end it’s that time of year where everyone starts posting their best of lists and here at the library we want to share our favorites too. Without further ado these are the Youth Services favorite books we read and listened to this year.

Ms. Andrea, Youth Services/Family Engagement Coordinator

The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould: When Logan, the adopted daughter of reality television ghosthunters, teams up with Ashley to search for missing teens in Snakebite, Oregon, they find themselves falling for each other as they uncover a hidden evil.

Kind of a Big Deal by Shannon Hale: Dropping out of high school to pursue her Broadway ambitions, a talented performer lands in a directionless job before a visit to the library catapults her into the plotlines of the books she reads.

It’s All Your Fault by Paul Rudnick: Seventeen-year-old Caitlin Singleberry is a proper Christian teenager and member of a family singing group, but today she has been given a truly impossible assignment–keep her cousin Heller Harrigan, Hollywood wild child, out of trouble for the last weekend before her first big movie debuts.

Ms. Charlotte, Teen Librarian

Spy X Family by Tatsuya Endo: Not one to depend on others, Twilight has his work cut out for him procuring both a wife and a child for his mission to infiltrate an elite private school. What he doesn’t know is that the wife he’s chosen is an assassin and the child he’s adopted is a telepath.

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson: Liz Lighty has always done her best to avoid the spotlight in her small, wealthy, and prom-obsessed midwestern high school, after all, her family is black and rather poor, especially since her mother died; instead she has concentrated on her grades and her musical ability in the hopes that it will win her a scholarship but when that scholarship falls through she is forced to turn to her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen, which plunges her into the gauntlet of social media which she hates and leads her to discoveries about her own identity and the value of true friendships.

Ms. Cheryl, Youth Services Librarian

The Berenstain Bears Around the World by Mike Berenstain: The Berenstain Bears travel around the world, from Africa to the Great Wall of China, using their Anywhere-Anyplace Machine.

Danny and the Dinosaur and the New Puppy by Syd Hoff: Danny gets a brand-new puppy, and the dinosaur can’t wait to join in on the fun! What happens when you play fetch with a dinosaur or ask him to roll over?

Pass the Ball, Mo! by David Adler: With the big game coming up, Mo Jackson, the shortest member of the basketball team, is determined to learn how to pass the ball in time to help his team win.

King and Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats by Dorie Hillestad Butler: King’s human, Kayla, has baked some treats for a friend’s new puppy, Thor, but some go missing and it is up to King to find the culprit.

Humphrey’s Really Wheely Racing Day by Betty Birney: When Mandy, one of the students from classroom 26, brings a special hamster-sized racecar to class, it means just one thing–Humphrey is going to be in a hamster race.

Kylie Jean Gymnastics Queen by Marci Peschke: The Summer Olympics inspires Kylie Jean Carter to take gymnastics lessons, but even better than that is making a new friend, Abby, who is deaf, and starting to learn sign language.

The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling: A boy acquires a magical gift that turns everything his lips touch into chocolate.

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein: Twelve-year-old Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of 12 children chosen to stay in the new town library for an overnight of fun, food and games, but in the morning, the kids find all the doors still locked and must work together to solve secret puzzles in order to discover the hidden escape route.

Overboard by Terry Lynn Johnson: Eleven-year-old Travis and twelve-year-old Stacey, separated from their families after being thrown into the ocean off the coast of Washington, battle hypothermia as they struggle to survive. Includes Coast Guard-approved cold-water survival tips.

Jeanna, Youth Services Librarian

Bone Gap By Laura Ruby: Eighteen-year-old Finn, an outsider in his quiet Midwestern town, is the only witness to the abduction of town favorite Roza, but his inability to distinguish between faces makes it difficult for him to help with the investigation, and subjects him to even more ridicule and bullying.

Milo Imagines the World by Matt de La Peña: While Milo and his sister travel to a detention center to visit their incarcerated mother, he observes strangers on the subway and draws what he imagines their lives to be.

Ms. Jessica, Youth Services Librarian

There’s a Monster in Your Book by Tom Fletcher: Encourages the reader to shake, tilt, and wiggle the book to remove the little monster inside, but once it is out, another problem arises.

Clean Getaway by Nic Stone: An 11-year-old boy confronts the realities of race relations, past and present, and the mysterious agenda of his unconventional grandmother during an unplanned spring break road trip through the once-segregated American South.

The Bootlace Magician by Cassie Beasley: Micah Tuttle loves living at the magical Circus Mirandus, but when a dangerous enemy from the past threatens his new home, every magician will have to be ready to fight–including Micah.

Lisa Kropp, Library Director

Pax by Sara Pennypacker: When his father enlists in the military and makes him return his beloved pet fox to the wild, Peter, who has been sent to live with his grandfather hundreds of miles away, embarks on a journey filled with astonishing discoveries in order to be reunited with his fox.

Ms. Rosalia, Teen Librarian

You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen McManus: Deciding to ditch school together, former friends Ivy, Cal and Mateo, in one chance move, find their day turning from dull to deadly when another student is murdered right in front of them.

Zoey and Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows by Asia Citro:  Zoey discovers a glowing photo and learns an amazing secret. Injured magical animals come to their backyard barn for help! When a sick baby dragon appears, it’s up to Zoey and Sassafras to figure out what’s wrong. Will they be able to help little Marshmallow before it’s too late?

Something’s Wrong! A Bear, a Hare and Some Underwear by Jory John: Jeff the bear is sure he has forgotten something when he sets out from home, but none of the animals he meets initially inform him that he is only wearing his underwear, until he reaches his friend Anders the hare–who quickly thinks of a way to avoid embarrassing Jeff, by starting a fashion trend.

November is NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo is a fun way to get yourself and others in your family to write that novel that we all say we’ll write “someday.” The adult program encourages people to write everyday in the month of November until they end up with a 50,000 word novel. The children’s program can be started at any time and children can set their own word limits. The point of NaNoWriMo is to ignore your inner editor and write as much as you can.

Creative writing has tons of benefits.

  • It expands the imagination and improves their ability to come up with alternatives which leads to better problem solving skills.
  • Kids can have a hard time understanding and expressing how they feel. Through creative writing they have a safe space to explore their feelings which leads to better self expression.
  • Writing lets kids assert themselves and use their voice leading to self confidence.

These are only some of the benefits of creative writing.

To participate on the NaNoWriMo website kids over 13 can register themselves on the NaNoWriMo website and kids under 13 can be registered by there parents with an adult’s e-mail address. You can also do something less official and write in a notebook or with your own typing software.

If you want to participate in NaNoWriMo as a family then check out the main portion of NaNoWriMo’s website.

Want to inspire your child or teen with some books on creative writing? Look for these titles in our catalog and Libby. If it’s not in our express collection, let us know.  We can get it for you.

YA Horror to Keep You Up at Night

Fall in general and Halloween specifically put a lot of people (ME) in the mood for something scary. These books are entertaining if you can stomach the story.

Shutter by Courtney Alameda

Seventeen-year-old Micheline Helsing is a tetrachcromat, able to see ghosts in color and capture them on film, but when a routine hunt goes awry, Micheline is infected with a curse known as a soulchain and if she is unable to exorcise the entity in seven days, she will be destroyed, body and soul.

Alone by Cyn Balog

When her mom inherits an old, crumbling mansion, Seda’s almost excited to spend the summer there. The grounds are beautiful and it’s fun to explore the sprawling house with its creepy rooms and secret passages. Except now her mom wants to renovate, rather than sell the estate—which means they’re not going back to the city…or Seda’s friends and school.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

When seventeen-year-old Tana wakes up following a party in the aftermath of a violent vampire attack, she travels to Coldtown, a quarantined Massachusetts city full of vampires, with her ex-boyfriend and a mysterious vampire boy in tow.

The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass

When a murderous ghost begins to haunt sixteen-year-old Jake Livingston, high school soon becomes a different kind of survival game

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

A lovelorn newcomer, a grief-stricken pariah and a privileged liar intersect on the island of Sawkill Rock, where they become unlikely defenders against an insidious monster that has been preying upon the girls in their community for decades.

The Girls Are Never Gone by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Seventeen-year-old Dare plans to spend her summer debunking a haunting at an historic estate with a dark past, but she finds herself in a life-or-death struggle against a malignant ghost.

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Ten teens head to a house party at a remote island mansion off the Washington coast in this fast-paced gruesome slasher story. The party turns deadly when the group’s number dwindles as a nameless killer begins to eliminate the guests one-by-one in apropos manners. It’s a race against time as the group tries to figure out the identity of the killer before everyone is eliminated.

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

When incrementally more violent attacks overshadow life at Osborne High, an intense hunt for the killer leads to the revelation of astonishing secrets. *The movie just released on Netflix.*

Books Unite Us: Banned Books Week

Banned Books week is September 22nd-October 2, 2021 and this years theme is Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us. Banned Books Week began in the 1980s, at a time of increased book challenges and bans. The American Library Association, along with 14 other organizations, works to bring an awareness of censorship during this week each year.

According to the American Library Association (ALA), “Sharing stories important to us means sharing a part of ourselves. Books reach across boundaries and build connections between readers. Censorship, on the other hand, creates barriers.”

The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. Another aspect that Banned Books week celebrates is the fact that many of these materials do remain available and are ultimately not banned.

The video below highlights the ten most challenged books of 2020 and why they were challenged. This years titles range from children’s novels, young adult fiction and adult fiction and nonfiction. In the past the list has included picture books:

Want to learn more? Check out ALA’s Banned Book FAQ here.

I always try to read a challenged book in honor of Banned Books Week. Want to read one of the top ten? Click on the books title for a physical copy; ebook and audiobook lead to digital downloads in Livebrary. If the physical book is not available in the Express Collection we can help you interlibrary loan it.

George by Alex Gino: ebook audiobook

Stamped–Racism, Antiracism and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi: ebook audiobook

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds: ebook audiobook

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson: ebook audiobook

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie ebook audiobook

Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano audiobook

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee ebook audiobook

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck ebook audiobook

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison ebook audiobook

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas ebook audiobook

Introducing our Community Journal Project

Write in a library book? I know it’s an unusual request from us here at the library but that is exactly what we’re looking for with our new Community Journal Project. We are asking you, the members of our community, to share your thoughts, creativity, artwork and knowledge with us.

There are currently fifteen notebooks on many different topics for all age group from A Community Cookbook for all Mom and Dad’s cooking tips and tricks to A Wordless Picture Book for our youngest pre-writers. To learn more about how to participate check out our website where you can see our full guidelines and all of the available topics.

By adding your own thoughts and artwork to the journals, you or your teen or child will be engaging in dialogue and connection with other community members. All adults, teens and children are invited to join the library in this collaborative creative adventure. Look for the journals on display next to the library’s main entrance.

May is Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month—a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Originally a week long celebration it is now celebrated all month long. To learn more about Asian Pacific Islander Heritage month you can go here.

Here at the library we like to celebrate by reading and sharing some of our favorite books by Asian Pacific Islander authors and illustrators. Check out some amazing titles for teens and kids below.

More Than Just a Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood; A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo; From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon; Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert; Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay; Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon; Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman; We Are Not Free by Traci Chee
Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire by Susan Tan; Sea Sirens: a Trot & Cap’n Bill Adventure by Amy Chu & Janet K. Lee; Amina’s Voice by Hena Kahn; Front Desk by Kelly Yang; Eyes that Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho; A Morning with Grandpa by Sylvia Liu; The Sound of Silence by Katrina Goldsaito; A Different Pond by Bao Phi

Another great way to learn about Asian cultures is by attending some of our library programs. Be sure to check out tomorrow night’s Indian Dance program! Click here to go to the library calendar and register.