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Library Blog

Information on events, library related happenings, and other deep thoughts from our library staff.

National Book Awards 2019 -- Young People's Literature

And the winner for Young People's Literature is . . . 1919: The Year That Changed America by Martin W. Sandler! 

"1919 was a world-shaking year. America was recovering from World War I and black soldiers returned to racism so violent that that summer would become known as the Red Summer. The suffrage movement had a long-fought win when women gained the right to vote. Laborers took to the streets to protest working conditions; nationalistic fervor led to a communism scare; and temperance gained such traction that prohibition went into effect. Each of these movements reached a tipping point that year.

Now, one hundred years later, these same social issues are more relevant than ever. Sandler traces the momentum and setbacks of these movements through this last century, showing that progress isn’t always a straight line and offering a unique lens through which we can understand history and the change many still seek."

I have read all of the finalists and all but one of the longlist titles, and they were all truly amazing.  Read as many of them as you can!

1919: The Year That Changed America by Martin W. Sandler
Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds
Pet by Akwaeke Emezi
Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay
Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby
Kiss Number 8 by Colleen AF Venable & Ellen T. Crenshaw
Out of Salem by Hal Schrieve
A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata
Shout by Laure Halse Anderson
The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander & Kadir Nelson

See the winners in all categories on the National Book Awards website.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

It's Thanksgiving Week!

Ok, not quite yet. But it's coming soon! Hoover City Schools (and other local school districts) are off for the entire week of Thanksgiving. If you're looking for something to do, look no further than Hoover Public Library. We have three thematic programs and a special event that week, and you don't even have to register to be part of the fun!

  • Story Lab: Delicious Desserts
    Monday, November 25, 2019 at 4 p.m.

    This is Miss Katie Jane's weekly S.T.E.A.M.-powered storytime for 3 to 8-year-olds.  One story prompts lots of hands-on activities.  This week's stations will include erupting cupcakes, pie slice fractions, cookie measurement, and more sweet fun. 
  • Family Movie: Aladdin
    Tuesday, November 26, 2019 at 2 p.m.

    Watch the 2019 live-action Disney adventure with Miss Lindsay and your whole family.  Free refreshments!
  • Craft Cornucopia
    Wednesday, November 27, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.

    Get into the holiday spirit with Miss Christine and Thanksgiving crafts for all ages.
  • Storytime Allstars: Family Fun
    Saturday, November 30, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.
    Join Mr Justin for stories, songs, and a short movie that celebrate family and togetherness. This program is for all ages and will include a snack.  

The Hoover Library will close at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 27.  We will also be closed Thursday, November 28 - Friday, November 29.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History

New York Times bestselling author-illustrator Vashti Harrison shines a bold, joyous light on black men through history in her follow-up to Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History (2017) and Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World (2018).

Little Legends:  Exceptional Men in Black History  (11/19/19)
This beautifully illustrated and engagingly written volume brings to life true stories of black men in history.  Among these biographies, readers will find aviators and artists, politicians and pop stars, athletes and activists. The exceptional men featured include artist Aaron Douglas, civil rights leader John Lewis, dancer Alvin Ailey, filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, musician Prince, photographer Gordon Parks, tennis champion Arthur Ashe, and writer James Baldwin.  The legends in this book span centuries and continents, but what they have in common is that each one has blazed a trail for generations to come.

It has already received starred reviews in Kirkus and School Library Journal.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

The holiday season is fast approaching.  This means lots of family togetherness.  Sometimes it can feel like too much, especially if you've run out of ideas to keep the kids and adults from driving each other crazy.  I have just the thing to help you avoid all that drama.  Brightly contributor Melissa Taylor has curated a list of 6 Creative Storytelling Games for Kids that are sure to keep everyone happy during the holidays.  And guess what?  They also encourage hours of creativity and development!

Our next Practical Parenting session will be this Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 3 p.m.  The theme will be Sleep Help.  Children commonly have trouble sleeping—-whether falling asleep or sleeping in their own beds. We’ll talk about ways parents can improve their children’s sleep.  The speakers, Haley Bednarz and Helen Root, are graduate students in UAB's Medical Clinical Psychology Program.  We'll also have parenting books that address sleep problems as well as picture books about bedtime to check out and share with your children.  There is no need to register to be part of this session.  Simply follow the stars through the Kid Zone to the Youth Program Room.

Talking about Race

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recently added racism to the list of critical child health issues that require immediate attention and action.  Having worked with children in public libraries for almost 20 years, I could not agree more.  With the increased access to technology, especially smartphones and social media, today's youth have even more ways to be exposed to racism.  It's easy to be a target for racist attacks . . . and it's easy to target others.  That's why it is so important to talk about race and racism with your children!  It won't be easy.   But it will be worth it.  Here are some resources you can access to help you prepare for this discussion.

Brightly article: Why It's Important to Talk to Your Child about Racism and Hate by Varsha Bajaj
Parents Latina article: How to Talk to Your Kids about Race by Elsa Marie Collins
School Library Journal article: AAP Names Racism As Critical Child Health Issue, Asks Pediatricians To Step Up. What Can Educators Do? by Kara Yorio
ParentToolkit website
NPR segment

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship by Irene Latham & Charles Waters
The Colors of Us by Karen Katz
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
Happy in Our Skin by Fran Manushkin
Intersection Allies: We Make Room for All by Cheelsea Johnson, La Toya Council & Carolyn Choi
Let's Talk About Race by Julius Lester
Not My Idea: A Book about Whiteness by Anastasia Higginbotham
Same, Same but Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
Say Something! by Peter H. Reynolds
Skin Again by Bell Hooks
The Skin I'm In: A First Look at Racism by Pat Thomas
The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler
That Is My Dream by Langston Hughes & Daniel Miyares
Why Am I Me? by Paige Britt

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

World Kindness Day

Today, November 13, 2019 is World Kindness Day.  I'm sure you already know the number one most important way to celebrate, right?  PRACTICE KINDNESS!  But, in case you need a little help, the second most important way is available right here at Hoover Public Library.  Read one of these books!

Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller
Goat's Coat by Tom Percival
The Hugely-Wugely Spider by Ethan T. Berlin
I Walk with Vanessa by Kerascoët
K Is for Kindess by Jodie Shepherd
The Kindess Book by Todd Parr
Kindness Makes the World Go Round by Craig Manning
Mela and the Elephant by Dow Phumiruk
Try a Little Kindness by Henry Cole

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Charlie Hernández & the Castle of Bones

Inspired by Hispanic folklore, legends, and myths from the Iberian Peninsula and Central and South America, this bold sequel to Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows, which Booklist called “a perfect pick for kids who love Rick Riordan” in a starred review, follows Charlie as he continues on his quest to embrace his morphling identity.

Charlie Hernández & the Castle of Bones by Ryan Calejo (11/12/19)
Charlie Hernandez still likes to think of himself as a normal kid. But what’s normal about being a demon-slaying preteen with an encyclopedic knowledge of Hispanic and Latino mythology who can partially manifest nearly any animal trait found in nature? Well, not much. But, Charlie believes he can get used to this new “normal,” because being able to sprout wings or morph fins is pretty cool.  But there is a downside: it means having to constantly watch his back for La Mano Peluda’s sinister schemes. And when the leader of La Liga, the Witch Queen Jo herself, is suddenly kidnapped, Charlie’s sure they’re at it again.
Determined to save the queen and keep La Liga’s alliances intact, Charlie and his good friend Violet Rey embark on a perilous journey to track down her captors. As Charlie and Violet are drawn deeper into a world of monstruos and magia they are soon left with more questions than answers—like, why do they keep hearing rumors of dead men walking, and why is Charlie suddenly having visions of an ancient evil: a necromancer priest who’s been dead for more than five centuries?  Charlie’s abuela once told him that when dead men walk, the living run in fear. And Charlie’s about to learn the truth of that—the hard way.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

November Is Picture Book Month

Picture Book Month is an international literacy initiative that celebrates the print picture book during the month of November.  You could challenge yourself to read a different picture book every day.  We have LOTS and LOTS of titles available here at Hoover Public Library.  You could read a picture book that specifically honors books.  My new favorite is This Book of Mine by Sarah Stewart and David Small.  It trumpets a simple truth: A well-loved book in hand brings color to any reader’s life.  You could also watch picture books brought to life in storytime.  We have options every day.  And I'm sure you can think of even more ways to make the most of Picture Book Month.  When they come to mind, make sure you share them . . . with me!

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Becoming RBG

Levy expands upon I Dissent : Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark (2016), her picture-book biography of the Supreme Court justice and cultural icon, in this graphic biography.

Becoming RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Journey to Justice by Debbie Levy & Whitney Gardner (11/05/19)
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has often said that true and lasting change in society is accomplished slowly, one step at a time. That is how she has evolved, too. Step by step, the shy little girl became a child who questioned unfairness, who became a student who persisted despite obstacles, who became an advocate who resisted injustice, who became a judge who revered the rule of law, who became . . . RBG. This graphic novel-style biography of Ruth Bader Ginsburg shows this modern feminist icon leading the way in the fight for equal treatment of girls and women in society, and blazing trails to the peaks of the male-centric worlds of education and law.  

Want even more of RBG?  There have been several quality biographies penned about her in recent years.
No Truth Without Ruth: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Kathleen Krull (2018)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Case of R.B.G. vs. Inequality by Jonah Winter (2017)
You Should Meet: Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Laurie Calkhoven (2019)

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture