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Library Blog

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

Boy, Were We Wrong!

Humans.  We think we know it all, but the truth?  We make a lot of mistakes.  We were wrong about dinosaurs, the solar system, the weather . . . even about our own bodies!  You want ME to explain?  I think you'd do better to read the Boy, Were We Wrong! series by Kathleen V. Kudlinski.  This award-winning series is especially meant for the budding scientist and is perfect for children who are fascinated by the natural world and how it works.  Let's take a closer look at one of the most recent titles -- Boy, Were We Wrong About the Weather!

"Did you know that some people used to think that angry weather gods caused lightning and thunder?  Others thought that a dragonfly moving up and down instead of sideways predicted rain.  Thanks to science, we now know much more about the weather and the earth's atmosphere, including the grave dangers of global warming.  This thought-provoking book presents that new knowledge to children in terms they can understand.  It looks at beliefs people once held about the weather and how those beliefs have changed through scientific progress.

TEACHER BONUSES!  COURTESY OF PENGUIN.COM/COMMON CORE

  • RI2.2 = Identify the main topic of a multi-paragraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.
    Start by reading the book aloud.  Then, as a class, in pairs, or in small groups, create a graphic organizer with two sections: "What People Used to Think" and "What Scientists Know Now."  Have students go through the book and identify old beliefs and new knowledge to put on the chart.
  • Author Tie-In
    Pair this with the author's other books in this series, Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs! and Boy, Were We Wrong About the Solar System!
  • Poetry Tie-In
    Introduce your students to the humorous, science-oriented poems in Science Verse, written by Jon Scieszka and illustrated by Lane Smith.
Target Age: 
Katiem's picture
Author: 
Katiem

Photography Paired with Poetry

Another must-read during National Poetry Month!

National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry edited by J. Patrick Lewis, former U.S. Children's Poet Laureate
"Travel over cresting waves, through first snowfalls, and into golden deserts in this vibrant and evocative journey through our natural world.  Over 200 poems featuring old favorites and brand-new voices are accompanied by striking photographs.  Both a stunning introduction to poetry for young readers and a lifelong treasure for the family bookshelf, [this book] inspires us to see poetry all around us . . . in a world brimming with natural wonder."

These poems celebrate the diversity of life on earth -- In the Sky, In the Sea, On the Move, Across the Land, In Shade, In Distress, In Season, and In Splendor.  Each section is composed of around 20 striking full-page photographs with one to four poems per page.  The book concludes with Last Thoughts, Who Is Mother Nature?, a poetry bibliography for further reading, a series of indexes (title, poet, first line, and subject), text credits, and photo credits.  This is a truly stunning book, on every level.

 

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture
Author: 
Katiem

Calling All Teen Volunteers!

We couldn't do summer reading without you!  If you're interested in volunteering at Hoover Public Library this summer, here's what you need to know.

  • Volunteering is open to rising 8th-12th grade students who live in Hoover.
  • All volunteers MUST attend one of the training sessions in April.
    Monday, April 11, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.
    Friday, April 15, 2016 at 4:30 p.m.
  • You can access our summer application by clicking here.
Target Age: 
Katiem's picture
Author: 
Katiem

We're All Mad Here

ALICE: Have I gone mad?
MAD HATTER: I'm afraid so.  You're entirely bonkers.  But I'll tell you a secret.  All the best people are.

That's good news!  If you're mad as a hatter and in first, second, or third grade, you are invited to complete our Mad Hatter Scavenger Hunt on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 4:00 p.m.  Join the Mad Hatter, Alice and crew to uncover the Wonderland clues.  Play four games -- Flamingo Croquet, Mad Hatter Hat Toss, Through the Looking Glass, and White Rabbit Race -- to earn clues.  Collect them all to find the answer to the Mad Hatter's question and win a prize.  You'll also get to make a Cheshire Cat craft and Eat (Me) and Drink (Me) Wonderland snacks.  Registration is required.  Sign up online or by phone (444-7830).

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture
Author: 
Katiem

Kick It with Kwame Alexander

Kwame Alexander is the kind of author you just KNOW would be chill.  He's the kind of guy you could kick it with, talking about anything and everything.  You also know that all his recent accolades, including winning the 2015 Newbery Medal for The Crossover, wouldn't change that about him.  So that's one reason this blog is called Kick It with Kwame Alexander.  But the other reason?  He has a new novel-in-verse hitting the shelves today, and soccer is one of the stars of the story.  Family, love, and friendship also take center stage as Nick learns the power of words in Booked.  I'm especially excited about reading it because of The Mac, a rapping librarian who helps reading-adverse Nick find books that can speak to him.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture
Author: 
Katiem

Two New from Irene Latham

Do you know Irene Latham? She is a local author and poet . . . and she is AMAZING! Her two newest books feature poetry. And, since April is National Poetry Month, I feel compelled to blog about her!

  • When the Sun Shines on Antarctica: And Other Poems About the Frozen Continent
    J  811  LAT
    Experience summer at the bottom of the world. The sun rises, ice melts, grass grows, seals squabble, whales sing, and young penguins slide, glide and belly flop. Evocative poems are accompanied by additional facts that provide further details about the animals and their environment.  The book is illustrated by Anna Wadham.  Latham and Wadham also collaborated on Dear Wandering Wildebeest: And Other Poems from the Water Hole.
    (I had the privilege of seeing Irene and UAB marine biologist/author Dr. James McClintock give a joint presentation on Antarctica at the Anniston Museum of Natural History in February.  Wonderfully informative and a perfect hybrid of science and the arts!  Jim will be at Hoover Public Library on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at 6:30 p.m., presenting a program inspired by his latest book, A Naturalist Goes Fishing.)
  • Fresh Delicious: Poems from the Farmers' Market
    ON ORDER (click on the blue title to place a hold)

    The cucumbers at the farmers' market are FRESH. They are also "a fleet of submarines in a wicker sea." Blueberries are DELICIOUS. They also "burst like flavor-filled fireworks." Playful and imaginative, these poems will inspire you to see fruits and vegetables -- and the world around you -- in fresh and delicious ways. Adorably illustrated by Mique Moriuchi.
     
Target Age: 
Katiem's picture
Author: 
Katiem

April Fool from Tricky Vic

Today is April 1, 2016.  Yes, it's April Fools' Day, but don't expect me to prank you.  I would NEVER tell you that a book is amazing when it was really only so-so . . . or a complete dud.  So how does a dedicated librarian blogger celebrate a holiday of pranks and cons?  By sharing Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli, "an appealingly colorful, deadpan account of a remarkably audacious and creative criminal" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).

"In the early 1900s, Robert Miller, a.k.a. “Count Victor Lustig,” moved to Paris hoping to be an artist. A con artist, that is. He used his ingenious scams on unsuspecting marks all over the world, from the Czech Republic to Atlantic ocean liners and across America. Tricky Vic pulled off his most daring con in 1925, when he managed to "sell" the Eiffel Tower to one of the city’s most successful scrap metal dealers! Six weeks later, he tried to sell the Eiffel Tower all over again. Vic was never caught. For that particular scam, anyway. . . . Kids will love to read about Vic's thrilling life, and teachers will love the informational sidebars and back matter. Award-winner Greg Pizzoli’s humorous and vibrant graphic style of illustration mark a bold approach to picture book biography."

DID YOU NOTICE?
One of the greatest tricks in this whole book is how we see the silly, unsuspecting faces of Vic’s marks, but never his. Only a thumprint. Both the clearest and fuzziest identification.

ONE MORE THING
Visit the official website of the Eiffel Tower, which offers photographs, videos, and a 360-degree virtual tour.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture
Author: 
Katiem

The Great American Whatever

Author Tim Federle creates "a Holden Caufield for a new generation" in his teen debut, The Great American Whatever.

"Quinn Roberts is a sixteen-year-old smart aleck and Hollywood hopeful whose only worry used to be writing convincing dialogue for the movies he made with his sister Annabeth. Of course, that was all before—before Quinn stopped going to school, before his mom started sleeping on the sofa…and before the car accident that changed everything. Enter: Geoff, Quinn’s best friend who insists it’s time that Quinn came out—at least from hibernation. One haircut later, Geoff drags Quinn to his first college party, where instead of nursing his pain, he meets a guy—okay, a hot guy—and falls, hard. What follows is an upside-down week in which Quinn begins imagining his future as a screenplay that might actually have a happily-ever-after ending—if, that is, he can finally step back into the starring role of his own life story."

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture
Author: 
Katiem

Tween Movie Night Will Give You Goosebumps

So, this is how our calendar described our upcoming Movie Night for grades 4-6:

Relax and enjoy this hilarious flick while eating some snacks.

I feel I should warn you -- you will not be able to relax while watching Goosebumps in the Kid Zone on Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 4:00 p.m.  Didn't you read my blog when the movie hit theaters?!  There are some seriously scary things in this film!  Slappy the ventriloquist dummy is WAY up there on the creepy list.  And, for me, the battle scene with the evil lawn gnomes is the stuff of nightmares.  Luckily, there is plenty of humor in the movie, too.  And keep your eyes peeled for a cameo by the real R. L. Stine!

You don't have to register for this movie event.  Simply follow the stars (and the smell of popcorn) to the program room.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture
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Katiem

Ghosts of War

Steve Watkins has written books 3 and 4 in his Ghosts of War series!  Anderson, Greg, and Julie can't seem to stay away from the battered trunk of old military things in the junk shop basement . . . even though each item found puts them face-to-face with a ghost.

In AWOL in North Africa, the kids meet a World War II medic ghost.  In Fallen in Fredericksburg, they meet a teenage Union soldier ghost from the American Civil war.  Can Anderson, Greg, and Julie help these long-dead soldiers solve the mysteries that haunt them?  Read the Ghosts of War to find out!

Don't miss the first two books in the series!
#1 The Secret of Midway
#2 Lost at Khe Sanh

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture
Author: 
Katiem

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