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What's Happening at the Hoover Public Library.

Library Blog

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

Rocket Science & Laser Tag

Summer Reading programming begins the first week of June.  And registration begins this week for two awesome experiences: one for kids and one for teens.

Summer STEAM: The Science Lady presents Rocket Science
Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 4 pm

Jan Mattingly, our favorite local scientist, is back for demonstrations and hands-on experiments that explore aerospace engineering.  Kids 6-12 years old can register online or by phone (444-7830) beginning 05/23.

Battle Royale Laser Tag
Friday, June 7, 2019 at 7 pm

This after-hours event turns the library into a Fortnite laser tag arena.  And, yes, there will be pizza.  Teens ages 12-18 can register online or by phone (444-7826) beginning 05/24.  All teens must bring a signed waiver to participate.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Let Me Hear a Rhyme

The author of Allegedly and Monday's Not Coming has a new novel out.  It's a story fueled by hip-hop.  I like this new trend in teen lit.  I also like how this book is set in the year I graduated from high school.  Class of '98, baby!

Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson (May 21, 2019)
Brooklyn, 1998. Biggie Smalls was right: Things done changed. But that doesn’t mean that Quadir and Jarrell are cool letting their best friend Steph’s music lie forgotten under his bed after he’s murdered—not when his rhymes could turn any Bed Stuy corner into a party.  With the help of Steph’s younger sister Jasmine, they come up with a plan to promote Steph’s music under a new rap name: the Architect. Soon, everyone wants a piece of him. When his demo catches the attention of a hotheaded music label rep, the trio must prove Steph’s talent from beyond the grave.  As the pressure of keeping their secret grows, Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine are forced to confront the truth about what happened to Steph. Only, each has something to hide. And with everything riding on Steph’s fame, they need to decide what they stand for or lose all that they’ve worked so hard to hold on to—including each other.

Read a preview in an Entertainment Weekly article here.
Take the "Are These Lyrics from a Drake Song or 'Let Me Hear a Rhyme'" quiz on Epic Reads website.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Take Me to Your Reader

Summer Reading 2019 has officially begun!  To register and keep track of your books online, go to  To register and keep track of your books on paper, stop by a desk in the Kid Zone or Teen Spot.  We're logging pages again this year.  You will receive a prize ticket at 200, 500, 1000, and 1500 pages and every 1000 pages after that (5500 page limit).  Prize room opens June 3, 2019.  This year's theme is A Universe of Stories, so we think lots of folks will want to read books about space.  Find the book that's right for you on one of our summer reading lists.  Click on the blue to access a printable list.  Remember, these are just suggestions.  You can read absolutely any book you want during Summer Reading.

book list for Preschool-Second Grade
book list for Third-Sixth Grade
book list for Seventh-Twelfth Grade
book list for Nonfiction

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) also puts together some quality reading lists.  There are four options: birth-preschool, Kindergarten-Grade 2, Grade 3-5, and Grade 6-8.

Katiem's picture

Summer Reading Kick-Off 2019

This summer, in a library not so far away . . . STAR WARS. [Cue the John Williams soundtrack.]

The Force is strong at this year's summer reading kick-off event.  Episode Fun will take over the entire walk-on floor of the Hoover Public Library on Friday, May 17, 2019 at 7 p.m.  Like the franchise that inspired it, this party will be BIG.  Here's a quick guide to the galaxy to help make sure you don't miss out on any of the fun.

Take a picture with Jabba the Hutt outside the front entrance.
Mingle with members of the 501st.
Work with fellow fans to build a Death Star.
Make the jump to lightspeed in the Hyperspace Hall.
Enjoy Star Wars songs played by the Harlequin Halflings -- LIVE! -- while you eat your Rebel Rations of Han-burgers, Vader chips, and Wookiee Cookies in the Mos Eisley Cantina.
Float among the stars in General Organa's Space Swim.
Get an out-of-this-world hairstyle from the Paul Mitchell School in the Star Wars Salon.
Wear your fandom on your arm when you get an Airbrush Tattoo with Matthew Renda.
Sign up for Summer Reading!

Take your turn in the gunner's seat to bring down the Empire's space station in Death Star Assault.
Learn from the best in Blaster Training with Han Solo.
Search for droid parts in the Jawa Scrapyard.
Test your arm and aim in The Empire Strikes Back Cosmic Bowling Alley.
Use the Force to knock down a wall.
Manuever through the Dagobah Swamp Obstacle Course -- with Yoda on your back.
Feed Boba Fett to the Sarlacc.
Pin the Bun on Leia.

Capture the majesty of a Wookiee by making a Chewbacca Paper Portrait.
Use LEGO bricks to build Droid Protoypes.
Make a C-3PO or R2-D2 bag in the Droid Factory.
Will you make Vader or Yoda?  Choose you must in the Dark Side/Light Side Paper Plate Puppets.
Turn a rock into a pocketsize Jawa.
Create a glow-in-the-dark lightsaber necklace.
Forge a pool noodle lightsaber then train with Obi-Wan Kenobi . . . and bubbles.


Katiem's picture

With the Fire on High

Elizabeth Acevedo is a name you should recognize.  Her debut novel, The Poet X, won the 2018 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.  It also won the 2019 Printz and the Pura Belpré Awards.  It was kind of a big deal.  And so is her new book.

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo (May 7, 2019)
Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions—doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness.  Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free.

Watch the book trailer.
Read The Washington Post review.
See some behind-the-scenes with the author as she records the audiobook.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

More Mr. Lemoncello

It's book #4!  Will there be more?  If you're a reader also obsessed with games, you'll hope the answer is yes.

Mr. Lemoncello's All-Star Breakout Game by Chris Grabenstein (May 7, 2019)
Greetings, boys and girls, gamers of all ages--are you ready to play Mr. Lemoncello's BIGGEST, most dazzling game yet? After months of anticipation, Mr. Lemoncello is taking his games out of the library and going LIVE across the nation on the world-famous Kidzapalooza Television Network! Everyone's invited to audition, but only a lucky few will be chosen to compete in front of millions of viewers in a brand-new, completely immersive live-action breakout game--with real kids as the playing pieces! Kyle Keeley is determined to be one of them.

Each of the winning teams must make it through five different rooms in Mr. Lemoncello's fantastic new Fictionasium by solving a puzzle to unlock each room and, in the end, break out of the library! But nothing is ever as it seems with Mr. Lemoncello, and the surprises in store just might stump even the game master himself. Can Kyle break out of his own expectations--and win Mr. Lemoncello's ultimate game show?

Don't miss the other three books!
1. Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
2. Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics
3. Mr. Lemoncello's Great Library Race

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Shouting at the Rain

Lynda Mullaly Hunt, the author of One for the Murphys and Fish in a Tree, has a new book out this week!  You know it makes me want to SHOUT, kick my heels up and SHOUT, throw my hands up and SHOUT, throw my head back and SHOUT!  Come on, now.  Don't you recognize the lyrics to the iconic Isley Brothers song?  It's the ultimate song of celebration, and this is something worth celebrating.

Shouting at the Rain (May 7, 2019)
Delsie loves tracking the weather–lately, though, it seems the squalls are in her own life. She’s always lived with her kindhearted Grammy, but now she’s looking at their life with new eyes and wishing she could have a “regular family.” Delsie observes other changes in the air, too–the most painful being a friend who’s outgrown her. Luckily, she has neighbors with strong shoulders to support her, and Ronan, a new friend who is caring and courageous but also troubled by the losses he’s endured. As Ronan and Delsie traipse around Cape Cod on their adventures, they both learn what it means to be angry versus sad, broken versus whole, and abandoned versus loved. And that, together, they can weather any storm.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

May the Fourth Be With You

Join us for a day in a galaxy far, far away at our Star Wars Movie Marathon! Whether you've seen them a million times or want your family to see them for the first time, come view these iconic films on the big screen in the Library Theatre! We will be showing the original trilogy on Saturday, May the 4th, 2019 -- Episode IV: A New Hope, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.  Admission and refreshments are free.

  • Episode IV at 10:15 a.m.
  • Episode V at 1 p.m.
  • Episode VI at 3:15 p.m.

We'll also have coloring sheets, Origami Yoda folding, and a scavenger hunt set up all day long in the Kid Zone.  Drop by anytime.  And May the Fourth be with you.  Always.

Katiem's picture

Holocaust Remembrance Day

The internationally recognized date for Holocaust Remembrance Day corresponds to the 27th day of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar. It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. In Hebrew, Holocaust Remembrance Day is called Yom Hashoah. When the actual date of Yom Hashoah falls on a Friday, the state of Israel observes Yom Hashoah on the preceding Thursday. When it falls on a Sunday, Yom Hashoah is observed on the following Monday.   This year’s Yom HaShoah starts at sundown on Wednesday, May 1, lasting until nightfall the next day on Thursday, May 2.

Here are some newer Holocaust titles available at Hoover Public Library.

Anne Frank by Stephen Krensky (DK Life Stories)
Anne Frank's diary is read by children and adults worldwide. It tells two stories: one of an extraordinary young girl living in hiding during one of the most fearsome times in history, and one of a relatable young girl facing the same questions and troubles that kids come up against today. Learn how both sides of this puzzle made up the person who is Anne Frank. In this biography for kids ages 8-12, meet Anne's family and friends, explore "The Annex" where they hid, and see her story put in historical context alongside information about World War II and the Holocaust, and Hitler and Nazi Germany.

The Red Ribbon by Lucy Adlington
Three weeks after being detained on her way home from school, fourteen-year-old Ella finds herself in the Upper Tailoring Studio, a sewing workshop inside a Nazi concentration camp. There, two dozen skeletal women toil over stolen sewing machines. They are the seamstresses of Birchwood, stitching couture dresses for a perilous client list: wives of the camp’s Nazi overseers and the female SS officers who make prisoners’ lives miserable. It is a workshop where stylish designs or careless stitches can mean life or death. And it is where Ella meets Rose. As thoughtful and resilient as the dressmakers themselves, Rose and Ella’s story is one of courage, desperation, and hope — hope as delicate and as strong as silk, as vibrant as a red ribbon in a sea of gray.

Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Chaya Lindner is a teenager living in Nazi-occupied Poland. Simply being Jewish places her in danger of being killed or sent to the camps. After her little sister is taken away, her younger brother disappears, and her parents all but give up hope, Chaya is determined to make a difference. Using forged papers and her fair features, Chaya becomes a courier and travels between the Jewish ghettos of Poland, smuggling food, papers, and even people.  Soon Chaya joins a resistance cell that runs raids on the Nazis' supplies. But after a mission goes terribly wrong, Chaya's network shatters. She is alone and unsure of where to go, until Esther, a member of her cell, finds her and delivers a message that chills Chaya to her core, and sends her on a journey toward an even larger uprising in the works -- in the Warsaw Ghetto.  Though the Jewish resistance never had much of a chance against the Nazis, they were determined to save as many lives as possible, and to live -- or die -- with honor.

What Was the Holocaust? by Gail Herman
J  940.53  HER
The Holocaust was a genocide on a scale never before seen, with as many as twelve million people killed in Nazi death camps—six million of them Jews. Gail Herman traces the rise of Hitler and the Nazis, whose rabid anti-Semitism led first to humiliating anti-Jewish laws, then to ghettos all over Eastern Europe, and ultimately to the Final Solution. She presents just enough information for an elementary-school audience in a readable, well-researched book that covers one of the most horrible times in history.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

The Embodiment of Emotion

I read a wide variety of picture books, and I read a lot of them.  A LOT.  And, sometimes, I notice a delightfully unexpected trend.  Like this one.  Each of these new titles features an abstract concept as a physical entity.  I read Me and My Fear first.  While I was raving about it to Justin, he told me about another title.  While I was reading that, a book I had on hold came in . . . and the trend was set.  All three of these books are great ways to talk to your kids about difficult concepts.  They would work especially well in the classroom.

Me and My Fear by Francesca Sanna (September 11, 2018)
When a young immigrant girl has to travel to a new country and start at a new school, she is accompanied by her Fear who tells her to be alone and afraid, growing bigger and bigger every day with questions like "how can you hope to make new friends if you don't understand their language?" But this little girl is stronger than her Fear. This heartwarming and timely tale shows us the importance of sharing your Fear with others--after all, everyone carries a Fear with them, even if it's small enough to fit into their pocket!

The Silence Slips In by Alison Hughes (March 5, 2019)
When the party's over and the baby finally falls asleep, when the dog is all barked out and the screens are dark, the Silence pads in on soft, furry feet. A warm, comforting presence, the Silence curls up in a sun-beam like a cuddly cat and helps you read, think and be still. The Silence is friends with the Dark. Together they soothe the jagged edges left when the Noise has rolled on and gently launch the boats of your dreams into the night. When the day becomes overwhelming or other feelings become too big, the Silence slips in.

When Sadness Is at Your Door by Eva Eland (January 29, 2019)
Sadness can be scary and confusing at any age! When we feel sad, especially for long periods of time, it can seem as if the sadness is a part of who we are--an overwhelming, invisible, and scary sensation.  Eland brilliantly approaches this feeling as if it is a visitor. She gives it a shape and a face, and encourages the reader to give it a name, all of which helps to demystify it and distinguish it from ourselves. She suggests activities to do with it, like sitting quietly, drawing, and going outside for a walk. The beauty of this approach is in the respect the book has for the feeling, and the absence of a narrative that encourages the reader to "get over" it or indicates that it's "bad," both of which are anxiety-producing notions.  Simple illustrations  invite readers to add their own impressions.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture