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The Kidzone has programs galore as well as books, movies, and other cool stuff. Read our blog below for more information and check out our upcoming events to get an idea of what's happening at the Kidzone! Our main phone number is 205.444.7830.

Did you know about our Teletales?
Call 205-444-7838 to hear a new story every week read by a different Hoover Library staff member.

Recent Book Reviews

Horten's Incredible Illusions: Magic, Mystery & Another Very Strange Adventure
Lula Bell on Geekdom, Freakdom & the Challenges of Bad Hair
A Mutiny in Time
Starry River of the Sky
Pickle: The (Formerly) Anonymous Prank Club of Fountain Point Middle School
Iron Hearted Violet
Jake and Lily
Paris Pan Takes the Dare
Me and the Pumpkin Queen
Read All About It!
The Boy on Cinnamon Street
Nerd Camp
The Classroom
Smells Like Dog
Mission Unstoppable
On the Road to Mr. Mineo's
The Mark of Athena
A Whole Lot of Lucky
Alien on a Rampage
One for the Murphys

More of our favorite books on GoodReads »

Kidzone Blog

More Riordan: The Trials of Apollo

"Even after so many books on Greek mythology, I am constantly discovering stories I didn't know. While writing Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, I came across two myths about Zeus punishing Apollo by turning him mortal. The idea fascinated me. I decided to subject poor Apollo to that punishment for a third time and write a series from his point of view as a newly outcast 16-year-old mortal. This gave me a completely fresh angle on Percy Jackson's world. It was insanely fun to write." --Rick Riordan

And that, my eager Riordan readers, is why we have the first in another five-book series about ancient gods in a modern world.  The series is called The Trials of Apollo, and the title of the first book is The Hidden Oracle.  It debuts TODAY, May 3, 2016!  Click on the blue title to place your hold.

How do you punish an immortal? By making him human. After angering his father, Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disoriented, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the 4,000-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus' favor. But Apollo has many enemies - gods, monsters, and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

The next Magnus Chase book, The Hammer of Thor, is coming out in October.  Stay tuned to the blog this fall for more information.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Bicycle Libraries in Africa

May is National Bike Month!  Why not hop on your trusty two-wheeler and head to Hoover Public Library to check out a great story called In a Cloud of Dust by Alma Fullerton?  It is inspired by the many bicycle libraries that have opened all across Africa.  

"A dusty road leads to a schoolhouse nestled under a canopy of giant trees. A little girl stays in to do her homework at lunch, because by the time she walks the long way home, it will be too dark to see. Thus we are welcomed gently into Anna’s world in rural Tanzania, where the big event is the arrival of a heap of bicycles on a truck, in a cloud of dust. Although Anna is too late to get her own bike, she happily helps her friends learn to ride theirs, and soon she is bumping home on the back of Mohammed’s bike. And then he does something unexpected, and the joy at the center of this story unfolds. [This] is a simple, quiet book that resonates with all the ways that Anna’s life is different from ours. The modest gift of a bicycle makes a profound change in her daily life, and a note at the back of the book gives information about the many bike charities that bring bicycles to Africans. But the bicycle is only the jumping-off point for what this book is really about: the spirit of community that shines through as Anna and her friends help each other. Brian Deines’ drawings are saturated with color and full of movement: his wobbly bicycle riders struggle to keep their balance and you can almost see the wheels spinning when one of them tumbles to the ground. "

To learn more about bicycle libraries in Africa, take a look at this reading guide.  It includes websites for worldwide bicycle organizations.  It also recommends other books that are a perfect match for National Bike Month.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Happy 20th, Día!

El día de los niños / El día de los libros is an initiative to connect children to diverse books and experiences at their local library.  Día is sponsored by the Assocation for Library Service to Children (a division of the American Library Assocation), and April 30, 2016 marks the 20th anniversary.  Here's to another twenty years of emphasizing the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds!

If you want to expand your reading horizons, try one of these picture books.  These are my favorite recently published titles that incorporate Spanish into the story.
2016 = Giddy-Up Buckaroos! by Shanda Trent
2015 = Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina
2014 = Gazpacho for Nacho by Tracey Kyle
2013 = Poco Loco by J.R. Krause
2012 = Fire! 
¡Fuego! Brave Bomberos by Susan Middleton Elya
2011 = The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred by Samantha R. Vamos

In December 2015, I did a series of blog posts about S.T.E.A.M. titles for children, inspired by an amazing resource available on the 
Día website.  The 2016 titles are now available!  Take a look!

I had already planned to write a blog about International Jazz Day (April 30, 2016), focusing on an amazing new book called Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph by Roxane Orgil.  But then I read a fantastic article in Children & Libraries, the journal for the Assocation for Library Service to Children -- These Books Are Not Quiet: Bebop, Blues, Swing, and Soul: Jazz in Children's Books by Darwin L. Henderson, Brenda Dales, and Teresa Young.  And now I can't help myself from also sharing some of the jazz books they loved.  "Music and musicians are represented in visual and textual styles that mix and balance, amplify and absorb, like the sound that jazz makes . . . . It is a combination of cultures, elements, and vibrations that embrace the soul."   Sounds good, doesn't it?

  • Benny Goodman & Teddy Wilson: Taking the Stage as the First Black-and-White Jazz Band in History by Lesa Cline-Ransome (2014)
    J  781.65  CLI
  • Celebrates the 1936 debut of the Benny Goodman quartet with Teddy Wilson in Chicago, considered to be the first widely seen integrated jazz performance.
  • Bird & Diz by Gary Golio (2015)
  • When sax player Charlie "Bird" Parker and trumpeter John "Dizzy" Gillespie make music together, they toss notes back and forth like a game of tag and chase each other with sounds.
  • The Cosmo-biography of Sun Ra by Chris Raschka (2014)
    JB  SUN
  • A one-hundredth birthday tribute to the late jazz artist explores his observations about humanity's discriminatory and violent behaviors as well as his efforts to forge world peace through music with the Sun Ra Arkestra.
  • Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra by Andrea Davis Pinkney (1998)
    JB  ELL
    A brief recounting of the career of this jazz musician and composer who, along with his orchestra, created music that was beyond category.
  • How Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz by Jonah Winter (2015)
    JB  MOR
    Riffs on the language and rhythms of old New Orleans to focus on one of America's early jazz heroes
  • Jazz by Walter Dean Myers (2006)
    E  MYE
    Celebrates the roots of jazz music.
  • Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph by Roxane Orgil (2016)
    J  811  ORG
    When Esquire magazine planned an issue to salute the American jazz scene in 1958, graphic designer Art Kane pitched a crazy idea: how about gathering a group of beloved jazz musicians and photographing them? He didn't own a good camera, didn't know if any musicians would show up, and insisted on setting up the shoot in front of a Harlem brownstone. Could he pull it off? In a captivating collection of poems, Roxane Orgill steps into the frame of Harlem 1958, bringing to life the musicians' mischief and quirks, their memorable style, and the vivacious atmosphere of a Harlem block full of kids on a hot summer's day. Francis Vallejo's vibrant, detailed, and wonderfully expressive paintings do loving justice to the larger-than-life quality of jazz musicians of the era. Includes bios of several of the fifty-seven musicians, an author's note, sources, a bibliography, and a foldout of Art Kane's famous photograph. 
  • Jazz on a Saturday Night by Leo and Diane Dillon (2007)
    J  781.65  DIL

    Bright colors and musical patterns make music skip off the page in this toe-tapping homage to many jazz greats. From Miles Davis and Charlie Parker to Ella Fitzgerald, here is a dream team sure to knock your socks off.
  • Sweethearts of Rhythm: The Story of the Greatest All-Girl Swing Band in the World by Marilyn Nelson (2009)
    J  811  NEL
  • A look at a 1940's all-female jazz band, that originated from a boarding school in Mississippi and found its way to the most famous ballrooms in the country, offering solace during the hard years of the war.
  • Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews (2015)
    E  920  AND

    Hailing from the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews got his nickname by wielding a trombone twice as long as he was high. A prodigy, he was leading his own band by age six, and today this Grammy-nominated artist headlines the legendary New Orleans Jazz Fest.

The title of this blog is the title of a new book of poetry by Bob Raczka.  It is filled with shaped poetry, meaning the words on the page convey the outline of objects.  But Raczka takes it a step further -- using letter arrangements and shapes in each poem's title, too!  Students will never look at concrete poetry or "word paintings" in the same way again after reading Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems.

The title of this blog could also imply that there will be more than one book of concrete poetry featured in this post.  That's why I made sure to also include the following titles.