Top Menu FAQ Membershipts etc

Search the catalog above.


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

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!

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

International Jazz Day

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.
Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems

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.

Gordon Korman, king of comedy writing for kids, did an awesome guest spot on Booklist's master class, Publishing U.  Read it and weep . . . with laughter . . . and learn how he keeps his humor fresh.  Then read his newest novel, Slacker.

"Cameron Boxer is very happy to spend his life avoiding homework, hanging out with his friends, and gaming for hours in his basement. It's not too hard for him to get away with it . . . until he gets so caught up in one game that he almost lets his house burn down around him. Oops. It's time for some serious damage control--so Cameron and his friends invent a fake school club that will make it seem like they're doing good deeds instead of slacking off. The problem? Some kids think the club is real--and Cameron is stuck being president. Soon Cameron is part of a mission to save a beaver named Elvis from certain extinction. Along the way, he makes some new friends--and some powerful new enemies. The guy who never cared about anything is now at the center of everything . . . and it's going to take all his slacker skills to win this round."

Did this blog title totally mess with your brain?  Then you must not know about Mike Maihack and his graphic novel series called Cleopatra in Space.  Which is a shame because it is awesome. 

"Zapped away as a teenager from her home era of 52 BC, Cleopatra VII found herself in the middle of a centuries’ long war in the far, far, really far, far future. Now she fights alongside P.Y.R.A.M.I.D. (Pharaoh Yasiro’s Research And Military Initiative of Defense), both human and alienkind’s only hope against the evil Xaius Octavian. An ancient scroll prophesies that Cleopatra is destined to become the savior of the Nile galaxy; finally freeing its worlds from the tyrannical rule of the technologically advanced Xerx race. With help from her best friend and feline teacher, Khensu, Cleo is learning what it takes to be the great leader she is destined to become while still trying to figure out how she’s ever going to pass military school, make friends, avoid detention, and all of the other important things that come with being a reckless, fifteen-year-old future queen of the universe."

The third installment comes out this week!  Get your hands on all three as soon as possible!

  1. Target Practice (also available as ebook)
  2. The Thief and the Sword
  3. Secret of the Time Tablets