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HPL Kids

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.

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

Summer 2018 has seen its fair share of storms.  One night when a friend was dropping me off after an ice cream run, we couldn't even turn onto my street because my neighbor's huge tree limb had come down as a result of a lightning strike and strong winds.  I fell asleep that night to the sound of chain saws breaking the limb down into movable pieces.  A couple of weeks after that incident I stumbled across this title on our shelves.  And now I'm spreading the word about it!

Big Tree Down! by Laurie Lawlor (January 23, 2018)
E  LAW  NEW BOOK

A beloved tree brings the town together even after it is toppled in a storm. Big Tree is "shelter, shade, hiding place. Just right for sharing secrets, leaning, and dreaming." The landmark is the meeting place in town. But then a storm strikes. The huge noise of the falling tree, the car alarms going off, and the fact that the power goes out all have neighbors leaning out their windows. They spy "a patch of sky that wasn't there before." Lawlor nicely enfolds a safety lesson into the tale: the narrator's father calls 911 and reports the downed power line. Community workers arrive to take care of it: the police, the linemen, the forestry crew. Meanwhile, neighbors of all ages and races gather as a community to talk about Big Tree, share food, cook over fires, and sing. The next day, the remnants of Big Tree are ground away and grass is planted. The community feels the loss keenly but also recognizes what Big Tree has left behind: firewood, mulch, branches for artwork, and more. On the final page, the narrator's interracial family (a white man, a darker-skinned woman, and their two children) is shown planting a new sapling. "Meet me at Little Tree." Gordon's richly colored illustrations portray the togetherness that is sometimes still found in small towns or urban neighborhoods. Community togetherness at its best in this celebration of a tree. [from Kirkus Reviews]

Jeanne Birdsall has finally completed her beloved Penderwicks series!

The Penderwicks at Last (May 15, 2018)
Nine years, five older siblings, a few beloved dogs, and an endless array of adventures--these are the things that have shaped Lydia's journey since readers first met her in The Penderwicks in Spring.  Now it's summertime, and eleven-year-old Lydia is dancing at the bus stop, waiting for big sister Batty to get home from college.  This is a very important dance and a very important wait because the two youngest sisters are about to arrive home to find out that the Penderwicks will all be returning to Arundel this summer, the place where it all began. And better still is the occasion: a good old-fashioned, homemade-by-Penderwicks wedding.  Bursting with heart and brimming with charm, this is a joyful, hilarious ode to the family we love best. And oh my MOPS--Meeting of Penderwick Siblings--does Jeanne Birdsall's The Penderwicks at Last crescendo to one perfect Penderwick finale.

BONUS!
Read this great interview with the author!

Monster Boogie by Laurie Berkner, illustrated by Ben Clanton (July 24, 2018)
Laurie Berkner pairs the lyrics of her infectious hit song with Ben Clanton’s whimsical illustrations in this groovy and adorable picture book.  This is a must-read for fans of Laurie, dancing, and all things monstrous!

MUSIC BONUS!
The original song can be found on her Buzz Buzz and The Best of the Laurie Berkner Band albums.  There is also a dance remix on The Dance Remixes album.

INTERVIEW BONUS!
"When we’re kids, monsters are scary things. But we all have feelings inside of ourselves that are kind of monstrous. We all want to be loud sometimes (even just to be heard), or get caught up in our big, angry feelings, or hurt other people (especially if we have been hurt ourselves.  It can also feel very exciting and powerful to scare someone else, or even be selfish and mean, and not to have to care or be responsible for our actons.  So really, we all have the capacity to be monsters.  I think it's great to let kids have a chance to play that role since so much of the time they are told to 'be good, be kind, be nice.'  I wrote the words to this song so that kids could instead have the opportunity to 'BE the monster' and enjoy it, even revel in it, in a safe way.  If kids see us as adults responding positively to them, even when they are monsters, maybe as they grow it will be easier to accept and have compassion for the monster both in themselves, and in other people.  Maybe instead of feeling fear or anger towards the darker parts of themselves, they will want to celebrate being human, with a little monster boogie." [Laurie Berkner]

The Hub is a teen collections blog for YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services Association.  Their blog post on November 28, 2017 featured books set in the halls of middle school.  I've read most of them, so I can vouch for their awesomeness.  Find them on the shelves at Hoover Public Library.

Alan Cole Is Not a Coward by Eric Bell
All's Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson
Armstrong & Charlie by Steven B. Frank
Brave by Svetlana Chmakova
The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez
Halfway Normal by Barbara Dee
Patina by Jason Reynolds
Posted by John David Anderson
The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore
Things That Surprise You by Jennifer Maschari
The Way to Bea by Kat Yeh
Well, That Was Awkward by Rachel Vail

The Hoover Public Library's annual SciFi/Fantasy Fest is coming next weekend!  There's a lot (and I mean A LOT) of stuff happening, so take a look at the official website to make your plans.  This blog is only going to focus on The Wicked World of Descendants event on Saturday, July 28, 2018 at10:30 a.m.

Kids will join Mal and Evie as they find the hidden crystal in the Enchanted Lake, evade lasers and other obstacles to steal the fairy godmother's wand, and use their newfound magic powers to defeat the evil dragon.  They will also have the chance to make their very own Mirror, Mirror On The Wall Craft and replica of Mal's Spell Book!  There's no need to register to be part of our Wicked World.  All fans of Disney's Descendants just need to meet in the Kid Zone of Hoover Public Library.

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