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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

WARNING!  This is a list of Dog Tales.  And some of them are sad.  Yes, I'm talking about you, Old Yeller.  But all of them capture the joy that dogs bring to this world.
The 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Big Red by Jim Kjelgaard
Buddy by Kate Klimo
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
City of Dogs by Livi Michael
Dachshund Disaster by Tui T. Sutherland
A Dog and His Girl Mysteries: Play Dead by Jane B. Mason & Sarah Hines Stephens (#1)
A Dog Called Kitty by Bill Wallace
Dogboy by Christopher Russell (#1)
Dogs in the Dead of Night by Mary Pope Osborne
A Dog's Life: The Autobiography of a Stray by Ann M. Martin
Dogs of the Drowned City: The Storm by Dayna Lorentz (#1)
The Dogs of Winter by Bobie Pyron
Elvis and the Underdogs by Jenny Lee
Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes
The Good Dog by Avi

Yes, I've blogged about author Michael Grant before.  I can't help it that he is so prolific, that he has another popular series that is going out with a magnificent bang.  Grant's The Magnificent 12 series is concluding with yesterday's release, The Power.  I'm not a big fan of spoiling a series by revealing too much of the plot.  If you've been anxiously awaiting book four, you don't need specifics.  If you are just learning about The Magnificent 12 series,  all you need to know is this -- it features action-packed humor similar to Dan Gutman's Genius Files series.

Are you ready for something a bit more sophisticated?  Because this isn't just a list of cat books.  This is an inventory of Feline Fiction.  If you think you're a cat lover who has read it all, think again.
Cat Diaries: Secret Writings of the MEOW Society by Betsy Byars, Betsy Duffey & Laurie Meyers
Cat Found by Ingrid Lee
The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Jane Coatsworth
The Cats of Roxville Station by Jean Craighead George
The Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles De Lint
Catwings by Ursula K. Le Guin (#1)
The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale by Carmen Agra Deedy & Randall Wright
The Familiars by Adam Jay Epstein & Andrew Jacobson (#1)
The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook by Joanne Rocklin
Highway Cats by Janet Taylor Lisle

Bet you never expected word-obsessed me to post a blog with a title questioning the necessity of words!  And guess what?  I mean it.  The question is totally valid . . . when applied to wordless picture books.  Wordless books tell the story with amazing illustrations and give you the opportunity to supply your own words.  Wordless books are great for kids who need to work on their language skills by creating accompanying stories -- either through speech or writing.  They are also an excellent catalyst for children with vivid imaginations and a flair for dramatics.  The best thing about wordless picture books?  You never outgrow them!  They are a perfect fit for any age, even adults.  Here are some of my very favorite wordless books.  Pick one up for your classroom or family today.
Bluebird by Bob Staake
Bow-Wow Bugs a Bug by Mark Newgarden
The Boy & the Airplane by Mark Pett
Chicken and Cat Clean Up by Sara Varon
The Crocodile Blues by Coleman Polhemus
Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle
Frog on His Own by Mercer Mayer (one of a series)
The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
Magpie Magic: A Tale of Colorful Mischief by April Wilson
Museum Trip by Barbara Lehman
The Red Book by Barbara Lehman
Sea of Dreams by Dennis Nolan
Time Flies by Eric Rohmann
Tuesday by David Wiesner
The Umbrella by Ingrid & Dieter Schubert
Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole
Wave by Suzy Lee
Where's Walrus? by Stephen Savage

You've heard it before -- from your parents, your teachers, and your librarians.  "Watching the movie is NOT the same as reading the book.  Plus, the book is usually better than the movie."  But you don't have to take our word for it.  Conduct your own comparison.  This week's challenge, Book Vs Movie, encourages you to pick a pair and decide which is better, the book or the movie.
Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild VS Ballet Shoes (2008)
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo VS Because of Winn-Dixie (2005)
The Borrowers by Mary Norton VS The Secret World of Arrietty (2012)
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson VS Bridge to Terabithia (2007)
Charlotte's Web by E. B. White VS Charlotte's Web (1972)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming VS Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau VS City of Ember (2009)
Coraline by Neil Gaiman VS Coraline (2009)
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine VS Ella Enchanted (2004)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling VS Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)
Heidi by Johanna Spyri VS Heidi (2005)
Holes by Louis Sachar VS Holes (2003)
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen VS Hoot (2006)
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell VS How to Eat Fried Worms (2006)
The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynn Reid Banks VS The Indian in the Cupboard (1995)
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke VS Inkheart (2009)
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick VS Hugo (2011)
The Iron Giant by Ted Hughes VS The Iron Giant (1999)