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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

There's more to being a boy than sports, feats of daring, and keeping a stiff upper lip. A Boy Like You by Frank Murphy encourages every boy to embrace all the things that make him unique, to be brave and ask for help, to tell his own story and listen to the stories of those around him. In an age when boys are expected to fit into a particular mold, this book celebrates all the wonderful ways to be a boy.

Watch the book trailer of this amazing picture book that was named a 2020 Nominee of the Amelia Bloomer List.

Sports fans will love this inclusive and inspiring look at how one girl’s determination enabled her to live out her dreams in a challenging period of American history.  This biography will help kids realize just how much talent was lost to racism — and encourage them to pursue their own dreams. 

Ice Breaker: How Mabel Fairbanks Changed Figure Skating by Rose Viña (10/01/19)
In the 1930’s, only white figure skaters were allowed in public ice rinks and to compete for gold medals, but Mabel Fairbanks wouldn’t let that stop her. With skates two sizes too big and a heart full of dreams, Mabel beat the odds and broke down color barriers through sheer determination and athletic skill. After skating in ice shows across the nation and helping coach and develop the talents of several Olympic champions, Mabel became the first African-American woman to be inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

We're trying something new!  The Hoover Public Library is hosting Party Games! for 10 to 12-year-olds on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at 4 p.m.  Bring a friend and play some of the best party games, like good ol' Pin the Tail on the Donkey and The Floor Is Lava.  There will also be classics like Scrabble and Apples to Apples.  And soon-to-be classics likes Sushi Go and Taco Takeover.  Sign up online or by phone (205-444-7830) beginning 02/07/2020.

I decided MONTHS ago to feature this title in February for Black History Month.  Because it's awesome.  I made a good call.  On January 27, it won a 2020 Caldecott Honor.

Double Bass Blues by Andrea J. Loney & Rudy Gutierrez (10/22/19)
A young musician is inspired by the beat and rhythm of his commute.
Nic’s journey begins with an enthusiastic “Ziiiiiiiiiiip!” and a contemplative “Hummmmm…” as he’s applauded in orchestra. Then, with his double bass strapped to his back, he trades the trees and space of his suburban school for towering buildings and city buses. He dodges dogs, bullies, and rain, hustling home to warm hugs and a jazz jam session replete with onomatopoeic improvisations taken from his commute. The, “whoosh” of the bus’s windshield wipers pairs with the “plunk” of rain and the “clap” of his classmates as Nic releases the sounds and sights of the afternoon through his music. Acrylic-paint illustrations include geometric squiggles and swirls that outline and emphasize musical vibrations and the spare, expressive text. Defined shapes are rendered in a vibrant palette that brings out the range of colors present in the characters’ skin tones. Nic, who presents black, is a blend of blues, blacks, golds, and reds, with his boxy, spiked hair a muted mixture of oranges, browns, pinks, and greens. One exceptional double-page spread uses interlocking triangles to separate scenes that capture Nic’s movement from the suburbs to the city. This journey is also expressed in the stenciled endpapers, the front showing Nic in his orchestra and the back, at home, jamming.
Simple language complements complex paintings to create the perfect literary melody. [from Kirkus Reviews]

No, I haven't changed my name.  I'm still Miss Katie Jane, blogger extraordinaire.  I'm just trying to tell you about a new picture book biography about American artist Norman Rockwell.

Hi, I'm Norman: The Story of American Illustrator Norman Rockwell by Robert Burleigh & Wendell Minor (10/01/19)
Folksy geniality infuses this picture book biography of a beloved U.S. artist. Framed as a first-person recollection, Rockwell welcomes readers into his studio and shares the story of his life, tracing how his childhood love of “telling stories with pictures” stayed with him as he grew up and found success creating covers for the Saturday Evening Post. Burleigh’s conversational, approachable tone (“Was I nervous? Are you kidding? My heart was pounding like a sledgehammer”) pulls readers along as Rockwell’s narration wends through amusing anecdotes (corralling a turkey model) and serious themes: addressing WWII in his Four Freedoms series, and putting U.S. racism on the front page with The Problem We All Live With. Minor’s accomplished watercolor, gouache, and pencil illustrations capture key moments in Rockwell’s life and process with snapshot charm. [from Publishers Weekly]

Watch the illustrator talk about creating this book!