This week’s column was supposed to be about great summer reads. But after the lightning strike that killed a twelve-year-old boy and critically injured his friend last week in Spotsylvania, our community’s attention has turned to grieving families and friends.
With summer almost here, it’s time for kids to find a cozy seat, a tall glass of lemonade and a good book, and read till the fireflies come out. This kind of leisurely, just-for-fun reading is at the heart of the summer reading club at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, “Be Creative @ Your Library!”
Start your New Year off right by sharing with young readers one of the most inspiring children’s books of 2008. “Planting the Trees of Kenya” by Claire A. Nivola is the true story of 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, a woman who changed her country one tree at a time.
This year marks the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of his ground-breaking book, “On the Origin of Species.” Kathryn Lasky’s new illustrated biography, “One Beetle Too Many,” makes an appealing introduction for nine- to twelve-year-olds to the man and his “idea that scared the world.”
If you have a Rick Riordan fan at your house, you’re well aware that the final book in his Percy Jackson series has just been published.
Percy, now 16, is a “half-blood,” the son of Poseidon, the ocean god, and a human mother. In “The Last Olympian” he leads the final battle between the Greek gods and the forces of Kronos. Strong characterizations, surprising plot twists, and enough mystery and suspense to keep readers on the edge of their seats have made this series a best-seller, and Riordan does not disappoint in the final book. Readers new to the series would do well to start at the beginning with “The Lightning Thief.”
Developing empathy, reducing impulsiveness, improving decision-making even when upset – these are all social and emotional skills that children build slowly, with lots of help from caring adults.