April is National Poetry Month, which is a perfect time to highlight all the amazing poetry that is out there, but . . . UGH . . . POETRY. At least, that’s how I used to feel. When I was a kid I LOVED poetry, especially Shel Silverstein. But as I got older, and school started requiring me to think about the poetry we were reading and what the deeper meaning might be, I started to resent it. I mean, couldn’t I just ENJOY the poetry instead of trying to decipher how the poet might have been feeling when he wrote it? Apparently not.
Then I started working as a youth services librarian, and I was introduced to novels in verse. All of those middle school and high school memories came flooding back, and I wanted nothing to do with it. Until I read one. Then I read another and another. Finally, I realized I LOVED novels in verse! Why? Because they are complete stories told through a collection of poetry. Poetry rarely takes up a whole page, which made the books super fast to read! It also amazed me how by simply changing the spacing or even font size within a poem an additional meaning was made clear.
Thank you for the opportunity to participate in Guest Picks for the library. I am generally reading one or two books at a time, and, as a family, we emphasize reading with our girls by reading nightly. I also enjoy challenging our oldest daughter (6-years-old) to help me find at least one "positive" story in the daily newspaper. My reading usually focuses on professional development (typically finance and investment-related books) and personal growth, often autobiographies, and personal coaching types of books to help elevate my performance in all areas of life.
About this time seventeen years ago, I made a decision that changed my life and the lives of my children forever. I decided to homeschool. It was the best choice at that point in our lives, and although I have reconsidered our decision several times since, I always come back to the fact that homeschooling just works for us. Presently, two of my boys have graduated and are out in the wide world, and my youngest son will be done with high school at the end of next year.
I learned many things over the years—Latin, logic and rhetoric, how to teach reading to children with different gifting and abilities, how to juggle three grades of math instruction at once, how to teach writing and conduct science labs at home, and many other subjects and skills. Throughout our time of learning at home, we’ve had a lot of help from a number of people and organizations, but the place where we received much of our information and materials was our local library.
In Shakespeare for Beginners, I listed various books and resources I like to use to help in reading Shakespeare’s plays. However, one of the best accompaniments to reading his plays is watching one or more of the movies or stage productions.
When I studied Shakespeare in college, one of the requirements of the class was to watch each of the plays we were studying. Although I had seen a couple of live productions, I had never seen a Shakespeare film, but since it was required, I dutifully checked out my first Shakespeare video, Richard II. I was entranced. With facial expressions, props, costumes, and even the way the actors said their parts, I was drawn into the action of the play even more than when I had read it.
A Welcome from Library Director Martha Hutzel:
“The CRRL is very happy to offer to the community a more spacious and attractive local genealogy room, complete with historical records, beautiful, museum-quality historical wall panels, an attractive work space and free computers and databases for research. Please stop by any time we are open!"
Nancy Moore, the library's Virginiana Room Manager, has been awarded Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc.'s President's Exceptional Service Award.
The award is in recognition of Nancy's multi-faceted work to support Fredericksburg's historic preservation efforts. This includes her career reporting for The Free Lance-Star newspaper documenting and publicizing preservation issues, working on the city's Memorials Advisory Commission, preserving the Mary Washington Monument, and her work in CRRL's Virginiana Room.
If you enjoy bird watching, looking at insects and animals up close, or taking hikes in the forest, then CRRL’s Adventure Packs are for you! Adventure Packs come in a variety of subjects ranging from local history to birds and butterflies.
If you are in need of a good audiobook NOW, take a look at OneClickDigital, Recorded Books’ audiobook platform. It includes many high-quality audiobooks that cannot be found from other vendors. It’s a snap to download an eAudio to your device via the app or to your desktop. The app can be downloaded from the iTunes store, Google Play, or Amazon.
OneClickDigital offers more than 6,000 audiobooks and adds about 30 a month. Many of the titles are always available for borrowing and downloading; a smaller set is available to one customer at a time.
Check out these popular titles that are always available:
There’s the car, the landscape, the people in the car, and the baggage, both real and psychological. Americans love a road trip, but this time of year, even if gas is cheap, the weather may hinder a real road trip, so grab one of these books and travel from your couch.
April is when we celebrate National Kite Month. How? GO FLY A KITE! The more you fly a kite, the more you are celebrating! You can train for it if you want by sneaking in a few flights in March! Here are some books and other resources to help you prepare. Kids can get enjoy folktales, history, and fun stories found in our list, Let's Go Fly a Kite!