Christine Carlson

08/22/2012 - 3:31am
French Kids Eat Everything

All it takes is one picky toddler to make parents pull their hair out at the dinner table. If there is one topic that worries us the most, it’s our children’s health and what they’re eating (or not!). As a result, there are countless books on the market touting the best way to get your kids to eat more foods. From The Sneaky Chef, which advocates putting veggie purees in brownies, to 201 Healthy Smoothies and Juices for Kids, to What Chefs Feed Their Kids where chefs share their gourmet secrets, there are more than 60 titles to choose from just in our library system. Parents who are at a loss as to how to get their littlest ones (and often, their big ones!) interested in a plate of carrots can easily become overwhelmed with the advice. With the additional goals of trying to feed families with increasingly less time and high grocery bills, it’s enough to make many of us revert to pasta every night of the week.

The newest addition to the collection, however, might just change not only how you feed your kids, but also yourself. French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon is the story of one Canadian mother who moved her young family back to her husband’s native Brittany, on the coast of France. As you can surmise by the title, she discovered why French kids associate chocolate cake with pleasure, not guilt, and why they have astonishing lower rates of childhood obesity (20% in America, just 3% in France (p. 140)). She discovered why nearly half of French children eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables each day, while barely ten percent of their American counterparts struggle to eat the same amount (p. 117). Even their daycare menus resemble gourmet menus. One day’s lunch at her daughter’s preschool was listed as: beet salad bolognaise, roast turkey with fine flageolet beans, goat cheese buchette, and organic pear compote (p. 36). “By the time they are two years old,” Le Billon discovered, “most French kids have tried (and eaten) more foods than many American adults” (p. 120).

08/20/2012 - 2:10pm
YALSA Teens' Top Ten

Every year, teens across the country read and select their favorite fiction books of the year. That’s right – teens read. Despite the many online attractions and distractions, teens are reading books voraciously, and they have strong opinions on what they enjoy. Each year, teens from Maine to California and every state in-between participate in selecting the Teens’ Top Ten (TTT), a list of the top ten fiction books for young adults. YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, is the creator of the Teens’ Top Ten and coordinates the event.

07/30/2012 - 3:31am
Slide book cover image

Vee Bell has narcolepsy in Slide by Jill Hathaway. Or at least that’s what her family and friends think. Once, Vee tried to tell her father the truth, but he sent her to a shrink who didn’t believe her either. Now she doesn’t even dare tell even her best friend.

Sliding. That’s what Vee thinks of it as. When she gets too tired to fight it, she falls asleep, but doesn’t dream. Instead, she enters other people’s minds. She can hear, smell, taste, and feel everything that they’re experiencing. Sliding only lasts for moments, but it is long enough to exhaust and sometimes scare her. She’s slid into backstabbing friends and teachers behaving badly. As a result, Vee takes constant caffeine pills to stay awake and is always just barely functioning.

05/30/2012 - 4:19pm
A Tale Dark and Grimm book cover image

Fantasy, adventure, and mystery were the winning genres at Thornburg Middle School, where students in grades seven and eight voted for their favorite books of the Café Book year. The teens voted on 20 books, selecting their Top Picks for 2012. Here are the heart-pounding winners!

Top Picks:

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz 
Follows Hansel and Gretel as they walk out of their own story and into eight more tales, encountering such wicked creatures as witches, along with kindly strangers and other helpful folk. Based in part on the Grimms' fairy tales Faithful Johannes, Hansel and Gretel, The seven ravens, Brother and sister, The robber bridegroom, and The devil and his three golden hairs.


Akata Witch
Akata Witch
by Nnedi Okorafor
Twelve-year-old Sunny Nwazue, an American-born albino child of Nigerian parents, moves with her family back to Nigeria, where she learns that she has latent magical powers which she and three similarly gifted friends use to catch a serial killer.

 


 

Trapped by Michael Northrop
Trapped by Michael Northrop
Seven high school students are stranded at their New England high school during a week-long blizzard that shuts down the power and heat, freezes the pipes, and leaves them wondering if they will survive.


 

 

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother's footsteps and become a bounty hunter.

 

 

Other Favorites:

The False Princess by Ellis O'NealLost in the River of GrassTrash by Andy MulliganGirl, Stolen by April Henry

The False Princess by Ellis O'Neal

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

Trash by Andy Mulligan

Girl, Stolen by April Henry

Check these awesome titles out with our online catalog, or visit your nearest branch and ask for them!

01/30/2012 - 12:39pm
book cover image of It's All Too Much by Peter Walsh

Last year, I made a New Year’s resolution to clean up my house. In reality, I just needed to attack the horrific mess that used to be my garage. I needed to be able to walk the length of it and get out the other end, unscathed. This grand task sounded great on paper, but unfortunately I had made this promise many times before. From reading countless articles about New Year’s resolutions, this time I knew how to make it happen. I needed an outline of specific steps. I needed to let others know about my goal. And I needed to set aside time to make it happen.

As we all know, life has a habit of getting in the way. There are bills to be paid, grocery shopping to do, meals to be made, and appointments to keep. Let’s not forget about work, house repair, yard work, and general cleaning! All of these unfortunately take precedence over organization and sorting through clutter. But I was determined to make it happen. I took one day this summer to clean out the garage, giving my husband the baby and playing “invisible” for a day. We ended up with a much neater looking space and a generous truckload of items off to Goodwill and various recycling entities. But a few months later – yup, you guessed it – the piles were back and the garage was nearly impassable again.

08/10/2015 - 10:41am
Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

On a cold day in January, the 8th graders at Freedom Middle School heard the voting results . . . their 2012 Cafe Book Top Teen Picks! After reading and discussing a selection of 20 of the best teen books published in 2011, they picked their favorites plus two stand-outs that topped them all. Here they are!


Top Teen Picks (a tie!):

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother's footsteps and become a bounty hunter.

and ....

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

Lost in the River of Grass
by Ginny Rorby

When two Florida teenagers become stranded on a tiny island in the Everglades, they attempt to walk ten miles through swampland to reach civilization.

 



Favorites:

Akata WitchBrain Jack by Brian FalknerGirl, Stolen by April HenryRuby Red by Kerstin GierTrapped by Michael Northrop

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

Brain Jack by Brian Falkner

Girl, Stolen by April Henry

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Trapped by Michael Northrop

10/18/2011 - 8:33am
Steve Watkins

In celebration of Teen Read Week, the Salem Church Library's OurSpace teens are hosting local author Steve Watkins, this Wednesday, October 19th, from 4:30-5:30. Join us for a fun, informal discussion about authorship, publishing, YA literature, and his celebrated books, Down Sand Mountain, and What Comes After.

To read more about Steve Watkins, visit his blog at http://watkins.elsweb.org/.

Hope to see you there!

05/18/2011 - 2:23pm
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Fantasy and realistic fiction were the winning genres at Thornburg Middle School, where students in grades seven and eight voted for their favorite books of the Café Book year. Thirty-two students voted on 20 books, selecting their Top Picks for 2011. Here they are! 

Top Picks:

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
When Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, she is exiled to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
 

Bruiser by Neal Shusterman
Bruiser
by Neal Shusterman
Inexplicable events start to occur when sixteen-year-old twins Tennyson and Brontë befriend a troubled and misunderstood outcast, aptly nicknamed Bruiser, and his little brother, Cody.


 

 
Heist Society by Ally Carter
Heist Society
by Ally Carter
A group of teenagers uses their combined talents to re-steal several priceless paintings and save fifteen-year-old Kat Bishop's father, himself an international art thief, from a vengeful collector.
 

 
 

Wish You Were Dead by Todd Strasser
Wish You Were Dead
by Todd Strasser
When anonymous blogger Str-S-d makes a list of the people in her high school she wishes were dead, it seems like just another case of bullying. But when the popular teens on the list start disappearing, high school senior Madison Archer tries to find the connection between her missing friends and her own stalker.

 
05/16/2011 - 3:30am
The Freak Observer by Blythe Woolson

In The Freak Observer, by Blythe Woolston, Loa Lindgren is not your typical 16-year-old and yet she is a quintessential one. Her life is certainly not the ideal. In the past year her family has fallen apart, having lost the one thing that their lives revolved around: her little sister, Asta, named for the stars. Born with Rett’s syndrome, she stopped growing after a few months and was destined to remain infantile her entire life, until she suddenly died. Without the constant need to care for Asta, Loa and her family are like planets without a star to revolve around, cut loose to wander the universe. They are, of course, also stricken with grief, each one reacting in their own way. Her father has fits of violence. Loa wakes screaming from nightmares--just one terrifying symptom of a case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

With everything else that has gone on in Loa’s life recently, from a friend’s hit and run death to a strange relationship exposed on the Internet, she is dealing with more than her share of sorrow and shame. She also has an after-school job that deepens her exhaustion but is a vital part of their family’s pitiful income.
07/06/2011 - 10:27am
Debt-Free U book cover image

If there was one thing that people across the country could agree on right now, it would be the ridiculously high cost of today’s college education. Most parents assume that student loans are a fact of life, and most students assume that student loan debt is a necessary and even positive thing. If you want to get a good job, it’s commonly thought that going to a good college (chosen in part by U.S. News and World Report rankings) and getting a good name on your diploma simply costs money and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Enter Zac Bissonnette. Twenty-one, college student, and an art history major. So what knowledge does he have that the rest of us--and many other experts--do not? Well, as the subtitle of Debt-Free U suggests, Zac paid for his college education, “without loans, scholarships, or mooching off [his] parents.” And you can, too. Because, as it turns out, Zac might know what he’s talking about. He is a writer and editor with AOL Money & Finance, has written for the Boston Globe, appeared on CNN, and has the financial savvy and banking portfolio of someone several times his age.

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