Every year, as the hubbub from the winter holidays dies down and the year approaches its close, I am not saddened by the taking down of the tinsel but excited at the next holiday to come. New Year's, of course! Yet it's not the late-night partying and champagne that I look forward to. It's the resolutions. You see, I am one of those crazy people who actually loves reflecting on the year and improving my life. But, wait! Don't stop reading yet! If you're one of those people so jaded by past experiences with un-met resolutions that you've actually resolved only to "not make a resolution at all," I promise there's a way you can set a goal for the new year and actually make progress towards completing it.
For many people, the day after Halloween is the official kick-off of the holiday season. Lights are out in front of the mall, the stores put their holiday wares front and center, cookie recipes are dusted off, and children pull out a fresh sheets of paper for their wish lists. The season heats up even more on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as people start stressing out over gift lists, school events, and merry-making to-do lists.
For many other people, however, the holiday season is one of a different kind of stress. There is worry about the colder months and the heating bill, about not having enough money for gifts, or getting through the season without a loved one. This season, instead of perusing the “Hot Toys of 2015” lists, why not set a personal or family goal to make it truly a season of giving, rather than receiving?
When I was fresh out of college and a first year teacher, I was very interested in applying all my knowledge, both practical and book-learned. The paraprofessional who worked with me in my classroom once joked, “When you have kids of your own, you’re going to read every book about raising kids and then find out that they can’t really tell you anything!!” Well, many years later, her words have come true . . . but just partially. With the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, I have access to hundreds of books on child-rearing—all I have to do is place a hold.
Don't know what to read this summer? Let the 7th and 8th grade teens at Thornburg Middle give you a few exciting suggestions! After their Cafe Book meetings this spring, they voted on their Top Picks and Favorites. Check them out!
Thirteen-year-old Conor awakens one night to find a monster outside his bedroom window, but not the one from the recurring nightmare that began when his mother became ill--an ancient, wild creature that wants him to face truth and loss.
Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Regretting her decision to forfeit her life on Earth to become an immortal on Everneath, a world between Earth and Hell, teenaged Nikki is given the chance to return to the Surface for six months, in this story loosely based on the "Hades and Persephone" myth.
Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
Three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful Gorgon maligned in myth, must reunite and embrace their fates. Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it's also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Rory, of Boueuxlieu, Louisiana, is spending a year at a London boarding school when she witnesses a murder by a Jack the Ripper copycat and becomes involved with the very unusual investigation.
This just in!!! The Teens’ Top Ten (TTT) winners are HERE! This annual event created by YALSA (the Young Adult Library Services Association) looks to find the best books of the year for teens. Throughout the summer, teens across the country read from the list of nominations and then voted to select their favorites. In celebration of Teen Read Week (Oct. 14-20), the results have just been announced.
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).