It’s always hard to say goodbye, even if it is to friends that you’ve never met and only speak to every couple of weeks. Next Friday, I will start a position as CRRL’s Deputy Director. It will be a big change, but I am excited for new adventures! Many of you may know the wonderful Darcie Caswell as the Youth Services Department Head at our Salem Church Branch, and she has recently been named Youth Services Coordinator and is taking over the column in July. I know you will enjoy sharing books with her.
In the meantime, I’m going to share some of my all-time favorite titles. My mantra, when it comes to reading, is that there are too many books to read a title more than once. Luckily, some of my favorites have been made into terrific audios, and I have plenty of time in my car to listen and enjoy them again.
Your children worked hard this school year, so don’t let them lose ground! Reading throughout the summer helps students prevent summer learning loss, and the public library offers incentive-based programs, making summer reading easy and fun. This year’s themes, “On Your Mark, Get Set...Read!” and “Get in the Game—Read,” promote being active, whether through playing a sport, going for a swim, taking a walk in the park or having an adventure. There’s no required list, so any book counts; after all, any reading is good reading! Here are a few suggestions to kick off your summer.
Area seventh and eighth grade teens have created the ultimate summer reading list, the Cafe Book Top Teen Picks. Every school year, students from 14 area middle schools read from among 16 recently published young adult books and vote on their favorites. The titles they choose the most frequently are stickered and displayed in library branches, and we can’t keep them on the shelves! This year, five titles were chosen by at least nine schools.
Every Wednesday night when I was a child, I would put on my most old-fashioned nightgown and the bonnet my mother had sewn and watch Little House on the Prairie. I received the Garth Williams illustrated books as a Christmas present and read them repeatedly. Little did I know, but I was “geeking” out and “cosplaying” (short for costume play.) Recently, I watched a Little House reunion on TV and was enthralled by all three hours, and, no, I didn’t wear my bonnet. The only thing that would have made it better was having someone to share it with.
Even without a visit to a local art museum, young children can be exposed to great art. Picture books offer not just great stories, but are a feast of color, movement, and images that stimulate not only children’s brains, but also their creativity. When selecting these books, make a conscious effort to choose a variety of styles, not just those that immediately appeal to you, and let your child pick some as well. Broad exposure will excite the imagination! In the following titles, art and story combine for terrific and creative books that are bound to inspire.
You’ve probably heard the rumors, the ones that say that libraries and print books aren’t as popular as they once were, but as the oft mangled quote from Mark Twain says, “The report of my death was an exaggeration.” A not too long ago study by the Pew Research Center on the Future of Libraries, reinforces our experiences.
The Central Rappahannock Regional Library staff was devastated to learn of the death of Elizabeth (Betsey) Ellis, who worked in Youth Services at our Headquarters Library for nearly 18 years until her retirement. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ellis family and all who are affected by this terrible event. We were touched when just a few days later, the family contacted us about asking for donations to be made in her name to the library.
Betsey loved doing storytimes and working with children, so in her honor these donations will be used to purchase children's books that will be labeled with a nameplate in her memory. Learn more about Betsey here. If you are interested in honoring Betsey's memory in this way, please send donations to the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, 1201 Caroline Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401.
Although the recent warm weather has made it easy to forget, last week's non-stop rain was a harsh reminder that “winter is coming.” While that’s not as ominous for us as it is for the characters in “The Game of Thrones, ” it’s still time to prepare. Not with bread, milk and toilet paper, but with books. Ideally big, thick ones that suck you right in and make you forget everything around you. I realize at this time that many of you are thinking about the impending holidays and a tremendous lack of time, but consider how getting the right book into your child’s hands could provide the distraction needed to allow you to wrap presents or make something special. Here are some of the recent reads that I have devoured.
Picture books may be short, but sometimes you have to read many just to find a few that are really great. Gorgeous illustrations aren’t enough, the story has to be well told and interesting, Great text doesn’t stand alone either; if the illustrations aren’t appealing then it’s hard to save the story. Here are a few recently published picture books whose illustrations and text come together to create fun and enjoyment for all ages!
If your family is anything like mine, you are both excited and overwhelmed by today’s many wonderful movie choices. We could spend an entire day in the theater and still not see all that we would like. If we tried we would end up broke and probably feeling a little sick from too much popcorn and candy. Luckily, once again books come to the rescue! Any interest in the following movies can be met through these terrific titles which both you and your children will enjoy.