LibraryPoint Blog

Find out about library events and services, books and authors in the news, and more.

Choosing Books for Reluctant Readers

    Two kinds of young readers are hard to buy books for:  the reader who reads everything, and the reader who reads nothing.  For the first kind of reader, finding out what the child has read lately can help avoid the disappointment of a second or third copy of a book that the recipient has already read.  For the second type of reader, try informational books.   


    Nonfiction appeals to kids who don’t read much, because these books tend to have strong visual elements and often allow readers to jump around in the text depending on what interests them most.  Believing firmly that you can’t make kids read but have to meet them where they are, I suggest the following stellar nonfiction for reluctant readers on your list.

Masters of Suspense: Alfred Hitchcock and Daphne du Maurier

Give them pleasure. Same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare.

      --Alfred Hitchcock in an interview with the American Film Institute
 
Alfred Hitchcock, universally acknowledged as “The Master of Suspense”, was born in the suburbs of London on August 13, 1899. Hitchcock’s first job within the film industry was as a title-card designer for the Famous Players Lasky film company. Hitchock went on to hold roles as assistant director, script writer, art director, and editor before directing his first solo film in 1925. In 1926, Hitchcock’s third film, The Lodger, was his first big success and established him as a maker of thrillers. Over the next fifty years, Hitchcock completed fifty additional feature films.

Heroes in the Library

It’s one of life’s ironies that you don’t realize how much someone’s impacted your life until they’re gone. More specifically, you realize that you never told that person how much they meant. It isn’t until they pass that you think, “Oh! I wish I had said something!” You think about how that person shaped who you are, in major or even subtle ways, and sometimes realize that you wouldn’t be you if it weren’t for that person’s influence, guidance, or mere presence in your life.

Reading Locally

    This year, why not shop locally for your holiday presents?  Jabberwocky Children’s Books, an independent children’s bookstore that has graced downtown Fredericksburg for over twenty years, has a wide selection and knowledgeable staff. Like most bookstores, they will special order any book they don’t have in stock. 


    While you’re shopping locally, look for books by local authors.  We are lucky to have a talented group of writers and illustrators for children in this area, many of whom I have come to know over the years.  Here are just a few suggestions.

Searching the Internet

Looking for information in all the wrong places?

That's a song that Internet searchers could sing day after day. Spending hours (even days) looking for something online can be frustrating. Here are some tips and favorite sites that our reference librarians use to find what they're looking for....

Marlborough Point: In the Stream of History

Follow Marlborough Point Road down to the eastern tip of Stafford County, and you will pass by lots of new housing mushrooming into the forests and fields that were once favored by both the Native Americans and colonial settlers.  This section of the county is home to not just centuries of local history but millennia.

A History of Detective Stories: Current Trends

Detective fiction remains a major field in popular literature both for authors and readers.Many new trends and subgenres have emerged in literary detective fiction during the last twenty years, both redefining and broadening the genre.Some of the currently popular subgenres are historical fiction, fiction featuring minority characters, and detective fiction set outside of traditional locations.In fact, detective fiction has become such a diverse genre of literature that it appears to be splitting into several distinct genres, each with its own style and method of gripping readers’ attention.

Feisty Females for Middle Schoolers

    Nine months before Rosa Parks made history, a fifteen-year-old girl was arrested for refusing to move to the back of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.  Claudette Colvin was well aware of the convoluted rules about where blacks could sit on the city buses, but on this day she decided not to obey the bus driver’s command to give up her seat.  She was arrested and eventually convicted of assault and violating the segregation law. 


    Deemed too emotional to become the public face of the civil rights cause, Colvin has been a footnote to history for the last fifty years. But that has changed with the publication of Philip Hoose’s “Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice,” winner of this year’s National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.

Local Steamboat Tragedy Remembered

In 1873, a steamboat loaded with passengers, livestock and produce caught fire and sank on the Potomac River near Aquia Creek. Traveling from Washington, the overloaded vessel carried three times more people than allowed by its license, and the engulfing flames and churning waters claimed 76 passengers, most of them women and children. A new book, Disaster on the Potomac: The Last Run of the Steamboat Wawaset, by Alvin Oickle, gives the details of that terrible day.

Want to learn more?

Carry Your Programs with You Everywhere

Most computer users these days use laptops as their portable computing solution and take them almost everywhere they go.  There are those situations, however, when you need access to your programs and your files, but of course, you forgot your laptop when you needed it most.  Fortunately there’s easy access to a computer nearby, but it doesn’t have anything you need on it.  What to do?