Books and Reading

03/10/2010 - 11:33am

          What made Jay Leno crave an audience?  What lesson did Steve Forbes learn early and never forget? What influenced Steve Wozniak?  

          Children’s literature specialist Anita Silvey conducted interviews with these three and over 100 other people in the arts, business, and sciences to discover what inspired and influenced them as children.  The result is her new book, “Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children's Book, Life Lessons from Notable People from All Walks of Life.”

 

03/03/2010 - 4:21pm

    Some books seem to fly under the radar.  They don’t garner the big awards or make the bestseller lists, they’re just quietly checked out of libraries over and over again.  One of my new favorites in this category is “The Thumb in the Box” by Ken Roberts.


    It begins, “This is a story about a fire truck being driven into the ocean and two people taking off their thumbs.  Don’t worry, though.  Nobody gets hurt.”  No self-respecting third grade audience will let you stop reading after that!

02/24/2010 - 4:04pm

    The gold medals get all the attention at the Olympics, but winners of the silver and bronze medals are proud, too.  So it goes with children’s book awards as well.  Anyone would be thrilled to win the Newbery or Caldecott Medals, but earning an Honor (as the runners-up are called) is nothing to sneeze at.


    This year’s honor books – and yes, they earn a silver medal – include one of those fascinating true stories that makes readers say, “how come I never knew that?”

 

02/23/2010 - 1:33pm

    What did you read during the Snownami/Snowpalooza/Snowmageddon?  Judging by the armloads of books people were checking out from the library before each of the storms, the most popular items were picture books, mysteries, best sellers, historical fiction, biographies… in fact, people were, as usual, reading everything!


    Among those armloads were plenty of graphic novels for young readers.  Defined as novels with complex storylines told in the form of a comic book, these books are finding increasing recognition in the form of awards.

03/02/2010 - 2:10pm

"We are not impotent- we pallid stones.
Not all our power is gone- not all our fame-
Not all the magic of our high renown-
Not all the wonder that encircles us-
Not all the mysteries that in us lie-
Not all the memories that hang upon
And cling around about us as a garment,
Clothing us in a robe of more than glory."
---From "The Coliseum" by Edgar Allan Poe

02/16/2010 - 12:16pm

The African-American dolls on display at the Headquarters Library in Fredericksburg include a ballerina, Raggedy Ann and Andy, and an African queen.  Collector Myra Dicks even has a Jackie Robinson action figure in its original box.  Kids who are fascinated by the dolls will enjoy meeting Miss Hickory, Tottie, Traction Man and other great doll characters from children’s books.   

02/03/2010 - 1:35pm

    Stonewall Hinkleman is a typical twelve-year-old boy whose parents are ardent Civil War re-enactors.  This means that every weekend he’s dragged (his word) to another Civil War battle site.  His father reveres an ancestor, Cyrus Hinkleman, who fought and died in the war, despite the fact that, as Stonewall puts it, “He was shot in the butt… Which can only mean one thing.  He was running away when he was shot.”  Dressed in a scratchy wool uniform and dragging a bugle that he barely knows how to play, Stonewall sulks around wishing he could play his Game Boy.

01/27/2010 - 3:29pm

    As we all respond to the tragedy in Haiti, share these children’s books about the island for an inside look at the people, the place and the culture.


    Diane Wolkstein visited Haiti to collect the traditional stories in her collection, “The Magic Orange Tree and Other Haitian Folktales.”

01/31/2011 - 11:25am
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The votes are in! Cafe  Book teens at Walker Grant Middle School have picked their favorites books from a list of 20 books.

Top Pick: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place.

Other Favorites:

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Messed Up by Janet Nichols Lynch
Scat by Carl Hiassen
Somebody by Nancy Springer
The Tomorrow Code by Brian Falkner
Word Nerd by Susin Nielsen

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