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Archive for January, 2013

January 31, 2013

February – Love is in the Air

Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate relationships.  Whether it a friend, family member or a romantic relationship, readers like to send Valentine’s Day cards.  This special day has indeed become commercial, but readers should be encouraged to make their own cards rather than spending money on ones someone else created.

Here are suggestions for celebrating Valentine’s Day:

  •  Divide older readers into two groups, and ask each group to research St. Valentine and write a one-act play about him.  One group should make their play for younger readers, and the other for their peers. Then have them to perform it for appropriate groups.
  •  Bring in samples of Valentine cards for readers to study.  Include cards for all types of relationships:  parent, child, grandparents, and friends.  Also include serious cards and humorous cards.  Engage readers in a discussion about what it means to select or make a card that is appropriate for a specific person.
  •  Ask readers from middle to high school to use books in the library or sites on the Internet to find images of historical Valentine’s Day cards.  Then have them make a card for a character in a historical novel.  Suggestions from Random House:

            All the Way Home (middle grade) by Patricia Reilly Giff

            Hattie Big Sky (middle grade) by Kirby Larson

            The Mighty Miss Malone (middle grade) by Christopher Paul Curtis

            Sylvia and Aki (middle grade) by Winifred Conkling

            A Far Away Island (YA) by Annika Thor

            Ashes of Roses (YA) by Mary Jane Auch

            How I Found the Strong (YA) by Margaret McMullan

  •  Display books about love and Valentine’s Day and suggest that readers pick one to share with a special friend.  Suggestions from Random House:

            The Berenstain Bears’ Funny Valentine (Picture book) by Stan and Jan Berenstain

            I Haiku You (picture book) by Betsy E. Snyder

            Who Needs Love? (picture book) by Elise Primavere & illus. by Laura Park

            Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentine (early reader) by Barbara Park &         illus. by Denise Brunkus

            Bad Hair Day (YA) by Carrie Harris

            Dizzy in Your Eyes: Poems about Love (young adult) by Pat Mora

            How They Met and Other Stories (YA) by David Levithan

           Love and Other Perishable Items (YA) by Laura Buzo

            Meant to Be (YA) by Lauren Morrill

            Romeo Redeemed (YA) by Stacey Jay

            Unleashed (YA) by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

  • Make a valentine for the main character in a novel.  Suggestions from Random House:

            Hugo in Hugo and the Really, Really, Really Long String (picture book) by Bob

            Boyle

            Autumn in Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different (middle grade) by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb

            Madison in No Cream Puffs (middle grade) by Karen Day

            Carson in The New Kid (middle grade) by Mavis Jukes

            Primrose Squarp in One Year in Coal Harbor (middle grade) by Polly Horvath

            Sally J. Freedman in Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself (middle grade) by Judy Blume

            Kenny in The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963 (middle grade) by Christopher Paul Curtis

  •  Read a novel and make a valentine that two or more of the characters might give to one another.  Suggestions from Random House:

            The kids to their grandfather in Song and Dance Man (picture book) by Karen Ackerman & illus. by Staphen Gammell

                     Georges and Safer in Liar & Spy (middle grade) by Rebecca Stead

            Hattie and Delores in Finding Somewhere (young adult) by Joseph Monninger

            Melanie and Miguel in Melanie in Manhattan (middle grade) by Carol Weston

                       The girls in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (middle grade) by Ann Brashares

  •  Make a valentine that the following characters give to their teacher:

      Gooney Bird in Gooney Bird Greene (picture booy) By Lois Lowry

            Missy and her classmates in Miss Brooks Loves Books! (and I Don’t) ( picture  book) by Barbara Bottner & illus. by Michael Emberley

            Melonhead in Melonhead and the Vegalicious Disaster (middle grade) by Katy             Kelly & illus. by Giallian Johnson

  • Ask readers to think about novels they have read and determine which main character most needs a valentine.  Then have them write an essay that explains why.  Suggestions from Random House:

            Charlie in Flightsend: A Summer of Discovery (middle grade) by Linda Newbery

            Roy Morelli in Roy Morelli Steps up to the Plate (middle grade) by Tatcher Heldring

            Zitlally in Star in the Forest (middle grade) by Laura Resau

            Will Halpin in The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin (YA) by Josh Berk

            Vinnie in Not Exactly a Love Story (YA) by Audrey Couloumbis

            Andi Alpers in Revolution (YA) by Jennifer Donnelly

            Jace Witherspooon in Split (YA) by Swati Avasthi

                        Karyn in You Against Me (YA) by Jenny Downham

  •  Make a valentine that a character in a novel might send to one or both parents.  Suggestions from Random House:

                  Andres in Freckle Juice (middle grade) by Judy Blume

            Karen Newman in It’s Not the End of the World (middle grade) by Judy Blume

            The Penderwick sisters in The Penderwicks and the Penderwicks on Gardam  Street (middle grade) by Jeanne Birdsall

            Amanda in Unraveling (YA) by Michelle Baldine & Lynn Biederman


January 04, 2013

January — Celebrating the Presidential Inauguration

Inauguration Day takes place on January 20, but the public swearing into office of President Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden will be on Monday, January 21, 2013. There will be a small, private swearing in on Sunday, January 20.  The theme of the inauguration festivities is “Faith in America’s Future,” which commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.  The festivities will begin on Saturday, January 19 with a National Day of Service, which celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Many school children will watch the events on Inauguration Day.  Help them prepare by engaging them in a variety of library activities.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Have readers suggest activities for National Day of Service.  Ideas may include cleaning up litter in neighborhoods, or around the school, shelving books at the public library, reading aloud to young children in the neighborhood or public library, or working with a local service organization that welcomes student volunteers. Then have them post the suggestions on the school or library website.
  • Sponsor a Presidential Trivia Contest.  Have students use books in the library or sites on the Internet to locate the answers to the following questions:

(Ask them to site their sources)

Which amendment to the Constitution changed Inauguration Day from March to January?

Who was the first President inaugurated on January 20?

Who was the first President inaugurated in Washington DC?

Who was the first President to live in the White House?

Which President is the Father of the Bill of Rights?

Who was President when Ellis Island opened?

Which President is responsible for the American Disabilities Act?

What President signed the Civil Rights Act?

Who was President when women won the right to vote?

How many Presidents have had more than one term of office?

Which President brought the nation out of the Great Depression?

Which Presidents didn’t complete their term of office?  Why?

Who was President when NASA was founded?

Name the five Most Environmentally Friendly Presidents.

Name the Top Ten Most Outstanding Presidents.

Name the oldest man elected to the office of President.

Name the youngest man elected.

Which President delivered the longest inaugural speech?

Which President was the first to travel abroad while in office?

  • Encourage readers to use books in the library or sites on the Internet to add to the trivia questions.
  • Ask them to use the trivia question to test adults in their family and neighborhood.  How well did they score?
  • Have students read a work of fiction and identify who was serving as President when the novel was set.  Suggestions from Random House include:

 All the Way to America: The Story of a Big Italian Family and a Little Shovel (picture book) by Dan Yaccarino

As Good as Anybody (picture book) by Richard Michelson & illus. by Raul Colon

Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt (picture book) by Deborah Hopkinson

Tar Beach (picture book) by Faith Ringgold

 All the Way Home (middle grade) by Patricia Reilly Giff

 A Thousand Never Evers (middle grade) by Shana Burg

 Boston Jane: An Adventure (middle grade) by Jennifer L. Holm

Crow (middle grade) by Barbara Wright

Counting on Grace (middle grade) by Elizabeth Winthrop

Eli the Good (middle grade) by Silas House

Heart of a Shepherd (middle grade) by Rosanne Parry

Lily’s Crossing (middle grade) by Patricia Reilly Giff

 Hattie Big Sky (middle grade) by Kirby Larson

The Mighty Miss Malone (middle grade) by Christopher Paul Curtis

Moon Over Manifest (middle grade) by Clare Vanderpoole

                        No Cream Puffs (middle grade) by Karen Day

Penny from Heaven (middle grade) by Jennifer L. Holm

Racing the Moon (middle grade) by Alan Armstrong

Rodzina (middle grade) by Karen Cushman

SCAT (middle grade) by Carl Hiaasen

Stealing Freedom (middle grade) by Elisa Carbone

True Colors (middle grade) by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock

 All the Earth Thrown to the Sky (young adult) by Joe R. Lansdale

 Ashes of Roses (young adult) by Mary Jane Auch

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy (young adult) by Gary D. Schmidt

The Devil’s Paintbox (young adult) by Victoria McKernan

The Revenant (young adult) by Sonia Gensler

The Things a Brother Knows (young adult) by Dana Reinhardt

Three Rivers Rising (young adult) by Jame Richards