Category Archives: News

American Library Association announces 2019 youth media award winners 

The American Library Association announced award-winning books for children and teenagers on January 28. Take a look at the list of award-winners available in our library system as well as books by these specially honored authors: Walter Dean Myers, M.T. Anderson and Neil Gaiman.

Is your toddler facing forwards or backwards?

13540197076844To go along with safety recommendations, a new law says children in Illinois must use rear-facing car seats until they are 2 years old (or 40 inches or 40 lbs.). Travel safely, and we’ll see you soon at storytime!


Wombat Poop (why it’s square)

Prevention is one part of the whole picture

Let’s talk about sexual assault.

Watching the news over the past few days, I thought it would be a good idea to highlight again some of the library’s resources for children and parents related to sexual abuse.

Most of them can be found under the subject “child sexual abuse prevention.” They include books for parents, books for children in English and in Spanish, and a DVD. Most books now teach more than “stranger danger,” which is important since the majority of sexual assaults are not committed by strangers.

There are also books that feature characters who are survivors of assault. Most books like this are in the Young Adult collection, but there are some books for younger readers.

9781492466574Lauren’s Kingdom by Lauren Book
Lauren’s Kingdom is a picture book about a girl who being touched inappropriately by her babysitter. She meets a boy who is being physically abused. Together they make a plan to tell an adult what is happening, and these adults make sure they are safe so they both have happy endings. The book includes some suggestions for figuring out who could be the adults in a child’s own life that they can go to if they are uncomfortable or upset. The website Lauren’s Kids is also recommended as a resource.

Jumping the Scratch by Sarah Weeks
Jumping the Scratch is a chapter book recommended for approximately grades 4 to 7. The main character is an eleven-year-old fifth grade boy who is dealing with several problems, one of which is the memory of being molested by a man in the trailer park where he lives. As in the previous book, an adult family member helps the child get help.

The Summer of Owen Todd by Tony Abbott
This book is in our Young Adult collection, but some reviewers recommended it for readers as young as age 10 or fifth grade. It takes place in the summer before sixth grade when a boy tells his best friend (the main character) that a babysitter is abusing him. The story focuses on Owen’s struggle over what to do, since Sean has threatened to kill himself if Owen tells anybody.

It’s unfortunate that none of these three books covers the most common scenario, which is a girl being sexually abused by a man (often a family member). One book that does is Not In Room 204, which is available from other libraries in our library system*. This is a picture book that features a teacher sharing information, and would be a good choice to read to a classroom.

Here are some more resources that might be helpful:

Child sexual abuse statistics are available from The National Center for Victims of Crime, National Sexual Violence Resource Center and RAINN.

In Illinois, these are some of the adults who can help if a child is being abused:

  • doctors
  • teachers
  • day care and child care workers
  • police officers

These are some phone numbers that might be helpful:

911 for emergencies

Child Abuse Hotline to report suspected abuse in Illinois 800-25-ABUSE (800-252-2873)

(815) 730-8984 is the hotline for the Sexual Assault Service Center in Joliet, which offers counseling and advocacy for assault survivors as well as prevention education such as “Safe and Unsafe Touch” for children and “Healthy Relationships” for adolescents.

Let’s do what we can to prevent abuse, to help and support those who have experienced abuse, and to encourage empathy.

*UPDATE: We will be getting the new edition of Not in Room 204 soon!

Monarchs in the Library!


Last Saturday at the Fountaindale Library I thought was going to be a typical Saturday. It was a beautiful day and the library was just open when something magical happened! Cindy Hennessy,  a Monarch Butterfly enthusiast and local expert had come into the library to meet a friend and brought with her a beautiful Monarch Butterfly that just emerged or hatched earlier that morning. While unable to fly just yet she seemed to enjoy exploring the library while crawling on our hands, arms and even faces! Cindy is so passionate about them and their conservation she taught us so much about Monarchs! From where they lay their eggs, Milkweed leaves, to what the caterpillars eat, milkweed of course, and all about their migration to Mexico!

She had one chrysalis with a Monarch that was just about ready to hatch. She generously left it with us so that we and the kids at the library could watch it emerge. She said it would take about an hour. She really knows her stuff because about an hour later the chrysalis began to shake and quicker than I was able to open my camera a beautiful Monarch was born. We watched as he slowly stretched out over the next few hours being careful not to disturb him.

When he finally stretched out we were able to be certain that he was in fact a he. Cindy told us to look for two black dots on the lower part of his wings. Later in the day we could tell he was ready to go. Miss Joyce took him home with her to share one last look with her daughter and then released him in their backyard. After a little hesitation Charlie as he was named flitted above their heads, floated for a bit then zoomed off to start his new life!

Remembering Donald Hall

We recently heard about the death of poet Donald Hall, who was a poet laureate and greatly respected for his poems about rural life. You can find examples of his work in our poetry and picture book collections.

The Oxford Illustrated Book of American Children’s Poems edited by Donald Hall
An anthology of American poems, arranged chronologically, from colonial alphabet rhymes to Native American cradle songs to contemporary poems.

Ox-cart Man by Donald Hall, illustrated by Barbara Cooney
Describes the day-to-day life throughout the changing seasons of an early 19th-century New England family. Barbara Cooney won the Caldecott Medal for the illustrations.

Lucy’s Christmas by Donald Hall
In the fall of 1909, Lucy gets an early start on making Christmas presents for her family and friends, which they will open at the church’s Christmas program.

Lucy’s Summer by Donald Hall
For Lucy Wells, who lives on a farm in New Hampshire, the summer of 1910 is filled with helping her mother can fruits and vegetables, enjoying the Fourth of July celebration, and other activities. Lucy Wells was the name of Donald Hall’s mother.

The Milkman’s Boy by Donald Hall
Tells the story of the Graves Family Dairy, whose three horses pulled the wagons delivering milk to families in the years before trucks and shopping centers replaced them. Hall’s father worked in the dairy business.

Old Home Day by Donald Hall
The story of the growth of a New Hampshire village from pre-history to the bicentennial celebration of its founding.

Local readers are getting famous

wow smile

Two of our beloved patrons, Regan and Lauren, will be featured in the American Girl Doll Holiday Campaign. The two sisters tried out for a fun photo session organized by Mattel to select new models for their catalog. To their great surprise, both of them got the good news that they had been selected!

Their mom comes to the library every week to keep fresh books in the house. Regan loves Pinkalicious, Elephant & Piggie and princess books. Lauren’s favorite books are the Ever After High book series, Cupcake Diaries and books by Reina Telgemeier. Both sisters will attend middle school together in the fall.

We are very proud that our eager readers will be featured in an American Girl Doll campaign. We hope their beautiful smiles, that we often see, will bring more smiles to other families!