Tag Archives: awards

Vote for your favorite Monarch Award Book

Monarch Award logo

Vote for your favorite Monarch Award Book
Thursday, February 15 – March 1

If you’ve read or listened to at least 5 of the nominees, you can cast your ballot at the Children’s Services Desk and receive a Monarch book mark.
If your school is voting for the Monarch Award, you can still vote to pick the library winner!

ALA Youth Media Awards

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Take a look at the award-winning books for kids and teens announced this morning! In addition to individual books that were honored, Eloise Greenfield and Jacqueline Woodson received awards for their many books for children (and Angela Johnson was honored for her writing for teens). Debbie Reese, who will deliver the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, has also shared the winners of the 2018 American Indian Library Association’s Youth Literature Award on her blog.

ALA Youth Media Awards – News and Press Center

Free Resource for Teachers and Students

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Are you studying any of the Coretta Scott King Award books in your classroom? TeachingBooks.net has a great collection of resources related to nearly 300 books that have won the award. Usually you need an account to access TeachingBooks.net, but “This Curriculum Resource Center was created by TeachingBooks.net with the support of the Coretta Scott King Book Award 40th Anniversary Public Awareness Campaign Committee” and you can access them without an account.

You can watch a meet-the-author video (maybe the one for Bryan Collier, who illustrated the Monarch Award nominee Trombone Shorty), listen to interviews with authors or listen to them read their books aloud. You can look for lesson plans or book discussion questions to go with a title. Teachers can even search for books to match a particular grade level, school subject, or type of reading (for example, poetry or realistic fiction).

Best new Jewish books for kids

On January 10, the 2018 Sydney Taylor Book Awards and the 67th Annual National Jewish Book Awards were both announced. Two books won awards in both:

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The Language of Angels: A Story About the Reinvention of Hebrew by Richard Michelson, illustrated by Karla Gudeon
A picture book influenced by the style of illuminated manuscripts shows how Eliezer Ben-Yehuda and his son, Ben-Zion, created new Hebrew words for modern ideas and objects.

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Refugee by Alan Gratz
Although separated by continents and decades, Josef, a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany; Isabel, a Cuban girl trying to escape the riots and unrest plaguing her country in 1994; and Mahmoud, a Syrian boy in 2015 whose homeland is torn apart by violence and destruction, embark on harrowing journeys in search of refuge, discovering shocking connections that tie their stories together.

We also own several of the books honored or recognized as finalists or notable:

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Yaffa and Fatima: Shalom, Salaam adapted by Fawzia Gilani-Williams, illustrated by Chiara Fedele
Yaffa and Fatima live on neighboring date farms. When very little rain leads to a poor harvest, each woman goes to extra measures to make sure that her neighbor doesn’t go hungry.

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Viva, Rose! by Susan Krawitz
In El Paso, Texas, in 1915, fourteen-year-old Rose Solomon seeks her missing brother’s return and inadvertently ends up running with Pancho Villa and his revolutionary army.

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This Is Just a Test by Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang
In 1983 seventh-grader David Da-Wei Horowitz has a lot to worry about–his bar mitzvah is coming soon, his Jewish and Chinese grandmothers argue about everything, his teammates for the upcoming trivia contest, Scott and Hector, do not like each other, he is beginning to notice girls, and Scott has persuaded him to begin digging a fallout shelter just in case the Cold War heats up.

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The Dollmaker of Krakow by R.M. Romero
At the beginning of World War II, Karolina’s spirit magically travels from the war-torn Land of the Dolls to the Krakow, Poland, shop of the Dollmaker, Cyryl, and together they take great risks to save their Jewish friends.

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Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar
In 1960s New York, fifth-grader Ruthie, a Cuban-Jewish immigrant, must rely on books, art, her family, and friends in her multicultural neighborhood when an accident puts her in a body cast.

Yes, it’s OK to read audiobooks!

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Did you know you can count listening to audiobooks for the Summer Adventure? If you find yourself hesitating, the article Audiobooks Are Not Cheating (FREE poster offer) | Books on Tape has some great arguments in favor of recorded books. My favorite reason is that you can listen to a book in the car without getting a headache (the way you would reading with your eyes).

If you want to check out audiobooks from the library, you have a couple of options. We have books on CD (pretty self-explanatory), Playaways (those things in the orange boxes), and downloadable audiobooks.

Playaways are a little like having an iPod with something already downloaded on it. These are getting popular because not everyone owns something to play CDs on anymore. All you need to do is stick in your headphones and press play. Alternatively, you can use a cable to connect a Playaway to a car stereo so that everyone can listen to it together. The Findaway World company has details here: playaway-cars

Another option that you might not notice if you’re just looking at our shelves is downloadable audiobooks. The Digital Collection page of our website lists the different options for downloading audiobooks. At the bottom of the page, you can find help pages for the different apps and some guides to device compatibility.

Need a recommendation for a good audiobook? There are awards especially for audiobooks, like the Odyssey Award (for titles for children and young adults) and the Audies (for books for adults, children, and teens). The Association for Library Service to Children also puts out of yearly list of Notable Children’s Recordings, which includes both audiobooks and music (lists from past years are also available).

Remembering Patricia McKissack

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We recently lost a much-honored author, Patricia McKissack. She was particularly known for writing about African American history (often collaborating with her husband), but her talent was wide-ranging and she also wrote realistic fiction, science fiction, picture books, beginning readers, religious works (she was an editor at Concordia Publishing House) and collections of folktales and traditional rhymes. We would be happy to help you find her books in our collection or place a hold on titles available from other libraries.

“Everything is art. Everything is politics.” (quote from Ai Weiwei)

This past weekend, my dad and I had a chance to attend Ai Weiwei at Meijer Gardens:
Natural State. Some of the first pieces you see when you walk into the building are large, hollow, white structures in the shapes of gods or supernatural creatures that are hanging from the ceiling.

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This is the description that goes with this collection of artworks:

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I knew Ai Weiwei was an activist, but I did not know the story about his father. It made me think of this book:

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Red Kite, Blue Kite by Ji-li Jiang, illustrated by Greg Ruth

In the story, a boy’s father is sent to a labor camp during the Cultural Revolution in China. They make a plan to each fly a kite for the other to see at a certain time every day since they don’t have any other way to communicate. In an author’s note at the back of the book, Ji-li Jiang explains that the picture book was inspired by the personal history of a family friend. In the end, he says, “My friend’s father survived the Cultural Revolution, and my friend grew up and became a poet.”

Red Kite, Blue Kite is one of the books included in our current display for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. It includes children’s books that have received the South Asia Book Award or the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. Come take a look!