Tag Archives: awards

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!

Illinois Award Winners

The winners of the Illinois Readers’ Choice Awards have been announced!

Monarch Award (Kindergarten-3rd Grade):

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Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Christian Robinson
A proper bulldog raised in a poodle family and a tough poodle raised in a bulldog family meet one day in the park.

Bluestem Award (Grades 3-5):

El Deafo
El Deafo by Cece Bell
The author recounts in graphic novel format her experiences with hearing loss at a young age, including using a bulky hearing aid, learning how to lip read, and determining her “superpower.”

Rebecca Caudill Award (Grades 4-8):

The Crossover
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health. A novel written in poetry.

Pizza, Preschool, and Pete the Cat

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Storytimes and Minecraft Club (on Tuesday and Thursday) continue this week.

Harry Potter Family STEAM Workshop
Monday, February 20, 2-4 p.m.
Grades K-5, K with an adult
Explore our STEAM stations highlighting hands-on activities for the family to work on together! Drop in.

Crazy 8s Club
Tuesday, February 21, 4:45-5:15 p.m.
Grades K-2
Crazy 8s is a recreational after-school math club that helps kids appreciate the math that’s all around them. Have fun with mischief making activities like Bouncy Dice Explosions, and Toilet Paper Olympics. Some of the activities build from week to week so it is important not to miss a class. Must be able to attend all 8 sessions. Register now.

S’mores Book Club: Harry Potter and Other Fantasies
Wednesday, February 22, 4:15-5 p.m.
Grades 3-5
Do you devour a book like you devour a great after school snack? If so, sign up for the S’mores Book Club! We will eat a snack and talk about a different topic each month. Register now.

Chick-fil-A Storytime
Thursday, February 23, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
All ages, preschoolers with an adult
Storytime at west side Chick-fil-A, 245 N Weber Rd, Bolingbrook. Drop in.

Preschool Activity Time
Friday, February 24, 10-11 a.m.
Ages 2-6 with an adult
Meet your friends and have lots of fun in our carpeted meeting room with many games to play! Drop in.

Monarch Award Pizza Party
Friday, February 24, 2-3 p.m.
Grades K-3

Be there when we reveal the library winner! Must vote for favorite 2017 Monarch Award Nominee in order to register. Voting is only allowed after reading five or more titles. Visit the Children’s Services Desk to vote and register or call 630-685-4181.

Annual Preschool Round-Up and Vision and Hearing Screening
Saturday, February 25, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
All ages
Fountaindale’s 6th Annual Preschool Round-Up is an opportunity to find the preschool that is right for your child. This will be your chance to meet and talk to representatives from more than a dozen preschools and daycare centers in the area to help find the right fit. There will be other community organizations attending as well and drawings for prizes for teachers and parents and activities for the kids! This drop-in event is being held in Meeting Room A. Also, the Will County Health Dept. will be conducting FREE hearing and vision screenings from 11:30am-2:30pm in Meeting Room B as part of Fountaindale’s Preschool Round-Up.

Saturday Special: Drop-in Storytime
Saturday, February 25, 11-11:30 a.m.
All ages, preschoolers with an adult

Stories, songs, and fun are the order of the day when we get together for storytime. Drop in until the limit of the room is reached.

Pete the Cat: I’m reading in my school shoes!
Saturday, February 25, 3-5 p.m.
Grades K-1

Can you read all by yourself? Come in and read a book to us! Students who participate earn a Pete the Cat headband, reading certificate and bookmark! Drop in.

Magic, Math, Monarchs and a Movie

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Morris, the Magic Man!
Sunday, February 12, 2-2:45 p.m.
All ages; preschoolers with an adult
Magician Morris Taylor has performed magic all over the world and now he is coming here to Fountaindale! Enjoy his family show and watch the magic happen. Drop in until the limit of the room is reached. Seating is first come, first served.

Storytimes continue this week, and Minecraft Club will meet on Tuesday and Thursday.

iMake
Monday, February 13, 4:15-5:15 p.m.
Grades K-5; K with an adult
Visit the Creativity Park to try out the library’s newest technologies. This session will have a Harry Potter theme. Drop in.

Crazy 8s Club
Tuesday, February 14, 4:45-5:15 p.m.
Grades K-2
Crazy 8s is a recreational after-school math club that helps kids appreciate the math that’s all around them. Have fun with mischief making activities like Bouncy Dice Explosions, and Toilet Paper Olympics. Some of the activities build from week to week so it is important not to miss a class. Must be able to attend all 8 sessions. Register now.

Young Writers’ Club: Magical Words and Wonders
Wednesday, February 15, 4:15-5:15 p.m.
Grades 2-5
Enjoy a special Young Writers’ Club in the style of Professor Trelawney’s class. Drop in.

Wednesday, February 15 is the last day of Monarch Voting! If you are in grades K-3 and have read at least 5 of the nominees for the Monarch Award, you can vote for your favorite (and sign up for the pizza party on February 24).
UPDATE: You can now turn in ballots until February 19!

Panera Milk & Cookies Storytime
Thursday, February 16, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
All ages preschoolers with an adult
Story time at east side Panera, 714 East Boughton Road, Bolingbrook. Register now.

Mini Movin’ and Groovin’
Friday, February 17
9:30-10:15 a.m. or 10:30-11:15 a.m.
All ages preschoolers with an adult
Join our group of friends for great times with music, rhythm, songs and fun! Today’s programs will feature music from African countries. Drop in.

TechnoKids
Friday, February 17, 4:15-5:15 p.m.
Grades 1-3
Use light painting to create your own patronus. Register now.

Mini Movin’ and Groovin’
Saturday, February 18
10:30-11:15 a.m.
All ages preschoolers with an adult
Join our group of friends for great times with music, rhythm, songs and fun! Today’s program will feature music from African countries. Drop in.

Interactive Family Movie
Saturday, February 18, 1:30 p.m. at Fountaindale Public Library
All ages. Preschoolers with an adult.
Follow along with a movie as part of our programming for The Great Read. Drop in.

Read, Vote and Eat Pizza!

Monarch Award logo
It’s time to vote for your favorite Monarch Award Book from February 1–15.

If you’ve read or listened to at least five of the nominees, you can cast your ballot at the Children’s Services Desk.

Monarch Award Pizza Party
Friday, February 24, 2–3 p.m.
Grades K-3

Any Fountaindale cardholders that voted for their favorite book may register for the party.  Be there when we reveal the library winner! Register by February 15 (call 630.685.4181 or come to the Children’s Services Desk to vote and register).

African American History, Library History

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Something unusual happened at the Youth Media Awards on Monday.  A single book, March: Book Three (written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell), won 4 major awards:

  • Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award, recognizing an African-American author and of outstanding books for children and young adults
  • Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults
  • Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children
  • YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults

The book already won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature in November.  You might have heard Representative John Lewis give an emotional acceptance speech, in which he recalled “I remember in 1956 when I was 16 years old, going down to the public library, trying to get library cards, and we were told that the libraries were whites-only and not for coloreds…To come here and receive this award — it’s too much.”

The history of library services for African Americans has included both exclusion and inclusion.  Here are some books (for a slightly younger audience than March) that help tell the story:

Finding Lincoln
Finding Lincoln by Ann Malaspina
In segregated 1950s Alabama, Louis cannot use the public library to research a class assignment, but one of the librarians lets him in after hours and helps him find the book that he needs. Includes an author’s note with historical information about library segregation in the South.

Goin' Somplace Special
Goin’ Someplace Special by Patricia McKissack
In segregated Nashville during the 1950s, a young African American girl endures a series of indignities and obstacles to get to the public library, one of the few integrated places in the city.

Richard Wright and the Library Card
Richard Wright and the Library Card by William Miller (also available in Spanish)
Based on a scene from Wright’s autobiography, Black Boy, in which the seventeen-year-old African-American borrows a white man’s library card and devours every book as a ticket to freedom.

Ron's Big Mission
Ron’s Big Mission by Rose Blue and Corinne Naden
One summer day in 1959, nine-year-old Ron McNair, who dreams of becoming a pilot, walks into the Lake City, South Carolina public library and insists on checking out some books, despite the rule that only white people can have library cards. Includes facts about McNair, who grew up to be an astronaut.