Tag Archives: readers’ advisory

Jonathan Swift at 350

Jonathan Swift was born on November 30, 1667. He’s best known in the world of children’s literature for Gulliver’s Travels (originally for adults). To find out more about him and the time in which he lived, you could check out The 18th Century: Artists, Writers, and Composers. You can also enjoy one of these adaptations of Gulliver’s story:

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Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
Unabridged Playaway audiobook

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Gulliver by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Chris Riddell
The voyages of an eighteenth-century Englishman carry him to such strange places as Lilliput, where people are six inches tall, and Brobdingnag, a land peopled by giants. This adaptation is long but full of pictures and recommended for grades 3 and up.

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Gulliver in Lilliput by Lisa Findlay
On a voyage in the South Seas, an Englishman finds himself shipwrecked in Lilliput, a land of people only six inches high. This one is in our collection of books for beginning readers.

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Gulliver’s Travels by Martin Woodside
An abridged version of the voyages of an eighteenth-century Englishman that carry him to such strange places as Lilliput, where people are six inches tall, and Brobdingnag, a land peopled by giants. The Classic Starts series is suggested for ages 7 to 9.

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Gulliver’s Travels by Nick Eliopulos
The voyages of an Englishman carry him to such strange places as Lilliput, where people are six inches tall; Brobdingnag, a land of giants; and a country ruled by horses. This Stepping Stone book is recommended for ages 6 to 9.

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Gulliver’s Travels by James Dunbar
The voyages of an eighteenth-century Englishman carry him to such strange places as Lilliput, where people are six inches tall, and Brobdingnag, a land peopled by giants. Illustrated notes throughout the text explain the historical background of the story.

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Gullifur’s Travels by Brad Strickland
When Joe learns a valuable lesson in judging basketball players by their size, Wishbone imagines himself as Lemuel Gulliver, a seventeenth-century ship’s surgeon who is shipwrecked in two strange lands. In one place, everyone is only a few inches tall. The other land is populated by giants. Suggested for ages 8 to 12.

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Lilliput by Sam Gayton
Three-inch-tall Lily has been trapped in a bird cage for half of her life while her giant captor, Gulliver, writes a book about his travels but she finally escapes and, aided by a clockmaker’s apprentice and his friends, makes plans to leave London and return home to Lilliput. Inspired by Jonathan Swift’s novel, Gulliver’s Travels.

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Gulliver’s Travels: Gulliver’s Fun Pack
Jack Black plays a man shipwrecked on the island of Lilliput.

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Gulliver’s Travels
Ted Danson plays Gulliver in a TV miniseries.

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Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels: A Graphic Novel adapted by Donald B. Lemke
Retold in graphic novel form, Lemuel Gulliver voyage takes him to the strange lands of Lilliput, where people are only six inches tall, and Brobdingnag, a land of giants. This version is available through eReadIllinois in English and Spanish.

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Gulliver’s Travels, retold by John Malam
When Lemuel Gulliver is washed up on the distant shore of Lilliput, he becomes a giant among men. As his travels continue, Gulliver is dwarfed by the people of Brobdingnag and bewildered by the customs of the Laputians. Will Gulliver find the humanity he seeks in the Land of the Talking Horses? A retelling of Jonathan Swift’s story in graphic novel format.

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Travel & Adventure by Seymour Reit
Three classic stories of travel and adventure from Bank Street Graphic Novels.

More books like Wonder

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If you’re waiting for a copy of Wonder (or want to know what to read next), click on the picture above for a list of suggested read-alikes.

Comforting Reads for Difficult Times

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The Association for Library Service to Children has released a new list of recommended books called Comforting Reads for Difficult Times, which you can download and print here:
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In addition to suggested books for different ages on topics like depression, resilience and violence, ALSC also suggests resources for adults. These books, articles and websites provide additional book suggestions and advice on topics like talking to children about the news.

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).

Help, I need something to read!

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The summer reading program is just about to start! What if you can’t figure out what you want to read? Don’t worry, we have some tools for you to use!

When you’re in the library, you’ll see some brochures with suggestions for different grade levels. We also have a list of staff favorites.

Already read all of those? The Association for Library Service to Children creates lists of recommended books all the time. This includes new lists of suggested summer reading every year.

Print their lists for

Birth-Preschool: 170426_ALSC_SummerReading17_Birth-PreK

Kindergarten-2nd grade: 170426_ALSC_SummerReading17_K-2

3rd through 5th grade: 170426_ALSC_SummerReading17_3-5

6th through 8th grade: 170426_ALSC_SummerReading17_6-8

Or search our catalog:

Birth-Preschool

Kindergarten-2nd grade

3rd through 5th grade

6th through 8th grade

Since these lists were created by an outside group, there might be some books on the list that are not in our collection. If you place a hold, the library that owns the book will send it to Fountaindale and you can pick it up here. There is no charge for this service– just be sure to pick the book up within 5 days after we let you know it has arrived. You can also use the fill-in form on our website to ask us to purchase an item.

If that’s still not enough books, you can also look at the nominees for the Illinois Readers’ Choice Awards.

Bluestem in OPACIf you type in “Bluestem” or “Monarch” or “Caudill” as a keyword search in our online catalog, at the top of the results you will get a “You might also like” box. When you click on the first sentence, the catalog will do a search for the 2018 nominees of the corresponding award. All of the different formats that we own are included. You can then sort by title or author to look at the results.
Don’t forget that your librarians are also a great resource for finding books you want to read! Just stop by and ask. We’ll talk to you about what you like and what you’re in the mood to read and help you come up with suggestions. The library has something for everybody, even kids (and parents) who tell you they don’t like reading.

African American History in Poetry

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Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
As slaves relentlessly toiled in an unjust system in 19th century Louisiana, they all counted down the days until Sunday, when at least for half a day they were briefly able to congregate in Congo Square in New Orleans. Here they were free to set up an open market, sing, dance, and play music. They were free to forget their cares, their struggles, and their oppression. This story chronicles slaves’ duties each day, from chopping logs on Mondays to baking bread on Wednesdays to plucking hens on Saturday, and builds to the freedom of Sundays and the special experience of an afternoon spent in Congo Square.
This title received honors as a Caldecott Honor Book and a King Illustrator Honor Book this year.

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Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph by Roxanne Orgill; illustrated by Francis Vallejo
When Esquire magazine planned an issue to salute the American jazz scene in 1958, graphic designer Art Kane pitched a crazy idea: how about gathering a group of beloved jazz musicians and photographing them? He didn’t own a good camera, didn’t know if any musicians would show up, and insisted on setting up the shoot in front of a Harlem brownstone. Could he pull it off? In a captivating collection of poems, Roxane Orgill steps into the frame of Harlem 1958, bringing to life the musicians’ mischief and quirks, their memorable style, and the vivacious atmosphere of a Harlem block full of kids on a hot summer’s day. Francis Vallejo’s vibrant, detailed, and wonderfully expressive paintings do loving justice to the larger-than-life quality of jazz musicians of the era. Includes bios of several of the fifty-seven musicians, an author’s note, sources, a bibliography, and a foldout of Art Kane’s famous photograph.

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Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin, and Turn It Out! Games, Songs, & Stories from an African American Childhood collected by Patricia C. McKissack; illustrated by Brian Pinkney
Parents and grandparents will delight in sharing this exuberant book with the children in their lives. Here is a songbook, a storybook, a poetry collection, and much more, all rolled into one. Find a partner for hand claps such as “Eenie, Meenie, Sassafreeny,” or form a circle for games like “Little Sally Walker.” Gather as a family to sing well-loved songs like “Amazing Grace” and “Oh, Freedom,” or to read aloud the poetry of such African American luminaries as Langston Hughes, James Weldon Johnson, and Paul Laurence Dunbar. And snuggle down to enjoy classic stories retold by the author, including Aesop’s fables and tales featuring Br’er Rabbit and Anansi the Spider.

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One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes
In this collection of poetry, Nikki Grimes looks afresh at the poets of the Harlem Renaissance — including voices like Langston Hughes, Georgia Douglas Johnson, and many more writers of importance and resonance from this era — by combining their work with her own original poetry. Using “The Golden Shovel” poetic method, Grimes has written a collection of poetry that is as gorgeous as it is thought-provoking. This special book also includes original artwork in full-color from some of today’s most exciting African American illustrators, who have created pieces of art based on Nikki’s original poems.
Nikki Grimes is the 2017 winner of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for her “substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.”

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A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney
A celebration of the extraordinary life of Ezra Jack Keats, creator of The Snowy Day. The story of The Snowy Day begins more than one hundred years ago, when Ezra Jack Keats was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. The family were struggling Polish immigrants, and … it was many years before Keats’s greatest dream was realized and he had the opportunity to write and illustrate his own book. For more than two decades, Ezra had kept pinned to his wall a series of photographs of an adorable African American child. In Keats’s hands, the boy morphed into Peter, a boy in a red snowsuit, out enjoying the pristine snow; the book became The Snowy Day, winner of the Caldecott Medal, the first mainstream book to feature an African American child. It was also the first of many books featuring Peter and the children of his — and Keats’s — neighborhood. Andrea Davis Pinkney’s lyrical narrative tells the inspiring story of a boy who pursued a dream, and who, in turn, inspired generations of other dreamers

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You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen by Carole Boston Weatherford; art by Jeffery Boston Weatherford
This history in verse celebrates the story of the Tuskegee Airmen: pioneering African-American pilots who triumphed in the skies and past the color barrier.

Ted Williams, record-setting hitter

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No Easy Way: The Story of Ted Williams and the Last .400 Season by Fred Bowen; illustrations by Charles S. Pyle
Ted Williams hit .406 for the season in 1941–a feat not matched since. In this inspirational picture book, authentic sports writing and rich, classic illustrations bring to life the truly spectacular story of the Red Sox legend, whose hard work and perseverance make him the perfect role model for baseball enthusiasts of all ages.

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Ted & Me: A Baseball Card Adventure by Dan Gutman
When Stosh travels back in time to 1941 in hopes of preventing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II, he meets Ted Williams, one of the greatest hitters in baseball history. Includes notes about Williams‘ life and career.

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There Goes Ted Williams: The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived by Matt Tavares
Ted Williams, the legendary Red Sox slugger, lived a life full of dedication and passion. From his days as a young kid playing ball in North Park to his unmatched .406 season in 1941 to his stints as a fighter pilot in World War II and Korea, the story of Teddy Ballgame is the story of an American hero.”–P. 2 of cover.

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The Unforgettable Season: The Story of Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, and the Record-Setting Summer of ’41 by Phil Bildner; illustrated by S. D. Schindler
Tells the story of baseball greatest heroes Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams and how during the summer of 1941 they each set records that still stand.

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Faster, Higher, Smarter: Bright Ideas that Transformed Sports by Simon Shapiro
Ted Williams and the art of swing speed” is just one of the topics in a book that also covers pole vaulting, cycling, and bungy jumping.