Shameless Summer Movie Promotion!

Being a librarian, it’s always exciting to see a favorite book come to life on the big screen!  Introducing…”Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer”, coming soon to a movie theater near you (June 10, 2011)!


Screen-Free Week!

According to the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Screen-Free Week (formerly TV-Turnoff Week) is “an opportunity for children and families to turn off screens and turn on life!”  Confession time:  in my own home, we are rarely screen free.  In a household of 5, someone (at any given moment) is usually on some type of screen, whether it’s on a computer, watching TV, texting, or playing a video game.  (Then there’s the MP3’s…do they count?)  When my oldest child was small, I monitored the amount of time she spent watching TV, and even tried to make sure the shows she did watch had some educational value.  I was fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom at the time, so at a certain time (once caffeine had entered my bloodstream and cleared the fog out of my not-a-morning person brain), the television would go off and we’d officially start our day.  Then the youngest came along, during the age of a square, yellow sponge.  He tended to watch a bit more television (with the oldest), and although the shows were harmless and entertaining, I can’t exactly say that they were extremely educational.  Fast forward to the tween and teen years.  While we don’t have TV’s in every room, there are definitely enough screens, of every sort, shape, and size to be found in our house.  I find that it’s so easy to get in an electronics rut!  Which brings us to Screen-Free Week!

For the next week, instead of relying on screens for entertainment, make an effort to play, read, daydream, explore nature, and enjoy spending time with family and friends.  Stop by the library and check out book, bring your child to a library program, take a walk, play frisbee, board games, or even start Screen-Free Week a few days early and enjoy a local pool, park, or other activity!

For more information, check out…

Or for official endorsements (state and national organizations)…

2011 KY Bluegrass Awards

An Annual Award for the Best Books

as chosen by the students of Kentucky

  • “Rhyming Dust Bunnies” by Jan Thomas, Grades K-2
  • “Nubs: the True Story of a Dog, a Marine and a Miracle” by Major Brian Dennis, Grades 3-5
  • “Million-Dollar Throw” by Mike Lupica, Grades 6-8
  • “Maze Runner” by James Dashner, Grades 9-12

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2011 Literary Award Winners!




John Newbery Medal for most outstanding contribution to children’s literature

  • “Moon Over Manifest” by Clare Vanderpool (winner)
  • “Turtle in Paradise” by Jennifer L. Holm (honor)
  • “Heart of a Samurai” by Margi Preus (honor)
  • “Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night” by Joyce Sidman (honor)
  • “One Crazy Summer” by Rita Williams-Garcia (honor)

Randolph Caldecott Medal for most distinguished American picture book for children

  • “A Sick Day for Amos McGee” illustrated by Erin E. Stead, written by Philip C. Stead (winner)
  • “Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave” illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Laban Carrick Hill (honor)
  • “Interrupting Chicken” illustrated and written by David Ezra Stein (honor)

Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children’s book translated from a foreign language and subsequently published in the United States

  • “A Time of Miracles” written by Anne-Laure Bondoux, translated by Y. Maudet (winner)
  • “Departure Time” written by Truus Matti, translated by Nancy Forest-Flier (honor)
  • “Nothing” written by Janne Teller, translated by Martin Aitken (honor)

Pura Belpre (illustrator) Award honoring a Latino writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm, and celebrate the Latino cultural experience

  • “Grandma’s Gift” illustrated and written by Eric Velasquez (winner)
  • “Fiesta Babies” illustrated by Amy Córdova, written by Carmen Tafolla (honor)
  • “Me, Frida” illustrated by David Diaz, written by Amy Novesky (honor)
  • “Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin” illustrated  and written by Duncan Tonatiuh (honor)

Pura Belpre (Author) Award

  • “The Dreamer” written by Pam Munoz Ryan, illustrated by Peter Sis (winner)
  • “Ole! Flamenco” written by George Ancona, photographs by George Ancona (honor)
  • “The Firefly Letters: A Suffragette’s Journey to Cuba” written by Margarita Engle (honor)
  • “90 Miles to Havana” written by Enrique Flores-Galbis

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for most distinguished beginning reader book

  • “Bink and Gollie” written by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile (winner)
  • “Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same!” written and illustrated by Grace Lin (honor)
  • “We Are in a Book!” written and illustrated by Mo Willems (honor)

Robert F. Sibert Medal for most distinguished informational book for children

  • “Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World’s Strangest Parrot” written by Sy Montgomery, photographs by Nic Bishop (winner)
  • “Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring” written by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, illustrated by Brian Floca (honor)
  • “Lafayette and the American Revolution” written by Russell Freedman (honor)

Laura Ingalls Wilder Award (awarded bi-yearly since 2001) honors an author or illustrator whose books (published in the United States) have made a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children over a period of years.

  • Tomie dePaola

Coretta Scott King (Author) book Award recognizing an African-American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults

  • “One Crazy Summer” written by Rita Williams-Garcia (winner)
  • “Lockdown” by Walter Dean Myers (honor)
  • “Ninth Ward” by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  • “Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty” by G. Neri, illustrated by Randy DuBurke

Coretta Scott King (illustrator) Book Award

  • “Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave,” illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Laban Carrick Hill (winner)
  • “Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow: A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix,” illustrated by Javaka Steptoe, written by Gary Golio (honor)

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award

  • Victoria Bond and T. R. Simon, authors of “Zora and Me”
  • Sonia Lynn Sadler, illustrator of “Seeds of Change,” written by Jen Cullerton Johnson

Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement first-ever award of Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.  This award pays tribute to the quality and magnitude of beloved children’s author Virginia Hamilton.

  • Dr. Henrietta Mays Smith

Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience

  • “The Pirate of Kindergarten” by George Ella Lyon, illustrated by Lynne Avril (wins award for best young children ages 0 – 10)
  • “After Ever After” by Jordan Sonnenblick (wins award for middle grades, ages 11 – 13)
  • “Five Flavors of Dumb” by Antony John (wins teen award, ages 13 – 18)



Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.

  • “The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To” by DC Pierson,
  • “Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard” by Liz Murray
  • “Girl in Translation” by Jean Kwok
  • “The House of Tomorrow” by Peter Bognanni
  • “The Lock Artist” by Steve Hamilton
  • “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel” by Aimee Bender
  • “The Radleys” by Matt Haig
  • “The Reapers Are the Angels: A Novel” by Alden Bell
  • “Room: A Novel” by Emma Donoghue
  • “The Vanishing of Katharina Linden: A Novel” by Helen Grant

Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults

  • Sir Terry Pratchett

William C. Morris Award honors a book written by a first-time author for young adults

  • “The Freak Observer” by Blythe Woolston

YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults

  • “Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing” by Ann Angel

Odyssey Award is awarded to the producer of the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States.

  • “The True Meaning of Smekday” written by Adam Rex, narrated by Bahni Turpin  (winner)
  • “Alchemy and Meggy Swann” written by Karen Cushman, narrated by Katherine Kellgren  (honor)
  • “The Knife of Never Letting Go” written by Patrick Ness, narrated by Nick Podehl (honor)
  • “Revolution” written by Jennifer Donnelly, narrated by Emily Janice Card and Emma Bering (honor)
  • “will grayson, will grayson”, written by John Green and David Levithan, narrated by MacLeod Andrews and Nick Podehl (honor)

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults

  • “Ship Breaker” by Paolo Bacigalupi (winner)
  • “Stolen” by Lucy Christopher (honor)
  • “Please Ignore Vera Dietz” by A.S. King (honor)
  • “Revolver” by Marcus Sedgwick (honor)
  • “Nothing” by Janne Teller (honor)

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Stuffed Animal Storytime!

Calendar, carpet, and a movie (or two)!

Our February calendar is now available!  Just click on the Calendar tab to see what’s going on this month at the MCPL for children and tweens.  One item to note is that our Toddler Tales Valentine’s Day party has been moved from February 9th and will now be held the following Wednesday, February 16th.  As the library’s schedule has been somewhat irregular due to remodeling and weather issues, I felt extra time was needed in order to get the word out about upcoming February events.  As always, please be aware that if Marion County Public Schools are not in session due to poor weather conditions then all programming (Children, Tween, Teen, and Adult) will be canceled for that day.

If you haven’t had a chance to stop by the library in the last few weeks, we invite you to check out our new look!  New carpet and a slightly new floor plan (among other things) have freshened up our look…we love it, and we hope you will too!

Finally, it’s always exciting to hear that a movie is being based on a beloved book, especially a children’s book!  The video below is the official movie trailer for the upcoming March 2011 Disney movie release “Mars Needs Moms”, which is based on the wonderful children’s book by Berkeley Breathed…enjoy!


Oooooo…another!! I’ve edited this post to include an additional movie trailer.  “Diary of a Wimpy Kid:  Rodrick Rules” will be released in theater’s in March.  This movie is based on the 2nd book in the awesome and wildly popular “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series.  If you’re not familiar with the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series…well, I’m not sure what to say except…(warning: upcoming shameless plug!) run to your nearest library!



Merry Christmas and Happy Blogging!

I. love. technology.  Just thought I’d put that out there.  I love that using technology allows me to do so many things more efficiently.  As a Children’s Librarian, and a mom, I also sometimes benefit from being sneaky.  Now you know.  For example, one thing I’ve always tried to do is match what I know kids enjoy with an educational benefit.  My own crew at home has always loved computers and video games, so when they were younger we became educational software addicts!  You might be surprised at how many games and web sites offer games and activities that use reasoning and logic!  As such, I’ve been very interested in articles that I’ve run across lately that confirm publicly what I’ve always suspected, that certain kinds of technology are educationally beneficial. (Notice I said “certain”.  I am in no way condoning playing war games for hours on end, AND it must also be noted that even good things must be done in moderation.)

Now, having said all that, I’d like to bring up blogging!  Of course, this web page is considered a blog.  However, what I’d really like to talk about is the idea of blogging for teens, and even preteens.  Now, you may have never considered your child having a blog.  Maybe the majority of your child’s computer usage begins and ends with social media sites, such as Facebook or MySpace.  However, bear with me just a minute as I introduce a few of the benefits of blogging.  What brought this interest about, you say?  Good question!  I began to realize that starting a blog might be a great creative outlet for one of my own kids.  This particular young ‘un loves to write, draw, and is all in all very imaginative.  Perfect, I thought.  And I was right.  After learning how to set up a blog, this kiddo pretty much ran with it.  What surprised me just a bit was that their sibling soon stated that they wanted to start a blog too!  Could it simply be a case of one wanting what the other had, you might say?  Could be.  Or their interest could also be explained by recent studies, which show that “when children are allowed to choose their own topics, as they do when they maintain their own blog, they become engaged in their writing and enjoy it”.  Enjoy writing?  Actually, the wanna-be blogger does NOT enjoy writing, so anything that would help in this area would be great.  Hmmm.  I next read that another benefit of having a blog is that it can also increase children’s confidence in their writing ability.  In fact, an organization called the National Literacy Trust found after surveying English and Scottish students that “young people with a blog…displayed greater confidence, believing themselves to be good writers.”  Even better.  They now have my attention.  In conclusion, I’ve tried to not overload you with too much information, and would just suggest that if this idea appears to be something you feel your child would enjoy and benefit from, do your research!  If your child has a holiday break from school, this might be an activity that you can look into together while at home on those long, long, wintry days!  I’ve included a few links below which might be helpful in your quest to decide, “to blog, or not to blog…that is the question!”.

Read more at Suite101: The Benefits of Allowing Preteen Kids to Blog

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