Children's News

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Nov 26, 2016 by amandap
Ghost Stories 2016 

We had a spooky haunted book club in November after reading some ghost stories over Halloween!

Every October we pick a supernatural or horror theme to choose books from to read over Halloween. Some years it's murder mysteries, some years it's monsters, some years we go with ghosts. It feels fitting to read something a little spooky or scary for the holiday, but not everything is actually scary, we promise! Not all ghost stories are meant to spook you. Some are more mysteries than horror and others are even meant to make you laugh! There's a wide variety represented in the list linked on the right. Overall, most of our group preferred the books that were either funny or scary. When they were just mysteries with ghosts involved, they sometimes didn't move as fast as the kids wanted them to.

For next month take a little break and pick a Graphic Novel to read! You can choose from the children's graphic novel sections in any of our library locations in Quincy, or pick something you already own. Comics, graphic novels, manga - They all qualify! Pick one (or more) and join us on December 13th at 7:00 p.m. in the Children's Room!

Oct 22, 2016 by amandap
Family  

Regular Phoenix Book Club meetings started back up this fall, kicking off with books about families of all kinds.

Sometimes for the Phoenix Book Club we pick a genre like historical fiction or adventure. Sometimes we pick a format such as graphic novels. Sometimes we try something a little harder to pin down. Family is a topic every kid can relate to and families are in almost any book you might pick up off the chapter book shelves in the Children's Room. So what makes a book about family? In choosing books, we focused on looking at whether a family and the relationships in it were the focus of the story, or just a small piece of a larger plot. We stuck to stories about kids dealing with issues within their families or a family working together in a story and overall everyone ended up very satisfied with the books they chose. One thing we did all notice is that books notably focused on families had a tendency to be on the serious (sometimes sad) side.

One book club member made an argument for including Harry Potter, and we were almost swayed! But ultimately, while Harry's family is important to who he is as a character, the plots of the books themselves aren't really just about Harry and his parents or the Dursleys. But never fear! Are you interested in reading or re-reading all of the Harry Potter books as we approach the 20th anniversary of the US publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone? In January we'll be starting an entirely separate book discussion for all ages to read and talk about the Harry Potter series. Keep an eye on this blog for more information in the coming months!

Next month for the Phoenix Book Club we're reading ghostly tales both spooky and funny. Pick one on your own or come into the Children's Room to see what we have set aside, then join us to discuss your pick on Tuesday, November 15th at 7:00 p.m. Please keep in mind, we have shifted our book club meeting back a week due to Election Day.

Oct 14, 2016 by amandap

Did you miss the DinoMan and his giant inflatable dinosaurs last weekend? Have no fear! We have plenty of other science programs coming up for you and your kids to learn from and enjoy!

We've moved our STEAM Saturdays program to the second Saturday of each month this year, starting with this past week's dinosaur program and continuing on November 12th with the Sciencetellers. If you missed the dinosaurs, we've got photos and lots of dinosaur books and websites to check out! Look below for a few photos and take a look here for some dinosaur websites

What can you look forward to in the coming months? We've got a lot of fun Saturday science coming up for you! 

  • November 12: The Sciencetellers
  • December 10: Minecraft Coding - This program has a limited amount of space - check back for registration information in November!
  • January 14: Paper Airplane Workshop
  • More to come: We've got live reptiles, squishy circuits, and the Whalemobile coming in the spring! Programs are all at 10am on the second Saturday of each month. 

Large inflatable red and purple dinosaur Three large inflatable dinosaurs Large green inflatable dinosaur

Aug 23, 2016 by amandap

It's almost time to think about school supplies and homework, but not quite! We've got two more weeks of Children's programs and you've still got time to finish up your summer reading! Get those last few books read and logged now and come in to our last few programs.

What's still to come this summer?

What about fall?

We have plenty planned for the fall as well. Storytime registration begins on Tuesday, September 13th. Weekday storytimes begin the week of September 26th. Please take a look at our Storytimes page for more information on registration and the programs we offer. 

We've also got:

“Read a Blog Post Weeks 9&10” Challenge password: thanks 

Aug 8, 2016 by amandap

Are you watching the Olympics this year? It's great fun seeing everyone compete, watching all the different sports and the athletes from countries all over the world, but that's just this year! The Olympics have been going on for a very long time, going all the way back to Ancient Greece! Learn more about the history of the Olympics with some of these books:

  Looking for less history and more story? Try some of these fiction books set during the Olympics:

 

“Read a Blog Post Weeks 7&8” Challenge password: brazil 


Jul 25, 2016 by amandap

While there's plenty to do at the library, sometimes you just want to play outdoors. Want to host your own backyard Olympics or carnival, or just get out of the house and have some fun? There's a ton you can do at home to have a good time and maybe even cool off in the summer heat:

 

You can play with your baby too! Playing together can teach babies lots of important skills while you're having fun. Try some of these activities with your little ones:

 

Looking for some books to give you more ideas? Try some of these books!
 

"Read a Blog Post Weeks 5&6" Challenge password: peekaboo 

Jul 11, 2016 by amandap

Looking for a reading challenge this summer? Why not take a cue from Mr. Lemoncello from the books Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library and Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein? In Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics, the eccentric library-lover Mr. Luigi Lemoncello invites teams of kids from around the world to compete in a series of library games and puzzles. Throughout the story, Mr. Lemoncello refers to tons of books, which you can find a list of at the back of the book. We've taken that list and broken it down into three reading levels. Challenge yourself! See if you can read something from each list, or pick a list and see if you can read half of it, or more! 

For kids going into grades 5 through 8, if you’re participating in this summer’s Phoenix Book Club, pay special attention to the titles and authors on these lists! You never know when you may need them…

On Your Mark... (picture books)

Get Set... (beginning readers and easier chapter books)

READ! (longer and harder chapter books)

“Read a Blog Post Weeks 3&4” Challenge password: alphabet 


Jun 28, 2016 by amandap

We hope you and your kids have been having fun already, even though school only just got out. We here at the library have jumped right into summer with our weekly Art-To-Go craft program and our summer reading programs all starting this week, along with a concert, a movie, and a storytime! Did you miss those? Don't worry, we've got tons more programs coming up. You can also still sign up for our summer reading program! Take a look at the bottom of this post for a special password to enter in once you've registered. Putting in each blog post's password will earn you an extra raffle entry!

Looking for some summer reading suggestions to get you started? Take a peek at the camp and camping themed book list to the right for some fun stories for all ages! 

Camping Books for Younger Readers:

Camping Books for Older Readers:

 

“Read a Blog Post 1” Challenge password: beach

Jun 20, 2016 by amandap

Get a jump start on summer by seeing what we've got planned here at the library, learn about our summer reading programs, and find out more about what's happening elsewhere in Quincy!

This summer's theme is all about sports, fitness, all kinds of activity, and boy have we got a lot to do. Bubbles, magicians, puppets, arts and crafts, concerts, storytimes, live animals, book clubs, science, and more! So much more, it would be silly for us to try and list it all in one blog post. Please take a look at our calendar for the events coming up this summer. Want to see our events broken down by age range? Take a look here to see what's going on for your kids. Summer events at the library start up on June 27th with our annual weekly Art-To-Go program and continue through the last week of August.

Also starting on June 27th are our new summer reading programs. Use our online reading tracker to log your books all summer long. You can also win a coupon for the Friends of the Library book store, as well as complete challenges all summer for chances to win a raffle prize. Come to events, check back on this blog, and do scavenger hunts at the Main Library and North Quincy Branch for additional raffle entries. Just remember to ask library staff for the passwords! Also check the summer reading page for the summer reading suggestions from the Quincy Public Schools. Remember, those lists are suggestions only! You can read anything you want!

Looking for more to do this summer? The City of Quincy has a lot going on! The library is participating in the city's Discover Quincy programs with several special Friday evenings and a storytime at Wollaston Beach, but there's a lot more in addition to those! Take a look at the Quincy Public Schools community programs information page for info on summer camps, classes, and other programs.

We can't wait for summer to start and we hope we'll see you at the library! 

Jun 15, 2016 by amandap
Sports 2016 

We're gearing up for this summer with books about sports! This coming summer's theme is On Your Mark, Get Set, READ! And we did, with books about everything from running to baseball to spelunking!

There are a lot of books out there on a wide variety of physical activities. Sure, you've got your baseball books, basketball books, football books, soccer books, and more. But there are also books about swimming, ice skating, running, dancing, and, of course, Quidditch. For this month we read books all over that list, and then some. There are a couple of authors who figure big in any kids' sports book list: Mike Lupica and John Feinstein, and both were popular amongst the kids in our book club. But we also had fun reading about things like running just for the fun of it. Overall, a good reaction to these books, with a couple of exceptions the kids just couldn't get into. But after some book trading on Tuesday night maybe those books will find new readers? That's part of the fun of this book club.

Next month is the first of our two summer book club meetings. In July and August we all read the same book and get together to talk about it. For July we'll be reading The Fast and the Furriest, by Andy Behrens. Place a hold or grab a copy in the Children's Room, then join us to talk about it at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12th in the Children's Room.

May 20, 2016 by amandap
Oversize 2016 

Picture books aren't just for little kids! As we have in the past couple of years, we read picture books for older readers this May. It's a busy month for kids, so we like to take it easier than usual.

In the first aisle of chapter books in the Children's Room, behind the beginning chapter books and next to the graphic novels and comic books, there's one section of books people often overlook. Older kids sometimes think that picture books aren't for them or they just don't notice them because it's not that big a collection. But these books aren't really for little kids. They're books with fantastic illustrations, they look like picture books (because they are!) but they're longer than a typical picture book, or the topic is more appropriate for older readers. Maybe they're a little scary, have puzzles to solve, or they're simply about older kids. What we found, having read them, is that they're all very different books, only really tied together by their physical format. But what was the reaction to them? Mixed! Some of the group loved these books and found them fun and interesting. Some of the group liked them okay, but definitely preferred regular chapter books and novels. We even had two kids who both read the same oversize book and one was bored by it while the other loved it. There's no one right reaction!

For next month we're getting ready for this summer's Summer Reading theme: On Your Mark, Get Set... READ! by reading sports and athletics themed books. Don't worry about sticking to the popular team sports! Pick figure skating, skateboarding, fencing, dancing, whatever you'd like! We are also, as always, happy to welcome 4th graders who will be entering 5th grade in September to our June meeting. Grab a book, read it, and come tell us about it in the Children's Room at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 14th!

Apr 29, 2016 by amandap
Poetry 2016 

April usually means poetry for the Phoenix Book Club and this year was no exception. We picked from a wide variety of books, from poetry anthologies, to single author books, to novels in verse. There are so many different ways to approach poetry, it's really pretty easy to find something for everyone.

There are a few groans every year when we talk about picking poetry books for April, but what's always fun is seeing the reactions when we actually meet and talk about what we read. Without fail, poetry turns out to be a lot more fun and interesting than many of the book club members think it will be. Even if they've done poetry with us before! This year the highlights were the poems of Robert Frost, the Australian novel in verse Naked Bunyip Dancing that we read aloud (and caught the giggles) from, and Andrew Clements' Dogku, which we all read during the course of our April meeting.

For next month we're taking it easy by reading books from the Oversize collection in the Children's Room. These are picture books, but written for older readers. The Main Library has a section for these books - Please ask at the branches for assistance in finding them. Take a look, pick one out, and come tell us about it on May 10th at 7:00 p.m. in the Children's Room.

Apr 9, 2016 by amandap

April is National Poetry Month for kids and grownups alike!

Nursery Rhymes

    Poetry Books

    Novels in Verse

Have you been reading some poetry this month? Writing some poems? Not sure where to start? Not sure if poetry is for you? Take a look at books of poetry and some online poetry resources and find out!

You could spend all month just reading Shel Silverstein and still have plenty to read come May. You could also branch out, discover some new poets and poems. No matter what you like, we've probably got some poetry you'll enjoy. You can find poetry collections full of different poets, poetry books all by one person. You can find poems from the United States, England, Africa, Finland, Japan, China, and more! How about novels told in poems instead of prose? Sure, we can help you find those too. Some poems are serious, some are funny. Some are even different shapes, like stars or sharks or piles of leaves. 

Take a look at the book suggestions in the sidebar to the right, or you can explore some of the websites below:

Apr 1, 2016 by amandap

If you've come into the library in the past couple of months you might have noticed some new items out in the Children's Room. Over the summer we added lots and lots of blocks and building toys at the Main Library and at each of the branch libraries. 

Full STEAM Ahead: Build It! 

Join an educator from the Children's Museum of Easton on Saturday, April 23rd at 10;00 am for engineering fun with Build It!

No registration required, recommended for families with children in preschool or above. For more information, click the link at the top.

Blocks are lots of fun to play with for kids of all ages, but did you know there’s more to it than just fun? Kids gain a wide variety of skills through block play, so while they’re having a good time, they’re also learning. Just stacking blocks on top of each other encourages motor skills and spatial awareness - key skills for later on in life. Beyond that, blocks encourage imagination, cooperation, experimentation and more!

There is plenty for young children to do with blocks, but older kids can have fun with them also. After all, Lego and Minecraft are basically block play too! So what have we added to the Children's Room and branch libraries?

  • Soft rubber blocks for babies at Adams Shore and Wollaston
  • Big foam blocks at North Quincy and the Main Library
  • Smaller foam blocks at the three branch libraries and wooden blocks at the Main Library
  • Duplo and Lego-like blocks at the Main Library
  • 3-D Magnet builders at Wollaston and the Main Library
  • Nut and Bolt building set at Adams Shore

While you may not see every item out all the time, check back to see what we swap in and out.

Come on in to any of the Thomas Crane Public Library locations and build something! For more information on the importance of block play and what children can gain from it, take a look at these resources: 

 

Mar 24, 2016 by amandap
Winter Weather

After last year's incredible winter this winter felt so easy, right? Well, we decided since we weren't overwhelmed with actual snow this year we could read about it instead. We read books about snow, ice, winter weather, winter sports and more. This theme let us really branch out, with books ranging from historical and realistic fiction to fantasy and science fiction to action and survival.

Maybe if we'd done this theme last year, while the snow was still piled high in our yards well into the spring, we wouldn't have enjoyed it so much. This year, however, the response was all positive. We all had fun catching a little bit of snowy weather without getting trapped indoors. Realistic fiction was the clear winner, with plenty of titles to choose from, but science fiction held its own too. All that said, we all agreed it was nice to be able to put the winter down and move on to spring. Maybe we'll do spring as a theme next year?

For next month we're celebrating National Poetry Month with books of poetry and novels in verse. There are some books put aside in the Children's Room or pick something on your own and come tell us about it on April 12th at 7:00 p.m. in the Children's Room.

Feb 10, 2016 by amandap

With the newest winners announced last month we thought we'd read some of the older winners and see what the fuss was about.

Award Winners 2016

Every January the American Library Association announces the winners of its Youth Media Awards for the previous year. Most people know the Newbery and Caldecott awards, but there are plenty of others and the books that have won the Newbery and all of the others are wildly varied in terms of topic, style, genre and length. We picked out Newbery winners and runners up, Coretta Scott King winners, Sibert winners, Batchelder winners and Schneider winners and we looked at books not just from the past couple of years but going as far back as 1982. So basically we covered as much as we could.

So what was the verdict? Did we think our choices lived up to the awards they recieved? Almost unanimously the answers were "Yes!" for every book. But that's where the discussion got interesting, because not every book was the top winner for its year. Some were runners up or honor books, and in some cases the winners from that year just haven't stood the test of time. Maybe you'll disagree. Take a look at our historical lists of all the past Newbery winners and honors and see if you agree or disagree with what won and what came close.

For next month we're reading winter stories. Anything set in the winter, whether it's fantasy, realistic, mystery, survival adventure or something entirely different. There are some books put aside in the Children's Room or pick something on your own and come tell us about it on March 8th at 7:00 p.m. in the Children's Room.

Jan 14, 2016 by amandap

Every year the American Library Association gives out a number of awards for excellent children's books.

Award winners for younger readers:

             

    Award winners for older readers:

The two best known awards are the Caldecott Medal and the Newbery Medal, but there are many others, such as the Robert F. Siebert Medal for children's nonfiction and the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for beginning reader books, the Mildred L. Batchelder Award for books translated into English from another language, and others. These awards and many more are announced at the American Library Association's annual Midwinter Meeting which happened this year on Monday, January 11th.

The lists to the right link to our catalog, so you can find award winning books from this year right here at Thomas Crane, or get them transferred from other libraries. A full list of all of this year's winners with is available here. To learn more about the many awards the American Library Association gives out, please take a look at their awards page here. You can also find lists of all past winners, in some cases going back many decades. If you'd like to see what past Newbery and Caldecott winners we own here, take a look at these lists here.

Dec 11, 2015 by cathyd

Moses LoBeau is a spunky, independent, 11 year old girl being raised by the Colonel and Miss Lana in Tupelo Landing, North Carolina. She would like to find her “upstream mother,” since she was found floating down the river in a hurricane as a baby, but loves and is loved by her unusual found family. When a murder occurs and her family is put into danger, Moses and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, start “Desperado Detectives” and attempt to solve the case. This book won a Newbery Honor Award for good reason. Funny and adventurous with some great colorful and memorable characters, it has realistic grit and a compelling narrative. I listened to the audiobook version, which is read very well with a great southern accent. Good for older middle schoolers and older - the adults will enjoy it with or without the kids. Check Our Catalog

Dec 9, 2015 by amandap

Comic books, graphic novels, manga, whatever you call them and whatever you prefer, we read them this month.

Graphic Novels

Going into December we always read graphic stories for the Phoenix Book Club. It's a busy time of year for a lot of kids and it's fun to do a format theme instead of a genre. Because really, graphic novels, comic books, manga, they don't all tell the same sort of story. The point here is more how the story is told rather than what story it is. 

This month we definitely ran the gamut of stories. Some kids picked out nonfiction history titles while others picked fantasy. We had historical fiction, folktales, mythology, and even some graphic novel adaptations of books the kids had already read in regular text form. Overall, the response to graphic novels was positive. Only a handful of the books picked by the kids last month went unread, mostly due to not having enough time. Every kid who attended said they'd be going back to the graphic novel aisle to look for more comics in the future.

For next month we're reading steampunk. This can be a tricky genre for kids! The vast majority of steampunk books are written more for teens and adults, but we found a few! Check out the selections set aside in the Children's Room or ask Amanda for a list to place holds from, then come discuss what makes a book steampunk on January 12th at 7:00 p.m. in the Children's Room.

Dec 2, 2015 by cathyd

The fourth and latest book in the Land of Stories series takes the half-magic twins, Alex and Connor Bailey, back through the Fairy Tale World and beyond. In search of the masked man that looks like their deceased father, and accompanied by the unusual and highly amusing group of Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks, Jack and Old Mother Goose (also known as OMG), they enter other worlds - Neverland, Oz, Wonderland, and King Arthur’s Britain. I really enjoyed listening to the audiobook of this, read by author Chris Colfer, a Golden Globe winning actor for his work in Glee. Colfer portrays his characters with such skill that you know who is speaking without being told. This book is funny and adventurous, appropriate for children, and interesting to parents. After he published the first in this series Colfer filmed a short Q&A about himself, which you can enjoy below and then Check Our Catalog


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