Programs for Children
Children's Authors @ the Library
Staff Reviews of Juvenile Fiction
Snuggle in with Miss Barbara at the fall session of Storytime at the Library. Families with preschoolers can enjoy stories and songs from 10:30 – 11:15, followed by crafts from 11:15 – 11:45.
Registration begins Tuesday, September 3 for Session A; October 1 for Session B; November 5 for Session C. Best suited for toddlers and preschoolers and a parent/caregiver.
- Session A - Tuesdays, September 17–October 8
- Session B - Tuesdays, October 15-November 7
- Session C - Tuesdays, November 19-December 10
- Session A - Wednesdays, September 18–October 9
- Session B - Wednesdays, October 16–November 8
- Session C - Wednesdays, November 20–December 11
Thomas H. Raddall Library, Liverpool
- Session A - Thursdays, September 19-October 10
- Session B - Thursdays, October 17-November 9
- Session C - Thursdays, November 21–December 12
After School Clubs @ the Library
Kids, join the club at the Library! Do you like acting? Word games? Lego, or crafts? Then there's a spot for you in the Club!
Lego, Improv, Word-Wise and Crafty Club are for 9 - 12 yr olds. Hodge Podge Club (new!) is for 5 - 8 yr. olds in all locations.
Registration is encouraged; call your library about the Club(s) of your choice! Registration begins September 3.
Lunenburg Library (3 – 4 p.m.) – 634-8008
Bridgewater Library (3:30 – 4:30 p.m.) – 543-9222
Thomas H. Raddall Library (3:30 - 4:30 p.m.) – 354-5270
HODGE PODGE CLUB
New for kids aged 5 - 8! Stop by and see what Barb has in store for the fall - there's something for everyone in a hodge podge!
- Lunenburg Library - Tuesdays, September 17, October 15, and November 19
- Bridgewater Library - Wednesdays, September 18, October 16, and November 20
- Thomas H. Raddall Library - Thursdays, September 19, October 17, and November 21
In this Club you get exactly what you expect -- build with Lego each week! Enjoy theme based building, such as space, the ocean or transportation and take part in friendly competitions. Please bring your own LEGO, our supply is limited.
- Lunenburg Library - Tuesdays, September 24, October 22, and November 26
- Bridgewater Library - Wednesdays, September 25, October 23, and November 27
- Thomas H. Raddall Library - Thursdays, September 26, October 24, and November 28
Improvisation is a great tool to help find your voice, gain self-confidence and fan your creative flame. This club focuses on theater games and beginning improv skills. Join in the fun!
- Lunenburg Library - Tuesdays, October 1, 29, and December 3
- Bridgewater Library - Wednesdays, October 2, 30, and December 4
- Thomas H. Raddall Library - Thursdays, October 3, 31, and December 5
Merriment, amusement, pleasurable, entertaining, enjoyable, cool, joy, exuberance, excitement: how many words can you think of that mean 'fun'? Join the Club to have fun and, as an added bonus, improve your vocabulary!
- Lunenburg Library - Tuesdays, October 8, November 5, and December 10
- Bridgewater Library - Wednesdays, October 9, November 6, and December 11
Just the thing for the kid who loves all things crafty! Stop by and see what Barb has in store for the fall.
- Thomas H. Raddall Library - Thursdays, October 10, November 7, and December 12
Something Special - Saturdays @ the Library
Join us at the Library for something special. Each day will focus around a theme. The theme will be announced in early September on the Library's website, in the local papers and on posters. Drop in! Ages 5 - 8.
Saturdays, September 21, October 19, and November 23
- Thomas H. Raddall Library, Liverpool - 10:30–11:30am
- Bridgewater Library - 1–2pm
No school? No problem. Drop by the library and lighten up your afternoon. Bring a friend and enjoy time together with no homework!
Get a head start on Hallowe'en with face painting by Laura Uhlman.
- Bridgewater Library - Friday, October 25, 2-4pm
Children's Authors @ the Library
South Shore Public Libraries is happy to bring in authors and illustrators so that families can enjoy stories together, live and up close!
Peter and Linda Roe
Join us in welcoming Peter and Linda Roe, local authors/illustrators of the children's book The Bugs: A Seaside Adventure. The book stars Winston and Maple, two ladybugs and their friends who travel to Nova Scotia discovering "Ant-lantis" and the towns of Chester, Mahone Bay, Lunenburg, Peggy's Cove, and LaHave. They even take time out to dig for treasure on Oak Island!
- Lunenburg Library - Saturday, October 12, 2pm
Local author Janet Barkhouse offers a refreshing treat for young readers when she joins us this fall to share her picture books, Pit Pony: The Picture Book, and Sable Island--Imagine! Learn what the horses' lives were like before they worked in the mines.
The books are for ages 4 - 11 yrs, but we welcome everyone to come and enjoy the readings!
- Thomas H. Raddall Library, Liverpool - Saturday, September 28, 11am
- Lunenburg Library - Saturday, November 2, 2pm
- Bridgewater Library - Saturday, November 23, 2pm
Staff reviews of children's fiction
Here is what we've reviewed so far:
- The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict
- The Legend of the Ghost Dog
- Outlaw in India
- The Rabbit Girl
- Three Times Lucky
- One Year in Coal Harbour
- The Sign of the Beaver
- The Case of the Library Monster
- The Windvale Sprites
- Daniel X: Game Over
- The Lacemaker and the Princess
The Lacemaker and the Princess
I've just read Kimberly Brubaker Bradley's historical fiction The Lacemaker and the Princess. It takes place during the reign of Marie Antoinette in the years leading up to the French Revolution. Here's a book for the young history buff!
Through the lives of two 11-year-old girls (one from a long line of poor lacemakers, and the other a princess), the reader gets a glimpse of the life of the poor as well as life in the French Court- the most fashionable court in the world! Can you just picture men at court with their very high heels, yellow coats and wigs?
Just to give you a sample of the hygiene of the people of the time, Isabelle, the lacemaker, says about herself: "I had fleas, of course. No one I knew bathed regularly". Apparently bathing wasn't important among the upper classes either. In the palace "rose the stench of unwashed bodies". When Isabelle questioned the actions of Marie Antoinette, Theresa (the princess) explained by saying what she thought was obvious- "She has to, silly. She's the queen".
Keeping in mind that Isabelle is 11 years old, read pages 3 and 4 to learn what her chores at home were. You will be glad you were born in the 21th century, even if you do help out at home! Once you learn what the poor had to do the survive, together with the horrific waste in the French Court, you will understand why the French Revolution was inevitable.
An interesting exercise might be to have your mother read Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey and then talk about the two books together.
Daniel X: Game Over
For the month of October I chose a book just because I thought I shouldn't ignore Science Fiction, even though it's not to my reading taste. At least it wasn't, until I opened the cover of James Patterson's Daniel X Game Over - after the first three pages (during which I feared that the book was going to be only about video gaming), I found myself sucked into the story and rode along until the back cover suddenly appeared!
I really was amused by Patterson's mix of the ordinary (Handi-wipes and Mr. Donut) in one breath, and in the next breath using such imaginary terms like the compound pleiochromtech or creatures with names like a Mahoneyian Stinkbear, a Corruscated Fosterite or an Endomorphic Nebulan! Plus, the book contains the following words of wisdom: "There's absolutely, positively, no such thing as too much practice or preparation" - what parent wouldn't approve of this lesson?
Daniel is being trained by his dead father to be able to do battle with the aliens who plan to make humans extinct. This plan involves young people and video games. All the things that we parents fear video games may do to our children are paled compared to what Patterson imagines can happen. Even Patterson 's aliens play video games!
This is a great book for many reasons, one of which is that the images are very clear. I could picture most of them easily and I'm usually not good at that. Another good thing about reading Patterson is that you can grow with him. He writes books for young children, books for teenagers and books for adults. I had a look at his YP book called "Witch and Wizard" and could tell from the first page that it would draw in the reader immediately!
The book was a gentle nudge for me to broaden my reading horizon. Try not to stick with one genre. You might just love a change!
The Windvale Sprites
September's pick is The Windvale Sprites, written and illustrated by MacKenzie Crook. It is his first book and I liked it enough to look forward to a second book, should it happen!
Asa Brown, the main character, encounters something very interesting after a very bad storm. Smart boy that he is, Asa goes to the Library to try to find out answers to his questions. Not only is there some mystery to this book, but I like the author's sense of humour too. He describes the devastation of the storm like this: "...and in some cases the four walls had been blown clean away leaving only the roof". Can't you just picture the roof suspended in mid-air!
Another important character is Benjamin Booth, who is described as an "unpleasant madman". He is looking for the secret to eternal youth, and when it is too late he discovers an unpleasant twist to his quest.
The Windvale Sprites is a very gentle (not too scary) introduction to the fantasy genre. Although you will encounter some cruelty, the story promotes a strong respect for all living creatures. The book is suitable for an accomplished reader, and is long enough (203 pages) to hold a child's interest for a nice long reading escape.
The Case of the Library Monster
The book for August is one of the Buddy Files called The Case of the Library Monster by Dori Hillestad Butler. I chose this book because it was obviously about a library and I've been involved with this library for 29 years.
I know it's not the case, but you would almost think that the book was written about a branch of the South Shore Public Libraries! Last year we had a Reptile man make a visit to our branches. Everyone except me seemed to be really fascinated with the VERY LONG python, even a parent or two. Come on you guys, it was a snake, ugh!!!!! The book has Bob ,the Reptile Man visiting their school and leaving behind an interesting guest for the library.
The narrator of the book is a therapy dog named Buddy who fancies himself a detective. He loves to solve mysteries. SSPL has a program this summer where children can come to the library and read to a therapy dog named Mara. It encourages reluctant readers to relax and maybe enjoy reading. If you are interested you can still catch it in Bridgewater on August 20 and in Lunenburg on August 27.
If you are a young reader who has moved on to chapter books, loves animals (especially talking animals), takes pleasure in learning some facts about reptiles, and likes the idea of reading mysteries, then this is the book for you! And if you do really enjoy this book you will find two others in the series at a branch of the SSPL: The Case of the Mixed-up Mutts, and The Case of the School Ghost. You could even ask your local branch to put in an Interlibrary request for the rest of the books in the series.
The Sign of the Beaver
July's book is called The Sign of the Beaver, by Elizabeth George Speare. It is a book about two people, Matt and Attean; and about two peoples, the white man and the Indian (it was politically correct to call Native Americans Indians in those days).
Matt is a 12-year-old boy who lives during pioneer days. When his father goes off to retrieve the rest of their family, Matt is left alone as an innocent young boy to look after the homestead. Matt meets several people during the months he is alone. One is a white man called Ben, who takes advantage of Matt's hospitality and steals his gun (his only means of providing himself with food) on his way out the door. So much for the integrity of the white man! Later on Matt meets two Indians, an old man and a boy called Attean, when he gets himself in a life threatening situation. Without their help Matt may not have lived.
The boys are good for each other. Matt teaches Attean to speak English, and Attean teaches Matt how to survive in the wild. Matt learns to recognize the sign of Attean's tribe, the Beaver, and what it means to other tribes. The boys come to respect each other, and Matt even wins over Attean's suspicious grandmother through his actions. In part of the story, Attean goes through an Indian rite-of-passage and finds his "manitou" - by the time Matt is reunited with his family, he has found his "manitou" in his own way.
It was very interesting to see the similarity between the white man's story of Noah's ark and the Indian legend of Gluskabe. You should check out The Sign of the Beaver and see what might it have that interests you!
One Year in Coal Harbour
One Year in Coal Harbor by Polly Horvath is the companion to the Newbery Honor Book Everything on a Waffle. Newbery books are generally somewhere in the 9-14 age range and should be good quality.
To be honest, I thought I was about to read a book about Sidney Crosby's home town in Nova Scotia. I soon discovered that the book took place in British Columbia! Now, about the book:
Primrose and Ked are friends who both have serious parent problems. Despite having to deal with these problems, they still manage to find time to compile a cookbook of special recipes, which you might like to try at home. In addition to the cookbook, Evie enlightens you as to just how many foods can be improved with the addition of miniature marshmallows (or so she thinks!). As well as her unusual cooking ideas, Evie has some words of wisdom that would be worth committing to memory (or written on the side of the fridge) - "You don't anticipate all the bad things that can happen. If we did we would never get through a day".
One Year in Coal Harbor is a good book to introduce young people to the idea of having a social conscience. Mendolay Mountain is being clear cut. Primrose sees this, doesn't approve, and struggles with what is the right thing for her to do. She says "it's so easy to notice and not do anything". We have all wrestled with this dilemma, I do believe. Some people stand up for what they believe during the course of their day. In this book a day goes something like this-got groceries, went to jail (was released), picked up the kids at school, etc. Protesting can be done! There are also some other serious problems in the story, including Ked running away and being lost to his Coal Harbour family for part of a year. However, the last chapter brings hope and happiness to most of the characters...or at least to those who deserve it.
Finally, every book needs a bit of romance, and there is indeed some matchmaking that involves Uncle Jack and Miss Bowzer. Uncle Jack wasn't being disingenuous (you might want to look in a dictionary to see what he wasn't being!).
Three Times Lucky
This month I've read a book called Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage. I usually stay away from mysteries because I can't keep the facts straight - I can never figure out who did it, where it happened and what murder weapon they used! I read this book anyway, just for you.
The main character is an 11-year-old girl named Mo (short for Moses), who literally washed ashore in Tupelo, North Carolina. Mo is a natural born detective; probably stemming from the fact that there is so much mystery pertaining to her very existence! She forms her own Desperado Detective Agency with her friend Dale, who himself requires the services of the Agency.
I would not recommend this book for the very young reader, because of its content - kidnapping and murder, to name two nasties. This grannie would like to see you wait a few more years before you get into the 'CSI' sort of stuff like murder, blood stains, shoe prints and wire tapping!
By the end of the book Mo realizes that not all mysteries have to be solved, especially for a girl who has already been three times lucky. How much more can you ask for?
The Rabbit Girl
This month I thought I would try to feature a book appealing mainly to girls, so I chose to read The Rabbit Girl by Mary Arrigan. But as they say, 'you can't judge a book by its cover' – The Rabbit Girl is for everyone, as it is about boys and girls, the young and the old!
Page one transports us to Ireland in 1934. We are taken into the life of 5-year-old Tony who has just lost his mother (the poor little fellow). His story continues throughout the book until he surprisingly shows up at the end as a grandfather living in present day London.
Chapter 2 introduces the reader to Mallie Kelly, a 14-year-old who also lives in present day London with her widowed mother. This part of the book follows Mallie as she makes an effort to help her mother support them.
The thing that brings the two stories together is a pencil drawing of a young girl holding a rabbit. Do you think this could be the reason for the title of the book!?!
In World War II, children were transported to the countryside to live with strangers, because it was too dangerous to stay in London during the bombing raids. In The Rabbit Girl, Arrigan gives the reader a bit of insight into what it was like for these children.
Friendships crossing the age barrier are important in this book. One of the characters is a special older lady who teaches Tony and his new friend Alice an appreciation for nature and its creatures (if you have read The Tale of Benjamin Bunny you have already spent time with this lady).
The book is not a high adventure book but it does have a touch of mystery. It is suitable for any age child who is not intimidated by a 200 page book. Enjoy!
Outlaw in India
Did you ever dream of being an outlaw submarine captain in India? I admit that I hadn't, but I chose to read the book Outlaw in India by Philip Roy anyway, for the following reasons:
- It is a relatively new book, and I am really keen on reading new books right now
- The author won the Atlantic Writers Competition First Prize for the first book in this series (Submarine Outlaw Series, or SOS), and I like to recommend good quality books (although I'm not always so picky about what I read myself)
- Philip Roy was born in Antigonish, Nova Scotia - let's support the local guys!
- Very good friends of mine were born in Bombay (now Mumbai). I'm interested in learning about their country, and this book helps me do that
I would recommend reading the books in order, starting with Submarine Outlaw, but if you're like me and jump into the series somewhere else, here's a little help in understanding how things all began:
Alfred Pynsent was growing up in a tiny village in Newfoundland. His grandfather wanted him to be fisherman like him, but Alfred wanted to be an explorer instead. When he was about 12 years old, Alfred was drawn to the junkyard owned by cranky old Ziegfried. Alfred had a very good imagination, and Ziegfried was a junkyard genius - together they built a submarine out of an old oil tank! Because it is not registered to any country, the submarine is branded an outlaw, which puts it in a dangerous position.
And that's when the adventures begin for Alfred and his unusual crew, Hollie and Seaweed!
Outlaw in India tells you many things about the country. It introduces you to the Indian drink 'Lassi', street food, Indian clothing, and much more - you even find out what it is like to be an 'Untouchable' in India! The book is also packed with adventures, on land and under the sea - snake bites, burials at sea, and dodging depth charges from the Indian navy are just a few! The pace is fast the book is written in good simple language that is easy to understand.
I personally am too old to really believe that you can turn an oil tank into a submarine that can make its way from Newfoundland to India, but if you are a bit younger (say, about 50 years younger) you can share great adventures with Alfred in this series!
The Legend of the Ghost Dog
Do you have to read a book for school and find thick books overwhelming? I may have just the book for you - The Legend of the Ghost Dog, written by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel. It's only 200 pages and quite a quick read. Plus, these pages are packed with interesting facts and notions!
- would like to find out a bit about the Alaskan wilderness (including the famous Iditarod);
- 'sort of' believe in ghosts and 'maybe' witches;
- love dogs, danger, and solving mysteries;
then you will really enjoy this book!
The two main human characters are 12 year-old Tee and Quinn, and they are not particularly happy to be thrown together by their fathers in a place just outside of Nome, Alaska. However, they become great friends as they pool their talent to unravel the mystery of the legend of the ghost dog referred to as 'Shadow'.
As the girls investigate the legend of Shadow, you will learn the truth behind it all: the story of the falsely accused sled dog Caspian and his loyal friend Dodie (who might just be a witch!).
At the end of the book the two stories come together in answering all your questions about Caspian, Shadow, and the ghost dog legend. If you like this one, and wnat to read another book by this author, just ask your local Library to bring in Paranorman for you to try!
The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict
I've just read a very entertaining juvenile fiction book, The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart. Even though I am a 63 year old female and the main character is a remarkable 9 year old who lives in an orphanage, I enjoyed every one of the 470 pages!
The title seemed wrong until I remembered that Nicholas learns a very important life lesson. The reader will also learn a thing or two, not the least of which are some great additions to your vocabulary with words such as " taciturn, stealthy, induce, prodigious, cataplexy, narcolepsy and purveyor". Nicholas loved to forget his miseries (and he had a few) by burying himself in words. What a great prescription for all of us, both young and old.
A few highlights of the story:
- Read this book to find out about Nicholas' special gift (which some of you may have), and his troublesome "naps and collapses".
- What children's book today doesn't have its bullies? This one is saturated with encounters with the orphanage bullies who plague his everyday life, but Nicholas has some creative ways to handle them.
- Friendship plays a big role in the book, but Nicholas' friendship with John has to withstand some rough seas!
- Ladies, there is even a role model for you in this book - what a fine person Violet is revealed to be.
A great read for pre-teens and for anyone who isn't hung up on their age - I advise you to ask for The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict at your local library!
Stories to Share
Stories to Share is a great service that suggests 100 terrific books to read with your preschool age children. Reading together as a family prepares your child for school, encourages a love of reading and helps with vocabulary development. Drop by the Library to pick up a checklist of all 100 books, and a Stories to Share bag with a set of five books. The bags will be available at any Town or Mobile Library. The complete booklist can also be found here
Stories to Share bags generously provided by a grant through the Resource Recovery Fund Board.