Wednesday, December 28, 2011

January Book

Our first book of 2012 will be The Star Maker by Laurence Yep. We will meet to discuss this book and have a Chinese New Year celebration on Monday, January 23rd at 3:30pm. Registration is required - to register visit the Children's Desk or call 401-847-8720 ext. 204. Held in the John Clarke Children's Program Room.

With the help of his popular Uncle Chester, a young Chinese-American boy tries hard to fulfill a promise to have firecrackers for everyone on the Chinese New Year in 1954.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Great Reads for Winter Break

We have a lot of wonderful new books here at the library that are perfect for reading over winter break when it's just too cold to go outside. Here are just a few of the new books worth a look:

Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
A mix-up involving the greatest magic in the world has tremendous consequences for Liesl, an orphan who has been locked in an attic, Will, an alchemist's runaway apprentice, and Po, a ghost, as they are pursued by friend and foe while making an important journey.

Amulet. Bk. 4, The Last Council by Kazu Kibuishi
Emily and her friends think they'll find the help they need in Cielis, but something isn't right. Streets that were once busy are deserted, and the townspeople who are left live in fear. Emily is soon escorted to the Academy where she's expected to compete for a spot on the Guardian Council, a group of the the most powerful Stonekeepers. But as the number of competitors gets smaller and smaller, a terrible secret is slowly uncovered--a secret that, if left buried, means certain destruction of everything Emily fights for.

The Dagger Quick by Brian Eames
Twelve-year-old Christopher "Kitto" Wheale, a clubfooted boy seemingly doomed to follow in the boring footsteps of his father as a cooper in seventeenth-century England, finds himself on a dangerous seafaring adventure with his newly discovered uncle, the infamous pirate William Quick.

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
Hazel and Jack are best friends until an accident with a magical mirror and a run-in with a villainous queen find Hazel on her own, entering an enchanted wood in the hopes of saving Jack's life.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December Meeting Wrap-Up

The Book Buddies Book Club met yesterday afternoon to discuss Olivia Kidney by Ellen Potter. We had a great discussion and enjoyed a few holiday treats including cupcakes, chocolate and gingerbread cookies.

We liked Olivia as a person and talked about the important relationships in the story, her ability to contact spirits and the many fantastic elements of the story including the glass apartment, the shawl of lizards and Sidi's rainforest apartment.

Everyone really liked the book and many expressed interest in reading Olivia's next adventure, Olivia Kidney and the Exit Academy.

Thanks to all who attended. Have a safe and happy holiday and I hope to see you back in 2012!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Meeting Reminder

Just a reminder that the Book Buddies Book Club will meet on Monday, December 19th @ 3:30pm to discuss Olivia Kidney by Ellen Potter. Due to a scheduling conflict, the meeting will take place in the Stride Room off the lower lobby instead of in the John Clarke Children's Program Room. We will meet in the Children's Department at 3:30pm and walk downstairs together.

Hope to see you all there!

Friday, December 16, 2011

More Books by Ellen Potter

In addition to the Olivia Kidney books, Ellen Potter is also the author of some other terrific books for kids:

Pish Posh (2006)
Eleven-year-old Clara Frankofile sits in her parents' elegant New York City restaurant, Pish Posh, and passes judgement on each customer as a Somebody or a Nobody, but her all-seeing eyes fail to observe the mysterious events occurring right under her nose.

Slob (2009)
Picked on, overweight genius Owen tries to invent a television that can see the past to find out what happened the day his parents were killed.

The Kneebone Boy (2010)
Otto, Lucia, and Max Hardscrabble, whose mother has been missing for many years, have unexpected and illuminating adventures in the village of Snoring-by-the-Sea after their father, who paints portraits of deposed monarchs, goes away on a business trip.

And coming in February 2012: The Humming Room
Hiding is Roo Fanshaw's special skill. Living in a frighteningly unstable family, she often needs to disappear at a moment's notice. When her parents are murdered, it's her special hiding place under the trailer that saves her life. As it turns out, Roo, much to her surprise, has a wealthy if eccentric uncle, who has agreed to take her into his home on Cough Rock Island. Once a tuberculosis sanitarium for children of the rich, the strange house is teeming with ghost stories and secrets. Roo doesn't believe in ghosts or fairy stories, but what are those eerie noises she keeps hearing? And who is that strange wild boy who lives on the river? People are lying to her, and Roo becomes determined to find the truth. Despite the best efforts of her uncle's assistants, Roo discovers the house's hidden room--a garden with a tragic secret.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Olivia Kidney Books

If you are enjoying Olivia Kidney you can continue to follow her adventures in Olivia Kidney and the Exit Academy and Olivia Kidney and the Secret Beneath the City.

Olivia Kidney and the Exit Academy
Twelve-year-old Olivia Kidney and her father move into a Manhattan brownstone that has a lagoon in the living room, hosts visiting strangers in the middle of the night, and is mysteriously close to the spirit world.

Olivia Kidney and the Secret Beneath the City
While preparing for her participation in the princepessa's wedding, adjusting to being a student at a school for the arts, and dealing with surprise visitors at home, twelve-year-old Olivia ventures into the New York City subway tunnels in search of a man who might help her friend Frannie.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

December Author: Ellen Potter

Ellen Potter is the amazing author of our December book, Olivia Kidney. Find out more about her on her website and be sure to check out her writing tips for kids!

Friday, December 2, 2011

December Book

Our final book of 2011 will be.... Olivia Kidney by Ellen Potter. We will meet to discuss the book and have holiday snacks on Monday, December 19th at 3:30pm. Copies of the book are available at the Children's Desk. Hope to see you all there!

Twelve-year-old Olivia explores her new apartment building and finds a psychic, talking lizards, a shrunken ex-pirate, an exiled princess, ghosts, and other unusual characters.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November Meeting Wrap-Up

The Book Buddies Book Club met yesterday afternoon to discuss The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger.

We all really liked the format of the book and liked that it was a casefile, told from different viewpoints. We thought that if Dwight had been the main narrator it would have been a very weird book and if it were Harvey doing the narrating it would have been a much more negative book since he didn't believe in Yoda and was always telling the other kids how dumb it was.

We thought about the three kinds of advice Yoda gave to his classmates: predicting the future advice (ex. the pop quiz in science class), command advice (ex. telling the kids to learn the Twist) and problem-solving advice (ex. how to hide the water spot on Kellen's pants) and decided that his problem-solving advice was the best because it really helped other people.

It was evident that through much of the story Tommy and the other kids weren't really friends with Dwight. They didn't treat him like a friend and seemed to just be using him for his Yoda. But by the end, we all agreed that they came to accept Dwight for who he is and recognized that he might be a lot smarter than they were giving him credit for.

It was a terrific discussion and we all really liked the book and are looking forward to reading Darth Paper Strikes Back.

Following the discussion, we made some origami Yoda's of our own! We used two different sets of instructions, the one provided in the back of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and the simpler, 5-fold version available on the author's website.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Meeting Reminder

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a reminder that the Book Buddies Book Club will meet after the holiday weekend on Monday, November 28th at 3:30pm in the John Clarke Children's Program Room to discuss The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger. We'll be talking about the book, enjoying some after-school snacks and attempting to make our very own origami yodas!

Hope to see you there!

Monday, November 21, 2011


In The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, Dwight makes a lot of origami including the very cool, future-predicting Origami Yoda. Origami is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding and the goal of origami is to take a flat piece of paper and turn it into a sculpture without making cuts or using glue or tape. It's fascinating and a lot of fun and the projects you choose to make can range from basic to very, very difficult. If you are interested in learning how to make origami here are a few books we have at the library that you might want to check out:

Origami for Children: 35 easy-to-follow step-by-step projects by Mari Ono

Easy Origami Animals by Ruth Ungert

Origami Zoo: 25 Fun Paper Animal Creations by Paul Jackson

There are also great websites to help you get started:

Easy Origami for Kids

Origami Resource Center - Easy Origami

Activity Village - Origami for Kids

Star Wars & Star Trek Origami (from the Origami Resource Center)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Origami Yoda Read Alikes

I hope you've been enjoying The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (our November book). Featuring text and hand drawn cartoon illustrations, it's part of a new trend in books for young readers. Here are a few books created in a similar style that you might also want to read:

Big Nate: In a Class By Himself by Lincoln Peirce (2010)

Supremely confident middle school student Nate Wright manages to make getting detention from every one of his teachers in the same day seem like an achievement.

Spaceheadz by Jon Scieszka (2010)

On his first day at Brooklyn's P.S. 858, fifth-grader Michael K. is teamed with two very strange students, and while he gradually comes to believe they are aliens who need his help, he has trouble convincing anyone else of the truth.

Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters by Rachel Vail (2010)

It's the start of the school year, and nothing feels right to Justin. He didn't get the teacher he wanted, he's not in the same class as his best friend, and his little sister, Elizabeth, is starting kindergarten at his school. Elizabeth doesn't seem nervous at all. Justin is very nervous about third grade. And to top it off, he's lost his favorite stuffed animal, but he can't tell anyone, because technically he's too old to still have stuffed animals. Right?

The Popularity Papers by Amy Ignatow (2010)

Two best friends embark on a project to study the behavior and taste of the popular girls at their elementary school so that by the time they get to middle school they too will be in the right crowd. Novel appears in the form of a scrapbook.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Author Tom Angleberger

Tom Angleberger is the author of our November book, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. Visit his website for more information about his books.

He is also the author of Darth Paper Strikes Back: An Origami Yoda Book and Horton Halfpott: Or, the Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor; or, the Loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's Corset.

Darth Paper Strikes Back:

Harvey, upset when his Darth Paper finger puppet brings humiliation, gets Dwight suspended, but Origami Yoda asks Tommy and Kellan, now in seventh grade, to make a new casefile to persuade the School Board to reinstate Dwight.

Horton Halfpott:

Horton, an upstanding kitchen boy in a castle in nineteenth-century England, becomes embroiled in a mystery surrounding a series of thefts, which is also connected to the pursuit of a very eligible and wealthy young lady's affections.

Friday, October 28, 2011

November Book Selection

Our November book will be The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger. We will meet on Monday, November 28th to discuss the book and make our very own origami Yoda's to bring home! Copies of the book are available at the Children's Desk. Stop by and pick one up today!

Sixth-grader Tommy and his friends describe their interactions with a paper finger puppet of Yoda, worn by their classmate Dwight, as they try to figure out whether or not the puppet can really predict the future. Includes instructions for making Origami Yoda.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October Meeting Wrap-Up

The Book Buddies Book Club met Monday afternoon to discuss our October book, The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall by Mary Downing Hahn. We had a terrific discussion and everyone who came really enjoyed the book.

Following our discussion we talked about how to write a mystery/ghost story and what elements are necessary to create a spooky atmosphere and creepy characters. There are a couple of great websites to go to if you are interested in writing your own mysteries:

Mysterynet's Kids Mysteries

Scholastic's Mystery Writing with Joan Lowery Nixon

Also don't miss this interview with our October author Mary Downing Hahn!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Meeting Reminder

Just a reminder that the Book Buddies Book Club will meet this coming Monday, October 24th at 3:30pm to discuss The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall by Mary Downing Hahn. We'll meet in the John Clarke Children's Program Room for our book discussion and snacks. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Books for Halloween

Looking for a spooky story to get you in the spirit of Halloween? Try one of these ghostly tales...

The Ghost's Grave by Peg Kehret

Apprehensive about spending the summer in Washington State with his Aunt Ethel when his parents get an overseas job, twelve-year-old Josh soon finds adventure when he meets the ghost of a coal miner.

Ghost Town: Seven Ghostly Stories by Joan Lowery Nixon

A collection of stories about eerie encounters in various ghost towns across the United States. Each story is accompanied by an afterword about the actual town on which the story is based.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Looking for excitement, Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is similar, yet disturbingly different from her own, where she must challenge a gruesome entity in order to save herself, her parents, and the souls of three others.

Skeleton Man by Joseph Bruchac

After her parents disappear and she is turned over to the care of a strange "great-uncle," Molly must rely on her dreams about an old Mohawk story for her safety and maybe even for her life.

Something Upstairs: A Tale of Ghosts by Avi

When he moves from Los Angeles to Providence, Rhode Island, Kenny discovers that his new house is haunted by the spirit of a black slave boy who asks Kenny to return with him to the early nineteenth century and prevent his murder by slave traders.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Author Mary Downing Hahn

Mary Downing Hahn is the author of our October book, The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall. She has written many wonderful ghost stories for children. Come in to the library and check out her books today!

All the Lovely Bad Ones: A Ghost Story (2008)

While spending the summer at their grandmother's Vermont inn, two prankster siblings awaken young ghosts from the inn's distant past who refuse to "rest in peace."

Deep and Dark and Dangerous: A Ghost Story (2007)

When thirteen-year-old Ali spends the summer with her aunt and cousin at the family's vacation home, she stumbles upon a secret that her mother and aunt have been hiding for over thirty years.

The Old Willis Place: A Ghost Story (2004)

Tired of the rules that have bound them ever since "the bad thing happened," twelve-year-old Diana ignores her brother's warnings and befriends the daughter of the new caretaker, setting in motion events that lead to the release of the spirit of an evil, crazy woman who once ruled the old Willis place.

Wait till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story (1986)

Molly and Michael dislike their spooky new stepsister Heather but realize that they must try to save her when she seems ready to follow a ghost child to her doom.

And find out more about Mary Downing Hahn and her books by visiting her website!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October Book Selection

The October Book Buddies book will be The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall by Mary Downing Hahn. It's a ghost story perfect for the days leading up to Halloween and the first Book Buddies book by the incredible queen of children's ghost stories, Mary Downing Hahn. We'll meet to discuss this book on Monday, October 24th at 3:30pm in the John Clarke Children's Program Room.

*It's not too late to sign up for Book Buddies! If you are in grades 3, 4, or 5 and are interested in joining our book club simply call the library (401-847-8720 ext. 204) or email me at Copies of the book are available for check out at the Children's Desk.*

Want to know more about The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall? Read on.....

In the nineteenth century, ten-year-old Florence Crutchfield leaves a London orphanage to live with her great-uncle, great-aunt, and sickly cousin James, but she soon realizes the home has another resident, who means to do her and James harm.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

September Meeting Wrap-Up

The Book Buddies Book Club met yesterday afternoon to discuss the book The Lemonade War and to interview the author, Jacqueline Davies! We had a terrific meeting and a wonderful time talking with the author! And, of course, we had snacks and lemonade to drink.

Everyone liked the book and the sibling rivalry between Evan and Jessie. We talked about our own experiences with siblings, having our own lemonade stands, what it would be like to skip a grade in school, and what we would do if we each had $100 to spend, save or donate. We liked the format of the book, told in alternating chapters from Evan's and Jessie's perspectives and the inclusion of graphs, receipts and charts. We would all recommend this book to our friends and look forward to reading the sequel, The Lemonade Crime.

Following our discussion we had the privilege of interviewing the book's author, Jacqueline Davies. She was absolutely delightful to speak with and thoughtfully answered all of our questions.

The most exciting thing she told us is that there will be 5 books total in The Lemonade War series! The third installment will be out in the Spring of 2012 and takes place over New Year's Eve when Evan and Jessie visit their grandmother. We can't wait!

Ms. Davies told us that there are parts of her in both Evan and Jessie but that she's probably a little more like Jessie. Some of her children's traits are mixed in to their characters as well. She never bases a character entirely on one real person because it would be too difficult to do.

She did not have a conscious reason for eliminating Evan and Jessie's dad from the story but she knew she wanted the focus to be on the kids with limited adult interference. However the dad's character does keep coming up and will be come important and the series progresses.

Ms. Davies does not write everyday because she is busy with her family, school visits, research and traveling and also because she has to be in the right frame of mind to work creatively. But she writes as often as her schedule allows and yesterday when we spoke with her, she told us she had written for 4-5 hours that day!

In her free time she likes to read, go to plays, watch basketball and football, knit, garden, run and spend time with her friends.

She also has very detailed advice for young writers:
1- READ as much as you can and read widely - not just books you think you'll like but ones you ordinarily wouldn't choose as well
2 - WRITE as often as you can and try different kinds of writing like non-fiction, poetry, etc.
3 - SHOW your writing to someone else and LISTEN to what they have to say - feedback is critical so get the tips you need to make it better!

A BIG thank you to Ms. Davies for her time and willingness to participate in our book club. It was a thrill to speak with her and hear about her life.

A great start to the school year! See you next month!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Meeting Reminder and Author Phone Call!

Just a reminder that the Book Buddies Book Club will meet this coming Monday, September 26th @ 3:30pm to discuss the book, The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies. If you plan to come (and you're not already registered), please send me an email ( so I know how many to plan for! It's going to be a lot of fun so please come and bring your friends!

In addition to our book discussion and snacks (lemonade, anyone?) we are going to be interviewing the author! Ms. Davies has agreed to speak to us via telephone about the book and her life as an author! So be thinking of some great questions we can ask her. If you have any ideas ahead of time, go ahead and post them to the blog!

See you Monday!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Lemonade War Website & The Lemonade Crime

The Lemonade War has its own website! Read more about the author, letters from readers and visit the pod lounge! There's also a Lemonade War book trailer to watch.

In addition, the sequel to this amazing book has just been released. The Lemonade Crime is now available. Find out more about the new book and read it today!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Author Jaqueline Davies

Jacqueline Davies is the author of our September book, The Lemonade War. She has written many books for children including Tricking the Tallyman and The Boy Who Drew Birds: a Story of John James Audubon. She lives in Needham, Massachusetts with her family and has a fantastic website with lots of information about her life and her books.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Lemonade War

Our first book of the year will be The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies.

Evan and his younger sister, Jessie, react very differently to the news that they will be in the same class for fourth grade and as the end of summer approaches, they battle it out through lemonade stands, each trying to be the first to earn 100 dollars.

We will meet to discuss The Lemonade War on Monday, September 26th @ 3:30pm. Stop by the Children's desk today and pick up a copy!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Book Buddies Returns

The Book Buddies Book Club returns this September! The first meeting of the new school year will be held on Monday, September 26th at 3:30pm in the John Clarke Children's Program Room. Registration is required - register anytime by calling the library (401-847-8720 ext. 204), stopping by the children's desk or by emailing me at

I'm gearing up for another terrific year of reading and activities. Amazing books, bigger and better activities, more author's going to be awesome! If you love to read and talk about books or if you want to meet new friends, join the book club today.

Our first book of the year will be.............

The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies

Copies of the book are available at the children's desk. Stop by and pick one up today! Kids are encouraged to read the book before we meet on the 26th so that we can have a great discussion. Kids are also encouraged to post comments to the blog during the month. If you have thoughts about the book as you're reading it, want to ask a question, or want to tell us about another book you are reading, post a comment to the blog!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Summer Wrap-Up

It's hard to believe it's over, but we wrapped-up the summer with a fantastic summer reading finale party Thursday afternoon. 17 Tweens and 11 Teens came ready to relax, eat, talk, rock out with Wii's Rock Band and generally celebrate! We had a blast with the new Wii system, formed teams for a very competitive European Jeopardy tournament and enjoyed pizza, chips, salsa, Doritos, cookies and ice cream! Prizes were distributed and 7 Tweens left with some amazing grand prizes distributed in a random raffle drawing. We had a blast and I'm so pleased that so many Tweens came out to celebrate the summer.

Thanks to all the wonderful Tweens who participated in our Friday afternoon activities with such enthusiasm and excitement. And thanks to Ms. Barbara for sharing the activities, the work and of course, all of the fun, with me this year - we make a great team and I'm already looking forward to next year!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tween Finale Party

The Tween Summer Reading finale party will be held this Thursday, August 18th at 4:00pm in the lower level program room. Tweens (ages 9 – 12) who attended at least one Friday afternoon Tween activity this summer are eligible to attend. The party will be held in conjunction with the Teen finale party and will include games, pizza and other delicious snacks, and prizes! Hope to see you there!