Thursday, May 19, 2011

Year 4 in Review!

Wow, as I write this, I can't believe Book Buddies has completed 4 years! We've read so many great books and had a lot of really great discussions and activities. We've also had some wonderful club members over the years, some who were only with us for a short time and others who've been along for the ride since the beginning! Thanks to all who have participated with such eagerness and excitement.

It was another great year featuring two more author phone calls: Frances O'Roark Dowell (Falling In) in September and R.L. LaFevers (Flight of the Phoenix) in March. A BIG thank you to the authors for participating in our book club, it is always such a thrill. Talking to authors NEVER gets old...

It was another year of reading widely across many genres: fantasy, ghost story, mystery, historical fiction, realistic fiction, graphic novel and our very first vampire story! We actually did more fantasies this year than ever before. And although fantasy has never been my personal favorite, I very much enjoyed the ones we read.

Even though it is nearly impossible for me to pick out a favorite from the 9 books we read this year, I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed Turtle in Paradise and can see why it has won so many awards. I look forward to reading more from Jennifer L. Holm in the future.

And thanks to all the faithful readers of the Book Buddies Blog. I hope it has been fun to keep up with what we are doing in book club and that you have found it informative. I will continue to post over the summer, books and information related to our summer reading program, One World, Many Stories.

I hope you have a fantastic summer and I look forward to Book Buddies: Year 5!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May Meeting Wrap-Up

The Book Buddies Book Club met yesterday for our final meeting of this school year. We had a lovely party complete with ice cream sundaes (with loads of toppings!), cupcakes and cookies! The idea was for everyone to make and enjoy an ice cream "fountain" in honor of our May book, Regarding the Fountain by Kate Klise.

We had a great discussion and everyone really liked Regarding the Fountain. We loved all of the ideas that Sam N.'s class come up with about what kind of fountain their school should have (my favorite was the aquarium-fountain) and we had fun thinking of outrageous fountain ideas for our own schools (my favorite was a fortune-telling fountain).

We all liked the format of the book (Regarding is an epistolary novel: a novel in letters) and counted up the dozens of means of communication used to tell the story. From letters to newspaper articles to telegrams and police reports, we thought it was an ingenious way to tell a story. We also felt that the story would have lost a lot of its charm had it been told in a more traditional sentence & chapter format.

We talked about writing letters vs. writing emails and the pros and cons of each form of communication.

Finally we brainstormed other possible titles for the book including "The Geyser Creek Fountain" and "Letters to Florence."

Following our discussion we broke into two teams for a very competititve trivia contest. Both teams did a great job and blew me away with how much detail they remembered from the story.

Overall it was a great meeting and a terrific way to end another fantastic year of Book Buddies. Thanks to all the Book Buddies members for coming all year long and for such great book discussions. Hope to see you all back in September!

Friday, May 13, 2011

New Children's Poet Laureate

The Poetry Foundation has announced that the new Children's Poet Laureate will be J. Patrick Lewis! Mr. Lewis takes over for the fabulous author and poet, MaryAnn Hoberman. He is the author of over 50 poetry books for children including A World of Wonders: Geographic Travels in Verse and Rhyme and A Hippopotamusn't: And Other Animal Verses. Stop by the library and borrow one his poetry books today!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Meeting Reminder

The Book Buddies Book Club will hold the last meeting of this school year on Monday, May 16th at 3:30pm in the John Clarke Children's Program Room. Come for a great discussion of our May book, Regarding the Fountain by Kate Klise as well as an end of year party!

Hope to see you there!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Summer Reading Preview

This year's Summer Reading Program is "One World, Many Stories." We'll be reading and learning about different people and places around the world and it should be a lot of fun! We'll even be corresponding with kids in Puerto Rico, Singapore and the Isle of Man.

The program will begin on Saturday, June 25th with a performance by Chris Kavi Carbone who will take us on a journey to Italy through story and song. Other exciting summer performers include Dave Marchetti's Animals Experiences and storytellers Diane Edgecomb (world folktales), Shanti Muthu (dance, yoga and stories from India) and Michelle Bach-Coulibaly (stories from Mali through dance and music). We'll also have a visit from The Pinata Center where you'll learn all about pinatas from Guatemala and even have the chance to make one to bring home!

The summer will also feature puppet workshops and puppet camp (the first week of August) and special Friday afternoon activities for Tweens (ages 9 - 12).

The program will conclude on Wednesday, August 17th with our annual Summer Reading Outdoor Fair featuring a storytelling performance by Loren Spears (Narragansett stories).

We're now accepting registrations in person at the Children's Desk and online. And watch the Newport Public Library's website for the unveiling of the summer reading website on the Kids Pages coming soon!

Hope to see you all this summer!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Epistolary Novels

Our May book, Regarding the Fountain, is an epistolary novel, which is a novel written in letters. It's an interesting format and a different way of telling a story. Here are a few other epistolary novels worth taking a look at:

Dear Max by Sally Grindley

As Max--who is almost ten--and his favorite author, D.J. Lucas, exchange letters, the two writers help each other with their new books and develop a special friendship.

The Naked Mole Rat Letters

When her father begins a long-distance romance with a Washington, D.C. zookeeper, twelve-year-old Frankie sends fabricated email letters to the zookeeper in an attempt to end the relationship.

Letters From Camp by Kate Klise

Sent to Camp Happy Harmony to learn how to get along with each other, pairs of brothers and sisters chronicle in letters home how they come to suspect the intentions of the singing family running the camp.

Love From Your Friend, Hannah: A Novel by Mindy Skolsky

From her home in back of the Grand View Restaurant in rural New York, Hannah writes letters to her best friend, a pen pal, and even to President and Mrs. Roosevelt.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Kids Reading Across Rhode Island 2011

I am pleased to announce that a new book has been selected for Kids Reading Across Rhode Island 2011! The wonderful book which we will be celebrating all year is Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin. The book was a Rhode Island Children's Book Award nominee for 2011 and is one of my favorites! I blogged about it during my Summer Reading 2009 book challenge and can't wait to re-read it again this summer and talk about it with all of you!

The kick-off celebration will be held on Saturday, May 14th from 12:00pm - 3:00pm at the State House in Providence. Grace Lin will be speaking at 1:30pm and 2:30pm, there will be a book sale and signing and participating families will receive a free copy of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon! The Newport Public Library will also have a table set up with crafts and activities to get you excited for the upcoming summer reading program, "One World, Many Stories." Be sure and stop by and say hello!

Tweens (ages 9 - 12) can also look forward to a special summer book discussion of this amazing book. Stay tuned for more information!