Monday, January 30, 2012

February Book Selection

Our February book will be Oggie Cooder by Sarah Weeks. We will meet on Monday, February 13th at 3:30pm to discuss the book. Hope to see you there!

Oggie Cooder has a talent. He charves (chews and carves) pieces of cheese into any shape he wants them to be. He doesn't think charving is anything special, and most of the kids at his school think it's a little weird. But then a big TV show comes looking for people with weird talents, and Oggie is suddenly Mr. Popular... especially with Donnica Perfecto, the girl across the street who wants to be famous, no matter what. Will Oggie be able to charve his way to the top and become a Big Cheese?

Copies of the book are available at the Children's Desk and new members are always welcome. To register for book club visit the Children's Desk, call 401-847-8720 ext. 204 or email

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January Meeting Wrap-Up

The Book Buddies Book Club met on Monday afternoon to discuss our January book, The Star Maker by Laurence Yep, and to celebrate the Chinese New Year. We had a wonderful discussion, enjoyed snacks including fortune cookies, and made a terrific firecracker craft.

The Star Maker is set in 1953 so we began by discussing how we related to the historical setting. Some liked seeing how kids lived differently then than we do now. We all agreed that the story could have been set in 2012, that it felt current and that Artie's struggles were not unlike our own. The only thing we felt was specific to 1953 was the kid's widespread use of firecrackers which are illegal today!

Some felt that the book got off to a slow start but that it really picked up as it went on. We all liked that Uncle Chester kept his promise to Artie and that Petey was forced to apologize for being such a jerk.

We all thought that Artie shouldn't have let Petey tease him into making a promise he couldn't keep but thought it was really important for Artie to come through, not only because Petey would have made his life miserable but also because it's very important to keep your word; if you commit to something you should see it through.

We thought that Uncle Chester probably learned his lesson about gambling after losing the watch he was so proud of and that Mimi will be a good influence on him in the future.

Overall we really enjoyed The Star Maker and look forward to reading more from Laurence Yep!

Thanks to all the Book Buddies members who attended.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Newbery Award Winner and Honor Books!

The Newbery Award Winner and Honor Books were announced yesterday at the American Library Association's annual Midwinter meeting in Dallas, Texas. The Newbery Medal is given to the author of "the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children." And the winner for 2012 is....

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

In the historic town of Norvelt, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Jack Gantos spends the summer of 1962 grounded for various offenses until he is assigned to help an elderly neighbor with a most unusual chore involving the newly dead, molten wax, twisted promises, Girl Scout cookies, underage driving, lessons from history, typewriting, and countless bloody noses.

There were also two Honor books:

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai

Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama.

Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin

In the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union, ten-year-old Sasha idolizes his father, a devoted Communist, but when police take his father away and leave Sasha homeless, he is forced to examine his own perceptions, values, and beliefs.

Congratulations to all!

Friday, January 20, 2012

2012 Edgar Award Nominees

The nominations for the 2012 Edgar Awards were announced yesterday by the Mystery Writers of America. The Edgars, named after Edgar Allan Poe, honor the best in mystery fiction and nonfiction. Winners will be announced on April 26th in New York.

The nominees for Best Juvenile Mystery are:

Horton Halfpott by Tom Angleberger
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.

It Happened on a Train by Mac Barnett (Brixton Brothers #3)
Seventh-grader Steve Brixton finds himself pulled back into sleuthing when, during a train trip down the California coast, he uncovers a mystery involving a fleet of priceless automobiles, an assassin, and a private rail car.

Vanished by Sheela Chari
Eleven-year-old Neela must solve the mystery when her beautiful, but cursed, veena, a classical Indian musical instrument, goes missing.

Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby
Princess Solveig and her siblings are trapped in a hidden fortress tucked between towering mountains and a frozen fjord, along with her best friend and an army of restless soldiers, all awaiting news of the king's victory in battle, but as they wait for winter's end and the all-encompassing ice to break, acts of treachery make it clear that a traitor lurks in their midst.

The Wizard of Dark Street by Shawn Thomas Odyssey
In 1877, in an enchantment shop on the last of the Faerie roads linking New York City to the Land of the Fey, just after twelve-year-old Oona opts to relinquish her apprenticeship to her uncle, the Wizard, and become a detective, her uncle is stabbed, testing her skills.

Which do you think should win? Read the nominees and leave your thoughts in the comments!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Meeting Reminder

Just a reminder that the Book Buddies Book Club will meet next Monday, January 23rd at 3:30pm in the John Clarke Children's Program Room to discuss The Star Maker by Laurence Yep. We will be celebrating the Chinese New Year and making our very own firecrackers!

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Chinese Firecracker Crafts

In The Star Maker, 8-year-old Artie promises his family that he'll have firecrackers for everyone on the Chinese New Year in 1954. This promise is almost impossible for him to fulfill since firecrackers were so expensive at that time. However, with the help of his Uncle Chester, Artie just might be able to keep his word....

We'll be making Chinese firecrackers at our meeting on January 23rd (Chinese New Year 2012!) but if you'd like to practice and make some in advance, here are a couple of great websites to visit:

Author Grace Lin has a terrific blog and last year she posted a fantastic Chinese Firecracker Craft (this is the one we'll be doing at our meeting).

Kaboose also has a great Red Firecracker craft that shouldn't be too difficult to make.

If you'd rather something different, try making Dragons on Parade, perfect since 2012 is the Year of the Dragon.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Books by Laurence Yep

Laurence Yep has written many books for children. Here are just a few you might like to read:

City of Ice (City Trilogy): From the islands of Hawaii, Scirye and her loyal companions pursue the villainous Mr. Roland and evil dragon Badik all the way to the city of Nova Hafnia in the icy Arctic Circle, to prevent Roland from obtaining the power to alter the universe.

Dragon's Gate (The Golden Mountain Chronicles): When he accidentally kills a Manchu, a fifteen-year-old Chinese boy is sent to America to join his father, an uncle, and other Chinese working to build a tunnel for the transcontinental railroad through the Sierra Nevada mountains in 1867. Sequel to "Mountain light."

The Tiger's Apprentice: A tiger, a monkey, a dragon, and a twelve-year-old Chinese American boy fight to keep a magic talisman out of the hands of an enemy who would use its power to destroy the world.

The Dragon's Child: A Story of Angel Island: Ten-year-old Gim Lew leaves his village in China to accompany his father to America, but before they go he must prepare for a grueling test that he must pass--without stuttering--at California's Angel Island, where officials strive to keep out unwanted immigrants. Includes facts about immigration from China and the experiences of the author's family.

The Magic Paintbrush: A magic paintbrush transports Steve and his elderly caretakers from their drab apartment in Chinatown to a world of adventures.

The Star Fisher: Fifteen-year-old Joan Lee and her family find the adjustment hard when they move from Ohio to West Virginia in the 1920s.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New National Ambassador for Young People's Literature

This morning the Library of Congress announced the new National Ambassador for Young People's Literature: Walter Dean Myers! He is the third ambassador following in the footsteps of Jon Scieszka and Katherine Paterson. He will hold the position for two-years and his platform is "Reading is not an Option!"

Read the terrific interview with Mr. Meyers from School Library Journal.

Walter Dean Myers has written many wonderful books for kids including We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart, Blues Journey, Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam and The Blues of Flats Brown. He has also written many novels for young adults including Kick, Lockdown, Sunrise Over Fallujah, Monster and Harlem Summer.

January Author: Laurence Yep

Laurence Yep is the terrific author of our January book, The Star Maker. He has written many great books for children including the Newbery Honor Books Dragonwings and Dragon's Gate. He lives in Pacific Grove, California with his family.

Read the Scholastic biography of Laurence Yep, his interview with Leonard Marcus and check out this video interview from Reading Rockets!