Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April Meeting Wrap-Up

The Book Buddies Book Club met yesterday afternoon to discuss our April book, King of the Mound by Wes Tooke.  We had a terrific discussion followed by a couple of baseball-themed activities.

We began with our lightning trivia round in which everyone did very well remembering the details of the story.  Following that we spent a few minutes going over some background details to help us gain a greater understanding of the historically true aspects of the book.  I wanted to make sure everyone understood what Polio is, the disease that Nick suffers from in the story.  I found a terrific website to help us with a basic understanding of the symptoms and its status today.  From there we briefly discussed the history of baseball and the negro baseball leagues, including Jackie Robinson's break into Major League Baseball and what became of the great pitcher, Satchel Paige.

We started our discussion of King of the Mound by talking about Nick and his relationship with his father.  Nick's dad isn't very nice to him throughout the story, calling him a "cripple" and telling him that he is a "fool" for thinking he'll ever pitch again.  We couldn't really understand a parent being so mean to their child but thought that their relationship did grow a little bit by the end of the book when he's dad came out to see him pitch again for the first time since his hospital stay.

We talked about Nick's job working for Mr. Churchill, the nickname he's given by Satch (hopalong) and his friendship with Emma.  We all appreciated how much Emma supported Nick in his baseball dream, building a pitching mound for him and encouraging him to get back with his old teammates,

We were shocked by the racism that was so prevalent in 1935 and that the African-American baseball players were not allowed to sleep in the hotel when the team traveled to McPherson, Kansas.  We all thought that Nick and his dad did the right thing by sleeping in the cornfield with the African-American players because it demonstrated that they are a team and should be treated equally.

Nick often felt that it was hard to understand the actions and motivations of the adults in his life and in the world and we agreed that sometimes it can be hard to see why adults make the decisions they do. 

Many of us did not realize right away when they were reading that King of the Mound is actually historical fiction, set in 1935.  It wasn't until some of the details emerged (especially the cost of things and how much baseball players were paid) and the segregation and racism became apparent that we knew we were not reading a book set in present day. 

We all really enjoyed King of the Mound and would definitely recommend it to our friends.  As one club member put it, "it's not your average baseball book - it's better."

Following our discussion we did a baseball word search and made baseball key chains.

We had a great time and I thank all the Book Buddies members who attended for coming!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Meeting Reminder

Just a reminder that the Book Buddies Book Club will meet on Monday, April 29th @ 3:30pm to discuss our April book, King of the Mound by Wes Tooke.  We will meet in the John Clarke Children's Program Room for snacks and book discussion. 

Hope to see you there!


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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

King of the Mound Reading Recommendations

King of the Mound follows 12-year-old Nick through the summer of the 1935 baseball season.  If you like reading baseball stories and/or historical fiction, check out some of these other great books:

Satch & Me: A Baseball Card Adventure by Dan Gutman

With his ability to travel through time using vintage baseball cards, Joe takes Flip with him to find out whether Satchel Paige really was the fastest pitcher ever.

Keeping Score by Linda Sue Park

In Brooklyn in 1951, a die-hard Giants fan teaches nine-year-old Maggie, who is a "Bums" (Dodgers) fan, how to use a technique to keep score of a baseball game which creates a special friendship between them.

A Diamond in the Desert by Kathryn Fitzmaurice

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, thirteen-year-old Tetsu and his family are sent to the Gila River Relocation Center in Arizona where a fellow prisoner starts a baseball team, but when Tetsu's sister becomes ill and he feels responsible, he stops playing.

Force Out by Tim Green

When Joey has to compete with his best friend, Zach, for a single spot on an elite baseball team, he is forced to decide how far he is willing to go to win.

Free Baseball by Sue Corbett

Angry with his mother for having too little time for him, eleven-year-old Felix takes advantage of an opportunity to become bat boy for a minor league baseball team, hoping to someday be like his father, a famous Cuban outfielder.

Monday, April 22, 2013

E.L. Konigsburg

Award-winning children's author E.L. Konigsburg passed away last Friday, April 19th, at the age of 83.  She is one of my favorite children's author and wrote many excellent books for kids.  My favorite is her classic 1967 Newbery Award winner, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.  Like many kids I dreamed of running away to New York City and living at the MET.  What an incredible adventure! 

Read about her at Publisher's Weekly and visit the library for one of her amazing books today.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Fenway Park

Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, opened on this day in 1912!


The Prince of Fenway Park by Julianna Baggott

In the fall of 2004, twelve-year-old Oscar Egg is sent to live with his father in a strange netherworld under Boston's Fenway Park, where he joins the fairies, pooka, banshee, and other beings that are trapped there, waiting for someone to break the eighty-six-year-old curse that has prevented the Boston Red Sox from winning a World Series.

The Fenway Foul-Up by David A. Kelly

Cousins Mike and Kate are at Boston's Fenway Park when the Red Sox's star hitter discovers that his lucky baseball bat has been stolen.

Fenway Fever by John Ritter

Twelve-year-old Alfredo "Stats" Pagano and Boston Red Sox pitcher Billee Orbitt work together to break a potential curse at Fenway Park.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Earth Day

Earth Day is April 22nd!  Find out how the Earth Day holiday got started, all about how to reduce, reuse and recycle and about composting

And here are some great chapter books to read:

Operation Redwood by Susannah T. French

In northern California, Julian Carter-Li and his friends old and new fight to save a grove of redwoods from an investment company that plans to cut them down.

Hoot by Carol Hiassen

Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy's attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site.
Crunch by Leslie O'Connor

The oldest Mariss brother, fourteen-year-old Dewey, attempts to be the "embodiment of responsibility" as he juggles the management of the family's bicycle repair business while sharing the household and farm duties with his siblings after a sudden energy crisis strands their parents far from home.

Annie Glover is Not a Tree Lover by Darleen Beard

When her grandmother chains herself to the tree across from the school to save it from being cut down, fourth-grader Annie wants to die of humiliation, but when she dicovers the town's history, her attitude changes.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Satchel Paige

In King of the Mound, 12-year-old Nick gets to know and is inspired by the great pitcher, Satchel Paige.  Satchel Paige was a baseball legend who played in both the Negro Leagues and in Major League Baseball.  He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971.  Find out all about him, read famous quotes and see photographs at the Official Satchel Paige Website.

Satchel Paige by Lesa Cline-Ransome

Examines the life of the legendary baseball player, who was the first African-American to pitch in a Major League World Series.

Something to Prove: The Great Satchel Paige vs. Rookie Joe DiMaggio by Robert Skead

In 1936, the New York Yankees wanted to test a hot prospect named Joe DiMaggio to see if he was ready for the big leagues. They knew just the ballplayer to call, Satchel Paige, the best pitcher anywhere, black or white. For the game, Paige joined a group of amateur African-American players, and they faced off against a team of white major leaguers plus young DiMaggio.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

National Library Week

It's National Library Week, April 14 - 20!  Visit the library for a great book, a great program and much, much more!  We have a lot of excellent events happening this week, from eBook help to Live Homework Help demos - visit our website for details and stop by the library today!

Friday, April 12, 2013


Opening Day has arrived and the baseball season has officially begun!  You can learn all about baseball from Baseball: The Game and Beyond and get information on New England's Major League Baseball team the Boston Red Sox.

If you are interested in going to a game a little closer to home, check out the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Newport Gulls.

For a great book to get you geared up for baseball season try:

Ballpark: The Story of America's Baseball Fields by Lynn Curlee

From the first ballpark converted from an ice rink in 1862 to the space-aged Houston Astrodome to the league's newest state-of-the-art stadiums, this book tells the history of baseball through its ballparks. As America changed so did its ballparks, and their various architectural forms helped shape the game we know today.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

School Vacation Week Activities

Looking for some fun things to do over school vacation?  Visit the library!

On Monday, April 15th @ 2:30pm Casey Farm will be bringing a chicken and several baby chicks to the library for a special presentation.  Find out all about the life cycle of birds and how chicks are hatched and raised on the farm!  No registration is required - just drop in.  Held in the lower level program room.

On Wednesday, April 17th @ 10:30am kids ages 9 - 12 will explore different style and media in an interactive, hands-on art class provided by KidzArt.  Registration IS required - if you want to come stop by the children's desk or call 401-847-8720 ext. 204.

On Saturday, April 20th @ 2:00pm kids ages 8+ are invited to an origami workshop.  Learn how to make origami flowers!  Registration IS required - sign up at the Children's Desk or call 401-847-8720 ext. 204.

Have a safe and happy school vacation!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Rhode Island Children's Book Award Nominees 2014

King of the Mound, our April book, is one of the Rhode Island Children's Book Award nominees for 2014.  Check out the full list of nominated books and start reading today! 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Reading Week

This week, April 8 - 12, is Reading Week!  This year's theme is "Dig Deep: Unearth a Good Book" which matches our 2013 summer reading theme, "Dig Into Reading."  Stay tuned in the coming weeks for details about this year's Summer Reading Program and in the meantime get into the spirit of things with these books you can really dig into:

Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R. L. LaFevers
Twelve-year-old Theo uses arcane knowledge and her own special talent when she encounters two secret societies, one sworn to protect the world from ancient Egyptian magic and one planning to harness it to bring chaos to the world, both of which want a valuable artifact stolen from the London museum for which her parents work.

Holes by Louis Sachar
As further evidence of his family's bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.

Leepike Ridge by Nathan Wilson
While his widowed mother continues to search for him, eleven-year-old Tom, presumed dead after drifting away down a river, finds himself trapped in a series of underground caves with another survivor and a dog, and pursued by murderous treasure-hunters.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

April Author: Wes Tooke

Wes Tooke is the wonderful author of our April book, King of the Mound.  He was raised in Boston but now lives in Los Angeles with his family.  Find out all about him at his website and read a terrific interview at Boys Rule Boys Read!

Wes Tooke is also the author of:

Lucky: Maris, Mantle, and My Best Summer Ever (2010)

Louis, who loves baseball despite being the worst stickball player in White Plains, New York, sees his opportunity to be bat boy for the 1961 Yankees team as the perfect way to escape the problems of his father's remarriage and moving to the suburbs.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April Featured Author of the Month

Gary Soto (birthday April 12) is an acclaimed Mexican-American author and is the featured author of the month!  Mr. Soto has written many books for children and young adults including Baseball in April and Other Stories, Hey 13!, and The Cat's Meow.  He also writes poetry, biographies and picture books for younger readers.

Find out all about him and read an interview. Visit the library today to check out his amazing books.

Monday, April 1, 2013

April is National Poetry Month!

Do you like poetry?  If you do, you are in luck because April is National Poetry Month! Visit the Children's Poetry Archive or learn how to write a funny poem of your own!

You can visit Word Mover to create original poems, read hilarious poems at Giggle Poetry, and get your poetry juices flowing at the Poetry Idea Engine.

Find out all about J. Patrick Lewis, the current Children's Poet Laureate, and read some of his amazing poetry books:

World Rat Day: Poems About Real Holidays You've Never Heard Of
Poems about holidays you've never heard of including Firefly Day, Worm Day, Dragon Appreciation Day, and National Skunk Day.

Last Laughs: Animal Epitaphs (by J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen)
Morbidly-humorous, pun-filled, illustrated epitaphs for animals that poetically describe how they met their ends.

Or watch for these new or forthcoming poetry books at the library!

Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems by Marilyn Singer
A collection of short poems called reversos which, when reversed, provide new perspectives on the fairy tale characters they feature.

We Go Together: a Curious Selection of Affectionate Verse by Calef Brown
A collection of illustrated poems of love and friendship teeming with wit, whimsy, and wordplay.

Shiver Me Timbers: Pirate Poems and Paintings by Douglas Florian
19 pirate poems including scoundrels, scalawags, and scurvy dogs.

The President's Stuck in the Bathtub: Poems About the Presidents by Susan Katz
The lives of the presidents are served up as fact-filled and fanciful poems.

And be sure to stop in and see our National Poetry Month book display.  Happy National Poetry Month!