Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone!  Have a very safe and spooky holiday....

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

October Meeting Wrap-Up

The Book Buddies Book Club met yesterday afternoon to discuss our October book, The Ghost, the White House and Me by Judith St. George.  We had a terrific book discussion and enjoyed Halloween cupcakes and candy treats!

We began by talking about the main character, 11-year-old KayKay Granger, first kid along with her sister, Annie.  We thought that even though she's living in the White House, KayKay is basically a regular kid, someone who is calm and who is sometimes an out-of-the-box thinker.  We thought of different words we would use to describe her including stubborn, awesome, sweet, funny and nice.  She also loves mysteries and enjoys spending time with her sister.

We love that the author chose to have KayKay's mother as the new president instead of her father and thought that she did this specifically because there has never been a female president before.  By going that route without making it the focus of the story makes it seem like it is no big deal and that it could easily happen one day (something we all hope for)!

We thought about what it would be like to live at the White House and decided that there would be fairly equal pros and cons.  The food would be great and we'd get to live in a huge house with an indoor swimming pool but we would also lose our privacy which we saw as a huge drawback.  None of us would like to have a secret service agent following us around all the time or a constant stream of strangers walking around the place where we live.

We discussed KayKay's father's idea that the White House and other places can be "haunted by history." We thought that this is probably true, that there is so much history in certain places that it almost comes alive and therefore the space can be perceived as "haunted."  We talked about our own experiences with ghostly happenings and the many places in and around Newport that are believed to be haunted.

We felt that KayKay didn't really give Borden a chance in the beginning and made some snap judgements about him but liked how their relationship changed over the course of the story and how they became friends.

We spent some time discussing the prank which went so wrong and got KayKay and Annie into so much trouble with their mom.  We all understood why KayKay decided to pull the prank but agreed that no plan is 100% guaranteed even though she was so sure it would go off without a hitch.  She also didn't consider the consequences if things were to go wrong.  We were divided on whether or not the punishment was fair, some of us felt it was a simple prank and her mistake was innocent.  Others felt the prank went so badly that she was right to be punished for what she did and that the punishments were reasonable.

We all thought KayKay's and Annie's mother's revenge was well deserved and probably taught them a very valuable lesson.

Overall we all really enjoyed The Ghost, the White House and Me by Judith St. George and would recommend it to others!

Following our discussion we read the story of Lincoln's ghost, made Halloween bead bracelets/keychains and worked on a Halloween crossword puzzle and word search.

It was a wonderful meeting with 2 new members(!) and I look forward to seeing everyone again in November!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Meeting Reminder

Just a reminder that the Book Buddies Book Club will meet on Monday, October 28th @ 3:30pm to discuss our October book, The Ghost, the White House and Me by Judith St. George.

Hope to see you all there!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Letters About Literature Writing Contest

Do you have a favorite author?  Someone who inspires you?  Write them a letter and let them know!

RI Students in grades 4 - 12 are invited to enter the Letters About Literature contest by writing a personal letter to an admired author.  The deadline for grades 4 - 8 is January 10, 2014.

Get all the details - guidelines and directions for entering - at the Library of Congress website.  Find additional information at the RI Center for the Book.  Good luck!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Rhode Island Children's Book Award

Here are four more titles from the current list of Rhode Island Children's Book Award nominees.  Read and get ready to vote for your favorite in February 2014!

Jake and Lily by Jerry Spinelli

Jake and Lily are twins and have always felt the same--like two halves of one person--but the year they turn eleven and Jake begins hanging out with Bump Stubbins, everything changes.

Dogs on Duty: Soldiers' Best Friends on the Battlefield and Beyond by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

Documents the contributions of specially trained military dogs, profiling noteworthy canine heroes while covering such topics as how they are trained and what happens to them when they retire.

Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead

Seventh-grader Georges adjusts to moving from a house to an apartment, his father's efforts to start a new business, his mother's extra shifts as a nurse, being picked on at school, and Safer, a boy who wants his help spying on another resident of their building.

Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman by Marc Tyler Nobleman

Recounts the life of the unrecognized co-creator of the Batman comic strip and details the author's quest to find out more about him.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Scary Stories for Halloween

Halloween is just days away!  Read some scary stories to get you in the spirit of things...

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.

Haunted Houses by Robert San Souci

A collection of ten chilling tales about nontraditional haunted houses: a mansion full of pirate treasure, a ghost trapped in a mysterious dollhouse, a boy whose vacation house comes complete with people-eating spiders, and many more.
Behind the Bookcase by Mark Steensland

Sarah, her brother Billy, and her parents are moving into her deceased grandmother's house for the summer in order to fix it up and sell it, but this is a house of locked rooms and many dark and dangerous secrets.

Goosebumps Wanted: The Haunted Mask by R.L. Stine

When she discovers an evil mask at the bottom of a trunk and puts it on, LuAnn's Halloween turns into a real nightmare because only an act of unbelievable kindness can remove it.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Learn More About Lincoln

In The Ghost, The White House and Me, KayKay Granger discovers that the ghost of Abraham Lincoln may be haunting the White House.  Learn more about our 16th president by checking out these books:

Abraham Lincoln: A Courageous Leader by Sneed Collard (biography)

Abe's Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln by Doreen Rappaport (biography)

Abe Lincoln's Dream by Lane Smith

When a schoolgirl gets separated from her tour of the White House and finds herself in the Lincoln bedroom, she also discovers the ghost of the great man himself.

And websites:

An Abraham Lincoln video from National Geographic

A biography of Abraham Lincoln

Read The Story of Lincoln's Ghost from National Geographic

Monday, October 14, 2013

Ghostly Read-Alikes

Enjoying The Ghost, The White House and Me?  Here are a few other ghost stories you might like to read...

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.

All the Lovely Bad Ones: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn

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."

Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funke

Eleven-year-old Jon Whitcroft and new friend Ella summon the ghost of Sir William Longspee, who may be able to protect Jon from a group of ghosts that threatens him harm from the day he arrives at Salisbury Cathedral's boarding school.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Who's Haunting the White House?

Our October book, The Ghost, the White House and Me by Judith St. George, is about two sisters (the president's daughters) who hear rumors that the White House is haunted and decide to investigate.

For a book with a similar theme, try the non-fiction book, Who's Haunting the White House?: The President's Mansion and the Ghosts Who Live There by Jeff Belanger. (2008)

Welcome to a tour of the White House that very few people have ever taken.

You're going on a supernatural investigation to look for ghosts in this very famous and very haunted building! As you move forward, you'll hear from past Presidents and First Ladies, as well as from people who work inside the White House every day.

It's been said that the original White House landowner calls out in a strange, far-off voice from the Yellow Room; that the ghost of Andrew Jackson makes his presence known in the first family's living quarters; that Abraham Lincoln saw an ominous vision in a mirror; and that Harry S. Truman had a ghostly encounter he couldn't explain.

Enter now and learn about all the unearthly goings-on in America's most famous house.

Find out more about ghosts at the White House by visiting:

Ghosts in the White House at the History Channel.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Featured Author of the Month: R.L. Stine

R. L. Stine (birthday October 8) is the featured author of the month!  Mr. Stine is a master of horror and has written many books for children including It's the First Day of School - Forever!, The Haunting Hour, and the Goosebumps series.  He lives in New York City with his family.

Watch a video interview with him at Reading Rockets and read an interview from Reading is Fundamental.  Visit the library today to check out his scary, amazing books.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Author Judith St. George

Judith St. George is the wonderful author of our October book, The Ghost, The White House and Me. She has written many non-fiction books and biographies for children and currently lives in Connecticut with her family. Visit her website for more information and pick up another book by this great author!

Stand Tall, Abe Lincoln (2008)

Abraham Lincoln grew up poor and without schooling in a Kentucky wilderness and lost his mother before he was ten. It was sparkplug Sally Bush Johnston who married his father, brought a library of books to their log cabin home, and believed in Abe from the beginning. She was an inspiring turning point for young Abe, who went on to become America's sixteenth and most popular and respected president.

Mystery Isle (2007)
What seems a harmless enough trip to the family's ancestral home on a Maine island turns into something much more dangerous for thirteen-year-old Kim.

Make Your Mark, Franklin Roosevelt (2007)

Young Franklin Roosevelt grew up knowing the finer things in life - sailing, horseback riding, and foxhunts on his family's large estate. Growing up wealthy meant he could live a gentleman's life, like his beloved papa. Yet gentlemen weren't supposed to go into politics, right? But why not? As young Franklin learns from a famous uncle and a famous mentor, there is more to the world than he thought. And about politics? Well, maybe there is more to that, too.

So You Want to Be President? (2000)

Presents an assortment of facts about the qualifications and characteristics of U.S. presidents, from George Washington to Bill Clinton.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Featured Homework Resource

Need help with your homework?  Have you tried the World Book Web online?

World Book Kids is an online encyclopedia with thousands of easy to read articles, multimedia, interactive games and activities and much more!

World Book Student includes a Biography Center, dictionary, atlas and thousands of great websites.

World Book will make doing research easy and fun.  Find everything you need for your assignment, from photos to maps to videos and more.  Get access to the World Book Web by visiting the library's homework help webpage.

For more information, visit the Children's Department or call 401-847-8720 ext. 204.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October Book Buddies Book

The Book Buddies Book Club will meet again on Monday, October 28th @ 3:30pm to discuss our October book, The Ghost, the White House and Me by Judith St. George.  Copies of the book are available for check-out at the Children's Desk. 

New members are always welcome!  To sign up for Book Buddies, visit the Children's Desk, call 401-847-8720 ext. 204 or email me at 

When eleven-year-old KayKay Granger learns that the White House is haunted and uses that knowledge to play a prank on her family, she lands in big trouble with her mother, the United States President.