Friday, March 28, 2014

April Book Buddies Book

The Book Buddies Book Club will meet on Monday, April 28th @ 3:45pm to discuss Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet by Graham Salisbury.  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

Nine-year-old Calvin catches the attention of the school bully on the day before he starts fourth grade, while at home, the unfriendly, fifteen-year-old daughter of his mother's best friend has taken over his room.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March Into Reading

March Into Reading this Saturday, March 29th from 9:30am - 1:00pm at Salve Regina University!  Author presentations, books sales and signings and the Children's Discovery Rooms facilitated by Salve Regina University students.  This year's authors include Alan Katz, Erica S. Perl, Susan Stockdale, Aaron Becker, Tony Abbott, Maryann Cocca-Leffler, Toni Buzzeo and Laura Backman.  Don't miss out on all the fun!

Monday, March 24, 2014

March Meeting Wrap-Up

The Book Buddies Book Club met this afternoon to discuss our March book, How Oliver Olson Changed the World by Claudia Mills.  We had a great discussion followed by an incredibly fun and messy activity!

We began with our lightning-round trivia which everyone did very well with.  Everyone remembered almost every detail of Oliver and quite a bit of space trivia as well. 

Our discussion began with talking about Oliver and his relationship with his very overprotective parents.  We talked about why they were so overbearing with Oliver and how that changed over the course of the story.  It was obvious that his parents loved him a lot but we were all happy when they realized that they had to let him do things for himself be more independent.

We thought about the pros and cons of having our parents do all of our homework for us and decided that although it might be fun at first, in the end it would not be good because you would never learn anything or grow to be an independent person.

We discussed Mrs. O'Neill's notion that "one person with a big idea can change the world" and thought about all the people in history who have had a big impact on the world including Einstein, JFK, astronauts, scientists, politicians and many, many more.

In the end we agreed that because of the new information and our changing understanding of space, Pluto should not still be considered a planet.  It is important to be open to changing our ideas about things as new information becomes available and not be stuck in old ways of thinking just because that's the way things have always been.

It was a great discussion although we were mixed in our overall reactions to the book and whether or not we would recommend it to our friends.

Following out discussion we created a group project - a large-scale diorama of the planets in space just like Oliver and Crystal made!  It was great fun, although incredibly messy with glue and lots and lots of paint.

Painting the planets

Placing the planets in our diorama

The finished product!

I'm not sure our model of the planets in space is entirely accurate, but we sure had a good time making it!

It was a terrific meeting and thanks to all the Book Buddies members who attended.  See you next month!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Learn About Space

In How Oliver Olson Changed the World, Mrs. O'Neill's third graders are outraged to learn that Pluto is no longer considered a planet.  Crystal and Oliver even create their space diorama with Pluto on the outside holding a sign that says, "Let me in!"  Learn more about outer space, the planets and Pluto by checking out the following resources:

When is a Planet Not a Planet?: The Story of Pluto by Elaine Scott

Pluto's Secret: An Icy World's Tale of Discovery by Margaret Weitekamp

Destination Space by Seymour Simon

And visit these terrific sites on the web:

Discovery Kids: Our Solar System

Planets for Kids

Learn About the Dwarf Planet Pluto

National Geographic Kids: Is Pluto No Longer a Planet?

All About the Solar System

Friday, March 21, 2014

Meeting Reminder

Just a reminder that the Book Buddies Book Club will meet on Monday, March 24th at 3:45pm to discuss our March book, How Oliver Olson Changed the World.  Come for book discussion, snacks and a related activity.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Oliver Olson Read-Alikes

Enjoying How Oliver Olson Changed the World?  Here are a few other space/science chapter books you might like to read:

Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything In It by Sundee T. Frazier

Brendan Buckley, a biracial ten-year-old, applies his scientific problem-solving ability and newfound interest in rocks and minerals to connect with his white grandfather, the president of Puyallup Rock Club, and to learn why he and Brendan's mother are estranged.

Jake Drake Know-It-All by Andrew Clements

Jake is determined to win the third grade science fair not only for the grand prize, but to beat the annoying class know-it-alls, as well.

Owen Foote, Mighty Scientist by Stephanie Greene

Third grade best friends Owen and Joseph struggle to come up with a great science fair project that they will both enjoy doing, then something goes wrong and they have to change their plans two days before the fair.

I was a Third Grade Science Project by Mary Jane Auch

While trying to hypnotize his dog for the third grade science fair, Brian accidentally makes his best friend Josh think he's a cat.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bilingual Storytime

Interested in learning Spanish?  Come to bilingual storytime on Saturday, March 22nd at 11:30am.  Dana Edward Ramey, Spanish teacher at Middletown High School, we read stories in Spanish and English and provide related activities.  Excellent for families who speak Spanish as their first language as well as for kids who are learning English or Spanish as a second language.

No registration is required.  Held in the John Clarke Children's Program Room.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

New Chapter Books

Spring into new books with some new releases just in to the library!

The Interrupted Tale by Maryrose Wood

Miss Penelope Lumley assuages the disappointments of her sixteenth birthday by accepting an invitation to speak at her former school, the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, which will be closed if she cannot prove the academic progress of her incorrigible charges.

The Treasure of Way Down Deep by Ruth White

In 1954, when mine closings bring an economic crisis to Way Down Deep, West Virginia, foundling Ruby Jolene Hurley makes a thirteenth-birthday wish to find the treasure rumored to have been buried by one of the town's founders.

Secrets at the Chocolate Mansion by Leslie Margolis

Maggie Brooklyn is distracted from solving the mystery of who is out to sabotage the new sweet shop in the neighborhood because her new dogsitting job has her and her twin brother Finn spending time in what may be a real haunted mansion.

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

Ophelia, a timid eleven-year-old girl grieving her mother, suspends her disbelief in things non-scientific when a boy locked in the museum where her father is working asks her to help him complete an age-old mission.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Library Closed

Just a reminder that the library will be CLOSED all day tomorrow, Saturday, March 15th.  Library staff will be marching in Newport's St. Patrick's Day parade... come out and say hello!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

RICBA 2014 Votes and 2015 Nominee List

As I mentioned yesterday, Wonder by R.J. Palacio is the 2014 RICBA award winner!  Wonder received an incredible 1,039 votes.  Overall it was a terrific year for reading and voting with 71 school and 3 public libraries participating.  Over 6,000 total votes were received!

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate came in second with 889 votes and Dogs on Duty: Soldiers' Best Friends on the Battlefield and Beyond by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent came in third receiving 499 votes.  Stop by the library for the complete breakdown of votes.

And now it's time to start reading again!  The RICBA committee (including yours truly) worked very hard to put out a terrific list of nominees for 2015.  Read and enjoy and let me know what you think of the new list in the comments!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

RICBA Winner 2014

The winner of the Rhode Island Children's Book Award for 2014 has been announced!  With an amazing 1,039 votes the winner is... Wonder by R. J. Palacio!

I am so excited that this book won!  It's such an amazing book... if you haven't read it already you must read it soon!

The award ceremony will take place at a local elementary school (TBA) on Friday, October 17th and as long as she is able to come, the author will be signing books at the RI Festival of Children's Books and Authors at the Lincoln School in Providence on Saturday, October 18th!  Stay tuned for more information.

Congratulations to R.J. Palacio!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Claudia Mills Interviews

Learn more about Claudia Mills, Oliver Olson, her books and writing by reading a few interviews:

Interview about Oliver Olson

Interview about her Life as an Author

Friday, March 7, 2014

Mason Dixon Series

Claudia Mills is also the author of the Mason Dixon series about the adventures of fourth grader, Mason Dixon.

Mason Dixon, Pet Disasters

Nine-year-old Mason's parents keep trying to get him a pet, but until he and his best friend Brody adopt a three-legged dog, he's not interested.

Mason Dixon: Fourth Grade Disasters

Mason Dixon is his usual pessimistic self as he starts fourth grade, dreading joining the school choir and unenthused about his sports-obsessed teacher who plans for the students to be "making a full-court press on writing."

Mason Dixon: Basketball Disasters

Fourth-grader Mason struggles to enjoy playing basketball after his best friend persuades him to join a team, and learns that the dog-hating lady next door is not so bad after all.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Books by Claudia Mills

Our March author, Claudia Mills has written many books for children.  Here are a few of her more recent chapter books you might like to read:

Kelsey Green, Reading Queen

Kelsey is the best reader in her third grade class, and she is determined to lead her class to victory in the all-school reading contest.

Zero Tolerance

Seventh-grade honor student Sierra Shepard faces expulsion after accidentally bringing a paring knife to school, violating the school's zero-tolerance policy.

Fractions = Trouble

While trying to decide on a science fair project, third-grader Wilson struggles with with fractions and, much to his embarrassment, his parents sign him up to work with a math tutor.

Being Teddy Roosevelt

When he is assigned Teddy Roosevelt as his biography project in school, fourth-grader Riley finds himself inspired by Roosevelt's tenacity and perseverance and resolves to find a way to get what he most wants--a saxophone and music lessons.

Monday, March 3, 2014

March Author: Claudia Mills

Claudia Mills is the fantastic author of our March book, How Oliver Olson Changed the World

She has written many books for children of all ages and lives in Boulder, Colorado with her family and her cat, Snickers.