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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Winter Reading Dreamland by Levonn

Will Rogers Kindergartener, Dylan Campbell, and his mother Julia Campbell turn in a ‘Winter Reading Dreamland’ activity log to librarian Levonn Collins at Stillwater Public Library. 

Stillwater children have been busy reading books, writing book reviews and designing book covers to earn points for a for “Winter Reading Dreamland,” a program which encourages students to read outside of school for pleasure.  Over 120 children have signed up to earn prizes and chances for Visa gift cards. 

The children have done a great job with their reviews and book covers.  Here are some of the books they have enjoyed and their very discerning comments and opinions about the books:

·           “Runaway Ralph” by Beverly Cleary- "I liked it because it was a mouse story."  Miriam, age 7.

·           Platypus” by Ginjer Clark- "It had cool facts about a platypus and her babies."  Emalee, age 5.

·           Two Messy Friends” by Barbara Bottner- "Grace is neat and Harriet is messy.  They are best friends.  It is funny."  Alissa, age 7

·           Thirteen Ways to Sink a Sub” by Jamie Gilson- "The kids decide to see who can sink the sub (substitute teacher) first, the boys or the girls.  The substitute plays tricks on the kids.  The principal hires the sub again.  I liked it.”  Kaitlynn, age 9

·           One Saturday Afternoon” by Barbara Baker- "Mama Bear needed some alone time, but her four cubs wanted to come, too.  So Papa Bear did stuff with them instead of Mama."  Olivia, age 7

·           Ribsy” by Beverly Cleary- "Ribsy is a dog.  He goes to the shopping center with his owner.  And gets lost.  The way he gets home is, he gets stuck on a fire escape.  I liked the story because he gets stuck on a fire escape." Abbie, age 7

·           Amelia Bedelia” by Peggy Parish- "Amelia Bedilia is funny so funny.  But I liked the dog."  Kelly, age 7

There is still plenty of time to join the program.  It runs through March 27.  Come into the library and checkout what the kids like to read and also checkout our Winter Reading Dreamland Program.

Stillwater, OK

Friday, February 24, 2012

Celebrate African American History Month by Andrea D.

Each February, we celebrate African American History Month in honor of the efforts of people of African descent to end slavery and to inaugurate universal freedom in the United States. This year's theme is "African Americans and the Civil War.” The theme, chosen by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History urges all Americans to study and reflect on the value of the contribution of these Americans.

If you would like to read about the efforts of these Americans, the library has many titles that reflect their efforts and contributions as well as books that specifically address African Americans’ role during the Civil War. “The Slave’s War: The Civil War in the Words of Former Slaves” by Andrew Ward is a groundbreaking historical account that uses hundreds of interviews, diaries, letters, and memoirs that offer an entirely new perspective of the war, through the silenced voices of the slaves.

We Ain’t What We Ought to Be: the Black Freedom Struggle from Emancipation to Obama” by Stephen G. N. Tuck explores the dynamic relationships between those seeking new freedoms and those looking to preserve racial hierarchies, and between grassroots activists and national leaders. This book captures an extraordinary journey that speaks to all Americans—both past and future.

Democracy Reborn: the Fourteenth Amendment and the Fight for Equal Rights in Post-Civil War America” by Garrett Epps. This is a valuable history of the fourteenth Amendment’s adoption.  Epps describes this amendment as the most far sweeping and complex change ever made in the original Constitution.

Come by the library and check out one of these works about this incredibly complex period of history and read about some of these great Americans and their contributions.

Stillwater, OK

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Last Book by Nikole

The arrival of the ereader has really thrown me for a loop.  I have always enjoyed reading and everything that includes.  I have a library at home filled with many different books on a variety of subjects and authors.  I have yet to even part with my collection of “Babysitter Club” books or my Golden Books collection from my younger years.  I still have my well-worn copy of “The Berenstain Bears and The Spooky Old Tree” by Stan and Jan Berenstain!  I can’t imagine not having those books to pass on to my little one.

When I first heard about ereaders, I immediately thought of one book called “The Last Book in the Universe” by Rodman Philbrick.  Philbrick describes a futuristic world in which books no longer exist.  The main character, an older man named Ryter, is the only person on Earth who can still read.  He teaches one young man the importance of books.  Ryter’s main goal is to finish his book before he dies, so he can recreate the world of reading. 

In this book, reading itself has been replaced with an invention called a mind probe, where a needle is literally stuck into your head and the images are projected into your mind.  This book alone could scare you off electronic readers and the elimination of actual books! 

Yet, that is the direction our society is taking.  With the appearance of electronic reading devices, the actual book is getting shifted to the side.  I can honestly say that when I first heard about a device in which you can download books, I was appalled!  Who would want to read from a computer-like device all the time?  I certainly didn’t! 

However, on the last trip I took, I ended up lugging around pounds and pounds of books.  That made me decide that traveling with an ereader might not be so bad.  I briefly mentioned this to my mom and ended up with a Kindle Fire for Christmas.  I have only read one book so far on it, but I have to admit, I am actually enjoying it. 

I have determined there are quite a few advantages to electronic readers:
1.           Light-up screen equals no more flashlight reading.
2.           Traveling is so much easier (and lighter) with a reading device.  
3.           I can download a book from the library at practically any time and there are no overdues!
4.           I like having a dictionary at my disposal.
5.           I like knowing how far along I am in the book—percentage-wise.
6.           I can take notes in the book without actually having to write in it.
7.           As a previous teacher, I noticed many non-reading students suddenly become interested in reading.

But, there are still disadvantages:
1.           Paying for a book that I can’t physically hold and keep in my home library is hard.
2.           I don’t actually know what page I’m on.
3.           There is some eye-strain when reading on the device.
4.           It has a battery that you are dependent on.
5.           Sometimes reading devices are complicated to work.

All in all, I see our world becoming more and more ebook minded and that maybe it is not such a terrible thing.  However, for the true book-lovers out there, there will never be an e-reader that replaces an actual book.  For the ereader converts who want help using our ebook service, make sure to sign up for our class on Feb. 16.

Stillwater, OK.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Children’s Book Awards by Mary

Each January, the Association for Library Service to Children (a division of the American Library Association) presents awards to the most outstanding children's books written and illustrated in the previous year.  The two highest honors are the Caldecott Medal, given for illustration, and the Newbery Medal, given for writing.
The Caldecott Medal has been presented every year since 1938 and is named after Randolph Caldecott, a 19th century English illustrator of picture books.  Books that are selected for the award must have exceptional illustrations, not only for their quality, but for the relationship of the pictures to the story.  The illustrations must enhance the story and must convey the meaning of the story without the words.

The 2012 recipient of the Caldecott Medal is “A Ball for Daisy,” written and illustrated by Chris Raschka.  This is a wordless picture book which illuminates the simple joy of a dog and her ball.  The 2012 Caldecott Medal Honors winners are  “Blackout,” written and illustrated by John Rocco (on order now); “Grandpa Green,” written and illustrated by Lane Smith (on order now); and “Me--Jane,” written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell (on order now).
The Newbery Medal has been has been presented every year since 1922 and is named after John Newbery, an 18th century British publisher and bookseller who first made children's literature a sustainable and profitable part of the literary market.  The award is presented to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American Literature for children. 

The 2012 recipient of the Newbery Medal is “Dead End in Norvelt” by Jack Gantos.  In his book, author Gantos explores both history and coming of age in this entertaining and insightful novel.  The 2012 Newbery Medal Honors winners are “Inside Out and Back Again” by Thanhha Li and “Breaking Stalin's Nose” by Eugene Yelchin (on order now).

The lists of all the past recipients of the Caldecott and Newbery Honors are in the Children's Section of the library near the information bulletin board.  I'm sure you remember many of the books from your own childhood.  The library tries to keep copies of all the books in our collection.  Each honoree is labeled on the spine with either Caldecott or Newbery stickers.  When a book receives one of these great awards, the gift of immortality for that book is ensured.  So if your favorite didn't win, ensure it's immortality by checking it out from the library, buying it from your favorite bookstore, giving it to all your friends, and recommending it to everyone as a "must read and have".
If you need assistance in locating the books, please ask at the Help desks.  Enjoy!!

Stillwater, OK

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fantasy Fiction at Any Age by Andrea K

When I was a child my favorite books usually had an element of fantasy to them—stories that took me away to another place, time, or world.  I was disappointed as a young adult in the late 80s and early 90s to find that most teen books at the time seemed to use topical issues as their plot points, e.g. high school/dating/divorced parents, etc.  What.  A.  Drag.  I pretty much had to skip over the teen area in the old Stillwater Public Library building to the adult science fiction/fantasy/and horror sections to find titles that appealed to me.

Lately though, there has been an explosion of great young adult fantasy fiction books following in the wake of “Harry Potter,” “The Inheritance Trilogy” by Christopher Paolini, and “The Hunger Games Trilogy” by Susanne Collins.  Like a lot of other adult readers, I have made a return to the teen area.

If you are looking for more books like these, then you may want to try some of the books I have enjoyed recently:

·             Daughter of Smoke and Bone” by Laini Taylor-a girl in Prague encounters angels and chimera and learns she may not be who she thinks she is.

·             Divergent” by Veronica Roth-a future dystopian story clearly influenced by “The Hunger Games,” but a great read nonetheless.

·             The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making” by Catherynne M. Valente-if you loved Andrew Lang’s “Fairy Books” as a child, you will love this grown up tale.

I am also looking forward to reading a few more promising titles like “Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs, “Delirium” by Lauren Oliver, “Matched” by Ally Condie, “The City of Bones” by Cassandra Clare and “Legend” by Marie Lu. 

So, if you love fantasy fiction, don’t be shy—drop by the YA section and pick up one of these great reads.

Stillwater, OK.