Posted in Fiction, Kids 5-12, Uncategorized

Series Chapter Books for New Readers

School is out and summer vacation is upon us! This is a great time for kids to read for pleasure and also to keep up with the reading skills they worked hard to develop during the school year. If you have a new reader transitioning into reading chapter books, I have some early chapter book series suggestions for you. Early chapter books are written for readers that are still building up their reading stamina, and include stories with illustrations and short chapters. Click on the links below if you are interested in reading more about the individual books in these series and would like to reserve a copy from our catalog.

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Owl Diaries series by Rebecca Elliott

This series is written like a diary with chapters for each daily entry. The short text and colorful illustrations will appeal to beginning readers. A young owl named Eva records her daily experiences in her diary. Readers will enjoy following Eva’s life as she learns valuable lessons in these easy-to-ready books with high-interest stories.

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The Bad Guys series by Aaron Blabey

The Bad Guys want to do good things in this funny series that flips the script on these normally bad characters. With short text and fun illustrations, even reluctant readers will enjoy the hilarious situations these bad guys get into as they set out on their missions to be heroes.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Anti-Racism and Activism for All Ages

For patrons looking for information on race, justice, and activism, we’ve collected a variety of resources that we hope will be useful. Below are resources for discussions and reflection at any age – children, teens, adults, or self-directed learning.

Books for Children

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Posted in Uncategorized

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Now that the weather is warming up, you may be looking for activities for the kids to do outside at home. If you haven’t already, give gardening a try! Gardening provides a relaxing outdoor activity while adding beauty to your space, or food for your tummy. Whether you have a large yard or no yard – there are plenty of ways to incorporate gardens into your life. You could plant a bunch of veggies in your yard, grow a small potted plant, create a fairy garden, plant a tree, or even paint some rocks to create a colorful rock garden. Aside from being a fun activity, kids will activate the creative side of their brain by planning their garden. They will also apply some math and science skills through measuring the spacing/depth when planting seeds, observing garden insects, and making observations on the growth of their plants. Gardening is a great stress reliever as well – listening to the sounds of nature and digging in the soil can feel quite soothing. And seeing the growth of whatever they decide to plant will provide a sense of accomplishment. Picky eaters may even be willing to try new foods if they grow them themselves! I have some picture book recommendations with garden themed stories that may inspire your kids to want to try planting their own gardens. An additional book recommendation has some fun garden experiments to try as well. Even if you decide not to plant a garden, these stories will encourage creative thoughts about gardens that will lead kids to imagine what they’d want to grow in their own garden. This may further inspire an enjoyable discussion and possibly motivate them to want to draw or create their own garden from other materials. Happy gardening!

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Thank You, Garden by Liz Garton Scanlon

The simple, yet descriptive rhyming text of this story pairs with delightful illustrations to describe a community garden. Children will see how gardens take work, but also how rewarding they are. The people in this story put a lot of work into their garden, but find ways to enjoy themselves while they wait for their plants to grow. Then they all come together to celebrate the fruits of their labor with a garden feast.

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Posted in Kids 0-5, Kids 5-12, Uncategorized

Book Playlists for Kids

Does your child need additional practice with literacy skills? Or are you looking for an additional resource to add some entertainment to your child’s day? If so, TumbleBooks may be a great option for your family. TumbleBooks are animated picture books that highlight sentences as they are read aloud. You can access them with your library card number through their website, or you can download the app to your device. There are unlimited copies of each title, and there are no limits to how many books you may access at a time. TumbleBooks users have access to storybooks, read-alongs, ebooks, graphic novels, non-fiction books, language learning, National Geographic videos, music, puzzles, games, and playlists. If you’re interested in reading, browse the individual book titles or take a look through the playlists. Playlists are a series of saved stories that are played one after another. You can use them as a storytime, or to group stories together surrounding a theme of interest. Create your own playlists, or choose from a selection that have already been created. You can browse playlists by a variety of time ranges and different themes. I will be highlighting a few of these below.

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Here is a playlist to help your kids unwind at the end of the day. Included are the stories Go Back to Bed! by Ginger Foglesong Guy, Into the Tub! by Laura Beaver and Jill Nolen, and Little Hoot by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. You can choose to read one story, or all three for a total of 13 minutes. Go Back to Bed! Is a funny story of a boy that keeps finding excuses for getting out of bed. Each time he gets up, he finds his parents doing wild and fun things without him. Into the Tub! is a rhyming story of a little mouse that must be patiently persuaded by her mom to get ready for bed. Little Hoot is an adorable bedtime story about a little owl’s late bedtime. Little Hoot just wants to go to bed early like his friends do, but he must stay up late and play.

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Posted in Uncategorized

3 More Series You Can Start Reading Right Now

Sometimes Overdrive’s holds list can get long, but these 3 series – a mystery, a romance, and a thriller – have plenty of copies of Book One available for checkout right now.

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

Maisie Dobbs becomes a maid in 1910, at just 13 years old. When her employer discovers her keen mind, she is instead entered into an apprenticeship with a friend of the family. When her former employer’s son signs over his entire fortune to a suspicious, reclusive “retreat” for WWI veterans, Maisie has a chance to repay her old debt to her patron, but doing so means confronting her own ghosts from the Great War. (always available in audio)

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Posted in eBooks & eAudio, Fiction, Kids 5-12, Uncategorized

Down Time Storytime

With busy days of working and doing schoolwork at home, you may be looking for ways to break up the day a bit. Have you considered having a storytime at home? How about a family storytime that caregivers can sit back and enjoy? You can even set it up for the kids and take advantage of having a bit of free time for yourself while the kids are occupied by their story. Mead Library cardholders have access to Hoopla. Hoopla offers a variety of media for both children and adults to check out – up to 10 items per month. Included in this media selection are thousands of children’s audiobooks. There are short stories for younger listeners, as well as chapter books for older listeners. You can search for specific books, or simply browse the children’s selection. I have some recommendations for chapter books that will appeal to school-age children. Try pairing a story up with another relaxing activity, such as coloring or doing a puzzle. Listen to a couple of chapters, and enjoy a screen-free break in your day! 

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A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold

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Posted in Adult, eBooks & eAudio, Fiction, Mystery, Uncategorized

“Lucky Day” eBooks

You may already know that Mead has a “lucky day” collection of books and movies – new items that are first-come, first-served but have no waitlist. But now, you also have access to Lucky Day ebooks and audiobooks through WPLC/Overdrive/Libby! “No waiting required – these popular titles are available now! 7 day loan period for ebooks and 14 day loan period for audiobooks.”

Looking for something to read right away? Like with the physical Lucky Day items, the selection may change, but here are three that I’ve read and enjoyed that were available as of Monday morning. You can also browse everything in the Lucky Day collection that’s currently available with this link: https://wplc.overdrive.com/wplc-89-116/content/collection/1046004

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Blind Justice by Anne Perry

Anne Perry has multiple mystery series, but the William Monk series is my favorite – he is a London detective and later commander of the Thames River Police in Victorian England. If you can bear to wait, I would start with the first book in the series – The Face of a Stranger – but there’s enough background given that you’ll have no trouble jumping in here, either.

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Posted in Adult, eBooks & eAudio, Film, Nonfiction, Uncategorized

Find Your Calm During the Storm

I want to acknowledge all of the parents and caregivers that are adjusting to this whirlwind of lifestyle changes due to the pandemic, while trying to hold yourselves together for the kids in this uncertain time. If your social media feeds are anything like mine, you are being bombarded by free educational resources for families right now – which is pretty great! But it also may feel overwhelming at a time when you are simply trying to mentally process what is currently happening in your life. Aside from protecting ourselves and others from illness, we all need to pay attention to our overall wellness. This can be hard to do while in the midst of these major changes and while feeling cooped up inside. If you are experiencing feelings of anxiety, stress, or grief over the current situation – please, acknowledge your feelings and allow yourself to feel them. Something that has given me a sense of peace is knowing we are all going through this together, even at a social distance. Try to take some time to yourself and trust that things will eventually fall into place with new routines. Some suggestions you may want to consider to help give your mind a break: go for a walk, meditate, listen to music, read a book, create something with your hands, journal, or exchange funny memes with friends – laughter is a great stress reliever! We have many ebooks about mindfulness and mental wellness that can currently be accessed through our catalog that may be helpful to you during this time. I’ve highlighted a few below. You can also view videos to help with stress management through Kanopy’s movie streaming site – I’ve included the link to one I’ve found helpful below as well.

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5-Minute Mindfulness: Parenting: Essays and Exercises for Parenting from the Heart by Claire Gillman

This book promotes methods of mindfulness that allow parents to acknowledge their emotions and to be present in the moment. It is broken down into small subject areas that make for easy reading. There are tips for creating a relaxing home, dealing with emotions, handling change, handling loss and grief, the benefits of spending time outdoors, and many other subjects that are relevant to families. You will find these methods helpful with managing stress at home during this time, and any time going forward.

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Posted in Adult, Film, Uncategorized

Aleah's Feel-Good Movie Picks

Thanks for the following to my co-worker Aleah! I asked her to recommend some feel-good movies to me, and she sent me the following along with the little descriptions. Now you, too, can “occupy your mind with these feel-good movies you can find through Kanopy’s movie streaming site!”

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What We Do In The Shadows

Introducing Viago, Deacon, and Vladislav.  Follow these 3 out-of-date vampires while they navigate modern day nightlife as well as figuring out their relationship as roommates.  This movie takes thrills and chills to a whole new comedic level! Anneliese’s note: YES, this movie is absolutely hilarious! WATCH IT!

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Posted in Uncategorized

Books to Watch for in March, Part 2

A flood of highly anticipated new titles are sweeping through the book world in March. In fact, it’s such a busy time for new books, we had to break our post down into two parts.

All these titles are available through our digital lending service, Overdrive. Need help getting started? Instructions are here.

The Mirror and the Light – Mantel – March 10 (||||)
Wow, No Thank You – Samaantha Irby – March 31 (||)

The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin

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