Monday, November 20, 2017


It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is already here!  Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season for many people.  What does this mean?  It means a lot of family functions, food, and fun.  Whether you are hosting the holidays, volunteering to bring one item, or just looking for new recipe ideas, we have plenty of options for you. 

Cooking Books:
Mad Hungry Family by Lucinda Scala Quinn
Tasty Fall Cooking by Gooseberry Patch
Adventures in Slow Cooking by Sarah Digregorio
Fix-It and Forget-It New Cookbook by Phyllis Pellman Good

Baking Books:
Holiday Cupcakes by Anne Rigg
One Bowl Baking by Yvonne Ruperti
Great Gluten-Free Baking by Louise Blair
How to Bake Everything by Mark Bittman
The Harvest Baker by Ken Haedrich
Delicious Dump Cakes by Roxanne Wyss

Monday, November 13, 2017


Hollywood has had an impact on movies since the early 20th century, and since that time, the U.S. film industry has largely been based in and around Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.  The major studios in Hollywood produce some of the most successful movies in the world.

Whether you are looking for a glimpse into Hollywood or for more information on a favorite actor or actress, biographies are a great place to start.  Check out one of these biographies today!

Marilyn: The Passion and the Paradox by Lois Banner
By Myself and Then Some by Lauren Bacall
Wildflower by Drew Barrymore
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Bossypants by Tina Fey
What If by Shirley MacLaine
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Unsinkable by Debbie Reynolds
Charlie Chaplin by Peter Ackroyd
Child Star by Shirley Temple Black

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Monday, November 6, 2017


November is National Adoption Month.  This is an initiative of the Children's Bureau that seeks to increase awareness and bring attention to the need for families for children and youth in the foster care system.  This year's theme is Teens Need Families, No Matter What.  Oftentimes, teens will age out of the foster care system without a stable support system.

For more information about adoption and this year's initiative, visit and

Here is a list of some books centering around adoption, foster care, and adopted main characters.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Door by the Staircase by Katherine Marsh
Bo at Ballard Creek by Kirkpatrick Hill
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
One For the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Thor & Ragnarok: A Super Book List for Teens

Are you excited for the next installment of the Marvel superhero movies? Thor: Ragnarok comes out next week. This movie pits Thor, the superhero character based on the Norse deity, against the Hulk as he fights to save the world. If you're a fan of these movies, you might enjoy some of these books.

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Series by Rick Riordan
There are two books out in this series, The Sword of Summer, and The Hammer of Thor, with more to come. Similar to Riordan's other series, this one follows a young man who finds out he is the son of a Norse god.

Thor: Viking God of Thunder by Graeme Davis
A non-fictional account of the legend of Thor and its historical context.

The Blackwell Pages Series by Kelly Armstrong
A trilogy for a slightly younger audience about thirteen year old descendants of the gods who must fight for their survival as Ragnarok approaches

Treasury of Norse Mythology: Stories of Intrigue, Trickery, Love, and Revenge by Donna Jo Napoli
An illustrated collection of Norse myths with art by Christina Balit. For a more in depth telling of these stories, try Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology.

The World According to Thor by Mark Sumerac
An in depth look at Asgard's mighty warrior, Thor, with illustrations by Freddie E. Williams II.

If you can't wait for the new movie, check out one of these other films featuring Thor!

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Monday, October 23, 2017


Winnie-the-Pooh has been a beloved character of children for decades. This month our Book Buddies group, a book club for kids in grades K-2, was all about A. A. Milne's characters in the 100 Acre Woods. There are so many Pooh stories by the original author A.A. Milne, lots of Disney adaptations, and books about A. A. Milne and the origin of Winnie the Pooh. Below is a list of some newer books to check out and old classics to read again.

Recently Published Books
The Best Bear in All the World: In Which We Join Winnie-the-Pooh for a Year of Adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood by Paul Bright, Brian Sibley, Jeanne Willis, and Kate Saunders
Published in 2016 in honor of the 90th anniversary of A. A. Milne's original story. This collection of short stories are based on the Pooh stories by A. A. Milne with decorations by Mark Burgess in the style of E. H. Shepard.

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick
This book published in 2015 tells the story of the real life Winnie the Pooh, a bear that inspired A. A. Milne's stories.

Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Sally M. Walker
Another book published in 2015 about the real life bear.

The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh; A Walk Through the Forest that Inspired the Hundred Acre Wood by Kathryn Aalto.
This title, geared towards adults, brings to life the setting and time period of Pooh's creation.

Original Stories by A. A. Milne
The Complete Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh
The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh
The House on Pooh Corner

If you browse our catalog, you'll find many versions of the original stories and of newer adaptations in board books, picture books, and easy readers. There are also many movies about Pooh and his friends!

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Children's Books About Bats!

This week we are so excited to host a special guest, a bat biologist from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, for Bats of Wisconsin LIVE! Our guest will teach us about the importance of bats and unearth some mysteries of Wisconsin's bats. She'll also be accompanied by live bat ambassadors, including a fruit bat native to Africa!

To learn more about these amazing animals, check out one of these books today. You can also visit the Wisconsin Bat Program to learn more.

Bat Hospital by Care Hibbert
Information about bats receiving care and re-entering the wild. Image Source

Bats by Martha E. H. Rustad
A short, non-fiction introduction to bats.

Bats: Learning to Fly by Falynn Koch
This non-fictional graphic novel follows a brown bat who is injured by humans on a nature hike to a rehabilitation center where he meets many different species of bats. Image

Bats at the Library by Brian Lies
A fictional story about a group of cute and lovable bats exploring their local library! Other titlesin this picture book series are Bats at the Ballgame, Bats at the Beach, and Bats in the Band. Image Source

The Case of the Vanishing Little Brown Bats: A Scientific Mystery by Sandra Markle
A team of scientists investigate why so many little brown bats are dying. Learn about why these bats are important to humans and how you can help protect your local bats.

Nightsong by Ari Berk
An adorable, young bat is afraid to fly on his own. He finds a way to rely on himself to be brave and stay safe.

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
The classic picture book about a baby bat who is raised by a group of birds when it accidentally falls into their nest. Image Source

Monday, October 9, 2017

STEAMpunks Reading List: Balloons

Today is our first STEAMpunks event of the school year! This popular program for kids in grades K-5 occurs on no school days in our district. Each event has fun, educational activities that incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM).

Our activities today are all centered around the theme of balloons! Kids love balloons, and they are full of endless opportunities for play and discovery. Here are a few book titles to pair with any balloon loving kids.

Fiction Stories with Balloons

Can One Balloon Make an Elephant Fly? By Dan Richard
A King Seen From the Sky by Bruno Gibert
Max and Maddy and the Bursting Balloons Mystery by Alexander McCall Smith
My Red Balloon by Kazuaki Yamada
Perfectly Percy by Paul Schmid
Please Bring Balloons by Lindsay Ward
Sea Serpants Don't Juggle Water Balloons by Debbie Dadey
Sebastian and The Balloon by Philip C. Stead
Skunk on a String by Thao Lam

Non-Fiction about Balloons

Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade by Melissa Sweet
Hot Air Balloons by Mari Schuh
How Do Hot Air Balloons Work? By Buffy Silverman
How To Make Balloon Animals by Megan Atwood
The Kid's Guide to Balloon Twisting by Brad and Cindy Trusty
Super Simple Things To Do With Balloons: Fun and easy Science for Kids by Kelly Doudna

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Monday, October 2, 2017

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Books for Kids & Teens

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated annually from September 15-October. This month celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

There are so many fantastic books to read in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month! Here are a few of our staff favorites for kids & teens!

Ten Little Puppies / Diez Perritos by Alma Flor Ada
An adaptation of a traditional Spanish nursery rhyme with adorable illustrations by Isabel F. Campoy told in both English and Spanish. (Ages 0-5)

Niño Wrestles the World and Rudas : Niño's Horrendous Hermanitas by Yuyi Morales
Brightly illustrated stories about Niño, a huge Lucha Libre fan, and his imaginative life. (Ages 2-7)

Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina
An award winning first chapter book about Juana, a young girl from Colombia, and Lucas her dog and her best friend. (Ages 6-10)

The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez
This debut novel published in 2017 follows Malu, a punk rocker at heart, as she starts a new school in Chicago while trying to understand her Mexican American identity. (Ages 7-12)

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
A wonderfully told story about a young girl and her mother who must leave their comfortable life in Mexico to work as farm laborers in California set in the early 1900s. (Ages 10-14)

Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings by Margarita Engle
A poetic memoir about the author's childhood spent in Cuba and California.

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
A new release from the author of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe about best friends, growing up, family, and figuring it all out.

The Living & The Hunted by Matt De La Peña
Award winning books by a multiple award winning author! In The Living and The Hunted a young man named Sky's world is shaken by massive natural disasters and Sky must fight to survive.

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina
An award winning story about a teen girl named Piddy Sanchez trying to find her way in a new school and neighborhood.

For more suggestions of great books for kids and teens check out past winners of the Pura Belpré Award. This honor is awarded annually a Latino/Latina author and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.

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Monday, September 25, 2017


It's Banned Books Week!  This is an annual event, usually held during the last week of September, in which we celebrate the freedom to read.  Every year, books are challenged and/or removed from public and school libraries.  The Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top ten most challenged books each year.  The 2016 list is available here:

For more information on Banned Books Week, visit or

Here are a few books that have been challenged and/or banned in the last 25 years.

Children's Books:
George by Alex Gino
Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Young Adult Books:
Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Looking for Alaska by John Green
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman
Forever by Judy Blume
The Giver by Lois Lowry

Adult Books:
Make Something Up by Chuck Palahniuk

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

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Monday, September 18, 2017


Next month, we will be discussing The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian.  This novel travels between Syria in the 1910s and New York in the 2010s.  This is a book of parallel stories of Elizabeth Endicott during her time in Syria during the Armenian Genocide and Laura Petrosian, a novelist living in modern day New York.

Chris Bohjalian is the author of over 15 novels.  His newest work, The Flight Attendant, is set to be published in March 2018.

Already finished The Sandcastle Girls and want to know what to read next?  Check out the novels listed below.

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult - Sage Singer befriends an old man who is beloved in their community.  One day he asks Sage for a favor; he asks her to kill him.  Sage refuses, but then he tells her that he deserves to die.  After he reveals his secret, Sage wonders if he is right.

Orhan's Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian - After Orhan's grandfather is found dead, Orhan inherits the old family business.  However, his grandfather's will brings more questions than answers.  His grandfather left the family estate to a stranger.  Why would he leave his home to an unknown woman rather than his own son or grandson?

The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams - This story follows Vivian Schuler in 1964 Manhattan and Violet Schuyler Grant in 1914 Berlin.  One day Vivian receives mail from overseas that contains items that draw her back into her family's past, to the hushed-over crime of an aunt she never knew.

The Last Day of the War by Judith Claire Mitchell - This is the story of a Jewish girl and an Armenia-American solider who enter a maze of politics at the end of World War I.

The Photographer's Wife by Suzanne Johnson - Years after participating in a project to redesign Jerusalem with British parks, William Harrington visits the daughter of his former employer, and his revelations about the past transform her life.

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton - During a summer party at her family home, Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house.  While there she sees a stranger approach and speak with her mother.  Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a crime; that crime will challenge everything she knows about her family.

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Monday, September 11, 2017


School is back in session!  Whether you are starting school for the first time or are a seasoned veteran, this time of year is always full of excitement; you get to meet new people, start new classes, and learn new things along the way.

Here's a list of some school-themed books for kids and teens:

Picture Books and First Chapter Books:
School's First Day of School by Adam Rex
Chu's First Day of School by Neil Gaiman
Rufus Goes to School by Kim Griswell
Puddle's New School by Amber Stewart
Angelina's New School by Katherine Holabird
Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus by Barbara Park
The Class Trip from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler
If You Take a Mouse to School by Lara Numeroff
Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary

Middle Grade:
From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess by Meg Cabot
School of the Dead by Avi
Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions by Sheila Grau
Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
Amber Brown is not a Crayon by Paula Danziger
Harriet, the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

Young Adult:
A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
A School for Brides by Patrice Kindl
Surviving High School by Max Doty
Two Roads From Here by Teddy Steinkellner
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Romancing the Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung
Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017


Selden Edwards is the author of The Little Book (2008) and The Lost Prince (2012).  Edwards graduated from Princeton and Stanford, and began writing his first novel while working as an English teacher. 

The Little Book is a love story that spans generations, from the end of the century Vienna through the twentieth century.  It tells the story of Wheeler Burden.  He is living in San Francisco in the late 1980s, when he suddenly finds himself wandering around in 1897 Vienna.

The Lost Prince is a sort of sequel to Edwards' first novel.  This novel is set in the late 1890s and early 1900s.  After a stay in Vienna, Eleanor Burden returns home where she marries the man she is supposed to marry, and waits for life to come to her.  What sets Eleanor apart from the other women of this time is her belief that she has advance knowledge of every major historical event to come during her lifetime.

For something similar to Selden Edwards' books, check out one of these books today!

The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore
An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris
Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry
The Woman in the Photo by Mary Hogan
A Curable Romantic by Joseph Skibell
Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Books To Sing

Singing is one of the 5 early literacy practices, along with reading, talking, writing, and playing. These early literacy practices help to build the skills children need to be ready to learn how to read. There are many reasons that singing to young children is important. Children learn new sounds and new vocabulary through songs. Singing can be soothing and attention grabbing. So, reading stories that can be sung is a great way to get your little one interested in books!

Jane Cabrera is a storytime favorite! She has many great books based on classic songs like Ten in the Bed and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star that are great sharing in a group or one on one.

We end Movers & Makers every Friday dancing to We Are the Dinosaurs by Laurie Berkner. A book based on this song just came out a few months ago. The artwork is bright and you'll enjoy singing (and marching!) along as you read.

Pete the Cat by James Dean and Eric Litwin is another fun story to sing along. You can even download the songs from the books online!

10 Little Puppies / Diez Perritos by Ala Flor Ada is a bilingual book adapted from a traditional Spanish nursery rhyme. The text is accompanied by adorable puppies illustrated by Isabel Campoy.

5 Little Ducks by Denise Fleming is a fun read aloud. There are many variations of the "5 little somethings" rhymes and songs that help children learn about numbers and counting. This rendition of 5 little ducks is one of my favorite because of it's lovely illustrations and the inclusion of both Mama & Papa Duck.

Hush Little Digger by Ellen Olson-Brown is a fun take on the classic lullaby "Hush Little Baby". In this book a dad lulls his son to sleep through verses about different construction vehicles. It's adorable.

Spunky Little Monkey by Bill Martin Jr. is based on the classic playground clapping song "Down Down Baby". The rhythm is undeniable and kids will love chanting and dancing along.

You can read more about the 5 early literacy practices including singing on this great website from Colorado Libraries for Early Litercy

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Monday, August 21, 2017

Memoirs of the Year (so far)

"A memoir (from the French, meaning memory or reminiscence) is a collection of memories that an individual writes about moments or events, both public or private, that took place in the subject's life," according to Wikipedia.  These writings can make for wonderfully rich books that let you enter another person's memory while you read. This year has seen several great memoirs come out so far. Here's a list of a few notable ones:

Chronicling his journey from Saturday Night Live to the U.S. Senate, Al Franken reflects on what he's learned about our country and our culture. Released May 30, 2017.

The author/artist tells the story of growing up in war-torn Vietnam and moving to the United States. The illustrations add another level of emotion to the memories shared in this book. Released March 7, 2017.

Riggs, the granddaughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson, shares her story of being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer and the impact on her life in all of her roles as a wife, mother, friend, and daughter. Released June 6, 2017.

There's no surprise that you'll find some science mixed in with Nye's personal memories. Released July 11, 2017.

The best selling author of Bad Feminist tells of her experiences with food, body image, and weight and how these issues intersect with our culture. Released June 13, 2017.

This well known author shares his favorite entries from the diary he kept for over forty years. The outrageous, the mundane, and everything in between told in his humorous style. Released May 30, 2017.

Sherman Alexie is a National Book Award Winning author for his work The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. In his memoir he shares the heart-wrenching complexity of his relationship with his mother growing up, in adulthood, and in the period following her death. Released June 13, 2017.

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Monday, August 14, 2017

Coding for Kids

This month we hosted a Coding Camp for kids in grades K-5 as a part of our Summer Library Club activities. We talked about computer science, tried out some games using coding principles, and thought about careers that use coding. We also used an app on our mini iPads called Kodable where kids programmed their way through mazes.

More and more we're hearing about coding and computer science. If you have a kid in your life who is curious about this stuff (or if you're looking to find out more yourself!) here are some great books to get you started.

Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: The First Computer Programmer by Diane Stanley
Ada's Ideas: The Story of Ada Lovelace, The World's First Computer Programmer by Fiona Robinson
Computers by Christine Taylor-Butler
Computer Math by James Fisher
Computer Science in the Real World by Lisa Idzikowski
How Things Work: Discover Secrets and Science Behind Bounce Houses, Hovercrafts, Robotics, and Everything In Between by T.J. Resler
The Magic School Bus Gets Programmed: A Book About Computers by Joanna Cole
A World of Programming by Heather Lyons and Elizabeth Tweedale

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Celebrate Sisters Day!

Did you know that the first Sunday in August is the annual celebration of Sisters Day? You may never have heard of this holiday, but why not celebrate with a great book about sisters and sisterhood.

If you favor the classics, try one of Jane Austen's works. Dive into 19th century England in Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility. Or try a modern retelling of Jane Austen's work. Check out our booklist from March for some suggestions.

For younger readers try one of these great books.

Contemporary adult fiction is full of stories about sisters.

Lastly, a book list about sisters would not be complete without Louisa May Alcott's classic Little Women. Join the March family in this coming of age tale. There are movie adaptations, sequels, and spin-offs for fans of the book to enjoy.

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Monday, July 31, 2017


Next month we will be reading Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation by Cokie Roberts.  This nonfiction work takes a look at the women of colonial America.  These women worked hard on behalf of their families and country and were just as crucial in the formation of the United States of America as their husbands.  While the men went off to war or to Congress, the women managed their businesses, raised the children, provided political advice, and generally made it possible for the men to do what they did.

For a deeper look at the founding women and this time in our nation's history, check out some of the books listed below.

Abigail Adams: A Life by Woody Holton
Dear Abigail by Diane Jacobs
The Muse of the Revolution by Nancy Rubin Stuart
Written Out of History by Mike Lee
Martha Washington: an American Life by Patricia Brady
Ties That Bound by Marie Jenkins Schwartz
American Treasures by Stephen Puleo
1775: A Good Year for Revolution by Kevin Phillilps
1776 by David McCullough
The American Revolution by Robert J. Allison
The General and Mrs. Washington by Bruce Chadwick
Daily Life in Colonial New England by Claudia Johnson
Founders as Fathers by Lorri Glover

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