In her new book, Jefferson's Sons, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley does something truly remarkable. She takes a complicated and controversial idea, that Thomas Jefferson had children by his slave Sally Hemmings, and writes about it in a simple, eloquent way that children can understand.
This book is definitely for advanced readers. The themes it tackles are complex and readers need a working knowledge of early US history to understand the world that Beverly, Harriet, Madison, and Eston live in. The story does not shy away from the horrors of slavery - families are broken apart, friends are sold, and slaves who run away are punished when they are caught. However, by presenting the book from the perspectives of children, Bradley is able to convey her story without graphic details.
This book is generating a lot of Newbery buzz for its honesty and the high quality of its storytelling. There is a recomended reading list at the back of the book, and Bradley writes an afterword in which she details how she did her research and where she located most of her information (in primary sources from Monticello.org).
I would recomend that parents read this book themselves if they have a child who would like to check it out, as it is a tale likely to generate a large amount of discussion.
Kate Milford's The Boneshaker: a book I would highly reccomend it to everyone who likes thrills, chills, visions, prophecies, the midwest, history, and battles with great and terrible Evil.
It's 1914, and Natalie Minks lives in a quiet, sleepy town. A slightly strange, quiet, sleepy town, situated just down the road from the former town. Old Aracane burned to the ground under mysterious circumstances 200 years before, and the crossroads it stands on have been known to flicker in the night.
Natalie loves two things more than anything else in the world. She loves the legends her mother tells her each night before bed, strange stories where men meet the Devil at the crossroads and survive, or don't. And she loves her father's mechanic shop, where she spends her days learning how things work.
Life is great until the day the doctor leaves town to help with a mysterious flu epidemic 200 miles away. As the doctor leaves town, Dr. Jake Limberleg's Nostrum Fair and Medical Show arrives. And there's something not-quite-right about Dr. Jake, who wears clothes from a 100 years ago and won't ever, ever take his gloves off.
Worse, there's something truly wrong with the medicines he begins to dispense to the town and the men who help him dispense it. Somehow, Natalie knows that there is a great evil at work in Arcane. And she may be the only one who can stop it.
Have you ever met the Devil at the crossroads? Because it looks like Natalie's about to...
It's dfficult to realize that many children alive today have no living memory of September 11. In an article published by School Library Journal, Frances Jacobson Harris notes that for students currently in school, "September 11 had become history, an event that held no direct, personal signifigance for them. " http://www.slj.com/2011/08/sljarchives/not-fade-away-ten-years-after-911-how-do-you-teach-kids-about-a-tragedy-they-cant-remember/
As the anniversary draws closer, we will be witness to a flood of media coverage and rememberances. Your children may ask you questions about the events of that day. If you have concerns about handling a family discussion of September 11th, or would like more information about speaking to your children about difficult topics in the media, we invite you to consult the resource list below:
This PDF from the 9/11 Memorial's official website is extremely helpful, particularly the advice to "Answer questions with facts."
9/11 Heroes offers their own guide, and provides a space for parents to upload their children's poems and pictures commemorating the heros of September 11th.
This link from PBS.org is a great resource for talking to your children about any tragedy or current event.
You may also want to check out some of the Children's Library materials about September 11th:
One Day in History: September 11, 2001
Rodney P. Carlisle
Turning Points in U.S. History: September 11, 2001
Dennis B. Fradin
September 11: Then and Now (A True Book)
If you have any additional questions about September 11th materials, feel free to contact the Children's Library at email@example.com.
Is your child Disney-obessed? Good news! You can channel that obession into a learning experience. You can get your child our book adapatations of popular Disney movies like Beauty and the Beast. Just type in Disney as a keyword in our catalog and you will find that we have a plethora of Disney-related books! Still not enough Disney? You can order Disney books and print Disney coloring pages from this website-- www.randomhouse.com/kids/disney/.
The collected anthology below contains real life stories written by the fifth graders at Holmes Elementary who participated in the Writing Workshop. Each writer began by creating a writer's notebook and selecting two original stories as seed ideas. Then they each chose two drafts to revise, edit, and ultimately, publish.
The Darien Library is proud to host these wonderful original works for the entire community to enjoy. Click the page below to open.
Whether you get your news from tv, the web, radio, Twitter, Facebook, or a newspaper, you've likely seen the headlines about the death of Osama Bin Laden. For adults, news like this can bring up a variety of emotions and take a while to fully process. Imagine then, the difficulty that many children have in trying to contextualize and fully absorb current events of this magnitude.
Since many young children were born after the events of September 11, 2001, a conversation about the history leading up to this week's news may be in order. The Children's Library offers several child-friendly databases for history, social studies, and biographies. These online resources, while compiled from print sources (and thereby appropriate for most homework assignments), are updated continually and offer the most current information for students.
For additional resources and information, stop by the Children's Library or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The media complains that kids don't read anymore--they are too tired, too distracted, and too busy to read books for fun. In fact, in Darien, only 22.5% of students in grades 7 to 12 said they spend three hours a week reading for pleasure (Search Institute Youth Survey Results, 2008). Would that change if we changed the way we think about reading?
Ariel Aberg-Riger, Chief Creative Officer at Fourth Story Media (NY), explores interactive fiction for teens in this talk about multi-media narratives and the new reading experience for young people.
This talk will explore how an interactive fiction series for teens works--what's in books versus on the web, how the community interacts with a story and with each other, and present examples of members' creative writing. There will be a discussion focusing on exciting reading-based interactive projects and initiatives, and where the future of multi-media narratives for kids and teens is headed.
Parents of boys and girls in 3rd and 4th grades are invited to join this 10-week Parent Discussion Group held in the Darien Library Conference Room. Using the Raising Our Sons and Raising Our Daughters Parenting Guides you will meet weekly with parents of children of the same age and gender to help prepare you and your children for the tween and teen years.
The first session will meet on Tuesday, February 15 at 10 AM in the Library's Conference Room.
Darien Library is a member of Thriving Youth: Connected Community, an initiative of the Human Services Planning Council for developmental asset building through meaningful relationships, experiences, skills and opportunities that benefit all our children. Thriving Youth: Connected Community is a movement in Darien to address the needs of our young people which were brought to light in the Fall when the Search Institute conducted the 40 Developmental Assets survey in our Middle and High Schools. If you missed the results when they were announced you can still view the presentation as a pdf here.
To see the list of Developmental Assets that will be discussed in this series, click here.
According to a new study in Early Childhood Research Quarterly, it can! Researchers found that toddlers who possess a spoken vocabulary at 24 months show an increased ability to later on control their emotions and self-regulate. The rationale behind the findings is that children who have the ability to verbalize their frustrations are able to more effectively control their own behavior.
And what time-tested method have parents and caregivers used for generations to help babies and toddlers begin to develop language skills? Reading aloud! So, stop by our Children's Library and pick up some Tantrum Stoppers... ahem.... that is, books.
These are questions that we children's librarians are asked almost every week. Parents, caregivers, and children will frequently come to us with a Leveled Reading list or instructions from their teachers to find books on the Guided Reading scale (this method of reading instruction, also known as the Fountas and Pinnell system, uses a scale from A to Z to indicate increasing levels of book difficulty.)
Since public libraries are organized and arranged to facilitate browsing, searching, and to inspire a lifelong love of reading, you won't find our Children's Library organized by the A to Z levels. So, how do you locate books that are appropriate for your child's reading level?
We pride ourselves on knowing great children's literature and enjoy making recommendations. We will usually begin by asking you or your child what kinds of books you've read recently and whether those books felt "just right" or not. We can help you find similar titles, ones that are a little harder, or a little easier.
For children just learning to read on their own, a great place to browse is in our F5 Learn to Read area. These books, also known as beginning readers, are designed to help newly emerging readers recognize common vocabulary, anticipate rhyming words, construct meaning through carefully placed illustrations, and build confidence.
For children who are reading independently but not quite ready to delve into Harry Potter, check out our Kids I Read section. Filled with popular chapter book series, these books help keep new readers engaged but not overwhelmed.
What is a level H or K or D anyway? What does it mean? It can be frustrating for both parents and children to locate books on their assigned Guided Reading level. Oftentimes, the Guided Reading lists given to parents contain titles that are out of print or unavailable.
One simple and effective way to judge whether any given book is too hard or too easy is The Five Finger Rule. Here's how it works:
Looking for more information on finding great books for your child? Stop by the Children's Library anytime or contact us at email@example.com.