Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funke

Cornelia Funke's new novel Ghost Knight was just released. One of our Kid Galley Bloggers wanted to share their review of this new fantasy read.

I loved Ghost Knight because it combined medieval fantasy and ghosts. I thought it was well written, and the characters developed very nicely.

~ Tre

Dealing with Bullies Booklist

photo courtesy of Flickr user Eddie~S

From pushes on the playground to mean instant messaging, bullying is an issue that almost all children face at some time or another.  With a recent surge in media attention and a new focus on cyber-bullying, parents may wonder where and how to find the best information and ways of talking to their own kids about bullies. 

What if my child is the victim of bullying?

A recent article in Parenting magazine offered the following 3 Step process for parents:

Step One: Find out what's going on.  Get the facts and reassure your child that you will both work together on a solution.

Step Two: Help your child figure out how to respond.  Some responses include:

  •  Stand tall and act brave
  •  Ignore the bully
  •  Stick with friends
  •  Tell an Adult

Step Three:  Take action yourself.  Set up a meeting with the teacher, parent, or caregiver. 

What if my child's friend is the bully?

One of the hardest things for a child to learn is how to stand up for what's right, even in the face of possible scrutiny or embarassment. 

The US Department of Health and Human Services has a kid-friendly website called Stop Bullying Now that features info, games, quizzes, and webisodes all designed to address the issues of bullying , offer meaningful discussion starters, and help promote positive ways of combatting this childhood problem.  Check out this video featuring the character Melanie and her struggle with a friend who is a known bully.

What if my child is the bully?

It can sometimes be hard to tell if childhood squabbles are simply "kids being kids" or if there is a more serious problem.  

Stop Bullying Now offers the following advice to parents:

  • Make it clear to your child that you take bullying seriously and that you will not tolerate this behavior.
  • Develop clear and consistent rules within your family for your children's behavior. Praise and reinforce your children for following rules and use non-physical, non hostile consequences for rule violations.
  • Spend more time with your child and carefully supervise and monitor his or her activities. Find out who your child's friends are and how and where they spend free time.
  • Build on your child's talents by encouraging him or her to get involved in prosocial activities (such as clubs, music lessons, nonviolent sports).
  • Share your concerns with your child's teacher, counselor, or principal. Work together to send clear messages to your child that his or her bullying must stop.
  • If you or your child needs additional help, talk with a school counselor or mental health professional.

The Children's Library also offers some great books for both children and parents on the subject of bullying.  These are a few of our favorites: 


Take a Stand!

Stand Against Racism is a movement by the YWCA to eliminate racism in our world.
Stand Against Racism is a movement by the YWCA to eliminate racism in our world.

On Friday, April 27, Darien Library helped to bring awareness to Stand Against Racism, an initiative by the YWCA to eliminate racism.

The Children's Library has compiled a booklist that helps celebrate our differences. Stop by next week to see our Stand Against Racism display and check out some of these important books.

100 Years of the Titanic

Titanic (courtesy of the State Library of Queensland)
Titanic (courtesy of the State Library of Queensland)

The Titanic sank almost exactly 100 years ago and information about this "unsinkable" ship is still in high demand! There are Titanic TV specials, the movie Titanic was just re-released in 3D, and, of course, we have LOTS of great Titanic books for all of your sunken-cruise liner needs.  Below is a list of fiction and non-fiction kids books on the giant ship.


D.E.A.R. Day Books by Beverly Cleary

This Thursday, April 12, is D.E.A.R. Day (Drop Everything And Read Day)!  The date is the birthday of beloved children's author Beverly Cleary, whose most famous creation, Ramona Quimby, is the event's official fictious spokesperson.  It's an occasion to drop everything, grab a favorite children's book and read it as a family.  And if all goes well --if the adventures of Ralph S. Mouse don't prove too exciting for delicate adult temperaments; if mom and dad can handle hearing about Henry Huggins' travails-- then feel free to celebrate D.E.A.R. Day as often as you like.  Ramona would approve!

Begin your reading adventure with one of Beverly Cleary's classics:

A Prickly Subject: Porcupine Books

The word on the street is that this year's hot picture book topic is...porcupines and hedgehogs! 

These prickly critters are cute and are a great basis for stories about friendship and acceptance.  Check out the new books on lovable, but poke-y, animals below. 

The 2013 Nutmeg Nominees Are Here!

The Nutmeg Award
The Nutmeg Award

It's that time of year again - the 2013 Intermediate Nutmeg Nominees have been announced! The books this year include titles by popular authors like Grace Lin and Tim Green, as well as Darien Library favorite Adam Gidwitz!

Each month, our Nutmeg Book Group will meet to discuss one of the nominees. The first meeting is Wednesday, Febraury 29th. We'll discuss The Potato Chip Puzzles.

Come into the children's library today to start reading, and click below to see the full list!

UnBEARably Cute Books


 The New York Times Book Review recently profiled three new picture books about bears including Otto the Book Bear and Maudie and Bear. Whether they are of the grizzly, polar, or teddy variety, we love picture books about bears! Here are a few of our very favorite bear stories:

2012 Children's Book Awards Announced!

2012 Caldecott Award Winner!
2012 Caldecott Award Winner!

On Monday morning in Dallas the 2012 Youth Media Awards were awarded by the American Library Association.

The winner of the 2012 Caldecott Medal was A Ball for Daisy, by Chris Raschka.

The winner of the 2012 Newbery Award was Dead End in Norvelt, by Jack Gantos.

Click the link below for a full list of winners and honorees!

Best Books of 2011

To ring in the New Year the children's librarians decided to vote on their picks for the Best Books of 2011. Whether you are a fan of historical fiction or fantasy, picture books or chapter books, there are plenty of gems that have appeared this year. Which books did your favorite librarians choose? Here is a recap of their personal favorites. 

Miss Kiera picks Blue Chicken by Deborah Freedman and Blackout by John Rocco for her picture book choices. As far as Kids Fiction, she mentions Wonderstruck by Brain Selznick, Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt, and Jefferson's Sons: A Founding Father's Secret Children by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. 

Miss Elisabeth, our newest children's librarian, absolutely loved The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell, Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu, and Jefferson's Sons. Her favorite picture book (surprise, suprise) was My Name is Elizabeth! by Annika Dunklee. 

Miss Marian, our Nutmeg Guru, recommends Grounded by Kate Klise,The Princess Curse, and Stuck by Oliver Jeffers. She also loved last summer's booktalking series, Frankly Frannie by A.J. Stern. 

Miss Claire would have to agree with Miss Kiera on Wonderstruck and Okay for Now. In addition, two of her most talked about books this year were The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce, Small Acts of Amazing Courage by Gloria Whelan, and The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: Fourteen Amazing Authors Tell the Tales. For picture books, without a doubt, Underground by Shane Evans is not to be missed. 

To see all the choices, view the Best Books of 2011 booklist. 

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