School Daze…

Another summer is winding down, as signaled by the start of the school year.  While some kids may outwardly grumble about it, deep down inside, they probably are looking forward to the daily socialization with friends again…and yes, maybe their teachers too!


If you are looking for a few pointers about getting back in the school groove,  is a good resource. Whether you’re new to this with a Kindergarten student, or a seasoned veteran with middle-schoolers, there are tips dealing with topics from reluctant students to setting up an effective homework space at home.



Common Sense Media is another helpful website for parents with school-aged children. This article recommends apps to enhance math and reading skills. The website is also useful for family friendly reviews of books, videos, movies, apps, and more.



It’s important that kids continue to read for enjoyment, not just assignments. Follow these tips from the blog:

  • “Never fear! We have some helpful “back to school reading resolutions” to ensure families read every day at home once school begins.
  1. Ask your kid’s new teacher at back-to-school night for a list of books to read for fun at home, as kids say their teacher is a top resource for book ideas.
  2. Keep books in the home for independent reading time all year. Frequent readers have twice the amount of books in the home in comparison to infrequent readers.
  3. Read aloud at home – and keep it going beyond ages 5 and 8, as 66% of kids ages 6–11 say that “reading together is fun” and 72% of kids say “it is a special time together.”
  4. Talk to your local public librarian or school librarian for book suggestions. They are a year-round resource for great book ideas for families.
  5. Look for children’s books that feature characters that are “smart, brave or strong” and who “face a challenge and overcome it.” Kids need to connect with stories and characters in order for them to associate reading as an enjoyable activity.

And don’t forget to let children choose their books to read for fun. 9 in 10 kids say their favorite book is the one they picked out themselves.”

Here are a few books to help get over those back-to-school jitters or to give you a good laugh!

    Back to School, Mallory by Laurie Friedman  J FRI

  Back to School is Cool by Jim Jinkins    ER JIN

  The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School by    J MUR

  The School is Alive! by Jack Chabert  J CHA

School Days According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney  J BIR



Middle School: Get Me Out of Here! by James Patterson   J PAT



On the list above, number 4 is why we are here: Talk to your local public librarian or school librarian for book suggestions. They are a year-round resource for great book ideas for families.” We love helping you find books to read or listen to for the simple joy of reading. Be sure to visit us throughout the school year to help with your assignments or to find something you might just enjoy!  Have a good school year; we’ll be here waiting to see you!



Summer Staff Picks, Part 2

Our Summer Reading Program has ended, but we hope you continue to visit us for the remainder of summer break.  Sitting under a shady tree on a breezy summer day or hanging out in a hammock with a good book are wonderful ways to pass the time until school starts again. Here are suggestions from the rest of the Youth Staff’s picks:

Jen’s Picks:


Carnivores by Aaron Reynolds  E REY

Who knew carnivores could be so sensitive? They don’t like it when other animals talk about their eating habits behind their backs. They don’t like being accused of sneaking up behind the bunny rabbits to eat them. So when lion, shark, and timber wolf decide to form a self-help group and try to become vegetarians, things don’t go as planned.

A Wrinkle in Time adapted by Hope Larson  J GN LAR

See Madeleine L’Engle’s classic, Newbery Medal-winning book brought to life in graphic novel form. Rediscover Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which, Aunt Beast, and your favorite siblings: Meg, Sandy, Dennys, and Charles Wallace.

Tinkering: Kids Learn by Making Stuff by Curt Gabrielson  J 649.51 GAB

Discover fun projects you can do at home with items just sitting around the house. Tinker around and make a drum set, hovercraft, a catapult, and even concoct something with a science experiment or two! Fantastic ideas to keep you busy all summer!

Dana’s Picks:

What Floats in a Moat? by Lynne Berry  E BER

In this funny tale, Archimedes the Goat and Skinny the Hen learn why objects float while attempting to cross a moat in a boat.


Ungifted by Gordon Korman    J KOR 

Due to an administrative mix-up and after a major prank gone wrong, troublemaker Donovan is sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction, a school for gifted and talented students. Donovan thinks it’s a perfect hideout for him, assuming he can fool all the people with the high IQs. But as students and teachers begin to realize Donovan isn’t so good at math or science, Donovan begins to realize his hiding days may be over.

Marvelous Mattie by Emily Arnold McCully    J B KNI     Have you ever wondered why most paper bags sit flat to the ground? A woman named Mattie Knight invented a machine that cut and glued together square-bottomed paper bags. Mattie was a professional inventor living during the Industrial Revolution. Learn about her life as an inventor at a time when it wasn’t considered possible for a woman to understand mechanical complexities.

Carolyn’s Picks:  

The Most Magnificent Thing                                 by Ashley Spires     E SPI                                           A little girl wants to make the most magnificent thing but has trouble getting it just right. This story is about invention and perseverance.



I Survived the Eruption of Mount St. Helens. 1980   by Lauren Tarshis   JP TAR                                              Another book in the I Survived series, this one takes us on a dangerous adventure as Mount St. Helens explodes. What will Jessie and her friends do when they are caught in the middle of the event? The book is filled with details on what happens before, during and after a volcano erupts.

The Solar System, Meteors, and Comets by Clive Gifford    J 523.222 GIF                                                       Are you looking for fun facts about our solar system? Did you know the sun rises on Mercury only once every 176 days? Want to see some cool pictures of the planets and what meteors can do? Then this book is for you!

Sheena’s Picks: 

Awesome Dawson by Chris Gall   E GAL                       Dawson loves to turn junk into masterful creations, but one of his inventions goes terribly wrong. Can Dawson save his town from destruction?



Dorothea’s Eyes: Dorothea Lange Photographs the Truth by Barb Rosenstock   J B LAN                                  Even though polio has left Dorothea Lane with a slight physical disability as a child, it doesn’t stop her from pursuing her dream to be a photographer. Her focus to capture the stories of the homeless jobless, and the poor has allowed her art to show the truth of the world.

Earth-Friendly Crafts: Clever Ways to Reuse Everyday Items by Kathy Ross   J 745.5 ROS  

This creative book shows you how to make fun, age appropriate crafts using old toys, clothes, and other everyday stuff lying around the house. With step-by-step instructions, even a beginner can make cute, earth-friendly creations.