This month's book pick is about science, the periodic table to be more exact. Author Sam Kean delivers an easy to follow, riveting tale about the background history of the elements that make up the periodic table.
Let's get one thing straight: this book is not about repeating atomic numbers of the elements or explaining how hydrogen and oxygen come together to make water. We know that's boring. We're falling asleep thinking about it right now.
Instead, The Disappearing Spoon will explain why Gandhi hated iodine and why the Japanese decided to take Godzilla out with cadmium missiles. You'll also learn about a 16-year-old Boy Scout/mad scientist, who accidentally turned himself orange when his DIY chemistry experiment went awry in his mother's backyard.
See? Reading about science can be fun and fascinating. It doesn't have to be boring.
Check the book out at the library this month. We also have the audiobook, if that's more your speed.
I recently had the opportunity to take advantage of an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) of a novel due to be released next month. This is a great opportunity for me to find books to determine if they would be a good fit for our library or not. The book I read is called The Only Black Girls in Town.
In the first chapter, we are introduced to Alberta. She lives in a small beach town in California, where she is (as you can guess) the only black girl in town. She loves to surf and hang out with her best friend, Laramie. However, Alberta often feels misunderstood being the only black girl in town. It’s why she’s so excited to have a new neighbor, who is in her grade (7th) and also black. Someone she feels she can relate to. But when she meets Edie, she is taken aback by her personality. Edie is not your typical, laidback California teenager. Edie is from Brooklyn (which she misses terribly) and prefers to wear all black, including lipstick.
Edie and Alberta begin a new friendship; although, Alberta is slightly irritated by Edie’s dislike towards the beach. Through her new friendship with Edie, Alberta is introduced to journals that have been left behind in Edie’s attic. They tell the story of a young woman, Constance, who felt that she had no choice but to leave home and go to California for better opportunities in the 1950s. Through these journals, Alberta and Edie learn how different events in the Civil Rights Movement played a role in how Constance lived her life. The journals also help them understand more about themselves, especially their identities.
I think you all will really enjoy The Only Girls in Town. I know several of you who will absolutely adore Edie as much as I did. Be sure to stop by the library to check this book out when it arrives next month.
Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransom takes place in 1946. 12-year-old Langston and his father have left Alabama for Chicago following the death of Langston's mother. His father hopes there is more opportunity in Chicago while Langston struggles with his new surroundings. He is often picked on for his Southern accent and country boy ways and finds a safe place in the public library. In the library, Langston discovers the works of another Langston, African American poet Langston Hughes, and reconnects with his mother's memory.
This book is a great read. I'm sure there will be readers who will connect with Langston, the student, as he struggles to adapt to his new surroundings. With February being Black History Month, this is a great book as an introduction to the famed poet, Langston Hughes.
In case you didn't know, the American Library Association had its annual midwinter meeting. At this meeting, awards are handed out to the best in literature in different categories from the last year (2019). This year, a graphic novel took home one of the top prizes, the Newbery Award. This is a huge deal because graphic novels have never been awarded the top prize since the inception of the awards in 1922. They have been named honors (see this year's list below) but never taken the top award home.
The name of the graphic novel, you asked? None other than a CMS favorite, New Kid by Jerry Craft. New Kid tells the story of Jordan Banks, a 7th grader, trying to navigate his new school. The new school he attends is a prestigious private school that his parents hope will open doors and provide him with better opportunities than what his previous school could provide. The only issue is Jordan is stuck trying to find his place as the new kid. He's on financial assistance, one of the few minority students in the school, and a target of bullying. He finds refuge in his drawings, a passion he hopes to pursue at art school if he can just convince his mother.
New Kid was one of my favorites. I read it over the break and finally understood why we struggle to keep it on the shelves. It appeals to anyone who has ever struggled to fit in with their surroundings. If you haven't read this book yet, stop by to check it out. You'll relate to Jordan more than you realize.
Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga
Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams
*Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker
*The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander
*These two titles are not available at the CMS library yet.
Hello February! It doesn't seem that long ago that we returned for a new school year, and now we're almost there. Only three months left until Summer break. But before we get ahead of ourselves, the library wants us to celebrate the love of books. This Valentine's Day, we're launching two new programs.
The first one is a contest. We know you all love contests. First Line February is a month-long challenge to see who can match a book to its first line. I'm sure you know Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but do you remember Holes? What about the introduction to Harry Potter? Hunger Games? The Giving Tree? If you can, great! If not, that's okay, too. We just want you to try.
Pick up a new entry form every week for your chance to have bragging rights and a Valentine's Day goodie bag.
The second one is the first-ever Mystery Grab Bag event. Who doesn't love a surprise? Books have been randomly chosen and placed in a reusable bag that you get to keep. You won't have access to the title until you check it out and unwrap it.
The first Mystery Grab Bags are Valentine's Day related. We have three that you have probably heard about and planned to watch the movie this month (hint, hint). But before you watch the movie on Netflix or Hulu, check the book out.
Stop by the library to check out the cool programs that we have going on this month!
December's pick is a graphic novel that tells the story of an unlikely friendship between two girls named Christine and Moon. Christine strives to make her strict parents happy while Moon is a free-spirit, "marching to the beat of her own drum" to use an idiom.
Moon shares her deepest secret with Christine, which is that she has visions of celestial beings who visit her. These beings often tell her that she does not belong on Earth; instead, she belongs with them in the stars. However, these visions are not what they appear to be and Moon winds up in the hospital fighting for her life.
It is up to Christine to be a good friend to help Moon through one of the scariest times of her life.
Stop by the library to pick up Stargazing today. You won't be disappointed, especially if you're a fan of Raina Telgemeier.
We received two boxes (yes two!) of books over Thanksgiving break. These are perfect reads for the December break. Are you looking for a new graphic novel? Sunny Rolls the Dice and Queen of the Sea have you covered.
Maybe you're one of those readers who prefers a thriller. If you loved Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, we've got you covered with Out to Get You, a collection that features 13 creepy and scary stories sure to make your heart race. Then, we also have In the Hall with the Knife, the first book in the series based on everyone's favorite Whodunnit game, Clue.
Maybe you're interested in historical fiction? You can try The Long Ride, which follows three friends as they navigate their newly integrated school in the 1970s.
Is sports fiction more your style? Try Mike Lupica's latest, Strike Zone. The followup to his bestseller, Heat, which is also available at the CMS Library.
Did you fall in love with Wonder? Try Roll with It by Jamie Sumner. It follows the story of Ellie, a girl with big dreams who doesn't let having a disability, cerebral palsy, slow her down.
For those of you who enjoy nonfiction, we have you covered as well. You can learn about the late, great rock 'n' roller, Fats Domino. Or journey to space with Michael Collins as he retells his time spent in space on Apollo 11 with Flying to the Moon: An Astronaut's Story. I know we have several WWII aficionados in the building. You all will love Torpedoed: The True Story of the World War II Sinking of "The Children's Ship."
If those that were highlighted above don't seem to be your speed, don't worry we've got more. Stop by the library to see more of what we have to offer. Don't forget: school lets out two hours early on December 20 and students report back on January 6, 2020.
That's a really long time to go without a book, especially if snow is in the forecast.
At the CMS library, we realize that we have been experiencing a lot of patron requests for graphic novels. Since the school year started, we have added new books every month and decided to put all graphic novels in one central location. With one central location, we have noticed that the graphic novels are flying off the shelves.
For those unfamiliar with graphic novels, it is not fair to reduce them down to comics. Instead, graphic novels tell a story like other novels located in the library's fiction section. They just have added pictures to go along and help readers connect the dots. With a novel, the graphic novel will wrap its storyline up at the end. Unlike a comic, which will continue to go on and on through several volumes.
Graphic novels also have educational benefits. See the infographic below to see how you can incorporate them into your class and help your students out. (The infographic has been used with permission from its creator.)
Stop by the CMS library to check out a graphic novel or two.
He's here! Greg Heffley's latest saga has finally made its way to the CMS Library. We have five copies available for check out now, so stop by soon! Since this is an anticipated release, we will be unable to do renewals until the second week of December.