Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Book Bash Meets Al Capone

On Wednesday, January 11, Book Bash for Boys met to discuss Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko. We had a very fun night. Diane started off the evening with some interesting information about Alcatraz. The boys were happy to have their questions about the island answered. Diane offered a unique perspective because her husband worked at the Utah State Prison for many years.

Then Tammra led the discussion about the book. We talked about Alcatraz, prison, Al Capone, Autism, relationships and Baseball.

To enhance the discussion, we had all the boys and their parents draw posters of their favorite scene from the book.

The boys were then able to tell us about their drawings and it led to some interesting ideas for discussion.

Rachel helped the boys and their parents with a fun button toy craft.

We finished the night with lemon cupcakes decorated like baseballs and Cracker Jacks.

The boys are all looking forward to March when they will meet again to talk about Shredderman by Wendelin Van Draanen.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

"So Glad We Had This Time Together"

Carol Burnett sang this at the end of every show:

"I'm so glad we had this time together,
Just to have a laugh, or sing a song.
Seems we just get started and before you know it
Comes the time we have to say, 'So long'."

Fans of Carol Burnett will like her even more after reading her memoir, This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection.

She recalls her early career with humor, pathos and kindness.

On Thursday, March 1 we will be reviewing this book and watching some fun clips in the basement of the library.
Join us at 10 a.m. in the theater in the basement of the library.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Egg Chick vs. Basket Boy

We had an egg-cellent time at Great Reads for Girls!
We filled out a questionnaire about each other.
What is your favorite color?
The winners (the ones who knew the most about their moms/daughters) got to take home a helium balloon.

We watched the movie adaptation while filling out our questionnaires.

We opened eggs to find trivia questions.

Question: What type of tree did Juli climb?
Answer: a sycamore tree

Since the book is told from two perspectives--Juli (Egg Chick) and Bryce (Basket Boy)--in alternating chapters, we read a favorite picture book that illustrates the difference in point of view.
In the book, Julie has a favorite place, a place that is "magic."

So we drew pictures of our favorite places.

In the book, Juli's mom took pie and cheesecake to Bryce's house when Juli's family was invited to his house for dinner.

So we had cheesecake.

It was egg-ceptional!

Monday, February 6, 2012


I'm sure you've heard the saying, "There are two sides to every story." Well, in the book, Flipped, by Wendelin Van Draanen, you get to hear them both.
Bryce and Julianna meet when Bryce moves into the house across the street the summer before second grade.

Bryce: "All I've ever wanted is for Juli Baker to leave me alone. For her to back off--you know, just give me some space . . . . She didn't just just barge into my life. She barged and shoved and wedged her way into my life . . . taking over and showing off like only Julie Baker can."

Julianna: "The first day I met Bryce Loski, I flipped. Honestly, one look at him and I became a lunatic. It's his eyes. Something in his eyes. They're blue, and framed in the blackness of his lashes, they're dazzling. Absolutely breathtaking . . . . I thought I would die for wanting to be with him."

Is there any hope for these two?

Find out by reading the book.

Then come to Great Reads for Girls, a mother-daughter book group, on Wednesday, February 8th at 7 p.m. in the basement of the library.

Watch an interview with the author, a former high school computer science teacher:

Watch a trailer of the movie adaptation:

Friday, January 6, 2012

Bases Loaded at Upcoming Book Bash

Come join other boys 8-16 and a caring adult this Wednesday, January 11 at 7 p.m. for
Book Bash for Boys.

We will be discussing Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko.
We'll be having yummy refreshments, fun activities, and loads of fun!

Learn more about the author, Alcatraz, and Al Capone [here].

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Practically Perfect Cupcakes

After our discussion of A Crooked Kind of Perfect at Great Reads, the girls decorated cupcakes.

They were very creative and enjoyed turning the library into a bakery for the evening.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Moving Portrait of Family Strength and Integrity Amongst the Green Hills of Wales

Bookenders Book Group will meet on Wednesday, November 30 at 7 p.m. downstairs in the library. The featured book for the evening is How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn. The discussion will be led by Etta McQuade.

How Green Was My Valley is Richard Llewellyn's bestselling -- and timeless -- classic and the basis of a beloved film.

The novel is set in South Wales during the reign of Queen Victoria. It tells the story of the Morgans, a poor but respectable mining family of the South Wales Valleys, through the eyes of the youngest son, Huw Morgan.
Huw's academic ability sets him apart from his elder brothers and enables him to consider a future away from this troubled industrial environment. His five brothers and his father are miners.

Drawn simply and lovingly, with a crisp Welsh humor, Llewellyn's characters fight, love, laugh and cry, creating an indelible portrait of a people. The simplicity of the language and its delicately strange flavor give the book added charm.

"A story of exquisite distinction and vibrant interest; clear and strong as the music under the sky." -- The New York Times Book Review

Richard Llewellyn (real name Richard David Vivian Llewellyn Lloyd) was a Welsh novelist.

Llewellyn was born of Welsh parents in Hendon, north London in 1906.
In a writing career spanning 43 years, Llewellyn wrote twenty-four novels. Several of them dealt with a Welsh theme, the best-known being How Green Was My Valley (1939) which won international acclaim. His writing career focused on the village communities of Wales, particularly the mining community. It immortalized the way of life in the South Wales valley coal mining communities, where Llewellyn spent a small amount of time with his grandfather. Three sequels followed.

He loved to travel and did it often. Before World War II, he spent periods working in hotels, wrote a play, worked as a coal miner and produced his best known novel. During World War II, he rose to the rank of Captain in the Welsh Guards. Following the war, he worked as a journalist, covering the Nuremberg Trials, and then as a screenwriter for MGM. Late in his life, he lived in Eilat, Israel.
Llewellyn was married twice. The first marriage to Nona Sonstenby, after sixteen years, ended in divorce. He married his second wife, Susan Heimann, in 1974 and this marriage lasted until his death. He died on November 30, 1983.

"How Green Was My Valley", John Ford's beautiful, heartfelt drama about a close-knit family of Welsh coal miners, based on the novel by Richard Llewellyn, can be found at the library. It is one of the greatest films of Hollywood's golden age--a gentle masterpiece that won Best Picture at the 1941 Academy Awards.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Crooked Kind of Perfect

Great Reads for Girls will be meet on Thursday, November 16 at 7 p.m. downstairs at the library. Plan now to join us for this fun evening.

We will be discussing A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban

Ten-year-old Zoe Elias dreams of playing a baby grand piano at Carnegie Hall. But when Dad ventures to the music store and ends up with a wheezy organ instead of a piano, Zoe's dreams hit a sour note. Learning the organ versions of old TV theme songs just isn't the same as mastering Beethoven on the piano. And the organ isn't the only part of Zoe's life that's off-kilter, what with Mom constantly at work, Dad afraid to leave the house, and that odd boy, Wheeler Diggs, following her home from school every day. Yet when Zoe enters the annual Perform-O-Rama organ competition, she finds that life is full of surprises--and that perfection may be even better when it's just a little off center.

Linda Urban
 Linda Urban was born in Detroit, Michigan and grew up in a house in the suburbs that looked like all the other houses on her street.

 She wanted to be different — to shine, to have people see her as special. She tried ballet dancing and singing and playing musical instruments, but she wasn’t very good at any of those things. Writing stories was fun! And often people liked what she wrote.

At Oakbrook Elementary, she wrote lots of poems and stories. Nothing made her feel more special than hearing an audience cheer for a character she had written. So she kept writing. All through elementary school and junior high she wrote short stories and plays and poems.

By college, she had turned her writing toward advertising and marketing, using her creativity to sell the creative work of others. It landed me at Vroman’s Bookstore, a large independent in Southern California, where I served as marketing director for about ten years. What a great job! She was surrounded every day by books and authors and artists and readers. One of her responsibilities was to organize author events. She met thousands of writers.  

Finally, when her daughter turned two and she turned 37, she got the guts to try writing fiction again. Having a child brought her back to reading the kinds of books that she most loved, books for kids. As much as she enjoys reading grown-up books, it is kids’ books that grab her heart.

Reading those books gave her inspiration.

And so, when she sat down to write, the stories that spilled out were the kind she loved best, books for young readers. So far, she has written a picture book titled Mouse Was Mad and two chapter books titled A Crooked Kind of Perfect and Hound Dog True.

She lives with her family in Montpelier, Vermont

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mystery and History in Manifest, Kansas

Newbery Medal winner Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool will be featured at Bookenders Book Group on October 26th at 7 p.m. downstairs in the library. Come and join us for an evening of great discussion.

 The movement of the train rocked me like a lullaby. I closed my eyes to the dusty countryside and imagined the sign I’d seen only in Gideon’s stories: Manifest—a town with a rich past and a bright future.

Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was.

Having heard stories about Manifest, Abilene is disappointed to find that it’s just a dried-up, worn-out old town. But her disappointment quickly turns to excitement when she discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler. These mysterious letters send Abilene and her new friends, Lettie and Ruthanne, on an honest-to-goodness spy hunt, even though they are warned to “Leave Well Enough Alone.”

Abilene throws all caution aside when she heads down the mysterious Path to Perdition to pay a debt to the reclusive Miss Sadie, a diviner who only tells stories from the past. It seems that Manifest’s history is full of colorful and shadowy characters—and long-held secrets. The more Abilene hears, the more determined she is to learn just what role her father played in that history. And as Manifest’s secrets are laid bare one by one, Abilene begins to weave her own story into the fabric of the town.

Powerful in its simplicity and rich in historical detail, Clare Vanderpool’s debut is a gripping story of loss and redemption. It is also the 2011 Newbery Medal winner.

Clare Vanderpool
Clare Vanderpool grew up reading books in unusual places (and is still a big advocate of doing so): dressing rooms, trees, and church, to name a few. She describes herself as having a “very strong connection to place.” A graduate of Newman University, she now lives in Wichita, Kansas—a mere four blocks from where she grew up—with her husband, four children, and two dogs. This is her first novel.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Adventures with Coraline

Our first Book Bash for Boys was a great experience with Carl Sederholm leading the discussion assisted by his son Nathaniel.

As in the novel, the boys went on a scavenger hunt to find the "lost souls." 

After each team found a marble they were rewarded with button shaped peanut 
butter cookies and chocolate cake bite spiders of their own creation.

The next Book Bash for Boys will be on January 11, 2012 and the book we will be discussing is Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko. 

Hope to see you there!