Ages 5-11

A Modern Fairy Tale

Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” had inspired many fantastic works in the last few years, including Disney’s Frozen and Anne Ursu’s Breadcrumbs. Fans of the latter will definitely want to check out the latest Snow Queen-inspired novel, Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee.

The story takes place in a magical, labyrinth-like museum in a country where the snow never stops. While exploring the museum one day, Ophelia discovers the prison of the Marvelous Boy, a boy who never ages and who is destined to give the sword to the hero who will slay the Snow Queen. Though still grieving the death of her mother, Ophelia agrees to team up with the Marvelous Boy to help him defeat the Snow Queen and end the endless winter.

What I loved most about this novel was its careful balance of fantasy and reality. While much of the plot and the tone of the story feel like a dreamy or sometimes nightmarish fairy tale, Ophelia’s grief and its effect upon her family keep the heart of the story incredible real.

Kid SPOTlight - NEW Fiction March 2014

SPOTTED in NEW books today... of likely interest to 3rd - 4th Grade kids.

MESMER MENACE ... a dachsund, an evil menace, and automotons, oh my!
If you like gadgets and gears and adventure, try this public list for more titles Elementary Kids - Robot Stories
The BOWLING LANE WITHOUT ANY STRIKES ... a new title in the "Field Trip Mysteries" series.
If you like Mystery series, try this public list for more titles Elementary Kids - Mystery
CATS Of TANGLEWOOD FOREST ... cats and forest creatures meet Lillian Kindred in the Tanglewood Forest. Is there magic?
If you like this type of book, explore the titles on this public list Elementary Kids - Fantasy
The SITTIN' UP ... Bean gets a lesson in how family and friends in a poor rural community deal with death.
If you are looking for more youth titles that address this important issue, explore the titles in this public list Elementary Kids - Dealing With Grief
CHARLIE BUMPERS vs. The TEACHER Of The YEAR finds it's a chore to be neat and well-behaved all the time.... or ...
FISH FINELLI: Seagulls Don't Eat Pickles ... Fish Finelli and friends set out for buried treasure ... and the Librarian gets in the mix.
If you like books about other kids, try this public list for more titles Elementary Kids - Friends and Family.

... so much Reading ... so many kids!

PreK SPOTlight - NEW Picture Books Feb 2014

My eyes SPOTTED the following NEW books today.
20 BIG TRUCKS in the Middle Of The Road a counting book of 20 different trucks ... for kids who like stories with "wheels".
MY HUMONGOUS HAMSTER ... for kids who like "silly" or "pets" or BOTH.
NEST ... for kids who "notice season changes" and other "thoughtful" observations ... beautiful pictures in a lovely format.
AMY's THREE BEST THINGS for the "overnight at grandparent's house" audience ... or kids "dealing with feelings".

I hope You find something that pleases You too!

Amazon Teen Bestsellers: Rush Revere and the First Patriots

Apparently radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh is trying to make American history come to life for young people, in a series of books about "time-travel adventures with exceptional Americans." The first book in the series is Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, in which Limbaugh created the character of a middle-school teacher named Rush Revere. In the second book, "Rush Revere and First Patriots," the character is transported back to the time leading up to the American Revolution. The second book currently is #9 on Amazon's list of Best Sellers in Teen and Young Adult Books.

Audiobook for Kids: Malcolm at Midnight

Many favorite children’s books feature heroic mice, but what about heroic rats?

In Malcolm at Midnight by W. H. Beck, we meet Malcolm, a rat who becomes a class pet when fifth-grade teacher Mr. Binney mistakes him for a mouse. When Malcolm learns about rats’ bad reputation, he decides it might be best to let everyone continue thinking he’s a a mouse, especially after he joins the Midnight Academy, a secret society of class pets that has vowed to keep the school safe. But when the leader of the Midnight Academy goes missing and everyone discovers Malcolm is really a rat, he will have to set off alone to save the school from real evil of McKenna School.

Reminiscent of Kate DiCamillo’s The Tale of Despereaux but with a familiar classroom setting, this book would be a good choice for animal lovers and children with classroom pets.

For more books featuring heroic rodents, check out this list.

Game Start Festival: Saturday, March 1st at Menlo Innovations

Curious about making games? Know any kids or teens who aspire to be future game-makers?

Local organization GameStart is throwing a party at Menlo Innovations (505 East Liberty LL500, Ann Arbor, MI 48104) on Saturday, March 1st, 10am-2pm and everyone is invited! GameStart is an organization that offers classes using games to inspire interest in art, math, science, and programming.

For their event on March 1st, they'll have games to play and give a preview of their upcoming classes for this year, including: Game Mechanics and Design, Minecraft Programming, Computer Animation, and Video Editing. Although there is a fee for many of their classes, this event is free and open to all (and particularly recommended for students in grades 3-8).

AADL will be there with a table of fun stuff, along with other guests from the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, Maker Works, Backyard Brains, AHA! and the Youth Arts Alliance. Stop in to check things out and celebrate the power of interactive learning!

Later that day, 3-5pm, the GameStart staff will also be offering a no-fee class on Storytelling with Computer Animation at the downtown AADL!

Family Science Workshop

Join us on Saturday, February 15th from 10 - 11 AM at the Pittsfield branch for our second Family Science Workshop, brought to us by the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History. This workshop will be Meals with Megafauna: Sabertooth Cats, Dire Wolves, Mastodons & Man. Come learn about the strategies used by predators and prey to stay alive during the ice age. The workshop is intended for children in grades K-5, accompanied by an adult.

We also have plenty of ice age items in our collection, and don't forget to check out our Sabertooth Cat kit from our Science Tools collection.

Kid Bits - African American History

February is African American History month. It reminds us to explore stories from African-American experiences.
You can find many real stories on the Picture Book History - African-American Stories Public List.

Stories continue to emerge.
Celebrate the history by reading something NEW:
SEARCHING For SARAH RECTOR: The Richest Black Girl In America a true story of 11 year old Sarah Rector in 1914.
AS FAST AS WORDS COULD FLY historical fiction episode of a 13 year old boy in 1960 during the Civil Rights movement.
The COLORED CAR a historical fiction episode of a 12 year old girl in 1937 Detroit during the great depression.
DISCOVERING BLACK AMERICA: From The Age Of Exploration To The Twenty-First Century ... new historical overview ranging from the Colonial period, slavery, Civil War and the Civil Rights era.
HAND IN HAND: Ten Black Men Who Changed America
HEART And SOUL: The Story Of America And African-Americans
ONWARD: A Photobiography Of African-American Explorer Matthew Henson

The Candymakers

Since February is a traditional time for candy, it also seems like a perfect opportunity to sample this sweet story, The Candymakers by Wendy Mass.

Reminiscent of Roald Dahl’s classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this book introduced readers to four twelve-year-olds competing in the Confectionery Association’s annual Best New Candy contest. Alternating between the perspectives of contestants Logan, Miles, Daisy and Philip, the story unfolds in truly surprising and delightful ways. Through these alternating perspectives, we come to learn that each contest is carrying a secret, but they will have to trust the others enough to reveal all in order to ensure a happy ending.

The audiobook, narrated by Mark Turetsky, is also worth checking out.

Perfect for fans of Trenton Lee Stewart’s The Mysterious Benedict Society or Pseudonymous Bosch’s The Name of This Book is Secret.

Kid Bits - Pirates

A Pirate Ship is in the display case @ Malletts Creek Branch .... so kids are asking "Where ARE the pirate books?"

NEW titles are here:
PIRATE'S GUIDE To RECESS
LOOKING For BLACKBEARD'S TREASURE
LEARN To DRAW PIRATES
MAMA HOOK KNOWS BEST
NO BATH! NO CAKE! POLLY'S PIRATE PARTY

You can find many more pirate books in my PIRATES Public List.
To all Scurvy Mates ... AAaargh!

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