Ages 5-11

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!

Family Affair

Whether families want to kick-off a new storytelling tradition or discover various ways to spark memories and ideas, Donna Washington is the perfect workshop leader for all ages! Join us and our partners, the Ann Arbor Storytellers’Guild, for true family fun for ages five and up on Saturday, February 15 at 10 am. Donna will head over to the Ark’s Storytelling Festival that same night for the adult crowd and you are in for a big treat if you follow here there!. Donna WashingtonDonna Washington

Youth & Teen Book Awards Announced!

For at least a year librarians all over the country read, and read, and read and then in the dead of winter in some predetermined location (this time it was Philadelphia) they meet at their annual conference and discuss, and argue and determine the best books, audio and video for children and teens! On Monday, January 27 the ALA (American Library Association) hosted the Youth Media Awards and came up with their best picks. Without further ado find out what books you should start reading NOW! The big three awards are the Newbery, Caldecott and the Printz, but there are many other awards so be sure to look through the whole list!

The Newbery Medal honors the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children

2014 Winner: Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventure, by Kate DiCamillo

Honor Books:
Doll Bones, by Holly Black
The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes
One Came Home, by Amy Timberlake
Paperboy, by Vince Vawter

The Caldecott Medal honors the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

2014 Winner: Locomotive, illustrated and written by Brian Floca

Honor Books:
Journey, written and illustrated by Aaron Becker
Flora and the Flamingo, written and illustrated by Molly Idle
Mr. Wuffles! written and illustrated by David Wiesner

The Michael L. Printz Award is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.

2014 Winner:
Midwinter Blood by Marcus Sedgwick

Honor Books:
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal
Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner
Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

A Hilarious Pirate Adventure – With Magic!

I am so excited about this new pirate adventure, Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson. Two years ago, I had the chance to hear an excerpt read from the pre-published manuscript and have been looking forward to its release ever since. After reading it, all I can say is this book completely lived up to my expectations. I loved it!

Hilary Westfield wants nothing more than to be a pirate, but when she submits an application to the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates, things don’t go quite as planned. After discovering that Hilary is a girl, the league decides to forward her application to Miss Pimm’s Finishing School for Delicate Ladies. Soon Hilary and her pet gargoyle are packed off to finishing school, but you can bet it isn’t long before they escape to the high seas and join in the hunt for a magical treasure.

Fans of Diana Wynne Jones or Patricia C. Wrede will definitely want to check out this first book in a planned trilogy.

You can find out more about this debut author by visiting her website: http://carolinecarlsonbooks.com/

Wild Swan Theater: Under the African Sky

Mark your calendar for Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 1 pm, when Wild Swan Theater presents Under the African Sky in Towsley Auditorium. The other three performances already are sold out. The play is a humorous collection of well- known African tales including Why the Sky is Far Away, The Talking Vegetables and Tug-of-Vine. Performers will use acting, storytelling, and drumming, with instruments including a balaphone, a djembe, and a talking drum. The show is for children age 4 to third grade and there will be plenty of chances for audience participation.

On the NEW SHELF for Kids - Folktales!

My new FOUND Faves on the NEW non-fiction Shelf in January 2014:

PRINCESS TALES includes 10 classic "Once Upon A Time" Princess tales told in one-to-two-page text with elaborate "Seek-and-Find Pictures" in each tale. Each Illustrated tale is sumptuously set in a variety of world cultures from South America to Russia to Africa to Japan. Allow time to enjoy the pictures after the tale is read.

WEE RHYMES: Baby's First Poetry Book is a perfect book for babies and toddlers who love a cozy laptime in a comfy good BIG chair. Every rhyme is perfect, in my opinion. I see many new and unusual rhymes in this book, after viewing nursery rhyme books for many years.
What Fun! If you have a little one, grab them and read this one! .... AND don't forget the rockking and singing ...

MAMA LET'S MAKE A MOON is a new original folktale written and illustrated by Clay Rice. Clay Rice sets each tableau of crisp black silhouette against a watercolor backwash of hand-mixed pastels. I can't say it better than the book jacket ... Clay Rice "has perfected the art of blending rhythmic poetry with stunning detailed silhouettes ... to create a true work of art." The tale gives you an original recipe ... to make a moon.

The MAGIC BOJABI TREE is a fresh take on the classic Rumpelstiltskin tale. In this tale, the African Plains animals need to identify the name of a new unusual tree that is fully guarded by Python. The fruit is huge and tantalizing, but the animals cannot have the fruit until they find the name of the tree. How the problem is solved, is always the delight of a good folktale!

Monsieur Marceau

Born Marcel Mangel, Marcel Marceau lived an interesting life. He was shaped by World War II, during which he lost his father to Auschwitz. It was during the war, when Germany occupied France that he and his younger brother adopted the name Marceau.

When he was five, Marceau had seen a Charlie Chaplin movie which ignited an aspiration to become a mime. Eventually, his passion would lead him to travel all around the world and make him famous.

Monsieur Marceau tells his story, presenting information about the work he did during the war risking his own life in order to save others. Then, the book moves on to the career that made him a world-known name.

"Write On!" Short Story Contest for Grades 3-5

The 3rd Annual "Write On!" Short Story Contest for Grades 3-5 accepts story entries each spring (dates are included in each year's guidelines). All writers, their friends, and families are invited to the Story Celebration, featuring a published children's author, once the contest ends. The top three stories from each grade will be recognized and each writer will receive a certificate of participation. Since its start in 2013, the contest has received about 200 submissions from Ann Arbor and abroad!

HOW TO ENTER THE CONTEST
1. Check out the CONTEST GUIDELINES!
2. Write your story! (Need some help? Here are some WRITING RESOURCES.
3. Submit your story by e-mail or in person at the Downtown Branch Youth Desk!
4. Attend the Story Celebration once the contest is done to eat some snacks, meet other kids, and hear our featured guest speaker- a published children's author!
Questions about the contest may be directed to Kayla at youngwrite@aadl.org or at the Youth desk: 734-327-8301.



2015 "Write On!" Short Story Contest

The 2015 "Write On!" Contest received a record number of 138 submissions! Below are the winners from this year.

3rd Grade Winners:

1st Yotam Chopra "The Kids Who Saved the World"
2nd Graham Baker "Sam the Talented Dolphin"
3rd Selene Freudenberg "How Hair Pot Er Met Innygay Easlyway"

4th Grade Winners:

1st Elijah Hatcher-Kay "Lost and Found"
2nd Finnian Cook "Believe"
3rd Caroline Robinson "Going Through Time"

5th Grade Winners:

1st Camille Hu "The Girl"
2nd Fionnuala MacKercher "Grey"
3rd Madeleine Rodgers "Nelson and Ariana's Nako Odyssey"


2014 Short Story Challenge

Around 100 young writers turned in stories for the 2014 3-5th Grade Short Story Challenge! Below is a list of the 2014 winners. To read all entries of the 2014 contest, click here.

3rd Grade Winners:

1st Kaden Thornton "The Magical Book" PDF Text-Only Version
2nd Eliza Ann Van Ee "Save the Slaves!" PDF Text-Only Version
3rd Emma Li "Dragon Friends!" PDF Text-Only Version

4th Grade Winners:

1st Georgie Branch "Pop" PDF Text-Only Version
2nd Karinne Tennenbaum "One Thought after Another" PDF Text-Only Version
3rd Fionnuala MacKercher "The White Wolf" PDF Text-Only Version

5th Grade Winners:

1st Marisa Redding "The Meadow Song" PDF Text-Only Version
2nd Makayla Harris "Hutch McLaw: The Case of the Sparkling Torch" PDF Text-Only Version
3rd Rachel Amanda Eglinton "The Impossible" PDF Text- Only Version


2013 Short Story Writing Contest

Around 100 young writers turned in stories for the 2013 Short Story Writing Contest! Below is a list of the 2013 winners.

3rd Grade Winners:

1st Emma Crownover "My Secret"
2nd Alma Moga "The Story of the Talking Hamster"
3rd Mohammed Hamoud "Allians-A True Story"

4th Grade Winners:

1st Arjun Purohit "A Weird Day at the Science Museum"
2nd Abby Dobson "Winston and His Ears"
3rd Anabellee Jones "Blueberry Girl"

5th Grade Winners:

1st Ashlee Freeman "Pastel's Journey"
2nd Krishna Davis "The Boulder Block"
3rd Jenna Allman "Sallie Sweetwater and the Nebraska Disaster"


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