Ages 5-11

New J Fiction: The Lion Who Stole My Arm

Be sure to check out a great new addition to realistic fiction for kids: The Lion Who Stole My Arm! Pedru has grown up in Africa as a hunter’s son: he can catch fish, climb trees, and even use a spear to defend his family and catch the biggest animals. But one evening as he’s heading home from a fun day of fishing with his friends, he encounters something he’s only heard of in tales- a lion! In this tale of exciting heroism and personal strength, Pedru shares his struggles to defend his community from unwanted intruders and how he dealt with the life-changing experience of coming face to face with a lion.

Nicola Davies finds her passion in observing and working with animals. She has impacted animal life all over the world through whale watching, bird spotting, and hands-on research. Ms. Davies has written several books for kids, including One Tiny Turtle, Surprising Sharks, and Escape from Silver Street Farm. To learn more about Nicola Davies, visit her author website.

Fun Youth Novel: True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, by Kathi Appelt

For raccoon lovers -- think Raccoon Tune by Nancy Shaw and Rascal by Sterling North -- this book is a rare find indeed. The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, by Kathi Appelt, stars raccoon brothers Bingo and J'miah, the latest recruits to the Official Sugar Man Swamp Scouts. The chance to serve the Sugar Man -- who rules the swamp and loves sugarcane -- is an honor and a huge responsibility. The story unfolds as wild feral hogs and developers threaten the swamp, yet Sugar Man can't seem to wake up. The raccoon brothers are particularly memorable, as are a host of other characters including 12-year-old Chap Brayburn and Gertrude the rattlesnake. This highly imaginative, fast-paced book was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award for Young People's Literature. Kathi Appelt has won many other awards and may be best known for her book The Underneath.

Kid SPOTlight - NEW Concept Book

We found COLORS by Sophie Pelham on the NEW shelf.
After we discussed the book's visual virtues for about ten minutes ... we decided it was a thoughtfully concieved concept book for young children who want to count things together with someone older.
It's a visual charmer, in my opinion.

I added COLORS to my Thoughtful Picture Books for Kids list, just because it made me think.
pssst ... there's a great rainbow in it!

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.

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