Coming Soon: 3rd-5th Grade Short Story Challenge!

It's almost time for the second annual 3rd-5th Grade Short Story Challenge! Starting April 14, young writers will be able to submit a typed short story of five pages or less to either to the Downtown Youth Desk or by e-mail to youngwrite@aadl.org. Make sure you check the guidelines before you submit your story! Stories will be accepted from Monday, April 14 until Monday, May 5.

Need help writing a story or finding ideas? Check out this list of books for kids on writing at AADL. You can also visit these recommended websites for writing.

Keep an eye out for the final celebration on Tuesday, June 3 honoring all writers, featuring Lisa Wheeler as the guest speaker!

Please e-mail youngwrite@aadl.org or call the Youth Desk at 734-327-8301 with any questions, and happy writing!

Parent’s Corner: Autism Awareness Month

April is National Autism Awareness Month, which highlights the growing need for concern and awareness about autism. “The US recognizes April has a special opportunity to educate the public and autism and issues within the autism community.” A potential resource to educate on this subject is in books found on the Parent Shelf.

The Downtown library has a shelf in the Youth Department known as the Parent Shelf. On this shelf you’ll find a variety of parent-child related books on a multitude of topics- including autism, and everything from language to potty training to safety to bullying. These books are available for checkout and can be found in the catalog when searching “parent shelf.” Here are a few to start with more information regarding children with autism:

*Autism Spectrum Disorders: What Every Parent Needs to Know
*Ten things every child with autism wishes you knew
*1001 great ideas for teaching & raising children with autism or Asperger's

AADL has many books in the collection on this topic – see here for more.

The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing

In the Newbery Honor winning Three Times Lucky author Sheila Turnage introduced us to the Desperado Detectives, two sixth graders who became famous after solving a murder.

The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing is the new companion book, though I would call it a sequel. In this novel the spunky Mo LoBeau is back at it again! She and her best pal Dale open up a paranormal division of their detective agency to solve the mystery of a ghost in the old Tupelo Inn, which Mo’s guardian Miss Lana accidentally wins in the town auction. So between helping Miss Lana run the local café, solving the mystery of a ghost, crushing on Dale's older brother Lavender, dealing with the new kid in town, and trying to survive 6th grade history class, Mo has her hands full but she doesn’t blink twice at all the fuss.

The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, just like Three Times Lucky, is full of charming and witty dialog and unforgettable characters bursting with personality. Mo LoBeau is one sixth grader you want to meet!

Youth Biographies by Brad Meltzer

Author Brad Meltzer is known for his best-selling mystery novels, including The Book of Lies and The Inner Circle.

His latest books are for children! And they’re cool! It’s a series called Ordinary People Change the World and features biographies on some extraordinary folks that started out as ordinary, just like me and you. Check out the wonderfully illustrated I Am Abraham Lincoln and I Am Amelia Earhart. In these books young readers get to see famous faces from history doing fun things as children.

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.

Once Upon A Northern Night

Once Upon A Northern Night is a beautiful NEW picture book written by Jean E. Pendziwol with pictures by Isabelle Arsenault.

Once upon a northern night
While you lay sleeping,
Wrapped in a downy blanket,
I painted you a picture.

Using lyrical and poetic language the narrator describes the wintry landscape outside a sleeping child’s window, creating a narrative that makes way for a picture painted with words and imagery full of magic and wonder. The illustrations are reminiscent of older storybooks like the Caldecott honor book Blueberries For Sal. This would make a wonderfully calm and enchanting bedtime story.

Youth Nonfiction: The Mad Potter

A new book found on the Art Shelf in the Youth Department downtown is The Mad Potter: George E Ohr, Eccentric Genius. Part of the Ladies Library Collection, The Mad Potter is also an ALA Notable Book, 2014 Sibert Honor, 2014 Best Book of the Year via Booklist, 2014 Best Book of the Year via School Library Journal.

Who was this eccentric genius? He crafted thousands of ceramic sculptures and took them to art fairs and shows but nobody was buying any of this oddly shaped pieces. After his death over 5,000 pots were discovered, and he had boasted that no two were alike. The authors of the award-winning Ballet For Martha have brought us a curious biography about a curious artist. Be sure to also check out their other artist biographies!

Maps for All Ages to Enjoy

Not your average geography book, Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski is a beautiful book with amazing illustrations. The full page maps include images of cultural and historical interest in addition to famous natives and specific places within each country. It’s such a visual treat! This large book is great for anyone who is into maps, places, illustration, or design, and would be a great coffee table book when it's not on a child's bookshelf. The other titles by the same author are also beautiful.

Click Magazine: At the Library

The new February issue of Click Magazine for kids has a ton of fascinating information about libraries and books! Read the text of an interview with David Shannon, author of No, David! and Alice the Fairy, learn about the history of books and making paper, and how to ask a librarian for help. You can also see photos of different libraries around the world, including biblioburros, bookmobiles, portable libraries on elephants and trailers, and even libraries hidden inside telephone booths. You can learn how to make your own book (even one with flaps and pockets!) and photocopy and use the story starter game in the back. Feeling too snowed in to come to the library?

Visit the Click Magazine website to hear audio recordings of magazine features, watch a video on block printing, or play a Sort the Books game.

Click here to find more magazines for kids at AADL!

Secret Pizza Party

Remember how funny and adorable and hilarious Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri is? Well, they’ve got another picture book out, made just for you fans of silly!

Secret Pizza Party features a raccoon that LOVES pizza. “Pizza smell” gives him the “happy screams.” But the poor raccoon in this book is always being chased off by someone with a broom. All he wants in life is some pizza! Eventually a plan is hatched for a secret pizza party. One that involves avoiding the broom factory and the raccoon-sniffing broom-bots. Will this raccoon ever get some pizza?! Read the book and find out.

You might also want to read Dragons Love Tacos, if you haven’t already. And for more funny picture books check out this nice list we've created!

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