Meet the the Author & Illustrator of the “Vordak” books!

Friday, April 26 | 7:00-8:00pm | Pittsfield Branch | K-8th Grade | Adults

Author Scott Seegert and illustrator John Martin, both from Michigan, are responsible for the wildly funny and silly Vordak the Incomprehensible book series. They’ll both be at the Pittsfield branch on Friday, April 26 talking about their books, leading a drawing exercise, and will perhaps be bringing a little surprise! If you’re into funny books, drawing, and super villains, then this event is for you.

The Vordak books, including How to Grow Up and Rule the World, Rule the School, and Double Trouble, are most appropriate for kids in grades 3rd – 8th, but this library program will be enjoyed by those grades in K-8th, as well as adults! It’s always fun to hear an author talk about their work and then get to meet them, and here we’re lucky to meet the author AND the illustrator!! Be sure to also check out the Vordak website, with all sorts of fun things to do.

Books will be for sale after the program, and there will be a book signing.

Totally Cool Totes!

Wednesday, April 17 | 7:00-8:00pm | Pittsfield Branch | 6th - Adult

It's National Library Week! Let's celebrate the DIY way.

Stencil up a plain canvas tote bag any way you’d like! We'll have the totes, the paint, and stencil supplies, you bring the design ideas. We'll be exploring freezer paper and contact paper methods. It’ll be totes fun. (Feel free to bring a drawing or a print of a design you think would work as a stencil to put on a tote.)

Audiobook for Kids: Spunky Girl Detective

Have you ever wanted to solve a mystery?

Well, in Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief by Wendelin Van Draanen, thirteen-year-old Sammy has no intention of becoming a detective until she happens to see a theft at the hotel across the street… and the thief sees her too. And she thought starting seventh grade was her biggest worry! Now Sammy is dodging the police, trying to outsmart a thief and hiding out from a suspicious neighbor, all while navigating the treacherous world of junior high.

This excellent audiobook series continues with Sammy Keyes and the Skeleton Man, Sammy Keyes and the Sisters of Mercy, Sammy Keyes and the Runaway Elf, Sammy Keyes and the Curse of Mustache Mary, Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy, Sammy Keyes and the Search for Snake Eyes, Sammy Keyes and the Art of Deception, Sammy Keyes and the Psycho Kitty Queen and Sammy Keyes and the Dead Giveaways.

Fans of spunky, modern girl detectives may also wish to check out these audiobooks: Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison, Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams and Shakespeare’s Secret by Elise Broach.

Liar & Spy Audiobook: Give It a Listen

In Liar & Spy, Georges’ best friend has left him to join the popular kids, and now Georges is alone and bullied at school. When his family moves into a new apartment building, he finds a note advertising a spy club and soon finds himself joining to spy on mysterious neighbor Mr. X with his new best friend Safer. But not all is as it appears to be in this funny, tense, beautifully-layered novel.

After listening to it myself, I can say that translates into an excellent audiobook, especially during those edge-of-your-seat moments, which really did have me on the edge of my seat.

Liar & Spy is written by Rebecca Stead, whose previous novel, When You Reach Me, won the Newbery Medal in 2010.

ALA Announces 2013 Newbery, Caldecott, and other Youth Media Awards


Every year at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting, librarians from across the continent gather for the most exciting event on the youth fiction calendar--the announcement of the ALA Youth Media Awards. These awards, from the venerable Newbery medal to the relatively new Stonewall Book Award, are awarded to what can only be termed the rockstars of the youth media world, and the enthusiasm surrounding the event carries out this comparison. Books nominated for these prizes are enshrined in their own sections of libraries, assigned in schools, and treasured by decades of readers, young and old. The 2013 winners were announced this morning in Seattle, Washington.

The 2013 Newbery Medal for the most outstanding children's literature of the year was awarded to Katherine Applegate for her book The One and Only Ivan.

The Caldecott Medal, celebrating its 75th year of honoring the best of the best of children's picture books, was awarded to Jon Klassen for This Is Not My Hat.

The Coretta Scott King Book Award for an outstanding publication that represents the African American experience was given to illustrator Bryan Collier for I, Too, Am America and author Andrea Davis Pinkney for Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America while The Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement recognized Demetria Tucker, librarian and youth media advocate, for her longstanding contributions.

The Pura Belpré Awards for works that best represent the Latino experience honored Martín de Porres: The Rose in the Desert for David Diaz's illustrations, and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz for text.

The Michael L. Printz Award for the best book written for young adults was awarded to Nick Lake for In Darkness.

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for a lifelong contribution to children's literature in the United States was awarded to Katherine Paterson, author of Bridge to Terabithia and many other beloved books, and The Margaret A. Edwards Award for contribution to teen literature went to Tamora Pierce for her quartets The Song of the Lioness and Protector of the Small.

For a full list of winners and honorable mentions, visit the American Library Association's awards page or the ALA Youth Media Awards Facebook page, and be sure to check out our section of award winning children's books in the Downtown Library youth room.

Where My Peeps At?

Wednesday, March 20 | 6:00-8:00pm | Pittsfield Branch | 6th grade- Adult

Make a mini stuffed marshmallow Peeps bunny using felt and hand-sewing techniques! We’ll have all the Peeps-colored felt necessary to make the cutest little Peeps bunnies. Guaranteed to be a fun evening of sewing and chatting. Join us!

For more projects with felt, check out these books.

Make an iPod Cozy!

Tuesday, October 23 | 6:30-8:30pm | Malletts Creek | Grade 6th-Adult

Come take a stab at hand sewing and jazz up your ipod, MP3 player or phone. Using colorful felt, embellishment items, and embroidery thread, you’ll create a one-of-a-kind cozy to keep your ipod or MP3 player protected with a handmade case for it. All supplies are provided, and we’ll have patterns and samples to get you going. Feel free to bring your device if you want to test out your design and make sure it fits.

To keep the craft going, check out some books on hand sewing or felt fun. See you there!

Author of 'Ungifted' To Visit AADL

In the delightful teen novel Ungifted, by Gordon Korman, Donovan Curtis's devilish prank lands him in boiling water at Hardcastle Middle School. He escapes punishment when administrators accidentally transfer him to the school for gifted students. Braniacs and teachers there sense something is off -- but Donovan also brings a certain unique, welcome spark to the school. Gradually he makes a place for himself on the robotics team, and later offers up his pregnant sister for observation in a human development course. Each chapter of this witty, imaginative story starts with the narrator's name and IQ.

Engaging and entertaining, the novel is a fun read and hard to put down. It was the first book by Korman that I have read, and I was happy to learn he has written more than fifty middle-grade and teen novels, including the bestselling titles The 39 Clues: One False Note and Schooled. When Korman was in seventh grade, his English teacher told the class they could have 45 minutes a day for four months to work on a story of their choice, according to Bowker Author Biography. Korman began This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall, which became his first published book. Gordon Korman will visit the AADL Pittsfield Branch on November 6 at 3 pm in an event for Grades 4-12.

Make Your Own Tutu!


Would you like to make and own your very own tutu? Join us for a Tutu Making Workshop at 2pm on June 28th, in the Multipurpose Room at the Downtown Library! We’ll have all the materials you need to make your very own no-sew tutu out of tulle and ribbon of various colors.

Here are some books to get you started:
T is for Tutu: A Ballet Alphabet
Just Grace and her Terrible Tutu
Tallulah’s Tutu
Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet

And some DVDs of my favorite ballets!
Coppélia
Swan Lake, with an all male cast
Swan Lake, by the American Ballet Theater
Ballet for Boys

This event is for kids grades K through 12.

"Crossing the Tracks," Tenderhearted Historical Novel for Teens

Poor Iris Baldwin lost her mom as a young child, and now that she is a teen, her overbearing, insensitive dad is sending her away for the summer. Iris feels awkward, alienated, and angry about his latest girlfriend as she spends the summer with kindly Doctor Nesbitt and his elderly mother. Gradually Iris finds friendship, compassion, and a mindset that feels like home. Set in Kansas and Missouri in the 1920s, this coming-of-age novel -- the first by talented author Barbara Stuber -- offers romantic and tragic subplots, including a young neighbor's pregnancy and a violent death in Iris' family.

Once I picked this novel up, I couldn't put it down. After I finished reading it, I was delighted to see that this historical novel was picked in 2011 for Best Fiction for Young Adults by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association. Written for kids in about sixth through eighth grades, the story "offers strong character development and an engaging protagonist," according to School Library Journal. It's a natural for readers drawn to the Great Plains. Check out the author's website here.

Syndicate content