Photo Post: Merchants’ Trick or Treat!

We had a great time visiting with trick-or-treaters who stopped by the library during Hudson Merchants’ Trick or Treat this week!

Our Youth Services staff dressed up as characters from Laura Numeroff’s If You Give A Mouse A Cookie book series, as they passed out candy and non-candy treats to hundreds of children of all ages!

Here are a few pictures from the event:

For a large selection of books, movies, and materials all about Halloween, take a look at our catalog here. Happy Halloween!

Stuffed Animal Sleepover Pictures!

Kids and stuffed animals visited our library last evening! We enjoyed a fun storytime, followed by a craft. And then … the stuffies got to spend the night at the library!

Did they sleep? Doubtful! Did they have a great time? See for yourself …

Thanks to our young patrons and their families for helping to make this a fun evening! We hope you enjoy the pictures of your stuffed friends and their shenanigans! We look forward to seeing you at more children’s programs here at the library.

P.S.: It looks like these stuffies may need a quiet book and a long afternoon nap when they get home!

Nature Art

Nature Art is called many things, including Ephemeral Art, Land Art, or Temporary Art. No matter what you call it, the purpose behind it is the same: to add a little creative beauty to the world around us.  

These pieces of art can be big or small and normally only last for a brief amount of time as the elements return to nature.

Some artists, such as Andy Goldsworthy and Richard Shilling, have even made careers out of this kind of art.

You don’t have to be a professional artist to see the beauty in the world around you or to transform it into a new work of art. 

Have you ever thought that a leaf looked like a hat? Or maybe that pine needles looked like hair? A rock could be a heart, or a stick could be a road. The possibilities are as wide as your imagination. Have fun and get creative! Just make sure to ask a grown-up before picking a plant or flower from a flowerbed. 

If you would like to read more about creating art from nature, check out this blog post from the Chicago Botanic Garden.

World Read Aloud Day! Featuring Our Own Children’s Librarians

Today is the thirteenth annual World Read Aloud Day!

Here are our children’s librarians, each reading a short excerpt from one of their favorite Newbery Medal winners!

The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera (2022 Newbery Award)

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (1963 Newbery Award)

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz (2008 Newbery Award)

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (1978 Newbery Award)

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (1968 Newbery Award)

Holes by Louis Sachar (1999 Newbery Award)

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill (2017 Newbery Award)

We hope you enjoy listening to these stories, and we hope that you find some time today to read, too!

For more information on World Read Aloud Day, please see here or here.

As always, happy reading! … Today and every day!

ALA’s 2022 Youth Media Awards Announced!

This morning, the American Library Association announced its 2022 Youth Media Awards! The full list of winners and honors can be found on their website here.

While we did not pick the Newbery Medal this year here on our blog, several of our choices did win in other categories. Fun! What do you think of the decisions? Did any of your favorites take home a win? Which titles are you planning to read this year?

Check out our online catalog here to search for materials and place holds. Let us know if we can be of any help.

Thanks for following along on our journey to the 100th John Newbery Medal! Happy reading!

Newbery Contender: “Too Bright to See” by Kyle Lukoff

Book review: Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff (tween fiction)

Kyle Lukoff is an author, a former school librarian, and a bookseller. He says he writes books for kids and other people. He is most known for his picture books, When Aiden Became a Brother, a Stonewall Award Winner, and Call Me Max, which recently has gained attention due to censorship for its LGBTQ+ themes. His debut middle grade novel is Too Bright to See, a National Book Award Finalist and sure to be a Newbery contender this year.

The start of middle school is fast approaching, and Bug’s best friend Moira has decided that now is the perfect time to start preparing and reinvent themselves a bit. Will they be the suave cool kids, the fun and flirty jocks, or the charming but gorgeous smarties? But Bug doesn’t want to be any of those things and just wants to be Bug. Practicing being a girl by doing makeup, deciding on the cutest boys in their class, and picking out perfect school outfits is just not appealing. There are bigger things to worry about, like the new ghost in Bug’s old Victorian house. Could it be Bug’s amazing, fun, and gay Uncle Rodrick who recently passed away? Or is it some other more sinister specter?

And can Bug and their mom even stay in their perfectly haunted Vermont home now that Uncle Rodrick isn’t around to help? Bug spends the summer striving to straighten out the mysterious new ghost and what message Uncle Rodrick may have left from beyond the grave. 

Kyle Lukoff, an own voices author (more info here and here), spins a beautiful tale of grief, growing pains, and self discovery. At one point, Bug looks in the mirror and thinks, “I’m always self-conscious of how hard I’m pretending.” Why do you think Bug says this? Have you ever felt like you were pretending?

Check out Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff, and let us know how you liked this book.

~ Ms. Christine

Newbery Bingo Challenge:

Help us celebrate 100 years of Newbery Medal winners by competing in our bingo challenge! Download and print off your bingo board and try to read as many of these Newbery Award winning books as you can before January 24, 2022. You can download a copy of our Newbery Bingo Board here:

Newbery Contender: “Starfish” by Lisa Fipps

Book review: Starfish by Lisa Fipps (tween fiction)

Lisa Fipps is an award-winning journalist who is now a marketing director for a public library. She loves dogs, traveling, art, and collecting rocks. Starfish is her debut novel, and it is our next contender for the upcoming Newbery Award.  

In Starfish, Ellie wore a whale swimsuit for her fifth birthday and made the biggest splash with her cannonball – earning her the nickname, Splash, from her older sister. Little did she know that nickname would be picked up by everyone in her grade and would continue for years.  

Ever since that party, Ellie lives by her own “Fat Girl Rules” to help her survive at school and at home. Her mom is constantly updating her diets, getting her into a new exercise routine, and decorating their fridge with new diet fads and tips on how to become skinnier. Ellie’s one safe space is her pool where she swims for hours, because she feels weightless. With the support of her new neighbor/friend Catalina, her therapist, and her dad, Ellie starts to realize that she is amazing exactly as she is. She starts to stand up to the bullies at school and even to her mom.   

Starfish is a wonderful story about how hard it can be to accept yourself and learn to feel comfortable in your own skin. Ellie is having trouble with people accepting her, not only at school but at home as well, which makes life exceedingly difficult for her as she struggles with accepting herself. 

I loved this book because it was about standing up for yourself, learning about who you truly are, and being your own person. This is such an important message that I have learned because it is something that my own dad, like Ellie’s, had always taught me.  

Ellie likes to take a nice swim to feel weightless and relax. What do you do to de-stress after a tiring day? 

~ Ms. Mariam

Newbery Bingo Challenge:

Help us celebrate 100 years of Newbery Medal winners by competing in our bingo challenge! Download and print off your bingo board and try to read as many of these Newbery Award winning books as you can before January 24, 2022. You can download a copy of our Newbery Bingo Board here:

Newbery Contender: “The Beatryce Prophecy” by Kate DiCamillo

Book review: The Beatryce Prophecy by Kate DiCamillo (tween fiction)

Kate DiCamillo is the author of many award-winning books, including The Tale of Despereaux and Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, which both won the Newbery Award, Because of Winn-Dixie, a Newbery Honor winner, The Tiger Rising, a National Book Award Finalist, and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. She is one of only six authors to have won two Newbery Award medals. She is known for covering themes of love, loneliness, and emotional change.

In The Beatryce Prophecy, there is a girl, a goat, a boy with a sword, a strange old hermit, and a monk. When the monk, Brother Edik, finds a girl (Beatryce) ill and asleep, curled up with the monastery’s resident troublemaking goat, Answelica, he realizes a prophecy he made might come true – that a girl will one day unseat a king – and thus the girl is in danger.

Brother Edik goes against the wishes of his abbot to nurse the girl back to health and finds that Beatryce can read and write, which is something that is against the law for girls to do. As Beatryce’s memories slowly return to her, and she realizes just why the king is looking for her, she sets out from the monastery to try to find her way home to her mother, bringing the hard-headed goat with her. Along the way, she meets a boy who lost his parents to a highway robber, a strange hermit with a secret, and discovers that through stories, all can find their way home.

Simple yet powerfully written, in The Beatryce Prophecy, DiCamillo tells a lovely tale about stories and family, with a memorable cast of charming characters in a medieval setting. The book also contains wonderful illustrations by two-time Caldecott medalist Sophie Blackall, making it something akin to the illuminated manuscripts that appear in the book itself.

How did you like this book? Would you like a hard-headed goat as a companion? Have you ever written a story like the tale Beatryce tells about the mermaid?

~ Ms. Emily

Newbery Bingo Challenge:

Help us celebrate 100 years of Newbery Medal winners by competing in our bingo challenge! Download and print off your bingo board and try to read as many of these Newbery Award winning books as you can before January 24, 2022. You can download a copy of our Newbery Bingo Board here:

Newbery Contender: “Red, White, and Whole” by Rajani LaRocca

Book review: Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca (tween fiction)

Our next Newbery contender is Red, White, and Whole, a novel in verse that is a coming-of-age story set in the 1980s. Reha is in eighth grade at a private school in her midwestern American town, where she is one of the few people of Indian descent. As an only child, she is expected to be a stellar student and make something of her life. After all, her parents moved from India to the United States before she was born, to give their family a better life, and Reha feels the weight of their choices. But can she really become a doctor when she can’t handle the sight of a little blood on a skinned knee? Will her parents understand if that is not the path she wants to take?

Not everyone in the town treats her with respect either, simply due to her culture, but she learns to tolerate their ignorance with grace. She is strong but quiet, and works hard to juggle her Indian heritage with the American lifestyle that she wants to be a part of: Reha is learning to balance the expectations of her parents, who she is very close to, with her own need to be a regular American teenager, listening to popular music, going to the school dance, and wearing dresses from the mall. She hopes so desperately to live a whole life, instead of two seemingly very separate halves.

Then, all of a sudden, her mother becomes gravely ill, and life changes completely. Reha tries to be the very best daughter she can be, in hopes of being able to somehow save her ailing mother’s life. In her grief, Reha learns the value of family and of friends who become family.

In Red, White, and Whole, the author introduces a variety of characters, all of whom help to shape Reha’s life. Her parents are loving though strict, and she truly wants to make them proud. She loves school, especially science, and has a small but sincere group of friends. Her family members in India help keep traditions alive. And ultimately, everyone comes to her aid when Reha and her father need it the most.

This book is written in verse, but reads much more like a novel than a poem. It is full and descriptive, well-written and evocative in its themes of family, friendship, and home. Despite some sadness, it is ultimately an uplifting story. A few of its appeals include its effortless storytelling, relatable characters, and universal messages of hope, love, and acceptance. I appreciated how powerful the story is, without needing to include overdone teenage angst or rebellion, or unnecessary language or references, making this a wonderful choice for tweens of all ages. The characters and storyline are very real, and Reha is inherently likable and relatable. I really enjoyed how Reha grew to realize that she really does have a whole life that includes both her Indian side and her American side.

The author herself was born in India and moved to Kentucky as a baby. She drew on some of her own experiences and cultural awareness to give an authentic voice to this beautiful story.

I am pleased to present Red, White, and Whole as my choice for the upcoming Newbery Award. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Happy Reading!

~ Ms. Nicole

Newbery Bingo Challenge:

Help us celebrate 100 years of Newbery Medal winners by competing in our bingo challenge! Download and print off your bingo board and try to read as many of these Newbery Award winning books as you can before January 24, 2022. You can download a copy of our Newbery Bingo Board here: