Tag Archives: middle grade readers

Best of 2012: Children’s Books Display

27 Dec

By Ann Lattinville

As you enter the children’s room, we have a small book case with a rotating display.  Sometimes we shelve craft and activity books– which we like to call “boredom busters”– and sometimes we shelve “staff picks”, or summer reading suggestions, or other thematic groupings. The list of ideas for featuring the collection is virtually endless.

We have decided that for the next few weeks the display will contain a mix of picture books, easy readers, and chapter books in fiction and nonfiction. What these books all have in common is that they have each appeared on “Best of 2012” book lists.

Best of 2012 Display 2

Not surprisingly, each of these titles are also books we have checked out to patrons and re-shelved over and over again. From Z is for Moose, by Kelly Bingham, (a perennial favorite at pre-school story time) to The Fairy Ring, or Elsie and Frances Fool the World, by Mary Losure, a fantastic work of nonfiction that reads like a mystery novel, there’s something that is sure to appeal to every one.

Both books mentioned in this post are available through the Old Colony Library Network. Scituate Town Library owns both as hardcover editions.  Abington Public Library owns The Fairy Ring, or Elsie and Frances Fool the World on audio CD! You can request it through the Old Colony Library Network by placing a hold. You can pick it up at the Scituate Town Library and return it to the Scituate Town Library when you’re done.

For a look at some of the “Best of 2012” book lists, follow these links to: School Library Journal, Booklist, or the New York Times.

Best of 2012 Display 1

Advertisements

Wonder, by R. J. Palacio

27 Dec

By Ann Lattinville

If you’re looking for a great book for a child in Grade 4-7, you might consider Wonder by R.J. Palacio.  The story’s central character is Auggie Pullman, an ordinary kid who has overcome some extraordinary circumstances. Born with genetic facial abnormalities, he’s had over 27 surgeries by they time the reader meets him at the beginning of the book. Auggie doesn’t dwell on that though and tells the reader up front that he’s not going to describe his birth defects, so don’t bother asking.  Instead, he moves the reader right past that to his more immediate problem: he’s been home-schooled up until the present day but his parents have decided it’s time for him to start Grade 5 at Beecher Prep!

Now he’s got to navigate the social minefield that is middle school. As you might expect, there are issues with being the kid who is “different.”  But with patient, humorous parents and a few good friends who have his back, Auggie’s story of his first year in school with other kids unfolds to a satisfying conclusion.

When I went to the schools to talk to students about summer reading ideas last spring, I brought this book. Kids immediately gravitated toward its striking cover and asked about it. At one school, a student was simply unable to contain his enthusiasm for this novel and impressed upon his peers that everyone should read this book, including grown-ups. Now that’s high praise from the fourth grade! And I heartily agree with that student.

auggie

For excellent parental observations about the book, see Maria Russo’s review in the New York Times.