Very Good Lives

Earlier this week, Little, Brown Book Group announced they would be publishing an illustrated version of J. K. Rowling’s 2008 speech during a Harvard University commencement where she talked about the benefits of failure.

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Sales from the book, called VERY GOOD LIVES, will benefit Rowling’s charity called Lumos which aims to transform the lives of disadvantaged children. Similarly, it will also go toward providing financial aid to students at Harvard.

You can watch the original speech here, claimed by many to be one of the most memorable speeches in Harvard history. The book is bound to be just as riveting!

Published in: on December 3, 2014 at 3:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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Best Lines

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While we had a lot of fun during our Young Writers group meetings this past November, but we also wrote lots, too! And on our last day, some of the writers gave me copies of their work so that I could share a few tidbits with our patrons.  Much of the work was funny and inspired, but we also had a few sad moments, and lots of murder! (I know…these kids liked to plan exciting murders of some of our best-created characters!)

So, I’d like to share a few lines from some of these fascinating stories with you now. Totally out of context.

She was never really good at math, and 8th grade math was HARD–really hard. So Kelley’s mom tried to motivate Kelly by saying, “Kelly, if you fail your math test, I won’t let you go to the dance!” --Olivia

(Of course, Kelley really wanted to go to the dance, so she stole the answers to the math test. But she did wear a fabulous dress to the dance!)

 

Dec. 18th, 1989…about 10 minutes later.  So, basically Santa, after he heard that I rejected him, turned to THE DARK SIDE! So, no more Christmas! – Laura

(Turns out, there are some pretty nasty reindeer who don’t like Santa. And Santa can’t handle it!)

 

Hi, my name is G.G.R.O.B.A.R. This is how you say it—Grow-Bar. It stands for “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer”. And you know what? I feel really bad! I didn’t mean to run her over, but I’m blind. I run into stuff. Yes, it’s a big problem.”–Teegan

(There were quite a few references in here to drinking egg nog, and how stressful life can be until egg nog. Hmmmm…sounds like good egg nog to me!)

 

Once upon a time, in the old North Pole, there lived a reindeer. She had something all the other reindeer didn’t have.  She had rainbow magic!–Darwin

(Which turned out to be a good thing, because this reindeer also had a serious case of incontinence! )

 

I have a problem with cars.–Willow

(This reindeer happened to be very afraid of cars. Poor thing.)

 

I dream about flying through the sky with Rudolph. Isn’t he the cutest?–Cadence

(Yes, this reindeer had a mad crush on the one with the red nose. #reindeerproblems)

 

Lots of fun with these kids. We hope to have them back in 2015 to do lots more writing. Maybe without so many furry animals involved.

 

Published in: on December 2, 2014 at 3:12 am  Leave a Comment  
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Forest of Reading®

Forest of Reading® will begin in December, and we’re looking forward to it! For those who have never participated, it’s a great reading program for kids that allows them to choose a winning book. And the best part? All of the books are by Canadian authors or illustrators.

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How does it work? Starting in December, kids can come in and register in their specific reading category (by grade or reading level), and pick up their first book. Then, they have almost five months to read the selections. Each category includes 10 books, and except for Blue Spruce, we ask that kids read at least 8 of the 10 books in order to be able to vote. Because the Blue Spruce category is comprised of picture books, we don’t think it’s too difficult to get through all 10.

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I’ll be visiting schools starting in January to talk about the program, but it’s so much fun, we like to get started in December. Once your reader registers at the front desk, they can choose a book to take home to start reading. We’ll give them a brochure to keep track of everything….because it’s a long way until April and voting night.

nonfic2015Silver Birch Non-Fiction 2015

Then, we’ll get ready for voting night! Everyone who has read enough books in their category can vote. We ask them to mark their finished books in our binder so we can keep track of everyone eligible…..just like a real voting night! But the best part? There’s a party, too!

 fiction2015Silver Birch Fiction 2015

Everyone who registers and starts Forest of Reading® can come to the party. There will be plenty of cake, a fun contest, and we’ll announce the winners from our library vote. After that, we send off our list to Toronto to be tabulated with the rest of the province. It’s so exciting!

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Once all of the votes are in, the winners will be announced.  This is the only award given to a Canadian author or illustrator that only kids to get vote on, so it’s a big deal for everyone nominated. We’ll be sure to post the final winners in the library as well. Drop in to find out more about this great reading program for kids.

Writers, Writers!

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We have lots of people participating in writing groups at our library this November. While the Camp NaNoWriMo version of National Novel Writing Month was popular in April, we weren’t sure if everyone was ready to go again this month. But…..we have LOTS of participants! Not only do we have several people who wrote books in April working on new projects now, we also have many new members…some who started their projects as recently as last week. Will everyone finish? Maybe not, but our library group is all about supporting each other and trying to encourage the act of creativity.

But I must add, our lone 12-year-old participant is kicking butt!  She is not only meeting her daily word counts, but surpassing them! Way to go, Beky!

The added fun this month comes from our Young Writers Group which meets each Sunday. The numbers have been expanding each week, so much so, we had to add another table this past Sunday to our Tween group! These kids take their writing seriously, let me tell you. We usually begin with a fun writing exercise, something to get them thinking creatively, and then we move on to reading some of our writing. The best thing? These young writers are always eager to take home a few new books, so they’re always being inspired! (All right, I’m sure some of the draw is about snacks, but you can’t write without snacks, can you?)

It’s nice to know our community has such a great interest in writing. Will one of these authors publish a book that will end up on our shelves one day? Who knows? It’s so exciting!

Published in: on November 21, 2014 at 3:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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Choose

When I was a kid, the “Choose Your Own Adventure” series was one of the most popular set of books in our school library. If they didn’t have one of the books, I either went to our public library, or convinced someone to get me to a bookstore so I could buy the one I was looking for. It wasn’t just “one” book; each one could be read over and over, each time with a different path and a different ending. These were popular with everyone I knew, and it’s not surprising that they’ve kept up their popularity with young readers even today.

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The creator of the series, R. A. Montgomery, recently passed away at the age of 78 at his home in Vermont. He was a vital part of the series, including the website, and even went forth to create a series of video games that became popular in the 1980’s. I’m sure that the newer books have been written by a number of authors, but Montgomery will always be a vital part of the series, and readers will miss him.

We often get asked for these in the library, or something similar, even today. The outdated book covers aren’t even a deterrent for kids, which is unusual in this day of modern covers. It’s the idea of the this type of reading….being able to move back and forth through a book, making choices like they are a part of the outcome, that draws young readers in and keeps them coming back.  I think an adult version of this would be fun.

Did you read these when you were younger? Or are your children fans of the series?  We’d love to hear what you think!

Published in: on November 19, 2014 at 3:41 am  Comments (2)  
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The Book Olympics!

If you’ve ever wondered how those books you read are bought and sold right from the start, this could be for you. Each year, there are large book fairs held throughout the United States, as well as in Germany and other places overseas. At these book fairs, agents, publishers, authors and editors meet over the course of a few days to wheel and deal. Popular books are sold to foreign publishers, agents bring their latest and greatest finds and try to sell them off to potential publishing houses, and yes, there are even some great author readings and signings. If you’re lucky enough to be in one of these cities during a book fair, you might take in a workshop or get in a long line to have that best-seller signed by a favourite author. It’s an exciting time, for both authors, publishers and readers.

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PBS has decided they’ll try something fun this year and stream live coverage of the Miami Book Fair on their station November 21st – 23rd.  Producers are promising it to be Olympic-style coverage, with popular hosts dropping into various venues and events throughout the course of the fair. While it’s never really been done before, PBS knows their audience base has a high percentage of readers, and they felt this would appeal to viewers, even though book fairs generally are not the source of wild publicity.

You can read more about the event on PBS here.

 

Published in: on November 13, 2014 at 3:27 am  Leave a Comment  
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