Mock Newbery Award

newberymedalsm.jpgEvery January the Newbery Medal is awarded to the author of the most distinguished children's book of the year.  It is sort of like the Oscar award of children's literature.  It has become a kind of tradition for people across the country to gather and hold "mock" Newbery discussions before the winner is announced.  They discuss some of their favorite books of the year and try to guess which one might be the year's award winner.

Earlier this week I attended one of these mock Newbery gatherings with a group of librarians to discuss which book we would like to see win this prestigous award in 2009.  We discussed about a dozen different titles and ended up with one winner and two honor books.  Here are the results:

The winner:  Keeping Score by Linda Sue Park

The honors (runners-up):  The Underneath by Kathi Appelt
                                       Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor 

Do you have a favorite book you hope will win this year's Newbery medal?  The actual winner will be announced on Monday, January 26.  Stay tuned to find out which outstanding book is this year's winner.

The Tale of Despereaux

despereauxbook.jpgHave you read the Newbery medal-winning novel The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo?  This delightful book tells the story of a small mouse with big ears, the princess that he loves, a servant girl who longs to be a princess, and the devious rat determined to bring them all to ruin.  And now this wonderful story has been made into a movie featuring the talents of such actors as Matthew Broderick, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Watson and Kevin Kline.  It opens December 19 at a theater near you.

despereauxmovie.jpgThis would be a great book to read together as a family either before or after seeing the movie.  It's always fun to compare the book with the movie.  Stop by the library and check out a copy, or get on the waiting list if all copies are checked out.  This is a great book worth waiting for!

Holiday Staff Picks 2008

It's that time of year again when the Children'sstack_of_books.gif staff at the Olathe Main Library and the Indian Creek Branch Library pick some of our favorite books of the year.  We compile our list of Holiday Staff Picks and put these books on display at both libraries.  The books will be on display starting Friday, November 28, and will be up through the end of the year.  So if you are looking for some gift ideas for the young book lovers on your holiday shopping list, stop by the library and check out our display.  You can also view our list of picks by clicking this link:  Holiday Staff Picks.  Happy holidays and happy reading!

Kansas Reads to Preschoolers 2008

bearfeelssick.jpgKansas Reads to Preschoolers is a state-wide reading initiative sponsored by the State Library of Kansas and the Kansas Center for the Book.  The goal is to read the same book to every preschooler in the state of Kansas during the week of November 16-22.  This year's book is Bear Feels Sick by Karma Wilson.  The Olathe Public Library is doing its part by reading this book at our library storytimes throughout the week.  We will also be going out to read this book to children at nearly 40 area daycares and preschools.  You may also stop by either Olathe library and make a get well card for Bear.  This is our fourth year to participate in this fun and rewarding program for the youngest children of our community and state.

The Votes Are In!

wimpypigeon.JPGThe library's Vote for Books campaign is over for 2008, and the winners are...President Wimpy Kid and Vice-President Pigeon!  Here is the breakdown of the final vote count at the Olathe libraries.

Wimpy Kid & Pigeon  46%
Clementine & Fancy Nancy  27%
Percy Jackson & Skippyjon Jones  18%
David Mortimer Baxter & Olivia  9%

And here is the breakdown of votes from libraries throughout greater Kansas City.

Wimpy Kid & Pigeon  43%
Clementine & Fancy Nancy  24%
Percy Jackson & Skippyjon Jones  23%
David Mortimer Baxter & Olivia  10%

The local votes pretty much reflect those throughout the metro area.  The young voters have spoken.  Thanks to everyone who voted.  It was an exciting race!

Cool Sites

kids_boy_smllr1.gifHave you explored the Cool Sites page on our website?  This is a great place to find some good kid-friendly web links.  Sites are listed by categories such as Books & Magazines, Homework Help, Local Links, Nature & Science, Fun & Games, and more.  Below are a few websites most recently added to the list:

Harry Potter Lexicon - Here you can find information about all things Harry Potter.
Professor Garfield - Garfield the Cat will guide you through a variety of fun educational activities related to science, math, reading, art, and more.
International Children's Digital Library - On this site you can read children's books online in many different languages---from Hebrew to Farsi to Chinese to Russian.  Some languages you may not have even heard of, like Tagalog or Shona.
ZOOM - This is the official website for the popular PBS series for elementary-aged kids.
FCC Kids Zone - This government site provides interesting information on different kinds of communication and technology like cell phones, television, computers, etc.
Ziggity Zoom - Play games, color pictures, read stories, and more on this fun site for preschoolers.

Do you have a favorite website you think would be a good addition to our list of cool sites?  Tell us about it by clicking on "Comments" below.  We may want to add it to our list.

Vote for Books 2008

The Kansas City metro area libraries (including Olathe) are having an election for favorite book characters.  There are four pairs of running mates.  You are encouraged to stop by either Olathe library and cast your vote.  You may vote anytime between October 14 - November 4.  Below is a sample ballot listing the candidates.  May the best team win!

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Vote for Books - Round 2

voteforbooks.jpgWith all the growing excitement about the upcoming presidential election, here's a chance for you to cast a vote for your favorite books.  On the Vote for Books website, kids have been voting since January 1 for their all-time favorites.  They are down to eight finalists in four categories:  favorite picture book, favorite chapter book, favorite series for young readers, and favorite series for older readers.  You have until October 13 to cast your "Round 2" vote.  After that the top two titles in each category will face off with each other for the ultimate winner.  You may cast your final "Round 3" votes beginning October 13.  The winners will be announced on Election Day, November 4.  So click here to vote now!

You may also vote for your favorite book characters right here at the library between October 14 - November 4.  Stay tuned for details.

Banned Books Week 2008

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Libraries across America are celebrating Banned Books Week September 27-October 4.  This is an annual celebration of our freedom to read and a reminder not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted.  Librarians work diligently to provide access to all ideas, information, and viewpoints.

Among the ten most challenged books of 2007 are the children's titles And Tango Makes Three, Olive's Ocean, The Golden Compass, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and It's Perfectly Normal.  The most challenged books between the years 2000-2005 include the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling, the Alice books by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, the Scary Stories books by Alvin Schwartz and the Captain Underpants books by Dav Pilkey.

Celebrate your freedom to read during Banned Books Week by reading a book of your choice!

Read to a Dog

Do you love books?  Do you love dogs?  Then come practice your reading by reading aloud to a friendly dog at the library.  Here is our Read to a Dog schedule for the rest of the year:

Saturday, October 4, 1:30-2:30 p.m. at the Indian Creek Branch
Saturday, November 1, 1:30-2:30 p.m. at the Main Library
Saturday, December 6, 1:30-2:30 p.m. at the Indian Creek Branch

000_0167.jpgNo advanced registration is necessary, but reading sessions are limited and will be available on a first come, first served basis.  Come to the Children's Desk upon arrival and check in for a reading time.  R.E.A.D. trained therapy dogs are provided by Pets for Life, Inc.  For more information call (913) 971-6874.

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