In Case You Missed It: The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness

The third book in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness SeriesWith over 20,000 children’s books published in the United States each year, even the most prolific reader can feel overwhelmed. Sometimes great books, or even entire series, can get lost in the ocean of new books. Luckily, I’m here to tell you about a wonderful series that you might have missed -The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness written by Michelle Paver.

The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness is a six-book historical fantasy series published between 2004 and 2009. There are at least two benefits of reading a series five years after its conclusion. First, and most importantly, you don’t have to wait around for the next book’s release. Second, you know from word-of-mouth and critical acclaim whether the series sustained its quality and whether it has a satisfying ending (spoiler alert – it does).

Historical and fantasy books abound, but the Paver series is unique because it is set in a rarely-utilized time period – the Stone Age. The events of The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness take place 6,000 years ago. Even though the story has fantasy elements, the reader also learns about life in prehistoric Europe. Paver slept in the forest and utilized only tools, food and clothing that would have been available to the characters in the book. Continue reading

But Series-ously: Juvenile Historical Fiction

Book cover for With the Might of Angels, a book in the Dear America seriesConfession: One of the most satisfying questions to get from an early reader is something like, “I really liked so-and-so book, do you have any more like that?” when you know that yes, yes, burgeoning reader, you have picked a book in a series! Let’s get as many books as possible into your hot little hands! Read! Read, you young absorbent mind – read like the wind!

While I am a firm believer in the theory that whatever a child is reading, within the parameters of law and reason of course, is good because they are reading, it is such a cherry on top when there is an educational facet to these series. See? Interdisciplinary learning can be recreational fun! Okay, maybe don’t take it that far with your child/student/patron, as you’ll likely send them running from the stacks and your vicinity in general, but hopefully you see my point.

The further good news is that while the classics of juvenile historical fiction, such as the Little House on the Prairie series, are still popular and valuable, this particular genre has really expanded over the past decade or two, especially in series form. And again, that series factor can be crucial if you need to strike while the enthusiasm for reading – I mean, the iron – is hot.

An American Girl bookBesides becoming a mega-doll industry, American Girl has managed to pump out some (and by “some,” I actually mean “oodles of”) pretty good books that cover a wide range of American demographics, periods of time, geographical location, etc., while still retaining a relevance to things girls today experience. Continue reading

Encourage Curiosity!

butterfly nonfiction booksWe often want to build on our children’s curiosity, but do you always have the right answer when they ask, “Why?” We can often discover the answers together in books shared between parent and child. Knowledge about the world, even in very young children, is key to understanding. Pairing a story and a factual book on nature or science helps expand children’s scientific knowledge. Read aloud “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, and then explore a nonfiction book on butterflies. Since related activities can help reinforce learning, you may also want to perform a fingerplay of “Little Arabella Miller.” Here’s how.

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Books on Moving

Finding a new home when moving is hard, and finding books on moving can be just as challenging. As the new school year quickly approaches, we’ve gotten more requests for books to help children work through the challenges of moving. Fortunately, your friendly librarians have created a list just for you! Whether you’ve just moved here (welcome to our library!) or are moving somewhere else (you’ll be missed!), we have books to help your child with the moving process.  Having trouble picking? Below are a few favorites.

Book cover for Bella and Stella Come HomeBella and Stella Come HomeA little girl tries to reassure her favorite doll when they move to a new, and very different, home. But how do they trust a house that seems so empty and full of echoes?

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What Book Is Next in a Series?

One of the most frequent questions we librarians answer is what book is next in a series. And we love answering this question, as we enjoy chatting with patrons about what they’re reading. However, if you want some do-it-yourself tips on how you can easily find out what book is next in the series, whether you are searching our online catalog or browsing the Internet, read on!

In the Catalog

Have you ever heard of NoveList? You can find this term in our catalog. Say you are looking at “Fablehaven,” by Brandon Mull. You really liked the book and want to find the next in the series. Not all books have numbers on the side as easy identifiers. First, click on the first book (in this case, “Fablehaven”). Then, look for the NoveList link on the right side. Clicking that link will usually give you all the books in that series plus recommendations for similar titles.

Showing the NoveList link.

After clicking on a title, click the NoveList link to the right.

NoveList display

Once you click on NoveList, you’ll see series titles and similar recommendations.

 
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