Novels in Verse Are a Novel Idea

Book cover for The CrossoverAs I’m sure many of us know by now, April is National Poetry Month! However, if you (or your children) are anything like me, you hear “poetry” and immediately think of vague metaphors you think you understand but aren’t quite sure. I have flashbacks to English literature courses, having to explain the significance of poems and having no idea what Keats, Dickinson or Frost actually meant. Well, I have discovered the best way to cure my poetry anxiety! Novels in verse are absolutely wonderful. They are separate poems that come together to tell one cohesive story. Even if you do not quite understand one of the poems, the rest are there to fill in the gaps so you know the whole story.

Novels in verse are perfect for middle grade readers (and adults who love reading children’s literature like myself!). This is the age where poetry starts getting introduced in schools, and for some it can seem scary and hard. These novels can make verse seem less alien and provide a love of poetry in young readers, encouraging them to read and write their own. I, personally, have found that reading multiple novels in verse has helped me not be so afraid of reading poetry and find that I can understand what the author is talking about and get drawn into the story, just like with a regular novel. Continue reading

Pull Your Poetry Out of the Dark in the Callaway County Youth Poetry Contest

boy writingApril is National Poetry Month! In celebration, the Callaway County Public Library and the Auxvasse Creative Arts Program are inviting Callaway County kids and teens to submit an original poem. This year, kids and teens are challenged to write a poem that explores the night, shadows, sleep, your dreams or the dark.

Prizes will be awarded to winners in each age group, and a brief awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 28th, at the Callaway County Public Library in Fulton. Download full contest rules and an entry form here. Entries must be received by April 30, 2015.

Need some inspiration? Check out this book list of recommended poetry and verse for kids.

Family Movie Night!

Need ideas for family movie night?

MaleficentVisit our Books to Movies collection, a special selection of feature films on DVD based on children’s and teen books! This collection includes classics like “Treasure Island” and “Bambi” as well as more contemporary films such as “The Hunger Games” and the Harry Potter series. We add to this collection all the time. Some of our newest titles include “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Frozen!”

One exciting recent addition to our Books to Movies collection is “Maleficent” starring Angelina Jolie. This is the first in a thrilling new series of live-action Disney films based on classic fairy tales. You might try this activity:

Read a few different versions of “Sleeping Beauty” with your family. The illustrations in Mahlon Craft’s retelling are stunning; Helen Lowe’s “Thornspell” offers a more elaborate story; and Michael Teitelbaum’s Golden Book edition is the good old Disney stand-by. Then view “Maleficent” together and chat about similarities and differences between the books and the film.

Don’t have time to stop by the library? No problem! Download family-friendly feature films to your device using our Hoopla media service. Browse categories like “Family Movie Night” and “Disney” to find the perfect movie for your family.

Bookmobile, Jr. Makes a New Stop

Bookmobile Jr

Click to enlarge map.

Did you know that library staff and Bookmobile, Jr. regularly visit community centers around Columbia? We do! Loaded with books and other materials for kids and adults to check out, our smaller bookmobile stops at Bear Creek, Blind Boone, and now… Columbia Square. That’s right: we have added a new location! While this new location was selected due to the needs of a flourishing tutoring program, anyone and EVERYONE is welcome to come aboard, look around, check out materials and get a library card. We hope to see you at one of our community stops soon!

Each month we visit:

  • Bear Creek Neighborhood
    1st Tuesday, 4-5 p.m., Elleta Blvd.
  • Columbia Square Neighborhood
    2nd Tuesday, 3:30-5 p.m., 1715 W. Worley St.
  • Bear Creek Neighborhood
    3rd Tuesday, 4-5 p.m., Elleta Blvd.
  • Blind Boone Neighborhood
    4th Tuesday, 3:30-5 p.m., 301 N. Providence

See the library’s website for the full schedule of stops for both bookmobiles.

Graphic Novels – Worthwhile Literature

For many, a graphic novel is just a long version of a comic book. While a number of graphic novels are larger collections of individual comic stories, a graphic novel in simple terms is a novel in comic-strip format. These graphic novels can be stand-alone stories, serialized, comprised of multiple issues, volumes in a series, etc. Graphic novels for young readers often include themes such as fitting in, growing up, friendship, dealing with loss, defeating monsters and saving the day (sometimes all in the same story!).

Continue reading