Happy Hobbit Happenings

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit,” is the very first line of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic story, “The Hobbit.” Where else can you find a hobbit besides in the ground? How about near the top of just about every children’s book list?

Cover to Daniel Boone Regional Library is happy to celebrate Hobbit Day, which is honored around the world on September 22 (as hobbits Bilbo and Frodo Baggins were born on this date).

Happy Hobbit Day!
Columbia: Monday, September 22, 2014 • 6:30-8 p.m.
September 22 is the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. Come celebrate J.R.R. Tolkien’s characters. You’ll learn to spell your name in Dwarven runes, play games, create crafts and help Bilbo find all 13 dwarves hiding in the library. Ages 8 and older. Registration is now open.

Hobbit Day
Ashland: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 • 3:30-4:30 p.m.
September 22 is the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. Come celebrate J.R.R. Tolkien’s hobbits and other characters with crafts and activities. Ages 8-14.

Hobbit Day
Fulton: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 • 4-5 p.m.
September 22 is the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. Come celebrate J.R.R. Tolkien’s hobbits and other characters with crafts and activities. Ages 5 and older.

Be sure to check out Tolkien’s other works as well. Most have heard of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, but did you know he also wrote a delightful Christmas novel, “The Father Christmas Letters,” as well? And if you love all things hobbit-related, be sure to check out gems such as “The Wisdom of the Shire” and “The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth” or any other materials related to hobbits. We have books, ebooks, audio books, DVDs, CDs and more.

In Case You Missed It: Inkheart

You often hear “Never judge a book by its cover.” And of course, you’d never, EVER think a librarian would judge a book by its cover. Except I did (as I’m sure have many of my cohorts).

Inkheart CoverOne day, while roaming the shelves for a new read, I came across Cornelia Funke’s “Inkheart.” The book cover for this edition was gorgeous. A fairy-taleish design, a hand popping out of a picture showing a burning castle, a fancy font…I knew I had to read this book. Thankfully, I was not disappointed. Far from it.

Inkheart” is the story of 12-year-old Meg and her father, Mo. Mo works as a bookbinder, but he also has an even rarer talent – when he reads aloud, he often reads characters out of books into the real world. Cool, right? Wouldn’t you love to meet characters from your favorite novels? Well, the catch is that Mo doesn’t get to choose who or what comes out AND something from the real world has to take its place in the story. When Meg was a little girl, Mo accidentally read three characters out of a novel, “Inkheart,” and his wife disappeared the same night without a trace. Now the villainous Capricorn, read out of the story, is after Mo and Meg.

This wonderful book is the first in a trilogy, with the other two parts being “Inkspell” and “Inkdeath.” Be sure to also check out other books by Cornelia Funke – she’s an engaging author and has written many wonderful tales for children and teens. Like what you read? Come find me at Columbia’s Children’s Desk, and I can give you plenty of other recommendations of great fantasy stories…regardless of their covers.

Great Websites for Kids!

Kids using touch screen computerThe Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) maintains a helpful online resource that all parents should know about, “Great Websites for Kids.” Looking for some fun and educational sites to share with your children? Try some of the links below! And be sure to check out Great Websites for Kids” frequently - a different website is highlighted every week.

Creative Kids Central
Creative Kids Central encourages young people to explore the power and beauty of classical music. Co-sponsored by Classical KUSC 91.5 in Los Angeles and the Creative Kids Education Foundation, this site is primarily aimed at children aged 7-9, their families, and caregivers. 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

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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