Mallorie Colvin's blog

The Summer Book is now online!

Hey parents! Are you looking for things to keep your child busy this summer?  In addition to our Summer Reading Program and activities, there are lots of great things to do in Houston.  In past years, many of these activities were compiled in The Summer Book, which was available in our branches. Now it's even easier since The Summer Book has gone online.  Whether your kids are interested in robotics, dance, or anything in between you can find it in this searchable database of over 200 day camps and activities for kids in the Houston area.

1001 Books Before Kindergarten

This early literacy program is designed to help ready your child for Kindergarten. It sounds like a lot of books, but if you read only three books a day, you will be done in just about a year!

We hope you & your child will grow to love reading as much as we do, and we know that you will create special memories of reading together through participation in this program.

Check with the staff at your branch library to see what resources and programs are offered locally to guide and encourage you and your child through your reading journey.  Sign up with your librarian, or simply download the materials from our website.

Barbara Park, author of Junie B. Jones, has passed away

Barbara Park, beloved creator of Junie B. Jones, has passed away after a battle with ovarian cancer.  She was 66 years old.

Park was the author of over 50 books, more than half of which starred the incorrigible Junie B. Jones.  Park and Junie have been entertaining children for 20 years; from 1992's Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus to last year's Junie B. Jones, First Grader: Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten (and other thankful stuff).

School Library Journal has posted a complete obituary on their website.

New Book Picks -- September 2013

Toddlers (Ages 1-3)

Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton
While his mother is away finding food, a newborn  owl  falls out of his nest and anxiously tries to find her, receiving help from various forest animals.

Have Book — Will it be a hero or a villain?

So what did everyone choose for their explosive read last week?  Whatever it was, I hope you had a fun and relaxing Fourth of July weekend!

This week's Amazing read challenge is the classic battle of good vs. evil, hero vs. villain.  It could be a classic superhero comic book, a murder mystery, or a book by or about a personal hero of your own.  As always, get creative!  Half the fun is seeing how everyone interprets the challenge.

I haven't chosen a side yet, myself.  In the hero's corner is The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan - the true story of the women who worked at the Oak Ridge, TN atomic facility during WWII.  In the villain's corner is The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes, which is about a time-traveling serial killer.

For kids, there are lots of fun superhero books including the adorable Buzz Boy and Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold.  This would also be a great challenge for kids of all ages to re-read their favorite entry in the Harry Potter or Percy Jackson series.

We'd love to hear what you're reading this week! Share with us in the comments below, on Facebook, or Twitter.


Have Book - And They Turned it Into a Movie: Amazing Read Challenge Week 3

amazing read graphicThis week on the Amazing Read we challenge you to read a book that has been (or will be) turned into a movie!  For bonus points (not that we're keeping track) you could also watch the movie.  I always like to compare the two and see what they decided to change and which one I like better.  Spoiler alert: the book is (almost) always better.  I watched Warm Bodies, a zombie rom-com, over the weekend and I'm looking forward to reading the book this week.  We’d love to hear what you’re reading, so consider sharing with us through your Summer Reading Program log, by commenting on this post, or on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

In addition to the suggestions below, be sure to check out our Pinterest board: "Before They Were Movies."  Are we missing any of your favorites?

2013 Newbery and Caldecott Medal Winners Announced!

The winners of the John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott Medals were announced this morning in Seattle, giving us a total of ten more books to add to our "to read" list!

The Newbery Medal is "awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children."

2012 Teens' Top Ten Winners

The Teens' Top Ten is a "teen choice" list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year! Nominators are members of teen book groups in sixteen school and public libraries around the country. Nominations are posted on Support Teen Literature Day, the Thursday of National Library Week, and teens across the country vote on their favorite titles each year. Readers ages twelve to eighteen voted online in August and September; the winners were announced at the start of Teen Read Week.

The Amazing Read: Summer Reading Challenge, Week 6

I've spent the last couple of weeks watching the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, so when I saw last week's challenge to read about a competition, tennis was an obvious choice.  I ended up reading Andre Agassi's autobiography Open.  As someone who has never been particularly athletic, I was fascinated to read about his intense training as well as everything he gave up to reach greatness.

I could just as easily have read the same book for this week's challenge: read about someone you find intriguing.  You could read about a favorite celebrity, athlete, politician, or historical figure.  Are you fascinated by hobbits?  You could read The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  This week I will be reading Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Houston local Jenny Lawson.  What will you be reading?

Follow us on Twitter!

Exciting news!  We have a brand new Twitter especially for teens!  Follow us at @HCPLTeens to find out what's going on at the library, teen book news, and updates from your favorite authors.  If you prefer Facebook, you can get all of our updates there, too!  Just click here and like us.

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