Kids Early Readers
We all know about the Newbery and Caldecott and (I hope) the Printz awards. Another award I respect is the Boston Globe/Horn Book Awards. An honor book this year is Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke… so I looked it up to read it.
For some reason I thought it was about a girl growing up in Hawaii. I guess it was the “hibiscus “ in the title (talk about stereotyping!). But Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa. Amazing Africa. These two sentences are the start of every chapter, and the 4 books in this series are amazing books.
It’s unusual because I think there are few books for beginning chapter book readers that take place in other countries, and none that I can think of in Africa. By getting to know Anna, readers take a look at our own American culture through her eyes, and see that there are many ways to live in our world.
Anna lives with her big, extended, loving family in a compound in the middle of a city ( the country is never named).
In the four books, Anna learns about others in her city who are not as privileged as she is, is surprised that her Canadian mother grew up in a house with only her mother and father and her own room,(how lonely!), overcomes stage fright when she is asked to sing in front of the president of her country, and visits her grandmother in Canada and sees snow.
The author, Atinuke, is a storyteller, and the tales do have a kind of rhythm to them. They would be great to read aloud. More stories from Amazing Africa, please, Atinuke!
Here's a great website for parents looking for books for their children, info on why reading is so important, the best books to read aloud, and more. It's authored by Jim Trelease, an expert on literacy for children.
Every summer it seems we get many requests from parents asking us to help their school-age sons find something to read. Many times these boys are reluctant readers. Connecting a child with a book he is eager to read is one of our greatest pleasures!
Did you know there are also great websites that have book suggestions for boys, tips for getting boys to read, and more?
Guys Read, a web-based literacy program for boys is a great place to start. It was begun by author (and Flint, MI native) Jon Scieszka, named in 2008 as the first National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.
Boy Meets Book is also an excellent website for finding books boys will like and tips for parents of boys. This website was created by Michael Sullivan - teacher, librarian, chess instructor, author, storyteller, and expert on boys and reading.
One of my favorite websites for reading about children's books is KidsReads.com. Besides the Great Books for Boys list, other features include lists of new books, series books, and books into movies as well as trivia, author interviews, contests and more.
Did you know that the Friends of the East Lansing Public Library have used books for sale every day? It's the best deal in town! Stop in the library and check out the Friendshop, where you'll find tons of used books at great prices. There's something for everyone - adult fiction, mysteries, history, gardening, music CDs, magazines, children's books, and much more. You'll pay a fraction of the price of brand new, and when you're done, you can donate them back to the library! And remember, all proceeds benefit the library.
Check out the Friends' web site for more information.
Back by popular demand! Hurry! Space is limited.
Join us for a special reading time with a trained therapy dog. Each session will last 10 minutes. Bring your own book or choose one at the library.
Ages 5 and up.