What's Happening in Youth Services

Yesterday, our librarians held a Mock Caldecott discussion.

What's a Caldecott, you ask? It's an annual award for the artist of the most distinguished picture book for children, given by the Association for Library Services to Children (part of the American Library Association).

What's a Mock Caldecott discussion, you wonder? A fun way for librarians to predict which picture book will be given the award. (Last year, our clever librarians were right -- A Sick Day for Amos McGee won the "award" in the library and in real life!).

This year, we selected nine books to discuss.  They are:

Me... Jane written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell

Balloons Over Broadway: the True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade written and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Grandpa Green written and illustrated by Lane Smith

Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat written and illustrated by Philip C. Stead

Where's Walrus written and illustrated by Stephen Savage

Brother Sun, Sister Moon: Saint Francis of Assisi's Canticle of the Creatures written by Katherine Paterson and illustrated by Pamela Dalton

Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature written by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beth Krommes

Tiny Little Fly written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Kevin Waldron

Cookiebot: a Harry and Horsie Adventure written by Katie Van Camp and illustrated by Lincoln Agnew

After discussing each book as related to the official Caldecott criteria, the librarians took different colored M&Ms to mark their first, second, and third place choices for the award. Three rounds of voting were held. Like the official Caldecott committee, third place votes were awarded one point, second place votes three points, and first place votes five points. (Unlike the real one, it was much more delicious.) Each book's votes were tallied after each round of voting.

Round 1 Results: Me...Jane: 32 votes
Brother Sun, Sister Moon: 22 votes
Grandpa Green: 21 votes
Where's Walrus: 21 votes
Swirl by Swirl: 19 votes
Cookiebot: 13 votes
Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat: 6 votes
Balloons Over Broadway: 3 votes
Tiny Little Fly: 2 votes

The four books receiving the lowest amount of votes were then eliminated.

Round 2 Results:
Me...Jane: 26 votes
Where's Walrus: 24 votes
Grandpa Green: 19 votes
Swirl by Swirl: 17 votes
Brother Sun, Sister Moon: 13 votes

The lowest two books were eliminated, and the final round of voting began.

The book with the highest number of votes (and it had to win by five, as per the official committee rules) would win the Highland Park Public Library Youth Services Department Mock Caldecott Medal, and second and third place the HPPL YSD Mock Caldecott Honor Award.

Round 3 Results
Me...Jane: 39 votes
Where's Walrus: 33 votes
Grandpa Green: 23 votes

Congratulations to Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell, Where's Walrus by Stephen Savage, and Grandpa Green by Lane Smith!


Stay tuned for a Mock Newbery post next week.

Posted by:
Post date: Wed, 01/11/2012 - 10:18am

One of Highland Park Public Library's favorite authors, Neil Gaiman, thought up All Hallows Read last year - a new literary Halloween tradition of giving someone a scary book. On the All Hallows Read website, Gaiman, publishers, and assorted blogs around the web have provided some recommendations (including our blog post from last year, which will only remain on the web until January), but we have a few new suggestions:

Picture Books:

Poultrygeist by Mary Jane Auch

The Perfect Pumpkin Pie by Denys Cazet

Boo, Bunny! by Kathryn Osebold Galbraith

Goodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody by Michael Rex

Easy Readers - JP:

The Flat Man by Rose Impey

This Book is Haunted by Joanne Rocklin

In a Dark Dark Room, and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz

A Dark and Noisy Night: A Silly Thriller with Peggy the Pig by Lisa Thiesing

Juvenile Books - J Fiction or Nonfiction:

The House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs

Zombiekins by Kevin Bolger

The Monster's Ring by Bruce Coville

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman

Wait til Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn

Half-Minute Horrors edited by Susan Rich

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

Beware! R.L. Stine Picks His Favorite Scary Stories

Young Adult Books - JY:

The Dead Boys by Royce Buckingham

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

Bonechiller by Graham McNamee

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz

All Hallows' Eve: 13 Stories by Vivian Vande Velde

Malice by Chris Wooding

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

Beware! R.L. Stine Picks His Favorite Scary Stories


As always, a display of Halloween books is in the Youth Department hallway, and you can ask our librarians for other suggestions by coming in to visit, or using our IM Reference services linked on our main kids' page.

If you have any favorite scary kids' reads, please recommend them in comments!!

Spooky reading!

Posted by:
Post date: Wed, 10/26/2011 - 11:06am

The Youth Sevices Department continues to prepare for the new Book Match season.  Staff has written twenty-five questions for each of the thirty-three new Book Match titles. 

Book Match readers continue to read their way through the fifty book list.  Many have checked out one of the Youth Services eighteen Book Match Nooks.  Using the Nooks, some kids have managed to read three or more Book Match titles during the three week loan period.

At participating schools Book Match preparation is in full swing as students and coaches meet to practice for the winter season.

Posted by:
Post date: Thu, 10/20/2011 - 1:55pm

The model trains will be rolling again on Saturday, Oct. 22nd form 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m..  The guys from the North Central O Guagers Railroad club spend hours creating all those fantastic Halloween scenes.  I'm sure that many of the old favorites will be back and I bet there will be some great additions.  Lots of people have been asking about this event already.  It's become a Halloween traditon in Highland Park.

Posted by:
Post date: Wed, 09/28/2011 - 5:08pm

Hear ye! Hear Ye!

A wonderful time was had by all at the Renaissance Faire hosted by the Highland Park Public Library on Sunday, June 5th.  The faire was the grand kick-off event for the Youth Services summer reading program, “A Midsummer Knight’s Read.”  

On a picture perfect day, in the clearing behind the library, faire goers met knights, ladies-in-waiting, a royal falconer with hunting falcons and hawks, and the court jester.  The faire was made possible by The Friends of the Highland Park Library.

For more pictures of the faire go to The Library Gerbils' Facebook Page.

Posted by:
Post date: Thu, 06/09/2011 - 7:54pm

There's a lot more coming in May than warm weather and flowers.  For the first time some of the Book Match titles will also be available on Nooks.

Starting May 1st anyone aged 8 and up can check out one of the Youth Services Nooks for three weeks.  Look for the display on the side panel of the Book Match book shelf.

The Nooks and the Book Match e-books were generously funded by the Trillium Foundation.

Posted by:
Post date: Tue, 04/05/2011 - 4:38pm

The Youth Services Department is pleased to announce the arrival of their new staff members, Arthur Pengerbil, Merlin Ambrogerbil, and Lancelot du Gerbil.  Arthur is a standard brown gerbil, Merlin is a black tuxedo gerbil, and Lancelot is a Siamese gerbil.  Come by and see them, or if you can't wait for your next library trip, you can watch their first YouTube video.

Posted by:
Post date: Mon, 04/04/2011 - 2:47pm

Have you ever heard of the John Newbery Medal? It is an award given every year by the American Library Association to the author of the most distinguished American children’s book. You have probably already read books that have won the medal or received a Newbery Honor without even knowing it!

The award-winning book is chosen each year by a committee of ALA members using the following criteria:
- interpretation of the theme or concept;
- presentation of information including accuracy, clarity, and organization;
- development of a plot;
- delineation of characters;
- delineation of a setting;
- appropriateness of style.

Before the award is given each year, many libraries and bookstores hold a “Mock Newbery,” choosing a selection of children’s books from that year that they think are contenders for the medal. There is no official list of books considered for the award, unlike the Academy Awards, and so part of the fun of a Mock Newbery is choosing just a few of the many excellent books of the year. After choosing a list of books to discuss, participants in a Mock Newbery act as if they were on the real Newbery deciding committee and choose a Newbery winner.

This year, a few of us here in the Youth Services department worked hard to create a list of five books we felt both met the Newbery criteria and were worthy of discussing. They are, in no particular order:

The Search for Wondla by Tony DiTerlizzi, One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia, Keeper by Kathi Appelt, Simeon's Story: An Eyewitness Account of the Kidnapping of Emmett Till by Simeon Wright, The Dreamer by Pam Muñoz Ryan.

We also have a few books to talk about that won’t be on our ballot, but that we thought were worthy of mentioning. They are:
On the Blue Comet by Rosemary Wells
As Easy as Falling off the Face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
Sir Charlie: Chaplin, the Funniest Man in the World by Sid Fleischman
A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whelan Turner
and Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson.

This morning, we held our Mock Newbery discussion. We discussed each of the books in turn, and then held two votes.

And now… drumroll please…

Highland Park Public Library’s Youth Services Department choice for the John Newbery Medal recipient for 2011 is….

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Oakland, 1968.
Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern arrive at the airport to spend the summer with their mother, Cecile. Cecile abandoned her three daughters shortly Fern’s birth and hasn’t seen or spoken to them since. Delphine is not looking forward to the summer. When she finds out her mother is involved in the Black Panthers, Delphine wonders how she can protect her sisters from the rioting and arrests that are happening, because it’s obvious Cecile isn’t going to.

Our selections for Honor books were:
Keeper by Kathi Appelt and The Search for Wondla by Tony DiTerlizzi!

Posted by:
Post date: Fri, 03/11/2011 - 3:50pm