“What books can I share with kids about a dying pet?”

Collie sitting and looking up expectantly

One of the hardest topics for parents to talk about with children--especially young children--is death.   Death is sometimes scary. It's mysterious, and often sad. Most of us want to protect the children we love from scary, sad, and mysterious situations. However, if you live a life with animals as I do, you need to know about […]

Read More

Road-Rage Busters: Great Audiobooks to Make Traffic (Seem) Less Horrible

You know how the book is always better than the movie? Well, it doesn't work that way with audiobooks! Some books are great reads, and some are also great to hear. Some are--gasp!-- even better heard than seen.  Also: audiobooks written for young audiences are often delightful for adult listeners, and audiobooks written for an older […]

Read More

Book Review: Ghosts

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier Catrina and her family move to Bahia de la Luna because Cat's little sister Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool salty air from the sea. Soon the girls and their family learn that the town and nearby mission is haunted--and the townspeople welcome the ghosts. They even throw a big […]

Read More

Better than underwear: book gift suggestions for teens

"On the First Day of Shopping, Old Santa said to me..."   Want to give your favorite teens and tweens a gift more fun than underwear?  Here are some suggestions:   Mighty Jack (graphic novel) by Ben Hatke Mighty Jack I thought that nothing would ever supplant my fangirl love of Hatke's Zita the Space Girl, but Mighty […]

Read More

How do you KNOW it’s a hoax? (or: How to outsmart the Internet)

Animals laughing

Whether it's the latest rumor about Facebook stealing your photos or the warning you got from a friend-of-a-friend about razorblades in the Hallowe'en candy, how do you know if it's bogus, outdated, or just plain wrong?   Here are few tips to help you OUTSMART THE INTERNET: 1. Consider the distance from the source, (or: Where did […]

Read More

What is NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writing Month: a marathon of authorship, a crazy pell-mell excursion into composition, a headlong dive into WRITING THE FIRST DRAFT OF A NOVEL IN 30 DAYS! I speak from experience when I say that you probably won't write a great book in a month. First drafts are rarely great. But once you have a first draft, why, […]

Read More

Do you wanna read something SCARY (but not too scary)?

featured image

I love scary books. But I don't like being scared. It's kind of a problem. When kids at the library ask me for "scary books," I push back a little. How scary? Do they want spooky, or creepy, or yukky? Would they prefer horrifying or shocking? Or would eerie and strange be better? I offer the following list as suggestions for middle-grade readers who like […]

Read More

Wanna hear something REALLY scary?

Do you know the one about the time some guys picked up a hitchhiker...but when they got to their destination, the hitchhiker had vanished? Or the one about the lady who always wore a red ribbon around her neck? When I was growing up, everybody told scary stories. Kids told them to younger kids. Teachers told them to […]

Read More

Sometimes it’s Chopin, sometimes it’s “Chopsticks”

featured image

In August, we keep the bookdrop door open. Not just to confound the library's HVAC system, which invariably kicks into must heat the building right now" mode around midsummer each year. Not just to ease the steady enter-and-exit of rolling bins as returned books, magazines, DVDs and music are returned through the slots by the front door. In August, […]

Read More

Pizza leads to literacy (everyone knows that)

featured image

What has 280 toes, eats 4 pizzas in an hour, and was recently featured in a podcast?   Why, the Teen Pizza and Book Club at the Lake Forest Park Library, of course! Meeting on the first Tuesday of each month at the Lake Forest Park Library, Pizza and Books attracts between 6 and 18 readers between the […]

Read More