Archive for July, 2013

Great Kids Books About Being Different

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

One of the wonderful things about books is that they can take you out of your life and let you look through someone else’s eyes, to see the world in a whole new way. This can be particularly moving when the character has difficulties that may not affect you personally, but could allow you to see that new kid at school or the neighbor who lives one street over with more empathy and understanding.

Out_of_my_mindOut of My Mind by Sharon Draper features 11-year-old Melody.  Melody remembers everything perfectly, but no one at school can see past the girl in the wheelchair, the girl with cerebral palsy. With the help of her neighbor and getting the chance to integrate with a regular classroom, she just might be able to reach out without saying a word.

WonderWonder by R.J. Palacio is about Auggie, who was born with a facial deformity that has prevented him from attending school because of the number of surgeries he has had. Now he is in middle school and attending school for the very first time. His big sister, Via, gets a chance to give her point of view as she starts a new high school. The different voices really add to the story!

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine introduces Caitlin, who has Aspberger’s and relies on her brother, Devon, to help her make sense of other people’s reactions to her. But when Devon unexpectedly dies, Caitlin is left to figure out things on her own, including how to help her father.

If you have read another great youth book that fits this category, leave a comment below!


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Reading for Rides

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

rfr350You probably know that we are offering some awesome reading incentives through Summer Reading @ KDL. Did you also know that reading can earn you some free ride time at the Kent County Youth Fair?

We are pleased to sponsor Reading for Rides! Kids 12 and under are asked to read 5 books and fill out and print an online registration form. Bring the form with you to the Kent County Youth Fair on Tuesday, August 6, and your child can ride free from noon to 4:00 PM!

The great people from the Kent County Youth Fair have created really cute booklets called K.C. Lost Her Bell. Stop by your local KDL branch and pick up a free copy.



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New Languages from Mango

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Now there’s even more Mango to choose from! Our online language learning resource, Mango Languages, recently added even more new languages to their program:

  • Armenian
  • Azerbaijani
  • Bengali
  • Hungarian
  • Kazakh
  • Malay
  • Malayalam
  • Punjabi
  • Scottish Gaelic
  • Serbian
  • Telugu
  • Yiddish
  • ESL for Arabic (MSA) Speakers
  • ESL for Armenian Speakers

Mango Languages is FREE to all KDL cardholders, and is an easy, effective way to learn to speak a foreign language. Courses are currently available in 61 foreign languages and 17 English as a Second Language (ESL) courses:

  • Arabic (Egyptian)
  • Arabic (Levantine)
  • Arabic (MSA)
  • Armenian
  • Azerbaijani
  • Bengali
  • Chinese (Cantonese)
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Croatian
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dari
  • Dutch
  • Farsi (Persian)
  • Finnish
  • French
  • French (Canadian)
  • Scottish Gaelic
  • German
  • Greek
  • Greek (Ancient)
  • Greek (Koine)
  • Haitian Creole
  • Hawaiian
  • Hebrew
  • Biblical Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Hungarian
  • Icelandic
  • Indonesian
  • Irish
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Kazakh
  • Korean
  • Latin
  • Malay
  • Malayalam
  • Norwegian
  • Pashto
  • Pirate
  • Polish
  • Portuguese (Brazilian)
  • Punjabi
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Serbian
  • Slovak
  • Spanish (Latin American)
  • Spanish (Spain)
  • Swahili
  • Swedish
  • Tagalog
  • Tamil
  • Telugu
  • Thai
  • Turkish
  • Ukrainian
  • Urdu
  • Vietnamese
  • Yiddish
  • ESL for Arabic (Egyptian) Speakers
  • ESL for Arabic (MSA) Speakers
  • ESL for Armenian Speakers
  • ESL for Chinese (Cantonese) Speakers
  • ESL for Chinese (Mandarin) Speakers
  • ESL for French Speakers
  • ESL for German Speakers
  • ESL for Greek Speakers
  • ESL for Italian Speakers
  • ESL for Japanese Speakers
  • ESL for Korean Speakers
  • ESL for Polish Speakers
  • ESL for Portuguese (Brazilian) Speakers
  • ESL for Russian Speakers
  • ESL for Spanish (Latin American) Speakers
  • ESL for Turkish Speakers
  • ESL for Vietnamese Speakers

Once you’ve signed up for an account through KDL, you can even access Mango Languages on-the-go with free mobile apps for iOS and Android!

Watch the video below to see Mango Languages in action, then start using it today!

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Visit the Zoo for $1 (Yes, $1) Per Person!

Monday, July 15th, 2013

kidsatzooYou love the zoo. Your kids love the zoo. Now, KDL wants to put you face-to-face with monkeys, reptiles and birds for a single George Washington. Big cats, no collars, just a dollar. Bucks for a buck.

All 18 KDL branches now have family passes to give away to WGVU’s annual Kids Day at the Zoo on Friday, August 2, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM. This event allows more than 5,000 people to enjoy John Ball Zoo for only $1 per person with a family pass. Local Wendy’s and Meijer locations also are giving away passes while they last. NOTE: One pass is good for the $1 admission for everyone in your family.

We’ll see you there!


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Teen Books from Page to Screen

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

Starting in August, several blockbuster movies based on popular teen books will be released in theaters. So if you’re looking for a fun way to spend your summer days, check out some of the following teen books before they hit the big screen.

Movie adaptations coming to a theater near you:

The Book: The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

Demi-god Percy Jackson and his friends must journey into the Sea of Monsters to save their camp. But first Percy will discover a secret that makes him wonder whether being claimed as Poseidon’s son is an honor or a cruel joke.

Book 2 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians




The Movie: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters – Release Date of August 7


The Book: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Suddenly able to see demons and the Darkhunters who are dedicated to returning them to their own dimension, 15-year-old Clary Fray is drawn into this bizzare world when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a monster.





The Movie: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones – Release Date of August 23

The BookRevenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney

Young Tom, the seventh son of a seventh son, starts work as an apprentice for the village spook, whose job is to protect ordinary folk from “ghouls, boggarts and all manner of wicked beasties.”




The Movie: The Seventh Son – Release Date of October 18


The Book: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Child-hero Ender Wiggin must fight a desperate battle against a deadly alien race if mankind is to survive.




The Movie: Ender’s Game – Release Date of November 1

The Book: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

By winning the annual Hunger Games, District 12 tributes Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark have secured a life of safety and plenty for themselves and their families, but because they won by defying the rules, they unwittingly become the faces of an impending rebellion.




The Movie: Catching Fire – Release Date of November 22

For a list of more books that have recently been turned to movies recently, click here.

If you’re curious about what might become a movie in the next year or so, check out this article from the School Library Journal.

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Early Lit Bits: Book Review — “Flora and the Flamingo”

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Flora and the FlamingoFlora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle

Flora and her pink flamingo friend learn to dance off the pages in this wordless picture book. Though the illustrations are drawn in muted pastels, they are full of animation and excitement. Adding to the story are fun flaps and fold-outs, which allow for plenty of participation as you tell the story together. Practice your flamingo pose and see how long you can balance on one foot.

Remember, there is no right or wrong way to “read” a wordless book, so just enjoy the process of turning pages and lifting flaps with your child. Ask questions as you peruse and let your child guide the storytelling, then reread the book while you narrate the pictures. Reading together and talking about the story are both wonderful ways to get your child ready to read!

-Liz W.



This article originally appeared in our Early Lit Bits eNewsletter. Read the most recent issue online or sign up to receive this monthly update highlighting early literacy tips and resources for parents and caregivers.


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KDL Top Ten – 7/12/2013

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Take a look at this tasty booklist!  To view 10 of the hottest titles in Grilling at KDL, click on the link to the KDL Top Ten List!  And if you’re looking for more delectable cookbooks, check out our Cookbooks board on Pinterest.

Top Ten Grilling 7-12-2013


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Summer Reading on Your Own Terms

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Summer Reading @ KDL is in full swing, but don’t forget to Experience Summer Online. Be entered for great prizes by completing categories such as Get Outside, Play or Go Digital. Check out the possibilities and join in by performing activities, attending library programs and reading. For inspiration, here are some fellow KDL patrons who experienced summer on their own terms!

Holding a ChickenA birdfeeder made out of a juice bottle.Cool driveway artA visit to the GRAM!


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“Intruder in the Dust” — A New DVD

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Before “To Kill a Mockingbird” there was “Intruder in the Dust,” a story similar in theme to the former movie starring Gregory Peck,  and, in my opinion, just as good a film about the deep South in the middle of the last century. Released by MGM in 1949, and based on a William Faulkner novel of the same name, this modest picture has no major stars in it—which is just fine. It was actually shot in and around Faulkner’s hometown of Oxford, Mississippi, and this gives the film a wonderfully authentic look that lends even more credibility to its themes of courage, prejudice and routine violence.

The story centers on a black man accused of the murder of a white man in a small unnamed southern town.  Young Chick Mallison (played by Claude Jarman, who also starred in The Yearling) who is white, was treated with kindness by the accused while out hunting in the recent past,  and decides to return the favor and goes hunting for clues. Encouraged by his uncle, a lawyer, and helped along the way by an elderly lady with a stubborn streak (and going behind his father’s back, who has gone off to Memphis for business), he does his best to see that justice is done.

In addition to the aforementioned on-site background, there is something just as powerful, and more disturbing, about the film, in its portrayal of the possible violence of a lynching taking place in the town. This is treated with such matter-of-factness it becomes even more chilling—witness the almost silent way that people come in droves to the lovely town square and wait near the old jail and hope for a view of what may or may not be a horrific event.  Faulkner, of course, knew all this first hand as a son of the South, and through the script, written by Ben Maddow, we see both the good and the bad of that time and place—its communal ties, its racial divides and the way people sometimes showed grace under the pressure of a turbulent history.


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What Every Parent Needs to Know

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Summer vacation is in full swing! It’s a time for rest and relaxation, but not always a time for reading. Keep learning alive this summer in your home and encourage your children to sign up for Summer Reading @ KDL. A break from books can lead to struggles in the classroom come fall. Regardless of other activities, the best predictor of summer brain drain or brain gain is whether or not a child reads during the summer.

In her “oldie but goodie” study, Summer Learning and the Effects of Schooling (Academic Press, 1978), Barbara Heyns followed sixth- and seventh-graders in the Atlanta Public Schools through two school years and the summer between. Among the findings of her research:

  • The number of books read during the summer is consistently related to academic gains.
  • Children in every income group who read six or more books over the summer gained more in reading achievement than children who did not.
  • The use of the public library during the summer is more predictive of vocabulary gains than attending summer school.
  • More than any other public institution, including the schools, the public library contributed to the intellectual growth of children during the summer.

After learning all that, I know I’m going to really encourage my kids to read this summer and also take them to the library. How about you?



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