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FDL Reads: One for Sorrow

Cover image for One for Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn

Reviewed by: Elizabeth Anderson, Communications Assistant

Genre: Horror

Suggested Age: Tweens, Teens

What is the book about?: When Annie starts attending a new school, one of her classmates, an outcast named Elsie, claims her as her very best friend. Elsie is unusual, dishonest, and unpleasant. Annie is quick to extract herself from the relationship in order to fit in with the other girls in the class. When Elsie dies of the flu, her vengeful spirit possesses Annie, forces her to do her bidding, and does her best to claim Annie as her friend for always.

My Review: This story contains elements of Hahn’s flare for historical fiction as well as ghost stories. Set at the end of World War I, the book contains well integrated facts and details about the time period and the influenza epidemic. Hahn’s novels typically craft characters that are imperfect, but lovable. This novel was no exception when it came to the flawed aspects of the characters, but it struck me as one of her more extreme works in terms of the mean spiritedness and sometimes downright hateful and disrespectful behavior of the core group of characters. While I typically wince at a character’s mistake and continue to root for them, I found myself a bit detached from the characters in this book because none of them had many endearing qualities, nor did the events of the story seem to cultivate positive traits in a genuine way. This novel exchanges characterization for a fairly solid and eventful plot, however, so if a reader is more interested in the story itself than the characters, this book will not disappoint. While it is not a “scary” ghost story, it is a troubling narrative in terms of the cruelty and malice of the characters, as well as the frustrating and upsetting ramifications of Annie’s possession by Elsie’s ghost.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Hatefulness, insanity, illness

Give This a Try if You Like… The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall and Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn, and The Ghost of Ernie P. by Betty Ren Wright

Rating: 4/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

#FDL: Youth Media Awards 2018

ALA Youth Media Awards 2018

Last week was a big week. We had Galentine’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Fat Tuesday, and Ash Wednesday. The ALA (American Library Association) also announced their Youth Media Awards recipients, a pretty big deal in library land, and also a big deal for you who are interested in children’s and YA books. This is also a big deal for authors as new editions of their books are now released with one of the sweet medals showing they won on the cover. So, here are 2018’s Youth Media Awards, with links to library holdings. I have listed the major award winners only for the sake of brevity – to see all of the winners and honor books as well, click here.

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature:
Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly – Four kids’ lives intertwine after a prank involving a guinea pig and a well. Will friendship triumph in this middle grade story of the perils of middle school life?

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:
Wolf in the Snow, illustrated and written by Matthew Cordell – A little girl and a wolf cub are both lost in the snaow. Can they help each other find their way home in this picture book?

Coretta Scott King Book Awards recognizing African American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults:
Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson, is the King Author Award winner – Jade needs to get out of her neighborhood if she’s going to succeed. She takes every opportunity she can, but some of those opportunities try to pigeonhole her into roles that don’t fit her at all.
Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets, illustrated by Ekua Holmes, is the King Illustrator Award winner – This is an anthology of poems celebrating great poets.

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults:
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour, is the 2018 Printz Award winner – Marin ran away from her old life. But now, 3000 miles away, she’s alone in her dorm during winter break and her best friend is coming to visit.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children:
The 2018 winner is Jacqueline Woodson, whose award-winning works include Brown Girl Dreaming, After Tupac & D Foster, Locomotion and Show Way.

Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults:
The 2018 winner is Angela Johnson. Her books include Heaven, Looking for Red, The First Part Last and Sweet, Hereafter.

Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States:
The Hate U Give, (link to audiobook) is the 2018 Odyssey Award winner. The book is written by Angie Thomas and narrated by Bahni Turpin – Star Carter is the only witness to her friend Khalil’s murder at the hands of a police officer. She now has to navigate life with pressure on all sides, trying to maintain peace in her community and her own safety and well being.

Stonewall Book Award–Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience:
Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert – Suzette comes home from boarding school and doesn’t think she ever wants to go back. Her friends and family are here, including her brother,who has been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. But to complicate things, Suzette ends up falling for this amazing girl… the girl her brother loves.
The 57 Bus, written by Dashka Slater – Two teenagers from vastly different backgrounds spend 8 minutes together on the same bus. Their lives will never be the same.

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished book for beginning readers is:
Charlie & Mouse, written by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Emily Hughes – Two brothers spend the day together, doing awesome brother things.

William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens:
The Hate U Give by by Angie Thomas (link to printed book) (see description above)

Post by Carey Gibbons, Reference Specialist

About #FDL

Welcome to #FDL! #FDL is a twice weekly update on all things Fondulac District Library and East Peoria. Twice a week, library staff will make posts that highlight some aspect of library life and relate it to you – our readers. Have you ever wanted to know which Dewey number represented a certain topic? Are you looking for book recommendations based on your favorite television show or television recommendations based on your favorite book? Have you ever wondered about the secret details of librarian life? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then #FDL is for you. We look forward to writing posts that are informative and entertaining and hope that you enjoy getting better acquainted with Fondulac District Library.

Great Reads for Fans of Rick Riordan

You love Rick Riordan’s books and have read them all.  Now what do you read?  Here are three series you can try:

Seven Wonders Series by Peter Lerangis

Jack McKinley and his three friends have one goal.  They must retrieve the lost magical orbs from the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.  One hitch, they’re not the only ones looking for them.

Check out the website:  http://www.sevenwondersbooks.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark of the Thief Series by Jennifer Nielson

Travel with Nic to Ancient Rome where he finds himself in the middle of a conspiracy to overthrow the emperor.  Along the way he finds an amulet filled with magic that belonged to the great Caesar.  Magic some Romans would kill for.

Check out the website:  http://markofthethief.scholastic.com/books

 

 

 

Blackwell Pages Series by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr

In the town of Blackwell, South Dakota, all of the citizens are direct descendants of the Norse gods, Thor and Loki.  Matt Thorsen and his friends Fen and Laurie Brekke have been chosen to stand in for Thor and Loki when it is revealed that Ragnarok is coming.  Will they be able to save the world?

Check out the website: http://www.blackwellpages.com/books.php

#FDL: February 9th is National Pizza Day

Omnomnom

National Pizza Day!

Friday, February 9th, is National Pizza Day. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited. I love pizza. I’m a native New Yorker, so NY style pizza will always be my favorite. But I have learned to love Chicago deep dish too. Pizza is kind of like a universal food, no matter how it’s served up.  Everyone also claims to have the best pizza – it’s a food we’re all pretty passionate about. So, FDL has you covered for all things pizza this coming Friday, or (if you’re like me) every day is National Pizza Day.

  • Do you like making your own pizzas? FDL has a number of recipe books for this if you’re looking for something more than your standard cheese and pepperoni combo. Check out The Ultimate Pizza by Pasquale Bruno, Jr. It covers everything from deep dish to desert. If it’s flat – it’s a pizza.
  • Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois are known for their books on home made bread, but they branch out a bit with Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day. This book is great for pizza in a hurry. It also includes gluten free and whole grain recipes.
  • Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough have a book called Pizza: Grill It, Bake, It, Love It! Most people think of baking a pizza, whether it’s in a traditional or brick oven. But I have had grilled pizza before, and while I can’t speak to this book’s recipes specifically, I can say that grilled pizza is surprisingly delicious.
  • If you’re more in the mood to watch TV and order pizza out, FDL has seasons 1-4 of Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place. This is your chance to check out Ryan Reynolds before he was Deadpool.
  • And for the little ones, pizza is a great starter food for kids who are interested in cooking. It can be as easy or difficult as you want to make it. Check out the pizza and pasta volume from The Little Chef series. And then as a bedtime story, we have Pizza Kittens by Charlotte Voake. It tells the story of three kittens who really want pizza for dinner and their long-suffering parents who just want them to behave.

Post by Carey Gibbons, Reference Specialist

About #FDL

Welcome to #FDL! #FDL is a twice weekly update on all things Fondulac District Library and East Peoria. Twice a week, library staff will make posts that highlight some aspect of library life and relate it to you – our readers. Have you ever wanted to know which Dewey number represented a certain topic? Are you looking for book recommendations based on your favorite television show or television recommendations based on your favorite book? Have you ever wondered about the secret details of librarian life? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then #FDL is for you. We look forward to writing posts that are informative and entertaining and hope that you enjoy getting better acquainted with Fondulac District Library.

What’s New (and Popular) in Picture Books?

The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors by Drew Daywalt

You’ve played the game. Now read the legend of how it all began . . .

Long ago, in an ancient and distant realm called the Kingdom of Backyard, there lived a warrior named ROCK.

Meanwhile in the Empire of Mom’s Home Office, a second great warrior sought the glory of battle. And his name was PAPER.

At the same time, in the Kitchen Realm, in the tiny village of Junk Drawer, lived a third warrior. They called her SCISSORS.

These three were the strongest, smartest, and fastest in all the land. Time and again they beat the most fearsome opponents they could find: an apricot, a computer printer—even frozen, breaded, dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets! But when the warriors finally meet each other, the most epic round of battles begins . . . and never ends. That is why, to this day, children around the world honor these worthy adversaries by playing ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS!

 

Now by Antoinette Portis

This is my favorite cloud. . .because it’s the one I am watching.
This is my favorite tree. . .because it’s the one where I’m swinging.
This is my favorite tooth. . .because it’s the one that is missing.

Follow a little girl as she takes you on a tour through all of her favorite things, from the holes she digs to the hugs she gives.

 

 

 

 

The Bad Seed by Jory John

A story about a bad, bad seed that learns maybe there is more to life than being bad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creepy Pair of Underwear by Aaron Reynolds

Jasper Rabbit is NOT a little bunny anymore. He’s not afraid of the dark, and he’s definitely not afraid of something as silly as underwear. But when the lights go out, suddenly his new big rabbit underwear glows in the dark. A ghoulish, greenish glow. If Jasper didn’t know any better he’d say his undies were a little, well, creepy. Jasper’s not scared obviously, he’s just done with creepy underwear. But after trying everything to get rid of them, they keep coming back!

Harry Potter Read-Alikes

If you liked Harry Potter, try…

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

Princess Celie loves living in Castle Glower, and she especially loves Tuesdays, the day that a new room, turret, or wing magically appears! No one can guess what the castle will do next, and Celie is the only one who takes the time to map the new additions. When King and Queen Glower are ambushed and foreign interlopers appear to try to claim the kingdom, Celie’s intimate knowledge of the castle will be key to protecting herself, her family, and her people. Celie’s unique friendship with the magical castle provides fodder for all sorts of fun adventures in this charming story!

 

 

 

 

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

Kendra and her brother, Seth, have no idea that their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws keep relative order among the greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. But when the rules get broken, powerful forces are unleashed, and Kendra and her brother face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save their family, Fablehaven, and maybe even the world, Kendra and Seth must find the courage to do what they fear most…

 

 

 

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

The king’s priests have prophesied that one girl from Miri’s village will be the future princess of the realm, so the king’s ministers set up an academy for every girl in the village to teach all of them how to be a proper princess, in case the prince selects them at the end of the year. The possibility of a life of nobility unleashes vicious competition between former friends, but the would-be princesses have bigger problems: a group of bandits who set out to storm the academy and kidnap the future princess. Miri will have to use her unexpected new-found powers — and unite the competing girls — to save them all.

 

 

 

 

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

People in town think Meg is a loose cannon, her brother Charles Wallace is dumb, and her father ran off and left their scientist mother — but Meg doesn’t believe a word of any of it. So when an unexpected stranger appears in their kitchen and tells Meg about a tesseract — the “wrinkle in time” which her father was researching for the government — Meg decides to set off through space and time to find him. Her adventures with Charles Wallace and neighbor Calvin will require all of their strengths to accomplish!

 

FDL Reads: Took: A Ghost Story

Cover image for Took: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn 

Reviewed by: Elizabeth Anderson, Communications Specialist

Genre: Horror

Suggested Age: Tweens, Teens

What is the book about?: Daniel and his family relocate to a ramshackle house in a new town after his father loses his job in the economic recession. Life is miserable for the entire family. The inhabitants of the small town see them as outsiders and Dan’s parents are working unhappily at their new jobs. Dan watches them slip into depression and bad habits, and his sister, Erica, begins to behave the most strangely of all. When she disappears, Dan realizes that the townspeople’s talk about the legendary “Old Auntie” taking a girl and keeping her as a slave for 50 years isn’t a farfetched legend after all. Determined to rescue his sister, he summons all of his courage to face the witch and her monstrous minion – before it’s too late.

My Review: One of the things that I appreciated the most about this book was that it implemented elements of a folktale into a modern story with seamless ease. Took presents the disturbing manifestation of a legend in a real world setting. The story features both the realistic elements of a missing child, with police searches and interrogations, as well as the supernatural chills of someone being kidnapped by an otherworldly entity. Hahn delivers a fast paced story with no shortage of immersive sensory details and light touches of tactful humor in her characters’ observations and personalities.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Folktales, Family, Witchcraft

Give This a Try if You Like… Ghost stories by Dan Poblocki, such as The Ghost of Graylock, “The Books of Elsewhere” series by Jacqueline West, or Coraline, by Neil Gaiman.

Rating: 5/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

1KB4K (1000 Books Before Kindergarten)

1KB4K is an early literacy program designed to promote reading to babies, infants, and toddlers with the goal of having 1,000 books read before Kindergarten.

Getting Started:

  • Register in the Youth Services Department to receive a progress chart to track the first 100 books read to the child.
  • Once the chart is complete, return it to the library for a free book and the next progress chart.
  • A certificate of achievement, book, and book bag will be awarded when the goal of reading 1000 books is met!

For more information, visit or call the library at 309.699.3917 ext, 1291.

Graphic Novels for Kids

Check out some of the library’s most popular graphic novels! These titles and many more are available for checkout.

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth, and what follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. On top of all that, there’s still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly. This coming-of-age true story is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever been in middle school, and especially those who have ever had a bit of their own dental drama.

 

 

Binky the Space Cat by Ashley Spires

Binky is a space cat – at least in his own mind. He’s really a house cat who has never left the family “space station.” Unlike other house cats, Binky has a mission: to blast off into outer space (outside), explore unknown places (the backyard) and battle aliens (bugs). Binky must undergo rigorous training so he can repel the alien attacks that threaten his humans. As he builds his spaceship, he must be extremely careful with his blueprints – the enemy is always watching.

Soon Binky is ready to voyage into outer space. His humans go out there every day and he’s sure they need a certified space cat to protect them. But just as he’s about to blast off with his co-pilot, Ted (stuffed mousie), Binky realizes that he’s left something very important behind … and it’s not the zero-gravity kitty litter. In the first book in the Binky Adventure series, graphic-novel readers will delight in watching where this lovable and quirky cat’s imagination takes him.

 

 

Kristy’s Great Idea by Raina Telgemeier

The timeless books by Ann M. Martin have been brought to life by illustrator Raina Telgemeier in this new series. Already four books strong, old and new fans alike are sure to delight in seeing the Baby Sitter’s Club illustrated. Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey are best friends and founding members of The Baby-sitters Club.  Whatever comes up – cranky toddlers, huge dogs, scary neighbors, prank calls – you can count on them to save the day.  Baby-sitting isn’t always easy, and neither is dealing with strict parents, new families, fashion emergencies, and mysterious secrets.  But no matter what, the BSC have what they need most: friendship.

 

 

The Stonekeeper’s Curse by Kazu Kibuishi

After tragedy strikes their family, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the old home of their great–grandfather. The strange house proves to be dangerous. Before long, a sinister creature lures the kids’ mom through a door in the basement. Emily and Navin, desperate not to lose her, follow her into an underground world inhabited by demons, robots, and talking animals. There, Emily learns that she is a Stonekeeper and essential to the survival of this world, and that her incredible story is only just beginning.

Winter 2018 Newsletter Now Available

The latest issue of Community Connection, Fondulac District Library’s quarterly newsletter, is now available! It is mailed to residences within the library district and also is available for download and printing from our website. Printed copies can also be picked up at the library.

Whether you are into history, writing, gaming, music, science, or crafts, we’ve got something planned for everyone at the library this winter! Please take a moment to review the newsletter and mark your calendars with the great lineup of programs happening at Fondulac District Library through March. Enjoy!

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imagine, inform, inspire