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Category: Author spotlight

MARCH 13, 2013
Read something by author Julia Donaldson

If you’ve never read a book by Julia Donaldson, you should!

She was born in 1948 in England. She and her guitar-playing husband, Malcolm, made a living for themselves early in life by being traveling musicians. This led Julia Donaldson into a career in singing and songwriting for children’s television. Soon after she became a children’s author, using her rhyming talents in books too.  Check these out!


A Gold Star For Zog 

Zog is a dragon in school, learning things he needs to know like flying, roaring, and breathing fire. While performing every task he is a little clumsy and ends up hurting himself. Soon he meets a princess who nurses him back to health.

The Gruffalo 

In this story a little mouse must use his wits to outsmart a big, scary creature called the Gruffalo who’s hoping to gobble him up by the end of the book!

Room on the Broom

n A witch keeps dropping things while flying on her broom and when she lands to try to find them, she also meets many new friends. They all want a ride on her broom, but will there be enough room?

The Spiffiest Giant in Town

This is the story of a giant named George who buys some new clothes for himself. On his way home from the store he sees many animals in need of help and finds that his new outfit serves more than one purpose.

Tabby McTat, The Musical Cat

Tabby McTat is a cat who belongs to a street musician named Fred. When Fred has to go to the hospital, Tabby thinks he’s left her and moves in with another family. Read this to see if the two are reunited in the end!

Where’s My Mom?

A butterfly helps a lost monkey to find his mom based on the descriptions of her the little monkey gives. The butterfly finds lots of animals he thinks might be her but he somehow doesn’t find the monkey mama on his first try.

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posted by Rachel, Golden Library

Category: Author spotlight


MARCH 1, 2013
The Breadwinner trilogy and My Name is Parvana by Deborah Ellis

Deborah Ellis is the author of the Breadwinner Trilogy. This is a very tense and emotional series about a family in Afghanistan before and after Taliban rule. In the first three books, you are introduced to Parvana and her family and are a witness to the harsh reality that is their lives.

This is a story as real as today's headlines. Just a few months ago, Malala Yousufzai, a 14 year old Pakistani girl, was shot by the Taliban for the crime of going to school!

Deborah Ellis is telling the further story of Parvana, in her latest book, My Name is Parvana.

If you have read the trilogy, you should read this follow-up, set five years later. Parvana is now 15 years old and living in post-Taliban Afghanistan.


If you haven't read the previous three books and you are interested in what life is like in Afghanistan, this is a great series. I loved them all. Here are the other three in the series:

The Breadwinner

Young Parvana lives with her family in one room of a bombed-out apartment building in Kabul, Afghanistan. Because Parvana's father has a foreign education, he is arrested by the Taliban. The family becomes increasingly desperate until Parvana conceives a plan.

Parvana's Journey

In this sequel to "The Breadwinner, " the Taliban still control Afghanistan, but Kabul is in ruins.

Mud City

This final book in the trilogy paints a devastating portrait of life in refugee camps and shows the resourcefulness of children who endure great suffering there.


Deborah Ellis has also written a non-fiction book called Kids of Kabul: Living Bravely Through a Never-ending War.  Ellis went to Kabul and interviewed children who spoke about their lives since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Have things changed for children and particularly for girls? Read this book and find out!

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posted by Connie, Lakewood Library

Category: Author spotlight


FEBRUARY 11, 2013
Happy Birthday, Jane Yolen!

Jane Yolen turns 74 today!  She was born in New York City on February 11, 1939. She says her writing began at an early age.  In elementary school she wrote the music and lyrics for a school musical about vegetables, where she played a carrot and all the characters ended up in a salad for the grand finale!

Jane Yolen has three children-two sons and a daughter, Heidi, who is the little girl in Owl Moon. In this same book, the character Pa was based on Yolen’s late husband David.

Pirates and Petticoats was Jane Yolen’s first book.  She got it published when she was only 21 years old!  She has written over 300 books for children, teens, and adults. Aside from being an author, she is also a poet and a children’s book reviewer.  To find out more about Jane and her books, check out her website

Then, read some of her fabulous books!

Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters: A Lullaby

The Devil’s Arithmetic

Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook For Young Readers and Eaters

How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You?

My Father Knows the Names of Things

Not All Princesses Dress in Pink

Owl Moon

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posted by Rachel, Golden Library

Category: Author spotlight


JANUARY 19, 2013
Check out author Karen Cushman

Do you love Castles and Kings? Peasants and Knights? All things medieval like I do?

Then Karen Cushman is the author for you! I have read all of her books and most are set in Medieval or Elizabethan England.

Her latest book is something different. It is still set in England's Middle-Ages but for the first time Cushman's main character is a boy, twelve-year-old Will Sparrow.

Will Sparrow, Liar and thief, is running away from the father who sold him for beer, the innkeeper who threatened to sell him as a chimney sweep- from his whole, sad, sorry life. Barefoot and penniless, Will is determined to avoid capture, secure boots, and find something to eat. The lively goings-on behind the scenes of Elizabethan market fairs provide a colorful, earthy backdrop from this wise and funny story of a runaway who finally and unexpectedly stops running.

To find out what Karen Cushman has to say about writing historical fiction check out her website. There is also an interview with the author and information about all her books

Below is a list of Karen Cushman books set in medieval times that we have at the library:

Alchemy and Meggy Swann

Matilda Bone 

The Midwife's Apprentice

Catherine Called Birdy

Some of these books are available to download to your computer or reader or to check-out and listen to on disc or playaway. Be sure to ask at your favorite library.

Want to learn more about the Middle Ages? Check-out these nonfiction titles!

The Middle Ages: An Interactive History Adventure by Allison Lassieur

DK Eyewitness' Medieval Life by Andrew Langley

Look Inside a Castle by Jenny Moss

I am always on the lookout for a new historical read. If you have a favorite I'd love to hear about it!

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posted by Connie, Lakewood Library

Categories: Historical fictionAuthor spotlight


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