It's time to elect a new president of the Neighborhood Cat Coalition! Who will win the election? The candidate chosen by the kitties on the right side of the street or the candidate chosen by the kitties on the left side of the street? When election time rolls around, one candidate (guess who?) will discover that she never bothered to register to vote and the entire election will be decided by a surprise, last minute absentee ballot sent by Old Kitty.
Election Fun!!! - Learn all about an election with these fun activity sheets featuring Bad Kitty and her many friends. Help Bad Kitty in a Word Scramble; write Bad Kitty's election speech; follow Bad Kitty on the U.S. campaign trail, and learn how to host your own mock election!
Check out this book and others from our collection.
Remember to vote and share your candidate choice here by clicking on "Add a Comment" below. Every vote counts!
Are you looking for a new way to experience chapter books, especially those that make you shiver and shake? If the answer is yes, you should check out a few of Patrick Carman's books.
Things That Go Bump In The Night is a set of short stories that invites the reader to go online to listen to a frightful audio introduction, read several spooky pages in the book, and then watch a creepy video conclusion online in 15 minutes or less. I love how it keeps book and movie lovers coming back for more.
Patrick Carman's Skeleton Creek series is another that will thrill and excite a reader with an internet hook. Strange things are happening in Skeleton Creek and it is up to Ryan and Sarah to investigate. An eerie accident has left Ryan housebound where he records everything in his journal. Sarah sends video clips through email for Ryan to see (and for you to see on a special website with links and passwords given throughout the book). Together they uncover clues to solve mysteries. Hopefully this will have you enjoying reading in a whole new way! Let us know what you think!
A boy's first solo train journey turns out to be more of a challenge than anyone could have imagined as the train stalls at the mouth of a tunnel and a mysterious woman in white helps the boy while away the hours by telling him stories--ghost stories with a difference.
One stormy night, in their family's otherwise deserted Cornwall inn, twelve-year-old Ethan and his sister Cathy shelter a mysterious guest who indulges their love of the macabre by telling horror stories of the sea.
In Victorian England an orphaned boy goes to stay with his strange guardian in a desolate, moated manor house during a cold and snowy Christmas, where he soon realizes that the house and its grounds harbor many secrets, dead and alive.
If you think about it, there’s a pretty huge leap between not being able to read and being able to read. It’s a little amazing that shapes on a piece of paper can be transformed by our minds into all of the ideas, stories, and emotions that make up our existence.
Not surprisingly, there is a lot that goes into being able to read before someone can actually do it. This includes having an understanding of narrative and plot, understanding that books contain exciting ideas and other cool stuff, understanding that different letters make different sounds, and more. (By the way: if you’re interested, Jefferson County Libraries use the Every Child Ready to Read initiative, which focuses on these pre-reading skills. All of our storytimes and children’s programming are built around developing these skills in pre-readers and young readers. You can find out more about that on our For Parents and Caregivers web page.)
A handy tactic to use in bridging the gap between not reading and reading is reading books with no words and books with few words. These books are accessible, simple and engaging without being off-puttingly hard. They’re great for building narrative skills, as they allow you and your child to create the story out of the illustrations. Importantly, they also lend credence to the idea that a book is its own world for its reader. Some of my favorites are listed here.
Do you want to give yourself a fright this Halloween? If you haven’t picked up a Goosebumps book to read you’re really missing out! The original Goosebumps series was created in 1992 and is made up of 62 titles. Several other spinoffs of this series exist now too. Goosebumps books have been translated into 32 languages!
The author of the Goosebumps series is R.L. Stine. He was born on October 8, 1943 in Columbus Ohio. He became interested in scary stories after reading his first horror comic books at age eight and seeing many scary movies with his brother. He claims these were not scary to him but instead made him laugh. He graduated from Ohio State University in 1965 and made money after college by writing joke and humor books for kids.
He has won the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award three times and he made it into Guinness World Records in 2000 for writing the best-selling children’s series in history, at that time. Aside from Goosebumps books, Stine has created a number of other series’ for children including Rotten School, Nightmare Room, and Mostly Ghostly, among others.
Check out these Goosebumps titles, some of my personal favorites, or visit the library to find many others under J Fiction Stine.
Beware the Snowman: Jaclyn can’t figure out why her aunt moved them to a tiny village on the Arctic Circle or why the townspeople all have the same creepy-looking snowmen with glaring eyes and evil smiles in their yards. Jaclyn begins to notice that there aren’t any movie theaters, malls, or restaurants around. Then there’s the howling she hears every night while trying to sleep….
Ghost Beach: When brother and sister Jerry and Terri are visiting relatives on the beach for the last month of summer vacation, some local kids tell them about a ghost that lives in a cave off the shore. Of course the siblings don’t believe the locals and insist on investigating themselves, which turns out to be a spooky mistake.
The Haunted Mask: Carly Beth finds a perfect mask at a Halloween store. It has green skin, pointed fangs, and sinister eyes. She realizes soon after buying it that, when she puts it on, she can’t take it off. Not only does the mask change her outward appearance but it changes her inner personality too, making her more like a savage animal.
One Day at Horrorland: The Morris family gets lost while trying to find Zoo Gardens Theme Park. Instead they stumble across a place called Horrorland. They think it’s a joke at first until they realize that there are no lines, admission is free, and there’s hardly another soul in sight. That alone is creepy enough but they’re in for a surprise when they visit the attractions, which include the House of Mirrors, the Doom Slide, and the Coffin Cruise.
Olympus is attacked by creatures that seem unstoppable. In the melee, Pegasus is injured, crashing to earth and into the life of a girl and boy who make it their mission to aid the wounded stallion, restore it to Olympus, and save the kingdom.
Once upon a time there was a barnyard filled with animals, including one very special pig and an unusual spider. Have you read such a story? It, of course, is the beloved children’s novel by E. B. White, Charlotte’s Web. Mr. White, an author and part-time farmer, watched a large spider in his boathouse while contemplating a way to save an ailing pig and the idea for his new book was born. For 60 years this novel has told the story of the joys and sorrows of life through the remarkable friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a spider named Charlotte. Since its publication, over 12 million copies have been sold and it routinely makes the list of favorite children’s books. In our library you can find it in book form, discs to listen to or on DVD to watch. Celebrate this anniversary by reading the story for the first time or lovingly re-reading it.
A buried angel? When a hobgoblin confesses the horrible secret of Crowfield Abbey to the monks' apprentice, the boy is drawn into a haunting medieval mystery and a world of Old Magic. An angel is buried behind the abbey!
This is the story of Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh. This book might have a teen hero in William, but these books are great for all fans of Harry Potter or Percy Jackson.
Watch the book trailer for Crowfield Curse, then I dare you NOT to read it!
The second book, Crowfield Demon takes up where Crowfield Curse left off. What will happen to William? More terrifying adventures await!
Do you know someone who suffers from depression? Or is autistic? October 10 marks the 20th anniversary of World Mental Health Day. Learn more about mental health, since one in four people worldwide experience some form of mental illness, and it will help us understand each other better.
The library has some wonderful stories and informational resources. Several of my favorites include:
When Kids cook they improve their math and reading skills as well as have a lot of fun.
We have hundreds of cookbooks on subjects such as holiday baking, foods of other cultures, vegan cooking or even cooking treats for your pets! One of my favorites is the Spatulata Cookbook. Easy step by step instructions and lots of great photographs!
Recently I found that the folks at Spatulatta have an award winning website featuring great cooking videos for kids by kids.
Feel inspired to cook? Here's an easy no bake snack from my personal collection...
Cranberry dip - serve with crackers or celery 1 package (8 ounce size) cream cheese, softened 2 tablespoons frozen concentrated orange juice, thawed 1/4 cup finely chopped dried cranberries 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
One of the most difficult things about working with a reluctant reader (or even an enthusiastic reader) is finding The Right Book. The Right Book is elusive, and it never seems to be the one that’s in your kid’s hands right now. This one is boring, this one is confusing, this one has too much girl stuff – the list goes on. Your public librarians work on finding The Right Book every day – and we’re always glad to help! If you’re ever having a difficult time hunting it down, just ask us!
In the meantime, though, here are two major tips:
1. Don’t Forget Non-Fiction! A great deal of the time, when we think of what we and our kids should be reading, we think “literature”, which means we think “fiction chapter books”. But there is so much more than fiction in the realm of legit reading material! There are books on animals, exciting and mysterious moments in history, space, mythology, urban legends, how stuff works, the human body, and so on. This note is especially relevant for boys – studies show that often, non-fiction and graphic novels appeal to many boys a great deal more than the descriptive prose often found in fiction.
2. Try NoveList! NoveList is an online resource available to you through Jeffco Libraries. You can use it to find book reviews, suggested age and grade levels for just about any fiction title you can think of, and to explore books more thoroughly than you can on Amazon or Google. The best part about NoveList, though, is that you can use it to find books that are similar to books you already know and love.
From there, click on “Subscription Databases A-Z” (you can also browse our online research resources, but we’ll use the A-Z list since we know exactly which one we want).
In the N’s, you’ll find NoveList K-8 (you’ll notice that there is also a NoveList for grown-ups just underneath)
In NoveList, you can search for titles, plot keywords, themes, and other things. In this case, I searched for a book I know that I like in order to find similar titles. Once I’ve found it, I can click “Title Read-Alikes” for a quick list of similar books.
Clicking on the title will bring you to a page full of useful stuff – plot synopses, reviews from reputable sources, and more. Notably, however, you can find a list of similar titles on the right side.
Beneath that, you can find books that are similar based on characteristics of this book. Want another book that’s been made into a movie, that’s suspenseful and fast-paced, but doesn’t necessarily have to be about magic, wizards, or school? Just check the boxes you’re interested and search away!
Happy searching! And remember, if you ever need help finding The Right Book – just ask us!
Celebrate your freedom to read during Banned Books Week . For 30 years now, libraries across the country have celebrated Banned Books Week by reminding people of their right to access information of all kinds.
Banned books are titles that have been removed from a library. If a book has been "challenged" it means a person or a group has requested that the book be removed but after close examination the library decided to keep the book.