Monthly Archives: September 2014

Aliens or Cowboys? New Books for Older Readers

minionMinion by John David Anderson
This companion novel to Sidekicked follows the life of Mickey, a kid with a hypnotizing gift. Mickey and his adoptive father live in New Liberty, the town without a Super, but with two competing crime bosses who provide a certain level of stability to the city. Mickey and his father perform odd jobs for big boss Tony Romano and life is good, if not exactly legal. That is, until a supervillain called The Dictator comes to town and takes an interest in Mickey’s gift. Only a Super can save them, but a new Super could also ruin everything that Mickey and his father have built. Sidekicked introduced readers to a world where superheroes and villains are a part of everyday life and Minion gives readers everything they could ask for in a companion novel and more. Action, mystery, and a fight between good and evil only add to a truly engaging story about a boy learning about the many complexities of life. (ages 10-14)

skies cover finalSkies Like These by Tess Hilmo
This summer vacation will be like none other for Jade who is used to quiet summers reading and watching TV. She has been sent to Wyoming to stay with an aunt she hasn’t seen in years. On her first day in Wyoming she meets a wannabe Butch Cassidy, who has even renamed himself Roy Parker, after his idol’s real name. Roy turns Jade’s summer upside down when he enlists her as his sidekick to help save his family’s hardware store through a few harebrained Butch Cassidy-style stunts that aren’t completely legal. Jade thinks of a better plan for earning money and keeping Roy out of trouble: he should enter a cowboy poetry contest and she would host astronomy classes on her aunt’s roof. Finding her sense of adventure and a true friend is more than Jade could ask for from her summer. This book will serve as many readers’ inspiration for trying something new. (ages 9-12)

LittleGreenMenAtTheMercuryInnLittle Green Men at the Mercury Inn by Greg Leitich Smith
Aidan’s life at the Mercury Inn is as normal as it can get for a kid who lives at a space-themed motel on the Florida coast. One of the highlights of life at the Mercury is the up close and personal view of NASA rocket launches from the motel’s beach. Aiden’s summer takes a turn for the weird, when a launch is interrupted up a UFO that the government claims is a plane with modified wings but Aiden and his alien obsessed best friend Louis know what they saw. Just when Aiden and Louis think things couldn’t get any stranger they make a shocking discovery about the identity of one of the motel’s guests. Comedy meets science fiction in an entertaining story sure to please UFO and alien enthusiasts. (ages 9-12)

hopeHope is a Ferris Wheel by Robin Herrera
Star Mackey has blue hair, a mullet, and a sister who has been kicked out of school. If this wasn’t enough for the students in her new school to make fun of, she also lives by the town dump in a trailer park. Star is a lonely ten-year-old with no friends, no father, and an increasingly distant sister. Instead of letting her troubles get her down, she decides to make friends and educate her classmates on what life in a trailer park is really like by starting The Trailer Park Club. But instead of helping her fit in she becomes the laughing stock of her class. Inspired by the Emily Dickinson poem “Hope” she attempts to form a club again, a poetry club. Through this more successful club Star learns about poetry but even more about herself. She is a determined, relatable girl with a great sense of humor that keeps this book light even when addressing difficult issues. (ages 9-11)

-Sarah Beth

Pizza & Pages Book Club: Monster

monsterA teenager’s life is turned around by one single event… Does this make him a monster? Read the award-winning book Monster by Walter Dean Meyers, then come for a lively discussion, plus pizza and dessert.

While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.

Tuesday, October 14 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Advance registration required. Click here to register.

Dholrhythms Dance Company

Dholrhythms-Park-1The eclectic group of women who dance with Dholrhythms Dance Company have become one of the most talked about groups in San Francisco Bay Area. Dholrhythms is dedicated to promoting the artistic and cultural heritage of India through the beautiful Bhangra and Giddha folk dances of Punjab, India. Led by Vicki Virk’s Punjabi heritage, Dholrhythms highlights the ancestral and ethnic roots of the Punjabi dance form while pushing boundaries with contemporary influences. The result is a fresh and exciting dance full of joy, energy, and passion.

All ages – No sign-up needed

Date: October 12, 2014 from 11:00 to 11:45 a.m.

Main Reading Room, Mill Valley Public Library

 

Picture Books & More: Jeepers Creepers!

monster-books-for-kidsPicture Books & More: Jeepers Creepers!

First and second graders can join us for four weeks of bad-to-the-bone stories and wickedly weird fun. With stories, crafts, and snacks, it’s a scary good time!

You’ll hear terrific tales of wicked witches, vile villains and beastly baddies. You’ll create wild and wonderful works of art. Plus, you’ll eat super snacks and tasty treats!

WHO: 1st and 2nd Graders
WHEN:  Tuesdays October 7, 14, 21, and 28 (3:30-4:30)
OR  Wednesdays October 8, 15, 22, and 29 (2:30-3:30)
Plan to attend all four sessions.
WHERE:  The Creekside Room
COST: Free!

Space is limited. To register, click the links below, or call 415-389-4292 x4, or come to the Children’s Room.

The Tuesday sessions are currently full. To be placed on the waitlist for Tuesdays, click here.
To register for the Wednesday sessions, click here.

Animal Adventures: New Books for Younger Readers

ChengduChengdu Could Not, Would Not, Fall Asleep by Barney Saltzberg
It’s late at night in the bamboo grove and everyone is asleep: everyone, that is, but Chengdu. This young panda is having a rough time falling asleep on his branch! No matter how much he tosses and turns, he cannot get comfortable. Chengdu’s nighttime dilemma is told through this sweet picture book filled with dark drawings of the bamboo grove, lightened by green branches and Chengdu’s black and white markings. Some pages flip out, giving the reader more to explore as Chengdu’s struggles to fall asleep. When Chengdu finally gets comfortable, he’ll be thwarted again in his efforts to sleep but readers will delight in his new complication. Chengdu’s dilemma is something many experience and Barney Saltzberg captures the struggles and determination of this frustrating nightly ritual. (ages 2-5)

hearti carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings, illustrated by Mati McDonough
This beloved poem has been crafted into a picture book of a parent’s love for her child. Using mixed-media illustrations, McDonough begins the story with a new mom cradling her pregnant belly and as the poem progresses, readers see instances of the child’s young life before she goes off to school. The mom and daughter are not the only parent-child relationship depicted in this book; an elephant and her child and a blue bird and her child also show the deep love parents have for their children in the illustrations. This beautiful picture book not only introduces children to different forms of illustrated art but also to poetry and e.e. cummings. A classic poem telling the tale of a classic love. (ages 2-6)

milesMiles to the Finish by Jamie Harper 
The race is on! Miles and his friend, Otto, are preparing for their class’ race when they see an electric car on the track. The new competition belongs to Indie, who says her car is “fast.” Miles decides to prep himself for racing in his peddle-car by running, climbing, and lifting during recess. Soon enough, the race is starting and everyone is off! Harper keeps the pace and the action going as Miles drives the track, showing other drivers in a pile-up and spinning off the road. Everyone is a winner with this picture book. (ages 3-6)

monkeyThe Monkey Goes Bananas by C.P. Bloom, illustrated by Peter Raymundo 
The monkey is on a sandy beach island, the bananas are hanging from a tree on another, grassy island, and a shark is in the water between the two. What’s a monkey to do? Swimming is out of the question because of, well, THE SHARK! The monkey has several brilliant ideas, including the use of stilts and a fishing pole, but his attempts are thwarted and he cannot reach the bananas. The monkey does eventually reach the other island, but not without some pain. His frustrating situation is told primarily through large illustrations and very few words. The monkey’s expressions are timeless and his immediate wish is fulfilled, if not without some future obstacles. (ages 5-9)

-Serianna

Bookmark Contest

The 12th Annual Bookmark Contest is underway. Design a bookmark celebrating books, reading, or the Mill Valley Library. Kids age 2 to 12 and under can make as many as they want, and all entries are due by Tuesday, September 30 at 9:00 p.m. It’s so hard to choose, but we’ll pick the top 30 designs and hang them on the display wall the first week of October. Then, we want the community to come in and vote for their top five, and we’ll pick the winners from those votes and post them the first week of November. Look for an entry form in your public school child’s backpack, or click here to download an entry form. Don’t forget to fill out the back side!

In September, we also celebrate New Library Card Sign-up Month. If your child can write her own name, she can get her own card. A parent or guardian must accompany the child to the library to get a new library card – we’ll take her picture and give her a free book! Check out our website to find out how your Library Card Saves You Cash in September.

Playwriting Workshop

playCalling all middle school playwrights! Learn the nuts and bolts of playwriting with a Marin Theatre Company professional. Participants will collaborate on a project over five weeks. No experience necessary! Program meets on the five Thursday evenings between October 16 and November 13. Please plan on attending all five meetings. Creekside Room. Advance registration required. Click here to register.

What’s Happening This Fall?

The 12th Annual Bookmark Contest is underway. Design a bookmark celebrating books, reading, and the Mill Valley Library. Kids age 12 and under can make as many as they want, and all entries are due by Tuesday, September 30 at 9:00 p.m. It’s so hard to choose, but we’ll pick the top 30 designs and hang them on the display wall the first week of October. Then, we want the community to come in and vote for their top five, and we’ll pick the winners from those votes and post them the first week of November. Look for an entry form in your public school child’s backpack, or click here to download an entry form. Don’t forget to fill out the back side!

In September, we also celebrate New Library Card Sign-up Month. If your child can write her own name, she can get her own card. A parent or guardian must accompany the child to the library to get a new library card – we’ll take her picture and give her a free book! Check out our website to find out how your Library Card Saves You Cash in September.

Lego Mindstorms Robotics Lab for Grades 6 to 8

131217_Lego_Mindstorms_robot_05-660x440We’re very excited to offer a Lego Robotics Lab using Lego Mindstorms EV3 robots beginning on Sunday, September 28 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. and running through October 26. This course will teach introductory level robotics. Participants will pair up to build and program the robots to do various challenges. Registration required. Participants must attend all five weeks. Click here to sign up.

Boogie with Emily Bonn for Ages 2 to 5

emilyWe know your preschoolers love music so we’re offering a music series just for them on Mondays, October 6 through October 27 from 11:00 to 11:45 a.m. Teacher Emily will bring her favorite old-timey, folk and classic children’s songs to create a playful learning environment for children. This four-week course nurtures creativity, self-expression, and confidence while developing singing and rhythm musicality, body awareness and social skills. Registration and caregiver participation required. Please plan to attend all four sessions. Click here to sign up.

Stories and Science for Kindergartners

DSCN1823Does your kindergartner love science? Join us on four Thursdays in October from 2:00 to 2:45 p.m. for stories about the science topic of the day. After the stories, kids will break into groups and do hands-on science experiments. Sign-up for all four or just come to one. Parents can stay or drop-off depending on their child’s comfort level. Registration required. Please sign-up for each session separately.

Click here to sign up for the October 2 session.
Click here to sign up for the October 9 session.
Click here to sign up for the October 16 session.
Click here to sign up for the October 23 session.

Jeepers Creepers: Picture Books & More for First- and Second-Graders

monster-books-for-kidsOur wildly popular four-week series begins on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, October 7 and 8, and runs through October 28 and 29. First- and second-graders can come hear stories, create a creepy craft and have a spooky snack. Advance registration required. Children should plan to attend all four sessions.

To register for Tuesdays at 3:30, click here.
To register for Wednesdays at 2:30, click here.

Playwriting Workshop for Grades 6 to 8

playBack again this year, Marin Theatre Company will teach this five-week course for aspiring middle school playwrights. Explore your voice in this writing class designed for first-time writers who are interested in crafting plays. This collaborative course will explore conflict, character development, dialogue and more! Workshop runs October 16 through November 13 from 6:30 to 7:30pm. Registration required. Click here to register.

-Jessica

Boogie with Emily Bonn

emilyEmily Bonn will bring her favorite old-timey, folk and classic children’s songs to create a playful learning environment for children ages 2 to 5. This four-week course nurtures creativity, self-expression, and confidence all while developing singing and rhythm musicality, body awareness and social skills.

Mondays, October 6, 13, 20 and 27, from 11:00 to 11:45 a.m.

Creekside Room. Free! Advance registration and caregiver participation required. Ages 2 to 5 only. Please plan to attend all four meetings. Click here to sign up.

Lego Mindstorms Robotics for Grades 6-8

131217_Lego_Mindstorms_robot_05-660x440Just for kids in grades 6 to 8: it’s Lego Mindstorms! In this five-week introductory series, middle schoolers will work in teams of two to build and program a Lego Mindstorms robot to perform various challenges.

The program meets on five Sundays: September 28 through October 26 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. Participants must be in grades 6 to 8 and plan to attend all five meetings. Advance registration required. Click here to register, or call for more information: (415) 389-4292 x4.

Stay tuned for information about future Lego Mindstorms programs for other age groups.