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Name: Sarah
Post date: March 28th, 2014

Families Together


Family Get Togethers

I always think of November as the beginning of family gatherings.  Whether you celebrate  family as, familia, famille, Obitelj or Rodzina, we enjoy the holidays. Related by blood, marriage, friendship,or fellowship, families get together to celebrate Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving can be a time of sharing, sometimes with the joy of new additions or the sorrow of lost loved ones. New memories are made every year, photos taken, games played, and food eaten.  Cherish all these moments, they are part of the definition of the word family.

Here are a few books about families and ways to celebrate:

Climb the Family Tree, Jesse Bear!  By Nancy Carlstrom    Jesse Bear experiences the excitement of a family reunion filled with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins and lots of food, games, and storytelling.

Do You Sing Twinkle?  by Sandra Levins  A boy's parents help him adjust to his new stepfamily when his mother remarries after a divorce


Families: A Global Family Album  by Uwe Ommar  A superbly original book to be enjoyed by children of all ages and families of all nationalities.

Family Photo and Other Family Stories   There's fun for everyone when these families get together to bake a cake, visit grandma's farm, take a family photo and welcome a new baby.

The Frazzle Family Finds a Way  by Ann Bonwill  The Frazzle family is forgetful.  But after trials and errors , they realize that putting things to song helps them remember.

Henry and Mudge in the Family Trees  by Cynthia Rylant  Invited to a family reunion at Cousin Annie's house, Henry looks forward to meeting new relatives.  This is a  warm celebration of the extended family.

I Love my Family  by Laura Galvin  Illustrated to show the love and fun of being in a family.

My Family Plays Music  by Judy Cox 

A musical family with talents for playing a variety of instruments enjoys getting together to celebrate.

My New Family  by Pat Thomas    Explains adoption, the feelings of insecurity that such a situation may cause, and the nature of biological parents, adoptive parents, and foster parents.

A New Family  by Christine LHeureux  A gentle discussion between Caillou and his cousins about why their parents do not live together.

What a Family!  By Rachel Isadora  This book shows how one little boy is related to other members in his family, by appearance, abilities, and other unique family traits.

Who’s in my Family?  By Robie Harris   All kinds of families, and all kinds of diversity. Families live in different places, eat different foods, and enjoy doing different things together. They have different numbers of children, who might be adopted, and different combinations of mothers and fathers, who might get divorced and possibly remarry. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, foster parents, and pets are family, too.


For Readers and Older Children


Finding Family  by Tonya Bolden  Twelve-year-old Delana is shocked when, after Aunt Tilley dies, she learns the truth about her parents and some of her other relatives.


The Not-Just-Anybody Family  by Betsy Byars  With their mother away on the rodeo circuit, it's up to Maggie and Vern to find a way to rescue Pap and Junior. How will they solve their family problems?


A Tangle of Knotsby Lisa Graff  When she gets adopted, Cady her Talent  for baking, helps unravel the mysteries of her past, but it also puts her in danger of losing her ability.


Travels with My Family  by Marie-Louise Gay  A young boy tells the adventures of his family's summer vacations as his parents choose unusual places to visit.

  Non-Fiction  Books

Celebrate: A sourcebook of children’s parties and family traditions  Activities for holidays and seasons, and special family observances such as parties for dogs or cats, a bike-hike lunch, or a quiet toddler observance.

Enjoying Chicago Wilderness with Your Family An activity guide to enjoy the wilderness around the Chicago area.

Ex-etiquette for Families and Other Holiday Celebrations  by Jan B. Ford  Laying the groundwork for family gatherings

A Family Affair: How to Plan and Direct the Best Family Reunion Ever Provides information to plan a successful family reunion, including how to find family members, establish a budget, and plan meals and activities. (Ebook)

The Family Book: Amazing things to do together     This resource contains ideas for amazing ways for families to spend quality time together. From rainy-day activities to fun games to unique arts and crafts, this guide is a guaranteed good time for all.





Name: Laura
Post date: November 11th, 2013

Homework Help

H.E.L.P. or Homework Elicits Loving Patience

This is an acronym that should have been my mantra when helping my youngest son with his homework, that is of course, when he chose to complete the assignment. School is in session and no matter what age there seems to be homework.  Parents have come to the library looking for books for their preschooler, all the way up thru their high school senior.  Here at the library we have stories about homework, and the tools needed to complete it, covering ages 4-18 and a list of some suggested reads to help parents help their children. 

For Beginning Readers

  The Pencil  Allan Ahlberg  Easy AHL A  lonely pencil draws a boy, a dog and other things.  Soon his creations want changes and when the pencil draws an eraser, the real trouble starts.                                    


            Book Cover   The Berenstain Bear’s Report Card Trouble  Stan & Jan Berenstain 

Easy Berenstain  Brother Bear has been spending too much time playing sports and games, when his report card comes, it’s terrible.  All the family pitches in to help Brother bring up his grades.

 Book CoverThe Dazzling Book Report  Jane O’Connor    Easy O’Connor, J. Early Readers

Nancy is determined to make the cover of her very first book report as fancy as she can, but she spends so much time on it that she has no time to write about the book.

          Book Cover   Peanut Butter and Homework Sandwiches  Lisa B. Cook  Easy Cook, L.B.

Martin’s teacher is sick and so he has a substitute.  Martin has homework from his substitute teacher and is having a tough time completing his work.


Book CoverHomework  Al Yorinks  Easy Yorinks, A.

Tony’s pens, pencils, and eraser come to life.  His writing tools begin to argue when it comes to completing Tony’s neglected homework.


For grades 3 & Up

Book CoverAl Capone Does My Homework  Gennifer Choldenko  J FIC Choldenko, G. Al Capone(#3)

Moose Flannagan lives with his family on Alcatraz Islan.  His father is one of the guards and gets a promotion to Associate Warden.  The other guards and their families also live on Alcatraz.  They are not happy with Moose’s Dads’s promotion.  The inmates are upset as well with the news of the promotion.  Moose’s family apartment burns down and it is up to Moose to solve the case and put rumors to rest.

Book CoverExcuses: Survive and Succeed with David Mortimer Baxter 

Karen Tayleur  J FIC Tayleur,G. David

Young David Mortimore Baxter, who knows how to stay out of trouble, shares excuses for avoiding chores, bullies, homework, and vegetarian dinners.

The Goof Who Invented Homework and Other School Poems  Kalli Dakos 

J 811 Dakos, K.   A collection of poems that reflect the varied, sometimes funny, sometimes serious activities and emotions of the school year.

Book CoverJunie B. First Grader: Cheater Pants  Barbara Park  J FIC Park,B. Junie B.(#21) Early Chapters

When Junie B’s Dad wont let her stay up late, Junie B. does not get her homework done.  So she resorts to copying a classmate’s work.  Junie gets caught in a most embarrassing way and has t o endure the consequences.  Junie B. writes about the cheating in her journal and gets help from her teacher Mr. Scary.

Book CoverThe world according to Kaley J FIC Regan, D.C.  Kaley  Kaley  Bluster has her own view of the world history she reads for her 4th grade essay writing assignments. Her teacher, Mr. Serrano, tries to get her to write essays, but they always turn out to be creative commentaries on Kaley's life and her own interpretations of history in light of her modern world.

Aliens Ate My Homework

Arthur and the Double Dare

Homework Hassles

The Report Card

Report Card Pick Up!

Return of the Homework Machine

Time Out




For Parents

Ending the Homework Hassle

The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get too Much of a Bad Thing

The Homework Solution

How to Help Your Child with Homework

Overcoming School Anxiety

The Parent Backpack for Kindergarten Through Grade Five

Taming the Homework Monster




Name: Laura
Post date: September 27th, 2013

1st Day of School

The First Day

Summer is sliding away.  Within weeks, the kids will be starting back to school and in many instances, that day will be a first.  The first day of school no matter what grade comes with a backpack full of mixed emotions. And not just for the student!

Here’s a list of some suggested reads for both student and parent to help in that transition from summer to “I don’t want to get up for school!”

For the Preschoolers and Kindergartners:

Noni is Nervous    EASY  HART-SUSSMAN, H.

Playdates &  global warming are scary things but the most stomach clenching fear is that first day of school for Noni.   Her family is a little stressed out too.  Making a friend,  Noni finds the world a little less scary and  that goes for school as well!

Foxy   EASY  DODD, E.

With a wave of his magic tail Foxy works his magic to help Emma with her first day of school fears.  Too bad instead of an eraser she gets an elephant!  Good thing that finding a friend needs no magic at all.

For Kids returning to school


It’s the First Day of School Forever!  J FIC STINE R.L.

Known for his nightmare tales, this story is just that.  Evan has a bad first day. From the beginning, at home, with a messy breakfast that follows him to school, to an accident with spaghetti at lunch, followed by numerous other trials, Evan’s day just gets worse.  The biggest problem is that it starts all-over the very next day.


New Girl in Town  J FIC DE VILLERS  J. Liberty (2)

You think it’s tough starting at a new school what if you were the president’s daughter? How will the other kids treat her like one of them or the First Daughter?  And by the way no running thru the White House in your P.J.s.





Six stories all viewable on a playaway view.  From a child’s first day, school bully,  an unusual day, and parents night the whole spectrum of school is covered. 


And More books for the kids

Back to School Tortoise  EASY GEORGE, L.M.

Lucky School Bus  EASY  CROW, M. Early Readers

Meet Teddy Rex  EASY WILLIAMS, B. Early Readers

Little Lizard’s First Day  EASY CROW, M.M. Early Readers

Tony Baloney’s School Rules  EASY RYAN, M.M. Early Readers

Third Grade Mix-Up  J FIC JAKUBOWSKI, M. Sidney  Early Chapters

The Re-Invention of Moxie Roosevelt  J FIC KIMMEL. E.


  For Parents

How to Tutor Your Own Child   EDUCATION PARENTING  Ruben

The End of Molasses Classes  EDUCATION METHODS  Clark




Name: Laura
Post date: August 16th, 2013

Dig Into Reading

Well, it's that time of year again. I have been off book talking at Chelsea School, and guess what? Not only did I recommend some fabulous books, I also got to tell the students about our summer reading program, Dig Into Reading!


This year, the program goes from June 10th to August 3rd. Kids will be able to log all of their reading minutes into their online reading log and win tons of awesome prizes. Not to mention, we'll be having all kinds of underground-themed programming for kids of all ages. You can find out more information on the summer reading club and all of our upcoming programming here.


Once again, I'd like to thank Mrs. Ulanowski and all of the lovely students at Chelsea for their never ending enthusiasm. So, without further ado, here are my May book talk picks.


Note: If you'd like to check on the availability of a book on this list, or would like to request it from another library, be sure to click on the image of the book cover. You will be taken directly to the library catalog!


~Rachel Cuzzo, Youth Services Education Specialist


Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan's Rescue from War

Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan's Rescue from War by Marsha Skrypuch

Tuyet's real life adventure truly starts on April 11th, 1975 wehn American soldiers whisk her and 56 other orphans away from war-torn Vietnam to live a new life in Canada.




Pickle: The (Formerly) Anonymous Prank Club of Fountain Point Middle School

Pickle: The Formerly Anonymous Prank Club of Fountain Point Middle School

by Kim Baker

If you were attending Fountain Point Middle School and looking for a group of kids behind genius pranks, you'd never suspect Ben and the League of Pickle Makers. And that's exactly how they prefer it.


Dead City

Dead City by James Ponti

I think it goes without saying that if you love zombies,  you will love this book. But I must add that you will also love it if you love smart people, science, mythology, geography, and/or girls who kick butt.



The War of the Worlds

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

If you're asking yourself, can a story be so great that it can fool one million people into thinking it's real? The answer is yes.




A Tangle of Knots

A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff

How the stories of many different people can become so tangled up in each other that you don't know where one story ends and the next begins.




Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastis

The story of a boy detective, his pet polar bear and "She Who Must Not Be Named."





The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls


The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand

Haunted houses are nothing compared to the horror that's in store when the kids find themselves trapped in the dark, crawling hallways of the Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls.




The Water CastleThe Water Castle by Megan Frazer Blakemore

The search for immortality. Science versus magic. Family rivalries. A historic expedition to the North Pole. What more could you want?




33 Minutes33 Minutes Until Morgan Sturtz Kicks My Butt by Todd Hasak-Lowy

Morgan and Sam used to be best friends. Now, in middle school, they are not. And in 33 minutes, Sam is going to find out why.



Dogs on Duty: Soldiers' Best Friends on the Battlefield and BeyondDogs on Duty: Soldiers' Best Friends on the Battlefield and Beyond

by Dorothy Hinsaw Patent

Dogs play a special role in the every day work and safety of our military. This book explores the history and training of these increasingly important canine soldiers.



Name: rcuzzo
Post date: May 20th, 2013