Tuesday, July 12, 2011

KTB = Kids Talk Books

We're into our second week of KTB and already the recommendations are pouring in! Our panel today consisted of: Hari (entering grade 7); Arshad, Sai, Yerin (entering grade 6); Mayaank (entering grade 5); Jeevan, Neha, Shiva, Uday (entering grade 4).

Today's discussion topic was, "What makes a good series?" Readers of all ages love the comfort, ease, and predictability of series fiction. Once we discover an author we like, it's exciting to find out that he or she has written more books about our favorite characters.

Here are the series our panelists recommend, along with the genres they fall into, how our panelists discovered the series and/or why they like it, and suggested reading levels.

The 39 Clues series by various authors
grades 3-5
"I like that the same characters appear in all of them, but they're all a little bit different." ~ Jeevan

The Cabin Creek Mysteries by Kristiana Gregory
mystery, suspense
grades 3-5
"My teacher read the first one aloud to my class and I got hooked." ~ Uday

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney
family & friends, humor, school stories
grades 3-6
"I just found the book on the shelf at the library. The cover and the title looked good, so I checked it out." ~ Hari

The Dragon Slayers' Academy by Kate McMullen
fantasy, school stories
grades 2-4
"The author came to my school and got me interested in the books." ~ Uday

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
adventure, fantasy, school stories
grades 4+ (later titles in the series grades 7+)
"I like all of the action and how the characters sometimes break the rules." ~ Shiva

The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan
adventure, fantasy, mythology
grades 4-7
"I really liked the Percy Jackson books, and this series is by the same author. It's also about mythology, but this time it's Egypt instead of Greece." ~ Arshad

The Lost Hero series by Rick Riordan
adventure, family & friends, fantasy, mythology
grades 4-7
"It's a Percy Jackson spinoff, and I had read and liked the first series." ~ Sai

The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne
fantasy, mystery
grades 1-3
"This series was a reading challenge in second grade. Our teacher challenged us to read books 1-18, but we liked it so much we kept going!" ~ Uday

The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan
adventure, family & friends, fantasy, mythology
grades 4-7
"A friend of mine read it and recommended it to me." ~ Arshad

The Secret Series by Pseudonymous Bosch
humor, mystery, suspense
grades 4-7
"I liked A Series of Unfortunate Events and this one is a lot like it." ~ Shiva

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
adventure, humor, mystery, suspense
grades 4-6
"My school librarian thought I might like it, and I did!" ~ Mayaank

The TinTin series by Herge
adventure, graphics, humor
grades 5+
"We liked that they were exotic and had lots of travel and adventure." ~ Arshad, Hari, Sai

The Wayside School series by Louis Sachar
family & friends, humor, school stories
grades 3-5
"My teacher read the first one to our class and I really liked it." ~ Neha

Other series mentioned in brief:
A-Z Mysteries and Capital Mysteries, both by Ron Roy (mystery; grades 1-3)
The Boxcar Children Mysteries by Gertrude Chandler Warner (mystery; grades 3-5)
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson (graphics, humor; grades 4-7)
Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey (humor; grades 1-3)
My Weird School by Dan Gutman (family & friends, humor; grades 1-3)
The Warriors series by Erin Hunter (adventure, animals, fantasy, graphics; grades 4-7)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Harry and the Potters

There is something I want you to know.

There is a band called Harry and the Potters. Some of their songs include, "I'm a Wizard," "Save Ginny Weasley," and of course, "Voldemort Can't Stop the Rock."

Yes, this is a band that writes songs about the stuff that happens in the Harry Potter books.

Why am I telling you about them?

Weren't you listening? THIS IS A BAND THAT WRITES SONGS ABOUT STUFF THAT HAPPENS IN THE HARRY POTTER BOOKS! If that's not cool enough for me to give you a heads-up about it, I don't know what is.

But the reason I am telling you about them TODAY is so that you can have enough time to make a plan to go see them in Philadelphia where they will be performing live on July 30! (Yes, that's right, the day before Harry Potter's birthday!)

If you've spent any time at all in the children's department this spring, you might have heard us playing their first album behind the desk. (It is a particular favorite of a few of our staff members, myself included.)

If you haven't heard their music at our library, you might want to give them a shot.

You're welcome.