Join us via Zoom this summer for game events and book club meetings. All programs will provide an opportunity for kids to get together virtually for some interactive fun. Make sure to register so that you can get the link to join us! Please note that the books are available for everyone with their library card via HOOPLA. (Please note that the book for the 4th - 6th grade meeting is for the older end of that range. Scroll down for reviews of both books.)
July 2nd at 5 pm - GAME EVENT (4th - 6th graders)
July 9th at 5 pm - GAME EVENT (2nd - 4th graders)
July 16th at 5 pm - BOOK MEETING (4th - 6th): MASTERMINDS BY GORDAN KORMAN
July 23rd at 5 pm - BOOK MEETING (2nd - 4th):THE INVISIBLE INKLING BY EMILY JENKINS
EMAIL AMY KAPLAN at [email protected] to register or with any questions you may have.
Review of Masterminds: Booklist starred (December 15, 2014 (Vol. 111, No. 8)) Grades 5-8. Tiny Serenity, New Mexico, is idyllic as it gets—everyone has a job and a home, the kids are well behaved, and the genial community spirit is intoxicating. Sure, it’s boring, and it’s suspicious that a town of 185 people has its own helicopter-equipped security force, but 13-year-old Eli is content. That is, until his misbehaving friend Randy gets sent away. Eli’s sure there’s something screwy going on, and his suspicions are confirmed when he and his friends investigate the town’s factory. Using their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, they discover that it’s not traffic cones they manufacture there, but the truth. Korman cleverly constructs Serenity as a kind of stand-in for pearl-clutching attitudes about children—the history lessons exclude rebellion and any antiauthoritarian notions, and the kids don’t even know what murder means. But learning they have been lied to is worse, and in alternating first-person perspectives, they explore thought-provoking questions about honesty and struggle with the dastardly, life-altering secrets that may change who they are. The compelling, twisty mystery has a truly gratifying payoff, and the emotional depth of the characters, not to mention the steadily building pace, will keep readers engaged to the final page, which happily lays the groundwork for a sequel. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Korman is no stranger to the New York Times best-seller list, and with a hefty marketing campaign behind this one, don’t be surprised if he pops up on the list again.
Review of Invisible Inkling: Booklist (June 1, 2011 (Vol. 107, No. 19)) Grades 2-4. With a mix of wild humor, fantasy, and sadness, this series starter offers a moving story about defeating bullies. When his best friend moves away, Hank dreads fourth grade alone in his Brooklyn school, and he is thrilled to discover a small, invisible creature, Inkling, who helps him face the lunchroom jungle. Inkling isn’t imaginary. Hank can feel its fur and, even better, the two can talk, and together they stand up to the school bully. Told in Hank’s present-tense voice, the story will grab readers with its comedyand captivating sidekick. A subplot about scientists who want to investigate Inkling’s invisibility adds tension, but what will pull readers most is the everyday realism. Adults are no help in dealing with the bully, who backs off. Was it because Inkling bites him or because Hank delivers a devastating insult? Starting with the cover image of a creature snuggling in Hank’s backpack, the spot art extends the story’s immediacy and humor. Readers will recognize Hank’s conflicting feelings about the desire to win and what it can make you do.