Books Blog

Holiday Gift Guide: Books for Kids & Teens

That Is NOT a Good Idea!

The holidays are almost upon us, and here at Denver Public Library the Children's Librarians have been hard at work, gathering the very best books published in 2013 to help you give the gift of reading to the children and teens in your life. 

Books for the Very Youngest

Alphablock by Christopher Franceschelli, illustrated by Peskimo.  Alphablock is a lift-the-letter-as-the-flap book with the die-cut letter on top and the pictorial representation underneath. This beautiful book will be read again and again.

It's That Time of the Year...

If You Could Be Mine

Yes, everyone from The New York Times to NPR is coming out with their take on "the best books of 2013" right now.

I won't promise this list is "the best," but they're all books I enjoyed this year for various reasons. Please add your own favorite 2013 reads in the comments!! I hope some of my fabulous DPL colleagues will post their own lists, too--we're a diverse group with varying interests and tastes in books.

Science Fiction & Horror:

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King--Classic King. Well-drawn characters, good vs. evil, creepy villains. And a Colorado conection!

Autodidacts Walk Among Us

Hat with "Autodidact University"

Unlike zombies, autodidacts or the self-educated, are difficult to spot. You won't recognize a road scholar (as opposed to Rhodes Scholar) unless you talk to them, especially if you hit on a subject of interest. The clerk at your local 7-11, the man standing in front of you at the bus stop, or the teen carrying groceries - all could be amateur scholars.

Life experience, observation, and study are primary tools for autodidacts. And the Library is the epicenter of many of their lives. Ray Bradbury, a noted autodidact, shared his experience: “Libraries raised me…I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.” Even if money or privilege isn't an issue, these passionate learners determine the establishment can't give them what they need.

Reading to Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Children

Image: woman and child reading, ASL (Gallaudet University image)

Reading to deaf and hard-of-hearing children is just as important as reading to hearing children; in fact, the same things are important: creating a literacy-rich environment, building vocabulary, engaging children's brains, building confidence and more. There are, however, some different considerations. The Belmar Library (Jefferson County Libraries) will host a workshop called:

Gateway to Reading: Book Sharing with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children based on effective book sharing techniques as outlined in The 15 Principles of Reading to Deaf Children. The workshop will be held on Thursday, December 5 from 5 - 7:30 p.m. Registration is required.
Please email Deborah.Dauenheimer@jeffcolibrary.org no later than Friday, November 29.

 

Curiosities and Wonders

Thanksgiving Bread Basket

It's no secret the holidays can challenge even the most harmonious family relationships. Someone, somewhere, will be uttering "less is more" while dodging a dinner roll. Table conversations can escalate faster than a Facebook firestorm. Knowing how to navigate discussions around dueling politics or between divided sports fans is a prized holiday survival skill. 

So how can you keep the holiday sparkle alive and the goodwill flowing? Think trivia! Curiosities and wonders appeal to all ages. Ensure a harmonious (and educational) meal with the people you love most by taking one of these books to your next family gathering.

Mexican Journalist & Author Elena Poniatowska Wins 2013 Cervantes Prize

Image Elena Poniatowska

This week Mexican journalist and author Elena Poniatowska became the fourth woman, first Mexican woman, and fifth Mexican to win the highest literary honor in the Spanish-speaking world, the 2013 Cervantes Prize (Premio Cervantes).

She is recognized for her lifelong career as a journalist, essayist, novelist and poet whose work addresses Mexican socio-political movements and themes, many focusing on history and the disenfranchised and poor.

John Green Is My Hero!

John Green (photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore) - author, vlogger, tweeter, teacher, activist, Nerdfighter Extraordinaire - is my hero. His brother Hank is a very close second on my hero scale, as well. And yes, I am now a proud Nerdfighter, too, fighting suck and doing my best to increase awesome!

What an inspiration these brothers are - sharing their energy, creativity, knowledge, passion, innovation, and let's face it, just plain genius, with the world. 

Where's All the 2014 Stuff?

Ripper

I'm sure many of you out there are thinking the same thing--why isn't that new (book, movie, tv show) item by my favorite (author, actor) in the catalog yet? Rest assured, these items WILL be on order soon!

Here at DPL, we try to order materials 2-3 months ahead of publication, but because of the way our yearly funding works, we have to wait until a bit later in the year to start ordering next year's titles. We know that you're anxious to get onto the list for some sure to be popular items, so start looking for new books by these authors (not to mention Season 4 of Downton Abbey!) within the next few weeks:

Alan Bradley--The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches

Robin Cook--Cell

Lisa Gardner--Fear Nothing

Lisa Unger--In the Blood

Thanksgivukkah! Huh?

Thanksgivukkah

Yes, Thanksgivukkah. For the first time since 1888, the all-American harvest celebration and the first night of the Jewish Festival of Lights coincide, on Thursday, November 28. There's even a Facebook page about it, from which we've borrowed the Woodstock-ish image.

Jonathan Mizrahi, a graduate student in quantum physics (and no relation to the designer Isaac Mizrahi, as far as I know), has calculated that this convergence of the Gregorian (secular) and Jewish (religious) calendars won't happen again until the year 79811. The redoubtable Steve Morse (mentioned in a previous post about calendars) arrived at a date slightly different from Mizrahi's, but everyone agrees that this is an extremely rare event, not to be repeated in our lifetimes.

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