The Fourth of July holiday serves as an inspiration to look back at the beginning of the United States. The following materials might interest readers who enjoy the early history of our country, or who like learning new and surprising things. Click on the titles for location and availability.

Shares the stories of remarkable women who shaped American history between 1796 and 1828, including Dolley Madison, Isabella Graham, and Sacajawea.

The true story of James Armistead Lafayette--a slave who spied for George Washington's army during the American Revolution. But while America celebrated its newfound freedom, James returned to slavery. His service hadn't qualified him for the release he'd been hoping for. For James the fight wasn't over; he'd helped his country gain its freedom, now it was time to win his own.

Scar : a Revolutionary War tale by Jennifer Ann Mann

Unable to enlist in the army due to a childhood injury, Noah Daniels watches the Revolution from his farm in New York until a raid on his settlement thrusts him into one of the bloodiest battles of the American Revolution, and ultimately, face to face with the enemy.

 

In case you missed our Foxes storytime this week, don't worry. Here are some of the fun stories and songs we shared, plus some extras to do your own foxy storytime at home.

From Storytime

My ears are huge and fuzzy by Jessica Rudolph

In this book, young readers will learn all the different traits of a particular animal, and then get to guess what it is.

 

FIVE LITTLE FOXES FINGERPLAY

          Five little foxes all lined up in a row

          Five little foxes, so clever don’t you know?

          Suddenly one fox runs into the trees.

          Now how many foxes do you see? (Count down to zero)

 

Look through another's eyes with a book translated from another language. Scroll to the bottom for chapter books and teen fiction.

Picture Books

Over the ocean by Tarō Gomi

A young girl gazes out over the horizon, and wonders what lands lie beyond the ocean, and what the people are like who live in those lands.

As time went by by José Sanabria

A steamship makes a journey across time from luxury and exclusivity, industry and abandonment, to stewardship and inclusion as we see the evolving functions of the ship and the changing faces of the people who cherish it most of all.

To begin Connect Your Summer this year, you will receive a StoryBox. After that, it's up to you. Below are a few books to help you think about what exactly you might do with that box.

When a girl receives a beautiful porcelain box from her grandmother, she immediately wants something special to put inside it. What does she love best? She loves jumping in puddles on rainy days, blowing bubbles in the park, and watching her little sister's first steps. Life's most precious treasures cannot be contained in a box! Features a sparkly die-cut star on the cover, and flaps throughout reveal hidden surprises.

What to do with a box by Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen poetically reminds young readers that a simple box can be a child's most imaginative plaything as artist Chris Sheban illustrates its myriad and magical uses.

When her friend Simon moves away, Isabel, the girl with the parrot on her head, is upset until she meets a new friend named Chester.

Also available in: video

On a day when everything goes wrong for him, Alexander is consoled by the thought that other people have bad days too.

The ant bully by John Nickle
Also available in: video

Lucas learns a lesson about bullying when he is pulled into the ant hole he has been tormenting.

Five electrical appliances find that their young owner has disappeared. The toaster takes charge, rounding up the vacuum cleaner, the electric blanket, bedside lamp and radio. Together they take off for the big city in search of their master. Based on the book by Thom Demijohn.

Also available in: video

Life is delicious in the town of Chewandswallow where it rains soup and juice, snows mashed potatoes, and blows storms of hamburgers--until the weather takes a turn for the worse.

Thorndyke the Bear in a READ shirt

Reluctant readers come in all ages, stages, and sizes. This summer, overcome a lack of enthusiasm with these tips, which can be applied to reading ruts of all kinds. Examples link to children's materials, but these suggestions can work for grown-ups, too.

  • Forget reading level for just a minute, and start with interests or hobbies. Search for fiction and nonfiction that focus on that topic. Maybe you like soccer: use our subject headings to find relevant biographiesfiction, and nonfiction.
  • Explore picture books. There are many beautiful titles that are worth reading, and as a bonus are short and satisfying.
  • Use writing as a springboard and create a summer journal. Then see why journal-format fiction is so popular.
  • Explore the graphic novel shelf. Dense illustrations make a reader slow down to really enjoy the story.
  • Come to a book discussion program, or start your own. Read the book together. Reading can be more fun when it's shared, and even if you hated the book, you can talk about how much you disliked it.
  • Grab some poetry. Sometimes it's serious, but a lot of times it's silly and entertaining.
  • Listen to an audiobook. All of the story and vocabulary words without the visuals. Even better if you're listening with the whole family on a road trip and can discuss the story as you go.
  • Pick something you want to DO - maybe you want to travel to Ireland, become a scientist, or learn to keep bees. Use books to gather useful information for your quest.
  • Look for a book that has a movie version. Even picture books have been made into full-length movies. Read, and then watch. Which did you like better?
  • Start with music, and listen to a favorite album or song artist. Then learn more about that person, maybe even in their own words.

No matter what, keep trying. Try new formats, try new recommendations, try non-print stories. It's never too late to find something good.

Who Can Participate?

Anyone! People of all ages who want to have a great summer.

How Do I Register?

Stop at any Reference Desk. We'll get you signed up and equip you with a StoryBox to get you started on a great summer.

 

In case you missed our Duck storytime this week, don't worry. Here are some of the fun stories and songs we shared, plus some extras to do your own quacking storytime at home.

From Storytime

When Mama Duck's eggs hatch, revealing Feather, Flap, and Spike she feels like the luckiest duck in the pond.

 

IF YOU'RE HAPPY AND YOU KNOW IT

          If you're happy and you know it, flap your wings.

          If you're happy and you know it, flap your wings.

          If you're happy and you know it, and you really want to show it

          If you're happy and you know it, flap your wings.

          (repeat with: quack quack, waddle waddle, and other ducky actions)

 

Maybe you want to read Sisters. Or maybe you love her work on The Baby-Sitters Club. Maybe you have no idea who Raina Telgemeier is, but you want a bright and fun graphic novel, and the ones your friends talk about are always checked out. Here is a list of Telgemeier's books (including alternative formats to check out), the popular titles that are just like Telgemeier, and some other suggestions for when those aren't available. Good luck, and happy reading.

Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Also available in: e-book

From sixth grade through tenth, Raina copes with a variety of dental problems that affect her appearance and how she feels about herself.

Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Also available in: e-book

Callie rides an emotional roller coaster while serving on the stage crew for a middle school production of Moon over Mississippi as various relationships start and end, and others never quite get going.

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
Also available in: e-book

In a semi-autobiographical graphic novel, Raina's disappointing bond with a cranky, independent younger sister is further challenged by the arrival of a baby brother and an estrangement in their parents' marriage.

In case you missed our Star storytime this week, don't worry. Here are some of the fun stories and songs we shared, plus some extras to do your own twinkly storytime at home.

From Storytime

Stars by Mary Lyn Ray

Explores the wonder of stars, whether they are in the night sky, on a plant as a promise of fruit to come, or in one's pocket for those days when one does not feel shiny.

 

FIVE STARS COUNTING UP

          No little stars, next to the sun. One shoots by, and then there is one.

          One little star, with nothing to do. Another shoots by, and now there are two.

          Two little stars, winking at me. Another shoots by, and now there are three.

          Three little stars, blinking once more. Another shoots by, and now there are four.

          Four little stars, wait for another to arrive. Another shoots by, and now there are five.

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