May We Suggest

This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Geek Out: Super Bookworm badge.
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You may be a fan of the Avengers series and watching Thor fight to protect Earth. Or maybe you are a fan of Rick Riordan's newest series featuring Magnus Chase (also available as an audiobook). (PSST! The sequel, titled The Hammer of Thor, will release this October but you can add your name to the hold list today!) Regardless, there are other books featuring your favorite figures from Norse mythology. Pick one up or place a request to see other sides of Anglo-Saxon lore.

Frostborn by Lou Anders

Destined to take over his family farm in Norrørd, Karn would rather play the board game, Thrones and Bones, until half-human, half frost giantess Thianna appears and they set out on an adventure, chased by a dragon, undead warriors, an evil uncle, and more.

Loki's wolves by Kelley Armstrong

"Matt Thorsen is a direct descendent of the order-keeping god Thor, and his classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke are descendents of the trickster god Loki. When Ragnarok--the apocalypse--threatens, the human descendents of the gods must fight monsters to stop the end of the world."--.

The coming of the dragon by Rebecca Barnhouse

Rune, an orphaned young man raised among strangers, tries to save the kingdom from a dragon that is burning the countryside and, along the way, learns that he is a kinsman of Beowulf.

This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Explore History: Super Bookworm badge.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.

What if WWI was fought with genetically altered animals? What if rock and roll started in Victorian England, or the X-Men were around in the 16th century? What if, what if, what if? These books ask the hard questions, and then try to figure out how history would have progressed, had just one thing changed.

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.... Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly--but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden. Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family's spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library's service. When he inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life--and soon both heretics and books will burn....

Marvel 1602 / by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman's vision of the Marvel Universe in the year 1602 The year is 1602, and strange things are stirring in England. In the service of Queen Elizabeth, court magician Dr. Stephen Strange senses that the bizarre weather plaguing the skies above is not of natural origin. Her majesty's premier spy, Sir Nicholas Fury, fends off an assassination attempt on the Queen by winged warriors rumored to be in service to a mad despot named Doom. News is spreading of witchbreed sightings - young men bearing fantastic superhuman powers and abilities. And in the center of the rising chaos is Virginia Dare, a young girl newly arrived from the New World, guarded by a towering Indian warrior. Can Fury and his allies find a connection to these unusual happenings before the whole world ends? In Marvel 1602, award-winning writer Neil Gaiman presents a unique vision of the Marvel Universe set four hundred years in the past. Daredevil appear in this intriguing world of 17th- century science and sorcery, instantly familiar to readers, yet subtly different in this new time. Marvel 1602 combines classic Marvel action and adventure with the historically accurate setting of Queen Elizabeth's reign to create a unique series unlike any other published by Marvel Comics

Song of the slums by Richard Harland

In the slums of Brummingham, where a new type of music is taking shape, classically-trained Astor must survive in a world where rock music reigns, and she learns to depend on her former servant Verrol, who has a mysterious past.

This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Explore History: Super Bookworm badge.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.

For almost 35 years, The Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction has been given annually to an U.S. author for a meritorious book of historical fiction set in the Americas  and published in the previous year for children or young adults. Here are some of the previous winners. Named after the award's founder, acclaimed author of Island of the Blue Dolphins and other books, the award was intended to encourage writers to focus on historical fiction and increase the interest of young readers in how the country was shaped. For a complete listing, you can visit the award's website

 

The hired girl by Laura Amy Schlitz

Fourteen-year-old Joan Skraggs chronicles her life in a journal when she leaves her family's farm in Pennsylvania to work as a hired girl in Baltimore in the summer of 1911.

Dash by Kirby Larson

When her family is forced into an internment camp, Mitsi Kashino is separated from her home, her classmates, and her beloved dog Dash; and as her family begins to come apart around her, Mitsi clings to her one connection to the outer world--the letters from the kindly neighbor who is caring for Dash.

Bo at Ballard Creek by Kirkpatrick Hill

"It's the 1920s, and Bo was headed for an Alaska orphanage when she won the hearts of two tough gold miners who set out to raise her, enthusiastically helped by all the kind people of the nearby Eskimo village"--.

The story continues in the sequel, Bo at Iditarod Creek.

William Shakespeare was born sometime in April (no one is really sure of the exact date) and died on April 23, 1616. During his prolific production of plays and poetry, he's responsible for creating many words and phrases still used in the English language today. In his honor, check out some of these works inspired by the bard, some of which may be better suited for younger readers.

Picture of Shakespeare is Public Domain

Non-Fiction Featuring Shakespeare

Ira's Shakespeare dream by Glenda Armand

"A biography chronicling the life of Ira Aldridge, an African American actor who is considered to be one of the greatest Shakespearean actors of the nineteenth century"--.

Beloved author Beverly Cleary turns 100 years old on April 12th.  She started publishing books in 1950, with Henry Huggins as the first in not only a series of books featuring Henry, his friend Beezus, and her sister Ramona, but also the first in a career spanning over 40 years. She's won several awards, including the Newbery Medal in 1984 for Dear Mr. Henshaw, Newbery Honors for Ramona and Her Father in 1978 and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 in 1982, and the National Book Award for Ramona and Her Mother in 1981. Her birthday has been recognized for years as National Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R.) Day to promote sustained silent reading. If you haven't checked out her writings already, take this opportunity to read one of her books in her honor. A number of these titles are also available for free to read on the computer or to listen to as audiobooks.

Image credit from State Library Photograph Collection, 1851-1990, Washington State Archives, Digital

Autobiographies About Her Life

"Generations of children have grown up with Henry Huggins, Ramona Quimby, and all of their friends, families, and assorted pets. For everyone who enjoyed the pranks and schemes, embarassing moments, and all of the other poignant and colorful images of childhood brought to life in Beverly Cleary books, here is the fascinating true story of the remarkable woman who created them." --From back of book.

National Poetry Month Biographies

Celebrate National Poetry Month by getting to know more about the lives of some of our greatest poets:
 

Longfellow: a rediscovered life by Charles C. Calhoun

 

 

Yeats's ghosts: the secret life of W.B. Yeats by Brenda Maddox

 

 

 

 

Dylan Thomas: a new life by Andrew Lycett

 

 

 

 

From noon to starry night: a life of Walt Whitman by Philip Callow

 

 

 

 

Rough magic: a biography of Sylvia Plath by Paul Alexander

 

Erin go Bragh!

Biographies for St. Patrick's Day:
 

St. Patrick of Ireland: a biography by Philip Freeman

 

 

Damned to fame: the life of Samuel Beckett by James Knowlson

 

 

 

 

Michael Collins: a life by James Mackay

 

 

 

 

Yeats's ghosts: the secret life of W.B. Yeats by Brenda Maddox

 

 

 

 

Loitering with intent: The child by Peter O'Toole

 

 

 

 

Celebrating Extraordinary Women In History

Marie Curie. Eleanor Roosevelt. Susan B. Anthony. Elizabeth I of England. Florence Nightingale. These remarkable women are well known to most of us, but there are many others in history just as remarkable whose names may not be as recognizable. In honor of Women's History Month we should all make some time to learn about them by reading some of the many biographies to found in the library's collection:

Bella Abzug: how one tough broad from the Bronx fought Jim Crow and Joe McCarthy, pissed off Jimmy Carter, battled for the rights of women and workers, rallied against war and for the planet, and shook up politics along the way: an oral history by Suzanne Braun Levine and Mary Thom — Bella Abzug, American lawyer, congresswoman and social activist

Jane Addams and the dream of American democracy: a life by Jean Bethke Elshtain — Jane Addams, American social reformer, suffrage leader and the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

Hooray for Old Hollywood!

Long before Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were big names in the movies, actors such as Chaplin, Dietrich, Bogart, and Gable were considered the ultimate in star power. Read about some of the great actors and actresses who may be gone, but will certainly not be forgotten.

Robert Mitchum: "baby, I don't care" by Lee Server

Dark lover: the life and death of Rudolph Valentino by Emily W. Leider

Bogart by A.M. Sperber and Eric Lax

This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Explore History: Super Bookworm and Keep It Real: Super Bookworm badges.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.

There are a number of books that deal with similar stories or events in history that have been adapted for younger audiences. Several other topics are covered by multiple ages for multiple age ranges. Pick one of these for yourself and one for your child, and discuss aspects of history as a family.

 

 

Extraordinary Zoo Stories During WWII

When Germany invaded Poland, bombers devastated Warsaw-- and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into the empty cages. Another dozen "guests" hid inside the Zabinskis' villa, emerging after dark for dinner, socializing and, during rare moments of calm, piano concerts. Jan, active in the Polish resistance, kept ammunition buried in the elephant enclosure and stashed explosives in the animal hospital. Meanwhile, Antonina kept her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and its animal inhabitants and refusing to give in to the penetrating fear of discovery, even as Europe crumbled around her.

An elephant in the garden by Michael Morpurgo

Lizzie and Karl's mother, Mutti, working at a local zoo in Dresden, Germany, during World War II while their father is away fighting in France, brings home Marlene, a baby elephant that is slated to be destroyed as the Allied bombing grows closer, and when they are forced to flee, Mutti feels they must take Marlene with them, adding even more danger to their journey.

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