ImageYou’ve heard of the YMCA — it’s where we here in Wood River Valley swim and climb the rock wall.

The YRCA’s are something different. YRCA stands for the Young Reader’s Choice Awards, the oldest children’s choice award in the United States and Canada. Since 1940, the YRCAs have been giving children and kids a voice in selecting and giving awards to their favorite books. Founder Harry Hartman believed that “every students should have an opportunity to select a book that gives him or her pleasure.” Reading for pleasure is a quality of a life-long reader and is important in children’s development.

The 2014 YRCA Nominees have been announced. It is time to read them so you are ready to vote for your favorites between March 15 – April 15. How does it work?

Only 4th to 12th graders in the Pacific Northwest are eligible to vote. Students must have read or listened to at least two of the nominated titles in order to vote. Students may vote in more than one division, however, they must have read at least two books in the division in which they are voting. Official voting happens in the spring, but you are welcome to come give the books you read a thumbs up or down here in The Children’s Library.


Also, check with your teacher. Some classes have YRCA parties in the spring for those who’ve read some of the nominees. Students at Wood River Middle School are invited to a huge YRCA voting party in the spring at the WRMS Library (think pizza, ice cream, prizes). WRMS students must read 4 titles to attend. Even without a party, reading the YRCA Nominees can be fun. After all, these books are kid favorites. Maybe you’ll find your new favorite too.


Like This? Read that.

Harold and the Purple Crayon is a classically loved, memorable children’s book. With simple text and drawings, Crockett Johnson illustrates an imaginative world and takes us on a unique journey. The character, Harold, uses his magic purple crayon to draw himself into a landscape and a story. We travel with Harold through the night past a dragon, a moose, and a city until Harold eventually finds his way home. This a well loved book. If you liked “Harold and the Purple Crayon” you’ll also enjoy Andrew Drew and Drew. A more modern take, Andrew Drew and Drew featured fold out pages that present drawings that are imaginative and unexpected. If you liked Harold and the Purple Crayon, check out Andrew Drew and Drew.

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Another magical journey akin to “Harold and the Purple Crayon” is Aaron Becker’s wordless picture book Journey. Journey features a lonely girl. Her magical crayon is red and takes her to an enchanted forest and then to a wondrous castle where she must use her magic crayon to be both kind and brave. This is a beautifully illustrated picture book with a wondrous tale to tell, though it uses only illustrations to do so. This beautiful book will help us remember what it means to be both lonely and strong, and how to be quietly fierce and free.


Like this? Read that.

Beaver Creek Fire

The Beaver Creek Fire has created some disruption here in The Children’s Library but we are doing our best to keep you informed of changes. We are hoping to return to some normalcy but for now please be aware that our guest reader for Saturday Storytime scheduled for August 24th at 10:00 am will be unable to come. Our librarians will read at 10:00 am in The Children’s Library, but Debra Drake will not be our special guest that day. Instead, she will visit the library on Saturday, September 21st at 10:00 for a back to school storytime that will include stories and movement in Debra Drake signature style.

We are still conducting our National Invention Week Activity Wednesday – Friday this week during open hours. Our hours have been limited. Please check facebook for the latest updates.

Like This? Read That.

My father had spent a bit of time in Boston as a young adult so one of the well loved books in my home was Robert McCloskey’s “Make Way for Ducklings.” It wasn’t just a favorite in my home. “Make Way for Ducklings” is one of the quintessential pieces of classic children’s literature. The sweet brown and white illustrations of the Mallard family and their adventures won the Caldecott Medal in 1942. I loved when Mr. and Mrs. Mallard followed the swan boat and ate peanuts tossed to them by passengers. i loved watching the little baby ducklings learn to swim and dive. And I loved that Officer Michael stopped traffic so the Mallard family could cross the busy Boston street. If you, like me, liked Robert McCloskey’s “Make Way for Ducklings” then you should read Eva Moore’s “Lucky Ducklings.”

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Published in 2013, “Lucky Ducklings” is also a rescue story. This one happens on Long Island New York, when a brood of ducklings falls into a storm drain. In this case, the heroes are firefighters and a man with a pickup truck who unite to help rescue the lucky ducks and reunite them with their mother. The illustrations are reminiscent of “Make Way for Ducklings”, but these are in color with soda cans, a kid wearing Crocs, and other hints of modern life.

If you Liked This. Read that.

Look: Nooks.

There are still 42 more glorious days of summer vacation until school starts for students in the local Blaine County School District on September 3rd. So, I  hate to be the first one to bring it up, but the start of school will be upon us before we know it. For those of you with students in middle school or students at the Community School there are summer reading requirements for your students. Never fear. We here at The Community Library have done everything we can to make as many summer reading list books available to students as possible. In most cases we have duplicate copies of the books on the summer reading list. We also have extra copies that belong to Wood River Middle School that are circulating in our collection during the summer months only. And, if that wasn’t enough, we’ve also added nooks to our collection in The Children’s Library and in Young Adult.


That’s right. Nooks. Nooks come pre-loaded with selected titles and have been very popular with our adult patrons. We now have nooks available to our young patrons as well. Four of our nooks are loaded with middle grade titles and four nooks are available loaded with Young Adult titles. Many of the books available on our nooks are also on the school’s summer reading lists.

Here is a sampling of titles available:

J Nook:

The Tribe: Homeroom Headhunters                 When You Reach Me

Among the Hidden                                            Flush

Lawn Boy                                                         Stargirl

The Giver                                                         Marley: A Dog Like No Other

YA Nook:

Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Mountains Beyond Mountains

The Maze Runner                                                     Ender’s Game

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children           Uglies

Divergent                                                                  The Fault in Our Stars

Our nooks can be put on hold and checked out for two weeks. Remember: there is a big rush for books on the summer reading lists at the beginning of the summer and another big rush at the end. Right now, we are experiencing a slight lull in demand so now is a great time to come in and have access to the summer reading selection you most want to read.

Like This? Read That.

Recommending books is something we here at The Children’s Library do all the time. We have our favorites and we know you and your children do too. In that spirit we’re launching our “Like This? Read That” recommendations where we suggest another book you might like based on one we already love.

Like This?


Read That.


I chose this pairing of books very first because I have a strong emotional connection to “The Great Big Car and Truck Book” by Richard Scarry. As a child, my mother took me to the library every week like clockwork but we owned very few books. One book we did have was Richard Scarry’s “The Great Big Car and Truck Book.” It was one of my favorite books as a child. I loved the illustrations of men climbing telephone poles, women shopping at the market, and a family camping in a trailer. I used to sit on my mom’s lap and look at the pictures in that book. My mother died more than ten years ago, but when our librarian Helen handed me a worn and tattered copy of “The Great Big Car and Truck Book” and asked if we should replace it I thought that I could smell my mom. I immediately bought a used copy for the library as this book is sadly out of print. I am happy to say that it has a home in my heart and in our collection here at The Children’s Library.

If you like Richard Scarry’s “Great Big Car and Truck Book” as much as I do, then you should read “All Through My Town” by Jean Reidy. This book is illustrated by Leo Timmers and has bright, engaging illustrations of animals going about their daily business. Much like Scarry’s Car and Truck book, there is much to be seen on every spread—a  baker baking bread, a farmer with a truckload of corn, a school bus full of rollicking animal children, and a squirting elephant fountain in town square. “All Through my Town” is a rhyming book with a whimsical story that is as fun as the pictures. Trust me: if you Like This, Read That.


Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day! We’ll be holding our Earth Day drawing for our Terrarium later today. Today is the last day to enter, so hurry in if you want to grow some zinnias, marigolds, and sunflowers on your windowsill.

Tomorrow (Tuesday, April 23rd @ 6:00 pm) The Community Library will show “Trashed” an environmental documentary with Jeremy Irons. You can view the trailer here:


It looks very interesting for both adults and tweens and teens so consider bringing them.

Here’s what kids from The Children’s Library are doing for Earth Day:

– I will pick up trash

– I can carpool with a friend

– put kitchen scraps in the compost pile

– recycle

– plant a tree

-ride a bike


Winners, Winners

Last time I blogged, it was about March Madness: The School Library Journal’s March Madness–their yearly epic Battle of the Kid’s Books. Granted, they pair up some pretty steep competition in the very first rounds. Great books are knocked out, great ones survive. The thing about SLJ’s “Battle of the Kid’s Books” is that each round is judged by a different person (always a well-respected writer with passion for children’s literature) but it can throw some inconsistency in the mix. While I agree with lots of the decision, I was surprised by the final winner. The winner of SLC’s 2013 Battle of the Kid’s Books is: No Crystal Stair by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson. “No Crystal Stair” is described as a documentary novel about Harlem bookseller, Lewis Micheaux whose neighborhood bookstore, became a center for black literary life from 1939-1975. Ironically, of all the nominated titles, it is the only one The Community Library does not own — something that will soon be remedied.


In other news, we’ve submitted our patron’s votes for the Young Reader’s Choice Awards. These are voted on by readers and winners will be announced soon. Our ballot box does not necessary reflect what books might win the overall title in the entire Pacific Northwest but it is interesting. The Junior Division had a 3-way tie: 13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison, Big Nate: In a Class by Himself by Lincoln Pierce, and The Lost Here by Rick Riordan all received an equal number of votes. Heist Society by Ally Carter won in the Middle Division and Matched by Ally Condie took the Senior Division. I’ll post the overall winners when I know them. Did your vote win or lose? Let us know.



March Madness is Here!

It is that time of year: March Madness. Image

If you’re a college basketball fan that means you’ve filled out a bracket and are cheering on your favorite team. If you’re a children’s literature fanatic, you’ve filled out a bracket too, but yours is from the School Library Journal‘s “Battle of the Kids’ Books”. Each round pits one book against another. These books are the best of the best published in 2012 and choosing a favorite can be difficult. Well-known writers serve as bracket judges and you’re free to disagree or applaud their choices on SLJ’s website.

Go here to print and fill out your own bracket. You can find most of SLJ’s “Battle of the Kid’s Books” here at The Community Library. Even if you just read one or two, March madness can be a slam dunk for book fans too.




YRCA Voting Begins March 18.

The Young Reader’s Choice Awards (YRCAs) are different than many awards for children’s and young adult literature in that they are not chosen by adults; they are chosen by the children and teens who read them. “Awarded by the Pacific Northwest Library Associated, the Young Reader’s Choice Award is the oldest children’s choice award in the U.S. and Canada. The award was established in 1940 by a Seattle bookseller, the late Harry Hartman, who believed every student should have an opportunity to select a book that gives him or her pleasure” (http://www.pnla.org/yrca).

Voting for the Young Reader’s Choice Awards begins March 18 and continues through April 10th here at The Children’s Library. Usually, children may also cast votes at their school libraries. In order to vote, you must have read at least two of the nominees in the category in which you are casting a ballot.

Here are the categories and the nominees. Time is running out to get your selections read so come in and check out a YRCA nominated book today.

Junior  – 4th-6th Grade:

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood

Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

Lone Wolf by Kathryn Lasky

Big Nate: In a Class by Himself by Lincoln Pierce

Fatty Legs by Christy Joardan-Fenton

Intermediate  – 7th-9th Grade

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

The Second Trial by Rosemarie Boll

Heist Society by Ally Carter

As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins

Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

The Cardturner by Louis Sachar

Senior  – 10-12 Grade

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Bruiser by Neal Shusterman

Crazy by Han Nolan

Matched by Allie Condie

Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green

Winter Shadows by Margaret Buffie