Online Graphic Novels from Libby

ebooks for children and teens

Kids love Graphic Novels. Did you know that many of your kids favorites can be found free online ? Libby is an app that allows students to browse books, read a short sample, and download their choices. It’s available for most public libraries. https://www.overdrive.com/apps/libby/

Adults can find e-books and audio books at https://rbdigital.com/home

https://librarianlou.wordpress.com/2020/04/07/now-is-the-time-for-e-books/

Great Family Read Aloud-The Wednesday Wars

WednesdayWarsDuring your time of forced togetherness, consider this family read-aloud for older children. Parents and teens will enjoy the adventures of Holling Hood Hood in “The Wednesday Wars.”

It’s 1967, and Holling Hood Hood is in for a rough year. His teacher, Mrs. Baker, hates him. It’s not like he’s a troublemaker like Doug Swieteck, famous for keeping a list of 401 ways to torture teachers or Doug Swieteck’s brother who had visited three police stations in two states and once spent a night in jail.  Holling Hood Hood is just trying to stay out of trouble.

And the school year only gets worse. On Wednesday afternoon half the class is dismissed early for Hebrew instruction and the other half attend Catholic instruction, leaving Holling alone with the teacher who “hates” him. And it’s not like she’s going to give him a break like most teachers would. She has decided that they will read Shakespeare together “for fun.”

So Holling Hood Hood begins his tale of gloom and doom in the seventh grade.

While this story is set in the sixties, today’s teens will relate to young Holling struggles with bullies who demand cream puffs, first love, and two evil rats, Caliban and Sycorax., (named after monsters in “The Tempest.”)

“Let me tell you it’s a pretty hard thing to be a seventh-grader with new death threats hanging over you every day.”

Holling Hood Hood in “The Wednesday Wars.”

Surprisingly, Holling enjoys Shakespeare. He agrees to be in the community theatre production of”The Tempest” never realizing that means wearing yellow tights with white feathers on the butt. This is bad enough on the stage, but when his dressing room is locked, he is forced to meet his idol, Yankees baseball player, Mickey Mantle, while wearing his fairy costume  (with white feathers on the butt.)  He then returns to school, to find pictures of himself as Ariel the Fairy posted all over the school.

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Holling’s melodramatic narration is reminiscent of “The Wonder Years.” There are many laugh-out movements and some poignant scenes as well.

“Okay for Now” is a companion book to The Wednesday Wars. It features Holling’s friend and known troublemaker, Doug Switeck, as he moves to a new town and tries to change his image as a thug.

The Wednesday Wars is available on Libby, free from your public library’s website. https://librarianlou.wordpress.com/2020/04/07/now-is-the-time-for-e-books/

Great Picture Books: Mother Bruce

Bruce is a grumpy bear.. He does not like sunny days, rain or cute little animals.

Bruce does love to cook. He loves eggs and enjoys making fancy recipes from the Internet. When he finds a recipe for hard-boiled goose eggs drizzled in honey salmon sauce, he can hardly wait to prepare this delicacy.

But Bruce is in for an unpleasant surprise, When he gets distracted from boiling geese eggs, he finds himself with four baby goslings that won’t go away. In fact, they decide that Bruce must be their mother. Bruce does his best to resist the ducks but in the end, they form a most unusual family.

You can read Mother Bruce and many other books on Libby https://www.overdrive.com/apps/libby/ or check your library’s web page for more information about e-books.

Hear Mother Bruce read aloud by Jaqueline Mitchell

Get Mother Bruce printables from Disney/Hyperion ONLINE-ACTIVITY-SHEETS.pdf

More ideas for Mother Bruce Activities with Literary Hoots http://www.literaryhoots.com/2016/10/15-extension-activities-for-mother-bruce.html

Audiobooks

Ten years ago,  I fell in love with audioboo61fu557GCSL._AA300_ks.  I felt torn because I had adult books I wanted to read and prize winning children’s books that deserved my attention. There wasn’t time to read everything.  Audiobooks became part of the solution!

Audiobooks are great for the whole family.  Consider taking them along on your next road trip.  Here are my favorite recorded books:

Not only are the Harry Potter books great adventure stories, they are also hilarious, especially when narrator, Jim Dale creates over 200 voices and special effects for the wizards, muggles, goblins and house-elves that pass through Hogwarts.  These volumes are among the top selling audiobooks of all time.  Children who have already read these books will notice things they missed the first time.SugarmanSwamp

Country music singer and actor, Lyle Lovett, brings  Kathi Appelt’s adventure tale, The True Blue Scouts of Sugarman Swamp to life.  Two raccoon scouts, Bingo and J’miah, must wake the Sugarman, A Yeti creature, when trouble comes to the swamp.  And trouble is coming!  Jaeger Stitch, world-class alligator wrestler, plans to turn the peaceful swamp into the world’s tackiest theme park. To make matters worse, a gang of feral hogs are attacking the swamp.   Lovett has the perfect southern drawl.  This story appeals to a wide range of ages.

Don’t let the cost of audiobooks discourage you.  Many are available at the public library. Services like Audible and Hoopla are also making these books more accessible.

 

Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip by Jordan Sonneblick.

 Curveball

 The sensitive male teen, yes he actually exists and you’ll find him in the narration of books by Jordan Sonneblick.  His characters always seem like the teens I’d like to adopt.  They are often handsome and smart without knowing it, use a lot of self-deprecating humor and are in the process of falling in love.

In Curveball, The Year I Lost my Grip, Peter Friedman is facing two crushing disappointments.. 

Since Little League, he has always been a star pitcher.   The summer before entering high school, he has his best season ever on the pitching mound.   Then in the championship game, he injures his elbow so severely that he will never be able to pitch again.

Then, there’s his grandfather, he and Pete have always shared a special relationship.  Grandpa is a professional photographer who has taught Peter everything he knows.  Suddenly grandpa is doing strange things like giving Pete all his photo equipment and getting lost on familiar streets.

For many students, high school can feel like a letdown after ruling middle school.  Josh no longer has his baseball to set him apart.  Life becomes brighter when he meets Angelika in photography class.  Angelika is a sensitive girl who has a way of getting to the real issues.  She understands that Peter has experienced a great loss and empathizes with his worries about his grandfather, encouraging him to discuss it with his parents instead of keeping his grandfather’s secret.

This is a great book for middle and high school students.  While there is definitely romance going on, this book is about much more.  Readers will find Pete’s narration to be humorous even as he deals with loss and finds a new life after baseball.

 

 

 

 

 

Ten-Gallon Bart

Ten Gallon Bart is the sheriff of Dog City, the most peaceful town in the West, thanks to brave and courageous sheriff.  He’s served the town for 10 years. The other characters in Dog City include Miss Kitty, the  owner of the local saloon, two chickens named Pixie and Dixie,  and two pigs named   Bill and Wyatt.

TenGallonBartgunsmoke2

None of the children at Hollis Academy knew  about Gunsmoke but that didn’t stop them from giggling at this silly story.

Ten-Gallon Bart is just about to announce his retirement when he learns that Billy the Kid,  “the roughest, toughest, gruffest goat in the country” is headed into town on the noon train. It’s up to Bart and all the other animals to put Billy in his place.

I read this book aloud to first, second and third grade groups.  They all enjoyed the story but needed guidance at getting all the jokes in the story.  For example:

“I  see this place is going to the dogs” snarled Billy the Kid.

“You gotta bone to pick?” asked Bart

This is a great book for teaching visual literacy.  It was helpful to have the Promethean Board so I  could zero in on the details.  Most of the children needed help understanding the story.

The artwork by Dorothy Donahue is unusual.  She uses cut paper collages and a variety of textures.

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Here  are a few other stories about Ten-Gallon Bart:

bart_wild    bart_beats_heat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Epossumondas

Possums are not cute!

 

Epossumondas

Unless you’re reading Epossumondas by Colleen Salley and illustrated by Janet Stevens

When I was very young my mother used to read me  a story called Epaminondas by Sara Cone Bryant (copyright 1938).  I remember loving the story about this boy “who didn’t have the sense he was born with.” I didn’t remember that the boy was black  I only remembered that he did foolish things that make me laugh..

Actually, this tale had a long oral tradition often known as the noodlehead tale. A noodlehead is a person who brain is filled with noodles instead of brains.

possumdiapers

Epossumondas is a dutiful obedient possum with no common sense.  When his mother tells him to be careful how he steps in her pies, he slowly and deliberately steps right in the middle of every single one.

 

I love how Colleen Salley and Janet Stevens redeemed this tale by portraying the character as a possum.  The second graders at Sara Collins Elementary School howled with laughter at this picture of  a possum wearing a diaper.   They wanted to know how about the safety pins.

Epossumondas’s human mother and aunt are modelled on author Colleen Salley, a resident of the French Quarter in New Orleans  also known as Queen Colleen, a popular Mardi Gras figure.  She has written three other books about Epossumondas, all based on Southern folktales.

 

EpossumondasPlaysPossum

 

EpossumondasSavestheDay

 

WhyEpossumondas