In 1841, fourteen-year-old Nakahama Manjirō is fishing with friends when their boat is shipwrecked on an island off the coast of Japan. They are rescued by an American whaling ship and after requesting to stay aboard the ship, Nakahama becomes the first Japanese person to set foot in the United States. This incredible true story is the basis for NPR's Back-Seat Book Club selection for May.
Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus is the story of a boy who is a simple fisherman but dreams of becoming a samurai. He never lets go of his dreams, despite living in a society where there is no chance for changing your station in life. After his rescue from the island, he is given a great opportunity: travel to California and begin a new life.
Transformation is the theme of April's selection for NPR's Back-Seat Book Club for 9 to 14-year-olds.
In Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman, an eight-year-old girl named Kim starts an unexpected revolution in her Cleveland neighborhood with one simple act: planting lima bean seeds in a vacant lot. When a neighbor observes her action and shares her concern for the seeds with another neighbor, who decides to plant his own garden, the transformation of trashed lot to community garden begins.
The Denver Public Library is pleased to host the annual Denver Public Schools K-8 Art Exhibition from April 5 to April 19. Come see these wonderful works created by Denver’s elementary and middle school students. While you're downtown, visit some other art institutions around Denver. Then bring out your child’s (and your) creativity by making art from materials found around the house.
Participation in the arts provides many benefits for children of all ages. According to Americans for the Arts making art strengthens critical thinking and problem solving skills, bolsters self-confidence, and improves memory. After viewing the Denver Public Schools exhibit on Level 5 of the Central Library, take advantage of Denver’s active art community and spend a day immersing your child in visual art.
A growing body of research is discovering that there is a real crisis in boys’ reading. Boys are reading less and less well than their female peers, and this gap only gets worse as children get older. Much of the reason for boys' poor reading is that the types of books being offered to boys in school often hold little or no interest for them.
Jon Scieszka, award-winning author of The Stinky Cheese Man and other favorites, has started a campaign called Guys Read to encourage boys’ reading. He believes that simply offering boys books that they will enjoy is a huge step in making the shift from reluctant to motivated readers.
Research shows that over summer break thoughts of swimming and lemonade push out recently learned reading and math skills. Combat summer learning loss with gardening, not flash cards! Gardening is fun, educational, good exercise, and a great way to connect with your child.
Spring is here and it's time to start planning your garden. If you don't have a yard, get creative and plant your seeds in a window box like the little girl in Flower Garden by Eve Bunting. You can also use a large pot or go green and reuse a cardboard box or a basket.
Spend some time with your child as scientists observing your garden this spring and summer. Things to notice:
NPR's Back-Seat Book Club for 9 to 14-year-olds has selected a best-selling, eccentric adventure for March: The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart.
The Mysterious Benedict Society is a curious story, indeed! It all starts with several children answering the following newspaper ad: "Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?" Once the chosen few have passed a series of bizarre tests, they are trained, their special gifts are sharpened, and they are set for – what else – an undercover mission to stop evil!
This month NPR's Back-Seat Book Club for 9 to 14-year-olds has two selections: The Hundred Dresses and Shooting Kabul.
The Hundred Dresses is a 1944 classic by Eleanor Estes. In this age where bullying is a serious topic, the story of Wanda Petronski, who is teased for her name, where she lives, and the fact that she wears the same faded dress every day, will really hit-home with readers. Wanda insists she has one hundred beautiful dresses at home and when the girls at school mock her for it, she stops coming to school and her family decides to move to a bigger city.
NPR's Back-Seat Book Club for 9 to 14-year-olds has announced their selection for January: The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963.
The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963 is the award-winning story of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, who take a trip to Alabama in the summer of 1963. Young readers will relate to Kenny, the 10-year-old narrator of the story – his authentic observations and reactions really bring the experiences of an African American family in the 1960s to life.
It's that time of year when two great book events converge - best books lists come out and it's gift giving season. Specialists from across the Denver Public Library have put together our list of the best books to share with your kids this year. Great stuff from baby books to the zombie apocalypse, pop-ups to poetry, it's all here. Enjoy!
Books for the Very Youngest:
Bunny Rabbit in the Sunlight by Caspar Babypants and Kate Endle.
Some of baby's favorite animals are illuminated by different light sources, like a raccoon snacking by the campfire, in this beautiful and creative board book.