Author Archives: cveselovsky

Celebrate Reading Month

raising-readers
March is Reading Month!   Celebrate by participating in one or more of the many Reading Month activities taking place at Capital Area District Libraries.

OliviaStudies show that children who read for fun are more likely to become lifelong learners.  Take time this month to not only focus on reading, but by also finding ways to make reading fun.

Kick off the month by attending one of the Dr. Seuss celebrations where you can enjoy stories, games and activities.  Then check out the schedule of storybook character visits that are happening at many of the CADL Branches.  Throughout the month you can take your child to meet their favorite characters like Clifford the Big Read Dog, Olivia the Pig, Maisy the Mouse, Curious George or even Pete the Cat!

Check out the CADL events calendar for full programming details.

- Cassie V., Children’s Services Librarian at CADL Downtown Lansing

10 Best Adult Books That Appeal to Teens

cadl-teen
ImageThe Young Adult Library Serivce Association’s Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to teens, ages 12 through 18. The winning titles are selected from the previous year’s publishing so the 2013 winning titles were actually published in 2012.

If you are having trouble finding something new to read, consider checking out a different section of the library.  Broaden your horizons!  You might be a bit hesitant at first, but if you start with books like the ones listed below, it could be easier than you think.  Besides, did you know there are already a ton of adults reading teen books?!  All’s fair in the library!

JacketCAPMMTNVCaring is Creepy, by David Zimmerman, published by Soho Press, Inc.

Girlchild, by Tupelo Hassman, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Juvenile in Justice, by Richard Ross, published by Richard Ross

JacketCAKUT2BWMr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

My Friend Dahmer, by Derf Backderf, published by Abrams ComicArts, an imprint of Abrams

One Shot at Forever, by Chris Ballard, published by Hyperion

PurePure, by Julianna Baggott, published by Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

The Round House, by Louise Erdrich, published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Tell the Wolves I’m Home, by Carol Rifka Brunt, TellTheWolvesI'mHomepublished by Dial Press, an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, by Maria Semple, published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

- Cassie V., Children’s Services Librarian at CADL Downtown Lansing

Can Love Conquer All?

cadl-teen
Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

I have found a new favorite teen author: David Levithan. Ok, I knew about him already since he co-authored Will Grayson, Will Grayson with John Green and Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares and Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist with Rachel Cohn, BUT, Every Day blew me away.

The main character who is simply referred to as “A,” has no innate race and no innate religion. “A” has grown up without friends and without family. Every day “A” wakes up in a different body — male or female, any ethnicity, any socio-economic status, any size, but always 16-years-old and after inhabiting Justin’s body, always in love with Rhiannon.

Read it if you love “love,” and if you have a box of Kleenex handy. Now gender presumptions are going to be examined and challenged in this book, so if you are uncomfortable with same sex relationships, this book may make you uncomfortable. But, if you’re up for the challenge of questioning whether love truly conquers all — everything, any circumstance — then check it out.

- Cassie V., Children’s Services Librarian at CADL Downtown Lansing

And the winner is…


Cover Image (Click for Reviews & Other Information)The Michigan Library Association has announced The Fault in Our Stars written by John Green as the winner of the 2012 Thumbs Up! Award, garnering top votes from both teens and librarians around the state.

The Fault in Our Stars is the story of 16-year-old Hazel, who was diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13 and was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs…for now. Two years after the miracle, Hazel is forced to attend a support group, where she subsequently meets and falls in love with the 17-year-old Augustus Waters, an ex-basketball player and amputee.

John Green first began to garner attention with the 2005 release of his award-winning young adult novel Looking for Alaska.  Though (thankfully) he continues to write in his deftly mixed profound yet casual style, Green also creates regular video blogs. In 2007 along with his brother Hank, they began their Brotherhood 2.0 project — a year where they would cease all text-based communication and instead communicate only through short video blogs posted on YouTube.  After the completion of that year, the two continued to create short, information, educational and entertaining vlogs on their channel Vlogbrothers.

In addition to The Fault in Our Stars, three top honor titles were selected by the 2012 Thumbs Up! Committee: Divergent by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books), This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel (Simon & Schuster), and A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (Candlewick).

The Thumbs Up! Award was established in 1986 to recognize and promote an outstanding contribution to teen literature that has both literary quality and appeal for those 13 to 18 years of age. A committee of Youth and Teen Librarians from all over the state determined the winner. Since 2001, the Thumbs Up! Award selection process has also included a teen vote, which this year allowed teens to vote online for their favorite book.  Check out previous winners on the Michigan Library Association Website.

- Cassie V., Youth Services Librarian at CADL Downtown Lansing

Michigan has a Moose on the Loose!


The 2012 Michigan Reads! book is Moose on the Loose by Kathy-Jo Wargin and illustrated by John Bendall-Brunello.

The Michigan Reads! program seeks to highlight the importance of reading and sharing books with children and to recognize the vital role of libraries in providing access to quality books, programs and services to families. Each year a title is selected based on literary merit, readability and appeal to children.  Preference is given to Great Lakes area authors, but any picture book could be considered.

The Library of Michigan provides public schools, libraries, Head Start and Great Start Readiness programs in the state with a free copy of the book, posters and programming ideas.

As with adult orientated “One Book” programs, parents, caregivers, older siblings, teachers and librarians are encouraged to read the selected book with younger children throughout September and October.  In addition, many schools and organizations hold special events or share the title during storytimes or other programs.

Moose on the Loose is a rather imaginative story which ponders the question, “what would you do with a moose on the loose?” As the book continues, the moose’s antics become more daring, including entering a house and taking a bath! It’s a rhythmic romp and a fun story to share aloud.

Be sure to check out Moose on the Loose at your local CADL branch and share it with your little ones today!

An Apple a Day

Due to some pretty challenging weather this spring there are few places
to pick apples this fall, but you can still enjoy the season. Head on down to
your local branch of the Capital Area District Libraries system where you will find bushels of books on apples as well as other fall favorites like pumpkins, leaves and scarecrows. While you are there, be sure to check out these great titles:

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Simple projects or activities that relate to books or ideas you have
been sharing with your child can help reinforce learning as well as provide
some fun, quality time together! If you would like to try a simple apple
activity with your child, check out one of these:

1. Coffee Filter Apples: Yes, that big, red apple is made out of a coffee filter using washable markers, a sprinkling of water and some magazine pictures cut into the shapes of leaves and a stem. Let your child color a coffee filter with washable markers. Any color will do, but popular apple colors of red, green and yellow would work best. When your child is done, place the coffee filter on a piece of newspaper or paper towel and spray lightly with water until the colors start to bleed. While that is drying, look through a magazine searching for leaf and stem colors in pictures – this is a great hunt and find activity and provides opportunity to talk about different colors found in nature and the world around us. When the coffee filter apple is dry, cut to shape (or leave round) and glue on the leaves and stem. The apple looks great hanging in a window!

2. Sand Apple: The small yellow apple in the photo is decorated using colored sand! For this project, cut out an apple shape on white heavy paper (like construction paper, card stock, or a cereal box). Have your child paint the apple with glue and then decorate with appropriate colored items from around your house: colored sand like I used here or, torn magazine paper, beads, tissue paper, shaved crayon, thread, yarn, etc. The sand was a bit messy, but I loved the texture. To spice it up, add a sprinkling of cinnamon to the wet glue for a wonderful smelling apple!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower


Love, confusion, anxiety;  torn between desperately wanting to fade into the background while simultaneously yearning for a place to belong; such is the life of a teenager.

In The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Charlie begins 9th grade as a friendless observer of life.  Often poignant, sometimes funny reflections shared as letters to an anonymous person chronicle Charlie’s inner and outer struggles during high school including friendships, drugs, alcohol, sex, sexual abuse and mental illness.

Ten years after its publication, Stephen Chbosky adapts his unique, award-winning novel for the big screen. This highly anticipated film features such young, talented stars as Emma Watson, Logon Lerman and Ezra Miller.  The film is rated PG-13. I am quite anxious to see how they handled the mature themes in order to keep the rating down while still being true to the book.

Though the film was not only written, but also directed by the author himself and will more than likely be the most honest representation of his written word, remember to read the book first!

- Cassie V., Children’s Services Librarian at CADL Downtown Lansing