Saturday, April 07, 2012

“So many books… so little time” they say! Taking time for reading is not the big problem, though; finding time to blog about them seems to be much harder! So here – quickly – is a synopsis of my latest reads.
Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show – by Frank Delaney: This was wonderful! I love Frank Delaney’s narrative about the colorful characters of his native Ireland. And listening to his voice reading the book is heavenly. I sure hope they come up with an audio version of the next two books in the series soon (with him reading).
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – by Ransom Riggs: I had read quite a few favorable reviews about this book and expected it to be better. Not only was the fantasy a bit too far-fetched, but the protagonists just weren’t compelling enough.
The Search Committee – by Tim Owens: I knew I had to read this book when I found out that it was about a Presbyterian church committee who were assigned to search for a new pastor for their congregation. I know something about that situation! Anyway, the book was about the people and their lives and it was humorous and warm and I thoroughly enjoyed it and will recommend it to all my Presbyterian friends. (Those of other denominations will likely enjoy it, too!)

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I have been a reading slacker for the past few weeks while things have been extra busy at the Hartland Library. In March we had a several special events starting with a birthday party honoring Dr. Seuss, a St. Patrick’s Day party and a Hunger Games Competitive event that coincided with the opening of the movie based on the very popular book by Suzanne Collins.
I also just attended a two-day NASA Space Science Workshop for youth librarians, held in Madison on the University of Wisconsin campus. I met several wonderful, motivated librarians who were there to learn about Mars and the NASA rover, Curiosity, which is scheduled to land on Mars in August . Now I will be spending time planning programs for kids to teach them what we learned!
At the request of some of my fellow participants, I am going to explain in more detail the way we conducted our Hunger Games event on March 23rd.
Participants were required to be between 12-19 years old – just like the tributes in the book. They pre-registered so we would know how many to expect. As they arrived we gave them a mockingjay tattoo made using waterslide temporary tattoo paper. They sat down in groups of four or five per table and began to work on the 86-question quiz over the Hunger Games book. They collaborated and all seemed to know the book by heart! There was one adult gamemaker for each of the five tables of tributes who kept track of the point totals for each youth. We went over the answers with the groups at our tables and added up their scores. Then the tributes’ costumes were examined and points were awarded for details (the more detailed their costumes, the more points they were given). We took photos of all of them (see our Facebook page) and then led them into the arena. We had a large area to use with six large posts that made for a natural separation between the “safe” outer area and the “cornucopia” inner area. In the cornucopia we had placed several items on the floor and covered them with sheets, blankets, and bags. Each tribute was given a bag in which to gather any items they could retrieve from the cornucopia; they were also given label stickers upon which were typed up a variety of wounds they could inflict upon others while inside the cornucopia. When we blew a whistle they were allowed to enter the cornucopia to pick up supplies and attach sticker-wounds to the other tributes. There are two short videos showing of a portion of the chaos on our Facebook page. After the dust settled, the gamemakers made note of points lost by those with wounds and then we read through the scenarios and gave or removed points according to the items that the tributes in our groups had grabbed.
After points were added up we served cake and water and gave out “Tribute Guide” books and Hunger Games READ posters to the top six winners. (They didn’t get both – they selected which they wanted).
If you would like to have me email you copies of the questions, answers, stickers labels, and list of the items in our cornucopia, send me an email request at:
“May the odds be ever in your favor”