August 17 is the day to celebrate your favorite black cat!
Black cats have a reputation for being “bad luck.” Back in the Middle Ages, black cats were associated with witches and evil doings. Even today some people believe it is bad luck to have a black cat cross their path!
Did you know… ?
England’s King Charles I had a “good luck” black cat, and the day after the cat died,
the king was arrested for treason.
Many people with black cats will tell you the opposite is true and that black cats are very sweet and intelligent. Maybe that’s why despite their reputation, black cats are seen all over pop culture! My favorite black cats are Berlioz, from The Aristocats and Jiji from Kiki’s Delivery Service. Who’s your favorite black cat?
In honor of the start of the school year, we’re highlighting some of the characters in our book collection who are studying to be spies!
Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls by Beth McMullen (Juvenile Fiction – J MCMULLEN): Twelve-year-old Abigail is shocked to discover her elite boarding school is really a cover for a huge spy ring, and must undergo Spy Training 101 in order to save her mother, who happens to be the spy ring’s top agent.
Spy School by Stuart Gibbs, Book 1 of the Spy School Series (Juvenile Fiction – J GIBBS): Twelve-year-old Ben Ripley leaves his public middle school to attend the CIA’s highly secretive Espionage Academy, which everyone is told is an elite science school.
Clayton Stone, at your service by Ena Jones (Juvenile Fiction – J JONES): Twelve-year-old Clayton Stone gets a taste of life as a special agent when he goes undercover as a decoy in a high-stakes kidnapping operation.
Bridget Wilder, Spy in Training by Jonathan Bernstein (Juvenile Fiction – J BERNSTEIN): An adopted middle child receives an unexpected package on an otherwise unremarkable birthday inviting her to join a super-secret division of the CIA.
With the new school year approaching, I recommend reading It Ain’t So Awful Falafel, by Firoozeh Dumas.
Zomorod Yousefzadeh is the new kid on the block . . . for the fourth time. California’s Newport Beach is her family’s latest perch, and she’s determined to shuck her brainy loner persona and start afresh with a new Brady Bunch name–Cindy. It’s the late 1970s, and fitting in becomes more difficult as Iran makes U.S. headlines with protests, revolution, and finally the taking of American hostages. Even mood rings and puka shell necklaces can’t distract Cindy from the anti-Iran sentiments that creep way too close to home.
I picked this book up because I saw that it took place in the 1970’s which I thought would make for a fun setting. Zomorod, or Cindy’s, family is from Iran but they love living in America. Even though Cindy is from Iran, she’s just a kid trying to fit in and make friends, like a lot of us. The historical events, like revolts taking place at that time in Iran, made me want to do a little research on Iran and American relations. A little bit of humor and a little bit of history make this an appealing read!
Find it in our Juvenile Fiction collection under J DUMAS.
It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I recommend, Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary.
Ramona likes that she’s old enough to be counted on, but must everything depend on her? Mrs. Quimby has gone back to work so that Mr. Quimby can return to school, and Ramona is expected to be good for Mrs. Kemp while her parents are away, to be brave enough to ride the school bus by herself, and to put up with being teased by Danny the Yard Ape. In Ramona’s world, being eight isn’t easy, but it’s never dull!
Ramona is a third grader, but I can still relate to so much of what she feels! I remember listening to one of my favorite teachers read Ramona Quimby, Age 8 to my class in the third grade. I always think of her when I read this book. If you need a laugh, I recommend checking it out, if you haven’t already read it. When I need a feel-good book to lift my spirits, I like any of the books about Ramona.
Find it in our Juvenile Fiction collection under J CLEARY.
This might be an unofficial holiday but here at the library it is one of our favorites! We hope that you are able to spend some time reading today. For all you book lovers, we’re curious what’s your favorite book that you’ve read so far this year?
This time we tackled a trickier project but it turned out pretty neat!
The instructions for this DIY Zoetrope come from: http://www.shareitscience.com/2017/01/diy-zoetrope-animation-steam-project.html
First, you’ll want to cut out your cylinder from the dark paper. The dimensions for the paper are suggestions, you should change the measurements depending on the size of your base. We used a paper plate for the base of our zoetrope.
Cut a strip of the dark paper approx. 2.5 in wide, and 17 in. long. Then using your ruler, measure out the slits. We made ours 1 in apart and 1 in deep. Each slit was 1/8 in wide. Next, tape the strip of paper into a cylinder shape.
Poke a hole in the base of your zoetrope with a pencil or something pointy. Place the paper cylinder on the base. You may need to use tape or glue to keep it in place. Put the pencil through the hole and secure with tape if it is wobbly or loose.
Draw yourself a cartoon on a strip of white paper. The paper should be no wider than the base of the cylinder. Make sure it does not cover any part of the slits.
When you are finished, roll up the cartoon strip and place it down into the cylinder. As you spin the pencil in your hands, look through the slits at the cartoon. It will look like your picture is animated!!
It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I recommend: Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White.
Wilbur, the pig, is desolate when he discovers that he is destined to be the farmer‘s Christmas dinner until his spider friend, Charlotte, decides to help him.
First published in in 1952, Charlotte’s Web was named a Newbery Honor Book in 1953. This book was also turned into a movie twice! This charming story about the friendship between Wilbur, the pig, and Charlotte, the spider, will tug on your heartstrings! You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J WHITE.
A Wrinkle In Time opens in US theaters on March 9, 2018. This movie will be based on the novel with the same name by Madeleine L’Engle!