When Mick Jagger sang, “you can’t always get what you want,” he wasn’t talking about the library. Even the smallest libraries have a plethora of reading materials available for anyone to use or borrow. Books on just about every subject imaginable are available at the library, both fiction and nonfiction. And you’ll also find newspapers, magazines, books-on-tape, videos and, in many cases, computers with access to the internet. Furthermore, if there is a specific book you’re looking for but can’t find it in your library, ask your librarian if it can be borrowed from another library. You’d be surprised at how far the arm of your library can be stretched.
Life can be filled with all sorts of ups and downs, frustrations and joys, and typically none of us can get exactly what we want. Good reading material, however, is another matter. Visit your local library with the child in your life and you’ll come home not only with what you want, but probably a whole lot more.
Books to borrow
The following book is available at many public libraries:
“The Time Warp Trio: Oh Say, I Can’t See” by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Adam McCauley, Viking, 72 pages
Read aloud: age 7 and older.
Read yourself: age 8 and older.
The 15th book in Scieszka’s hugely successful series, “The Time Warp Trio,” this adventure warps Joe, Sam and Samantha back to Christmas Eve in Pennsylvania, 1776 — the day before Washington crossed the Delaware River. Will they be shot as spies for the Hessians, or will they be able to help Washington and his men cross the Delaware and mount their sneak attack on the Hessians? hmm. … American history may never be the same again.
Loaded with humor that’s right on target for the 7- to 9-year-old crowd, this novel imparts history with fiction that’s sure to please.
Library: Schuylkill Valley Community Library, 1310 Washington Road, Leesport
Library Director: Christie Himmelreich
Youth Librarian: Kelly Jacoby
Choices this week: “Sheep in a Jeep” by Nancy Shaw; “Spider Sandwiches” by Claire Freedman; “Slacker” by Gordon Korman
books to buy
The following books are available at favorite bookstores:
“Loki: A Bad Guy’s Guide to Being Good,” written and illustrated by Louie Stowell, Walker Books, 2022, 240 pages, $14.99 hardcover
Read aloud: age 9-12.
Read yourself: age 9/10-12.
Trickster god Loki has gone too far with his lies, nasty tricks and overall bad behavior. Odin, king of the gods, decides that Loki needs moral improvement, and puts Loki in a rather scrawny human body of an 11-year-old boy, kicks him out of Asgard, and moves him to live on earth. To track Loki’s progress, Odin requires Loki to record the truth of his behavior from him in a magical diary where, if Loki lies, the diary corrects the lie and records the truth (which, in turn, demonstrates bad behavior). Adding to Loki’s terrible assignment is that Odin forbids him to use any of his godly powers from him and gives Loki one month to mend his ways from him to prove he is worthy to return to Asgard. If Loki fails, he’ll wind up living with an angry, venomous snake inside a “… chamber where the air is thick with the smell of rotting fish and urine, with your least favorite song piped into your ears — for eternity.”
Suffering mortals, imprisoned in something called school, recess (which Loki thought was a holding pen), vial human food and SO much more, the clock was ticking. Will Loki succeed in Odin’s test and return home, an improved god, or descend into an existence of eternal torture?
A wildly clever, hilarious book with equally hilarious illustrations, “Loki: A Bad Guy’s Guide To Being Good” is nonstop fun!
“The Most Important Thing,” written and illustrated by Antonella Abbatiello, Red Comet Press, 2022, 44 pages, $17.99 hardcover
Read aloud: age 3-6.
Read yourself: age 6.
The animals had gathered in a clearing in the woods where they were having a dynamic conversation. The topic they debated was what was the most important thing, and each animal was convinced of their individual answer. Rabbit was certain the most important thing was to have long ears for enhanced hearing. Frog said the most important thing was to be green to blend in with the landscape. Duck insisted that having webbed feet was top of the list of importance. Other animals offered their perspective (of course, a quality inherent to themself), until Owl settled the matter once and for all, declaring that each animal has something unique and important to offer, and the animals all agreed.
Filled with large fold-out pages and funny illustrations, “The Most Important Thing” offers a gentle message about how the things that set us apart make for a more colorful world, where tolerance and acceptance is what is most important of all.
Nationally syndicated, Kendal Rautzhan writes and lectures on children’s literature. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.