Thursday, May 29, 2014

Help North Country libraries win more e-books!

Okay, North Country. If our library system's e-book circulation for the month of June is 25% higher than our best month to date, OverDrive will give us $1500 worth of credit to build our collection.

How can we be expected to resist this?

Well, we can't. Not when library e-book use has grown exponentially from when NCLS started lending them in 2011. Not when everyone and their next door neighbor wants to read Sycamore Row/The Book Thief/The Goldfinch/The Fault in Our Stars. Not when I have a collection wish list as long as my leg. (Which, okay, I'm short, but still. For a list, it's long.)

Our best month to date was March 2014, where we circulated 3,340 items. A 25% increase over that figure is 4,175, leaving a difference of 835.

835! Only 835 e-media checkouts stand between us and $1500 worth of new e-books! Call me crazy, but I'm pretty sure we got this.

So, tell your friends, tell your mom, tell your friends' moms. We have fiction. We have nonfiction. We have romance, mystery, and sci-fi. We have biographies. We have true crime. We have young adult, middle grade and picture books. We have audio for all ages.

We also have this handy guide to downloading library e-books to your device.

Everyone with me? Excellent! Let's do this thing! Let's win $1500 worth of e-books for the North Country! 

The Barbara Wheeler Farewell Interview, Part 1

When I heard that Barbara Wheeler, longtime director of Watertown's Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library, was retiring (and moving away!), I think my initial reaction was to throw my pen and deny I'd heard the announcement.  My experience as an intern at Flower Library was what cemented my decision to go back to school and get my MLS, and Barbara has always been a great support and mentor. I didn't want to believe she was going.

However, I'm really bad at denial, so quickly I picked up my pen and asked her for a farewell interview. Here it is, in installments:

Angela: This first one is a two-part question: Before you came to Northern New York, you also lived in Colorado, Alaska, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Alabama. First, how did library service vary among those locations (if at all) and, more importantly, who had the worst winters?

Barbara: Good question!  I lived and worked in libraries in those states, so I will speak to the question as a librarian. As you read my employment history, please don’t think I couldn’t hold a job!  My husband’s work took us to many different parts of the country, so I managed to find library work in most of them.  In Alaska, I worked as a Circulation Department paraprofessional in the Fairbanks North Star Borough Library.  This was a wonderful library for employees and patrons.  In the early 80’s, the Fairbanks community benefited financially from the recent installation of the Alaskan pipeline.  The Library in Fairbanks was new and beautifully designed, the staff was large and the money for materials seemed limitless!  The first winter I was there, the temperature was a constant twenty degrees below zero for a solid three weeks!  Yet I loved living in Alaska – and it was definitely the coldest of all the states I’ve lived in.

My first job as a professional librarian after I got my MLS at the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) was in a small library in Monroeville, Alabama (birthplace of Harper Lee—who still lives there part of the year).  I was hired as the library director, fresh out of library school.  There were 2 full-time staff members and one part-time.  They handled the circulation desk, Interlibrary Loan and Reference.  I purchased materials, processed them, enter the data in the computer, did children’s and adult programming as well as outreach.  It was a good introduction to the library world.

I went on to become the Library Director another county library in Wadesboro, North Carolina.  The Anson County Public Library was a bigger library with more staff (6 full-time) and it also had a bookmobile.  I know New Yorkers cannot imagine having access to just one library in the whole county because almost every community in our state has a library.  But parts of the South are quite rural and poor and it is a struggle to fund the libraries they have.

Then it was on to Wisconsin, where I got a job as the director of New London Public Library.  This time, I actually had another professional on staff who was the children’s librarian.  I loved being a librarian in Wisconsin because people really support their libraries and believe they are an important part of the community.

Our next move was to Colorado, where I work for a year in a temporary position as a reference librarian at Regis University in Denver.  I went through the selection process and was offered the job on a permanent basis but decided instead, to take a job as a high school librarian in the Elizabeth Colorado School District.  I did this because it was much closer to where I lived and not the nearly one hour commute that the university job involved.  I worked there for almost two years but left because I knew it was not for me.  I love being a librarian but I did not love it in a school setting.  I went back to the public library setting when I accepted a job at the Highlands Ranch Public Library in the town of the same name.  I co-supervised a staff of 16 librarians in the reference department.  The Library was only 6 years old when I started there and since the tax base was very wealthy, we could afford a wonderful collection and a every kind of service imaginable.

We then made a move back to the state where we grew up, though I had never been to Watertown before.  I became the director of the Flower Memorial Library in 2004.  It is definitely the most beautiful of the libraries where  I have worked. 

Stay tuned for more of Barbara Wheeler's Farewell Interview here at The Frozen Librarian!

View from the second floor of the beautiful Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library in Watertown, NY.

Voters support North Country Libraries!

The following text is shamelessly stolen from my colleague and fellow NCLS library consultant Paulette Roes. 

Shamelessly. I have no shame.

Congratulations again to all of our libraries who had successful library funding votes on Tuesday May 20th.  13 libraries went out on the school ballot and 2 libraries held separate district votes.   Over $450,000 in permanent funding was established for North Country libraries.  An overall approval rate of 72% shows that people really do support their library.

A special congratulations goes out to Fulton Public Library!  Facing a severe funding cut from their local municipality, the library board decided to form a School District Library in an effort to establish permanent local funding.  Their vote passed by an overwhelming majority, (with an established $350,000 budget) making them the 4th district library in NCLS.  Way to go Betty Maute (Library Director), Marion Stanton (Board President) and the rest of the library staff and board for their hard work in making their vote a success!  An article about their vote can be read here.

The following is a revised list of libraries that went out to vote on the school ballot, the amount of their increases and the voter approval rate (percentage of yes votes):

School Ballot:
Adams Center
$15,000 increase (for a total of 50,000), 80% approval

$5,000 increase (for a total of $20,000), 87% approval

Black River
$5,000 increase (for a total of $61,000), 64% approval

$7,000 increase (for a total of $96,000), 73% approval

$2,000 increase (for a total of $103,000), 64% approval

$2,000 increase (for a total of $37,800), 78% approval

$2,000 increase (for a total of $41,000), 58% approval

Central Square
$8,000 increase (for a total of $40,000), 63% approval

$12,500 increase (for a total of $40,000), 58% approval

$10,000 increase (for a total of $25,000), 80% approval

$10,000 increase (for a total of $35,000), 71% approval

$5,000 increase (for a total of $20,000), 87% approval

$5,000 increase (for a total of $15,000), 80% approval

District Votes:
$350,000 established budget, 73% approval

$17,707 increase (for a total of $1,170,659) 68% approval

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

New e-book titles!

Check out these new titles just added to the NCLS e-book collection:

Just Jake, by Jake Marcionette. 

Just Jake introduces readers to sixth-grader Jake, whose life is turned upside down when his family moves from Florida to Maryland, where Jake must adapt to a new school. Jake has always ranked the kids at school in his hand-made, humorous "Kid Cards," and when he arrives at his new school, Jake starts building a new collection, befriending as many people as he can while staying under the radar from the school bully. But what happens when the school bully decides Jake's next in line for annihilation and his Kid Cards get into the wrong hands?!! Just Jake is a genuine—and as Jake himself would say, AWESOME!—world of school, family, friends, and teachers; it's the product of a writer talented well beyond his years. (Description from Overdrive.)

The Boy on the Wooden Box, by Leon Leyson & Marilyn J. Harran. (Audio, narrated by Danny Burstein.)

Even in the darkest of times—especially in the darkest of times—there is room for strength and bravery. A remarkable memoir from Leon Leyson, one of the youngest children to survive the Holocaust on Oskar Schindler’s list. 

Leon Leyson (born Leib Lezjon) was only ten years old when the Nazis invaded Poland and his family was forced to relocate to the Krakow ghetto. With incredible luck, perseverance, and grit, Leyson was able to survive the sadism of the Nazis, including that of the demonic Amon Goeth, commandant of Plaszow, the concentration camp outside Krakow. Ultimately, it was the generosity and cunning of one man, a man named Oskar Schindler, who saved Leon Leyson’s life, and the lives of his mother, his father, and two of his four siblings, by adding their names to his list of workers in his factory—a list that became world renowned: Schindler’s List.

This, the only memoir published by a former Schindler’s List child, perfectly captures the innocence of a small boy who goes through the unthinkable. Most notable is the lack of rancor, the lack of venom, and the abundance of dignity in Mr. Leyson’s telling. The Boy on the Wooden Box is a legacy of hope, a memoir unlike anything you’ve ever read. (Description from Goodreads.) 

And check out these classic titles, now in handy alphabetical order!

Breadcrumbs, by Anne Ursu.

Coraline, by Neil Gaiman.

Danny, the Champion of the World, by Roald Dahl.

Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine.

The Mayflower and the Pilgrims' New World, by Nathaniel Philbrick.

Paddington Here and Now, by Michael Bond.

The Red Pyramid, by Rick Riordan.

A Tale of Two Castles, by Gail Carson Levine.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Vacation, and supporting the indies.

I've just returned from spending seven days in the south and am currently:

1. Freezing.
2. Craving fried green tomatoes and sweet tea.
3. Longing for an independent bookstore in my town as cool as the one they've got in Asheville, North Carolina.

In fact, I'm longing for an indie bookstore in my town, period. But that's a story for another day.

I hadn't been to Asheville in 11 years, and the one thing everyone told me was that I had to visit Biltmore, George Washington Vanderbilt's 8,000 acre Gilded Age estate. I didn't end up going there, of course. It was almost $60 for a ticket, and I'm not willing to spend almost $60 just to go look at opulence.

So, I went instead to the boarding house where author Thomas Wolfe grew up, and then directly to Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, where I grabbed a blackberry Italian soda and then spent over an hour walking around, taking books off the shelf and then putting them back, over and over again, thanks to this internal debate:

Me: You do not need more books.
Myself: No, but I like books.
Me: You have two library cards. You work for a library system.
Myself: My library isn't going to have this cookbook from a local restaurant.
Me: These are full price. If you insist on buying these, at least write down the titles and get them deeply discounted from Amazon later.
Myself: But I want to support the indies!
Me: You already bought a soda. You've done your part.

This went on.

Eventually, I did buy the books, shiny and new, which was harder to do than I expected. I've gotten so used to buying used, or buying from Amazon, that paying full price seemed like extravagance. And in fact, my bookstore tab was the same amount as my ticket to Biltmore would have been, so I guess I am willing to spend almost $60 to go look at opulence. It's just that my opulence of choice is an independent bookstore. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

New e-books = John Green fest.

Well, by now you've presumably heard of a book called The Fault in Our Stars, by one Mr. John Green. I'm happy to announce that we've just bought it - and other Green-hued titles - for the NCLS e-book collection. Enjoy!

The Fault in Our Stars.

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars brilliantly explores the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl

In full color and illustrated with art and photographs, this is a collection of the journals, fiction, letters, and sketches of the late Esther Grace Earl, who passed away in 2010 at the age of 16. Essays by family and friends help to tell Esther's story along with an introduction by award-winning author John Green who dedicated his #1 bestselling novel The Fault in Our Stars to her.

Learn more about Esther at 

An Abundance of Katherines.

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy–loving best friend riding shotgun—but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

Looking for Alaska

Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave "the Great Perhaps" even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . .

After. Nothing is ever the same. 

Paper Towns

When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night—dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows her. Margo's always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she's always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they're for Q.

Printz Medalist John Green returns with the trademark brilliant wit and heart-stopping emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of readers.

(All descriptions from Overdrive.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Morning in Chaumont

The last few working hours before a vacation can be agonizing. Or, if you're me, they can be full of awesome library visits.

Lyme Central School was where I started off, to sit in on an author visit by James Preller. The first presentation for the day was for first and second graders, and Mr. Preller spent the hour in an engaging discussion about reading, writing, where story ideas come from (family, life, and interestingly, the NPR show Car Talk), and even read some selections from a few of his books.

Author James Preller, posing in front of student artwork at Lyme Central.

My favorite moments:

The story about his dad making a kitchen table out of a door to accommodate his large family.

Sharing a story about his dog: "Should I tell you a story about Daisy? It has no educational value."

When Mr. Preller began a story by talking about his favorite baseball team, the New York Mets, and a boy in front of me let out a huge, theatrical gasp. Not liking to interrupt or accost the kid afterwards, I never did find out whether it was a gasp of approval or disapproval. 

This one just has to do with my own movie-quote brain. When Mr. Preller asked the students where they thought story ideas came from, they answered, "Your head," and "Your mind," and "Your brain." Naturally, I went to a School of Rock place.

But my absolute favorite moment was when a little girl raised her hand and asked, "Did you ever have a lunch fight, like in your 28th book?" At first, I was like, "How can you possibly know the contents of a series book that you've presumably read at least 28 of?" And then I remembered that Trixie Belden book where they went to England, and there was a con man, and someone almost got pushed in front of a bus. It was #23. (And it was over 25 years ago.) The ones you like stick with you.

Thanks to school librarian Meghan Davison and reading specialist Linda Lepper for such a fun experience!

My next stop was the Lyme Free Library, where the sound of hammering alerted me to a construction project out back. Thanks to a construction grant through New York State's Division of Library Development, the library will be able to improve accessibility. In addition to moving more of their collection (especially large print and audio) to the first floor, the library is building a new bathroom, bringing the facilities up to date and in compliance with ADA.

After taking a brief lap of the building with Library Director Patti Hughes, I headed straight back to the children's space and started taking pictures like a madwoman.

Bright colors! Books faced out! Comfy reading nooks! Child-scaled seating! Murals! A TINY HOUSE, Y'ALL.

It's like being on vacation already.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Simple Dino Craft

I am not the biggest fan of crafts. However, a good craft can be a great complement to a children's program, and even the least crafty among us are sometimes compelled to break out the safety scissors and tempera paint.

Today's simple craft comes from Linda in Gouverneur, who snagged it from Pinterest. 

Supplies needed:
  • a cheap paper plate
  • washable markers*
  • two clothespins
  • scissors
  • one googly eye**
  • a glue stick or school/craft glue

Linda's dinosaur.
Original craft from Pinterest. Spikes optional.

And now that you have a craft, check out these dinosaur-themed booklists:

No Time for Flashcards: 23 Dinosaur Picture Books
NYPL: Dinosaurs Galore
NAEYC: Dinosaur Books for Preschoolers

*Note from Linda: "Use washable markers. Fortunately, I anticipated that and therefore do not have to finish out my day with green hands.  A green thumb I could deal with, but the whole hand seems excessive."
**Note from Angela: Apparently, googly eyes come with lashes now. I don't know when this happened.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

New e-books added to Overdrive!

New titles just added to the North Country Library System's juvenile e-book collection:

The Battle of Darcy Lane, by Tara Altebrando.

For twelve-year-old Julia Richards, life just seems to be full of a lot of waiting. Waiting for the cicadas to emerge, waiting with her best friend, Taylor, for the summer to get interesting, even waiting for her parents to let her move into the much cooler room down the hall.

It seems like the waiting might finally be over when new girl Alyssa and her plushy pink chair arrive across the street on Darcy Lane. However, when Alyssa challenges Julia for Taylor's friendship and her crush starts hanging out with Alyssa and Taylor without her, Julia feels as if her once predictable summer is suddenly turning into one big, unexpected showdown. And beating Alyssa at a competitive street game called Russia may be the only way to win it all.

Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere, by  Julie T. Lamana.

Armani Curtis can think about only one thing: her tenth birthday. All her friends are coming to her party, her mama is making a big cake, and she has a good feeling about a certain wrapped box. Turning ten is a big deal to Armani. It means she's older, wiser, more responsible. But when Hurricane Katrina hits the Lower Nines of New Orleans, Armani realizes that being ten means being brave, watching loved ones die, and mustering all her strength to help her family weather the storm. A powerful story of courage and survival, Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere celebrates the miraculous power of hope and love in the face of the unthinkable.

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy, by Karen Foxlee. (Audio, narrated by Jayne Entwistle.)

Unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard doesn't believe in anything that can't be proven by science. She and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother when their father takes a job in a strange museum in a city where it always snows. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room. He is a prisoner of Her Majesty the Snow Queen. And he has been waiting for Ophelia's help.

As Ophelia embarks on an incredible journey to rescue the boy everything that she believes will be tested. Along the way she learns more and more about the boy's own remarkable journey to reach her and save the world.

A story within a story, this a modern day fairytale is about the power of friendship, courage and love, and never ever giving up.

Each Kindness, by Jacqueline Woodson.  (Audio, narrated by Nikki M. James.)

Chloe and her friends shun the new girl, Maya, who eventually stops coming to school. When Chloe's teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe realizes how much better it could have been if she'd shown a little kindness towards Maya.

Penny and Her Doll, by Kevin Henkes. 

When Penny receives a surprise box in the mail from Gram, she is thrilled. The surprise is a doll, and she is absolutely perfect, from her head to her toes. Penny loves her immediately. She introduces her new doll to Mama and to the babies and to Papa. But then Papa asks what the doll's name is, and Penny realizes that she doesn't know.

Big Nate: I Smell a Pop Quiz, by Lincoln Peirce. 

Nate Wright has a nose (and a penchant) for trouble. So he's not one to be surprised by a pop quiz popping up.

Aspiring cartoonist Nate Wright is the star of Big Nate, the daily and Sunday comic strip and a favorite middle-grade book character. Nate is 11 years old, four-and-a-half feet tall, and the all-time record holder for detentions in school history. He's a self-described genius and sixth grade Renaissance Man. Nate, who lives with his dad and older sister, enjoys pestering his family and teachers with his sarcasm.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Summer Reading Lists 2014

Well, it's that time again, the time when everyone is releasing their recommended reading lists for summer. I've compiled a few of them here, leading off with the state-themed list from the New York State Library. Please feel free to add more suggested lists in the comments. Enjoy!

Explore New York: The New York State Library, in partnership with the New York Library Association’s Youth Services Section and Section of School Librarians, presents selected reading lists that celebrate the history, culture, and diversity of New York State.

The Horn Book Lists: "The editors of the Horn Book hope you will find herein books kids — and you, too — will enjoy as part of the season’s leisure, every bit as delicious as ice cream."

High School Fiction and Nonfiction

Or check out this PDF of all the Horn Book Lists.

ALSC Lists: "Each list is available here to download for free in color and black and white.  Lists can be customized to include library information, summer hours and summer reading programs for children before making copies available to schools and patrons."

6th-8th grade (B&W)

Updated to add:  Classics are Cool, But...Summer Reading for Grades 9-12 from School Library Journal.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Children's Book Week 2014

I did warn you that this blog might feature the occasional literary crush. Allow me to present Jonathan Auxier, advocating for Children's Book Week, which kicks off today!

Print out the official bookmark to help promote Children's Book Week in your library, or check out the digital toolkit to show your support online. And then check out the entire catalog of Children's Book Week Champions!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Many people I meet don't have a context for what I do in my job. They hear "librarian" and picture me shelving, checking out books, and shushing people.* Sometimes, they imagine me reading picture books all day. Those people are hilarious.  Sometimes, even when they know I work for the system, they'll ask me how things are going at the library.  And I could just accept that the concept of The System is pretty vague to an outsider and say "Fine, thanks," but rather than allowing someone to be even slightly misinformed (curse you, rigorous librarian training!), I usually launch into my job-description-in-a-nutshell speech.

"Well, I don't work in a library in the traditional sense. I work for the system, providing guidance, resources and services to the 65 libraries throughout our four county region."

(Paraphrasing, of course. I don't normally talk like a commercial voiceover.**)

And that is the short version, yes. Even after nearly a year on the job, I'm still learning the long version. But here's a quick snapshot:

On an uneventful day (and those are becoming more rare the longer I'm at this), I might answer my e-mail, check out the social media I follow for program ideas/titles of interest/what's going on in librarianship, send out a roundup of library youth services news, meet with system staff, update a webpage, field phone calls, and work on a longer-term project like planning an event or writing a report or a mini-grant.

(And if it's a Wednesday, there are e-books to buy. We love Wednesdays.) 

On an eventful day, in addition to all of the above, I might do some of these other things: Attend a library board or committee meeting, teach a continuing education class for youth services staff, help out with a library program or weeding project, conduct a site visit, participate in a training/webinar, or work with a library to solve a funding/staffing/building/other problem. (But not all in one day. I'm not Hermione Granger***.)

And, yes, sometimes I can even read a picture book at my desk.

Is this a comprehensive description of what I do? Well, no. I don't do comprehensive. Which is why I'm not a very good book reviewer. ("I laughed, I cried, I wanted to visit New Orleans.") However, in a nutshell, it's about right.

*Which is absolutely not the extent of librarianship, not even close, not even the tip of the library iceberg. I know you know that. Do I love shelving books? Of course. Did I ever get to do it when I was working in a library? Only when I was feeling stressed out and needed 15 minutes to do something Zen. Did I check books out? Naturally, while also answering phones and working on other projects. Did I shush people? Please. I worked in the children's department. Quiet is relative. 
**Except, yes, I do. 
***Except, a little, I am.

Just added to Overdrive!

Yes! It's Wednesday! Once again, I can share with you the latest children's e-book titles that NCLS has added to our Overdrive collection. 

West of the Moon, by Margi Preus.

In West of the Moon, award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Margi Preus expertly weaves original fiction with myth and folktale to tell the story of Astri, a young Norwegian girl desperate to join her father in America. After being separated from her sister and sold to a cruel goat farmer, Astri makes a daring escape. She quickly retrieves her little sister, and, armed with a troll treasure, a book of spells and curses, and a possibly magic hairbrush, they set off for America. With a mysterious companion in tow and the malevolent "goatman" in pursuit, the girls head over the Norwegian mountains, through field and forest, and in and out of folktales and dreams as they steadily make their way east of the sun and west of the moon. 

Boys of Blur, by ND Wilson.

Fans of Jerry Spinelli's Maniac Magee and Louis Sachar's Holes will enjoy this story about a boy and the ancient secrets that hide deep in the heart of the Florida everglades near a place called Muck City.

When Charlie moves from Palm Beach to the small town of Taper, Florida, he discovers a different world. Pinned between the everglades and the swampy banks of Lake Okeechobee, the small town produces sugar cane . . . and the fastest runners in the country. Kids chase muck rabbits in the fields while the cane is being burned and harvested. Dodging flames and blades and breathing smoke, they run down the rabbits for three dollars a skin. And when they can do that, running a football is easy.

But there are things in the swamp, roaming the cane at night, that cannot be explained, and they seem connected to sprawling mounds older than the swamps. Together with his step-second cousin Herman "Cotton" Mack, the fastest boy on the muck, Charlie hunts secrets in the glades and on the muck flats where the cane grows secrets as old as the soft earth, secrets that haunted, tripped, and trapped the original native tribes, ensnared conquistadors, and buried runaway slaves. Secrets only the muck knows.

At Home in Her Tomb: Lady Dai and the Ancient Chinese Treasures of Mawangdui, by Christine Liu Perkins.

This middle-grade chapter book unearths the mysteries of the Mawangdui (mah-wahng-dway) tombs, one of China's top archaeological finds of the last century. Miniature servants, mysterious silk paintings, scrolls of long-lost secrets, and the best preserved mummy in the world (the body of Lady Dai) are just some of the artifacts that shed light upon life in China during the Han dynasty.

Handle with Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey, by Loree Griffin Burns.

Some farms grow vegetables or grains, and some raise cows, sheep, chickens, or pigs. But have you ever heard of a butterfly farm? How do you raise a butterfly?

On a farm in Costa Rica, workers care for these delicate, winged creatures as they change from eggs to caterpillars to pupae. Like any other crop, the butterflies will eventually leave the farm. But where will they go? And just how do you ship a butterfly?

Very carefully! To discover how it works, follow these butterflies on a remarkable journey!

Check in again next week for out newest children's e-book titles! (All descriptions from Overdrive.)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

New children's e-books!

If I had to name my favorite weekly job, it would unquestionably be adding new children's e-books to our Overdrive collection.

This week, we've added The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, the sequel to Sheila Turnage's Newbery honor-winning Three Times Lucky. (Which we've also added this week.)

Here are the rest:

A Dog Called Homeless
Flat Stanley
Inside Out and Back Again
Miss Daisy is Crazy!
The Mouse and the Motorcycle
Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth
The One and Only Ivan
Ramona the Pest