Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Teen Read Week 2012!

Are you a teen? Did you know it's Teen Read Week? Teen Read Week started in 1998 and is celebrated annually the third week of October (this year it's October 14-20). It encourages you to read for the fun of it and every year it has a different theme. It's important to celebrate Teen Read Week because, even though there are lots of really great entertainment options out there, reading for fun is free, entertaining, and proven to help improve test scores!

This year's theme is It Came From The Library! It can be interpreted however you want, but why not check out some of these popular and wonderful YA books that are both spooky and mysterious?

Bliss by Lauren Myracle

Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

Horowitz Horror: Stories You'll Wish You'd Never Read by Anthony Horowitz

Oddest of All: Stories by Bruce Coville

Skeleton Creek: [Ryan's Journal] by Patrick Carman 

Wolf Rider by Avi

And be sure to click here to vote for the theme of Teen Read Week 2013! You have the power to choose!

Friday, October 5, 2012

World Smile Day

Today is the 13th annual World Smile Day!

The smiley face that we all know today was created in 1963 by a commercial artist from Worcester, Massachusetts named Harvey Ball.

 As the years passed, that image became one of the most recognizable symbols of good will and good cheer in the world. However, Harvey Ball became concerned about the over-commercialization of it, worried that its original meaning had become lost in its constant repetition.

It was out of that concern that he came up with World Smile Day. He thought that everyone in the world should devote one day each year (World Smile Day) to smiles and kind acts.

"The smiley face knows no politics, no geography and no religion.  Harvey’s idea was that for at least one day each year, neither should we. He declared that the first Friday in October each year would henceforth be World Smile Day®." (

WSD11 elephantsThe first World Smile Day was held in 1999. Worcester, MA, the smiley face's hometown, was and still is the epicenter for World Smile Day. This year the Worcester event will have a marching band, free stuff, clowns, jugglers, a Ring Master, and (best of all) elephants from the Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus!

While all this is going on in town, there will also be "Smile Ambassadors" out delivering Smile Certificates to people and, additionally, there will be local events and activities going on around the world. Is there anything going on at your local library?

After Harvey died in 2001, the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation was created to honor his name and memory. "Harvey Ball believed that each one of us has the ability to make a positive difference in this world and he lived according to that belief. He knew that any effort to improve the world, no matter how small, was worthwhile. And he understood the power of a smile and a kind act. In furtherance of that philosophy the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation focuses on small, grass-roots charitable efforts that otherwise receive little attention or funding." ( The Foundation continues to be the official sponsor of World Smile Day each year.

Want to celebrate with a few of your own acts of kindness? Here are a few books to inspire you:

Kids' Random Acts of Kindness foreword by Rosalynn Carter, introduction by Dawna Markova

Real Kids, Real Stories, Real Change: Courageous Actions Around the World by Garth Sundem

Kindness: A Treasury of Buddhist Wisdom for Children and Parents collected and adapted by Sarah Conover

Who Cares?: Millions Do-- A Book About Altruism by Milton Meltzer

Peaceful Kingdom: Random Acts of Kindness by Animals by Stephanie Laland

The Doggy Dung Disaster & Other True Stories: Regular Kids Doing Heroic Things Around the World by Garth Sundem.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month

Every year since 1968, Americans have observed National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15. This month-long celebration recognizes the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

Here are some good books that celebrate Hispanic culture:

Hispanic Heritage Month = Mes De La Herencia Hispana by Kerrie Logan Hollihan

Hispanic-American Crafts Kids Can Do! by Fay Robinson

Tales Our Abuelitas Told: A Hispanic Folktale Collection by F. Isabel Campoy and Alma Flor Ada

Lola's Fandango by written by Anna Witte

Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match = Marisol McDonald No Combina by Monica Brown

The Fiesta Dress: A QuinceaƱera Tale by Caren McNelly McCormack

The Triple Banana Split Boy by Lucha Corpi

And here are a few recommendations for teen readers:

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Luminous by Dawn Metcalf

Playing For Keeps by Veronica Chambers

Efrain's Secret by Sofia Quintero

Benito Runs by Justine Fontes

Carmen: An Urban Adaptation of the Opera by Walter Dean Myers

Ambitious by Monica McKayhan

Life, After by Sarah Darer Littman

Monday, October 1, 2012

Banned Books Week 2012

Yesterday was the first day of 2012's Banned Books Week, an annual event that celebrates the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Since the start of Banned Books Week in 1982, libraries and bookstores throughout the country have staged local read-outs—a continuous reading of banned/challenged books—as part of their activities. This is the second year that readers from around the world can participate in the Banned Books Virtual Read-Out by creating videos for BBW's YouTube channel.
Take a look at some popular banned books below. You might be surprised to find that some of your favorites are listed! Imagine if you never got the chance to read them.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

Monster by Walter Dean Myers

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

Crank by Ellen Hopkins

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

Ttyl by Lauren Myracle

The Witches by Roald Dahl

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Exercise your freedome to read and celebrate Banned Books Week from September 30th through October 6th by reading a banned book!
Copyright 2009 Laura Druda