Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Book Reviews Written by 8th Grade Library Volunteer, Stella S.

Did you know that the library has a volunteer group of 7th through 12th graders who help out at the library? YouthQuake Explosion meets once a week, and its members undertake all kinds of service and creative projects to benefit the library. YouthQuake Explosion member, eighth-grader Stella S., wrote these book reviews. Check out what Stella had to say about these popular books!

Harry Potter: The Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
I have finished reading Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling.  This book is the first in a series of seven.  I loved this book.  It was extremely detailed and fun.  Anyone of any age can read this book because it so easily appeals to all.  As many of the people reading this probably already know, there are Harry Potter movies.  Though I must say, this book throws its film to the wind.  It all begins at Number 4, Privet Drive.  A small baby is placed on a doorstep and taken in by Number 4's stingy occupants.  As this book develops, you learn that Harry Potter is part of an amazing world that he never even knew existed.  Harry will attend a school where he discovers who he truly is, where he makes new friends, and where he finds himself on a dangerous and thrilling adventure that decides the fate of a particular Dark wizard that Harry has a past with.  I applaud J.K. Rowling on this book.  I know that it has been around a while and these are compliments most have heard before, but they will never be stressed enough.  J.K. Rowling introduces us to a place filled with people who have extraordinary gifts.  She severs the barrier between reality and what we all so desperately hope is reality.  Her clever plot grips you tight and refuses to let you go until you have finished reading the last sentence on page 309.  My favorite thing about this book is how J.K. Rowling describes the setting of Harry Potter.  She builds a scene around the reader and makes us feel like we are there.  This is one of the hardest parts of writing.  The writer wants the reader to see what they do.  J.K. Rowling wants to share her vision and allow the reader to understand what it feels like to be a student at Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  J.K. Rowling blew this challenge out of the water.  Not only that, but you meet brand new characters that are all unique in different ways.  For example, Hermione Granger is one of the smartest witches in her year.  She likes to follow the rules and stay in her comfort zone. Yet, she manages to break almost every Hogwarts law in the book and uses her heroic intelligence to help Harry Potter save the magical world from the clutches of Voldemort, a defeated Dark wizard with a deadly reputation who hopes to rise again and take revenge on all who contributed to his downfall.  I also admire the way J.K. Rowling pulls together the excitement and fear of Harry's experience at Hogwarts and the tight bonds of friendship that Harry knits along the way.  Like every good book, Harry Potter includes a wrenching twist.  The villain of this story is not who J.K. Rowling first leads you to believe.  Instead, she cleverly deceives you and you learn that the real culprit was the most innocent-the most unexpected.  I would personally rate this book a 9 out of 10, my only issue being that this book ended our amazing ride with Harry Potter too soon!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
After reading the first spectacular Harry Potter book by J.K. Rowling, I was very keen to continue to the next book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  This book was by far the creepiest of the two.  Like the first book, the Chamber of Secrets begins at Number Four, Privet Drive. This is where Harry lives with his aunt, uncle, and cousin, whom are all Muggles.  The events of this book focus on the second attempt of Lord Voldemort in his efforts to rise again and become the greatest Dark wizard that ever lived.  Harry must face a series of dangerous obstacles to defeat Lord Voldemort with the help of his two closest friends, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley.  As the plot thickens, you learn that there is  an unpleasant new creature in the school that is terrorizing students, maybe even killing them.  Be prepared for spine tingling sensations as Harry discovers a part of himself that he never knew existed, and realizes that he could be the key to destroying Hogwarts or saving it from the horror within the Chamber of Secrets.  My absolute favorite part of this book was how J.K. Rowling left me in suspense chapter after chapter.  She made me think about what was going on and how it was happening. I liked how she let the readers get a chance at solving the mystery of the Chamber of Secrets by including clues that we understand were always right in front of us in the end. Eventually, J.K. Rowling wraps up loose ends and ties them into a perfect bow.  In similarity with the first book, J.K. Rowling is able to effectively connect growing friendships with the adventure that Harry Potter finds himself on.  However, you can never have a proper Harry Potter book without a sensational Quidditch game. That is always one of the most important parts! I am joking! Not really.  Anyway, I loved this book.  It was everything I wanted it to be and more. I am once again finding myself admiring the brilliant mind of J.K. Rowling.  This book brought a sense of darkness to the series-but in the best way possible. Stopping a mad wizard from destroying Hogwarts and the rest of the wizarding world is definitely not all it's cracked up to be.  And that is exactly what J.K. Rowling shows us in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I give this book a ten out of ten. I know it's a risky rating, but I think this book will always be worth it.

For more information about YouthQuake Explosion, please e-mail Miss Kate at, or call the Youth Services Department at 610-258-2917 x 306.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Books that help start a conversation about race and ethnicity

Come visit our newest display!  If you don't see your favorite, pull it from the shelf and put it there!

picture books:
The snowy day / Ezra Kack Keats
 The adventures of a little boy in the city on a very snowy day.

A poem for Peter : the story of Ezra Jack Keats and the creation of The snowy day / by Andrea Davis Pinkney ; illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher.

Last stop on Market Street / by Matt de la Peña ; illustrated by Christian Robinson.
 A young boy rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things.

This is the rope : a story from the Great Migration / Jacqueline Woodson ; illustrated by James Ransome. 
 A rope passed down through the generations frames an African American family's story as they journey north during the time of the Great Migration.

Freedom over me : eleven slaves, their lives and dreams brought to life / by Ashley Bryan.
"Using original slave auction and plantation estate documents, contrasts the monetary value of a slave with the priceless value of life experiences and dreams that a slave owner could never take away" 

Chocolate me! / by Taye Diggs ; illustrated by Shane W. Evans. 
Relates the experiences of a dark-skinned, curly-haired child who wishes he could look more like the lighter-skinned children in his community until his mother helps him realize how wonderful he is inside and out. 

Mixed me! / by Taye Diggs ; illustrated by Shane W. Evans.
Told in rhyming text, Mike is a mixed-race boy, completely comfortable with his identity and his parents--and his wild, curly hair.

It's okay to be different / Todd Parr.
Illustrations and brief text describe all kinds of differences that are "okay," such as "It's Okay to be a different color," "It's Okay to need some help," "It's Okay to be adopted," and "It's Okay to have a Different nose." 

The Sneetches and other stories / written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss.
"The Sneetches is the gold standard for talking about prejudice and race."  

Separate is never equal : Sylvia Mendez & her family's fight for desegregation / Duncan Tonatiuh. 
"Years before the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez, an eight-year-old girl of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage, played an instrumental role in Mendez v. Westminster, the landmark desegregation case of 1946 in California" 

Pancho Rabbit and the coyote : a migrant's tale / Duncan Tonatiuh.
When Papa Rabbit does not return home as expected from many seasons of working in the great carrot and lettuce fields of El Norte, his son Pancho sets out on a dangerous trek to find him, guided by a coyote.  

A piece of home / Jeri Watts ; illustrated by Hyewon Yum.
A child-friendly story about the trials and triumphs of starting over in a new place while keeping family and traditions close.

Let's talk about race / by Julius Lester ; illustrated by Karen Barbour.
The author introduces the concept of race as only one component in an individual's or nation's "story."

The case for loving : the fight for interracial marriage / written by Selina Alko ; illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko.
The story of interracial couple Mildred and Richard Perry, who got married in Washington, D.C., and were arrested after they returned to Virginia, and took their legal case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Thunder Boy Junior, by Sherman Alexie...coming soon!

#safetypin  #missaudreysays


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Stuffed Animals Cause Mischief and Mayhem in the Easton Area Public Library's Main Branch!

On Friday afternoon, 21 stuffed animals (and their owners) attended a very special Teddy Bear Sleepover storytime with Miss Berry at the Easton Area Public Library.

The stuffed friends listened to stories, sang songs, went on a special parachute ride, and got tucked in while their owners ate brownies. After the snack, the children said goodbye to their stuffed animals and left them for a weekend sleepover in the library.

After the humans left the library, the mischief began!

The stuffed animals climbed into the book drop slot, piled onto the book carts, and scaled the library book shelves. They broke into the storytime room, knocked over the shakers, and played with the puzzles. The fuzzy friends played on the computers and with the trains at the train table, put on a puppet show, and even made themselves their own special library cards!

When Miss Berry opened up the Children's Room on Saturday morning she had quite a mess to deal with. All the fuzzy friends had a blast, and here are the pictures to prove it!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Keva Planks are Here!

The Pennsylvania Bureau of Library Development has supplied the Easton Area Public Library with Keva Planks! We have them on the tables in our Series Section.  We've had the preschool play area for years.  Now, we now have toys for grade school kids too!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Teddy Bears Sleep Over at the Easton Public Library

Mischief and mayhem abounded at the Easton Public Library's Main Branch this weekend. After attending a very special Friday afternoon storytime, 19 stuffed animal friends were tucked in for the weekend and kissed goodbye by their owners.

When Miss Berry opened the Children's Room for the weekend on Saturday morning, she could not believe the mess that she found! The stuffed animals had left piles of books, crayons, musical instruments, and puzzles around the children's room. All weekend long the animals read books, colored pictures, got into the scarves and shakers, and played on the book carts and train tables. Miss Berry was particularly surprised that the animals had played her ukulele and that a large stuffed frog wore her glasses and name tag!

Luckily, Miss Berry was able to capture some of the animal exploits with her camera. We hope you enjoy the photos from our third Teddy Bear Sleepover at the Easton Area Public Library. Also, we would like to extend a very warm thank you to the boys and girls who allowed their stuffed friends to spend a fun-filled weekend at the library!