Check out this page for more in depth information about some of our exciting upcoming programming, as well as book reviews and more!
Happy October to everyone! The Children’s Department is offering many spooktacular events this month. Stop in and guess the weight of the pumpkins. The closest guess will win both pumpkins. Just in time to carve for a jack-o-lantern. Winner will be announced on Oct.18th.
While you’re there try to guess how many candy corns are in the jar. You could win enough candy corns to satisfy your sweet touch. On Friday, Oct 11 there is no school. Come in and choose from an assortment of crafts. Each child can make 2 crafts. There are also spots still available in our Township Game. Build a town without the use of Minecraft.
On Friday, Oct 18 there is no school again. Really! Children’s has 2 mystery hunts, tailored to suit different age groups. Keep your brain sharp. Check out our website for more programs and story times.
5 Middle Grade Horror Books
It’s October, which means it’s time to get to the library and pick out some spooky stories! Here are a couple of new horror books perfect for the Halloween season.
Watch Hallow by Gregory Funary
Deep within the enchanted woods in the town of Watch Hollow stands the once-grand Blackford House, whose halls hold a magical secret; a giant cuckoo clock that does much more than tell time. But when the clock’s gears cease to turn, an evil presence lurking among the trees begins to come out of the shadows.
When Lucy and Oliver Tinker arrive in watch Hallow, they have no idea that anything is wrong. A mysterious stranger has made their father an offer that’s too good for him to refuse. All Mr. Tinker needs to do is fix the lock at Blackford House and fistfuls of gold coins are his to teek.
It doesn’t take long however for the children to realize that there is more to Blackford House than meets the eye.
Out to Get You: 13 Tales of Weirdness and Woe by Josh Allen
Looking for something to read after Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark? This collection of stories will chill your bones, tingle your spine, and scare your pants off. This collection of stories features full page illustrations sure to stick with you even after you’ve finished reading. Just be careful not to read it too close to bedtime.
Box of Bones by Marina Cohen
Twelve-year-old Kallie despises nonsense. She believes there’s a rational explanation for everything, despite the good-natured prodding of her Grandpa Jess, who takes her to frivolous wastes of time like their town’s local Festival of Fools.
There, Kallie meets a faceless man (must be some kind of mask) who gives her a strange wooden puzzle box (must be some kind of gimmick). Intrigued despite herself, Kallie sets to work on unlocking its secrets and…lets something out. From here Kallie’s life begins to entangle with another world, a world where Liah, a young bone carver, journeys with her master to sell wares to a wicked Queen.
The sights, sounds, smells, and spells of Liah’s world are beginning to leak into Kallie’s, and if Kallie can’t decipher the meaning of her own story, “the end” might be far from happy.
Just Beyond: The Scare School by R.L. Stine
This graphic novel is great for kids who enjoy the Goosebumps chapter books.
Surviving middle school is hard enough but when Jess, Josh and Marco encounter a strange and deadly creature wandering the halls of The Scare School, it leaders them to the sinister boiler room…but what could be lurking down there?
Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey
Do you love monsters and mayhem? Looking to learn more about how one of your favorite creatures came to be?
How does a story begin? Sometimes it begins with a dream, and a dreamer. Mary is one such dreamer, and a little girl who learns to read by tracing the letters on the tombstone of her famous feminist mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, and who’s only escape from her strict father and overbearing stepmother is through the stories she reads and imagines. Unhappy at home, she seeks independence, and at the age of sixteen runs away with poet Percy Bysshe Shelly, another Dreamer. Two years later they go on a trip to Switzerland, where they meet a famous poet, Lord Byron. On a stormy summer evening, with five young people gathered around a fire, Byron suggests a contest to see who can create the best ghost story. Mary has a waking dream about a monster come to life. And so the story begins…
5 Books to Get Your Kids into Tabletop Games
So for those of you who haven’t heard of the classic tabletop role-playing game, Dungeons and Dragons is back in a big way. That’s not to say that it ever really went away, it certainly didn’t. But for those of you who are unfamiliar Dungeons and Dragons, or D&D for short, is a role playing game where players design their own characters and form an adventuring party that sets off in a fantasy world, crafted by the Dungeon Master, or DM.
I’m guessing that there are a lot of you parents out there who love the game yourselves, some new players and some who have been playing since you were kids. And you want to pass that love of the game along to your little ones. That’s where I can help. I’ve compiled a quick list of titles to share with your kids to get them interested in D&D and inspire them to create their own characters!
It would be irresponsible of me not the mention the Hobbit. I have too many friends who have told me that their love of fantasy started at a young age when the parents read them the Hobbit before bed to leave it out. And Tolkien was a huge player in the development of the modern fantasy genre. The adventuring party from his later books, including The Fellowship of the Ring could be considered the OG parties. They are so important to D&D because they sort of established that comfortable, companionable group of adventurers bringing their strengths together, which acts as a guide for assembling your party in the game.
Admittedly I was embarrassingly late to the party on this one. I like to think that I keep up with my favorite creators but I somehow missed that Zac Gorman, one of my favorite cartoonists, had put out a fantasy book for children in April this year. But man did I love this book. Our hero, Thisby Thestoop (a play off of a poorly written note) is the gamekeeper at the Black Mountain. The Black Mountain acts as a sort of tourist trap for wannabe adventurers who are looking for a dungeon to explore, and Thisby spends her days caring for the creatures lurking in the dungeon. Her years working there have given her a familiarity with the dungeon’s most dangerous residents, which comes in handy when the crown princess and princess of the Land of Nth come for a visit and everything falls into chaos. This book is great for familiarizing your little one with all of the different types of monsters they might face in a D&D campaign, with everything from vampires to kobolds and more!
I love recommending “Choose Your Own Adventure” style books to young readers. To be honest, I wish there were more in adult titles too. Who doesn’t like holding a page with your thumb to go back just in case you don’t like how your decision turned out? The set-up of D&D lends itself perfectly to a Choose Your Own Adventure book. In total honesty I haven’t read through Escape the Underdark but only because we are currently playing through that story line in one of my campaigns and I don’t want any spoilers; my DM would kill me. I have however flipped through the book and something that I really appreciate about it is that it uses the artwork from the D&D Players Handbook, something that every player should familiarize themselves with.
This graphic novel has everything; it’s got adventure, fantasy, and cooking. Rutabaga keep stumbling his way into harrowing situations and finding his way out with his unique culinary skills. After reading it I just wanted to make a new character who is absented minded and loves cooking for the party. Bon appetit! And as an added bonus there are a couple of easy fantasy themed recipes in the back that parents and kids can make together (perhaps as snacks for your first game night).
One of the most fun parts about playing D&D is the role-playing part, really getting into and playing as your character. Kids are gifted with very active imaginations, and have a knack for creating their own characters. So before starting your campaign I would recommend having them read Cardboard Kingdom. It is a graphic novel collection of stories about a group of kids who have created their own kingdom using boxes, tape, and their imaginations. Each kid has their own character that they play as, battling against their friends while learning important life lessons. Reading through the stories, it felt like a modern day Roxaboxen, which is one of my favorite picture books, and I would also highly recommend.
These books are a great starting point for getting your kids familiar with the fantasy genre and the concept of an adventuring party. Check out the D&D Player Handbook and your kids come up with some character idea of their own. And don’t forget to come up the Children’s Department for more recommendations and fantasy titles.
As a shameless plug for our other amazing library services I would also like to mention that you can print 3D miniatures of your D&D party using our 3D printer at the library. I’ve printed out miniatures for all of my games here and painted them and I couldn’t be happier with them. You can find free 3D miniatures models here and information about our 3D printing services here.
And if you and your family run their own game, stop by and tell me about your characters some time! I’d love to hear about your adventure!
– Miss Marilyn