Last week, youth librarians from the Troy Public Library visited Boulan and Smith media centers to kick off summer reading. They advertised their Summer Library Program as well as their special events happening at the TPL in June and July. Your child will be able to register for the Summer Library Program starting June 13 at www.troypl.org/summerlibrary. Please encourage your child to participate!
Even though school will be out soon, it's still important to keep your child's mind active and engaged over the next few months through summer reading. I recommend this great article from Scholastic that offers three ways to avoid the "summer slide" in reading skills.
However, it's difficult to choose what to read with so many options out there. I have put together a list of websites with recommended reading lists that you can find on the Smith Media Center or Boulan Media Center websites. (Note that some websites include lists for "young adults"--these are usually titles more appropriate for 8th grade and above.)
Maybe the problem isn't getting your child to read--instead, it's getting him or her to stop reading books by the same author over and over again. In this case, I really like the site What Should I Read Next? Type in Harry Potter (or The Hunger Games or Divergent, etc), and the website generates a whole list of book recommendations that Potter fans might like. Try Your Next Read for a more visual approach (and if your child chooses his/her books by the cover).
Looking to challenge your avid reader? Why not have him or her try to read as many books as he/she can on an Award winner list? (See the Award Winners section on my recommended reading links). Or, how about suggesting that your child take the Troybery Challenge?
Please make sure that you are always aware of what your son or daughter is reading so that you can discuss mature or sensitive issues with them. If you are curious about a book and want to read parent reviews, check out Common Sense Media's Book Review section.
It has been my pleasure to work with your child this year. I have had a wonderful group of parent volunteers helping me daily during lunch or with special projects and events--thank you so much for your time!
I will be out on maternity leave through Thanksgiving, but I look forward to seeing your child when I return! Have a fantastic, relaxing, and fun summer full of good books!
On Tuesday, June 2, 2015, local author Al Declercq visited students at Boulan Park and Smith Middle Schools to discuss the true story behind his children's book Bernida: A Michigan Sailing Legend.
Mrs. Chatel applied for and earned this free author visit through the Library of Michigan's annual Michigan Notable Book program. Every year, 20 outstanding fiction and nonfiction books are chosen; they must be written about Michigan or by a Michigan author and published the previous calendar year.
Mr. Declercq began his day at Smith Middle School, where he spoke to Mrs. Ostrowski's and Ms. Hamel's classes. At Boulan Park, he presented to Mrs. Hyska's, Mrs. Jansen's, and Mrs. Kavanagh's classes.
Students learned about the history of the 90-year old boat called Bernida, which won the first Port Huron to Mackinac boat race. Mr. Declercq purchased Bernida after seeing it listed on eBay, and then he renovated it to race in the 2012 Mackinac race. He and his crew of family and friends won not only their division but were the overall winners, despite the age and condition of the boat.
Students asked many questions about sailing, visiting Mackinac, and writing. Mr. Declercq had an inspiring message for his audience about reading and never giving up.
We are so thankful that Mr. Declercq was able to visit us courtesy of the Library of Michigan and the following sponsors: Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Humanities Council, the Library of Michigan Foundation, Meijer, the Michigan Center for the Book, City Pulse Dome, Queue Advertising, and Gennara Photography.
For more information on the Notable Books program and to review prior years’ lists, visit www.michigan.gov/notablebooks. Mrs. Chatel recommends Derek Jeter's middle grade book, The Contract, which made the 2015 Notable Book list and is set in Kalamazoo.
Mrs. Christina Chatel, MLIS
A teacher librarian at Boulan Park and Smith Middle Schools in Troy, Michigan.