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'easy fiction'

Sep 14

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month! by Vanesa Gomez

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on September 14, 2021 at 6:35 PM by Genesis Gaule

The changing of the seasons brings cooler weather and paints the landscape in vivid colors. As we get back into the swing of our fall routines and don our sweaters, let’s take time to celebrate Hispanic Heritage! National Hispanic Heritage Month begins September 15 and reminds us to celebrate rich culture, history, delicious food, as well as bring awareness to the struggles Hispanic communities face.

As with many other “national” months such as Black history month and Pride month, one of my favorite things to do is to read books written by authors on their experiences. Both nonfiction and fiction are great looks into others experiences or see yourself reflected. The joy I feel when reading children’s picture books that feature Hispanic representation is unmatched, knowing that my younger family members will learn to love their Hispanic heritage. Below are some books from our collection written by and about Hispanic people!


Easy Fiction

These picture books feature bilingual and/or Hispanic main characters, and they are a great way to learn some Spanish vocabulary!


Song of Frutas

by Margarita Engle and Sara Palacios

While visiting her abuelo in Cuba, a young girl helps him sell frutas, singing the name of each fruit as they walk, and after she returns to the United States, they exchange letters made of abrazos--hugs. Includes historical and cultural notes.


Paletero Man

by Lucky Diaz and Micah Player

Follow along with our narrator as he passes through his busy neighborhood in search of the Paletero Man. But when he finally catches up with him, our narrator's pockets are empty. Oh no! What happened to his dinero? It will take the help of the entire community to get the tasty treat now!


Junior Fiction


Esperanza Rising

by Pam Munoz Ryan

Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression. // Also available en Español


Miles Morales: Shock Waves

by Justin A. Reynolds

Miles Morales is a normal kid who happens to juggle school at Brooklyn Visions Academy while swinging through the streets of Brooklyn as Spider-Man. After a disastrous earthquake strikes his mother's birthplace of Puerto Rico, Miles springs into action to help set up a fundraiser for the devastated island. But when a new student's father goes missing, Miles begins to make connections between the disappearance and a giant corporation sponsoring Miles' fundraiser.


Nonfiction


Without a Country: The Untold Story of America's Deported Veterans

by J. Malcolm Garcia

In this book, J. Malcolm Garcia reports from across the country and abroad, profiling veterans who have been deported, as well as the families and friends they have left behind. Without a Country analyzes the political and cultural climate that has led America here and takes a hard look at the toll deportation has taken on veterans and their communities.


Spirit Run: a 6,000 Mile Marathon Through North America’s Stolen Land

by Noé Álvarez

Álvarez writes not only of overcoming hunger, thirst, and fear--dangers included stone-throwing motorists and a mountain lion--but also of asserting Indigenous and working-class humanity in a capitalist society where oil extraction, deforestation, and substance abuse wreck communities. Running through mountains, deserts, and cities, and through the Mexican territory his parents left behind, Álvarez forges a new relationship with the land, and with the act of running, carrying with him the knowledge of his parents' migration, and--against all odds in a society that exploits his body and rejects his spirit--the dream of a liberated future.


Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood

by Danny Trejo

For the first time, the full, fascinating, and inspirational true story of Danny Trejo's journey from crime, prison, addiction, and loss to unexpected fame as Hollywood's favorite bad guy with a heart of gold..


Interested in more ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month? Support Hispanic creators by listening to Spanish speaking artists, appreciating art, enjoying authentic food prepared by local restaurants, and buying from small businesses!

Sep 03

Do You Remember the Lyrics? by Charlotte Helgeson

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on September 3, 2021 at 2:25 PM by Genesis Gaule

Are you singing the right lyrics to the songs you learned as a kid? I love to hear children sing. If the words aren’t quite the ones I remember, that doesn’t matter. They sing with their hearts and I can hum along, but do I remember the lyrics?

For the life of me, I cannot remember the lyrics to Somewhere Over the Rainbow. I obviously made up some words as a kid and that is how I remember it. Though sometimes, my curiosity (or the funny looks of my grandchildren) will cause me to find the original lyrics to some of my favorites.

home on the rangeThe Library can come to the rescue for lots of those songs especially in the Easy section. We can find Home On the Range edited by Barbie H. Schwaeber. It is based on a poem written by a Kansas homesteader, Dr. Brewster M. Higley. Others have tried to take credit for it and have tried to change the words. Ranchers, farmers and cowboys adopted the song as an unofficial anthem for the American West. Kansas adopted it as their state song. But how did it get to be so well known?

The story behind a song can be a lot of fun. Another book by the same title, Home On the Range: John A. Lomax and His Cowboy Songs by Deborah Hopkinson tells how as a young man, John went out with an old-fashioned recording device in the early 1900s to capture songs that were sung by cowboys. Then he wrote them down for us. He went out again later in life and captured more songs. Many of his recordings of singing cowboys are stored at the Library of Congress. I bet those cowboys would be surprised to know their voices live on in such a prestigious place!

take me out to ball gameTake Me Out to the Ball Game by Jack Norworth is another unofficial anthem. Baseball games would not be the same without this song even though we only sing one of the three verses. How many of us know the words to the other two?

To help us remember songs from our youth, the Library has a wonderful selection of DVDs called Sentimental Sing-Alongs. Their topics range from patriotic to romance and from locations all over the country.

We do grow up and discover new songs and with them singers who become favorites. Some write their own music and others have lyricists that create the words for them. There are those who redo an old classic with their own personality by changing up the music, but the lyrics live on.

Lyrics catch attention so they’re often used as titles like in these books owned by the library:

Aug 27

How to Get the Most Out of Your Read Aloud Time by Andrea Lorenz

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on August 27, 2021 at 9:21 AM by Genesis Gaule

Research shows that one of the best things you can do to prepare your children for school and later success is to read aloud to them. Even just 15 minutes a day is enough to make a big difference. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your read aloud time.

1) Book Choice 

When you’re looking for your next bedtime book, look for something that will interest your child. You can choose books related to their special interests, like tractors or spiders, or you could choose books that relate to experiences your child has had lately, like losing a tooth or visiting the zoo. Whatever it is, find something your child will be into and at an appropriate reading level. (Need help choosing? Any of our librarians would be happy to help!)

2) Pre-Read

Take a look through the book before you start your read aloud. This can help you identify jokes, figure out what kind of voices you want to do, and familiarize you with the plot and the text.

3) Use Some Expression

You don’t have to have an EGOT* to be a good reader. Your child will love reading time because they love spending time with you! But a little vocal expression never hurt anyone. Find places to slow down and speed up, get louder or softer. You can even try out some voices! (I personally love making teeny tiny squeaky mouse voices.)

4) Point Out Words and Letters

As you read, follow the text with your finger. Point out specific words that you see, or specific letters that your child might be familiar with. This helps children to understand that you’re reading the words and not the pictures! You can talk about what new words mean and point out when words are BIGGER than others and what that might mean.

5) Ask Questions

You can make read alouds more engaging by asking your child questions as you read. These can be as simple as “What do you think will happen next?” or a little more complex like “What would you do in that situation?” Gear your questions toward your child’s comprehension level (for example, you might ask a three year old “What’s that?” and point to a picture on the page, but you’d probably ask a six year old “What does this remind you of in your own life?”)

6) Have Fun!

Reading time should be fun. Make silly faces and laugh. Don’t finish books you don’t like. Choose another one instead. Above all, enjoy the time you have together.

Some of Miss Andrea's favorite read aloud books:

read-alouds cover collage

Preschool:

Elementary School: 

Chapter Books (Elementary and up):

*EGOT: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards (People who have received all four awards are said to have an EGOT and include Rita Moreno, Audrey Hepburn, Mel Brooks, and more)