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'junior 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!

Jul 30

Titles and Covers by Charlotte Helgeson

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on July 30, 2021 at 1:21 PM by Genesis Gaule

How important is the title and cover of a book? The title is first seen as part of the cover. How much does that cover influence the reader? Who makes the decision about how that will look. Is it the author or publisher?

Remember, the old adage of not judging a book by its cover? In the explanation of that English idiom, the word ‘alone’ is often added. So go ahead and take a good look at the cover and let that help decide if a deeper look will follow. It won’t be the only factor, but it does influence our choices.

That sounds so easy, but there is a huge amount of time, talent and thought that goes into a cover design. The author has lived inside the book for months, maybe years and knows the story inside and out and upside down. Publishers take a different approach by wanting a cover that will attract potential readers. An illustrator will add a creative talent that takes the words and puts flesh on them or creates an abstract concept of the story line. Publishers often win out though the more bestsellers an author creates, the more influence she’ll apply to the design.

Sometimes covers will change if books are reproduced. Publishers will want them to be more timely or if a movie has been produced then a still picture might be placed on the cover. Books considered classics may see many covers as different publishers take turns at reviving them, such as The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Cookbooks with colorful covers of food catch my attention every time such as The Elder Scrolls by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel. There are also books that I can’t take home because I find the covers too scary. 

Yes, I’m easily influenced by covers but what about titles?

Titles are influential also. Authors with their publishers will decide on a title. I have an author friend who agreed to change the title of her book when the publisher thought her choice wasn’t mysterious enough.

Too many titles are the same or so similar that readers get confused. I prefer titles that are more distinct like The Poppy War by R.F. Kuan (great cover) and Ancestor Approved edited by Cynthia Leitch Smith.

The individual words in a title can catch a reader’s attention. For me some favorites are tree, sand, herbs or seeds which is why I picked up The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson. The cover is a picture of beading which is beautiful. The book is about seeds and plants. After picking it up and looking at it, I found that it takes place close to home--a good find for me based on a cover and title!


Jul 23

Books for a Rainy Day by Andrea Lorenz

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on July 23, 2021 at 10:27 AM by Genesis Gaule

As you’re lacing up your shoes, ready to go outside and enjoy the sunny day, you see a bright flash and then – one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi – hear the low rumble of thunder. Rain? Today?! What a bummer! Lucky for you, your grown-up has just come back from the library and has a whole bunch of books they promise will keep you busy. Let’s see what they have, shall we?

bigfootBigfoot: Spotted At World-Famous Landmarks by D.L. Miller (Easy 001.944 MILLER) You take a peek inside this book. Oh!  Look at the detailed pictures! And you have to find a teeny tiny Bigfoot hidden in each picture! These are just like mom’s falling apart, old Where’s Waldo books, but cooler and new. You could spend hours looking for Bigfoot, footprints, tour guides, and more. As you turn the page, you see that there’s facts, history, and real pictures of each world-famous landmark that Bigfoot visits. Did you know that the Statue of Liberty’s index finger is 8 feet long?

choose-adventure-robotAfter you’ve found all of the Bigfoots, you turn to a goofy looking chapter book: Your Very Own Robot Goes Cuckoo-Bananas! by R.A. Montgomery (Junior MONTGOMERY) Hmm…The first page says “Read this first!!! Watch out! This book is different than every book you’ve ever read. YOU get to choose what happens next—and even how the story will end.” You like this idea. Nobody ever lets you choose anything. So you start reading about a whacky robot and his faithful kid until two things happen at the same time. Do you a. run toward the sound of a braking car? or b. go to Robot Cloning classes? For A. go to page 8, for B. page 10. You get to choose what happens through the whole book! You can even go back and re-read to see what COULD have happened. This is cool!

Okay, those were neat, but you’re getting a little antsy since you had to sit still for SO LONG. Your grown-up grabs Locomotion: March, Hop, Skip, Gallop, Run by Michael Dahl, illustrated by Beth Hughes (Easy 612.78 DAHL) and queues up some music from the book on their phone! You can read AND move along with the book!  

unicorn-yogaWhen you’ve made it through the whole book, your heart is racing. Your grown-up suggests that you try out Unicorn Yoga by Gina Cascone & Bryony Williams Sheppard, illustrated by Jennifer Sattler (Easy 613.7 CASCONE) to cool you off. Cat pose, cow pose, tiger and plank, there’s even one especially for you: child’s pose!

Whew! That was hard work. Good thing it’s time for lunch! You’re famished. You pull out Fish and Fowl: Easy and Awesome Sandwiches for Kids by Alison Deering and Bob Lentz (Easy 641.84 DEERING) and start paging through. Lox? EW! Tuna melt? Maybe. Chicken and waffles! YES! Your grown-up helps you gather ingredients and uses the oven to heat up the chicken. You toast the waffles, add some cheese, honey mustard and lettuce and then put it all together. YUM.

l-otto-funnNow that you’ve refueled, you want to do something hands-on. You pull the last book out of the library tote bag. The Secret Files of Professor L. Otto Funn: Or Stop Being a Slug, Open This Book, and Make Your Brain Happy (745.5 GORS). This looks like fun, or should you say FUNN? You look through the projects and choose three to do: The Crayon Rock Cycle, Create Your Own Masterpiece, and Minotaur Mask. Your grown-up asks if you deliberately chose the messiest projects. (You did). You creates new things from old things and learn about earth science, painting, and mythology along the way.

The next thing you know, it’s time to clean up for supper. Where did the time go? You ask your grown-up about the forecast for tomorrow. Will there be rain again? 

Extra Rainy Day Book Suggestions: