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Archive for Category: Reading Room
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New History Book Group

   Wednesday, April 15th, 2009 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

The Old Middlesex Canal book coverThere is a new History Book Group starting on at the library on Thursday, April 30th.

Do you have an interest in history? Library volunteer Bob Hanlon will be leading a new book group on the last Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. in the conference room. This group is for people with an interest in history - local, U.S. and world history.

The titles will be determined by the participants in the group. Attend the first program April 30th and help choose future titles. For this first meeting Bob suggests reading
The Old Middlesex Canal, by Mary Stetson Clarke.

For more information on the new book group, visit their webpage or contact Kathy Cryan-Hicks at kcryanhic@mvlc.org or 978-256-5521 x109.

For information on all of the book groups at the Chelmsford Library, visit our book groups webpage.

   Posted in Books, Programs, Reading Room | No Comments »




Holiday Book Guide

   Thursday, December 11th, 2008 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

The Gift of the MagiThe Youth Services staff of the library put together this list of books that would make nice gifts this holiday season. These books are divided up into type of book and age groups.

Following this listing, there are links to book guides from other sources around the internet to provide additional ideas.

Pop-Up Books

Picture Books

Ages 5-7

Ages 8-10

Ages 10-12

All Ages

Here are a few lists from other sources on the internet, listing their top book picks for the holiday season:

Other Book Gift Guides

   Posted in Books, Reading Room | No Comments »




MP3 Audiobooks Available

   Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

MP3 downloadable audiobook announcementStarting on Dec. 1st, 2008, Chelmsford patrons can now download audiobooks in MP3 format.

For over a year, the Library has offered downloadable audiobooks through our Overdrive subscription, which we share with other MVLC libraries. However, until now, these audiobooks were only available to people with Windows-based computers, and they could not be played on iPods.

But now, we're very happy to offer audiobooks in MP3 format, which is compatible with iPods and many other popular MP3 players and cell phones. Also, Overdrive has released a new version of the Media Console that runs on Mac computers.

Searching for and downloading the new MP3 format audiobooks is the same as the previous formats, so if you've used Overdrive before you should have no problem. The format of the audiobook is displayed in each audiobook's search record (displayed below), along with what kind of devices on which that audiobook can be played.

Overdrive search listing

If you'd like more information about using the new MP3 audiobooks, check out the Dec. 2008 issue of the MVLC newsletter [pdf]. If you have questions about MP3 audiobooks or need assistance using Overdrive, please contact the Reference Desk.

   Posted in Books, Overdrive, Reading Room | No Comments »




Books for Parents of Teenagers

   Thursday, July 10th, 2008 - by: Becky Herrmann, Library Director

When I couldn't see the apple on the picnic table, I knew I was in trouble. I was twelve. It was the school-wide eye exams. The tests involved looking through a device somewhat like the old Kenner toy projectors - the ones with the removable slides. As you gazed, the nurse would ask, "Is the apple on the picnic table or is it off? On, off, I could barely see the apple - never mind its placement. Four Eyes - I thought dispiritedly, they are going to call me Four Eyes. I needed glasses and I was not looking forward to it.

Some of us remember when Jan Brady got her glasses. Marcia may have had to wear the braces, but she still got Davy Jones and her date for the dance turned out to have braces too -- it was Jan who we really worried about. The path from clear-eyed to bespectacled can be rough. Adolescence can be a road filled with bumps where self-image is a sensitive issue.

Navigating your child's course through these years can be challenging. Many parents have turned to books like Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls by Mary Pipher, and Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys by Dan Kindlon and Michal Thompson. These two books came out in the 90's but are still relevant and helpful today. Another updated and popular title is How to Talk so Teens Will Listen - and Listen so Teens Will Talk by Adele Faber - its original version was directed at younger kids and came out in the eighties.

If you are mystified as to why your child went from being a chatterbox to responding in monosyllables, then Not Much, Just Chillin': The Hidden Lives of Middle Schoolers by Linda Perlstein might give some insight. And if you want to hear what kids really think - in their own words - try Real Boys' Voices by William S. Pollack or Ophelia Speaks by Sara Shandler. Both feature the unfiltered voices of adolescents talking about their struggles and passions.

Books to hand to your teens directly include Am I Weird or Is This Normal? - a girl's 411 on what happens to your body, feelings and relationships during adolescence by Marlin S. Potash or The Teenage Guy's Survival Guide by Jeremy Daldry - a humorous but practical guide on everything from shaving to peer pressure and why girls make guys crazy.

For fictional titles that deal with self-esteem and self-image in these formative years, some oldies but goodies include One Fat Summer by Robert Lipsyte and The Goats by Brock Cole. More recent titles include: What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones, Just Listen by Sarah Dessen and Peter Cameron's Someday this Pain Will be Useful to You. These titles and others are all available at the Chelmsford Public Library. Check out our website at www.chelmsfordlibrary.org for a complete list.

   Posted in Books, Column, Reading Room | No Comments »




Teen Reads for Summer

   Wednesday, June 18th, 2008 - by: Becky Herrmann, Library Director

"I don't have anything to wear!" The pink shirt is too babyish - the tank top is too tacky. The black jeans are too "emo." "Mom - I can't wear skinny with baggy, don't you know anything!" The list goes on.

Too tight, too wide, too tall, too small - my daughter is like Goldilocks when she dresses each morning. If only I could make everything just right - but these days I am not the Mom who can kiss the boo-boo and make it better. That is so last year - I am the mother of an almost 13-year old whose favorite retort (with an eye roll) is "I know..." Far be it for me to offer any kind of advice - although, that doesn't stop me from trying.

In spite of everything, there is still one area I seem to have some sway - books. She eagerly sorts through the piles I bring home and curls up with a book every night before bed. So, here are a few teen titles to try this summer:

For those who never feel like they fit in, try reading or listening to the confessions of Georgia Nicolson in Angus, Thongs, and Full-frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison. (We have both print and audio-book versions of this series.) The laugh-out-loud antics of Georgia, a 14 year-old British girl who is trying to reduce the size of her nose, tame her wild cat and romance a popular boy at school make this a popular selection for vacation time. (And as there are multiple titles in the series, reading about Georgia could last all summer long...) Another title to try is Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler. I think the title says it all.

For the girl who enjoys school settings and the social scene, a light summer read would be the L.B.D. books by Grace Dent - a series about "Les Bambinos Dangereuses" - three fast friends who put on a rock concert at their school. Lily Archer's Poison Apples about a trio of unlikely friends who meet at boarding school and all have evil step-mothers would also be a good choice.

For Harry Potter fans who enjoyed the romance between Ginny and Harry, try the romantic and comic novels of Sarah Mlynowski. The series begins with Bras and Broomsticks and continues with Frogs and French Kisses and Sleeping Bags and Spells.

For those who liked the darker side of Harry Potter, try the Last Apprentice series by Joseph Delaney. The first title is Revenge of the Witch and it follows one young man, Thomas Ward, who must fill the shoes of an aging Spook who has protected the local villages from evil. Twenty-nine apprentices have failed, only Thomas is left. As there are 4 books in the series, you can guess he is successful, but there are some genuinely gruesome and heart-stopping adventures along the way. Also, in a similar vein is Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landry in which a young girl inherits her odd uncle's estate -and at the reading of the will she is joined by a walking, talking skeleton who persuades her to join forces with him to save the world.

For the paranormal romance fan, Stephenie Meyer's vampire/werewolf series has been hugely popular with teens. The first in the series is Twilight - the 4th book Breaking Dawn will be published on August 2nd - just in time for a summer read. If your teen can't wait till then, try The Silver Kiss or Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause or Owl in Love by Patricia Kindl.

For those who contemplate the unknown, try Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin, a remarkable envisioning of what happens when you die. It focuses on the sudden death of a 15 year old girl in a car accident, imagining her reactions to her own death. Also of interest might be Gossamer by Newbery-award-winning author Lois Lowry in which she creates a fantasy back-story for how and why some folks have pleasant dreams versus nightmares.

For those in search of a mystery, try the light-hearted Lulu Dark books by Bennett Madison. The series begins with Lulu Dark Can See Through Walls and continues with Lulu Dark and the Summer of the Fox - Lulu is a reluctant sleuth with a satirical wit and the books are fast-paced, smart and funny. Speaking of reluctant - if you are trying to coax your computer-oriented child into reading, try Cathy's Book: If found, call (650)-266-8233 by Sean Stewart and Jordan Weisman. This fast-paced mystery includes telephone numbers that readers can call and an interactive website to visit to help solve the mystery.

And as far as I am concerned, you never get too old to be read to. A book for parents and teens to read aloud together is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. This coming of age tale set in Brooklyn at the turn of the century still holds up. And hey, if you can't get them to sit with you at home, try popping the story into your car stereo at the beginning of your vacation trip. Happy summer reading and listening!

To see a listing of all the books mentioned here, see the Library's Reading Room webpage.

   Posted in Books, Column, Reading Room | No Comments »




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