Delightfully Creepy Chronicles for Kids

Ah, it’s October. We’re all reaching for our big thick cardigans (at least, that’s what we librarians are doing), admiring the mums and pumpkins at the local nurseries, and wondering why pie spices keep showing up in places they don’t belong. But if you’re anything like me, you’re more intent on finding something more than that chilly evening wind to send a shiver down your spine. Yep. I’m talking horror stories.

You know the hard stuff you can find in the adult section of the library: Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson, Paul Tremblay. But what about spooky stories that are just right for your young ghouls and goblins? You can’t just plop the Necronomicon into the hands of your third-grader and leave her to her own devices while you go heat up the centaur’s blood apple cider or rake the leaves off the ancient graveyard lawn. No, you need to start them off with little scares. And have I got the scares for you. Hold on a sec while I light a candle and look around this dark bookshelf of mine. This one, this one… and this one. Now just let me dust the spiderwebs off the covers of these books. Those whispers you hear swirling around the room? Nothing. Nothing you need to worry about, anyway. Here’s your books. You better take them and go. Quickly. Back out to the light. You never know what might emerge from the darkness if you stare into it for too long.

 

Scary Stories to Tell in the DarkWhen kids are more interested scary tales than fairy tales, this classic title delivers. With stories derived from folktales, they range from terrifying to creepy to humorous at times. And if you can’t get enough of them, don’t miss More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones!

In a Dark, Dark Room. Need scary stories that still have some training wheels? Step into the dark spaces of In a Dark, Dark Room, a collection of seven scary stories that are perfect for budding readers. This book includes that story – you know, that story – with the girl who always wore a ribbon around her neck.


Eerie ElementaryThey say that horror is a safe way to explore real fears, and what better way to channel the anxieties of school than by reading a series of books where the school itself is out to get its students? Sam Graves and his friends take on science fairs, recess, substitute teachers, and maybe some mad scientists in their efforts to keep themselves and their fellow students safe in this series just for early chapter book readers.

The Jumbies. In a spine-tingling tale that is rooted in Caribbean folklore, 11-year-old Corinne must call on her courage and an ancient magic to stop an evil spirit and save her island home. Look for the second and third books at the library too!

City of Ghosts. After surviving a near-fatal drowning that gives her the ability to enter the spirit world, Cassidy, the daughter of television ghost-hunters, visits Edinburgh where the encounters with the city’s old ghosts reveals the dangers that come with her powers.

The Girl in the Locked Room. Mary Downing Hahn is a veteran author of ghost stories for elementary school kids, and her latest book is sure to scratch that phantom itch. Told in two voices, Jules, whose father is restoring an abandoned house, and a girl who lived there a century before begin to communicate and slowly, the girl’s tragic story is revealed.

The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street. When lights start flickering and temperatures suddenly drop, twelve-year-old Tessa Woodward, sensing her new house may be haunted, recruits some new friends to help her unravel the mystery of who or what is trying to communicate with her and why.

Scary Stories for Young Foxes. When Mia and Uly are separated from their litters, they discover a dangerous world full of monsters. In order to find a den to call home, they must venture through field and forest, facing unspeakable things that dwell in the darkness: a zombie who hungers for their flesh, a witch who tries to steal their skins, a ghost who hunts them through the snow . . . and other things too scary to mention.

Ghosts. Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake — and her own.

Small Spaces. After eleven-year-old Ollie’s school bus mysteriously breaks down on a field trip, she has to take a trip through scary woods, and must use all of her wits to survive. She must stick to small spaces.

The Song from Somewhere ElseFrank thought her summer couldn’t get any worse–until big, weird, smelly Nick Underbridge rescues her from a bully, and she winds up at his house. Frank quickly realizes there’s more to Nick than meets the eye. When she’s at his house, she hears the strangest, most beautiful music, music which leads her to a mysterious, hidden door. Beyond the door are amazing creatures that she never even dreamed could be real. For the first time in forever, Frank feels happy . . . and she and Nick start to become friends. But Nick’s incredible secrets are also accompanied by great danger. Frank must figure out how to help her new friend, the same way that he has helped her.

Become a “Fake News” Detective – how to verify what you see online before you share it

In 2019, Pew Research found that 55% of American adults said they get their news from social media either “often” or “sometimes” .  And while some news on social media may come from reliable sources, plenty more “news” may be from articles reposted or retweeted by friends.  So, as you’re scrolling through your newsfeed and seeing articles (or comments on articles) that provoke a reaction in you, how do you know what you’re seeing is legitimate?

We are living in an age of misinformation – just about anyone can become a “publisher” these days with little to no oversight or verification. And many of these publishers aren’t even people! Recently,  researchers at Carnegie Melon University studied more than 200 million tweets about the novel coronavirus. Of the top 50 most influential retweeters, 82% of them were bots! What were they retweeting? Dozens of inaccurate stories about things like bogus conspiracy theories and phony cures.

How do we know what’s real and what isn’t nowadays? It takes some digging. And it’s worth doing a little fact-checking of your own before hitting the “share” button. We should also understand that there are different types of unreliable information out there. For instance there’s a difference between deliberately misleading information (propaganda and libel) and unintentional misinformation (mistakes). But we don’t want to spread either kind, so let’s look at how to separate the fact from fiction.

The C.R.A.P. Test, developed by Dominican University Librarian Molly Beestrum, is a helpful tool to use when trying to decide if something is a credible, valid source. When you come across questionable information, run it through these four categories:

Current

  • How current is the information?
  • How recently was it was posted? Has it been updated?

Reliable

  • How reliable is the information?
  • Does the author provide references or sources?
  • What proof do you have that the information is reliable?

Authority

  • Who is the creator or author of the information? What are his or her credentials?
  • Who is the publisher or sponsor of the information? Is this a reputable information source?

Purpose/Point ofView

  • What is the purpose of this information? Is it intended to inform, entertain, or persuade?
  • Does the information sound like fact or opinion? Is it biased?
  • Is the creator or author trying to sell you something?

Something else to think about is the emotional response an article or post evokes in you. Content creators are all about the emotional response, and “fake news” stories often use emotionally driven content to push their agenda and compel people to share it. The next time you are outraged or amazed by a story, look a little deeper. Fact checking sites like Snopes.com and  FactCheck.org, can help you determine if what you’ve seen is legitimate or not.

Here’s a helpful checklist by ProQuest (a global information-content and technology company that provides applications and products for libraries),  which contains a lot of useful tips for vetting online content:

Want to go deeper into the subject of information literacy and “fake news”? Here are a few books to get you started:

Fake news, Propaganda, and Plain Old Lies : how to find trustworthy information in the digital age by Donald A. Barclay

Merchants of Truth : the business of news and the fight for facts by Jill Abramson

The Smear : how shady political operatives and fake news control what you see, what you think, and how you vote by Sharyl Attkisson

21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari

What’s Fake News?  by Joyce Jeffries

 

 

 

Additional sources::

Facing the Music with Bill and Ted

I don’t know when I first saw Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but I know it was likely on HBO. Dumb, mindless comedies were in, harmless “Teen” fluff that didn’t pay much attention to reality. It had George Carlin, and Carlin was cool.

I don’t know if it was the painful but common ignorance of misprounouncing “So-crates” or the stoner-intoned dialogue, but I did find it cute, amusing, it had an actual story line, and it introduced me to that actor with the weird name. This was an era when Saturday Night Live was high on the charts, and comedy was in.

A generation later, my kids loved the film and its sequel, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, as well.

Fast forward 30 years later – Keanu Reeves is a household name that we can all pronounce. Alex Winter also appeared in The Lost Boys, one of the better vampire movies ever made, but has had a steady career as a director of movies, television, and music videos. Together, along with many of the original cast, they come back to the big (well, Covid-big) screen in Bill and Ted Face the Music. Bill and Ted are middle-aged, still stuck trying to make the Wyld Stallyns band work, when the future calls them into service to save the world with their music.

Can 1989 comedy work in 2020, or is this just a nostalgic film for middle-aged fans? It’s hard to say. After knocking back movies like The Matrix and John Wick, seeing Reeves break the dead-pan assassin mold and fall back into comedy was strange – and fun. Both actors pick up as if they’d never stopped. Conceived and written by the original creator, the script was predictable (did you expect otherwise?) but true to the characters. It has the same feel, the same style, the same details as the originals, which isn’t the easiest thing to do – too many movies bomb on the third try (Beverly Hills Cop 3, Lethal Weapon 3, Die Hard 3, X-Men 3, Superman 3, The Godfather 3, Divergent 3, etc). George Carlin has unfortunately passed on, with his character Rufus seen in tribute as a hologram, so they brought in a new character, Rufus’s daughter Kelly – played by Kristen Schaal. Viewers are introduced to Thea and Billie, Bill and Ted’s 20-something daughters, characters who do a marvelous job of both imitating their fathers and yet modernizing them for a new generation to identify with. While it makes Bill and Ted seem old and outdated, it’s actually a touching way of passing the torch.

If you loved the originals, if you like mindless fairly clean comedy (PG-13 for language), if you like movies you don’t have to think about that have happy endings, then the movie is well-worth seeing. Is it Oscar material? Of course not. But it is faithful fun.

If you like Bill and Ted, try these other similar movies you might have missed!

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library (virtually) in October

Welcome to fall!  In October we’re meditating, gaming, cooking, and getting in the Halloween spirit as we continue our virtual programming for all ages. There are even some live animals to see this month! Check our Event Calendar to see more and register for our programs.

Book Buzz Teen Book Club – pick up Alice by Heart this month!

Our new teen book club meets next month, and for our first book we’ll be talking about Alice by Heart by Steven Sater. Teens can pick up a copy at the Children’s Desk, or by calling the Children’s Desk (at 272-2245 x 33003) to schedule a Grab n Go pickup. Don’t forget to register to join the book club on Zoom November 18!

Support Through Meditation – Weekly Zoom Event

Tuesdays, 2:00 – 3:00pm

This introductory meditation class is geared towards helping you through these anxious and challenging times. You will learn various meditation techniques that you will practice in session and guidance to perform meditation on your own. Presenter Tia Mandrozos will explain the purpose of meditation and interact with the participants to provide the help needed and to address specific concerns. Please register via the Event Calendar for each session you wish to attend.

Kids Cook Dinner

Wednesdays, 4:00 – 5:00pm

Spend some quality time with your children in the kitchen while encouraging them to try new foods! An instructor from Food Explorers will show kids 7-14 how to prepare a delicious meal for the whole family!  Registration is required, and the  ingredients needed for each program can be found on the Event Calendar listing.

Spirits of the World

Wednesday, October 7, 2020, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Dustin Pari from SyFy’s Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International shares some of his favorite stories from investigations in Irish castles, French chateaus, Australian prisons, and more! Grab your passport and prepare for a fun and frightening journey! Registration is required, registered participants will receive a link on Oct. 7 to join the Zoom virtual program.

Christine’s Critters

Thursday, October 8, 2020, 4:00 – 4:45pm

Learn about birds of prey and reptiles with a virtual visit from live animal ambassadors! All ages are welcome to attend. Please register in advance to receive a link to the Zoom meeting prior to the event.

Before Salem: Witch Hunting in CT

Thursday, October 8, 2020, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Decades before the Salem Witch trials, 11 people were hanged as witches in the Connecticut River Valley. Dr. Richard Ross will present his acclaimed book and discuss new information his research has uncovered regarding Connecticut’s witch hunting history. Please register in advance to receive a link to the Zoom meeting prior to the event.

Switch it up at CPL! Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

2:00 – 3:00pm:

  • Tuesday, October 13, 2020
  • Tuesday, October 20, 2020
  • Thursday, October 29, 2020

Social distancing got you down? Got a Nintendo Switch? Join us at CPL’s Smash Ultimate arena! Play against your friends and folks from all across Cheshire, all skill levels welcome! No registration required, instructions on our Event Calendar for how to join. For teens in grades 6-12.  A Nintendo Online Account required to connect with others and play online.

Baby Playgroup on Zoom

Tuesdays, October 20 – November 17, 2020, 10:00 – 10:30am

For babies ages 0-12 months and their caregivers,  this program provides an opportunity to strengthen your connection with your child and enriches your baby’s cognitive development through joyful movement and social experiences.  We will meets five times,  you only need to register once to attend all five classes. Registered participants will receive a Zoom link on the morning of each program.

Preschool Storytime

Wednesdays, October 21 & 28, 2020, 10:00 – 10:30am

A virtual storytime for preschoolers to learn through talking, singing, reading, writing,and playing! Best for children ages 3-5, younger and older siblings are also welcome. This program meets four times: October 21 & 28 and November 4 & 18, (there will be no storytime on November 11). Register once to attend all four sessions. Registered participants will receive a Zoom link on the morning of each program.

Spooktacular Storytelling (dramatic reading)

Thursday, October 22, 2020, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Join us for master storyteller Christian Hege as he delights us with a Spooktacular storytelling.  Hear Christian tell the tales of:

  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow based on the story by Washington Irving
  • Josh: a Werewolf Story (original story)
  • The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe

Registration in advance is required to receive a link to the Zoom meeting prior to the event. Please note this program is intended for adults. 

Virtual Books Over Coffee: The Lions of Fifth Avenue

Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 12:00 – 1:30pm

Want to engage in great discussions about books? Meet new people? Join us for an adult monthly book club program called Books Over Coffee. We will meet over Zoom for our Oct. meeting. This month’s book is The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis. Please register in advance, registered participants will receive a Zoom meeting link on the day of the program.

Witches in CT

Thursday, October 29, 2020, 6:30 – 7:45pm

The trials and executions of witches in Connecticut predated the more famous Salem witch panic by over 40 years. Hear the stories of some of the women and men accused, tried, and executed as witches and learn how Connecticut successfully controlled the spread of witch accusations long before Salem erupted in panic and violence. Please register in advance to receive a link to the Zoom meeting prior to the event.

Outside Book Groups

Art Book Discussion: The Lost Painting

Friday, October 16, 2020, 11:00am – 12:30pm

Do you love to read? And love art? Let’s discuss! Join us for a monthly book club discussion on the third Friday of each month from 11am to 12:30pm in a Zoom Virtual meeting.  This month’s discussion is on The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr. Please register for this program online, registered participants will receive a Zoom link on the day of the program.

Murder by the Book Mystery Book Club: The Widows of Malabar Hill

Thursday, October 22, 2020, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Do you like to read and talk about mysteries? Then join us for monthly book discussions, fresh perspectives, new authors and a friendly atmosphere!  We are meeting virtually via Zoom. This month’s discussion is on The Widows of Malabar Hill: A Perveen Mistry Novel (Book 1) by Sujata Massey. Please register for this program online, registered participants will receive a Zoom link on the day of the program.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with books for all ages

Each year, Americans observe Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of Americans  whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a month long period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.

Check out these books from Cheshire Library that celebrate Hispanic culture and authors!

For  Adults:

For Teens:

For Kids: