Collection Spotlight: Lit Kits

When you were growing up was there a subject that you were obsessed with? Perhaps you are a parent or caregiver and a little one in your life has a similar obsession. Maybe you want to teach your little ones about your favorite subject, or you are a teacher and want to introduce a subject or idea. We have a simple answer for all of this, we call them Lit Kits.

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A Lit Kit is a box that includes a DVD, CD, book of related activities, picture books, and board books on a given topic. The collection of materials circulate in a blue storage box  for the standard 28 day period, the same check out time as out regular books, CD’s, and audiobooks. They are the perfect solution for entertaining and teaching our youngsters. We currently have 40 Lit Kits in our collection, with plans for adding more. You can place holds on the kits if the subject you are looking for is checked out. Our Lit Kits are located on the bottom shelf of the book case that houses our Parenting collection. 20161104_103952Our Lit Kits include: Firefighters, Babies, Birds, Apples, Winter, Shoes, Spring, Food, Sleeping, Chickens,FishFish #2, Transportation, Wheels, Rain, Friends, Monsters, Frogs, Summer, Colors, Dinosaurs, Animals, Families, Nursery Rhymes, Circus, Clothing, Pizza, Teeth, Shapes, Monkeys, Cats, Fall/Autumn, Bears, Dogs, Princesses, Bugs, Farms, Sports, Beach, and All About Me.

We are planning on building more kits, so if you have a suggestion for a subject please share it here.

Fictional Family Troubles For Young Readers

Oftentimes reading about another person in a similar (or worse) situation than your own helps a reader of any age feel less alone and better about their personal situation.  It can also help them process what is happen and deal with their own emotions. While nothing helps more than a solid support system or counseling, reading a book that we can relate to can also do wonders. This is true for the children and teens in our lives, not just for adult readers.

If familythere is something serious going on in the home life of a young child in your life, here are some books they might relate to that could help them know they are not alone. They can also see someone else come to terms with and learn to cope with the same issues with which they are currently dealing. Most of these novels deal with the characters coming to terms with family issues such as separation or divorce, but some also include other family changes or conflicts.

family1Shelved in Childrens:
Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
I, Lorelei by Yeardley Smith
Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
Sarah Simpson’s Rules for Living by Rebecca Rupp
The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner
Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes
family2What Would Joey Do? by Jack Gantos
How Tía Lola Learned to Teach by Julia Alvarez
Your Friend in Fashion, Abby Shapiro by Amy Axelrod
The Accidental Adventures of India McAllister by Charlotte Agell

Shelved in Young Adult:
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
family3Unbecoming by Jenny Downham
Dark Water by Laura McNeal
Far from Fair by Elana K. Arnold
Black, White, Other by Joan Steinau Lester
The Secret Diary of Ashley Juergens by Ashley Juergens
Pearl by Deirdre Riordan Hall
Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa
family4Zipped by Laura and Tom McNeal
The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten

As always, these are just some suggested titles, there was no way to include all the wonderful books out there that might help.  If you have a favorite book that you would suggest on this topic please share it in the comments.

What Do Your Kids Want To Be?

Ask any young child what they want to be and you could get a variety of answers. Some want to be doctors or nurses, others want to be firefighters or police officers. Some answer with more entertaining answers like ‘rich’ or ‘a giraffe’. (Yes, I have heard that answer.)

CAREERMost kids have big dreams. It is important that we encourage them to explore the wide variety of options available. A great way to foster those dreams, and how important school and responsibility are to achieve them, is to help them learn about the actual careers. My daughter is set on becoming a wild animal veterinarian, and my son is determined to either hunt monsters or write books and graphic novels. In both cases I get to focus that interest in reading certain books, and the importance of certain subjects and willingness to dive in to the subjects that interest them most. I also get to teach them about related careers, and what paths their interests might take them.

I always wanted to be an astronaut or archaeologist, but I learned early on that I was much better with words and thinking about the big things rather than doing the math, engineering, and physical labor necessary for either. It was not long before I decided that books and the written word was a much better focus for my energieCAREER2s and aptitudes.

Here are some great resources for researching different careers, and the education paths and experience that can help your kids test if they are really interested and if the interest will last. These resources can also be used to encourage studying particular subjects or give some career ideas for those that enjoy one subject over others.

Dinosaur Scientist: Careers Digging up the Past by Thom Holmes
Unusual and Awesome Jobs Using Technology: Roller Coaster Designer, Space Robotics Engineer, and Moreby Linda LeBoutillier
Talking with Adventurers: Conversations with Christina M. Allen, Robert Ballard, Michael L. Blakey, Ann Bowles, David Doubilet, Jane Goodall, Dereck & Beverly Joubert, Michael Novacek, Johan Reinhard, Rick C. West and Juris Zarins compiled and edited by Pam Cummings and Linda Cummings
Have you Seen this Face?: the Work of Forensic Artists by Danielle Denega
Unusual and Awesome Jobs Using Science: Food Taster, Human Lie Detector, and More by Jennifer Wendinger
Dusted and Busted!: the Science of Fingerprinting by D.B. Beres
Unusual and Awesome Jobs in Sports: Pro Team Mascot, Pit Crew Member, and Moreby Jeremy Johnson
Scuba Divers: Life Under Water by John Giacobello
Unusual and Awesome Jobs in Math: Stunt Coordinator, Cryptologist, and More by Lisa M. Bolt Simons

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CAREER10For the youngest readers I would recommend the easy nonfiction series’ by Patricia Hubbell or Heather Adamson. Here are some of those titles; Police: Hurrying! Helping! Saving!, Teacher!: Sharing, Helping, Caring, Firefighters!: Speeding! Spraying! Saving!, Check it Out!: Reading, Finding, HelpingA Day in the Life of a Police Officer, A Day in the Life of a Firefighter, A Day in the Life of a Construction Worker.

CAREER12There are even more resources for the older readers and young adults, including; Cool Careers Without College for Animal Lovers by Chris Hayhurst, Exploring Careers: a Young Person’s Guide to 1,000 Jobs from the editors at JIST, The Teen Vogue Handbook: an Insider’s Guide to Careers in Fashion, Careers for Environmental Types & Others Who Respect the Earth by Michael Fasulo and Jane Kinney, College Majors and Careers: a Resource Guide for Effective Life Planning by Paul Phifer, and Great Careers in 2 Years: the Associate Degree Option: High-Skill and High-Wage Jobs Available Through Two-Year Programs by Paul Phifer.