Category Archives: Kid Life

Staff Pick: Roller Girl

Staff Pick: Roller Girl

Roller Girl

A graphic novel adventure about a girl who discovers roller derby right as she and her best friend are growing apart.

Astrid and Nicole always do everything together, including going on sometimes odd outings with Astrid’s mother. One evening, they go to a roller derby bout, and Astrid is instantly fascinated with the idea of going to roller derby camp that summer. Nicole, however, would rather go to ballet camp, and is already making friends with the same interest. When Nicole seems to betray her, the whole world spins out of control.

Astrid has to deal with roller derby camp without Nicole, the looming start of middle school at the end of the summer, and learning how to get along with a new group of friends. She turns to her idol, Rainbow Bite, for advice. Can Astrid make the transition from “Rose Dud” to Roller Girl, and keep her new friends, while still hanging on to Nicole?

Recommended by: Beth Pintal – Nora Branch

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Schooled

Schooled

SchooledCapricorn (Cap) Anderson has never, ever watched television.  He knows what a telephone is, but he doesn’t have one at home and has only talked on one a couple times.  He has never been in school.  Cap has spent his entire life on a farm commune with his grandma, and no one else.  When Cap’s grandma ends up in the hospital, he has no choice but to enroll in the local public middle school.

The only person happy to see Cap’s long hair, beads & sandals made out of corn husks is Hugh, the school oddball, who is more than happy to have Cap take his place as the official “wedgie receiver”.  Cap’s odd ways and disinterest in conforming catch the attention of the school bully, or “wedgie giver,” who chooses Cap as the year’s eighth grade president, an honor bestowed on the kid most likely to be made fun of all year.  Cap’s reaction to the bully’s pranks, and to the job of class president, takes everyone by surprise, especially the bully himself.  Long hair and beads never looked so good. Author: Gordon Korman

Schooled Web Comic Used With Permission:

schooled-web-comic

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Dear Dumb Diary: Me! (Just Like You, Only Better)

Dear Dumb Diary: Me! (Just Like You, Only Better)

Me! Just Like You Only Better

Jamie is still sure that she’s got life figured out – but if she does, how does she get herself mixed up in such crazy situations? This time it’s her birthday and she’s determined that there will NOT be a repeat of last year when her parents gave her a pogo stick instead of the cute puppy she wanted. That pogo stick DID turn into a puppy…that she describes as a “lumpy, toadish bucket of unpleasantness we know as Stink.” Long story. (In fact, it’s one of Jamie’s other adventures – see list below!) Anyway, Jamie has an all-time favorite band and doesn’t like people copying this like…so she pretends to like a different band to throw them off…which turns into a big Jamie-style mess at her birthday party. More fun from that crazy Jamie and her dumb diary. Author: Jim Benton

Dear Dumb Diary Series:

#1 Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
#2 My Pants are Haunted (When Bad Clothes Happen to Good People)
#3 Am I the Princess or the Frog
#4 Never Do Anything, Ever
#5 Can Adults Become Human?
#6 The Problem with Here is That it’s Where I’m From
#7 Never Underestimate Your Dumbness
#8 It’s Not My Fault I Know Everything
#9 That’s What Friends Aren’t For
#10 The Worst Things in Life are Also Free
#11: Okay, So Maybe I Do Have Superpowers
#12: Me! (Just Like You, Only Better)

Dear Dumb Diary Year Two Series:

#1 School Hasn’t This Gone on Long Enough?
#2 The Super Nice are Super Annoying
#3 Nobody’s Perfect I’m as Close as it Gets
#4 What I Don’t Know Might Hurt Me
#5 You Can Bet on That
#6 Live Each Day to the Dumbest

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March: Indiana Disability Awareness Month

March: Indiana Disability Awareness Month

March is Indiana Disability Awareness Month organized by the Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities. The Indiana Disability Awareness website has a lot of information including a free awareness kit and a recommended reading list for children.

Listed below are some selections from your own IndyPL Children’s Librarians of their favorite titles that feature characters with disabilities.

Websites

Wonder Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.Wonder by RJ Palacio~Barb Obergfell, Outreach Services
Cool Midnight Nine-year-old Lila, born with xeroderma pigmentosum, a skin disease that make her sensitive to sunlight, makes secret plans to feel the sun’s rays on her tenth birthday. And so, she plays at night with her friends – who might or might not be real.Cool Moonlight by Angela JohnsonBarb Obergfell, Outreach Services
Spider Sparrow Spider, a baby abandoned on an English farm, grows up to be mentally slower than other children but manifests a remarkable talent for communicating with animals as he comes of age during World War II, a slower child whose quiet, calm, kind nature is a gift to everyone.Spider Sparrow by Dick King-Smith~Barb Obergfell, Outreach Services
Wonderstruck Wonderful! Having lost his mother and his hearing in a short time, twelve-year-old Ben leaves his Minnesota home in 1977 to seek the father he never knew in New York City, and meets there Rose, who is also longing for something missing from her life. Ben’s story is told in words; Rose’s in pictures.Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick~Erin Moehring, Southport Branch Library and Janet Spaulding, Selection Services
A Dog Called Homeless Fifth-grader Cally Louise Fisher stops talking, partly because her father and brother never speak of her mother who died a year earlier, but visions of her mother, friendships with a homeless man and a disabled boy, and a huge dog ensure that she still communicates.A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean~Janet Spaulding, Selection Services
For the older boys and girls I highly recommend Sharon Draper’s Out Of My Mind( jFIC). It’s also a Young Hoosier Book – very well written and thought provoking. It’s about a young girl who’s body is deformed (wheelchair bound), she can’t speak and her body spasms uncontrollably at the most inopportune times. She is very bright and knows the answers to the questions teachers ask, but has no way to express her knowledge. Everyone, except her family thinks she is retarded or dumb. How frustrating that must be. Finally with the help of a special computer she is able to communicate. I couldn’t wait to read what happened next!Out of My Mind by Sharon DraperConsidered by many to be mentally disabled, a brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2012-2013, 6-8 Nominee.~Linda Tegmeyer, Brightwood Branch Library
I recommend:The Kaleidoscope Kid by Elaine LarsonPresents a collection of poems pointing out the variety of intellectual strengths and personality traits possessed by children with Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism.~Joseph Fox, Wayne Branch Library
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Stories About Loss, Death & Grieving

Stories About Loss, Death & Grieving
After Eli After Eli – After the death of his older brother, Daniel Anderson became engrossed in recording details about dead people, how they died, and whether their deaths mattered but he is eventually drawn back into interaction with the living. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2014-2015, 6-8 Nominee. Print, eBook
Another Kind of Hurricane Another Kind of Hurricane – The world, itself, seems to bring together Henry, whose best friend died near their home in the mountains of Vermont, and Zavion, who lost his home in Hurricane Katrina, so that the boys can help each other heal. Print
Bridge to Terabithia Bridge to Terabithia – The life of a ten-year-old boy in rural Virginia expands when he becomes friends with a newcomer who subsequently meets an untimely death trying to reach their hideaway, Terabithia, during a storm. Newbery Medal winner, 1978 Print, eBook, eAudio
Charlotte's Web Charlotte’s Web – Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. It is the story of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter. A tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death. Print, eBook, eAudio
Confetti Girl Confetti Girl – After the death of her mother, Texas sixth-grader Lina’s grades and mood drop as she watches her father lose himself more and more in books, while her best friend uses Lina as an excuse to secretly meet her boyfriend. Print
Flip Flop Girl Flip Flop Girl – Uprooted following the death of their father, nine-year-old Vinnie and her five-year-old brother, Mason, cope in different ways–one in silence–but both with the help of Lupe, the flip-flop girl. Print
The Girl Who Threw Butterflies The Girl Who Threw Butterflies – Eighth-grader Molly’s ability to throw a knuckleball earns her a spot on the baseball team, which not only helps her feel connected to her recently deceased father, who loved baseball, it helps in other aspects of her life, as well. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2011-2012, 6-8 Nominee. PrinteBook
The Last Invisible Boy The Last Invisible Boy – In the wake of his father’s sudden death, twelve-year-old Finn feels he is becoming invisible as his hair and skin become whiter by the day, and so he writes and illustrates a book to try to understand what is happening and to hold on to himself and his father. Print
Milo Milo, Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze – In love with the girl he sneezed on the first day of school and best pals with Marshall, the “One Eyed Jack” of friends, seventh-grader Milo Cruikshank misses his mother whose death has changed everything at home. Print
Missing May Missing May – Missing her recently deceased second mother, May, Summer finds comfort and guidance with Cletus Underwood, a classmate who believes that he has come back from the dead, and together they conduct a seance to contact May. Newbery Medal winner, 1993 Print, eBook, eAudio
Mockingbird Mockingbird – Ten-year-old Caitlin, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, struggles to understand emotions, show empathy, and make friends at school, while at home she seeks closure by working on a project with her father. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2013-2014, 4-6 Nominee, A Junior Library Guild selection Print, eBook
The Thing About Jellyfish The Thing About Jellyfish – Twelve-year-old Suzy Swanson wades through her intense grief over the loss of her best friend by investigating the rare jellyfish she is convinced was responsible for her friend’s death. Print, eBook
Umbrella Summer Umbrella Summer – After her brother Jared dies, ten-year-old Annie worries about the hidden dangers of everything, from bug bites to bicycle riding, until she is befriended by a new neighbor who is grieving her own loss. Print, eBook
Waiting for Unicorns Waiting for Unicorns – After her mother dies, twelve-year-old Talia McQuinn goes to the Arctic with her father, a whale researcher. Over the course of one summer, and through several unlikely friendships, Talia learns that stories have the power to connect us, to provide hope, and to pull us out of the darkness. Print
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