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Happy 100th Birthday, Jean Fritz!

Happy 100th Birthday, Jean Fritz!


Jaen Fritz PhotoBorn on November 16, 1915, Jean Fritz has written over 30 books for children since her first book, Bunny Hopwell’s First Spring was published in 1954.  Fritz is probably best known for her Newbery Honor book “Homesick” and for many, many entertaining biographies.

History isn’t boring, once you get to know the people,” says children’s author Jean Fritz. “In my writing, I give people their place.” From National Endowment for the Humanities: Jean Fritz

I’ll tell kids something funny, and they’ll all look at their teacher, to see if it’s OK to laugh. You can almost hear them thinking, `This is history. Is it supposed to be funny?” From: Christian Science Monitor: Author Jean Fritz Shares History’s Facts – and Funny Moments

One of the most interesting things I read about her is this:

In her books about real people of the past, Jean Fritz never makes up dialogue. Instead, she draws on the real letters, diaries, and journals of those people, using only words that they actually wrote or spoke. This practice can make writing scenes and conversations difficult, but Fritz feels it keeps her writing true to the people involved.” From Meet the Author Jean Fritz

Prize winning children’s author Jean Fritz takes takes the viewer along for a research trip at the Hasting’s Public Library:

What an interesting lady! Want to know more?:




homesick You Want Women to Vote Lizzie Stanton Alexander Hamilton the Outsider The Lost Colony of Roanoke
Whos Saying What in Jamestown Thomas Savage

Streaming Video:

Watch Jean Fritz’s books:

Whos That Stepping on Plymouth Rock Will You Sign Here John Hancock

Recommended by: Janet Spaulding, Selection Services

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Stubby the War Dog

Stubby the War Dog

Mr. Ferris and his Wheel

American soldier J. Robert Conroy befriended a stray dog with a stumpy tail while training to fight overseas in WWI. They bonded so closely that Conroy smuggled him to Europe, where Stubby accompanied Conroy’s regiment on the Western Front, lending both his superior olfactory senses and amiable temperament to the war effort.

Conroy kept a scrapbook for Stubby. This book is FULL of great photos from it as well as remembrances from the people who were Stubby’s friends. Dog is definitely man’s best friend. Loyal with a capital “L”.


Military Animals:

Animals at War Navy Seal Dogs Sea Lions in the Navy Combat Wounded Dogs
Rags Hero Dog of World War I Soldiers Dogs Stubby the Dog Soldier Military Dolphins
War Dogs Dogs on Duty Nubs

Military Animal Stories:

Caesar the War Dog Operation Blue Dragon Duke Dog Tags Prisoner of War Dog Tags Semper Fido
Dog Tags Strays Dogs of War Soldier Dog The Donkey of Gallipoli
Darling Mercy Dog of World War I Fly Cher Ami Fly Bunny the Brave War Horse

World War I:

50 Things World War I Voices of World War I Women Heroes of World War I The Sinking of the Lusitania
Harlem Hellfighters Treaties Trenches Mud and Blood Archie's War Truce the Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting
Shooting at the Stars The War to End All Wars Wordl War I For Kids War Game
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Staff Pick: Wonder

Staff Pick: Wonder


“August Pullman, 10 year old boy with a genetic facial deformity, starts school for the first time in his life at Beecher Prep Middle School.   Auggie must learn to cope with how others see him, even though he feels like an ordinary boy.  He is a bright, witty child, and after he has a chance to be himself; others eventually grow to love him.  Auggie and his new friends discover that there will always be bad people in the world, but hopefully, the good will always outweigh the bad.  This is a wonderful read for everyone!

Recommeneded by: Kimberly Anderson, West Indianapolis Branch Library

Auggie is ten and has never been to school. His Mom teaches him at home. For fifth grade Auggie’s Mom and Dad decide it would be a good idea for him to try school.  He’s never been to school AT ALL so he’s going to start in Middle School. What do you think? Would you want to do that?

Auggie isn’t sure what he thinks about school because he’s never been there. He knows he wants one thing though, friends…and school is where the other kids are. Auggie just wants to be a regular kid.

I think the only person in the world who realizes how ordinary I am is me.

My name is August, by the way. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse. (page 1)

The reason Auggie hasn’t been to school yet is because he has had 27 surgeries since he was born. He has an extreme facial abnormality. He did survive, and now he’s strong enough to not just survive; he’s strong enough to live, to grow, to learn and to go to school. But he still doesn’t look like other kids. In Middle School, kids worry if their shoes aren’t like the other kids’ shoes. Auggie’s got something different that is a lot different, and he can’t do a thing to change it.

Wonder is a “so truthful it hurts” story about an ordinary kid in an ordinary family in an ordinary school…living an extraordinary life. Life can be difficult and confusing and messy and make you cry, even while it is being wonderful. I loved getting to know Auggie and his family, especially his sister Via. I really liked that the point of view of the chapters change so that you hear from Auggie, as well as his sister and some of the kids at his new school. This is important because this isn’t just Auggie’s story, it is their story too. It takes them all to get the story right. Author: R.J. Palacio

Don’t miss these two GREAT articles about Wonder:

  • Slate: Wonder is the Best Kids’ Book of the Year. Slate talks to R.J. Palacio about bullying and empathy. (Empathy is when you are aware of and sensitive to the feelings of other people.) It is a great article for kids and parents both.
  • Happy Birthday Auggie Blog Post from the author of Wonder, R.J. Palacio
  • Every Kid Needs a Hero Blog Post by Peter’s Mother. Peter has a craniofacial syndrome like Auggie’s. Here is a message for readers of Wonder from Peter himself:

If you liked reading Auggie’s story and understand what it feels like to want to be just another kid in the crowd but feel stuck being known for something about yourself you didn’t choose and can’t change, try one of these. And if you identify more with Via, Auggie’s sister, try Rules.
Out of My Mind Anything But Typical Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree Rules
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
TCM Turtles
TCM Logo 150The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Secrets of the Sewer
Sept. 26, 2015–April 10, 2016
A turtle-y awesome exhibit designed for fun-lovers of all ages!  Details

Websites & Activities:

How to Draw TMNT Learn to Draw the Best of Nickelodeon TMNT Coloring TMNT Maze


TMNT Theme Song

Freegal Download: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Theme Song How to Download from Freegal Using Your Library CardFreegal Notes 150


The Big Book of Ninja Turtles jP Picture Books:

Pizza Party jZ Early Readers:

TMNT jE & j Chapter Books:

TMNJ New Animated Adventures 1 Series: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles New Animated Adventures Graphic Novels

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Adventures Vol 1 Series: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures Graphic Novels

Never Say Xever From the Hit TV Series Graphic Novels

Classics Classics:

Crimefighter Collection More eBooks:

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