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Helping Children Cope with Tragic Events

"We're going over in a safe area," she told the 5-year-olds. Then, she opened a book and started to read."  ~Kindergarten Teacher, Sandy Hook Elementary School

This is what we have to offer you today in the aftermath of the inexplicable. Come. Open a book. Start to read. Hold them close and revisit old friends together; Curious George, The Cat in the Hat, Arthur, The Little Engine That Could.

Or stay at home and do the same. Find the books in the bookcase with the dog-eared pages and the tell-tale bite marks on the spine; the ones you can probably recite without looking at the pages. Choose the one with the coffee ring on the cover for having been on the bedside table every night.

Favorite stories are steadfast old friends to count on in times of trouble.

It is clear from the resources we have gathered below that one of the best things we can all do is simply reassure children that many people - their family, their teachers, their neighbors, the people at day care or church or the library love and care about them and are looking out for their safety.

Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. "Pooh?" he whispered. 
"Yes, Piglet?" 
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's hand. "I just wanted to be sure of you.” ~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Professional Advice about Helping Children Cope with Violence and Tragic Events:Mr Rogers Comfort 200

Dad and Children Reading Photo While favorite stories are comforting and familiar, you may find that it would be helpful to read a book together that helps your child understand feeling afraid or anxious; or answers questions he or she might have about death. Below are several children's books that address separation anxiety, fear and grief. These are just a small sampling to show you the kinds of books that are available. Also listed are some parenting books about helping a child cope with anxiety. Click on any book jacket to go directly to the online catalog to make a request with your IndyPL Library Card, or visit any of our branch locations. IndyPL librarians would be happy to help you find books like these. NOTE: The first two titles, Owl Babies and The Kissing Hand, you can watch right now online - no waiting. Both are about learning to cope with separation anxiety.

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Watch Owl Babies - Three baby owls panic when they awaken one night and find their mother gone, worrying about what has happened to her and becoming frightened by all the scary things that surround them in the dark.

Watch The Kissing Hand - When Chester the raccoon is reluctant to go to kindergarten for the first time, his mother teaches him a secret way to carry her love with him.

A Terrible Thing Happened A Terrible Thing Happened - After Sherman sees something terrible happen, he becomes anxious and then angry, but when a counselor helps him talk about these emotions he feels better. Jenny is Scared Jenny is Scared - When Jenny and her brother are frightened by events in the world, their parents help them talk about their fears and feel better.
On That Day: a Book of Hope for Children On That Day: a Book of Hope for Children - This book tells children that although terrible things happen, there is still hope that the world can be a better place. Tough Boris Tough Boris - Although he is a very tough pirate, Boris von der Borch cries when his parrot dies.
Love Waves Love Waves - While they are at work a mother and father send powerful "love waves" to their child at home, offering reassurance and comfort in their absence. The Kiss Box The Kiss Box - As they prepare for a short separation, Mama Bear and Little Bear find a way to reassure each other while they are apart.
Mommy in My Pocket Mommy in My Pocket - A little girl gets anxious about separation from her mommy when she goes to school. When dinosaurs die : a guide to understanding death When Dinosaurs Die - Explains in simple language the feelings people may have regarding the death of a loved one and the ways to honor the memory of someone who has died.
Freeing your child from anxiety [CD] Freeing Your Child From Anxiety - Written by an expert in the field of childhood anxiety disorders, this indispensable guide is for parents looking for safe, proven methods for reducing childhood anxiety. Dr. Chansky shows them how to teach their child to successfully deal with stress and face the challenges and uncertainties of life. This resource is a CD but is also available as a Downloadable eBook Growing up brave : expert strategies for helping your child overcome fear, stress, and anxiety Growing Up Brave - The author, a childhood anxiety expert, helps parents identify and understand anxiety in their children, outlines effective and convenient parenting techniques for reducing anxiety, and shows parents how to promote bravery for long-term confidence.
Tear soup: a recipe for healing after loss Tear Soup - A modern-day fable, told in a richly illustrated children's book format, about a woman who has suffered a terrible loss. Grandy has just suffered a big loss in her life, so she is cooking up a batch of "tear soup," in which the ingredients are parts of the grieving process, including memories, misgivings, feelings, and tears. Growing up brave : expert strategies for helping your child overcome fear, stress, and anxiety Love, Hugs & Healing - Helps children identify feelings that overwhelm them with anxiety and despair. Explains that sometimes bad things happen and good people are hurt. Children feel fear, sadness, and anger. The book teaches that there are ways of dealing with these emotions and helps children reaffirm fundamental truths about the world.
Healing days : a guide for kids who have experienced trauma Healing Days - A guide for kids who have experienced trauma. Snowflakes Fall Snowflakes Fall - In this illustrated poem in honor of the victims of the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, falling snowflakes celebrate the uniqueness of life, its precious, simple moments, and the strength of memory.
The Hugging Tree The Hugging Tree - Told in rhyming text, a little tree clings tenaciously to a granite cliff, determined to live, tended by a little boy, and ultimately loved by the people in the community.

More FREE Online Reading:

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November – National Adoption Month

National Adoption Month 2015

Books for Kids About Adoption:

Bunny-Roo, I Love You A Place in My Heart Mei Mei’s Lucky Birthday Noodles You Were Always in my Heart
The Mulberry Bird I’m Adopted! Sweet Moon Baby Porcupette Finds a Family
Ten Days and Nine Nights Star of the Week God Found Us You The Best Family in the World
I Wished for you Made in China Every Year on Your Birthday The Red Thread
We Belong Together Forever Fingerprints My Mei Mie

Recommended by: Janet Spaulding, Selection Services

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Ruckle Street Pocket Park StoryWalk

Take a walk and read a story as you go! InfoZone, a branch of The Indianapolis Public Library, and the Mapleton-Fall Creek Development Corporation invite you to visit "StoryWalk in the Ruckle Street Pocket Park" - 3025 Ruckle Street. Stroll through the park and read a book displayed in mounted frames. Stories will be rotated on a monthly basis. Families are encouraged to post photos of their visit on social media:

  • Twitter - @infoZone_indypl
  • Facebook –

StoryWalk is made possible by Regions Bank through a gift to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.

Pocket Park Map



The Story for November, 2015:Fletcher and the Falling Leaves

Streg Nona: Her StoryFletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson - When his favorite tree begins to lose its leaves, Fletcher the fox worries that it is sick, but instead a magical sight is in store for him.

This month's story is brought to you by Greenwillow Books.

Official Website: Julia Rawlinson

The StoryWalk will close in December, 2015 - but reopen in April/May, 2016 depending on the weather.


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Read for the Record TOMORROW: Not Norman A Goldfish Story

JumpStart Read for the Record - On October 22, 2015, people across the country will unite to read the children’s book Not Norman A Goldfish Story, written by Kelly Bennett and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones, is a humorous tale about a child who finds a new friend in an unexpected place. With vivid illustrations and expressive language, the story is sure to engage children and adults of all ages. Help us break the world reading record (again!) for the most people reading the same book on the same day in support of Jumpstart’s mission: to work toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed.

Not Norman Jumpstart Read for the Record Logo

Read Right Now!

Read Not Norman A Goldfish Story - As a boy attempts to convince someone else to take his disappointing pet, he learns to loveNorman the goldfish himself.

More FREE Online Reading:

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Last Day to Exchange SRP Points for Prizes TODAY



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Last Day to Return Books for SRP is TODAY!



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April: Autism Awareness Month




Since We’re Friends David’s World Tomas Loves Every Turtle Counts My Autism Counts
Anthony Best I See Things Differently: A First Look at Autism Armond Goes to a Party Russel's World I Know Someone With Autism
My Brother Sammy is Special

Recommended by: Janet Spaulding, Selection Services

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Raising Lifelong Readers

Boys Read - Developing a new generation of literate men. It's not that boys can't read, it's that boys won't read. Their mission: transform boys into lifelong readers.

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Brightly: Helping Parents Grow Lifelong Readers - Connects kids with the right books at the right time to keep them engaged with reading as they grow.

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Digital Storytime - A site to help parents and educators find picture book apps for iPad. Detailed ratings and information are included for every app reviewed.

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FirstBook - First Book provides access to new books for children in need. Start reading and sharing beautiful stories with the children in your life with FirstBooks literacy partner WeGiveBooks at their free online library.

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Guys Read - Helping boys become self-motivated, lifelong readers - recommend books that guys have told them they like. "Our idea is to help guys become readers by helping them find texts they want to read."

In the Middle Books - Find series and online resources for kids ages 5-9, 7-10, and 8-12. Choose books by age or theme, get chapter excerpts, printable acitivity pages, videos, and more! From Simon & Schuster Publishing.

IndyPL Kids' Blog - Chapter to read next and homework help.

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IndyPL Read Right Now! eReading Room for Kids - Free online reading for kids, no waiting!

IndyPL Ready to Read Blog - Book suggestions and reading practice ideas for parents of children ages 0-5.

James Patterson's Read Kiddo Read - Helps parents and educators connect their children with the books that will turn them into lifelong readers.

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Jumpstart - Working toward the day every child in America enters Kindergarten prepared to succeed.

KidsReads - Ever craved a good book and just not been inspired by anything you see? Or wished you had a place to discover new books? KidsReads can help figure out what to read next.

Little eLit - Little eLit is a crowd-sourced, grass-roots learning network that works to develop promising practices for the incorporation of new media (eBooks, apps, video, etc.) into library collections, services and programs for families with young children.

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Little Free Library - Little Free Library's are "take a book, return a book" places where neighbors share their favorite books - anyone may stop by and pick up a book and bring back another book to share. This site provides a map of the US showing where registered little libraries are located.

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A Mighty Girl - Over 2,000 girl-empowering books starring stellar Mighty Girl characters.

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Reach Out and Read - Reach Out and Read is an organization of medical providers who promote early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by integrating children's books and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud into well-child visits.

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Reading is Fundamental (RIF) - Their vision is a literate America in which all children have access to books and discover the joys and value of reading, to make reading a fun and beneficial part of everyday life.

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Reading Rockets - Reading Rockets is a national literacy initiative offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help.

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The Stacks - Book and author news, games, videos and more from Scholastic Kids.

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Too Small to Fail or Pequeños y Valiosos - Activities to improve the health and well-being of children ages zero to five to help them prepare to succeed.

Unite for Literacy - Over 120 free picture books narrated in: Arabic, ASL, Burmese, Cherokee, Chinese, Cup'ik, English, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Karen, Karenni, Kekchi, Korean, Mopan, Navajo, Polish, Portuguese, Q'anjob'al, Russian, Swetswana, Slovak, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Turkish & Vietnamese.

United Through Reading
United Through Reading - One of the most difficult things a child can experience is having a parent deployed to a war zone for an indeterminate period of time. United Through Reading helps ease the stress of separation for military families by having deployed parents read children’s books aloud via DVD for their child to watch at home.

WeGiveBooks - We Give Books makes digital books available in an online library. Some books are available in español.

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Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award – Vote Now!

The first inaugural 2015 Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award winner is Bill Cotter for his book “Don’t Push the Button.”


Every child in Indiana, aged 0-5, may vote one time for the Indiana Early
Literacy Firefly Award. They will need to work with a parent, a librarian, a
teacher, a babysitter or other caregiver adult.

  • Print a Ballot
  • Circle one of the titles
  • Turn the Ballot in to your local Public Library or voting location.
  • The last day to vote is May 10, 2015.

Libraries will then email their totals to the Indiana Center for the Book.

Nominated Titles:

Tap the Magic Tree Don't Push the Button Let's Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy Count the Monkeys
Mix It Up Tiptoe Joe Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons Pouch
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A Mighty Girl Playlist – Free with Your Library Card!

Mighty Girl Music 3

The website A Mighty Girl is an outstanding collection of books, toys, music and movies "for smart, confident, and courageous girls."

A Mighty Girl’s music section features more than 100 girl-empowering songs in a wide range of genres for all ages of Mighty Girls. You can also filter the collection by recommended age, genre, and theme. Each song description has a 'Note to Parents' to help you get the right song to your mighty girl at the right time.

Below is the playlist of Mighty Girl Music (as of today, they will continue to build the list, so keep checking it for new ones.) It is a great place to start for making a playlist for your own Mighty Girl.

Remember you can download 5 FREE songs a week with your library card from The library’s Freegal music catalog. In the list, the songs that are available from Freegal are in bold. Download 5 today and add the rest to your wishlist to make it easy to grab 5 more songs each week.

By May you will have a list of power songs for girls - a great soundtrack for the summer!

*32 Flavors Ani DiFranco
A Mother's Love Mark Masri
*A Sorta Fairytale Tori Amos
*Ain't got No/I Got Life Nina Simone
Almost There The Princess and the Frog Soundtrack
Amelia Almost 13 Carrie Newcomer
*Anything You Can Do from Annie Get Your Gun
*Atalanta from Free to Be You and Me
B*tch bad Lupe Fiasco
*Beautiful Christina Aguilera
Born This Way Lady Gaga
*Brave Sara Bareilles
*Breakaway Kelly Clarkson
Build a Levee Natalie Merchant
*Butterfly Kisses Bob Carlisle
*Child of Mine Carol King
Come Over to My Dollhouse Lunch Money
*Cornflake Girl Tori Amos
Courage Beauty form Pain 1.1
*Crucify Tori Amos
*Daddy Byonce Knowles
Defying Gravity Idina Menzel
Do My Thing Estelle
Everything Alanis Morissette
*Father and Daughter Paul Simon
*Feeling Good Nina Simone
*Fighter Christina Aguilera
Firework Katy Perry
Fixing Her Hair Ani DiFranco
Fly to Your Heart Selena Gomez
Free to Be You and Me The New Seekers
Future Man, Future Lady Ziggy Marley
Get Up Superchick
Girl Tori Amos
*Girl Disappearing Tori Amos
Girl in a Country Song Maddie and Tae
*Girl On Fire Alicia Keyes
*Girl Shanty Sons of the Never Wrong
Girls With Guitars Wynonna Judd
Gold Rush Brides Natalie Merchant
Good Mother Jann Arden
Gotta Be Me Secret Anget 23 Skidoo
Gotta Be You Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
*Hammer and Nail Indigo Girls
Hands Jewell
Headstrong 10,000 Maniacs
Heroes Ann Reed
Hey Hey Superchick
Hit Me With Your Best Shot Pat Benatar
How You've Grown 10,000 Maniacs
I Am NOt My Hair India Arie
*I Am Woman Helen Reddy
I Hope You Dance Lee Ann Womack
*I'm Coming Out Diana Ross
*I'm Every Woman Whitney Houston
*I'm Going to Live the Life Mahalia Jackson
I'm Gonna Be An Engineer Peggy Seeger
*I'm Not Perfect Laurie Berkner
I'm Ready Kim Possible Soundtrack
*In My Daughter's Eyes Martina McBride
In Or Out Ani DiFranco
*Independent Women Destiny's Child
Intuition Jewell
It's Amazing Jem
Joyful Girl Ani DiFranco
Julie Through the Glass Carly Simon
Jump Miss Melodee
Just a Girl No Doubt
Just the Way You Are Bruno Mars
Learn Me Right Brave Soundtrack
*Least omplicated Indigo Girls
Let It Go Frozen Soundtrack
Let It Grow Ester Dean
Let Your Heart Sing Katherine McPhee
*Love Song Sara Bareilles
Mean Taylor Swift
*Mean Girls Rachel Crow
*More Beautiful You Jonny Diaz
My Little Girl Tim McGraw
No Man's Woman Sinead O'Connor
Not a Pretty Girl Ani DiFranco
One and Lonely Superchick
Overrated Ashely Tisdale
Part of Me Katy Perry
Pearl Katy Perry
*People Like Us Kelly Clarkson
*Perfect Pink
*Perfect Girl Sarah McLachlan
*Proud Heather Small
*Respect Aretha Franklin
*Right as Rain Adele
Roar Katy Perry
Rock What You Got Superchick
Science Fair (Album)
She's Not Just a Pretty Face Shania Twain
*Silent All These Years Tori Amos
*Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves Eurythmics
Skipping Eddie Vedder
Stand in the Rain Superchick
Strong Women Meg Braun
*Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) Kelly Clarkson
*Stupid Girls Pink
*Superwoman Alicia Keyes
*Survivor Destiny's Child
Tell It Like It Is Tracy Chapman
Tell Yourself Natalie Merchant
*Thank God for Kids Kenny Chesney
*Thank U Alanis Morrisette
That I Would Be Good Alanis Morrisette
The Climb Miley Cyrus
The Emperor's New Clothes Sinead O'Connor
*The Greatest Love of All Whitney Houston
*The Long Way Around Dixie Chicks
The Middle Jimmy Eat World
The Princess Who Saved Herself Jonathan Coulton
*The Voice Within Christina Aguilera
*The Wood song Indigo Girls
*This One's For the Girls Martina McBride
Tomboy in a Princess Dress Suzi Shelton
Tomboy Princess Meg Braun
Touch the Sky Julie Fowlis Brave Soundtrack
*True Colors Cyndi Lauper
Try Colbie Caillet
Typical Girl Cheri Magill
*Unwritten Natasha Bedingfield
Video India Arie
What I Am Edie Brickell
*When I Was a Boy Dar Williams
Who I Am Jessica Andrews
Who Says Selena Gomez
Who's That Girl Robyn
Whole Wide World Mindy Gledhill
*Wide Open Spaces Dixie Chicks
Wild One Faith Hill
Willing to Fight Ani DiFranco
*Wonder Natalie Merchant
*You Gotta Be Desree
*You're Aging Well Dar Williams

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