May Youth Program Round Up

We are gearing up for Summer Reading!   The Youth Department visited each of the 6 elementary schools to perform a skit about Summer Reading written by our creative, talented staff.  In it, an alien comes to study Earth and believes there is no intelligent life here until two kids who borrowed a telescope from the Livingston Library (yes, you CAN really borrow a telescope from the Library!) tell the alien about books, the Library, and Summer Reading.  The alien concludes that there is intelligent life on Earth after all and stays to complete the Summer Reading Challenge at the Library. Babies, children and teens can register now for the Summer Reading Challenge: A Universe of Stories, where they can earn prizes just for reading.  The fun doesn’t stop there – the big kids (aka adults) can register for our Adult Summer Reading: A Universe of Stories and a chance to win a new Kindle! Anna, Banana, and the Puppy Parade by Anica Mrose Rissi was the center of discussion at this month’s Yakety Yak meeting for grades 2-3.  For the activity, the children imagined the type of dog they would want to enter in a parade and created dogs using Legos. The beautifully written, compelling Newbery Honor Book, The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani was discussed at the X-Treme Readers Book Club for grades 4-5 this month.  To reinforce the message of peace, Gina asked the children to research famous quotes by Mahatma Gandhi, who was quoted in the story.  The children then recited their favorite quotes and elaborated on why it was meaningful to them. The book discussion groups at the Middle Schools continue to be wildly popular.  Booked for Lunch met at Heritage MS to discuss, Long Way Down, the award winning verse novel by Jason Reynolds.  At this month’s Mount Pleasant Middle School book club, Bookies, the discussion centered around, Waiting for Normal, a novel by Leslie Connor about a girl who must take on adult responsibilities when her mentally ill mother is unable to care for her. The fun Tiny Toddlers group was so well attended they couldn’t even fit in our Story Room!  Early Learning Concepts were explored this session, such as pattern recognition and seasons (spring).  For our youngest library patrons, musical instruments and toys are placed out in the Children’s Room during Baby Open Play.  The babies have fun as they explore, discover, learn, play and socialize with each other. Two sessions of Story Coders were offered this month for Kindergarteners and First Graders.  An off-screen activity introduced the children to parallel algorithms.  Then, children learned how to create a search and find game using the ScratchJr App.   There were lots of things to celebrate this month!  The first was Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, May 4.  Children were delighted to take home free comic books courtesy of Livingston’s comic book store, New World Manga.  The very next day we celebrated Cinco de Mayo, Livingston Library trivia style.  Children and families enjoyed the challenge of answering trivia questions about Mexico for fun and prizes. Youth Appreciation Week is always an exciting time in Livingston!  The Library joined in with a celebration of Books & Buttons.  Readers of all ages, from toddlers to teens and even some adults, stopped by to talk about books while crafting their own pin-on buttons.  While some made buttons from our pre-printed images, most participants greatly enjoyed drawing their own designs based on their favorite books & literary characters.  And, our Family Gaming event was the perfect indoor compliment to the township’s Youth Appreciation Week Family Fun Day.  Middle Schoolers, kids, parents, and college students all enjoyed playing the Nintendo Switch games Smash and Mario Kart on the big screen. And to celebrate a famous musician’s life, NJPAC in Your Community presented Books on the Move: Tito Puente, Mambo King.  NJPAC Teaching Artist Wincey Terry read Tito Puente, Mambo King to families and then taught Mambo and Cha-Cha rhythms on musical instruments. In the final weeks before AP testing, teens engage in marathon study sessions in the Teen Zone.  As a means of coping with stress and anxiety, the Library offered a program designed to help teens slow down, take a break and be mindful.  Our first Teen Stress Less Day featured therapy dogs from Bright and Beautiful, a fidget table with Strawbees, and “make your own” bubble tea.  A record number of teens attended, and one teen commented “Thank you, that’s just what I needed.”  That completes the May Youth Program Round Up.  Be sure to subscribe to the library’s weekly newsletter and to check out our full calendar of events for all of next month’s programs and activities.  ~Gina Vaccaro, Youth Services Librarian     

LGBTQ Authors

In honor of Pride Month this June, check out this selection of LGBTQ authors! Comment below with what you’re reading this month.   Alison Bechdel Fun Home – A graphic memoir about family and coming out.    GN BIOG BECHDEL Rita Mae Brown Tall Tail: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery – Travel to Virginia’s post-revolutionary history and explore the murder of a brutal slaveholder. MYS BROWN Ellen Degeneres Seriously – I’m Kidding – A memoir, where comedian Ellen Degeneres opens up on her personal life, show, and so much more. BIOG DEGENERES Emily Dickinson Dickinson: Selected Poems and Commentaries – Explore the development of the verse of Emily Dickinson through a reading of 150 of her poems. 811.4 DICKINSON Bret Easton Ellis American Psycho  – Patrick Bateman moves to Manhattan in the 1980s.  He’s young and handsome and works on Wall Street, but he spends his evenings with both torture and murder.  FIC ELLIS Roxane Gay Bad Feminist – A collection of essays about politics, criticism, and the feminine.  It is a look at how author Roxane Gay learned how to embrace and grow into being a woman.305.4209 GAY Allen Ginsberg Howl and Other Poems – Noted as being one of the most influential poetic works of the post WWII era.  811.5 GINSBERG Langston Hughes   The Weary Blues – Hughes was 24 years old when this collection of poetry was published in 1926. Now over 90 years later, it is still an influential piece of work. 811.52 HUGHES David Sedaris Calypso – A collection of essays from the comedian David Sedaris, that include adventures from buying a summer home on the Carolina coast, as well as reflections on middle age and mortality. 814.54 CALYPSO Colm Toibin Brooklyn – 1950s Ireland and Ellis Lacey cannot find work.  When a job offer comes up in America, she takes it and makes the journey overseas. FIC TOIBIN Tennessee Williams A Streetcar Named Desire – Through poetic dialogue, playwright Tennessee Williams crafts a story about how promiscuous Blanche Dubois is pushed over the edge by her brother-in-law Stanley Kowalski.  812.54 WILLIAMS Alice Walker The Color Purple – A classic novel about two sisters, one who is a missionary in Africa, and the other who is a child wife living in the south.  YA FIC WALKER Sara Waters At the Water’s Edge – A privileged woman’s awakening as she experiences the devastation of WWII from a small town located in the Scottish Highlands. FIC WATERS Virginia Woolf A Room of One’s Own – A critique on social situations, Wolf cites the keys to freedom being 1) a fixed income and 2) a room of one’s own. 823.9 WOOLF   -Jessica Bielen, Adult Services Librarian