Month: May 2021

News from Youth Services Blog

It is Time for Summer Reading!

Starting June 1, register for Reading Colors Your World to discover a whole world of fun! The program runs through August 15. You can join by visiting our Beanstack site or by coming into the library, starting Tuesday.

For kids entering grade 5 and younger.

Count the days you read or when someone reads to you. Each family who registers will receive a copy of the book Blue Sky, White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus (while supplies last). Every child who reaches 30 days will receive an additional book as well as a chance to win a Grand Prize, like a Nintendo Switch Lite. Keep reading beyond 30 days to earn extra prize entries and contribute to our goal of reading for 30,000 days! Participants can also explore how reading colors their world with activities for the whole family.

Go to our Summer Reading Challenge webpage for more information and to get started!

The Tulsa Race Massacre

This spring marks 100 years since the thriving Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma, sometimes called Black Wall Street, was burned down and many of its residents were killed in what became known as the Tulsa Race Massacre. While this is not an easy subject to discuss with children, acknowledging and learning from this violence in our history is important for all Americans to grapple with. These books are best shared and discussed with older children.

The New York Times has also published an interactive article that shows 3D renderings of what the Greenwood District likely looked like before it was destroyed. Survivors of the massacre also testified in Washington D.C. about what it was like to live through such an experience.

snapshot of books about the Tulsa race massacre

Cicadas

You may have been hearing a lot about the emergence of periodical cicadas this year.  It is an exciting year for those in the range for this year’s emergence. Here is a little info about these unique insects.  

What is a periodical cicada? 

Periodical Cicadas have a life cycle that lasts either 13 or 17 years, and all of them in an area emerge as adults at once.  These cicadas emerge in difference parts of the country at different times, and each group is given a brood year.  The brood in the news this year, brood x, does not reach into northern Illinois, so we will not be seeing them this year.   

Periodical Cicada:  

Magicicada septendecim

Feeling left out? 

Not to worry, we will get to see some periodical cicadas soon!  Northern Illinois should see periodical cicadas in the early summer of 2024.  Get your recipes ready! 

What? RECIPIES!?! 

Cicadas are edible! They taste like almonds (I have read).  Every year many people try them (although, try them with caution as they can trigger shellfish allergies).  They also cause a bit of a boom in forests as many animals have more babies in years when the periodical cicadas emerge due to the increase in insects to eat.  In the years following a large emergence, even tress grow more because of the increase in nutrients from the cicada bodies that decompose on the forest floor.  

Aren’t there cicadas every year? 

Yes! Every summer cicadas emerge, but those are annual cicadas, also known as dogday cicadas.  They have also have a long lifespan, usually living underground for 2-5 years before emerging as adults.    

Dogday Cicada: 

Neotibicen linnei

For more information, visit:  https://web.extension.illinois.edu/cicadas/index.html

For some great photos, including the ones above, check: https://www.cicadamania.com/

To read about cicadas, check out these books:

Jewish American Heritage Month

Jewish-American heritage books

May is Jewish American Heritage Month The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Jewish Americans who helped form the fabric of American history, culture and society.

https://www.jewishheritagemonth.gov/

Learn more about famous Jewish Americans, their accomplishments, and Jewish life by checking out some great books we’ve curated for you!

Another good list to check out is the Sydney Taylor Award for Jewish Childrens’ Books Winners, 1990-Present. “The Sydney Taylor Book Award is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience. Presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries since 1968, the award encourages the publication and widespread use of quality Judaic literature.”

STEAM Saturday: Celebrate Astronomy Day

Saturday, May 15, 2021 is Astronomy Day! This day is a great time to learn more about astronomy and do fun activities inside or outside.  

Astronomy is the study of the universe beyond the Earth including the sun, moon, stars, and more. To learn more about astronomy, use your MPPL library card to access the many web resources we have available. You can find the kid focused web resources on the Homework Help Web Page.  

One activity you can do with your family is track the moon phases. Every night, the moon looks a little different. This is due to how the sun is reflecting off the moon. To track these changes, create a journal with your nightly observations.  

moon phases
Source: NASA/Bill Dunford 
Published: August 14, 2014 

For more ideas, check out PBS.org’s article, Stargazing and Other Astronomy Activities You Can Do with Your Kids

There are also many books about astronomy and space, which you can check out at the Library.