News from Youth Services Category: Fantasy

Christina Soontornvat

Christina Soontornvat
photo by Sam Bond Photography

Back in October, Christina Soontornvat visited MPPL to talk about her Diary of an Ice Princess series. Today she won several awards from the American Library Association for two of her other books!

All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team, published by Candlewick, won a Newbery Honor, a Siebert Honor, and was a finalist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. A Wish in the Dark, also published by Candlewick Press, won a Newbery Honor.

While youth services staff knew about Christina’s books, we probably wouldn’t have booked her for a virtual author visit if we hadn’t had some encouragement from one of our patrons.

In the summer, staff presented a program called Fandom Friends, and the first program featured the popular series Dogman by Dav Pilkey. At the end of the program, staff encouraged the participants to please reach out if there were other popular series or characters they’d enjoy having a library program about. Patron Jackie quickly reached out to library staff with a request for a program about her daughter’s favorite book series, Diary of an Ice Princess. She explained that her daughter, Brooklyn, was such a fan of the books, and would love to meet the author. She thought other kids would be interested, too, and asked library staff if they could coordinate a vist with Christina. We said we would love to!

Christina was offering free thirty minute visits for groups who had read and discussed her books, so we reached out to her to book a visit. Christina was so great to work with and really excited about meeting kids who loved her books!

We scheduled two events for this fun series: a virtual visit with the author, and a book party to discuss the books and get ready for the author meetup. Jackie was happy to help spread the word, and many of the kids in attendance were friends of Brooklyn’s and also big fans of the books. We ordered additional copies of books in the series and put up a display with flyers. All the books were checked out by the day of the program! Staff also emailed a flyer to schools, created a Facebook event post plus an extra post with a video about the author, as well as word of mouth and social media shares from tpatrons. All of these efforts really helped! Feedback after the program told us that 4 attendees heard about the event from a friend, 3 from library staff, 6 from Facebook, and 10 from their teacher or school. 

Twenty-five people attended the book party on October 5 and 14 came back to Zoom with us and Christina two days later. Many kids had books with them and were super excited to share their favorite characters and things about the Diary of an Ice Princess series. Christina was so fun to talk to! She and the kids talked about their favorite characters and plots, and even tossed around ideas for what Christina can write about in future books in the series.  

After the programs, Jackie reached out to thank us. “Brooklyn had a fantastic time at the Diary of an Ice Princess event yesterday!  Thank you again for organizing-it was really great for her to have a chance to talk about the books she loves so much!” wrote Jackie. “Thank you so much for reaching out to coordinate this.” We also thanked Jackie for reaching out to share the idea with us! We love to hear from our patrons and create programs that they will enjoy.

You can learn more about Christina and her books at her website, soontornvat.com. You can also look for her books in our catalog and place them on hold!

If you have an idea for a program you’d like the Youth Services staff to consider, please email us at KidsRead@mppl.org. We can’t promise to take every suggestion, but we will try our best!

October is Star Wars Reads Month!

READ. THIS IS THE WAY. 

Star Wars Reads

Celebrate the ninth year of this event by reading about Jedi Knights, Sith Masters, and more. 

For ideas on what to read, check out our booklist.

For more activities, go to: https://www.starwars.com/news/star-wars-reads 

Also, test your knowledge at our Star Wars Family Trivia night on Friday, October 23. Presented by Baig of Tricks, this event is a Live YouTube Stream starting at 7 p.m. 

Baig of Tricks Star Wars Trivia with Mount Prospect Public Library 10/23/20 

Harry Potter at Home & The Ickabog by J.K. Rowling

Join Daniel Radcliffe, Eddie Redmayne, and others as they read chapters from the book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. Videos of each chapter reading are posted on the Web site, Wizarding World, along with other fun activities that can be done at home. This book as well as the more in the Harry Potter series are also available as e-books and e-audios through OverDrive/Libby.

J.K. Rowling has also released a free new e-book, The Ickabog, which has new chapters posting weekly. Along with reading this new book, there is a drawing competition and selected artwork that wins will be featured in the print version of The Ickabog.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
The Ickabog

E-book-Dragons in a Bag

Dragons in a Bag book cover

Dragons in a Bag is the first in a series, and is a great transitional chapter book for fans of The Magic Treehouse and The Unicorn Rescue Society series. You can check out the e-book from OverDrive!

From the publisher’s description: “The dragon’s out of the bag in this diverse, young urban fantasy from an award-winning author! When Jaxon is sent to spend the day with a mean old lady his mother calls Ma, he finds out she’s not his grandmother—but she is a witch! She needs his help delivering baby dragons to a magical world where they’ll be safe. There are two rules when it comes to the dragons: don’t let them out of the bag, and don’t feed them anything sweet. Before he knows it, Jax and his friends Vikram and Kavita have broken both rules! Will Jax get the baby dragons delivered safe and sound? Or will they be lost in Brooklyn forever? AN NPR BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR A CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR A KIRKUS REVIEWS BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR.”

E-Book & E-Audiobook – A Drop of Hope by Keith Calabrese

A Drop of Hope EbookWho couldn’t use a bit of optimism these days, and in Keith Calabrese’s book, A Drop of Hope, we get that and more! In the small town of Cliffs Donnelly, Ohio we find families experiencing some very tough times whether it’s financial or personal, and they could all use a little bit hope and help. That’s where the wishing well and an attic full of old toys comes into play. An unlikely group of new friends try to help people in town and it may be the bit of magic that pushes them over the hurdles. The author adds a bit of a mystery and adventure so there’s something for everyone.   

A Drop of Hope E-audio

Is there really magic making things happen in their town? I’ll let you decide when you read this realistic fiction book with a touch of magical realism. There’s also a quote to inspire us all: “You can’t fix the world. But you do your best in your own little corner of it.” Let’s take that drop of hope and make our corner of the world even a tiny bit better. 

This book is available as an ebook on OverDrive Digital Library and as an e-audio on Hoopla. 

Book reviewed by Carol C., Elementary School Liaison