December 19th, 2016

Last-Minute Gift Ideas

Are you still struggling to find that final gift for a friend or family member? Have you racked your brain to figure out what they would possibly enjoy? No worries: here’s a list of books for everyone in your life. The best part? Once they finish, they’ll surely let you borrow the copy! And remember: before you buy, take a peek at the book through your local Cecil County Branch Library to guarantee excellence!
Here are the perfect picks for the person in your life…

…who is always on-trend:
The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
Literary Fiction
Why not give your coolest friend a book swarming with buzz? The Nest, published in March 2016, has been on multiple Best Books of 2016 lists. When the Plumb family’s joint trust fund, dubbed “The Nest,” is endangered by the reckless older brother, Leo, the remaining siblings, Melody, Beatrice, and Jack, swarm to protect their share of the money. A page-turner that shows you the power, complexity, and general dysfunction of family relationships. You will surely get an impressed “Oh! I just heard about this book!” with this gift.


…who is a hopeless romantic:
Please Enjoy Your Happiness: A Memoir by Paul Brinkley-Rogers
Before Paul Brinkley-Rogers became a Pulitzer-Prize winning war correspondent, he was a 19-year old sailor aboard the USS Shangri-La. During his stay in Japan, Paul develops a relationship with an older woman named Kaji Yukiko. Their relationship flourishes with their shared interest of literature and art. However, tragedy strikes when a member of the yakuza, the Japanese crime syndicate, makes plans to kidnap Yukiko. Paul begins to learn more about Yukiko and post-WWII Japan. Yukiko’s beautiful, lyrical letters are mixed in throughout the book. Please Enjoy Your Happiness is a tender, unforgettable romance.
…who needs an escape:
The Passenger by Lisa Lutz
Suspense/Thriller Fiction
Sometime during this holiday season you’re going to talk to someone who really needs to take a break. Give them The Passenger, a fast-paced thriller of a woman trying to escape her past. She moves from town to town like a chameleon, shedding and changing her identity whenever needed. The Passenger is a perfect plot-driven novel that will stick with your giftee even after they’ve finished.


…who loves time travel:
Patience by Daniel Clowes
Graphic Novel/Science Fiction
They love Outlander, can’t get enough of Doctor Who, have always been obsessed with Back to the Future. Give them a new way to read about time travel: through a graphic novel. Daniel Clowes, author of the critically acclaimed Ghost World and one of the leading graphic artists of our time, has created an intricate story of one man’s quest to find out who murdered his wife through–you guessed it–time travel. Loud, psychedelic illustrations, bitingly realistic dialogue, and highly detailed — whoever is lucky enough to receive this sci-fi love story will be mulling over the book for days afterwards.


…who loves to learn (but doesn’t have a lot of time):
Seven Brief Lessons in Physics by Carlo Revelli
A short (96 pages!) poetic introduction to physics, tailored to those who know nothing on the subject.



…whose goal in life is to go to every national park:
The Hour of Land by Terry Tempest Williams
A beautifully written book about America’s national parks and our relationship with them.




…who is a history buff:
Iron Dawn: The Monitor, the Merrimack, and the Civil War Sea Battle that Changed History by Richard Snow
An in-depth look of the sea battle fought in the harbor at Hampton Roads, Virginia in March 1862.




…who goes to Turkey Point any chance they get:
Brilliant Beacons: A History of the American Lighthouse by Eric Jay Dolin
Enjoy this expertly researched chronicle of the American lighthouse from its early 1700 beginnings.




…who would live in a fairy tale if they could:
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Young Adult Fantasy
From the author of the “Cinder” series comes a new tale about the Queen of Hearts, before she was infamous.

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December 12th, 2016

Books Without Words

Yes, you read that right, books without words also known as wordless books. They do exist! And, they are great for helping young children develop their literacy skills.

From the very start, when we read to children we regularly point to the pictures and ask what an object is. Many early board books have super simple pictures and one single word identifying the picture. This is the first time when children learn that text and pictures go hand and hand. Later, as we try to teach them to read, we often tell them to use picture clues to decode words. So what happens when we take the words away? Magic!

Building Confidence:  Wordless books help build confidence in those still learning how to read. Instead of having to read the words, they create their own story. There is no right and wrong when there are no words.

Storytelling: As a child helps to create the story, they are learning about story structure. This may include characters, setting, or sequencing

Critical Thinking: Children must look closely at the pictures to analyze what is happening so they can tell the story. They have to think about what is going on and how to put it into words. This also helps build their vocabulary and develop oral language skills. While reading with your child, you can help by asking questions such as: What do you think will happen next? What do you think he would say? Where do you think the characters are? Why do you think she is making that face?

Imagination and Creativity: Children will be able to explore their own ideas of storytelling while gathering ideas from the pictures. You may “read” the same book over and over, but the story can change. Consider recording your child “reading” the story and playing it back for them to listen, or writing their story on Post-it-notes so you can read it back to them.

CCPL has a great collection of wordless picture books. A few of my favorites are Chalk by Bill Thomson, Where’s Walrus? by Stephen Savage, and Float by Daniel Miyares. You can see even more in this book list. Come on by and check one out today!