September 16th, 2014

Listen Up!

listeningOne of the most often asked questions by parents at the library is how to help their child be a stronger reader. Like books, struggling readers come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and cultures. A child’s ability to read is a result of various factors, and may sometimes be influenced by a language barrier, medical condition, or learning disability.

Trained educators know that early intervention can make a world of difference for a child. Many techniques and strategies, some not involving letters or words at all, can dramatically increase a child’s ability to read. One technique is utilizing audio books.

Audio books are CD’s or other forms of digitized media, on which stories are recorded as a person (or sometimes a cast of readers) reads them. The reader’s voices of these books bring characters to life, and the readers adjust the tone, speed, and volume of their voices to dramatize the story to the fullest potential. Many adults love audio books. We listen to them on long commutes back and forth to work. We listen to them while we clean our houses.

Somewhere out there, though, there is a feeling that children must physically read books. That listening to them is somehow cheating; not beneficial. In most cases, that is just not true.
Listening to audio books is actually one technique that can make a dramatic difference in a child’s ability to read. Listening to an audio book, while reading the book simultaneously, is even better! Studies show that listening to a story being read, while reading along, improves comprehension and fluency.

This is where your local library steps in.

Did you know that the Cecil County Public Library has entire collections of audio books for children?  We have audio books for beginning readers, like the popular Bob Books series available as a CD Book, where the CD is packaged directly with the book. Cecil County Public Library offers several CD Book titles in our EZ Reader section, like titles from Cynthia Rylant’s series “Henry and Mudge,” or “Fox in Socks,” by Dr. Seuss.

Classic favorites by award-winning authors, as well as new titles, are available in our picture book area.  Maybe a child in your life would like reading along, while listening to, a book by Kevin Henkes or Patricia Polacco! More challenging CD Books are available in our chapter book areas. We encourage you to check out the book with the CD Book, and listen as you read. We carry a slew of popular titles and series in CD Book format, from Junie B. Jones and  Magic Tree House, to 39 Clues, Little House on the Prairie, and Harry Potter (just to name a few). Why not listen to a children’s book on your way to school or sports practice?

For technology-hungry families, have you considered downloading audiobooks? CCPL has thousands of titles, click here.
Whether you are looking for strategies to help a struggling reader, or just a new way to enjoy a great book, try out an audio book and let us know about your experience the next time you stop by!

What’s your favorite audiobook?


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July 23rd, 2014

Interview with Local Author Cathy Gohlke

Saving-AmelieLast summer, we had a Local Author’s Day at the Elkton Central Library and we were lucky enough that Cathy Gohlke was able to share some of her books with us. If you missed your chance last year, she’s back with her newest book, Saving Amelie, which just came out in June.

Cathy has published five historical and inspirational novels. Saving Amelie takes place in Germany in 1939. The book follows the story of Rachel Kramer, the daughter of a well-known eugenics scientist. During her father’s business trip to Germany, she makes a few discoveries of her own and is forced into hiding, even though she is an American citizen.

With The Book Thief just released on DVD and a movie based on Lauren Hillenbrand’s Unbroken coming out later this year, stories about World War II are finding renewed popularity at the library. I’ve added Saving Amelie to my “to-read” list and in light of her upcoming visits to the Cecil County Public Library, I had the opportunity to ask Cathy a few questions.

Your newest book Saving Amelie just came out in June. When did you start working on this project?
In the spring of 2012, after completing Band of Sisters.

Your books are set in different places in the past. Is there a specific time and place that you wish you could live?
I’d love to live (at least temporarily) in England during the early 1900s, before the Great War.  It was the world of my great-grandparents, and of my grandmother as a child—a world she shared through words and mannerisms throughout my young life.  That is the world of Promise Me This.

What books have you been reading this summer? Are there certain authors that you look to for inspiration?
I just returned from a research trip to England with sister author, Carrie Turansky, and from a group tour of Scotland’s Highland Castles and Gardens led by sister author Liz Curtis Higgs, so I’ve immersed myself in books about England, the Lake District, Beatrix Potter and Wordsworth, the poetry of Robert Burns, as well as Liz Curtis Higgs’ books.  In stark contrast I’m reading The Nuremberg Mind—The Psychology of the Nazi Leaders, by Florence R. Miale and Michel Selzer as research for my work in progress.

I’m daily inspired by the writings of Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest, and lately by Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship, and Corrie Ten Boom’s Each New Day.  I love it when authors, such as these, challenge my thinking and lift it higher.

When you are not writing, how do you like to spend your time?
When not writing, I spend most of my time caring for my sweet granddaughter while her parents work.  This fall we’ll all be moving into a house together. I couldn’t help but hum “The Walton’s” theme song after visiting the house for the first time!

I love to travel and investigate sites that time forgot—places that whisper story lines through my brain.  I love campfires at night and singing around the piano, spending time with my husband and family and friends, joining in worship services, and reading.  I used to garden a great deal, but these days I’m mostly planting synopses, pruning dialogue and weeding unnecessary verbiage.

Sign up for this opportunity to meet this award-winning local author at 3 library branches. Books will be available for purchase and signing.
Chesapeake City — August 4th @ 6:30pm
Elkton – August 7th @ 6:30pm
Rising Sun – August 12th @ 6:30pm


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