June 17th, 2014

On the Road Again

roadtripsSummer is here and my girls have signed up for CCPL’s Summer Reading and Learning Program. It’s open to kids, adults and teens. Are you registered to read for rewards?

Summer is also the season of road trips in my family – but there’s one big problem – my girls can get car sick before we’ve come to the end of our lane. How do we survive a six-hour trip when reading, video games, coloring, journaling and DVD-watching are all destined to create emergency roadside stops?

Audiobooks! “Hands free reading” isn’t just for adults.  It’s a great way to make the hours go by and listening to audiobooks counts toward the summer reading program!

Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. I’ve tried to share my childhood delight in Little House on the Prairie with my daughters, but they’re not particularly interested. They tell me the “prairie” was so long ago it’s boring. But if you lend voices, experiences, emotions and adventures to those dates and people… you’ve happened upon what I call “entertainment learning.”

On our road trips and many excursions north and south along 213 we’ve listened to Harry Potter and the Warriors series. But here’s where I got “mom sneaky” – I started playing the Dear America series. These historical fiction books are based on real girls and young women who kept journals during important times in our history such as the Colonial settlements, Oregon Trail, Civil War and World War II. The heroines describe everyday life and how they were affected by these moments in history. There’s humor and adventure, but also stark description of sacrifice, sorrow and hardship. The resulting conversations with my daughters have been fascinating. The books end with historical notes about what happened to the girls and their families after the story ends.

While traveling I-95, we’ve discussed big topics like slavery and the Holocaust.  We’ve talked about what it was like to be a woman in different times in history, as well as the bravery and conviction of the American spirit. We’ve also discussed how many conveniences we take for granted in our modern life, such as plumbing, electricity, freedom.

When we travel to visit Massachusetts this summer, I plan to borrow Dear America: A Journey to the New World: The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple, Mayflower 1620. For Royal enthusiasts, there’s a great series called The Royal Diaries that features princesses from around the world and from many time periods throughout history.

And if you have young men in your car, there are plenty of titles written from boys’ perspectives, too. Try The Watsons Go to Birmingham on CD or Dear America: My Name is America in print. And don’t forget to check our eBook and eAudiobook collections for downloadable options.

How do you keep your kids entertained (and learning) in the car?


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June 5th, 2012

Dreamers Do

Youth slogan_H Reverse“You may say I’m a dreamer…but I’m not the only one.” John Lennon

As I sit down to write about this year’s summer reading theme, all the words that come to mind are song lyrics : beautiful dreamer…daydream believer….dream on…sweet dream baby…dream weaver…dre-e-e-e-eam, dream, dream, dream….merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.

The stuff of our dreams is held precious and dear, yet when someone calls you a dreamer, it seems to be meant as an insult.  What they are really saying is that you are just a good-for-nothin’ lazybones who can’t seem to get anything done or handle the harsh realities of life.

But, it seems to me that the dreamers of this world are the ones who get it.  Remember that smiling island lady in the musical, South Pacific, singing in Happy Talk, “You’ve got to have a dream; if you don’t have a dream, how you gonna make a dream come true?”  The great creative minds that enrich our world with music, art, ideas, discoveries, inventions and scientific revelations know.  It starts with a dream.  From the dark void, from inside the egg, or the seed, or the silent lump of marble come amazing displays of beauty and truth.

So, this summer, go ahead and Dream Big…Read!  Cecil County Public Library’s summer reading programs and events draw upon daydreams and night visions as inspiration this year.  Looking for things to do in Cecil County? Our Summer Calendar of Events features gatherings, storytimes, and crafts that shed light on nocturnal animals, dream symbolism, the night sky, mysteries, and so on.  All branches kick off the summer lineup this week with super celebrations.

Sign up for summer reading at Cecil County Public Library and dream about the new bike, or $100 Visa Gift Card, or Orioles Baseball tickets or other prizes you can win just for reading.  No matter what your age, you can participate.  New this year is a Read to Me component for little ones.  Dream Big, Read is for the school age set, and teens can Own the Night.  Big Dreams aren’t just for kids, either.  Adults can slip Between the Covers to do their reading.

The fun begins now and will end on August 4.  For registration and more information, contact your local branch or click here.

What are you dreaming up this summer?


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