What’s on Your Reading List?

April 24th, 2017

The recent spate of warm weather days have reminded us summer is just around the corner and with that comes Cecil County Public Library’s annual Summer Reading and Learning program.  While registration for this year’s program doesn’t begin until June 1st, it’s never too early to compile your summer “To Read” list.  We like to start with award-winning books, and while many have heard of the Caldecott and the Newbery, there are numerous awards given each year which honor diverse and varied materials for readers of all ages.

Here are just a few of this year’s winners:

Coretta Scott King Book Award: Presented to outstanding African American authors and illustrators who demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.

March, book 3 by John Lewis


March By John Lewis and Andrew Aydin

Book 3 in a powerful trilogy detailing true events from the life experiences of civil rights leader, John Lewis. (Grades 8 and older.)




Pura Belpre Medal: Presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience.

Juana and Lucas by Juan Medina


Juana and Lucas By Juan Medina

An entertaining story about a little girl from Colombia and her dog, Lucas.




(Theodor Seuss) Geisel Award: Presented to the most distinguished American book for beginning readers.

We are Growing by Laurie Keller


We Are Growing! By Laurie Keller

Fans of Elephant and Piggie will enjoy this fun story of a blade of grass named Walt.




Maryland Blue Crab Young Reader Award: Presented for the best beginning and transitional fiction and nonfiction.

Duck, Duck, Porcupine! by Salina Yoon


Duck, Duck, Porcupine! By Salina Yoon.

Comical story of an older sister who thinks she knows it all…but, does she really?




Plants Can't Sit Still By Rebecca E. Hirsch

Plants Can’t Sit Still
By Rebecca E. Hirsch

Budding botanists will enjoy the interesting ways plants move as they grow.


Weekends with Max and His Dad by Linda Urban


Weekends with Max and His Dad By Linda Urban

Heartwarming story of a boy and his dad who go on adventures while adjusting to a new apartment.




Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton


Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions By Chris Barton

An informative picture book biography of Lonnie Johnson, NASA engineer and inventor.



This is just the beginning of our “To Read” list but if you visit the “Great Reads” tab on our website and click on “Discover Your Next Great Read,” our Select Reads service is a great way to help you get started on yours.  Learn what’s new at the library by having titles based on your preferences for all types of genres delivered right to your inbox making it easier than ever to find books you want to read.

Find more award-winning books on CCPL’s Kids page under Great Books.

Watch this column for more information on this year’s Summer Reading and Learning program, or visit any of our branches to learn more.

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A Maryland Road Trip for Foodies

January 23rd, 2017

If tasting new foods and discovering Maryland’s diverse landscape is on your to-do list this year, try this 340 mile restaurant road trip.

We are starting out west — Patrick’s Pub in Cumberland. This place is clean, hip, and welcoming. The large windows lighten up the décor of green accents and pitch black wooden furniture. This is your American/Irish place for wings, burgers, sports, and friendly, knowledgeable bartenders. Their Yelp score speaks for itself.

92 miles east we are at Black Hog BBQ in Frederick. If you’re a history fan, check out Harpers Ferry which isn’t more than a 30-minute drive from here. Black Hog is a BBQ-lovers dream. Ribs, brisket, pulled pork, beer. Enough said. Come with an empty stomach.

32 miles from Black Hog BBQ is La Brasa Latin Cuisine in Rockville, wedged between Bethesda and Gaithersburg. This is an award-winning place, featured in several blogs and magazines as being a top restaurant for multi-cultural dishes, including food from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, and Peru. Please try this place. The owner is from Salvador, and this deceptively small place has a more than competent cook staff.

Drive a half an hour northeast and we’re eating pizza. Oh, yes. Three Brothers Italian Restaurant in Colombia is that simple, family-friendly place so many Maryland towns have. Dine-in booths, pastas, pizzas, and calzones. Praise falls upon their lasagna like rain. For a quick Friday night pizza, there is certainly some flavor and good price to be found here.

Seventeen miles later we are in Baltimore City. Where you really want to go is Faidley’s Seafood. Family owned and operated since 1886, this place has fresh raw clams, oysters, and scallops, and has the best crab cakes in the city. “Coastal Living” said “Hands down, Faidley’s is where you should head for a crab cake if you have only one day in Baltimore.” You don’t last over 120 years in business for nothing.

Our second to last stop is in Aberdeen, MD. Georgia’s Carry-Out is the smallest “mom and pop shop” on the list but it’s full of heart. Nothing comes out of this Greek kitchen without love from the married couple running the place. They are both there, all day, piling mounds of fresh cut fries in their baskets of fried fish sandwiches and gyros. Georgia gives you a free sample of her soup-of-the-day if you dine-in. This is like having a wonderful aunt or mother cooking for you. It’s incredibly affordable and the tzatziki is extraordinary. It’s a grab-and-go place with Styrofoam containers and plastic utensils, and yet I recommend going there monthly… forever. I’m telling you, their fried jumbo fish sandwich has a myriad of unique spices. Move over salmon. I have a new favorite fish.

Lastly, 145 miles from Aberdeen, MD we come to our final foodie pit-stop. But at this stop I encourage you to stay a few days. Guido’s Burritos is a restaurant and bar that I accidentally discovered the year they opened. That was the last time you could easily get a table. Located right on the boardwalk in Ocean City, MD, if you like burritos stuffed with rice, meat, and cheese, and want a margarita as big as your head, come float your afternoon away at Guido’s. When the beach begins to cool in the early evening, nothing is better than a mixed drink, some spicy food, and a walk on the boards.

If you are inspired to take a road trip, check out these books and more!

Backroads & Byways of Maryland

Backroads & byways of Maryland : drives, day trips & weekend excursions
By Leslie Atkins

Maryland has so much to offer travelers and residents alike: indulge in exquisite seafood, enjoy recreational and spectator sports, search the beaches for shark’s teeth, trace Civil War troop movements, track the heyday of the railroads, and visit lighthouses that have guided countless boaters through the Chesapeake Bay. All you have to do is jump in the car–and take this book along! Ideas and options are clearly presented for short-trip itineraries to please everybody in your party. Destinations will appeal to foodies, history buffs, families with kids, couples, adventurers, hikers, bikers–in short, everyone.


Country roads of Maryland and Delaware : drives, day trips, and weekend excursions
By Lynn Seldon

Ramble through America’s rural heartland on winding back roads that lead to an endless variety of out-in-the-country attractions. Each title explores 10 or more meandering weekend tours, as authors share their intimate knowledge of people, places, and country life.





Fun with the Family : Maryland : hundreds of ideas for day trips with the kids.
By Karen Nitkin

From the round-the-clock hokeyness of Ocean City to the bucolic charms of Deep Creek Lake, the Old Line State packs in hundreds of kids activities and attractions in its compact 10,460 square miles. And this book describes practically all of them including mountains, hiking trails, beaches, amusement parks, cities, zoos and aquariums, parks, children’s museums, farms, festivals, and a wealth of history.”




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