Monday, May 2, 2016

Library Begins Outreach for Summer Reading Program

Local children may be counting the days until the end of the school year, but there’s one more thing they can count on: a visit from a local librarian. The Forsyth County Public Library Youth Services staff is conducting an outreach campaign to encourage students to continue reading for fun over the summer.

Lorraine Lane, Information Specialist – Youth Services, leads an outreach
event at Chattahoochee Elementary in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday.

“Our Youth Services team strives to visit local schools, preschools, and even day care centers throughout the year, but the weeks leading up to the launch of our Summer Reading Program are especially important,” says Laura Bradley, Program Manager. “Our staff goes into classrooms and assembly events with several storytime activities to help kids find joy in reading, even over the summer when they’re tempted to let their literacy skills get rusty.”

The Library and its Summer Reading sponsor, FCPL Friends and Advocates, reward children and teens who set and reach a summer reading goal with a free book. All registered Summer Reading participants will also be entered in raffle drawing for several grand prizes.

Readers up to grade 5 will be entered to win a Family Fun Pack, graciously donated from Stars & Strikes. Readers in grades 6 to 12 will be entered to win a gift card and basket from AMC Theatres. Adult readers will be entered to win an Apple iPad mini.

To earn a free book, or win a raffle drawing, patrons must be registered for the Library’s Summer Reading Program. Registration opens on the last day of school, Friday, May 27, and patrons can register online or in-person at any Forsyth County Public Library branch through July 31.

Families should also mark their calendars for the Summer Reading Kick-Off Carnivals, says Bradley.

“The Carnivals are among our most popular events all year. Based on patron feedback, this summer the Post Road and Sharon Forks Libraries will combine their events at the Forsyth Conference Center, where there is ample parking and sidewalks on the surrounding streets for families that prefer to walk.”

The combined Summer Reading Kick-off Carnival will be held on Tuesday, May 31 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Forsyth Conference Center, 3410 Ronald Reagan Blvd. Participants can register for the Summer Reading Program, play carnival games, and watch balloon artists twist balloons into wild animals and zany objects. Lew-E the Clown will also give two performances of “READ-O-LYMPICS,” an exciting magic show and storytime for children of all ages.

The Cumming Library will host a Carnival for its patrons on Wednesday, June 1 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and the Hampton Park Library will host its Summer Reading Kick-off Carnival on Thursday, June 2 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Both events will include carnival games, balloon artists, and two performances from entertainer Todd Key. His show, “Cirque du Todd: The Flying Debris Extravaganza Juggle-Palooza,” combines juggling, circus skills, magic, and just the right mix of comedy and reading encouragement for children of all ages.

“Our summer reading theme this year is On Your Mark, Get Set...READ!, so we’ll be encouraging families to make sports and physical fitness part of their summer routine,” adds Bradley.

In addition to providing books, magazines, and digital materials on health and wellness, the Library will offer programs for teens and adults on cooking and eating healthfully on a budget. The full slate of summer programming for children, teens, and adults will be announced shortly.

Patrons are encouraged to check the Library’s online event calendar at to view programs by age group or by location. Printed Summer Program Guides will also be available at each library branch starting May 15.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Staff Picks

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

I had heard a lot about Murakami so I finally decided to see what all the fuss was about. He is perhaps the most well-known modern Japanese author and his name often appears in the same sentence as "Magical Realism" and/or "Kafkaesque". Rightfully so. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is one of the most bizarre books I've ever read.    

On the surface, the premise is simple. A young man who recently left his job searches for his missing cat. His search quickly takes a turn for the strange and he meets a colorful cast of characters including a female mystic obsessed with water, a World War II veteran who survived an unbelievable mission in Mongolia, and a high school girl with a scar and a morbid fascination. Along the way, the protagonist reflects on his married life and delves deep into his relationship with his wife and her enigmatic brother.  

One of the reviews on the book used the word "Dreamlike" and that is the best word I can think of to describe The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. If you're a fan of mystery, the fantastical, and you like the strange intertwined with the mundane, this is the book for you.

Nicholas Yeatman
Information Specialist

Monday, April 25, 2016

Staff Picks

Debuting in May 2016 (and finding its way onto our library shelves soon after), The Thank You Book will be the 25th and final book in Mo Willem’s highly acclaimed Elephant and Piggy series. These books are a favorite of both our patrons and library staff. The two main characters, Gerald and Piggy, share stories of friendship and fun and we are sad that their series is ending.

But, there is good news! If you love Gerald and Piggy like I do, there is another fun series you should definitely check out: Ballet Cat by Bob Shea. In this series, friendship and humor are the overriding themes as well, and the story is presented in a similar format as Elephant and Piggy. Each character has its own color coded speech bubble, much like a comic book would feature.

As if that is not enough, one of the titles is Dance, Dance, Underpants! How fun is that?

Andrea Delvalle
Information Specialist - Youth Services

Monday, April 18, 2016

STEAM Rollers: A Book Club for Grades 3-6

STEAM Rollers: A Book Club for Grades 3-6 - Cumming Library,  April 28th at 4:00 p.m

Little Author in the Big Woods, a Biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Yona Zeldis McDonough is the featured book. Most children are familiar with the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. What they don't always realize is that Wilder's books are autobiographical. This narrative biography describes more of the details of the young Laura's real life as a young pioneer homesteading with her family on many adventurous journeys. This biography points out the differences between the fictional series as well as the many similarities.

We will explore how pioneer families lived and traveled and give you a chance to test your own survival skills.   The STEAM Rollers book club for children in grades 3-6 will be at the Cumming Library on Thursday, April 28 at 4:00 p.m. Registration is recommended.

Holly Raus
Information Specialist - Youth Services

Friday, April 15, 2016

Bookmarks Book Club for Teens Meets April 28

From the opulent Tsar Nicholas and Empress Alexandra to the dubious and infamous Rasputin to the poverty stricken peasants, Candace Fleming provides the reader with intimate details into the lives of the royal family in The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia.

Both sad and enlightening, the book is a very interesting read about Russia during the time of World War I and is this month’s selection for the Bookmarks book club for teens in grades 7 and up. Visit the FCPL catalog to reserve a print or eBook version of The Family Romanov.

The book club will meet at the Cumming Library on Thursday, April 28th at 1:00 p.m. and is designed for the schedule of homeschoolers, but all teens available at this time are welcome to attend. Registration is recommended.