Summer was made for reading: carefree vacation days, sitting at the beach or by the pool, relaxing outside in a deck chair or hammock. I’ve been enjoying my summer reading time immersed in teen fiction, ranging from fantasy to books that delve into realistic explorations of characters' lives. I’ve read several books this summer that have met my reading needs, whether I’m looking for escape and entertainment or to get a window into someone else’s life.
The votes have been counted, and Central Rappahannock Regional Library came out on top. Once again, Fredericksburg Parent & Family Magazine readers have chosen Central Rappahannock Regional Library as a winner in their 2018 Family Favorites awards - this time in two categories: Best Tutoring Service and Best Indoor Activity.
This October, Central Rappahannock Regional Library will be running a trebuchet contest. A trebuchet is a kind of medieval siege engine. Full-sized ones were used to smash down castle walls. This contest will be a fun, family event, and you can join in by bringing your handcrafted trebuchet and testing it against your competitors!
My first thought upon reading the description of Daniel H. Wilson's Robopocalypse was "Terminator rip-off." But I kept thinking, "Robots and the apocalypse, two of my favorite things to read about in fiction." I'm not making that up. And really, anything after Terminator 2 in the franchise doesn't, in my mind, count. I've always wanted a lot more detail about how the robot uprising occurs and how people struggle in the coming war, especially people who are not John Connor. After reading Robopocalypse, I want to assure you that it is as far removed from Terminator lore as anything "robot apocalypse" could possibly be. If you're someone who likes to be frightened and enjoys books where the mundane is made decidedly strange, then you might enjoy Robopocalypse.
Finnikin of the Rock, by Melina Marchetta, is a book for readers who don’t mind losing themselves. The land of Skuldenore is not always a pleasant place to be lost—in fact, it is often heartbreakingly dark. But I didn’t mind being lost within it, as long as I was with Finnikin.
Skuldenore is comprised of several countries, such as Osteria, Charyn, and Yutlind. Each country has its own interesting characterization, and there is much that goes into the world-building in this book, which makes it so successful. The country we care most about is Lumatere, Finnikin’s homeland.
Ten years ago, a power-greedy cousin infiltrated Lumatere’s royal castle, slaughtering the king, queen, and princesses. This violence set off another chain of violent events, which ended with the entire country being cursed and sealed off from the rest of the world. Those events are called “the five days of the unspeakable.” The people who escaped during that time roam the other countries, exiled, ignored, and mostly despised. They die from fever, starvation, and at the hands of other countries’ kings. It is not a good time to be Lumateren.
Members of the Patawomeck Tribe will recreate one of their Living History Villages at the library. On the front lawn, you'll smell venison and fish roasting on an open fire. Hear one of our Tribal members playing the flute and drumming. You can explore a replica of an actual long house and sit in a dug-out canoe. You and your family can pound corn to make meal and beat on the drums. Inside of the theater, you can see artifacts that are 10,000 years old, learn to speak our native Algonquian language, and make a craft with Tribe members. Come get your picture taken with Chief John.
Save the date: Fredericksburg Branch, Saturday, August 11, 9:00-3:00!
Join us for Fun Fest, and wrap up the summer with a fun, family-friendly celebration at the library.
Organizations from across our community will gather at Fun Fest to celebrate children, families, and the fun of summer with games, activities, ice pops, and more. You might make bubbles or play a bean bag toss game. You might see dogs or ponies. Each library will have something special to enjoy. Visit more than one Fun Fest to multiply your fun!
Award-winning author Sharon Creech wove a lot of her own life into her books for young adults, including her first one, Absolutely Normal Chaos. Written as a journal as are many of her novels, what strikes a reader immediately are her humor and casual way of storytelling. Everything is told offhand, as if it doesn’t really matter—just a 13-year-old chattering. Until what happens does matter and things get serious. That’s when readers are grateful for the humor, and having a strong if strange family really becomes important.
I don't care if you are a kid, teen or adult - it feels great to be able to do some impressive tricks for your family and friends at the next backyard barbecue, like blowing a bubble within a bubble or slicing an unpeeled banana. If you want to move beyond mere parlor tricks, you can learn how to identify clouds, ride a boogie board or fold fortune cookies thanks to the super-easy directions in Show Off: How to Do Absolutely Everything One Step at a Time, by Sarah Hines Stephens and Bethany Mann.
What makes "Show Off" a fantastic book are the step-by-step picture directions. Since I am a graphic learner, this makes it so much easier for me than trying to decipher a page of text describing how to fold a ninja star. The ingredient lists tend to be very slight, which is a bonus for parents. If you want to learn more about an activity, several of them have longer descriptions in the back under "tell me more." The 224 activities are grouped under the categories of "amaze," "investigate," "create," "explore," "cook," and "move." Most of these are easy to do by yourself if you're at least 10 years old, while others will require adult help.
Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Claudia Emerson Teen Poetry Contest! Many thanks to our contest judges: University of Mary Washington faculty members Amanda Rutstein, adjunct English instructor, and Laura Bylenok, assistant professor of English.