Monday, December 30, 2013

Staff Picks: Dragonlance Chronicles

I'm somewhat of an enigma when it comes to fantasy. I am a self proclaimed fan of the genre and often navigate to various things in that setting, but if there is a specific example of one that I don't much care for it's the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  I don't have much in the way of explanation for why, it's just something that never really appealed to me. (Probably not the smartest thing to say with a new Hobbit movie coming out or hobbit promotion in our Library)

In any case, there is one fantasy trilogy that I am absolutely in love with and have been since middle school, and that would be Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman. Since this duo is quite the prolific pair, I'd like focus on the Dragons Trilogy as it's probably the most notable story and the one where the major characters become the "Heroes of the Lance", and essentially lays the foundation for the all the stories that follow it. 

          

The tale sets up with a group of adventurers meeting up after a 5 years to reconnect after going their separate ways. The brothers Majere: Caramon and Raistlin, Tanis Half-Elven, the knight Sturm, Tasselhoff the Kender, and Flint the Dwarf. On the eve of their reunion they find that the village is currently under the occupation of a religious organization called the Seekers, who work for the Dragon Highlords who look to conquer the continent. 

They seek a blue crystal staff that supposedly has the power of the lost gods of good and has the ability to disrupt their plans for conquest. A staff that so happens to be in the possession of a Barbarian Princess, Goldmoon, who is also in the same tavern where our group has reunited.  After a display of the staffs healing powers and an altercation with Goldmoon's lover (Riverwind) the group confronted by the authorities and are forced to flee.

Thus setting in motion a pursuit of a Draconian empire, as the group makes way to find out more about the old gods that and recover an ancient series of disks that will be instrumental in returning faith to the True Gods, all the while defending themselves against attacks from Draconians and the eventual return of dark dragons.
__________________________________________________________________________

As a series of stories heavily based in the Dungeons and Dragons universe, I think what I ended up liking the most about the series is that it really is an ensemble piece. Right from the get go we have a pretty wide and diverse cast of characters that only grows as the story progresses. I find it to be a true ensemble piece because while certain points of the story focus on certain characters, there is no "Hero" of the tale. It will constantly shift focus in the group, allowing the reader to decide for themselves which hero they like instead of having one projected to you as your read.

Additionally, like a great game of D&D, many of the characters have their own motivations. One of the more popular characters and one of the primary antagonists, Raistlin Majere, is quite clearly from the onset an "evil" character. His motivations clearly are beneficial to himself, and he will often manipulate situations to further his own power under the guise of helping the group. Much to the dismay of his brother.

I really can only give such a small snippet of the story as so much takes place in these three novels, but if you are fan of the fantasy genre then this is a tale that you'll find incredibly easy to slip into. It has adventuring, fights with dragons, war, romance, splashes of comedy, and pretty much satisfies all my needs in a fantasy story. It's a series I've enjoyed as a kid and one I enjoy to this date.

Feel free to check out the CLEVNET catalog to check out these stories, and if you get as wrapped up in the universe as I have, we have a wide selection of the numerous other stories within the Dragonlance universe as well.

Monday, December 23, 2013

New Year's Resolutions for Readers


2014 is just around the corner...Have you made any New Year's Resolutions yet?   Here are a few ideas for all you readers out there...

Readers Resolutions  courtesy of Camille DelVecchio of the Penfield Public Library in New York.

This year I will:
  1. Reread a book I loved as a child.
  2. Finally read that classic from high school I've been avoiding.
  3. Find a book of poetry and read some aloud.
  4. Spend an hour in aimless browsing at a library.
  5. Read a book written in the year I was born.
  6. Create a journal and keep notes about the books and magazines I read.
  7. Assemble a list of addresses of my favorite people and send them my ideas about books.
  8. Read a book to a child.
  9. Gather a few friends and read a play out loud.
  10. Read a book on the history of my town.  Why not try 20th Century Memoirs of Kirtland  by Grace Parks? 
  11. Read a book written from a political point of view totally opposite my own.
  12. Read a book about a place I've never been.
  13. Reread a book that I just didn't "get" when I was eighteen.
  14. Ask my favorite librarian to show me some print and online resources for readers.
  15. Read a book written by a non-American.

Have you ever started a book and decided you don't like it, but not put it down because you feel guilty and you're not a quitter!  If you need permission to stop reading a book before you've finished it, try the "Rule of Fifty."

Nancy Pearl, a librarian and readers advisor extraordinaire, developed this simple rule to help readers determine how many pages they should read before they give up on a particular book.   If you are fifty years of age or younger, give the book fifty pages before you decide to commit to reading it or give it up.  If you are over fifty, subtract your age from 100 -- the result is the number of pages you should read before making your decision to stay with it or quit.

What better way to start out the new year than with a good book.  Come to the Kirtland Public Library and check one out today!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Hobbits and Dwarves and Dragons, Oh My!



The Hobbit, Or, There and Back Again  The Fellowship of the Ring  The Two Towers  The Return of the King


In honor of the release of the movie, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, here are some Hobbit trivia questions. Please note that some of the questions can only be answered by reading the book!
  1. Who wrote The Hobbit, Or There And Back Again?
  2. Where does Bilbo live?
  3. What is the name of Bilbo's home?
  4. How many dwarves accompany Bilbo and Gandalf on the adventure?
  5. Who was the first dwarf to arrive at Bilbo's home?
  6. Who are the two youngest dwarves?
  7. Who is the leader of the dwarves?
  8. What is the name of the home where Elrond and his elves live?
  9. What is the name of the forest that Bilbo and the dwarves enter?
  10. How many trolls capture Bilbo and the dwarves, and what are their names?
  11. What happens to trolls when they are caught in the sunlight?
  12. Beorn can shape-shift in to what kind of creature?
  13. Who does Bilbo meet in the goblin caves?
  14. What does Bilbo find in the caves?
  15. What is the name of the Dragon?
  16. How much of the dragon's gold hoard was Bilbo promised in return for his services as a burgler?
  17. How do the dwarves escape from the wood elves?
  18. How many armies fight in the war at the end of The Hobbit?
Answers
  1. J.R.R. Tolkein
  2. The Shire
  3. Bag End
  4. 13
  5. Dwalin
  6. Fili and Kili
  7. Thorin Oakenshield
  8. Rivendell
  9. Mirkwood
  10. 3,  Bert, Tom and William
  11. They turn to stone
  12. Bear
  13. Gollum
  14. The Ring
  15. Smaug
  16. One fourteenth
  17. Bilbo packs them in empty wine barrels
  18. Five 

 I highly recommend The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King) by J.R.R. Tolkein.  They are fantastic adventure stories with great characters.  The movies are good too!  You can check them out at the Kirtland Public Library.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Fix Your Car at the Library!

Did you know you can get free, up to date information on your car from ALLDATA?  ALLDATA provides vehicle information that is used by professionals, and you can use it too.  You have access to ALLDATA for free in any CLEVNET library.

ALLDATA has been around since 1986 providing information from OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) service manuals. This is the same information your mechanic and auto technicians use to diagnose and fix your car. If you want to know what and how they're doing it, look up your car on ALLDATA. Or if you want to make repairs yourself, ALLDATA can show you how.

Use ALLDATA to do the following:
  • Diagnose car trouble
  • Get easy to follow repair procedures
  • Get part numbers and prices
  • See how long it takes to repair/replace parts
  • See exactly where parts are located in your car
  • Find information on recalls and known problems with your vehicle
  • Get maintenance schedules for your car based on its mileage
Navigating ALLDATA is easy. Simply choose your vehicle's YEAR, MAKE, and MODEL from the lists provided. Then click on a component such as Engine, Cooling and Exhaust. From there, you can choose from a list of parts to learn how to service and/or repair them. Or you can diagnose car troubles from symptom lists by clicking on the desired component such as Computers and Control Systems, then clicking By Symptom. (Note: Not all components will have symptom lists.)

ALLDATA includes up to date information on recalls and known problems. Find this information for your vehicle using the TSB (Technical Service Bulletins) link on the left. 

ALLDATA has complete information from what kind of oil to put in your car to how to replace a battery. Even if you don't do the repairs yourself, ALLDATA lets you communicate with your mechanic better, and helps you know your vehicle inside and out. 

Remember, you can use ALLDATA for free in any CLEVNET library. Ask a reference librarian which computers have database access.



 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Books Into Movies: Holiday 2013 Edition


'Tis the season for holiday films. . .based on books



The Invisible Woman tells the story of the 13-year affair between Charles Dickens and Nelly Ternan, an actress 27 years younger than him. Ralph Fiennes directs and stars in the film, based on the biography The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens by Claire Tomalin.






Homefront, based on the novel by Chuck Logan, stars Jason Statham as Phil Broker, a recently widowed, former DEA agent who moves to a small town with his young daughter, hoping for a quiet life. However, the town they choose is run by a violent drug dealer, played by James Franco, and it’s up to Broker to save them all.




Labor Day stars Kate Winslet as Adele, a reclusive single mother who is coerced into taking an escaped convict, Frank, into her home. Although Adele and her son are at first frightened of Frank, he quickly becomes part of the family over the long Labor Day weekend. Will the police catch up to him, or will they all live happily ever after? Based on the novel by Joyce Maynard.




The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the second part of a 3-part adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s classic fantasy novel. Set in Middle-Earth, 60 years before The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, this film continues the adventure of Bilbo Baggins (The Hobbit) on his quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and the lost Dwarf Kingdom of EreborStarring Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Cate Blanchett, and Orlando Bloom.



The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is based on the short story of the same name by James Thurber. The film, directed by and starring Ben Stiller, depicts the rich fantasy life of the of the otherwise quiet, mild-mannered magazine editor, Walter. But when his job is threatened, he goes on a real-life adventure that surpasses anything in his imagination.


Remember, it's always better to read the book before you see the movie, so come in and check one out!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Staff Picks...Christmas Books!


A Christmas Memory            Christmas on Jane Street        The Story of Holly and Ivy

I started collecting Christmas books when I was in high school.  I have a pretty good sized collection which includes about seven editions of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, and at least 20 versions of Clement C. Moore’s Night Before Christmas.    I won’t bore you with a list of all the books in my collection but I will share some of my favorites.
A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote and illustrated by Beth Peck.  “It’s fruitcake time,” says Miss Sook.  She and Buddy gather nuts, count their pennies to purchase dried fruit and spices and plan who will receive one of the 30 fruitcakes they lovingly bake.  President Roosevelt will, the driver of the 6 o’clook bus from Mobile will, and so will HaHa Jones, the man who sells them the whisky to soak the cakes!  Buddy and Miss Sook also decorate their house and make presents for the rest of the family and dream about a wonderful Christmas.  Capote is such a wonderful writer and the watercolor illustrations in this edition are just beautiful.
Christmas on Jane Street by Billy Romp.  This is the true story of the Romp family.   They are Christmas tree farmers in Vermont and spend the month before Christmas living in a small trailer in on the corner of Jane Street and 8th Avenue in New York City while they sell their trees.  They arrive in New York on the day after Thanksgiving and get home just in time for Christmas morning.   I love the descriptions of New York City at Christmas and the changing relationship between the father and his daughter. This one is warm and fuzzy and brings back memories of ice skating at Rockefeller Center and the omnipresent aroma of roasting chestnuts.
The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden and Illustrated by Barbara Cooney.  Ivy, Holly, and Mr. and Mrs. Jones all have one Christmas wish. Ivy, an orphan, wishes for a real home and sets out in search of the grandmother she's sure she can find. Holly, a doll, wishes for a child to bring her to life. And the Joneses wish more than anything for a son or daughter to share their holiday. Can all three wishes come true?  A sympathetic boy and a mischievous toy owl make this a terrific story.  The illustrations are lovely.

The Cajun Night Before Christmas by “Trosclair” and illustrated by James Rice.  Santa comes down the bayou on a pirogue pulled by eight tiny ‘gators!  Let the good times roll!

Wombat Divine by Mem Fox and illustrated by Kerry Argent.  Wombat loves everything about Christmas especially the Nativity Play.  He’s finally old enough for a part, but which part will be just right?

Here are some other Christmas books to try.

For children and their grown ups:

A Pint of Judgment Elizabeth Morrow
Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs
The Bird’s Christmas Carol by Kate Douglas Wiggins
Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto
Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Barbara Cooney
The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Huston
Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon
A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas

For grown ups:
Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg
The Christmas Tree by Julie Salamon
Christmas at Eagle Pond by Donald Hall
These are just some of my favorites – what are some of yours?  You can get all these books and many, many more at the Kirtland Public Library…Check it out!
Cajun Night before Christmas         Wombat Divine                    Skipping Christmas

Monday, November 18, 2013

A New Spin on Thanksgiving Turkey

So. Full disclosure: I can't cook. 30 something male who plays games and reads comics? I know, it's crazy right? Sadly its true. But that doesn't mean I'm not a fan of spicing up my meal, and for YEARS there has been a recipe that has eluded  me. So when I was elected to do a post about cooking up a turkey, I ventured forth to find it.

To give a little background, I'm a big fan of the people over at RoosterTeeth Productions. I watch their videos, read the comics, and listen to their podcasts. Several years ago while they were still producing a tri-weekly comic, they produced this one...


In the RoosterTeeth podcast, RT founder Burnie Burns has on more than one occasion spoken about his now infamous "Deep Fried Jalapeno Turkey." While discussions of it have taken place, and threads upon threads of RT users have tried to wrestle the recipe out of him, yet to minimal avail.

This is something I need to have. Having already had deep fried turkey, the idea of adding Jalapenos to it is already making my mouth water. Since Burnie has been tight lipped about his recipe, I think I have found something comparable by adding this spin with one of my dad's recipes. 

INGREDIENTS
-10-14 lb Turkey
-2-3 Jalapeno Peppers.
-Inject-able Jalapeno Marinade
-Optional Brine: 5 gallons water, 1lb kosher salt, 1lb brown sugar. (can set 8-16 hours, let set at room temp for 30 mins prior to cook.)
-Roughly 2 gallons of Peanut Oil (or oil of your choosing)

DIRECTIONS
-To start, set your turkey in a 30 quart Aluminum Propane Deep fryer, and fill with water. This is measure how much oil you will need to use to deep fry. You will want to just barely cover the top of the turkey, and leave at least 4 to 5 inches of space from top.
-Remove turkey, rinse, and pat dry.
-Inject marinade. (There are different strategies for this. 3-6 oz. of marinade should be more than sufficient, but the locations and the number of injections is really up to the chef. up to 4 big shots could work, but little pecks all over the bird work too. It all caters to your taste)
-(Pre)cut your Jalapeno Peppers into sliced rings, and make small slices in the skin around the turkey. Neatly slide in your jalapeno rings under the skin around the bird. (Remove the seeds if you want to remove some of the spice kick.)
-Bring oil up to 350 degrees, and gently lower your bird into the oil.
-You will want to maintain the 350 degrees, cook time usually averages about 3 minutes a pound give or take so you can expect an average cook time of about 30-40 minutes or so.
-Using an internal thermometer, you can remove the bird around 151 degrees. The temperature should still rise to 161 after removal.
-Carve bird, serve, and lose yourself in sweet, sweet deep fried bliss.


Not a fan of the deep fried method or don't care for a little spice in your food? Not a problem. The CLEVNET catalog offers a number of different Thanksgiving Cookbooks that you can use to find a traditional cook more your style. Be sure to check them out, or stop in and we will help find one for you!

I am very much looking forward to Thanksgiving this year. Are you?

Friday, November 8, 2013

What Can You Do With a Library Card?

If you don’t have a Kirtland Public Library card yet, what are you waiting for?  First of all, it doesn’t cost anything to get a card --- no money down,  no 30 days same as cash.  It is F-R-E-E, FREE! 
Secondly, a Kirtland Public Library (KPL) card opens the door to practically limitless educational and informational opportunities.  Here are just some of the things you can do with your library card.
1. If you still like to read an actual book, with a cover and pages, we have them!  You can order them online, and pick them up at KPL or at any other CLEVNET library location you prefer.
2. You want to watch a movie?  We have those too; and free DVDs from the library are still cheaper than renting them from somewhere else.
3. KPL belongs to the CLEVNET Consortium of 44 libraries in 12 counties.  This means your library card gives you access to all the material in all of those libraries.  If we don’t have what you’re looking for, we can get it from another library.
4. Ebooks and other downloads.  Through the CLEVNET eMedia site, with the Overdrive or Adobe Digital Editions software, you can download eBooks to a wide variety of ereaders.  You can also download music, films and audiobooks.   Next year, you’ll be able to download popular magazines too.
5. Research databases.   Yes, everyone can find information using free internet search engines. The Library purchases premium databases and your card gives you access to over 60 research databases.  You can fix your car with AllData or research your family genealogy with Ancestry.com or write your next research paper with the EBSCO databases.  Click on this link to see a list of all the databases.  http://www.clevnet.org/databases_all.php
6. You can get help with your homework.  Click on KnowItNow24x7 to access Ohio’s online reference service.  You can talk to a librarian 24 hours
7. You can use the Library website, www.kirtland.lib.oh.us, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to order books, and movies! You can even pay fines online with a credit card.

So, as they say on TV,  what’s in your wallet?  If it’s not a Kirtland Public Library card – come and get one today!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Read Any Good Books Lately?



Are you waiting for your copy of the latest best seller?
Have you read every book by your favorite author? 
Do you need a good book to read today?

  Tell us what authors you enjoy reading, and we can give you a list of Read Alikes - books by other authors who write in a similar style. Read Alikes can be based on a number of appeal factors, such as genre, setting, plot, or time period. You can even use our website to find your list.

Say you are on the waiting list for the latest John Grisham book, Sycamore Row. You have read all of Grisham's other titles and would like a book to read in the meantime. Follow these steps to find your new favorite author:
  • Go to our home page, http://www.kirtland.lib.oh.us
  • Click on find a good book at the top of the page
  • Click on Read Alikes
  • Click on the drawer labeled F-J
  • Click on John Grisham



Now you have a printable list of new authors to read, including David Baldacci, Steve Martini, and Scott Turow. While we have included some of the most popular authors in our Read Alikes section, we can find a great book for you to read based on any author or title that you have enjoyed. Just come to the Reference Desk and tell us what you like.

Come to the Library and find your new favorite author today!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Staff Picks: Magic Realism

Of course all books are magical, but I like a little magic in a book, especially if it is presented in a realistic way. Here are a few titles Kirtland Public Library has that bring magic into the known world in irresistible ways:


The Probable Future
by Alice Hoffman
2003, 322 pages

Alice Hoffman writes for adults and young adults, and this book can be enjoyed by either. It tells of the Sparrow family, three generations of women who each have a gift. Stella, the granddaughter, can see how people will die, but her prediction leads to her father's jailing. I was engrossed in the family's ordeals as well as the setting.



Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
by Susanna Clarke
2004, 782 pages

This hefty book tells what happens when magic returns to 19th century England through two very different magicians. Clarke's book is detailed, clever, and imaginative. I loved the characters and the descriptions of their interactions with magic.




The Prestige
by Christopher Priest
1995/2006, 368 pages
Two illusionist magicians spend their lives outdoing each other in this book full of mysterious twists and turns. I was as surprised and intrigued by the book as I was by the 2006 movie by the same name. A good read for those not ready for unexplained magic.

The Night Circus
by Erin Morgenstern
2011, 387 pages

You will fall in love with the characters and the circus described in this especially magical book. Two magicians must compete with each other and fall in love in the process. The author cites Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and The Prestige as inspirations.



The Golem and the Jinni
by Helene Wecker
2013, 486 pages

Folklore comes to life in 1899 New York when a golem, a Jewish figure made of clay, and a jinni, a mythical Arab man of fire, try to survive in the hard world. This book is thoroughly researched and presented, and pulls you deep into the lives of the characters.



Have you read any books about magic?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Review sources: Professional Vs Passionate?

A lot of people enjoy diving headfirst into a new book or movie. Some people like to take stock of a review or a critic first. Thankfully in the realm of movies and books, there is no shortage of people throwing in their two cents on a topic at hand. This past week I have been glancing over a number of review locations, and comparing the reviews you’d find from their sources from teens to adults. After looking through quite a number of them, I’ve found much like the books themselves, there are reviews that also cater to taste as a reader.

As librarians we are constantly presented with authoritative material that helps go into the selection of our catalogs. Right our desk you might catch us looking through a Publisher’s Weekly or Library Journal. In them, nearly a 3rd of the content is devoted to reviews of materials. Many of the reviews are clear, concise, and to the point. They usually close the review giving a short synopsis of the story, its tone of writing, and usually brief recommendation for its audience. They are pretty hand snippets to give you an idea of the story, and this usually is the formats you'll see on major review sites like Kirkus or Horn Book.

Library Journal: Quick reviews in a tight nutshell.

However, if you are avid reader, you have no doubt found your way over to the community over at Goodreads.com. Starting in 2006 as a small 'social cataloging' community to find and share books and materials, it has since exploded into a user base of over 20 million people of readers and authors alike.
I affectionately refer to sites like this as "The Bad Lands of Reviews" because after you read the book synopsis, you really are jumping into the wilds of social media interaction. You will find a number of impassioned reviewers who (not unlike myself) will launch into extensive dissertations about the entirety of the book. There are some who will trail into unrelated context about their lives and how the book compares, and some will be short simple "I LOVED/HATED this book". Until recently it was fairly unmoderated so be wary, there are no language filters here. But you won't find reviews with more honest feelings anywhere else, and I think that's the reason I love it.
You'll find community reviewers are much more excited to talk about a book.

All of these review places have their own merits, and you would do well to explore these options. It is all going to boil down to a matter of your own taste. You find some new stuff to read, and you might find a place to voice your own impassioned reviews as well. Looking to try it out? Our very own CLEVNET catalog has similar community functionality! You can go in, rate your books, give a review, insert quotes, or add videos to your favorite items. Be sure to check them out!

Monday, October 14, 2013

What in the World is a Lexile and Why Does My Kid Have One?

What are Lexile measures?

Lexile measures may seem new to you but they have been around for years. Based on over 20 years of research, Lexiles  measure a book's difficulty and a reader's ability and use those measures in order to connect students with books that will continue to develop their reading skills.

There are two parts to the Lexile Framework:

1) Lexile measure--a number given to a book and a student. The book's Lexile measure (Lexile value) represents its difficulty. The reader's Lexile measure represents his or her reading ability. Both measures are represented by the letter L. Beginning readers read at about 200L.

2) Lexile scale--The range of readability levels for a reader based on his or her own measure. The entire scale goes from 200L (beginning readers) to over 1300L (high school and beyond). A student's individual scale extends about 50L above and 100L below his or her measure.

For example, a student who has a Lexile measure of 1000L (a typical middle school reading level) should be reading books that have a measure between 900L and 1050L. Anything below 900L will not provide the student with any challenge. Anything above 1050L may be too challenging.

The table below shows where students should be reading by grade level:

Grade
Lexile Measure
1
Up to 300L
2
140L to 500L
3
330L to 700L
4
445L to 810L
5
565L to 910L
6
665L to 1000L
7
735L to 1065L
8
805L to 1100L
9
855L to 1165L
10
905L to 1195L
11 and 12
940L to 1210L

How is a book measured?

Lexile measures are based on word frequency and sentence length, both shown by research to be strong predictors of a book's difficulty. MetaMetrics, the company that certifies Lexile measures, analyzes a book by scanning the entire text and analyzing word frequency and sentence length.

Word frequency is not the number of times a word appears in a book, but rather the frequency of the word in a body of 600 million words used by the Lexile analyzer. The more frequent the word appears in this body, the easier it is for students to comprehend. Rare words and more challenging words do not appear as frequently in the body and contribute to a higher Lexile measure for a book.

Sentence length contributes to a book's difficulty because longer sentences usually contain more clauses which communicate more information and ideas and relationships between them. Longer sentences also require a reader to retain more information in short-term memory leading to better comprehension when reading.

Sentences that use unconventional punctuation or spacing and text structures such as lists, poetry, and charts can affect a Lexile measure. Some books may have high Lexile measures, but their style and structure may not provide the quality of writing needed to increase reading ability. It is important for students who are not beginning readers to regularly read large sections of text (such as chapters) without interruptions from pictures or other stylized writing.

The word frequency and sentence length measures are combined into an algebraic equation resulting in a Lexile measure for a book. Books with longer sentences and words of low frequency result in higher Lexile measures. Books with short sentences and common words have low Lexile measures.

Students should receive their Lexile measure at school. You can find out more about Lexiles and find the Lexile measures of books at lexile.com.


Things to Consider

Lexile measures do not consider a book's content, theme, genre, style or quality. A book may be in a student's Lexile range, but may not interest the student or be comprehended easily. Choosing a book to read is more than just matching up Lexile measures, but they are a good starting point. Students should choose books that interest them but that are also within their Lexile range.





Examples of Popular Titles and Their Lexile Measures





























Monday, October 7, 2013

Star Wars Reads Day II

We had a great time again this year celebrating Star Wars and Reading. We began by making Jabba the Hutt out of lunch bags.

Star Wars craft

Star Wars craft

Star Wars craft

Next we had snacks and enjoyed Empire Strikes Back from http://www.readalongadventures.com/

Empire Strikes Back readalong

Mini light sabers made the day complete:

light sabers

light sabers


The Force is with you when you read. The Library has many Star Wars books and movies for you to enjoy.


Darth Vader























Friday, October 4, 2013

From Book to Movie...


Coming in November 2013



Some of the best movies started out as books. 
Check these out now, before the movies are released!

As I Lay Dying


James Franco will direct and star in the movie adaptation of William Faulkner's classic. The matriarch of the Bundren family has died and her final request was to be buried in a town 40 miles away from the family farm. This is the story of the family's journey to her final resting place, and the challenges they face along the way.

 

Ender's Game



Ender Wiggin, child genius, has been chosen by the military to save the human race from alien invasion. He is placed in a Battle School located on a ship in the Earth's orbit to train. This science fiction classic is Orson Scott Card's best-known work. The film stars Asa Butterfield, Abigail Breslin, and Harrison Ford.




The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street is the true story of Jordan Belfort, a multimillionaire stockbroker who had it all, then lost it all after getting caught cheating investors out of $200 million. The movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Belfort, follows his rise and fall during the decade of the 1990's.


The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Part 2 of The Hunger Games trilogy, Catching Fire picks up the story after Katniss and Peeta have won The Hunger Games, ensuring a lifetime of wealth and safety for them and their families. But the country is rebelling against them, protesting the methods they used to win, in another action-packed tale of survival. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth.

The Book Thief

Set in Nazi Germany during World War II, The Book Thief tells the story of a foster child named Liesel who turns to books in order to escape the horrors of her surroundings. The movie version stars Sophie Nelisse, Geoffrey Rush, and Emily Watson.



The Monuments Men

The Monuments Men tells the true story of a group of men and women who were assigned the task of saving the art of Europe from Nazi destruction during World War II. George Clooney directs and stars in the movie adaptation, with Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett.

Which do you think is better -- the book or the movie?  Tell us!