DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!

summer reading

Jun 25 2010

Oldies but Goodies…

by ShareReads

ShareReads appears on the DCPLive blog on Fridays. Each week, a different person will share a little about what they’re currently reading, and why they like or don’t like it.  The heart of ShareReads will be responses from blog readers, and the window of opportunity here is wide. Feel free to respond and discuss the book or author being mentioned, ask or answer a question, or even take the conversation in a different direction: mention what you are currently reading, and how you feel about it.  The point of ShareReads is to have an ongoing discussion about books and reading.  Remember: posting a response also counts as an activity for the Summer Reading for Adults program.

As I Lay Dying coverThe classics never fail to challenge and satisfy my maturing reading habits.  I used to think teaching high school and college English classes had ruined me as a reader. I started looking at books for what they offered for class discussion and as examples of various fiction devices.  I critiqued structure and character development as well as use of setting while I read.  There were some years when I shifted to non-fiction because I could escape these distractions. But I never stopped returning to some of the classics.

Like some people I know who read Pride and Prejudice every year, I return to William Faulkner as my iconic Southern writer who captured aspects of the South, and the world universal, for those willing to bring the tolerance for ambiguity needed to read him. My favorite of his books is As I Lay Dying, which I read every few years as it is both short and layered (something I like because it reflects life as I see it). Over the years of my own life, I find reading it changes.  The book is the same, but I am different.  At least I see relationships, and understanding of duty, and the society which plants that “darn” road by our doors as different with each reading.

If you haven’t read much of Faulkner, I recommend this as a good first step. Each chapter is told from a different character’s perspective as indicated by the chapter’s heading. The story starts with the mother dying in bed where she can hear one of her sons building her casket.  After she dies, the family sets out to bury her some distance away with “her folks”.  They travel by horse and mule, pulling a wagon with her casket.  They cross rivers, stay at friend’s and stranger’s homes, make important stops in town, and return, most of them, completely changed.

Are you reading books with shifts in perspective, with dynamically changing characters, that address the end of life?  If so, please share your responses and insights.

Thanks, and remember  you can avoid the heat by reading more….


Jun 9 2010

2010 Summer Reading List of Lists

by Jesse M

Looking for something good to read this summer but don’t know where to start?  For several years now the website Rebecca’s Pocket has compiled a comprehensive list of the many disparate summer reading lists published by various periodicals and institutions. You can check out this year’s reading list here. There are already dozens of lists to choose from, and more are added on a weekly basis.

Some of the more interesting lists include one from New York Magazine featuring six writers each recommending favorite books from their chosen genre, a Los Angeles Times article describing the placement and influence of literature in the recently concluded television series “Lost“, and another compiled by NPR that features picks made by a trio of independent booksellers.

There are also over a dozen lists targeted towards children and teens, just scroll to the bottom of the page.

And once you’ve acquired some reading material, don’t forget to sign up and participate in one of our summer reading programs for kids, teens, and adults!

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May 19 2010

2010 Vacation Reading Program

by Nancy M

School might be out and summer vacation here, but that doesn’t mean your child should be taking a hiatus from reading and learning.  Yes, summer can be filled with camp, vacations, the pool, movies and sheer laziness (oh, how I miss those days) but kids who neglect reading for 3 months start off the next school year a lot worse off than those who don’t.

But do not fret, DeKalb County Public Libraries are here for you and your children! Every summer DCPL, along with libraries all across the country, offer the Vacation Reading Program. This year’s theme is Make a Splash—Read! and it is a  reading incentive program for children of all ages. Sign up begins on Saturday, May 22 and will continue through July 31. Visit any DeKalb County Public Library branch to sign up. You can view sign-up instructions and rules here.

Teens can get in on the action too by signing up for Make Waves @ Your Library, the Vacation Reading Program for young adults ages 13-17 years old. Sign up and keep track of your reading online here.

To kick off the Vacation Reading Program, we will host parties at the Dunwoody Library, Wesley-Chapel Library and Decatur Library. We will have fun activities for the whole family, including a magic show by Mr. Greggy! More information and a list of dates and times can be found on the Vacation Reading Program page.

Don’t forget to check out this summer’s FREE programs for children and teens in the events calendar.


Jul 22 2009

Summer is not over yet!

by Nancy M

poster20color1The countdown is on with only 10 days left of the Vacation Reading Program! If you haven’t returned your reading logs for your prizes and raffle tickets, don’t fret, you have until closing on July 31st to do so.

Feeling the back to school blues creeping up on you? DeKalb County Public Libraries are still offering plenty of programs for children and teens. There is nothing like attending a Tween Chocolate Party, attending a magic show, or catching a free movie to lift those spirits! You can see a full list of programs offered through July here.

expressyourselfposterFor teens there is still time to enter Express Yourself contests, such as the digital photo contest at the Dunwoody Library, or the Lithonia-Davidson Library art contest. And don’t forget to log your reading hours online.

Enjoy the rest of summer!


May 27 2009

Summer Reading is Recommended

by Lesley B

Why should kids get all the fun?Every Memorial Day I have to get past my cranky attitude about being all adult now and not getting a 10-week summer vacation.  Please tell me I’m not the only one who longs to sleep late, go barefoot and spend all day at the pool. If you’ve got the grown-up summertime blues like me, relive vacations of the past with the 2nd Annual Summer Reading for Adults program. Have fun and win prizes like a VIP pass to the Decatur Book Festival. Pick up a folder at any DCPL location or sign up online, then sit back with a good book and have a “popsicle” with a couple of olives. It may not be vacation reading, but it’s still summer and it stays light for a long time after work.


May 22 2009

Be Creative @ Your Library!

by Nancy M

becreativeAt last, summer vacation is finally here! Now, there are loads of ways to spend your 3 months off, but participating in this year’s Vacation Reading Program has to be one of the best ways to use that time. Yes, I am a children’s librarian, so it’s my job to say that, but studies show that children who don’t read over the summer lose a wealth of knowledge. Participating in the summer reading program is not only a great way to ensure that kids will be ready to start back at school in the fall, but it’s also a lot of fun!

We have reading programs for all ages including Wee Reader for children ages 0-2, Be Creative @ Your Library for 3-12 year olds and Express Yourself @ Your Library for teens ages 13-17. You can view the rules here.

Signup begins Saturday, May 23rd, and continues through Friday, July 31st. You can sign up at any DeKalb County Public Library. This year, teens are going green by signing up and keeping track of their reading hours online. Teen information and signup can be accessed here.

Havana Son will be performing at this summer’s Vacation Reading Program kick-offs, held at the Dunwoody Library, Decatur Library and Wesley-Chapel Library. The kick-offs are open to all ages and will include crafts and fun activities.

And don’t forget to check out our great summer program schedule for children and teens!


School’s out for the summer and your child is looking for something to read.  Newbery and Caldecott Award winners are a good place to start, but if you’ve exhausted those lists or you’re looking for something more recent, I’ve listed a few of my favorite sites below.

TeenReads is a great site for new releases, book reviews and author interviews.  They feature only books that are written for the teen audience, and have special sections for graphic novels and Christian fiction.  You can also browse their archive as far back as 2002 for books you might have missed when they first came out.

KidsReads is a similar site, but geared toward children in preschool through middle school age.  They review picture books, beginning chapter books, as well as fiction books for elementary and middle school.  Their special features include a list of books that have been turned into movies, popular series, and books soon to be released.

The American Library Association also has lots of good lists.  YALSA, the division of ALA devoted to young adults has lists of popular paperbacks, good books for college bound teens, great graphic novels and more.  ALSC, the division of ALA devoted to children’s services, has many lists, including bilingual books, books about diversity, and books for preschoolers, middle schoolers, and elementary age children.

The last site doesn’t contain book reviews, but it’s helpful if you’re looking for all the books by a particular author or the list of books in a series.  The Mid-Continent Public Library has put together a site that keeps an updated list of just about every series written for children and teens that you can think of.  You can search by title, author or series.  New books are added as they come out.  Books in a series are listed in chronological order so you’ll always know which one comes next.

If you have a favorite site to look for children’s books, list it in the comments.


May 21 2008

Catch the Reading Bug!

by Ginny C

If you have a school age child, you know why he or she is looking forward to Friday, May 23.  It’s the last day of school, of course.  Another day to look forward to is Saturday, May 24.  That’s the first day of the 2008 Vacation Reading Program.  This year Georgia has joined with 47 other states to Catch the Reading Bug (our theme for this year’s program.)  We have a reading program for children of all ages: Wee Reader for babies from birth to two years; Catch the Reading Bug for those ages 3-12; and Metamorphosis for teens ages 13-17.

Signing up is easy.  Just visit any DeKalb County Public Library and tell a staff member you want to participate.  You can view the rules here.  Prizes include tickets to Zoo Atlanta and Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

On Tuesday, May 27 musician Eric Litwin will help us celebrate the start of our Vacation Reading Program at our kick off parties at 3 locations around the county.  There’s one near you so we hope you’ll come out and join us for songs, storytelling and crafts.

Come in anytime between May 24 and July 31 to Catch the Reading Bug.  And don’t forget to check out our program schedule for special children’s programs all summer long.


Apr 7 2008

Summer and Kids

by Ev S

It’s that time of year again moms and dads. The time where we start counting the days until the kids go back to school. Yup, it’s summer vacation.  While the kids are hopping around in joy, you’re probably wondering what to do with the little critters for the summer.

Now if you’d like you can go for some high cost options: American Adventures, Six Flags Over Georgia, and Six Flags White Water.  You’ll spend a ton of money at these places. I know, I once went with five adults, one teenager, and two children. We were all broke and exhausted by day’s end. But even if you go to all these places twice during the summer you’ll still get the infamous “I’m booooored!” whine.

There are less expensive places that are educational like: Zoo Atlanta, the Georgia Aquarium, Stone Mountain Park, Atlanta Botanical Gardens, BabyLand General, Imagine It! Children’s Museum, and CNN tours.  But you get the same set of problems as from the more expensive places; they’re bored and you’re broke.

There is really only one place that I know of that will not break the bank and keep the kids happy. Yup, you guessed it (or should have), the library.  We’ve got the same thing we have all year round: books, CDs, DVDs, audio books, and computers.  But we also have dynamic children’s programming.  I know that at my branch we will have storytellers, magicians, crafts, food, animals, how to draw comics, and more. And that’s just one library.

So check out what’s going on this summer at your library. Not only are these programs fun and educational, they’re FREE!