Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer Reading 2014

Don't forget to sign up for our annual summer reading club! You have until July 12 to sign up and get all your reading done to be eligible for prizes. 

Don't know what to read? Check out these recommendations or ask us at the information desk!
Let us know what you're reading this summer in the comments or on any of our social media sites. 


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Dia De Los Ninos 2014

Dia de los Ninos/Dia de los Libros (Children's Day/Book Day) is a nationally recognized initiative that emphasizes the importance of literacy and education for children of all backgrounds. The El Paso Public Library and Parks & Recreation have been hosting this event since 1997. This is the second year that the Dorris Van Doren Branch hosts a "mini Dia" event, and we had a great turnout!

We had about 2,000 in attendance and gave away over a thousand books to children and teens. Thanks for coming out to celebrate children and literacy!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Finds for April 11, 2014

This is a sometimes weekly blog post featuring what the Dorris Van Doren staff members are reading, watching, playing, making, or listening to. Share your finds with us here in the comments, on Twitter (@elpasolibrary) or Facebook (ElPasoPublicLibrary)!

Patron Pick: No Jumping on the Bed by Tedd Arnold
A couple of weeks ago, a little boy about 4 or 5 years old gave us a great recommendation. We were helping his older sister find a book when he showed us this book:
He told us that we should read this book because his school library has it and it's funny. We couldn't agree more. You can request this children's classic at any library.

Staff Pick (Lisa): Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang
I ordered these graphic novels for the library based on their subject matter and high praise, but I probably wouldn't have read it if it weren't for YALSA's The Hub Reading Challenge. I've fallen a bit behind in the challenge, so I thought this two-volume set would catch me up quicker (it counts as 2 books). I was hesitant to read these graphic novels because I wasn't a fan of American Born Chinese, Yang's other highly acclaimed and award-winning graphic novel, but I ended up liking the story and artwork of Boxers & Saints a lot.

These graphic novels are told by two different points of view (hence the two volumes) during the Boxer Rebellion in China. It's an interesting and heartbreaking look at a time in history that is hardly covered in literature and often forgotten. Some might find the violence and bloodshed excessive; I would recommend it for older teens and adults. It's better if you read them in order, but it's not completely necessary. That said, I agree with others that have said it would have been better if the volumes were just combined into one complete alternating story.
This graphic novel set was a 2013 National Book Award finalist in the young people's literature category, and also made it onto YALSA's 2014 lists for Great Graphic Novels and Popular Paperbacks. Find out what else I've read for the challenge at Goodreads.

Watch the book trailer for Boxers & Saints:

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Finds for March 21, 2014

This is a sometimes weekly blog post featuring what the Dorris Van Doren staff members are reading, watching, playing, making, or listening to. Share your finds with us here in the comments, on Twitter (@elpasolibrary) or Facebook (ElPasoPublicLibrary)!

This week is all about books!
Aracelli: Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight (ebook)
It was good, although some may find the ending disappointing.

The Ape Man's Brother by Joe Lansdale.
Very, very funny and at only 100 pages, can be read in an afternoon.

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani
Excellent book!

This is the third book I read for YALSA's The Hub Reading Challenge. Click here to read about the challenge and find out what I read first.

This book is set in Queens and follows Piddy's downward spiral when she moves to a new school and begins receiving threats from a girl she's never met before. I liked this book, but didn't love it. I thought everything was very realistic, but I just couldn't connect with any of the characters. 

This book was the recipient of the 2014 Pura Belpre Award. The award is presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.

Friday, March 14, 2014

We're a Family Place Library!

The Dorris Van Doren Library has been selected as a Family Place Library through a grant from Family Place Library, A Model for Institutional Change.
We join the nationally acclaimed initiative for young children, families and caregivers.

Family Place Libraries provide a center for early childhood information, parent education, emergent literacy and socialization and family support. The Family Place Library builds on the knowledge that good health, early learning, parental involvement and supportive communities play a critical role in young children’s growth and development.

During the last two decades, research has conclusively proven that the ways in which adults respond to and interact with children between birth and 5 years have dramatic effects on the brain, impacting a child’s social, emotional and intellectual development. Researchers have also confirmed that learning is an interactive process and depends on the interwoven development of multiple abilities and skills. Resources like Family Place help foster the healthy development of these relationships.

We are currently hosting a five week parent/child workshop program that involves children ages 1-3 and their parents/caregivers. The program is facilitated by professionals from our community. The program is full, but we'll let you know when you can register for the next round of workshops.

This is the playtime setup during the workshops.
In the meantime, visit our Family Place area! The middle area of our library has been converted into a Family Place area where you and your child can read, play and learn in a safe and fun environment. The area is open during our hours of operation to children ages 5 and under and their parent or adult caregivers. This space features board books, toys, puzzles, blocks and more for little ones to explore. As your child's first and most important teacher, these activities will help you build your child's early literacy skills.

The Family Place area in the middle of the library.

The view from the fish tank. Look who we caught reading!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Finds for February 28, 2014

This is a sometimes weekly blog post featuring what the Dorris Van Doren staff members are reading, watching, playing, making, or listening to. Share your finds with us here in the comments or on twitter (@elpasolibrary) and we'll retweet you!

This week, we have two recommendations for your listening and reading pleasure!

Lluvia: Carrie by Stephen King (Playaway)
This is the well known story of the creepy girl with telekinesis, in which the 70’s movie was based on, and this audio version of the book is so entwined with the film version that Sissy Spacek does the narration. What makes the difference in this edition of the novel is the introduction done by the author Steven King, in which he recounts the heartbreaking inspirations for the main character. That is when you realize that, telekinesis aside, Carrie is a real girl with real problems and that changes the whole story. It goes from creepy girl to painfully bullied girl and you feel for her. I recommend reading the novel for more a human connection to the character that the films do not seem to reach.

If you tuned into this blog a couple of weeks ago, you'll know that I'm participating in YALSA's The Hub Reading Challenge. Click here to read about it and find out what I read first. 

This is the second book that I read for the challenge, and I loved it, but not at first. It took me time to get into it because it begins with the end of the story, and I wasn't clear where the author was going. It's about a British teenager who is famous for surviving being struck by a meteorite when he was ten. Alex ends up befriending an elderly American. The book is about meteors, epilepsy, Kurt Vonnegut, marijuana, and more!

It's funny, sad, and endearing. Check it out! Unfortunately, we only have it available as an ebook. 
This book won an Alex Award, which is given to 10 books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12-18.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Finds for February 14, 2014

This is a sometimes weekly blog post featuring what the Dorris Van Doren staff members are reading, watching, playing, making, or listening to. Share your finds with us here in the comments or on twitter (@elpasolibrary) and we'll retweet you!


This week, we have two book recommendations!

Paola: Tandem by Anna Jarzab 
I was captivated by this book not only because of the new perspective on parallel worlds but also because it was entertaining and fun to read. I enjoyed the relationship between the main characters and although there is romance throughout the book, it didn’t overpower the conversations or chapters in the book. This book also included some action and mystery scenes making it a well rounded book. Overall I found this book to be refreshing and I would recommend you to check it out and give it a try.

This is a book that I would've never picked up on my own if it wasn't for the Hub Reading Challenge that I'm participating in. The Young Adult Services Library Association has a YA literature blog that hosts a Reading Challenge every year after the Youth Media Awards (Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, etc.) are announced. The goal is to read 25 books by June 22 from a list of award winners and book lists. For details on how you can participate and the list of titles, visit this blog post.

The title and book cover of Far Far Away did not appeal to me, but I did like the premise. Jeremy can hear voices of dead people in his head from time to time. One ghost hears of Jeremy's gift and is told that harm will eventually befall Jeremy. That ghost is the narrator and happens to be the famous Jacob Grimm. Jacob finds Jeremy and is determined to protect him from the "Finder of Occasions," which could be anyone in the small town of Never Better. 

I really liked this book and the way the story unfolded. It had a dark and foreboding tone. There are plenty of fairy tale references, but the book stays realistic, never making it a fantasy or paranormal novel, with the exception of Jacob's ghost of course. This book also made me want to learn more about the Grimms. 

Far Far Away is a National Book Award Finalist and on YALSA's 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults list.