• kenneth oppel things


    In case you haven't heard, award-winning author Kenneth Oppel will be here at the Provo City Library on Wednesday, May 4 (that's one week from today!). You can get tickets at our First Floor Reference Desk, or online. While you're waiting, here are 10 things you might not have known about Kenneth Oppel!

    • He was born on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.
    • He decided to be an author when he was 12 and when he was 18 got his first novel published.
    • His first novel was published because he had a friend who was the friend of Roald Dahl.  Dahl read his manuscript and sent it on to his own publisher.
    • He double majored in college in Cinema Studies and English.
    • He has lived in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada; Oxford, England (while his wife was doing a PhD in Shakespeare Studies); and Dublin, Ireland.
    • It took about 8 months for him to write each of his Silverwing books, but 18 months to write Airborn.
    • All the different kinds of bats in his Silverwing series are based on real bat species.
    • He has written 14 novels, 9 early readers/chapter books, and 6 picture books.
    • When he is not writing he likes to travel, often by train.
    • Every morning when he wakes up, he tries to write down what he dreamed during the night. He uses material from his dreams in some of his books.

    Pick up Kenneth Oppel's books at the library, and then come and meet him next Wednesday!

  •  1000books


    It is that time of year when cute little kids with back packs as big as they are start off for their first day of kindergarten.  New clothes, shiny faces, and superhero pencil boxes are all a part of exciting scene as children start on the long journey of their formal education.  Unfortunately not all kids start kindergarten on equal footing. Studies show that kids in families where they talk and read together can be two years further ahead in their language development than those who do not. Sadly, all too often these educational discrepancies continue through grade school, secondary school and even to college. 


    The Provo Library has fun program to encourage parents and preschool age children to read together.  It is called 1000 Books Before Kindergarten.  When participants sign up with their library card at the children’s reference desk, they receive a book bag and a colorful reading chart with 1000 stars on it. Each time parents and children read a book together they can mark off a star.  When they have marked off all the stars, they can bring the chart back to the library and receive a nice certificate and a small toy for the child. Of course, the real reward is a child who is enters kindergarten ready to learn.  So as you see the little four-foot-tall scholars trekking off to school for the first time, and think, that will be my child in 1, 2, 3, 4 or even 5  years, come to the Provo Library and commit to read 1000 Books Before Kindergarten!



  • friendships and fighting evil

    Ever wonder how librarians hone their recommendation skills? Sometimes, our librarians play a game we call the 6 Degrees of reading. The rules are simple: choose six books, each connected somehow to the book above it, with the last book in the list connecting to the first. Periodically, we like the results enough to share them with you. 

    So, with no further ado, we bring you 6 Degrees of Reading: Friendship and Fighting Evil (in Juvenile Fiction).  

    by D. J. MacHale

    Marcus, an orphan, starts having random supernatural experiences.  As he tries to figure out what is going on, he finds out that his birth parents left him a large brass key that opens the door to a magical library.  In the library are histories of supernatural experiences, some of which are still being written. Marcus finds himself battling terrors to discover the truth about the library and himself.  

    by Jennifer Donnelly

    This take on the classic Beauty and the Beast offers well-known characters intriguing new challenges. Soon after Belle arrives at the Beast’s castle she discovers a magical book in the library that takes her to the wonderful land of Nevermore. She knows it isn’t a real world, but the Countess of the world promises it could be real if she gives up her life with the Beast.  

    by Shannon & Dean Hale

    You may not recognize Squirrel Girl immediately, but she is a well-known character to avid Marvel fans. Doreen was born with a squirrel tail and the ability to talk with squirrels.  Her parents urge her to keep her tail hidden (so that other kids don't feel bad that they don't have one), but when Doreen moves to another state and another middle school. As the new kid in school, Doreen finds it hard to both make friends and keep her amazing Squirrel Girl abilities a secret.  

    by Sarah Weeks & Gita Varadarajan

    In India, Ravi was the top student and the best at cricket.   But now, as the new kid in a new school, he finds himself stuck in a remedial class. At his old school Ravi would have never associated with a kid like Joe, who is big and awkward and has a learning disability.  But now the two find themselves stuck in class together, finding unlikely friendship as they become victims of the same bully. This is a great tale of multiracial friendship without borders.  

    by Robin Stevens

    Hazel Wong is from Hong Kong and has come to boarding school in England.  She is befriended by one of the most popular girls in her grade, Daisy Wells, and they form a secret detective agency.  All too soon they have their first grisly case.  

    by Kevin Sands

    Christopher is living in his old master's workshop while plague rages through London.   One day he hears about a strange "prophet" who is going around town foretelling who will get the plague next.  The young sleuth begins to wonder who and what the "Prophet" really is and what connection he might have to Christopher’s old master. In an attempt to save lives, Christopher and his friend Tom risk their lives to battle the forces of evil.

  • othername


    Finding a good title for a book and make or break it in the publishing world.  There are some titles that just grab you and make you want to pick up a book like:  

    THE NAME OF THIS BOOK IS SECRET by Pseudonymous Bosch



    SORCERY AND CECILIA OR THE ENCHANTED CHOCOLATE POT by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer

    But sometimes publishers just have a hard time coming up with an original title, so they fall back on some old standbys. As a result, some titles get used over and over again. Here are some way-too-common titles and how many different books with that title are in our catalog.

    "ABDUCTION": 10

    "HUNTED" (or "THE HUNTED"): 13

    "HUNTER(S)"(or "THE HUNTER(S)"): 11  

    "LOST" (or "THE LOST"): 11  

    "LOST AND FOUND": 12  

    "LOST BOY(S)": 10 (note, only 3 called "LOST GIRL(S)")

    "NEMESIS": 10  

    And 5 books called simply “BOOK.”  

    So if you are thinking of writing a book and thinking of giving it one of the titles above, think again! 

  • bilingual chinese


    Provo Library has a good collection of Spanish materials, and quite a few bilingual dictionaries in a variety of languages, but it does not really collect other foreign language materials.  There are, however a number of picture books that just happen to be bilingual.  The language most often represented is Chinese.  Since there are a lot of people in Provo with an interest in Chinese, especially through the dual emersion program at Wasatch Elementary, and since Chinese New Year is coming up, I thought I might post a list of Chinese/English picture books. 


    By Li Jian
    By Oliver Chin
    By Li Jian
    By Li Jian 
    By Li Jian 
    By Li Jian 


    By Belle Yang  
    By Belle Yang 


    By David Bruins 
    By Huy Voun Lee
    By Huy Voun Lee 
    By Ed Young 
    By Ed Young 
  • As librarians, one of our favorite things to do is to help you find your next favorite book. We craft book lists, we talk to you at the desk, and, of course, we blog. Our children's librarians have been posting book reviews on their book review blog since 2007; here's their blog, by the numbers. 

    childrens book review blog 01

  • childrens circ records 01

  • There are three major classic children’s mysteries series: Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and The Boxcar Children. Who hasn’t read at least one of these timeless adventures? They are still hugely popular, and new incarnations are being released on a regular basis.

    Thinking about these great series reminded me of the “Head to Head” books, a series that makes predictions about what would happen if one person/animal/fantasy character went to battle with another. They analyze strengths and weakness of each opponent and make guesses about final outcomes. Just for fun, let’s pretend these mystery series were virtual warriors, and they were locked in literary battle with each other. Which one would emerge as the most “boss” children’s mystery series ever? Here are the stats. You decide.

    childrens mystery series 01

    If you haven’t read a Nancy Drew, Boxcar Children or Hardy Boys in a while, why not pick up a copy?


    Hardy Boys #1 : THE TOWER TREASURE

    The Boxcar Children #1: THE BOXCAR CHILDREN

  • In honor of the most recent addition to the Star Wars franchise, here's a quick glance at the Star Wars offerings in the Children's Department! 

    star wars kids 01


  • People often enjoy certain types of books. Publishers like to give books titles that give the reader a clue about what is inside. If a book starts with “Once Upon a…” you know that it is probably related to/or satirizing a fairy tale theme. If you want a book to learn how to do something, chances are you can find one just by searching, “How to…”. As a result, the library has lots of books that start with the same few words. Here are some examples.

    titles 01

  • volunteers 01

  •  Choose Your Own Adventure

    Before there were video games there were Choose Your Own Adventure books.

    I remember the thrill I got as a kid coming to the end of a chapter and having to decide, do I go down the shadowy path (turn to page 25), or knock on the heavy oak door (turn to page 56). There was something delightfully delicious about being able to choose how the story would turn out.

    I am happy to say that even with modern computer adventure games Choose Your Own Adventure books are still popular. Now readers have a variety of adventure options in both the fiction and informational sections. 

    Choose Your Own Adventure

    11.19 Abominable SnowmanTHE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN
    By R. A Montgomery

    This is the classic series that you may have read as a child.  Still kind of silly, but guaranteed to be fun.The library has over 30 different titles in this series, including some featuring popular super heroes. 


    Choose Your Own Adventure JR.

    11.19 CaravanCARAVAN
    By R.A. Montgomery

    This is a version of the original series for a younger (2nd-3rd grade) reader.  It is even more silly, and has fun cartoonish illustrations. 


    Interactive History Adventure

    11.19 Ancient ChinaANCIENT CHINA
    By Terry Collins

    Do you have a kid who loves the I Survived series?  This is an informational series that has interactive adventures based on real historic events.  The library has more than 50 titles in this series, but they are scattered throughout the informational section.  The best way to find them is to type “interactive history adventure” in the search box in the online catalog. 


    Midnight Arcade

    By Gabriel Soria

    When some kids get trapped in a haunted 80's era video arcade, the Midnight Arcade, they must play their way out of danger, ultimately controlling whether they live . . . or die!  This is a new series in the Choose Your Own format.  The second in the series comes out in September. 

  • Christmas Read Alouds

    It's almost Christmas break and kids will be spending more time with their families. This is a great time to snuggle around the fireplace and read a novel aloud together. Or maybe you are going on a road trip and want a Christmas themed book to listen to in the car.  Here are some of my favorite feel good family Christmas novels.   

    12.11 The VanderbeeksTHE VANDERBEEKERS OF 141ST STREET
    By Karina Yan Glaser

    The Vanderbeeker family includes two parents, four kids and three pets.  They have lived in the same brownstone in Harlem as long as any of the kids can remember.  One day, right before Christmas, their landlord and upstairs neighbor decides he is not going to renew their lease. The kids are horrified at the thought of having to move, so they start a campaign to convince reclusive old Mr. Biederman that he really does not want to make them leave. The antics of the kids are funny and each child has an individual and endearing personality.  It has great parent/child relationships, and all the protagonists are trying to do what is right 


    12.11 A Season of GiftsA SEASON OF GIFTS
    By Richard Peck

    Grandma Dowdel, the star of the Newbery winner, A Year Down Yonder, returns in this heart warming Christmas book.  It is 1958 and a new preacher and his family has moved into town.  When their son, Bob, is attacked by bullies and tied, naked to Grandma Dowdel’s privy, Grandma Dowdel decides to take the family into her care using her own brand of unconventional love. 


    12.11 A Boy Called ChristmasA BOY CALLED CHRISTMAS
    By Matt Haig

    Nicholas lives with his father, Joel, who is a woodcutter in Finland. They are poor, but Nicolas is relatively happy and enjoys spending time in the forest with his dad. When Joel goes away with some strange men and doesn’t return, Nicholas goes on a grand quest to find him. This is an origin story about how Nicolas becomes Father Christmas. The story is definitely told from a British point of view. Nicolas becomes Father Christmas, not the more American Santa Claus, but even American readers will enjoy the many references to Christmas traditions. 


    12.11 The Best Christmas Pageant EverTHE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER
    By Barbara Robinson

    The Herdman’s are the worst family in town.  They are dirty, uneducated, and wild.  When they find out that the Sunday School offers snacks, they volunteer to be in the church’s Christmas pageant. As the crazy kids take over the production, the long-suffering director and her family marvel to see how they are transformed by the Christmas story.  This one is an older book that is becoming a classic worthy of being re-read to each new generation.

  • substitute moms

    This time of year we think about moms and the important place they have in our hearts. It is also a time to remember that not everyone has a wonderful mother or a mother who is still a part of their lives.  For those people often other women come into their lives and give them a mother’s love.  So many wonderful women have “mothered” children not their own and they deserve to be celebrated, too.  Luckily, there have been several children’s novels published lately with great “substitute mom” characters.  Here are five of my favorites. 

    5.16 The War That Saved My LifeTHE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE
    By Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

    Ada and her little brother, Jamie, live with a abusive mother in a flat in London at the beginning of WWII.  When the children are evacuated from London because of bombings Ada and Jamie are sent to a small village in Kent.  There they are taken in by a single lady who "doesn't like children." Miss Smith soon finds that caring for the neglected children fills a space in her own empty heart. 


    5.16 Betty Before XBETTY BEFORE X
    by Ilyasah Shabazz

    When Betty Sanders is two, her aunt takes her away from her mother because she feels that Betty is being neglected.  When Betty is six her beloved auntie dies, and she goes to live with her biological mother again. Betty finds herself drawn to the women of the House Wife's League, a women's civil rights group, so when her relationship with her birth mother falls apart again, she goes to live with one of the League women who prepares her for the role she will later play as the wife of Malcom X. 


    5.16 Beyond the Bright SeaBEYOND THE BRIGHT SEA
    By Lauren Wolk

    When Crow was an infant, she washed up on the shore in a small boat on one of the Elizabethan Islands in Massachusetts. She is adopted by kindly hermit, Osh, and raised by him and a neighbor woman, Maggie.  When Crow is twelve, begins to wonder about where she was born and why she was abandoned.  Even though her curiosity is painful to Osh and Maggie, they give her the support and love she needs as she searches for her origins.   


    5.16 The Wardens DaughterTHE WARDEN’S DAUGHTER
    By Jerry Spinelli

    Cammie lives with her father who is the warden of the local prison.  Cammie's mother died saving Cammie from a pedestrian/car accident when Cammie was a toddler, and Cammie desperately misses having a mother.  She decides that one of the inmates who works as a housemaid for the Warden should be her surrogate mom.   


    5.16 The Detectives AssistantTHE DETECTIVE’S ASSISTANT
    By Kate Hannigan

    Recently orphaned, Nell gets sent to her maiden aunt who is her only remaining relative.  The year is 1859 and Aunt Kitty is the first and only female detective in the Pinkerton Detective Agency.  At first Aunt Kitty wants to find a respectable boarding school for Nell, but gradually she comes to realize that Nell is not such a bad detective herself. 

  • love languages


    In February, our thoughts turn naturally to romantic love.  A great book about keeping romantic love alive for couples of any age is The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman . My husband of 28 years and I read it together last summer and thought it was really worthwhile.  Since then I have been trying to figure out other people’s love languages.  Sometimes it is pretty obvious, and other times it is a bit trickier to figure out. The five love languages are

    • Giving or receiving gifts
    • quality time
    • words of affirmation
    • acts of service
    • and physical touch.

    The other day I was watching the A&E version of Jane Eyre (for the umpteenth time) and I suddenly thought, Wow, Mr. Rochester obviously shows love by giving gifts. He showered Adelle’s mother with expensive gifts, and then the first thing he does after becoming engaged to Jane is to take her shopping. But what is Jane’s love language? She certainly enjoys talking with Mr. Rochester, but isn’t totally hooked until he takes her hand after she saves him from the fire. I think her primary love language is physical touch.  

    Of course, that got me thinking about other literary couples.  What are their love languages?  Here is what I think:

    Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: Her primary love language is “words of affirmation.”  She is initially charmed by Wickham’s flattery, and turned off by Mr. Darcy’s first unflattering proposal.  Mr. Darcy, on the other hand, shows love through “acts of service.” He is impressed by Elizabeth’s devotion to her sister, Jane, while she is sick, and ultimately confirms the depth of his love to Elizabeth by performing the service of saving Lydia from disgrace.

    Maryanne Dashwood and Mr. Willoughby from Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility both show love through “quality time.”  That is why they hit it off so quickly, and spend so much time together.

    Margaret Hale from North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell definitely shows love through “acts of service.” It is basically what she does all day.  Mr. Thornton is a little tougher to figure out.  He is offended when Margaret won’t shake his hand, so maybe “physical touch,” but he also keeps finding excuses to hang out at her house, under the guise of taking lessons from her father, so maybe “quality time.”  What do you think?

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  • Friday Faves Chinese New Year Lantern

    As a kid, I learned almost nothing about China in school.  We studied Utah History, American History, and even “World History,” but somehow the world was about Egypt, Greece and Rome, with only a cursory nod towards Asia.  It wasn’t until I took Asian Humanities in college that I began to be aware that there were really amazing civilizations thriving in China while Grecian and Roman emperors were strutting around Europe claiming to have conquered the “known world.”  Since then I have really enjoyed reading books set in China, both ancient and modern.  Here are some of my favorites. And you just have time to read one before Chinese New Year on February 16th. 

    1.26 Where the Mountain Meets the MoonWHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON
    By Grace Lin

    Each book in Lin’s series blends adventure with Chinese folktales.  In this one Min Li is worried about her poor village that is suffering from famine because of a lack of rain.  Plucking up her courage, she goes on a quest to meet the Old Man of the Moon and ask him how to help her family and friends. 


    1.26 Chu Jus HouseCHU JU’S HOUSE
    By Gloria Whelan

    When a baby girl is born into Chu Ju’s family in modern rural China, she runs away so that her parents—hoping for a boy and limited to two children—will not send away the new child. She goes to the city and creates a new life for herself. 


    1.26 Bronze and SunflowerBRONZE AND SUNFLOWER
    By Wenxaun Cao

    Sunflower moves from the city to a farming camp with her father during the Cultural Revolution.  When her father dies, Sunflower is adopted by a local peasant family and learns how difficult rural life in China really is. 


    1.26 The Kite RiderTHE KITE RIDER
    By Geraldine McCaughrean

    Haoyou is given the amazing opportunity to escape his family’s poverty and become a circus performer in medieval China.  As he rides on a giant kite and performs tricks before commoners and noblemen, other forces are pulling him back to his family. 


    1.26 The Empty PotTHE EMPTY POT
    By Demi

    The emperor proclaims that whoever can grow the most beautiful plant from the seeds he provides will be his heir. Ping accepts the challenge, but no matter what he does, his seeds won’t grow.  As the day of the judging approaches, Ping must decide what to bring to the all-powerful emperor. The other books in this list are novels, but I couldn’t resist including this folktale because it is one of my favorite picture books of all time.

  •  pen names 1

    Since the publishing’s beginning, authors of children’s literature have used pen names.  Did you know that Lewis Caroll is a pen name?  His birth name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgeson.  Dr. Seuss, of course, was a pen name for Theodore Geisel, as was Theo LeSieg (Lesieg is Geisel backwards).  More recently, Daniel Handler became famous as the author Lemony Snicket.  A few children’s authors have gone even more creative with their pen names. 

    Here are 5 of my favorite funny pseudonyms: 

    11.30 CreepoverTHE CREEPOVER series
    By P. J. Night 







    11.30 Tales from the ScaremasterTHE SCAREMASTER series
    By B.A. Frade 







    11.30 Dumb BunniesDUMB BUNNIES 
    By Sue Denim (say it fast, and look at the last word in my above paragraph) 




    11.30 Diary of a Minecraft ZombieDIARY OF A MINECRAFT ZOMBIE series
    By Zach Zombie (of course.) 








    11.30 The Name of this Book is SecretTHE SECRET SERIES 
    By Pseudonymous Bosch






  • IMG 0398

    Often when a children’s librarian thinks of an illustrated novel, the first thing that comes to mind is Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  There are a plethora of recent children’s books have that cartoon style illustration, but what about books with a more traditional style of illustration?  In the J Fiction section there are some books with amazingly beautiful illustrations.  Of course there are wonderfully illustrated versions of most of the children’s classics like Peter Pan, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz, but there are more contemporary books that also have great illustrations.   Here are some illustrated children’s novels that are worth taking a peek at.


    searchforwondlaTHE SEARCH FOR WONDLA
    by Toni DiTerlizzi

    This captivating storyline is set apart by fabulous illustrations that give a whole new level of dimension to the adventure. Living in isolation with a robot on what appears to be an alien world populated with bizarre life forms, a twelve-year-old human girl called Eva Nine sets out on a journey to find others like her. Features "augmented reality" pages, in which readers with a webcam can access additional information about Eva Nine's world.




    by James Gurney

    In 1862, after being shipwrecked in uncharted seas, Professor Arthur Denison and his twelve-year-old son Will find themselves washed up on a strange island where people and dinosaurs live together peacefully. This fun storyline is enriched with colorful, intricate illustrations that give vibrant insights to the new discoveries Arthur and Will encounter at every turn as they embark upon their own separate journeys to unearth the mysteries of Dinotopia.  



    by David Macauley

     It is the year 4022; all of the ancient country of USA has been buried under many feet of detritus from a catastrophe that occurred back in 1985. Imagine, then, the excitement that Howard Carson, an amateur archeologist at best, experienced when he stumbles upon a still-sealed burial chamber! This is an amusing satirical tale of how a future anthropologist would interpret what we view as contemporary civilization, complete with meticulous illustrations to give life to the story as Carson attempts to unravel the mysteries of the past.


    harrypotterandthesorcerersstoneHARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE
    by J.K. Rowling, Illustrated by Jim Kay

    By now, we're all familiar with the tale of the young orphan who discovered he had magical powers, was whisked away to wizarding school, and fought against forces of evil. This best-selling book has entirely enchanted readers since it was first published in 1999-- but this new illustrated version is even better! With whimsical illustrations by Jim Kay, an already classic novel is colorfully reframed in this vivid telling of Harry Potter's first year at Hogwarts.


    marvelsTHE MARVELS
    by Brian Selznick

    The journey begins on a ship at sea in 1766, with a boy named Billy Marvel. After surviving a shipwreck, he finds work in a London theatre. There, his family flourishes for generations as brilliant actors until 1900, when young Leontes Marvel is banished from the stage. Nearly a century later, Joseph Jervis runs away from school and seeks refuge with a reclusive uncle in London. Albert Nightingale's strange, beautiful house, with its mysterious portraits and ghostly presences, captivates Joseph and leads him on a search for clues about the house, his family, and the past. This book is told both in both beautiful pictures and striking words, where the two stories collide and connect in a way that makes it a powerful, memorable read.

  • Reichs Dashner FB

    The Provo Library will soon host two amazingly awesome authors, James Dashner and Brendan Reichs. They will be visiting March 25 at 7:30 PM in The Attic (Located on the 4th Floor of the Academy Wing at the Provo City Library). If you are as excited as I am for their visit you might like to learn a little bit more about these great writers.

    James Dashner

    James Dashner was born in 1972 in Austell, Georgia, one of six children. He was an avid reader and, by the age of 10, started to write stories on his family’s old typewriter. He graduated from high school in Georgia, then came to Utah to attend BYU where he got a master’s degree in accounting in 1991. He worked as an accountant for a while but continued pursuing his interest in writing. In 2003, his first book, THE DOOR IN THE WOODS, was published by Cedar Fort, the first in the Jimmy Fincher Saga. That series was followed by the popular 13TH REALITY series. Dashner’s international fame was assured with the MAZE RUNNER series, the first book of which made the New York Times bestseller list for 100 weeks. MAZE RUNNER was, of course, made into a hit movie. Dashner loves his career as a writer and doesn’t miss accounting at all. He lives in Utah with his wife, Lynette, and four children. 

    Brendan Reichs

    Brendan Reichs is also a southerner, born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. He had an interesting childhood. His mother, Kathy Reichs, is a forensic anthropologist and a New York Times bestseller adult mystery writer. She is also a writer for the long-standing TV series BONES. Brendan Reichs attended WakeForest University in North Carolina and then received a law degree from George Washington University. He worked as a litigation lawyer for three years but left law to co-write the VIRALS series with his mother. His new solo YA series, NEMESIS, is coming out this year. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, Charlotte, two children, a dog, and two ferocious cats.

    door in the woodsThe Door in the Woods
    by James Dashner

    From Duluth, Georgia, fourteen-year- old Jimmy Fincher sets off on a quest that takes him across the country and to other, sometimes terrifying, worlds, armed with a powerful gift and a mission: to prevent the evil Stompers from destroying Earth.




    journal of curious lettersTHE 13TH REALITY: THE JOURNAL OF CURIOUS LETTERS
    By James Dashner

    Thirteen-year- old Atticus "Tick" Higginbottom begins receiving mysterious letters from around the world signed only "M.G.," and the clues contained therein lead him on a journey to the perilous 13th Reality and a confrontation with evil Mistress Jane.




    maze runnerTHE MAZE RUNNER
    by James Dashner

    Sixteen-year- old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape.




    ViralsTHE VIRALS
    by Kathy and Brendan Reichs

    This series spins off of the Bones TV show that Kathy Reichs wrote. Tory Brennan, Temperance Brennan’s niece, and her friends must race against time to solve a murder after being exposed to a virus that gives them animal-like abilities.



  • great dads


    Fathers play an important role in children’s lives and in society, yet in the US about 1/3 of children live without a father in the home ( Finding a great father figure in children’s literature is not an easy task, especially in the last decade,  but there are a few that are real gems. Here are some of Children’s Literature’s great fathers.  

    wonderAuggie’s Father in WONDER by R.J. Palacio

    Both of Auggie’s parents are amazingly supportive, but my favorite part in the book is when Auggie’s father tells him that it was he who got rid of Auggie’s space helmet (that Auggie wore to hide is facial deformity).  Auggie’s father says he did it because he missed seeing his son’s face.  There is no more validating message a father can send than “I love you, just the way you are.”  


    year of billy millerBilly’s Father in THE YEAR OF BILLY MILLER by Kevin Henkes

    Billy’s father uses wit and wisdom to help his son through his difficult year.  He isn’t perfect, and doesn’t have endless patience, but his gives Billy the most important thing, time and attention.  



    penderwicksMr. Penderwick in THE PENDERWICKS by Jeanne Birdsall

    What is not to like about the loveable, absentminded-professor father of the Penderwicks.  All through the series Mr. Penderwick obviously loves and delights in his children and in return, the children are utterly devoted to their father.  



    crossoverMr. Bell in THE CROSSOVER by Kwame Alexander

    Being a good father is not always about having fun and baking cookies. Mr. Bell, the father to the two basketball prodigies in Crossover, knows when it is time to pull one of his boys up short when he is out of line. Although Mr. Bell uses a firm hand, it is always motivated by love.  


  • graphic to textual

    Let me start by saying there is nothing wrong with children reading graphic novels. There are a lot of wonderful graphic novels for kids and many have won critical acclaim as quality literature. We have a super graphic novel collection in the Children’s Department and for a lot of kids they first find a love of reading from graphic novels. 

    But let’s face it, being good at reading graphic novels is not going to help a child get through their high school English class. At some point kids need to become comfortable reading traditional literature. I frequently have parents ask me for suggestions for getting their comic loving child to try a more traditional book format. I usually suggest a transition book that is highly illustrated but has more text than a graphic novel. Then, a reader can move from a highly illustrated book to a more text rich book.

    Here are a few reading pathways starting at some popular graphic novels and leading to more text rich books. 

    pathway 1

    By Kazu Kibuishi

    Emily's and Narvin's mother is kidnapped and dragged into a strange and magical world where, it seems, the children's great-grandfather has been before. It's up to the children to set things right and save their mother's life.

    Try (highly illustrated): DINOTOPIA
    By James Gurney

    An unabridged republication of James Gurney's influential 1999 story about the adventures of Gideon Altaire. The second half of the book includes 45 new images, including never-before-published storyboards, concept sketches, and production paintings, plus new characters, stories, and backstory notes from James Gurney's creative archives.

    Then (traditional format): GREGOR THE OVERLANDER
    By Suzanne Collins

    When eleven-year-old Gregor and his two-year-old sister are pulled into a strange underground world, they trigger an epic battle involving men, bats, rats, cockroaches, and spiders while on a quest foretold by ancient prophecy.

     pathway 2

    If you like: BIG NATE FROM THE TOP
    By Lincoln Pierce

    Nate Wright is an eleven years old sixth grader who has the distinction of setting the record for school detentions.

    Try (highly illustrated): DIARY OF A WIMPY KID
    By Jeff Kinney

    Acclaimed debut author Jeff Kinney brilliantly re-creates the typical humor and logic of middle school boys sidling into adolescence. Sixth grader Greg Heffley doesn't understand his annoying younger brother, obnoxious older one, or well-meaning parents. But he knows enough to record his daily thoughts in a manly journal—not some girly diary. In a unique novel brimming with laugh-out-loud moments, Greg chronicles his first turbulent year of middle school.

    Then (traditional format): THE TERRIBLE TWO
    By Mack Barnett

    When master prankster Miles Murphy moves to sleepy Yawnee Valley, he challenges the local mystery prankster in an epic battle of tricks, but soon the two join forces to pull off the biggest prank ever seen.

     pathway 3

    By Jennifer Holm

    An imaginative mouse dreams of being queen of the world, but will settle for an invitation to the most popular girl's slumber party.

    Try (highly illustrated): BABYMOUSE: TALES FROM THE LOCKER
    By Jennifer Holm

    Babymouse joins the school Film Club and writes the greatest cinematic masterpiece of all time! But when the movie gets shown to the entire school, will it be a box office hit or a flop?"-- Provided by publisher.

    By Meg Cabot

    A middle-grade spinoff of The Princess Diaries, about the long-lost sister of Mia Thermopolis, Princess of Genovia.

  • funny audiobooks 2 01

    Find them in the catalog:




  • funny autobiographies 01

    Find them in the catalog: 




  • sci fi kids graphic novels1 01

    Find them in the catalog: 




  •  Spanish Audiobooks 628

    I am so excited that we recently obtained thirteen new books on CD in Spanish for Children! This brings our JSPANBCD collection to 42. The majority of these are picture books, including favorites like:

    11.14 Clic Clac MuuCLIC CUAC MUU, VACAS ESCRITORAS (Click Clack Moo, Cows that Type)
    Por Doreen Cronen
    Illustrado por Betsy Lewin


    11.14 Dont Let the PigeonNO DEJES QUE LA PALOMA CONDUZCA EL AUTOBUS (Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus)
    Por Mo Willems


    11.14 Chato y su cenaCHATO Y SU CENA (Chato’s Kitchen)
    Por Gary Sato
    Ilustrado por Susan Guevara


    In addition to the picture books, there are also the first five books about Los Chicos del Vagón de Carga  (Box Car Children) and several collections of folk and fairy tales.  These are great for Spanish speakers and Spanish learners of all ages. Why not check out some for your next road trip? 


    Estoy tan feliz que hemos adquirido trece audiolibros nuevos en español para niños. Este lleva nuestra colección JSPANBCD a 42. La mayoría de estos son libros ilustrados incluyendo cuentos favoritos como

    Por Doreen Cronen
    Illustrado por Betsy Lewin


    Por Mo Willems


    11.14 Chato y su cenaCHATO Y SU CENA
    Por Gary Sato
    Ilustrado por Susan Guevara


    Además de los libros ilustrados, también tenemos los primeros cinco libros sobre Los Chicos del Vagón de Carga y varias antologías de cuentos populares y de hadas. Estos son excelentes para hispanohablantes y estudiantes de español de todas las edades. ¿Por qué no sacar algunos para su próximo viaje por coche?

  • Percy

    What teen or pre-teen hasn’t read the PERCY JACKSON novels? They're fast paced and full of fun characters bursting with attitude and heart. Luckily, there is a lot to read about in the Percy Jackson world; 5 books in the first series, 5 in the second, and three so far in the TRIALS OF APOLLO spin off, not to mention THE KANE CHRONICLES and the adventures of MAGNUS CHASE.

    But like all good things, there is an end to the wonderful books of Rick Riordan. So if you or your child have read all of them, what do you read next? Here are my top five Rick Riordan read-alikes. 

    1.21 Lokis WolvesLOKI’S WOLVES
    By Kelley Armstrong

    Matt Thorsen is a direct descendant of the order-keeping god Thor, and his classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke are descendants of the trickster god Loki. When Ragnarok--the apocalypse--threatens, the human descendants of the gods must reconcile their differences and fight monsters to stop the end of the world. 


    By Roshani Chokshi

    Aru Shah's mother is the curator of a museum of Indian antiquities. She has always told Aru that the old lamp in one of the exhibit rooms is cursed, and if someone lit it a demon would appear. Aru doesn't believe her, of course, until one day when "friends" dare her to light the lamp. With her one bad choice, Aru is swept into a world of the Hindu gods, and discovers more about her family than she had ever imagined. 


    1.18 The Serpents SecretTHE SERPENT’S SECRET
    By Sayantani Dasgupta

    Up until her twelfth birthday, Kiranmala considered herself an ordinary sixth-grader in Parsippany, New Jersey, but then her parents disappear and a drooling rakkhosh demon shows up in her kitchen. Soon she is swept into another dimension full of magic, winged horses, talking birds (very annoying), and cute princes--and somehow Kiranmala needs to sort it all out, find her parents, and basically save the world. 


    1.21 Where the Mountain Meets the MoonWHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON
    By Grace Lin

    Minli lives in a poor village suffering from a long standing drought. When she buys a magical goldfish, she is swept away on a quest with a dragon who cannot fly to find the Old Man of the Moon. Only he can tell her how to bring life to Fruitless Mountain and freshness to Jade River. 


    1.21 Mark of the ThiefMARK OF THE THIEF
    By Jennifer Nielson

    When Nic, a slave in the mines outside of Rome, is forced to enter a sealed cavern containing the lost treasures of Julius Caesar, he finds much more than gold and gemstones. He discovers an ancient bulla, an amulet that belonged to the great caesar, filled with a magic once reserved for the gods--magic some Romans would kill for. 

  • BFYR

    For many years, the Provo City Library has been the venue for BYU’s Books for Young Readers Symposium. This is an amazing event. BYU invites some of the most famous children’s and teen authors and illustrators to speak to conference participants in large combined sessions and smaller breakout classes. They talk about their lives, inspiration and creative processes, and they often have multimedia presentations to accompany their talks. Copies of the presenters’ books are offered for sale, and there are times provided for Q&A and book signings. It is enough to make a children’s librarian do a less-than-dignified fan girl squeal!  The two-day conference is open to any adult for a fee through BYU Continuing Education and this year it will take place on July 13-14. 

    To welcome our distinguished guests, the Children’s Department’s librarians create special displays to highlight each author/illustrator. We start putting them in a month before the conference, and several are already in place. Watch for more coming soon. This year’s guests are:

    We will be posting about each of these amazing people in upcoming blog posts. Stay Tuned!

  • worth the wait

    A recent trend in children and teen fiction is for books in a series to be released one after another in quick succession.  This is one of the motivations behind popular multi-author series like 39 CLUES and SPIRIT ANIMALS.  If you have more than one author working on the series, the books can be released more rapidly.  I am always interested, therefore, when a book in a series comes out way (I am talking many years) after the previous book was published.  An author has to have a pretty dedicated readership if they are willing to wait that long to know what happens next in the story.  Here are some children/teen book series that that came out over a long period of time, but were well worth the wait. 

    10.18 The Queens ThiefTHE QUEEN’S THIEF
    By Megan Whelan Turner

    The Queen’s Thief series kicked off in 1996 with THE THIEF, which was an instant hit. This series contains a current total of 5 books spanning 21 years! The most recent addition, THICK AS THIEVES, was published just this year. This series is clever, action-packed, and always ready with a twist. It was worth the wait.




    10.18 ShilohSHILOH
    By Phyllis Naylor

    Naylor introduced us to the beloved beagle in 1991 with SHILOH. A subsequent two books were published a couple of years apart in the 90s. We thought that was the end of the famous dog until finally, in 2015, she delighted us again with A SHILOH CHRISTMAS. That’s 24 years from first book to last! 




    10.18 The GiverTHE GIVER
    by Lois Lowry

    THE GIVER has been a popular required school reading since its publication in 1993 and subsequent Newbery award. Many don’t realize that Lowry ever gave us more to the story that ended on such a cliff hanger, but there are actually 3 more books to this saga. The final book (at least for now) is SON, which wasn’t published until 2012, giving this series an impressive 19 year publication span.




  • DM 03242016 1290

    Have you ever sat your child down in front of a children’s video so that you could have some time to go and get dinner on the table?  Probably; most American parents have, but recent guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest this might not always be a good idea.  The guidelines recommend that children under the age of two should have no regular screen time, while children 2-5 should be limited to one hour or less per day.  The guideline references studies that show that small children learn much more effectively from live interactions, and that habits of longer screen time exposure can contribute to childhood obesity, sleep problems, and developmental delays.

    There is no need to throw away your TV and or tablet yet, however.  The guidelines do recognize that there can be educational benefits when children and parents watch or play on screen media together. If the parent and child are interacting in a positive way, the child is learning.

    Of course, reading with your young child is one of the best ways to develop good early literacy skills in small children. Talking, singing, writing and playing together are also important. If you are a parent/guardian of a 2-3 year old and would like to learn more about fun and creative early literacy activities, you might consider attending one of the Library’s Parent/Child Early Literacy Workshops.

  • africa

    Sometimes life seems full of little annoyances; forgot to charge the phone, battery in the car key fob runs out, the microwave is on the fritz. It is easy to let the little things get us down and to forget the wonders that we enjoy every day.  A sure cure for our “first world” woes is to read about people who live with much less every day. I have recently read three books set in Africa that show what life is like for children in some of the world’s poorest countries. Despite the lack of basic comforts—sufficient food, clean water, indoor plumbing—they bravely push on, clinging to hope for a better life. All three books are well written and would be great to share with older children who might need their own healthy dose of perspective. 

    6.1 Aumas Long RunAUMA’S LONG RUN
    By Eucabeth A. Odhiambo

    Auma lives in a small village in Kenya. Her father works in Nairobi and makes enough money that she and her siblings can attend school. Then one day her father comes home feeling ill.  When, after weeks he only gets worse, Auma is afraid that he has the “new” sickness that has taken the life of so many in her village. This is a sobering, but inspiring, look at the fate of many children in Africa who have been left to fend for themselves because of the AIDS epidemic. 


    6.1 The Red PencilTHE RED PENCIL
    By Andrea Pinkney

    Amira lives in a farm town in Darfur and helps her mother care for their farm animals and her younger siblings. One day, the Janjaweed come burn her town and kill her father. She must flee with her family to a refugee camp. Although the camp is crowded and the food and living conditions are horrible, Amira gets her first chance to learn to read and write. This story is written in crystalline free verse which allows Pinkney to show the reader only brief flashes of disturbing images, and linger on descriptions of life on Amira's farm and in the camp. The story is illustrated with black and white drawings, done in a child-like hand, that show how Amira sees her world as she draws with her cherished red pencil.  


    6.1 A Long Walk to WaterA LONG WALK TO WATER
    By Linda Sue Park

    This historical novel based on a true story follows the lives of two children from Sudan. In alternating chapters the reader watches Salva, who in 1985 flees civil war to become one of the "Lost Boys" of Sudan, and Nya, who in 2009 spends eight hours a day walking to and from a pond to get water for her family. Salva ends up spending a decade in various refugee camps and sees terrible war atrocities. Nya sees her little sister get sick from contaminated water during the dry season when the pond becomes muddy. Both of their stories come together in a wonderful and hopeful ending.

  • curved shelves

    “Do you have anything new?”  That is a question Children’s librarians hear all the time.  For several years new picture books have been marked with a yellow “New” label and put on their own shelf to make it easier for kids and parents to find the latest thing.  Starting this summer, the Children’s Department has “New” labels for children’s novels and nonfiction books as well. There is a shelf for new nonfiction (or as we say in Children’s “informational”) books at the beginning of the J Informational section, and a shelf for new J Fiction at the beginning of the J Fiction section.   

    So what is new?  Here are some books I am excited about that will be coming out in the next few months that will be getting those bright “New” stickers. If you see anything you like, ask a librarian to get you on the hold list today! 

    8.23 Lights Camera Middle SchoolLIGHTS, CAMERA, MIDDLE SCHOOL
    Babymouse, Tales from the Locker #1
    By Jennifer Holm
    On the shelves now!





    8.23 The Empty GraveTHE EMPTY GRAVE
    Lockwood & Co #5
    By Jonathan Stroud
    Coming out in September 





    8.23 Magnus ChaseTHE SHIP OF THE DEAD
    Magnus Chase #3
    By Rick Riordan
    Coming out in October 





    8.23 The Silver maskTHE SILVER MASK
    Magisterium #4
    By Holly Black
    Coming out in October 





    8.23 Harry PotterTHE PRISONER OF AZKABAN 
    Harry Potter #3 – The illustrated edition!
    By J.K. Rowling
    Illustrated by Jim Kay
    Coming out in October



  • Moana 01


    Disney’s Moana is about to make her epic journey to battle a volcano monster and save her people (in theaters November 23rd). If Moana wanted to stop by the Provo City Library before she left (and why wouldn't she?), we could load her up with some books that might help her on her journey.  Here are some books Moana needs to read before she goes on her epic quest:

    pearl in the stormA PEARL IN THE STORM    
    by Tori Murden McClure

    Ms. McClure attempted to cross the ocean in a row boat, not unlike Moana’s sail boat.  Ms. Mclure had to abandon her attempt before she finished, but maybe Moana could learn some tips from McClure’s experience of facing monster storms that would help Moana face the Volcano Monster.  



    volcanoesVOLCANOS INSIDE AND OUT                           
    by D.M Sousa

    And since Moana will be facing a volcano monster, it might help if she knows a little about the science of how an average, non-magical, every day volcano works.  




    skin cancerMELANOMA SKIN CANCER                                                    
    by The American Cancer Society

    Moana is going to be spending a lot of time out in the sun. This handy guide might help her prevent or detect skin problems caused by sun exposure in the future. Can’t be too careful!  





    lightning thiefTHE LIGHTNING THIEF                    
    by Rick Riordan

    So Percy Jackson is Greek, and Moana is Polynesian, but there is no denying that they are both Water adepts.  Maybe Moana could learn some water bending tips from her Mediterranean counterpart.