Marysville Library Blog

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Where are the Books that my Child can Read?

This past school year, your child has worked his or her way up the different levels of reading in the classroom, and you want your child to continue reading books at that level. You want to know where the “Level H” books (for example) are in the library.

I have some good news and some bad news for you. The bad news is that the library isn’t organized like a classroom, and doesn’t group books by reading level. Part of the reason for this is that there are many different ways of figuring out whether the language in a book is appropriate for a particular reader. Different schools use different methods, but we serve children from all of them. Different publishers use different methods too, and again, we order books from many of them. We do not know what method they use to “level” them, or if Level 3 for one publisher has anything to do with Level C from another.

The good news is that there is an easy way for your child to figure out if a book is going to be too hard or not. Have your child pick an interesting looking book. Use recommendations from friends, a librarian, a Sno-Isle booklist, or even the cover. Have your child open the book to the middle at random, and read a page. Hold up a finger for every word your child doesn’t know. At the end of the page, stop. At 0-2 fingers, the book will be easy, at 3-4 fingers the book will be challenging, and at 5 fingers and up it will be too challenging to be fun. Don’t worry if your child wants to read a book that is “too” easy for him or her, we as adults like to read easy books on occasion, too! (We like to call them “beach reads”) .

Now that you know that your child can read that book, double check to make sure that it is appropriate for your child. If your child gets nightmares easily and it’s a scary book, try something else. Your super 1st grade reader may be reading at the 6th grade reading level, but not all 6th grade reading level books are appropriate for a 1st grader.

Finally and most importantly, take a cue from your child. If your child resists reading a particular book or otherwise acts uninterested, that is okay. There are too many exciting books around that your child will be interested in to waste time on one s/he thinks is boring. “Boring” may just mean that it’s too hard for them or not at their emotional developmental level.

If you have further questions, please ask us at the Information Desk. We love to help!


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Splash into Reading!

As the school year winds down, the library gears up for summer reading! This year the summer reading theme is “Make a Splash @ Your Library!”, and I have been visiting local schools to let all the children know about it. Every branch in the Sno-Isle system does summer reading a little bit differently, so here is how it’s all going down here in Marysville:
  • Register your child for summer reading. You do this by coming to the Information Desk and picking up a Reading Log, or printing it out. One thing that’s a little different this year is that we have two kinds of logs: one for readers and one for pre-readers. Choose whichever is best.
  • Have your child pick a reading goal for the summer. Do they want to read a certain number of books? Do they want to read a certain number of minutes every day? Whether books or minutes, the important thing is that they continue reading over the summer. Being read to counts. If an older child reads to a younger sibling, that counts for both!
  • Get your two free tickets to see Everett Aquasox baseball! All you have to do is choose what date you want to go.
  • Pick up a calendar of all the fun programs and events happening throughout the summer here in the library. We’ve got the magician “Aquiferman” coming to kick it all off on June 26th. We’ve got programs about the ocean deeps, cool science, and pirates - I’m doing the pirate program, so of course that’s my favorite. We are partnering with Home Depot so you can make a periscope, and the Pacific Science Center is coming to do their “Radical Reactions” program. And we’ll finish it all off with a marionette puppet show on August 14. For even more information, you can also check out our online calendar.
  • Starting on July 6, have your child bring their reading log in and get a prize – they will get a new one every week. We picked out some cool prizes that your children will have fun with, such as mini beach balls, moose antlers, and a stretchable flying frog.
  • Our poor octopus puppet doesn’t have a name. Have your child put on their thinking caps and think of the perfect name for it. Fill out the entry form, and if the name your child thought of is chosen, they win the octopus!
  • When your child reaches their summer reading goal, come in and get a certificate of completion and a certificate from Papa John’s Pizza for a free small cheese pizza. Yum!

So bring your children into the Marysville Public Library throughout the summer for books, magazines, prizes, and programs. Make a Splash @ Your Library - READ!


Friday, June 4, 2010

Brain games

One of the primary purposes of the library is continuing education and self-improvement. And games are a good way of continuing to learn and keeping your brain sharp. I’m not much into video games, unlike my son and his friends. But I do like games that keep my brain active and push my mental limits. Here are two websites that have games I like: has great timed geography games. Can you name all 50 states? How about all the countries in Europe? I like to think of myself as knowledgeable about the world, but this keeps me on my toes. In other areas, how fast can you do the multiplication tables? Can you name the birds from their pictures? Can you name the events of 1965? This can be just for the fun and challenge of it for those of us out of school, or it could be a tool for homeschoolers or tutors for those still in school. This site also has other quizzes that aren’t so scholarly, like: how many body parts can you name with three letters? What are the ingredients in a Big Mac? Think of this as your very own Trivial Pursuit.

Another site challenges your vocabulary while also helping others: For each answer you get right, they will donate 10 grains of rice through the World Food Programme to help end hunger. The more you get right, the harder the words get. It not only keeps track of the level of difficulty in your vocabulary, but also the rice you have donated so far. I think I have a good vocabulary, but I’ve only gotten up to level 50 out of 60. How far can you go?

These are my favorite sites. What (free) game sites would you recommend that not only are fun, but teach you something or keep your brain active?