2017 Ohio Buckeye Children’s & Teen Book Award Winners have been announced!

On December 1, the 2017 Ohio Buckeye Children’s and Teen Book Award Winners were announced!

And the winners are…

K-2 — The Ninjabread Man by C. J. Leigh and Illustrated by Chris Gall

3-5 — Pax by Sara Pennypacker and Illustrated by Jon Klassen

6-8 — Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Teen — Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

During the month of October, children at Rocky River Public Library were able to vote online or by paper ballot in the Children’s Department for their favorites. Our top vote-getter for K-2 was Waiting by Kevin Henkes and the top vote-getter for 3-5 was The Wild Robot by Kevin Brown.

Children can still nominate their favorite book titles for the 2018 Awards on the Ohio Buckeye Children’s Book & Teen Book Award website.

Thanks to all who participated! Happy Reading!!

Our top vote-getter for the grades 3-5 was The Wild Robot

Our top vote-getter for  grades K-3 was Waiting 

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Join us for our Holiday Craft Festival!

Tuesday, November 28th

 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The holidays are coming and it’s time to decorate! Stop by the library with family and friends and make some ornaments together.

No registration necessary.

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American Girl Books @ Your Library!

You are surely aware of the American Girl Dolls, but did you know they have their own books? Better yet, did you know that you can find these books at Rocky River Public Library? Old “friends” like Felicity and Samantha meet new ones such as Gabriela and Maryellen on the shelves!



The American Girl dolls span the time periods through American history and the books do as well. The book characters illustrate their specific decades through adventures and historic events. Some characters including Caroline and Rebecca enjoy a good mystery while others such as Tenney demonstrate the fun of songwriting and playing the guitar. Books for the newest girl, Nanea have just been published and will be appearing on our shelves shortly. Set in 1941, Nanea hails from Hawaii, the time period of World War II.


Nanea Book Trio Cover Slim[1]

Take a step back in time or enjoy books on contemporary subjects next time when you come to the Library. Find your next American Girl adventures here!


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Graduating from readers to chapter books: 13 Suggestions

All that phonics instruction has finally paid off! Your child knows the sight words and can breeze through a Fly Guy book in one sitting. They’re ready to head out of the Reader section and into Younger Fiction.

The move from beginning-to-read books to first chapter books is an important time in a reader’s development. Longer books have more complex, interesting plots. Readers have to remember where the story left off. The increased variety of words challenges readers’ comprehension skills.

If all goes well at this stage, readers realize that reading is fun for them. They read by choice, get more practice, and get better at reading. The Younger Fiction section has something for everyone. Get started with one of the books below!


Reading about a familiar character can help kids ease into longer books. Before they even read the first page, they already know and like something about the book.



Harry Potter might be too difficult to read independently at this stage, but there’s plenty of fantasy to stretch readers’ imaginations.

The Notebook of Doom

Alexander has just moved to a new town. It turns out that making friends is the least of his worries–monsters are popping up everywhere!

The Bad Guys

The Big Bad Wolf has decided to turn his life around. Can his team of ex-villans pull it together long enough to save the day?


What are cuter that kittens and more fun than mermaids? These purrmaids!


Kids can relate to realistic fiction. Sometimes characters encounter everyday dilemmas that readers themselves are going through. Other books can create empathy and satisfy curiosity about others.

Bossy Flossie: Biz Whiz

When friends call her bossy, Flossie tells them she has great ideas and knows how to make them happen. However, things don’t always work out as planned, sometimes with comical results.

Weekends with Max and His Dad

Max’s parents have just separated, and Max joins his dad on the weekends in a new apartment. They have small adventures together as Max faces the changes in his life.

Skateboard Party

Richard can’t wait to show off his skateboard tricks at a friend’s party. When his teacher sends home a note about a missed assignment, he doesn’t want to risk giving it to his parents and getting grounded. Will the consequences of his actions catch up with him?


These series have retained their popularity for years! Series help hook kids on reading because they can finish one book and automatically pick up the next, knowing they’ll like it.

Magic Tree House

Siblings Jack and Annie discover a tree house filled with books. Suddenly they’re thrust back in time.

A to Z Mysteries

Dink and his friends Josh and Ruth Rose solve mysteries all over town.

Rainbow Magic

Kirsty and Rachel have adventures with their magical fairy friends.

Don’t see the perfect book? Ask a librarian for more ideas!

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Buckeye Children’s & Teen Book Awards


It’s time to vote and the nominees are books! Voting for the Buckeye Children’s Book Awards has begun!

The Buckeye Children’s Book Award platform is a unique state competition which allows children to view literature with a critical eye. The program is designed to encourage children to read and thoughtfully consider what they feel are well-written books and honor the books’ authors. Established in 1981, the Buckeye Book Award has the distinction of being the only state awards that are chosen solely by students. The only adults that can vote are teachers and librarians. This year one of the polling places is in Children’s Department on the second floor of Rocky River Public Library. From now until November 1, stop by and exercise the right to vote!

…And 2017 nominees are…

For Grades K-2:

  • Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat
  • I’ll Wait Mr. Panda by Steve Antony
  • The Ninjabread Man by C.J. Leigh, pictures by Chris Gall
  • Sampson in the Snow by Philip C. Stead
  • Waiting by Kevin Henkes

For Grades 3-5:

  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Parts One and Two) a new play by Jack Thorne, based on an original story by J.K. Rowling
  • License to Thrill (The Genius Files by #5) by Dan Gutman
  • Pax by Sarah Pennypacker, illustrated by Jon Klassen
  • Wild Robot by Peter Brown
  • Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart
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Launching 1000 Books Before Kindergarten

It’s official- we have launched the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program here at Rocky River Public Library! Wednesday evening was our special Launch Party during which patrons could come in with their littles to sign up for the program and pick up their reading logs. In addition to signing up, we had plenty of other activities on deck for a fun-filled program like tasty snacks, cool crafts, and face painting! Take a peek at some of the Launch Party highlights below:


Families creating crafts to take home. Kids were invited to make bookmarks and decorate the first letter of their name.


Kiddos enjoying snacks and Storytime Online videos!


We had plenty of great books available, chosen from the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten suggested booklists, for families to check out after signing up. You can see our new progress bulletin board too!


It was great to see so many older siblings encouraging a love of reading in their younger brothers and sisters.

Thanks to everyone who joined us in celebrating the beginning of this important and fun early literacy campaign. We signed up 38 children on our first day of the program and are looking forward to signing up many more in the days and weeks to come. We know you and your family are going to have a blast reading your way to 1000 books together!

Interested in signing up your baby, toddler, or preschooler? You can sign them up in the Children’s Department anytime during our regular open hours. Read more about our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program by clicking here! 


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Continuing the Spirit of “Wonder”


Gratitude for our Rocky River Community

We are fortunate to live and work in  the wonderful community of Rocky River where so many contributed and participated in the community wide read of “Wonder”.  It was a delightful summer long experience that we are looking forward to continuing throughout the year.  Here are some ways you can continue the spirit of “Choose Kind” and “Wonder” through the power of books this year.

Book Club sets of “Wonder” and “We’re All Wonders” Available

Thanks to a generous donation from the Rocky River Kiwanis Club we have large sets of both titles available for Rocky River Residents to use in book clubs, school, church, and civic groups.  Reading this book together in your group is an excellent way  to inspire others to be welcoming and supportive  in our community.

Wonder Read Alike Books

The following titles are some of my favorite inspirational stories. Each title is also a   Newbery Honor Award book, so they are guaranteed to be powerful high quality fiction that both children and adults  will enjoy.   Click on the links below to place a hold on each book today and be prepared to be inspired!


Rules by Cynthia Lord

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

The War that Save my Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Paperboy by Vince Vawter

El Deafo by Cece Bell



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Summer Reading by the Numbers…with a Focus on Fun!



It’s August and the 2017 Build a Better World Summer Reading program has officially ended. This is the month that we step back and realize how very busy the Children’s Department has been since June.

For the last couple of months, we have provided programs to fit the needs of young families in the area. Story times, book clubs, crafts, and the Wonder Community Read were successfully planned and completed.


We had entertainers galore! The renowned performers, Jungle Terry, the Bubble Lady, Madcap Puppets from Cincinnati, and illusionist Rick Smith, Jr. headlined. There were snakes, life-sized puppets, bubbles, magic, and illusion all for the enjoyment of the masses.

And then there was Summer Reading! Prereaders and readers alike were invited to follow a game board toward the goal of 25 books or 750 hours of reading. There were prizes along the way! Not surprising 450 readers completed the program and were given the opportunity to choose a book to keep. That is a great number of readers, but that number does not tell the whole story.  Throughout the summer, a whopping 984 children registered for the summer reading program. Of those, 681 read 5 books or 150 hours of reading, 616 continued to 10 books or 300 hours of reading. 537 readers accomplished the goal of 15 books or 450 hours of reading and 488 finished 20 books or 600 hours of reading! Throughout the program, children received coupons for cookies from Wildflower Bakery, hot dogs from River Dog Café, and kid’s meals from Applebee’s and Chipotle. The coupons were well appreciated because reading does expend energy and hunger happens!

We are proud of all our readers. It was a hugely successful summer and the numbers prove it!




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The RRPL Reading Partner Program is where children thrive!

Each summer I have the pleasure to operate our youth Reading Partner Program where younger children get paired up with older children to practice their reading skills over the summer.  I use award winning read alouds and staff favorites then organize them by reading level to build an exciting and successful library collection for the partners to use.3

Youth completing  the 4th  through 6th grade receive training in May to learn how to be a successful reading partner and build confidence for the big day when the younger children arrive.  There is always a lot of excitement thinking about what their experience is going to be like and who they might get paired to work with.2

In June it is time to put our volunteer skills into action by greeting younger readers who would like to practice their reading skills.  This can be a little scary for the younger children as they first arrive but our volunteers know just what to do to help every shy child feel right at home.  It’s an exciting time learning how to build friendships in addition to literacy skill building.


It is not unusual for our budding readers or our volutneers to want to come in and read more than once a week, a true sign of a successful youth partnership. Sometimes our families even choose to reach out to one another to continue the partnership after the program is done.


It takes a special young person to take time out of their summer and dedicate themselves to helping a younger child to read.  We are fortunate to have many of those special kinds of kids right here at the Rocky River Public Library. I am grateful to have the privilege to work with them.


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Audiobook Picks for Your Summer Road Trip

One of my top five favorite things to do in the summer months is to take road trips, and I especially love visiting National Parks (although a nice warm beach is never a bad idea). Last year I visited Acadia National Park in Maine and during the long, nearly fourteen hour drive up the eastern coast one of the ways I passed the time was by listening to audiobooks. Audiobooks are a great way to entertain not only yourself, but your friends and family who may be riding along with you on your adventure.

We all know that playing “I Spy” in the car can get old, for some reading in the car can cause motion sickness, and staring at electronic screens for fourteen hours is not ideal. Audiobooks are a fun alternative to reading a traditional print book in the car because everyone can listen to the story together and it is more exciting than reading a story out loud yourself. Professional voice actors make the stories feel real and you don’t have to worry about your throat getting sore !

Another added bonus is that audiobooks are available in various formats, one of which is bound to suit your road tripping needs. You can check out books on CD from the library, which are best if you have a CD player in your car and want to share a story with the entire crew. You can also check out Playaways from the library, which are ideal for family members who may want to listen to an audiobook solo. Finally, if your car has an auxiliary cable input or is Bluetooth enabled you can always download an audiobook to your smartphone and listen through your car stereo. I typically use this option because less stuff to pack means more room for vacation clothes in my suitcase! This is especially helpful if you are tackling a long series on audiobook, like Harry Potter. Take a look at some of the audiobook titles available for kids in our OverDrive digital audiobook collection!  

Check out a few of my favorite audiobooks below- perfect for your next family road trip!

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg 


The Wildwood Chronicles (Books 1-3) series by Colin Meloy 


The Roald Dahl Audio Collection by Roald Dahl 


Charlotte’s Web by E.b. White 

charlottes web

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

tale of

As always, all you need is a library card to access these materials. Safe travels and happy reading!

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