Published on: Sunday, November 1, 2015 Takoma Park Newsletter

Library Briefs

Books & Breakfast

This school year, the Library is partnering with the ESOL teachers at Takoma Park Elementary School in a special “Books & Breakfast” program.

Funded by a grant from the Takoma Foundation, the “Books & Breakfast” program is designed to connect ESOL parents and their pre-K and kindergarten children with helpful local resources, including the Library.

At each of the four hour-long meetings (October, November, February and March), participants are given breakfast while ESOL teachers model ways to read aloud and offer other helpful tips to encourage families to make books and reading part of their daily lives. Participants are given a new book at each of the meetings, plus other literacy tools, such as a jar of magnetic letters.

The “Books & Breakfast” program had a successful debut during the last school year (2014-2015), and the ESOL team decided that adding the Library as a partner this year would further enhance their efforts to teach parents how to help their children build pre-literacy skills.

As part of the Library’s participation in the “Books & Breakfast” program, Karen MacPherson, children’s and teen services coordinator, will help parents and children register for Library cards and also introduce them to the many resources the Library has to offer. These include print and electronic books in Spanish and French for all ages, numerous book-related events, and a fully-staffed Computer Center. The Library also has numerous online resources, including one for learning English, as well as numerous other languages.

A recent Pew Research Center report, “Public Libraries and Hispanics,” underlined the importance of libraries to immigrant Hispanics, once they discover what the public library has to offer them. This Pew report is just one more indication of how connecting Hispanics and other immigrants with their local public library can offer them a key educational and cultural lifeline. It is this connection that the “Books & Breakfast” teachers, working with the Library, hope to offer their participants this school year.

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor program

Newbery Medalist Phyllis Reynolds Naylor will talk about the fourth book in her “Shiloh” series on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Takoma Park Community Center auditorium.

Titled A Shiloh Christmas, aimed at readers ages 8-12, Naylor’s new book continues the saga of a beagle named Shiloh and Marty Preston, the young boy who rescued him from an abusive owner. The new book comes 24 years after Naylor published the first book in the series, Shiloh, which won the 1992 Newbery Medal, given to the best-written children’s book each year by the American Library Association.

Since then, Naylor has published two sequels, Shiloh Season and Saving Shiloh. In A Shiloh Christmas, Naylor tells how Marty and his family reach out to Judd Travers, Shiloh’s formerly abusive owner, when his house and others are burned in a drought, and Travers is suspected of arson. Meanwhile, a new preacher has come to Marty’s town of Friendly, W.Va., and it seems the preacher is more interested in stirring up controversy than talking of mercy.

In a starred review, Kirkus said, “Shiloh’s move from abused pup to well -loved pet is an ideal metaphor for the plot’s various redemption stories, which culminate on Christmas day. Perfect for longtime fans of the series and newcomers alike, this Christmas story can be enjoyed yearround.”

Meanwhile, School Library Journal noted in its review of A Shiloh Christmas: “This is not so much a Christmas story as it is a book about practicing tolerance, acceptance, and forgiveness and recognizing one’s own moral compass. In response to Marty’s many philosophical questions, his loving and supportive parents offer realistic guidance, advice and discipline. As expected, Shiloh the dog plays a pivotal role in bringing about a happy resolution for Judd and Marty.”

Politics & Prose will be selling copies of Naylor’s books at the event, but the program is free, and no purchase is required to attend. Please join us for what promises to be a very special event with a top author.

This article appeared in the October 2015 edition of the Takoma Park Newsletter. The Takoma Park Newsletter is available for download here.