Cuba in the News

Curious about Cuba? Check out one of these titles to learn more about the country's history.

Cuba has frequently been in the news this year. Earlier this month the U.S. Embassy reopened after 54 years. Although it may still be a while before you can travel to Cuba, you can journey with a book and learn about the country's history from various perspectives through the titles listed below.

Cuban History

    Listen Yankee!       

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Meet George!

Oaklander Alex Gino's new middle grade novel about a transgender girl is a sweet delight.

There's a new girl in town: George, a fourth grader who loves acting and dreams of playing with makeup. George was assigned male at birth, but knows she is really a girl--but how can she tell her best friend, her teachers, the classmates who bully her, and most importantly, her family?

Oakland resident Alex Gino's new middle grade novel is a realistic narrative of life as a transgender child. The writing is honest and kid-friendly; it doesn't water down the hardships George faces, but there's no content that's inappropriate for a very young reader. It would be a great family or classroom readaloud.

OPL has ordered George by Alex Gino, and it'll be on shelves soon--place your hold today

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Q&A: Patrons ask; librarians answer: Feelings About Starting School

Q&A: Children's Librarians answer questions all day, every day, from children, parents, caregivers, and teachers. In August as usual, people need books about starting school.

Q: School is starting in a few days...we’re excited and anxious – both!  Do you have any book suggestions to calm our anxieties? 

Poster from the movie Inside OutA: It sounds like today you’re looking for ideas about the emotions you & your child are feeling, rather than the facts of what will happen the first week of school.  You can read about either, or both…This time of year gives parents and children a great opportunity to practice recognizing your own & others’ feelings, identifying them, expressing them, and responding to them. 

When children read books or watch movies that have any emotional

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News Flash: Picture Books are Good for the Brain!

New research confirms that reading picture books with your child stimulates many different parts of their growth.

Mom and girl readingWell, I think we've always known it, but it's always nice to have some science to back it up.  The recent New York Times Article, Bedtime Stories for Young Brains, by Dr. Perri Klass, summarizes a newly published study confirming that reading picture books together with your child develops all parts of their brain, beyond word literacy. 

What a perfect excuse to check out your favorite picture book now.  And if Dr. Klass's article intrigued you, we have more by her too. Just no pictures. 

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Summer Reading Winners

Thousands of Oakland kids read 20 days or more this summer, ensuring they go back to school ready to learn, and with stories and fun to remember.

Boy and mom and ipadCongratulations to all summer readers!  

Thousands of Oakland kids (4900 and counting) have logged their days of reading this summer and met the Summer Reading Challenge of at least 20 days of reading. If you've not yet collected your prize, stop by your library soon--it's not too late.  We want to congratulate each and every one of you. 

The challenge officially ended last weekend, and we drew grand prize winners from the raffle.  Jeremy Augman is the lucky winner of the iPad, and came with his mom to pick it up at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch Library.  

girl with prizeThe one-year family membership

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Back to School Help!

Many organizations in Oakland are accepting donations or giving away school supplies for the start of school.


BackpackIt's true! Summer's already drawing to a close, and all over Oakland kids are getting ready for school. 

Can you volunteer your help or donate supplies? 

The Oakland Ed Fund is recruiting volunteers who can help onsite at schools with special projects on August 19, 20, or 21st.  They are also accepting donations towards classroom school supplies.  http://www.oaklandedfund.org/bts-volunteer

Do you need supplies?

These backpack giveaways each have different sign up details, and pre-registration may not be a guarantee you will receive supplies, so please review information carefully.  

Our Youth Matter, Inc.  Saturday August 15th, Rainbow Rec Center.  Online

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Oakland Has Jobs!

Looking for a job? We're posting Help Wanted signs over on Instagram.

We librarians get asked about job openings all the time.  In an effort to help answer people’s questions about jobs, Main Library Teen Zone librarian Brian Boies started the oaklandhasjobs Instagram account last September. From a slow beginning where Brian posted one or two help wanted signs a week to a handful of followers, the project has grown. He's now posting at least thirty job opportunities a week. Oaklandhasjobs now has more than 2,000 followers and is gaining about a hundred new followers a week.    

You can help us find jobs for these many followers by taking pictures of help wanted signs and sending them, along with the cross streets where you see the signs, to oaklandhasjobs@gmail.com. It’s fun! Once you start looking, you’ll see them all over the place, especially along commercial corridors like College, Piedmont, and Lakeshore Avenues and International Boulevard. Brian and the Teen Services team can’t find them all by themselves. 

And keep an eye out for

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10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in August 2015

Here are 10 fascinating works of fiction arriving in August. Place your holds now!

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Q&A Patrons Ask: I want to read a book that is “too hard” for me…

Listening to a story is an enjoyable way to improve literacy skills for children of all ages and reading levels.

Hello Everyone,

Over the past week I have answered the same question many times, so it must be a trending topic in Oakland right now:

  • My second grader wants to read Diary of a Wimpy Kid but doesn’t read chapter books yet. Do you have any suggestions?

  • I borrowed The Sorcerer’s Apprentice DVD from the library and my kid loved it. Now she wants to read the book, but she isn’t a strong reader. Do you have any suggestions?

  • I want to read a book with my child but I am not the best reader, do you have any suggestions?

  • I want read with my child in English, but I need help with my pronunciation, what do you suggest?

 

Every one of these questions can be answered with the same answer:

Read along with an audio book!

An audiobook, otherwise known as a recorded book, is an audio recording of a talented thespian (that is a fancy word for actor)

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Watchman, Related Reading

Interested in Harper Lee? Read Paul Theroux's Smithsonian article about the bittersweet past and present of Monroeville, Alabama; the real-life setting for Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.

Unless you've been trying real hard to ignore the literary world these past few weeks, you'll know that Harper Lee has released Go Set a Watchman. Watchman, which The London Evening Standard calls "a very late sequel to  To Kill a Mockingbird," published in 1960, is also described as "a nasty surprise" both for writing and plot (but you can be be judge of that). Pulitzer prize-winning, Mockingbird, if you haven't read it, is set in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, and is

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