Tales & Travels Summer Reading Program Recap of the Week – NATURE

Our Youth Summer Reading program is off to a great start and last week was busy! On Monday, we took time and actually listen to the sounds of nature. Did you know if you go outside on a nice day, you can hear up to 7 birds singing at one time? We played “Roll the Dice Duck Game” and got our fingers gooey as we made “Rainbow Fish Clay Creation.”

On Wednesday, we discovered how to make cricket sounds with a comb and talked through string phones. Now listen to this, did you know that worms can actually make a sound? Yes, this is true, they make loud popping sounds underwater that can even shatter glass. We finished up by making a special treat called “Worms in a Cup”, such a chocolaty delight!

Friday, we enjoyed a visit with Scott as he taught us all about the different cloud shapes. This is fun to try, put a bar of IVORY soap in the microwave and see what happens, but not too long, you get soap that looks like a cloud. Guess what, a cloud can travel at a speed of 100 miles per hour and can weigh as much as an elephant!

Check out the Activities and YouTube videos that go along with this week’s Summer Reading Program!     


Monday June 14 Supplies:

  • Ocean Salt Painting
  • Morse Code Bracelet

Wednesday June 16 Supplies:

  • Origami Rocket Launch
  • Moon Rock Art

Friday June 18 Supplies:

  • Train on the Track Test
  • Train Gear Experiment
  • Chain Reaction

Check out our Summer Reading Program page for more information!

Baseball Mini-Bibliography

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) creates mini-bibliographies on various subjects.  Let us know if you would like any titles added to your booklist or head over to BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) to download the titles now.  Need more information about BARD?  See our BARD Page.

NLS created a mini-bibliography on the subject of Baseball.  Here it is:

Baseball has long been deeply embedded in American culture. In 1889 Walt Whitman said that baseball “has the snap, go, fling of the American atmosphere.” Many are drawn in as children through Little League games and the hobby of collecting baseball cards. No other sport has inspired so many songs or developed its own distinctive menu. This minibibliography lists some titles for adults and children about baseball history and the basics of the game. These represent only a small fraction of the more than three hundred nonfiction titles about baseball in the NLS collection, which also includes baseball schedules (American and National Leagues) in braille.

Game Time: A Baseball Companion by Roger Angell
Sportswriter Steve Kettmann compiles his favorite Roger Angell baseball essays, spanning 1962 to 2002. The pieces profile players such as Willie Mays, Bob Gibson, Pete Rose, and David Cone, as well as the various teams and spring training camps that he’s studied. Introduction by Richard Ford. 2003.   Download DB 58307

A Great and Glorious Game: Baseball Writings of A. Bartlett Giamatti  by A. Bartlett Giamatti
Essays by the former Yale president who was the commissioner of baseball when he died in 1989. The articles convey Giamatti’s lifelong devotion to the sport and his belief in the integrity of the game. One, “Baseball and the American Character,” interweaves the history of the country with that of its national pastime. 1998.     Download DB 47461

When Women Played Hardball by Susan E. Johnson
Author Johnson was a fourteen-year-old fan when the All-American Girls Baseball League died in 1954 after a twelve-year span. To recreate the spirit of the league that fascinated her, Johnson interviews twenty-six of the women who played for the 1950 Rockford Peaches and Fort Wayne Daisies. Their recollections of the 1950 series are supplemented by newspaper accounts of each of the seven games. 1994.     Download DB 39231

The Head Game: Baseball Seen from the Pitcher’s Mound by Roger Kahn
Author of The Boys of Summer (DB16430) discusses the psychology and physics of baseball pitching, as well as some of the major personalities immortalized in the history of the sport. 2000. Download DB 51995

The Game: Inside the Secret World of Major League Baseball’s Power Brokers by Jon Pessah
Focusing on the owners and officials rather than the superstar players, ESPN founding editor Pessah examines the world of baseball during the era of Commissioner Bud Selig, 1992 to 2015. Labor disputes, steroid scandals, and boardroom battles are covered. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2015.     Download DB 82022

The Hall: A Celebration of Baseball’s Greats by Hank Aaron
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum lists every inductee from the first class in 1936, which included Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson. Includes essays and player bios. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2014.     Download DB 79365

Cooperstown Confidential: Heroes, Rogues, and the Inside Story of the Baseball Hall of Fame by Ze’ev Chafets
Journalist chronicles the history of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, and alleges that politics affects the induction of players. Discusses the makeup of the selection committee and associated scandals and controversies. Some strong language. 2009.

Download DB 70370

Shades of Glory: The Negro Leagues and the Story of African-American Baseball by Lawrence D. Hogan
Chronicles African American baseball from the nineteenth century until Jackie Robinson broke into the major leagues in 1947. Uses first-person accounts to profile the teams and players. Covers the business aspects of the league. Commissioned by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Foreword by Jules Tygiel. 2006.     Download DB 67203

Voices from the Negro Leagues: Conversations with 52 Baseball Standouts of the Period 1924–1960 by Brent P. Kelley
Interviews with African American athletes from the segregated baseball teams of the twentieth century. Includes players from before and after 1947, when Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. Includes Rodolfo Fernandez, now in the Cuban Hall of Fame, and Frazier Robinson, Satchel Paige’s favorite catcher. 1998.     Download DB 54770

24: life stories and lessons from the say hey kid by Willie Mays and John Shea
This biography of the legendary African American centerfielder includes interviews with the many players and non-players he inspired (including Barack Obama) and personal stories from Mays himself. Mays shares the inspirations and influences responsible for guiding him on and off the field. Commercial audiobook. 2020.     Download DB99789 

Curveball: the remarkable story of Toni Stone, the first woman to play professional baseball in the Negro League Martha Ackman
A journalist presents a biography of the first woman to play professional baseball on men’s teams. It chronicles her baseball career, which included years in the semi-pro circuit and a stint in the Negro Leagues in the 1950s. It also details her experiences of racial and gender descrimination. Some strong language. 2010.     Download DB97982

Homegrown: how the Red Sox built a champion from the ground up by Alex Speier
A Boston Globe baseball reporter looks at the 2018 Red Sox season. He believes their success was the result of careful, patient planning and shrewd decision-making that allowed Boston to develop a golden generation of prospects–and then build upon that talented core to assemble a juggernaut. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.     Download DB98472

K: a history of baseball in ten pitches by Tyler Kepner
The baseball columnist for the New York Times presents a history of the sport, told through the ten major pitches of the game. Includes commentary from some of the best pitchers in baseball history, such as Nolan Ryan, Greg Maddux, Bob Gibson, and Mariano Rivera. Some strong language. 2019.     Download BR23069

Ten innings at Wrigley: the wildest ballgame ever, with baseball on the brink by Kevin Cook
A former Sports Illustrated editor looks at a dramatic baseball game in 1979 between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Chicago Cubs. The game went ten innings and the two teams racked up forty-five runs between them. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.     Download DB95375

Children’s Books

The Good Guys of Baseball: Sixteen True Sports Stories by Terry Egan
Sixteen biographies describing men in baseball who exemplify some of the best traits an athlete can possess on or off the field: loyalty, decency, determination, and the willingness to work hard. Included are Don Wardlow, a sportscaster who is blind, and Jim Abbott, a pitcher who was born with only one hand. For grades 3–6. 1997.     Download BR 11625     Download DB 46409

World Series Classics by Dan Gutman
Play-by-play narrations of what the author considers to be the five most exciting World Series in the history of baseball: 1912, 1924, 1947, 1975, and 1991. Conveys the drama and suspense of the action-filled games, complete with interesting facts and anecdotes. For grades 5–8. 1994.     Download DB 43418

A Whole New Ball Game: The Story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League by Sue Macy
A history of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League during and immediately following World War II (1943–1954). The league was born during a period when the nation’s men were away at war and women enjoyed unprecedented freedom in employment and activities, including sports. For grades 6–9 and older readers. 1993.     Download BR 09473

How Baseball Works by Keltie Thomas
Facts and figures about the basics of baseball, its rules, strategy, and history. Describes bats, baseballs, mitts, and uniforms. Explains a slugger’s stats, a pitcher’s throws, including recipes for spitballs and mud balls. Discusses great players, major ballparks, and even ballpark sounds. For grades 4–7. 2004.     Download BR 15898

A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie “Peanut” Johnson by Michelle Y. Green
Mamie Johnson recalls her playing days, stating she was one of three women to play professional baseball in the Negro Leagues. Depicts Johnson’s overcoming racism and sexism in 1948 to pitch at age twelve for an all-white boys’ team and at eighteen for the Indianapolis Clowns. For grades 4–7. 2002.     Download DB 60256

Stars in the Shadows by Charles R. Smith
A story in rhyme recounts the second Negro League baseball all-star game in Chicago. Recaps each of the nine innings in which legendary players such as Satchel Paige, Cool Papa Bell, and Turkey Stearnes brought fans to their feet. For grades 2­–4 and older readers. 2012.     Download DB 74753

Baseball history for kids: America at bat from 1900 to today with 19 activities by Richard Panchyk
Investigates the history of the sport and recounts stories about former major league players. Includes activities such as calculating the Earned Run Average (ERA) and throwing a palmball. For grades 5-8 and older readers. 2016.     Download DB96687

A big day for baseball: Magic tree house, book 29 by Mary Pope Osborne
Jack and Annie use the magic tree house to travel back in time to 1947 Brooklyn, New York, where they pretend to be batboys at Jackie Robinson’s first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers against the Boston Braves. For grades 2-4. 2017.     Download BR23124

Tails & Travels Summer Program is Ready to GO!

The Youth Library has 9 neighborhoods; Nature, Transportation, Favorites, Celebrations, Rhymes & Songs, Stories, Concepts, Our World, and last but not least, Fairy & Folk Tales where our library books can be found. We have created 27 “cool” events around each of these neighborhoods just for you!  For more information check out the Summer Reading Program Page.

2021 Tales and Travels Summer Reading Program
Dates: June 7 – August 6 on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays
Time: 1:00pm – 1:45pm
Register Here 

Preview of our Tales and Travel’s First Stop – Nature!
June 7 – Rainbow Fish Clay Creation and Science, Roll the Dice “Duck Game”, Sounds from Nature, Jokes, Story Time Fun
June 9 – Sound of Music with the Straw Pan Flute, Sound Waves of the String Phone, Worms in a Cup Treat, Story Time Fun
June 11 – Featured guest Scott, Ivory Soap Cloud, Fog in a Glass, Meteorologist for a Week Activity

Hope to see you soon!
Denise Bean, Youth Services Librarian

Summer Reading Programs Are Here!

2021 Tales and Travels Summer Reading Program

Dates: June 7 – August 6 on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays
Time: 1:00pm – 1:45pm
Register Here

This program will encompass Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

The Summer Reading Program will have, 27 youth programs and will be offering 9 activity kits containing 3 programs each week, along with prizes too numerous to count. We will be taking you for a bus, train, or boat ride as we travel through the many Tales of our Library. This 2021 summer event promises to be nothing short of magical, mysterious, and outrageously fun! What if I told you that you might learn a little magic trick along the rails?  Also, at time of sign up, your family will receive 2 Blank Park Zoo passes, access to our online ReadSquared program, free personalized SRP T-Shirt and passport!

Summer STEM Teen Program

Dates: Thursdays; June 17th– August 5th
Time:  2:00pm – 4:00pm
Age: Teens 14 years and older
Location: Virtual via Zoom and/or in Person Experience at the Iowa Department for the Blind (524 Fourth Street, Des Moines, IA)
Register Here

The Library will be hosting an 8-week STEM experience for teens 14 years and older this summer.  Have fun with physical science, engineering, math, coding, and earth science. Teens will discover how to work through the Engineering Design Process through different activities. We will be using hands-on STEM Activities based off of STEM Scale-Up Kits provided to the Library by the Iowa STEM Council. This program will also offer guest speakers focusing on STEM careers. 

Book Reviews From Deena

Check out these book reviews from Deena, a member of the Library’s Patron Service Team. Let us know if you would like any titles added to your booklist or head over to BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) to download the titles now.  Need more information about BARD?  See our BARD Page.

War Brides by Lois Battle  DB17682
This book follows three Australian women who married American G. I.’s after the end of World War II and came over on a ship to the United States to join their husbands.  For each of them, their marriage does not turn out the way she thought it would.
Dawn: a war widow and new bride with two daughters finds a home in Ohio with her in-laws while her husband, Zac is in the Navy.
Sheila: a teenager who moves to the hills of Virginia with her husband, Billy.
Gaynor: a beautiful woman who moves in with her wealthy in-laws in Kansas City while her husband, Rickey is completing school back east.

Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, A Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings by Michelle Knight   DB78946
This is the horrific story of Michelle Knight, who was kidnapped in 2002, by someone she thought she knew.  She was held in a home for over 10 years.  Two other young girls kidnapped after Michelle, by the same man were also held against their will. Each of the girls suffered terribly, being beaten, not being fed, and tortured. Michelle spent much of the time chained to the other captive, Gina.  She explains some of her innermost thoughts and things she did to escape from the hell she was forced in which to live, which kept her going. She and the other two girls were finally rescued in 2013. (Violence and descriptions of sex)

The Green Mile: a novel in six parts by Stephen King DB44564
Have you always wanted to try reading a Stephen King novel, but you were afraid it would be too scary?  I would recommend the magical book The Green Mile.  This takes place in a prison in the 1930s.  John Coffey is awaiting execution for a crime he did not commit.  Paul, the guard, soon learns John has a special gift.  This book is definitely a power struggle between good and evil. One of the prisoners taunts and threatens the other prisoners and another one of the prison guards, Percy, creates drama where ever he goes. This book has everything.  It is happy, sad, poignant, and humorous. Enjoy the magical ride!

Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger  DB61604
Ridley Jones rescues a child from being hit by a car and her picture appears in the newspaper.  She soon receives a clipping in the mail. Her life is turned upside down because everything she thought she knew about her life and who she was may not be true. This sends her on a quest to find her true identity.