The Sinking of the Titanic

On April 10, 1912, RMS Titanic left Southampton, England on her maiden voyage to New York City. Famous even before her tragic accident, the Titanic was not only the biggest ship in the world at the time but the White Star Line had spared no expense in also making her the most luxurious. First class passengers could enjoy a swimming pool, Turkish bath, library, gym, and a squash court, as well as very fancy common rooms. Even the third-class quarters were much nicer than other ships. Her passengers were a mixture of some of the wealthiest people in the world and immigrants hoping to find a better life in America.

People were so sure that the Titanic was unsinkable that there were only enough lifeboats on board for half of the ship’s passengers and crew. But only four days into her first journey, at 11:40 PM on April 14, she struck an iceberg and water began pouring into the ship. Two hours and 40 minutes later, the ship sank beneath the icy waters, only three degrees above freezing. The Carpathia rescued only 705 survivors of the more than 2,000 people on board. 1,522 passengers and crew were lost, probably because there weren’t enough lifeboats and the crew hadn’t been trained on how to use them. It is still one of the worst maritime disasters during peacetime.

More than a hundred years later, the sinking of the Titanic still captures people’s imaginations, inspiring movies, plays, artwork, songs, and of course, books. In honor of the 107th anniversary of its sinking, here are 5 fiction and 5 nonfiction books about the Titanic. 



I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic – Lauren Tarshis

Tonight on the Titanic – Mary Pope Osborne

Voyage on the Great Titanic – Ellen Emerson White

Titanic: Unsinkable – Gordon Korman

The Titanic Mission – Dan Gutman



What Was the Titanic? – Stephanie Sabol

Titanic: Voices From the Disaster – Deborah Hopkinson

On Board the Titanic : What it Was Like When the Great Liner Sank – Shelley Tanaka

Titanic: A Nonfiction Companion to Tonight on the Titanic – Mary Pope Osborne

You Wouldn’t Want to Sail on the Titanic!: One Voyage You’d Rather Not Make – David Stewart


If You Loved the Dork Diaries

bad guys readalikes

Miss Jessica


Recent Reads

Welcome to Wonderland: Home Sweet Motel

By Chris Grabenstein (author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library)

The  Wonderland Motel is not so wonderful anymore. It’s first year in existence was great. That was before Walt Disney opened his theme park. Now the Wonderland Motel is in serious financial trouble. P.T. can’t imagine the motel being sold and no more free ice cream and room service. Fortunately it’s spring break and one of the guests, Gloria Ortiz, is a bored business whiz kid looking for a project. Together as they dream up some unusual tactics to save the motel they stumble on something from the past that adds trouble and danger to their plans.

A fun read. I personally would recommend anything written by Chris Grabenstein.

First of a series. Available in Book and CD.



My Weird School Fast Facts: Space, Humans and Farts

By Dan Gutman

This book is also by the same author as the Flashback Four series. He also writes My Weird School series and the Genius Files.

This series Fast Facts is a fun way to pick up about the world along with jokes and things to try.

This book covers all sorts of science topics such as the solar system, forces, animals and famous scientists. There is one  chapter called Fakes, Frauds and Fame which talks about how some people have posed as scientists in the past to promote something that wasn’t real, such as the Cardiff giant. The series also includes the books: “Geography”, “Sports”, and “Explorers, Presidents and Toilets”.




Beatrice Zinker Upside Down Thinker

By Shelley Johannes

Beatrice is an upside down thinker, ready to take on the world.  To start the new school year she’s going to wear her ninja outfit and meet up with her best friend. Unfortunately, things with Operation Upside quickly go topsy-turvy as soon as she arrives. In the space of a day things just go from bad to worse but it doesn’t slow Beatrice down. She’s determined that Operation Upside continues.

Beatrice is a fun, spunky character,  who is always finding trouble.





Marty Pants: Do Not Open!

By Mark Parisi

Marty is an artist. He has the heart of an artist and can see things that others can’t see. He also has a very active imagination and a tendency to jump to conclusions without thinking things through.  So when he finds a note that says “An alien is observing you,” he just “knows” that it refers to his short-tempered teacher, Mr. McPhee. Thus begins Marty’s campaign to save the world.  I love the drawings. They are supposed to be Marty’s drawings. Since he can’t draw bikes, when he talks about riding his bike he draws a pogo stick instead. And I love how this story ends. It makes you think about your teachers and wonder who they are when they are not being a teacher!

First in a series.




Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow

By Jessica Townsend

Morrigan Crow has more trials than the average kid. She was born cursed. She’s on the official cursed registry, in fact. When anything goes wrong in Jackelfax, she is the person they blame. The worst part of being a cursed child though, is that she will die at the stroke of midnight on her eleventh birthday. That was her fate until a strange man at the last minute with the Hunt of Smoke and Shadow on their heels, whisks her away  to the city of Nevermoore as a Wundrous Society candidate. She can only stay though, if she passes the trials – and one of them requires a special talent which is something she lacks. Has she only postponed the inevitable? Will her curse never end?

You will quickly get lost in this book. It is imaginative, action filled, and suspenseful.

I listened to the CD and looked for reasons to be in the car so I could hear more of the story. It’s currently my favorite book!

First in a series. Available in Book and CD.

Miss Marta

#4 of 2017



Miss Christina



The Flashback Four: The Lincoln Project by Dan Gutman

Imagine you travel back in time  to have the adventure of your life. Would you do it?

Eccentric, rich Miss Z, proposed to 4 twelve year olds to do just that. As a test, one boy was sent back in time to see a basketball game—one where Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points. It was so engrossing that even though I’m not a sports person I had to look it up to see if it really happened. It did! (Not the time travel part, of course).  This book brought history to life in  the details that do not make it into the history books. Ranging from the more obvious of no electric outlets to charge smart phones that don’t function without the internet, and chamber pots and out houses in use instead of bathrooms to how dead horses were dealt with after a battle. The time travel story is full of adventure and mishaps that keep you reading to the end—an end that leaves you wondering what will happen next. I guess we will all just have to wait for the next book in the series to come out. A nice addition are the included photographs that help bring the history alive to the reader.


Miss Sarah



I Want To Be In A Scary Story by Sean Taylor


Little Monster wants to be in a scary story, but he doesn’t like how scary the reader makes it until he finds a way to do some scaring himself!


Miss Teresa



A Different Pond by Bao Phi

This is a beautiful tale of a father/son fishing trip that integrates the present family history and might just open your eyes about the immigrant experience.


Miss Marta


Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli

Beautifully illustrated collective biography book about amazing women who may inspire your little rebel.  The bios are only a page a piece and provides a quote they are known for.  My own spirited seven-year old is in love with this book and it served as a great spring board into reading full biographies for pleasure.


Miss Janna



100 Backyard Activities by Colleen Kessler

Each page of this fun-filled book offers great experiments and explorations to get kids off the couch and outside.


Want to know which books made the #5 spot?  Click here.


Christmas Reads for the Middle Grades

When my kiddos were little, we would always raid the library around the end of November, gathering all of our favorite Christmas picture books.  It was something we all looked forward too.  We would read each night just before bedtime in front of the Christmas tree.  It was magical for them and for me.

As they have grown older, moving onto chapter books and their own reading tastes, part of this tradition has backed off.  My middle schoolers and upper elementary kiddo no longer think hanging out with mom around the Christmas tree is cool *sigh*.  At least I can say, they still love a good holiday book!  Luckily, there are a lot of great Christmas middle grade reads.  It sometimes takes a little digging to find the right one for your reader, but there are more choices than you may realize.  Here are a few of our favorites!   Just stop by the children’s desk and we will be happy to find the right one for your reader!


When Santa Fell to Earth by Cornelia Funke

On Christmas Eve by Ann M. Martin

Nancy and Plum by Betty MacDonald

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol by Brett Helquist

The Holly Joliday by Megan McDonald

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

The Angel Tree by Daphne Benedis-Grab

WinterFrost by Michelle Houts

The Christmas Genie by Dan Gutman

The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig

Kringle by Tony Abbott

Young Scrooge: A Very Scary Christmas Story by R.L. Stine

Jingle by Dan Gutman

Top Elf by Caleb Zane Huett

Miss Marta

When You Grow Up… (Christina)

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”  Inspired by this blog post, I asked the children’s department staff how they would have answered that question as a kid and why. Christina is up next…


I wanted to be many different things when I grew up. One year it was a teacher, a couple of months it was a nurse. There was a time I wanted to be a writer followed by an even longer time an artist. There were stints of wanting to raise Beagles, being a Gemologist or being a Chef, but by the time I reached High School the thought of being a Librarian appealed to me since I was there all the time. That was until I was an exchange student in Belgium. Then I set my heart on a career in travel and speaking foreign languages. Although I have had all these wonderful different interests, everything has led me back to the library. Where else can you constantly explore new worlds, learn new things, discover new projects! What’s more, those interests in my past help me in my work today with programs, reference questions and communicating with the public. The library is the best place to be – I hope you come visit me here soon!

Here are some great books that could have inspired any of my dreams growing up!

Mrs. Roopy is Loopy by Dan Gutman

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

The Donut Chef by Bob Staake

MVP: *The Magellan Voyage Project by Douglas Evans

Shakespeare’s Secret by Elise Broach

Isabella: Girl on the Go by Jennifer Fosberry