Sunday, February 28, 2021

Women's History Month - March 2021

 ~Our History Is Our Strength~

Each time a girl opens a book and reads a womanless history, 
she learns she is worth less.

                  -Myra Pollack Sadker, Professor, Author, Researcher and Activist

As recently as the 1970's, women's history was virtually an unknown topic in the k-12 curriculum. As educators, we are happy to see things have taken a drastic turn today in 2021. As librarians we strive to foster equality as part of our role, whether through promoting books with a positive message or providing safe spaces for progressive ideas to blossom.

Women's History Month provides students opportunities to celebrate and reflect upon the vital contributions made by women throughout history. The resources below will allow students to dive deeper into the experience of women who have contributed to positive change in their communities and around the world. 

Valuable Links

Books we recommend

"I do know one thing about me: I don't measure myself by others' expectations or let others define my worth. "

                -Sonia Sotomayor

"We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced."
                                            - Malala Yousafzai

Friday, January 29, 2021

Black History Month - February, 2021

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” 
– Nelson Mandela

Now more than ever, Black History Month is extremely important for kids and adults of all ages and backgrounds to recognize. Check out this post by for the origins and back story of Black History Month. 

 As librarians, we strive to deliver as much information as we can in regards to every topic but this month is very special to all of us. It's the month where we spotlight our already popular books written by Black authors and/or books written about Black characters. 

Here are some of our favorite authors:
Jason Reynolds - Some of his more popular books are "All American Boys," "Miles Morales-Spiderman," and the "Track" series. 
Maya Angelou - "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" is one of her most popular works. She is also known for her poetry. 
Toni Morrison - "The Bluest Eye," "Beloved," and "The Song of Solomon" are some of her works. 
Angie Thomas - A newer young adult author, Thomas has written "The Hate U Give" as well as "On the Come Up." 
Jacqueline Woodson - A 2020 recipient of The Hans Christian Andersen Award, her most notable work is "Brown Girl Dreaming." 
Tomi Adeyemi - A fantasy writer, Adeyemi is best known for her book "Children of Blood and Bone," the first in the Legacy of OrĂ¯sha trilogy. 
Derrick Barnes - His picture book, "Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut" received the Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Award for this book. 

Here are a few book lists that have been made by others:  
The Chicago Parent website has a fantastic list of 13 Black History Books to Read With Your Kids 
Top 15 Children's Books for Black History Month compiled by Erin Dower on 
Afoma Umesi is a blogger who has recently compiled a list of 58 Black Middle-Grade Books
The Epic Reads website put out a list entitled 20 YA Books You Need to Read—Especially During Black History Month

 Please check out our previous post on books related to social justice and race relations here for more great titles and authors!

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Read in the New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! There’s no better way to ring in the new year than with some great books. Here's a few different lists from the web for readers of all ages: Happy New Year from your friendly QPS librarians!

Sunday, June 28, 2020

4000 Comics & Graphic Novels Available to all Massachusetts Residents!

Bibliolabs Launches Virtual Library Comic Convention (VLCC) Making over 4000 Comics & Graphic Novels Available to all Massachusetts Residents!
This project is a collaboration with 9 other states and is intended to provide easy access to digital resources while also supporting statewide summer reading programs for all ages during the COVID-19 period. More eBooks will be released throughout the summer from additional children’s, comic book, and science fiction publishers.
Access the collection here!

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Book Recommendations Focused on Racism and Social Justice

As the state of the world is changing day to day, one thing remains - knowledge and facts are necessary to even begin to understand the ideas of racism and the psychological, as well as physical, effects of it all. There have many book lists put out that focus on race, racism, protests, and challenges for many individuals in today's society. Librarians have been finding posts all over social media for booklists that help kids, teens, and adults understand the issues surrounding racism and we have compiled our list here:

Common Sense Media put out a fantastic list of books on racism and social justice where folks can filter by age. The list is prefaced with this: "When your kids see demonstrations in the street or on the news as a response to racially charged incidents, you can help them understand what's going on by giving them some historical context. Sometimes such actions reflect a healthy democracy. Sometimes they lead to changing laws. Some movements are peaceful, others turn violent. These books tell stories of people's experiences of racism and of those who put their bodies on the line for the cause of equality under the law and social justice."

Epic! - Available through QPS (ask your child's teacher for their login), Epic! is an American kids subscription-based reading and learning platform. It offers access to books and videos for children ages 12 and under. If you search "racism" or "social justice," you will find a number of books in an easier format for younger students. (The National Geographic Kids book about Martin Luther King Jr. sparked some decent conversations between me and my 1st grader.) also has a great list of 31 children's books. As stated in the article, "Research from Harvard University suggests that children as young as three years old, when exposed to racism and prejudice, tend to embrace and accept it, even though they might not understand the feelings. By age 5, white children are strongly biased towards whiteness. To counter this bias, experts recommend acknowledging and naming race and racism with children as early and as often as possible. Children’s books are one of the most effective and practical tools for initiating these critical conversations; and they can also be used to model what it means to resist and dismantle oppression.​"

While is mainly a site for folks to buy books, Brian Lair Books has put together a large list within the site. There is no article but the books they have listed are fantastic for  kids of many ages as well as adults.

1000 Black Girl Books Resource Guide is another great resource. From the site: "This resource guide was created in direct response to the multiple requests made by educators, parents and students. Like Marley Dias, so many of you have asked for books with black girls as the main characters. And because of you, we have received thousands of books. Here we are sharing with you the first 1000 titles."

Here's a blog that lists books that centers on Native stories: American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL)

Here's a list by a school librarian and published children's author. It contains books for all ages.

This list of picture books featuring powerful Black characters was found on Facebook and is from a fellow librarian.

Some of our favorites are listed below:
Brown Girl Dreaming
Something Happened in Our Town - Read aloud on YouTube (picture book)
The 57 Bus
All American Boys
The Hate U Give
I'm Not Dying with You Tonight

As always, make sure you get your e-card (if you don't have it already) to gain free access to eBooks at at Thomas Crane Public Library or Boston Public Library!

Monday, May 25, 2020


Word Cloud Search Ancestry - Free vector graphic on Pixabay

At the high school level, I (Ms. Coady) had students research their family tree by using the last available census from 1940. I explained the reason why the census exists:
According to the census site, "Census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year...The results determine how many seats in Congress each state gets...It's mandated by the U.S. Constitution in Article 1, Section 2: The U.S. has counted its population every 10 years since 1790."
Students then went to the TCPL database site and found the genealogy databases.  Most of them have to be used on site but HeritageQuest Online does not. If you're looking for a fun project to do with your family, check it out! Students whose families didn't come to the US until much later got to research famous figures so if that is the case with your family, check out this page. Have fun exploring!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Dungeons & Dragons with Thomas Crane Library


Dungeons & Dragons 


Thomas Crane Library Online!

Are you looking for some after school fun?  Join the the Dungeons & Dragons game on Thursdays: May 28th, June 4th and June 11th! Students ages 10-15 can participate!