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The MCPL Blog: Articles by Elizabeth Lutz

Celebrate Picture Book Month with These Recommended Books!

toddler girl looking at a board book

November 6, 2022

November is a great time to celebrate picture books; days are shorter and more time is spent indoors, which means more time for reading! Not only that, but the Children's Book Council (CBC) officially designated November as Picture Book month! If you're looking for some new books to read with your kids (maybe you want to reach your next 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten goal?, here are three picture books that I personally think are amazing!      

Authors Awards Books Children Early Literacy Learning Reading Recommendations

September is World Kid Lit Month!

Two girls reading books at library

September 10, 2022

September is World Kid Lit Month! What is that, exactly? It's an annual month-long initiative that promotes children's literature from around the world, with an emphasis on reading books from other countries, especially those that have been translated into English from other languages. By reading some of these stories, young readers can see the world from a global perspective, learn about other cultures or maybe even become interested in learning a foreign language! This month, use the library to find some great translated books! A few recommendations are listed below. Find even more on this list that we created. We also have many bilingual books available in Spanish and English, Hmong and English, and...

Authors Books Children Early Literacy Reading Recommendations Teens Tweens

MCPL Announces Youth Poetry Contest Winners

Youth Poetry Contest image

June 13, 2022

This winter and spring, the Marathon County Public Library hosted a youth poetry contest. Students between the ages of 9 and 18 submitted their best work, and submissions were judged by Wausau Poet Laureate Dawn Anderson. Anderson said: “Thank you for this privilege to read these wonderful poems where young people pour out their hearts, joys, struggles and creativity. It confirms my resolve that poetry is a wonderful way to process thoughts and feelings, and share wonders.” MCPL is pleased to announce the winners in each of the two age groups. In first place, in the 9‒12 age group: “Spring is a Spring” by Macy Rentmeester. Second place went to “The Sea Emotions” by Paige Mathies, and in third...

Children Contests Events Poetry Teens Tweens Writing

Free Access to Books for Teens

books and headphones

May 31, 2022

Summer will be here soon! As a teen, you may not be any less busy when school is out. Maybe you’re working more hours at your job, visiting family or spending time with friends. Whatever you're up to, make sure to include reading great books in your summer plans! In addition to visiting your local Marathon County Public Library location or participating in our Summer Reading Club, here are three other ways to access free digital materials for teens this summer: With Sync, patrons can use a Sora account to read two different audiobooks per week. The program runs from April 28 until August 17. If you don’t have a Sora account through school, you can sign up for a free account. Please note, these books...

Audiobooks Books E-books Libraries Online Resources Summer Library Program Teens Websites

MCPL to Offer New Book Club for Tweens This Summer

Tween Book Club image

May 21, 2022

Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them is a new book club for tweens between the ages of 8-14. It will meet twice a month at MCPL Wausau starting in June and during each meeting, we'll talk about books and do fun, book-related activities! This is a great way to gather with friends during long summer days and to meet new kids who are also interested in reading. Unlike traditional book clubs where everyone reads and discusses the same book, we will instead be reading books around a similar genre or theme for each meeting. For example, at our first meeting on June 15, everyone should read a graphic novel - but it doesn’t need to be the same one! Make sure to register for the book club in advance on...

Book Clubs Books Children Events Graphic Novels Reading Recommendations Summer Library Program Tweens

Mending Mondays

a painted rock and balls of yarn

April 10, 2022

Reasons for mending can be sentimental, economical or political. Repairing the items you have instead of buying new stuff is more sustainable and saves you money. Some cities even have a repair café where tools may be provided and a volunteer will show you how to fix broken items. (To find locations, visit www.repaircafe.org) I have noticed many new books about mending clothes have also been published in the past few years. Taking inspiration from these books, I decided this March would be the perfect time to start Mending Mondays! I had a few different mending projects in mind, but it was mostly the large pile of socks in my closet that was nagging at me. I love to knit and have knitted many...

Adults Books Learning Reading Recommendations

Poetry Writing Tips for Kids and Teens

list of poetry writing tips

April 4, 2022

Poetry is all around us. It’s in the shape of the spoon you used for breakfast, your brother's missing tooth, and that dingy mitten left behind when the snow melts. Inspiration for a poem can appear any place. But how do you catch it? Read on for simple ways that kids and teens can practice poetry every day and develop those poetry skills. Then, consider submitting your poetry to our Youth Poetry Contest. We have two age categories - ages 9-12 and ages 13-18 - and entrants can submit up to two original poems to the contest. Submissions will be accepted at poetry@mcpl.us or in person at any Marathon County Public Library location through May 27, 2022!  To help jumpstart your creativity...

Children Contests Learning Poetry Teens Tweens Writing

100 Books Before Graduation program launches at MCPL!

100 Books Before Graduation logo

January 6, 2022

Teen library patrons now have the opportunity to participate in a new challenge called 100 Books Before Graduation! This challenge encourages high school students to read a wide selection of books before they graduate and head on to further education. Progress is logged using the Beanstack app, which is free on the Apple App Store or in the Google Play Store. Rewards are earned for every 20, 50, 70, and 100 books that are read, and rewards include book bags, books, and a gift card upon completion of the program! Any book can count toward the total goal of 100 books! They can be fiction or non-fiction, poetry or prose, published this year or 200 years ago. They can be books that are read for fun and...

Books Education Libraries Reading Recommendations Teens

Central Wisconsin Book Festival Children's Reading List

child reading a book

August 25, 2021

Next month is the Central Wisconsin Book Festival! This year, 11 fabulous children’s authors will be speaking at the festival. The majority of these events will be conducted virtually through Zoom, which means you can attend from anywhere! The following books are my recommended pre-festival reads for kids. The good news? They're all available for checkout from your local Marathon County Public Library! On Friday, September 17, via Zoom, Canadian artist Matthew Forsythe will read from his entertaining picture book Pokko and the Drum and also show participants how he created the illustrations. Forsythe’s artwork has been exhibited in Los Angeles, Japan, Italy, and Germany. A few of my...

Authors Books Central Wisconsin Book Festival Children Early Literacy Events Reading Recommendations

Who Was It? - Kids' Biography Book List

Girl reading a book

August 11, 2021

Do your children want to learn more about those who have made substantial contributions to history, and the world? We've put together a reading list of biographies for kids, arranging them by length - short, longer, and longest. We've also included links to two podcasts that also may interest them - Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls and The Past & the Curious. For additional recommendations, call the children's desk at the Marathon County Public Library's Wausau Headquarters at 715-261-7220. 

Books Children Early Literacy Education History Learning Reading Recommendations Tweens

Tween Book Talks

Elizabeth L. reading The Last Cuentista

March 17, 2021

Everyone needs something new to read from time to time, even tweens!  Occasionally, we'll post tween book talks right here on www.mcpl.us. The talks will cover a wide range of novels aimed at late elementary and middle school-age kids. The talks can be experienced in two different ways. Tweens can either watch the YouTube video discussion associated with each book below, or can download an MP3 file of the talk to their computer, tablet or smartphone and listen to it podcast-style! The Last Cuentista  by Donna Barba Higuera Available from the library as a book (see link below)     The Beatryce Prophecy  by Kate DiCamillo Available from the library as a book (...

Books Reading Recommendations Tweens

Five Picture Books for Picture Book Month!

Picture Book Month logo

November 1, 2020

Doing a simple search online for “Children and Literacy” will bring up ample research tracing the positive impact of reading from an early age. Reading builds vocabulary, develops listening comprehension, and improves story telling. According to Reach Out and Read, an organization that promotes families reading together: “Children that are read to more often have improved language and listening skills, experience stronger emotional connections to their loved ones, and gain a lifelong love of reading.” All of these picture books are great books to share and read together!

Books Children Early Literacy Reading Recommendations

DIY @ Home Craft: Story Block Writing Prompts

Story Block Writing Prompts example

May 22, 2020

Are you looking for a way to liven up your writing? Many writers use prompts to get started on a story. Writing from a prompt can lead you to ideas and feelings you would not otherwise have discovered. Here’s a creative project to try at home! Supplies needed: A block of wood Sandpaper Antique picture books, catalogs or magazines Scissors Glue or Mod Podge Small paintbrush   Steps: Take your block of wood and sand off the rough edges using sandpaper.You can work with any size block (perhaps you have pieces left over from a birdhouse or furniture project.) Often lumber mills will give away odd ends for free 2. Cut out interesting-looking pictures from older...

Adults Writing

This Earth Week, Become Eco-literate!

forest

April 20, 2020

Did you know Earth Day is turning 50 this year? “Every year on April 22, Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, Senator Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, realized that if he could infuse the energy of anti-war protests with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans — at the time, 10% of the total population of the United States — took to the streets, parks and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies...

Books Reading Recommendations

An interview with local author Cindy Meyering

Author Cindy Meyering reads from her book at the Marathon City Branch, 2019

January 28, 2019

On January 9 and January 12, local author Cindy Meyering visited the Marathon County Public Library’s Marathon City Branch to talk about, and read from, her new book I’m There for You. Meyering lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Mark. She is a retired teacher, but continues to enjoy time in the classroom by substitute teaching. I’m There for You is her first novel for children. It was self-published through AuthorHouse and was a winner in MCPL’s Community Writing Competition last year. The following interview took place during the author’s visit to the Marathon City Branch Library on January 9th, 2019, and was conducted by Branch Assistant Elizabeth Lutz. Elizabeth Lutz: Did this book’s story spring...

Writing Books Children Authors

Writing contest results!

hands writing in notebook

August 27, 2018

A Community Writing Competition open to all patrons of the Wisconsin Valley Library Service took place earlier this year, January through May. Judging of the entries by library staff commenced, and the winners were selected in June. There were just over 25 entries to consider in the three categories of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, and the ages of participants ranged from 13 to 85. In the interest of sharing local writing with the community, winners’ entries were printed in the Record Review, a weekly newspaper that serves the areas around Athens, Edgar, Marathon, Stratford, and Spencer. The goal of the competition was to promote creative writing. It provided an incentive for writers to...

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