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Samantha's Essential Books

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‘My Essential Books’ is a new feature on the FRVPLD blog, where we talk up our favorite books in the hope that you may give them a chance, or at least appreciate our passion for the titles that have made us who we are.

cover of The Golden Book of Fairy Tales


Valentine's Day: Elementary-School Style

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Valentine's Day can be no fun as an adult (please see Heather's blog post), but as a kid, it can be great! Awesome themed valentines, classroom parties, wonderfully cheap trinkets, and enough candy to make you feel vaguely sick. When you're in elementary school, Valentine's Day is a day to appreciate your friends, thank your teachers, and hug your family, all while dressed in head-to-toe pink or red while probably also eating a heart-shaped cookie.

The Truth Is Out There

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I love The X-Files. Completely and whole-heartedly. 

I was too young to watch it when it first aired (Barney & Friends was more my speed in 1993), and by the time I was old enough, the show had ended. By the time I was in college, I knew that the names Mulder and Scully and that the show had something to do with aliens. That was it.

Fresh Off the Cart: Children's Readers

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So far in the month of January, 139 new books have been added to the Children's Readers Collection! If your child is in the beginning stages of their reading journey, readers foster confidence by helping them build their skills without being too difficult and discouraging.

Wondering what level books are a good match for your child? The children's staff would be happy to help your child find books that will help them grow their reading abilities. Ten of our new titles are highlighted below. For a look at the complete collection, please stop by the Children's Department!

Cozy Knits

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For one of my birthdays before I was ten, my great-aunt got me a set of knitting needles, yarn, and a knitting book for kids. She then spent several hours of her life teaching me how to knit, hours that she would never get back. I was decent at it, and I could make a scarf, a longer scarf, and an even longer (and also less misshapen) scarf after several years of practice. Eventually, being able to knit only scarves lost its appeal, and I ignored my former hobby for several years.

Thanksgiving for Kids

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It's nearly Thanksgiving! A time for family, friends, togetherness, gratefulness, and hopefully, delicious pie! If you are looking for books to share with your family about the holiday, these are a few of my personal favorites. From previously unexplored and detailed looks at the first Thanksgiving to the reasons why the holiday is significant to us today, these books paint an engaging picture of a truly American holiday.

cover of 1621



The Bluestem Award: Illinois' Grades 3-5 Readers' Choice Award

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The Bluestem Award: Illinois' Grades 3-5 Readers' Choice Award is a relatively new book award that had its first winner in 2011. The award winner is chosen out of a list of 20 nominees. The books can be classics or new titles, but in order to be eligible to vote, students have to read at least four from the nominee list.


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