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Library notes: Crossover books appeal to children and young adults

By Erika Kosin
Rowan Public Library
Since most juvenile fiction collections in public libraries are meant for children under the age of 12, many books written for kids 10 years and older might seem to be a little mature for the children’s room.
These titles are what children’s librarians lovingly call the crossover books, titles that can appear in either the children’s or young adult collections of the library and sometimes even both.
These books usually contain subject matter that appeals to the late elementary age set as well as those children in middle school. For those watchful parents of strong readers who want to make their selections from the young adult collection, books found in both the YA and children’s sections might help serve as a guide, and since many of these crossover books have won an award or appear on the Middle School Battle of the Books list, there are many places to start looking.
So which Newbery medal, (a literary award given to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association), and Honor book winners can be found in both the juvenile and young adult sections of the library? Some of them include:
“The Graveyard Book,” by Neil Gaiman ó winner of the 2009 Newbery medal, it tells the story of a boy named Nobody who is raised by ghosts in a graveyard. Many librarians across the country applauded this year’s winner because not only is it a well written piece of literature, but it contains an exciting story that appeals to both boys and girls. This book, however, is not for the easily frightened child, as it does contain some scary scenes.”Criss Cross,” by Lynne Rae Perkins ó A coming of age story, this 2006 Newbery winner follows the lives of three adolescents, Debbie, Hector and Lenny, as their paths cross each other throughout the spring and summer as each looks for love and meaning in their lives.
“Al Capone Does My Shirts,” by Gennifer Choldneko ó Imagine you are 12 years old and have an autistic older sister who needs special attention, only it is 1935 and people don’t understand the disability. Now imagine all this while living on Alcatraz because your father was hired as a guard, and yes, Al Capone, the most notorious criminal of the time, lives there, too. This is the premise of this 2005 Newbery honor book that looks at the dynamics of a family as it struggles with the challenges involved with having a disabled child in a time when people were less than understanding.
“Holes,” by Louis Sachlar ó Have you ever felt like your family was cursed? Well for Stanley Yelnats, it is a fact of life. He even has to do time at Camp Green Lake, a juvenile detention facility, as penance for a crime he didn’t commit, and his task, to dig 5-feet-wide by 5- feet-deep holes in the harsh Texas heat. But everything is not as it seems at Camp Green Lake, and Stanley may just be the one to break his family’s curse. This 1999 Newbery winner is another enjoyable read that will appeal to both boys and girls.
Computer classes: Classes are free. Sessions are 90 minutes long. Class size is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. Dates and times are subject to change without notice.
Headquarters ó Monday, 7 p.m., Introduction to Yahoo e-mail; Thursday, 2:30 p.m., Introduction to Learning Express Library; May 18, 7 p.m., Computer Tips and Tricks; May 21, 2:30 p.m., Creating Flyers with Microsoft Publisher.
South ó May 18, 7 p.m., Postcards from the Web.
Children’s: This summer the library invites you to let your imaginations run wild. Join the children’s staff for a fun-filled summer of programs and reading. Registration for all artists, singers, dancers and tumblers from 1-year-olds to rising fifth-graders begins May 18 at all library locations. For more information, call 704-216-8243.
Tuesday Night at the Movies: All movies are at 6:30 p.m. All movies are rated G, PG or PG 13; some movies are inappropriate for younger audiences. Children should be accompanied by an adult. Free popcorn and lemonade.
May movies were chosen by the East Branch Teen Advisory Board.
Tuesday, “Forrest Gump”; May 19, “The Prestige”; May 26, “Cloverfield.”
Displays: Headquarters ó artwork by Delores Medlin; South ó Charles Goodnight by Pam Nance; East ó stained glass by James Brady.

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