It is a great time to be reading Fantasy. One of my favorite writers is Brandon Sanderson, a prolific writer and always seems to have a new book or series coming out. But, if you are like me and are waiting for the next book in the Stormlight Archive, which is scheduled for 2020, the wait can seem pretty long.
Have no fear! There are plenty of Fantasy series to read in the meantime. If you love Brandon Sanderson, you may like one of the following series:
Neryn is only fifteen when she sets out for Shadowfell, a training ground for a rebel group of magic practitioners. The land of Alban has seen dark times and those with magical strengths are being rounded up and captured. When Neryn meets a fellow traveler who is a soldier and then the Good Folk, they tell her that it is she, and she alone, that can save Alban from its oppressive king.
A hero named Kvothe, now living under an assumed name as the humble proprietor of an inn, recounts his transformation from a magically gifted young man into the most notorious wizard, musician, thief, and assassin in his world.
Celaena Sardothien has served her time. She is eighteen and has already served a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes. But when Crown Prince Dorian offers her freedom on the condition that she act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin, she starts down a path that will change her life forever.
Emond’s Field is a sleepy little village of no importance. But when the fields are attacked by the savage troll-like followers of the Dark One, the villagers realize that the war in the western lands is closer than they think. Three young men, sheepherder Rand, blacksmith Perrin, and prankster Mat must face their destiny and The Breaking of the World.
Brandon Sanderson famously finished this series after Jordan's death, so chances are you've already read it if you're a Sanderson fan. If you haven't, though, now's the time!
The Belgariad is an epic fantasy of immense scope, telling the tale of struggles between ancient Gods and mighty Kings, and of men in strange lands facing fated events, all bound by a prophecy that must be fulfilled. Garion is just a simple farm boy being raised by his impressive Aunt Pol on a small farm holding. But when the old magician comes to the farm, Garion’s life changes forever.
It’s time for another child brain development blog! Today we'll cover preschool-age children, or those 3-5 years of age. If you are new to this series, check out our other posts on infants and toddlers. If you’ve been following along, you are probably tired of hearing this, but:
What are the best things we can do for our children’s brain development?
Read, sing, and talk to them!
Where’s a great place to get help with that?
I probably sound like a broken record, but here at the library we have a great program called Story Time where our fantastic storytellers do all three of our favorite activities with your children: read, sing, and talk. They also get your children moving and interacting, which is great for their social development.
During the school year we have a special Story Time for preschoolers in the Story Room, which looks like a castle and has a special child-sized entrance. Children are locked in for their safety and get some time with other children without their parents. During the summer we instead have Story Time on the lawn and at various parks around Provo, so they can get some fresh air.
As you might expect from the name, our Preschool Play time is specifically geared towards children this age. We bring out different age-appropriate toys from dress up clothes to wooden trucks for your children to play with. We also have puzzles available all day long which are a great resource for stimulating child brain development at this age.
For library resources you can use at home, look for books with repetition and rhyming, which is beneficial for your child’s language development. As you read, ask open ended and who/what/where/why questions to stimulate your child’s engagement with the books. Here are some classic options:
This children’s classic is beautifully illustrated and filled with rhyming.
Dr. Seuss is one of the most recognizable children’s book authors for a reason! His repetitive rhymes are a great way to get your child learning and reading at a higher level.
All of Shel Silverstein’s poetry books are whacky and fun – which is just what kids love! Along the way, they are interacting with valuable literary elements to help them learn, too.
You can also check out our Discovery Kits (the full size ones, now), which include books, toys, and activities to explore a specific topic. Some great ones are Shapes, which has great puzzles; Multicultural, which has memory matching; and All About Me, which teaches children to recognize emotions.
For more information on how to help with your preschooler’s brain development, see the book below. If you have older children, be sure to follow along with the blog for upcoming brain development posts!
This book offers much more than I can say on the topic of child brain development and how to guide them in their growth.
Hello, fellow Downton Abbey fans! If you’re anything like me, you’re awaiting the Downton Abbey movie with a mixture of hope and trepedation. I’m excited to return to my favorite period drama and become reaquainted with beloved characters, both above and below stairs.
At the same time, I’m worried. They’d wrapped up the final season so happily for everyone, hadn’t they? A sucker for a happy ending, I was pleased with where characters ended up in the final season, and I’m just not sure I can take it if Anna and Bates are subjected to new trauma. JUST LET THOSE POOR PEOPLE LIVE IN PEACE, Julian Fellowes!
Nevertheless, I’ll be there on opening night.
In the meantime, here are a few library materials to get you back into that Downton frame of mind.
Downton Abbey, is, alas, a fictional place, but the entirety of the series was filmed at Highclere Castle, a country house in Hampshire England with history going back to the 9th century (though the current building was build primarily in the 1600s and 1700s). This book, written by the current Countess of Carnarvon who lives in the castle today, tells the story of one of Highclere’s most famous residents, Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon.
If you were always more interested in the exploits of Daisy and Mrs. Patmore than in the goings-on of the Crawleys, this is the book for you. Margaret Powell, who lived from 1908 to 1984, became a bestselling writer with this memoir about her experiences as a maid and later a cook in aristocratic houses in the 1920s and 1930s. As the title suggests, her book was eventually a source of inspiration for Downton Abbey.
It doesn’t take much to conjure up the notes of Downton Abbey’s opening theme in my mind. This CD collection brings together favorite musical pieces from throughout the show’s run. And if you’re a pianist, why not check out the sheet music too?
If you’re feeling especially motivated, you can try your hand at one of the delicious recipes in this historically-inspired cookbook. It blessedly stays away from away from aspics (a.k.a meat jello) and the like, instead favoring classics like pork tenderloin with sweetened cinnamon apples and any number of tea sandwiches and biscuits.
Written by Jessica Fellowes, niece of show creator Julian Fellowes, this book goes behind the scenes on the Downton set, with gorgeous location shots of Highclere Castle and stills from all six seasons of the classic period drama. It's a perfect refresher course if you’re feeling a little foggy on the timeline of the series.
The first month back to school after summer is a doozy. Students are tired, anxious, and cranky, but are suddenly expected to perform at their top-notch academic game! How can we help our students have a smoother transition into each new school year? One piece of advice from seasoned teachers is to give students a chance to “escape” every day through reading a good book. Check out the books below that are perfect for an escape!
Perfect for ages 8-12, this whimsical book takes the reader on a magical adventure with a cantankerous dragon, Miss Drake, and her ten year old human “pet,” Winnie. Miss Drake teaches Winnie about all the secret, magical things that happen right under people’s noses.
An engaging, suspenseful thriller for teens, Mila 2.0 is the story of a girl who discovers that she is living a lie. She wasn’t supposed to learn the truth about who she is; now that she has, her life in is danger.
Great for ages 8 and up, this novel series withstands the test of time. This book is the first volume in Cooper’s famed “The Dark Is Rising” series that takes readers on a dangerous quest with three children who happen upon an ancient manuscript. They soon become locked in a battle between the forces of the Light and the forces of the Dark.
This fantasy book for children/teens follows the story of Roz the Robot who wakes up one day, alone on an island, with no idea how she came to be there. Her only hope for survival is to learn to get along with the island’s animals. Readers will love cheering for Roz as she struggles to fit into a world where she doesn’t seem to belong.