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A Treasure of Books for Two Towns

The Book

book cover"What children's book changed the way you see the world?" Anita Silvey asked this question of more than one hundred of our most respected and admired leaders in society. Writers (Anna Quindlen, Sherman Alexie, Bobbie Ann Mason, Azar Nafisi, Angela Johnson, David McCullough, Ann Tyler, Dave Eggers,); inventors and scientists (Steve Wozniak, Andrew Weaver); politicians and activists (Donna E. Shalala, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.); artists (Wendell Minor, Pete Seeger); and the media (Lesley Stahl, Scott Simon) are just some of the people who share their stories. The lessons they recall are inspiring, instructive, and illuminating. And the books they remember resonate as influential reading choices for families.

Reserve your copy of Everything I Need To Know... today!

Events Based On the Book

On January 23rd we held the KICK-OFF EVENT for our Treasure of Books for Two Towns community read. Staff and patrons came dressed as their favorite children's book characters, and prizes were awarded for the best costumes.

We celebrated A Treasure of Stories With Sharon Grimes on February 8th, as Sharon and eager young readers recreated classic childhood stories like Goodnight Moon and The Mitten.

On Wednesday, March 10th we held our Working Together to Promote Education Through Literacy: Infancy and Beyond panel discussion, designed for parents and educators. Featured panelists were Pat Purdy (Owner, Banbury Cross Children's Bookshop), Lisa Davis (MS, CCC/SLP, Cape Ann Early Intervention), Gretchen Hunsberger (Massachusetts Programs Director, Reach Out and Read), Missy Andrichak (Kindergarten teacher, Winthrop School) and Cynthia Griffin (Liaison, Early Childhood Partners).

Our Keynote Speaker for the 2010 Community Read, children's publishing maven Anita Silvey, visited Gordon College on Thursday, April 8th. There she signed books and gave a memorable presentation on the importance of children's books and their wide-ranging influence on many of our society's most admired and respected leaders. She also granted a fascinating interview, available in podcast form from this page.

Click here for a podcast of the Anita Silvey interview!

Click here for a .pdf brochure of events!

Learn More About the Author

Anita Silvey Anita Silvey is a children's and young adult book expert! She has led an illustrious career in the children's book industry as former Editor-in-Chief of The Horn Book Magazine and a publisher of children’s books for Houghton Mifflin Company. Ms. Silvey is the author of 100 Best Books for Children and 500 Great Books for Teens, and the editor of Children’s Books and Their Creators. To find out more about Ms. Silvey, visit her web site.

What We Learned From Children's Books

What have you learned from a children's book? EMAIL a childhood title, author, and a few sentences explaining why it was important to you, for posting on the web site. You can see all of the responses at the What We Learned From Children's Books web page.
Here are our most recent responses:

coverCirculation Librarian Dede McManus chose These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder as one of her most treasured children’s books. Dede says: "I remember my third grade teacher reading the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilders, starting with Little House in the Big Woods and ending with These Happy Golden Years.  My teacher would read to us right after recess to settle us down. I can remember the hush in the room and dazed expressions as everyone listened intently to the stories. The Little House books are great stories about the American frontier and still an American classic."
~ Dede McManus, Circulation Librarian

coverLibrary Trustee Annette Janes chose the Mary Poppins books by P. L. Travers as some of her most treasured children’s books. Annette says: "When I was six years old my father brought me to sign up for a library card at the Peabody Institute Library in Danvers. The librarians were Miss Day and Miss Putnam. To this day I can remember how astonished I was that I could borrow any book in the children’s area.

"Brought up on an isolated farm during the austere years of the Great Depression and WWII, books were read with speed and gratitude after chores. There were so many favorites, but the Mary Poppins’ series were astonishing to me. To think anyone had a Nanny (who always smelled of toast) who could settle arguments and take you places was beyond belief. In the series, the competent Mary Poppins leaves and come back several times but she is smart, knows everyone and even travels to visit the sun one night; with the children in tow. When the sun kisses her and calls her child, and she has a burn on her cheek the next day of a kiss he put there it seemed so wondrous I never forgot it.

"Other wonderful books were the Twins series by Lucy Fitch Perkins. In these books there is a boy and girl twin in each book and they take place in every country such as The Dutch Twins, The French Twins, The Swiss Twins, etc. The twins had many adventures and you learned about each country at the same time; subtle but fun geography and cultural lessons."
~ Annette Janes, Library Trustee

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Submit a Review or Read Reviews of the Books

There is another way you can share your favorite books: submit reviews to the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library! Have you read an excellent book? Want to talk about a book that wasn't so great? Let us know with a review! Visit our Reviews page and click "Sign Me Up" to get started. If you have any questions please call the library at 978-468-5577, ext.19.

Further Reading (and Viewing)

projectorSometimes a great book inspires a great movie. Sometimes a great book inspires a not-so-great movie. If you're interested in seeing movies based on the books in Everything I Need To Know..., here is a list of movie adaptations at our library, together with the books they are based on. Read the book, watch the movie, and see what you think!

Brought To You By...

Sponsored by The Friends of the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library and a Mother Goose on the Loose Grant. These federal funds are provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

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Modified 4/9/2010