As you readers know, I love the Saratoga Reads! program, a great local program geared toward building a stronger sense of community through reading. Part of the program is the list of Junior Companion titles that allow readers of all ages to participate in this community-wide project along with their parents. This year, Saratoga Reads! is creating book bags for children and families that will contain two children’s books related to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, this year’s Saratoga Reads book of choice. The family book bags are suitable for children ages 3-12, and will include an activity sheet. They will be handing out ten bags at the Higher Grounds Caffe (at Saratoga Springs Public Library) on a first come/first served basis at 10am on Thursday, January 19th. The bags are meant to be passed along and shared with other local families so everyone can take part in this great program! All books will be coded with a Book Crossing number so that experiences can be shared online here. Book Crossing is a great networking site that has an online archival and tracking system that allows members to connect with other readers, journal and review literature and trade and follow their books, what they call “reading and releasing”. Users are able to tag and track their individual books by marking them with BCIDs (BookCrossing Identity Numbers). Each BCID is unique to each book – once it’s registered on the site, the book can then be followed and journaled forever. BookCrossing is free to join and free to play. So head over to the library on January 19th, get your book bag and get started! This year’s junior companion books are:
- Hidden Worlds: Looking Through a Scientist's Microscope, by Stephen Kramer There are hidden worlds in nature—places you can visit only with a microscope. For more than twenty-five years, Dennis Kunkel has been exploring these worlds. Through the lenses of powerful microscopes, he has examined objects most people have never even thought about: a mosquito’s foot, a crystal of sugar, a grain of pollen, the delicate hairs on a blade of grass. Hidden Worlds takes you behind the scenes of Dennis’s work and explains how he captures his remarkable images of microscopic life and objects. You’ll learn how Dennis became interested in microscopes as a boy, how he prepares specimens for study, and how different kinds of microscopes work. You’ll also have the chance to follow Dennis as he collects in the field—from the ash-covered slopes of Mount St. Helens to the lava tubes, rainforests, and beaches of his home state of Hawaii.
- Greg's Microscope, by Millicent Selsam Greg makes fascinating discoveries about things he finds at home when he looks at them through his new microscope.
- Phineas Gage, A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science, by John Fleischman This nonfiction book tells the story of a railroad construction foreman who survived for 11 years after a 13-pound iron rod shot through his brain in a rock-blasting accident in 1848. Scientists and doctors were baffled by Gage’s miraculous recovery and by the severe personality changes he experienced, making the case a textbook study of brain science.
For more about the upcoming events Saratoga Reads! has in store, click here.