• Wellness Wonders: Mental Health Awareness Month

    Mental health is important all year round, but May is the month where we bring awareness to this important topic! Mental health is just like physical health – you need to do things to take care of your mind so that it works at its best. This will help you do all the things you want to do like coming to the library to play and read!

    To learn more about mental health, check out our Wellness Wonders: Mental Health Awareness Month Books mobile display. The display includes Board Books, Picture Books, Juvenile Non-Fiction, Juvenile Fiction, and Teen Fiction books. The mobile display will be up all month long located in the YS department near the beginning of the non-fiction shelves.

    Want to participate in mental health focused programming? Check out Little Kids, Big Feelings and Meditation Story Time or check out our Early Learning Mindfulness Kits.

       Youth Services Assistant Librarian Jessica


  • Creep Yourself Out with Paranormal Nonfiction!

    Investigate the weird and wonderful world of the paranormal with these great books, all available at the Barrington Area Library.


    Eager to discover more great books? Try a Browsing Bundle!

      Youth Services Librarian Chris 


  • Read About the Women Who Changed the World

    Celebrate Women’s History Month by reading about the women who made their mark on the world!

    Need a library card? No worries - you can apply online and get your card number without leaving your house.

       Youth Services Assistant Librarian Claire 

  • Celebrate Innovation with These Great Titles

    There are so many great books about scientific innovation, but I don't know what to do with them all.

    Hmm... eureka! I've got it! I'll make a list!

    These titles and more are available at the Barrington Area Library.


    The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
    Written by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
    Illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon

    Desperate to save his village after a devastating drought, Malawian teenager William Kamkwamba embarked on an amazing mission: using scrap metal and other junk, he constructed a functioning windmill, complete with running electricity, and prevented the local crops from failing. This inspiring story of innovation and perseverance gives weight to the old saying that necessity is the mother of invention.

    Attention, grown ups: there is an adult version of this title available in the Adult Services biography collection.


    Going Up! Elisha Otis's Trip to the Top
    Written by Monica Kulling
    Illustrated by David Parkins

    Elisha Otis had always marveled at ropes and pulleys, at the way they hoisted machinery and cargo to and fro. But people were skeptical when he revealed his intention to create a machine that could do the same for people, until a spectacular showing at the 1854 World's Fair showed everyone it was possible.

    This is part of a series, the Great Ideas Series, showcasing a variety of innovators and inventors. Children who enjoy this book should check out the rest of the series, available at the Barrington Area Library.


    The House That Cleaned Itself: The True Story of Frances Gabe's (Mostly) Marvelous Invention
    Written by Laura Dershewitz and Susan Romberg
    Illustrated by Meghann Rader

    Exhausted from the "nerve-twangling bore" of constant housework, Frances Gabe wished her house would just clean itself... so she tried her best to make that a reality. She installed a sprinkler that sprayed soap everywhere, air jets that could dry the bathtub, a special cabinet that could wash and dry clothes, and 67 other amazing inventions. While Gabe's home design never caught on, readers will still marvel at her ingenuity (and the fact that it all actually happened!).


    Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions
    Written by Chris Barton
    Illustrated by Don Tate

    Lonnie Johnson had a lot working against him: he was born in the segregated American South, an environment that actively tried to squash his dreams. Discouraged by school aptitude tests that dismissed his dream of being an engineer, subjected to racist abuse, Johnson had to rise above the cruel hand he'd been dealt. After graduating with two engineering degrees he joined the Air Force, and later NASA, where he worked on the Galileo mission... and that would be enough, a great story for any engineer.

    Except Lonnie Johnson also created the Super Soaker.

    Featuring dynamic artwork and fun narration, Whoosh! documents the life and times of an inventor who rose above the odds and gave joy to children everywhere.


    Patricia's Vision: The Doctor Who Saved Sight
    Written by Michelle Lord
    Illustrated by Alleanna Harris

    Born in the 1940s, Patricia Bath grew up at a time when the idea of an African-American woman doctor was considered little more than a fantasy. But she persevered, becoming a celebrated ophthalmologist, humanitarian, and patented inventor (in fact, she was the first African-American woman to receive a patent for a medical device). Dr. Bath's commitment to preventing blindness led her to create an improved eye laser, as well as found the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness.


    Eager to discover more great books? Try a Browsing Bundle

      Youth Services Librarian Chris 


  • 5 Books for Confronting Difficult Feelings

    In 1968 Fred Rogers asked, "What do you do with the mad that you feel?" While we have not yet arrived at a definitive answer to that question, we've since been given a wealth of resources to help us better understand ourselves, the way we feel, and the way those feelings affect others.

    As your little one grows, they are sure to experience new, sometimes confusing or scary feelings -- sadness, frustration, disappointment, etc. -- and they may need a little help understanding what they're going through, or how to communicate what they're feeling to their caregivers.

    I've selected five non-fiction titles, each centered around addressing a different emotion. These titles and more are available at the Barrington Area Library.


    You're Angry: Throw a Fit or Talk It Out? You Choose the Ending...
    Written by Connie Colwell Miller

    Illustrated by Victoria Assanelli

    So... what do you do with the mad that you feel? Connie Miller doesn't answer that question for readers; instead, she lets them explore for themselves.

    In this book we follow Kendra, a young girl, who does not want to go to bed. Her father calls out to her, asking her to come inside... but what does Kendra do? Every page notes that Kendra has the option to either angrily lash out or make another decision, and with each decision made we see the outcome -- does Kendra get in trouble? Does she upset her father? Does she communicate her feelings in a constructive manner? That's up to the reader?

    This is a fun way to address angry feelings, as it puts the power in your little one's hands, allows them to explore the consequences of throwing a tantrum (without actually experiencing one themselves), and supports emerging problem-solving skills.


    I Feel... Anxious
    By DJ Corchin

    "Sometimes I feel anxious because of what people say.
    Like when I hear adults argue... and I'm not sure it's OK.
    Or when there's a germ in the air
    And I can't go and play.
    Bad thoughts stick in my head and they won't go away."

    There's no way around it: we live in anxious times. Real life may be overwhelming at times, but DJ Corchin urges kids not to give in. Instead, with simple, empathetic poetry, he helps them work through their anxieties, first exploring the different causes then giving tips for management. The text is accompanied by expressive, if somewhat silly, drawings that perfectly capture how it feels to be overcome with anxiety.

    The book is supplemented by specific anxiety management exercises with step-by-step instructions.


    Get Unstuck from Disappointment
    Written by Gill Hasson
    Illustrated by Sarah Jennings

     What do you when things don't go your way, or someone lets you down?

    Gill Hasson offers strategies for overcoming disappointment, whether it's something as simple as having a back-up plan or something that takes a little more work, like trying to look at things with a different point-of-view. But no matter what form your disappointment takes, Gill Hasson makes sure you know that you're not alone, and that you can get past it.


    Tough Guys (Have Feelings Too)
    By Keith Negley

    It doesn't matter if you're a superhero, a pirate, a biker, or a ninja -- it's okay to be sad or upset, and it's okay to express it.

    While this book is ostensibly for boys, especially those who feel uncomfortable expressing emotions like sorrow, any child can enjoy its universal message. You can be strong, brave, tough, and open with your emotions. And you are not alone in feeling the way you feel.

    Unlike the other entries in this post, Tough Guys (Have Feelings Too) does not offer solutions or strategies; instead, it encourages kids to express themselves when they feel sad, and to not feel ashamed for doing so.


    Step Back from Frustration
    Written by Gill Hasson
    Illustrated by Sarah Jennings

    Maybe things aren't going your way. Maybe you want something you can't have -- a new toy, a video game, a cool new book from your local library...

    Maybe you feel like you're just going to explode if you don't get what you want.

    It's okay to feel frustrated. It's okay to be upset that you're not getting the thing you want. But before you lash out, consider reading this helpful how-to guide on confronting frustration. Gill Hasson returns with this sister volume to Get Unstuck from Disappointment, which takes the same format: first telling the reader what frustration is, then offering examples of things that make us frustrated, before giving us tips on how to manage our frustrations.


    Let us shop the shelves for you! Fill out a Browsing Bundle request, and a Librarian will bag up a small collection books or movies we think you'll love. 

      Youth Services Librarian Chris 

  • Get Coding with These 5 Books!


    Have you always wanted to make your own video game or website, but you don't know where to start? Don't worry, that's what I'm here for!

    Here are five kid-friendly books on coding, featuring step-by-step instructions to get you started.

    All of these books (and more!) are available at the Barrington Area Library. 

    Kids Can Code! Fun Ways to Learn Computer Programming
    Ian Garland

    This guide is chock full of fun activities that will help you make your own blog, design a video game, create an animated video, or even make music. Garland introduces readers to different coding languages and programs, such as JavaScript and Scratch, and explains why one style of coding may be more appropriate for a specific task than the other. The author also includes visual examples so you can compare your work to his, and makes sure to break big ideas into smaller, more manageable components so readers don't get overwhelmed. If you want to dip your toes into a few different coding languages before committing to one, be sure to check out Kids Can Code!


    Coding Games in Scratch: A Step-by-Step Visual Guide to Building Your Own Computer Games
    Jon Woodcock

    Now we move on to a specific coding program, Scratch. Scratch is a kid-friendly coding application in which users can link blocks of code in order to perform a specific action: making a cartoon character jump, walk around, speak, etc. In this book, Jon Woodcock shows you how to make your very own video game using Scratch, from platformers to puzzles. Woodcock starts off by talking about computer games generally -- what are they? how are they fun? -- before moving on to specific game styles, as well as explaining the importance of solid game mechanics. This would be a great introduction to coding for anyone interested in video games, whether as a fan or as a future developer.



    Ruby Wizardry: An Introduction to Programming for Kids
    Eric Weinstein

    Unlike the first two examples in this article, Eric Weinstein's Ruby Wizardry mostly centers around learning a coding language for the sake of coding, not just for video game design, animation, etc. This comprehensive introduction to the Ruby programming language includes real life applications, step-by-step guides, and personal anecdotes from the author. Please note that unlike Scratch, Ruby must first be downloaded onto your computer -- so kids, make sure you have your parents' permission! -- but Weinstein helpfully walks you through the installation process. This book does not contain as many graphics as the previous two. Recommended for readers grades 5 and up.


    Mission Python: Code a Space Adventure Game!
    Sean McManus

    McManus walks readers through the basics of the Python coding language, from installation to application. After readers/coders have grown comfortable with the ins and outs of Python, McManus shows them how to build their own video game from the ground up. Like Ruby Wizardry, this book contains some pretty intensive coding work. Recommended for readers grades 5 and up.


    Create the Code: How to Write Code for Your Smartphone
    Max Wainewright

    Our previous titles focused on computer programming, but let's take a look at smartphone programming. In this kid-friendly how-to guide, Max Wainewright shows readers how to program applications for smartphones using Scratch and MIT's App Inventor. Kids will learn how to program using the phone's browser, as well as create apps and even new photo filters! Please note that this book is primarily intended for Android users, but contains modified instructions for iPhone users.



    Looking for more recommendations? Fill out our form to get a custom list of reads or a Book Bundle for pickup.

      Youth Services Librarian Chris 


  • 8 Books for Endangered Species Day

    Here are 8 books for kids featuring conservation of threatened or endangered animals. Find out more about Endangered Species Day here. 

    Want more reading lists delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for our e-newsletters to discover the newest and best books for kids.

    Youth Services Librarian Allison 

  • 5 Nonfiction e-Books to Keep You Busy

    Check out one of these e-books, available on Overdrive, and full of fun activity ideas to keep hands and brains occupied!


    Art Lab for KidsArt Lab for Kids 

    With full color photographs to inspire, this fun collection of art activities encourages children to create freely, using their own thoughts and experiences as a guide.





    The Big Fun Kids CookbookThe Big, Fun Kids Cookbook

    The Food Network Magazine created this colorful recipe collection just for young foodies.





    The Complete Baking Book for Young ChefsThe Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs

    Brought to you by the genius minds at America’s Test Kitchen, this recipe book offers over 100 sweet and savory baked goods.





    Maker LabMaker Lab: 28 Super Cool Projects 

    This award-winning science book is bubbling over with entertaining and educational experiments for budding scientists.





    Miss Patch's Learn to Sew BookMiss Patch's Learn to Sew Book by Carolyn Meyer

    Although this book was originally published in 1969, the simple instructions and adorable illustrations still work for today’s young crafters. 





    Need more activity ideas? Keep tuning in to our blog for at-home ideas, or check out Creativebug, our database with how-to videos on fun crafting and art projects.

      Youth Services Librarian Allison