Kim B.'s blog

Celebrate Lunar New Year!

IU Asian Culture Center Presents: How to Make Dumplings!

What is Lunar New Year?

In Western countries, we celebrate the New Year on January 1, but in many Asian countries the traditional new year follows the cycles of the moon so they celebrate what we call "Lunar New Year" (sometimes also called "Chinese New Year") and it usually occurs in late January to early February.

For people following the Lunar calendar, years are tracked by animals. For example, this year is the Year of the Ox. There are 12 animals of the Lunar calendar that always appear in this order: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. This means that the next Year of the Ox won’t be until 2033!

Extraordinary: A Story of an Ordinary Princess

We can usually see the benefit of fairy godmothers’ gifts - after all, who wouldn’t like to be graced with the gift of wisdom, beauty, or humor? But what would happen if a fairy godmother gave the gift of being ordinary?

That’s exactly what happens to Princess Basil of Florim. While her five sisters were given perfectly standard fairy godmother gifts, Basil was given the gift of being ordinary. It seemed like no matter what the King and Queen tried, nothing could make Princess Basil anything more than ordinary. Worried that her ordinary daughter would never find a fiance, the Queen carried out a scheme to have Basil captured by a dragon! After all, brave knights are always looking for a Princess to rescue and wed, right?

How will Princess Basil escape capture and prove that she's extraordinary? Read this fun and fast paced graphic novel to find out! 

Staff Pick: The Camping Trip

In this picture book, a Black family explores the wonders and challenges of camping! Ernestine lives with her single dad in the city. When her aunt Jackie and cousin Samantha invite her to go camping with them she eagerly accepts. With dad's help, Ernestine gathers and packs all the essentials needed for an outdoor adventure. She imagines what camping will be like and can't wait!

But we all know that things don't always turn out the way we imagine... like the difficulty in putting up a tent, or that swimming in a lake - and not at the YMCA pool means - fish!

New Kid

Jordan is disappointed to start a new school. Instead of the art school he wanted to go to, his parents are making him go to Riverdale Academy Day School - the best school in town. Jordan’s new school is very different: he doesn't know his way around, the kids all dress differently, and the biggest difference of all is that nearly everyone at his new school is white, which isn’t really a problem except that Jordan keeps experiencing microaggressions and some more direct racial bullying which the teachers tend to ignore. How will Jordan navigate life at his new school while remaining true to himself?

Staff Picks: Animorphs series

Before she was known for releases like Crenshaw and the Newbery award winning The One and Only Ivan, Katherine Applegate brought the Animorphs saga to the world. The series shows Applegate's impressive skill as a writer, as she weaves an accessible sci-fi story of epic sweep and exciting action sequences with surprisingly sophisticated world-building and affecting character development. The narrative also touches on themes regarding the traumas of war (through a kid-friendly lens) and mankind's relationship to the environment. All of the above is spread across the series in books of digestible length. Appropriate for ages ~7+, but contains a level of depth that can engross readers of any age!

Making Zines for Tweens

Zines for Tweens

Have you ever wanted to publish your own story, comic, or other writing? If so, then you may be interested in making zines!

What Are Zines?

Zines are self-published books. If you think about a zine as being a “mini-magazine” you’ll have a clue as to what they are and a cool trick to help you remember that “zine” is pronounced the same way as the letters “zine” at the end of the word “magazine.” 

Zines come in lots of different shapes and sizes––so even though we can think about them as “mini-magazines,” they could actually be bigger than a common magazine. 

Real Friends

Shannon had long believed the advice of her mother, “One good friend. My Mom says that's all anyone really needs.” But when her one friend, Adrienne, starts spending more time with the new, popular girl and her “friend group,” Shannon is left confused about where she fits in.

What’s even more challenging, one of the girls in the group is a bully! How can Shannon navigate the complex social order of middle school? Real Friends is a relatable fast paced graphic novel based on the experiences of award winning author, Shannon Hale. Recommended for readers 8-12.

Staff Picks: The First Rule of Punk

When 12 year old Malú’s moves to Chicago with her mother, she’s worried she won’t find her place. But in exploring her Mexican heritage, embracing her love of all things punk, and connecting with new friends, she learns how important the first rule of punk actually is. Malú’s zines (self published magazines) are printed throughout the novel, offering another glimpse inside her mind and a great introduction to the art of zine making. Recommended for readers aged 9-12.

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