Kids' Room Blog

Passport to the World

Ole! It's time for a trip to Mexico. Are you ready? This week our programming will be focused on Mexico. Come in and get your first passport to the world activity. Complete this activity and you get a passport and a stamp. Join us for some Mexican stories at lunch bunch on Wednesday @ 11 and at Bedtime Story Hour Wednesdays at 7pm. We're also having a Pinata party Friday at 11am. For now, here are some facts about Mexico to hold you over.

Mexican Fun Facts (from

Mexico introduced chocolate, corn, and chilies to the world.

Mexican children do not receive presents on Christmas Day. They receive gifts on January 6, the day on which Mexicans celebrate the arrival of the Three Wise Men.

The Chihuahua is the world’s smallest dog and is named for a Mexican state

Mexico’s size is 756,066 square miles, which is almost three times larger than Texas.


Bring Ms. Sara a fun fact about Mexico (and make sure you cite your source!) and you will get to pick a prize from the treasure chest.

Summer Reading 2011

Summer Reading 2011 is back! Don't forget to sign up! This year our theme is One World, Many Stories and we have a TON of great programs planned!

New this year:

Can you read more than your favorite Librarian? Who will read more; the kids who visit IVPL or the adults who work here? Come in any time and check out the bulletin board above Juvenile Biography to find out how much the library staff is reading. Can you read more books than Mrs. Janson? Let's see!

 Passport to the World: Starting June 20. Each week we will have a different country featured on our octagon display case in the Children’s Room. There will also be an activity sheet with games, puzzles, and facts about the featured country, as well as books about and from the country. If you complete the activity of the week and bring it back to show us, you will get a special sticker in your passport. Passports will be distributed when the first activity is completed. Can you collect all nine?!

 Don't forget about lunch bunch Wednesdays at 11am- story time outside under the trees, bring your lunch! No sign up required! Also, bedtime story time- Wednesdays at 7pm. No sign up required.

Hope to see you in the library soon to hear your story!

What should you read next?

This Spring I've been on a clue hunt. 39 clues, to be specific! If you're wondering what you should read next, I think it should be Vesper's Rising a group effort including authors Rick Riordan, Peter Lerangis, Gordon Korman and Jude Watson. This is the latest book (# 11) in the 39 Clues series published by Scholastic. In Vepser's Rising you will back track to where the Cahill family started and learn a lot about Amy and Dan's ancestors, as well as information about Grace Cahill who is the reason Amy and Dan began their clue hunt. This book is just as action packed as the first 10 and will give you a few clues into history, as well. It's a great way to get a peek into the past including Tudor England and World War II. You'll also learn that the Cahill's are not only fighting themselves, but they have a long history of fighting a rival find out who you'll have to read Vesper's Rising. Available in the Juvenile Fiction section under Thrity-Nine, along with the first 10 39 Clues books.

 If you love 39 Clues, here are some other books to try:

 The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (JMystery Raskin)

From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (JFic Kongisburg)

The Name of this Book is Secret by Psuedonymous Bosch (JFic Bosch)

The Book of Time by Guillame Prevost (JFic Prevost)

Picture Book Flashback

Do any members of your household have clothes shoved under beds and toys treacherously stacked in closets? Life with children is full of messes! Whether you’re trying to get your children to clean their rooms, or just wash their faces, here are some great books for you!


What we are reading now: Super-Completely and Totally the Messiest by Judith Viorst. 2000. (E Viorst)

This picture book for older children (Kindergarten and up) is brightly illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser (also illustrates Fancy Nancy) and is told from the perspective of the very neat and almost perfect older sister of a very messy young Sophie. Olivia believes Sophie to be “super-completely and totally the messiest” person in their house, and perhaps even on the planet. Not only does Sophie’s room look like a tornado went through it with, “so much stuff on her bed that sometimes I just see the top of her head” and her closet over flowing, she is also messy every where in every way. She’s messy at school, at birthday parties, and even when she wears white Halloween costumes. Sophie seems to be able to ruin everything by making a mess. Even when Sophie tries to clean up a mess “it’s a messier mess than it was before she started.”  There are lots of children who can identify with Sophie, who really wants to be neater, like her older sister, but as a small child, she just can’t seem to get it together. Viorst does a great job of showing the issue of messy rooms and messy children in both a humorous and accurate way. While Sophie can’t seem to keep herself and her surroundings clean, her family focuses on her other good qualities, like how she can do puzzles and dance well, how she’s smart and funny and how she is kind and nice to everyone. Sophie is a comfort to those of us who really want to have it together, but don’t. Sometimes it’s ok to get a little messy, children often can’t help it. After all, “Sophie didn’t mean to drown the kitchen in water even though she left the faucets running.”


What we were reading then: The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room by Stan and Jan Berenstain. 1983. (E Berenstain)


The Berenstain Bears teach us yet another life lesson in The Messy Room. When Sister Bear and Brother Bear are told to clean up their room, chaos ensues. Sister and Brother try everything that most children try; they stuff their closet, hide things under the bed, and cut every corner. When Mama Bear finally can’t take it any more she comes in and throws away all of their toys. We’ve all been there! Finally, the Bear family comes together to create an organized and clean room for the cubs and they all see the benefit of living in a clean space. This is a great story for those children who struggle with motivation to clean their room. It includes some great ideas for organizing children’s toys and accurately depicts the frustration that both children and adults feel when things are a mess!


Also Try:

Pigsty by Mark Teague. 1994. (E Teague)

Henry and Horace Clean up by Wolfgang Mennel. 1996. (E Mennel)

Lazy Daisy by David Olsen. 2000. (E Olsen)

Let’s Clean Up by Peggy Anderson. 2002. (E Anderson)

Sloppy Joe by David Keane. 2009. (E Keane)

Picture Book Flashback


If you have a child, chances are you have a picky eater. No vegetables, nothing orange, nothing lumpy, and nothing new. Change can be difficult for children, even when it comes to food. Some children only eat certain things, some are only interested in sweets. If you’re trying to get your picky eater to try some new foods, than these are the books for you.


What we are reading now:  Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli by Barbara Jean Hicks. 2009. (E Hicks).

In this rhyming story of monsters chowing down on many things; fence posts, tractors, boulders, vegetables are not included. Like most children, monsters do not eat broccoli or vegetables, they’d much rather eat fountains, trees, and steel. While the monsters eat their strange delicacies they chant “Fum, foe, fie, fee, monsters don’t eat broccoli!”  Hicks uses a clever trick that can be tried at home. The monsters start eating trees and before they know it they find out they are actually eating broccoli and it’s delicious. Sometimes it only takes looking at food in a different way before kids will give it a try. This fun story will encourage taking that first bite.


What we reading then: Bread and Jam For Frances by Russell Hoban. 1964 (E Hoban)

In this picture book for older children (preschool and older) Hoban addresses the age old dilemma of getting children to try new things. All Frances wants for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is bread and jam. Despite her mother’s attempts at cooking a variety of food, Frances always comes up with a problem in texture, color, or taste. “How do you know what you’ll like if you won’t even try anything?” her mother asks her. Like every child, Frances just knows.  Hoban uses Frances’ jump rope rhymes to perfectly characterize the way a young child thinks and the sometimes annoying stubbornness that he/she displays. Using reverse psychology, Frances’ mom is able to break her of the bread and jam habbit. For every meal Frances is given her desired bread and jam, but she starts to notice that everyone else has other tasty things to eat. Eventually, Frances is sick of bread and jam and bursts into tears when she finds it on her dinner plate again. Mother, the real genius, in the story tells Frances she didn’t know that Frances liked spaghetti and meatballs, to which Frances replies, “How do you know what I’ll like if you won’t even try me?” The innocent tone of Mother reveals to the reader that perhaps a child’s pickiness about food is more about power than it is about the actual tastes of the child.


Also Try:

Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann. 2006. (E Kann)

Burger Boy by Alan Durant. 2006. (E Durant)

Little Pea by Amy Kraus Rosenthal. 2005. (E Rosenthal)

Princess Picky by Marjorie Priceman. 2002. (E Priceman)

I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child. 2000. (E Child)

D.W., The Picky Eater by Marc Brown. 1995. (E Brown)

Gregory the Terrible Eater by Mitchell Sharmat. 1980. (E Sharmat)

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. 1960. (I-Can-Read-E Seuss)

*library call numbers are in parenthesis

Calling all Dads!

Did you know that IVPL has a special book club for boys and their fathers (0r other caring male adult)?  Read a book together and come in to the library for games, snacks, activities, and discussion about the book! No sign up required. Our next meeting is Thursday April 1 at 7:00pm in the Stroy Hour Room. We will be discussing The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan, the first in an interactive series called The 39 Clues. You can read the book and play an online game to go along with it. Hope to see you there!

Picture Book Flashback

A new monthly look at themed picture books
that are popular now and classics from the past.
By IVPL Children's Librarian, Sara Figueroa

Bad Days
"That's not fair!" "Not again!" "It's not my fault!" "I'm not going!" These common exclamations heard on bad days, usually accompanied by screaming, tears, pouting, and temper tantrums, are familiar to both children and adults. Literature helps us to understand those inevitable personal disasters. If you, or someone you know, is suffering through one of those days, some of these picture books can help put things in perspective.
What We are Reading Now: The Day Leo Said 'I Hate You! by Robbie Harris. 2008. (E Harris)
Leo This brightly colored picture book for toddler and preschool age children starts off with Leo's Mom saying "No!" all day long. Leo is having a bad day. He feels as though he is not allowed to do anything, he can't roll tomatoes on the floor, dance on tables, or yell "Mommy Salami!" while his mother is on the phone.
As it is for most preschool children who can't do what they want, life is unfair for Leo. Leo goes to his room where no one can tell him no, until his Mother tells him he can't draw on the wall and those three terrible words escape his lips, "I Hate You!" Leo immediately regrets what he says. An explanation of those words is given by his mother. This age appropriate and easy to understand explanation make this a great picture book to share with children who may be tempted to use those bitter words themselves. As Moms and other grown ups often do, Leo's Mother is able to help Leo deal with his bad day in a more positive way.
What We were Reading Then: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. 1972. (E Viorst or PTC Fic Viorst)
AlexanderThis all-time classic picture book makes up for whatever it lacks in color pictures with content. The beloved story of Alexander and his "terrible, horrible, no good, very  bad day" is for a slightly older audience, preschool and above, and starts off with Alexander getting gum in his hair. It is only downhill from there. Alexander's day gets worse and worse; he doesn't get the prize in the cereal, he fights with his brothers, gets cars sick, sings too loudly at school, doesn't get dessert in his lunch, has a cavity, and gets pushed in the mud.
Just like life is unfair for Leo, life is doubly unfair for Alexander. Along with the many other trials he faces, Alexander's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day leads him to declare, "I'm moving to Australia!" Grown ups cannot help but smile as they remember these small traumas from their own childhood and how big everything seems when you are small. After he accidentally destroys his father's office, his nightlight burns out and his brother takes his pillow, everyone can empathize with Alexander's bad day and his desire to escape it all. In the spirit of true realism, Viorst uses that ever common mother-child heart to heart to remind us that life is like this sometimes, even in Australia. 
Also try:
A Three Hat Day by Laura Geringer. 1985. (E Geringer)
First Tomato by Rosemary Wells. 1992. (E Wells)
No! No! No! by Anne Rockwell. 1995. (E Rockwell)
Just a Bad Day by Gina Mayer. 1995. (E Mayer)
Nobody Notices Minerva by Wednesday Kirwan. 2007. (E Kirwan)
*library call number is in parenthesis.

New for 2010

A new year means new programs. Check out what's new at IVPL for 2010!

Book Pals

For Kids in kindergarten and first grade.  We will meet the 2nd Thursday or every month from 4:00pm - 5:00pm, January through May (January 14, February 11, March 11, April 8 and May 13).  This club is for emerging readers.  Children do not have to be able to erad on their own to participate.  No sign up required.

Dare Book Club

For kids in second through fourth grade.  The third Thursday of every month from 4:00pm - 5:00pm, January through May (January 21, February 18, March 18, April 15 and May 20).  Each month we will pick an action-packed adventure story to read. Please have read, Shipwreck on the Pirate Islands,by Geronimo Stilton for our first meeting.  No sign up required. 

Just For Guys

For boys, ages 10-13, and their fathers (or other caring male adults).  We will meet from 7:00pm - 8:00pm,  the 1st Thursday of every month starting in February and continuing thourgh May (February 4, March 4, April 1 and May 6).  Please have read, The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan for our first meeting.  No sign up required.  

Girls Night Out

For girls, ages 10-13, and their mothers (or other caring female adults).  We will meet from 7:00pm - 8:00pm, the 4th Thursday of every month, January through May (January 28, February 25, March 25, April 22 and May 27).  Please have read, Shooting the Moon, by Frances O'Rourke Dowell for our first meeting.  No sign up required.  

 Story Times

Baby and Me (under 18 months)

Wednesdays at 10am. 20 minutes of songs, easy stories, finger plays, and tickling rhymes.

Tales for Tots (1-3 years old)

Mondays at 10am. 20 minutes of stories and finger plays.

Tot Rhyme Time (children under 3 years old)

Mondays at 11am. 20 minutes of rhymes, stories, and finger plays.

Music and Motion (3-5 years old)

Tuesday at 11am or Thursday at 11am. 30 minutes of stories, music, rhymes and motion.

Circle Time (2-3 years old)

Tuesdays at 10am or Wednesdays at 11am. 30 minutes of stories, songs, and parachute play.

Fours and Fives

Thursday 10am or 1pm. 35 minutes of stories and finger plays.

Bedtime Story Hour for Preschool Families

Every Wednesday evening, 7pm, January 20 - May 26. Turn off the TV and logoff the computer! Use your imagination and enjoy an evening of stories and finger plays. Wear your PJs and bring your teddy bear if you want!

Parent/Child Workshop

For parents/caregivers and children under 3. Spend time together, play, experience art activities and meet new friends. Community Resource Specialists discuss child development, speech and hearing, nutrition and play and movement. Five Fridays: Jan. 29, Feb. 5, 12,19,and 26.10-11:15 am.




YA Book Review


                             by M. E. Kerr

   During WWII in Pennsylvania—the state founded to demonstrate religious freedom— there were young men who chose a variety of responses to the war. Jubal Shoemaker’s older brother, Bud, raised a Quaker, chose to be a Conscientious Objector. This took remarkable courage, and although he was supported by his family and Meeting, as the war ground on reports of Nazi atrocities served to turn the community against all of the Shoemakers.  Deftly, Kerr uses multiple perspectives to  illustrate how complex any attitude is. There is their aunt, married to a Jewish artist, continually reminding the family of the plight of Jews in Europe. And Daria Daniels, whose father hosts an early talk show on the radio, has two brothers on the front. Even within the Shoemaker’s immediate family, fallout from Bud’s decision has daily ramifications. They are reviled by the community. Jubal, a witness to the struggles around him, suffers from fluctuating loyalties.

   Inevitably, young men from the community are killed. With the grieving come accusations, some spoken, some lying unsaid between individuals and families. A poisonous environment develops, creating estrangement even between Jubal’s parents.

   This book stirs up strong emotions—about family ties, war, and how religious beliefs guide our actions.

    Of all the war stories I’ve read, this is the most nuanced examination of the many sides of the decisions all young men are forced to make in wartime. Characters represent every side of the conflict. And there is change & growth. Jubal is drawn to Daria even though their perspectives on the war could not be more different.  They learn empathy from one another and that there is no right way to view the horrors of war. So when Daria’s remaining brother returns home he is profoundly changed, more receptive to Bud’s position than anyone else except Jubal.

IVPL is a winner!


Mo Willems, author of the Pigeon books, Knuffle Bunny, Elephant and Piggie, and more, announced he would be picking 200 lucky schools and libraries to take a tour of his studio and hear his latest picture book via the internet. See here.


Indian Valley Public Library is one of the winners!  Come into the library on Tuesday, October 6, at 2:00 pm and see where MO works his magic and hear his latest picture book, read by Mr. Willems, himself! This will all be seen via the internet on a large screen with a projector. We will meet in the Community Room. Hope to see you there!

Celebrate the End of Summer!

This is our last week of programs for 2009's Be Creative @ Your Library Summer Reading Program. Don't worry! You can keep reading and collecting prizes through August 31. Come help us celebrate the end of summer on this Friday, August 21 at 7:00pm with "the Hilarious Magic of Sam Sandler!" We'd love to see you one more time before you head back to school.

 Summer Reading Number Wrap Up

910 Children and Teens were signed up for Summer Reading Clubs.

10,477 books were read.

238,986.5 minutes were spent reading.

190,010 pages were read by Teens.


Here are some of you enjoying our kazoo band!

Great Work! Fall Story Hour Schedule will be available next week.

Look What You've Done!

You are so awesome! You have been very busy reading this summer! The Read-To-Me Club has read 6,196 books. The Summer Reading Club has read for 150,701 minutes!The Teen Summer Reading club has read 123,624 pages! Wowza! Great work! Don't forget to come in and pick up your prizes.


In fact, you should stop in for one of these upcoming programs:

Kids Book Fair:  Come into the library for a Kids book fair from 10am -9pm on Friday, July 17

Wii Hit the Road (Summer Reading Club) Come into the library on Tuesday July 21, from 1-3pm, for a Wii Mario Kart Tournament. Each child will get to race at least once, but don't worry, if you get knocked out of the tournament there are other Wii Games to play, you could read some graphic novels, watch your friends race, or even bring your own DS to show off some games (please label all materials brought into library, we are not responsible for lost items). 

Picture Perfect Family Night: Bring your family to the library to play some board games and have some snacks on Friday July 24 from 7-8:30pm. Games and snacks provided. We will "be creative" by playing Pictionary and Cranium!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Lunch: Are you a Wimpy Kid fan? Bring your lunch to the library on Sunday, July 26, 1:00pm and discuss the book, play some wimpy kid gams, make your own "diary," and talk about what you should read next. 

See you at the library!

Come on, Get Creative!!

We've been having so much fun this summer being creative at our library. It's your turn to join in the fun! Are you starting to get bored? Not enough to do this summer? We have 4 programs you can attend this week to give you something to do!

 Growing Graffiti Tuesday June 30, 11am OR Thursday July 2, 7pm.

Come in and hear a story and create some graffiti on the library windows.  We will use special markers to decorate the library windows with things that grow! For Summer Reading Club Members.

Lunch Bunch Story Time Wednesday July 1, 11am

Bring your lunch and hear stories about picnics! No sign up necessary.

Tear Away Art  Thursday July 2, 10am

Pay close attention to the pictures in some of your favorite stories, then try your hand at torn paper pictures. Glue and paper provided, bring your own fingers. For Read to me Club Members. 

Create Cool Clothes

Join us in the library to tie dye, splatter paint, or just decorate a piece of clothing.  Check out some cool books about making clothes to get some ideas.  Bring your own white t-shirt, or other white piece of clothing.  All other materials will be provided. For Summer Reading Club Members. 


We hope to see you in here, getting creative, and doing some reading!

Garden Party

Be Creative Tip of the Week:

Read Moonlight on the Magic Flute by Mary Pope Osborne. This is number 41 in the Magic Treehouse Series. Learn all you can about Mozart in preparation for our Moonlight on the Magic Flute Garden Party we will be having on June 27th. 

Come to the library on Saturday, June 27 and meet us outside in your fanciest clothes for a garden party, just like the party that Jack and Annie accidentally attend at the castle in the book. We will have lemonade and cookies, hear some of Mozart's masterpieces, answer trivia, play a game, and solve a mystery of our own. Make sure you know lots about Jack and Annie and the special little boy who "Got Creative" in this latest Magic Treehouse Mystery so you can win some prizes!

Be Creative @ Indian Valley

It's that time of year again! Summer Reading time!  Stop in the Children's Room this week and for the rest of the summer to sign-up for summer reading. You could even sign up online. Click on the link on the kid's page and read as many books as you can to win prizes. Don't forget to come to our special summer programs! Ok- now start getting creative!


Be Creative Tip of the Week:

 Read I ain't Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont. Put on some old clothes and bring some paint and paper outside. Paint your feet or your hands just like the character in the book and see what kind of picture you can create. When you are all done, have Mom or Dad wash you off- you will be clean and cool at the same time. If you bring in and show Mrs. Sara your masterpiece you will get a Book Fair Buck that can be used at our special Children's Book Fair on July 17. 

Harleysville Parade on Saturday!

Come out to Harleysville this Saturday at 11 am for the Country Fair Parade starting at Indian Valley Middle School. You will some of your favorite Librarians dressed up as some of our favorite book characters marching by. After the parade, stop by the library and pick out some books to read for Memorial Day. A great book you might like to try is Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, you can find it on the shelf under E Rosenthal.

Little Pea is the story of a pea family that is not much different than my family or yours. Little Pea loves to play with Mama and Papa Pea and do many of the things human children like to do.  However, this little pea has one major difference. He does not like to eat a particular food that most children love! To find out what he will not eat, you will have to check out the book! A great story for picky eaters!


Reminder: The Library will be CLOSED on Monday May 25, 2009 for Memorial Day. Thanks. 


It's Friday at 2pm. Here our some of our friends ready to sleep over at the Library! It's not too late to bring your stuffed friends in. Have your animal here by 5pm on Friday May 15 (today) and your furry friend can get into all kinds of trouble overnight. Pictures of the sleepover fun will be posted on Monday! 

This week at IVPL

We have FOUR important events for you to attend this week!


1. The Parent/Child Workshop Tuesday at 10am. Our theme this week is Speech and Language Development. If you have children ages 0-3 (and siblings up to age 5), bring them to our Parent Child Workshop where we will spend time playing together, learning together, and getting answers for our toughest questions about speech and language development from Diane Spragale, Speech Pathologist. Please call 215-723-9109 ext. 112 to sign up.

2. Lunch Bunch Storytime Wednesday at 11am.  Bring a bagged lunch and join us for stories out on the lawn. This week we will hear some stories about gardens, do some fingerplays and sing some songs while you eat your lunch and then you can take advantage of the sunshine and play on the playground.  No sign-up necessary. All Ages. 

3. Bedtime Storytime Wednesday at 7pm. Wear your cutest PJ's and come on into the library for our bedtime storytime! You will hear some stories and sing some songs that will help your family wind down after a hard day. See if you can guess what crazy slippers Mrs. Janson will be wearing this week! No sign-up necessary. All Ages.

4.Stuffed Animal Sleepover Friday- Saturday. Does your favorite stuffed friend need a night out? Well bring them into the library between 9-5 on Friday May 15 and let them have lots of fun with their friends. Who knows what kind of mischief our furry buddies will get into. They might watch a movie, eat some snacks, and play some games. Come in to the library on Saturday May 16 at 10 am to find out what kind of mischief occurred, have some donuts, and make a craft to remember the day. Then, take your stuffed animals home for a nap! No sign-up necessary.


 Questions?  Comments?E-mail the Children's Staff at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call the Children's Room at 215-723-9109 ext. 112. 

Need a laugh?

Wednesdays are great days for laughs. If you want to have some fun this week, check out some of Mo Willems Pigeon books.  My favorite is The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog.  You can find the pigeon books, along with Willems' other books, in the Children's Room under E Willems.

 After you read some Pigeon books, have some pigeon fun here.




Review of YA Book

TAMAR, A Novel of Espionage, Passion, & Betrayal

By Mal Peet

Review by Susan Miller, Teen Services Library Assistant

The subtitle clues us in from the outset that throughout all the mystery and drama of the resistance fighters, and all the heroism the main characters exhibit, at the core this story is about personal betrayal.

The story is narrated by a contemporary girl who grew up extremely attached to her grandfather, who has committed suicide. This was a man with whom she did puzzles & codes, and after whom she was named. The Tamar was a river and also the code name her grandfather was assigned as a very young resistance fighter in the war. In a riddle inside a riddle, she is left a box when he dies. In it lie the darkest secrets of his life, which she pieces together on a road trip down the Tamar River & through the adventures of his life, accompanied by her Dutch cousin.

Originally set in Holland in 1944, where 2 Englishmen have parachuted into Nazi occupied Holland to organize the Dutch Resistance, we travel through time as well as geography. One man assumed the identity of a doctor and lived in an insane asylum transmitting coded messages, the other on a farm with a woman he lived with in a prior trip & with whom he shared a deep love.

This is a complex and disturbing book, one with profound lessons—which is why it won the Carnegie. It examines the price of war to those who fight it & the generations who follow.

"I belong to a generation whose fathers were soldiers, sailors, or airmen during the Second World War," says Mal Peet. "Some of these men were willing to talk about their experiences, some were not. My own father wasn't. (Or perhaps I didn't want to listen.) A friend of mine had a father whose wartime experiences were actually secret. He worked underground for the British secret services in Nazi-occupied Holland. He still had his 'silks,' the sheets of code used for his radio transmissions. These scraps of fabric were my starting point for Tamar. It's a story about secrets, lies, false identities, coded messages. It's also, I hope, a plea for forgiveness.” Sins of the fathers must ultimately be forgiven! Especially now, when we seem to have forgotten the lessons of war, his message seems particularly relevant.

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