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Friday, November 10, 2017

Honoring Our Veterans: Children's Book Edition

The concept of Veterans Day began back in World War I when a cease fire, or armistice, went into effect November 11, 1918 at 11:00 AM. In 1938, an act was signed making Armistice Day an official annual holiday in the United States. After World War II and the Korean Conflict, the name was changed to Veterans Day reflect the service of all Americans who served during wartime. Mississippi is home to nearly 200,000 veterans. These men and women served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

The following children's books all feature children and teens whose parents, friends, and neighbors serve in the United States military. In some of the young adult titles, a teen soldier not much older than the intended audience is featured. For younger children, these types of books can help them grasp the difficult concept of war, as well as bring them to a better understanding of why people they know serve their country. For older children and teens, the books tackle more complicated issues like disabling injuries, PTSD, and death.

  • While You Are Away
    Eileen Spinelli and Renee Graef
    Preschool-Grade 2
    Contemporary
  • How My Parents Learned to Eat
    Ina Friedman and Allen Say
    Preschool-Grade 3
    Contemporary
  • My Red Balloon
    Eve Bunting and Kay Life
    Preschool-Grade 4
    Contemporary  
  • Fish in a Tree
    Lynda Mullaly Hunt
    Grades 4-6
    Contemporary
  • The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story
    Gloria Houston and Barbara Cooney
    Kindergarten-Grade 3
    World War I
  • The Poppy Lady: Moina Bell Michael and Her Tribute to Veterans
    Barbara Walsh and Layne Johnson
    Grades 2-5
    World War I
  • The Harlem Hellfighters: When Pride Met Courage
    Walter Dean Myers and Bill Miles
    Grades 5-8
    World War I
  • Tales of the Mighty Code Talkers: Volume I
    Arigon Starr (editor)
    Grades 7-Adult
    World War I, World War II, Korea
  • All Those Secrets of the World
    Jane Yolen and Leslie Baker
    Preschool-Grade 3
    World War II
  • Across the Blue Pacific: A World War II Story
    Louise Borden and Robert Parker
    Grades 2-5
    World War II
  • Lily's Crossing
    Patricia Reilly Giff
    Grades 3-7
    World War II 
  • Eyes of the Emperor
    Graham Salisbury
    Grades 7-12
    World War II
  • Heroes
    Ken Mochizuki and Dom Lee
    Kindergarten-Grade 3
    World War II, Korea, Vietnam
  • Devotion
    Adam Makos
    Grades 10-Adult
    Korea
  • The Wall
    Eve Bunting and Ronald Himler
    Preschool-Grade 3
    Vietnam
  • Almost Forever
    Maria Testa
    Gr. 4-7
    Vietnam 
  • Fallen Angels
    Walter Dean Myers
    Grades 7-12
    Vietnam
  • Operation YesSara Holmes
    Grades 4-7
    Afghanistan
  • The Saturday Boy
    David Fleming
    Grades 5-7
    Afghanistan
  • I'll Meet You There
    Heather Demetrios
    Grades 9-12
    Afghanistan
  • Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine, and a Miracle
    Brian Dennis, Mary Nethery, and Kirby Larson
    Grades 2-5
    Iraq
  • Peace, Locomotion
    Jacqueline Woodson
    Gr. 4-6
    Iraq
  • Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am
    Harry Mazer
    Peter Lerangis
    Grades 7-12
    Iraq 
  • The Impossible Knife of Memory
    Laurie Halse Anderson
    Grades 9-12
    Iraq 
Though these are difficult topics to approach with anyone, using books to tackle these issues can smooth the way to asking tough questions and help children realize that they are not alone in their situation. Books like these remind us of our history and keep us grounded in our past.

Thank you to all who served and still serve our country. We hope you find your story reflected on these pages and share them with the children in your life. Until next time, happy reading!

 https://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp

Friday, November 3, 2017

Suzanne Byrd Poynor Named MLC Board of Commissioners Chair

We are pleased to announce that  Suzanne Byrd Poynor has been named MLC Board of Commissioners Chair. Poynor was the president of the Mississippi Federation of Women's Clubs from 2012-2014 and has served on MLC's Board since 2014.

Poynor is a Mississippi lady through and through. Born in Forest, she grew up in Tupelo and moved on to Clinton for her higher education. After obtaining her bachelor's degree and master's degree in elementary education at Mississippi College, she taught for over thirty years in Rankin County, mainly in Florence. She and her husband Larry have been married forty years.

A huge book lover, Suzanne was raised in a reading family. Her grandparents and parents all loved to read, and she raised her son to be a reader too. Suzanne says that she's one of "those" people. "I always have a book with me. Reading is my favorite hobby."

Suzanne is also a big fan of her local public library in Florence. "I believe that every child deserves to have a book in their hands. Access to libraries makes this possible for so many people that otherwise wouldn't have this advantage." Poynor also admires libraries for their role in making technology available to people who don't have access to WiFi, computers, and the internet.  She points out that, "In many towns, the library is the center of the community."


Suzanne follows MLC on Facebook and was tickled to find herself in this #ThrowbackThursday picture. She's the little girl on the right wearing black pants.

The Mississippi Library Commission's Board of Commissioners comprises five members. Four members are appointed by the governor and one is the President of the Mississippi Federation of Women's Clubs (or her appointee.) Of the four gubernatorial appointed members, two are appointed at large by the governor and two are chosen from a list presented to the governor by the Mississippi Library Association. Of the two chosen from MLA's list, one must be an active librarian and one must be an active board of trustees member of a Mississippi public library.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Sharman Smith Named Interim Executive Director of MLC


The Board of Commissioners of the Mississippi Library Commission (MLC) is pleased to announce that Sharman Bridges Smith will be returning to the agency as Interim Executive Director beginning November 1, 2017. She is stepping into the role after the recent retirement of Susan Cassagne, who served in the position since October, 2013.

Smith comes to the agency with a wealth of knowledge after having served in the position at MLC from 2001 to 2013. She also served as the State Librarian of Iowa from 1992 to 2001. In addition to managing the day to day operations at MLC, she will assist the Board of Commissioners with their search for a new executive director, as well as represent the agency’s interests at the state capitol during the upcoming legislative session.

"It is an honor and a pleasure to be asked back to the Mississippi Library Commission,” stated Smith. “I look forward to again working with the library community in support of libraries' critical role in the success of Mississippi’s communities and its citizens."
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