Category Archives: For Parents

Not Too Little To Help! Raising Socially Conscious Kids

Can We Help?“Can I help?” is one of the most often repeated sentences of small children. Toddlers and preschoolers are typically curious and eager to learn, willing volunteers to be included in the projects and jobs they see going on around them.

Young children understand the concept of support, assistance, and teamwork. When everyone helps out, “many hands make light work.” To help within their own family, kids can pick up toys, select items from a low shelf to add to a shopping cart, or feed the dog. The books listed below will help you take helping out to a new level. Even small children can contribute to their community, the bigger world outside their own home. “Can I help?” Yes, you CAN!

You can find more books & activities about helping out at home at Read Right Right Now! Helping.


eBooks:

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Use your indyPL Library Card number and PIN to check out FREE Online eBooks. Click on a book jacket & enter your Library Card number and PIN to borrow. What’s My PIN?
Just Critters Who CareMiss Fox's Class Goes GreenThe Berenstain Bears Get InvolvedCurious George Plants a TreeOne LoveThese Seas Count

Print Books:

How Can I Help? A Book About CaringA is for ActivistJoey and the Giant BoxMr. Tweed's Good DeedsMy Heart Will Not Sit DownOk GoRaising a HeroThe Berenstain Bears Go GreenThe Can Do ThanksgivingSomething BeautifulGood Deed Scouts Help Their NeighborsGood Deed Scounts to the RescueOlivia Helps Mother Nature

Celebrating Families

A family is a group of people brought together by birth, by marriage or other relationship or by living in the same space. Kids grow up in all kinds of different family situations. In A Family is a Family is a Family, a teacher asks the children in her class to think about what makes their families special. One child is afraid to share about her family because it seems so different from other families. Other children in the class do share; about being raised by a grandmother, or by two dads, or having a family of step-siblings. One child wants to share about a new baby. This book is a great look at the many kinds of families children live in.

Children love books that mirror their own day-to-day lives. They also like books that give them a look at someone else’s life. In these stories, children will see themselves as well as their friends. The family stories are different, but the same in the way that matters most of all. Children thrive living with adults who care looking out for them every day.


And Tango Makes Three And Tango Makes Three – At New York City’s Central Park Zoo, two male penguins fall in love and start a family by taking turns sitting on an abandoned egg until it hatches. Based on a true story.


Annie and Snowball and the Wedding Day Annie and Snowball and the Wedding Day – Annie loves living with her dad and her bunny, Snowball. But she wants her dad to find someone to love. Then he meets a woman named Martha. Soon it is time for a wedding!


Black is Brown is Tan Black is Brown is Tan – Describes in verse a family with a brown-skinned mother, white-skinned father, two children, and their various relatives.


The Different Dragon The Different Dragon – For a bedtime story, one of Noah’s two mothers tells him a story about a brave boy in a boat with his cat and and his encounter with a fire-breathing dragon, following Noah’s suggestions along the way.


Do You Sing Twinkle? Do You Sing Twinkle? – A boy’s parents help him adjust to his new stepfamily when his mother remarries after a divorce.


Elliot Elliot – Elliot’s parents do not know how to take care of him. As Elliot moves from one foster home to another, his visits with his real parents leave him anxious and conflicted about where he wants to be. At last he finds stability with a new adoptive family.


Families Families Families Families Families Families – A host of animals portray all kinds of families–any combination of people who love each other.


The Family Book The Family Book – Represents a variety of families, some big and some small, some with only one parent and some with two moms or dads, some quiet and some noisy, but all alike in some ways and special no matter what.


Fred Stays with Me Fred Stays with Me – A child describes how she lives sometimes with her mother and sometimes with her father, but her dog is her constant companion. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2009-2010, K-3 Nominee.


The Great Big Book of Families The Great Big Book of Families – Features illustrations and descriptions of different types of families and how their lives are similar and different.


Heather has Two Mommies Heather Has Two Mommies – Heather’s favorite number is two. She has two arms, two legs, and two pets. And she also has two mommies. When Heather goes to school for the first time, someone asks her about her daddy, but Heather doesn’t have a daddy. Then something interesting happens. When Heather and her classmates all draw pictures of their families, not one drawing is the same. It doesn’t matter who makes up a family, the teacher says, because “the most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love one another.


I Love You Like Crazy Cakes I Love You Like Crazy Cakes – This story of a woman who travels to China to adopt a baby girl, based on the author’s own experiences, is a celebration of the love and joy a baby brings into the home.


I Love You Near and Far I Love You Near and Far – A reassuring rhyming story, written from a child’s point of view, stands as a love letter to family members who are far away because of divorce, military service or simply because they live in different places around country or world.


I Wished for You I Wished for You – Follows a conversation between a little bear named Barley and his Mama as they curl up in their favorite cuddle spot and talk about how they became a family. Barley asks Mama the kinds of questions many adopted children have, and Mama lovingly answers them all.


In Our Mothers' House In Our Mothers’ House – Three young children experience the joys and challenges of being raised by two mothers.


Introducing Teddy : a gentle story about gender and friendship Introducing Teddy: a Gentle Story about Gender and Friendship – Errol and his teddy, Thomas, are best friends who do everything together. Whether it’s riding a bike, playing in the tree house, having a tea party, or all of the above, every day holds something fun to do. One sunny day, Errol finds that Thomas is sad, even when they are playing in their favorite ways. Errol can’t figure out why, until Thomas finally tells Errol what the teddy has been afraid to say: “In my heart, I’ve always known that I’m a girl teddy, not a boy teddy. I wish my name was Tilly, not Thomas.” And Errol says, “I don’t care if you’re a girl teddy or a boy teddy! What matters is that you are my friend.”


A Mother for Choco A Mother for Choco – Choco, a little bird living alone, sets out to find a mother, but he has no luck until he meets the warm-hearted, generous Mrs. Bear and her other children.


My New Mom and Me My New Mom and Me – When the puppy comes to live with his new mom, he is nervous. His new mom has stripes and he doesn t. But his mom says she likes that they look different. The puppy’s new mom does all the things other parents do: she plays with him, takes care of him, and sometimes even makes him mad! But when he’s feeling sad, she knows just what to say.


Night Catch Night Catch – When a soldier’s work takes him halfway around the world, he enlists the help of the North Star for a nightly game of catch with his son.


One Family One Family – A family can be many things, in this story that introduces numbered groups from one to ten.


Our Gracie Aunt Our Gracie Aunt – Johsnon and his sister, Beebee, seem to be all alone in the world. Their mama has gone away many times before, but something tells them that this time she won’t be coming back. Then a social worker comes and takes them to meet their Aunt Gracie. Beebee barely remembers her, and Mama never even told Johnson about her. They wonder where she’s been all this time–and why she would want to take care of them. Warily, though, the children begin to trust Aunt Gracie. And in the process, they come to a better understanding of what it means to be a family.


Stella Brings the Family Stella Brings the Family – Stella brings her two fathers to school to celebrate Mother’s Day.


Stellaluna Stellaluna – After she falls headfirst into a bird’s nest, a baby bat is raised like a bird until she is reunited with her mother.


A Tale of Two Daddies – A young girl describes how her two daddies help her through her day, including her poppa cooking eggs and toast, her daddy fixing her knee when she is hurt, and both fathers being there for her when she needs love.


Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born – A young girl asks her parents to tell her again the cherished family story of her birth and adoption.


Two is Enough Two is Enough – From playing in the snow to a rainy-day ride, to double-scoop treats and crash-landing in leaves, two can be the perfect number for creating life’s memories. And two can definitely be enough for a warm family, full of the love, support, and comfort that every child needs.Whether a father and daughter, mother and son, or a grandparent and grandchild, two is enough to fill each season of the year with wonders, big and small. Author Janna Matthies’ soothing rhyme and Merrilee Liddiard’s warm illustrations of diverse pairs make this story perfect for encouraging a sense of acceptance, security, and community.


Visiting Day Visiting Day – A young girl and her grandmother visit the girl’s father in prison.


We Are Family – Rhyming text and illustrations of families explore how all families are different, but also the same.


We Belong Together a Book About Adoption and Families We Belong Together a Book About Adoption and Families – The joy of adoption and bringing families together is presented in this tale.


Welcome to the Family Welcome to the Family – Introduces different types of households and discusses families with children, adoption, foster parents, same-sex parents, and fertility treatments.


When Otis Courted Mama When Otis Courted Mama – While his life seems perfectly good as it is, Cardell, a young coyote, learns to tolerate–and even like–the coyote that is courting his mother.


Who's in My Family? Who’s in My Family? – Nellie and her little brother Gus discuss all kinds of families during a day at the zoo and dinner at home with their relatives afterwards.


Wolfie the Bunny – When her parents find a baby wolf on their doorstep and decide to raise him as their own, Dot is certain he will eat them all up until a surprising encounter with a bear brings them closer together.


Zak's Safari Zak’s Safari – Zak’s Safari is a book about donor-conceived kids of two-mom families. When the rain spoils Zak’s plan for a safari adventure, he invites the reader on a very special tour of his family instead. Zak shows us how his parents met, fell in love, and wanted more than anything to have a baby–so they decided to make one.


Celebrating Every Boy and Girl

Of Course They Do!This booklist is inspired by the blog post “Girls Are Not Tomboys – They Are Girls” by Sharon Suchoval.

Some kids climb trees. Some kids wear dresses. Some kids climb trees while wearing dresses. Kids Girls Are Not Tomboysare Kids, In all their different and marvelous ways! Boys and girls can do anything! Here are some books that celebrate each kid in his or her own way.

 


Listen Right Now!

Amazing Grace Listen to Amazing Grace – Grace loves stories, whether they’re in books or in movies or the kind her grandmother tells. She acts out the most exciting parts of all sorts of tales…sometimes Hiawatha, or Aladdin, or Joan of Arc…there’s nothing that Grace enjoys more. Determined to play Peter Pan in the school play, African-American Grace meets opposition in her classmates, who insist that Peter Pan is a boy and white.


Books to Check-out with your Library Card:

Do Princesses Wear Hiking BootsElena's SerenadeFree To Be You and MeHappy to be GirlsHow to BeI like MyselfI Want to Be a CowgirlJust Like Josh GibsonKnit Your BitMade By RaffiMama Is a MinerMorris Micklewhite and the Tangerine DressNot All Princesses Dress in PinkNot Every PrincessOliver Button is a SissySam Johnson and the Blue Ribbon QuiltSwishWilliams DollGrandma Drove the SnowplowBig Bob Little BobDrum Dream GirlI'm a GirlJoy in MudvilleThe Worst PrincessWho Are You?The Paper Bag Princess

A Mighty Girl150Find more stories about Mighty Girls on the www.amightygirl.com reading list: Individuality

Reading Programs All Year Long

Below are several reading programs you can participate in at home to encourage year-round reading and even earn prizes. Start with the indyPL Summer Reading Program!

You can visit any IndyPL library location to checkout books or you can Read Right Now! by visiting Download and Stream for Kids– free eBooks you can check out with your library card or read from your device at home, no waiting!



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  • Paladium Pals Book Club
  • All Year
  • Earn a Free Student Ticket to a show at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel.



Half Price Books Feed Your Brain


Book It


Books a Million

  • Books-a-Million Summer Reading Challenge
  • Summer 2017
  • Read 4 books and have a parent or guardian sign and verify the completed form.
  • Return the form to your local Books-a-Million store to receive a FREE Maze Runner Series Water Bottle.
  • Printable Books-a-Million Reading Journal

Chuck E. Cheese Reading Rewards

  • Chuck E. Cheese Reading Rewards Calendar
  • Summer 2017, Offer expires 12/31/17
  • Print the Reading Rewards calendar, mark it for reading every day for 2 weeks.
  • Take it to a Chuck E. Cheese location to get 10 FREE tokens. Child(ren) must be present to redeem. Only at participating locations. Food purchase is required.
  • Printable Calendar or en Español

Sylvan Book Adventure


Sylvan Book Adventure


Star Wars Reads Day

  • Star Wars Reads Day 2017
  • October, 2017
  • Star Wars fans, authors, and artists come together to celebrate reading and Star Wars.

  • Jump Start Read for the Record
  • October 19, 2017
  • Read for the Record mobilizes millions of children and adults to celebrate literacy by participating in the largest shared reading experience. On this day people across the country united to read a children’s book.


RAA Cat n Hat Logo_Feb 2014

  • Read Across America Day
  • March 2, 2018
  • The National Education Association is building a nation of readers through its signature program, NEA’s Read Across America. Now in its 18th year, this year-round program focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources.
  • Take the Read Across America Pledge

World Book Day 2016

  • World Book Day
  • April 23, 2018
  • To help make World Book Day special – and to encourage reading for the rest of the year too – there are a whole range of resources including lesson plans, activity sheets, discussion guides and free eBooks.

Give Me 20

  • Book It! Spring Give Me 20
  • Fall 2018 TBA
  • Eight-week challenge. Read to your child/children at least 20 minutes per day, five days per week and you can enter for a chance to win prizes.

Drop Everything and Read

  • D.E.A.R. Drop Everything And Read
  • April 12th in honor of Beverly Cleary’s birthday (but can by anytime!)
  •  D.E.A.R. stands for “Drop Everything and Read,” a national month-long celebration of reading designed to remind folks of all ages to make reading a priority activity in their lives. Because, what’s more fun(damental) than reading, really?

Free Comic Book Day

  • Free Comic Book Day
  • May 5, 2018
  • Free Comic Book Day is a single day when participating comic book specialty shops across North America (including IndyPL Library Locations!) and around the world give away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their shops!

A Mighty Girl Playlist – Free with Your Library Card!

Mighty Girl Music 3

The website A Mighty Girl is an outstanding collection of books, toys, music and movies “for smart, confident, and courageous girls.”

A Mighty Girl’s music section features more than 100 girl-empowering songs in a wide range of genres for all ages of Mighty Girls. You can also filter the collection by recommended age, genre, and theme. Each song description has a ‘Note to Parents’ to help you get the right song to your mighty girl at the right time.

Below is the playlist of Mighty Girl Music. It is a great place to start for making a playlist for your own Mighty Girl.

Remember you can download 5 FREE songs a week with your library card from The library’s Freegal music catalog. In the list, the songs that are available from Freegal are in bold. Download 5 today and add the rest to your wishlist to make it easy to grab 5 more songs each week.

By May you will have a list of power songs for girls – a great soundtrack for the summer!

*32 Flavors Ani DiFranco
A Mother’s Love Mark Masri
*A Sorta Fairytale Tori Amos
*Ain’t got No/I Got Life Nina Simone
Almost There The Princess and the Frog Soundtrack
Amelia Almost 13 Carrie Newcomer
*Anything You Can Do from Annie Get Your Gun
*Atalanta from Free to Be You and Me
B*tch bad Lupe Fiasco
*Beautiful Christina Aguilera
Born This Way Lady Gaga
*Brave Sara Bareilles
*Breakaway Kelly Clarkson
Build a Levee Natalie Merchant
*Butterfly Kisses Bob Carlisle
*Child of Mine Carol King
Come Over to My Dollhouse Lunch Money
*Cornflake Girl Tori Amos
Courage Beauty form Pain 1.1
*Crucify Tori Amos
*Daddy Byonce Knowles
Defying Gravity Idina Menzel
Do My Thing Estelle
Everything Alanis Morissette
*Father and Daughter Paul Simon
*Feeling Good Nina Simone
*Fighter Christina Aguilera
Firework Katy Perry
Fixing Her Hair Ani DiFranco
Fly to Your Heart Selena Gomez
Free to Be You and Me The New Seekers
Future Man, Future Lady Ziggy Marley
Get Up Superchick
Girl Tori Amos
*Girl Disappearing Tori Amos
Girl in a Country Song Maddie and Tae
*Girl On Fire Alicia Keyes
*Girl Shanty Sons of the Never Wrong
Girls With Guitars Wynonna Judd
Gold Rush Brides Natalie Merchant
Good Mother Jann Arden
Gotta Be Me Secret Anget 23 Skidoo
Gotta Be You Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
*Hammer and Nail Indigo Girls
Hands Jewell
Headstrong 10,000 Maniacs
Heroes Ann Reed
Hey Hey Superchick
Hit Me With Your Best Shot Pat Benatar
How You’ve Grown 10,000 Maniacs
I Am NOt My Hair India Arie
*I Am Woman Helen Reddy
I Hope You Dance Lee Ann Womack
*I’m Coming Out Diana Ross
*I’m Every Woman Whitney Houston
*I’m Going to Live the Life Mahalia Jackson
I’m Gonna Be An Engineer Peggy Seeger
*I’m Not Perfect Laurie Berkner
I’m Ready Kim Possible Soundtrack
*In My Daughter’s Eyes Martina McBride
In Or Out Ani DiFranco
*Independent Women Destiny’s Child
Intuition Jewell
It’s Amazing Jem
Joyful Girl Ani DiFranco
Julie Through the Glass Carly Simon
Jump Miss Melodee
Just a Girl No Doubt
Just the Way You Are Bruno Mars
Learn Me Right Brave Soundtrack
*Least omplicated Indigo Girls
Let It Go Frozen Soundtrack
Let It Grow Ester Dean
Let Your Heart Sing Katherine McPhee
*Love Song Sara Bareilles
Mean Taylor Swift
*Mean Girls Rachel Crow
*More Beautiful You Jonny Diaz
My Little Girl Tim McGraw
No Man’s Woman Sinead O’Connor
Not a Pretty Girl Ani DiFranco
One and Lonely Superchick
Overrated Ashely Tisdale
Part of Me Katy Perry
Pearl Katy Perry
*People Like Us Kelly Clarkson
*Perfect Pink
*Perfect Girl Sarah McLachlan
*Proud Heather Small
*Respect Aretha Franklin
*Right as Rain Adele
Roar Katy Perry
Rock What You Got Superchick
Science Fair (Album)
She’s Not Just a Pretty Face Shania Twain
*Silent All These Years Tori Amos
*Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves Eurythmics
Skipping Eddie Vedder
Stand in the Rain Superchick
Strong Women Meg Braun
*Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) Kelly Clarkson
*Stupid Girls Pink
*Superwoman Alicia Keyes
*Survivor Destiny’s Child
Tell It Like It Is Tracy Chapman
Tell Yourself Natalie Merchant
*Thank God for Kids Kenny Chesney
*Thank U Alanis Morrisette
That I Would Be Good Alanis Morrisette
The Climb Miley Cyrus
The Emperor’s New Clothes Sinead O’Connor
*The Greatest Love of All Whitney Houston
*The Long Way Around Dixie Chicks
The Middle Jimmy Eat World
The Princess Who Saved Herself Jonathan Coulton
*The Voice Within Christina Aguilera
*The Wood song Indigo Girls
*This One’s For the Girls Martina McBride
Tomboy in a Princess Dress Suzi Shelton
Tomboy Princess Meg Braun
Touch the Sky Julie Fowlis Brave Soundtrack
*True Colors Cyndi Lauper
Try Colbie Caillet
Typical Girl Cheri Magill
*Unwritten Natasha Bedingfield
Video India Arie
What I Am Edie Brickell
*When I Was a Boy Dar Williams
Who I Am Jessica Andrews
Who Says Selena Gomez
Who’s That Girl Robyn
Whole Wide World Mindy Gledhill
*Wide Open Spaces Dixie Chicks
Wild One Faith Hill
Willing to Fight Ani DiFranco
*Wonder Natalie Merchant
*You Gotta Be Desree
*You’re Aging Well Dar Williams