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A mishmash of family fun and news

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  • FTR - Brothers Kaiehu, 8, left, and Waiea Helela join the rest of the gang hula hooping during the Family Funday percussion workshop on Sunday, July 21, 2013 at the Still and Moving Center in Kakaako. Set every Sunday for six weeks, the program combines percussion, yoga, hula hoops, and sash hanging. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).
    Several books young children may enjoy.
    Books teens may enjoy reading.
    Interesting reads for the middle school child.

Hit the books

Ease the transition to a new school with these book recommendations from Hawaii’s public librarians

>> “Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten,”
by Hyewon Yum
Many parents will relate to this tale where a resilient child reassures his mother, “Don’t worry, mom — I’m a big boy now!” The mother in this story is more worried than her son, but both survive the first day of school. But guess what happens the next day?  

>> “Adventure Annie Goes to Kindergarten,”
by Toni Buzzeo
Annie Grace (aka Adventure Annie) embarks on her first day in kindergarten ready for all sorts of grand adventures. She accidentally breaks some classroom rules but learns quickly that kindergarten is its own kind of rewarding adventure.

>> “The Kissing Hand,”
by Audrey Penn
This modern classic is the story of young Chester Raccoon, who is reluctant to go to his first day of kindergarten until his mother shares a special way he can take her love with him, no matter where he goes.

>> “Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life,”
by James Patterson (grades 4-7)
Winner of the 2013 Nene Award (chosen by the children of Hawaii), this story, enhanced with cartoons, follows Rafe as he decides to make school more interesting by breaking every rule in the book.

>> “I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President,”
by Josh Lieb (grades 5-7)
Twelve-year-old Oliver Watson has everyone convinced he is extremely stupid and lazy, but is actually a wealthy, evil genius. When he decides to run for seventh-grade class president, nothing will stand in his way.

>> “Page by Paige,”
by Laura Lee Gulledge (grades 7-9)
When Paige and her family move to New York City from rural Virginia, she tries to make sense of her new life through her sketchbook. This helps to bring her true personality into the open, a process that is equal parts terrifying and rewarding. 

>> “The List,”
by Siobhan Vivian (grades 9-12)
Every year at Mount Washington High School, somebody posts a list of the prettiest and ugliest girls in each grade. This is the story of eight girls and how they are affected by the list.

>> “Gentlemen,”
by Michael Northrop (grades 9-12)
Three teenage boys suspect their English teacher is responsible for their friend’s disappearance. But they must first navigate a maze of assorted clues, fraying friendships, violence and Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” before learning the truth.

>> “Into the Wild Nerd Yonder,”
by Julie Halpern (grades 9-12)
When high school sophomore Jessie’s best friend transforms herself into a punk and goes after Jessie’s would-be boyfriend, Jessie decides to visit the “wild nerd yonder,” seeking true friends among classmates who play “Dungeons and Dragons.”

— Compiled by Paul H. Mark and Hawaii State Library librarians


As you prepare your child or yourself to go back to school, did you know the smartest card in your wallet is a valid Hawaii State Public Library System library card?

Your library card is the key that provides a wealth of free services to help you or your child succeed in school.

A valid photo ID and a current local address are all that is required to obtain one. The initial card for Hawaii residents and stationed military personnel is free. For nonresident cards, temporary address and proof of permanent address are required.

Minors must have their applications co-signed by a parent or guardian. The parent or guardian must pre?sent a current ID and proof of mailing address. Parents or guardians are responsible for items, fines and fees on their children’s cards.

Among the online resources offered is the HI Tech Academy, a collection of online reference databases.

For more information, visit and click on the “Back-to-School Resources” button.


Many libraries offer free weekly Children’s Storytimes featuring early literacy themes such as the alphabet, colors, numbers, shapes and the five senses through stories, sing-along songs, finger plays and simple craft activities.

Parents and caregivers may contact their local public library to find out when the program is offered or visit, select “Programs and Events” and click on the “Children’s Storytime” button.

Family-style fitness can be fun

Fit some exercise into your schedule and spend some quality time with the kids at the Still and Moving Center’s Sunday Family Fundays.

Keiki, ages 3 and older, and their family members may participate from 9 to 10 a.m. each Sunday in a variety of fitness sessions that will entertain kids while giving all participants a good workout.

Cost is $20 for two people, $7 per additional family member. Reservations are recommended. Call 397-7678 or email

Participants should wear comfortable clothes and bring a water bottle.

Sessions at the Still and Moving Center (1024 Queen St.) include:

>> Hoops of Fun, Sunday: The family hula-hooping session includes tricks and games.

>> Aikido, Aug. 4: Families learn more about the defensive martial art form. Learn how to push, play and toss each other; rolling; and falling safely.

>> Yoga, Aug. 11: Family members will learn about working with the breath, foundation and alignment.

>> Nia Time to Play, Aug. 18: A combination of kung fu, dance moves and yoga has participants doing a jig on a make-believe pirate ship during one song and pretending to be ninjas or lions in the next.

>> Aerial Yoga Plus Hoops of Fun, Aug. 25: The finale of the series features aerial yoga in which participants will twist, turn, balance, stretch and hang upside down, supported by an aerial silk hammock. Also, learn hula-hooping tips and tricks.

— Nancy Arcayna, Star-Advertiser

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