Author: lbandy

Caught Between JF and YA (The Tween Problem) by Lindsay Bandy

Tweens have it rough! When it comes to searching for  books, eleven or twelve-year-olds find themselves at the tail end of  the 8-12 Juvenile Fiction category, but their reading comprehension and understanding of the world has grown exponentially since their 8th birthday. Plus, they often feel like the whole world is shining a spotlight on just how little they still are -so anything that makes them seem young becomes embarrassing. This can include everything from hugging their parents goodbye to walking into the juvenile fiction section of the library. But does that mean they’re ready to conquer the YA shelves? There’s not always an easy answer, but here are some tips and resources to help you decide what’s right for your growing kids.

  1. Read & Discuss Together. This is the obvious one, right? Even if your tween decides she or he is too old for a read-aloud, you can both read the same book. You’ll have the opportunity to talk about any issues that come up, as well as what you both really loved (or hated) about the story. Taking the time to read a book your child loves shows them that you care about their interests and feelings, even if it’s not what you would select for yourself. Think of it as a shared experience, which can bring you closer together! Did you know you can also borrow audiobooks on your phone or computer through Overdrive? Try one out while you’re prepping dinner or driving to sports practice!
  2. Consult lists.
    1. Web sites like Brightly offer reading lists for different age groups, including kids 9-12 and 13+. There are also special interest lists, like this one, for Harry Potter fans who are looking for their next great read: 10 Series to Read After Harry Potter.
    2. Sites geared toward teachers can also be a great starting point for you and your child. Try this list from We Are Teachers: Best Middle School Books
    3. Check out Goodreads. People make all kinds of bookish lists on Goodreads! For example, if you have a tween who is eager to read a little romance but you don’t want them reading anything too sexy, there’s a list for that. I tried typing in “Books for kids with romance but no sex” and this list popped up right away: 
  3. Consult media review sites. Unlike movies, books don’t come with ratings. And let’s be real…parents don’t have time to pre-read every book their child is interested in. Sites like Common Sense Media provide reviews of books and movies FOR parents and kids BY parents and kids, as well as curated lists for special interests. These reviews will give you the rundown on the presence of topics like drug/alcohol use, smoking, violence, sexy stuff, and mature language in popular books so you can decide what is appropriate for your child.
  4. Keep the lines of communication open. Knowing your child’s changing interests, emotions, and abilities can be a big job, but with a little time and effort, you can stay close through the changes and navigate them together. Sharing a great story can pave the way for meaningful conversations and relationship growth, even if you don’t always agree. For more ideas about staying close to your changing kids, check out this article from Child Mind: 10 Tips for Parenting Tweens.

Conversation Sparks: A Directory of Books on Tough Topics

This month at MCL, we’ll be highlighting some resources to promote families’ emotional and mental well-being. Today, we’d like to introduce you to our new, easy-to-use directory of Conversation Sparks books. These books deal with various topics that can be hard to talk about with children – topics like divorce, grief, hospitalization, moving, and so much more.

In Manheim Community Library’s Parenting Section, you may have already noticed a shelf labeled “Conversation Sparks.” To go along with this collection, we’ve added a laminated topical directory which includes some books from the Parenting Collection, as well as some books that can be found in the EZ Readers and Picture Book bins. We hope this directory will be a valuable, easy-to-use resource for families!


Adoption                                        Financial Difficulties  

Anger                                              Gender Identity  

Anxiety/Worry/Fears             Hospitalization/Serious Illness  

Bullies                                            Moving 

Death and Grief                         New Baby 

Divorce/ Separation                Avoiding Sexual Predators 

Disabilities/Differences        Trauma  



When young children are going through a new or difficult experience, books help them to identify and name their emotions, to see their own experience and feelings reflected on the page, and to know they are not alone. These books will also pave the way for conversations you can have with your child about how you are both feeling as you work through a challenging experience, and many come with discussion questions, prompts, and further resources.

If you need further resources or assistance, we’ll be happy to help!


New February Collage Fun Take-And-Make Kits Are Here!

The snow may have slowed us down a little, but new Take-And-Make kits are finally ready to go!

This month, we’re offering collage supplies and idea sheets to boost creativity, literacy, and math skills for kids of all ages.  Several other libraries in the county have sent us discarded magazines, so we’ve got a great selection – everything from Highlights to Glamour to Sports Illustrated.

Stop by the lobby today to pick up a magazine or two and an idea packet for your child’s age group, which includes several sheets of paper and some starter items. Packets are available in four categories (see below). If you are in need of child-safe scissors or a glue stick, come on upstairs and one of our desk staff will be happy to provide you with them. Here’s a preview of what you can do….

Preschoolers can go on a letter hunt, make silly faces, boost critical thinking skills by sorting images, and practice counting by using the included numeral sheets.

Early Elementary kids can hunt for sight words, create rebus sentences, sort more complex categories of images, and practice spelling words.

Big Kids (Upper elementary/independent readers) can create unique collages with images and adjectives that represent the things they enjoy, create freestyle poems (no rhyming necessary!), or piece together a surrealist piece of artwork.

Tweens and Teens can use print and images together to represent their personalities, write freestyle poetry, or create visual art that makes a statement about an issue that’s important to them. Teen and tween packets come with poetry starter baggies.


Check out our bulletin board in the hallway outside the library for inspiration! If you would like your collage to appear on our bulletin board, please drop it off at the front desk.

Or, if you’d like a photo of your work to appear on our social media, just email us!






New Books and DVDs for Kids!

We’ve got some exciting new books and DVDs in our children’s area! Whether your kids enjoy graphic novels, engaging nonfiction, or a favorite series, there’s something for you to take home today. The following items are geared mostly toward elementary and middle-school aged kids. Our next post will feature new picture books, so stay tuned!

New graphic novels:




Dork Diaries

We’ve got THREE new books about Nikki Maxwell’s humorous & dramatic life written in diary format for kids in grades 4-8. Not “technically” graphic novels, these books include paragraphs of text with lots of illustrations.








Dog Man

We know you’ve been waiting to get your paws on the next Dog Man book….come in and fetch it today!





Narwhal and Jelly

These are Lindsay’s favorites! Cute, easy-to-read, and silly! Narwhal is a happy-go-lucky narwhal. Jelly is a no-nonsense jellyfish. The two might not have a lot in common, but they do both love waffles, parties and adventures. Join Narwhal and Jelly as they discover the whole wide ocean together. Perfect for grades 1-3, or older reluctant readers.


New nonfiction:


Wicked History Series

These intriguing looks into history’s bad guys (and girls) are perfect for middle schoolers. Upper elementary avid readers with a strong interest in history will also enjoy these wicked tales of real-life villainy! You’ll find Catherine the Great in the YA section, but Cixi and Henry VIII are catalogued at juvenile fiction.





Who Was/Who Is

We’ve got some funky new titles in this popular series for elementary kids. Learn more about authors R.L. Stine and Roald Dahl, the brave Tuskegee Airmen, candy man Milton Hershey, master of the self-portrait Frida Kahlo, and Broadway-inspiring founding father Alexander Hamilton!



New Fiction:


The Secret Series by Pseudonymous Bosch

Not only is the name of this series a secret, but the story is, too. For it concerns a secret – a big secret – that has been tormenting people like you for over… oh no! Did I just mention the secret? Then it’s too late. I’m afraid nothing will stop you now. Read this series if you must. But please, tell no one.

Kids in grades 3-7 will love these humorously suspenseful books!



The Nerviest Girl in the World by Melissa Wiley

A feisty girl from a family of ranchers lands a job as a daredevil stunt girl in the early days of silent film in this adventurous and funny cross between Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken and Ramona. 

Saddle up for kicking ostriches, pestering brothers, and silent movie stardom!






Boxcar Children

A new classic, ready to check out today! Curl up with your favorite kid and read this one while the snow falls this week.








Ivan and Bob!

If you enjoyed the book or movie of The One and Only Ivan, you’ve got to check out the sequel, The One and Only Bob! We’ve got both books on the shelf and ready to go.




New DVDs:

Family movie night, anyone?

We’ve got Frozen II, Pinkalicious, Swift, and Oceanea!

More Take and Make Kits for Kids of All Ages!

We’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response to our first round of Take and Make Kits, so we’re rolling out some more! Kits are divided into three categories: Preschool/Kindergarten, Big Kid, and Tween/Teen. We hope you’ll check in often to see what’s new, as we’ll be switching things up regularly.

-Each kit helps kids build literacy and fine motor skills while providing kids with a fun, screen-free activity.

-You’ll find our new display in the lobby (beside the bagged holds ready for pickup.) Just buzz in and one of our friendly staff will open the door for you. Don’t forget your mask!

-Easy access: There’s nothing to check out, and nothing to return. Just grab and go!


-New For Preschoolers and Kindergarteners: Silly Scissor Skills

Our little ones are doing so much on their tablets these days, even at school. While technology has opened up a whole new world of learning for kids, experts are finding that many children aren’t getting the practice they need to master fine motor skills. These packets include several sheets of silly cut-outs that will help your child give a paper friend a “haircut,” as well as more information for caregivers on how to practice cutting skills together.

*Please not that if you are in need of child-safe right or left hand scissors, one of our friendly desk staff will be happy to provide you with a pair.

-New For Big Kids: Paper Snowflake Templates

Paper snowflakes can be delicate, beautiful, and also very frustrating! These templates offer clear folding instructions and pre-printed, shaded gray areas to show your child exactly where to cut. They’ll practice following instructions (with easy to understand diagrams) while cutting slowly and carefully. You’ll all be amazed at the lovely designs they unfold!


-For Tweens and Teens


Our very popular self-care BINGO kits are still available!

Stop by to pick up your kit, which includes everything you need to make a squishy, relaxing water bead stress ball, a BINGO board that fosters relaxation, mindfulness, and kindness, and a mini-journal. Don’t forget to return your BINGO board for a prize….a free book of your choice!


We want to hear from you! Are you enjoying the Take and Make kits? If so, we’d love to see pictures of your finished projects. Also, is there something you’d really like to see in the future? Drop us a line so we can serve you better.

Did You Know? Youth Take-And-Make Kits Are Now Available!

For the month of December, we’re offering FREE Gnome take-and-make craft kits for kids!

Many of you have already stopped by to pick up your kit (which comes with cocoa and cookies, thanks to Weis Markets!) and shared some photos of your adorable completed gnomes. These will still be available through the end of December (while supplies last). Just stop by the lobby of the Borough building to pick one up today. Plus, you can come upstairs to the library to check out The Little Winter Book of Gnomes by Kirsten Sevig!


Next up, we’ll be offering FREE Teen/Tween Self-Care Kits!

This year has been stressful, and we’d like to see our teens and tweens start 2021 off right. That’s why we’ll be offering Self-Care Kits starting Tuesday, December 22, which will include a mini-journal, a self-care Bingo board, and everything you need to make a water bead stress ball. Perfect for holiday break! Teens and tweens can turn in their completed Bingo board to the library to receive a free book of their choice. We have lots of awesome YA and middle grade titles ready for prizes, and we can’t wait to reward you with a great read for being good to yourself. Plus, we’ve got LOTS of brand-new kids books on the shelves, so stop by to check them out!

Pick up your supplies in the lobby, then click here for a YouTube tutorial on How To Make A Water Bead Stress Ball.

**The library will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day (December 24 and 25, January 1.) We’ll be closing at 1 p.m. on December 31 for New Year’s Eve.**


Wishing all of our patron families a very happy holiday season!

A Step-by-Step Guide to Using TumbleBooks, by Lindsay Bandy

Next in our how-to series for online resources, we’ll explore how to use TumbleBooks! It’s another great, free resource for kids available through our web site, and all you need is a library card to access it from home.

Here are the five easy steps you need to follow:

  1. Visit and select Programs and Services from the top menu. Then, select Youth Services on the drop-down menu


2. Select Tumble Books from the Youth Services page

3.  Click on the rectangular Tumble Books icon

4. Now enter your library card number (don’t include spaces). You can find this number on the back of your card.

5. Have fun searching the online database of e-books and songs!

Q&A with Hillary Daecher and Angie Hohenadel, the Author and Illustrator of SOAR! with Lindsay Bandy

Hi, everyone! I’m excited to introduce you to a local author/illustrator pair

and their beautiful picture book, SOAR!

Soar tells the story of Ramone, a shy ruby-throated hummingbird who’s about to leave the nest for the first time. But his anxiety and fear keep him from taking off as he contemplates all that could go wrong. And you can check it out TODAY at Manheim Community Library!


Author Hillary Daecher graduated from Manheim Central High School.

She has been writing short stories since she was a child. Hi, Hillary!


Illustrator Angie Hohenadel is a high school art teacher

and artist in Lancaster. Hi Angie!




Lindsay: Hillary, as a graduate of Manheim Central, what’s your favorite thing about Manheim? 

Hillary: I have a lot of great memories from growing up, but one of my favorite things about Manheim is the strong sense of community.


Lindsay: When did you start writing/illustrating? Were you a creative kid?

Angie:  I’ve always been interested in art for as long as I can remember. My mom used to bring reams of paper home from her work at Donnelly when I was little and I would draw on every single piece of paper and practice drawing from famous artist’s works of art and from children’s books I had. I remember always being way more interested in images than in words…and I still am. As I grew up my passion in creating just grew and grew having really wonderful art teachers along the way! My mom has told me that she knew I was going to be an artist the first time I started making marks on paper 🙂

Hillary: I started writing when I was very young. I had a three-ring notebook beside my bed that I used to write poems and short stories in. I always had an extremely vivid imagination which helped foster the stories I wrote. When I was young I would make up different characters and tell stories about them too. Yeah, I would say I was always pretty creative.

Lindsay: How did you end up working together? 

Angie: A current art teacher at Warwick High School, Jenna Yanchocik, used to work at Lititz Elementary so she ultimately connected the two of us and it has been a perfect match!

Hillary: I agree with Angie completely, even though we didn’t know each other before beginning this process, after meeting each other and reviewing the other person’s work, we decided to go for it. When we submitted SOAR, we jumped in with both feet not knowing where we would end up. It has been so wonderful to collaborate together, she brings my words to life on the pages.

Lindsay: One of my favorite features of SOAR is the conversation starter section, because it really helps readers to connect with the story—and each other. I thought I would answer two of the questions, and maybe you could, too. Then our readers can share their own answers, either in the comments or at home with their families. Ready? Let’s go! 

Ramone is afraid to fly. Can you remember a time when you were afraid to try something new? If so, what emotions were you feeling? 

Lindsay: I remember being very scared the first time I flew in an airplane! It seemed so strange to be up in the air without any wings, and I was really worried that I would have motion sickness. But I was also excited to go to California!

Hillary: Wow, there are so many possible answers to this question! One that really sticks out is after I graduated from the University of Delaware I moved to  Washington D.C. by myself. I found an apartment online, moved in, and lived by myself for the first time in my life. It was really, really scary but my parents were very supportive. It was such an empowering experience to truly be on my own in a city where I didn’t know many people at all. I loved living in Washington and experiencing all the city had to offer, and while I was there I grew so much as a person. It was a fantastic experience!

Angie: Haha! I feel like I have had SO many in my 41 years on this planet! One recent example I can think of (that is strangely similar to Ramone) is when I was with 14 Warwick high school students on a learning trip in Costa Rica in June of 2019. We went zip lining through the jungle and I was TERRIFIED because I had never done it before. I was super positive to help all of my students with their fears but was experiencing so many emotions myself that made me want to turn around and back out. There were about 14 different connected ziplines and I made the jump off the first one and screamed the whole time…but once I got to the next landing I felt so incredibly proud and safe and exhilarated. After that first one I had so much fun and enjoyed the moment and experience.

Ramone’s mom gives him love and support to help him overcome his fears. Has someone in your life encouraged and supported you to overcome an obstacle? 

Lindsay: The very first time I flew in an airplane, my grandparents were with me. They showed me lots of love and held my hand. They told me about all of the times they had flown in the past, promising me we’d land safely on the other side of the country. And we did!

Hillary: My parents have always been so supportive of my dreams. I always wanted to become a writer and even though I was rejected by book agents, my parents encouraged me to keep trying. Their love and support helped keep the dream alive and I am so thankful for all they’ve done for me. Without their love and support, SOAR would not have been possible.

Angie: My mom has always been my constant in supporting and encouraging me in all I do. She is amazing in so many ways and I don’t know where I would be without her love and encouragement.


Lindsay: Lots of kids and adults will identify with Ramone as he worries about trying something new. We all feel worried sometimes, and 2020 has surely been a stressful year! What is one thing you do to relax when you’re feeling stressed or worried? 

Angie: Working out and being in nature are two things that really help me work through my anxiety, frustrations and stress. I love to do yoga and lift weights at the gym or at home and I go hiking a couple times a week year round with my husband and our dogs. Getting into nature always clears my head.

Hillary: Spending time with my family is a big stress relief. Like many families in 2020 we spent a lot of time together during the shutdown. Instead of stressing about the unknown, we spent time playing games, watching movies and just enjoying being together. My kids and my husband can always make me laugh and help ease any stress. Of course, my other go-to is a great book! I love getting lost in an amazing story.

Lindsay: Hillary, what is your favorite thing about Angie’s illustrations? 

Hillary: I am not sure I can truly describe how much I love the illustrations in SOAR, but here’s my best attempt. From Angie’s first sketch to the last page, she captured the true essence of Ramone and his emotional journey in a spectacular way. I had an idea of what the illustrations might look like as I wrote the story, but Angie’s talent surpassed all expectations. The colors and details jump off the page and enhance the story so beautifully.


Lindsay: Angie, which scene was your favorite to illustrate? 

Angie: My favorite page to illustration is where there are 3 Ramones showing his changing positions as he takes off in flight. It might seem silly but when you spend so much time painting and drawing and thinking about a character you get kind of connected to the story as it unfolds. So when I finally started working on that page I was so happy that Ramone had finally gotten into the air. I remember calling my husband up to my studio to tell him “Ramone was finally flying!” It is a sweet moment in the story and I am proud of how that page turned out!

Lindsay: Ready for our flash favorites? Here we go! Take a deep breath, think fast, and tell us your favorite…. 


Angie: Green

Hillary: Red


Angie: Cashews

Hillary: Peanut butter

Place to read 

Angie: Porch

Hillary: Couch

Time of day 

Angie: 8am

Hillary: Sunset


Angie: Groundhog and Dog (couldn’t decide…love them both so much!)

Hillary: Elephant

Book (for adults or kids) 

Angie: The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

Hillary: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (adults) The Velveteen Rabbit (kids)

Thanks for joining us and inspiring us all to SOAR through our fears!  

If readers would like to purchase their own copy of SOAR, please visit the publisher’s web site at:

A Step-by-Step Guide to Accessing E-books Through BookFlix, by Lindsay Bandy


There are so many amazing online resources through the library’s web site, but how do you find them? How do you use them? What are they, where are they, and why should you use them?

Fear not!

I’m here to help.

Today I’m going to show you how to use Scholastic’s BookFlix, which I use regularly for virtual Story Times. BookFlix is my personal favorite e-book resource because….

  1. The books featured are top-notch, well-known titles
  2. Books are featured in fiction/nonfiction pairs so you can have fun and learn at the same time
  3. Each story is slightly animated and gives you the option to read along with the narrator.
  4. Each story pair comes with extra resources and games on the sidebar so you and your child can explore beyond the books!

Here’s how to get to BookFlix in 5 easy steps, starting at the Manheim Community Library homepage.


Beginning at

Click on the drop-down menu EXPLORE and select POWER LIBRARY RESOURCES.



Click to access Power Library




Select Power Kids



Select BookFlix



Enjoy exploring the site!


Welcome to Youth Services! by Lindsay Bandy

Dear Manheim families,

I’m excited to start a brand-new blog for you, featuring library news, information and literacy resources, how-to videos for digital resources, book recommendations, and more! I’m also looking forward to getting to know you better and interacting in this digital space, since we’re limited with what we can do in person these days.


I’ve really enjoyed getting to know many of you through summer reading and virtual story times, and I hope this will be an extension of that for kids and parents of all ages. Think of it as a cozy virtual community room!

See you soon,