Normal Public Library provides many enriching events and resources for kids of all ages, parents, and families.
The Children’s Department offers lots of activities to educate and entertain kids. There are story hours for various ages, crafts, guest authors, robotics and other science and tech activities, and of course, Summer Reading
A Place to Discover
Whether we have an official activity going on or not, you can always find fun things to do in Children's Services.
The Discovery Room
The Discovery Room is a popular area for imaginative play, with tons of puppets and a wonderful puppet theater, a dress-up center, Velcro wall, gear table, and more. We even have a Tot Spot area reserved for our youngest patrons.
The Book Nook
The Book Nook is a welcoming area to find a comfy seat and enjoy a book, put some puzzles together, or build a DUPLO masterpiece.
Jump on an iPad and play learning games in our Tech Playground. The Tech Playground can be a busy place! If all of the iPads are in use, or you want to sit somewhere else in the library, check out an iPad for in-house use.
The library has lots of services and resources that can help teachers and homeschoolers.
We are happy to offer storytelling or information programs to nursing homes, churches, community centers, and schools. For more information, please contact us at 309-454-4668.
New Books for Kids
Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy
Nothing ever happens in Filomena Jefferson-Cho’s sleepy little suburban town of North Pasadena. The sun shines every day, the grass is always a perfect green, and while her progressive school swears there’s no such thing as bullying, she still feels bummed out. But one day, when Filomena is walking home on her own, something strange happens.
Filomena is being followed by Jack Stalker, one of the heroes in the Thirteenth Fairy, a series of books she loves about a brave girl and her ragtag group of friends who save their world from an evil enchantress. She must be dreaming, or still reading a book. But Jack is insistent—he’s real, the stories are real, and Filomena must come with him at once!
Soon, Filomena is thrust into the world of evil fairies and beautiful princesses, sorcerers and slayers, where an evil queen drives her ruthless armies to destroy what is left of the Fairy tribes. To save herself and the kingdom of Westphalia, Filomena must find the truth behind the fairytales and set the world back to rights before the cycle of sleep and destruction begins once more.
The House with Chicken Legs
All 12-year-old Marinka wants is a friend. A real friend. Not like her house with chicken legs. Sure, the house can play games like tag and hide-and-seek, but Marinka longs for a human companion. Someone she can talk to and share secrets with. But that's tough when your grandmother is a Yaga, a guardian who guides the dead into the afterlife. It's even harder when you live in a house that wanders all over the world . . . carrying you with it. Even worse, Marinka is being trained to be a Yaga. That means no school, no parties -- and no playmates that stick around for more than a day. So when Marinka stumbles across the chance to make a real friend, she breaks all the rules . . . with devastating consequences. Her beloved grandmother mysteriously disappears, and it's up to Marinka to find her -- even if it means making a dangerous journey to the afterlife. With a mix of whimsy, humor, and adventure, this debut novel will wrap itself around your heart and never let go.
Poor Princess Anya. Forced to live with her evil stepmother's new husband, her evil step-step-father. Plagued with an unfortunate ability to break curses with a magic-assisted kiss. And forced to go on the run when her step-step-father decides to make the kingdom entirely his own. Aided by a loyal talking dog, a boy thief trapped in the body of a newt, and some extraordinarily mischievous wizards, Anya sets off on a Quest that, if she plays it right, will ultimately free her land -- and teach her a thing or two about the use of power, the effectiveness of a well-placed pucker, and the finding of friends in places both high and low.
Sisters of the Neversea
Lily and Wendy have been best friends since they became stepsisters. But with their feuding parents planning to spend the summer apart, what will become of their family--and their friendship?
Little do they know that a mysterious boy has been watching them from the oak tree outside their window. A boy who intends to take them away from home for good, to an island of wild animals, Merfolk, Fairies, and kidnapped children, to a sea of merfolk, pirates, and a giant crocodile.
A boy who calls himself Peter Pan.
In a magic kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone's joke. But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. Rump discovers he has a gift for spinning straw into gold. His best friend, Red Riding Hood, warns him that magic is dangerous, and she's right. With each thread he spins, he weaves himself deeper into a curse.
To break the spell, Rump must go on a perilous quest, fighting off pixies, trolls, poison apples, and a wickedly foolish queen. The odds are against him, but with courage and friendship--and a cheeky sense of humor--he just might triumph in the end.
The Lost Stone
Meet Lucas, the eight year-old prince, and Clara, the daughter of the queen’s seamstress. Lucas is an only child who longs to make friends and go on adventures. Clara knows the kingdom well, so she and Lucas team up and explore the lands of Wrenly!
Lis Hartel became paralyzed after contracting polio in 1944. Her dreams of riding horses and competing in the sport of dressage were shattered. After months in the hospital, doctors told her she'd never ride again. Lis tried anyway. How do you stay on a horse without using your legs? How do you give the subtle cues needed in dressage with limited mobility? Well, with hard work--and an unlikely horse named Jubilee. After years of training together and creating a new way of communicating, Lis and Jubilee danced into the competition ring, and eventually all the way to the Olympics. Lis Hartel was the first woman with a disability ever to win an Olympic medal, and the first woman to stand equally beside men on the Olympic winners' podium in any sport.
Nellie vs. Elizabeth
Nellie Bly was an energetic and eager reporter, but she wasn't able to think of a good story for her editors. Wishing she was on the other end of the earth, Nellie had an inspiration–she would travel around the world, just like in the fictional adventure book AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS. When a fellow journalist, Elizabeth Bisland, heard about Nellie's plans, she decided to up the stakes–by beating Nellie in her own race!
This exciting American history story about two pioneering women who paved the way for equality will inspire young readers.
Big Truck Little Island
When a big truck and its big load get stuck on a narrow road, traffic on the little island comes to a halt. Some cars need to go south and some have to travel north. How will Meg get to her swim meet? What about Barry's ballet class? Luckily, the kids come up with an ingenious solution: why not just swap cars? Inspired by an incident that happened on Vinalhaven, Maine, Chris Van Dusen tells a fun tale of resourcefulness and community through clever, rhyming wordplay and whimsical illustrations, sprinkled with plenty of cars and trucks for transportation-loving readers.
The Great Zapfino
When The Great Zapfino climbs to the top of the circus platform, all eyes are on him, waiting for his incredible leap. But Zapfino is afraid of heights! He can’t take the pressure and flees, boards a plane, and runs away to start a new life.
In the city, Zapfino starts work as an elevator operator in a tall building but soon learns you can never really outrun your fears. When disaster strikes, can Zapfino find the strength to be great?
Prairie Lotus is a powerful, touching, multilayered book about a girl determined to fit in and realize her dreams: getting an education, becoming a dressmaker in her father's shop, and making at least one friend. Acclaimed, award-winning author Linda Sue Park has placed a young half-Asian girl, Hanna, in a small town in America's heartland, in 1880. Hanna's adjustment to her new surroundings, which primarily means negotiating the townspeople's almost unanimous prejudice against Asians, is at the heart of the story. Narrated by Hanna, the novel has poignant moments yet sparkles with humor, introducing a captivating heroine whose wry, observant voice will resonate with readers.
A Pakistani-American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family’s vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school after tragedy strikes her community in this sweet and moving middle grade novel from the award-winning author of It’s Ramadan, Curious George and Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns.
Mia Tang has a lot of secrets. Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests. Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean motel owner, Mr. Yao, finds out they've been letting them stay in the empty rooms for free, the Tangs will be doomed. Number 3: She wants to be a writer. But how can she when her mom thinks she should stick to math because English is not her first language? It will take all of Mia's courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams?
Nina Soni, Former Best Friend
Meet Nina Soni!
A chapter book series starring a lovable, distractible Indian-American girl and her family and friends.
Nina tried as hard as she could but still somehow forgot about her school project. Fortunately, a class lesson about Alexander Fleming suggests how she might make a great discovery--and thus a great project! But with little sister Kavita's birthday party right around the corner, and her longtime friendship with Jay on the rocks, Nina has a lot to keep track of.
Surfer of the Century
A brief biography of Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku, five-time Olympic swimming champion from the early 1900s who is also considered worldwide as the 'father of modern surfing'.