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Youth Services Newsletter

Westwood Public Library | January 2023

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Winter Reading Challenge.

Cozy Winter Reading Challenge for Kids and Teens

January 1-February 28

Get a raffle ticket for every hour that you read (up to 25 hours) and participate in fun winter activities! The grand prize basket features everything one needs to have a cozy reading session!

Sign Up Here!

Hey, grown-ups! We have a reading challenge for you, too! Starting January 3, stop by the Main Library or Islington Branch and pick up a bookmark to join our Winter Reading Challenge for adults.

Parent Cafes. January 10, February 7, March 7, and April 4 from 700-8:30. Conversations to keep your family strong.

Parent Cafes

Tuesday, January 10 @ 7:00 pm

Attention Westwood parents of young children! Join us for some fun, free, casual gatherings to discuss the joys and challenges of parenting. Take away tips and tools to strengthen your family! Refreshments will be provided.

Co-Sponsored By Westwood Coordinated Family & Community Engagement Program, Westwood Youth & Family Services & Westwood Library.

Sign Up Here!

Programs for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers

Branch Books and Boogie (Registration Required)

Mondays @ 10:30am, Islington Branch Library, Jan. 9-Feb. 13

All ages are invited to join Miss Caitlyn for a fun storytime at the Branch, accompanied by a simple craft!

Move and Groove (Registration Required)

Tuesdays @ 10:30am, Main Library,

Jan. 3-Feb. 14

This half hour program with Miss Caitlyn is full of music, movement, and more!

Tales and Tunes (Registration Required)

Wednesdays @ 10:30am, Main Library, Jan. 4-Feb. 15

Join Miss Kristy for stories, songs and dancing! 

Baby Rhyme Time (Registration Required)

Thursdays @ 10:30am, Main Library, Jan. 5-Feb. 16

Join Miss Kristy for songs, bounces and stories just for babies 0-18 months, followed by a playtime.

NEW: Drop-In Playtime

Saturday, January 21 @ 10:30-12:00

Young children and their families are invited to drop in to this self-directed playgroup on the third Saturday of the month. We'll have Duplos, blocks, toys, and coloring.

Sign up on the Website

Programs for Kids and Teens 

Creative Kids  (Registration Required)

Thursdays @ 4pm, Main Library 

Jan. 5-Feb. 9

Read a story and then act it out! Kids in Kindergarten and First Grade are invited to register for this unique, fun program with Miss Karen! Each week, kids will have the opportunity to bring a story to life with costumes and creative play. At the end of the class, each child will leave with a related take home craft.

Lego Builders 

Drop in, no registration 

Half Wednesday, 2-4, Main Library

Jan. 11 and 25

Kids in grades PreK-5 are invited to drop in for some STEM-inspired engineering fun. Each week, we will put out our collection of Legos, Keva planks and other building toys.

Read to a Dog (Registration Required) 

Select Saturdays @ 11-12pm,

Main Library

Jan. 14


Kids in grades K-5 can sign up for a one on one appointment with a therapy dog to practice their reading. Call or stop by the library to sign up. 

*YAB (Youth Advisory Board)

2nd Wednesday of the month @ 6:30 pm, Main Library  

Wednesday, Jan. 11

Interested in volunteering at the library and participating in our Youth Advisory Board? Join us on the second Wednesday of the month to hear about how to help with programs and share your thoughts, gain some leadership skills, and earn volunteer hours. For grades 6-12.

Gamer Lounge with One Up Games

Wednesdays from 2-4 pm, 

Main Library

Wednesday, Jan. 11

Middle Schoolers can come to the library on Early Release Wednesdays for two hours of open game play with One Up Games featuring SuperSmash Bro., Fortnite, MarioKart, and more! For grades 6 - 8.


Fridays after school @ 3pm, Community Room, Main Library

Come hang out with your friends and relax. Play video or board games, ping pong or just color.

Open to grades 6 - 8.

View Our Calendar of Events

Virtual Author Talk: Maureen Johnson in Conversation with Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Wednesday, January 4 @ 7:00pm

Enjoy a special evening with two of the country's top young adult authors as Maureen Johnson (Nine Liars) is interviewed by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (The Final Gambit), in this ZOOM webinar. 

Hosted by the Tewksbury Public Library, in collaboration with 70 Massachusetts public libraries. Please note this program is open to both adults and teens.

Sign Up Here

Multi-Week Programs for Kids

All of these programs will run for multiple weeks in January!

Each program is a stand-alone, so you must register for each individual session you want to attend.

Creative Writing Sessions.

Tuesdays @ 4:00pm

Jan. 3, 10, 24, and 31

Main Library (Registration required)

Join Alex, a high school student and Girl Scout, to get creative with your writing! Learn about different kinds of writing, or bring your current work in progress to get advice! Open to kids in grades 4-7.

Register Here
STEAM Team: LEGO Robotics with the Westwood High School Robotics Club.

Fridays @ 4:00pm

Jan. 6, 13, and 27

Main Library (Registration required)

Do you like robots? Legos? Do you enjoy hands-on projects that explore the ins and outs of science? If so, our program is perfect for you! The Westwood High School Robotics team will be running an interactive STEAM program where students in grades 3-5 can participate in challenges involving robots, Legos, mazes, code, and more!

Register Here

Book Clubs: Monthly 

Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue by Paula Harrison, click for catalog record.

Book Explorers for 2nd and 3rd graders (Registration Required)

Friday, January 20 @ 4pm

Join Caitlyn and Pat for a lively discussion, followed by fun games and a craft. 

Sign up Here
Float by Laura Martin, click for catalog record.

MCBA Book Club for 4th-6th graders (Registration Required)

Tuesday, January 17 @ 4pm

Join us one Tuesday per month for this in person book club dedicated to this year's Massachusetts Children's Book Award nominees. Each month we will discuss a book from the list and play games. 

Sign up Here 
Whiteout by Dhonielle Clayton and others. Click for catalog record.

Cover to Cover Book Club for 7th - 12th graders (Registration Required)

Wednesday January 25 @ 1:45pm

Join Felicia at the library for snacks and discussion of the book of the month! 

Sign up Here

ReadNext : Staff Book Recommendations

Looking for what to read next and overwhelmed by too many choices? Here's what we've been loving lately!

Five Survive by Holly Jackson, click for catalog record.
Improbable Magic for Cynical Witches by Kate Scelsa, click for catalog record.
Gideon Green in Black and White by Katie Henry, click for catalog record.

Caitlyn's Recommendation: Five Survive by Holly Jackson

From the author of the Good Girl's Guide to Murder trilogy comes a fast-paced survival thriller. When six friends embark on a road trip in an RV and make a wrong turn, things turn dicey real fast. When their RV is shot at, they realize that they are stranded and that the shooter is targeting someone in the RV for their secret. But whose secret? They're all hiding something. Over the course of 8 hours, these six friends will spiral and turn on one another, not knowing who to trust. Fans of Truly Devious and One of Us is Lying will devour this book. Good for grades 9 and up.

Kristy's Recommendation: Improbable Magic for Cynical Witches by Kate Scelsa

I loved this very realistic story about a cynical teen who lives in Salem, MA and befriends a group of practicing teen witches. Eleanor is coming off a tough year — her mom has been sick and her relationship (both romantic and platonic) with her best friend imploded, culminating in a traumatic event that has left her depressed, lonely and smoking pot to get through almost every day to day activity of her life.

Then she meets Pix, a high schooler from the next town over who wanders into the store where Eleanor works bringing a magical mix of tarot, intuition and kindness into her world. This is a great, very realistic story of the messiness of teen life, first love and friendships gone wrong. Wonderfully done and a great read for high schoolers who might be dealing with their own friendship drama.

Felicia's Recommendation: Gideon Green in Black and White by Katie Henry

A witty mystery that made me both cringe and laugh out loud. Gideon Green, former boy detective, struggles with the real world he's always getting in trouble for saying exactly what he's thinking. Where he thrives is the world of film noir trench coats, fedoras and predictable storylines bring him joy. He keeps to himself and to that treasured world until his former best friend, Lily, shows up on his doorstep needing help. Gideon has closed his detective agency, but he can't turn down a case. Gideon joins Lily on the school paper as a cover, and finds that he enjoys stepping out of his own bubble. But the case gets bigger than Gideon or Lily could have anticipated and they soon get a bit over their heads. Recommended for mystery lovers grades 6 and up. 

All library programs are free and open to the public thanks to generous support from the Friends of the Westwood Library.

About the Friends
Friends of the Westwood Library, click for Friends webpage

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