Kids Services, Information and Events
What's In Your Backyard? Minooka's Mastodons
In 1901 in small-town Minooka, farmer John Bamford worked his farm. As he dug in his backyard, widening his spring-fed well, he came across something strange. At first, he thought the obstacles were tree trunks, but upon closer inspection, the ‘trunks’ turned out to be huge bones, teeth, and other parts that didn’t belong to any creature he recognized. Mr. Bamford kept his finds, storing them in his cellar. Several years later, after hearing rumors of this strange find, George Langford Sr. traveled down to Minooka to retrieve the fossils and bones, in turn handing them over to the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History.
Thanks to the generosity of the Field Museum of Natural History, Head of Collections William Simpson, and the Gantz Family Collections Center at the Field Museum, these bones have returned to Minooka for a limited time. Take a peek into the prehistoric past and visit these unique specimens in person at the Three Rivers Public Library District’s Local History Museum housed at the Minooka Branch at 109 N Wabena Ave in Minooka, IL.
The museum will be open for visitors during library hours every other weekend beginning December 3rd and 4th. The museum will also be open Monday evenings from 4 p.m-8 p.m. To schedule a viewing during other library hours, contact Three Rivers Library’s Local Historian Michele Houchens at 815-467-1600 x207.
Photo Caption: George Langford Sr. sits with the mastodon tusk found on the Bamford farm in Minooka in 1901. Mr. Langford was instrumental in bringing the find from Minooka to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, IL. Photo courtesy of George Langford, III, Sc.D.
Reading Levels and Useful Links
- Find Books by Reading Grade LevelBook Adventure: Allows you to find out the reading level of a specific book or create lists of books based on grade level and subject.Renaissance Learning: Allows you to find out the reading level of a specific book.
The Best Children's Books: Find book recommendations from a team of teachers on what they consider the best children's books for any topic. This site allows you to find the reading level of a specific book as well.Find Books by Lexile NumbersFind a Book with Lexiles: Search for books based on lexile numbers and interests.Suggested Book ListsHoagie's Gifted Reading Lists: A collection of links to book lists aimed at gifted and good readers.Readalikes: Suggested similar books to ones your child has enjoyed at the same reading level.Young Adult Library Services Association: Suggested book lists and award winning books.Juvenile Series and Sequence: Find a list of juvenille series alaphabetically, along with the order of the books within each series.
OMNI Kids eReading Room
Visit this OMNI digital collection, where you can search exclusively for juvenile materials, including eBooks and eAudiobooks. You can search by subject, collections, newly added titles and more. There is Lexile number searching available as well. Checkouts and Account information is the same as the regular OMNI site, but this collection shows you children's titles only.
TumbleBookLibrary is an online collection of TumbleBooks – animated, talking picture books which teach kids the joy of reading in a format they'll love. TumbleBooks are created by adding animation, sound, music and narration to existing picture books in order to produce an electronic picture book which you can read, or have read to you.
Scholastic BookFlix is a new online literacy resource that pairs classic video storybooks with related nonfiction eBooks for grades Pre-K through 3rd. Features allow you to watch a video of the story, read the book, puzzler games and biographies about the author. For use inside the library: Bookflix. For use outside the library: Remote Use.
Read digital books about historical topics. FreedomFlix includes embedded popup features such as maps, timelines, virtual tour clips, primary source videos and audio clips that bring history to life. Books are aligned with common core standards, and features include read-along option, project ideas and quizzes. For use inside the library: FreedomFlix. For use outside the library: Remote Use.
ScienceFlix combines curriculum-driven resources, interactive features, and an easy to use interface for students in grades 4 through 9. Read information about science topics, watch videos, create projects, take quizzes and more. You can also get information on creating science experiments and careers in science. Information provided includes citations and lexile numbers. For use in the library: ScienceFlix. For use outside the library: Remote Use.