Remember how jealous we all felt at the start of the summer, wishing we could have two months off from work to catch up on sleep, go to the beach, take vacations and just relax? Well, we’ve reached the flip side of those two months of bliss: the dreaded back-to-school blues or “Sunday scaries” as my best friend, a 5th grade teacher, calls them. Going back to school stinks, whether you’re a student, a teacher, an administrator, or a parent. While many parents do see the school year as their own reprieve and celebrate the prospect of having a quiet house again for a few hours each day, the actual work of waking up early, doing school assignments, participating in after-school activities, and more, is daunting–and exhausting to even think about. Once you get past these initial hurdles, though, there are so many reasons for us to celebrate the end of the summer.
Back to School = Back to School Books!
The picture book industry churns out a large amount of back to school books each and every year. We are always eager for our readers to discover something new to help ease the transition back to school or to make pre-school or kindergarten first-timers settle those first day butterflies. Stop by the Children’s Room to find the best school books for your child, including the latest installment in Mo Willems’ Pigeon series, The Pigeon Has to go to School.
If you have an adult Levittown Public Library card and have not yet checked out a museum pass, this is the perfect time to start using this incredible service! We offer passes to over 20 museums on Long Island and in the tri-state area, free of charge, including the Empire Pass, which provides access to hundreds of parks and beaches. With our online reservation system you can reserve a pass from home up to 60 days in advance. The passes get booked up quickly during the summer and school breaks. Therefore, this is a great time to start planning weekend activities that make the most of your family’s time together, and our museum passes are the perfect place to start.
Back to School Shopping!
Let’s face it: even adults still like to go “back to school” shopping. Post-Its, printer paper, a brand new denim jacket for when the temperatures chill; we love all of it! The only downside? Affording everything. According to a survey from the Nation Retail Federation, families with children in elementary through high school will likely spend an average of $697 this year on school supplies, including clothing, accessories, electronics and other miscellaneous supplies (i.e backpacks, notebooks, etc.). This article from NBC News offers ways to save on school supplies and take advantage of little known discounts.
Fall is my absolute favorite season! Hay rides, pumpkin picking, apple cider donuts, cozy neighborhood street fairs. We have access to many beautiful towns and landscapes on Long Island. There is an abundance of opportunities to soak up every last ounce of fall spirit. I like to use LongIsland.com to find events. You can search their calendar up to 30 days in the future. Pull out your flannels and boots and get ready to smell and taste pumpkin everything!
New Books! New Films!
Books, books, and more books are set to be released this fall, including new titles from powerhouse authors like Stephen King (The Institute, September 10th), Zadie Smith (Grand Union, (October 8th), Margaret Atwood (The Testaments, September 10th) and more. I’m most excited to get my hands on Pumpkinheads, a new graphic novel from Rainbow Rowell and Faith Evan Hicks (August 27th) and Imaginary Friend (October 1st), Stephen Chbosky’s long-awaited follow-up to The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Read up on more releases and call the library to ask about placing your hold now. Another way to stay on top of new releases is our new service Wowbrary. You can sign up through our website to receive emails each week listing the newest books, movies, and music available at the Levittown Public Library. The email includes releases geared to all ages, as well as synopses. I’m subscribed to Wowbrary and I love getting the weekly emails! Although I work here, it’s impossible to keep track of all the new materials coming in. Wowbrary is definitely a lifesaver!
When it comes to movies, it’s common knowledge that most of the “better” movies–including those likely to win awards–typically come out during the latter part of the year. Families can enjoy an animated, full-length adaptation of The Addams Family (October 11th), as well as the highly-anticipated Frozen 2, which will be in theaters just in time for Thanksgiving, on November 22nd.* Fred Rogers, AKA Mr. Rogers, gets the biopic treatment, with Tom Hanks starring as the beloved children’s icon in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, also scheduled to be released November 22nd. For more adult fare, Joaquin Phoenix stars as Joker (October 4th) and Nicole Kidman will headline an adaptation of Donna Tartt’s best-selling novel The Goldfinch (September 13th). Netflix will release The Irishman on its streaming platform and in select theaters sometime in September or October; the film combines Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino to tell the true story of mobster Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran. Meanwhile, the iconic musical Cats has been remade into a CGI-heavy adaptation due to hit theaters December 20th. On Christmas Day, Director Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women will arrive, starring Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet, Emma Watson, Laura Dern, and Meryl Streep. Finally, no holiday season would be complete without a new Star Wars movie. This year, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will come out December 20th. For more information about other exciting movie releases, including the new Terminator film and sequels to Zombieland and Maleficent, check out these lists from RadioTimes and Rolling Stone. Please remember that movie release dates are subject to change.
Good luck to everyone heading back to school this September! Don’t forget to keep visiting us at the Library.
*Be on the lookout for our November/December 2019 newsletter, which will detail several exciting events we are planning to celebrate the release of Frozen 2.