Friday, May 1, 2015

Library Decorations

In anticipation of Sarah Week's visit to our library, members of our library and staff decided to decorate to library with all things PIE!

Flat Stanley is a library mascot and he is now dressed up in anticipation of Sarah Weeks' visit.

The bulletin board created by Colette Bezio welcomes Sarah Weeks.

 At family story time on April 29, kids made friendship pie recipes.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Final Thoughts on PIE

Did you enjoy PIE?

You can check out other books by this prolific and compassionate author.
Go to (use the drop down to choose author search and type in Weeks, Sarah)  and place a hold on any item by using your library card and "pin" and by marking a pick up location.

Contact the Muehl Public Library at 833.2725 or or 436 N. Main Street Seymour, WI if you need any help!

PIE Receives State Awards!

Awards Won by PIE:

What is the ORCA?
The Oregon Reader's Choice Award was founded in 2010.  The award is intended to be a fun and exciting way for Oregon youth in grades 4-12 to become enthusiastic and discriminating readers.  During the course of the school year, Oregon students choose their favorite book in a real-life democratic process.

How are the books chosen?
Books must be nominated for inclusion on the ORCA ballot.  In order to be considered, the book needs to have a copyright date of two years prior to when the ballots are announced.  This delay ensures that the title will be readily available in paperback during the voting year.  Oregon students, teachers, and librarians are all able to nominate books.  The nominations are reviewed by a committee of librarians and educators.  The committee creates the final ballots based upon a number of criteria, including literary quality, creativity, reading enjoyment, reading level, and regional interest.

Who may vote?
Oregon students in grades 3-12. To qualify for voting, the person must have read, or listened to, at least 2 books in one of the divisions.

When does voting take place?
Voting takes place online between March 1-31. 

. The purpose of the Grand Canyon Reader Award is:
  • to encourage Arizona young readers to become better acquainted with recently published quality books.
  • to honor favorite books and authors.
2. The award is given annually in the following categories:
  • Picture Books
  • Intermediate Books
  • Tween Books
  • Non-fiction Books
  • Teen Books (voting optional)
3. The winning book in each category is determined by the vote of young readers in Arizona.

4. An award is given in each category, including the illustrator for the winning picture book.

5. The awards are presented at the annual AzLA conference.

6. The Grand Canyon Reader Award is sponsored by the Arizona Library Association.

The Volunteer State Book Award is sponsored annually by the Tennessee Library Association and the Tennessee Association of School Librarians. Each year, children across Tennessee are asked to read books from a list of nominated titles.  The Volunteer State Book Award has four divisions--Primary (K-2nd Grade), Intermediate (Grades 3rd-5th), Middle School (Grades 6-8), and high school (grades 9-12).  In the spring, those students who have read or listened to at least three of the titles from the list are eligible to vote for their favorite titles. These votes are tabulated and sent to the state organization. The book with the most votes statewide wins the award. The author of the book receives a plaque and is invited to Tennessee to receive the award.

Discussion Questions (Scholastic)

Here are some discussion questions from!

Discussion Questions

  1. Polly’s calling in life is making delicious pies. Do you have a special talent that you love doing like Polly?
  2. Charles takes a whiff of a perfume bottle to recall memories of his grandmother. Are there any smells that you associate with people or places you love?
  3. Alice remembers how Polly once quoted Henry David Thoreau by saying “Things do not change; we do.” Is there anything in your life that you want to change? How can you make this change?
  4. Why do you think Alice sometimes feels that her mother would be happy if she acted differently? Have you ever felt the same way as Alice? How does this make you feel?
  5. Why do you think Alice’s mother created the scrapbook detailing Polly’s success? How did this bring Polly and her mother closer together?
  6. Miss Gurke, the bodybuilding principal, believes that beauty pageants are insulting to women. What is your opinion?
  7. After Polly dies, the entire town starts baking pies in order to win the Blueberry Award. What is the difference between doing something to make others happy and doing something to win an award?
  8. Charlie says that he doesn’t like the way it feels to be mad and would rather be happy. Once you are mad, how can you change your mood?
  9. Polly once said, “The most important ingredient in a pie is the love that goes into making it.” Have you ever made or received a handmade gift? What makes it so special?
  10. Why do you think Polly specified in her will that Alice would write the jingle for the Lardo commercial and her mother would sing it?

Interview With Sarah Weeks

Here is an interview that Scholastic had with the author of PIE, Sarah Weeks.

Author Sarah Weeks

Book Box Daily: If you had to describe your new book, PIE, in five words, what would they be?
Sarah Weeks: Heartfelt. Wholesome. Funny. Sweet. Delicious.
BBD: PIE is set in a small, close-knit community in which everyone knows their neighbors. Was this inspired or influenced by a community you’ve lived in, personally?
SW: I spent my summers as a child on an island in Lake Michigan. Now I spend my summers in a little town in the Catskill Mountains. So yes, I have had some personal experience with living in a close-knit community. Ipswitch, PA, is a fictional place, and one of the things I loved about creating it was developing the feel of the town and inventing the people who would live there.
BBD: In PIE we learn a lot about the pie preferences of a number of the book’s characters. Did their personalities easily dictate their taste in pies? How many different kinds of pie did you bake before settling on the recipes you included in the book?
SW: I knew right from the start that Alice’s favorite pie would be peach. To me, nothing tastes more like summer than peach pie. I began collecting pie recipes from friends and family while I was still working on my first draft. As the recipes poured in, it was fun to try to match the pies to the characters in the book. I love to bake so I often make pies, but last summer (2010) I only baked pies that I was considering for the book
BBD: Lardo the cat is not what most people would consider an “ideal” companion. Was he inspired by any pets you’ve known?
SW: Um, I know this will be an unpopular answer with many, but I’m not a cat lover. I’m a dog person. I grew to love Lardo in the course of writing PIE, but I wouldn’t really want to own him.
BBD: PIE fits into so many different categories—it’s a story about friendship and family, it’s a story about inspiration, it’s a classic “whodunit” mystery. Are these the types of books you enjoyed reading as a kid? Can you tell us what books were your favorites?
SW: I was a huge fan of Freddie the Detective Pig when I was a kid. I’ve always loved mysteries, though I find them kind of hard to write. My editor can attest to the fact that I did a lot of rewriting. Jane Quizzenberry was not the original cat-napper; it was the mayor’s wife. The tricky thing about mysteries is dropping the clues at the right time, and making sure not to leave any loose ends.
BBD: The importance of family is a recurring theme in your novels. In each, the central character has a loving (if sometimes complicated) relationship with at least one key relative. Is that a conscious choice on your part, and if so, why?
SW: I have to say, it’s not a conscious choice. I’ve always been attracted to things that are surprising. I was very close to both of my parents, and I’m very close to my children. Family is the most important thing in my life, so I guess it’s not surprise that I like to write about it.
BBD: The kids you depict in your books tend to be smart, resourceful, and brave (at least eventually!) about confronting their fears. Do you think that you, personally, were such a kid?
SW: Brave? Who me? As a kid I was goofy and creative and sensitive. I like to think I’m all of those now too—just with wrinkles.
BBD: When you begin writing a novel, which usually comes first—a character or a plotline?
SW: I always start with characters. I make them talk to one another and as wacko as it sounds, they often tell me what the story should be about.
BBD: How has your background as a singer and songwriter influenced the way you approach your writing?
SW: In PIE I got to write song lyrics for Alice to sing. I studied piano and viola and voice in high school and music composition in college. For many years before I became an author I was a singer songwriter, writing for Disney and Sesame Street. I believe in perfect rhymes—no cheating! It was really fun to make up the songs for Alice and also to write the Lardo jingle.
BBD: You’ve written more than 50 books for young people—picture books, beginning reader books, chapter books, and middle grade novels—but so far no young adult novels. Do you think you’ll ever write anything specifically aimed at a teen audience?
SW: Maybe. If the right idea comes along I’d love to write a book in the voice of a teenage girl.
BBD: How (if at all) does your process for writing a chapter book or novel differ from your process for writing a picture book?
SW: The process for writing a picture book is completely different from the process of writing a chapter book or novel. For one thing, most of my picture books rhyme. Also, when I write a picture book I’m always thinking about the role the pictures will play in the telling of the story. It can take me several months to write a picture book, but it takes me several years to write a novel. I usually have a couple of things going at the same time, so that I can change it up a little. I might spend the morning working on a serious novel and then switch over to something lighter in the afternoon.
BBD: You are one of the esteemed authors who founded Authors Readers Theatre. Can you tell us what your group does and how that idea came about?
SW: ART was started about six years ago by Avi, Walter Dean Meyers, Sharon Creech, and myself. We love the format of reader’s theatre so much—putting together scripts made up from scenes in our books, rehearsing together, editing together, and then performing at conferences of librarians and teachers. It’s so much fun! The group has expanded and changed over the years to include other wonderful authors such as Brian Selznick, Pam Munoz Ryan, Katherine Patterson, and Bruce Coville to name a few.
BBD: Can you share with us an especially memorable question or comment you’ve received from one of your readers?
SW: I get a lot of letters and e-mails from kids—all of which I answer. Most of their messages are very sweet and complimentary, but sometimes they’re funny. Those are the ones I tend to remember. For instance, someone recently wrote to say “I was looking for Twilight in the library, but it was checked out so I read your book So B. It instead. It was pretty good—but you could use some vampires.”
BBD: Finally, what are your top five favorite pies?
SW: Blueberry, peach, pumpkin, lemon chess, and chocolate angel pie. The last one is not one of the recipes in the book, but anyone who wants to know how to make it can write to me on my BLOG and I’ll be happy to share the recipe!
We’d like to thank Sarah one more time for taking a moment to talk with us.

- See more at:

Another Sarah Weeks Book!

At story time on Monday, April 27, children were introduced to another book by Sarah Weeks called Mac and Cheese. It is about two cats who are very different from each other. Mac is very active and Cheese is very laid back. Still, they like being with each other and when Mac loses his hat it is Cheese to the rescue.
This book rhymes and has a good rhythm for reading aloud. The kids liked laughing at Cheese and his grumpiness!

What is this Community Book Read about?

What is this all about? How can I read the book?

     This is the FIRST COMMUNITY READ in Seymour, WI under the leadership of Elizabeth Timmins, Library Director at the Muehl Public Library (436 N. Main Street) and in collaboration with many people including the Seymour School District, the Friends of the Muehl Public Library (FMPL), the Muehl Public Library Board of Trustees, our library patrons, our library staff , the Outagamie Waupaca Library System and Sarah Weeks herself!
     Elizabeth chose PIE because she believes it is a book that appeals across generations and that actually has a similar “feel” as the Seymour community.
     On Friday, February 20, FBLA students Sydney Wilcox and David Michaelson began distribution of copies of the book PIE by Sarah Weeks to the community in the foyer of the library. Eventually 200 copies were handed out and patrons were invited to bring them back and have them signed by the author on May 20. If you would like to read a copy but did not receive one, they are available for check out in Infosoup. There is also an audio version that is delightful!
     We are getting great feedback on the book! It is short and simple to read but the story is rich and will offer many components for discussion and interaction. Keep reading everyone!


Get Ready To Read PIE!

When Alice's Aunt Polly, the Pie Queen of Ipswitch, passes away, she takes with her the secret to her world-famous pie-crust recipe. Or does she? In her will, Polly leaves the recipe to her extraordinarily fat, remarkably disagreeable cat, Lardo . . . and then leaves Lardo in the care of Alice.

Suddenly, the whole town is wondering how you leave a recipe to a cat. Everyone wants to be the next big pie-contest winner, and it's making them pie-crazy. It's up to Alice and her friend Charlie to put the pieces together and discover the not-so-secret recipe for happiness: Friendship. Family. And the pleasure of doing something for the right reason.

Elizabeth’s review of PIE in December, 2013 when she was already visioning that it might make a good community read!

Back in the day, I loved Mrs. McNosh so I wanted to see how the author would do with a longer story. This was great! The book channels us to a simpler time and place (1950s; Ipswitch, Pennsylvania) where Polly owns a pie shop. When she dies, her niece Alice is grieving and also sorting out some mysteries in the neighborhood. With her friend, Charlie, they do some sleuthing with some laughable and interesting results. A pet phrase of Charlie's is "good gravy" which is a good example of how quaint the story is. Each chapter begins with a pie recipe and hints about pie making are sprinkled through out. The book ends thirty years later with an update on all of the characters. It also ends with the sentiment that it is the simple things that carry great joy--so true!
Take a look at this article that was featured in the Advertiser Community News!

Mulling it over at the Muehl Public Library

     We have four programs planned for ALL AGES as we anticipate our community read author visit from Sarah Weeks on May 20! All activities will happen at the library in the meeting space and all are welcome. We hope to see you!


Thursday          April 30            6 to 8 pm         Sky King TV show      
Sky King is a TV show mentioned in the book PIE. It was on television in the US in the 1950s and we will watch some episodes and have popcorn!

Tuesday           May 5              6 to 8 pm        Favorite pie contest     
We will make sculpture pies out of odds and ends and pie plates and then vote for the best one. We will also “sample” delicious pies and pick our favorites.

Thursday      May 7                    6 to 8 pm        ‘50s era style show                        
  We will look at 50s style clothing on the Smartboard and then we will create our own outfits     
   and vote for the best one!
PRELUDE IV        
Tuesday        May 12                 6 to 8 pm          Decorate the library for Sarah Weeks visit!   
There will be four stations of activities where we will need your creative talent to make lovely decorations so that the library is welcoming for Sarah Weeks and guests.