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Made in Virginia: These reads carry a touch of home
Local librarian shares timely tips

Visit the Photo Place
Date published: 12/3/2012

SHOP LOCAL--authors that is! Many people apply this well-known encouragement to some aspect of their life: visiting one of the area farmer's markets, eating at a locally owned diner or buying jewelry from an artist who lives down the street.

Local authors probably aren't on their radar, but they should be. We are home to many who write for children and teens. Their books are available for pre-purchase perusal at the public library and for sale in area bookstores. Here are a few recommended, recently published titles that are perfect for holiday gift-giving. As an added incentive, they are all set in Virginia.

"ABC's From the Rappahannock River, With Love" by Betty Lewis Ellett can be enjoyed on several levels. Readers of any age will enjoy the lovely, full-page photographs of our beautiful river and its environs. Share only the first line of every page, and preschoolers will enjoy it as a vocabulary-expanding alphabet book, for example "P is for pier," with an accompanying photo that perfectly illustrates the new word. Children with longer attention spans can read the detailed text and learn about the various aspects of the river, from manmade structures like bridges, features like the quarry, to wildlife such as herons and eagle nests.

This attractive and informative picture book provides a fresh look at a major area feature, and will make a great gift for preschool- and early elementary-age children.

In "Iva Honeysuckle Discovers the World" by Candice Ransom, third-grader Iva wants to carry out her great-grandfather's dream to become an explorer and knows exactly where to start.

She has evidence that during the Civil War, Gen. Braddock buried $30,000 worth of gold in her small town of Uncertain, and she just has to find it. Summer vacation should provide plenty of time to accomplish her mission, until her next-door neighbor and cousin, Heaven, interferes.

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