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I loved Samira Ahmed's debut novel Love, Hate & Other Filters (2018).  So, naturally, I was excited to hear she had penned a new book.  Once I learned about the subject matter, I was still eager to read it, but I don't want to use the word excited anymore.  That implies enthusiasm.  How can I be enthusiastic about a future, even fictional, that is filled with such hate?  But it's an important book.  Watch Samira talk about it.  Then read it.  Please.

Internment (March 19, 2019)
Layla was a regular American teenager until the new Islamophobic president enacted Exclusion Laws.  Muslims are being rounded up, their books burned, and their bodies encoded with identification numbers. Neighbors are divided, and the government is going after resisters. Layla and her family are interned in the California desert along with thousands of other Muslim Americans, but she refuses to accept the circumstances of her detention, plotting to take down the system. She quickly learns that resistance is no joke: Two hijabi girls are beaten and dragged away screaming after standing up to the camp director. There are rumors of people being sent to black-op sites. Some guards seem sympathetic, but can they be trusted? Taking on Islamophobia and racism in a Trump-like America, Ahmed’s (Love, Hate & Other Filters, 2018) magnetic, gripping narrative, written in a deeply humane and authentic tone, is attentive to the richness and complexity of the social ills at the heart of the book. Layla grows in consciousness as she begins to understand her struggle not as an individual accident of fate, but as part of an experience of oppression she shares with millions. This work asks the question many are too afraid to confront: What will happen if xenophobia and racism are allowed to fester and grow unabated? [from Kirkus Reviews]

Want to learn even more about the book?  Read a conversation with both Samira Ahmed and Monica Hesse.  Hesse's new book, The War Outside, centers around family internment camps in the United States during WWII.  And, since I know you'll be wondering, yes . . . it is definitely on my to-read list.

Hoover City Schools will be on Spring Break March 25-29, 2019, so we're taking a break from our regular programming to host a series of special events.  And we're going retro, taking it old-school, people.

Join us for a Family Movie in the Library Theatre on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.  We'll be showing the recently re-released 1953 Disney animated version of Peter Pan.  Admission and refreshments are free!  Teens can drop by the Youth Program Room for Open Gaming at 4 p.m.  We're featuring video games (of course), but we'll also have board games and card games.

You don't need a magic feather to take flight at Dumbo's Big Top on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.  Simply follow the stars to a circus party inspired by the classic (and current) film.  There will be games, crafts, and tasty treats.

Kids of all ages can bring a blanket and their favorite stuffed animal to a Teddy Bear Picnic on Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 9:30 & 10:30 a.m.  This storytime will feature two storytellers, classic kid lit and songs, and Teddy Graham crackers.  Older kids (ages 8-12) can sign up to create some crazy delicious food inspired by classic book character friends at Character Chopped! at 4 p.m.   Registration opens 03/21.

Brightly has done it again!  Seriously, I cannot rave enough about this website dedicated to exploring the wild and wonderful world of books and reading.  If you want to keep up with their latest educator resources, take a look at their Teach Brightly website.  When you do, you'll find a new educator guide for one of my favorite nonfiction books of 2017 -- Let's Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out!: Games, Songs, and Stories from an African American Childhood by Patricia C. McKissack, illustrated by Brian Pinkney.

A collection of McKissack’s favorite childhood games, songs, poems, and stories, Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout details the historical — and sometimes hidden — meanings in everything from “Miss Mary Mack” to the backstory of “Amazing Grace,” all through the lens of African American culture and history.  Brightly's free Educator’s Guide is filled with discussion questions, activities, and resources that help bring history to life while inviting students from all cultures to see similarities among their traditions and bring in songs, rhymes, and games from their own lives.