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Library Blog

Information on events, library related happenings, and other deep thoughts from our library staff.

Youth Media Awards 2017

The American Library Association announced their Youth Media Awards today!  Here are the winners!  Access the full list of winners and honors here.  Many of our favorites made the cut.  And my pick won the Newbery!

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Perfect Pair #30

This month's perfect pair features a classic and a soon-to-be classic.

  • A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney (2016)
    JB  KEA
    The story of The Snowy Day begins more than one hundred years ago, when Ezra Jack Keats was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. The family were struggling Polish immigrants, and despite Keats’s obvious talent, his father worried that Ezra’s dream of being an artist was an unrealistic one. But Ezra was determined. By high school he was winning prizes and scholarships. Later, jobs followed with the WPA and Marvel comics. But it was many years before Keats’s greatest dream was realized and he had the opportunity to write and illustrate his own book. For more than two decades, Ezra had kept pinned to his wall a series of photographs of an adorable African American child. In Keats’s hands, the boy morphed into Peter, a boy in a red snowsuit, out enjoying the pristine snow; the book became The Snowy Day, winner of the Caldecott Medal, the first mainstream book to feature an African American child. It was also the first of many books featuring Peter and the children of his — and Keats’s — neighborhood.
  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (1962)
    E  KEA  CALDECOTT
    The adventures of a little boy in the city on a very snowy day.  No book has captured the magic and sense of possibility of the first snowfall better than The Snowy Day. Universal in its appeal, the story has become a favorite of millions, as it reveals a child's wonder at a new world, and the hope of capturing and keeping that wonder forever.  Winner of 1963 Caldecott Medal.
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Minecraft Math

The ridiculously popular game is getting a S.T.E.A.M. treatment at Hoover Public Library on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at 4 p.m.  At our next Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead event, we'll use math to recreate parts of the Minecraft Universe in real life -- with post-it notes and boxes.  This event is open to kids ages 5-11.  Don't miss it!  Sign up online or by phone (444-7830) today!

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Create something fantasticly terrible with a mishmash of materials at our Bad Art event on Friday, January 20, 2017 at 4 p.m.  The library supplies the mishmash; YOU supply the imagination.  You think creating Bad Art is enough to entice you to sign up online or by phone (444-7830)?  Then you'll be blown away by the next bit of info.  There will also be door prizes and food!  Woo-hoo!  This event is open to all bad artists age 10-17.  Sign up today!

Darkness is a theme that echoes through most of our favorite teen books this year.  Is it the publishing industry, or is it us?  There is a printable list of all 46 titles available here.

All We Have Left by Wendy Mills
Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit
Avenging the Owl by Melissa Hart
Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
The Crown by Kiera Cass
The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
The Darkest Hour by Carolyn Tung Richmond
The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid
Everland by Wendy Spinale
The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller
The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron
Four-Four-Two by Dean Hughes
Front Lines by Michael Grant
Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter
The Gilded Cage by Lucinda Gray
Goldfish by Nat Luurtsema
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar

Staff Picks 2016 -- Juvenile Nonfiction

This list covers topics from deep in the ocean to high in the sky . . . and everything in between.  There is a printable list of all 58 titles available here.

Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay by Susan Hood, illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
Alpha Bravo Charlie: The Complete Book of Nautical Codes by Sara Gillingham
Animals by the Numbers: A Book of Infographics by Steve Jenkins
Answering the Cry for Freedom: Stories of African Americans and the American Revolution by Gretchen Woelfle
Are You an Art Sleuth?: Look, Discover, Learn! by Brooke DiGiovanni Evans
Charles Darwin’s Around-the-World Adventure by Jennifer Thermes
The Deadliest Creature in the World by Brenda Z. Guiberson, illustrated by Gennady Spirin
Dive!: World War II Stories of Sailors & Submarines in the Pacific by Deborah Hopkinson
Factastic: A LEGO Adventure in the Real World by LEGO World
Fannie Never Flinched: One Woman’s Courage in the Struggle for American Labor Union Rights by Mary Cronk Farrell
Fearless Flyer: Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine by Heather Lang, illustrated by Raúl Cólon
The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial by Susan E. Goodman
Follow the Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles by Philippe Cousteau & Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Meilo So
Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford
Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan
Giant Squid by Candace Fleming
Good Trick, Walking Stick! by Sheri Mabry Bestor
Grover Cleveland, Again!: A Treasury of American Presidents by Ken Burns
How to Build a Museum: Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture by Tonya Bolden
I Am NOT a Dinosaur! by Will Lach
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley
Ibn al-Haytham: The Man Who Discovered How We See by Libby Romero
In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives by Kenneth C. Davis
Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph by Roxane Orgill, illustrated by Francis Vallejo
Let Your Voice Be Heard: The Life and Times of Pete Seeger by Anita Silvey
Like a Bird: The Art of the American Slave Song by Cynthia Grady
Masters of Disguise: Amazing Animal Tricksters by Rebecca L. Johnson
Miracle Man: The Story of Jesus by John Hendrix
Miss Mary Reporting: The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber by Sue Macy
Ocean Animals: Who’s Who in the Deep Blue by Johnna Rizzo
Plants Can’t Sit Still by Rebecca E. Hirsch
The Plot to Kill Hitler: Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Spy, Unlikely Hero by Patricia McCormick
A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Lou Fancher & Steve Johnson
Prairie Dog Song by Susan L. Roth & Cindy Trumbore
Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis by Jabari Asim
Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe
Rise of the Lioness: Restoring a Habitat and Its Pride on the Liuwa Plains by Bradley Hague
Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story by Caren Stelson
Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune by Pamela S. Turner
Seven and a Half Tons of Steel by Janet Nolan
Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille by Jen Bryant
Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor by Robert Burleigh
Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White by Melissa Sweet
Space: Visual Encyclopedia by Carole Stott
The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk by Jan Thornhill
Ultimate Explorer Field Guide: Night Sky by Howard Schneider
Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II by Albert Marrin
Vincent’s Starry Night and Other Stories: A Children’s History of Art by Michael Bird, illustrated by Kate Evans
The Way Things Work Now: From Levers to Lasers, Windmills to Wi-fi, a Visual Guide to the World of Machines by David Macaulay
We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler by Russell Freedman
Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems by Bob Raczka
When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Julie Morstad
When the Sun Shines on Antarctica: And Other Poems About the Frozen Continent by Irene Latham
Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton
Women in Science: 50 Female Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky
Worms for Breakfast: How to Feed a Zoo by Helaine Becker
You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen by Carole Boston Weatherford
You Should Meet Mae Jemison by Laurie Calkhoven

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Staff Picks 2016 -- Juvenile Fiction

There's a little bit of everything on this year's juvenile fiction list -- change, friendship, legacy, magic, sorrow, war.  There is a printable list of all 53 titles available here.

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor
Applesauce Weather by Helen Frost
Beautiful Blue World by Suzanne LaFleur
The Best Man by Richard Peck
The Bicycle Spy by Yona Zeldis McDonough
Booked by Kwame Alexander
The Case of the Girl in Grey by Jordan Stratford
Catching a Storyfish by Janice N. Harrington
The Distance to Home by Jenn Bishop
Dog Man by Dav Pilkey
The Door by the Staircase by Katherine Marsh
Fenway & Hattie by Victoria J. Coe
Framed!: A T.O.A.S.T. Mystery by James Ponti
Gertie’s Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley
Ghost by Jason Reynolds
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
The Haunting of Falcon House by Eugene Yelchin
The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
Hundred Percent by Karen Romano Young
The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz, illuminated by Hatem Aly
The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd
The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan
Lily & Dunkin by Donna Jo Gephart
Lucy by Randy Cecil
Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt & Alison McGhee
Mayday by Karen Harrington
Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke
Ms. Bixby’s Last Day by John David Anderson
OCDaniel by Wesley King
The Other Boy by M. G. Hennessey
Pax by Sara Pennypacker
The Poet’s Dog by Patricia MacLachlan
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks & Gita Varadarajan
The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd
The Secrets of Solace by Jaleigh Johnson
The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner
Soar by Joan Bauer
Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart
Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand
Summerlost by Ally Condie
Swing Sideways by Nanci Turner Steveson
This Is Not the Abby Show by Debbie Reed Fischer
Unbound: A Novel in Verse by Ann E. Burg
Waiting for Augusta by Jessica Lawson
What Elephants Know by Eric Dinerstein
When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin
When Mischief Came to Town by Katrina Nannestad
When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin
The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
The Wooden Prince by John Claude Bemis

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Staff Picks 2016 -- Picture Books

We love picture books about characters that break the mold.  There were so many good ones this year!  We narrowed it down to our top . . . 90.  I know, I know.  That is not very narrow.  (There is a printable list available here.)

1 Big Salad: A Delicious Counting Book by Juana Medina
ABCs on Wheels by Ramon Olivera
Aberdeen by Stacey Previn
Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts
Also an Octopus by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, illustrated by Benji Davies
Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat
Armstrong: The Adventurous Journey of a Mouse to the Moon by Torben Kuhlmann
Baby Wren and the Great Gift by Sally Lloyd-Jones, illustrated by Jen Corace
The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield
Bedtime Blast-off! by Luke Reynolds, illustrated by Mike Yamada
A Beginner’s Guide to Bear Spotting by Michelle Robinson, illustrated by David Roberts
A Big Surprise for Little Card by Charise Mericle Harper, illustrated by Anna Raff
Bloom! by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by David Small
Bring Me a Rock! by Daniel Miyares
Bringing the Outside In by Mary McKenna Siddals, illustrated by Patrice Barton
Cat on the Bus by Aram Kim
Cat’s Colors by Airlie Anderson
Chicken in Space by Adam Lehrhaupt
A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers
The Cow Who Climbed a Tree by Gemma Marino
The Cranky Ballerina by Elise Gravel
Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer
The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield
Dragon Was Terrible by Greg Pizzoli
Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis
Emma and Julia Love Ballet by Barbara McClintock
Every Color by Erin Eitter Kono
A Family Is a Family Is a Family by Sara O’Leary, illustrated by Qin Leng
Flora and the Peacocks by Molly Idle
Good Night Owl by Greg Pizzoli
The Great AAA-Ooo! by Jonny Lambert
Hank’s Big Day: The Story of a Bug by Evan Kuhlman, illustrated by Chuck Groenink
Hannah and Sugar by Kate Berube
Hensel and Gretel, Ninja Chicks by Corey Rosen Schwartz & Rebecca J. Gomez, illustrated by Dan Santat
How This Book Was Made by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Adam Rex
I Am a Story by Dan Yaccarino
I Will Not Eat You by Adam Lehrhaupt, illustrated by Scott Magoon
Ida, Always by Caron Levis, illustrated by Charles Santosa
Ideas Are All Around by Philip C. Stead
Is That Wise, Pig? by Jan Thomas
King Baby by Kate Beaton
Leave Me Alone by Vera Brosgol
The Lending Zoo by Frank Asch
The Lion Inside by Rachel Bright, illustrated by Jim Field
Lion Lessons by Jon Agee
Maggie and Wendel: Imagine Everthing! by Cori Doerrfeld
Mary Had a Little Glam by Tammi Sauer, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood by F. Isabel Campoy & Theresa Howell, illustrated by Rafael López
Mighty Truck by Chris Barton, illustrated by Troy Cummings
The Mixed-Up Truck by Stephen Savage
More-igami by Dori Kleber, illustrated by G. Brian Karas
The Night Gardener by The Fan Brothers
Nobody Likes a Goblin by Ben Hatke
Normal Norman by Tara Lazar, illustrated by S. Britt
Not Quite Black and White by Jonathan Ying, illustrated by Victoria Ying
Oh No, Astro! by Matt Roeser, illustrated by Brad Woodard
Old Dog Baby Baby by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Chris Raschka
Old MacDonald Had a Truck by Steve Goetz, illustrated by Eda Kaban
One Very Big Bear by Alice Briere-Haquet, illustrated by Olivier Philipponneau and Raphaele Enjary
Ooko by Esmé Shapiro
Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run!: An Alphabet Caper by Mike Twohy
Poppy Pickle by Emma Yarlett
President Squid by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Sara Varon
Pug Man’s 3 Wishes by Sebastian Meschenmoser, translated by David Henry Wilson
Quit Calling Me a Monster! by Jory John, illustrated by Bob Shea
Return by Aaron Becker
Samson in the Snow by Philip C. Stead
School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex, illustrated by Christian Robinson
Snappsy the Alligator Did Not Ask to Be in This Book by Julie Falatko, illustrated by Tim Miller
The Sound of Silence by Katrina Goldsaito, illustrated by Julia Kuo
The Storyteller by Evan Turk
Surf’s Up by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Daniel Miyares
Swallow the Leader by Danna Smith, illustrated by Kevin Sherry
The Sword in the Stove by Frank W. Dormer
Teacup by Rebecca Young, illustrated by Matt Ottley
There Is a Tribe of Kids by Lane Smith
There’s a Bison Bouncing on the Bed! by Paul Bright, illustrated by Chris Chatterton
There’s a Giraffe in My Soup by Ross Burach
They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel
This Is My Book! by Mark Pett
This Is Not a Picture Book! by Sergio Ruzzier
Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie, illustrated by Yuyi Morales
The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles by Michelle Cuevas, illustrated by Erin Stead
The Water Princess by Susan Verde, illustrated Peter H. Reynolds
What Do You Do with a Problem? by Kobi Yamada, illustrated by Mae Besom
The Wheels on the Tuk-Tuk by Surishtha & Kabir Sehgal, illustrated by Jess Golden
The White Cat and the Monk by Jo Ellen Bogart, illustrated by Sydney Smith
Who Wants a Tortoise? by Dave Keane, illustrated by K. G. Campbell
The Wonderful Habits of Rabbits by Douglas Florian
Worm Loves Worm by J. J. Austrian, illustrated by Mike Curato

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Having a Hideout Is Key

Beloved Alabama author Watt Key has a new book out tomorrow, January 10, 2017!

Hideout by Watt Key
The son of a Mississippi policeman finds a boy living on his own in the wilderness. Twelve-year-old Sam has been given a fishing boat by his father, but he hates fishing. Instead he uses the boat to disappear for hours at a time, exploring the forbidden swampy surroundings of his bayou home. Then he discovers a strange kid named Davey, mysteriously alone, repairing an abandoned cabin deep in the woods. Not fooled by the boy’s evasive explanation as to why he’s on his own, Sam becomes entangled in his own efforts to help Davey. But this leads him to telling small lies that only get bigger as the danger increases for both boys and hidden truths become harder to conceal.

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Back-to-Back Weekend Fun

Crafty Characters presents Jack Frost
Saturday, January 7, 2017 at 10:30 a.m.
Meet Jack Frost, hear a wintry tale, then make some "frosty" crafts and a sno-cone.  The predicted weather will actually match the theme of our event.  Talk about perfect timing!

Pancake-palooza
Saturday, January 14, 2017 at 10:30 a.m.

Join us for a celebration of the beloved breakfast food! We'll hear a pancake tale and sing some pancake songs including Flip Flap Jack (whose head is made of a pancake. A pancake? A PANCAKE!) A Lumberjack will be serving pancakes, and you can turn your pancake into a real life Flip Flap Jack . . . then eat him! Play a giant-⁠sized version of the board-⁠game Pancake Pile-⁠up and toss a bunch of regular sized pancakes into Paul Bunyan the lumberjack's mouth.  If you want to eat pancakes (aka flapjacks) just like real lumberjack, you're in luck! You can make you own lumberjack beard.

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