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Library Blog

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

Black History Bios

February is Black History Month.  It's an opportunity to explore the trials and achievments of our African-American brothers and sisters.  Unfortunately, it falls in the shortest month of the year.  There may not be enough days to read all the books you want.  But -- good news! -- there is no need to limit your reading to February.  After all, Black history is American history and should be part of our entire year . . . every year.  There are so many books available here at Hoover Public Library, but here are some of the newest biographies.  I suggest starting with one of these.

Black Women Who Dared by Naomi M. Moyer (2018)
Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13 by Helaine Becker (2018)
Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams by Lesa Cline-Ransome (2018)
George Washington Carver for Kids: His Life and Discoveries, with 21 Activities by Peggy Thomas (2019)
Harriet Tubman: Freedom Fighter by Nadia L. Hohn (2019)
Little People, Big Dreams: Josephine Baker by Isabel Sánchez Vegara (2018) [in a series]
Never Caught, the Story of Ona Judge: George and Martha Washington's Courageous Slave Who Dared to Run Away by Erica Armstrong Dunbar (2019)
No Small Potatoes: Junius G. Groves and His Kingdom in Kansas by Tonya Bolden (2018)
Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Dee Romito (2018)
Starstruck: The Cosmic Journey of Neil Tyson DeGrasse by Kathleen Krull (2018)
The Vast Wonder of the World: Biologist Ernest Everett Just by Mélina Mangal (2018)
What Do You Do with a Voice Like That?: The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan by Chris Barton (2018)
Who Were the Tuskegee Airmen? by Sherri L. Smith (2018)

Target Age: 
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Katiem

If You Love The Hate U Give

Angie Thomas, the award-winning author of The Hate U Give, has a new novel.  On the Come Up is an ode to hip hop from one of the most influential literary voices of a generation. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; and about how, especially for young black people, freedom of speech isn’t always free.

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least win her first battle. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill.  But it’s hard to get your come up when you’re labeled a hoodlum at school, and your fridge at home is empty after your mom loses her job. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first song, which goes viral…for all the wrong reasons.  Bri soon finds herself at the center of a controversy, portrayed by the media as more menace than MC. But with an eviction notice staring her family down, Bri doesn’t just want to make it—she has to. Even if it means becoming the very thing the public has made her out to be.  

Read Time Magazine's interview with the author.  The New York Times also has an interview.  Watch a CBS interview with her, too.  Man, everybody wants a chance to catch up with Angie!
 

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Katiem

The Giver Gets Graphic

Lois Lowry's Newbery Medal-winning classic, The Giver, is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a graphic novel adaptation by Eisner and Harve Award winner P. Craig Russell.  This adaptation also features a series of questions posed to Lowry and Russell both.  The author and illustrator have interesting things to say about art and the necessity of the story, even though it is likely to face challenges again.  Kirkus Reviews praises the adaptation as "a first-rate visual reframing: sensitive, artistically brilliant, and as charged as its enigmatic predecessor with profound challenges to mind and heart."  And School Library Journal claims "this stunning work will introduce The Giver to a brand-new audience and will also delight longtime fans."  I know I'll be reading it.  How about you?

The Giver: The Graphic Novel (02/05/19)
Jonas lives in a colorless world where everyone is content and conformity is the key to serenity. At the age of 12, in a ceremony that determines Life Assignments for each citizen, he's chosen to be the community's "Receiver of Memories." He begins training with the Giver, an old man who is the sole guardian of the community's dark and concealed history. Jonas learns not only of sunshine, color, and love but also of pain, war, and death. Confronted with this reality, he faces difficult choices and discovers that the wisdom he now holds could determine the fate of his entire civilization. This striking retelling of the modern classic blends words and images to create a brilliant new representation of Lowry's dystopian conflict between the ideals of free will and security. The artwork, rendered in blue pencil and grayscale, perfectly depicts Jonas's stark, dysfunctional society, and the measured introduction and brief glimpses of color keep readers hopeful for a brighter future. The characters are distinct, and the action flows well, evoking the feeling of the original work. Dialogue is pulled directly from the source material and heightens the story line and Jonas's emotions.

 

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Katiem

Valentine's Day Is On the Way!

Don't miss these opportunities to celebrate with the library you love most -- Hoover Public Library!

February 6-13, 2019
Drop by the Kid Zone anytime to make a Valentine heart wreath.  We are partnering with Hoover Senior Center to distribute the wreaths to local seniors.

Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.
Join us for We Love LEGOs, a valentine-⁠infused Lego event for all ages.  Make a Lego friendship bracelet and a Lego Valentine card.  Meet Lego Batman and complete his Lego Gotham training course.  Release your inner villain at the Lego-⁠heart wrecking ball challenge.  And, of course, take some time to build something Awesome at our open Lego building tables.  Lego-⁠esque and Valentinese snacks will be also served.  No registration required.  Simply follow the stars.

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Katiem

Black History + Sloss Furnace = Homeschool Hub

Sloss Furnaces operated from 1882 to 1971, serving as Birmingham's longest continuously running blast furnace.  Many people drive over the First Avenue Viaduct, see the old furnaces, and remember a time when Birmingham was the industrial center of the South.  While it is easy to remember the iron and steel production in our city's history, it is equally important to remember the men who worked the furnaces.  More than half of the workforce was African-American, and our February Homeschool Hub will tell the story of iron production in Birmingham as well as the story of that African-American workforce that helped build the city.  Ty Malugani, the Education Coordinator with Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark, will be at Hoover Library on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 at 2 p.m. with artifacts and tons of cool information about this local history.  Make it part of your Black History Month!  Register online or by phone (444-7830) today.

Target Age: 
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Katiem

Happy Galentine's Day!

No, today isn't Galentine's Day.  But it IS the day you can start signing up to be part of our Happy Galentine's Day event.  The official day is February 13th, but we're going to leave that day open for you to celebrate with your friends.  Instead, our party will be Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.  Galentine's Day is all about celebrating your gal pals, the amazing ladies who stick by you through thick and thin.  So, naturally, we'll be working on a friendship craft together.  And there will definitely be a waffle bar.  That's right.  A.  Waffle.  Bar.  Bring on the syrup, and let the good times roll.  Sign up online or by phone (444-7826).

Target Age: 
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Katiem

Youth Media Awards 2019

The American Library Association announced their Youth Media Awards today!  Here are the winners!  Did any of your favorites make the cut?  Several of ours did!  Access the full list of winners and honors here.  

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Katiem

This Blog Is for the Birds

My momma has always loved birds.  Her yard is filled with bird feeders, bird baths, and other bird hangouts.  Cardinals (the state bird of her home state Illinois) and hummingbirds are her favorites.  My whole childhood, wherever we lived, I always knew about local birds because my mother was constantly pointing them out.  Naturally, I grew up fascinated by birds, too.  But my favorites are pelicans (because I did a report on them in fifth grade) and all birds of prey (because I went to an awesome event at a local museum when I was very young).  And, yes, my least favorite are chickens.  Those things freak me out.  (As everyone who knows me knows well.)  If you're a young bird enthusiast, or even an older one, you'll be thrilled to know that there are several excellent new nonfiction titles featuring our feathered friends.

Fly with Me : A Celebration of Birds Through Pictures, Poems, and Stories by Jane Yolen, Heidi E.Y. Stemple, Adam Stemple & Jason Stemple
J  598  YOL
Enchanting stories, lyrical poems, stunning photography, and fascinating science fill the pages of this treasury celebrating the amazing world of birds.  It was created to help celebrate Year of the Bird, National Geographic’s 2018 initiative to bring awareness to the plight of birds around the world.

Snowy Owl Invasion!: Tracking an Unusual Migration by Sandra Markle
J  598.97  MAR
Late in 2013, snowy owls started showing up in places no one expected to find them—, including Florida.  What had caused so many of these majestic birds to leave their Arctic home and fly to southern Canada and the United States? Scientists quickly began working to find out. Markle brings together firsthand reports from the scientists involved along with stunning photographs of the owls to explain this rare event, known as an irruption.

The Triumphant Tale of the House Sparrow by Jan Thornhill
J  598.887  THO
Thornhill returns to questions on adaptation, conservation, and extinction, all raised in her 2016 award-winning title The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk, but here posed in a different light—one of triumph. The narrative pieces together the House Sparrow's long history, from around 12,000 years ago to the present day, to better understand how a creature so reviled still managed to adapt and survive in great numbers.

Warbler Wave by April Pulley Sayre
E  598.872  SAY
The migrating warblers have arrived, to feed and preen, to refuel and rest before continuing on their amazing journey of thousands of miles. This photographic picture book captures in lush detail the story of these tiny, colorful, and diverse birds.

Woodpeckers: Drilling Holes and Bagging Bugs by Sneed Collard III
J  598.72  COL
Introducing kids to woodpeckers, Collard opens with their most distinctive and crazy-sounding behavior: they repeatedly pound their beak into trees with a force that would leave other species brain-damaged. The text explains their physical adaptations, such as shock-absorbing skull bones, then looks at their motivations.

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Katiem

I Have an Inkling

inkling (noun) = a slight knowledge or suspicion; a hint
Inkling (title) = an amazing new book by Kenneth Oppel

I have an inkling that you'll love Inkling.

"The Rylance family is stuck. Dad's got writer's block. Ethan promised to illustrate a group project at school--even though he can't draw. Sarah's still pining for a puppy. And they all miss Mom.  Enter Inkling. Inkling begins life in Mr. Rylance's sketchbook. But one night the ink of his drawings runs together--and then leaps off the page! This small burst of creativity is about to change everything.  Ethan finds him first. Inkling has absorbed a couple chapters of his math book--not good--and the story he's supposed to be illustrating for school--also not good. But Inkling's also started drawing the pictures to go with the story--which is amazing! It's just the help Ethan was looking for! Inkling helps the rest of the family too--for Sarah he's a puppy. And for Dad he's a spark of ideas for a new graphic novel. It's exactly what they all want.  It's not until Inkling goes missing that this family has to face the larger questions of what they--and Inkling--truly need."

I also have an inkling you'll want to take a peek at these extras about Inkling.
Watch the book trailer.  Read the New York Times review.  (That will also tell you about another excellent book.  Which I checked out immediately after reading the review.  But we can put it on hold for you, so no worries.)

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Teen Book Club Is Still Alive

Teen Book Club is still alive and prepping to discuss I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall at their upcoming meeting on Monday, January 28, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.  You still have time to read the book and join the discussion.  You can also drop by without having read the book if you want to help pick the February title.

"After: Jess is alone. Her cabin has burned to the ground. She knows if she doesn’t act fast, the cold will kill her before she has time to worry about food. But she is still alive—for now.
 
Before: Jess hadn’t seen her survivalist, off-the-grid dad in over a decade. But after a car crash killed her mother and left her injured, she was forced to move to his cabin in the remote Canadian wilderness. Just as Jess was beginning to get to know him, a secret from his past paid them a visit, leaving her father dead and Jess stranded. 
 
After: With only her father’s dog for company, Jess must forage and hunt for food, build shelter, and keep herself warm. Some days it feels like the wild is out to destroy her, but she’s stronger than she ever imagined. 

Jess will survive. She has to. She knows who killed her father…and she wants revenge."

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Katiem

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