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Library Blog

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

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry: 40th Anniversary Edition

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry was first published in January 1976 and won the 1977 Newbery Award.  It was followed by eight additional novels to form the Logan family saga: Let the Circle be Unbroken, The Road to Memphis, Mississippi Bridge, Song of the Trees, The Friendship, The Land, The Well, The Gold Cadillac.   The tenth and final book in the saga will be released in 2017.

Author Mildred D. Taylor says, “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry was created from a story my father and my uncle told me while we sat at the dining room table. From the time I was a child, I heard family stories and family history. I have woven all those stories and all that history into ten books, including the book I am now writing, LOGAN, the concluding book of the Logan family saga. I consider my books a legacy to my family, and I believe all those who shared the stories and who lived the history would be as proud as I of the 40th anniversary of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.”

The 40th Anniversary Edition has been illustrated by two-time Caldecott Honor recipient Kadir Nelson.  “I’m so thrilled to have the opportunity to create new covers for this powerful series by Mildred Taylor,” says Kadir Nelson. “The ROLL OF THUNDER series resonates so deeply with me and I’m very proud to help introduce this saga to a new generation of readers.”

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Watt Key's Newest Survival Story

Watt Key has once again done our state proud.  The newest book from the Delta Storyteller is called Terror at Bottle Creek, and it is set in L.A.  Yep, I'm referring to Lower Alabama.

"Thirteen year-old Cort Delacroix lives on a houseboat at the edge of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta. His father, Tom, is a renowned river guide and local expert on hunting and swamp lore. He’s been teaching Cort everything he knows since the boy was a child. Cort used to have a hard time imagining a future more ideal than being a river guide, but since his mother walked out on them he’s having second thoughts. His father isn’t his normal attentive, good-natured self. Tom’s constantly preoccupied with trying to get his wife to come home, while Cort knows she never will. Now lonely and frustrated, Cort see’s just how empty the swamp is without his father around. He wonders if it’s all worth missing out on the life of a normal teenager. All of Cort’s fears are realized when Tom abandons him in the midst of a category three hurricane. For the first time in his life he is truly alone against the swamp. A series of catastrophic events soon lead to Cort and two young girls stranded in miles of storm-thrashed wetlands. After struggling to high ground on an ancient Indian mound, they cling for their lives in a tree. The hurricane rages as a crazed wild hog stalks them from below and they stave off snakes and numerous other swamp creatures climbing to safety. Throughout this nightmarish ordeal they form an unlikely bond with a black bear hugging the tree next to them. But in the end it’s every animal for itself. And they’ll all do whatever it takes to survive. It’s up to Cort to use everything he’s ever learned to keep himself and the two girls alive. And they may just have to rely on a bear to help save them."

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Staff Picks 2015 -- Teen Fiction

2-4-6-8!  These are the books we think are great!  Lots deal with serious issues.  All are seriously good.  Get up-close and personal with these titles (click here for a printable list) at our Best Books of 2015: Championship Tailgate Party on Friday, January 8, 2016 at 4:00 p.m.  There will be booktalks, food, and door prizes for parents, educators, and fellow librarians. 

5 to 1 by Holly Bodger
Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas
Beastly Bones by William Ritter
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
Code of Honor by Alan Gratz
Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert
The Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes
Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Ensnared by A. G. Howard
Fallout by Gwenda Bond
Firefight by Brandon Sanderson
Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
Illusionarium by Heather Dixon
A Little Bit of Spectacular by Gin Phillips
A Little in Love by Susan Fletcher
A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
Mapmaker by Mark Bomback & Galaxy Craze
Of Dreams and Rust by Sarah Fine
Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt
Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
Rook by Sharon Cameron
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes
A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Spelled by Betsy Schow
Tangled Webs by Lee Bross
These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston
Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
Undertow by Michael Buckley
Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler
Winter by Marissa Meyer
The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Staff Picks 2015 -- Juvenile Nonfiction

2-4-6-8!  These are the books we think are great!  You'll enjoy expanding your brain with true tales about animals, activists, and artists.  Get up-close and personal with these titles (click here for a printable list) at our Best Books of 2015: Championship Tailgate Party on Friday, January 8, 2016 at 4:00 p.m.  There will be booktalks, food, and door prizes for parents, educators, and fellow librarians. 

Aaron and Alexander: The Most Famous Duel in American History by Don Brown
Animal Colors series by Teddy Borth
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Young Readers Edition by William Kwamkamba & Bryan Mealer
The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip Hoose
The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage by Selina Alko
The Case of the Vanishing Little Brown Bats: A Scientific Mystery by Sandra Markle
Castle: How It Works by David Macaulay
Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans by Don Brown
Earmuffs for Everyone!: How Chester Greenwood Became Known as the Inventor of Earmuffs by Meghan McCarthy
Edible Numbers by Jennifer Vogel Bass
Egg: Nature’s Perfect Package by Steve Jenkins
Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson & Sean Qualls
Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir by Margarita Engle
Fire Birds: Valuing Natural Wildfires and Burned Forests by Sneed B. Collard III
The Founding Fathers!: Those Horse-Ridin’, Fiddle-Playin’, Book-Readin’. Gun-Totin’ Gentlemen Who Started America by Jonah Winter
Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh
Game Changer: John McLendon and the Secret Game by John Coy
Gingerbread for Liberty: How a German Baker Helped Win the American Revolution by Mara Rockliff
How Machines Work: Zoo Break! by David Macaulay
How to Babysit a Leopard: And Other True Stories from Our Travels Across Six Continents by Ted Lewin & Betsy Lewin
How to Swallow a Pig: Step-by-Step Advice from the Animal Kingdom by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page
Hurricane Watch by Melissa Stewart
I, Fly: The Buzz About Flies and How Awesome They Are by Bridget Heos
The Impossibly True Story of Tricky Vic: The Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli
The Many Faces of Josephine Baker: Dancer, Singer, Activist, Spy by Peggy Caravantes
Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery That Baffled All of France by Mara Rockliff
Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin
A Nest Is Noisy by Dianna Hutts Aston
Noah Webster: Man of Many Words by Catherine Reef
The Octopus Scientists: Exploring the Mind of a Mollusk by Sy Montgomery
A Passion for Elephants: The Real Life Adventure of Field Scientist Cynthia Moss by Toni Buzzeo
Seeds of Freedom: The Peaceful Integration of Huntsville, Alabama by Hester Bass
Small Wonders: Jean-Henri Fabre & His World of Insects by Matthew Clark Smith
Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova by Laurel Snyder
Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Trapped!: A Whale’s Rescue by Robert Burleigh
Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lowery, as told to Elspeth Leacock and Susan Buckley
Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford
Water Is Water: A Book about the Water Cycle by Miranda Paul
Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Sally Walker
The Wonder Garden by Kristjana S. Williams

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Staff Picks 2015 -- Juvenile Fiction

2-4-6-8!  These are the books we think are great!  There's something for every reader -- from history to mystery, from silly to serious.  Get up-close and personal with these titles (click here for a printable list) at our Best Books of 2015: Championship Tailgate Party on Friday, January 8, 2016 at 4:00 p.m.  There will be booktalks, food, and door prizes for parents, educators, and fellow librarians. 

All the Answers by Kate Messner
Adventures with Waffles by Maria Parr
Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories by R. J. Palacio
Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly
The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands
Canned and Crushed by Bibi Belford
The Case of the Missing Moonstone by Jordan Stratford
Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley
The Cottage in the Woods by Katherine Coville
Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
Dear Hank Williams by Kimberly Willis Holt
The Dungeoneers by John David Anderson
Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks
Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Frank Einstein and the Electro-Finger by Jon Scieszka
Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton
George by Alex Gino
The Girl with the Glass Bird by Esme Kerr
Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel by Megan Morrison
Half a Man by Michael Morpurgo
A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition by J. K. Rowling
The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart
Honey by Sarah Weeks
How Lunchbox Jones Saved Me from Robots, Traitors, and Missy the Cruel by Jennifer Brown
Jack & Louisa: Act 1 by Andrew Keenan-Bolger & Kate Wetherhead
Last of the Sandwalkers by Jay Hosler
The Lightning Queen by Laura Resau
Like a River: A Civil War Novel by Kathy Cannon Wiechman
Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai
Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff
The Lost Track of Time by Paige Britt
The Marvels by Brian Selznick
Murder Is Bad Manners by Robin Stevens
My Diary from the Edge of the World by Jodi Lynn Anderson
My Near-Death Adventures (99% True!) by Alison DeCamp
A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Night on Fire by Ronald Kidd
Nooks & Crannies by Jessica Lawson
The Only Child by Guojing
Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
Red Butterfly by A.L. Sonnichsen
Ruby on the Outside by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty
The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall
Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper
Teddy Mars: Almost a World Record Breaker by Molly B. Burnham
The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett & Jory John
The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones
The Way Home Looks Now by Wendy Wan-Long Shang
A Whole New Ballgame by Phil Bildner
Wish Girl by Nikki Loftin

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

In a LEGO Galaxy Far, Far Away

We need young Jedi in first, second, and third grade to use the force, bind all Legos together, and defend the universe at Lego Star Wars on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 at 4 p.m.  You'll wield a light saber and fly the Millenium Falcon.  You'll work in a droid factory and complete a Lego build challenge.  You'll also eat some out-of-this-world snacks.  Register online or by phone (444-7830).  May the force be with you.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Staff Picks 2015 -- Picture Books

2-4-6-8!  These are the books we think are great!  Our favorite picture books are filled with bears, birds, imaginary friends, diverse families, and amazing artwork.  Get up-close and personal with these titles (click here for a printable list) and more at our Best Books of 2015: Championship Tailgate Party on Friday, January 8, 2016 at 4:00 p.m.  There will be booktalks, food, and door prizes for parents, educators, and fellow librarians. 

Alpha by Isabelle Arsenault
Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret by Bob Shea
Bear & Hare Go Fishing by Emily Gravett
Bear and Bunny by Daniel Pinkwater
Bear and Duck by Katy Hudson
The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach
A Bear’s Year by Kathy Duval
Behold! A Baby by Stephanie Watson
Bernice Gets Carried Away by Hannah E. Harrison
Beyond the Pond by Joseph Kuefler
Big Bot, Small Bot: A Book of Robot Opposites by Marc Rosenthal
Bike On, Bear! by Cynthea Liu
Black Cat, White Cat by Silvia Borando
The Chicken Who Had a Toothache by Bénédict Guettier
Counting Crows by Kathi Appelt
Dad’s First Day by Mike Wohnoutka
The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt
Dear Yeti by James Kwan
Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle
The Entertainer by Emma Dodd
Everyone Loves Bacon by Kelly DiPucchio
A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat by Emily Jenkins
Fire Engine No. 9 by Mike Austin
The First Slodge by Jeanne Willis
Float by Daniel Miyares
Fly! by Karl Newsom Edwards
Friendshape by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Glamourpuss by Sarah Weeks
Green Lizards vs. Red Rectangles by Steve Anthony
Groundhog’s Day Off by Robb Perlman
Happy by Pharrell Williams
Home Tweet Home by Courtney Dicmas
Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise by Sean Taylor
How to Read a Story by Kate Messner
I Am Yoga by Susan Verde
I Don’t Want to Be a Frog! by Dev Petty
I Will Chomp You! by Jory John
I Yam a Donkey! by Cece Bell
Imaginary Fred by Eoin Colfer
Lenny & Lucy by Philip C. Stead
Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett
The Little Snowplow by Lora Koehler
Look! by Jeff Mack
Loud Lula by Katy S. Duffield
Maple & Willow Apart by Lori Nichols
McToad Mows Tiny Island by Tom Angleberger
Moletown by Torben Kuhlmann
The Moon Is Going to Addy’s House by Ida Pearle
Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins
Mustache Baby Meets His Match by Bridget Heos
My Grandma’s a Ninja by Todd Tarpley
Nerdy Birdy by Aaron Reynolds
Night Animals by Gianna Marino
The Octopuppy by Martin McKenna
One Day, The End by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
One Family by George Shannon
One Today by Richard Blanco
One Word from Sophia by Jim Averbeck
Orion and the Dark by Emma Yarlett
Outstanding in the Rain by Frank Viva
The Plan by Alison Paul
Please, Open This Book! by Adam Lehrhaupt
Polar Bear’s Underwear by Tupera Tupera
Red: A Crayon Story by Michael Hall
Rhinos Don’t Eat Pancakes by Anna Kemp
Robo-Sauce by Adam Rubin
Roger Is Reading a Book by Koen van Biesen
Smick! by Doreen Cronin
Specs for Rex by Yasmeen Ismail
Spy Guy: The Not-So-Secret Agent by Jessica Young
Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer
Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry
Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev
Supertruck by Stephen Savage
Thank You and Good Night by Patrick McDonnell
That’s (Not) Mine by Anna Kang
The Thing About Yetis by Vin Vogel
Troll and the Oliver by Adam Stower
Two Is Enough by Janna Matthies
Under a Pig Tree: A History of the Noble Fruit by Margie Palatini
Vincent Paints His House by Tedd Arnold
Wait by Antoinette Portis
Waiting by Kevin Henkes
We Forgot Brock! by Carter Goodrich
What James Said by Liz Rosenberg
Wherever You Go by Pat Zietlow Miller
Where’s the Baboon? by Michael Escoffier
The Whisper by Pamela Zagarenski
The White Book: A Minibombo Book by Silvia Borando
Who Done It? by Olivier Tallec
Who Wants a Hug? / Who Needs a Bath? by Jeff Mack
Yak and Gnu by Juliette MacIver
Your Baby’s First Word Will Be DADA by Jimmy Fallon
Zen Socks by Jon J. Muth

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Paddington's Snowfest

Go ahead and mark your calendars!  Join everyone's favorite bear for Paddington's Snowfest on Saturday, January 9, 2016 at 10:30 a.m.  Paddington will be the guest of honor for an indoor snowball fight and snowman building.  He'll also help us make snowglobes and eat snowballs!  Yes, there will be edible snowballs . . . and marmalade too!  Paddington insisted!  No need to register (or bundle up) for this snow event.  Simply follow the stars to frosty fun.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Keep a Reading Journal

Several years ago, I made a New Year's resolution to keep a reading journal.  Luckily, it was a resolution that I kept the entire year . . . and the next and the next and the next.  I don't think I'll ever stop!  Reading journal entries can include a brief plot summary, a memorable quote, a list of new or interesting words, drawings inspired by the book, or your reaction to the story.  My journal helps me really absorb the books I read.  The entries also help jog my memory when I'm ready to tackle subsequent books in a series.  This is especially helpful when your favorite authors take their sweet time writing their next book.  So, go ahead, make 2016 the Year of the Book Journal!

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Reading 12.0: A Year in Reading

Are you in a reading rut?  Do you find yourself choosing the same kinds of books over and over and over?  Diversify your reading in 2016!

  • January
    Read a book published in the same year you were born.
  • February
    Read a book recommended on a blog.
  • March
    Read a book that has been made into a movie.
  • April
    Reread one of your favorite books.
  • May
    Read a book from another country.
  • June
    Read a classic that you've never read.
  • July
    Read a book you found on the library's GoodReads account.
  • August
    Read a genre or format you don't usually read.
  • September
    Read a book from an opposing viewpoint.
  • October
    Read a selection from a local book club.
  • November
    Read an award winner.
  • December
    Read someone else's favorite book.

(These recommendations come from RA Showcase: A Year in Reading Suggestions by Alene Moroni, a Booklist article first published on April 9, 2014).

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture