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Library Blog

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

Some Writer: The Story of E. B. White

School Library Journal did a terrific, radiant job describing Melissa Sweet's latest biography.

"Elwyn Brooks White began his lifelong love affair with words at an early age. He published poems and stories while still a boy and went on to write cartoon captions, essays, reportorial pieces, and a great many letters, mainly on his manual typewriter, always with a dog or two by his side. Probably best known as a decades-long contributor to The New Yorker and the author of classic children’s books Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan, White also famously revised and expanded The Elements of Style, originally written by William Strunk Jr., his English professor at Cornell. Author, artist, and fellow Mainer Melissa Sweet brings White’s vivacious personality to life for young readers and covers his 86 years in her 176-page biography. She shares many of his words and ideas and riffs on them in her glorious full-color collage artwork. Sweet includes loads of photographs, sketches, and family realia for readers to pore over and appreciate. Some Writer! The Story of E. B. White is bound to be one of the biggest books of the fall season."

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Katiem

Ashes -- The Grand Finale in The Seeds of America Trilogy

Return to the American Revolution in this blistering conclusion to the trilogy that began with the bestselling National Book Award Finalist Chains and continued with Forge, which The New York Times called “a return not only to the colonial era but to historical accuracy.”   If you haven't read either book yet, stop reading this blog.  I would hate to spoil your future reading experience.

Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson
As the Revolutionary War rages on, Isabel and Curzon have narrowly escaped Valley Forge—but their relief is short-lived. Before long they are reported as runaways, and the awful Bellingham is determined to track them down. With purpose and faith, Isabel and Curzon march on, fiercely determined to find Isabel’s little sister Ruth, who is enslaved in a Southern state—where bounty hunters are thick as flies. Heroism and heartbreak pave their path, but Isabel and Curzon won’t stop until they reach Ruth, and then freedom.  

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Katiem

Creepy Crawlies in Our Kidz Kitchen

Usually, you do NOT want bugs in your kitchen . . . especially when you're actually making something to eat.  But our next big Saturday event, Fly Guy Kidz Kitchen, is an exception to this rule.   Fly Guy will be in our youth program room on Saturday, October 8, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. to help us make creepy crawly snacks.  We'll be preparing a 3-course meal of Earthworm Salad, Caterpillar Ka-bobs and Spider Donuts.  And we'll wash it all down with bug juice, of course!  Kidz Kitchen chefs will also get a Fly Guy head piece to wear while they design their own bug apron.  You do not have to register for this fun event.  Simply follow the stars to our Kidz Kitchen.  

DON'T FORGET!
Check out Fly Guy books by Tedd Arnold before or after the party.  You can find them under E  ARN  BEGINNING READER.

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Katiem

Marta! Big & Small

Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15-October 15, 2016, and this weekend is the 14th annual Fiesta Birmingham, Alabama's largest celebration of Hispanic culture and heritage.  Representatives from Hoover Public Library will be at Linn Park in Birmingham, and we hope you will too!  Looking for another way to honor Hispanic Heritage Month?  Try this great new bilingual picture book by Jen Arena, illustrated by Angela Dominguez.

Marta! Big & Small
Marta is una niña, an ordinary girl . . . with some extraordinary animal friends! As Marta explores the jungle, she knows she's bigger than a bug, smaller than an elephant, and faster than a turtle. But then she meets the snake, who thinks Marta is sabrosa—tasty, very tasty! But Marta is ingeniosa, a very clever girl, and she outsmarts the snake with hilarious results. This fun read-aloud teaches little ones to identify opposites and animals and learn new words.

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Katiem

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Ransom Riggs wrote an extremely popular novel called Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.  Now, Tim Burton has turned it into what is sure to be an extremely popular movie.  It opens this weekend.

"When Jake discovers clues to a mystery that spans alternate realities and times, he uncovers a secret refuge known as Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As he learns about the residents and their unusual abilities, Jake realizes that safety is an illusion, and danger lurks in the form of powerful, hidden enemies. Jake must figure out who is real, who can be trusted, and who he really is."

Our teen librarian Wendy is taking a field trip to Carmike Cinemas at Patton Creek to see the movie, and you can go too!  For FREE!  Our Movie Night Out will be Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at 5 p.m.  If you're a teen, we will pay for your ticket.  But you must sign up because space is limited!   Register online or by phone (444-7826). 

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Katiem

Picture Book to the Rescue!

I just LOVE Mike Austin picture books. Last year, I was particularly taken with Fire Engine No 9. It shadowed a fire engine and its crew through a busy day, telling the story using mostly sound words. This year, Austin follows up with Rescue Squad No 9, which tracks a boat that rescues a girl and her dog when their sailboat is caught in a storm. This new story also uses onomatopoeia and repetitive vocabulary to emphasize the story's action. And there is plenty of action. It's an intense rescue mission after all!

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Katiem

Don't Keep This a Secret

Trenton Lee Stewart, the author of The Mysterious Benedict Society series, has a new book out this week!  He invites readers to join the adventure, decipher the clues, and ask themselves the question: Is knowing a secret a gift or a curse?

The Secret Keepers
Parkour practitioner Reuben Pedley has been having a hard time since his mom lost her job and they had to move to a different (and poorer) part of the city. Friendless, he spends his days avoiding the Directions, the enforcement officers of the mysterious Smoke, who runs the city. On one of these afternoons, he finds a very interesting object after getting himself stuck on a ledge while he was supposed to be at home. What he discovers crammed in the masonry of a wall is an extremely old pocket watch that he is certain is worth a large sum and might just help him and his mother leave the poor part of town. Instead, he realizes that the watch has a little bit of magic in it, which gives him a special ability. Regrettably, the Directions learn of the presence of the watch, and they will stop at nothing to bring it to the Smoke. Only Reuben and his newfound friends have what it takes to solve the mystery of the watch and save their city.

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Katiem

Banned Books Week 2016

Banned Books Week is here!  Defend the First Amendment and read a banned book September 25-October 1, 2016.  You can choose from the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2015 (click here to watch the video) or one of the titles featured on the many lists available on the official Banned Books Week website.  They have lists about frequently challenged children's books, teen books, books by authors of color, books with diverse content, and classics.

What else can you do?
Contribute to the Banned Books Week conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #BannedBooksWeek.
Find out what authors have to think about Banned Books Week.  Take a look at guest author posts on the Intellectual Freedom blog.

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History of Fun Stuff

You think you don't like history?  The History of Fun Stuff series will change your mind!  This Level 3 Ready to Read series goes back in time and behind the scenes to teach you the cool history of all sorts of your favorite things.  The newest one comes out on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, and it's called The Colorful Story of Comics.  

"Do you know how comics, graphic novels, and manga came to be? Or that they have their roots in cave drawings? Did you know that Benjamin Franklin is credited as having the first cartoon in an American newspaper? Ever wonder who put the fun in the Funny Pages? Become a History of Fun Stuff Expert on the funny history of comics!"

Find the other titles in this series in the Kid Zone!

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Katiem

Blogging and Coding How-to

The Super Skills series has two new books to help you become more tech-savvy in our technology-driven world.  Perfect for beginners and near-experts alike!

How to Be a Blogger and Vlogger in 10 Easy Lessons by Shane Birley (2016)
J  006.7  BIR
This brisk read provides 10 lessons for those interested in bringing their voices to the internet, covering blogs, vlogs, podcasts, and everything that goes with them. The book expands upon these lessons in each chapter. For example, the “Record Your Podcast” chapter not only covers basic podcasting formats, but highlights the anatomy of a podcast, how long shows should be, theme-music development, and more. The book also features a section dedicated to internet safety, one all kids should read regardless of their online ambitions. The graphics and charts are serviceable, featuring racially diverse children and dutifully breaking up the chunks of text in a format that’s easy on the eyes. A chapter focused on developing audience is especially helpful to those looking to get their voices heard. But above all, the book positions online expression as equal to any other form of artistic expression: maintaining a web series is just as valid as photography or painting in the eyes of the book’s audience

How to Code in 10 Easy Lessons by Sean McManus (2015)
J  794.81  COD
The spiral binding on this book is completely necessary, as it enables the book to lay flat for readers to consult while working on their Scratch programs via computer—following along with the book without having the Scratch website open would be a confusing undertaking. The first couple of sections provide background on Scratch’s purpose and why one would program in it: it easily makes programs with graphics, and it does so while the programmer is online, requiring no software installations. Then programming teacher and prolific code-guide writer McManus hits his stride in guiding readers through increasingly complicated code. He takes readers from simple quiz games to games in which the player’s character jumps between moving platforms while dodging enemies. The book’s full-color design takes advantage of Scratch’s very visual, color-coded format, but the true-to-screen reproductions falter with some glossy code images of black text on dark colors, which are much harder to read than their computer-backlit equivalents. The final sections cover the basics of HTML tags and an impressive demystification of CSS, with the goal of embedding the Scratch game in a personal website.

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Katiem

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