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Library Blog

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

Deep Roots: How Trees Sustain Our Planet

National Arbor Day is always celebrated on the last Friday in April . . . which is today, April 28, 2017!  So let's talk about (or blog about) how trees are completely amazing and super important.  

Deep Roots: How Trees Sustain Our Planet by Nikki Tate (2016)
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Most of us see trees every day, and too often we take them for granted. Trees provide us with everything from food, fuel and shelter to oxygen and filtered water. Deep Roots celebrates the central role trees play in our lives, no matter where we live. Each chapter in Deep Roots focuses on a basic element—water, air, fire and earth—and explores the many ways in which we need trees to keep our planet healthy and livable. From making rain to producing fruit to feeding fish, trees play an integral role in maintaining vibrant ecosystems all over the world. Facts about trees and hands-on activities throughout help readers discover ways to get to know our giant neighbors better.

Trees by Lemniscates (2017)
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Trees change through the seasons — springing to life, bearing fruit, and losing their leaves before a period of sleep. They clean the air we breathe, provide seeds and homes for creatures, and extend their shade to everyone equally. Throughout all these changes, trees are constant, patiently learning to grow and flourish wherever they might be. Trees is a reverent and poetic homage that invites the reader to take a closer look at these magnificent beings.

Target Age: 
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Katiem

Staff Pick: The Stranger in the Woods

Have you ever experienced the eerie feeling of being watched when actually you were supposed to be all alone? If so, you have this in common with almost an entire small town in Northern Maine. For nearly 30 years, residents of Rome, Maine experienced this feeling and attributed it, along with a constant string of strange break-ins, to someone they’d never seen and only known as The North Pond Hermit.

After purposefully “losing” himself in the wilderness of Maine in 1986, 20-year-old Christopher Knight did not reemerge into society again until his eventual arrest in 2013. Michael Finkel’s The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit provides an intimate look into Knight’s existence before, during and after his decades long hiatus. Interviews with family members, residents of the area, officers who made finding The Hermit their life’s work, and even Knight himself allow interesting insight into society’s view of solidarity and the sheer diversity of human nature.

Michael Finkel points out that “most of us feel like something is missing from our lives. And I wondered then if Knight's journey was to seek it. But life isn't about searching endlessly to find what's missing. It's about learning to live with the missing parts.” Though I doubt most of us will abandon our lives and adopt the forests of Hoover as our new home, I think many readers will be pleasantly surprised to be able to relate to Chris Knight and some of his motivations for wanting to escape today’s fast-paced way of life.  

If you’re interested in reading more about lifestyles of seclusion in the wilderness, you might also enjoy:

Jon Krakauer’s Into The Wild

Michael Sims’s The Adventures of Henry Thoreau : A Young Man's Unlikely Path to Walden Pond

-Kim

Target Age: 
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Denio

Feel the Beat During National Dance Week


April 24-May 3, 2017 is National Dance Week.  Take advantage of this great opportunity to celebrate dance and promote fun fitness!  Be inspired by Marilyn Singer's newest poetry collection.

Feel the Beat: Dance Poems That Zing from Salsa to Swing (2017)
Marilyn Singer has crafted a vibrant collection of poems celebrating all forms of social dance from samba and salsa to tango and hip-hop. The rhythm of each poem mimics the beat of the dances’ steps. Together with Kristi Valiant’s dynamic illustrations, the poems create a window to all the ways dance enters our lives and exists throughout many cultures. This ingenious collection will inspire readers to get up and move!

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture
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Katiem

One Proud Penny

April 22-29, 2017 is Money Smart Week.  The American Library Association partners with the Federal Reserve Bank to provide programming and resources that help members of our community better manage their finances.  And it is never too young to start!  There's a great new book to help you begin a money conversation with the young people in your life.  Take a look!

One Proud Penny by Randy Siegel, illustrated by Serge Bloch (2017)
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A penny’s rough-and-tumble escapades lead to unexpected ends in Siegel and Bloch’s engaging picture book.  The protagonist penny’s journey begins in Philadelphia, where the United States Mint manufactures most U.S. pennies. “Born” in 1983, Siegel’s diminutive protagonist visits different parts of the U.S. spanning Portland, Maine, to Portland, Oregon, “plus Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico,” and including a garage floor in Green Bay and a stamp machine in Ohio. Most of the time people just plain overlook this plucky one-cent coin. “I hated being alone and forgotten.” After the penny ends up in a jar with other unfortunate coins, it reminisces about the past, when things weren’t so expensive. Though Siegel’s text often dwells on the neglect and (comically overwrought) abuse inflicted on the penny-protagonist, the author does also appeal to the coin’s historical roots, sprinkling in moments of levity and informative goodness. (One marvelous spread even outlines the different metals used to create pennies throughout the years.) Luckily, Bloch’s off-kilter, at times almost grotesque, pen-and-Photoshop illustrations provide some much-needed chuckles, featuring various people and animals with contorted faces and wacky scenarios. Still, it’s all about the wonders of the penny, and Siegel’s protagonist proves an excellent ambassador. “Some folks think pennies are worthless, but I know we are worth a lot.” Here’s a book sure to convince some readers.  Worth every penny.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture
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Katiem

When the World Is Dreaming

April 23-29, 2017 is National Sleep Awareness Week.  The National Sleep Foundation uses this week to remind Americans how sleep affects their daily lives and reinforces the many benefits associated with making healthy sleep habits a priority.  You can follow their campaign on Facebook and Twitter.  You can find many books at Hoover Public Library to help you learn more about sleep and its importance, both for you and for your kids.  Right now, I'd like to highlight a newer picture book that would be a good way to start the discussion with your child.

When the World Is Dreaming by Rita Gray, illustrated by Kenard Pak (2016)
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Take a peek into the moonlit world of deer, rabbits, and other woodland creatures as they ready for a good night. The author Rita Gray poetically recounts their ordinary real-life resting places while revealing their anything-but-ordinary dreams.

Target Age: 
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Katiem

This is the Earth

Saturday, April 22, 2017 is Earth Day.  This year's focus is all about environmental and climate literacy.  So use these brand-new books to fill your brain with knowledge about our amazing planet!

 And stay tuned for even more great book recommendations in our upcoming Information Foundations, the annual blog series featuring our nonfiction summer reading list.  Week 4 focuses on Earth, Our Home

Katiem's picture
Author: 
Katiem

Once Upon a Time

Watch the latest episode of Once Upon a Time with fellow fans!  We'll meet in the Shakespeare Room downstairs at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 24, 2017.  There will also be a cool craft and fun snacks inspired by the series.  You don't have to register for this event, but you do have to be at least 14 years old to attend.

Make sure you stop by the Teen Spot afterwards to grab a book inspired by fairytales.  You can access a list of some of our favorites by clicking here.  You can also stop by the desk and ask for a recommendation.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture
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Katiem

The Magnolia Story

The Magnolia Story is an endearing walk through Chip and Joanna’s journey to their Fixer Upper television show fame. Narrated by Joanna, and Chip too with his usual style of popping in and out, this book takes you to the start of their relationship, the first houses they flipped, and the beginnings of a new family. Though this book isn’t a behind-the-scenes of Fixer Upper, it tells everything that came before the show and gives you an interesting peek into their past. Joanna doesn’t leave out the hard times in their business or their relationships, as, with each challenge they conquer, a new one always seems to leap up. But through it all they share their philosophy for life and how they choose to thrive rather than survive. It feels like your sharing a laid back conversation with them. Their charm and friendliness shines through the pages. As feel good biographies go, this one does the trick, and who doesn’t need a little Chip and Jo in their lives every once in a while?

Don’t forget to check out The Magnolia Journal magazine in Nonfiction to get recipes, stories and new ideas from Chip and Joanna monthly!

-Stephanie

 

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A Post About Compost

It’s that time of year when a lot of people start to plan their spring gardening projects. This season, consider starting a compost pile in your home or yard! Compost is made of recyclable materials that you might encounter every day, such as coffee grounds and filters, vegetable and fruit scraps, shreds of paper, dry leaves, and more. Over time, these materials breakdown and combined with some soil can become a valuable mixture for your garden. In addition to helping your green thumb, composting is environmentally sound and helps to reduce waste in landfills. Getting started with extreme recycling or composting would be a great weekend project to engage the whole family, but also is easy enough for one gardener to tackle alone. The Hoover Library has books available on how to get your compost bins up and running! Been composting for a while? We also have books for more experience composters, looking to take their recycling to the next level. Visit us, or call the Nonfiction department at your Hoover Library and ask us about our gardening collection and composting information.

 

Practical Perma-Culture by Jessi Bloom and Dave Boehnlein              

Organic Gardening for Dummies by Ann Whitman        

Vermiculture by Donald Connely

Compost by Kenneth Thompson

Target Age: 
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Noraf

Insatiable Readers – April Fools! It’s Always Good to Laugh, April 2017

The library’s Readers’s Group discussed Humor books on Saturday, April 15.  The titles presented are listed below:

Best.State.Ever. by Dave Barry

Henri, le Chat Noir by William Braden

In Such Good Company by Carol Burnett

Egghead by Bo Burnham

Superficial by Andy Cohen

I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley

The Liberal Redneck Manifesto by Trae Crowder

Across the Pond by Terry Eagleton

Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

Little Victories by Jason Gay

Howl from the Editors of Bark

People I Want to Punch in the Throat by Jen Mann

Yes, My Accent is Real by Kunal Nayyar

Born A Crime by Trevor Noah

Texts from Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae

The Only Pirate at the Party by Lindsey Stirling

Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

The Noble Hustle by Colson Whitehead

Cake Wrecks by Jen Yates

Feed your need for great nonfiction titles and bookish conversations!  Join us in the Plaza Reading Room on Saturday, May 27 for a “Nonfiction Summer Reading Preview.”  There will be free coffee and lots of reading fun!

-Pam

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Noraf

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