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Chasing King's Killer

Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  April 2018 will mark the 50th anniversary of his assassination.  There are lots of great new books being published, but these two particularly caught my attention.  They also caught the attention of the Washington Post.

Chasing King's Killer by James L. Swanson (January 2, 2018)
As he did in Chasing Lincoln’s Killer and “The President Has Been Shot!”, Swanson offers an absorbing chronicle of the lead-up to and aftermath of the assassination of an American leader. After a concise account of King’s upbringing in a close-knit, religious Atlanta family and a childhood lived under Jim Crow, Swanson tracks his speedy ascent to becoming the “beloved living, breathing symbol” of the civil rights movement. Photographs, extensive quotations from a variety of sources (press reports, King’s writings and speeches, court records), and other documentation (including a previously unpublished letter from J. Edgar Hoover that underscores the FBI’s harassment of King) provide an immediate look at his pivotal role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, lunch-counter sit-ins, and the 1963 March on Washington. Just as compelling is Swanson’s insight into the background of King’s enigmatic killer, escaped convict James Earl Ray. The details of Ray’s efforts to transform and disguise his appearance, the planning of the assassination, and his flight from authorities are riveting and disturbing. [from Publisher Weekly]
Watch this short video and see the author promote the book.

Martin Rising: Requiem for a King by Andrea Davis Pinkney (January 2, 2018)
The grim task of writing about Dr. King’s assassination is handled with great tenderness by this husband-and-wife team. Andrea Davis Pinkney’s 39 poems sing, exhort, console, and illuminate. She explains the strike by sanitation workers that brought King to Memphis (“Come,/ please come./ The strikers need you”), describes King’s exhaustion, and celebrates his prophetic last speech (“I’ve seen the promised land,” he says. “I may not get there with you”). Brian Pinkney paints with gentle, rounded strokes, alternating portraits with atmospheric, abstract washes. He shows King adjusting the knot of his tie on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, his gaze distant. Suddenly, there’s a “Pop!” Deep emotion finds expression in impassioned bursts: “Angry fists alight with fire!/ Smashing glass!” The fairy tale hen, Henny Penny, appears throughout to warn and comfort in anguished moments: “She tries, oh, she tries/ to fly/ in the bullet’s face.” In the end, King’s legacy offers redemption and hope: “And with love, we all shall rise.” Written with an eye toward choral reading, this is a unique and remarkable resource. [from Publisher Weekly]
Watch this short video to hear the author and illustrator promote the book.

Target Age: 
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Staff Picks 2017 -- Juvenile Nonfiction

This year's list highlights the wonders of the natural world and the wondrous creations of humankind.  Access a printable list by clicking here.

42 Is Not Just a Number: The Odyssey of Jackie Robinson, American Hero by Doreen Rappaport
Amazing Makerspace series by Kristina Holzweiss
     ​​​* Basic Machines     * Electricity     * Fliers     * Movers
Apex Predators: The World’s Deadliest Hunters, Past and Present
by Steve Jenkins
Balderdash!: John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children's Books by Michelle Markel
Beauty and the Beak: How Science, Technology, and a 3D-Printed Beak Rescued a Bald Eagle by Deborah Lee Rose & Jane Veltkamp
Before She Was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome
The Big Earth Book by Mark Brake
Blast Back! series by Nancy Ohlin
     * The Civil Rights Movement     * The Space Race     * The Statue of Liberty
Books! Books! Books!: Explore the Amazing Collection of the British Library by Mick Manning & Brita Granström
Bound by Ice: A True North Pole Survival Story by Sandra Neil Wallace & Rich Wallace
Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics by Margarita Engle
Danza!: Amalia Hernández and El Ballet Folklórico de México by Duncan Tonatiuh
Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion by Chris Barton & Victo Ngai
Dinosaur Atlas: Amazing Facts, Fold-Out Maps and Life-Size Fossils by Anne Rooney & James Gilleard
Dogs: From Predator to Protector by Andy Hirsch
Fallingwater: The Building of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Masterpiece by Marc Harshman & Anna Egan Smucker
Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws That Affect Us Today by Cynthia Levinson & Sanford Levinson
Feel the Beat: Dance Poems That Zing from Salsa to Swing by Marilyn Singer
Grand Canyon by Jason Chin
The Hawk of the Castle: A Story of Medieval Falconry by Danna Smith
Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers
How Animals Build by Lonely Planet Kids
How to Be an Elephant by Katherine Roy
How to Survive as a Firefly by Kristen Foote
I Am Sacagawea by Brad Meltzer
If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams
I’m Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups by Chris Harris
Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal'd by Mary Losure
John Ronald's Dragons: The Story of J. R. R. Tolkien by Caroline McAlister
Karl, Get Out of the Garden!: Carolus Linnaeus and the Naming of Everything by Anita Sanchez
Lesser Spotted Animals: The Coolest Creatures You’ve Never Heard Of by Martin Brown
Let's Clap, Jump, Sing, and Shout; Dance, Spin, and Turn It Out!: Games, Songs and Stories from an African-American Childhood by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai
Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines by Jeanne Walker Harvey
Maya Lin: Thinking with Her Hands by Susan Goldman Rubin
Moonwalk: The Story of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing by Adrian Buckley & David Jenkins
My Awesome Summer: by P. Mantis by Paul Meisel
One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes
Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story by Suzanne Slade
Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth
Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner
The Quest for Z: The True Story of Explorer Percy Fawcett and a Lost City in the Amazon by Greg Pizzoli
The Quilts of Gee’s Bend by Susan Goldman Rubin
Red Cloud: A Lakota Story of War and Surrender by S. D. Nelson
Runny Babbit Returns: Another Billy Sook by Shel Silverstein
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Case of R.B. G. vs. Inequality by Jonah Winter
Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford
The Search for Olinguito: Discovering a New Species by Sandra Markle
A Smart Girl’s Guide: Getting It Together: How to Organize Your Space, Your Stuff, Your Time — and Your Life by Erin Falligant
Soldier Song: A True Story of the Civil War by Debbie Levy
Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees by Mary Beth Leatherdale and Eleanor Shakespeare
The Street Beneath My Feet by Charlotte Guillain & Yuval Zommer
This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from Around the World by Matt Lamothe
Top Dogs: True Stories of Canines That Made History by Elizabeth MacLeod
Trudy's Big Swim: How Gertrude Ederle Swam the English Channel and Took the World by Storm by Sue Macy
Two Truths and a Lie: It’s Alive! by Ammi-Joan Paquette & Laurie Ann Thompson
Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Shenkin
Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman
Women in Sports: 50 Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win by Rachel Ignotofsky
The World Is Not a Rectangle: Portrait of Architect Zaha Hadid by Jeanette Winter
You Should Meet series
     Duke Kahanamoku by Laurie Calkhoven      Katherine Johnson by Thea Feldman
The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson
Your Happiest You: The Care & Keeping of Your Mind and Spirit by Judy Woodburn

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Staff Picks 2017 -- Teen Fiction

Our favorite teen titles continue to reflect the national trends -- alternating mostly between fantasy/sci-fi/dystopian and gritty realistic fiction.  Access the printable list by clicking here.

American Street by Ibi Zoboi
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson
Dare Mighty Things by Heather Kaczynski
The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman
The Dire King by William Ritter
Disappeared by Francisco X. Stork
Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham
The Empress by S. J. Kincaid
An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
Far from the Tree by Robin Benway
Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh
Flight Risk: A Novel by Jennifer Fenn
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Friendship and family seem to be the dominant theme in this year's list.  Which means bravery is a pretty important theme, too.  Access the printable list by clicking here.

All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson
Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan
Armstrong & Charlie by Steven B. Frank
Ban This Book by Alan Gratz
Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
Big & Little Questions (According to Jo Wren Byrd) by Julie Bowe
Brave by Svetlana Chmakova
Bravelands: Broken Pride by Erin Hunter
Caleb and Kit by Beth Vrabel
Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire by Susan Tan
Cyclone by Doreen Cronin
The Danger Gang and the Pirates of Borneo! by Stephen Bramucci
A Dog Like Daisy by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb
The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya
Elsie Mae Has Something to Say by Nancy J. Cavanaugh
The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish
Family Game Night and Other Catastrophes by Mary E. Lambert
Flying Lessons & Other Stories edited by Ellen Oh
Forever, or a Long, Long Time by Caela Carter
The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson
Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly
Henry and the Chalk Dragon by Jennifer Trafton
I Love You, Michael Collins by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
The Incredible Magic of Being by Kathryn Erskine
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling
Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson
The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

The winter meeting of our book group for adults who love to read children's literature will focus on our staff favorites of 2017.  We're calling it Kid Lit Coffee Break: Premium Blend.  Mark your calendars for Sunday, January 7, 2018 at 3 p.m.  Miss Katie Jane (that's me!) will be sharing some of our favorite picture books, juvenile fiction and nonfiction, and teen novels published in 2017.  (Our full lists will be available soon.  Keep your eyes on this blog!)  There will be free coffee and desserts from the library's East 59 Café, and door prizes will consist of brand-new copies of some of the featured titles.  Registration is not necessary.  Simply follow the stars through the Kid Zone to the Youth Program Room.

January 7 will also be the first Sunday with our extended hours.  We will now be open from 1-6 p.m. on Sundays.


Teen Services

Teen Volunteer Guidelines

Volunteer applications are taken year round, but opportunities are available on a limited basis. During the school year times are available for special programs only. Applications will be held on file until opportunities arise. Volunteers are needed more during the summer to help with the library’s Summer Reading Program.

Summer applications are accepted from March 1 to May 15.  All applicants must attend one of the following training sessions; Friday, April 28 at 4:30 p.m. or Monday, May 1 at 6:30 p.m.