April 26, 2017

Check Out These New Titles In Adult Services!

by Jeff Speck

Available in: Print

A city planner by trade, author Jeff Speck has spent his career advocating for smart growth and sustainable design and has written a truly energetic and entertaining book about the compelling case for walkability in our cities.  Amply researched and well written, Speck convincingly makes the argument that great streets matter more than buildings, and more importantly, people who walk on them are far more crucial than the cars that are driven on them. 

by Mustafa Akyol

Available in: Print

Mustafa Akyol’s newest volume is an intriguing exploration of the Muslim perception of Jesus based upon Middle Eastern history and a well-developed understanding of all three Abrahamic religions.  In this fascinating bridge between Christianity and Islam, the author delves into the divide between the Christian theology developed by Paul and that developed by James and the similarities with the Quran’s theological concept of Jesus. Utilizing a conversational style, the author puts forward an invaluable review for readers interested in the intertwining history of the Muslim and Christian religions or understanding more about Islam in general.

by George W. Bush
Available in: Print

Growing out of former President George W. Bush’s ongoing work with the George W. Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative, Portraits of Courage is a compilation of 98 full-color portraits of military personnel that have served this country since September 11, 2001.  Accompanying each of the President’s paintings is a profile of each of the wounded veterans detailing how each subject dealt with setback and then mounted a recovery, highlighting their families' role in the veterans' adjustment to civilian life.

April 22, 2017

As Exuberant as a Group of Third Graders

I recently spent time with sixty-plus bright, kind, darling third graders. Their teachers told me they were studying figurative language, so the stage was perfectly set for some metaphor-simile-onomatopoeic-fun.

Our first book got us off to a rollicking start when we unitedly answered the question posed by three cartooned cows in the title, "Is Everyone Ready For Fun?”.  And fun we had as we joined the bovine trio as they "plopped, danced, wiggled and (finally) napped on a sofa belonging to a rather irritated chicken.

At first glance, this gem of book seems so simple - four animals, one sofa and groups of basic words that repeat from beginning to end. But like all fine picture books, there is more than what appears at first look. Good books change us in some way. Our first book made us laugh. Our next one made us think.

Our second book was a visual feast of everyday objects used as clever illustrations depicting a typical family that was ripe with figurative language. Where else could one find a dad who is as jumpy as a spring or a dog that smells like dirty socks?  A salute to author/illustrator Hanoch Piven for his fine work that left us all ready to make our own family portraits, punctuated with metaphors and similes.  

Our first book made us laugh, our next book made us think, so we were primed and ready for a book to touch our hearts – “All The Places to Love” by Patricia MacLachlan. Her words are both beautiful and evocative. We lingered over phrases that included, “black crows that swaggered like pirates.” And Mike Wimmer's oil painted illustrations left us breathless – their realistic details are stunning.

It was hard for me to leave those third graders. That's how I feel whenever I'm with children - of all ages. They have so much to give us, so much to teach us, as long as we are willing to do our part. We must remind ourselves to stop and give them our time and attention. Their needs are different than ours as adults. They need more than a quick response and then be sent on their merry way. They need and deserve our time, attention and enjoyment.  It’s the only way they’re going to grow into the adults our community and world need.

So to those sweet third graders and their amazingly talented, loving teachers, I say, "Thank you. Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your day."   It was exactly what I needed and deeply appreciated. And my invitation to you is always open ... come see me at the library. Let's spend some time together.

Kathleen Ahern
Children's Librarian

April 19, 2017

Check Out These New Books in Youth Services!

Animal Inn, A Furry Fiasco
by Paul Dubois Jacobs

Can the Animal Inn survive a lizard, a wizard and maybe even a blizzard? All paws are on deck to be sure the Inn survives whatever comes its way.

by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

Two girls who certainly aren’t the best of friends become the shared center of both family’s attentions when Naomi’s dad starts dating Naomi’s mom.


by Jessica Day George
The latest must-read installment in the Castle Glower series.  This time, a magic ship helps Celie and her family experience rousing adventures on the high seas.

April 12, 2017

Check Out These New Titles in Adult Services!

by Emily Fridlund
Available in: Print

Emily’s Fridlund’s moody new novel is part psychological thriller and part coming-of-age story about an adolescent’s deeply life-altering experiences over the course of a year in northern Minnesota.  The History of Wolves does a great job of blurring the lines between genres--isn't a typical thriller any more than it's a typical coming-of-age novel.  The author’s greatest accomplishment is her portrayal of the main character, who you encounter as both a teenager and a still emotionally wounded adult.  The History of Wolves is well-written and effectively portrays both the eerie and beautiful story of an indelible character.

Anything is Possible
by Elizabeth Strout
Coming Soon in: Print

Elizabeth Strout’s Anything is Possible is a beautifully written collection of short stories related to the author’s previously popular novel, My Name is Lucy Barton.  Rather than being written from a first-person perspective, Strout’s newest collection depicts small-town life from multiple perspectives, conveying a whole range of human emotions through the author’s signature use of spare style and careful words.  Resonating with its intensity, depth, and vividness Anything is Possible demonstrates the heartbreaking and the joyful in ordinary life.

by Lisa See
Available in: Print

Lisa See’s riveting exercise in fictional anthropology explores a little known facet of Chinese culture—the Akha “ethnic minority” that inhabit the rugged, less accessible area of China.  Over the course of 20 years, the reader follows the protagonist as she marries and is widowed, escapes her village, becomes a tea seller, and marries a wealthy mogul, and moves to California.  Throughout the narrative, the author expounds on topics such as international adoption, tea arcana, and Akha lore that creates an engrossing tale of human drama. 

April 05, 2017

Check Out These New Books in Youth Services!

Beyond Measure
by Vicki Abeles

From the director of “Race to Nowhere” Abeles presents information and solutions on how to rescue a generation of children who are overscheduled, over-tested and underestimated.

from PBS

Award winning DVD highlighting the struggles and choices facing transgender youth and their families.

by Herve Tullet

From the author/illustrator of “Mix It Up” comes this treasure of a book for helping children of all ages experience the joy and beauty of hands-on art.