PreK Bits - "G" is for Grandparents !

Ms. Rachel did stories about grandparents @ Malletts Creek Branch this week.

BUNNY MONEY ... Ruby and Max go to buy a birthday gift for grandmother.
“Peel The Banana” was our activity rhyme. We prepared "Fruit Salad" for the party. We peeled ... apples, oranges, bananas .... mmmm ... and then avacados for the guacamole dip!
"The Lonely Little Candle" is an original story the Librarians pass around. The grandpa knows what's missing ... the "Little Candle" for the party!
There is not a book to tell this story. You need to remember it (and make up the parts you can't remember). =-)

For more stories with GrandParents in them ... try these favorites:
The HELLO GOODBYE WINDOW … the window is at Grandpa and Grandma’s house.
TWO IS ENOUGH … to have family fun together.
GRANDPA’S GIRLS … love to visit his farm … and share memories.
HOW To TAKE YOUR GRANDMOTHER To The MUSEUM ... a guide book that can also relate to Grandfathers!
MR FRANK ... grandfather moves in with the family and he has a special talent!
The LINES ON NANA’S FACE … each set of wrinkles reminds a child of favorite things they have done together.
OUR GRANDPARENTS: A Global Album … a beautiful multi-cultural photo essay of grandparents with grandchildren around the world.
HERE COMES GRANDMA is a story of all the transportation Grandma uses to get to her Grandson
OR … choose stories from GrandMothers and GrandFathers In Picture Books.

If you are a SKYPE grandparent, you can pick a story from Ms Rachel's Favorite Books to Read to Babies and read it to your grandbaby ... near or far.

Contemporary Fiction by African Authors

With the continuous popularity of books such as Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, fiction about modern Africa is becoming ever more prominent. These novels are a great learning tool to connect readers with stories and experiences they may not necessarily be familiar with. Although these authors may seem hard to come across, the library has you covered with some great recommendations. Be sure to check out this list for more modern novels written by African authors! Here are 2 intriguing titles to get you started.

Named one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post is Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue. Jende, a struggling Cameroonian immigrant lives in Harlem with his wife and son. When he finds an opportunity working for the Lehman Brothers in New York, he is certain his luck has improved but soon learns that everything is not what it seems. With the 2008 financial crisis serving as a backdrop, read and find out how Jende learns what it takes to make it in America, all while keeping his family together. The novel is currently being featured as apart of Oprah's book club.

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta tells a unique story about Africa. Amid a perilous interstate civil war, a young Nigerian girl is sent to a neighboring village for safety. During her stay, she meets a refugee girl of a different ethnic background and quickly falls in love. Due to cultural norms, she faces negative stigmas placed on her and her new found love leaving her to make an important decision. Does she make the choice to dishonor her host family or to fall in love? This novel was featured on NPR's Best Books of 2015 list.

we are never meeting in real life: essays

Blogger, Samantha Irby, has written a compelling, and wickedly funny book of essays, we are never meeting in real life.

Irby's essays chronicle her life in a contemporary writing style that pays attention to form, but skirts scholarly essay convention, (fine by me, let's read essays that mean something and say it in an interesting way).

She writes about her childhood, her college years, and the years she spends working at a veterinarian office.

Irby has experienced hardships that are often difficult to write about without sounding morose. However, Irby's talent as a comedian and writer is apparent in her candid and hilarious accounts of events like adapting a cat that she, and everyone else, hates.

we are never meeting in real life: essays, has been lauded by authors like Roxane Gay and Lindy West, and has been reviewed by organizations like Kirkus.

The Alphabet with Funk and Glam

Here are two new amazing small books to help adults learn the alphabet in style! Bowie A to Z and Prince A to Z each offer short bits of info about each musician, paired with whimsical illustrations. Written by Steve Wilde, The Life of an Icon From Alphabet Street to Jay Z and the The Life of an Icon from Aladdin Sane to Ziggy Stardust are both entertaining, quick reads with great illustrations.

As a fan of both artists I was delighted when I happened upon the Bowie title, and I squealed when I found out there was a Prince title as well. They would make great gifts or coffee table books.

Refuge: A Novel

At the beginning of Dina Nayeri’s expressive, well-crafted, second novel, Refuge, Dr. Bahman Hamidi sits outside a courtroom and watches the proceedings of the twelve divorce cases that proceed his. During this time, he reflects back on how he arrived at this point, the verge of ending his third marriage. He thinks of his first wife, and his son and daughter, who fled from Iran in 1987 to escape religious persecution after his wife converted to Christianity. Bahman is still plagued, in 2009, by the question of whether he did the right thing in letting them go, and in not joining them. He has only seen his family four times since they left. His daughter Niloo lives in Amsterdam with her husband, and it is her voice that narrates the alternating chapters of this book. We begin to understand her perspective on leaving Iran and her relationship to her father, on her vague memories of her early refugee years that instilled in her a “forever refugee feeling.” As the novel progresses, the story continues to jump back and forth between these decades and the points of view of Bahman and Niloo.

Refuge, rooted in the Arab Spring uprisings and the European migrant crisis, emphasises the ways in which being a refugee has marked Niloo for life. For example, when her debit card is declined while shopping for groceries in Amsterdam, due to bank error, she is shamed by the memory of her mother’s card being declined, of watching her mother put back all her food until she had only what she could pay for. “What Niloo feels is animal panic, the sensation of a world spitting her into another tier, one she has occupied before and that awaits her, that has missed her and knows she will be back.” This notion of having a foot in two worlds is a central theme in Nayeri’s book. One way Niloo manages this push and pull is to set up and live by a strict set of rules, going so far as to compose a list of written guidelines for marriage that she shares with her husband. Through this order, she strives to define and know herself, her exploration underscoring a merging of identities and cultures that may be crucial for many exiles. She meets a group Persian activists and asylum seekers, and finds herself beginning to investigate some of the choices she has made about her tightly structured life. Niloo is able to re-frame the complicated way in which she has seen her father, to realize that he has had his own struggles. The chapters that focus on Bahman provide us with a picture of a man whose life is complicated by his opium addiction, his politics, his ex-wives and his desire to see his grown children. Like Niloo, he is attempting to reconcile these disparate aspects of his reality.

The idea that one must look past the flaws of family members to seek some harmony lies at the heart of this father/daughter story. Refuge speaks to reinvention, finding new roots after being so uprooted, and to finding, perhaps embracing, the exiled parts of oneself.

Say Zoop! Or oh or ah.

If you're a fan of Herve Tullet's book Press Here, and other interactive picture books, here's a new one for you! Author and illustrator Tullet's newest, Say Zoop!, invites the reader to press along with words that coincide with each spot. It ends up being a hilarious adventure of colors and sounds as you go from page to page pressing and saying silly sounds louder and softer as you go.

If this sounds great, check out more Press Here readalikes and interactive books that are similar! This style of interactive books are really great to read together with the little ones.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #650, The Innocents Abroad

Ian Bassingthwaighte (UM, MFA, Helen Zell Writers' Program) won the Hopwood Novel Award in 2015 for Live from Cairo * *. This debut novel, set during the turbulent days after the January 25, 2011 uprising in Egypt, commonly referred to as The Arab Spring, is supported by Fulbright Program grant.

Cairo, 2011. President Mubarak is ousted from power, but for many people, Cairo is still a volatile, dangerous place. Dalia, an Iraqi refugee finds herself trapped in Egypt when her petition to join her husband Omran in the U.S. is denied. Hana, an Iraqi-American working at the U.N. Refugee Resettlement Office is assigned her case, and is desperate to help her. Neither one is unaware that Dalia's impulsive American attorney Charlie, is in love with his client, and is about to forge a not entirely legal plan to get her out. Meanwhile, Aos, Charlie’s translator and only friend, spends his days trying to help people through the system and his nights in Tahrir Square protesting against it.

As these well-meaning but ill-equipped individuals come together to help Dalia, laws are broken, friendships and marriages are tested, and lives are risked.

"The author paints a deep and empathetic picture of the inner struggles of his courageous, flawed characters, who in the midst of mortal danger and insurmountable odds, grapple with the most fundamental questions of right and wrong. The answers follow neither rules nor laws, making the climax to this novel breathtaking and heartrending." (Publishers Weekly)

Siobhan Fallon follows up her prizewinning short story collection with a debut novel - The Confusion of Languages *. While her stories focused on military spouses stateside, this novel is from the perspective of two wives of U.S. Embassy staff in Jordan as the Arab Spring unfolds.

After two years in Amman, Cassie Hugo considers herself a worthy mentor to Margaret Brickshaw, a new arrival to the Middle East. But the sight of Margaret sends Cassie into a fit of jealousy, especially her toddler Mather, having tried for years to start a family. Desperate for a friend among the expat families, Cassie shows Margaret around town, and tries to impart upon her the wisdom and safeguards of embassy rules. However, Margaret yearns for adventure, to learn Arabic, and to connect with the locals.

With their husbands deployed, Cassie is asked to mind Mather while Margaret insists on venturing out alone to settle a fender-bender incident. When Margaret fails to return, Cassie panics and looks through Margaret's journal for clues. What she finds among her friend's many secrets is her own possible role in Margaret's disappearance.

"For all that these women appear designed for a morality play, they are honest and well-formed characters, and Fallon strenuously avoids pat answers to the central question of how a woman should behave in a foreign land."(Kirkus Reviews)

* * = 2 starred reviews
* = starred review

Badge Drop #10: *STARSTRUCK*

Summer Game 2017 may have put STARS in your EYES, but stay tuned for some excitement from the STARS in the SKIES!

There's some AWESOME ASTRONOMY afoot on Monday, 8/21! The only thing that can eclipse the AWESOMENESS of the Summer Game is AN ACTUAL ECLIPSE!!! Join us at the Downtown Library on Monday, 8/21 from 1-3 pm for our SOLAR ECLIPSE VIEWING PARTY. There will be solar eclipse viewing glasses (the must-have accessory of the summer) available to share!

But BEFORE you look up, LOOK BELOW! Hey! BADGES!!!!

2017 Badge Drop #10

Now think of a number. NO, another number. Did you think of 13? Well, think of it now. THIRTEEN!!!!!! It's important because....

THAT'S HOW MANY DAYS OF SUMMER GAME REMAIN! Just 13 more days of CODE HUNTING and POINT GATHERING, SG hunter-gatherers! Gotta get out there and FORAGE for FUN while there's still FUN to FORAGE!

Time's a-tickin'! Collect those codes! Create those comments! Procure those points! BADGE THOSE BADGES!


The Dark Tower

The Dark Tower series (one of author Stephen King's crowning achievements) tells the story of gunslinger Roland Deschain and his quest to find and protect the fabled Dark Tower, said to be the link between all universes. Roland's world is a post-apocalyptic desolate wasteland where time no longer moves chronologically and reality is fraying. The eight book series combines elements of fantasy, science fiction, horror and classic Western into a brand new epic story. The movie adaptation of the Dark Tower series opened on August 4th to mixed reviews (to put it lightly). Even if fans were not quite satisfied with the adaptation, they have devoured the Dark Tower series since the beginning of its publication in the early 1980's. Now is the perfect time to catch up on this epic series!

The series consists of The Gunslinger, The Drawing of the Three, The Waste Lands, Wizard and Glass, The Wind Through the Keyhole, Wolves of the Calla, Song of Susannah, and The Dark Tower. These novels also have Book on CD (BOCD) counterparts, available here. King's collection of short stories entitled Everything's Eventual also includes Dark Tower related stories, specifically "The Little Sisters of Eluria" and "Everything's Eventual".

Drawing on the popularity of the novels, a series of prequel graphic novels was published after the novels were completed. The prequels begin with The Gunslinger Born and continue with The Long Road Home (available through MeLCat), Treachery (also only available through MeLCat), The Fall of Gilead and Battle of Jericho Hill.

The first two novels themselves have also been adapted into graphic novels, all available through MeLCat. The Gunslinger series consists of The Gunslinger: The Journey Begins,
The Battle of Tull, The Way Station, The Man in Black, and Last Shots. The Little Sisters of Eluria was also adapted into comic book form. The comics continue with The Drawing of the Three series, consisting of The Prisoner, House of Cards, Lady of Shadows, Bitter Medicine, and The Sailor.

There have been several nonfiction works detailing the intricacies of the Dark Tower universe. Stephen King's The Dark Tower: The Complete Concordance, Revised and Updated is an encyclopedia of Dark Tower-related information, originally written by Robin Furth for Stephen King's exclusive personal use while he was still writing the series in order to prevent continuity errors. It was later published once King realized how valuable it would be to his "Constant Readers". There's also The Dark Tower Companion: A Guide to Stephen King's Epic Fantasy.

Additionally, there are many other Stephen King works that reference or are related to the Dark Tower series. A partial list includes Salem's Lot, Eyes of the Dragon, Bag of Bones, Black House, Insomnia, Desperation and its companion novel The Regulators, From a Buick 8, Cell, Rose Madder, Hearts in Atlantis, and The Stand.

The novel It also has ties to the Dark Tower series and has a widely anticipated movie adaptation coming out on September 8th. The trailer is available to watch here (if you dare!) and an interactive VR experience was released yesterday for the bravest of heart. You can also catch up with the 1990 made-for-TV movie, available here.

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