Fabulous Fiction Firsts #579 “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” ~ Charles William Eliot

An international bestseller The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend * *, first novel by Katarina Bivald (translated from Swedish by Alice Menzies) is a sleepy charmer you would not be able to put down.

Broken Wheel, IA, pop. 637. Bookseller Sara Lindqvist travels from her native Sweden, against her parent's warning and her own inhibition, to visit Amy Harris, her longtime American pen pan, only to arrive on the day of Amy's funeral. Not having seen a tourist for years, the town folks are eager to get to know Sara. They insist that Sara stays in Amy's house, and refuse Sara's effort to pay for her groceries and meals. They even assign her a chauffeur.

Feeling entangled and with a need to repay all their kindnesses, Sara happens upon the idea of opening a bookstore in an abandoned storefront, using Amy's eclectic collection. Amazingly, it is an absolute success and before long, a tourist attraction, turning Broken Wheel into a hotbed of romance and progressive ideas. Now, can the town folks work more of their magic in getting Sara to stay? For good?

"This gentle, intelligent Midwestern tale will captivate fans of Antoine Laurain's The Red Notebook; Nina George's The Little Paris Bookshop; and Gabrielle Zevin's The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. An ideal book group selection, it reminds us why we are book lovers and why it's nice to read a few happy endings."

* * = 2 starred reviews

Download of the Day: February 5

Midwestern Gothic: Summer 2014 - Issue 14

This quarterly literary journal is full of talented and unusual literary voices.

Looking for more great things to download? Try going to our Downloads page for music, books, videos, podcasts, even patterns! And check out the Download of the Day every day for more great recommendations from AADL!

Want to find out about next week's Download of the Day TODAY? And get a whole heap of bonus DotD points in the process? Start playing the Lowdown of the Day! Follow the clues to figure out the item ahead of time. And the first find gets the most points, so move fast!

Yokai Watch - The New Pokemon!

Yes, you heard right! Your local AADL is getting the Yokai Watch manga! Yokai Watch is the new phenomenon that's sweeping Japan and, thanks to the 3DS game getting an English release back in November, it's sweeping through America too. Starting as a game (just like Pokemon) and expanding into a TV show (just like Pokemon), Yokai Watch has also recently started releasing various merchandise and manga (just like Pokemon). Meet Nate, a young boy who wanders into an old forest behind his local shrine and finds the yokai named Whisper, a type of ghost. He gives Nate a Yokai Watch that lets him see the yokai that are all around his home town. So follow Nate along as he meets new yokai, befriends them, and captures them so that they can fight at his side! (just like Pokemon)

At this point you may be asking, what are yokai? Basically, yokai are strange creatures in Japanese folklore. They come in all shapes and sizes and do all sorts of different things. For example, a prominent character in the Yokai Watch series is Jibanyan, who is based off of the yokai nekomata, a type of cat yokai with two tails who can do things like control fire and walk on it's back legs. Or you have Kyubi, based on the kitsune, a fox yokai who can do magic, shape shift, and becomes very powerful after it grows it's ninth tale (which is when it becomes called a kyuubi). These are animal ones, but there are also yokai that look like umbrellas, ghosts, or giant skeletons! These yokai and more are all available for your entertainment in Yokai Watch!

If you want to learn more about yokai, check out this website by Matthew Meyer. It contains an encyclopedia of yokai (in English) with Matthew's awesome drawings. And check out his personal website for other information, including his two books on yokai. Be careful though, Yokai Watch makes the yokai seem really cute and friendly, but quite a few of the original yokai and their stories can be a little creepy or scary!

Download of the Day: February 4

Sea Anemone - Dominique A. Didier

Life cycle, habitat, and appearance, and food sources are just some of the concepts found in this informational book about a fascinating sea creature.

Looking for more great things to download? Try going to our Downloads page for music, books, videos, podcasts, even patterns! And check out the Download of the Day every day for more great recommendations from AADL!

Want to find out about next week's Download of the Day TODAY? And get a whole heap of bonus DotD points in the process? Start playing the Lowdown of the Day! Follow the clues to figure out the item ahead of time. And the first find gets the most points, so move fast!

The Wolf Wilder

Katherine Rundell writes beautiful youth fiction books. The imagery and feelings her buttery words evoke knock me away and surprise me every time. Her latest book, The Wolf Wilder, follows up Rooftoppers and Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms, and this new one once again contains an irresistible female heroine.

In The Wolf Wilder we meet 12 year old Feodora, simply called Feo. She and her mother train domesticated wolves to go back into the wild in Russia in1917. It is a simple, wild and wonderful existence until General Rakov destroys the life she knows and loves, and it is up to Feo to be brave, save her wolves, and put her family and life back together. She meets up with a young runaway soldier from the tsar’s Imperial Army and they set off on high adventure in the cold and freezing snow, surrounded by half wild wolves and eventually other children who want to take part in Feo’s revolution.

It’s a great read if you love strong characters, adventure, historical fiction, survival stories, or animal stories.

Film Adaptation Alert: Me Before You

Jojo Moyes’ novel Me Before You might break your heart, sure, but it’s also going to make you laugh and remember to appreciate the loved ones in your life. The story starts with Will Traynor, a wealthy man with a big appetite for life, in the board room or on his global thrill-seeking expeditions, enduring an accident that leaves him a quadriplegic. Enter Louisa Clark, an ordinary, small-town girl, who lands a position as his caretaker and starts off just trying to get through each day without infuriating him. Eventually, a bond develops, and soon, they find great happiness in each other’s company.

This is a story about knowing your own mind and what it is to love with true unselfishness, and how difficult both of those things can be. It manages to be both meaningful and quirky without becoming too heavy-handed or too wacky. And yeah, you’re going to want to have some tissues handy at the end, but the range of emotions you’ll experience on the way are well worth the tears.

The book has now been adapted into a feature film, starring Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clark and Hunger Games’ Sam Claflin. The movie comes out June 3, and the official trailer has just been released.

It's Blind Date with a Book season!

Stop by any of the AADL locations for a sweet February surprise! Adults and teens will find Blind Date with a Book displays, where one can hopefully find the mysterious book of their dreams! Books (and movies!) wrapped in butcher paper have a short description of what the material inside contains… but you’ll have to check out the item and take it home to unwrap to find out if it’s really meant for you!

Kids aren’t left out either! There are Surprise Book displays at every location too, where kids will find mystery books and movies wrapped up with only hints written on them to imply what’s inside. These displays will be up for the entire month of February, so don’t miss your chance to find your match.

Download of the Day: February 3

Teslim - Teslim

The performers on this album present original and traditional string music with Turkish, Middle Eastern, and Sephardic influences.

Looking for more great things to download? Try going to our Downloads page for music, books, videos, podcasts, even patterns! And check out the Download of the Day every day for more great recommendations from AADL!

Want to find out about next week's Download of the Day TODAY? And get a whole heap of bonus DotD points in the process? Start playing the Lowdown of the Day! Follow the clues to figure out the item ahead of time. And the first find gets the most points, so move fast!

What Do You Do With an Idea?

“This is a story for anyone, at any age, who’s ever had an idea that seemed a little too big, too odd, too difficult.”

What Do You Do With an Idea?, written by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae Besom, is a delightful picture book with a positive message. The story is simple, but its themes of creativity and confidence are big! A little boy discovers “an idea” that perplexes him. He tries to ignore it, he tries to hide it, but he eventually realizes he wants to help it. And when he does, AMAZING things happen!

What Do You Do With an Idea? has wonderful illustrations. The “idea” spreads color and warmth to the pages, which begin in black and white. Each turn of the page had me smiling!
I recommend this book for readers of all ages – but especially for parents who want to encourage their children to think BIG.

PreK BITS - “A” is for Art

There were ARTful stories in Preschool Storytime @ Malletts Creek this week.
Ms. Rachel drew “Monkey Face” while telling the story.
The book MONKEY FACE is long out of print but the tale lives on in oral tradition.
Frank Asch is the author and his books are still popular.
The BIG ORANGE SPLOT is a story of Mr. Plumbean and the day a big orange splot lands on his house. What would YOU do?

For more Artful stories try these favorites:
I AIN’T GONNA PAINT NO MORE! … is totally singable as you read the pages and enjoy the pictures.
VINCENT PAINTS HIS HOUSE ... Vincent Van Gogh of course!
LILY BROWN’S PAINTINGS … a young artist growing …
SCRIBBLE … what if you scribbled on your sister’s things?
BEAR’S PICTURE … what if folks don’t think your art is right?
PURPLE GREEN And YELLOW … what if your markers go places they aren’t supposed to go ?
The DAY The CRAYONS CAME HOME … sequel to The DAY The CRAYONS QUIT … stories from the crayon box.
DOG LOVES DRAWING by Louise Yates.
SHAPE SONG SWINGALONG … a song on a CD to go along …
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE ANIMAL? … a collection of stories and poems told by a collection of famous children’s book illustrators.

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