2015 Kate Greenaway Medal winner- Shackleton's Journey

The British Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals awards one illustrated text each year with the prestigious Kate Geenaway Medal for outstanding illustrations in a children's book. This year the winner was Shackleton's Journey by William Grill.

Shackleton's Journey is the story of the final expedition in the "Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration" which spanned almost 50 years! It is also the story of Earnest Shackleton who wanted to "do something better" and to "make a name" for himself. While the story of the expedition is fantastic (in many senses of the word!) the reason that it won the award was for its breathtaking illustrations.
It is very hard to make a picture book where the illustrations capture the scope of something as big as this expedition, which included 69 dogs and a stowaway!!!

This book will keep you interested with it's beautiful mixture of words and illustrations.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #551

The title - Everybody Rise *, a first novel by the Loeb Award-winning investigative reporter at The New York Times Stephanie Clifford, is taken from the Stephen Sondheim lyric to Ladies Who Lunch.

Set in the years leading up to the 2008 financial collapse, 26 year-old Evelyn Beegan finally lands a real job with a social-media start-up called People Like Us that aims at the elites, by overselling her New England prep school and society connections that are at best, marginal. Now she must deliver. Hoping to impress her new bosses by recruiting Camilla Rutherford ("the clear center of young New York") as a new member, she is not above using her good friend Preston Hacking ("a Winthrop on his mother's side,") to gain entry to the Adirondack camps, thick with socialites, Wall Streeters and Who's Who.

Evelyn has long felt like an outsider to her privileged peers, and despises her mother's social-climbing ways, but now she is forced to embrace them. With endless rounds of charity events, regattas, debuts, and excessive shopping and dining, Evelyn soon finds the lure of belonging intoxicating, and starts trying to pass as old money herself. When her father's unfortunate downfall becomes public, she chooses to distance herself rather than to rally around family.

"A masterful tale of social climbing and entrenched class distinctions, as seen through the eyes of an outsider who desperately wants in. Tense, hilarious, and bursting with gorgeous language. Stephanie Clifford is a 21st-century Edith Wharton." Will appeal to fans of The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe and Rules of Civility by Amor Towles.

* = starred review

Download of the Day: September 1

Raisins and Almonds - Kerry Greenwood

Glamorous sleuth Phryne Fisher's dance card is full at a society dance when a dead body is discovered, and she is called to get to the bottom of things.

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!

Everything is AWESOME!

Shmowzow! 154 of you visited the Downtown Library over the last month and wrote what you think is AWESOME on a sticky note for Summer Game points! The things you wrote were too great not to share.

Many of you showed your love for AADL and the Summer Game, so many thanks! (Remember that you still have time to shop for prizes with those points, so if you're that person who loves AADL's Brick Banks, have at it!) A large number of you also like reading, books, LEGO, sports, your pets, family and friends (aww), and of course, food.

Can't get enough of what YOU think is AWESOME? Check out AADL's related events, like upcoming musicians, video game tournaments, and crafty classes! Animal and nature-lovers can walk around Black Pond Woods and cosplayers can take part in our costume exchange!

We'll see you around the library for all your favorite activities, and THANKS FOR PLAYING!

Summer Game 2015: Take Five!

WE DID IT! Summer Game 2015 is all over and we all (as far as I know, though I haven't really looked into this much) survived! Now it's time for all of us to take a much deserved rest, trying to retrain our brains to not perk up anytime someone mentions "points" or "friend codes" or "badges". But before we take five, we should probably take a minute to reflect on how INCREDIBLE this year's Summer Game was. And we all know things aren't truly amazing without numbers, so let's have a think about:

An UNSTOPPABLE 5,442 players played!
An UNBEATABLE 75,968 badges earned!!
An UNBELIEVABLE 353,488 codes redeemed!!!
An UNPOSSIBLE 128,649,387 points earned!!!!

Those kinds of numbers are every kind of UN imaginable! So UNIMAGINABLE, I guess!!

While we're taking five, let's also talk about how this year's Summer Game was Summer Game 5! After 5 years of Summer Game, was it BIGGER THAN EVER? Since that 5 is a nice round number, let's compare this year to Summer Game 2011: 1.5x the number of players! 2.3x the number of badges! 4.5x the number of codes! 2.9x the number of points!

SO YEAH, BIGGER!!! But now we have to ask ourselves...can it be BIGGER YET? I'll answer for us all with a resounding, "Sure. I mean, probably. Probably yes." (Ahem, sorry, my internal caps lock might be a little worn out by this point in the summer.) I meant "TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY HECK YEAH! WE'RE COMING FOR YOU, 2016!"

BUT WHAT TO DO UNTIL THEN?! Well, how about you take another five:
-Download of the Day, a chance to learn about all of the great things AADL has for download, score points, and score even more points by solving a clue and finding the download a week early on the Lowdown of the Day
-Points-O-Matic, a chance to help us figure out which reviews are helpful and which are not with a click of your mouse and to help make our amazing old newspapers more searchable by entering text from hundred-year-old pages
-Streets Quest, a game that takes you to many of the historic streets panels around town and teaches you the history of the city around you
-Treasure Quest, the most mind-boggling of our games that the will have you decoding and deciphering your way through the catalog
-That's only four, huh? Weird. You'd think there'd be a fifth game that I'd mention here, what with the whole "take five" theme. I dunno, like a WHOLE NEW GAME or something. Huh.

For those of you with Summer Game points left, don't forget that the SUMMER GAME SHOP STAYS OPEN UNTIL MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14! Keep your eyes on play.aadl.org for news about the restocking of popular items! And don't worry if you don't get to spend all of your points, the Shop will re-open in 2016 with all-new items and your points will still be just as good for spending!

So after five years, it seems like everyone is STILL HAVING A GREAT TIME playing the Summer Game! And that's great news for us, because WE ARE STILL HAVING A GREAT TIME MAKING IT! And the players who are having fun are what makes the Summer Game worth making, so:


but mostly


Magazines On Flipster

Flipster Large LogoFlipster Large Logo
Enjoy reading magazines like Time, Fine Cooking, Forbes, People, Rolling Stone? Well now these and many other popular titles for kids and adults can be read online with our new database called Flipster. For the kids, there's Ladybug, Ranger Rick, Zoobooks, and more! New issues as well as some back issues are available now to read on your computer and other electronic devices. So sit back, relax, and read a magazine !

Download of the Day: August 31

The Fortunes of Philippa - Angela Brazil

This story for young readers introduces Philippa, who is reluctant to leave her father and their South American home, but traveling to England to attend school. she discovers adventures to be had with cousins and new friends.

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!

Blackout: a moving portrait of alcoholism and recovery

Sarah Hepola writes of her experiences with both alcoholism and sobriety in the deeply personal, relatable, and relevant new book Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget. With so many college activities now focused around drinking, it's often difficult after graduation has occurred for young people to shed the mentality of making-everything-more-fun-with-alcohol. Alcohol-fueled events and parties extend into our twenties, thirties and beyond, and the line between normal alcohol consumption and alcoholism is increasingly blurred for many young people. Hepola calls alcohol the “gasoline of all adventure” for her when she was in her younger years. She spent fun nights at cocktail parties and at bars, drinking til last call… but the frivolity didn’t come without a price. She blacked out often and was left spending entire mornings trying to piece together what she had done the night before, making self-deprecating jokes to cover her shame. As with many alcoholics, her career flourished during this time, but as the blackouts continued, Hepola was forced to admit the truth: the alcohol she thought she needed to lift her spirits was depressing her and negatively affecting her health and relationships. Thus, she embarks on a new and unexpected adventure: that of sobriety.

This memoir is simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking, and always unfailingly honest. A highly recommended read for anyone who has been forced to reinvent themselves or cope with necessary change, Blackout reveals how sometimes giving up the thing we cherish the most can allow us to truly find ourselves.

For other excellent stories about women and alcoholism, try Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood by Koren Zailckas, Note Found in a Bottle, by Susan Cheever, and Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol, by Ann Dowsett Johnston.

Browsing the Documentary DVDs: Some Interesting Choices You May Not Know We Have

Birders: A stunning film about the birds of Central Park and the people who watch them. Something known as the “Central Park effect” attracts birds in droves during spring and autumn migrations, making it a hotspot for viewing over 200 species of birds. Central Park is entirely human-made, and has many recreations to offer, but also provides a bit of wildness in the shadow of skyscrapers. Watch this for inspiration and then get out your binoculars, or borrow a pair from us, and head over to the Arboretum this fall, to see the beauty of birds.

10 Questions for the Dalai Lama: You’ve been granted a rare, private audience with the Dalai Lama and are told you can ask 10 questions. What would you ask of one of the world’s wisest leaders? This is a probing tale of the Dalai Lama’s history, Tibet’s take-over by China and the exiled community in India where he and many Tibetan Buddhists have found refuge. As the Dalai Lama answers the questions posed by the documentary film-maker, you realize this is a rare person, who has learned to practice the high ideals of his religion.

Queen of the Sun, What the Bees Are Telling Us: Honeybees are disappearing. Whole hives of bees just don’t come home one day. Known as Colony Collapse Disorder, this phenomenon is like a canary in the mine, warning us of a huge imbalance and threat in the natural world. The beekeepers in this film have a picture of health and balance to offer the bees, and learning to help bees, helps the environment and helps us all. At least 40% of the food you eat is pollinated by honeybees and other pollinators. Our future, in many ways, is tied to the health of bees.

Watchers of the Sky: A history of modern genocide and the people who fight to make it impossible. One of these was Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term “genocide”, and fought a protracted battle in international courts to have it recognized as a crime. This film is sad, but very inspiring. I don’t think you can get through it dry-eyed or without the conviction to make a difference for good in the world, even in a small way. The title comes from a beautiful story about Tycho Brahe (told near the end).

A Year in Burgundy: Through the seasons in Burgundy, this film follows seven wine-making families and how they grow their grapes, work their land, and meld all the growing and processing factors into that fermented drink the world loves. Getting their wines to the peak of perfection takes artistry, experience, drive, profound commitment, plain old hard work, and, you might say, love.

Horror Director Wes Craven Dies at 76

Legendary horror director, writer and producer Wes Craven died August 30 at his Los Angeles home after battling brain cancer.

Best known for his Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream film franchises, horror movies and film buffs are indebted to his style and creativity. Scre4m actually filmed in Ann Arbor in 2011! Other notable films include The Hills Have Eyes, My Soul to Take, and The Last House On the Left - which was his first film and he wrote, directed, and edited it.

My childhood nightmares wouldn’t be complete without Freddy Krueger. Thank you Mr. Craven for all the thrills and chills.

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