And the cars go…

Author and illustrator William Bee is one to bookmark if you have a little one into THINGS THAT GO.

First there was And The Train Goes… and the newest one is And the Cars Go…. Both are such cute picture books!

The books are chock-full of amazing illustrations with sounds to make and read along with. BRRRMMM BRRRMMM, HONK HONK, POP POP POP, BANG BANG HISSSSS. Little ones will enjoy sitting on your lap and checking out the pictures, signs and THINGS THAT GO!

For further fun, check out Trains Go and Trucks Go by Steve Light. Super amazing big board books.

NEW Dystopian Adult Fiction: Afterparty

For Lyda Rose, the world is a place where printable drugs abound. One of the most dangerous is an invention of her own, a drug that went astray of its intended purpose and instead makes the user hallucinate a godlike presence. Someone's gotten their hands on the recipe for this drug and is distributing it as a religious sacrament, growing a church with the dependency that follows. Lyda, along with the hallucinated angel she gained when dosed by the drug herself and a cast of other characters, seek to uncover the truth.

Gritty and full of unusual and unique characters and premises, Afterparty by Daryl Gregory is on my personal waiting list, and I am excited to read past the sneak peek available on our page. Check it out!

Little Red Writing

If you're working on a story for the 3rd-5th Grade Short Story Challenge and need some writing inspiration, be sure to check out Little Red Writing by Joan Holub and Melissa Sweet! Inside you will find vibrant illustrations depicting the adventures of Little Red, a pencil who needs to write a story for class. The teacher, Ms. 2, shows what elements make up a great story and Little Red's classmates share their ideas. Each page explains a different part of speech and how you can make it work in your story. Little Red's adventure is hilarious and exciting. Whether you read this book by yourself or with friends, it's sure to spark creativity for story writing!

You can also check out other great writing resources from AADL with this Writing Help for Kids list.

Jumbled Fairytales for Young Readers

This is a darling series for beginning readers! There are several books in the series and they are all jumbled fairytales!

In Rapunzel and the Billy Goats you’ve got the troll climbing up Rapunzel’s hair. And in Cinderella and the Beanstalk you’ve got Jack driving Cinderella in the pumpkin-turned-stagecoach and her ugly stepsisters are climbing up the beanstalk!

They are funny and a great way to explore a variety of fairytales. It’s also fun for readers to figure out which parts of the story came from what fairytale. Check out these mixed-up titles:

Three Pigs and a Gingerbread Man
Beauty and the Pea
Goldilocks and the Wolf
The Elves and the Emperor
Hansel, Gretel, and the Ugly Duckling
Snow White and the Enormous Turnip

And for a quick list see here.

Socktastic stories!

This week Ms. Amanda featured stories about socks at preschool storytime! Socks?! Yep, socks. And we brought out Pete the Cat’s white shoes, too. We listened to some fun stories. Here are some titles to settle your socks into:

Have You Seen My New Blue Socks? Duck cannot find them! Where are they? Does Fox know? A super fun rhyming story.

New Socks Author Bob Shea writes some funny picture books. The book features the coolest pair of orange socks that just might change your world.

Lizette’s Green Sock Here we have a duck that’s so excited about her green sock, until she learns that socks come in pairs and she gets made fun of.

Duck Sock Hop Who knows what will happen when ducks pull socks from a box. Duck sock hop comes once a week – get ready to rock with your sock!

Sally and the Purple Socks Sally gets a pair of fabulous purple socks in the mail. But when they get wet something odd starts to happen, and it’s quite a silly thing!

For more sock stories check out this book list.

The Circle

Dave Eggers delights again with his newest novel, The Circle. His prose engulfs readers in an eerily familiar world of social and political advancement, somewhat reminiscent of the classic 1984. Readers will wonder what it truly means to be anonymous, and deliberate whether it is a concept more archaic than essential. At the heart of the novel is The Circle's omniscience and its proclamation that "secrets are lies."

Mae Holland, a young college graduate, is stuck in a dead-end career with no hope of leaving her provincial town, when former roommate and business legend Annie offers her a job at The Circle, a company known for its technological advancement and innovation. Although Mae impresses many with her work ethic, her lack of social media presence causes concern in her superiors. The main goal of The Circle, after all, is to connect people of the world in order to achieve infinite knowledge, and ultimately, enlightenment for humankind.

Eggers is best known for his biography, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. He has received multiple awards including Time Best Book of the Year. Eggers also has local acclaim as he is a founder of 826 National, related to Ann Arbor's 826 Michigan.

Nickolas Butler's new novel Shotgun Lovesongs is a Midwestern must-read

I was eagerly anticipating the publication of Shotgun Lovesongs, the brand new novel by Nickolas Butler. In fact, I was a little nervous that it couldn’t possibly be as good as I hoped it would be. Boy, was I wrong! “This is a novel about home, and home is how the book feels,” writes reviewer Josh Weil. At its core, Shotgun Lovesongs is a book about the American Dream, and all the many ways that people go about seeking it. The book is also a vivid description of and ode to a place, that place being a small town in northern Wisconsin. Any Midwesterner will connect immediately with Butler’s beautiful narrative of changing seasons and the changing moods that go with them, and anyone who has spent time in a small town will understand perfectly the atmosphere of the place that he describes so well in the pages of the novel.

The story focuses on four men who grew up in the town of Little Wing, Wisconsin. All of them left at some point but all four have returned, unable to truly leave the place that they call home. In the voice of one of the characters, Butler writes: “Here, life unfurls with the seasons. Here, time unspools itself slowly, moments divvied out like some truly decadent dessert that we savor—weddings, births, graduations, grand openings, funerals. Mostly, things stay the same…. This is my home. This is the place that first believed in me. That still believes in me.”

Fans of other Midwestern authors like Jim Harrison, Bonnie Jo Campbell and Jonathan Franzen will love Shotgun Lovesongs. You can read more about the book in the New York Times review of it here.

The 3rd-5th Grade Short Story Challenge 2014 has officially begun!

Look! It's a bird... it's a plane... no wait, it's a SHORT STORY SUPERHERO participating in the second annual 3rd-5th Grade Short Story Challenge!

Do you have the grit to become a Short Story Superhero? Astound all your friends and teachers... they'll never see it coming! Vanquish the winter blues with powerful prose and punchy plot!

Here's how to become a Short Story Superhero:
1) Write a story of up to 5 pages (double-spaced) or 1000 words
2) Type it in a Word document, with the story title on top
3) Attach the file to an email and include your personal information OR print it out with an information cover sheet (what information, you ask? check out the guidelines)
4) Send it to youngwrite@aadl.org or bring it to the Youth Desk at the Downtown branch by Monday, May 5!

Use your x-ray vision on our Jump! brochure to keep an eye out for the final celebration featuring guest author Lisa Wheeler, on June 3!

Please e-mail youngwrite@aadl.org or call the Youth Desk at 734-327-8301 with any questions, and happy (super) writing!

Audiobook for Broadway Lovers: Better Nate Than Ever

Read by the author (who happens to have been on Broadway himself), Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle offers an insider’s look into the world of Broadway auditions from a kid’s point of view. Thirteen-year-old Nate Foster is tired of being bullied and misunderstood in his hometown so, with the help of his best friend Libby, this Broadway-musical lover concocts a plan to run away to New York City and audition for E.T the Musical (inspired by Steven Spielberg’s E.T., of course). The adventure that follows is both hilarious and heartbreaking, and the narration is spot on through every emotional twist and turn.

The audiobook was a 2014 Odyssey Award Honor, an award given to the best audiobooks for children and teens.

Its sequel Five, Six, Seven, Nate! is also available in print.

The Reader's Eternal Question...

...is "What do I read next?"

The Books, Reading & Literature Databases can help, whether through lists, reviews, book clubs, or ebook selections. Start with Books & Authors where you can browse by title, author, genre and winners of awards named for James Fenimore Cooper, Ernest Hemingway, Edgar Allan Poe, Philip K. Dick and more. Join a Free Book Club in the genre of your choice.

Then, move on to Select Sites for Books & Reading where you can peruse articles at the New York Review of Books or Kirkus Reviews, find classics in Modern Library's Top 100, figure out the reading order of the series you like with Kent District Library's What's Next? Page, read Hamlet on one single screen page at The Complete Works of Shakespeare, and discover free ebooks at Project Gutenberg and Open Library. You can even read Alice in Wonderland in Lewis Carroll's own hand (as well as other scans of rare originals) courtesy of the British Library.

It won't be long before "What do I read next?" becomes "What do I read first?"

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