Discovery of a Short Story by Teenaged Zelda Fitzgerald

The New Yorker has just published a recently discovered story by Zelda Fitzgerald, wife of F. Scott Fiztgerald, famed author of The Great Gatsby, Tender is the Night and several other novels and short stories. Zelda wrote this story when she was just a teenager and was still known as Zelda Sayre. She would meet F. Scott soon after the publication of the story in her high school’s literary journal. The story, called The Iceberg, is a piece about the fictional Cornelia, who enrolls in a typing class and abruptly marries a man she meets at the business college where the course takes place.
The New Yorker writes that the Fitzgerald estate was surprised and pleased to discover the story, having had no idea that Zelda was interested in writing before meeting F. Scott. You can read The Iceberg in full here, and read more about its discovery as well as other book news on The Two-Way from NPR.

Visit The Downtown Stuff Shelf and Check Out Some Stuff!

Are you looking for things to do over the holiday break? Then why not pay a visit to the Downtown Library and check out our Stuff Shelf. The Stuff Shelf is where is keep our extensive and growing collection of tools, gadgets and other cool things.

If you're looking for sciency stuff then we've got telescopes and microscopes, more microscopes and lots of devices for measuring things like environmental quality and sound.

More interested in stuff you can use around the home (perhaps you are trapped there for the week), then we've got devices for measuring your energy use and testing your microwave and determining the best place to hang a painting.

If you know someone currently in their dinosaur-phase (for some of us this lasts a lifetime) we've got a series of dinosaur fossil kits so you can check out a T-rex tooth or a Triceratops horn or a Velociraptor skull.

If things are a little too quiet around the house then check out our collection of musical devices. We've got items great for beginners like Boomwhackers and Bliptronics and Pocket Pianos, as well as devices for more advanced users like Microbrutes and Volca Basses and Pocket Pianos again (which really are great for both beginners and experienced users alike).

Have fun and let us know how it goes.

Audiobook for Kids: Whispering to Witches

Whispering to Witches by Anna Dale is part fantasy, part mystery, and plenty of fun.

As the story begins, Joe is not happy about being sent to Canterbury to spend Christmas with his mother, but on the train ride there, something peculiar happens. Soon Joe finds himself teaming up with a young witch named Twiggy to investigate the mysterious incident, which seems to have something to do with a missing page from a famous magical book. Can they find the missing page before it falls into the wrong hands? And is there more to this mystery than meets the eye?

While I found this book has been frequently compared to the Harry Potter series – with its train rides, witches and magical candies – I actually found myself thinking of it more like a book by Diana Wynne Jones. Something about the voice and the tightly-plotted mystery, I suppose. Its narration, though, by John Curless did remind of Jim Dale's performance in the Harry Potter audiobooks. Fans of either who are looking for something to try this holiday season may wish to check it out.

Winter Solstice Crafts

December 21st is the shortest day of the year. The days will start lengthening after that.
How will you celebrate?
Come to the Malletts Creek Branch on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 11:00 a.m.
and make some decorations that will brighten up that gloomy day.
We'll be using paper to make snow covered evergreen trees, gingerbread people, and bright
red poinsettias.
This program is for preschool through fifth graders, but everyone is welcome.
All supplies will be provided.

For our materials on this first day of winter, click here.

The Peculiar and The Whatnot

The Whatnot, Stefan Bachmann’s sequal to his much praised The Peculiar, is finally here! The world that Bachmann has created is very reminiscent of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell but written for a younger audience. It also includes some steampunk elements which give the story an added element of interest. It can get quite dark at times, and Bachmann does not shy away from subjects like murder and kidnap. The very first sentence of The Whatnot tells you this is a darker story than than the cute, mechanical cricket on the cover would lead you to believe.

"Pikey Thomas dreamed of plums and caramel apples the night the faery-with-the-peeling-face stole his left eye."

If you can get past menacing images like the above, The Whatnot is likely to be an entertaining read. Both books deal with animosity between the faery and human world where half-faery, half-human children (known as Peculiars) are not accepted by either groups. The Whatnot's opening chapter introduces a brand new character and the reader is soon entranced once again by the world of humans and faeries. This book, like the first, offers dark mystery juxtaposed with moments of whimsy which results in an intriguing balance.

Bachmann’s premier novel was met with very high praise in such publications as The New York Times Review, The Lost Angeles Times and Publisher's Weekly. Click on any of the publication titles to see the reviews.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #442 - Follow the rules and everybody gets hurt . . .

Former Swedish police officer Anders de La Motte's U.S.debut Game: a thriller * * is the first of a crime-fiction trilogy in which siblings are drawn into a dangerous cellphone game with global ramifications.

On a hot July morning on a commuter train from Märsta, Sweden, to Stockholm, slacker Henrik "HP" Pettersson finds a unique cellphone programmed to invite him to play "the Game," with promises of money and internet stardom. The "game" escalates quickly from prank-like theft to increasingly dangerous vandalism and violence. When it threatens national security Rebecca Normén, a bodyguard with the Swedish Security Police (and maybe not so incidentally, HP's estranged sister) gets involved. A dark secret shared between siblings comes to light.

"Relentless pacing leads to a stunning finale as HP tries to be not just a player but a real hero." In hot pursuit is Buzz (no. 2 in the series), and the last installment Bubble to be released early next year.

For gamers and fans of game chillers.

* * = 2 starred reviews

Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant

Swashbuckling adventure. Loud explosions. Abundant treasure. A woman skilled with forty-seven sword-fighting techniques and a man who brews the best tea in Europe. And a flying boat. Interested yet? How about a daring escape from jail, a foiled beheading, and a raid on a pirate captain's stash of gems and jewels? All jam-packed into a tidy 167 pages!

Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant is the story, in graphic novel format, of the indomitable Delilah Dirk, a female adventurer in the early 19th century, and her unexpected traveling companion Lieutenant Erdemoglu Selim. Each chapter can act as a standalone story but you probably won't want to stop once you start!

Beautifully illustrated and richly colored, engagingly paced, and quite funny, Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant is not one to miss. And if you enjoyed this one, author and illustrator Tony Cliff is currently working on the second book, Delilah Dirk and the Blades of England!

Cozy Collage Craft

Let's pull out all the cool Scrapbox tidbits, yarn, noodles, stickers, buttons, etc.etc.etc., and see if we can make something wonderful! Join us for a guaranteed creative and colorful mess for the whole family on Friday, December 27 at 2:00 p.m. Then you can check out some of the new crafting books to take home with you!

Teen Stuff: Reality Boy by A.S. King

Seventeen year old Gerald Faust’s life changed forever the day his mother invited “The Nanny Network” to film he and his family when he was five years old.

As a teen he is now rage-filled with emotional outbursts triggered by his (probably psychopathic) sister Trisha. His dysfunctional family of five is lead by his non-caring mother who sympathizes with Trisha and is in total denial at the state of her family and what Gerald might be going through.

The former reality TV star is left with anger, no friends, no one to help him, and he’s basically ready to snap at any moment. He meets Hannah, the junk man’s daughter, so as outcasts they form a bond, and Gerald eventually accepts that he is the one who has to change his life and to allow himself to get what he deserves in life.

AADL was lucky enough to have Printz Honor author A.S. King visit the library during our Short Story Writing Contest this past spring. It was a pleasure seeing her and to hear her words of wisdom on writing and sticking with your dreams. Her latest novel, Reality Boy, is a wonderful read and it will make you think twice the next time you’re watching a reality show on TV. For more by King, I highly recommend Please Ignore Vera Dietz and Everybody Sees The Ants.

Learn about The Polar Express' Michigan Roots

How many of you knew that the classic picture book, The Polar Express, has Michigan roots? The book itself is based in Grand Rapids, which is where the author, Chris Van Allsburg, is from! The story starts out with a young boy who is feeling a bit sad because he’s not so sure anymore that Santa Claus is real. As he lies in bed on Christmas eve, waiting hopefully for the sound of Santa, he instead hears the sound of a locamotive! He hops out of bed and runs outside, only to find a gigantic train waiting for him, filled with other young children. Together, they set off on a Christmas eve adventure to the North Pole.

The Polar Express was also adapted into a film back in 2004, starring Tom Hanks. Did you know that the film, too, has Michigan connections? NPR recently did a story on the locamotive that the film makers used for direct inspiration. When making the movie, the film crew traveled all the way out to little Owosso, Michigan, in order to capture the magic that is the 400 ton Pere Marquette 1225!

“Finally, the train arrives: 16 feet tall, puffing huge blasts of steam. The smell of burning coal fills the air, and the ground literally shakes.”

Do you love The Polar Express? Click through the links in this blog post to place requests on the original book, DVD, or Blu-ray. In fact, if you or your little one are interested in some festive decorating during this holiday season, the AADL even has a Polar Express art print that you can check out and hang up on your walls at home!

Syndicate content