Great Book for Teens: Since You’ve Been Gone

I’ve been a fan of Morgan Matson ever since reading her first book, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, but this summer, I completely fell in love with her latest book, Since You’ve Been Gone.

Shy Emily knows her sociable best friend Sloane will always be there to take charge in new situations, but when Emily returns home from a family trip, she discovers her best friend is gone. Sloane is not at home and won’t answer her calls or texts. Then Emily receives a mysterious letter from Sloane, a list of fifteen random things to do – like kiss a stranger and ride a horse – and hopes that completing this list will somehow reveal what happened to Sloane. More coming-of-age story than mystery, this book will resonate with any shy teen who has had to grow more outgoing after a big life change. It's a great read for anyone who enjoys smart realistic teen fiction with a touch of romance and is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen or Stephanie Perkins.

Badge Drop #10: Stop Feeling List-less! Try These New Badges!

PLAYERS, START YOUR ENGINES! Or...at least your BRAINS!

We've got some goodies to give you, and those goodies are, of course, SHINY NEW BADGES!

Feeling list-less? MAKE SOME LISTS and earn the latest contribution badges! Want to get out and EXPLORE? We've got a badge in ANN ARBOR'S BIGGEST PARK! Need more animal adventures? LIONS, AND SERPENTS AND AARDVARKS, OH MY!

From constellations to creatures to a player pick (Thanks, SG Player Olivia!), we've got LOTS for you to do with this set of badges.

2014 Badge Drop #10



So, lace up your hiking shoes, dig into the story of our 7th president, don your bat-cape, and look to the sky this week! And don't forget there's still some time to catch up on any of this summer's previous badges, too!

THANKS FOR PLAYING!

It's National Aviation Week!

Happy National Aviation Week, all! Today is the start of an entire week dedicated to celebrating aviation. National Aviation Day, which is also Orville Wright's birthday, will be on August 19th, but if you can't wait until then to start learning about aviation, we've got you covered! Here are some great choices:

For kids:
A is for Airplane: An Aviation Alphabet: Little ones can work on their alphabet using all aviation-themed words!
The Wright Brothers: How they Invented the Airplane is a Newberry Honor book that follows the Wright brothers and will teach young ones about how they got started.
The Wright Brothers for Kids: How they Invented the Airplane: 21 Activities Exploring the Science and History of Flight: For kids that want to take a more hands-on approach to learning about flight, this book offers up a variety of fun aviation-themed activities.
Night flight : Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic: This beautiful book's exciting details and daring illustrations will leave kids wanting to learn all they can about Amelia Earhart. If they're begging for more, direct them to the fabulous Amelia Lost :The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart!

For adults:
Birdmen: The Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss, and the Battle to Control the Skies is a new book that traces the first people to fly in planes as they fought to control publicity and show off their own inventions and bravery.
Feel like watching something? Enjoy the 2004 Oscar-winner The Aviator, or delve into Amelia Earhart's story (among other!) with Unsolved Mysteries: Strange Legends.

Finally, no aviation list could be complete without the classic movie Airplane! or How to Build a Hovercraft: Air Cannons, Magnet Motors, and 25 other Amazing DIY Science Projects, a book that will teach you how to build your own unstoppable paper airplane!

 

AADL Talks To Ruta Sepetys

Media Player

January 21, 2014

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AADL_Talks_To-Ruta_Sepetys.mp324 MB Audio

In this episode, we talk with author of 2014 Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads title Between Shades of Gray, the story of a Lithuanian family's persecution at the hands of Soviet Russia in the midst of World War II.

Ruta Sepetys is the daughter of a Lithuanian refugee. The nations of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia disappeared from maps in 1941 and did not reappear until 1990. As this is a story seldom told, Ruta wanted to give a voice to the hundreds of thousands of people who lost their lives during Stalin's cleansing of the Baltic region. Born and raised in Michigan in a family of artists, readers, and music lovers, Ruta lives with her family in Tennessee. Between Shades of Gray, her first novel, was inspired by her family's history in Lithuania and is published in 40 countries.

Between Shades Of Gray, her the 2011 debut novel, was a New York Times Notable Book, a Carnegie Medal Nominee, and the winner of the Golden Kite Award, as well as the recipient of a multitude of national and international awards. Based on survivor stories of the genocide of Baltic people, it has become an international bestseller and translated into more than 27 languages.

Rights Held By: 
Ann Arbor District Library

Australian illustrator and writer Shaun Tan

If you haven't picked up a book by Australian illustrator and writer Shaun Tan before, drop everything you're doing and check him out. Winning awards since 1992 for his illustrations - including the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (an international award recognizing outstanding individuals' career contributions to children's literature), two Hugo Awards for Best Professional Artist, and even an Academy Award for Best Short Film for an adaptation of his book The Lost Thing - Shaun Tan is an artistic force to be reckoned with.

His wordless graphic novel The Arrival made a splash when it came out in 2006, and his follow up Tales from Outer Suburbia was a big hit in the US as well. This year Tan released a book called Rules of Summer, and it's a must see.

Rules of Summer follow the lives of two boys who explain the "rules" they learned over one summer. By no means wordy, Rules of Summer is primarily a visual exploration of the fantasy world the boys create out of their urban landscape. It's a story of creativity and cooperation with lush visuals and a great sense of humor.

New Picture Book - Brimsby's Hat

Are you a fan of hats? I love hats - fuzzy winter hats that keep out the snow, slouchy fashionable hats for those breezy fall days, baseball caps to protect your face from the sun in summer. I especially love the dashing hats in Andrew Prahin's Brimsby's Hats, a new children's picture book about a lonely hat maker who seeks out new friends when his old friend moves away. The illustrations are adorably cartoony with bold lines and vivid colors, and the story is one that values creativity. Don't miss this new addition to our collection!

For other favorite picture books about hats, check out Jon Klassen's I Want My Hat Back and This Is Not My Hat.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #476 - "There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children." ~ Nelson Mandela

Long-time NPR feature reporter Martha Woodroof's debut novel Small Blessings * is one of August 2014 Indie Next Great Reads.

Tom Putnum, an English professor at a small Virginia college is resigned to a quiet hollow life, filling his days teaching Shakespeare and caring for the emotionally fragile Marjory, his wife who is a virtual shut-in. Then within a matter of days, Tom's life is upended. Twice.

Marjory is killed in a car accident and Tom learns that he has a son, product of a brief affair with a visiting poet a decade ago. Now the boy, Henry is on a train heading to live with Tom. When young Henry arrives, it's immediately clear that Tom can't possibly be his biological father, never mind his name is on the birth certificate. Even more inexplicable is the half a million dollars stashed in Henry's backpack.

Amid funeral plans, Tom and Agnes, his feisty mother-in-law, begin to make a home for Henry, with help from Rose Callahan, a charming young woman and a newcomer in town whom Tom and Marjory have befriended.

"A heartwarming story with a charmingly imperfect cast of characters to cheer for, Small Blessings's wonderfully optimistic heart that reminds us that sometimes, when it feels like life has veered irrevocably off track, the track shifts in ways we never can have imagined."

Four distinct voices narrate the story in Laura McBride's debut novel We Are Called to Rise * (the title taken from a poem by Emily Dickinson) - 8 year old Bashkim, the son of Muslim immigrants from Albania ill prepared for American life; 50-something Avis whose troubled marriage is compounded by her son's abusive behavior after three tours of duty in Iraq; Roberta, a seasoned court-appointed advocate for children; and Specialist Luis Rodriguez-Reyes - injured and traumatized after losing his best friend in Afghanistan. In a single moment, these disparate lives intersect. Faced with seemingly insurmountable loss, each person must decide whether to give in to despair, or to find the courage and resilience to rise.

Set in a Las Vegas rarely experienced by tourists, it is a story about families - the ones we have and the ones we make. "It challenges us to think about our responsibilities to each other and reminds us that compassion and charity can rescue us, even in our darkest moment."

For those who enjoyed Blessings by Anna Quindlen; Rush Home Road by Lori Lansens; Made in the U.S.A. by Billie Letts; and The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin.

* = starred review

Wonderful Youth Poetry Books

The summer may be starting to wind down, but there's still plenty of time to read! One often-forgotten genre in the world of kid's books is poetry. There is a ton of great youth poetry out there beyond Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky (beloved as they are) and it's often short, sweet, and funny. Poetry can sometimes seem intimidating to get into, but the books below are anything but! With the summertime left to us, why not try out some of this awesome genre?

Mirror Mirror: A book of reversible verse and Follow Follow: a book of reverso verse, both by Marilyn Singer, are retellings of fairy tales with a twist: they tell one point of view read top to bottom, and another point of view when read bottom to top. Figuring out which fairy tale each story is telling is a lot of fun, plus the illustrations are gorgeous.

Following up the fairy tale theme, Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It: false apology poems by Gail Carson Levine is full of fairy tale characters who aren't REALLY sorry for their misbehavior and use poems to falsely apologize a la William Carlo William's poem "This is Just to Say."

Last, but not least, we have This Is Just to Say: poems of apology and forgiveness by Joyce Sidman. This book features a (fictional) class of sixth graders writing poems asking for forgiveness for various infractions, both serious and less so, with a corresponding second half in which the poem recipients write their own poems in response. If you like your poetry to have a little narrative to it, this one is for you.

Go forth and explore poetry!

Badge Drop #9: Comments & MORE to EXPLORE!

Oh, hi there! Did we totally OVERWHELM YOU with the SERIOUS AMOUNT OF BADGE-NESS we dropped last week? Or are you taking it all in stride? From what we've seen, we're guessing Option #2, since we can see you've been out and about to EXPLORE terrariums, branches and parks GALORE!

So, just to keep the spirit of exploration going, we've got MORE EXPLORER badges for you this time around — badges that might help you get to know the WONDERS of the U-M LIBRARIES (yep, you can go there, even if you're not a student or staff member): two for in-person hunting, and another that takes you deeper into Detroit history via some of U-M's online collections. Cool, huh? We hope you like 'em!

This week's badges reward you for commenting, so help out other players in each thread, ask questions, and join in on conversation about library events. And so far, we've seen you getting (out in the) WILD, as well as SNAPPING SHELFIES, which — we admit — are our favorite kind of selfies. Keep those coming!

2014 Badge Drop #9



We've still got a few more weeks of SUPER SUMMER FUN, so keep up the AWESOME GAME-PLAY, chime in to let us know which badges you LOVE THE MOST, and as always...

THANKS FOR PLAYING!

AADL's Summer Game Geocache for 2014!

Lets end the summer with a BANG! The Ann Arbor District Library is pleased to announce that its Summer Game Geocache has returned for a second year! Use a GPS-enabled device to visit coordinates around town for FOUR virtual caches and ONE physical real-life cache! A game code (POINTS!) and a small treasure (COOL!) is all yours if you chose to find it. You can sign up for a free account at http://www.geocaching.com and learn more with their Geocaching 101 guide. You can also check out geocaching resources here in our own collection.

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