Sticky Burr!!

Read the inspiring story (in graphic storybook form) of an anthropomorphic seed pod who becomes a hero. And there’s even a song to learn at the end!
Sticky Burr and his good friend Draffle the Dragonfly save Princess Oralee (of the lightning bugs) and the entire village of burrs in this exciting adventure for middle-graders. For even more fun visit the Sticky Burr website.

Innocent or guilty?

On June 20 in 1893, the verdict was announced in the trial of Lizzie Borden who was accused of murdering her father and stepmother with an ax. It was the first murder trial to be covered by the national media. All the evidence against Lizzie was circumstantial since no one had actually witnessed the murder and no weapon was found. All that could be proven was that Lizzie had been at the house at the time of the murder, had a lot of money to gain and that she had recently bought poison at a local pharmacy.
Lizzie was found innocent and no one else was ever tried for the murder. Even though the New York Times wrote that the trial had been cruel and unjust, there were many other writers of articles and books who still accused her of the murder and the trial has become an icon for sensationalized crime coverage to this day.

2006 Mitten Award Announced

Last week the Children's Services Division of the Michigan Library Association announced the winner of the 2006 Mitten Award.
The Award goes to Cynthia Lord for her first novel Rules. This is the story of how twelve-year-old Catherine deals with her autistic younger brother. This title also won a Newbery Honor Medal, the Schneider Family Book Award and is an American Library Association Notable Children's Book. I think this title deserves all these accolades.
There were three Mitten Honor books announced.
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
Counting on Grace by Elizabeth Winthrop

The Mitten Award honors one children's book every year as the best published in the calendar year.

Great Grandpa Could Not Have Imagined

What you can make with that thing he used to clean his pipe with! All kids five and up are invited to join us for Pipecleaner Fun when we make crawly critters and other outrageous creations at the Pittsfield Branch this Wednesday, June 20th at 4:00 p.m.

Another Dillard classic

Annie Dillard, known for her evocative nature writing in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, fiction and poetry brings us a tender, beautifully written love story called The Maytrees. Set in Provincetown, Cape Cod, the novel is about Toby Maytree, poet and handyman and his livelong love, Lou Bigelow, a painter, who meet and marry in this bohemian town after World War II. They read books together, cook lots of soup and raise a son, Petie. Dillard evokes the windswept beauty of the Cape as a backdrop for changes that to others may seem cruel when Tobey, leaves Lou to live with another woman. The Maytrees is a poetically imagined story of love's resillience and proves once again that Dillard is truly a master of her craft.

Any bug lovers out there?

The periodical cicada has invaded the Midwest by the billions over the past few weeks- particularly in parts of llinois, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin. These red-eyed beauties (yes, I said beauties!) spend 17 years underground before they emerge, and when they emerge, boy are they en masse! Some people find them amazing, others find them loud and messy. You can be your own judge of that. Find more cicada facts, and colorful pictures too, here. Happy reading, and don’t let them bug you too much!

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #72

I am sure if you are a reader of mysteries, you would have come across some very famous feline detectives. Occasionally, a dog or two have tried to get in on the act. Clever, I am sure, but they have always relied on their two-legged sidekicks.

Now Leonie Swann, in her debut mystery (translated from German) Three Bags Full* introduces fleecy ones who work alone!

In the bucolic Irish village of Glennkill, a flock of sheep has just come across the murdered body of its beloved shepherd George Glenn. Led by the very smart Miss Marple, they are determined to bring the killer to justice, not withstanding all the obstacles in their way (they can’t talk, their chief suspects is the BUTCHER!).

Already a bestseller in Europe, U.S critics are calling Three Bags Full a “quirky philosophical mystery”, “refreshingly original” and “magical”. Swann also “peppers the text with literary allusion that add humor and lighten the existential gloom of both people and sheep”.

* = Starred Review

New Fiction on the New York Times Best Sellers List (6/17/07)

I'm not a big fan of horror, in books or in films. I prefer mysteries for my chills and thrills. Along with Stephen King, however, Dean Koontz is bending the genres with dark and suspenseful tales that may feature a major plot element outside the norm. Think Hitchcock. Think classic film noir. Good Guy is his latest breathtaking thriller, featuring a "wrong man" and leaving readers enthralled.

The other new entries are Sacrifice by Karen Traviss, the latest addition to the Star Wars saga, and Lawman by Diana Palmer, another romantic thriller from this prolific author.

For a look at the entire List go to this site.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #71

If you enjoyed The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, (Did you like the movie too?) I would suggest The Last Summer (of you and me). It is teen author Ann Brashares's break into the adult market, and a summer read, perfect for the beach.

Paul (McCartney) named after Sir Paul by his wayward father, and sisters Riley and Alice have been pals since they were babies, growing up next door to each other summering on Fire Island. Tomboy older sister Riley and Paul have a strong connection that transcend the seasons, until the summer when Alice turns 21 and heading to law school.

That summer, she and Paul decide to act on their mutual attraction with unforeseen consequences. When a family tragedy strikes, it forever alters the course they have set for themselves. A coming-of-age story sure to please the Brashares fans.

Rash wins 2007 Thumbs Up!

The Thumbs Up! Award committee has voted Rash by Pete Hautman as the 2007 winner. Rash is a chilling satire that tells the story of Bo, a struggling teen. It's 2076. Anyone who litters or verbally assaults another person in the Safer States of America goes to prison. Bo has five family members in jail, and due to his temper he is sent to a remote work camp where he has to make fast food pizzas, play the dangerous and illegal game of football, and battle the bears that live in the cold north. It’s a great read or listen on audio CD.

The committee also chose four Honor books. They are An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, and Notes from the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick.

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