AADL World Languages Audiobook Collection

Did you know the AADL has audiobooks in many languages? If you're learning a new language (or already know a few!), check out some of these titles:

Award Winning Books:

The Pulitzer Prize winning story, Enrique's Journey (Spanish) by Sonia Nazario

The Harry Potter series in German and French.

Classic Literature:

Of Mice and Men (French) by John Steinbeck

Old Man and the Sea (Chinese) by Ernest Hemingway

For Kids:

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Spanish) by C.S. Lewis

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Italian) by Lewis Carroll

For more fiction and nonfiction audiobooks in Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish, browse our World Languages Collection!

Young Naturalist Awards Contest 2015

The American Museum of Natural History will once again host its popular Young Naturalist Awards contest this year for all students in grades 7-12 who are interested in science and nature. Young scientists can go outside and explore (in the backyard, at the park, at a pond, or even one of the Great Lakes, for example) to pose a question, create a hypothesis, and start collecting data. Then students write about their research in a thoughtful essay, including photographs or visuals and reflections on the outcome. In addition to all the outdoor fun, winning entrants will receive cash prizes, online publication, classroom resources for their teacher, and an all expenses paid trip to the Museum! Students may submit their essays from January 1, 2015 through March 1, 2015. Check out the American Museum of Natural History's website for more information!

Need help getting started on your submission? The first step is getting outside and exploring! You can even explore the great outdoors right near your favorite AADL branch: visit the beautiful Stapp Nature Area by Traverwood, the native plants of Malletts Creek, or the wetland areas of Pittsfield! Those looking to do background research can check out this list of books on nature. Library users can also check out items like binoculars, a birdsong scanning wand, a portable digital microscope, or the hybrid powered environmental quality meter from AADL's fantastic science tools collection for their research!

Good luck and happy exploring!

NEW Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book: The Long Haul!

Can't get enough of Greg Heffley and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series? Well you're in luck! Jeff Kinney just released his newest addition to the series, "The Long Haul," yesterday! This time Greg is definitely in for some eye-rolling and groans: he's going on a family road trip. That's right, he's stuck with Rodrick, Manny, Mom and Dad inside a car for what seems like eternity, and that can only mean one thing: this hilarious journey is sure to keep you laughing!

More good news! The official series website has a free excerpt for you to read, or you can read ALL OF IT by checking it out from AADL!

Even MORE good news! If you want to celebrate this awesome book series, join us at the Pittsfield Branch this Saturday (11/8) at 1pm for a Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book Release Party! We'll have crafts, games and prizes for the whole family!

The Wild Truth; the untold story behind Into the Wild

Many of us are familiar with the fascinating story of Chris McCandless, told so fantastically by Jon Krakauer in 1996’s Into the Wild. Krakauer reports the true story of Chris’s desertion of his wealthy family, abandonment of his car and other possessions, donation of the $25,000 he had to his name to charity and ensuing adventures hitchhiking to Alaska and his life completely off the grid there. Months after his departure, his emaciated body was found in the Alaskan wilderness by a moose hunter.

Chris’s story was a controversial one, as many readers wondered how he could justify deserting his family and friends, leaving them to worry and wonder for months, and ultimately mourn his death. Other readers admired and often envied him for his courage and dedication to following his own path. The book enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in the late 2000s, when it was made into a movie by the same title.

Now, Chris’s beloved sister Carine McCandless has written a revealing new book about her brother and about their childhood that offers vast amounts of insight into the reasoning behind Chris’s decision to leave his loved ones. In The Wild Truth: The Untold Story of Sibling Survival, Carine describes in vivid detail the realities of McCandless family life when she and Chris were growing up. “Carine was Chris's best friend, the person with whom he had the closest bond, and who witnessed firsthand the dysfunctional and violent family dynamic that made Chris willing to embrace the harsh wilderness of Alaska,” reads the book jacket. “In the many years since the tragedy of Chris's death, Carine has searched for some kind of redemption. In this touching and deeply personal memoir, she reveals how she has learned that real redemption can only come from speaking the truth.” Fans of Into the Wild will surely be interested in reading this insightful look into the nuances of Chris’s story.

Parent’s Corner: Top Picks

The Parent Shelf is located in the downtown youth area, and on this shelf you’ll find a variety of parent-child related books on a multitude of topics- including everything from homework to potty training to time-outs to bullying. These books are available for checkout and can be found in the catalog when searching “parent shelf.” Here are a few stand-out titles worth a peek:

Making grateful kids: The science of building character

How to be the parent you always wanted to be

For additional parent resources check out the long list of titles in the catalog and located on the Parent Shelf!

Little Puppy and the Big Green Monster!

Little Puppy is looking for someone to play with. When Little Puppy runs into the terrifying Big Green Monster, he knows that this new friend will play with him! However, all the Big Green Monster wants is to be left alone. What will happen when these two very different personalities interact? Will Little Puppy ever find someone to play with?

In this charming and funny tale by Mike Wohnoutka, Little Puppy and the Big Green Monster interact and become unlikely (and unusual) friends. This sweet story of friendship is told primarily through hilarious illustrations, which showcase the differences between the energetic Little Puppy and the ferocious Big Green Monster.

Looking for a similar story? Give A Visitor for Bear a try! This fun picture book by Bonny Becker is sure to delight fans of Little Puppy. Also try A Splendid Friend, Indeed by Suzanne Bloom for another story involving patience and learning to accept differences.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #492 - “I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong... I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I believe in miracles.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

Miracle in a Dry Season * by Sarah Loudin Thomas is set in the small town of Wise, WV. (First in the Appalachian Blessings series)

Rumors and speculations swirl around single mother Perla Long and her 5 yr.old daughter Sadie when she comes to live with her uncle and aunt. Casewell Phillips, a church elder and a confirmed bachelor is charmed when he meets beautiful Perla, and before long, he is crafting doll furniture for Sadie. But like the townfolks, he is cautious of her past that hints of sordidness, and suspicious of her singular talent of producing literally an endless feast out of meager rations.

When a severe drought hits Wise, folks are torn between gratitude for Perla's gift, small-town gossip, and a minister bent on judgment. Perla and Casewell must look deep into their hearts and faith for guidance if they are to have a future.

"Thomas's fiction debut offers sympathetic, wholesome protagonists seeking to live faithful, prayerful lives and engaging supporting characters in subplots that explore the overarching themes of forgiveness, redemption, and the wideness of God's love."

Fans of Ann Tatlock, Karen Kingsbury, and Lisa Wingate now have a new author to watch.

* = starred review

The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying & Start Making

I have a new love. It’s called Hollandaise sauce. Velvety, lemon-butter, it partners with meat or fish, eggs, grains or vegetables. A very democratic sauce. One for all.

The only way to enjoy this delectable garnish is to make it yourself. You can be tres authentique and do it the long way, a la master chefs Jaques Pepin, Julia Child and Elizabeth David. Or you can totally cheat and follow the example of this brief Food Lab video. A stick blender and two minutes and you’ve got it.

But why stop there? Next up - homemade mayonnaise. For such a common condiment it is way more complicated. Which oil, whole egg or just the yolk, lemon juice or vinegar, arm-powered whisk or blender? That’s where a number of lovely books came to my rescue and taught me way more about sauces than I thought possible, especially this marvelous book, Modern Sauces: More Than 150 Recipes for Every Cook, Every Day. We have many, many others! You too can emulate the great cuisines of every continent with sauces and toppings which enhance flavor and presentation.

But my greatest discovery was this handy compendium to the self-sufficient and frugal gourmet, The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making. Very resourceful, inspiring, entertaining, and useful! Next up - homemade ketchup.

PreK Bits - Inch by Inch

In honor of "I" .. Ms Rachel brought Inchworm to Storytime.
Inchworms are very useful because they can measure things ... including Nightingale's song ....

Find the stories to read/sing at home:
INCH By INCH by Leo Lionni
Ms. Sara sang INCH By INCH The Garden Song by David Mallett
You can hear the song (and more) on the recording PICKIN & GRINNIN Great Folk Songs For Kids
I MADE A MISTAKE was a silly story about how things can go wrong ... by mistake!

More Inchworms and Counting can be found below:
Stories To Go SIZE And MEASUREMENTS is a pre-selected set of stories on measuring sizes.
There are many more Stories To Go with Preschool themes. You can choose by the bag-full!

Here are more books to practice your counting:
INCHWORM And A HALF
LIFETIME:The Amazing Numbers In Animal Lives
100 ANIMALS On PARADE
The DEEP DEEP PUDDLE
20 BIG TRUCKS In The MIDDLE Of The STREET

Yes Please

Yes Please by Amy Poehler is everything I thought it would be. It is funny, candid, and at times, it addresses deeper issues like negative self-talk, disability, and divorce. According to the book jacket, Yes Please is "A collection of stories, thoughts, ideas, lists, and haikus from the mind of one of our most beloved entertainers, Yes Please offers Amy's thoughts on everything from her 'too safe' childhood outside of Boston to her early days in New York City, her ideas about Hollywood and 'the biz,' the demon that looks back at all of us in the mirror, and her joy at being told she has a 'face for wigs.' Yes Please is chock-full of words and wisdom to live by."

If you enjoy reading the smart and poignant writings of Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Lena Dunham, Sarah Silverman, Mindy Kaling, and Carol Burnett (I could go on and on, but I think you get the point) then I assure you, you will enjoy Poehler’s book. To give you any indication about how quickly it reads, I checked it out yesterday evening and before morning had read half of it…and I’m a slow reader.

If you prefer audiobooks, we have you covered. You can put the BOCD on hold here and experience Poehler's book by listening to her read it. Her voice is pretty strong in her writing, but I imagine her jokes will only be improved by her own vocal inflections. I know as much as I enjoyed reading Bossypants, I loved listening to it.

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