Invisible Children

Lost Boys

Last Saturday night, some 600 area students were inspired by a film-in-the-making to stage a sleep-in outside Ann Arbor's city hall. The film is about the plight of children abducted, brainwashed and trained to fight in Uganda's 18-year-old civil war. University students organized the screenings and local sleep-ins as part of a "Global Night Commute". Until the film (currently in rough cut) makes its way into the AADL collection, you may want to check out the similarly themed Lost Boys of Sudan, last year's award-winning documentary about two orphaned Sudanese refugees from yet another devastating African civil war. This title, along with several other powerful films, is available at AADL through the Human Rights Video Project. Teachers, students and other local groups may arrange to borrow any of the titles on this list for a public screening. Check out a complete listing of titles and summaries.

Celebrating Families Built Through Adoption

Recent news of celebrities building their families through adoption is raising the public's awareness of the joys and heartaches that come with the adoption process. The library has many materials for those interested in learning more about adoption.

The Waiting Child, by Cindy Champnella, tells the true story of a little girl, whom the Champnella family adopted from China, and her persistence in finding a mama for a little boy she left behind. On Saturday, May 6th, 2006, Cindy Champnella will be in Ann Arbor to speak about her family's inspirational story.

Other recent books about adoption include:
Two Little Girls: A Memoir of Adoption
Weaving a Family: Untangling Race and Adoption
A Love Like No Other: Stories from Adoptive Parents
Complete Adoption and Fertility Legal Guide

Two recommended films about adoption include:
Secrets and Lies and My Flesh and Blood

Where the women are strong, the men are good looking, and all the children are above average

"It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, Minnesota." So surely will begin 2006 Honorary Oscar winner Robert Altman's film version of A Prairie Home Companion, opening on June 9th.

All of your favorite residents of Lake Wobegon will be there: Guy Noir private eye (played by Kevin Kline), the singing cowboys Dusty & Lefty (John C. Reilly and Woody Harrelson respectively), and of course, hometown boy and host Garrison Keillor (played by none other than himself). Also on hand will be a few new old-fashioned singers from Lake Wobegon: Rhonda (Lily Tomlin), Yolanda (Meryl Streep), and Lola (Lindsay Lohan).

Make sure that you brush up on your Lake Wobegon gossip and A Prairie Home Companion antics to keep abreast of all the town happenings!

Anniversary of a mutiny

mutiny

On April 28, 1789, Fletcher Christian led a mutiny of the ship HMS Bounty, which was loaded with breadfruit tree plants from Tahiti and bound for Jamaica. Rebelling against their cruel captain, Lieutenant William Bligh, Christian took some of his crew and some Tahitians to Pitcairn Island where they burned the Bounty and remained undiscovered for eighteen years. Bligh and some of his followers miraculously survived a forty-seven day journey in an open boat and landed on the island of Timor.

To get the full details, read Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff or see either of two films, one made in 1935 with Charles Laughton and Clark Gable, the other in 1962 with Marlon Brando.

Birdwatching

April 26 is ornithologist, artist and wildlife conservationist John James Audubon's birthday---reason enough to pick up the addicting habit of watching birds. Here are a few ways to get started:

Lounge in your backyard with National Audubon Society North American Birder's Handbook. Pop The Audubon Videoguide to 505 Birds of North America into your DVD player, or Backyard Bird Songs into your CD player. Join the Washtenaw Audubon Society's "Tuesday Evening Birders" every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. through May 23 for evening walks at local birding sites (call 994-3569 for more info), or attend the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission's "May Morning Bird Walk" on Saturday, May 6, from 8-10 p.m. in the Brauer Preserve (call 971-6337 for more info). Visit the Haehnle Audubon Sanctuary and watch for Sandhill Cranes; read The Boy Who Drew Birds: John James Audubon, or marvel over Audubon's original plates.

Young Parrotheads' fancies turn to . . . country music?

With the upcoming film release of Carl Hiaasen's Newbery honor book Hoot, there's potential to create a whole new generation of Parrotheads. Everyone's favorite resident of Margaritaville, Jimmy Buffett, not only produced and stars in the film, but he also penned much of its original soundtrack.

Of course, Mr. Buffett isn't the only artist who stands to benefit from an influx of new fans. Many country musicians carry on this tradition of carefree beach relaxation, not the least of whom is one of Buffett's most prominent successors: Kenny Chesney. Despite having such distinctly un-parrotlike hits as "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy," Chesney has staked his claim in the Parrothead pantheon with such songs as "When the Sun Goes Down" and "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem." Indeed, his 2004 album Be As You Are is a veritable smorgasbord of tropical freewheeling goodness.

Young and old Parrotheads alike may also enjoy the works of some other country greats such as Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, or the legendary Willie Nelson.

Celebrate the opening of the first movie theater

On April 23, 1896, the first movie that was shown in a theater was seen at the Koster and Bials Music Hall in New York City. Until this time, people only saw films individually by using a kinetoscope.

Movies have dramatically changed over the years. As evidence, explore our diverse video and dvd collection including the dvd set, Treasures from American Film Archives, a four dvd set of fifty films that represent the breadth of American film making in its first one hundred years. Winner of the 2000 Film Heritage Award from the National Society of Film Critics and hailed by one critic as "...a bottomless bottle of blue tequila..," the series includes silent films, avant-garde works, documentaries and some of the earliest American films.

Celebrate Bill's 442nd Birthday on April 23

Well of course you'll want to read Shakespeare if you've never had the privilege, but there are also plenty of excellent translations of his work on video. In addition to the classics--Laurence Olivier's Hamlet, Orson Welles' Othello, and Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet--the Library owns at least five different interpretations of King Lear. Recent acquisitions include the 2005 theatrical release of The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino; the 1996 version of Twelfth Night; this 2005 performance of Benjamin Britten's opera of A Midsummer Night's Dream; and the 1976 Thames Television production of Romeo and Juliet.

Muhammad Ali Sells Rights to Name and Likeness

Muhammad Ali recently agreed to give up majority control of the rights to his name and image to an entertainment and licensing firm in exchange for $50 million. CKX, Inc. also owns the rights to Elvis Presley's marketing.

The library has many materials for those interested in learning more about Ali. Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times and the more recent The Lost Legacy of Muhammad Ali, both by Thomas Hauser, are highly recommended. Other books include The Muhammad Ali Reader and King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero.

DVDs include When We Were Kings, an excellent documentary about the 1974 "Rumble in the Jungle" versus a younger and meaner George Foreman. Also on order is Michael Mann's director's cut of the 2001 film Ali. For those who don't want to wait, the original DVD release is also available.

Fore!

With Phil Mickelson winning his second Masters title this past weekend and mother nature starting to accomodate us a bit more, I'm guessing those of us who love the game of golf are getting pretty excited. As you start cleaning your clubs and visiting the driving range to shake the winter rust off your swing, make sure you take a look at the library's materials about golf.

Check out the DVD set of instructional tips from Golf's Magazine's top 100 teachers or a 3-disc set containing everything you ever wanted to know about Tiger Woods. If you're in the mood for some comedy, it's never a bad time to re-watch Happy Gilmore or Caddyshack.

Golf-related books recently added to the collection include The Golf Handbook, The Lost Masters, and The Secret of Golf.

Let me end with a friendly reminder: If you're out on the course and you hear someone yell "Fore!"...Don't look up to see where the ball is!

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