A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, a star exploded and you can see it today!

As reported yesterday, astronomers have detected what appears to be a Type 1a supernova - an exploding white dwarf - in nearby galaxy M82, the closest to us in 40 years. Supernova 2014J, as it's been named, is a little hard to see in small scopes right now, but it's predicted to grow significantly brighter over the next two weeks before it fades away - easy enough to spot in the library's 4.5-inch telescope and even binoculars.

M82, also known as the "Cigar Galaxy" because of its shape, is part of a popular galaxy pair (M81-M82) in a relatively dim region of the constellation Ursa Major, about a fist's width above the bowl of the Big Dipper in the northeastern sky. It's visible by 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. in our region and will be visible throughout the night.

Sky & Telescope has some additional information and star maps to help you find Galaxy M82.

Sample the Book Clubs to Go collection

Is your Book Club stuck on what to read next? AADL's Book Clubs to Go collection offers discussion kits containing ten copies of the book, summary information, title reviews, author bios, suggested discussion questions, and more. The collection includes classics such as The Scarlet Letter and Pride and Prejudice; memorable 20th century novels like The Grapes of Wrath, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Color Purple, novels made into recent acclaimed films such as The Silver Linings Playbook, Life of Pi, and The Help (some of which contain a DVD of the film as well); current gems like The Buddha in the Attic (2012 PEN/Faullkner Award Winner), A Visit from the Goon Squad (2011 Pulitzer Award Winner for Fiction), and Swamplandia! (2012 Pulitzer Fiction Finalist), plus works by current acclaimed authors Richard Ford, Anne Tyler, Michael Chabon, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and more. There's also a Kids' Book Clubs to Go!

The Book Clubs to Go Page offers discussion tips and more book club resources. And you can add a comment suggesting additions to the collection.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #449

Inspired by the true story of African-American WWII veteran Isaac Woodard, Deborah Johnson's The Secret of Magic * is a clear-eyed depiction of the post-war Deep South, and a young female attorney's attempt of the impossible - attaining justice for a black man.

Joe Howard Wilson called his father from a rest stop to let him know that he was within hours of being home. But he never arrived. Two weeks later, his body was found.

A newly minted attorney at the NAACP office in New York, Regina Robichard worked for a young Thurgood Marshall who sent her down to Revere, Mississippi, after receiving a letter asking that they look into the murder of a black war hero. The letter was signed by M(ary) P. Calhoun, a reclusive author whose novel The Secret of Magic about white and black children playing together in a magical forest, had captivated a young Regina.

"Johnson offers a completely engaging Southern gothic with unforgettable characters in this fictionalized account of a pivotal NAACP case from the 1940s".

"Passionate but never didactic, Johnson wisely allows the novel's politics to play second fiddle to the intimate, nuanced drama of the young black Yankee and middle-aged white Southerner in this provocative story about race in America that becomes a deeply felt metaphor for all human relationships."

* = starred review

Monsieur Marceau

Born Marcel Mangel, Marcel Marceau lived an interesting life. He was shaped by World War II, during which he lost his father to Auschwitz. It was during the war, when Germany occupied France that he and his younger brother adopted the name Marceau.

When he was five, Marceau had seen a Charlie Chaplin movie which ignited an aspiration to become a mime. Eventually, his passion would lead him to travel all around the world and make him famous.

Monsieur Marceau tells his story, presenting information about the work he did during the war risking his own life in order to save others. Then, the book moves on to the career that made him a world-known name.

New Kids TV @ AADL: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is a PBS show geared towards preschoolers and is based on the old Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood show. The adventures of characters in the "Neighborhood of Make-Believe" appeared in a segment in almost every episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

The series debuted on PBS in September 2012 and centers on four year old Daniel Tiger, who is the son of Daniel Striped Tiger from the original "Neighborhood of Make-Believe", and his friends as they solve problems and learn together with imagination, music and fun. Check out: Life’s Little Lessons and Daniel’s Big Feelings on DVD.

 

AADL Talks to Bill Minutaglio About His Book "Dallas 1963"

Media Player

January 27, 2014

Downloads:

File NameSizeType
AADL_Talks_To-Bill_Minutaglio.mp315 MBAudio

In Dallas 1963, author Bill Minutaglio paints a picture of the environment in Dallas in the early 1960s and how a vivid cast of personalities fit together leading up to the tragic event.

You can also view or download Bill's October 20, 2013 lecture at the Library.

Rights Held By: 
Ann Arbor District Library
Length: 
00:31:22

Blackfish on DVD & Blu-ray

Blackfish is a controversial documentary on a dark and controversial subject matter. The disturbing, engaging and mainly one-sided film focuses on the danger of keeping wild animals, namely killer whales, in captivity and the danger is poses to trainers who work with the animals. Much of the film is about Tilikum, an orca held by SeaWorld, and the incidents that happened involving the animal, including three deaths. It exposes SeaWorld, a lack of communication within the organization, and harmful accidents and fatalities involving various staff working with orcas in captivity. The film tells the story using archival footage and interviews with former trainers. While critically acclaimed and a hit at Sundance, the film was not nominated last week for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Owl's Winter

If you love the charm of Arnold Lobel’s stories mixed with the magic of Wild Swan Theater, treat yourself to Owl’s Winter at the Towsley Auditorium this week! The whimsical tales from Owl at Home will warm you up! For an extra treat, grown-ups should check out Wild Swan’s Chocolate Crush which is right around the corner!Wild SwanWild Swan

EASY READER Collections - How Do I Choose?

If your child is beginning to read, ... You want to match books to their reading skills.
There are many systems, and no system is perfect.

ANN ARBOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS use an Alphabet System to identify reading levels.
The Alphabet System can be searched in the Ann Arbor District Library catalog.
Choose the letter that matches your child's school reading level.
The Ann Arbor Public Schools PARENT HANDBOOK describes in simple detail the Alphabet System levels.

The ANN ARBOR DISTRICT LIBRARY uses Colored Dots on the Beginning Reader books.
You can search by Colored Reading Levels in the Library Catalog as follows:
Red Reading Level is the easiest reading level. It roughly matches levels A-D in the schools.
Yellow Reading Level roughly matches levels E-H in the schools.
Blue Reading Level roughly matches levels I-J in the schools.
Green Reading Level is the hardest level in the Beginning Reader collections. It roughly matches levels K-L in the schools. Green Reading Level matches many easy chapter books.

Adulting and The Defining Decade are great reads for twenty-somethings!

Young adulthood can be a challenging time. As someone who is navigating the ups and downs of my twenties right now, I am frequently surprised at the unique and unexpected situations that I am presented with as I continue to grow up. As young adults have become more forthcoming about the trials and tribulations of their twenties in recent years, many authors—some of them still young adults themselves—have stepped up to write books giving advice to twenty-somethings and sharing their own experiences. Hoping for some tips, I read two of these such books, both of which you can check out from AADL.

In Adulting, 27-year-old Kelly Williams Brown gives hilarious and practical advice to young adults on a huge variety of topics. She covers cooking, cleaning, moving to a new area, relationships with friends, family and significant others, jobs and working, and many other areas of importance. Brown admits that she is still growing up herself and shares many of her own successes and failures throughout the book. The idea for this book came from Brown’s blog, which you can peruse here.

The Defining Decade is written by clinical psychologist Dr. Meg Jay, and outlines why one’s twenties are an extremely important time period if one wants to be successful later in life. Jay argues against the “thirty-is-the-new-twenty” mentality and offers advice to those in their twenties while also sharing stories from her own practice and from the young people who come to her seeking help.

I found both of these books to be extremely interesting, entertaining and helpful, and I found myself agreeing with most of what the authors put forward. These two books are a great read for anyone in their twenties, for anyone who interacts with people in their twenties, and for anyone who feels like they may still have some growing up to do!

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