Fantasy Lite

For the beginning chapter book reader who longs to enter the world of enchantment, we have many series, both old and new, with fairies, princesses, dragons and more. You will find Airy Fairy, Princess School, Rainbow Magic, Lily Quench and Dragon Slayer’s Academy, under their series names in the youth fiction area. There are plenty more where these came from. Just imagine!

Celebrate the 49th Anniversary of Sputnik 1

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On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union surprised the rest of the world with the launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1. This marked the beginning of the space race, when the US and USSR competed to be the first nation to get a human to the moon and return them safely to the earth. The space race led to countless technological advances, including the invention of microtechnology, which have been put to everyday use in the form of computers, cell phones, and memory foam mattresses.
Celebrate the 49th anniversary of this historic event by using your cell phone to order a pizza. After all, the technology that makes it possible exists because of Sputnik.
Also, visit the New York Times Historical Database (in the research section of our website) to read what our country thought of this event while it was taking place.

More to know 'bout that cup of joe...

Did you know that if you drink about 3 shots of espresso you are actually consuming the same amount of caffeine as a 12 oz cup of coffee? According to NPR, because of the way espresso is prepared (with a quick brewing time) it actually has less caffeine than brewed coffee! To learn more interesting facts about these caffeinated beverages, grab a cup o' joe and check out the NPR article or some of our books on coffee.

Yes. Scientists can laugh at themselves.

You've heard of the Nobel Prize awards. In fact, the 2006 awards for chemistry, medicine and physics have already been announced. But this Thursday, October 5th, the Annals of Improbable Research Magazine will present the 2006 Ig Nobel Prize winners at the 16th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony at Harvard's Sanders Theater. The prizes are awared by Nobel laureates to scientists whose research "makes people laugh." Examples of past winners' papers include: for economics in 2005, the invention of an alarm clock that runs away and hides so that people have to get out of bed. For chemistry, the award was given for research to determine whether people swim faster in syrup or in water. And my favorite for that year, an experiment begun in 1927 in which a glob of black tar has been dripping through a funnel, a drop every nine years.

For two enjoyable if not outrageous books on science, try 101 things you don't know about science and no one else does either by James Trefil or The Pleasure of Finding Things Out by Richard Feynman.

Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw Tale of Friendship and Freedom

Martha Tom is told not to cross the Bok Chitto river where slaves live. One day on a search for blackberries she crosses the river on a hidden stone path. She hears a preacher calling out “We are bound for the Promised Land!” Slaves appeared from behind the trees replying “We are bound for the Promised Land!” Martha Tom is lost. She is led back to the river by Little Mo a young slave. When Little Mo’s mother is about to be sold from her family, he leads them to Bok Chitto. Once they cross the river, they will be free. Tim Tingle, a member of the Choctaw Nation, shows the relationship of Native Americans in the South and African American slaves in this well written story for children.

New exhibition at the UM Museum of Art

Don't miss the new exhibition at the University of Michigan Museum of Art: Mary Lucier: The Plains of Sweet Regret. Lucier's multimedia works capture the essence of life on the Plains and the Prairies; they include video installations, surround sound, and rescued objects. The exhibition runs from September 30 to November 19 at the museum's temporary exhibition space. For hours, directions, and other information, visit the museum web site.

Register Now at all Library Locations for the Cover to Cover Discussion of ‘The Memory Keeper’s Daughter’

Registration begins Monday, October 2 for the discussion of Kim Edwards’ national bestseller. The story spins on a decision Dr. David Henry makes at the birth of his daughter. The lie he lives to keep his decision secret has very different consequences for two families: one is created by it and the other is devastated. The discussion of Edwards’ enthralling book will be held on Thursday, November 16, 7 – 8:30 pm at the downtown Library multi-purpose room and led by AADL staff. The first 15 cardholders to register may check out a new copy of the book.

Muslims In Children's Books

In School Library Journal this month is a very nice article on "Muslims in Children's Books" by Rukhsana Khan, a children's book author. Since this is the time of Ramadan, her website may be especially useful to parents and teachers. You can find good links and suggestions at http://rukhsanakhan.com/muslimbooks.htm. The Library has several of her books. Silly Chicken is one of Khan's original folktales you can find in the Library.

Birthdays of two literary giants

Today, October 2, is the birthday of both Wallace Stevens, born in Reading, Pa. in 1879 and of Graham Greene, born in Hertfordshire, England in 1904.

Stevens was one of the few writers who kept his job after becoming a successful writer. He woke early every day and composed his poems in his head while walking to and from work at the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company. Most people he worked with didn't know he was a poet and he preferred his anonymity. His first book, Harmonium, was published when he was 45. It contained some of his most famous poems including "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" whose first stanza contains a striking visual image:

"Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird."

Greene was a shy child who in his teens attempted suicide several times. At the urging of his therapist, he began to write. He spent much of his life in Vietnam where one of his most famous books, The Quiet American takes place. He published more than thirty books.

Passport Preparation Time

If you're planning a trip outside the U.S. after January 7, 2007 that includes re-entry through an airport or seaport, remember that U.S. citizens will need a passport for travel to and from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean. This new rule could mean a 6 – 12 week processing wait so start your preparation now.

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