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.

Millers Creek Film Festival

Did you know the Huron River Watershed Council sponsors a film festival? The Millers Creek Film Festival is a filmmaking competition and festival that is held to raise awareness about the river and water issues in the area. You can submit a film five minutes long (or shorter) or a 30 second public service spot. The subject is human connections to the River or its tributaries. Prizes will be awarded and the winners will be shown at the Michigan Theater on March 20, 2007.

Entries must be submitted by February 20, 2007. The entry fee is $15 (or $10 if submitted by February 1, 2007).

Check for further information and entry forms online at HRWC

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List (10/1/06)

One of the best books I ever read about teenagers in love was That Night. It perfectly evoked a time and place (the 60s in a small town on Long Island). In subsequent novels, Alice McDermott would return again and again to this setting and its resident Irish Catholics, capturing their lives in beautiful, heartbreaking stories.

At #1 is The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield: "A biographer struggles to discover the truth about an aging writer who has mythologized her past."

At #3 is The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen: " Boston medical examiner and a detective must solve a series of murders involving apocalyptic messages and a sinister cabal."

At #11 is World War Z by Max Brooks: "An "oral history" of an imagined Zombie War that nearly destroys civilization."

At #12 is A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon: "The world of a mild-mannered British family man falls apart; from the author of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.' "

At #13 is Only Revolutions by Mark Z. Danielewski: "Two teenagers, forever 16, describe a 100-year road trip; their versions begin at opposite ends of the book, upside down from each other."

At #14 is After This by Alice McDermott: "The life of a Catholic family on Long Island at midcentury."

New Youth DVD's

There are so many new Youth DVD's. There is a new Bob the Builder DVD, called Bob the Builder. Help is on the way! where Bob is has to build a stand for the flower show, builds a movie theater, and has other adventures. The new Curious George with Drew Barrymore, Will Ferrell, and Dick Van Dyke is now available. Disney has released a DVD version of The Little Mermaid, that has special features available on two discs. For all of you Pokémon fans Pokémon Advanced Challenge volumes 5-10 are now available to be checked out!

Kite Runner

Thursday 9-28-2006 on the Diane Rehm show Khaled Hosseini an Afghan-American doctor talked about his first novel Kite Runner which was an international literary sensation. Books like the Kite Runner can help us begin to understand the culture of this and other previously obscure nations which have become pivot points in global politics. Supposedly there's a movie being made of Kite Runner due out in 2007 from Dreamworks and directed by Marc Foster of Finding Neverland fame.

If you like Kite Runner click here for other similar titles. One of my colleagues highly recommends Sewing Circles of Herat from that list.

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