2006 Thumbs Up! Nominee

Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow -- Vote For Me!
Elizabeth Vetter was eight when she turned her parents in for criticizing Adolph Hitler. Hans Scholl rose quickly through the ranks of Hitler Youth but soon rebelled—he was caught and beheaded. Read the chilling stories of Elizabeth, Hans and other German youth who grew up in Hitler’s shadow.

This book is the only nonfiction book on the list, but reads like fiction. I found the dramatic stories combined with sharp black and white photos to be quite compelling. If this book is your choice for the best of 2005, vote for it by using the green ballot available at the library and put it in the box posted in the teen area, or give it to the librarian, or e-mail your choice to davise@aadl.org.

The Simpsons on the Big Screen


Could this be a cruel April Fools joke on fans of the Simpsons?

According to news reports, the most beloved American family made their debut on the big screen this past weekend in a trailer announcing a new Simpsons movie in the works. The short teaser trailer featuring Homer Simpson in his tighty whities was shown in theaters across the country before the new animated film, Ice Age: The Meltdown. The release date is July 27, 2007 so mark your calendars!

The library has many books and videos on the Simpsons, including DVD sets of the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth seasons of the popular television show. For those of you who want to read about the Simpsons, there are books discussing the social relevance and philosophy of the Simpsons.

Narnia for Grownups

Long before C.S. Lewis introduced us to Aslan, he created Screwtape, a veteran demon in the service of “Our Father Below.” Hoping to instruct his demon-in-training nephew, Wormwood, on the finer points of leading Christians astray, he writes The Screwtape Letters. Lewis satirizes human nature deftly but humanely, the religions humans build to express their beliefs, and the plight of those that would undermine both.

The Play Ground

"Willow, titwillow, titwillow" You may be hearing this outside your window as Spring is most definitely here. You can also hear it on April 6-9 at the Michigan League when The University of Michigan Gilbert & Sullivan Society presents one of Gilbert & Sullivan's most beloved operas "The Mikado." With an outstanding cast of old favorites and some new faces, one of UMGASS's most elaborate sets ever, and the most gorgeous silk costumes imaginable, it is sure to be an event you won't want to miss.

2006 Ann Arbor Book Festival

Bookmark this website and circle May 13, 2006 on your personal events calendar. This year's Ann Arbor Book Festival will be an awesome event.

For those of us interested in children's literature, the Festival will provide the rare opportunity to see the 2005 National Book Award Winner for Young People's Literature and the 2006 Newbery Award Winner together on one stage. Jeanne Birdsall, author of The Penderwicks, and Lynne Rae Perkins, author of Criss Cross, will be appearing at noon on Saturday, May 13, 2006.
Their discussion will be moderated by local author Shutta Crum.

There are currently 73 authors scheduled to appear at this year's Festival.

2005 Mitten Award Finalists

Every year the Children's Services Division of the Michigan Library Association gives The Mitten Award to the best children's book published within the calendar year. The 2005 Mitten Award committee has announced its finalists. The winner will be chosen from this list and announced in October at the Association's fall conference.

Picture Books
I Ain't Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont. Illus. by David Catrow.
Punk Farm written and illustrated by Jarrett Krosoczka
Zen Shorts written and illustrated by Jon Muth
Our Tree Named Steve by Alan Zweibel. Illus. by David Catrow

Shakespeare's Secret by Elise Broach
Willow Run by Patricia Reilly Giff
The Liberation of Gabriel King by K.L. Going
Confessions of a Closet Catholic by Sarah Littman
Harry Sue by Sue Stauffacher
Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson

Hidden Child by Isaac Millman
Song of the Water Boatman by Joyce Sidman

If there ever was a time to eat your words.....

yum book

April 1 is not only April Fools' Day but also the date of The International Edible Book Festival. This event brings together book lovers, book artists and gastronomes to celebrate "the ingestion of culture."

Some of my favorites from their gallery include "The Book of Pi" (Guess what that's made of) and "Smore and Peace."

Winners from Michigan from previous years are The Roeper School and The Kalamazoo Center for the Book.

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List (3/26/06)

Five new titles on the List this week featuring popular writers and introducing a new bestselling author from Great Britain.

At #2 is The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult: this author's popularity continues to grow with each new book about a family coping with one of today's hot-button issues; this time it is teens and date-rape.

At #8 is False Impression by Jeffrey Archer: a prison sentence has not hurt sales of his latest book about chicanery in the art world.

At #10 is Nightlife by Thomas Perry: this latest mystery involving the hunt for a woman serial killer has given the author some of the best reviews of his career.

At #12 is Labyrinth by Kate Mosse: another search for the Holy Grail, this British bestseller is latest contender for Dan Brown's place.

At #14 is Kill Me by Stephen White: what happens when you sign a contract to end your own life?

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #13 - Season of the Madonnas, Part 2

Not straightly a debut novel (though first in our collection)...
The Priest's Madonna is of the flesh-and-blood variety. It refers to Marie Dernanaud who is the housekeeper and secret lover to a charismatic village priest in Rennes-le-Chateau, France.
A set of curious artifacts unearthed during church renovations link this 19th century romance to Mary Magdalene and the Knights Templar.
Loosely based on a hazy historical event, Amy Hassinger's second novel is not just another Holy Grail want-to-be. It's "marvelously written, ...a rich fabric of love, mystery, anguish and faith". Starred review in Library Journal. Amy will be reading and signing April 6th and April 8th at these Michigan locations.
For fans of The Birth of Venus and Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #13 -Season of the Madonnas, Part 1

Starred reviews in Booklist and Library Journal, Debra Dean’s debut novel The Madonnas of Leningrad, moves back and forth between the two worlds of Marina – an elderly woman on the eve of her granddaughter’s wedding and the young docent at the Hermitage Museum during the Siege of Leningrad, 1941. As the grasp of the present becomes elusive, the lovely paintings in Marina’s “memory palace” remain just as lush and vivid as when she made her daily walk through the abandoned galleries of empty picture frames.
“Dean eloquently depicts the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease and convincingly described the inner world of the afflicted”. A lovely journey, almost as good as a real tour of the Hermitage.

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