Freedom on the Menu by Carole Boston Weatherford

Freedom on the Menu is the story of the Greensboro Four told through the eyes of a young girl named Connie. Connie wants to sit at the Woolworth counter like the girl she sees twirling on the stool, but the law does not allow African Americans to sit at the lunch counter. Through protests and sit-ins sparked by a sermon by Dr. Marin Luther King, the law is changed and Connie gets to eat her first banna spilt sitting at a Woolworth counter. Carole Weatherford tells the story of this historic event in language that even a young child can understand.

The Vanishing Point by Louise Hawes

The Vanishing Point by Louise Hawes is the story of Lavinia Fontana, daughter of painter Prospero Fontana. In sixteenth century Bologna, it was difficult for a woman painter to be trained and receive recognition. Lavinia finds a way with the help of Paolo, an apprentice of her father's, who passes off her paintings as his own. When her father learns what's happened, he allows her to train with him. Mixed in with this story is a budding romance with Paolo and Lavinia's intervention in a family conflict. A great read for historical fiction fans.

100 Notable Books of the Year

Take a sneak peek at The New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year, scheduled for release in the Book Review's Holiday Issue on December 5. Here are just a few of the titles on the list: Kafka on the Shore, Are Men Necessary?: When Sexes Collide, On Beauty, Made in Detroit: A South of 8 Mile Memoir, Our Inner Ape: A Leading Primatologist Explains Why We Are Who We Are and Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife.

Peace One Day; The Making of World Peace Day

“ When you build a house, you start with one brick.”

Jeremy Gilley believed there should be a specific day dedicated to peace every year. He traveled the globe meeting with world leaders to get support for a World Peace Day. With help from the Dalai Lama and Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General, former Israeli leader Shimon Peres and others, the UN unanimously adopted September 21 as a day of global cease-fire and nonviolence in 2002. In his book Peace One Day; The Making of World Peace Day, Gilley describes the journey to make Peace One Day a reality.

Important Birthdays Today! (November 30)

Mark Twain

Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) – famous American author of such titles as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and more. He is quoted as saying, “I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it.” He did just that, passing away one day after Halley’s Comet visited in 1910.

Winston Churchill – statesman, author, and prime minister (from 1940-45 and 1951-55). The library owns many of his works including Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat: The Speeches of Winston Churchill, The Great Republic: A History of America, as well as many biographies about this prominent figure. (more below)

Long Drive? Listen Here

Listening to a good recorded book can really make the time fly on a long drive. On a recent drive to Chicago I listened to "The Secret Life of Bees," by Sue Monk Kidd. Before I knew it, Michigan and Indiana had flown by like a swarm of bees, and on the way home I listened to the rest of the story. Now I want to read the book.

Stan Berenstain, 1923-2005

Stan Berenstain, co-creator of the beloved Berenstain Bears, died Saturday, November 26, 2005.

Berenstain, with his wife Jan, created the popular illustrated All in the Family feature 49 years ago. All in the Family first appeared in McCall’s magazine, running from 1956-1969. In 1970, the column moved to Good Housekeeping magazine for twenty years.

In the early 1960s, Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss), who was then head of Random House’s children’s publishing, worked with the Berenstains to develop a series of books for kids featuring the Bears. Thus was launched a hugely popular series, totaling more than 200 titles. The Berenstain family saga is a sort of ongoing ursine Leave It to Beaver tale of innocent capers and misadventures, full of gentle resolution.

Hip-Hop Says READ!

JayZ

Eve thinks you should read Toni Morrison's Bluest Eye while Jay-Z recommends "Keep Ya Head Up" by Tupac. You can find these recommendations and more on The Hip Hop Reader, an "interactive website created to increase and enhance the reading habits, Internet usage, and civic engagement of urban high school students." Funded by Verizon, the first Hip Hop reader program is being tested in NYC right now, and features a point system (for students in public NYC high schools), where they can purchase prizes after reading from the Leadership Council's selections. The council includes Jay-Z, Russell Simmons, Eve and others. Check out the reading lists, too.

Based on the book...

Most of the hotly anticipated movies due to be released next month are based on a book: Memoirs of a Geisha, Brokeback Mountain (from Annie Proulx's Close Range and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Even The New World, Terrence Malick's drama about the 17th century English settlement at Jamestown--a tale that promises a good deal of bloodshed, greed, conquest, starvation, and love--is based on Love and Hate in Jamestown: James Smith, Pocahontas and the Start of a New Nation, left, by James Price, a "sparkling book [that] retells a beloved tale in modern terms...." (Publisher's Weekly)

King Kong: A First Look

King Kong 2005

Although it's not scheduled for release until December 13 in New Zealand (December 14 in the United Sates), the first review of Peter Jackson's $207 million epic King Kong is in. In the upcoming December 5 issue, Newsweek's senior writer, Devin Gordon, who was flown to New Zealand for an exclusive screening, gushes over the "surprisingly tender, even heartbreaking, film" and claims Jackson has "proved once again that he might be the only guy whose films are worth getting on a plane and flying halfway around the planet to see." Click here for the full review and a trailer.

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