All Your Grand Championships Are Belong To Us

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IT'S THAT TIME AGAIN. School is almost out for the year; the 4 rounds of the SmashKart regular season are behind us, and the town is filled with slush. That means it's time for the 5th Annual AADL-GT SmashKart Grand Championships and Festival of Noobs! er, Wildcard Tournament, I meant Wildcard Tournament! It all happens this Saturday, December 20, starting at High Noon at the Downtown Library! Prizes include a Wii, an iPod touch, a DS, and a Shuffle; plus hot new AADL-GT Tshirts for all attendees! Then the season wraps up with our 2nd annual Grudge Buffet, Clan Cup Finals, and GT Awards on Monday, 12/22 at 6 PM featuring food by Salsarita's! Don't miss it, and read on for full details about these highly anticipated events

There's No People Like Snow People!

Come and get in out of the cold! Come to the Traverwood Branch on Friday, January 2, 2009 any time between 2 - 4 p.m. to make some charming snow people out of socks.
This program is for preschoolers through fifth graders. The preschoolers and very young children will need to have an adult stay with them. All supplies will be provided.

For stories about snow people, click here.

Kid Crafts - "Warm Welcome" Charms

On Monday, December 29, between 10:00 and 11:30 a.m. at the Malletts Creek Branch you can create a Shaker "Warm Welcome" charm for your door or window out of dough. Carry it home and let it air-dry until hard. Traditionally these charms were created in Shaker and Pennsylvania Dutch culture as a common kitchen craft during holidays. The charms are typically made of salt dough, and decorated to hang. For more ideas, check out the book Dough Folk Art. The craft is appropriate for all ages. Young children will need adult help during the craft.

Kid Crafts - Make a Gift Coupon Book

Create a personal gift coupon book at the Traverwood Branch on Tuesday, December 23, between 10:00 and 11:30 am. using envelopes, ribbon and calligraphy pens. School ages and up are welcome. Younger ages will need help from an adult during the project. If you like to get into the mood for a craft, read The Book Of Coupons by Susie Morgenstern. It is one of my favorite "chapter books" to read aloud to elementary school age children.

Laughter Blast!

One of my favorite creative teams is coming to town to give you a chuckle and a lift this holiday season on Saturday, December 27 at 2:00 pm Downtown. Talented storyteller and Hopwood Winner, Badria Jazairi, is joining her theatrical expert husband and Pioneer teacher, Phil Walker, for laughter yoga and creative play for the 9 year old and up crowd. Adults and teens are very welcome!

Mittenfest of Music to Benefit 826Michigan


Ypsilanti’s Elbow Room will play host to the 3rd annual Mittenfest. This year’s Mittenfest is three nights of local musicians at one location, where all proceeds will go to 826Michigan. Ann Arbor's 826Michigan is the Michigan chapter of 826National, which was started by Pulitzer nominated author Dave Eggers. 826 is a "non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write." They offer totally free programs, such as tutoring, workshops, drop-in writing and all sorts of other fun things. (And they are housed in a robot store!) Mittenfest is a great way to enjoy quality local bands (such as Great Lakes Myth Society) and support a great organization. See here for a list of all the bands.

Elbow Room | 6 South Washington St. Ypsilanti | Dec 26, 27, 28 | Doors open @ 5pm, Music @ 6pm | $5 per night | $12 for 3-day pass

A touch of Ireland

Catch the music of Teada, an acclaimed quintet that plays traditional Irish music. They play at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, December 17 at the Ark. Its five members play guitar, bouzouki, flute, accordian, fiddle and bodrahn (traditional Irish drum). Well known on the international stage, Téada has played major festivals around North America, and in Europe they've drawn crowds of more than 30,000. Tonight they're joined by County Cork resident and former Solas vocalist Karan Casey, whom the Washington Post called "the Irish equivalent of Emmylou Harris." Doors open at 7:30.

Also, check out the Library's great collection of Irish musicteadateada.

2009 It's All Write! Short Story Writing Contest

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It's almost time for the 2009 It's All Write! Short Story Contest to begin! In less than one month, on FRIDAY, JANUARY 23, entries will start being accepted in our annual writing contest. Winners will be announced at the Ann Arbor Book Festival Short Story Contest event, Saturday, May 16 featuring teen book author Gary D Schmidt. Here are the facts for this year's contest:

1st Place ($250), 2nd Place ($150), and 3rd Place ($100) prizes will be awarded in the following categories: Grades 6-8, Grades 9-10, and Grades 11-12.

Entries accepted FRIDAY, JANUARY 23 through FRIDAY, MARCH 20.

Guidelines are attached here.

Prize Winning Short Stories is a booklet available for check out of previous years' winners, or you can read last year's winners online. Good Luck!

Author Greg Mortenson comes to Ann Arbor in January

AADL is pleased to bring American mountain climber and humanitarian Greg Mortenson to Ann Arbor on January 24 as part of his nation-wide tour to promote the new youth and teen versions (coming soon!) of his book Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time. This event, which will include a book sale and signing courtesy of Nicola's Books, will take place on Saturday, from 6-7:00 p.m. in the Huron High School Auditorium at 2727 Fuller Road in Ann Arbor.

T-o-o-o-o-o-t! Trains in Toyland sounds fun

Tomorrow Dec. 13 the Washtenaw County Historical Society opens its Trains in Toyland exhibition which runs through Sunday Jan. 25 at the Museum on Main Street, 500 N. Main St. Hours are 12-4 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday, and demos will be offered each Saturday and Sunday by the Ann Arbor Model Railroad Club. Firefly the Magic Clown is scheduled for Sunday Dec. 14. Remember, the exhibition will be closed Dec. 24 and 31, but open on Jan 19 Martin Luther King Day. Sounds like a good winter outing for young train fans, who may want to prepare by checking out a train book, maybe C is for Caboose: Riding the rails from A to Z or Puff, puff, chugga-chugga.

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