Music for a good cause

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Tomorrow, June 5, there will be a benefit concert for the Shelter Association of Ann Arbor. Even if you don't go to Grillin' this Sunday, you can still donate to the cause (Food Gatherers provides much of the food prepared by the Delonis Center), and hear some great music. The show starts at 8 p.m. at Genesis of Ann Arbor, 2309 Packard Rd. Lee Daniels & Jazz Constellation are the featured group which plays a mix of classical, contemporary and jazz and whose instruments range from bass to flute to glockenspiel. Vocals are provided by local chanteuse, Kathy Moore.

World War II battle to be remembered

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It's not easy to imagine a battle that eventually brought enemies together, starting with American and German planes in the sky over Germany. But we'll get some serious help Thursday 7-8:30 p.m. in the Downtown Multi-Purpose room, when the daughter of one of the men in the battle will speak. Linda Alice Dewey, President of the Kassel Mission Historical Society, will talk about this ill-fated mission of World War II, which occurred Sept. 27, 1944, and lasted only about three minutes. I'm particularly eager to hear about the effort instigated by her father, the late William R. Dewey, to erect a memorial. See you at this fascinating library event.

Chesstastic this weekend

Black and White King

Come and play one of the world's most popular games with players of all ages! Chess sets are provided.

Join us 1-4 p.m., Sunday, June 8, at the Pittsfield Branch.

Ninja Warrior Levi Meeuwenberg coming to AADL

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Sasuke is an irresistable Japanese television event that happens twice a year. 100 competitors take on a brutal 4-stage obstacle course. In the 20 times the contest has been held, the course has only been completed twice. Sasuke now airs in the US as Ninja Warrior on G4, and for the past two Sasuke competitions, G4 has selected American contenders (via the American Ninja Challenge) to travel to Japan to appear on the show alongside the Japanese competitors. Both times, Ann Arbor has been represented in Japan; last fall, Ann Arbor native and Michigan State student Colin Bell appeared on the show, but failed on the Spider Jump of the first stage. This spring, Traverse City native and current Ann Arbor Resident Levi Meeuwenberg traveled to Japan and outlasted all the Japanese competitors to be the last man standing!

Music at Crazy Wisdom

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If you're one of the unfortunate or maybe lucky ones who get to stay in town this holiday weekend, take the opportunity to hear some beautiful music at Crazy Wisdom Bookstore and Tea Room. They have a great music series every Friday and Saturday night, free admission, although you may want to purchase some delicious tea or other goodies while you listen. This Friday, May 23, Laurel Premo will be performing. Laurel hails from the Upper Peninsula and is currently a student at the University of Michigan. She has produced several cds with her group, White Water. She plays guitar, fiddle, mandolin, flute, banjo and plays and sings music inspired by contemporary folk, traditional and ethnic traditions including Celtic and Bluegrass. Come enjoy a relaxing evening at Crazy Wisdom, 114 S. Main St. Music starts at 8:30.

Who are the Judges? 2008 Short Story Contest for Teens

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Aaron Burch - Editor of the literary journal, "Hobart." His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in "Quick Fiction", "elimae", "Smokelong Quarterly" and other publications.

Nan Willard Cappo - Author of "Cheating Lessons" a YA suspense novel set in Michigan. "Cheating Lessons" received a starred review in "Horn Book," a Junior Library Guild selection, and was nominated for an Edgar award as Best Young Adult Mystery from the Mystery Writers of America. Nan grew up in Pennsylvania but has lived in Farmington, Michigan, for the past 20 years. She and her husband have three grown children. At various points she's worked as a waitress, speechwriter, computer sales rep, and college English teacher, and often draws on those experiences for her fiction. Currently she is a sales rep for National Geographic School Publishing and Heinemann. When she's not selling school books, she is working on her third novel, a murder mystery set in a southeast Michigan auto assembly plant.

Cassandra Carter - A 19-year-old honors graduate of Huron High School in Ann Arbor. Her debut novel, "Fast Life" was written was she was fifteen. Two years later, she signed a contract with Harlequin and was published in July 2007, just one month after receiving her diploma. Also a part of the brand new YA imprint, Kimani Tru, her newest work, "16 Isn't Always Sweet" was released on March 1, 2008. Cassandra resides in Ypsilanti, MI where she's been busy promoting both titles. She is also currently hard at work on her third novel, a sequel to "Fast Life."

Elizabeth Ellen - The author of "Before You She Was a Pit Bull" (Future Tense) and "Sixteen Miles Outside of Phoenix" (Rose Metal Press). She lives in Ann Arbor and is deputy editor of the literary journal "Hobart."

Kathe Koja - Kathe Koja has written award-winning novels and short fiction for adults and for young people. Some of her most recent books include "Buddha Boy", "Talk", and "Kissing the Bee". "Headlong" is forthcoming in fall 2008. She lives in Berkley with her husband, artist Rick Lieder, and their cats.

Alex Mindt - The author of the short story collection "Male of the Species." He has published stories in numerous magazines, including the "Missouri Review", and "Confrontation, the Literary Review". His plays have been produced in Seattle and Los Angeles, and he co-wrote, directed, and produced the feature film "Nowheresville". He has taught at Bennington College, University of California at San Diego, and Columbia University. He holds a BA from the University of Iowa and an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University.

Nami Mun - Nami Mun's stories have been published in journals such as the 2007 Pushcart Prize Anthology, The Iowa Review, Evergreen Review, Witness, and Tin House, and was named by Tin House as an Emerging Voice of 2005. She received her MFA in 2007 from the University of Michigan and currently lectures in their English Department. Her novel, "Miles from Nowhere," is forthcoming in January 2009 from Penguin/Riverhead.

Amy Sumerton - Serves as assistant editor of "Orchid Literary Review." She plays cello in a local band called Canada. Amy currently makes a living as program director for 826michigan, a nonprofit writing center designed to help students ages 6-18 develop their writing skills.

Sailing Through Difficulty

John Otterbacher will visit the Downtown Library Wednesday, May 21 at 7:00 p.m. Otterbacher, a resident of Michigan, a former Michigan Congressmen and Senator, and psychotherapist, will discuss his book, Sailing Grace, in which he chronicles his experiences battling heart disease, not wanting to give up, and moving past it. Integral and interwoven into his story are details about learning how to sail, honesty and a bit of self-deprecating humor on mishaps along the way, and eventually making voyages across the Atlantic. Sailing Grace is a 2008 Michigan Notable Book. Michigan Notable Books are a yearly list of books “reflective of Michigan's diverse ethnic, historical, literary, and cultural experience.” Copies will be available for purchase, and there will be an opportunity for books to be signed. Please join us!

2008 . . .and the Winners are. . .Short Story Contest

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We salute all those 200 teen writers who turned in a story for the "It's All Write!" short story writing contest. It's takes courage and creativity; clearly you all have that. Congratulations!

MIDDLE SCHOOL WINNERS:
1st Mari Cohen "Purple"
2nd Lydia L. Brown "Bittersweet"
3rd Caroline Elliott "Notes of Amadeus"

HIGH SCHOOL 9TH/10TH WINNERS:
1st Regina Rose Kazanjian "Loways and Highways"
2nd Lindsay Fischer "Everything is Connected"
3rd Sussy Pan "Breaking the Birthday Curse"

HIGH SCHOOL 11TH/12TH WINNERS:
1st Eva Colas "Searching"
2nd Lindsey Maxon "Networking"
3rd Josh Ballard "Premonitions of a Janitor"

Come out to the Book Festival's Street Fair this weekend

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Ann Arbor's annual Book Festival culminates this weekend with Saturday's day-long Street Fair. AADL is proud to host Friday night's opening reception at 6:00 p.m. in the Downtown Multi-Purpose Room, where you'll have the chance to meet many distinguished authors. Also tonight, the Michigan Theater will be showing "The Life Before her Eyes" based on the book by local author Laura Kasischke. On Saturday, at 2:00 p.m. Deb Caletti, author of Fortunes of Indigo Skye, will be at the State Street Association Stage on Ingalls Mall to announce winners of AADL's annual "It's All Write!" teen short story writing contest. Check out the complete schedule for all the many fun-filled festival events this weekend.

Deb Caletti

Deb Caletti is in Ann Arbor for the upcoming Book Festival and is the guest speaker for the library sponsored Teen Short Story Writing Contest for area teens! Of her newest release, Fortunes of Indigo Skye, Caletti says, "It's about a waitress with a great family and a hunky refrigerator-delivery-guy boyfriend. Her life changes one day when she gets a big tip. A BIG tip." This newest title is already listed on 2009 Best Book Nominations for teens.

Later on Saturday the Celebrity Spelling Bee is also on tap, with Deb Caletti, Cassandra Carter, and others matching wits.

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