IAW 2015 Guest Speaker: Rebecca Donovan

The 2015 It's All Write Teen Writing Contest Awards Ceremony is almost upon us! In less than one week's time, YA author Rebecca Donovan will be here to talk about writing, and winners in attendance at the celebration will receive their awards. We'll be at the Pittsfield branch on Sunday, June 7, at 2 pm, so stop on by!

Curious to know more about our upcoming guest? Look no further!

Rebecca Donovan is a self-described "hopeless optimist" whose enthusiasm and passion comes through in her writing. She loves going to concerts, is a big fan of Mountain Dew, and lives in New England but really doesn't like winter. She started college intending to major in journalism but ended up graduating with a degree in psychology, and she spent years doing social work and working in the event industry before she turned to writing. Her first trilogy, The Breathing Series, is a USA Today bestseller and has been optioned for film.

In the first book in the series, REASON TO BREATHE, a high school girl named Emma Thomas in a wealthy Connecticut town struggles to retain her perfect image while hiding secrets - like trying to cover the bruises on her arms. When she unexpectedly finds love, it makes her recognize her own worth but puts her "perfect image" at risk.

BARELY BREATHING, the second book, deals with the repercussions and fallout of first book. OUT OF BREATH, the third book, follows Emma to college, where she must continue to battle the demons of her past and complete the healing process through forgiveness.

Donovan's most recent book, WHAT IF, came out in January 2015 and is about high school graduate Cal Logan, who sees his childhood crush Nicole at a coffee shop thousands of miles away from their hometown ... only she says her name is Nyelle, she's the complete opposite of Nicole, and she doesn't know who Cal is! What secrets is not-Nicole hiding? The more he discovers, the more he doesn't want to know.

Transportation: Past, Present, and Future

If you’ve got a little one who loves planes, buses, trucks, cars, and more, check out some of our new transportation books, featuring images from the past, present, and future!

French illustrator Alain Grée’s wonderful illustrations from the late 1960’s have been bundled into the fabulous book Transportation, which will satisfy any young readers with an interest in cars, buses, planes, trains, and more. Simple illustrations and facts will help children learn about transportation. The plane illustration may make adults jealous of the early travelers pictured reclining in great comfort! Because this book originated in 1968, adults reading it to little ones may want to explain some anomalies, such as why almost everyone in the book is white, that Native Americans don’t actually travel by canoe anymore, and that spaceships look somewhat different than they used to.

If you want to learn about futuristic machines, we’ve got lots of new youth books that will help you out! Check out the books Hovercraft and Drones. For military machines, look at Denny Von Finn’s military planes series, or Ryan Nagelhout’s books Air Force One and Fighter Planes.

Finally, for older readers looking for a history of flight, you can’t do much better than Tim Grove’s colorful and detailed book First Flight Around the World: The Adventures of the American Fliers Who Won the Race. Published with the help of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, this book contains a plethora of pictures, maps, and primary source material. Readers will love this exciting story.

Mr. Ferris and His Wheel

As a beautifully illustrated picture book, Mr. Ferris and His Wheel is the true story of how mechanical engineer George Ferris invented and constructed the amazing spinning wheel, coined the Ferris Wheel after him, to debut at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. It’s a great story of perseverance and determination after Ferris was doubted as to whether or not his "contraption" would work or be safe. But during the nineteen weeks the World’s Fair ran in Chicago over 1.5 million people rode the wheel, which revolved more than 10,000 times total, and did not need one single repair.

Star Wars Reads Day Crafts

Saturday October 10, 2015: 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for youth in grades K-5.

May the arts be with you! Celebrate the 4th annual Star Wars Reads Day with us by making some out-of-this-galaxy Star Wars crafts. Costumes encouraged!

Library Lists: Best Board Books!

Language learning and picture recognition both begin at a very young age, an age so young, in fact, that often babies can’t yet handle the delicate pages and covers of real books! This, of course, is where board books come in. The AADL has a great collection of board books that we replenish regularly and keep at all of our locations. Here are some favorites, from alphabet books, to shortened versions of classic children’s stories, all available at the library!

Rhymoceros: In this adorable book, a bright blue rhinoceros demonstrates pairs of rhyming words by attempting various feats and experiments.

In Small, Smaller, Smallest, flaps and tabs help demonstrate different sizes of colorful objects and creatures to curious young readers.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: A Colors Primer introduces babies to colors, using the familiar figures of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion. Also in this adorable series are Frankenstein: An Anatomy Primer, Anna Karenina: A Fashion Primer, and tons of others, all by author Jennifer Adams.

Little fans of trucks, trains, planes and other vehicles will enjoy Steve Light’s board books such as Planes Go, Trains Go, and Diggers Go, where they can see, sound out, and recreate the noises of lots of different moving machines!

Sandra Boynton’s board books are hilarious classics that are not only fun for kids, but are amusing for adults too. Try Blue Hat Green Hat, which features a turkey who can’t quite seem to get dressed properly or The Going to Bed Book to start.

Little Pear Tree is a beautifully illustrated book with flaps to lift and unique words to learn and creatures to discover. Readers will enjoy seeing a pear tree and its surroundings change throughout the seasons.

Yusuke Yonezu’s fun board books about fruits and vegetables are fascinating for the littlest readers: pairings of different foods morph into animals when a page is shifted or a flap is lifted! Try Guess What?-Food and Guess What?-Fruit.

Alphablock is a fantastic first alphabet book for babies. With thick pages cut into the shape of each letter, young hands can really FEEL how a letter might be written or drawn. And of course, there are lots of items and creatures that begin with each letter on the pages so kids can begin to learn what words are associated with them.

If you’re looking for more fun and interesting board books, check out this list!

2015 IAW Get to Know the Judges: Terry Lynn Johnson

Leading up to the It's All Write Teen Short Story Contest celebration on June 7 (mark that on your calendar!), we'll be posting information about the judges who have the difficult task of narrowing down our contestants. Our next judge is Terry Lynn Johnson.

Johnson has had an adventurous life - she currently works as a conservation officer in northern Ontario and has been a park ranger and musher in the past. She enjoys snowshoeing, kayaking, and fishing. Stories from her time dogsledding and as a backcountry canoe ranger in Quetico Wilderness Park have greatly influenced her writing and inspired her to become a published author. She is also a contributing writer for various magazines about the outdoors.

Her novel ICE DOGS (2013) is about a 14-year-old champion dogsledder who loses her way during a routine outing with her dogs. A freak snowstorm and an injured city boy make matters worse, and it's up to Victoria and her survival skills to save them all. Johnson has also released an ebook called DOGSLED DREAMS.

The Girl's Guide: the handiest new book!

It has always seemed to me like there are a lot of “life guidebooks” out there, especially geared towards women. Some have good info, but are often focused on a single subject: housekeeping, fashion, love and romance, health or careers, but rarely all of the above. Life can be confusing and I’ve often wished for a book that has tips and suggestions about all of that stuff that I can just keep around the house. And now, we’ve got one! The Girl’s Guide, by Melissa Kirsch, covers all these subjects—and more—in a single, simply designed new book and I love it!

Chapters include Health and Body Image, Money and Finance, Careers and Work, Dating, Sex and Romance, Spirituality, Home Ec for Modern Times, and sections on fashion sense, friendship, and getting along with and navigating familial and other close relationships. The format of the book is incredibly handy. There are longer sections, but everything is summarized in short, bolded phrases, too, for those just scanning quickly for info. Particularly relevant or important information (for example, the difference between a credit report and a credit score, or what to do if you feel like you’re going to cry at work) is detailed in cute turquoise boxes throughout the book. There are even a few checklists in The Girl’s Guide, including one for outfitting your kitchen and another for things to make sure you check on before purchasing a home. This book is incredibly useful, comprehensive, and realistic, and is a must-read—and maybe even a must-own!—for women everywhere.

By Mouse & Frog

By Mouse & Frog is a new picture book by Deborah Freedman. It features a nice, quiet mouse who is writing a story. A fantastic story! So many ideas are flowing out of his pencil! But Frog is super duper enthusiastic about the storyline and keeps interrupting Mouse’s writing process with his own ideas.

“Once upon a time Mouse was trying to tell a story, but Frog bounced and bounced without listening to Mouse!”

Will Frog stop interrupting? Will Mouse get to finish writing the story? Will teamwork be involved at all?! This charming book will make you giggle and smile and appreciate the balance that's in every friendship.

Suggest A Title For Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Reads 2016

Read a good book lately?

Suggest a good book to the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads planning committees and your suggestion might be selected for the upcoming Read (which will take place in January & February 2016). Committees will be meeting over the summer to consider hundreds of possible titles – and they want your help!

You can suggest a title by visiting the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads website. Suggest a title by June 15 and it will be considered for selection in the Fall.

Launched in 2003, Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads is a community initiative to promote reading and civic dialogue through the shared experience of reading and discussing a common book. Help make the 2016 Read the best ever!

Rad American Women A-Z

Wow! I want to shout about this book from the rooftops! Rad American Women A-Z, written by Kate Schatz, and illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl, is the best introduction to women’s history in America I’ve ever seen!

Written in the form of an alphabet book, the 25 women in this book (X is for the women we don’t yet know) are an impressive group. Clear thought has been given to diversity of accomplishments, race, time period, and more. My favorite thing about this book is that the women represented in the pages are ones that children may not have heard of- Dolores Huerta, Kate Bornstein, Temple Grandin, Hazel Scott, Wilma Mankiller, and Yuri Kochiyama, just to name a few! Although this book is written for children, the gorgeous art and smart summaries makes this a winner for all ages.

Rad American Women A-Z picked up quite a bit of buzz prior to publication- check out articles about it from The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, and more. You can also look at the images made available for download from the publisher.

Now go check out this book!

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