Suggest a Title

Suggest A Title For This Year's A Very Good Read

Read a good book lately? Suggest a book to the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads planning committees and your suggestion just might be the pick for the upcoming Reads (which will take place in January & February 2015).

This year’s theme is "A Very Good Read" and the book selected can be a work of fiction or non fiction.

Committees will be meeting over the summer to consider hundreds of possible titles – and they want your help!

You can suggest a title by commenting below, or by stopping by any Ann Arbor District Library or Ypsilanti District Library location. Suggest a title by July 7 and it will be considered for selection!

Book Selection

• The writing should be engaging and thought-provoking.
• The subjects discussed should be accessible to readers throughout the community, high-school age and above.
• The length, price, and availability of the book should be suited to involvement by the general public.
• The book should be by a living author.
• Its treatment of issues should encourage readers to discuss the issues further with others, at home, work, reading clubs, and community events.
• Ideally, the subject should lead to constructive dialogues across our diverse communities.

Don't forget to submit your book suggestion in one of the libraries or as a comment below before July 7th!

Books & Other Fun Stuff that AADL Staff Promoted During our Annual K-12 School Visits!

If during May and June your child or teen came home from school pumped up about the Summer Game and talked about the many books, programs, events and unusual stuff at the library they were lucky enough to see one of the lively presentations our staff do annually. Each May and early June staff visit elementary, middle and high schools to promote the summer game, summer programs and the unusual variety of stuff that we check out at the library! Please find the complete lists of ALL of the books, music tools, science tools and MORE our staff shared during their school visits.

Kayla visited Bryant, Allen, Mitchell, Bach and Carpenter - find her Grade K-2 List and her Grade 3-5 List.

Laura visited Northside, Wines, Hebrew Day School, Burns Park and Dicken - find her Grade K-2 list and her Grade 3-5 list.

Amanda went to Logan, St. Paul Lutheran, King, St. Thomas Catholic and Thurston - find her Grade K-2 list and her Grade 3-5 list.

Mariah visited E. Washtenaw Multicultural Academy, Lakewood, Open and Pattengill. Find her Grade K-2 list and her Grade 3-5 list.

Rachel visited Haisley, Abbot, MI Islamic Academy and Eberwhite. Find her Grade K-1 list, her Grade 2-3 list and her Grade 4-5 list.

Lastly, Erin visited Tappan, Forsythe, Scarlett, Community and St. Thomas Catholic. Find her Grades 6-12 list.

Bibliocraft - A Crafter/Library Lover's Dream

An honest question here: Do you love your library? If you're here, on this page, reading this, then I can pretty much guess that you do. I'm not surprised; your library has so much to offer! Books, and games, and science-y things--and now, for all of you library-loving crafters out there, a book that can help you combine your crafting talents and your undying love of all things LIBRARY.

Bibliocraft. How perfect is that? A book that tells its reader all about how to harvest crafting inspiration from the endless potential on the library shelves. It starts you out slow and steady, walking you through some library basics, like how to find what you want in a library catalog and some important points about copyright in library books.

And then it gets real. Part 2: THE CRAFTS.

The rest of the book is a smorgasbord of amazing projects inspired by library resources like, oh, perhaps, the ones you might find here. Historic watermarks transformed into pillows, Japanese family crests turned into coasters, votive holders, pendants made from quilled paper, and, my personal favorite, instructions for making a pocketed kitty-kat apron. With...wait for it...additional instructions for making actual knitted kittens to put in those pockets. Because why not?

You had me at "kitties", Bibliocraft.

And don't forget, along with this biblio-gem, the library has dozens of other awesome craft books and crafting programs, so make sure to check them out! (...see what I did there?)

Geography Crafts for Kids

About now most kids are are counting down the days to summer break. However, summer doesn’t have to mean taking a break from learning. AADL has some great books that will have the whole family learning all summer long! The book Geography Crafts for Kids by Joe Rhatigan and Heather Smith offers hands on activities that will have learners of all ages thinking in new and exciting ways about the world we live in. Serve up some plate tectonics with a Pangea Pudding Puzzle or learn the art of cartography by mapping out your neighborhood. This book is filled with over 50 cool projects, along with illustrations and sidebars for parents. Check it out and learn about the world and beyond from your very own home!

The Fault in Our Stars on the Big Screen

Okay, Nerdfighters and John Green fans… Are you ready? For the past year and half John Green’s newest book, The Fault in Our Stars, has been insanely popular. And the book has reached peak buzz since the MOVIE adaptation comes out this Friday, June 6!

Hazel is a teen fighting terminal cancer. She meets and falls in love with Gus at a cancer support group. The book and movie tell the story of their romance along with their various health issues. It sounds like a downer, and it is – I went through a box of tissues reading the book. But the story celebrates being alive and being in love and I smiled as I cried and their endearing story.

Author John Green has been on set, and has been tweeting and Instagramming over the past year during filming and he and the film crew are very excited about the outcome. If the author loves it, will we? Of course when books you love get turned into movies you have to wonder… Will it be any good? Will it compare? Will the characters live up to your expectations?! We’ll find out Friday! Drop a comment and let us know what you think after you see the film!

Move over Sherlock, a new detective is in town!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans should definitely check out Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastis. Timmy Failure is a detective who has big ideas and is determined to be the best sleuth in town. Unfortunately, he does not seem to be particularly gifted in solving mysteries. This little detail does not stop him from thinking and saying he is. Along with Total, his polar bear sidekick, Timmy does his best to solve crime and cement his reputation as the world’s best detective agency.

The format of this book follows the popular diary format and the illustrations are brilliant visual humor. Timmy often completely distorts the truth and the truth is shown in the pictures, often with a hilarious outcome. If you enjoy Mistakes Were Made, don't miss the second installment to the Timmy Failure series, Now Look What You've Done.

Pastis is also the creator of Pearls before Swine for the slightly more mature reader.

Virginia Woolf’s Garden: The Story of the Garden at Monk’s House

‘….there are cherries, plums, pears, figs, together with all the vegetables. This is going to be the pride of our hearts, I warn you.’ Virginia Woolf.

If you are: a) an admirer of Virginia Woolf and interested in the private, intimate side of her life or, b) a garden lover with a special attraction to English gardens or, c) simply in need of a relaxing, beautiful book, with outstanding photographs, that will transport you to the garden haven of Leonard and Virginia in the Sussex countryside, then this book is waiting for your enjoyment.

Virginia Woolf's Garden: The Story of the Garden at Monk's house is written by Caroline Zoob, who lived at Monk’s House and tended the house and garden for ten years on behalf of the National Trust of England. This is an intimate and detailed account of the full glory of these gardens which include many walkways and terraces, an orchard, ponds, three distinctive gardens, beehives, a cactus house, a bowling lawn and the writing lodge. It sounds rather formal, but these outdoor “rooms” are all relaxed, with an unstudied air. The glorious photographs, by Caroline Arber, contrast expansive views with small, enclosed spaces – and flowers everywhere!

There is a full history of the gardens from the beginning through to the present, where they continue to be cared for and developed, with all the flowers, fruits and vegetables grown by the Woolf’s, but with some new (and carefully chosen) additions to enhance the beauty for the admiring public.

With many new and old photos of the gardens, the house and its famous residents, with both their human and canine friends, this beautiful book is pure pleasure and reveals a side of the famous author I never imagined.

Best Adult Fiction For Teens (And Adults!)

There are many fiction books written for adults that appeal to teens due to the subject matter or the teen protagonists in the story. The number of adults reading books for teens or featuring teens keeps getting higher as the genre becomes stronger with quality books. There are many good books that fall into this category. A few adult fiction novels featuring teens as main characters that I’ve read this year and recommend are:

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton Disclafani
In the midst of the Great Depression 15 year old Thea Atwell is sent to a boarding school for southern debutantes as punishment for her role in an unforgivable family tragedy. She ends up there longer than she expected, makes friends, excels at horseback riding, and learns a lot about herself as she tries to sort through being estranged from her family and being racked with guilt and feeling lost. The books is part family drama and part scandalous love story. I couldn’t put it down.

The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence
Alex is struck by a meteorite at the age of 10. He is a bookish, outcast, son of a fortune teller – so he hasn’t had the easiest life. As the story jumps forward to Alex at age 17, he befriends an cantankerous elderly neighbor Mr. Peterson and the duo bond over Kurt Vonnegut. The book opens with 17 year old Alex being pulled over at the customs border with illegal substances in the glove box and an urn of ashes in the passenger seat as he sits blaring classical music while having a seizure. There’s only one thing to do but be curious enough to read it.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
Rosemary is a witty college student still coming to terms with the fact that her sister (who was raised as her twin) was removed from the house at a young age, which led to her brother running away from home, leaving Rosemary and her parents alone with what’s left of the family. What gets talked about? What doesn’t? It’s a beautifully written book based on experiments done in the 1970s regarding behaviorial psychology.

Here’s a list by School Library Journal of the top books in this category for 2013, and here’s a list of books that won the Alex Award this year – given to the top 10 books written for adults that appeal to teens. There's a bunch of good titles to put on your list!

Sophie’s Squash

It’s the season for gardens, planting, and VEGGIES, VEGGIES, VEGGIES. The local farmer's markets have been HOPPING with vendors and shoppers. Though it's not quite squash season... Sophie’s Squash is a darling new picture book that features a young girl who loves her freshly plucked squash. So much so that she names it Bernice and treats it as though it’s a baby doll. Her parents are perplexed and don’t know what to do when Bernice starts to rot. Sophie is determined to love Bernice forever! This is a funny and sweet book that talks about the seed to plant process and goes along with that stack of kids gardening stories you’ve got at home. It has such a cute ending.

School Library Journal lists it as one of the Best Picture Books of 2013.

The Silkworm: A Cormoran Strike novel

Those who enjoyed J. K. Rowling’s venture into mystery writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith will be happy to hear that Cormoran Strike is back! The Silkworm is the second mystery novel featuring the war veteran turned sleuth and his eager assistant and it promises to be just as entertaining as the first.

“When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days – as he has done before – and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were published it would ruin lives – so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him.

And when Quine is found brutally murdered in bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any he has encountered before…”

--Publisher's Description

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