Fun Youth Novel: True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, by Kathi Appelt

For raccoon lovers -- think Raccoon Tune by Nancy Shaw and Rascal by Sterling North -- this book is a rare find indeed. The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, by Kathi Appelt, stars raccoon brothers Bingo and J'miah, the latest recruits to the Official Sugar Man Swamp Scouts. The chance to serve the Sugar Man -- who rules the swamp and loves sugarcane -- is an honor and a huge responsibility. The story unfolds as wild feral hogs and developers threaten the swamp, yet Sugar Man can't seem to wake up. The raccoon brothers are particularly memorable, as are a host of other characters including 12-year-old Chap Brayburn and Gertrude the rattlesnake. This highly imaginative, fast-paced book was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award for Young People's Literature. Kathi Appelt has won many other awards and may be best known for her book The Underneath.

Community High School to Present Urinetown: The Musical

Community High School in Ann Arbor will present Urinetown -- a satirical musical from 2001 -- from March 21-23. Here is what Amazon has to say about Urinetown: "Winner of three Tony Awards, including Best Book, Urinetown is a tale of greed, corruption, love, and revolution in a time when water is worth its weight in gold." Admission is $8 for students and staff and $12 for everyone else. More information is here.

March into a Book Club to Go!

Over the next few weeks the AADL will be rolling out six new Book Clubs to Go. There will be a mix of fiction and non-fiction that will include Amy Tan’s newest book, The Valley of Amazement and Robert K. Massie’s best-seller, Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman. Keep your eyes open for the following titles:

Fiction:
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton Disclafani
Exiled to an equestrian boarding school in the South at the height of the Great Depression for her role in a family tragedy, strong-willed teen Thea Atwell grapples with painful memories while acclimating to the school's strict environment.

The Round House by Louis Erdrich
When his mother, a tribal enrollment specialist living on a reservation in North Dakota, slips into an abyss of depression after being brutally attacked, 14-year-old Joe Coutz sets out with his three friends to find the person that destroyed his family.

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan
Recruited into MI5 against a backdrop of the Cold War in 1972, Cambridge student Serena Frome, a compulsive reader, is assigned to infiltrate the literary circle of a promising young writer whose politics align with those of the government, a situation that is compromised when she falls in love with him.

The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
Violet is one of the most celebrated courtesans in Shanghai, a beautiful and intelligent woman who has honed her ability to become any man's fantasy since her start as a 'Virgin Courtesan' at the age of twelve. Half-Chinese and half-American, she moves effortlessly between the East and the West. But her talents belie her private struggle to understand who she really is and her search for a home in the world.

Non-Fiction:
Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie
The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and The Romanovs returns with another masterpiece of narrative biography, the extraordinary story of an obscure German princess who became one of the most remarkable, powerful, and captivating women in history.

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Eric Larson
The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Nazi Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. Suffused with the tense atmosphere of the period, and with unforgettable portraits of the bizarre Göring and the expectedly charming--yet wholly sinister--Goebbels, In the Garden of Beasts lends a stunning, eyewitness perspective on events as they unfold in real time, revealing an era of surprising nuance and complexity

March is National Craft Month!

There is no better time to celebrate your inner crafter than National Craft Month. The snow is staring to melt (and will be back again soon) but the knitting needles are still on your coffee table next to a stack of movies to watch. It’s time to grab your knitting needles, jewelry pliers, embroidery floss, and scissor and get making.

Whatever your craft, AADL has you covered for books to get you started. The 700s contain many books on a variety of topics, including: jewelry making, sewing, crocheting, origami, felting, scrapbooking, quilting, and more.

If you're looking to get crafting but don't know where to start, join us at AADL for one of the many craft programs we regularly host! We host SO MANY great craft programs that are always free of charge for anyone to attend. There are folks to guide you and supplies to work with. Keep an eye on the schedule for upcoming hands-on events for all ages.

Humorous Travel Audiobook

Fans of P. G. Wodehouse and other classic British humorists will want to know about Three Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog by Jerome K. Jerome.

Published in 1889, this nonfiction account of Jerome’s ill-fated boating trip down the river Thames is a wonderful example of travel writing. Anyone who has ever gone on vacation will likely relate to Jerome’s packing woes and travel exhaustion. Jerome manages to tell the tale in typically dry British style that had me laughing out laugh more than once.

The audiobook is expertly narrated by Hugh Laurie, whom Wodehouse fans may also remember starred as Bertie Wooster in Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster miniseries.

Youth Nonfiction: The Mad Potter

A new book found on the Art Shelf in the Youth Department downtown is The Mad Potter: George E Ohr, Eccentric Genius. Part of the Ladies Library Collection, The Mad Potter is also an ALA Notable Book, 2014 Sibert Honor, 2014 Best Book of the Year via Booklist, 2014 Best Book of the Year via School Library Journal.

Who was this eccentric genius? He crafted thousands of ceramic sculptures and took them to art fairs and shows but nobody was buying any of this oddly shaped pieces. After his death over 5,000 pots were discovered, and he had boasted that no two were alike. The authors of the award-winning Ballet For Martha have brought us a curious biography about a curious artist. Be sure to also check out their other artist biographies!

Maps for All Ages to Enjoy

Not your average geography book, Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski is a beautiful book with amazing illustrations. The full page maps include images of cultural and historical interest in addition to famous natives and specific places within each country. It’s such a visual treat! This large book is great for anyone who is into maps, places, illustration, or design, and would be a great coffee table book when it's not on a child's bookshelf. The other titles by the same author are also beautiful.

HBO's True Detective Season Finale is Sunday - Still Time to Read The King in Yellow - NO SPOILERS!

True Detective is an American television anthology crime drama series on HBO. Season one stars Matthew McConaughey, and Woody Harrelson, and uses multiple timelines to trace two Louisiana State Police Criminal Investigations Division homicide detectives' hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana across seventeen years.

If you've been watching HBO's hot, new series, you're probably obsessed with all of the various literary allusions and references. If you have delved into the fandom behind the show you definitely want to read The King in Yellow by Robert Chambers. The King in Yellow was originally published in 1895 and is now in the public domain. We uploaded a PDF copy to our catalog (from Project Gutenberg) so AADL cardholders can download and read it easily. Some unscrupulous types are taking advantage of the hype and printing the free PDF and charging people for a copy.

Even if you don't have an AADL card you can find free copies, in a variety of formats, of the book at Project Gutenberg.

For even more True Detective-related reads, check out this list.

Emerging Writers: Writing & Review Meetup

Thursday August 21, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for adults and teens (grade 6 and up).

This is a monthly meetup that welcomes all writers to ask questions, connect with other writers, or simply have a dedicated time and place to work on their projects. Local authors Lara Zielin and Margaret Yang will be on hand to offer encouragement, answer questions, and point writers to resources. These open houses complement the Emerging Writers Workshops. These events feature perspectives from both traditional publishing and indie publishing.

Emerging Writers Workshop: Marketing Your Book

Thursday August 7, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for adults and teens (grade 6 and up).

Matching your book with its target audience can be daunting, but it can be done. In this workshop, local authors Lara Zielin and Margaret Yang discuss social media for writers, how to set up a blog or a website, how much a publisher will do for you, and effective ways to market yourself. This is the sixth in a monthly series of writing and publishing events called the Emerging Writers Workshops. These events feature perspectives from both traditional publishing and indie publishing and for both fiction and non-fiction writing.

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