Operation Pedro Pan

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the airlift that eventually brought 14,000 unaccompanied children from Cuba to this country. While Miami celebrates with a Conference and Fiesta, you can read the fictional story, based on the author's own experiences, of 3 brothers who were evacuated from Cuba in 1961. History comes alive through dazzling use of visual imagery and humor, which ranges from light to dark. For younger readers, Kiki: a Cuban Boy's Adventures in America, tells the story of an 8 year old "Pedro Pan" who encounters his first American puzzle, the automatic door; meets new animals, such as the raccoon; and is frightened by a ghost on what he later learns is Halloween.

Here's a link to the Official National Charitable organization founded in 1991 by the former unaccompanied Cuban children. It was created to fulfill the Pledge of Thanksgiving given in 1990, "in which we honor the sacrifice of our parents and this noble nation that welcomed us, and the person that made it all possible, Monsignor Bryan O. Walsh. We felt it was our duty to pay back the kindness by helping today's needy children...."

The Week After Next In Booklists

The situation:
You have completed a weekly blog a week earlier than it should be posted, and you will not be at work the next week to post it on time.

The solution:
Post the blog a week early.

Notable Dates for the Week of November 29 to December 5

November 29 Electronic Greetings Day (or Anti-Electronic Greetings Day)

November 30 Regina Mundi Day

December 1 Rosa Parks Day

December 2 National Mutt Day

December 3 Earmuff Day

December 4 National Cookie Day

December 5 International Ninja Day

Next Week In Booklists

Notable Dates for the Week of November 22 to November 28

November 22 Tell some Alaskan jokes on Alascattalo Day.

November 23 Fibonacci Day and Doctor Who Day.

November 24 Thanksgiving is celebrated on the same day as D.B. Cooper Day.

November 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Day.

November 26 Al Hijra: The First day of the Islamic New Year is celebrated.

November 27 Bruce Lee was born on this day 71 years ago.

November 28 Red Planet Day

Next Week In Booklists

Notable Dates for the Week of November 15 to November 21

November 15 The King’s Feast is celebrated in Belgium.

November 16 Learn a new word or two on Icelandic Language Day.

November 17 Try to set a new record on Guiness World Record Day.

November 18 Latvian Independence Day.

November 19 Gettysburg Address Day.

November 20 Transgender Day of Remembrance.

November 21 Start of Better Conversation Week running from the 21st to the 27th.

This Week In Booklists

Notable Dates for the Week of November 1 to November 7

November 1 National Cook For Your Pets Day

November 2 All Soul’s Day

November 3 The first animal was sent into space on this date in 1957: A female dog named Laika.

November 4 Egyptian Day of Love. Founded by journalist Mustafa Amin in 1977, the day is meant as an annual reminder for people to treat others with love and respect.

November 5 Guy Fawkes Night is traditionally celebrated with fireworks and a bonfire. Sounds fun!

November 6 Nachos Day

November 7 The New York Museum of Modern Art opened on this date in 1929.

Keep your mind off all the big holidays coming up by focusing on these. It's a productive form of procrastination.

Garrow's Law

Garrows Law

The time: 1791. The place: Old Bailey, London’s courtroom. You are poor and framed for a crime you did not commit. The case is presented and the verdict reached in eight minutes. The penalty: death. This is not uncommon, for the law and the courts are corrupt and chaotic, favoring opportunistic and wealthy men.

Enter the young, idealistic lawyer: William Garrow. An historical character, known as the “Robin Hood of the courtroom,” he ushered in complete reform of the established laws and protocols of the Georgian courts. He coined the phrase “innocent until proven guilty.” He invented courtroom drama.

Garrow’s Law has taken transcripts of Garrow’s actual cases and dramatized them in this British television series. We own the first two seasons of the series and the third season airs in England beginning in November. Garrow is a hot-headed bulldog in the courtroom, and is mentored by an older lawyer who tries to teach him some restraint and respect. But he is a true maverick and advocates with passion for the underdog, alienating a few judges, lawyers, rich men and an MP along the way. The forbidden love interest (wife of said MP) is an absolutely accurate detail of the true story.

All in all a very satisfying historical drama.

This Week In Booklists

Notable Dates for the Week of October 23 to October 31

October 23 National Mother-in-Law Day

October 24 Get your tricks ready for International Magic Week beginning on the 25th and running to the 31st

October 25 On Sourest Day have yourself a drink of lemonade!

October 26 National Frankenstein Day

October 27 Cranky Coworkers Day

October 28 Bring Your Jack-O-Lantern to Work Day

October 29 National Cat Day

October 30 Haunted Refrigerator Day was inspired by Stephen King’s short story "The Mauler" in the Night Shift. The idea is for everyone to clean their crusty refrigerators before they take over the kitchen.

October 31 All Hallows’ Eve

Author Jason Karlawish Discusses His New Book "Open Wound: The Tragic Obsession of Dr. William Beaumont"

Thursday October 20, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

Join us for a chilling account of historic medical obsession as Dr. Jason Karlawish, Professor of Medicine, Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, discusses his riveting historical novel of Michigan's famous founder of Beaumont Hospital - Open Wound: The Tragic Obsession

Rooted deeply in historic fact, "Open Wound" artfully fictionalizes the complex, lifelong relationship between Beaumont---a prominent figure in Michigan's medical past and present -- and the illiterate young French Canadian patient with a hole into his stomach -- a condition that the curious doctor uses as a window to understand the mysteries of digestion.

Eager to rise up from his humble origins, Beaumont seizes the opportunity to experiment upon his unfortunate patient's stomach in order to write a book that he hopes will establish his legitimacy and secure his prosperity. The results are history - and fascinatingly detailed in Karlawish's new novel.

This event, co-sponsored by the UM Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine; The UM Center for the History of Medicine; and the University of Michigan Press, includes a book signing and books will be on sale.

War, Peace and Love

BBC Radio 4 is currently broadcasting a wonderful dramatization of Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate, an epic novel about World War II’s Battle of Stalingrad starring Kenneth Branagh, Greta Scacchi and Janet Suzman.

Completed in 1960, the KGB had the book itself arrested because it was at odds with the way Stalin wanted the war to be remembered. Grossman’s portrayal of soldiers and civilians didn’t jibe with official Soviet ideology and wasn’t published until it was smuggled out to the West in 1985. Now it is considered to be one of the most important Russian novels of the last century and many compare it to War and Peace. His daughter said of him “Many people lost their belief in human beings. He never did.”

Russian novels and films that portray the Great Patriotic War (that’s what the Russian people call WWII) present a perspective unfamiliar to many of us.

Living and the Dead by Simonov, written after Stalin’s death, freed the author to question military decisions and mishaps that caused enormous suffering and perhaps could have been avoided. Mirroring real life during the war, the fates of many of the characters remain unknown at the end of the novel.

Forever Nineteen by Baklanov is the story of a young Red Army artillery soldier on the Ukrainian front that depicts war, romance and sacrifice.

David Benioff’s City of Thieves, is a riveting account based on the author’s grandfather’s stories of survival during the 900 day Siege of Leningrad. I loved this book and hope it will be made into a movie.

The Cranes are Flying is a film notable for its realistic portrayal of women dealing with loss and not knowing the fate of their loved ones. It won the Palme d'Or at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival.

Ivan’s Childhood is a film about a 12 year old boy used as a spy on the Eastern Front and the soldiers who exploit and care for him at the same time.

Next Week In Booklists

Significant Dates for the Week of September 25 to October 1

Sunday September 25: Kick off Banned Books Week by reading some Banned Books.

Monday September 26: Johnny Appleseed Day

Tuesday September 27: Ancestor Appreciation Day

Wednesday September 28: Rosh Hashanah

Thursday September 29: National Coffee Day

Friday September 30: Ask A Stupid Question Day

Saturday October 1: First day of Adopt A Shelter Dog Month

Always remember that every day is a celebration!

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