Meeting the reclusive J.D. Salinger

What would it be like to meet the author of The Catcher in the Rye, someone who avoids the public eye at all costs? In this NPR article, a Wisconsin author describes a trip he took to meet J. D. Salinger, and his sucess at meeting a man of many written, but few spoken, words.

Stories from Inside Iran

In Weekend Edition earlier this month, NPR interviewed the author of the new book, "Prisoner of Tehran : a Memoir." The author, Marina Nemat, talks about how she was almost executed in Iran, but was saved by a man who required her to marry him and convert to Islam. Listen to the NPR interview and check out the book here at the library.

K-12 Educators: Get a classroom ePal

Looking for a safe and educational online environment for kids? Want to introduce your students to other cultures, the fundamentals of letter writing, and the joys of friendship? Why not get a pen pan? Wait, make that an e-Pal. ePals is the largest online classroom community. It provides a safe way for students to email other children around the world. Currently there are 191 countries, 7 million students and 123,851 classrooms trading short stories, practicing language and literacy skills and swapping classroom videos. Classrooms must register as a group. Join in!

If you prefer more traditional modes of correspondence, check out our books on letter writing for kids.

Messages in the Mailbox: How to Write a Letter
Putting it in Writing
Sincerely Yours: How to Write Great Letters
The Young Writer’s Handbook

Get into the spirit of National Poetry Month!

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? Get into the spirit with NPR's selection of poems (a new poem is added every other day!). Or try your hand at writing a limerick or haiku. You might also want to check out Poets.org to look up poets by state (such as "Drum" by Michigan's Philipe Levine).

Stories From the Sky

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One of the latest additions to NPR's StoryCorps is the story from a flight attendant who took to the skies in the 1940s and loved every minute of her job. Read more about flight attendants in Georgia Panter Nielsen's From Sky Girl to Flight Attendant.

Raves for Jeff Daniels on Broadway

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A rave review from none other than Ben Brantley of the New York Times for Jeff Daniels performance in the Broadway play, Blackbird, "a drama that promises to be the most powerful of the season." The New York Times is available full-text online via the AADL Research database page.

Neal Shine Dies

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One of the greats in Michigan journalism died today. Neal Shine started at the Detroit Free Press "as a copyboy in 1950 and by 1995 had carried the titles of reporter, city editor, managing editor, senior managing editor, columnist and publisher." In his 45 years, Mr. Shine stood up for the common man and stood up to those who would take advantage of the common man. His leadership in covering the Detroit riots of 1967 earned the Freep a Pulitzer. Hail to the Irish poet-scribe.

Dogs About Town

Portable dogs have increased in popularity, no longer residing solely under the arms of old ladies who wear costume jewelry and fur coats. Referred to as “woman’s best friend” in a recent New York Times article, pocket-sized dogs have become ubiquitous among young female celebrities, often appearing in matching outfits, poking their tiny heads out of designer bags. Tinkerbell Hilton, a Chihuahua, even has his own entry on Wikipedia.

Lest you miss out on the trend, we have you covered: projects for crafty owners skilled with needles, Dog is my Co-Pilot, a compilation by the editors of trendy dog magazine, BARk, and, for pocket-sized people (kids!), try Pocket Dogs by Margaret Wild. And, of course, there’s always local retailer, Dogma Catmantoo for all your persnickety pooch’s particulars.

Music Resources on the Radio and the Library

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Here in Ann Arbor we have an abundance of musical resources available.

I'm mostly interested in Traditional music that’s often labeled Folk Music. Some of my favorites on radio include Folks Like Us with host Matt Watroba on WDET 101.9 FM, Saturdays from 11a.m to 2 p.m. and The Folk Tradition on WKAR-FM 90.5, every Sunday at 6:00 p.m. hosted by Bob Blackman. There's also a multitude of great music shows on the U of M student run station WCBN 88.2 FM (limited broadcast range of 200 watts). I especially enjoy their "The Down Home Show" when Tex is the host. It's obvious that he enjoys presenting the music. It's on Saturdays Noon to Three.

Don't forget the Ann Arbor District Library has at all Library locations an excellent collection of cd's of all types of music for customers to take home and enjoy.

A great weekend watch!

Boondock Saints is a great movie for anyone who enjoyed Pulp Fiction, or my personal favorite, Reservoir Dogs. This strangely religious tale is about two brothers who kill two mofia "bad guys" in self defense, and are seen as heroes. They then see it as a calling by God and start killing off mofia members one after another. Willem Dafoe play the detective trying to catch these killers, however the closer he gets to catching them, the more he starts to believe they may be doing the right thing. If you are looking for a thrilli

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