2012 National Book Award winners have been announced

Last night, the The National Book Award winners for 2012 were announced at a gala event at the posh Cipriani on Wall Street.

The big winners were:

Louise Erdrich, 58, received the fiction award for The Round House. An adult Joe Coutts looks back in time when, as a teenager, he went in search of the man who brutalized his mother on an Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. This winning title is part two of a trilogy. The Coutts family was first introduced in The Plague of Doves (2008). Erdrich's win is especially poignant as, shortly after she started writing The Round House, she was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer, which she has beat.Ms. Erdrich, who is part Ojibwe, delighted last night's audience by addressing some of her remarks in her tribal tongue.

Katherine Boo, 48, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer for the The New Yorker, received the nonfiction award for Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life,Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, a wrenching account of a teenage boy who lives in the slums that are hidden from view by some of India's luxury hotels.

Poet David Ferry, 88, tearfully accepted what he described as "preposterous pre-posthumous award" for his Bewilderment; New Poems and Translations. "We're all in this apart" (From FoundSingle-Line Poems). Ferry has a PhD from Harvard and is the Sophie Chantal Hart Professor Emeritus of English at Wellesley, where he taught for many years.

William Joseph Alexander, 36, is a first-time novelist who captured the Young People's Literature prize for his fantasy, Goblin Secrets. In this steampunk/witch-infested tale, Rownie escapes Graba who 'adopts' orphans to do her bidding, and sets out on a quest to find his missing older brother.

Rounding out the evening, host Faith Salie, a media star on NPR, the BBC and CBS Sunday Morning, bestowed two special awards. Detroit author, Elmore Leonard, 88, accepted the Distinguished Contribution to American Letters prize. New York Times publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., 61, was honored for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community. NPR's Fresh Air host, Terry Gross, introduced Mr. Sulzberger and said the New York Times Book Review was like "...a shopping catalog...[for] authors I've overlooked."

Each winner received $10,000.

Tellebration Time!

Every year we celebrate Tellebration at the Pittsfield Branch. This year we have dynamic storytellers Jeff Doyle, Kathleen Wright, Darryl Mickens and
Judy Schmidt on Sunday, November 10 at 2 pm. For grown-ups looking for a captivating storytelling potpourri, check out the Ann Arbor Storyteller's Guild Tellebration QuiltTellebration QuiltNovember 9th evening program!

CANCELLED: Preschool Yoga


Preschool Yoga with Ananda Children's Catalina Arango that was scheduled for Saturday, November 3 at Pittsfield, has been cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control.

This event will be rescheduled for sometime in the spring. We hope you'll join us then, where preschoolers will enjoy combinations of stories and yoga poses that promote social skills and body awareness.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Karana's cave discovered?

The Island of the Blue Dolphins is the Newbery Medal-winning story of a 12-year old girl who lives alone on a Pacific island after she leaps from a rescue ship. Isolated on the island for eighteen years, Karana forages for food, builds weapons to fight predators, clothes herself in a cormorant feathered skirt, and finds strength and peace in her seclusion. This classic tale of discovery and solitude has engaged readers for over 50 years.

Scott O'Dell based his novel on the true story of Juana Maria, a Nicoleño Indian better known to history as "The Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island". About 60 miles off the coast of California, San Nicolas is a lonely Navy base dotted with installations designed to track missiles. It also has more than 540 known archaeological sites, some with evidence that people have lived on the island for more than 8,000 years.

Steve Schwartz, a Navy archaeologist, has been searching for her cave for more than 20 years. Year after year, he scoured the island's beaches and cliffs, drilled exploratory holes, checked a yellowing government survey map dated from 1879, pored over contemporary accounts and conferred with other experts, all in vain. If he could find the cave, he thought, he could find artifacts — clues that would flesh out the real-life story.

With the help of recently unearthed notes written in a fine script by a 19th century government surveyor, Schwartz now believes he's found it. "We're 90% sure this is the Lone Woman's cave," Schwartz told several hundred fellow researchers last week at the California Islands Symposium in Ventura. Further excavation is necessary, he said, adding that a crew of students has painstakingly removed about 40,000 buckets, or a million pounds, of sand from a cavern at least 75 feet long and 10 feet high. Read more here.

If I Ran for President

This book is a step above the usual election books, both in content and entertainment value. Six children take turns explaining the election process as if they were running for president. They discuss their decision to run, campaigning, primaries and conventions, debating, being interviewed, meeting the public, voting, and being sworn in on Inauguration Day. The author does a good job of explaining election details, both in an introductory note about electoral votes and in the text itself. The entertaining yet informative text is a good conversation starter for discussions on the election process. Cheerful illustrations perfectly complement the lively text.

For a quick introduction to all of the U.S. Presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama, try I Grew Up to be President. You'll learn about the Presidents' childhoods, families, careers, accomplishments in office, and life after the White House. Famous quotes, major events, and fun facts are all included.

But if you're in the mood for some silliness, you'll want to check out Duck for President. My fellow Americans: It is our pleasure, our honor, our duty as citizens to present to you Duck for President . Here is a duck who began in a humble pond. Who worked his way to farmer. To governor. And now, perhaps, to the highest office in the land. Some say, if he walks like a duck and talks like a duck, he is a duck. We say, if he walks like a duck and talks like a duck, he will be the next president of the United States of America. Thank you for your vote.

The time has come for dogs to rule the wild.

Lucky is a golden-haired mutt with a nose for survival. He has always been a loner—roaming the streets of the busy city and relying on his instincts to get by. Other dogs have Packs, but Lucky doesn’t long for the days he spent with his littermates. He stands alone. Then the Big Growl strikes. Suddenly the ground is split wide open. The Trap House is destroyed. And all the longpaws have disappeared.

The Empty City is the first book in the new Survivors series by Erin Hunter. Did you know that "Erin Hunter" is actually a team of authors? Their names are Victoria Holmes (who developed the original storyline for Warriors), Kate Cary, Cherith Baldry, Tui Sutherland, Erica Sussman, and the newest member, Scottish author Gillian Philip. Philip will be the primary author of the Survivors books. These books center on canines who have been abandoned by their humans. Survivors is a companion series to Warriors, starring felines who are similarly left on their own. Another series by the Erin Hunter team is Seekers, which features three young North American bears who embark on a quest.

Gillian Philip has already finished the second Survivors novel A Hidden Enemy, which will be published next May. She says there are six installments planned, and then “we’ll see how it goes, though we hope to be able to do more series – as a team.”

Families Fall into this Glorious Season!

Whether you enjoy Autumn by the water, the forest, the ice, on Main Street or at the Farmer’s Market, you must surely check out the Halloween storytimes at AADL!

Hands-On Science Fun!

Science experiments mulit-culturalScience experiments mulit-cultural

Join us on Thursday, October 4th at 6:30 pm for this Hands On Science Workshop. Learn some science experiments and watch some cool demos based on traditional and new concepts in science and engineering. Explore the "fun" side of science and engineering. Presented by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and Proyecto Avance: Latino Mentoring Association (PALMA) from the University of Michigan. Be sure to bring your curiosity and energy for a night guaranteed to make you interested in becoming a scientist or engineer!

This event is for Grades K - 8. Parents and caregivers are also welcome.

Julie's Back in Town!

We are always ready to sing and dance when the talented Julie Austin, who now lives in Atlanta, Georgia, returns to Ann Arbor to join up with her good friend David Mosher for stomp-along, sing-along family fun! Julie and ChickenJulie and ChickenJulie and David will join us at the Downtown Library on Saturday, October 6th at 11 am. This is a storytime crowd favorite!

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this November

Eric Carle, celebrated author and illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has also illustrated more than 70 other books. His dream of creating a place where original picture book art could be enjoyed and appreciated came true in 2002 when he opened the first full-scale museum in the United States devoted to national and international picture book art. The Museum’s goal is to foster connections between visual and verbal literacy and to provide visitors of all ages and backgrounds with the opportunity to explore their own creativity and the confidence to appreciate and enjoy art of every kind.

The Museum is adjacent to the campus of Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. You can take a virtual tour here.

Check out and enjoy some of Carle's delightful books here.

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