Saturday Stories!

Join us at the Malletts Creek Branch every Saturday morning at 10:00. A friendly AADL storyteller will read several stories that kids of all ages will enjoy. Bring the whole family for an entertaining start to the weekend.

Spy School: Invisible Ink

Grab your quill pen and parchment, and get ready to enroll in the Ann Arbor District Library Spy School! Learn how to craft a pot of invisible ink from household ingredients and use invisible ink antidotes to reveal secret messages as we travel back into the exciting world of spies from the American Revolution. Track down a spy gang, draw a hidden treasure map, and write mysterious letters using simple ingredients and kid-friendly recipes. It's science, it's history, and it's a lot of imagination! This program is geared toward children grades K-5. No registration required; all supplies provided.

When: Monday June 20th, 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Where: Traverwood Branch Program RoomInvisibleInkInvisibleInkSpy LetterSpy Letter

Magazine Update -- Owl Cake, Skateboarding Stars and "The Other Middleton"

Pippa with Pink HatPippa with Pink Hat
Memorial Day is right around the corner! If constant rain prevents you from hitting the pool, at least you will be able to read some great new youth and teen magazines! Or, hey, you could also read them at the pool...

Owl Magazine celebrates their 35th birthday by giving you presents! You can win a retro owl t-shirt, and also bake an owl-shaped caked. Cuuute! Also inside are "Animal All Stars" and "10 Things You Didn't Know About Water."

Transworld Skateboarding welcomes the "New Breed" of up-and-coming skateboard virtuosos and has fun interviewing Julian Davidson, Felipe Gustavo and Theotis Beasley, as well as oodles more.

Us Weekly shares the diet and exercise secrets of the stars in the "Hot Bodies" issue. You can also read the latest gossip about Leonardo DiCaprio's love life and Pippa Middleton, the sister of the new Duchess of Cambridge.

Of course, we have plenty more great magazines to read while working on your tan! Come on down and check some out, before Memorial Day Weekend!

Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave by Laban Carrick Hill

The story of a potter who turned mud into beautiful clay pots and inscribed them with poetry is told by Laban Carrick Hill. What is even more remarkable, is that Dave the Potter was a slave. Simple lines in short stanza’s contrasted against deep earth tone illustrations by Bryan Collier bring the beauty of Dave’s craftsmanship to life in the Caldecott Honor book.

Paws to Read

We have another cozy reading time with a READ dog coming right up on Saturday, May 28th at 10 am. All beginning readers or listeners are invited to snuggle up with Annie. Maybe you'll want to grab a good dog story like Be Gentle with the Dog, Dear.

Believe in Ben!

One of my favorite children’s authors wrote a great book about Ben Franklin that is fun to browse or read straight through and a perfect companion to the library’s exhibit. In Ben Franklin’s Almanac, Candace Fleming reminds us that Ben rose each morning and asked himself this question. “What good shall I do today?” Thank goodness for all of us that Ben Franklin lived to be 84 years old!

Busing Brewster by Richard Michelson

Brewster is excited about starting first grade. His mother tells him that he will not go to the school in his neighborhood. He will ride the bus to another school across town, a school with predominantly white children. His experience starts off rocky. Parents are protesting outside the school. A rock is thrown through the bus window and a mean kid tells him that he “Wished his kind would have stayed at Franklin.” After Brewster, his brother and the kid are sent to the library for detention; Brewster discovers a world of books and the positive impact a librarian can have on young lives. Richard Michelson powerfully introduces young readers to desegregation in the 1970’s. A segment of Barak Obama’s speech given at the ALA 2005 Conference about the importance of libraries in children’s lives is excerpted in the author’s note at the end (see below). R.G. Roth’s collage illustrations capture the triumph and challenges of busing students in the 1970’s.

“The moment we persuade a child, any child, to cross the
threshold into a library, we’ve changed their lives forever,
and for the better…We all have a responsibility as parents,
librarians, educators and citizens, to instill in our children
a love of reading so that we can give them the chance to fulfill
their dreams.”
Barak Obama, 2005 ALA Conference

Franklin Family Fun

Read the entertaining novel Ben and Me by Robert Lawson, attend the book discussion/craft program, and then bring the whole family to the Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World exhibit. Amos the mouse, Ben Franklin’s “closest friend and adviser”, has quite the ego and sense of humor. His descriptions of Franklin’s inventions and adventures are filled with wisdom and warmth. The opportunity to explore the remarkable Ben Franklin from to fact to fiction, will be available through July 8th!

A Long Walk to Water

Linda Sue Park's engaging story, A Long Walk to Water, is based on real-life experiences during two different decades in Southern Sudan. In 1985, young Salva is forced to flee from his village to escape civil war. He makes a dangerous trek to uncertain safety in Kenya, along the way facing hunger and violence from cruel soldiers. Other refugees have doubts that such a young boy is anything more than a burden. Salva’s perseverance over hardship and eventual travel to America as one of the Lost Boys of Sudan makes for inspirational reading.

The story of Nya, another Sudanese youngster, takes place in 2008 and is interwoven throughout Salva's story. Nya makes an eight-hour daily trip to and from a pond that is her family's only source of water. When the pond is found to be contaminated, the village begins the project of digging a well. Physical and financial obstacles, as well as the doubts of the villagers, must be overcome for the project to succeed.

Park's terse but beautiful prose and powerful socially-conscious message in A Long Walk to Water will resonate with both children and adults.

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