Rollout of the 2013 National Book Awards' longlists has begun -- first up, Young People's Literature

The 2013 longlists from the National Book Awards began this morning with the release of ten candidates for the Young People's Literature category.

Kathi Appelt has been nominated for The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp. a fanciful tale of two raccoon brothers, who serve as an early warning system for a yeti living in the swamp and a 12 year old boy, who has to help his mother raise a lot of money to keep from being evicted. All parties join forces to hold at bay a developer determined to take over the swamp.

Kate DiCamillo was been tapped for Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures. Illustrated by K.C. Campbell, Flora rescues Ulysses, a squirrel sucked into a powerful vacuum cleaner. Once revived, Ulysses dazzles with his ability to type fantastic poetry.

Meg Rosoff was chosen for Picture Me Gone. Mila, 12, is a mind reader. Her father needs all the help he can get to find his friend, missing in America, so he and Mila leave Londonf or upstate New York, where Mila realizes that all is not as it seems, starting with her father.

For the complete list of longlist titles, look here.

The longlists will continue to roll out this week. Poetry will be announced tomorrow; nonfiction on Wednesday, the 18th, and the fiction longlist titles will be revealed on Thursday, the 19th.

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, October 16th, when the shortlist titles are announced. Then on Wednesday, November 20th, we will learn the winners.

FREE Tutoring @ the Downtown Library Youth Department Starts Monday, September 16!

School has started so it's also time to get some FREE tutoring help! Circle K students will be available three days a week: Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:00 - 8:00 PM. And Sundays (FREE Parking Downtown) from 3-5 PM. Students in grades K-12 can get homework help at AADL (all subjects), provided by volunteers for the University of Michigan chapter of Circle K. No appointment necessary - just drop by!

Winners of the 8th Annual LEGO contest! Congrats to all of them!

Once again our annual LEGO contest was hotly anticipated and the entries were bigger and better! All ages from Preschoolers through Adults participated in the event. There were a total of 188 entries and the contest was held on Thursday, August 8 at the Kensington Court Hotel. There were six age categories and winners were chosen within each age group. The top three finishers and the People's Choice winners received custom LEGO trophies. The top three finishers also got medals and gift cards to Target. Please congratulate the winners! Photos of the winning entries will be added to this post on to our gallery soon.To see the contest guidelines and start planning for next summer click here.

Preschool Winners:

1st Place - Lucas Long
Runner-Up - Iris Brabbs
Honorable Mention - Steve Samuel
People's Choice - Lucas Long

Best Motorized Project - Vicky Kotsis
Best Architectural/Engineering Project - Becca Van Lent
Coolest Robot = Sanchia Gupta
Best Vehicle - Scarlett Williams
Most Creative - Eliza Farr
Most Sophisticated - Sarra El-Tawil
Best Local Interest - Kevin Chen
AADL LEGO Master Builder - Owen TenBroeck

Fantastic Fantasy Audiobook

Do you love classic fantasies, like Alice's Adventures in Wonderland or The Wizard of Oz, where a bored young heroine travels out of our world and into a world of magic and mayhem? If so, then you should definitely check out Catherynne M. Valente’s The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.

With its rich, old-fashioned language, this audiobook will carry you to Fairyland where you will follow twelve-year-old September through a series of wonderous strange adventures. You will befriend a wyverary (part-wyvern, part-library) and a shy, blue-skinned boy called Saturday. You will ride amidst a herd of wild bicycles. You will even follow September as she confronts the wicked Marquess, who may not be as wicked as September supposes.

Fans will also want to check out its sequel The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, in which September journeys to shadow kingdom below Fairyland.

So just remember, if you're feeling bored this summer, there's no better cure for boredom than a trip to Fairyland!

Yoda Dolls

Come to the Pittsfield Branch on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. to make Yoda, that lovable green creature from Star Wars. We will be constructing him out of felt. This is an actual sewing project so real needles will be used.

This is for kids in grades 2 - 5 with their adults. Adults will have to stay and help their children.

All supplies will be provided.

The idea and pattern for Yoda came from this book. Many of Yoda's friends are
in this book as well.

Preschool Yoga

Saturday, August 10 | 10-10:40am | Pittsfield Branch | Ages 2-5yrs with an adult

Ananda Children’s Catalina Arango will lead preschool aged children in activities involving stories, puppets, and movements that promote coordination, flexibility, and fun.

This event is for children between the ages of 2-5 years, with an adult.

Parent’s Corner: Art Attack

The Downtown library has a shelf in the Youth Department known as the Parent Shelf. On this shelf you’ll find a variety of parent-child related books on a multitude of topics- including everything from language to tantrums to potty training to homework. These books are available for checkout, and can be found in the catalog when searching “parent shelf,” if you’d like to have one sent to a branch of your choice.

Many children enjoy drawing or sculpting with Play-Doh. Their little hands and minds are ever creative and always imagining. AADL has some books that may help in facilitating their enjoyment of the arts with ideas on how to nurture this interest and enjoy art together. Check out Creative art & activities: fun with art!, Picture books plus: 100 extension activities in art, drama, music, math, and science, as well as Young at art : teaching toddlers self-expression, problem-solving skills, and an appreciation for art.

For more Parent Shelf finds on other topics see here.

One Zany Audiobook for Kids

How much mayhem can one fake mustache wreak? A whole lot, it turns out. If you need proof, just check out Tom Angleberger’s Fake Mustache, Or How Jodie O’Rodeo and Her Wonder Horse (and Some Nerdy Kid) Saved the U.S. Presidential Election from a Mad Genius Criminal Mastermind. (The title really says it all.)

When nerdy seventh grader Lenny Flem Jr. lends his best friend Casper ten dollars to buy a fake mustache, he has no idea what hair-raising adventures will follow. First, someone robs the local bank, and Lenny seems to be the only one who realizes it’s Casper in disguise! As Casper’s crazy criminal plan unfolds, Lenny is determined to stop him, even teaming up with teen rodeo queen and former TV star Jodie O’Rodeo to get the job done.

This very silly story, narrated by Jonathan Todd Ross and Jessica Almasy, will appeal to listeners who enjoy slapstick action, gross-out humor and just a little bit of yodeling.

Doggie Tales and Tricks

Join us for Doggie Tales on Friday, August 9th at 10 am in the Downtown Library MultiPurpose Room. Our friends from Therapaws will bring some of the most lovable service dogs you will ever meet. A story or two and some time for doggie love is what it's all about!

Giddy Read-aloud Picture Book: 'Dozens of Cousins'

This is my favorite book yet by Shutta Crum, the librarian, author, poet, and speaker who lives in Ann Arbor and has delighted so many readers with her writing. Dozens of Cousins, Shutta's latest picture book, is rhythmic, lyrical, warm, and hilarious.

As the annual family reunion approaches, the cozy chaos of cousins begins. "We are wild and fierce. We do not wait for invitations. We run through front doors, arms extended, slap dirty feet on cool linoleum, grab from plates thrust out at us -- and holler for more." Some wiggle their fannies toward distracted adults, in the cutest possible way. Splashy, rip-roaring illustrations are by David Catrow, editorial cartoonist and illustrator of more than 70 books for children.

Initial reviews are glowing, including one in The New York Times. Looks like another hit for the author, a former AADL youth librarian and storyteller. Check out Shutta's books and accomplishments on her website.

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