Ages 18+.

Off to see the world—three days at a time

Kino’s Journey is a story in the tradition of Gulliver’s Travels. In each episode, we follow Kino, a young adventurer, and Hermes, Kino’s talking motorcycle, as they travel through new and strange lands. Their journey has only one rule: they won’t stay in any one country for more than three days and two nights. While Kino’s world isn’t exactly magical—well, aside from the talking motorcycle—it has a certain dreamlike, fairy-tale quality, and the viewer soon begins to see the truth in Kino’s words: “The world is not beautiful; and that, in a way, lends it a sort of beauty.”

American Born Chinese is 2007 Printz Award winner

The first graphic novel to win the Printz Award is American Born Chinese by Gene Yang. Announced today in Seattle, the 2007 Printz Award winner “focuses on three characters in tales that touch on facets of Chinese American life. Jin is a boy faced with the casual racism of fellow students and the pressure of his crush on a Caucasian girl; the Monkey King, a character from Chinese folklore, has attained great power but feels he is being held back because of what the gods perceive as his lowly status; and Danny, a popular high-school student, suffers through an annual visit from his cousin Chin-Kee, a walking, talking compendium of exaggerated Chinese stereotypes.” (Booklist review)

Printz Honor books are:

Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation: Taken From Accounts by his Own Hand and Other Sundry Sources by M.T. Anderson
Abundance of Katherines by John Greene
Surrender by Sonya Hartnett
The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List (1/21/07)

It is no longer surprising to find the latest books in series by popular genre writers on the List. This week is no exception. There is, however, also a new book by the critically acclaimed young writer, Dave Eggers. His book A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius announced the arrival of a serious writer with a sense of humor (and a bit of hubris). In that memoir, he explored his family's tragedies and triumphs and indeed did cause readers to weep. This time Eggers struggled to write another aching story of loss and found he could only tell the truth of the story by making it a work of fiction. (Check out this interview with him on McSweeney's website).

At #2 is The Hunters by W.E.B. Griffin: "An Army officer seeks the killers of a shady American diplomat murdered in Uruguay; follows from Griffin’s “Hostage.’’

At #10 is The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers by Lilian Jackson Braun: "The columnist Jim Qwilleran and his cats probe a mysterious death in the 29th “Cat Who” book."

At #16 is What is the What by Dave Eggers: "The fictionalized autobiography of one of Sudan’s “Lost Boys,” refugees from its civil war."

The Diversity of Islam in America

Here is a new non-fiction book with strong promise, American Islam: The Struggle for the Soul of a Religion by Paul Barrett, a former reporter and editor for the Wall Street Journal. The book offers a collection of portraits of American Muslims, all struggling with their religion and its place in the world. This book got an enthusiastic thumbs-up from Laura Miller writing at Salon. In the review, Miller calls the book "the ideal book to enlighten a whole host of people who don't realize they need it." Barrett also is the author of The Good Black: The True Story of Race in America.

Angels and Demons

Do you believe in angels and demons? Frank Peretti does. His book This Present Darkness and its sequal Piercing the Darkness explore the world of spiritual warfare from a Christian perspective. Why does prayer matter? What good does it do? What is spiritual warfare and how does it affect us? The stories provide insight into what the struggle of light and darkness MAY be like.

AA/Y Reads Key Event Happening January 25

Tracy Kidder writes about the everyday lives of people—a couple building a home, a year in a fifth-grade classroom, a doctor caring for the poor—but his attention to detail and the nuances in life make his work anything but ordinary. He will visit our community on Thurs., Jan. 25, 7:30 pm at Washtenaw Community College to talk about writing his book, the 2007 selection for AA/Y Reads, Mountains Beyond Mountains—The Quest Of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure The World. Kidder won a Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award in 1982 for The Soul of a New Machine, a now-classic chronicle of the computer age and the people who created it.

Sundance Festival 2007

The 2007 Sundance Film Festival is being held in Park City, Utah from January 18-28.This is the top US festival for independent filmakers. More than 120 feature-length films and more than 80 shorts are shown. Although most believe that Robert Redford, founder of the Sundance Institute, was also the founder of the festival, it was originally established by some film people from Utah as a retrospective. But the focus changed with Redford who opened up the festival to new, independent filmmakers. And it's been this way ever since. If you can't get to Utah, The Library has many of the films originally shown at the festival.

Who will win the next Printz Award?

Printz MedalPrintz Medal

Speculation is running high now that the announcement is just days away. Check this Monday, Jan. 22 at 1 p.m. to find out what teen book has won the 2007 Michael L. Printz Award for literary excellence in young adult literature.

Here are a few possible candidates:

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume 1: The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Sold by Patricia McCormick
Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
King Dork by Frank Portman
The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Project Design:Submit your Designs this Saturday!

Project DesignProject Design

Do you design and create your own clothes? Are you a fashion fanatic? Our first ever A2 wide design event is a juried design exhibition and a fabulous opportunity to showcase yout talent. To enter you must attend the Submission Panel Session on Saturday, January 20|2:00-4:00 PM @ the Downtown Library in the Multipurpose Room. The Fashion Show will be on Friday, April 6|6:00-8:30 PM. Complete guidelines can be found by clicking HERE.

Best Books 2006 from Library Journal

Annotations are from Library Journal (January 2007)

Belleville, Bill. Losing It All To Sprawl: How Progress Ate My Cracker Landscape
“They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” Environmental writer/filmmaker Belleville poignantly reveals how the words of the old Joni Mitchell song have become a grim reality in central Florida, as his traditional Cracker home and rural neighborhood give way to suburban strip malls. Uncontrolled development is an issue not just for the Sunshine State but for America as a whole. (LJ 3/1/06)

Blastland, Michael. The Only Boy in the World: A Father Explores the Mysteries of Autism
As the parent of a severely autistic son, BBC journalist Blastland knows frustration, but it does not fuel his crystalline contemplation. Neither patronizing nor glib, he instead relies on fascination to unlock Joe's head, reminding us how much we “normal” people take for granted. (LJ 7/06)

Brockmeier, Kevin. The Brief History of the Dead
Home to the dead as long as someone on Earth remembers them, the City starts emptying out fast after an epidemic devastates Earth. Beautifully written and brilliantly realized, Brockmeier's second novel delivers a startling sense of what it really means to be alive. (LJ 2/15/06)

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