Ages 18+.

Les Bandes Dessinées

When you are learning another language, reading graphic novels can be a helpful and fun way to develop your vocabulary and cultural knowledge with supporting visual context. Did you know that AADL’s Word Languages collection includes graphic novels for several languages?

I love to practice my French by reading graphic novels, or bandes dessinées. You can browse our French graphic novels in the catalog. Don’t miss Aya de Yopougon by Marguerite Abouet, the story of a young woman studying to become a doctor in Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) circa 1978, and her party-loving friends Adjoua and Bintou who always manage to get into trouble. Loosely inspired by the author’s own experiences growing up, the book includes rich appendices featuring a glossary of expressions, cultural anecdotes, and some Ivorian recipes. Aya de Yopougon will charm anyone looking for a vibrant story of teenage crushes, friendships, dreams, and rebellions, or those who are interested in a story of everyday life in Côte d'Ivoire during an economic boom. Don’t speak French? AADL’s collection includes the Aya series in English.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #555 - “All cannot be lost when there is still so much being found” ~ Lemony Snicket

The Book of Lost and Found by Lucy Foley. Art student Kate Darling does not know much about her mother, June. As an orphan, she was adopted by the childless heiress Evelyn Darling who nurtured and coached her to become a world renowned ballerina. A year after June's untimely death in a plane crash, Evelyn (Evie) unburdened herself of a guilty secret to Kate and bequest her with an exquisite drawing of a young woman who looked very much like a young June. This sent a grief-stricken Kate on a quest for the true identity of the woman in the portrait and her connection to her mother.

Her search takes Kate from London to Corsica, to Paris, and eventually to New York, revealing a love story that began in the wild 1920s and was disrupted by war, derailed by circumstances.

"Foley deftly handles narratives by multiple voices that move seamlessly back and forth from the 1920s to 1986, with a vivid section set in Nazi-occupied France, as (the star-crossed lovers) are separated by happenstance, war, and deceptions as painful as they are well meant. A lovely and moving debut."

Inspired by true events, The Girl Who Wrote in Silk, Kelli Estes' "brilliant and atmospheric" debut serves as a poignant tale of two women determined to do the right thing, and the power of our own stories.

While exploring her beloved aunt's Orcas Island estate, Inara Erickson comes across an elaborately stitched piece of fabric hidden in the house. Working with Daniel Chin, a local professor of Asian studies, Inara learns the story of the sleeve's creator, Mei Lein, a survivor of the Chinese Exclusion Act, in the late 1800s to rid Seattle of its Chinese community.

Through the stories Mei Lein tells in silk, Inara uncovers a tragic truth and the connection to her own ancestor, one who would soon be commemorated in a city park, forcing her to make an impossible choice.

"Carefully crafted and perfectly paced, the novel takes readers on a deeply satisfying, memorable journey. Part mystery and part romance, the novel is also a fascinating look at an often forgotten period of Pacific Northwest history and a moving reminder of the stories we all share."

Bunny Drop a great manga for teens and older!

There is nothing normal about the beginnings of Bunny Drop, it starts with a death, Daikichi's grandfather dies and leaves behind a surprise for everyone in the family. He has an illegitimate daughter named Rin, who is only 6 years old. Follow the unlikely family as Daikichi and Rin learn how to live together and create a life together.
This manga is seriously cute, but it's not the cute that makes this manga worth reading (though cute is never a bad thing in a josei manga) it deals with the struggles of raising a child, especially one that is not biologically yours. It also deals with issues such as, abandonment, death, unexpected pregnancy, fame and friendship.

The library has all 9 volumes and so you can read the entire story from start to finish! So check out Bunny Drop!

Book to Film: The Scorch Trials

Now in theaters is The Scorch Trials, based on the book of the same name by James Dashner. This is the 2nd of 5 books in the popular dystopian science fiction Maze Runner series, and this new movie looks like another adrenaline rusher!

In The Maze Runner 16 year old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and he realizes he must work with those around him in order to stay alive and escape. Now in The Scorch Trials he and several others face even more obstacles as they struggle to fight for their lives in the Scorch.

2015 Ignatz Award Winners Announced

The Small Press Expo (SPX) announced the winners of the 2015 Ignatz Awards for excellence in independent comics, and women artists swept all categories! Winners receive a brick, a nod to Ignatz's weapon of choice in the classic comic strip Krazy Kat by George Herriman.

Also worth a read are the nominees.

Euphoria: a slim novel jam-packed with action and feeling

Many of us have heard of the fascinating 2014 Kirkus Prize winning novel Euphoria, by Lily King. The bright cover caught my eye almost a year ago, but I finally found the chance to read it just this past week. King’s novel is told from several perspectives, and tells the story of three young and gifted anthropologists studying the tibes of New Guinea in the early 1930s. Husband and wife team Nell and Fen have just finished studying the violent and superstitious Mumbanyo tribe, and their relationship and sanity are both on thin ice. When they encounter fellow anthropologist Bankson, he leads them to the peaceful, female-dominated Tam tribe to study and recover. However, an ensuing love triangle, and the misdeed’s of Nell’s husband Fen threaten their careers, their friendship, and their lives. This book is both a fascinating portrait of intimate relationships, and an accurate and shocking tale of what some of the first anthropologists encountered when they ventured out into the field.

It’s particularly interesting to note that King based the character of Nell Stone on real events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead. Mead’s Coming of Age in Samoa is her psychological study of tribal youth, and documents her travels to Samoa at age twenty-three, where she conducted her first fieldwork. It has been compared to Darwin's Origin of Species for its scientific relevance as well as its readability. You can also read Jane Howard’s biography of Margaret Mead, titled Margaret Mead: A Life, to find out even more about the amazing woman that inspired King to write Euphoria.

New Teen Fiction: Stand-Off by Andrew Smith

Stand-Off by Andrew Smith is the sequel to the acclaimed teen novel Winger. Ryan Dean West is now a 15 year old senior at Pine Mountain Academy, and in his last year he struggles with dealing with what happened last year at school, and is thus convinced that N.A.T.E. (the Next Accidental Terrible Experience) is lurking around every corner. He becomes captain of the rugby team and shares his dorm room with a 12 year old prodigy named Sam Abernathy who watches cooking shows and sleeps in soccer jammies. (I have to admit, scenes with The Abernathy were so laugh-out-loud hilarious!) A lot of things change this year and Ryan Dean isn’t always up to the challenge.

Ryan Dean is a very likeable character with such a great and realistic teen voice. If you haven’t read Winger, read that and then read Stand-Off. I didn't know a sequel was coming and as soon as it fell into my hands I scarfed it down and then wanted more.

Andrew Smith is one author who keeps knocking it out of the park with stellar teen fiction.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #554

Coming in at the #1 spot of September LibraryReads List is The Art of Crash Landing, a debut novel by Melissa DeCarlo.

"Irresponsible. Undependable. Erratic." - that how 30 year-old free-lance photographer Mattie Wallace describes herself. Broke and knocked up, with all her worldly possessions crammed into six giant trash bags, and nowhere to go, she drives the 800 miles to claim a bequest left to her by a grandmother she has never met, knowing full-well that this might be one last chance to turn things around.

When she arrives at the tiny town of Gandy, Oklahoma, her grandmother's estate turns out to be meager at best but she does have the key to her mother's childhood home. The kindness of strangers, most of whom knew her mother gives Mattie the opportunity to uncover the mystery that turns a happy, talented teenager into the broken alcoholic mother that she knows. Uncovering what started her mother's downward spiral might be the only way to stop her own.

"Hilarious, gripping, and unexpectedly wise,... first-novelist DeCarlo deftly weaves in flashbacks about Mattie's childhood and creates a cast of wonderfully full-blooded, fallible characters,... Best of all is Mattie herself, who has cultivated a measure of humanity in addition to impressive survival skills and whose briskly told story is instantly involving."

For readers who enjoyed The Time of My Life by Cecelia Ahern; Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch; and Contents May Have Shifted by Pam Houston.

Easy English News For You

Are you an adult who is learning to read or is becoming an English Language Learner? AADL has a couple magazines that should get your attention.

The Easy English News is available at all of our branches. It contains current events written at a fourth grade reading level. It's written in a way to build your vocabulary and help you read for meaning. There's also News for You, which you can find at our downtown location or put a hold on a copy and have it sent to the location most convenient for you. Both publications have vocabulary words, puzzles and interactive websites. Spread the word!

Man Booker Prize Shortlist Announced!

The Man Booker Prize Award finalists were announced today. Currently, American Yanagihara is a favorite to win, although competition is fierce, including previous Booker Prize finalist Tom McCarthy and Pulitzer Prize-winner Anne Tyler.

The nominees are:

Marlon James - A Brief History of Seven Killings
Tom McCarthy - Satin Island
Chigozie Obioma - The Fishermen
Sunjeev Sahota - The Year of the Runaways (US publication coming March 2016)
Anne Tyler - A Spool of Blue Thread
Hanya Yanagihara - A Little Life

This year continues the policy introduced in 2014 of allowing all authors writing in English, regardless of nationality, to be considered for the award. Michael Wood, chair of the judging panel commented that the selections on this year's list explore the darker areas of life, but stressed the quality of the books, saying, "What’s quite interesting is trying to work out how one can have such pleasure in books with such terrible stuff.”

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