Announcing the Official Book Selection of Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 2010.

LivingGreat LakesLivingGreat Lakes

Jerry Dennis' book, 'The Living Great Lakes: Searching For The Heart Of The Inland Seas' is the title selected as the focus of Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 2010. This year's theme is Michigan.

An eleven-member selection team, composed of community members, educators, students and librarians from the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area chose the book Wednesday night after two hours of deliberation. The other title under consideration was 'Arc of Justice: Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in The Jazz Age' by Kevin Boyle.

The winner of the “Best Book of 2003” by the Outdoor Writers Association of America,'The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas' chronicles author Jerry Dennis’ travels as a crew member on the tall-masted schooner Malabar on a four-week trip through the waters of Lakes Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior. The author, a resident of Traverse City, Michigan, reminisces on a lifetime spent near the lakes and interweaves his personal journey with stories from the biologists, fishermen and sailors that he met during his travels.

Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 2010 is scheduled to occur January through February 2010, with multiple opportunities for the community to become involved. For more information, visit the website.

Ancient Food and Extreme Science -- Youth Magazine Update

Eric GuilbertEric Guilbert

From history to travel, interviews to fiction -- this month's youth magazines sure have a lot of interesting stories to share!

Dig Magazine starts the party with an issue focusing entirely on the history of food. Learn about Ancient Egyptian bread baking and the history of the tortilla, as well as how to roast a whole pig. Even more fun than McDonald's!

Jack and Jill travels the world, with a look at winter holiday celebrations and life in Mongolia's Gobi Desert, as well as an interview with 16-year-old figure skater and Olympic hopeful Mirai Nagasu.

Ever heard of scientists who brave dense jungles and hang from trees to study rare insects? Ranger Rick Magazine has the whole story, along with cool pictures of animal sculptures made entirely from tin cans.

If this makes you feel like exploring the world, come on down! The library is always the best place to start.

Toys, Tweens, Pies and Trees -- Parent Magazine Update

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The magazines on our parent shelf are taking on the world, and they can take you along for the ride.

Parenting: School Years starts out strong with an article on how to enjoy your child's "difficult" tween years, and just keeps on swinging with a special Mom Congress report on the necessity of art education, a guide to family hapiness, and their picks for "toys of the year."

Coincidentally, Family Fun Magazine also features their Toy of the Year Awards -- number one is Klutz's "Invasion of the Bristlebots", a kit for making robots out of toothbrush heads. The magazine continues with an article on blogging as a family, a list of fun Thanksgiving activities, and five unique pie recipes for those bored with the same old pumpkin-from-a-can variety.

Gifted Child Today tackles some serious issues in their fall edition -- a guide to involving children in caring for the earth, an article by Dr. Gilman W. Whiting, director of the Scholar Identity Institute on reducing dropout rates among diverse students, and a guide to identifying signs of Asperger's syndrome-- an Autism-spectrum disorder.

If all this makes you want to roll up your sleeves and dive in, great! These great ideas and more are just a trip to the magazine rack away.

Nonfiction Finds -- Winter Stargazing

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Expert astronomers know that in the winter the stars are clearer and brighter than they are in the summer. Several spectacular meteor showers will also take place in the upcoming months, so grab your overcoat and take advantage of the clear skies with some great nonfiction resources!

New arrival "Phases of the Moon" by Gillia Olson is a great place to start, including a list of websites for further information.

More experienced stargazers can graduate to Anton Vamplew's "Simple Stargazing" or Fran Lee's "Wishing on a Star". These guides to the constellations require no telescopes!

And once you're done and curled up with a cup of tea, you can read the stories behind the constellations with Jacqueline Mitton's "Zodiac", "Zoo in the Sky", and "Once Upon a Starry Night", all beautifully illustrated by Christina Balit.

Fear Itself

Ask OctoberAsk October

Just in time for the scariest month of the year, Ask magazine has come out with a special issue on...you guessed it... fear.

Ask magazine goes beyond the usual scary story collection, however, with an article on how the brain processes and produces fear as well as a guide to controlling and dealing with fear -- useful for kids and adults! This issue also includes the instructions for Ask's latest contest -- to design a Monster so terrifying it will frighten other monsters. Winners will get published in a future issue of Ask!

Take a Fall Hike @Bird Hills Nature Area

If you’ve never trekked through the Bird Hills Nature Area, you are in for a treat. Located on a moraine, this land of steep slopes was logged in the 1800s and then grazed by cattle. In the 1920s under new owners reforestation began. With its varied topography and soils Bird Hills is one the most floristically diverse areas in Ann Arbor.

City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation staff will lead the hike. View a wide variety of trees, discover the ways to identify them, and learn about ecological restoration and responsible use of public lands. Come join us!

Saturday, October 3 | 2:00-3:30 PM | Bird Hills parking lot off Newport Road, just north of M-14
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Orion Book Award Winner: Trespass by Amy Irvine

The 2009 Orion Book Awards have been announced. Orion is one of the best magazines you will find, whose byline – nature/culture/place – reveals its focus. The editorial board reads like a who’s who of contemporary luminaries in the environmental movement, such as: Wendell Berry, Bill McKibben, Edward O. Wilson, Barry Lopez, Jane Goodall. Orion manages to be artistic, literary, probing and provocative, with cutting-edge articles on the politics, ethics and practice of environmentalism, farming and forestry and featuring the work of artists, poets, and storytellers. It inspires personal commitment to change the world, one short shower, cloth bag, bike ride and community garden at a time.

Every year the editors acknowledge books that, “deepen our connection to the natural world, present new ideas about our relationship with nature and achieve excellence in writing”. The winner of the award this year is Trespass: Living at the Edge of the Promised Land by Amy Irvine. The finalists are: The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane, The Bridge at the Edge of the World by James Gustave Speth, Inventing Niagara by Ginger Strand and Finding Beauty in a Broken World by Terry Tempest Williams. The Reader’s Choice Award went to Man Killed by Pheasant by John Price.

Huron River Day 2009

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Sunday, July 12 is the 2009 Huron River Day! From noon to 4 p.m. at Gallup Park, all are invited to play on the river with discounted canoe and kayak rentals. There will be plenty of food and entertainment, including the WCC Jazz Bands, and many opportunities for all ages to learn about the river's importance and health. Other activities will include Geocaching, a classic boat show, how to plant a rain garden, and live animal presentations.

Take a Hike! @Lakewood Nature Area

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Tonight at 7pm, join the City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation staff in a botanical walk through Lakewood Nature Area. Meet in the parking lot of Lakewood School, 344 Gralake. This event is held in conjunction with the summer reading program, Local Motion, which encourages the use of local neighborhoods, gyms, recreational facilities and outdoor areas to move and get fit!

Parks in Washtenaw County

Rolling Hills Water ParkRolling Hills Water Park

Memorial Day weekend signifies more than just the remembrance of departed veterans, but also as a non-meterological beginning to Summer. Most students are making their way through their final weeks of school, daydreaming about the possibilites this Summer offers. This is also the time when County Parks and Preserves open to the public. Soon, AADL will be offering a program called "Park and Read," which is simlar to the Museum Adventure Passes, that will be good for a free one-day admission to any Michigan State Park. Fortunately, Washtenaw County proudly boasts 12 parks and 16 preserves, including the ever popular Rolling Hills Water Park, which supplies the County with a great place to cool off, get together with friends and even play a round of disc golf.

Come and visit one of Washtenaw County's Parks or Preserves today!

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