Thursday: Fabulous Documentary!

The remarkable Oscar award nominated documentary Encounters At The End Of The World will be screened 7-8:45 p.m. Thursday at the downtown library. Directed by Werner Herzog, the film reflects life in very cramped quarters of 1,000 men and women pursuing advanced science in Antarctica. This 2008 Oscar-nominated documentary is rated G for general audiences. Bring a friend and learn about science, human nature, and Antarctica.

Take an Earth Day Hike @Bird Hills Nature Area

Celebrate Earth Day by taking a spring nature walk, led by the City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation staff. View native plants and trees, and learn about the ecological restoration going on at this site. Keep your eyes open for some spring wildflowers.

Thursday, April 22 | 7-8:30 PM | Bird Hills parking lot off Newport Road, just north of M-14

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AADL Productions Podcast: AA/Ypsi Reads Author Jerry Dennis

In this episode, 2010 Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Reads author Jerry Dennis stops by to talk about Reads title The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas. Apart from being an award-winning nature writer, Jerry is also a lifelong Michigander whose experience of the Great Lakes reaches back to boyhood fishing trips. In this interview we learn about his life as a writer and what he has learned about the lakes through his research and many conversations with the people who live along them. We also get to hear his feelings about what makes the lakes so important to Michigan and Michigan so important to the fight to keep the lakes healthy. You can also watch the video of Jerry's presentation at Washtenaw Community College in the AADL Video Collection.

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AADL_Productions_Podcast-AA_Ypsi_Reads_Jerry_Dennis.mp3 38.1 MB

Winter Adventures -- Youth Magazine Update

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There's no denying it, winter has definitely arrived -- and with snow predicted for some time this week, it's time to plan how to keep yourself entertained when the weather turns icy.

If you're an outdoorsy type, Boy's Life Magazine has all the information you will ever need, with articles on ice fishing, making emergency shelters out of snow, and ice climbing -- on frozen grain silos. (Strange, but true.)

For those of us who prefer to stay indoors with a hot cup of cocoa, Nintendo Power Magazine provides the latest information on the best new games -- like Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks, the first Legend of Zelda game where Zelda gets to go adventuring herself! My personal favorite, for the name alone, is Zombie Panic in Wonderland in which your favorite fairy tale characters fight...you guessed it ...zombies.

Bridging the gap between outdoor adventure and vegging out is National Geographic Kids, with an article on the return of the lynx to Colorado, and a review of upcoming Disney original The Princess and the Frog.Owl Magazine and its sister publication ChickaDee get in on the act with articles on arctic animals, gifts you can make yourself, and, in ChickaDee, an up-close look at Quebec's Hotel de Glace, a hotel made entirely of ice.

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

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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

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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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