Fabulous Fiction Firsts #108

It's not often that you come across a debut novel as sure-footed and well-crafted as Tom Rob Smith's Child 44*.

In the last winter of Stalin's reign, Leo Demidov, a national hero and a ranking officer of the Moscow MGB (State Security) is aware that his good fortune (nice apartment, beautiful wife, imported foods) is precarious at best – balancing on luck and political gamesmanship. When he refuses to denounce his wife on trumped up charges as a spy, he was demoted and exiled to a remote city and quickly becomes involved hunting down a serial killer preying on young children. What Leo sees as his redemption cast him as the enemy of the state and a fugitive on the run.

Bleak, brooding and chillingly affecting, with a “relentless” pace and a layered plot, this unexpected story of love and family, of hope and resilience is a hypnotic psychological thriller - surely not to be missed. Prepublication film rights already sold to Ridley Scott.

For fans of the Arkady Renko series by Martin Cruz Smith and Emil Brod series by Olen Steinhauer.

* = Starred Reviews

A Cool Girl and her Stuff

Ginny Davis is having a tough seventh-grade year, but at least she is getting good grades on her English essays. This helps us as readers, as we enjoy the essays, notes, instant messages, lists, and meatloaf haikus of Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf: A Year Told Through Stuff by Jennifer Holm. Pictures by Elicia Castaldi add delight to this clever book written by a two-time Newbery Honor winner.

Frosty Life: Surviving the Poles

What animals live at the poles and how do they survive? Discover how polar bears swim in ice-cold water and other sub-zero animals live through extreme temperatures through hands-on experiments. Find out all about artic animals in this fun-filled adult/child workshop presented by the UM Exhibit Museum of Natrual History. Call any information desk to register your spot in a branch or drop in. Workshop for children ages 6-11 with an adult.

Pittsfield Branch, Wednesday, February 20, 4:30-5:30 PM
Malletts Creek Branch, Saturday, February 23, 10-11 AM
Northeast Branch, Saturday, February 23, 2-3 PM

TweenSpace goes undercover!

We're becoming Masters of Disguise this week at TweenSpace. Join us at the Northeast Branch, Tuesday, February 5th from 4:30 to 6 pm to create disguises and costumes. Make a silly mustache, an eye patch, your very own Wild West vest, or anything else your imagination dreams up. If you're a 4th or 5th grader go incognito this week at TweenSpace.

TweenSpace: Checkermania! @ Malletts Creek, Tuesday, January 22, 4:30-6:00 pm

Work with your team to jump over opponents in a life-size game of checkers. Haven’t played before? Come and learn! We’ll also be making our own checkerboards that you can take to play on at home! For kids grades 4 and 5.

Ice Worlds: Why are the Poles so Cold?

IcebergIceberg

Where are the North and South Poles, and why are they so cold? What’s the difference between seawater and fresh water? Sea ice and land ice? How do layers of ice stack up? From ice cores to ocean currents, we’ll learn about the coldest places on Earth in this exciting science workshop held in collaboration with the UM Exhibit Museum of Natural History. The workshop is for children ages 6-11 and their adult guardian. Activities are created for both adults and children to complete together.

Call the Youth Desk at 327-8301 or ask at any service desk to register for the program. Choose from the following dates:
Wednesday, Jan. 16, 4:30-5:30 PM at the Pittsfield Branch
Saturday, Jan. 19, 10-11 AM at the Malletts Creek Branch
Saturday, Jan. 19, 2-3 PM at the Northeast Branch

Read up on the topic in these great books: Life in the polar lands by Monica Byles, Icebergs, Ice Caps and Glaciers by Allan Fowlar, Shackleton’s Stowaway by Victoria McKernan, and Polar Bears Past Bedtime by Mary Pope Osborne.

Cup Stacking @ the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum

Cup Stacking

Spend some time at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum enjoying their Winter Break Cool Adventures Series. Enjoy storytelling with Rowena Conahan, Ron Loyd the Bubbleman, juggling, dancing and more.

Don’t miss cup stacking on Jan. 2 from 1-3 PM with AADL librarians Elizabeth Schneider and Laura Raynor at AAHOM. Try your hand at stacking pyramids. By the end of the afternoon, you’ll be a stacking fiend!

Animal Lovers

My new discovery is the great animal video footage available from the Woodland Park Zoo. The zoo is located in Seattle, Washington, and houses many animals native to the Pacific Northwest. Watch the typical day of Keema and Denali, two twelve-year-old grizzly bears, on the Bear Cam. Check out footage of the new baby Gorilla born to Amanda and Vip in October. Or enjoy watching short clips of wallabies and butterflies.

Learn more about animals on the zoo website or at the library. Some of my favorite titles are Koko's Kitten and Grizzly Bears.

Make your own holiday wrapping paper!

Do you have your holiday shopping done? Or started? If you’re in grades 6-12 come to the Northeast Branch December 15th from 1-3 p.m. to make your own wrapping paper for your special gifts!

Tween Scene: Share the Warmth

Spend your day off from school making something warm for others as we move into the cold, wintry season. Come to the Malletts Creek Branch on Wednesday, November 21 at 2 PM. We'll have until 4 PM to create no-sew fleece blankets to be donated to a local non-profit organization. In the spirit of giving, choose from a rainbow of colors and prints and spend the afternoon making blankets for others in our community.

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