IAW 2015 Guest Speaker: Rebecca Donovan

The 2015 It's All Write Teen Writing Contest Awards Ceremony is almost upon us! In less than one week's time, YA author Rebecca Donovan will be here to talk about writing, and winners in attendance at the celebration will receive their awards. Curious to know more about our upcoming guest? Look no further!

Rebecca Donovan is a self-described "hopeless optimist" whose enthusiasm and passion comes through in her writing. She loves going to concerts, is a big fan of Mountain Dew, and lives in New England but really doesn't like winter. She started college intending to major in journalism but ended up graduating with a degree in psychology, and she spent years doing social work and working in the event industry before she turned to writing. Her first trilogy, The Breathing Series, is a USA Today bestseller and has been optioned for film.

In the first book in the series, REASON TO BREATHE, a high school girl named Emma Thomas in a wealthy Connecticut town struggles to retain her perfect image while hiding secrets - like trying to cover the bruises on her arms. When she unexpectedly finds love, it makes her recognize her own worth but puts her "perfect image" at risk.

BARELY BREATHING, the second book, deals with the repercussions and fallout of first book. OUT OF BREATH, the third book, follows Emma to college, where she must continue to battle the demons of her past and complete the healing process through forgiveness.

Donovan's most recent book, WHAT IF, came out in January 2015 and is about high school graduate Cal Logan, who sees his childhood crush Nicole at a coffee shop thousands of miles away from their hometown ... only she says her name is Nyelle, she's the complete opposite of Nicole, and she doesn't know who Cal is! What secrets is not-Nicole hiding? The more he discovers, the more he doesn't want to know.

PreK Bits - "B" is for buttons !

In Ms Rachel's Storytime this week ... each story had buttons.
A very big favorite character is PETE The CAT And His FOUR GROOVY BUTTONS by Eric Litwin. When Pete lost a button did he cry?
"Goodness No! Buttons come and buttons go." He just kept on walking!
Ms. Sara accompanied the group singing "My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean", while Ms. Rachel led action to go with the song. Be careful about those "B"s!
Frog told the story of “The Lost Button” from FROG And TOAD ARE FRIENDS by Arnold Lobel. Toad lost a button. Each button they found was not the one Toad lost. But Toad was so grateful for Frog's help that he made him a special gift with the leftover buttons. This is why they are best friends forever !!

For more stories about why buttons are special, try these titles:
GRANDMA’S BUTTON BOX by Linda Williams Aber
PRESS HERE by Herve Tullet
CORDUROY by Don Freeman.
The BELLY BOOK by Fran Manushkin. Guess where "the button" is ?

Transportation: Past, Present, and Future

If you’ve got a little one who loves planes, buses, trucks, cars, and more, check out some of our new transportation books, featuring images from the past, present, and future!

French illustrator Alain Grée’s wonderful illustrations from the late 1960’s have been bundled into the fabulous book Transportation, which will satisfy any young readers with an interest in cars, buses, planes, trains, and more. Simple illustrations and facts will help children learn about transportation. The plane illustration may make adults jealous of the early travelers pictured reclining in great comfort! Because this book originated in 1968, adults reading it to little ones may want to explain some anomalies, such as why almost everyone in the book is white, that Native Americans don’t actually travel by canoe anymore, and that spaceships look somewhat different than they used to.

If you want to learn about futuristic machines, we’ve got lots of new youth books that will help you out! Check out the books Hovercraft and Drones. For military machines, look at Denny Von Finn’s military planes series, or Ryan Nagelhout’s books Air Force One and Fighter Planes.

Finally, for older readers looking for a history of flight, you can’t do much better than Tim Grove’s colorful and detailed book First Flight Around the World: The Adventures of the American Fliers Who Won the Race. Published with the help of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, this book contains a plethora of pictures, maps, and primary source material. Readers will love this exciting story.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #532 - “It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” ~ Paulo Coelho

Hugo & Rose * by Bridget Foley would be the Calgon for any beleaguered housewife - the ultimate escape. For Rose though, it is a bit more complicated.

For thirty years, since a traumatic accident in childhood, Rose has the same dream every night - stranded on a deserted island with a brave boy named Hugo, having incredible adventures. These exciting dreams overshadow her waking life - that of being a suburban mother of three, married to an overworked and often absent surgeon.

When Rose stumbles across Hugo in real life, both her real and dream worlds are changed forever. This chance encounter begins a cascade of questions, lies, and a dangerous obsession that threatens to topple everything she knows.

"Debut-novelist Foley, a screenwriter, brings a cinematic sensibility to both fantastical descriptions of the dream island and depictions of the mundane real world... (this) imaginative and insightful novel will hold readers spellbound as it builds to a stunning conclusion." Would appeal to fans of Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon.

The Bookseller * by Cynthia Swanson has been called "a stunner of a debut novel, astonishingly tight and fast paced."

Denver, 1962. Cat-loving spinsterly Kitty Miller, part-owner of the floundering Sisters Bookstore leads a simple if solitary life. That is, until she starts waking up in 1963 as Katharyn Andersson, wife of architect Lars, mother of triplets, in a sleek, suburban life filled with maids and nannies, Cadillacs and cocktail parties.

As Kitty investigates her parallel worlds, she starts to doubt the choices she's made in her daytime life but she also discovers that her dream life is not as perfect as it appears. "Dexterously traversing past and present, fact and fiction, Swanson's clever first novel ingeniously explores the inventive ways the human spirit copes with trauma."

"The 1960s tone is elegant and even, and Kitty/Katharyn's journey is intriguing, redolent with issues of family, independence, friendship, and free will. This will especially resonate with fans of the movie Sliding Doors and works by Anna Quindlen and Anita Shreve."

* = starred review

Mr. Ferris and His Wheel

As a beautifully illustrated picture book, Mr. Ferris and His Wheel is the true story of how mechanical engineer George Ferris invented and constructed the amazing spinning wheel, coined the Ferris Wheel after him, to debut at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. It’s a great story of perseverance and determination after Ferris was doubted as to whether or not his "contraption" would work or be safe. But during the nineteen weeks the World’s Fair ran in Chicago over 1.5 million people rode the wheel, which revolved more than 10,000 times total, and did not need one single repair.

If you go into the woods today you're in for a big suprise! James Tynion's 'The Woods" is a graphic novel you don't want to walk away from

James Tynion is no novice comic creator his work on Batman has given him some serious comic book cred. Now his first original comic, The Woods, is being serialized in graphic novel form by BOOM Studios.

So what is The Woods about? In October 2013 437 students 52 teachers, and 24 other staff from Bay Point Preparatory High School disappear, the school in its entirety is transported to an alien landscape. These students, teachers and staff must decide how they are going to survive, where they are and if anyone is coming to rescue them.Volume one: The Arrow contains the first 4 issues of the series and Volume Two: The Swarm contains issues 5-8.

Library Lists: Best Board Books!

Language learning and picture recognition both begin at a very young age, an age so young, in fact, that often babies can’t yet handle the delicate pages and covers of real books! This, of course, is where board books come in. The AADL has a great collection of board books that we replenish regularly and keep at all of our locations. Here are some favorites, from alphabet books, to shortened versions of classic children’s stories, all available at the library!

Rhymoceros: In this adorable book, a bright blue rhinoceros demonstrates pairs of rhyming words by attempting various feats and experiments.

In Small, Smaller, Smallest, flaps and tabs help demonstrate different sizes of colorful objects and creatures to curious young readers.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: A Colors Primer introduces babies to colors, using the familiar figures of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion. Also in this adorable series are Frankenstein: An Anatomy Primer, Anna Karenina: A Fashion Primer, and tons of others, all by author Jennifer Adams.

Little fans of trucks, trains, planes and other vehicles will enjoy Steve Light’s board books such as Planes Go, Trains Go, and Diggers Go, where they can see, sound out, and recreate the noises of lots of different moving machines!

Sandra Boynton’s board books are hilarious classics that are not only fun for kids, but are amusing for adults too. Try Blue Hat Green Hat, which features a turkey who can’t quite seem to get dressed properly or The Going to Bed Book to start.

Little Pear Tree is a beautifully illustrated book with flaps to lift and unique words to learn and creatures to discover. Readers will enjoy seeing a pear tree and its surroundings change throughout the seasons.

Yusuke Yonezu’s fun board books about fruits and vegetables are fascinating for the littlest readers: pairings of different foods morph into animals when a page is shifted or a flap is lifted! Try Guess What?-Food and Guess What?-Fruit.

Alphablock is a fantastic first alphabet book for babies. With thick pages cut into the shape of each letter, young hands can really FEEL how a letter might be written or drawn. And of course, there are lots of items and creatures that begin with each letter on the pages so kids can begin to learn what words are associated with them.

If you’re looking for more fun and interesting board books, check out this list!

2015 IAW Get to Know the Judges: Terry Lynn Johnson

Leading up to the It's All Write Teen Short Story Contest celebration on June 7 (mark that on your calendar!), we'll be posting information about the judges who have the difficult task of narrowing down our contestants. Our next judge is Terry Lynn Johnson.

Johnson has had an adventurous life - she currently works as a conservation officer in northern Ontario and has been a park ranger and musher in the past. She enjoys snowshoeing, kayaking, and fishing. Stories from her time dogsledding and as a backcountry canoe ranger in Quetico Wilderness Park have greatly influenced her writing and inspired her to become a published author. She is also a contributing writer for various magazines about the outdoors.

Her novel ICE DOGS (2013) is about a 14-year-old champion dogsledder who loses her way during a routine outing with her dogs. A freak snowstorm and an injured city boy make matters worse, and it's up to Victoria and her survival skills to save them all. Johnson has also released an ebook called DOGSLED DREAMS.

The Girl's Guide: the handiest new book!

It has always seemed to me like there are a lot of “life guidebooks” out there, especially geared towards women. Some have good info, but are often focused on a single subject: housekeeping, fashion, love and romance, health or careers, but rarely all of the above. Life can be confusing and I’ve often wished for a book that has tips and suggestions about all of that stuff that I can just keep around the house. And now, we’ve got one! The Girl’s Guide, by Melissa Kirsch, covers all these subjects—and more—in a single, simply designed new book and I love it!

Chapters include Health and Body Image, Money and Finance, Careers and Work, Dating, Sex and Romance, Spirituality, Home Ec for Modern Times, and sections on fashion sense, friendship, and getting along with and navigating familial and other close relationships. The format of the book is incredibly handy. There are longer sections, but everything is summarized in short, bolded phrases, too, for those just scanning quickly for info. Particularly relevant or important information (for example, the difference between a credit report and a credit score, or what to do if you feel like you’re going to cry at work) is detailed in cute turquoise boxes throughout the book. There are even a few checklists in The Girl’s Guide, including one for outfitting your kitchen and another for things to make sure you check on before purchasing a home. This book is incredibly useful, comprehensive, and realistic, and is a must-read—and maybe even a must-own!—for women everywhere.

By Mouse & Frog

By Mouse & Frog is a new picture book by Deborah Freedman. It features a nice, quiet mouse who is writing a story. A fantastic story! So many ideas are flowing out of his pencil! But Frog is super duper enthusiastic about the storyline and keeps interrupting Mouse’s writing process with his own ideas.

“Once upon a time Mouse was trying to tell a story, but Frog bounced and bounced without listening to Mouse!”

Will Frog stop interrupting? Will Mouse get to finish writing the story? Will teamwork be involved at all?! This charming book will make you giggle and smile and appreciate the balance that's in every friendship.

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