Meet “It’s All Write!” Judge #8: James Kennedy

James Kennedy wrote his very first story when he was just seven years old. It was called “The Strange Ship,” which included characters called “money people”, terrifying creatures, and droids. He channeled this creativity into many opportunities, never missing the chance to try something new. Kennedy has lived in Japan, studied physics, joined a band, written a musical, dabbled in computer programming, and taught science in a middle school.

True to his creative nature, Kennedy pioneered the 90-second Newberry Film Festival, a contest that is now in its third year. Kennedy is best known for his published book, The Order of Odd-Fish, which was named a Smithsonian Notable Book for Children in 2008. His writing influences include Roald Dahl, Douglas Adams, and Madeleine L’Engle.

To learn more about James Kennedy, check out his website and blog.

Stay tuned for the rest of the “It’s All Write!” judges in forthcoming blog posts!

Sign Language for Infants and Toddlers

Saturday March 29 | 11:00 am to 11:45 am | Malletts Creek Branch
Event is intended for hearing babies ages 6 months - 2 years and their families (No older siblings, please)

Kathy Brady, Certified Instructor at Signing Smart in Ann Arbor, will be teaching families how to incorporate American Sign Language (ASL) into daily interactions with hearing infants and toddlers, ages 6 months to 2 years. ASL is commonly and successfully used to help babies speak their mind and better communicate their needs and wants. Kathy will teach common, everyday ASL signs through songs and play, making signing easy, fun, and successful!

PreK BITS - Owls

Ms. Rachel invited Owls to tell their stories in StoryTime @ Malletts Creek Branch Library.

If you liked the stories and want to take home the book, here are the titles:
LITTLE OWL LOST by Chris Haughton
I'M NOT CUTE! By Jonathan Allen .... AND Jonathan Allen's Baby Owl has more stories to tell.

If you want to read more books about Owls here are some suggestions:
TOO TALL HOUSES by Gianna Marino
GOOD NIGHT, OWL! by Pat Hutchins
OWL BABIES by Martin Waddell
OWL WHO WAS AFRAID Of The DARK by Jill Tomlinson
LITTLE OWL'S NIGHT by Divya Srinivasan

Don't forget to browse the books with True Facts about Owls.
Build your knowledge of owl behaviors and science when you browse non-fiction J 598.7:
OWLS
OWLS: Whooo ARE THEY?

Meet “It’s All Write!” Judge # 7: Jeff Hirsch

Jeff Hirsch has always loved to write, and even attended writing summer camps growing up as a teen in Virginia. He then pursued his interest in theater, and graduated from the University of California, San Diego for playwriting. After becoming inspired by distinguished teen authors, Hirsch found his writing niche.

Hirsch is well known for his first novel, The Eleventh Plague. Readers can preview the first three chapters of his newest release, The Darkest Path, and should keep an eye out for Black River in 2015.

Jeff Hirsch loves to hear from his readers and is a fan of Prince and Tom Waits. Last year, AADL featured his wife, Gertie Hirsch, in a retro sewing program. To learn more about Jeff Hirsch, visit his website.

Stay tuned for the rest of the “It’s All Write!” judges in forthcoming blog posts!

Youth Biographies by Brad Meltzer

Author Brad Meltzer is known for his best-selling mystery novels, including The Book of Lies and The Inner Circle.

His latest books are for children! And they’re cool! It’s a series called Ordinary People Change the World and features biographies on some extraordinary folks that started out as ordinary, just like me and you. Check out the wonderfully illustrated I Am Abraham Lincoln and I Am Amelia Earhart. In these books young readers get to see famous faces from history doing fun things as children.

New J Fiction: The Lion Who Stole My Arm

Be sure to check out a great new addition to realistic fiction for kids: The Lion Who Stole My Arm! Pedru has grown up in Africa as a hunter’s son: he can catch fish, climb trees, and even use a spear to defend his family and catch the biggest animals. But one evening as he’s heading home from a fun day of fishing with his friends, he encounters something he’s only heard of in tales- a lion! In this tale of exciting heroism and personal strength, Pedru shares his struggles to defend his community from unwanted intruders and how he dealt with the life-changing experience of coming face to face with a lion.

Nicola Davies finds her passion in observing and working with animals. She has impacted animal life all over the world through whale watching, bird spotting, and hands-on research. Ms. Davies has written several books for kids, including One Tiny Turtle, Surprising Sharks, and Escape from Silver Street Farm. To learn more about Nicola Davies, visit her author website.

Once Upon A Northern Night

Once Upon A Northern Night is a beautiful NEW picture book written by Jean E. Pendziwol with pictures by Isabelle Arsenault.

Once upon a northern night
While you lay sleeping,
Wrapped in a downy blanket,
I painted you a picture.

Using lyrical and poetic language the narrator describes the wintry landscape outside a sleeping child’s window, creating a narrative that makes way for a picture painted with words and imagery full of magic and wonder. The illustrations are reminiscent of older storybooks like the Caldecott honor book Blueberries For Sal. This would make a wonderfully calm and enchanting bedtime story.

Winter is on its way out, but Season 4 of Game of Thrones is coming!

Many of us are eagerly awaiting the start of season four of Game of Thrones, which begins on Sunday, April 6th on HBO. The AADL has the first three seasons of the show on DVD and Blu-Ray, but we also have a large selection of other Game of Thrones-related materials that fans may be interested in. The show was inspired by and is strictly based on the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. The library has all five of the currently published books available. Martin has said that he may publish the sixth installment of the series, The Winds of Winter, in 2015. Even if you’ve already seen the show, reading the books is a cool way to find out more details and clear up any confusion.

The AADL also has graphic novel adaptations of Game of Thrones. These are fast-paced and colorful reads that fans will surely enjoy. There are also unique books about the Game of Thrones fantasy world and the show in our collection. The Wit and Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister collects a number of the hilarious and witty quotes said by one of the most popular characters into a fun book. The Unofficial Game of Thrones cookbook: from direwolf ale to auroch stew—more than 150 recipes from Westeros and beyond has appetizers, side dishes, main courses and desserts, all inspired by meals or situations from Game of Thrones. We also have the official companion to the HBO show, Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones. It is filled with hundreds of photos of the set, actors, and props from the show. Finally, an extremely helpful book is The Lands of Ice and Fire: maps from King’s Landing to across the Narrow Sea, a collection of maps and diagrams that show the world described by Martin in his books and shown to viewers on the show. As fans know, keeping the many settings of Game of Thrones straight can be a challenge; this book can help those who are struggling better visualize the continents of Westeros and Essos

Fun Youth Novel: True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, by Kathi Appelt

For raccoon lovers -- think Raccoon Tune by Nancy Shaw and Rascal by Sterling North -- this book is a rare find indeed. The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, by Kathi Appelt, stars raccoon brothers Bingo and J'miah, the latest recruits to the Official Sugar Man Swamp Scouts. The chance to serve the Sugar Man -- who rules the swamp and loves sugarcane -- is an honor and a huge responsibility. The story unfolds as wild feral hogs and developers threaten the swamp, yet Sugar Man can't seem to wake up. The raccoon brothers are particularly memorable, as are a host of other characters including 12-year-old Chap Brayburn and Gertrude the rattlesnake. This highly imaginative, fast-paced book was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award for Young People's Literature. Kathi Appelt has won many other awards and may be best known for her book The Underneath.

Creepy, Brilliant Teen Science Fiction: "Unwind," by Neal Shusterman

Unwind by Neal Shusterman is a wildly imaginative dystopic tale published in 2007, yes, even before Hunger Games burst on the scene. Shusterman's believable, terrifying science-fiction thriller is based on a fictional future law which allows parents of children age 13 to 18 to have their teens "unwound," with al their organs transplanted into different people. Oh my. As a result of this law, the main characters in the novel -- Connor, Risa and Lev -- are running for their lives in a world gone mad. The story contains several nightmarish medical scenes that may keep you up at night, worrying about the future of the characters and/or of America. But overall, I found this to be an entirely engaging, exciting book that once begun, could not be put down. When it was published, the novel was well received and earned this starred review from Publishers Weekly: "...Gripping, brilliantly imagined futuristic thriller . . . could hardly be more engrossing or better aimed to teens." The [www.ala.org|American Library Association] named the novel a Best Book for Young Adults and a Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. After reading this book, I'm eager to read the next two books in the Unwind dystology -- UnWholly, published in 2012, and UnSouled, which came out last year.

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