There's Nothing Like the Art from our Youth

If the Downtown Library seems like a cozier place to be during this icy month, it may be due to the warm colors and shapes emanating from the paintings by young artists on the lower level and third floor of the building. Now the glass case in the Youth Department is filled with colorful ceramic, woodwork and other hand work created by the 1st through 12th grade students from the Rudolf Steiner School. We look forward to this exhibit each year! For books to inspire youthful creators, try A Rainbow at Night, My Wish for Tomorrow and Children of the World Paint Jerusalem.

La Perdida

Jessica Abel, known for her comics series Artbabe, has already received a lot of acclaim for her latest graphic novel, La Perdida (The Lost One).
Mexican-American Carla, moves to Mexico City (with a Frida Kahlo obsession and a pair of rose colored glasses) in search of her Mexican heritage and herself. Her naiveté and preconceived notions soon get her into trouble.
Abel’s brushwork is amazing. The black and white artwork, though simple, adds depth to the story. She does some interesting things with the Spanish dialogue to really give you an idea of what it is like for a non-Spanish-speaker.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #48

Call Me By Your Name* is the “clear-eyed, bare-knuckled, and ultimately unforgettable” first novel by André Aciman, author of Out of Egypt: A Memoir.

Set in a cliffside mansion on the idyllic Italian Riviera, what is to be another relaxed summer of fun and sunshine for Elio and his family, becomes the erotic coming-of-age for this 17 year-old, with the latest in a string of visiting resident scholars invited by his father, a prominent expatriate professor.

From the moment Oliver steps out of the taxi, Elio found himself troubling attracted to the young, breezy, spontaneous and sexy American graduate student working on a book about Heraclitus.

"In his first work of fiction, Aciman describes Elio's anxiety, uncertainty, awkwardness, and, later, passion in incredibly vivid detail, leaving no thought process unexplored. The strong bond between the two characters is reminiscent of the bond between Ennis and Jack in Brokeback Mountain, where each finds in the other the one true love of his life."

*= Starred Review

Edgar Award Nominees - Children's Category

Every year the Mystery Writers of America honor the best mysteries with the Edgar Award. Five nominees for each of their categories were recently announced. The awards will be handed out on April 26, 2007.

Here are the five nominees in the Best Juvenile category.
Gilda Joyce: The Ladies of the Lake by Jennifer Allison
The Stolen Sapphire: A Samantha Mystery by Sarah Masters Buckey
Room One: A Mystery or Two by Andrew Clements
The Bloodwater Mysteries: Snatched by Pete Hautman & Mary Logue
The Case of the Missing Marquess: An Enola Holmes Mystery by Nancy Springer

Those titles not yet in the Library's holdings are being ordered.

Circle Unbroken by Margot Theis Raven

Margot Theis Raven’s story of a grandmother teaching her granddaughter the tradition of basket weaving flows like the baskets that were weaved by the free peoples of Africa and then by slaves in the Americas in Circle Unbroken. The circle knot starts the basket and “when the finger talk just right the circle will go out again—past slavery and freedom, old ways and new, and your basket will hold the past.

Ryszard Kapuscinski, Polish journalist and author, has died

Ryszard KapuscinskiRyszard Kapuscinski

Ryszard Kapuscinski, a world-renowned Polish journalist and author, died yesterday in Warsaw.

Kapuscinski’s personal reporting of political events, a style he referred as “literature by foot.,” transcended the bounds of traditional journalism with his inclusion of illustrative examples of magical realism,

His 1978 book about Ethiopian leader, Haile Selassie, The Emperor:Downfall of an Autocrat first brought him to the world’s attention. Among his impressive body of work, he wrote about Latin America (The Soccer War) and Angola (Another Day of Life).

Kapuscinski was 74.

Barbara Seranella, creator of the “Munch” Mancini mystery series, has died

Barbara SeranellaBarbara Seranella

Mystery lovers have lost one of the genre's most original voices. Barbara Seranella, creator of the eight-book series featuring “Munch” Mancini, died January 21 in Ohio while awaiting a liver transplant.

Ms. Seranella’s complicated, troubled anti-hero P.I., “Munch” Mancini, is an ex-con prostitute who fled her dreadful past to pull her life together as a Brentwood mechanic. Munch’s first appearance was in No Human Involved. The last entry, An Unacceptable Death, was published last year.

Ms. Seranella, whose last book, Deadman’s Switch, will be published posthumously in April, was 50.

To the Moon!

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NASA plans to return to the moon by 2020 and hopes to build a moon base by 2024. While you are waiting for the Ares I & V to launch, take a look back at other trips to the moon: Project Apollo and Méliès.

From the Earth to the Moon a superbly done HBO series, produced by Tom Hanks, and based on the book A Man on the Moon by Andrew Chaikin, takes you through the entire Apollo program.

Moon Shot: the inside story of America's race to the moon by astronauts Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton.

First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen.

Méliès the magician contains the 1902 "La Voyage dans la lune" along with other films by Méliès.

Another Children's Book Award - Historical Fiction

The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages is the recipient of the 2007 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction. The prize was established by the late author of Island of the Blue Dolphins to honor the best work of historical fiction in a given year.

The Green Glass Sea is the story of the group of children that accompanied their parents to Los Alamos, New Mexico in 1943. These were the children of America's best and brightest scientists. They knew their parents were working on a Big Project but they did not know what it was. After the experimental detonation of the atomic bomb in the desert, the children were taken out there to see the aftermath. The heat of the bomb turned the desert sand into the glass sea of the title.
I have a strong suspicion that there will be a sequel to this book. By the end of the story one of the mothers, a scientist, is starting to question what they have done and what should happen with The Project in the future.
Another children's fiction title about this same event is Where the Ground Meets the Sky by Jacqueline Davies.
For some really interesting history lessons, go the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction website and work your way through all the winning titles since 1984.

Prize Winning Stories

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Prize Winning Stories are available to check out. Short Stories are published in a booklet with the top three winning stories in each of the three grade categories. Last year winning writers came from Community, Rudolf Steiner, and Huron. Middle school contest winners came from Tappan in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Dexter. You might be inspired to contribute a story to this year's contest, or simply read them for the fun of it. We are taking submissions until March 19th, and click here for current contest guidelines

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