My Name is Bilal by Asma Mobin-Uddin

On his first day at a new school Bilal sees a bully pull the scarf on his sister's head. He does nothing. In class he tells the teacher his name is Bill not Bilal. His teacher gives him the biography of Bilal ibn Rabah, one of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He reads about the strength and courage of Bilal Ibn Rabah when he faced religious persecution by the Meccan's. Bilal learns through this book that it takes courage and strength to be who you are. This is one of the first books written about the struggles of an American Muslim child.

Norman Mailer receives France's highest honor

Norman mailer

In a ceremony at the French cultural Embassy on New York's Upper East Side, H.E. Jean-David Levitte, the French ambassador to the United States, awarded Norman Mailer, 83, France's Legion of Honor medal.

M. Levitte said the medal, which has only been bestowed on a handful of foreigners, was given to Mr. Mailer who is "...an American hero with a fierce love of freedom and an intellectual who has taken a stand in all the great struggles for his time."

During World War II, Mr. Mailer lived in Paris, studying at the Sorbonne. From that experience came The Naked and the Dead.

This is not the first time that the French have bestowed honor on Mr. Mailer. He adds France's 1983 insignia of Commander of the French Order of Arts and Letters to his two Pulitzer Prizes (The Armies of the Night, 1969, and The Executioner's Song, 1980).

FolkTale Bits - Arab

Arab children's literature continues to emerge. Notable titles to look for are The Three Princes: A Tale From The Middle East and Goha The Wise Fool, a collection of fourteen tales about the folk hero Nasreddin Hoca, also known as Goha. Goha is a man with a reputation for being able to answer difficult questions in a clever way ... a middle east trickster.
For further links try http://www.ala.org/BookLinks, click on "Web Connections" down the left-side menu, then choose "January 2006" issue. Scroll down to "Arab Children's Literatu

Gordon Parks: 1912-2006

Gordon Parks

Writer, photographer, composer and director Gordon Parks died yesterday at 93. As a photographer for Life from 1948 to 1968, Parks captured poverty in the United States and abroad and chronicled the struggles of black America through the civil rights movement. In 1969, Parks became the first major American black filmmaker as writer, director and composer of The Learning Tree, based on his 1963 autobiography and one of the first 25 American films entered into the National Film Registry. Parks also helmed Shaft, Leadbelly, and Solomon Northrup's Odyssey. The Library also owns Gordon Parks' "Visions": The Images, Words, and Music of Gordon Parks. Last year, Parks published Eyes With Winged Thoughts, a book of poetry and images to accompany his fourth prose memoir, A Hungry Heart.

Wayne Greenhaw wins the 2006 Harper Lee Award

Wayne Greenhaw

Wayne Greenhaw, author of this year's The Thunder of Angels: The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the People Who Broke the Back of Jim Crow was named the 2006 Harper Lee Award winner.

The intensely private Harper Lee is one of Alabama's most revered citizens following the publication of her classic To Kill a Mockingbird.

Born in 1940, Greenhaw's extensive bibliography includes contributions
to The New York Times and the Alabama section for Fodor's Guide to the South.

The Harper Lee Award was established in 1998 to "... recognize the lifetime achievement of a writer who was born in Alabama or who spent his or her formative years living and writing in the state."

Bee-Bim Bop Fun!

Would you ever think of going to the picture book section for a recipe? Well, no. But the picture book section is full of surprises.
Bee-Bim Bop by Linda Sue Park with illustrations by Ho Baek Lee is a lively story about a child and parent cooking the the traditional Korean dish of the title.
The recipe for Ms. Park's family version is included in the back of the book. The step-by-step directions are divided into tasks that kids can do, followed by the those that need to be done by an adult. What fun in the kitchen for a parent and child!
Linda Sue Park won the 2002 Newbery Medal for her book A Single Shard. She will be coming to the Library for National Children's Book Week in November.

Struggling for Words at Ground Zero

Jenny Holzer, conceptual artist, best known for her truisms, in often glowing and disembodied text; stunningly conveyed in unexpected venues – from anonymous posters hung in the streets of Manhattan, electronic signs in sports stadiums, to one spiraling up the Guggenheim Museum, is now busily tweaking her newest installation at Ground Zero.

This project is not without struggle between the architect, the developer and the artist. The almost-final selection is ” a continuing stream of poetry and prose written by dozens of different authors, from Elizabeth Bishop and Allen Ginsberg to Langston Hughes and Walt Whitman”, that evokes the history of New York, and will scroll across a glowing, 65-foot wide, 14-foot high wall in the lobby of 7, World Trade Center, scheduled to open mid-May.

Are you ready for the "Big Ten?"

With the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament coming up, get inspired by the following 2 books and expanded dvd.

Transition Game by L.Jon Wertheim, writer for Sports Illustrated, is the story of Wertheim's return to his alma mater, Bloomington North High School where he witnesses the transformation of the game from crisp cuts and mid-range shooting to the hip-hop high flying style of the current NBA. He takes off from this example to examine changes in basketball nationwide. To underline the bittersweet nature of success, he follows the fortunes of one Sudanese family whose sons get basketball scholarships. Also, check out a two disc collector's edition of the 1986 film, Hoosiers that includes footage of the Milan vs. Muncie 1954 Indiana High School championship game.

My Nana and Me by Irene Smalls

My Nana and Me is a warm celebration of the grandmother and grandchild relationship. Irene Smalls captures the little moments that are shared between a little girl and her grandmother in this touching picture book.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #9

A former researcher at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Bioethics and currently a student at Stanford Medical School, Josh Spanogle’s debut medical thriller will bring to mind The Andromeda Strain; written by another young medical student named Michael Crichton some years back.

…"(F)rightening, scalpel-sharp, surprising, challenging," Isolation Ward takes hold of you immediately when young, brash Dr. McCormick must race against time to identify the baffling and unstoppable virus that racked the bodies of three female mentally impaired patients in a Baltimore hospital, and threatens to become an epidemic.

Starred review in Kirkus. A sure bet from a promising newcomer. Read an excerpt

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