Family Bits: Retro Read

The Penderwicks is a fun family read aloud, if you are looking for a story of innocence, of four loving sisters, a gentle father, the boy next door, some pets, and a summer's adventure. This book won the National Book Award 2005 for Jeanne Birdsall.

Dr. W. Scott Westerman Jr. to Speak on No Child Left Behind

Dr. Westerman

Dr. Westerman will speak Tuesday, January 24, at 7:00 p.m. in the Downtown Library Multi-purpose Room. Please come to learn about the No Child Left Behind Act.

For further reflections on this legislation, consult these books:

America’s Failing Schools: How Parents and Educators Can Cope with No Child Left Behind by W. James Popham
Leave No Child Behind: Preparing Today’s Youth for Tomorrow’s World by J. P. Comer
Many Children Left Behind: How the No Child Left Behind Act is Damaging Our Children and Our Schools edited by Deborah Meier and George Wood
Saving Our Schools: the Case for Public Education: Saying No to “No Child Left Behind” edited by Ken Goodman
What Every Teacher Should Know about No Child Left Behind by Nathan Essex

The Play Ground

Even The Play Ground has to venture outside once and a while in the winter. Put on your long underwear for the 24th Annual Plymouth International Ice Sculpture Spectacular. Professional, hobby and student ice carvers display their work in this family friendly extravaganza that draws about a half a million visitors each year. Light show begins at dusk. Kellogg Park in downtown Plymouth. It's a lot closer than The Snow Show in Lapland.

Falling into a Million Little Pieces

James Frey admitted last week that he fabricated parts of his best-selling memoir A Million Little Pieces. His publisher didn't mind. Oprah didn't mind (Frey's book was recently chosen for Oprah's Book Club). And during an appearance on Larry King, Frey suggested that fabricating personal history is an accepted American literary tradition in the manner of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Bukowski and Keruoac. Do you agree? If not, are you still planning to read the book or will you be canceling your hold?

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #4

Paris, 1847, the ailing Louis Daguerre (from years of exposure to mercury), inventor of the Daguerreotype photographic process, searched of a model willing to pose nude for a set of 10 images he wished to immortalize before the approaching apocalypse he envisioned.

“Dreamlike, thoughtful, and impressive”, first-time novelist Dominic Smith skillfully interweaves Daguerre’s urgent quest with the memories of his lost love, Isobel, in this “touching tale of youthful love regained in maturity”.
The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre is “…(a) compelling psychological study, …and an atmospheric portrait of 19th century France”. (Kirkus Reviews). For readers of historical fiction and students of photography. (February release)

No New Titles on the New York Times Bestseller List (1/8/06)

There has not yet been a new title making the List in 2006. Once again I can recommend a book "off-list".

Some fans of Prime Suspect may not know that Lynda La Plante created the series and its memorable heroine. Her new mystery Above Suspicion has just been released in the States and in it she introduces Anna Travis. While not as experienced or world weary as Tennison, this young detective bravely risks her life to catch a vicious serial killer.

Singing for Dr. King by Angela Shelf Medearis

Sheyann Webb courageously accepted an offer to lead the freedom songs during the civil rights marches in 1965. She was only nine years old and wanted to help Dr. Martin Luther King and African Americans gain the right to vote. This Just For You book touches on the subject of peaceful protests during the Civil Rights Movement. It is designed for children to read and discuss the important issues in the book with a parent.

Remembering Rosa

Nikki Giovanni's newest treasure, Rosa, is magnificently illustrated by award winning artist Bryan Collier. Collier received a Caldecott Honor for his illustrations of the beautiful Martin's Big Words. In this biography for young children Giovanni and Collier capture, in colorful detail, the dramatic moment when Rosa Parks sparked one of the most significant events in the struggle for civil rights.

MLK Books for Teens

Teens can celebrate MLK day by reading books that reveal the truths of racism - from period narratives to modern day struggles - a dramatic account of the Emmett Till case or an inspiring book of quotations from famous blacks.

A Heart Divided, by Cherie Bennett
When sixteen-year-old Kate, an aspiring playright, moves from New Jersey to attend high school in the South, she becomes embroiled in a controversy to remove the school's Confederate flag symbol.

Getting Away With Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case, by Chris Crowe

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