Audiobook for Kids: The Fourteenth Goldfish

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm offers a fresh, funny, and surprisingly thoughtful take on a classic science fiction premise: a potion to make you young again.

Sixth-grader Ellie’s life with her colorful drama-teacher mom is turned upside-down when her old-fashioned, opinionated grandfather moves in with them. The twist? Her grandfather is a scientist who has uncovered the secret to anti-aging and is now a thirteen-year-old boy! While trying to help her grandfather recover the anti-aging potion from his lab, Ellie finds new friends, develops a growing love for science and a greater understanding of her unconventional family.

I found the audiobook to be a particular treat, with a narrator who not only sounds like a middle-school girl but also delivers lines with such perfect comic timing that I found myself laughing out loud again and again.

Fans of The Water Castle or other science-centered books for girls will definitely want to check it out.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #491 - “I've always wanted to play a spy, because it is the ultimate acting exercise. You are never what you seem.” ~ Benedict Cumberbatch

Called "one of the best and most compulsively readable spy-fiction debuts in years", one-time China correspondent for the BBC, Adam Brookes' debut Night Heron * * relocates the traditional Cold War thriller to modern China.

The novel opens with an edge-of-your-seat escape from a remote high-security Chinese labor camp. Prisoner 5995 was once a promising engineer, imprisoned for impulsively attacking a soldier during the Tiananmen Square protests. Back in Beijing, he (code name Peanut) is desperate to renew the deal with UK intelligence in passing along technology secrets, and mistakes British journalist Philip Mangan for an undercover operative who reluctantly, is drafted into the world of espionage. Navigating not only between their two governments, but also round the opaque American intelligence agenda, Mangan and Peanut find themselves running for their lives.

"Fans of the international espionage genre will inhale this fast tale in a few suspenseful breaths. Brookes uses multiple narrators - the spy, the engineer, the journalist, the agent, the boss, whose conflicting alliances tell the real story."

The Madness of July by James Naughtie is an "explosive, brilliantly written spy novel".

Set over the course of 6 sweltering days in 1976, an American spy is found dead, stuffed into a cupboard in the House of Commons. In his pocket is Will Flemyng's phone number. A former MI6 operative who is now a rising star in the Foreign Office, and tapped for the U.S. ambassadorship, Will is forced to return to his old craft in order to safeguard some of the most sensitive secrets of his government. In the meantime, Will and his 2 brothers with hearts set on vacation in the Scottish Highlands, are confronted with interlocking mysteries that involves family secrets and a cold crime case. Clever readers will sense early on that these threads are part of a single web.

"Unlike thrillers that focus on spycraft, this debut novel from a British political affairs journalist (The Washington Post and The Guardian) digs into the psychology of secrets hidden in the crevices between diplomacy and espionage."

"For mood and atmosphere, Alan Furst's novels come to mind and for tension and pace, think of the British TV series MI-5."

* * = 2 starred reviews

Mustache Madness!

In the month of November you might notice more men walking around sporting mustaches. No, there isn’t going to be a shortage of razors and shaving cream! Many of these men are taking part in a campaign called Movember. Movember started over 10 years ago in Australia as a way to raise awareness about men’s health. In the past few years the mustache movement has made its way across the world and has become an international campain that has raised $559 million and funded over 800 programs in 21 countries.
But hey, grown men aren’t the only ones allowed to have fun with Movember! Children can participate too by checking out these great books centered around, you got it, MUSTACHES!
Mo’s Mustache by Ben Clanton
Monster Mo's big, beautiful mustache inspires all of his friends to copy his style by growing fabulous mustaches of their own, leaving Mo to wonder how he will continue to distinguish himself.
Mustache Baby by Bridget Heos
When Baby Billy is born with a mustache, his family takes it in stride. They are reassured when he nobly saves the day in imaginary-play sessions as a cowboy or cop and his mustache looks good-guy great. But as time passes, their worst fears are confirmed when little Billy's mustache starts to curl up at the ends in a suspiciously villainous fashion. Sure enough, "Billy's disreputable mustache led him into a life of dreadful crime."
Mustache by Mac Barnett
When extremely good-looking King Duncan builds more and more tributes to his handsome face, neglecting kingdom projects and repairs, his loyal subjects find a mustachioed solution.
Big Bushy Mustache by Gary Soto
In order to look more like his father, Ricky borrows a mustache from a school costume, but when he loses it on the way home his father comes up with a replacement.

Literati: Violin Monster Concert and Storytime

A human dressed up as "Violin Monster" will be at Literati bookstore at 7pm Thursday Oct. 30, the evening before Halloween. Literati is located at 124 E. Washington in downtown Ann Arbor. From their web page: "Violin Monster will play some music, read some stories, share some of his spookiest, scariest memories... and he may even need some help from the audience remembering them! Join us for this fun, spooky event for all ages. AAAAWWWOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!" At the library we have lots of books for young people about Halloween.

Once Upon An Alphabet

Once Upon an Alphabet is the brand new book by popular children’s author Oliver Jeffers. He’s famous for illustrating last year’s The Day the Crayons Quit, and for writing and illustrating The Hueys books, and The Heart and the Bottle, as well as many other kids’ books written and illustrated in his signature style.

Once Upon an Alphabet is particularly special because it offers up a short story for each letter… and all these stories feature interconnected characters and situations throughout the book. The letter A tells the tale of an astronaut who’s afraid of heights, B is a bridge burned between friends, and C is the story of a cup longing to escape its cupboard of captivity. Jeffers’ gorgeous illustrations and use of color turn Once Upon an Alphabet into a whimsical art book as well as a literary learning experience!

The School Library Journal calls Once Upon an Alphabet “an altogether stimulating, surprising and satisfying reading experience.” Don’t miss it!

New LGBTQ Books

Want to learn more about history, issues, and personal stories relating to the LGBTQ community? You’re in luck, because AADL just got in a bundle of new (and new to us) books on these topics!

For amazing vintage photographs of LGBTQ folks, check out the beautiful new book The Invisibles: Vintage Portraits of Love and Pride. Each photograph, which range in date from 1900 to 1960, tells a beautiful and intriguing story. Taken as a whole, these lovely portraits illuminate a part of history that is frequently glossed over. If the photographs make you wish you knew more about early American gay couples, take a look at Charity and Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America, which details the lives of two women who built a life together in the early 1800s.

If you’re interested in a primer on LGBTQ issues and facts, you will want to check out both "You Can Tell Just By Looking": And 20 Other Myths about LGBT Life and People and Transgender 101: A Simple Guide to a Complex Issue. For a more indepth look at these topics, try Against Equality: Queer Revolution, Not Mere Inclusion and Gender Outlaws : The Next Generation.

The titles above are just a sample of the books we’ve gotten in! For a complete list, look here: New LGBTQ Books

PreK Bits - "H" is for Hungry Thing

Ms. Rachel helped hear things that begin with "H" ... as in ...
The HUNGRY THING who was looking for hookies, feetloaf and gollipops.
We looked for "Who Stole The Cookies From The Cookie Jar?" Who? Who? We don't know Who?
Note: ... it was Mouse, and you KNOW what happens when YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE!
Here is a recorded version of "Who Stole The Cookies" in BROWN GIRL IN The RING

If you want more stories to go with "H" ... here are some:
HUMBUG WITCH by Lorna Balian ... a non-scary Halloween story.
HAPPY by Mies Van Hout
BUT NOT THE HIPPOPOTAMUS by Sandra Boynton
MY HUMONGOUS HAMSTER by Lorna Freytag
ANNA HIBISCUS' SONG by Atinuke
HURTY FEELINGS by Helen Lester
... AND Happy Halloween 2014 is coming soon...

Legendary Washington Post Editor, Ben Bradlee, Dies at 93

Legendary editor Bill Bradlee, who took over the Washington Post in 1965 and served as its executive editor during the Watergate Era, died yesterday of natural causes. Best remembered by many of us in the guise of a wily Jason Robards in All the President's Men, Bradlee was known for his leadership style: recruiting talent and encouraging aggressive investigative journalism. We have a few books by and about Bradlee, including 2012's Yours in Truth: A Personal Portrait of Ben Bradlee, and his work is featured in Katherine Graham's Washington.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #490

Librarian (Louisiana) Ashley Weaver's stylish and charming debut Murder at the Brightwell features "a spunky heroine, a tense romance and red herrings galore" that would bring to mind Agatha Christie who created some of the most endearing and enduring amateur sleuths.

1932 England. Young Amory Ames, on impulse, accepts an invitation from her former fiance Gil Trent to vacation at the Brightwell, a luxurious seaside resort catering to the society set. The express purpose is for Amory to intervene in the forthcoming marriage of Gil's sister Emmeline to Rupert Howe, a disreputable ladies' man. No one sees the sharp prick of the irony more then Amory whose floundering marriage to the notoriously charming playboy Milo is a constant source of sorrow.

But when Rupert is found murdered and Gil is arrested for the crime, Amory must set aside their marital ennui, and reluctantly enlists Milo's help in finding the killer and clearing Trent's name. Soon, the pair's sleuthing puts them at the scene of a second murder, and in harm's way.

"A pleasant debut novel, nicely evoking the 1930s with strong atmosphere and the beginnings of some intriguing characters."

Readers eagerly anticipating a follow-up might want to get cozy with Dashiell Hammett's Nick and Nora Charles of The Thin Man series (and the 1934 film adaptation that is now a classic); the Australian Miss Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood (adapted into an exquisitely-costumed period television series); and the Dandy Gilver series by Catriona McPherson, set in Scotland.

Chillers Author Johnathan Rand to visit AADL!

Join us Sunday, October 26 from 2-3pm downtown for a visit from local author Johnathan Rand! Rand is the author of the popular children’s chapter book series Michigan Chillers and American Chillers, with titles such as Poltergeists Of Petoskey, Dinosaurs Destroy Detroit and Great Lakes Ghost Ship.

He will talk about how he became a writer and how reading and writing are necessary in life. Books will be will for sale and he’ll be signing books after the event! Come give him a high five and ask him why he writes the books he does.

If you head up north, I recommend a visit to Chillermania! in Indian River. It’s the world headquarters for Rand’s books and a spookyish book store chock full of Rand’s books! It’s a feast for the eyes. I walked in this past spring and had a ton of fun.

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