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    by Cindy H | Mar 24, 2017
    Chanda is a sixteen year old girl living in Africa. She is smart and capable, but her family is poor. She watches her baby sister die of a horrible illness and cannot help but feel a great deal of guilt for the times she was annoyed with her sister's cries and neediness. Her mother is overcome with grief, and her stepfather is never around; he cheats and spends their money on alcohol. Chanda's best friend, Esther's parents died of AIDS so now she has to take care of herself and rumors are circulating that she is making money in unseemly and dangerous ways. Chanda tries to keep her family together and take care of her two younger siblings but when her mother seems to not be getting any better things start to feel hopeless. They live in a community filled with gossip; everyone is worried about the AIDS epidemic but no one wants to talk about it, or even admit that it is going on all around them. Chanda has dreams but will she ever be able to achieve them when it seems like bad luck follows her wherever she goes?

    This story was a very intense portrayal of one girl's experience with the AIDS epidemic. Although her exact location is not specified, it is probably somewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa. You cannot help but feel the helplessness and anxiety she feels as she deals with family death and illness, helping raise her siblings, and a best friend who is struggling to survive on her own. Despite the difficult subject matter, I really enjoyed this book. I like books that feel like they could be based on a true story, and this definitely feels very realistic. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes stories about different cultures and overcoming difficult obstacles. This book is available in print at the library or as an e-book on Overdrive. There is also a movie based on the book, Life, Above All, that is available at the library as well. If you enjoy this book, check out the sequel, Chanda's Wars.
    by Miss Heather | Mar 24, 2017
    index.aspxWhat do you know about octopuses? Did you know that each octopus "arm" has about 240 suckers on it? They help an octopus move, hunt, and even taste!

    While there are many picture books and non-fiction books featuring octopuses there is an excellent book that combines the two with a rhythmic text peppered with facts. Octopus Escapes Again! by Laurie Ellen Angus can be read to/with a younger child using just the story but can include the italicized facts to be shared with an older child. Following the story is an "explore more" section with fun facts about the octopus and other sea animals. There are also extension activity ideas and suggested videos to allow for a fuller understanding of octopuses. The video below is linked--it shows a large octopus escaping thru a 1" hole! Find the book on the shelves at all our ACPL locations. More fun activities are also available on the publisher's website.

    by Mari H. | Mar 23, 2017


    The due dates for end of year research papers are looming....

    Did you know the library subscribes to databases that can help you complete these assignments?  If you are looking for encyclopedia articles, newspapers, magazines, and journals for your research, our databases have you covered.  

    Why use the databases when a web search is faster?  The databases contain vetted content that the library pays to access.  Although there are some great informational sites available on the open Internet, there are also millions of not-so-good web sites.  The library's subscription databases provide high quality information and are updated regularly.  

    Here's how to access them:

    Visit the library’s home page at to get started. Click on Research and then Research Tools.  The databases are grouped in collections.   Click on Teens to see some of the products that are popular with middle school and high school students. You will need to enter your library card number (without spaces) to access the databases from home.

    Here are a few examples of the products you can access:

    • Opposing Viewpoints in Context – This is the go-to product for research on current events and social issues.  Here you will find viewpoint essays from both sides of an issue as well as magazine, newspaper, and reference content on each topic.
    • Science in Context – All areas of science and its history are covered here.  If you need supporting information for a science experiment or you are researching animals, biomes, or outer space, give this one a try.
    • Literature Resource Center – Here is where you’ll find biographical information on authors as well as criticism of their works.
    • Gale Virtual Reference Library – Technically, it’s not a database, it’s an e-book platform that is keyword searchable.  It houses many digital reference books that might come in handy for your research.

    Don't forget the library also has hundreds of thousands of books and other materials available to check out or use within the library.   If you need help finding information, just give us a call at 421-1255 or send an email to

    by Kris L | Mar 22, 2017
    The library receives new books almost every day!  Here are a few of the many new children's picture books we've received recently.  Click on a title to find out more about it, to see which Allen County Public Library locations have a copy, or to reserve a copy for yourself.

    Noisy Night by Mac Barnett
    The Road Home by Katie Cotton
    All Ears, All Eyes by Richard Jackson
    Bear Likes Jam by Ciara Gavin
    A Greyhound A Groundhog
    Short Stories for Little Monsters
    North South East West
    Life on Mars
    Hug This Book

    We hope to see you soon at the library!
    by Cindy H | Mar 21, 2017
    Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas, written by Lynne Cox and illustrated by Brian Floca, is the story of an elephant seal who lived in the Avon River in Christchurch, New Zealand. Although most elephant seals like to live in the ocean, Elizabeth seemed to prefer her river. Unfortunately, there were a few incidents where Elizabeth got out of the river to lounge in the road, causing some minor car accidents. Fearing for Elizabeth's and the drivers' safety, the people of Christchurch captured Elizabeth and took her to a colony of elephant seals in the ocean. Elizabeth came back, however, and even though they tried to take her to colonies even farther away she always managed to find her way back home. She became a local legend of Christchurch.

    This book contains factual information about the story of Elizabeth the elephant seal. Some elements of the story may have been enhanced or embellished, but the essential parts of the story remain true. At the end of the book the author provides additional information about elephant seals, as well as some references.

    This book has won many awards and is recommended for children ages 4-8. It is a very sweet story and I highly recommend it! Click the picture of the book's cover to place on hold!
    by SM | Mar 20, 2017

    Here are even more new teen fantasy novels for you to explore as you wait for Spring....


    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!

    by Craig B | Mar 20, 2017

    Kevin Roth in Grabill Branch LibraryIn this month’s Allen County Reads, Kevin Roth shares his love of the library.  Kevin is a lifelong resident of the Grabill community; he lives on the Roth family farm established in 1853.  The original log cabin from the Roth farm has been donated in an effort to preserve local history and can be seen on display at Sauder Village in Archbold, Ohio.  Now, here's Kevin:

    “The Grabill library is one of the key "quality of life" assets of the Leo-Grabill-Harlan area.  I know a lot of people were instrumental in getting the library to come to Grabill but my mind always goes to Chris Gerig and Ron Schmucker. 

    Chris spent several years gathering names on petitions and advocating for a library in Grabill.  Ron Schmucker was an Amish schoolteacher who also advocated for our library as a way to help his students learn and grow. 

    I really didn't use the public library very much until it came to Grabill.  Now I regularly have 8-12 items checked out at any time.

    I love the online reservation capability that allows me to get any materials I want delivered right to my local branch. 

    The library has expanded my areas of interest.  I will see or hear of something that catches my interest and I'll see what's available on that topic.  I get materials on consumer product research, history, sports ( Tour De France and Iditarod), Christian Living, biographies, comedy, movies, and music (Country and Christian).

    In the last couple of years I have been availing myself of the library’s books on tape.  I always have one on in the car.  It makes drive time educational and fun. 

    I really appreciate the volume of information available to us through our library.  The Grabill Branch has opened my world to things I would not have otherwise explored or known about."

    Kevin is a VP in the commercial lending area of iAB Financial Bank and serves as a board member on the local Foods Resource Bank chapter, Grabill Development Corp, Grabill Chamber of Commerce,  and Newallen Alliance.  

    by Erin | Mar 17, 2017
    ...But I'm going to have to wait because they're not published yet.

    I'll admit it, us librarians can be a little greedy when it comes to books. When we read a good book review, we want to have that book right now! However, unless we get our hands on an advanced reader's copy, we're stuck waiting until the book is published.

    Here are just a few picture books that will be coming out in May that I want to read RIGHT NOW!

    Stack the CatsStack the Cats by Susie Ghahremani.

    Okay, it's kind of a silly concept -- anyone who has ever owned a cat knows that you can't stack them -- but that's part of the beauty of this book. Readers will be instructed to count the cats as they are arranged in various formations. So while the bright illustrations and silly concept will appeal to young kids, young readers will also be developing their counting and grouping skills! This book's release date is May 2nd, so if you have a little one at home who's a cat enthusiast or who loves to count, keep your eyes peeled for this one!

    A Cage Went in Search of a BirdA Cage Went in Search of a Bird by Cary Fagan & Banafsheh Erfanian.

    While I can't speak for my fellow librarians, I do admit to sometimes judging a book by its cover. I know, I know, shame on me! However, every now and then a picture book comes out with such beautiful cover art that I can't help but be captivated without even reading it! This is one of those picture books. The bright colors just lure me in. Apparently the book is about a lonely cage that leaves its home in search of the perfect bird. Okay, that concept is a little weirder than the stacking cats idea, but if the inside illustrations are as beautiful as the cover, then I am totally on board with this book! A Cage Went in Search of a Bird will hit shelves on May 16th!

    I Got a New FriendI Got a New Friend by Karl Newsom Edwards.

    I don't always go for the saccharine sweet when it comes to picture books, but the illustration of that little girl and her puppy is just too adorable to pass up! The story itself doesn't sound like anything new. Books about getting a new pet and learning about the responsibility of taking care of pets is a recurring theme in the picture book world. However, the sweetness of the illustrations means that this one will probably become a favorite of mine! This book won't be published until May 23rd; however, the library already has it on order!
    by Becky C | Mar 17, 2017

    It's no secret that I love holidays and Saint Patrick's Day is no exception.  In fact, given that spring typically follows right on its heels, friendly shenanigans are the order of the day, and Irish music is literally in the air, it's currently at the top of my list!

    Looking for music recommendations to carry your Saint Patrick's Day celebrations past March 17?  ACPL has a solid collection to choose from.  I've included links to cds in our collection but there's more!  Your ACPL card also gives you free access to streaming music via Freegal and Hoopla.

    Come Dance With Me In Ireland: Classic Irish Dance Music. This cd offers 12 tracks culled from the Claddagh music label's vast collection.  AllMusic notes that "Among other gems, there's a great set of hornpipes played with an almost polka verve by Phil, John, and Pip Murphy, an exquisite rendition of "The Ace and Deuce of Pipering" by uilleann piper Gay McKeon, and a very fine jig set played on flute and pipes by Ronan Brown and Peter O'Loughlin. This is traditional Irish music of the relatively hardcore variety -- no synthesizers, no multi-tracked vocals, no electric basses. Highly recommended."

    The Ultimate Guide to Irish Folk. Tracks by traditional stalwarts like the Bothy Band, Altan, and the Dubliners appear alongside more pop-oriented acts like Lou McMahon and the Screaming Orphans.  A solid introduction to both classic Irish folk music and some of genre's better contemporary artists.

    The Rough Guide to Irish Music (2013). Highlights of this album are the handful of tunes sung in Irish Gaelic.  A bonus cd, Six Days In Down, offers two cutting-edge talents on the Irish music scene, the masterful uilleann piper John McSherry and fiddle virtuoso Dónal O Connor.

    The Best of Thistle and Shamrock Thistle and Shamrock is a weekly radio program on NPR that explores celtic music.  This cd offers 54 minutes of lovely music by artists like the Battlefield Band, Altan, Davy Spillane, and Clannad.

    The Chieftains.  The name may be familiar to you; this Grammy winning group formed in 1962, gained popularity in the States in the 70s, and are still touring today.  *In 2010, Paddy's whistle and Matt's flute travelled to the International Space Station with NASA astronaut Catherine Coleman.

    The Clancy Brothers.  This family of Irish expatriates got their musical start in New York in the mid-1950s.  Forgoing sentimental Irish ballads in favor of lusty party songs, traditional American and Irish folk songs, and even protest tunes, the Clancys soon became popular folk performers.  Tom Deignan states that they ". . . infused traditional Irish songs of rebellion and revelry with strands of fast-paced American folk, the improvisational feel of jazz and even the banter of cutting-edge beat poets and comedians.  The result was something familiar, yet very different." 

    One of the newer "traditional" bands playing today, Dervish formed in 1989. Look to this band for virtuosic instrumentation, high-energy arrangements, and ultra-sweet vocals "Fiery musicianship balanced with Cathy Jordan's delicate vocals give something that holds onto yesterday while stepping into tomorrow." --Chris Nickson.

    Gaelic Storm.  Titanic's third class party scene brought Gaelic Storm to everyone's attention.  I've been lucky enough to see this band in person but enjoy listening to them on cd as well (they are always part of my Saint Patrick's Day celebrations, one way or another).  Energetic, playful, and brash -- this is a fun band with plenty of jigs, reels, and drinking songs to offer. 

    There's much more to choose from!  Which solo artists, groups, or albums do you recommend?

    Oh . . . and before I forget . . .


    Becky's previous Ireland-related posts:

    Let our collection take you on a tour of Ireland:  A selection of titles highlighting Ireland's rich folklore, literature, art and music.  Posted March 11, 2016.

    Riverdance Flash Mob: Irish step dancing!  Posted March 17, 2015.

    Don't kiss me, I'm not Irish: Celebrate the day with Grumpy Cat, quizzes, and trivia. Posted March 16, 2014.

    What's your Leprechaun name?:  As long as your first name doesn't begin with an E and your last name doesn't begin with an M, this helpful chart will make you smile. Posted March 17, 2013.

    Lá Fhéile Pádraig Shona dhuit/dhaoibh or Lá le Pádraig dhuit/dhaoibh:  My first blog post about Saint Patrick's Day.  I was all about the facts then!  Posted March 17, 2012.

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Kay S | Mar 15, 2017
    Yes, my Petunias it's time for a few upcoming releases from March 15 to April 14, 2017! This is, of course, not alllll of the new books being released. I would not have the time to compile that list and you would not have the time to read a list of that size. But, I have selected a few books which I'm hearing good things about. And, remember these are the release dates not the dates they will be on library shelves.

    Historical Romance
    Anna Bennett Anna Bennett
    I Dared the Duke
    Wayward Wallflowers series
    April 4
    Alyssa Cole Alyssa Cole
    An Extraordinary Union
    Loyal League series
    March 28
    Suzanne Enoch Suzanne Enoch
    My One True Highlander
    No Ordinary Hero series
    April 4
    Historical Fiction
    Marc Graham Marc Graham, debut
    Of Ashes and Dust
    March 22
    Contemporary Romance/Women's Fiction/Mainstream Fiction
    Lauren Denton Lauren K. Denton, debut
    The Hideaway
    March 11
    Joanna Goodman Joanna Goodman
    The Finishing School
    April 11
    Lorelei James Lorelei James
    All You Need
    Need You series
    Contemporary Romance
    April 4
    Kylie Scott Kylie Scott
    Dive Bar series
    Contemporary Romance
    April 11
    Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Romantic Suspense
    Cherry Adair Cherry Adair
    Cutter Cay series
    Romantic Suspense
    April 4
    ;Annabeth Albert Annabeth Albert
    At Attention
    Out of Uniform series
    Romantic Suspense
    April 10
    Steve Berry Steve Berry
    The Lost Order
    Cotton Malone series
    April 4
    Bella Jewel Bella Jewel
    72 Hours
    Romantic Suspense
    April 4
    Julie Ann Walker Julie Ann Walker
    Wild Ride
    Black Knights Inc. series
    Romantic Suspense
    April 4
    Paranormal Romance/Fantasy/Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy
    Paul Cornell Paul Cornell
    March 21
    Emrys Ruthanna Emrys
    Winter Tide
    Innsmouth Legacy series
    April 4
    Benedict Jacka Benedict Jacka
    Alex Versus series
    Urban Fantasy
    April 4
    Sherrilyn Kenyon Sherrilyn Kenyon
    Paranormal romance
    April 4
    Shelly Laurenston Shelly Laurenston
    The Unyielding
    Call Of Crows series
    Paranormal Romance
    March 28
    Ada Palmer
    Ada Palmer
    Seven Surrenders
    Terra Ignota series
    Science Fiction
    March 7 - Yes, I know this is not between March 15 and April 14, but I missed it before and I'm hearing good things.
    Matthew Sobin
    Matthew Isaac Sobin
    The Last Machine in the Solar System
    Science Fiction, novella
    April 11
    Amanda Stevens Amanda Stevens
    The Awakening
    Graveyard Queen series
    Urban Fantasy
    March 28
    Young Adult/Teen
    Cindy Antsey Cindy Antsey
    Duels and Deception
    April 11
    Roshani Chokshi
    Roshani Chokshi
    A Crown of Wishes
    The Star-Touched Queen series
    March 28
    Mindy McGinnis
    Mindy McGinnis
    Given to the Sea
    April 11
    Zara Cox Zara Cox
    Black Sheep
    Dark Desires series
    March 14 - ebook, August 8 - paperback
    Calista Fox Calista Fox
    The Billionaires
    Lover’s Triangle series
    April 4
    Inspiration Romance/Mainstream
    Pepper Basham Pepper D. Basham
    Just the Way You Are
    Pleasant Gap Romance series
    April 6
    Trisha Goyer Tricia Goyer
    A Secret Courage
    The London Chronicles
    April 1
    DiAnn Mills DiAnn Mills
    Deep Extraction
    FBI Task Force series
    April 4
    Cynthia Ruchti Cynthia Ruchti
    A Fragile Hope
    April 4
    Ginny Yttrup Ginny Yttrup
    April 1

    kayKay is an avid reader of historical romance books, maybe with a little trip into paranormal land and an occasional journey into mystery world.
    by Miss Heather | Mar 14, 2017
    index.aspxI first learned of Amy Krouse Rosenthal from my mother who, at the time, directed an after school program for PreK-5th grade with a staff of about 20 teachers and assistants. Always in search of good material for her staff meetings, she used Amy's book Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons as a read-aloud and discussion tool. Each spread uses cookies to illustrate important concepts like respect, loyalty, patience, and trustworthiness. Here are two examples: "Cooperate means, How about you add the chips while I stir?" and "Trustworthy means, If you ask me to hold your cookie until you come back, when you come back, I will still be holding your cookie." What great visuals for children and grown-ups alike! (And a great excuse to serve and eat cookies!) Amy went on to add One Smart Cookie: Bite-Size Lessons for the School Years and Beyond; Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons on Love; and Christmas Cookies; Bite-Size Holiday Lessons to her set of cookie-themed picture books. That was the beginning of my love for Amy Krouse Rosenthal.

    “ADMIRE means, I really look up to you and the way you are with your cookies. You remind me of what is good and possible in this world.”

    She subsequently created a wonderful optical illusion book, Duck! Rabbit! that is so much fun to use with groups; two picture books perfect for the classroom, Exclamation Mark and Wumbers; and a pile of picture books that share simple messages including being proud of your uniqueness (Spoon), being satisfied with being just OK (The OK Book), fairness (It's Not Fair) and being happy on one's own (Chopsticks). I've used all these books with visiting classes over the years. Amy endeared her work to me even more when she partnered with my very favorite illustrator, Peter Reynolds, on a few recent books including Plant a Kiss.

    9781452126999.pt02Perhaps the loveliest of Amy's books is I Wish You More, a  visually pleasing set of wishes illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. Chronicle Books, Amy's publisher, recently issued a blog post encouraging readers to send out their own wishes marked #loveforamykrouserosenthal in honor of her last days.

    I didn't realize Amy had written books for adults including several memoirs: Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, Mother's Guide To The Meaning Of Life: What I've Learned On My Never Ending Quest To Become A Dalai Mama, and Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal. I have Encyclopedia on hold currently and hope it is as delightful as her picture books. I wish I had know about these before! Amy's YouTube channel gathers her video projects (of which there are many) with her Ted Talk, 7 Notes on Life likely her most well known.

    Here is a link to the Publisher's Weekly obituary for Amy. And another in the New York Times. And in her own words:
    "Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a person who likes to make things.
    Some things she likes to make:
    Children's books.
    Grown-up books.
    Short films.
    Connections with the universe.
    Something out of nothing.

    **Another tidbit to swell my heart with love for Amy's work? The video in which she demonstrates her great affection for libraries thru her home decor style, "Book Lover Modern." Siiiiiiiiiiigh.

    by SM | Mar 13, 2017

    Here are some more new teen fantasy novels for you to explore as you wait for Spring....


    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!

    by Cindy H | Mar 13, 2017
    Separate is Never Equal is based on the true story of the Mendez family and the little-known but landmark court case of Mendez v. Westminster in which the Mendez's, a Mexican-American family, fought for the right of their children to attend the same school as white children in their area. The story opens with Sylvia Mendez starting at her new school for the first time. She is harassed by a white student who tells her to, "Go back to the Mexican school! You don't belong here!" She goes home to tell her mother she is upset and doesn't want to attend the integrated school, and her mother reminds her that they fought hard to integrate the school so she could attend. The rest of the story provides the background of their struggle, including filing a lawsuit, and the court case that eventually led to integration.

    This book is very inspirational and I think it could help children understand the struggles of minorities to achieve equal rights. It is disturbing at times to hear the blatant racism expressed by some of the people in the story, but the message is very powerful and important, and I think this book could be a great jumping off point for discussions on race, discrimination, and acceptance.

    This book has won many awards and is recommended for children ages 6-9. It is available at your local library branch in print, on DVD, or on Hoopla and Overdrive as an e-book. Click the picture of the book's cover to place on hold!

    by Evan | Mar 13, 2017
    Science Lab

    Science serves as a whipping boy for both the political right and the left. Often times, the right demands ever more evidence that pollution speeds up global warming; the left insists that scientists who advocate genetically modified crops are agri-biz stooges. The right pooh-poohs the destruction of species and ecosystems; the left insists that scientists who advocate immunizations are big pharma stooges. And who knows where people are coming from when they assert that scientists cover up evidence of superior aliens directing the course of human events?

    So, how can you tell someone is trying to sell you science to promote their own agenda? When you want to evaluate science -- maybe even detect pseudoscience -- who you gonna call? Hopefully, not the Ghostbusters. Instead, call your local librarian, who can draw upon many books written to help figure out who is doing solid scientific research and who is just blowing ideological smoke.   While librarians, like everyone else, tend to be diverse in our philosophical beliefs, we leave those at the door.  Whatever our personal leanings, we value solid research.  What kind of criteria do we use?  NBC and Forbes offer the examples of the types of questions we ask when evaluating information.

    The variety of books in our collection may help you appreciate a fundamental aspect of science: uncertainty. Good science does not require absolute theoretical certainty. It does require clear thinking, ideally based on observations and/or experiments that other scientists repeat. Even then, it is subject to improvement as more is learned. 

    Here's a sampling of relevant works:

    Skeptic: Viewing the World with a Rational Eye, by Michael Shermer.

    Science : All the Facts that Turned Out to Be Science Fiction, by Graeme Donald.  

    Climatology Versus Pseudoscience: Exposing the Failed Predictions of Global Warming Skeptics, by Dana Nuccitelli.

    Coming Climate Crisis? Consider the Past, Beware the Big Fix, by Claire L. Parkinson. 
    Monkeys, Myths and Molecules: Separating Fact from Fiction, and the Science of Everyday Life, by Joseph A. Schwarcz.

    And here are a couple of edgier titles; the first (from the cultural left) criticizes medical science as too limited, the second (from the cultural right) decries a national climate of fear that is fed by popular uses of science. What do you think of them?

    Mind over Medicine, by Lissa Rankin.

    From Cupcakes to Chemicals, by Julie Gunlock.

    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.
    by Cindy H | Mar 10, 2017
    Alia is a Muslim girl who aspires to draw graphic novels. She draws the adventures of Lia, her courageous alter ego, for her friends, but she is too insecure to really consider it a viable career path. She would really like to go to a special art program at NYU, but she recently got into some trouble at school and her parents don't think she deserves any special privileges. Today, September 11, 2001 is the last day that she can turn in the permission slip. She decides last minute to go before school to talk to her dad at work. He works in the World Trade Center. Can she convince him to sign the permission slip so she can follow her dreams?

    Fast-forward to Jesse. Jesse's brother, Travis, died in 9/11 almost 15 years ago. To this day no one in her family knows why he was there. Since she was just a baby she doesn't really remember it and no one will talk about it with her. It has destroyed her parent's marriage and her other brother moved 7,000 miles away to Africa to get away from it all. Will her family ever be able to move on from her brother's tragic death?

    This book switches back and forth between Alia and Jesse's stories. It is really fascinating to hear the perspectives of two girls who, although they are about the same age, have very different experiences. You soon see they are connected in unexpected ways. The author took a lot of time researching the real stories of those impacted by 9/11 to create the characters and timeline so they have a very authentic feel. After reading this wonderful and heart-wrenching book I feel like I have a much greater understanding of what happened and how it affected and continues to affect people to this day. I highly recommend this book not only for those who want to learn more about 9/11, but for anyone looking for an excellent and intense story about growing up, redemption, and tolerance.

    This book is available in print at your local library branch and as an e-book via Overdrive. Click the picture of the book cover to place on hold!
    by Becky C | Mar 10, 2017
    Book Review:  The Warrior's Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold

    Miles Vorkosigan is just shy of 5 feet tall, has a crooked spine and incredibly brittle bones.  He’d hoped to follow in his family’s military footsteps but an accident in the testing process resulted in his early discharge from the Academy.  Unfortunately, there’s not much else for a royal to do on the planet of Barrayar, a world which values physical strength and military prowess.  At his father’s suggestion, he sets off for his The Warriors Apprenticemother’s home world of Beta Colony for an extended vacation.

    Once on Beta, things begin spiraling out of control.  On a whim, Miles bluffs his way aboard a jumpship and determines a new path for himself:  shipping.  He purchases a decrepit ship and, hoping to find a way to pay it off before the bluff is discovered, takes a risky commission into a war zone.  More bluffing and many coincidences later, he finds himself the leader of the Dendarii Free Mercenaries, a force sizable enough to make the Emperor of Barrayar question his motives . . . .

    One of the things I liked best about The Warrior’s Apprentice is that we see characters working to redefine themselves.  Miles is a great character: his exasperating hyperactivity is mostly entertaining, his compassion is endearing, and his determination to make something of himself is admirable.  That said, he is reckless, and his deceptions threaten to catch up to him.  Thankfully he has a quick mind, plenty of charisma, and lots of sheer dumb luck.  The Warrior’s Apprentice is a fun adrenaline-ride with a couple of dark moments (even Miles can’t halt everything he’s set in motion).

    Looking forward to more Miles Vorkosigan adventures!

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Erin | Mar 10, 2017

    Puppets 009

    It’s that time of year again! The Children’s Services department at the Main Library is hosting the annual Spring Preschool Puppet Show! This year we’ll be going on a bear hunt and helping a mixed up rooster solve a problem. If you have a little one who loves storytime and puppets, swing by the Main Library sometime next week to see the show!

    Wednesday, March 15 @ 9:30, 10:30, and 1:30

    Thursday, March 16 @ 9:30, 10:30, and 1:30

    Friday, March 17 @ 9:30, 10:30, and 1:30

    Saturday, March 18 @ 10:30

    The Puppet Show will be held in the Main Library’s Theater. Space is limited, so please plan to show up at least 15 minutes before the show starts.

    Large groups of 10 or more people must register for the show by calling 421-1220. Smaller groups do not need to register but will be seated on a first come, first served basis.

    Hope to see you there!

    by Heather G. | Mar 08, 2017
    In modern times women are not prohibited from voting or working outside the home. In years gone by, acceptable jobs for women (besides being a mother) were few--teacher, nurse, librarian, maid. Today women are scientists, doctors, business executives, politicians, and other positions that were, in the past, held by men exclusively.
    Non-fiction picture books are an excellent way to share the stories of women who became successful in non-traditional roles in times when this was not the norm. Read on for a few brand new titles that tell these powerful tales. Click on the book covers to find these books at ACPL. Happy Women's History Month!

    index.aspxTrudy's Big Swim: How Gertrude Ederle Swam the Engish Channel and Took the World by Storm by Sue Macy
    Tells the story of Gertrude Ederle's 1926 swim across the English Channel, describing how she overcame difficult environmental, physical, and cultural challenges to become the first woman to establish her historic record.

    See photos of and read more about the life of Gertrude Ederle here.

    index.aspxCaroline's Comets: A True Story by Emily Arnold McCully
    In 1786, Caroline Herschel became the first woman to discover a comet. She was also the first woman ever to be paid for scientific research. But no one who knew Caroline as a child could possible have predicted her stellar future. Illness scarred her face and stunted her growth. Her mother didn't want Caroline to be educated and insisted that Caroline's role in life was to be the family housekeeper.
    Through words, including excerpts from Caroline Herschel's diary, and pictures, Emily Arnold McCully brings Caroline's inspirational story to life.

    Dorthea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression by Carole Boston Weatherford
    Before she raised her lens to take her most iconic photo, Dorothea Lange took photos of the downtrodden, from bankers in once-fine suits waiting in breadlines, to former slaves, to the homeless sleeping on sidewalks. A case of polio had left her with a limp and a sympathetic heart to those less fortunate. Traveling across the United States, documenting with her camera and her fieldbook those most affected by the stock market crash, she found the face of the Great Depression. In this picture book biography, Carole Boston Weatherford, with her lyrical prose, captures the spirit of the influential photographer.
    Ada Lovelace
    Ada Lovelace: Poet of Science
    by Diane Stanley
    Two hundred years ago, a daughter was born to the famous poet, Lord Byron, and his mathematical wife, Annabella.
    Like her father, Ada had a vivid imagination and a creative gift for connecting ideas in original ways. Like her mother, she had a passion for science, math, and machines. It was a very good combination. Ada hoped that one day she could do something important with her creative and nimble mind.
    A hundred years before the dawn of the digital age, Ada Lovelace envisioned the computer-driven world we know today. And in demonstrating how the machine would be coded, she wrote the first computer program. She would go down in history as Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer.

    by Craig B | Mar 08, 2017

    cover of Bon Iver's album, 22, a millionI expected to be annoyed with Bon Iver’s newest album, 22, a million, but what do you know, an unexpected level of dynamism and a single use of an electric guitar won me over.  I was even able to inadvertently share my admiration for this album with a co-worker.  Now I’m sharing it with you.  I hope you appreciate how much annoyance I risked to bring you this message.

    Suggested Use: Find yourself in “a mood?"  Need to be reminded of how sometimes the best things are unexpected?  Pop this guy in and see where its creativity and unorthodox musicality takes you.  Take the boat out on the lake, bend your back against your oars, or better yet, get out that toothbrush and scrub some grout in your shower.  You’ll be surprised by the unexpected positive feelings that come to you by finishing a less than desirable task.

    by sm | Mar 06, 2017

    Here are more new teen science-fiction novels to dream about on dark March days...



    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!