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    by Cindy H | Dec 09, 2016
    Did you enjoy reading the Harry Potter series or watching the movies? Then check out these books!

    The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
    golden compass
    Lyra Belacqua is content to run wild among the scholars of Jodan College, with her daemon familiar always by her side. But the arrival of her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, draws her to the heart of a terrible struggle-a struggle born of Gobblers and stolen children, witch clans and armored bears. And as she hurtles toward danger in the cold far North, Lyra never suspects the shocking truth: she alone is destined to win, or to lose, this more-than-mortal battle. (Book 1 in His Dark Materials series) There is also a movie version of this book!

    The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
    lightning thief
    After getting expelled from yet another school for yet another clash with mythological monsters only he can see, twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is taken to Camp Half-Blood, where he finally learns the truth about his unique abilities: He is a demigod, half human, half immortal. Even more stunning: His father is the Greek god Poseidon, ruler of the sea, making Percy one of the most powerful demigods alive. There's little time to process this news. All too soon, a cryptic prophecy from the Oracle sends Percy on his first quest, a mission to the Underworld to prevent a war among the gods of Olympus. (Book 1 in Percy Jackson series) There is also a movie version of this book!

    How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
    Chronicles the adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III as he tries to pass the important initiation test of his Viking clan, the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans, by catching and training a dragon. (Book 1 in How to Train Your Dragon series) There is also an animated movie version of this book!

    Magyk by Angie Sage
    Septimus Heap, the seventh son of the seventh son, disappears the night he is born, pronounced dead by the midwife. That same night, the baby's father, Silas Heap, comes across an abandoned child in the snow—a newborn girl with violet eyes. Who is this mysterious baby girl, and what really happened to the Heaps' beloved son Septimus? (Book 1 in Septimus Heap series)

    Inkheart by Cornelia Coraline Funke
    One cruel night, Meggie's father reads aloud from a book called INKHEART-- and an evil ruler escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie is smack in the middle of the kind of adventure she has only read about in books. Meggie must learn to harness the magic that has conjured this nightmare. For only she can change the course of the story that has changed her life forever. (Book 1 in Inkworld series) There is also a movie version of this book!

    Winterling by Sarah Prineas
    Deeply connected to the earth, Fer grows up learning about herbs and their healing properties from her grandmother. Grand-Jane has worked hard to protect her granddaughter, but her homey magic cannot keep Fer from accidentally opening the portal between the human and fairy worlds. Once opened, Fer tumbles into a dangerous world of alliances and treachery. With the help of a puck, whose own loyalty is deeply divided, she attempts to discover the truth about her parents’ fate and the identity of the Lady who rules the land. Out of her element, in a world with different rules than her own, Fer must rely on her wits, strong character, and knowledge of herbs to see through enchantments, discover the truth, and heal the land. (Book 1 in Winterling series)

    Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
    Unaware that their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven, Kendra and her brother, Seth, venture into this magical land filled with dangerous and plotting witches, imps, and fairies. (Book 1 in Fablehaven series)

    by Craig B | Dec 09, 2016

    cover of Bruce Springsteen's album, Chapter and VerseThe Boss’ newest release, Chapter and Verse, an interesting compilation album that spans his ENTIRE career (from The Castiles to Steel Mill to Bruce Springsteen) is just that: interesting.  It’s not really that good.  It does not hang together that well, those tinny recordings of the highly derivative (I just used that phrase to sound like I know what I’m talking about) Castiles songs might be better off forgotten by everyone but scholars, and other than the few timeless hits there was only one really pleasant discovery, “The Ghost of Tom Joad.”  (I figure I’ve indirectly committed sacrilege here by confessing I had never heard that song before.)  For me, I’m still happy to put my money on Born in the U.S.A. as the “To-Listen” Boss album.  Not that I’m trying to tell you what to do.  That’s his job.

    Suggested Use: This album has just got to be your next family get-together soundtrack, at least out in the attached garage where the kids are being noisy and the tables have yet to be sullied with the upcoming feast.  Little brings people together like the Boss (witness the power of “Pink Cadillac”, not on this album alas!) and that’s just what you need at your chaotic celebration, an album so scattershot in its composition (like many families I know) it sounds like one glorious mixtape.

    by Alayne Johnson | Dec 07, 2016
    Orie Shafer: Through the Years
    December 20―January 10 • Jeffrey R. Krull Gallery
    Allen County Public Library • 900 Library Plaza

    From December 20―January 10 the Jeffrey R. Krull gallery will be featuring the work of artist Orie Shafer. 

    AMM Orie Shafer

    by Teresa Walls | Dec 07, 2016
    Next month, the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, will be announcing its selections for various awards. One of the awards is the Caldecott Medal, the award for the best picture book for children. Eligible books must be published in the United States the previous year by an illustrator who is a citizen or resident of the United States. There's a range of criteria that is considered.

     cover image for samson in the snow
      cover image for radiant child
     cover image for they all saw a cat
     cover image for swap

    What does this have to do with you? Well, we offer a program for adults who are interested in children's picture books. Children's librarians of the Allen County Public Library have selected picture books that were published in 2016 to consider for our own 2017 ACPL Mock Caldecott Election. Our entire list is available on our ACPL Mock Caldecott Pinterest page. This list has been narrowed down a bit and is listed below. Stop into the Children’s Services Department to see these books before the program.

    So, if you enjoy art and children's literature and you’re free Saturday, January 14, from 9 am to 1 pm, register to join the fun.

  • The Airport Book
  • Among a Thousand Fireflies
  • Are We There Yet?
  • Before Morning
  • Bloom
  • The Cat from Hunger Mountain
  • Come Home, Angus
  • Cricket Song
  • Daniel Finds a Poem
  • The Dead Bird
  • Du Iz Tak?
  • Fearless Flyer
  • Flora and the Peacocks
  • Freedom in Congo Square
  • Freedom over Me
  • Horrible Bear!
  • I Am Pan
  • Ideas Are All Around
  • Jazz Day
  • Lift Your Light a Little Higher
  • Little Penguins
  • Lucy
  • March, Book 3
  • Maybe Something Beautiful
  • Miracle Man
  • Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea
  • The Night Gardener
  • Old MacDonald Had a Truck
  • A Poem for Peter
  • The Princess and the Warrior
  • Radiant Child
  • Real Cowboys
  • Return
  • Samson in the Snow
  • School's First Day of School
  • The Secret Subway
  • Snow White
  • The Sound of Silence
  • Spot, the Cat
  • Steamboat School
  • The Storyteller
  • Swap!
  • Their Great Gift
  • There is a Tribe of Kids
  • They All Saw a Cat
  • This is Not a Picture Book!
  • Thunder Boy Jr.
  • The Tree in the Courtyard
  • Twenty Yawns
  • The Typewriter
  • The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles
  • We Found a Hat
  • The Whale
  • What to Do with a Box
  • by Kay S | Dec 07, 2016
    Yes, my little Petunias the time is fast approaching when those new releases will be hitting the book shelves! Here are just a few which I'm hearing good things about.
    Historical Romance
    KJ Charles
    Wanted, A Gentleman
    January 9
    Julie Quinn
    Elizabeth Boyle
    Stefanie Sloane
    Laura Lee Guhrke
    Four Weddings and a Sixpence
    December 27
    Rodale Maya Rodale
    Lady Claire is All That
    Keeping Up with the Cavendishes series
    December 27
    Contemporary Romance/Mainstream Fiction

    J.M. Bronston
    A Cowboy’s Love
    December 20
    Mainstream Fiction
    cleeton Chanel Cleeton
    On Broken Wings
    Wild Aces
    Contemporary Romance
    January 3
    Holliday Lucy Holliday
    Lucy Holliday author
    A Night In With Grace Kelly
    Libby Lomax series
    Mainstream Fiction
    January 12
    Palmer Diana Palmer
    Wyoming Brave
    Wyoming Men series
    Contemporary Romance
    December 27
    Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Romantic Suspense
    Banner A.J. Banner
    The Twilight Wife

    December 27
    Dimon HelenKay Dimon
    The Fixer
    Games People Play series
    Romantic Suspense
    December 27
    Ferencik Erica Ferencik
    The River at Night
    January 10
    Grebe Camilla Grebe
    The Ice Beneath Her
    December 27
    Ivy Alexandra Ivy
    Kill Without Shame
    ARES Security series
    Romantic Suspense
    December 27
    White Karen White
    The Guests on South Battery
    Tradd Street series
    January 10
    Paranormal/Science Fiction/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
    Bouchet Amanda Bouchet
    Breath of Fire
    Kingmaker Chronicles series
    January 3
    Thea Harrison
    Moonshadow series
    December 13
    p_kennedy Jeffe Kennedy
    The Edge of the Blade
    The Uncharted Realms/The Twelve Kingdoms series'
    December 27
    p_mcguire Seanan McGuire
    Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day
    January 10
    p_older Daniel Jose Older
    Battle Hill Bolero
    Bone Street Rumba series
    Urban Fantasy
    January 3
    Young Adult/Teens
    ya_bracken Alexandra Bracken
    Passenger series
    January 3
    ya_hocking Amanda Hocking
    January 3
    ag howard
    A.G. Howard
    January 10
    Inspiration Romance
    clark Dorothy Clark
    His Substitute Wife
    Stand-in Brides series
    January 3
    by Melissa Tennant | Dec 06, 2016
    Using Third-Party Tools to Analyze Your DNA Results
    Wednesday, January 11 • 2:30 pm
    Genealogy Discovery Center

    Autosomal DNA test results can be confusing! Detailed analysis and comparison will help you draw sound genealogical conclusions from the results. The testing company websites provide you with some resources to analyze your results, but more can be done with tools from third-party websites. In this session, we will cover how to use several of those websites, including and to learn more from your DNA test results! Part of The Genealogy Center’s WinterTech 2016-2017 Series. 

    To register for this free programs call (260) 421-1225 or email Genealogy@ACPL.Info.

    For more information visit:
    by SM | Dec 05, 2016

    More new teen paranormal and horror fiction novels just in time for snowy 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!

    by Dawn Stoops | Dec 05, 2016
    When the wind is blowing and the snow is falling, gather the little ones and stay cozy with some good picture books!

     cover image for snow
     cover image of sugar on snow
     cover image for bear snores on
     cover image for one dog sleigh
    cover image for the snowy day
     cover image for waiting for snow
      cover image for the hat
      cover image for owl moon
    cover image for winter
      cover image for the fist snowfall
      cover image for the jacket i wear in the snow
    cover image for snowmen at night
    by Becky C | Dec 05, 2016
    Book Review: Iscariot by Tosca Lee

    Why did Judas betray Jesus?  I’ve always wondered and apparently Lee has as well.  In her notes, Lee states that writing this novel was an intellectual and spiritual quest to discover the life of Judas based on the belief iscariotthat we all err in ways that make sense to us.

    The historical context Lee created for this story is fascinating:  the Roman occupation, the failed rebellions of others naming themselves Messiah, the different factions within the Temple.  While rich in historical ambiance, this is very much an introspective work.  Major events from the gospels are included but the focus of the story is on Judas’ personal journey and his perceptions of what’s happening around him. 

    In the life Lee imagines for Judas, much of his time with Jesus is spent struggling to reconcile his faith in this radical young leader with his deep faith in Jewish law.  In addition, the Judas Lee imagines wants Jesus to liberate his people from Rome, not realizing until too late that Christ’s mission was much different.  Lee provides a convincing account of a man struggling to overcome a painful past, a man who cares deeply about the laws of his people, a man who desperately wants to do the right thing.

    Even knowing how Judas’ story would end, I was so immersed in Lee’s telling of it that I could not put this book down.  Looking forward to reading Havah: The Story of Eve and Demon.

    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 Cindy H | Dec 02, 2016

    Did you enjoy reading The Hunger Games series or watching the movies? Then check out these books!

    by Marie Lu

    What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem. From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets. (Book 1 in Legend series)

    Reboot by Amy Tintera

    A seventeen-year-old girl returns from death as a Reboot and is trained as an elite crime-fighting soldier…until she is given an order she refuses to obey. Wren Connolly died five years ago, only to Reboot after 178 minutes. Now she is one of the deadliest Reboots around . . . unlike her newest trainee, Callum 22, who is practically still human. As Wren tries to teach Callum how to be a soldier, his hopeful smile works its way past her defenses. Unfortunately, Callum’s big heart also makes him a liability, and Wren is ordered to eliminate him. To save Callum, Wren will have to risk it all. (Book 1 in Reboot series)

    The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

    It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die. At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

    Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

    The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Enter Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the result of decades of genetic experimentation. Is Ender the general Earth so desperately needs? The only way to find out is to throw him into ever-harsher training at Battle School, to chip away and find the diamond inside, or destroy him utterly. Ender Wiggin is six years old when his training begins. He will grow up fast. But Ender is not the only result of the experiment. His two older siblings, Peter and Valentine, are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Among the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives. (Book 1 in Ender Quintet) There is also a movie version of this book!

    Divergent by Veronica Roth
    One choice can transform you.
     Beatrice Prior's society is divided into five factions—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Beatrice must choose between staying with her Abnegation family and transferring factions. Her choice will shock her community and herself. But the newly christened Tris also has a secret, one she's determined to keep hidden, because in this worldwhat makes you different makes you dangerous. (Book 1 in Divergent series) Check out the movies, too!

    by Dawn Stoops | Dec 01, 2016
    boy putting letter in post box
    For years, kids have written Santa Claus letters asking him questions about his special job and requesting certain gifts. Writing a letter to Santa is fun and it's even more magical to get a letter back in response! Right now, through December 15th, kids can write a letter to Santa at the Hessen Cassel Branch Library. All letters will be mailed to Santa Claus, Indiana where special elves will make sure each child gets a response from Santa himself!
    This super fun holiday program has some bonus brain boosting power! Just look at the benefits of this one simple activity.
    • It's a FUN reason to practice writing.

    •  Kids may seek help spelling girl writing a letter to Santawords they don't usually use, like sleigh.  

    • Practice writing a letter helps kids understand that written communication takes different forms depending on the situation. 

    • It's good handwriting practice too. Santa can't respond to a letter he can't read!




    by Evan | Dec 01, 2016
    Animal Wise
    Morality crises keep arising in modern life partly because science keeps creating new ways to change the world and new ways of understanding the damage we are doing when we change it. Debates about how to respond to global warming are the most prominent example these days, but I think there's one coming on that challenges more fundamental moral and spiritual beliefs. It is the growing scientific understanding of animal minds.

    As far back as we know, humans paid a degree of respect to the idea that animals have minds or even spirits. Equally far back, however, humans used animals for food and tools, and civilized humans have exploited them en masse. It's as though our minds are divided -- respecting or even loving individual animals but treating the bulk of them like so many rocks or vegetables. The division has been reinforced, at least in the West, by dominant beliefs that humans have souls but animals do not. 

    Science is making such a division harder to sustain. It may not directly address the question of divine souls, but it demonstrates that animals have sophisticated minds that operate in the world's diverse environments in ways we can barely comprehend. Science regularly finds animals that possess traits we once thought defined us as humans. Some use tools, some are self aware, some plan for future events, some mourn their relatives' deaths, and many suffer emotionally when they are in pain. 

    If you'd like to learn about such animals, a good place to start is Virginia Morell's Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures. In researching her book, she traveled the world to interview scientists working with creatures as small as ants and as large as elephants. Her bottom line is that the mushrooming evidence of animals' intelligence and -- my term -- soulfulness creates a great moral challenge for us human animals as we continue to use and often abuse billions of creatures while also destroying wildlife habitats. 

    If morality is based on theologies that grant humans a spiritual dimension not granted to animals, then maybe some people can still have comfort zones about treating animals in ways that would be called monstrous if applied to other humans. If instead we try to live morally by granting animals as much spiritual recognition as ourselves, where do we go from here?

    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.
    by Miss Heather | Nov 29, 2016
    Most children's books are very gender normative. When asked, "Where are your girl books?" or "Where are your boy books?" I reply, "There's no such thing! All books are for all people!" But you likely know what they mean--"girl books" are pink and feature princesses and fancy dresses and "boy books" include warriors or ninjas and excellent adventures. It's always exciting to find books that don't fall strictly into those categories. 

    Three recent picture books broaden the scope for girls:
    maryUsing the familiar tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb," Mary Had a Little Glam tells the story of a girl with panache! Her love for accessories and glam leads her to sprucing up her classmates and community. But full frill isn't always appropriate, particularly for the playground where dress-up must be tossed aside for play clothes showing the reader that "sometimes less is more!" A fun story with a diverse cast and fairy tale tie-ins.

    beautifulWhat does beautiful look like? Does it require the flair and glamour of Mary? Beautiful says no! The text is paired with illustrations that turn the idea of beauty on its head--"Beautiful girls move gracefully"=sports and "Beautiful girls know all about makeup"=pirate gear. From music lovers to tree climbers, all girls are beautiful! Diverse illustrations and a wider diversity of activity make this book a treat for all.

    princessJust because you're a girl doesn't always mean you have to be the princess! Some days are meant to be dragon days! Would You Rather Be a Princess or a Dragon explains the differences between princesses and dragons allowing the reader to decide which she'd like to be. A twist at the end will make this story one you'll be asked to read over and over again.

    If you are looking for gifts or read-alouds for a little girl in your life you'll want to give these empowering books a look! Click on the pictures of each book to find them at your favorite ACPL location.
    by Heather | Nov 29, 2016
    Happy Giving Tuesday!

    Are you a fan of the ACPL? Do you know about the Friends of the Library? The Friends of the Allen County Public Library, a non-profit, membership organization, has a common concern for the library's expansion and participation in community life. Since 1981, the Friends of the Allen County Public Library has made significant contributions to the steady growth of the library and its services to the community.  

    The Friends rely on membership contributions to sustain programs and support the library. By being a member, each individual contributes to the tradition of excellence in library service that we all enjoy and appreciate. Gift memberships are available.

    Join today!
     Friends Membership
    by Cindy H | Nov 25, 2016
    Mara Dyer does not know what's happening to her. She wakes up in the hospital to find out that her boyfriend and best friend died in a horrible accident that only she survived. She cannot remember what happened and she is so traumatized her family decides to move from Rhode Island to Miami, Florida so she can have a fresh start. It seems clear from the beginning that she is going to have a hard time fitting in and strange things seem to keep happening to her that she can't explain. Will she be able to overcome the horrible events of her past? Will she ever feel at home in Miami? And why does it seem like the mysterious boy with the English accent is the only one who might be able to understand her?

    I was absolutely riveted by this book. I immediately picked up the next book in the series, The Evolution of Mara Dyer, so I could find out what happened next. The books are written in the first person, by Mara, and it really makes you feel like you are experiencing her feelings and confusion with her. I think that anyone who likes stories with a bit of mystery and fantasy to them will really enjoy this story. And if you enjoy the first book, make sure to check out the rest of the series!
    by Becky C | Nov 25, 2016
    Ever wonder what library staff like to read?  Wonder no more!  Here's a quick look at some books we've enjoyed this month.  Click on a book cover to check availability — it’s as easy as that!

    Whispers in the Mist
     Ugly and Wonderful
     Girls in the Garden
     Queen's Accomplice
     Nine Women One Dress
     Area X

    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 Communications & Development | Nov 23, 2016
    The Allen County Public Library will be closed on:

    Friday, December 23, 2016,
    Saturday, December 24, 2016,
    Sunday, December 25, 2016,
    Monday, December 26, 2016,
    Sunday, January 1, 2017,
    & Monday, January 2, 2017.

    The Allen County Public Library will close at 5:00 pm on Saturday, December 31, 2016.
    by Miss Heather | Nov 23, 2016

    Steve Jenkins has written over 25 books for kids, most about animals. Actual Size helps us understand the real size of animals that would not fit in a book. Animal and weather superlatives are the subject of two titles, Biggest, Strongest, Fastest and Hottest, Coldest, Highest, Deepest. It's always fun to discover things that are the "most" in the world.

    His newest book, Animals by the Numbers; a book of animal infographics, brings us more "things that are the most" in the form of infographics--charts and illustrations that make it easier to understand. The introduction says, "When it comes to animals, numbers are especially important. How big is a whale? How fast is a cheetah? How loud is a lion's roar? It would be difficult to answer these questions--even to ask them--without numbers."

    You may find answers to questions you've thought about but never investigated. Here are a few:
    • Which animals live the longest? The shortest?
    • Which animals cause the most human deaths?
    • What animals thrive in the most extreme temperatures on earth?
    • Which animals survived extinction?
    While we don't want to spoil all the surprises by sharing the answers to the questions above we will share one of the facts. The SPERM WHALE produces the loudest sound of all animals, louder than a jet plane taking off! Good thing they are underwater!

    Get Animals by the Numbers and other Steve Jenkins books at your favorite ACPL location! Looking for activities to pair with Steve Jenkins' books? Find them for eight of his books here.

    by Becky C | Nov 23, 2016
    Thanksgiving postcard circa 1900

    You’re probably aware that the Allen County Public Library is home to The Genealogy Center, the second largest genealogical library in the United States.  Maybe you’ve visited it; maybe you’re planning to.  If you’re interested in retracing your family’s history and gaining a glimpse into what their daily lives were like, Genealogy's variety of resources, both online and inside the department only, are well worth exploring.

    Working with genealogists on a regular basis has given me a new appreciation for the traditions we keep alive, generation after generation.  I never gave family customs a thought when I was a child.  I was simply excited that Thanksgiving was one of the two holidays that I would see all of my cousins.  My mom’s family and my dad’s family lived within an hour of each other, so it was relatively easy for us to begin the day with one group and end the day with the other.  And between the abundance of cousin-time and food, my parents could look forward to a quiet drive home while my brothers and I dozed in the backseat.

    I’m a forty-something now.  My parents are gone, and my brothers and I live in different corners of the state.  My youngest brother will have to work Thanksgiving evening.  He's a cop; he often works holidays.  Our traditions have changed.  For years now, my brothers and I have picked a random day that works with everyone’s schedules to gather together and enjoy an afternoon of sharing stories from our childhoods and sharing stories of what our kiddos have been up to lately.  And as we’ve each added to our extended families, there’s often a few other stories to tell as well.  And new foods to try.

    Whether I’m hosting or visiting, I always make a dessert from our childhood, toffee bars.  It’s a recipe my mom’s mom used to make and there’s no toffee in it at all, so I don’t know how it came by that name.  I wish I had asked when I had the chance.  Was it a recipe she had been given?  How long had it been in the family?  Was there an older recipe card, in someone else’s handwriting, still tucked away somewhere?

    My husband is a creative guy in the kitchen.  He likes to create his own recipes and he certainly has a knack for it.  I can easily see our kids using his recipes and passing them down to their kids.  While I love our cookbook collection at ACPL, I envy a friend's recipe card collection, passed down and added to over the generations.  There are a variety of individuals represented in that collection.  A variety of handwriting styles.  A variety of notes.  What a powerful connection to family.  What an incredible gift.

    I'd originally thought to write a post about the history of Thanksgiving in the United States.  As you can see, I decided to go another way.  While I love reading and sharing tidbits about history, that information is relatively easy to find, especially when we are fortunate enough in Allen County to have access to such a vast collection of resources through our library system.  What isn't as easy to find are our personal stories and traditions.  It only takes a generation or two for those to be lost.  So, instead I'd like to encourage you to reflect on your own Thanksgivings past.  What made the holiday special to you?  What family traditions do you hope continue as the years go by?

    by Dawn Stoops | Nov 22, 2016
    In case you haven't seen this great series by Kate DiCamillo, may I introduce the Tales from Deckawoo Drive!

    I love these books because they fit in that perfect kind of middle ground. They are short chapter books, written at about a third grade reading level, that lower elementary kids can read to themselves or preschool kids can enjoy as longish read alouds. Each book has a different main character, but each one is connected to one particular street - Deckawoo Drive.

     cover image for leroy ninker saddles up
      cover image for francine poulet meets the ghost raccoon
     cover image for where are you going baby lincoln

    You know who else lives on Deckawoo Drive? Mercy Watson! That's right, the Watsons make guest appearances in the books and Mercy gets more than her fair share of toast with a great deal of butter.

     cover image for mercy watson to the rescue
      cover image for mercy watson goes for a ride
     cover image for mercy watson fights crime
     cover image for mercy watson princess in discuise
    cover image for mercy watson thinks like a pig
     cover image for mercy watson something wonky this way comes

    Give them a try! You'll love the humorous artwork by Chris Van Dusen. His pictures make the unique characters on Deckawoo Drive feel like family.