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    by Cindy H | Sep 01, 2017
    Jill wakes up in a hospital bed and she can't remember anything that has happened for the past few weeks. All she knows is that she was in some kind of accident. She desperately wants to talk to her best friend, Simone, but her parents won't let her have access to a phone. When she finally gets her chance and calls Simone's cell phone, no one answers, it just keeps ringing. She tries calling Simone's home phone, but when Simone's parents answer it is clear they do not want anything to do with her. Jill demands answers from her parents and finds out that when she was on a trip in Italy, a trip she doesn't remember going on, she was involved in a fatal car accident that resulted in Simone's death. Most people seem to think it's her fault, but Jill knows she would never hurt Simone. They were best friends, like sisters. Will Jill ever be able to regain her memories and find out the truth about what happened in the accident, and prove her innocence?

    This is a page-turning mystery novel. You will feel frustrated as Jill struggles with recovering from her horrible injuries, mourning the death of her best friend, and her parents trying to control her every move, all while facing accusations of murder and potentially facing a life in prison. You are given clues in the form of transcripts of police interviews, from both Italian and American police, as well as news reports, and posts on a blog called "Justice for Simone". Can you figure out what happened before the police? Will Jill ever be able to overcome the horrors of an event she can't remember? This is an exciting book that is easy to read and you won't want to put down.

    This book is available in print or as an audiobook at the library or as an ebook on Overdrive. Click the picture of the book's cover to place on hold!
    by Kay S | Sep 01, 2017
    Sometimes when you go digging through the dust and cobwebs of the past, all that happens is a sneeze. But other times you find a forgotten treasure and you say to yourself -- now I know why this author is still around.

    Book Review:  A Promise of Spring by Mary Balogh.

    Now on to A Promise of Spring by Mary Balogh. Originally written in 1990, A Promise of Spring is connected to her Web trilogy. It has also been re-released with The Temporary Wife as part of a package.mary balogh

    Have I mentioned before that Mary Balogh is the queen of angst? Now when I say that, I don't mean the kind of angst where the hero has a scar on his face and he can never luv another. No, Ms. Balogh's angst is based on her characters’ insecurities. So, in a lot of her stories there is a plethora of internal thoughts buzzing through our characters’ heads. The Promise of Spring is filled with these thoughts, so be prepared to be bombarded with some heavy-duty contemplation.

    The main contemplation in this story revolves around age difference -- 10 years in fact. What's the big deal, you may ask. Well, it's the heroine Grace Howard who is older than the hero Peregrine Lampman. That means that there are alllll kinds of insecurities to think about. By the way Peregrine is one of the nicest beta guys ever -- almost toooo nice, but more on that later.

    mary BaloghGrace Howard is the sister of Abbotsford village pastor Paul. She's a quiet woman, does her duty, cleans his house, and keeps to herself. She sits in the corner sewing when Paul's best friend Peregrine comes to visit. Peregrine is Mr. Sunshine; everyone loves him. He's charming, charming, charming -- there just isn't anyone who can find a bad thing to say about Peregrine. Then one day Paul is killed while saving a child, and Grace is left all alone and lost. Everyone in the village is trying to figure out what to do about Grace -- and I do mean everyone. But, before any of their plans can be put into action, Peregrine asks her to marry him. You see he's a nice guy and Paul was his best friend, so it's the least he can do. He proposes.  At first Grace turns him down, then thinks better of it. But, before she accepts, she tells him her secret. She is living in Abbotsford because earlier in her life she gave birth to a child out of wedlock. Her child died and she and Paul broke with their family; they left to live out their lives in the small village. She also tells Peregrine that the father of the child died. Here's comes Mr. Nice Guy again -- he indicates that this won't be a problem.

    They marry and begin a quiet life, in the quiet little village -- she tends the garden and sews, and he reads in his little corner. The only fly in the ointment is Grace occasionally wonders if Peregrine will continue to want her after a while. They grow together, they become friends, and they have a great sex life. Well, we all know that this bucolic life cannot continue. Grace has finally worked up enough nerve to write her family that Paul has died. She doesn't expect any kind of reply, so imagine her surprise and concern when she receives an invitation for her and Peregrine to visit. Well, the little gray cells just start chattering away -- not only hers, but Peregrine’s as well. She worries how long Peregrine will be interested in her and he worries how long he can keep her interested in him. She's sooooo old she can't compete with the younger women and he's sooooo much younger he can't compete with the more sophisticated men. After some thinking, they decide to make the step into Grace's past and try to mend some fences. So, more thinking and angst.

     Are you keeping angst count? We have the age difference angst, Grace and Perry's, so that's two angstssss', now we have the family angst which would be the father, another brother and the sister-in-law (allll of them guilt-ridden). But the best angst is about to happen -- guess who isn't dead? Oops, did Grace tell a little white lie? Gareth, the guy who impregnated Grace alllll those years ago, is still alive and now he's the Viscount Sandersford. Guess what else, he still wants Grace. Hey that's not all, Grace doesn't tell Perry that Gareth is the guy, but he finds out anyway. So we have alllll kinds of angst -- the “age thing”, the “family thing”, the “old lover”, the “why didn't she say anything”, the “why isn't Perry saying anything”, the “should I leave Perry”, “should I go with Gareth”. There was so much angst going on my ears started to ring. Even with Ms. Balogh’s gentle cohesive writing all of that stuff was a little tooooo much.

    I mentioned before that Perry was one of the nicest guys ever and I like nice guys in romance books. But Perry needed to be just a little bit more aggressive. Ms. Balogh wrote him as a pretty passive guy; so passive he doesn't do anything when he figures out who Gareth is. Even when Gareth becomes this extra pushy, obsessive guy, Perry remains passive. He lets Grace make up her own mind, afraid all the time that she will choose overbearing Gareth over him. As always with Ms. Balogh, her words are clear and Perry's actions are clear, it's just that I wished that Ms. Balogh had written him saying something -- anything to Grace. Perry does eventually confront Gareth, but Gareth doesn't really care. This was just such a small part in the book, but it weakened the story for me.

     You may think I didn't like this book, but you’d be wrong. I did like it. It wasn't the most comfortable book to read and there are some things I would have changed if I'd written it -- but I didn't. There was a lot of quiet angst that this couple went through to find their HEA. When I finished reading this book I felt drained. I do give it a recommendation, but just remember it may not be your cup of tea and you might need a gallon of wine to help you get through it. This is a great example of Mary Balogh's strong writing.

    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 Erin | Aug 31, 2017

    For many children, reading on their own is a milestone that is both exciting and a little intimidating. Learning sounds and letters and blending them all together can be tough! Which is why it’s important to have pre-readers on hand. These are books that have only a few words per page, and they tend to focus on sight words or simple vocabulary.

    Here are my favorite pre-reader series:

    Flip a WordFlip a Word
    By Yukiko Kido

    Flip a Word is a series that focuses on sound families. Initially, each page has only one word on it, along with a brightly colored picture to help the child decode the text. Every word introduced belongs to the same sound family, but the beginning sound changes on each page, making this a simple introduction to reading for those who are just starting out. As the book goes on, it slowly starts to add more words to the page until your child is reading a phrase.

    We Both ReadWe Both Read
    By Various Authors

    This series is another favorite of mine because the entire concept is that you and your child read together. You will read the text on the left page, and your child will read the text on the right page. The grown-up’s text is more complicated than the child’s text. These readers are divided up by level, so a book that is at the K level would have just one word on the child’s page, whereas a book that’s on a 1st grade level would have a simple sentence. When you read these books with your child, it builds your child’s confidence because he or she will feel like they’ve read an entire book!

    Rookie ReaderRookie Reader
    By Various Authors

    Once your child has mastered Flip a Word and the K level of We Both Read, he or she will be ready for the Rookie Reader series! This series features one simple sentence, typically consisting of only 3 or 4 words, per page. At the back of the book, there is a word list, so you can see which words your child will be learning before he or she cracks open the book!

    Brand New ReadersBrand New Readers
    By Various Authors

    This series features several different stories per book, and each story is told in a few pages with one sentence per page. There’s lot of word repetition and pictures to help your child out, and some of these stories are sure to introduce your child to new vocabulary words, such as “ostrich” and “termite.”

    Easy Words to ReadEasy Words to Read
    By Phil Roxbee Cox

    The Easy Words to Read series is great for kids who've had a little practice. There are a couple of sentences per page, and each book in the series uses more words than the other pre-readers. This series also has a list of words in the back for you to check out, and while most of the words are simple or even sight words, there are one or two that are bound to be new to your child.

    And there you have it! My top five series for pre-readers (for now).


    One of the best things about our library system is that we have so many wonderful children’s librarians. Stop by your favorite ACPL location and ask the children’s librarian to suggest a few of his or her favorite pre-readers!
    by Becky C | Aug 30, 2017
    Image from Dennis Skley flickr page

    How do librarians know what titles are coming out when?  How do we decide which of those titles we'll purchase for the collection?  We have several sources, but Publishers Weekly (PW) is one of my personal favorites.  PW reviews around 9,000 books a year. 

    For this month's post, I've taken the liberty of going through the July issues of Publishers Weekly (PW) and sharing the upcoming releases their reviewers are most excited about.  Each of these titles received a starred review.  We don't have all of these titles in the collection yet -- most are due to hit the shelves in bookstores and libraries next month -- but you can place a hold on your copy now.  Or, if you're like me, and you're typically at the 5 holds per person max, you can keep tabs on your picks a couple of ways.

    My favorite way to keep track of books I want to read is through ACPL's catalog.  Heather wrote an excellent post on how to do this -- click here for the details.  Goodreads and LibraryThing are also options.

    Which of these catches your eye? 

    Fiction coming to the collection September 2017

    Sing Unburied Sing
     The Devouring
     Stone Sky
     The Bedlam Stacks
     Solar Bones
     The Hangmans Sonnet
     Little Fires Everywhere
     The Ninth Hour
     Katalin Street
     Dont Call Us Dead
     Good Me Bad Me
     Lie to Me
     The Downside
     The Man in the Tree
     The Last Outlaw
     Five Carat Soul
     Lightning Men
     White Bodies
     The Quality of Mercy
     An Inconvenient Beauty

    Nonfiction coming to the collection September 2017

    The Perfect Cookie
     This Blessed Earth

    Blood and Faith
     The Great Shift
     Holy Rover
     The Last Arrow
     The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve
     The Origin of Others
     Ignore It
     After the Eclipse
     Crash Override
     The Riveria Set

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her favorite books are The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz and The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman..
    by SM | Aug 28, 2017

    Enjoy these new teen paranormal and horror fiction novels with a spooky romance thrown in here or there...



    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 | Aug 28, 2017
    Last week in baby storytime I tried something fun and new with musical instruments.
    image of paper plate shakers
    Before storytime I had help from staff making 20 of these splendid paper plate shakers. They're made of two decorated paper plates stapled together with three milk jug caps inside to provide the rattle noise.

    They work well as both a shaker or a kind of drum for little hands. We played along to "Little Bitta You" by Andrew and Polly on the CD Heart Beats: Feel Good Songs for Families. It was a rockin' good time!
    cover image for heart beats c.d.

    So that's the 'what' and the 'how' of my story, but there's also a WHY.
    I wanted parents and grandparents to see how simple and fun it is to use everyday objects around the house to build their baby's brain. There are lots of resources out there describing how music helps babies grow, like this one from Kids Health. When young children make music by shaking and pounding on things like homemade paper plate instruments, they're expanding their experiences with touch and hearing and making new brain connections. They're interacting with their world in a way they probably haven't before. They're having fun and they're learning. That's what our library baby storytimes are all about and we find new ways to do that every week. We'd love for you to join us! Take a look at the calendar for days and times.

    by Craig B | Aug 28, 2017

    cover for Saul Bellow's novel, Humboldt's GiftBook Review: Saul Bellow's winner of the 1976 Pulitzer Prize, Humboldt's Gift

    I off-handedly said to my friend the other day that Bellow’s 1976 Pulitzer winner, Humboldt’s Gift, was really just Bellow writing about himself.  What I didn’t know, was that I had Inigo Montoya-ed my way into the Pit of Despair.  If you haven’t seen The Princess Bride ignore that last statement, but understand this: Humboldt’s Gift is considered a Roman a Clef work.  (Don’t worry, I didn’t know what that meant either until I Wikipediaed it.)  Basically that means that Bellow was “literally” writing about himself and other actual people and a reader just needs to have the “key” (the Clef) to make the connections.  

    Maybe that sounds gimmicky (okay, it totally sounds gimmicky), but I would argue that the novel stands on its own; that is, it easily achieves a life beyond that of its literal basis.  And this is sort of doubly good news because since the novel stands on its own, the Roman a Clef thing adds an interesting layer, a sort of frosting to the novel.  And sure, I’ll give you that all of this might still seem like it’s mostly for the author, for Bellow himself, than it is for the reader, but you know, someone loses a dear friend in a bout of insanity and that someone is going to need catharsis, closure.  And if that person chooses to write a book initially intended to be just a short story that then wins a Pulitzer and leads pretty directly to a Nobel, I mean, we’ve got to be happy for them, right?  Maybe suspend our judgement a little?

    And if I seem like I’m being a bit snarky let me affirm, I love Saul B.  I’ve read a few of his books now and they’ve made me laugh, think, use the dictionary, and you know I’m a sucker for self-deprecating literature and epic mythology.  (You didn’t know that?  Well, I am.) I mean my favorite books are Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions, a book about how much it stinks to get old, and The Silmarillion, which single-handedly creates a mythological back-story for the Britons.  Humboldt’s Gift does both of those things and here’s what I mean.  The novel’s main character, Charles Citrine a.k.a. Bellow, continually validates insults to his person, looks askance at his increasing age, and is quite self-critical.  Follow that with the great mythologizing force that is Roman a Clef writing.  In this mode, a writer takes confusing, nuanced historical circumstances and imposes on them the coherency and dynamism of a narrative.  Narrative becomes legend, legend becomes myth (to borrow from Galadriel), and in most cases a god is born.  Thus, this myth of Bellow/Citrine and the poet Humboldt’s relationship is now what we will remember; a beautiful created thing with its very own vocabulary and generosity of spirit.  Sure, there’s a “clef” if you want to go the literal route, but this story is also an epic poem that opens itself to all who would enter.  The reader is given the comfort of not having to take every single happenstance as literal truth.  We are, in fact, encouraged by the very narrative cherry-picking of the author to also cherry-pick this new legend and to put upon it our own interpretation, generation after generation.  We would do this anyway, (we do it with “factual” memoirs and historical accounts and novels) but Bellow, through his “gimmick,” has removed the ever-present shadow of guilt for us (as well as for himself!) that can come when we knowingly lay our own “stamp” upon incontrovertible facts.  We/he can remember what we want to remember, interpret what we want to interpret, and for me that’s what Humboldt’s gift actually is.  A poetic generosity that reaches out to you, your children, your children’s children … forever.

    by Kay S | Aug 25, 2017
    Sometimes when you go digging through the dust and cobwebs of the past, all that happens is a sneeze. But other times you find a forgotten treasure and you say to yourself – now I know why this author is still around.

    Book Review:  The Temporary Wife by Mary Balogh

    My brain hurts.

    I will put out a warning to all my little Petunias -- don't glom Mary Balogh. I should know better, I've been reading Ms. Balogh for years, ever since she wrote her first novel for Signet. But silly me, I discovered some of her early Signets have been turned into Mary Baloghelectronic books -- so, what the hey! It was time to reread!!! Did I go to the library storage area? Did I go to ye' ol' book shelf and pull out my paperbacks? That would be too economical of me -- I ordered the electronic copies. And, now I have reread five of her books in a roll. Yes! Five. In. A. Roll. My brain hurts.

    In case you have never read a Mary Balogh book, you should know that you are required to use those little brain cells when you read. You have to feel along with all the characters. It is a requirement! A Mary Balogh book is an experience. A Mary Balogh book is always character-driven, full of emotions and plenty of angst. Are all of them winners? She's written over 60 books, so what would be your guess? She's a very popular writer, has been around for a long time, and everyone has their favorite Mary Balogh book. Also, not so favorite. And, you are not allowed to skip words, because each one of her words is important to the storyline. So, yes, my brain is overtaxed right now -- but I will get over it. Let's take a look at the stories that I reread, starting with The Temporary Wife.

    The Temporary Wife was first published in 1997 and has been recently republished along with another of her early books The Promise of Spring. The Temporary Wife is not part of a series or connected to any other book. The Promise of Spring is connected to her Web trilogy.

    mary BaloghThe Temporary Wife stars Anthony Earheart, Marquess of Staunton, as our hero, and Charity Duncan as our heroine. Anthony has advertised for a governess. Here's the thing -- he doesn't have any children. Well, why has he advertised for a governess? Anthony thinks that governesses are desperate, meek, unattractive women -- just the kind of woman his father would hate. So, what better way to seek revenge on his father than to marry a perfect doormat of a woman and drag her kicking and screaming to the family estate? He thinks the only way to get this kind of wife is to advertise for a governess and then tell her it's actually a wife job she's interviewing for. Sounds logical to me. But poor Anthony hasn't had too much luck finding a woman gruesome enough or desperate enough to fall in with his plans. Enter Charity Duncan.

    Charity needs a job. She wants her family to have a nice comfortable life. But Charity has had problems keeping a job. She's either too pretty, or too outspoken, so her brother suggests she tone her next interview down a bit. Which she does. Anthony offers her the job of not a governess but a wife. Oh yes, he intends to pension her off after he's had his revenge. Charity is a little surprised, but after a few moments she accepts -- sort of. She ups the amount of pension. Poor Anthony, even when confronted with a woman who barters for more money, doesn't have a clue that's she's not as meek as she appears. He thinks he is just imagining the gleam in her eye. If only these guys would read romance novels, they'd know.

    Anyway, Anthony is expecting a marriage of convenience. He's expecting to drag his mousy wife to his family estates, irritate his family, especially his father, and leave. It isn't long before Anthony figures out that his wife isn't what he expected her to be. Once he figures out that she's not what he anticipated, he still finds a way to use her against his father. Let me tell you, his father was a hard person to like, in fact I never warmed to him. Anthony's father is a cruel man who also sees a chance to use Charity. So Charity is caught in the middle of these two men who are trying to hurt each other. However, Charity is no martyr. She ever so subtlety maneuvers Anthony's dysfunctional family back together again. There is even a reconciliation between father and son. And, through all of this family quagmire Anthony and Charity fall in love.

      The Temporary Wife is one of Mary Balogh's better books. It's an emotional journey for Anthony and Charity and we get to watch from the sidelines as all of it slowly develops. I highly recommend this one.

    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 Dawn S | Aug 24, 2017
    Here are some great new chapter books. Enjoy!

    cover image for dewey fairchild parent problem solver
    cover image for the forever court
      cover image for encounters in end city
    cover image for the professor and the puzzle
    cover image for just sayin'
    cover image for olice and the backstage ghost
    cover image for lucy and the rocket dog
      cover image for uncertain summer
    cover image for the patchwork picnic
    by Mari H. | Aug 24, 2017
    girls who code

    Girls Who Code resumes September 6th at Main Library and runs through December 13th.  Girls in grades 6-12 are invited to join this free club that will meet each Wednesday from 6-8pm.   We'll learn the Core 4 elements of computer science and work together on an impact project led by professional coders Rhoda D'Wis and Tapan Mokha.

    We'll even spend a little time learning about physical computing with the Adafruit Circuit Playground.  Mari the librarian will show how you can get started building fun projects (including cosplay accessories) with these versatile, Arduino-compatible boards.  Each girl will receive a Circuit Playground to keep, courtesy of a Girls Who Code grant.

    Call 421-1255 to reserve a space. 
    by Becky C | Aug 23, 2017
    Editor's Note:  Becky is one of our roaming librarians.  She works at each of the Ask Here desks as needed.  The variety of questions keeps her on her toes and that's one of her favorite things about working at ACPL.

    Readers Services Entrance

    Located on the first floor of ACPL's Main Library, Readers' Services is a book-lover's dream.  The second largest department at the Main Library, we offer a mix of adult fiction and nonfiction. 

    Readers Services paperback collectionWhile we're located somewhat in the middle of the library, our collection actually begins at the end of the main hallway near the Plaza entrance.  Our Popular Library paperback section is located directly across from Dunkin Donuts.  This collection has earned its name -- it's definitely popular!  Recently published paperbacks are arranged by genre for your browsing convenience.  Adventure/Suspense, Based on the Movie, Classics, Horror, Inspirational Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Western -- we have something for everyone.  There are even a couple of spinner racks dedicated to general nonfiction and true crime.  

    Also part of the Popular Library is New Adult Fiction -- a great collection to visit when you're short on time!  It's located next to the paperback section.  Our newest adult fiction is highlighted here and typically calls this spot home for around two months before moving further down the hallway into Readers' Services.

    Readers Services magazines collectionNext to New Adult Fiction, and the final piece of our Popular Library, is our Magazine collection.  Approximately 278 magazine titles currently call this section home and are available to check out.  Cooking, crafting, gardening, lifestyle, news -- we've got you covered.  (We also have a Periodicals collection within the department.  Our Periodicals collection is a reference collection only -- it does not check out.  Look for a future post going into more detail about these collections.)

    I hope you brought a book bag or two with you, because now we're ready to enter Readers' Services, the department with 70 double-sided and 28 single-sided rows of books!

    Readers Services Counter

    As you enter the department, you'll notice study rooms on the left and book displays on the right.  The Ask Here desk is straight ahead.  Make sure you stop by sometime!  While we're at work, the only thing we like more than looking up information (librarians tend to be curious folks), is talking about books.  If you're looking for a new author to try, come by the desk.  Tell us what authors/titles you've particularly enjoyed and we'll suggest a few others.  We'd love to help you find your next great read!

    Fiction is off to the left.    If you love a good novel, you owe it to yourself to pay us a Readers Services computers and fictionvisit.  We offer 24 double-sided rows of general fiction, 8 double-sided rows of Mysteries, and 10 sections of Science Fiction/Fantasy.  Five double-sided rows of Large Print Fiction are on the north side of the department, behind the computers.

    Winding your way through the stacks, you may pass by our Graphic Novel section and our World Languages section.  The low shelves between our computers and our study tables house our Literacy Collection.  The north side of our department offers a lovely view of Wayne Street.  As does our Silent Reading Room, complete with comfy wingback chairs.

    Readers Services nonfictionOur nonfiction collection begins in the northeast corner of the department, near the Silent Reading Room.  We have 22 double-sided rows of regular nonfiction plus 18 sections of oversize nonfiction, which wrap around the east side of the department.  Our nonfiction Large Print Collection currently occupies Row 13, just to the east of the Ask Here desk.  Seven double-sided rows of Biographies are located next to the Silent Reading Room.

    Our nonfiction collection includes popular topics such as Self Help, Religion, Education, Languages, Sports, Writing, Travel, and History

    While we cover several subjects within our department, Readers' Services is one of 6 specialized departments within the Main Library.  Topics we may only touch aspects of will be more fully represented in either Art, Music & Media; Business, Science & Technology; Childrens'; Genealogy; or Teens(Look for posts about each of those departments in the weeks to come). 

    Other popular features specific to our department include a TDD phone and a Videophone for our patrons with speech impairments.  We also provide a scanner which can scan documents to either a USB drive or e-mail address -- there is no charge to use the scanner. Our study rooms may be reserved in advance.

    Whew!  I hope you enjoyed this "tour" of the department!  If you did, and if you're interested in follow-up posts about specific features, please leave a comment.  I'd love to hear from you! 

    Perhaps you'd like to contact the Readers' Services Department directly?  We can be reached at 260-421-1235

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden.  Her favorite books are The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz and The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman.
    by SM | Aug 21, 2017

    Here are even more new teen romance novels to enjoy as Summer fades ...



    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 Becky C | Aug 21, 2017
    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!

    Im Judging You
     American Elsewhere
     The Orchadist
     Curious Minds
     Love in the Time of Dragons
     Trading in Danger
     Fierce Kingdom
     Churchill and Orwell
     The Light We Lost
     Salt to the Sea
     The Hidden Life of Trees
     Brown Girl Dreaming

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden.  Her favorite books are The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz and The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman.
    by Cindy H | Aug 20, 2017
    This stunning picture book tells the story of a child waking up early to go fishing with their sibling. They crawl from their tent, quietly, so as not to wake their other family members, to find their sibling waiting for them. They walk down to the lake and get in their red canoe. They see a number of animals and beautiful scenery. After waiting a while they finally get a bite on their fishing hook and catch a silvery trout. As they make their way back to shore they can hear the rest of the family stirring and preparing a fire. They cook the trout for a delicious breakfast.

    This story is written almost like poetry; you can almost smell the fresh, outdoor air. It is clear this was a wonderful experience for the child in the story. It took me back to the times I enjoyed camping when I was younger, and how special it felt to get some alone time with one of my parents or siblings. This beautifully illustrated book will be great for very young children who enjoy looking at the pictures, or older children who will enjoy the lyrical nature of the words. It is available in print or as an ebook on Hoopla. Click the picture of the book's cover to place on hold!
    by Cindy H | Aug 18, 2017
    Sunny is an albino girl living in Nigeria who was born in the United States. She is smart and athletic, but struggles with bullying at school. One day after the most popular girl in her class starts a fight with her, she becomes friends with a boy named Orlu when he comes to her defense. He introduces her to Chichi, a mysterious and feisty girl who lives with her mother in a mud hut. They become friends, but she feels like they may be hiding something from her. What she'll soon realize is that there is a magical world that normal people, "lambs", aren't aware of. Orlu and Chichi have known of their "leopard" abilities since birth, but this is all new to Sunny. When they become friends with another boy who was sent to live in Nigeria after creating trouble in the United States, it seems that the four of them coming together is more than coincidence.

    This book opens up an exhilarating new magical world, I had a hard time putting it down! It is highly recommended for fans of the Harry Potter series; there are some similarities, such as the deep feelings of friendship and destiny, the use of juju knives instead of wands, and the idea that there is a separation of magical and non-magical people. I did not feel like the author was copying Harry Potter, though; it almost feels more real in some ways, like there really could be this magical world all around us, that is only visible to a few. I also really loved that the book is set in Nigeria. It is still very relatable but makes it all the more interesting to learn a bit about some of the culture there. If you enjoy this book, keep an eye out for the next book in the series, Akata Warrior, coming out in October 2017. This book is available in print or as an ebook on Overdrive. Click the picture of the book's cover to place on hold!
    by Kay S | Aug 18, 2017
    Sometimes when you go digging through the dust and cobwebs of the past, all that happens is a sneeze. But other times you find a forgotten treasure and you say to yourself -- now I know why this author is still around.

    Mary Jo PutneyBook Review:  The Rogue and the Runaway by Mary Jo Putney

    A long long time ago there used to be a publisher by the name of New American Library, or NAL, and they had this wonderful little branch called Signet Regency Romance. They started printing in the late 1970s and lasted until sometime in 2006. Many, many, many authors began with Signet. I loved these little books. I think they would publish three or four books a month and I would be waiting for those books to hit the stands. One of the authors who first came to my attention through Signet was Mary Jo Putney -- I loved her early stuff. Then she started writing longer books and then she turned to the dark side and started writing contemporary romance. She even dabbled a little bit in paranormal. She has, of course, returned to historical, but nothing beats some of her older writing. And if any of you have never read The Rake, you should. It is one of my ten favorite romances. But this review isn't about that story, it's about another older book by Ms. Putney. First written in 1990 as The Rogue and the Runaway, it was published by Signet. Later Ms. Putney added a few more pages and it joined her Fallen Angels series under the new name of Angel Rogue (1995). Well, it has recently floated to my attention again through the wonderful world of electronic books. At last, a book with some wonderful words and great characters. It was a pleasure to reread this story.

    This story revolves around Maxima (Maxie) Collins and Lord Robert Andreville (Robin). There is also a secondary romance between Desdemona, Maxie's aunt, and Giles, Robin's brother. Both of these romances are quite good, and unlike some stories which have two romances going on at once, they do not distract from each other. Also helping in making this story a lovely read was its length. It is just a tad bit longer than stories which are published today -- so there is more substance on these pages.
    Here's the plot-line. Lord Robert Andreville, aka Robin, is home from years and years of spying. He's been through a lot. He's got dirt on his hands, he's been through some awful terrible stuff. Plus, his mistress is now his friend and married to a fellow hero from another book. Not only is Robin sad and blue because of his lost love, he also has some pretty angst-like spy stuff to get over. Unlike a lot of angst-filled heroes, Robin does not drag the entire world down with him. He has hidden his melancholy side under a happy-go-lucky facade. That doesn't mean his friends aren't worried about him, because they are -- especially his brother Giles and his ex-mistress Maggie. But don't fear, my little Petunias, because help is on the way in the form of our heroine Maxie.

    Maxie is an American. She is also the child of an English aristocratic father and a Mohawk Native-American woman. Most of her life was spent in America living with her mother's people or traveling around with her free-spirited father. By the way, she loved her life with her mother and father -- no Romanceland horrible parents here! Maxie's parents are both dead so she is living in England with her uncle and his snooty wife and daughters. Maxie is an interesting character because she is really quite good at standing up for herself. There's a wonderful scene in the beginning when she threatens her cousin with an arrow. When Maxie overhears her uncle talking about her father's death and how "things" must be kept from her, she knows she must find out what happened. She sees nothing wrong or silly with packing her bags, binding her boobs, and hiking 250 miles to London. By this time in the book, we the reader have learned what makes Maxie tick and see nothing silly about this premise. So she's off. Oops! She trips over something on the way out. That would be Robin, who is taking a little nap under a tree.

    Mary Jo PutneyRobin wakes up and knows right away that he has an arm-full of woman. No bound boobs are going to get past this hero. After some talking, Robin and Maxie decide to join forces and journey to London together. This journey covers more than just miles, because during their time together they get to know each other. Along the way they become friends, comrades and eventually lovers. They share their good and bad memories. They also share a number of adventures. The road trip is quite an experience and I enjoyed most of it. I did have a few eye-brows raised moments when Maxie was doing her "talk to the trees, butterflies and clouds" routine, puffing away on her hookah and chanting OMMMMMMmmm. I lied, she didn't have a hookah, but she did come awfully close to an OM moment. Regardless of Maxie's mother-nature incidents, Robin and Maxie were a wonderful couple.

    But they weren't the only wonderful couple in the book. There was also a secondary romance between the stodgy older brother Giles and the antagonistic, pushy aunt, Desdemona. These two had absolutely nothing in common and were great fun to watch as they circled each other and gave chase to their little lost lambs. I almost wish they had their own book, but ‘twas not to be. But I had great fun reading when they were in the book.

    Except for the "mother-nature" moments I only had one other small quibble. Even with all the extra pages which were added to the story, the ending still had a rushed feel to it. But other than that, this story is a great classic romance and it should be picked up and read. I recommend either the original The Rogue and the Runaway or the one with all the sex, Angel Rogue. It's a truly wonderful novel by one of Romanceland's very gifted authors - Mary Jo Putney.

    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 Dawn S | Aug 17, 2017
    Today at the Grabill Branch Library we've fielded a lot of questions about the solar eclipse happening on Monday. Mostly, people want to know if we have viewing glasses to give away. The answer is no, but we'll have pairs of glasses to use here on Monday and fun activities too!

    In fact, every location of the Allen County Public Library will have glasses to share on Monday. Check out our official Facebook Event Page here.

    This super science event calls for some super science books! Here are some suggestions.

    cover image for why do elephants need the sun

      cover image for the sun: our amazing star
    cover image for eclipse darkness in the daytime
    cover image for the sun is our nearest star
    cover image for moon
    cover image for solar and lunar eclipses


    We'd love to see you on Monday!
    by SM | Aug 16, 2017

    Hoopla, the digital service of the ACPL, has made several content deals in the last month bringing in thousands of new titles, including eBooks from HarperCollins and comics from Titan Comics.
    If you like to read Dr. Who, Assassin's Creed or even Minions comics on your devices then Hoopla will be the place for you!
    Titan Comics and Hoopla


    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 | Aug 16, 2017

    The 'E' in e-music should really stand for ‘easy’ instead of for ‘electronic’ … with one condition.  That condition is: It’s easy once you get past the learning curve of a new technological experience!  Taking the leap into that new experience can seem overwhelming, especially when an enthused librarian tells you, “Have you checked out FreegalHoopla?  Do you have a smartphone?  Unlimited data?  Just sign here!” 

    A good starting point for your e-music experience at ACPL, one that you’re already familiar with and will probably have little trouble navigating, is your app store.  Because digital databases out on the open web can be confusing with their unending unfurling of new tabs, Freegal and Hoopla have both created free apps that sit attractively on the ‘desktop’ of your device and quietly remind you of the wealth hidden away inside.  And once inside, the closed environment of the app makes it easy to acclimate to the item catalog and the different functions of the database like streaming, borrowing, and downloading music.

    (Now some of you are already throwing up a hand.  You’re saying, “Wait!  I just haven’t got anymore room on my phone for yet another app!”  Well, that’s ok, because you can still access these databases through your browser already installed on your device by visiting our website and logging in to the databases, listed under the "Explore" tab, separately.)

    Still not convinced?  Don’t worry we’re here for you.  Let us make our sales pitch to you in person and even back that pitch up with some good ol’ hands-on demonstration of the e-ease with which you can access Hoopla and Freegal.  Stop by one of ACPL’s locations anytime during regular business hours or consider registering for some scheduled time with a librarian at one of our technology help sessions.  There’s a whole sea of resources here at ACPL and nothing floats our boat quite like seeing customers dive into something new!

    Waynedale Branch Library: Tech Help with Kiera, Every Thursday from 10 am to 11 am.  Walk-Ins welcome or call (260) 421-1365.

    Shawnee Branch Library: May We Help You? Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month from 10 am to 11 am.  Register online at or call (260) 421-1355.

    Grabill Branch Library: Tech Time with Craig, Call to make an appointment: (260) 421-1325.

    by Mary Voors | Aug 15, 2017

    We have been having so much fun all summer long with storytimes outside, and we still have two Mondays of Storytime at the Park left in our summer programming!
    Storytime at the Park

    As part of a cooperative venture between Riverfront Fort Wayne and the downtown Public Library, we’d love to see you and your kids at the Headwaters Park West Ampitheatre for Storytime in the Park at 10:30 each Monday morning through August 28th. Enjoy the fresh air as you enjoy stories, songs, rhymes and more. (In the event of inclement weather, this program will be held at the downtown public Library.)

    It’s all fun and it’s all free! Join us!

    Here's how to find the storytime:  Head North on Harrison. Cross Superior Street and turn right immediately before the Harrison Street Bridge. There is a parking lot on the right.   Follow the sidewalk to the outdoor ampitheater. We’ll see you there!