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Book Madness Update: Elite Eight

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on March 21st, 2016

Here it is: your 2016 Book Madness Elite Eight!Book Madness

It seems a lot of brackets busted this weekend in that other March Madness tournament that’s going on; we hope your Book Madness bracket is in better shape!

Voting for the Final Four titles begins today. Stop by and make your selections before the Library closes on Sunday. We’ll reveal our Final Four next Monday.

If you would like a list of every title in this year’s Book Madness competition, click here.

2016 BOOK MADNESS SWEET SIXTEEN – CHILDREN’S BRACKET

PICTURE BOOKS

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt vs Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

ALL AGES FAVORITES

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Florence & Richard Atwater vs Wonder by R. J. Palacio

GREAT SERIES

Warriors by Erin Hunter vs The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas

MUST READS

Redwall by Brian Jacques vs Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

2016 BOOK MADNESS SWEET SIXTEEN – TEENS AND ADULTS BRACKET

REQUIRED READING

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen vs Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

BUZZ-WORTHY BOOKS

Still Alice by Lisa Genova vs Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

YOUNG ADULT

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins vs I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

ADD TO YOUR READING LIST

Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella vs The Martian by Andy Weir

Fill Up Your Holds List with These Upcoming Book Releases

by Anne Mangano on March 17th, 2016
Fill Up Your Holds List with These Upcoming Book Releases Cover Image

The spring publishing season is just starting up and that means there are so many books to be excited about. Here is a rundown on some of the most anticipated releases of the next few months:

Later this month:

The Year of the Runaways / Sunjeev Sahota

Short-listed for the 2015 Man Booker Prize, we’ve waited a long time for this novel to cross the pond. The book follows the paths of three Indian men, who are recent immigrants to England, as they try to navigate living in a new country and coming to terms with what they left behind. Publishers’ Weekly writes, “Sahota’s characters are wonderfully drawn, and imbued with depth and feeling.”

The Nest / Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

This book, about four siblings grappling with the possibility of losing their inheritance, is on everyone’s Read the rest of this entry »

Ready to ride after a long winter on the couch?

by Mary Estle-Smith on March 15th, 2016

If you  pretty much take the winter off from riding to assume the position of your horse(s) personal slave once daylight time ends, Goodnight’s Principles of Riding  DVD series may be just what you want to sharpen you up for the new year.

Julie Goodnight is a well known clinician who travels the country giving clinics and assisting people in overcoming issues with their horses as well as honing their skills.  She also has a weekly program on RFD-TV.   Her teaching manner is positive,  clear and concise for anyone from beginner to advanced riders wanting to raise their knowledge and refinement level.

I have been riding most of my life and still find many helpful lessons in this series.  One of the great things about working with horses is that it is an ongoing education.  I would recommend you start with volume 1, Balance and Rhythm and move on from there.  She also gives you some exercises to build strength and balance that can be done as you watch.   The information in these DVDs can be used in any discipline to assist is problem solving and build the skills and confidence of both horse and rider.  Take a look then go forth and prosper in your horse life!

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Book Madness Update: Sweet Sixteen

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on March 14th, 2016

BookMadnessHere it is: your 2016 Book Madness Sweet Sixteen!

Voting is getting harder, as we have favorites going head-to-head with other favorites. The phrase “Why do you hate me?” might have been muttered by more than one staff member while making their selections. Still, without votes, we won’t have a winner!

It’s time to dig deep, power through and make sure to get your selections in before the Library closes on Sunday. We’ll reveal our Elite Eight next Monday.

If you would like a list of every title in this year’s Book Madness competition, click here.

2016 BOOK MADNESS SWEET SIXTEEN – CHILDREN’S BRACKET

PICTURE BOOKS

Eloise by Kay Thompson vs The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak vs Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems

ALL AGES FAVORITES

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Florence & Richard Atwater vs Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White vs Wonder by R. J. Palacio

GREAT SERIES

Warriors by Erin Hunter vs Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew by Carolyn Keene

Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne vs The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas

MUST READS

My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett vs Redwall by Brian Jacques

Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley vs Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

2016 BOOK MADNESS SWEET SIXTEEN – TEENS AND ADULTS BRACKET

REQUIRED READING

1984 by George Orwell vs Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald vs Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

BUZZ-WORTHY BOOKS

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr vs Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline vs Dead Wake by Erik Larson

YOUNG ADULT

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell vs The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins vs I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

ADD TO YOUR READING LIST

Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella vs The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

City of Thieves by David Benioff vs The Martian by Andy Weir

Vegetables, beautiful vegetables

by Maeve Clark on March 9th, 2016
Vegetables, beautiful vegetables Cover Image

David Cavagnaro,  world renown horticultural photographer, gardener and author, is the featured speaker this Sunday, March 13, at the Project Green 2nd Sunday Garden Forum.  Project Green 2nd Sunday Garden forums are always wonderful programs with excellent speakers  who make you want to get out in the garden or yard asap.

I was fortunate enough to hear  recent Iowa Public Radio Talk of Iowa program with Charity Nebbe when David Cavagnaro was her guest. David Cavagnaro, born and raised in California, began taking pictures of insects and plants in his early teens when he become fascinated with what he calls “the land of Cavagnaro_0the small.”  Throughout his life, he has used this love of plants to push hard to save our agricultural diversity. Cavagnaro is a former long-time Manager for Seed Savers Preservation Gardens in Decorah and is currently president of the Pepperwood Project.  The Pepperwood Project, a founded in 2008, is 55 acres in rural Decorah where people can experience good food and how to grow it.

I hope to see you this Sunday at 2 pm in Meeting Room A to learn more about David Cavagnaro’s work in preserving our plant and seed diversity.

Pugs of the Frozen North

by Shawna Riggins on March 9th, 2016

pugs of the frozen northThe temperature may be warming up outside but Pugs of the Frozen North written by Philip Reeve and illustrated by Sarah McIntyre will transport you to the magical cold of True Winter and the Great Northern Race. After an unusual weather phenomenon leaves young ship-hand, Shen, alone in freezing temperatures with 66 cold and hungry pugs, he finds friendship, support, and a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in a nearby city.  Throughout Shen & his new friend Sika’s journey as participants in the Great Northern Race, they work with each other, their goofy yet gallant pugs, and even (most of) their competitors. If after reading this book your thoughts are not lingering on the excitement of the race and the antics of the adorably odd pugs, you might be mulling over the message that people (and dogs) can overcome expectations and reach their dreams.

pugs page 1

Though certainly enjoyable for readers of all ages (especially for pug-lovers like myself), the exciting illustrations paired with text makes this a great book for children transitioning to chapter books. If you or your child liked the illustrations in Pugs of the Frozen North, try out McIntyre’s tutorial to draw your own puggy pups!

If this wacky adventure sounds right for you or a reader you know, check out other books from Reeve and McIntyre’s series of Not-So-Impossible Tales.

My pug Fifi wasn't so keen on the idea of pulling a sleigh.

My pug Fifi wasn’t so keen on the idea of pulling a sleigh.

Book Madness Update: Your Round 2 Titles

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on March 7th, 2016

BookMadnessMonday mornings aren’t fun, but today’s flew by because we had to update the Book Madness brackets!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote for their favorite titles in our first round of competition. Below are the titles in our Second Round. You have until the Library closes on Sunday to vote for the titles you want to see advance to the Sweet Sixteen. We will reveal the updated bracket next Monday.

If you would like a list of every title in this year’s Book Madness competition, click here.

Round 2 of the 2016 BOOK MADNESS – CHILDREN’S BRACKET

PICTURE BOOKS

Sparky! by Jenny Offill vs Eloise by Kay Thompson

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen vs The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss vs Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Dogzilla by Dav Pilkey vs Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems

ALL AGES FAVORITES

The Black Stallion by Walter Farley vs Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Florence & Richard Atwater

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett vs Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White vs Ramona and Her Mother by Beverly Cleary

Wonder by R. J. Palacio vs Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

GREAT SERIES

Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish vs Warriors by Erin Hunter

Who Was … by Various vs Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew by Carolyn Keene

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman vs Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer vs The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas

MUST READS

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai vs My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett

The Haunted Library by Dori Hillestad Butler vs Redwall by Brian Jacques

Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff vs Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson vs Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

Round 2 of the 2016 BOOK MADNESS – TEENS AND ADULTS BRACKET

REQUIRED READING

Lord of the Flies by William Golding vs 1984 by George Orwell

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen vs Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe vs The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut vs Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

BUZZ-WORTHY BOOKS

Naked by David Sedaris vs All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Still Alice by Lisa Genova vs Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins vs Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Dead Wake by Erik Larson vs Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

YOUNG ADULT

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell vs Looking for Alaska by John Green

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan vs The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir vs Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith vs I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

ADD TO YOUR READING LIST

Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett vs Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes vs Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

City of Thieves by David Benioff vs Pulphead by John Jeremiah Sullivan

A Good American by Alex George vs The Martian by Andy Weir

Crybaby by Karen Beaumont

by Katherine Habley on February 29th, 2016
Crybaby by Karen Beaumont Cover Image

Karen Beaumont’s newest picture book is a sure-fire hit!  The simple plot in this story is about a baby who wakes up in her crib and does not want to go back to sleep. The family, relatives, and even neighbors try to quiet her down by changing her diaper, tickling baby’s tummy, giving her a bottle, burping her, etc.  But the more they tried, the more she cried.  The old retriever named Roy knows that the baby wants her toy sheep to help her get back to sleep.  However, nobody else is paying any attention to the dog except a tiny mouse seen in most of the humorous illustrations by Eugene Yelchin.  The dog is being chastised when he barks….”No, Roy!  Down, boy!  Baby doesn’t want that toy.” Of course, that is exactly what baby wants and when Roy brings baby’s white and woolly little sheep to her, she grasps it and snuggles down to sleep in her crib immediately.  There is so much more going on in the picture book, Crybaby, than the text alone would indicate. The reader will enjoy discovering funny details through the delightful watercolor illustrations that extend the story.  We see the clock ticking away the time beginning around 1:00 in the morning until 6:00 a.m. as the story progresses.  The repetition of various sounds as the people try to get baby back to sleep is cumulative and makes for a great read-aloud.  But the best part of this fun book are the expressions on the dog’s face throughout the story.  Crybaby will invoke laughter and giggles as you and your little one pour over the pages.  The next time I do storytime about babies I will definitely reach for this title as it begs to be read aloud!

A Bear’s Year by Kathy Duval

by Katherine Habley on February 29th, 2016
A Bear’s Year by Kathy Duval Cover Image

While putting together a winter storytime for preschoolers about hibernation I came across a new book I think is a winner: A Bear’s Year by Kathy Duval and illustrated by Gerry Turley.  This picture book was on the New Book Shelf in the Children’s Room and it is a simple story done in rhyming couplets that explores all four seasons with Mama and her two bear cubs.  Beginning with winter, “Winter Bear drifts into sleep,/ Earth’s snowflake blanket soft and deep.” We see how bears experience each season of the year.  In the spring, “Springtime Bear wakes at last;/ her springtime cubs are growing fast.” Then the Summer Bear “Cubs catch fish, find bees that swarm,/ and dig for roots when days are warm.”  Finally in the autumn, “Coats grow thick, bodies strong./ Soon bears will doze all winter long.”  The artwork is appealing and the book format is large enough for group sharing.  Geared for children 3-6 years old, this title provides accurate information about the lives of bears in the wild, but also helps young children learn about the four seasons of the year.  Turley’s simple but effective illustrations were rendered using drawing and screen printing, which were then pieced together digitally. Duval’s new book would make a lovely gift and children would enjoy cuddling up with Mommy to listen to this story in rhyme.

 

The Goblin’s Puzzle by Andrew S. Chilton

by Morgan Reeves on February 29th, 2016
The Goblin’s Puzzle by Andrew S. Chilton Cover Image

Diversity in middle grade fantasy is hard to come by, particularly high fantasy featuring dragons, goblins, princesses, and kings. The Goblin’s Puzzle by Andrew S. Chilton provides all of these, as well as a good dose of humor and plenty of logic puzzles.

A dark-skinned slave boy with no name finds himself suddenly free, and for the first time in his life able to choose how to live his life. His choice to free a similarly enslaved goblin may provide him with more adventure than he bargained for, as goblins are notoriously tricky creatures. When the goblin tells him that it was not the boy’s fate to be a slave, he sets off to find his true destiny. With the goblin in tow, he learns many things along they way, including how to catch bats with a sling.

At the same time, a dragon has kidnapped Plain Alice, a case of mistaken identity, as he meant to capture Princess Alice. As the dragon goes off to rectify his mistake, Plain Alice begins doing what she does best, thinking. The soon-to-be-captured Princess Alice is at the center of a royal mess, as her father is trying to make her his heir to skip over the obviously evil Duke Geoffrey. To pay for the costly process, Princess Alice is to be married to a suitably wealthy person, to be decided upon by everyone but Princess Alice. All of these plans go literally out the window when Princess Alice is captured by the dragon. If ever there was a need for a nameless hero in search of his destiny, it is here in the Kingdom of West Stanhope.

The boy volunteers to rescue both Alices, though finds he needs their help just as often as they need his. The multiple threads of the story are finally and carefully woven together in a rooftop duel, a royal declaration, and one last trick from the goblin. In another rarity in recent middle grade fantasy, the story ends without a cliff-hanger to lead us to a sequel. Final word: A fantastic, thought-provoking, stand-alone fantasy adventure.




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