Here's a recommendation for a new and very readable book in the Kalamazoo Public Library children's section. Read Dark Sky Rising: Reconstruction and the Dawn of Jim Crow. Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is a much lauded scholar for his vast contribution to the understanding of history and American culture. You may know him from the PBS genealogy program Finding Your Roots. Gates wrote the book with Tonya Bolden, the award-winning author of many excellent books for young people.
The development of racist laws in the Jim Crow era along with murderous violence and property taking perpetrated as instruments of white supremacy are highest on the list of the worst kind of human behavior. As grim as aspects of this history certainly are, this book is ultimately uplifting, with stories of perseverance in the face of oppression. The final illustration in the book is a lovely group picture of a class of preschoolers in Topeka, Kansas, captioned "Faces of the Future 1899".
About Dark Sky Rising, National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and National Book Award winning author Jacqueline Woodson writes, "Brilliant and more necessary now than ever before. This is a book that should be on
every bedside table and in every classroom in America. It’s a history that belongs to all
of us. In Gates’s and Bolden’s hands, it is a deeply comprehensive, beautifully illustrated,
and moving narrative of survival.”
In this book that describes the ideal workplace, authors Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson say that it's time to stop celebrating 'Crazy' and start celebrating 'Calm.' In doing so, they seek to cross out '80-hour weeks, packed schedules, super busy, endless meetings, overflowing inbox, unrealistic deadlines, can't sleep, Sunday-afternoon emails, no time to think, stuck at the office, all-nighters, chats blowing up.' There are some valid points in this book; others I can't accept. But, for anyone who wants to study the art of management, this book provides a smorgasbord of ideas about organizational culture.
I happen to like books from DK Publishing, a firm that produces quality items on quality paper. They specialize in books that have a pictorial, visual emphasis. From the library's teen section is this one-volume digest of world history arranged in two-page chapters. This is a good book even for those who have studied history extensively, since herein, under one cover, are photos and information not often seen elsewhere. It's unlikely that anyone would read this book straight through although one could; it lends itself to selective browsing in chapters of interest to the reader.
Confession: I have Peter
Parker fatigue. He’s had seven movies in the past two decades, more if you
count the Avengers, and the story’s always the same: spider bite, ditch the
glasses, fight a goblin. To be
honest, I’m over it.
So last year, when I saw MilesMorales: Spiderman hit the shelves, and written by all-star YA novelist
Jason Reynolds no less, I was intrigued. The familiar hero was getting a much
need update. But after watching the
dazzling movie that introduces the new Black and Puerto-Rican web slinger to the big screen, I knew that I needed to read this novel immediately.
I was delighted to
find out more about Morales’ world—the strained and complicated relationship
between his dad and his uncle, and to see what a solid friendship he has with
his roommate Ganke. But then as the story continues to unfold it becomes clear
that this Spiderman isn’t just duking it out with a giant lizard man or
whatever. That’s too easy. The first Black Spiderman in the MCU takes on one of
the most powerful enemies facing the Black community today: institutional racism. This novel pulls
no punches and examines important issues while sacrificing none of the
excitement and action-packed antics that we’ve come to expect out of our
Your twelve year old might say they hate reading, but have they read about Miles Morales?
Roma Agrawal, at only 35 years of age, is an experienced structural engineer who has been involved in building some very large projects, such as London's 'The Shard,' western Europe's tallest tower. She is also a promoter of technical and engineering careers to young people, particularly women. In this book, she describes in easy-to-understand terms many aspects of the work that has gone into some of the world's buildings and structures, both ancient and modern. Among these are the pyramids, the Northumbria University Footbridge, the John Hancock Center in Chicago, Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City, and Brooklyn Bridge. As Henry Petroski of Duke University says, this is 'a book about real engineering written by a real engineer who can really write.'
As 2018 winds down, its a customary tradition for staff to compile a list of those books, movies and albums that have inspired us, made us laugh, made us cry, stoked our imagination, and provoked us to think deeply about the relationship between fact and fiction, reality and fantasy and art and life. Here are a few of my favorites.
Winter, Karl Ove KnausgaardBecoming, Michelle ObamaWKW: the Cinema of Wong Kar Wai, John PowersTime Pieces: A Dublin Memoir, John BanvilleMeaty, Samantha IrbyMy Year of Rest and Relaxation, Ottessa MoshfeghThese Truths: A History of the United States, Jill LeporeThe Largesse of the Sea Maidens, Denis Johnson
Hungry Bunny is a fun, interactive preschool picture book about, ( yes, you guessed it), a hungry bunny. This bunny's tummy rumbles and grumbles, so he sets off to pick some juicy apples that just might be the perfect snack to appease his appetite.
The young reader can help bunny perform his apple gathering task by shaking the tree so that the apples fall down, blow away the leaves, etc. This book also has a handy "red scarf", ( really a bookmark ribbon), to help our little buck-toothed protagonist climb the tree and even make a makeshift bridge. In the end, bunny and his family enjoy some freshly baked apple pie and share it with the reader! Imagine that!
By New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Claudia Rueda. This is an all-around wonderful book to please the fancy of the younger set!
I really enjoyed the new book by Kekla Magoon. It reminded me a little bit of Orbiting Jupiter but more lighthearted. When ten-year-old Caleb and older brother Bobby Gene meet sixteen-year-old Styx Malone, they are in for a not-so-boring summer. Caleb and Bobby Gene have really different personalities even though they are very close. Of course, that's typical of siblings, but the way their relationship is portrayed is really well done. And while I started out thinking that their dad was going to be nothing but a jerk, his character changes over time. Styx's character also grows over the course of the book. I kept turning pages because I wanted to see if what I thought was going to happen would happen. Well, I can tell you that it did and it didn't. No plot spoiler there at all, right?
Great storytelling, great turns of phrase, and a diverse and interesting cast of major and minor characters makes this a really good read. The Season of Styx Malone asks: What are the limits of friendship? When does being protective become overprotective? The small-town summer-time setting reminded me of summers from my own childhood. This is a great book to enjoy as a family over the Thanksgiving break.
Subtitled The World's Most Secret Locations, this book that lists 100 Places You Will Never Visit is good for both information and entertainment. There are descriptions and photographs (some from a distance, of course) of 100 sites, many of which the general public has not even heard of, let alone visit, such as the Rosslyn Chapel vaults, Room 39, Pionen White Mountains, and the Oak Island Money Pit. Others are famous because of their secrecy, such as the Fort Knox Bullion Depository, the Coca-Cola Recipe Vault, Air Force One, and the Queen's Bedroom at Buckingham Palace. This is another example of a book that can either be read straight through or looked at by individual site.
A really wonderful, sad and yet hopeful story, The Rough Patch written and superbly illustrated by New York Times bestselling author Brian Lies is about a fox named Evan and his devoted dog.
Truly the best of friends, Evan and his pooch do everything together. Of all the activities that they engage in, they most relish working in Evan's magnificent garden! It is almost a magical place for plants, and everything they planted there thrived.
But one day , completely out of the blue, Evan sees his beloved canine friend lying dead in his doggie bed and everything in their wonderful existence changes.Evan first shuts himself out from the outside world by staying inside his house. He then decides to vent some of his dark feelings by cutting and slashing his beloved garden to the ground and disposing of the resultant plant trash by throwing it into a large pile. In place of his once beautiful garden filled with fragrant flowers and vibrant vegetables, newly sprouted, unattractive, prickly, dark weeds grew and so this garden became a sad, desolate place which matched his now never-changing mood.
However, one day he finds a pumpkin vine had snuck under a fence from the neighboring yard. His first inclination is to destroy it, but he rationalizes that since it was fuzzy, prickly, and spidery, that he would let it be. Evan ends up watering it and caring for it and decides to enter the pumpkin in the local fall fair. His pumpkin wins third place and as a prize he gets to choose either ten dollars or a pup found inside a cardboard box. Evan's first inclination is to take the money but he then hears a scratching sound coming from inside the box and thinks it wouldn't hurt to peek inside. He ends up adopting one of the pups and drives it home in his old red truck. And the rest( as they say) is history.
A well written book on the topics of friendship, loss and redemption. Accompanied by beautifully detailed illustrations done with heart. This winner of a book is sure to please kids and many adults as well!