In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. day I wanted to republish this post, first posted Feb 13, 2017.

Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is a celebration of accomplishments by African Americans. It’s also a time to recognize how African Americans helped shape this nation. The US is not the only country who dedicates a month to celebrating black history, Canada and the United Kingdom do, as well.

Black History Month actually started out as a single week called ‘Negro History Week’, by Carter G. Woodson in 1926. They chose the second week of February because of the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

In decades that followed, cities across the country issued yearly proclamations recognizing the week. In the late ’60s, around the same time as the civil rights movement and the growing awareness of black identity, the week evolved into the month. President Gerald R. Ford was the first president to officially recognize the month in 1976

To help celebrate Black History Month, below are some books showing African American History.

      

 

 

A new book by John Green!

John Green is probably Indiana’s most loved Young Adult author. His debut novel, Looking for Alaska, won the 2006 Printz Award for best teen novel. His last book, The Fault in Our Stars sold over 45 million copies and was made into a popular film.

Looking for Alaska by John Green   The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

In between, he authored An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, and (with David Levithan) Will Grayson, Will Grayson. His latest book, Turtles All the Way Down was published in October of 2017.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green  Paper Towns by John Green  Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Turtles All the Way Down has been receiving rave reviews from book critics. People magazine described it as “A tender story about learning to cope when the world feels out of control” and the Wall Street Journal said, “There is tenderness and wisdom here, and a high quotient of big ideas.”

In the book, sixteen-year-old Aza pursues the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, because there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis. Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts. The book illustrates the difficulties of living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, a condition that Aza shares with author John Green.

Dealing with difficult situations is a standard of much of Green’s writing and the honesty of his work provides an opening for discussion about these topics. At the same time, he uses lots of humor to keep the plot from becoming too serious and teens are easily able to relate to his characters.

In addition to his writing, John and his brother Hank produce the Vlogbrothers videos (youtube.com/vlogbrothers) and created the online educational series CrashCourse (youtube.com/crashcourse). He also collaborated with YA authors Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle on a book of three intertwined holiday romances.

Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle

Featuring the Books of Lois Ehlert

Our Fall Storytime programs will be featuring three picture book authors; we began on September 12th and 13th with Lois Ehlert. Ehlert is the author and illustrator of over 20 children’s books and has also illustrated books by other authors, including the iconic Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. Coming from a graphic design background, Ehlert creates illustrations from cut paper, cloth, feathers, rocks and much more.

Rain Fish by Lois Ehlert

Many of her books are written about plants and animals and are the perfect starting point for discussions or lessons about science. Others of her books use simple shapes and numbers and are wonderful for reinforcing math concepts. Educators love her books because they are so easy to adapt for classroom use, but kids love them for the bright colors and sly sense of humor. Some of the subjects addressed in her books include:

Planting a rainbow by Lois Ehlert

Fish Eyes by Lois Ehlert

Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert

Color Farm by Lois Ehlert   Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert

Lots of Spots by Lois Ehlert

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert

Ehlert attributes her success to parents who encouraged her creativity and who kept her supplied with tools and materials. Her parents’ influence is discussed in her autobiography The Scraps Book which is located in our juvenile biography area.

The Scraps Book by Lois Ehlert

If any teachers would like me to share some Lois Ehlert books with your classroom, just give me a call. I love to share these amazing books with kids!

Cross-over Authors

One of the trends that you may notice as you browse our shelves is that many authors write books for 2 or more different age groups. Several best-selling adult authors have entered into the Young Adult market recently. James Patterson has been writing for adults and teens for many years. His popular teen titles include the Maximum Ride and Confessions series.

maximum-ride    confessions

More recently, Harlen Coben, David Baldacci, and Sherrilyn Kenyon have launched Young Adult series.

shelter    finisher    infinity

Richard Paul Evans is probably best known for his gentle adult reads, many set at Christmastime. Did you know Evans also writes a science fiction series about a teenager with Tourette’s Syndrome? The Michael Vey books have been very popular at our branches and at the South Dearborn High School.

michael-vey

Adrianna Trigiani, author of The Big Stone Gap series for adults, has two teen books to her credit. Jodi Picoult has taken a different approach to writing for teens; she shares the writing responsibilities with her daughter Samantha Van Leer.

viola-in-reel-life    between-the-lines

The cross-over trend is not limited to teen and adult books. Carl Hiaasen has been writing both adult and juvenile fiction for a long time. You may be familiar with his book Hoot which was turned into a popular movie. Hiaasen’s books for children almost always have an environmental theme, but with lots of humor, just like his adult books. They make great books for upper elementary or middle school kids who like fast-moving stories that will also make them laugh. Hiaasen also has one book in our Teen area.

scat     chomp     skink

In addition to adult and teen books, James Patterson has several series for middle grade readers. The covers shown below are the first books in three of these series.

i-funny   house-of-robots   treasure-hunters

John Grisham and Alexander McCall Smith have also written series of juvenile fiction.

theodore-boone     great-cake-mystery

Judy Blume is probably most famous for her children’s books like Fudge-a-mania, but also has written for adults, including In the Unlikely Event (2015). Neil Gaiman is a bit unique because he has books in our adult, teen, juvenile fiction and picture book areas. His chapter book The Graveyard Book won the Newbery Medal in 2008 and he has written picture books featuring a panda named Chu.

graveyard-book    chus-day

Are there other cross-over authors you would recommend to our readers? Let us know, so we can add them to the list!

National Author’s Day!

Tuesday, November 1 is National Author’s Day! Technology and social media make it easier than ever before to stay connected to our favorite writers. If you follow them on Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Facebook, or any other social media platform, you can send them messages whenever you want, and you might even get a response! Here are some ways you can celebrate National Author’s Day this year:

Check out books by your favorite authors from the Library and post them to social media with#NationalAuthorsDay. Be sure to tag the author in the post so they’ll see how much you appreciate them!

Post comments on their websites about how much you appreciate their writing. Writing can be a lonely business with long hours and numerous frustrations along the way. Your kind words will be much appreciated.

snoopy-writing-on-typewriter-e1396399166920

Write reviews of your favorite books either on Goodreads, Amazon, or whatever platform you use. On Goodreads, you can ask authors questions and sometimes you’ll get a reply, which is the coolest thing in the world.

Let the aspiring authors in your life know that you appreciate them, too. It isn’t easy to create something out of nothing, and it’s even harder when you face rejection after rejection from publishers. A nice card or text (or candy!) would be a great way to let them know that you’re rooting for them.

My favorite way to celebrate National Author’s Day is to curl up with some books by my favorite authors (Rick Riordan, Meg Cabot, the Brontë sisters….) and read all day long. How will you celebrate National Author’s Day?

Hans Christian Andersen’s Birthday

Fairy tales have been a favorite type of book for children (and adults) for hundreds of years. Hans Christian Andersen is remembered as one of the greatest of the fairy tale writers. Born in Denmark on April 2, 1805, Andersen’s tales explore timeless themes such as as virtue and perseverance. They have been translated into many languages and have been adapted in both straight-forward and humorous ways by many writers. Most of the picture books in the Library collection that are based on his stories will state on the book cover or the title page that they are adaptations, rather than Andersen’s original story.

The work of Hans Christian Andersen is often compared to the Fairy Tales of the Grimm Brothers. Although these men were living around the same time period, there is a notable difference in their works. Andersen wrote original fairy tales, but the Grimm Brothers traveled around Germany collecting stories which were already in existence. Andersen’s best-known stories include The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling and Thumbelina.

mermaid

duckling     thumbelina

Here are a few more of the Andersen Fairy Tales that are fairly true to the original version.

match girl     nightingale

snow princess

Now take a look at some of the silly versions! I bet you can guess which original tale these are based on.

very smart     uglified

dinosuar

You can learn more about Hans Christian Andersen by sharing this picture book biography by Karen Hesse. The Dillsboro Public Library has a book containing all the original fairy tales by Andersen.

younghca

The highest international book award given to authors and illustrators of children’s books is the Hans Christian Andersen Award. It is awarded every two years and countries are allowed to nominate one author or illustrator for the award. The 2016 Award will be announced on April 4, 2016. The United States nominee is Lois Lowry, author of 2 Newbery Award books: Number the Stars and The Giver. The US has not had a Hans Christian Andersen Award winner since 1998 when Katherine Paterson won the award.