Monday, May 22, 2017

Books for Horse Lovers

It is May, Spring is here, and that means it is racing time for us horse lovers.  The Kentucky Derby was on May 6 and the winner was Always Dreaming.  I'm writing this in anticipation of this Saturday's Preakness.  Will that same horse win again today so they can try for the last race in the Triple Crown?  Saddle up and look at the books listed below.  They're all about one of the most beautiful animals around.  I hope you find one or more that you would like to check out, so you can sit on a soft blanket and gallop through the pages.

The Horse, by Wendy Williams.
Horses have a story to tell, one of resilience, sociability, and intelligence, and of partnership with human beings.  In this book, Williams visits with experts around the world to research the 56 million year journey of horses.  She charts the course of the history of horses, so we can learn about Thoroughbreds, cow ponies, the famous Lipizzans of Vienna, the Takhi horses of Mongolia, ancient cave art in France and Spain, and the mountains of Wyoming to understand the free-roaming mustangs, and much, much more.  This book is a revealing account of the animal who has been at our side through the ages, befriending us and traveling with us over the mountains and across the plains.  It pays tribute to this treasure of the natural world.

The Eighty-Dollar Champion, by Elizabeth Letts.
It was November 1958 and it was the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City, one of the most prestigious sporting events in the country.  In the atmosphere of wealth and tradition, a drab white former plow horse trotted into the ring.  They were the longest of all longshots, and their win was the stuff of legend.  Harry de Leyer saw the horse on a bleak winter afternoon in a rickety truck bound for the slaughterhouse.  He recognized the spark in the eye of the horse and bought him for eighty dollars.  The horse was a great mount for his children, but he needed the money so he sold him to a farm a few miles away.  But the horse Harry had named Snowman had other ideas, and turned up back at Harry’s barn dragging an old tire and a broken fence board.  So Harry set about teaching the shaggy, easygoing horse how to fly. The pair climbed to the very top of the sport of showing jumping.   This is a story of unstoppable hope, inconceivable dreams, and the chance to have it all.

The Race For The Triple Crown, by Joe Drape.
Award-winning New York Times sportswriter, Joe Drape, sweeps you into the rush of the horse-racing season, giving a step-by-step look at the Triple Crown races.  He captures the sights and smells from the twin spires at Churchill Downs, to the winner’s circle at Belmont Park, and all the stops in between.  This book is a personal narrative that captures the affecting stories of the Thoroughbred racing world.  These are tales of the riveting action, high-stakes finance, cut-throat competition, and impossible odds that make horse racing so irresistible, both for the equestrian-minded and sports enthusiast.

Several horse story series are shelved in the Children’s room and in the Youth Adult area.  Check out the following:
  • Marguerite Henry’s Ponies of Chincoteague by Catherine Hapka
  • Saddle Club by Bonnie Bryant
  • Canterwood Crest by Jessica Burkhart
  • Pony Pals by Jeanne Betancourt
  • Black Stallion by Walter Farley
  • Thoroughberd by Joanna Campbell and Karen Bentley
  • High Hurdles by Lauraine Snelling
  • My Friend Flicka trilogy by Mary O’Hara
  • Learning About Horses by Gail Stewart (nonfiction series)
 -Arlette Dubord, Technical Services Assistant

Monday, May 15, 2017

Graphic Novels for Summer Reading

Summer Reading “Build a Better World” is right around the corner, with our kickoff party on June 10! And so, to help kids find some fun, light summer reading, here are some of our newest Graphic Novels at Peter White Library.

Caveboy Dave by Aaron Reynolds
Dave’s Grandpa invented fire, and his dad invented the wheel-so what will Caveboy Dave do? The "more scrawny than brawny" 12 year-old has always been more inclined to invent things (such as underwear to make those loin cloths less itchy), then to go out and help gather meat. Will young Dave find a way to help out his clan? Or will he meet HIS DOOM?....

The Sisters vol 2: Doing it Our Way by Cazenove
Back by popular demand are sisters Wendy and Maureen, just in time for summer! This second novel follow the two sisters as they continue to navigate life, such as cleaning your room, fighting and making up, wearing hand-me-downs and more. With bright illustrations, short 1-page stories, kids will eat this book up, especially girls looking to see themselves in comic books.

LEGO Nexo Knights vol 1: The Forbidden Power by Max Brallier
LEGO books and comics are more popular than ever-and here is a brand new series for those LEGO enthusiasts out there! LEGO Nexo Knights, Knights Academy is the newest of the fun, engaging LEGO comics, sure to keep reluctant readers and book lovers alike entertained this summer.

Yo-Kai Watch by Noriyuke Konishi
The library just received the first 3 volumes of the manga Yo-Kai Watch! In this series, average kid Nate Adams receives a watch –and this isn’t just any watch, as he can now see the otherwise invisible Yo-kai! Maybe they are phantoms, or maybe they are something else, but whatever they are, Nate is now able to use his watch to help out these unique new friends in laugh-out-loud adventures. Sure to be a hit with Pokemon fans, this series is not to be missed!

Big Nate: Revenge of the Cream Puffs by Lincoln Pierce
How would you like to be on a Little League team call the Cream Puffs? Nate and his friends are definitely not wild about it in this most recent of the always popular Big Nate comics. So they set out to prove that they are more than cream filled desserts! With humor and hijinks, and maybe a few lessons learned along the way, this is a baseball game for the ages!

Bad Kitty takes the Test by Nick Bruel
The ever popular Bad Kitty is back! In this fun comic style book, bad kitty has been deemed as not only a bad kitty, but bad at being a cat! This calls for some cat-behavior studying, and, gulp, a test! For all those cat lovers (or just bad kitty lovers), make sure to grab this newest Bad Kitty book for some giggles this summer.

-Sarah Rehborg, Youth Services Librarian

Monday, May 8, 2017

Inspiring Stories

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word inspiration means “A breathing in or infusion of some idea or purpose into the mind or the suggestion or awaking or creation of some feeling or impulse of an exalted kind”.  Pick up one of these inspiring stories next time you visit the library.

United: Thoughts on finding common ground and advancing the common good by Cory Booker.   
Senator Cory Booker is a new voice to politics.  A Rhodes Scholar, Booker provides a compelling book and makes a case that the virtues of empathy, responsibility and action must guide our nation toward a brighter future.  In his account. Booker provides a narrative on what he learned from the remarkable people who inspired him to serve others and fueled his desire to create opportunities for others. What sets Booker apart is his passion to elevate political discourse rather than bring down opponents of the opposite partisan persuasion.

Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors by George Bush   
Former President George W. Bush not only displays his artistic ability in his passion to honor the courage and sacrifice of veterans.  These “Profiles in Courage” came from the biographies of the veterans themselves. When developing the paintings from the written biographies, Bush states: “I thought about their backgrounds, time in the military and the issues they dealt with as a result from combat” These veterans are truly remarkable in how they view life and putting their story with their picture really adds to the powerful impact of the book. 

Where We Belong by Hoda Kotb.   
Hoba Kotb has always been one of my favorite co-host’s on the Today Show.  Her down to earth nature provides her with core stability in her reporting skills.  “Where We Belong” is about people who find life’s purpose in unexpected ways.  The main theme of the book is “are you where you belong”, Kotb explores the challenging journeys of people who found their true calling in life by following their passions, their gut and their heart.  One interesting story is about an investment broker who, after working on Wall Street for many years decided his true calling was to become a minister.  These stories provide preservice, self-reflection, and how a new approach on life can be motivating to finding the right path for one’s personal journey.

The Bridge to Brilliance by Nadia Lopez
Educators have a difficult job preparing young scholars for a successful future.  High school principal Lopez provides a narrative on the successful methods used to create a safe learning environment for her students.  Inspiration appears in how she demonstrates her progression from a passionate dream to the reality of the school, Mott Hall Bridges academy (a New York City Public School) in a poor neighborhood located in Brooklyn New York.  Her model, Connected to Succeed utilizes community leadership and a passionate belief in children and their ability to succeed.  Lopez is an inspiration and social change agent at the highest level. 

--Diana Menhennick, Reference Department

Monday, May 1, 2017

New Fiction

Like many of our patrons, I enjoy browsing the New Fiction display on the main floor.  Recently I looked through the display and chose the following as the titles I would most like to read.  Each one appealed to me for a different reason.

Human Acts by Han Kang follows the aftermath of a young boy's shocking death during the 1980 violent Gwangju student uprising in South Korea.   The story is told from the perspectives of the event's victims and their loved ones, and at one point, the story falls into nonfiction as author reveals her own personal connection to the tragedy. Through their collective heartbreak and acts of hope unfolds the tale of a brutalized people in search of a voice.  Kang won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize for her novel The Vegetarian.

Loner by Teddy Wayne
Shy, witty David Federman arrives at Harvard fully expecting to embrace and be welcomed by a new tribe of like-minded peers. But at first, beyond the friendly advances of a plain-looking Sara, his social status seems devastatingly unlikely to change. Then he meets Veronica Morgan Wells. Struck by both her beauty and her brains, David falls feverishly in love and is determined to stop at nothing to win her attention and a coveted invite into her glamorous Upper East Side world. David begins compromising his own moral standards for this one, great chance at happiness. But neither Veronica nor David, it turns out, are exactly as they seem.

The Life and Adventures of Jack Engle by Walt Whitman
Yes, that Walt Whitman.  In 1852, young Walt Whitman--a down-on-his-luck house builder in Brooklyn--was hard at work writing two books. One would become one of the most famous volumes of poetry in American history, Leaves of Grass. The other, a novel, would be published under a pseudonym and serialized in a newspaper. A short, rollicking story of orphanhood, avarice, and adventure in New York City, Life and Adventures of Jack Engle appeared to little fanfare. No one made the connection it until 2016, when literary scholar Zachary Turpin, followed a paper trail deep into the Library of Congress.  Readers will catch glimpses of Whitman’s expansive style and his contemporary, Charles Dickens’s, playful story-telling.

Underground Airlines by Ben Winters presents an interesting twist to the alternative reality concept.  Imagine it is the present-day, and the world is as we know it: smartphones, social networking and Happy Meals. Save for one thing: the Civil War never occurred. A gifted young Black man calling himself Victor has struck a bargain with federal law enforcement, working as a bounty hunter for the US Marshall Service. He's got plenty of work. In this version of America, slavery continues in four states called "the Hard Four." On the trail of a runaway known as Jackdaw, Victor knows that something isn't right-- with the case file, with his work, and with the country itself. Victor believes himself to be a good man doing bad work, unwilling to give up the freedom he has worked so hard to earn. But in pursuing Jackdaw, Victor discovers secrets at the core of the country's arrangement with the Hard Four, secrets the government will preserve at any cost.

The Trees by Ali Shaw
The trees arrive in the night: thundering up through the ground, transforming streets and towns into shadowy forest. Buildings are destroyed. Broken bodies, still wrapped in tattered bed linen, hang among the twitching leaves. Adrien Thomas has never been much of a hero. But when he realizes that no help is coming, he ventures out into this unrecognizable world. Michelle, his wife, is across the sea in Ireland, and he has no way of knowing whether the trees have come for her too. Then he meets green-fingered Hannah and her teenage son Seb. Together, they set out to find Hannah's forester brother, to reunite Adrien with his wife--and to discover just how deep the forest goes. Their journey will take them to a place of terrible beauty and violence, to the dark heart of nature and the darkness inside themselves.

Mercury by Margot Livesey
Donald believes he knows all there is to know about seeing. An optometrist in suburban Boston, he is sure that he and his wife, Viv, who runs the local stables, are both devoted to their two children and to each other. Then Mercury--a gorgeous young thoroughbred with a murky past--arrives at Windy Hill and everything changes.  Donald may have 20/20 vision but he is slow to notice how profoundly Viv has changed and how these changes threaten their quiet, secure world. By the time he does, it is too late to stop the catastrophic collision of Viv's ambitions and his own myopia.

--Ellen Moore, Webmaster

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Tween picks

I am a JTAB ( Junior Teen Advisory Board ) member at the Peter White Public Library. At our monthly meeting we like to talk about our  favorite books.  Here our some of my personal favorites!

Warriors: Into the Wild  by Erin Hunter.  This book comes up a lot in conversation because it is so good! It is about a small “Kittypet” named Rusty who stumbles upon “Clan Cats” and his new life is born. Surely once you read the first book of this series, you will be hooked right in.

Smile by Raina Telgemeier. This wonderful graphic novel is about Raina herself! She tells us about a dental disaster involving her two front teeth.  She goes to Junior High school and all her friends seem to think Raina has not grown up a bit since elementary school. Raina starts to feel self-conscious about her new appearance. Read the book to hear her story and feel her emotions. Will she get over her dental-drama? Read the book to find out!

El’ Deafo by Cece Bell. Like Smile, Cece tells her story about her childhood too! Little Cece Bell manages to pick up meningitis which causes Cece major hearing loss. She goes to a new school with lots of new people. Cece must get a super special “Phonic Ear” which helps Cece hear.  Cece must go to a regular school again and that means more new technology to help Cece hear. She has a microphone attached to her and a microphone on the teacher.  This graphic novel is super funny and is sure to make you laugh.

Lumberjanes by Shannon Watters. The Lumberjane scouts are at it again! The camp for Hardcore Lady-Types seems to have some hardcore wacky-antics going on! For instance, The kitten holy, Dinosaurs, and Lake monsters!!?? What does all this mean?  Read the book to find out.

Goldie Vance by Hope Larson. Goldie Vance seems to be the modern-age Nancy Drew! She is a amazing, hard-working super sleuth who is just itching to solve a case. She dreams of becoming a full-time super detective. One day, the home-town detective stumbles along a case he can't solve.  He takes in Goldie for her hard-working spirit and her random skills. If you love a good mystery, this graphic novel is perfect for you!

Baby-Sitter’s Club (Graphic Novel Edition) by Raina Telgemeier. This is another great graphic novel by Raina herself! In this book, Kristy decides she and her friends should start a club just for babysitters! She and her friends in the BSC go through some big changes and wacky activities. You should read this book if you like to laugh.  This is the perfect graphic novel series to read with your friends.

Amelia’s Notebook by Marissa Moss. Amelia’s family has to move to a different town due to their job situations. Her mother gets her a notebook to write down her feelings. She starts out not so fond of the notebook but starts getting the hang of it.  The move is too much to handle for her older sister, Cleo. And Amelia isn’t happy being so being many miles away from her best friend in the world, Nadia. This book is super funny and has amazing illustrations. Read it to see how Amelia handles moving to a different town. If you like diary-type books, this book is perfect for you!     

--Hayden Steltenpohl, 11, PWPL Junior Teen Advisory Board Member