Monday, December 29, 2014

Adventure in the Upper Midwest With Nevada Barr

It’s a great time of year to think about traveling to new places. How about taking a virtual visit to the national parks with the adventurous park ranger Anna Pigeon?  She notices when things are amiss and finds the answers to each exciting national park mystery.  The author, Nevada Barr, was a park ranger for several summers and writes her stories with actual knowledge of the national parks system.  Her series of 18 mysteries begins at the Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas, loops through the Statue of Liberty National Monument in New York to the Nachez Trace Parkway in Mississippi, and Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico, to name just a few.  Barr uses Michigan as the setting for two of her stories, both taking place on Isle Royale National Park in the middle of Lake Superior.

A Superior Death (1994) is a summertime mystery located in the chilly depths of Lake Superior off the
shores of Isle Royale. This is the second book of the series, so the young Anna Pigeon checks on a routine diving permit and stumbles upon an unauthorized search for sunken treasure in the shipwrecks offshore. She also discovers a recently dead body near a shipwreck which leads to intense underwater suspense. Anna finds a little romance and a lot of murder during her stay at the park.
A Winter Study (2008) is Barr’s second Isle Royale page-turner, and takes place during the winter with a   She and two scientists from homeland security are joining the wolf study team to observe the wolf pack, each for their own objective.  Pigeon is collecting data in order to introduce wolves into the Rocky Mountain National Park. The team from homeland security wants to assess the possibility of opening Isle Royale in the wintertime and its implications for border relations with Canada.  The isolated setting, cold temperatures, and the suspicious death of a team member combine to place everyone on alert that a killer is among them.
more mature Anna Pigeon.

The newest novel, Destroyer Angel (2014) is set in the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area north of Ely, Minnesota on the border between the U.S. and Canada. Anna travels to pristine wilderness for a canoeing vacation with friends, one of whom designs recreational equipment for disabled individuals, and another who is a paraplegic. Somebody’s past catches up with them as the group is kidnapped and Anna has to use all her park ranger survival skills and knowledge of the outdoors to keep herself alive long enough to rescue her friends.  The heartless nature of the villains in this adventure is juxtaposed against the spiritual beauty of the wilderness. As always, Nevada Barr’s adventures are available in Adult Fiction on the main floor.  Many are also recorded on CD in the audio book section or available digitally through the library’s website –

Lynette Suckow
Reference Desk

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Ghost stories for long dark nights

I love a good ghost story. As the days continue to get shorter, the shadows in the corners of my house seem to get longer, the creaking of the floorboards louder. It is then that I feel a ghost lingering over my shoulder.
From the truly terrifying to science fiction to comedies, we have a great selection of ghost stories here at PWPL. Stop in some time to check them out.

The Boy Who Drew Monsters, by Keith Donohue
After an accident in the ocean which caused him nearly to drown, ten-year-old Jack Peter Keenan is afraid to leave the house and becomes obsessed with drawing monsters. As the drawings take on a life of their own, his family and friends are soon affected. His mother hears eerie sounds from the ocean, his father chases a bizarre creature on the dunes, and his best friend becomes entranced with the power of these crudely drawn monsters. Will Jack Peter’s family and friends be able to defeat the monsters of a ten year old? What power do they hold? You’ll have to visit this costal Maine town to find out.

Delia’s Shadow by Jaime Lee Moyer
The debut novel of Jamie Lee Moyer, “Delia’s Shadow” explores the life of Delia Martin at the turn of the century in San Francisco. Her wealthy status may make her seem the poster child of the early nineteenth century; however, she holds back a dark secret, she can communicate with ghosts. After the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906, Delia finds herself flooded with the thousands of dead. Attempting to escape the tortured souls, she leaves for New York. She believes she has found peace until a determined soul from San Francisco seeks her out.
Rooms by Lauren Oliver
Author Lauren Oliver started her writing career as a young adult author, but her first foray into adult fiction is the novel “Rooms”, a chilling haunted house story. After their distant father dies, Trenton and Minna, along with their mother Caroline, return to the family’s old country house filled with antiques, secrets, memories, and several ghosts. As Trenton discovers he can communicate with the spirits, a new ghost arrives setting the whole house into a whirlwind of paranormal activity. Told from the perspectives of the dead and the living, this novel is elegantly written. The dramatic tragedies of all the character will tug at your emotional core.

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix
Quirk is one of my personal favorite book publishers. They are the brains behind “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”, “Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children”, and “Night of the Living Trekkie”. One of their newest books is “Horrorstor” by Grady Hendrix and, if it is a lighter ghost story you are looking for, this is the book for you. Orsk furniture, not to be confused with its competitor Ikea, is experiencing some strange phenomenon. Every morning, the staff arrives to find broken bookshelves, smashed lamps or muddy bed sheets. The security cameras show nothing out of the ordinary, so several staff members lock themselves in for an overnight shift they will never forget. This book has an amazing design with each chapter named after a piece of furniture from the store or the memory of the building which stood before the store was built.

A Sudden Light by Garth Stein
The author of “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” Garth Stein’s new book “A Sudden Light” is another story in this list which deals with family history and the stain those ghosts can leave behind. Riddell House is an old mansion built high above the Puget Sound on the outskirts of Seattle. A testament to the wealth of the Riddell family, the house now symbolizes the weight of debt on the Riddell’s. As Trevor Riddell’s family slowly crumbles with an impending divorce, the only way to settle up is to sell the Riddell House. This involves a complex series of events including expelling Trevor’s grandfather to a nursing home. But, the longer Trevor stays in the house, the more secrets he discovers and the more he understands the house’s motivations.

The Brothers Cabal by Jonathan L. Howard
Stories about the Cabal brothers are great for the paranormal fan. Following Johannes Cabal, a necromancer, and his brother Horst, a vampire, The Brothers Cabal is the fourth book in this series. Thought dead, for good this time, vampire Horst is risen from the dead, again, to become the general in an occult, paranormal army. Uncomfortable with this plan, he thinks his brother, the necromancer, can help him find eternal peace. If you are looking for an offbeat, humorous, vampires are kind of like ghosts, ghost story, this is the book for you. 

By Tracy Boehm, Technical Services Librarian

Monday, December 15, 2014

Holiday titles

Winter has arrived early this year, and snow seems to make planning for the holidays more urgent.  Before making holiday plans for food, gifts, music, films and decorating, a visit to the PWPL should be in order.  There is virtually no aspect of the holidays that cannot be enhanced by a visit to the library.
            Eco friendly wrapping is always a holiday consideration, especially when bags of wrapping paper need to be placed in the trash.  Wrapping With Fabric: Your Complete Guide to Furoshiki by Etsuko Yamada is one way to encourage planet friendly holidays.  The Japanese have elevated the beauty of a gift through the use of fabric and traditional furoshiki.  This book will help you create stunning wrappings using simple tying and knot techniques.
            Susan Wasinger collects a variety of holiday traditions and craft techniques to present 30 projects   Artful Christmas strives for elegance in a range of skill levels.  Most of the projects can be easily created without an extensive collection of tools or materials.
that will brighten the season.
            Many of the magazines found in the PWPL celebrate the holidays with their December or winter issues.  One of the most creative and unusual presentations of holiday spirit is presented by Southern Living.   Each year, the magazine collects ideas from past issues and creates a hard cover edition filled with holiday cheer.   The 2013 and 2014 editions of Christmas with Southern Living will inspire with unique holiday and decorating ideas.
            The PWPL CD music collection of holiday music includes over 600 items.  You can find traditional carols, rock music holiday albums, children’s holiday favorites and instrumental renditions.  There is something for everyone in the CD collection.  CDs can be used to get you into the holiday spirit, provide   New holiday CDs by Earth Wind and Fire, Idina Menzel, Renee Fleming and Pentatonix have recently been added to the CD collection.
background music or set the stage for a fabulous holiday.
            The holidays would not be the same without watching film classics like It’s A Wonderful Life, Christmas with the Kranks, Miracle on 34th Street and A Christmas Carol.  The PWPL also has other holiday classics as well a new holiday favorites. If you want to take a break from the holiday hustle and bustle, sit down, put your feet up and enjoy a holiday movie.
            The library is also the place to search for ideas forideas for creating personalized food gifts.  The PWPL has books about making cheese, preserves, beverages, desserts, candies, jams, jellies and condiments. Your kitchen can become a holiday workshop for sharing delicious homemade food gifts.  Modern Food Gifts pulls together a collection of easy-to-make gifts that can be given year around.  Creative ideas for using fruit, nuts, vegetables, vodkas and vinegars to create tasty gifts are included in this book.
            The electronic book Gourmet Gifts by Dinah Corley contains over 100 recipes and ideas for gift packs and baskets that can be given for the holidays.  There are ideas and photos of beautiful gifts that can be packaged by crafters at all talent levels and at all budgets.  Edible DIY is another electronic offering with 75 recipes for indispensable edible gifts.  Arranged in five chapters, the gifts fall into the crunchy, boozy, sweet, spicy or jars categories.
            Mary Engelbreit started her career as a graphic designer, but has morphed into a arts, crafts and lifestyle brand.  Mary Engelbreit’s Christmas Companion, Christmas with Mary Engelbreit series and Best Christmas Ever are just several of her books that will give you lots of food, gift and decorating ideas.
            Upcycling Celebrations a Use-What-You-Have Guide to Decorating, Gift Giving and Entertainment by Danny Seo is a practical guide to making the most of a variety of holidays without breaking the bank.  If you would like to de-stress the holidays, this is a good place to start.
            Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell purchased an old farm house in upstate New York.  The Beekman House, as it is known, has developed into its own brand.  The Beekman Boys have published a number of cookbooks.  Their latest, The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook offers a variety of traditional holiday recipes like fruitcake, Buche de Noel, sugarplums and figgy pudding.  The book is divided into treats for each of the four seasons. 
            Electronic books are available from the Great Lakes Digital Library found on the PWPL website.  There are a number of holiday themed books that can be downloaded to a computer or tablet.  A number of the ever-popular Gooseberry Patch cookbooks are featured.  Best Ever Cookies is a great place to start for cookie exchange or tray ideas.  Cookie Craft Christmas is another electronic offering that provides over 60 cookie cutter cookie decorating ideas for Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s cookies.
Joan Nathan’s Children’s Jewish Holiday Kitchen is also available in electronic format.  This book introduces children to Jewish culture and heritage through 70 recipes and child-centered activities.  Not only will children cook up some delicious food for the holiday, but they will learn about their Jewish heritage.
            These and many more holiday themed materials are located at the PWPL. 
By Pam Christensen,

Library Director         

Friday, December 12, 2014

Making it through tragedy: Inspiring true stories.

Still LoLo, by Lauren Scruggs with Marcus Brotherton.
This story is a stunning and unexpected tale of tragedy, survival, and true beauty. For fashion journalist Lauren (LoLo) Scruggs, a short flight to look at Christmas lights turned into a nightmare when she was struck by the plane’s spinning propeller blades. As Lauren was rushed to the hospital, fighting for her life, the world watched in shock and horror. Several major surgeries and thousands of prayers later, Lauren was still alive. But she had suffered brain trauma and lost her left hand and left eye. Some thought that this would be the end of everything for her, a beautiful young woman working in an industry focused completely on appearance. They were wrong. In Still LoLo, Lauren reveals what really happened that night, how she survived against all odds, and what her life is like today. Through her story, Lauren calls us all to live a life without fear and to overcome whatever challenges threaten to limit us. It is a compelling and fiercely beautiful account of faith, determination, and staying true to who you are---no matter what.  

Stronger, by Jeff Bauman with Bret Witter.
When Jeff Bauman woke up in the Boston Medical Center on Tuesday, April 16, 2013, groggy from a series of lifesaving surgeries and missing his legs, the first thing he did was rip out his breathing tube to try to speak. When he realized he couldn’t, he asked for a pad and paper and wrote down seven words: “Saw the guy. Looked right at me,” setting off one of the biggest manhunts in the country’s history. Just thirty hours before, Jeff had been at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon cheering on his girlfriend, Erin, when the first bomb went off at his feet. Up until that marathon, Jeff had been a normal twenty-seven-year-old guy, looking forward to moving in with Erin and starting the next phase of their lives together. But when his life was turned upside down in ways he could never have fathomed, Jeff did not give up. Instead he faced his new circumstances with grace, humor and a sense of purpose, and he was determined, no matter what, to walk again. In Stronger, Jeff describes the FBI investigation, his grueling rehabilitation, his guilt, frustration, compassion, and the courage of his fellow survivors. Jeff’s story is not just his, but ours as well. It proves that the terrorists accomplished nothing with their act of cowardice and shows the entire world what Boston Strong really means. 

Finding Me, A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed, by Michelle Knight with Michelle Burford.
Michelle Knight was kidnapped in 2002 by a Cleveland school bus driver. For more than a decade afterward she endured unimaginable torture at the hand of her abductor. In 2003 another young lady joined her in captivity, followed by still another in 2004. Their escape on May 6, 2013, made headlines around the world. What really happened in that house, and how did Michelle find the strength to go on? Michelle was estranged from her family and fighting for custody of her young son when she disappeared. Local police believed she had run away, so they removed her from the missing persons lists fifteen months after she vanished. Her abductor tormented her with these facts, reminding her that no one was looking for her, that the outside world had forgotten her. But Michelle would not be broken. Heartbreaking, shocking, and ultimately triumphant, Finding Me reveals the details of Michelle’s story. In sharing both her past and her efforts to create a future, Michelle becomes a voice for the voiceless and a powerful symbol of hope for the thousands of children and young adults who go missing every year.  

The Promise: A Tragic Accident, A Paralyzed Bride, and the Power of Love, Loyalty, and Friendship, by Rachelle Friedman.
Just weeks before her wedding, four of Rachelle’s friends threw her a bachelorette party. At the end of a perfect evening of dancing and celebration, they decided to take a moonlight swim. One of her friends playfully pushed her into the water. Rachelle broke her neck, and she was paralyzed from the chest down. Two feet to the right, and she would have been in the deep end. Two feet to the right, and she would still be walking. Two feet changed the course of her life forever. That’s it: two feet. The Promise is a powerful memoir of resilience, love and loyalty. It is also about the relationship with her fiance, their struggle with her paralysis and rehab, the physical challenges of intimacy, and ultimately, their fairy-tale wedding. It’s the story of true integrity, and also about finding the incredible strength inside each of us we never knew we had.

My Story, by Elizabeth Smart with Chris Stewart.
On June 5, 2002, fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart, the daughter of a close-knit Mormon family, was taken from her home in the middle of the night by religious fanatic Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee. She was kept chained, dressed in disguise, repeatedly raped, and told she and her family would be killed if she tried to escape. After her rescue on March 12, 2003, she rejoined her family and worked to pick up the pieces of her life. Now for the first time, she tells of the constant fear she endured every hour, her courageous determination to maintain hope, and how she devised a plan to manipulate her captors and convinced them to return to Utah, where she was rescued minutes after arriving. Smart explains how her faith helped her stay sane in the midst of a nightmare and how she found the strength to confront her captors at their trial and see that justice was served. In the ten years after her rescue, Smart transformed herself from victim to advocate, traveling the country and working to educate, inspire, and foster change. She has created a foundation to help prevent crimes against children and is a frequent public speaker.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

New books for children and teens

There have been a lot of great new books hitting the shelves in the kid and teen areas this month. Here are a few that caught my eye. To stay up-to-date on everything happening for youth at the Peter White Public Library, Like our new Youth Services Facebook page!
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney
Jeff Kinney returns to the hilarious, beloved world of young Greg Heffley in this 9th installment of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid. This book is full of laugh-out-loud moments as the Heffley family packs up for a family road trip-one without a destination (or electronics!) The adventure never stops as they encounter an aggressive seagull, win a piglet at the fair and more! Fans of the series will be clamoring for this book (and maybe hoping for a summer just as exciting!)

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Dreidel by Caryn Yacowitz
Hanukkah is approaching-so why not take a look at the holiday through the eyes (or stomach) of the Old Lady! In this imaginative take on the classic Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly,  a family goes to visit their bubbe, who mistakes a dreidel for a bagel. You can guess at what follows! This is a great read for anyone looking to learn more about Hanukkah customs, as well as anyone who remembers the classic story and wants some new laughs as the Old Lady swallows more than she can handle.
Race from A to Z by Jon Scieszka
This is the perfect book for those who LOVE trucks! In this new ABC book, the trucks are racing from A-Z, abound with crashes, blunders and a surprise winner. With bright illustrations, and lots of sound effects this is the perfect read-aloud for your little truck lover- get ready for your ABC’s because this is guaranteed to be a book that will be requested for repeat reads!

Spider Sandwiches by Claire Freedman
Parents of children who will eat ANYTHING except what’s good for them will be able to relate to this adorable little monster! The bright illustrations will keep any child’s attention, while the crazy food combinations (and mild grossness) will have them giggling right up to the end! Another book that requires more than one read!

Clariel by Garth Nix
Garth Nix returns to the Old Kingdom with his newest Abhorsen book! Highly recommended for those who have read the other three books set in the Old Kingdom (Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen), Nix writes about a time 600 years prior to the events of his original trilogy. He again shows his mastery at writing phenomenal characters and creating a breathtaking world where magic and the “real” world do not mix, and shows what happens when good intentions combined with the wrong kind of magic results in consequences that span the centuries. If you love fantasy, give his works a try, you will not regret it.

Guys Read: True Stories edited by Jon Scieszka
This is the 5th book of the ever popular Guys Read series. High-interest, short stories make these books perfect for reluctant readers- and when those stories are about wrestling with grizzly bears, spending the night in the jungle with tarantulas or going to the dentist in Egypt, they are certain to keep your young reader interested right up to the end.

The Eye of Zoltar by Jasper Fforde
In this 3rd book of the Chronicles of Kazam, 16-year old Jennifer Strange has already done, and survived, an awful lot. She has stopped a war, stood up to a king, saved some dragons-all while wrangling the quarrelsome magicians at Kazam Mystical Arts Management. Her adventures continue when she must find the Eye of Zoltar, a quest that sends her deep into the heart of the Cambrain Empire-a place that capitalizes on dangerous tourism with a 50% survival rate. Recommend for those who love a strong, adventurous heroine, with a bit of magic thrown in. Reading of the first 2 books in the series first highly suggested (The Last Dragon Slayer & The Song of the Quarkbeast).
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: 75th Anniversary Edition by Robert L. May
As the holiday season approaches, how about an old classic? In this beautiful 75th anniversary edition, you can introduce your children to the classic tale of Rudolph while enjoying some gorgeous new illustrations.

The Ghosts Go Haunting by Helen Ketteman
Halloween might be over, but this book is so adorable you won’t care! Set to the tune of The Ants go Marching, you count up to 12 as ghosts, spiders, bats, zombies, witches and other critter invade the school, sending teachers out the door and librarians up the tree in fright! But maybe it’s not so scary….the surprise ending leaves everyone having fun!

Triangles by David A. Adler
Adler explores geometry in this brightly illustrated book.  With the help of two kids and a robot, you will learn about all different kinds of triangles, the angles which make each up and how to identify them-as well as how to make a robot of your very own, all out of triangles! A fun introduction to triangles, well-worth your time.

--Sarah Rehborg, Youth Services Librarian

Monday, December 1, 2014

Dog Tales

The Dog Park in Marquette is open for the season. Located at Tourist Park, area dogs sniff, chase, and make lots of friends while their responsible person exercises, meets neighbors, and shares laughs at their pet’s antics. Permits are required and are available in the City Clerk’s office (228-0430). If you love dogs, you probably never tire of dog things. Here are a few books and a movie, to read, listen to or watch while your dog sleeps, tired out after playing at the park.

An Unexpected Grace by Kristin Von Kreisler tells the story of Lila Elliot who survived a shooting in her workplace that took the lives of several of her colleagues. A friend asks her to care for Grace, a rescued golden retriever. As Lila teaches Grace to trust, Grace pushes Lila to reach for the courage to do the same.

To help dog owners better understand their pet’s behaviors, experts from the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists examine common problems and offer suggestions on how they can be prevented or treated. The science-based essays in Decoding Your Dog give advice on choosing the best dog for your family, how dogs learn, socialization, housetraining, diet, exercise, kids and dogs, and other topics. They offer remedies for behavioral problems such as OCD, aggression, separation anxiety, sound phobias and others. Their goal is to help owners train their dogs to be happy, healthy, and obedient companions.

Mary Oliver, a National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winning poet, gives us Dog Songs, a collection of new and selected poems that tell of her companionship with several dogs she has loved over the years. Both sad and joyous, these poems are a testament to the strength and depth of the bond we feel for our dogs.

In Mo Hayder’s Wolf, a wandering dog is found with the message "Help Us" attached to his collar. Walking
Man, a recurrent character in Hayder’s thrillers, offers a trade with Detective Inspector Jack Caffery. In return for investigating who needs help, the Walking Man will provide information about Caffery’s older brother, Ewan, who disappeared at age nine, kidnapped by a pedophile ring. In this complex home invasion tale, storylines lead from the old murder, from the present, as the Anchor-Ferrers are held captive and tortured in their country home, and from the mind of Caffery, our angst-driven hero, as he searches out his own demons.

Mr. Peabody, inventor, scientist, Olympic medalist and genius, and his adopted boy Sherman, travel back in time to experience world-changing events and meet some of their favorite characters of all time. When Sherman breaks the rules of time travel, they find themselves in a race to repair history. Check out Mr. Peabody and Sherman, available in both DVD and Blu-Ray, to find out how they save the future.

Jeff Miller loves dogs. He and his partner Dean, with their dogs, left a corporate lifestyle in London to purchase West’s Dairy in Hayward, WI in 2005. They also bought and remodeled the McCormick House, located a few blocks from the dairy, which they turned into a B&B. Readers of Scoop: Notes from a Small Ice Cream Shop discover how much work, decision making, new ice cream flavors and fun it took to make a go of the dairy their first year. We meet some of the colorful characters who helped the young men feel at home in this small town in the north woods. My family stopped at West’s Dairy on our way through Hayward last month. Yes, the ice cream is delicious and the staff welcoming and talkative.

In Paw and Order, Spenser Quinn’s seventh Chet and Bernie mystery, partners Chet (dog) and Bernie (human) drive to Washington, D.C. to visit Bernie’s longtime love Suzie, a reporter for the Washington Post. Along the way, the pair takes possession of a pink-handled pistol. Bernie jumps to the wrong conclusion when he sees Eben St. John leaving Suzie’s home when they arrive. When Eben is found shot dead with the pink-handled pistol, Bernie is arrested then released. Chet and Bernie must investigate the murder without stepping on the toes of the police and, at the same time, avoid a shadowy government agent and a strange bird which Chet recognizes as a drone. Chet narrates this smart and funny mystery.

See you at the dog park.  I'll be with Sophie and Tillie (when we’re not busy reading one of these dog-gone good books).

--Cathy Seblonka (with assistance from Sophie and Tillie)
Collections and Reference Librarian