Monday, August 29, 2016

Historical Fiction

Dray, Stephanie and Laura Kamoie.  America’s First Daughter.  2016.  As the eldest daughter of Thomas Jefferson, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph experienced the shaping of an American legacy.  The story unfolds around Patsy who became Jefferson’s helpmate, protector and constant companion due to her mother’s death, even traveling with her father when he became American Minister to France.  The interesting aspect of this novel is the narrative which comes from the daughter’s perspective, being her struggle to keep the promise she made to her mother on her death bed to always watch out for her father.  Jefferson’s daughter would become the mother of 10 children and continue to be the devoted daughter, mourning over a lost opportunity to be with the man she truly loved.  This story is a page turner, and you will not want to put it down once you are drawn into the history and characters woven into a strong narrative.

Kutsukake, Lynn.  Translation of Love.  2016.  This is a debut novel for Lynn Kutsukake and captivates the reader with intertwining stores of several characters in the post World War II Japan during the American occupation.  The story begins with Aya and her father, Japanese Americans facing a very difficult decision to move to the Rocky Mountains or return to Japan.   Choosing to go back to Japan, which is occupied by Americans, proves to be a very difficult transition for Aya and her father.  In school Aya is an outcast and struggles to learn how to speak Japanese.  Enter Fumi, a young girl assigned to translate for Aya, who draws her into an extensive search for her missing sister.  This novel allows for a deep read on resilience, friendship and love that can translate across cultures and borders. 

George, Margaret.  The Memoirs of Cleopatra.  1997.  Margaret George is well known for her ability to incorporate historical figures to create fictional biographies.  This first person narrative tells the story of every triumph and failure of the Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra.  At 21 years of age Cleopatra seeks out the most powerful man in Rome, Julius Caesar, while her heart is pinning for Marc Anthony, a military hero.  Cleopatra and Marc unite and have three children.  George illustrates history thru a well-researched narrative which makes for interesting reading.  

Simons, Paullina.  The Bronze Horseman.  2009.  1st title in the Bronze Horseman Series. 
Called “a Russian Thorn Birds,, the Bonze Horseman is a sweeping saga of love and war that has been a bestseller all over the world.  The title is taken from a poem written by Alexander Pushkin in 1833. Taking place in St. Petersburg, Russia, a love story develops around the War of Leningrad.  Alexander is a fearless, brave and handsome soldier begins a relationship with  Tatiana, a petite optimistic young woman, and her sister who is also interested in Alexander. Upon meeting, sparks fly while their country goes to war with Germany. The reader will become caught up in the dialogue, telling a haunting tale of war.  Simons is a native Russian which allows her the ability to clearly articulate the relationships going on throughout the story.

-Diana Menhennick, Reference Department

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Know your antiques

Summertime often affords a chance to catch up with that often neglected spring cleaning chore. If you have been clearing out your attic and closets lately and found a forgotten treasure or scored that one of a kind item at a yard sale, Peter White Public Library can help with informative materials on antiques and collectibles. Don’t throw that treasured family heirloom away-find out what it is worth!

A new book in the library’s collection, Vintage Home: Using 20th Century Design in the Contemporary Home may help you look at your grandpa’s chair or that distinctive lamp you inherited from a distant cousin in a new light. Part collector’s guide, part style guide, this well illustrated volume can provide inspiration and information on how to fit that well designed, but quirky item, into your home décor and provide you with years of enjoyment. Author Judith Miller provides decade by decade ideas on how to recreate your personal space using pieces from the Art Deco era to the Space age. New non-fiction: 747 MI

The Kovels’ Antiques and Collectibles Price Guides can help you get a ball park idea of what that collectible that emerged from the attic is worth. Published annually and often considered the go-to resource for listings of recent sale prices of over 35,000 items, this book has listings by item type are accompanied by thousands of photographs to help narrow the search for your particular piece. The current year’s copy of Kovels’ is housed on the reference shelves on the upper level of the library to ensure access for all, while past issues are available to check out for 3 weeks to allow for further study at home. Find this book series in the adult non-fiction section under call number: 749 KO

On the main floor, the library’s periodicals section is another good place to find information on the latest in the world of antiques. PWPL subscribes to several titles including the magazine Antiques, which is published bimonthly and filled with news, interviews with experts, information on historic homes, museum tours, trade shows, exhibits and conventions for collectors of fine antique furniture, art, and collectibles. Treasures is another bimonthly publication at the library about collectibles that can be found in the periodicals section. This magazine covers information on pieces from vintage Art Deco to 60’s kitsch. The most current issues of magazines must remain in the library for access to all, but past issues can be checked out for two weeks.

If you cannot find the information you need in these resources, Peter White Public Library is hosting an Antique Appraisal Event with expert guest appraiser and author Mark F. Moran on September 22 and 23. Back by popular demand, Moran has been in the antiques field for over 30 years, is a former senior editor of Antiques & Collectibles books published by Krause Publications, a contributing editor to Antiques Trader magazine, author more than 25 books on the subject, including Warman’s Antiques & Collectibles, as well as a frequent guest appraiser on the PBS Antiques Roadshow.

Moran’s wealth of knowledge and engaging, personable style make his appraisal events such fun that the event sells out every time he visits Marquette. Tickets for a verbal item appraisal are only $15, with the proceeds benefiting the library. Tickets may be purchased at the library’s circulation desk on the main floor, with a limit of 3 items per person. You can schedule the time of your appraisal when you buy your tickets so there is no waiting in long lines. Viewers are welcome to watch the action at no charge. If your treasure is too large to bring into the building, Moran provides in home appraisals by appointment for a very reasonable charge per hour.

For more information on the Peter White Public Library’s Antique Appraisal event or resources within the library visit the website at or call 906-228-9510. Clean out that attic or hit this weekends’ garage sales to find your newest treasure. Mark Moran will help you uncover the background of the item and how much it is worth. Don’t miss out on the fun and help out the library at the same time!

Happy antiquing!

-Margaret Boyle, Programming Coordinator

Monday, August 8, 2016

Youth materials for summer enjoyment

The Summer Reading Program is in full swing here at Peter White Public Library. We have met many enthusiastic readers this summer and are excited to share book recommendations. With two weeks left before Summer Reading wraps up, the new section in Youth Services offers some hot new reads, music, and audiobooks for the beach, your final summer vacations or just lazing around at home. Grab Goo on My Shoe by Here Comes Trouble or Saddle Up by the Okee Dokee Brothers to enjoy some music on your next road trip, along with these books, audiobook and cd.

Just in time for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, Brazil, Nadia: The Girl Who Just Couldn’t Sit Still by Karlin Gray, is the autobigroaphy of Nadia Comaneci of Romania.  Comaneci is the youngest Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics. She was 14 years old when she earned 7 perfect tens in competition, winning  three gold, one silver and one bronze medal at the Montreal Summer Games in 1976. In this joyful telling of her childhood, early competition and the Olympic games, Gray storytelling entertains readers with this intriguing story. Illustrator Christine Davenier captures the motion of Nadia’s flips, twists and routines. This story is great for aspiring gymnasts and readers with little knowledge of the sport.

Lovers of Percy Jackson and the Heroes of Olympus will love the first in Riordan’s newest “Trials of Apollo” series The Hidden Oracle. PWPL owns both the book and audiobook. Zeus has thrown his son Apollo out of Olympus. He awakens in New York City as a 16 year old boy named Lester Papadopoulus. He hopes that the demi-gods at camp half-blood will give him shelter from monsters and foes who seek to destroy him in his mortal state. A pint-sized, twelve- year-old street urchin claims his service and the pair work together to get Apollo reinstated at Olympus, help solve why the Oracle of Delphi has gone silent and find answers to the strange disappearances of demi-gods from the camp. Riordan introduces readers to some new Roman villains, promising a nail-biting series that will thoroughly satisfy his audience.

Spokane-Coeur d'Alene writer, Sherman Alexie Jr. returns to his roots in his first picture book Thunderboy Jr. Alexie was named after his father, Sherman Joseph Alexie, like his character, Thunder Boy Smith. And Thunder Boy does not like it. Or his nickname: Little Thunder. He hates his name. He loves his Dad but wants to be himself. Caldecott Honor Illustrator Yuyi Morales uses bright, bold colors that show Thunder Boy’s desire to be an original, something reader’s young and old alike can appreciate.

Twelve year old Dasha is navigating tweendom in A Year Without Mom an autobiography by Dasha Tolstikova., Dasha’s mother leaves Moscow, Russia for America to pursue a Masters in advertising. While she’s gone Dasha lives with her grandparents, goes to school and paints for fun. The smattering of color in the black and white graphic novel, highlights the embarrassing, exhilarating and confusing moments that happen to Tolstikova. The author briefly touches on the attempted Coup D’état in Moscow in 1991, as well as a first love and her mother’s return to take her back to America. With an interesting glimpse at the life of a Russian girl in the 1990’s, this book can be read through in one sitting.

Ada’s Violin by Susan Hood is a story of pure magic. When there weren’t enough instruments for children of a garbage dump neighborhood Cateura, Paraguay to play, a carpenter used recycled materials to make cellos, flutes, guitars and violins. Young Ada Rios chose to play a violin made of an old paint can, an aluminum baking tray, a fork, and pieces of wooden crates. Over time Ada and her peers learned how to play their recycled instruments, turning into The Recycled Orchestra. The band inspired the trash pickers, then their city, other audiences in Paraguay, then the world. Orchestra Director Favio Chavez said, “Buried in the trash was music.” Beautiful. This book will inspire audiences to appreciate and play music.

If you are looking for new music, Grammy Award Winners Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer have a great new cd called Dancin’ in the Kitchen: Songs for All Families. From Cajun to Polka, Irish and Bluegrass, this cd will keep your toes tapping song after song. “Howdy Little Newlycome” is great for the new baby in your life and “Happy Adoption Day” is a great celebration song for new family members too!

--Jeni Kilpela, Youth Services