New & Notable Materials
The following are weekly articles compiled for The Mining Journal by PWPL Staff. These articles highlight only some of the new, or newer, materials--both adult and juvenile, that have been added to our collection. Please stop in to look at additional new items.  


December 29, 2012--- Beat the Odds
December 22, 2012--- Christmas Movies
December 15, 2012--- Christmas Stories
December 8, 2012--- Teen Picks
December 1, 2012--- Winter Stories
November 17, 2012--- CD & E-books
November 10, 2012--- Historical Fiction
November 3, 2012--- Historical Non-fiction
October 27, 2012--- Life Stories
October 20, 2012--- Family History
October 13, 2012--- Fantastic Non-fiction
October 6, 2012--- Novels for Juv.& Teens
September 29, 2012--- Best of Calvin Trillin
September 22, 2012--- Yarn
September 15, 2012--- OBOC Russia
September 8, 2012--- Non-fiction Nuggets
September 1, 2012--- Antiques
August 25, 2012--- Beach Reads
August 18, 2012--- Wolves
August 11, 2012--- Newest Non-fiction
August 4, 2012--- More Mysteries
July 28, 2012--- Great Non-fiction
July 21, 2012--- MI Mysteries
July 14, 2012--- Weekend Reads
July 7, 2012--- The Universe
June 30, 2012--- More Book Tour
June 23, 2012--- GLGB for Grades 4-5
June 16, 2012--- Best of Donald Hall
June 9, 2012--- Over in the Meadow
June 2, 2012--- Books on CD
May 19, 2012--- Mental Health
May 12, 2012--- Dream Big
May 5, 2012--- Cookbooks
April 28, 2012--- Author Marissa Moss
April 21, 2012--- Old Favorites
April 14, 2912--- New DVDs
April 7, 2012--- Spring Picks
March 31, 2012--- Memoirs
March 24, 2012--- A Bit of the Irish
March 17, 2012--- Newest in Fiction
March 10, 2012--- New Non-Fiction
March 3, 2012--- Biographies
February 25, 2012--- Great Books for Grades 6-8
February 18, 2012--- Newest in Fantasy
February 4, 2012--- Award Winning Books
January 21, 2012--- Great New Books
January 14, 2012--- New Fiction


December 22, 2012
Christmas Movies

The hustle and bustle of the holidays leaves many of us looking for some way to wind down and appreciate the season.  The Peter White Public Library DVD collection has a variety of films that bring out the spirit of the holidays.

Liam Neeson narrates the story of The Birth of Christ.  This inspirational program brings the Christmas story to life through music and the words of Luke’s Nativity.  Recorded in Ireland, this production brings together a chorus of Catholic and Protestant singers who raise their voice in unity and peace.  Running time for this film is 85 minutes.

For 75 years the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes have entertained crowds with a special holiday spectacular.  Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes captures one of the special holiday shows on film.  Watch as Santa flies through the city, visit a living nativity scene and watch talented dancers kick their way through amazing dances for 80 minutes.

The 12 Dogs of Christmas
is family entertainment of the best kind.  When Emma O’Connor is sent to live with her aunt in the small town of Doverville, she finds herself in the midst of a “dog fight” with the town’s mayor.  In order to stike down the community’s no-dog law, Emma and her friends must win over the town with a holiday pageant featuring, what else-dogs.

Henry Winkler, Brooke Burns and Warren Christie star in The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.  Winkler brings fellow passenger from an ill-fated Christmas flight to spend  Christmas with his niece, who has lost the holiday spirit.  Perhaps the holidays still have some magic for Burns and her six-year-old son in this 86 minute film.

Christmas Child
by Max Lucado follows Jack, a journalist, to Dallas where a mysterious photograph leads him to the small town of Clearwater, Texas.  It is here he finds a life-sized and intricately carved nativity that changes his life. 

No holiday is complete without a showing of Dr. Seuss’ classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  The PWPL has several versions of this holiday classic.  The feature film starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch is filled with special effects, scenery and narration by Anthony Hopkins, this film will delight even those with hearts two sizes too small.

Rob Lowe and Kimberly Williams star in The Christmas Shoes.  This film is based on the best-selling song by Christian group NewSong and book of the same name.  Lowe is a powerful attorney who has forgotten the meaning of Christmas until a chance meeting with a ten-year old boy buying a special gift for his mother shows him how important it is to cherish loved ones.

The Hallmark channel has adapted Debbie Macomber’s Call me Mrs. Miracle into a film starring Doris Roberts.  Posing as an unassuming toy department clerk, she sets out to make sure that the meaning of Christmas is found by all.

Baby Einstein DVDs enrich, stimulate and educate babies and toddlers.  They have not forgotten Christmas, and Baby Santa’s Music Box brings together the bright lights, ornaments, sleigh bells, toys, winter scenes and jolly Santas for the younger set.  This 30 minute film will entertain and provide opportunities for interaction related to the holidays.

Children and adults will enjoy heart-warming stories and illustrations in the collection The Night Before Christmas by Scholastic Video.  This 60 minute collection includes The Night Before Christmas, Max’s Christmas, Morris’s Disappearing Bag, Clown of God and Too Many Tamales and Owl Moon.  These classics will make the holidays bright.

Truman Copote’s A Christmas Memory
stars Patty Duke, Piper Laurie, Jeffery Demunn and Eric Lloyd.  This tale follows seven-year old Buddy as he is sent to a new home with distant relatives.  There are no other children his ages, and he becomes friends with an older resident of the town played by Duke. The two have one exciting adventure after another and Buddy finds that friendship is the greatest gift of all.

by Margaret boyle, Programming Coordinator

December 15, 2012
Children's Christmas Stories

You may remember holiday classic stories such as, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” that still delight audiences young and old.  This year you can find brand new stories, along with traditional favorites, in the Holiday Books section of the Children’s area.

 After a dozen dinosaur books that show preschoolers how to count to ten, eat their food, and go to school, Jane Yolen and Mark Teague have teamed up again to figure out, “How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas?” This colorful book continues the pattern of metered rhymes listing undesirable behaviors, followed by the things children(oops!) dinosaurs can do to achieve a Merry Christmas.  The illustrations spread out across two pages and cleverly show the personality of each dinosaur. 

“Pete the Cat Saves Christmas” by Eric Litwin is a rewriting of “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Moore.  The illustrator, James Dean, introduces the character of Pete the Cat who is called upon to deliver presents because Santa Cat has a very bad cold. Pete is a cool cat with a good attitude and is often heard repeating his mantra, “…at Christmas we give, so I’ll give it my all.”  Pete the Cat is the star of many other books and has his own website at

  “The Christmas Quiet Book” by Deborah Underwood is a holiday extension of “The Quiet Book” and “The Loud Book,” all picturing occasions where quiet or loud activities take place.  The text is minimal, such as being “cocoa quiet,” “reading by the fire quiet,” and “listening for sleigh bells quiet.”  You could use your imagination to picture these phrases, but you don’t have to because the soft and fuzzy illustrations by Renata Liwska show each Christmas scenario perfectly.

“Santa from Cincinnati” by Judi Barrett is a very interesting back story about how Santa Claus grew up and came to live at the North Pole.  In this modern retelling, Santa was born in Cincinnati, went to college in the snowy north, where he met the future Mrs. Claus, and fulfilled his destiny to make toys for children everywhere.  The vivid illustrations by Kevin Hawkes complement the story and add fun elements such as collages of family photos that enhance Santa’s reputation for a jolly personality.  This book is pure enjoyment! 

“Together at Christmas” by Eileen Spinelli is a roughly metered poem about ten mice trying to find shelter in a winter storm.  Counting down from ten, each mouse finds shelter, until one finds a big hollow log where they can all be together again.  The glorious illustrations by Bin Lee highlight forest plant life in a blanket of snow, making an inviting background for ten adorable mice.  

“Who built the Stable: A Nativity Poem” by Ashley Bryan puts a new spin on the story of the birth of Jesus.  Along with the traditional storyline, she interjects questions about what it must have been like for a traveling carpenter and his wife to find a place for their baby to be born. Bryan’s framed illustrations are painted in acrylic with bold outlines and bright colors. The text can be found in the same location on each page, making it easy for beginning readers to follow along.

“Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Christmas” by Melanie Watt is an eight chapter handbook on Christmas and how to get through the holidays safely and germ free.  This Safety Guide for Scaredies features lists of things to do before Christmas, including finger stretches to prepare for holiday crafting and cleaning your ears to listen for sugarplum fairies.  Scaredy Squirrel has instructions for building a sturdy Gingerbread House “to code,” setting a hygienic dessert table, and checking Santa’s reindeer flight plan.  Don’t forget to bring hand wipes to the party.  This is a great addition to the other Scaredy Squirrel books in our collection. Read them all!

by Lynette Suckow, Website Services

December 8, 2012
Teen Picks

Twilight fans are mourning the end of their beloved series on the big screen and Hunger Games lovers are eagerly anticipating the next installment of the trilogy.  Naturally, filmmakers are turning to Young Adult fiction in a big way to find the next blockbuster hit.  But, you know the old saying, “the book was better”.  Check out these YA fiction reads before they hit the theater in years to come and see if this holds true.

The Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth will interest Hunger Games fans.  In dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue. In a plot point familiar to “Games” readers, once a year, every sixteen-year-old must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. Beatrice Prior must choose between staying with her family and being who she really is.  She makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. A highly competitive initiation follows and she struggles to determine who her friends really are, and where romance fits into her new life. But she also has a secret that can mean death and a growing conflict threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society.

If dystopian romance is your thing, download the audiobook Matched by Ally Condie from PWPL’s Overdrive collection to your listening device.  Cassia has always followed the autocratic Society without question. When Xander's face is displayed on the screen at the Matching ceremony, she knows they are the perfect mates. However, Ky Markham's face also flashed on the screen, if only briefly. Although the Society claims it was a glitch and Cassia knows she is to be with Xander, she cannot stop thinking about Ky.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer, the natural next read for Twilight fans, will arrive in theaters soon.  The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.  An invading "soul", who has been given Melanie's body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human.  But there is one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Book One of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare will hit the big screen next summer.  When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder—much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing—not even a smear of blood—to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?  This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons.  Clary is pulled into their world with a vengeance.

The Fault in our Stars by John Green takes us away from the dystopian genre and into more emotional territory  about sickness and health, life and death. Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs.  Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too - post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy – until she meets Augustus Waters, a match, made at cancer kid support group.
by Heather Steltenpohl, Development Fund

December 1, 2012
Winter Stories

Snow days, whipping winds, time to grab a good book and stay in…side that is. If you’re looking for a cozy read, here are a few juvenile books you might want to grab, along with a blanket and cocoa.

A Warm Winter Tail by Marquette author Carrie Pearson offers a delightful new twist on how animals stay warm in the wintertime.  When baby animals ask their mothers how human’s stay warm in the wintertime, their youthful naivety  expects that human kids do it the same way they do, like a fox using its tail to wrap up on cold nights.  So it is that the “human” reader learns how animals keep warm, in an informative and fun way. The rhyming text gives the story rhythm and makes it easy for beginning readers to tackle.

Did you know, Winter is the Warmest Season? For some, the season draws thoughts of snow, ice and playing outside. For others, including author Lauren Stringer offers a “glass-half-full” approach to wintertime fun.  She highlights the warmth of winter clothes, winter foods and winter blankets through the eyes of a young boy. The warm reds, oranges, yellows and greens splashed throughout the illustrations bring the message to life, as the cold outside is banished by the warmth inside.

            In No Two Alike by Keith Baker, New York Times Bestseller of “LMNO Peas”, two birds explore the forest, discovering that everything, including nests, trees, homes and friends are unique.  Baker’s charming illustrations capture the birds playful spirit and offer a soft glimpse of several woodland creatures in the winter time. 

            Busy tails and clever contraptions set the stage for Adam Rubin’s Those Darn Squirrels.  Old Man Fookwire, who doesn’t like pie, puppies or anything but birds, is old and grumpy.  When the birds fly south for the winter, he devises a system to keep the squirrels out of his feeders.  But the squirrels, some of the cleverest creatures of the woodland animals rise to the challenge, launching themselves toward seed victory.  Then, realizing how lonely the old man becomes without his birds, they offer gifts of friendship that only these geniuses could pull off.

            Mouse and Mole, A Winter Wonderland by Wong Herbert Yee is the tale of two friends on a snowy day. Mouse gets dressed to enjoy the day, but Mole wants to stay in bed and hopes the cold goes away. So Mouse sets off alone, enjoying winter play by himself. Both soon realize how lonely they are for their friend, concluding that it’s more fun to enjoy the winter wonderland with a friend than by yourself.

In Mr. and Mrs. Bunny- Detectives Extraordinaire by Mrs. Bunny, translated from the Rabbit by Polly Horvath, two country rabbits longing to live in the big city move to Rabbitville.  On Hornby Island, Vancouver, Madeline’s parents are missing. Madeline thinks she saw a fox speeding in a car away from her house.  When her code-deciphering uncle falls into a coma, she turns to Mr. and Mrs. Bunny to help her solve the mystery, which includes a file card covered in code. The trio take on sly foxes, a wily marmot named The Marmot and the dreaded Bunny Council to try and solve the disappearance. These extremely humorous characters are so enjoyable, I hope Polly Horvath translates another books soon.

by Jenifer Kilpela, Youth Services Desk

November 10, 2012
Historial Fiction

Historical fiction allows readers to go back in time and experience places, people and events that have shaped history.  the library has acquired new titles in this particular genre that are interesting and enticing.

The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian is a fascinating tale traveling between Bronxville, New York in 2012 to aleppo, Syria in 1915.  In this novel, a fictional American woman missionary, Elizabeth, comes to the aid of the people and falls in love with an Armenian man, Armen, whose family was part of the death marches out of Turkey into Syria.  Years later, her American granddaughter, Laura Petrosian, researches her family history and crafts a moving story which is a tribute to all those who had died.

The House at Tyneford
by Natasha Solomon is an irresistible World War II story of a forbidden upstairs-downstairs romance in a great English country house.  It's the spring of 1938 and no longer safe to be a Jew in Vienna.  So, nineteen-year-old Elise Landau’s parents force her to leave her glittering life of parties and champagne to become a parlor maid in England. She arrives at Tyneford, the great house on the bay, where servants polish silver and serve drinks on the lawn. But war is coming soon, and the world is changing. When the master of Tyneford's young son, Kit, returns home, he and Elise strike up an unlikely friendship that transforms Tyneford--and Elise.

The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman centers around Tom and Isabel Sherbourne, who maintain the lighthouse on a remote Western Australian island in 1926. One day a boat washes onshore, carrying a dead man and a crying baby, no older than two or three months. The Sherbournes, still reeling from two miscarriages and the stillbirth of a son just two weeks prior to the event, decide not to report the incident, instead burying the man and raising the child as their own.  Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them. And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss.

 Written in verse, The Watch that Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic by Allan Wolf is the story of the Titanic from its launch to its sinking, told in twenty four different voices, including those of third class passengers, first class passengers, crew, and even the iceberg. We learn of the hopes of young third class teens, the desperation of a second class father, the con artist in first class, the valiant musicians, and the new Marconi wireman, plus many more; with the exception of only one, all were real passengers aboard the ship, and all were changed forever when destiny met a waiting iceberg sitting in the dark of the ocean.  Creative and captivating, Mr. Wolf keeps the action steady in the stories of the passengers who race toward a struggle with life and death.

Winter of the World by Ken Follett picks up right where the first book (Fall of Giants) left off, as its five interrelated families—American, German, Russian, English, Welsh—enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil.  The story begins with the rise of the Third Reich, then proceeds through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs.  Carla von Ulrich, born of German and English parents, finds her life engulfed by the Nazi tide until she commits a deed of great courage and heartbreak. American brothers Woody and Chuck Dewar, each with a secret, take separate paths to momentous events, one in Washington, the other in the bloody jungles of the Pacific.  English student Lloyd Williams discovers in the crucible of the Spanish Civil War that he must fight Communism just as hard as Fascism. Daisy Peshkov, a driven American social climber, cares only for popularity and the fast set, until the war transforms her life, not just once but twice, while her cousin Volodya carves out a position in Soviet intelligence that will affect not only this war—but the war to come. 

City of Women by David R. Gillham begins in 1943—the high point of the Second World War—and Berlin has basically become a city of women.  Sigrid Schröder is, for all intents and purposes, the model German soldier’s wife.   She goes to work every day, does as much with her rations as she can, and dutifully cares for her mother-in-law, all the while ignoring the horrific immoralities of the regime. But behind this façade is an entirely different Sigrid, a woman who dreams of her former lover, a Jew, now lost in the chaos of the war. But Sigrid is not the only one with secrets.  A high ranking SS officer and his family move down the hall and Sigrid begins involving herself in their lives. A young woman doing her duty-year is out of excuses before Sigrid can even ask her any questions. And then there’s the blind man selling pencils on the corner, whose eyes Sigrid can feel following her from behind the darkness of his goggles.  Soon Sigrid is caught up in a world she knew nothing about. As her eyes open to the reality around her, the carefully constructed fortress of solitude she has built over the years begins to collapse. She has to choose to act on what is right and what is wrong, and what falls somewhere in the shadows between the two.

by Amy Becker, Technical Services Librarian
November 3, 2012
Historic Non-fiction
There is nothing more nourishing to feed one’s soul as a good book that allows you to expand your mind or travel to another era.  Below are some great historical reads from the Michigan history collection. 

Beyond the Boundaries This story provides a great  overview on the history of Keweenaw during the development of copper mining in Michigan's U.P and offers a glimpse into workplace traditions during the industrialization.  Michigan Non-Fiction 338.7622 La 

Blue Collar Aristocracy by Leevi Etelamaki.  The author’s goal was to write a biographical sketch of his account concerning life in the mining camp along the Marquette Iron Range.  Raised in Negaunee, Etelamaki came from a mining family and describes the hardworking miners who enjoyed the simple things in life like swimming in the Prince Mine caves.  MI Non-Fiction 977.496 

Cradle to Grave by Larry Lankton. Concentrating on technology, economics, labor and social history, Cradle to Grave documents the full life cycle of one of America's great mineral ranges from the 1840s to the 1960s. Lankton examines the workers' world underground, but is equally concerned with the mining communities on the surface. For the first fifty years of development, these mining communities remained remarkably harmonious; even while new, large companies obliterated traditional forms of organization and work within the industry.  Michigan Non-Fiction 338.2 La 

Deadly Voyage: The S.S. Daniel J. Morrell Tragedy by Andrew Kantar.  In Deadly Voyage, Andrew Kantar recounts this tale of tragedy and triumph on Lake Huron. The breaking apart of the Daniel J. Morrell along with Dennis Hale’s remarkable survival account from a life raft on a storm that raged Lake Huron provides one of the most compelling shipwreck stories ever.   Michigan Non-Fiction 917.7404 Ka 

Deckhand: Life on Freighters of the Great Lakes by Mickey Haydamacker.  Mickey Haydamacker’s career began as a young deckhand working on freighters of the Great Lakes in the early 1960s. He sailed five Interlake Steamship Company boats, from the modern Elton Hoyt II to the ancient coal-powered Colonel James Pickands with its backbreaking tarp-covered hatches.  Deckhand chronicles the adventures of living on the lakes from the seldom-seen view of a deckhand.  Michigan Non-Fiction 386.544 Ha

Hollowed Ground:  Copper Mining and Community Building on Lake Superior, 1840’s-1990’s by Larry Lankton.   Lankton examines the region's population and ethic mix, which was a direct result of the mining industry, and the companies' paternalistic involvement in community building. While this book covers the history of the entire Lake Superior mining industry, it particularly focuses on the three biggest, most important, and longest-lived copper mining companies: Calumet & Hecla, Copper Range, and Quincy.  Michigan Non-Fiction 977.499 La

In The Line of Duty Michigan’s Fallen Heroes by Isaiah McKinnon, PhD.  A veteran Police Chief from the Detroit Police Department, McKinnon wrote this book to ensure that those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in Michigan would not be forgotten.  Included in this edition are those who were killed in the line of duty from the Marquette City Police and Marquette County Sherriff’s Department. These stories are very touching.  Michigan Non-Fiction 364.3152 Mc

Lake Effect: A Deckhand's Journey on the Great Lakes Freighters by Richard Hill.  Lake Effect is a vivid and memorable account of life aboard the giant ore boats. Told in a light-hearted and entertaining narrative style, Hill shares his memories of working as a deckhand onboard Great Lakes ore freighters.  This narrative contains a number of crewmembers’ stories with colorful characters who shared Hill’s love of sailing.  Michigan Non-Fiction 386.6 Hi 

Preserve, protect and defend: An illustrated history of the Michigan State Police in the twentieth century by Phillip Schertzing.  To commemorate the  50th anniversary, Schertzing wrote a history of the Michigan State Police, highlighting men and women, both civilians and sworn officers of every rank and position, documenting their greatest achievements and sacrifices and well as the more mundane tasks and circumstances of their daily work and lives.  Non-Fiction 365.2 Sc

Shortcut:  The Seeberville Murders and the Dark Side of the American Dream by Steve Lehto.  In 1913, two immigrants were gunned down in broad daylight in the town of Seeberville, Michigan. This event marked the beginning of a long period of anti-union violence in the Keweenaw peninsula, and would culminate with the Italian Hall disaster. This book is the first to examine what really happened in Seeberville that day, and why the victims should not be forgotten. Michigan Non-Fiction 977.4993 Le

by Diana Menhennick, Reference Desk
October 13, 2012
Fantastic Non-fiction

The voice is all: the lonely victory of Jack Kerouac by Joyce Johnson
Johnson met Kerouac in 1957 on a blind date arranged by Alan Ginsburg. A young novelist in her own rite at the time, she takes the reader into Kerouac’s head, providing insight into his writing style, influences, and drive. Author of the previous work Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir.      New Non-Fiction 921 Kerouac

Visiting Tom: a man, a highway, and the road to roughneck grace by Michael Perry
Written by Perry as a tribute to his 82 year old neighbor in rural Wisconsin. Tom has occupied the same farmland since birth. The land was divided by a highway that was put through his front yard in 1965, and fueled his independent nature. Tom’s workshop is described by Perry as, “An antique store stocked by Rube Goldberg, curated by Hunter Thompson, and rearranged by a small earthquake.” To Perry, Tom is a reservoir of wisdom and stories to be shared.     New Non-Fiction 921 Hartwig

Argo: how the CIA and Hollywood pulled off the most audacious rescue in history by Antonio J. Mendez
Read the book, see the movie. Amid the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979, six Americans had managed to escape the US embassy and took refuge at the Canadian embassy. Mendez, a CIA officer, concocted a white-knuckle scheme to extract them from Iran.     New Non-Fiction 955.0542 Me

Fire in the ashes: twenty-five years among the poorest children in America by Jonathan KozolInsight into growing up poor is given by Kozol’s case-study. He has been following the lives of a group of kids who grew up in the Bronx. They have entered adulthood, and experienced various successes and setbacks. Kozol examines what factors influenced the kids for the better, and what they were able to do for themselves to improve their lives.                   New Non-Fiction 362.77 Ko

Law man: my story of robbing banks, winning supreme court cases, and finding redemption by Shon Hopwood
By age 23, Shon Hopwood had grown up in a good Nebraskan family, and served in the US Navy. However, he had also found himself adrift with little prospect for work, and robbed five banks. Fortunately, as the title suggests, his story does not end there.     New Non-Fiction 921 Hopwood

Concussions and our kids: America's leading expert on how to protect young athletes and keep sports safe by Dr. Robert C. Cantu
Written for coaches and parents of young athletes. Contains background information on concussions, how to properly treat them, a discussion about sports, some of the myths surrounding concussions, and ways to prevent the injury.     New Non-Fiction 617.1027 Ca

by Bruce MacDonald, Circulation Librarian
October 6, 2012
Novels for Juv. & Teens

In the mood for humor or murder or both? Try these new novels found in the Children’s Room or the Teen Area of the library.

A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle is a tender and humorous story of familial love across four generations. What marks the story as especially quirky is that the oldest member of the quartet is a ghost. Tansey died of the flu when her daughter Emer was only three. She lingered nearby to ensure young Emer's safety. Now elderly, Emer is in the hospital and dying. Emer, her daughter Scarlett, and her granddaughter Mary are all afraid of letting go. Tansey arrives to help smooth the transition for everyone, but especially for Emer. The foursome's midnight road trip to the old family farm and a seaside resort provides enough laughter and support for all the necessary good-byes.

Rebecca Stead won the Newbery Medal for When You Reach Me. Her new book, Liar & Spy, is just as winning and very funny. Seventh grader Georges (the S is silent) and his parents sell their house and move into a Brooklyn apartment when his dad loses his job. His mother, an ICU nurse, starts working double shifts to help out financially. Georges attends a Spy Club meeting in the basement and makes friends with Safer and his sister Candy (who named themselves) and live upstairs. Georges’ first assignment is to track Mr. X who wears only black, doesn’t speak and carries large suitcases in and out of his apartment. Questions about who lies, who spies, who plays games and who will fail the seventh grade taste test of destiny are answered in a surprising and satisfying conclusion.

In Three Times Lucky we meet Mo (short for Moses) LoBeau, a brave, fast thinking, and  natural born detective. Washed ashore in Tupelo Landing, North Carolina during a hurricane, she was rescued by the Colonel, car crash survivor and profound hater of lawyers. Both were taken in by Miss Lana, the town café’s hostess, who serves up large helpings of love in Hollywood style (including the wigs). When trouble drives into Tupelo, the café's crankiest customer is murdered and Mo's best friend becomes the prime suspect. Sheila Turnage has written a hilarious first novel of murder, detection, longing and belonging.

Team Human by Justine Larblestier and Sarah Rees Brennan takes a funny, satirical yet respectful look at teen vampire romances. In New Whitby, Maine, vampires and humans generally keep to their own side of town. However, on occasion, a human may decide to become a vampire and can do so under medical conditions. The transition process can be successful, lead to death or turn the human into a zombie. Mel’s best friend Cathy falls in love with Francis, a handsome, poetic, nineteenth-century vampire who enrolls in their high school. When Cathy announces her desire to become a vampire and marry Francis, Mel tries to stop her. Along the way, Mel attempts to solve the disappearance of her other best friend’s father who counsels humans and vampires, and to understand her suddenly disconcerted principal. She falls for Kit, a human raised by Frances’ very cool vampire cop mother. Mel deals with her own prejudices, learns to respect the choices of others and begins to understand the sacrifices family members make for one another.

If you prefer murder and blood without fangs, you might enjoy The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman, a fast paced historical thriller surrounding a (real-life) sixteenth-century manuscript. To escape the emotional pain caused by a family tragedy, Nora focuses on her study of Latin. Her best friend Chris and his roommate Max attend the local university and enlist Nora's expertise in translating letters written by Elizabeth Weston, a sixteenth-century teenage girl whose father built the Lumen Dei, an alchemical device supposedly allowing direct communication with God. When Chris is murdered and his girlfriend Adriane left in a catatonic state, suspicion falls on Max who disappears. Nora, convinced of Max's innocence, travels with partially-recovered Adriane to Prague to find him. They elude Chris' cousin Eli who is stalking the girls and struggle to unravel the secret about the Lumen Dei before they are caught by the Hledaci, an ancient Czech cult dedicated to finding the Lumen Dei.

 A jail cell in Nazi occupied France is the main setting of Elizabeth Wein’s historical  thriller Code Name Verity.  Scottish spy, Julie, is flown into France by her best friend, Maddie, a British pilot. Their plane crashes and Julie is captured by the Gestapo, imprisoned and tortured. To buy time and reprieve from torture, Julie writes her story, telling the SS officer in charge of their prison what she knows about the British war effort. Julie’s prison writings alternate with Maddie’s narration about flying for the RAF and the civilian corps, her growing friendship with Julie and her brother, and attempts to rescue Julie and protect her mission. This is a powerful novel of friendship, truth and extraordinary bravery during World War II.  

Clem Ackroyd explodes into life as a result of a German air raid over a working-class British village. In his latest novel, Life: An Exploded Diagram, Mal Peet tells a story of individual lives and generational family dynamics set against a framework of history and politics from World War II through 9/11. Clem, a scholarship student, falls in love with Frankie, the wealthy daughter of the estate owner who is also his father’s boss. As their secret relationship heats up, so do the political dynamics among Nikita Khrushchev, John F. Kennedy and his U.S. military advisors. A fascinating and suspenseful depiction of how war crosses time periods and geographic boundaries to affect individuals, communities and nations.

by Cathy Seblonka, Youth Services
September 29, 2012
OBOC Russia

            Fall brings a new One Book One Community read for Marquette.  A Mountain of Crumbs: a Memoir by Elena Gorokhova is the story of a young Soviet girl’s discovery of the hidden truths of adulthood and her country’s profound, brazen lies.  The narrator recreates the world that both oppressed and inspired her.  She recounts stories passed down to her about the horrors of Stalin’s terror and the Great Patriotic War and probes the daily deprivations and small joys of her family’s life in Leningrad.  The author will visit Marquette on October 25th.  More information on the OBOC events can be found at the library’s website at  For more information about Russia and the Soviet Union, you can check out:

            While reading Daphne Kalotay’s Russian Winter for the Peter White Public Library’s Book Group meeting this month, I remembered growing up during the Cold War and reading about life in the Soviet Union.  Russian Winter is a novel that tells the story of Bolshoi ballerina Nina Revskaya as she becomes a member of Stalin's cultural elite before escaping to the West following a terrible betrayal. Decades later, she has decided to auction off her famed jewelry collection—including the rare set of amber that a Boston professor, Grigori Solodin, translator of the works of Revskaya's late poet-husband, believes may hold the key to a long-kept secret. The literary mystery Grigori sets out to solve—with the help of Drew Brooks, a young associate at the Boston auction house—reaches much deeper: to the cost of making art and trying to live and love under circumstances of enormous repression. 

            I just happened to watch The American Experience one night when The Great Famine was aired.  When a devastating famine—5,000,000 died--descended on Soviet Russia in 1921, the International Committee for Russian Relief (ICRR) was formed. The main participants were Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover's American Relief Administration, along with other bodies such as the American Friends Service Committee and the International Save the Children Union.  The ICRR fed over 10,000,000 people.  Americans responded with a massive two-year relief campaign, championed by a new Secretary of Commerce, 'The Great Humanitarian' Herbert Hoover, an operation hailed for its efficiency, grit, and generosity.  The story of this effort was inspiring and gave me a whole new view of Herbert Hoover as well as the Russian struggle.

In Molotov's Magic Lantern : travels in Russian history, British journalist Rachel Polonsky moves to Moscow and discovers that the former apartment of Vyacheslav Molotov, Stalin's most loyal henchman, is right above hers. Purely by coincidence, she is conducted into Molotov's apartment and discovers, among other objects, much of the former leader's library, some of it crumbling to dust, and an old magic lantern. Like faded images waiting for the light of this antique slide projector, Russian history and the Russian present reveal themselves in glimpses, like figures rising out of the dark, to Polonsky who uses the rotting pages of the books in Molotov's library as a guide, sometimes tracing lines that lead to places of exile, quest, or crime. In her travels, Polonsky is so steeped in Russian history and literature that everywhere she goes, her inner magic lantern projects the past onto the present, the imagined onto the real, and what we see is an illuminated land of immense brutality and beauty, suffering and spirit.

Taking the West by storm in 1957, Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak was newly translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.  One of the top four Russian poets of the twentieth century, Pasternak wrote this, his only novel, at the end of his life. Appearing at the height of the Cold War (the manuscript was smuggled out of Russia and first published in Italy), the novel electrified readers worldwide with its critique of the Russian Revolution and its aftermath.  Yuri Zhivago's poems, which the translators take pains to explain are not an addendum but inseparable from the novel, are more pointedly rendered. 

In The Return: Russia’s Journey from Gorbachev to Medvedev, Daniel Treisman looks back over the 25 years since Mikhail Gorbachev began his attempts to reform the Soviet Union's political system. Ironically, Gorbachev's goal was to preserve the existing order, not to subvert it, but in the end he turned the country away from its Communist path and returned it to a Western European economy. Treisman provides a carefully detailed account of the events, personal interactions, and crucial decisions that created such a monumental shift, but his main concern is the why of the change.

Snowdrops, shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, by Andrew Miller is a lesson in the art of self-delusion and the dog-eat-dog society of post-Soviet Russia. Nick Platt is a British lawyer working in Moscow in the early 2000s-a place where the cascade of oil money, the tightening grip of the government, the jostling of the oligarchs, and the loosening of Soviet social mores have led to a culture where corruption, decadence, violence, and betrayal define everyday life. Nick doesn’t ask too many questions about the shady deals he works on-he’s too busy enjoying the exotic, surreally sinful nightlife Moscow has to offer. A mesmerizing tale of a man seduced by a culture he fancies himself above, Miller's novel is both a nuanced character study and a fascinating look at the complexities of Russian society.

Please to the Table: The Russian Cookbook by Anya von Bremzen and John Welchman. The authors, a Muscovite who emigrated to the United States and a British writer, traveled all over the Soviet Union and throughout Russian communities in the United States to collect these 400 recipes. The dishes are amazingly diverse; in addition to the recipes, there are essays on the history of foods, including the influences of climate, geography and conquest on the development of distinctive flavors, notes on special ingredients, and sections on specific cuisines. Classically Russian wild mushrooms and basic Ukrainian peasant borscht contrast with exotic Azerbaijani quail and pomegranate sauce and Uzbeki steamed lamb dumplings.  A Russian vodka party features French-inspired pate.  The King of Vodka: the story of Pyotr Smirnov and the upheaval of an empire by Linda Himelstein is also available at the library.

by Caroline Jordan, Collections Librarian
September 15, 2012
September is a time for transitions.  For many of us who were fixated on turning dirt and planting seeds in May, we are now consumed with thoughts of warm, insulating fibers:  mohair, wool, angora, alpaca and even acrylic for the allergic.  As the perennials get cut back, the needles, hooks and spinning wheels come out. The Peter White Public library has books, videos and magazines for yarnheads of all makes --knitters, crocheters, and spinners-- whether you are a beginner or looking for a  new technique or pattern.
The DVD Respect the Spindle shows spinners old and new how to create volumes of incredible yarn with this amazing yet simple tool.
Offering a blend of technical knowledge, history, and easy-to-use tips, The intentional spinner : a holistic approach to making yarn by Judith MacKenzie McCuin explores the three fundamental areas of yarn production:  understanding fibers, managing yarn structure, and making yarns that precisely meet the spinner's needs. The traditions of plant and animal fibers are juxtaposed with recent advances in synthesized fiber.  Detailed instructions for four intermediate projects demonstrate the range of possibilities, from sturdy, plied yarns to playful, novelty yarns.
Crochet Lace Innovations by Doris Chan is a collection of 20 stylish designs that use crochet lace methods to create garments that are not only modern and flattering, but custom-fit to a broad range of sizes.   Tutorials at the beginning of chapters help the reader learn the simple methods necessary for making each kind of lace. And a special Garment 101 section provides an essential template for crocheters to follow in order to make their own adaptable and versatile patterns.
In Crochet Master Class, editor Jean Leinhauser presents 18 crochet techniques taught by some of the world’s best crochet designers and instructors. Each chapter focuses on a different technique. You’ll learn Hairpin Lace from Stitch Diva Jennifer Hansen, discover the intricate color work of tapestry crochet from Carol Ventura, and explore free-form crochet with renowned fiber artist Prudence Mapstone. Filled with inspiring stories, Crochet Master Class is your guide to the incredible range of crochet possibilities.
Circular knitting has many benefits, including making it easier to follow charts and eliminating the need for seams. In Circular Knitting Workshop, master teacher Margaret Radcliffe covers everything you need to know to master the art of circular knitting, presenting Fair Isle, twined, helix, tubular, and other classic techniques in detailed step-by-step photographic sequences. Radcliffe includes instructions for converting patterns written for straight needles to circular. Alice Starmore’s Charts for Color Knitting includes her own geometric and nature-inspired motifs, traditional patterns from around the world, and practical instructions on incorporating them into unique designs. These charts are suitable for beginning and advanced color knitters and for both hand and machine knitting.

Loom Knitting Scarves, Hats, Bags & More by Isela Phelps combines clear instructions, diagrams, and pictures, with 50 patterns for appealing projects for the whole family that are quick and easy.  All the basics of loom knitting are covered so even a beginning loomer is able to follow along. A bonus section covers different finishing touches and
embellishment techniques like how to add beads and ribbon, or make tassels, pompoms, and fringes.
Yarn-themed titles and series are also shelved in our fiction and mystery collections with new works by Maggie Sefton, Debbie Macomber, Rachel Herron, Kate Jacobs, and Gil McNeil.
For the younger fiber lovers (or those who are young at heart), Knitting with Gigi by Karen Thalacker can be found in the juvenile nonfiction collection.  This simple rhyming story invites a new generation of knitters to join Gigi as she shows them not only how to knit, but also how to use their new skills to benefit others.
For those who might be too young to start knitting, the picture book, Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen shows how knitting can improve the world.  In this optimistic tale, a little girl finds what looks like an ordinary box of yarn, but isn’t   Knitting for Newbies is a program being offered this fall on Mondays from 4:30-5:30 for students ages 7-17.  Participants will learn to knit a blanket for babies in NICU at MGH.  For information and registration, contact Youth Services at 226-4323.
by Ellen Moore, Reference Desk
September 8, 2012
Non-fiction Nuggets

The Olympics are over, but if you haven’t had enough, the Book of Olympic Lists will give you something else to contemplate.  David Wallenchinsky and Jaime Loucky have compiled a book filled with trivia and stories compiled from summer Olympics since 1896-2012.  The biggest upsets, funniest Olympians, unluckiest competitors, Royal Olympians, Olympians on the Titanic, Olympic families and far-out excuses are all included in this fun-to-read book that will give lots of ammunition for trivia games.

Gerald Chertavian is the founder and CEO of A Year Up.  His book of the same name details the program he has developed to teach young adults real skills for real jobs with real success.  Chertavian is a former technology entrepreneur and Wall Street banker.  As a Big Brother in the Big Brother/Big Sister program he saw firsthand, how good teens were placed in an Opportunity Divide.  In 2000, he dedicated his life to the Year Up program that prepares willing young adults to enter the workforce by providing job training, mentorship, internships and then real jobs.

                Hank Haney served as the coach for professional golfer Tiger Woods for six years.  The Big Miss is a revealing look at the world of professional golf as well as a personal look at Woods.  Haney is considered the best golf instructor alive today. He watched as Wood’s game and personal world crashed in 2009.  This autobiography recounts how he influenced one of golf’s brightest stars and ultimately decided there was nothing more he could do to help him with his career.

                Julie Zickefoose is a wildlife rehabilitator specializing in birds.  The Bluebird Effect describes the uncommon bond she develops with common birds.  The text of the book is organized into 25 chapters.  Each chapter focuses on a specific bird.  The author’s detailed drawings and watercolors accompany the text.  Her tales about rehabilitating birds gives the reader a look at the characteristics of each bird as well as heart-touching stories about the variety of birds that come to her for recovery.

                Jeffrey Zaslow is the bestselling author of The Girls from Ames and The Last Lecture.  His latest book The Magic Room is set at Becker’s Bridal in Fowler, Michigan.  Thousands of women have gone to Becker’s for their wedding dress.  Since 1934, the store has turned dreams into reality with the perfect wedding dress.  Fowler is home to 1,100 residents and 2,500 wedding dresses.  The stories of the brides featured in the book shows how weddings and the expectations for marriage have changed over the years.

                The Secrets of Saffron, the Vagabond Life of the World’s Most Seductive Spice by acclaimed food writer Pat Willard is a historical look at the sensuous spice that has remained exotic for the past two thousand years.  Saffron has been reported to cure disease, defy death and enhance romance.  The book includes delightful and delicious modern and ancient recipes for the delectable spice.  Willard is also the author of the book On the Road with the WPA.

                American Icon by Bryce G. Hoffman is the compelling story of how Alan Mulally pulled off one of the greatest commercial turnarounds ever seen.  Mulally put together a bold plan to save the Ford Motor Company and transformed the company into the most profitable automaker in the world.  This behind-the-scenes story tells how Ford managed to survive without the government bailouts that saved GM and Chrysler.

                Loom knitting is an easy craft to master and can be used to create beautiful hats, socks, scarves, mittens, jewelry and home accessories.  Isela Phelps features 40 simple and snuggly designs for the loom in her book Loom Knitting Scarves, Hats, Bags and More.  If you have problems with knitting needles, loom knitting might be just the thing for you.  The PWPL also has Phelps’ book The Loom Knitting Primer.

                Mod Podge has been used to craft all sorts of items for the past 40 years.  Amy Anderson details 40 projects that can be undertaken by crafters of all ages to produce items that can accessorize, celebrate the holidays or decorate the home.  Mod Podge Rocks is a nostalgic look at this easy-to-use craft product and will provide creative ideas for those who like to spend time making their own items.  Mod Podge can safely be used by just about any age group, so look at this book and let your creativity soar.

Glock, The Rise of America’s Gun by Paul M. Barrett explains how the Glock pistol has been adopted by over two-thirds of America’s law enforcement personnel, glamorized by TV and movies and been coveted by crooks.  Gaston Glock, an obscure Austrian curtain rod manufacturer, developed a lightweight plastic framed gun with a large capacity spring action magazine that took the world by storm in the early 1980s.  This book is filled with corporate intrigue, political maneuvering and bloody shoot outs.  Glock is the inside account of this legendary weapon and the man who invented it.

by Pam Christensen, Library Director
September 1, 2012

In anticipation of the upcoming antiques appraisal fair with expert appraiser, Mark F. Moran of Iola, Wisconsin, on Saturday, September 8, here is a look at items in the library’s antiques and collectibles collection, an area where all old things eventually become new again.

Found under the call number 745.1 WA, is the 2012 edition of Warman’s Antiques & Collectibles, an 800 page annual synopsis about what’s new in the world of vintage items. Moran is the author/editor of this tome that showcases current values of items ranging from art, ceramics and glassware to photography and toys. Full color photos accompanied by detailed descriptions make this a fascinating reference for collectors and browsers.

Two books in the collection under 783.3, written by Moran, who has more than 30 years experience in this field, are Warman’s Red Wing Pottery and McCoy Pottery: A Warman’s Companion. Both serve as detailed identification and pricing guides for these regional factories. Redwing Pottery is still located along the banks of the Mississippi in Minnesota where German immigrants mined the rich red clay deposits to manufacture stoneware pots in the mid 1860’s. McCoy Pottery was established near Zanesville, Ohio in 1910, mining the local clay and producing stoneware crocks and jugs.

The collectibles and antiques market covers a wide variety of items. Of interest to readers of all ages might be Warman’s Children’s Books, found in the stacks at 745.1 SA. Organized by publisher, this is a pricing and identification guide of first edition books for young readers. Many recognizable covers, dating back from the 1940’s, can be found in its pages with surprising values that make the reader what ever happened to their beloved childhood favorites.

In addition to books, the library also subscribes to several periodicals that cover the current news about vintage items. Fans of the television show will enjoy Antiques Roadshow Insider, a monthly publication that highlights new trends in what’s in demand and also provides behind the scenes glimpses of the show’s production.

Antiques Magazine, another monthly publication at the library, covers the world of fine antiques and art. The full color glossy pages feature interviews with curators of museum exhibits throughout the country as well as highlighting avid collectors of high end paintings, furniture, jewelry and textiles. Past issues of all magazines can be checked out for two weeks to enjoy browsing at home.

If you have ever wondered what that thrift store treasure or family heirloom is worth, now is the time to take advantage of the expertise of guest appraiser, Mark F. Moran and benefit the library at the same time. Tickets are still available for the library’s appraisal event on Saturday, September 8 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Call 228-9510 to reserve your time.

by Margaret Boyle, Programming Coordinator
August 25, 2012
Beach Reads

The days are growing shorter and stores are filled with dreaded school supplies.  Drag out the beach chair, slather on your sun block and escape to the beach these last precious days of summer with one of these great beach read. 

The queen of summer fiction delivers again:  Elin Hilderbrand’s Summerland is her typical brand of Nantucket drama. A tragic accident at the beginning of summer affects Nantucket’s residents in many ways.  As the characters cope with tragedy, grief weaves it’s way through a magical beachy backdrop and the result is a page-turner of a tale.

Meet Nick and her cousin Helena in Liza Klaussmann’s debut novel Tigers in Red Weather.  Basking in the glory of the end of World War II, the women are ready to move on from their young, idyllic summers at Martha’s Vineyard.  Post-war married life is different than envisioned for the women and so they return to the island with their children to reclaim a sense of possibility.  This plan goes awry when the children make a grisly discovery that spins everyone’s life out of control. 

Still can’t get enough of that New England summer vibe?  Check out Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead.  A wedding weekend on an exclusive island sets the stage for this social satire.  Despite the wedding being planned with the upmost precision, a storm of bad behavior, lusty attendees and tipsy revelers.   The unwinding is a glimpse into the lives of the well-bred and ill-behaved.

Travel abroad for a bit with Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter.  This novel begins as an American starlet arrives at the sun-drenched Italian coastline in 1962.  The story picks up again in current time as an elderly Italian man appears on a Hollywood lot looking for the beautiful American actress.  Readers are introduced to the tangled lives of a bevy of characters chasing improbable dreams.

The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner follows twenty three year old Ruth Saunders as she packs up her seventy year old grandmother and heads west to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of being a television writer.  Four years later, she get’s the call she’s dreamed of and lands her dream gig.  However, nightmares threaten in the form of actors, executives and not only her love life, but grandma’s as well. 

Still nursing withdrawal symptoms from London Olympics?  Try out Gold by Chris Cleave.  Gold follows best friends Kate and Zoe who are also fierce competitors in the sport of track cycling.  Both covet the gold medal in 2012, but their friendship faces competition that carries momentum well beyond the frantic pace of the Velodrome.   

 Blockbuster novelist Emily Giffin’s lastest Where We Belong brings thirty six year old Marian Caldwell and eighteen year old Kirby Rose together ultimately causing them to evaluate their lives and where they are headed.  Successful Marian is quite satisfied to have it all by her standards and is shook to the core to come face to face with Kirby.  Kirby, on the other hand, is just getting started on her path through adulthood.  The introduction is life changing for both, who hadn’t planned on straying from their set ways.

by Heather Steltenpohl, Fundraising 
August 11, 2012
Newest Non-fiction
Blood Feud: The Hatfields and the McCoys: The Epic Story of Murder and Vengeance by Lisa Alther
The bitterest feud in US history began with hard feelings over allegiances in the Civil War, which had just ended. It lasted decades, with flare-ups of vigilante retribution that resulted in smoldering hatred, numerous deaths, prison sentences, and Kentucky’s last public hanging.
New Adult Non-Fiction 364.1523 AL

Drive Me Out of My Mind by Chad Faries
In this autobiographic coming-of-age tale, Faries recounts his early years in the 1970s. His family moved often, occupying 24 different homes in ten years in places like Iron River and Stambaugh, Michigan. His childhood was far from average, and he was “cultured and corrupted by the hard-living, hard-drinking, and hard-loving ways” of the adults who surrounded him. His refuge was poetry, where he could escape his surroundings.
New Adult Non-Fiction 921 Faries

Once Upon a Car: The Fall and Resurrection of America's Big Three Automakers--GM, Ford, and Chrysler by Bill Vlasic
In 2008, Detroit’s big three teetered on the brink of financial disaster, with auto industry leaders trying to keep the lights on at their companies. Vlasic, an auto columnist who has worked for the Detroit News and New York Times, delivers inside accounts of how the deals were brokered to allow each company to continue, the hiring of Alan Mullaly to transform Ford, and the managed bankruptcies of GM and Chrysler. He also examines how the US auto industry can gain future success.
New Adult Non-Fiction 338.476 VL

Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind by Alex Stone
Stone has been interested in magic since receiving a kit from his father when he was five. He later learned the craft of being a magician from his mentor in the back of a run-down New York pizza shop, and worked to become a professional magician. He provides insight into the world of magic, and the ways in which the human mind can be manipulated to pull off illusions.
New Adult Non-Fiction 921 Stone

 Hank Greenberg : the hero who didn't want to be one by Mark Kurlansky
This is not a typical sports biography with stats and stories of playoff battles, though Greenberg’s career was filled with accomplishments, including the 1938 season when he hit 58 home runs. However, he sometimes had an uneasy relationship with the sport. He was uncomfortable being labeled as a “Jewish ballplayer”, but when he was shunned by veteran Detroit Tigers players right after being called up to the big leagues in 1930, it was inescapable. After this experience, Greenberg went out of his way to welcome rookies of all stripes.
New Adult Non-Fiction 796.357 KU

Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum
What really is the internet? This book is a journey into the infrastructure that lies beyond the wires that enter our homes. It tells the dramatic story of the development of the internet and how it all works.
New Adult Non-Fiction 384.309 BL

by Bruce MacDonald, Circulation Librarian
August 4, 2012
More Mysteries

Mystery readers are thrilled to find a detective and series they like.  There are many categories of mysteries; cozies, hard boiled, police procedurals, British, American, Scandinavian, historical, horror, spy thriller and suspense.  Within the categories are books that feature fishing, recipes, quilts, art and religion.  Whatever sells gets copied by other authors and read by legions of fans.

A new writer has emerged in Jassy Mackenzie.  Her female detective Jade De Jong is based in South Africa.  There are three books in this series-Random Violence, Stolen Lives and the Fallen.  Mackenzie brings South Africa alive in the pages of these novels.  In Random Violence, Jade returns to South Africa to avenge her father’s death.  Stolen Lives centers around corruption and human trafficking as Jade is hired to protect Pamela Jordan, the wife of a wealthy strip club owner.  Fallen was originally published as Worst Case.  The latest mystery deals with environmental sabotage in the beautiful resort of St. Lucia.

Sarah Graves lives in Eastport, Maine, the setting of her Home Repair is Homicide series.  Jake Triptree has retired from a lucrative New York City investment career, that could be considered less than honest, to live in a quiet seaside town in Maine.  Her early 1820’s Federal-style home takes constant repair and upkeep, but Jake and her best Friend Ellie still have time to get caught up in mysterious doings in the idyllic community.  Dead Level, the 15th book in this series, finds the pair in a remote woodland setting and fighting against the deadly plans of a recently released killer bent on revenge. 

Plus sized PI Savannah Reid spends as much time with food as she does murder.  A detective with a sweet tooth, Reid also finds herself trying to solve crimes in the 17 book series written under the pseudonym for bestselling author Sonja Massie.  Buried in Buttercream, Poisoned Tarts, Death by Chocolate and Killer Calories are just a few titles in this series.

Lucy Stone is also a resident of Maine and the star of the English Tea Murder.  Lucy is a busy wife, mother of four and reporter for the Pennysaver.  Despite her hectic schedule, Lucy manages a girls get away to London with her friend Pam.  Unfortunately, along the way, the tour leader dies from an asthma attack.  Everyone chalks this death up to a tragic accident, but as another tour participant passes away, Lucy’s suspicions start to rise.

Sally Goldenbaum combines knitting with mysteries in her Seaside Knitters Mystery series.  Set in Sea Harbor, Massachusetts, Izzy Perry and her knitting group frequently get tangled up in a mystery.  In addition to murder, these books share the delights of strong friendships, small town living and the best ways to pick up dropped stitches.  Knitters will love the newest book in this six book series A Fatal Fleece.

Mysteries featuring food and oftentimes recipes are a popular new genre.  Pastry, pies, cakes and pizzas fill the pages of some of the new food based series.  One of the first and most successful foodie mystery novel series is penned by Diane Mott Davidson.  Goldy Schulz owns Goldilocks Catering in Aspen Meadows, Colorado.  Much to the disgust of her police officer husband, Goldy in continually front and center in everything deadly that occurs in or out of the kitchen.  Excellent recipes, engaging characters and lots of fun, these mysteries are some of my favorites.  Her latest in the series is Crunch Time.

Joanne Fluke’s lovable detective Hannah Swensen is surrounded by quirky friends and relatives who help her solve crimes that are committed in Eden Lake, Minnesota.  Owner of the Cookie Jar, Hannah’s shop is the center of life in this small community.  The fact that Hannah has a propensity for stumbling over dead bodies is good for business.  Thankfully, she has a dedicated assistant and willing to meddle sister and mother.  The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder is the first book in this series.  The cookie and pastry recipes featured in the books are also top notch.

Carol Culver’s Pie Shop Mysteries feature pie shop owner Hanna Denton.  Hanna takes over her grandmother’s California pie shop, but doesn’t stop at baking pies.  She also gets embroiled in solving mysteries in A Good Day to Pie and Never Say Pie.  Each book also includes pie recipes.

Pizza lovers will enjoy mysteries by Chris Cavender.  His heroine, Eleanor Swift, runs A Slice of Delight pizzeria in Timber Ridge, North Carolina.  When not busy in the kitchen baking pizza pies, Eleanor is on the prowl helping the local cops solve a variety of mysteries.  Cavender also includes creative pizza recipes in each book.  A Slice of Murder, Pepperoni Pizza Can Be Murder, A Pizza to Die For and Rest in Pizza are the first four books in this lively new series.

by Pam Christensen, Library Director
July 28, 2012
Great Non-fiction

Schizophrenia strikes an estimated one in one hundred people worldwide.  In the US one in four families is impacted by mental illness.  Schizophrenia is a disease that is mystifying and frustrating for the person it strikes as well as their family, friends and colleagues.  Ben was a normal child, but in his teen years, his life spun out of control.  He ran away from home, lived on the streets as a homeless teen, experienced seven psychotic breaks and was hospitalized.  His mother, Randye Kaye, his sister struggled with him through the diagnosis and treatment that would save his life.  Ben Behind his Voices, One Family’s Journey from the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope, written by Randye Kaye, is his story.
            The Kirtland’s Warbler by William Rapai is the story of a bird’s fight against extinction and the people who saved it.  In the 1970’s and 1980’s ornithologists were concerned that the Kirtland’s Warbler was on the brink of extinction.  The total population fell below 400 birds and a loss of habitat and a devastating parasite seemed to doom the remaining birds.  A small group of biologists, researchers and volunteers worked diligently to save the species.  This book documents the sustained effort that resulted in one of today’s most uplifting environmental stories.
            Humans are constantly in the process of inventing and innovating.  They are continually creating new things.  A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor uses objects to trace human developments throughout history using 100 objects that reflect the evolution of civilization.  Arranged by era from 2,000,000 BC to 2010, the objects pictured and the story that accompanies each, makes for fascinating and thought provoking reading.
            Some people feel that weddings held today are expensive extravaganzas that should be avoided.  Susan Bain, Laura Gawne and Roxie Radford have produced the book Cheap Chic Weddings.  These wedding tips can help the bride and groom create a memorable wedding without breaking the bank.
            Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs is the story of one man’s quest for the perfect body.  After being hospitalized for a freak case of tropical pneumonia, Jacobs embarks on the path to optimum health.  His book chronicles the journey through chapters focused on each part of the anatomy.  Hilarious, entertaining and exhaustive, this book is also a look at the many ways people try to improve their health now.
            Laura Bennett is the breakout star of Project Runway’s third season.  She knows that accessories often make the look.  Handmade Chic shares instructions for creating 35 simple yet distinctive designer-quality bags, belts and bracelets that will enhance your look and upgrade your wardrobe.
            Post traumatic stress disorder has affected military service members for as long as wars have been fought.  Leah Wizelman relates the true stories of service members from all ranks and branches in When the War Never Ends.  Soldiers from the U.S., Canada, Australia and Germany are documented in this book that is a very personal look at the affects of PTSD on the men and women who serve.
            I’d Rather be in Charge by Charlotte Beers is a blueprint for women as they face their own challenges and strive to achieve the positions of leadership and influence they deserve.  Beers is best known as the first woman to head two giant multinational advertising agencies.  She helped to develop many of the most recognizable brands around the world.  Today she uses her skills to mentor women and conduct workshops that help women prepare themselves for managers and leaders.
            At the age of 16, surfer Jonathan Kathrein was attacked by a great white shark off of the coast of California.  Surviving the Shark is his story of the attack and how it has shaped his life.  Kathrein continues to surf and advocate for the protection of sharks and the oceans.
            Kitchens are the most expensive rooms in the home to remodel, so do it yourselfers and contractors want to do it right the first time.  This Old House looks at 37 real-world before and after kitchen remodel projects that are easy and cost effective.  Easy Upgrades-Kitchens offers smart designs and creative uses of color, cabinets and fixtures to inspire the reader to improve his or her home.

by Pam Christensen, Library Director
July 21, 2012
MI Mysteries

A great way to beat the summer heat is to read.  My favorite summer reading is mysteries and some of my favorite authors have new books released in time for trips to the beach or camping.  For those of you missing the exploits of Paradise, Michigan investigator Alex McNight, author Steve Hamilton has authored a new mystery after an absence.  Die a Stranger is the latest, and it pairs PI McNight with the long lost father of sidekick Vinnie LeBlanc in an effort to find and save Vinnie from vicious drug dealers.  During his hiatus from the Alex McNight series, Hamilton penned The Lock Artist.  This suspense novel focuses on Michael, mute since a childhood tragedy, who can open any lock.  His unique skill attracts the attention of the wrong type of people.  Can he take a chance to escape and return home to put his shattered life back together?  Hamilton also has another novel Night Work.  My favorite Hamilton book is Misery Bay, but other titles such as A Cold Day in Paradise, Winter of the Wolf Moon, The Hunting Wind, North of Nowhere, Blood is the Sky, Ice Run and A Stolen Season will delight readers who have not read the Alex McNight series.

Bryan Gruley burst on the scene with the award winning Starvation Lake.  In the dead of a northern Michigan winter in the small town of Starvation Lake an old mystery is resurrected after pieces of a snowmobile, ridden to his death, by a former hockey coach are washed ashore.  The problem is, the pieces are on another lake than the one where the coach’s body was found.  All investigation points not to a tragic accident, but a brutal murder, that brings old secrets to the surface.  Gruley’s second book The Hanging Tree is also set in Starvation Lake and centers on the suicide of Gracie McBride who left town 18 years prior.  Why did she return to Starvation Lake to end her life?  Journalist and investigator, Gus Carpenter has to put the pieces together.  Gus Carpenter is challenged to explain Bingo Night B&Es that are striking terror into residents of Starvation Lake.  Breaking and enterings are happening on a regular basis, only nothing is taken in the crimes that occur while the homeowners are away playing bingo.  Personal papers, desks and file cabinets are searched in what police think is an effort to gather some sort of information.  When Gus’ mother’s best friend is killed during what investigators think is another Bingo Night crime, he gets forced into action in The Skeleton Box.

I must admit I am in love with Michigan DNR Conservation Officer Grady Service, star of Joseph Heywood’s Woods Cop series.  A former hockey player for the NMU wildcats and take no prisoners investigator, Grady roams the UP woods thwarting crimes and putting lives back together again.  His colorful criminal cohort Limpie Allerdyce and numerous law enforcement colleagues are enbroiled in believable crime scenarios centered around legitimate and not so legitimate uses of Michigan’s natural resources.  Ice Hunter is the first Woods Cop mystery followed by Blue Wolf in Green Fire, Chasing a Blond Moon, Running Dark, Strike Dog, Death Roe and Shadow of the Wolf Tree.  Heywood’s latest, Force of Blood was a departure, and I did not think it was up to the usual standards, but the earlier books are true to form.  My favorites are Death Roe, Blue Wolf and Shadow of the Wolf Tree.

Nancy Barr currently lives in the Houghton area.  Her Page One mysteries feature spunky journalist Robin Hamilton who gets drug into mysteries at every turn.  Barr has developed her skills with each book.  My favorite is Page One: Vanished.  When Robin finds a yellowed scrapbook for sale in a used bookstore in Copper Harbor she begins to put together the connections that may solve a string of disappearances of teen girls from Michigan’s UP that have taken place over the past 30 years.  Page One: Hit and Run and Page One: Whiteout will entertain readers and provide hours of summer reading enjoyment.

Local author Matthew Williams has tried his hand at the mystery genre.  His sleuth is Vince Marshall who solves crimes in the fictional community of Apostle Bay.  The latest Superior Dilemma takes place in the frigid UP winter and centers around a sled dog race and a disgraced musher.  The first book in the series, Superior Death finds Vince embroiled in a mystery that leads to a personal surprise.  The second Superior Deception forces Vince to defend his friend by solving a mystery that has developed over the past 150 years.  Mysteries set in northern Michigan and the UP are lots of fun to read.  Summer is a perfect time to get to know some of these regional mysteries.

by Pam Christensen, Library Director
July 7, 2012

      Waiting for the Fourth of July fireworks gives us a chance to look up at the “fireworks” that are in our sky every night.  If you want to know about our universe, the library has resources for both children and adults to learn about what meets our gaze and what is beyond it. 
From the mysteries of our own solar system to those that surround unexplored galaxies, history and science collide in The Universe. This History Channel series on DVD employs cutting-edge computer-generated imagery to bring distant planets and faraway stars up close, allowing viewers to gaze at black holes and comets, and witness the births and deaths of galaxies and solar systems.  The library has seasons 1-5 in the DVD section.
      Ann Finkbeiner brings the excitement and extraordinary potential of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey in A Grand and Bold Thing.  Visionary astronomer Jim Gunn brought together hundreds of astronomers in a massive survey of the sky that stitched together images of deep space taken over the course of five years providing a detailed, three-dimensional map of a vast territory of the universe, all digitized and downloadable for easy searching on a personal computer, and available not only to professional astronomers but to the public as well.
      “What if?” questions stimulate us to think in new ways.  Neil F Comins leads us on a fascinating ten-world journey as we explore What if the Earth Had Two Moons? And Nine Other Thought-Provoking Speculations on the Solar System. 
      While gazing at the evening sky, we’ve all wondered if there are other inhabited planets. Soon astronomers expect to find alien Earths by the dozens in orbit around distant suns. Before the decade is out, telltale signs that they harbor life may be found. If they are, the ramifications for all areas of human thought and endeavor--from religion and philosophy to art and biology--will be breathtaking. In Strange New Worlds: the Search for Alien Planets and Life beyond Our Solar System, Ray Jayawardhana brings news from the front lines of the epic quest to find planets and alien life beyond our solar system.
      Through the Wormhole hosted by Morgan Freeman explores the deepest mysteries of existence, the questions that have puzzled mankind for eternity. Who or what are we? Are we alone? How did life begin? What happened before? This Science Channel DVD series brings together the brightest minds and best ideas from the very edges of science to reveal the extraordinary truth of our universe. Includes 8 episodes.
      Dava Sobel, author of the bestselling Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, brings Copernicus and his intellectually and religiously tumultuous time alive in A More Perfect Heaven:  How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos.  Nicolaus Copernicus, himself a Catholic Church canon, feared the Church's response to his radical notion that Earth revolved around the Sun. His thesis, of course, altered nothing less than our view of our place in the cosmos. 

by Caroline Jordan, Library Collection Development
June 23, 2012
GLGB for Grades 4-5

Sleeping in, spending whole days at the beach, and reading great books – a lot of them – oh the joy of summer when you're a kid. The 2012 Summer Reading Program, "Dream Big" is underway in Youth Services at the Library. In addition to a variety of programs there are books for every reader this summer. Take a trip through worlds of fantasy, adventure, romance, history and friendship without leaving the shores of Lake Superior. Check out these titles from the 2012 Great Lakes Great Books list in the fourth through fifth grade division.

Brian Selznick, Caldecott winner for The Invention of Hugo Cabret, hit another home run with his latest novel, Wonderstruck. Selznick tells two unrelated stories side by side, one entirely with original drawings, the other only in words. Visually, the reader is pulled into the story of a young girl fascinated by a famous New York actress. She runs away from home in search of the actress. Fast forward 50 years where Ben Wilson is on a quest of his own in New York City, looking for the father he knows nothing about. After his mother tragically dies, Ben is left with one small clue about a man she never mentioned. He stumbles upon the American Museum of Natural History, the very place mentioned in “Wonderstruck,” a book about the history of museums he found in his mother’s things. He hides out in the museum, meets a new friend and discovers his father’s identity.

Breaking Stalin’s Nose by Eugene Yelchin is poignant fictional tale of Stalin’s soviet regime, through a child’s eyes. Communist to the core, 10 year old Sasha Zaichik dreams of the day he can join the Soviet Young Pioneers who are “devoted to Comrade Stalin, the Communist Party, and Communism.”  When his father, a high-ranking official is arrested, Sasha starts to question the system. When everyone suspects everyone else of anti-communist sentiment and accusations end with execution, it’s only a matter of time before the state department comes for Sasha. So, when he accidentally breaks the nose off Stalin’s statue, Sasha is certain the punishment will be severe. Yelchin’s pencil drawings move the story along, adding a beautiful depth.

In Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai, ten year old Ha flees Saigon with her family during the Vietnam War. This story chronicles the time period when life was peaceful for Ha in Saigon, the coming of war, the family’s journey jam-packed on a boat for many days and their struggles to start over in America. From the start, Ha dislikes living in America. Her teacher and classmates assume she is uneducated because she cannot speak English. She is scared to go to school, because of a bully. The food tastes bland compared to the spicy dishes she remembers in Saigon. Still, these discomforts don’t compare to her biggest fear. Her father, who was captured in North Vietnam, may never unite with them again.

The year is 1937 and Joe Louis, “the Brown Bomber”, is boxing his way to the Heavy Weight Boxing Championship.  Bird in a Box by Andrea Pinkney captures the excitement that surged throughout the African American community during the preliminary matches and the deciding fight on June 22nd against James J. Braddock. In this fictional tale three young African Americans share their stories. Hibernia, a preacher’s daughter, dreams of becoming a famous jazz singer and enters a singing contest to raise money for Joe Louis. Willie has big dreams of becoming a boxer, which are crushed when his father holds his hands in boiling water, reducing them to nubs. Willie runs away to Mercy Orphanage, and meets Otis. Together they listen to the fights on Otis’ late father’s radio, as Joe boxes for glory.

A classic figure in modern American Literature “gits his say” in The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn by Robert Burleigh. Samuel Clements most famous character, Huckleberry Finn navigates the reader through his creator’s life. With both the vernacular and vocabulary of a his mid-19th century self, Burleigh pens a biography, with humorous but accurate commentary.  Huck Finn also reflects on his own characterization, and reminds the reader that Mark Twain was a visionary on the issues of slavery and equal rights in a time when it was severely unpopular to speak up.

Disguised as Frank Thompson, Sarah Edmonds joins the Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and signs up to fight in the civil war. Nurse. Soldier. Spy. by Marissa Moss tells the heroic true story of a brave women who fought during the civil war as a man. Thompson served as a nurse when few would agree to help with the horrific battlefield wounds. She went on to spy for union troops throughout the war. Illustrator John Hendrix offers a vivid rendition of fearless Thompson as well as genuine depictions of war-time posters, encampments and battlefields.

by Jeni Kilpela, Youth Services
June 16, 2012
Best of Donald Hall

The UP will be blessed by a visit from Donald Hall, US Poet Laureate 2006-2007, as part of the UP Book Tour and NMU Writer’s Workshop.  There are a number of events planned that will allow local residents to enjoy the poetry of Hall.  Information on the UP Book Tour is available at  Hall is a prolific writer.  Best known as a poet, he has also written memoirs, children’s books, essays and edited a number of anthologies.  His UP appearances will captivate fans and introduce one of the best poets of the US to those who may not be familiar with his work.

Ox Cart Man, a children’s literature classic received the Caldecott Medal in 1979.  This book, illustrated by Barbara Cooney captures the changing seasons of Hall’s New England.  Hall resides at Eagle Pond Farm in New Hampshire where his mother and grandmother were both born.  Cooney’s illustrations with Hall’s text tell the story of a New England man as he prepares for winter by traveling via ox cart to town to sell the goods produced on his farm. 

The Man Who Lived Alone and Lucy’s Christmas were also written for children and can be found in the Youth Services picture books collection.  The Oxford Book of Children’s Verse in America contains poems selected by Hall.  This collection begins with psalms from the Old Testament and continues with works from the Twentieth Century. 

The Oxford Book of American Literary Anecdotes, edited by Hall, uses biographies, letters, personal stories and memoirs to illuminate the lives of American literary figures from the 1600’s to the 1970’s.  Reading this compendium gives you a new sense of who authors are and an understanding of how their lives may have affected their writing.

A Poetry Sampler another work edited by Hall contains over 200 poems by British and American writers.  The goal of this collection is to attract new readers to the pleasures of poetry.  The poems can be read aloud and shared or alone.  Works that amuse, shock or delight will be found in this work.

Donald Hall edits Claims for Poetry another volume published in hopes of illuminating the reader for appreciation of poetry and the people who write it.  Contemporary American poets share their opinions on the art and craft of poetry.  All sorts of poetry is included in this volume that will give readers an insight into what makes poetry work.

Hall’s biography of sculptor Henry Moore introduces Moore in the midst of an active and successful life.  The drawings and photographs, over 100 of them, help to illustrate the story of this successful sculptor at his home in Hertfordshire, England. 

The Back Chamber
was published in 2011. This book of poetry is told through the eyes of a man whose life is winding down.  Despite that fact, the book is not maudlin or depressing.  It recounts the familiar in a way that can be lively, irreverent, hilarious, sexy and sly.

The Alligator Bride, Poems New and Selected features a variety of Hall’s poems, many of which are out of print.  This collection is a historic look at the writings that have made Hall a popular poet on college campuses and in poetry anthologies. 

As a New England poet Hall is often compared to Robert Frost.  His poetry is collected in Kicking the Leaves.  The poetry in this work was completed in the three years after he left his faculty position at the University of Michigan in 1975 and returned to life on Eagle Pond Farm.  Written in the home that was farmed by his great-grandfather from 1865-1913, where he spent an idyllic childhood and where he came into his own, these works capture the past and give hope to the future.

by Pamela R. Christensen, Library Director
June 9, 2012
Over in the Meadow
Summer in the U.P. reminds me of grassy meadows peppered with wildflowers.  Raise your hand if you can remember OVER IN THE MEADOW, the ageless counting rhyme published by John Langstaff in 1957.  Over the years, some notable children’s authors have retold the original poem and added their own distinctive illustrations such as Jack Ezra Keats in 1971,  Paul Galdone in 1986, and Jane Cabrera in 1999. 

This poem has taken on new life with children’s book authors across the country. OVER IN THE MEADOW is a triple threat, using rhyme and counting to tell a short tale about any setting in nature you can think of.  All variations of the story retain the rhyme and the counting from 1 to 10, but the characters (usually animals) change to fit the location.  Newer versions are still being published. 

OVER ON THE FARM by Christopher Gunson makes a few changes to the original meadow inhabitants, but most of those same animals in the meadow also live on farms.  Once again the illustrations are the biggest difference in these similarly titled books. 

OVER IN THE GRASSLANDS by Anna Wilson counts ten animals found in the African grasslands such as rhinos, hippos, monkeys, and jackals.  Some of the critters, such as bees and frogs are the same as the original poem.  Bright primitive illustrations in this book will appeal to young readers. 

Jennifer Ward changed the poem’s beginning phrase to SOMEWHERE IN THE OCEAN, which is also the book title.  Ward’s sea creatures range from one manatee nibbling . . . to five otters munching . . . to ten octopus babies squirting.  The gouache watercolor illustrations by Kenneth Spengler are two-page spreads of movement and color.  Even the fiercest of creatures look happy in these playful pictures. 

Continuing the ocean theme, OVER IN THE OCEAN IN A CORAL REEF was written by Marianne Berkes in 2004 with Jeanette Canyon’s intricate illustrations formed from polymer clay.  These striking depictions of clownfish, seahorses, stingrays and pufferfish will set your eyeballs dancing.  Berkes focuses on inhabitants of a coral reef, a smaller area of the ocean that draws the story content together.   

DEEP IN THE SWAMP by Donna Bateman takes readers to the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia.  The animals include an alligator, blue heron, crawfish, and damselfly.  Brian Lies paints the plants and trees in a lifelike fashion, but gives the animals friendly faces to appeal to very young readers.  The back of the book is full of environmental information. 

OVER AT THE CASTLE from 2010 is written by Boni Ashburn (from Houghton, MI). It has a medieval theme that rhymes and counts, but takes literary license a step further by using villagers and castle dwellers as the characters.  They tell about their daily activities, bringing a little history into the picture, and interact with the local dragons, keeping the fantasy of medieval life alive. 

Langstaff’s original OVER IN THE MEADOW and these variations can be found in our picture book section on the lower level of the library.  All are suitable for children ages 2-7.

by Lynette Suckow, Website & Outreach Services
June 2, 2012
Books on CD

One of the Library’s products, CD-books, is a terrific aid in making summer more pleasant for people enjoying to read, but not wanting to sit still and read. They are enjoyable during a vacation trip, a “stay-cation,” too, or while exercising, ironing, painting the house or just relaxing on the beach or screen porch. Our CD-books are unabridged; that means that they are the complete book that someone—sometimes the author, has read so that one may listen to, rather than read, the entire book. Below are some CD- books to enjoy from popular authors.

Janet Evanovich’s book, LOVE IN A NUTSHELL, is set in Keene’s Harbor, Michigan. Kate wants to transform the family summer house, The Nutshell, into a bed and breakfast. But, she needs cash to do it. Enter Matt Culhane who needs help finding a company saboteur. Matt is willing to pay Kate the $20,000 she needs if she uncovers the spy. Kate takes the job in this romantic mystery only to discover that she is falling for her new boss, Matt, as they work together to save his beer company. The book is read in 390 minutes by Lorelei King.

Author Edgar Rice Burroughs has a new CD book among the latest additions to PW. It is the first of the John Carter series which Burroughs actually wrote back in 1912. JOHN CARTER IN A PRINCESS OF MARS is a sci-fi story read by Scott Brick on six CD’s. Civil War veteran Carter is sent to a dying planet (Mars) to save its princess from danger. Now you can listen to the book before you see the movie!

Assistant District Attorney Andy Barber is the main character in Defending Jacob by William Landay. Barber comes forward to defend his own son, Jacob, after his son is charged with  murdering a fellow classmate in their small Massachusetts town. This suspenseful mystery follows the Barber family as it handles loyalty, guilt, accusations and past secrets in their downward spiraling world. Read by Grover Gardner, this thriller lasts 12½ hours.

The beginner’s goodbye written by Anne Tyler is her nineteenth novel. In this story, Aaron meets Dorothy, a no-nonsense doctor, as he starts another book in his “Beginner’s…” series about various topics. They marry and live moderately happy until a tree falls upon their house, killing Dorothy instantly. Aaron has a difficult time following the sudden death of his wife and moves in with his sister while the house gets repaired. Then… Dorothy begins to appear before him and encourages him to experience life, to find happiness and to accept forgiveness from himself as well as others. This book is six sound discs running just 6 hours, 23 minutes.

Dick Hill reads the next selection, SKY WOMAN FALLING by Kirk Mitchell, which is about two Native Americans who work for the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Their new assignment takes them to upstate New York to investigate the death of an Oneida Tribe elder who has been found dead. Brenda Two Kettles was found in a cornfield, but why was every major bone broken? Is her death tied to the land wars between the tribe and the local community? Mitchell’s knowledge of Indian affairs comes from first-hand experience and does contain some graphic violence.

Fire and ice : A Beaumont and Brady novel  by j. a. (Judith A.) Jance brings two of her characters, Homicide Detective J.P. Beaumont and Sheriff Joanna Brady, together again.    Beaumont and Brady are each working cases in Washington and Arizona respectively, when a break in Beaumont’s case leads him to Arizona and Brady. The death of another woman connects as the sister from one of his cases to interweave with Brady’s crime case in Arizona. Both officers work through dangerous events to themselves and others to solve the big, main case. Hillary Huber and Erik Davies read and fill nine sound discs running for 10½ hours to complete this unabridged novel.

Buck Brannaman with help from William Reynolds writes his life’s story in The Faraway Horses : The Adventures and Wisdom of America's Most Renowned HorsemEN. This CD-book is about Buck and his personal story with horses which served as the basis for Robert Redford’s film The Horse Whisperer. His life can now be heard in detail. Although John Pruden narrates the CD’s that comprise this biography, Buck and his life philosophy of living in harmony with all things comes through strong. This CD-book has six sound discs for seven hours of listening pleasure.

Another of Louis L’Amour’s many westerns, Mountain valley war, has now been put onto sound discs as it is read by Jason Culp. Trent is the main character in this western about trouble in the hills of Idaho. It follows the normal script of good guy vs. bad guy, add girl, trouble arises, then trouble gets straightened out with gunfire and all becomes well again. Everyone loves a classic L’Amour story and this is no exception. Each of its six sound discs run about 70 minutes. 

by Vicki Mann, Reference Desk
May 19, 2012
Mental Health

May is “Your Mind Matters: Raising Awareness of Mental Health” month at the Library.  Programs, films, and a book study are sponsored by the Great Lakes Recovery Centers, Marquette General Health System, the Great Lakes Center for Youth Development, the Friends of the Peter White Public Library and NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  NAMI also donates new books on dealing with mental illness for the library’s collection.  Thanks to the interlibrary loan program, these materials are available for lending throughout the state.  Some of these titles are:
        Three of these titles deal with the history of mental illness in the family. In A Lethal Inheritance:  a Mother Uncovers the Science behind Three Generations of Mental Illness, Victoria Costello’s memoir gives testimony to the fact that not only do we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us; we carry their burdens as well. At the point where it was almost too late to intervene in her eldest son's mental deterioration, Costello embarked on a journey backward in time that moved her and both of her sons forward into a brighter future. While admitting Costello's son to a psychiatric ward, the admissions counselor inspired her to examine the skeletons in her family's closet. Therein Costello discovered generations of psychiatric issues that, upon investigation, increased her and her sons' risk for mental illness. Had these problems not been kept secret as too many families do she could have avoided present-day heartbreaking circumstances. It is a cautionary tale about the price families pay for keeping mental illness secret. It is also a road map for identifying risk factors for and recognizing early signs of psychiatric issues, the better to preempt advanced disease.
        In A Legacy of Madness:  Recovering my Family from Generations of Mental Illness, Tom Davis traces his family through five generations of various mental health disorders including depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and alcoholism. Offering insight not only into the struggles of those with mental illness but into the challenges of their family members as well. Davis reveals how he has been able to cope with his family's mental illness and how he has healed. He points out that by studying our families' medical history, we can learn how the experiences of prior generations will affect our own mental health and take steps to seek out the counseling and medication we require to live a healthy, balanced life.
        In It’s Not Mental: Finding Innovative Support and Medical Treatment for a Child Diagnosed with a Severe Mental Illness, Jeanie Wolfson writes of her family’s experience in finding a successful treatment for her daughter’s mental illness.  Using her own story she offers advice for other families dealing with this difficult situation.
        Worry and anxiety were the subject of one of the Lunch & Learn programs.  Two new books you might like to try are The Dutiful Worrier: How to Stop Compulsive Worry without Feeling Guilty by Elliot D. Cohen and The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution:  How the Foods You Eat Can Help You Calm Your Anxious Mind, Improve Your Mood & End Cravings by Trudy Scott.  Do you feel it’s your duty to worry?  If your answer to the question is yes you may be suffering from a type of compulsive behavior called dutiful worrying. On the positive side, dutiful worrying can make you feel as if you're actually doing something to improve or control your situation. But this unproductive habit eventually robs you of energy and peace of mind and can leave you feeling over whelmed. Cohen offers a four-step program to end this vicious cycle.  Scott points out how much the foods we eat can impact our brain chemistry and emotions.  The Antianxiety Food Solution provides four diets designed to help address nutritional deficiencies and increase emotional balance.
      Memoirs from people with mental illness can provide insights for others.  The Rules of the Tunnel:  My Brief Period of Madness by Ned Zeman, a journalist who faces his toughest assignment yet: profiling himself. Zeman recounts his struggle with clinical depression in this high- octane, brutally funny memoir about mood disorders, memory, shock treatment therapy and the quest to get back to normal.
The chances of service members developing PTSD after military-related traumas is at least 30 percent according to a U.S. study.  PTSD is neither a localized nor a temporary problem.  When the War Never Ends: the Voices of Military Members with PTSD and their Families, compiled by Leah Wizelman, helps us to understand the psychological aftermath of war by listening to the warriors and those who share their burdens.  
Wortmann wasn't diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder for many years, despite the fact that he had been seeing a psychologist since he was six. Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder chronicles a young life perennially on the verge of emotional or physical collapse. OCD, Wortmann notes, demands things that the world is unable to give-- safety and certainty. Though meant to help anyone who suffers from mental illness, Wortmann's chronicle is also intended for the rest of us, as it sheds illuminating light on an often misunderstood and quite mysterious condition.

by Caroline Jordan Collection Development
May 12, 2012
Dream Big

Dream Big!, the 2012 summer reading program theme of many area libraries, accurately describes the hopes, talents, lives, and loving hearts of the characters in these new books for children.

In Thank You, Mr. Falker, we met the fifth-grade teacher who recognized Patricia Polacco’s dyslexia and got her the help she needed to learn to read. In Polacco’s newest picture book, The Art of Miss Chew, we meet the art teacher who introduced Polacco to the language of art. Polacco’s grammar school teacher, Mr. Donovan, recognized her rare ability and arranged an introduction to Miss Chew, head of the high school art department who offered a special program for young artists twice a week. In addition to inspiring Polacco’s artistic gifts, Miss Chew noticed that Polacco read negative space. This helped teachers understand why she couldn’t read quickly enough to pass tests at school and enabled Polacco get the help she needed to overcome her difficulty. This newest Polacco book underscores the importance of art programs in public schools. Polacco has become one of Michigan’s favorite authors and illustrators of children’s books. 

In Georgia in Hawaii, Amy Novesky explains what happened in 1939 when the Hawaiian Pineapple Company invited Georgia O’Keeffe to Hawaii and commissioned her to paint two pictures of pineapples. Georgia did indeed paint. However, instead of the company’s crop, Georgia painted waterfalls and mountains, lava and feathered fishhooks, flowers and trees. These beautiful paintings were not what the Company wanted or accepted. Upon arriving home in New York City, the Company mailed her a pineapple which she painted. Her Hawaiian paintings hung in a New York gallery and received much praise. Yuyi Morales drew from Georgia’s Hawaiian paintings and the body of her work to interpret Novesky’s text in lush and vibrant colors and scenes. 

Diego Rivera, one of the most famous painters of the twentieth century, was born in Mexico. A scholarship provided Rivera the opportunity to study in Europe where he learned about and experimented with both classical and modern art forms. After returning home, Rivera traveled throughout Mexico exploring the ancient civilizations, art and architecture of his country. He painted large murals on walls in Mexico City so that all the people of Mexico could see them and learn about their culture, history and struggle for independence. In Diego Rivera: His World and Ours, Duncan Tonatiuh imagines what Rivera would paint today, and in illustrations inspired by Rivera, links appealing images of 21st century life with his interpretations of Rivera’s famous paintings. 

Jonah Winter shares the story of his father's childhood in Born and Bred in the Great Depression. The family of ten lived next to the railroad tracks in East Texas, shared two beds, went barefoot, survived tornadoes, and listened to the stories of the hobos who journeyed through their town. Even though Grandpa couldn't always find work, the family had a large garden and chickens and never went hungry. There were many joys: trips to the icehouse, watching passing trains, playing chess, and listening to Grandpa's banjo. The family never gave up; they worked hard, had more love than anything else and survived the economic storm. Family photographs fill the end pages of this moving picture book. 

The Great Depression is the setting for Christopher Paul Curtis' new novel The Mighty Miss Malone. Darling Daughter Deza Malone is twelve and the smartest student in her class in Gary, Indiana. Her family of four includes an older brother, Jimmie the Genuine, Gentle Jumpin' Giant, whose great talent is singing. Unable to find work in Gary, Mr. Malone, the master of alliteration, leaves his family, planning to return to his hometown of Flint, Michigan (Curtis' hometown), hoping to find work. The remaining Malones become homeless when the landlord rents their house and furniture to two other families. Catastrophe, danger, resourcefulness and the goodness of many others mark the family's journey to "a place called Wonderful." Poverty is intensely felt in images of Deza's rotten teeth and horrible breath which cause Mr. Malone to turn his face away in shame because he cannot afford necessary dental care for his beloved daughter. Curtis weaves hardship, a great deal of humor, excellent characterization and a vivid sense of history in this well written novel.  

Ivan is a gorilla who lives at a circus-themed mall and video arcade in Katherine Applegates's new novel, The One and Only Ivan. Ivan watches TV; is friends with Stella, an older elephant, and a small stray dog, Bob; works for his boss, Mack; and loves to draw, especially pictures of bananas which Mack sells in the gift shop. Mack incorporates a baby elephant named Ruby in their act hoping to increase business in the run-down mall. Ruby's presence and Stella's tragic death, however, remind Ivan of a different life, one of freedom and other gorillas. Ivan becomes determined to provide a better life for Ruby. To do so he must rely on his courage, finger paints, and the help of the janitor and his daughter, Julia.

Dream Big! begins June 11. Visit us to find these books and many others that may inspire your own big dreams.

by Cathy Seblonka, Youth Services
May 5, 2012

One of the most popular categories of books at the Peter White Public Library is cookbooks.  The PWPL collection is a good place to explore new cuisines, learn new techniques or find new twists to old favorites. 
            Most people love chocolate, but are daunted by working with it in anything more than rudimentary ways.  William Curley’s
Couture Chocolate may just inspire some experimentation.  This Master Class in working with chocolate by a four time winner of the Academy of Chocolate’s award for Best British Chocolatier fills his book with beautiful photographs and easy to understand recipes and techniques.  Even if you have never tried working with chocolate, this book makes you feel like you too can create beautiful and tasty treats.
            As spring approaches, fresh vegetables become more readily available.  The availability of new veggies will enhance the Chinese dishes included in Ching’s Everyday Easy Chinese by Ching-He Huang or Easy Chinese Recipes by Bee Yinn Low.  Ching focuses on quick and healthy versions of Chinese takeout favorites.  Ching is a Cooking Channel star and fuses Chinese and Western cultures in her colorful cookbook.  Bee realized that her love of Chinese cuisine did not suit a modern Western lifestyle.  Her  recipes recreate Chinese favorites using limited preparation time and ingredients found in local supermarkets. 
            Women of the South have a reputation for preparing wonderful foods. 
At My Grandmother’s Knee by Faye Porter compiles recipes handed down over the generations by Southern cooks.  Recipes for breakfast, jam, pickles, canning, beverages, breads, rolls, biscuit, appetizers, soups, salads, sides, main dishes and desserts are all presented with a short history of where the recipe originated and a personal story.  The recipes will appeal to a wide range of cooks and those who love to eat.
            Strong Waters is a simple guide to making beer, wine and cider at home.  Scott Mansfield has pulled together easy to follow recipes for beverages using everyday materials.  He encourages the reader to use seasonal and local ingredients whenever possible.
            Molly Stevens has followed her book All About Braising with a new book All About Roasting.  After consulting this comprehensive volume, cooks will be able to roast beef, lamb, pork, poultry, fish, shellfish, fruits and vegetables.  Over 200 recipes are included in this educational manual.
            Margaeret M. Furtado is a leading expert in dietary issues related to weigh-loss surgery. Her new book Recipes for Life After Weight-Loss Surgery, Delicious Dishes for Nourishing the New You, is a perfect guide for anyone who needs to maintain healthy eating habits and get the right nutrition after weight loss surgery.  Each recipe includes an extensive nutritional analysis and notes about other variations for the dish.
Japanese cuisine can be intimidating but Debra Samuels has collected a variety of homestyle dishes that are easy to prepare for this cookbook.  My Japanese Table includes familiar favorites and lesser known dishes that are delicious and easy to prepare.  All of the recipes include a story about the dish, cooking tips and colorful photos.  If you have wanted to try Japanese cooking, this is a wonderful way to start.
            The Japanese Grill by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat instructs the reader on preparation of classic Japanese yakitori, steak, seafood and vegetables.  Grill prepared yakitori, poultry, fish, seafood, meat, vegetables, side dishes and yaki onigiri are included.  The book also lists sources for grilling equipment and Japanese ingredients.  The home grill aficionado can use this book to expand his repertoire.
            Eugenia Bone grew up in an Italian home with a father who canned everything from tuna to olives uses her heritage to write Well-Preserved: Recipes and Techniques for Putting Up Small Batches of Seasonal Foods.  Bone paves the way for busy people with limited time and space who would like to save some of nature’s bounty.  She covers traditional methods-water bath and pressure cooker, but also shares simpler methods that allow for preserving foods in smaller batches, using low-tech options like oil preserving, curing and freezing.  Bone details all of these techniques with the main goal of assuring that all foods are preserved in a stable and safe manner.  She gives The book also offers recipes and ideas for using the prepared foods.  Chapters in this book include fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, fungi, meat, poultry and fish.
            Hot and Cheesy by Clifford A. Wright contains over 250 recipes from around the world that are topped, stuffed or sprinkled with cheese.  No category of food is overlooked and this cookbook will give you a new appreciation of the many ways cheese can be used.
An exploration of food through the PWPL new book shelves can provide new tastes to your table.

by Pam Christensen, Library Director
April 28, 2012
Author Marissa Moss

Marissa Moss is the queen of journaling, having created five children’s book series that are written from a first person narrative in the form of a diary, notebook, or journal, along with a fair amount of doodling.  Her second claim to fame is in the area of historical fiction, writing about courageous, but lesser known, females from history.

For upper elementary readers, Amelia’s Notebook and all the notebooks that follow are old favorites.  These creative journals are hand written on lined notebook paper with colored drawings to completely tell the story as Amelia experiences it from the fifth grade all the way through middle school.  The journals have catchy titles such as, Amelia’s Most Unforgettable Embarrassing Moments and Amelia’s Are-We-There-Yet Longest Ever Car Trip.  If your local library doesn’t have one of the 27 titles, feel free to ask for interlibrary loan.

Her newest series for the elementary audience is “Daphne’s Diary of Daily Disasters” from 2011.  Daphne begins her series on the first day of fourth grade when the teacher causes chaos by mispronouncing her name. She chronicles the classroom activities and scholastic challenges in her diary, a pink paged collection of notes and drawings that convey Daphne’s point of view perfectly.  The first two books are titled, The Name Game and The Vampire Dare.

The “Max Disaster” series includes two new titles, Alien Eraser Unravels the Mystery of the Pyramids and Alien Eraser Reveals the Secret of Evolution.  The vocabulary is written for ages 8-12, but the numerous illustrations may encourage younger readers to give them a try.  Both books cover their topics scientifically and humorously, and still manage to solve the mysteries at hand.

Moss has also written a series of journals about girls from different periods of time, such as Rachel’s Journal: The Story of a Pioneer Girl.  Rachel records her tale in cursive writing on yellowed paper from 150 years ago as she and her family journey from Illinois to California, while dealing with Indians, the weather, and survival. Three more books complete this series.

In  her newest book, Nurse, Soldier, Spy, Moss reveals the unlikely story of Sarah Edmonds, a patriotic young woman who disguised herself as Frank Thompson in order to join the Michigan Volunteer Infantry and fight in the Civil War. She served as a battlefield nurse for the Union Army and later, as a spy. The illustrations of John Hendrix add a little humor to a very serious story with his caricature style of drawing people, as well as the historical information tucked into the background. Other historical fiction titles are:  Mighty Jackie the Strike-out Queen, Sky High, and The Bravest Woman in America.

Marissa Moss will be featured at the Young Authors conference the second week of May, with a special appearance at the Peter White Public Library on Tuesday, May 8th at 6:30 pm.  The event is open to the public.

by Lynette Suckow, Website & Outreach Services
April 21, 2012
Old Favorites

My daughter is already in the final weeks of kindergarten and celebrating her sixth birthday this weekend.  It wasn’t that long ago I was reading her the same books over and over again.  Now, thanks in part to her wonderful teachers at Superior Hills Elementary and St. Christopher’s Day School, she is reading those books to me.  Here are some “Hayden-approved” selections for the young reader in all of us.

The Junie B. Jones Collection by Barbara Park – Although she is not new to the PWPL shelves, Junie B. is a timeless wonder for young readers who are proud to read chapter books.  Favorites include Junie B. Jones and the Stupid, Smelly Bus and Junie B. Jones and That Meanie Jim’s Birthday.

 Little Pig Robinson by Beatrix Potter – A classic by an icon, Little Pig Robinson is a tiny book that fits just so in small hands.  Again, a young readers appreciate the “older” reader feel of this tale.

 High Dive and Other Things That Could Have Happened by Bill Harley – The master storyteller delighted audiences at Forest Roberts last February with his latest release.  The title track will have the whole family in stitches.

Too Many Toys by David Shannon – Ahh, toy purging—the age-old argument that could be an Olympic sport by 2018.  Spencer’s mom takes on her son in this tale of negotiation and strategy.  The familiar twist at the end is the cherry on top of this smart story.

Wacky Wednesday by Dr. Suess – Suess’ books are wonderful for early readers to master as they learn to sound out words and read aloud.  Wacky Wednesday is one they’ll love to go back to again and again.

Tales for Very Picky Eaters by Josh Schneider – This book is another easy chapter book both children and their parents will appreciate.  Bright illustrations highlight the stories and a quiz is included to find out if the reader is, in fact, a picky eater.

 Benjamin and Tulip by Rosemary Wells – This author is better known for her characters Max and Ruby, but Benjamin and Tulip are characters all of their own.  Tulip is a bit of a bully and Max has to figure out how to deal with her (a watermelon is involved).

by Heather Steltenpohl, Development Director
April 14, 2012
New DVDs

The Peter White Public Library offers these new movie titles.

 My Week with Marilyn directed by Simon Curtis
          This 2011 British biographical film directed by Simon Curtis and written by Adrian Hodges focuses on the week that aspiring filmmaker Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne) spent escorting Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams) around London while filming The Prince and the Showgirl.  The film is adapted from the memoirs The Prince, the Showgirl, and Me and My Week with Marilyn, both written by Clark documenting his time on the set of the 1957 film.  When Monroe’s new husband, the famous playwright Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott), leaves England, the scene is set for Clark to show Monroe the pleasures of everyday British life; an idyllic week in which he provides the means for Monroe to escape the pressures of being the most famous woman in the world.  Williams gives a stellar performance as the blond bombshell, portraying her charisma and vulnerability while providing a small glimpse into the life of the movie star who became a legend.

Another Earth directed by Mike Cahill
          This 2011 American science fiction drama follows the story of two strangers whose paths cross as the result of a tragic accident.  After learning of her acceptance to MIT, 17 year-old Rhoda Williams (Brit Marling) celebrates the news with friends and attempts to drive home while intoxicated.  During the drive she hears a news report on the radio about a planet that has been discovered in the solar system that is a duplicate of Earth.  The shocking news distracts Rhoda as she drives right into a vehicle that is stopped at an intersection, killing the wife and son of composer John Burroughs (William Mathoper) and putting him in a coma.  After serving time for her the accident she caused, Rhoda attempts to contact John to let him know she is the reason his family is dead but loses her nerve and pretends to be a maid and starts working for him.  The complexities of their growing relationship are only furthered after Rhoda wins an contest to visit the mirror Earth. 

Water for Elephants directed by Francis Lawrence
          This 2011 American romantic drama is based on the best-selling historical novel by Sara Gruen, screenplay written by Richard LaGravenese. The film begins in the present day at a circus where an elderly man is found after being separated from his nursing home group. Most of the film takes place in a flashback as the man tells the story of the most infamous circus disaster ever, for which he was present.  After suddenly becoming orphaned and penniless, Jacob Jankowski (Robert Pattinson) jumps onto a passing train and enters a world of freaks, drifters, and misfits; a second-rate circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, making one-night stands in town after town. A veterinary student who almost earned his degree, Jacob is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It is there that he meets Marlena (Reese Witherspoon), the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August (Christoph Waltz), the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. Water for Elephants is illuminated by a wonderful sense of time and place. It tells a story of a love between two people that overcomes incredible odds in a world in which even love is a luxury that few can afford.

An Education directed by Love Scherfig
          This 2009 British drama is a coming-of-age tale based on an autobiographical article by British journalist Lynn Barber.  The film takes place in 1960’s London and centers of the relationship between 16 year-old Jenny Mellor (Carey Mulligan) and a charming Jewish conman named David Goldman (Peter Sarsgaard).  David, who is twice as old as Jenny, begins to pursue the bright Oxford-bound young lady romantically and is able to charm her family into approving of their relationship.  After Jenny enters Oxford, secrets in David’s life come to the surface and Jenny is faced with decisions she is unprepared to make at such a young age.  Jenny must frantically try to keep the world she has worked for from crumbling around her. 

Captain America: The First Avenger directed by Joe Johnston
          This 2011 American superhero film is based on the Marvel Comics character Captain America.  Set during World War II the film follows a sickly New York man named Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) as he tries to serve in the US military after numerous previous rejections.  The US is embroiled in the war against the Nazi’s and Steve is determined to do his part.  He finally gets his chance after Dr. Abraham Erskine (StanelyTucci) recruits Rogers for the secret Project Rebirth and transforms his formerly weak and frail body into that of a super-soldier.  Now it is up to Captain America to stop the Germans in their quest for world domination.

by Dominic Davis, Administrative Assistant
April 7, 2012
Spring Picks

Soldiers and Slaves: American POWs Trapped by the Nazis’ Final Gamble by Roger Cohen. 
In February 1945, 350 American POWs captured earlier at the Battle of the Bulge or elsewhere in Europe were singled out by the Nazi’s because they were Jews or were thought to resemble Jews.  They were transported in cattle cars to Berga, a concentration camp in eastern Germany, and put to work as slave laborers, mining tunnels for a planned underground synthetic fuel factory. This was the only incident of its kind during World War II.
            Starved and brutalized, the GI’s were denied their rights as prisoners of war. Their ordeal culminated in a death march that was halted by liberation near the Czech border.  Twenty percent of these soldiers-more than seventy of them-perished.   After the war, Berga was virtually forgotten, partly because it fell under Soviet domination and partly because America’s cold war priorities quickly changed. The experience of these Americans was buried. 
Now for the first time, their story is told in all its blistering detail.  This is the story of hell in a small place over a period of ten weeks, at a time when Hitler’s Reich was crumbling but its killing machine still churned.  It is a tale of madness and heroism, and of the failure to deliver justice for what the Nazis did to these Americans.
            Roger Cohen uncovers exactly why the U.S. Government did not aggressively prosecute the commandants of Berga, why recognition for the POWs and their harsh treatment in the postwar years and why it took decades for them to receive compensation.  Soldiers and Slaves is an intimate, intensely dramatic story of war and of a largely forgotten chapter of the Holocaust.

In the Mouth of the Cat: the story of Lance Sijan, Hero of Vietnam by Malcolm McConnell. 
Few of the heroes of the Vietnam war are known to the nation they served.  This book tells the astonishing story of a young Air Force pilot named Lance Sijan whose valor, dedication to duty, and indomitable spirit were tested under the most extreme conditions. 
On the night of November 9, 1967 Sijan was ejected from his crippled fighter-bomber into the steep jungle mountains of Laos.  Although disabled by terrible injuries, he evaded capture by enemy patrols and dragged himself through the savage terrain for an incredible six weeks, until capture on Christmas day.
            In a holding camp, he overpowered his guard and escaped, again pulling his devastated body through the wilderness.  During interrogation following his recapture, he was tortured but divulged no military information.  He died two weeks later in Hanoi. 
However, his gallant struggle galvanized other American prisoners to resist torture and brain washing.  In 1976, Sijan was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.  His fellow officer, Colonel Glen Nordin, said of this book “It is the Ernest true story, not only of the Vietnam era, but its message is equal to the finest epic, heroic literature of World War II, World War I and the Civil War.” 

Lost in Shangri-la by Irwin Allen.
            A true story of survival, adventure and the most incredible rescue mission of World War II. On May 13, 1945, twenty-four American servicemen and WACs boarded a transport plane for a sightseeing trip over Shangri-la, a beautiful and mysterious valley deep within the jungle-covered mountains of Dutch New Guinea. Unlike the peaceful Tibetan monks of James Hilton’s best-selling novel, Lost Horizon,  this Shangri-la was home to spear-carrying tribesmen. Warriors rumored to be cannibals. But the pleasure tour became an unforgettable battle for survival when the plane crashed.
            Miraculously, three passengers pulled through. Margaret Hastings was barefoot and burned. Humorous and, at times, dangerous misunderstandings arose between the Americans and the indigenous people during the 46-day ordeal in the jungle.
            As the three waited for help, they faced death from untreated injuries and warlike local tribesmen who had never seen white people before and believed them to be dangerous spirits. Even after a company of paratroopers arrived, the survivors still faced a dangerous escape from the valley due to high elevations, thick jungle and being surrounded by mountains. Their extraction was a unique and cleverly engineered plan to get them home safely.

No Regrets: a rock ‘n’ roll memoir by Ace Frehley.
            The music, the makeup, the madness and more! In December of 1972, a pair of musicians placed an advertisement in the Village Voice “Guitarist wanted with Flash! and ability.” Ace Frehley figured he had both, so he answered the ad. The rest is rock ‘n’ roll history.
            He was just a boy from the Bronx with stars in his eyes. But when he picked up his guitar and painted stars on his face, Ace Frehley transformed into “The Spaceman” and helped KISS become one of the top-selling bands in the world. Now for the first time, the beloved rock icon reveals his side of the story. 

Ice Run by Steve Hamilton.
            An intense atmosphere continues to add to the riches of Steve Hamilton’s well-plotted novel. Hamilton again excels at linking his traditional private detective novels with solid plots. A tender love story and a rude awakening of the past form the heart of Ice Run. It turns on edge-of-the seat psychological suspense that Hamilton has honed to precision. Hamilton will be making a visit to the eastern Upper Peninsula in June; watch for dates of his appearances.

by Stan Peterson, Maintenance Supervisor
March 31, 2012

Memoir is a genre that has seen a lot of growth lately.   Understanding another’s personal story helps us see common threads of experience, and the best memoirs also contain a good story.  The Peter White Public Library has a large collection of memoirs.  Some of the newest additions to this collection are:

Five years after he married the love of his life, David Finch learned that that he has Asperger syndrome. The diagnosis explains David’s ever-growing list of quirks and compulsions, his lifelong propensity to quack and otherwise melt down in social exchanges, and his clinical-strength inflexibility. Determined to change, David sets out to understand Asperger syndrome and learn to be a better husband.  David transformed himself over the course of two years from the world’s most trying husband to the husband who tries the hardest.   His efforts lead him to create The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage and Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband. 

To everyone else, John F. Kennedy Jr. may have been American royalty, but to RoseMarie Terenzio he was an entitled nuisance—and she wasn’t afraid to let him know it. RoseMarie was his personal assistant, his publicist, and one of his closest confidantes during the last five years of his life. In Fairy tale interrupted : A Memoir of Life, Love, and Loss, she recounts the unlikely friendship between a blue-collar girl from the Bronx and John Kennedy Jr.

Growing up in a family of political journalists—and daughter of President Reagan’s White House social secretary—Alexandra Wentworth rebelled against her blue-blood upbringing, embracing Hollywood, motorcycles, even a few wildly inappropriate marriage proposals. Today she is an acclaimed comedic actress and writer, and wife of political and media star George Stephanopoulos. Though she’s settled down, her rebellious nature thrives in her comedy and her view of her crazy world, as told in her memoir, Ali in Wonderland and other tall tales

In the Fall of 1980, Gil Scott-Heron was invited by Stevie Wonder to join him on a forty-one city tour across America that would end in Washington on January 15, 1981. The purpose of this tour was to raise popular support for the creation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a national holiday that would honor the great civil rights leader. This holiday became official in 1986. Scott-Heron uses this history-making tour as the backbone of his memoir, The Last Holiday.

Chris Herren was the last, best hope for a career beyond the shuttered mills and factories of his hometown in Durfee, Massachsettes.  In high school Herren was heavily recruited by major universities  and featured in Sports Illustrated.  In college, Herren starred on the  Fresno State Bulldogs.  His gritty, tattooed, hip-hop persona drew the ire of rival fans and more national attention: Rolling Stone profiled him, 60 Minutes interviewed him, and the Denver Nuggets drafted him. When the Boston Celtics acquired his contract, he lived the dream—but off the court Herren was secretly crumbling, as his alcohol and drug use escalated and his life spiraled out of control.  In Basketball Junkie, Chris Herren tells how he nearly lost everything and everyone he loved, and how he found a way back to life.

Mikey Walsh was born into a Romany Gypsy family. They live in a secluded community, and little is known about their way of life. After centuries of persecution, Gypsies are wary of outsiders.  Growing up, Mikey didn’t go to school and the caravan became his world. It was a rich and unusual upbringing, but although Mikey inherited a vibrant and loyal culture, his family’s legacy was bittersweet. Eventually Mikey was forced to make an agonizing decision—to stay and keep secrets, or escape and find somewhere to belong.  Gypsy Boy shows what life is really like among the Romany Gypsies.

Born with a congenital heart defect that required surgery when he was a baby, Damon Weber lives a big life with spirit and independence that have always been a source of pride to his parents, Doron and Shealagh. But when Damon is diagnosed with a new illness as a teenager, his triumphant coming-of-age tale turns into a darker and more dramatic quest: his family’s race against time and a flawed heath care system.  In Immortal Bird: A Family Memoir, Doron Weber gives his account of his family’s experiences with the of modern medicine and the redemptive power of art. “Bird Cloud” is the name Annie Proulx gave to 640 acres of Wyoming wetlands and prairie and cliffs overlooking the North Platte River. On the day she first visited, a cloud in the shape of a bird hung in the evening sky.  She fell in love with the land, then owned by the Nature Conservancy, and she knew what she wanted to build on it—a house in harmony with her work, her appetites and her character, a library surrounded by bedrooms and a kitchen. Proulx’s first work of nonfiction in more than twenty years, Bird Cloud is the story of designing and constructing that house. It is also a natural history and archaeology of the region.

In I Was a Dancer : A Memoir, Jacques d’Amboise, one of America’s most celebrated classical dancers, and former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet for more than three decades, tells the extraordinary story of his life in dance, and of America’s most renowned and admired dance companies. He writes of his classical studies beginning at the age of eight at The School of American Ballet. At twelve he was asked to perform with Ballet Society; three years later he joined the New York City Ballet and made his European debut at London’s Covent Garden.

by Ellen Moore, Reference Desk
March 24, 2012
A Bit of the Irish

            At the Peter White Public Library you can find several new books that mix a bit of Irish luck with the kiss of the Blarney Stone. The first is Katie Fforde’s new book Love Letters, which tells the story of bookstore clerk Laura Horsley. At a book signing she’s organized for author Damien Stubbs, Laura meets Damien’s colorful publicist, Elenora Huckleby, who challenges her to plan a literary festival.  The key to the festival’s success will be to get reclusive Irish author Dermott Flynn to attend the event, a feat that makes Laura grow romantically and professionally. This sweetly written romance is a story Nora Ephron fans will also likely enjoy.  
            In contrast to Fforde’s book, Faefever by Karen Marie Moning is a dark and forbidding urban fantasy. In this companion book to Bloodfever, MacKayla Lane seeks revenge for her sister’s murder while being compelled to hunt for relics by two powerful adversaries: V’Lane, a death-by-sex Fae, and Jericho Barrons, owner of Barrons Books and Baubles. The Dublin neighborhood surrounding BB&B is a Dark Zone filled with shadow-demons who endanger MacKayla as she searches for the Sinsar Dubh, a black magic book that is more than a million years old.  Plenty of unresolved plot twists ensure another book will follow Karen Marie Moning’s latest installment in the Fever series.
            Author Maeve Binchy chooses a very different sort of Dublin neighborhood as the setting for her story, Minding Frankie.  The arrival of Cousin Emily coincides with the news that 30-year-old Noel will soon become a single father. Guided by Emily’s wisdom, Noel sobers up, moves out of his parents’ home, signs up for business classes, and takes on the responsibility of raising little Frances with the help of friends and family.  Only social worker Moira seems to have doubts about the permanence of Noel’s transformation.  In Minding Frankie, Maeve Binchy populates the fictional neighborhood of St. Jarlath’s Crescent with many beloved characters from previous novels, a fact her fans are sure to find comforting.
            Ghost Light by Joseph O’Connor offers a fictional account of the real-life love story between Irish playwright John Synge and actress Molly Allgood. In his book O’Connor follows the couple’s tumultuous relationship by switching between Edwardian Dublin when 18-year-old Molly meets J. M. Synge at Dublin’s Abbey Theater and a day in her later life in 1950’s London where we encounter Molly alone, alcoholic and destitute.  Joseph O’Connor’s writing style provides insightful clues into Molly’s often unreliable and erratic narration of her life’s story.
            The novel Ellis Island by Kate Kerrigan tells the tale of Ellie Flaherty and John Hogan who fall in love when she is 8 and he is 10.  At age 18 Ellie forsakes a religious calling for life as John’s wife on a ramshackle farm in rural Ireland. When John follows his conscience to fight for the IRA and is wounded, Ellie decides she must go to America to earn the money needed for an operation to repair his shattered hip. Once settled in New York and working as a typist, Ellie attracts the attention of a wealthy gentleman named Charles Irvington who forces her to choose between an impoverished life in Ireland with the husband she loves or the freedom and comfort of life in America.
            Frank Delaney’s book Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show follows the travels of Ben McCarthy who is searching for a father who has abandoned the farm to join a traveling theater troupe. Ben finds the troupe but falls in love with the actress who has seduced his father, a young actress named Venetia Kelly.  Her father is a political opportunist named King Kelly who proceeds to steal the McCarthy’s farm, set a political mob on them, and destroy the troupe.  In the process King Kelly ends up losing the love of his life.  Frank Delaney’s book Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show is a rollicking mix of theater and politics that will appeal to a wide audience. 

by Lisa Shirtz, Reference Desk
March 17, 2012
Newest in Fiction
                New fiction carries the promise of reading pleasure, and the Peter White Public Library has no end to the offerings appearing on the new book kiosks.  Motor City Shakedown is the latest book by D.E. Johnson. This mystery set during the fledgling days of Detroit’s automobile industry.  This book received a Michigan Notable Book Award, and with Johnson’s first book, The Detroit Electric Scheme, presents a compelling history of Detroit in the 1910s.
                Mysteries set in Scandinavia are extremely popular and author John Ajvide Lindqvist has attracted legions of followers.  He has been called Sweden’s answer to Stephen King.  In Harbor Lindqvist tells the story of the mysterious disappearance of six year old Maja on a lonely island set in the middle of a frozen channel. Her father Anders is a broken man, who finally musters the strength to investigate the mystery, only to find much more mysterious and deadly events centered on the island.
The Century’s Best Horror Fiction edited by John Pelan offers 700 pages of reading by well known authors.  Each year from 1901 to 1950 is represented by the best horror story published that year.  Only one selection from each author and only one selection per year were allowed.  Ray Bradbury, Shirley Jackson, H.G. Wells, H.P. Lovecraft, August Derleth and Rosalie Muspratt are just some of the authors included in this comprehensive look at horror fiction.
In a dusty corner of a basement in a rambling Victorian house in upstate New Hampshire, new homeowners Chip and Emily find a cellar door sealed shut with 39 six inch long carriage bolts.  What is the symbolism and why is the community so mysterious.  Chip is trying to recover from the guilt he feels from his deadly emergency landing of flight 1611.  He was at the controls when the plane was forced to land in icy Lake Champlain.  Unfortunately, 39 passengers lost their lives, and his plan to escape to the quiet village and rebuild his life goes awry when he and Emily learn more about the creepy community they have selected.  The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian proves that not all demons are alive.
                Robert Rotenberg has become famous for his suspenseful legal thrillers.  High-profile divorce attorney Terrance Wyler wakes to find his latest trial transformed from a divorce trial to a murder trial.  The open-and-shut case spins out of control becoming a complex case full of spite and uncertainty.  The Guilty Plea races straight to an unpredictable conclusion.  Readers who enjoy this type of book may want to begin with Rotenberg’s previous offering, Old City Hall.
                Darkness, My Old Friend by Lisa Unger builds on the characters from her earlier book Fragile.  Set in the fictional Hollows, this novel reprises the interworking of police officer James Cooper and psychic Eloise Montgomery.  Mysteries converge as Michael Holt returns to investigate the mysterious disappearance of his mother many years ago.  Combined with the unpredictable actions of 15 year old Willow Graves, the novel is the riveting story of lives set on a collision course.
                Virgil Flowers is one of the hottest new detectives on the mystery scene.  The brainchild of Minnesota author John Sandford, writer of the successful Prey novels, Flowers is tough, unpredictable and gritty.  He is smart and sexy with a wicked sense of humor.  Set in Minneapolis, the latest novel, Shock Wave, details a ground war against one of the nation’s largest big box retailer.  Someone is trying to end the expansion of the too-big retail giant with deadly results.
                Child 44 written by Tom Rob Smith was an immediate publishing sensation.  It was named one of the 100 thrillers of all time by NPR, hit bestseller lists around the world and won numerous awards.  Smith is back with Agent 6.  Set in New York City, the story centers on the wife and daughter of notorious Moscow Secret Police officer Leo Demidov.  Demidov is forced to watch from Russia as his family is torn apart and destroyed.  He takes matters into his own hands, spending years to discover the truth-held by Agent 6.
                These and other new fiction offerings await readers at the Peter White Public Library.
by Pamela Christensen, Library Director
March 10, 2012
New Non-Fiction

The Peter White Public Library offers these new adult nonfiction books.

Summer of '68: the season that changed baseball and America forever by Tim Wendel 
By 1968 the country was experiencing cultural and political upheaval. Baseball provided a retreat from the chaos, a sense of continuity. Pitchers were setting new standards of excellence, as the fabric of the nation was being stretched, and in some cases torn apart. The season ended with the Detroit Tigers taking the championship, helping to bring joy to the beleaguered city.
New Adult Non-Fiction 796.357 WE

City of fortune: how Venice ruled the seas by Roger Crowley
Written by the best-selling author of Empires of the Sea. From the beginning of the 1200s to the end of the 1400s, Venice was the biggest naval power on the Mediterranean. The city catapulted itself to wealth, and became one of the most opulent places on Earth. Chronicles the trade, diplomacy, and the might that led to their successes.
New Adult Non-Fiction 945.311 CR

Backpacker outdoor hazards: avoiding trouble in the backcountry by Dave Anderson
Published by Backpacker Magazine. Essential topics for outdoor survival are individually addressed. Covers animals, insects, weather, planning, terrain, river crossings, avalanches, hypothermia, and psychological hazards.
New Adult Non-Fiction 796.51 AN

The eighty-dollar champion: Snowman, the horse that inspired a nation by Elizabeth Letts
When Dutch immigrant Harry de Leyer first saw the plow horse he would later name Snowman, the animal was on a truck to the slaughterhouse. He saw something special in the horse and paid $80 to give him a reprieve. Snowman turned out to have a knack for jumping. Eventually, Harry and Snowman ended up on the show-jump circuit competing against thoroughbreds.
New Adult Non-Fiction 798.25 LE

Sealab: America's forgotten quest to live and work on the ocean floor by Ben Hellwarth
Before NASA had the Spacelab, the US Navy built Sealabs I, II, and III. Beginning in 1964, these undersea stations were designed to test the limits of diving technology and living underwater. The methods developed by the Sealab program are still in use today by workers on commercial oil rigs, and Navy divers.
New Adult Non-Fiction 551.46 HE

 Gypsy boy: my life in the secret world of the Romany Gypsies by Mikey Walsh
A #1 best seller in Great Britain, this is the story of Mikey Walsh (pen name) who was born into a Romany Gypsy family in England. Walsh brings the secluded world of the gypsy to life with an account of his childhood and eventual decision to leave the community.
New Adult Non-Fiction 921 Walsh

by Bruce MacDonald, Circulation Librarian
March 3, 2012

            Author, actress, activist and fitness guru, Jane Fonda, has written a comprehensive guide for living out the third act of your life in “Prime Time”.  Well researched and filled with colorful examples from her own life story, Fonda seeks to give helpful tips for living life to the fullest. From diet and exercise, to love and friendships, to sage tips for estate planning, Jane offers up guidelines for action.  Even though the book contains quite a bit of technical information, it is authored in an easily read and absorbing style.  Jane brings in stories from her travels across the world stage and her interactions with people of many cultures and socio-economic groups.  Jane ends the book with appendix’s containing exercises beneficial for the mature age group and nutrition tips and guidelines.  You’ll find this book in our new-nonfiction selections.
            Julie Klassen has come out with another winner in the Victorian Christian Romance department.  “The Maid of Fairbourne Hall” is on our new fiction shelves and can easily entice you to while away a pleasant evening reading.  Our heroine, Margaret Macy, is forced to disguise herself as a servant girl and seek employment as such to escape the advances of her step-father’s nephew, who is after her fortune.  Complications arise when she is hired by a former suitor who still harbors affection for her.  Descriptions of  the customs and manners of the time are authentic and fascinating.  Will there be a happy ending for all?  Will Margaret learn a thing or two about the lower classes’ plight?  Do her prayers for safety and favor get answered?  Read on and see! 
Who wouldn’t enjoy reading an update on former “Brady Bunch Mom”, Florence Henderson?  Any fan of the television series, grew to admire the calm and serenity that Florence dished out every week in her role as Brady matriarch.  In her new memoir, “Life is not a Stage” from Broadway Baby to a Lovely Lady and Beyond, Florence dishes on her career as an actress and singer.  Life did not start out as a fairytale for Florence.  She was one of 10 children with an alcoholic father and a mother who left the home when Florence was 12.  Her father was a poor tobacco farmer and living conditions were quite humble.  Possessed with a love and talent for music and acting, and with the help of some generous friends and sponsors, she attained her dream of study in New York at the American Academy of  Dramatic Arts.  After only a year of study, her career on-stage took off, and Florence was working with such names as Rodgers & Hammerstein, Ricardo Montalban and Noel Coward.  Besides Broadway fame, Florence was one of the first Today Show girls and loved the quickness and spontaneity of doing live television. Married twice and the mother of four children, Florence combined family, faith and career by exercising discipline, hard work and an optimistic spirit.  Miss Henderson is honest and open about her mistakes and shortcomings and it is a refreshing read about a dedicated artist. She writes with great respect for the various mentors in her life and is able to see the life lessons she went through in a positive light.  You’ll find this book in our new non-fiction section.
            If you like to read adventure stories, this next book selection is for you!   “The Ledge” by Jim Davidson and Kevin Vaughan details the friendship and climbing escapades of  two buddies, Jim Davidson and the late Mike Price.  Experienced climbers and partners, they attempted a climb atop Washington’s Mount Ranier in June of 1992.  Even though the partners took all the right precautions, a bit of bad luck resulted in a fall that would end the life of Mike and force Jim to have to exert every ounce of strength and fortitude to escape the same fate.  This is an amazing story of coolness under the greatest pressure and stress imaginable.  It’s so gripping, you’ll probably want to finish reading the book in one day! 
A commentary on our times and a positive look to the future is provided by Dr. David Jeremiah in “I Never Thought I’d See the Day!”, culture at the crossroads.  This is a new non-fiction title written by the radio and television teacher, pastor and #1 New York Times bestselling author.  Bringing in current events, quotes from well-known individuals, Scripture, and personal insight, Dr. Jeremiah has some astute warnings and admonitions for our society. 
Topics include:  “When the Church Would be Irrelevant”, “When Morality Would be in Free Fall”, and “When Marriage would be Obsolete”.  The author’s writing style is very engaging and his talking points are well supported.  This is an eye-opening book and one well worth perusing.

by Shelley Janofski, Interlibrary Loan Coordinator
February 25, 2012
Great Books for Grades 6-8

        Along with the recently announced Newberry, Caldecott and various other national award winning books, the Great Lakes Great Books list for 2012 was recently released by the Michigan Reading Association. The list which includes books for kindergarten through high school students offers a selection of fiction and non-fiction. Schools across Michigan are asked to vote on their favorites from each grade category. The books for Grades 6-8 include only fiction, but offer a variety of genres. The Other Half of My Heart by Sundee Frazier and Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs round out the list of eight books. Here are the other six:
        Arguably the best young adult literature written in 2011, Wildwood by Colin Meloy, takes readers to a fanciful secret land where humans, animals and other creatures co-exist, but not peaceably. Prue McKeel forges into this world outside of Portland, Orgeon, titled "Impassable Wilderness" on the map, in search of her baby brother, stolen by a murder of crows. The crows, along with the wolves in Wildwood answer to an evil queen, who has plans to disrupt order in the land. Tensions are high among the creature groups as power-hungry politicians stage a forcible takeover of the governing body. As Prue and her classmate Curtis strive to save Prue's brother they become entangled in the conflict in a land where the trees and grass speak, if one is quiet enough to listen. The illustrations by Carson Ellis fit beautifully with the story that readers won't want to put down until the end.   
       Thirteen year old Conor O’Malley faces a monster every night at 12:07…. a monster of death. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness takes readers into the psyche of a teen boy in England as he internalizes his grief and comes to grips with his mother’s cancer and her impending death. Conor, who’s bullied at school, feels alone in his situation, with a father across the pond in America and a grandmother he seriously dislikes. The yew tree in his backyard transforms into a monster every night and tells him stories. Conor prays the tree can heal his mother not realizing the tree is there to help him as he deals with his anger and guilt over wishing the situation would just end.
        Shooting Kabul by N.H. Senzai provides an excellent portrait of an American Muslim family in the days before and after September 11th.  Fadi and his family flee Afghanistan when the Taliban demand his father become the ambassador to the United Nations. When the family jumps on a moving truck to escape the country, Fadi’s younger sister Mariam accidentally lets go of Fadi's hand and is left in Afghanistan.  The family does their best to coordinate a search from San Francisco where they seek asylum just before the terrorist attacks of 9-11. Fadi enters a photography contest hoping to win the grand prize, a trip to India! He plans to use the opportunity to hop the border and find his lost sister. The story gives a child’s perspective on how difficult it was to be Muslim after the fall of the twin towers, with people calling Fadi a terrorist. He also struggles with shame and guilt, believing that Mariam's predicament is his fault. The surprise ending will bring a tear to your eye.
        With a new year of junior high school underway Doug Swieteck, the protagonist in Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt, quickly finds himself on the wrong side of the principal and the gym teacher at his school, as well as his down-and-out-father. Swieteck, (the rough kid) from Schmidt's Newberry Honor book "The Wednesday Wars", struggles to find his place both in school and in the upstate New York town to which he just moved. He finds friends at the city library, where he becomes enraptured by John James Audubon’s Birds of America. Swieteck sets out on a mission to save the book which the city council plans to sell piecemeal to balance the town's budget. While finding his place, Swieteck helps his family find theirs by helping one brother who is accused of robbery and another brother recovering from the amputation of his legs, injured during his service in the Vietnam War. This heartwarming story offers a look into how one boy copes with a less than ideal family and school situation.
        When two 14-year-old dumpsite boys in Trash by Andy Mulligan, find a wallet with 1,100 pesos, the equivalent of $82 US Dollars, they feel rich as kings. But when police show up at the trash heap, connecting the wallet to a murder, the boys keep the wallet a secret, deciding to solve the mystery on their own. That decision could cost them their lives, as they start to piece together the crime, connected to the country's corrupt Vice President. Accused at one time of stealing $30 million in international aid intended for hospitals and schools, the powerful politician wants the boys silenced. This page turner gives a vivid picture of the grit and determination it takes to survive as a street kid in a third world country.
        In The Apothecary by Maile Meloy, Janie Scott and her parents quickly move from Los Angeles to London, in 1952 when her parents are suspected of having communist sympathies. Janie, the all-American teenager, considers London a jolt of gray compared to the colorful world she left in California. But adventure beckons when her new friend Ben's fathers disappears when thugs break into his apothecary.  Janie and Ben embark on a journey to protect the Pharmacopoeia, a book Ben's father entrusted to him. They soon realize Ben's father, an apothecary, mixes more than just cold remedies. Now it's up to them to help a team of "gifted" scientists mix a remedy to stop nuclear explosions from spreading. They'll have to hurry because Russian spies appear around every corner, intending to steal the book and harm the teens. This fast-packed magical adventure is well worth the read and a great first young adult novel by Meloy.

by Jeni Kilpela, Youth Services
February 18, 2012
Newest in Fantasy
The combination of magic and the real world can be frightening, humorous, romantic, and deadly. Along with real and new worlds, old and imagined creatures, these stories force the characters to act. 

The Magicians by Lev Grossman is the story of an angst-ridden young man named Quentin who always wants something more. He is left miserable because the harshness of the real world. Until one unexpected day, he's accepted into a magic school. He learns to live and breath magic and what it's like to cast spells in any kind of circumstance. Though it's not quite what he expected, he get's a reprieve when he discovers the magical land, Fillory, of his favorite childhood books is actually real. Grossman creates a new realm of magical storytelling and compelling characters as well. Even though they can be immature, they are just learning to become who they are meant to be. 

The Magician King by Lev Grossman picks up two years after The Magicians. It seems Quentin finds himself wanting adventure yet again and does so. This time he travels on the seas of Fillory and is joined by his childhood friend, Julia. Her story is told and how there can be darker ways to a magical education. Gritty and dark, this new quest proves that life is always an adventure and sometimes it isn't always easy to get through.

The same can be said for The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.  The extraordinary black and white themed circus appears unexpectedly at night. It is beautiful, magical, and elegant, much like the writing style. Two magicians, Celia and Marco, are set against one another in a game they don't fully understand but participate in anyway. It is a story that spans years and even though they are competitors, the two find themselves in love. Everyone involved in the circus are weaved into the story, connecting people from many places. It is bewitching and poetic and the magic in the circus is also in the hearts of the characters.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness is about a boy named Conor who has a mother with cancer. The story features monsters real and imagined and Conor has nightmares about both. A monster of legend visits him and tells him he wants his truth. However, Conor is only haunted by him and only causes more trouble. The monster spins him dark tales, questions of what is good and what is evil. This fantastical creature's presence helps Conor deal with real world troubles even if they can be unfair and sad. The illustrations by Jim Kay are haunting and add to this well-written tale of real life issues.

The Radleys by Matt Haig is about an ordinary family. They have their own problems and don't always get along with one another, especially at dinner.  Mr. and Mrs. Radley have neglected to tell their children they are vampires, which can cause all sort of problems. For one, their daughter has chosen to become vegan. Abstaining from blood lust for so long, especially when the children don't know they even have it, isn't too great for the community. The Radleys start to gain some unwanted attention and they will do anything to make sure their family is safe. These creatures of the night just want to live normal lives, even if it can be quite troublesome.

Whether young or old, all of the characters face situations where good and evil is in question. Check out these new books at the Peter White Public Library for creative adventures in the fantasy genre.

by Stephanie Garn, Circulation Dept.
February 4, 2012
Award Winners
The American Library Association's annual awards for children's literature were announced January 23 at the association's Midwinter Conference.  The Caldecott Medal is awarded to the artist of the most distinguished picture book for children. The 2012 medal winner is Chris Raschka for his delightful story, A Ball for Daisy. Daisy is a dog who plays and sleeps with her beloved red ball. One day another dog at the park plays too roughly and punctures the red ball. Daisy's joy in her ball, her dismay when it deflates and her sadness at its loss are tenderly painted by Raschka. Both Daisy and the reader are overjoyed the following day at the park when the offending dog returns with a new ball for Daisy, a blue one!

Three books were named Caldecott honor books this year. They are Blackout, illustrated and written by John Rocco; Grandpa Green, illustrated and written by Lane Smith; and Me … Jane, illustrated and written by Patrick McDonnell. Blackout is set on a hot summer night in the city. Everyone is too busy to play a board game with little sister. When the lights go out, the family climbs to the rooftop where they discover the light of the stars, then descend to a street party where no one is too busy. Later, when the lights come back on, little sister has a bright idea.

Grandpa Green reveals his life story to his great grandson through the topiary shapes of the shrubs and trees in his garden. The various shades of green foliage are interrupted occasionally, once with the placement of red berries on a bush indicating the year Grandpa got chicken-pox. Sometimes Grandpa leaves his tools out but "the important stuff, the garden remembers for him." This is a moving story to share as a family. 

Patrick McDonnell is the creator of the MUTTS comic strip and several picture books featuring characters from the strip. Me … Jane is his enchanting comic-style homage to zoologist Jane Goodall. The book, about Jane’s childhood, opens when a stuffed toy chimpanzee named Jubilee becomes part of Jane’s life and accompanies her as she observes nature and reads science books. Jane delights in the story of Tarzan and dreams of Africa where, at the end, an adult Jane awakens one day, her dream fulfilled.  

The Newbery Medal is awarded to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. This year’s winner is Jack Gantos for his novel Dead End in Norvelt. In his semi-autobiographical tale, an almost teenage Jackie, who is “grounded for life” or, at least, his summer vacation, assists his ancient neighbor, Mrs. Volker, as she writes the local obituaries. The pair are kept busy since the original residents of the town are dying off at a rapid pace. Norvelt is a real town in Pennsylvania planned during the Great Depression by Eleanor Roosevelt. The story is fun and full of history, gore and blood, the latter two which stream from Jack’s nose whenever he is excited or stressed. 

Newbery Honors were awarded to two titles, both of which are first novels written by their authors. While Gantos’s book takes place over two months, Breaking Stalin’s Nose by Eugene Yelchin takes place in two days. Sasha Zaichik is ten-years-old, lives in the Soviet Union and knows the laws of the Young Pioneers by heart. Tomorrow is the day he has been looking forward to for most of his short life. Tomorrow, he will become a Young Pioneer and his dad, a Communist hero and the eagle eyes of State Security, has been chosen to tie the red scarves on all the new Pioneers at the rally. However, officials of the Soviet government arrest Sasha’s dad in the night, then one disaster follows another at school the next day, especially after Sasha breaks Stalin’s nose. 

Thanhha Lai spent 15 years writing Inside Out & Back Again, a semi-autographical novel in prose poems describing Lai’s early youth in Vietnam, her family’s flight by boat from Saigon hours before North Vietnamese forces attacked the city, and the loss of her father who was captured by the Viet Cong in 1975. Lai goes on to describe the family’s arrival in Montgomery, Alabama, the “cowboy” who sponsors them, and the hostility of their neighbors and classmates. Lai’s book also won the 2011 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. 

The Batchelder Award cites an American publisher of a children’s book deemed the most outstanding book originally published in a foreign language in a foreign country, subsequently translated into English and published in the U.S. The 2012 winner is Soldier Bear written by Bibi Dumon Tak, translated by Laura Watkinson and published by Eerdmans in Grand Rapids, MI. Based on actual events, Soldier Bear tells the story of an orphaned brown bear cub adopted by the transport company of the 2nd Polish Corps while the company served in Iran during World War II. The bear, Voytek, encouraged and entertained the troops, carried bombs and even stopped a spy in camp. Voytek, was sent to Egypt and Italy with the soldiers. At war’s end the Polish soldiers and Voytek traveled to Scotland before being resettled in Poland. Voytek stayed at the Edinburgh Zoo where he begged for cigarettes from anyone speaking Polish and was visited by his Polish friends.

The Lily Pond written by Annika Thor, translated by Linda Schenck and published by Delacorte Press, is also set during World War II. In this sequel to A Faraway Island, 13-year-old Stephie Steiner, sent to a Swedish island to escape Nazi-occupied Vienna, adapts to her new life and begins school in Goteberg, on the mainland. Stephie worries about her parents who are still trying to find a way out of Vienna, and Nazi ideology, which is spreading, even in Sweden. Two more titles in the series are awaiting translation.  The ALA awards many more prizes to a number of fine books. Information on the winning titles can be found at your public library or online at

by Cathy Seblonka, Youth Services Librarian
January 21, 2012
Great New Books

Two new books about our area are available for checkout now.  Another Way: Hospices of Marquette County by Dixie Franklin details the history of the hospice movement in Marquette County through the personal stories of nineteen local residents including physicians, nurses, social workers, volunteer, patients and family members.  “If a person walks into a doctor’s office a whole person and gets a diagnosis that it’s terminal, they are still that whole person when they walk out.  Hospice tries to make sure that people keep living, even with that diagnosis.”  Cindy Nyquist, R.N. Founder, UP Home Health & Hospice.

Voice on the Water:  Great Lakes Native America Now edited by Grace Chaillier and Rebecca Tavernini and published by NMU Press brings together new voices, along with a few established authors, to create a picture of contemporary Native American experience in Michigan with poems, stories, memories, essays and art.  Two years in the making, Voice on the Water is an enlightening pleasure to read.

The library has also added some new audiobooks to listen to on the road or at home.  Nothing to Envy:  Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick  provides a look at a nation that is in the news today as Kim Jong-un takes over the leadership.  Demick, Beijing bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, brings to life what it means to be living under the most repressive totalitarian regime today by following six North Koreans as they fall in love, raise families, nurture ambitions and struggle for survival.  Read by Karen White who has won two AudioFile Earphones Awards, the book was a National Book Award Finalist.  10 CDs.

My grandson piqued my interest in Plastic Ocean: How a Sea Captain’s Chance Discover Launched a Determined Quest to Save the Oceans when he wrote a 6th grade report on the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre where the largest garbage dump on the planet—a spiral nebula where plastic outweighs zooplankton, the ocean’s food base, by a factor of six to one.  Author Captain Charles Moore recounts his ominous findings and unveils the secret life and hidden properties of plastics—now suspected of contributing to a host of ailments, including infertility, autism, thyroid dysfunction and some cancers.  Read by Mel Foster, Audie and AudioFile  Earphones awards winner.  10 CDs.

February is Black History Month.  The Slaves’ War: the Civil War in the Words of Former Slaves by Andrew Ward is the first narrative of the Civil War told from the perspective of those whose destiny it decided.  Woven together from hundreds of interviews, diaries, letters, and memoirs, here is the Civil War as seen from the battlefields, camps, slave quarters, kitchens, roadsides, farms, towns and swamps and brought to vivid life.  Read by Richard Allen, four time Audie nominee and winner of three AudioFile Earphone awards.  11 CDs.

If you’ve been reading the news from Nigeria lately, you might enjoy Little Bee by Chris Cleave.  Little Bee and her sister are trying to escape machete-wielding soldiers who had killed the rest of their village to make the area available for oil wells.  British couple Andrew and Sarah O’Rourke, vacationing on a Nigerian beach in a last-ditch effort to save their faltering marriage, comes across Little Bee and her sister. The horrific confrontation that follows changes the lives of everyone involved in unimaginable ways.    Two years later, Little Bee appears in London on the day of Andrew's funeral and reconnects with Sarah. Sarah is struggling to come to terms with her husband's recent suicide and the stubborn behavior of her four-year-old son, who is convinced that he really is Batman. The tenuous friendship between Sarah and Little Bee that grows, is challenged, and ultimately endures is the heart of this emotional, tense, and often hilarious novel. Read by Anne Flosnik with a perfect voice for both Little Bee and Sarah.  9 CD. Also available as a downloadable audiobook in pdf or WMA format.

Eric Greitens reads his own memoir The Heart and the Fist: the Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy Seal.  Like many young idealists, Eric Greitens wanted to make a difference. During college and afterward, he traveled to the world's trouble spots, working in refugee camps, serving the sick and the poor on four continents, from Gaza to Croatia to Mother Teresa's home in Calcutta, among others. Yet he could not prevent violence or save anyone from becoming a refugee; he could only step in afterward and try to ease the damage. So Eric joined the Navy SEALs and became an elite warrior. In a moving and inspiring memoir, told with genuine humility, Eric offers something new in the history of military memoirs: a warrior who wanted to be strong to be good, only to discover that he had to be good to be strong. Throughout his SEAL training and deployments in Kenya, Thailand, Afghanistan, and Iraq, the lessons of his humanitarian work bore fruit. The result is a lesson for us all: the heart and fist together are more powerful than either one alone. 9 CDs.

by Caroline Jordan, Collections Librarian
January 14, 2012
New Fiction

As a fiction reader, that is the first place I head to for my reading material—the left side of the new-book kiosks. Fiction can then be divided further into other genres like mysteries, science fiction, westerns, and so on. I thought I’d highlight some new fiction that interested me over the recent holidays.

Naomi’s Gift by Amy Clipston is a novella, or short story, set in Bird-in-Hand, PA, a small Amish community. Naomi quilts, cares for her younger siblings and yearns for a different life. At 24 years of age, however, she has resigned herself to a life without a family of her very own. That is until she meets a man named Caleb. Caleb and his daughter brighten her life and bring meaning to it. This short story was a good, quick read with its many pages of conversation. I hope you’ll enjoy it even after Christmas.

English novelist Penelope Lively’s latest book, How It All Began, is a book about chance and  ---event. The original point of chance for this story is the mugging of retired teacher Charlotte Rainsford. Charlotte’s resultant broken hip causes her daughter Rose to miss work and bring Mum home for convalescence. This change, or ripple, displeases Lord Henry Peters, Rose’s boss, who then brings his niece, Marion, in to help him with his work. The ripples continue with names of Gerry, Stella, Anton, divorce, Delia, Mark, Jeremy the philanderer…  It is a good read filled with colorful characters that illustrate what happens when life occurs.   

This book caught my eye with its golf imagery on the cover. The Swinger by Michael Bamberger and Alan Shipnuck is a novel about golf icon, Herbert X. “Tree” Tremont. The word “swing” appears to be a metaphor for several things in this story. Tree is a golfer, who swings clubs for his livelihood. His lifestyle also swings. Readers will swing between stories of illicit affairs, major championships on the PGA tour and trips to exotic places. As the icon’s life and career stop swinging and dive into scandal, readers learn some real background about the worldwide professional sport of golf.

Superior Dilemma: a Lake Superior Mystery by Matthew Williams, a local writer from Marquette, is third in his mystery series based near Lake Superior. An Upper Peninsula version of the Iditarod, a sled dog race in Alaska, is the center of this story. Williams writes a good story that jump starts just like sled dogs at a race. Reporter Vince Marshall works to solve several mysteries; one dates back fourteen years.

Les Roberts’ latest book, The Cleveland Creep: a Milan Jacovich mystery, is his fifteenth about Cleveland’s favorite private eye. As always, Jacovich is working multiple cases at the same time. Taking the advice of a colleague, he hires an assistant, Kevin O’Bannion, who wants to learn the P.I. business. Be aware that this book deals with the issue of child pornography, although Roberts deals with it in a delicate, inoffensive manner.

Liberty Lanes by Robin Troy is another shorter novel at only 180 pages. It’s about a group of seniors who bowl in a league at the local Montana bowling alley. They have experienced life and now want to live it as they want -- with friendship, love and memories. The characters are believable as elder members of a small town who have known one another for decades. It’s a must read if you know a group of friends in their later years who are full of life.   

by Vicki Mann, Reference Desk

New Year

I love the sense of new beginnings that comes with the change of year.  For those who wish to take advantage of this opportunity for a fresh start, the library has a host of new titles to help.  Some commonly listed popular resolutions and relevant new titles are listed below: 

For those who plan to Lose Weight and Get Fit:  Bob Greene has written, The life you want! : get motivated, lose weight, and be happy.  Greene helps readers recognize how their mindsets might be preventing them from achieving their fitness goals and gives them the tools they need to break down these barriers. Filled with psychological studies, practical tips, and empathic advice, this book can help anyone who is struggling. 

Never smoke again : the top 10 ways to stop smoking now and forever by Dr. Grant Cooper can help you find the method that's right for you.  It isn't easy to stop smoking. Yet according to the American Lung Association, well over 45 million Americans have already quit. How did they do it? They found the method that worked for them and they stuck to it.  

If you are among those who wish to Learn Something New, you may want to try out Mango, a new online language learning tutorial system available through the library’s website:  Anything else you want to learn to do, from play the piano to tile your bathroom, the library staff will help you find a step-by step guide. 

Tonia Reinhard, a registered dietician, can help those who wish to eat healthier with her book Superfoods : the healthiest foods on the planet.  Reinhard identifies 200 of the most nutrient-dense foods. The book is divided by food type with sections on vegetables and fruit, legumes, nuts and oils, herbs and spices, grains, beverages and treats, supplements, and meat. 

If you are resolved to Get Out of Debt and Save Money, Solve your money troubles : debt, credit & bankruptcy by Robin Leonard can help.  Step-by-step instructions  show how to prioritize debts, create a budget, and negotiate with creditors.

Spending More Time with Family is goal for many parents.  Living Simply with Children by Marie Sherlock offers a realistic blueprint for zeroing in on the pleasures of family life.  It includes sections on “How (and why) to live simply and find more time to be with your children,”  “Activities and rituals that bring out the best in every family member,” and “How to focus on the "good stuff" . . . with less stuff.”

A year of adventures : a guide to the world's most exciting experiences by Andrew Bain is just the thing for those wishing to travel to new places. Discover a range of extraordinary experiences, including snow biking in France, volcano boarding in Nicaragua, kayaking with orcas in Canada and sailing the Whitsunday Islands. Choose from over 250 experiences in 115 countries, some to challenge you, some to enjoy at a leisurely pace, and catering to all fitness levels. Be inspired and plan a year to remember!

If you are resolved to be less stressed, Simplify your life : 100 ways to slow down and enjoy the things that really matter by Elaine St. James may be the right book for you.  If you’re overpowered, overextended, and overwhelmed, Simplify Your Life is your antidote.  

If your goal is to volunteer, you can join the friends of the Peter White Public Library.  If you’re interested in both traveling more and volunteering, check out Volunteer vacations : short-term adventures that will benefit you and others  by Bill McMillon.

For some reason, many people start the year determined to drink less.  In The science of drinking : how alcohol affects your body and mind, Toxicologist Amitava Dasgupta explains that while alcoholism is a serious problem requiring medical and psychological treatment, for those who are not addicted, drinking alcohol is not necessarily a bad habit. The problem is to distinguish between drinking sensibly and drinking insensibly. Dasgupta clearly outlines what constitutes healthy drinking and its attendant health benefits, offers advice on how to drink responsibly, and provides insight into just how alcohol works on the brain and the body. 

by Ellen Moore, Reference Desk

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