Tuesday, January 25, 2011


On Wednesday, January 26th, Bookenders book group will be discussing Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell at 7 p.m. downstairs in the library. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend.

In this provocative and inspiring book, Malcolm Gladwell examines everyone from business giants to scientific geniuses, sports stars to musicians, and reveals what they have in common. He looks behind the spectacular results, the myths and the legends to show what really explains exceptionally successful people. Gladwell argues that, when we try to understand success, we normally start with the wrong question. We ask 'what is this person like?' when we should really be asking 'where are they from?' The real secret of success turns out to be surprisingly simple, and it hinges on a few crucial twists in people's life stories - on the culture they grow up in and the way they spend their time.

Malcolm Gladwell is a United Kingdom-born, Canadian-raised journalist now based in New York City. He is a former business and science writer at the Washington Post. He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996. He is best known as the author of the books The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (2000), Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005), and Outliers: The Story of Success (2008) all of which were number one New York Times bestsellers. His latest book, What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures (2009) is a compilation of stories published in The New Yorker.

From 1987 to 1996, he was a reporter with the Washington Post, where he covered business, science, and then served as the newspaper's New York City bureau chief. He graduated from the University of Toronto, Trinity College, with a degree in history. He was born in England, grew up in rural Ontario, and now lives in New York City.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Those who attended Great Reads for Girls on Wednesday, Jan 12 had a wonderful time. The conversation and activities all centered around the book Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath.

Yara told us all about Polly Horvath and then Taylor led a fun and interesting book discussion.

The girls loved reading the book and they enjoyed talking about Primrose and how she held strongly to the things she believed in, even when others didn't share the same belief. We talked about all the different characters and many of the girls laughed as they remembered the part where the guinea pig catches on fire.  They also really liked the way each chapter ended with a recipe.

After the book discussion each girl made a collage about the things she believes in using card stock, glue sticks, scissors and magazines.

Once the crafts were finished Yara, Tammra and Taylor cooked up some yummy waffles for all the girls and their moms.

The girls had many toppings to choose from. There was butter, chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, raspberry jam, plum jam, whipped cream, sliced bananas, applesauce, maple syrup and cinnamon syrup.

The girls told their moms that they would like to have whipped cream, chocolate chips and marshmallows on their waffles from now on. The cinnamon syrup was also a big hit!

Cinnamon Syrup

                                                                        1 cup sugar
                                                 slightly less than 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
                                                           1/2 cup light corn syrup
                                                                      1/4 cup water
                                                           1/2 cup evaporated milk

In a saucepan, combine sugar and cinnamon.  Pour in corn syrup and water and stir to dissolve.  Boil, stirring constantly 2-3 minutes.  Cool.  Stir in evaporated milk and serve.  Refrigerate leftovers. 

For February the book selection for Great Reads for Girls is Princess Academy by Shannon Hale.  We will be meeting on Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at 7 p.m. We hope to see you there!

 There are several copies available for check out at the library. Ask for one at the front desk.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Everything on a Waffle

Great Reads for Girls will get together at the library on Wednesday, January 12 at 7 p.m. for a book discussion, fun crafts and yummy treats. The featured book for this month is Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath.

"My name is Primrose Squarp. I am eleven years old. I have hair the color of carrots in apricot glaze (recipe to follow), skin fair and clear where it isn't freckled, and eyes like summer storms." 

Readers will know right from the start that the narrator of Everything on a Waffle is going to tell her story straight and pull no punches. Primrose's parents have been lost at sea, but she believes without an iota of doubt that they are still alive, somewhere. 

She moves in with her Uncle Jack, but feels generally friendless. Her only real refuge is a local restaurant called The Girl on the Red Swing, where the owner, Miss Bowzer, serves everything on waffles — except advice and good sense, which come free of charge and are always reliable.

Food in general plays an important role in Primrose's journey toward peace and understanding (a recipe dictated in her unmistakable voice is appended to each chapter), and readers will eagerly cheer her on through this funny, bittersweet novel.

Primrose holds strong to the things she believes in even when it seems that no one else does.

Awards given to Everything on a Waffle

  • Newbery Honor Book
  • Boston Globe- Horn Book Award Honor Book
  • ALA Notable Book
  • Child Magazine Best Book Award
  • Parents' Choice 2001 Fiction Gold Award
  • Parent's Guide to Children's Media Award
  • International White Ravens 2002
  • Mr. Christie Book Award
  • Sheila Egoff Award
  • New York Times Bestseller
  • Publisher's Weekly Bestseller

Polly Horvath

Polly Horvath has been writing books since she was eight. For a while she wrote books and attended school. Then she wrote books and attended The Canadian College of Dance. 

She has written and waitressed and written and done temporary typing and written and tended babies (her own). Now she just writes.

Polly grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She went to college in Toronto and lived in New York and Montreal before settling on southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, with her husband Arnie Keller and their daughters, Emily and Rebecca.

They have a horse named Zayda and a smooth collie named Andrew. They are surrounded by B.C. forest and are on constant look out for bears.
She has written the following books:
An Occasional Cow (1989) 
No More Cornflakes (1990) 
The Happy Yellow Car (1994)
The Trolls (1999)
Everything on a Waffle (2001) 
The Pepins and their Problems (2004) 
The Vacation (2005) 
The Corps of the Bare-Boned Plane (2007) 

We are looking forward to a really fun evening. Hope to see you there!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Awards Announced!

The American Library Association announced the 2011 Youth Media Awards this morning. Here are a few of the winners.

The Newbery is awarded to the most outstanding contribution to children's literature.

2011 Newbery Award winner:

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was.
Having heard stories about Manifest, Abilene is disappointed to find that it’s just a dried-up, worn-out old town. But her disappointment quickly turns to excitement when she discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler. These mysterious letters send Abilene and her new friends, Lettie and Ruthanne, on an honest-to-goodness spy hunt, even though they are warned to “Leave Well Enough Alone.”
Abilene throws all caution aside when she heads down the mysterious Path to Perdition to pay a debt to the reclusive Miss Sadie, a diviner who only tells stories from the past. It seems that Manifest’s history is full of colorful and shadowy characters—and long-held secrets. The more Abilene hears, the more determined she is to learn just what role her father played in that history. And as Manifest’s secrets are laid bare one by one, Abilene begins to weave her own story into the fabric of the town.
2011 Newbery Honor Award Winners:

Welcome to the night, where mice stir and furry moths flutter. Where snails spiral into shells as orb spiders circle in silk. Where the roots of oak trees recover and repair from their time in the light. Where the porcupette eats delicacies—raspberry leaves!—and coos and sings.

Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus (on order)

In 1841, a Japanese fishing vessel sinks. Its crew is forced to swim to a small, unknown island, where they are rescued by a passing American ship. Japan’s borders remain closed to all Western nations, so the crew sets off to America, learning English on the way.

Manjiro, a fourteen-year-old boy, is curious and eager to learn everything he can about this new culture. Eventually the captain adopts Manjiro and takes him to his home in New England. The boy lives for some time in New England, and then heads to San Francisco to pan for gold. After many years, he makes it back to Japan, only to be imprisoned as an outsider. With his hard-won knowledge of the West, Manjiro is in a unique position to persuade the shogun to ease open the boundaries around Japan; he may even achieve his unlikely dream of becoming a samurai.
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
Eleven-year-old Delphine has it together. Even though her mother, Cecile, abandoned her and her younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern, seven years ago. Even though her father and Big Ma will send them from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to stay with Cecile for the summer. And even though Delphine will have to take care of her sisters, as usual, and learn the truth about the missing pieces of the past.
When the girls arrive in Oakland in the summer of 1968, Cecile wants nothing to do with them. She makes them eat Chinese takeout dinners, forbids them to enter her kitchen, and never explains the strange visitors with Afros and black berets who knock on her door. Rather than spend time with them, Cecile sends Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern to a summer camp sponsored by a revolutionary group, the Black Panthers, where the girls get a radical new education.

For a listing of the past Newbery winners, click [here].

The Caldecott is awarded to the most distinguished American picture book for children.

2011 Caldecott Winner:

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead

Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In Amos McGee’s case, all sorts of species, too! Every day he spends a little bit of time with each of his friends at the zoo, running races with the tortoise, keeping the shy penguin company, and even reading bedtime stories to the owl. But when Amos is too sick to make it to the zoo, his animal friends decide it’s time they returned the favor.

2011 Caldecott Honor Award Winners:

Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave by Laban Carrick Hill, illustrated by Bryan Collier (on order)

Dave was an extraordinary artist, poet, and potter living in South Carolina in the 1800s. He combined his superb artistry with deeply observant poetry, carved onto his pots, transcending the limitations he faced as a slave. In this inspiring and lyrical portrayal, National Book Award nominee Laban Carrick Hill's elegantly simple text and award-winning artist Bryan Collier's resplendent, earth-toned illustrations tell Dave's story, a story rich in history, hope, and long-lasting beauty.
Interrupting Chicken written and illustrated by David Edward Stein

It’s time for the little red chicken’s bedtime story —and a reminder from Papa to try not to interrupt. But the chicken can’t help herself! Whether the tale is HANSEL AND GRETEL or LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD or even CHICKEN LITTLE, she jumps into the story to save its hapless characters from doing some dangerous or silly thing. Now it’s the little red chicken’s turn to tell a story, but will her yawning papa make it to the end without his own kind of interrupting? Energetically illustrated with glowing colors —and offering humorous story-within-a-story views —this all-too-familiar tale is sure to amuse (and hold the attention of ) spirited little chicks.

For a listing of past Caldecott winners, click [here].

The Printz is awarded for excellence in literature written for young adults.
2011 Printz Award Winner:

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
In America's Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts, Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota--and hopefully live to see another day. But when, by luck or chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all it's worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life. . . .

For a listing of the 2011 Printz Honor Award Winners, click [here].
For a complete list of Michael L. Printz past winners, click [here].

Want to know the winners of the Coretta Scott King Awards, the Theodore Seuss Geisel Award, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, etc?

For a complete listing of everything awarded today at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, click [here].

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain

Etta McQuade will give a presentation on Mark Twain for the R.E.A.D. Book Group on Thursday, January 6th at 10:00 a.m. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend.

 Etta is a gifted reviewer and presenter. She will be sharing insight into Mark Twain's life and will share some of his writings as well as books written about him.

Samuel Clemens or Mark Twain

On Nov. 30, 1835, the small town of Florida, Mo. witnessed the birth of its most famous son. Samuel Langhorne Clemens was welcomed into the world as the sixth child of John Marshall and Jane Lampton Clemens. Little did John and Jane know, their son Samuel would one day be known as Mark Twain - America's most famous literary icon.


Approximately four years after his birth, in 1839, the Clemens family moved 35 miles east to the town of Hannibal. A growing port city that lies along the banks of the Mississippi, Hannibal was a frequent stop for steam boats arriving by both day and night from St. Louis and New Orleans.

Samuel's father was a judge, and he built a two-story frame house at 206 Hill Street in 1844. As a youngster, Samuel was kept indoors because of poor health. However, by age nine, he seemed to recover from his ailments and joined the rest of the town's children outside. He then attended a private school in Hannibal.

Samuel Clemens' childhood home.

When Samuel was 12, his father died of pneumonia, and at 13, Samuel left school to become a printer's apprentice. After two short years, he joined his brother Orion's newspaper as a printer and editorial assistant. It was here that young Samuel found he enjoyed writing.

At 17, he left Hannibal behind for a printer's job in St. Louis. While in St. Louis, Clemens became a river pilot's apprentice. He became a licensed river pilot in 1858. Clemens' pseudonym, Mark Twain, comes from his days as a river pilot. It is a river term which means two fathoms or 12-feet when the depth of water for a boat is being sounded. "Mark twain" means that is safe to navigate.

Because the river trade was brought to a stand still by the Civil War in 1861, Clemens began working as a newspaper reporter for several newspapers all over the United States. In 1870, Clemens married Olivia Langdon, and they had four children, one of whom died in infancy and two who died in their twenties. Their surviving child, Clara, lived to be 88, and had one daughter. Clara's daughter died without having any children, so there are no direct descendants of Samuel Clemens living.

Twain began to gain fame when his story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calavaras County" appeared in the New York Saturday Press on November 18, 1865. Twain's first book, "The Innocents Abroad," was published in 1869, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" in 1876, and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" in 1885. He wrote 28 books and numerous short stories, letters and sketches.

Twain's last work was his autobiography, which he dictated and thought would be most entertaining if he went off on whims and tangents in non-chronological order.

 In 1909, Twain is quoted as saying:
I came in with Halley's Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: 'Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.'
His prediction was accurate – Twain died of a heart attack on April 21, 1910, in Redding, Connecticut, one day after the comet's closest approach to Earth.

 Mark Twain has a following still today. His childhood home is open to the public as a museum in Hannibal, and Calavaras County in California holds the Calavaras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee every third weekend in May. Walking tours are given in New York City of places Twain visited near his birthday every year.

Just this week Mark Twain has been in the news again. Huckleberry Finn is the fourth most banned book in America because of words that some find offensive. NewSouth Books in Alabama have decided to release a new volume which replaces those words with others which are more acceptable in their eyes. There has been quite a debate over it. You can read more about it here . We would love to know your opinion. Leave a comment and let us know what you think.

Watch for an upcoming post about the R.E.A.D. Book Group discussion.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Books for the New You

At the beginning of every new year, many of us re-examine our lives and resolve to do things differently to increase our happiness and peace of mind.

Here are some new books we've acquired at the library that might help you:

Most of us have no idea why we fail to reach our goals. Now Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson, a rising star in the field of social psychology shows us how to overcome the hurdles that have defeated us before.

Dr. Grant Halvorson offers insights-many surprising-that readers can use immediately, including how to:

• Set a goal so that you will persist even in the face of adversity
• Build willpower, which can be strengthened like a muscle
• Avoid the kind of positive thinking that makes people fail

The strategies outlined in this book will not only help everyone reach their own goals but will also prove invaluable to parents, teachers, coaches, and employers. Dr. Grant Halvorson shows readers a new approach to problem solving that will change the way they approach their entire lives.
Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives?

The primary obstacle is a conflict that’s built into our brains, say Chip and Dan Heath, authors of the critically acclaimed bestseller Made to Stick. Psychologists have discovered that our minds are ruled by two different systems—the rational mind and the emotional mind—that compete for control. The rational mind wants a great beach body; the emotional mind wants that Oreo cookie. The rational mind wants to change something at work; the emotional mind loves the comfort of the existing routine. This tension can doom a change effort—but if it is overcome, change can come quickly.

In Switch, the Heaths show how everyday people—employees and managers, parents and nurses—have united both minds and, as a result, achieved dramatic results:

●      The lowly medical interns who managed to defeat an entrenched, decades-old medical practice that was endangering patients.

●      The home-organizing guru who developed a simple technique for overcoming the dread of housekeeping.

●      The manager who transformed a lackadaisical customer-support team into service zealots by removing a standard tool of customer service
In a compelling, story-driven narrative, the Heaths bring together decades of counterintuitive research in psychology, sociology, and other fields to shed new light on how we can effect transformative change. Switch shows that successful changes follow a pattern, a pattern you can use to make the changes that matter to you, whether your interest is in changing the world or changing your waistline.
Bob Greene has helped millions lose weight and get in shape with his life-changing Best Life plan. Now Oprah’s most trusted expert on diet and fitness teams up with psychologist Ann Kearney-Cooke and nutritionist Janis Jibrin to zero in on common barriers to weight loss success. Together, they will offer practical tips and explore the latest science on emotional eating and lack of motivation.
While the basic principles of weight loss are simple enough, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be a struggle. The Life You Want delivers the information and inspiration you need to overcome each obstacle—once and for all.

“From worst to first in health and well-being.” That is the mantra of Body-for-LIFE® author Bill Phillips as he lays out this personalized, realistic plan to help people become healthier, happier, and more alive. Concerned by the unhealthy physical and emotional trends in U.S. populations, Bill firmly believes the well-being of the country can be completely transformed in 10 years—one person at a time. After reading this book, you’ll believe it too.
Bill uses personal examples and touching stories to exemplify that real people can, and have, overcome their worst to truly reinvent their lives. In his 18-week Transformation program, you’ll learn:
• How to achieve a sustainable healthy lifestyle
• How to transcend your unhealthy habits
• How to harness the power of a positive mindset
• How to heal emotions and find happiness
• How to live more deeply and compassionately
Transformation is a process of reshaping your whole person. If Body-for-LIFE was a manual for the physique, Transformation is the how-to guide for invigorating the body, mind and soul. When you make healthy changes in your life, you are able to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. And ultimately, that is what Transformation is all about.

"When money is plentiful, this is a man's world. When money is scarce, it is a woman's world." Unearthed in a 1932 Ladies Home Journal, this quote is the call to arms that begins PEACE AND PLENTY, Sarah Ban Breathnach's answer to the world's-- and her own personal-- financial crisis. As only Ban Breathnach can, she culls together this compendium of advice, deeply personal anecdotes, and excerpts from magazines, books, and newspapers-- particularly those of the Great Depression-- to inspire readers who are mired in today's financial difficulties.

Focusing on her own personal path, Sarah Ban Breathnach will relate never-before revealed details about how she fell from the financial top to the bottom. Readers will immediately see how deeply she understands the plight of those trying to maintain a happy and comfortable home, while at the same time not even knowing if they will be able to make the mortgage to keep that home.

Sarah has proved to be the voice of comfort for years to women who are spiritually bankrupt, and now she will reach to those who are financially strapped, showing them how to pull themselves out of their psychic and fiscal crises while providing deep comfort and reassurance throughout.

In Debt Free for Life, #1 New York Times bestselling author David Bach has written his most groundbreaking and important book since The Automatic Millionaire, giving us the knowledge, the tools, and the mindset we need to get out of debt and achieve financial freedom— forever!  Offering a revolutionary approach to personal finance that teaches you how to pay down your debt and adopt a whole new way of living – debt free. Bach unveils the Debt Wise program that empowers you to pare down your debt automatically.  You’ll learn how to calculate your Debt Freedom Day – the actual date you will be completely free of debt.  And you’ll discover that when you are debt free, you need a lot less money to live on. You can retire, even with a smaller nest egg -- perhaps earlier than you expected.

Organized Simplicity's aim is to convince its readers that simple living is the absolute best way to live.  Be it with house cleaning, family schedule management, personal finances, and managing the "stuff" you allow within your four walls, the only way to live well is to do so intentionally and simply.  The first half of the book delves into the why behind realistic simple living, giving the reader a nail to then hang the how of living simply discussed in the second half.  And by redefining the too often-used phrase "simple living," a busy home manager living in the real world can then make practical changes that work for the whole family.  There are chapters for cleaning and organizing the home room-by-room, and future project ideas will inspire readers to turn their house in a haven they love.
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp (on order)

Drawing heartbreaking beauty out of the simplest of details, Ann Voskamp invites you into her grace--bathed life of farming, parenting, and writing--and deeper still into your own life. Here you will discover a way of seeing that opens your eyes to ordinary amazing grace, a way of living that is fully alive, and a way of becoming present to God that brings you deep and lasting joy.
Cancer survivor, poet, and philosopher Mark Nepo has consciously allowed life to move through him. The Book of Awakening is the result of his journey of the soul and will inspire others to embark on their own.Nepo speaks of spirit and friendship, urging readers to stay vital and in love with this life, no matter the hardships. Encompassing many traditions and voices, Nepo's words offer insight on pain, wonder, and love. Each entry is accompanied by an exercise that will surprise and delight the reader in its mind-waking ability.