Monday, April 25, 2011

A Long Way Gone

Bookenders will be discussing Ishmael Beah's book, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, on Wednesday, April 27. Etta McQuade will be leading the discussion.

We will be meeting in the basement of the library.

Everyone is invited to attend.

Ishamel Beah was born in Sierra Leone West Africa in 1980. He had a peaceful childhood until his parents separated. Then the rebels came to his village and his entire family were killed. After months of traveling alone, he came to a village that was occupied by Sierra Leone Military Forces. He was coerced into recruiting and spent the next three years as a boy soldier, witnessing and participating in countless atrocities.

UNICEF workers rescued him and patiently helped him regain his humanity. He was chosen to speak about his experiences at the United Nations, where he met Laura Simms, who later became his foster mother.

He graduated from high school in New York City and earned a degree in Politics from Oberlin College.

“If I choose to feel guilty for what I have done, I will want to be dead myself,” Beah said. “I live knowing that I have been given a second life, and I just try to have fun, and be happy and live it the best I can.”  

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Book Trailers

Book trailers are becoming a popular way for authors to advertise their books. It's a great way to get a reluctant reader excited about reading.

Lisa Mangum's third book in her Hourglass Door series, a time travel teen romance, is coming out May 1, 2011.

#1--The Hourglass Door
#2--The Golden Spiral
#3--The Forgotten Locket

James Dashner's book trailer for The Maze Runner was a finalist for the 2009 Book Video Award. The third book in this popular dystopian series for teens will be published in October 2011.

#1--The Maze Runner
#2--The Scorch Trials
#3--The Death Cure

Room is a compelling, thought-provoking read. The five-year-old narrator's voice will stay with the reader for a very long time.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

From Columbus to Ronald Reagan

Howard Carpenter did a great job on his review of Seven Miracles That Saved America: Why They Matter and Why We Should Have Hope by Chris Stewart and Ted Stewart.

We learned about seven of the miracles that took place at critical times in our nation's history:
  • Columbus's discovery of America
  • Survival of Jamestown
  • The timely fog during The Battle of New York
  • Creation of the United States Constitution
  • Abraham Lincoln & the Gettysburg Address
  • The pivotal Battle of Midway
  • President Reagan's miraculous survival

Howard showed us his great-grandfather's Civil War sword.

This picture doesn't do it justice. It's beautiful--and very heavy. Thankfully, the sharp point has been filed down. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mystery Solved at Great Reads

There are two competing restaurants in Ellen Raskin's The Westing Game, so we recreated them both:

Shin Hoo's Restaurant
Almond Cookies
Chocolate-covered Chinese cookies

Theodorakis Coffee Shop
Mini cupcakes
Hot Chocolate

In order to keep all the murder suspects straight, we had all the moms and their daughters draw a picture of each of the sixteen Westing heirs.

As you can see, they did a terrific job.

Taylor led the discussion on the book.

Since there were a lot of fireworks in the book, we made some of our own:

Monday, April 4, 2011

Seven Miracles That Saved America

R.E.A.D. book group will be meeting Thursday, April 7th at 10:00 a.m. in the library. Howard Carpenter will be reviewing Seven Miracles That Saved America by Chris and Ted Stewart.

Everyone is welcome.

The authors, Chris and Ted Stewart, answer this question in the book: 

"When the odds were stacked against us--and there were many times when this experiment that we call America could have and should have failed--did God intervene to save us?"

In each of the seven examples that they cite "the people who were living these things all had doubts about how they would turn out," says Ted. "But what's remarkable is that every one of them, to some degree or another, acknowledged the help of Divine Providence."

The brothers bring diverse backgrounds to the task. 
Chris was a record-setting Air Force pilot (he holds the record for the fastest nonstop flight around the world) before he retired to become president and CEO of The Shipley Group, a nationally recognized consulting and training company, as well as a best-selling author. His techno-military thrillers have been released in multiple languages in seven countries, and he's published a number of novels for Shadow Mountain. 
Ted was appointed as a U.S. District judge in 1999 by President Bill Clinton. Before that, he served as chief of staff to Gov. Mike Leavitt, as a member and chairman of the Public Service Commission and as chief of staff to Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Utah. He has also taught university courses in law, the Constitution, the Supreme Court and public policy.

They talk about the book in this video: