Friday, September 30, 2011

True American Hero

If it weren't true, we wouldn't believe it! At Bookenders book discussion, we discussed the amazing life of Louis Zamperini, as it was masterfully told by best-selling author, Laura Hillenbrand.

Louis was:
a teen-age troublemaker
Olympic runner
WWII bomber
plane crash survivor
tortured prisoner of Japanese

but more importantly,
he used his ingenuity, his perseverance, his strong will, his resilience,
his forgiveness,
to thrive.

He spent his life helping troubled youth
and inspiring people around the world
with his extraordinary story.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Toads, Beetles, Bats . . . "

The kids "knocked it out of the park" with our trivia baseball at our first combined Great Reads for Girls and Book Bash for Boys.

We played Fruit Basket Upset--or Shakespearean Curses Upset.
The kids were put in teams of toads, beetles, bats, pied ninies and scurvy patches. When the person in the middle called their team name they had to find another place to sit. The one left without a chair was "it" and called out the next curse.

We made our own baseball cards.

And we had strawberries and cream puffs for dessert. Yum!

We had a great time.

"On deck" for next month--Wednesday, October 12 at 7 p.m.--is
Book Bash for Boys.

We're reading Coraline by Neil Gaiman.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A New Year of Bookenders

Bookenders book group will get together at the library on Wednesday, September 28th at 7 p.m. The featured book for the evening is Unbroken:A World War II Airman's Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. The discussion will be led by Eloise Fugal. 

Everyone is invited to attend.

We will also be choosing the book selections for the coming year at this meeting. Plan now to attend and bring suggestions on great books for discussion.

Unbroken is the inspiring true story of a man who lived through a series of catastrophes almost too incredible to be believed. 

Louie Zamperini
In evocative, immediate descriptions, Hillenbrand unfurls the story of Louie Zamperini--a juvenile delinquent-turned-Olympic runner-turned-Army hero. During a routine search mission over the Pacific, Louie’s plane crashed into the ocean, and what happened to him over the next three years of his life is a story that will keep you glued to the pages, eagerly awaiting the next turn in the story and fearing it at the same time. You’ll cheer for the man who somehow maintained his selfhood and humanity despite the monumental degradations he suffered, and you’ll want to share this book with everyone you know.  
Laura Hillenbrand

Laura Hillenbrand was born on May 15, 1967 in Fairfax, Virginia. She spent much of her childhood riding bareback "screaming over the hills" of her father's Sharpsburg, Maryland farm. She studied at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio but was forced to leave before graduation when she contracted Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which she has struggled with ever since. She now lives in Washington D.C., and rarely leaves her house because of the condition. On the irony of writing about physical paragons while being so incapacitated herself, she says, "I'm looking for a way out of here. I can't have it physically, so I'm going to have it intellectually. It was a beautiful thing to ride Seabiscuit in my imagination. And it's just fantastic to be there alongside Louie as he's breaking the NCAA mile record. People at these vigorous moments in their lives - it's my way of living vicariously."

Hillenbrand married Borden Flanagan, a professor of Government at American University and her college sweetheart, in 2008.

She is the author of the critically acclaimed Seabiscuit: An American Legend, which spent 42 weeks at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, in hardcover and paperback. It was made into the Academy Award nominated film Seabiscuit. After this success it took her almost a decade of research and writing before Unbroken was published.

Hillenbrand is a co-founder of Operation Iraqi Children, a charitable program created in 2004 to send school supplies to Iraqi children. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wednesday Wars to kick off a new season and a fun new book group for boys ages 8-12


We are excited to announce a new program for boys at the Pleasant Grove City Library. It is called Book Bash for Boys. It will coincide with our Great Reads for Girls. These book groups are for boys and girls who are ages 8-16 along with their parent or other caring adult. We encourage the kids and their parent to read the featured book each month and then join us for lively discussion, activities, and refreshments. We are looking forward to all of our plans and ideas for these fun book groups. We have been doing the Great Reads for Girls for three years and have often been asked to do something for boys so we are changing things up a bit this year. We will have two special months where the boys and girls come together and then we will alternate on the other months.

The schedule goes like this:

September - Combined Book Bash for Boys and Great Reads for Girls (The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt)

October - Book Bash for Boys (Coraline by Neil Gaiman with special guest Carl Sederholm)

November - Great Reads for Girls (A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban)

January - Book Bash for Boys (Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko)

February - Great Reads for Girls (Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen)

March - Book Bash for Boys (Shredderman: Secret Identity by Wendelin Van Draanen)

April - Great Reads for Girls (A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett)

May - Combined Book Bash for Boys and Great Reads for Girls (Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix)

The book groups will be held on the second Wednesday night of each month at 7 p.m.

Our first book discussion and activity for this year will be held on September 14, 2011 at 7 p.m. in the basement at the library. The featured book will be Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt.

In Wednesday Wars Holling Hoodhood is really in for it.He’s just started seventh grade with Mrs. Baker, a teacher he knows is out to get him. Why else would she make him read Shakespeare . . . outside of class? The year is 1967, and everyone has bigger things than homework to worry about. There’s Vietnam for one thing, and then there’s the family business. As far as Holling’s father is concerned, nothing is more important than the family business. In fact, all of the Hoodhoods must be on their best behavior at all times. The success of Hoodhood and Associates depends on it. But how can Holling stay out of trouble when he has Mrs. Baker to contend with?

Gary D Schmidt

Gary Schmidt is a professor of English at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He received both a Newbery Honor and a Printz Honor for Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy and a Newbery Honor for The Wednesday Wars. He lives with his family on a 150-year-old farm in Alto, Michigan, where he splits wood, plants gardens, writes, and feeds the wild cats that drop by.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Don't Sing at the Table

On Thursday, September 1st the R.E.A.D. Book Group at the library began a new year of book reviews and presentations. Tammra Salisbury reviewed Don't Sing at the Table: Life Lessons From My Grandmothers by Adriana Trigiani.


In this book Adriana Trigiani shares the lessons she learned throughout her life from the traditions, spiritual fortitude, values, strengths and talents of her grandmothers. She recalls experiences, humor and wisdom that have shaped her life. Her love for her grandmothers is obvious in her warm and descriptive writing which is a delight for readers of all ages.

For the Trigianis, cooking has always been a family affair–and the kitchen was the bustling center of their home, where folks gathered around the table for good food, good conversation, and the occasional eruption. Like the recipes that have been handed down for generations from mother to daughter and grandmother to granddaughter, the family’s celebrations are also anchored to the life and laughter around the table. We learn how Grandmom Yolanda Trigiani sometimes wrote her recipes in code, or worked from memory, guarding her recipes carefully. And we meet Grandma Lucia Bonicelli, who never raised her voice and believed that when people fight at the dinner table, the food turns to poison in the body.

Best-selling author Adriana Trigiani is beloved by millions of readers around the world for her hilarious and heartwarming novels. Adriana was raised in a small coal-mining town in southwest Virginia in a big Italian family. She chose her hometown for the setting and title of her debut novel, the critically acclaimed bestseller Big Stone Gap. 

Adriana’s 13 books have been translated and sold in over 35 countries around the world. Critics from the Washington Post to the New York Times to People have described Adriana’s novels as “tiramisu for the soul”, “sophisticated and wise”, and “dazzling.” They agree, “her characters are so lively they bounce off the page”, and that “… her novels are full bodied and elegantly written.”

After graduating from Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana, Adriana moved to New York City to become a playwright. She founded the all-female comedy troupe “The Outcasts,” which performed on the cabaret circuit for seven years. She made her off-Broadway debut at the Manhattan Theater Club and was produced in regional theaters of note around the country.

Among her many television credits, Adriana was a writer/producer on The Cosby Show, A Different World, and executive producer/head writer for City Kids for Jim Henson Productions. Her Lifetime television special, Growing up Funny, garnered an Emmy nomination for Lily Tomlin. In 1996, she wrote and directed the documentary film Queens of the Big Time. It won the Audience Award at the Hamptons Film Festival and toured the international film festival circuit from Hong Kong to London. Adriana then wrote a screenplay called Big Stone Gap, which became the novel that began the series. Adriana spent a year and a half waking up at three in the morning to write the novel before going into work on a television show.

Adriana is married to Tim Stephenson, the Emmy award-winning lighting designer of the Late Show with David Letterman. They live in Greenwich Village with their daughter, Lucia.

R.E.A.D. Book Group will meet again on Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. Jane Robinson will review The Desire of My Eyes: The Life and Work of John Ruskin by Wolfgang Kemp. 

Everyone is invited to attend.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Beehive Award Nominees for 2012

The Children's Literature Association of Utah gives yearly awards to children's books in five areas:

  • picture books
  • children's fiction
  • poetry
  • children's non-fiction
  • young adult

Last spring the award winners were:

The 2012 nominees have been announced and
can help determine the winners.

Pick up a copy of the
2012 Nominees for the Beehive Award book list at the library
(on top of the audio books)
or access the book list  [here].

After you've read one of the nominees, pick up a ballot and
The ballots and the ballot box are on top of the audio books.

There is also a comprehensive list of all the Beehive Award winners at the library.