Posted in Adult, Fiction

Read These While You Wait

The downside to wanting to read a popular new book is that… everyone else also wants to read the popular new books. I took a look in our system, and below, you’ll find the five books that have the longest waitlists in the Monarch Library System. And after you put yourself on those waitlists (or not), you can also find a list of four similar books for each title – books without waitlists that you can read in the meantime!

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#1 Most Popular: Blindside by James Patterson and James O. Born

While you wait, try:
New York Dead by Stuart Woods
Undercurrents by Ridley Pearson
Plum Island by Nelson DeMille
Close Your Eyes by Iris Johansen

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Posted in Award Winners, Fiction, Kids 0-5, Kids 5-12, Nonfiction, Teen & Young Adult, Uncategorized

Children's Award Books

The American Library Association recently announced the winners of the 2020 Youth Media Awards. Materials for children and teens were selected by committees of literature and media specialists under different categories for their excellence. Below is a list of some of the notable award recipients. Be sure to click on the titles of those that interest you to reserve your own copy through our catalog.

John Newbery Medal

New Kid by Jerry Craft

The John Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. This year’s winner is New Kid, written and illustrated by Jerry Craft. This is a graphic novel about a boy of color who begins attending a prestigious school in an upscale neighborhood, with a mostly white student body. He finds himself struggling to belong in his new school, as well as in his own neighborhood with old friends.

Four Newbery Honor Books were also named this year:

Randolph Caldecott Medal

The Undefeated illustrated by Kadir Nelson

The Randolph Caldecott Medal is awarded annually by the ALSC to the artist of the most distinguished illustrated American children’s book. This year’s winner is The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson and written by Kwame Alexander. This is a beautifully illustrated poetic picture book about the trials and tribulations of black Americans.

There were also three Caldecott Honor Books named this year:

Michael L. Printz Award

Dig by A. S. King

The Michael L. Printz Award is administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association and sponsored by Booklist. It is awarded annually to a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. This year’s winner is Dig, written by A.S. King. This is a surreal story of white privilege and a legacy of hate as experienced by five teenage cousins in a dysfunctional family.

Four Printz Honor Books were also named this year:

Pura Belpré Awards

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez
Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln illustrated by Rafael López

Pura Belpré Awards are awarded annually by the ALSC and REFORMA. They are awarded to a Latinx writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latinx cultural experience.

The Pura Belpré Author Award winner this year is Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, written by Carlos Hernandez. This is a story about Sal, a thirteen-year-old magician, who teams up with Gabi, the student council president. Together, they try to uncover the mystery of how Sal breaks the universe.

The Pura Belpré Illustrator Award winner for this year is Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln, illustrated by Rafael López and written by Margarita Engle. This is a delightfully illustrated picture book about the life of the Venezuelen born pianist Teresa Carreño, who by the age of nine, played the piano for President Lincoln at the White House.

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard

The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal is awarded annually by the ALSC to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published in the United States in English during the preceding year. The winner is Fry Bread Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story, written by Kevin Noble Maillard and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal. This book shares the story of fry bread as a tradition for Native Americans across tribes and time. A recipe is included, along with an author’s note with more information on the history and cultural ties to fry bread.

Coretta Scott King Awards

The Coretta Scott King Awards are awarded annually by the ALA’s Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table. They are awarded to African-American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. The King Author Book winner for this year is New Kid, written by Jerry Craft. The King Illustrator Book winner is The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson and written by Kwame Alexander. New Kid also won the Newbery Medal and Undefeated also won the Caldecott Medal this year, scroll up for a summary for each of these.

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Posted in Adult, Award Winners, Fiction, Nonfiction, Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: 1970 Pulitzer Prizes

It’s hard to believe that 1970 is already half a century in the past! So I thought, for this Throwback Thursday, I would share with you the winners of the Pulitzer Prizes in poetry and fiction from fifty years ago. While we don’t have the individual book that won in poetry (Untitled Subjects), many of the poems from this book are contained in the author’s selected poems, which I have linked below.

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Poetry: Untitled Subjects by Richard Howard (contained in this book)

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Fiction: Collected Stories by Jean Stafford

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Posted in Adult, Fantasy, Graphic Novels & Memoirs, Horror, Science Fiction, Teen & Young Adult, Uncategorized

I Have Issues

I spend too much time talking about movies and games, so this month I am doing something different. I go through bouts where I get absorbed into comic series. This month I thought I would share some of my favorites. The items in this blog post will take you to the first volume of the series in Mead’s collection.

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The Black Monday Murders

The Black Monday Murders is a blend of noir mystery and occult horror. The gist of the series’ story is that bankers are being murdered in horrific, cult-like ways. As Detective Dumas follows the clues, he discovers that there is a world of magic schools hidden behind international banking. The premise tickles my fancy, but what has stuck with me is the use of color and shadow. The art is surreal at times, but somehow the color and shadow ground it. I feel like this one, in particular, is the hidden-ish gem of this blog post, but I have to do my due diligence to mention this series is on hiatus. The artist and co-creator, Tomm Coker, had to step away due to some health concerns, so this series currently stops after volume two.

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Posted in Uncategorized

All About Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s trajectory in the art world was meteoric – but so was his fall. In just a few years, he went from a teenager spray painting graffiti to world famous artist. He died when he was only 27 years old. His legacy was, until recently, overshadowed by Andy Warhol (his mentor) & Pablo Picasso, but the world is re-discovering Basquiat and on the heels of that rediscovery, a flurry of new works have been published. Here are 5 we recommend.

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Posted in Kids 5-12, Nonfiction, Teen & Young Adult, Uncategorized

Bakers Gonna Bake

Create warm memories with the kids in your life while baking a delicious treat together!  Baking is a fun and relaxing activity that also provides kids with experiences in measuring, reading/following directions, and developing fine motor skills. Kids will also have opportunities to express their creativity. The following baking books from our collection are great options for kids of all ages. In addition to delicious recipes, they include information on kitchen safety and hygiene, guides to cooking equipment, and cooking skill levels are listed on each recipe. Be sure to read through the entire recipe and organize your supplies and ingredients before getting started. Have fun and enjoy your delicious creation!

Baking Class: 50 Fun Recipes Kids Will Love to Bake! by Deanna F. Cook

This is a really well-illustrated book with photos paired with each step of the recipes. It also includes an illustrated baking vocabulary section and photos to inspire different ways to decorate your baked creations. There are also sidebar tips with the recipes. One of the tips makes the connection between baking and chemistry, and others include creative ways to alter the recipes. Included in this book are recipes for cookies, muffins, cakes, pies, toaster-oven tarts, garlic bread sticks, and brownie pizza.

The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen

This baking book includes loads of information and pictures for over 100 recipes. The very detailed instructions make these recipes easy to follow. There are a variety of sweet and savory recipes for a variety of skill levels. There are many recipes for cookies, cakes, muffins, and bars. There are also recipes for empanadas, pizza rolls, Brazilian cheese bread, and soft pretzels.

Good Housekeeping Kids Bake!: 100+ Sweet and Savory Recipes by Susan Westmoreland

The beginning of this book provides information on basic ingredients, how to measure accurately, nutrition info, baker’s lingo, and a guide to equivalent measurements. There are recipes for a variety of cookies, bars, brownies, cakes, pies, muffins, and pizzas. There is a statement from Good Housekeeping that gives a “Triple Test Promise”, which means each recipe in this book has been tested at least three times and is determined to be delicious, family-friendly, healthful, and easy to make.

Bake It: 150 Favorite Recipes From Best Loved DK Cookbooks by DK Publishing, Inc.

There is something for everyone in this book that is loaded with 150 recipes for cakes, muffins, pies, tarts, cookies, and breads. There are even some delicious no-bake recipes. A photo guide for baking equipment, and step-by-step instructions with photos for baking techniques are also included in this baking book that is designed for a variety of skill levels.

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