DOG VS. CAT BY CHRIS GALL

One day, Mr. and Mrs. Button visit animal shelters to pick out a pet—unfortunately, they visit different shelters.  Mr. Button brings home a friendly-looking dog, while Mrs. Button brings home a smart-looking cat.  Since they live in a rather small house, Dog and Cat must share a room.

Dog and Cat do NOT get along.  They are TOTAL opposites.  Dog is sloppy while Cat is a neat freak.  Dog likes to keep in constant touch with all his friends and Cat likes to play games all night long.  And then, there was the litter box issue, which started a battle of epic proportions—each trying to get the upper hand over the other—that resulted in separation and time out for both, which did give them time to think about how much each missed the other one.   Upon release from their confinement, Dog and Cat find themselves united in trying to deal with the new TERRIFYING creature Mr. and Mrs. Button brought home.

Reviewed by Kathy Thornhill, Zauel Memorial Library.

Recommended for preschool-2nd grade.

THE ADVENTURES OF BEEKLE: THE UNIMAGINARY FRIEND BY DAN SANTAT

On an island far away, imaginary creatures are created and impatiently wait to be dreamed of by a real child.  Once imagined, the friends meet up for a lifetime of fun.  However, after watching all the other creatures be whisked off to their happy-ever-after, one particular imaginary friend gets tired of waiting.  Taking the initiative, he sets out to find his perfect match and special name – Beekle.  This richly illustrated title is sure to start great discussions about best friends, real and imaginary.

Reviewed by Jennie Tuttle, Wickes Library.

Recommended for ages 3 -6.

THE TILTED WORLD by Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly

It is the spring of 1927 and it has been raining in Hobnob, Mississippi since November. The levees along the river are reaching their breaking point when two federal agents enter town looking for the local bootlegger. Ted Ingersoll and his partner have been charged with tracking down two missing Prohibition agents, but they also have brought an orphaned baby they found on their way. Ingersoll, an orphan himself, can’t bear to leave the child with the indifferent local authorities, so, after making some inquiries, he gives the baby to Dixie Clay Holliver, a young mother who has lost her only son. Little does he know at the time that Dixie Clay’s rascal of a husband is the bootlegger he’s been searching for – or that Dixie Clay is actually the genius distiller behind their high-end whiskey.

The husband-and-wife team of Franklin and Fennelly has written a story that is a Western at heart. Ingersoll is the good-hearted cowboy charged with a duty that puts him at odds with the woman he loves, and Dixie Clay is the feisty heroine who has to relearn that there is more to life than mere survival. Their story, set during one of the most devastating floods in our nation’s history, is hard to put down.

 

Reviewed by Lynn HeitkampWorld

POPULAR MECHANICS GADGET PLANET: 150 GIZMOS & INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD

Popular Mechanics magazine and the History Channel formed a panel of experts ranging from astronaut Buzz Aldrin to David Pogue, Technology columnist for The New York Times.  The purpose of the group was to select the 150 most significant gadgets invented to date.

 gadgetA gadget is something you can hold in your hands.  Mechanical or electric, it is a “mass-produced, personal item that evolved from novelty to necessity and ultimately shows its paradigm-shifting power.” 

 The judges argued over all but one ranking:  the easy top pick was the smartphone.

 Each of the entries for the 150 gadgets includes information about the inventor, the year of invention, a photo, and some clever and interesting background data that makes the significance of the invention clear.

 This is a fun and informative book that kids and teens would love, and that could spark many a lively debate among adults as well.

 Reviewed by Kate Tesdell

SYNC into Teen Literature this Summer!

Kim4webSYNC is now available at the Public Libraries of Saginaw to encourage literacy by listening for teens ages 13 and up through the summer. This program offers two complete audiobook downloads each week, featuring a Young Adult title paired with a Classic title. 

How to download titles:

 

Titles are delivered through the OverDrive Media Console.  You can download the software to whichever device you use.   You can sign-up to receive alerts by text message, email newsletter or follow the SYNC blog through the Overdrive Media Console.

 SYNC is sponsored by AudioFile Magazine and titles are delivered through OverDrive Media Console.

I REMEMBER YOU by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

This is a ghost story that takes place in Iceland.  There are two stories that alternate chapters.  At first, they seem to be unrelated, but eventually overlap and entwine.  Two couples purchase a house together in a remote, abandoned fishing village.  It’s a popular tourist destination, and has regularly scheduled ferries in the summer.  Of course, they decide to go in the winter to renovate it into a bed and breakfast for the following summer.  They are completely alone there, with no electricity or plumbing.  Cell phone service is available if you hike to the top of a hill…  As the man with the boat drops them off, he seems disturbed when they tell him which house they are staying at, but doesn’t tell them why….  Meanwhile, a psychiatrist is helping his police officer neighbor  to investigate a school break in and a suicide that seem to be somehow connected to the disappearance of his young son three years ago. 

I thought the Icelandic names were a little confusing, especially at first.  Quite a few characters and places are introduced in the beginning chapters, and sometimes I had to flip back and forth to remember which town was which.  It is also a British translation, so they have torches instead of flashlights and jumpers instead of sweaters.  It had a very creepy feeling, especially the empty town on the edge of the sea in the winter.  Hesteyri does actually exist, and there are pictures of it online.  (I didn’t find any reference to actual ghosts there, though.)  It was interesting to read about a place so far away.

Reviewed by Fiona Swiftremember

INVENTION OF WINGS by Sue Monk Kidd

wingsIf you read and enjoyed The Secret Life of Bees you will be sure to want to read Sue Monk Kidd’s latest work of historical fiction. The Invention of Wings is about two women in the south in the 1830’s who strive to be free.  Sarah Grimke, a wealthy white woman, is prisoner to the times of pre-suffrage sexism. Her maid, Handful, suffers under the bondage of slavery. At 11 years old, Sarah is given Handful to be her own personal maid as a gift. Sarah is appalled by this. The Invention of Wings is based loosely on the real-life story of Sarah Grimke, an abolitionist and suffragist. Together the two women fight to be set free. Sarah and her sister, Angeline, rebel so vocally that their lives are threatened and they are forced to leave Handful, their home, and families. Their crime: believing in the civil rights of African Americans and women.

Reviewed by Linda Brown

2014 NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) Notable Poetry List

J 979.1004 Fl              Flood, Nancy Bo.  Cowboy Up!: Ride the Navaho Rodeo

J 811.54 Ge                 Gerber, Carole.  Seeds, Bees, Butterflies, and More!: Poems for Two Voices

J 811.54 Hu                 Hughes, Langston.  Lullaby (for a Black Mother)

J 821.008 Po               Kennedy, Caroline, ed.  Poems to Learn by Heart

J 811.54 Le                 Lewis, J. Patrick. Face Bug

J 811.54 Le                 Lewis, J. Patrick.  When Thunder Comes: Poems for Civil Rights Leaders

J 811.54 Le                 Lewis, J. Patrick.  World Rat Day: Poems About Real Holidays You’ve Never Heard Of

J 811.54 Pr                  Prelutsky, Jack.  Stardines Swim High Across the Sky and Other Poems

J 811.54 Si                  Sidman, Joyce.  What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms, and Blessings

J 811.54 Si                  Singer, Marilyn.  Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems

J 811.54 Si                  Singer, Marilyn.  Rutherford B., Who Was He? Poems About Our Presidents

J 808.1 Po                   Vardell, Sylvia & Janet Wong, eds.  The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School: Poems for the School Year with Connections for the Common Core

J 808.81 Wh                Wheeler, Lisa.  The Pet Project: Cute and Cuddly Vicious Verses

J 811.54 Wo                Worth, Valerie.  Pug and Other Animal Poems

J 811.54 Yo                 Yolen, Jane & Rebecca Kai Dotlich. Grumbles from the Forest: Fairy-Tale Voices with a Twist

J 811.54 Yo                 Yolen, Jane.  Wee Rhymes: Baby’s First Poetry Book

I ALWAYS LOVED YOU by Robin Oliveira

The stormy relationship between Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt is explored in this rich novel about art and love in late 19th Century Paris.

This was the era when a group known as the Impressionists created colorful, light-filled paintings that did not resemble what the art establishment expected to see in a serious exhibition.  They were frequently excluded from the prestigious Salon de Paris.  When Frenchman Degas met American-born Cassatt at the Salon and then introduced her to the rest of the Impressionists, it started a long and fruitful friendship. Their working relationship never resembled a traditional love affair, but they inspired each other as true equals – all the while hurting each other in ways no one else could.  It is a bittersweet story about two fiery people who needed each other, but were too set in their ways to admit it.

Oliveira is the author of the well-regarded Civil War novel My Name is Mary Sutter.  Her second book should put her on a list of to-read authors for lovers of historical fiction.

 

Reviewed by Lynn Heitkamploved

I ALWAYS LOVED YOU by Robin Oliveira

The stormy relationship between Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt is explored in this rich novel about art and love in late 19th Century Paris.

This was the era when a group known as the Impressionists created colorful, light-filled paintings that did not resemble what the art establishment expected to see in a serious exhibition.  They were frequently excluded from the prestigious Salon de Paris.  When Frenchman Degas met American-born Cassatt at the Salon and then introduced her to the rest of the Impressionists, it started a long and fruitful friendship. Their working relationship never resembled a traditional love affair, but they inspired each other as true equals – all the while hurting each other in ways no one else could.  It is a bittersweet story about two fiery people who needed each other, but were too set in their ways to admit it.

Oliveira is the author of the well-regarded Civil War novel My Name is Mary Sutter.  Her second book should put her on a list of to-read authors for lovers of historical fiction.

 

Reviewed by Lynn Heitkamploved

SHAKESPEARE’S RESTLESS WORLD: A PORTRAIT OF AN ERA IN TWENTY OBJECTS by Neil MacGregor

MacGregor, Director of the British Museum since 2002, uses 20 ordinary objects from the past to define and explain how the ordinary British man or woman saw the world at the time of Shakespeare.  From a simple communion chalice to an apprentice’s cap, from a musical clock to plague proclamations, MacGregor brings history to life and gives a new and more immediate meaning to Shakespeare’s plays.  This is a fascinating, highly readable look at London during the time in and around 1600.  If you find this as interesting as I did, you may want to look for MacGregor’s earlier book, A History of the World in 100 Objects.

 

Reviewed by Kate Tesdellshakespeare BY

SHAKESPEARE’S RESTLESS WORLD: A PORTRAIT OF AN ERA IN TWENTY OBJECTS by Neil MacGregor

MshakespeareacGregor, Director of the British Museum since 2002, uses 20 ordinary objects from the past to define and explain how the ordinary British man or woman saw the world at the time of Shakespeare.  From a simple communion chalice to an apprentice’s cap, from a musical clock to plague proclamations, MacGregor brings history to life and gives a new and more immediate meaning to Shakespeare’s plays.  This is a fascinating, highly readable look at London during the time in and around 1600.  If you find this as interesting as I did, you may want to look for MacGregor’s earlier book, A History of the World in 100 Objects.

 

Reviewed by Kate Tesdell

FALLEN WOMEN by Sandra Dallas

Dsandraenver in the year 1885 was the gilded glory of the west. High society flourished and millions of dollars turned over daily. But, Denver had a greasy sinister side as well. Gambling, prostitution, and extreme poverty ran rampant. It is into this environment that the author, Sandra Dallas, drops wealthy Manhattan missionary, Beret Osmundsen.  Her strong-willed wayward sister, Lillie, has been found brutally murdered in a Denver brothel and Beret is bent on justice.  

Lillie as it turns out is not the wronged and innocent child that Beret believes her to be. Beret’s high society aunt and uncle (Lillie’s Denver charges) also disappoint, disillusion and disgust. Aided by Detective Sergeant Mick McCauley, Beret learns truths about life, death, self and love in her search for the murderer of her sister.

 Dallas always gives the reader a finely crafted tale, but this “era” novel is particularly engrossing.

Reviewed by Neica Dey

GO! GO! GO! STOP! BY CHARISE MERICLE HARPER

One word and some enthusiasm can be a powerful combination.  Little Green’s shout of “Go!” wakes up the construction equipment from their nap and prompts them back to work building a new bridge.  However, his repeated encouragement leads to a bit of chaos.  Thankfully, newcomer Little Red’s “Stop!” provides the break everyone needs to regroup.  Can Little Red and Little Green work together to get the bridge building back on track?  Perfect for sharing one-on-one or with a group, this engaging title begs to be followed by a game of Red Light – Green Light.

Reviewed by Jennie Tuttle, Wickes Library

Recommended for ages 2-5.

ORPHAN TRAIN by Christina Baker Kline

Molly Ayer, a goth high school student needs to get in 50 hours of community service.  Her boyfriend’s mother works for an elderly woman, Vivian Daly, who will take Molly on as a worker if she will help her clean out and sort the many objects, books and papers in her attic. 

At the same time, we learn about Niamh Power, a young Irish orphan from New York who is sent to Minnesota, on the train, to  be adopted.  It will come as no surprise to readers that  Niamh grows up to be Vivian Daly and Molly is drawn into her story on the orphan trains that took children from the streets of New York and left them in Midwestern and Western cities along the way to be adopted or put into what often amounted to slavery.

As a reader, I had always avoided books on this topic, fiction or non-fiction.  I don’t always have to read “happy” books, but I just had the idea that this was real misery and something I didn’t need to subject myself to.  This, however is a lovely book that is difficult to put down.  Young Niamh does come into some horrendous situations and has her trials before the end of the book, but her life and Molly’s have many things in common and the two find a bond of friendship in this lovely story.

 

Reviewed by Audrey Lewistrain

BLACKBERRY PIE MURDER by Joanne Fluke

pieThis is the 19th foodie mystery featuring Hannah Swensen, her cat Moishe, and the characters who work with her at her bakery/coffee shop called The Cookie Jar.  Rounding out the cast are the members of her family, other memorable inhabitants of Lake Eden, Minnesota, and Mike and Norman, the long-suffering duo who constantly vie for Hannah’s heart. 

 

Minnesota’s idiosyncratic weather is often beautifully depicted in Fluke’s work, and as this tale begins, Hannah and her shop assistant, Lisa, are driving through backroads during a pounding rainstorm.  Concerned about lightening, Hannah comes suddenly across a branch in the road and has to swerve to miss it.  Unfortunately, she does not miss a man lying in the road. The impact of her truck breaks his neck and he dies at the scene.

 

This is a darker beginning than many of Fluke’s books, and the mystery of who the man is and how he came to be in Lake Eden becomes a complex plot to unravel.  At the same time, Fluke brings in her usual humor as the Swensen daughters try to plan their mother’s wedding, and Moishe learns how to turn on and use the new treadmill Hannah has won.

 

This entry felt a bit scattered to me, and Hannah’s willingness to continue stringing both Norman and Mike along as boyfriends is beginning to become annoying.  However, fans will find much to enjoy here and as usual, the recipes sound marvelous.

 

Reviewed by Kate Tesdell

While Beauty Slept by Elizabeth Blackwell

beauty“Once upon a time, there was a kingdom far away.  And in that kingdom lived a king, a queen and their young daughter and they all lived happily ever after.”…………..Not quite.

 

This compelling and emotional retelling of Sleeping Beauty is as seen through the eyes of Elise, a young peasant woman who comes to work at the palace after the death of most of her family from the pox. She becomes the queen’s handmaid and suffers with her when the queen is unable to bear a child. When the queen finally becomes pregnant, the baby, Rose, is the delight of the palace but things go wrong when the king’s cantankerous aunt is refused entry to the baptism service. Sounds familiar, right?  But this is where the story takes a shift away from what we think we know about the fairy tale.  This reviewer refuses to give away any of the secrets of the ending of this novel of love, friendship and loyalty but hopes you will find that everything ends, if not entirely happily, at least suitably ever after.

Reviewed by Audrey Lewis

WEASELS BY ELYS DOLAN

With a reputation for being clever, quick and cunning, no one should be surprised to discover that weasels spend their days plotting world domination. However, just as their plans for supremacy are about to come to fruition, the lights black out.  The weasels scramble to locate the source of their troubles.  A tale told as much through the conversation bubbles and illustrations as the text, readers with sharp eyes will detect the problem ahead of its resolution. 

Reviewed by Jennie Tuttle, Wickes Library

Recommended for grades 1 – 4.

FLORA & ULYSSES: THE ILLUMINATED ADVENTURES BY KATE DICAMILLO

Holy bagumba!  This year’s Newbery Medal winner is an action-packed tale featuring a host of quirky characters and filled with graphics and comic-style layouts.  Using knowledge gleamed from a comic book, Flora Belle Buckman, a natural-born cynic, revives a squirrel that had been sucked up by her neighbor’s super-suction, multi-terrain vacuum cleaner only to discover that the incident has provided the squirrel with super powers.  Surprises keep coming as she meets her neighbor’s unique grandnephew, discovers her mother is Ulysses’ archenemy, and realizes hope and love are also formidable super powers.

Reviewed by Jennie Tuttle, Wickes Library

Recommended for grades 3 – 6.

2014 Randolph Caldecott Medal Winner and Honor Books

For the “most distinguished American picture book for children”

 WINNER:

 “Locomotive” illustrated and written by Brian Floca

 

 HONOR BOOKS:

 “Journey” written and illustrated by Aaron Becker

 

“Flora and the Flamingo” written and illustrated by Molly Idle

 

“Mr. Wuffles!” written and illustrated by David Wiesner

Noteworthy & New

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

Click here to open a PDF with our programs and booklists for children, teens and adults.

New Hours of Operation Effective September 2

Decreasing revenues continue to be an issue, even with the renewal of the millage (and we are very grateful for that renewal). We are scaling back staff and/or hours throughout the city system and will continue to provide as much access to service as we can with the dollars we have available.

Beginning September 2nd, hours of operation at Hoyt, Butman-Fish, and Wickes Libraries will be as noted below. Zauel, as a contractual partner, will see no changes. Claytor will be staffed by First Ward for their patrons.

Butman-Fish Library – 1716 Hancock

  • Monday & Tuesday – 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday – Saturday – 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Claytor – 1410 N. 12th Street

  • No regular hours for public – staffed by First Ward for First Ward patrons

Hoyt Library – 505 Janes

  • Monday & Thursday – 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday & Wednesday – 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday & Saturday – 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Wickes Library – 1713 Hess

  • Monday – Thursday – 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Michigan Activity Pass (MAP)

The “Michigan Activity Pass presented by The Library Network” program is a partnership between Michigan’s nearly 400 public libraries and 100+ arts and cultural organizations. The program is designed to enhance the learning experience for people of all ages through books and other library materials, and to provide reduced cost or complimentary access to arts and cultural organizations across the state of Michigan, from St. Joseph to Saline to Saginaw to Sault Ste. Marie to South Range, and all points in between.

Beginning May 24, library users with a valid library card can print a pass, either from home or at the library to one of the participating cultural institutions. Go to www.michiganactivitypass.info for the entire list of locations.

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