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Enjoy stories at the library, then board a CityBus. Explore the CityBus garage, bus wash, and transfer terminal. As the bus
heads back to the library, view historic and new sights on the Purdue campus. Great for families of all ages. To register, call the Klondike library at 463-5893.
Mara lives in a city made up of islands, appropriately called the City of Islands. This is a mysterious land where music has power and magic is real. Twelve-year-old Mara works for the Lady of Tides. Her work is to dive in the waters around the islands to find magical treasures left over from the city founders. The city founders, strange beings who vanished long ago, were capable of great feats of magic, able to create buildings and other wonderful creations through their songs. One day, Mara finds a number of strange skeletons on the sea floor, skeletons of creatures that she had never seen before. Had she discovered something left behind by the founders? Mara hopes so, but when she takes her discoveries to the Lady of Tides, she finds herself given a new challenge: break into the fortress known as the Winter Blade and report on what she finds there. What Mara finds there is danger, and that danger soon threatens Mara and all of her friends.
City of Islands is a charming fantasy book for elementary and middle school readers. Mara is daring, loyal to her friends, and has just the right amount of curiosity to make
her a fun character. The world in which she lives is wonderfully imagined. The only thing that could have improved the story was if the magic system could have been a little more developed. Still, overall, an enjoyable read.
Why is Chicago a blue collar city with amazing architecture? Dwarves! Yes, indeed. Dwarves live within and below the great city of Chicago and have strongly influenced its development. And if you would like to know how the Great Chicago Fire happened, well, it’s lucky it wasn’t on a Thursday or it would have been worst. In The Legend of Greg, Greg Belmont says Thursdays are the worst. This adventure of Greg’s begins on a Thursday, and it is a doozy. From this one experience, Greg’s life spirals into a world he never could have imagined. Greg discovers that he is a Dwarf and has been attending a private school primarily consisting of Elves. His father is kidnapped by a Rock Troll and Greg finds friends among the people he never knew. Then there is the great battle axe Bloodletter, although it prefers to go by the name of Carl, who will help him find and if necessary, revenge his father but Greg will have to be careful because, well . . . let’s hope it isn’t Thursday.
I am a big fan of police officers and 400 Things Cops Know only made my admiration for them grow. Written by police officer Adam Plantinga, it’s like a little advice book for those who are new to law enforcement. Divided into chapters like “12 things Cops Know About Domestic Violence” or “16 things Cops Know About Hookers and Johns,” the book is by turns funny and also very sad. Some of Plantinga’s advice can apply to anyone who works with the public (“if the public screams at you, don’t scream back. Because if they piss you off, they own you.”) but some of it is only applicable to their job. Plantinga reminds his fellow officers that the media decides which story they want to report, not you. So yes, you and your colleagues might be doing very good work and might have a thousand feel good stories that could be told but the media will most likely choose to report the story that puts law enforcement in a bad light. Teachers probably feel the same way. He also says it’s best to take steps in your personal life so that you don’t feel like the world is just evil. Hang around normal people who aren’t in law enforcement sometimes. Keep your home clean and organized. That way when all you see is horrible situations and constant bad decisions and filthy houses, you will be able to stay sane by having something different going on in your life (Plantinga […]
It’s summer, and Jack is left at home to take care of his autistic sister, Maddy, while his mother works two jobs to support the family. For Jack, this means chores and boring days. But one day, Maddy, who never speaks, sees a box of seeds at a street fair and she tells Jack to buy them. Jack is so astonished that his sister spoke that he does buy the seeds, even though they cost him his mother’s car. The seeds, of course, turn out to be magic, and the adventure begins. The seeds, of course, grow magical plants in a magical garden. Jack, Maddy, and their friend Lilly, who regularly carries a sword, learn about their new magical garden. Some of the garden is friendly, but some of it is not. And one special night, a dragon visits the garden, and that changes everything…
Mighty Jack is a special book, full of whimsy, friendship, and courage. I love Ben Hatke’s artwork, and how he mixes complex topics in with non-stop action. If you haven’t read any of Mr. Hatke’s work, please try Zita the Spacegirl. And of course, read the continued adventure of Jack, Maddy, and Lilly in Mighty Jack and the Goblin King.
This is a spinoff early reader series from one of my favorite books — The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. Calpurnia is a spunky precocious girl in Texas at the turn of the century, the 20th century that is. Through explorations of the natural world with her grandfather, Calpurnia has developed a strong scientific and curious mind, a mind that sometimes gets her in trouble. Calpurnia is the middle child with three brothers on either side of her. Her closest brother is Travis, an animal adopter of the worst kind. The first book in the early reader series, Skunked, Travis adopts a pair of abandoned skunks. It is up to Calpurnia to figure out how to care for the skunks and make sure that mom doesn’t find out about them. In another book, A Prickly Problem, her father’s prized hunting dog, Ajax, has not one but two run ins with a porcupine. Calpurnia’s analysis of Ajax’s intelligence is hilarious as she explains the difference between a smart dog and a dumb dog and that’s it’s usually easy to tell. “Here’s how you tell. Smart dogs learn from their mistakes. Dumb dogs don’t . . . So guess what? We owned the dumbest dog of all.” (page 57). These little adventures of Calpurnia are good for readers of Laura Ingalls Wilder and a nice lead in to her bigger chapter books in J Fiction.
When zombie start to rise from battlefields and from graves during the Civil War, it causes a bit of a problem for everyone involved: the War Between the States becomes the War Between the Living and the Dead. The walking dead, called shamblers, are decimating cities as they hunt for more living food to eat. Jane McKeene, a young Negro woman born into this new and brutal conflict, is training at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore to fight the shamblers to keep people safe. When families in the Baltimore area start to go missing, Jane finds herself pulled into a political conspiracy that puts her, and her friend Katherine, in mortal danger. Using her skills learned at Miss Preston’s School and her own sharp wits, Jane must find a way to save herself and her friends before all of them are turned into shamblers themselves.
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland is a wonderful alternate history story, and Jane and Katherine are fantastic characters. Both are strong women fighting against what seem impossible odds. The premise of the book is highly original, and pacing of the book kept the pages turning. Highly recommended.
On July 2, 1997 Christophe Andre was kidnapped. Hostage opens with Andre recounting his three month ordeal to author/cartoonist Guy Delisle. At the time of his kidnapping Andre was working as a financial administrator for Doctors Without Borders in the town of Ingushetia, a small Russian republic west of Chechnya. His kidnappers came very early in the morning, busting in claiming to be the police. He thought they had come for money but quickly realized he was being kidnapped. His captors held him in in a solitary room handcuffed to a radiator. He had very little to eat and nothing to do but think. Obviously his confinement comes to an end but I won’t elaborate on how he gained his freedom. It’s so exciting to watch it play out!
The writing in this book is economical and the drawings are uncomplicated but nuanced. Every word is essential and every mark is significant. At 432 pages I read this book in one afternoon. If you like a good page-turner Hostage will not disappoint.
I can’t even explain how good Ken Bruen’s books are. Is it the story lines or the main character that’s so great? I’m gonna go with just the way he writes – the reading itself is just pure pleasure. His latest The Ghosts of Galway is no exception. The story features Bruen’s ex Guard Jack Taylor and Taylor’s crush/nemesis, the evil Emily. Jack goes to work for a short time as a security guard and his boss wants him to do some “side work.” Although the side work itself is not anything illegal, it puts Jack in the middle of a lot of illegal activity and greediness. Of course, then this leads to the deaths of some who are closest to Jack’s heart. I was surprised 3 different times while reading this book which isn’t something that happens often when you’ve read as many mysteries as I have. And Jack’s thoughts! And the dialogue! I never think I could run while listening to a talking book but maybe I should try it with one of Bruen’s novels – there’s just a rhythm to the writing that really hooks you. Highly, highly recommended!
Have you ever felt harassed by a door that just wouldn’t open? You push, you pull, and yet, nothing? Do you blame yourself for not knowing how to open the door? Well, you shouldn’t! The issue isn’t with you; it’s with the design of the door.
The Design of Everyday Things takes a look at the considerations that should be taken into account for everyday items that we all use. It discusses the importance of making the use of everyday items clear and obvious, as well as why failures we often consider human error are actually design flaws. The book is detailed without being overly technical, and provides lots of interesting case studies of how to design in a way that puts the user first. This book is a fun informative read, and it made me feel a whole lot better about every door I’ve never been able to properly open on the first try.