My Librarian: Craig Graziano
Growing up in the Fredericksburg area, I adored visiting the public library. The Salem Church Branch opened when I was in third grade. My mom picked my sister and me up from school. Watching the odometer, we cheered as we pulled into the parking lot. “Only 1.3 miles!”
It was an escape, a chance to learn more about what we were interested in or to discover something completely new. I was hooked, tearing through comic books, science fiction, and anything with a wicked streak of humor. Plus, there was a fantastic selection of movies and music. I dove right in and began working at Salem Church in high school.
While earning a B.A. in English from the University of Mary Washington, I listened to much of my required reading while shelving books at the Headquarters Library. Audio books do count...but only if you’re paying attention! I earned an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh and made it back just in time for our England Run Branch to open. I love books for every age level, whether it is a zany picture book, an angst-ridden young adult novel, or a great biography. If I like it, you’ll probably hear about it from me sooner or later.
Greetings, brave adventurers! So you are looking for uncharted territory to claim and conquer, eh? You've already climbed the highest peaks and had lunch in the craters of the moon. So, where do you go next to do your exploring? Look no further than this hidden gem. This is a land of mystery and danger, a land of wonder and fright, a land with tyrannosaurs, tentacled creatures, and scariest of all....toll booths. Behold, Delaware!
Jasper Dash and the Flame-Pits of Delaware is part of M.T. Anderson's Pals in Peril series, a highly absurdist take on children's detective and adventure series of decades past, the most obvious being Nancy Drew, Goosebumps, and Tom Swift. The title character of this particular book is the star of his own fictional series that has fallen into obscurity. Just looking at Jasper Dash, you can see that he's from another time. Aviator goggles perched atop a perfectly parted swath of blonde hair. And that's when he opens his mouth and 19th-century slang falls out: "Hello, chums...What-ho and tippy tippy dingle and all."
It sounds almost too perfect to be true. Famed primate expert Jane Goodall had a stuffed toy chimpanzee as a little girl. She went everywhere with it, and together they explored the mysteries of nature.
Me...Jane is Patrick McDonnell’s peacefully expressive interpretation of Goodall’s childhood through his art, actual photographs of Jane, and the drawings of her youth. Jane starts out a very curious young girl, studying all sort of animals around her home. That curious nature leads to many answers.
Friends With Boys is a teenage slice-of-life story. Maggie is dealing with the first day of school. Not just the first day of the year, nor is it simply her first day of high school. This is Maggie's first day of school...ever.
Once homeschooled, the freshman girl's mother (and teacher) has left home. Luckily, Maggie has three already initiated older brothers to show her the ropes around Sandford High. But Maggie's going to have to get used to the crowds, the schedule, and the fact that her siblings can't always be looking out for her.