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Stafford 350
eBooks - we've got 'em
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Cafe Book 2013-2014: See what we're reading this year!
Uniquely Stafford Call for Artists: Deadline September 26
Learn fast with Mango Languages
Stafford 350
eBooks - we've got 'em
Digital magazines from Zinio. Back issues available.
Cafe Book 2013-2014: See what we're reading this year!

LibraryPoint Blog

05/08/2012 - 3:26pm

I had never heard of “the Talk” until a recent radio interview shared the agonizing conversation that many African-American parents have with their sons.  The mother had a son who ran track, but, as a precaution, wasn’t allowed to run in his own neighborhood. I was instantly reminded of Jacqueline Woodson’s book  “If You Come Softly” and my own skepticism at a plot development I naively mistook as contrived.  

If You Come Softly” is a love story, effectively told in alternating viewpoints that provide insight into what it’s like to be a  teen, interracial couple.  The boy, Jeremiah, “was black.  HE could feel it.  The way the sun pressed down hard and hot on his skin...He felt warm inside his skin, protected.”  Inside his neighborhood, he felt good, “but one step outside.  Just one step and somehow the weight of his skin seemed to change.  It got heavier.”  He had just started attending a fancy Manhattan prep school and collided with Ellie the first day.  Corny as it sounds, it was love at first sight.  Despite the challenges their race differences brought, they persevered, but there’s one thing neither Ellie nor I could completely comprehend: what it’s like to be a young African-American man.  Jeremiah’s parents weren’t against the relationship, but they were concerned.  In their discussions they said one thing that surprised me--never run in a white neighborhood.  In a moment of sheer joy, that advice is tragically forgotten.  As simply an ill-starred love story, the reader will weep, but knowing about “the Talk,” readers will be heartbroken at circumstances necessitating such a conversation in the first place.

05/14/2012 - 10:51am
All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps by Dave Isay

The personal histories included in All There Is are compelling and powerful. Some are joyous celebrations of love and companionship, while others are stoic accounts of tragedy and perseverance. Despite their differences, each narrative is characterized by an overpowering sense of authenticity. The stories recorded in All There Is were not shared for personal gain or publicity. Rather, they were collected through the efforts of StoryCorps, an oral history project that allows any willing volunteer to record his or her most precious memories and experiences. The participants share the most essential aspects of their lives in interviews that are recorded for their personal archives and, in many cases, for the American Folklife Center.

Since its debut in 2003, the StoryCorps project has spread across the United States, recording over 40,000 interviews. As Dave Isay, StoryCorps’ founder, states, “StoryCorps’ mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. With a relentless focus on recording the stories of people who are often excluded from the historical record, StoryCorps captures lives that would otherwise be lost to history and reminds the nation that every story matters and every voice counts.”

05/07/2012 - 3:30am
Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Did you know that the Cinderella story is one of the world’s oldest fairy tales? The first version can be traced back to ninth-century China and was written about a heroine named Yeh-shen. Today, more than 1500 versions of the tale exist, many with a unique twist. I recently enjoyed what I consider to be the most singular version of Cinderella that I have ever come upon in Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

Cinder Linh is a cyborg – part human, part robot – who knows nothing of her birth parents or history. She is a ward of her evil stepmother, Adri, who relies on Cinder’s extraordinary talent as a mechanic to support the family all the while vilifying Cinder at every opportunity. Together with two stepsisters, Pearl and Peony, they live in technologically advanced, post-World War IV “New Beijing.” Unfortunately, New Beijing is threatened by an airborn plague called letumosis, which strikes at random and has an almost 100% fatality rate.