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Community Survey
Stafford 350
Learn fast with Mango Languages
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Digital magazines from Zinio. Back issues available.
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Community Survey
Stafford 350
Learn fast with Mango Languages
eBooks - we've got 'em
Digital magazines from Zinio. Back issues available.
Local Authors

LibraryPoint Blog

05/09/2012 - 12:06pm
Bidding Farewell to Maurice Sendak

When it first appeared in 1963, Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are didn’t look like or read like any other children’s book out there. It was full of mystery and wonder--and Wild Things with attitude, including the King of all Wild Things, our hero Max.

But Max of the wolf suit wasn’t originally supposed to voyage to the Land of the Wild Things. He was first scheduled to be visiting the Land of the Wild Horses--which was how the book was planned and given to Maurice Sendak to write and illustrate. The problem was, the author/illustrator did not know how to draw horses. So his editor let him change them to Wild Things, a take on the Yiddish phrase "Vilde chaya,” meaning boisterous children.*   This changeover was magic.

05/09/2012 - 2:31am
The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey

Gemma Hardy’s story parallels Jane Eyre’s experiences—both have an evil aunt and have to work for their educations at boarding school as charity girls.  Both girls are bullied and treated unfairly by family, school staff, and students. Both girls have disappointments with men who have secrets.  If you enjoyed Charlotte Bronte’s gothic tales or Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, you will love The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey. Set in the 1950’s and 1960’s in Scotland and Iceland, the author uses the imagery of birds and flight to underscore Gemma’s journey.

05/08/2012 - 2:26pm

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.