Lisa See's Shanghai Girls is a riveting book about two sisters who are "beautiful girl" models in pre-war 1930s Shanghai. When the Japanese invade, the sisters' lives are turned upside down and they are forced into arranged marriages and flee their homeland for America.
Watch Lisa See talk about the inspiration for her novel in this interview. The sequel to Shanghai Girls, Dreams of Joy, is recently published and on the bestseller list.
Ahoy, mateys! Learn the finer points of pirate lingo so you can "parley" in perfect pirate. Mango Languages is offering a free pirate language course through June 30th. In just 5 lessons, you'll be able to translate everyday phrases (like "Oh my gosh!") into pirate ( "Blow me down!").
This is a perfect way to brush up on your skills for International Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19th or before you head out to see Captain Jack Sparrow's latest adventure in the theaters. If you like the pirate language course, you may be interested in continuing your language explorations with one of Mango's other language courses, available for free to our library patrons. Use your 14-digit library number as your passport to another country's lingo.
In Jacqueline Davies’ The Lemonade War, Jessie Treski and her brother Evan have a pretty good relationship…usually. But when Evan finds out that Jessie will be skipping third grade and will share his fourth-grade classroom, he gets pretty angry. It’s bad enough that his sister gets all the good grades, but now she is going to mess up things with his friends as well. His anger grows…and grows…and then he explodes, saying awful things to her that he knows he will regret later. Jessie responds and their argument swells until they make a wager with high odds, all riding on who can sell the most lemonade in the last five days before school starts.
Fredericksburg-area residents are encouraged to help save a part of their state's heritage by sharing original Civil War letters, diaries and photos with archivists from the Library of Virginia. Of special interest are "materials created during the period 1859-1867 that reflect social, political, military, business and religious life in Virginia during the period of the Civil War and the early period of Reconstruction." The original documents will be scanned and returned.
The Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center, partnering with the Library of Virginia and the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission, will host this one-day event at the museum's Catherine W. Jones McKann Center on May 7 from 9 am - 5 pm. The scanned materials will be part of a statewide, online collection of original Civil War manuscripts that still remain in private hands. For more information, click here.
Appointments are now being made, and are strongly encouraged. A limited number of walk-ins will be accommodated as scheduling allows. To make an appointment to have your documents digitized, contact Heidi Krofft, special events coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540/371-3037, ext. 141.
Sometimes you want to do more than just dig in the dirt, and a targeted gardening project is an excellent way to develop green thumbs. DK’s new gardening book for kids, Ready, Set, Grow! Quick and Easy Gardening Projects, offers some creative and colorful projects that won’t break the bank or send you all around town looking for obscure ingredients. Like all DK books, this one offers wonderful photographs and cheery art, making it a visual feast for the eyes as well. I loved the decorations that we can make out of foil containers, the garden buddy made out of recycled materials, and the “strawberry boot,” made from a pair of old rain boots.
There is also lots of gardening information here, such as a list of quick-to-grow plants that offer quick gratification when growing from seed (try marigolds, nasturtiums, and clary sage). There is a handy list of top microgreens, and how to grow salad greens in a succession to ensure you always have a salad handy. There are a few recipes along the way for Asian stir-fry, sun tea, nasturtium salad, and more. I loved the step-by-step instructions to make a floral tepee from morning glory seeds and branches. We will be creating ours right after Mother’s Day, and by summer’s end we’ll have a magical play area that we created ourselves.
I love Rachael Ray’s easy-to-use recipes, many of which are meant to make in 30 minutes and boast an abundance of flavor. However, many of Ray’s earlier cookbooks, while offering amazing recipes, were somewhat lackluster, with just a slim insert of glossy photos illustrating the dishes.
The National Academy of American Poets has a simple way for people to celebrate National Poetry month: "Select a poem, pocket it, carry it, and share it with family, friends, and coworkers throughout the day." The 4th annual "Poem in Your Pocket day," celebrated on April 14, encourages poetry lovers of all ages to read and share a poem in celebration of this fantastic art form.
Virginia Johnson, CRRL's talented Web content librarian, brought home two awards from the recent Virginia Press Women conference. She placed first in the "Writing for the Web, Feature Article" category with her piece "On the Road to Lake Anna."
She also placed first in the "Blogs: Web Content Written for Not-for-profit, Government or Educational Organization" category with these two posts from the popular Shelf Life Blog: "The Testimony of Two Men" and "The Succession: A Novel of Elizabeth and James."
These pieces will now advance to the national competition. Congratulations, Virginia!
One day Sally the duck is thrilled to get a pair of purple socks in the mail in Sally and the Purple Socks by Lisze Bechtold. They are lovely and so soft, but a bit small. However, there is something special about these socks: they will grow to the "size ordered." Once she airs them out, they fit just right.
Sally wears them all day - dancing, cleaning, and relaxing. After a while she notices something curious - the socks have grown to be too big.
But Sally is resourceful, and the purple socks become a soft purple scarf and cap....and so on. With each page, the socks grow larger and larger, and Sally deftly adapts to their new size and makes them into something totally new.
For the past month I have enthusiastically embraced each commute and school pick-up queue because it gives me the opportunity to listen to Lisa See’s amazing novel, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, narrated by the talented Jodi Long. See’s saga transports the listener to 19th-century rural China, tracing the relationship between Lily, from a peasant family, and Snow Flower, from a wealthier family in a neighboring village.