Virginia Johnson

Oregon Hill by Howard Owen

Oregon Hill, by Howard Owen

Welcome to Oregon Hill, a hardscrabble neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia, where people may move away but they never really leave. Willie Black, a 49-year-old crime reporter with the only major newspaper in town, is such a one.

Willie is an old-time journalist, maybe a relic, who watches the decline of the traditional press with many a rueful sigh and stubbed-out cigarette. He’s seen a lot in his years, but the gruesome murder of a pretty, young girl found by the South Anna River does manage to unnerve him and kindles within a fire to find out the truth—a truth that doubles back and leads home to Oregon Hill.

Simply Circuits

How does a flashlight work?
By using a battery hooked up to an electrical circuit system.

How does an electrical circuit system work?
A battery has negative electric charges and positive electric charges. If you look at a battery, you will see that there is a + sign at one end and a - sign at the other. The opposite charges are drawn to each other, but without an easy path, they will remain separated. That's where a circuit comes in handy.

A Power-full Bridge

Finding Your Marbles

Need a game that's good for springtime? Marbles can be played outside or inside, so it doesn't matter if a quick, spring shower comes through your neighborhood. You just need a flat, smooth surface, like the kitchen floor or the blacktop at a playground. You can buy marbles at just about any place that sells toys. Grab a bag and get going for fun times practicing a classic game of skill.

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

Leo Stepanovich Demidov, a war hero and rising star in the MGB--Stalin’s state security force, is proud of his country. Yes, he has to do some unpleasant things, such as supervising the torture of suspected persons—and there are many suspected persons, the list growing daily. But all of that is surely necessary to protect post-World War II’s Russia in Tom Rob Smith’s Child 44.

Paula Fox

Award-winning author Paula Fox had an extremely unusual childhood. Given away by her parents at birth, she spent the first few years of her life in a small town on the Hudson River. Her guardian, a poor minister, was a bachelor who looked after his very ill mother. He was a kind and cultured man who taught her to read and encouraged her to grow. But this pleasant time wasn’t to last.

Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey by Emily Winfield Martin

Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey by Emily Winfield Martin

Sometimes a quiet, imaginative book is what’s best before bedtime, and Emily Winfield Martin’s Dream Animals answers that need. Gentle pictures show small children making their way to their dream destinations on the backs of robins, a tiger, a fox, and even a narwhale. Where do the dreamers go? One to an elfin hollow, some high in the sky, another beneath the Seven Seas and one as far away as the moon and the stars themselves.

April Showers

Let's have fun in the rain with springtime games, crafts, and rainy day books.

Puddle-Jumping

It's raining. It's pouring. The old man might be snoring, but you're not. You're BORED. Tired of being in the house with nothing to do. There's no Cat in the Hat to get things going, but if you've got your galoshes and your rain coat (and a willing grownup) there's something you can do after the rain—puddle-jumping!
Run through the puddles very fast. Or, jump in big puddles as hard as you can. Play follow the leader and have a blast.

Getting Cellular

Cells make up you, your friend, your hamster, and your mom's broccoli surprise. If it's alive or ever was alive, it is made of cells. Space scientists looking for life on Mars are trying to find simple cells-- not little green men, and biologists who search for cures to diseases work with cells. Small as they are, cells determine how life unfolds from its beginning to its end.

The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

Lady Jacquetta inherited the gift of Second Sight from a long-ago river goddess, or so the family legend went. What is obviously true is that she does get glimpses of what will happen to her and those around her. For example, Joan, the innocent, brave peasant girl her family has held captive to trade to the English, is almost certainly doomed. As for her own lot, the beautiful teenager who will be called The Lady of the Rivers has captured the attention of a powerful man twice her age and in time she will be his—but not as she imagines.

Virginia Hamilton: Writer of “Liberation Literature”

Virginia Hamilton, self-described writer of "Liberation Literature,"* was born in Yellow Springs, Ohio, the same place where her grandfather was brought to freedom as an infant through the Underground Railroad. Yellow Springs has a connection to our area because it was here that Moncure Daniel Conway brought his newly-freed slaves from Stafford County to settle in the days just before the Civil War.