For the second year, Central Rappahannock Regional Library (CRRL) has been selected to receive a competitive grant from the American Library Association (ALA) to host a reading and discussion program for at-risk youth about teen violence and suicide.
March is Women’s History Month, so I am highlighting books about women and their roles in history and the world today. Though I hope that young readers are exposed to books about a variety of people and places all year long, the focus of a history month provides an opportunity to pay closer attention to groups of people who have been underrepresented in literature and the study of history. As usual, I had a hard time choosing my favorite books for this theme, so instead I’ve selected titles that exemplify a few of the ways women’s stories can be presented.
Books that contain a collection of profiles or short biographies can be a great way to learn a little bit about several people in a short amount of time and are also helpful in gaining a big-picture view of what that group of people have in common. Rad American Women A-Z and Rad Women Worldwide, both by Kate Schatz, present short profiles of women from history and today who have made an impact in their professions, their countries, or the world. Some of the women, such as Sonia Sotomayor, Nellie Bly, and Malala Yousafzai, are fairly well-known, but many are not, a reminder to readers that women have often made significant contributions that have gone unrecognized.
Fredericksburg native Julie Scelfo returns home to discuss her first book, The Women Who Made New York, in a partnered event with the University of Mary Washington's Program in Women’s and Gender Studies. You can meet Julie on Monday, April 10, at 7:00 p.m., at the Headquarters Library. The event will include a lively Q&A session followed by a book signing. If you want to read the book before the event, check it out from the library!
The Women Who Made New York is an illustrated work featuring stories of the remarkably talented and influential women who made the city perhaps the most distinctive and vibrant in the world.
Starting March 1, no matter where customers live in Westmoreland County, they will be able to take advantage of library services during the hours we typically consider "normal" CRRL operating hours. Without any added costs, the Cooper, Montross and Newton branches will soon be open six days a week, with at least one library location open Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Soon, Westmoreland County students with last-minute homework needs, adults who need to use a computer, and children needing books will be able to find an open library in their county every day but Sunday.
Looking for a new read? Check out these five popular and brand-new adult titles that have hit the shelves this month. To see more fresh titles, check out our recent arrivals page.
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See
Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. There is ritual and routine, and it has been ever thus for generations. Then one day a jeep appears at the village gate—the first automobile any of them have seen—and a stranger arrives. A powerful story about a family, separated by circumstances, culture, and distance. (catalog summary)
For young readers who have mastered the leveled or beginning reader, there is a great sense of accomplishment. They are independent readers! Bring on the chapter books! That can be a pretty big jump, though. Many of these children would feel intimidated with the heft and vocabulary of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, or Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Early chapter books can be a great transition to the rich world of children’s fiction, as they are less word-dense than a traditional chapter book, have illustrations throughout, and are just long enough to give a sense of accomplishment when finished but not so long as to seem insurmountable. Like fiction for readers of any age, early chapter books come in a wide range of genres, from realistic to science fiction to fantasy, so there are early chapter books to fit any reading taste.
The Alien in My Pocket series, by Nate Ball, is for fans of science and science fiction. In book one, Blast Off! an alien spaceship crashes into Zack’s bedroom. But it’s not just any spaceship. It’s a miniature alien spaceship, with a miniature alien inside. Zack must help Amp the alien repair his ship so he can get back to his home planet, but not before Zack and Amp cause some serious chaos around town. Science tidbits are included throughout the story as natural parts of the plot—for example, talking about pressure when figuring out how to launch Amp’s spaceship.
Most Fredericksburg cinephiles have to content themselves with a life far removed from the gaudy glamour of the flashy film world that is now at its yearly peak as “award season” takes over Hollywood. However, if not for the ingenuity and tenacity of Fredericksburg-born entrepreneur and movie projector inventor Thomas Armat (1866-1948), the movie magic viewers take for granted today may have had a very different history.
There’s a book in all of us, and, if you decide to write yours, you may want some expert advice on how to get it published. Six local, published authors will share their experiences navigating the sometimes bumpy road to publication as first-time authors at a panel discussion on Tuesday, February 28, 7:00. The authors are Jim Hall (The Last Lynching in Northern Virginia), Chris Jones (The Art & Business of Writing), Cory MacLauchlin (Butterfly in the Typewriter), Howard Owen (Littlejohn), Rick Pullen (Naked Ambition), and Dr. David Sam (Finite to Fail, Memories in Clay). Presented in partnership with Germanna Community College, this event will be held at the Headquarters Library. A lively Q & A session and book signing will follow.
For more information, listen to Dr. David Sam, Jim Hall, Rick Pullen, and Cory MacLauchlin on Town Talk with Ted Schubel on 1230 WFVA.
Central Rappahannock Regional Library’s Rappahannock Reads runs throughout the month of February and is an opportunity for everyone in the community to read and discuss the same book. CRRL’s 2017 Rappahannock Reads title is Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, by Margot Lee Shetterly, which tells the true story of the African American female mathematicians who went to work as “human computers” at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) in Hampton, Virginia, during World War II.