Author Archive

Asteroids, Meteors, Dystopia…Oh My!

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

These aren’t your typical Hunger Games dystopia titles.  Rather, the thread of commonality involves women dealing with the threat of Earth’s survival during and after catastrophic events.

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker imagines the coming-of-age story of young Julia, whose world is thrown into upheaval when it is discovered that the Earth’s rotation has suddenly begun to slow, posing a catastrophic threat to all life.

Life as We Knew It is a teen novel by Susan Beth Pfeffer, the first in the Last Survivor series. Through journal entries, 16-year-old Miranda describes her family’s struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Melancholia, a film starring Kirsten Dunst, highlights how two sisters find their already strained relationship challenged as a mysterious new planet threatens to collide with Earth.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World starring Keira Knightley and Steve Carell.  As an asteroid nears Earth, a man finds himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic. He decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high-school sweetheart. Accompanying him is a neighbor who inadvertently throws a wrench in his plan.

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker              

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Alex Award Winners Booklist

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

The Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18. The winning titles are selected from the previous year’s publishing. The Alex Awards were first given annually beginning in 1998 and became an official ALA award in 2002.

Wondering who the current winners are?  Check out our Alex Award Winners booklist and find your next interesting read.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home: A Novel       Ready Player One       Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel



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Laugh It Up at KDL

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Grow Happiness @ KDL by sharing your favorite joke with the library staff.  Check out the KDL collection of jokes, cartoon books and humorous writing.  Create a funny caption for pictures posted in our library branches and on KDL Facebook pages.  In conjunction with Gilda’s Club LaughFest.

Friday, March 1 – Sunday, March 31



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Grandville Staff Picks: March

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Here are the Grandville Branch staff pick selections for the month of March.


A Guide to the Birds of East Africa by Nicholas Drayson: For the past three years, Mr. Malik has been secretly in love with Rose Mbikwa, a woman who leads the weekly bird walks sponsored by the East African Ornithological Society. Just as Malik is getting up the nerve to invite Rose to the Nairobi Hunt Club Ball (the premier social occasion of the Kenyan calendar), Harry Khan, a nemesis from his school days, arrives in town. Khan announces his intent to invite Rose to the Ball. Rather than force Rose to choose between the two men, a clever solution is proposed. Whoever can identify the most species of birds in one week’s time gets the privilege of asking Rose to the ball.

Drayson’s descriptions of the Kenyan wildlife and his sharp take on the foibles and follies of the people and politics sketch a rich picture of contemporary life in Nairobi.


Out of Warranty by Haywood Smith: Wanting to remarry when her health-care costs eat up all of her money, widow Cassie Jones enlists the grudging help of reclusive fellow patient Jack, and devises a pragmatic but unconventional solution when dating proves unsuccessful.

It has a clever plot, fun characters and it would also appeal to inspirational fiction readers.


Sworn to  Silence by Linda Castillo (Kate Burkholder series): Kate Burkholder, who grew up in an Amish community before abandoning their way of life, has recently been appointed Chief of Police in her former hometown. When a serial killer, whose spree sixteen years before was dubbed The Slaughterhouse Murders, returns with spectacular violence, Kate is determined to catch him.


Aya by Marguerite Abouet:  Aya tells the story of its nineteen-year-old heroine, the studious and clear-sighted Aya, her easygoing friends Adjoua and Bintou, and their meddling relatives and neighbors. It’s a breezy and wryly funny account of the desire for joy and freedom, and of the simple pleasures and private troubles of everyday life in Yop City.





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Coretta Scott King Book Awards

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. The award commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honors his wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood.

Take a look at our Coretta Scott King Author Award Winners booklist and our Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Winners booklist.

Elijah of Buxton      Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U. S. Marshal (Exceptional Social Studies Titles for Intermediate Grades)      Beat the Story-Drum, Pum-Pum      Let it Shine: Three Favorite Spirituals

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Newbery and Caldecott Award Winners

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

The 2013 Newbery Medal winner is The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. Ivan’s transformative emergence from the “Ape at Exit 8” to “The One and Only Ivan, Mighty Silverback,” comes to life through the gorilla’s own distinct narrative voice, which is filled with wry humor, deep emotion and thought-provoking insights into the nature of friendship, hope and humanity. The One and Only Ivan

The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

The 2013 Caldecott Medal winner is This Is Not My Hat, written and illustrated by Jon Klassen.

In this darkly humorous tale, a tiny fish knows it’s wrong to steal a hat. It fits him just right. But the big fish wants his hat back. Klassen’s controlled palette, opposing narratives and subtle cues compel readers to follow the fish and imagine the consequence.

This Is Not My Hat



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Great Family Audiobooks

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

With Spring Break right around the corner, you may be wondering, “What are some great audiobooks to listen to with the family?”  Never fear, KDL has you covered with our Great Family Audiobook list.

The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, Book 1)     Moon Over Manifest     Charlotte's Web


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Run Away with These Groundbreaking Titles

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Five titles, recently released, set against the turbulent backdrop of the Civil War, slavery and America in the 1800s.  Each novel tells a unique story, from various perspectives of  the people affected.

Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier 

Forced to leave England and struggling with illness in the wake of a family tragedy, Quaker Honor Bright is forced to rely on strangers in the harsh landscape of 1850 Ohio and is compelled to join the Underground Railroad network to help runaway slaves escape to freedom.


Rebel Wife by Taylor M. Polites  

This is the story of a young widow trying to survive the violent world of Reconstruction Alabama, where the old gentility masks a continuing war fueled by hatred, treachery and still-powerful secrets.



Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini

This novel illuminates the extraordinary friendship between Mary Todd Lincoln and Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley, a former slave who won her freedom by the skill of her needle, and the friendship of the first lady by her devotion.


House Girl by Tara Conklin  

Virginia, 1852:  Seventeen-year-old Josephine Bell decides to run from the failing tobacco farm where she is a slave and nurse to her ailing mistress, the aspiring artist Lu Anne Bell. New York City, 2004: Lina Sparrow, first-year associate in an elite law firm, is given a  highly sensitive assignment: she must find the “perfect plaintiff” to lead a historic class-action lawsuit worth trillions of dollars in reparations for descendants of American slaves.


Wash by Margaret Wrinkle

When a troubled Revolutionary War veteran requires his slave, Washington, to become a breeding sire, Washington’s resolve to stay faithful to his West African spiritual legacy leads to a loving relationship with an enslaved healer woman.



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Staff Picks — Best of 2012

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Here is a list of some of our Staff Picks for the Best of 2012!  Place a hold or stop by your local branch to check one out.

The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin (2012)

At the turn of the 20th century in a rural stretch of the Pacific Northwest, a gentle solitary orchardist, Talmadge, tends to apples and apricots. Then two feral, pregnant girls and armed gunmen set Talmadge on an irrevocable course to save and protect, and reconcile the ghosts of his own troubled past.

Grandad, There’s a Head on the Beach by Colin Cotterill (2012)

Reluctantly abandoning her crime-reporting job to accompany her family to her mother’s newly acquired holiday camp on Thailand’s Gulf of Siam, Jimm Juree investigates a morbid local mystery in the hopes of revamping her career.

True Sisters by Sandra Dallas (2012)

Joining the ranks of emigrants responding to Brigham Young’s edict to move to Salt Lake City with two-wheeled handcarts as their only mode of travel, four women share a grueling journey of survival that tests the bonds of their friendship and faith.

Hologram for the King by David Eggers (2012)

A struggling American businessman travels to a rising Saudi Arabian city with the hopes of securing a contract that will earn him a commission large enough to stave off his economic woes and hold his family together.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green  (2012)

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

My Year with Eleanor by Noelle Hancock (2011)

Once confident and ambitious, Noelle had become crippled by anxiety, lacking the courage required even to attend a dinner party—until inspiration struck one day in the form of a quote: “Do one thing every day that scares you.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

Home Front by Kristin Hannah (2012)

From a distance, Michael and Joleen Zarkades seem to have it all: a solid marriage, two exciting careers, and children they adore. But after twelve years together, the couple has lost their way. Then the Iraq war starts. An unexpected deployment will tear their already fragile family apart.

Dog Stars by Peter Heller (2012)

Surviving a pandemic disease that has killed everyone, a pilot establishes a shelter in an abandoned airport hangar before hearing a random radio transmission that compels him to risk his life to seek out other survivors.

A Grown Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson (2012)

A powerful saga of three generations of women, plagued by hardships and torn by a devastating secret, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of family.

Does this Church Make Me Look Fat? by Rhoda Janzen (2012)

After reconnecting with her roots and her family in Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, the author describes her newfound faith and interesting experiences hanging out with Pentecostals after she begins dating a churchgoer.

A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar by Suzanne Joinson (2012)

In 1923, devout Eva English and her not-so-religious sister Lizzie embark on a journey to be missionaries in the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar.

A Killing in the Hills by Julia Keller (2012)

Three elderly men are gunned down over their coffee at a local diner in Ackers Gap, West Virginia, and seemingly half the town is there to witness the act. Still, it happened so fast, and no one seems to have gotten a good look at the shooter. Was it random? Or was it connected to the spate of drug violence?

The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber (2012)

Jo Marie Rose opens the Rose Harbor Inn bed and breakfast in Cedar Cove in order to start a new life, but the inn and its first guests bring surprises into Jo’s life.

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny (2012)

When a peaceful monastery in Quebec is shattered by the murder of their renowned choir director, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir of the Surete du Quebec are challenged to find the killer in a cloistered community that has taken a vow of silence.

The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts (2012)

Working alongside his mother and brother restoring a historic hotel in Boonsboro, Maryland, Owen Montgomery falls for a childhood friend.

Come Home by Lisa  Scottoline  (2012)

Rebalancing her life and career after a painful divorce, pediatrician Jill learns that her ex has died from an alleged overdose that her former stepdaughter believes was actually murder.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple (2012)

When her notorious, hilarious, volatile, talented, troubled, and agoraphobic mother goes missing, teenage Bee begins a trip that takes her to the ends of the earth to find her.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (2012)                                                         In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage, and great courage as she relates what she must do to survive while keeping secret all that she can.


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2013 Oscar Nominations

Friday, January 11th, 2013

It’s that time of year again when Oscar nominations are announced. While most of the nominations are no surprise, a few dark horses were in the mix.

My personal favorite is Beasts of the Southern Wild. A unique movie about a little girl and her father surviving Hurricane Katrina. A story about family, love, community and the environment.

Lincoln is an amazing movie; Daniel Day-Lewis does an tremendous job portraying such an iconic historical figure.

While I have not seen Life of Pi, I have read the book a few times and love the story.


There’s still time to request these DVDs and the books on which they are based before the awards ceremony airs on February 24!


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