Archive for May, 2011

Between Shades of Gray

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Michigan-native author Ruta Septeys‘ first book Between Shades of Gray is a heavy, emotional story about Lithuanians displaced from their homes during World War II and forced into slave labor.

The story follows 15-year-old Lina Vilkas, an artist, from the day soldiers break in to her house and force her, her brother and mother away without knowing the whereabouts of her father.

Short paragraphs describe their journey. The story is not a light read but it is a must-read. There are many books out there about WWII, prison camps and slave labor. But not many are told with such a voice. This book is a great choice for educators teaching about WWII but it also has great appeal for adults and book discussion groups.

Between Shades of Gray has already received starred reviews and a lot of positive press. KDL has responded to the demand and has ordered many copies including Express books that do not fulfill holds. Check our online catalog today to see where one is available or to place a hold.

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I See the Promised Land

Monday, May 16th, 2011

I See the Promised Land: A Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Arthur Flowers and Manu Chitraker is a biographical graphic novel that reads like prose. The illustrations are done in traditional Patua scroll-painting from India. The blending of the prose story-telling with the beautiful scroll-paintings reveals the struggles and hopes and aspirations of a man. I would highly recommend to teens.    

Watch as Arthur Flowers performs from I See the Promised Land.

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Kid and Teen Craft Sale

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Kids and teens will show off their creativity and sell their handmade goods during the upcoming Kid and Teen Craft Sale taking place from 5:00 – 7:30 PM on Tuesday, May 24 at our Wyoming branch. Find amazing pieces of art, cool crafts and the most creative kids in town! Everyone is invited.

Kids and teens… if you would like to have a booth at the sale, please stop by the Wyoming branch for an application. Registration is required.

We hope to see you there!

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Donors to the Fund “Stock the Shelves”

Monday, May 16th, 2011


Thank You again to those who helped us “Stock the Shelves” with your donation to the KDL Fund.  You generously helped us exceed our goal by donating over $9,000 to purchase new books and materials for the youth collection and help us grow our legacy of lifelong learning.  

With your donations KDL was able to purchase:

  • 450 Read-Along Storybags (91 different titles).  Read-alongs (books with accompanying CDs) are very popular with young children and families.  Pre-readers can use these to be “read to” whenever THEY want. Read-alongs are often recommended by our staff to parents of reluctant and struggling readers, and can be used to help children with dyslexia and other reading difficulties. They are great for children who are learning English as a second language.  They can also be enjoyed by the whole family on car trips.
  • 99 Sounds of Phonics Easy Readers (33 different titles).  This is a new set of phonics-based readers, which are ALWAYS in demand, especially during Summer Reading Club.  Many area schools have a phonics-based curriculum, so kids are familiar with this approach to reading.  Each book concentrates on one letter sound, and there are very few simple words on each page.  The pictures are bright and cheery, and they relate to the text providing contextual cues.  Lots of white space makes them attractive to reluctant or struggling readers. 
  • 150 Popular Author/Character Picture Books such as  Fancy Nancy, Max & Ruby, Eric Carle, Dora the Explorer, Pete the Cat, Bill Martin Jr., and others.

According to our appreciative KDL staff, “It’s important to have plenty of copies of books with familiar characters, as this inspires a love of books and reading in general. These are items that we can never have enough of!”  KDL is very fortunate to have friends who so generously support children and reading. 

During 2011, KDL’s 75th Anniversary year, we have some exciting activities planned for the KDL Fund.  If you are interested in partnering with KDL in growing our Annual or Endowment Funds during this monumental year, we’d love to have you join us.

Thank you again!

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2011 Teen Poetry Contest Winners

Monday, May 16th, 2011

The KDL staff would like to extend a huge thanks to all of the teens that submitted entries for our 2011 Teen Poetry Contest.  We had over 300 entries that our staff had a great time reviewing.  Once we narrowed down the entries, our judge selected the 10 winners.  A PDF of the winners and their poems is available on our teen page for your enjoyment.  Congratulations to the winning poets:

1. “We Have No Use For It Anymore” by Olivia Ezinga

2. “Impression, Sunrise” by Amy TenHoor

3. “Place of No Return” by Cassie Villarreal

4. “Contemplations” by Alicia Czarnecki

5. “The Girl In The Shadows” by Kara Montgomery

6. “Notebook Teens” by Evanne Zainea

7. “Dusk” by Mollie Stahl

8. “When I am With You” by Kaly mBula

9. “The Secret Life” by Jessica Dion

10. “Free Verse” by Issac Younker

We would also like to extend a special thanks to our judge, David Cope.  David is a creative writing professor at Grand Rapids Community College as well as the current Grand Rapids Poet Laureate.  We appreciate his expertise and his willingness to judge our contest again this year.

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Bossypants by Tina Fey

Friday, May 13th, 2011

Bossypants by Tina Fey is her first book, well worth the wait.  This sassy, fast-paced memoir delves into Fey’s hectic life.  Whether she is rehearsing for the Sarah Palin SNL sketch or writing and starring on her show, 30 Rock, or planning a birthday party for her daughter, Fey describes her life with snappy wit and candor.

The audiobook, read by Fey, is extremely funny too!  It includes a PDF section of photos.

Listen to the NPR interview discussing various topics including Bossypants and 30 Rock.

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Judge a Book by its Cover

Friday, May 13th, 2011

It has been said that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.  But the cover can draw your interest to a book you might not have read otherwise.  So here are a few books that have beautiful covers to judge for yourself!

Wither by Lauren DeStefano: What if you knew exactly when you would die?  In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out. When sixteen-year-old Rhine is taken, she enters a world of wealth and privilege but despite the advantages, she has one purpose: to escape.

The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney: Freak. That’s what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. When the darkest outcasts of Faerie abduct her best friend, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between the humans and the fey.

The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher: Vera and her brother, Will, live in the shadow of the Great Panic, in a country that has collapsed from environmental catastrophe. Water is hoarded by governments, rivers are dammed, and clouds are sucked from the sky. But then Vera befriends Kai, who seems to have limitless access to fresh water. When Kai suddenly disappears, Vera and Will set off on a dangerous journey pursued by pirates, a paramilitary group, and greedy corporations.

Share in the comments a book you read because of the cover!

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Place Your Hold on Inheritance Today!

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

The much-anticipated conclusion to Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle will be released on November 8th, but you can place your hold now! Click here for the print version, or here for the unabridged audio book.

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Michigan Notable Books Author Tour

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Kent District Library is pleased to present two Michigan authors from this year’s list of Michigan Notable Books.

Adam Schuitema, author of Freshwater Boys, will visit the Byron Township branch at 6:30 pm on Thursday, May 19. Freshwater Boys is a collection of eleven short stories set in and around the Great Lakes of Michigan.

Gordon Olson, editor of A Michigan Polar Bear Confronts the Bolsheviks: A War Memoir, will speak at the Sand Lake / Nelson Township branch at 1:30 pm on Saturday, May 21. This book tells the graphic story of a young Michigan soldier’s experiences during President Woodrow Wilson’s ill-fated 1918 military expedition against the Bolsheviks in the frozen reaches of northern Russia.

Books will be for sale at the programs and refreshments will be served.

The 2011 Michigan Notable Books program features 20 books highlighting Michigan people, places and events. The list highlights exceptional “Michigan books” published in 2010 that bring attention to Michigan authors and topics. The Author Tour is made possible thanks to the support from the Michigan Humanities Council, Cooley Law School, the Library of Michigan, the Library of Michigan Foundation, Auto-Owners Insurance and the Michigan Center for the Book.

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Place Your Hold on Wimpy Kid #6!

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

It won’t be released until November 28th, and it doesn’t even have a title or cover art yet, but you can place your hold on the latest installment of Jeff Kinney’s blockbuster hit series today! Haven’t read the rest of the books? Click here to see how it all began…

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