Archive for December, 2012

Cold Weather, Cool Crafts

Monday, December 17th, 2012

Some people love being outside in the cold and snow — skiing, sledding and ice skating. While I enjoy many of the opportunities winter brings, I also enjoy the chance to stay indoors and try my hand at creating something new or working on a project.

KDL offers lots of great cooking and arts and craft books. One year my special project was to create a box from a craft I found in The Repurposed Library: 33 Craft Projects That Give Old Books New Life by Lisa Occhipinti. I bought a large book from one of the KDL used book sales and, following the instructions, cut out the old pages, bought some wood, which I cut and painted, and then glued it all together. I ended up with a lovely, handmade gift I was able to give to my sister in time for the holidays.


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Teen Book Winners from the Goodreads Choice Awards

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

The 2012 Goodreads Choice Awards recently wrapped up with two teen categories featured.  These awards are based on popular vote from Goodreads users rather than selected by a committee.  So the people have spoken!  The first teen category was Young Adult Fiction.  Out of 20 books, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green won by a large vote margin.  If you have not yet read this book, what are you waiting for?!

The other category was Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction.  Again this was not a close race with Insurgent by Veronica Roth winning the category.  Plus Insurgent also won for Best Goodreads author so that is double the reason to check out this series!


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Early Lit Bits: Book Review — “Oh, No!”

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

“Oh, No!” by Candace Fleming

A series of animals fall into a deep hole in the jungle, with each rescue attempt resulting in another animal falling in the hole. Who will come to their aid and get everyone out of the hole?

The text repeats the phrase “Oh no!” throughout the book, and your child will no doubt be saying it right along with you as you read. The rhythm of the book is enjoyable to hear aloud, making it a great choice for a group setting. You may even find yourself getting into a beat and singing as you read together.

This book also introduces some unique jungle animals and plants to the reader, providing opportunities to expand vocabulary and learn something new. Talking and singing are wonderful ways to practice language skills and get your child ready to read!



This article originally appeared in our Early Lit Bits eNewsletter. Read the most recent issue online or sign up to receive this monthly update highlighting early literacy tips and resources for parents and caregivers.


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App of the Week – Key Ring

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

Key Ring Reward Cards

By Mobestream Media

key ring

If you’re tired of carrying around a key ring and/or wallet with a ton of loyalty and reward cards, this app is for you. You can scan and save all of your current loyalty and reward cards on your phone, and join new programs in seconds without the paperwork. You also receive exclusive coupons from top retailers and have the ability to digitally save grocery coupons. The best part? This is a free app with no advertisements!


Google Play

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Favorite Holiday Reads on eightWest

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

In the mood for a holiday read? Barb DeYoung, youth librarian at the Byron Township branch, recently recommended some of her favorites on WOOD-TV’s eightWest :


Request one today!

Adult Holiday Fiction:

Children’s Holiday Books:


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KDL Top Ten – 12/14/2012

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Make this holiday season merry and bright! Get cooking and get crafty with KDL! From cookies to card-making, we have the resources you need to make this year a treat! To see 10 of the most checked-out holiday craft and cookbooks at KDL this year, click on the link to the KDL Top Ten List!

Holiday Crafts and Cooking


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New Patron Story: Molly Frendo

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Peek inside one of the private study rooms on the second floor at the Kentwood branch and chances are you’ll find Molly Frendo. On a recent weekday evening, Molly visited the branch in search of a quiet place to prepare a presentation for one of her graduate studies courses at Michigan State University, where she majors in educational psychology and educational technology.

Read Molly’s story here.

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Swish! Teen Basketball Books

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

The game of basketball is going full force for fans, whether you follow high school, college or the NBA. Earlier this year a great new book was released by Paul Volponi, The Final Four. Volponi follows four players trying to win a March Madness tournament game between the touted Michigan squad and the underdog Troy Titans. You find out how each player became a college star along with exciting play-by-play action.

Similar fiction on basketball includes Walter Dean Myers’ Game and Matt de la Peña’s Ball Don’t Lie, where you learn why their characters are in love with the game.

If you are more into mysteries or crave books about college basketball, national sportswriter John Feinstein’s sports mysteries include Last Shot. Two eighth-grade reporters win a contest that allows them to cover the Final Four, where they discover that the game might be rigged.

And for manga and graphic novel fans there’s Slam Dunk, a furious comic series from Japan featuring two rival basketball players.


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“My Son John”: A Cold War Tale

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

My Son JohnMy Son John” is very much a product of its time (1952). Its subject?  A young man (played by Robert Walker) goes to work in Washington and comes home to visit his small-town, religious parents with some new, disturbing ideas that make his parents suspicious.

If you know your history, you’ll recall that a certain Wisconsin Senator was at this time engaged in a hunt for those holding Communist party sympathies and/or membership inside the federal government. He became very zealous about this, and was eventually stopped in his pursuit. This movie was made at the height of McCarthy’s efforts, and it may elicit both laughs and serious thought. It’s only natural, in my opinion, that movies from another era, especially when they are trying to convey serious ideas, may sometimes come off as corny or obvious.

On the other hand, this viewer looked at other aspects of the movie, and found much to take pleasure in. To begin with, there’s the acting of Dean Jagger and Helen Hayes as the parents—they seem to have achieved a wonderful naturalness in their interactions, all done with the backdrop of location shooting in Virginia (as opposed to the more common studio-bound tendency of that time).  Second, though the movie takes a very obvious stand in its politics, it also shows Jagger’s character as a bit of a hothead, and over-sensitive in his reactions to his son.  And speaking of the son, Robert Walker (you might remember him from Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train) does a marvelous job as a sort of prodigal who wastes no time showing his condescension toward those who love him. Finally, the movie works as a window into the thinking of the time, a time when both real and imagined enemies were lurking about, when the country was trying to forget a brutal World War II and yet having to send its children off to Korea for more bloodshed and sacrifice.  Altogether, well worth watching!


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New Orleans Noir

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Below are three great mysteries set in New Orleans.  If you are craving New Orleans noir, these titles are sure to satisfy.


Hell or High Water by Joy Castro (2012)

Nola Céspedes, an ambitious young reporter at the Times-Picayune, finally catches a break: an assignment to write her first full-length feature. While investigating her story, she also becomes fixated on the search for a missing tourist in the French Quarter. As Nola’s work leads her into a violent criminal underworld, she’s forced to face disturbing truths from her own past.


The Cutting Season by Attica Locke (2012) cutting season

Some days, Caren Gray can hardly believe she is still rooted to Belle Vie, the Louisiana plantation where she grew up, where her mother was a cook and her great-great-great-grandfather was a slave. When a cane worker is found with her throat slit, Caren is drawn into the investigation as the police target one of her employees as the murderer.


Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran (2011)

Claire DeWitt

Claire has just arrived in post-Katrina New Orleans, where she is investigating the disappearance of Vic Willing, a prosecutor known for winning convictions in a homicide- plagued city. Claire follows the clues, finding old friends and making new enemies – foremost among them Andray Fairview, a young gang member who just might hold the key to the mystery.




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