Archive for February, 2013

Can’t Wait for that Oscar Nominated Movie?

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Looking forward to the Oscars this coming Sunday? You can check out some of the films already out on DVD that KDL staff recommend.

While you wait for the other 2013 Oscar nominated films not yet released on DVD, check out these Oscar-nominated films from previous years that are based on great books!


An Education based on the book by Lynn Barber

In the early 1960s, 16-year-old Jenny Mellor lives with her parents in a London suburb. She is smart, pretty, and working toward her goal of being accepted into Oxford. Her life will take a big turn when she meets David, a man twice her age. Now she must decide if she will pursue an education at Oxford, or if she will choose to learn all that a charismatic, older man can teach her. Rated PG-13



Fantastic Mr. Fox based on the book by Roald Dahl

Mr. and Mrs. Fox live a happy home life underground with their eccentric son Ash. Mr. Fox works as a journalist, but against the advice of Badger, his attorney, he moves his family into a larger and finer home inside a tree on a hill. The treehouse has an excellent view of the nearby farms of Boggis, Bunce, and Bean. Ash becomes hostile when his cousin, Kristofferson, joins the family for an extended stay. Mr. Fox decides to raid the farms, but this leads the farmers to stakeout the treehouse. The farmers try to dig the Fox family out, but they dig even faster. Mr. Fox organizes a tunneling project to burrow under all three farms and steal all the chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys. Rated PG


Cold Mountain based on the book by Charles Frazier

Inman, a young Confederate soldier, who is injured during the explosive 1864 battle of Petersburg, Virginia, is struggling to make his way home to Cold Mountain, NC, where his beloved Ada awaits him. In Inman’s absence, Ada befriends Ruby, who helps her keep up her late father’s farm. Meanwhile, in his travels, Inman encounters a menagerie of interesting and colorful characters. Rated R



Winter’s Bone based on the book by Daniel Woodrell

Seventeen-year-old Ree Dolly sets out to track down her father who put their house up for his bail bond and then disappeared. If she fails to find him, she and her family will be turned out into the Ozark woods. Challenging her outlaw kin’s code of silence and risking her life, Ree hacks through the lies, evasions, and threats offered up by her relatives and begins to piece together the truth. Rated R




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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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Minecrafting at the Library

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

minecraftGet your Minecraft fix and show off your world-building skills during a creative building competition. Please bring a personal laptop if possible. Newbies are welcome to use the library’s Minecraft license during these events. Pre-registration is required and space is limited. For teens and adults. This is a Guys Read-Approved event!

Saturday, March 9, 2:00 PM – Kentwood (Richard L. Root) branch
Saturday, March 16, 11:00 AM – East Grand Rapids branch
Tuesday, April 2, 2:00 PM – Cascade Township branch (for all ages)
Thursday, April 4, 1:00 PM – Englehardt branch
Thursday, May 16, 3:30 PM – East Grand Rapids branch
Saturday, May 18, 10:00 AM – Krause Memorial branch

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Health Care Law Program Canceled

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

The New Health Care Law & You” program scheduled to take place at the Plainfield Township branch tonight has been CANCELED due to weather conditions. Those interested in attending this program are instead invited to join us at 6:30 PM on Thursday, February 21, when the program will be offered at the Gaines Township branch.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

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Early Lit Bits: Tech Tips

Monday, February 18th, 2013

There is a heap of information and activities for young children to be found on the KDL website. The PLAY-GROW-READ! section of the KDL website can be found under the “Parents & Kids” tab. There you will find a goldmine of “Simple Crafts and Activities for Early Literacy Skills.”

This list of crafts and activities will help your child get ready to read by talking, writing, reading, playing and singing. For instance, make a simple mailbox and have your child “write” notes to other family members. Similarly, use grocery store ads to cut out pictures and create your child’s favorite menu. This is a great place to find inspiration for educational and fun activities.



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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KDL Top Ten – 2/15/2013

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Still looking for a romantic read?  These are 10 of the most popular titles in Teen Romance at KDL right now!

Top Ten Teen Romance Fiction 2-15-2013


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World War II Fiction for Kids

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Do you love to read historical fiction, specifically World War II era fiction?  Do you have an upcoming class assignment where you need a book from a specific time period? Place a hold or stop by your local branch to pick up one of these WWII fiction books.

Willow Run (2005)

During World War II, after 11-year-old Meggie moves with her parents to Willow Run, Michigan, when her father gets a job in the B-24 bomber-building factory, she  learns about different kinds of bravery from the people around her.

An Elephant in the Garden (2011)

Lizzie and Karl’s mother is a zoo keeper; the family has become attached to an orphaned elephant named Marlene, who will be destroyed as a precautionary measure so she and the other animals don’t run wild should the zoo be hit by bombs. The family persuades the zoo director to let Marlene stay in their garden instead.

The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941 (2011)

Eleven-year-old Danny Crane is alone on his favorite beach in Hawaii when the world is torn apart and World War II officially hits the United States. Does he have what it takes to find his way home in the midst of the bombs, the smoke and the destruction of the day that will live in infamy?

Don’t You Know There’s a War On? (2001)

In wartime Brooklyn in 1943, 11-year-old Howie Crispers mounts a campaign to save his favorite teacher from being fired.


Black Radishes (2010)

When Paris is captured by the Nazis, Gustave knows that Marcel, Jean-Paul and their families must make it out of the occupied zone. And when he learns that his new friend Nicole works for the French Resistance, he comes up with a plan that just might work. But going into Occupied France is a risky thing to do when you are Jewish. And coming back alive? That is nearly impossible.

A Faraway Island (2009)

In 1939 Sweden, two Jewish sisters wait for their parents to flee the Nazis in Austria, but while 8-year-old Nellie settles in quickly, 12-year-old Stephie feels stranded at the end of the world, with a foster mother who is as cold and unforgiving as the island on which they live.


War Games (2009)

What were once just boys’ games become matters of life and death as Petros and his older brother Zola each wonder if, like their resistance-fighter cousin, they too can make a difference in a Nazi-occupied Greece.

Jimmy’s Stars (2008)

In 1943, 11-year-old Ellie is her brother Jimmy’s “best girl,” and when he leaves Pittsburgh just before Thanksgiving to fight in World War II, he promises he will return, asks her to leave the Christmas tree up until he does and reminds her to “let the joy out.”

The Coastwatcher (2005)

While 11-year-old Hugh, his family, and his cousin Tom are spending the summer of 1943 on the South Carolina shore to escpe the polio epidemic, Hugh uncovers clues that point to a German plot to sabotage a nearby naval base.

Someone Named Eva (2007)

From her home in Lidice, Czechoslovakia, in 1942, 11-year-old Milada is taken with other blond, blue-eyed children to a school in Poland to be trained as “proper Germans” for adoption by German families, but all the while she remembers her true name and history.


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Grammy Awards

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

This past Sunday was the 55th Annual Grammy Awards. Over 80 separate awards were presented to the best artists in the music industry. Many of the songs and albums featured in the Grammys can be found at your nearest Kent District Library branch. Here are some to keep an eye out for:

Making Mirrors

Record of the Year

“Somebody That I Used to Know” from the album Making Mirrors by Gotye, featuring Kimbra



BabelAlbum of the Year

Babel by Mumford & Sons




Some NightsSong of the Year

“We Are Young” from the album Some Nights by Fun featuring Janelle Monáe




For many of the winners and as well the award nominees, be sure to look for them through KDL’s Freegal Music service in addition to checking them out from your local branch library.


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Kenneth Lonergan’s “Margaret”

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Kenneth Lonergan, who has written a number of plays, has only directed two films, and the newest, Margaret, had its start about seven years ago but has only recently been released on DVD. The package that KDL owns actually includes two versions—the theatrical version on Blu-Ray and the director’s cut (which is a half-hour longer, at 186 minutes) on regular DVD.  I gave in to watching the director’s cut after hearing it praised by a critic on the radio, not really knowing much about it other than what was on the back of the box.

I can’t say this is a film everyone would like, even if it was less than three hours long (which in itself is a challenge). Lisa, the central character (played by Anna Paquin), is a New York City teenager who early on in the film becomes party to a horrific accident involving a bus and a woman she doesn’t know. She is at a tender age, but by the end of the film most would not call her an innocent, and not even a likable person. For the accident changes her, and drives her to exonerate herself, seek some kind of justice for the dead woman, and act out in ways that could only be called dangerous.

But to say that’s a summation of the plot wouldn’t be fair, since by the end the viewer realizes there is a sort of operatic, sweeping canvas being presented that involves not only Lisa but her mother, her father (who lives in California), the dead woman’s friend and perhaps even the culture at large. Sound confusing? Hopefully not, but it should be noted that the film itself has a rather tortured history, and the director had a very hard time deciding on a final cut that was satisfying to both him and his producers. This is important to remember when watching this fascinating, troubling and memorable film.  (The theatrical version is rated R; the director’s cut is unrated but would certainly garner an R rating as well.)


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Early Childhood Essentials Classes

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

happybabyReceive professional development hours or just get some great information about early childhood — perfect for parents or childcare providers. Pre-registration is required and class size is limited. Adults only please; childcare is not provided.

Building Self Worth in Children
Thursday, March 7, 6:30 PM – Plainfield Township branch

No-Fuss Feeding
Monday, March 18, 6:00 PM – Kentwood (Richard L. Root) branch
Thursday, April 11, 6:30 PM – Plainfield Township branch
Thursday, May 16, 6:30 PM – Byron Township branch

FUN-ics — 15 Minutes a Day for Reading Success
Thursday, April 18, 6:30 PM – Byron Township branch

Child Safety
Tuesday, April 23, 6:00 PM – East Grand Rapids branch

Mini Day of Learning
Apogee Therapy Center in Grandville will provide sessions on nutrition, fitness and basic rehabilitative interventions for young children. Light on lecture and heavy on fun, with practical ideas you can use. Daycare providers and teachers can earn up to three free professional development credits.
Saturday, April 13, 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM – Grandville branch
(program will be held at First Reformed Church, 3060 Wilson Ave. SW)


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