Archive for May, 2014

Go Wild with these Youth Booklists!

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

    Mr Tiger Goes Wild    dragons love tacos     belly up

Are you ready to read this summer? Go wild with Mr. Tiger (but avoid swimming in a fountain without your top hat), make tacos for lunch and feed them to imaginary dragons (leave out the jalapeños!) and help solve the case of the murdered hippo! Check out these fantastic youth booklists that invite your child to read, play, laugh and discover.


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Hey Buddy, Take a Hike

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

north country trailGiven that West Michigan (specifically, the city of Lowell) serves as the headquarters for the 4,600-mile, seven-state North Country Scenic Trail, it seemed fitting that we team up with that organization of hiking enthusiasts for a series of programs in June.

The National Park Service Presents the North County Trail
The series kicks off with a presentation on the trail’s history and features by Mark Weaver, National Park Service Superintendent of the trail.
Monday, June 9, 7:00 PM — Cascade Township Branch
Monday, June 16, 6:30 PM — Englehardt Branch

Trail Hiking 101
Chuck Hayden, of the West Michigan Chapter of the North Country Trail Association, will tell you everything you need to know about boots, poles, safety and etiquette to begin your trail-hiking journey.
Tuesday, June 17, 7:00 PM — Cascade Township Branch

The North Country Trail and the Kitchen Sink
Author and Ludington Daily News columnist Joan Young, the first woman to complete the North Country Trail, will share tales of her experiences.
Tuesday, June 24, 7:00 PM at the Cascade Township Branch


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KDL Top Ten — History Military

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

In honor of Memorial Day, this week’s Top Ten list features ten of the most popular books in our History Military section. To view these titles, click on the link to your Top Ten list.

Top Ten History Military 05-23-2014

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Three New DVDs

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Three new DVDs that have been added to our system recently come from three different countries and represent a wide range of serious storytelling. Here’s a brief rundown on them:

William Faulkner is widely regarded as one of the great American writers of the 20th century, and his books have often proven difficult to adapt to the screen, owing to his sometimes modernist and difficult writing style. “As I Lay Dying,” directed by the actor and director James Franco, tackles this issue head on in his adaptation of Faulkner’s 1930 novel about a family in the rural South taking their mother’s body to be buried in another town. Employing a split screen at times, Franco tries to approximate the original text of the novel, which is told not by a single narrator, but by all the characters involved in the story. And the story is a dramatic one—some might even say melodramatic. A flooded bridge, a severely broken leg, fire and a decaying body are among the many terrors encountered on the way to the wife and mother’s grave. Full of black humor and some strange incidents, the movie won’t be to everyone’s liking, but is certainly worth checking out if you are at all interested in American literature. Franco has also adapted another Faulkner novel, “The Sound and the Fury,” which will be released later this year. (Rated R)

A Touch of Sin” comes from the Chinese director Zhangke Jia and tells four intense stories of modern China, all of them involving anger and the loss of dignity that can come to the fore when corruption and immorality stretch ordinary people to their breaking point. All the stories involve violence of some kind (sometimes explicitly so), and, despite the foreign setting, will ring as sadly familiar to Americans who pay any attention to the news in this country. The director pulls no punches in his bravura presentation here, and, thankfully for this viewer, presents an ever so slight spot of brightness at the end. (Unrated, but the equivalent of an R rating.)

Letters to Father Jacob,” running at only about 75 minutes, is the story of a blind priest in Finland and a woman named Leila who has been pardoned for a crime the nature of which we only find out at the end of the film. In this lovely and touching story of a deeply spiritual man and a troubled woman, we follow Leila as she is hired to transcribe replies to the many letters that Father Jacob receives at his remote rectory. Suspicious at first of his piety, she nevertheless chooses to stay, and the story, with all the elegance of an old tale, takes us to a satisfying conclusion without the maudlin manipulation you might find in some other films that seek to tell a life-affirming story. (Unrated but equivalent of a PG rating.)


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Bram Stoker Awards Announced

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Horrow_Writers_AssociationThe annual Bram Stoker Awards were announced earlier this month by the Horror Writers Association.  Awards are given in eight different categories to honor superior writing in the horror genre.  Doctor Sleep by Stephen King won the award for superior writing in a novel.  R.L. Stine and Stephen Jones received Lifetime Achievement Awards.

For a complete list of winners, check out the HWA site.


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Holiday Closing — Memorial Day

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014
    • All Kent District Library branches will be closed on Monday, May 26, in observance of Memorial Day. We will resume normal operating hours on Tuesday, May 27.


    • All KDL branches will be closed on Sundays from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Sunday hours will resume on Sunday, September 7.


  • For additional 2014 holiday closing information, please view our holiday closings page.


We appreciate your patronage and wish you a Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial Day


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Memorial Day Suggested Reading

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Memorial Day is observed each year to remember the men and women who died while serving in the armed forces. KDL has prepared a list of recent books, both nonfiction and fiction, that have to do with the impact of war on those who served, and on their loved ones whose lives have been changed by separation and loss. Check out the list here.

Fearless         Wake          Bringing Mulligan Home          A Star For Mrs. Blake

Other lists of recommended reading having to do with wars are also available. Check out the booklists for American Wars of Manifest Destiny, World War I and World War II. Many books are also available for downloading to your eReader or tablet by visiting, and doing a search for an individual book or a keyword search for “war” or “soldiers.”

In honor of Memorial Day, Kent District Library will be closed on Monday, May 26.


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Teens: Kentwoodpalooza Is Back

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

KDLkentwoodpalooza-9021Mark your calendars for Thursday, June 12 from 2:00 to 8:00 PM at the Kentwood (Richard L. Root) Branch for a festival-style celebration of the arts, the end of school and the beginning of Summer Reading @ KDL with music, film, poetry, food and more.

Here’s the complete schedule:

1:00 PM — JibberJams
Crane Wives drummer Dan Rickabus will lead a round of intelligent silliness for all ages. This energetic, engaging interactive performance features original songs and improvisation performed in the universal language of jibberish.

1:00 PM — Ongoing Art
Watch local artist Barbara Williams collaborate with about a dozen East Kentwood High School National Art Honor Society students on the creation of a large mural that will hang inside the library when completed.

2:00 PM — Kent County Teen Film Festival Encore
If you missed these teen-created short flicks in February, see them now and meet a few of the young filmmakers who created them.

2:00 PM — Guitar Workshop with Justin Dore Join Big Dudee Roo’s lead guitarist in exploring different playing styles and what makes those styles unique. Find out what it means to be a lead guitarist and hear the dos and don’ts of joining a band. Also, get some practice techniques and hear about the history of the instrument and notable guitarists.

3:00 PM — Songwriting Workshop
Max Lockwood, lead singer and songwriter for folk rock band Big Dudee Roo, will perform some of his songs, discuss the songwriting process, share ideas for building a song from the ground up and show how to put together all the elements of a song.

5:30 PM — Writing Workshop
Published writer and poet Hazel Foster will explain how to take working drafts from revision to publication, addressing revision strategies, submission etiquette, venues for publication and how to survive rejection.

6:30 PM — Poetry Reading and Awards Ceremony
Winners from the Kent District Library Teen Poetry Contest will share their poetry.

mcaca_logo_final4:00–8:00 PM — Live Music on the Amphitheatre
4:00 PM — December Assembly (Electronic Alternative)
5:00 PM — Phantom (Ivory Alternative)
6:00 PM – Virgo (Alternative Rock)
7:00 PM — Big Dudee Roo (Grungy Folk Rock)

Kentwoodpalooza is supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. Sponsored by the Friends of the Kentwood Library.



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Summer Reading @ KDL Coming Soon!

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Ignite-Orange_jpgThe school year is winding down, and that means we are gearing up for Summer Reading @ KDL. With programs for kids, teens and adults, we are inviting the whole family to Ignite Happiness @ KDL. And if discovering some great books isn’t enough of an incentive to participate, we have also got some awesome prizes up for grabs!

Summer Reading @ KDL kicks off on Monday, June 2. Stop by your local branch to sign up, and don’t forget to check out our program guide. Our summer line-up includes reptiles, magic, animals, food and music, just to name a few!



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Teen Poetry Contest Winners

Monday, May 19th, 2014

WordWiseKDL’s eleventh annual Teen Poetry Contest was a huge success thanks to all the great teen poets out there. This year, nearly 200 poems were submitted. Library staff reviewed the poems and narrowed down the entries, submitting them to former Grand Rapids Poet Laureate, David Cope, for final analysis. Ten winners were chosen and a PDF of the winning poems is available for your reading pleasure.

Congratulations to the winning poets!

  • april 9 by Michelle Starkey
  • Syria by Jimmy Kastelz
  • The Box by Ashley Nelson
  • And It Will Be Beautiful by Janelle Urena Ravelo
  • An Evaporating Cosmos by Claire Oleson
  • Goodnight Moon by Deanna Griffin
  • Resentment by Jyi Herring
  • Hopeless in Waiting RE: Hopeless in Waiting by Greg Clapp
  • A Sponsored Child by Samantha Holland
  • Bursting from the Inside Out by Kaley Obney

We would also like to extend a special thanks to our judge, David Cope. We appreciate his expertise and his willingness to judge our contest again this year.


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