Audiobooks for Road Trips

July 6th, 2015

Summer is a great time to travel with the whole family but it is also a great chance to listen to some great books together.  Here are some suggests to try!dealingwithdragons

Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede: This teen series features a full cast recording and four great stories featuring wizards, dragons, princesses and kings.  The first book in the series, “Dealing with Dragons“, features Princess Cimorene, who does not follow the traditional path. In fact, she decides to move in with a dragon rather than marry the prince!


walkinthewoodsFor some great humor with a book that will soon be a movie, try “A Walk In The Woods” by Bill Bryson.  Read by the author, this entertaining story is about Bryson’s own experience walking along the Appalachian Trail with his old friend Stephen Katz, along with some history and ecology too.wonder


For a little bit younger reader, try “Wonder” by R. J. Palacio.  This is an award winning book about Auggie who is about to enter 5th grade.  Not that entering the 5th grade isn’t challenging enough, but Auggie has never attend school before, partly because of his very visible facial deformities. A must read for all ages.


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Holiday Closing — Independence Day

July 1st, 2015

All Kent District Library branches will be closed Saturday, July 4 for Independence Day. (The Service Center will also be closed Friday, July 3, but the Patron Services Department will remain open that day.) We will resume normal operating hours on Monday, July 6. For additional 2015 holiday closing information, please view our holiday closings page.

We appreciate your patronage and wish you a Happy 4th of July!



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Xbox One, PS4, or Wii U?

July 1st, 2015

Starting this summer, KDL patrons can check out Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and the Wii U games for all ages! In addition, KDL will continue to purchase popular games for our PS3 and Xbox 360 collections – now including those rated T for Teen and M for Mature.

Check your local KDL branch to see which games are on the shelf today. To search the online catalog, include the title or partial title and the game system as a Keyword (e.g. “LEGO Jurassic World xbox 360″). You can even place holds on games that have yet to be released! Here are several titles to anticipate:

Godzilla – To be released on July 14Godzilla 2015

Available on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, players control Godzilla as he wreaks havoc throughout the world, battling other monsters, destroying specific city targets, and harnessing “G-Energy” to grow to massive new heights. Rated T for Teen.

F1 2015 – To be released on July 21Formula 1 2015

In this newest addition to the Formula One racing series, players can enjoy quick races or follow the entire racing circuit on real-world tracks. Rated E for Everyone.

Metal Gear VMetal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – To be released on Sept. 1

Continuing the story begun in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeros (request a copy from KDL today), this open world action-adventure follows Venom Snake as he travels Afghanistan during the Soviet War taking revenge on his enemies. Rated M for Mature.

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How to Cure a Book Hangover

June 30th, 2015

What do you do when the book you couldn’t wait to start reading, is now the book you are dreading finishing? The book that for a short time in your life completely consumed everything you were doing? cant look

Try as you might to limit how much you read per day, portioning it chapter by chapter, so that you don’t binge read and finish it too quickly, the book always comes to a close.

And now you’re stuck, how do you move on from such a book? How do you find something comparable with the characters and places you’ve fallen in love with?

You my friend now have a book hangover. sad

Think of our KDL librarians as your cool glass of water and two aspirins. They’ve been there, they know the signs and symptoms. They have survived even the worst book hangovers and lived to tell the tale, which makes them the perfect go-to when you are suffering.

Coping mechanisms can include, though not limited to, the following:

Reading everything else that author has ever published. That widely panned first novel isn’t looking so bad now.

Reading about the topics and locations mentioned in the book. If Wild was your undoing, here is a list of all the books Sheryl mentioned during her journey.

HPTry cooking meals inspired by the story. Gallons of butterbeer were consumed when the Harry Potter series ended, a rather sickly sweet way to drown your sorrows.

And the easiest way to get over your book hangover is to check out the recommended reads by our staff. They have composed hundreds of lists to help you through this trying time. Lists are based off of similar authors, genres, “If You Liked…” and staff favorites.


With these helpful tips you’ll be back on your feet in no time! That is until your recovery book ends…in which case we’ll be seeing you soon.


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New Grand Rapids Press Historical Archives Database Available to Patrons

June 29th, 2015

use pic 1 use pic 2

History buffs, get ready to time travel! Kent District Library is now offering you a chance to go back in Michigan’s past with access to the Grand Rapids Press Historical Archives. Newspaper issues from 1893 to 1922 are accessible on your computer as a PDF. The database allows you to search by date or by keyword throughout the available collection.

Did you know that in 1905, a fur coat in Grand Rapids cost anywhere from $13-30.00, a husband had his wife sent to jail simply by claiming she was “insane,” and the temperature in Baldwin in February dropped to 30 degrees below zero? These papers give us a portal into the past and an opportunity to trace the tensions rising between European countries leading into World War I, the grand discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb, as well as covering stories from our own backyards.

Remote access to the collection from home is available with a KDL library card, but anyone can access the database from within our 18 branches (no library card required.)

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“A Master Builder” on DVD

June 27th, 2015

A Master Builder (Criterion DVD)A Master Builder”, adapted from the 1892 play by Henrik Ibsen, is a startling, moving and mysterious film masterfully put together by the director Jonathan Demme from the stage play first created by Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory. It hardly needs stating that when a play is turned into a film, its form—the large amount of talking, the small amount of sets—can be a limitation for viewers used to, shall we say, more spectacular visuals and more action in general.  Those limitations, though rather obvious in “A Master Builder” (it was filmed almost entirely within the confines of a New York townhouse) are nevertheless more than overcome by the intensity of the script and the virtuosity of the acting. The set-up is quite simple, but the themes beneath that set-up are complex and mysterious. Wallace Shawn plays Solness, an aging architect who appears to be at death’s door: as the film opens, he is at home surrounded by nurses and hospital equipment and his friends and colleagues are coming to pay him homage. He talks to his doctor, and they discuss the young, who are, according to Solness, about to take over. No sooner is this said than the mysterious Hilda appears—young, vivacious and beautiful, a figure with the power to summon a past (and a future) that involves both Solness and herself. But who is she? And where does she really come from?  From this point on, the tension is grippingly apparent, as Hilda, coming to the house with almost nothing, quite easily makes herself at home despite the jealous looks from Solness’ wife, the secrets of the Master Builder become apparent, and the specter of death, looming from the beginning of the film, moves in closer. Solness, who stopped building church towers after a past personal tragedy, is now focused on “homes for families”—but, the viewer wonders, at what price will these towered houses be built?  Gregory and Shawn have mined gold from their adaptation, which is made contemporary in language and setting without being distracting. What starts modestly moves to an exciting and mysterious conclusion, a plot that delivers resolution without resorting to sentimentality or nihilism.

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No Heroes without Her

June 26th, 2015

It’s time we start redefining the word hero. With our summer theme of celebrating heroes, the ideas abound for superhero-themed book lists, displays and activities, but it’s no secret that the superhero world has long been male-dominated. Young girls want hero stories that reflect their world and experiences as well; they’re wrongly assuming that when we say we’re celebrating heroes we mean only the stereotypical men in masks and capes.

When we celebrate heroes, we mean ALL heroes! The world is full of heroic women who have changed the world. Celebrate heroes with your girls this summer by checking out true stories of women heroes who have changed the world. After all, you can’t have a “hero” without “her”!

Untamed : the wild life of Jane Goodall / Anita Silvey ; foreword by Jane Goodall.

Untamed: the Wild Life of Jane Goodall

by Anita Silvey



Mermaid Queen : the spectacular true story of  Annette Kellerman, who swam her way to fame, fortune, & swimsuit history! / by Shana Corey ; illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham.

Mermaid Queen: the spectacular true story of Annette Kellerman, who swam her way to fame, fortune, & swimsuit history!

by Shana Corey



Little Melba and her big trombone / by Katheryn Russell-Brown ; illustrations by Frank Morrison.Little Melba and Her Big Trombone

by Katheryn Russell-Brown



Mary Walker wears the pants : the true story of the doctor, reformer, and Civil War hero / Cheryl Harness ; illustrated by Carlo Molinari. Mary Walker Wears the Pants: the true story of the doctor, reformer, and Civil War hero.

by Cheryl Harness




Vision of beauty : the story of Sarah Breedlove Walker / Kathryn Lasky ; illustrated by Nneka Bennett.

Vision of Beauty : the story of Sarah Breedlove Walker

by Kathryn Lasky




For more great reads about great women heroes, check out A Mighty Girl’s book lists at


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DC Comics and Vertigo Join hoopla!

June 25th, 2015

DC Comics

Fan boys and fan girls rejoice, DC Comics and Vertigo have joined hoopla! Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and more are now available, for free for all Kent District Library card holders.

Readers can instantly borrow up to twelve titles a month, there are no late fees, no holds and the titles automatically return themselves.

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A Taste of Literature

June 23rd, 2015

Good authors have you seeing their world, great authors have you tasting it and with these recipes, you can eat and drink along with your favorite characters.

Katniss HP

If you want to sip on Butterbeer with Harry, gulp lamb stew with Katniss or enjoy a raspberry cordial with Anne of Green Gables, check out these recipes inspired by children’s books.

Moby dick chocolat Little Women

Looking to wow your book club with a themed meal? These iconic foods are all drawn from famous works ranging from Moby Dick to Little Women.

Bon appétit and happy reading!


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Come Play Giant Games With Us!

June 22nd, 2015

Giant GamesGet your competitive juices flowing and join us for Giant Games! Kids ages 6 and up will have a blast playing giant-sized games like Bananagrams, Jenga and Connect 4.


Wednesday, June 24, 1:00 PM – Walker Branch
Tuesday, June 30, 2:00 PM – Byron Township Branch
Tuesday, June 30, 6:30 PM – Englehardt Branch (Lowell)
Wednesday, July 8, 11:00 AM – Caledonia Township Branch
Wednesday, July 8, 2:00 PM – Krause Memorial Branch
Thursday, July 9, 10:00 AM – Kentwood (Richard L. Root) Branch
Wednesday, July 22, 6:30 PM – Alpine Township Branch
Tuesday, August 4, 10:00 AM – Plainfield Township Branch
Tuesday, August 4, 4:00 PM – Spencer Township Branch

Branch locations can be found here.

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