Great Books and more

Mysteries of the Unknown

Come explore real-life ghost stories and other paranormal mysteries at the library…if you dare! They’re shelved together at the very start of the non-fiction section – look for the 001s and 133s or ask a staff member to point the way.

Ghosts book coverAre you afraid yet? book coverHaunted Histories book coverBeastly Tales book coverMystery of the bermuda triangle book coverAre you psychic? book coverMystery of UFOs book coverEncyclopedia Horrifica

Ghosts: a nonfiction companion to A good night for ghosts / by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce; illustrated by Sal Murdocca

Are you afraid yet?: the science behind scary stuff / written by Stephen James O'Meara; illustrated by Jeremy Kaposy

Haunted histories: creepy castles, dark dungeons, and powerful palaces / J. H. Everett and Marilyn Scott-Waters

Beastly tales: Yeti, Bigfoot, and the Loch Ness Monster / written by Malcolm Yorke

The mystery of the Bermuda Triangle / Chris Oxlade

Are you psychic?: the official guide for kids / Helaine Becker; Claudia Dávila, illustrator

The mystery of UFOs / by Judith Herbst; illustrated by Greg Clarke

Encyclopedia horrifica: the terrifying truth! about vampires, ghosts, monsters, and more / Joshua Gee

Mysteries of the Unknown

Come explore real-life ghost stories and other paranormal mysteries at the library…if you dare! They’re shelved together at the very start of the non-fiction section – look for the 001s and 133s or ask a staff member to point the way.

Ghosts book cover  Are you afraid yet? book cover  Haunted Histories book cover  Beastly Tales book cover  

Mystery of the bermuda triangle book cover  Are you psychic? book cover  Mystery of UFOs book cover  Encyclopedia Horrifica

Ghosts: a nonfiction companion to A good night for ghosts / by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce; illustrated by Sal Murdocca

Are you afraid yet?: the science behind scary stuff / written by Stephen James O'Meara; illustrated by Jeremy Kaposy

Haunted histories: creepy castles, dark dungeons, and powerful palaces / J. H. Everett and Marilyn Scott-Waters

Beastly tales: Yeti, Bigfoot, and the Loch Ness Monster / written by Malcolm Yorke

The mystery of the Bermuda Triangle / Chris Oxlade

Are you psychic?: the official guide for kids / Helaine Becker; Claudia Dávila, illustrator

The mystery of UFOs / by Judith Herbst; illustrated by Greg Clarke

Encyclopedia horrifica: the terrifying truth! about vampires, ghosts, monsters, and more / Joshua Gee

The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford

The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford is considered one of the best 100 best novels of all time. One reviewer called it the "finest French novel in the English language." This alludes to the complex plot, fascinating involvements and constant surprises. It recreates the difficult relations between two "perfect" Victorian couples who leisurely travel and stay at the finest European luxury gathering places.
 
While "weeding" our collection, I came across this title. I was unfamiliar with it, but the preface sounded fascinating. I thought I'd give it a try that weekend while I went up the coast to bask in the beauty of the ocean crashing on the cliffs. My weekend went totally differently than I had planned. I holed up in a bed and breakfast and read nonstop. I could not put this book down. Sometimes a classic is a classic for a reason! The story is timeless in many ways, but definitely of-and-in the Victorian upper class world.
 
Don't be misled by the title. It is not about war. This book was to be published right at the end of WWI and the publisher didn't want Ford's title, The Saddest Story Ever Told, because everyone was dealing with sadness of The Great War To End All Wars. The main character had been soldier, liked and respected by all, hence a "Good Soldier." The publisher thought the public would be more willing to pick up a book featuring such an attractive person. This was a wildly popular book when it first came out and is considered Ford's best work.
 
Ford was a fascinating character and friend of many major writers of the era, including Joseph Conrad. After you read this title you'll want more from Ford and his friends.
 
I recommended this as a title for our book club at Lakeview. Below is the update to our group after the meeting:
 
The seven of us who were there really liked the book. A couple mentioned that at times it was confusing, because the narrator would jump forward and back in time. This was something the author did intentionally and we agreed that it helped build the suspense and sense of danger around this gathering of mostly unlikable people with mostly useless lives, deceiving and mistreating and emotionally torturing each other. There was something for everyone :>
 
We briefly wondered at the hormone level of the husband who never consummated his marriage. We agreed we actually knew people like this and didn't really understand it. We could see why this book has stayed popular.
 
One member mentioned that Ford's other most popular novel, Parade's End, is now in serial form on HBO.  BBC did a mini-series of the Good Soldier, (I believe only two episodes) and it is available at Main. I watched it eagerly and found it very good, but by no means as stunning as the novel.
Oakland Public Library currently has three copies of this novel. If those copies are checked out, be sure to reserve a copy from our Link+ system. Link+ allows us to borrow books that Oakland Public Library may not have available. You just need your card number and pin number to place a hold. There are many, many copies available through Link+. Call Main or any Branch if you need help placing a Link+ hold. ,,,or call me. 510-238-7344 at Lakeview :>
 
Mary Farrell, Branch Manager, Lakeview
 

75 years of the Caldecott Medal

Caldecott Anniversary LogoThe Caldecott Medal turned 75 this year, and the Association for Library Service to Children (a division of the American Library Association) celebrated last week at the ALA national conference in Chicago, where the 2013 Caldecott Medal was presented to Jon Klassen for This is Not My Hat.

You can celebrate at home or at your library!  Free resources at the Caldecott 75th Anniversary webpage include downloadable bookmarks with clues and answers about the special anniversary logo created by Brian Selznick, and pictured here.  Can you identify the 10 Caldecott honored titles pictured in the logo?  (The answers are here.)

Also be sure to check out  TeachingBooks.net  for multimedia resources about your favorite Caldecott winning books, including interviews and videos with the illustrators.   Do you want to know how to pronounce "Chris Raschka"?  Or "Jon Scieszka"? They will tell you.  See how Bryan Collier creates his collage illustrations, or browse a collection of video and audio interviews with Maurice Sendak.  

Which is your favorite Caldecott winning book?  

The Caldecott Award is administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). The 75th Anniversary illustration and logo copyright © 2012 by Brian Selznick. Used with permission of ALSC/ALA

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75 years of the Caldecott Medal

Caldecott Anniversary LogoThe Caldecott Medal turned 75 this year, and the Association for Library Service to Children (a division of the American Library Association) celebrated last week at the ALA national conference in Chicago, where the 2013 Caldecott Medal was presented to Jon Klassen for This is Not My Hat.

You can celebrate at home or at your library!  Free resources at the Caldecott 75th Anniversary webpage include downloadable bookmarks with clues and answers about the special anniversary logo created by Brian Selznick, and pictured here.  Can you identify the 10 Caldecott honored titles pictured in the logo?  (The answers are here.)

Also be sure to check out  TeachingBooks.net  for multimedia resources about your favorite Caldecott winning books, including interviews and videos with the illustrators.   Do you want to know how to pronounce "Chris Raschka"?  Or "Jon Scieszka"? They will tell you.  See how Bryan Collier creates his collage illustrations, or browse a collection of video and audio interviews with Maurice Sendak.  

Which is your favorite Caldecott winning book 

The Caldecott Award is administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). The 75th Anniversary illustration and logo copyright © 2012 by Brian Selznick. Used with permission of ALSC/ALA

Oh Say Can You Sing?

Want to discover a library secret? Go ahead and take a trip to the 782 section of the children’s nonfiction shelves and you’ll discover something amazing. Hidden treasures! Picture books that are meant to be SUNG! Some are traditional, others are silly – but all are crowdpleasing. Here are a few recommendations to warm up your singing voice:

Baby Beluga book coverDown by the station book coverHush little baby book coverI ain't gonna paint no more book coverI love you! A Bushel and a Peck book coverLet's Play in the Forest book coverLet's sing a lullaby with the brave cowboy book cover I love my white shoes book coverSeals on the Bus book cover

Baby Beluga / Raffi; illustrations by Ashley Wolff

Down by the Station / Jennifer Riggs Vetter; illustrations by Frank Remkiewicz

Hush, Little Baby / adapted and illustrated by Brian Pinkney

I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! / Karen Beaumont; illustrated by David Catrow

I Love You! A Bushel & a Peck / Frank Loesser; pictures by Rosemary Wells

Let's Play in the Forest While the Wolf is not Around / Claudia Rueda

Let's Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy / Jan Thomas

Pete the Cat: I Love my White Shoes / Eric Litwin; art by James Dean

The Seals on the Bus / Lenny Hort; illustrated by G. Brian Karas

Oh Say Can You Sing?

Want to discover a library secret? Go ahead and take a trip to the 782 section of the children’s nonfiction shelves and you’ll discover something amazing. Hidden treasures! Picture books that are meant to be SUNG! Some are traditional, others are silly – but all are crowdpleasing. Here are a few recommendations to warm up your singing voice:

Baby Beluga book cover  Down by the station book cover  Hush little baby book cover  I ain't gonna paint no more book cover

I love you! A Bushel and a Peck book cover  Let's Play in the Forest book cover  Let's sing a lullaby with the brave cowboy book cover   I love my white shoes book cover  Seals on the Bus book cover

Baby Beluga / Raffi; illustrations by Ashley Wolff

Down by the Station Jennifer Riggs Vetter; illustrations by Frank Remkiewicz

Hush, Little Baby / adapted and illustrated by Brian Pinkney

I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! / Karen Beaumont; illustrated by David Catrow

I Love You! A Bushel & a Peck / Frank Loesser; pictures by Rosemary Wells

Let's Play in the Forest While the Wolf is not Around / Claudia Rueda

Let's Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy / Jan Thomas

Pete the Cat: I Love my White Shoes / Eric Litwin; art by James Dean

The Seals on the Bus / Lenny Hort; illustrated by G. Brian Karas

Awesome Early Readers

It’s not always easy finding the right books to place in the hands of brand new readers. Letting kiddos choose their own books is a surefire strategy for creating excitement about reading – you can use the five finger rule to decide if a book is too hard for a child. If you want some tried and true favorites, take a look at the Geisel Award winners and mosey on over to your library to find these awesome early readers!:

I spy Fly Guy book coverRabbit and Robot book coverAre you my mother book coverPenny and her Song book coverZelda and Ivy Keeping Secrets book coverLing and Ting book coverFrog and Toad are friends book coverThere is a bird on your head! book cover

I spy Fly Guy! / Tedd Arnold

Rabbit & Robot: the sleepover / Cece Bell

Are you my mother? / P. D. Eastman

Penny and her song / Kevin Henkes

Zelda and Ivy: keeping secrets / Laura McGee Kvasnosky

Ling & Ting: not exactly the same! / Grace Lin

Frog and Toad are friends / Arnold Lobel

There is a bird on your head! / Mo Willems

Awesome Early Readers

It’s not always easy finding the right books to place in the hands of brand new readers. Letting kiddos choose their own books is a surefire strategy for creating excitement about reading – you can use the five finger rule to decide if a book is too hard for a child. If you want some tried and true favorites, take a look at the Geisel Award winners and mosey on over to your library to find these awesome early readers!:

I spy Fly Guy book cover  Rabbit and Robot book cover  Are you my mother book cover  Penny and her Song book cover  

Zelda and Ivy Keeping Secrets book cover  Ling and Ting book cover  Frog and Toad are friends book cover  There is a bird on your head! book cover

I spy Fly Guy! / Tedd Arnold

Rabbit & Robot: the sleepover / Cece Bell

Are you my mother/ P. D. Eastman

Penny and her song / Kevin Henkes

Zelda and Ivy: keeping secrets / Laura McGee Kvasnosky

Ling & Ting: not exactly the same/ Grace Lin

Frog and Toad are friends / Arnold Lobel

There is a bird on your head! / Mo Willems

The Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror, and Deliverance in the City of Love by David Talbot

Hello Everyone,

Ten of us were at Lakeview to discuss The Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror, and Deliverance in the City of Love by David Talbot and all liked it!
 
We started out discussing the writing style of David Talbot. Three of us mentioned it was difficult to track at times and maybe more editing could have helped that. One pointed out that most of it was based on interviews Talbot had done with participants and observers of these events. The rest thought there was no problem with the writing at all and that the book was gripping and the details based on the extensive research filled gaps we didn't know we had in our own knowledge, which was based on news or books written right at the time. We all felt we understood San Francisco better and many shared their own experiences and knowledge which expanded on the book's information. Our personal stories included antiwar events, taking a coyote to schools to talk about protecting the wilderness and experimenting with new life styles. We thought the author cared about his topics. One noted a review which mentioned frustration that Talbot did not include women's history and its forward movement at the time. Another mentioned that the 60s were a sexist time and we all agreed. I thought he did focus on a few major female leaders who arose at that time and loved the details about those lives such as Dianne Feinstein.
Topics we discussed, from the many covered by Talbot, were the loss of the Fillmore District and the reduction of the Black population in San Francisco from around 30% to 17% (partially remembered numbers on my part). Others were the saving of neighborhoods with the rise of power of the people, with a special note of the quiet and strong uprising Asian communities. Other topics were free clinics, Zodiac and Zebra murders, the charisma and corrupt power of Jim Jones...how if he were stopped when people in charge began to understand his power, that a mayoral election might be overturned, the clash of conservative blue collar Irish and Italian Catholic with the new hippie movement, the magic of the early love and Flower Power times and their disintegration into crime and repression by the city, the Patty Hearst kidnapping and the power of the press, the stories of lawyer Hallinan and his activist wife, the rise of the gay population and the start of the aides epidemic, the Harvey Milk assassination and the candlelight march of hundreds of thousands of mourning citizens and the legacy of all these events.

We wondered, "Why San Francisco?" for all these major events? We kicked around some ideas and came up with that it started with the Gold Rush in 1849 when San Francisco created itself as a wild, free place where anything goes. We mentioned the feeling people get when leaving a conservative world elsewhere and arriving in San Francisco to the freedom to be different. We discussed the many gay people who were severed from the military during World War II and the Viet Nam war and stayed, creating new lives and a new culture.

We talked of the influence of Herb Caen and The 49ers Superbowl victory on the city. Out of the upheaval of that era has come gay marriage, medical marijuana, immigration sanctuary, universal health care, recycling and renewable energy.

If you haven't read it yet, I would say that this is one you might want to put on your list. Both people who lived in San Francisco or the Bay Area at that time and people who were in other parts of the country felt they understand San Francisco better and are glad they read this modern history.

 

Happy Reading!
 
Mary
 
Mary Farrell, Lakeview Branch Manager