Steampunk appears to be gaining steam… but what exactly is it? Well, here is a definition from Wikipedia: "Steampunk is a sub-genre of fantasy and speculative fiction that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often Victorian era England — but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history-style presentations of "the path not taken" of such technology as dirigibles, analog computers, or digital mechanical computers (such as Charles Babbage's Analytical engine); these frequently are presented in an idealized light, or with a presumption of functionality." While many of the books are for teens or adults, Steampunk is now coming out for tween-age readers. It is one of those 'happenings' that crosses sexes, ages, and formats. No official subject heading exists yet for this genre, but here are a few titles to whet your appetite, pique your curiousity...whatever:

Pumpkin Chapters

It's pumpkin time! And there are some great stories about them beyond the picture book collection. Pick one of these pumpkin plots:

Me and the pumpkin queen by Marlane Kennedy

Ninjas don't bake pumpkin pies by Debbie Dadey and Marcia Thornton Jones; illustrated by John Steven Gurney

The squampkin patch: a Nasselrogt adventure by J.T. Petty

Who stole Grandma's million-dollar pumpkin pie? by Martha Freeman

Some great pumpkin carving ideas and other pumpkin crafts are a click away at this Disney FamilyFun website.

Princesses, Princesses, Princesses!

Everyone loves a good princess tale, whether young or old, and the Children's Department has an awesome selection of titles for you to pick from. For the early readers we have such series as: The Tiara Club and Pony-Crazed Princess. For those who like humorous/fractured adaptations of traditional tales, try these spin-off series: The Frog Princess or Princess School. Historical fiction fans will soon learn that some real-life princesses of old did not have a fairy-tale existence at all when they read Girl in a Cage. Three great new additions to our princess collection are: The Extraordinary Princess, The Princess Plot, and Princess of the Midnight Ball. Enjoy CPL's parade of princesses!

School Strangeness Series

Have you ever considered how strange, scary, and weird school can be?! Well, your school is probably pretty normal compared to the schools in these hilarious stories, but then again, maybe not. Read for yourself and find out. You may need to start preparing for the next school year well in advance if you have to deal with any of these situations.


Beware! Camping adventures can turn into calamities. If you doubt me, just read what can happen

Camping catastrophe! by Abby Klein ; illustrated by John McKinley

Alvin Ho : allergic to camping, hiking, and other natural disasters by Lenore Look ; illustrated by LeUyen Pham

A week in the woods by Andrew Clements

Other, less horrific tales, involving camping are also available at the library for your summertime reading, be it safe at home, or out in the wild.

Spy Stories from the American Revolution

American history can be thrilling to read about — if you pick up the right books. Try one of these recent suspenseful spy stories:

Soldier's secret: the story of Deborah Sampson by Sheila Solomon Klass

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

Hannah Pritchard: pirate of the Revolution by Bonnie Pryor

Spy! by Anna Myers

Other great stories about the Revolutionary War are also available. Happy 4th of July reading!

Michigan Reads

Some awesome kids books take place right here in the Michigan we all love. Willow Run by Patricia Reilly Giff introduces us to Maggie Dillion whose life has been turned upside down by World War II. Her experiences and realizations help us all believe in the power of friends and family to support each other in uncertain times...something we could all use about now. The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis is a roll-on-the-floor laughing book about a Flint family, their adventures and relationships...comic relief which is also very therapeutic in stressful times. A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban won the 2007 Michigan Mitten Award. It is a humorous book about family and friendship, as well as the power of music to inspire and transform. Go Michigan!