May We Suggest

May We Suggest?This blog provides customized book recommendations to our patrons. To get your own, just fill out the May We Suggest form and you can expect results within 10 days. You can also like May We Suggest on facebook.

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Caldecott Books

Do you love looking at the illustrations in a picture book? Did you know there is an award that is given out yearly for just that? It's true! The Caldecott Winners are chosen based on their beautiful and artistic illustrations. We have an extensive collection of them in our Children's Department. Try one out today!

A small book that packs a punch

The sense of an ending by Julian Barnes — According to Heller McAlpin, "Julian Barnes has finally won a Man Booker Prize, and I'm glad it's for The Sense of an Ending, his elegant, deceptively simple, quietly devastating moral tale about the self-serving vagaries of memory over time. Taking its title from Frank Kermode's 1967 critical study of the relationship of endings in fiction to apocalypse and death, this compact, multilayered story is the kind of book that bears re-reading. Barnes' unreliable narrator is a man in his 60s who comes into a small inheritance that causes him to reconsider the bitter aftermath of a miserable college romance and his role in a brilliant boyhood friend's unhappy demise — which leads to a serious revision of the life story he has always told himself. Like the best of Philip Roth's late cycle of nemesis novels, this mature work tackles big ethical issues in a slim, carefully plotted, wholly absorbing narrative."

Michigan Picture Books

If you're looking for a picture book about Michigan, or one that takes place in Michigan, we have you covered. Here's a list of fun picture books from the "mitten state."

M is for mitten: the Michigan alphabet book by Annie Appleford; illustrated by Michael Monroe

Gitchi Gumee by written by Anne Margaret Lewis; illustrated by Kathleen Chaney Fritz

Rascal makes mischief on Mackinac Island by Cynthia Furlong Reynolds; illustrated by Darrin Brege

The day the Great Lakes drained away by written and illustrated by Charles Ferguson Barker

An Adventure Story Not to Be Missed

The false prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen is not for readers who like predictable stories with stereotypical characters. Action, a plot laced with surprising twists and turns, and magnificent, engaging characters await the reader who picks up this book that they will then not be able to put down. Civil war threatens Carthya after the entire royal family has been murdered. Connor, a nobleman, devises a cunning plan to gain power and save his country from ruin. Four orphans who resemble the king's youngest son, long thought to be dead, are stolen and forced to compete for the role of impersonating Jaron. One is murdered by Connor almost immediately to instill terror and unconditional obedience. But Sage, the narrator of this tale, is stubborn, rebellious, and impetuous. He continually challenges and infuriates Connor, while at the same time becoming the leading candidate in this deadly race. Sage is deceptive, ingenious and soon crafts a plan of his own. Be prepared to stay up well past your bedtime in order to find out what happens next in this superb blend of suspense, mystery, action,  and valor. Let us hope book two in this triology is not long in coming.

Joan of Arc

The 600th year celebration of the birth of Joan of Arc is being celebrated in 2012. Born in France in 1412, she is considered a national heroine and one of the country's patron saints. Nicknamed the "Maid of Orleans", she was a peasant girl who claimed divine guidance when leading the French army to several significant victories during the Hundred Year's War. Captured by the enemy, she was tried for heresy and burned at the stake when she was only 19. Twenty five years later the pope cleared her name and declared her a martyr. She was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920.

Joan of Arc: a Penguin life by Mary Gordon

Joan of Arc and the Hundred Years War by Deborah A. Fraioli

Joan of Arc: her story by Régine Pernoud, Marie- Véronique Clin

Spring Reads

Celebrate the season by picking up an easy-to-read book about springtime. You can find the books listed below in the Readers section in the Children's Department. Happy spring!

Springtime in Bugland! by David A. Carter

Happy go Ducky by cover illustration by Jackie Urbanovic ; story by Lori Haskins Houran ; pictures by Joe Mathieu

Spring is here!: a story about seeds by Joan Holub ; illustrated by Will Terry

Poppleton in spring by Cynthia Rylant ; illustrated by Mark Teague

In my backyard by written by Don L. Curry ; illustrated by Erin O'Leary Brown

Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture, Part 2

Look for these films based on popular books in your local theater in the coming months:

Anna Karenina: a novel in eight parts by Leo Tolstoy — Starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law. Release date: September 2012.

Chicken with plums by Marjane Satrapi — Starring Mathieu Amalric and Eduouard Baer. Release date: August 2012.

Easy money by Jens Lapidus — Starring Joel Kinnaman and Dragomir Mrsic. Release date: July 2012.

The great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald — Starring Leonard DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan. Release date: December 2012.

Movies to Watch this Earth Day

earthday2012.thumbnail.pngWe can all observe Earth Day this year by educating ourselves about the challenges that face our environment and what we can do about it. Try some of the titles suggested below to get started:

The age of stupid [videodisc] — Pete Postlethwaite stars as an archivist living alone in the devastated future world of 2055, who spends his days looking at old footage from the years leading up to 2015 - when a cataclysmic climate change took place.

Bag it [videodisc] by produced and directed by Suzan Beraza — The story of an average American guy who makes a pledge to stop using plastic bags.

Picture Books about Helping Others

Good helpers, everyone needs one sometime. Here are some picture books to read with the kids, to show them how to be great helpers at home, in school, or in your community.

Arthur helps out by Marc Brown

The Berenstain Bears lend a helping hand by Stan & Jan Berenstain

Boswell wide awake by Alexandra Day

Can I help? by Marilyn Janovitz

Franklin helps out by Bourgeois, Paulette

Giddy up, Cowgirl by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

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