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Made in Michigan

Michigan Week (May 17-24) is a good time to remember the state's celebrated natives from all walks of life. Communities across Michigan can lay claim to renowned authors, artists, musicians, actors, athletes, politicians, inventors and more. Film makers Francis Ford Coppola, Sam Raimi, Michael Moore, and Paul Schrader were all born in Michigan. Just some of the world famous musicians born here include Stevie Wonder, Kenny Burrell, Betty Carter, Earl Klugh, Bog Seger, Glen Frey, Madonna, and Iggy Pop. Actors born in the state include Bruce Campbell, Tom Selleck, Lily Tomlin, Ellen Burstyn, Kristen Bell, Julie Harris, George Peppard, George C. Scott, Danny Thomas, and Marlo Thomas — the list goes on. Noteworthy authors such as Edna Ferber, Terry McMillan, Judith Guest and Marguerite De Angeli are also Michigan natives. Famous Michigan born athletes include baseball players Charlie Gehringer, Jim Abbott and Hal Newhouser. Find out more about our state's notable heritage by checking out some of the following items from the Library's collection.

Alden B. Dow: midwestern modern by Diane Maddex — Architect

The Dodge brothers: the men, the motor cars, and the legacy by Charles K. Hyde — Automobile engineers

Curtains Up Biographies for Kids

Harlem's little blackbird by Renée Watson ; illustrated by Christian Robinson

Mister and Lady Day: Billie Holiday and the dog who loved her by Amy Novesky ; illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton

The extraordinary music of Mr.

Literary Biographies for Tweens

Geeked about books and reading? For the most interested, a nonfiction selection of stories about authors or the inspiration for their work.

The Brontë sisters: the brief lives of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne
by Catherine Reef


The trouble begins at 8: a life of Mark Twain in the wild, wild West by Sid Fleischman


Marooned: the strange but true adventures of Alexander Selkirk, the real Robinson Crusoe by Robert Kraske ; illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker





C.S. Lewis: the man behind Narnia by Beatrice Gormley






Knucklehead: tall tales and mostly true stories of growing up Scieszka by Jon Scieszka







25 Extraordinary Women from Past & Present

Celebrate Women's History Month by reading about one of the fascinating women below.

Madam Secretary by Madeleine Albright, with Bill Woodward — Madeleine Albright, Ambassador, first woman to become United States Secretary of State


Arbella: England's lost queen by Sarah Gristwood — Arbella, English Renaissance noblewoman

Another Time, Another Place

Find out what life was like growing up in bygone days:

Big Russ and me: father and son: lessons of life by Tim Russert — South Buffalo, N.Y. in the 1950s

Defending Baltimore against enemy attack: a boyhood year during World War II by Charles Osgood — Baltimore in the 1940s

A girl named Zippy: growing up small in Mooreland, Indiana by Haven Kimmel — Mooreland, Indiana in the 1960s

Hotel kid: a Times Square childhood by Stephen Lewis — New York City in the 1930s

The life and times of the last kid picked by David Benjamin — Small-town Wisconsin in the 1950s

The life and times of the thunderbolt kid: a memoir by Bill Bryson — Iowa in the 1950s

In Memoriam

Two notable figures from recent American history passed away this week. Andy Rooney, the curmudgeonly commentator on CBS’s 60 Minutes for more than 30 years, died November 4 at the age of 92. Rooney died one month after he had signed off from "60 Minutes" in October after a 33-year run. A statement from CBS News stated that he died of complications following minor surgery. Rooney began his journalism career as a correspondent for the Stars and Stripes newspaper and was awarded a Bronze Star for his work during the Normandy invasion. He joined CBS News in 1949 and joined "60 Minutes" in 1968, first as a producer, then as a commentator ten years later.

New Celebrity Biographies

If you're looking for some great new reads about your favorite actors, sports stars or musicians, then you're in luck. There have been a plethora of celebrity biographies and autobiographies published this fall on everyone from Shaquille O"Neal to Spencer Tracy. More great titles can be found below:

The Garner Files: A Memoir by Garner, James/ Winokur, Jon/ Andrews, Julie (INT)

Happy accidents by Jane Lynch

Adult Contemporary Book Discussion April 18

Please join us on Monday, April 18 in the Purple Room for a book discussion on Rhoda Janzen's laugh-out-loud memoir of life with her Mennonite family called, Mennonite in a Little Black Dress. After going through a painful divorce and recovery from a debilitating car accident, Ms. Janzen returns to her parents' home to regroup. Hilarity ensues.