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Thorndyke Thoughts: History Mysteries

Hey Kids,

One of my librarian friends told me about an event where she heard Marc Aronson give a talk about history. That might sound boring, but he wasn’t just talking about names and dates. If you like mysteries, investigations, questions and answers, following clues, and challenging what other people think, then you might like to try some of his books. Usually he writes for upper elementary (4th and 5th grades) or for middle schoolers, but your parents might even like these.

Ain't nothing but a man: my quest to find the real John Henry by Scott Reynolds Nelson with Marc Aronson — If you’ve heard of Paul Bunyan, maybe you’ve also heard of John Henry, the legendary man who beat a steam drill. Did you know he was a real person? In this story Scott Nelson tells about his discoveries of John Henry, the real man.

The griffin and the dinosaur: how Adrienne Mayor discovered a fascinating link between myth and science by Marc Aronson with Adrienne Mayor ; illustrated by Chris Muller — Dinosaurs have fascinated people for a long time, but even before people knew there were dinosaurs, they had found their bones and made up stories of what they must have been like.

Savvy Seniors: November 2014

November is American Diabetes Month.  Diabetes disproportionately affects older adults. Approximately 25% of Americans over the age of 60 years have diabetes, and aging of the U.S. population is widely acknowledged as one of the drivers of the diabetes epidemic. 


Diabetes rescue diet: conquer diabetes naturally while eating and drinking what you love—even chocolate and wine! by Mark Bricklin

There is a cure for diabetes: the 21-day+ holistic recovery program by Gabriel Cousens ; forewords by Sandra Rose Michael and Brian R. Clement

The American Diabetes Association vegetarian cookbook: satisfying, bold, and flavorful recipes from the garden by Chef Steven Petusevsky, author of The Whole Foods Market Cookbook

Type 2 diabetes [videodisc]: a case for cardiovascular intervention by produced in cooperation with the American Association of Diabetes Educators

What We're Reading: November, 2014

An event in autumn by Henning Mankell ; translated from the Swedish by Laurie Thompson.  Fans of Mankell's Swedish detective, Kurt Wallander, will enjoy this story set just before Wallander's final case. 

The teacher wars: a history of America's most embattled profession by Dana Goldstein.  Everyone has an opinion about America's public schools and the responsibility of its' teachers. Would you be surprised to learn teachers have been similarly embattled for nearly two centuries?

A share in death by Deborah Crombie. This is the first in Crombie's long running Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series.  It's been on my To Read list for awhile and I thought it's time had come. Nominated for an Agatha Award.

Native American Biographies

In honor of Native American Heritage Month check out some of the biographies of notable First Americans from the Library's collection, or go to this list for more information.

Tecumseh: a life by John Sugden

Sacajawea by [by] Harold P. Howard

Chief Joseph & the flight of the Nez Perce: the untold story of an American tragedy by Kent Nerburn

Crazy Horse: a Lakota life by Kingsley M. Bray

Pocahontas by Grace Steele Woodward

Election Alert!

Polls are open Tuesday, November 4, 7:00 AM-8:00 PM for the 2014 statewide election. For information on where to vote go the Michigan Voter Information site. For a sample ballot go here. For information on the candidates and issues check out one of the following sources:

Biography Suggestions by Grade

Looking for fascinating stories about real people? Explore the following list for some suggestions.

Kindergarten

Henri's scissors by Jeanette Winter — The story of how Henri Matisse changed from sketching to making cut-out creations.

Harlem's little blackbird by Renée Watson ; illustrated by Christian Robinson — A lesser-known singer from the Harlem Renaissance, Florence Mills' story is told here.

Daredevil: the daring life of Betty Skelton by Meghan McCarthy — Looking for more variety in your stories about achievements in aviation?

The quite contrary man: a true American tale by Patricia Rusch Hyatt ; illustrated by Kathryn Brown — Breaking the law by growing a beard? A contrary (and interesting) man, indeed!

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin ; illustrated by Mary Azarian — A Caldecott-winning biography about a curious nature photographer.

Masterful Mysteries

Kindergarten

Where is dear dragon? by Margaret Hillert ; illustrated by David Schimmell

Daniel's mystery egg by Alma Flor Ada ; illustrated by G. Brian Karas

Where is the green sheep? by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek

Knuffle Bunny: a cautionary tale by Mo Willems

The doghouse by Jan Thomas

First Grade

Young Cam Jansen and the circus mystery by David A. Adler ; illustrated by Susanna Natti

Detective Dinosaur: lost and found by James Skofield ; pictures by R.W. Alley

Nonfiction Book Group November 2014

Join us for the first meeting of the Nonfiction Book Group.
 
On Saturday, November 15 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM we will be discussing:

The monuments men: Allied heroes, Nazi thieves, and the greatest treasure hunt in history by Robert M. Edsel with Bret Witter — While Hitler was attempting to take over the western world, his armies were methodically seeking and hoarding the finest art treasures in Europe. The Fuehrer had begun cataloging the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: "degenerate" works he despised. In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Momuments Men, risked their lives to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture.

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

It was on October 26, 1881 in Tombstone, Arizona that the infamous gunfight took place. Generally regarded as the most famous gunfight in the history of the American West, it is believed to have lasted all of thirty seconds. On one side were the cowboy outlaws Billy Clairborne, Ike and Billy Clanton, and Tom and Frank McLaury. Opposing them were Marshall Virgil Earp and his brothers Morgan and Wyatt, as well as Doc Holliday. Hollywood versions of the gun battle can be found in the films My Darling Clementine (1946), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) and Tombstone (1993). Find out what the fight was really all about and who survived by checking out some of the following books and dvds from the Library's collection:

The last gunfight: the real story of the shootout at the O.K. Corral and how it changed the American West by Jeff Guinn

And die in the West: the story of the O.K. Corral gunfight by Paula Mitchell Marks

New Books on the Biography Shelf

Augustus: first emperor of Rome by Adrian Goldsworthy


The Roosevelts: an intimate history by Geoffrey C. Ward ; based on a documentary film by Ken Burns ; with a preface by Ken Burns ; picture research by Susanna Steisel ; design by Maggie Hinders


Tennessee Williams: mad pilgrimage of the flesh by John Lahr


Cosby: his life and times by Mark Whitaker


Death of a king: the real story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s final year by Tavis Smiley with David Ritz

New Book Club in a Bag Kit

The antidote: happiness for people who can't stand positive thinking [kit] by Oliver Burkeman — Burkeman introduces us to a group of people who share a surprising way of thinking about life. Whether experimental psychologists, terrorism experts, Buddhists, hardheaded business consultants, Greek philosophers, or modern-day gurus, they argue that it's our constant effort to be happy that is making us miserable. Their alternative path to happiness and success involves embracing failure, pessimism, and uncertainty--the very things we spend our lives trying to avoid.

What We're Reading: October 2014

Lately, I've been reading non-fiction. A well-written narrative not only informs, it entertains.  Did you know Canton Public Library has a new book discussion group?  The Nonfiction Book Group will meet the third Saturday of the month.  Their first meeting is November 15 at 10:00 AM.

The First World War in 100 objects by John Hughes-Wilson ; IWM consultant, Nigel Steel ; editor, Mark Hawkins-Dady

The history of rock 'n' roll in ten songs by Greil Marcus

Music in the shadows: noir musical films by Sheri Chinen Biesen

Seven elements that changed the world: an adventure of ingenuity and discovery by John Browne

In the kingdom of ice: the grand and terrible polar voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides

The Great Chicago Fire

The Great Chicago Fire burned from Sunday, October 8 to Tuesday, October 10, 1871. The fire started in or around a barn on DeKoven Street, but despite the fact that the O'Leary family lived in the area, the legend of Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicking over a lantern is probably just that - a legend. More than 300 people died in the fire, 100,000 were left homeless, and four square miles of the city were destroyed. Although the Chicago fire, perhaps, the most well known from in American history, there have been significant fires in other major cities as well - Boston, Pittsburgh and Detroit included. To learn more about them check out Seven Fires: the Urban Infernos that Shaped America.

The great fire by Jim Murphy

Smoldering city: Chicagoans and the Great Fire, 1871- 1874 by Karen Sawislak

City of the century: the epic of Chicago and the making of America by Donald L. Miller

City of big shoulders: a history of Chicago by Robert G. Spinney

Hockey's Back!

Get ready for this year's exciting hockey season by reading about some  of it's greatest stars - both on and off the ice!

Orr: my story by Bobby Orr


Mr. Hockey: My Story by Howe, Gordie


Steve Yzerman: heart of a champion by Joe Falls ... [et al.] ; edited by Francis J. Fitzgerald


Total Gretzky: the magic, the legend, the numbers by edited by Steve Dryden

Thorndyke Thoughts

Hey Kids,

Because of my superior location near the New Book shelves, I get first crack at the new items that come in, including the chapter books, the picture books, even nonfiction and biographies. Did you know that a biography is a book about a real person? Today I snuck a new biography about Peter Roget, the person who made Roget’s Thesaurus. Guess what? A thesaurus is not a dinosaur. It’s a list of words, and the ones that mean the same thing are all grouped together. Peter Roget always made lists of things, from when he was a very little boy, and one day those lists became his first thesaurus. 

You can even browse a version of Roget’s Thesaurus online.

The right word: Roget and his thesaurus by Jen Bryant, author ; Melissa Sweet, illustrator


Find other fascinating stories about real people in the J Biography section at the back of the Children’s Department, or ask a Children's Librarian.