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2010 Award Winners Announced

ALA announced the Youth Media Award winners today. To look at all the winners and honors for these and the rest of the awards (including Coretta Scott King and Pura Belpre) take a peek here!

Baby, it's cold outside!

Snow is on the ground, the days are long and grey, and cold wind bites your face when you step outside. Time to head to the beach! If a real beach vacation isn't on your calendar, try a literary vacation with some of these great characters:

Appreciate a Dragon Day

Did you know that January 16 is Appreciate a Dragon Day?! It's a day where kids are encouraged to visit their local library to look for books about dragons. You can study what other cultures and societies believe about dragons, or just read a story about them. It sounds pretty fun, and there's no shortage of dragon books here! Dragonology is a pretty cool one to try, but there's plenty more to choose from, too! Happy reading!

Historical Romances on CD

Put these in your CD player and let the stories, ranging from sweeping epics to romantic suspense, carry you into the past.

Dress Up Your Pet Day

Today, January 14th, is National Dress Up Your Pet Day. It's a pretty good time of the year for that, I think, because it's cold outside and some pets might need to dress up in coats to keep warm! Just for fun, I put a warm scarf on my doggie... see him over there in that picture? If you don't have a pet of your own, or your pet doesn't like to wear clothes (because some of them don't enjoy it!), read some books about pets that get dressed up instead — like Blue from Blue's Clue's, or Annie and her pet rabbit Snowball, who are friends with the famous Henry and Mudge. Happy reading!

Mick Morris Myth Solver is Here!

YOU must decide how to end these thrilling, sensational tales. Five different options are possible with each story, ranging from 'normal' to very scary, to freakish, to shocking, to time traveling, to computer instant messaging, etc. These exciting page-turners are full of laughs that keep guys and gals coming back for more. Get started on this great new series by Michigan author Karen Bell-Brege and illustator Darrin Brege. Visit their website and find even more fun stuff. Go Michigan literary creators!

Val McDermid wins CWA Diamond Award

Britain’s Crime Writers’ Association has announced that Scottish novelist Val McDermid is “the recipient of this year’s prestigious CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger Award, which honours outstanding achievement in the field of crime writing." Ms. McDermid began writing in 1987 when Report for Murder was released and over the years has won numerous writing awards for her mystery stories.

All New Homespun Handknit

All New Homespun Handknit: 25 Small Projects to Knit with Handspun Yarn by Amy Clarke Moore

Knitting with handspun yarn is a treat, but it's also quite different from knitting with machine-spun yarn. It's not necessarily consistent in texture and thickness and it often surprises you as it knits up. The patterns offered here are perfectly suited to handspun and are, as the title says, small, which is also perfect as you often only have a limited amount of handspun in any given colorway.

Take the No Impact Experiment

Inspired by the book No Impact Man by Colin Beaven, the No Impact Project brings you the No Impact Experiment — a one-week carbon cleanse. Register on their website and each day of the week you will be given an environmental challenge that will build on the previous day’s challenge. At the end of the week you will be asked to fill in an eco-lifestyle survey. The experiment is a chance for you to see what no-impact living is like, and hopefully help to improve your quality of life. Not a bad way to start off the new year.

The Youngest Templar, Book II

In Book I of The Youngest Templar, the orphan Tristan teams up with Robard Hode and Maryam on a dangerous mission to return the Holy Grail to Britain. This exciting historical saga continues in Book II, Trail of Fate, as the three adventurers work together to protect the Holy Grail as they travel across France toward England, a journey that takes them to the Cathar fortress of Montségur.
There are many other captivating stories about knights and knighthood in the Children's Department, so come in and check some out!

Emergency Supplies

As the snow falls, this mom has but one thought. Do I have enough books if tomorrow is declared a snow day? Not for the children, silly. For me. A snow day means no alarm clock and a morning in jammies for the kids and me, so I need to stock up on new romances. Perhaps Shades of midnight by Lara Adrian: set in frozen Alaska, it would make our little snow seem like nothing. Maybe Our little secret by Starr Ambrose, which has a bit of mystery. Or a Regency like The bargain bride by Barbara Metzger. And something for the kids, too.

Most-Anticipated Books of 2010

Books, arts, and culture site The Millions wrote up a piece entitled Most Anticipated: The Great 2010 Book Preview, which features tons of great books to check out this year. We've already ordered many books on the list, so you can add your hold if so inclined:

Three Days Before the Shooting . . by Ralph Ellison - At his death in 1994, Ralph Ellison left behind roughly two thousand pages of his unfinished second novel, which he had spent nearly four decades writing. Long awaited, it was to have been the work Ellison intended to follow his masterpiece, Invisible Man...

The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris - In a radical departure from his satiric workplace comedy, Then We Came to the End (2007), Ferris turns in a dark and utterly compelling second novel on the insanity of modern life... [BookList Review]

Monsieur Pain by Roberto Bolaño - To drag fiction toward the unknown, [Bolaño] had to go there himself, and there invent a method with which to represent it. Since the unknown place was reality, the results are multi-dimensional. [The New York Review of Books]

2009 Cybils Finalists Are In

Q: What are the Cybils?

A: The Cybils reward the children’s and young adult authors, as well as illustrators, whose books combine the highest literary merit and "kid appeal." And foster a sense of community among bloggers who write about children’s and YA literature, highlight reviewers and provide a forum for the similarly interested.

For the list of YA finalists and for more information about the Cybils, check out the website here

Winter Crafts

If the cold temperatures are keeping you indoors, why not try doing some fun crafts to beat the winter blues? The book Crafts to Make in the Winter has some cool ideas, or you can try the Apples 4 the Teacher website for further suggestions. So get those creative juices flowing - there's all kinds of awesome stuff you can make!

How Safe is Your Drinking Water?

New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg discovers that drinking water can be legal and still be unhealthy in his series Toxic Waters. In researching the series, he studied thousands of water pollution records, which he obtained via the Freedom of Information Act and discovered that an estimated one out of ten Americans is exposed to unsafe drinking water. Look at What's in Your Water? to find out what the contaminant level is in your drinking water system. Also be sure to check out CPL’s water quality resources to find out more on this important topic.
[Photo courtesy of AP Images]

Happy New Year's Diet

Is your New Year's resolution, as it is for so many of us, to drop a few pounds in 2010? Or perhaps you just want to eat a healthier diet? Take a look at some of our newer, healthier cookbooks and start your year off right.

The Quiltmakers

Eight workshops from the world's best quilt makers offers a unique opportunity to take classes without leaving home. The book Quiltmakers covers a wide range of quiltmaking skills like perfect piecing, applique, template making, adding straight and mitred borders and quilting. Each chapter gives a step-by-step instruction to the project.

Staying Awake For 2010

Have you ever tried to stay up until midnight on New Year's Eve so you could ring in the new year with everyone? For some people, that's easy! But some need to practice staying up so they don't fall asleep. Read Just In Time For New Year's to find out how kittycats Harry and Emily do just that. Maybe you can even try their idea and see if it works for you! Happy New Year!

Fairy Tale Knits

Fairy Tale Knits: 32 Projects to Knit Happily Ever After by Alison Stewart-Guinee

Fairy tales are the source of so much pleasure, wonder, and imaginative play for children, and the patterns contained here are fanciful without sacrificing wearability. From the Snow Queen to Robin Hood to magic carpets, these projects explore classic fairy tale characters that are staples of playing dress-up. The garments are for the most part versatile enough for everyday wear as well, which will delight everyone who sees them.