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Contests for writers and artists

Has a book changed your life? Are you passionate about the environment? You might be interested in two upcoming contests sponsored by the Library of Congress. Letters About Literature is a letter writing contest. To enter, children and teens write a letter to an author of a book that has changed their lives. There are three levels for grades 4-6, 7-8 and 9-12, with a state and national winner at each level. There are cash prizes for the winners and their community or school library at each level, provided by Target. The deadline for this competition is December 12, 2009. River of Words is an environmental poetry and art contest on the theme of WATERSHEDS.

new Lemony Snicket?

Egmont Press has released the news that Lemony Snicket will author a new series of books set for release in 2012.

"I can neither confirm nor deny that I have begun research into a new case, and I can neither confirm nor deny that the results are as dreadful and unnerving as A Series Of Unfortunate Events. However, I can confirm that Egmont will be publishing these findings," Snicket, the pen name of San Francisco author Daniel Handler, said in a statement.

Have you read Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events yet? If not, you've got time before the new series.

Fun Festivals & Fairs

As summer begins to wind down and fall begins to rev up, keep the fun going! Visit one of Michigan's great fall Festivals & Fairs.
The Michigan State Fair is going on now through Labor Day. See www.absolutemichigan.com for a schedule of events.
Check out www.Michigan.org for the many festivals and fairs available in just about every city.
Visit our large selections of materials on festivals and fairs. Some to check-out are:

Actors' Birthdays

Macaulay Culkin and Keke Palmer share a birthday today, August 26th. Both have starred in numerous kid's movies. Macaulay as Kevin McCallister in the first two Home Alone movies, a role created with him in mind. Keke has starred as a National Spelling Bee contestant in Akeelah and the Bee, and currently stars in the popular Nickelodean series True Jackson VP, coming soon to CPL.

National Dog Day

Make today special for your furry friends! Celebrate National Dog Day all day. If you have a dog, take some time to read them a story about a famous canine, or teach your dog some new tricks. If you don't have a dog at home, check out one of our puppets for Dog Day. Whatever way you celebrate, make sure you do something to honor our Best Friends.

Manga Drawing Contest '09 Image Gallery

You can now see all of our participant's entries in our image gallery. We had almost 70 people enter this year, and with so many of the entries being really fantastic the judging was very tough. Thank you to everyone who entered! We enjoyed seeing everyone's art, and hopefully you will too! Included below is the list of winners only:

Michigan Renaissance Festival Opens Saturday

Travel back to the 16th century when the 31st annual Michigan Renaissance Festival opens Saturday, August 22 for a 7-week run. Hilarity and merriment will ensue, with live entertainment from Ded Bob, Ric Roc, Owain Phyfe and other faire favorites, plus jousting, wine-tasting and special events each weekend. The festival runs every Saturday-Sunday through October 4.

Hawaii's Statehood Birthday - August 21st!

On August 21, 1959 Hawaii was granted statehood, making the grand total of states in the United States 50.  Celebrate its statehood by enjoying some great stories that take place in this awesome island paradise. 
Calvin Coconut in Trouble Magnet (Salisbury) is about a nine-year-old boy who catches the attention of the school bully on the day before he starts fourth grade, while at home, the unfriendly, fifteen-year-old daughter of his mother's best friend has taken over his room.

Celebrate Poet's Day!

Celebrate Poet's Day on August 21st. Take the time to honor your favorite poet, especially if it's yourself! Write a poem, read a poem or perform a poem.  You could even comment on this post with one of your favorites.

Pick Up Some Historical Fiction

Every August I look forward to the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival! There's lots of cool crafts for sale, yummy fair food, and a living history area where you can see how 19th century Michiganders lived. Whenever the festival comes, it always makes me want to pick up a good piece of Civil War historical fiction. My favorites are the ones by Ann Rinaldi. She even wrote one about a girl from Michigan who runs off to join the Union Army during the Civil War. There's a ton to choose from at the library, so stop by and give one a try. Happy reading!

Green Reads

Did you notice that a lot of new books feature stories about the environment? Even some of our favorite characters are "going green". Check out these titles to see what I mean:

SpongeBob goes green!: an earth-friendly adventure by Molly Reisner; illustrated by Stephen Reed

OK go by Carin Berger

Cam Jansen and the green school mystery by David A. Adler; illustrated by Joy Allen

Just Grace goes green by written and illustrated by Charise Mericle Harper

Enter the earth by Lee Welles; illustrated by Ann Hameister

Scat by Carl Hiaasen

My life in pink & green by Lisa Greenwald

Reading together

Everyone knows that reading aloud is good for children, but did you know that it also has significant benefits for grown-ups and families as well? The connection that is created when people read together can't be overstated. Take some time to read with your family today.

Manga Drawing Contest '09 Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered our Manga Drawing Contest! We had an impressive 68 entries this year. Because we got so many we decided to divide it into three catagories: 5-6 grade, 7-9 grade, and 10-12 grade. We have included a few 'honorable mentions' the judges gave out, even though they do not win a prize, but if truth be told many more deserve 'honorable mention'; the drawings were amazing this year and judging was really tough. Later this week we will post a proper gallery with all participants' entries for people to see. Without futher ado, the winners are:

5-6 Grade:

August Tween Book & Pizza Registration

If you're going into 5th or 6th grade this fall, make sure to register for this month's Tween Book & Pizza Club! We're meeting on Saturday, August 29, from 1-2pm. This month we're reading Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie S. Tolan, a funny story about the most alternative school you've ever heard of. Registration begins Saturday, August 15, at 9am, so sign up and then stop by the library to pick up your copy of the book. See you soon!

Goosey Goodness

I finally got around to reading The Goose Girl -it came out way back in 2003- and I just have to say, 'Man, why did I wait so long?' If you haven't taken the plunge yet, Shannon Hale reworks an old, gruesome Grimm's fairy tale into a beautiful bit of adventure storytelling. I think the thing that sold it for me though is that she does such a good job of creating very original rules for her 'girl talks with animals' schtick that it makes all the fantasy somehow feel very realistic. I'm definitely picking up the next book in this series, and you should too...

Thorndyke Thoughts

Hey Kids! Wowzers! I am SO proud of you! Did you know that an incredible 4,798 kids and teens signed up for Summer Reading 2009?!?! And that 2,384 kids and teens finished summer reading and got books from the Scholastic Book Fair sponsored by the Friends of the Library? Thanks Friends! The Adult Librarians told me that over 1000 grown-ups signed up for summer reading and lots of them earned books too. I think you all deserve a pat on the back. Go you!

Happy Birthday, Ann M. Martin!

Ann M. Martin, one of my all-time favorite authors, is celebrating her 54th birthday today. Stop by the CPL to check out one of her many awesome books. From the Baby-Sitters Club graphic novels, to the Main Street series, there's plenty to keep you busy. For further information on Ann, you can even check out her website. Happy reading!

Fantastic Fantasy!

August 16th marks the birth date of a fantastic fantasy author - Diana Wynne Jones. Her most recent book, The House of Many Ways (the sequel to Howl's Moving Castle) gives one a whole new perspective on housesitting. Charmain is ecstatic to get away from her parents and house-sit for her Great Uncle William, the Royal Wizard of Norland, but soon discovers the house has a mind of its own. The Game (2007) is an fascinating read for all fans of mythological fiction. Orphan Hayley is sent to a family gathering in Ireland.

Bedroom Makeover

Does your bedroom need a fresh look for the new school year? Have no fear, we have a interior decorating book just for you. For help with making over your bedroom, check out:

I wanna re-do my room by Clea Hantman; illustrated by Azadeh Houshyar

Bedroom makeover crafts by Kathy Ross; illustrated by Nicole in den Bosch

Room crafts: add some simple style to your space by from the editors of American Girl

MySpace and Facebook

Have you ever wished that you could do more with your MySpace or Facebook pages? Have you ever wondered how people customize their pages beyond the given capabilities or make those really cool apps? Well, we have a number of books that can help you do just that. Check out our selection of books for both MySpace and Facebook and get creative!