Thank you to everyone who entered our 2021 LEGO® Building Contest! This year's theme was Looking Forward. What did you miss during the past year? What are you looking forward to? Watch our celebration video to see all the entries and which ones won!

Dark Academia is a subculture, or aesthetic, that has increased in popularity over the last year. It revolves heavily around reading, writing, academic life, and Greek and Gothic architectural styles. These books offer twists and turns, while encompassing the Dark Academia style.

Catherine House : a novel by Elisabeth Thomas

The Legend of Zelda was released in Japan on February 21st, 1986. The game's creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, wanted to bring the sense of adventure seen in movies such as Indiana Jones to a video game. The Legend of Zelda featured non-linear gameplay, puzzles, battles, and exploration. This game was the first installment in the Zelda franchise that would be followed by 18 main games, several spin-offs, and many remakes. Which Zelda game is your favorite?

Games

Determined mothers.

Tenacious activists.

Formidable women.

Powerful believers.

Those characteristics and the stories that tell readers how they were formed are available in the new history and biography books listed below.

Let us celebrate them.

Also available in: e-book

In her groundbreaking and essential debut The Three Mothers, scholar Anna Malaika Tubbs celebrates Black motherhood by telling the story of the three women who raised and shaped some of America's most pivotal heroes: Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin. Much has been written about Berdis Baldwin's son James, about Alberta King's son Martin Luther, and Louise Little's son Malcolm. But virtually nothing has been said about the extraordinary women who raised them, who were all born at the beginning of the 20th century and forced to contend with the prejudices of Jim Crow as Black women. Berdis, Alberta, and Louise passed their knowledge to their children with the hope of helping them to survive in a society that would deny their humanity from the very beginning-from Louise teaching her children about their activist roots, to Berdis encouraging James to express himself through writing, to Alberta basing all of her lessons in faith and social justice. These women used their strength and motherhood to push their children toward greatness, all with a conviction that every human being deserves dignity and respect despite the rampant discrimination they faced. These three mothers taught resistance and a fundamental belief in the worth of Black people to their sons, even when these beliefs flew in the face of America's racist practices and led to ramifications for all three families' safety. The fight for equal justice and dignity came above all else for the three mothers. These women, their similarities and differences, as individuals and as mothers, represent a piece of history left untold and a celebration of Black motherhood long overdue.

Dorothy Pitman Hughes was a transformative community organizer in New York City in the 1970s, who shared the stage with Gloria Steinem for five years, captivating audiences around the country. After leaving rural Georgia in the 1950s, she moved to New York, determined to fight for civil rights and equality. Lovett traces Pitman Hughes' transformation into a powerhouse activist determined to take on the needs of her community and build a platform for empowerment. She created lasting change by revitalizing her West Side neighborhood, a community subjected to racial discrimination, with nonexistent childcare and sub-standard housing, in which poverty, drug use, lack of job training, and the effects of the Vietnam War were evident She imagined and then created a high quality child care center which also offered job training, adult education classes, a Youth Action corps, housing assistance and food resources. Pitman Hughes' realization that the area could be revitalized by actively engaging and including the community was prescient and is startlingly relevant. As her stature and influence grew to a national level, Pitman Hughes went from the West Side to spending several years traversing the country with Steinem and educating people about feminism, childcare, and race. Pitman Hughes's community activism was transformed when she moved to Harlem in the 1970s to counter gentrification. She bought the franchise to the Miss Greater New York City pageant in order to demonstrate that black was beautiful. She also opened an office supply store and became a powerful voice for Black women entrepreneurs and Black-owned business only to be thwarted by plans for economic development that favored national chains over local businesses. Throughout every phase of her life, Pitman Hughes' understood the transformative power of activism with the Black community. 

Let's celebrate! There are so many ways to make cocktails and mocktails, enough to suit most anyone's taste buds. Enjoy these suggestions from our collection. Imbibe wisely!

Cocktail making is part art and part science--just like cooking. The first-ever cocktail book from America's Test Kitchen brings our objective, kitchen-tested and -perfected approach to the craft of making cocktails. You always want your cocktail to be something special--whether you're in the mood for a simple Negroni, a properly muddled Caipirinha, or a big batch of Margaritas or Bloody Marys with friends. After rigorous recipe testing, we're able to reveal not only the ideal ingredient proportions and best mixing technique for each drink, but also how to make homemade tonic for your Gin and Tonic, and homemade sweet vermouth and cocktail cherries for your Manhattan. And you can't simply quadruple any Margarita recipe and have it turn out right for your group of guests--to serve a crowd, the proportions must change. You can always elevate that big-batch Margarita, though, with our Smoked Rim Salt or Sriracha Rim Salt. How to Cocktail offers 125 recipes that range from classic cocktails to new America's Test Kitchen originals. Our two DIY chapters offer streamlined recipes for making superior versions of cocktail cherries, cocktail onions, flavored syrups, rim salts and sugars, bitters, vermouths, liqueurs, and more. And the final chapter includes a dozen of our test cooks' favorite cocktail-hour snacks. All along the way, we solve practical challenges for the home cook, including how to make an array of cocktails without having to buy lots of expensive bottles, how to use a Boston shaker, what kinds of ice are best and how to make them, and much more.

Kermit Versus Thorndyke Smackdown

 

Hey Kids,

Ever wondered whether a mosquito could take on a great white shark? Me neither. But now that you're thinking about it, how do a mosquito and a great white match up? If you're curious about this and other animal matchups, check out some of the books below. 

Bear Hugs,

Thorndyke

This title has lots of different matchups, if you just can't make a choice.

The following titles are new to the Young Adult shelves. They feature both contemporary and historical characters, but all add to the rich canon of black experience. 

All boys aren't blue : a memoir-manifesto by 1985- George M. (George Matthew) Johnson

A first book by the prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist shares personal essays that chronicle his childhood, adolescence and college years as a Black queer youth, exploring subjects ranging from gender identity and toxic masculinity to structural marginalization and Black joy.

The awakening of Malcolm X by Ilyasah Shabazz

While in Charlestown Prison in the 1940s, young Malcolm Little reads all the books in the library, joins the debate team and the Nation of Islam, and emerges as Malcolm X.

Black Lives Matter is a social movement that began with a hashtag protesting the acquittal of George Zimmerman in 2013. Over the next three years, thirty Black Lives Matter chapters opened throughout the country and thousands of activists took to the streets to protest the deaths and inhumane treatment of black folks, particularly by police brutality. Today, Black Lives Matter continues to grow and serves as a rallying cry for hundreds of thousands of people around the world. 

The following booklists include materials that affirm Black lives, discuss the Black Lives Matter movement, and address the fight for racial justice in America.

Image "George Floyd Protest" by Mike Von on Unsplash

The following books for upper-elementary and middle school kids feature stories that affirm Black lives, bodies, experiences, and culture. These books also offer opportunities for discussion about racial injustice among parents and children of all races.

Chapter Books and Novels

As brave as you by Jason Reynolds
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook | large print

When Genie and his older brother spend their summer in the country with their grandparents, he learns a secret about his grandfather and what it means to be brave.

Check out the following YA and Adult titles to read novels featuring romance between LGBTQ+ characters. 

YA Novels

Date me, Bryson Keller by Kevin Van Whye

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