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Many of the authors we've chosen through the years have published new titles! Here's a list of what to read next from Adult Contemporary authors and enjoy reading throughout the 62 Days of Summer! 

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is "as good as anyone." Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides "physical, intellectual and moral training" so the delinquent boys in their charge can become "honorable and honest men." In reality, the Nickel Academy is a grotesque chamber of horrors where the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear "out back." Stunned to find himself in such a vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold onto Dr. King's ringing assertion "Throw us in jail and we will still love you." His friend Turner thinks Elwood is worse than naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. The tension between Elwood's ideals and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. Formed in the crucible of the evils Jim Crow wrought, the boys' fates will be determined by what they endured at the Nickel Academy. Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.

Lost roses : a novel by Martha Hall Kelly

It is 1914, and the world has been on the brink of war so often, many New Yorkers treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanovs. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. Now Eliza embarks on the trip of a lifetime, home with Sofya to see the splendors of Russia: the church with the interior covered in jeweled mosaics, the Rembrandts at the tsar's Winter Palace, the famous ballet. But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia's imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortune-teller's daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household. On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya's letters suddenly stop coming, she fears the worst for her best friend. From the turbulent streets of St. Petersburg and aristocratic countryside estates to the avenues of Paris where a society of fallen Russian émigrés live to the mansions of Long Island, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka will intersect in profound ways. In her newest powerful tale told through female-driven perspectives, Martha Hall Kelly celebrates the unbreakable bonds of women's friendship, especially during the darkest days of history.

On this day, July 8, 2011, Atlantis made its final liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. After 31 years of manned space flights into the Earth's orbit and back, the Space Shuttle program was officially retired from service. The shuttle program launched 135 missions, traveled 542,398,878 miles, and flew 21,152 orbits around the Earth, carried 355 people and 3.5 million pounds of payload. The purpose of the program was to transport crew and cargo from Earth to orbit, but its mission expanded to the International Space Station. There were 133 successful flights, but 2 very tragic failures. Both the Challenger and Columbia missions lost 7 crew members each. Want to learn more? Here's some resources to get your started!

On February 1, 2003, Columbia disintegrated on reentry before the nation's eyes, and all seven astronauts aboard were lost. Author Mike Leinbach, Launch Director of the space shuttle program at NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center was a key leader in the search and recovery effort as NASA, FEMA, the FBI, the US Forest Service, and dozens more federal, state, and local agencies combed an area of rural east Texas the size of Rhode Island for every piece of the shuttle and her crew they could find. Assisted by hundreds of volunteers, it would become the largest ground search operation in US history. For the first time, here is the definitive inside story of the Columbia disaster and recovery and the inspiring message it ultimately holds. In the aftermath of tragedy, people and communities came together to help bring home the remains of the crew and nearly 40 percent of shuttle, an effort that was instrumental in piecing together what happened so the shuttle program could return to flight and complete the International Space Station. Bringing Columbia Home shares the deeply personal stories that emerged as NASA employees looked for lost colleagues and searchers overcame immense physical, logistical, and emotional challenges and worked together to accomplish the impossible. Featuring a foreword and epilogue by astronauts Robert Crippen and Eileen Collins, and dedicated to the astronauts and recovery search persons who lost their lives, this is an incredible, compelling narrative about the best of humanity in the darkest of times and about how a failure at the pinnacle of human achievement became a story of cooperation and hope.

The real-life techno-thriller from a bestselling author and aviation expert that recaptures the historic moments leading up to the launch of the space shuttle Columbia and the exciting story of her daring maiden flight. Using interviews, NASA oral histories, and recently declassified material, Into the Black pieces together the dramatic untold story of the Columbia mission and the brave people who dedicated themselves to help the United States succeed in the age of space exploration. On April 12, 1981, NASA's Space Shuttle Columbia blasted off from Cape Canaveral. It was the most advanced, state-of-the-art flying machine ever built, challenging the minds and imagination of America's top engineers and pilots. Columbia was the world's first real spaceship: a winged rocket plane, the size of an airliner, and capable of flying to space and back before preparing to fly again. On board were moonwalker John Young and test pilot Bob Crippen. Less than an hour after Young and Crippen's spectacular departure from the Cape, all was not well. Tiles designed to protect the ship from the blowtorch burn of re-entry were missing from the heat shield. If the damage to Columbia was too great, the astronauts wouldn't be able to return safely to earth. NASA turned to the National Reconnaissance Office, a spy agency hidden deep inside the Pentagon whose very existence was classified. To help the ship, the NRO would attempt something never done before. Success would require skill, perfect timing, and luck. Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, Into the Black is a thrilling race against time and the incredible true story of the first space shuttle mission that celebrates our passion for spaceflight.

 

Did you miss our Pants Storytime this week? Don't worry, here's what you missed, plus a few more suggestions so you can create your own pant-astic storytime at home, complete with songs and stories.

Don't need a full storytime? Borrow a rhyme when you need a short distraction, or check out these materials and spend a few minutes reading together.

From Storytime

 

IF YOU'RE WEARING PANTS (Tune: If You're Happy and You Know It)

If you’re wearing pants and you know it, clap your hands

If you’re wearing pants and you know it, clap your hands

If you’re wearing pants and you know it, and you really want to show it,

If you're wearing pants and you know it, clap your hands.

[continue with stomp your feet, peekaboo, shout hurray!]

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Boston's massacre by Eric Hinderaker

On the night of March 5, 1770, British soldiers fired into a crowd gathered in front of Boston's Custom House, killing five people. Denounced as an act of unprovoked violence and villainy, the event that came to be known as the Boston Massacre is one of the most familiar incidents in American history, yet one of the least understood. Eric Hinderaker revisits this dramatic episode, examining in forensic detail the facts of that fateful night, the competing narratives that molded public perceptions at the time, and the long campaign afterward to transform the tragedy into a touchstone of American identity.

Canada Day celebrates the 1867 enactment of the Constitution Act which united the three colonies of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the Province of Canada (Ontario and Quebec) into a single country. In honor of our northern neighbor read about some of her most illustrious native sons and daughters, past and present. For information on the history of Canada you can check here. For more noteworthy Canadians check here.

A dual portrait of the irrepressible orphan Anne of Green Gables and her creator covers such topics as the death of Montgomery's mother, her life on Prince Edward Island, and the inspiration for the "e" at the end of Anne's name..

Fifteen years ago on this day, July 1st, the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft reached the orbit of Saturn. It took 7 years to get there from Earth and it stayed in orbit for 13 years. The orbiter (Cassini) and lander (Huygens), which were named after astromers Giovanni Cassini and Christiaan Huygens, reported back valuable data about the planet, its icy moons and wondrous rings. Its last act of service was known as The Grand Finale. The spacecraft  made a flyby of Titan, then dived between Saturn's rings before its final plunge. Intrigued? We got a dvd for that!

Almost everything we know today about the beautiful giant ringed planet comes from Cassini, the NASA mission that launched in 1997 and arrived at Saturn in 2004. Since then, the spacecraft has been beaming home miraculous images and scientific data, revealing countless wonders about the planet, its rings, and 62 moons—including some that could harbor life. As the mission approaches its final days in 2017, it attempts one last set of daring maneuvers—diving between the innermost ring and the top of Saturn’s atmosphere. Aiming to skim less than 2,000 miles above the cloud tops, no spacecraft has ever gone so close to Saturn and hopes are high for incredible observations that could solve major mysteries about the planet’s core. But such a daring maneuver comes with many risks. Join NASA engineers for the tense and triumphant moments as they find out if their gambit has paid off, and discover the wonders that Cassini has revealed over the years.

On this day, June 28th, Elon Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa in 1971. He is an entrepreneur, inventor, engineer and visionary. And that's not all! He's also the co-founder Tesla Motors which is an American automotive company specializing in electric car manufacturing and sustainable energy. As of May 2019, his net worth is over $19.3 Billion. Mr. Musk also founded SpaceX, an Aerospace manufacturer and space transportation company. SpaceX is the first private company to successfully launch, orbit and send a spacecraft to the International Space Station. Last year, it launched the first object to orbit around the sun. They are working on interplanetary spaceflight. Sounds like a mission! Want to learn more? Here's some books that may inspire your interest in space travel. 

The historic quest to rekindle the human exploration and colonization of space led by two rivals and their vast fortunes, egos, and visions of space as the next entrepreneurial frontier. The Space Barons is the story of a group of billionaire entrepreneurs who are pouring their fortunes into the epic resurrection of the American space program. Nearly a half-century after Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, these Space Barons-most notably Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, along with Richard Branson and Paul Allen-are using Silicon Valley-style innovation to dramatically lower the cost of space travel, and send humans even further than NASA has gone. These entrepreneurs have founded some of the biggest brands in the world-Amazon, Microsoft, Virgin, Tesla, PayPal-and upended industry after industry. Now they are pursuing the biggest disruption of all: space. Based on years of reporting and exclusive interviews with all four billionaires, this authoritative account is a dramatic tale of risk and high adventure, the birth of a new Space Age, fueled by some of the world's richest men as they struggle to end governments' monopoly on the cosmos. The Space Barons is also a story of rivalry-hard-charging startups warring with established contractors, and the personal clashes of the leaders of this new space movement, particularly Musk and Bezos, as they aim for the moon and Mars and beyond.

Hamish McKenzie tells how a Silicon Valley start-up's wild dream came true. Tesla is a car company that stood up against not only the might of the government-backed Detroit car manufacturers but also the massive power of Big Oil and its benefactors, the infamous Koch brothers. 
The award-winning Tesla Model 3, a premium mass-market electric car that went on sale in 2018, has reconfigured the popular perception of Tesla and continues to transform the public's relationship with motor vehicles--much like Ford's Model T did nearly a century ago. At the same time, company CEO Elon Musk courts controversy and spars with critics through his Twitter account, just as Tesla's ever-increasing debt teeters on junk bond status. As McKenzie's rigorously reported account shows, Tesla has triggered frenzied competition from newcomers and traditional automakers alike, but it retains an edge because of its expansive infrastructure and the stupendous battery factory it built in the Nevada desert. The popularity of electric cars is growing around the world, especially in China, and McKenzie interviews little-known titans who have the money and the market access to power a global electric car revolution quickly and decisively. "Insane Mode" started off as a feature on the dual-motor Tesla Model S, which gave the car Ferrari-like acceleration, but it's also the perfect description of the operating cycle of a company that has sworn it won't rest until every car on the road is electric. Here is a story about the very best kind of American ingenuity and its history-making potential. Buckle up!

 

If you enjoyed reading about Molly McIntire, the American Girl character from Illinois in 1944, and her adventures at summer camp, you might enjoy these other books about camping, World War II, and other fun topics.

Fiction

Secrets from the sleeping bag by Rose (Barbara Rose) Cooper

During four weeks of summer camp Sofia Becker writes all the juciest information in her notebook, so she can continue her blog when she returns home.

Many of us look forward to the end of the busy work week. Whether you are in school or work, Friday is by far the best day of the week. But on Friday, June 21st, there's another reason to celebrate. It's Take Your Dog to Work Day! Make sure you have permission from your boss or company before bringing your best friend to the workplace. More than half of all households in America own a dog. The presence of pets reduces our stress level and benefits our overall wellbeing. But if you don't own a dog or unable to bring your dog to work, consider a fundraiser for a local rescue shelter or share your pet pictures with your coworkers for a fun photo contest. Here's some books from the pet collection to spark your inspiration!

Dogs : 500 pooch portraits to brighten your day by photographer Michelle Perkins

Ask any dog lover: dogs and puppies are the best thing ever! Dogs lift our moods, lower our blood pressure, and improve our sense of well-being. In fact, people who have pets in their lives even live longer! In this book, we've collected 500 photos that capturing the beauty and personality of a wide range of breeds--and wide variety of dogs' favorite activities, from lazy naps to spirited romps on the beach. Inspirational quotes about dogs and their honored roles in our families add another level of optimism and love. This book is perfect for moms, grandparents, teachers, kids or anyone who might need a little lift. Just a few minutes with these adorable canine faces provides a boost that will last all day!

Based on the Twitter and Instagram sensation, #WeRateDogs features the most heroic, over-the-top adorable, wildly successful, all-around entertaining dogs the world has ever seen! It combines extraordinary photos with ridiculous captions to expand the knowledge and overall lives of its readers. It is not only an exceptionally reliable source for dog greatness, it is also a one stop shop for happiness. This book takes readers on a journey through the strict science of dog rating and the unwavering rules associated with it. Questioning the accuracy of these ratings is ill-advised. They are certainly not arbitrary and this book is absolutely not just about how cute dogs are. It truly is all about precision and ethics in dog rating. The #WeRateDogs book will produce an audible reaction with every flip of the page--whether a groan from a terrible pupper pun or an "aww" of seeing a super floofer. If #WeRateDogs takes you away from reality and pushes you into this conglomerate of absurdity for even a second, then it has fulfilled its purpose.

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