There are all kinds of angels. There are the sort that make grand pronouncements from God—bright, shining beings that are meant to be obeyed. They usually say their piece, and then they’re gone, leaving humans to make the best they can of the situation. That wasn’t the kind of angel that followed Henry Bright home from the Great War. No. This was the kind of angel who hung around and made suggestions, pretty much constantly.
The most exciting day in the world of children’s and teen literature happened just last week; the American Library Association announced the winners of the 2015 Youth Media Awards! I was thrilled that the winners for many of the more “mainstream” awards, such as the Newbery, reflected varied experiences. “We Need Diverse Books,” a campaign to “address the lack of diverse, non-majority narratives in children’s literature,” began just last year. African-American author Jacqueline Woodson’s childhood experience explains why this movement is crucial, “I’d never have believed that someone who looked like me could be in the pages of the book, that someone who looked like me had a story.” Every child should be able to identify themselves in literatures, and be secure and informed in the knowledge that their cultural group’s history is America’s history. Here’s a small sampling of the diverse award winners; visit ala.org/yma for a complete list.
Dubbed “The Haunted Housewife,” author Theresa Argie loves the paranormal. Since her first scary experience as a child, her quest has been to find the most haunted places across the country. With journalist Eric Olsen, Argie gives readers first-person accounts of some of the scariest places in the United States.
Libraries make a difference! The Central Rappahannock Regional Library was honored with the annual Community Impact Award from the Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce on January 30, in recognition of the library’s bold vision to expand opportunities for people in the community.
The library has taken an active role in responding to the educational, recreational, and informational needs of community members in both traditional and innovative ways:
The Kids Expo is a family fun event at the Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center on Saturday, February 14 from 10:00 - 5:00 and Sunday, February 15 from 11:00 - 4:00. Stop by the library's table to play tetris with robot arms, conduct experiments with static electricity and enjoy a shapes in nature matching game.
Want a book that takes you on a leisurely journey into magical realms, punctuated by extreme fight scenes? The Ropemaker, by Peter Dickinson, is a hero quest where getting to know the characters and exploring its very detailed world are on at least an equal footing with the magic-drenched action sequences.
Edward Rutherfurd’s New York is an intriguing saga of immigrant families spanning four centuries.
Recently, kindergarten students in Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Westmoreland counties, and the City of Fredericksburg received something special from their teachers. An application for a library card! The goal is for every child to have the opportunity to explore the wonderful world of over 700,00 books, DVDs and audios, homework help, and after-school enrichment opportunities available to them at no cost from the public library.
Why would someone who seems to have the perfect family risk everything by having an affair? In Courtney Maum’s debut novel I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, Richard Haddon, a 34-year-old British artist, living in Paris with his French wife Anne and their daughter, has just had his first successful solo art show. Many would think he has the perfect life.