Chickens with superpowers, a farm full of junk to explore, and a series of mysterious typewritten letters are just a few of the wonders within this year’s Read Across Lawrence for Kids title, Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, by Kelly Jones. Jones, who recently answered a few of my questions about the book, will be available via Skype at the library on Sunday, February 19th, from 1:30-2:30 p.m. to answer more questions from kids (between bites of free pizza donated by Rudy’s). Join us for this and the other events we’ve put together this month with the help of KU Libraries and the Friends of the Library to celebrate this unique book. Read More..
Read Across Lawrence
Our all-ages storytime on SAT, Feb 18 at 1 PM in our Readers’ Theater features the Dominican Republic!
Learn to dance the merengue, hear stories in English and Spanish, and try new snacks you’ve maybe never eaten before!
Author of 19 books and three collections of poetry, Alvarez will talk about her books, in particular, In the Time of the Butterflies and Return to Sender, and what it means to be a citizen of the world as a woman, writer, and activist.
This event is free and open to the public. No tickets required. Lobby opens at 6 PM. The Lied Center is located at 1600 Stewart Drive, Lawrence, KS.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Julia Alvarez is the recipient of two Pura Belpre awards and the Hispanic Heritage Award in Literature. She was born in New York City, and spent her early childhood in the Dominican Republic. Her family was forced to flee in 1960 because of her father’s participation in an attempt to overthrow the country’s military dictator, Rafael Trujillo. She returned to New York as a ten year old and turned to books and writing to cope with language and culture barriers she faced upon returning to the land of her birth.
“Lawrence Public Library and its partners were among 75 groups nationwide to receive a Big Read Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. This is a huge honor and the first time that Lawrence has earned this grant, which makes it possible to bring Ms. Alvarez to Lawrence. KU Libraries look forward to sharing the scholarship and collections of our Latin and Caribbean Studies scholars through the collaborative programming being developed for the Lawrence community,” said Sarah Goodwin Thiel, Head of KU Libraries’ Center for Community Engagement.
Offered in partnership with KU Libraries, the KU Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and the Lied Center of Kansas. NEA Big Read is program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.
Though it is billed as the “teen” Read Across Lawrence pick, Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez is a highly recommended read for adults as well. Told through alternating perspectives, it is a story of friendship and conflict between teens from two different worlds, their families, and their communities. Tyler is the son of a Vermont dairy farm family in need of assistance in order to save their farm. Mari is the eldest daughter in a family of migrant workers who come to work for them. When Tyler learns that Mari’s family is in the country illegally and that his parents knew this when they were hired, the first of many questions about right and wrong surrounding immigration is raised. The reader must come to their own conclusions, though, as Return to Sender doesn’t provide any easy answers.
Miriam Wallen, Young Adult Librarian and coordinator for the Teen Zone, encourages readers to be inspired into action and help in sending books to immigrant children in the United States. Throughout the month of February, we will be collecting small donations to help purchase Spanish language and dual-language children’s books that will be sent to groups who work with immigrant children, especially with those traveling alone.
This book drive was inspired by REFORMA, a part of the American Library Association, and its Children in Crisis Program. REFORMA sends books to charities that work with immigrant children, as well as to border patrol facilities and pro-bono legal representatives.
You can read more about their activities in these articles:
- REFORMA Brings Books, Backpacks,and Support to Unaccompanied Minors
- A Path Forward: How Libraries Support Refugee Children
If you would like to contribute, look for the donation box at any Read Across Lawrence/ Big Read teen or adult programs. Alternatively, you can check out the list of requested books here or donate any Spanish Language or dual-language (Spanish and English) books you don’t need. Just drop them off in the Teen Zone!
If you are interested in more books about teen immigrant stories like Return to Sender, to read or discuss with your community, you can find some here!
In the words of REFORMA member and author Lucía M González:
“Un libro es un compañero que te da luz y cobijo”
(“A book is a companion that gives you light and shelter”)
-Kate Gramlich is a Reader’s Services Assistant at Lawrence Public Library.
(header img by Phil Roeder)
We’re so excited to read together! On Saturday, Feb 4 from 11 AM–12 PM, snag your very own copy of the NEA Big Read adult book, In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez, sip some Dominican coffee, enjoy pastries, and hear about all the great events we have planned for you through March 5.
Meet up in the Auditorium! First come, first served!
Our month-long community read for kids starts with magic and free books! See Korso the Curious and hear what we have in store for Kids RAL 2017!
On Saturday, Feb 4 from 2-3 PM in the Auditorium, kids ages 7-11 can get a free copy of Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones while supplies last.
Let’s say that a sudden accident has left you stranded and alone on a faraway planet (Does this scenario ring some bells? If not, come by the Library to check out a copy of this year’s Read Across Lawrence pick, Andy Weir’s The Martian). How on (off?) Earth are you going to get out of this predicament?
Between you and me, if you find yourself in this situation, you’re going to wish you had spent some time at the library, because it’s knowledge and know-how that can give you a fighting chance. Want to study up in case you find yourself involved in an interplanetary mishap? I’ve got a few reading suggestions to get you started! Read More..
Road trips don’t get much stranger than the one 11-year old Gratuity Tucci must make, accompanied by a soap-eating alien named J-Lo, in this year’s Read Across Lawrence for Kids title, The True Meaning of Smekday. But author and illustrator Adam Rex, whose “divinely demented” sensibility has entertained children and adults alike for over a decade, rarely stays on the map.
Rex, who will join us via Skype on February 27th to crown a month of events we’ve put together with the help of KU Libraries and the Friends of the Library, recently answered a few questions about his book, free copies of which will be distributed (along with pizza, but not soap) to kids at the kickoff party on January 30th. Read More..
So you loved Chasing Vermeer, but now you’re looking for a new book to read? We’re on the case with recommendations with books full of art, mysteries, and puzzles!
There are plenty of books to keep you guessing, with missing paintings, art heists, and even paintings as portals to another world. Or maybe you’d like a book with codes to solve or secret societies, treasure hunts, or missing magicians. Find them all in the catalog!
Don’t worry, we won’t get too romantic on you guys. This evening’s Nerd Nite is exploring the nature and myths of love. Whether it’s the myth of the perfect family, the perfect relationship, or questioning roots of violence against women (which is too often couched with the term love). For full bios and descriptions check out our local site. Grab a beverage and prepare to question the very nature of affection and romance.
The Myth of White Picket Fences: The American dream confronted in Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson.
Housekeeping in all of it’s formats!
Idioms, currencies, and fantasies: An exploration into the tenants of relational satisfaction
Casing interpersonal communication: Case studies in personal and social relationships by Dawn O. Braithwaite
Why we love: The nature and chemistry of romantic love by Helen E. Fisher
Anthropologist Fisher argues that much of our romantic behavior is hard-wired in this provocative examination of love. Her case is bolstered by behavioral research into the effects of two crucial chemicals, norepinephrine and dopamine, and by surveys she conducted across broad populations. When we fall in love, she says, our brains create dramatic surges of energy that fuel such feelings as passion, obsessiveness, joy and jealousy. Fisher devotes a fascinating and substantial chapter to the appearance of romance and love among non-human animals, and composes careful theories about early humans in love. One of her many surprising conclusions suggests that, since “four-year birth intervals were the regular pattern of birth spacing during our long human prehistory,” our modern brains still deal with relationships in serially monogamous terms of about four years. Indeed, Fisher gathered data from around the world showing that divorce was most prevalent in the fourth year of marriage, when a couple had a single dependent child. Fisher also reports on the behaviors that lead to successful lifelong partnerships and offers, based on what she’s observed, numerous tips on staying in love. And though she’s certain that chemicals are at love’s heart, Fisher never loses her sense of the emotion’s power or poetry.
As women everywhere will attest, when it comes to understanding female sexuality, most guys know more about what’s under the hood of a car than under the hood of a clitoris. And while it seems that men have struggled valiantly since the dawn of time to find ways to reliably elicit the female orgasm, rare is the guy who has the modesty to ask: “What do I do?” Ironically, the answer has always been right there on the tip of his tongue. Welcome to the world of She Comes First, where the mystery of female satisfaction is solved and the tongue is proven mightier than the sword. According to Ian Kerner, clinical sexologist and evangelist of the female orgasm, oral sex has long been deemed an optional aspect of foreplay, but, in fact, it’s coreplay — simply the best way for leading a woman through the entire process of sexual response. Fun, informative, and easy to read, She Comes First is a virtual encyclopedia of female pleasure, detailing dozens of tried-and-true techniques for consistently satisfying a woman and illustrated step-by-step instructions to ensure success. These simple methods represent a new era in sexual intimacy, one in which the exchange of pleasure occurs on a level playing field and fulfillment is mutual. She Comes First exuberantly offers a fresh new sexual philosophy that inspires every man to make a mantra of Rhett Butler’s infamous line to Scarlett O’Hara, “You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how.”
Against Love by Laura Kipnis
Against Love examines the meaning and cultural significance of adultery, arguing that perhaps the question concerns not only the private dilemma of whether or not to be faithful but also the purpose of this much-vaunted fidelity. It offers no easy answers. Rather, it intends to engage you in a commonsensical and brave examination of the plight of the modern personality, caught between the vicissitudes of desire and the decrees of social conformity.
Sex matters: The sexuality and society reader by Mindy Stombler
This anthology of more than 50 readings from contemporary scholarly literature, trade books, and popular media, looks at the dual forces of social construction and social control of sexuality.
Massage and Loving by Anne Hooper
Great sex: A man’s guide to the secret principles of total-body sex by Michael Castleman
Author Michael Castleman is the nation’s top journalist specializing in men’s sexuality. He has been a sex educator, counselor, and writer for 30 years, including 5 years as the expert who answered the sex questions submitted to the Playboy Advisor. Written with the help of an advisory board that includes some of the nation’s leading sex therapists, Great Sex is certain to help you overcome your sex problems; become a better, more confident lover; and enjoy the sex of your dreams.
No Means No: Shining light on violence against women and how hope and healing persevere
Gina Egan, PhD
Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn
New York Times columnist Kristof and his wife, WuDunn, a former Times reporter, make a brilliantly argued case for investing in the health and autonomy of women worldwide. “More girls have been killed in the last fifty years, precisely because they were girls, than men were killed in all the wars of the twentieth century,” they write, detailing the rampant “gendercide” in the developing world, particularly in India and Pakistan. Far from merely making moral appeals, the authors posit that it is impossible for countries to climb out of poverty if only a fraction of women (9% in Pakistan, for example) participate in the labor force. China’s meteoric rise was due to women’s economic empowerment: 80% of the factory workers in the Guangdong province are female; six of the 10 richest self-made women in the world are Chinese. The authors reveal local women to be the most effective change agent.
The New Soft War on Women by Caryl Rivers
Rivers and Barnett’s (She Works/He Works) vital study of the state of women in the labor force draws upon statistics, interviews, and cultural analysis, to argue that, contrary to the widespread belief that women are outstripping men in the classroom and workforce (“the myth of female ascendance”), the situation is far from ideal. Moreover, the authors claim that gains that women have made since the early part of the 20th century, such as access to contraception, are in danger of disappearing. Although the copious use of statistics to debunk myths can become tiresome, it’s hard to ignore overwhelming evidence that shows the undesirable and unsustainable conditions women face in the 21st century. Though many struggles sound old hat-whether women are natural caretakers and subordinates, the struggle to balance career and family, the undue influence of a woman’s appearance, the disparity in wages-this book will move readers who believe that feminism is an outdated movement, or that gender discrimination is a thing of the past. Although the book doesn’t offer comprehensive strategies to win the “soft war,” it effectively shows how old ideas are still at work and unveils their contemporary manifestations.
Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Kirby Dick investigates the troubling epidemic of rape in the military while speaking with courageous victims who have refused to be intimidated into silence. In 2009 alone, 16,150 service members were sexually assaulted. Meanwhile, it’s estimated that female soldiers in the U.S. military are more likely to be raped by a male soldier than shot by an enemy combatant. Despite the overwhelming evidence presented by these victimized soldiers, however, only 2% of rape accusations in the military end in prosecution. In some cases, male soldiers have even been awarded medals for bravery and professionalism while being investigated for rape. In addition to hearing from women who have been sexually assaulted while serving their country, we also learn how systemic corruption allows the vast majority of their attackers to walk free and what is now being done to ensure that no crime goes unpunished.
Jackson Katz’s TedTalk: Violence against women -it’s a men’s issue
Domestic violence and sexual abuse are often called “women’s issues.” But in this bold, blunt talk, Jackson Katz points out that these are intrinsically men’s issues — and shows how these violent behaviors are tied to definitions of manhood. A clarion call for us all — women and men — to call out unacceptable behavior and be leaders of change
Websites Gina recommends.
V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. Vday.org is their website.
Another website is A Call To Men aims to end violence towards women by educating men.
http://knowyourix.org/ educates students about their rights under title IX.
David Lisak & Paul M. Miller’s paper on Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists