Tuesday, June 28, 2022

June 28, 2022 - BCPL Children's Series of the Month

Thanks for stopping in, readers! We're looking forward to sharing our June Children's Series of the Month for 2022. This month we are featuring the Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park.

Junie B. Jones is a children's book series written by Barbara Park and illustrated by Denise Brunkus. Published by Random House from 1992 to 2013, the story centers around "almost six-year-old" Junie B. Jones and her adventures in kindergarten and first grade.

Barbara Park was born in Mount Holly, New Jersey, on April 21, 1947, and spent most of her adult life in Arizona. There she, with her husband, Richard, raised her two sons and spent time with her two young grandsons.

Barbara Park was best-known as the creator and author of the New York Times bestselling Junie B. Jones series, the stories of an outrageously funny kindergartener who has kept kids (and their grownups) laughing—and reading—for over two decades. Published by Random House Books for Young Readers, the series has sold over 60 million copies in North America alone, has been translated into multiple languages and is a beloved and time-honored staple in elementary school classrooms around the world.

The series was consistently a #1 New York Times bestseller, spending over 180 weeks on the list, and Barbara and her books were profiled in such national outlets as Time, Newsweek, USA Today, The New York Times, and Today.

Park died on Friday, November 15, 2013 after fighting ovarian cancer heroically for seven and a half years.

Barbara Park arrived at the writing profession through an indirect route. Before becoming a bestselling and beloved children’s author, she originally intended to teach high school history and political science. She got her secondary education degree but quickly realized that her calling was to be a writer. She said, "My senior year of high school, I was voted 'Wittiest.' So several years later, I decided to try my hand at writing humor and see if I could be witty enough to make some money."

After several rejections, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers acquired her first manuscript, Operation: Dump the Chump and two others. Don’t Make Me Smile was published first in 1981, followed by Operation: Dump the Chump (1982) and Skinnybones (1982).

Throughout her life, Barbara was passionate about supporting many causes. She was a “wish” for several children participating in the Make-a-Wish Foundation and would dedicate her upcoming books to kids whose dying wish was to meet her. Barbara also founded her own charitable organization with her husband, Richard—Sisters in Survival (“SIS”), a nonprofit organization dedicated to offering financial assistance to ovarian cancer patients. SIS is an all-volunteer organization, and all donations go directly to women struggling with ovarian cancer. Barbara’s family will continue to run SIS. (www.sistersinsurvival.org)

On writing books for kids, Barbara once said: "There are those who believe that the value of a children’s book can be measured only in terms of the moral lessons it tries to impose or the perfect role models it offers. Personally, I happen to think that a book is of extraordinary value if it gives the reader nothing more than a smile or two. In fact, I happen to think that’s huge."

Every bit as funny and as outrageous as her best-known character, Barbara shared a special connection with Junie B. Jones. She once said of the series, "I've never been sure whether Junie B.'s fans love her in spite of her imperfections . . . or because of them. But either way, she's gone out into the world and made more friends than I ever dreamed possible."

Looking to get into some shenanigans with Junie and her friends and family? Check out some of the titles we have available on WV Reads! 

Did you love Junie too as a kid? Maybe you read them to your elementary schoolers? Let us know! We love to hear from our readers.

As always, images and info are courtesy of Google, Wikipedia, WV Reads, and author webpages, etc.

Monday, June 27, 2022

New Curated Reader Advisory Lists!

We now have the option to bring some of our displays and paper handouts from the library to digital!

So keep a lookout on our WOWBRARY newsletters each week for any added Reader Advisory Lists! 

Some current lists available:

June 27, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

Those Who Are Saved by Alexis Landau.

As a Russian Jewish émigré to France, Vera's wealth cannot protect her or her four-year-old-daughter, Lucie, once the Nazis occupy the country. After receiving notice that all foreigners must report to an internment camp, Vera has just a few hours to make an impossible choice: Does she subject Lucie to the horrid conditions of the camp, or does she put her into hiding with her beloved and trusted governess, safe until Vera can retrieve her? Believing the war will end soon, Vera chooses to leave Lucie in safety. She cannot know that she and her husband will have an opportunity to escape, to flee to America. She cannot know that Lucie's governess will have fled with Lucie to family in rural France, too far to reach in time. And so begins a heartbreaking journey and separation, a war and a continent apart. Vera's marriage will falter under the surreal sun of California. Her ability to write--once her passion--will disappear. But Vera's love for Lucie, her faith that her daughter lives, will only grow. As Vera's determination to return to France and find Lucie crystalizes, she meets Sasha, a man on his own search for meaning. She is stronger with Sasha than she is alone. Together they will journey to Lucie. They will find her fate.


Adoring Addie by Leslie Gould.

When Addie Cramer's mutter and daed decide Phillip Eicher is the man for her to marry, they claim she must honor them by obeying their wishes. But then she falls in love with Jonathan Mosier--part of the family with whom the Cramers have a long-held grudge. With the help of others in her community who long to see the quarrel healed, Jonathan and Addie struggle to continue their relationship against both sets of parents' wishes. But when one of Addie's vengeful brothers harms a member of the Mosier family, Jonathan intervenes and is banished from Lancaster County. A distraught Addie determines to find the true reason for the grudge between the two families, hoping to tear down the animosity of the past. Can their love for each other bridge the divide between their families? Or are they destined to remain apart forever?


Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris.

2 CHILDREN FOR SALE. The scrawled sign, peddling young siblings on a farmhouse porch, captures the desperation sweeping the country in 1931. It's an era of breadlines, bank runs, and impossible choices. For struggling reporter Ellis Reed, the gut-wrenching scene evokes memories of his family's dark past. He snaps a photograph of the children, not meant for publication. But when the image leads to his big break, the consequences are devastating in ways he never imagined. Haunted by secrets of her own, secretary Lillian Palmer sees more in the picture than a good story and is soon drawn into the fray. Together, the two set out to right a wrongdoing and mend a fractured family, at the risk of everything they value.


Adult Non-Fiction

The Betrayal of Anne Frank by Rosemary Sullivan.

Over thirty million people have read The Diary of a Young Girl, the journal teen-aged Anne Frank kept while living in an attic with her family and four other people in Amsterdam during World War II, until the Nazis arrested them and sent them to a concentration camp. But despite the many works--journalism, books, plays and novels--devoted to Anne's story, none has ever conclusively explained how these eight people managed to live in hiding undetected for over two years--and who or what finally brought the Nazis to their door. With painstaking care, retired FBI agent Vincent Pankoke and a team of indefatigable investigators pored over tens of thousands of pages of documents--some never before seen--and interviewed scores of descendants of people familiar with the Franks. Utilizing methods developed by the FBI, the Cold Case Team painstakingly pieced together the months leading to the infamous arrest--and came to a shocking conclusion. The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation is the riveting story of their mission. Rosemary Sullivan introduces us to the investigators, explains the behavior of both the captives and their captors and profiles a group of suspects. All the while, she vividly brings to life wartime Amsterdam: a place where no matter how wealthy, educated, or careful you were, you never knew whom you could trust.


Angels All Around Us by Guidepost.

“God’s heavenly messengers are everywhere, carrying out His work…spreading His divine mercy…and giving hope to the hopeless. You’ll see His angels at work in the pages of Angels All Around Us through incredible stories shared with Guideposts. These extraordinary stories will open your eyes to the work of angels being carried out every day.” – Amazon.com


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Red Scare by Liam Francis Walsh.  J GN

Peggy is scared: She's struggling to recover from polio and needs crutches to walk, and she and her neighbors are worried about the rumors of Communist spies doing bad things. On top of all that, Peggy has a hard time at school, and gets taunted by her classmates. When she finds a mysterious artifact that gives her the ability to fly, she thinks it's the solution to all her problems. But if Peggy wants to keep it, she'll have to overcome bullies, outsmart FBI agents, and escape from some very strange spies!


Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls by Kaela Rivera.  J

Living in the remote town of Tierra del Sol is dangerous, especially in the criatura months, when powerful spirits roam the desert and threaten humankind. But Cecelia Rios has always believed there was more to the criaturas, much to her family's disapproval. After all, only brujas--humans who capture and control criaturas--consort with the spirits, and brujeria is a terrible crime. When her older sister, Juana, is kidnapped by El Sombrerón, a powerful dark criatura, Cece is determined to bring Juana back. To get into Devil's Alley, though, she'll have to become a bruja herself--while hiding her quest from her parents, her town, and the other brujas. Thankfully, the legendary criatura Coyote has a soft spot for humans and agrees to help her on her journey. With him at her side, Cece sets out to reunite her family--and maybe even change what it means to be a bruja along the way.

Brooke County Public Libraries    Wellsburg (304) 737-1551    Follansbee (304) 527-0860

Thursday, June 23, 2022

June 23, 2022 - A Book & A Recipe

Welcome back, book and food lovers! We at Brooke County Libraries are excited to share our Dinner & a Recipe idea for June 2022. This month's feature is sure to be a fun summer treat.

We're making Lavender Ice Cream from The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George.

Without further ado, let's get started!

(Makes 4 servings.)
1-2 tsps of dried lavender or 2-4 tsps of lavender flowers, plus lavender flowers for garnish.
1 cup sugar.
8 tbsps of fresh milk.
8 egg yolks (organic is better).
1 cup cream (or yogurt if you prefer lighter).
1 handful of blueberries for coloring, optional.

1. In a small bowl, blender lavender and sugar. Push through a sieve until you have fine powder.
2. Dissolve the lavender powder in the milk until there's no crunchies.
(May need to heat but do not boil.)
3. In another bowl, beat together the egg yolks and cream until smooth.
4. Stir the lavender milk into the egg cream and mix.
5. Puree the blueberries and add them to the mix, if using the blueberries.
6. Place the mixture in an ice-cream maker or leave to set in a freezer, stirring now and then.
7. Garnish with lavender flowers.

What a cool and refreshing dish!

Intrigued by the story that inspired this post? Check out the ebook on WV Reads:

Images and info are courtesy of WV Reads, Google, etc.

Please let us know if you try out this recipe! We love to hear from our readers in the comments section, on our social media pages, or in person.


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

June 21, 2022 - Staff Reviews

The Judge's List
By John Grisham
Release Date: October 19, 2021
Audiobook Available from WV Reads!

2 Stars - Disappointing new drama from Grisham that just lacks punch. Returning character investigator/attorney Lacy and her new ally whistleblower Jeri are trying to stay one step ahead of a killer. While the set up had potential, the execution left a lot to be desired. And I'd highly not recommend the audiobook version, which is rare. This one is better read at your own pace and using your own imagination.

Grisham has some truly die-hard fans and rightfully so. I personally am not a big enough fan of his style or returning characters to put me in that category, though I frequently give his a try between other series. And I truly respect his efforts to write his own stories and attempts to keep things fresh at this stage of his career. But when he's hot, he's hot, and when he's not, he's not. Lacy is likable, sure. But from the start she and Jeri are in this weird push/pull relationship. They seem to both have the attitude they're doing the other one a favor. Granted, they are both sharp, curious, and fairly brave. I just never really connected with these two nor any of the side characters.

So my big and unusual recommendation is to read this in book form. Mary Louise Parker probably could have nailed the Lacy part on screen but I couldn't tell the difference between Jeri and Lacy half the time. And she doesn't add much spark or personality to a book that's kind of dull anyway. Grisham's dialouge is not top notch here. Jeri and Lacey have the habits of repeating themselves and/or interrupting early on that grows annoying quick. Also, Grisham readers won't be surprised to find a few heaping info dumps from time to time here. I do wish he would stick to more courtroom based plots, but I know that's a pipe dream. He's written excellent thriller such as The Pelican Brief and The Client that are less legal procedure bound but his touch with characters and situations seemed stronger then. Jeri and Lacy start off very much like Grantham and Garcia, but there was a lot of plot behind those too. However, if you can find a more open mind and embrace the two leading ladies and the twisty investigation into an evil but less than brilliant killer, you'll be entertained. 


Monday, June 20, 2022

June 20, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

The Forgotten Recipe by Amy Clipst.

After losing her fiancé in a tragic accident, Veronica Fisher finds solace in the old recipes stored in her mother's hope chest--and in a special visitor who comes to her bake stand to purchase her old-fashioned raspberry pies. Veronica Fisher knows how lucky she is to be marrying her best friend. Seth Lapp is kind, hardworking, and handsome--but most importantly, he loves Veronica. When an accident on the job steals Seth away from her, a heartbroken Veronica is certain she will never love--or be loved--again. Yet when she discovers a batch of forgotten recipes and opens a bake stand to sell her Mammi's raspberry pies, Veronica picks up a regular customer who gives her heart pause. Jason Huyard was with Seth when he lost his life--a memory that haunts him still. So when he seeks out the grieving fiancée to convey his condolences, the last thing he expects--or wants--is to fall in love. Nonetheless, Jason soon finds himself visiting Veronica's bake stand every week . . . and it's for more than the raspberry pies. Now, as Veronica's heart thaws, Jason can't bring himself to tell her he was there when Seth died. Can he ever reveal where he was on the day her life derailed Or will his secret rob them of the second chance at love they both want.


Better Luck Next Time by Julia Claiborne Johnson.

It's 1938 and women seeking a quick, no-questions split from their husbands head to the "divorce capital of the world," Reno, Nevada. There's one catch: they have to wait six-weeks to become "residents." Many of these wealthy, soon-to-be divorcees flock to the Flying Leap, a dude ranch that caters to their every need. Twenty-four-year-old Ward spent one year at Yale before his family lost everything in the Great Depression; now he's earning an honest living as a ranch hand at the Flying Leap. Admired for his dashing good looks--"Cary Grant in cowboy boots"--Ward thinks he's got the Flying Leap's clients all figured out. But two new guests are about to upend everything he thinks he knows: Nina, a St Louis heiress and amateur pilot back for her third divorce, and Emily, whose bravest moment in life was leaving her cheating husband back in San Francisco and driving herself to Reno.


If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio.

On the day Oliver Marks is released from jail, the man who put him there is waiting at the door. Detective Colborne wants to know the truth, and after ten years, Oliver is finally ready to tell it. A decade ago: Oliver is one of seven young Shakespearean actors at Dellecher Classical Conservatory, a place of keen ambition and fierce competition. In this secluded world of firelight and leather-bound books, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingénue, extras. But in their fourth and final year, good-natured rivalries turn ugly, and on opening night real violence invades the students' world of make-believe. In the morning, the fourth-years find themselves facing their very own tragedy, and their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, each other, and themselves that they are innocent.


Adult Non-Fiction

Grant Writing for Dummies by Dr. Beverly A. Browning, MPA, DBA.

For nonprofit and for-profit firms alike, grants can be a singular generator of growth and impact. But many leaders are intimidated and confused by the sometimes-complex grant application process. The truth, however, is that anyone can learn to write and send a powerful grant letter with the right help. In Grant Writing For Dummies, Dr. Beverly Browning draws on over four decades of experience writing grant applications and training grant writers to deliver a comprehensive and easy-to-follow roadmap to drafting and submitting grant applications that get funded. You'll learn to craft the strongest application possible, find the best sources of funding from online databases, and present a realistic project budget plan.


The Practical Book of Card-Making by Cheryl Owen.

Beautiful to receive as well as fun to make, here is a sparkling selection of fabulous card-making projects designed for maximum decorative and creative effect. There are cards for holidays and festivals, birthday celebrations, special anniversaries and red letter days, plus cards to express love, friendship, apology, sympathy and much more. There are also inspirational ideas for gift-wraps, pretty origami boxes and handmade envelopes. The introduction outlines materials and equipment you will need and demonstrates over 50 papercraft techniques - from cutting, scoring and stenciling to stamping, bleaching and pin-pricking - to help you achieve your desired design.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Larry Gets Lost in the Library by Eric Ode.  E

Larry, a playful pup, loves to go on vacation with Pete. In this edition they visit Pete's grandparents on a farm. When a bookmobile arrives, Pete is excited to select a stack of books. As Pete reads, he doesn't notice that Larry, in search of a snack, wanders into the bookmobile. Larry's adventure begins when the librarian drives away, not realizing Larry is on board, to return the bookmobile to the city library. Larry, searching for Pete, soon finds himself lost inside the library, where he is surrounded by busy librarians and patrons enjoying books. But will he ever find his way back to his best friend Pete?


It All Begins with Jelly Beans by Nova Weetman.  J

Meg spends her days hoping no one thinks too hard about why she wears the same t-shirt and slippers to school every day. Luckily, the nurse's office provides a welcome escape from classmates who don't understand...and snacks when food runs out at home. Riley knows fitting in at her new school would be a lot easier if her friends were more understanding of her type 1 diabetes. So she keeps her testing under wraps...and an emergency bag of jelly beans on hand. When Meg and Riley end up together in the nurse's office one day, both girls think they've worked each other out, but what if they've got it all wrong? On the brink of moving on to junior high, Riley and Meg must find the courage to discover who they really want to be. And maybe a bag of shared jelly beans will provide all the help they need.

Brooke County Public Libraries    Wellsburg (304) 737-1551    Follansbee (304) 527-0860

Friday, June 17, 2022

June 17, 2022 - Summer Library Displays

Hello, book lovers! This month, we're sharing some of our favorite in-house Summer Book displays. We hope you enjoy the post and want to try some ideas in your own school, library, or home collection.

We like to mix it up from the traditional summer titles. Everyone gets the travel bug one way or another when the weather's warm and sunny. So, we like to entice our patrons to get all the fun of leaving town without having to leave their couch!

The Destination Reads are all over the globe and really so are the Beach Reads! But, the Beach Reads are more title specific in pulling books, and the former is a hodgepodge.

Of course we have our traditional summer displays as well! Nothing gets our readers in the mood to grab a book more than seeing the Summer vibes on the cover or in the book blurb.

We try to always grab a couple summery authors or series as well. Susan Mallery's Fools Gold small town romances have all the sweet romantic atmosphere of a summer night under the stars.

Red Hot Reads is a popular title-driven display as well! We have a few summer themes they just really catch the eye and fit with all the activities and holidays of the summer.

With Memorial Day and the 4th of July, we often find a few great American Heroes stories (fiction and non-fiction) to share too. Great for an action-packed read on a rainy afternoon.

We hope you've enjoyed our display ideas and will share yours with us as well! We love to hear from our fellow readers in the comments, in person, or on our social media pages.