Blogs

Devil in the White Cinema?

According to the Toronto Sun, legendary director Martin Scorcese is still planning a big screen adaptation of The Devil in the White City starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

When Erik Larsen’s nonficton book detailing the construction of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and the serial killer that stalked the fair was published in 2003, virtually everyone anywhere near the city of Chicago was required to read it. If Scorcese and DiCaprio ever finish the movie version, theaters in the city will be overrun.

I suspect, Daniel Burnham and the other architects that designed the World’s Fair will get short shrift in favor of the more salacious story of H.H. Holmes and his Murder Castle.

If you are one of the few left who hasn’t read The Devil in the White City yet, place a hold on the book in the library catalog or try an eBook.

Bring Me A Rock! by Daniel Miyares

Bring me a rock book cover: five various sized bugs are holding up a rock upon which a grasshopper stands on top"BRING ME A ROCK! THE BIGGER THE BETTER."

In an Aesop reminiscent of Seuss' Yertle the Turtle, Grasshopper is King of the bugs and he wants a giant throne of rocks...now!
Beetle, Mantis and Centipede all bring the biggest rocks they can find; but, will the littlest bug's pebble be enough?

Told through dialogue and a modern; but, naturalistic art style, Bring Me A Rock! makes the perfect canvas for reading out loud or becoming one of a child's first picture books to read on their own.

Find Bring Me A Rock! in the Library

Jennifer, Kids World

Battle Books Review

See if you can figure out which Battle Books these sets of characters come from.

Hints:

  1. If the book title begins with the word "The," skip over to the next word. For example, The Giver would simply be Giver.
  2. There are no spaces between words in the cross search. For example, The Secret Hum of a Daisy would be SecretHumOfADaisy.
  3. Click on the first tile in a title to start typing.
  4. If you typed a title correctly, the tiles will change into a pinkish/peachy color.
  5. The "A"s at the top will control the font size.
  6. The window image will make the puzzle full screen.
  7. The key image will provide the solution for the entire puzzle.
  8. Knowing which characters come from which book is the start of a great review. But, the next question you need to ask yourself, is why are these characters important to the story.
  9. Have fun!

Ready to try? Click on the read more link to play.

The Clancys of Queens

If you have you car radio tuned to WBEZ, you’ve probably heard The Moth Radio Hour. Recorded at live events across the country, The Moth has a simple premise. People tell true stories from their lives. Sometimes the stories are funny. Sometimes they’re sad. Often they’re enlightening.

One of the breakout stars of The Moth has been Tara Clancy. With tons of energy and her trademark New York accent, Clancy tells stories of growing up in Queens, living a life split between three homes; with her Irish cop father in a ramshackle, converted boat shed; with her grandparents in an enclave of geriatric Italian Brooklynites; and with her mother’s boyfriend, a millionaire with a luxury apartment in the city and an even ritzier estate in the Hamptons.

Now, Tara Clancy has gathered a bunch of these stories together into a memoir, The Clancys of New York. Starting at about age five and meandering through to her college years, the memoir’s chapter topics range from scheming with her foul-mouthed grandmother, to boxing seven year old boys, to discussing life’s great questions at the edge of an immaculate croquet lawn, to discovering that day-drinking, bar stool regulars can be more than meets the eye, to coming out to her dad in a cuckoo clock-filled, replica Swiss village tourist attraction.

Moving from one anecdote to the next, Clancy reveals her life story with gritty style and over-the-top humor. Thanks to her exaggerated descriptions her memoir reads like a 1990s-set version of A Christmas Story, minus all the Christmas.

The Clancys of Queens is available as a print book, an audiobook, and an eBook.

Sophie’s Squash Go to School By Pat Zietlow Miller and Anne Wilsdorf

Sophie's Squash Go To School book cover: an illustration of young girl in pigtails walking on road towards school building with a squash in each arm and wearing a backpack“Sometimes growing a friend just takes time.”

Sophie’s parents said she’d have fun at school. But she didn’t. The chairs were uncomfortable, the milk tasted funny, nobody appreciated her two squash friends Bonnie and Baxter, and Steven just won’t leave her alone! Sophie isn’t interested in making new friends when she already has her squash friends from her garden. But what happens when her food friends start to rot?

School is a huge part of children’s lives, and along with that come dealing with new friendships. For some children who are sensitive, this is no easy task. In this book, Sophie repeatedly rejects any extension of friendship from other children. Until through her own eyes and experiences, she comes to the conclusion that friends are all different, and in the end, worth it.

Sequel to Sophie's Squash.

Find Sophie's Squash Go to School in the Library

Naomi, Kids World

Free Admission to the Art Institute for Teens

Starting next year, your list of excuses for not visiting the Art Institute of Chicago is going to get a little shorter. After January 2nd, entrance into the museum will be totally free for kids age 14-17. So, pack a lunch, hop on the Blue Line, and go see some art.

If you're older than 17 and you want to get in for free, well, if you live in Norridge or Harwood Heights and have an Eisenhower Library card, you can!

Just check out one of our Art Institute passes. These passes can be borrowed for a week will get you and three friends into the Art Institute fee of charge. Place a hold on a pass, or look for the Special Collection display in Library services the next time you visit Eisenhower.

Bill Gates’ Favorite Books of 2016

A couple of times a year, Microsoft founder and noted bibliophile Bill Gates makes a list of his favorite recent reads.

This winter, his list of favorites from 2016 reveals Gates’ continuing curiosity and desire to learn.

String Theory by David Foster Wallace
Gathered for the first time in a deluxe collector’s edition, here are David Foster Wallace’s legendary writings on tennis, five tour-de-force pieces written with a competitor’s insight and a fan’s obsessive enthusiasm. Wallace brings his dazzling literary magic to the game he loved as he celebrates the other-worldly genius of Roger Federer; offers a wickedly witty dissection of Tracy Austin’s memoir; considers the artistry of Michael Joyce, a supremely disciplined athlete on the threshold of fame; resists the crush of commerce at the U.S. Open; and recalls his own career as a junior player.

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
Now, for the first time ever, in a memoir that’s candid, humble, startling, funny, and beautifully crafted, Nike Founder Phill Knight tells his story at last. He begins with his crossroads moment: twenty-four years old, backpacking around the world, wrestling with life’s Great Questions, he decides the unconventional path is the only one for him. Rather than work for a big corporation, he will create something all his own, something new, dynamic, different.

The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Siddhartha Mukherjee has a written a biography of the gene as deft, brilliant, and illuminating as his extraordinarily successful biography of cancer, The Emperor of All Maladies. Weaving science, social history, and personal narrative to tell us the story of one of the most important conceptual breakthroughs of modern times, Mukherjee animates the quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices.

The Myth of the Strong Leader by Archie Brown
In this magisterial and wide-ranging survey of political leadership over the past hundred years, renowned Oxford politics professor Archie Brown challenges the widespread belief that strong leaders – meaning those who dominate their colleagues and the policy-making process – are the most successful and admirable.

The Grid by Gretchen Bakke
America’s electrical grid, an engineering triumph of the twentieth century, is turning out to be a poor fit for the present. It’s not just that the grid has grown old and is now in dire need of basic repair. Today, as we invest great hope in new energy sources–solar, wind, and other alternatives–the grid is what stands most firmly in the way of a brighter energy future. If we hope to realize this future, we need to re-imagine the grid according to twenty-first-century values.

The Widow

The WidowJanuary's book: The Widow by Fiona Barton

Monday, January th, 7:00 - 8:30 pm

There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment. Now he’s dead and there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage.

The William Hoy Story: How a Deaf Baseball Player Changed the Game by Nancy Churnin

William Hoy story book cover: an illustration of a baseball player sliding onto base with an umpire's arms out to the sides behind him"His mother waved her arms. She was applauding him."

Have you ever wondered what made baseball umpires start using signs? Find out in this informational picture book!

Not many people knew sign language back in the 1880s and that led to problems for William when trying to pursue his dream of playing baseball professionally. From being paid less than other players to not being able to read the umpire's lips, William couldn't seem to find a way to compete even though he was a great ball player. Remembering his mother waving her arms in applause when he practiced at home, William came up with a solution: the common baseball signs you see used in the game today. William went on to set records in the National and American Leagues playing on many different teams (even the Chicago White Stockings!) and baseball was changed forever... for the better.

With the World Series over but not forgotten, many readers may be interested in learning more about baseball's rich history. This title on the topic would suit readers in 1st grade and up who are interested in baseball, history, or deafness and how to be inclusive to people with disabilities.

Find The William Hoy Story in the Library

Brittany, Kids World

The Infamous Ratsos by Kara Lareau

Infamous Ratsos book cover: illustration of a brickwall and sidewalk cement. In from of the wall two clothed rats stand on tehir hinde legs back to back. Garbage litters the sidewalk around them"There are two kinds of people in this world... Those who are tough, and those who are soft."

The Ratso brothers decide to to do something to make them "look tough." They want their father to be proud of their tough despicable ways. The trouble is prank after prank, something always seem to go array making them look soft instead. Will they ever gain a reputation that will earn their father's respect?

At only 58 pages, this humorous book is perfect for first and second grade readers looking to tackle a chapter book. With simple a vocabulary,  large font and entertaining plot, this transitional read will make taking the plunge into chapter books a delight.

Find The Infamous Ratsos in the Library

Celeste, Kids World

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