Friday, January 30, 2015

Recommended Reading: The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

18405537Book Description: 

This much-anticipated follow-up to Jonathan Auxier’s exceptional debut, Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, is a Victorian ghost story with shades of Washington Irving and Henry James. More than just a spooky tale, it’s also a moral fable about human greed and the power of storytelling.

The Night Gardener follows two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives. With Auxier’s exquisite command of language, The Night Gardener is a mesmerizing read and a classic in the making.

This 2014 release is the perfect horror novel for middle graders -- creepy, with its share of gross-out moments, but not terrifying. The focus is on the two orphans as characters, and they're more nuanced than in most other middle-grade books... In fact, all the characters have dominant personality traits, but those traits aren't random. They go along with whole personalities and backstories. The characters got where they are not because they've just always been that way, but because they've made specific choices over time, so this would be great opportunity to discuss choices and consequences with your child! Altogether, The Night Gardener is a super-fun book that's satisfying on many levels, from old-fashioned spookiness to well-written prose and a compelling plot.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Winter Wellness with Essential Oils

Prepare Your Body and Your Family for the Coming Months


We are excited to have Christine Nishimura back at the library. She uses DoTerra Essential Oils and she will share with you how to prepare your immune system, your home, and
your family for the winter months. Christine will be able to answer any questions you may have.

The weather is getting colder and germs are on the rise.
Come learn how to support your immune system, your respiratory
system, and lower the toxic load in your body and home. Make
sure your home is prepared for anything that may come this

Winter Wellness

Tuesday, Feb. 3rd 6pm – 7pm

North Shelby Library | Meeting Room


Join us as we learn how to prepare for the Winter Cold & Flu Season. Just like eating well and exercising regularly, essential oils can be another great way to help support a healthy body.

DoTERRA essential oils are unique in that they are sourced from their indigenous region from all around the world, and third party tested to insure quality and efficacy

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Recommended Reading: Julie Kagawa

Julie Kagawa has firmly cemented herself as one of best young adult fantasy writers.

First came The Iron Fey series. We follow Meghan Chase, a half-human teenage girl pulled into the Faery realms and trapped in between the clashes of the Winter and Summer Fey against a terrifying new kind of faery, the Iron Fey. She also battles her way through a love triangle that rivals Twilight's Team Edward/Team Jacob. 

Then The Blood of Eden trilogy. These vampires definitely don't sparkle. In the dark days since the insidious Red Lung virus decimated the human population, vampires have risen to rule the crumbling cities. Outside city walls: a vast wilderness, stalked by terrifying creatures called rabids. Created when humans and vampires attempted to cure Red Lung, rabids prowl by night, mindless and ravenous for human blood. Allison Sekemoto is a life-long Fringer: always hunted, always hungry. But when forced to choose between agonizing death and becoming what she hates…Allie takes immortality.

And now Kagawa is launching a new fantasy series all about dragons. Talon, released in 2014, revolves around dragons with the ability to disguise themselves as humans and an order of warriors sworn to eradicate them. The dragons of TALON and the Order of St. George have been at war with each other for centuries. The fabled creatures, whose existence is unknown by the general public, are determined to rule the world. Their foes, a legendary society of dragon slayers, are equally bent on driving the fabled beasts into extinction. However, when a young dragon and a hardened slayer unknowingly befriend each other, it has severe repercussions for both organizations.
Rogue, book two in the series, will be hitting selves in April 2015. 

You can check all of these excellent fantasy titles out from the library! 
Stop by and see us soon.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Recommended Reading: The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker

Book Description: 

13543093Faced with the ceaseless stream of news about war, crime, and terrorism, one could easily think we live in the most violent age ever seen. Yet as New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows in this startling and engaging new work, just the opposite is true: violence has been diminishing for millennia and we may be living in the most peaceful time in our species's existence. For most of history, war, slavery, infanticide, child abuse, assassinations, pogroms, gruesome punishments, deadly quarrels, and genocide were ordinary features of life. But today, Pinker shows (with the help of more than a hundred graphs and maps) all these forms of violence have dwindled and are widely condemned. How has this happened?

This groundbreaking book continues Pinker's exploration of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly nonviolent world. The key, he explains, is to understand our intrinsic motives- the inner demons that incline us toward violence and the better angels that steer us away-and how changing circumstances have allowed our better angels to prevail. Exploding fatalist myths about humankind's inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious and provocative book is sure to be hotly debated in living rooms and the Pentagon alike, and will challenge and change the way we think about our society.

The central thesis of Steven Pinker’s 2011 book is that, contrary to popular belief, violence in the world has actually decreased over time. He deals with changes over time as well as specific historical time periods and human neurological qualities, not only demonstrating his point but also discussing reasons and mechanisms for the historical change he's observed. 

This is a big ol' book, but I still highly recommend that everyone read it, because it really will change the way you think about the world. Historians and political scientists will find plenty to talk about here, plus this book will be invaluable for novelists who want to understand historical societies or create their own. You don't have to be any of those things to appreciate Pinker's work, though. He demonstrates that despite fatalistic news reports, the human race is less violent than ever before and optimism can be well-founded!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Recommended Reading: Hawkeye Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon

Book Description:

The breakout star of this summer's blockbuster Avengers film, Clint Barton - aka the self-made hero Hawkeye - fights for justice! With ex-Young Avenger Kate Bishop by his side, he's out to prove himself as one of Earth's Mightiest Heroes! SHIELD recruits Clint to intercept a packet of incriminating evidence - before he becomes the most wanted man in the world. You won't believe what is on The Tape! What is the Vagabond Code? Matt Fraction pens a Hawkeye thriller that spans the globe...and the darkest parts of Hawkeye's mind. Barton and Bishop mean double the Hawkeye and double the trouble...and stealing from the rich never looked so good.

Collects issues 1-11.

If you loved the Avengers movie and want to start reading comics, this award-winning volume is a perfect choice. Each issue follows Hawkeye's day-to-day life while he's not on missions with the Avengers, but the book tells its own story -- you won't need to read any other comics for this one to make sense. Hawkeye is funny, the art is cool, and one issue is narrated by his dog! Launched in 2013, Hawkeye is now in its fourth volume, so if you like this one there's plenty more. Find it in the YA department!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Children's Dept Reading Ideas for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr Day the library will be closed on Monday, January 19th. Before that happens here are some suggested books for kids about Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement. Keep in mind this is not a comprehensive list, for more titles stop by the children's department.

Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement by Ann Bausum
Freedom Walkers: the Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Russell Freedman
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream Speech in Translation: What It Really Means by Leslie J. Holland
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip M. Hoose
Who was Rosa Parks? by Yona Zeldis McDonough 
Remember: The Journey to School Integration by Toni Morrison
Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Picture Books
We March by Shane W. Evans
March On!: The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World by Christine King Farris
Martin and Mahalia: His Words, Her Song by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport
Back of the Bus by Aaron Reynolds
As Fast as Words Could Fly by Pamela M. Tuck

The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Recommended Reading: Frostborn by Lou Anders

Book Description:

Meet Karn. He is destined to take over the family farm in Norrøngard. His only problem? He’d rather be playing the board game Thrones and Bones.

Enter Thianna. Half human, half frost giantess. She’s too tall to blend in with other humans but too short to be taken seriously as a giant.

When family intrigues force Karn and Thianna to flee into the wilderness, they have to keep their sense of humor and their wits about them. But survival can be challenging when you’re being chased by a 1,500-year-old dragon, Helltoppr the undead warrior and his undead minions, an evil uncle, wyverns, and an assortment of trolls and giants.

Frostborn is Lou Anders' debut novel, a fantasy for middle graders and young adults. Advantageously placed in a trend of interest in Norse mythology and ice -- Thor, the Loki craze, and Frozen, to name a few -- Frostborn is similar enough to those things to make a good recommendation, but it's not a knockoff. As with all the best books for kids, it’s full of substance. It’s well-written and well-plotted. It’s clear what’s happening and accessible for those who are just getting into longer books, but complex enough for teens to enjoy. It’s light and fun, but contains serious themes about acceptance, family, and loyalty (both when you should have it and when you shouldn’t). Written with both of Anders' children in mind, the book is explicitly for both boys and girls -- Karn and Thianna always get equal billing, and they’re always equally important!

New Release Day! Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole

(Super-excited) New Release Day!

Dead of Winter, the 3rd installment in the Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole is out today January 6, 2015!

The Arcana Chronicles is Kresely Cole’s Young Adult debut. In our library, I would recommend it for older kids in the YA spectrum. It is a young adult/dystopian/romance with a female POV. The stories of the characters in the series are depicted on the Major Arcana cards of a Tarot deck. I don’t know anything about Tarot cards and have no interest in Tarot cards, but it doesn’t matter, it works for the story, making it a unique paranormal tale. In every dark age, the Arcana, who are twenty-two kids born with supernatural powers, are destined to fight in a life-or-death game. There are early alliances between the Arcana that will eventually have to be broken. Or can the Empress stop the game from continuing? We’ll have to see.

Book description:
Heartbreaking decisions
Evie was almost seduced by the life of comfort that Death offered her—until Jack was threatened by two of the most horrific Arcana, The Lovers. She will do anything to save him, even escape Death’s uncanny prison, full of beautiful objects, material comforts…and stolen glances from a former love.

Uncertain victory
Despite leaving a part of her heart behind with Death, Evie sets out into a frozen and perilous post-apocalyptic wasteland to meet up with her allies and launch an attack on The Lovers and the vast army they command. Such formidable enemies require a battle plan, and the only way to kill them once and for all may mean Evie, Jack, and Death allying. Evie doesn’t know what will prove more impossible: surviving slavers, plague, Bagmen and other Arcana—or convincing Jack and Death to work together.

Two heroes returned
There’s a thin line between love and hate, and Evie just doesn’t know where she stands with either Jack or Death. Will this unlikely trio be able to defeat The Lovers without killing one another first? 

For more information on this series check out

 Here’s a description from the jacket of the 1st book, Poison Princess:
She could save the world—or destroy it.
Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.
But she can’t do either alone.
With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?
Who can Evie trust?
As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side

You can get the first 17 chapters in a preview here:

Endless Knight:

Evie has fully come into her powers as the tarot Empress. And Jack was there to see it all. In the aftermath of killing Arthur, Evie realizes that there is a war brewing between the teens who’ve been given powers following the apocalypse, and it’s kill or be killed. When Evie meets Death, the gorgeous and dangerous Endless Knight, things get even more complicated. Somehow the Empress and Death share a romantic history. One that Evie can’t remember, but Death can’t forget. Evie is drawn to Death, but in love with Jack. She is determined to discover why she’s been granted these powers, and in the process, struggles to accept her place in the prophecy that will either save the world, or destroy it.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Exciting New Programs in the Children's Dept

With the start of a new year the librarians in the children's department have been working on launching a whole slate of new programs.

Our Smart Cookie Club winter reading program is running through the end of January.
Are you a Smart Cookie? Join the North Shelby Library's Smart Cookie Club this winter! 
Pick up a membership card at the children's department desk and every time you come to the library to check out books through the months of December and January get your card stamped AND add a sticker to our cookie jar bulletin board. Help us fill up the jar and show everyone how many Smart Cookies we have here at North Shelby. 
Everyone who participates is invited to our Smart Cookie Party in February!
**All Ages Welcome**

The Newbery Pie Book Club is our new book club for all ages.
Step 1: Read a Newbery book. ANY Newbery book.
Step 2: Pick one of the Book Club meetings. (We offer meeting times convenient for homeschool and public/private school families.)
Step 3: Come talk about books with us and eat delicious pie!
For more information and suggested titles check out the club's webpage.
**All Ages Welcome**  **Registration Required**

The Pete the Cat Book Club is our newest offering for the younger crowd.
Join us for stories, groovy crafts, games and snacks.
**All Ages Welcome**  **Registration Required**

For more information about any of these programs or to register please speak with a librarian at 205.439.5504 or use our online interactive calendar