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Oct 28

Wacky Holidays

Posted on October 28, 2014 at 12:00 AM by Craig Jacobson

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Written by Carol M.

Thanksgiving is fast approaching. Turkeys are going on sale, stores are announcing shopping hours, and the weather has taken a decided turn for the cold and dampish. Unquestionably, Thanksgiving is November’s most famous holiday, but it is by no means the only bright spot in the greyest month of the year. Check out some of November’s weird and wacky holidays and find a reason to celebrate.

UltimateSandwichBook.jpgUnusual holidays start early in November, kicking off with Sandwich Day on the 3rd. Commemorating the birthday of the Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu, Sandwich Day promotes the lunchbox classic and encourages you to celebrate by expanding your repertoire of bread-plus-filling meals. The Ultimate Sandwich Book offers interesting ideas that can help you move beyond the old standbys – with some interesting tidbits along the way. (What’s America’s favorite sandwich? Turkey.)

VforVendetta.jpgTwo days later, remember, remember the 5th of November, known as Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night in the UK, which celebrates a man’s failed attempt to blow up the British Parliament. Bonfires (sometimes with effigies) and fireworks mark the occasion. Recently, Guy Fawkes masks have re-entered the larger public consciousness with the movie and graphic novel V for Vendetta.

Don’t party too hard on Bonfire Night, though, or you may end up an involuntary participant in Marooned without a Compass Day on November 6th, a day celebrating highlighting our collective lack of an internal compass. It’s shortly followed by the most curiously specific holiday on the list, National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day (Nov. 7th). November 8th is the equally peculiar Dunce Day, set on the death day of John Duns Scotus from whose name the word derives.

Corduroy.jpgJust one week later, Have a Party With You Bear on November 16th. Gather up some music or snacks and celebrate with Paddington, Corduroy, and Winnie-the-Pooh. You could also explore nonfiction books about real bears (599.78) or click here to explore more bear titles of all kinds.

50Hikes.jpgAlthough you’ve just read up on bears, you should, on no account, go looking for them on Take a Hike Day (find out about bear safety here). Instead, plan a trek with a helpful guide or explore locally on the Ozaukee Interurban Trail. If the weather isn’t hiker-friendly, you can curl up with Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods, recounting his trek along the Appalachian Trail, or Halfway to the Sky, about a girl who traverses the trail after her brother dies and her parents divorce.

PenelopeCrumb.jpgFinish off the month by working off your Thanksgiving feast: celebrate Square Dancing Day. Learn the basics with The Complete Book of Square Dancing or find out why Penelope Crumb is Mad at the Moon after square dancing in gym class.

Want to know about other cool and quirky holidays? Check out Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary to find about other fascinating festivities around the world.

Ultimate Sandwich Book cover: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51YAmYkrAWL.jpg
All Other Images Courtesy of Easicat

Oct 20

Ghosts, Goblins, and Ghouls, Oh My!

Posted on October 20, 2014 at 12:00 AM by Craig Jacobson

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With October 31st quickly approaching, now is the time to stop into Frank L. Weyenberg Library and check out our wonderful selection of Halloween reads.

Looking for new kids book titles that will have them laughing and get them excited about Halloween? Well, here are a few for the little ones that are sure to both trick and treat!

The Sweetest Witch Around by Alison McGhee is a great choice for kids ages 5-6. It is the companion book to McGhee’s bestselling, A Very Brave Witch. From hilarious jokes to delightful illustrations, it is a fun read that is sure to be a hit.

Little Boo by Stephen Wunderli is another great read for the kindergarteners. Wunderli tells the story of a pumpkin seed who wants to grow into a scary jack-o’-lantern and his friends who encourage him. It is a sweet and endearing story that works for not only Halloween, but the entire season of autumn.

Olivia Loves Halloween by Maggie Testa is yet another great addition to the Olivia series. In this delightful tale, Olivia the pig and her friend Francine prepare for Halloween. Olivia once again makes us laugh and ponder life lessons as she and Francine hit some snags along the way. This one is sure to please.

Other New Titles for younger kids:
Shivery Shades of Halloween: a Spooky Book of Colors by Mary McKenna Siddals (2-5 yr.)
Curious George Haunted Halloween by C.A. Krones (4-8 yr.)
Katy Duck’s Happy Halloween (Katy Duck Series) by Alyssa Satin Capucilli (4-6 yr.)
The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin by Sonali Fry (2-4 yr.)
At the Old Haunted House by Helen Ketterman (3-7 yr.)

For the older children, ages 6 and up, we have a number of new Halloween-related titles that are sure to peek their interest!

The Locker ate Lucy! (Eerie Elementary #2) by Jack Chabert is wonderful for the 6-8 age range. The story follows Sam Graves as he and his friends Lucy and Antonio attempt to uncover the mystery of their Elementary School. Everything around them is alive and imagine their surprise when Lucy is suddenly eaten by her own locker. Oh dear! Discover the fun of this spooky tale today.

Still Life (The Books of Elsewhere #5) by Jacqueline West is great for kids ages 10 and up. The story follows 12-year-old Olive and her quest to save herself and those around her from the old magic living within her house. It’s creepy, it’s spooky, and its definetely cooky. This book is sure to keep kids engaged until the very end.

The Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co. Book 2) by Jonathan Stroud follows Lockwood and Company as they are hired to invesigate a Victorian doctor who tried to communicate with the dead. And there is also the issue of a pesky skull in a jar that keeps whispering to them. Kids in grades 3-7 are sure to love the mystery and suspenseful elements of this story.

Older Titles that may also be of interest for older kids:
Coraline by Neil Gaiman (8-12 yr.)
Goosebumps: Attack of the Jack-o’-lanterns (Goosebumps series) by R.L. Stine (8-12 yr.)
Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery (Bunnicula and Friends series) by Deborah Howe (8-12 yr.)
The Littles and the scary Halloween (Book 16) by Teddy Slater (7 & up)
Skeleton Creek (Book 1) by Patrick Carman (8-12 yr.)

Teens are at an age where the horror genre may be of particular interest. Below are a few new titles to get your teen reading this Halloween.

White Space (Dark Passages, Book 1) by Ilsa Bick is a scary thriller that is sure to have teens interested until the last page. With no parents and an ill, artistic guardian, seventeen year-old Emma Lindsay leads a very unconventional life.  A life that only becomes stranger when the story she has written “White Space” turns out to be an exact replica of an unpublished work written earlier by a deceased author. What happens when Emma becomes trapped in this written world? Will she know what’s real and what isn’t? Find out in book one of the Dark Passages series.

The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco is a riveting horror story in the realm of Stephen King that teens are sure to love. The story follows Okiku, a girl who was murdered nearly 300 years ago and whose body was dumped in a well. But when she meets Tark, a young boy with strange tattoos, will she help free him from the evil that clings to him or will her fear of losing him stop her from doing the right thing?

A New Darkness by Joseph Delaney follows Tom Ward and his apprentice Jenny as they team up to defend their county from monsters, witches, demons, and more. This is an action-packed thrill ride that is sure to make any teen Halloween-enthusiast excited and anxious for the next installment.

Other New and Old Titles for Teens:
Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen
The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle Book 1) by Maggie Stiefvater
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Book 1) by Ransom Riggs
Midwinter Blood by Marcus Sedgwick
The Body Finder (Body Finder Book 1) by Kimberly Derting

The Frank L. Weyenberg reference staff is more than happy to assist you in either finding fun Halloween materials or placing items on hold. Please stop in and see us today!

Wishing you and your family a spooktacular and safe Halloween!

Book Cover images provided via Easicat.

Sep 29

Recent and Upcoming Sequels!

Posted on September 29, 2014 at 12:00 AM by Craig Jacobson

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For adults this season several recent releases have landed on bestseller lists.  The Magician’s Land concludes the magical coming-of-age trilogy by Lev Grossman.  Another magic infused trilogy by Deborah Harkness concludes her All Souls Trilogy with The Book of Life.  If these titles don’t suit your interests, try the time traveling historical series Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.  The eighth book in the series Written in My Own Heart’s Blood is available now.  The Century trilogy, a historical epic by Ken Follett, concludes with Edge of Eternity. Catch up with Temperance Brennan’s newest cast in Bones Never Lie, the 17th book in the series by Kathy Reichs.


Help teens and children discover a new series to devour!  Did you love the Legend series by Marie Lu?  Her new series kicks off with The Young Elites this October.  The fifth title in Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series, The Blood of Olympus, also hits shelves in October.  Rick Yancey follows up The 5th Wave with The Infinite Sea and continues the story of Cassie’s survival.  For younger readers looking for a mix of traditional story alongside comics, check out the ninth Diary of a Wimpy Kid novel The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney or book eleven in Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey: The Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000.


Interested in the series, but don’t know where to start? The first book in each series is:

  • The Magicians by Lev Grossman
  • A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  • Fall of Giants of Ken Follett
  • Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs
  • The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  • The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

Some of these series are short, easy reads, while others contain thousands of pages and will keep you busy for weeks.  Happy reading!