Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring Book Discussions

Titles have been selected for the Lake Forest Library’s spring Adult Book Discussion programs. Click on the highlighted titles for reviews and other information about the novels and their authors. Here is the schedule for April and May.

Elise Barack leads our evening discussions, beginning at 7:15 pm: 

Thursday, 4/12/12 The Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon

Thursday, 5/3/12 The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

Judy Levin hosts our afternoon series, beginning at 12:30 pm: 
Thursday, 4/19/12 Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks

Thursday, 5/17/12  State of Wonder by Anne Patchett

Multiple copies of the books are available for checkout. All programs are held in the Children’s Activity Room downstairs.

These programs are sponsored by the Friends of Lake Forest Library.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Judy Levin Book Discussion: The Warmth of Other Suns

from npr.org
Please join Judy Levin for a discussion of Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns on March 22 at 12:30 pm in the Children’s Library Activity Room.

The Warmth of Other Suns is a history of the Great Migration, the movement of black Americans from the South to the North beginning during World War I and ending in the 1970s, told through three personal stories. This historic account covers the half-century, nation-altering migration that is rarely taught in schools. The massive redistribution of population was instrumental for the civil rights movement as well as the restructuring of modern cities and urban life. The stories of Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, George Swanson Starling, and Robert Joseph Pershing Foster are powerful narratives chosen to highlight the three routes of migration.

Over the six decades of the Great Migration, six million people relocated from the oppression of the South to the opportunities of the North. Many members of this migration didn’t even realize they were a part of a much larger exodus, as the choice to flee the South was personal for each individual and family. Can this wide-scale event be covered through the deeply personal stories of three individuals?

NPR’s Fresh Air has an interview with Isabel Wilkerson alongside an excerpt from the book.
See a map about the migration, complete with relevant letters sent to newspapers or to loved ones back home.

"Wilkerson has created a brilliant and innovative paradox: the intimate epic. At its smallest scale, this towering work rests on a trio of unforgettable biographies, lives as humble as they were heroic… In different decades and for different reasons they headed north and west, along with millions of fellow travelers. . . In powerful, lyrical prose that combines the historian’s rigor with the novelist’s empathy, Wilkerson’s book changes our understanding of the Great Migration and indeed of the modern United States."
-Lynton History Prize judges statement

from npr.org
Isabel Wilkerson, writer and bureau chief at The New York Times, was inspired to research and write this book by the story of her own parents’ migration. She spent fifteen years interviewing over 1,200 people, researching archival material, and traveling the same routes that brought 6 million black Americans from the South to the urban North. She was the first black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for her work as the Chicago bureau chief with The New York Times and was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists.
Wilkerson’s website is a treasure trove of information, background, discussion questions, and videos about the book and the Great Migration.

Read articles written by Wilkerson in TheNew York Times.
Follow her on Twitter.
Find the book in our catalog.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Hunger Games!

If you haven’t read the Hunger Games yet, you should! The popular young adult book, that has also captured the attention of adults, will soon be premiering as a movie on March 23rd. In the trilogy, author Suzanne Collins creates a dystopian future where children from twelve impoverished districts are forced to fight and kill for the entertainment of the all-powerful Capitol. The book will take the reader on a journey with Katniss, a young girl from the 12th district, as an unfortunate combatant in these “games” to her reluctant role as a revolutionary fighting for the freedom of all of the downtrodden districts.

Scholastic Books

Check out the movie trailer!
Watch the author read the first chapter of the Hunger Games.

Can’t get your hands on a copy of the Hunger Games, or you have already devoured the trilogy and want more by Collins, check out her earlier series: The Underland Chronicles. These books follow Gregor and his sister, Boots, as they explore a new world hidden beneath the streets of New York. Here, humans are waged in a war against the rats in a world filled with giant versions of bats, cockroaches, ants, and spiders. And in the midst of it, Gregor is on a quest to find his father.  

See the list of Underland Chronicles in our catalog!
Or, Find more books like the Hunger Games
“This is not a fairy tale; it’s a war, and in war, there are tragic losses that must be mourned.”
-Suzanne Collins

NewYork Times Magazine interviewed Collins about the Hunger Games trilogy. The interview delves into her personal history and how it created her central goal with the trilogy. Collins, whose father was a Vietnam veteran and teacher of military history, believes that children need to be educated about the realities of war. There are numerous reviews from respected sources that speak to the successes and failures of the Hunger Games as a series, but this comment posted on the New York Times article summarizes it succinctly:

"When my son started reading the series at age 11, I had my doubts. I wasn't happy about children being presented as killers nor the graphic ways their deaths were portrayed. HOWEVER, as he read, he explained to me that they were about the evils of facisim and dictators and how people needed to unite against corrupt governments. I am thankful for these books. The morals they teach are amazing and the writer is a wizard with words. Thank you Ms. Collins."

Does this series effectively use violence to address war in an educational context for young adults? Or were you too engrossed in the heart-wrenching love triangle between Peeta, Gale, and Katniss?

Let us know in the comments!