Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Depression and Loss

Lake Forest is a community with many resources.  From our churches, our welcoming and unique youth center, CROYA, and our caring school system to the variety of resources at the Lake Forest Library.  The library has public use computers to access such sites as: , The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and National Alliance on Mental Illness, We have books that you may check out as well as many DVDs.  You can use the list below to find items on the shelf or you can come to the Reference for help finding information for you, your friends, or your family.
Why Suicide?: Answers to 200 of the Most Frequently Asked Questions  by Eric Marcus  offers comprehensive answers to questions such as why suicide, what could I have done to prevent it and how can I start to heal.

Kay Jamison, an authority on depressive illnesses and their treatment and a suicide survivor offers both a psychological and scientific look at this subject in Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide .

Located in our YA section on the first floor, When Nothing Matters Anymore: a Survival Guide for Depressed Teens by  Bev Cobain R.N.C. and My Kind of Sad: What It’s Like to be Young And Depressed  by Kate Scowen offer first-hand accounts of teenagers suffering from depression and thoughts of suicide.

Parents and families may find useful information in Raising Depression-free Children: A Parent’s Guide to Prevention and Early Intervention  by Kathleen Hockey. Local author, parent, and grief coach Maria Malin wrote her book When You Just Can’t Say Goodbye, Don’t: A Mother’s Personal Journey after Losing a Child  not only to help herself but to share with others in the hope of healing their pain.

Our DVDs, located on the middle level of the library may be checked out to watch at home or to share with others. Cry for Help, Depression: Out of the Shadows and When A Loved One Dies: Walking through Grief As a Teenager are just a few titles that were included in a list provided by local authorities in the mental health field.  These are just a small sample of the many resources that we can help you find.  Please stop by the reference desk for help finding any of these resources.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Retail Tales

While compiling the Remembering Marshall Field's book list for the Lake Forest – Lake Bluff Historical Society’s recent program, we discovered Emily Kimbrough's book, Through Charley’s Door, published in 1952.  Kimbrough used details from interviews with long-time Marshall Field's employees and her own recollection to write this humorous account of working in Marshall Field's advertising department in the 1920s.  For this posting, we thought we'd look for other accounts (non-fiction and fiction) of life in the retail world.  Here are some titles we found, and you can find others at the Retail Tales book list in our catalog.

Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart (Morrow, 2007): At 82, Hart recalls the summer of 1945 that she and her best friend spent working as pages on the sales floor of Tiffany and Co. in New York City.

The Easy Hour by Leslie Stella (Three Rivers Press, 2003):  A humorous novel in which Lisa Galisa has less success selling sportswear in a Chicago department store than helping run a retro-themed happy hour, The Easy Hour, at a tavern in Bridgeport.

Shopgirl by Steve Martin (Hyperion, 2000):  Mirabelle is a shy young woman from Vermont who works in the glove department of Beverly Hill's Neiman Marcus store.  She has few friends and little social life until embarking on a relationship with a wealthy businessman twice her age.

The Jew Store by Stella Suberman (Algonquin Books, 2001):  The author's family, the Bronsons, were the first Jews to live in the small Tennessee town of Concordia when they moved there from New York in the 1920s for her father to open a dry goods store.  This memoir tells of her optimistic father, her anxious mother, and their family's time in the south.

Monday, April 16, 2012

10 Picture Books You're Never Too Old For

We tend to think of reading picture books only to our preschool children, often as a cozy bedtime routine. Don’t stop there!  Children’s authors use the picture book format for varied reasons, some of which older children and adults can more readily relate to than toddlers.  A picture book can illustrate social issues, or take us back in time.  Some stories just can’t be told in two lines per page.  A complex story, illustrations rich in detail, word play and a relatively sophisticated sense of humor can delight grade school children, even adults.  Children who have learned to read will increase and enhance their vocabulary with the additional visualization illustrations provide.  The following books are part of our larger list of Picture Books for Older Readers :

A Bus Called Heaven  (Bob Graham) is abandoned in a worn out city neighborhood.  One small girl sees the potential in this providential gift and unites families and friends to turn the bus into a happy haven and gathering place.  Threatened by the tow truck and dump yard, the bus is ultimately saved, along with its occupants.  You will finish this book with a positive sense of what any of us could accomplish.  

Furious George Goes Bananas (Michael Rex) is a sly parody of his cousin, Curious, with a nod to King Kong  Anyone who has read Curious George adventures will recognize and chuckle over this big ape’s take on America.

The Journey takes us into the “big city..." of Chicago as seen through the eyes of an Amish girl from downstate.  Set in relatively contemporary times, you’ll recognize Chicago landmarks and perhaps be motivated to take a trip to see the old and new in the Windy City.

Another piece of Americana is viewed with some nostalgia in Stable (Ted Lewin).  Beautiful watercolors, some in sepia tone, visualize the history of Kensington Stables near Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.  

 A horse of a different color is commemorated in The Donkey of Gallipoli  (Mark Greenwood).  This true story of another War Horse will certainly leave you feeling sobered yet admiring of the courage exhibited by so many during WWI.

With the Presidential election this fall, politics will be a hotopic. The Buck Stops Here (Alice Provensen) gives us entertaining pages of presidential trivia in detailed drawings.  A book to browse rather than read.

Two years after the 9/11 tragedy in New York, The Man Who Walked Between the Towers  (Mordicai Gerstein) won the Caldecott Medal for telling the story of Philippe Petit, who walked a tightrope between the World Trade Center Towers in 1974.  Gerstein memorializes the towers with the sense of freedom and joy that the tightrope walker felt.

The Rhyming Dust Bunnies  (Jan Thomas) become hilariously exasperated with Bob, the only dust bunny who can’t seem to make a rhyming pair.  The cartoonish quartet escape the dust pan just in time, but only temporarily.

Grandpa Green (Lane Smith) recaps his life through creative, detailed topiaries.  A multiple award winner. 

Zen Shorts (Jon Muth) are not Japanese underwear, (forgive me, I’ve been reading  Dav Pilkey again) but a wonderful introduction to some of the lore of Zen Buddhism.  With a giant panda as teacher, young Addy, Michael and Karl are recounted 3 stories to ponder.  Muth was chosen by Caroline Kennedy to illustrate her family oriented books.

Picture Books for Older Readers also includes short classroom read-alouds: books which are easy to read with bold graphics and appeal to preschoolers through 4th grade. Ask us for the latest additions!

Monday, April 9, 2012

National Library Week

Celebrate National Library Week, April 8-14, with us! You can celebrate the library by taking advantage of any and all of our services:
Check out a book, dvd, audio book, video game, music cd, language learning software, a recording of a Lake Forest town meeting, and/or a past issue of your favorite magazine/newspaper.
Download free music with Freegal.
Borrow eBooks, music, and movies with MyMediaMall.
Take your children to a story time.
Conduct research using our wide array of databases.
Use our public access computers.
Read the newest issue of any one of our magazine and newspapers in the reading room.
Get a recommendation of what to read next.
Browse our collections.
See the artwork on display throughout the library.
Attend a book discussion.
Join in on the fun with a Scavenger Hunt in the Children's department.
Use our DVD2GO service to find new, popular movies at the West Train Station.
Get homework help at
Take advantage of our special services for seniors
Learn how to use an eReader..
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

How do you use the library?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Free Homework and Test Help Resource!

As the April 14th ACT test date quickly approaches, many of you college-bound students will be hitting the books. Strong ACT scores will help you to receive that acceptance letter from your dream university. Unfortunately, this means you are scrambling to find resources to help prepare for the test.

We remember how stressful it can be. But, good news! We want to let you know that we have you in mind. One of our great online databases has a wealth of test prep resources. is a one-stop place for test preparation, homework help, live tutors, and job searching.

Not taking the ACT? No problem. has a huge amount of resources for everyone. If you are taking the SAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, or a similar test, there are resources and sample tests for you to study.

Not getting ready for a test? They also have homework help on almost every subject for everyone from elementary school to college. Is that not enough, would you like one-on-one help? Well they have live homework help available from 2 – 11 pm, every day! Their tutors can help you with everything from beginning research to making sense of calculus.

And yes, for all Lake Forest Residents, it is free!

Now, how do you go about getting access to all of this great stuff? Head on over to the library website and navigate down to the resource: Live Homework Help. If you have any questions stop by the library and any of the friendly librarians would be happy to show you how to find this resource. We’ll even provide a computer for you to use!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Poetry for Children

April is National Poetry Month, inaugurated by the American Academy of Poets in 1996.  The Children’s Library is highlighting our extensive collection of books and cds which introduce children to word play, rhythm and the creative spirit in poetry.  We have poems to appeal to all ages: from nursery rhymes for toddlers to novels in verse for tweens.

Speaking of inaugural, Elizabeth Alexander’s inspirational Praise Song for the Day was commissioned for the inauguration of President Obama.  It was written in the form of an African praise song, and is now colorfully illustrated by David Diaz. 

"Praise song for struggle, praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign,
the figuring it out at kitchen tables.” 

Two popular subjects for youngsters are animals and clothes.  Alice Schertle’s award-winning Button Up engages us with such humorously plaintive voices as Tanya [the bear]’s Old T-Shirt:

"I’m still the same size as when I was new. 
I didn’t shrink-
It was Tanya who GREW.”

Poets seem to make an extra effort to reach out to boys with poetry on sports, trucks, and even Guyku: a Year of Haiku for Boys

"With baseball cards and
Clothespins, we make our bikes sound
Like motorcycles.”

Novels in verse allows the author a more deliberate, slower-paced expression of their characters, while at the same time the story can be read somewhat quickly.  The Newbery Honor book Inside Out & Back Again recounts a young Vietnamese girl’s emigration to America at the end of the Vietnam War and her struggle to assimilate to a new culture. 

We have put together a list of favorite and noteworthy children’s poetry books. Included are perennial favorite poets Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky, classics by Longfellow, beautifully illustrated collections, and examples of such forms as haiku and concrete poetry.  You'll find a special bookcase displaying these titles in the Children's Department.  Please come in and browse!

If you would like to look beyond our library, poetry has a strong presence in Chicagoland through the Chicago-based Poetry Foundation.  Endowed with an unexpected $200 million dollar bequest, it offers programming for children such as interactive readings, videos of illustrated poems being read and suggestions by their Children’s Poet Laureate.