Tuesday, October 17, 2017

New Fiction for Middle Grades

Follow ups to awards winners, a pair of new adventure series, and a funny tale for Charlotte's Web fans.

 War I Finally Won
THE WAR I FINALLY WON by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. This sequel to the award-winning The War That Saved My Life continues the poignant story of two London children who are evacuated to the seaside village of Kent during the WWII Blitz.  The war continues to impact their lives intensely.   Ada and Jamie are still living with Susan, their reluctant yet reliable caregiver.  Ruth, a young German Jewish refugee, becomes another member of the household and provokes a conflicted reaction from villagers.  Ada and the others struggle to find courage and meaning in a time of terrible personal loss.  An engrossing, ultimately heart-lifting journey.

 Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City
THE UNLIKELY STORY OF A PIG IN THE CITY by Jodi Kendall.  When Hamlet shows up on Thanksgiving not as the entrĂ©e, but as a rescued runt, Josie immediately finds a soft spot in her heart for the piglet.  Josie feels a bond with Hamlet, both of them just struggling to survive amidst a family with a ton of kids.  Josie’s Dad, who declares a piglet is just future bacon, not a pet, relents and gives Josie one month to keep Hamlet while a she finds him a new safe home.  What follows are hilarious, eye-opening schemes, ideas, plans gone awry and new friendships.  Josie learns responsibility and the strength of her family.

                            Two new fantasy adventures featuring boys:

 Adventurers Guild
THE ADVENTURER’S GUILD by Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos.  Conscripted into the dangerous Adventurers Guild, best friends Zed and Brock must defend what is left of humanity against terrible monsters in this epic fantasy for Harry Potter fans.  Young people are apprenticed to a guild during the annual Culling ceremony in this fantasy with a medieval feel.  Neither Zed nor Brock were prepared to be chosen for the Adventurer’s Guild, hoping instead for the more prestigious Mages or Merchants.  The Adventurers Guild acts as the last line of defense against the Dangers-hungry, unnatural beasts from otherworldly planes.

 MAX TILT: FIRE THE DEPTHS by Peter Lerangis.  A new adventure series for boys by the author of Seven Wonders series.  Max Tilt’s orderly world collapses when his parents leave suddenly on a life threatening medical emergency and an unfamiliar cousin comes to take care of him.  Financial problems escalate rapidly and the two are ready to sell anything to keep the bank from foreclosing.  When Max and Alex explore the attic, they unearth a manuscript by a famous ancestor: Jules Verne. What the manuscript says is potentially more valuable than its intrinsic value:  there really was a Captain Nemo and there are untold riches awaiting he who can decipher and follow the manuscript’s clues. Max and Alex embark on a serio-comic fly by the seat of your pants adventure, complete with a sinister evil foe. 

 Greetings from Witness Protection
  GREETINGS FROM WITNESS PROTECTION by Jake Burt.  Thirteen-year-old Nicki Demere is an orphan and a kleptomaniac, making her the perfect girl to join a family in witness protection.   The addition of a daughter should disguise the profile of the Trevors as they hide from the criminals out to get them, but Nicki soon learns that the biggest threat to her new family's security comes from her own past.

                          And for mystery fans:

 Ghosts of Greenglass House
  GHOSTS OF GREENGLASS HOUSE by Kate Milford.   Return to Greenglass House, the rambling old inn with secretive guests, a mysterious map and riddle solving student detectives.  Another winter has come, and Milo is hoping for this winter break to be as exciting as last year’s, when he and his friend Meddie unraveled long held secrets.  He is not to be disappointed.  The first Greenglass House won an Edgar award; this book is a worthy sequel.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Lake Forest Reads: Ragdale Month

It's October, which means it's Lake Forest Reads: Ragdale month! This year's title, A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki is an insightful, inventive, and thought provoking novel. Events are being held at the Library, Gorton Center, and Dickinson Hall leading up to a visit from the author on October 26th and 27th. To see a full list of events, visit lakeforestreadsragdale.org/events. We've assembled some FAQ's about Lake Forest Reads: Ragdale below.

What is Lake Forest Reads: Ragdale?
Lake Forest Reads: Ragdale is an annual program created by Lake Forest Library in partnership with Ragdale, Lake Forest College, and the Friends of Lake Forest Library. The program encourages our community to read and share one book by a writer affiliated with Ragdale, with the purpose of fostering a culture of reading and a sense of community.

How do you choose the book every year?
Since we always choose a book written by a Ragdale author, Ragdale provides the committee with a list of titles and authors that have done residencies there. From that list, we do some investigating, reading reviews, checking availability of titles in different formats (large type, audio, ebook), and interest. We then narrow down the list to 3-4 titles. Everyone on the committee then reads those titles and we meet to discuss them. We try to find books with a lot of substance that would make for great discussions, and cause people to think deeply about the issues in the book. We also look for titles that have a high literary standard, but are still accessible to the general public. This year's choice of A Tale for the Time Being was voted to be this year's title almost unanimously.

What is this book about?
In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying, but before she ends it all, Nao plans to document the life of her great-grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace—and will touch lives in a ways she can scarcely imagine.

Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox—possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future. 

Full of Ozeki’s signature humour and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.

How do I get to see Ruth Ozeki speak?

Attend one of the three events featuring her on October 26th and 27th! A Conversation with the Author will take place Thursday, October 26th at 7:00 pm with Professor Davis Schneiderman. Then on Friday, October 27th at 10:00 am she will be the featured guest at Ragdale's Tea and Talk. Finally, Friday evening Ruth will lead a Guided Meditation followed by a book signing at the Lake Forest Book Store. You can register for all of these events at lakeforestreadsragdale.org/events.

How do I get a copy of the book?

Call us at 847.810.4610 or visit our catalog at lakeforestlibrary.org to put a hold on it or head to the Lake Forest Book Store, where you can purchase a discounted copy.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Coffee with Books Recommended Titles

Kate and Liz Recommendations: 

Nothing is missing from Eleanor’s carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, but everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. 

Elegant, aristocratic and quirky, Celine is more than a private detective. As she travels from Brooklyn to Yellowstone to reunite a family she discovers love, hope, and learns how the past can unite all of us.

For forty years, David Sedaris has kept a diary in which he records everything that captures his attention-overheard comments, salacious gossip, soap opera plot twists, secrets confided by total strangers. 

Just because you are, a family of Psychics does not make you any stranger, odder or less loving of a family. Teen Matty finds that what brings a family in crisis together can be magic.

Marion Palm embezzled over $180,000 from her daughters’ private school so when the school faces an audit, Marion pulls piles of rubber-banded cash from their basement hiding places and flees, leaving her family to grapple with the baffled detectives, the irate school board, and the mother-shaped hole in their house. 

Based on the true story of the largest fire in Maine’s history, a young wife finds that tragedy allows her to reinvent and begin again.  Is she able to support her family and take care of herself? 

Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs' joint trust fund, 'The Nest, ' which they are but months away from finally receiving. 

For the woman who now calls herself Ruth, every day is a chance to heal, to put together the pieces of her shattered life. Bobby said he will never let her go and she believed him.  How can she move forward while still looking back?

Former Wall Street trader Jason Stafford steps out of prison and into parenthood.  His son “the Kid” is loveable, challenging and in danger. As Stafford looks into financial irregularities on Wall Street he puts his family in danger and the only way out is to solve the crime.

A married Nigerian couple who must grapple with staggering levels of loss and betrayal in their quest to create a family for themselves. 

Best known for his Stone Barrington series, Woods discovered a new passion: sailing.  Join him on his journey, a solo adventure with all the twists and turns of his suspenseful novels. 

Meet the Alter sisters--Lady, Vee, and Delph--three delightfully witty, complicated women who live together in their family's apartment on the Upper West Side. No matter what curves life throws at these siblings, they always have a wisecrack--and each other. Now, in the waning days of 1999, as the century comes to an end, Lady, Vee, and Delph decide that their time is up too. First, they must write a note: a mesmerizing accounting of their lives that stretches back decades, to the brilliant scientist--their great-grandfather--whose sinister legacy has defined them. 

This true to life novel by the author of the memoir Glass Castle  tells the extraordinary story of the author’s frontier grandmother.  From riding 500 miles at the age of 15 to get to her teaching job to surviving droughts, flash floods and the Great Depression, this dramatic story will keep you riveted from first page to last.

Aviva Grossman is an ambitious Congressional intern in Florida who makes the life-changing mistake of having an affair with her boss who is beloved, admired, successful, and very married and blogging about it. When the affair comes to light, the Congressman doesn't take the fall, but Aviva does, and her life is over before it hardly begins. She is forced to change her name and move to Maine. She tries to start over as a wedding planner, but when, at the urging of others, she decides to run for public office herself, that long ago mistake trails her via the Internet like a scarlet A. 

Britain’s Queen needs cheering up and what better way to feel better than to escape from real life and take a train trip? Without telling anyone where you are going. And you are the Queen.  In a hoodie.  This witty social and political novel is charming and clever.

Laura, Memphis-bred and struggles to adjust to new home on the Mississippi delta. Brought there by her stoic and insensitive husband, she feels isolated, and finds rural life full of prejudices. Two celebrated soldiers returning to rural Mississippi from World War 2 and find that as much as they have changed the prejudices of the Jim Crow south have not.  How do these families cope with tragedy, love and country?

Teenager, Evie is enthralled by Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged--a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. 

Did you know that Shanghai was a safe haven for Jews fleeing Hitler’s Europe?  Chinese American private detective Lydin Chin is on the case that spans cultures, decades and history.

Not a tree, no shade, no water, just sun, wind, and dust. Telling this dramatic story with empathy using real survivors’ words, the author conveys both the horror and the hardships that pioneers and homesteaders found in the great American dream. 


Patron Recommendations: 
After neurosurgeon Eitan Green hits and kills an African migrant while driving on a deserted road late at night, the victim's wife tracks him down and confronts him the next day, and her price for silence shatters his safe existence. 

Strong willed Gertie Nevels is uprooted from her peaceful Kentucky life to chaotic wartime Detroit. In a pitiless world of unendurable poverty, Gertie will battle fiercely to protect those things she holds most dear- her children, her heritage, and her ability to create beauty in ugliness and despair.

A young girl, Elvis, tries to deal with her mother's death in a variety of ways. A unique, hilarious, and heartbreaking story.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Top 10 Reasons to Get a Library Card

To register for a library card, just visit us with your photo ID and proof of residency. For more information on what are acceptable forms or ID and residency visit our website.

1. Books, Movies, and Music! This may seem obvious, but it can't be stressed enough. Libraries have a vast supply of best sellers, as well as series books, and nonfiction books about everything from gardening to interior decorating, cookbooks, and philosophy. Lake Forest Library also has popular new DVDs and Blu-Rays, and binge-worthy TV shows like House of Cards and Game of Thrones. We've got everything from bluegrass to hip hop to classical music available for checkout too. Librarians are also on hand to help you find materials and recommend a good book or movie.

2. eBooks, eAudiobooks, Downloadable Music and Movies A lot of people don't realize that you can download eBooks and eAudiobooks from your favorite authors for free through the Library. You don't need to pay for Audible or Kindle Books anymore. Use the Cloud Library, Overdrive, and Hoopla apps to get started today. Hoopla also offers streaming and downloadable music albums and movies. For more information about these apps, visit our website here.

3. Magazines and eMagazines We've got over 300 magazine subscriptions for you to enjoy. Patrons can check out back issues of magazines and browse through the newest editions in our beautiful Reading Room. Check out a wide variety of eMagazines on your tablet or phone by downloading the RB Digital app. 

 4. Tutor.com With your library card you get access to one-on-one online tutoring in math, science, English, and writing for K-12 and college students everyday from 2:00-11:00 pm. Get help for you or your child here.

 5. Lynda.com Gain access to online tutorials from the leader in technology training. Learn how to take better pictures, start a business, make a website, or become an Excel pro. If you want to learn something, there is likely a class on it available on Lynda.

 6. "With Love from Your Library" Month During the month of February when you show your library card at select local businesses you get a discount on your purchases. There are also special programs and events at the Library throughout the month.

7. Museum Adventure Pass Get discounts on entry to 17 suburban museums and destinations, including Brookfield Zoo, Chicago Botanic Garden, and Legoland. Just bring your library card to the Circulation desk to check out the passes. To see the full list of participating destinations, check out Museum Adventure's site.

 8. Media Lab If you've got a Lake Forest library card, you have free access to our Media Lab with one-on-one help from one of our attendants. Scan and edit photos, digitize movies, record a podcast, and create music with our state of the art equipment. Make an appointment online here.

9. Financial Resources Access Morningstar, Value Line, Investor's Business Daily, and Standard and Poors for all your investment needs for free with your library card. Consumers' Checkbook and Consumer Reports provide reviews on services and purchases.

10. Programs and Events We have an array of awesome programs for all ages. There's a storytime almost every day, as well as other entertaining children's programs like Cooking with Kids, Lego Club, Popeye and Sailor Trick Dog Act, and Astronomy for Everyone. We also offer a lot of great programs for Teens and Adults including a cookbook book club, fiction and nonfiction book clubs, tech classes, and special presentations like How to Live a Zen Life and a Japanese Koto music performance. Check out our calendar for more information on these and other programs.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Back to School Resources

The Library has a ton of great resources to help you with school projects, homework, and learning. We're highlighting a few of them below, but you can see the full list of resources and descriptions here. You can access all of the resources below from home.

The Gale Encyclopedia of Science covers all major areas of science, engineering, technology, as well as mathematics and the medical and health sciences, while providing a comprehensive overview of current scientific knowledge and technology. Entries typically describe scientific concepts, provide overviews of scientific areas and define terms.

With your library card you can access historical articles from the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and the Lake Forester. Search topics to find primary resources. This is especially helpful when researching for historical papers. You can also access current editions of there newspapers by their name here.

Access company and investment information, search through legal cases, and see news stories from hundreds of major sources, both foreign and domestic with Lexis Nexis.

Tutor.com is one of our favorite resources. With your library card you have access to free, live, one-on-one online tutors for help in math, science, English, social studies, and writing. Tutors are available from 2:00 to 11:00 p.m., seven days a week.

World Book Online gives you access to World Book Advance, Student, and Kids encyclopedias, all fully-searchable with pictures, a dictionary, atlas, timelines, and more.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

14 Audiobooks the Whole Family Can Enjoy

It's road trip season! As families embark on summer vacations, we've got some audiobook suggestions the whole family can enjoy together (including Mom and Dad). All of these audiobooks are available on CD at the Library and some are available for download through our eBook services- Overdrive and Hoopla. Click on the title to place a hold on the CD audiobook version.

Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Wizards and Witches. Recommended ages 8+. 

While going through the possessions of a deceased guest who owed them money, an innkeeper and her son find a treasure map that leads to a pirate fortune as well as great danger. Recommended ages 10+.

Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit, is a peaceful sort who lives in a cozy hole in the Shire, a place where adventures are uncommon--and rather unwanted. So when the wizard Gandalf whisks him away on a treasure-hunting expedition with a troop of rowdy dwarves, he is not entirely thrilled. Recommended ages 9+.

Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student. Recommended age 11+.

Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors. Recommended ages 12+.

Two brothers and two sisters find their way through the back of a magic wardrobe into the land of Narnia. They befriend and assist Aslan, the golden lion, to triumph over the White Witch who had cursed the land with eternal winter. Recommended ages 8+.

After the sudden death of their parents, the three Baudelaire children must depend on each other and their wits when it turns out that the distant relative who is appointed their guardian is determined to use any means necessary to get their fortune. Recommended ages 9+.

Accompanied by her daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments in the Far North. Recommended ages 10+.

Percy Jackson just found out the truth about where we came from after his mom sends him to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon, a mystery unfolds and together with his friends -- one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena -- Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods. Recommended ages 9+.

Seconds before Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together, this dynamic pair began a journey through space aided by a galaxyful of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed, ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend, whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; and Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he’s bought over the years. Recommended ages 12+.

Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg's father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government. Recommended ages 9+.

In this classic children's tale by acclaimed author Roald Dahl, the Big Friendly Giant, a very different kind of giant, finds a friend in a small human girl named Sophie. Listeners will delight in the fun language woven throughout the narrative. Recommended ages 6+.

Rescuing a squirrel after an accident involving a vacuum cleaner, comic-reading cynic Flora Belle Buckman is astonished when the squirrel, Ulysses, demonstrates astonishing powers of strength and flight after being revived. Recommended ages 8+.

Twelve-year-old Abilene Tucker is the daughter of a drifter who, in the summer of 1936, sends her to stay with an old friend in Manifest, Kansas, where he grew up, and where she hopes to find out some things about his past. Recommended ages 10+.