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The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read

Mary, born into slavery in 1868, loved watching the birds fly free in the sky while she worked in the fields. She wanted to be free too! But she had to keep working. No time for rest. No time to learn. Even when Mary and her family were freed from slavery she still had to work hard.

One day, Mary was given a Bible, but all she could see were squiggly lines! Mary became determined to learn to read but there was always work to be done and a family to raise. Late in life, Mary said, "No more waiting! Time to learn!" You'll be amazed to learn Mary's age when she finally learned to read and became truly free.

This true story definitely shows that you are never too old to learn. I love how this book is full of hope and the vibrant collage illustrations by Coretta Scott King award winner, Oge Mara, really help tell the story in this amazing picture book biography. There are even real photos of Mary on the front and back covers.

   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

Youth Art Month Contest

Oceans of Possibilities Youth Art Contest Winners

Winners from left to right include: Ben McClary, Zoa Barker, Emilee Allsop, Mackenzie Wood (top), Remy Niederman (bottom), and Lola Burkson 

In March we asked children to create original artwork using the theme of our summer reading games––Oceans of Possibilities! As usual, you did not disappoint, submitting over 70 pieces of artwork to the contest!

Our staff members were pleased to receive so many creative and imaginative entries.

“It certainly made the decision tough––we ended up choosing six winners!” said Ginny Hosler, a librarian, and the contest’s programmer.

The six winning pieces will be made into collectible summer reading prize bookmarks. Children who participate in the games will receive a bookmark as their 10-point prize.

But we’re not stopping there! “There were so many great submissions that we decided to showcase all of the entries at the Downtown Library this summer. We hope everyone will come and see just how creative our community is!” Hosler said.

   
Infant/Toddler    Preschool    Tween   
Think Library    Adults    Teens    Kids   

My Pet Human

This first-chapter book stars an adorable tuxedo cat who loves living the outdoor life! It can hang out with its friends (other animals in the neighborhood), has lots of great places to eat, and doesn't have to worry about any pesky humans. All of the cat's animal friends have human pets with the weirdest habits and flaws––one human stays in their room all day and another's group of mini-humans jumps all over it. When a new human, a nice one, moves into an abandoned house and gives the cat some yummy tuna mac-and-cheese, the cat tries to train it to make its own "human pet."

This book is so cute and the pictures are really delightful. I love that the story is told from the cat's point of view! It is so funny. If you love cats or stories about animals this would be a good book for you! Recommended for ages 6–10.

Reviewed by Kim B., Children's Librarian

   
Animals    Friendship    Read   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

Another Kind

Deep in the desert, not too far from infamous Area 51, is a government facility called the Playroom. In this secret facility are a group of six kids, who are not-quite-human. While the Playroom is a refuge for them, it is also an enclosure. A security breach soon propels them into the world––a world dangerous for "irregularities." Before they know it, this group of clever and funny kids is being hunted by employees of the government, UFO conspiracy theorists, and a mysterious and malevolent "Collector."

This graphic novel features a cast of diverse characters searching for a place to call home, as well as incredible art and some snarky, funny dialogue. If you like books with adventure & beautiful art, a high-stakes plot (without any world ending), and cryptids(!), check it out.

   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

Other Boys

Damien hasn't had many positive experiences in his past. His mother was killed when he was just a baby, his brother and aunts and uncles don't understand his hobbies and passions, and he's not even sure he understands himself. So he's starting over in a new school after being bullied harshly at his last. This time around, Damien vows to stay silent and give the kids at his new school absolutely nothing to go on if they want to bully him. Yet it's lonely talking to no one and bottling up all his feelings. 

   
Other boys   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

Allergic

Sometimes Maggie feels left out. Her mom and dad are preoccupied with getting ready for the new baby, her twin brothers are always in their own little twin world, and even her friends seem to be distracted with other things.

Maggie convinces her parents that a puppy is the perfect answer, but a trip to the animal shelter just makes things worse! Turns out Maggie is severely allergic to many kinds of pets. Then Maggie makes a new best friend. Claire has just moved in next door and seems to answer all of Maggie's troubles until she does something that makes Maggie feel completely misunderstood.

   
Allergic   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids   

2021 Accomplishments

2021 Accomplishments

2021 was a big year for us! While we continued to increase access to our services through virtual options, we also resumed all of the in-person services and events you love. Here are some of the accomplishments that made our 2021 great!

Events and Services

11,706 people participated in 984 Library-sponsored in-person and virtual events. Summer reading continued virtually, with its participants nearly doubling the initial goal of reading one-million minutes!

We launched several long-term programs including a 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten reading challenge and Monroe County Field Notes, a virtual dig to uncover stories about 19th-century landmarks and people. The research will help diversify our community’s history.

   
Think Library    Adults   

MCPL Board of Trustees Welcomes Nichelle Whitney Wash

Nichelle Whitney Wash

We are excited to welcome the newest member of the Board of Trustees, Nichelle Whitney Wash to the MCPL community! Appointed by the County Council, Nichelle will serve on the Board for a four-year term. We sat down for a Q&A with Nichelle and here’s what we discovered. 

 

Tell us a little bit about your education and work history?

I attended Indiana University and studied Human Biology with a concentration in Human Health & Disease. I identify as a STEM nerd in many ways, and during my academic journey fell in love with teaching people about the history of social identities in America. This new love led me to become a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) consultant. I’ve worked in a number of different roles including in higher education, healthcare, and nonprofit organizations. 

 

   
Connect    Create    Diversity    Learn    Library News    Local Interest    Read   
Think Library    Adults   

Endling: The Last

The Queen, Katherine Applegate, has done it again.

Endling: The Last is the first book in a fantasy-adventure trilogy. Applegate does a brilliant job of introducing us intimately to a lovable cast of characters, including the series' heroine Byx, believed to be the last dairne (a race of sentient anthropomorphic dog) in the land of Nedarra. Byx is joined by a motley crew of companions in her quest to find the legendary ancient home of the dairnes and survive the pursuit of the land's power-mad ruler.

The characters' plights and small-scale drama are expertly woven into the backdrop of a fully realized fantasy world, with tantalizing hints toward mysteries to be unraveled and secrets to be revealed. In classic Applegate fashion, the book is full of truly heart-pounding action sequences coupled with thought-provoking parallels between this fantasy setting and our own world.

   
Adventure    Family    Fantasy    Read   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids   

Celebrating Black Voices: Jacqueline Woodson & Coretta Scott King Awards Exhibit

Celebrating Black Voices

On Saturday, February 5 from 7–8:15 PM, The Friends of the Library and Monroe County Public Library will host award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater as part of the biennial “Power of Words: Changing Our World One Author at a Time” programming series. The talk is free and open to the public. 

Listen to the internationally acclaimed author, who gives voice to African American life through more than 30 books, ranging from children’s picture books to young adult literature to adult novels. Woodson is a National Book Award Winner for Young People’s Literature for her New York Times bestselling memoir “Brown Girl Dreaming”, among many other awards. The doors will open at 6:30 PM and tickets are not required. Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test is required per the Buskirk-Chumley Theater’s policy.

   
Think Library    Adults    Teens   

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