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Mon, 07/27/2015 - 1:59pm


I purchased the adorable picture book [:catalog/record/1476872|Sparky!], by Jenny Offill, for a friend last Christmas and I am so glad that the library now has it in our collection, too! Winner of the [:|Charlotte Zolotow Award] for best picture book text, this book is a true gem for readers of all ages, especially those who consider themselves animal lovers. A young girl wants a pet, but her mom keeps saying ‘no’ to every pet she suggests. Finally, her mother says that she can have any pet she wants… “as long as it doesn't need to be walked or bathed or fed." Of course, like the girl’s mom, most of us believe that description leaves few viable pet options. But, with the help of her school librarian, the girl finds a pet that fits the bill… a sluggish, yet strangely lovable sloth. Readers will grow to adore Sparky along with his owner as this too-cute book progresses.

Offill is the author of [:catalog/record/1285492|17 Things I’m Not Allowed To Do Anymore], [:catalog/record/1397302|11 Experiments That Failed] and [:catalog/record/1466745|While You Were Napping], all for children, and the deeply moving [:catalog/record/1446076|Dept. of Speculation], for adults.

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New Books on World War I and World War II

Sun, 07/19/2015 - 12:57pm


Want to learn more about World War I or World War II? Take a look at a few of our new books!

[b:1469615|Women Heroes of World War I: 16 Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies, and Medics] and [b:1469616|Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue] tell the true stories of remarkable women in war times. With profiles of many different women, these books will keep the attention of readers as they learn about spying techniques, wartime resistance, and even primitive surgery methods!

[b:1470319|The Great War: Stories Inspired by Items from the First World War] is a unique take on World War I. Featuring the work of multiple authors, the short stories in this book each stem from an object recovered from World War I, be it a helmet, a toy solider, or a compass. This is a great book for children and adults to enjoy together.

From the new series [k:History's Greatest Rivals|History's Greatest Rivals] comes the book [b:1471461|Adolf Hitler vs. Winston Churchill: Foes of World War II]. Featuring great graphics and short intriguing text, this is a winner for kids who want a shorter book on World War II.

For even more youth books on World War I, check out [:user/lists/61422|these recommendations!] For books on World War II, [:user/lists/61423|look here!]

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Crossover Graphic Novels: Great for multiple ages!

Sat, 07/11/2015 - 10:22am


There is something to be said for a good graphic novel that appeals to more than just its target age range. It takes a combination of great artwork and great story to make a graphic novel rise out of the ranks of its fellow titles and stand the test, if not of time then at least of readability. The following are titles that are great, not just if you happen to be the "right" age but also if you don't fit into that particular age range.

[|Bone] by [:catalog/search/author/%2522Smith%252C%2BJeff%252C%2B1960%2BFeb.%2B27-%2522| Jeff Smith] is a great (and somewhat epic) tale about 3 characters who have been cast out of their home of Boneville. The story starts with Phoney Bone, Fone Bone and Smiley Bone stuck in a desert, unsure of where to go next. This is where the adventure gets kicked off. They find themselves lost in a world that they didn't know existed and thrust into an adventure that they probably didn't want. The catalog says it's youth but this series can be enjoyed by anyone of any age!
For ease of finding them I'm listing the books in order here (with links to the catalog of course)

Vol 1 [:catalog/search/title/out from boneville| Out From Boneville]
Vol 2 [b:1260446| The Great Cow Race]
Vol 3 [b:1260578| Eyes of the Storm]
Vol 4 [:catalog/search/title/bone The Dragonslayer|The Dragonslayer]
Vol 5 [b:1282718|Rock Jaw Master of the Eastern Border]
Vol 6 [b:1160612|Old Man's Cave]
Vol 7 [b:1309712|Ghost Circles]
Vol 8 [b:1245950|Treasure Hunter's]
Vol 9 [b:1326052|Crown of Horns]

The next graphic novel series that is great for young and old alike is based on a hit cartoon network show [:catalog/search/callnum/%22Youth%2BGraphic%2BNovel%2B%252F%2BAdventure%2BTime%22|Adventure Time] The stand alone graphic novels and the volumes can (for the most part) be read in any order so jump right in.
For those of you who are not familiar with the show Adventure Time follows Finn and Jake, the last human on Ooo (what earth is renamed after a catastrophic explosion) and his shape-shifting dog Jake. The stories themselves are easy to read and enjoy but that doesn't mean that the overarching story of the series is not interesting. The creators manage to weave a very complex story into the seemingly simple stories. This series is great for young and old alike!

Also as a special non-graphic novel bonus you should check out the super secret (OK not that secret) travel guide to Ooo for under 20 Snails a day [b:1435125|Adventure Time Destination Ooo]

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Huron River Day!

Wed, 07/08/2015 - 9:34am


The [|City of Ann Arbor] is hosting its annual celebration of the beautiful [|Huron River] this week-end. The public is invited to [|Huron River Day]! Haven't been? It's tons of fun! HRD activities are held at Gallup Park from noon to 4 p.m.this Sunday, July 12th. Have fun discovering and learning about the Huron River. Paddle a boat with $5/boat canoe and kayak rentals, and enjoy live music all on the banks of our lovely Huron River. Among the many activities offered will be a children’s tent with art & science activities + the enviro-challenge game; have your picture taken in a canoe photo booth; catch a fish; dip for river bugs; see a live animal program with the Leslie Science & Nature Center; step into a Butterfly House; enjoy the history of the river with the Classic Small Boat Show; make a craft (and find a GAMECODE) with AADL or try out stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). Check out [|Gallup Park] for more information, call 734.794.6240 or visit

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The 2015 Summer Game Shop is NOW OPEN!

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 5:48pm

[img_assist|nid=205709|title=Shop is OPEN!|desc=Shop is OPEN!|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=100]

OH MY WOW! All your patience has paid off... the 2015 SUMMER GAME SHOP is NOW OPEN! We've got a bunch of new items, returning favorites, and PLENTY MORE SURPRISES YET TO COME! But for now, PUT THOSE POINTS TO USE and get some USEFUL STUFF from YOUR LIBRARY! Visit the Shop NOW and see what's new!

Just in case this is your first time, you can only spend SUMMER GAME POINTS in the SUMMER GAME SHOP, although you can use points from ANY SUMMER GAME YEAR! When you place your order, be sure to let us know at which branch you'd like to pick up your order. Then, wait for a notification that your order is ready! Orders generally take at least a week to be filled, and may be longer for certain items. Once you get your notification, just go to the branch and tell them the name on the order to pick it up! Enjoy, and as always, THANKS FOR PLAYING!

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Fri, 06/19/2015 - 11:01am

[img_assist|nid=317452|title=go|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=100]SUMMER GAME 2015 has been ACTIVATED (can you hear its engine revving?), and is READY TO GO!

This year brings you:
- Simplified BRANCH MASTER BADGES. ALL codes required for these big time badges are already placed branches — so you'll have the ENTIRE SUMMER to get all the codes. Nice, right? You could even start TODAY! Though, remember, Downtown doesn’t re-open ’til tomorrow at 9am!

- 2000 POINTS for COMPLETING THE PAPER GAME (Summer Game Classic)! 1000 for the completion code, another 1000 for the badge you’ll earn!

- Plenty of GREAT NEW BADGES starting with BADGE DROP #1 coming around 5 PM today! Eeeeee!

- TOTALLY RAD PRIZES — including BIG LEGO banks, to-go tea tumblers, SUPER SPECIAL “sketch” bags (custom-designed by four cartoonists!), and of course, the RETURN of a few faves: the popular picnic blanket, quality coffee and chocolate! Plus, more, more, more…STAY TUNED!

Just WHEN will you be able to get your hands (or at least your eyes) on some of our super-stellar prizes? The [|SUMMER GAME SHOP] will open July 7.

We’ve got a WHOLE MONTH+ between THIS VERY MOMENT and then, so you’ve got plenty of time to TAG, RATE, and REVIEW items in the AADL Catalog for points! Haven’t played before, but ready now? [|SIGN UP ONLINE!]

Dig all this excitement, but have NO IDEA what we’re talking about? NO PROBLEM — glad you’re here! Here’s a [|quick video] to clue you in!

Questions? Excited comments? Good/bad puns to share? Post here (for points!) or drop us a [|Contact Us] anytime.


as always....

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Kids Read Comics is This Weekend!

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 3:37pm

[img_assist|nid=317796|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=152]Meet [a:Hicks, Faith Erin|Faith Erin Hicks], [a:Telgemeier, Raina|Raina Telgemeier], [t:jellaby|Kean Soo], [|Tory Woollcott], and [|over 40 more of your favorite cartoonists] at Kids Read Comics this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday!

More than just a convention, Kids Read Comics offers over 50 free workshops and demos where you can learn more about making comics from the pros. The events are happening at the Ann Arbor District Library Downtown Branch, [|826 Michigan Robot Supply & Repair Store], [|The Ann Arbor Art Center], and [|The Vault of Midnight]. You can check out the full schedule of events (and download a printable PDF) [|here].

Friday, June 19 through Sunday, June 21, 2015 AADL is hosting the seventh annual Kids Read Comics festival, featuring 50 of your favorite cartoonists from across the continent who have come to lead free hands-on workshops and games designed to boost your creativity!

Friday, June 19

The festival starts at the University of Michigan's Duderstadt Center on North Campus with a Pre-Conference for Librarians, Educators, and Cartoonists. Register [|here] to attend a workshop on how to make your own comics workshop, a talk on the history of comics with acclaimed comics scholar [|Carol Tilley], a panel discussion on comics in the classroom moderated by [|Colby Sharp], and a tour of the [|University of Michigan's Video Game Library].

Friday evening from 5:00 to 8:00 pm we'll all converge on [|The Vault of Midnight at 219 South Main Street] for a Comics Jam Party where cartoonists, parents, and kids will be invited to contribute to a giant drawing wall facing Main Street!

Saturday, June 20

The main event kicks off at 11:00 am in the Multi-Purpose Room at AADL's Downtown Branch. Special Guests Kean Soo and Tory Woollcott will lead a presentation on making graphic novels.
Artist Alley opens at noon on the 1st floor of the Downtown Library and runs until 6:00 pm and workshops will be happening throughout the day at the Library, the Ann Arbor Art Center, the Robot Supply & Repair Store, and the Vault of Midnight!

Sunday, June 21

Artist Alley opens at 12:30 pm and runs through 6:00 pm. Get ready for another fun filled day of workshops at the Library, the Ann Arbor Art Center, the Robot Supply & Repair Store, and the Vault of Midnight!

You can check out the full events list [|here]

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New Blexbolex: PEOPLE

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 1:47pm


Enigmatic French artist and designer Blexbolex won numerous awards for his 2010 book [:catalog/record/1374763|Seasons]. His latest book, [:catalog/record/1472775|People], features his signature style of illustrations, and depicts all sorts of people, real, imaginary, historical and legendary. Each illustration of an individual features a single descriptive phrase above it, such as PLUMBER, HIGH DIVER or MARIONETTE. As readers peruse through Blexbolex’s amazing images, they’ll enjoy discovering the connections between his different people. The breath of a shivering man crosses the page to become the smoke from a smoker’s cigarette. A painter, a graffiti artist, a poster hanger and an abstract artist are all depicted in succession and the differences and similarities in their tasks are made subtly clear. I just love how simple and clever Blexbolex’s work is, and how his diverse renderings of people break down preconceived notions of what a traditional WARRIOR or CYCLIST or MAGICIAN might look like. People is a great household book and is enjoyable for every age.

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Fri, 06/12/2015 - 5:57pm

OH. MY. GLOB. SUMMER GAME just got rolling mere HOURS ago and already it’s off to a MIND-BLOWING start!

Over 500 of you summer game SUPER-GENIUSES have scored points and there’s some absolutely INTENSE code-hunting going on at the branches! You guys are absolutely ASTONIGHING! Seriously STUPEFYING! Summer Game WIZARDS, that’s what you are! For the past 9 hours you guys have been TAGGING, REVIEWING, LISTING, and especially COMMENTING up a storm to let us know JUST how excited you are that SUMMER GAME 2015 is finally, finally (FINALLY) here!

And we TOTALLY hear you guys! We’re excited too! We know you can’t POSSIBLY HANDLE any more suspense, so without further ado: THE FIRST BADGE DROP OF 2015!!!

2015 Badge Drop #1
echo theme_summergame_badge(931,932,933,934,935,936,937,938,939,940,941,942,944,945);

That’s right, guys. Take it ALL in. The NERDY, MYSTERIOUS, BEAR-COVERED BRILLIANCE! We pretty much CANNOT wait to see just how many of you CONQUER these badges!

And don’t forget for anyone just getting started, earning those GETTING STARTED badges is a CINCH! So WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? GET TO IT!

And of course, as ALWAYS, and until FOREVER:


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Rad American Women A-Z

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 10:06am


Wow! I want to shout about this book from the rooftops! [b:1470330|Rad American Women A-Z], written by Kate Schatz, and illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl, is the best introduction to women’s history in America I’ve ever seen!

Written in the form of an alphabet book, the 25 women in this book (X is for the women we don’t yet know) are an impressive group. Clear thought has been given to diversity of accomplishments, race, time period, and more. My favorite thing about this book is that the women represented in the pages are ones that children may not have heard of- Dolores Huerta, Kate Bornstein, Temple Grandin, Hazel Scott, Wilma Mankiller, and Yuri Kochiyama, just to name a few! Although this book is written for children, the gorgeous art and smart summaries makes this a winner for all ages.

Rad American Women A-Z picked up quite a bit of buzz prior to publication- check out articles about it from [|The Huffington Post], [|BuzzFeed], [|and more]. You can also [|look at the images] made available for download from the publisher.

Now go check out [b:1470330|this book]!