PageTurners Read Wonder

wonder4_books

Wonder Ratings
The PageTurners book club discussed the children’s fiction book, Wonder by R.J. Palacio last week. The book was unanimously declared “heartwarming” with many of the club sharing that they both laughed and cried. Our group rating was a solid 4 out of 5.

We’re looking forward to discussing The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka, NW by Zadie Smith, and Arcadia by Lauren Groff over the next few months. New members are always welcome, so please join us the fiorst Thursday of every month at 6 p.m.

Explaining Violence to Children

The Rice Lake Public Library sends our sincere condolences to the people and families affected by the violence at the Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Even though we are so far away geographically from Connecticut, this terrible tragedy affects us all.

Here are some tips on how to cope:

  1. Be aware of your feelings and thoughts. Anxiety, worry, sadness and anger are all expected reactions to violent events such as school shootings. It is important, however, that you understand your feelings and thoughts.
  2. Do not make assumptions. Each individual has different reactions and responses to a traumatic event. It is important that you do not make assumptions about other’s thoughts and feelings.
  3. Engage in open communication.
  4. Expect emotions. Expect that everyone will be experiencing a number of emotions and that feelings will fluctuate from day to day.
  5. Validate emotions. A great variety of feelings can be expected as a result of school violence. For example, you can say “I can see that you are very worried about going back to school”, “I know how confused you are about all this. I feel the same way” or “I can see that you are very sad.”
  6. Be honest and open. Sharing your own feelings may help to normalize the experiences and reactions of others.
  7. Keep it in perspective. 
  8. Discuss the signs of violence. Have conversations with others about signs of violence in your surroundings. Keep in mind that although warning signs may exist, not everyone with warning signs will engage in aggressive or violent behaviors. Some of the signs include a history of threatening behaviors, violence or aggression, difficulty controlling anger and frustration, and regular run-ins with the law. Other warning signs include significant withdrawal from social activities and friends, a history of rejection or victimization through bullying, and a sense of loneliness and alienation. However, be sure to communicate that not everyone they encounter with these signs is potentially a danger to them.
  9. Be proactive. Research the safety procedures and plans at your child’s school with your children. Read information on the school’s website or handbook and ask questions of the administration.
  10. Continue with your goals and plans.
  11. Use and model coping skills. Use relaxation techniques that have worked for you in the past. Relaxation techniques include taking slow, deep breaths from the diaphragm and visualizing a safe and calm place, such as a sandy beach or pleasurable memory.
  12. Give back to your community with volunteering. 
  13. Seek professional guidance.
  14. Seek social support. 

Some of you may be wondering how to discuss this violence with children. The National Association of School Psychologists offer a series of suggestions for doing so. Click here for this handout. Here are some important points to emphasize:

  • Schools are safe places. School staff work with parents and public safety providers (local police and fire departments, emergency responders, hospitals, etc.) to keep you safe.
  • The school building is safe because … (cite specific school procedures).
  • We all play a role in the school safety. Be observant and let an adult know if you see or hear something that makes you feel uncomfortable, nervous or frightened.
  • There is a difference between reporting, tattling or gossiping. You can provide important information that may prevent harm either directly or anonymously by telling a trusted adult what you know or hear.
  • Don’t dwell on the worst possibilities. Although there is no absolute guarantee that something bad will never happen, it is important to understand the difference between the possibility of something happening and the probability that it will affect our school.
  • Senseless violence is hard for everyone to understand. Doing things that you enjoy, sticking to your normal routine, and being with friends and family help make us feel better and keep us from worrying about the event.
  • Sometimes people do bad things that hurt others. They may be unable to handle their anger, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or suffering from mental illness. Adults
  • (parents, teachers, police officers, doctors, faith leaders) work very hard to get those people help and keep them from hurting others. It is important for all of us to know how to get help if we feel really upset or angry and to stay away from drugs and alcohol.
  • Stay away from guns and other weapons. Tell an adult if you know someone has a gun. Access to guns is one of the leading risk factors for deadly violence.
  • Violence is never a solution to personal problems. Students can be part of the positive solution by participating in anti-violence programs at school, learning conflict mediation skills, and seeking help from an adult if they or a peer is struggling with anger, depression, or other emotions they cannot control.

Tips and topics provided by the National Association of School Psychologists.

New Books of December 2012

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah’s Book Club 2.0)
Ayana Mathis
In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nine more children whom she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave. She vows to prepare them for the calamitous difficulty they are sure to face in their later lives, to meet a world that will not love them, a world that will not be kind. Captured here in twelve luminous narrative threads, their lives tell the story of a mother’s monumental courage and the journey of a nation.

Shadow Creek
By Joy Fielding
Due to a last-minute change in plans, a group of unlikely traveling companions finds themselves on a camping trip in the Adirondacks. They include the soon-to-be-divorced Valerie; her oddball friends, Melissa and James; her moody teenage daughter, Brianne; and Val’s estranged husband’s fiancée, Jennifer. What Val and her companions don’t know is that a pair of crazed killers is wreaking havoc in the very same woods. When an elderly couple is found slaughtered and Brianne goes missing, Val finds herself in a nightmare much worse than anything she could have anticipated. She was half-expecting it to be the trip from hell, but what she never could have predicted was that this impromptu little excursion might be the last she ever takes.

A Possible Life: A Novel in Five Parts
By Sebastian Faulks
Five interconnected stories form the heart of this book. The links between Jones’ stories are subtle and curious; a name might re-appear in a different context, or a location will feature again, but at a different time or with different people. This novel journeys across continents and time to explore the chaos created by love, separation and missed opportunities. From the pain and drama of these highly particular lives emerges a mysterious consolation: the chance to feel your heart beat in someone else’s life. Soldiers and lovers, parents and children, scientists and musicians risk their bodies and hearts in search of connection – some key to understanding what makes us the people we become.

Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See
Juliann Garey
Greyson Todd is a successful Hollywood studio executive who leaves his wife and young daughter and for a decade travels the world giving free reign to the bipolar disorder he’s been forced to keep hidden for almost 20 years. The novel intricately weaves together three timelines: the story of Greyson’s travels (Rome, Israel, Santiago, Thailand, Uganda); the progressive unraveling of his own father seen through Greyson’s eyes as a child; and the intimacies and estrangements of his marriage. The entire narrative unfolds in the time it takes him to undergo twelve 30-second electroshock treatments in a New York psychiatric ward.

Promises to Keep
by Malcolm Macdonald
Despite concerns on the national and international stage, life for the ambitious nine young families who live in the Dower House, including concentration camp survivor Felix Breit, his wife Angela and their four children, is good. But when a menacing figure from Angela’s past turns up – a former death camp guard who was especially brutal to her – it becomes clear that both Angela and Felix will have to face up to the truth of their German heritage if they are to embrace their English future.

Because I Said So!: The Truth Behind the Myths, Tales, and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to Its Kids
By Ken Jennings
Ken Jennings wants to find out if mother and father always know best. Yes, all those years you were told not to sit too close to the television (you’ll hurt your eyes!) or swallow your gum (it stays in your stomach for seven years!) or crack your knuckles (arthritis!) are called into question by our country’s leading trivia guru. Jennings separates myth from fact to debunk a wide variety of parental edicts: no swimming after meals, sit up straight, don’t talk to strangers, and so on. Armed with medical case histories, scientific findings, and even the occasional experiment on himself (or his kids), Jennings exposes countless examples of parental wisdom run amok. Whether you’re a parent who wants to know what you can stop worrying about or a kid (of any age) looking to say, “I told you so,” this is the anti–helicopter parenting book you’ve been waiting for.

Holidays in December

Happy Hanukkah! Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanzaa! These are three major holidays in December. The library has something to offer you regardless of which event you celebrate.

Hanukkah is the first holiday celebrated in December. It is held from December 8 – 16, this year. This holiday celebrates the victory of the Jews over the Greek Syrians in 165 BC. According to Jewish tradition, the triumphant Jews entered the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and dedicated it to the service of their God. But when they entered the temple, they found only enough lamp oil to last one night, but the oil somehow managed to burn for the whole eight days it took to go in search for more oil.

Holiday Miracles Eight Tales for Eight Nights Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah!

Christmas is the next holiday celebrated in December. It is held on December 25. This Christian holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.

Being Santa Claus A Home-Baked Christmas A Simple Christmas

Kwanzaa is the final holiday celebrated in December. It is celebrated on December 26. Kwanzaa, which means “first fruit of the harvest” in Swahili, is a time to focus on the traditional African values of family. It is based upon the celebration of seven principles or beliefs called the Nguzo Saba and was created by Ron Karenga in 1966 to celebrate African-American heritage.

A Kwanzaa Celebration Fruits of the Harvest Kwanzaa

Happy holidays, everyone! We wish you the best. Everyone is always welcome at the Rice Lake Public Library.

PageTurners Read “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay”

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
by Michael Chabon
This brilliant epic novel set in New York and Prague introduces us to two misfit young men who make it big by creating comic-book superheroes. Joe Kavalier, a young artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdiniesque escape, has just smuggled himself out of Nazi-invaded Prague and landed in New York City. His Brooklyn cousin Sammy Clay is looking for a partner to create heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit America the comic book. Inspired by their own fears and dreams, Kavalier and Clay create the Escapists, The Monitor, and Luna Moth, inspired by the beautiful Rosa Saks, who will become linked by powerful ties to both men.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is the winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

*      *      *      *      *

The PageTurners Book Club met on Thursday, November 1 at 6 pm in the Bottom Shelf Room at the Rice Lake Public Library. Six people attended the discussion. The general consensus was that the book would have benefited from more stringent editing. The group felt that the book was overlong and dragged in parts. The average score awarded to this book was  3 out of 5 books; the lowest score was a 1 / 5 and the highest score 4.5 / 5.

Click on the book graphic below to see a full recap of book club members’ opinions.

_____________________________

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon is available at the Rice Lake Public Library. There are over ten copies of this book in the MORE System. Please visit the card catalog website or call us at 234-4861 to reserve a copy today.

Special Holiday Hours

Happy Thanksgiving! The library has special hours over the Thanksgiving holiday.

 Wednesday, November 21 9 am – 5 pm
 Thursday, November 22 Closed
 Friday, November 23 Closed

 

Normal hours resume on Saturday, November 24.

I hope that everyone has an enjoyable Thanksgiving. Drive safely if you are traveling to any celebration.

New Books of November 2012

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
By Susannah Cahalan
Susannah Cahalan tells the astonishing true story of her inexplicable descent into madness and the brilliant, lifesaving diagnosis that nearly didn’t happen. A team of doctors would spend a month—and more than a million dollars—trying desperately to pin down a medical explanation for what had gone wrong. Meanwhile, as the days passed and her family, boyfriend, and friends helplessly stood watch by her bed, she began to move inexorably through psychosis into catatonia and, ultimately, toward death. Then, at the last minute, celebrated neurologist Souhel Najjar joined her team and, with the help of a lucky, ingenious test, saved her life. He recognized the symptoms of a newly discovered autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks the brain, a disease now thought to be tied to both schizophrenia and autism, and perhaps the root of “demonic possessions” throughout history.

Flight Behavior
By Barbara Kingsolver
Dellarobia Turnbow has spent more than a decade tending to her small children on a failing farm, oppressed by poverty, isolation and her husband’s antagonistic family. She eases her boredom by flirting with a handsome younger man and arranging to meet up with him. But the tryst never happens. Instead, she walks into something on the mountainside she cannot explain or understand: a forested valley filled with silent red fire that appears to her a miracle. After years lived entirely in the confines of one small house, Dellarobia finds her path suddenly opening out, chapter by chapter, into blunt and confrontational engagement with her family, her church, her town, her continent, and finally the world at large.

The Forgotten
By David Baldacci
Army Special Agent John Puller is the best investigator for the US Army. Now he has a new case-but this time, the crime is personal: His aunt has been found dead in Paradise, Florida. The local police have ruled his aunt’s death an unfortunate, tragic accident. But just before she died, she mailed a letter to Puller’s father, telling him that beneath its beautiful veneer, Paradise is not all it seems to be. What Puller finds convinces him that his aunt’s death was no accident . . . and that the palm trees and sandy beaches of Paradise may hide a conspiracy so shocking that some will go to unthinkable lengths to make sure the truth is never revealed.

After Clare
By Marjorie Eccles
Lady Emily Fitzallan has returned to the country house where she spent her childhood for a family wedding. Leysmorton Manor brings back many memories, especially of her elder sister Clare, who vanished one day after going for a walk, never to return. But the disturbing discovery of a soldier’s skeleton at the base of an ancient Yew tree brings the past shockingly into the present. Could the man’s untimely death have its roots in Clare’s disappearance, which occurred almost half a century ago . . .?

Sweet Tooth
By Ian McEwan
Cambridge student Serena Frome’s beauty and intelligence make her the ideal recruit for MI5. The year is 1972. The Cold War is far from over. England’s legendary intelligence agency is determined to manipulate the cultural conversation by funding writers whose politics align with those of the government. The operation is code named “Sweet Tooth.” Serena, a compulsive reader of novels, is the perfect candidate to infiltrate the literary circle of a promising young writer named Tom Haley. At first, she loves his stories. Then she begins to love the man. How long can she conceal her undercover life? To answer that question, Serena must abandon the first rule of espionage: trust no one.

Cross Roads
By William Paul Young, author of the bestselling novel “The Shack”
Anthony Spencer is egotistical, proud of being a self-made business success at the peak of his game, even though the cost of winning was painfully high. A cerebral hemorrhage leaves Tony comatose in a hospital ICU. He ‘awakens’ to find himself in a surreal world, a ‘living’ landscape that mirrors dimensions of his earthly life, from the beautiful to the corrupt. It is here that he has vivid interactions with others he assumes are projections of his own subconscious, but whose directions he follows nonetheless with the possibility that they might lead to authenticity and perhaps, redemption. The adventure draws Tony into deep relational entanglements where he is able to ‘see’ through the literal eyes and experiences of others, but is “blind” to the consequences of hiding his personal agenda and loss that emerge to war against the processes of healing and trust. Will this unexpected coalescing of events cause Tony to examine his life and realize he built a house of cards on the poisoned grounds of a broken heart? Will he also have the courage to make a critical choice that can undo a major injustice he set in motion before falling into a coma?

Month of Thankfulness

Have you heard about a popular trend going on in Facebook? Many people are choosing to list one thing each day for which they are grateful. It makes sense. Thanksgiving Day is in November.

Thanks is “an acknowledgment of appreciation.” It can be for an action, a person, a thing, or an idea. The following books are about gratitude and giving thanks. They are available at the library or through the MORE system.

365 Thank Yous : The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life
by John Kralik
Just when his dearest life dreams seemed to have slipped beyond his reach, Kralik was struck by the belief that his life might become at least tolerable if, instead of focusing on what he didn’t have, he could find some way to be grateful for what he had. He set the goal of writing 365 thank-you notes in the coming year.

Living Life as a Thank You
by Nina Lesowitz and Mary Beth Sammons
Whatever is given — even a difficult and challenging moment — is a gift. Living as if each day is a thank-you can help transform fear into courage, anger into forgiveness, isolation into belonging, and another’s pain into healing. Saying thank-you every day inspires feelings of love, compassion, and hope. These ideas are the basis for this timely book. Each chapter includes stories of individuals whose lives have been transformed by embracing this program, along with motivating quotes and blessings, and a suggested gratitude practice such as keeping a weekly gratitude journal and starting a gratitude circle.

Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude can Make You Happier
by Robert Emmons
Did you know that there is a crucial component of happiness that is often overlooked? Scientifically speaking, regular grateful thinking can increase happiness by as much as 25 percent, while keeping a gratitude journal for as little as three weeks results in better sleep and more energy. But there’s more than science to embrace here: Emmons also bolsters the case for gratitude by weaving in writings of philosophers, novelists, and theologians that illustrate all the benefits grateful living brings.

Crafts for the Season

Halloween is one of the most decorated and celebrated holidays.  It’s an event that gives a good bang for a buck. Individual purchases are usually small ticket items, and almost all of it is for the purchaser. According to the National Retail Federation, spending for Halloween decor is second only to that of Christmas.

The library can help make celebrating the season even more low cost and enjoyable. Have you considered making holiday decorations yourself? Here some great books at our library all about how to do it:

Or maybe you are at home and just want to find some Halloween how-to’s online. Click on the picture below for a great round up of online Halloween ideas.

The picture above links to a blog called SlapDashMom. The blog features a long list of crafts and activities with links to the instructions for each one.

Geo-Caching @ Your Library

Geo-Caching Club
Wednesday, October 24
6 PM

Open to all ages!

This first meeting will be held to assess interest in our community for this type of club.

Geocaching is a real-world treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.

At its simplest level, geocaching requires these 8 steps:

  1. Register for a free Basic Membership.
  2. Visit the “Hide & Seek a Cache” page.
  3. Enter your postal code and click “search.”
  4. Choose any geocache from the list and click on its name.
  5. Enter the coordinates of the geocache into your GPS Device.
  6. Use your GPS device to assist you in finding the hidden geocache.
  7. Sign the logbook and return the geocache to its original location.
  8. Share your geocaching stories and photos online.

Visit www.GeoCaching.com to learn more about this fun activity.

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