Blogs

Thank you East Lansing High School Marching Band!

A big thank you to the East Lansing High School Marching Band for their birthday wishes.  ELPL loves you!

 

Special StoryTime - Talk Like a Pirate Day!

On Friday, September 19 our weekly Storytime will be taken over by pirates!  In honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day, we will share some pirate stories, pirate songs, and of course, pirate talk.  We will also be creating a pirate craft to take with you, so you can be a pirate everywhere you go!  

New titles on Hoopla

If you haven't browsed Hoopla lately you are missing out on lots of great new content.  Here are just a few of the thousands of brand new audiobooks, albums, TV shows and movies you can enjoy for free with your ELPL library card:


You also have access to Hoopla music so new that is isn't in our catalog yet, including:

Haven't tried Hoopla yet?  Sign up online and start downloading immediately!

Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood

For grades 3-6.  Each year, Gloriana Hemphill celebrates her Fourth of July birthday at the community pool. But the summer before her twelfth birthday, in 1964, Hanging Moss, Mississippi, is in turmoil, and that turmoil reaches right into Glory's life. Yankee freedom people have infiltrated the town, rousing rabble and insisting the white-only pool be desegregated. The town council, in response, has closed the pool for repairs, indefinitely. And so Glory's summer, once a promise of happy tradition, is now fraught with unwanted change. First-time novelist Scattergood has a deft hand with characterization, fully realizing the supporting players, from Frankie, Glory's best friend and son of the bigoted town council chief, to Jesslyn, her teenaged older sister, to Laura, a girl visiting from Ohio while her mother sets up a free clinic. In Glory herself, tilting on the threshold of adolescence, Scattergood paints a balanced portrait of childlike self-interest and awakening integrity. This moving, intimate look at America's struggle for civil rights, as seen through the narrow lens of one growing girl, will spark interesting discussion.  Booklist, copyright 2012.

This is the Rope: a Story From the Great Migration, words by Jacqueline Woodson; illustrated by James Ransome

With great affection, a Brooklyn girl tells the story of her grandmother, mother and a rope that forms a bond across three generations. When just a little girl in South Carolina, the grandmother finds a rope under a tree and uses it to play jump-rope. The rope becomes entwined in the family story as the grandparents, with a baby in their arms, move to Brooklyn, and that baby grows up to become mother to the narrator. Whether used for games, for tying down luggage on a car or for holding high a banner at a grand family reunion, the rope is treasured. Woodson, a Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Honor and Award winner, has crafted a warm family saga of a household united by love, pride and an uncommon heirloom. The repetition of the title in a nursery-rhyme style will resonate with young listeners. Ransome's vivid, full-bleed, double-page-spread oil paintings create an upbeat, welcoming vista of rural South Carolina and urban Brooklyn. The sun-infused yellows on the cover beckon readers to open the book and savor the "long-ago memory of sweet-smelling pine." A quiet affirmation of a strong and close-knit family that, along with so many other African-Americans, found a better life as part of the Great Migration. (author's note) For ages 4-8. Copyright 2013 Kirkus Reviews.

The Silence of our Friends, by Mark Long & Jim Demonakos; art by Nate Powell

In The Silence of Our Friends, Mark Long and Jim Demonakos team with Eisner Award-winning illustrator Nate Powell (Any Empire; Swallow Me Whole) to bring readers a story of friendship and integrity set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement.

Houston, 1967: white TV journalist Jack Long strikes up an uneasy friendship with black professor and civil rights advocate Larry Thompson, even though doing so could endanger both men and their families. Jack sympathizes deeply with Larry's cause, but his boss does not. With a wife and three children, including a blind daughter, Jack might invite the Thompsons for dinner, but he can't afford to follow his conscience on the job. When a riot breaks out at historically black Texas Southern University, hundreds of students are arrested, five of them accused of killing a police officer. Only Jack can provide the testimony proving their innocence, but first he must find the courage.

Nate Powell's signature use of contrast and shadow perfectly conveys each action and emotion in a story inspired by Mark Long's own childhood. Fearless in its depiction of racism, The Silence of Our Friends is both a tale of moral struggle with the fear inherent in standing up for an unpopular cause and an example of the graphic novel's literary capabilities. Copyright 2012 Shelf Awareness.

A is for Activist, written and illustrated by Innosanto Nagara

For grades 4 and up-

Not your typical alphabet board book, this one packs a powerful message both visually as well as verbally. Each spread presents a letter and a bit of social commentary urging children to take a stand against war and violence, develop an awareness of our environment, and promote acceptance and equality for all cultures, races, religions, genders, and walks of life. For example,

"A is for Activist./Advocate. Abolitionist. Ally./Actively Answering A call to Action."
"Y is for You. And Youth./Your planet. Your rights/Your future. Your truth./Y is for Yes. Yes! Yes! Yes!"

Despite the format, this introduction to social justice is best suited to older children, who will need plenty of explanation and discussion to help them understand issues such as feminism or workers' rights. Nagara relies upon colorful illustrations--many representing the energy behind activism with arms and fists raised--lots of alliteration, and rhyming for each letter and idea. An ever-present black cat hiding or prowling on each letter's page seeks to hold listeners' interest as well. An unusual offering that may plant the seeds for and spark discussions about activism.  Review by Susan Shaver, Hemingford Public Schools, NE Copyright 2014 School Library Journal.

Waking from the Dream: the Struggle for Civil Rights in the Shadow of Martin Luther King Jr. by David L. Chappell

The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 left the civil rights movement in search of a strong leader and created lively debate about how his legacy would be remembered. Civil rights scholar Chappell chronicles the fits and starts of continued efforts at civil rights that are uncelebrated but nonetheless pushed forward King's agenda. Among those efforts are the campaign for a national holiday to honor King, fair housing legislation and the Humphrey-Hawkins full employment bill (though the original intentions of both were watered down), and Jesse Jackson's two presidential campaigns. Chappell details the contentious debates on nationalism versus integration and the value of a single leader versus institutional viability, which led to the short-lived National Black Political Convention and the more enduring Congressional Black Caucus. Chappell details the failed efforts as much as the successes, highlighting the valuable lessons learned as groups and individuals renewed their strategies and determination to move forward. Emphasizing the rarity of such history-changing acts as the civil rights legislation, he notes that the struggle for equality is incremental and eternal.  Reprinted from Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.

What Up Dawg? Participates in Show Your Card and Save

On the following Fridays in September - September 5, 12, 19 and 26 - ELPL cardholders can purchase two chili dogs for $2 at What Up Dawg?, located at 317 M.A.C in East Lansing.

Grand Grillin' Participates in Show Your Card and Save

During the month of September, ELPL cardholders can purchase a Wrap Combo - including a wrap of your choice, chips and a drink - for only $5.  This discount is available at the Grand Grillin' food truck - check their site to see where they will be today!

Bagger Dave's Participates in Show Your Card and Save

During the month of September, ELPL cardholders will receive 10% off their entire bill at Bagger Dave's Burger Tavern.

Potbelly Participates in Show Your Card and Save

During the month of September, ELPL cardholders will receive a free cookie with purchase of an entree at Potbelly Sandwich Shop.

Courage Has No Color: the True Story of the Triple Nickles: America's First Black Paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone

The fascinating untold story of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, America's first black paratroopers. While white American soldiers battled Hitler's tyranny overseas, African-Americans who enlisted to fight for their country faced the tyranny of racial discrimination on the homefront. Segregated from white soldiers and relegated to service duties and menial tasks, enlisted black men faced what Ashley Bryan calls in the foreword "the racism that was our daily fare at the time." When 1st Sgt. Walter Morris, whose men served as guards at The Parachute School at Fort Benning, saw white soldiers training to be paratroopers, he knew his men would have to train and act like them to be treated like soldiers. Daring initiative and leadership led to the creation of the "Triple Nickles." Defying the deeply ingrained stereotypes of the time, the Triple Nickles proved themselves as capable and tough as any white soldiers, but they were never used in combat, serving instead as smoke jumpers extinguishing Japanese-ignited forest fires in the Pacific Northwest. Stone's richly layered narrative explores the cultural and institutional prejudices of the time as well as the history of African-Americans in the military. Her interviews with veterans of the unit provide groundbreaking insight. Among the archival illustrations in this handsomely designed book are drawings Bryan created while he served in World War II. An exceptionally well-researched, lovingly crafted and important tribute to unsung American heroes.  Copyright 2012 from Kirkus Reviews.

ELPL has this amazing book in print and eBook

Zora and Me by Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon

Winner of the 2011 John Steptoe New Talent (Author) Award! 

Racial duplicity threatens an idyllic African American community in the turn-of-the-century South in a dazzling debut inspired by the early life of Zora Neale Hurston

Whether she's telling the truth or stretching it, Zora Neale Hurston is a riveting storyteller. Her latest creation is a shape-shifting gator man who lurks in the marshes, waiting to steal human souls. But when boastful Sonny Wrapped loses a wrestling match with an elusive alligator named Ghost -- and a man is found murdered by the railroad tracks soon after -- young Zora's tales of a mythical evil creature take on an ominous and far more complicated complexion, jeopardizing the peace and security of an entire town and forcing three children to come to terms with the dual-edged power of pretending. Zora's best friend, Carrie, narrates this coming-of-age story set in the Eden-like town of Eatonville, Florida, where justice isn't merely an exercise in retribution, but a testimony to the power of community, love, and pride. A fictionalization of the early years of a literary giant, this astonishing novel is the first project ever to be endorsed by the Zora Neale Hurston Trust that was not authored by Hurston herself.

The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis

In this magnificent, important book, the first truly full-length biography of Rosa Parks, political science professor Theoharis (Brooklyn College-CUNY) restores Parks's rightful place in US history. Stripping away the simplistic, comforting myth of Parks as merely a humble woman who made an impromptu stand that inadvertently put her on history's stage, Theoharis instead presents a Parks who was long committed to racial justice and human rights, both before and long after the Montgomery Bus Boycott that she was so central in initiating and that made her famous. The author is especially effective at following Parks into the decades beyond Montgomery, showing her longstanding commitments while at the same time moving her struggle, which echoed the country's in many ways, from Alabama and the Deep South to Detroit and its deeply embedded northern racial intransigence. Theoharis writes clearly and well, is passionate about her subject, and makes a vital contribution to understanding not only Parks's life and times but also the civil rights movement itself. Few books transform readers' understanding of their topic. This is such a book. Summing Up: Essential.  -- D. C. Catsam, University of Texas of the Permian Basin, from Choice, Copyright 2013.

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