Saving Lucas Biggs

Saving Lucas Biggs is the first book by the writing partners, husband and wife team of Marisa de los Santos and David Teague.  It is a well-written, captivating book that involves the O’Malley family and their “quirk” – the ability to time travel.  Margaret O’Malley learns that “history resists” when you are going back in time to change the past, but she desperately wants to help her father who has been found guilty of the crimes of arson and murder and sentenced to death.  The chapters alternate between present day 2014 and 1938.  It was a good escape from recent news, and this quote from the book even helped me put things in perspective:

“For every big, bad, attention-getting thing that happens, there are thousands of small good ones, acts that might even seem ordinary but really aren’t, so many that we can forget to notice them or to count them up.  But it’s what has always amazed me:  not how terrible people can be to each other, but how good, in spite of everything.” 

So, I will keep that in mind when the news is full of the big, bad attention-getting things, and I will be thankful that the library is full of books that will help me escape for a little while.

Alex + Ada by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn

If you aren't a regular reader of graphic novels but would like to give the format a try, the Alex + Ada trilogy, from collaborators Sarah Vaughn and Jonathan Luna,  is a wonderfully accessible entry to the world of graphic novels.  With a compelling premise (think of the movie Her starring Scarlett Johansson and Joaquin Phoenix), relatable characters and beautiful artwork, there is something for almost all readers to like.  My only complaint -- it is only a trilogy!  

ELPL has Alex + Ada in print and on Hoopla!










July 2016 - Renovation Progress

Progress continues with Phase II of the library's renovation project.  Crews have moved to the south side of the building and the library continues to operate out of the North side of the building.  Schedules are still on track for a planned grand re-opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on September 30.

While you wait for the grand re-opening, check out the library's proposed final floor plan, color boards for the furnishings in the new building, and our Flickr collection of the Phase II renovation project.

Proposed final floor plan












Color board for main lobby and Adult spaces
















Color board for Teen and Children's spaces














Track our progress on Flickr














New Displays @ the Library

This week our displays are featuring titles on race, privilege, black womanhood and peace.  Check them out when you stop by.











Library Website Maintenance

The library's website,, will be down for maintenance on Wednesday, July 13, at approximately 12 noon, for 1-2 hours.  During the maintenance window the following services will still be available:

  • Library catalog
  • Online renewals, holds, etc.
  • Hoopla, Cloud Library, Zinio, and Overdrive
  • MeLCat
  • Public Computers at library

Thank you for your patience while we upgrade our systems.

Books on Tap - July 2016

Learn about the history of man as told through the history of drinks! Visit Jimmy's on July 12th at 6:30pm and join our discussion of A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage!

"Throughout human history, certain drinks have done much more than just quench thirst. As Tom Standage relates with authority and charm, six of them have had a surprisingly pervasive influence on the course of history, becoming the defining drink during a pivotal historical period. 

Babies Learn Language Through Social Interaction

I’m always on the lookout for more information on how little ones learn through play and interaction, and this article on gaze shifting in babies recently caught my eye (no pun intended!). Based on a study that appeared in Developmental Neuropsychology, it discusses evidence for the idea that we can gauge when babies are making mental connections for later in life based on tracking their eye contact, especially as it shifts between objects (such as toys and books), and the adult they’re with.

So what does that mean for how little ones learn? According to the study’s coauthor Rechele Brooks, “Our findings show that young babies’ social engagement contributes to their own language learning—they’re not just passive listeners of language. They’re paying attention, and showing parents they’re ready to learn when they’re looking back and forth. That’s when the most learning happens.”

There are many implications for this information, especially as it pertains to learning and language development (including foreign language building) in children, but it particularly reminds me of the importance of the services libraries offer for families and children. Libraries are a great place for little ones to interact and play, both with their grown-ups and other children, on their own or at storytimes and playgroups, all in a rich literary environment. And this study confirms it: “Babies learn best from people,” Brooks says. “During playtime your child is learning so much from you. Spending time with your child matters. Keeping them engaged—that’s what helps them learn language.”

So when you bring your babies to the library for storytimes, read and play together, and spend quality time interacting and sharing, you’re not only fostering a strong relationship with your little one, you’re setting them up for a lifetime of learning, literacy, and growth!

The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay

This story is full of well rounded characters, earth-shattering perils, and a laundry list of fantasy tropes. TL/DR: If you like High Fantasy (as opposed to the gritty stuff currently popular) then read this and be pleased.

Tolkien is visibly present in this book. He is there in the "mortal races band together to fight evil god they already beat once-also, elves are better at everything, and there is a proud race of horse riders on the plain", and "lets have an prolog that tells a thousand years of history". Lewis is there in the "young people from our world turn out to be important in a fantasy world". There are also snips and snails from various European myths and folktales, justified in canon since Fionavar is the the "first of all worlds", so our tales are just echoes of the originals. There is an Action Girl, a High King, a Lovable Rogue, and more.

Kay has said that the book is supposed to be derivative, since he wanted to see how much emotional and moral depth he could explore within the constraints of High Fantasy, but for me the similarities were jarring. Also, the use of overly pompous syntax got on my nerves. In-book, that would have read 'On my nerves, did grow the use of overly pompous syntax'. Thankfully, it was mostly present in the only a few plot lines, those taking place in the High Kingdom (because of course there's a High King), and when the plot is on the plains with the horse-riders the writing is much more naturalistic.

The characters are this book's saving grace. Kay is a master at breathing life into his characters, giving them both noble traits and flaws, deeply held beliefs and contradictions held just as strong. If a figure comes across as one note, it's usually because we just haven't gotten to the reveal yet. There is emotional depth to the characters, and an exploration of morality, of courage and choice, and duty. One character is wracked with guilt, and must struggle to overcome it, Another is filled with shame and anger, none of them are what they seem at first introduction. They must all deal with what they learn while in the other world. I just wish the heroes, college students from our world, weren't so good at doing the fantasy stuff right away, especially the city kid who is suddenly a great warrior on horseback.

Just beware that this is Book 1 of a trilogy (Fionavar Tapestry), and forgive the fact that some characters just seem to be introduced and then do nothing, and that it ends on a non-ending. It was never meant to be a truly stand-alone work.

If you love this book and want to discuss Kay's decision to create a derivative work, join Eric and the other members of the Out of This World book club as they discuss a new science fiction or fantasy title each month.

As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds

When I read something by a “new to me” author that I really like, I want to read all of the books that they have written!  So this weekend after reading As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds, I put myself on hold for his book All American Boys, and checked out The Boy in the Black Suit and When I Was the Greatest

I liked everything about As Brave as You – the characters, plot, writing style, even what the author had to say about himself on the flap!  The story centers around two brothers who go to stay with their grandparents while their parents go on a vacation to try to work out some of their issues.  The youngest, Genie, is worried about them getting divorced. 

The boys get to know their grandparents and life in Virginia, which is very different than life in Brooklyn!  Ernest and Genie have a whole list of chores to do every day and they don’t even have an internet connection!  The story takes a lot of different twists and turns, and focuses on the sweet relationship that is blooming between Genie and Grandpop.  I don’t want to give out too many details, but I highly recommend this book.  I'll keep you posted on his other titles.