"The Bambino" by Nel Yomtov and illustrated by Tim Foley, is a graphic novel about that amazing summer of 1927 when Babe Ruth set out to beat his own homerun record. The artist wisely chooses a limited palette for this book (grayish blue, beige, black and white), since the majority of images we have of the Babe are in grayscale. The colors help convey that the events described in the story happened a long time ago while evoking mental images of the Babe in action.
I'm not psychic and I don't play one on television, however, my prediction for the most popular prize in this year's "Summer Reading Club" is the book "How they croaked : the awful ends of the awfully famous" by Georgia Bragg. It is a delightfully irreverent and sometimes gross look at what caused the deaths of famous men and women. I think that kids of all ages will be intrigued by it.
Do you ponder and stress when it's your turn to select a book for your book group? There are so many books, where do you start? Well, the St. Louis County Library's Book Discussion Kit program can help you with this decision. There are over 400 book kits in the collection so chances are there is one or hopefully more your group may like. So why stress? The perfect book kit for your group may be right here at your library. Browse the list of titles here.
Remember you have to call to book a kit: 314-994-3300.
--Peggy D., Headquarters
"J. Edgar Hoover: a graphic biography" by Rick Geary is another well-researched, beautifully drawn graphic novel. The book follows Hoover's life from birth to death, with emphasis on his career as a crime fighter. Geary's overview touches on some of the most important events in Hoover's long career, making the father of G-men as intriguing as any figure in American history. Insights into Hoover's emotional life are not gratuitous; Geary shows how his emotions fueled Hoover's behavior. Such behavior had lasting consequences in the realm of civil rights for specific individuals and for the American people.
You may have heard about the 2013 FIRST Championship held at the Edward Jones Dome recently. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was started in 1989 by Dean Kamen to inspire young people to become science and technology leaders. This year's event drew over 10,000 students from 37 countries to test their engineering skills and teamwork.
FIRST calls the robotics competition for high school students the varsity Sport for the Mind. Teams of 25 or more students work with professional mentors to create a brand for the project, raise funds, and design and build robots to compete in the annual championship.
A brave cadre of volunteers and a nationwide network of animal-care operations who came together to rescue many household pets who had been stranded in the flood waters of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In turn, many of these dogs rescued their adoptive families from woes only humans know. Pet and human lives were mended in the process and fear and confusion lost out to unconditional love. "Mine" is a documentary film that tells this story and more.
I occasionally chuckle (and sometimes groan) at the titles of the paperback mysteries on our shelves. The lighthearted, cozy mysteries feature titles with puns, rhyming, alliteration and popular culture references.
We have Michelle Rowen's "Blood Bath & Beyond" and Denise Swanson's "Little Shop of Homicide." The jokey title is usually a sign that the mystery will focus less on blood and gore and more on feisty characters and wacky situations.
Fans of the character Thursday Next, created by Jasper Fforde, are already familiar with the writer's great gift for finding humor in bureaucracy with a bit of magic thrown in. Fforde's latest, entitled "The Last Dragonslayer," is the beginning of a new series.
Simon Rich used to write sketches for Saturday Night Live. If the SNL take on dating sounds like your idea of a good time, "The Last Girlfriend on Earth: and other love stories" is the book for you. This collection is a wonderful smattering of views on love in a variety of genres from soft sci-fi to literary chic, but they all are hilarious and most are irreverent. "I Love Girl" illustrates the wooing rituals during the cave man period were a bit more strenuous than current online dating. "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause" tells the full story of the Big Red Wonder, and it's not all peppermints and sugar plums. The book also includes an ex-exorcism, the catastrophic repercussions if your former boyfriend is the invisible man, and gives an idea of what your dog would write in a personal ad.