Saturday, April 28, 2012

Book Review: Room by Emma Donoghue

This book was phenomenal. I read it on a recommendation from one of my coworkers. It took a little adjusting to get used to the fact that the book is written from a five-year-old's perspective, but after that, I was hooked! So much so, that I have made it the book discussion for our young adult book discussion that meets at Manitowoc Coffee. Whether you are interested in attending or not, I highly recommend reading this book. We have extra copies available at the reference desk!


To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

Bookends Discussion: Room by Emma Donoghue
Monday, May 21st
Manitowoc Coffee 
6:00 PM
Receive $1 off any drink purchase while attending the book discussion!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Tangled Ever After

So I completely fell in love with Tangled when it was released in 2010. I just found out today, very belatedly, that a short animated film was created title, Tangled Ever After! It's very funny! I highly recommend taking the time to watch this short film. You can watch it for free @

Pascal and Maximus are hilarious!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Book Review: Trafficked by Kim Purcell

This book has enthralled me since the moment I read the first review of this book. It's shocking how some people end up this way especially in America! It's a gripping thriller, ripped from the headlines! Check it out today!


Hannah believes she's being brought from Moldova to Los Angeles to become a nanny for a Russian family. But her American dream quickly spirals into a nightmare. The Platonovs force Hannah to work sixteen-hour days, won't let her leave the house, and seem to have a lot of secrets - from Hannah and from each other. Stranded in a foreign land with false documents, no money, and nobody who can help her, Hannah must find a way to save herself from her new status as a modern-day slave or risk losing the one thing she has left: her life.

To find out more about real life human trafficking - check out these  websites:

Poem in your Pocket Day!

What poem have you decided to carry with you today?

As promised I am posting the poem which I am carrying around this day: Let America be America Again by Langston Hughes! It is rather long, but I really love this poem! This poem was originally written in 1935, but the views expressed in this poem are still relevant today:

Let America be American Again!
Langston Hughes

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark? 
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home--
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."

The free?

Who said the free?  Not me?
Surely not me?  The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay--
Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
And make America again!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Holiday Celebration - Poem in your pocket!

Join the Academy of American Poets in Celebrating:

Poem in Your Pocket Day! - April 26, 2012 - TOMORROW!

The idea is simple: select a poem you love, carry it with you, and share it with family and friends on Poem in your Pocket Day. Each year, poems from pockets throughout the United States will be unfolded at events in parks, libraries, schools, workplaces, and bookstores.

I love poetry so I had a hard time deciding which poem I will be carrying in my pocket that day, but I have decided on Let America be America Again by Langston Hughes. I was first introduced to this poem and poet in an American Literature course.  I really fell in love with this poem! It's really long, but well worth the read! I will post it tomorrow on Poem in your Pocket Day!

What poem will you be carrying around?

Thai String Dolls!

 The program was a lot of fun on April 10th! Here are some photos from the program:
To make your own Thai String Doll at home follow this tutorial:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Phenomenal Musical Talent - Mike Tompkins

I love music! I love listening to music and I love singing to music. Unfortunately, I was not born with a huge amount of talent so listening is probably the preferable choice for those around me! Such as listening to Mike Tompkins. This guy is amazing! He recreates popular music and sings it a cappella. This alone does not make him overly talented, until you realize that he sings all of the other parts as well including the piano and the cymbals and the drums, etc. Amazing! The video I have included is his recreation of Kay Perry's "Firework" - I chose this song because I love the colors and how the different parts are distinguished. Check out his other work on YouTube or his website

Monday, April 23, 2012

Movie Review: War Horse

Who's looking for a very emotional movie? I think the key to watching any movie is to go into the movie with low expectations. Here is the third movie which I went into with low expectations and came out really liking! I expected a dry drama movie, but I found a thrilling adventure movie following both the horse and the owner's horse. Take the time to watch this movie too!


Set against the sweeping canvas of World War I, this deeply heartfelt story begins with the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and his young trainer Albert. When they're forced apart by war, we follow Joey's extraordinary journey as he changes and inspires the lives of everyone he meets. One of the most powerful and moving stories of friendship ever told.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Movie Review: We Bought a Zoo

As I am sure you have begun to notice, I have been on a movie kick lately. With school, I have not had a lot of time to do reading besides the textbooks of course! As a result, when I have a few minutes, I like to watch TV series and movies. That is why my reviews are focusing on movies I have watched recently. This next movie that I highly recommend is the new Matt Damon movie, "We Bought a Zoo!" Just like Happy Feet Two, I was not necessarily anxiously waiting for this movie. I expected it to be a drama while good would not be as entertaining.

I was very wrong. This movie had a lot of funny parts, and I was very happy I watched it! It was very cute. The young girl was adorable and the relationship between all of the characters in the movie was fabulous! I highly recommend watching this movie!


This movie is based on a true story (something I didn't realize until the end of the movie). When his teenage son gets into trouble, Benjamin Mee gives up a lucrative newspaper job to move his family to the most unlikely of places: a zoo! With help from an eclectic staff, and with many misadventures along the way, Benjamin embarks on a fresh beginning to restore the dilapidated zoo to its former glory, while uniting his family.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Thai String Doll program at Manitowoc Public Library

Here are some photos from the Thai String Doll program on April 10th! The creations are awesome! My personal one ended up as a mummy, but a lot of these are far more creative! Good Job Everyone! It was a lot of FUN!

Movie Review: Happy Feet Two

I saw Happy Feet shortly after it was released in 2006. It was a  cute movie. Not one that I would want to check out repetitively, but it was definitely enjoyable and I really liked it. When Happy Feet Two was released this year, I put myself on the holds list. It wasn't one I was anxiously waiting for, especially since it was a sequel and often sequels aren't as good as the first movie.

This movie did not disappoint! In many ways, I enjoyed this movie more than the first one. It was adorable and funny. They took the movie in a few different directions with introductions to new characters as well as old favorites! It was a light hearted movie for those days that you don't want to think and you just want to relax and enjoy. I would definitely suggest checking this movie out!


Mumble is back -- and everybody's favorite tap-dancing penguin now has a son named Erik! Mumble was born to dance, but little Erik just isn't feelin' the beat. In this epic sequel, Erik must discover what his own "thing" is in a world of singing and dancing choices. When the entire nation of Emperor Penquins is threatened, trapped by an enormouse iceberg, Antartic creatures big and small must work together to rescue them... and only then does Erik find his own groove.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Bookends Book Discussion
Monday, April 16th
7:00 PM
Manitowoc Coffee

We will meet at Manitowoc Coffee on the couches to discuss this book. Mention that you are participating in the book discussion and receive a 15% discount off any purchase at Manitowoc Coffee on that night!


In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter.  How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

Sinking of the Titanic Anniversary!

Today, RMS: Titanic sank! Don't forget the showing of A Night to Remember at the library, starting at 1:30PM!

Fateful by Claudia Gray

Eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, troubled family she serves. It’s 1912, and Tess has been trapped in the employ of the Lisles for years, amid painful memories and twisted secrets. But now the Lisle family is headed to America, with Tess in tow. Once the ship they’re sailing on—the RMS Titanic—reaches its destination, Tess plans to strike out and create a new life for herself.

Her single-minded focus shatters when she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets of his own. He’s in a hurry to leave Europe, and whispers aboard the ship say it’s because of the tragic end of his last affair with the French actress who died so gruesomely and so mysteriously. . . .

Soon Tess will learn just how dark Alec’s past truly is. The danger they face is no ordinary enemy: werewolves exist and are stalking him—and now her, too. Her growing love for Alec will put Tess in mortal peril, and fate will do the same before their journey on the Titanic is over.

-Price of a single first-class ticket was $4,700. (equals $50,000 in today's economy)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sinking of the Titanic: Book Review

The Watch that Ends the Night by Allan Wolf

Arrogance and innocence, hubris and hope--twenty-four haunting voices of the Titanic tragedy, as well as the iceberg itself, are evoked in a stunning tour de force.
Millionaire John Jacob Astor hopes to bring home his pregnant teen bride with a minimum of media scandal. A beautiful Lebanese refugee, on her way to family in Florida, discovers the first stirrings of love. And an ancient iceberg glides south, anticipating its fateful encounter. The voices in this remarkable re-creation of the Titanic disaster span classes and stations, from Margaret ("the unsinkable Molly") Brown to the captain who went down with his ship; from the lookout and wireless men to a young boy in search of dragons and a gambler in search of marks. Slipping in telegraphs, undertaker's reports, and other records, poet Allan Wolf offers a breathtaking, intimate glimpse at the lives behind the tragedy, told with clear-eyed compassion and astounding emotional power.

The cost to build the RMS Titanic was $7.5 million!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sinking of the Titanic: Book Review

The Time-Traveling Fashionista by Bianca Turetsky

What if a beautiful vintage dress could take you back in time?

Louise Lambert has always dreamed of movie starlets and exquisite gowns and longs for the day when she can fill the closet of her normal suburban home with stylish treasures. But when she receives a mysterious invitation to a vintage fashion sale in the mail, her once painfully average life is magically transformed into a time-travel adventure.

Suddenly onboard a luxurious cruise ship a hundred years ago, Louise relishes the glamorous life of this opulent era and slips into a life of secrets, drama, and decadence. . . .

One of my favorite aspects of this book are the color drawings of the beautiful dresses, Louise encounters on her travels.
Titanic left with 2,224, only 710 passengers survived!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Teen Game Night Tonight!!

Teen Game Night with Atomic Games TONIGHT!!!
4:00 - 6:30 PM
Franklin Street Room

Due to National Library Week, we need to move the game night to the Franklin Street Room for this week only!

Snacks and soda will be provided!

Epic Rap Battle between Dr. Seuss and Shakespeare!

Check this out! It's hilarious! I like Shakespeare's work, but I am a huge Dr. Seuss fan!! Enjoy!

Anniversary: Sinking of the Titanic

The 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic takes place on Sunday, April 15th. 100 years ago, on a Monday night, 1,514 lost their lives as a result of the Titanic hitting an iceberg and sinking to the depths of the ocean. To commemorate the events of this day, the Manitowoc Public Library will be showing A Night to Remember in the Balkansky Community Room. Movie starts at 1:30 PM with snacks.

In addition, movie theatres will be releasing the showing of the 1997 Titanic in 3D. This immensely popular movie returns in 3D.

There have also been a lot of books released recently pertaining to the events of the Titanic. Check these out:

Books to Read:

Titanic: Building the World's Most Famous Ship by Anton Gill

A fascinating look at the making of the Titanic in vivid, colorful detail. A skilled workforce of thousands spent years building the ship in a remarkable feat of design and engineering. From the engine room to the ball room, here is the story of the riveters, engineers, electricians, carpenters, cabinet makers, and artisans who designed, built, and fitted the “ship of dreams.”

Check back each day as a new book focused on the Titanic is revealed and reviewed!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Teen Game Night at the Library!

Teen Game Night with Atomic Games
Thursday, April 12th
4:00 - 6:30 PM
Franklin Street Room (by computers)

What your favorite Ice Cream Flavor says about YOU!

Ever hear the saying "You are what you eat?" Alan J. Hirsch, M.D., of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicagor, conducts many fascinating tests about how our sense operate. Here are his latest scientific findings in no particular order.

1. Banana Cream Pie: You're a well-adjusted person who is easy to get along with.

2. Butter Pecan: You're serious, competitive, and a perfectionist. You hold high standards for yourself and you have a fear of hurting others.

3. Chocolate Chip: You're competitive, ambitious, generous, and imaginative.

4. Coffee: Lively, dramatic, and flirtatious, coffee lovers often throw themselves into everything they do and then become overcommitted. You're easily bored and so must always surround yourself with interesting people.

5. Double Chocolate Chunk: You like attention and excitement. You're creative, entusiastic, and charming. You are easily bored.

6. Mint Chocolate Chip: You're ambitious and confident. You can also be very argumentative. You'd make a great attorney.

7. Rocky Road: You are charming, aggressive, and goal-oriented. You're generally relaxed and secure, but you do have a temper. You sometimes inadvertently hurt the feelings of those around you.

8. Strawberry:  You are thoughtful, logical, and intuitive. You have strong opinions. you're generally introverted, and you pay attention to details. You're generally shy.

9. Vanilla: You're impulsive, you take risks, and you have high expectations. Close relationships are important to you; chances are you come from a close family. You often display your affection for people publicly.

Admitedly, I am a Vanilla lover and I must admit, the description measures up to a degree. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Does it describe you?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Thai String Dolls Tonight!

 Create your own Thai String Dolls tonight at the Manitowoc Public Library! These dolls are made entirely out of yarn/string designed out of your own creativity! All supplies needed will be available tonight for you to create your own Thai string dolls.

Thai String Dolls
Tuesday, April 10
5:00 PM
Franklin Street Room
National Library Week continues all week!
Food for Fines all week long! Bring in a non-perishable item and receive $1 off your fines up to $20!!!
Food for Fines ends on Sunday!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bookends Discussion - Into the Wild

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Bookends Book Discussion
Monday, April 16th
7:00 PM
Manitowoc Coffee

Pick up the book at the library reference desk! We will be reading Into the Wild for the April Book Discussion! We will meet at Manitowoc Coffee on the couches to discuss this book. Mention that you are participating in the book discussion and receive a 15% discount off any purchase at Manitowoc Coffee on that night!


In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter.  How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Let's Spring into April with some Color!

Many photographers in the Pacific Northwest have become interested in owls this year due to numerous Short Eared Owl sightings. If you're one of them, here's a new one for you. I've never even heard of this elusive creature, let alone photographed him! Anyone ever seen one in the wild? Here's a photo taken by researchers on 4/1/12!

An Introduction to the Rainbow Owl

The Rainbow Owl is a rare species of owl found in hardwood forests in the western United States and parts of China. Long coveted for its colorful plumage, the Rainbow Owl was nearly hunted to extinction in the early 20th century. However, due to conservation efforts, recent years have seen a significant population increase, particularly in northwestern Montana.

The adult Rainbow Owl is on average 44 cm long with a 112 cm wingspan.

Unlike most owls, which are nocturnal, the Rainbow Owl is crepuscular, a term used to describe animals active during the twilight hours at dawn and dusk, or on bright moonlit nights. They prey mostly on rabbits, mice and squirrels but are also known to eat snakes, foxes, porcupines or other owls.

The Rainbow Owl can be distinguished from other owls by its peculiar multicolored feathers but also by its unusually melodic call. Recent research concerning Rainbow Owls also suggests that they are responsive to music and attracted to human singing. A leading Rainbow Owl research team from the University of Montana in Missoula has earned the nickname "The Disco Squad" for their creative use of disco music in the field. "People think it's crazy, but we are about twice as likely to encounter owls in the field if we bring along a portable stereo," says Herman Roark, a doctoral student working with the Disco Squad, "And they are most responsive to disco. So far, we have had the most success with 'The Hustle.'

~ Dr. Claudia Weatherfield, University of Washington

Happy April Fools!

Last year, I talked about the famous Spaghetti Harvest April hoax - Here is another hoax to enjoy:

In its April 1985 edition, Sports Illustrated published an article by George Plimpton that described an incredible rookie baseball player who was training at the Mets camp in St. Petersburg, Florida. The player was named Sidd Finch (Sidd being short for Siddhartha, the Indian mystic in Hermann Hesse's book of the same name). He could reportedly pitch a baseball at 168 mph with pinpoint accuracy. The fastest previous recorded speed for a pitch was 103 mph.

Finch had never played baseball before. He had been raised in an English orphanage before he was adopted by the archaeologist Francis Whyte-Finch who was later killed in an airplane crash in the Dhaulaglri mountain region of Nepal. Finch briefly attended Harvard before he headed to Tibet where he learned the teachings of the "great poet-saint Lama Milaraspa" and mastered "siddhi, namely the yogic mastery of mind-body." Through his Tibetan mind-body mastery, Finch had "learned the art of the pitch."

Finch showed up at the Mets camp in Florida, and so impressed their manager that he was invited to attend training camp. When pitching he looked, in the words of the catcher, "like a pretzel gone loony." Finch frequently wore a hiking boot on his right foot while pitching, his other foot being bare. His speed and power were so great that the catcher would only hear a small sound, "a little pft, pft-boom," before the ball would land in his glove, knocking him two or three feet back. One of the players declared that it was not "humanly possible" to hit Finch's pitches.

Unfortunately for the Mets, Finch had not yet decided whether to commit himself to a career as a baseball player, or to pursue a career as a French Horn player. He told the Mets management that he would let them know his decision on April 1.

Sports Illustrated received almost 2000 letters in response to the article, and it became one of their most famous stories ever. On April 8 they declared that Finch had held a press conference in which he said that he had lost the accuracy needed to throw his fastball and would therefore not be pursuing a career with the Mets. On April 15 they admitted that the story was a hoax.

George Plimpton actually left an obscure hint that the story was a hoax within the article itself (the non-obscure hint being that the story was absurd). The sub-heading of the article read: "He's a pitcher, part yogi and part recluse. Impressively liberated from our opulent life-style, Sidd's deciding about yoga —and his future in baseball." The first letter of each of these words, taken together, spells "H-a-p-p-y A-p-r-i-l F-o-o-l-s D-a-y."

In an odd follow-up, a baseball team in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, after reading the Sports Illustrated article, tried to invite Finch to its annual banquet. They received a reply that read, "The challenge is reaching the Eightfold Path of right belief or the ninth inning with the proper relief. May you have peace of mind." They announced that they interpreted the reply to mean that Finch would be attending their banquet. It is not known whether Finch did attend.

Google usually comes up with an annual April Fool's hoax as well - don't forget to check that out today as well!