Book Review: Secrets of a Civil War Submarine

civil war subToday we recommend: Secrets of a Civil War Submarine: Solving the Mysteries of the H. L. Hunley by Sally M. Walker.

When the Union blockade of all ports in the South stopped supplies from reaching the Confederate Army, Horace L. Hunley decided to create a submarine that would be able to sneak up on enemy ships and blow them up. After many years of trial and error, the H. L. Hunley actually succeeded in sinking the USS Housatonic in February of 1864. But the submarine never returned to port, and her crew perished in the Charleston Harbor. This book presents the history of the Civil War submarine the H.L. Hunley, including the construction, mysterious sinking, recovery, and restoration.

This book was the 2006 winner for the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal. This book hooked me right from the start, and the numerous pictures, sketches, and maps made it easy to picture the submarine. This book is perfect for those interested in the Civil War or archaelogy. It is a great nonfiction book packed with information that avoids being dry or dull. You can find it in the Juvenile Nonfiction section at j973.757 WALKER or as an audiobook in the Juvenile Audiobook section j973.757 WAL.

On This Day: First Modern Olympic Games

Of course, the first ever recorded Olympic Games was in 776 B.C. but the games were banned in 393 A.D. So, April 6th, 1896 was the date that the first modern Olympic Games was held:

The Olympic Games, a long-lost tradition of ancient Greece, are reborn in Athens 1,500 years after being banned by Roman Emperor Theodosius I. At the opening of the Athens Games, King Georgios I of Greece and a crowd of 60,000 spectators welcomed athletes from 13 nations to the international competition.

You can read more about these first modern Olympic Games at http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-modern-olympic-games and you can check out our books on the Olympics!
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Book Review: Finding Wonders

This week I read: Finding Wonders by Jeannine Atkins.finding-wonders.jpg

A biographical novel in verse of three different girls in three different time periods who grew up to become groundbreaking scientists.

I really enjoyed this book. The poems cover the lives of three female scientists: Maria Merian who studied caterpillars and metamorphosis, Mary Anning who studied fossils, and Maria Mitchell who studied the night sky looking for comets. This was a quick read, each chapter is written as a short poem. The language and description are beautiful. If you like poetry I recommend checking out this book!  Look for this book in our Juvenile Fiction section at the call number J ATKINS.

April Fool’s Day

Happy April Fool’s Day!

Did you know that this holiday has been celebrated for centuries? It gained a lot of popularity during the 1700s in England. History.com has an article about some of the best modern day pranks:

In 1957, the BBC reported that Swiss farmers were experiencing a record spaghetti crop and showed footage of people harvesting noodles from trees; numerous viewers were fooled. In 1985, Sports Illustrated tricked many of its readers when it ran a made-up article about a rookie pitcher named Sidd Finch who could throw a fastball over 168 miles per hour. In 1996, Taco Bell, the fast-food restaurant chain, duped people when it announced it had agreed to purchase Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell and intended to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell. In 1998, after Burger King advertised a “Left-Handed Whopper,” scores of clueless customers requested the fake sandwich.

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/april-fools-tradition-popularized

What’s the best prank you’ve pulled on April Fool’s Day?

Camp Nanowrimo

Have you ever wanted to write a novel or thought about participating in Nanowrimo? Sometimes November is a difficult or busy month, and sometimes 50,000 words just seems like too much to tackle!Camp Nanowrimo

If you have ever had these thoughts then Camp Nanowrimo is for you! Camp Nanowrimo allows you to set your own word goal (it can be any number that you want – big or small!), and join a cabin of fellow writers to cheer each other on. Camp Nanowrimo runs twice each year: once in April and once in July. Best of all you can watch your progress on a handy little target, it sure motivates me when I watch the arrow get closer to the bullseye.

You can sign up at: https://campnanowrimo.org/ Is anyone thinking about giving it a shot?

The Bicycle Spy by Yona Zeldis McDonough

 

  • If you love bike riding and bicycle racing this book is for you.  Twelve-year-old Marcel loves riding his bike, and dreams of competing in the Tour de France, but it is 1942 and the Nazis have occupied his homeland.  It is his job to deliver bread from his parents’ bakery around Aucoin, France.  One day while making deliveries, he discovers that it is more than just pastries and bread he is delivering.  Suddenly finding himself with a heavy and dangerous secret, one that could send many people to prison including his new friend Delphine, Marcel must skillfully maneuver between the world of ordinary citizens and the world of the French resistance.

 

Book Review: The Girl Who Drank the Moon

This week I finished reading The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill.girl-who-drank-moon

An epic fantasy about a young girl raised by a witch, a swamp monster, and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, who must unlock the powerful magic buried deep inside her. Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest to keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle and rescues the babies. One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her–even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known.

The Girl Who Drank the Moon was 2016’s Newbery Award Winner, and is a good book for anyone who likes very detailed fantasy novels. This book has a slower pace but the question of who exactly is spreading the rumors about the evil witch will keep you reading to the end of the novel. You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J Barnhill.