Harry Potter Go?

This past summer the popular app/game Pokemon GO! had kids running around on their phones (and occasionally into the Library!) trying to catch ’em all.

Well now apparently gam9780545162074_p0_v2_s1200x630.jpge developers are working on creating a similar game called Harry Potter Go which will have a similar premise where players will roam the streets. But doing what exactly? Casting spells? Catching odd Wizarding-World creatures? Unlocking secrets at Hogwarts?

I’m not sure what the game will entail but you an be sure that Potter fans will be on top of it!

Will there be a book under the tree (or menorah)?

According to Publisher’s Weekly magazine, book sales are down so far this holiday season. Book sales people are commenting on the lack of a hot seller or popular category to blaze the sales trail (like last year’s coloring books). Although the annual Wimpy Kid title is doing well (about 126,000 copies sold), in general sales from the same period last year are down 6%. Are people reluctant to purchase book gifts because their loved ones are reading the digital editions? Are people too busy coloring last year’s coloring book gifts to visit the bookstores? Bill O’Reilly and John Grisham were top sellers this past week, but sales are slower than expected. Come on people! If your New Year’s Resolution is to read more, we are here at the library to help you reach your goal.

“Six Dots”

When asked who were the great inventors in the history of the world, most of us would say Gutenberg, Edison, Bell, Da Vinci.  How many of us would add the name Louis Braille to that list.  In a new book written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Boris Kulikov, the author gives the reader ample reasons to include Braille as one of the world’s greatest inventors.

Written in the first person,  Braille tells his life’s story.  As a young boy, he injured himself in his father’s workshop.  The infection caused by the accident spread to his second eye, and soon he was completely blind.

Efforts by his family to aid him to cope with his blindness helped, but Louis’s quest to learn was not satisfied. Eventually, he was able to attend the Royal School for the Blind in Paris.  At the school there were books for the blind, but the raised letters on the page were huge.  One sentence would take up an entire page.  Louis dreamed of a simpler system.  Eventually, using a fingertip code used on battlefields, he simplified it to six dots.  So at the age of 15, Louis Braille invented a system of reading and writing for the blind that is still used today.

9780449813379_p0_v1_s118x184.jpg“Six Dots” is an informative, well-written biography of someone whose life story is not as well known as the system he invented.  The mixed media illustrations help the reader to visualize the settings and people in this story. Pictured inside the front and back covers is the Braille alphabet. The author also includes additional information about Braille and a bibliography and websites where readers can go to learn more about this famous inventor.


“I’ll Take You There”

Felix Funicello, a cousin of the famous Annette Funicello, has just turned sixty.  He teaches film studies at Hunter College and runs a weekly movie club showing classic films.  The venue for the club is a former vaudeville theater.  One evening as he was setting up the projector for that night’s show, Felix encounters the ghost of Lois Webster, a legendary female director in the twenties.  Webster and several other ghosts will, through the magic of the movies, enable Felix to revisit the past. He will be able to relive important times as he and his sisters were growing up in a small town in Rhode Island.

Wally Lamb’s new book “I’ll Take You There” is about family, especially the female members of his family.   Like all families, the Funicellos have secrets.    9780062662682_p0_v2_s118x184.jpgAs Felix returns to past times,  he delves deeper into the secrets his family kept and how his sisters, Fran and Simone, and his parents were affected by all that was hidden.  The reader travels through the fifties to present day.  Along the way, we experience the pop culture, the politics, and the mores of each era.

Three generations of women are the focus of this story.  The oldest generation just adapts to the times, the next fights against the injustices they face as women, and in the case of the youngest representative, Felix’s daughter, reaps the benefits of what her predecessors have fought for and gained.


R.E.A.D. Program

Last week an article appeared in the Journal about the R.E.A.D. program, or the Reading Education Assistance Dogs program. Candace Robinson of New City is the Director of Therapy Dogs of Rockland, and she, along with her Labrador Retriever Buster, visits area libraries and schools to provide children with a non-threatening reading environment. George Berger and his dog Paco, is another of the 12 teams that works with children on their reading skills. These dedicated volunteers are wonderful with the children, and provide a very important service to the community. You can read the full article here.