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An interview with “Unusual Chickens” author Kelly Jones

Chickens with superpowers, a farm full of junk to explore and a series of mysterious typewritten letters are just a few of the wonders within this year’s Read Across Lawrence for Kids title, "Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer," by Kelly Jones. Jones, who recently answered ... Continue reading

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One Book’s Hope for Wildlife and the History of How We Got Here

I treasure wildlife sightings. During the winter season, I sometimes glimpse bald eagles soaring in the sky outside my kitchen window, and I’ve been fortunate on several occasions to see beavers swimming in the Haskell-Baker Wetlands. Last summer, my East Lawrence neighbors and I were frequently serenaded ... Continue reading

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Let’s not go home again: protecting a book you love, even when you don’t love it anymore

I’ve always been the kind of person who nurtures small obsessions. Case in point: There was a time in middle school when I was not infrequently introduced to people as “Meredith, that girl who likes 'Buffy.'” It was an extremely fair introduction. I discovered "[Buffy, the Vampire ... Continue reading

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It’s a mystery — three picks you are sure to love

When I was a little girl, I lived in a very small town with a very small library, but I had a very big appetite for reading books. I devoured everything at my public library, and my mother made the excellent parenting decision to allow me to ... Continue reading

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Re-experience the music of your youth at the library

By now, you’re probably aware of the recent Facebook trend of sharing a list of 10 albums that influenced your teenage years. Perhaps you've even made one yourself. While many see it as a way to reflect on the music that shaped their youth in a meaningful ... Continue reading

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“A Series of Unfortunate Events” on Netflix: better than the books?

Netflix has tapped into the way the world is feeling about 2017, releasing a television adaptation of Lemony Snicket's beloved "[A Series of Unfortunate Events][1]" this month. LPL's resident Snicket fans Sarah and Fisher sat down to sort out their feelings about it — the good, the ... Continue reading

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Help children in need during Read Across Lawrence

Though it is billed as the "teen" Read Across Lawrence pick, "[Return to Sender][1]" by Julia Alvarez is a highly recommended read for adults as well. Told through alternating perspectives, it is a story of friendship and conflict between teens from two different worlds, their families and ... Continue reading

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The means of escape

People react in a variety of ways when faced with hardship. Some people eat an entire box of ice cream by themselves or blow off steam at the rec center, and these are perfectly reasonable choices. These people, however, do not get books written about them. Two ... Continue reading

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Newbery Award Hopefuls

Last week I attended Kansas City Public Library’s Mock Newbery awards which basically looks like this: a bunch of librarians nerd out about a selection of books, then we vote on which one we believe is worthy of top honors. The criteria for the Newbery Award are ... Continue reading

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How to Keep Up with Image Comics’ Booming Worlds!

Image Comics, a popular indie comic publisher, is known for its creative license. Their vast range includes wonderfully different, wildly successful stories such as "[The Walking Dead][1]" and "[Saga][2]." When you walk up into Astrokitty Comics @ Game Nut on Mass Street, you’ll find that the back ... Continue reading

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Your local health spot in 2017

At the turn of each new year, I try not to make resolutions. I avoid them. I really do. Instead, I think about the clean slate that a new year brings — the fresh opportunities to try something different, to improve in so many ways, or to ... Continue reading

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The sorry state we’re in

A few months ago I was invited to be a guest at the “sneak peek” of [Harriet Lerner’s TEDxKC talk][1] for her upcoming book "Why Won’t You Apologize: Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts." Lerner had made a huge impact in my life with her 1998 book ... Continue reading

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Two new books look into “The Hidden Life of Trees”

When you visit the library, do you have something of an agenda and head for a particular section, or are you more of a browser, embracing serendipity and wandering from one area to another? When you go for a walk, do you aim for a certain place, ... Continue reading

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Books on our radar for 2017

A new year means new books! Last year, we [compiled a list][1] of highly-anticipated titles in both fiction and nonfiction for adults. These were the hyped super-faves for the 2016 publishing world, and they were a lot of fun to write about. This year, however, we’ve decided ... Continue reading

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Studio Ghibli’s less-celebrated master

When I think of the famous Japanese animation company Studio Ghibli, several things come to mind: fantastic worlds, brave young female protagonists, nuanced antagonists, and a certain giant gray bear-rabbit spirit named Totoro. I also think of a man named Hayao Miyazaki. In large measure, Hayao Miyazaki ... Continue reading

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“Yuri On Ice!!!” and the wide world of sports anime

This October, the anime series "[Yuri On Ice!!!][1]," made its debut and has since taken the internet by storm. It begins with “a dime-a-dozen Japanese figure skater,” Katsuki Yuri, who struggles with anxiety and self-confidence issues. Following a defeat at the Grand Prix Final and the eventual ... Continue reading

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Everyone’s favorite TV mom: Lauren Graham (aka Lorelai Gilmore)

When I was in high school, my mom and I had a tradition of watching every marathon and every new episode of "[Gilmore Girls][1]" together, without fail. Growing up, all of my siblings had left the house once I was a teenager, and it was just my ... Continue reading

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Angélique Kidjo, a joyful and empowering advocate

Charismatic singer-songwriter and human rights advocate Angélique Kidjo is an energetic powerhouse. She creates world-renowned, eclectic, genre-complex music and works diligently to empower others. She has championed empowerment as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2002. In 2007 she co-founded the [Batonga Foundation][1], which supports girls' education in ... Continue reading

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Two books to suss out your ‘truthiness’

First, two definitions: **Post-truth**: “Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” **Truthiness**: “Believing something that feels true, even if it isn't supported by fact.” Quick: conjure the zeitgeist with a single ... Continue reading

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Bibliobominable: Winter reading for young yetis

Ah, winter. The trees are bare, a chill is in the air, and I’ve got all the classic picture books of the season stacked beside my kids’ beds. We could read my own childhood favorite, Ezra Jack Keats’ iconic "[The Snowy Day][1]." Or there’s Jacqueline Briggs Martin’s ... Continue reading

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