Throwback Children’s Books (Part Two)

Recently I gave a list of children’s books I read repeatedly as a child, and still like to give as suggestions to children looking for something new to read. Here is a continuation of that list. Like last time, feel free to share your own favorite childhood books in the comments!

Eleven by Lauren Myracle
I got my copy of Eleven in a Barnes & Noble summer reading challenge. Each chapter of Eleven focuses on a distinct event from each month of the year. The stories were funny and frequently reminded me of my own experiences. Myracle puts in a lot of effort to ensure even the smallest details are vivid and memorable. The series in general (especially follow-up books Twelve and Thirteen) is a great, relatable example of tween fiction. Continue reading “Throwback Children’s Books (Part Two)”

War of the Worlds Listening Party

On Halloween Eve, 1938 Orson Welles and his radio troupe “The Mercury Theatre on the Air” were putting the finishing touches on a play to air that night. They had struggled with adapting the book by H.G. Wells, “The War of the Worlds.” Their radio version just wasn’t keeping anyone’s interest. So they spiced it up by including some real names of towns and local institutions.  CBS radio executives quickly squashed those plans and demanded that Welles substitute fake names for those of real places. For instance, “Langley Field” became “Langham Field.” Welles was convinced this would doom the production to be received as a laughable mess. He could not have been more wrong.  Although reports of mass hysteria were exaggerated, the broadcast managed to convince some listeners that an alien invasion of Earth was in progress and that humans all over the world were in peril!

How could this happen? The Mercury Theatre on the Air was not the most popular radio program on Sunday nights. That distinction went to NBC’s Chase and Sanborn show which featured Edgar Bergen and his puppet Charley McCarthy.  So there was speculation that perhaps listeners tuned in late to the War of the Worlds and did not hear the disclaimer at the beginning. Also, it’s important to remember the political events of the time. The U.S. was in a general state of unease and concern over the goings on in Europe in the preceding months and radio was their trusted lifeline to know what Hitler was up to now. When radio presented the public with “information” they believed it. (Fake News was not yet a thing.)

The twenty-three-year-old Welles faced a firestorm of criticism the day after the broadcast when it became clear that some people panicked, especially those in areas near the reported epicenter of the alien landing in New Jersey.  Reports of people committing suicide and dying from heart attacks were never substantiated though, and a single lawsuit that was later filed against CBS was dismissed. The lesson learned for broadcasting was that radio was a powerful medium with tremendous responsibility to the public that should not be taken lightly.

On October 29th from 1:30- 2:30 Russell Memorial Library will host a War of the Worlds Listening Party to hear what all the fuss was about! Participants will take a mini alien home to remember the event and to remind themselves to carefully evaluate the information they receive from media sources in our present time.

Reviewing Raina Telgemeier

Raina Telgemeier is one of the most asked after authors in the children’s area of the library. It’s understandable too. She wrote Smile, and ever-popular award-winning book, revamped the 90s era Baby-sitter’s Club series in graphic novel format and wrote Ghosts, a recent publication and one of the CPL 2017/2018 Battle of the Books titles. Upon checking out Drama this month, my reading of each of Telgemeier’s original works is complete.

Smile
My life is one dental incident after another. I had multiple dental surgeries as part of the braces process and the struggle continues even now, as I am in-between procedures for getting a permanent crown attached to a tooth I broke as a child. For those reasons, I knew I would love Smile before I read it. It is a book about a girl who undergoes a dental tragedy, and consequently faces many dental surgeries as well as teasing for her smile’s condition. I even extend my deep connection to the story to the author herself, as this dental nightmare is a semi-autobiographical story. My only regret is that this book didn’t exist when I was younger… Continue reading “Reviewing Raina Telgemeier”

Advice for Beginning Writers

So, you have a great idea, and now you want to put it on paper. What’s next? NaNoWriMo. November is National Novel Writing Month, the month when everywhere around the nation aspiring authors try to put their great idea to paper. Thirty days, 50,000 words, and a nation of writers cheering you on, giving you good advice, and sometimes sitting near you trying to get their own 50,000 words down on paper. My first piece of advice to you is: don’t worry if it is any good or even grammatical. That’s what editing is for. Just put it on paper. You can edit garbage, you can’t edit nothing.

The Chesapeake Public Library is hosting Write-ins around the city during the month of November. We offer support, we offer encouragement, and we offer a quiet room where you can get away from the stress of life and just work on getting those 50,000 words written. Want to try? Our write in schedule is:
GR Saturday 11/4 3-4:45
CC Monday 11/6 6:00– 8:00
CL Tuesday 11/7 6:00-7:30
RM Wed. 11/8 6:00-7:30
GR Thursday 11/9 6-7:45
SN Monday 11/13 6-7:30
CL Tuesday 11/14 6-7:30
IR Wednesday 11/15 6-7:30
GR Thursday 11/16 6-7:45
CC Sat. 11/18 10:00-2:00
GR Sunday 11/19 3-4:45
CL Tuesday 11/21 6-7:30
CL Tuesday 11/28 6-7:30
RM Wed. 11/29 5:30-7:30

Leave a comment if you’re planning to participate. Good Luck and Happy Writing!