Quick Picks from CMCL

September 22, 2014

Off the Shelf: Banned Books Week


Every year the American Library Association promotes Banned Books Week. The annual event is a great way to shine the spotlight on attempts to censor and suppress books. At the Cedar Mill Library this week you’ll find a display featuring popular and unexpected books someone thinks you shouldn’t read. You’ll also find posters detailing why certain books were banned or challenged (and sometimes burned). In the following list you’ll find a selection of the books that were challenged in the U.S. in the last year. Celebrate your freedom to read with Banned Books. –Laura T.


The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianBy Alexie, ShermanIllustrator Forney, Ellen
2009-04 – Little, Brown Young Readers
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This novel about a teenage Native American who transfers from the reservation to an all-white high school was challenged several times this year, including at a Montana high school because it is “written by a Native American who reinforces all the negative stereotypes of his people.” Also challenged at Sweet Home Oregon Junior High because of what some parents saw as the objectification of


The Handmaid's Tale The Handmaid’s TaleBy Atwood, Margaret1998-03 – Anchor Books

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This award-winning dystopian tale of women struggling to survive in a fictional oppressive regime has been challenged many times over the years. This year challengers at one high school called it “sexually explicit, violently graphic, and morally corrupt.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower The Perks of Being a WallflowerBy Chbosky, Stephen1999-02 – MTV Books

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Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens (1999)

Published in 1999, a recent movie adaptation has given the book more attention. And with attention come more challenges! This year, the coming-of-age story told all in letters was challenged for sexual situations, drug use, and language.…More

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young GirlBy Frank, Anne1993-06 – Turtleback BooksCheck Our Catalog 
Anne Frank’s powerfully honest writing has made her diary a common choice for classrooms. When it recently was challenged at a middle school because of anatomical descriptions in the book, 10 free speech organizations signed a letter urging the school to keep the book on shelves. The book was retained.
Neverwhere NeverwhereBy Gaiman, Neil1997-07 – William Morrow & Company
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When his fable of London’s hidden magical underworld was removed from a high school’s shelves for a half-page scene of drunken adulterous fumbling, Gaiman had the perfect response.

He said: “Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child’s love of reading. Stop them reading what they enjoy or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like […] you’ll wind up with a generation

Looking for Alaska Looking for AlaskaBy Green, John2006-12 – Speak

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Green Mountain Book Award (2008)

This Printz Award-winning book by the author of The Fault In Our Stars was challenged this year because a parent felt the sexual content was inappropriate.

Eleanor & Park Eleanor & ParkBy Rowell, Rainbow2013-02 – St. Martin’s Griffin

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Black-Eyed Susan Award (2015), Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards (2013), Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens (2014), Cybils (2013), Florida Teens Read (2015), Georgia Peach Book Award for Teen Readers (2015), Indies Choice Book Awards (2014), Michael L. Printz Award (2014), Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award (2015), Tayshas Reading (2014)

When this bestselling teen love story was challenged for profanity and sexual content, the controversy led to the author’s scheduled Banned Books Week speaking event being canceled.

The Complete Persepolis The Complete PersepolisBy Satrapi, Marjane2007-10 – Pantheon Books

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Satrapi’s autobiographical graphic novel about growing up in Iran during the Islamic revolution was an international bestseller. Yet in 2013 it was removed from a Chicago middle school district due to inappropriate images and language.

In response, students mobilized a media campaign opposing the banning of a book that is itself about freedom of speech. Their actions led to the book

The Color Purple The Color PurpleBy Walker, Alice1992-05 – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH)

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This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about women of color in Depression-era Georgia is the frequent target of censors. Challengers have most often cited language and scenes of sexual violence.


September 18, 2014

Kid’s Corner: 3 Secrets for Finding Beginning Chapter Books

Filed under: Kid's Corner — Tags: , , — jennytf @ 8:30 am

Your child has read all the Amelia Bedelia, Frog and Toad, or Nate the Great books. What’s next?? Puzzled as to how to find an appropriate beginning chapter book?  Today I’ll share 3 secrets which might help you find the next best book.

Secret #1: Look for orange tape in the Juvenile Fiction collection. Easier books have the orange tape on a spine label.

Secret #2: Open a book to see the font size, number of pages, and pictures. Good transition books will have a slightly bigger font than regular longer chapter books and include some pictures.

Secret #3: Five fingers rule: Open the book to page #2 or higher and let your child read one page. Hold up a finger for each unfamiliar word. 4 or 5 – too many. Your child will not feel comfortable with this book. 0 to 2 – maybe the book is not challenging enough. 3 unfamiliar words = a good choice!

Remember: Beginning readers need to re-read books as well, so if they ask for the same title, let them have it! They need to feel confident and able to say: “I read this book in ONE DAY!” And this is possible only when they know a book very well.  More tips how to find “Just Right” Books from Reading Rockets -Marta

Here are ten appealing beginning chapter book series for young readers:

GoofballsGoofballs by Tony Abbott

Roscoe Riley RulesRoscoe Riley Rules by Katherine Applegate

Magic PuppyMagic Puppy by Sue Bentley

Heidi HeckelbeckHeidi Heckelbeck by Wanda Coven

Mercy WatsonMercy Watson by Kate DiCamillo

Diamonde DanielDyamonde Daniel by Nikki Grimes

Zapato PowerZapato Power by Jacqueline Jules

Missy's Super DuperMissy’s Super Duper Royal Deluxe by Susan Nees

Galaxy ZackGalaxy Zack by Ray O’Ryan

Greetings from SomewhereGreetings from Somewhere by Harper Paris

September 17, 2014

Inside Scoop: Nail Art

Filed under: Info — klsseong @ 8:00 am

I love seeing creative nail art on others, but never had the time to attempt it myself.  Seeing these great books on nail art come in gave me an inspiration to try it at home myself.  If you want to learn how to wear cool design on yourself or your friends, I highly recommend Cool Nail Art, DIY Nail Art, Nails! Nails! Nails!, and Nail Candy.

nail1 nail2 nail3 nail4

September 16, 2014

Blurbs From the Branch: Holy Science & Technology, Batman!

batmanSchool days are back! Here in the U.S., reports show that our kids are falling behind in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). The library has many great books to help kids get interested in STEM subjects. We have a great series here at Bethany called Batman Science. Each book takes items from Batman’s fictional world, and explores the real world science and engineering of those items. For example, in Batarangs and Grapnels: the Science Behind Batman’s Utility Belt , the book explores the connection between boomerangs and the fictional batarang, including an explanation on how boomerangs function. In the back of the book, there is a list of other books and websites to further explore topics introduced.

This is a great way to explore engineering and scientific concepts with kids who are fans of superheroes! Other titles in the Batman Science series are Batmobiles and Batcycles: the Engineering Behind Batman’s Vehicles, Batplanes and Batcopters: the Engineering Behind Batman’s Wings, and Batsuits and Capes : the Science Behind Batman’s Body Armor.


September 12, 2014

Checking In: Italo Calvino And His Invisible Cities

“Don’t be amazed if you see my eyes always wandering. In fact, this is my way of reading, and it is only this way that reading proves fruitful for me. [...] The stimulus of reading is indispensable to me, and of meaty reading, even if, of every book, I manage to read no more than a few pages. But those few pages already enclose for me whole universes, which I can never exhaust.” – The first reader in If on a winter’s night a traveler

ifonawintersnightatravelerThe recent resurgence of interest in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s work raises the opportunity to highlight another author who combined the surreal and the everyday: Italo Calvino, who wove postmodern tales in the wake of Italy’s recovery from World War II. Much of his work in the 1940s and ’50s has the feel of Italian neorealist cinema (with more overt surrealism and less tragedy) and as time passed his fictions became progressively more daring, culminating in his ’70s masterpieces Invisible Cities and If on a winter’s night a traveler. The beauty of Calvino’s work is that he never loses sight of the humanity of his characters and never falls into the trap of simplistic motivations. Also since much of his writing style is sparse and wry, critics have tended to dismiss his work as slight whimsy, missing the forest for the baron in the trees.

“The moment that counts most for me is the one that precedes reading. At times a title is enough to kindle in me the desire for a book that perhaps does not exist. At times it is the incipit of the book, the first sentences… In other words: if you need little to set the imagination going, I require even less: the promise of reading is enough.” – The sixth reader in If on a winter’s night a traveler

Introductory Calvino: Invisible Cities and Marcovaldo. Gorgeous and accessible tales of the city and the seasons of the city, the first from a whirlwind of perspectives on Marco Polo’s beloved Venice and the second from one man named Marcovaldo reaching for the sublime and often adorably falling short.

Intermediate Calvino: Difficult Loves and The Baron in the Trees. Darker in tone, the stories in Difficult Loves range from meditations on maturity to the complexity of change. The Baron in the Trees’ heartfelt picaresque and its sweet love story blend with a meditation on the passing of ages from a literal bird’s eye view.

Advanced Calvino: If on a winter’s night a traveler and The Castle of Crossed Destinies. Formal and structural experiments, Crossed Destinies plays with the chance inherent in the Tarot and the improvisational nature of storytelling while If on a winter’s night a traveler is best gone into cold, its surprises a half-remembered music box.

“The hare was a bit further on,  invisible; he scratched one ear with his paw, and escaped, hopping away. Is he here? There? Is he a bit farther on? Only the expanse of snow could be seen, white as this page.” – from Marcovaldo

- Patrick

September 11, 2014

Kid’s Corner: Back to School Lunch Crunch!

Filed under: Kid's Corner — Tags: , , — jennytf @ 9:10 am

lunchSummer is typically a time of carefree days and relaxed schedules, but once school begins, a little more planning is usually required. It can be hard to jump back into a busy routine, and making your kid’s lunch every day can challenge even the most creative cooks. Here are some suggestions for tasty lunches to help get the school year off to a good start! -Ginny W.

Cool Lunches to Make & Take: Easy Recipes for Kids to Cook by Lisa Wagner

Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunch Box with More than 160 Happier Meals by Catherine McCord

Beating the Lunch Box Blues: Fresh Ideas for Lunches on the Go by J.M. Hirsch

Best Lunch Box Ever: Ideas and Recipes for School Lunches Kids Will Love by Katie Sullivan Morford

Cooking With Trader Joe’s Cookbook: Pack a Lunch! By Celine Cossou-Bordes

The Paleo Kid Lunch Box: 27 Kid-Approved Recipes that Make Lunchtime a Breeze by Kate Evans Scott

Stealth Health Lunches Kids Love: Irresistible and Nutritious Gluten-Free Sandwiches, Wraps and Other Easy Eats by Tracy Griffith

Vegan Lunch Box: 130 Amazing, Animal-Free Lunches Kids and Grown-Ups Will Love by Jennifer McCann

Yum-Yum Bento Box: Fresh Recipes for Adorable Lunches by Crystal Watanabe and Maki Ogawa

Everyday Bento: 50 Cute and Yummy Lunches to Go by Wendy Thorpe Copley





September 10, 2014

Inside Scoop: Don’t Try This At Home

Filed under: Info — ErinM @ 9:30 am

Jacket2Here is an example of 21st Century social media stardom in book form! My Drunk Kitchen is a youtube channel created by Hannah Hart, who began recording her own “cooking show” – with lots of help from adult beverages. Like youtube videos sometimes do, they went viral (and she’s not even a cat). Her episode with Mary Louise Parker has been viewed 1.5 million times and counting. After several years of internet success, she’s decided to enter the world of paper book publishing and  My Drunk Kitchen : a Guide to Eating, Drinking & Going With Your Gut is the result.

Like the show, the book isn’t exactly a cook book, although there are lists of ingredients, and some stuff labeled as instructions, as well as a helpful cocktail recommendation to you get started. The “instructions” read more like the stream-of-consciousness ramblings of a drunk person tackling a simple challenge and making it way more complex, but way more funny. The “recipes” are interspersed with comical essays and amusing pictures, which are really more the point of this book, although some of the dishes described don’t look half bad. If you like to read about silly thoughts with just a pretense of a main topic, you’ll love My Drunk Kitchen. — Katie

You can find the youtube videos here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2EC7F45DBD9D9B1A and the book at your Cedar Mill Community Library!


September 9, 2014

Blurbs From the Branch: Road Tripping with the Black Keys

Filed under: Blurbs from the Branch, Music — Tags: , , , , — Becca B @ 8:00 am

blackkeysDo you like to take long road trips and listen to music that matches your journey? The CD Turn Blue, by the Black Keys is just the CD you’re looking for. Straight out of the gate with the first track “Weight of Love,” you’re set to cruise the open roads without a care in the world. A few tracks pick up the pace a bit, like “Fever” and “Gotta Get Away From You,” but the overall feeling of the whole album is that of a soundtrack for your own personal adventure. The mellow jams are just the thing to help you take the corners and enjoy the drive until you reach your destination.


September 8, 2014

In the Know: Featured Computer and Technology classes at Cedar Mill Library

Cat and ComputerAre you a true computer beginner? Try out COMPUTER COMFORT FOR BEGINNERS if you feel like you are missing information when it comes to the basics of using a computer. Join us September 15 and 16 (Mon & Tues) from 9 – 10:30 a.m. to go over the parts and basic skills of computers. Registration is required.

Our INTERNET FOR BEGINNERS class will help you use your browser to get around the net and build searches that will save you time finding what you need. The Internet Class meets Sept 22, 23, 29 and 30 (Mon & Tues, 2 weeks) from 9 – 10:30 a.m. Registration is required.

EMAIL FOR BEGINNERS – Do have trouble adding to your email contacts or organizing your inbox? Our email class covers many basic topics including: composing emails, etiquette, attachments, and pitfalls such as spam and fraud.

The three-part hands-on class will be held October 27, 28 and 29 (Mon, Tues & Wed) from 1 – 2:30 p.m. Registration is required.

WORD PROCESSING SKILLS FOR BEGINNERS – This class helps students build word processing skills such as: saving, changing fonts, cut/copy/paste, and inserting photos and graphics into documents.

The three-part hands-on class will be held October 20, 22 & 24 (Mon, Wed & Fri) from 1-2:30 p.m. Registration is required.

INTRO TO YOUR IPAD – This class offers hands-on help for iPad owners. Class topics include: buttons and basics, connecting to Wi-Fi, setting up email, photos and music on your iPad, and checking out e-books from the library.

The three-part iPad class will be held October 6, 8 & 10 (Mon, Wed & Fri) as well as November 17, 19 & 21 (Mon, Wed &Fri) from 1 – 2:30 p.m. Registration is required.  Students will need to bring their own iPad, fully charged, for hands-on time in class.

Exploring Excel for Beginners – Cedar Mill’s Excel class will take you through the basics of Excel including: cells, worksheets, formulas, and charts. Plus tips and tricks to make your work go faster. Students must already know how to use the mouse (both left and right buttons), how to use toolbars and menus, how to cut, paste, and move text in an application such as Word.

The three-part hands-on class will be held November 3, 5 & 7 (Mon, Wed & Fri) from 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Other classes offered this fall also include: Computer Comfort, Internet for Beginners and Digital Photography Editing and Sharing.

Computer Classes are filling fast for the fall, registration is required for all classes and availability is limited. To register please visit the Adult reference desk or call 503-644-0043 X114.

You will find a complete list and description of Cedar Mill Library’s computer classes at: http://library.cedarmill.org/news-events/programs-cedar-mill/computer-classes.html

September 5, 2014

Checking In: The Street of Crocodiles

Filed under: Books, Checking In — Tags: , , , — Eric D @ 8:00 am

Place a hold!I’ve read my fair share of classics and important works, but every once in a while, I encounter a piece of fiction that truly changes the way I think about stories and writing. East of Eden, by Steinbeck, taught me that you can draw on the biggest, most well known stories in human history and remake them into something just as epic. Dylan Thomas’ poetry taught me that the unexpected image is one of the most powerful tools in an author’s repertoire. Hemingway taught me that a well-crafted, five-word sentence can be more powerful than a paragraph, and Tolstoy taught me that humor and tragedy can exist in the same word on a page.

The Street of Crocodiles, by Bruno Schulz, taught me that it is possible to create a living, breathing world on paper that, despite (or perhaps because of) its sweeping surrealism, feels more real than reality has ever felt to me. Here is a sample from the very first page, the ordinary occurrence of the housekeeper bringing back food from the market:

“On those luminous mornings Adela returned from the market, like Pomona emerging from the flames of day, spilling from her basket the colorful beauty of the sun—the shiny pink cherries full of juice under their transparent skins, the mysterious black morellos that smelled so much better than they tasted; apricots in whose golden pulp lay the core of long afternoons. And next to that pure poetry of fruit, she unloaded sides of meat with their keyboard of ribs swollen with energy and strength, and seaweeds of vegetables like dead octopuses and squids—the raw material of meals with a yet undefined taste, the vegetative and terrestrial ingredients of dinner, exuding a wild and rustic smell.”

Schulz’ ability to transform the most ordinary of actions and chores into pure magic remains riveting throughout the book. Additionally, the cast of characters draw you in and make you part of the world, from the father who hatches rare bird eggs in the attic and is so afraid of cockroaches that he begins to resemble one; to Adela the willful housekeeper, who masks as his help but is in truth his greatest adversary; to the narrator, the son of the father, who paints the picture of the life around him in such perfect terms, even when the life described is far from perfect. Schulz takes the story of growing up in a Polish village and transforms it into a spellbinding, self-contained mythology – one hundred sixty pages of magic.

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