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Monday, September 24, 2012

book both bitter and sweet by Heather

My newest favorite book is “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford.

The cover illustration of Ford’s debut novel was what initially intrigued me.  Once I began reading the story of Henry, a young Chinese American growing up in Seattle at the height of World War II, I knew this would be a heartwarming, sentimental journey. 

Henry falls in love with Keiko, a Japanese American, when they are school mates and thus begins a story of love, sacrifice, forgiveness, and honor.  Told in a poignant manner, the book follows Henry’s difficult relationship with his father, as well as his relationship with his first love, and then that of his own son.  It also follows characters through the internment camps in the United States.
A picture of a sign over the door of Japanese-American business placed there the day after Pearl Harbor.
The development of “Hotel” is extremely well done, and one can’t help but be touched as Henry’s story is told.  This book, although a work of fiction, is believable and thought provoking (I think it would make an excellent book club choice and we have this set as a kit).  Even though it is told from the perspective of years ago, it still is relevant to the world of today. 

I am grateful to have been able to read this wonderful book and was personally touched by Henry’s tender story.  Ford seems to truly have a gift for touching the reader’s heart in a powerful way.  If you read this book and love it, then consider some of the read-alikes such as:

·             SnowFalling on Cedars by David Guterson

·             SuchSweet Thunder by Vincent Carter

·             Whenthe Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

It’s Storyime! By Mary

The new school year has started, and the children are settled into their new schedules, excited about learning new things and, of course, reading, reading, reading!  We are so proud of all of the children who participated in the Summer Reading Club.  I hope you discovered some new authors and new genres of books to enjoy, and I want you to keep reading all year long.

Now it is time for the library to welcome our youngest readers to the library.  Lapsit storytime is a program to introduce the babies to the library and to help parents find new ways to interact with their little ones.  Lapsit storytime is offered twice a year, in the fall and in the winter.  The eight week program requires pre-registration as it is limited to 10 parent/child participants.  The program is offered in the morning at 9:30 AM and in the evening at 6:30 PM.  The sessions last about 15 to 20 minutes, as this is about the attention span of most one to two year olds.  Any longer just doesn't work!  A resource book of songs, fingerplays, a bibliography of books that we use during the program and books that are of interest to parents are given to each parent/child participant.  

For many of the little ones this is the first time to be in a social setting with other children, and it is such fun to watch the interaction between them.  We call this storytime Lapsit because many of the activities require some assistance from mom or dad, and this is easily achieved with the little one in their laps.  Registration begins August 31, and the lapsit storytimes begin on Thursday September 20th.  Parents may register at the Children's Desk, or online at, or by calling the library at 372-3633 Ext. 108.

Our traditional storytimes for preschoolers are offered all year round each Monday and Friday.  A schedule listing the topics and times for each week is posted online and on the bulletin board in the Children's Section of the library.  No registration is required for this program, and if you and your children are new to Stillwater, it is a wonderful place to meet other parents and children. 

We would love to welcome you to the library with one of our favorite activities.  We are looking forward to another exciting fall at the library with fun and enlightening programs for all.