Grafton Public Library

Library Updates

What’s Brewing at the Grafton Public Library?

Posted by switham on

fresh coffee

We now have, for your drinking pleasure, hot coffee (regular and decaf), hot tea and hot cocoa! Just purchase a cup at the front desk for $1 and, with the Keurig technology, brew yourself a fresh cuppa! Many thanks to the Friends of the Grafton Public Library for making this possible!

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Apple Users: Having Trouble with OverDrive eBooks Today?

Posted by bethg on

Apple released iOS 7 yesterday and you may have upgraded your device(s), or may be planning to upgrade in the near future.

When an existing OverDrive Media Console (OMC) user upgrades to iOS 7, the app will fail when trying to open a DRM-protected eBook. New or first time users of OMC are unaffected by this issue.

OverDrive is resolving the issue, but in the meantime, here are immediate remedies for users:

  1. Re-authenticate the app with their existing or a new Adobe ID. Refer to the iOS section of this Help article for assistance. (Recommended)
  2. Uninstall and re-install OMC which will also require the user to re-authorize with Adobe.
    IMPORTANT NOTE: A re-install will clear a user’s bookshelf, history, and app settings.

Audiobook users won’t notice that anything is different unless they attempt to download parts of audiobooks they already downloaded to OMC before upgrading to iOS 7. A user will receive an error message informing them to download the title again.

Apologies for any inconvenience, and thanks for your patience!

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Big Library Read: Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth

Posted by jmentzer on

Over the summer, the grownups had a chance to read an ebook without any holds or waiting. Now it’s our turn! Overdrive, the people who make sure that Grafton kids can read ebooks, are giving us all two weeks to read Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth by Jane O’Connor without needing to place a hold or wait. You can download a copy of the book by clicking here or check out all of the ebooks available by looking at their menu. Let’s get reading!

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Wimpy Kid is Coming!

Posted by jmentzer on

The new Wimpy Kid book, Hard Luck, is due out on November 5th. In case you’ve lost count, this is the eighth book in the Wimpy Kid series and something important is about to happen. Rowley decides that Greg isn’t exactly best friend material, and Greg needs to find a few new friends. He’s leaving his fate up to a roll of the dice. What kind of friends will he wind up with? Ready to read? You can go ahead and place a hold on a library copy here. Be the first to get your hands on our copy by reserving now!

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One Tough Transisiton

Posted by jmentzer on

The start of school is something we prepare for over weeks and months. The first-day pictures, the new backpack, a trip to the shoe store… all of these symbolize the start of a new school year.

For some of our young ones, though, a challenge is on the horizon. Nope, it’s not the very-first-timers, the preschoolers and the kindergarteners. We’ve been reading separation stories, practicing our kissing hands and shaping their view of school in earnest for weeks. The ones with the tougher transition? The new first graders.

All of a sudden, they’re big kids. School has now become work: it requires sitting still for long periods of time and concentrating in more than short bursts. It’s exhausting. It’s become so much more about rules and rigidity. Homework is harder, and counts for more than ever. Afterschool meltdowns can be frequent and frustrating for everyone. And all too often, parents and kids are unprepared.

Even full-day kindergarteners can have trouble with first grade. There’s not much down time compared to last year, and the physical requirements of staying still and keeping focus are enough to wear them out.

What’s a parent to do when faced with after-school agitation? There are a few things that can help. First, recognize the wonderful compliment your child is paying you by melting down at home. Yes, I know, it sure doesn’t feel like a compliment to have your child yelling at you that they don’t want to do that, but it is. They’ve been on their best behavior all day and finally, at home with you, they feel safe to let their feelings out. Prepare for the transition to home by leaving twenty minutes of downtime as soon as they get home. Have a healthy snack and just let them be. Don’t ask too many questions. Think about that “just a few minutes of peace and quiet” that you crave when you get home from work, and give it to your child. It’s a gift you’ll both be grateful for.

Second, wait a while before scheduling after-school activities or even too many errands. Going straight from school to soccer or piano just lengthens the time and attention requirements of your child. To expect a child to go straight from their school day to a round of errands in the car leaves no time for movement or relaxation. Be willing to allow a short nap if needed – this usually doesn’t last more than a month at the most.

Third, plan a time for homework that’s not right after school. When I bring work home, I rarely look at it before dinner is over. By then I’m rested, fed and ready to concentrate again. Kids deserve the same chance to unwind and regroup.

Last, but certainly not least, leave time for play. Play is the work of children, and they’re doing much less of it every day at school. Children often process things they’re thinking about through their play, and that’s important. To a seven year old, not everything can be talked out; many issues require a different kind of processing. Play allows that to happen. Unstructured play provides the glue that holds knowledge in place. It builds connections in the brain and allows for emotional release.

Still having a tough time after more than a month or so? Don’t hesitate to check in with your pediatrician, have your child’s eyes checked, and talk to his or her teacher. This is an important transition. Their lives will look more or less the same for the next twelve years. It’s up to us to help them learn how to handle it well and balance their lives.

 

 

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Review: A Hundred Flowers by Gail Tsukiyama

Posted by bethg on

A Hundred Flowers bookcoverWhat could be more refreshing to a reader than an historical, cross-cultural novel that’s fast and easy to read? Gail Tsukiyama has done it again in A Hundred Flowers. The author became known to me last year in the powerful Women of Silk, and she has followed up with an equally impressive work.

Set in 1957 China, A Hundred Flowers refers to Chairman Mao’s admonition that there be a new intellectual openness where ideas could flourish. Unfortunately, that was a ruse to identify dissidents who were arrested and sent to far-off labor camps for re-education.

This is the situation in the home of Kai Ling, an herbalist in the village of Guangzhou, China. Her husband Seng was arrested for writing a letter perceived to be anti-government, and she has heard little from him since he was sent away.

Kai Ling lives with her young son Tao, her father-in-law Wei and a family friend Auntie Song, and they pass each day together awaiting word from Sang.

The characters take turns narrating the story from their own perspective, and it is clear that each of them is suffering in their own way, some of it guilt. They long for the happy days of the past and look forward hopefully to the future, but the present is not that easy to endure.

To add to the turmoil in the home that Kai Ying has to manage, Wei falls from the kapok tree and has serious injuries. All the family members aid in his recovery by making special medicinal soups, reading to him and in general trying to keep his spirits up. He doesn’t understand why his father has been away so long.

In addition another character appears who has her own set of problems–-Suying. She is very young, starving, homeless and pregnant. Although this event could add more turmoil to this embattled family, the baby generates a caring attitude among all the family members and diverts their attention from
their own problems.

Because of the author’s previous work, I was not surprised at how deep this deceptively simply stated book is. It somehow gently points out the tribulations everyone goes through to one degree or another and learning how to cope with them.

It’s time to smell the flowers–A Hundred Flowers.

I give the book 4 herbal teas.

Happy reading from Beverly!

Request A Hundred Flowers in print

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Bank on Reading Storytime at Unibank, Mondays at 10:30am

Posted by bethg on

Grafton Public Library is partnering with UniBank to provide a special math-themed children’s Story Time. Every Wednesday at 10:30am, join Jenny and her puppet frog Frankie, in the beautiful community room at UniBank’s newest branch located at 89 Worcester Street (Route 122) in North Grafton. We will read stories about math and science concepts, listen to music and sing songs, and practice counting. In addition, kids can learn how to sign up for their very own savings account!
Story Time will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesdays throughout October. All ages are welcome. No registration is required. The dates include:
October 9
October 16
October 23
October 30
If you have any questions, please call or email the library at 508-839-4649 or graftonlibrary.ma@gmail.com.

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Review: Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

Posted by bethg on

Flight BehaviorIt has been many years since I read Barbara Kingsolver’s transcendent novel, The Poisonwood Bible. Her latest work does not take place in far-away Africa, however, but in rural Tennessee. This is an area the author knows well since she and her family live on a farm in Appalachia. It is the setting for Flight Behavior.

Dellarobia Turnbowis a young mother toiling on a family farm. As she climbs a nearby mountain one day on her way to a tryst, she sees a remarkable sight. Through a clearing of trees, she sees a sea of quivering red which turns out to be monarch butterflies who have lost their way. Their natural habitat, a mountain in Mexico, has been deforested with resulting landslides, and the monarchs somehow found their way to Tennessee.

This cautionary tale of the environment gone awry is a major theme in the story. As scientists arrive on the scene to assess the situation, Dellarobia, named after the wreath, becomes active in the research involved. Her education had been halted due to the responsibilities of parenthood, but her natural curiosity and innate intelligence took over.

In addition to this tale of climate change is the story of a woman who has found her life tedious and unfulfilling. She has lost connection with her husband, lives in a home owned by her in-laws and poverty is grinding her down. Then came the monarchs. How she deal with these elements, including the church and the arriving scientists and media is a unique look into an all too possible situation.

Thanks to Barbara Kingsolver, the reader is given a view of a style of life not ordinarily mentioned. I do not find her preachy at all, just realistic. At one point in the book, for example, the locals are warned by the scientists about leaving a smaller carbon footprint-–they could perhaps fly less. This advice was given to people who had never had occasion to cross the state line.

If you haven’t done so yet, become acquainted with the world of Barbara Kingsolver; Flight Behavior would be a great start.

I give the book 4 recycled water bottles.

Happy reading from Beverly!

Download Flight Behavior eBook

Request Flight Behavior  in print

Request Flight Behavior in Large Print

Request Flight Behavior on audioCD

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New Writers Group to Meet

Posted by bethg on

The Grafton Public Library is pleased to serve as host to a new writing group for adults. Serious-minded writers seeking peer support and professional-level criticism are invited to participate. Participants should have goals to learn, publish, and possibly earn a living as a writer. The first meeting will be held Wednesday, April 24 at 7 pm.  Sessions are facilitated by Neil Brett. Space is limited, registration is required; contact Neil at neil.brett.007@gmail.com or 774-293-1134.

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Review: The Racketeer by John Grisham

Posted by bethg on

The Racketeer coverOne of the reasons I have always enjoyed the legal thrillers of John Grisham is I believed, as a lawyer, he knew what he was talking about. With each new book I learned something new about the law, especially the need to retain the highest quality defense. In his latest book, however, I’m not sure what he’s getting at. The Racketeer, which is one who retains money illegally, perplexed me. What on earth is going on?

Malcolm Bannister is doing time in a Federal prison camp near Frostburg, MD As an attorney unfairly convicted of a white collar crime, Bannister is approached by inmates who want his expertise and legal advice in filing appeals. It is information he received from one of his fellow inmates that drives the story.

A federal judge has been murdered, and the FBI has no leads. Bannister, however, has inside information on the crime and cuts a deal with the FBI. Under rule 35 of the Federal rules of criminal procedure, an inmate may gain a pardon or reduced sentence by solving a crime. In this case, there is the Witness Protection Program, a new identity and a huge reward as soon as the Grand Jury hands down an indictment. But things are not as they seem.

Bannister is wilier than the reader assumes, and his double-crossing defies understanding and any sympathy. The linear movement of the story ceases, and soon the reader has to contend with a huge ruse with a major character never seen or alluded to before.

Eventually, the two plots come together to make some sense, but by this time I’ve checked out. There are too many banks ,too many visits to safety deposit boxes, too many trips to Jamaica and Antigua in a private jet and too much exploitation of the law for me.

I can understand the use of clues, schemes, conspiracies, drug money greed and corruption, but when the author in the Author’s Note admits to laziness, lack of research and all those things that bring credence to his work, I feel duped. Hasn’t he heard about the 5th Amendment? Is there such a thing as rule 35? I’m too lazy to look it up.

This might be a good read when you’re heading to Antigua in your private jet to move illegally gained funds.

I give The Racketeer 3 hammocks and a pina colada.

Happy reading from Beverly!

Download The Racketeer eBook

Download The Racketeer in eAudio

Request The Racketeer in print

Request The Racketeer on AudioCD

Request The Racketeer in Large Print

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