Grafton Public Library

Library Updates

Review: We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

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We Need New Names

Although many aspects of this novel, set in Zimbabwe and Detroit, present a bleak picture of both village life and emigration, it is written by such a gifted storyteller that it drew me in from page 1. The story is narrated by Darling, a 10 year old girl growing up in a shantytown in her native Zimbabwe.  She and her group of friends, all with similarly unusual names (Godknows, Fraction, Chipo), play with abandon against a backdrop of poverty and memories of terror endured by the village during a brutal raid by paramilitary soldiers in the past.  They refer to this as “Before”.  They call their village “Paradise”.      The children are a true “gang”, but only in the sense that they are a strong unit, bound together by trauma from the past, hopes for the future, and the mischief of today.  They hide in trees in the rich neighborhoods beyond the village, trying to catch a glimpse of tv shows, which they later hilariously re-enact .  Stealing guavas is another highlight, both for the thrill and the reward of the juice they love and can’t stop themselves from overindulging.  They are hungry, in the literal way, as well as for clean clothing, any type of toy or possession, and an end to the threat of violence.

Darling is in a unique position in the group, as she has been told she will move to Detroit (“Destroyedmichygen”) to live with her aunt, something she anticipates with a mixture of excitement and dread.  As horrible as their lives are, it’s what they know, and they have each other.  When she does make the transition, she feels the heartbreak of losing her country and her people, as well as the disillusionment of the American Dream.

The second half of the novel takes place in America, where Darling finds herself living in an apartment with her aunt, an obnoxious cousin, and her aunt’s husband in near poverty. This is where the story takes a turn and becomes darker;  Darling has matured and the narration loses some of its charm, which is likely the intent of the author as circumstances for Darling have not lived up to her hopes.

What I love most about this book is the voices of the kids in ZImbabwe, who are so sweetly sad, yet creative and feisty, despite their circumstances.

We Need New Names was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize (2013), the Guardian First Book Award shortlist (2013), and was a Barnes & Noble Discover Award finalist (2013). It was the winner of the inaugural Etisalat Prize for Literature (2013),and won the prestigious Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for debut work of fiction.It also won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction (2013).

Somehow many of the books that appeal to me because of the writing also feature people living difficult lives.  This one certainly fits that bill, and will not appeal to someone looking for a light read. If’ you enjoy a poignant, though sometimes disheartening, coming of age story, this is a good pick.

Place a hold on the book 

Place a hold on the audio

 

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Meet local Author Stephen Halpert

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Stephen Halpert book

Meet Local Author Stephen Halpert as he talks about his new book Abracadabra Moonshine: and Other Stories.

Ever since he was a boy Stephen has been fascinated by art, giving himself an informal art education by wandering through museums in his native Providence, Boston, and New York. His influences include DADA Photo Montage, Man Ray, Kurt Schwitters, the collage boxes of Joseph Cornell and Betye Saar and Robert Rauschenberg’s inventive assemblage.

A professional writer and editor since graduating Emerson College in 1964, he discovered that collage work helped him to relax and avoid writers’ block. He has published a number of books, articles and columns on American literary, photographic and social history; and rock music and pop culture. Today he writes a weekly humor column, American Scene published on line and in The Grafton News .

For more information, please contact the Grafton Public Library at graftonlibrary.ma@gmail.com 508-839-4649.

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Fizz! Boom! READ! Summer Reading Raffle

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On August 30th we will be raffling off some Summer Reading “science goodies”. The online Summer Reading program will randomly select readers who registered online. You can also enter to win our raffle by adding your green Fizz, Boom, Read! green punch cards to our bucket. All winners will be called so make sure your name and phone number are on the back of your punch card!
Great job reading and Good Luck!

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Too hot for ya? Come chill with us…

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ice coffee

Ice coffee is now available for 1$ at the Library thanks to the generous support of the Friends of the Grafton Public Library. Just stop by the Main Circ desk to get your cup. As before, hot coffee, hot tea, and hot cocoa are also available (good to keep in mind as the colder months start approaching!)

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Library CLOSED Tuesday August 12 for Electrical Repairs

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The Grafton Public Library will be CLOSED on Tuesday August 12, as the building will be without power during electrical repairs. Materials due on August 12 may be returned without penalty by Tuesday August 19. We apologize for any inconvenience.
The Green Cleaning program with Leslie Reichert will be held at the Grafton Historical Society Museum Annex at 7:00 p.m. (Please use the rear, lower entrance.)
The Library will reopen to the public on Wednesday August 13 at 10:00 am – we anticipate having full power restored at that time.
For more details, please contact Beth Gallaway, Library Director, at 508-839-4649 or by email at graftonlibrary.ma@gmail.com.

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Children’s Room Storytime Survey: we want to hear from you!

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Storytime 3

In an effort to serve our young families, we are asking for your input on our Children’s Room Storytime Survey. We are putting our calendar together for this fall and would like to know the best times for offering Storytimes to our young patrons.

Please visit this very short (6 questions only!) Storytime online survey or stop in the Children’s Room to complete a hard copy.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Thank you!

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Amazing model of the Grafton Public Library!

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FrancescaValverdeGraftonLinraryModel
As part of her 3rd grade Grafton History Project, Francesca Valverde created this amazing model of the Grafton Public Library. Francesca did an outstanding job of capturing the detail of this 1927 historical building located on the Grafton Common. Her model is on display in the Main Reading Room of the Library. Francesca recently completed Miss Tilvia’s 3rd grade class at Millbury Street Elementary School. Great job Francesca!

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Nature Photographer & Author: Peter Christoph, July 15th

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Peter Christoph photographer
Tuesday, July 15th 7:00-8:00 p.m.

This one-night event for birders, bird photographers and nature lovers will provide participants with photographic techniques for capturing birds. The program will be illustrated by Peter Christoph’s masterful photography and seasoned with lively anecdotes, this narrated slideshow will bring you both instruction and inspiration.Peter will have available the companion book Birds, which he published to accompany his presentation. There will be a book signing immediately after his talk.

Peter Christoph is one of New England’s best known wildlife photographers, having presented for Mass Audubon, the national wildlife refuge system, and numerous libraries, camera clubs and schools. His passion for capturing birds in their natural habitat, his technical excellence, and his environmental responsibility are revealed in his compelling images. He is set apart as one of the very few photographers willing to share both his photographic knowledge and his favorite locations with other photographers. His images have appeared in many books and magazines and he has authored two bird books, which are available at Mass Audubon’s Wachusett Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary and online at www.peterchristoph.com

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Win an original Lauren Scheuer Illustration!

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once upon a flock 2

Please visit our Author Visit: Lauren Scheuer Pinterest Board to see the links Lauren suggested in her talk!

Lauren signed 2 illustrations for us, and we’ll raffle one off at the end of the summer.

The Grafton Public Library hosted a visit with author, illustrator and blogger Lauren Scheuer in the Library’s Main Reading Room at 35 Grafton Common on Thursday July 10 at 7:00 p.m. Lauren shared spellbinding tales of her soulful flock of chickens and describe her journey from blog to published book.

Lauren is the author of Once Upon a Flock: Life with my soulful chickens (Atria Books, 2013), which chronicles her journey of raising chickens in charming anecdotes and illustrations. It’s a tale with drama, humor and heart, and if you are an animal lover, a backyard homesteader, or simply curious about these social birds, you’ll love with session with Lauren!

This program is appropriate for families. No registration is required. The session is part of Amazing Animals week as part of the Grafton Public Library’s science-themed summer reading program for kids, teens and adults, sponsored by the Grafton Public Library, Friends of the Grafton Public Library, Massachusetts Library System, MA Board of Library Commissioners and Boston Bruins. Registration in the summer reading program continues through August 1.

For more details or to register for the program, please contact Beth Gallaway, Library Director, at 508-839-4649 x1105 or by email at graftonlibrary.ma@gmail.com

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Summer Reading: Not Just for Kids!

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The Library is pleased to offer “Literary Elements,” a Summer Reading Program for Adults ages 18 and up this summer!

Celebrate Literary Elements by participating in a reading program for adults June 28-August 17, 2014. Read a paper book, download an eBook or eAudiobook from our digital catalog (http://digitalcatalog.cwmars.org), or listen to an audiobook.  Read a magazine. Read a subtitled movie. Read videogame instructions, a recipe, or a poem, or the newspaper. Read to your children! All reading is good reading, and it all counts toward your opportunity to win prizes.

Register online NOW through August 1 at www.readsinma.org/grafton to be entered in a drawing for an Apple Tree Arts gift certificate!

Beginning Saturday June 28, log your reading. The more you read, the greater your chances are of winning in the weekly drawings for Down Under Book Store gift certificates, fine waivers, and free books.

Additionally, adults may write a book review or complete an Ideal Bookshelf entry form during a library visit or at a program for a weekly prize drawing.  Recommended titles will be added to the Library’s Awesome Box. At the end of the summer, random adult readers who log their reading online will win gift certificates to local businesses.

Featured programs in July include:

  • Visit from Lauren Scheuer, author of Once Upon a Flock: Life with My Soulful Chickens Thursday July 10 at 7pm
  • Book Discussion: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kambwamba &Bryan Mealer Tuesday July 16 at 1:30pm
  • Pandemic Board Game Night Thursday  July 24 at 7pm
  • How to Download an eBook class July 28 at 7pm and July 29 at 2pm
  • Clock-making Workshop at the Willard House and Clock Museum Thursday July 31 at 7pm (RSVP to graftonlibrary.ma@gmail.com)
  • The Epic Adventures of a Massachusetts Bird Photographer Date TBA
  • weekly lunchtime App Chat Fridays at 11:15am
  • weekly family movie night Tuesdays at 7pm
  • weekly teen movie night Wednesdays at 6pm

August programs include a Dr. Who Party, the return of the Green Cleaning Lady, and a Perseids Party and campout to watch the meteor shower at the LIONS Clubhouse and Field off Brigham Hill Road.

View our full calendar of summer events online

Follow us on Twitter (@GraftonPubLib) for 50 days of science, featuring science books, films, magazines, podcasts and websites, starting June 28. #50daysofscience

The Library is pleased to support the Grafton Food Bank by offering fine amnesty through Food for Fines through August 31. We will also accept school supplies in lieu of fines from July 28-Aug 17.

Literary Elements is open to adults ages 18 and up, and is sponsored by the Grafton Public Library, Town of Grafton, the Friends of the Grafton Public Library, Massachusetts Library System, Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, and the Boston Bruins.

For more details or to register for the program, please contact Beth Gallaway, Library Director,  at 508-839-4649 x1105 or by email at graftonlibrary.ma@gmail.com

 

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