Grafton Public Library

Library Updates

Storytime News

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fall_storytimes

The Children’s Room at the Grafton Public Library invites all our young readers to join us for the fall session of storytime beginning the week of September 15th. Storytimes are drop-in unless otherwise noted and if school is cancelled, storytime is cancelled as well. The Children’s Room will be closed to the public for the duration of onsite programs, and the room will re-open at 10:30 a.m. The lineup for this fall offers something for readers of all ages:

• PreK STEM Storytime – is a 30 minute program for children ages 3.5-5 featuring math and science themes. Hosted by UNiBank, 89 Worcester Street, Grafton, on Monday mornings 10:30 a.m.
• Library Babies – is a 20 minute program for our very youngest visitors, ages birth-walking. Meets at the Library Tuesday mornings 10 a.m. (note new time!)
• Toddler Time – is a 30 minute program for children who are walking through ages 3.5 years. Meets at the Library Wednesday mornings 10 a.m. (note new time!)
• Preschool Storytime – is a 30 minute program for children ages 3.5-5. Meets at the Library Friday mornings 10 a.m. (note new time!)
• “Once Upon a Storytime” at the Willard House – for children ages 3 and up, will be held every first Wednesday of the month (three times this fall) on October 1st, November 5th and December 3rd. Please call the Willard House directly 508-839-3500 to register.

These programs, along with others, are also listed on the Library’s website “Events” calendar. For more details, please contact Sarah Banister, Children’s Librarian, at 508-839-4649 or by email at graftonlibrary.ma@gmail.com.

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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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New Databases for Kids, Teens and Adults!

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The Grafton Public Library is pleased to announce the availability of 3 new online databases to Library cardholders and visitors. To access click on the “Research” tab.

BookFlix for grades K-3 is a collection of digitized picture books paired with information books. Themes include animals, ABCs & 123s, Family and Community, and more! Watch the animated version, listen to the audio track only, or read on your own.

ScienceFlix for grades 4-9 is a collection of digital information articles, videos, tools and resources including science news, Information about careers in science, and science experiments! Topics include astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, technology and more.

BookFlix and ScienceFlix require a Library Card—the smartest card in your wallet!—for access outside of the Library building.

Consumer Reports Online is a database of expert ratings, reviews and buying advice on thousands of products. Review categories include Cars, Electronics, Home & Garden, Babies & Kids and more. Consumer Reports Online is now available for in-house use only at the Library, and current and back issues of our print subscription are now available for checkout. To access Consumer Reports online, see a staff member to log on.

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What’s That Noise!?

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Expect a little noise & dust as we get our ductless A/C installed for the comfort of patrons, staff, & materials! Sorry for any discomfort! If we need to close the Children’s Room Friday or Monday for part of the day, we will try to provide as much advance notice as possible, and will make materials for youth available in the Main Reading Room. Thanks for your understanding!

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Review: Oh No! Series written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Dan Santat

Posted by sbanister on

oh, no

Oh No! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World) Written by Mac Barnett and Illustrated by Dan Santat

The story begins when the young heroine creates a failed science fair project and her newly created robot science fair entry goes rogue. The robot begins to cause destruction and mayhem in the city with everyone wondering “how can it be stopped?” The young scientist tries to get the machine’s attention, but it is no use. She can’t yell, the robot has no ears. She can’t hold up a sign, she never taught the robot to read. She can’t use force, the robot can’t feel. And on top of that, all of the features that once seemed so useful (superclaw, laser eye, power to control dogs’ minds) have all proven to make the robot more difficult to control and capture. Suddenly, she has an idea and sets off to create another science project to bring the robot back under control. She makes a giant toad and programs it to destroy her robot. With the robot defeated and blue ribbon in hand, she realizes she has another big problem as her super toad bursts through the school wall and begins to attempt to catch planes like they are giant flies.

oh, no 2

Oh No! Not Again!: (Or How I Built a Time Machine to save History) (Or at Least My History Grade) Written by Mac Barnett and Illustrated by Dan Santat

Our young friend is at it again in the time travelling sequel to Oh No! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World). It all started when she took a history quiz, only to find she got one question wrong. The first cave paintings were in fact located in France not Belgium as she had originally thought. The young scientist still receives an A, but she cannot let that one point off stand. She decides the best course of action is to build a time machine and go back in time, with art supplies in hand, to change history and make sure she gets the full credit she feels she needs and deserves. First she goes too far back in time, then, not far enough. Eventually, she times her journey correctly ready to paint some cave art. The locals are resistant to her request so she is forced take matters into her own hands… again. Unfortunately, while she was busy with her cave paintings the locals took her time machine and changed a bit of history themselves, and when she makes it back to present time, her grade went from an A to an F.

Oh No! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World) and Oh No! Not Again!: (Or How I Built a Time Machine to save History) (Or at Least My History Grade) are both fun lighthearted reads that are sure to give some laughs and smiles. Check them out this summer and Fizz Boom READ!

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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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Book Review: The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro

Posted by hfowler on

The Art ForgerIt’s been 24 years since the largest art heist in the world occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston right next to the Museum of Fine Arts. To this day none of the art has been recovered. The Art Forger, by B.A.Shapiro is a fictionalized version of what could have happened to one piece in particular, After the Bath, by Degas. At the heart of this story is Claire Roth, a starving artist type who is barely making a living as a reproductionist. She badly wants a one woman show at a prestigious gallery run by Aiden Markel. It is Markel who strikes a deal with Claire that transforms her from a reproductionist to a forger. What could possibly go wrong? What got my attention in this book was the many insights into the behind the scenes of the art world including cleaning the old canvases and getting a show to a gallery. It’s full immersion art. There are flashbacks to the lifestyle of Isabella Stewart Gardner throughout the book including personal letters to her niece. Even though they are not authentic, Shapiro showed the letters to be full of chatter about her lifestyle and filling her museum with the best art she could acquire. The Art Forger was such an inspiration to me that I went to the Worcester Art Museum and viewed the works with a new appreciation of the artists’ skills. In addition the collection of armor and artifacts from the Higgins Armory was an added pleasure. There’s much to recommend Shapiro’s first work – local history, drama, relationships with a heavy dose of moral dilemma. I give the book 4 impressionists. Happy reading from Beverly   Download The Art Forger eBook Download The Art Forger eAudio Request The Art Forger in hardcover Request The Art Forger in paperback Request The Art Forger in Large Print Request The Art Forger on audio CD Request The Art Forger on a Playaway

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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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Teens’ Mad Scientist Party, August 16th 2-4 p.m.

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Grab your lab coat and join Mad Scientist (aka Teen Librarian) Allison as she helps you create your own ice cream. Celebrate the summer at this last chance to earn tickets for our Summer Reading prizes. Please call or email the Library to register for this program.

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