By Jan Pease
New books brighten up the cloudiest days, and here are some new books that really shine.
“How to Hug an elephant,” by Henry Winkler, is the sixth book in the “Here’s Hank” series. Hank is the kind of kid that’s known for being the class clown. His jokes hide his struggles with dyslexia, and he has a hard time with school, especially subjects like reading, math, and spelling. One of the interesting things about this series is that the books are set in a font called Dyslexie that makes it easier for people with Dyslexia to read. Minor changes in the letters make them more distinct from each other. For information about this interesting adaptation, go to dyslexiefont.com.
Cornelia Funke has a new book that is very distinct from her other novels. “Ruffleclaw” tells the story of a boy named Tommy who wants to keep the furry red monster he finds in his bed one night. Unfortunately, Ruffleclaw drinks shampoo, eats everything in the fridge, and spits, which makes him a very unsuitable pet. Ms. Funke usually writes for an older audience, so it will be interesting to see how her books for younger readers are received.
Sometimes we are able to add books that are requested by our young patrons. The “Park Service Trilogy,” by Ryan Winfield, is a series published by Birch Paper Press. I don’t know much about this publishing company, but it seems to be closely connected to author Ryan Winfield. We were able to order these through Pioneerland Library and we’ll have to see. Libraries usually don’t add privately published books to their collections, but since different patrons have asked about it, we’ll give the series a try. This is a “dystopian” series, with teens placed in dangerous situations. “Park Service” sounds benign, but it isn’t, and the cut off age for human life is only 35, bringing an element of “Blade Runner” or "Logan's Run" to the series.
Mike Lupica delivers great sports action for both teens and older folks. His new book, “Fast Break” offers a basketball story with heart. Jayson is a boy who ends up trying to stay out of the foster care system, so he is living on his own after his mom dies. Caught stealing some basketball shoes, he finds himself in a foster home, a new part of the city, a different school, and a different kind of game.
Erin Hunter is the pen name for a group of writers who keep the series coming. Some of their fans call them “the Erins.” Their main series are “Warriors” and “Explore the World of Warriors” “Seekers,” and “Survivors.” Their new book in the “Warriors Super Edition series” is titled “Moth Flight’s Vision.” Moth Flight is a medicine cat and this is her story. The structure and mythology of the warrior cats is getting more and more anthropomorphic, one of my favorite words. Read a book or two, especially one of the later ones in the series, and you will know what my favorite word means.
Finally, here is a bit of information for everyone. Santa will visit the library on Thursday, December 3 for a fun late afternoon and evening. Our Lego building group will meet only once in December, on the 12th at 6:30 p.m., and Beginner Book Club will meet as usual on December 19th at about 3 p.m. The last Saturday Story Time of the year will be December 14th at 10:00 a.m., and then we will take a break from Toddler Time and Preschool Story Time the last two weeks of December. What does that song say? “Fast away the old year passes!”