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  • June 2018
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Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day or Yom HaShoah.

Shoah, which means catastrophe or utter destruction in Hebrew, refers to the atrocities that were committed against the Jewish people during World War II. This is a memorial day for those who died in the Shoah.

The Shoah (also known as the Holocaust, from a Greek word meaning “sacrifice by fire,”) was initiated by the members of the National Socialist (Nazi) Party, which seized power in Germany in 1933. The Nazis believed in a doctrine of racial superiority, centering around the idea that that people of Northern European descent were somehow better than members of all other races – especially the Jews, who were “unworthy of life.”…

Today, many commemorate Yom HaShoah by lighting yellow candles in order to keep the memories of the victims alive.

– source: Union for Reform Judaism

Holocaust Remembrance Day also serves to recognize the Jewish resistance toward Nazi Germany. This year is the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the largest single revolt by the Jews during World War II.

In commemoration of the over six million Jewish lives lost, please check out:

Graphic Novel
Yossel : April 19, 1943 : a story of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising by Joe Kubert.Maus I : a survivor's tale : my father bleeds history by Art Spiegelman.
Maus II : a survivor's tale : and here my troubles began by Art Spiegelman. MetaMaus by Art Spiegelman. Auschwitz by Pascal CrociX-Men : Magneto testament by writer, Greg Pak ; artist, Carmine Di GiandomenicoAnne Frank : the Anne Frank House authorized graphic biography by Sid Jacobson and Ernie ColónA family secret by Eric Heuvel ; [English translation, Lorraine T. Miller]

The boy in the Striped Pajamas (DVD)Uprising (DVD)Life is Beautiful (DVD) = La vita è bella Paper Clips (DVD)Anne Frank Remembered (DVD)Children of Chabannes (DVD)Shanghai Ghetto (DVD)Au Revoir les Enfants (DVD)

The Book Thief by Markus ZusakNumber the Stars by Lois LowryThe Devil's Arithmetic by Jane YolenSchindler's List by Thomas KeneallyNight by Elie Wiesel Torn Thread by Anne IsaacsShadow of the Wall by Christa LairoOnce by Morris Gleitzman

We are witnesses : five diaries of teenagers who died in the Holocaust [edited] by Jacob BoasI Have Lived a Thousand Years: Growing Up in the Holocaust by Livia Bitton-JacksonThe cage by Ruth Minsky SenderHidden teens, hidden lives : primary sources from the Holocaust by Linda Jacobs Altman
Heroes of the Holocaust : true stories of rescues by teens by Allan Zullo and Mara BovsunBeyond courage : the untold story of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust by Doreen RappaportCourageous teen resisters : primary sources from the Holocaust by Ann Byers Experiencing the Holocaust : novels, nonfiction books, short stories, poems, plays, films & music by Judy Galens

lauren @ CLP – Woods Run 

Baby, it’s cold outside!

Actually, it’s not. At all.  I’m writing this post a few days in advance, and it’s currently 88 degrees with a heat index of 96.  That’s not cold.

The Library I work at, CLP – Lawrenceville, has closed down early twice this week – we don’t have air conditioning, and when it gets that hot out it’s at least as hot inside.  I’m spending as much time as possible in air-conditioned buildings. I seriously considered buying myself a slip-n-slide while I was out shopping yesterday.  Right now, I’m sitting at the CLP – LYNCS location at the Pittsburgh Public Market (have you been here yet? If not, you should come check it out) and channeling the Wicked Witch of the West: “I’m melting, I’m melting!”

So, how do you beat the heat? One can only eat so many popsicles, and pouring ice water over your head isn’t always practical.  My new theory is that I need to THINK myself cold.  Repeat my new mantra: frigid, freezing, positively polar.  And get into a chilly state of mind with books that are set in cold climates!

Chandler, Kristen. Wolves, Boys and Other Things that Might Kill Me.

KJ Carson lives an outdoor lover’s dream. The only daughter of a fishing and wildlife guide, KJ can hold her own on the water or in the mountains near her hometown outside Yellowstone National Park. But when she meets the shaggy-haired, intensely appealing Virgil, KJ loses all self-possession. And she’s not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that they’re assigned to work together on a school newspaper article about the famous wolves of Yellowstone. As KJ spends time with Virgil, she also spends more time getting to know a part of her world that she always took for granted . . . and she begins to see herself and her town in a whole new light.

McCaughrean, Geraldine. The White Darkness.

Sym is not your average teenage girl. She is obsessed with the Antarctic and the brave, romantic figure of Captain Oates from Scott’s doomed expedition to the South Pole. In fact, Oates is the secret confidant to whom she spills all her hopes and fears. But Sym’s uncle Victor is even more obsessed-and when he takes her on a dream trip into the bleak Antarctic wilderness, it turns into a nightmarish struggle for survival that will challenge everything she knows and loves.

Mills, Tricia. Winter Longing.

When Winter’s boyfriend is killed in a plane crash in the Alaskan wilderness, she’s robbed of the future she’d only just allowed herself to believe might be hers. Winter and Spencer had been destined for one another. And after his death, Spencer’s presence continues to haunt her. But when her next-door neighbor becomes an unlikely friend, Winter begins to accept all that she can’t change. Can she open herself to a new future . . . and a possible new love?

Mourlevat, Jean-Claude. Winter’s End.

Four teens, determined to escape the tyranny responsible for the deaths of their parents years before, flee their prison-like boarding school pursued by a terrifying pack of dog-men sent to hunt them down, in this award-winning story of courage, individualism, and freedom.

Reiss, Kathryn.  Blackthorn Winter

With her parents on a trial separation, the last thing fifteen-year-old Juliana wants is to be dragged by her mother to an artists’ colony in England. Halfway across the world, Juliana misses her father terribly. But soon she has bigger worries when the sleepy town of Blackthorn is set on its heels by the murder of one of its own. Juliana feels compelled to solve the crime, but she is shocked and frightened when she uncovers clues that have chilling parallels to her own mysterious past. Can she figure out who the murderer is before anyone else–herself included–gets hurt?

Stay cool, everybody!


CLP – Lawrenceville

Your Next Five Books

The Seattle Public Library has a wonderful (meaning it creates a feeling of wonderment in me) feature on its website: Your Next Five Books.  Are you stuck in a reading rut?  Describe what you like to read and/or what you don’t like to read and a brave librarian will recommend five things for you to try.

I know what it’s like to not want to read anything and I’d like to know how well this service works out. Sometimes all it takes is going on a blind recommendation.

To be honest, usually reading a mystery will restart my reading engine. Which is why I’m halfway into a 3-mystery ombnibus by P.D. James. And I’m watching Prime Suspect. Starring the formidable Helen Mirren.

Photo by flickr user alexanderdrachmann

Would you trust an unknown librarian to recommend books to you?  Would you trust me?  Try me out in the comments if you wish, or recommend a good YA mystery, like these:

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta: Taylor tries to piece together her past and win the Territory Wars for her boarding school.

Gentlemen by Michael Northrop: Micheal’s friend is missing and he helps his English teacher carry a suspiciously heavy bag out to his car trunk.  Things don’t get any better from there as Micheal tries to connect the dots.

– Tessa, CLP – East Liberty

Happy Day of Silence 2008!

When it comes to silence, you might think the library has the market cornered. But for every “Shh!” from a mean librarian there is a middle or high schooler who doesn’t feel like they can express who they are because they don’t want to be harassed about their sexuality or gender.

That’s why GLSEN is now promoting the Day of Silence, an opportunity for teens to work together to create a silence that is impossible to ignore (for more info, visit the Day of Silence webpage). This year’s Day of Silence was today, April 25th.

In honor of the Day of Silence, I’d like to share with you some of the books featuring lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, allied, and altogether awesome characters that I’d read recently.

Touching Snow, by M. Sindy Felin
When Karina’s brutal stepfather almost beats her half-sister to death, Karina needs to make a choice between what’s easy and what’s right.

Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend, by Carrie Jones
Belle and Dylan were the perfect couple. But one night, Dylan utters the words Belle never expected to hear: “I’m gay.” Now Belle gives herself seven days to redefine what love means and move on with her life.

Tale of Two Summers, by Brian Sloan
Hal and Chuck are best friends who’ve never been apart–that is, until Chuck gets into a prestigious summer theater camp at a university on the other side of Maryland. How will Hal and Chuck pass the time? By discovering sex, love, and friendship in unexpected places–and blogging about it all.

Parrotfish, by Ellen Wittlinger
This funny and heartwarming book features Grady, a transgender teen who navigates family, friends, and budding romance upon coming out.

Happy Day of Silence!

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main – Teen

Finding Books in Multiple Voices

Finding books based on what they’re written about is easy, but finding books based on how they’re written can be tough. Just today, a teen was asking about books from multiple points of view. I knew a few off the top of my head, such as Alex Sanchez’s Rainbow Boys; Brian Sloan’s Tale of Two Summers; David Levithan’s The Realm of Possibility, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and Naomi & Ely’s No Kiss List (the latter two co-written by Rachel Cohn); and Alex Flinn’s Fade to Black. After that, I was stumped. So here’s what we did:

A Google search for teen books multiple perspectives got me a Great Booklist from the Brookline Library and an excellent livejournal post.

The website LibraryThing (we even have an account for our new books) lets you search by “tags,” which are descriptive words and phrases. Putting together “tag mashes” of multiple narrators, teen and multiple perspectives, teen gave me a couple of nice lists.

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh also provides access to a great way to find fiction, called Novelist (have your library card ready). Try this “boolean search” in the “Search Our Database” tab:

Searching for Multiple Points of View in Novelist

Happy searching!


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