KC Public Library Blog

All Library locations will be closed on Monday, May 25 in observance of Memorial Day.

Starry, Starry Nights

Starlight Theatre

June 25, 1951: Kansas City’s Starlight Theatre kicks off its first season with a performance of The Desert Song.

Program Notes: Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever (1939)

Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever movie poster

It’s difficult for modern viewers to appreciate the immense popularity of MGM’s Andy Hardy films of the late 1930s and early ‘40s. Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever is the seventh release in the 18-film series that began in 1937 and didn’t wrap up until 1958.

Book Reviews

All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer Senior

All Joy and No Fun

As a parent of a seven-month-old, I was curious about All Joy and No Fun as it made the rounds through my friends’ Goodreads accounts. My interest was piqued by friends’ reviews and with Jennifer Senior’s visit to the Library in early June.

Teen Review: Shelter

Shelter by Harlan Coben

Shelter: A Mickey Bolitar Novel, by Harlan Coben

Teen Reviewer: Jade Johann

This book is about a teenage boy named Mickey Bolitar who is facing major life changes. How would you feel if you witnessed your father’s death, had your mom go into rehab, and then have to live with your uncle and move to a different school? These are things Mickey is dealing with. His life is a roller coaster spinning out of control.

Program Notes: In Name Only (1939)

In Name Only movie poster

1939’s In Name Only was made under the Hollywood Production Code. It managed to bend the usual rules out of shape and should have been on the code’s naughty list. How did they get away with it?

A Mess of a Massacre

Union Station

June 17, 1933: The parking lot of Union Station is riddled with bullets as friends of bank robber Frank Nash attempt to free him from federal custody, killing five people, including Nash.

Teen Review: A World Without Princes

Book Cover

A World Without Princes, by Soman Chainani

Teen Reviewer: Abigail Borne

A World Without Princes centers once again on Sophie and Agatha, who are finally home. Having escaped the school master, they can now live in peace…or so they thought.

Teen Review: The Space Between

The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff

The Space Between, by Brenna Yovanoff

Teen Reviewer: Keely McLouth

Darkly beautiful and twisted, The Space Between is a mysterious story unlike any book I've ever read. With many twists and turns, Brenna Yovanoff's writing continues to surprise me. This book touched my heart with many waves of emotions as Daphne and Truman take on a dangerous adventure to save Daphne's brother from the most threatening duo on Earth.

New Friends: Tales about Friendship

Paul Meets Bernadette by Rosy Lamb

For those of us fortunate enough to have good friends in our life, we understand how important they are! Friends are fun, friends are trustworthy, and friends are there to help you when in need. Here are some fun books about characters creating new friendships!

Comics Plus!: Checkout Comic Books from any device!

For manga or graphic novel lovers, or any fan of the sequential art form, comes Comics Plus - Library Edition! Through Comics Plus and The Kansas City Public Library, patrons with a library card and email address can checkout free e-comics. With a 10-book maximum for a 7-day checkout, kids, teens, and even adults can access a wide range of comics, classic favorites, and full manga series all from your own personal or public computer, phone, or tablet device.

A Man, A Plan, and A Lot of Concrete

Construction site view of the Scottish Rite Temple located at 1330 Linwood (Linwood and Troost) in Kansas City, Missouri

June 9, 1933: The Jackson County Court awards a $2,073,609 contract to the Swenson Construction Company for the Jackson County Courthouse, a part of the “Ten Year Plan” to improve Kansas City.

Program Notes: The Cat and the Canary (1939)

The Cat and the Canary movie poster

Baby boomers who grew up watching Bob Hope on television may not realize that he was a major movie star as well. In 1939’s “old dark house” film, The Cat and the Canary, Hope is clearly the most interesting thing on the screen.

Teen Review: Bite-Sized Magic

Bite Sized Magic book cover

Bite-Sized Magic: A Bliss Novel, Book 2, by Kathryn Littlewood

Teen reviewer: Abigail Borne

Bite-sized Magic is centered on Rosemary Bliss, who won the Gala des Gateaux Grands baking competition, beating her evil aunt Lilly and winning back the Bliss Cookery Booke. Sadly this brings her much unwanted fame. All Rose wants to do is bake sweets with her family at their bakery.

Book Review: The Little Piano Girl by Ann Ingalls and Maryann Macdonald

The Little Piano Girl by Ann Ingalls

Mary Lou Williams is a music legend. We know her as the most famous female composer and pianist who arranged music for big names like Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman. Her jazz music has touched people’s lives all over the world. During her lifetime, Mary traveled to New York, Paris, England, and all over Europe to perform and inspire her fans.

Book Reviews

Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct Series

Ed McBain’s 57th Precinct Series

When it comes to reading mystery series, I generally follow a simple procedure: Start with the third or fourth book in the series and then work back at some later point if the author grabs me.