KC Public Library Blog

Kidnapped!

Mary McElroy. Photo courtesy The Kansas City Star

May 27, 1933: Mary McElroy, daughter of city manager and member of the Pendergast political machine Henry McElroy, is kidnapped from her Kansas City home, only to be released after 34 hours and a $30,000 ransom is paid.

From Asia with Love

What does it mean to be part of two cultures? Kids who grow up in the United States but who are adopted from other countries ask themselves this often. They navigate the challenges and enjoy the richness of their complex heritages. In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, below are books about international adoption with parents from the United States and babies from Asia. Whether or not your family has experienced cross-cultural adoption, these stories will resound. At their center, they are about the love between parents and their children.

Program Notes: Juarez (1939)

Juarez movie poster

The makers of Juarez went out of their way to ensure the film would be as historically accurate as possible. But this 1939 release is also an inflated bore, a history lesson in which the history smothers all the drama.

Teen Review: Alice in the Country of Hearts

Alice in the Country of Hearts

Alice in the Country of Hearts, Omnibus Vol. 1, by QuinRose

Teen Reviewer: Erica Whorton

Alice in the Country of Hearts is a manga series based on the Japanese game Alice in the Country of Hearts Wonderful Wonder World, which in itself is a re-imagining of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.

Roaring Reads!: Books About Monsters

When it comes to books about monsters, be prepared for all kinds! At a very young age, we create these creatures from the detailed corners of our imagination; it’s no surprise that there is no limit to the possibility and creation of monster stories. Below are just a few fun monster reads, either for the monster lover at heart or for someone looking for monsters with a funny and friendly side!

A Tribute to Gordon Willis

Gordon Willis

Gordon Willis wasn’t a household name. Though one of the most respected figures in Hollywood, he never appeared in front of a camera. His job was to make other people look good on screen.

Take One

Laugh-O-Gram Studio where Walt Disney worked

May 23, 1922: The Missouri secretary of state issues a certificate of incorporation for Walt Disney’s new animation studio, Laugh-O-gram Films, Inc., founded with $15,000 of other investors' money.

Local History

Cattlemen and Visionaries: The Men Who Made the Stockyards

Portrait of Joseph G. McCoy

Kansas City's population exploded between 1860 and 1900, and it was the people who lobbied for, invested in, and worked in the Kansas City livestock industry who deserve credit for making the city what it is today.

Dr. Hyde and Mr. Swope

Thomas Swope

May 16, 1910: Doctor Bennett Clark Hyde is found guilty of murder after philanthropist Thomas H. Swope and several of his family members die following Hyde’s purchase of cyanide capsules and test tubes of typhoid cultures.

Program Notes: Stanley and Livingstone (1939)

Stanley and Livingstone movie poster

1939’s Stanley and Livingstone is remarkable for rejecting the imperialism and casual racism that afflicted so many Hollywood movies set in the “Dark Continent.” It’s also a hugely satisfying adventure yarn.

Fairy tales, classics and myths...with a twist

Rapunzel's Revenge

Fairy tales, myths and classic tales. We can’t get enough of them, and luckily publishers and authors agree! Below is a list of retellings, and if you STILL can’t get enough ask your local librarian for more recommendations, or check out this massive list that Epic Reads compiled: http://www.epicreads.com/blog/an-epic-chart-of-162-young-adult-retellings/

Hail to the Chief

H. Roe Bartle, 1938

May 8, 1974: H. Roe Bartle, a charismatic Boy Scout executive, public speaker, lawyer, and two-term mayor of Kansas City, dies in Kansas City.

Book Reviews

The Galton Case by Ross MacDonald

The Galton Case

Ross MacDonald was one of the greats of hard-boiled detective fiction, along with Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. Just as Chandler looked to the pioneering Hammett, MacDonald looked to Chandler, whom he called a “slumming angel.”

Teen Review: Strange Angels

Strange Angel by Lili St. Crow

Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow

Teen Reviewer: Khamedriah Grimes

"Normal" is not a word to describe this new paranormal fiction by Lili St. Crow. Dru Anderson is not the average girl getting ready for graduation and proms. She is too busy delving into the Real World, where werewolfs, zombies, and powerful immortals live. Dru has been in training with her dad since she was young. To be prepared for the Real World is not easy. One night she comes home and she fights a zombie who has broken into her house. When she figures out who it is, it turns her world upside down.

Program Notes: The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939)

The Story of Alexander Graham Bell movie poster

Every now and then an actor becomes inseparable from a role. Don Ameche will always be known for playing Alexander Graham Bell. The movie was so popular that for nearly 20 years after it was common to substitute the word “Ameche” for “telephone.”