KC Public Library Blog

All Library locations will be closed on Monday, September 1, in observance of Labor Day.

Library Life

Pulitzer-Winner Robin Givhan Comes to the Library

Robin Givhan never planned to write fashion criticism. “I don’t know of any fashion writer — working for a newspaper, anyway — for whom becoming a fashion writer was their ultimate goal,” she says.

What is your "Chocolate Me!" Story?

What is your Chocolate Me! story? Everyone has one!

In Chocolate Me! written by Taye Diggs and illustrated by Shane W. Evans, a young boy is teased by the kids in the neighborhood for his darker skin color. The young boy, upset and confused, then inquires to his mom, who tells him that we are all unique in our own way and we should embrace our differences, it’s the thing that makes us all special! Love your chocolate skin, for it is part of you! Chocolate Me! is all about finding your own sweet inside. It is about individuality, positivity and accepting each other’s differences.

The Great Indoors

Pla-Mor entertainment center sign

November 24, 1927: The Pla-Mor Ballroom, the largest indoor amusement center in the country featuring a ballroom, bowling alley, billiard room, and an ice skating rink, opens to a crowd of 4,100.

Program Notes: The Color of Paradise (1999)

The Color of Paradise movie poster

The Color of Paradise can reduce even the most jaded filmgoer to open-mouthed astonishment. Simultaneously a religious parable and a socially conscious drama, it's utterly realistic, achingly poetic – and unforgettable.

Manga Reviews: Orphans as Protagonists

Wild Ones by Kiyo Fujiwara

If you are in the mood for a love story with beautiful illustrations and a strong female protagonist, Wild Ones, a popular series by Kiyo Fujiwara might be just perfect for you.

Local History

“Here a Lea, There a Lea - Everywhere a Lea, a Lea!” Part 2

Dr. Pleasant Lea's gravestone

Pleasant Lea seems to have become just as important to his new community in Missouri as he was when he lived in Tennessee. In January 1852 he was appointed as a US Postmaster.

Movies That Matter: Breathless (1960)

Breathless movie poster

“There was before Breathless, and there was after Breathless,” one critic has observed. It's both “a pop artifact and a daring work of art” and is “still cool, still new, still – after all this time! – a bulletin from the future of movies.”

Book Reviews

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

Allie Brosh hasn't cured cancer, climbed Mount Everest while fighting a bear, or achieved any other accomplishments that society would find inspirational and uplifting. Instead, she wrote a blog.

In For the Landing

John Calvin McCoy

November 14, 1838: A group of 14 investors led by John Calvin McCoy purchases 257 acres near the town of Westport for $4,220 to found the “Town of Kansas,” which is renamed “Kansas City” in 1889.

Program Notes: Persepolis (2007)

Persepolis movie poster

Persepolis, an animated feature based on Marjane Satrapi's graphic novels about her youth in revolutionary Iran, is a human story with the depth of great literature. Its minimalist style allows us to zero in on emotions without distractions.

Local History

“Here a Lea, There a Lea - Everywhere a Lea, a Lea!” Part 1

Lees Summit and TC Lea Crossroad sign

The Confederate general had nothing to do with it. Someone who’d been working on the railroad didn’t know how to spell. Lee’s Summit, Missouri, has an elementary school, a middle school, and a park, all bearing the name Pleasant Lea.

Book Reviews

The Diary of Samuel Pepys

The Diary of Samuel Pepys

Samuel Pepys was a man of somewhat humble beginning, but he also had family in the British government and that had gone to Cambridge. These connections provided him an entry into the Admiralty where Pepys spent much of his working life.

Just a Little Mo, Please: Reviewed Selections from Author Mo Willems

Photo by Marty Umans

I had many favorite cartoons growing up as a kid… Actually, I still do!

One of my favorites was the short lived, Sheep in the Big City, created by Mo Willems. Even though his first solo show, only lasted for two seasons, Mr. Willems has many other strong credits to his name that include television shows, Codename: Kids Next Door, Sesame Street, and for those watching cartoons in the 90’s, KaBlam! Mo Willems has since then, also created a line of hilarious easy reader children’s book that guarantee to make you laugh. Below are some of my favorite easy reads from Mr. Mo Willems, hilarity and lessons in all.

And That's The Way It Was

Legendary CBS newsman Walter Cronkite speaks at a ceremony at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington celebrating the 35th anniversary of Apollo 11 in 2004. Source: nasa.gov

November 4, 1916: Walter Cronkite, who will kick off his journalism career in Kansas City, Missouri and later become a longstanding anchorman for the CBS Evening News and "the most trusted man in America," is born in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Program Notes: Incendies (2010)

Incendies movie poster

Incendies is about war and peace, about family and forgiveness. It overflows with horror and emotional beauty, yet it delivers its potent payload with a minimum of sentimentality and filmic melodrama.