KC Public Library 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.

Halloween Creepy Critters program by Animal Tales

Creepy Critters program

On Saturday, October26 , 2013, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, scorpions, a tegu lizard, and a snake roamed the Central Library's Youth Services floor as excited children and adults experienced firsthand the unusual lives of these "creepy" critters. Our presenter, Jared Baker, and his team from Animal Tales had traveled all the way from Kentucky to Kansas City in order to meet us at the library. The result was a fantastic family show that is both fun and educational.

Teen Book Review: The Clearing by Heather Davis

Clearing by Heather Davis

"True Love Is Timeless."

The Clearing, a tale about two different worlds, represents courage, and dedication. In this heart-touching story, Amy leaves her home to live with her aunt Mae, escaping an abusive relationship with hopes of "restarting" her life.

Book Reviews

River of Doubt by Candice Millard

The River of Doubt

How many individuals choose to explore the unknown? One former United States President looking for adventure braved weather, insects, and illness while doing this very thing.

Book Reviews

Will The Real Norman Bates Please Stab Up?

Psycho by Robert Bloch

Most of us are familiar with Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic suspense film about a timid serial killer who “wouldn’t hurt a fly,” but have you ever read Robert Bloch’s dark novel which inspired the legendary screen gem?

That Championship Season

Kauffman Stadium scoreboard at end of game 6. Credit Joe Bonello

October 27, 1985: The Kansas City Royals win game seven of the World Series, finishing off a stunning come-from-behind series victory over the St. Louis Cardinals with an 11-0 triumph.

Program Notes: Lemon Tree (2008)

Lemon Tree movie poster

Lemon Tree, a movie about the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, provides a deeply human experience that transcends ideology, led by a remarkable performance from Hiam Abbass.

My Sweet Pumpkin

Pumpkin Day, Pumpkin Night

What makes pumpkins grow healthy and large? Plenty of water, the right amount of sunlight, or fertile soil? Fall is my favorite time of the year, and it is always a joy to visit a pumpkin patch to admire the bountiful harvest, take a hayride, and pick “the perfect pumpkin.”

Book Reviews

Reality Boy by A.S. King

Reality Boy

In A.S. King’s addictive new book Reality Boy, Gerald Faust and his family have to live with the aftermath of their time on the fake reality show, Network Nanny.