Maya Angelou

Angelou died Wednesday at her home in North Carolina, closing an extraordinary life that began in Missouri and yielded what President Obama described as “one of the brightest lights of our time.”

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.

Inside Comics Plus - Library Edition, you can find volumes of some of your favorite comics. Many of these texts are out of print with the publisher, but are now available at the click of a checkout button. From classic favorites like Charlie Brown and The Peanuts, Garfield, Marmaduke, and Dilbert to Viz Media titans like BLEACH, Dragonball, Naruto, and One Piece, Comics Plus has a little something for every comic book enthusiast. You may even find something new to read in the collection.

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.

My Mei Mei by Ed Young is based on his real life. His older daughter, who was adopted from China, talks about the adoption of her baby sister, Mei Mei, when she was three. This story follows the tensions and delights of sisterhood.

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.

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!

The Ghastly Dandies Do the Classics
By Ben Gibson

Look who’s coming, it’s the Ghastly Dandies! Who are the Ghastly Dandies you might ask? Well, they’re dapper, they’re erudite, and they’re monstrous! The Ghastly Dandies are beastly creatures who act out quick renditions of your favorite literary classics, such as Moby Dick, Frankenstein, Sherlock Holmes, Hamlet and many more. Each interpretation told by the Ghastly Dandies is funnier than the last! With amazing art and design that nicely transfers from tale to tale, The Ghastly Dandies Do the Classics is great for longtime readers who will immediately recognize the references and implications, but also great for those new to these classic literary themes and imagery.

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.

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/

Fairy Tales:

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
A classic middle grade retelling of the Cinderella story.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer*
Puts a cyborg twist to Cinderella.

Ash by Malinda Lo*
Yet another Cinderella retelling, this time with a LGBTQ angle.

Fathomless by Jackson Pearce
Haunting, scary version of The Little Mermaid.

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.”

07-Ghost

07-Ghost by Yukino Ichihara, Yuki Amemiya

Teen Reviewer: Erica Whorton

Teito Klein was once an orphan and a slave. All he has ever known was to obey orders that were given to him and to never betray the military. Not having a full grasp of his memories was fine with him until he meets the person responsible for his capture.

Escaping from the military, and on the run, Teito ends up in the church district where he meets three priests who bring him to the church where he is safe for a while. Teito eventually decides to become a priest and sets off on a journey with one of the three priests to discover the truth of his past and the truth of the Barsburg Empire's past.

I love this manga series. It is action packed with twists and turns that are unexpected and expected. The art is compelling. The only problem I have is that sometimes the art has too much action that makes it difficult to tell what is going on. All in all it is a good series and I highly recommend it to teens who love action packed mangas.

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Teen Reviewer: Keely McLouth

Mysterious and painfully beautiful, this ending to the Divergent trilogy left me in tears, wishing there was more to soak up. A cross of romance, struggle, and war, the dystopian society feels real to the bones.

With a shocking ending, my heart sky-rocketed with thousands of emotions. Through this story with Tris and Four, I have bitten my nails down from the suspense. With hundreds of copies sold, this tale of true love and the reality behind "Perfection and Equality" will be in the hands of dreamers everywhere. This story teaches to find your way and fight for what you love. With Tris' loyalty and Four's love for Tris, will they make it to the end or will the pain of loss drive them apart? As Tris gets desperate for answers, how far will she go before Four can't save her? How far will she drive herself just for her loved ones to be safe? Intense and heart-pounding, Veronica Roth has gone all-out to give her readers an experience they will never forget.

National Medal for Museum and Library Service

Call us America’s library capital – or at least, one of them. The Mid-Continent Public Library has been named a recipient of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

Weasels by Elys Dolan

If you fill Dr. Evil’s lair with a slew of Alvin and the Chipmunks wannabes, you end up with Weasels by Elys Dolan.

When the weasels’ quest to take over the world is unexpectedly thwarted, chaos ensues. Is the outcome world domination? Only reading will tell, but who doesn’t like a way to explain “megalomania” to their first grader?

I read books with my daughter nightly. I read one book to her, and she reads one to me. Usually we share a different book each night. Yet, by request, we have re-read Weasels four times. We both lead parts of it. The weasels’ distinct personalities give us a chance to employ a variety of squeaky voices.

My daughter’s review: “It is funny.” Her favorite part is when the Safety and Security weasel attempts to confiscate another weasel’s drill. That weasel runs away shouting, “Without my drill, I am nothing!”

My review: “The witty wording and situations make this an appealing read for kids and their grown-ups alike.” If she chooses this book a fifth time, I will have no complaints.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

It’s been a long time since I took my time reading a book because I didn’t want it to end. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is one such book.

With a world of unique individuals and experiences, it’s great to know that we can always explore and depend upon a variety of creative stories to reflect real world situations and garner different perspectives. Here are three great books about uniqueness, differences, and expressing your individuality.

Henny
By Elizabeth Rose Stanton

Now, I know what you’re thinking, "that chicken has arms!"
Henny is a tale about a chicken born with human arms. Henny notices right away that she isn’t exactly like other chickens. Sometimes Henny loves her arms, sometimes not so much. Henny tries to seem normal and stay positive, but it’s hard ignoring the laughs of the other animals. Through chance, Henny’s arms turn out to be incredibly helpful! Henny soon realizes that her arms are great and can do many awesome things. Get past the idea of human arms on a chicken, and you’ve got a wonderful story for anyone who has ever felt a little out of place. A useful tool for a child learning to figure out the things they are good at, with the self they have been given.

Health and Wellness Center

One by one on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, some 60 people of varying size, shape, and age will step atop a scale at the L.H. Bluford Branch to measure the returns from 12 weeks of sweat and self-discipline.

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