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The voracious and articulate readers at Waldo continue to explore Jewish themes in the readings for the Jewish American Literature book group, Demons, Golems, and Dybbuks: Monsters of Jewish Imagination.

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Take a trip on the railways. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art has a new exhibition, Art in the Age of Steam: Europe, America and the Railway, 1830-1960, running through January 2009 and The Kansas City Public Library has a series of three programs planned in conjunction with this exhibition: Ian Kennedy: The Impressionists and the Railroad, David Lean and the Romance of Steam Locomotion, and Dreams of Empire: Kansas City and the Railroads. In addition, the Central Library will screen a series of train-oriented films every Saturday in November. Railroads have inspired more than art, check out some of these books and films.

Novels | Travel by Train | Photographs | Kansas City Connection |
For Kids | Feature Films

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On October 28, 2008 at the Central Library, Alan Branhagen, director of horticulture at Powell Gardens, discussed the new expansion there – the Heartland Harvest Garden. Also, from October 18, 2008 – January 18, 2009, the Kansas City Public Library is hosting Hungry Planet, an exhibit of photographs documenting what families around the world eat. Learn how to grow your own food in your backyard, take a peek at food traditions in Missouri, or find some new recipes with these books.

Vegetable Gardening | Missouri Food | Cookbooks

Vegetable Gardening

The Midwest Fruit and Vegetable Book book jacket

The Midwest Fruit and Vegetable Book, Missouri Edition
By James A. Fizzell
This book contains advice for fruits, vegetables, and herbs. With 60 featured plants, the author provides characteristics of available varieties, planting and maintenance advice, as well as recipes for dishes from the garden.

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Just in time for Halloween, bestselling young adult author Darren Shan discussed his many books on October 22 at the Plaza Branch. Discover Shan’s freaky worlds filled with vampires and demons.

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Read a few “books with bite” during Teen Read Week (October 12-18, 2008). These vampires will keep you turning the pages.

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The 30th Annual Thorpe Menn Award for Literary excellence was announced at a luncheon at the Kansas City Public Library’s downtown Central Library by the American Association of University Women’s Kansas City chapter.

Opening remarks were given by the Library’s CEO, R. Crosby Kemper III, who professed great admiration for all of the nominees and their work.

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Local authors Cydney Millstein and Carol Grove discussed their new book Houses of Missouri, 1870-1940 on October 26 at the Plaza Branch. Explore the architecture of Missouri and the architects who worked here in these books and resources at the Library.

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Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15) with some great books for kids and teens. Read a book with your children in both Spanish and English or pick up an award-winning novel for teens.

John Mark Eberhart
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Anyone listening to the radio in the 1970s certainly heard a song or two by the Red-Headed Stranger. Anyone reading the local Kansas City daily newspaper anytime from 1880 to the present is familiar with the name of its founder, William Rockhill Nelson.

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Are there any aspiring writers out there? In October and November 2008, acclaimed writer Ann Hagedorn presented four talks for hopeful authors. On October 15, she provided an introduction to this four-part writing course. On October 22, she focused on the technical aspects of writing. On November 5, Hagedorn discussed storytelling and structure. Her final session on November 12 featured tips on pitching your book and finding a publisher. Get ready with these books on writing for publication and how to get published.

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Celebrate your freedom to read during Banned Books Week this year (September 27 – October 4, 2008). These books were the top ten books challenged last year, a “challenge” being a request to remove the book from a school or library. To find out why these books were challenged, visit the American Library Association’s page on the Most Frequently Challenged Books & Authors in 2007 or read additional details in the Illinois Library Association’s brochure, Books Challenged or Banned in 2007-2008 (pdf).

Top ten books challenged in 2007

And Tango Makes Three book jacket

Based on a true story, And Tango Makes Three: The True Story of the Very First Chinstrap Penguin to Have Two Daddies by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell tells how two male penguins in New York’s Central Park Zoo raise a baby after a zookeeper gives them an egg. Illustrated in watercolor, this picture book tells a heartwarming story.

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On October 8 at the Central Library, Richard Moe explained how the preservation of historic and older buildings should be an important component of sustainable development efforts. Explore a few books about historic preservation, green remodeling, and architectural styles before his talk.

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Climate change, or global warming, is a hot topic today. On October 3 at the Plaza Branch, the Library will host a conversation about climate change and global justice. The following week on October 8, the president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation will discuss how the preservation of older buildings should be an important component of sustainable development efforts, including efforts to combat climate change. This list of resources features some books about climate change for adults and kids, a few novels with climate change themes, and several documentary films about the topic.

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At last night’s second meeting of the Jewish American Literature book discussion series, Demons, Golems, and Dybbuks: Monsters of Jewish Imagination, over 30 eager readers gathered a the Waldo Branch to discuss S. Ansky’s seminal play, The Dybbuk.

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What books did you love as a child? On October 1, 2008 at the Plaza Branch, children’s book historian Leonard S. Marcus discussed his most recent book, Minders of Make-Believe: Idealists, Entrepreneurs, and the Shaping of American Children's Literature. Explore some of his work about children’s books, learn more about children’s literature, or check out a few classic Little Golden Books.

Books by Leonard S. Marcus | Children’s Literature & Publishing |
Classic Little Golden Books for Kids

Books by Leonard S. Marcus

Minders of Make-Believe book jacket

Minders of Make-Believe: Idealists, Entrepreneurs, and the Shaping of American Children's Literature
By Leonard S. Marcus
Marcus offers this animated history of the visionaries--editors, illustrators, and others--whose books have transformed American childhood and American culture.

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