KC Public Library Blog

Book Reviews

Zombies! Or, There’s No Such Thing as a Live Cat in Tom Sawyer

Cat illustration from Tom Sawyer by Thomas Hart Benton

Oh Tom and Huck, the scourges of childhood befall you with astonishing regularity. Whether it’s Injun Joe, dark caves, or an endless parade of preachers, teachers, and other interfering adults, the children of St. Petersburg can handle it all. But there’s something even more sinister lurking in these pages.

Learn Something

How to Accelerate Your Job Search with Learning Express Library

Learning Express people walking image

Among my more satisfying moments working at the Reference Desk are the times when I can inform a customer, disappointed that the print book they want is not available, that the information they need can be found in one of the Kansas City Public Library’s online databases. Eyes light up, and frustration is eased – yea, Librarian Hero! 

Movie Quiz: Disney’s Leading Players

Disney Logo and the name "Walt Disney Picutres" are the sole property of Disney.

Match the lead character of these Disney animated films with the title of the picture they “starred” in. And try to identify the year each film was released.

Program Notes: Wait Until Dark (1967)

Wait Until Dark movie poster

Today hardly anyone recognizes the name of Terence Young, director of 1967’s Wait Until Dark, a nerve-wracking crime yarn about a blind woman who is tormented in her basement apartment by a gang of nasty drug smugglers.

Book Reviews

Big Read Recap: Tom Sawyer, Chs. XXXIII-XXXV, Conclusion

Tom Sawyer cover

If readers were doubting that Tom Sawyer was the quintessential boy’s book, the final three chapters will dispel any doubt. Twain folds in every fantasy any boy has ever entertained in the conclusion to his first solo effort to write a novel.

Sam Shepard: Way More Than an Actor

Sam Shepard

For at least two generations of moviegoers, Sam Shepard has been recognized simply as an actor. But there’s a whole lot more to the man.

Local History

Know Your KC History: The Guadalupe Center

Guadlupe Center photo Avenida Cesar Chavez

During the Mexican Revolution of 1910, thousands of Mexicans left their homeland in pursuit of a better life in the United Sates. Many who traveled north to Kansas City found work in packing houses and factories and settled in the Westside neighborhood.

Program Notes: Zombieland (2009)

Zombieland movie poster

If the British Shaun of the Dead represents the zomcom as high-end satire of social mores, the American Zombieland is simply pure unadulterated fun.

A Long, Long Sleep - Teen Book Review

A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan.

In this bittersweet and beautiful retelling of Sleeping Beauty, Sheehan weaves a riveting sci-fi fairytale story that makes you fall in love with the characters and remember them way after you finish the book. It combines heart-breaking emotion that amazes you and revolts you at the same time. The story begins with Rose, A princess to a major company that owns the world and a girl locked in her own dreams. But she's been locked in her dreams so long that she doesn't know when to wake up. As the story goes she,of course, gets "awakened" with a kiss. The modern day twist is that she finds herself sixty-two years into the future with her life more changed and shaken up than ever.

Book Reviews

Kepler's Witch by James Connor

Kepler's Witch book cover

In a book about a 17th century astronomer the reader expects to learn something of the stars and planets along with the standard biographical details. Religious wars and witchcraft, both prevalent at that period, might show up as well.

Movie Quiz: Trash Talk

Pwned!

Movie sets can be back-stabbing battlegrounds. Here we have some savage put-downs of well-known motion picture personalities. Try to match the quote to the person who said it.

Book Reviews

Big Read Recap: Chs. XXIX - XXXII

Tom Saywer 1st Edition Cover

Whether you are a child or an adult, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a wonderful read. But isn’t it amazing how different the experience is reading the book as a child versus reading it as an adult?

Featured Authors

That’s Some Catch: Joseph Heller Remembered at the Library

Just One Catch book cover

Joseph Heller was lying in bed in his four-room apartment on the West Side of Manhattan, New York, when suddenly it came to him: It was love at first sight. The first time he saw the chaplain, Someone fell madly in love with him.

Program Notes: Scent of a Woman (1992)

Scent of a Woman movie poster

In Martin Brest’s film, Scent of a Woman (1992), Pacino’s Frank Slade rants and rages and behaves badly at every opportunity. He’s bitter about being blind, probably alcoholic and makes life miserable for the long-suffering sister who takes care of him.

New on the DVD shelves: The Beaver (2011)

The Beaver movie poster

Adore him or abhor him, Mel Gibson is the reason to see Jody Foster’s The Beaver. As Walter Black, a toy company executive sliding into a paralyzing world of depression, Gibson registers a degree of mental anguish that is shocking.

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