KC Public Library Blog

Book Reviews

One Nation Under Sex by Larry Flynt and David Eisenbach

Free-speech advocate, Hustler magazine magnate, and campaigner against political hypocrisy, Larry Flynt teams up with Columbia University professor David Eisenbach, Ph.D. in One Nation Under Sex, to shed light on how the private lives of America’s political leaders have shaped American history.

Library Life

Teen Idol: Librarian Amanda Barnhart Locks Teens Into Reading

Amanda Barnhart

Who says you can't rock out in a library? At least, don't tell that to Amanda Barnhart, young adult coordinator at the Trails West Branch of the Kansas City Public Library. And certainly don't tell any of her teens.

Book Reviews

Read Locally: 5 Novels Every Kansas Citian Should Check Out

Kansas City and its surrounding lands have inspired – and starred in – some fine fiction. Some of the authors in this roundup of locally grown novels disguise their native habitat, while others name it outright. Still other authors call KC home and drop their characters in foreign lands or challenging moral situations.

Featured Authors

Batmen: ‘Right off the Bat’ and 10 Other Smashing Stick-and-Ball Reads

Screwballs or doosras? Pitchers or bowlers? Hot dogs and beer or cucumber sandwiches and tea? The strangely parallel worlds of baseball and cricket needn’t be mutually exclusive.

Book Reviews

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt

Dust off your spurs, slap on your chaps and saddle up your favorite reading chair to enjoy Patrick deWitt’s gritty and darkly amusing new western, The Sisters Brothers.

Learn Something

Video: How to Download E-books for Your Smartphone or Tablet PC

Whether you’ve got a Xoom tablet, Droid phone, or one of those myriad gadgets that begin with a lowercase “i,” downloading Library e-books onto your device is easy. All you need is the OverDrive Media Console app and, of course, a free Kansas City Public Library Card and PIN.

Local History

Know Your KC History: The Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

Sanborn Map

Fires, a hazard of the industrial revolution, often caused uninsured property owners to suffer great financial loss. To protect against such calamity, fire insurance companies sprang up all over the U.S.  Policy writers, however, could not always inspect properties in person. In 1866, D. A. Sanborn, an enterprising surveyor in Massachusetts, began creating specialized maps to help under-writers evaluate the risks.

Off-the-Wall Preview: Blood and Wine

Blood and Wine

As Blood and Wine nears its final reel, Jack Nicholson pulls himself out of a hammock in a flailing effort notable for its lack of grace. It is obvious he is not ready for what is coming at him – an experience that an audience ill-prepared for this film might share.

Wither - Teen Book Review

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

In this future everyone knows exactly when they die. Boys live to age 25 and girls live to age 20. In this future young girls are kidnapped to keep the human race from going extinct. When Rhine is 16 she is taken by the Gatherers and gets married in wealth and luxury. While it might sound great, to Rhine it's like prison. Yes her husband loves her genuinely and she has her sister wives, but she really wants to escape and find her twin brother to go home.

But escaping isn't as easy as it sounds...

Book Reviews

The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen

At first glance, The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen isn’t exactly a book that brings to mind toe-tapping, rollicking good fun. The cover portrays the skeleton of a dinosaur, and the margins of the book contain all types of diagrams, maps and charts that you must read to fully comprehend the story. 

Library Life

Nominate an Entrepreneur to Speak at the Library

John McDonald

We want to hear from you! What local business owner has inspired you, uplifted your community, or provided a model for doing business? The Kansas City Public Library is hosting a series of public conversations with entrepreneurs who have made KC a better place to do business – and to live. We want your input.

Rock the Block: Duplo Jams Comes to the Library


Like a younger (and bigger) brother to Lego, Duplo has stacked its way into kids’ playrooms for decades. At twice the size of their Lego counterparts, Duplo blocks are safe toys for getting pre-schoolers’ imaginations fired up.

Book Reviews

Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill

Wicked Girls

Many of us are familiar with the story of the Salem Witch Trials. In 1692, a group of young girls accused several men and women in Salem Village, Mass., of being witches. The girls appeared to be equipped with a special gift for identifying witches, but what were these teenagers really like? 

Local History

Know Your KC History: Ads of the 1800s

Bustle ad

Did you know that the Missouri Valley Special Collections has over 2,000 19th century advertising cards?  Many of these advertising cards, or trade cards, are from Kansas City businesses and constitute one of the more picturesque collections in the Missouri Valley Room. 

Weekly Teen Book Review Roundup

Every week here on the Teen Blog, we’ll be posting a roundup of the previous week’s Summer Reading book reviews submitted by our KCPL teens. To find out how you can get your reviews posted, check out the Teen Summer Reading page. And stay up with what’s going on this summer on our KC Library Teens Facebook page.

Kansas City Public Library Beta