KC Public Library Blog

Death Takes a Holiday (Maybe)

Postcard of Woodward Hall at Park College

March 27, 1836: George S. Park, who will go on to found Parkville, Missouri, and what has become Park University, purportedly survives a Mexican firing squad during the fight for Texan independence by pretending to be dead.

Program Notes: Destry Rides Again (1939)

Destry Rides Again movie poster

In many regards, Destry Rides Again is a boilerplate oater: a new sheriff in town goes up against the crook who runs the place. Not terribly original. But the film is hugely enjoyable for one reason: James Stewart in the title role.

Library Life

Booketology Returns!

Stranger in a Strange Land

Our Spring Tournament of Books has returned for the third year! It's book vs. book and you decide the winner. Check out the results of our first round, and vote in the "Sweet 16" of Booketology.

Before There Was a Wimpy Kid, There Was a Worm

Diary of  a Worm

Diaries are wonderful. People use them to share their victories, their worries, their secrets. Diaries don’t judge. No wonder kids LOVE the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. For the younger set, though, there is another fantastic group of books written in diary form.

Diary of a Worm, Diary of a Spider, and Diary of a Fly by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Harry Bliss bring humor to readers via the everyday lives of our tiny protagonists.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Texts From Bennett by Mac Lethal

Texts From Bennett by Mac Lethal

As the library’s humorous 2014 Adult Winter Reading Program draws to a close, here’s one last comical book to add to your reading list - Texts From Bennett by Mac Lethal.

Secrets of Chambers

Annie Chambers

March 24, 1935: Annie Chambers, who owned a 25-room house of prostitution in Kansas City, dies at the age of 92.

Program Notes: Union Pacific (1939)

Union Pacific movie poster

Cecil B. DeMille didn’t do anything halfway. Consider the hoopla orchestrated for the premiere of his 1939 film Union Pacific, a big Western about the race to complete the first trans-continental railroad.

Book Review: The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman

The Matchbox Diary

A small object can bring back a flood of memory. In Paul Fleischman’s latest picture book, The Matchbox Diary, a little girl discovers an age-old cigar box filled with a collection of matchboxes. Each matchbox that she opens holds a memento of her great-grandfather.

Herstory

Enjoy these teen reads for Women's History Month.

Historical Teen Fiction:

A Man of Many Parts

Lafayette Tillman

March 15, 1858: Lafayette Tillman, who will go on to become a veteran of the Spanish-American War and one of Kansas City's first African American police officers, is born in Evansville, Indiana.

Program Notes: Jesse James (1939)

Jesse James movie poster

You don’t watch the Tyrone Power/Henry Fonda version of Jesse James for an accurate history lesson. Back in 1939, though, audiences were all about a romantic Jesse James, and this Henry King-directed Western delivered.

Library Life

Kush Sharma Wins Memorable Jackson County Bee

Kush Sharma (at left) and Sophia Hoffman (right)

After 95 rounds and nearly six hours of competition, Kush Sharma emerged Saturday as champion of the Jackson County Spelling Bee at the Kansas City Public Library.

Coming Up

Pronouncer, Like Spellers, Must Be Perfect

Bernie Norcott-Mahany (at right) at the Jackson County Spelling Bee

Saturday may not be quite what Bernie Norcott-Mahany imagined when he said yes three years ago to serving as the pronouncer for the Jackson County Spelling Bee.

Katz in the Cradle

Isaac Katz

March 8, 1879: Isaac Katz, who, along with his brother Mike, will found the Katz Drug Co. in Kansas City, is born in western Ukraine.

Book Reviews

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I figured the cover of a book couldn't be so deceiving. Laura and Carrie seem to be having a grand time in the snow. The publisher obviously didn't want to give a sense of how hard the long winter of 1880-1881 really was.