Archive for the ‘Review’ Category

Meet Anisa Mahmoud Ulrich

Lifting the ChaderiI’m looking forward to our next Meet the Author event at the Fremont Main Library. 

Anisa Mahmoud Ulrich’s life has many ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ aspects which she shares with an open heart in her memoir, Lifing the Chaderi: My Life as an Afghan Refugee.

I am reading her book now and find it engrossing, empowering and hard to put down. It offers a rare look into the Afghan experience.

Please join me at the Fremont Main Library on Saturday May 12 at 2:30 to meet this amazing, brave woman and learn more about her story. Books will be available for purchase at $15. (Sales tax will be waived.)

Anisa grew up in Kabul, Afghanistan in the 1960s and studied to become a nurse in the 70s. In 1978 she returned from a special study program in the United States to find a very different political climate with conflict between a new communist regine and the opposing Mujahidin. As the fighting escalated, Anisa and some of her family became refugees, escaping first to Pakistan and eventually to the United States. It took another 25 years before it was possible for Anisa to return to Afghanistan and reconnect with her homeland.

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When  I  was  about  14  years  old I  read a  book I  really  liked.I  don’t  remember  anything  about  the book , except  that  my mom  read  the  same book  and  said  that  I had  to  reread  it  as  an adult ,  because I  would  see  it  in  a  whole different  light.  I  feel  that  way  about The  Curry  Club  by  Risha  Krishna.  The  story is  a  series  of  vignettes  about an  Indian  girl and  a  Latina  girl  growing  up  in  southern  California  in  the  80s.  Both girls  are  struggling with  being  proud  of  their culture,  but also  with the  knowledge  that they  don’t want to  be  trapped  by  their  culture. While  I  didn’t  have  the  same  cultural  issues  that  the  girls  had , I  found that  each chapter  reminded me of feelings  and  a  lot of  the confusion  I  felt  growing up.   It  was also a very  clear  reflection of how I might  look to a  teenager/child. 

Ms  Krishna  spoke  to  a  full house yesterday afternoon  at the  library.She  gave us insights  in to  the  origins of  her book .  She  teased  the  audience  with  snippets  from  her book and hinted at how  much  of  the story  might be  true.

There is a  recent  article  in the Tri City Voice interviewing Ms. Krishna, which will tell you more about the book and give you a hint of her voice. ( plus it mentions her next speaking engagement at Half Price books)

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Chasing Vermeer is a mystery book for grades 4th-8th. It has been described as The Da Vinci code for kids. The book starts off with a mysterious letter sent to three seemingly random people. The letter asks the receivers to help solve an old crime involving a famous painting called A Lady Writing A Letter by Johannes Vermeer.

The book follows sixth graders Petra Andalee and Calder Pillay. They are classmates and friends at the University School in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. The two sixth graders are a little different from the other kids at school. They are both very smart and enjoy puzzles and mental challenges. They are brought together through a series of strange coincidences involving an old book and several quirky characters. They combine their brain power and problem solving skills to figure out the mystery of a missing painting by one of the world’s most famous artists.

Chasing Vermeer is a fun read full of puzzles and mystery. The readers become part of the mystery through the author’s and illustrator’s use of secret codes and hidden messages. Blue Balliett introduces readers to pentominoes (a mathematical tool of geometry) as a clue to solve the mystery. Brett Helquist (who is also the illustrator of Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events) includes a hidden message in his illustrations throughout the book. If you like mysteries that involve imaginative thinking and solving puzzles this may be a good book for you!

 There are two sequels to check out as well:


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Check out these Book Talks done by kids!

Click on the picture to the left to see the videos on the Centerville Library Glogster page. If you would like to participate in the Centerville Library Kids Book Discussion Club join us the second Thursday of every month. You can record your own Book Talk and be featured on the Centerville Library Glogster Blog and Facebook page.

Join us today (Feb 10th) at the Centerville Library from 4:30-5:30

If you can’t make it today, contact Elizabeth to find out when our next meeting will be.

510-795-2629 or egamell@aclibrary.org

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Look at this poster. It’s not a ordinary poster, it’s a video poster. Click on it and watch the kids talking about their favorite books.

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Unlikely Allies by Joel Richard Paul is everything they didn’t teach you in school about the days leading up to the American Revolution. The year is 1776. Silas Deane, a Connecticut merchant who can’t speak a word of French, is in Versailles trying to convince Louis XVI to sell arms and ammunition to the Americans. Chosen by Benjamin Franklin to be the representative of the Continental Congress, Deane arrives in France months before Franklin and must survive by his wits alone, as the place is crawling with spies and incognito French police officers– and they’ve all got a stake in the political shenanigans that are about to take place. What help can the insolvent but determined Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beumarchais, a French playwright and one-time aristocrat offer Deane? And in any case, can Deane trust him?

These are just two of the colorful characters in Paul’s account of the long struggle to persuade Louis XVI to back the new country with much-needed supplies and then to actually get them delivered to Washington’s desperate army. It is a tale of espionage and counter-espionage, of cat-and-mouse diplomacy among men of all ranks who double-crossed each other as frequently as the wind changed. It is also the story of one of history’s most enigmatic characters, the notorious Chevalier d’Eon, a cross-dressing French soldier turned diplomat turned blackmailer, without whom the outcome of the Revolution might have been very different.

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It took Phileas Fogg, Jules Verne’s fictional hero, 80 days to get around the world. In 1889, Nellie Bly went around the world in just 72 days, 6 hours and 11 minutes, and 14 seconds, beating Fogg by more than 7 days. Nellie Bly was a daredevil reporter, often working undercover for her assignments, at a time when women were not expected to make themselves heard. For most of Nellie’s life, women were not even allowed to vote.
Other people’s ideas of a woman’s proper role never stopped Nellie, however; whatever she could dream, she did. Hers was an exciting and very public life, one that Sue Macy captures with spirit and compassion in Bylines: A Photobiography of Nellie Bly.

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