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This being the last issue of the Voice until February--and with the closure for renovation of the Noe ValleySally Brunn Library scheduled for early 2006--we gave Noe Valley children's librarian Carol Small and Voice reader-at-large Karol Barske the opportunity to list some of their personal favorites in this month's "Books in Our Branch" column. Most of the titles below should be on the shelves at 451 Jersey Street. But to check out a book's availability, call the branch at 355-5707 or visit the San Francisco Public Library web site: www.sfpl.org. The Noe Valley Library plans to stay open right up until the renovation begins (the most recent projection is January). Meanwhile, branch hours are Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Wednesdays, 1 to 9 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Fridays, 1 to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For updated information, call the Chief of Branches office at 557-4353.
- Torontosaurus Rex, Billy Batter, Patrick Ping, and Patrick Pong are characters in Dinosaur Dinner (With a Slice of Alligator Pie), a selection of poems by Canadian writer Dennis Lee. Ages 3 to 7.
- In Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis, a young child delights in her loving adoptive parents as they describe the night they first welcomed her into their family. Ages 5 to 7.
- In Three Cheers for Catherine the Great by Cari Best (illustrated by Giselle Potter), Sara sees that her "no present" is a wonderful way to express her love for her Russian grandmother. Ages 5 to 8.
- Little Gopher does not become a warrior, but he makes a valuable artistic contribution to his tribe, in The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush, a Native American folk tale retold and illustrated by Tomie dePaola. Ages 5 to 8.
- A man in a small village is finally able to appreciate his home environment when he realizes, with the rabbi's help, that It Could Always Be Worse, in a tale retold by Margot Zemach. Ages 6 to 9.
- Feeling the harsh impact of the Jim Crow laws in 1950s Nashville, 'Tricia Ann is grateful to finally arrive at the public library, in Goin' Someplace Special by Patricia C. McKissack, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. Ages 6 and up.
- For one week each summer, Joe and Mary Alice go to a small town to visit their eccentric grandmother, who never ceases to amaze them, in A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck. Ages 10 and up.
- A 10-year-old boy, motivated by the need to find his father, runs away from a foster home and journeys across the state of Michigan, in Christopher Paul Curtis' Bud, Not Buddy. Ages 10 and up.
- Twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a peaceful and "perfect" society, but he starts to have memories and feelings that he doesn't fit in as well as he did before, in The Giver by Lois Lowry. Ages 10 and up.
--Carol Small, Head Librarian,
Noe ValleySally Brunn Library
- J.T. Leroy, author of The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, tells the tale of a homeless teen and his pet snail in Harold's End.
- Michelle Tea's illustrated novel Rent Girl, along with Valencia and The Passionate Mistakes and Intricate Corruption of One Girl in America, describes a wild phase of her life.
- A reclusive by lovable young man with countless phobias, quirks, and self-doubts is drawn to others despite himself in The Pleasure of His Company, by actor Steve Martin.
- In The Worst Years of Our Lives, a book of essays written during the 1980s, Barbara Ehrenreich (author of Nickeled and Dimed) describes the "decade of greed."
- Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, explains how first impressions and snap judgments are valuable, in Blink.
- Arcadia Publishing's historical photo books include San Francisco's Noe Valley (by local author Bill Yenne) and other neighborhoods in the city and throughout the U.S.
- Former nun Karen Armstrong describes her reentry into the secular world, in The Spiral Staircase. An earlier memoir, Through the Narrow Gate, explained her choice to enter convent life.
- In Better Than Sane: Tales from a Dangling Girl, Alison Rose recounts her days at the New Yorker.
Noe Valley Voice staff
- The library's lapsits for infants, toddlers, and their parents feature stories, songs, and finger plays, and take place at 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays Dec. 3 and Jan. 7, 14, and 28.
Stories and Films
- Kids ages 2 to 5 are invited to attend a preschool story time at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays Dec. 20 and 27, and Jan. 3, 17, 24, and 31. Films for children will be shown at both 10 and 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 10.