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A slice of local history called The Haight Ashbury and a book for young readers about the "lost boys" of Sudan are among the San Francisco Public Library books highlighted this month by children's librarian Pam Ow and Noe Valley Voice bookworm Karol Barske. If you'd like to see if a book is available, call your favorite branch or visit the Library's web site, www.sfpl.org. You may also flag down the city's bookmobile, which is parked in front of St. Philip's School at Elizabeth and Diamond streets on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Note: The Noe ValleySally Brunn Library, 451 Jersey Street, is closed for seismic repairs until late 2007. For more information, call 557-4353.
PICKS OF THE MONTH
- A mysterious woman appears at a family's summer cottage and forces the group to reconsider the chance occurrences in their lives, in The Accidental by Ali Smith.
- Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked, takes on the Snow White story in Mirror, Mirror.
- San Francisco writer Beth Lisick tells true tales of her "normal" suburban childhood, in Everybody Into the Pool.
- Eleanor Agnew's memoir, Back From the Land: How Young Americans Went to Nature in the 1970s, and Why They Came Back, describes the simple, anti-capitalist way of life she and her husband (and two young children) chose.
- In Diet for a Dead Planet: How the Food Industry Is Killing Us, Christopher Cook exposes the corporate control of farms, and offers up a "menu for change."
- The Haight Ashbury: A History is a re-release of Charles Perry's 1984 ode to sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll in 1960s San Francisco. The Grateful Dead's Bob Weir writes a new introduction.
Noe Valley Voice
- Endearing, talkative Goose thaws out quiet Bear's reserve in the gently humorous A Splendid Friend, Indeed, by Suzanne Bloom. Ages 3 to 6.
- Mini Grey's Traction Man Is Here! highlights a boy's imaginative powers as his Traction Man action figure battles household-object villains. Ages 4 to 7.
- Ramon, a boy who loves to draw, overcomes a crisis of confidence to once again freely create art, in Ish by Peter H. Reynolds, who also authored The Dot. Ages 5 to 8.
- Told through the voice of one boy, Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan, by Mary Williams, tells the harrowing true story of thousands of orphaned Sudanese boys who sought refuge from war by walking to Ethiopia, and then to Kenya. In 2000, 3,800 young men began arriving in the United States to pursue new lives and a better future. R. Gregory Christie's paintings won the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award. Ages 8 to 10.
- Reminiscent of classic family stories by Edward Eager, Elizabeth Enright, and Eleanor Estes, The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy, by Jeanne Birdsall, was given the 2005 National Book Award for Young People's Literature. Ages 9 to 12.
- Joyce Sidman combines science and poetry, and Becky Prange's gorgeous hand-colored woodcuts bring to life the seasons, plants, and creatures, in the Caldecott Honorwinning Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems. Ages 8 to 10.
--Children's Librarian Pam Ow
Eureka ValleyHarvey Milk Branch LibraryLI
Neighborhood Stories & Lapsits
Library patrons will be glad to know that Bethany United Methodist Church, at the corner of Sanchez and Clipper streets, has offered space for the Noe Valley Library's weekly programs for children. Lapsits, for newborns to 3-year-olds, will be held Tuesdays, May 2, 9, 23, and 30, at 10:30 a.m. Preschool story time, for kids ages 3 to 5, will be offered a half-hour later, at 11 a.m.
Meanwhile, the Eureka Valley and other local libraries, along with the Main Branch, will continue their lapsits, lectures, and special events, for both children and adults. Go to www.sfpl.org for complete listings.