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Would you rather read about Abu Ghraib or the African Tooth Fairy? So would Stephen Colbert! These prisons/characters can be explored in books suggested by Voice bookworm Karol Barske and Children's Librarian Pam Ow, of the San Francisco Public Library. To see if a book is available at your local branch, visit the Library online at www.sfpl.org. Note: The Noe Valley Library at 451 Jersey Street is closed for renovation until this spring.
- After killing her dementia-ridden mother, a woman ponders the events in her life that led her to the crime, in The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold.
- With the help of a young librarian, a witness to the bombing of Hiroshima goes on a quest to find a legendary 19th-century notebook on clouds, in Stéphane Audeguy's debut novel The Theory of Clouds.
- The narrator of Brock Clarke's An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England admits he accidentally burned down the Emily Dickinson homestead, but he goes on a search for the perpetrator of other literary landmark fires.
- In My Lobotomy, Howard Dully describes the lifelong repercussions of the "ice-pick" operation performed on him at the age of 12.
- Stephen Colbert's humor targets faith, family, and culture in I Am America (And So Can You!), which includes a transcript of his speech at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Dinner.
- O.J. Simpson's hypothetical confession to a double murder, If I Did It, includes commentary by the Goldman family and an essay by Dominick Dunne.
- In The Sutras of Abu Ghraib: Notes from a Conscientious Objector, former U.S. Army Reserve mechanic Aidan Delgado exposes the abuse, ignorance, and xenophobia that led him to seek an early discharge.
--Karol Barske of the Noe Valley Voice staff
- Ruby Raccoon invites her woodland friends to join her for a day of relaxing fun, but everyone is too busy. She discovers that she can be happy all by herself, in Ruby's Perfect Day by Susan Hill, illustrated by Margie Moore. Ages 5 to 6.
- Mouse's house in an oak tree is located above Mole's hole, so these neighbors share a fun friendship and help each other out, in Wong Herbert Yee's charming beginning reader, Upstairs Mouse, Downstairs Mole. Ages 5 to 8.
- While Amina and her family are visiting their relatives in Mali, she eagerly anticipates the loss of a tooth because she wants to receive a chicken from the African Tooth Fairy! Amina's older sister, Penda Diakité, wrote I Lost My Tooth in Africa in Amina's voice, and their father, Baba Wagué Diakité, illustrated the colorful scenes of village home life. Ages 5 to 9.
- Chen Jiang Hong's paintings on silk elegantly portray Tang dynasty China in The Magic Horse of Han Gan. A horse painted by the great court painter Han Gan comes alive to become a warrior's invincible steed in battle. Translated from French by Claudia Zoe Bedrick. Ages 6 to 9.
- As 10-year-old Lucky misses her mother, worries about her guardian leaving, and wonders if she will be able to find her higher power, she gets a boost from her relationships with Lincoln, Short Sammy, and Brigitte, in the latest book to win the Newbery medal, Susan Patron's The Higher Power of Lucky. Ages 9 and up. (This book was recommended by Noe Valley Branch Children's Librarian Carol Small.)
- Janet Pensiero offers a wealth of ideas for Totally Cool Journals, Notebooks & Diaries, crafted with pom-poms, beads, playing cards, and snack boxes. Full-color photographs of the completed projects will inspire you. Ages 9 to 13.
--Pam Ow, Children's Librarian
Eureka Valley-Harvey Milk Memorial Branch Library
Stories, Songs, and Finger Plays
- The Noe Valley Library invites you to enjoy stories, songs, and finger plays with your baby or toddler at the lapsits held on Tuesdays, Nov. 6, 13, 20, and 27, at 10:15 a.m., at Bethany United Methodist Church, 1268 Sanchez Street at Clipper Street. Preschool story time, a read-aloud program for kids ages 3 to 5, follows at 11 a.m.
All Aboard the Bookmobile
- You can get a library card and check out books, CDs, DVDs, and VHS videos at the Noe Valley Bookmobile, which parks on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 665 Elizabeth Street near Diamond.
Circle Time with Donna and Jazmin
- Bring your baby or toddler (up to age 6) to a bilingual Spanish and English music program on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 10:30 a.m., at the Eureka Valley Branch Library, on 16th Street near Market. There is also an afternoon story time the same day, at 3:30 p.m.
- The Radar Salon meets for literary conversation from 7 to 8:30 p.m., while members of a book discussion group trade their own stories at 7:30 p.m., at the Eureka Valley Library, 16th and Market. All are welcome to these library-sponsored programs.