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You can learn magic tricks or tips on how to direct your first movie by reading two of the books on this month's list, offered by Voice staffer Karol Barske with the aid of Carol Small, children's librarian at the Noe ValleySally Brunn Library at 451 Jersey Street. To see if the books are available, drop by the branch, call Small or branch manager Alice McCloud at 355-5707, or visit the San Francisco Public Library online at www.sfpl.org.
- In Cara Black's eighth Aimée Leduc mystery, Murder in the Rue de Paradis, an investigation of the death of a former boyfriend leads to assassination plots and secret contacts in a militant Turkish group.
- Elements of the Wen Ho Lee accusations and the Unabomber case are woven into A Person of Interest by Susan Choi, a 2004 Pulitzer finalist for American Woman, a fictionalized account of the Patty Hearst kidnapping.
Adam Langer's Ellington Boulevard: A Novel in A-flat links the life, love, and real estate stories of a disparate group of New Yorkers.
- In The Book of Words by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from German by Susan Bernofsky, a young girl observes the effects of a repressive political regime in an unnamed tropical country.
- Cultural historian Jane Rhodes examines the growth of a militant group in Framing the Black Panthers: The Spectacular Rise of a Black Power Icon.
- Nick Taylor's American Made: The Enduring Legacy of the WPA/When FDR Put the Nation to Work chronicles one of the New Deal's main programs, which employed artists and writers from 1935 to 1943.
- Ten directors, including Richard Linklater, Terry Gilliam, and Sam Mendes, discuss their work in My First Movie, Take Two, edited by Stephen Lowenstein.
- Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West, by Benazir Bhutto Akhund, discusses the history of interactions between the Middle East and the West, and traces the roots of international terrorism.
- In Anna Dewdney's rhyming tale Llama Llama Mad at Mama (the sequel to Llama Llama Red Pajama), Mama helps Llama Llama get over a tantrum at Shop-O-Rama. Ages 3 to 5.
- Dog's ABC: A Silly Story About the Alphabet, written and illustrated by Emma Dodd, gives the highlights of Dog's day in alphabetical order, beginning with an apple that falls on his head. Ages 3 to 5.
- A group of dinosaurs causes chaos when they jump out of the pages of a book and into a classroom, in Dancing Dinos Go to School by Sally and Margeaux Lucas. Ages 5 to 7.
- Julio helps his elderly friend, a master carver whose eyesight is failing, win a wood-carving contest in Julio's Magic, by Arthur Dorros, with illustrations by Ann Grifalconi. Ages 6 to 8.
- Lumberjack Olee Swenson and his friends save a creature with the head of an ox, the feet of a bear, the back of a dinosaur, and the tail of an alligator, in The Terrible Hodag and the Animal Catchers, by Caroline Arnold, with black-and-white illustrations by John Sanford. Ages 6 to 9.
- Nancy Farmer's Clever Ali is a tale of a boy who saves his father by replacing the Sultan's 600 cherries eaten by Ali's greedy messenger pigeon; based on a true story about 12th-century Egyptian ruler Al-Azeez. Ages 6-9.
- Ian Keable's The Big Book of Magic Fun teaches card and coin tricks, rope tricks, illusions, and mind-reading. Ages 6 and up.
Kelly Corrigan Book-Signing
- Best-selling author and columnist Kelly Corrigan will read from her memoir The Middle Place on Tuesday, April 8, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Corrigan, 36, says the title of her book refers to "that sliver of time when parenthood and childhood overlap." For her, that period included facing breast cancer and caring for a father with late-stage prostate cancer. Corrigan will also discuss her news columns, which cover topics ranging from the contagious nature of weight gain to extramarital affairs to going green. The event is in the Noe Valley Meeting Room at the newly renovated library, 451 Jersey Street.
Lapsits and Story Times
- You and your baby or toddler are invited to hear stories, songs, and fingerplays at the weekly lapsits, held Tuesdays at 10:15 a.m. at the library. Children 3 to 5 can stay for preschool story time, a read-aloud program at 11 a.m. This month, the programs will take place on April 1, 8, 15, and 29.
Films for Preschoolers
- Kids ages 3 to 5 are invited to come to the Noe Valley Library for a special film program on Tuesday, April 22. The films will be shown twice, once at 10:15 a.m. and again at 11 a.m. For questions about programs, call 355-5707.