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Friday, March 27, 2015

Women through the Pages

It's the final week of Women's History of Month and we've got a few more books up our sleeve we want you to read. These books are either written by or about amazing women and they are available for your group to read through our Book Club in a Box program. Check these out!

Mississippi Collection


Collected Stories  by Eudora Welty - With a preface written by the author especially for this edition, this is the complete collection of stories by Eudora Welty. Including the earlier collections A Curtain of Green, The Wide Net, The Golden Apples, and The Bride of the Innisfallen, as well as previously uncollected ones, these forty-one stories demonstrate Eudora Welty's talent for writing from diverse points-of-view with “vision that is sweet by nature, always humanizing, uncannily objective, but never angry” (Washington Post).






The Help by Kathryn Stockett - Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who's always taken orders quietly, but lately she's unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite Skeeter just graduated college. She's full of ambition, but without a husband, she's considered a failure. Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town...




Native Guard  by Natasha Trethewey - Through elegiac verse that honors her mother and tells of her own fraught childhood, Natasha Trethewey confronts the racial legacy of her native Deep South -- where one of the first black regiments, the Louisiana Native Guards, was called into service during the Civil War. Trethewey's resonant and beguiling collection is a haunting conversation between personal experience and national history.






The Last Resort: Taking the Mississippi Cure  by Norma Watkins – The memoir begins in childhood at Allison's Wells, a popular Mississippi spa for proper white people, run by her aunt. Young Norma wonders at a caste system that has colored people cooking every meal while forbidding their sitting with whites to eat. Once integration is court-mandated, her beloved father becomes a stalwart captain in defense of Jim Crow. A fine house, wonderful children, and a successful husband do not compensate for the shock of Mississippi's brutal response to change. When a civil rights lawyer offers love and escape, does a good southern lady dare leave her home state and closed society behind?


The Healing  by Jonathan Odell - In Antebellum Mississippi, Granada Satterfield has the mixed fortune to be born on the same day that her plantation mistress's daughter, Becky, dies of cholera. Believing that the newborn possesses some of her daughter's spirit, the Mistress Amanda adopts Granada and gives her a special place in the family despite her husband's protests. When The Master brings a woman named Polly Shine to help quell the debilitating plague that is sweeping through the slave quarters, Granada's life changes. Polly sees something in the young girl, a spark of "The Healing" 




Young Adult Collection            

Divergent by Veronica Roth - In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). All sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. But she also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. 


Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein - A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun. When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?




Valuing the Vote Collection


With Courage and Cloth : Winning the Fight for a Woman's Right to Vote by Ann Bausum - Stunning archival photographs—some never before published—reams of research, and a deft and lively narrative tell this story as if it were hot off today's headlines. Any reader of this book won't easily forget the sacrifice and struggle of women who rose to champion Susan B. Anthony's 1876 clarion call: "We ask that all the civil and political rights that belong to citizens of the United States be guaranteed to us and our daughters forever."


This Little Light of Mine: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer by Kay Mills - From her birth as the twentieth child of poor Mississippi sharecroppers, through her life as first a victim and then a champion of victim's rights and a leader of the civil rights movement, Kay Mills left no stone in Mrs. Hamer's life unturned.









For more information on any of these books or to reserve a kit for your library, please contact Ally Mellon at 601-432-4117 or amellon@mlc.lib.ms.us

Friday, March 20, 2015

We Are Women, Hear Us Roar Even Louder

A few weeks ago we wrote about some of our favorite strong female characters from children's and young adult literature. This week we continue our celebration of Women's History Month with some of our favorite ladies from adult literature. Do we mention your favorite?
The Re-Gifters
Mike Carey
Jen Dik "Dixie" Seong is a rising hapkido star who learns to place herself above her romantic involvements.
"Sword of Truth" series
Terry Goodkind
Kahlan Amnell is the Mother Confessor and the fearless protector of her land and people.
The House on Mango Street
Sandra Cisneros
Esperanza Cordero strives to make a better place for herself in the world.
 
"Amelia Peabody" series
Elizabeth Peters
Amelia Peabody Emerson is a fearless explorer, budding Egyptologist, and amateur detective.
The Stand
Stephen King
Don't mess with Mother Abigail.
"The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series
Alexander McCall Smith
Precious Ramotswe's life has had its ups and downs, but now she has opened her own detective agency. Look out world!
"A Song of Fire and Ice" series
George R. R. Martin
Arya Stark stands out in this epic fantasy series dominated by men.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Betty Smith
Mary Frances "Francie" Nolan wants an education and an education she shall have, no matter how long it takes.
The Color Purple
Alice Walker
Celie learns to be a stronger woman in the oppressive South.
The Poisonwood Bible
Barbara Kingsolver
Missionary father drags twin daughters Leah and Adah Price (Don't make us choose!) and the rest of his family to the Congo, where they struggle to survive.

If we didn't mention your favorite, please let us know about it in the comments section. If you like to make these ladies' acquaintances, be sure to drop by the Mississippi Library Commission or your local public library to check them out!

Friday, March 13, 2015

More Than A Storyteller!

This week we are continuing our celebration of Women’s History Month by highlighting some of our favorite female authors.  Not only have these women proved that they can tell a good story, but they have also inspired us with their words and ideas.   
 
J.K. Rowling is best known as the author of the Harry Potter series. The Harry Potter series has become the best selling book series in history, as well as the highest grossing film series in history.  In 2007, Forbes ranked Rowling as the forty-eighth most powerful celebrity. She has become known as one of the most influential women in Britain. 
Jacqueline Woodson is the author of many children and young adult novels.  She won the Coretta Scott King Award in 2001 for her novel Miracle's Boys and, in 2014, the National Book Award for Brown Girl Dreaming.  She also won the ALA Margaret A. Edwards Award in 2006.  The majority of Jacqueline Woodson's writing focuses on race, gender, and sexual identity.  

Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, won the Commonwealth Writer's Prize for her novel  Purple Hibiscus and the Orange Prize for her novel Half of a Yellow Sun. She also gave a TEDx in 2012 sharing her experience as an African feminist.  In April of 2014, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was named one of the 39 writers under 40 in the Hay Festival and Rainbow Book Club project.

Isabel Allende has written 20 books that have been translated into 35 languages and has sold over 65 million copies.  She has received 50 awards in more than 15 countries.  She is also the founder of the Isabel Allende Foundation.  Isabel Allende's mission for this foundation is to give vulnerable women and children access to reproductive rights, healthcare, education, and protection from violence.  

Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison is best know for her inspiring novels The Blues Eyes, Sula, and Beloved.  She has won the Pulitzer Prize, the American Book Award, and the Nobel Prize for Literature.  In 2012, she was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Toni Morrison's latest book, God Help the Child, is set to be published in April 2015. 
Jhumpa Lahiri
 
Jhumpa Lahiri is an Indian American author best known for her 1999 short story collection The Interpreter of Maladies and her 2013 novel The Lowland.  She won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2000 for Maladies. She is a member of the President's Committee on the the Arts and Humanities, appointed by President Barack Obama in 2013.  The majority of her literary work focuses on Indian immigrants coming to America.  She references her own experience and the experience of her parents when they first came to America.  An interesting fact about Jhumpa Lahiria is that her father worked as Librarian of the University of Rhode Island. 
Maya Angelou, author of I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, is highly recognized by her achievements as an author, civil rights activist, professor, and so much more.  She has worked with Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and she recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at President Bill Clinton's inauguration.   Her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Birds Sings influenced many other African-American feminist women in the 1970s to also share their writings.  Maya Angelou was the recipient of many awards for her literary works and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2010.  

We have only highlighted a few authors in this blog post; however, there are many more women authors that have equally inspired us with their power of words.  Check out these authors and many more at the Mississippi Library Commission or your local library.

Friday, March 6, 2015

We Are Woman, Hear Us Roar

March is Women's History Month, a month-long celebration of the accomplishments of women and of their contributions to society, past and present. In that vein, the Mississippi Library Commission is celebrating with these strong female characters from children's and young adult books. In no particular order, here are ten of our favorites:
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Mildred D. Taylor
Cassie and her family struggle to be treated well in the Jim Crow South.
Sold
Patricia McCormick
Lakshmi is sold into prostitution by her step-father. Only her indomitable spirit keeps her alive.
 
Fever 1793
Laurie Halse Anderson
Mattie copes with the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 and learns to become more independent.
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
Avi
Charlotte is on a ship bound for America. Through the obstacles of the voyage, like a hurricane and mutiny, she survives and becomes a stronger person.
Kira-Kira
Cynthia Kadohata
Katie and her family are Japanese; they move to Georgia from Iowa to farm. Katie learns what how it feels to be an outsider in society, how to cope with tragedy, and what the bonds of family and love really mean.
Glory Be
Augusta Scattergood
Gloriana lives in a small town in Mississippi during Freedom Summer. She thinks that everyone ought to be able to use the local swimming pool and the local library.

Sources of Light
Margaret McMullan
Samantha moves to Jackson, Mississippi with her mother during the beginning of the 1960s. The Civil Rights struggle is in full swing, and Samantha learns who she is as a person and who she wants to be.
If You Could Be Mine
Sara Farizan
Sahar is willing to do almost anything to be with the woman she loves, even become a man. Set in Iran, this coming-of-age novel exposes readers to a different world with vastly different rules and customs.
Hattie Big Sky
Kirby Larson
Hattie inherits a farm and moves to Montana to run it by herself. This book about an independent young woman learning to make her own way in the world is sure to please.
Copper Sun
Sharon Draper
Amari is stolen from her home in Africa and sold into slavery. Her story is of a brave and unflinching young woman who strives to keep her own identity and place in the world.

Who are your favorite heroines from children's books and YA novels? We'd love to hear back from you in the comments.

Friday, February 27, 2015

New YA Book Club Title!

We've got a new title in our Young Adult Book Club in a Box collection! We're excited to present Monster by Walter Dean Myers. Monster is Printz Award winner, a National Book Award finalist, and a Coretta Scott King Award Author Honor.

From Goodreads : "This New York Times bestselling novel and National Book Award nominee from acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers tells the story of Steve Harmon, a teenage boy in juvenile detention and on trial. Presented as a screenplay of Steve's own imagination, and peppered with journal entries, the book shows how one single decision can change our whole lives.

Fade In: Interior: Early Morning In Cell Block D, Manhattan Detention Center.

Steve (Voice-Over)
Sometimes I feel like I have walked into the middle of a movie. Maybe I can make my own movie. The film will be the story of my life. No, not my life, but of this experience. I'll call it what the lady prosecutor called me ... Monster."


Are you interested in getting this title for you book club? Let us know! Contact me (Ally) at amellon@mlc.lib.ms.us or 601-432-4117 for more information!

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Free State of Jones

Did anyone see Matthew McConaughey in Jackson last week?  McConaughey is here filming for the movie The Free State of Jones.  Based on true events, The Free State of Jones film follows Mississippian Newton Knight as he rebels against the Confederacy in Jones County,Mississippi
Knight was a farmer, soldier, and Southern Unionist.  He is best known for his role in forming the Free State of Jones, which consisted of a band of Confederate Army deserters who turned against the Confederacy in the surrounding area of Jones County, Mississippi. Knight’s desertion remains controversial to this day. Some believe that he was a noble man that refused to fight for something that he did not believe in.  Others believe that he was a deserter and an outlaw. To learn more about Newton Knight and the Free State of Jones stop by the library and check out these books!
The Echo of the Black Horn: An Authentic Tale of “The Governor” of “The Free State of Jones”
by Ethel Knight Published by Newton Knight’s grandniece, Ethel Knight, in 1951, this book is a denunciation of Knight and his followers.  Ethel portrays Knight as a manipulator, traitor, and an ignorant murderer.  








The State of Jones
by Sally Jenkins and John Stauffer
The State of Jones claims to tell the true story of the real South. This is an investigative account of Newton Knight’s life on and off the battlefield.






A Mini-Confederacy: The Free State of Jones A Source Book
edited by Mary H. Kitchens and Theresa Blackledge
This source book contains both scholarly writing and fictive legend of the activities of Newton Knight and Jones County, Mississippi.  Both sides of the controversy are represented and it is up to the reader to decide whether Newton Knight led the Free State of Jones for a noble cause or if he was a manipulative outlaw.



 


Legend of the Free State of Jones
by Rudy H. Leverett
This book provides evidence proving that much of Jones County was in fact loyal to the Confederacy. This brings up questions about the accuracy of local history accounts about the Free State of Jones and Newton Knight. 


Tap Roots
by James Street
This fictional book is loosely based on the rebellion of Jones County.A film version was released in 1948.








The Free State of Jones starring Matthew McConaughey is set to be released in 2016. 

http://www.clarionledger.com/story/life/2015/02/10/mcconaughey-sightings-free-state-of-jones/23165475/

Friday, February 13, 2015

More MLC Magazines

Remember our post last month on the latest Mississippi Library Commission magazine additions? Well, we received a few more publications and we wanted to share them with you! We now have Harper's, Cooking Light, Prevention, and Smithsonian magazines.


See anything interesting? Stop by the Mississippi Library Commission for a quick break and dive into one of these engaging periodicals. We hope to see you soon!
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