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FDL Reads: Donner Dinner Party

Cover image for Donner dinner partyDonner Dinner Party (Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales) by Nathan Hale

Reviewed by: Sylvia Shults, Circulation

Genre: Historical Fiction (Graphic Novel)

Suggested Age: Tweens, Teens

What is the book about?: Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales is a graphic novel series that describes events from history in a way that makes them easy to understand and very, very entertaining. It helps that the author chooses stories that really have the potential to hold an audience’s interest … things like the Donner party tragedy. You say history is boring? Not when Nathan Hale is here to tell those hazardous tales! The secret is that there are two Nathan Hales. Nathan Hale the Revolutionary spy tells the stories, while Nathan Hale the author writes them all down.

My Review: This is some seriously entertaining stuff about some serious subjects. The point of this series is that Nathan Hale, a spy hanged during the American Revolution, puts off his execution, Scheherezade-style, by telling the hangman and the British officer in charge of the hanging tales from American history. It’s a macabre premise for a series, but boy does it work. And the stories Hale shares border on the macabre too. I started off with Donner Dinner Party, curious to see how this could possibly be in any way funny. Hale (both the storyteller and the author) does manage it. Other stories include Harriet Tubman’s story (not macabre but intense), the Battle of the Alamo, and the First World War (Treaties, Trenches, Mud and Blood).

Three Words That Describe This Book: Funny, informative, thrilling

Give This a Try if You Like… History and/or graphic novels.

Rating: 5/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

Check Out Puzzles at the Library

Jigsaw puzzles are a fun and relaxing activity to enjoy by yourself or with friends and family. Fondulac District Library offers a variety of puzzles for checkout.

  • Choose from puzzles with 500 or more pieces.
  • Puzzles may be checked out for a one week period and can be renewed one time.
  • A patron may check out up to two puzzles at one time.
  • Puzzles must be checked out and returned at the second floor Information Desk.

Please visit or call the library at (309) 699-3917 with questions.

 

Introducing the Libby App

Libby is a new app that allows you to access FDL’s eBook and audiobook collection from Alliance Digital Media (via Overdrive). The Libby app offers numerous features and a seamless, user-friendly design. Learn more and download the app for Android, Apple, or Windows 10 here.

Help and support for the app is available at https://help.libbyapp.com and via the Tips & Secrets option in the app’s menu. Additionally, you can access information for getting started with the app here.

Will the Libby app replace the OverDrive app?
No. If you’re a current user of the OverDrive app and love using it, please keep doing so. Whether you’re a new user or a current OverDrive app user interested in a new reading experience, give Libby a try.

Can a user use both the OverDrive app and Libby at the same time?
Yes, but it is recommended to use one or the other for the best experience because the apps are not fully synced.

Please visit or call the library at (309) 699-3917 with questions.

FDL Reads: Landline

Cover image for LandlineLandline by Rainbow Rowell

Reviewed by: Susie Rivera, Reference Specialist

Genre: Speculative Fiction

Suggested Age: Teens, Adults

What is the book about?: Landline is about a marriage in trouble and a magic phone that might have the power to save it.  Georgie and Neal have been together since their college years.  They love each other, but there have been problems in their relationship that have been festering for some time. Georgie is a T.V. show writer in Los Angeles who is very involved with her job.  Neal is a stay-at-home dad who takes care of their two small children. Georgie’s demanding career seems to always come first, and Neal has had enough. The book begins when Neal takes the children away, leaving Georgie behind. Georgie goes to stay with her mom and when she tries to call Neal from a landline phone, she discovers she is talking to Neal in the past. Will this magic phone help fix their marriage before it even starts?  Can she even change the future at all?

My Review: I read this book for FDL’s Out of the Box book club.  We had a great discussion about it.  I was very excited to see it on the upcoming reading list because I have read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.  I had very high expectations for Landline because I loved Eleanor and Park so much.  That book was one that I couldn’t put down, and I remember staying up past 1:00 a.m. to find out what happens.  Landline didn’t seem to have the same effect on me. Though I loved Georgie’s character, it was just an okay read.  Overall, I felt the author could and has done better work.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Realistic (except for the magic phone), Romantic, Funny

Give This a Try if You Like… Contemporary fiction with a twist of magic realism, Books about complicated relationships

Rating: 3/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: Scythe

Cover image for ScytheScythe by Neal Shusterman

Reviewed by: Joscelyn Lockwood, Youth Services

Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction

Suggested Age: Teens, Adults

What is the book about?: Humanity has reached the point that immortality is no mere dream. Nanos in the bloodstream mute pain, heal, and have the ability to make a person young again with proper manipulation. Suicide has become an activity that teens do for entertainment, and governments have been replaced by the all-knowing Thunderhead.

Rowan and Cita are normal teens chosen to become apprentices to a Scythe. This means they have to learn the one method of population control that society has left, sanctioned killing. Neither of them particularly want to become Scythes, and they know only one will be chosen at the end of the year long term.  Which begs the question, can one ever become okay with the idea of taking lives?

My Review: I cannot contain my excitement for this book. My expectations were a little low, given the recent rash of Young Adult books that seem to all follow the same blueprint. Mr. Shusterman just blew that right out of the water. The world he has created and the depth of the characters are wonderful. Rowan and Cita’s perspectives and thoughts are engrossing, and you really feel empathetic towards them. Each Scythe they meet in their journey is unique, and their outlooks towards death transcended the book and made me think about how our own culture views death and the possibility of immortality. Far more than your average YA romp, this novel is, thankfully, free of awkward love triangles. I really wish more writers could be this creative while still staying within the genre. It was a treat to read.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Action, Suspense, Thought-provoking.

Give This a Try if You Like… Any type of YA, dystopian worlds, unexpected twists and turns.

Rating: 5/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

Board Games are Available for Checkout

Fondulac District Library offers a variety of exciting board and card games!

  • Board games can be checked out from the Adult Services Department.
  • A patron may check out up to 2 games at one time for a 1 week period. Board games cannot be renewed.
  • Borrowers are responsible for returning a game with all of its pieces and accessories.

For more information, and to view the complete list of board games in the collection, click here.

FDL Reads: Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things

Cover image for Courtney Crumrin and the night thingsCourtney Crumrin and the Night Things by Ted Naifeh

Reviewed by: Sarah Baker, Circulation

Genre: Fantasy, Graphic Novel

Suggested Age: Teens

What is the book about?: Courtney and her parents are moving out of the city and in with her great-uncle Aloysius in his creepy house.  Her new classmates are snobbish and mean.  Her parents are wrapped up in their own concerns and in climbing the social ladder.  And the one kid she started to make friends with just got eaten by a goblin.  But Courtney isn’t taking that kind of thing lying down.  She’s snuck a look at her uncle’s study and he has books about these creatures.  Courtney is going to meet the Night Things head on.

My Review: I started this series back in ’03 when I was working at Waldenbooks and absolutely adored it.  Then life kept happening and it got forgotten.  I remembered it again after cruising through a Goodreads list and decided to give it another go.  It’s held up surprisingly well – a dark fantasy world with a teen witch finding her way, discovering that everything has a price, and  who retains what makes her her.  The art work is stark and highly reminiscent of Mike Mignola, and gives great atmosphere to the tale. Courtney has a bad attitude and refuses to change who she is.  14 year old me would have adored her; 34 year old me still does.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Dark, Magical, Intriguing

Give This a Try if You Like… The Addams Family, Gunnerkrigg Court, The Dresden Files

Rating: 4/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

Summer Newsletter Available

The latest issue of Community Connection, Fondulac District Library’s quarterly newsletter, is now available! It is mailed to residences within the library district and also is available for download and printing from our website. Printed copies can also be picked up at the library.

Whether you are into history, writing, gaming, music, science, or crafts, we’ve got something planned for everyone at the library this summer! Please take a moment to review the newsletter and mark your calendars with the great lineup of programs happening at Fondulac District Library through September. Enjoy!

Download this file. (PDF, Unknown)

FDL Reads: Snow White

Cover image for Snow WhiteSnow White by Matt Phelan

Reviewed by: Joscelyn Lockwood, Children’s Department

Genre: Fantasy, Graphic Novel

Suggested Age: Children, Tweens

What is the book about?: A retelling of the classic Snow White fairy tale, set in Depression-Era New York City. Samantha “Snow” White is a young girl sent away to a boarding school by her father, a stock market tycoon, shortly after the death of her mother and arrival of her step-mother.  Tragedy strikes again for young Snow and she’s left on her own against the evil ministrations of her step-mother.

My Review: Though incredibly light on the dialogue, I was surprised by how much I loved this book. My favorite parts were easily anything involving the Seven, though they aren’t dwarves like in the original Disney version of the tale. This would be a great short read for a child just looking to get into Graphic Novels, or even an adult seeking something different from what they’d normally pick. I’m definitely going to be looking into this author’s other works.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Emotional, Fun, Unique

Give This a Try if You Like… Graphic novels, Fairy tale retellings, Quick Reads

Rating: 4/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

Check Out Equipment from the Library

You can check out more than books from the library. Try something new today!

Roku:
Stream popular movies and more to your television over WiFi with this device.

“Kill-A-Watt” Load Tester:
Measure the AMPS or WATTS used by plug-in electrical appliances.

MaKey MaKey:
A MaKey MaKey is a basic computing and circuitry tool for all ages. This device turns any item that can conduct electricity into a touchpad.

Speck Air Quality Monitor:
Speck monitors use an infrared sensor to detect particulate indoor air pollution.

Please visit or call the library at (309) 699-3917 with questions.

imagine, inform, inspire