Spring 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.

We’re gearing up for a busy spring and summer at the library. Saturday, April 11, marks the return of Star Wars Day, our most popular one-day event. Summer Reading is all-new this year, with prize and fun for readers of ALL AGES. Registration for the program begins June 1. These events are just a few of the many (like, 8-pages-many!) events and services discussed in the newsletter. Please take a moment to review it and mark your calendars. Enjoy!

Please note that in the paper copies mailed to residences and available at the library, there is an error. Star Wars Day takes place on Saturday, April 11, from 10 am to 3 pm (not 4 pm as printed). We have corrected the digital versions on our website. We apologize for the error and hope you’ll forgive us. After all, we’re human – not droids.

Download this file. (PDF, Unknown)

FDL Reads: Get in Trouble

Cover image for Get in Trouble : StoriesGet in Trouble by Kelly Link

Reviewed by: Carey Gibbons, Reference Assistant

Genre: Short Stories

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: Get in Trouble is a short story anthology of weirdness. The stories in this collection all start out fairly normally, but then little things that turn into big things indicate that the characters involved don’t quite live in the same world that we do. Link writes about secret identities, superhero sidekicks, Egyptian religion of the future, people who have two shadows, clockwork monkey eggs, pocket universes, haunted spaceships, haunted life size dolls, and haunted nudist colonies. Are these stories connected? Link’s characters never say yes, but they also never say no. Part of what makes this collection intriguing is trying to figure out that puzzle for yourself.

My review:  I liked this book a lot, but also found it delightfully frustrating. It *is* a puzzle, and I haven’t yet figured out how all the pieces fit together. Even though Link never expressly says that the stories in this anthology are connected, I think it’s important that they are all in this one collection together. They’re like tracks on a CD – separate entities yet also a cohesive whole. At times, I wished that each story was an entire novel so that I could explore Link’s world building. At other times, I thought each story was perfect just the way it was. At any rate, I loved the weirdness of this collection. I loved that the worlds Link introduces us to are just enough like ours to make you think twice about what you’re reading. This is a really great collection.

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!

Star Wars Day 2015

Star Wars Day 2015Fondulac District Library announces Star Wars Day, which celebrates reading and the stories of one of the most popular sagas of all time. The all-ages event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 11, 2015, at Fondulac District Library in East Peoria, Illinois.

Free activities and programs for all ages will run throughout the day and include Jedi training, a costume derby, crafts, a Star Wars Science Station, games, prize drawings, and much more. Special guests from the 501st Legion, the Rebel Legion, and the Mandalorian Mercs costume clubs will be in attendance and available for photographs. Additionally, members of the East Peoria Robo Raiders, a local First Tech Challenge (FTC) team, will participate in a presentation and demonstration of the real-life “droids” they design, build, and take to competition. The library also offers Star Wars-related books and movies on display and available for check out to library cardholders.

Additional details and an agenda for the day’s activities will be released on the library’s event calendar as the event nears. 

Big Library Read

Shakespeare Saved My LifeBig Library Read hath returned with a true Shakespearian tale! We’re excited to announce that the latest Big Library Read is now live, offering you the opportunity to join the largest global book club in the world. For the next two weeks, Shakespeare Saved my Life by Laura Bates will be available to borrow electronically without any wait lists or holds through Alliance Digital Media Library. Sign in with your FDL library card and get immediate access! http://alliance.lib.overdrive.com

FDL Reads: All the Truth That’s In Me

Cover image for All the truth that's in meAll the Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry

Reviewed by: Dawn Dickey, Reference Assistant

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian

Suggested Age: Teens and adults

What is the book about?: At the beginning of this novel, we meet Judith, who is traveling at a young age with her family and friend Lucas to a new settlement called Roswell Station. Jump forward a few years in time, and we find that Judith has undergone significant trauma and is unable to communicate what happened to her. And rather than treating Judith with compassion, her family and the other residents of the village are frightened of Judith, ashamed of her, and treat her as an outcast. Judith’s mother can’t even call Judith by her name, instead saying “You” when she needs to talk to Judith. Interactions between the villagers are equally dysfunctional, filled with restrictive rules, harsh judgments, and undercurrents of sorrow, fear, suspicion, and even hatred.

Only Judith’s memories of her father and her friendship and love for Lucas lighten her heart. Sadly, Judith must endure another cruel blow of fate when she learns that Lucas is engaged to marry a girl from the village. How can she survive yet another loss?

Judith’s fortunes begin to change – for the worse – when the Homelanders, enemies of the citizens of Roswell Station, attack. And with that attack, the suspense builds. Can Judith do anything to help save Roswell Station? Will Lucas survive the deadly attack, only to marry Maria? What will become of Roswell Station if the Homelanders win the battle?

My review:  Judith’s story is told in the first person, with frequent flashbacks – rather like reading a diary. This makes her the story of her trauma and will to survive it even more heart wrenching. Author Julie Berry’s first Young Adult Novel is at the same time gruesome, terrifying, and exciting. The novel is a Kirkus Best Teen Read (2013) and a School Library Journal pick for Best of 2013. It’s unique and fascinating!

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!

FDL Reads: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Cover image for The absolutely true diary of a part-time IndianThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Reviewed by: Laura Warren, Reference Assistant

Genre: Real Life Fiction

Suggested Age: Teens and adults

What is the book about?: Arnold Spirit, or Junior as we come to know him, is a 14 year old boy with an extensive list of medical issues. Born with water on the brain, these issues have plagued him since he was an infant. Junior is being raised on the Spokane Indian Reservation by a family who constantly struggles with poverty, addiction, and racism. In his first week of high school, Junior is suspended for throwing his geometry book, out of frustration with the school and their resources, accidentally smashing his teacher’s nose. Junior then makes the biggest and bravest decision he has ever had to make. He decides to attend Reardan High School, a school with many well to do students, a school where he and the school mascot are the only Indians in attendance. This school is a whole new world. How will these worlds work when they seem to be at war with each other? How will Junior deal with grades, crushes, and basketball, while struggling just to make it to school each day?

My review: The list of awards this work has been awarded is quite lengthy, and it deserves each and every one. National Book Award, New York Times Notable Book, and Publishers Weekly Book of the Year are just a few awards this book has been honored with. I was originally introduced to this book in an American Indian history class. Not only is this book an amazing coming of age story, which takes you on an emotional rollercoaster, it is also an amazing window, into American Indian reservation life and the struggles many people face daily. Through story, this book helps us to understand the personal conflict many American Indians go through trying to find their way in America today. Junior feels like an outsider in the western world, but by choosing to attend school in the western world, he also feels like an outsider in the American Indian world. If this conflict isn’t enough, Junior also has to deal with the day to day trauma that can be high school, including first loves, high school sports, and tragedy at home. Alexie skillfully illustrates important cultural and personal issues, all the while making us fall in love with Junior, as a character. This book is a great tool to engage people emotionally while also discussing important social issues. Sherman Alexie is an incredible story teller as well as an advocate for American Indians. This book includes a great story as well as a thoughtful look at American Indian life today.  

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!

FDL Reads: Storm Front

Cover image for Storm frontStorm Front by Jim Butcher

Reviewed by: Jimi Roberts, Circulation Assistant

Genre: Modern Fantasy

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: This is book 1 in the Dresden Files.  We follow the protagonist, Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, the only practicing wizard in the phone book.  He is a private investigator, who does a lot of consultation work, for the Chicago Police Department, on cases that have a supernatural ring to them.  This is not to say, everyone in the department believes he is legit – quite the opposite.  But, we follow him as he works to discover the truth behind a double murder, that seems to have been committed by some type of dark magic.

My review: People have been telling me for years to read this series.  I was a bit skeptical because I am getting burned out on fantasy creatures in modern times, because it’s been done to death.  That said, I took the plunge anyway, because so many people recommended it and I was not let down.  In fact, I could not put this book down.  At its core, this is very much a detective story and is formulaic, but I still found it highly entertaining.  The world is lush and vibrant, and the characters charming and inviting.  I am told the series gets better, and fans of it claim that the first installment could be one of the weaker entries.  If that is indeed the case, then sign me up for the series, because I felt it was very solid.  I am about halfway through book 2 and I find the quality to be ramping up quickly, so that bodes well.  I could see this book appealing to multiple types of readers.  Fans of modern fantasy and even high fantasy, will find familiar elements that will make them feel at home in the world.  I could also see fans of something like the Alex Cross books branching into something like this, if they want to try something similar but with magic and fantasy elements.  My literary pleasures are diverse, and I found this book to cater to a lot of them well without spreading itself too thin.  Soon I’ll be one of the masses who tells everyone to read this series, and if you dive into this book, I suspect you will be too.

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!

FDL Reads: The Empty Throne

Cover image for The empty throne : a novelThe Empty Throne by Bernard Cornwell

Reviewed by: Diane Soffietti, Reference Assistant

Genre: Historical Fiction

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: Pagan warrior, Lord Uhtred, was severely injured in a battle he led against the Danes and Vikings, who want to plunder and control Mercia and West Saxon lands that are held by Christian kings and lords. This battle took place in the last book of this series, The Pagan Lord. As this novel opens the ruling lords have come together to decide the fate of the West Saxon lands when their ruler dies. Priests, Bishops, lords and warriors must decide who will lead the fight and fill the empty throne. Political treachery and intrigue go hand-in-hand, as Cornwell weaves his historical fiction.

My review: This author’s strength is his character development, but also his sense of history in the battle scenes is remarkable. I have enjoyed all eight of these novels and others by Bernard Cornwell, as well. As the main character has aged and negotiated his life through battles and pitfalls, yet Uhtred has remained constant. Conflict and skullduggery make this novel a page-turner even if you know the history of the time period. Anyone who loves the Vikings series on the History Channel or Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth will want to read the Saxon Tales and The Empty Throne.

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!

FDL Reads: You

Cover image for You : a novelYou by Caroline Kepnes

Reviewed by: Sylvia Shults, Circulation

Genre: Thriller

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: Joe meets Beck when she walks into the bookstore he manages. He thinks she’s just perfect for him, and sets out to convince her of that. Turns out there’s no room for anyone else in Beck’s life — Joe makes sure of that.

My review: This is one of the strangest — and scariest — books I’ve ever read. (And of course I absolutely adored it.) It’s a thriller written from the stalker’s point of view, to his victim. There’s quite a lot of violence in this book, as well as a whole bunch of sex, so if that makes you uncomfortable, don’t even pick this book up. Because once you DO pick it up and start reading, you’ll have to kiss the rest of your evening goodbye. The book is surprisingly literary; the “hero” works in a bookstore, and Joe and Beck bond over a shared love of books. Joe also, though, uses books as weapons, to deadly effect. (And no, I’m not going to explain what I mean by that. You have to read the book. Either you’ll get it, or … never mind. You’ll get it. I trust you.) This book made me extremely glad to be married, and safely out of the dating pool. Highly recommended for those readers who like their thrillers very active and scary and personal.

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!

FDL Reads: There Will Be Lies

20613635There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake

Reviewed by: Carey Gibbons, Reference Assistant

Genre: Thriller, Fantasy

Suggested Age: Teens and Adults

What is the book about?: Shelby Jane Cooper’s only friend is her mom. Her dad is dead, and her mom is fiercely protective of Shelby, home schooling her and constantly warning her of the dangers of other people. But on Friday nights, Shelby is allowed to visit the public library. This is where she meets Mark, the only person Shelby talks to other than her mom. One night, while waiting for a ride home from her mom, Shelby is hit by a car. She only breaks her ankle, but this incident has brought all of her mom’s worst fears to life. Shelby’s dad isn’t really dead. In fact, he’s coming for them, and they have to run. And that guy from the library – Mark? It turns out he doesn’t actually exist. Except when Shelby closes her eyes and enters The Dreaming. Shelby’s life is about to get really, really weird.

My review: I liked this book a lot. If you’re going to read it, make sure you take the title literally. You can’t believe anything you read in the first two-thirds of the book, and that’s why I liked it so much. Lake does a great job of building this realistic, solid narrative and then breaking it all apart. Some of the lies are obvious, and some of them are so clever, because they’re lies within lies. Throw in a talking Coyote god and the magical land of The Dreaming, and you’ve got yourself a real mind mess. This book kept me guessing, and I like that. I also really liked Shelby’s voice. She’s smart and funny and wry and the only honest character in the whole book. I know this review is rather vague, but I don’t want to spoil any of the lies – or the truths (which are worse than the lies). I can only say it’s worth your time to pick it up and listen as Shelby Cooper tells you her story.

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!

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