Mercury Column

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Start Your Summer Reading with Fun Books

Start Your Summer Reading with Fun Books

by Laura Ransom, Children’s Programming Coordinator

Title details for Tomorrow I'll Be Kind by Jessica Hische - AvailableAlthough the joy of school letting out might not feel the same for kids this year, it is still an important accomplishment that leads into a time of letting loose a little bit. Kids will be ready for some fun reading time of whatever books they like the most. The library is still hosting the annual Summer Reading program, with online registration starting Monday to earn prizes by reading, and with some online programs for all ages starting in June.

There are a number of excellent books for children available from the library’s digital book platforms.  Here are some picture books that caught my eye to share with my own little one.

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover!” I’ll let you in on a secret: even librarians do this! That’s what I did with Linda Elovitz Marshall’s “Have You Ever Zeen a Ziz?” A gigantic bird with a neck like a giraffe decorates this book’s cover. Inspired by Jewish folklore, this story plays with fun nonsense language that reminds me of Dr. Seuss. You can check out the “zinging ziz” book on Hoopla, one of our library’s digital book platforms.

Another book with an eye-catching cover is “Vamos! Let’s Go Eat” by Raúl the Third. Delicious Mexican food is ready to be discovered at a variety of food trucks, and the reader can spy little details included throughout the pages. Kids can learn simple Spanish phrases and look up unfamiliar words in the book’s glossary. This is also available on Hoopla.

Sometimes parents will request books that teach kids big concepts like kindness and gratitude. Thankfully, we have books like “Tomorrow I’ll Be Kind” by Jessica Hische to demonstrate what it means to put these virtues into practice every day. A little rabbit helps her friend who’s fallen down, and later she paints a picture for her family. The book beautifully displays this quote from its back cover, “The smallest spark of kindness shines through the darkest night.” Read this ebook on Sunflower E-Library.

This year’s summer reading theme is “Imagine Your Story” with ties to fantastical creatures and imaginary worlds where anything can happen. Grandparents seem to be magical in ways we can’t understand! The grandchildren in the story “Hey Grandude!” by Paul McCartney call their grandpa Grandude, and they are known as his Chillers. On a rainy day, he shows them his magic compass that whisks them away on exciting adventures, like swimming at the beach and horseback riding through the desert. I’m not surprised that Paul McCartney wrote such a creative and whimsical story, and I could imagine him singing the words to his own grandchildren. Find it on Sunflower E-Library.

On Monday, look for Summer Reading information at mhklibrary.org. Babies through adults can participate. Just create a username and password to log in to our online Wandoo Reader program and track your reading time. This year, readers get to set their own reading goal for how many minutes they want to challenge themselves to read over the summer, from May 18-July 31.

We will have prizes, including free books, for readers when they reach halfway to their goal and when they complete their goal. The prizes will be available at a prize table at the library that will be in a separate entrance of the library, beginning in June. Online programs will include videos of MPL librarians presenting storytimes and clubs for PreK-6th grade, a few Teen Zone Online Zoom sessions, and some adult Book Chats on Zoom. We will be doing our best to keep imagination and wonder alive this summer.

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Books to Help Through a Tumultuous Time

Books to Help Through a Tumultuous Time

by Rhonna Hargett, Associate Director

Title details for The Joy of Missing Out by Tonya Dalton - Wait listIt is a time of transition. We just found out about a week ago that the library could open again soon, giving managers the go-ahead to make schedules and refine our plans to restore services in a way that is as safe as possible for staff and patrons. While some in our community are planning for reopening, some are recovering from illness, others are looking for jobs, and all of us continue to adjust to the new normal of regularly wearing masks, attending Zoom gatherings, and increased hand-washing. No matter what changes we face in the next few months, we can all use a little help to navigate them.

We’ve all heard the common phrase “put on your own oxygen mask first.” Before we can navigate the challenges ahead, we have to take care of ourselves. ”The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living” by Meik Wiking teaches us how to be more mindful of what we need to feel safe and comfortable. The Danes have been shown to be the happiest people in the world and Wiking proposes that it is due to the Danish concept of hygge. Hygge is about being mindful of the small treasures in life: a good bowl of soup, coffee with friends, or a candle burning in the midst of a family dinner. The long months of long nights in Denmark have forced the people to become experts on how to keep themselves content, a lesson particularly helpful to us now as we learn to work with limitations in our social environment.

This has been an especially stressful time for many parents, adjusting to working from home, while helping kids that are learning in an entirely new way. In “The Joy of Missing Out: Live More by Doing Less,” Tonya Dalton helps parents to clarify priorities and identify what can be set aside. Named a “Top 10 Business Book of the Year” in 2019 by Fortune magazine, Dalton’s book has strategies and tools to help readers incorporate her ideas into their own lives.

One thing that has become abundantly clear during the shut-down is that working or learning at home requires a new level of self-motivation. In “Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones,” James Clear gives simple, easy-to-follow advice to help us shift our habits in a more effective direction. He tells us that our failure to achieve success is often not because of lack of will, but instead due to an inadequate system. He shares steps to create systems and design an environment that leads to fulfilled goals.

The virus has affected different people in different ways, and there isn’t one right way to respond. We are all having to make it up as we go along. Kristen Neff helps to process some of the negative feelings we may be experiencing with her book “Self Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself.” By sharing experiences from her own life to illustrate Buddhist principals, Neff shows readers how being as kind to ourselves as we are to others can lead to a happier and more productive life.

The above titles are all available as digital titles from Manhattan Public Library, but hopefully, if all goes well, you’ll be able to get print books from us again in the coming weeks. If you would like to receive an email newsletter with the latest developments and more book recommendations, call us at 785-776-4741 or go to our website,
www. MHKlibrary.org. The newsletter link is located at the bottom of the page, along with other ways to connect with the library.

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Love in the time of Corona – Reconnecting with Comfort Reads

Love in the time of Corona – Reconnecting with Comfort Reads

By Jan Johnson, LIS Librarian

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®Reconnecting. When deciding what to write for this week’s column, I wanted to choose a topic that was light and easy; to write about what has been a comfort to me in an otherwise uncomfortable time. Many of us have had a hard time switching gears, slowing down and focusing on quieting our minds from the chaos going on all around us. Now more than ever, reading has been such a comfort and escape for many. I started sheltering at home by attempting to read a new book I found at the library.

I couldn’t focus. I kept getting lost. My mind drifted and I couldn’t follow the story. Next, I tried a “self-help” type book. Nope. I desperately wanted to get lost in a book; to find comfort and quiet in the pages of a beautifully written story. Like many of us, I wanted to reconnect to a feeling I had in the past of security, bliss, delight, and peace of mind. I decided to go back to an old favorite that I know I love, that I can get lost in, and will help transport me to the rolling meadows of the French countryside.

“Blackberry Wine” by Joanne Harris is the book I chose. It is the second food novel in her Chocolat series, and we are transported back to the village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes, where writer Jay Mackintosh is suffering from writer’s block. With the discovery of six long lost bottles of wine brewed by his childhood friend “Jackapple Joe,” memories from his youthful summers in a small Yorkshire village haunt and inspire him. Reconnecting his past with his present inability to find inspiration in his writing, Jay finds more of what he lost and how to get back to that sense of security and wonder.

Then I picked up a new title for me, but a story I knew from one of my favorite movies. “Brooklyn” by Colm Tóibín. Eilis Lacey leaves her small Irish village and her mother and sister for a new life in Brooklyn. Eilis struggles with leaving her family and adapting to life in America. When she meets Tony, an Italian American boy, her life changes and she begins to thrive in her new life. Eventually, a tragedy occurs in Ireland and forces her to make a decision about whether to stay in her new home or return to her old country. This is a beautifully written story that will invite you on a journey from mid-century Ireland to Brooklyn.

“A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson was my next adventure in the time of corona. We may not be able to get on the Appalachian Trail right now, but we can vicariously travel there with the wit of this famous midwestern-born expat. Joining him on the trail is his gloriously out-of-shape buddy, Stephen Katz, and together they set out on the 2100 famous “AT.” History, natural wonders, and a few rather interesting characters they meet on the trail, will entertain you, give you laughs and connect you to the trail.

“Plainsong” by Kent Haruf invites us into the lives of several families in the high plains east of Denver, Colorado. From these separate stories of life in Holt, connections emerge of lives intertwined and beautifully wrapped around each other. Community and the land that cohears them together is the element that endures this story to our own relationships to our friends, our family, and to the land. This classic American novel will give you something to care about, believe in, and learn from.

For me, reconnecting to my idyllic childhood seems to be the ultimate comfort when things get a little chaotic. “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis transports me back to a time when my biggest fantasy was finding a magic wardrobe of my own (why did we only have boring closets and not wardrobes?), where I could meet Mr. Tumnus coming around the bend with his packages. I was probably 10 or so when I first discovered Narnia and how amazing it was to get completely lost in another world. I can still see my 10-year-old version of Narnia, Mr. Tumnus, Aslan, and the Stone Table.

Reconnecting with a time in your life when things were more comfortable for you, more secure, and less uncertain, can bring comfort in an uncomfortable time. Many are rediscovering how important it is to reconnect with long lost friends, family, nature, whatever gives comfort. Whether or not you get lost in a new novel or one that you grab when you need to block out the distractions of the world, keep at it. If one story doesn’t take you on an adventure, move on. It’s better to have read and loved than never to have read at all!

Several of the titles mentioned and thousands more are available on Hoopla, Sunflower Library ebooks, and Libby. If you don’t yet have a library card, go to mhklibrary.org and access our selection of online resources.

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Digital Cookbooks

Digital Cookbooks

by Mary Swabb, Learning & Information Services Supervisor

BakeritaFood is something we as humans need to survive, but sometimes preparing our own meals can seem quite daunting. We may be restricted by a limited budget, minimal cooking skills, difficulty getting to the store, or exhaustion after a long day. All of these things can become obstacles to creating a meal at home. Finding a recipe should not be one of these obstacles, as the library has hundreds of digital cookbooks available to help you find the inspiration you need to make your next delicious home-cooked meal. Personally, I’ve been exploring new recipes as a way to pass the time at home, and I find it helps keep things interesting, as I am unable to eat the same meal day-after-day. I’ve also found trying new recipes to be a great way to refine my cooking skills while saving a few dollars. For some food inspiration, check out the following items available on Manhattan Public Library’s digital libraries:

If you’re looking for some delectable gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined-sugar -free-desserts, check out Rachel Conners’s, “Bakerita,” available on Hoopla. Conners’ recipes are accessible to beginner bakers and offer options for breakfast treats, pies, tarts, cakes, and cookies. Try Conners’s Lavender-Lemon Raspberry Scones or Chocolate Mousse Pie. For more beginner baker cookbooks, try “Cookie Class” by Jenny Keller, available on Hoopla, which teaches you how to turn a simple cookie-and-buttercream-icing recipe into a variety of tempting, tasty treats that will dazzle. You should also check out Stella Parks’s “BraveTart,” on Sunflower eLibrary, which celebrates classic American desserts like Blueberry Muffins and Glossy Fudge Brownies by showing you how to make and customize them to your preferences.

“Keto: A Woman’s Guide and Cookbook,” by Tasha Metcalf is available on Hoopla and features 35 recipes and in-depth insights into how the female body reacts to the keto diet. Metcalf offers her insight into the keto diet with strategies that you can adapt to achieve your keto dieting goals. Metcalf’s book includes recipes for oatmeal, smoothies, a fantastic coconut curry stew, and many more. If you’re not looking for a female-specific keto book, you can find Jen Fisch’s “Keto in an Instant” cookbook on Hoopla, which offers 80 quick and tasty keto meals that you can create with your pressure cooker. Fisch’s cookbook features enticing recipes like Maple Bacon Pancake Bites, Chicken Parm Meatballs, and Short Rib Ragu. “Clean Paleo Family Cookbook,” by Ashley McCrary is also available on Hoopla and offers keto modifications for your clean paleo diet. It features 100 flavorful paleo-inspired recipes for the whole family. McCrary’s Cinnamon Bun Energy Bites, Basil Pesto Chicken Power Bowls, and Tuna Cakes with Lemon-Dill Aioli sound particularly appetizing.

If none of those strike your fancy, there are still more cookbooks available, covering a wide range of foods. If you’re looking for more alternative food options to dazzle your palate, check out “Real Bento” by Kanae Inoue, available on Hoopla, which features easy and inexpensive bento box lunch recipes that can be assembled in 10 minutes. “The Ultimate Guide to CBD” by Jamie Evans, available on Hoopla, offers ways to incorporate cannabidiol (CBD) into your daily cooking and self-care products. “The High-Protein Vegan Cookbook,” by Ginny Kay McMeans, available on Sunflower eLibrary, offers over 125 hearty plant-based recipes that will introduce readers to the various vegan protein options they can use to achieve a strong and healthy body. Irina Georgescu’s “Carpathia,” on Hoopla, explores Romania’s unique, daring, and enticing food and rich culture. And finally, if you want to add a bit of magic to your plate, try some of the quick and easy recipes from “The Wizard’s Cookbook” by Aurelia Beaupommier. Available on Sunflower eLibrary, this cookbook features recipes inspired by famous magical stories, games, and movies.

These are just a few of the cookbooks available on Manhattan Public Library’s digital libraries. If these cookbooks don’t satisfy your need for culinary adventure, please email the library at refstaff@mhklibrary.org. We’d be happy to connect you with an item that is of interest to you.

If you live in Manhattan and need food assistance, please reach out to one of our local food assistance resources such as Cat’s Cupboard (785-532-0366), or the Flint Hills Breadbasket (785-537-0730). Also, if you are a low-income household you may qualify for food benefits from The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). To find out if you qualify, visit the Kansas Department for Children and Families Economic & Employment Services Food Assistance webpage at: http://www.dcf.ks.gov/services/ees/pages/food/foodassistance.aspx

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Bestselling Spring Titles for Adults

Bestselling Spring Titles for Adults

by Marcia Allen, Collections Manager

Recorded Books - Home                While physical books are unavailable at the library at least for now, there are still plenty of options for those who love new books.  Recorded Books offers a large collection of downloadable audiobooks available through the state library websiteCloud Library, yet another service available through the state library, provides an extensive library of ebooks.  And Sunflower eLibrary, a constantly growing collection of both ebooks and audiobooks, offers a huge array of titles that can be easily downloaded to any reader’s favorite device from our library website. Recently, library staff has greatly increased spending on Sunflower titles so that our readers can download items sooner than ever before.  If you haven’t checked the new selections lately, here are some promising titles from Sunflower eLibrary you won’t want to miss.

 

  • The Mirror and the Light by Hillary Mantel is the final volume in the Wolf Hall Trilogy that follows the life of Thomas Cromwell, advisor to Henry VIII. Like the previous two volumes in the fictional series (Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies), readers become immersed in the machinations of the politics, the depth of the characters, and the rich setting of Tudor England.  As this story begins, Cromwell has just witnessed the execution of Anne Boleyn, and he’s already involved in find Henry a new wife to provide the desired son.  Available in both ebook and audiobook downloadable format from the library’s website, you’ll want to learn more about this precarious time in English history.

 

  • Long Range by C.J. Box is another puzzling entry to the popular Joe Pickett mystery series. Likable Joe is investigating the questionable death of a guide mauled by a grizzly when he is called home to help solve the shooting of a judge’s wife.  While the local sheriff feels he has control of the investigation and is eager to frame a friend of Joe’s, evidence points to an entirely different solution involving a high-powered rifle.  Joe’s discovery of the motive for the crime is quite a surprise.  This captivating book is available in ebook format from the website.

 

  • Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano is a fictional tale of a twelve-year-old’s difficult role as the only survivor of a horrific plane crash. Having lost his family in the catastrophe, young Edward goes to live with an aunt and uncle who do their best to protect the child.  While struggling to cope with both physical and emotional injuries, Edward makes a new friend who helps him cope with the tragedy.  This complex story of recovery is available in ebook format.

 

  • The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson (author of The Devil in the White City and Dead Wake) is another riveting look at history. This time, Larson takes a close look at Winston Churchill’s crucial role in World War II.  Newly elected Churchill assumed duties just as the German troops began invading other European countries.  Bolstering the British nation for a long struggle, Churchill struggled to acquire allies in a task he knew his country could not face alone.  This exceptional book can be found in both ebook and audiobook formats from the website.

 

  • Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson is a fictional work about Malcolm Kershaw, who once created a list of unsolved murders from great detective stories. Suddenly, however, Malcolm is contacted by an FBI agent because of real murders mirroring the fictional crimes.  Who is keeping surveillance on Malcolm?  What is there about his own past that needs further review?  Available in both ebook and audiobook, this clever story will keep you guessing.

 

While these are trying times for all of us, there is no need to give up time spent on appealing reading.  Please visit the library website to access lots of fine, new titles.  Library staff members hope to see you all at the library soon.

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Bringing Storytime Home for Your Little Ones

Bringing Storytime Home for Your Little Ones

by Jennifer Bergen, Program and Children’s Services Manager

The Children’s Room of the library was eerily quiet the afternoon I went in to gather as many storytime supplies as I could tote out to my car. After I delivered some puppets, books and silly hats to my co-workers, we set about creating a few online storytimes. Our hope is to reconnect in this way with the families we miss seeing at the library, and with new families who are looking for something fun for their young children to do. Our “Storytime Online” sessions will be released on Thursdays in April on the library’s Facebook page, @manhattanpubliclibrary, and you can view the first two on our youtube channel at https://bit.ly/3bUhcjM.

If you’ve got young children at home, you may be looking for more ways to keep them interested and happy, as the usual diversions of trips to the zoo or days at daycare are not available. Here are a few of our favorite places to look for early literacy activities for children ages 0-5 to help them get ready for kindergarten. The great news about teaching young children is that it is super fun, and this is what our storytimes are all about.

Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy, or CLEL (clel.org), is a well-organized website that covers everything from tips to reading with your child to early STEM experiences. One spot our librarians like to visit is the “Every Child Ready to Read” section. If you’ve attended a storytime, you might have noticed the storyteller throwing out little tricks to incorporate rhyming into your day, or encouragement to talk and sing to your baby and basically “narrate” all your activities. These tips have been found to increase a child’s vocabulary exponentially, and to prepare them for sounding out words when they learn how to read. This site may provide you with fresh, fun ideas you can add to your regular routines. Here’s a simple one – “Play ‘I Spy’ in the car using descriptive words to give clues.” You could also do this on walks or even around the house. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of remembering the things you used to enjoy doing when you were a kid, and knowing that it is more than just a game: it’s learning while having fun.

Here’s a little secret – most of the storytellers at our library had zero experience doing storytimes when they started their jobs (including me). Anyone can learn how to be a great storyteller with some practice, good advice, and a lack of fear of embarrassment. Storytime Underground (storytimeunderground.org) is one of those spots where you can find expert-level ideas and advice in under 5 minutes if you’re feeling a little humdrum about daily reading time. Why not create your own “storytime” at home? Get goofy – grab a stuffed animal and make it your storytime mascot. Sit in a chair in front of your kids and read a book or make up a story. Overly dramatize the characters’ voices in the story, and then sing a silly song. You can let your child have a turn as the storyteller. Even if they cannot read, they will probably put on a pretty good show.

For those who may be experiencing a heightened level of stress with young children at home 24/7, plus other responsibilities and worries, the Zero to Three webpage offers guidance and support for the emotional aspects of parenting. You can find brief videos, fact sheets and a special section of Coronavirus resources for families. Single parents, parents in the military, and others in unique situations will find helpful information about fostering relationships, self care, and developmental milestones.

 Reading Rockets is a packed website with headings like “teaching reading,” “helping struggling readers,” and a wide range of topics related to early literacy and reading. The section on children’s books and authors includes booklists, award winners, and excellent videos. Check out Kansas author Bill Martin, Jr., reading (actually singing) his most popular book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? during his interview. This is just another way to add reading connections.

The library has several great options for viewing, streaming or downloading kids’ books from BookFLIX, Hoopla, Libby app, TumbleBooks, and more options on the state library’s Digital Book eLending page with TumbleMath and AudioBookCloud. If you need to get a library card so you can access thousands more children’s books online, just visit our webpage to find out how Manhattan residents can now register for an eCard online. Then, try out all our digital book options, and contact refdesk@mhklibrary.org if you need assistance.

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Access YA e-Books and Audiobooks Online

Access YA e-Books and Audiobooks Online
By Grace Benedick, Teen Services Librarian

Freading | Kansas State Library, KS - Official WebsiteIf you’re anything like me, staying home sounds like a lovely idea, but after a while…the cabin fever sets in. Audiobooks and walks around the block pair wonderfully! Here are some library resources for downloadable audiobooks you may not have used yet. You can access them all from: https://kslib.info/128/Digital-Book-eLending

Freading

Freading is a digital library provided by the State Library of Kansas. You’ll need a State Library eCard to borrow titles from Freading, but you can browse the collection before logging in. If you don’t have an eCard with the Kansas State Library, you can register for one easily by emailing Manhattan Public Library at refstaff@mhklibrary.com or using the chat feature available on our online catalog between 1 and 6 p.m M-F. All titles in Freading can be borrowed simultaneously by multiple users, meaning that there is no need to place holds.

If you enjoy a slow-burn romance, try “This Train Is Being Held” by Ismee Williams about two teens whose chance meetings on the subway eventually lead to something more.

If you want to read about a career-oriented teen, “With the Fire on High” by Elizabeth Acevedo follows a teen mom in 12th grade, who has a passion for cooking and dreams of turning her talent into a career.

For fantasy fiction, try “Shadow of the Fox” by Julie Kagawa, about a half-yokai, half-human girl who must protect a fragment of magical scroll from a pursuing army of demons.

Graphic Novels on Freading

There are several popular graphic novel series published by Boom Studios! available on Freading. If you enjoy sports stories, try “SLAM!” by Pamela Ribon about a roller-derby team or “Avant-Guards” by Carly Usdin, which features a basketball team at an all-girls’ school.

If music is your jam, there’s “Heavy Vinyl” by Carly Usdin, about a group of teen girls who work in a record shop by day and fight crime by night.

b.b. free” by Gabby Rivera is about a teen just quietly running her own radio show until she suddenly develops super powers, then heads out on a road trip with her best friend to save the planet.

John Allison has three series on Freading: “By Night”, about two teens who find a portal to another universe; the popular “Giant Days”, about girls getting through undergrad; and his brand-new series, “Wicked”, about a teen detective suddenly forced to grow up when she’s accused of murder.

The Backstagers” by James Tynion IV follows a backstage crew at an all-boys’ school with storage rooms that are pure magic: you never know where a door will lead you!

RB Digital

RB Digital is a library of online audiobooks. You’ll need to register and create an account to borrow audiobooks from RB Digital, which you can do from the State Library of Kansas’s “Digital Book eLending” page. Like Cloud Library and Sunflower e-Library, there are finite copies of titles, and you’ll need to place holds on popular items.

Although there are some great fantasy titles on RB Digital, there are more recent realistic and historical fiction available without a wait-time:

Butterfly Yellow” by Thanhhà Lai follows a Vietnamese teen reuniting with her long-lost brother after the war and the process of making a new home.

Free Lunch” by Rex Ogle, which won the 2020 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award, relates the author’s experiences in 6th grade.

Hey, Kiddo” by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, which won the 2020 YALSA Odyssey Award, given to the best audiobook recording, is a memoir about growing up in a family dealing with addiction.

Loveboat, Taipei” by Abigail Hing Wen is inspired by a real-life summer learning program, where young adults spent 6 weeks in Taiwan, taking immersion language courses and making life-long friends.

Dig” by A.S. King, which won the 2020 YALSA Printz Award, is a multi-generational saga revealing the history of a troubled family.

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Free, Online Entertainment to Keep Your Kids Occupied

Free, Online Entertainment to Keep Your Kids Occupied

by Crystal Hicks, Collections Librarian

BookFLIX | Nashville Public Library            Within the past couple weeks, coronavirus has swept the country, affecting most aspects of our lives. Schools have closed, the library has closed, and businesses are increasingly encouraging their employees to work from home instead of coming into the office. All of this is to encourage social distancing—essentially, staying at home as much as possible so as to slow the spread of germs. This is a wonderful concept for introverts like me, but it can be a bit more difficult for parents, who have to keep their kids entertained while also making sure they wash their hands thoroughly. Fortunately, the library has plenty of free, online resources that can help. All of these can be found by visiting the library’s website, www.MHKLibrary.org, and going to the “Online Resources” page.

For beginning readers, BookFlix is a great online reading option. BookFlix pairs fiction and nonfiction books on many topics, like spring, farms, and dinosaurs, allowing children to read along with a narrator or by themselves. After kids finish each pair of books, they can play through simple puzzles to help with reading comprehension. BookFlix is a state resource, meaning it’s automatically available to anyone living in the state of Kansas.

The TumbleBooks Library has a wide variety of kids’ books for all ages and types of readers, ranging from picture books to graphic novels. Picture books and beginning readers have a read-along option, while graphic novels and higher-level ebooks offer a more traditional reading experience. The best part of the TumbleBooks Library is that there’s no waiting and no checkout limits, meaning kids can read their favorite Geronimo Stilton comics or Kate DiCamillo books for hours without worrying about stopping. AudioBookCloud is also available, with audiobooks for kids through adults, including loads of Mary Poppins and other classics.

Sunflower eLibrary is an ebook staple at the library, offering a robust library of ebooks and digital audiobooks. Patrons can only check out 5 items at once, but just return items you’re done reading in order to check out more books. Sunflower does have limited copies of books available, so you may have to wait in line for popular books. Kids, teens, and adults can all find books to read on Sunflower, including some read-along beginning readers and a good variety of comics. Best of all, many popular series are on Sunflower, like Paw Patrol, Dora the Explorer, Dog Man, and Harry Potter.

Hoopla offers ebooks, audiobooks, comics, movies, TV shows, and music, all for kids and adults. Hoopla has a limit of 5 checkouts per month per library card, but everything is immediately available to read. Alongside oodles of popular ebooks and audiobooks, Hoopla’s got a nice catalog of Nickelodeon shows and Disney soundtracks, but the comics are my favorite part. From Big Nate to Minecraft and Lumberjanes to Phoebe and Her Unicorn, Hoopla seems to have most popular kids’ comic series out there.

For free movies, look no further than Kanopy Kids. Kanopy provides movies galore, and Kanopy Kids is its children’s section. Unlike the main section of Kanopy, which has a 10-checkout-per-month limit, Kanopy Kids allows unlimited views of kids’ movies and TV shows. And, boy, what movies and shows does it have! PBS Kids shows like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Berenstain Bears, and Wild Kratts, and select seasons of Sesame Street. On top of that, Kanopy Kids has a wide variety of movies and animated versions of picture books, like Mo Willems’ Pigeon books. If you want something a little more educational, try the language-learning videos to teach your kids a new language.

There are also non-library resources available which can further enrich your kids’ days. Scholastic Learn at Home has brief, themed lesson plans available to teach children about different subjects, for a range of age levels. You can also find online storytime videos at both Storyline Online and World Book Day—these won’t replace the fun of storytime, but they may help. There are also many lists of good educational games for kids, which can help your children while away the hours until schools are back in session.

Though we’re closed for the time being, the library will do all it can to support our patrons during this uncertain time. Our online resources will continue to be available 24/7, and we’ll be sharing other fun resources and news on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Until we see you again, happy reading, and please wash your hands.

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Spring into Spring with Healthy Habits

Spring into Spring with Healthy Habits

by Brittani Ivan, LIS Library Assistant 2

Spring is upon us at last! For a lot of us, warmer weather means we can really buckle down on New Year’s resolutions to get healthy. Of course, it isn’t always easy to find the motivation to go out for a run or play tennis in City Park, especially when it seems like everything we learned as children about exercise and nutrition is wrong now! Luckily Manhattan Public Library has got you covered, with some fascinating and up-to-date books that will help you put your best foot forward.

Bill Bryson’s “The Body, a Guide for Occupants” comes in at a hefty four hundred and fifty pages, making it just as useful for strength training as it is for giving you an inside look at how your body works. Bryson’s conversational style and extensive citations make it a great choice for anyone who has ever wanted to know more about how their body works and the ways it might go right (or wrong) based on their behaviors.

On that note, did you know that icing may actually slow down the healing process? Neither did I, but Christie Aschwanden’s “Good to go: what the athlete in all of us can learn from the strange science of recovery” has the science to prove it. As Aschwanden tries out some of the most hyped recovery methods in today’s athletic world, you’ll learn about the importance of sleep, how recovery works, and just how many common sense practices in athletics today are backed up by nothing but hot air.

If your goal is less improving athletic performance and more improving your overall health, Lauren Kessler’s “Counterclockwise: my year of hypnosis, hormones, dark chocolate, and other adventures in the world of anti-aging” may be the book for you. Kessler deftly takes her own advice and weaves together “the power of fact and the resonance of story” to present a compelling narrative about the search for better health as we age. You’ll be enlightened by her straightforward explanations and charmed by her self-deprecating account of the effects (or lack thereof) of various anti-aging methods, from diet detoxes to daily exercise on your overall health and biological youth.

While knowing how different training and recovery regimes actually effect long-term health makes it a lot easier to feel motivated, you can’t outrun a bad diet. As eating well can be difficult, here are some great cookbooks to help you out:

While I’m not really much of a runner myself, “Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.: Quick-Fix Recipes for Hangry Athletes: A Cookbook” by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky is a stand-out for me. It combines recipes with advice on how to meal plan and budget effectively, and even includes some short exercise routines after each section. It’s much easier to remember to do strength training when your cookbook gives you a routine to do while you wait for your salmon to bake! I’m a particular fan of the Miso Butter Salmon and Amy’s Recovery Pizza.

If you, like me, want to improve both your health and the state of your wallet, Makiko Itoh’s “The Just Bento Cookbook” may be the book for you. The quick cooking times and “bento box” organization make it easy to craft balanced lunches to take to work or class. Some of my personal favorites are the Ginger Pork, Chicken Karage, and Edamame Tofu Nugget bentos, though one of the best features of this book is the ability to mix and match recipes to make personalized lunches that are still nutritionally balanced.

Lunch isn’t the only meal of the day, though, which is why I like Bree Drummond’s “The Pioneer Woman cooks dinnertime: comfort classics, freezer food, 16-minute meals, and other delicious ways to solve supper.” I’m a huge soup fan, and the Vegetarian Chili and the Hamburger Soup are filling, delicious, and best of all, reheat well. I tend to use this cookbook to create a healthy, large-batch meal to cut down on how much cooking I have to do throughout the week itself. And as an aside, I’ve got to say that the chocolate chip cookie recipe in this book is the best I’ve ever had!

So let’s all strap on our running shoes and start making our health and fitness goals a reality! If you want more recommendations on good non-fiction books about the science of athletics or a new cookbook to try out, come on by Manhattan Public Library and ask a librarian.

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