The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

By Robin Ebelt, Reference Assistant813iibgF3CL._SL1500_

Meet Molly Ayer, a 17 year old Goth foster kid who needs to fulfill community service hours or risk going to juvenile hall. Next meet Vivian, a wealthy widow who agrees to fulfill Molly’s community service requirement by having her clean out her attic.  Their relationship grows as they work together in the attic and deepens when Molly’s teacher assigns a project where she has to interview someone about their life’s journey. She chooses Vivian. Vivian takes Molly on the journey of being an orphan emigrating from Ireland to Ellis Island, NY, at the age of 9, through her adoption, childhood, adolescence and early adulthood in Minnesota. Vivian’s answers tell a powerful story.

Kline uses alternating chapters to tell the women’s stories, with parallels becoming more evident throughout the novel. Throughout the story, we alternate between present day Maine in Molly’s story, to the 1920’s-1940’s with Vivian’s story taking the reader through the midst of the Great Depression and World War II in Minnesota. Orphan Train is a wonderful novel that parallels the lives of orphans in the Depression era to those in present-day.

How DNA Tests Helped Me with Genealogy!

By Jason Gavin, Special Collections Librarian

DNA_OverviewI’ve discussed some of the various kinds of DNA tests available before. Recently I was discussing with family my experience with the Ancestry.com DNA test compared with the National Genographic test -both of which I’ve taken- and thought I’d share my experience. Of course, ultimately which test you find most useful or interesting will depend on what you, personally, are hoping to get out of the test.

For myself, I find Y-DNA/ Mt-DNA tests to be far more interesting than Autosomal tests.   I found the autosomal tests (like the one Ancestry offers) kind of vague. Basically, it will show you matches between your DNA and other Ancestry users with a % confidence rate (90% likelihood this is a 3rd cousin, for example). You could then go to that person’s family tree (if it’s not private) and figure out how you match up. That’s assuming of course that their family tree has correct information, which unless you’ve verified their research is a big assumption. It’s kind of neat, but I’ve yet to see it lead to a breakthrough in anyone’s “brick wall” ancestor.

The other thing the autosomal DNA tests offer is an “ethnicity estimate”. That takes your DNA and compares it to samples from all around the world, and tells you what population you most closely match. So for example, it might say “Your DNA looks like your 54% British Isles, 20% German, 10% Native American…” and so on. But remember, the autosomal tests are only good for up to 6 generations, so it doesn’t really tell you anything about the ancient origins or ancestral “homeland” of your direct paternal or maternal lines. For that, you’d want a Y-DNA and/or Mt-DNA test.

I myself was most interested in the ancient DNA information. Especially because on both my father’s and mother’s side, I haven’t been able to trace the families “across the pond” for the direct maternal line or direct paternal line. The Y-DNA and Mt-DNA helped shed some light on this. So, even though these tests didn’t connect me with any specific people, I learned that on Dad’s side, we have a DNA marker that is found in Northwestern Irish families traditionally connected with the Ui Neal dynasty of Irish kings – and on Mom’s side, my haplogroup is a quite rare one that is a remnant from the first humans to venture into Europe as hunters/ gatherers– long before the invention of agriculture and prior even to the last ice age! Cool stuff, huh?

So for me, my money is on the National Genographic test. It gives you Y-DNA and Mt-DNA, as well as autosomal, and you can transfer your results to FamilyTree DNA for free!

Newsletter: January/February 2015

Vol.15, Issue 1

January/February 2015

Click Image to Read Newsletter

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What To Read After Rick Riordan

by Stacy Parish (Children’s Department) and Liz Arrambide (Children’s Department)

“I love Rick Riordan’s (pronounced RYER-den, rhymes with FIREmen, sort of) books! I have read his Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, his Heroes of Olympus series, and his Kane Chronicles series. What other juvenile fiction books based on Greek, Roman and/or Norse Mythology are available?”

Well, we are just so very thrilled that you asked! Below is a suggested reading list compiled by the beautiful minds in the Children’s Department of the Main Branch of WCPL. You can also find some great recommendations at Amazon.com, and straight from the (Trojan) horse’s mouth at Rick Riordan’s website and blog at http://www.rickriordan.com.


Underworlds series by Tony Abbott (Greek)

  • J F Abb
  • In the first book in the series, The Battle Begins, Owen is just an average kid with an average life, until his best friend Dana disappears right before his eyes. Owen brings their friends Jon and Sydney into the loop, and they embark upon a mysterious, mythological search-and-rescue mission. AR level 3.6.

Loki’s Wolves by Kelley Armstrong (Norse) AR level 4.4.

  • J F ArmLokisWolves

Frostborn series by Lou Anders (Norse)

  • J F And
  • A millennium ago, Arthur Pendragon’s last surviving grandson led the survivors of Britain through a mystical gate to a land of bright magic and dark creatures. Now, a thousand years later, the descendants of those exiles face a threat that could destroy their peaceful, prosperous kingdom. AR 4.9.

The King of Ithaka by Tracy Barrett (Greek)

  • J F Bar   
  • Sixteen-year-old Telemachos has a great life on his island home of Ithaka, which is ruled by his mother Penelopeia while Telemachos’ father Odysseus is away fighting the Trojan War. But Ithaka’s citizens are demanding a new king, and it is up to Telemachos, with only a vague and mysterious prophecy to guide him and his two best friends to accompany him, to find Odysseus and bring him home. AR level 5.5.

Juliet Dove, Queen of Love by Bruce Coville (Greek) AR level 5.0.

  • J F Cov      51CN4OwragL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

The Mythic Misadventures series by Caroline Hennesy (Greek)

  • J F Hen     
  • Pandy, aka Pandora Atheneus Andromaeche Helena, has a fantastic prop for a show-and-tell project at school. She knows the box that Zeus himself gave to her father must never ever be opened, but accidents happen, right? And now it’s up to Pandy to capture all seven evils that escaped from the box, or go down in history as the girl who ruined the world. This fun series begins with Pandora Gets Jealous. AR level 5.5.

The Last Girls of Pompeii by Katheryn Lasky (Rome)

  • J F Las
  • In the summer of AD 79 in the city of Pompeii are two girls named Julia and Sura who lead very different lives. When the girls learn of the plans their parents have for each of them, coupled with the impending eruption of Mount Vesuvius, they are forced to confront the true meaning of freedom. AR level 5.1.

Goddess Girls series by Joan Holub (Greek) AR level 4.5-5.5

  • J F HolGoddess Girls Joan Holub Suzanne Williams Simon & Schuster

The Roman Mysteries series by Caroline Lawrence (Rome)

  • J F Law
  • In the first book of this clever and engaging series, The Thieves of Ostia, amateur detective Flavia Gemina and her friends must solve the mystery of who beheaded the guard dog belonging to her neighbors (who are secretly Christians.) Although some of the descriptions of the violence that occurs may be too graphic for more sensitive readers, this book provides an intriguing glimpse into the customs, attitudes, and culture of the Holy Roman Empire. AR level 5.2.

The 13th Sign by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb (Greek)

  • J F Tub
  • What if there were 13 zodiac signs instead of 12? And what if you accidentally unlocked the 13th one, Ophiuchus, and that infuriated the other signs? In this fast-paced book, Jalen does exactly that, and along with her best friend and her brother must battle in the streets of New Orleans to get the signs back where they belong. AR level 4.4.

 

Time Warp Trio series by Jon Scieszka (Various eras/locations) AR 3.5-4.0.

  • J F Sci

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Happy Valentine’s Day!!

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The Storied Life of A J Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

9781616203214_custom-1248f47d7cb47c8f90ffeacbcdc3bf065de3f59b-s6-c30By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference Librarian

A J Fikry is a curmudgeon who owns the only book store on an island off the Eastern seaboard.  He has definite likes and dislikes when it comes to purchasing books for his store. He growled and grouched at the new book representative, who had replaced the only real friend he had. He hadn’t even known the man had died. His wife died a few years ago, and he is still grieving; he drinks himself to sleep almost every night. He lives above the store in a modest apartment. He has gotten into the habit of leaving his bookstore unlocked; he figures there is nothing really worth stealing. It is safe to say the book store is not as popular as it was while his wife was still alive.

One night he took out his retirement nest egg –a book entitled Tammerlane, a very rare Poe work. He drank to excess , as usual, and passed out; when he woke up the book was gone. In a panic, he ran out to try to find it and then called the police. He searched high and low and when he came back, just as he was getting ready to drink again that night, he heard a noise. Someone had left a baby in his store while he was out. There was a note from the mother stating that she thought a bookstore would be a good place to leave Maya since she loved books so much. She also said she just couldn’t take care of her as Maya needed.   The local police officer said he called Child Services, but it wouldn’t be until Monday that they would be able to get to the island.

You’ll have to read the book to find out what happened with A J and the baby.

I really enjoyed this book, which is destined to become a book club classic. It’s great for anyone who likes books and reading.   I thought I knew what would happen, but I was surprised by several developments. Ms. Zevin has written other adult novels and is well known for her Teen novels as well.

Take advantage of the library’s free database: Oxford Reference Online.

By Jessica Dunkel, Reference Assistantreference

We all know Google, the double-edged sword of endless information. It’s fast, free, and extensive, but is it accurate? When you need trusted information fast, Oxford Reference Online is the perfect website.   Your library card grants you access to the latest editions of over 37 encyclopedias completely FREE and accessible 24/7. No more worrying if your teacher will accept Wikipedia as a source. Or, as Honest Abe said:

“Luckily, Oxford Essential Quotations is just one of the 37 encyclopedias at your fingertips!”

Other subject areas include:quotes

Art & Architecture Music Science and Technology
Classical Studies Performing Arts Social Sciences
History Philosophy Society and Culture
Language Reference Quotations
Literature Religion

 

Below are some key features for researching with Oxford Reference:

FUNCTIONALITY TO EXPAND YOUR RESEARCH

  • Library widget: Log in to Oxford Reference quickly and easily, and choose whether to see results from all of Oxford Reference or only full text entries available via your library
  • Annotation Functionality: Select text to highlight and annotate with your own notes. Sign into your Personal Profile where your annotations can be stored and managed under “My Work”.
  • Oxford Dictionaries Online widget: Double click a word and see the free definition in Oxford Dictionaries Online
  • Discoverability tools: MARC 21 records are available at title level, and Open URL increase discoverability and usage of library resources
  • The Oxford Index Underbar: The silver tool at the bottom of your browser offers free search and discovery by generating links to related content from across Oxford’s online resources. For more information about the Oxford Index watch our video or go to http://www.oxfordindex.oup.com

FLEXIBLE USER EXPERIENCE

  • Tools to Refine Your Search: Narrow your search/browse results with a multitude of subject or reference type filters and select “Book” or “Entry” to see your results displayed in your preferred format. Choose to see “Full Text Results Only” by checking the box on the search results page.
  • Options for Customization: Keep your research organized by saving your research journey, favorite titles, and entries in your “Personal Profile,” located in the top right-hand corner.
  • Share Content: With integrated tools including social bookmarking, email, and citation export
  • Leave Feedback: You can now leave feedback about how useful you found entries in Oxford Reference using the box at the bottom of every entry

 Other handy (and free) research tools include:

  • Historic Timelines: 270 historic timelines organized by time period, area, and theme, with each event linked to a free entry in Oxford Reference.
  • Essential Quotations: Oxford Essential Quotations is always unlocked and accessible to global users.
  • Subject Overviews: Over 300,000 pages defining each unique term in Oxford Reference offer a start to your research journey, with links to related entries.

If you’re conducting a research project, planning a school lesson, or even browsing around to learn something new, do it for free – with confidence – anywhere, anytime – with Oxford Reference Online.

Here’s how:

  • Visit the Library’s home page: http://lib.williamson-tn.org
  • Click on eLibrary Digital
  • Click on Articles and Databases by title
  • From the list of letters, select O-P
  • Use the handy search box to start searching, or click on the Oxford Reference Online link to go to their full website
  • If you’re at the library: you will be automatically logged in
  • If you’re at home: enter your library card number and select Williamson County Public Library

For questions, call the Main Library’s reference desk at 615-595-1243 or stop by and visit us!

Romance titles that TEENS will LOVE

By Erin Holt, Teen Librarian

There’ve been so many times that our Teen staff have been asked for “safe” romance novels for their teens, starting at the age of 12. So we decided to create this awesome list of safe teen romance titles.  Check it out!

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han 51vsd5j8hXL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_- What would happen if all your crushes received your love letters…at the same time?

The Summer I Turned Pretty, It’s Not Summer Without You, We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han – Follow Belly on her journey over several summers, including a best friend, two love interests, and a love triangle

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith – When four minutes changed everything in 24 hours.

Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins – Companion novels revolving around friendship, love, and travel.5231173

The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg – What happens when Penny decides to give up boys and dating…

All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin – NYC in the year 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal and teen Anya’s mafia family is accused of poisoning chocolate that they have been distributing

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler – BFFs Frankie and Anna spend a 20 day vacation together, making a bet that they can meet one boy per day.

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn – A sweet fun read involving books, New York City, and teen love interests.

71LkLmxqgjLSloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty - Follow Jessica Darling as she navigates through school, boyfriends, and more after her BFF, Hope, moves away.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – A beautiful love story, taking place in 1986, between 2 misfit teenagers.

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen – A story about a girl…and the cute guy next door…

Just One Day by Gayle Forman – The lives of Allyson and Willem is transformed in just 24 hours

*See the Teen Library staff for a complete list of titles*

Janice Keck Literary Awards 2015 – Revised!

REVISED Submission Guidelines

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Accepting Submissions through April 30, 2015

The Williamson County Public Library is pleased to announce that submissions are being accepted for the 2015 Janice Keck Literary Awards to promote excellence in writing by authors currently residing in Williamson County, Tennessee.  These awards honor the memory of the late Janice Keck, Director of the Williamson County Public Library from 1979 until her death in 2011.  Keck, an author herself, was a strong supporter of writers and writing in the community. The awards given in her name recognize excellence in four categories: fiction, non-fiction, poetry collections, and writing for children.  Only unpublished works will be considered for the awards, although authors who have previously had works published are encouraged to enter.

Submissions will be judged by an independent review committee made up of published authors who are not affiliated with the Williamson County Public Library. In the event that there are no submissions which meet the criteria in any given category, the review committee reserves the right not to make an award in that category. Submissions will be accepted through April 30, 2015.

The winning authors will receive a publishing package to include:

  • Assistance in setting up an account with IngramSpark
  • Assistance in obtaining copyright registration (the author will hold the copyright to the work)
  • One International Standard Book Number and barcode
  • Assistance with registration with online vendors
  • 10 hardback copies of the work

Eligibility Requirements

  • Authors must be over the age of 18.
  • Authors must live in Williamson County.
  • Employees of the Williamson County Public Library are not eligible to enter.
  • Authors who previously entered the Janice Keck Literary Awards competition may re-submit their work as long as the work has not been published.
  • Authors may submit work in more than one category, but only one submission per category.

Submissions may be made in one of the following ways:

  • Entries should be submitted in digital form, as a Word-compatible document or pdf.
  • Submissions should be uploaded to Google Drive, and shared with academy.park.press@gmail.com
  • Submissions may also be put on a disc or flash drive and mailed or delivered to the Williamson County Public Library, 1314 Columbia Avenue, Franklin, TN 37064, attention: Writing Contest Committee. Discs and flash drives will not be returned.

Submission Requirements

  • The author’s name should not appear anywhere in the manuscript.
  • The author must submit a separate cover sheet in addition to the manuscript that includes name, address, phone number, and email address. Entries that do not include the author’s address will not be considered.
  • Poetry collections should include not less than 24 poems, no more than one poem per page.
  • For collections (poetry and short stories) material in the manuscript may have been published previously in a chapbook, magazine, journal or anthology, but the work as a whole must be unpublished and we ask that no more than 50% of the individual poems or stories be previously published. Include a list of acknowledgements of any previously published poems or stories with the cover sheet, not in the manuscript itself.
  • Previously published books, including translations and self-published books, are not eligible.
  • All entries must be “publishing ready.” In this contest, “publishing ready” means that the manuscript:
    Must be carefully edited (edited for content and thoroughly proofed).
    Must include a concept of artwork for the book cover.
  • Manuscripts must be submitted as one complete document or file. Manuscripts sent with chapters and pages saved as individual files will NOT be accepted.
  • Times New Roman, 12-point font is preferred.
  • Manuscript pages must be numbered.
  • Children’s picture books must contain a minimum of 24 pages, and be laid out in portrait orientation.
  • Children’s picture books will NOT be considered if they do not include all illustrations.
  • Submissions must include a 200-word description of the work.

Submissions will not be returned.
No editorial feedback will be provided.

Questions should be sent to academy.park.press@gmail.com

The Annual Williamson County African American History Exhibit is Here!

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Migrations of Williamson County African Americans, Feb. 2-28, 2015 — Special Collections Department, Williamson County Public Library

The Special Collections department at the Williamson County Public Library is hosting its annual photographic exhibit on Williamson County African American history by local historian and author Thelma Battle. This year’s exhibit is “Coming & Going,” and examines the history of migration to and from Williamson County in the Black community. Topics will include the earliest slaves in the county, the reconstruction era exodus, the impacts of war, and modern immigration into Williamson County for industry, sports, and more. The exhibit is held in the 2nd floor Special Collections department at 1516 Columbia Ave. in Franklin, and will run from Feb. 2nd – 28th in honor of Black History Month.

Also in honor of Black History Month, the library will be hosting a free lecture, “The African Diaspora through the Americas,” on Friday, February 20 at 2pm-4pm in the downstairs meeting room.  Jane Landers will lecture on her more than twenty years of research on the African Diaspora (a diaspora is a scattered population with a common origin in a smaller geographic area) in various parts of the Americas. Her graduate research on the first free black town in in the Americas (formed by runaways from South Carolina who fled to Spanish Florida) supported archaeological investigations, a National Landmark registry and a museum. Since then she has also worked on diasporic sites in Mexico, Cuba, Colombia and Brazil. Landers now directs an international effort to digitally preserve the oldest records for Africans in the Americas.

displayThis presentation will present an overview of the rise of the African slave trade and the subsequent diaspora of Africans through the Americas.  Main themes will include differences among European slave systems in the Spanish, Portuguese, English, and French colonies of the Americas and the resulting varieties of cultural expression and resistance of the enslaved.  You will also be introduced to the wide variety of evidence now available for studying the African diaspora in the Americas.

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For More information, contact the Special Collections Department on the 2nd floor – 615-595-1246

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