December 2012 Archives

When the Emperor was Divine by Julie Otsuka has been chosen for Greenwich Reads Together 2013. The title was announced on Tuesday, December 18 at Greenwich Library in a ceremony attended by over 50 community members. Two thematically related companion books for younger readers were also announced. Greenwich Reads Together (GRT) is a community-wide reading experience which will engage all of Greenwich in exploring a single book. 

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On a sunny day in Berkeley, California, in 1942, a woman sees a sign in a post office window, returns to her home, and matter-of-factly begins to pack her family's possessions. Like thousands of other Japanese Americans they have been reclassified, virtually overnight, as enemy aliens and are about to be uprooted from their home and sent to a dusty internment camp in the Utah desert. 

In this lean and devastatingly evocative novel, Julie Otsuka tells their story from five flawlessly realized points of view and conveys the exact emotional texture of their experience: the thin-walled barracks and barbed-wire fences, the omnipresent fear and loneliness, the unheralded feats of heroism. When the Emperor Was Divine is a work of enormous power that makes a shameful episode of our history as immediate as today's headlines. 

Author Julie Otsuka is a recipient of the Asian American Literary Award, the American Library Association Alex Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her book The Buddha in the Attic won the PEN/ Faulkner Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award. 

Over 40 suggestions were submitted by the community covering a wide range of titles and genres. A selection committee carefully reviewed all of the titles. In order to be selected, the book had to be of high literary quality, reflective of universal issues and capable of generating thought-provoking discussions. It should also lend itself to engaging public programs and appeal to a diverse population. In addition, the book should be currently in print and available in large quantities and multiple formats. 

The Selection Committee was comprised of Library staff including Roy Brayton, Joan Eaton, Stephen Schmidt, Alice Sherwood, Marianne Weill and Carolyn Zygmont; and community members Amy Fleishman, 2012 GRT co-chair; Karen Ball, Media Specialist at Eastern Middle School; and Sarah Better, a sophomore at Greenwich Academy. 

Two companion books for younger readers were also announced: Best Friends Forever: a WWII Scrapbook by Beverly Patt and The Eyes of the Emperor by Graham Salisbury. 

The inaugural Greenwich Reads Together selection was Markus Zusak's groundbreaking novel, The Book Thief. The 2012 selection was Zeitoun by Dave Eggers. Last spring, almost 20 community organizations participated in Greenwich Reads Together, and more than 3,000 Greenwich residents participated in events, including a live Skype telecast with author Dave Eggers. Additional programs featured celebrated artists from literature, jazz, and photography, as well as renowned names from national news and government. Numerous adult, children and teen book discussions were held across Greenwich. 

"Reading one book together will foster communication and spark ideas," said Carol Mahoney, Greenwich Library Director. "Greenwich Reads Together will bring together thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds to compare views and interpretations; share feelings and personal stories; view exhibitions, movies, and performances; attend classes and panel discussions, as well as workshops--all inspired by a common reading experience," said Mahoney. 

Greenwich Reads Together will take place between April 22 and May 3. Free copies of the 2013 selection were distributed at the announcement ceremony. Copies are also available to borrow at Greenwich Library. They may also be purchased at local bookstores including Diane's Books. 

High visibility sponsorships are available. For more information, please contact Sarah Falvo at (203) 622-7957 or sfalvo@greenwichlibrary.org. Opportunities are available for community organizations and volunteers. Those interested should contact Kate Petrov at kpetrov@greenwichlibrary.org.

Resources to help Children with Crisis and Grief

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Our thoughts are with those suffering in the wake of the tragic shooting in Newtown. Our Children's Librarians compiled the following list of titles to help children and parents during this difficult time.

What's Heaven? by Maria Shriver 
After her great-grandmother's death, a young girl learns about heaven by asking her mother all kinds of questions 

Coping with death of a family member by a local author 

After his mother explains why his classmate is not returning to school, she teaches Chester Raccoon how to make a memory. 

A family of forest animals learns to cope with the death of a loved one. 

An inspirational journey to a place where earthly hurts are left behind 

This is a book to understand death and remember those who have died. It talks about beginnings and endings and living in between. It tells about plants, animals and people. It tells that dying is as much a part of living as being born. 

A man tells about all the emotions that accompany his sadness over the death of his son, and how he tries to cope 

Relates the things that can frighten children and how these fears may be overcome 

Pictures, dialogs, poems, and stories portray various emotions we all feel: jealousy, sadness, fear, anger, joy, love, and others 

Mentions some of the bad things that happen in the world and presents some positive ways to respond to them 

A look at emotions and behavior 

Presents some of the common objects and situations that cause fear in children and provides advice on different things that they can do themselves to overcome their feelings of being afraid 

Additional titles geared for older children
 
Describes different kinds of losses--losing possessions, competitions, health, trust, and the permanent loss because of death--and discusses how to handle these situations 

A guide discussing worries and fears, understanding their causes and coping mechanisms

In addition, the following local organizations have resources to help:

Here are some helpful articles from the American Psychological Association:

Additional articles:
Advice from National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Talking to Children about the Shooting
Advice from the National Association of School Psychologists: A National Tragedy- Helping Children Cope
US Department of Health and Human Services: Tips to talking to children and youth after traumatic events
Fred Rogers' advice from Family Communications: Helping Children Deal with Tragic Events in the News
Advice from the Anti-Defamation League: Discussing Hate and Violence with your Children
The book chosen for Greenwich Reads Together 2013 will be announced on Tuesday, December 18 at 9:30 a.m. in the Meeting Room at Greenwich Library. Two thematically related companion books for younger readers will also be announced. Greenwich Reads Together (GRT) is a community-wide reading experience which will engage all of Greenwich in exploring a single book. 

Thumbnail image for GRT 2-COLOR.jpg
Over 40 suggestions were submitted by the community covering a wide range of titles and genres. A selection committee carefully reviewed all of the titles. In order to be selected, the book should be of high literary quality, reflective of universal issues and capable of generating thought-provoking discussions. It should lend itself to engaging public programs and appeal to a diverse population. In addition, the book should be currently in print and available in large quantities and multiple formats, including paperback, eBook and audiobook. 

The Selection Committee was comprised of Library staff including Roy Brayton, Joan Eaton, Stephen Schmidt, Alice Sherwood, Marianne Weill and Carolyn Zygmont; and community members Amy Fleishman, 2012 GRT co-chair; Karen Ball, Media Specialist at Eastern Middle School; and Sarah Better, a sophomore at Greenwich Academy. 

The inaugural Greenwich Reads Together selection was Markus Zusak's groundbreaking novel, The Book Thief. The 2012 selection was Zeitoun by Dave Eggers. Last spring, almost 20 community organizations participated in Greenwich Reads Together, and more than 3,000 Greenwich residents participated in events, including a live Skype telecast with author Dave Eggers. Additional programs featured celebrated artists from literature, jazz music, and photography, as well as renowned names from national news and government. Numerous adult, children and teen book discussions were held across Greenwich. 

"Reading one book together will foster communication and spark ideas," said Carol Mahoney, Greenwich Library Director. "Greenwich Reads Together will bring together thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds to compare views and interpretations; share feelings and personal stories; view exhibitions, movies, and performances; attend classes and panel discussions, as well as workshops--all inspired by a common reading experience," said Mahoney. 

Free copies of the 2013 selection will be distributed at the announcement ceremony. Copies will be available to borrow at Greenwich Library. They may also be purchased at local bookstores including Diane's Books. 

High visibility sponsorships are available. For more information, please contact Sarah Falvo at (203) 622-7957. Opportunities are available for community organizations and volunteers. Those interested should contact Kate Petrov at (203) 625-6550.

Winterfest at the Library

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Join Greenwich Library for a Winterfest celebration, all day Saturday.

Start the day with Mother Goose story time in the Children's Room at 10:30 a.m. with stories and songs for younger children and their parents.

Following Mother Goose, there will be several holiday crafts from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Patrons are encouraged to drop in and create something special for the holidays.

At 2 p.m. in the Cole Auditorium, enjoy winter and holiday songs performed by the Greenwich Public Schools Concert and Honor Choir. The choir is comprised of children from the elementary and middle schools of Greenwich, grades 4 through 8.  Following the concert, light refreshments will be served.

STC Honor Choir not singing

The programs are free and no tickets or registrations are required. For more information, please call (203) 622-7940 or visit our website and click on the Children tab.

You can follow Greenwich Library on Twitter @GWLibrary or find us on Facebook by searching Greenwich Library.

Holiday Shopping at Splurge- extended through Sunday

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Splurge and Splurge Kids have extended their offer to donate 10% of sales to Greenwich Library through Sunday, December 9.  Please mention Greenwich Library so your purchase can be applied toward the total. 

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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