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Staff Pick: Ox, House, Stick the History of Our Alphabet

Staff Pick: Ox, House, Stick the History of Our Alphabet

Ox, House Stick

Presents the origins of each letter of the English alphabet, from the pictorial drawings of the ancient Egyptians, through the changes to script by trading Phoenicians to the final classical letters of the Greeks and Romans.

Think alphabet books are just for little kids learning their ABCs?  This one will change your mind.  History, art, linguistics and symbology combine to appeal to kindergarteners through adults.  See a picture of an ox evolve into our letter “A”, and “dagger” change to our letter “Z” as our alphabet is born in Egypt and travels around the Middle East to Rome.   Scientists are still trying to figure out what much of ancient language sounded like and meant.  Maybe you will be one of them!

Recommended by: Daniell Wilkins – College Avenue Branch

 

 

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Staff Pick: The Secret Tree

Staff Pick: The Secret Tree

The Secret Tree

After sixth grader Minty discovers a secret tree with a hollow trunk that holds the secrets of everyone in the neighborhood, Raymond, a new boy drawn to the tree and Minty start watching their neighbors.

Do you have a secret? The summer before Minty Mortimer starts middle school, she comes across a mysterious tree in the woods.  She discovers that people have been placing their secrets in its hollowed out trunk and soon learns that most of her friends and family have been keeping secrets.  One secret reads “I put a curse on my enemy. And it’s working.” Another says, “I’m betraying my best friend in a terrible way.” Minty and her new friend Raymond are determined to solve the mysteries of these secrets, but they have to do some sneaking and snooping of their own to do this.  Will they be able to help their neighborhood before the secrets tear apart friends and even family?  And what will Minty do when she finds out that Raymond may have the biggest secret of anyone? Read The Secret Tree to find out.

Recommended by: Robyn B. Lawrence branch

 

 

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Staff Pick: Seeing the Elephant, a Story of the Civil War

Staff Pick: Seeing the Elephant, a Story of the Civil War

Seeing the Elephant

Ten-year-old Izzie wants to join the war like his older brothers and go into battle against the Confederate Army, but when he meets a Rebel soldier in a hospital, he begins to see things differently.

Being a kid is hard, but being a kid during wartime is harder. Take a journey with Izzie and his family during the Civil War in Seeing the Elephant: a story of the Civil War. When Izzie’s two older brothers, Cal and Ario, go off to fight for the Union Izzie wishes he could join them. What Izzie does not realize is that war is not fun.  When Cal returns home he is a different person and Izzie cannot understand why. However, Izzie soon learns what war is really about when he takes a trip with his aunt to a Union hospital. Will Izzie be able to handle the truth about war?

Submitted by: Kamara McKinney, Spades Park Library

 

 

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Staff Pick: How Do You Burp in Space?

Staff Pick: How Do You Burp in Space?

How Do You Burp in Space?

A non-fiction travel guide to space tourism that includes information about accommodations, attractions, and more.

Get prepared to be one of the first tourists to travel to outer space!  There are a few (lots!) of challenges to face before you even leave the ground.  Begin by deciding what to pack (Did you know it costs $10,000 per pound!), learn some space lingo, and get ready for the heat (250 degrees!).  Blast off into outer space to experience sleeping, eating, brushing your teeth, and even sneezing in zero gravity.  Plan what exciting attractions you will see in outer space (you can’t send postcards!)  This handbook has all you need to travel with extras like a space timeline, websites and other books to read, and photos of astronauts.  Happy travels!

Recommended by: Patty Wallace, East 39th Street Branch Library

 

 

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Staff Pick: Sugar Changed the World

Staff Pick: Sugar Changed the World

Sugar Changed the World

Traces the panoramic story of the sweet substance and its important role in shaping world history.

Sugar is something that most of us use every day and don’t even think about.  Today, sugar in the form of corn syrup is used as a cheap filler for processed food. In history though, sugar wasn’t always so easily available or cheap. Sugar was once for the use of kings and the wealthy.

Sugar wasn’t just used for sweetening food. It was used in rituals and used as medicine. Sugar was offered to the gods.

Sugar that originated in New Guinea spread all over the world and changed it. Conquerers took over lands in the name of sugar.

The most startling thing about sugar’s history though, was its effect on the people who processed it. People were taken from their homes to new lands to produce sugar, many of those people were slaves. Slaves on the sugar plantations risked death from fires, worked 18 hours a day, could have their bodies mutilated by the grinding gears of the sugar mill, fall into a vat of boiling sugar, or experience cruelty from the overseers.

Revolution, reform and falling sugar prices finally helped bring down the sugar plantations.

The majority of sugar’s history wasn’t  very sweet.

Recommended by:  Angi  St. Clair – Lawrence

 

 

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