GPL Blog

From the Children’s Room — May 2022

So, let’s talk about the birds and the bees. And the butterflies. And the bats. And the…lemurs? It’s time to talk about pollinators!

These animals are incredibly important. By transferring pollen from one flower to another, they keep the natural world in good working order, and help us grow our crops. About every third bite of food we eat is thanks to pollinators. Plants that rely on insects and other animals include bat-pollinated agave (where tequila comes from), alfalfa (what cows eat), bananas, chocolate, grapes, pumpkins, tomatoes, vanilla, and so many more! Many of us are familiar with butterflies and European honey bees (who also provide us with honey and wax), but what about other bees?

North America has over 4,000 species of native bees! As a whole, they’re better…

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Book Review | Harley Quinn: Reckoning by Rachael Allen

From the publisher: When Harleen Quinzel scores an internship in a psych lab at Gotham University, she’s more than ecstatic; she’s desperate to make a Big Scientific Discovery that will land her a full-ride college scholarship and get her away from her abusive father. But when Harleen witnesses the way women are treated across STEM departments–and experiences harassment herself–she decides that revenge and justice are more important than her own dreams.

In this refreshingly feminist spin on the story of our favorite villainess, Harley Quinn: Reckoning traces Harleen’s journey from precocious, revenge-obsessed teenage girl to a hardcore justice-seeker on her way to becoming the most captivating Super Villain of all time. Vibrating with youthful energy and rage, this is one story that you won’t be able to…

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From the Children’s Room — March 2022

Spring is in sight, so that must mean it’s time for March Mammal Madness!

Inspired by (but not associated with) the college basketball tournament, MMM is a tournament of simulated combat encounters run by Dr. Katie Hinde at Arizona State University. Now in its tenth year, MMM is a fantastically fun learning opportunity, and is reaching almost half a million learners in classrooms and libraries across the country. Participants learn about zoology, ecology, and conservation, in addition to getting those sweet, sweet bragging rights if their contestant wins…

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Staff Picks — Meghan B.

Hi ho! Ms. Meghan the Children’s Assistant here to share with you some of the best books I’ve read recently. We’ve got two fantastic children’s books, one historical fiction novel, one murder mystery, and one YA fantasy novel. So let’s get to it! EXCEPT ANTARCTICA by Todd Sturgell An Attenborough-esque narrator begins by explaining that turtles are found on every continent except Antarctica. One turtle takes exception to this and begins the trek to the South Pole, joined along the way by other animals that are found everywhere ‘except Antarctica’. The flustered narrator (who is not getting paid enough for this) chronicles their journey. Additional back matter provides more learning opportunities. Childrens, Picture Books THE GODMOTHERS by Camille Aubray This novel follows four sisters and sisters-in-law in an Italian-American family in Greenwich Village through the decades surrounding WWII. The author deftly handles the shifting POVs as Filomena, Amie, Lucy, and Petrina handle Read more »

Our Favorite Recipes

The holiday season has us in a cooking mood, and we’re taking to the blog to share some of our staff’s favorite recipes. Have a favorite family recipe? Share it with us! Send to reference@galesburglibrary.org and your recipe will be featured in a future blog post!

Spinach Casserole

4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 (24 oz.) small curd cottage cheese
3 (10 oz.) packages frozen chopped spinach
10 strips bacon, cooked crisp
1 stick butter
6 eggs, beaten until smooth
5 tbsp flour
2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice …

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Book Review | The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas

From the publisher: Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca in this debut supernatural suspense novel, set in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence, about a remote house, a sinister haunting, and the woman pulled into their clutches…

Disclaimer: I haven’t read Rebecca or Mexican Gothic (but I’ve got the ARC!). Regardless, I enjoyed this book immensely and immediately gave it five stars. I also knew next to nothing about the Mexican War of Independence before starting and was able to follow along without any issue.

After her father’s execution during the overthrow of the government, Beatriz is desperate to find a home again for herself and her mother. She eagerly accepts the proposal of the…

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Book Review | The Guest List by Lucy Foley

From the publisher: On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed. And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

I remember a lot of hype and buzz about this book last summer, and now that I’ve (finally) gotten around to reading it for a “mystery” Halloween bingo square, I see what all the fuss…

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Book Review | Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

Artemisia is training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on; otherwise, they will rise as spirits with a ravenous hunger for the living. She would rather deal with the dead than the living, who trade whispers about her scarred hands and troubled past.

When her convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, Artemisia defends it by awakening an ancient spirit bound to a saint’s relic. It is a revenant, a malevolent being that threatens to possess her the moment she drops her guard. Wielding its extraordinary power almost consumes her—but death has come to Loraille, and only a vespertine, a priestess trained to wield a high relic, has any chance of stopping it. With all knowledge of vespertines lost to time, Artemisia turns to the last remaining expert for help: the

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Book Review | The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich

From the Publisher: Omakayas and her family live on the land her people call the Island of the Golden-Breasted Woodpecker. Although the “chimookoman,” white people, encroach more and more on their land, life continues much as it always has: every summer they build a new birchbark house; every fall they go to ricing camp to harvest and feast; they move to the cedar log house before the first snows arrive, and celebrate the end of the long, cold winters at maple-sugaring camp.

This is a highly recommended read for any Little House on the Prairie fans (along with Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park), as well as other readers interested in the mid 1800s and pioneering time period and aspects of American history. Louise Erdrich, an enrolled…

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Staff Picks — August 2021: Meghan

Curious what the staff of GPL likes to read? Every month we’ll share five titles we’ve read recently. All titles are available for checkout at the library — give us a call or visit the catalog to put one on hold!

STAMPED: RACISM, ANTIRACISM, AND YOU by Jason Reynolds
A remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning for ages 12 and up. This is NOT a history book. This is a book about the here and now. A book to help us better understand why we are where we are. A book about race…

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