Friday, May 26, 2017

#ShelfLife - May 26, 2017

Yesterday was National Wine Day, so it seems appropriate that we should offer a (virtual) toast of thanks to the patrons who played along with our Throwback Thursday posts of some very old-school filmstrips and shared some of the books they loved reading back in the day.

We had a great time wandering through the stacks and reminiscing as we gathered up copies of The Westing Game, Sweet Valley High: Ten Years Later, and traditional print and graphic novel versions of The Baby Sitters Club. But the most popular throwback of the week was definitely Deenie by Judy Blume. We had to wait on a copy to be returned so we could snap a photo, so it's still a favorite among young readers!

Thank you all for sharing the favorite books of your youth and for taking a stroll with us down memory lane.

If you're looking for something new to read over the holiday weekend, please check out the FCPL Goodreads Group. Our Instagram team will be back online after the holiday and please remember that all FCPL branches will be closed on Monday, May 29 in observance of Memorial Day.

A post shared by Forsyth County Public Library (@forsythpubliclibrary) on

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Reading Without Walls Summer Reading Challenge

READING WITHOUT WALLS encourages students and adults to read a variety of books with different themes, diverse authors and content, formats, settings, characters, and subjects. The program was created by cartoonist and National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, Gene Luen Yang.

"Reading is a fantastic way to open your minds and hearts to new people, places, and ideas," says Yang. "Through reading, I've met new friends, learned new facts, and become a better person."

Visit the Sharon Forks Library to browse
staff recommendations for #ReadingWithoutWalls.

Join the Challenge

Anyone can participate in READING WITHOUT WALLS simply by finding something new and different to read, such as:

  • Reading a book about a character who doesn't look like you or live like you
  • Reading a book on a topic you don't know much about
  • Reading a book in a format that you don't normally read for fun, such as a chapter book, a graphic novel, a book in verse, or an audiobook

Share Your #ReadingWithoutWalls Story

Look for weekly recommendations from the FCPL staff on Facebook and Instagram, then share the books you're reading with the hashtags #fcplstories and #readingwithoutwalls.

Free Activity Kit for Young Readers

If you'd like to share the READING WITHOUT WALLS challenge with young readers, download this Activity Kit from

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Summer Reading Fun Begins Friday at Local Libraries

Prevent the “summer slide” and build a better world when you register to participate in Summer Reading Fun at the Forsyth County Public Library beginning this Friday, May 26.

Register to Read & Win Prizes

Registration for the Summer Reading Fun program will open on the library’s website on the last day of school. Library patrons can also visit their local branch to sign up during the library’s regular hours on Friday, and throughout the summer.

“We’re very grateful to the FCPL Friends and Advocates for their continued support of the summer reading program and their commitment to make sure that each child and teen who sets and reaches a summer reading goal will receive a prize book of their choosing,” says Program Manager Laura Bradley.

Bradley added that the Friends and Advocates also donated AMC movie gift baskets for teen readers and Apple iPad Mini tablets for adult readers in the grand prize raffles at each of the library’s four branches. Stars and Strikes donated prize packages for the children’s grand prize raffles. All participants that set and reach their summer reading goal will be entered in the grand prize drawings.

Final Week of Outreach to Schools

This week also wraps up the library’s outreach program with schools in Forsyth County until the start of the 2017-2018 academic year.

“Our Youth Services team strives to visit local elementary schools and preschools throughout the year, but the weeks leading up to the launch of Summer Reading Fun are especially important,” says Bradley.

Members of the library’s Youth Services team visit classrooms and assembly events with puppet shows, skits, and storytime activities to help kids find the fun in reading and to get them excited about summer at the library. Students are encouraged to register for Summer Reading Fun to keep their literacy skills sharp over the summer months.

Library staff also visit local middle schools to talk with tweens and teens about summer activities at the library. Vikki Doerr, a Youth Specialist from the Post Road Library, visited DeSana Middle School last week.

“We set up a fun game of Plinko trivia in one of the busy hallways and passed out bookmarks with information about summer programs at the library for students their age. We heard lots of students talking about the programs they’re looking forward to, and we’re looking forward to seeing them in the library this summer,” said Doerr.

Kick-Off Carnivals

It’s become a tradition to begin the summer with a series of Summer Reading Kick-Off Carnivals, and this summer includes a special treat with feats of daring acrobatics from Cameron Tomele and Barely Balanced. Other kid-centric Carnival activities include games, crafts, balloon artists, and raffle prize drawings.

The Cumming Library will host its Kick-Off Carnival on Wednesday, May 31 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The Hampton Park Library’s Carnival will be held on Thursday, June 1 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The Post Road and Sharon Forks branches will host a combined Summer Reading Kick-Off Carnival on Friday, June 2 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. To accommodate the expected crowds, the event will be held at the Forsyth Conference Center, 3410 Ronald Reagan Blvd., Cumming.

Admission to each of the Summer Reading Kick-Off Carnivals is free and all ages are welcome to attend.

Summer Storytimes & Performances

The theme for this year’s summer reading program is “Build a Better World,” and each branch will present weekly storytimes for children ages 0 – 24 months, ages 2 – 5, and ages 4 – 8. Rising 3rd through 5th graders are invited to weekly Summer STEAM Team programs to conduct experiments, make art, and build models as they practice science, technology, engineering, art, and math skills.

Library branches will host dozens of theatrical performances, animal encounters, craft, and cultural programs for children, teens, and adults throughout the summer. Comedian and magician Ken Scott will return to the library for seven riotously funny finale performances at the end of July.

For more information, or to view a full schedule of events, please visit

Monday, May 22, 2017

Staff Picks - Two Blue Doors Series by Hillary Manton Lodge

A Table by the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge

Readers get an up-close and personal look at the restaurant world with its demands, creations and how this close-knit French-Italian big family does life. I quickly bonded with this quirky and lovable bunch in the mix of food and fun, along with well-timed humor with a transparent cast. The author throws in a splash of romance and cleverly stirs in a surprising mystery to solve as the D’Alisa family morns the loss of their 90-year-old grandmother.

Juliette’s grandmother left her a French oak cutting service. While cleaning in the nooks, and remembering their good times, she finds a picture of her youthful grandmother with a handsome man who looks like her brother Nico. Who was this handsome young man? Where did he fit into her grandmother’s life? Why didn’t she tell anyone about him? Juliette flies off to Italy in hopes of discovering more clues there.

I could identify and felt right at home with the family get togethers where food was the star of the show. This is how the D’Alisa family felt about food, “When we eat together, when we set out to do so deliberately, life is better, no matter what your circumstances."

I enjoyed quotes like that which started each chapter. To my surprise each chapter had recipes which had simple directions and easy to find ingredients. Delightful bonus features make A Table by the Window just the thing to bring to a book club meeting.

Reservations for Two by Hillary Manton Lodge

This story starts right where the other left off. Neil McLaren and Juliette D’Alisa are in France visiting family and tracking down the identity of a man in a picture Juliette found among her Grand-mere’s belongings. While having fun in Paris; this couple uncovers a box filled with Juilette’s Grand-mere’s old letters written during 1938-1939. Thrilled at their discovery they head to Italy for her Grandpa’s 80th birthday bash.

Juliette says to Neil, “Of course I want you there. Are you sure you’re ready for sixty-two Italians fueled up on espresso and cake?”

“You know I’m only in it for the cake.”

This author has skillfully interlaced heart-felt letters Juliette’s Grand-mere wrote to her sister, Cecilia; while she was attending pastry school in France. These letters add depth of emotion and creates a rich plot twist to Juliette’s family history.

Yes, I was up late wondering what else Juliette would discover about her family past and present; and how the opening of the new restaurant would go. I really liked Juliette and how these surprises were affecting her. The author does a great job of keeping the suspense and drama flourishing in both story lines.

This novel has ten discussion questions to help create lively discussion with your group and there are many yummy recipes you can make for that special meeting night.

Together at the Table by Hillary Manton Lodge

Together at the Table hit a home run in my heart. This author showed readers a side of her writing style we didn’t see in the other books. I feel she saved the best for last!

I relished my time with this French-Italian family who love each other. Their passion for food (creating it; eating it and sharing it with others) brings them together in special ways. This novel (like the others) has many delicious recipes sprinkled thru out. The reader is brought alongside the characters as they experiment with food and create new dishes. The mystery talked about in the first two books is solved in a unique way. The author seamlessly weaves together the past and present as the D’Alisa learn about how the family endured the unimaginable conditions of WWII.

Hillary Manton Lodge pens a humorous, witty, insightful, heart-rending story I couldn’t put down. This book would make a great book club pick as the author has provided twelve discussion questions to help generate lively conversation, plus there are also many recipes to help create a yummy and fun meeting time.

Nora St Laurent
Collection Support Aide

Friday, May 19, 2017

#ShelfLife - May 19, 2017

We're going back in the day with some old school posts on our #ShelfLife feed this week.

First, a brown-haired version of the classic Barbie doll appeared with Kimberley Tait's debut novel, Fake Plastic Love.

Then, we unearthed a filmstrip and cassette tape copy of Max's Chocolate Chicken by Rosemary Wells as we were reorganizing the programming workroom for Summer Reading. We bet you haven't seen that unless you were in elementary school or sitting in a library storytime in the late 1980s.

Since we're having such fun, let's keep going! What books or stories do you remember most from childhood? We'd especially like to hear what 80s and 90s kids remember about visiting the library. Leave a comment below or use the #fcplstories hashtag to tell us all about it on Instagram.

Until next week, enjoy living the #ShelfLife!