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216 South Robinson Avenue, Pen Argyl, PA 18072


November 2018

Volume 8, Issue 11

A Newsletter of the Blue Mountain Community Library

Happy Thanksgiving!

Take time to be thankful for your library!
The library will be OPEN on November 23, 24, and 26.
The library will be closed the evening of November 21 and all day November 22.
Please participate in our annual Christmas tree fundraiser and make the library extra festive!!!  For a $5 donation, you may hang an ornament in honor or memory of a person or pet on our Christmas tree.
Our fall silent auction has begun!  Items to bid on may include the following:
– Non-stick saucepan/lid 1.5 qt.
– Non-stick casserole/lid 2 qt.
– Ultimate Copper cooking set 4 pc.
– Copper Cookware 6 qt. pan
– Copper Cookware 3 qt. pan
– Citrus Juicer
– Electric blender/glass jar
– Electric waffle maker
– Electric hand mixer 5-speed
– Toaster oven
– 6 pc. white cotton towel set
– White shower robe
– Pastel satin padded hanger set (8)
– Spin Mop/Bucket (as seen on TV)
– Vera Bradley large tote
– Bluetooth stereo headphones
– Serenity Home queen-size bamboo sheet set
– Queen-size down-alternative Soft Essentials light blue comforter
Join fellow patrons for special Christmas crafting workshop events!
December 7 at 12:30 PM:  Make a beautiful painted glass ornament for just $10! (craft offered for adults)
December 8 at 10:00 AM:  Construct a cute noodle angel ornament for $2!  (craft offered for 3rd grade and up)
December 8 at 1:00 PM:  Construct a wire angel ornament for $2! (craft offered for 6th grade and up)
The costs are for materials.  Number of craft workshop spaces is limited, and tickets must be purchased in advance.  The events are held at the library.
November Book Nook Special:
Buy one nonfiction book, get a nonfiction book of equal or lesser price FREE!
Learn how to play bridge!
Mondays at 10:00 AM
Registration is necessary.  Classes are free and held on the 2nd floor.  Call the library to register.
The public is invited to the next board meeting on November 28 at 6:30 PM.
Thank you to the Café on Broadway and Wendy’s for their recent fundraisers for the library!
Adult book discussion group selections:
November 20 – Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
December – no book discussion this month
January 15 – In the Shadow of Alabama by Judy Reene Singer
Book group meetings begin at 6:30 PM.
Meet a junior volunteer!
Name:  Noelle Vargo
Job:  junior at Pen Argyl High School
How long I’ve been a junior volunteer:  about a month and a half
What I like about volunteering:  seeing the books that I used to read when I was younger
Why I read:  to relax in my free time
How I fell in love with reading:  My dad used to read The Giving Tree to me at bedtime.
My favorite books:  The Giver series by Lois Lowry
Why I like them:  I remember going through the first book really quickly, and I had to get the second immediately after finishing the first.
My favorite author:  none in particular
My favorite genre:  drama and science fiction
Why I like it:  It’s exciting and fun to read.
Favorite place to read:  my room
Words of wisdom:  Make some time for yourself to relax and read.
Other things to know about me:  I also play basketball and compete on the track and field team; my specialty is pole vault.
Book review:
Before We Were Yours
book by Lisa Wingate
review by Jill Silvius
I have never read any of Lisa Wingate’s other award-winning books, but I may after this one!  Before We Were Yours is poignant, devastating, and eye-opening, while refreshingly “clean” (it lacks curse words, sex scenes, etc.)  I picked up Before We Were Yours because some friends were reading it, and I hoped to discuss it along with them.
The story toggles back and forth between 1939 Memphis and present-day South Carolina, but, unlike in many other books with two interwoven narratives, both plotlines are equally engrossing.
In 1939, young Rill Foss attempts to take care of her four younger siblings aboard their riverboat Arcadia after her father Briny is urged by a frustrated midwife to take Rill’s mother Queenie to the hospital.  (You will love her fierce heart and quirky expressions as she tells her tale!)  In Rill’s parents’ absence, all five children are kidnapped and essentially put on an “orphan auction block.”  However, they are told that, if they behave, they will be reunited with their parents.  Rill clings to this unlikely promise but begins to doubt, though, when the children are given new names and treated horribly at the Tennessee Children’s Home Society.  As other children “disappear,” she struggles to keep her siblings together and away from the cruel Miss Tann and abusive Mr. Riggs, without much success.
In South Carolina decades later, lawyer Avery Stafford is drawn into a family mystery when retirement home resident May Crandall is found with Avery’s bracelet; Avery discovers that one of May’s photographs looks surprisingly like Avery’s grandmother Judy, who suffers from increasing memory loss.  Avery searches for answers to connections between May and Judy.  Her relationship with her stoic mother and her fiancé Elliot are shaken by what she learns, as her search makes her question the solidity of her aristocratic Stafford family.
The prevailing question for the reader is what is the connection between the two narratives?  Ultimately, Wingate reveals the answer, and the ending of both narratives is necessarily bittersweet:  memory loss robs us in old age, friendship does not equal true love, and stolen children do not always find their way home.  Nevertheless, romance blossoms, and the possible sweetness of sisterhood is celebrated.  (I’m trying hard not to give too much away here!)
The outcome of Avery’s relationship with Elliot is obvious from the beginning, but Avery’s relationship to Rill is still a bit fuzzy.  A genealogical map (albeit on the last page, to not give anything away too early) would be helpful!
The greatest strength of the novel is its revelations about Georgia Tann, who really did profit from her illegal absconding and treatment of children for about two decades.  Wingate also helpfully lists nonfiction titles for those interested in learning more about the Tennessee Children’s Home scandal.