written by Tana
Be sure to stop by the library and see our display of Banned Books. You just might be surprised at some of the titles! Many are popular classics which you may have read in high school or college. If not, you may want to read them just to see what all the fuss was about! Here are a few of the titles:
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Interestingly enough, the number one “most challenged book of 2007″ was a children’s book, And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell. It is based on a true story of two male penguins in New York’s Central Park Zoo that adopt an abandoned penguin egg and care for it together until it hatches.
For more information about Banned Books Week, related events and a complete list of frequently banned books be sure to check out the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week information center.
Today is, believe it or not, International Talk Like a Pirate Day. The purpose of the day is, simply, fun and silliness in the spirit of great pretend pirates (think Long John Silver in Treasure Island and Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean) To help you join in on the fun, here are some standard pirate phrases, suitable for most situations.
1. “Avast, me hearties!” Not sure what it means, but it sounds good.
2. “”Shiver me timbers!” When something surprises or frightens you.
3. “Ahoy!” Hello.
4. “Back, ye scurvy dogs!” Keeping the neighborhood dogs (or whatever) in place.
5. “Arr, matey, it be a fine day.” General pirate greeting.
Be sure to check out the ITLAPD website which has everything you could possibly need to know to celebrate the day including lesson plans for children, party ideas, pirate games and songs and much more. Pirate participants are encouraged to raise money for their favorite philanthropic causes such as Marie Curie Cure Cancer and Doctors Without Borders, so you can do some good while you’re having fun.
Now get out there and plunder some bounty!
It’s August. It’s BACK-TO-SCHOOL time! Perhaps you’ve been busy shopping for new clothes for the kids or trying to cross items off those very specific school supply lists. While you’re out and about, stop by the library and check out some of these titles:
Schools of Fish: Welcome Back to the Reason You Became an Educator by Philip Strand, John Christensen and Andy Halper. This fun, attractively arranged book can help any teacher, new or experienced, approach the school year with enthusiasm.
Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Home Schooling by Brad Miser. Not everyone opts for the traditional school setting. If you’re interested in teaching the kids yourself at home, this book can get you started on the right track.
What Your 1st Grader Needs to Know by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. There is a whole series of these books, known as the Core Knowledge series, covering first through sixth grade. Though written in the 90′s, these books, based upon the cultural literacy concept, have not gone out of style. They make a good, quick review for parents. Who knows, the adults might just learn something new! 372.19 Wha
Freedom Writers. If you prefer watching versus reading, try this inspirational DVD featuring Hilary Swank, based upon a true story of a teacher and her 150 students “who used writing to change themselves and the world around them.”
And don’t forget to check the Davenport Community Schools’ website for information on current events, academic calendars and the latest news about your school.
Eat better, help save the planet and support your local economy – you can do it all in one place, all at the same time simply by visiting and shopping at your local Farmers Market.
You’ll eat better because you’ll know exactly where you food comes from, often the food is organically grown, and usually it has been harvested within the last 24-48 hours so it’s incredibly fresh. You’ll help save the planet by buying locally, cutting the use of fuel (and the resulting pollution) caused by transporting produce hundreds of miles. And you’ll support your local economy by buying from area farmers – people who are probably your neighbors.
Lucky for us, the Quad City area is home to a lot of Farmers Markets making it easy to find one close by. This week (August 3-9) is National Farmers Market Week, a reminder to get out there and see what your local growers have to offer. August is a great time to shop at the Farmers Markets – corn, tomatoes, zuchinni, beets, potatoes, peppers, eggplants, onions, herbs of all kinds not to mention gorgeous flowers such as sunflowers and zinnias – are all in great abundance now.
Not sure what to do with all of that bounty? Check out these books for fresh, easy recipes designed to make the most of this wonderful season.
Outstanding in the Field: a Farm to Table Cookbook by Jim Denevan
The Farm to Table Cookbook by Ivy Manning
Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes by Jeanne Kelley
Summer on a Plate by Anna Pump
Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmers’ Markets by Deborah Madison
The annual celebration of the music of Bix Beiderbecke is in full swing today and tomorrow. Be sure to get out there and participate, whether you’re running or walking in the nationally renowned Bix 7 road race or enjoying music of some of the world’s finest musicians at the Bix Beiderbecke Jazz Festival.
Just a reminder, because of the congestion in downtown Davenport today, the Main library will be closed. The Fairmount Street library will be open 9:30am-5:30pm. Both buildings will be open their regular hours on Monday.
Have a great weekend!
One of the things I love the most about RAGBRAI is that it shows the best of Iowa and Iowans. The people in the overnight towns are so friendly and helpful – they welcome the riders with open arms. People from all over the United States and even the world, get to see how genuine and generous Iowans really are. Townspeople open up their homes (for free!) to complete strangers, to people like me who are too lazy to camp.
The pass-through towns also go all out to welcome riders. Besides producing mountains of food to feed this onslaught of bikers (which must seem like a plague of helmeted locusts), many communities really get into the spirit. They have theme celebrations with free (or dirt cheap) entertainment, and many even sell T-shirts to commemorate the event. For instance, Tipton is literally “Rolling out the Red Carpet,” nearby Eldridge is sporting the theme “Happy Days in Eldridge,” and the final stop in LeClaire hopes their “Spokes and Ropes” theme will encourage visitors to come back for the Tug Fest in August.
The townspeople are also very tolerant. Try to imagine in a small town suddenly supporting a population 4 to 5 times its usual size. Don’t get me wrong – RAGBRAI is a great fundraiser and many towns lobby for several years to host it, but I have to believe that we bikers must leave a bit of a mess!
And finally, as anyone who’s ever ridden on RAGBRAI can attest, Iowa is NOT flat and boring! In fact, it is lush and green, with gently rolling hills which provide colorful, scenic vistas. It is, in short, beautiful!
For an affectionate look at our great state, check out the videorecording Iowa: an American Portrait, narrated by Tom Brokaw with historic and current images of Iowa.
Once again it’s time for the Des Moines Register’s RAGBRAI, held this week July 20-26th. Notice that the acronym stands for RIDE not RACE, thereby allowing old-lady librarians like me to participate. Fortunately, everyone is welcome and we can all go at our own pace.
RAGBRAI started in 1973, so this year will be the 36th year. Bikers will start on Sunday by dipping the back tire of their bike in the Missouri River at Missouri Valley, Iowa. Overnight stops this year are Harlan, Jefferson, Ames, Tama/Toledo, North Liberty and Tipton. The final destination is nearby LeClaire on Saturday, July 26 where the bicyclists finish by dipping their front tires in the Mississippi River. With the Bix 7 Road Race going on the same day in Davenport as well as the Bix Jazz Festival, there’ll be lots of visitors to enjoy our Quad City hospitality!
To read more about RAGBRAI check out River to River, Year after Year: RAGBRAI Through the Lens of Register Photographers and RAGBRAI: Everyone Pronounces it Wrong by John Karas.
“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.” -Erma Bombeck
1. Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, two of the most influential founders of the United States and former Presidents, died within hours of each other on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the country they helped to create – July 4, 1826.
2. There’s a better than 1 in 4 chance that that hot dog you’ll eat on the Fourth originated in Iowa, the nation’s leading producer of hogs. It’s estimated that the number of hot dogs eaten by Americans on the 4th is 150 million.
3. There are 31 places in the United States that have the word “Liberty” in them. Iowa is the state with the most – Libertyville, West Liberty, North Liberty and New Liberty.
4. Fireworks imported from China to the United States in 2006 were valued at $216 million. Be sure to catch some of those fireworks at Red White and Boom tonight, a fireworks display on the riverfront presented by Davenport and Rock Island.
The biggest factor in a successful vacation is achieving a change of perspective, and in these times of rising costs many people are choosing to “get away from it all” while staying close to home. The Quad Cities have a lot to offer – we’re a vacation destination for many. In fact, in an April, 2008 article entitled “Great River Road Trip” the National Geographic Traveler magazine recommends Davenport, Iowa, as the “most rewarding stop.” A family could have more than enough activities to fill a week’s worth of vacation right here at home.
The Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau has a wealth of recommendations and ideas for vacationing close to home. And if you’d like to explore surrounding areas, the site also has some great Day Tripping suggestions.
The Davenport Library recommends these titles for Iowa travel:
The Great Iowa Touring Book: 27 Spectacular Auto Tours by Mike Whye
Great Iowa Walks: 50 Strolls, Rambles, Hikes and Treks by Lynn L. Walters
Country Roads of Iowa by Loralee Wenger
Perhaps your family would enjoy a day trip, or longer, to one of the many beautiful Iowa State Parks. And, of course, there are many beautiful state parks across the river in Illinois.
Whatever you do, where ever you go in the QC region, have a great summer!
Looking for something to do with your favorite guy this weekend? Celebrate Father’s Day with one of these fun activities you can share.
1. Ride the River. This fun bike ride on Sunday not only takes you on a tour of the Quad Cities, you get to cross the river on the Celebration Belle. Winding through Davenport, Bettendorf, Moline, East Moline and Rock Island, returning via the Centennial Bridge, this is a great way to see your community up close. Because of expected flooding this year, some of the route will be changed but will still start from the Union Station in Davenport. Be sure to wear your helmet!
2. Go the All-American route and take in a baseball game. The Quad City River Bandits will be playing the Beloit Snappers this Sunday at 1pm, weather and field conditions permitting. Treat Dad to a hot dog and watch the home runs fly.
3. Prefer to stay indoors? Check out the DVD collection at the Davenport Library and pick out a movie (maybe one featuring a superhero to watch with your own hero!) Just add popcorn and soda for your own private screening.
4. Take Dad fishing. West Lake Park just outside of Davenport offers four lakes to fish for bluegill, crappie and largemouth bass. The park also has hiking trails, campgrounds, picnic tables and boat rentals.
Share a memory – they’re ten times better than a tie!