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@TheLibrary  Feb 10th, 2017
Spotlight on author A.S. King’s Fiction for Young Adults
by Youth Services Librarian Elissa Zimmer

“Still Life with Tornado…” That’s the title of the one of the most recent book from award-winning author A.S. King, and I’m sure you appreciate how exciting that sounds; it was enough for me to pick it up without even knowing what it was about… It’s not that wild of a chance to take; A.S. King has been garnering several accolades throughout the last decade with her Young Adult novels, winning several awards for works like “The Dust of 100 Dogs,” and “Please Ignore Vera Dietz.”

Local Librarian Elissa Zimmer started working in Ferndale’s Youth Services last October. Based in Detroit, she received her degree in library science from Wayne State University, and she also works part-time up at the Fraser Public Library. Zimmer has been an excellent addition to the Ferndale staff, bringing evident energy and enthusiasm to youth programming. She’s written her first column as a spotlight on the works of King. 

Elissa Zimmer’s Picks

As a Youth Services Librarian, I need to be familiar with a wide range of literature for kids of every age, from books for babies all the way up to those for young adults. I’ve been on a Young Adult kick lately and have come to love YA author A.S. King.  King has a talent for writing complex teen characters with unique perspectives.  King is a prolific author, so if none of these strike your fancy, rest assured you’ll find something that appeals to you in King’s plethora of novels. Her newest, “Me and Marvin Gardens,” came out this month.


  • vera-dietz-cover-published-by-emberPlease Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King —My absolute favorite so far. I couldn’t put it down. Vera was best friends with Charlie for years prior to his mysterious death. However, King teases out many secrets of their deteriorating relationship, and each secret adds to the overall devastation that I as a reader felt for all that Vera has gone through with Charlie. Throughout the story, Vera struggles with a drinking problem and eventually finds a solid relationship with her single father. Vera is a strong character who works up the nerve to come forward with the truth about Charlie and finds peace with her life.


  • ask-the-passenger-published-by-little-brown-books-for-young-readersAsk the Passengers by A.S. King —This book follows a young lesbian, Astrid Jones, in a small, close-minded town. However, the beauty of this book is that it doesn’t seek to Make a Point–Astrid is just a person. King’s stories don’t always wrap up in a perfect bow—often the road to the end is quite bumpy, and this book is a great example. Astrid also has gay friends and all of their secrets are revealed when the club they go to in the next town over is raided, and they are left to deal with the reaction of their families and the whole town, not to mention Astrid’s already-out-but-secret girlfriend. Throughout the story, Astrid is a savvy, intelligent teen who seeks to understand her family and how the world works, and she spreads love to all people no matter how trying they prove to be.


  • crawl-through-it-published-by-little-brown-books-for-young-readersI Crawl Through It –by A.S. King—This was the first book of hers that I picked up. Admittedly, it’s not my favorite of hers that I’ve read so far. The tone is floaty and ethereal, and doesn’t feel grounded in reality. The book follows four teens who have all experienced separate traumas and are struggling to cope. One character has turned her body inside out, showing her innermost workings and still the adults around her are oblivious to what she is going through. Another character is busy building an invisible helicopter that eventually takes him and his friend away to a place that they in turn can’t escape from. The characters have to learn to speak up about their experiences, alerting the adults in their lives to their struggles with coping. While this may sound like a lot to wade through, with patience the story comes together beautifully and the reader will be grateful for sticking it out.


@TheLibrary is an ongoing series of recommendations from the Ferndale Area District Library, serving to answer the vexing question “What should I read/watch/listen-to next?”
ferndalepubliclibrary.org and click “search catalog.”


@TheLibrary Feb 1st, 2017
Theresa (Reference Librarian)’s theme: “…It’s cold, stay in and watch a movie!”

The literary bonus, here, is that each of her film/mini-series recommendations are based on books.

Loosely based on the memoir of the same name by Frances Mayes, this is a lighthearted and entertaining story of a woman finding her way after a divorce.  During a trip to Italy, Frances impulsively decides to buy a rundown villa in Tuscany and gets more than she bargained for.  During the chaotic renovations, she finds herself being drawn into the lives of the local people and finds unexpected romance along the way.
Based on Jennifer Worth’s bestselling memoirs, Call the Midwife tells the story of a young midwife’s experiences serving the residents of London’s East End in the 1950’s.  Along with the other midwives of Nonnatus House, Jenny provides care to the poorest women of London and in the process becomes an important part of a tightknit community undergoing huge social changes.

the-secret-world-of-arrietty-film-comic-vol-2-9781421541174-in03The Secret World of Arrietty

In this animated feature, Studio Ghibli has adapted Mary Norton’s beloved book The Borrowers for the big screen.  Living in a secret world below the floorboards, tiny Arrietty and her family borrow what they need for survival from the regular-size occupants of the house.  Arrietty befriends a young boy who lives in the house and when she is discovered, she and the boy must find a way to save her family from the adults who don’t want them living there.



51qw48sp0klAnne of Green Gables

Megan Follows stars as Anne Shirley in this Emmy-winning tv production of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s classic children’s book.  Anne is an orphan mistakenly sent to live with an elderly brother and sister looking for help on their family farm. High-sprited and outspoken, Anne soon wins the hearts of everyone in the community. The spectacular scenery of Prince Edward Island and excellent acting by Follows, Colleen Dewhurst, and Richard Farnsworth make this the ultimate adaptation of this beloved book.



mv5bmtu1mdy4otu5of5bml5banbnxkftztcwotg5nzaymw-_v1_uy1200_cr11106301200_al_Pride and Prejudice

Anyone who is a fan of Jane Austen or period dramas should see this wonderful adaptation of the classic book.  Starring Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet and Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, this BBC/A&E produced mini-series features scenes of the beautiful English countryside, gorgeous costumes, and a lovely soundtrack composed by Carl Davis.






@TheLibrary Jan 28th, 2017
Psychological Thrillers and True Crime
by Lauren Arnsman and Jeff Milo ~ Special to Digital First Media

Welcome to another installment of “@The Library,” where librarians and staff members offer their personal recommendations of what you should consider reading next!

Today’s picks come from local reference librarian Lauren Arnsman. Lauren got her degree in Library Science from Wayne State in 2010. Since then, she’s utilized her talents as a librarian and her expertise in legal aid and historical archiving at diverse and disparate institutions such as the Detroit Opera House, and the Michigan State Dept of Corrections. Last June, she began working at part-time at Berkley’s Public Library, and joined Ferndale’s staff soon after…

But, it turns out that this article is actually a farewell piece, as well, since Lauren recently received the exciting news that she’ll be starting full-time as a librarian over at Berkley. We’re sad to see her go, but wish her all the very best!

Lauren’s Psychological thrillers and true crime

“There’s something about winter that compels me to read psychological thrillers and true crime almost exclusively,” said Arnsman. “It’s also a little weird to say ‘I love true crime…,’ but it’s true.”

still-missing-from-st-martins-1“Still Missing” – by Chevy Stevens
I read this novel when it first came out back in 2010 (it feels so long ago!) and I still think about the twist ending.  Annie O’Sullivan is a real estate agent who is abducted during a house showing. The story unfolds through sessions with her psychiatrist and the book is as much about her year living with her sadistic captor as it is about her plotting her escape. I’d like to think I’m the kind of reader who can figure a mystery out but Still Missing has a twist near the end that I couldn’t see coming. Chevy Stevens’ books are all very absorbing reads (I highly recommend all of them!) but Still Missing is my favorite.


behind-closed-doors-from-mira-1“Behind Closed Doors” – B.A. Paris
Sometimes a marriage isn’t what it seems to the outsider. This novel is about Jack and Grace, a married couple that appear to have the perfect marriage: Jack is a highly successful lawyer and Grace is a perfect housewife. It does seem strange that Grace never meets up with her girlfriends for lunch or shopping, but maybe she’s a little flaky. Jack and Grace are eerily inseparable, but maybe they’re just totally in love. Or is something else going on? Grace tells the story of how she met, fell in love, and married Jack but also explains that things aren’t what they seem. I read this in a day because I couldn’t wait to see how it ended. If you’re into psychological thrillers, I highly recommend this book.


lost-girls-from-harper-perennial-1“Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery” – Robert Kolker
In December 2010, the bodies of four women were found on the same beach in Long Island. The women were known sex workers and as the investigation continued, the murders were thought to be the work of a serial killer. The investigation begins as a fifth woman is declared missing and the cases have yet to be solved.

Kolker spent thousands of hours interviewing each woman’s family and friends, as well as the officers and detectives involved. While the book is mostly about the four murders and the missing woman, Kolker also explains why these women were drawn to sex work in the first place and the lives they lead before they were murdered. For anyone who is interested in true crime, this book is a must read.

@TheLibrary is an ongoing series of recommendations from the Ferndale Area District Library, serving to answer the vexing question “What should I read/watch/listen-to next?”
ferndalepubliclibrary.org and click “search catalog.”

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