Monday, November 30, 2009

Homewood Public Library Earns a National Four Star Rating!

We have earned a FOUR STAR RATING for library service in the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service. This system scrutinizes statistics that describe library service outputs, such as visits, circulation, public Internet computer usage, and program attendance. Read more about the survey here!

Homewood Public Library is one of only five libraries in Alabama to receive such an honor and one of only twelve in the Southeast. This four star rating follows the three star rating that we received in the last Library Journal survey. See Full Results here!

Read The Birmingham News article at

Thanks go to our hard working director and staff and to Homewood's city officials who continue to support the library even in a diffi­cult economy!! And to our patrons who visit us and use our services!! Thanks!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sweetwater Run by Jan Watson

The people who lived in Eastern Kentucky in 1893 had a hard life and family and friends were everything to them. When Dimmert Whitt was convicted of stealing his own mule his wife was devastated. How could she exist without him for two years while he was in the prison? Cara had family that included Fairy Mae, Darcy, Ace and Dance and the little ones. While Dim was serving his sentence many unexpected things happened to him and to the folks who loved him most. Darcy's gift of sewing helped support them but she wanted her own family. Her dreams of meeting a man to love was uppermost in her mind and when she met Henry Thomas her course was set. What she did not know was that Henry had his sights on the Whitt family land. That little fact set the rest of the story in motion. The actions of Darcy and Henry made a huge difference in the lives of Cara, Dance, Ace, Darcy and Fairy Mae as well as all the children and Ace's parents. How could people who seemingly had so little be so caring and generous? Even Henry was about to find out.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What? It defies gravity?!?

What? It defies gravity?!?, originally uploaded by HomewoodPix.
Teens had a blast at our Mad Science program! Green slime? Yes!

tickled over her pumpkin!!!

tickled over her pumpkin!!!, originally uploaded by HomewoodPix.
Families carved their very own pumpkins at this special evening program. What fun!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Windows Updates Today

Windows Update

It's Patch Tuesday for Windows users. New security patches and updates released today. Make sure and run Windows update on your machine, especially new Windows 7 users, this will be the first patch release since the Windows 7 release.


Monday, November 9, 2009

All About Food!

In honor of Thanksgiving, the Teen Scene @ HPL is featuring books about food! Eat stuffing and read about getting stuffed at the same time. And (oh yeah) enjoy your holidays!

Food, Girls and Other Things I Can’t Have: A Novel by Allen Zadoff - 15-year-old Andrew Zansky, the second fattest student at his high school, joins the varsity football team to get the attention of a new girl.

Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith - When multiple murders in Austin, Texas, threaten the grand re-opening of her family's vampire-themed restaurant, 17-year-old, orphaned Quincie worries that her best friend-turned-love interest, Keiren, a werewolf-in-training, may be the prime suspect.

Big Fat Manifesto by Susan R. Vaught - Overweight, self-assured, high school senior Jamie Carcaterra writes in the school newspaper about her own attitude to being fat, her boyfriend's bariatric surgery, & her struggles to be taken seriously in a very thin world.

Models Don’t Eat Chocolate Cookies by Erin Dionne - Overweight 13-year-old Celeste begins a campaign to lose weight in order to make sure she does not win the Miss HuskeyPeach modeling
challenge, in which her mother & aunt have entered her--against her wishes.

Big Mouth by Deborah Halverson - Sherman Thuff has his hopes set on being a competitive eater, but when his training regimen begins to seriously interfere with his enjoyment of life
& he even starts losing his friends, he decides to rearrange his priorities.

For other food picks, check out our Book Chat page for teens.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fiction About Family

The Adult Services department is featuring books about Fiction about Family this month. Here's some of the suggested titles that are available.

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt - A memoir about the author's childhood in New York and Limerick, Ireland. Living in a poor family, McCourt shares tales of humor and tragedy in a poignant, yet refreshing novel. This book won a Pulitzer Prize for autobiography and is often listed as a "Must Read Book" for teens and adults.

Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray - Ruth, a Minneapolis housewife, has the ultimate solution to de-stress - simply bake a cake! When her husband loses his job and her estranged father announces he must move in due to injury (much to the horror of her divorced live-in mother), Ruth's family must readjust to their new life, eating cake along the way. Recipes are included in this light and tasty read.

How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper - Doug Parker is still mourning his wife a year after her tragic plane crash, but at least his writing career gets a boost when he writes about his grief. Unfortunately, this brings many women to door hoping to comfort his sad soul. His twin sister Claire is determined to set him up on blind dates, and stepson Russ only wants to be adopted. Tropper combines comedy with sadness in this story about moving on.

No Place Like Home by Barbara Samuels - Jewel Sabatino left her home in Colorado at 17 and never looked back. But 21 years later when her best friend Michael becomes terminally ill, she brings him home to her parents with her 17-year-old son in tow, with the plan being to return to New York soon after. But as she becomes more involved with her family (and Michael's brother Malachi), she discovers there really is no place like home.

For more reading suggestions, visit our Author of the Month page.

Tasty Reads Book Club November Meeting

The adult book club Tasty Reads will discuss the book Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. We will meet in the Lucretia M. Somers Boardroom on November 10th from 6:30-8 to discuss the book and have some tasty snacks!

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society follows Juliet Ashton, a single 30-something writer living in London after WWII. She becomes friends with a community on the British island of Guernsey and learns more what life was like when the Germans occupied the island during the war, as well as learning more about herself. Written entirely in letter form, this highly acclaimed book is funny, touching, and true-to-life.

Reserve your copy in our catalog today, and come on out to discuss what you thought of it. For more information, call 332-6624.

We'd love to see you there!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ms. Jackson & Ms. Heather participate in the Oreo DoubleStuff Race @ HPL

Oreo DoubleStuf Racing at HPL

Children's Books We Are Thankful For

The Seals On the Bus by Lenny Hort - You might know the song “The Wheels On the Bus,” but this book is about the SEALS on the bus! Join lots of animal friends for a wild bus ride full of all sorts of sounds. There are monkeys, tigers, geese, bunnies, and even more animals riding all around the town. What will the people do after the bus gets turned into a zoo? You'll have to read to find out! ~Ms. Dona

Bad Bears and a Bunny by Daniel Pinkwater - Irving and Muktuk are polar bears who live at the Bayonne New Jersey zoo with another bear names Roy. Irving and Muktuk are known to be bad bears, unlike Roy who has earned extra privileges for good behavior. One day they spy a dangerous looking bunny near their enclosure, so they hide. When Roy's brother Larry invites the bears to a party, he invites the bunny to the party too! What will the two bad bears do? ~Ms. Becky

Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls by Meg Cabot It's a series! - Allie Finkle is a 9 year old girl whose adventures begin when her parents announce that the family will be moving. Being the new girl is not easy to say the least! She has to face a new school, new friends, new everything. It's even worse when another new girl comes along and takes over! Thank goodness Allie has been writing down rules to help her handle all of these difficult situations. ~Ms. Laurie

The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket It's an audiobook! - In this volume, Violet, Klaus and Sunny have been falsely accused of murder, and they are on the run. The Baudelaires have to hide among the House of Freaks at the mysterious Caligari Carnival. Though most carnivals can be fun, this one is dangerous! These three orphans must use their smarts and skills to keep out of the clutches of the evil Count Olaf and his band of henchmen. ~Ms. Candice

Bill and Pete to the Rescue by Tomie dePaola - Bill's cousin, Little Jane Allison Crocodile, has been kidnapped by the Big Bad Guy's Big Bad Brother from Louisiana! It is up to Bill and Pete to travel all the way from the Nile to New Orleans to save her. Too bad Pete gets captured by the Rich Lady who wants him for her very own pet. Lucky for them, a whole bunch of alligators live in the Louisiana Bayou, and they are happy to form a rescue mission. ~Ms. Heather

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Candor by Pam Bachorz

Candor is the perfect town. All the homes have the latest amenities. Kids study hard. Everyone is happy. Even problem kids turn perfect within weeks due to the soothing environment that pipes music all over town. What they don't tell you is what is actually in that music - subliminal Messages that brainwash anyone who listens long enough.

Oscar knows better. His dad is the creator of Candor, and he knows the secrets of the Messages - including how to fight them. He even makes a tidy business on the side helping new kids escape before they are sucked in. Then he meets Nia, a new girl with a rebellious spirit. He's hoping he can bend his rules to have her stay, yet prevent the inevitable brainwashing. Can he manage it without giving into the Messages himself?

Candor balances a great writing style with an interesting plot that will keep you reading until the last page. Pam Bachorz does a wonderful job in painting this dystopic town in her first novel. Think The Stepford Wives for teens with a twist. Things are not always right when they are perfect.

Reserve your copy at the library today!