Sponsored by Tor Teen
For readers of The Librarian Of Auschwitz, This Light Between Us is a powerfully affecting story of World War II about unlikely pen pals—a Japanese American boy and a French Jewish girl—as they fight to maintain hope in a time of war. In 1935, ten-year-old Alex Maki from Bainbridge Island is upset when he’s forced to become pen pals with Charlie Lévy of Paris. In spite of Alex’s reluctance, their letters offer hopes and dreams of friendship. Until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the Nazi persecution of Jews force them to confront the darkest aspects of human nature.
Welcome to Check Your Shelf! This is your guide to help librarians like you up your game when it comes to doing your job (& rocking it).
The Chicago area’s been without sunshine for over a week now, and I’m starting to feel like I’ve been living in a cave full of fluorescent lighting for the last several months. My kingdom for some Vitamin D!
Anyway, on with the newsletter. Here’s hoping that February will be just a touch less dreary than January.
Libraries & Librarians
- Whether you attended ALA Midwinter this year or watched it unfold on Twitter, catch up on the conference highlights here.
- A bill filed in Illinois could allow local libraries to get a cut of the taxes on recreational cannabis sales.
- The Montclair (NJ) Library reports an increase in library use after eliminating late fees.
Cool Library Updates
- Cedar Rapids (IA) Library is piloting a program that promotes healthier lifestyles for its patrons.
- “You should be outraged by the state of Philadelphia public school libraries.”
- Some extra-cute Little Free Libraries.
- The most architecturally stunning libraries.
Book Adaptations in the News
- We’re getting a movie adaptation of the Mean Girls musical, with Tina Fey writing the screenplay. That sounds so fetch.
- The House on Mango Street is going to be a TV series.
- Walter Mosley is reportedly writing the film script for The Man in My Basement.
- Hulu is adapting F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel Tender Is the Night.
- Netflix has optioned The Last by Hanna Jameson.
- Amazon is planning an Alex Cross TV series based on the James Patterson books.
- Matt Damon will star in the adaptation of Don Winslow’s The Force.
- V.C. Andrews’ Ruby Landry novels are being turned into a five-movie series with Lifetime.
- First trailer for Normal People by Sally Rooney.
- Here’s a trailer for The Undoing, which is based on the book You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz.
- Trailer for the upcoming Netflix film, Lost Girls, based on the true crime book Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker, which is a really excellent book.
Books & Authors in the News
- Leaked information from John Bolton’s unpublished manuscript could have a significant impact on the ongoing Senate impeachment trial. Meanwhile, the White House could use the pre-publication review process to delay or kill the book’s publication.
- Basketball star and author Kobe Bryant has died at 41.
- Journalist and author Jim Lehrer has died at age 85.
- Parents want Brandy Colbert’s book Little & Lion removed from the Palm Beach Central High School (FL) curriculum, despite students being allowed to opt out of reading the book.
- Adam Savage of MythBusters fame, is starting a new book club, and selected Humble Pi: When Math Goes Wrong in the Real World by Matt Parker.
- George R.R. Martin said that season 8 of Game of Thrones was supposed to be a film trilogy, rather than the final TV season.
- Marlon James is starting a literary podcast.
Yeah, there’s enough news with American Dirt that I’m giving it its own subsection.
- Amazon restricts reviews of American Dirt.
- Jeanine Cummins responds to the criticism, as does Flatiron Books.
- Booksellers are divided on how they feel about the book.
- Vulture, BuzzFeed, and Vox explain the controversy.
- The book tour has been cancelled; find details on the cancellation in the statement.
Numbers & Trends
- In the US, more people visited public libraries than movie theaters in 2019.
- Breaking down the bestsellers of 2019.
- Michelle Obama won the Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for Becoming!
- RUSA/CODES book awards were announced at ALA Midwinter, including the Notable Books List, the RUSA Reading List, and the RUSA Listen List.
- School Library Journal has full coverage of the Youth Media Awards.
- Seanan McGuire becomes the first three-time winner of the Alex Award!
- Winners were announced for the Newbery, Caldecott, and Printz Awards.
- Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli and Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham have won the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction.
- We Need Diverse Books names the winners of the Walter Dean Myers Award.
- Winners of the 2019 Costa Awards have been announced.
- Here are the 2020 PEN American Literary Awards finalists.
- Doctor Who casts Jo Martin as its first black doctor.
Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous
- ReadClubHub is a free service designed to connect readers with book clubs at local indie bookstores. (Previously, the service was named ReadTribe, but the founder changed the name after criticism from Indigenous communities.)
- Anyone have thoughts about the person who rips long books in half for easier portability? (I have thoughts, and it’s called GET AN EREADER!!!)
Found on Book Riot
- Kelly Jensen talks about the recent posting for Hello Sunshine’s Resident Librarian, and a spokesperson for Hello Sunshine posted a statement that this will be a paid position.
- The history and debunking of librarian stereotypes.
- 8 bequests by famous authors to libraries. (My former library is on this list!)
- 5 ways to support your local library.
- Pura Belpré, the first Puerto Rican librarian in NYC.
- Oprah’s controversial book club pick, American Dirt, casts a long shadow.
- 20 Shakespeare puns that the Bard himself would probably love.
Catch you later, library friends!
Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.