Thursday, January 26, 2012

2011 ALSC Newbery and Caldecott Medal Winners

 Newbery Medal:

Melding the entirely true and the wildly fictional, Dead End in Norvelt is a novel about an incredible two months for a kid named Jack Gantos, whose plans for vacation excitement are shot down when he is "grounded for life" by his feuding parents, and whose nose spews bad blood at every little shock he gets. But plenty of excitement (and shocks) are coming Jack's way once his mom loans him out to help a fiesty old neighbor with a most unusual chore—typewriting obituaries filled with stories about the people who founded his utopian town. As one obituary leads to another, Jack is launced on a strange adventure involving molten wax, Eleanor Roosevelt, twisted promises, a homemade airplane, Girl Scout cookies, a man on a trike, a dancing plague, voices from the past, Hells Angels . . . and possibly murder. Endlessly surprising, this sly, sharp-edged narrative is the author at his very best, making readers laugh out loud at the most unexpected things in a dead-funny depiction of growing up in a slightly off-kilter place where the past is present, the present is confusing, and the future is completely up in the air.

Caldecott Medal:

Here's a story about love and loss as only Chris Rashcka can tell it.  Any child who has ever had a beloved toy break will relate to Daisy's anguish when her favorite ball is destroyed by a bigger dog. In the tradition of his nearly wordless picture book Yo! Yes?, Caldecott Medalist Chris Raschka explores in pictures the joy and sadness that having a special toy can bring.  Raschka's signature swirling, impressionistic illustrations and his affectionate story will particularly appeal to young dog lovers and teachers and parents who have children dealing with the loss of something special.

Congratulations to Jack Gantos and Chris Raschka!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Diagnosing Bibliophilia

In recent months, a growing awareness has been spreading the country of a new and frightening disorder. No one knows how long this disorder has plagued the world, but now there is finally a way of diagnosing, and potentially curing, this ailment. It's called Bibliophilia, and it's consuming lives at an unstoppable rate. Doing our part to ease the madness, Old Firehouse Books is providing a list of symptoms, so that you might be able to diagnose yourself or loved ones before it's too late.

Symptoms include, but are not limited to:
-Arriving at any appointment and hoping that there will be a wait, so you have time to read
-Carrying at least one book with you at any given moment
-Suffering from anxiety as a result of separation from the written word
-Headaches caused by the constant conundrum of never knowing what to read next
-Constant repetition of the phrase "Just let me finish this one page/chapter..."
-Excitement over missed flights/buses because of the extra reading time allowed
-Denying companionship because the friend/loved one never shuts up long enough for you to finish your book
-Short attention span and inability to sit and do nothing, a book must always be open
-Aversion/disgust of television
-English major...
-Inability to shut up when asked if you've read anything good lately
-Owning enough bookmarks to be able to wall paper a house
-Inability to walk through a bookstore without buying something

If you exhibit two or more of these symptoms, you may be suffering from Bibliophilia. If you believe you may be a victim of this disorder, please report immediately to Old Firehouse Books for the only available cure. Actually, we probably can't help, since we're all afflicted ourselves, but at least you'll be in good company!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Have you seen this?

Sean Ohlenkamp and his wife put this video together for Type Bookstore in Toronto and we love them for it.

If you haven't seen it, watch and be amazed. If you have, it again because it's that good.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The New Year Address

For the first time in 2012, all of us at the Firehouse would like to say hello to our fellow readers-


With the first week of the new year behind us, many people will be deciding which resolutions to keep, and which to drop.  We suggest that if you don't already have a resolution to read more this year, then make one!  Maybe this is the year to tackle those reads that you fear as much as a shark circling you out in the open ocean.  Or possibly, this is the year to go back and enjoy a book that you haven't read in a long time.  No matter what it is you might want to read, we are always down here to help.  Suggestions, special orders... We do it all.   

And so, most importantly, we would like to say thank you all for being the loyal customers whose support makes us a thriving independent bookstore.  Our resolution is to continue improving our inventory and services, always doing our best to enhance your reading experience.  So cheers all, to 2012.  May the upcoming reads treat you well, and may we all share them for many more years to come.