Shop Smart with Consumer Reports

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

Now that peak shopping season has arrived, the library has the resource for you: Consumer Reports. One of the many online resources available through our website, CR is the perfect place to start before buying presents or stocking up for holiday parties. And if you cook, clean house, watch TV, drive a car, use a credit card or take vitamins—in other words, if you’re like most of us—there’s never been a better time to check it out.

The non-profit organization behind the reviews has been researching and testing products for 80 years, building a reputation for objective, comprehensive opinions. It does not accept advertising, so subscriptions normally cost up to $35 a year, but access with your Lincolnwood library card is free.

In addition to product ratings and reviews, the site also offers more general buying guides that cover what to look for (and what to avoid). Products are organized into easy-to-follow categories:

Appliances covers big ticket purchases like refrigerators but also smaller items such as space heaters and clothes irons, and even laundry detergent and paper towels.

Electronics sizes up all the gadgets on the market today, with ratings for nearly 200 television models, as well as laptops, headphones, and smartphones.

Other topics cover health (blood pressure monitors, sunscreen, healthy snacks), money (credit cards, insurance) and of course, cars.

You can also visit the site to get the latest information on sales and special bargains, advice such as optimizing your TV screen, and even important updates on food recalls.

And if you’d like to page through the print version of the magazine, stop by the library, where back issues are located in the library’s cafe. If you need help accessing any of our online resources, please contact the Information Services reference desk at 224-233-1841.

New Book Tuesday! 11-27-18

Posted & filed under Uncategorized.

Blood Fued
by Mike Lupica

Robert B. Parker’s iconic and irresistible PI Sunny Randall is back, and the stakes are higher than ever as she races to protect her ex-husband–and his Mafia family–from the vengeful plan of a mysterious rival.

Sunny Randall is “on” again with Richie, the ex-husband she never stopped loving and never seemed to be able to let go, despite her discomfort with his Mafia connections. When Richie is shot and nearly killed, Sunny is dragged into the thick of his family’s business as she searches for answers and tries to stave off a mob war. But as the bullets start flying in Boston’s mean streets, Sunny finds herself targeted by the deranged mastermind of the plot against the Burke family, whose motive may be far more personal than she could have anticipated…



Tom Clancy Oath of Office by Marc Cameron

Marine officer. CIA analyst. President. Jack Ryan has devoted his life to protecting the United States. What if this time, he can’t? President Ryan and the Campus return in the latest entry in Tom Clancy’s #1 New York Times-bestselling series.

Freedom may have finally arrived in Iran. As protests break out across the country, the media rejoices over the so-called Persian Spring. Western leaders are ecstatic. Members of Congress and the Cabinet clamor to back the rebels. Only President Jack Ryan remains wary.

Meanwhile, he has plenty to handle at home. A deadly strain of flu is ravaging the United States as spring floods decimate the Southeast. An unethical senator wants to bring down the Ryan presidency and is willing to lean on fabricated bot-planted stories to do it.

But the scariest story is the most closely guarded one. Two Russian nuclear missiles have been hijacked. The Campus gets their first break when Jack Junior connects with a rogue Russian intelligence officer in Afghanistan–only to be abducted soon after arriving. John Clark and the rest of the Campus team race to track the missiles and rescue their colleague.

As sensationalized stories spin out of control and the stolen missiles remain out of reach, President Ryan’s toughest challenge emerges: How do you meet an enemy head on, when he won’t even show you his face?



Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny

The new Chief Inspector Gamache novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author.

When a peculiar letter arrives inviting Armand Gamache to an abandoned farmhouse, the former head of the Sûreté du Québec discovers that a complete stranger has named him one of the executors of her will. Still on suspension, and frankly curious, Gamache accepts and soon learns that the other two executors are Myrna Landers, the bookseller from Three Pines, and a young builder.

None of them had ever met the elderly woman.

The will is so odd and includes bequests that are so wildly unlikely that Gamache and the others suspect the woman must have been delusional. But what if, Gamache begins to ask himself, she was perfectly sane?

When a body is found, the terms of the bizarre will suddenly seem less peculiar and far more menacing.

But it isn’t the only menace Gamache is facing.

The investigation into what happened six months ago―the events that led to his suspension―has dragged on, into the dead of winter. And while most of the opioids he allowed to slip through his hands, in order to bring down the cartels, have been retrieved, there is one devastating exception.

Enough narcotic to kill thousands has disappeared into inner city Montreal. With the deadly drug about to hit the streets, Gamache races for answers.

As he uses increasingly audacious, even desperate, measures to retrieve the drug, Armand Gamache begins to see his own blind spots. And the terrible things hiding there.

Caldecott Club Returns!

Posted & filed under Blog.

Creating a Caldecott Community

Hi! I’m Miss Eti, one of the Youth & Teen Services librarians. I hosted our first Caldecott Club session on Thursday, November 8. I also held this program last year inspired by the fantastic program that Brian Wilson created at Evanston Public Library in 2016. I had the opportunity to volunteer during this program, so it was a particular thrill to create my own Caldecott Club with lots of advice and input from Brian. I loved how we created a community of young readers eager to see more deeply and use their artist’s eyes to examine picture books.

I am so grateful for the chance to offer this program again with some of the young people who joined us last year – and many new friends. We designed this program to be open to kids from 1st grade through 8th grade because picture books are for everybody and everyone can learn from each other. Last year, I was delighted when we had a second grader and a middle schooler sharing the air, both providing their insights and learning from each other. 

What’s a Caldecott?

So what is the Caldecott Award? It is the award for the most distinguished American picture book for children, given out each year by the Association for Library Service to Children. I shared a poster from Baker & Taylor of previous award winners, so the kids could spot some familiar faces and find connections between them. We discussed what makes a good picture book, enabling the kids to create the language we used to evaluate the books. I also gave them a fantastic kid-friendly evaluation guide, thanks to Holly Jin at Skokie Public Library who shared this resource with me.

Once we established our criteria, we were ready to explore the books. I had put them in a cardboard box and taped it up, so the kids could dramatically open up the box just like the real committee members do when books arrive in the mail. Brian did this at his Caldecott Club session and the kids were filled with eager excitement every time. Each group received a copy of the book, so they could look more closely at the books.

The books we discussed in session 1 were:

We Don’t Eat our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins
The Field by Baptiste Paul, illustrations by Jacqueline Alcántara
Dreamers/Soñadores by Yuyi Morales
Seeing into Tomorrow: haiku by Richard Wright, illustrations by Nina Crews

Picture Walk

Rather than doing a formal read aloud of each book, we did picture walks. I had a student volunteer help hold open the book for us, so we could all look at the pictures together – and make it easier for us to point out things they noticed. For the picture walk, we discussed each book’s visual features to examine the techniques the artists used and how they worked. Often I would prompt the group by asking them: How well does this book do what it’s trying to do? What did you notice? How does this page make you feel? What makes this art distinguished?

The group was adamant that we should read We Don’t Eat our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins first. One of the most effective features of this book are the dramatic page turns that amplified the humor. They pointed out the particular grossness of the dripping saliva on the kids – and their various reactions – after they are almost eaten. “They don’t look very happy,” said N. “ “They also look really dirty and disgusting and like they should go take a shower,” said R.  The art definitely did an excellent job conveying that feeling. We also talked about the monochrome backgrounds that make Penelope and her classmates stand out on the page. The children’s reaction to this experience caused A. to exclaim, “they made a wall,” which I had not noticed until she brought it up. (I love how kids notice things I never do.) Naturally, the big twist of the story (which I will not spoil for you) delighted everyone. For this book, I did read much of the text as we did our picture walk since it really amplifies the humor (“because children are delicious”) but the art itself made it a favorite too.

Next, our group read The Field by Baptiste Paul, illustrations by Jacqueline Alcántara. The group really enjoyed the creole words and phrases, reading aloud with energy and enthusiasm. I was happy that I could show them the awesome author’s note and creole words and phrases in the back matter to extend their curiosity. Our group really picked up on the resilience and joy in play that is expressed in the text and illustrations. They noticed qualities of light and shadow when a storm threatens their game – only to prove that they can play on, no matter what, almost leaping off the page. It was super fun when we all said, “Goal!” together. The kids’ reaction to this page as the sun shone on them: “They feel really happy. They feel like nothing can stop them.” The kids even noticed the footprints the kids made as they got into their bath. They noticed the cycle of the day that happened throughout the story, including the different end papers.

We then continued with our picture walk through Dreamers/Soñadores by Yuyi Morales. I loved sharing this beautiful, exceptional, dare I say distinguished (I do) true story of Yuyi Morales’s journey to the United States, carrying her backpack of gifts. She finds her way to the public library and discovers the magic of picture books – and tells her own story. My favorite spread is the moment of connection with the librarian giving the library card to Yuyi and baby Kelly… “where we didn’t need to speak. We only need to trust and we did.” It felt pretty special to have one of our participants, M., read many of the pages as we explored the book. We talked about the incredible art materials that Yuyi Morales used to create the art, leading us to explore deeper in her author’s note.

Finally, we read Seeing into Tomorrow, haiku by Richard Wright, illustrations by Nina Crews, which prompted the kids to ask about photography being eligible for the Caldecott Award, which it definitely is. We dove into talking about how Nina Crews used collage to show young African American boys in nature, using all sorts of perspectives and techniques. They shared their own nature associations while reading the book;  one of the pages reminding them of seaweed. I loved showing them the secret easter egg of Donald Crews and his grandson (Nina’s son) by the freight train. One young person was so into the haikus that she went through each one to check the syllables. I then had her read the final poem aloud for all of us, sharing her poetic style. We talked about our favorite spreads and moments.  

After we had walked through each book in a whirlwind of color and conversation, we were ready to ballot. Each child received a paper ballot to select their top 2 choices (the first place book got 3 points, the second place book got 2 points). I asked for a helper at the beginning to help tally the results (This year I even got a fancy whiteboard because the math part stresses me out.) The top 2 books then are the winners of our session and go on the Voting Party on January 10.

And the Session 1 Winners Are….

Join Us Next Time!

If you know a young person in 1st-8th grade who is interested in joining us, please register for our next Caldecott Club program on November 29 at 3:30-4:30. You don’t need a library card to sign up, but you do need a love of books & conversation! You can see some more photos from our last event here on Facebook, too. 

Since you’ve spent all this time reading this post, I’ll even let you know which books we’ll be discussing:

We are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Frané Lessac

They say Blue by Jillian Tamaki

Blue by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin

Thanks for sticking all the way through this post… hope to see you next time!

  – Eti


A librarian always provides her resources – here are a series of resources I found while preparing for this program that you may want to check out:

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins

Simply 7 interview with Ryan T. Higgins (Jena Benton blog)
Review of the Day: We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins by Betsy Bird
Booktalk by Colby Sharp
We Don’t Eat our Classmates (Podcast Bunny Presents #11)

The Field by Baptiste Paul, illustrations by Jacqueline Alcántara
Review of the Day: The Field by Baptiste Paul, ill. Jacqueline Alcántara by Betsy Bird
The Field Book Trailer
Interview with Baptiste Paul and Jacqueline Alcántara (This Picture Book Life)
Q&A With Illustrator Jacqueline Alcántara about her debut picture book, The Field (Latinxs in KidLit)
A conversation with Baptiste Paul & Jackie Alcantara (KidLit Nation)

Dreamers/Soñadores by Yuyi Morales

Interview with Yuyi Morales with Mr. Schu
In Conversation: Yuyi Morales and Neal Porter
Yuyi Morales keynote: SLJ Day of Dialog 2018
The Children’s Book Podcast with Matthew Winner: Interview with Yuyi Morales
Dreamers Book Trailer
Dreamers video with Yuyi Morales

Seeing into Tomorrow: haiku by Richard Wright, illustrations by Nina Crews

Conversation with Nina Crews: Seeing Into Tomorrow: Haiku by Richard Wright (What’s The 411 Books)
Seeing into Tomorrow Trailer
Review of the day: Seeing into Tomorrow by Betsy Bird|
5 QUESTIONS with Nina Crews, illustrator of “Seeing Into Tomorrow (James Preller’s Blog)


New Movie Tuesday!

Posted & filed under Blog.

We the Animals

Three brothers tear their way through childhood, pushing against their parents’ volatile love. While the older brothers take cues from their unpredictable father, Jonah, the youngest, increasingly embraces an imagined world all his own.


A recently released ex-con and his adopted younger brother are forced to go on the run. Chased by a vengeful criminal, the feds and a cadre of otherworldly soldiers, their only protection is a found weapon of mysterious ancestry.



Two friends are made aware of racial differences against the colorful backdrop of a rapidly gentrifying Oakland.

Crazy Rich Asians

Based on the acclaimed worldwide bestseller. Native New Yorker Rachel Chu accompanies her boyfriend to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore and meets his family for the first time.

Have You Met Lynda?

Posted & filed under Blog, Technology.

The school year is well underway for most students, but lifelong learning doesn’t have to follow the calendar. With, an online resource accessible through Lincolnwood Library, a world of new skills awaits on your own schedule, in as big or small doses as you like.

The site’s 4,000+ courses are video-based and cover a broad range of professional and personal topics that can often dovetail nicely with others. In addition to the video lectures, many courses also offer downloadable exercises for extra practice, and completion certificates are available for some.

  • Learn better time management in three-minute mini-lectures, then move on to Balancing Life & Work.
  • Budding shutterbugs can start with the Elements of Effective Photographs (taught by a Pulitzer-nominated instructor), then learn how to edit and enhance those shots with different software, or post them online to Flickr.
  • Job hunters can update their hard skills by brushing up on Microsoft Office (including Outlook, Excel, and Powerpoint) and get a Resume Makeover. Those looking for professional development for themselves or their employees can explore the softer skills of Leading Productive Meetings, Having Difficult Conversations, or Communicating Across Cultures.
  • Personal finances can be intimidating to tackle, but offers newbie-friendly tips and tricks as well as a six-course playlist that ranges from Financial Wellness for Couples and Families to Managing Personal Cash Flow.

Setting up a profile is easy:

1. Click here or navigate from the library’s Research and Learning Quick Links page.

2. First time users will click Create a profile and enter their Lincolnwood library card number and a six-character passcode.

Lynda is just one of the digital resources for learning and research; ask us about the many others!

New Items!

Posted & filed under Blog.

Long Road to Mercy by David Baldacci

Introducing a remarkable new character from #1 New York Times bestselling writer David Baldacci: Atlee Pine, an FBI agent with special skills assigned to the remote wilds of the southwestern United States who must confront a new threat . . . and an old nightmare.

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Catch a tiger by its toe.

It’s seared into Atlee Pine’s memory: the kidnapper’s chilling rhyme as he chose between six-year-old Atlee and her twin sister, Mercy. Mercy was taken. Atlee was spared.

She never saw Mercy again.

Three decades after that terrifying night, Atlee Pine works for the FBI. She’s the lone agent assigned to the Shattered Rock, Arizona resident agency, which is responsible for protecting the Grand Canyon.

So when one of the Grand Canyon’s mules is found stabbed to death at the bottom of the canyon-and its rider missing-Pine is called in to investigate. It soon seems clear the lost tourist had something more clandestine than sightseeing in mind. But just as Pine begins to put together clues pointing to a terrifying plot, she’s abruptly called off the case.

If she disobeys direct orders by continuing to search for the missing man, it will mean the end of her career. But unless Pine keeps working the case and discovers the truth, it could spell the very end of democracy in America as we know it…

The Crown: Season Two

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Catch a tiger by its toe.

It’s seared into Atlee Pine’s memory: the kidnapper’s chilling rhyme as he chose between six-year-old Atlee and her twin sister, Mercy. Mercy was taken. Atlee was spared.

She never saw Mercy again.




An epic coming-of-age adventure set in the last Ice Age. A young boy becomes unlikely allies with a lone wolf, enduring countless dangers and overwhelming odds to survive the harsh wilderness and find their way h ome before the deadly winter arrives.



The Meg

With time running out, rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) must save the crew of a deep-sea submersible from a colossal 75-foot-long prehistoric shark known as the Megalodon.

New Book Tuesday!

Posted & filed under Blog.

Home Body by Joanna Gaines

In Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave, Joanna Gaines walks you through how to create a home that reflects the personalities and stories of the people who live there. Using examples from her own farmhouse as well as a range of other homes, this comprehensive guide will help you assess your priorities and instincts, as well as your likes and dislikes, with practical steps for navigating and embracing your authentic design style. Room by room, Homebody gives you an in-depth look at how these styles are implemented as well as how to blend the looks you’re drawn to in order to create spaces that feel distinctly yours. A removable design template at the back of the book offers a step-by-step guide to planning and sketching out your own design plans. The insight shared in Homebody will instill in you the confidence to thoughtfully create spaces you never want to leave.