What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in July

Have you signed up for the Summer Adventure summer reading program yet? Everyone from babies through adults can participate – there’s still time to register! Each challenge completed this summer gets you an entry into our big prize raffles, what are you waiting for?

Audrey Mae Bluegrass Ensemble in concert at Mixville Park

Wednesday, July 6, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Audrey Mae Bluegrass Ensemble features the duet harmonies of bluegrass veterans Peter Winne and Joe Delillo accompanied by the tasteful stylings of banjo player Joe Lemeris and fiddler-mandolinist Sam McDougle. Admission to Mixville Park is free for concert attendees.  Just tell the staff at the entrance gate that you are there for the concert.  The concert will begin at 6:30, but you are welcome to come early and enjoy a picnic or a stroll at beautiful Mixville!  Don’t forget to bring your lawn chairs and some bug spray. There is no rain date for this concert.

Pet Professions

Thursday, July 7, 2022, 3:00 – 4:00pm

This program presented by the Connecticut Humane Society will teach middle school and high school students about the many careers related to animal welfare. Participants will get an overview of the different professions at animal welfare organizations. For teens in grades 5-12. Registration is required.

Farmer’s Bounty Cooking Workshop

Thursday, July 7, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00pm

What better way to enjoy summer’s harvest than cooking the food from your local farmers; learning about fresh produce, juices, breads and specialty items; and then creating and enjoying a meal based upon the ingredients of the season and that week. Dishes prepared will depend on what’s available locally. Discover the joys of the slow food movement– taking time to enjoy your local produce, and realizing the power of the kitchen to bring people together for kinship, culture, and culinary delight. Registration is required.

Loft Knitters

Wednesday, July 13, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Our monthly knitting group. Come socialize, learn, share your techniques with other knitters.  All levels of adult knitters’ welcome, please bring your own yarn and knitting needles. Registration is required.

BOOM (Band of Old Men!) in concert at Mixville Park

Wednesday, July 13, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Join us for a fun concert for all ages!  BOOM is a locally-based rock band that plays classic hits from the 1960s and 1970s. The group is made up of George Meyers of Cheshire, Larry Rifkin of Prospect, Vern Coles of Norwalk and Haig Papasian of West Hartford. Admission to Mixville Park is free for concert attendees.  Just tell the staff at the entrance gate that you are there for the concert.  The concert will begin at 6:30, but you are welcome to come early and enjoy a picnic or a stroll at beautiful Mixville!  Don’t forget to bring your lawn chairs and some bug spray. Rain date: July 14.

Pirates: Lost at Sea

Tuesday, July 19, 2022, 5:00 – 5:45pm

Ahoy there, matey! Set sail with Talewise on a thrilling action-packed adventure about a crew of quirky pirates marooned on a desert island. Throughout the story, we’ll explore the incredible science behind clouds, physical and chemical changes, air pressure, and more! This program is best for kids in grades K-6. Registration is required.

Drawing for Teens: Dragons 

Thursday, July 21, 2022, 3:00 – 4:30pm

So, you want to draw a dragon, but don’t know where to start? Artist, Robin McCahill from Artsplace, will share tips for creating fantastic dragons from your imagination! You’ll be designing your own creatures in no time! For teens in grades 5-12. Registration is required.

Christmas Markets of Europe

Thursday, July 21, 2022, 6:30 – 7:45pm

It’s Christmas in July!  Join us as we learn about the magic of European Christmas markets. This informative program will introduce you to the main Christmas markets in countries like Austria, Germany, Italy, and beyond.   Enjoy beautiful photography as well as New Year’s customs and traditions of each country.  Presented by Lisa (Cisero) Phillips of Bella Europa Travel. Registration is required.

Nowashe Village: A Day in the Life

Wednesday, July 27, 2022, 3:00 – 4:15pm

Travel back in time to the Woodland period of the central Connecticut River Valley, when the bow and arrow became popular hunting tools, clay pottery was invented, and Indigenous Peoples began to rely more on an agricultural way of life. Each participant will grind native corn with a stone mortar and pestle and learn how to properly cook corn cakes. Presented by Nowashe Village. For children and teens in grades K-6. Registration is required.

The Nields in concert at Mixville Park

Wednesday, July 27, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Described by one reviewer as “equal parts Beatles, Cranberries and Joni Mitchell”, the Nields have released 17 albums, and performed with The Band, James Taylor, Dan Zanes, 10,000 Maniacs, and the Indigo Girls. dmission to Mixville Park is free for concert attendees.  Just tell the staff at the entrance gate that you are there for the concert.  The concert will begin at 6:30, but you are welcome to come early and enjoy a picnic or a stroll at beautiful Mixville!  Don’t forget to bring your lawn chairs and some bug spray. Rain date: July 27.

When Art Imitates Life

Anne Perry is an accomplished mystery writer with more than forty novels to her name, including the Thomas Pitt series, the Daniel Pitt series, the William Monk series, and more. Many of her novels take place around World War I. 

She’s also a convicted murderer.

A friend from college – who is also a librarian – told me this while I was reading Death with a Double Edge, the fourth of her Daniel Pitt series. And thereby hangs a tale.

Perry (whose birth name was Juliet Hulme) was born in England but spent much of her childhood in the Bahamas, South Africa, and New Zealand. As a teen in New Zealand, she became fast friends with a girl named Pauline Parker. Their friendship was so tight it bordered on obsessive, with the girls creating rich fantasy worlds they pretended to live in, and throwing tantrums if they couldn’t be together.

When Perry was 15, her mother was caught in an affair, and her parents decided to divorce. Perry was going to be sent to South Africa to stay with relatives for a while. This sent the friends into a panic. They asked Pauline’s mother if Pauline could go with Anne/Juliet, and her mother said no. Pauline then, in the short-sighted way children have, decided to kill her mother, freeing Pauline to travel with Anne/Juliet. When Anne hesitated, Pauline threatened to kill herself if Anne didn’t help. Just three days later, while walking with Pauline’s mother, the girls beat her to death with a brick – a deed that took twenty savage blows.

Perry and Hulme were caught quickly. They were too young for the death penalty, and both wound up serving five years in prison. They didn’t speak to each other again. Perry eventually settled in the United Kingdom, where she lived a quiet, penitent life and took up writing mysteries that often had a theme of redemption. It wasn’t until 1994, when no one less than Peter Jackson made a movie about the crime (Heavenly Creatures), that a New Zealand journalist outed her as Juliet Hulme – three days before the release of the film. No one had spoken to her to get any actual facts about the crime, and the film remains highly fictionalized.

Is Perry the only author who has done hard time? Of course not. Mystery writer Dashiell Hammett did six months in jail for contempt of court. Nelson Algren, who wrote Man With the Golden Arm, spent five months in jail for stealing a typewriter. William S. Burroughs, author of The Naked Lunch, first spent time for forging a prescription, but later killed his common-law wife after a drunken argument while in Mexico. He escaped prosecution by fleeing back to the United States. Chester Himes was sent to jail for eight years at the age of 19 for armed robbery, where he began to write such novels as A Rage in Harlem and Cotton Comes to Harlem. In all cases, incarceration, even for a little while, made a huge impact on the writer and their view of the world.

Anne Perry’s latest book, Three Debts Paid, a fifth volume of the Daniel Pitt series, was released in April.

Graphic Novel Adaptations: Old Stories with a New Twist

Graphic novel adaptations are not new, comic books based on classic literature could be found as early as the 1940’s and 50’s. Lately, however, there’s been a new crop of adaptations in graphic novel format that deserve some attention. While an adaptation of a book can never take the place of the original, it has value as a companion piece to the original, offering a fresh perspective on a well-established tale. This is particularly true of graphic novel adaptations, where illustrations and a change in pace can breathe new life into an older book. Even when a book isn’t all that old, a graphic novel interpretation allows us to see the story from a different angle.

We have a whole bunch of graphic novel adaptations on our shelves, for all ages. Here are some of our favorites.

FOR ADULTS:

The Handmaid’s Tale, original story by Margaret Atwood ; art & adaptation by Renée Nault.

Animal Farm, original story by George Orwell ; adapted and illustrated by Odyr.

The Great Gatsby, original story by F. Scott Fitzgerald ; illustrated by Aya Morton ; text adapted by Fred Fordham

Small Gods : a Discworld graphic novel, original story by Terry Pratchett ; adaptation by Ray Friesen

City of Glass, original story by Paul Auster ; adaptation by Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli

American Gods 1: Shadows, story and words by Neil Gaiman ; art by Scott Hampton 

A Game of Thrones, original story by George R.R. Martin ; adapted by Daniel Abraham ; art by Tommy Patterson

FOR TEENS (and adults, too!):

The Hobbit, original story by J.R.R. Tolkien ; adapted by Charles Dixon with Sean Deming : illustrated by David Wenzel

To Kill a Mockingbird, original story by Harper Lee ; adapted and illustrated by Fred Fordham

Jane (based on Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë), written by Aline Brosh McKenna ; illustrated by Ramón K. Pérez 

Poe : Stories and Poems, original content by Edgar Allan Poe ; adapted by Gareth Hinds

A Wrinkle in Time, original story by Madeleine L’Engle ; adapted and illustrated by Hope Larson

The Giver, original story by Lois Lowry ; adapted by P. Craig Russell ; illustrated by P. Craig Russell, Galen Showman, Scott Hampton

Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson ; artwork by Emily Carroll

FOR MIDDLE GRADE READERS:

Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy (based on Little Women by Louisa May Alcott) ; adapted by Rey Terciero ; pencils by Bre Indigo

Anne Frank’s Diary ; adapted by Ari Folman ; illustrations by David Polonsky

The Graveyard Book, original story by Neil Gaiman ; adapted by: P. Craig Russell ; illustrated by: Kevin Nowlan, P. Craig Russell, Tony Harris, Scott Hampton, Galen Showman, Jill Thompson, Stephen B. Scott

Anne of Green Gables, original story by L. M. Montgomery ; adapted by Mariah Marsden & Brenna Thummler

The Secret Garden on 81st Street (based on The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett) ; adapted by Ivy Noelle Weir ; illustrated by Amber Padilla

The Witches, original story by Roald Dahl ; adapted and illustrated by Pénélope Bagieu

Oz : the manga, original story by L. Frank Baum ; adapted by David Hutchison

Teen Book Reviews: We Are the Ants and Zen and Gone

Teens: did you know that you can earn community service credit for writing a book review and submitting it to us? Today, we’ll hear from a teen who did just that. Find out more about how to earn community service hours from home at cheshirelibrary.org/teens/.

We are the Ants by Shaun Hutchinson reviewed by Ali A.

We Are the Ants is a book about a 16-year old boy named Henry Denton. Henry Denton suffers from depression because his friend Jesse committed suicide. It doesn’t help that Henry gets bullied at school and gets periodically abducted by aliens. Although it might be a delusion, Henry absolutely believes he gets abducted by them while aliens run experiments on him. In one of the abduction sessions, the aliens try communicating with him. They show him a button and say that the Earth will end in 144 days unless he presses the button. Henry at first decides he will never press the button because there’s nothing on Earth to live for. He argues that no matter what humans do they will die anyway and their lives would have been useless, so Henry might as well end everyone’s lives quicker. Henry asks everyone he knows about whether they would press the button or not. At school Henry gets bullied more than usual until one day a new kid shows up to class, Diego Vega. Diego and Henry instantly become friends, but Diego never talks about his mysterious past or why he lives with his sister rather than his parents. One day Henry is in the locker room when 3 bullies assault him and beat him up. Henry wants to kill himself and share the same fate with Jesse, but Diego is the only thing Henry looks forward to in life. Later in the book Henry and Diego are at a fair when one of the bullies tries to hurt Marcus. Diego gets mad and punches the bully, which sends Diego to court. I’d rate this book 2/5 stars because of the terrible plot and ending. The author never says if the alien abductions are real or mere hallucinations, and the author never tells us if Henry pressed the button or not.

2 Stars.

Zen and Gone by Emily France reviewed by Ali A.

Zen and Gone is one of my all-time favorite young adult books. The novel takes place in Boulder, Colorado, and revolves around the lives of Essence and Oliver. Essence, a buddhist, is trying to take care of her little sister, Puck. Her mother works at a pot shop selling legalized intoxicants so she’s high and irresponsible most of the time and can’t give the care her children need. Oliver on the other hand is a kid with a mysterious past in Chicago. He was sent out to Boulder because of an incident involving his sister. Olliver rarely speaks about his past and feels sadness everytime he thinks of it. Essa and Olliver both take part-time jobs at a kite shop and become friends. Essa then invites Olliver to come with her other friends, Micah and Anish, to a hiking trip in the Rocky Mountains. Things start to go wrong when Essa and her friends realize that Puck stowed away on the trip to join them. Essa decides to bring Puck back home and cancel the dangerous expedition through the woods, especially when she finds a creepy guy roaming the woods in the dark, but it starts to thunder so they have to find shelter. Things go EVEN MORE wrong when Essa wakes up at 3:00 AM and discovers that Puck and Oliver are missing. However, Oliver comes back a few minutes later claiming that he was using the bathroom. Essa and her friends search everywhere in the woods, but can’t find Puck. Did this have anything to do with the strange man they saw earlier? Or did it have to do with Oliver, who she had just met a month ago? Plus, she barely knew anything about his life in Chicago, or his sister’s incident. Brilliant, touching, and spooky, Zen and Gone is the perfect book for readers who love adventure books and mysteries.

5 Stars.

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in June

Our Summer Adventure summer reading program for kids and adults kicks off on June 1. Sign up to receive a packet of activities & challenges, then turn in completed packets to be eligible for fabulous prizes!

Open Art Studio

Fridays from 1-3pm, May 6, 13, 20, 27

Bring your works in progress and supplies to this weekly drop-in art program. This is an opportunity to create in a collaborative environment with other artists. No formal instruction will be provided, but informal critiquing for those who want it is encouraged. Table covers will be provided. There is a sink in the room for basic cleanup (please do not bring turpentine).

Remembering D-Day (2 part series)

Historian Kelvin W. Cole will be here for two nights June 6 & 13 to discuss the historic events of D-Day and Normandy.The fall of Western Europe to the Nazis and the construction of the defenses and “The  Atlantic Wall” in their bid to keep it. The “Perfect Storm” of events that descended upon the Nazis’ “Fortress Europe” and resulted in the Allied victory with the collapse and German surrender eleven months later. Registration required for each program.

Cat Tales Writers Group

Thursday, June 9, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Join us for a monthly open writing group that can help answer your questions on writing, editing, grammar, and publishing. Read a selection of your work to the group for general constructive feedback, or discuss a book you’ve read that might help someone else. Registration is required.

Loft Knitters

Wednesday, June 15, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Our monthly knitting group. Come socialize, learn, share your techniques with other knitters.  All levels of adult knitters’ welcome, please bring your own yarn and knitting needles. Registration is required.

Dance Party at Mixville Park

Friday, June 17, 2022, 5:00 – 8:00pm

We’re kicking off our Summer Adventure Reading Program at Mixville Park with a fun dance party! There will be activities for all ages including, a DJ, lawn games, balloon twisting, volleyball, gaga ball pit, chalk drawing, and a special character appearance! Please register so that we can contact you in the event of a weather-related cancellation (rain date is June 24).

Pete The Cat Music

Tuesday, June 21, 2022, 10:00 – 10:45am

On his way to the Music Room, Pete’s white shoes get dirty but he just keeps going along and singing his songs. Pete learns a cool song, a groovy dance and discovers his own boogie shoes!

Best for Ages 1-6. Registration is required.

  • Cheshire Residents: Cheshire residents will be allowed to register starting on June 7.
  • Non-Residents: Non-residents may register starting on June 14.

Intro to Improv

Tuesday, June 21, 2022, 3:00 – 4:00pm

Join us for a program where everything is made up! Play acting games to learn the basics of improvisational comedy. For teens in grades 7-12 registration is required.

Hooked on Llamas

Wednesday, June 22, 2022, 3:00 – 4:00pm

Debbie from Country Quilt Llama Farm will bring one of her llama friends to the library for a special storytime! Children will be able to touch and pet a real llama.

Best for ages 3-8. Registration is required.

  • Cheshire Residents: Cheshire residents will be allowed to register starting on June 8.
  • Non-Residents: Non-residents may register starting on June 15.

Hot Cat Jazz Band in concert at Mixville Park

Wednesday, June 22, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Join us for our summer concert series kick-off!  The Hot Cat Jazz Band summer concert in June will be fun for the entire family.  The Hot Cats repertoire includes swing standards, big band hits, Dixieland favorites and classic rock. Admission to Mixville Park is free for concert attendees.  Just tell the staff at the entrance gate that you are there for the concert.  The concert will begin at 6:30, but you are welcome to come early and enjoy a picnic or a stroll at beautiful Mixville!  Don’t forget to bring your lawn chairs and some bug spray.   Raindate: June 23.

Bear Scavenger Hunt

Thursday, June 23, 2022, All Day Event

Drop into the Children’s Room and complete a bear scavenger hunt for a chance to win a prize from the Beardsley Zoo! No registration required. Sponsored by the Friends of the Cheshire Public Library and the Beardsley Zoo.

Teen Crafts: CD Suncatchers

Thursday, June 23, 2022, 2:00 – 3:00pm

Come hang out in the Teen Room, and make some aesthetically pleasing and trendy suncatchers out of recycled CDs. Snacks will be provided. For teens/tweens in grades 6-12. Registration required.

Best of England’s Dramatic Cornwall

Thursday, June 23, 2022, 3:00 – 4:00pm

Armchair travelers, this one’s for you! Join Anglophile and former UK resident Claire Evans for a lively discussion about this underappreciated English destination, Cornwall, England’s far west country bordered by the North Atlantic and the English Channel. This program will be ONLINE, please register to receive a Zoom link one hour before the program.

Zombie School: SFX Makeup Workshop for grades 5-12

Tuesday, June 28, 2022, 4:00 – 5:30pm

Decimated Designs will teach you how to transform into a monster, zombie, and more! We’ll cover the do’s and don’ts of special effects makeup, hygiene, how to get started, and some tricks you can use to improve your costumes or makeup at home. Seats are limited, registration is required.

The Bad Guys Book Party 

Wednesday, June 29, 2022, 3:00 – 4:00pm

Help the Bad Guys, characters from the book series by Aaron Blabey, complete a mission and save the library! Enjoy crafts, games, challenges and more! Best for kids in grades K-6. Siblings are welcome to attend. Registration is required.

Songs Around the Campfire

Thursday, June 30, 2022, 11:00 – 11:45am

Sing some funny and upbeat campfire songs with Julie Stepanek and her ukulele!

Best for ages 0-7. Registration is required.

  • Cheshire Residents: Cheshire residents will be allowed to register starting on June 16.
  • Non-Residents: Non-residents may register starting on June 23.

Italy Through the Seasons

Thursday, June 30, 2022, 6:30 – 7:40pm

Join us as we will introduce you to a rich and meaningful seasonal experience of Italy. We will take a full discovery across Italy, north to south including Sicily. We hope to see you for this relaxed, informational and interactive presentation. Lisa (Cisero) Phillips of  Bella Europa Travel will be presenting. Registration is required.

JUNE BOOK CLUBS

Murder by the Book Mystery Book Club: Strong Poison

Thursday, June 16, 2022, 1:00 – 2:30pm

Natural Selections Book Club: Sapiens

Saturday, June 18, 2022, 2:30 – 3:30pm

Many Stories Book Club: There There

Thursday, June 23, 2022, 7:00 – 8:00pm

Books Over Coffee: Lessons in Chemistry

Wednesday, June 22, 2022, 12:00 – 1:30pm