battleauthor

Niles Public Library hosted its Battle of the Books Awards Ceremony Friday night, Feb. 7, with help from the author of Kimchi and Calamari and Rocky Road: Rose Kent, ex-naval officer, Kraft Foods employee, and business writer turned bestselling children’s author.

Not the usual career path (if there is such a thing). Anyway, it all started in the third grade when a teacher, impressed by a poem Rose Kent had written, told her, “You know, Rose, you are a writer.” She didn’t especially believe it, and didn’t actively pursue that vocation for a couple of decades, but it made an impression.

It came as no surprise to her mother when the third grader raced home: “She just asked me, ‘Who do think has been using all that loose leaf paper?,’” said Kent. A self-professed “freckle-faced, shy kid at school,” Kent would come home, grab handfuls of paper, and start writing. Her stories featured bold characters (not like the shy person she felt herself to be) having amazing adventures all over the world. “It was my way of making sense of things,” she says.

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When John Green writes, teens read. His novel, The Fault in Our Stars, has been on the New York Times Bestsellers list for 61 weeks and is currently No. 1 on the list. A “bring out the Kleenex story,” it relates the love story of two teenagers both in remission for cancer.

On January 26, 2014 the trailer for the movie adaptation of this novel directed by Josh Boone and starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort was released. The reaction has been heartfelt and huge. It features a series of scenes of Hazel Grace, oxygen tubes and all, and Augustus Waters as they meet and fall in love. The sounds of OneRepublic “What You Wanted” plays in the background.

Fans will have to wait until June 6, 2014 for the movie release in the theaters. In the meanwhile both the book and book on CD are available at the Niles Library. The audiobook of The Fault in Our Stars is fantastic and has won numerous awards.

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Prisoners

One feeling kept me going throughout the entire time I watched the film Prisoners: FEAR. At over two and a half hours, you would think that I could not possibly have been afraid for the entire film. Well, I was. And, most likely, you will be too.

In addition to instilling fear from minute one, Prisoners also continually surprised me. I thought it was going to be just a simple revenge movie. But, this is so much more than that. Filled with leaps and twists and unexpected turns around every corner, Prisoners is more than a thriller. It is an adrenaline ride.

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Veronica-Mars

In early December, one of my favorite shows aired its last ever episode that undoubtedly left an impression and a small hole in my heart.

Not to get all melodramatic, but there are certain shows no matter how trivial or ridiculous in its premise, will transport you to a whole different world. Which brings me to this five part blog series on shows that are must watch, that you may have missed, and that are sorely underrated (say that with a mouthful). Hopefully by the end, you will hopefully rush to the shelves or place a hold, some of which are available at the Niles Library. So let’s get started starting with the Number 5 show (available as an interlibrary loan): Veronica Mars

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brunomars

Bruno Mars became a household name last Sunday after his performance during the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show.

We’re used to watching music legends like The Who, Bruce Springsteen, and Prince perform during the Super Bowl Halftime, but this year was a little different. Hawaiian native Bruno Mars, who only has two studio albums, performed a few of his hits including Locked Out Of Heaven, Treasure, and Just The Way You Are. He was joined on stage by famous rock band, The Red Hot Chili Peppers. At only 5 ft, 4 in tall, he brought the Super Bowl audience on their feet with his electrifying performance. According to reports, this year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show was the most watched ever. That’s quite impressive considering the superstars that have performed in the past.

If you’ve never heard of him before, here are 3 quick facts about Bruno Mars:

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teen_date

Do you seek a strong female for thrills and romance? Is travel with a mysterious man more up your alley? How about zombies and demons? Or angelic warriors?

Okay, so maybe those last two don’t seem like great dates, but what if those dates are with books? All February long, the Niles Library invites you to take a chance on literary love: let us set you up on a blind date with a book. These “dates” are all wrapped and put on display with only a few vital details to identify them. Visit the Lower Level for teen titles, and the Second Floor for adult titles.

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oscar

Our Pick the Winners Oscar Contest starts today (Feb. 1)!  Vote in eight of the major Oscar categories for your chance to win “A Night Out in Niles” with gift cards to Portillos and to the theaters in Golf Mill Shopping Center.

Pick up a ballot at the Second Floor desk or fill one out here.

All of this Oscar mania leads up to our 10th Anniversary Oscar Night Extravaganza on Sun., Mar. 2 at 6:30pm. Registration for that begins today for Niles cardholders and on Mon., Feb. 10 for all. Register now!

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BEFORE-MIDNIGHT-stills

The third and last (?) in the Richard Linklater directed and Julie Delpy/Ethan Hawke starring series, Before Midnight again features more dialogue and banter between characters than plot. But, after three movies, we are used to that and we know these characters so well, we pretty much know what they are going to say and do. Not that this is a good or bad thing…but it’s comfortable. Like an old pair of slippers, these films have charmed us, endeared us, and romanced us. A little refresher on the series: Before Sunrise (1995) is set in Vienna and has Jesse (Hawke) and Celine (Delpy) meeting on a train and taking a risk by spending the whole day with each other. They talked and walked and laughed and talked and walked and laughed some more. As they fell in love, so did we with them.

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Are you constantly picking up after your kids? Do you trip over toys when you walk down the hall? Do your kids’ bedrooms often look like the Tazmanian Devil just snuck in the door and out the window? Do they whine or freak out when you ask them to clean their rooms? If so, you are not alone. Learning to keep a place neat and tidy is a lifelong struggle for many families. That’s why it is important to get kids accustomed to participating in the day-to-day tasks that keep your household running smoothly.

More importantly, chores teach children the importance of community and responsibility. Kids who have a “job to do” feel a sense of purpose and competency. When kids do their “jobs” they are, in a very real sense, becoming productive members of the family. This sense of self-worth bleeds into other aspects of their lives.

That said, kids will be kids. And getting kids to do their chores without protest is all but impossible.

Here are a few tips to help you win the chore war:

1) Choose age-appropriate chores. Here is a Montessori chart of “Age Appropriate Chores for Children” that offers a few ideas of what kids can handle at various developmental stages:

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