This is the story of the men and women who came to be forever effected by a German Shepherd puppy found on a battlefield in France.
Susan Orlean tells the story of the special bond and the enduring legacy of Rin Tin Tin and his master Lee Duncan. How that legacy has effected generations of children and the impact it had on dog ownership in the United States. Interesting reading.
Maryellen
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My favorite YA nonfiction book of the year is Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition by Karen Blumenthal.  YALSA has announced that it is one of five finalists for the 2012 Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults.
If you’ll pardon the expression, I never found the writing to be “dry.” It helps that the book covers a fascinating segment of American history that is full of larger than life characters like Carrie Nation and Al Capone. Blumenthal draws readers in immediately with a vivid account of the St. Valentine’s Day murders and then shoots back in time to describe the people, ideas and events that led up to it. In addition to introducing readers to major players like Morris Sheppard, the “father” of Prohibition, she traces the roots of the Prohibition movement all the way back to the pilgrims without letting the story get bogged down in the minutia of the past.

The overall design of the book is nothing special, but the number of images is a great strength. From a beer advertisement featuring a toddler (p. 28) to a full-page photograph of labor union members marching with “We Want Beer” signs and miniature flags (p. 107), the pictures alone tell a compelling story. A pair of photographs on page 68 comparing prohibition agents Izzy Einstein and Moe Smith in and out of costume had me giggling for several minutes.

Blumenthal makes a point of mentioning in her bibliography and source notes that there is great wealth of primary sources on prohibition available to anyone willing to dive in. She describes her trips to university libraries with entire sections on temperance and prohibition. In addition to library research, she also contacted famous people born just before 1920 to request interviews. Jean Craighead George (p. 75) and John Paul Stevens (p. 126) were two of the people who responded. Source Notes are organized by chapter, and while a little guesswork is needed to pair sources with quotes, I still found them to be helpful. Also included in the back is a useful Prohibition and Temperance Glossary. It’s worth browsing for the definition of “ombibulous’” alone.

The lessons learned during Prohibition (the problems with single-issue politics, the need for compromise, the consequences of changing the Constitution) are pertinent in today’s political climate and ripe for discussion.Ken Burns’ 3-part Prohibition documentary would pair nicely with this book for a discussion. In his Sept. 28 interview with Stephen Colbert, the reasons for Prohibition, the problems with the Volstead Act, and the era he describes fits snugly with what Blumenthal described. Historian David Okrent, author of recent adult title Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, figures prominently in Burns’ series. These two books may pair well for a teen-adult book discussion.

-Donna

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2012 Fuel Economy Guide 

In the market for a new or used car that is fuel efficient? Want to know how efficient your current vehicle is? The 2012 Fuel Economy Guide can help. Produced jointly by the EPA and the Department of Energy, this Guide will help you choose the most fuel efficient vehicle for your needs. The Guide can be viewed, searched and downloaded www.fueleconomy .gov and has been updated to include data for new and used vehicles dating back to 1984.

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Forms for individuals filing 2011 Federal and Illinois State income taxes will be available in the Reference Department, 2nd Floor. Federal tax forms are not expected to arrive until January 30, 2012. State tax forms and IL-1363 (Circuit Breaker) are not expected until February 29.
While the Library carries the more standard forms for individuals in hard copy, many other forms, including business or specialized forms, can be accessed only from the IRS or State of Illinois websites.
Reference staff will be glad to help find forms at the tax websites. Online forms may be printed for 10 cents per side.
For more information, call Reference Services at 847-663-6603.
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Are you looking for ways to save money on your heating bill this winter?  There are tips and resources that can help you save energy and  prepare your home for the cold weather.

Energy Impact Illinois has tips for homeowners to prepare for winter and keep their energy bills from skyrocketing.

Seven Ways to Winterize Your Home from the Better Business Bureau.

Keep Warm Illinois has tips and resources on how to battle winter as well as information on warming centers in Illinois.

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