Christmas Truce of WWI

By Amanda Alexander, Graduate Assistant, McLure Education Library

On a freezing Christmas Day in 1914, what would come to be known as the “Christmas truce” of WWI, thousands of exhausted soldiers cautiously climbed out their trenches on the Western Front and entered no man’s land. They buried their dead, shook hands with their enemies, sung carols together, lit each other’s cigarettes, exchanged addresses, swapped family photos, and played soccer. This unofficial truce only lasted for a few hours before fighting resumed, but it shows that even a world war could not crush the hopeful spirit of Christmas.

Poets of the First World War

poets of the 1 world war

Co-written by Nicola Barber and Patrick Lee-Browne, this book showcases works from five significant writers of World War I. The book also goes into detail about the experiences of these soldiers who found artistic expression in their poetry for the horrors of warfare, and looks at the historical, political and social background which shaped the poetry of the war.

War Game

war game

Michael Foreman’s touching book about four young British soldiers who dream of playing professional soccer for England but join the armed forces instead.  During the Christmas truce during WWI they exchange presents and play a game of soccer with German forces.  Foreman’s moving work is dedicated to his four uncles who were killed in WWI and shows both the hope and horror of war.

Truce

truce

Jim Murphy writes a touching account of the true story of opposing forces defying orders by putting a stop to the fighting to hold a Christmas celebration.  On Christmas Eve 1914, soldiers on both sides begin to hear the opposing forces singing carols, which spurred instances of fraternization between enemies that later became known as “The Christmas Truce”. Although the truce came to an end, Murphy’s book is a powerful look at soldiers who decided to choose their own fate –at least for a day.

Joyeux Noel

Joyeux Noel

This 2005 French film, written and directed by Christian Carion, is another depiction of the WWI Christmas truce that took place in December 1914.  The story is seen through the eyes of French, German and Scottish soldiers as a musical call-and-response turns into an impromptu cease-fire, trading chocolates and champagne, playing soccer, and comparing pictures of their wives.  However, as Christmas ends, the harsh realities of war return.   It is an inspirational French film with touching songs and a bit of sadness, but hope and heart as well.

 

Poets of the First World War, War Game and Truce are all available in the Education School Library in the basement of McLure and Joyeux Noel can be found on the 1st floor of Gorgas in the Music Library and features optional English subtitles.

Boxed Sets for All Ages

By Amanda Alexander, Graduate Assistant, McLure Education Library

With the holiday season fast approaching, it is time to start thinking about what to buy for friends and loved ones.  For book lovers of any age, a boxed set of their favorite series or favorite author can make for a thoughtful, personal gift.

Boxed sets for toddlers:

eric carleMy Very First Library by Eric Carle

ISBN: 978-0399246661

“The perfect gift for young children learning their colors, shapes, and numbers.  All four of Eric Carle’s popular new split-page board books are now packaged together in a slipcased library. A game as well as a learning experience, these early concept books are both fun and smart.  Titles include: My Very First Book of Colors, My Very First Book of Shapes, My Very First Book of Numbers, and My Very First Book of Words. Irresistible fun for young hands and minds!”

peter rabbitPeter Rabbit Naturally Better Classic Gift Set by Beatrix Potter

ISBN: 978-0723264231

“This brand-new boxed set includes four classic Beatrix Potter tales that showcase their appeal with the eyecatching vine cover design. Titles include: The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher, The Tale of Tom Kitten, and The Tale of Jemima Puddle- Duck.”

dr suessDr. Suess’s Beginner Book Collection

ISBN: 978-0375851568

“This collection of five beloved Beginner Books by Dr. Seuss—The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Green Eggs and Ham, Hop on Pop, and Fox in Socks—will be cherished by young and old alike. Ideal for reading aloud or reading alone, they will begin a child on the adventure of a lifetime!”

Boxed sets for children:

madelineMadeline Storybook Collection by Ludwig Bemelmans

ISBN: 978-1484885031

“Madeline, a fearless little girl full of mischief and vitality, is one of the world’s most popular and beloved fictional characters.  In each of these books, Bemelmans’ humorous verse, his immortal characters and his wonderful, whimsical drawings of Paris combine to create a memorable reading experience for people of all ages.”

bad kittyBad Kitty’s Very Bad Boxed Set by Nick Bruel

ISBN: 978-1250010346

“Young readers will be cracking up at Bad Kitty’s antics and at the lively line art in these three entertaining books.  Included is: Bad Kitty Gets a Bath, Happy Birthday, Bad Kitty, and Bad Kitty vs Uncle Murray.  But wait, there’s more! Included in the boxed set is a full size poster featuring the cover of Bad Kitty for President. So put your paws up and vote!”

little golden booksClassic Characters of Little Golden Books

ISBN: 978-0375859342

“This beautiful boxed set brings together five of the all-time favorite Little Golden Books! The Poky Little PuppyTootleThe Saggy Baggy ElephantTawny Scrawny Lion, and Scuffy the Tugboat. This classic collection in its own slipcase is perfect for gift-giving—and is great value, too!”

Classic boxed sets for middle readers:

nancy drewhardy boysNancy Drew/Hardy Boys starter set

ISBN: 978-0448464961 (Nancy Drew)

ISBN: 978-0448464954 (Hardy Boys)

“The first five books in the each of these respective classic mystery series are packaged together in a collectible box set featuring a newly redesigned slipcover.  The perfect gift for the Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys fan in your life.”

black stallionThe Black Stallion Adventures by Walter Farley

ISBN: 978-0375834066

“Walter Farley’s tales of bravery, instinct, and survival have been captivating readers for almost 65 years. Here, in a handsome gift set, are four of the best, starting with The Black Stallion, where Alec Ramsay saves the Black after a shipwreck. The bond they form cannot be broken. It  survives their separation in The Black Stallion Returns. Reunited in The Black Stallion’s Ghost, they survive a terrifying curse. Finally, in The Black Stallion Revolts, they are separated again after a plane crash! Each gripping tale culminates in a thrilling race to the finish!”

magic treehouseMagic Treehouse Starter Library by Mary Pope Osborne

ISBN: 978-0307930453

“Get ready for a world of adventure with the first two books of the New York Times bestselling Magic Tree House series! This boxed set also includes the first nonfiction companion title, Magic Tree House Fact Tracker: Dinosaurs, and the fun activity book Games and Puzzles from the Tree House as a special bonus!  These four titles are the perfect gift for a Magic Tree House fan or any child who loves a good adventure.”

*Also of note is A Newbery Collection boxed set that includes four unforgettable Newbery Medal winners and can be found here.

Modern boxed sets for middle readers:

wimpyDiary of a Wimpy Kid Box of Books by Jeff Kinney

ISBN: 978-1419711824

“The first four books in the bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series are available together for the first time in a collectible boxed set. Included are Diary of a Wimpy KidRodrick RulesThe Last Straw, andDog Days, in a specially designed package that features six pages from Rowley Jefferson’s journal, “Diary of an Awesome, Friendly Kid”—an original cartoon by Jeff Kinney.”

penderwickThe Penderwicks 3-book Boxed Set by Jeanne Birdsall

ISBN: 978-0385755870

“Including The PenderwicksThe Penderwicks on Gardam Street, and The Penderwicks at Point Mouette are available in a charming paperback boxed set. Deliciously nostalgic and quaintly witty, these stories are as breezy and carefree as a clear June day!”

percy jacksonPercy Jackson and the Olympians 5 Book Boxed Set by Rick Riordan

ISBN: 978-1484707234

“All five books in the blockbuster Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, in paperback, have been collected in a boxed set fit for demigods. Now with glorious new cover art and packaged with a special poster, this value-priced set includes the best-selling The Lightning ThiefThe Sea of MonstersThe Titan’s CurseThe Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian.”

Boxed sets for Young Adults:

hunger gamesThe Hunger Games Box Set: Foil Edition by Suzanne Collins

ISBN: 978-0545791915

“All three Hunger Games books in one gorgeous package! The extraordinary, ground breaking New York Times bestsellers–The Hunger GamesCatching Fire, and Mockingjay–are available now in a deluxe foil boxed set edition.”

divergentDivergent Series Ultimate Four-Book Box Set by Veronica Roth

ISBN: 978-0062352163

“Available together for the first time—all three books in the #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy, plus the companion volume told from the perspective of the immensely popular character Tobias. Perfect for established fans who want to own the full Divergent library or readers new to the series, this box set includes DivergentInsurgentAllegiant, and Four: A Divergent Collection as well as an exclusive Divergent series poster!”

john greenJohn Green Box Set

ISBN: 978-0147515001

“Discover #1 New York Times bestselling author John Green from the beginning with four critically acclaimed, award-winning modern classics, including Looking for AlaskaAn Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, and The Fault in Our Stars, now a major motion picture.  This complete collection includes paperback editions of John Green’s award-winning books in a stunning case. The perfect introduction to John Green or addition to any fan’s collection.”

gary paulsenThe Gary Paulsen Collection

ISBN: 978-1442497788

“This collectible boxed set from acclaimed author Gary Paulsen includes four beloved titles.  In Dancing Carl, a teen’s terrible secret becomes a fragile expression of hope and the healing power of love.  In the Newbery Honor Book Dogsong, Russel takes a team of dogs on an epic journey of self-discovery that will change his life forever.  In the Newbery Honor Book Hatchet, Brian Robeson must survive fifty-four harrowing days following a plane crash, stranded in the desolate wilderness with only his instincts.  And in Woodsong, Gary Paulsen recounts in vivid detail some of the incredible life experiences that shaped his remarkable fiction.”

Graphic novel boxed sets:

boxers and saintsBoxers & Saints Boxed Set by Gene Luen Yang

ISBN: 978-1596439245

“In two volumes, Boxers & Saints tells two parallel stories. The first is of Little Bao, a Chinese peasant boy whose village is abused and plundered by Westerners claiming the role of missionaries. In the second volume, Yang lays out the opposite side of the conflict. A girl whose village has no place for her is taken in by Christian missionaries and finds, for the first time, a home with them.  It offers a penetrating insight into not only one of the most controversial episodes of modern Chinese history, but into the very core of our human nature.”

persepolisPersepolis Boxed Set by Marjane Satrapi

ISBN: 978-0375423963

“Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq.”

Abnegation Donation

By Amanda Alexander, Graduate Assistant, McLure Education Library

This holiday season, Veronica Roth is partnering with HarperCollins and First Book to give copies of her best-selling book Divergent to children in need.  The hashtag #AbnegationDonation will be used to spread the word via social media.  As fans of the popular, dystopian Divergent series know, the Abnegation factor is one of five into which citizens are grouped in a futuristic Chicago.  Donations can be given throughout December and for every $2.50 received HarperCollins will provide First Book a new copy of Divergent.  This is a great way to give back this holiday season!

faction

Find the original article from Publisher’s Weekly here and the link to donate here.

 

Cyborg Monday

By Amanda Alexander, Graduate Assistant, McLure Education Library

Fairest

Feeling like you just can’t wait for Marissa Myer’s newest book in the popular Lunar Chronicles series, about a world in which cyborgs and humans coexist?  Fairest, the story of evil Queen Levana, is set for release on January 27, 2015.  Until then, you can participate in Macmillan’s promotions for the upcoming novel which begin on November 17, at which point several characters from the books will pop up in ten cities across the nation handing out chapters from Cinder, the first book in the series.  On December 1, the redesigned website for the series will be unveiled – with users able to unlock material related to Fairest by using the hashtag #cyborgmonday.  The website will also be hosting a competition, judged by Meyer, where fans can create a portrait of Queen Levana based on how they see her.  The winner will be given a trip to Meyer’s home town of Tacoma, Washington to attend the Fairest Launch party which will take place on January 27.  A picture taking app will also be available that fans can use to “glamour” themselves and share their image on the website and social media.  So, Lunar Chronicles fans, mark your calendars as you prepare for the holiday season!  For those new to the series, there is still plenty of time to catch up over the break and before Fairest is released.  The series’ first three books: Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress are all available for checkout in the school library located in the basement of McLure.  Also, Fairest is available for pre-order here.

Related links:

http://www.marissameyer.com/

http://thelunarchronicles.com/

Installation Art

By Amanda Alexander , Graduate Assistant, McLure Education Library

Christo-and-Jeanne-Claude-9781596430716

Installation art usually describes three-dimensional works of art that are made to change the way that people see a certain area, and can be either temporary or permanent.  Christo and Jeanne-Claude are one of the most famous examples of environmental installation artists who were responsible for The Gates, a 23-mile long group of “gates” created out of saffron colored nylon fabric hung from steel bases.  For further study, Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Through the Gates and Beyond By Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, can be found in the School Library in the basement of McLure.  Installation art has also been showcased in the news lately, specifically the Tower of London poppies and the balloons in Berlin that marked the 25th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

 

poppies-8 1412296557089_wps_22_Tower_of_London_Poppies_f

In London, an installation titled the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red showcases 888,246 ceramic poppies representing each life lost to WWI in service of the British crown.  The installation has drawn millions of spectators who view the sight as a monument to the tragedy of war.  However, the memorial has also drawn its fair share of criticism from those who view that installation as a glorification of war and have counteracted by creating white poppies as a symbol of peace.

 

berlin-wall-fall-25th-anniversary 01_LICHTGRENZE_Brandenburger_Tor__c__Kulturprojekte_Berlin_WHITEvoid_Christopher_Bauder__Foto_Daniel_Bueche

In Berlin, a temporary wall was made to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the wall’s collapse.  The installation symbolizing the wall was constructed out of 8,000 illuminated balloons that were released into the air on November 9th to the notes of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.  The piece is one of many celebratory events that will take place in Berlin this year.

 

lightrails-2

For those of you interested in viewing an installation art piece closer to home, Birmingham features an installation titled LightRails, which is located downtown in Railroad Park.  The attraction is a permanent display consisting of a system of computerized LED lights installed in an old art deco railroad underpass.  Birmingham commissioned Texas-based artist Bill FitzGibbons to create the piece in order to bring pedestrian traffic to an area that had become dark and neglected.  It is an open and inviting display of light and color used to reinvigorate a previously unused and forgotten space, making pedestrians feel safe and showcasing a brilliant work of art.

Snowpiercer

by Amanda Alexander, Graduate Assistant, McLure Education Library

snowpiercer movieSnow Piercer graphic novel

You may have seen or heard of the Korean Film Snowpiercer, as it was the first film shown for the Bama Art House’s fall schedule at the Bama Theater this past August or maybe you are a fan of international film or Chris Evans.  Whatever the case Snowpiercer, about the world’s survivors battling an ice age and struggling to live aboard a 1,001 car train with a strict caste system, is a futuristic action thriller.  The film is now available on DVD and Netflix and can also be check out locally at the Tuscaloosa Public Library.

What fans of the film may not realize is that the film is based on a French graphic novel originally published in 1982 but not translated into English until 2014.  Both volumes are at McLure; Snow Piercer 1: The Escape and Snow Piercer 2: The Explorers.  Come check out these fantastic and exhilarating reads about post-apocalyptic life aboard a massive train.

Harlem Hellfighters

By Amanda Alexander, Graduate Assistant, McLure Education Library

Veteran’s Day: The date stems from the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918—the end of the First World War.

HarlemHellfightersCover

Max Brooks’ graphic novel, The Harlem Hellfighters, tells the story of the historic black regiment nicknamed the Harlem Hellfighters.  These courageous men had the distinction of being the first African-American regiment to serve with the American Expeditionary Force in France in 1917, and spent over six months in combat.  The regiment suffered approximately fifteen hundred casualties but received only nine hundred replacements.  The graphic novel gives a fictionalized account of the experiences of the 369th Infantry Regiment from enlistment until their return home.  This is an account of bravery amidst war and racial discrimination that needed to be told.  Come to McLure and check out this harrowing read today.

More Young Adult Dystopian Novels

By Leslie Grant, Graduate Assistant, McLure Education Library

Stories set in dystopian societies are wildly popular right now, with books like The Hunger Games and Divergent becoming blockbuster hits at the box office. If you’re done re-reading  Mockingjay before the release of part one later this month, then you might want to check out some of these other young adult dystopian novels available at the library.

pasPills and Starships

by Lydia Millet

(PZ7.M63923 Pi 2014)

“Seventeen-year-old Nat and her hacker brother Sam have come to Hawaii for their parents’ Final Week. Global warming has devastated the planet, and the disintegrating society that remains is run by “corporates” who keep the population complacent through a constant diet of “pharma.” The few Americans who stil live well also live long — so long that older adults, like Nat’s parents, blow out not by natural means but by buying death contracts. While Nat grapples with the bizarre ritual of her parents’ slickly engineered last days, Sam begins to uncover a secret, wilder Hawaii hidden beneath the high-gloss corporate veneer. Their family’s Final Week races toward its climax in the face of a looming hurricane as Nat struggles to protect herself and the people she loves — Along the way forging her own surprising path to hope.”

matched

Matched series

by Ally Condie

(PZ7.C7586 Ma 2010)

“All her life, Cassia has never had a choice. The Society dictates everything: when and how to play, where to work, where to live, what to eat and wear, when to die, and most importantly to Cassia as she turns 17, whom to marry. When she is Matched with her best friend Xander, things couldn’t be more perfect. But why did her neighbor Ky’s face show up on her match disk as well?”

tb

Tankborn series

by Karen Sandler

(PZ7.S2173 Tan 2011)

“Kayla and Mishalla, two genetically engineered non-human slaves (GENs), fall in love with higher-status boys, discover deep secrets about the creation of GENs, and find out what it means to be human.”

 

Thotshe House of the Scorpion series

by Nancy Farmer

(PZ7.F23814 Mat 2002)

“In a future where humans despise clones, Matt enjoys special status as the young clone of El Patrón, the 142-year-old leader of a corrupt drug empire nestled between Mexico and the United States.”

 

smShatter Me series

by Tahereh Mafi

(PZ7.M2695 Sh 2011)

“Ostracized or incarcerated her whole life, seventeen-year-old Juliette is freed on the condition that she use her horrific abilities in support of The Reestablishment, a postapocalyptic dictatorship, but Adam, the only person ever to show her affection, offers hope of a better future.”

 

sbShip Breaker series

by Paolo Bacigalupi

(PZ7.B132185 Sh 2010)

“In a futuristic world, teenaged Nailer scavenges copper wiring from grounded oil tankers for a living, but when he finds a beached clipper ship with a girl in the wreckage, he has to decide if he should strip the ship for its wealth or rescue the girl.”

life

Life As We Knew It series

by Susan Beth Pfeffer

(PZ7.P44855 Lif 2006)

“Through journal entries sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family’s struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.”

 

These are just a few books to get you started, all of which are available at McLure in the Education School Library downstairs. Enjoy, and let us know your favorite dystopian reads.

Outlander

By Amanda Alexander, Graduate Assistant, McLure Education Library

Can’t get enough of the Outlander series?  With the show on hiatus until April 4th some fans have been left gnashing their teeth and wringing their hands in anticipation.  Starz decided to split the first season of the show, based on the first book in Diana Gabaldon’s wildly popular Outlander novels, into two parts.  The first 8 episodes have already aired and are available to Starz subscribers On Demand now with the second 8 episodes set to start back on Saturday, April 4th at 8 pm central time.  For those unfamiliar with the series, Outlander follows the story of Claire Randall, a married WWII nurse, who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743 where she encounters another war and is thrown into the arms of dashing Highland warrior, Jamie Fraser.  Fans will be delighted to know that Starz has already renewed the series for a second season based on Gabaldon’s book Dragonfly in Amber, the second book in the series.   

 

Outlander-TV_series-2014exile

 

 

Luckily, you don’t have to wait until 2015 to get your Outlander fix, as McLure Library has the Outlander graphic novel!  Titled The Exile, it is told from Jamie’s perspective and gives a fresh take on the books and show, which are both told from Claire’s perspective.  For those who might have a long journey home for Thanksgiving break, the full series of Outlander books, ebooks, and audiobooks can be found at the Tuscaloosa Public Library.

Links for further Outlander enjoyment:

 

 

Using Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database

By Amanda Alexander, Graduate Assistant, McLure Education Library

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What it is:

  • Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database is an online database with an extensive array of information about children’s books, video and audio recordings, film strips, and other children-focused media. The database contains more than 400,000 critical reviews of children’s books, ranging from baby board books to novels and nonfiction for young adults. These reviews are supplied by quality media sources such as VOYA, The ALAN Review, Booklist, Kirkus, etc. CLCD’s search function allows users to find books by subject, age level, grade level, genre, and more. Information about awards, honors, and prizes given to specific books is also provided along with information about reading measurement program information as well as curriculum tools and links to over 240,000 web pages featuring children’s authors and illustrators.

Logging in:

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  1. Go to the University of Alabama’s Libraries
  2. On the left side of the screen, there is a list. Click on Databases.
  3. There are different ways to find a specific database. The easiest method would be to BROWSE ALPHABETICAL LIST, which is on the right side of the screen. Click on the letter “C.”
  4. Scroll down until you find “Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database,” and click on it. This will take you to the CLCD homepage.

Conducting a Search:

Let’s say you want to search for reviews on books about dogs for preschoolers.

  1. In the search box at the top of the type in DOGS.
  2. If conducting a search on keyword, leave the selection “Singular and Plural forms” checked in the Word Search Criteria box.
  3. If conducting a search on a keyword, the selection “All fields” should be checked in the Search Specific Fields box.
  4. Special Search Qualifiers. If you are looking for children’s books on a certain topic, select “Children and YA only.”
  5. If you want to make your search more specific, there are many additional search qualifiers. You can modify a search by reader’s Age, Grade, Category, Publication Date, Genre, Language, Reading Metrics etc. It is advised that you chose to use only one of either the Age or Grade features, either Age (3 to 4) or Grade (Preschool Age 3).
  6. Click on one of the titles that search results turn up.
  7. You will be given information on the book’s honors and awards, reading lists that feature the book, information about Reading Measurement Programs and Reviews.
  8. Also right under the book title, CLCD will show you if the UA library has that title in its catalog. If so, there will be a green check mark next to “your library holds this title”.3
  9. If you click the link it opens a new tab that will take you directly to the UA library catalog where you can see the book’s call number and location.

Creating a CLCD account:

  • Users can create a personal MyCLCD account that gives you the ability to save titles to readings lists, share and modify items such as custom thematic lists and bibliographies, and save and view your search history. As a Student – you can save your work for future review and modification as CLCD allows you to keep your membership for up to one year after you graduate.
  1. Go to the CLCD homepage and click on “My CLCD Account Login” at the top right hand side of the screen.
  2. Next, Click on either “Request Access” or “Click here to create your account”4
  3. Lastly, A box will appear for you to fill in your personal information and complete the creation of your account.

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