Passing the Mic to Jamal Hill, Bronze Medalist 2021 Paralympics in Tokyo
For our 8th and final episode of season 1 Shawn passes the mic to Olympian and Aquatics Educator Jamal Hill, a native of this city of Champions. Besides winning Bronze at Tokyo 2021, Mr. Hill is also known for his game changing non-profit: Swim Up Hill, the mission of which is to provide specialized swim education that is tailored to the specific needs of low-to-middle income communities which continue to be affected by disproportionately high drowning rates. Please enjoy, and thank you for listening to IPL's Listen Up podcast.
December 14, 2021
To celebrate Native American Heritage month, FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS presents a story written by and featuring a Lipan Apache. In the mystery novel, Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger, Ellie is determined to solve the mystery of the death of her cousin who appears to her in her dream right after his death. Ellie is gifted with the ability to ask ghosts of animals to return from the afterlife (like her ghost dog Kirby) and the Lipan Apache culture, spirits, and beliefs are real to her. Will Ellie get the justice she seeks?
November 05, 2021
Eye Care is Self Care
Out of all of our senses, vision seems to be the most important to the vast majority of us. The eye is a major, miraculous sensory organ - we humans rely very heavily on our sight to process information about the world around us. Eyes serve a key role in social interaction. Eyes represent so much to us culturally and spiritually - ranging from the Mal de Ojo to "windows to the soul." Yet when it comes to self care, most of us overlook the importance of eye care beyond the occasional eye exam. Today's episode serves as a reminder to be kind to your eyes, perhaps incorporate a few of the suggestions to ease dryness and fatigue, and learn a succession of simple acupressure exercises to soothe all-too-common eye strain.
November 03, 2021
Passing the Mic to John Paizis of Performing Arts Studios West
In our 7th episode of Passing the Mic, Shawn speaks with John Paizis of Performing Arts Studios West. Mr. Paizis’s studio serves individuals with developmental disabilities and has been a community institution since the mid-1990s. The rich history of the acting studio is covered in this chat, along with some personal history of the founder. Listen in to hear how Mr. Paizis is fostering an impressive range of talent including actors, musicians, composers, and production industry professionals.
November 01, 2021
Lily and the Octopus
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS presents Lily and the Octopus, by Steven Rowley, published in 2016. If you ever loved a pet, and especially if you are among the many of us who have depended upon a furry-faced companion to provide comfort during the ongoing pandemic, Steven Rowling's funny and profoundly moving novel will resonate deeply. Ted, the novel's first-person narrator, is a lonely writer struggling with the failing health of his aging dachshund, Lily, who is the one "person" who has always been there for him.
October 22, 2021
Passing the Mic to Amanda-Jane Thomas and Shanita Nicholas of Sip & Sonder
In this 6th episode of Passing the Mic, Adult Librarian, Stacie Galli speaks with the co-founders of the specialty coffee house Sip & Sonder, Amanda-Jane Thomas and Shanita Nicholas. The women provide insight into their approach to running a successful business, emphasizing the importance of intentionality in their work, why it was important to them to open Sip & Sonder in Inglewood, and how they were able to stay open during the pandemic. The women also highlight the nonprofit they started, Sonder Impact, and how it is an important component of their approach to entrepreneurship.
October 20, 2021
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS presents Kindred by Octavia Butler, published in 1979. Enjoy this classic science fiction which incorporates time travel and is modeled on slave narratives. Told from the point of view of the protagonist, Dana, who travels back in time to save the life of a drowning white boy and risks losing her life in process. This book skillfully captures a variety of subject matter and genres as it combines the storytelling of a slave memoir, the excitement of fantasy, and an intriguing historical lore. This is a novel of rich literary complexity.
October 15, 2021
Join us for NIGHTMARE BEFORE BEDTIME a Storytime series for Adults and Teens. This installment is a short story taken from Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz published in 1991 to keep you up at night. It is a tale of two brothers who create a doll named Harold to keep them company but the doll comes to life. Nighty night...
October 13, 2021
Today's episode focuses on Mindful Movement, with expert advice from Fully Present: The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness, by Susan L. Smalley, PhD and Diana Winston, teaching us that "[l]earning to be aware and to relate to your body and to relate to your body with acceptance and kindness, rather than suppression, seems to improve how you treat your body." Listen in and try the guided Walking Meditation.
October 12, 2021
Passing the Mic to Penny Pearl of Soul Line Dancing
In this 5th episode of Passing the Mic, Shawn speaks with Penny Pearl, one of the many talented Soul Line Dancing teachers who utilize the outdoor space of Inglewood Public Library to keep seniors active and moving. The conversation covers topics such as: the definition of Soul Line Dancing, the differences between Soul Line Dancing and Zumba, some of Penny’s favorite artists to dance to, how Penny took up the hobby, and just how important this activity is for the social, physical, and mental well-being of those who take part.
October 11, 2021
Sing to It
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS presents the first of fifteen short stories entitled The Master of the Minimalist written by Amy Hempel. Longlisted for the Pen/Faulkner Award, one of Time's 100 Best Books of the Year, and one of NPR's Best Books of 2019, Hempel reveals writing at her most compassionate and spirited, as she introduces characters, lonely and adrift, and searching for connection. Ravishing, heartbreaking, and powerfully concise, Sing to It is an “exquisite collection” (The Wall Street Journal) and a “quiet masterpiece by a true American original” (NPR).
October 08, 2021
This is Not a Ghost Story
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS presents This is Not a Ghost Story by Andrea Portes, published in 2020. It is a teen paranormal mystery/thriller novel that follows Daffodil who housesits a mansion for the summer before college. The longer she is there, the more she experiences supernatural things and repressed memories come back to her which include memories of her old boyfriend Zander. It’s a story with a twist ending that you’ll just have to read yourself to find out.
October 01, 2021
The Yew Tree
Join us for NIGHTMARE BEFORE BEDTIME a Storytime series for Adults and Teens. This installment is from an anthology of stories about witches and witchcraft by Richard Dalby aptly titled, Tales of Witchcraft. The Yew Tree by Shamus Frazer features an abandoned valley and a loathsome yew tree with a legend. During the sixteenth century witch-mania, a Halloville woman was hanged as a black sorceress and her corpse impaled with a yew stake. On the gallows, she swore to return as a winged demon and exterminate the village, hence this half bird, half tree abomination. Martin, a surveyor, takes a cottage on the outskirts of Halloville while he plots the course of a new reservoir. Martin takes immediate dislike to a yew tree that seemingly uproots itself at will. Martin does his best to avoid it after dark, even if it means taking the scenic route to the cottage. Nighty night...
September 29, 2021
Creating Dream Journals for Overall Wellness
--Journaling our dreams can be a tool to help us achieve greater mental, emotional, psychological, and spiritual balance/well-being. --It connects us to our creativity. Creative outlets are necessary to our overall sense of wellbeing and wellness. --The best way to utilize our dreams, or improving dream recall, is by keeping a dream journal. --We spend up to 30% of our lives asleep, a percentage of that time dreaming. Something all humans have in common, yet our own dreams are very unique and personal to us. Only makes sense to pay attention to this aspect of our lives - which we spend a considerable amount of time doing. --The episode will explore tips for beginning a dream journal practice. Some quick notes on dream interpretation (mostly: that it is very individual. Dream "dictionaries" are fun but not necessarily that useful on an individual level. Pay attention to patterns, recurring themes). --NOTE: Seek professional help if grappling with serious trauma, if having nightmares or disturbing dreams. This is not something you should work through on your own.
September 28, 2021
Passing the Mic to Percell Keeling of Simply Wholesome
In this fourth episode of Passing the Mic Shawn speaks with Percell, the owner and founder of Simply Wholesome Organic Market. Listen in to learn how he took his passion for personal wellness and fitness and transformed it into one of the most significant Black Owned businesses in the city of Los Angeles. Insights include Percell’s approach to stocking the shelves as well as his sentiments on personal growth and finding one’s path in life.
September 27, 2021
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS presents Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. This book was recommended by Robert Kingi of KingiKaju from Passing The Mic episode published on August 23rd. A true leader takes 100% ownership of everything in his domain, including the outcome and everything that affects it. This is the most fundamental building block of leadership that cuts across all other principles. It applies to leadership at any level, in any organization. Extreme Ownership teaches readers the lessons that two US Navy SEAL officers obtained during their service. These officers led the most highly decorated special operations unit of the Iraq War. In Extreme Ownership, they apply powerful leadership principles from the battlefield to business and life. Through life-threatening experiences, the two authors learned that leadership is the most important factor responsible for success.
September 24, 2021
In celebration of the first day of autumn, POETRY OUT LOUD recites a poem by Robert Lee Frost published in 1912. This poem personifies nature and the seasons but can be interpreted as love and moving forward.
September 22, 2021
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAY presents Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez, a Pure Belpre Award winning book, in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is celebrated mid-September through mid-October. Listen to the first chapter of this book, where the main character, Camila wants to play fútbol and study in America but doesn’t get the support from her family. They hold on to ideas that girls don’t belong on the soccer field, but that doesn’t stop Camila from dreaming and succeeding in the sport. It is a book about holding on to your dreams despite the expectations of others.
September 17, 2021
Six Boy Coffins
Join us for NIGHTMARE BEFORE BEDTIME a Storytime series for Adults and Teens. This installment is a short story titled “Six Boy Coffins,” taken from the book, The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror by Daniel Mallory Ortberg. It is a story about six brothers who are banished by their mother for their safety when their father declares they will die if the next child born is a girl. Indeed a girl is born and she goes through lengths to make up for the suffering she believes she caused her brothers. With fairytale vibes this short story may make you feel a bit creeped out. Nighty night...
September 15, 2021
This exercise is called Hello Moments and is taken from the book Mindfulness for Teens in 10 Minutes a Day: Exercises to Feel Calm, Stay Focused & Be Your Best Self by Jennie Marie Battistin published in 2019. This exercise helps you focus on the present. At times we can focus on the past or the future, and forget to be present in the now.
September 14, 2021
What Color Is Your Parachute?
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS presents timeless advice from the most popular and best-selling career guide, What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard N. Bolles.
September 10, 2021
SING, DANCE, FLY...Choose today to be HAPPY! series is celebrating the butterfly! Did you know that it can see red, green, and yellow?? From We're a Club in the Woods by Bears and Lions!
September 09, 2021
Passing the Mic to Duran Bowie of IMAMNAM
In Episode 3 of our series Shawn speaks to Duran Bowie of I’m a Movement Not a Monument, an Inglewood based nonprofit that provides free tutoring to area teens. Shawn and Duran cover the history of his nonprofit, his dreams for the future of this city, and the road to achieving that dream. This episode also includes a bit about our host Shawn, and his path to librarianship.
September 07, 2021
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAY presents Dreaming Darkly by Caitlin Kittredge, a teen gothic mystery novel. Listen to the first chapter of this book, where Ivy Bloodgood arrives on Darkhaven island to live in the Bloodgood manor with her uncle whom she’s never met, after the suicide of her mother. From the beginning she is told not to go beyond a certain area of the island because it is occupied by another family, the Ramseys, whom for generations have not gotten along with the Bloodgoods. One of Ivy’s fears is succumbing to whatever mental illness her mother had and led her to commit suicide. Check out this book to find out what family secrets lie within the Bloodgood manor.
September 03, 2021
Join us for NIGHTMARE BEFORE BEDTIME a Storytime series for Adults and Teens. This installment is a short story by American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. Written in August of 1925, He, appeared in the pages of legendary Weird Tales and has influenced countless writers of the macabre. Searching for remnants of centuries past on Manhattan Island in New York, a poet comes across a necromancer who takes him through forgotten parts of Greenwich Village to his ancestral estate. There the necromancer shows him visions of the past and future. The visions seen are terrible and absolutely shocking. Does the poet survive his trip? Take the trip yourself. Nighty night...
September 01, 2021
How to reduce stress through square breathing. Square breathing is a deep breathing technique that can help you slow down your breathing. It works by distracting your mind as you count to four, calming your nervous system, and decreasing stress in your body.
August 31, 2021
Writing Beyond Race
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS presents writings by bell hooks. What are the conditions needed for our nation to bridge cultural and racial divides? By Writing Beyond Race, noted cultural critic bell hooks models the constructive ways scholars, activists, and readers can challenge and change systems of domination.
August 27, 2021
Passing the Mic to Robert Kingi of KingiKaju
In our second episode Shawn interviews Robert Kingi of KingiKaju, one of the longest running martial arts studios in Inglewood. Kajukenbo is a hybrid martial arts form from Hawaii. It was developed in the late 1940s. Robert, the 2nd generation head of this martial arts school, discusses the history of the institution, the importance and value of martial arts, the future of the city, and he even gets into a few of his personal book recommendations.
August 23, 2021
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS presents Deep Listening: A Healing Practice to Calm Your Body, Clear Your Mind, and Open Your Heart. World-renowned restorative yoga teacher Jillian Pransky came to the practice of yoga to heal herself. For much of her life, she subscribed to a relentless work hard/play hard mentality, burying parts of herself beneath the pursuit of busy-ness and accomplishment. It wasn’t until a devastating personal loss and health crisis thrust her into suffocating anxiety that she stopped racing around. As she began to pause and examine her actions and emotions, she found herself able to unlock deeply seated tension in her mind and body. Since then, Pransky has been devoted to studying and teaching mindfulness practices, deep relaxation, and compassionate listening. Pransky doesn’t ask you to “be your best self,” or “do more!” She asks you to “be here” and “do less.” She guides you gently through the stages of Deep Listening, from being present and noticing your tension to welcoming what you discover with softness and compassion. She integrates tools like guided meditations, journaling prompts, and restorative yoga poses to help you regard yourself with kindness and curiosity. Immersing yourself in the practice of Deep Listening will allow you to nurture your own well-being.
August 20, 2021
Join us for NIGHTMARE BEFORE BEDTIME a Storytime series for Adults and Teens. This installment is a supernatural short story by author W. W. Jacobs. It has been adapted many times in other media, including plays, films, TV series, operas, stories and comics, as early as 1903 and as recently as 2019. Three wishes are granted to the owner of The Monkey's Paw, but the wishes come with an enormous price for interfering with fate. So, make a wish, seal your fate! Nighty night...
August 18, 2021
Today we are going to explore a relaxation exercise using colors. Color breathing is a simple stress reducing activity that may be quickly learned. It involves mentally picturing or meditating on a color that represents how you want to feel or what you want to let go in your life.
August 17, 2021
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS presents writings by bell hooks. In childhood, bell hooks was taught that "talking back" meant speaking as an equal to an authority figure and daring to disagree and/or have an opinion. In this collection of personal and theoretical essays, hooks reflects on her signature issues of racism and feminism, politics and pedagogy. (Routledge)
August 13, 2021
POETRY OUT LOUD presents children's poetry by Shel Silverstein.
August 10, 2021
Passing the Mic to James Fugate of Eso Won Books
IPL is introducing a new series entitled PASSING THE MIC. The series will feature conversations with local movers and shakers in the Inglewood community. Episode 1 features James Fugate. One of the Co-Founders of Eso Won books, James speaks candidly with Adult Services Librarian Shawn Michael about the history of the Eso Won book store. The conversation covers topics ranging from Black Self-Reliance, the fallacy of bootstrap capitalism, James’s favorite mystery books, his most formative reads, and his surprising journey to end up in Leimert Park.
August 07, 2021
The Girl Who Wasn’t There
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAY presents The Girl Who Wasn’t There by Penny Joelson. In this teen mystery/thriller, Kasia can’t believe her eyes when she sees a kidnapping of a young woman while looking out her window. Kasia is determined to speak with the only other witness to the kidnapping, a girl across the street who also was looking out her window. But when Kasia tries to connect with her, the neighbor tells her that there isn’t a girl living there. Yet, Kasia is certain she saw a girl in the window. There’s also Kasia’s illness, chronic fatigue syndrome, that makes it difficult for her go outside and make sense of who she sees in the window and solve this mystery.
August 06, 2021
Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories
FIRST STORY READING presents a collection of short stories by San Antonio-based Mexican-American writer Sandra Cisneros. The collection reflects Cisneros's experience of being surrounded by American influences while still being familially bound to her Mexican heritage as she grew up north of the Mexico-US border. These tales focus on the social role of women, and their relationships with the men and other women in their lives.
August 06, 2021
That Bus is Another World
Join us for NIGHTMARE BEFORE BEDTIME a Storytime series for Adults and Teens. This installment is a horror short story written by Stephen King and first published in the August 2014 edition of Esquire. It was later collected in his 2015 short story collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. The story was inspired to Stephen King by the traffic in Paris. A man on his way to a potentially career-changing appointment witnesses something that causes a moral dilemma. Should he report what he's seen and risk missing his appointment or ignore it? Nighty night...
August 04, 2021
How can we combat scattered thoughts and become more present in our lives? Using our five senses we can begin to ground ourselves. Here is a quick guided meditation to quiet your mind.
August 03, 2021
Algorithms of Oppression
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS presents Safiya Umoja Noble's Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism. A revealing look at how negative biases against women of color are embedded in search engine results and algorithms. Run a Google search for “black girls”—what will you find? “Big Booty” and other sexually explicit terms are likely to come up as top search terms. But, if you type in “white girls,” the results are radically different. The suggested porn sites and un-moderated discussions about “why black women are so sassy” or “why black women are so angry” presents a disturbing portrait of black womanhood in modern society. In Algorithms of Oppression, Safiya Umoja Noble challenges the idea that search engines like Google offer an equal playing field for all forms of ideas, identities, and activities. Data discrimination is a real social problem; Noble argues that the combination of private interests in promoting certain sites, along with the monopoly status of a relatively small number of Internet search engines, leads to a biased set of search algorithms that privilege whiteness and discriminate against people of color, specifically women of color. Through an analysis of textual and media searches as well as extensive research on paid online advertising, Noble exposes a culture of racism and sexism in the way discoverability is created online. As search engines and their related companies grow in importance—operating as a source for email, a major vehicle for primary and secondary school learning, and beyond—understanding and reversing these disquieting trends and discriminatory practices is of utmost importance. An original, surprising and, at times, disturbing account of bias on the internet, Algorithms of Oppression contributes to our understanding of how racism is created, maintained, and disseminated in the 21st century. (Review from Google Books)
July 30, 2021
Alpha Beta Chowder
POETRY OUT LOUD presents Jeanne Steig's collection of children's poems offering wry wit that will tickle your funny bone on topics like domestic disasters and harrowing piano lessons. Each poem is an ear-opener and sure to bring laugh-out-loud reactions!
July 29, 2021
The Will To Change
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS presents writings by bell hooks. In The Will to Change, bell hooks gets to the heart of the matter and shows men how to express the emotions that are a fundamental part of who they are—whatever their age, marital status, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. This will be the first book in a series of hooks’ stories.
July 23, 2021
The Sun My Heart: The Companion to The Miracle of Mindfulness
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS presents one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s most beloved books. It contains the journey, on the path of everyday practice, from mindfulness to insight in an informational, conversational manner. Using the objects and events of everyday life in his hermitage in Plum Village—the gradual settling of the pulp in a glass of apple juice or the wind blowing into the room and scattering papers about—Thich Nhat Hanh draws from Buddhist psychology, epistemology, and the world of contemporary literature and science to guide the reader along the path of clarity and understanding.
July 16, 2021
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS presents Gilded Ones by Namina Forna. Sixteen year old Deka longs to be accepted by her people and be of pure red blood. During the Purity Ritual she finds that her blood runs gold. Deka must now choose to either succumb to death by her people or leave and fight in an army for the emperor. As she learns about her people and the enemy they are fighting, she begins to questions the truths she’s always known.
July 09, 2021
Stick with Me
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAY presents Stick with Me by Jennifer Blecher. When twelve-year-old Izzy and Wren are thrown together by unusual circumstances, they find solace and solutions to nagging problems in their newly formed friendship.
June 18, 2021
The Ballad of Black Tom
Join us for NIGHTMARE BEFORE BEDTIME a Storytime series for Adults and Teens. This installment is a 2016 fantasy/horror novella by Victor LaValle, revisiting H. P. Lovecraft's story "The Horror at Red Hook" from the viewpoint of a black man. People move to New York looking for magic and nothing will convince them it isn't there. Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father's head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. He knows what magic a suit can cast, the invisibility a guitar case can provide, and the curse written on his skin that attracts the eye of wealthy white folks and their cops. But when he delivers an occult tome to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and earns the attention of things best left sleeping. Nighty nite.
June 16, 2021
If You Were a Chocolate Mustache
POETRY OUT LOUD presents a poem from a book of poems by poet laureate J. Patrick Lewis. Within these written pages are a mixture of wit and humor created in forms of riddles, limericks, silly rhymes, and more; on subjects like dragons, food and shoes, and just about everything else under the sun! How fun!
June 16, 2021
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAY presents Agnes Borinsky’s Sasha Masha published in 2020. June is Pride Month. A celebration of and for the LGBTQ community. Alex comes to realize his true identity as a young woman named Sasha Masha. Journey along with Alex who explores what it means to be true to oneself and one’s feelings. This story delves into the feelings and confusions of understanding one’s gender and transness within the complexities of high school. A true coming of age story, this book represents pride in every way.
June 11, 2021
Fear: Esential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAY presents Thich Nhat Hanh's Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm. This a powerful and practical strategic guide to overcoming debilitating uncertainties and personal terrors. Hanh explores the origins of fears, illuminating a path to finding peace and freedom from anxiety and offering powerful tools to help eradicate it from our lives. A must read.
June 04, 2021
The Petting Zoo
Join us for NIGHTMARE BEFORE BEDTIME a Storytime series for Adults and Teens. This installment is a short story by Peter De Niverville. When Johnson was a child, spiders fascinated him. One summer, when he was eight, a large gold and black spider had taken up residence underneath the shingles by the back door. Every morning, Johnson would gather up ants in a jar from a nest in the scrubby woods behind his house. One by one, he would drop the wriggling insects into the web. Deadly fascinations, if you are afraid of spiders well this won’t help you at all! Your fears are founded. Nighty night...
June 03, 2021
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAY presents Tziporah Cohen's No Vacancy. Eleven-year-old Miriam and her family – mom, dad, and little brother – all move to Upstate New York to become the new owners of the Jewel Motor Inn. The problem is the Jewel Motor Inn is old and run down. Miriam’s parents don’t know the first thing about running a motel, but they get some help on what to do from new friends and family who come to visit.
May 28, 2021
No Fair! No Fair!
No Fair! No Fair! And Other Jolly Poems of Childhood by Calvin Trillin is our feature for POETRY OUT LOUD. This children’s poetry book celebrates the contemporary topics of childhood everywhere, inspired by the author’s real-life experiences that are familiar to children today.
May 26, 2021
This FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAY reading is Eve Silver's teen debut. It offers gaming fans a romantic thrill at a breakneck pace... it will pull you headlong into the high-stakes world of Eve Silver's teen series The Game; book one in the series tossed teens in and out of an alternate reality where battling aliens is more than a game—it's life and death! Science fiction lovers will devour this book!
May 21, 2021
POETRY OUT LOUD recites a very relevant poem by Audre Lorde. First published in 1978, the poem speaks about the unjust action of a white cop, who mercilessly shot and killed a ten-year-old boy in the street.
May 20, 2021
Join us as we celebrate Haiti Heritage Month with Nick Lake. A first chapter reading of his award-winning book In Darkness. Based on actual events, In Darkness is a historical fiction about a boy trapped beneath the rubble of a ruined hospital In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake: thirsty, terrified, and alone. 'Shorty' is a child of the slums, a teenage boy, who has seen enough violence to last a lifetime and who has been inexorably drawn into the world of the gangsters who rule Site Soleil: men who dole out money with one hand and death with the other. But Shorty has a secret, a flame of revenge that blazes inside him and a burning wish to find the twin sister he lost five years ago. He is marked. Marked in a way that links him with Toussaint L'Ouverture, the Haitian rebel, who two-hundred years ago led the slave revolt and faced down Napoleon to force the French out of Haiti.
May 20, 2021
The Damned Thing
Join us for NIGHTMARE BEFORE BEDTIME a Storytime series for Adults and Teens. This installment is a famous short horror story by the American writer Ambrose Bierce. Told from several different perspectives, the story focuses on a freak fatal accident that is written off as a wild animal attack. But does that description get at the truth of the matter? At least one witness is convinced otherwise. Nighty night...
May 20, 2021
The Color of Air
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with Gail Tsukiyama's The Color of Air. From the New York Times bestselling author of Women of the Silk and The Samurai's Garden comes an evocative historical novel about a Japanese-American family set against the backdrop of Hilo, Hawaii. Tsukiyama explores the complicated web of family and the resilient nature of the human spirit, while also shedding light on an important period of Asian history, this time the indentured servitude of Asian people on the sugar plantations that were once Hawaii’s lifeblood.
May 07, 2021
Brothers and Sisters: Family Poems
This POETRY OUT LOUD installment celebrates the love and bond between siblings from every generation – grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles and cousins. Everyone at any age can relate to this wonderful collection of poems as the messages of caring, jealousy, frustration and joy are beautifully expressed.
May 06, 2021
Join us for NIGHTMARE BEFORE BEDTIME a Storytime series for Adults and Teens. This installment is from the mind of surrealist painter Leonora Carrington. It is the story of two sisters, the return of a dethroned king, and the secrets that we keep from those closest to us. Though written nearly one hundred years ago, Carrington's words possess originality and terror. Nighty night... Short story selection is from The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington.
May 05, 2021
Love You Forever
A special Mother's Day episode featuring Robert Munsch's Love You Forever. The children's book perfectly describes a mother's journey with her kids and no matter what they are loved even if they make her feel a bit loony at times!
May 03, 2021
Hallelujah! The Welcome Table
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS with Maya Angelou, a renowned author for her autobiographies and various books of poetry, but this remarkable book showcases her culinary talents. In this book, Angelou shares her recipes and related stories behind them - sometimes in a humorous and poignant perspective, but all very detailed on what these recipes meant to her and her family.
April 30, 2021
Once In a Blue Moon
SING, DANCE, FLY...Choose today to be HAPPY! series is celebrating the FULL MOON today! From We're a Club in the Woods by Bears and Lions!
April 26, 2021
How To Be An Antiracist
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS presents American historian Ibram X. Kendi's nonfiction book, How To Be An Antiracist. “The only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it — and then dismantle it.” It’s hard to understand antiracism without understanding what it means to be racist. A timely read given the current state of affairs in the United States.
April 23, 2021
The Wailing Well
Join us for NIGHTMARE BEFORE BEDTIME a Storytime series for Adults and Teens. This installment is by M.R. James. Set in a field in the middle of nowhere, a warning from a shepherd, and an eerie folk tale that makes you afraid to look out of your bedroom window at night. Nighty night...
April 22, 2021
Something to Say
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS presents Something to Say by Lisa Moore Ramée. Eleven-year-old Janae is a loner by choice. The only real company she has is her family – mom, brother and granddad. She doesn’t mind not having friends, but the new kid at her school, Aubrey refuses to get that message. Nothing’s going to stop him from being her friend, and Janae can’t help to be drawn to his bright and upbeat personality.
April 17, 2021
POETRY OUT LOUD presents a poem by young poet, Erin Hanson. An untitled poem from thepoeticunderground.com. Enjoy.
April 14, 2021
This week FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS features a dramatic romance, Invincible by Amy Reed, about a teenage girl who survives a terminal cancer diagnosis, only to get trapped in the deadly spiral of addiction.
April 09, 2021
The Tell-Tale Heart
Join us for NIGHTMARE BEFORE BEDTIME, a Storytime series for Adults and Teens. This is another installment from prolific writer Edgar Allen Poe. In this short story, a capricious narrator attempts to convince the reader of his sanity while simultaneously describing a murder that he committed. Nighty night...
April 07, 2021
Parable of the Sower
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS introduces Octavia Butler's science fiction novel that was published in 1995 and set in the 2020s, when society has collapsed due to climate change, growing wealth inequality, and corporate greed. With the world descending into madness and anarchy, one young woman begins a fateful journey toward a better future. We are a harvest of survivors...
April 02, 2021
Lucky Broken Girl
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS returns with a semi-autobiographical novel about author Ruth Behar's childhood in the 1960s; a young Cuban-Jewish immigrant girl adjusting to her new life in New York City when her American dream is suddenly derailed. Just when she’s finally beginning to gain confidence in her mastery of English—and enjoying her reign as her neighborhood’s hopscotch queen—a horrific car accident leaves her in a body cast and confined her to her bed for a long recovery.
March 26, 2021
The Pit and the Pendulum
Join us for NIGHTMARE BEFORE BEDTIME a Storytime series for Adults and Teens. This installment is by Edgar Allen Poe. It tells the story of a man who is sentenced to death and is tortured by the Spanish Inquisition, using – among other things – a razor sharp pendulum that will cut him right in half! Nighty night...
March 24, 2021
I Have a Secret
POETRY OUTLOUD presents a poem from Mariama J. Lockington's novel For Black Girls Like Me. The novel is a lyrical coming-of-age story about family, sisterhood, music, race, and identity. The author draws on emotional truths from her own experiences growing up with an adoptive white family. "I am a girl but most days I feel like a question mark."
March 22, 2021
The Other Half of Happy
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS celebrates cultural diversity with a coming of age story by Rebecca Balcárcel. Quijana is a twelve-year-old girl who’s trying to figure out how to fit in different social places of her life. As she gets older, she realizes she hasn’t learned much about her Guatemalan roots, or that she doesn’t know much about her cousins who move to town to be closer to her family. She’s starting a new school year, and has a crush on her best friend Jayden, and she wants to be more than friends. And finally, her little brother Memito is becoming harder to understand.
March 19, 2021
Be unique, be you! You might not fit in, but you will be the BEST some day! From We're a Club in the Woods by Bears and Lions! SING, DANCE, FLY...Choose today to be HAPPY!
March 17, 2021
No More Poems! A Book in Verse That Just Gets Worse
POETRY OUT LOUD features silly and subversive poems by Rhett Miller! Bringing a brand new twist to the everyday life challenges of childhood. Full of word play and clever rhymes, this book of children’s poetry will definitely bring a gaggle of giggles.
March 16, 2021
You Don't Know My Name
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS returns with Kristen Orlando's book about a fighter, faker, student, and spy. A seventeen-year-old who is used to changing identities overnight, lying to every friend she’s ever had, and pushing away anyone who gets too close. Full of tension, action, romance, family issues, and a girl struggling to figure out her identity!
March 12, 2021
Join us for NIGHTMARE BEFORE BEDTIME a Storytime series for Adults and Teens. This installment is by H. P. Lovecraft. Keeping hopelessness as the central theme, we hear the narrator describe his fall into madness, relying on morphine to make his days bearable until his finances deplete and death seems to be his only release. Nighty night...
March 10, 2021
POETRY OUT LOUD presents a poem by Laurie Halse Anderson. SHOUT is angry, yet hopeful; sad, yet powerful. Get real and get raw... The moment to speak has passed. Now it’s time to SHOUT!
March 09, 2021
Discovering the Inner Mother
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS explores "daughters growing up in a patriarchal culture with a sense of having to choose between being empowered and being loved," by Bethany Webster, in honor of Women's History Month.
March 05, 2021
Two is Better
2>1... Good is good, great is greater! 2 things for EVERYONE! It feels good 2 B loved! From We're a Club in the Woods by Bears and Lions! SING, DANCE, FLY...Choose today to be HAPPY!
March 04, 2021
Stink and the Hairy Scary Spider
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS rounding off February with a children's book! Stink isn’t afraid of most things, but when it comes to spiders he’s terrified; and what is he supposed to do when a hairy scary spider shows up in his back yard? Will Stink never go out in his back yard again? Or will he face his fears, with the help of his big sister, Judy.
February 27, 2021
Who doesn't love an adventure with P A N C A K E S ?!?!?!?!! Join Bear & Lion for some maple syrupy fun! Benjamins and butter... From We're a Club in the Woods by Bears and Lions! SING, DANCE, FLY...Choose today to be HAPPY!
February 25, 2021
The Man In My Basement
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS returns with Walter Mosley's suspenseful novel about a young Black man on the edge of losing everything until he meets a stranger, a White man, who offers him $50,000 in cash to rent out his basement for the summer...
February 19, 2021
W A I T I N G
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS...We are celebrating Lunar New Year (and Valentine's Day) with Ha Jin's Waiting. A suspenseful love story!
February 12, 2021
The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl
FIRST CHAPTER FRIDAYS with ours truly, Issa Rae! Fresh, unabashed confessions of a writer/actress who spent much of her childhood in Inglewood.
February 05, 2021
Let America Be America Again
POETRY OUT LOUD presents Let America Be America Again by Langston Hughes. A poem written in 1935. The poem speaks of the American dream that never existed for the lower-class America and the freedom and equality that every immigrant hoped for but never received.
February 03, 2021
It Could Still Be A Flower
It Could Still Be A Flower by Allan Fowler. Check out Bookflix on our library website! It is an exciting online literacy resource that pairs interactive, fictional video storybooks with related nonfiction eBooks. BookFlix engages young students, reinforces reading skills, and introduces early readers to a world of knowledge and exploration.
January 20, 2021
Still I Rise
In remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr., POETRY OUT LOUD presents Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
January 15, 2021
A Ship Without a Rudder
POETRY OUT LOUD presents A Ship Without a Rudder by Marilyn Nelson. A poem about George Washington Carver, an American agricultural scientist and environmentalist.
January 09, 2021
Quieting the Mind
Dealing with stress and anxiety is often a heavily overlooked health issue. A healthy way to cope with stress is through breathing. Here is a quick guided meditation to quiet your mind during the holiday season.
December 17, 2020