"Lulu and the Duck in the Park" (Albert Whitman 2012) by Hilary McKay is a perfect chapter (early middle grade) book from an author who understands how to make both kids and adults laugh.
There's something wonderful about happening upon a musician playing for his or her own pleasure, completely absorbed in the music. Jeff Daniel Marion is a fine poet from east Tennessee. And here's a woman playing the bagpipes.
Playing to the River
She stands by the riverbank,
notes from her bagpipes lapping
across to us as we wait
Imagine living in a future world where the rotation of the Earth starts to slow — no longer does it take 24 hours for the Earth to rotate, but at first, minutes longer, then hours and eventually weeks. There's sunlight when there's supposed to be darkness and darkness when it's expected to be light.
The wait in the rain.
Half an hour late; megabus
where the hell are you?
— Jackson Fliss, Urbana
It pains an old booklover like me to think of somebody burning a book, but if you've gotten one for a quarter and it's falling apart, well, maybe it's OK as long as you might be planning to pick up a better copy.
Here Ron Koertge, who lives in Pasadena, Calif., has some fun with the ashes of love poems.
Burning the Book
The anthology of love poems I bought
On a lone bench
By the Japanese garden
Six chained bicycles
— Rachel Garrick, Champaign
A lot of young adult literature is about dystopia, dysfunction and darkness. I'm not knocking dystopia, dysfunction and darkness — some of my favorite books are pretty grim.
But sometimes a funny, action-packed fantasy with just the right amount of romance thrown in, the kind of book that you devour with a silly grin on your face, is a very welcome breath of fresh air.
Lee Gutkind is the founder and editor of the magazine Creative Nonfiction. In his latest book, "You Can't Make This Stuff Up," Gutkind introduces readers to the genre, provides real-life examples and explains the difference between fiction, straight nonfiction and creative nonfiction.
He also instructs people on how to write creative nonfiction if they are interested in pursuing it.
Starting today, the library is hosting a series of events related to common courtesy, manners and respectfulness during Champaign's Civility Week. Check our website for details and note: It's cool to be kind.
The activities begin today with our kickoff concert. David Howie premieres the new "Civility" song, written just for this celebration and initiative.
Each week, The News-Gazette will offer a selection of events provided by area libraries:
Champaign Public Library
Main library, 200 W. Green St.
Douglass branch, 504 E. Grove St.