Check out our Graphic Novel Selection

Our Graphic Novel Selection has grown quite a bit in the last year here at the Denton Public Library. We have a Graphic Novel Adult section, a Graphic Novel Teen section and a Graphic Novel Junior section all of which are quite large. I have become quite a fan of many of the Graphic Novels we carry. Below are some favorites (with descriptions from various readers.)

Patience by Daniel Clowes


The book opens in 2012, with its eponymous heroine discovering that she is pregnant. Patience, who thinks of herself as “white-trash”, has had a rough life, marked by abuse, neglect, and poverty. Her relationship with Jack Barlow, the only man who has ever been nice to her, and the pregnancy, are her lifelines. Jack, too, thinks of their love as his salvation, but very soon inside this threshold of a new, better life, he comes home to find Patience dead, apparently killed by an intruder. His life goes into freefall: he is first accused of her murder but released after a year, whereupon he becomes obsessively focused on finding out who killed Patience.

Bright Eyed at Midnight by Leslie Stein

“Life is nonlinear and that takes a lot of courage to cope with,” writes Leslie Stein in her new book, Bright-Eyed at Midnight. Stein coped, in part, by sitting down at a blank page each night for a year to draw comics. Fueled by insomnia and prompted by characters she encountered while tending bar or traveling the city or by bittersweet childhood memories (her insomnia stretches back to juvenile night terrors), she produced twelve months’ worth of microstories that build a larger narrative through accumulation. In addition to diaristic recollections of everyday events, she meditates on collaged aphorisms and observations snipped from Jules Renard’s Journal, offers up doodled portraits of teen crushes, and returns again and again to the moment just before dawn, when she is alone, awake, and contemplating her art and her existential questions.

Boundless by Jillian Tamaki.

Jenny becomes obsessed with a strange “mirror Facebook,” which presents an alternate, possibly better, version of herself. Helen finds her clothes growing baggy, her shoes looser, and as she shrinks away to nothingness, the world around her recedes as well. The animals of the city briefly open their minds to us, and we see the world as they do. A mysterious music file surfaces on the internet and forms the basis of a utopian society–or is it a cult? Boundless is at once fantastical and realist, playfully hinting at possible transcendence: from one’s culture, one’s relationship, oneself. This collection of short stories is a showcase for the masterful blend of emotion and humour of award-winning cartoonist Jillian Tamaki.

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

In this graphic memoir, Alison Bechdel charts her fraught relationship with her late father. Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the Fun Home. It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve.
Rosalie Lightning by Tom Hart

Graphic novelist Tom Hart and his wife, Leela, lived through a horror story. Their baby girl, Rosalie, beautiful and vibrant, like all little children, died unexpectedly — and without explanation — in 2011, three weeks before her second birthday. It’s the kind of thing often too painful to consider, let alone experience. But Hart, the acclaimed author of the Hutch Owen series of graphic novels, wasn’t given a choice, nor did he have any option but to try to arrive at some sort of understanding — tenuous as it may be — by turning what happened into art. “There was a part of me,” says the soft-spoken, Gainesville-based Hart, “that realized I need to give my feelings some sort of form.” 

The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S. A Love and Rockets Book by Jaime Hernandez

The 25th anniversary Love and Rockets celebration continues with this, the second of three volumes collecting the adventures of the spunky Maggie; her annoying, pixie-ish best friend and sometime lover Hopey; and their circle of friends, including their bombshell friend Penny Century, Maggie’s weirdo mentor Izzy—as well as the aging but still heroic wrestler Rena Titanon and Maggie’s handsome love interest, Rand Race. After the sci-fi trappings of his earliest stories (as seen in Maggie the Mechanic, the first volume in this series), Hernandez refined his approach, settling on the more naturalistic environment of the fictional Los Angeles barrio, Hoppers, and the lives of the young Mexican-Americans and punk rockers who live there. A central story and one of Jaime’s absolute peaks is “The Death of Speedy.” Such is Jaime’s mastery that even though the end of the story is telegraphed from the very title, the downhill spiral of Speedy, the local heartthrob, is utterly compelling and ultimately quite surprising. Also in this volume, Maggie begins her on-again off-again romance with Ray D., leading to friction and an eventual separation from Hopey.

-Juliana Dieterich, South Branch Library

Yer a Wizard, Harry

Azkaban. Diagon Alley. Gryffindor. Wingardium Levi-O-sa (not Levio-SAH!). And an easy one, if you haven’t caught on yet: Hogwarts.

If you recognized these as references to the magical wizarding world of Harry Potter, you’re in good company. As of last April the brand had an estimated worth of $25 billion, so you can imagine just how thoroughly the HP universe has permeated our modern society.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was released in the United States exactly one month before I turned eight years old and it completely changed the landscape of juvenile literature.  As someone who grew up with the characters and read the books immediately as they were published, I will always have a soft spot for anything related to Harry Potter. I can’t wait to read the novels with my own child one day so I can watch their eyes light up as they go along with Harry, Ron, and Hermione on their various adventures.

I remember what it felt like to be instantly transported to a world where anything was possible. Back when I was reading the first book, I think I was most intrigued by the magical candy, owls, and the possibility of finding out you had an exciting, alternate life awaiting you. Today I just want a time-turner so I can have more hours in the day (side note: don’t grow up, it’s a trap).

As the Teen Services Librarian, it makes my heart so happy to have kids ask me where they can find the HP books in the library. It’s always the first series I ask about when giving recommendations to kids who say they like fantasy. Spending an entire summer day reading a brand-new Harry Potter book is an experience that changed my life as a reader, so I love to watch other children and teens discover that indulgence as well.

Now that it’s abundantly clear that I am (and will always be) a huge Harry Potter nerd, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that we’re having a huge Harry Potter themed event this summer! On June 27th, Denton Public Library will be hosting our own version of a Triwizard Tournament from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the North Branch for young people ages 11-17. There will be a costume contest, trivia, food, games, crafts, and tons of other Potter-themed activities. Your Harry Potter-loving kids and teens will not want to miss it because, hello, where else will they get to be surrounded by other people who think their acceptance letters from Hogwarts were lost in the mail?! Hope to see you there (preferably dressed in costume)!

HP

And to end this post, here’s a fun little Buzzfeed quiz to see if your age can be guessed based on your taste in books. My result was only four years off from my real age (and my answer for question number one will be quite obvious…). Leave your result in the comments section!

Kasey
Teen Services Librarian
North Branch Library

Hidden History: Betty Jane Blazier Memorial Play Wall

Nestled in Quakertown Park between the Civic Center Pool and the Senior Center stands a rather unique, large, concrete wall. There are no clues on the structure as to its purpose, only a plaque that reads “In Memory of Betty Jane Blazier, 1915-1964, Teacher and Friend of Children”.

Incorporated into its long length are what appear to be tunnels, stairs, and random geometric shapes.  Is it an outdoor sculpture that should be admired from afar but not touched?  That description just does not feel right. The structure seems to extend an invitation to come and play, and in actuality that is what it is, a play wall.

Blazier 1962 Dadilian2

Photograph from the 1962 TWU Daedalian

The play wall was built as a memorial to Miss Betty Jane Blazier, who was an instructor for the College of Household Arts and Sciences at Texas Woman’s University for 18 years. She specialized in child development and nursery education and served as the director for the on-site nursery school. She was also one of the founding members of the Denton Unitarian Fellowship. Miss Blazier died on July 20, 1964, at 48 years old, after a five year battle with breast cancer.

Funding for the project was organized by the Unitarian Fellowship who commissioned Dr. Richard Laing, then a member of the North Texas State University (now UNT), art faculty to create something that children would enjoy as a memorial to Miss Blazier. The play wall was specifically designed to help children develop a sense of mass and form and to encourage children to participate in active play.

The City of Denton Parks and Recreation Department built the foundation and the sand enclosure for the memorial. The structure itself was constructed by Alvin Ellis, under the supervision of Mount-Miller Architects. The project had the approval of the Municipal Complex architect O’Neil Ford. The play wall was dedicated in a public ceremony on December 13, 1970.

DRC 06 Oct 1970

So, the next time you are at Quakertown Park, take a moment, and yield to the call of the wall, just stop and play.

Are you curious about the history of any other places in Denton? Stop by the Genealogy and Local History Department at the Emily Fowler Central Library and let’s see what interesting information we can find.

Laura Douglas
Emily Fowler Central Library

When It’s Summer

FlowerI remember when I was a kid in school, one of the first things that would signal the end of the school year was the smell of cut grass drifting in through the open windows.  I still love that smell (though I feel bad for those who are allergic).  That smell made me want to run outside and read.  I did enjoy playing outside, although I also loved just sitting outside and reading, while the sounds and smells of summer made their ways around me.

lounge chairAt home, I would drag my parents’ old brown fold- out lounge chair (the ones that you had to click into place and you would have to inevitably adjust, like, 5 times before you got it in the right position while being careful not to pinch your finger) out of our shed and plop down on it with a stack of books.  I would choose one and spend some time just reading in the sun until I got too hot.  Then I would move to our front porch or under the old apple tree (Yes, we really did have an old apple tree.  Sounds idyllic, but it was quite old and somewhat dangerous.  It got cut down at some point.)

I would also do this in college and up until the time I had kids (minus my dad’s chair).  Now I rarely have time to lie in the sun and read.  Though sometimes I do still try.  Sometimes I accomplish this task.  Sometimes for longer than five minutes.  Sometimes.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite books that I read during various summers.  Every one of these titles take me back to a specific summer.  Anyone else have books that reminds you of a specific time?

Summer Sisters   A Walk in the Woods   The Ruins   The Secret Garden   The Geography of You and Me   Uganda Be Kidding Me   Into the Wild   Tess

Here are some titles I am looking forward to reading this summer and making memories with!  (Maybe with an old chair and an apple tree…but more likely with two kids, the dogs and a hose, not necessarily in that order. 🙂 )

Ministry   Button   Theft   Little Sister   The Sisters Chase   Slice   Ginny   Beautiful   Sycamore   Long Haul   American   Lying   Almost Sisters

Also, some of my favorite summer soundtracks (for when you’re not reading):

Plans   Toad   Owl   Crow   WPA   Fast   Love   Group Shadow

 

 

 

 

Dawn Terrizzi
Emily Fowler Central Library

Chess at the Library

This summer we are fortunate to be visited by a former U.S. Women’s Chess Champion,
Dr. Alexey Root! During the Family Chess Challenge, Dr. Root will play chess with 10 players simultaneously and anyone who can win against her gets a free copy of her book, Prepare with Chess Strategy. The Family Chess Challenge will be held at North Branch Library on June 17 from 2 to 4 p.m. and at Emily Fowler Central Library on July 22 from 2 to 4 p.m. Join us for your chance to challenge a chess champion!

Denton Public Library also has many books about chess which are available for checkout. (Click here to see what is available in the catalog.)

 

Opportunities to Play Chess at the Library:

Chess Night
For ages 7 to adult at all skill levels.
Mondays at North Branch Library from 6 to 8:45 p.m.

Family Chess Challenge
This is your chance to challenge Alexey Root, a former U.S. Women’s Chess Champion!
Dr. Root will play 10 chess players simultaneously. Anyone who can win against her gets a free copy of her new book, Prepare with Chess Strategy. Players will be seated first-come, first-served as other players finish their games. All ages welcome.
Sat 6/17 North Branch 2-4 p.m.
Sat 7/22 Emily Fowler 2-4 p.m.

Family Chess Challenge Dynasign

 

Sarah Fullwood
Library Marketing

Terri’s Farewell

It just so happened that my turn at a blog post came the same week I am leaving my post as Director of Libraries at the Denton Public Library. So here is my shout out to a great community and a stellar group of people – those who work inside the libraries and those who visit the libraries.

One of the best things I have learned, is it’s never about me. The work we put in at the library happens for one reason only, to serve our community. While I am proud of the things we have done in the past ten years, we wouldn’t have produced, created, hosted, and made available any of those neat things if the community didn’t want or need them. We truly exist to serve.

It seems that we usually get things right because feedback from our customers consistently tells us we do. That’s not to say we are out of ideas or are tired of listening! We can accomplish some really great things with the support and direction of our community. Listen, act, listen some more. It’s a great formula.

Soon, there will be a new Library Director in the pretty office at Emily Fowler Central Library. And out at Jazzfest. And visiting a school, a nursing home. Please welcome this new person! Let them know what makes Denton, and Denton Public Library, special. Listen to this new Library Director as they share some new, great ideas. And mostly, support your library. Let others new to your neighborhoods know what delights are available to them! Send a note to your Council member and let them know what the library  means to you.

It has been my pleasure to serve this community. I am honored to have worked with some of the finest, most talented people anywhere. I know their good work will continue.

Terri Gibbs, Ex-Libris

Moving Season is Here

It’s the end of May and that means it’s moving season for many Denton residents. According to the Atlas Van Lines Move Data, May through August are peak moving months with over 425,142,335 pounds of home items moved just over summer 2015 alone.  Moving can be a dreadful, exhausting process, especially when you’re moving long distance and have little ones at home.  If you’re dreading your move (and I know I am), come check out what we have to make the process a little easier on you.  

Jacket    Jacket (1)

Moving with Kids       Renters' Rights

Something to read with the kiddos:

Moving Day      Moving Day by Meg Cabot      Henry and Mudge

Alexander

-Sarah, South Branch Library

Source: https://www.atlasvanlines.com/Infographics/seasonality-of-moving