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Charles Hagner

Ugandan Chimps to Chimney Swifts: Q&A with Charles Hagner

The Central Wisconsin Book Festival will take place Sept. 21-27, 2020. Before it happens, we want to share a bit about some of the guests, so we've asked a few to answer some questions from festival organizers about themselves and their work. Below is a back-and-forth from Charles Hagner and CWBF committee member Chad Dally through email. Charles will join us virtually at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 27 to tell us why Wisconsin is a great state to look for birds, and share some tips and techniques to identify birds. He’s the director of Bird City Wisconsin and author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to Birds of Wisconsin.   What's your background and how did you get involved with...

Laptop with Netflix on the screen and a teddy bear next to it

New Netflix Series Features Children’s Books

On September 1, Netflix launched a new 12-episode collection called Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices. The show, which you can watch with your Netflix account – or for FREE without a subscription on the Netflix Jr. YouTube page – features prominent Black celebrities and artists reading children’s books by Black authors about Black kids. Some of the featured celebrities include Lupita Nyong’o, Karamo Brown, Common, Misty Copeland, Tiffany Haddish and Jacqueline Woodson. For more about the series, click here or watch the trailer below!  Want to read the books that are featuring in Bookmarks, or check them out so you can follow along to the episodes at home? See the titles below and click on...

CWBF featured authors

Central Wisconsin Book Festival: Events for Literature Lovers!

The fourth annual Central Wisconsin Book Festival (CWBF) takes place September 21–27, 2020, with events happening each of the six days, bringing authors and literature lovers together in exciting, creative and introspective ways! Although organizers felt it was necessary to make this year’s festival all-virtual, we’re still really excited about this year’s lineup and hope you will be, too. About a dozen volunteers have met monthly — first in person, then virtually — since the end of the 2019 festival to set up this year’s events. It’s been a challenge to reorganize the whole festival to take place online, due to the coronavirus pandemic. We’ll certainly miss the opportunity to gather together...

CWBF logo with featured book covers

The Books of CWBF!

The following is a selection of books written by authors featured in the 2020 Central Wisconsin Book Festival (CWBF) From fiction to nonfiction to poetry, this year's "virtual" CWBF will be a great opportunity for members of the community to hear from notable writers with diverse backgrounds.  Check out the following items before or after the festival to explore their creations:

Tiffany Midge

Quarantine Questions with CWBF Guest Tiffany Midge

The Central Wisconsin Book Festival will take place Sept. 21-27, 2020. Before it happens, we want to share a bit about some of the guests so we've asked a few to answer some questions that festival organizers have. Below is a back-and-forth between CWBF committee member Danielle Hale and Tiffany Midge, who will appear during two virtual events, Sept. 24 and Sept. 27. Quarantine Questions with Tiffany Midge I have a confession to make. I’m a bit of a fangirl when it comes to Tiffany Midge. I first heard about her just after I finished grad school in 2017. I was looking up Native American women writers because I wanted to read more from authors I could identify with. (Midge is a member of...

new homeschooling materials in Aug. 2020

New Materials for Homeschooling Families at MCPL!

If you’re one of the many families that have considered – or who have already committed to – homeschooling your child this fall, you may be wondering what you can use to facilitate your teaching. Or, maybe you’ve homeschooled your children for years but are looking for some new supplemental materials to take your lessons to the next level. Either way, the Marathon County Public Library (MCPL) is here to help. As we get closer and closer to starting a school year unlike any other before, many parents have been filled with questions and concerns over their kids’ education. If your children will be homeschooled this year, or learning completely virtually, MCPL has a slew of newly-purchased materials that will...

alien planet

Check out these science fiction & fantasy award winners!

A variety of annual awards for fantasy and science fiction works were announced over the last few months, including the Hugo Awards, Nebula Awards, Locus Awards and others! Whether you're already a fan of science fiction or fantasy – or neither of these genres appeal to you – perhaps the accolades and descriptions of the following works will serve as inspiration to read something new, surprising and/or unusual. So, without further ado (and in no particular order), the following are a sampling of award-winners that may be found in the Library Catalog (V-Cat):

Protest against systemic racism

Teens: Read from Another Perspective

A lot of events in the news recently, including that regarding institutional racism and the protests held by the Black Lives Matter movement and other groups, can bring up a lot of questions. It did for me, even as an adult. Why is this happening? What happened in the past, and how did we get here? Those questions got me thinking about other social issues we’re currently facing right now, including immigration and transphobia. Why is life hard for so many immigrants, when we’re an entire nation of them? What’s the difference between gender and sexuality? As you start to examine history, you start to see that it’s a story created and controlled by the winners of wars and other conflicts. This got me wondering...

Greek goddess

Mythology Reads for Teens!

Much like fairy tales, myths have been retold over many years. Sometimes there are different variations of a story, making it interesting to read and compare across the versions. Mythology is ripe for retellings, whether realistic, like Seven Deadly Shadows, fantastic, like The Never Tilting World, or with elements of science fiction, like The Dragon Pearl. Sometimes in order to get the full impact of a retelling, you need to know the original story, so consulting Edith Hamilton’s “Mythology” can be very helpful, as can Neil Gaiman’s recent retelling of Norse Myths. Enjoy the rich diversity of mythology that has influenced writers and authors for thousands of years.

unicorn in a glen

Adult Fairy Tales and Fairy Tale Retellings, Part 2

Fairy tales are stories that we learn as children, but remember into our teen years and adulthood. How often do we hear about something being "a Cinderella story," or about something having a "fairy tale ending?" They're engrained in our culture and the way we see the world and tell stories.  Below, we're offering part two of our fairy tales (and fairy tale retellings) for adults. If you haven't already checked out Part 1 of our list, you should, and then take a look at the list below.   

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