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Nancy's Notes - July 30, 2015

Summer programs, “Go Set a Watchman” by Harper Lee, “My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry” by Fredrik Backman.

On July 22, we had a nice crowd of children on hand for our third summer reading program. The Grout Museum, from Waterloo, gave a presentation on science heroes. Those in attendance enjoyed a few scientific tricks and learned about some heroes whose discoveries make our life easier. This week (the 29th) we will have had our final program. Plans are for a super hero librarian, (wonder who that could be?) to be on hand to direct the activities. The kids had a chance to make a cape and mask, receive a tattoo or two, rescue a baby in distress, and play a couple of other games.
        Last week the long awaited sequel of “To Kill a Mockingbird” was released. Author Harper Lee wrote the newly released “Go Set a Watchman” several years before Mockingbird.  According to an article I read on a Methodist Church web site, the title is taken from scripture in the King James Version of Isaiah 21:6. It is a general statement about being alert to the dangers of the enemies of Israel.  Lee, now 88 years old, wrote “Go Set a Watchman” in the mid-1950s. It occurs in the same fictional town in Alabama, and is about the visit by the grownup “Scout” Finch. When Lee submitted “Go Set a Watchman” to her editor she was persuaded to write another novel from the point of view of the young Scout. Lee never went back to her original manuscript which was recently discovered by her lawyer.  Since its release, I have heard rumbles of discontent. I think people need to remember this was written in the South in the 1950s when viewpoints may have been different than they are today.
        Fredrik Backman’s, “My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry” is a title that should catch your eye. Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy. She is also Elsa’s best, and only, friend. At night Elsa loses herself in her grandmother’s stories, in the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal. When Elsa’s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa’s adventure begins.
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