By Beverly Ewart
The House is on Fire by Rachel Beanland.
A couple of columns ago I mentioned that my habit is to take a break from novels for about 5 weeks out of every new year. It’s been a helpful discipline to force me to read really good non-fiction that I would otherwise blissfully ignore.
Just a few favorites that have stayed with me over the past couple of years have been:
- You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why it Matters by Kate Murphy.
- No Cure for Being Human: (And Other Truths I Need to Hear) by Kate Bowler.
- The Watchmaker’s Daughter: The True Story of World War II Heroine Corrie Ten Boom by Larry Loftis.
- Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah.
- Becoming by Michelle Obama.
My fiction-fast was broken (exploded, really) this year by the novel The House is on Fire by Rachel Beanland. You might win the wager – if you were a betting sort of person – on a friend being unable to put this book down! The NOVEL is on fire! It was definitely worth the wait, and I don’t hesitate to recommend it. Though it kept me awake and reading through the night like a thriller might, the characters were complex, well-developed, and believable. The way they wrestled with questions of integrity and the demands of love and justice had me on the edge of my seat as the events of the story unfolded. See for yourself!
The House is on Fire by Rachel Beanland. Richmond, Virginia, 1811. On the night after Christmas, the theater is packed with holiday revelers. In a third-floor box sits newly widowed Sally Henry Campbell, who is glad for any opportunity to relive the happy times she shared with her husband. In the colored gallery, Cecily Patterson doesn’t give a whit about the play but is grateful for a four-hour reprieve from a life that has recently gone from bad to worse. Backstage, young stagehand Jack Gibson hopes that, if he can impress the theater’s managers, he’ll be offered a permanent job with the company. And on the other side of town, blacksmith Gilbert Hunt dreams of one day being able to bring his wife to the theater – but he’ll have to buy her freedom first.
When the theater goes up in flames in the middle of the performance, Sally, Cecily, Jack, and Gilbert make a series of split-second decisions that will not only affect their own lives but those of countless others. And in the days following the fire, the paths of these four people will become forever intertwined. ~ Publisher.
The new online catalog is HERE!
We’re very excited to announce that North Country library users now have access to a brand new online catalog. On April 26, we changed over to a system where you will enjoy improved search tools, a clean, modern display, and the ability to easily manage accounts.
Here are just a few of the highlights of the new catalog:
- Users can easily manage their account, save searches, and organize lists
- Improved record displays provide all of the relevant versions of the same title in one place, including audio and e-books
- Account information like holds and checked-out items are displayed on the interface at all times
Programming at the Canton Free Library (CFL) plays an important role in providing literary opportunities for St. Lawrence County children and their families. All events are free, though some require registration.
Battle of the Books News:
The Battle of the Books is an exciting event which has become a much-anticipated tradition, and the local Battle will take place TOMORROW, April 29th. The winning team will go on to a regional competition in Gouverneur on May 20th to face winning teams from other North Country Library System libraries.
Call 315-386-3712 x4 or email email@example.com for more information.
0-17 months: Baby Storytime is for our youngest library babies and a caregiver and meets from 10:00-10:45 each Tuesday morning. We’ll share books, bounce rhymes, songs, finger plays, and close with social/play time. No registration.
18-35 months: Toddler Storytime for children and caregivers meets on Monday mornings from 10:30-11:00. We’ll read stories, make music, do flannel board tales, finger plays, and movement activities. No registration necessary during the school year.
3-5 years: Preschool Storytime is offered each week on Wednesdays from 10:30-11:15 am, and is intended for children and caregivers. This 45-minute program involves stories, songs, movement, and art activities. No registration during the school year.
Grades K-2: Our program for elementary age children is called Books and Beyond. Each third Thursday afternoon from 3-4 pm, we’ll explore a theme with books, activities, games, and art. Registration for each month is required by the Monday before.
Grades 3-6: Tween Time offers a mix of cool crafts and art exploration, games, STEAM, and booktalks of popular and classic literature, and meets each fourth Thursday afternoon from 3-4 pm. Registration for each month required by the Monday before.
Lego Club: For Kindergarten-6th grade. Meets the last Monday of the month from 3:30-4:30pm and a different challenge or theme will be given each meeting. Creations will be displayed in the Children’s Room until the next meeting. Legos will be supplied; please don’t bring any from home. Space is limited and the program fills fast! Registration required by the Friday before, but don’t wait that long!
Young Writers Group: A theme or seed of an idea is given, and kids brainstorm, write, and maybe even illustrate their creative stories. They may then share their work with the group if they wish. Ages 8-12 years. Meets every 2nd Wednesday of the month from 3:30-4:50 pm. No registration needed.
Teens: Anime Club for grades 8-12 . Gather together on Thursdays from 5-7pm to share your interest in anime with friends. No registration is necessary. Contact Zach Woodley-White for more information. firstname.lastname@example.org
Outreach: Each month during the school year, Ms. Val visits schools and daycare centers to read to children and share songs, fingerplays, and movement. In the spring, all local first and second grades are invited to take a class trip to hear stories and tour the library.
1,000 Books Before Kindergarten: Track the books listened to by children from birth to the beginning of Kindergarten, and move up for every hundred books read on the Celebration Board in the Children’s Room . You can get a folder from Ms. Val to track on paper forms, or do it on the app.
Special Youth Programs:
Battle of the Books: This program for grades 4-6 involves children forming teams, reading a list of 16 books over 8 months and then competing against other local teams in an exciting quiz game about the books. The top team from the CFL goes on to compete in a regional competition.
Summer Library Program (SLP): This is a month-long celebration of reading fun during July for ages birth-12 years. Specific age-group programs happen weekly, and we offer family programs with performers such as magicians, clowns, storytellers or musicians, as well as Books at the Beach and the annual Pet Show! Registration is required for most programs and the SLP is advertised beginning in April of each year.
Programs are sponsored by the Friends of the Canton Free Library and the St. Lawrence County Youth Bureau.
Questions? Need to register for a program?
Contact Youth Services Specialist
Valerie White (Ms. Val)
(315) 386-3712 ext 4
Chess Club: Join Ryan Nolan every Tuesday from 4-6pm in the Paige Community Room downstairs in the library for Chess Club! No registration required. For more information or to inquire about experience levels please contact Ryan directly at 315-854-6123.
FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY NEWS:
Book Sale: The Friends will continue to host their used book sale on the first Saturday of each month, from 10AM-2PM. Donations of used books/DVDs can be brought to the circulation desk of the library Monday-Saturday during open hours.
About the Friends: The Friends of the Canton Free Library are a volunteer group committed to active support and enrichment of library services on behalf of everyone in the Canton community and beyond. A registered 501c3, the Friends of the Canton Free Library are always seeking new members. For more information email email@example.com.
If you are short on time, consider curbside service! Give us a call at 315-386-3712 (choose option 1 “Front Desk”) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will pack up your books, check them out, and hand them to you from the front door of CFL. If you’re not sure what you’re in the mood to read, we can even choose some titles for you!
MORLEY BRANCH is open on Tuesday 1pm-3pm; Wednesday 4pm-6pm; Thursday 10am-12pm. There is a computer available for your use, but it’s a good idea to call first to check on availability. Call for more details: 315-379-0066.
RENSSELAER FALLS BRANCH is open Tuesdays from 11am – 5pm. Children under age 10 must be with an adult. Call the library (315-344-4155) for additional information.
A great way to find out what’s happening at our Morley and Rensselaer Falls Branches is to check out their Facebook pages:
Rensselaer Falls: https://www.facebook.com/RensselaerFallsLibrary
Canton Free Library’s Hours: 9am-6pm Monday – Friday; 10am-3pm Saturday. For more CFL news, stay tuned on Facebook, Instagram, or our website. Find new additions to our collection on our website: cantonfreelibrary.org. To renew your current checkouts, login to catalog.ncls.org; you may also renew via email at email@example.com, or by calling (315) 386-3712 (choose option 1, “Front Desk,” on the menu).
Find a story you can’t put down @ your library!