VIDEO: Gift Giving Guide from J.V. Fletcher Library

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The librarians at the J.V. Fletcher Library have released their book giving guide for the holidays. Here’s what Assistant Director Kristina Leedberg and Associate Librarian Mayleen Kelley are recommending [Scroll down]:

Holiday Hours: The Library will be open on Monday, Dec. 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  We will be closed on Tuesday, Dec. 25 and will reopen at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 26.  The Library will be open on Monday, Dec. 31 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. We will be closed on Tuesday, Jan. 1.  and will reopen on Wednesday, Jan. 2 at 10 a.m.

Ukulele Strum Along: Saturday, Dec. 22 from 2 to 3 p.m. Participants will learn to play by playing. Focusing on two and three chord songs, this program is for the beginner ukulele player who wants to practice and play music with others. Ukuleles are available to borrow. The songs are projected onto a screen so no music stands or books are necessary. This program is open to adults and teens. To borrow a ukulele, participants are asked to register online or in the Information Services Department. Those with their own instrument can drop in.

4th Annual 9-Hole Mini Golf in the Library: Thursday, December 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. A nine hole (and a bonus hole) mini-golf course all over the library. This free drop-in program is funded by the KDK Memorial Foundation (in honor of Kurt Kelly).

Sunday Hours: Resume on Sunday, Jan. 6 through Sunday, April 28. On Sundays the Library is open from 2 to 5 p.m.

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The J. V. Fletcher Library’s Annual Staff Recommendations for holiday gift-giving or reading for pleasure:

 FICTION:

Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict. Clara Kelley is a poor farmer’s daughter from Ireland.  When an opportunity arises for her to pose as an experienced maid (the woman who was supposed to take the job has mysteriously vanished), she can’t afford to say no. Clara has none of the skills required of her and she is exhausted trying to keep her position. The Carnegie family has high standards and her secret is further jeopardized when she begins to develop a relationship with her mistress’s son, Andrew. This is a good choice for Downton Abbey fans.

The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni.  Sam Hill was born with ocular albinism, a condition that causes the blood vessels to show through the irises of the eye, giving a red appearance. Sam’s family is deeply spiritual and his mother believes his condition is “God’s will.”

Sam endures extreme bullying and discrimination thus earning the nickname, “Sam Hell.” As he questions his faith, his mother is a constant presence and his best champion and advocate.  This is a book about self- discovery and self-acceptance.  If you have ever felt left out or different, this could be your story too.

A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne. How can Maurice Swift succeed as a writer if he has no talent?  Easy, he finds famous authors who are in their later years and manipulates them into giving him their ideas. Before he knows it he finds fame and fortune. Can he keep finding vulnerable authors to feed him story lines or will lose everything? Will the depth of his greed match the depth of his eventual fall? Find out in this page turning psychological drama.

Night of Miracles by Elizabeth Berg.   If you are looking for a “feel good” book, this sequel to The Story of Arthur Truluv is for you. Lucille Howard is in her eighties but that doesn’t stop her from teaching an ever growing baking class. Her students take her quirky personality in stride, it’s worth it to learn the secrets to her delicious baked goods. Lucille still misses her deceased friend Arthur Truluv but he taught her the importance of staying busy and showing kindness to others.  We are introduced to some new characters in the small town of Mason, Missouri.  Lucille helps to care for a young boy who moves in next door after his mother is struck with a serious illness. Then there is Iris, she’s also new to town and trying to escape the heartache of her past.  She becomes Lucille’s assistant who persuades her to promote her classes on social media.  Lucille helps all of them find new beginnings in their lives just as she is reaching the end of hers.

 NON-FICTION:

Almost Everything : Notes on Hope by Anne Lamott.  How can we bring hope back into our lives? In this uplifting and funny book, Lamott teaches us how to look within and find hope in everyday life. Choose this title if you need a lift this holiday.

Cook Like a Pro! By Ina Garten. Bestselling cookbook author, Ina Garten also finds new ways to share recipes and entertaining tips.  No matter how much or how little experience you have in the kitchen, this book will show you how to cook like a pro!  Perfect for the “foodie” on your gift giving list

CHILDREN:

The Wall in the Middle of the Book by Jon Agee .  A knight feels safe on the side of the wall that divides his book.  He is afraid of what may be on the other side of the wall.  He soon learns that the other side is not as scary as he thought and may even be better.

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan Higgins.  A funny picture book about a Penelope Rex who receives a bite from her classroom’s pet and suddenly comprehends why we shouldn’t eat our classmates.

 TWEENS:

Check out this series of four books by Jason Reynolds: Ghost, Lu, Patina, and Sunny.  Four kids from different backgrounds are chosen for an elite middle school track team. This experience could take them to the Junior Olympics if they can outrun their personal demons and work as a team.

You Don’t Know Everything Jilly P! by Alex Gino. When Jilly’s baby sister is born deaf, she turns to her new friend Derek for advice. Derek just happens to be black and deaf and he helps Jilly understand the obstacles that Emma (or anyone who is different) might face.

The J.V. Fletcher Library is located at 50 Main St., Westford.  For more information or to register for a program, visit http://www.westfordlibrary.org or call 978-692-5555.