Noe Valley Voice March 2007

More Books to Read

This month's new book list, provided by San Francisco librarians Pam Ow and Carol Small (and Voice bookworm Karol Barske), offers a book on great feuds in mathematics--what William Dunham calls "weapons of math destruction"--and a story for kids about a medieval summer camp. To find out if these books are available, or to look for other books, films, or CDs, call or stop by a local branch library or visit the San Francisco Public Library online at Be aware that the Noe Valley­Sally Brunn Library at 451 Jersey Street is closed for renovation until late this year. For information, call 557-4400.

Adult Fiction

- A devil named Dieter tells the story of Adolph Hitler's early obsessions and dysfunctional family life, in The Castle in the Forest by Norman Mailer.

- In the early 20th century, a 17-year-old Boston girl is imprisoned in a detention camp for contracting a "social disease," in Charity Girl by Michael Lowenthal.

- Christopher Moore's You Suck, a sequel to his 1995 book Bloodsucking Fiends, is a raunchy slapstick comedy of young vampires in love.

- In Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name, by Vendela Vida, a young woman abandoned by her mother sets off to search for her birth father in Lapland.

Adult Nonfiction

- Hal Hellman's Great Feuds in Mathematics begins with a dispute between Descartes and Fermat and ends with the question: Are mathematical advances discoveries or inventions?

- In The Girls Who Went Away, author Ann Fessler compiles oral histories from women who surrendered their children for adoption in the years before Roe v. Wade.

- Popular Mechanics: The Boy Mechanic provides plans for 200 projects featured in the magazine from 1900 through 1920, including handcrafted furniture, kitchen utensils, and toys.

- In Finding Oprah's Roots: Finding Your Own, Henry Louis Gates Jr. offers clues to tracing the African-American family tree.

--Karol Barske, Noe Valley Voice staffChildren's Fiction

- At first, Wombat makes fun of Platypus' funny appearance, but they become friends as Platypus kindly teaches Wombat to swim, in Charles Fuge's Swim, Little Wombat, Swim! Ages 3 to 5.

- The ever-confident, imaginative piglet declares that "you can't have fireworks without a band," so Olivia Forms a Band, in the newest humorous offering from Ian Falconer. Ages 3 to 7.

- Wiglaf thought that summer camp would be fun, but it isn't working out that way. There's a terrible smell, the weather is always cloudy, and when it's dark he hears strange howling sounds, in Kate McMullan's Hail! Hail! Camp Dragononka! (Dragon Slayers' Academy series). Ages 8 to 10. (Recommended by Carol Small)

- Fifteen-year-old Miguel and his younger sister, Elena, face extreme danger on their journey from Mexico to cross La Línea, the border, in order to join their parents in California. Author Ann Jaramillo, a middle school ESL teacher in Salinas, based this novel on real events. Ages 10 and older.

Children's Nonfiction

- Judith Williams' "I Like Weather!" series introduces young readers to basic facts about weather conditions. Each book includes a simple experiment, reading list, and web sites. The titles are: How Does the Sun Make Weather?, Why Is It Raining?, Why Is It Snowing?, and Why Is It Windy? Ages 5 to 9.

- This Little Piggy: Lap Songs, Finger Plays, Clapping Games, and Pantomime Rhymes, edited by Jane Yolen, with pig-filled illustrations by Will Hillenbrand and musical arrangements by Adam Stemple, comes with a CD so that parents and caregivers of babies and toddlers may expand their repertoire.

--Pam Ow, Eureka Valley­Harvey Milk Library


Tuesday Is Song and Story Time

- Your baby or toddler will enjoy singing songs and playing pattycake at the 10:15 a.m. lapsits, held Tuesdays at Bethany United Methodist Church. The dates this month are March 6, 13, 20, and 27.

- Bethany Church also hosts the preschool story time, a read-aloud program for children ages 3 to 5, at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays, March 6, 13, 20, and 27.

Note: Because the Noe Valley Library is closed for renovation, programs are held at Bethany Church, at 1268 Sanchez Street, on the corner of Sanchez and Clipper.

- The Noe Valley Bookmobile makes a beeline to 665 Elizabeth Street near Diamond Street on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.