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Here's a selection of new reads at the Noe ValleySally Brunn Library, conjured up by resident children's librarian Carol Small and Voice bookworm Karol Barske. To check out books--or CDs or DVDs--drop by the library at 451 Jersey Street. Locals should note that the branch is now open Tuesday through Sunday (see hours below) and a new librarian, 19-year Noe Valley resident Susan Higgins, has joined the weekend staff. She'll be glad to help you find something or tell you about the library's new adult programming, such as the "Great American Folksong" evening on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 7 p.m. To contact Higgins, Small, or branch manager Alice McCloud, call 355-5707. For digital library news, see www.sfpl.org.
- Settlement by Christoph Hein follows the path of a young East German refugee whose family settled in a small West German town after fleeing the Soviet occupation of their homeland in 1945.
- A finalist for the Man Booker Prize, The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher spans 20 years--from 1974 to 1994, roughly the Thatcher era--in the lives of two neighboring families in Sheffield, England.
- After a man is murdered in the elevator of their apartment complex, the residents reveal their prejudices through their contradictory testimony, in Amara Lakhous' prize-winning social satire Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio.
- Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America, by Paul Tough, profiles the educational reformer who created the Harlem Children's Zone, a "cradle-to-college" program for underprivileged kids.
- In Annie Leibowitz at Work, the photographer discusses her career, highlighted by a string of Rolling Stone covers and celebrity portraits for the New Yorker and Vanity Fair.
- The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2008, edited by Dave Eggers, features "fiction, nonfiction, alternative comics, screenplays, and blogs" by Marjorie Celona, J. Malcolm Garcia, Andrew Sean Greer, Raffi Khatchadourian, Stephen King, George Saunders, Patrick Tobin, Laurie Weeks, and others.
- Susan Marie Swanson's story The House in the Night puts the world in order by naming comforting things--a key, a bed, the light of the moon--to think of at bedtime. Illustrations by Beth Krommes. Ages 3 to 5.
- Collages of photographs and watercolors show the route Babar the Elephant and his family travel across America in Babar's USA by Laurent de Brunhoff. Ages 3 to 6.
- A playful gray-and-white kitten hopes there is a friend on the other side of the fence, in Lola Schaefer's What's That, Mittens? Ages 5 to 7.
- Rainyday adventures beckon a girl and her horse in Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa: Rain or Shine, the fourth book in the Cowgirl series by Erica Silverman. Ages 5 to 8.
- Abigail and her younger brother Jake survive trips to the mall, a county fair, the beach, and the emergency room, in Judy Blume's Going, Going, Gone! with the Pain and the Great One. Ages 8 to 10.
- The American Story: 100 True Tales from American History, by Jennifer Armstrong is an illustrated treasury of historical tales, starting with the French Huguenot colonization of the Florida coast in 1564-65 and ending with the Bush-Gore election battle of 2000. Ages 8 and up.
Woodie Guthrie and the Great American Folksong
- Musician and journalist Tim Holt will give a talk on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 7 to 8:30 p.m., tracing the history of folk music in America. Along the way, he'll sing a variety of songs, including classics by Woodie Guthrie and Lead Belly. The program is aimed at adults.
Toddler Tales & Storytime
- Enjoy books, rhymes, music, and movement at Toddler Tales, for ages 18-36 months, on Tuesdays, Feb. 3, 10, and 17, from 10:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Then stay for Family Storytime, for ages 5 and younger, starting at 11 a.m.
Movies for Children
- Films for kids, ages 3 to 5, will be shown on Tuesday, Feb. 24, at 10:15 and 11 a.m.
Events are held at the Noe ValleySally Brunn Branch Library at 451 Jersey Street near Castro Street. For information, call 355-5707.