December 2012
Volume 2, Issue 12
ECRL Newsletter Logo 


Give the Gift of Reading


One of my favorite, but most feared, requests in a public library is when someone asks for a book that they had loved as a child. The request is often phrased like this: "It had a blue cover. There was a boy and a big yellow dog." And the requester always asks it with eagerness, anticipation, and passion. Oh, to hold that book in one's hands again. How thrilling! Sometimes the book was checked out from the library. Often it was personally owned. What a thrill to own books!


A 2010 study published in the journal Research in Social Stratification and Mobility shows how strong the correlation is between a child's academic achievement and the number of books his or her parents own. Researchers found that children who grew up in a home with more than 500 books spent 3 years longer in school than children whose parents had only a few books. Also, a child who grows up midst lots of books is nearly 20-percent more likely to finish college.


The season of gift-giving is here. Start a new tradition! Give all the little ones (and everyone else too) a book. And then be ready to stop whatever you're doing to read it - most often over and over and over.


The Children's Center for the Book publishes the "Guide Book to Gift Books" - a list of more than 350 recently published children's books, with short descriptions, arranged by age group. Download the guidebook to your smartphone, to refer to when you're out shopping:


Happy holidays from all of us book lovers at East Central Regional Library Branches.


  Staff Recommendations

Recommended by Lisa Wagner, Milaca Community Library Branch Librarian


Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
A quirky and enchanting novel about two sisters, Claire and Sydney Waverly, their lives, and the magical qualities of the plants growing in their backyard garden.
The Nativity Story a DVD directed by Catherine Hardwicke
This DVD depicts the Biblical story of Jesus' birth. While some images are violent and may be overwhelming for younger viewers (in spite of the PG rating), the film offers a beautiful, solemn portrayal of a paramount religious event.


Recommended by Sue Monroe, North Branch Area Library Branch Librarian


The Good Dream by Donna VanLiere. This book takes place in 1950 in Tennessee and is about a single woman who rescues a young boy who has been stealing vegetables from her garden.


Recommended by Donna Larson, Rush City Branch Librarian


Monkeewrench is the first in a series of murder mysteries by mother-daughter writing team, P. J. Tracy (Patricia and Traci Lambrecht). These Minnesota natives do our state proud with a fast-paced, interesting storyline and well-developed, likeable characters that acquaint the reader with Minnesota and Wisconsin places and personalities. I'm working my way through the entire series!


Recommended by Sarah Biro, Chisago Lakes Area Branch Librarian


Covert Affairs: Season 1
TV show about a female spy that ISN'T all about dressing her in sexy clothing.  Annie Walker is a tough, smart, and sometimes a little klutzy, young CIA agent with a blind tech operative mentor in Augie to help her out along the way. Every episode has a nice blend of action, drama, and a bit of humor.


Recommended by Ceci Cross-Maser, Hinckley Public Branch Librarian


Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver 

Deals with global warming and climate change.  Beautifully written, multi-layered, personal conflicts.
The Round House by Louise Erdrich 

This book is already an award winner.  It is set on an Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota, tells how one family and one community with multiple jurisdictions deals with the rape of a Native American woman.


Recommended by Kathy Morrow, Mille Lacs Lake Community Library Branch Librarian

The Forever Marriage by Ann Bauer 


This novel starts with a husband's death from cancer and the relief that his widow, Carmen feels.  The characters are flawed, but very well drawn, including a son with Down's Syndrome.  Carmen deals with breast cancer and a long-term love affair as she re-examines her marriage.
Recommended by Lois Novak, Cambridge Public Library Branch Aide


Fearless: the Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team Six Operator Adam Brown by Eric Blehm. 


The title pretty much says it all.  Mr.Brown never gave up on his goal even when circumstances went against him (also available in e-Books).

   Legacy logo

Upcoming Legacy Programming


Winter Break Kid's Movie Series

Chisago Lakes Area Library


Join us during winter break from school for some great animated children's movies.   Call the library at 651-257-2817 for the names and length of each movie.  All films are rated PG.  Free and open to all.  


Wednesday, December 26 - 1:00 pm

Thursday, December 27 - 1:00 pm

Friday, December 28 - 1:00 pm  


Mascot Mania
Join us at the library for a short storytime and meet and greet with your favorite Children's Book Character.  Don't forget to bring your camera!

Clifford  Wednesday, January 23
10:30 am - Pine City Public Library

Geronimo Stilton
Wednesday, January 30
4:00 pm - Chisago Lakes Area Library

Little Critter

Saturday, February 16
11:00 am - Hinckley Public Library

Saturday, February 23

11:00 am - Mora Public Library


*All events are free and open to the public!  

*All programs funded with money from Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.  Call your local ECRL branch for more information about each program.


Plus there are lots of other activities going on throughout ECRL.  Simply check the NewsBits at or our Google calendar.

ECRL's Mission
Connecting and strengthening communities
through the power of knowledge.


*East Central Regional Library is funded by the counties of Aitkin, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs and Pine. 

ECRL also receives state and federal funds.  


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Author of the Month: Joyce Carol Oates 
One of America's greatest and most prolific novelists, Oates won the National Book Award in 1970 and has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize on three occasions.   A professor at Princeton University since 1978, her novels include Them (1969), Mysteries of Winterthurn (1984), and Blonde (2000).  Her latest work, The Accursed, will be published in March 2013.  According to Publisher's Weekly, it is "a thrilling tale in the best gothic tradition, a lesson in master craftsmanship."


New Novels in the ECRL catalog:
Search for any of these items in the ECRL Online Catalog:


*The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin
*A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy
*Bloodfire Quest by Terry Brooks
*Z - A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Ann Fowler
*Blood Money by James Grippando
*Kept in the Dark by Penny Hancock
*The Boy in the Snow by M.J. McGrath
*The Child's Child by Barbara Vine

New DVDs added to the ECRL catalog: 

Search for any of these in the ECRL Online Catalog


*The VIPs (1963) starring Elizabeth Taylor
*Don't Come Knocking (2006) starring Sam Shepard
*Downton Abbey Season 3 (2012) starring Dan Stevens
*October Baby (2012) starring Rachel Hendrix
*Take Me Home (2012) starring Sam Jaeger
*Upstairs Downstairs Season 2 (2012) starring Keeley Hawes
*Your Sister's Sister (2012) starring Emily Blunt
*We Bought a Zoo (2012) starring Matt Damon 

New Non-Fiction in the ECRL Catalog
Search for any of these titles in the ECRL Catalog


*Mission to Mars by Buzz Aldrin

*Life is a Gift by Tony Bennett

*Carrie and Me by Carol Burnett

*The Grand Tour by Agatha Christie

*Cronkite's War by Walter Cronkite

*Living with Honor by Salvatore A. Giunta

*The Heart of Money by Deborah L. Price

*Counting One's Blessings by William Shawcross

New Christmas

Children's Titles

Search for any of these items on the ECRL Online Catalog: 



Easy Books

*Berenstain Bears' Old-Fashioned Christmas by Jan Berenstain
*Charlie and the Christmas Kitty by Ree Drummond
*Christmas at the Toy Museum by David Lucas
*The Christmas Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood
*Christmas Parade by Sandra Boynton
*The Christmas TugBoat:  how the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Came to New York City by George Matteson
*Christmas Toys by Jennifer Weinberg
*Christmas With Lily and Milo by Pauline Oud
*Christmastime by Jay Alison
*Cowboy Christmas by Rob Sanders
*Home for Christmas by Tish Rabe
*How do Dinosaurs say Merry Christmas by Erin Litwin
*Just Right for Christmas by Birdie Black
*Night Santa Got Lost:  How NORAD Saved Christmas by Michael Keane
*Peppa Pig and the Lost Christmas List by Neville Astley
*Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by Eric Litwin
*Pirate's Twelve Days of Christmas by Philip Yates
*Puppy's First Christmas by Steve Smallman
*Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Christmas by Melanie Watt
*Together at Christmas by Eileen Spinelli

Holiday Library
Closing Schedule
All East Central Regional Branches will be closed on Monday, December 24 and Tuesday, December 25.
All ECRL branches will close at 5:00 pm on Monday, December 31 and be closed on Tuesday, January 1.