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Mar 24

Series Saturday:

Posted on March 24, 2017 at 12:53 PM by Lindsey Schmidt


If you have an elementary school aged child (2nd to 4th grade reading level) you probably have already heard of this Series Saturday. It's Lauren Tarshis's "I Survived" series! These books are very popular historical fiction books. Teachers love to use them to get their students interested in history and as a learning tool.


Historical fiction, Junior Fiction, Adventure/Action, Based on True Event

Location in Library: 

Junior Fiction, J TARSHIS

Meet the Characters:

Each book has a new protagonist. The books span from the "Destruction of Pompeii" to the 2011 Joplin tornado with many of the books tackling events in the 1900's. The books are in third person and do a great job of reading like the narrator is a 10 year old - one book talked about how "old" the main character's aunt was (she was 22). The main characters are relateable for elementary students and the fear and excitement they experience is so well worded (but not in a way that will keep your young ones up at night) that your children will be sucked in!

Number in Series:

There are currently 14 books in the series and a 15th is coming out this year! These books do not have to be read in a certain order, as they have different protagonists and take place around the world and at various times in history.

  • I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912
  • I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916
  • I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005
  • I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941
  • I Survived the San Francisco Earthquake, 1906
  • I Survived the Attacks of September 11th, 2001
  • I Survived the Battle of Gettysburg, 1863
  • I Survived the Japanese Tsunami, 2011
  • I Survived the Nazi Invasion, 1944
  • I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii, AD 79
  • I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871
  • I Survived the Joplin Tornado, 2011
  • I Survived the Hindenburg Disaster, 1937
  • I Survived the Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 1980
Final Word:

These books are great for elementary aged children! Even if they're not interested in history, these books do not force them to process facts like a textbook. Instead, your child will learn about the event and time in history through the descriptions and behavior of the characters. At the end of each book there is a list of facts that were not included in the actual story; but by the end of the book your child will most likely want to read those facts anyway! Even though these books are about deadly events and tragedies, the characters themselves do not see bodies or violence. In some books, the characters are not in the middle of the historic event - like in the 9/11 book, the boy was not in Twin Towers during the attack - but they still provide excellent detail and are filled with action!
Mar 14

Books by Irish Authors or Set in Ireland - Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Posted on March 14, 2017 at 3:43 PM by Lindsey Schmidt

My (Lindsey’s) great-grandparents grew up in Ireland before immigrating to Michigan where they met and got married. My grandma is 100% Irish and we are passionate about our Irish heritage! I spent close to a year crocheting an Irish flag blanket for my grandma (it ended up being the size of queen-sized bed!). Usually for Christmas I will get her a book about Ireland, Irish characters, or by an Irish author. So it seemed obvious that I need to write a blog about books that center on the Irish!

Saint Patricks Day Blanket

Irish Authors:

Tana French

Despite having the last name of French, Tana French is a very accomplished Irish author. Born in Vermont, she lived in Ireland, Italy, and Malawi growing up, but moved to Dublin for good in 1990. She has written the very popular Dublin Murder Squad series (most recent being “The Trespasser”). These books are considered a combination of police procedural and psychological thrillers. In addition to these extremely popular books, French is also a professional actress. After graduating from Trinity College in Dublin, she has worked in theater, film, and voiceover. It was actually between acting gigs that French wrote chunks of her debut novel: “In the Woods.”

Tana French

Cecelia Ahern

Cecelia Ahern is an extremely talented young author who was born and continues to live in Dublin. She has recently started writing young adult novels, which differ from her usual women’s literature books.

Have you seen “P.S. I Love You?” Do you remember how only Gerry was Irish while Holly was Irish American? Well in the actual book they are both Irish and living in Dublin. The majority of Ahern’s books are set in Ireland. But Ahern doesn’t just write books - she also writes and produces movies and television shows! At the age of 26 Ahern wrote and produced the show “Samantha Who?” for ABC. Cecelia Ahern

Emma Donoghue

Emma Donoghue grew up in Dublin, but is considered an Irish-Canadian playwright, novelist, and screenwriter. Her most popular books are also some of her most recent - “Room” and “The Wonder.” Prior to this, much of her work focused on sexuality and the LGBQ community. Her books mostly take place in Ireland or Canada. She has a degree in literary history, resulting in many of her books being historical fiction.

Emma Donoghue

Irish Centered Books

Brooklyn, by Colm Toibin

Brooklyn is the story of an Irish immigrant, Eilis, trying to establish herself in America while protecting her sense of Irish identity in the 1950s. She falls in love with an Italian American young man, Tony, but an incident with her family that remained in Ireland causes her to question her new life in America and her relationship with him.


Dozens of Nora Roberts’ books!

Nora Roberts is an American author, however, she clearly LOVES Ireland. Many of her series either take place in Ireland or focus on Irish/Irish American characters. Roberts is a Romantic Suspense author and she takes advantage of Ireland's romantic beauty! These are her series that take place in Ireland:

  • Born In Trilogy

  • Gallaghers of Ardmore

  • Circle Trilogy

  • The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy

  • The Guardians Trilogy

  • Irish Hearts

Mar 10

Services Saturday: Michigan Activity Pass (MAP)

Posted on March 10, 2017 at 2:04 PM by Lindsey Schmidt

Did you know that by being a patron of Howard Miller Public Library you can receive FREE passes to hundreds of amazing attractions, state parks, and recreation sites through Michigan Activity Passes (MAP)?! These sites are all over the state too. So if you're going up north, or visiting friends/family on the eastern side of the state you can find fun things to do! 

It's really easy to find the MAP website from our homepage. About half way down the left hand-side menu is the link to MAP: 

Screenshot 1

After you click it, you're taken to MAP's website to begin the search for free passes! Rather than just seeing all of the locations available to you (again, there are hundreds!), the website has you fill out a form in order to narrow down the possibilities: 

Screenshot 2

After you click "Search" the website will bring up a map and list of destinations that fit your request! From this page you can look at the destination's website, get directions to the destination, and claim your passes: 

Screenshot 3

Requesting your pass is also super simple! You just need to choose which date you're interested in...

Screenshot 4

...and then fill out your name and card number! 

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That is all you need to do to find exciting new (and FREE) Michigan destinations to explore! We hope you enjoy this service as much as we do :)