The Carver County Library thanks the community for their great support of the “A Universe of Stories” youth summer reading program. Over 1,000 children and teens wrote 16,452 reviews to earn exciting incentives such as tickets to the State Fair, Minnesota Twins, Sea Life, and Crayola Experience.

During the summer, children and teens attended 73 performances of musicians, jugglers, magicians, and STEM presenters. In addition to outside performers, Carver County youth librarians created a steady stream of STEM programs connected to the outer space theme which engaged children.

Storytime attendance remained high, as caregivers connected their children to a quality early literacy experience, including special STEM storytimes and even visits from the dairy princess!

Teens volunteered almost a thousand hours to shelve all the kids’ books checked out in the summer as well as engage in special projects. A Universe of Stories was an out of this world success thanks to the enthusiastic participation of residents of Chanhassen, Chaska, Victoria and the rest of Carver County.

FALL FICTION

Fall into September by getting caught up on some great nonfiction.

“Elderhood” by Louise Aronson. For more than 5,000 years, “old” has been defined as beginning between the ages of 60 and 70. That means most people alive today will spend more years in elderhood than in childhood, and many will be elders for 40 years or more. Yet at the very moment that humans are living longer than ever before, we’ve made old age into a disease, a condition to be dreaded, denigrated, neglected and denied. Reminiscent of Oliver Sacks, noted Harvard-trained geriatrician Aronson uses stories from her quarter century of caring for patients, and draws from history, science, literature, popular culture, and her own life to weave a vision of old age that’s neither nightmare nor utopian fantasy, but a vision full of joy, wonder, frustration, outrage, and hope about aging, medicine and humanity itself.

“Once More We Saw Stars” by Jayson Greene. As the book opens 2-year-old Greta Greene is sitting with her grandmother on a park bench on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. A brick crumbles from a windowsill overhead, striking her unconscious, and she is immediately rushed to the hospital. But although it begins with this event and with the anguish Jayson and his wife, Stacy, confront in the wake of their daughter’s trauma and the hours leading up to her death, the book quickly becomes a narrative that is as much about hope and healing as it is about grief and loss. Jayson recognizes, even amid his ordeal, that there will be a life for him beyond it and that he will survive what seems unsurvivable. With raw honesty, deep emotion, and exquisite tenderness, Greene captures both the fragility of life and absoluteness of death, and most important of all, the unconquerable power of love.

“The Second Mountain” by David Brooks. Brooks explores the four commitments that define a life of meaning and purpose: to a spouse and family, to a vocation, to a philosophy or faith, and to a community. Our personal fulfillment depends on how well we choose and execute these commitments. Brooks looks at a range of people who have lived joyous, committed lives, and who have embraced the necessity and beauty of dependence. He gathers their wisdom on how to choose a partner, how to pick a vocation, how to live out a philosophy, and how we can begin to integrate our commitments into one overriding purpose. In short, this book is meant to help us all lead more meaningful lives

“Truth Worth Telling” by Scott Pelley. An inspiring memoir from the front lines of history by the award-winning “60 Minutes” correspondent. Don’t ask the meaning of life. Life is asking, what’s the meaning of you? With this provocative question, this book introduces us to unforgettable people who discovered the meaning of their lives in the historic events of our times. A “60 Minutes” correspondent and former anchor of the “CBS Evening News,” Pelley writes as a witness to events that changed our world. In moving, detailed prose, he stands with firefighters at the collapsing World Trade Center on 9/11, advances with American troops in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq and reveals private moments with presidents (and would-be presidents) he’s known for decades.

MASTER GARDENER

Master Gardener Help Desk: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 31 at the Chanhassen and Chaska libraries. Bring your plant samples and insect disease questions to any of the Yard & Garden Help Desks. Carver/Scott Master Gardeners will help diagnose problems and answer your yard and garden questions.

STORYTIMES

See you for storytime starting Sept. 9.

Patrick Jones is branch manager for the Chanhassen and Victoria libraries. He can be reached at pjones@co.carver.mn.us.

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