Happy PRIDE!

An annual celebration and affirmation of the LGBTQIA+ community in the United States, June is Pride Month!  Beginning as a riot on June 28th, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn after a police raid targeted members of the LGBTQ community, Pride represents a commemoration of that day, and a celebration of the community.  At the first Pride parade in New York, it was stated:

“That the Annual Reminder, in order to be more relevant, reach a greater number of people, and encompass the ideas and ideals of the larger struggle in which we are engaged—that of our fundamental human rights—be moved both in time and location.” Here at the library, we welcome everyone and always seek diversity in our collection.  A way to show support for the community during Pride Month and beyond is to share and hear their stories. Whether it’s a newer book that’s written as #OwnVoices, meaning the author shares this diverse perspective, or it is considered a classic in LGBTQIA+ literature, we have something for you to read as well as films to watch! These picks are just a small sampling of what the library can offer through Overdrive, Hoopla, and what you can order through CLEVNET and our library system to celebrate Pride as well as the LGBTQIA+ community. 

LGBTQIA+ Reads

  • The Queens’ English: The LGBTQIA+ Dictionary of Lingo and Colloquial Phrases by Chloe O. Davis:  With the rise of social media and the internet, I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “Yaaass Queen!”  Where did it come from?  Find out with this reference book that not only celebrates queer culture, but also explains the phrases we use in pop culture today.
  • David Bowie Made Me Gay: 100 Years of LGBT Music by Darryl W. Bullock: If you are a music lover, this book is for you!  Discussing the influence of LGBT artists on the music industry of the last 100 years, this book dives in from discussing jazz, as well as the influence of musical artists like Elton John and Lady Gaga today. 
  • The Guncle by Steven Rowley: Warm and funny, this novel surrounds Patrick (or Gay Uncle Patrick, GUP for short) who loves his niece and nephew while visiting, but when a family crisis arises, has to step up and temporarily have guardianship over the two.
  • Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality by Sarah McBride: A profound and brave memoir, meet Sarah McBride, a transgender activist, who became viral after announcing her transition to the students of American University.  Now one of the most prominent activists in the country, read of her journey, as well as important political and cultural milestones in the transgender community.
  • Legendary Children: The First Decade of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Last Century of Queer Life by Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez: If you are a fan of pop culture, then there is no denying that you have been exposed to the world of RuPaul’s Drag Race, which has been on television for over a decade.  That being said, not only is it considered one of the queerest shows in the history of television, but it also serves as a museum of documenting queer culture.  Read up on the lasting legacy of Drag Race, and also get a snapshot of what queer culture is like in this modern age.
  • Less by Sean Andrew Greer: Winner of the Pulitzer Prize!  Meet Arthur Less, failed novelist who is almost fifty years old, and rather than accepting a wedding invitation to his ex-boyfriend of nine years, decides to embark on a journey to half-baked literary events around the world. 
  • Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan: A young adult story of two young women, one an openly gay track star that has to switch schools after being gay is against her Catholic school’s code of conduct, and a closeted bisexual teen girl who fixes up cars and competes in beauty pageants.  Neither can deny their feelings for one another, but both are coming to terms with their sexuality on very different journeys.  A beautiful and romantic story.
  • Pumpkin by Julie Murphy:  Set in the same world Dumplin’ and Puddin’ by author Julie Murphy, Pumpkin is about Waylon Russell Brewer, a fat and openly gay senior stuck in Clover City, Texas.  After a terrible breakup, his sister helps him record an audition tape to his favorite drag tv show, which is then leaked to the whole school.  As a joke, Waylon is then nominated for Prom Queen.  His sister’s girlfriend is then nominated as prom king.  Rather than turning it down, Waylon decides to run for Prom Queen, and finds out there’s more to prom than meets the eye!  Julie Murphy is one of my favorite authors, and each of her stories has created beloved characters and a great universe.  She is an author to read!
  • Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender: A Stonewall Honor Book, meet Felix Love, a black, queer, and transgender teen who has never been in love (and yes, fully appreciates the irony in that).  After an anonymous student begins to send him transphobic messages, Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What’s not in the plan?  A quasi-love triangle.  Full of self-love and discovery, this is a perfect read for Pride!
  • The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta: A Stonewall Book Award Winner! A book written in accessible verse, journey with Michael, who is a mixed-race gay teen growing up in London.  Never quite fitting in, he eventually finds the Drag Society, and the Black Flamingo is born! 
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Gene Wilder: Celebrating a Life Through Books & Media

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) - Rotten Tomatoes

He gave us the gift of laughter in films including “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein,” and his image gave rise to one of the most famous memes on the Internet, known as Condescending Wonka, usually used to convey sarcasm and a patronizing attitude. The sparkling blue eyes and witty retorts were trademarks of Gene Wilder, born Jerome Silberman June 11, 1933 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Wilder’s film career began with a small part in the famous 1967 “Bonnie & Clyde,” in which he plays an undertaker whose car is stolen by outlaw Clyde Barrow, glamorously portrayed by Warren Beatty. That same year Wilder made his first film with Mel Brooks, “The Producers.” In it, Wilder played the high-strung accountant Leo Bloom, whose scheme with small-time Broadway impresario Zero Mostel to create a flop backfires with hilarious results. It was Wilder’s first leading role in a feature film, which became a cult comedy classic.

In 1971 Wilder played the title role in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” a musical fantasy film based on Roald Dahl’s book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Although not a success at first, the movie developed a cult following and was selected in 2014 for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” And Wilder’s coy smile gave rise to thousands of snarky memes.

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The Importance of Summer Reading

What do you think of when you read the words ‘summer break’?  Summer is often connected with thoughts of relaxation and being outdoors.  However, it is can also lead to a common occurrence known as the summer slide.  According to Scholastic (2019), summer slide is “a regression in academic proficiency due to summer break…”.  Children don’t always practice academic skills during summer break.  In turn, this can hinder a youth’s progress when they head back to school, especially in the areas of reading and math.    

How can parents and caregivers combat summer slide?  One great way is by joining the Summer Reading Challenge at the Lorain Public Library System.  Not only do youth keep reading and learning during the summer months; they get the chance to earn some awesome prizes!  If you are interested in registering for the Lorain Public Library System’s Tails and Tales Summer Reading Challenge, please call your local library or click here.

To learn more about either the importance of summer reading or summer slide, please visit the websites below:

The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.  -Dr. Seuss

On the Radar: New Adult Book Releases Coming in June 2021

It’s time again for more On the Radar news! Check out the titles below for some of the adult books coming to shelves in June.


One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Published by St. Martin’s Griffin

Expected on June 1, 2021

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Science Fiction

Adult Fiction


The Other Black Girl by Zakia Dalila Harris

Published by Atria Books

Expected on June 1, 2021

Genres: Thriller, Mystery

Adult Fiction


Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Published by Ballantine Books

Expected on June 1, 2021

Genres: Historical

Adult Fiction


The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo

Published by Tordotcom

Expected on June 1, 2021

Genres: Fantasy, Historical

Adult Fiction


Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley C. Ford

Published by Flatiron Books

Expected on June 1, 2021

Genres: Autobiography, Memoir

Adult Non Fiction


The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid

Published by Del Rey

Expected on June 8, 2021

Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Retelling

Adult Fiction


The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

Published by Celadon

Expected on June 15, 2021

Genres: Thriller, Mystery

Adult Fiction


The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton

Published by Berkley Books

Expected on June 15, 2021

Genres: Romance, Historical

Adult Fiction


Filthy Animals by Brandon Taylor

Published by Riverhead Books

Expected on June 22, 2021

Genres: Short Stories, Contemporary

Adult Fiction


Songs in Ursa Major by Emma Brodie

Published by Knopf Publishing Group

Expected on June 22, 2021

Genres: Historical

Adult Fiction


On the Road Again: Local Travel and Summer Festivities

Summer is upon us! As our communities begin to open up again, many of us are searching for festivals, events, live music, theater, dining, shops, and all of the other places that make the places we call home special. Perhaps you are itching to enjoy your favorite sports again, explore the natural beauty around us in our wonderful parks, or get your thrills at our amusement parks. You may be ready to watch a new movie on the big screen, ride on one of our many bike trials, go birding, browse craft shows, purchase fresh produce at our local farmers markets, wander through art galleries and museums, or even check out all of the rides at a cruise in. Whatever you may fancy, I compiled a list of resources so you can find out what is happening where and when. Venture to your favorite ice cream stand and watch the sunset at a lovely beach as the stars begin to fill the sky! Summer has arrived!!!


Lorain County

Be sure to check out the Community Calendar and Entertainment webpages on for the upcoming events.

Allen Memorial Art Museum

Founded in 1917 on the campus of Oberlin College, the Allen Memorial Art Museum is recognized as one of the best academic art museums in the nation. Museum admission has always been free for everyone. The museum promotes study and interaction with original works of art.

Findley State Park

Located in northeast Ohio, the 838-acre Findley State Park was once a state forest and is heavily wooded with stately pines and various hardwoods. Popular with hikers and mountain bikers, the park’s trail system includes a connection to the statewide Buckeye Trail. The trails are lovely in all seasons, but particularly inviting during autumn and spring. The park’s forests, meadows, and quiet waters offer a peaceful backdrop for camping, boating, and hiking.

Lorain County Fair – 175th Anniversary – August 22 – 29, 2021

Begun in 1846 and located in Wellington, Ohio, the Lorain County Fair is Ohio’s second largest county fair. The goal of the Fair has always been to educate people about animals and to hold a family-oriented event representing high standards set over many years. The fair is always held in August two weeks before Labor Day.  Come out and see why many visitors consider the Lorain County Fair the best!

Lorain County Metro Parks

The Lorain County Metropolitan Park District was established for the responsible use, enjoyment, and accessibility of every citizen of Lorain County. The Park District acquires land to promote and demonstrate the wise use of our natural resources. The Park District strives to preserve and create a diversity of ecosystems while providing educational and recreational opportunities which are compatible with and promote conservation of these resources. Check their schedule to find free concerts and theatre productions in their parks!

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On the Radar: New J/Teen Books Coming in June 2021

It’s time again for more On the Radar news! Check out the titles below for some of the juvenile and teen books coming to shelves in June.


The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimmons

Published by Dial

Expected on June 1, 2021

Genres: Contemporary, Romance

Teen Fiction


Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Published by Feiwel & Friends

Expected on June 1, 2021

Genres: Thriller, Mystery

Teen Fiction


Almost Flying by Jake Maia Arlow

Published by Dial Books

Expected on June 8, 2021

Genres: Contemporary, Realistic

Juvenile Fiction


The Magical Imperfect by Chris Baron

Published by Feiwel & Friends

Expected on June 15, 2021

Genres: Historical

Juvenile Fiction


For the Wolf by Hannah F. Whitten

Published by Feiwel & Friends

Expected on June 15, 2021

Genres: Fantasy, Retelling

Teen Fiction


Jukebox by Nidhi Chanani

Published by First Second

Expected on June 15, 2021

Genres: Graphic Novel, Science Fiction

Juvenile Fiction


Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk & Nicola Yoon

Published by Quill Tree Books

Expected on June 22, 2021

Genres: Short Stories, Anthology, Contemporary, Romance

Teen Fiction


Ahmed Aziz’s Epic Year by Nina Hamaz

Published by Quill Tree Books

Expected on June 22, 2021

Genres: Contemporary, Realistic

Juvenile Fiction


Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta

Published by Feiwel & Friends

Expected on June 29, 2021

Genres: Science Fiction

Teen Fiction


Generation Misfits by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Expected on June 29, 2021

Genres: Contemporary

Juvenile Fiction


History for Kids: Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a time for celebration and reflection.  On the one hand, this holiday marks the beginning of outdoor barbeques or pool parties, and the three-day weekend adds to the fun!  On the other hand, Memorial Day is a time to honor the fallen men and women who served our country.  Within this post, you will find books and videos you can use to teach your child about Memorial Day.  


Memorial Day Books

The Poppy Lady by Barbara Elizabeth Walsh

“When American soldiers entered World War I, Moina Belle Michael, a schoolteacher from Georgia, knew she had to act. Some of the soldiers were her students and friends. Almost single-handedly, Moina worked to establish the red poppy as the symbol to honor and remember soldiers. And she devoted the rest of her life to making sure the symbol would last forever. Thanks to her hard work, that symbol remains strong today. Author Barbara Elizabeth Walsh and artist Layne Johnson worked with experts, primary documents, and Moina’s great-nieces to better understand Moina’s determination to honor the war veterans.”

Memorial Day by Emma Carlson Berne

“Memorial Day honors soldiers who fought and died for the United States. On this day, communities gather to remember soldiers’ sacrifices and celebrate the beginning of summer. Sing along as you explore Holidays in Rhythm and Rhyme!”

A Day for Rememberin’: The First Memorial Day by Leah Henderson

“Inspired by true events and told through the eyes of a young boy, this is the deeply moving story about what is regarded as the first Memorial Day on May 1, 1865. Eli dresses up in his best clothes, Mama gathers the mayflowers, Papa straightens his hat, and together they join the crowds filling the streets of Charleston, South Carolina, with bouquets, crosses, and wreaths. Abolitionists, missionaries, teachers, military officers, and a sea of faces Black, Brown, and White, they march as one and sing for all those who gave their lives fighting for freedom during the Civil War. With poignant prose and celebratory, powerful illustrations, A Day for Rememberin’ shines light on the little-known history of this important holiday and reminds us never to forget the people who put their lives on the line for their country.”

America’s White Table by Margo Theis Raven and Mike Benny

“The White Table is set in many mess halls as a symbol for and remembrance to service members fallen, missing, or held captive in the line of duty. Solitary and solemn, it is the table where no one will ever sit. As a special gift to her Uncle John, Katie and her sisters are asked to help set the white table for dinner. As their mother explains the significance of each item placed on the table Katie comes to understand and appreciate the depth of sacrifice that her uncle, and each member of the Armed Forces and their families, may be called to give. It was just a little white table… but it felt as big as America when we helped Mama put each item on it and she told us why it was so important.”

Memorial Day by Connor Dayton

“While the name may have changed from Decoration Day, the sentiment behind this national holiday is still the same to decorate the graves of all fallen soldiers. Readers learn about the history of this commemoration, and how it is celebrated across the United States. From parades to somber hymns, the spirit of bravely serving one’s country is accessibly presented here.”

Rolling Thunder by Kate Messner and Greg Ruth

“Lines of bikes are miles long,shining, half a million strong.Rumbling, grumbling, engines roar.Peace signs. High fives. Spirits soar.Every Memorial Day in Washington, DC, more than a million veterans and their supporters gather for the Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom, a demonstration that pays tribute to the men and women of the US armed forces. This lyrical story honors the bravery and sacrifice of those American heroes — the ones who have returned home, and the ones who haven’t.”

Memorial Day Videos


Growing Patio Tomatoes

Nothing beats a fresh home-grown tomato.  So juicy, robust, delicious.  Eaten whole with a small sprinkle of salt or my favorite- a tomato and mayo sandwich in late summer is pure bliss.  Yes, you can purchase fresh grown tomatoes at farm markets or road-side stands, but growing your own tomatoes is super easy and very rewarding.  It is amazing seeing nature in action as your tomatoes grow, blossom and yield fruit.  And yes, by the way, a tomato is botanically a fruit even though we tend to use tomatoes as a “vegetable” for cooking.  You do not need a “green thumb” to have a garden or a large space or yard.   If you are like me and would rather not dig around in the ground (bugs) you can easily grow tomatoes in pots, 5 gallon buckets, raised planting beds and even 2 liter plastic soda bottles!  You can grow tomatoes in your front yard too!  Add a decorative tomato stake or cage and it will look great all summer long. 

Tune in Friday, May 28 for the pre-recorded video “Growing Patio Tomatoes” for instructions and ways to grow your very own tomatoes.  THEN tune in late August for some great recipes and ways to use your home-grown tomatoes! 

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Raymond Carver: Celebrating a Life Through Books & Media

Lovers of short stories will undoubtedly know the work of Raymond Carver, the American writer who was born May 25, 1938 in Clatskanie, Oregon. His heartbreakingly short career, marked with alcoholism and a troubled personal life, gave us stories fully the equal of Anton Chekov, J.D. Salinger, Flannery O’Connor and Ernest Hemingway. Carver died in 1988, aged 50.

Most of Carver’s characters belong to the working class, but their problems are universal, according to Nasrullah Mambrol, on literariness.org. “Carver writes about divorce, infidelity, spiritual alienation, alcoholism, bankruptcy, rootlessness, and existential dread; none of these afflictions is peculiar to the working class, and in fact, all were once more common to members of the higher social classes,” wrote Mambrol.

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Carver shows us the humor and tragedy that dwell in the hearts of ordinary people; his stories are the classics of our time. His first collection, “Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?” was published in 1977 and was nominated for a National Book Award. It showed Carver to be a minimalist writer, dwelling on disenchantment in the American working class. The title story and several others by Carver were used as the basis for “Short Cuts,” the 1993 ensemble drama by Robert Altman with more than 20 Hollywood actors including Andie MacDowell, Matthew Modine, Tim Robbins, Jack Lemmon, Frances McDormand and Robert Downey Jr.

Carver’s 1981 collection, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” was called “A haunting meditation on love, loss, companionship, and finding one’s way through the dark” when it came out. The title story plays a prominent role in the 2014 film “Birdman,” starring Michael Keaton, who plays a fading actor best known for his portrayal of a popular superhero. He tries to mount a comeback by appearing in a Broadway play. As opening night approaches, his attempts to become more altruistic, rebuild his career, and reconnect with friends and family prove more difficult than expected.

Everything Must Go Poster

From the same collection, the story “Why Don’t You Dance?” is the basis for the 2011 Will Ferrrell film “Everything Must Go.” In a departure from his usual comedy roles, Ferrell plays a salesman named Nick with a happy marriage, but years of drinking are finally catching up with him, as he’s fired from his job and his wife has decided she’s had enough. Nick’s wife has kicked him out of the house and moved all his possessions onto their front lawn. Hoping to retain a bit of dignity and maybe raise some cash as he plots his next move, Nick puts a yard sale sign on his stuff and tries to convince the neighbors (and the cops) that he’s simply selling some junk he doesn’t need anymore.

When Carver’s 1983 collection “Cathedral” came out, The Washington Post wrote that it contained “a dozen stories that overflow with the danger, excitement, mystery and possibility of life.”

“Where I’m Calling From: New and Selected Stories,” came out in 1989, the year after Carver died. It contains stories from Carver’s collections, plus seven stories previously unpublished. And for readers wanting to read all of Carver’s stories in one volume, the Library of America published “Collected Stories.” To learn more about Raymond Carver, try “Raymond Carver: A Writer’s Life,” by Carol Sklenicka. Further insight can be found in “What it Used to Be Like: A Portrait of My Marriage to Raymond Carver,” by his first wife, Maryann Burk Carver, and “Carver Country: The World of Raymond Carver,” by Carver and Bob Adelman.

Currently #13

Check out what the Lorain Public Library System staff are currently doing in their free time. Whether it’s books, movies, TV shows, music, and more, we want to share what has caught our attention.


Currently Reading

Susan, Main Branch Manager: That Summer by Jennifer Weiner & Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenridge

Judy, North Ridgeville Branch Library Assistant: Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Stephanie, Outreach Public Services Professional: Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

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