Over 65 children's services staff from public libraries located in Southwest Ohio discussed and voted on juvenile and young adult fiction, non-fiction, and picture books, in a Mock Newbery and Mock Caldecott event hosted by the West Chester MidPointe Library System on Thursday, January 17. The event is coordinated by Sam Bloom, a Tween Librarian with The Public Library Cincinnati and Hamilton County (PLCH) and a team of staff from PLCH, MidPointe Library System, and The Lane Libraries.
This year, Loren Long, a local author/illustrator who lives in Cincinnati, talked to us about his writing and illustrating process, specifically about his illustrations for the picture book Love, written by Matt de la Peña.
The winner of the Mock Newbery was The Night Diary by Vera Hiranandani.
The honors for the Mock Newbery went to Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol, The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis, and The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan.
The winner of the Mock Caldecott was Drawn Together, illustrated by Dan Santat, written by Minh Lê.
The honors for the Mock Caldecott went to Dreamers by Yuyi Morales and Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love.
The actual ALA Youth Media Awards announcement for the Newbery and Caldecott medals (and other awards) takes place at the American Librarian Association conference in Seattle, Washington, on Monday, January 28th, at 8 a.m. PT. The event will be live-streamed and here is the link if you're interested in watching the live announcements: http://ala.unikron.com/.
Today we commemorate the life and legacy of America’s civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Today we commemorate the life and legacy of America’s civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The third Monday of January has been designated as “Martin Luther King Jr. Day.” Fittingly, this federal holiday is observed as closely as possible to Dr. King’s birthday on January 15 .
As we all know, Dr. King suffered a mortal gunshot wound inflicted by James Earl Ray in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968. He died that evening.
Only the day before, King, a recipient of many death threats, had delivered his famous “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop” speech. To many it seemed to be a foreshadowing of his death.
Dr. King’s assassination was front page news in papers and televised media around the world. The Middletown (Ohio) Journal was no exception.
However, Journal editors went farther than just reporting the murder of Dr. King. In an editorial titled “All of Us Share Guilt In Slaying of Dr. King,” they wrote:
“The nation must share the guilt for the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. Anyone who harbors race hatred in his heart had a finger on the trigger that sent the fatal bullet into the great Negro leader...The man behind the assassin’s gun is only a symbol of the sickness from which this nation has been slowly, too slowly, recovering…
“It is contrary to the principles of this nation to make second-class citizens of people because of race, color, or creed. It is contrary to the teachings of Christianity and it is contrary to the consciences of men of good will…
“[Dr. King’s] death is a grievous loss to this nation and to the world. He must not have died in vain.”
Information for this article was supplied by online sources.
Past issues of the Middletown Journal and many other newspapers are available to MidPointe Library cardholders via its online research database “Newspaper Archive” available at:
MidPointe has a large collection of material on Dr. King onsite and online via its catalog:
Mention the old family name “Sorg” around these parts and “culture” comes to mind.
The stately “Sorg Mansion” on South Main Street in Middletown was recently opened for tours.
Just up the street, the elegant opera house that bears the name has been revitalized and opened for business thanks to hard-working citizens with a love of local history and the arts.
The late Middletown, Ohio, industrialist Paul J. Sorg would have been proud.
Today the Sorg Opera House at 63 South Main is abuzz with anticipation for an eclectic 2019 season of some of the best alt-pop-and-alt-rock, blues, jazz and bluegrass around... (*)
Now we ask: who’s played the Sorg in the past? The famous cowboy, actor and humorist Will Rogers, for one.
To find some answers, click through MidPointe Library’s Digital Archives to see photos of the Sorg Opera House and those who have graced its stage. Made available by locals who love Middletown history, the collections includes portraits of performers, some unidentified, who once entertained Sorg audiences.
Let us know if you can identify the unnamed!
(*)For more information on the Sorg’s upcoming season and the Sorg Opera Revitalization Group go to: https://www.sorgoperahouse.org/new-events/
Go to http://www.midpointedigitalarchives.org/digital/ and type in “Sorg Opera House” to begin your journey to Middletown’s entertaining past!
The highly detailed “A History of Sorg’s Opera House” by local author Sam Ashworth is available for checkout at MidPointe Library-Middletown’s Local History and Genealogy Gallery.
It was 52 years ago today, January 15, 1967, that Americans fell head-over-cleats for what would become known as the first Super Bowl at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. It pitted the Green Bay Packers against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Packers won 35-10.
With 2019’s Super Bowl scheduled for Sunday, February 3, our TriviaTuesday question is:
What Super Bowl I player was deemed by legendary Packers Coach Vince Lombardi as “the finest player” he’d ever coached?
“The finest player” ever coached by Vince Lombardi was Forrest Gregg, whom local gridiron fans will remember as head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals in the early 1980s. Gregg was one of the Packers who played in that historic first Super Bowl in 1967.
Lombardi paid the ultimate compliment to Gregg in his own book titled “Run To Daylight,” according to Harvey Frommer, author of “When It Was Just A Game -- Remembering the First Super Bowl.”
“When It Was Just A Game…” is an oral history of the momentous “AFL-NFL World Championship Football Game” that ultimately became known as the first Super Bowl. It includes conversations by players, coaches, fans and others who had connections to the historic event.
In the book Gregg fondly recalls that momentous first game in January ‘67:
“It felt good to be the first Super Bowl champions. All those years we were expected to win, and the pressure was on us to win. Pressure was never a problem. It was there, something we lived with, something we overcame…The Green Bay Packers were a family, a team that worked and played for each other.”
Soon America’s football families will gather to see who wins Super Bowl’s next Vince Lombardi Trophy, named in honor of the coach who was there from the very start.
The book, “When It Was Just A Game -- Remembering the First Super Bowl” by Harvey Frommer (foreword by Frank Gifford) is available for checkout at MidPointe Library.
Books and more about the Super Bowl are available at MidPointe:
And via its eLibrary, available at: https://www.midpointelibrary.org/
This article includes information from Wikipedia.
Photos of Coach Vince Lombardi and Green Bay Packer Forrest Gregg are from Google Images.
If snow is getting you down, don’t think white…
Blue penguins, that is.
Two “Little Blue penguins” (also known as “Fairy Penguins”) recently joined the LBP family at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, the “Journal News” reported on January 5.
The zoo reportedly “has the largest colony of Little Blue penguins in North America…,” the article continued. The newest arrivals hatched on December 28 and on New Years Eve.
According to a Cincinnati Zoo website, the pair have been named “Toast” and “Pierogi.” *
True to their name, Little Blues are the smallest of penguins. While a full-grown Emperor penguin can reach over 3 feet tall and weigh over 90 pounds, the Little Blue reaches about 16 inches tall and weighs less than 2 ½ pounds! **
Happily, the zoo’s Little Blue penguin population is expected to increase, the “Journal News” article reported.
In the meantime fans are invited to the zoo during “Penguin Days” through March 8. ***
If you’re interested in learning more about penguins and the endearing Little Blues, check out MidPointe Library’s collection of enchanting fictional picture books like Petr Horacek’s “Blue Penguin” as well as many other other non-fiction items.
Journal News, “Cincinnati -- Zoo Welcomes Little Blue Penguins,” January 5, 2019.
**From “Penguins,” created and written by John Bonnett Wexo. Available for check-out at MidPointe Library.
Information about all of Nature’s tuxedo-wearing penguins can be found via MidPointe’s website: http://encore.middletownlibrary.org/iii/encore/search/C__SPenguins__Orightresult__U?lang=eng&suite=gold
...And through its eLibrary available at:
Accompanying photo of a Little Blue Penguin from Google Photos.
Their January birthdays are just five days apart.
They’re classic Capricorns, known for “ever striving to reach the heights” *
These days the mention of one’s name evokes thoughts of the other.
They’ve been seen at different times in New York City wearing similar clothing.
Welcome to the world of Alexander Hamilton and Lin- Manuel Miranda, stars of Miranda’s award-laden Broadway production, “Hamilton -- An American Musical.”
Written by the latter to celebrate the former, “Hamilton...” is Miranda’s paean to the best and the worst in human nature. It features two of the most memorable characters in American history:
Founding Father, first Secretary of the United States Treasury and he whose face adorns the $10 bill, Alexander Hamilton, and then-Vice President of the United States and ultimately Hamilton’s deadly political rival, Aaron Burr.
Theirs is perhaps the most famous gun duel in history. Hamilton suffered what would become a mortal gunshot wound inflicted by Burr in New Jersey on July 11, 1804. He died the next day.
Normally death by duel isn’t the stuff of musical theater. But with strokes of creative genius, Miranda concocted a stew of intriguing characters, political rivalry and death and topped it off with irresistible hip hop and engaging lyrics. The result was a Tony and Grammy award-winning mega-hit that’s still the buzz of Broadway and theaters around the country.
So brilliantly has Miranda presented the intriguing story of Hamilton’s demise that even those who once declared American history the most boring subject in school are now flocking to New York City’s Trinity Church to see Hamilton’s impressive tombstone and that of his wife, Eliza.
That’s probably the best way to see Hamilton in the Big Apple these days, especially if you didn’t get tickets to the show that bears his name...
Interestingly, Alexander Hamilton and Lin-Manuel Miranda share some things in common:
Musical genius Miranda not only wrote the book, lyrics and music for “Hamilton : The Musical” (reportedly after having been inspired by author Ron Chernow’s biography of Hamilton**). He also portrayed the doomed Founding Father in both Broadway and off-Broadway productions.
Hamilton was born on this date, January 11, 1755 or 1757, on an island in the West Indies and lived much of his life in New York City. Miranda, of mostly Puerto Rican descent, was born in New York City on January 16, 1980. He reportedly still lives in the area.
Zodiac aficionados recognize two key characteristics shared by Capricorns such as Hamilton and Miranda : seriousness and a hard-working nature. Astrology expert, author M.J. Abadie, reports that the “glyph” (symbol) for Capricorns is the “Mountain Goat, who is ever striving to reach the heights…” (*)
Of course, Miranda fans already knew the musical prodigy reached “the heights” long ago. Prior to his success with “Hamilton,” he wrote the music and lyrics of yet another Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical titled In the Heights.
This month, in honor of Alexander Hamilton and Lin-Manuel Miranda, we wish a very happy birthday to industrious Capricorns everywhere!
The photograph of Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton and the image of Alexander Hamilton are from Google Images.
Visitors to New York City can view the tombstones of Alexander Hamilton and his wife in the Trinity Church cemetery in Lower Manhattan.
“Hamilton-The Musical” continues to draw audiences from around the world at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on West 46th Street, New York City. The show is currently on tour throughout the country. Cincinnati, Ohio, is one of the stops.
* The book, “Teen Astrology -- The Ultimate Guide to Making Your Life Your Own” by M.J. Abadie is available for checkout at MidPointe Library.
** The 2004 book, “Alexander Hamilton,” by Ron Chernow, is available for checkout at MidPointe Library.
This blog also includes information from online sources.
MidPointe Library is your source for Lin-Manuel Miranda and “Hamilton”-related materials :
Material is also available to library cardholders via MidPointe’s e-Library accessible at:
#tbt - Meet former Middletonians The Hamptons: 2 parents + 12 gifted children who rocked the world of jazz
The world loves families who love music.
Indiana gave us the Jackson 5. Utah’s musical gift was the Osmonds. Sister Sledge hailed from Philly. The Carpenters were born in Connecticut and lived in California…(*)
And the Hampton Family was from Middletown, Ohio.
If you’re not familiar with the Hamptons -- father Clarke “Deacon” Hampton, mother Laura and their twelve musically gifted children -- it’s probably because they lived in Middletown, Ohio, for a period of time before moving to Shelbyville, Indiana. In 1938 the family relocated to Indianapolis, where they “held lengthy engagements at Indianapolis’ Cotton Club and the Sunset Tavern.” (1)
A check of Middletown, Ohio, city directories from 1928-29 and 1930-31 (**) finds a Clark and Laura Hampton residing at 813 9th Avenue. Hampton’s occupation is listed -- not surprisingly -- as “music teacher.”
Post-Middletown, the Hamptons immersed themselves in the flourishing jazz environment known as “Indiana Avenue.” There the Hamptons honed their talents, ultimately joining the ranks of the world’s most highly celebrated musical groups as well as becoming gifted individual performers.
So compelling is the family’s history that it became the subject of a 2011 Emmy Award-winning PBS documentary from BetterThanFiction Productions titled “The Unforgettable Hampton Family” (2). Directed by Julie Cohen, the film celebrated “Deacon Clark Hampton, a son of slaves,” who “lifted his twelve children out of poverty by making them into successful musicians.” (3)
Indiana music students have long studied the family’s captivating history alongside the biographies of Hoosier music icons Hoagy Carmichael, Wes Montgomery and others. Students are familiar with the twelve Hampton children, all of whom were “taught to play a variety of musical instruments or perform in some capacity on stage by the age of three…” (4)
Another website, Hoosier History Live!, also offers background on the Hamptons. It includes information from Indianapolis-based music historian David Leander Williams who wrote the book, “Indianapolis Jazz,” published in 2014 by The History Press. (5)
That site notes that although the musically-gifted family was not related to American jazz great Lionel Hampton, their son and sibling “Slide” Hampton toured in Lionel Hampton’s orchestra (5). A master jazz trombonist, composer and arranger, “Slide,” whose full name is Locksley Wellington Hampton, is a Grammy Award winner and the recipient of many other prestigious musical honors. (*)
In the 1940s, “when most of their brothers were drafted into the military,” Hampton sisters Aletra, Virtue, Carmelita and Dawn performed rhythm and blues as the popular “Hampton Sisters.” Dawn, the last of the singing “Sisters,” died at age 88 in 2016. (6)
Although the Hamptons made their mark in music history in Indiana and beyond, Middletown can still boast of having been part of the lives of one of America’s most exceptionally talented families.
For those interested in listening to live jazz locally, the MidPointe Library West Chester offers an annual free jazz series, open to the pubic. Kicking off on Sunday, February 24 at 2:00 PM, Jamey Abersold will take the stage. On March 3, the Phil DeGreg Trio will perform, Greg Abate will be featured on March 10, and the Mambo Combo wraps up the series on March 17. Find details at www.MidPointeLibrary.org/events.
(*) From Wikipedia.
(**) From Middletown City directories available for reading in the Ohio Room at MidPointe Library, Middletown.
1.”The Hampton Family Band” http://monikaherzig.com/JazzMasters/pdf/Lesson%203%20The%20Hampton%20Family.pdf
2.BetterThanFiction Productions: http://www.betterthanfiction.tv/?p=19
3.IMDb.com available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6165728/
6.”Last Hampton Sister Dies at 88” by Will Higgins
Photos of the Hampton Family Band and the Hampton Sisters from Google.
It’s hard to imagine the King of Rock’n’Roll, Elvis Presley, as an elderly man. But had he lived, Elvis would have celebrated his 84th birthday today. For today’s TriviaTuesday question we ask:
What was the first song Elvis performed in public?
According to Ray Connolly, author of “Being Elvis -- A Lonely Life,” “Old Shep,” a doleful melody written by Arthur Williams and Red Foley (*) about the death of an elderly pet dog, “became the first song [Elvis] sang in public on children’s day at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show when he was ten.” That would have put Presley’s first public performance sometime in 1945.
“...Eleven years later, when he went out to Hollywood, [Elvis] recorded ‘Old Shep’ for his second album,” Connolly reported.
“A lot of fans couldn’t understand why [Old Shep] was there alongside ‘Long Tall Sally’ and two other Little Richard rock and roll songs,” the author continued. “They didn’t know he’d been singing it nearly all his life.”
That life came to an untimely end on August 16, 1977, when 42-year-old Presley was found dead in his home of an apparent massive heart attack. The cause of Elvis’s death has been debated for years.
You may not remember that the King performed his next-to-last concert in Cincinnati.
Interestingly, “Cincinnati fans were among the last to see the King perform,” Jeff Suess reported for Cincinnati.com.
“His show at Riverfront Coliseum (now U.S. Bank Arena) on June 25, 1977, was his next to last concert, just seven weeks before he died,” Suess wrote. “It was Presley’s fourth visit to the Queen City. He had only made it as close as Dayton and Columbus back in 1956. After a decade as a Hollywood star, he returned to touring in the 1970s and finally came to Cincinnati…”
Suess reported that Presley played at Cincinnati Gardens in November 1971 and June 1973. He returned for two shows at the Coliseum in 1976. Little did fans realize that Presley’s life would end the following year.
“Being Elvis -- A Lonely Life” by Ray Connolly, published in 2016 by Liveright Publishing Corporation, New York, is available for checkout at MidPointe Library. MidPointe offers many biographies of the King at http://encore.middletownlibrary.org/iii/encore/search/C__Selvis%20presley__Orightresult__U?lang=eng&suite=gold
“Our history: Next to last Elvis concert at Riverfront Coliseum” by Jeff Suess on cincinnati.com. Published August 17, 2017, and updated August 18, 2017.