Summer Book 2010

Sarah Gish has done it again - her Summer Book 2010, that is.  And if you're wondering what the fourth largest city in the USA offers its kids, Sarah's got the best and brightest.
She describes the volume thusly: "THE SUMMER BOOK® is an annual comprehensive guide to Houston day camps and classes for kids 4 years old and up and teens. The guide is published annually in MARCH by Gish Creative and includes information on over 200 organizations offering camps and classes for children in the summertime. The camps are divided by "arts", "educational", "religious", "special needs" and "sports". It also includes information on which camps are free or offer scholarships, which are full day or for teens, as well as a week-by-week chart by date and a chart detailing amenities of each camp. To help parents "map out" each child's summer, there is a camp calendar for organizing weekly schedules. Please note that since every camp experience is unique, we made a decision to not rate the camps and to instead concentrate on information needed by parents."
And having it in hand I can only say, every locale should be so blessed with the organization and practical detail Gish puts into the book.  Plus I'm a pushover for the neon colored pages.  You can get the spiral-bound volume from Gish Creative for $12.95, a list of retailers is on the webpage.
Sarah is also an artist who sometimes works and imagines in "circles."  I think she should identify the "Circles of Houston" iconography and make a book out it; maybe adult, maybe children, leave it up to her.


Houston Metropolitan Research Center Reopens April 5


The Houston Public Library offers this news release.

"(Houston, March 15, 2010) - The Houston Public Library is pleased to announce that the Houston Metropolitan Research Center (HMRC) will reopen to the public on Monday, April 5, 2010. Customers will be able to access HMRC resources Monday through Saturday, 9am to 6pm. Resources available include the collections and archives at the Texas and Local History Room. JIB is located at 400 McKinney, 77002, with the entrance of the new wing located through the garden on the Lamar and Smith sides of the building.


The design of the new 21,500 square-foot state-of-the-art archival wing harmonizes with the Spanish Plateresque architecture, with its matching masonry, a clay tile parapet, arched windows, and sculptural decoration. The construction includes an extremely energy-efficient and weather-resistant exterior envelope to protect the archival collection.


HMRC closed to public access at the end of 2009 while it moved its collections to the recently-completed new wing of the Julia Ideson Building (JIB).  The collections are now in the new wing which includes a spacious research/reference room on the first floor and three floors of high-density shelving for the valuable holdings of the HMRC.   The wing is complemented by a new south loggia and adjacent palm-shaded public garden, also called the outdoor reading room. The two-story loggia, like the wing, was a part of the original plan for the 1926 building but never constructed. It provides open-air seating on both levels and a gracious transition from the first floor of the original building to the outdoor reading room.


Currently, the new wing is the only portion of JIB open to the public while the renovation on the rest of the building is completed. The building is now undergoing hazardous materials abatement and selective demolition of non-historic elements to prepare for new mechanical and electrical infrastructure, new elevators, and restoration of the historical interior materials. The renovation will take about a year, after which the Houston Public Library will spend several months moving the architectural archives and photo lab into the restored building and preparing to reopen in early Summer 2011."

See also:  http://www2.houstonlibrary.org/hmrc/


Falling in a Circle - a Collaborative Texas Novella

Mike Kearby is a skilled Texas author with a record of writing good books for the YA market.  He also coordinates The Collaborative Novel project involving Texas high school students from ten schools.  The project eventually produces a novel year year.  This year they offer a free e-book version of the work to any junior high, middle school, or high school librarian who requests one.
The student writers also visually designed the book as well as contributed the plot and writing.  Real-life issues come into focus.  "This year's project speaks of students with disabilities. One of this year's writer, Marcus Parks, is disabled and he wrote the afterword for the book."
If your junior, middle school, or high school library would like to receive a complimentary copy of the 50 page book, Falling in a Circle, e-mail Mike at - kearb@hughes.net  and he will e-mail a PDF. version back to you. The file size is 278 kb
Kearby summarizes the volume as "A collaborative effort by ten Texas high schools, Falling in a Circle explores the cruelty often passed along to those among us with physical disabilities. The novella provides its audience with a fascinating glimpse into one character's emotional pain, and internal conflict. Will Kat learn from her past and cope with her future? Or will she continue Falling in a Circle?"
The back cover blurb for the book is below:
"Kat Morelli, a student at Cedar Lake High School , gains attention from her peers by making fun of other students …especially those who are handicapped or disabled. Before her senior year, Kat receives a devastating diagnosis from her doctor. She has bone cancer. The cancer is so widespread that doctors must to remove part of her lower leg, leaving Kat to endure the same cruel jokes she once delivered thoughtlessly on her classmates."
This is not the same 2006  Noah's Ride: A Collaborative Novelby Phyllis Allen, Judy Alter, Mike Blackman, Mike Cochran, Jeff Guinn, Mary Dittoe Kelly, Elmer Kelton, James Ward Lee, James Reasoner and Mary Rogers.

  See Mike at http://www.mikekearby.com