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Library Happenings – Programs for children, teens return this month

By Angie Georgeff

Cheer up! Summer vacations may be coming to an end, but that just means our slate of regularly scheduled programs for children and teens are starting up again.

They will begin this Friday, Sept. 6, with our contribution to Erwin’s popular First Friday fun. We will show a family-friendly movie, starting at 6 p.m. The terms of our site license prevent us from announcing the title or the studio in the newspaper, but pop into the library and we will be happy to spill the beans.

The first meeting of our popular American Girl Club for this school year will take place from 6-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17. Get your doll ready for fall! We will help with a fall-themed craft. Check our Unicoi County Public Library Kids and Teens Facebook page for more information.

Reading Buddies and our newly rechristened StoryTots (formerly called Little Tykes Story Time) will resume their weekly time slots on Wednesday, Sept. 18. In case you’ve forgotten, StoryTots will meet from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Reading Buddies will meet from 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Aarrgh you ready, Matey? Teen meetings will recommence at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 19, which is also known as “Talk Like A Pirate Day.” Feel free to dress the part if you want to.

Spotlight Book

After collecting accolades for her bestselling debut novel “The Tiger’s Wife,” Tea Obreht turns her storyteller’s focus from war-torn Yugoslavia to the American Southwest for her sophomore novel “Inland.”

When I was young, my paternal grandfather lived in Arizona for the sake of his health. For two years running we visited him there in July. I found the unrelenting heat and aridity unbearable. Now imagine that it is 1893, you are living in the Arizona Territory and there has been a prolonged drought. There are no pools, air conditioning, or even grocery stores.

That’s what is facing Nora Lark. Her husband is searching the desert for their long-overdue water delivery, her two older sons are managing their father’s newspaper in his absence, and Nora is left to run the ranch and take care of her frail mother-in-law with her youngest son and her husband’s teenage cousin. Nora may be a strong woman, but it’s no wonder she talks to her dead daughter.

Fleeing a murder charge, fugitive Lurie Mattie is wandering the same desert as Nora’s husband Emmett. He had been born in the Balkans, but after making his way to the west for four decades, he shows up at Nora’s ranch riding on a camel. Here at the end of the novel two storylines converge, thanks to a beast that is a stranger in a strange land. This is a western, but not the kind most are used to.