By Angie Georgeff
The Unicoi County Public Library Teen Advisory Group (TAG) will be accepting new members for the 2016-17 school year. This group provides opportunities for high school students to earn capstone hours needed for graduation by volunteering to help with American Girl Club, Lego Club, Reading Buddies and holiday parties.
Members also will have a chance to recommend books, audiobooks and DVDs they would like to see added to our young adult collections and to suggest programs aimed at teens. Students who wish to join the group may stop by the library on Tuesdays or Wednesdays to complete registration paperwork.
A meeting for all members, both old and new, will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 4 p.m. Upcoming events at which members may earn capstone hours will be discussed, along with our expectations of students who join the group. In order to ensure we have enough teen volunteers to help with our youth programming, students may sign up for events at the meeting. Parents who want more information about the program are welcome to attend.
I have always liked fairy tales, and Russian fairy tales are among my favorites. With their gleaming firebird feathers, humpbacked ponies and jeweled headdresses, they are just a bit more exotic than stories from England, France and Germany. One of the tales I find most appealing is “Snegurochka,” or The Snow Maiden, so when Eowyn Ivey’s novel “The Snow Child” was published four years ago, I was hooked.
The descriptions of hardscrabble life in Alaska during the 1920s were varnished with the enchanting tale of a young girl who mysteriously appears and brightens the lives of a childless couple who are braving the wilderness. Although the novel marked Ivey’s debut, “The Snow Child” was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
I have been hoping for another book from Eowyn Ivey and my wish has been granted at last. “To the Bright Edge of the World” follows Colonel Allen Forrester up the Wolverine River valley into the vast, feral Alaska Territory. During the bitter winter of 1885, Forrester’s expedition is charged with mapping the wilderness, meeting its native inhabitants and gathering information on its potential for development. The explorers had bargained for hunger and danger, but not for the growing dread of some malevolent force that seems to dog their steps.
Meanwhile, Forrester’s wife Sophie waits in Vancouver, Wash., for Allen to return. As she anticipates the birth of their first child, she explores the demanding art and exacting science of photography and writes Allen letters that she knows may never reach him.