Blog module icon

Displaying all posts tagged with:


Nov 08

Book Notes 11/8/2021

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on November 8, 2021 at 1:20 PM by Genesis Gaule

Blog Book Notes


Stop in on November 16 and work with our Artist in Residence, Jill Levene. Learn how to carve a stamp from a rubber block and print it on a community mural. More information

How to Walk with Steve by Robert Fromberg

This is a memoir of a boy's connection with his autistic brother in a family defined by alcoholism, art, and death in a decaying Midwestern city. With exposed-nerve scenes, Robert Fromberg immerses us in an early childhood made relentlessly unpredictable by autism and addiction; teenage years alone in 1970s New York City; and young adulthood as guardian of his brother after the death of their parent.

616.85882 FROMBERG

Raising Ollie by Nick Davis

How My Nonbinary Art-Nerd Kid Changed (Nearly) Everything I Know // Ollie, a funny, anxious, smart kid with a thing for choir and an eye for graphic art, was gravely under challenged and also struggling with identity and how to live totally as themselves. Ollie begged to switch to a new school with “kids like me,” where they wouldn’t feel so alone, or so bored, and so they made the change. Raising Ollie is dad Tom Rademacher’s story (really, many stories) of that eventful and sometimes painful school year, parenting Ollie and relearning every day what it means to be a father and teacher. As Ollie—who is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns, and prefers art to athletics, vegetables to cake, and animals to most humans—flourishes in their new school, Rademacher is making an eye-opening adjustment to a new school of his own, one that’s whiter and more suburban than anywhere he has previously taught, with a history of racial tension that he tries to address and navigate.


The Speckled Beauty by Rick Bragg

A Dog and His People // Written with Rick Bragg's inimitable blend of tenderness and sorrow, humor and grit, this book captures the extraordinary sustaining devotion between two damaged creatures who need each other to heal.

636.70092 BRAGG

Taste by Stanley Tucci

My Life Through Food // Stanley Tucci grew up in an Italian American family that spent every night around the kitchen table. Taste is a reflection on the intersection of food and life, filled with anecdotes about his growing up in Westchester, New York; preparing for and shooting the foodie films Big Night and Julie & Julia; falling in love over dinner; and teaming up with his wife to create meals for a multitude of children. Each morsel of this gastronomic journey through good times and bad, five-star meals and burned dishes, is as heartfelt and delicious as the last.

641.5092 LP TUCCI

If you need help accessing any of these titles or using front door pickup, email or call us and we will be happy to assist you!

View Book Notes PDF archive

Jun 18

Communal Grief by Charlotte Helgeson

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on June 18, 2021 at 12:46 PM by Genesis Gaule

The Library lost our guinea pig, Ivy, this month. One day, she was greeting patrons as they approached her home and the next day, she took ill. We found veterinary care for her and started her on a prescribed medical care plan. Unfortunately, it was not successful and the next day Ivy died.  

Ivy eating hay while standing on her hind legs
The suddenness of her death surprised our staff and we comforted each other with, “She didn’t suffer long.” and “She had a happy life.” There were tears and shared stories about our little friend. Our focus turned toward supporting her sister, Bean, who is healthy and has taken on greeting all our patrons.  

As a public figure, Ivy had a following. Patrons of all ages swung by before or after finding library materials to say hi and smile at the popcorn jumps and squeaks. During quarantine, we kept the public informed as to the sisters’ activities and how much they missed their fans.  Pictures were often included and we are certain they brought smiles to our patrons while separated by quarantine precautions.  

Ivy and Bean Back at the Library

The sisters did not look alike at all. Ivy was a summer tan with highlights while Bean has ruffled black fur. We kept pictures with their names at the cage so patrons could chat with each one when visiting. The sisters played and performed together. Like many sisters I know, they also fought over attention and oftentimes, food.  

Guinea pigs love to eat. They love treats as much as hay. As staff, it is our duty to keep an eye on what they consume. Patrons bring greens and veggies from their gardens in the summer which are big hits! Our little friends are only fed by staff with an occasional guest pass attended by staff.  

Ivy the library guinea pig 3
There is a hole in the atmosphere at the library without Ivy. Many visitors ask about her.  “Where is she?” As a public figure, her life was on display all the time. Explaining to families, adults and children, what happened to Ivy is not easy. We’re gentle but honest. There are also many library books on losing a pet friend that can be used for support.

Grief is not easy for anyone at any age, but there is a strength in sharing it. We comfort each other by telling and hearing stories about our little friend, Ivy. Simply said aloud by a young patron, “That’s sad,” connects us. One young boy told me that Guinea Pig Heaven is just like Dog Heaven so she would be OK. Adults commented how they’ll miss her just as staff does.  

Ivy is missed and remembered. This past year brought loss of all sorts to many of us. The grief is real and so is the strength of community to help carry the burden. 

Books to Read Together
Dealing with the Loss of a Pet

Need help starting a conversation about the death of a pet with your child? Here is a short guide with helpful tips on processing the loss of a loved one with children.
Apr 16

Furry Companions by Acacia James

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on April 16, 2021 at 1:26 PM by Genesis Gaule

“Dogs are not our whole life,
but they make our lives whole.”

— Roger Caras

Since I was little I wanted a dog. I thought they were fluffy, cute, and that I could play fetch with them whenever I wanted. But we were always a cat family. We had two cats while I was growing up in Spokane, Washington, and a couple of fish, but I always wanted a dog. My parents wanted a dog too but didn’t want to deal with a big dog or have more animal fur than we already had throughout the house. So great, I thought, we just need to find a small dog that doesn’t shed. Turns out that was easier said than done. We searched but couldn’t find the right one for my family. 

In 2017, my family moved to East Grand Forks. We loved it here, we were able to start again in a new city and make new friends. After one month of living here, my dad nonchalantly asked my siblings and me if we wanted to go down to Fargo to get a dog. We all looked at him stunned, not believing our ears. We hurried into the car and drove down to Fargo. 

That night we got our dog Lily Skull-Crusher Thunder-Fist James (Yes, that is her real name. My dad wanted to make her sound tough despite how little she was).


Lily was the best dog I could have hoped for. She was so fluffy and cute, even though she didn’t know how to fetch just yet. Lily has so much energy that I wonder how she contains it within her small frame without exploding. My favorite thing about having a dog is being greeted at the door when I come home. When Lily hears the garage door open, she sprints to the door and attacks whoever is coming in with loves and licks. If she weren’t a dog, I could imagine she would be saying, “I love you! I love you! I love you!” Her energy and love bring me joy and she makes our lives whole. 

That was the story of my dog Lily. If you want to read more about loving dogs, try these books:

Old Yeller

by Fred Gipson

Junior GIP // At first, Travis couldn't stand the sight of Old Yeller. The stray dog was ugly, and a thieving rascal, too. But he sure was clever, and a smart dog could be a big help on the wild Texas frontier. Strong and courageous, Old Yeller proved that he could protect Travis's family from any sort of danger. But can Travis do the same for Old Yeller?

One Good Dog

by Susan Wilson

Fiction WILSON // Chance is a mixed breed Pit Bull who was born and raised to fight and seldom leaves the dirty basement where he is kept between them. But Chance is not a monster. It is Chance’s unique spirit that helps him escape and puts him in the path of Adam. What transpires is the story of one man, one dog, and how they save each other—in ways they never could have expected.

Harry the Dirty Dog

by Gene Zion

Easy Reader Green ZION // There's never been another dog as delightful–or dirty–as Harry. This lovable white dog with black spots (or black dog with white spots) has charmed children for fifty years, and we are celebrating with an anniversary edition. This childhood favorite is perfect for reading aloud before going to bed or avoiding a bath.

The Day My Dogs Became Guys

by Merrill Markoe

Easy MAR // Carey has three ordinary, lovable dogs. Until one day, during a solar eclipse, he finds three pretty strange people who used to be his pets. Butch starts chasing cars and yelling at the squirrels, while DeeDee begins raiding the refrigerator. Ol Ed seems to just want to take a nap. But what will happen when his mother gets home?