An Author Discusses How He Resurrected His Life

Luzzi-and-Isabel-readJoseph Luzzi is a Bard professor of Italian and a Dante scholar. He has devoted his life to teaching and writing about Italy – past and present, including the poet. But he hadn’t truly understood the depth of Dante’s epic poem until he was confronted with death and grief in his own life.

He suffered a tragedy most people wouldn’t even dream of. On a cold November morning, he learned that his wife, 8-1/2 months pregnant, had been in a fatal car accident. In one terrible instant, Luzzi found himself both a widower and a first-time father. Ultimately, he turned to his compatriot, author of The Divine Comedy, for comfort.

On Saturday, June 25, this award winning author will be reading and signing his book in the Community Room of the Hudson Area Library, 51 North 5th Street, Hudson, beginning at 4pm. Refreshments will follow the event and it is free and open to all.

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Sports is the Hook

Kwame Alexander poses with teens and his book The Crossover

Author Kwame Alexander says his best award (he’s received several including the prestigious Newbery) was kids’ reaction to The Crossover.  “One kid said, ‘I don’t even like books, and I couldn’t put yours down.’”

An award winning kids’ author, Kwame Alexander, has made boys his target audience. He says, “You want to reach all kids. You want to reach librarians and teachers. But you often hear that boys don’t read or boys are reluctant readers.” Not so, with his book “The Crossover”.  Here’s what the 12-year-old, dread-locked protagonist Josh Bell says:

With a bolt of lightning on my kicks …
The court is SIZZLING.
My sweat is DRIZZLING.
Stop all that quivering.
‘Cuz tonight I’m delivering.

And, just like that, readers – even those hard-to-reach boys, are hooked.

Kwame Alexander will be appearing at the Hudson Area Library, 51 N. 5th Street, in the Community Room on Friday, May 6 at 3:30pm. The event is free, open to the public. And, unlike most author readings, Alexander will be reading in his signature blend of fast-paced verse combined with sports lingo and rhythmic raps. – Not so far removed from the vocal styling heard on kids’ iPods or the Broadway stage in this year’s runaway hit, Hamilton.

Alexander is a recipient of the 2015 Newbery Medal recognizing the year’s “most distinguished contribution to American literature for children” and the 2015 Coretta Scott King Award given annually to outstanding African American authors of books for children and young adults that demonstrate both an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.

“I believe that boys don’t have anything that’s relatable [in literature],” he said. “Basketball, sports is a hook. Once you get them hooked…  we’re all interested in the same things, but I think sometimes with boys you have got to…reach them a different way.”

The poet, educator and author has written 21 books, most recently “Booked” – this time featuring 12-year-old soccer player, Nick, standing up to a bully and trying to impress the girl of his dreams.

Like lightning/you strike/fast and free/legs zoom/down field/
eyes fixed/on the checkered ball/on the goal/ten yards to go/
can’t nobody stop you/can’t nobody cop you…

“All the woes and wonders of the tween and teen years,” Alexander says, “…love, loss, friendship, family, school [and] homework.  I [try] to write …to show boys – and girls – that poetry [can] be cool.”

Author Talk With Award-winning Author Kwame Alexander

KwameOn Friday, May 6 at 3:30pm join us in welcoming Kwame Alexander, author of The Crossover (winner of the Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King award) and Booked to the Hudson Area Library.

Kwame Alexander is known for his signature blend of fast-paced verse combined with sports lingo and rhythmic raps, with which he creates an accessible mix of drama and poetry. A former reluctant reader himself, Alexander hopes his books will show young readers, in particular African-American boys, that books can be as exciting and fun as sports or video games. He travels the world each year speaking to young people about the power of books and poetry. We are pleased to join the Hudson Children’s Book Festival in welcoming him to Hudson. Continue reading

Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood Comes to Life

Natural_WTP_coverOur friends at The Spotty Dog are pleased to announce the only local appearance of Kathryn Aalto, landscape designer and author, to discuss and sign her new book, The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh: A Walk Through the Forest That Inspired the Hundred Acre Wood. Please join us for this free event on Tuesday, October 13 at 7pm at The Spotty Dog, 440 Warren Street, Hudson. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the library.

The book takes readers through an exploration of the real landscape of Ashdown Forest, shares iconic moments from the Winnie-the-Pooh books, and situates them in the places that exist today. In the delightful narrative, enriched with E.H. Shepard’s original illustrations, hundreds of color photographs, and Milne’s own words, you will rediscover your favorite characters and the magical place they call home.

Fight the Winter Blues!

Let’s face it. February can be gloomy. It’s the time when we all think winter is dragging on for way too long and, at the same time, we’re seeing that glimmer of spring…just out of reach. Time for a party!


Join us at Café Le Perche Thursday, February 5, from 6pm-8pm for a get-together with author Tim Federle. A born entertainer and “quipper” extraordinaire, Tim will be sharing stories about the grueling research necessary to write his two “mixology” books: Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist and Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Cocktails with a Nursery Rhyme Twist. The event is free with purchases of drinks and books garnering a 20% donation to the Campaign.
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Join us for the Steamboats on the Hudson Talk by Peter Stott

Bard_Dewitt_Clinton_MMFloating palaces. That’s what they were called. They were modern, elegant, and F-A-S-T. For almost a quarter of a century, there were more than 100 steamboats traveling up and down the Hudson River. Commercial steamboat travel was instrumental in establishing the wealth and power of riverfront communities. And steamboat captains were the lords of their domain – often praised for their courteousness and quick response to emergencies.

Come hear Peter Stott, preservation planner at the Massachusetts Historical Commission and author of Looking for Work, in an illustrated talk on this alluring and romantic mode of travel. The talk will focus on steamboats and their captains during the heyday of river travel – 1824–1839. Refreshments included.

The talk with be held on Saturday, October 25 from 4pm-6pm at TK Home and Garden, 441 Warren St., 2nd Floor. Tickets are $20 per person and may be reserved at the Hudson Area Library office or online (see instructions below). All proceeds benefit the Campaign for the Hudson Area Library.

To reserve a ticket for the Peter Stott lecture, click the add to cart button below. If you wish to purchase more than one ticket, you can change the quantity in your cart.

Hudson Children’s Book Festival Author Spotlight: Ellen Jensen Abbott

Hudson Children’s Book Festival author Ellen Jensen Abbott writes about her library experiences:

A Writer’s Libraryellen jensen abbott

There are many perks to being a teacher: the excitement and energy of working with youth; spending time reading and discussing great works of literature; spring break. But one of the perks has been central to my growth as a writer. That perk is the special access I get to my school library. Continue reading

Hudson Children’s Book Festival Author Spotlight: Lesa Cline-Ransome

lesaHudson Children’s Book Festival author Lesa Cline-Ransome writes about her library experiences:

On Main Street, right smack in the heart of Malden Square, sat our town library. As a child, I was a frequent flier, visiting right after school and on weekends.  I loved the smell of wood and glue and paper almost as much as I loved the books. On the shelves sat my escape, adventure, a universe of possibility, all at my fingertips. As I presented my library card and the librarian stamped the return dates on each of my selections, I reveled in each loud thunk.  The date was just a formality for me.  I devoured each book so quickly, they were returned well before the due date. Continue reading