Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month! This is the celebration and recognition of the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.

The month of May was officially designated as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month by the U.S. Congress in 1992. Learn more at asianpacificheritage.gov.

Scroll through the titles below to explore a booklist compiled by our staff that honors AAPI characters, authors, history, and culture! There’s something for all age groups — picture books, graphic novels, fiction, and non-fiction.

Fiction | Adult

Non-Fiction | Adult

Picture Books | Kids

Graphic Novels | Youth and Teens

Fiction | Teens

Fiction | Youth

You can find all of the titles above available in either our collection via the online catalog, or through our digital resources, OverDrive and Axis360.

This July, we’re going fine free… FOREVER!

Exciting news: we will soon be fine free! Starting July 1, the Bensenville Community Public Library will no longer charge fines for overdue items to any patrons who check out those items at our library. Below are a few frequently asked questions about going fine free.

 

If you have any questions about anything related to fines, circulation policies, or going fine free, please contact the the Circulation Department at (630) 766-4642.

On July 1, we will be removing all existing fines for overdue BCPL materials and we will no longer be charging fines for materials checked out from BCPL  in the future.

You will be charged a fee to replace the item.

If you check out an item from a library that does charge fines, you’re still responsible for paying any fines to that lending library. 

A few types of items are subject to fines, including hotspots and specialty items.

Libraries that have gone fine free have not seen any difference in when items are returned. Most items are returned within a week of their due date.

Each item will still have a due date, and you are still responsible for honoring the due date. When you return items on time, it helps your neighbors borrow items sooner! Items borrowed from other libraries are subject to the lending policies of their home libraries.

Fines account for only a very small percentage (approximately .1%!) of our operating budget, and this number has decreased over time. When we implemented our popular auto-renewal policy, we saw a dramatic reduction in overdue fines.

Picture Books for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 9! Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. 

Celebrate mom and all things motherhood with this list of our favorite Mother’s Day picture books, hand-picked by our Youth Services Department staff! 

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too?

by Eric Carle

Meet the little joey bouncing in mother kangaroo’s pouch. Watch little cubs prance around mother lion. Swim with a baby dolphin calf in the deep blue sea. Eric Carle’s classic, colorful collages of baby animals and their mothers will delight and comfort young readers. 

Just Like Mama

by Lesléa Newman

A young girl enumerates all the things that her mother does in inimitable fashion, from scooping her up in a hug in the morning to tucking her in at night.

Mommy Hugs

by Karen Katz

A loving mother counts the hugs she gives her baby throughout the day.

My Mama is a Mechanic

by Doug Cenko

View a mother through the eyes of her son as they play, cook, and imagine together. 

Bedtime for Mommy

by Amy Rosenthal

In a reversal of the classic bedtime story, a child helps her mommy get ready for bed, enduring pleas for one more book, five more minutes of play time, and a glass of water before the lights go out.

My Mother's Sari

by Sandhya Rao

A little girl is fascinated by her mother’s sari and finds many uses for it. 

Mother's Day

by Anne F. Rockwell

The students in Mrs. Madoff’s class share how they will celebrate Mother’s Day with their families.

I Love You With All My Heart

by Jane Chapman

Little Bear has broken Mommy’s favorite sunflower plant. What if her mom won’t love her anymore? Luckily, Mommy knows just what to do… “Put your paw on your heart,” she smiles, “and you’ll feel my love going on and on forever!” 

I Love Mom with the Very Hungry Caterpillar

by Eric Carle

Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar as he honors Mother’s Day and celebrates incredible parents everywhere. 

Everything is Mama

by Jimmy Fallon

A lot of babies’ first words were Dada. However, everything after that was Mama. Readers take a look from a baby’s point of view as different animals try to teach their children that there are other words in addition to Mama for familiar objects and activities. 

Runaway Bunny

by Margaret Wise Brown

A little rabbit who wants to run away tells his mother how he will escape, but she is always right behind him. 

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Celebrating Shakespeare’s Birthday!

Happy 457th birthday to Mr. William Shakespeare! William Shakespeare was the son of John Shakespeare, an alderman and a successful glover (glove-maker), and Mary Arden, the daughter of an affluent landowning family. He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, where he was baptized on 26 April 1564. His date of birth is unknown, but is traditionally observed on 23 April, Saint George’s Day. This date, which can be traced to a mistake made by an 18th-century scholar, has proved appealing to biographers because Shakespeare died on the same date in 1616.

Here we’ve gathered up some the Bard of Avon’s most famous works!

  • All of the titles featured below we have in our collection or within the SWAN consortium.
  • To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image.

Contemporary Chicago Authors

Severance

by Ling Ma

Candace Chen, a millennial drone self-sequestered in a Manhattan office tower, is devoted to routine. With the recent passing of her Chinese immigrant parents, she’s had her fill of uncertainty. She’s content just to carry on: She goes to work, troubleshoots the teen-targeted Gemstone Bible, watches movies in a Greenpoint basement with her boyfriend.

So Candace barely notices when a plague of biblical proportions sweeps New York. Then Shen Fever spreads. Families flee. Companies cease operations. The subways screech to a halt. Her bosses enlist her as part of a dwindling skeleton crew with a big end-date payoff. Soon entirely alone, still unfevered, she photographs the eerie, abandoned city as the anonymous blogger NY Ghost.

The Lost Book of Adana Moreau

by Michael Zapata

In 1929 in New Orleans, a Dominican immigrant named Adana Moreau writes a science fiction novel. The novel earns rave reviews, and Adana begins a sequel. Then she falls gravely ill. Just before she dies, she destroys the only copy of the manuscript. Decades later in Chicago, Saul Drower is cleaning out his dead grandfather’s home when he discovers a mysterious manuscript written by none other than Adana Moreau. With the help of his friend Javier, Saul tracks down an address for Adana’s son in New Orleans, but as Hurricane Katrina strikes they must head to the storm-ravaged city for answers. What results is a brilliantly layered masterpiece—an ode to home, storytelling and the possibility of parallel worlds.

Northwood

by Maryse Meijer

Part fairy tale, part horror story, Northwood is a genre–breaking novella told in short, brilliant, beautifully strange passages. The narrator, a young woman, has fled to the forest to pursue her artwork in isolation. While there, she falls in love with a married man she meets at a country dance. The man is violent, their affair even more so. As she struggles to free herself, she questions the difference between desire and obsession—and the brutal nature of intimacy. Packaged with a cover and end papers by famed English artist Rufus Newell and inventive, white–on–black text treatments by award–winning designer Jonathan Yamakami, Northwood is a work of art as well as a literary marvel.

Stateway’s Garden

by Jasmon Drain

Before being torn down in 2007, the Stateway Gardens public housing projects on Chicago’s South Side were ridden with deprivation and crime. But for some, like Tracy, the shy, intelligent young boy at the center of this enthralling collection of linked stories, they are simply home. Set in the mid-1980s and taking readers up to the point of the destruction of the infamous Cabrini-Green housing projects—a set of buildings similar in design to Stateway Gardens to the south—this collection gives an intimate look at the hopes, dreams, failures, and fortunes of a group of people growing up with the deck always stacked against them. Through Jasmon Drain’s sensitive and often playful prose, we see another side of what we have come to know as “the projects.”

Remembrance

by Rita Woods

Remembrance…It’s a rumor, a whisper passed in the fields and veiled behind sheets of laundry. A hidden stop on the underground road to freedom, a safe haven protected by more than secrecy…if you can make it there. Ohio, present day. An elderly woman who is more than she seems warns against rising racism as a young woman grapples with her life. Haiti, 1791, on the brink of revolution. When the slave Abigail is forced from her children to take her mistress to safety, she discovers New Orleans has its own powers. 1857 New Orleansa city of unrest: Following tragedy, house girl Margot is sold just before her 18th birthday and her promised freedom. Desperate, she escapes and chases a whisper…. Remembrance.

Borrowed Time

by Tracy Clark

Sitting in cold cars for hours, serving lowlifes with summonses… being a P.I. means riding out a lot of slow patches. But sometimes the most familiar paths can lead straight to danger—like at Cass’s go-to diner, where new delivery guy Jung Byson wants to enlist her expertise. Jung’s friend, Tim Ayers, scion of a wealthy Chicago family, has been found dead, floating in Lake Michigan near his luxury boat. And Jung is convinced there’s a murderer on the loose…

The Children’s Blizzard

by Melanie Benjamin

The morning of January 12, 1888, was unusually mild, following a punishing cold spell. It was warm enough for the homesteaders of the Dakota Territory to venture out again, and for their children to return to school without their heavy coats—leaving them unprepared when disaster struck. At the hour when most prairie schools were letting out for the day, a terrifying, fast-moving blizzard blew in without warning. Schoolteachers as young as sixteen were suddenly faced with life and death decisions: Keep the children inside, to risk freezing to death when fuel ran out, or send them home, praying they wouldn’t get lost in the storm?

At its heart, this is a story of courage, of children forced to grow up too soon, tied to the land because of their parents’ choices. It is a story of love taking root in the hard prairie ground, and of families being torn asunder by a ferocious storm that is little remembered today—because so many of its victims were immigrants to this country.

The Lucky One

by Lori Rader-Day

As a child, Alice was stolen from her backyard in a tiny Indiana community, but against the odds, her policeman father tracked her down within twenty-four hours and rescued her from harm. In the aftermath of the crime, her family decided to move to Chicago and close the door on that horrible day.

Yet Alice hasn’t forgotten. She devotes her spare time volunteering for a website called The Doe Pages scrolling through pages upon pages of unidentified people, searching for clues that could help reunite families with their missing loved ones. When a face appears on Alice’s screen that she recognizes, she’s stunned to realize it’s the same man who kidnapped her decades ago. The post is deleted as quickly as it appeared, leaving Alice with more questions than answers.

Embarking on a search for the truth, she enlists the help of friends from The Doe Pages to connect the dots and find her kidnapper before he hurts someone else. Then Alice crosses paths with Merrily Cruz, another woman who’s been hunting for answers of her own. Together, they begin to unravel a dark, painful web of lies that will change what they thought they knew—and could cost them everything.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

National Poetry Month | A Booklist for Kids & Teens

Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month reminds the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K–12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, families, and, of course, poets, marking poetry’s important place in our lives. 

Our Youth Services Department put together a wide selection of diverse books, from a range of voices and on a range of topics, to help introduce kids and teens to the world of poetry!

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Out of Wonder

by Kwame Alexander — ALL AGES

Newbery Medalist and a Caldecott Honoree offer a glorious, lyrical ode to poets who have sparked a sense of wonder. Out of gratitude for the poet’s art form, Newbery Award-winning author and poet Kwame Alexander, along with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth, present original poems that pay homage to twenty famed poets who have made the authors’ hearts sing and their minds wonder. Stunning mixed-media images by Ekua Holmes, winner of a Caldecott Honor and a John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award, complete the celebration and invite the reader to listen, wonder, and perhaps even pick up a pen.

And the People Stayed Home

by Kitty O'Meara — ALL AGES

Kitty O’Meara has been called the ‘poet laureate of the pandemic’ by O, The Oprah Magazine. This illustrated and beautifully produced children’s book will also appeal to readers of all ages. O’Meara’s prose poem, with its hopeful and timeless message about healing of people and the Earth, written in March 2020, quickly went viral on a global level. O’Meara, a former teacher and chaplain, clearly captured an important aspect of the pandemic experience’s zeitgeist while offering a thoughtful and optimistic view of the future.

The Village Blacksmith

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow — ALL AGES

The neighborhood blacksmith is a quiet and unassuming presence, tucked in his smithy under the chestnut tree. Sturdy, generous, and with sadness of his own, he toils through the day, passing on the tools of his trade, and come evening, takes a well-deserved rest. Longfellow’s timeless poem is enhanced by G. Brian Karas’s thoughtful and contemporary art in this modern retelling of the tender tale of a humble craftsman. An afterword about the tools and the trade of blacksmithing will draw readers curious about this age-honored endeavor, which has seen renewed interest in developed countries and continues to be plied around the world.

Guess Again!

by Mac Barnett — ALL AGES

For each round of guessing, readers are presented with a page of illustrations opposite a rhyming quatrain. The unexpected conclusion of the verse’s final line is revealed on the next page.

Old Mother Hubbard

by Jane Cabrera

Light-hearted illustrations accompany this version of the familiar nursery rhyme about an old woman and her playful dog.

Octopus, Oyster, Hermit Crab, Snail: A Poem of the Sea

by Sara Anderson — ALL AGES

A journey through the ocean is imaginatively plumbed in words and pictures. Informative, clear, and graphically lovely, readers of all ages who dive into this book will never look at the sea in quite the same way.

Where the Sidewalk Ends

by Shel Silverstein — ALL AGES

A boy who turns into a TV set and a girl who eats a whale are only two of the characters in a collection of humorous poetry illustrated with the author’s own drawings. Come in – for where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein’s world begins. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist.

Zen Shorts

by Jon J. Muth — ALL AGES

“Michael,” said Karl. “There’s a really big bear in the backyard.” This is how three children meet Stillwater, a giant panda who moves into the neighborhood and tells amazing tales. To Addy he tells a story about the value of material goods. To Michael he pushes the boundaries of good and bad. And to Karl he demonstrates what it means to hold on to frustration. With graceful art and simple stories that are filled with love and enlightenment, Jon Muth — and Stillwater the bear — present three ancient Zen tales that are sure to strike a chord in everyone they touch.

Lion of the Sky: Haiku for All Seasons

by Laura Purdie Salas — ALL AGES

Haiku meet riddles in this wonderful collection from Laura Purdie Salas. The poems celebrate the seasons and describe everything from an earthworm to a baseball to an apple to snow angels, alongside full-color illustrations.

Big, Bad, and a Little Bit Scary: Poems That Bite Back!

by Wade Zahares — ALL AGES

Bristling with sly humor and just a hint of danger, this irresistible collection of poems pays homage to everyone’s favorite member of the animal kingdom–the villains!

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Poetry of Mister Rogers — ALL AGES

Through songs, puppets, and honest conversations, Mister Rogers instilled the values of kindness, patience, self-awareness, and self-esteem in his young viewers. But most of all, he taught children that they were loved, just by being who they were. With classics such as “It’s You I Like” and “Many Ways to Say I Love You” as well as dozens of others that range from funny to sweet, silly to sincere, the 75 songs in this collection deal with such universal topics as difficult feelings, new siblings, everyday routines, imagination, and more. Perfect for bedtime, sing-along, or quiet time alone, this beautiful book of meaningful poetry is the perfect gift for every child-including the child in every one of us.

Here's a Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry — ALL AGES

A collection of poems for children with the various themes of self, family, going outside, and when it is time for bed. This exuberant celebration of poetry is an essential book for every young one’s library and a gorgeous gift to be both shared and treasured. Sit back and savor a superb collection of more than sixty poems by a wide range of talented writers, from Margaret Wise Brown to Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes to A. A. Milne. Greeting the morning, enjoying the adventures of the day, cuddling up to a cozy bedtime – these are poems that highlight the moments of a toddler’s world from dawn to dusk. 

The Skin You Live In

by Michael Tyler — ALL AGES

Rhyming text and illustrations celebrate being content with the skin in which one lives, whatever that skin might be.

'Twas the Night Before Christmas on Sesame Street

by Lillian Jaine — ALL AGES

It’s the night before Christmas, and Cookie Monster is dozing peacefully, until a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer land on Sesame Street. Cookie Monster is delighted to have a visit from Santa, but there’s just one problem, he’s already eaten all of Santa’s cookies! Luckily, Elmo and the rest of the Sesame Street friends are ready to help! Includes reading tips for parents and guided prompts to help extend story time and make reading together a more interactive experience.

Writing a Poem

by Cecilia Minden and Kate Roth — SCHOOL AGE

Writing is an important skill that kids use almost every day. The goal of the Write it Right series is to make kids writing experts. Writing a Poem is full of tips and tricks to help kids channel their creativity, from distinguishing rhyme from rhythm to organizing stanzas.

Write Your Own Haiku for Kids

by Patricia Donegan — SCHOOL AGE

In this fun Japanese children’s book, kids will learn to create haiku– elegant and simplistic Japanese poems. Haiku is a uniquely Japanese form of poetry that uses vivid words and imagery to capture a feeling or a moment in just three lines. Short but powerful, haiku poems are easy and fun to write and share with your friends. Haiku has become increasingly popular in school curriculums around the world, particularly among teachers introducing students to the art of poetry as well as Asian history and heritage. The activities in this haiku-for-kids book will show you how to create haiku and will help you to think up meaningful words and images with which you can write beautiful poetry.

Punching the Air

by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam — TEENS

From award-winning, bestselling author Ibi Zoboi and prison reform activist Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five comes a powerful YA novel in verse about a boy who is wrongfully incarcerated. With spellbinding lyricism, award-winning author Ibi Zoboi and prison reform activist Yusef Salaam tell a moving and deeply profound story about how one boy is able to maintain his humanity and fight for the truth, in a system designed to strip him of both.

Shout: A Poetry Memoir

by Laurie Halse Anderson —TEENS

Bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson is known for the unflinching way she writes about, and advocates for, survivors of sexual assault. Now, inspired by her fans and enraged by how little in our culture has changed since her groundbreaking novel Speak was first published twenty years ago, she has written a poetry memoir that is as vulnerable as it is rallying, as timely as it is timeless. In free verse, Anderson shares reflections, rants, and calls to action woven between deeply personal stories from her life that she’s never written about before. Searing and soul-searching, this important memoir is a denouncement of our society’s failures and a love letter to all the people with the courage to say #MeToo and #TimesUp, whether aloud, online, or only in their own hearts. Shout speaks truth to power in a loud, clear voice– and once you hear it, it is impossible to ignore.

Crank

by Ellen Hopkins — TEENS

Kristina Georgia Snow is the perfect daughter, gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. But on a trip to visit her absentee father, Kristina disappears and Bree takes her place. Bree is the exact opposite of Kristina. Through a boy, Bree meets the monster: crank. And what begins as a wild ecstatic ride turns into a struggle through hell for her mind, her soul – her life.

For Every One

by Jason Reynolds —TEENS

Originally performed at the Kennedy Center for the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and later as a tribute to Walter Dean Myers, this stirring and inspirational poem is New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist Jason Reynolds’s rallying cry to the young dreamers of the world.

For Every One is just that: for every one. For every one person. For every one dream. But especially for every one kid. The kids who dream of being better than they are. Kids who dream of doing more than they almost dare to dream. Kids who are like Jason Reynolds, a self-professed dreamer. Jason does not claim to know how to make dreams come true; he has, in fact, been fighting on the front line of his own battle to make his own dreams a reality. He expected to make it when he was sixteen. Then eighteen. Then twenty-five. Now, some of those expectations have been realized. But others, the most important ones, lay ahead, and a lot of them involve kids, how to inspire them. All the kids who are scared to dream, or don’t know how to dream, or don’t dare to dream because they’ve NEVER seen a dream come true. Jason wants kids to know that dreams take time. They involve countless struggles. But no matter how many times a dreamer gets beat down, the drive and the passion and the hope never fully extinguish—because just having the dream is the start you need, or you won’t get anywhere anyway, and that is when you have to take a leap of faith.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

If You Liked… “Bridgerton”

Bridgerton may be over (for now), but your obsession with gossipy period dramas is just getting started…

Can’t stop thinking about Bridgerton, that jaw-dropping finale, and now you’re wanting to dive into a book that will capture even a little bit of that Bridgerton magic? Look no further! We’ve collected 8 titles in the same vein as Bridgerton that will (hopefully!) tide you over until it’s time to return to our beloved London ton.

All of the titles featured here in this booklist we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

The Duke and I

by Julia Quinn

In the ballrooms and drawing rooms of Regency London, rules abound. A proper duke should be imperious and aloof. A young, marriageable lady should be amiable…but not too amiable. Daphne Bridgerton has always failed at the latter. She has formed friendships with the most eligible young men in London. Everyone likes Daphne for her kindness and wit. But no one truly desires her. She is simply too deuced honest for that, too unwilling to play the romantic games that captivate gentlemen. Amiability is not a characteristic shared by Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings. Yet an encounter with his best friend’s sister offers another option. If Daphne agrees to a fake courtship, Simon can deter the mamas who parade their daughters before him. Daphne, meanwhile, will see her prospects and her reputation soar. The plan works like a charm–at first. But amid the glittering, gossipy, cut-throat world of London’s elite, there is only one certainty: Love ignores every rule…

Mad and Bad: Real Heroines of the Regency

by Bea Koch

There are hundreds of fascinating women who don’t fit history books limited perception of what was historically accurate for early 19th century England. Women like Dido Elizabeth Belle, whose mother was a slave but was raised by her white father’s family in England, Caroline Herschel, who acted as her brother’s assistant as he hunted the heavens for comets, and ended up discovering eight on her own, Anne Lister, who lived on her own terms with her common-law wife at Shibden Hall, and Judith Montefiore, a Jewish woman who wrote the first English language Kosher cookbook. Look beyond popular perception of the Regency into the even more vibrant, diverse, and fascinating historical truth.

A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby

by Vanessa Riley

When headstrong West Indian heiress Patience Jordan questioned her English husband’s mysterious suicide, she lost everything: her newborn son, Lionel, her fortune—and her freedom. Falsely imprisoned, she risks her life to be near her child—until The Widow’s Grace gets her hired as her own son’s nanny. But working for his unsuspecting new guardian, Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington, has perils of its own. Especially when Patience discovers his military strictness belies an ex-rake of unswerving honor—and unexpected passion…

Wicked and the Wallflower

by Sarah MacLean

When Wicked Comes Calling . . . When a mysterious stranger finds his way into her bedchamber and offers his help in landing a husband, Lady Felicity Faircloth agrees to his suspicious terms—on one condition. She’s seen enough of the world to believe in passion, and won’t accept a marriage without it.
 
The Wallflower Makes a Dangerous Bargain . . . Bastard son of a duke and king of London’s dark streets, Devil has spent a lifetime wielding power and seizing opportunity, and the spinster wallflower is everything he needs to exact a revenge years in the making. All he must do is turn the plain little mouse into an irresistible temptress, set his trap, and destroy his enemy.

Bringing Down the Duke

by Evie Dunmore

England, 1879. Annabelle Archer, the brilliant but destitute daughter of a country vicar, has earned herself a place among the first cohort of female students at the renowned University of Oxford. In return for her scholarship, she must support the rising women’s suffrage movement. Her charge: recruit men of influence to champion their cause. Her target: Sebastian Devereux, the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery who steers Britain’s politics at the Queen’s command. Her challenge: not to give in to the powerful attraction she can’t deny for the man who opposes everything she stands for.

A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem

by Manda Collins

England, 1865: Newspaper columnist Lady Katherine Bascomb finds herself the subject of speculation when her latest article leads to an arrest in the murders plaguing London. The English believe women ought not to write about such vulgar things as crime, and a particularly attractive detective inspector is incensed that she’s interfered with his investigation. To escape her sudden notoriety, Katherine heads to the country-only to witness a murder upon her arrival.

Detective Inspector Andrew Eversham is appalled when Lady Katherine entangles herself in one of his cases-again. Her sensationalist reporting already nearly got him kicked off the police force, and he’ll be damned if he permits her to meddle a second time. Yet, her questions are awfully insightful, and he can’t deny his attraction to both her beauty and brains. As the clues point to a dangerous criminal, the two soon realize their best option is working together. But with their focus on the killer lurking in the shadows, neither is prepared for the other risk the case poses-to their hearts.

The Wallflower Wager

by Tessa Dare

Wealthy and ruthless, Gabriel Duke clawed his way from the lowliest slums to the pinnacle of high society–and now he wants to get even.  Loyal and passionate, Lady Penelope Campion never met a lost or wounded creature she wouldn’t take into her home and her heart.

When her imposing—and attractive—new neighbor demands she clear out the rescued animals, Penny sets him a challenge. She will part with her precious charges, if he can find them loving homes.

Done, Gabriel says. How hard can it be to find homes for a few kittens? And a two-legged dog. And a foul-mouthed parrot. And a goat, an otter, a hedgehog… Easier said than done. Soon he’s covered in cat hair, knee-deep in adorable, and bewitched by a shyly pretty spinster who defies his every attempt to resist. Now she’s set her mind and heart on saving him.

Lady Derring Takes a Lover

by Julie Anne Long

Delilah Swanpoole, Countess of Derring, learns the hard way that her husband, “Dear Dull Derring,” is a lot more interesting—and perfidious—dead than alive. It’s a devil of an inheritance, but in the grand ruins of the one building Derring left her, are the seeds of her liberation. And she vows never again to place herself at the mercy of a man.

But battle-hardened Captain Tristan Hardy is nothing if not merciless. When the charismatic naval hero tracks a notorious smuggler to a London boarding house known as the Rogue’s Palace, seducing the beautiful, blue-blooded proprietress to get his man seems like a small sacrifice.

They both believe love is a myth. But a desire beyond reason threatens to destroy the armor around their hearts. Now a shattering decision looms: Will Tristan betray his own code of honor…or choose a love that might be the truest thing he’s ever known?

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Happy National Craft Month!

Started in 1994, National Craft Month was designed to help people rediscover their creativity and learn about the wonderful world of crafting and all of its many benefits. 

With a broad range of crafts to choose from, National Craft Month inspires all kinds of mediums. From paper and wood to fabrics, paint and metal craft, the month is dedicated to creativity and inspiration.  Whatever motivates you, take your craft from idea to reality this month.

All of the titles featured here in this booklist we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Hoop-La!: 100 things to do with embroidery hoops

by Kirsty Neale

There are endless practical and decorative uses for the humble embroidery hoop: from pretty wall art and hanging mobiles to functional pin boards, key racks, mirrors and storage. Kirsty Neale explores the numerous different ways to decorate your hoops with a range of techniques including applique, embroidery, crochet, papercraft, painting, stamping, cross stitch and patchwork.

Crepe Paper Flowers: The Beginner's Guide to Making and Arranging Beautiful Blooms

by Lia Griffith

Crepe paper is the best material for creating paper flowers, especially for beginners. It’s forgiving and malleable–easy to cut, bend, curl, and shape into peony petals, daffodil trumpets, chrysanthemum blooms, and more. With 30 projects and an introduction to both crafting paper flowers and working with crepe paper, this book is full of inspiration and expert advice for beginners. If you have a Cricut Maker, you can download the templates to your machine so you can enjoy your own homemade bouquets in no time.

Parachute Cord Craft: Quick & Simple Instructions for 22 Cool Projects

by Samantha Grenier

Learn to weave and braid versatile parachute cord in an array of fashion colors to create attractive, useful accessories! 22 clever projects and step-by-step instructions for making fashionable bracelets and necklaces, belts, lanyards, dog collars, key fobs, and more. Discover the knots you need to know, get practical advice on tools and materials, learn the right way to melt and fuse the cut ends of your cord, and experiment with jewelry findings.

Duct Tape: 101 Adventurous Ideas for Art, Jewelry, Flowers, Wallets and More

by Forest Walker Davis

Sturdy and resistant, and with a myriad of interesting colors and patterns, duct tape is fast becoming a perfect crafting, home and DIY material. The book introduces this simple but versatile material and offers 101 creative projects to make.

DIY Crafts & Projects for Your Instant Pot: Lip Balm, Tie-Dye, Candles, and Dozens of Other Amazing Ideas

by David Murphy

What can you do with your Instant Pot? A lot more than dinner! Here are 50 projects anyone can make–handmade soap, infused liqueurs, tie-dye, and much more!

Paint Lab: 52 Exercises inspired by Artists, Materials, Time, Place, and Method

by Deborah Forman

Designed to inform and inspire new artists and rekindle passion for painting in experienced artists, this book offers a range of exercises broken down by theme and reinforces a fun and fearless approach to creating art.

Washi Tape: 101+ Ideas for Paper Crafts, Book Arts, Fashion, Decorating, Entertaining

by Courtney Cerruti

If you have never heard of washi tape, get ready to enter a bright new world of paper crafts! Originating in Japan, washi paper is stronger than wood-pulp paper making it perfect for use in projects like origami and scrapbooking. It’s safe to use almost anywhere and great fun for children!

Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts

by Martha Stewart

A comprehensive visual reference, this book covers everything a home sewer craves: the basics of sewing by hand or machine, along with appliqué, embroidery, quilting, dyeing, and printing craft techniques, and step-by-step instructions for more than 150 projects.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

10 Easy Steps for Successfully Starting Seeds Indoors

Curious about starting seeds indoors? Some plants such as tomatoes, peppers, and Shasta daisies require a longer growing season than we have here in the Chicagoland area (we’re hardiness Zone 5B). To ensure healthy growth, many gardeners prefer to start seeds for these plants indoors in the spring. Starting your own seeds is not only less expensive than purchasing transplants, it is also very rewarding to watch your seeds grow into healthy full-grown productive plants. Plus, it’s fun! Here are our 10 easy steps for successfully starting seeds indoors:

Step 1

Check out seeds from the Bensenville Community Public Library’s seed library!

Or purchase seeds from a reputable company. For more information on the Library’s Seed Library, visit benlib.org/seed-library.

Check the seed packet for your hardiness zone to ensure that the seedlings with thrive in your area when transplanted outdoors. Most seeds are started indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost date, which for our area is, on average, May 15th.

Step 2

Start with clean containers.

You can use recycled pots, such as empty, clean yogurt containers or disposable plastic cups. Although not necessary, commercial seed starting trays are a good choice and can be reused year after year. Mark each container with the name of what’s growing inside or it will be difficult to tell what is growing when the seeds begin to sprout. Place several small holes in the bottom of the container for drainage and ventilation.

Step 3

Fill each container with a quality seed staring mix.

A seed starting mix does not contain any actual soil, but it does provide an ideal condition for sprouting seeds. It provides a good balance of drainage versus water-holding capacity. Seed starting mixes also minimize problems with disease on susceptible seedlings.

If you can, avoid using garden soil or potting soil to start seeds. These don’t generally drain well and may contain plant disease spores. If you must use one of these, potting soil is your better bet. If possible, run some boiling water through your potting soil prior to use to kill any contaminants.

Step 4

Refer to each seed packet for planting instructions.

The seed packet contains valuable information — such as the proper planting depth, when to plant, or days to germinate. All the information you need for each plant should be on the packet. Need more info or lost your seed packet? A quick Google search (i.e. “marigold seed starting information”) will also get you the information you need.

Step 5

Cover those seeds!

Cover the top of the tray with the clear dome that came with your seed starting tray, or cover your pots with clear plastic wrap. This helps keep the potting soil moist. New seeds need to be kept warm; place seed trays or pots in a warm location, but out of direct sunlight.

For faster germination use a heating mat made specially for starting seeds under the tray or pots. Don’t have a heating mat? No problem, you can also sit the containers on top of a warm spot such as the top of the refrigerator. Check regularly for signs of growth. Once germination begins and seedlings start to sprout, remove the plastic wrap.

Step 6

Move your seedlings to a sunny location.

Seedlings need water, air, and light to thrive. Place your seedlings in a bright, sunny location — or some gardeners choose to place their seedlings under supplemental grow lights. Make sure to water consistently, but do not overwater! Seedling roots need both air and water. Try to keep the mix moist but not saturated with water — think of it as a damp sponge that contains both water and air. Warmer temperatures are no longer necessary to continue growth, moderate temperatures with a good light source will help to grow thicker, sturdier seedlings.

Step 7

Thin your seedlings.

You will want to keep one seedling per pot, so choose the healthiest seedling and snip the rest of the seedlings off at the soil line. Thinning seedlings reduces competition for water and nutrients and allows for better air circulation between plants.

Step 8

Fertilize weekly!

Once your seedlings have one or two sets of true leaves (the true leaves will look more like what the plant’s leaves look like when mature), begin fertilizing with a half-strength, preferably organic, fertilizer once a week.

Step 9

Transplant as needed.

If you used a seed starting tray or smaller starter pots, it may be time to transplant your seedlings to larger pots to continue their growth. Seedlings are delicate, so move each one carefully to its larger individual pot and continue to water evenly and fertilize weekly. Place newly transplanted seedlings out of direct sun for a few days to allow the seedlings to acclimate to their new environment.

Step 10

Harden off seedlings before placing outside.

Hardening off is the process by which you slowly, over the course of 1-2 weeks, acclimate your seedlings to the final environment in which they will live. Place plants outside each day during daylight hours in a shaded, protected place. Gradually increase this time outdoors for 1-2 weeks prior to transplanting outside.

Regardless of the type of seeds you're planting, keep these simple steps for how to grow seeds indoors and you will be rewarded with a plentiful garden each year. Happy planting!

YA Books Coming to Netflix in 2021

Love book to movie adaptations? There are a handful of great YA films based on books coming to Netflix in 2021! Read them before they come out!

All of the books and movies featured here we have in our collection! To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or the “Find it!” button under each book or movie.

Book: Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between by Jennifer E. Smith

Movie coming soon to Netflix — starring Jordan Fisher

High school sweethearts Clare and Aidan spend the night before they leave for college reminiscing about their relationship and deciding whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours they retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. As the clock winds down and morning approaches, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

Book: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

TV series coming to Netflix April 23, 2021

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Book: Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Movie now streaming on Netflix!

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, so now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

Book: There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

Movie coming to Netflix in 2021

It’s been almost a year since Makani Young came to live with her grandmother and she’s still adjusting to her new life in rural Nebraska. Then, one by one, students at her high school begin to die in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair.

As the body count rises and the terror grows closer, can Makani survive the killer’s twisted plan?

Book: Fear Street by R. L. Stine

3 movies coming to Netflix in the summer of 2021

Despite her friend’s warning, Rachel is excited to attend Brendan Fear’s birthday party at his family’s estate on mysterious Fear Island, but soon someone introduces a game of murder and all of the guests are in danger.

Book: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Movie coming soon to Netflix

The opportunity to be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her, and leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she begins to realize that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Book: Monster by Walter Dean Myers

Movie release to Netflix TBA

While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.