Lost and Found in the Stacks

20170402_085601In honor of National Library Week (April 9-15, 2017), this and another post later this week will be book-related.

Is it me or does fiction tend to get all the attention? Maybe it’s just my wrong impression that more press gravitates towards fiction. Some of the best books I’ve read have been compelling non-fiction! Take these pictured above, for example. You may have heard of The Great Chicago Fire or are even familiar enough with Chicago’s city flag to know a star symbolizes the major event. But Peshtigo is hardly known even though its firestorm was multiple times more devastating– a cataclysmic weather event with rare and heightened factors converging, creating a land version of The Perfect Storm. A fire met a tornado, tossing homes and barns in the air, exploding them. An entire train was decimated, ashes blown in the high winds, leaving only some wheels. People combusted with temps near crematorium level. Temperatures had to be, because a sheet of glass was spun around a tree trunk, made from ground sand.

I didn’t realize I was picking books off the shelf with similar holocaust themes~ one natural, one human-induced. Peshtigo’s history had been on my list for some time; I finally had the opportunity to read it. The Boy on the Wooden Box is a 2018 Caudill Award book in our neck of the woods. I picked it off a dedicated shelf containing many titles on the list, sensing there was some reason it had received accolades. There certainly was reason for it’s merit; it was gripping. Though Leon (his Americanized name) has passed now, he was one of the Jews on Schindler’s List. I was in the juvenile (generally 8th grade and under) section of the library and this is a book for youth, but don’t let that stop you as an adult from hunting it down.

My heart sinks a little in sadness, seeing Dewey Decimal numbers on the binding of a captivating book. I sense it will sit indefinitely in the stacks, unknown. How will people know to hunt for these gems? I guess it happens in the fiction area, too; I’ll be bipartisan about the topic. Recently I hit on these winners, too.20170406_095601

Again, I didn’t put together the similar theme of the two, this time being symbols of national pride. One is to compliment Mrs. John F. Kennedy’s Tour of the White House on YouTube (you might also like seeing Harry S. Truman’s, Laura Bush’s, or this documentary) we’ll be watching for school. I found the guide on ebay for $3.75 including shipping. Score! The other is a loaner from a British friend! The former would typically be shelved as a 975.3, the latter as a 941.086.

This is my plug to check your non-fiction shelves! Reach for rich literature awaiting your piqued mind.


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