Monthly Archive: September 2011

Get Your Game On at Game Day!!

Children, Teens and Families are welcome to stop by the Hopewell Library from 3:00-5:00pm Saturday, October 1st to join us for an afternoon of fun at Game Day!

Whether it's the new XBox Kinect or Mario Cart on the BIG screen, Game Day is a blast!

Try out the X-Box Kinect,  race a game or two on the Nintendo Wii, or try out one of many board games!  Try your hand at classics like Chess, Checkers, and Scrabble or other favorites like Sorry, Clue, and Pictureka!

We even have games for the youngest kids in your family like Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, and Memory.  Don’t forget the popcorn and lemonade!
Join us for the fun!

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Meet Donna Andrews

Meet Donna Andrews Oct 8 at the Hopewell Library

Donna Andrews’ latest book is more of the same. That’s not a bad thing!

Andrews, a resident of northern Virginia, has carved out a niche for herself in the world of mystery novels. Her “Meg Lanslow” series features a group of eccentric and memorable characters associated with the fictional Virginia “Caerphilly College.” Meg’s husband teaches at the college, which brings her into contact with a large community, in which murders happen with some regularity- usually around one per novel.

Donna’s latest novel is entitled “The Real Macaw.” It places Meg in the trying predicament of having a menagerie of assorted animals dumped on her due to the closing of an animal shelter while she attempts to take care of her own newborn twins! To top it off, the volunteer who transported all the animals to Meg’s farm turns up dead. One more thing to deal with!

Andrews’ approach to the mystery novel is to keep things light and funny, focus on characters, and to weave the murder into the tapestry seamlessly. The reader will have no sharp intakes of breath, but plenty of chuckles. Want to know how Andrews does it? Why not ask her yourself?

Donna Andrews will be speaking at the Hopewell Library at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday October 8, at the Hopewell/Prince George Friends of the Library Fall Meeting. Also bring a bag lunch and join us at 1pm for a book discussion led by Librarian Chris Wiegard before meeting Ms. Andrews.

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Best on the Web – Do More with Your Money is the U.S. government’s website dedicated to teaching Americans the basics of financial education. Whether you are buying a home, balancing your checkbook, or investing in your 401(k), the resources on can help you maximize your financial decisions. This site features financial education help from more than 20 different Federal websites, aggregated and organized so that users can learn and start benefiting from it quickly and easily. Content is organized by where you are in life, who you are, and by specific hands-on tools. Popular topics emerging in the news and based on user feedback are also highlighted.

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Shari’s Nonprofit Pick: Nonprofit Information Expo

Okay, “Information Expo” may be a bit far-reaching, but 1.5 hours of your time spent at the Hopewell Library on Thursday morning will yield you:


  • Fundraising tips and trends from one of the Commonwealth’s most in-demand consultants, Mary Ellen Stumpf
  • Hot-off-the-press foundation updates from co-owner of The Directory of Virginia Foundations (Grants Connection), Maggi Strouse
  • The most important things to know about Cameron Foundation’s Technical Assistance grants from Athan Lindsay, Cameron’s new Director of Capacity Building
  • Insider  tips and tricks on navigating GiveRichmond and GiveSouthside by Give Richmond Coordinator, Michael Jones
  • Hands-on help with making the most of your ConnectSouthside profile and use by Rebecca Eisenman
  • Guided tour of the hottest new resources with Shari Henry
  • Lots of take home lists, including funding research how-tos, must-read titles, don’t-miss nonprofit blogs and MORE!


All served up with complimentary breakfast.


Event is FREE (Can you believe it?) but registration is required. Click here to register.

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Excellent debut novels

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Fantasy novels have a following, but it is a specialized genre. Sword sagas, such as the Game of Thrones series, have their fans. Harry Potter-style young adult fantasy novels are big too. But it’s challenging to carry off this style of fantasy writing in a literary mode. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is an example of this writing style.

In this imaginative tale, a mysterious circus travels the world, performing only at night. A creative group of people set it up, but the Circus is actually operated by two people, a young man and a young woman, whose magical powers are real, not fake! The circus is therefore a venue for a deadly serious magic contest between these two people- a reality that is unknown to the audience and most of the workers. When the two magicians fall in love with each other, things get even more complex.

Morgenstern is able to maintain the atmosphere of wonder and mystery here, in a style that resembles that of a slightly less sophisticated Ray Bradbury. But again, it’s tough to mix magic and literary style. The audience may not be large for this.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Vanessa Diffenbaugh understands what she is writing about. She has for some time worked with the foster care establishment to try to reclaim young people into family life, and recently adopted a boy into her family. The challenges of foster children are at the core of her debut novel, The Language of Flowers.

Victoria Jones, age 18, is the lead character here. Victoria has just “aged out” of the foster system, and been kicked out onto the street. She struggles to survive, and to form human contacts. Her hope for a new life is based on the one person, Elizabeth, who ever loved her, a woman she has not seen in eight years.

Diffenbaugh’s plot details are not all one hundred percent convincing, but her personal knowledge in this area enables her to dig into the real emotional life of Victoria. The story has had enough emotional power to land it on the bestseller list. It is unclear if Diffenbaugh has more to write about, but this is an excellent first effort! Few indeed would be able to read this novel without experiencing strong emotion.

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach is a debut novel which reportedly sold to the publisher for over $600,000. The story in the novel involves a baseball team in a small Midwestern college, and the interwoven lives of four characters whose lives intersect that of Henry, the star shortstop. Henry throws to first base, and accidentally injures a teammate. His resulting crisis of self-worth plays out in complex ways in the lives of his room mate, the team captain, the college President, and the college President’s daughter.

Harbach’s command of character, dialogue, and scene-setting is nearly perfect. The story is not really about baseball- it becomes a well designed exploration of human nature. The Art of Fielding digs into the ways in which we seek excellence in our lives, and how we “team up” to overcome the bitter chances of fate and our own flawed natures. Harbach probably earned that $600,000. It is that well written.

It encourages me to read three brand-new novels by unknown authors with such a high quality of writing. I would rate them as good, better, and best, in the order in which they were reviewed.

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Celebrate Your Freedom to Read at the Fall Book Sale

Book Sale The Hopewell/Prince George Friends of the Library will host their annual Fall Book Sale on Saturday, September 24, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hopewell Library.

You can find history, mystery, cook books and much more. There are children’s books and mass market paperbacks for only 25 cents or 5 for a dollar. It is a great time to stock up on your fall and winter reading.

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Banned Books Bingo

September 27 @ 4:30 p.m.
Hopewell Library

In honor of Banned Books Week, Appomattox Regional Library System invites children and families to play Banned Books Bingo, a special version
of Bingo that uses titles of banned or challenged books on the Bingo cards. Free popcorn and drinks will be provided for participants, and winners have the chance to win awesome prizes, including gift cards to Play N Trade! This event is free and open to the public.

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Since its inception in 1982, Banned Books Week has worked to spotlight the issue of censorship in schools and public libraries.

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Best on the Web – Free How-To Help

Don’t let the name scare you away—The Beehive is a website worth visiting. Since 2001, when The Beehive was launched by the D.C.-based non-profit, One Economy, it has helped more than 18 million people worldwide connect to educational tools and services to inform and empower people to improve their lives. This site is buzzing with free how-to help related to money, health, jobs, school and housing. Some of the current articles include a back-to-school guide, food stamp eligibility tool, and a gestational diabetes factsheet. A brief exploration reveals in-depth financial and savings advice, health tips and assistance, employment coaching, computer training, college preparation guides, and homebuyer help. Registered users enjoy additional perks, such as printable coupons and the ability to set their location and view local services and resources. Content is updated regularly to reflect seasonal needs and current trends.

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Request for Proposal

APPOMATTOX REGIONAL LIBRARY SYSTEM is solicting bids for custodial services. For a copy of the Invitation to Bid please click below. Sealed bids will be received at the Administration Office of the Hopewell Library, 209 East Cawson Street, Hopewell, VA 23860 until 4 p.m., Friday, October 7, 2011. Direct questions to Scott Firestine,, 804-458-6329, extension 2005.

Invitation to Bid

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Treasure Your Freedom to Read

Ahoy, me hearties! Appomattox Regional Library System invites all you Buccaneers to set sail with us in celebration of International “Talk Like a Pirate Day” and Banned Books Week 2011.

The voyage begins Monday, September 19, when library crewmates don pirate attire and teach ye all a pirate phrase or two.

On September 20 at 4:30 p.m. at the Hopewell Library, we will be making buried treasure necklaces. Join us again on September 22 at 4:30 p.m. at the Prince George Library to make your very own pirate flag. Our adventure will conclude with a pirate family film at the Prince George Library on September 24 at 2:30 p.m.

Show your pirate spirit during Banned Books Week, September 24 to October 1, by reading books commonly contested in schools and libraries. Play for a chance to win treasure of your own during Banned Books Bingo on September 27 at 4:30 p.m. at the Hopewell Library.

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