Hello There!

Welcome to the Owl’s Nest Blog from the Westbury Children’s Library, officially known as Children’s Library – Robert Bacon Memorial. If you’ve visited us before, you may have noticed the bust over the fireplace. It is a portrait of former Secretary of State Robert Bacon.

Our plan for this blog is to periodically share useful and/or interesting information with our visitors. You may see lyrics for songs we sang in Circle Time, links to books we’ve read in storytime, early literacy tips, fun facts about the history of our Library (this is where Robert Bacon comes in) and anything else we think you need to know!

Thanks for reading and we hope you visit us in person soon!

The Owl’s Nest was the nickname given to the home of the Library’s first librarian, Jacqueline Overton.

Librarian’s Pick: The Year of the Witching – Alexis Henderson

“A young woman living in a rigid, repressive society discovers dark powers within herself, with terrifying and far-reaching consequences, in this stunning, feminist fantasy debut. In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet’s word is law, Immanuelle Moore’svery existence is blasphemy. The daughter of an union with an outsider that cast her once-proud family into disgrace, Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol, and lead a life of submission, devotion, and absolute conformity,like all the women in the settlement. But a chance mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood surrounding Bethel, where the first prophet once chased and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still walking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the diary of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood. Fascinated by secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realizes the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And she starts to understand that if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her”

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Librarian’s Pick: The Once and Future Witches – Alix E. Harrow

“In the late 1800s, three sisters use witchcraft to change the course of history in Alix E. Harrow’s powerful novel of magic and the suffragette movement.
 
In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.
But when the Eastwood sisters — James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna — join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote — and perhaps not even to live — the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.
There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.
An homage to the indomitable power and persistence of women, The Once and Future Witches reimagines stories of revolution, sapphic love, motherhood, and women’s suffrage–the lost ways are calling.”

Librarian’s Pick: Magic Lessons – Alice Hoffman

“Where does the story of the Owens bloodline begin? With Maria Owens, in the 1600s, when she’s abandoned in a snowy field in rural England as a baby. Under the care of Hannah Owens, Maria learns about the “Unnamed Arts.” Hannah recognizes that Maria has a gift and she teaches the girl all she knows. It is here that she learns her first important lesson: Always love someone who will love you back.

When Maria is abandoned by the man who has declared his love for her, she follows him to Salem, Massachusetts. Here she invokes the curse that will haunt her family. And it’s here that she learns the rules of magic and the lesson that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Love is the only thing that matters.

Magic Lessons is a celebration of life and love and a showcase of Alice Hoffman’s masterful storytelling.”

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Librarian’s Pick: Leave The World Behind – Rumaan Alam

“In a total departure from Alam’s previous work, this chilling 2020 National Book Award finalist book follows a middle-class white family on vacation in a remote part of Long Island. Their plan to relax and escape both the city and their problems is disrupted when the owners of the rental, an older Black couple, come knocking in the middle of the night after a massive blackout has left the city in the lurch. There’s no cell phone service, no updates, and the two families are forced to navigate the crisis together. But can they trust each other?”

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Librarian’s Pick: His Only Wife- Peace Adzo Medie

“Afi Tekple is a young seamstress in Ghana. She is smart; she is pretty; and she has been convinced by her mother to marry a man she does not know. Afi knows who he is, of course—Elikem is a wealthy businessman whose mother has chosen Afi in the hopes that she will distract him from his relationship with a woman his family claims is inappropriate. But Afi is not prepared for the shift her life takes when she is moved from her small hometown of Ho to live in Accra, Ghana’s gleaming capital, a place of wealth and sophistication where she has days of nothing to do but cook meals for a man who may or may not show up to eat them. She has agreed to this marriage in order to give her mother the financial security she desperately needs, and so she must see it through. Or maybe not?

His Only Wife is a witty, smart, and moving debut novel about a brave young woman traversing the minefield of modern life with its taboos and injustices, living in a world of men who want their wives to be beautiful, to be good cooks and mothers, to be women who respect their husbands and grant them forbearance. And in Afi, Peace Medie has created a delightfully spunky and relatable heroine who just may break all the rules.”

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Librarian’s Pick: The loop – Jeremy Robert Johnson

The Loop “Turner Falls is a small tourist town nestled in the hills of western Oregon, the kind of town you escape to for a vacation. When an inexplicable outbreak rapidly develops, this idyllic town becomes the epicenter of an epidemic of violence as the teenaged children of several executives from the local biotech firm become ill and aggressively murderous. Suddenly the town is on edge, and Lucy and her friends must do everything it takes just to fight through the night.”

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