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What happens when a regular New Jersey girl finds out she’s an Indian princess and sets off on an interdimensional adventure? You get hooked on your favorite new fantasy series, that’s what! On Saturday, March 3, young readers and their families came to Five Corners to meet Sayantani DasGupta, author of The Serpent’s Secret, the exciting new middle-grade novel that’s based on Bengali folktales. Dr. DasGupta read a selection from the book, talked about her love of Bengali folktales and immigrant families that inspired her to write the story, discussed the upcoming sequel, and more. She was joined in conversation by Shehnaaz Jagasia, of Jersey City’s own Shehnaaz Dance Academy. Refreshments were generously provided by Sri Ganesh Dosa House. There’s always something exciting happening at your local library!

Read more: Sayantani DasGupta: The Serpent's Secret

President's Day 2018 (Glenn D. Cunningham Branch)

This year for Presidents Day, Cunningham featured a special display: “The Private Lives of the Presidents and Their Wives.” The display included books delving into the fascinating personal stories of some of our nation’s greatest leaders, including recent newsmakers like Barack and Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and reaching back to explore the lives of iconic history makers like Richard Nixon, George and Martha Washington, and Teddy Roosevelt. You can always learn something new at your local library!

Read more: President's Day 2018 (Glenn D. Cunningham Branch)

On Wednesday, December 13, Biblioteca Criolla was the proud host of a special program, Flamenco Dancing. About 50 community members, including many children, braved a cold, windy evening to experience a taste of Spain, with Flamenco folkloric music traditions and dancing demonstrations.

Ms. Natallia Basava and a group of dancers from the Performing Arts Workshop NJ demonstrated traditional Flamenco music and dance, delighting the attendees with colorful dances from the different regions of Spain. Ms. Basava patiently explained Flamenco’s Andalusian origins, from the early days, when Flamenco seems to have been purely vocal, accompanied only by rhythmical clapping of hands (toque de palmas), up through later times when the guitar and other instruments were introduced to the form. Attendees enjoyed learning about some of these “newer” Flamenco instruments, such as tambourines, bells, and wooden castañuelas (castanets) – and of course, there was dancing! Ms. Basava invited everyone to participate in the dancing, while teaching dancing positions and steps.

Read more: Flamenco Dance

On Tuesday, February 6, 2018, about 40 community members came to Greenville Branch Library to see author Jason Bost, who presented his memoir White N----r: The Struggles and Triumphs Growing Up Bi-Racial in America. The event was facilitated by James Williams of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, who led an engaging discussion based on Bost’s writings. In this intensely personal memoir, Bost tells the story of his journey from high school dropout to convicted felon, to successful entertainment industry executive, college professor, and attorney, all against the backdrop of inhabiting two different – and sometimes opposing – racial and cultural worlds. Bost also treated attendees to a signing of his books. A video of the discussion is available at

Read more: Meet the Author: Jason Bost