BOOK DIGEST || Jimmy Carter writing book on women’s rights

Jimmy Carter writing book on women’s rights


Jimmy Carter’s next book will be a defense of women’s rights and an attack against those who use religion to deny equality.

Simon & Shuster announced Tuesday that the former president’s “A Call To Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power” will be published March 25. The publisher says Carter will draw upon personal observations from his worldwide travels as he condemns abuses of women and girls and the alleged distortions of religious texts cited as justification.

The 89-year-old has written a wide range of books since leaving office in 1981, from memoirs and poetry to a controversial work on the Middle East, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.”

Staff/wire reports

Book discussions beckon readers


The Leetonia Community Public Library, 181 Walnut St., has scheduled book discussion group meetings for February.

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, the AM Bookends will talk about Richard Russo’s book “Empire Falls.” This humorous look at small- town life may just remind you of a town you know.

“Full Body Burden: Growing up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats” by Kristen Iversen is the choice for the nonfiction group, which meets at 6 p.m. Feb. 25. This memoir chronicles a family living near a secret nuclear-weapons plant in Colorado.

“Candide” by Voltaire will be discussed by the classics group at 6 p.m. Feb. 27. With wit and satire, this slim volume describes the travels in Europe and South America of the youthful Candide.

Copies of these books are available at the library, and guests are always welcome.

For information, call the library at 330-427-6635.

DiCamillo wins Newbery for best children’s book


Kate DiCamillo’s “Flora & Ulysses,” a comic superhero tale featuring a deadly vacuum cleaner and a mighty squirrel, has won the John Newbery Medal for the year’s best work of children’s literature. Brian Floca won the Randolph Caldecott Medal for his illustrations in “Locomotive,” a story of the early years of train travel that Floca also wrote.

The awards, the most prestigious in children’s publishing, were announced last week by the American Library Association. DiCamillo, a popular and acclaimed author, won the Newbery a decade ago for “The Tales of Despereaux.” The Library of Congress recently named her National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

“When they called this morning about the Newbery, I don’t think I said anything that made any sense,” DiCamillo said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “I mostly just wept.”

A native of Philadelphia who now lives in Minneapolis, the 49-year-old DiCamillo said the book’s origins date back a few years. Her mother was dying and worried what would happen to her vacuum cleaner, which the author ended up inheriting. Around the same time, she noticed an ailing squirrel on her property and was appalled when a friend suggested she whack the squirrel with a shovel and kill it.

“I started thinking about ways I could save the squirrel’s life,” DiCamillo said.

The Caldecott winner, “Locomotive,” appeared on numerous lists for the best children’s books of 2013. Floca’s previous credits include illustrating the “Poppy” series by the Newbery-winning author Avi, the pen name for Edward Irving Wortis.

Floca, in a telephone interview, said he thought of a book on trains after he had completed a work in 2009 on the Apollo 11 space journey. One part of the research for “Locomotive” that surprised him: How colorful were the train engines of the 19th century.

“In early sketches, I had drawn these big, black locomotives,” said Floca, 45, a resident of Brooklyn. “But in the 1860s, they kept them polished. There was a Victorian aesthetic to it. They wanted the trains to be appealing to the public, and not frightening.

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