Beach reads from non-fiction to historical fiction

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 22, 2012

By Marissa Creamer
Rowan Public Library
School is out and the beach beckons, bringing thoughts of sun and fun. There are many enticing vacation destinations, but here in North Carolina summer vacation usually involves at least one trip to the coast. We are fortunate that North Carolina’s coastline offers more than 300 miles of sandy summer relaxation.
Beachcombers will want to come to Rowan Public Library before their trip to check out “Living Beaches of Georgia and the Carolinas: A Beachcomber’s Guide,” by Blair and Dawn Witherington. Filled with colorful photographs, this book begins with the premise that the beaches themselves are alive, and includes a fascinating discussion of the anatomy of a beach.
You can learn about beach features such as wrack lines, beach cusps and antidunes, as well as boneyard beaches, tides and currents. Learn the best areas of a beach to find seashells and other treasures. The chapter on beach animals includes all manner of seashells, crustaceans, birds, reptiles, mammals and even insects. Learn how to identify bubble shells, dovesnails, and wentletraps.
There are also chapters describing beach plants and beach minerals, including fossils and shark’s teeth. The final chapter is dedicated to the “hand of man,” and includes features such as lighthouses, shipwrecks, historical remnants and even sand art. It seems that everything that has anything to do with the beach can be found between the covers of this book.
If circumstances don’t allow you to travel to the beach this year, you can always visit vicariously through a novel set at the Outer Banks. In “The Watery Part of the World,” Michael Parker weaves a fictional tale from historical fact. He begins with the mysterious disappearance of Theodosia Burr Alston, daughter of Vice President Aaron Burr, whose ship went missing after setting sail from Georgetown, S.C. in late 1812. In this re-imagining, Theodosia’s ship is attacked by pirates and she is left for dead on a remote Outer Banks island. After being nursed back to health by a hermit, Theodosia embarks on a new life with a freed slave. Also woven into the story are the 1971 news reports of the last remaining residents of Portsmouth Island, two elderly white women who abandon the island when their African-American caretaker passes away. Parker explores the bond these last living residents have to the island and its past.
To learn more about this Outer Banks ghost town, check out “It Happened on the Outer Banks,” by Molly Perkins Harrison. Here you’ll find intriguing people and episodes from the history of the barrier islands. Did you know that the first musical notes ever transported over radio waves were sent from a small wireless station antenna in Buxton to Roanoke Island? This breakthrough would eventually lead to the world’s first radio broadcast. Ponder the mystery of what happened to the crew of the schooner Carroll A. Deering, found deserted on Diamond Shoals, and meet a couple who survived Hurricane Isabel by clinging to a treetop.
Whether you are planning a trip or traveling vicariously, Rowan Public Library has something to enhance your summer fun.
Summer reading programs: This summer, Rowan Public Library invites kids to join the library for a fun-filled summer of exciting programs and great reads with Dream Big, Read!
Weekly programs have begun and run until Aug.2. No programs will be held the week of July 4. RPL staff will entertain the youngest participants and professional performers will help the school-age children reach for the stars.
Family programs will again be offered at Cleveland Town Hall and reading hours can be tracked there at the time of the program. Prizes are awarded for every five, 10, 15 and 20 hours read, and door prizes are given at the school-aged programs.
• Little Dreamers: 12-24- month-olds: Mondays, 10:30 a.m. at East Branch; Tuesdays, 11 a.m. at headquarters; Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. at South (four-week program).
• Star Catchers: 2-year-olds, 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays at East, Wednesdays at South, Thursdays at headquarters (four-week program).
• Moon Wishers: 3- to 5- year-olds, 10:30 a.m. Mondays at South, Wednesdays at headquarters; Thursdays at East (seven-week program).
• Space Explorers: Rising first- through fifth-graders: Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m. at South; Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m. at East; Wednesdays, 2 p.m. at headquarters; Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. at Cleveland Town Hall (open to all ages at Cleveland).
Monday-Thursday: Rags 2 Riches, Disenchanted Dragon;
July 9-12: Red Herring Puppets, Aesop’s Fables;
July 16-19: Steve Brogan, Ventriloquist Extraordinaire;
July 23-26: Sharon Clarke, Tales and Tunes;
July 30-Aug. 2: Mo and Ro, Stories, Songs and Silliness.
Own The Night! for teens. Under way and running through Aug. 2, all rising sixth- graders to 12th-graders are invited to participate in events. No programs will be held the week of July 4. Teens can earn library dollars to be used at the end of the summer to bid on prizes provided by the Friends of Rowan Public Library.
• Carolina Shadows: Casting a light on the bizarre with Tim Sonefelt, all 3:30-5 p.m. — headquarters, Tuesday; East, Wednesday; South, Thursday.
• Stargazing: How much do you know about the stars? All 3:30-5 p.m. — headquarters, July 10; East, July 11; South, July 12.
• Crime Scene: CSI and Self Defense with the Sheriff’s Department, all 3:30-5 p.m. — headquarters, July 17; East, July 18, South, July 19.
• Live creatures: Nocturnal Animals and More, all 3:30-5 p.m. — headquarters, July 24; East, July 25; South, July 26.
• Summer Concert and Prize Awards: Aug. 1, 3:30-5 p.m. — End of Summer Celebration at South Rowan Regional Library.
For more information please check the library website at or call your closest RPL location — headquarters, 704-216-8234; South Rowan Regional, 704-216-7728; East Branch, 704-216-7842.
Book Bites Club: South only, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., “Life of Pi” by Yan Martel (book club kit). Book discussion groups for both adults and children at South Rowan Regional Library the last Tuesday of each month. The group is open to the public and free to join at any time. Discussion of the book, as well as light refreshments at each meeting. For more information please call 704-216-8229.
Displays: Headquarters — Pen and ink drawings by Joseph Heilig; South, Rowan County Girl Scouts by Tricia Clement; East, Winnie the Pooh by Kim Davis.
Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.