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Wander to the library to wonder at new worlds

SALISBURY — It’s a new year and Rowan Public Library has new adventures to help you through the doldrums of winter. Curl up with one of these stories featuring young people (and a “space cat”) who embark on a journey and experience exciting adventures:
“The Theory of Everything,” by Kari Luna, blends realism, science fiction, fantasy and 80s rock music into an unusual story with heart. Sophie has started yet another high school, but that hasn’t stopped her “episodes.” One minute she’s talking to “Fab Physics Boy,” and the next thing she knows she’s in the middle of a panda marching band. Or watching birds in the wallpaper pattern peel off the wall and fly away.
Like her missing theoretical physicist father, Sophie has no control over these visions, and her mother fears she may be suffering from a mental illness. Determined to figure out her visions once and for all, Sophie sets out for New York City to search for her father and learn about his string theory of parallel universes. Has he become lost in one of these alternate worlds? Guided by her shaman panda Walt, Sophie learns more about her travel episodes, love and acceptance.
Another 14-year-old girl embarking on a journey is featured in the latest Fairyland book by Catherynne Valente. In “The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two,” September is beginning to fear that she will never find her way back to Fairyland when the Blue Wind arrives and winks her “out of the world like a firefly.” Soaring to the moon in her Model A Ford, which seems to be coming to life, September hopes to be reunited with her old friends Elle and Saturday. First, however, she must deliver a package to the Whelk of the Moon.
She soon learns that the moon is in danger of being destroyed by the terrible Yeti Cinderskin, and sets out to confront him. Along the way September meets many creatures that guide her as she searches for her path in life. As usual, Valente’s descriptions are magical: “his clothes flashed — long periwinkle trousers with teal patches and curling cornflower shoes like a jester’s. But what his coat hid within flashed brighter. September gasped. Planets hung on the lining of that thick jacket — small globes full of swirling clouds or shifting seas, continents like tiny chunks of ruby or topaz, cool silver moons and boiling purple suns. Light poured out from the depths of the coat, bathing her in colors.”
If you are new to Fairyland, make sure you begin with September’s first visit: “The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.”
In the latest “Binky the Space Cat Adventure” by Ashley Spires, Binky is embarking on a journey, as well. In “License to Scratch,” Binky, his assistant space dog Gordie, and commanding officer Gracie see disaster on the horizon at the appearance of “SUITCASES!” Their humans are about to set off into deep space unprotected. Binky and Gracie are loaded into portable space pods for the long “flight” to the “pet hotel, “which turns out to be … the vet!” Will their humans ever return?
Agonizing days of boredom lead to an escape attempt and the discovery of sinister goings-on involving aliens (bugs). Sadly, this fifth title is reported to be the last Binky Adventure. Don’t miss out on the trademark combination of dry humor, slapstick and heart in this graphic novel series for all ages.
Journey to Rowan Public Library for these adventures and find many more.
PAC Club: Headquarters, Jan. 11, 11 a.m. “The Five Ancestors” and Chinese New Year. Popular Activities and Crafts Club, focusing on a different children’s book series each month for school-aged children. Call 704-216-8234 for more information.
Richard Smith concert: Jan. 14, headquarters, 7 p.m. Guitarist Richard Smith has toured the world surprising audiences with his range of musical styles, from country, bluegrass, mainstream jazz and modern pop and rock to classical guitar. Admission is free, and all are welcome.
Superfoods workshop: South branch, Jan. 27, 5:45 p.m., free. Learn how to cook up the good stuff with cooking demonstrations, samples and tips on how to stock a healthy kitchen. This workshop will be led by Chef Chris Herron and Director of Food and Nutrition Sara Lynch of Morrison Food Services. All ages welcome, but anyone un­der 16 should be accompanied by an adult. Registration is required; please call 704-216-7734 to register or for more information. This workshop is part of the Learn. Act. Grow. wellness program. At each program you have a chance to win door prizes; participants who attend all five workshops will be entered to win a grand prize.
Wii Bowling Tournament for Teens: All 5:30-7 p.m., South, Tuesday; East, Jan. 27; headquarters Jan. 28. Wii bowling and other games. Open to all middle and high school students. For more information call 704-216-8234.
Book Bites Club: South (only), Jan. 27, 6:30 p.m., “Wicked: The Life of the Wicked Witch,” by Gregory MaGuire. Book discussion groups for adults and children meet the last Tuesday of each month. The group is open to the public and anyone is free to join at any time. There is a discussion of the book, as well as light refreshments at each meeting. For more information, please call 704-216-8229.
Library closings: Jan. 20, all RPL locations closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
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.

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