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The California Gold Rush

Imagine that you are living in America in 1849, and that you start hearing rumours about a gold strike in far-off California. They say you can pluck gold right out of the river, and can easily become a rich man! However, the road to California is hard. Why, 3 years ago, the Donner Party became snowbound on the way, and they say the survivors ran out of food and ate the dead!


How will you find out what's really happening? You’ll read the newspapers (or find someone to read them to you). Newspapers are the only significant media source you have. Those newspaper accounts are the best (and sometimes only) source of information around. Read the stories, and make your own decision on whether to go prospecting for gold in California!


Back in the 21st century, you can still get a taste of what people were reading about in 1849 and the following years. Newspaper accounts from that era are compiled in the book To the Golden Shore: America goes to California – 1840, by researcher and editor Peter Browning. These are the very stories that stoked gold rush fever in the U.S. Check it out, at San Jose Public Library!

Getting Old is Murder, by Rita Lakin

 Getting Old is Murder coverAre you looking for an engaging mystery, a Florida locale, and a bunch of elderly retirees doing the investigating? Then this book is for you! Gladdy Gold and her trusty Gladiators, with the help of others in the housing development as well as the local library staff, work to find out what has REALLY been happening to the neighbors. Although Gladdy and her group sprinkle their conversation with Yiddish, everyone will be able to relate to these ladies who lunch, bedevil, and support each other. Read Getting Old is Murder for an enjoyable visit with these intrepid detectives!

Posted by Helen Kahn on Apr 25, 2013 | Comments: 0 |

Sophia's War : A Tale of the Revolution

Sophia's War book coverIf you are looking for an exciting, fast paced, suspenseful and action packed historical fiction read Sophia’s War:  A Tale of Revolution written by Newbery Medalist Avi.  Twelve year old Sophia lives with her family in British occupied New York City in 1776. Her brother William joins the Patriot cause against the British and enlists in the rebel militia.  Sophia’s mother and father must hide their support of the Patriot cause simply because they are surrounded by loyalists and must house British officers in their home.  When Sophia’s brother William is injured in battle and then dies in a British prison, Sophia vows to avenge his death.  Sophia soon finds herself in a very challenging situation:  working as a spy for the Patriot cause.  Her task is to warn General Washington of a British plan to capture West Point, a strategic Patriot stronghold overlooking the Hudson River.  Benedict Arnold, a Patriot traitor, is involved in this plan but only Sophia discovers this.   Sophia is a determined and strong heroine as she sets off on a perilous journey to warn General Washington of the British plan and of Benedict Arnold's treason. Short chapters and excellent writing make this thrilling tale of espionage and courage a great read for 6th graders as well as Young Adults.    

25th Annual San Jose Children's Faire

25th Annual San Jose Children's Faire Explore the Possibilities, Saturday, April 13, 2013 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Celebrate the Month of the Young Child at the

25th Annual San Jose Children's Faire! 


Saturday, April 13, 2013

10:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.


The Faire is expected to draw over 5,000 attendees to the outdoor festival, held at Discovery Meadow (in front of the Children's Discovery Museum), in downtown San José.


The theme this year is "Explore the Possibilities" and features family-oriented stage entertainment, special attractions, and activity booths offering hands-on activities for children ages 2-12.  Families can obtain information about education, child care, recreational programs and health and safety resources. 


For more information call 1-408-808-2617 or visit

Get Seussical at the Library!

Read Across America Cat in the Hat LogoCelebrate the upcoming birthday of beloved children's book author Dr. Seuss! Special Dr. Seuss Birthday Parties will be held at several San Jose Public Library locations in early March. Kids will enjoy Seuss stories, Seuss-themed crafts, and other activities.


Dr. Seuss, author of The Cat in the Hat, The Lorax, and more than 40 other children's books, was born on March 2, 1904. His birthday coincides with the National Education Association's Read Across America Day, and many schools and libraries are holding special events to celebrate both.


Fun fact: Dr. Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel, used the pseudonym Dr. Seuss for books he both wrote and illustrated, and the pseudonym Theo LeSieg for books he wrote that were illustrated by others. LeSieg is Geisel spelled backward! Find titles by both Theo LeSieg and Dr. Seuss at your local library. For all things Seuss, visit -- and come to the library for a birthday celebration!

Valentine’s Day and Chocolate

assorted Valentine's chocholates Every Valentine’s Day, chocolate becomes part of the romantic holiday. From the moment chocolate was discovered, it was considered valuable, divine, and decadent, so what better gift to give lovers? The first chocolate candies were invented in the 1860s by Cadbury, who was also the first to market them in a heart-shaped box for Valentine's Day that same decade as quoted on


San Jose Public Library Collections

Valentine's Day Craft in San Jose Public Library

Valentine's Day Event

Girl With a Pearl Earring at de Young Museum

book coverFrom January 26 – June 2, 2013 art lovers will be able to view Johannes Vermeer’s celebrated masterpiece Girl with a Pearl Earring at the de Young Museum in San Francisco.   Girl with a Pearl Earring is part of an exhibition of 35 Dutch paintings on loan from the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague.  This exhibition will be touring the United States and the de Young Museum in San Francisco is its very first venue.  Several years ago Author Tracy Chevalier wrote the bestselling historical fiction book Girl With a Pearl Earring.  In her book Chevalier details the life of Vermeer as an artist and explores what might have been behind his captivating painting of a young girl wearing a turban and a pearl earring.  The success of Chevalier's book inspired the film Girl With a Pearl Earring starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth.

Lunar New Year and Korean "Seollal(설날)"

A lunar calendar is a calendar that is based on cycles of

the lunar phase. Because there are about Seollal(Korean New Year Day)twelve lunations (synodic months) in a solar year, this period (354.37 days) is sometimes referred to as a lunar year as quoted on wikipedia.


China (including Hong Kong), Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, and Malaysia celebrate the lunar new year.

Koreans call "Seollal(설날)" for the lunar new year day.
Here is the informative video for "Seollal."

Koreans count their age from conception and base it on the lunar year. Korean babies are officially one years old when they get born.Korean babies are officially one years old when they get born.  Korean babies are officially one year old when they get born, and Koreans will not use the 1st of January as the day when they get older, but the first day of the lunar new year (which is usually in early February).


Bayarea Lunar New Year Event

San Jose Public Library Collections

Lunar New Year Crafts in San Jose Public Library

Additional Information

Congratulations BOTB 2013 Winners

Congratulations BOTB 2013 Winners!


1st Place

Lizard Kingdom Progressive Rock


Lizard Kingdom is heavily influenced by bands such as the Fall of Troy, Ricky Martin, Sha Na Na, Nickelback, Milli Vanilli, and Brian Wilson. In our spare time, we enjoy making balloon animals. Collectively our favorite food is pickles. Our pre-show ritual is we gather around, and run with scissors to display bravery.




2nd Place


Cactus  Experimental/Fusion


"Cactus is a group that plays for the sheer love of all different kinds of music, whether it be jazz, blues, alternative, classic rock, or Motown. Each practice is always different consisting of spontaneous new ideas every time. We enjoy the simple things in life, humor, and acting weird and crazy!"



3rd Place


Half N Half   Indie Rock


“We have been together since Fall 2011, and started out playing covers. But with HALF of us wanting to play this, n Half of us wanting to play that, we finally decided to collaborate to write our own music! “






The library gratefully acknowledges the generous contributions of its community sponsors:


  • Live 105.3 FM
  • PinUp Productions
  • San Jose Pro Drum
  • Steetlight Records
  • San Jose Rock Shop
  • Music Village
  • Music Go Round







December is "Safe Toys and Gifts" Month

toysDecember is National Safe Toys and Gifts Month, a project led by Prevent Blindness America. The group hopes to educate parents and other gift shoppers through awareness efforts all throughout the month. The rate at which children are being checked into ERs due to choking, eye injuries, or even poisoning is astonishing. Hundreds of thousands of children have undergone unnecessary injuries due to poorly made items and misuse of toys as quoted on


In this holiday season, purchasing age-appropriate Toys helps ensure children’s safety.



San Jose Public Library Resources on Safe Toys and Gifts

San Jose Public Library Programs on Safe Toys and Gifts

Additional Resources: