May slide show


Mysteries of the Unexplained by Allan Zullo (BOTD May 2)

Although accounts of an aquatic beast living in Scotland's Loch Ness date back over 1,500 years, the modern legend of the Loch Ness Monster was born when a sighting made local news on May 2, 1933. A newspaper reported that a couple claimed to have seen "an enormous animal rolling and plunging on the surface."


Dracula by Bram Stoker (BOTD May 3)

This 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker novel is written in the form of journal entries and letters. The 1st entry is made on May 3rd by Jonathan Harker as he travels from England to Dracula's crumbling, remote castle located on the border of Transylvania in eastern Europe. At first enticed by Dracula's gracious manners, Harker soon discovers that he has become a prisoner in the castle.

First Blood by David Morrell (BOTD May 4)

On May 4, 1970, four Kent State students were shot and killed by the Ohio National Guard further heightening tension over America's involvement in the Vietnam War. This fictional work introduced the character of John Rambo, a veteran of the Vietnam Special Forces who clashes with a small-town cop, drawing both men into a life-or-death struggle through the woods, hills, and caves of a small, rural town.

Black Beauty – Anna Sewell (BOTD May 5)

This 1877 novel was written during the last years of author Anna Sewell's life when she was confined to her house as an invalid. She passed away 5 months after it was published. The book contains a clear message of kindness, sympathy, and respect for all animals and people. On May 5, 1973, Secretariat ran the fastest time ever recorded in the Kentucky Derby.

War of the Worlds – H.G. Wells (BOTD May 6)

Orson Welles was born on May 6, 1915. He was the director and narrator of a 1938 radio adaptation of this novel. It was reported to have caused widespread panic when listeners thought Martians were actually invading. Although these reports of panic were mostly false or overstated, they rocketed Welles to instant Hollywood fame.

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie (BOTD May 9)

Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie was born on May 9, 1860. His most popular creation was Peter Pan, a mischievous boy who can fly and refuses to ever grow up. As the leader of a gang known as the Lost Boys, he partakes in adventures with mermaids, indians, fairies, and pirates on the magical island of Neverland.

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer (BOTD May 10)

On May 10, 1996, an attempted ascent of Mt Everest turned deadly as 8 climbers were killed. Author Jon Krakauer signed on for the Everest climb intending to write a standard mountaineering magazine article. But he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and the magazine article was soon forgotten, replaced by a haunting tale of personal torment and survivor's guilt.

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse (BOTD May 11)

On May 11, 1934, a massive storm sent millions of tons of topsoil from the Great Plains as far east as Atlanta, New York City, and Boston. Set in Oklahoma in 1934 and 1935, this Newbery Award winning novel tells the story of a family of farmers during the Dust Bowl years. The book is unusual because the story is told entirely in free verse poems.

Star Wars by George Lucas (BOTD May 12)

When George Lucas wrote Star Wars in 1976 he had no idea that the characters he was creating would become pop culture icons. The original trilogy of movies dominated the box office in the late 70’s and early 80’s while the prequel trilogy made its mark years later. Revenge of the Sith, the final chapter in the Star Wars saga debuted on May 12, 2005.

I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncan (BOTD May 13)

Friday the 13th has long been associated with scary stories and this classic thriller is one of the scariest. 4 teenagers driving home from a party are involved in a hit and run accident that leaves a boy dead. They all swear an oath of secrecy, but a year later they receive a haunting anonymous threat. “I know what you did last summer.” The dark lie has been unearthed and now the 4 friends need to outsmart a killer or they will be the next to die.

Wicked by Gregory Maguire (BOTD May 16)

This novel is set in the Land of Oz in the years before the arrival of Dorothy. The story centers on Elphaba, the misunderstood, green-skinned girl who grows up to become the notorious Wicked Witch of the West. The story has been turned into a very successful Broadway musical. Margaret Hamilton, the actress who played the Wicked Witch of the West in the original movie died on May 16, 1985.

The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger (BOTD May 17)

This nonfiction book follows the lives of the swordfishing crew of the Andrea Gail from Gloucester, Massachusetts and their families during a massive storm that hit North America in the fall of 1991. Despite heroic rescue efforts, the boat and the entire 6 man crew were all lost at sea during the storm. The book was published on May 17, 1997.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (BOTD May 18)

This 1862 French novel is widely considered one of the greatest stories of the 19th century. The book contains many plots and themes, but the main thread is the story of Jean Valjean, an ex-convict in search of redemption. Beginning in 1987, the original version of the play began a long run on Broadway that ended on May 18, 2003. At that time it was the 2nd longest running play in Broadway history.

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult (BOTD May 19)

Anna Fitzgerald’s older sister Kate is dying from leukemia. Anna was conceived in order to harvest her blood to use in treatments to save Kate’s life. Anna is usually willing to donate whatever Kate needs but when she is 13 she is told that she will have to donate one of her kidneys. Anna balks at the idea and petitions for medical emancipation with the help of a lawyer. Author Jodi Picoult was born on May 19, 1966.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants - Ann Brashares (BOTD May 20)

This is the 1st in a series of 4 young adult novels that tell the continuing story of 4 young girls who acquire a pair of magical jeans that fit all 4 of them perfectly even though they are all different shapes and sizes. The novels follow the girls from their sophomore year in high school through their freshmen year at college. Levi Strauss was given a patent to create work pants on May 20, 1873 marking the birth of modern blue jeans.

Island of the Blue Dolphins - Scott O'Dell (BOTD May 23)

Karana and her tribe live on a small island off the coast of California. When her tribe is decimated in a battle with Russian fisherman they board a ship to head to the mainland, but Karana is accidentally left on the island. The novel is based on the true story of a girl left alone for 18 years on San Nicolas Island before being discovered in 1853. Author Scott O’Dell was born on May 23, 1898.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (BOTD May 24)

This is the popular coming-of-age story of Francie Nolan and her immigrant family in Brooklyn in the early 1900’s. The story follows Francie from ages 11 through 17. The main metaphor of the book is the Tree of Heaven, native to China and Taiwan, that is now common in the vacant lots of New York City. The Brooklyn Bridge opened on May 24, 1883.

The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum (BOTD May 25)

On a boat in the stormy Mediterranean, a man is shot 4 times and falls into the sea. A small ship finds him floating in the sea and hauls him aboard. He is barely alive but suffers from amnesia. A message surgically embedded in his hip contains information about a Swiss bank account giving him a clue to discover who he is why an assassin and the CIA are trying to kill him. Author Robert Ludlum was born on May 25, 1927.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (BOTD May 26)

The Order of the Phoenix is a secret organization founded by Professor Dumbledore to fight Voldemort and his followers, the Death Eaters. In the culminating scene in the 5th book of the Harry Potter series, Sirius Black, Harry’s godfather, is killed in a battle by Bellatrix Lestrange, one of Voldemort’s most loyal Death Eaters. Actress Helena Bonham, who played Bellatrix, was born on May 26, 1966.

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson (BOTD May 27)

Rachel Carson was a marine biologist and conservationist whose writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement. She was born in Springdale, PA, on May 27, 1907. Silent Spring, her most famous work, led to a nationwide ban on DDT and other pesticides and sparked a grassroots movement that led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (BOTD May 31)

Walt Whitman was born on May 31, 1819. One of the most influential American poets, he is often referred to as the “Father of Free Verse.” Free verse is a form of poetry that refrains from meter, rhyme, or any other musical pattern. His works were very controversial in his time, particularly this collection of poetry. He is most often cited for a poem written on the death of Abraham Lincoln called “O Captain! My Captain!”