Media & Communications
‘The Hobbit’ Illustrates Value of Adventure Tales for Pre-Teens PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 08 January 2013 08:46
Juveniles on Brink of Personal Journey,
Says Youth Advocate

It’s only appropriate that fantastical genres of storytelling are often geared toward preadolescents, says writer Elayne James.

“It’s an extremely impressionable time, with the wonder of childhood firmly established and a dramatic transformation about to take place,” says James, author of “Destiny’s Call,” the first installment of the fantasy series “The LightBridge Legacy,” (

It’s also not surprising that the “Lord of the Rings” movie trilogy from 2001 to 2003 was one of the most successful in film history – and that fans were eagerly anticipating director Peter Jackson’s return to Middle Earth on Dec. 14 with the release of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” she says.

In addition to being masterfully interpreted on the big screen, many of us were attached to the story from the books, which are often introduced during the middle school years. The narratives and personal experiences we have during preadolescence tend to stay with us more than those from other phases of life.

Researchers frequently cite pediatric neuroimaging studies, which show that during the ages of 11 and 12 our brain development is at a fundamental stage. A four-month journey across America at that age left an indelible impression on James. The trip culminated in New York City which became the launching point for the “Tolkien-esque” adventure in her most recent novel.

“Think about what you were learning at that age, your interests, the dreams of who you might someday become, all taking shape as your sense of self comes slowly into focus. Those things you loved as a child, whether it be drawing or basketball, music or dance, will likely be what brings you back to yourself later in life.”

James says there’s much to value about pre-teens experiencing narratives like “The Hobbit”:

• Preparation and a sense of identity: In “The Hobbit,” the prequel to J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous trilogy, Bilbo Baggins is the protagonist on a quest for treasure. Throughout his journey, he grows and matures, learning to accept the various aspects of his personality, including those that are less appealing. He must be brave at times, and rely on his common sense at other times. This is the journey pre-teens face when entering adolescence, and discussing it with them through the prism of Bilbo Baggins can be a wonderful teaching moment (as well as a potentially entertaining conversation).

• Puberty, the universal “adventure: ” Everyone must endure that first plunge of major physical transformation with puberty. As the body is flooded with adult hormones, adolescents must rely on their still-developing young minds to deal with mature situations. This can be a difficult, even frightening, time and, of course, kids are never the same after puberty. Baggins’ ordeals show children that high adventure (including puberty!) and the most important experiences in life, leave us forever changed. There may be frightening moments, times they grieve what they’re leaving behind, but ultimately, the journey is rewarding.

• There and Back Again … This is not only the expanded title of Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” it is also a reoccurring theme in James' career as a writer. After reading “The Hobbit” at age 11 and chronicling her own adventures across America a year later, she decided to create her own stories. "Without Tolkien's invitation to Middle Earth," she says, "I might have followed a very different path. Tolkien made me view my own life as an adventure and I believed that I, like the unassuming, shy little Hobbit, could succeed, even against all odds." Returning to New York as an adult, and as an author, she claims, brought her journey full circle.

“What occurs during adolescence stays with you," says James, "so it's important to make sure children are exposed to positive stories and experiences.”

About Elayne James

Elayne James started her writing career at age 11 – after she read “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien and discovered she wanted to spend her life creating worlds. In addition to being a lifelong writer, she has been a singer/songwriter, sound effects specialist, a video editor, a playwright, a theatrical lighting designer, a graphic artist and a professional photographer. She lives by the Pacific Ocean in Southern California.

Missing Boy and Returning Mom Stir Romantic Drama in New Novel PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Marketing Services   
Friday, 04 January 2013 13:18

Author Sandi Lorraine releases her new romance fiction, “Heartache VS. Heartbreak”


GUTHRIE CENTER, Iowa – (Release Date TBD) – From the prolific novelist of The Escape, Love’s Enduring Choices, and A Winter To Remember, Heartache VS. Heartbreak is Sandi Lorraine’s fourth and latest addition to her treasury of romance fiction. This newly published book portrays a classic love triangle, set in the heart of Iowa, with an intriguingly fresh and unique storyline replete with surprising twists that will delight both Lorraine’s avid fans and new followers alike.


The story revolves around the life of Sheriff Brice Hawkins. When he is called to investigate the disappearance of a seven-year-old boy, he is not prepared to come face to face with Jalynn, the mother of his ten-year-old son, Grady. She had deserted them years before, but now here she stands before him, wanting to rekindle the flame that had once been between them. As she crawls into his bed again, he realizes that he has never really gotten over her.


However, things are never too simple. Brice now had someone else. Mira Phillips is his best friend, favorite companion, and the woman that his son, Grady, wants for his mother. It was not going to make any difference how and where he leaps. Someone is bound to get hurt. The only question is: “Who would it be?”


Here is a slice from one of Heartache VS. Heartbreak’s evocative scenes:


Brice finally reached home about midnight, so he didn’t want to disturb Grady and Mira. Instead of going to bed, he just stretched out in his recliner, thankful for a break for both mind and body. However, sleep didn’t come, as he thought about so many things he had tried for years to forget, as far as Jalynn was concerned. Now in just a few short hours time, they were all rushing back to haunt him. He remembered the frustration he had felt after she had left. And for years, he didn’t know if he dreaded or hoped she would return, just so he could release all the anger he felt towards her. Now here she was, and he still didn’t know how he wanted or should feel towards her.


With its distinctive plot, unexpected twists and turns, and personable characters, Heartache VS. Heartbreak is a book that is sure to engage readers from beginning to end. They will be wrapped up in a love affair, waiting to find out how a stable new life and love can withstand the fires that a rekindled old flame can bring.


For more information on this book, interested parties may log on to

About the Author

Sandi Lorraine grew up in the Midwest farming area, married her high school sweetheart, and moved to the big city where their three children were born. Later, they moved back to that same small farming area so their children could grow up in a smaller school complex. Living in two different worlds taught her not only how to accept the different aspects of people that surround her, but how necessary it is. After their children left the nest, she returned to their local community college and took night classes to learn how to write and express herself on paper. Since that time, she has written several books and short stories as a way of relaxing, including The Escape, Love’s Enduring Choices, and A Winter To Remember.


Heartache VS. Heartbreak * by Sandi Lorraine

Publication Date: December 7, 2012

Trade Paperback; $19.99; 176 pages; 978-1-4797-3692-8

Trade Hardback; $29.99; 176 pages; 978-1-4797-3693-5

eBook; $3.99; 978-1-4797-3694-2

Retirement Open House and Reception for LaWanda Roudebush, Davenport Public Library Director PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Steve Hart   
Thursday, 03 January 2013 12:38

Join the staff, library board, and FRIENDS of the Davenport Public Library on Sunday, January 13, 2013 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. at the Fairmount Branch Library (3000 N. Fairmount Street) for an open house and reception for LaWanda Roudebush.  She ends nine years (8/6/2003 – 1/31/2013) of dedicated and enthusiastic service as the Davenport Public Library Director!

Please stop by to congratulate and wish her well in her retirement!  In lieu of gifts, please consider a donation to the FRIENDS of the Davenport Public Library.

POST YOUR CONGRATULATION, THANK YOU, AND HAPPY RETIREMENT WISHES IN THE COMMENT SECTION FOR HER RETIREMENT POST ON THE PR BLOG AT or email them to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it !  We will print them off for LaWanda after her retirement on January 31.



New Book Reveals That Biological Age Depends on Chronological Thoughts PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by   
Thursday, 27 December 2012 10:11

Author reveals how readers can attain a more stress-free and fulfilling life

Retirement thinking and living concedes age as being old. With 77 million baby boomers reaching that retirement threshold thinking must change to living wellness not accepting illness.  In realty one’s current situation is a result of one’s past thinking, not circumstances or happenstance.  If one thinks that he is too old to live well, chances are, his pessimistic thoughts are helping him age too fast.  Then we will always be too young to die.

In his book, Never Too Old to Live: Never Too Old to Change, author Rhoads points out the facts—that chronological age is but a number and what matters is that people should start feeling and acting happy to live longer.  Less stress, more healthy habits provide this biological outcome.  “…you either think young or feel old…why not feel young and forget thinking old”…Jeanne Clement 122 years, 164 days young (oldest person in the world).

This Self-Health book is not a fountain of youth—but prescribed good thinking and doing habits which keep people mentally, physically and emotionally younger.  Once people are able to subdue negative thoughts and forces, they can attain a more stress-free, youthful biological age and finally realize they are Never Too Old to Live.

Never Too Old to Live puts emphasis on these facts and teaches thinking exercises and actions that will help people slow down the aging process.   Rhoads calls it Staging your life for living longer.

With health care costs skyrocketing this remedy also helps all of us economically.  Physically, you can guide aging by staging your diet, exercise plan and mental functioning...through a regimen proposed in the book about 14,000 calories can be burned in 10 weeks resulting in a 10 pound weight loss and a 3 point reduction in your BMI…Rhoads provides a tool on the book’s website called the Downsizer for tracking calorie reductions and improvements in your BMI.  Think and burn your way to fitness.

Thoughts are powerful things. Earle Nightingale, an American motivational speaker and author, once taught that “we become what we think about”. Even experts on behaviors would agree that “we are what we think we are.”  Jack Lalanne, the God Father of Fitness, who was working out until his death at the age of 96, said “I never looked forward to working out but I never looked back on a wasted day”.

As the cover of the book demonstrates Rhoads and his wife have been able to practice what he preaches and are aging at a happy and healthy pace.  In their 70’s they expect to pass the century mark and beyond.

For more information on this book, interested parties may log on to

Never Too Old to Live * by Jerry Rhoads

Never Too Old to Change

Publication Date: October 15, 2012

Trade Paperback; $15.99; 92 pages; 978-1-4691-5776-4

Trade Hardback; $24.99; 92 pages; 978-1-4691-5777-1

eBook; $3.99; 978-1-4691-5778-8

eBook demos, movies and more from the R.I. Library PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Lisa Lockheart   
Friday, 21 December 2012 09:01

Technology Under the Tree? Try These Free Programs!

Your library is gearing up in January to help you learn how to use the technology Santa brought. Try these free programs:


Getting Started with Downloading eBooks:

2:00 pm, Wednesday, Jan. 2, MAIN Library, and

5:30 pm, Tuesday, Jan. 15, SOUTHWEST Branch


From smartphones to tablets, there are all sorts of devices that will allow you to check out eBooks and eAudiobooks  for free at the Rock Island Library. We'll show you how! Free, no registration required.


And if Santa brings a new computer, try this class:


Getting Started with Computers:

1:30 pm, Tuesday, Jan. 29, MAIN LIbrary. Whether you've never touched a computer before or just want to learn some new things, this class will help you get more comfortable. Space is limited; registration required for this class only. Call 309-732-7341 to sign up.


More Events for the first week of January 2013


Catch a free independent movie showing at 6:00 pm on Thursday, Jan. 3, at the Rock Island Main Library. This month's film is Queen of Hearts (French with English subtitles). Independent films are not rated. Free popcorn. (Watch it, and join an online discussion on the Rock Island Library Facebook page after the movie.)


Thirty-something Adele is devastated after a painful breakup. With no close friends or family, her distant cousin, Rachel, reluctantly takes her in and graciously attempts to salvage Adele's personal and professional lives.


Teen Fun @ Your Library



Read to Survive, Survive to Read Teen READ challenge is Jan. 6-Jan. 26. Forms will be available by Friday, Jan. 4 at all Rock Island Library locations. Read, survive and win!


After you pick up your challenge form, take part in a Teen Read Scavenger Hunt, at 6:00 pm on Thursday, Jan. 10, at the Rock Island Main Library.  Test your survival skills and see if you have what it takes to follow the clues and stay alive in this battle of endurance and wits! Come and try your luck for a chance to win great prizes! Ages 12-18.

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