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Bedford Hills Library Says Watch, Read About Presidents Day
Source: The Daily Bedford, 2-20-12
While Presidents Day in recent years may be known for shopping sales and days off from school and work, the Bedford Hills Free Library and the Mount Kisco Public Library are suggesting you show your children, and maybe remind yourself, why the holiday presents a valuable day to educate.
Books can offer a unique perspective on history, according to Bedford Hills Librarian Kathy Storfer. But what Storfer suggests for the week is a day spent in front of the silver screen. The video of the Broadway musical “1776” is a classic, Storfer said, along with “Glory,” the tale of the first all-black volunteer company in the Civil War. But she strongly requests the HBO mini-series “John Adams.”
“It’s brilliantly done and brilliantly acted, and it humanizes him,” she said of President John Adams. “We often picture these people on pedestals, but these were real human beings. They show the dirt and the mud, the real human beings. Adams was reviled because he defended the British. And they showed that.
Vicki Kriegeskotte of the Bedford Hills Free Library brings in the literature point of view, as she suggests for young readers books that focus on the behind the scenes story, one about the first ladies. Books like “A is for Abigail” by Lynne Cheney and “First Ladies” by Amy Pastan are suggested.
“They had their own opinions, but also supported what their husbands did,” she said. “And they were there and took care of things their husbands couldn’t take care of to make sure things ran smoothly.”
Deirdre Johnson, who heads of the children’s section of the Mount Kisco Public Library, said she specifically enjoys new book “Those Rebels, John and Tom” by Barbara Kerley. It’s about John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, and their sometimes difficult but ultimately crucial relationship.
“It shows how they were complete opposites, but they worked together really well and did wonderful things for the country,” Johnson said. “History is one of the things that helps kids imagine and helps their character, and helps them know where they are in the world.”