Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Free Comic Book Day 2010

Free Comic Book Day is a single day - the first Saturday in May each year - when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely FREE* to anyone who comes into their stores.

*Check with your local shop for their participation and rules.
There is a comic book shop across the street from apartment and I can not wait to pick up my free comics! You can see what comics are available by going here.

I will be trying to get:

Monday, April 26, 2010

Children's Book Week 2010 Poster

Isn't it beautiful! I am so excited about next months Childrens Book Week! I am going to be volunteering in the Fort Worth Public Library's Childrens Center. This weekend they are having puppet theatre workshops. Go check it out!
by Jon J Muth

Artist and author Jon J Muth enchants readers with his books, including the Caldecott Honor book Zen Shorts. Last year he was selected as the Children's Choice Illustrator of the Year.

Featuring pandas Stillwater and Koo and siblings Karl, Addy, and Michael from Zen Ties, Jon’s beloved characters -- along with a couple of new friends -- help us celebrate books and reading in this year’s poster!

Thanks to Scholastic Book Clubs, the poster will be distributed free of charge in schools during April and May.
To Order
Posters are available from the Children's Book Council at no cost beyond shipping.
To receive a free poster with activity guide, please send a 9 x 12 self-addressed envelope with $0.65 postage affixed.
Mail envelopes with postage affixed to:
Children's Book CouncilPoster Order
12 W. 37th Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10018
Update: Due to the high level of excitement for this year's poster, we will only be able to send one poster per request going forward.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fairy Tale Retellings

What are some of your favorite fairy tale retellings?

Mine include-
Beauty by Robin McKinnley

Beauty has never liked her nickname. She is thin and awkward; it is her two sisters who are the beautiful ones. But what she lacks in looks, she can perhaps make up for in courage.
When her father comes home with the tale of an enchanted castle in the forest and the terrible promise he had to make to the Beast who lives there, Beauty knows she must go to the castle, a prisoner of her own free will. Her father protests that he will not let her go, but she answers, "Cannot a Beast be tamed?"
Robin McKinley's beloved telling illuminates the unusual love story of a most unlikely couple: Beauty and the Beast.

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow
by Jessica Day George

Blessed—or cursed—with an ability to understand animals, the Lass (as she’s known to her family) has always been an oddball. And when an isbjorn (polar bear) seeks her out, and promises that her family will become rich if only the Lass will accompany him to his castle, she doesn’t hesitate. But the bear is not what he seems, nor is his castle, which is made of ice and inhabited by a silent staff of servents. Only a grueling journey on the backs of the four winds will reveal the truth: the bear is really a prince who’s been enchanted by a troll queen, and the Lass must come up with a way to free him before he’s forced to marry a troll princess.

Wildwood Dancing
by Juliet Marillier

High in the Transylvanian woods, at the castle Piscul Draculi, live five daughters and their doting father. It's an idyllic life for Jena, the second eldest, who spends her time exploring the mysterious forest with her constant companion, a most unusual frog. But best by far is the castle's hidden portal, known only to the sisters. Every Full Moon, they alone can pass through it into the enchanted world of the Other Kingdom. There they dance through the night with the fey creatures of this magical realm. But their peace is shattered when Father falls ill and must go to the southern parts to recover, for that is when cousin Cezar arrives.

Though he's there to help the girls survive the brutal winter, Jena suspects he has darker motives in store. Meanwhile, Jena's sister has fallen in love with a dangerous creature of the Other Kingdom—an impossible union it's up to Jena to stop.When Cezar's grip of power begins to tighten, at stake is everything Jena loves: her home, her family, and the Other Kingdom she has come to cherish. To save her world, Jena will be tested in ways she can't imagine—tests of trust, strength, and true love.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Stolen by Vivian Vande Velde

Book Info


by Vivian Vande Velde

Ages 9-12

The same day that the villagers of Thornstowe finally hunt down a witch with a reputation for stealing children, a 12-year-old appears in the woods with no memory of her past. Is there a connection between Isabelle, the girl who doesn’t know who she is, and the girl the witch stole six years earlier? One of the few things Isabelle remembers is a chant that keeps running through her head:
Old as dirt,
dirty as dirt.
Ugly as sin,
mean as sin.
Don’t let the old witch catch you!
Could Isabelle have been stolen by the old witch of the woods, or has she lost her memory as the result of an accident? And what about the baby the witch stole right before the villagers attacked? Did either the witch or the baby survive the fire the villagers set?

My Thoughts

Vivian Vande Velde has always been a favorite of mine with Dragon's Bait, Companions of the Night, The Conjurer Princess, and Being Dead being in the top four. She does not disapoint in this fast pace mystery. The story starts with a young girl running through the woods and as she runs she realizes she does not know who she is- she does not even know her name. Could she be Isabelle the long lost daughter stolen by a witch? Is the wicked witch really evil? How do greed and jealousy shape our lives? This book answers all these questions and leaves the reader wanting to know more about the characters. I highly recommend this book and with only 158 pages it is a fairly quick read. I especially love that this idea came from looking at pictures of people the author did not know. Authors are inspired by many things and this is one that I really liked... You can find the pictures on her website. I provided a link below.

From her website

The idea for Stolen came from an image of a girl I don‘t know.
Let me back up: I’ve seen, when I’ve been asked to lead writing workshops, that it can sometimes be difficult for people to just jump in and make up a character. I’ve found that one way to get workshop participants started quickly is to provide them with a picture. “Tell me about this person,” I’ll ask. “What is he afraid of? Tell me a secret about her that even her best friend doesn’t know.”
For this exercise, I don’t want to provide pictures of my friends or family (I’d rather not hear someone say about my grandmother: ‘I think she looks like a serial killer…’); and I don’t use people from magazines (because sometimes it’s hard to disconnect an actor from the roles he’s played, or a famous person from the events that made her famous). Instead, I use pictures of people nobody is likely to know. Some of my pictures are ones I’ve bought in antique stores or flea markets, others are from internet sites where “found” pictures are posted. These are pictures that have been left behind when someone moves out of a house, or that have been used as a bookmark in a book sold at a second-hand shop, or that have been picked up by someone collecting trash along the side of a road. There are hundreds of pictures to choose from; but for my workshops I choose faces that I find interesting--faces I believe people could think of as a character with a story to tell.
Stolen started because I found one of those pictures so haunting that I decided I wanted to try my hand at making up a story about her.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wish List

Wish List

White Cat by Holly Black
May 4, 2010
Cassel comes from a family of curse workers -- people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail -- he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.
Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.
Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love -- or death -- and your dreams might be more real than your memories.

Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel
August 3rd 2010
When Lenah Beaudonte, a 500-year-old vampire queen, wakes up a human teenager at an ultra-cliquey prep school, she must choose between embracing the humanity she’s always craved and saving her new friends from her vicious coven. The first in a sizzling new YA series. Lenah Beaudonte is, in many ways, your average teen: the new girl at Wickham Boarding School, she struggles to fit in enough to survive and stand out enough to catch the eye of the golden-boy lacrosse captain. But Lenah also just happens to be a recovering five-hundred-year-old vampire queen. After centuries of terrorizing Europe, Lenah is able to realize the dream all vampires have -- to be human again. After performing a dangerous ritual to restore her humanity, Lenah entered a century-long hibernation, leaving behind the wicked coven she ruled over and the eternal love who has helped grant her deep-seated wish. Until, that is, Lenah draws her first natural breath in centuries at Wickham and rediscovers a human life that bears little resemblance to the one she had known. As if suddenly becoming a teenager weren’t stressful enough, each passing hour brings Lenah closer to the moment when her abandoned coven will open the crypt where she should be sleeping and find her gone. As her borrowed days slip by, Lenah resolves to live her newfound life as fully as she can. But, to do so, she must answer ominous questions: Can an ex-vampire survive in an alien time and place? What can Lenah do to protect her new friends from the bloodthirsty menace about to descend upon them? And how is she ever going to pass her biology midterm?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The ALA’s Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2009 are:

The ALA’s Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2009 are:
1. ttyl, ttfn, l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren MyracleReasons: nudity, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group, drugs

2. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin RichardsonReasons: homosexuality

3. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyReasons: homosexuality, sexually explicit, anti-family, offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, drugs, suicide
4. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper LeeReasons: racism, offensive language, unsuited to age group

5. ‘Twilight’ (series) by Stephenie MeyerReasons: sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group

6. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerReasons: sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group

7. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi PicoultReasons: sexism, homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, drugs, suicide, violence

8. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things by Carolyn MacklerReasons: sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group

9. The Color Purple Alice WalkerReasons: sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group

10. The Chocolate War by Robert CormierReasons: nudity, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Espressologist

Book Info

The Espressologist

by Kristina Springer


Summary (from book cover)
What’s your drink of choice? Is it a small pumpkin spice latte? Then you’re lots of fun and a bit sassy. Or a medium americano? You prefer simplicity in life. Or perhaps it’s a small decaf soy sugar-free hazelnut caffe latte? Some might call you a yuppie. Seventeen-year-old barista Jane Turner has this theory that you can tell a lot about a person by their regular coffee drink. She scribbles it all down in a notebook and calls it Espressology. So it’s not a totally crazy idea when Jane starts hooking up some of her friends based on their coffee orders. Like her best friend, Em, a medium hot chocolate, and Cam, a toffee nut latte. But when her boss, Derek, gets wind of Jane’s Espressology, he makes it an in-store holiday promotion, promising customers their perfect matches for the price of their favorite coffee. Things are going better than Derek could ever have hoped, so why is Jane so freaked out? Does it have anything to do with Em dating Cam? She’s the one who set them up! She should be happy for them, right?
With overtones of Jane Austen’s Emma and brimming with humor and heart, this sweet, frothy debut will be savored by readers.

My Thoughts
Although it was a cute, easy read, I thought the characters lacked depth and personality. There was minor drama over a boy but the two main characters, Jane and Em, just seem to get over the drama to easily. This is strange for me because usually I'm all for cutting out unneeded angst but this could have used a shot of expresso. I do give it props for an original storyline- Espressology is a cute concept. If you are looking for something light and frothy this is a good book to read on a rainy afternoon.

Friday, April 16, 2010

National Library Week 2010

National Library Week 2010 (April 11-17)

will be celebrated with the theme:

"Communities thrive @ your library."

During National Library Week, join the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Service (ABOS), and the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL) as we commemorate the first annual National Bookmobile Day on Wednesday, April 14, 2010!

National Bookmobile Day is an annual celebration of the contributions of our nation's bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who make quality bookmobile outreach possible in their communities.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Good Neighbors

Book Info
The Good Neighbors, Book One: Kin

written by Holly Black

illustrations by Ted Naifeh

Graphic Novel, Older YA

Rue Silver's mother has disappeared . . . and her father has been arrested, suspected of killing her. But it's not as straightforward as that. Because Rue is a faerie, like her mother was. And her father didn't kill her mother -- instead, he broke a promise to Rue's faerie king grandfather, which caused Rue's mother to be flung back to the faerie world. Now Rue must go to save her -- and must also defeat a dark faerie that threatens our very mortal world.

My Thoughts
This is definitely for older teens who have read Holly Black's other books: Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside or at least have read other "fairy stories" before. I had a hard time sticking with Tithe and finally had to put it down but thought another genre might make me a fan of Holly Black's YA fairy stories. I loved the Spiderwick Chronicles but even that was kinda dark.
This is the first book of a planned series about Rue Silver. Rue likes to not only hang out with her friends but to break into abandoned buildings and take pictures to post on the web. But when Rue's mother disapears and her father is acused of not only her mother's death but a college student he teachess, she knows something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Rue also starts seeing things others can not- there are the people with antlers, monsters in the cornors of rooms, and girls with wings. This first book keeps you on the edge of your seat and hoping the library has the second book.
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