Monday, August 30, 2010

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader



Who else is excited about the new Chronicles of Narnia movie coming out this winter? I love The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (book) and hope that this movie will be better than Prince Caspian. Hopefully this one will retain its orignal plot line and not add in a lot of filler like the last one. As I have said before, the Prince Caspian script writers pulled out for pages from the book put them in a different order and filled that rest in with random battles and slaughter. Guess I'm just a bit bitter that my childhood book and the new movie were different. Usually I am able to look past it and enjoy the movie. Oh well, I need to remember that it does get children to read the source material. However, Voyage of the Dawn Treader has an exciting storyline with adventure and dragons. Have I mentioned the book has a dragon in it?

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Weekly Wants

This will just be a quick list of books I am wanting to read but do not have time for (at the moment). It's a wish list of sorts!


1) Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani

I'm marooned.
Abandoned.
Left to rot in boarding school . . .
Viola doesn't want to go to boarding school, but somehow she ends up at an all-girls school in South Bend, Indiana, far, far away from her home in Brooklyn, New York. Now Viola is stuck for a whole year in the sherbet-colored sweater capital of the world.
Ick.
There's no way Viola's going to survive the year—especially since she has to replace her best friend Andrew with three new roommates who, disturbingly, actually seem to like it there. She resorts to viewing the world (and hiding) behind the lens of her video camera.
Boarding school, though, and her roommates and even the Midwest are nothing like she thought they would be, and soon Viola realizes she may be in for the most incredible year of her life.
But first she has to put the camera down and let the world in.


2)Libyrinth by Pearl North
Haly is a Libyrarian, one of a group of people dedicated to preserving and protecting the knowledge passed down from the Ancients and stored in the endless maze of books known as the Libyrinth. But Haly has a secret: the books speak to her.When an attack by the hostile Eradicants drives her from her home, Haly learns that things are not at all what she thinks they are. Taken prisoner by the Eradicants, who believe the written word to be evil, she sees the world through their eyes and comes to understand that they are not the book-burning monsters that she has known her entire life.

The words of a young girl hiding in an Amsterdam attic and written hundreds of years before Haly’s birth will spark the interest of her captors and begin the change necessary to end the conflict between the Eradicants and Libyrarians. With the help of her loyal companion Nod, a creature of the Libyrinth, Haly must mend the rift between the two groups before their war for knowledge destroys them all. In doing so, Haly’s life—and the lives of everyone she knows—will never be the same.

3) Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern

It's Jessie's sophomore year of high school. A self-professed "mathlete," she isn't sure where she belongs. Her two best friends have transformed themselves into punks and one of them is going after her longtime crush. Her beloved older brother will soon leave for college (and in the meantime has shaved off his mohawk and started dating...the prom Princess!)...Things are changing fast. Jessie needs new friends. And her quest is a hilarious tour through high school clique-dom, with a surprising stop along the way--the Dungeons and Dragons crowd, who out-nerd everyone. Will hanging out with them make her a nerd, too? And could she really be crushing on a guy with too-short pants and too-white gym shoes?If you go into the wild nerd yonder, can you ever come back?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Practicum

I am starting my Practicum this semester at the Fort Worth Public Library! This is very exciting because I will be working in the Children's Center and doing research projects on books. Including...
A Super Bowl Bibliography: a bibliography developed of the 20-30 best books for youth (grades K-12) on a mixture of the following topics: leadership, sportsmanship, football (including but not limited to biographies), women athletes, and values. There should be both English and Spanish titles included. Provide brief summaries and/or reviews as well as any recommended reading lists they might appear on. They do not have to be books currently owned by FWL. We are working on a project related to the Super Bowl activities and want to distribute a bibliography as a part of that.
How awesome is this! I am so looking forward to finding these books! So far I would suggest...

Gym Candy by Carl Deuker


Groomed by his father to be a star player, football is the only thing that has ever really mattered to Mick Johnson, who works hard for a spot on the varsity team his freshman year, then tries to hold onto his edge by using steroids, despite the consequences to his health and social life.






Dairy Queen by Catherine Murdock

After spending her summer running the family farm and training the quarterback for her school’s rival football team, sixteen-year-old D.J. decides to go out for the sport herself, not anticipating the reactions of those around her.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Heist Society by Ally Carter



Book Info
Heist Society by Ally Carter
YA

Summary

When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her to the Louvre...to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria...to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own--scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving "the life" for a normal life proves harder than she'd expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster's art collection has been stolen, and he wants it returned. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s (very crooked) history--and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

My Thoughts

Kat Bishop is running away from her past but it keeps catching up with her. When she is framed for destroying the head master’s car at her prestigious boarding school, she is thrust back into the world she so desperately wanted to leave. Her best friend and possible love interest Hale is trying to get her back in the game but it takes a threat from a powerful mobster to get her to start planning the ultimate heist.

Kat is trying to make a fresh start in life and she is only fifteen but she is also more mature because of her previous experience as an art thief. Although things do not go according to plan she is able to improvise and make light of dangerous situations. I wish we learned what sparked her disappearing act but it looks like this will be a series and it may be brought to light.

I am a big fan of the con artist genre and enjoy seeing how a gentleman thief can outsmart the law. I think this stems from watching many movies of this genre with my Dad. This book delved into the family aspect of con artist ring and I enjoyed the camaraderie between the group of teenage thieves. I especially liked how Hale and Kat had actual problems that they had to work through before they could work together properly. The feeling of betrayal ran deep in the family when Kat left and not everyone forgave her instantly.

Carter also made the history lesson on art stolen during World War II interesting as she wove it into her plot. There have been several museums that have had to give up paintings because it has come to light that they were stolen during Nazi regime. One painting at the Fort Worth’s Kimbell Art Museum was returned to its rightful owners and then bought back for several million dollars.

If you like this book, check out Audrey Hepburn's How to Steal a Million, a romantic comedy about a woman who must steal a statue from a Paris museum to help conceal her father's art forgeries.





Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Other by Karen Kincy



Book Info
Other by Karen Kincy
YA

Summary
Gwen Williams is like any other modern teenager with one exception: she's a shapeshifter. Never having known her Pooka-spirit father, Gwen must struggle with the wild, wonderful magic inside of her alone—and in secret. While society may tolerate vampires, centaurs, and "Others" like Gwen, there are plenty of folks in Klikamuks, Washington, who don't care for her kind. Now there's a new werewolf pack in town, and Others are getting killed, including Gwen's dryad friend. The police are doing zilch. In the midst of terrible loss and danger, Gwen meets a cute Japanese fox spirit who's refreshingly comfortable with his Otherness. Can Gwen find the courage to embrace her true self and find the killer—before she becomes the next victim?

My Thoughts

Gwen is half pooka and that is not a good thing in an alternate world where supernaturals or Others must be registered with the government. But Gwen wants to keep her status a secret because some people think all Others are dangerous and must be killed, even Gwen.

I read this book on a plane trip and it kept me entertained the entire way. Gwen was an interesting character that had her own prejudices against werewolves despite being an Other herself. You would think that she would be accepting of all Others but she has to learn that not all werewolves are blood thirsty killers. She grows as a character and has to learn to accept that not everyone is what they seem.

The book also has a murder mystery to it and because most normal people do not care what happens to Others Gwen feels she must solve the murders. Gwen does jump into some situations that you could tell would end badly but with emotions running high I can cut her some slack for poor judgment. She is aided in her investigation by Tavian, a kitsune, and for anyone familiar with Japanese folklore you know what that means… cute fox boy. Love it!

The sequel, Bloodborn, is coming out in 2011 and I will be looking for it. I might even recommend it to my friend Amy because she loves werewolves.
I have known about pookas due to a movie called Harvey, starring Jimmy Stuwart. I would recommend this movie to any movie buff and anyone who like giant six foot tall invisible rabbits.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Meg Cabot


This made me laugh so hard!
Okay, I might be a little obsessed with Meg Cabot's books! When seeing Ramona and Beezus the other day I spotted Selena Gomez reading Airhead in a scene. So I sent off an e-mail:
Dear Meg,
You probably know this already but in one of the scenes of Ramona and Beezus Selena Gomez is reading Airhead. I just wanted to let you know that I was excited to see your book up on the big screen and I hope many other kids/teen follow suit. It is nice to see a teen actually reading in a movie instead of texting and I’m glad they used your book!

Have a great day,

Karen
and she wrote back! Squeee!
Thanks so much for this! I actually HADN'T heard about this . . . you're the first to let me know. How exciting! I love Ramona and Beezus AND Selena Gomez so how sweet to see everything I love tied together like that! I'm in awe.

Now I have to run out and see the movie (which I was going to do anyway, but now I'm going to do it even sooner!)

Thanks again for writing, you're the best!

Love,

Meg

So glad I sent the e-mail! You never know when an author will respond to something you send.

Update: Just mentioned in Meg Cabot's blog! Best day ever!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Dream Girl by Lauren Mechling

Book Info

Dream Girl by Lauren Mechling

YA


Summary

Claire Voyante has been having strange visions ever since she can remember. But the similarity between her name and her talents is purely coincidental. The name is French and unlike the psychics on TV, she can’t solve crimes or talk to the dead.But that all changes on Claire’s 15th birthday, when her grandmother gives her something a little more extraordinary than one of her old cocktail dresses: a strange black-and-white onyx cameo on a gold chain.

It’s not long before Claire’s world becomes a whole lot clearer.

And a whole lot more dangerous.


My Thoughts

Claire Voyante lives up to her name but instead of having visions of anything important she just sees flashes that lead nowhere. However, this all changes when her grandmother Kiki, a former dancer turned socialite, give her a cameo necklace that enhances her power. Claire is also starting a new school where she only knows one person, Shelia her former best friend, and is having a hard time making friends. Enter Becca Shuffleworth, who also transferred in but can they truly be friends when Becca keeps so many secrets? When Claire starts dreaming that Becca is in danger she sets out to solve the clues and find a way to keep her friend safe.

This book was a great read and I am about to order the sequel. The main character, Claire, has a passion for vintage clothing that she receives from her grandmother Kiki and loves the beautiful cameo bestowed upon her for her birthday. Her love of these clothes shines through and you can tell that Lauren Mechling either loves old clothing or did some research. She describes in detail what new/old clothing Kiki is passing down to Claire. Kiki is a hoot and her socialite friends are very memorable. You can feel how much Kiki and Claire care about each other and although Kiki’s relationship is stained with her daughter she does not let that get I the way of her seeing her grandchild.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a mystery because the supernatural element does not take over the plot. It would be a great introduction those who like chick-lit but are not sure about the fantasy element.
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