Friday, October 29, 2010

Weekly Want

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.
PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.
Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Going Bovine - Libba Bray Interview



She is just as funny in person! I have to tell my Libbra Bray story...

I was standing in line at TLA wanting to ask when Libbra Bray would be at the signing booth. The next thing I know someone behind me is saying "Oh, you don't want to meet her. I hear she is crazy!" I turn around and there she is! She was so cool! she actually chatted with me for a little bit... for the life of me I can not remember what we talked about (probably how awesome A Great and Terrible Beauty is) but I know I most likely babbled. I tend to do this when nervous. Anyways... Libbra Bray is awesome, you should go and read her books!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Going Bovine by Libba Bray


Book Info
Going Bovine
by Libba Bray

Summary
All 16-year-old Cameron wants is to get through high school and life in general with a minimum of effort. It s not a lot to ask. But that s before he s given some bad news: he is sick and he is going to die. Which totally sucks. Hope arrives in the winged form of Dulcie, a loopy punk angel/possible hallucination with a bad sugar habit. She tells Cam there is a cure if he s willing to go in search of it. With the help of a death-obsessed, video-gaming dwarf and a yard gnome, Cam sets off on the mother of all road trips through a twisted America into the heart of what matters most. (from book jacket)

My Thoughts
I met Libba Bray at a Texas Library Association conference a few years ago and she was charming, witty, and hilarious. So it is no stretch of the imagination that she would write a book about a dying boy and not make it totally depressing. This book took the concept of a dying teen and turned it into a book about living. What is living and how do you do it? Is it the ultimate road trip to Florida? Is it making new friends and falling in love?
Libba Bray makes Cam a typical teenage boy- he doesn't feel like he belongs to any group (even the stoners in the second floor bathroom), he has a crummy part time job, he can't seem to connect with his parents and he is dying of Bovine Spongiform Encepholopathy aka Mad Cow Disease. Wait, what? Yes, he is slowly dying of Mad Cow Disease. But does he let this bring him down? Sorta. But after the punk rock angel Dulcie shows up and tells him he can be saved if he goes out and "follows the signs", he might find Professor X and his cure. Tagging along is Sancho (a Mexican-American dwarf) and they are off to epic Don Quixote-like adventures.
I highly recommend this book to everyone and even passed it on to a co-worker who likes odd books as much as I do. The writing can be surreal and half the time you don't know if it is real or all in Cam's head but overall it is a very inspiring book about really living your life and defying the odds.  

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Regency with a Twist

You may be seeing more historical fiction on the site due to a rather large project I will be working on for my Adult Reading Materials class. These will include Regency and Victorian novels with a twist. I have always enjoyed historical novels and can't wait to explore them in more detail. Just the thought of actually rereading classics like Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice is making me giddy... But I will be looking at authors like Georgette Heyer and Victoria Holt. Patricia C. Wrede is also on the list with Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot and A Matter of Magic (Mairelon the Magician and The Magician’s Ward). This is all stemming off of The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen Beckett and what books would readers want to read after reading it. Fun times ahead but I will sprinkle in some graphic novels and picture books.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hooray for Reading Day by Margery Cuyler


Hooray for Reading Day:
A Jessica Worries Book
by Margery Cuyler
Picture Book

Summary
When Jessica tires to read aloud in class, she stumbles over the words and everyone laughs. Now the upcoming Reading Theater day has her more worried than ever. What if she makes a mistake in front of all the parents?
With the help of her family, and some practice with her dog, Wiggles, Jessica faces her reading worries and finds that reading aloud can be as easy as A-B-C!


My Thoughts
Tail Waggin Tutors comes to my library every first Saturday of the month and the children read to the therapy dogs to practice their reading skills. This book shows how non-judgmental dogs can be!
Jessica is worried about reading out loud during the Reading Theater program at her school but after practicing with her dog Wiggles she feels much more confident!
I'm going to try and not make this review all about how much dogs can help struggling readers but... They can! I would highly recommend volunteering or finding a location that is involved with Therapy dogs and seeing the difference it makes. Kids read to the dogs and then jump right back in line to do it again.
Anyway, back to the book- I would recommend this book to not only children but to librarians who are looking for a reason to start a program or convience a library board that a program is needed. The pictures are cute and Jessica is a convincing little girl who is a struggling reader.  

Friday, October 22, 2010

Weekly Want

The Book of Heroes









Thursday, October 21, 2010

Book Trailer: Tunnels by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams



I currently have this checked out from the library! Hope to read it sometime this week.
Scholastic has some interesting book talks, author interviews, and book trailers. Tunnels' was found here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rampant by Diana Peterfreund


Book Info
Rampant
by Diana Peterfreund

Summary
Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns . . .
Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns. Fortunately, they've been extinct for a hundred and fifty years.
Or not.
Astrid had always scoffed at her eccentric mother's stories about killer unicorns. But when one of the monsters attacks her boyfriend—thereby ruining any chance of him taking her to the prom—Astrid finds herself headed to Rome to train as a unicorn hunter at the ancient cloisters the hunters have used for centuries.
However, at the cloisters all is not what it seems. Outside, the unicorns wait to attack. And within, Astrid faces other, unexpected threats: from the crumbling, bone-covered walls that vibrate with a terrible power to the hidden agendas of her fellow hunters to—perhaps most dangerously of all—her growing attraction to a handsome art student . . . an attraction that could jeopardize everything. (from book jacket)

My Thoughts

Rampant was a book that I was looking forward to reading but fell a little bit flat. I was very excited about reading a book that put unicorns in a different light and about girl warriors that fight them. Books that put an original spin on something usually makes it better in my mind and Peterfreund did a good job on that but... There was just something missing from the book and not just the usual- there are no adults around so lets do what we want to do! There was a lack of caring in the book. The only people who seemed to have a real connection is Astrid and her cousin Phillipa but even that is not explored to the fullest extent. I also did not like the love interest Giovanni, he just did not strike the right cord with me. This most likely has to do with his best friend being such a jerk but still... 
There is also a rape that takes place and I feel that it was not treated with the care that it should have been. It was more of a- now she cannot be a warrior, shame on her for dating a boy! I felt a bit sick when there seemed a lack of caring from the "responsible" adults or friends. Especially Astrid's mother. I shudder to think that there are mothers out there who may even resemble her. She made me want to take a shower to take of the icky feeling I got from this book.
However, it was not all bad. I did like was the world in which it was set and the different types/levels of unicorns the girls had to fight. The history of Alexander the Great and the bloodlines which spanned the globe was well researched and the action helped keep the book from being a complete dud. I mean come on, Astrid was fighting killer unicorns! I liked that they actually had an instructor to teach them. Although their innate skills were good, they still had to hone them to be great.



Monday, October 18, 2010

Miss Brooks Loves Books! (and I Don't) by Barbara Bottner


Miss Brooks Loves Books! (and I don't)
by Barbara Bottner
ill. by Michae Emberly

Summary
With the help of Miss Brooks, Missy’s classmates all find books they love in the library—books about fairies and dogs and trains and cowboys. But Missy dismisses them all—“Too flowery, too furry, too clickety, too yippity.”

Still, Miss Brooks remains undaunted. Book Week is here and Missy will find a book to love if they have to empty the entire library. What story will finally win over this beastly, er, discriminating child? William Steig’s Shrek!—the tale of a repulsive green ogre in search of a revolting bride—of course!
(from book jacket)

My Thoughts
A book for reluctant readers and all librarians! This picture book has as lovable librarian who dresses up as characters from the books she is reading and a little girl who does not want to read. She dresses as bunny for The Runaway Bunny, an elephant for Babar, a caterpillar for The Hungry Caterpillar. There is even a Chinese dragon (sorry... inside joke or watch What's Up Doc). Totally wish I could do this at my library! I really love the little girl that does not wish to read and how "vexing" she finds Miss Brooks. I would recommend this book to anyone! It is charming, funny, and sweet. It also reminds me why I became a librarian- to help every child find a book to love. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Weekly Want

The Search For WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi


When a marauder destroys the underground sanctuary that Eva Nine was raised in by the robot Muthr, the twelve-year-year-old girl is forced to flee aboveground. Eva Nine is searching for anyone else like her, for she knows that other humans exist, because of an item she treasures—a scrap of cardboard on which is depicted a young girl, an adult, and a robot, with the strange word, "WondLa." Tony DiTerlizzi honors traditional children's literature in this totally original space age adventure: one that is as complex as an alien planet, but as simple as a child's wish for a place to belong.

Breathtaking two-color illustrations throughout reveal another dimension of Tony DiTerlizzi's vision, and, for those readers with a webcam, the book also features Augmented Reality in several places, revealing additional information about Eva Nine's world. (from book's website)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Avalon High Trailer - Disney Channel Official


New movie from the Disney Channel based on Meg Cabot's Avalon High. Found the trailer here. I shall reserve judgement until seeing this because I am a little wary. Think about how they changed Princess Diaries! I love that movie but I saw it before reading the books... Gonna be hard to seperate movie and book because it is one of the only Arthur stories I like (I overdosed on them at a young age). But then again I said I would reserve judgement. However, I do not have cable and I will have to wait until it is online or at the library... I hate all the waiting!
Anyways- I'll reread the book in the mean time!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kristy's Great Idea by Raina Telgemeier

Book Info
Kristy's Great Idea
by Ann M. Martin
adapted by Raina Telgemeier

Summary
It all began with a great idea ... and the inspiring original story of the Baby-sitters Club is back! Kristy Thomas's brilliant business plan gets off to a great start with the help of Claudia Kishi (vice-president), Mary Anne Spier (secretary), and Stacey McGill (treasurer).

My Thoughts
Ah, the Babysitters Club. I have many a fond memory of reading these books in my tween days- along with Sweet Valley High, The Thoroughbred Series, and Fear Street. I also read the Little Sister Series before reading the Babysitters Club because it featured a girl named Karen (my name!). This graphic novel is an almost direct translation from the original books, aka no cell phones, Claudia is the only one with a phone line in her room. However this can be overlooked because the characters are real girls with distinct personalities.
I had a great time revisiting my past times with Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, and Stacey!
The original books are being re-released and this would be a great companion piece to introduce characters and have an idea of how the girls started the club. The series is only four volumes long but it could have gone on longer (in my opinion). The girls friendship seems genuine and they have their inner squabbles and jealousies when new friends are made. Many tweens can relate to shy Mary Anne who is the usual peace maker and tomboy Kristy who comes up with the Babysitters Club idea. Stacey is new in town and hoping to make friends but is trying to hide her diabetes while Claudia is artistic and struggles to come out of the shadow of her "perfect" sister.
Raina Telgemeier is a great artist and has a really cool website with short stories and illustrations. I thought her name sounded familiar and I realized that I had two other books by her! Smile and X-Men: Misfits (both fun in their own way). Hopefully I will have those reviews up soon!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Flora's Very Windy Day by Jeanne Birdsall

Sorry about the hiatus but I needed a week off! But I'm back with a cute new picture book. Forgiven?

Book Info
Flora's Very Windy Day

Summary
When Flora and her pesky little brother, Crispin, are whisked away by a swirling and swooping wind, she gets the opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to give her brother away. With tempting offers from a dragonfly, the man in the moon, and even the wind itself, she will find it difficult to choose. But Flora would do anything to get rid of Crispin, wouldn't she? (from book jacket)

My Thoughts
A perfect book to curl up with on a crisp Autumn day! This picture book brings Fall to life with it's warm tones and stocking caps. When Flora's brother Crispin knock over her paints for the umpteenth time, Flora wishes that her brother would just be whisked away by the strong wind. Of course when this really happens she takes of her own heavy boots and takes off after him. Flora realizes how much her brother needs her as different animals, clouds, rainbows, and the moon ask her to give up her brother for their needs. I really enjoyed the cute pictures of Flora and her silent brother as they float away on the wind. This book is perfect for older brothers or sisters who need to remember that their little siblings need and love them.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Boss Baby by Marla Frazee


Book Info
The Boss Baby
by Marla Frazee

Book Summary
From the moment he arrives, it is obvious that the new baby is boss and he gets whatever he wants, from drinks made-to-order around the clock to his executive gym.

My Thoughts
The Boss Baby is a a perfect example of a picture book for adults. The storyline follows an excutive baby that bosses his new parents to the point of pure exhaustion but as soon as he says "Ma-ma? Da-da?" his parents jump to attention. Little children will not know about executives or how they conduct buisness but the fun pictures of a bossy baby will amuse them to no end. Adults will enjoy reading this to their children (or to themselves) and children will like seeing the baby in charge!
My favorite part of this picture book is a section that details the "perks" of being the boss baby- a lounge (a radio), a spa (bubble bath), drinks to order (bottles of milk), and a private jet (a swing in the shape of a jet).

Friday, October 1, 2010

Weekly Wants

The Clockwork Three by Matthew J. Kirby
Three ordinary children are brought together by extraordinary events.
Giuseppe is an orphaned street musician from Italy, who was sold by his uncle to work as a slave for an evil padrone in the U.S. But when a mysterious green violin enters his life he begins to imagine a life of freedom.
Hannah is a soft-hearted, strong-willed girl from the tenements, who supports her family as a hotel maid when tragedy strikes and her father can no longer work. She learns about a hidden treasure, which she knows will save her family -- if she can find it.
And Frederick, the talented and intense clockmaker's apprentice, seeks to learn the truth about his mother while trying to forget the nightmares of the orphanage where she left him. He is determined to build an automaton and enter the clockmakers' guild -- if only he can create a working head.
Together, the three discover they have phenomenal power when they team up as friends, and that they can overcome even the darkest of fears.
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