Thursday, December 27, 2007

Field Guide to High School

A Field Guide to High School
by Marissa Walsh
Andie's older sister, Clare--now a college freshman, wrote a book about high school for Andie by pasting pages over an old Petersen Field Guide. Andie and her friend Bess read through it together reflecting on Clare's suggestions and contrasting them with Clare's own behavior in high school. A secret chapter at the end just for Andie, explains a little more.

As an information book, the information is pretty stereotypical high school stuff. Suggested books and movies are fun, but personality type characterizations stick to the hollywood clicks. As a ficition book, the story is pretty scrawny...really just comments on the information. I would really have like to see a story where Andie was trying to follow the advice and what resulted. Still, it was fun to read and at 133 pages, it was a quick read. It does seem like Clare needed the book more than Andie did, but since Clare did fine with out it....

Really, what I think would be the most fun is to create your own field guide to school either as a class project or with a group of friends.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Need a Last Minute Gift for a Teen?

Need a last minute gift for a teen? The Young Adult Library Service Association (YALSA) has put out a list of gift suggestions for teens. The books are listed in categories according to who may enjoy reading them. There are books listed for the Comedian, the Athlete, the Artist, the Techie, the Musician, and the Romantic.

If you can't find what you're looking for at the first link, YALSA has lists of Teen Awards, popular paperbacks and much more.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Get a Hobby!

Get a Hobby!

by Tina Barseghian

(790.13 BARSEGHI)

Get a Hobby is a cool book that surveys over 100 different common hobbies. Ideas are diverse from athletic hobbies like caving, cooking hobbies like candy making or oil infusing, to nature hobbies like bonsai tree shaping. A forward explains the possible health benefits of hobbying--sorry, video gaming doesn't count as a hobby for a very simple reason.

Each hobby is presented in a two-page spread. Information about the hobby includes a summary of the activity itself, materials needed to get started, a history of the activity, directions for getting started, and resources for additional information. In many cases a personality profile, a list of similar hobbies, or a beginning project are also included. The idea of the two-page spread is to give readers enough information to sample a hobby and see if it really does suit them. To really delve into any of these hobbies, most people would need to gather much more information.

Barseghian has made picking a hobby that suits you much easier. First, readers can take a short quiz. The thing to know about this quiz is that it is asking about extremes. For example, the question about pets that includes an answer with snakes isn't trying to find out whether or not you like snakes. Rather, the question is trying to determine how extreme your devotion is to the animal kingdom. The quiz helps you identify your own personality traits which is useful when you start flipping through the hobbies. Personality traits are listed at the top of each hobby two-page spread. The traits that would be useful for the hobby on that page are in bold. The introduction to the quiz explains that hobbies with two or more of your selected personality traits in bold print would likely be a good match for you.

If none of the 101 hobbies appeals to you there are additional ideas for hobbies at the back of the book including alturistic hobbies, cerebral hobbies, and travel related hobbies.

At first I was disappointed that the author didn't include a spreadsheet of the personality traits identified with each hobby. However flipping through each hobby one-by-one and considering the suggested personality traits was interesting in and of itself. After reading this book, I can't say that I'm ready to go out and take up a whole new hobby, but it did open my mind up to a few new possiblities. Also, reading this reminded me of past hobbying efforts that for one reason or another I had put aside. I'm thinking that now would be a good time to take them up again. I really hope that Barseghian will follow this up with either a second book or a website. Reading this has made me curious about a few things, and I'd love to hear about other people's experiences beginning a new hobby.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Dark Water Rising

Dark Water Rising

by Marian Hale


Set during the Hurricane of 1900, which completely devestated Galveston, Dark Water Rising presents a coming of age story amidst horrifying circumstances. Seth is not happy when his father decides that their family will move to Galveston. His father wants Seth to go on to college and become a doctor. Seth already knows that he wants to become a carpenter. After arriving in Galveston, a night's stay at his uncle's home provides him both with the chance to work as a carpenter and his first glimpse of Ella Rose Montgomery. Seth quickly settles in to his new job as a carpenter working with Josiah, the grandson of his uncle's servant. When the storm sets in, people come to the beach near where Seth works to watch the turbulent water. Finally the water gets too high, and Seth and Josiah must cross flooded streets and flying debris to make it to his uncle's house.

The historical details seem acurate. There are mentions of many of the more well known details about the storm, such as the the wall of debris that scraped away everything in its path. The variety of dangers people faced, such as a man dying, not from drowning, but rather from climbing a tree that was already full of snakes. And the things that lingered in memories long afterwards: the stench of mud and decaying bodies and the bodies that washed up on the beach for days afterwards.

Seth's desire to chose his own destiny and prove himself to his father very much become part of Seth's expereience. The author keeps the story from becoming too dark by alotting some of the worst horrors to the people around Seth. Even so, as a capable young man, Seth sees enough of the devestation to convey the tragedy and misery of the disaster that changed Texas forever. The author touches on racial inequalities as well as the role of women during that time. An author's note at the end of the book explains the author's interest in the events and also gives more detailed information.

For further reading on the Hurricane of 1900, visit our local history collection. Moore Memorial Library has several books about the hurricane, including Isaac's Storm, (976.4139 LARSON) which provides an interesting account of the representative of the National Weather Bureau, Isaac Cline, who was working in Galveston at the time of the storm.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Wicked Lovely

Wicked Lovely

by Melissa Marr


Aislinn followed the rules strictly: Don't stare at invisible faeries, Don't speak to invisible faeries and Don't ever attract their attention. She's always known that the consequences for breaking the rules could be severe and cruel. After all, over the years she has seen enough of both the faeries' mischief and cruelty to know that she didn't want any of their attention on her. When two faeries, obviously court faeries--the most dangerous kind, begin following her for no reason, she knows that trouble is coming.

Keenan is a king without power. While he was still an enfant, his mother, the Winter Queen, bound his power until he could find his Summer Queen. Centuries have passed though. The summer court has filled with his mistakes, and those are the lucky ones. Meanwhile his mother's cruelty has gone unchecked for too long. Winter is taking it's toll on faeries and humans alike. The Summer King believes Aislinn is his missing Queen. However, he fears Aislinn's feelings for her mortal friend, Seth, will interefere with his own plans.

The resolution of this story is a surprising twist on the typical girl meets prince/king story which makes the entire story much more interesting. There are some stellar supporting characters including Seth, who is very patient and encouraging, and Donnia, who had once hoped to be Keenan's queen and instead has become a pawn for the Winter Queen and the Summer King to bicker over. Aislinn spends a lot of time consumed by her fears, but when she finally decides to face her fears, she does so with courage and strength of mind. In fact, the end of the story leaves one with the conviction that to become queen one must first have the courage to rise beyond being a pawn.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Yellow Flag

Yellow Flag

by Robert Lipsyte


Kyle is focused on his music. He loves the quintet he plays in. He especially likes the French Horn player, Nicole from New York. With his mother's help he has avoided getting pulled into the family business of professional race car driving. Racing is his brother's business. All of Kyle's goals and dreams are clear and focused.

Everything changes when his older brother gets hurt. Kyle agrees to race for a couple of weeks--to keep Kris's seat warm. For Kyle, things quickly get a whole lot more confusing. His family seems to be making plans for him. Plus, Kyle can't stop thinking about Jimmie, the new girl on the racing crew. Even more confusing, Kyle begins to question whether he really dislikes racing at all. Does he want Kris to get better? When an amazing opportunity opens up for Kyle's band and his band mates demand more of his time, the pressure begins to squeeze in from all sides.

The family dynamic is interesting in this novel. Kyle constantly worries about being forced to race just like his father and perhaps even his grandfather before him. But the author completely skipped over my main question: Can anyone who doesn't really want it, be truly successful in a sport as competitive as racing? Kyle is a talented guy, gifted even, both in music and racing. While his brother, Kris, seems to be a very intuitive driver, Kyle thinks things out first. He makes all of his decisions like a chess player. The strategies and his analysis of the other racers are interesting--especially when he is faced with racing bullies. His talents come so easily and naturally to him that what Kyle really fights for and works for in this story is the freedom to choose his own future.

This peak into the life and technicalities of race car driving was really interesting. Despite a complete lack of mechanical understanding, I followed the story just fine. While the ending resolved several plot points, it lacked force. So I'm waiting for a sequel, both because I want the story to continue and because I'm waiting for a more complete ending.

FYI: Another book by Lipsyte, Raider's Night (YP FIC LIPSYTE), made it onto the 2008-2009 Tayshas list. It's about a football player who must choose to join in his team's out-of-game behavior or stand alone and risk losing out on his football dreams.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pieces of Georgia

Pieces of Georgia
by Jen Bryant

Georgia is a seventh-grader who lives alone with her widowed father. Georgia's mother had been a talented artist, like Georgia. Now, Georgia hides her talent from her father who is still mourning her mother. At School, Georgia is shy and not very talkative. Her guidance counselor offers her a deal: if she will write to her mother every night in a journal, then Georgia won't need to come in for counseling sessions as often. Then, just after her birthday, Georgia receives a mysterious gift.

Georgia is very aware of the people around her and how they're feeling, but she is much less aware of how they feel about her. As a result she is sometimes surprised by things that won't surprise the reader. Bryant wrote Pieces of Georgia in verse, and while the poetic line breaks don't seem to add much to the overall story, they don't really hurt it either. The diary-style reads as though Georgia is speaking directly to the reader. Her voice and character are distinct througout.

Georgia is a positive character who manages to lift herself above her own problems and accept the people around her with kindness and grace. A fun read!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Teen Volunteers Needed

We are looking for a group of teens (ages 13-18) to help us prepare for upcoming library displays. We will be making very simple art projects as well as painting a couple of display pieces.

We will be meeting Tuesday, November 20th from 1 to 3 PM in the large meeting room in the library. Any participants who would like to receive either a reminder phone call or email, may sign up for one at the reference desk. Light refreshments will be served.

If you have any questions, please ask at the Reference desk or just ask for me, Lisa Neal.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Book of Lost Things

The Book of Lost Things
by John Connolly

2007-2008 Tayshas Reading List

As David tries to cope with the death of his mother, books begin to speak aloud to him. Other odd things happen too...he keeps blacking out and seeing strange people in a strange land. Through the window, David sees a man in his bedroom, but when he and his father go into the room, they find only a bird. Then late one night, when David hears his mother calling to him from the garden, he follows the sound of her voice through a hole in a wall and finds himself in a new world with no way home.

Set in the early years of World War II, the Book of Lost Things tells a compelling story of a young man, who is angry at the death of his mother, angry at his father for remarrying, and angry at his stepmother and half brother for offering a new life that David wants no part in. His selfishness and courage are put to the test though when he finds himself in a strange world where wolves walk, the Seven Dwarfs are communists repressed by Snow White, and where other myths and fairy tales have been confused and distorted.

Despite re-using many traditional magical creatures, Connolly's use of them is fresh and interesting. The supporting characters are engaging, such as the Woodsman who first helps David. David makes a wonderful hero fighting not only dragons and bad guys, but his own fears and weaknesses. His character develops substantially throughout the story, so that the final resolution feels true and important.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Closers

The Closers
by Michael Connelly

2007-2008 Tayshas Reading List

Detective Harry Bosch is hot on a case that went cold fifteen years before. Bosch is a detective in the Open-Unsolved, Cold Case, unit of the Los Angeles Police Department trying to right wrongs from decades before. In 1988, a 16 year old girl was taken out of her bed in the night and murdered. The case was never solved. When a DNA match comes through, Bosch and his partner take over the investigation.

"The chorus of forgotten voices," [the Police Chief] said.

"Excuse me, Chief?" [said Bosch]

"That's what I think about when I think of the cases down there in Open-Unsolved. It's a house of horrors. Our greatest shame. All those cases. All those voices. Every one of them is like a stone thrown into a lake. The ripples move out through time and people. Families, friends, neighbors. How can we call ourselves a city when there are so many ripples, when so many voices are forgotten by this department?"

Bosch is a likable character. Just back from a three-year retirement, he has the questioning uncertainty of a new recruit trying to learn departmental procedures plus a desire to prove himself. However, he also has the insight and instinct of experience to guide him in the investigation. The story drifts into police department politics just enough to make things interesting without weighing the story down. Bosch is like a dog on a scent when it comes to his cases and nothing distracts him. An all together fun read.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Vampire Romance

For the last several weeks, we've had a display of YA fiction featuring Vampire romances. Since this display has been so popular, I thought I'd post a list of some of those books here. These are all books that we have here at Moore Memorial Library.

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes:
--In the Forests of the Night (YP FIC ATWATERR)
--Demon in My View (YP FIC ATWATERR)
--Shattered Mirror (YP FIC ATWATERR)
--Midnight Predator (YP FIC ATWATERR)

Rachel Caine:
--The Dead Girls' Dance: The Morganville Vampires, Book II (YP FIC CAINE)

P.C. Cast:
--Marked: A House of Night Novel (SF CAST)

Melissa de la Cruz:
--Blue Bloods (YP FIC DELACRUZ)
--Masquerade: A Blue Bloods Novel (YP FIC DELACRUZ)

Annette Curtis Klause:
--The Silver Kiss (YP FIC KLAUSE)

Katie Maxwell:
--Got Fangs? (YP FIC MAXWELL)
--Circus of the Darned (YP FIC MAXWELL)

Robin McKinley
--Sunshine (YP FIC MCKINLEY)

Richelle Mead
--Vampire Academy (YP FIC MEAD)

Stephenie Meyer

Serena Robar:
--Braced2Bite (YP FIC ROBAR)

Ellen Schreiber:
--Vampire Kisses (YP FIC SCHREIBE)
--Vampire Kisses 2: Kissing Coffins (YP FIC SCHREIBE)
--Vampire Kisses 3: Vampireville (YP FIC SCHREIBE)
--Vampire Kisses 4: Dance with a Vampire (YP FIC SCHREIBE)

Cynthia Leitich Smith:
-Tantalize (YP FIC SMITH)

R. L. Stine:
--Dangerous Girls (YP FIC STINE)

Bram Stoker:

Vivian Vande Velde:
--Companions of the Night (YP FIC VANDEVEL)

Scott Westerfeld:


Booklist May 2006 Issue
YA Librarian TeenLib Wiki

*In some cases we also have the audio book. Audio books are designated with the letters "AD" in the call number.

Friday, October 19, 2007

A book without words...

The Arrival / Shaun Tan
Let me start by saying that this book is really amazing. Shaun Tan takes a familiar story, that of an immigrant leaving all he knows to enter a strange land, and makes it so fresh and immediate that you'll feel like you've experienced it personally. And he does this without writing one single word.

Tan's book is composed entirely of pencil drawings that resemble old-fashioned sepia-tinted photographs. His drawings take us through the main character's poignant separation from his family when he leaves his home country to his arrival in a strange, new land. There he must decode an unknown language, customs, and new technologies. Tan manages the pacing of his story through the size and number of his drawings -- small drawings organized in a grid advance the plotline, while lush, double-page drawings give the reader a moment to absorb hundreds of details about the fantastical land that Tan has imagined. Subtle color changes indicate shifts in time as characters relate their backstories.

It took the author over four years to complete all the drawings for this book. He has an interesting website where you can view more of his beautiful, slightly off-kilter art at

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

National Novel Writing Month

(X posted to the Moore Musings blog)

Ever wanted to write a story or a novel, but felt like you needed a little push? A growing international phenomenon, which last year included almost 80,000 registered participants, declares that November is the month to begin!

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as it is affectionately called by participants, begins in November. The idea is to write a 50,000 word book in the thirty days of November. For those of you counting, that's about 1,670 words a day. Or, in simpler numbers, 2,000 words a day means finishing a rough draft in 25 days.

Participants can register at the NaNoWriMo website which also includes message boards, word meters, posted drafts, and more to support the writers. You can even order supportive emails from best selling authors including Neil Gaiman, Sue Grafton, Garth Nix, and Tom Robbins to name a few.

Begun in 1999 with a total of 21 participants, National Novel Writing Month is the brainchild of Chris Baty, who has written a book-No Plot? No Problem (808.3 Baty)-that tells the story of how NaNoWriMo came to be and provides many useful tips for writing a novel in just thirty days.

In his book, Baty explains that after his first experience trying to write a novel in only 30 days he realized, "The biggest thing separating people from their artistic ambitions is not a lack of talent. It's the lack of a deadline." He also states that writing at such a crazy pace helps people to overcome their need for perfection in their writing and to take risks that they wouldn't otherwise.

The book is positive and upbeat. Included with the writing tips are time management tips (make large dishes with lots of leftovers so you don't have to cook every day), questions to ask yourself about your writing style and about the story that you want to write, week-by-week information about potential pitfalls, and ideas for revising your messy rough draft once you finish.

So are you thinking you may be interested? Let us know here at the Moore Memorial Library. We'd be happy to set up a writing group/support group for anyone interested.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Two Series for Tolkien Fans

We recently received new titles in two series that might appeal to fans of Tolkien's trilogy, the Lord of the Rings.

Ranger's Apprentice by John Flanagan

Ever wanted to be like Aragorn, living the life of a nomadic Ranger? Or even just wondered what such a life would entail? Flanagan's series borrows from the tradition of Rangers established in LotR.

Will, a young orphan who wants to be a soldier, is dismayed when he is chosen to be an apprentice for the Ranger, Halt, instead. His dismay grows as he spends day after day cleaning for Halt. When will he learn how to fight? When Will does eventually learn the ways of the Rangers, he gains enough confidence and smarts to face old rivals and new enemies.

Currently three titles in this series--The Ruins of Gorlan, The Burning Bridge, and The Icebound Land (YP FIC FLANAGAN)--are available here at Moore Memorial Library . We expect the fourth book in the Spring of 2008. Fans may also want to visit Flanagan's website,, where readers can read character sketches, view maps, and see book covers from around the world.

The Books of Pellinor by Alison Croggon

In this Lord of the Rings for girls, Maerad has lived as a slave for as long as she can remember. She has little hope of escape knowing too well the obstacles she would face. Then one morning, she finds a strange man in a barn. Her surprise is nothing to his, though, and he soon realizes that there is more to Maerad than he first believed. So begins her new life. While fighting against seen and unseen foes, she travels with Cadvan, a Bard of Lirigon, learning what she can about her talents and her place in the world.

Though Croggon borrows heavily plot-wise from LotR, these books are well worth the read. Croggon began her writing career as a poet, which is frequently evident in her almost lyrical fiction writing. The characters are entertaining, and if the plot twists aren't that surprising, they at least go off with a bang.

Currently we have three titles from this series--The Naming, The Riddle, and The Crow (YP FIC CROGGON)--available here at Moore Memorial Library. Also, Croggon has posted the first few chapters of the remaining books in the series on her website,

For Teens: Tayshas Reading List

Looking for good YA books? You may already be familiar with the Texas Bluebonnet Books, an annual reading list for elementary school children. The Texas Library Association, which oversees the Bluebonnet books, puts out several recommended reading lists including one for teens.

The list for high school students is called the Tayshas* Reading List.
The 2007-2008 list includes fifty-five books which represent a wide range of genres and topics. We have most of these books at Moore Memorial Library.

Here are just a few:

by Pete Hautman

A Sci-Fi Thriller about a young man in a futuristic society who must escape from prison with the help of an artificial intelligence program.

A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life
by Dana Reinhardt

Simone's life and beliefs change when she contacts her biological mother who is dying from cancer.

Born to Rock
by Gordan Korman

Straight-laced Leo is surprised and dismayed when he learns that his biological father is a punk rock legend.

by Chris Wooding

Poison must rescue her infant sister from the band of faeries who kidnapped the baby.

For more titles included in this list, visit Tayshas on the TxLA website or come by the reference desk.

*The word "Tayshas," according to the TxLA website, comes from a Caddo Indian word for "friends or allies."

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Golden Compass / Philip Pullman

The Golden Compass is the first book in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. Although it has been around for a few years, I decided to read it now because there's been a lot of hype about the movie version that's going to be released in December, starring Nicole Kidman as the uber-glamorous but evil villian, Mrs. Coulter.

This book is a thought-provoking fantasy, set in a parallel universe populated by distracted scholars, an ultra-powerful church, gypsy-like boat-dwellers and armored polar bears. Most of the action takes place in England and the North Pole. The main character is a young girl called Lyra. This book traces her journey from England to the North Pole to rescue her friend Roger, who has been kidnapped by a mysterious, government-backed group of scientists who perform gruesome experiments on the children they steal. With the help of the strange "golden compass" of the book's title as well as the assistance of a variety of unusual and mystical folk she encounters on her journey, Lyra uncovers her destiny, which influences the course of mankind.

The trilogy continues with The Subtle Knife and concludes with The Amber Spyglass. The author also wrote a companion volume to the trilogy called Lyra's Oxford. We have all four books at the library, and the trilogy is available on audiobook as well.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Cupid: A Tale of Love and Desire by Julius Lester and read by Stephen McKinley Henderson

Ever wonder who Psyche is and what she has to do with Cupid? Well, listen to this story and find out while learning a little bit of mythology along the way. Listening to the narrator is like being snuggled in bed listening to a bedtime story told by an old and wise storyteller. YP AD FIC LESTER

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Blitz: London's Longest Night (DVD)

On the night of December 29, 1940 the Germans dropped tens of thousands of bombs on the city of London. This movie is complete with reenactments, actual footage and survivor stories. Of course you probably know the ending of that night, but it is riveting to learn which historic buildings survived as well as stories of some survivors. This PBS Production is not just another boring documentary, it had me gripping the sofa cushions in suspense. DVD 940.54 BLITZ

A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

Both the male and female ghosts have been 'haunting' for years because they are unable to move on to Heaven. They have no idea why they are stuck here but take over two present day teens' bodies in order to enjoy earth stuff again. In the end, the ghosts find out what is holding them back. When I met Laura at the Texas Library Association she signed in my book "Don't let the walls stop you" and now I know why. A happy ending, a ghost story and a romance...what more could you ask for? YP FIC WHITCOMB

Devil's Playground (DVD)

What a shocking look into Amish teens' lives! During a time called Rumspringa (the Devil's Playground), a period when Amish teens turn 16, they are allowed to live outside the Amish community. They experience all kinds of sins in order to decide if they want to leave the Amish lifestyle or stay in it for good. This documentary follows a few teens as they stumble around in the outside world getting drunk, smoking, and making out. The Amish lifestyle and their ideologies are explained by the teens. I came away from this film with strong can the teens think about leaving the Amish community with a chance of success in the outside world with only an 8th grade education? Watch the movie, see what happens to the teens, draw your own conclusions. 392.15 DEVILS

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Finally, it's here! We have Eclipse the book (YP FIC MEYER) and the audiobook (AD YP FIC MEYER). I have been waiting impatiently the third installment of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series ever since I finished the last page of New Moon! Bella, Edward and Jacob are back, and once again Bella is pulled back and forth among the worlds of vampires, werewolves and the humans who live in the deceptively quiet town of Forks, Washington. As usual, wherever Bella goes, danger follows -- nearby Seattle has been plagued with a slew of mysterious killings, and Victoria still seeks revenge against Bella for James' murder. The author keeps the novel racing at a breathless pace, and the love story is riveting, tender and painful.
Stephenie Meyer gives her readers a sneak peek at her upcoming novels on her website -- including a fourth installment in the Twilight series coming in Fall of 2008 and a possible (fingers crossed!) alternate version of Twilight written from Edward's point of view.

She's also publishing a science fiction/romance called The Host that is scheduled to come out next spring. Go Stephenie!

Who Killed Mr. Chippendale? A mystery in poems by Mel Glenn

Mel Glenn writes his books in free verse by having a variety of characters tell the story from their point of view, thus having the plot and truth of the novel unfold as the reader fits the snippets from the characters together. Mel Glenn's books are often a little on the depressing side and this one is no different. Crazy student kills teacher, teacher's faults are revealed and then no one remembers teacher. YP FIC GLENN

The Girls They Left Behind by Bernice Thurman Hunter

Seventeen year-old Beryl keeps a diary while World War II is going on. She lives in Canada and works at several factories waiting for her male friends and her cousin to come home from the war. This book provides a realistic narrative of how it must have been like to live during the war. At one of Beryl's jobs working at De Havilland she was make a forelady although when the war was over and she had to give up her job and go back to school. She was concerned that she would not be able to type fast enough in order to meet graduation requirements! If you have grandparents or elderly relatives that might remember living during WWII this is a good book that you can read together. YP FIC HUNTER

Monday, August 27, 2007

Bound by Donna Jo Napoli

This Cinderella story takes place in Ming China with Xing Xing pronounced Shing Shing) as the Cinderella character, Some variations from the original fairy tale is that her fairy god mother is her deceased mother reincarnated into a beautiful carp and she sees herself as important at the end of the novel...not just because of a guy. Some gruesome events take place in the book but they work well in the fairy tale motif. This is a good book for females. Girl power! YP FIC NAPOLI

Tupac Shakur Legacy by Jamal Joseph

Very, very cool book...even if you are not interested in Tupac. The book includes all kinds of reproductions that are associated with Tupac such as Tupac's grocery lists, inmate identification card, and poems that he wrote to his mom. The book also includes a CD with three interviews that he did which spanned about seven years. The author of the book happens to be a friend of the family so some of the things written tend to sound a little on the bias side when it comes to Tupac's various spats and scuffles. Overall this is a good book for anyone wanting to know more about Tupac and the 'Thug's Life' mindset. Found in the non-fiction section 782.421649 JOSEPH

Inexcusable: A Novel by Chris Lynch

Keir Sarafian,the main character is:
A. self centered and self absorbed.
B. thinks being a man means not having a hangover when getting drunk the night before.
C. in denial about his involvement when things go wrong or someone gets hurt.
D. all of the above.
The correct answer is D. Keir repeatedly oversteps boundaries throughout Inexcusable by blaming the result of his actions on someone else. It is not until the end of the novel that he realizes the reality of a particular situation that he has caused. I still have unanswered questions about him and it bothers me that his sisters were not more cranky with him. This is a good book, but not the book to read if you want to feel good. YP FIC LYNCH

Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman

This is a too cute story about Vince the son of kingpin mobster and his daily life which is full of eccentric relatives and their quirks. After an impromptu kiss at a party, he falls for the daughter of an FBI agent (nicknamed Agent Bite-Me by Vince's father). Vince is a decent guy and this is a good book to read if you want hope that you can turn out okay even if your family is nuts. YP FIC KORMAN. Also has sequel titled Son of the Mob: Hollywood Hustle also YP FIC KORMAN

Dairy Queen: A Novel by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

This is actually a book about football...but don't let that scare you off. D.J. is utterly (ha! ha!) satisfied with her life- milking cows, baling hay and shoveling cow poo until hot guy Brian (from rival Holley High School) comes to help out on the farm per his football coach's orders. Brian points out to D.J. that she is just like a cow...always doing what everyone tells her to do. She decides he's right and does something about it ...meaning joining her high school football team and facing Brian on the field (who she has fallen for and kissed-BTW). Great story about family, friendships and being good to yourself. YP FIC MURDOCK or listen to it AD YP FIC MURDOCK

Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares

Better than the second and third but still not as good as the first. Carmen finds and reclaims herself at a drama summer camp and Tibby flakes out on Brian but will he come back to her? Lena finally gets the whole Kostos thing resolved (which I thought was resolved in a previous book, but I guess not). B still struggles with her need for guy attention. Overall I recommend it. YP FIC BRASHARES or the audio book AD YP FIC BRASHARES

Technically, It's Not My Fault: Concrete Poems by John Grandits

Don't let the boring cover fool you, this is one of my fave books! Where else can you read poetry about a school bus that vomits kids, the life of a fart and what your sister yells when you flush the toilet when she's in the shower? This book of concrete poems or shape poems are so much fun to read and look at. It's like a ride for your eyes! J 811.6 GRANDITS

Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back On the Board by Bethany Hamilton

Professional surfer Bethany Hamilton gets her arm bit off by a Tiger Shark while surfing in Hawaii. She writes about her accident, recovering, and getting back to the sport she loves- surfing. This easy to read book is uplifting but does have strong religious overtones. One chapter is dedicated to her relationship with God. I thought this book was going to be depressing but it was pretty uplifting instead. Of course, since it is a true story you can find it in the non-fiction section- 797.32092 HAMILTON

Friday, August 24, 2007

Jinx by Meg Cabot

Could also be titled Witches and...well...something that rhymes with witches. Jean (Jinx) moves from Iowa to New York City to live with her aunt. Upon arrival she learns that her once nice plain, but beautiful cousin has turned into a super-annoying mean goth girl preoccupied with witchcraft. Can Jinx save herself and her friends from suffering her cousin's wrath? Why did Jinx move to New York? Who (or what)exactly is Jinx anyway? Read (or listen AD YP CABOT) to find out. Great new novel from Meg Cabot of the Princess Diaries fame.

Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman

This story in written as a journal by Catherine, an interesting and entertaining character living during the Crusades. Catherine is kind of a sour-puss...but in a likable way. She does not want to be forced into marriage to nasty, sexist old guys but have adventures instead. This book shows you what life would be like living as a teenage girl in the 1290s...yuck! Moore library also has the audio version of this title and the narrator is awesome! Listen to it...AD YP FIC CUSHMAN

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Bloodtide / Melvin Burgess

I just finished Melvin Burgess' book Bloodtide (call no. is YP FIC BURGESS for those who may be interested...) It is a fast-paced science fiction-ish novel set in a destroyed London of the future. Ganglords have taken over the city, which the rest of the world has abandoned.

Mankind has figured out how to create a race of super-strong, half-human, half-animal beings called the Halfmen, who have turned against mankind and live just beyond the walls of ruined London. The book centers around a set of twins who have a mystical connection to the Norse god Odin. The twins try to reclaim their city, but both must struggle with powerlust, their own innate "racism" towards the Halfmen and the question of how to maintain their hope in a hopeless environment. The author based the book on an old Icelandic myth. It was hard to put down.

If you liked the movie Children of Men (which we also have at the library - DVD CHILDREN) or Scott Westerfeld's Uglies books (YP FIC WESTERFE) take a look at this one, too.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Beating Heart: A Ghost Story by A.M. Jenkins

Cora, a ghost, has lived alone in a dilapidated house for nearly a century until a family moves in consisting of a newly divorced mother, a boy her age named Evan, and his five year-old sister. Fun to read because Cora's view is told in verse and Evan/s is not. This book is excellent for a book discussion because it addresses issues about teen love. It is questionable if these issues would have risen because of Cora's ghostly presence or that they just happened by chance.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie by Holly Black

Fast moving story about a teen who gets angry at her mom and runs away. Living in the sewers of the New York subway with new freinds who shoot up a strange powder and associate with even stranger 'people.' This dark, gritty, gross, dirty and raw tale is well written and includes several objects found in other legdens and tales such as a sword and an apple. I love Holly Black (she's the one on the left). She also wrote The Spiderwick Chronicles that you may have read as a kid. YP FIC BLACK or AD YP FIC BLACK
Be sure to visit Holly Black's website to and click on the Resources tab to find out what her suggested reading is to you!

London Calling by Edward Bloor

Okay... story about a boy who inherits a WWII era radio from his grandmother and is taken back in time to the London Blitz by a ghost his own age named Jimmy. Not exactly a happy ending bit not a terrible ending either. Secrets are revealed and stuff gets resolved. End of story.