Wednesday, August 30, 2006

What Mrs. N's Been Reading

I just finished Hilari Bell's A Matter of Profit last night. It was a pretty decent sci-fi story about a young man, Ahrven, retuning home from war to find his sister being forced to marry the emperor's slime-bucket son, and rumors of an assassination attempt being planned on the emperor. His father, in charge of the emperor's security, challenges him to either prove or disprove the rumors, with both his sister's freedom and his freedom to choose a non-military life on the line. The really interesting part is actually the sub-plot. Ahrven can't understand why the inhabitants of the planet that the story takes place on didn't put up any resistance to his people when they came to conquer. The native scholar that is helping him sort through the rumor mystery challenges him to figure that out on his own. When he finally does, the answer is very thought-provoking, especially considering the current state of unrest in many parts of the world today. Worth a read.

New Stand-Alone YA Books

In addition to the new series books and sequels, some new stand-alone books have been added to the colection as well. Check out the list at New YA Books: New Stand-Alone YA Books then check 'em out!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

More YA Series Books and/or Sequels

Additions to some popular series' (including True Colors, Uglies, Cherub, and Dark Fusion, to name a few) have been added to the collection in the last month or so. Go to this link New YA Books: More YA Series Books and/or Sequels
to see the selection then either check 'em out or put 'em on hold!

What Mrs. N's Been Reading

I am so far behind in posting this stuff that I'll probably forget some books but here goes.
I would highly recommend Markus Zusak's, The Book Thief. This one had two strikes against it in my mind before I read it: it was getting very good reviews in library journals, and it was about the Holocaust. So many books that have gotten rave reviews in journals lately I've considered either the same sappy stuff about the main character or a parent dying, or the main character or a parent being gay that it's become formulaic and just plain, lousy reading. Yes there were deaths in this book, but it wasn't the usual sappy stuff. There are some great books for teens on the Holocaust also, but they all started to seem about the same to me too. Again, this one was different. Having the book narrated by Death could have been really gimmicky but it was very well done. The author intentionally gives very obvious clues, or tells you outright, some of the things that are about to happen, but it is so well written that even though you know what is going to happen, you're still compelled to keep reading. It reminded me of when I first saw the movie, Apollo 13. I'm old enough to remember when the actual event occurred so I knew the ending, but it was so well done that I was still on the edge of my seat. Again, The Book Thief is something a bit different. I highly recommend it!
I'm still waiting for Scott Westerfeld's Pretties, so I while I was waiting I read his So Yesterday. Ever wonder why some things are considered cool, especially when just a few months earlier that same thing would have been considered really dorky? Or why some things stay cool and others fizzle out really quickly? If these sort of thoughts keep you up at night, or if you love a good conspiracy theory, this book's for you. We'll never know how much of the book is based on facts, but it does make you wonder about the amount of time and resources that are wasted on advertising and gimmicks to get us to buy, buy, buy. There's a mysterious disappearance that the main characters are trying to solve, as well as a massive conspiracy. Fun and thought provoking. I'd recommend this one as well.
Right now I'm in the middle of Hilari Bell's A Matter of Profit. This book has been on my list of wanna-reads for a few years now, and I've finally gotten to it. I'll let you know what I think when I'm finished.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Thought for the Week

As you head back to school this week, here's a thought about the learning process:

“If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way.”
Mark Twain
With that in mind, proceed through your school year with caution.

Teen Advisory Group Meeting

If you enjoyed the Teen Summer Reading program, here's your chance to get involved in planning future teen programs. The Teen Advisory will meet on Monday, September 11 at 7:00 pm in the Board Room (see a Children's staff person for an escort back there.) We meet throughout the year to plan activities, as well as the Teen Summer Reading Program. If you'd like to get involved, but can't make it to this meeting, e-mail me and I'll add you to the e-mail nag (er, reminder) list for future meetings. Also watch this site, especially the listing of teen events on the right, for info on upcoming meetings. This counts as service hours if you need 'em for anything. Just bring me any paperwork you need signed for that. I'll bring snacks and drinks, you bring ideas. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Book Fair to Benefit YA

On Friday, September 8, Barnes & Noble at the Camp Hill Mall will be holding a book fair that will benefit the Fredricksen Library. Proceeds will be split between the Children's and Teen departments. All you have to do is present a voucher with your purchases that day and a percentage will go to the library. To get your voucher either stop by the library or download it from the Library Links area below. If you're an early Christmas shopper, or always wanted to be, here's an excuse to get out and make those holiday purchases well ahead of time. The YA area was used incredibly hard this summer. The additional funds will sure help to replace some of those books that were basically "loved to death." So come on out and give us your support! Spread the word!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Thought for the Week

For most of you this is your last week of freedom. For those of you whose parents are nagging you to do a few last summer chores before your schedules get hectic again, I offer this thought for the week:

"A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken."
James Dent
Enjoy your last week of summer vacation!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

More 4-Star YA Reads

As promised, here's the second half of the list of books that were given 4-star ratings over the summer. I'll be putting all of this together in a handout that will be available in the YA area soon.

Most of the Daughters of the Moon series by Lynne Ewing
Mary’s Story (7th Heaven series) by Brenda Hampton (YA SEVENTH)
Mattimeo by Brian Jacques
Maximum Ride: School’s Out Forever by James Patterson
Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson
Mossflower by Brian Jacques
Ninth Key (The Mediator series) by Meg Cabot
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
The Other Side of Dark by Joan Lowery Nixon
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Point Blank by Anthony Horowitz
Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
The Pretty Committee Strikes Back by Lisi Harrison
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson
Raven’s Gate by Anthony Horowitz
Redwall by Brian Jacques
Reunion (The Mediator series) by Meg Cabot
Revenge of the Wannabes by Lisi Harrison
The River Between Us by Richard Peck
The Sands of Time by Michael Hoeye
Scorpia by Anthony Horowitz
The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares
The Seer and the Sword by Victoria Hanley
Shadowland (The Mediator series) by Meg Cabot
Shakespeare’s Scribe by Gary Blackwood
Silverfin by Charlie Higson
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
Skeleton Key by Anthony Horowitz
Snow Walker by Catherine Fisher
So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld
Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman
Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia Wrede
Specials by Scott Westerfeld
Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz
Stotan! by Chris Crutcher
The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman
Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements
TTFN by Lauren Myracle
TTYL by Lauren Myracle
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Vegan, Virgin, Valentine by Carolyn Mackler
Winter Ball (7th Heaven series) by Brenda Hampton (YA SEVENTH)
Xenocide by Orson Scott Card
The Year of the Hangman by Gary Blackwood

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Thought for the Week

I'm a little bit behind in my postings. Between wrapping up the Teen Summer Reading Program and getting my youngest son off to college (yes, he's there already!) I let this slide a bit. Hopefully I'm back in a somewhat regular routine. So here's this week's thought for the week about education:

"An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't."
Anatole France

4-Star YA Reads

As promised here is a partial list of the books that Fredricksen Library teens considered worthy of 4 stars. As I started going through the binders what struck me was how many books you guys really loved. To keep the list managable I'm only including books in the YA collection. I was also happy to see a mix of both new books and ones that have been around a few years but are still well worth the read. Another quick note: I'm also looking at the books that you folks liked that I don't have in the collection, and will use that information when I'm ordering new materials. This list is also only the books from the first binder - titles starting with A-L. I'll do the other binder soon. Watch for that. If a book is shelved in any way other than by the author's last name (non-fiction, or by series name) the call number is noted as well.

All of the Left Behind: The Kids series by Jerry Jenkins and Tim Lahaye (YA LEFT)
All of the Warriors series by Erin Hunter
Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
All American Girl by Meg Cabot
The Amber Spyglass and The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
Aquamarine by Alice Hoffman
Ark Angel by Anthony Horowitz
Back in Black by Zoey Dean
Blade Silver by Melody Carlson
A Break With Charity by Ann Rinaldi
Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah (YA 951.05 MAH)
The Coffin Quilt by Ann Rinaldi
Cut by Patricia McCormick
The Dark by Marianne Curley
Dark Blue: Color Me Lonely by Melody Carlson
Darkest Hour (The Mediator series) by Meg Cabot
Detour for Emmy by Marilyn Reynolds
Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke
Eagle Strike by Anthony Horowitz
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Caroline Mackler
Eldest and Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Emergency Room by Caroline Cooney
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Fatality by Caroline Cooney
Finding a Way Through When Someone Else Has Died by Pat Mood (YA 155.937 MOOD)
Flight #116 is Down by Caroline Cooney
For Teens Only by Carol Weston (YA 646.7 WESTON)
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Gathering Blue and The Giver by Lois Lowry
Gingerbread by Rachel Cohn
Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares
Girls on Film by Zoey Dean
Goddess of the Night (Daughters of the Moon series) by Lynne Ewing
The Golem’s Eye by Jonathan Stroud
The Gospel According to Larry by Janet Tashjian
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
High Heat by Carl Deuker
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
Inca Gold by Clive Cussler
Inkheart and Inkspell by Cornelia Funke
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson
Learning to Swim: A Memoior by Ann Turner (YA 362.76 TURNER)
Lucy’s Angel (7th Heaven series) by Brenda Hampton (YA SEVENTH)

Remember: the binders with all of the reviews will stay out in the YA area year-round. If you're looking for ideas for what to read next, take a look through them.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Summer Wrap-Up

Wow! What a summer! 344 of you registered for the Teen Summer Reading program this year - a 36% increase from last year. Attendance at programs was up, and we had an incredible number of book reviews turned in. In fact, I had to split the book reviews into 2 binders yesterday. Your somewhat-useless-tidbit-of-information-for-the-day: 561 book review papers just won't fit in a 3" binder.

Remember - the book review binders will stay out there in the YA area all year. So if you're looking for ideas for what to read next, and I'm not around to offer suggestions, check the binders to see what other kids have liked. As soon as I get a chance, I'm going to start going through the binders and posting a list of some of the 4-star titles on this site, so check back for that.

Also, keep checking this site for teen program information throughout the year. In fact, I'm going to conduct a little experiment to see how many of you are actually looking at this site. (Yes, I know about counters. There is one on this site, but the numbers include people like librarians in Australia. I love hearing from them, but I want to know how many of the readers are local teens.) Throughout the year, I will occasionally post something on this site, telling you to stop by the library on a certain date and do something simple to get a treat. The first one will be in September for an international holiday of sorts. (Hint: Think pirates.) Watch this site for more details.

Origami and Paper-folding Program

Chen Yu Tsuei and Emily Chen from the Chinese Cultural and Arts Institute presented a wonderful program on origami and paper folding. We learned a little bit of the history of paper and origami, then learned to make a few things. It's so much easier to learn with an expert on hand, rather than from a book! Although once you learn some of the techniques, it will much easier to follow book instructions, so if you were there for the program, try checking out one of the origami books from the library. It will probably be much easier now. If you weren't able to make the program, check out the photos to see what you missed.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Tapestry Bracelet Program

Those gorgeous tapestry bracelets turned out to be a bit more of challenge than expected. In the first session some of you caught on quickly and were doing fine, but the original pattern was taking forever to do. For the second session we adjusted the pattern to make it simpler. That helped a lot, but we still didn't have anyone finish in the time allotted. Everyone went home with the directions and materials needed to finish, so please bring them in to show me the finished product when you get them done. Once again, if you missed it, check out the photos. I love a photo of a table of guys doing needlework! Some of the guys put the girls to shame.