Monday, October 30, 2006

New YA Books Just In

A nice assortment of new stuff just arrived including the latest in the Truth or Dare series, Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery, Forest of the Pygmies, and The Boyfriend List. For more info see New YA Books: Assorted New Stuff .

Thought for the Week

Amaze your friends with these somewhat-useless bits of information:
Samhainophobia is fear of Halloween.
If it's not the whole holiday that gets you, just the ghosts, then you may have plasmophobia.
If it's just cats, then it's ailurophobia.
If you get more than just your standard case of the willies in a cemetery, you may have coimetrophobia.
If none of those things bother you, then Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

What Mrs. N's Been Reading - The Afterlife

I just finished Gary Soto's The Afterlife. This one's about a high school senior who is murdered in the first 3 pages of the book. Normally saying that the main character dies, kinda ruins the story for anyone who wants to read the book, but in this case it doesn't. The story is really about what happens after Jesus, or Chuy as he's known to his family and friends, dies. It was well-written, but it just didn't really grab me like some other books I've read recently. Maybe it's partly because it reminded me of how little I remember from 3 (or was it 4?) years of high school Spanish from way back when. Don't let that frighten you away from this book though. Because Chuy is Hispanic, there are some Spanish words sprinkled lightly through his speech, but there is a glossary in the back of the book, and even without that, you'd still get the gist of what he was saying. For books about after death experiences, I liked Gabrielle Zevin's Elsewhere better. If you've read either book, let me know what you thought.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Thought for the Week

Did you know that the first jack-o-lantern was made out of a turnip? And people wonder why some things just don't catch on.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Guardians of Time Trilogy Now Complete

If you've been reading Marianne Curley's, The Named and The Dark, your wait for The Key, the last installment of The Guardians of Time trilogy, is over. It's here. For details see, New YA Books: The Guardians of Time Trilogy Now Complete.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Good News on Kino No Tabi

Hey, good news! I had said in a posting on Monday that I'd need to wait to purchase Kino No Tabi until after the first of the year. Well, proceeds from the bookfair at Barnes and Noble that I was plugging back in September have come in, so I have a little bit more money to spend on YA books, before the end of the year. Kino No Tabi is being ordered, so look for it soon. A big thank you to everyone who came out and supported the bookfair!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Thought for the Week

If you ever have one of those days when you're asking yourself (or annoying adults with the question) "Why am I in school? What's the point?" consider this quote:
"The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson. "

Bodett, Tom

What Mrs. N's Been Reading - Kino No Tabi

I get advanced reader copies of some books from publishers shortly before the book comes out. Some of you may have noticed them in the pile of free books for Teen Summer Reading. We aren't permitted to put them in circulation, but I can give them away as prizes. Sometimes I get great ideas for things to add to the collection, that might otherwise have escaped my attention. This book is one of those. It's Keiichi Sigsawa's Kino No Tabi Volume 1: Book One of the Beautiful World, the first in an 8-volume series. It's the story of a young girl, who takes the name Kino after a tragic occurrence at the beginning of the book, and her anthropomorphic (your SAT-prep word for the day;)) motorcycle named Hermes, as they travel throughout the countryside, always spending just 3 days in any one place. Each community that they come in contact with, has it's own strange history and/or customs. The book is actually a series of connected short stories, making it a good choice for people who like to read in short spurts then take a break, because each chapter could be a stand-alone story. In fact, as I was reading I was visualizing this being done as episodic anime. You'd think that would mean that I didn't stay up late reading this one, but it was so good that I was up late and into the next chapter because I couldn't put it down. I would suggest getting someone else to either read the book with you, or read it right before or after you do because it will generate some great discussion on politics, morality, and philosophy. But don't let that frighten you off - the stories are straightforward and action-packed, they just happen to also be extremely thought-provoking. The book is a translation of a best-seller from Japan. I'm always concerned when I pick up a book that has been translated from another language, because there are usually passages that leave you scratching your head wondering what language the translator actually speaks. No need to be concerned with this one. The translation was excellent. You never would have suspected that it wasn't written originally in English. The only downside is that I am out of money for the year for YA books, so you won't see it on the shelf until after the first of the year when new budget money becomes available. But Book 2 in the series is scheduled for publication in February, so it should be available at at about the same time I'm able to get this one. And of course, look for the advanced reader copy in the free books cart for next year's Teen Summer Reading.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Hot New Books to Beat the Chill

Ok, some of you may question beach books in October, but just go with the flow here and enjoy the Summer Boys series. For details see New YA Books: Beach Books in October?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

What Mrs. N's Been Reading

I just finished James Patterson's Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment. Good book! I stayed up later than I should have reading it because I was so caught up in it. It moves quick and has incredibly short (4 or 5 page) chapters. It's the story of a group of children who have been the victims of genetic experimentation and now have wings and an assortment of other unusual abilities. They escaped a few years before the story begins, but are now being hunted by another group of mutants called Erasers, on orders of the scientists who experimented on them. They're trying to figure out how they're being tracked and whether or not there's a traitor among them, while they try to track down secret information about their parents and what exactly has been done to them. I'll warn you that the ending leaves you hanging. You'll definitely need to read the sequel, Maximum Ride: School's Out Forever. After I post this I'm going down to the YA section to see if it's in. The Toronto Sun reviewer was right - this one screams to be made into a movie. I'm betting that it will be.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Thought for the Week

Make your English teacher nuts with this quote:

"The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense."

Tom Clancy

Friday, October 06, 2006

What Mrs. N's Been Reading

I just finished Pam Wither's Raging River, the first in the Taking It To Extremes series. Not bad! It's a quick read with plenty of action. This one is about a whitewater rafting and kayaking adventure turned ugly. There's plenty of attention to the details of rafting and kayaking without getting bogged down in lots of really obscure teminology. I'd recommend it to anyone who has trouble getting through a big, thick book, but doesn't want to be talked down to either. If you like extreme sports and an action-packed plot, give this one, or any of the others in the Take It To the Extreme series a try.

Latest Artemis Fowl Now In

Artemis Fowl fans, rejoice! The latest installment, The Lost Colony is now in. The hold line isn't too bad yet, so get in line. For details, go to New YA Books: Newest Artemis Fowl Now In .

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Video Game Tournament News Flash!

Great news! I just made arrangements with our friends at EBGames for a second video game tournament in November. The one that had been scheduled for November 5th is still on, but it will be for high school students ONLY. The second one has been scheduled for the following week, Sunday, November 12th and will be for 6th-8th graders ONLY. Splitting by age will allow everyone more playing time and will allow us to offer age-appropriate games. Let me know what you think.

New Melody Carlson Books In

Good news for fans of Melody Carlson. Two new books just came in - Bad Connection, the first in the Secret Life of Samantha McGregor series, and Bright Purple: Color Me Confused, the latest in the True Colors series. See New YA Books: New Melody Carlson Books Now In for more details.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Video Game Tournaments - New Policy

Wow! We had an absolutely incredible turnout for Saturday's video game tournament. I'm still working up the official tally, but we were definitely over 100 people. To make it a better experience for everyone, we are going to start adjusting the age restrictions. Basically, some tournaments will be for high school students only, and others will be for 6th-8th graders. Watch announcements, and make sure that you're coming to the right one. The tournament scheduled for November 5 will be for high school students. Middle schoolers - I'm working on trying to schedule one for you before the end of the year. Watch this space for updates.

Thought for the Week

Sometimes you have a couple of days where you keep seeing or hearing about things that leave you shaking your head and wondering what could possibly be going through some people's minds. Sometimes you're just left with a thought like this one:

"There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
Frank Zappa