Thursday, June 28, 2007

For Fantasy Lovers

As a class project, a student from Shippensburg University put together a reading guide for fans of fantasy books. If you're a fantasy lover, it may give you some ideas for books to read next, and might be a nice addition to your summer reading program. We have one copy at the Information Desk that you may peruse, or you can download your own copy below. It's 2 file - one is text and the other is a graphics file that is a map. Enjoy!
Fantasy Guide
Fantasy Map
Ok, minor correction - we can't seem to find the sample at the moment. It'll turn up eventually. In the meantime, download it and take a look.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Speed Stacking - Day 1

Rev. Dave Truitt was in today to teach us the tricks to speed cup stacking. I was quite impressed with how well everyone was doing after just an hour and a half or so of practice. We learned all of the usual formations, and also did some doubles (A great spectator event! 2 people working together, one only using their left hand, the other their right, and trying to coordinate movements.) and just horsing around building pyramids or stacks as high as possible. Rev. Truitt will be back on Wednesday to conduct a tournament. If you missed today's session you can still come in on Wednesday. Check out the pics below.

Teen Space is Finally Here!

We finally have a small teen hangout space in the library! It's small, but it's a whole lot more than we had a week ago. If you haven't seen it yet, it's down near the elevator, by the Teen collection. A tremendous thank you to everyone in the Teen Advisory Group who has been collecting cans, washing cars, working concessions at the concert last week, etc. to raise the money we needed, and also to those who worked on the tie-dyeing, the writing, and the lugging of furniture. We still need to add lighting and accessories, but we're well on the way. Check out these pics, or better yet, come on in and have a seat! We were still getting set up in that first photo. In fact, the kids convinced me to spin the furniture 90 degrees, and they were right. It's much more inviting that way. Look for more details to be added as soon as we get around to it.

Forensic Science Program

A big thank you to Sherry Brown, the Forensic Chemistry and Criminalistics Program Coordinator at York College, for 2 great programs last week. We've had her in before, and she's always a lot of fun. In addition to some cool hands-on activities, she's just full of great stories. In fact, I sat through the program twice and didn't hear the same stories at the second one. My personal favorites? The afternoon group got her rendition of "The worms go in, the worms go out, the worms play pinochle on your snout..." but the morning group got the absolutely hysterical story of the exploding canary. The best part however, was that she did bring the cool, but gross and disgusting item that I had alluded to in my school visits - a mummified human arm! If you missed it, here are a few pics, but it's just not the same as being there!

What Mrs. N's Been Reading - Son of the Mob

Just finished Gordon Korman's Son of the Mob. I don't know what took me so long to get around to this book, but thank you Emily for the suggestion. It's a great book - a quick, easy read, that's funny, and has plenty of action. Basically, Vince Luca, teenage son of a mob boss, falls for the daughter of one of the FBI agents that are bugging his house. The one real unbelievable part of the plot is that she doesn't realize until well into the book who Vince really is. It's not like you can keep that sort of thing quiet. Anyway, very funny book, highly recommended.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

DDR Guitar Hero Day

We had an open play DDR and Guitar Hero day on Wednesday. These are always a lot of fun. Fortunately I was the only person with access to the camera, so there are no shots of my feeble attempts at DDR - they'd probably make good blackmail photos. It was, however, very good to see a fair number of girls playing Guitar Hero this time. A lot of board game playing this time as well. Our next DDR/Guitar Hero day is Wednesday, July 25, so if you missed this one, mark your calendars for the next one.

Comedy Hypnosis Act

We had a nice crowd for Russ Clarke's comedy hypnosis act on Monday. About a dozen kids got to be a big part of the show. It was high energy and an awful lot of fun. If you missed it check out the photos. Kids are already asking me when we'll have him back, so keep an eye out for another show in the future.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

New Summer Beach Reads Now In

Some good summer vacation reads just came in including some new series (The Insiders and Insiders Girls) as well as the latest in the It Girl series. For details see
New YA Books: Insiders, Inside Girls, and an It Girl

What Mrs. N's Been Reading - Swords for Hire

Just finished Will Allen's Swords for Hire. Back when I finished On the Head of a Pin I had said that I really could go for something light and funny. This was it. Interesting story behind this book. Although the book was just published in 2003, the author died of cancer at the young age of 23, in 1980. He had written the book a few months earlier and given copies of the manuscript to family members as Christmas gifts. Several years later, as his brother was reading the story to his kids, he decided to try to get it published. I for one am quite glad that he did. Allen's favorite book was William Goldman's The Princess Bride, and the influence of that book on his, clearly shows. Is it a long complicated story with complex plot twists? Heck no. But if you like the style of humor in The Princess Bride, you'll really enjoy Swords for Hire. It's a very quick read (only 168 pages with a couple of blank ones between each chapter.) It's the story of a king betrayed by his brother, and the misfit soldier of fortune and his farm boy apprentice, who set off to rescue him. With the subtle, wise-cracking humor throughout this book, it would make a great movie, especially if made by the same folks who did The Princess Bride. I'd also like to see a company like Fullcast Audio do it as an audiobook. We can hope. So if you're looking for a quick read with plenty of humor, definitely check this one out. If you're one of those people (and I know there are plenty of you out there) who pick books based on the cover art, please don't look at the cover of this one. The brother had an artist design the cover, using the author and some of his family and friends as the models for the characters portrayed on the cover. Let's just say that Will Allen was a wonderful writer, but he was also just about as nerdy looking as they come. Don't peek, just read. Also, enjoy the foreword written by Will's friend Nancy Cartwright. If the name sounds familiar but you can't quite place it, that's because she is the voice of none other than Bart Simpson. Allen's choice of friends affected his sense of humor as well. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Return of Duct Tape!

We just wrapped up the second duct tape session. Another really good one! Everyone walked away with a really nice cover. Several of these ones will be Father's Day gifts, so dads, enjoy! Check out some more great photos.

Duct Tape - Part 1 A Success

The kick-off program for the Teen Summer Reading Program was duct tape cell phone or MP3 player covers. After the duct tape wallet program a few years ago that took about 10 years off of my life, I wasn't sure what to expect. Monday night's crew was great! A few people had tricky MP3 players, but everyone left with a pretty darn good looking cover. Check out the pics and see for yourself.

Monday, June 11, 2007

What Mrs. N's Been Reading - Raven's Gate

Just finished Anthony Horowitz's Raven's Gate, the first in the Gatekeepers series. It's easy to see why his books are popular with middle-schoolers. The main characters are easy to relate to, there's plenty of action, just a bit of horror, and he doesn't bog down in long descriptive passages. This one has 14-year-old Matt, an orphan who's life has gone steadily downhill since the deaths of his parents, being sent to a remote village as part of an alternative juvenile offender program after being involved in a stabbing during a botched robbery. Once there things get weirder and creepier and anyone who seems to be trying to help Matt is dying under mysterious circumstances. Then the action really starts to pick up. Another good series choice for middle-schoolers. I recommend it.

Car Wash Fundraiser

On behalf of the Teen Asdvisory Group, a big thank you to the folks at Commerce Bank at the Camp Hill Mall for providing facilities for our car wash last Saturday. Additional thanks to everyone who brought their cars over to be washed, especially those of you who went back home and brought in an additional car. The biggest thank you, though, goes out to our new friends from 1-800-GOT-JUNK. Not only did they have us wash their truck (at least as much of it as we could reach), but when they found out what we were raising the money for (furnishing a teen space in the library), offered us the very nice sofa that they happened to have on the back of the truck! So thanks to everyone who has been supporting our various fundraisers over the last few months, we'll be making some big changes down in the teen area in the next few weeks. Keep an eye out down there - it's going to be pretty cool!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

What Mrs. N's Been Reading - Being

I just finished Kevin Brooks' Being. Not nearly as depressing as On the Head of a Pin, but I could really use some humor here. Anyone got a suggestion? Anyway, Being is the story of 16-year-old Robert Smith, a young man who goes to the hospital for a seemingly routine bit of testing to determine the source of a stomach problem, and ends up on the run from some really nasty guys. If you like books that wrap things up nice and neatly for you (isn't that really annoying when it's too nice and neat?) take a pass on this one. It raises lots of questions, but leaves many unanswered. Some of the questions are pretty staightforward, like "What is Robert?" and "Who are these really nasty guys who are chasing him?" But some are more complex, like "What does it really mean to be human?" As I was reading it I was thinking that it reminded me a bit of the Bourne books and movies. I have several other Kevin Brooks books in the Teen collection. The only one that I've read is Martyn Pig but I was a big fan of that one. I'd recommend this one as well, and may try a few more of his over the summer.

Addition to the Teen Adiobook Collection

One more title has been added to the Teen audiobook collection. It's Charlie Higson's Blood Fever. A little more info can be had at New YA Books: One More Audiobook .

New Teen Books

An interesting assortment of books just hit the shelves. They include a summer chick book, the first in a new fantasy series, idiocy, and robot uprisings. For details go to New YA Books: Idiocy, Robots, Fantasy, and a Chick Book

Friday, June 01, 2007

And the Winners Are...

The winners of the My Library! My Way! Teen Multimedia Challenge are:
Grand Prize winner - Elizabeth B. from Covenant Christian Academy for her essay titled The Fredricksen Library is Something to Celebrate! My Summer Reading Experience of 2006
Winner in the Written Material category - John-Paul H. a home-schooler for his collection of poems titled Fredricksen Anthology
There were no entries in the other categories.
Congratulations to the winners! I'll post the winning entries as soon as I get a chance, so watch for them here.

What Mrs. N's Been Reading - On the Head of a Pin

Ok, I actually finished this one a week or so ago, but I still haven't quite figured out what I thought of it. The book is Mary Beth Miller's On the Head of a Pin. It's about what happens to a group of teens in north-central Pennsylvania, after one of them is accidently shot and killed at a party, and the teens involved attempt to hide the body and cover up their involvement. The entire premise isn't exactly uplifting, in fact it's downright disturbing. In addition to the killing, the book also dealt with bullying and child abuse. On top of the generally depressing nature of the book, I also had some issues about how one particular character, a very religious teen, was portrayed. That got a little better by the end of the book, but it still bugged me. My overall thoughts on the book? I'm still deciding. But I'm definitely due for something far less depressing for my next read. I've started Kevin Brooks' Being. I'll let you know how that goes.

Teen Summer Reading Registration Starts Today!

It's official! We started taking registrations for Teen Summer Reading 2007. For those of you who have done it in previous years, the basic program hasn't changed much from last year. We'll have the usual 8 weekly prize drawings with 10 or 12 prizes available each week. A big thank you to all of the local businesses that donated gift cards or materials! Weekly challenges are back, so check in the library or on this site for each week's challenge. A complete program listing is included in your registration packet, but some of the highlights include a comedy hypnosis show, a forensic science program, an interactive murder mystery, tie-dyeing, Tuesday afternoon movies, and fun with duct tape (this year's project is MP3 player or cell phone covers). The book review sheet is available for download on the right hand side of this site. So what are you waiting for? Get in here and sign up!