Monday, February 25, 2008

More New Books by Some Favorite Authors

As promised last week, here's a preview of some more of the new Teen books that just hit the shelf. These look really good, with some by some favorite authors including, Eoin Colfer, Meg Cabot, Vivian Vande Velde, Ellen Wittlinger, and more. For details see New YA Books: New Books By Favorite Authors

Thursday, February 21, 2008

New Series and Sequels Just In

A nice-sized pile of stuff was just processed from my first order of the year. In fact, it's too big to try to give you info on all of them in one posting, so I'll break it up over the next couple of days. Starting with the series and sequels, we've got the latest in the Faerie Wars Chronicles, the latest in the Secret Life of Samantha McGregor series, the latest from the Flying Dutchman series, the Gossip Girl prequel, and all of the first 4 books in the Named series, and more. For more detail on all of them see New YA Books: New Sequels and Series

What Mrs N's Been Reading - Big Mouth and Ugly Girl

Just finished Joyce Carol Oates' Big Mouth and Ugly Girl. It's another book that deals with school bullying and violence. It's told in alternating chapters from the points of view of Ursula, aka Ugly Girl, and Matt, aka Big Mouth. Matt, a bit of a class clown, makes joking comments about blowing up the school and is reported by someone who overhears him. The police are called in, and they take him out of school for questioning. Then the rumor mill kicks in, and things really get blown out of proportion. Ursula, who also overheard Matt's conversation, assumes that things will be cleared up, because the whole incident is just ridiculous, but when that doesn't happen, she decides, against her parents wishes, to step forward. You'd think that would be the end of the book, but things are just getting started. Overall, it's a very good book - another one that would make a good discussion starter. My only real complaint is that Ursula frequently refers to herself in the third person. I've known actual people who do that, and it really weirds me out. If that doesn't bother you, check this one out. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Early Beach Reads In

A few new books just came in. If you're looking for a break from the cold, windy weather, these "chick books" that are essentially beach reads, may get you in a warmer frame of mind. For more details see New YA Books: Early Beach Reads?

Monday, February 18, 2008

What Mrs N's Been Reading - Edge and The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray

Once again, I'm reading faster than I'm blogging (a day spent driving to JFK helped get me behind as well) so I'm doing 2 books in one entry today.
First was Chris Wooding's The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray. This one takes place in an alternate London, where wych-kin, an assortment of nasty supernatural creatures, have taken over parts of the city, particularly at night. Our hero, 17-year-old Thaniel, is a wych hunter, a sort of "gun for hire" to get rid of wych-kin. One night he happens upon a young woman, in the dangerous part of town, who appears to be either in shock or insane. He takes her home with him to try to at least keep her safe while he figures out who she is and what's going on. She alternates between periods of being very calm, shy and withdrawn, but not knowing who she is, and periods of being downright dangerously wacko. Turns out that a nasty spirit has been put in her, and there is a struggle going on for control of her body. Add to the mix, a massive political conspiracy, a serial killer, and a budding love interest and you've got a pretty darn good book with lots of twists and turns. Highly recommended, with nothing I can remember that would make it inappropriate for older middle schoolers as well as high school students.
I followed that one with Diane Tullson's Edge. This was a real sharp turn. Edge is the story of high school freshman, Marlie, a bit of an outcast and loner thanks to being set up a few times by Keely, who had been her best friend. When, Ravin, a goth type loner, approaches her, takes her to a party, and introduces her to some other loners, she thinks that she might at least have some friends. Mike, one of the loners, seems to be trying to control the group, and Marlie starts to fear that he might be planning something violent at the school. There are a gazillion sub-plots going in this one including, Marlie's little brother's abduction by their estranged father, Marlie's mother's host of problems, and Marlie's friendship with Chuck, a local undertaker who works with Marlie's mom (and has a crush on her) and had been friends with her dad. Chuck reminded me of the guy who runs the restaurant in Eureka on the Sci-Fi channel, but I digress. One of Chuck's stories from his youth reminds us that, although it seems like we have a lot more wackos these days, we probably don't. A few decades ago, we just hid them better, rather than glorifying them. A good book in this era of school bullying and violence, that could be a real good discussion starter. Probably not for most middle schoolers, though.
Check 'em out!
For some strange reason, I'm having trouble adding pictures of the book covers at the moment. I'll either add 'em later, or just skip them this time.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

TAG Meeting Rescheduled

The Teen Advisory Group meeting that was scheduled for this evening is being postponed. The library is closing at 5:00 tonight due to the yucky weather forecast. The meeting has been rescheduled for Thursday, February 14 @ 7:00. See you then!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Another Great VGT

We just wrapped up the middle school video game tournament. We had a real nice crowd, in more ways than one. About 25 kids showed up, which is a nice size, and it was one of the most subdued middle school groups we've ever had. I figure the frosty weather had everyone in a sort of hibernation mode. Anyway, we somehow had time to run 2 tournaments. Congrats to Evan, who won the first one, and Jake B, who won the second one. If you missed it (or if you were there and want to see yourself) check out the pics below. Next round of VGT s will be in April. Look to the right for more info.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Who Knew Duct Tape Could Be So Elegant?

Well. of course, the answer to that question would be, anyone who's ever seen a duct tape prom gown, or a duct tape rose. In fact if you've never seen the prom gowns, you gotta go to the Stuck On Prom website to see previous winners in their scholarship contest. But for the uninitiated, the pics below will give you a good idea of the possibilities when you make roses from duct tape. It was a very successful program, with no bloodshed (always a question when you issue razor knives to kids). In fact, my helper for the day, Drew, gave up and went back to shelving books pretty early on, because no one really needed much help. Thanks anyway Drew! Good to know I had backup if needed. Check out some of the end results.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Teen Book Discussion Group

I've gotten a few requests lately, to resurrect the teen book discussion group. I'd like to find out if there is enough interest to justify the group, and determine what the folks who are interested want to discuss, as well as when they are available to meet. If you're interested, you can either fill out a survey at the library and turn it in at the Info Desk, or download the survey here ( Teen Book Discussion Survey ) and either bring it in to the library or email it to me at If you have trouble emailing the actual form, just send me the information that the form asks for. Look for more information in early March, once I've looked at the survey results. If there is enough interest we'll probably start meeting sometime in March.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

HS VGT Results

We had a great group in for the high school video game tournament. Even on Super Bowl Sunday, about 24 kids showed up. Max H gets bragging rights today, with Jake B coming in second. A big thank you to Brian from EBGames for bringing the equipment and running the tournament! These are always a great time. If you missed it, a few pics are below.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Video Game Tournament Reminder

Just a quick, friendly reminder that Sunday, February 3 is a Video Game Tournament for high school students only. (6th-8th graders - your turn is next Sunday!) I hear there's some sort of football game on that day (once the Steelers were out of it, did it matter?!!) We'll be done by about 4:00, so you'll be home in plenty of time to catch either the game or the commercials, whatever you're in it for, so see you Sunday!

What Mrs N's Been Reading - Side Effects

Just finished Amy Goldman Koss' Side Effects. It's the story of Isabelle, an eighth-grader who is diagnosed with lymphoma. It follows her from the initial doctor's appointment, through chemo. At first glance, this could be an incredibly depressing book, but it isn't. What the author chose to focus on, was the ways that Isabelle coped with everything, and the reactions of the people around her. Anyone who has been through it can relate, especially to the ways some people choose to react to a person with cancer. Izzy's mother insists on not using the word cancer at all - lymphoma sounds so much nicer. Some people ignore her. Some are nauseatingly nice. Some treat her as though she's already on death's doorstep. Very few people actually just acknowledge it realistically. If you haven't been through it, you don't understand the warped sense of humor that many cancer patients and caregivers develop. My husband finished chemo about 2 years ago. Koss' portrayals are pretty realistic. Isabelle uses drawings, and a lot of sarcasm to cope. I also liked that Koss ephasized the fact that no 2 people react to chemo the same way. If you know one person who has been through it, don't assume that another person will feel the same side effects, either at all, or to the same extent. That's partly because there are so many different types of chemo. If you know someone who's going through cancer treatment, definitely read this book. It may make you see, not only the cancer, but that person in a very different light. For most of us, that would be a very good thing.