Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rocket Launch Update - Part 2

A little before noon it was sunny with just a bit of a breeze. We thought we'd get through the launch, just fine. Wrong! Just a little after noon, the sprinkles that initially looked like they'd pass over become thunder, lightning, and pretty strong winds. With everyone and everything pretty well drenched, and dark skies in all directions, we decided to bag it for today and try again tomorrow. Sure enough, it started to clear once almost everyone had left. As of right now, we're still planning to try again tomorrow. We're going for a start time of noon again. The forecast isn't great, so I'll check it again in the morning. If it looks worse we may need to cancel, so check back here around 10:00 for a last minute update. Keep your fingers crossed and do those anti-rain dances!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Rocket Launch Change

We have a slight change in the schedule for the launch part of the model rocketry program. To try to stay ahead of those scattered thunderstorms that are predicted tomorrow and Wednesday, we are doing the launch starting at noon and going 'till about 2:00 pm, instead of 1-3:00 pm on Tuesday, June 30. Launch is at Hoover Elementary School, 420 S 24th Street (NOT here at the library!) Spectators welcome. Bring a chair or blanket, sunscreen, and a drink.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Supersize Clue

This was so cool, that I had to post a few more pictures than usual so that, if you missed it, you'd get an idea of how this worked. We had a near-exact replica of the board game board laid out on the floor. (A big thank you to Matt for working out the measurements, and the TAG kids who spent an hour and a half prepping!) Teams of 4 worked together to try to solve the murder, using the same rules as the board game. One member of each team acted as their token, moving around the giant board. It was an awful lot of fun, and we filled both sessions that we offered. I suspect we'll be doing this one again, probably alternating with the Supersize Trouble that we've offered a few other years. Look for one or the other next summer. In the meantime, enjoy the pics!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Weekly Challenge June 29 - July 2, 2009

In honor of the upcoming 4th of July weekend, here's next week's Weekly Challenge. Since it's a short week next week, I'm posting a little early this week.

Can you change FLAG into STAR? You can only change one letter at a time. You can't change the order of the letters. Use 8 steps or less.

What Mrs N's Been Reading - Devilish

Finished Maureen Johnson's Devilish late last week. The narrator, Jane, is a junior at a Catholic girls' school in Providence RI. She's incredibly bright, but frequently bored, so her school records are an interesting mix of stellar academics, and a long list of renegade demerits. When her best friend, Allison, suddenly starts to act completely out of character, and no longer has time for Jane, she starts trying to find out what's going on. Is, Lanalee, the new girl at school, really the demon that she claims to be, who has signed a pact with Allison? Will Jane sacrifice herself to save her friend? Is it all a massive prank? If, after reading this book, someone offers you cupcakes, you'll probably run screaming in the opposite direction. Actually, a funny, for the most part, book, that reads like an actual teenager talking to you, not an adult author pretending to be a teen. I enjoyed it, largely because I really like Jane. Nothing that would be objectionable for middle-schoolers, so a good, quick, fun read, primarily for girls.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Hemp and Bead Bracelets

We just had 2 great, full sessions of hemp and bead bracelet making. We added colored hemp to the mix this year, as well as other bead choices, in addition to the usual wood ones. Everyone went home with something that looked pretty darn good! If you missed it, pics below.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Weekly Challenge June 22-27, 2009

A little later than usual (sorry!), but here's next week's challenge. If you need ideas, the call # for magic is 793.8

Perform a magic trick for a member of the Reference Staff.

Good luck!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dance Video

While I'm at it, here's a very brief bit of video from the dance program yesterday.

Video from Speed Cup Stacking

Ok, I think I'm starting to figure out how to do video. Here's a pretty good clip from the tournament today. Enjoy!

Speed Stacking - Day Two

Rev. Truitt was back for a second day of speed cup stacking. Today was tournament, and some doubles, just for fun. We divided the group into girls and guys for tournament. The cycle champ from the girls' group was Marissa H with a time of 16.09 seconds. Gotta give Melody H a thumbs up for doing darn well with just one good hand. The guys' field was a bit stronger today, with Chase S the winner with a time of 10.85 seconds. Winners received a mini cup set. Hopefully I'll get some video posted soon, but in the meantime a few more pics below.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dance Program

Our Dance program was this afternoon. A great big thank you to Mandy Kuhn from Always Time for Dancing Studio for a fabulous program. We learned the merengue, the waltz, and a little bit of swing dancing. In a little over an hour Mandy had everyone looking respectable. If you missed it, pics below, but I'm pretty sure we'll be bringing her back next summer, so keep an eye out.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Speed Stacking - Day One

We started the summer program season off with a good one - Speed Cup Stacking with Rev. Dave Truitt. We did this one a few years ago and had so much fun with it that kids insisted we bring this one back. We had a nice crowd, with 22 kids. As usual, Rev. Truitt had everyone doing quite well in just an hour. We were drawing a crowd of staff members who stopped in to watch as well. We'll be doing a tournament on Wednesday, so watch this spot for further updates. In the meantime here's a few pics from today. Once I figure out how to edit, I might get some video posted as well. New toy that I'm still figuring out.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

What Mrs N's Been Reading - Fragments

Just finished Jeffrey Johnston's Fragments. It starts near the beginning of Chase's junior year of high school. Several months earlier he had been involved in a tragic car accident in which several of his friends and an old girlfriend had been killed and he was the only survivor. He has had virtually no memory of the accident. The therapist that he is seeing tells him that it may come back to him, but probably in fragments. He is starting to have nightmares that combine bits from the accident with memories of his childhood with his older brother. The brother had gotten into trouble with the law and was just recently released from a detention center, but has not come back home, is never spoken of by his parents, and there are no pictures of him in the house. Chase is showing symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder. He is also having problems with other students at school, especially the guy who was dating Chase's former girlfriend at the time of the fatal accident. As the story develops, it ends up dealing with some mature subject matter that I won't disclose here because it would ruin a good twist in the story. Even though it is handled very well, I still wouldn't recommend this one for most middle-schoolers. Very good book for older students, however. Enjoy!
Been reading too much heavy stuff lately. I need a good funny book. Anyone have a recommendation?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Weekly Challenge June 15-20

Here's next week's challenge. (Hint: Look on the back of your Teen Summer Reading rules sheet.) Be sure to thank our prize sponsors for their support if you are in their establishments. We couldn't do this without them!

Bring in a brochure, menu, newspaper ad, or printout from the web page, of any 3 of our prize sponsors, and show them to a member of the Reference Staff.

What Mrs N's Been Reading - Thirsty

Just finished M. T. Anderson's Thirsty. Another vampire novel, this one a bit darker than Sucks to Be Me. Teenage Chris starts experiencing strange symptoms - insatiable thirst, inability to eat or sleep - and is visited by a self-proclaimed celestial being calling himself Chet. Chet tells Chris that he is in the process of becoming a vampire, thus his symptoms, and that if he will go on a mission to the underworld where an especially bad vampire is being held for eternity, he can save the world, and Chet can reverse his vampirism. In Chris' world, vampires are not uncommon and are hunted, and if caught, executed. Chet sends Chris on the mission by the middle of the book, so you know that things are probably not what they seem. Chris suspects so as well. You're inside Chris' head as he battles his demons and grapples with his feelings about friends, family and humanity. If you like a nice, neatly packaged ending, I'll warn you that you may be frustrated at the end of this one. I found it unsettling, but very well done. Nothing really graphic, so ok for older middle school kids, but I'd lean toward high school students as the primary audience for this one because of some intensity.


Friday, June 05, 2009

Teen Summer Reading Update

We're off to a great start! As of a minute ago, we had 97 kids registered already! If you haven't registered yet, just use the link to the right. You can look at the book reviews that have already been submitted and approved, even if you haven't registered yet. If you have registered, you can add titles to your personal electronic reading list by clicking on the button at the bottom of the review.

See you soon!

What Mrs. N's Been Reading - Sara's Face, Sucks to Be Me, and The Dangerous Days of Daniel X

What with all of the zaniness involved in getting ready for Teen Summer Reading, school visits, etc., I've been reading, but I'm way behind on posting. I've accumulated a backlog of 3 books, all quite different, so hopefully there's something for everyone. Here goes...
James Patterson's The Dangerous Days of Daniel X is about a young man who witnessed his parents' murders by an alien outlaw when he was just 3 years old. He's been living on his own ever since, having found his father's hidden computer that contained The List of Alien Outlaws. Turns out his parents were essentially alien bounty hunters, but the bad guys were so bad, that they killed them rather than trying to turn them in. Daniel needs to move regularly, both to find the next outlaw on his list, and to divert suspicion as authorities realize that he doesn't seem to have parents or go to school. He also has some unique abilities. He can essentially shape shift, turning himself into anything else he wants to be. He can also make things materialize that aren't really there. Both useful for hunting aliens. He's about to venture into the top 10 on the list, going after the alien who murdered his parents. It's an amusing book, good for middle schoolers, boys especially. A little bit Men in Black, and a little bit superhero. Due to a lot of references to current events and pop culture, it won't hold up well over time. But it's a nice light summer read.
Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley is a lighter vampire story. 16-year-old Mina finds out that her parents have been hiding her from the Vampire Council because her parents, who are vampires, aren't permitted to let anyone know that. Mina has known since she was a little girl. Ordinarily children aren't an issue because vampires can't reproduce, but in her case, her parents turned just after she was born. Once the Council finds out about Mina, they give her just a few weeks to decide whether or not she will turn. If she does, the family can stay together, but they will need to move away. (Since vampires don't age, they need to move every few years and take on new identities so people don't get suspicious.) If she doesn't, she will be taken from her parents, and parts of her memory zapped. And of course, you also have to factor in the guy she has a crush on, as well as the potential loss of her best friend. A good, light, funny, chick book, with nothing that would be objectionable for middle schoolers. Great summer reading.

Sara's Face, by Melvin Burgess is the darker, more serious one. Typical for Burgess, there is some mature content, especially in the first chapter. He seems to like putting a shock factor in the first chapter. Sara, a 17-year-old girl with some long standing emotional issues, is taken in by a rock star, Jonathan Heat, who promises to make her both beautiful and famous. Heat has his own emotional baggage, as he has had so many plastic surgeries on his face that his face has essentially collapsed, and he now wears a mask at all times. Sara's former boyfriend, Mark, gets a job with Heat to try to be close to Sara, but soon realizes that things seem to be very wrong. He tries to convince Sara to leave, but she doesn't want to go until she finds out who or what, the ghostly visions she has been seeing is. A very unsettling book that takes a hard look at fame and beauty and the desire for both. Recommended for high school only.


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Weekly Challenge June 8-13, 2009

Here's a heads-up for next week's Weekly Challenge:

This set of letters doesn’t seem to make sense:
But they can become a familiar two word phrase, if you put the letter “j” at the beginning, and add another “j” where the second word should start. The phrase is “jumbo jet.”

Make each of the sets of letters below into a two word phrase in the same way. Add a letter to the beginning. Then add the same letter where the second word should begin.






Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Weekly Challenge June 1 - 6, 2009

Here's this week's Teen Summer Reading Weekly Challenge. When you think you have the answer, see the nice ladies at the Information Desk to see if you're right, and if so, to get your chance in the first prize drawing.

You have exactly $4.40 in U.S. coins. You only have nickels, dimes and quarters. How many of each type of coin do you have, if you have exactly the same number of each type of coin?

Good luck!