Saturday, February 27, 2010

Wii Sports Resort Update

We just wrapped up the Wii Sports Resort program. We also had other systems set up, board games, and of course, the infamous and always popular Nerf ping pong. Nice group of kids! We all had a great afternoon! Parents are frequently worried about kids not taking turns during these open play days. I know better! I like to think that it's kids in general, but it may be the particular ones who come in for these programs. I've never had a problem. If you missed today, enjoy the pics below.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What Mrs N's Been Reading - The Looking Glass Wars

Recently finished Frank Beddor's The Looking Glass Wars. It's a twisted take on Alice in Wonderland. This version starts as 7-year-old Alyss, heir to the throne of the magical Wonderland, witnesses the brutal assassination of her parents, by her evil Aunt Redd, and escapes the ensuing carnage by jumping into The Pool of Tears, which is actually a portal to our world. She finds herself in Victorian England, where no one believes her story. After being mercilessly teased by everyone around her, and having her story completely changed by the author Lewis Carroll, she decides to forget about her old life and try to adapt to this world. All's well until the day she is set to marry Prince Leopold, Queen Victoria's son, and assassins from Wonderland are sent through the portal to kill her. Hatter Madigan, who has been searching for Alyss the whole time, also finds her and gets her back to Wonderland to try to lead the revolution against Redd and restore the kingdom. Beddor did a wonderful job of twisting the already twisted characters in Wonderland. I have to wonder why Tim Burton didn't choose to do this book rather than the original. As I was reading, I kept thinking of what a cool movie this could become in the right hands (someone like Burton!) Somebody's probably got it in the works. I just hope it doesn't become like the infamous Stormbreaker. It was a fun read. A fair amount of violence, but it wasn't graphic or gory. Nothing really objectionable for middle-schoolers, but plenty of action and plot for high school students as well.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Madden 10 Update

OK, we'll file yesterday's Madden 10 Tournament under the heading "Things that Didn't Go as Badly as They Could Have, But We Still Probably Won't Do Them Again." The kids who talked me into doing this one, were off just a bit (!) on the estimate of the amount of time it would take. I was actually very grateful that turnout was low for this one. Fortunately, many of the kids who did come were regulars, who said upfront that they hardly ever played that game, but came anyway because they always have such good time at our gaming events. Thanks guys! I needed that yesterday! Anyway... Congrats to our winner Nick T who walked away with an ITunes gift card, in addition to bragging rights. Next gaming event is an open play day this Saturday, featuring Wii Sports on the big screen. See you then!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hershey Kiss Roses Update

We just finished making some gorgeous bouquets of Hershey Kiss roses. If you've ever made them, you know that the hardest part is sticking the floral wire up through the Kisses. Thankfully and remarkably, we got through the program with no real stabbing injuries. And once again, everyone went home with something beautiful! Everyone got to make at least 3 roses, more if they were pretty quick and efficient. Check out the pics below!

Friday, February 12, 2010

What Mrs N's Been Reading - Impossible

Just finished Nancy Werlin's Impossible. Werlin is well-known for her thrillers/mysteries and I've really enjoyed several of her other books, including The Killer's Cousin, Black Mirror, and Double Helix. Impossible was a bit different from her other books, having some fantasy elements and a little more romance. 17-year-old Lucy is a bit of a character, wearing a lovely dress, with high-top sneakers, to her prom. But the prom turns out to be a real turning point in her life when her date, Gray, rapes her, and dies in a car accident later that evening. Several weeks later, Lucy realizes that she is pregnant. A tough enough situation, but then Lucy comes into possession of her birth mother's (a seemingly crazy, bag lady) diary from the time she was pregnant with Lucy. Odd things about Lucy's attack seem to follow a pattern that indicates that she is now under a long-standing family curse that can only be broken if she completes three seemingly impossible tasks based on a specific version of the song, Scarborough Fair. If she can't complete the tasks, she will go crazy like her mother, and the curse will be passed on to Lucy's daughter. Don't expect it to be like Werlin's other books, but expect a page-turner nonetheless. Not appropriate for younger middle school students because of the rape, but the subject is handled extremely well, making the book OK for older middle school students, as well high school students.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

What Mrs N's Been Reading - Vampire Kisses

Just finished Ellen Schreiber's Vampire Kisses. When Raven, now in high school, was in kindergarten, her answer to the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" got her pretty much branded as an outcast for life in her small town. Not sure why everyone thought that "a vampire" was such an odd answer to that question, but hey, taste is pretty subjective. Raven is now a goth girl whose only friend has been Becky, an outcast farm girl. When a mysterious family moves into the abandoned, thought to be haunted, mansion in the neighborhood, naturally tongues are wagging, and Raven is the subject of a lot of bad jokes and stupid comments. When she sees a mysterious figure in the attic window, her curiosity is piqued and she becomes fascinated with finding out more, and meeting the mystery man. But is he what Raven expects? You may not be entirely sure until the very end. This was a quick, light, fun, funny (loved how she got the high school jock/lech - priceless!) read that would be perfectly appropriate for both middle and high school students.


New Digs!

Check out these pics of the latest addition to the teen space, complete with the first patron to enjoy it! The sofa (with the cool slipcovers) served us well, but the slipcovers had gotten to be a real pain. We found the sofa a good home and upgraded to this cool futon. Goes great with the new chairs that we added back in the fall. Come on in and check it out!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

What Mrs N's Been Reading - Ink Exchange

If you're into urban fantasy, you'll probably like Melissa Marr's Ink Exchange. This one had the twist of involving tattoos. There's the usual normal humans, including Leslie, the main character. as well as an assortment of characters from the fairy world who are living, undetected with the help of their glamor, among the humans. As the story unfolds, you find that there are also half-breed characters. The king of the Dark Court has a plan to nourish his people on the negative emotional energy of the humans, by channeling that energy through a human who will be linked to him via a tattoo, the ink of which contains some of his blood. Still traumatized somewhat after being abused by the drug dealing friends of her slimy brother, Leslie wants a tattoo to try to symbolically reclaim her body as her own. After months of indecision, she is inexplicably drawn to a particular design. That design is the sign of the Dark Court king. Other humans who have been linked have gone mad and/or died from the experience. The king is torn, because he has also fallen in love with Leslie and doesn't want her harmed, but knows that the connection will probably eventually break her. There's some mature content, but none of it graphic. Recommended for high school students.