Monday, January 30, 2012

Middle School Monday - Review of The Cheshire Cheese Cat by Carmen Agra Deedy & Randall Wright.  What a fun book to read!  "He was the best of Toms, he was the worst of Toms".  This cheeky phrase begins the tale of Skilley, an alley cat with a secret.  He finds a home at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, a London inn renowned for it's cheese, and also the favorite spot for many of England's finest writers, including Charles Dickens.  Once he maneuvers his way into the cheese as a "mouser", he hatches a plan for a life of ease.  A resident mouse named Pip uncovers Skilley's secret, and the two become allies.   Harmony reigns until they are drawn into an intrigue involving a tyrannical cook, a strange visitor hidden in the attic, and an evil tomcat named Pinch.    The book also has a fabulous interactive website to enjoy:  The book is targeted for grades 5-8, but to be honest, animal lovers, history buffs, and folks of all ages will enjoy this book!  Another part of the enjoyment is the wonderful artwork by Barry Moser, an acclaimed illustrator who has won the National book award for his work in "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland".

Thursday, January 26, 2012

This just in - a chilling gothic ghost story - The Dead of Winter by Chris Priestley.  Recently orphaned Michael is sent to live at his new wealthy guardian's remote country estate.  He begins to suspect something is not right on the very night he arrives, when he spots a mysterious woman in the frozen mists.  Michael's guardian is rarely seen, and there is an evil force lurking in an old hallway mirror.  Soon Michael realizes the house and its grounds harbor many more secrets - both dead, and very much alive.  If you like books about the supernatural, this may be right up your alley!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Inside Out & Back Again took Thankhha Lai 15 years to write, but this debut novel was worth the wait.  Written in verse, the semiautobiographical novel tells the story of Lai's exile from her country of Vietnam when she was 10 years old.  In the book, 10 year old Ha' narrates her harrowing journey with her mother and brothers, who left Saigon by boat just hours before the North Vietamese forces secure the city.  In her musings, you can picture the scenes of the Vietnam that Ha' misses terribly, as well as the ship, the camp in Guam, and finally their new home in a small town in Alabama.    The family also has to come to terms with the disappearance of Ha's father, who was captured by the Viet Cong.  The book recently won the National book award for young people's literature, and was a Newbery Honor winner!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Statistical Probablity of Love at First Sight - Review

Can I just say I loved this book?  I am not going to lie, the cover was so adorable, I wanted to read it, but how refreshing to say I was so engrossed in the story that I read it in one sitting!  Due to a series of minor, unexpected events, Hadley misses her plane to London to attend her father's wedding to her new stepmother.  She is given a later flight that will just allow her to make the ceremony.  Did I mention that she is a bridesmaid?  After trying to get someone nearby to watch her bag while she runs to the ladies room, she meets Oliver, a British boy who is flying home on her newly scheduled flight.  I won't divulge any spoilers, but sparks fly between Hadley and Oliver, while both try to deal with family issues.  A really enjoyable story for you romance lovers out there!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Books!

These new books and more - now in at the Greece Public Library!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Volunteers needed for Teen Book Festival 2012/Logo Contests

Hi there!
Many of you have expressed interest in being a volunteer at TBF. Now is your chance! Each year, we rely on over 200 volunteers…teens (grade 6-12) and adults…to help the day go smoothly from early set-up through clean-up…and everything in between. Attached you will find more information about what is involved and the types of things you might be asked to do should you volunteer, whether as a Festival Guide or an Author Presentation Assistant. The form you will ultimately need to complete in order to volunteer is also online…and our TBF Volunteer Committee would prefer that you submit this online. The form that is attached is just for your reference so you can take a look before you commit to volunteering.
Part of the commitment includes being able to attend a mandatory volunteer training on Tuesday, May 15th from 6:30pm until 8:00pm on campus at Nazareth College. This training is critical. If you cannot make it to the training, you will not be able to volunteer. Once you commit to volunteering we do rely on you all! So please be sure to ask any questions if you have any…you can email us at
The website to complete the volunteer form can be found here:
You will hear from our volunteer committee as soon as all of the assignments have been made. Please be sure to include your contact information...including email! Deadline to submit a volunteer form is APRIL 2nd. If you submit a form on time, you WILL get a volunteer slot…so please save the dates (5/15 for training and 5/19 for TBF) even if you don’t hear from us right away.
As a volunteer you will get an official TBF Volunteer T-Shirt, a light breakfast (if you volunteer in the AM) and pizza for lunch.
If you have any questions at all about volunteering, please email us at:
Thank you so much!
Just 128 days to go!

TBF is also looking for Teen Artists to enter the 2012 logo competition for program materials and tee shirts.  Information on how to enter is here:

Monday, January 9, 2012

Book Review - Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington

Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington may be the third book I read so far this year, but I can already tell you it will have a spot on my "Best books read in 2012 list".  It's that good!  The main character in the book, Alice Bliss, is fifteen years old, and facing one of the toughest challenges of her life, having her father, Matt, deployed to Iraq, while so many changes are occuring in her own life.  I wanted to read this book slowly, to savor it, but yet I wanted to plunge in to find out what happened to all the characters.  The cast of characters is REAL, and you will relate to them, and care about them.  I also found I was a bit humbled, because I had never thought about how much the family of our military suffer to get by, with very little support. I also loved that the story occurred in the Rochester area - Alice's first date was a Redwings game!  To sum it up, this book transcends age groups, genres, and catagories.  It is a fabulous debut novel, and I recommend it to both teens and adults, and it would make a GREAT novel for a book discussion.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Reading Goals for 2012

Read 100 books in 2012.  It's a pretty ambitious goal, but I'm gonna go for it!  I also want to challenge myself by getting some classic books in my total, so my new mantra is "A Classic a Quarter".  I am using the BCC top 100 book list to chose my classic books.  Reference the list yourself here:  I think the first classic I am going to read is "The Count of Monte Cristo" by Alexandre Dumas.  I have already paired up with two fellow bloggers for encouragement (one works with me), so wish us luck, or better yet, take the 100 book challenge yourself!

Monday, January 2, 2012

First Book of 2012

My first book of 2012 was a graphic novel called "Bake Sale" by Sara Varon, who also wrote "Robot Dreams".  I don't usually read graphic novels, but I loved this book.  Cupcake has it all it seems - his own bake shop, his friend eggplant, and a spot as a drummer in a band.  One day having lunch, he discovers that eggplant's aunt knows his idol "Turkish Delight", and the two begin to plan a trip to Turkey.  Cupcake makes decisions based on his desire to meet "Turkish Delight" and life begins to change.  Both this book, and Robot Dreams have themes of friendship - maybe that is why I enjoyed them both.  Being a baker myself, I loved the recipes at the end of "Bake Sale" and hope to make them in the future.  If you want to find out more about author Sara Varon, check out her website at  Happy New Year - hope you enjoy LOTS of great books in 2012!