Thursday, November 29, 2012

Holiday Cards and Tags for Teens

Wow - we had a great time last night making gift tags, ornaments, and a card.  We even got a little dusting of snow outside to put us in the Holiday mood!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

For fans of Matched, The Hunger Games, X-Men, and Blade Runner comes a tale of a magical city divided, a political rebellion ignited, and a love that was meant to last forever. Book One of the Mystic City Novels.

Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City's two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents' sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn't remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can't conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy Birthday, and thank you, Charles M. Schultz!

Happy Birthday, Charles M. Schultz - Peanuts creator!

For 50 years,  Charles M. Schulz created a total of 17,897 Peanuts comic strips!  When Schultz passed away in 2000, Peanuts was reported to be printed in 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries in 21 languages!  In addition to being printed in numerous newspapers as reprints today, most of the Peanuts strips can be viewed online at Go Comics. High-resolution reprints of Peanuts strips can be ordered through the web site.  Some fun facts about Peanuts (from the Charles M. Schultz Museum website:

  • Hallmark first began producing Peanuts greeting cards and booklets in 1960 and has continued to create Peanuts-themed cards and other items for over 50 years.

    • Happiness is a Warm Puppy was published in 1962 by Determined Productions, Inc., landing on the New York Times best-seller list for 45 weeks.
    • Macy’s has included a Peanuts character balloon in all Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades since the debut of a Snoopy balloon in 1968.
    • Charles Schulz used MetLife as his personal insurer from at least 1967, but Peanuts wasn’t associated with the company until Snoopy became the MetLife Spokes-Beagle in 1985 with the launch of the “Get Met. It Pays.” advertising campaign. The MetLife Blimp Program debuted in 1987 and currently has three ships named after Snoopy: Snoopy One, Snoopy Two and Snoopy J.

    The Peanuts strips were drawn on Strathmore 3-ply paper with India ink. For lettering, Schulz used a Speedball C-5 pen and for drawing the strip he used an Esterbrook 914 radio pen. When Schulz learned that the company that manufactured the nibs for this pen was going out of business, he purchased their entire inventory of nibs.

    Book Jacket
    click here for catalog access for the music CD!

     The songs Linus and Lucy and Christmas Time is Here are probably the two most well-known songs composed for Peanuts specials. Jazz musician Vince Guaraldi composed Linus and Lucy for a documentary on Charles Schulz which never aired, called A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1963). Lee Mendelson, the producer of the 1963 documentary and most other Peanuts specials and films, wrote the lyrics to the song Christmas Time is Here, and Guaraldi composed the tune. Guaraldi went on to compose music for 15 Peanuts specials and films until his untimely death in 1976.

    From CBS Sacramento, the news that "Peanuts" pals are coming to the big-screen.
    Charles Schulz’ beloved characters will star in their own animated film scheduled to hit theaters Nov. 25, 2015. That year marks the 65th anniversary of the “Peanuts” comic strip and the 50th anniversary of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the first of the gang’s many TV specials.
    The as-yet-untitled film will be produced by 20th Century Fox and its Blue Sky Studios animation unit, the outfit behind the “Ice Age” flicks and such cartoon hits as “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!”  Schulz’ son Craig and grandson Bryan co-wrote the screenplay with Cornelius Uliano, and the three also are producing the film.  Steve Martino, co-director of “Horton Hears a Who” and “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” will direct the “Peanuts” film.
    Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

    The library owns Peanuts books, DVDs, and music CD's - come in and check out our collection!

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

    Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

    Some thing Old - The Giver by Lois Lowry.  A classic for people who love Dystopian books, like The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins.  Lois Lowry’s The Giver is the quintessential dystopian novel, followed by its remarkable companions, Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.  From, "Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back."  Click on the book cover to access the catalog!

    Something new - Venom by Fiona Paul. From, "Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancé, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.

    When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancé, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?" Click on the book cover to access the catalog!

    Something "borrowed" - The Fairy Ring, how Elsie and Frances Fool the World by Mary Losure. Which I currently have "borrowed" from the library's Overdrive collection for my kindle!  From "Frances was nine when she first saw the fairies. They were tiny men, dressed all in green. Nobody but Frances saw them, so her cousin Elsie painted paper fairies and took photographs of them "dancing" around Frances to make the grown-ups stop teasing. The girls promised each other they would never, ever tell that the photos weren’t real. But how were Frances and Elsie supposed to know that their photographs would fall into the hands of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? And who would have dreamed that the man who created the famous detective Sherlock Holmes believed ardently in fairies
    — and wanted very much to see one? Mary Losure presents this enthralling true story as a fanciful narrative featuring the original Cottingley fairy photos and previously unpublished drawings and images from the family’s archives. A delight for everyone with a fondness for fairies, and for anyone who has ever started something that spun out of control."  Click on the book cover to access the catalog.

    Passion Blue  Something blue, Passion Blue by Victoria Strauss. From, ""Be sure you know your true heart’s desire, or you may find yourself surprised by what you receive."

    This is the warning the Astrologer-Sorcerer gives Giulia when she pays him to create a magical talisman for her. The scorned illegitimate daughter of a Milanese nobleman, Giulia is determined to defy the dire fate predicted by her horoscope, and use the talisman to claim what she believes is her heart’s desire: true love and a place where she belongs–not likely prospects for a girl about to be packed off to the cloistered world of a convent.

    But the convent of Santa Marta is full of surprises. There are strict rules, long hours of work, and spiteful rivalries…but there’s also friendship, and the biggest surprise of all: a workshop of female artists who produce paintings of astonishing beauty, using a luminous blue mixed from a secret formula: Passion blue. Yet even as Giulia begins to learn the mysteries of the painter’s craft, the magic of the talisman is at work, and a forbidden romance beckons her down a path of uncertainty and danger. She is haunted by the sorcerer’s warning, and by a question: does she really know the true compass of her heart?" Click on the book cover to access the catalog.

    Monday, November 19, 2012

    Middle School Monday: Precious Bones

    Precious Bones

    a review by Barbara Rogan, Goodreads reader:
    "PRECIOUS BONES is set in 1948, in the swamplands of old Florida. The main character, Bones, is a 10-year-old girl, and the book is marketed as a young adult book, but should absolutely be read by adults as well. "Civilization" is encroaching on the traditional life of the swamp, and Bones' idyllic life with her mother and father is threatened when two Yankee land speculators set their sights on their land. Bones herself is a miraculous creation, as inquisitive as the raccoon in her animal entourage, as thoroughly in tune with the rhythms of the swamp as the elusive bear that puts in occasional appearances. The setting is brought vividly to life through Bones's observant eyes, and one doesn't have to be a Floridian to mourn its passing. Some hard issues arise in the course of the story: racism, child abuse, and the death of an innocent. Bones learns, suffers, and grows. But the best part of the story are the wonderful characters: Bones and her father, a charming scamp, and their whole community. By the time I finished the book, I felt that I'd grown up there, too.

    In many ways, Bones reminds me of Scout in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. I've read this book several times now, and each time it had me in tears...the good kind."  I have this book on my reading list - I love both historical fiction, and mysteries, and this book has both elements.  This book was also recommended by Greece Public Library children's librarian - Cathy Henderson.

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

    From the Blog Epic Reads - the United States of YA

    From the blog - a fifty states list of YA books.  How many have you read? I think I've only read 6 of the titles listed, but the library owns most of them.  I can also think of some others titles set in these states that did not make the list.  There are definately a few books on the list that I've had my eye on.  Here is the link to the blog article:

    Friday, November 9, 2012

    Ten by Gretchen McNeil

    Don't spread the word!
    Three-day weekend. House party.
    White Rock House on Henry Island.
    You do NOT want to miss it.

    It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

    But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

    Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?
    A modern day version of Agatha Christie's classic mystery, And Then There Were None (Formerly known as Ten Little Indians).  For lovers of teen drama, mystery, and a touch of horror.

    Monday, November 5, 2012

    Middle School Monday Review: The Bronte Sisters

    The Bronte Sisters: The Brief Lives of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne
    click on the book for catalog status

    The Bronte Sisters:  The Brief Lives of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne
    by Catherine Reef

    This is a book I have on my "hold" list. I have read several good reviews, including this one by Barbara, a reader on Goodreads. The Brontë sisters are among the most beloved writers of all time, best known for their classic nineteenth-century novels Jane Eyre (Charlotte),Wuthering Heights (Emily), and Agnes Grey (Anne). "Surprisingly, these three daughters of a minister who lived in Haworth in the north part of England all wrote and had books published during a time when there were few women writers and many women were expected to content themselves with marriage and family. To read this carefully-researched biography is to learn about loss--the death of the girls' mother a few months after giving birth to her last child, the early deaths of two Bronte girls, the early promise and later dissipation and wasted potential of their brother Branwell, the deaths of Anne, Emily, and Branwell, all within an eight month period. But their lives weren't always filled with loss and bleakness; as children, all of these creative spirits played games and invented characters and stories. They seemed to draw strength from one another, and while Charlotte formed friendships that lasted a lifetime with others from boarding school, her sisters were close with one another. The author described the area where the siblings grew up as well as the influence on their father and the societal expectations of the times. For those who would claim that women were incapable of creating works of literature that would be memorable or could possibly still be read even a year after being published, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre remains in print, memorable for its remarkably forthright heroine and the notion that a man could find something more than a woman's outward appearance to be attractive. I relished having the chance to read these vignettes of the lives of the Brontes, many of which were based on remembrances of Charlotte's friends or from their correspondence. This is a superb introduction to three intriguing women, providing as it does, a study into characters, but also an examination of times when women's rights were restricted and health care was rudimentary at best. As I closed the book, I couldn't help wondering what other stories were left untold by the early demise of these women, all of whom died when they were in their thirties. Back matter includes notes and a bibliography for those who are curious, as am I, to learn even more. English teachers will certainly want to add this to their bookshelves for the insight it gives into writing and Charlotte's stubborn refusal to change a word of Jane Eyre when it was published. What previously- unpublished author would have the nerve to do that today?"