Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What I'm Reading Wednesday: Disney's Maleficent

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A deluxe novelization of the Walt Disney Studios film Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie. This visually dazzling live action film explores the origins of one of the most iconic Disney villains: Maleficent, the infamous fairy who curses Princess Aurora in Disney's animated classic Sleeping Beauty. This 'origin' story is told from Maleficent's perspective, intersecting with the classic in both familiar and unexpected ways. The movie stars Academy Award-winning actress Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, and is directed by two-time Oscar-winning production designer Robert Stromberg ( Avatar, Alice in Wonderland). The film co-stars Elle Fanning ( Super 8) as the Princess Aurora, and features Sharlto Copley ( District 9), Imelda Staunton ( Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), and Juno Temple ( Atonement).  Read the book before the movie opens on May 30, 2014!

watch the trailer for the upcoming Disney film HERE

Check out the gallery of photos from the movie HERE

Here is some trivia about Maleficent from the DisneyWiki:

Maleficent was nominated for a place in 'AFI's 50 Greatest Villains list', along with the Queen, Stromboli, Man, Lady Tremaine, Cruella De Vil and Ursula. The Disney Villains to make the final list were the Queen (10), Man (20), and Cruella De Vil (39).
  • The original voice actress for Maleficent also voiced Lady Tremaine from Cinderella.
  • Maleficent is one of the ten villains featured in the tongue-in-cheek Disney's Villains' Lair. Maleficent's section of the book includes the catalogue she chose her costume from, and an invitation to Aurora's christening arriving 17 years late (with a small 'oops!' scrawled in the corner). Maleficent is ranked as the second greatest Disney Villain at the end of the book.
  • The noise Maleficent makes when she strikes her scepter on the floor is the same than when she snaps her jaw as a dragon.
  • The exact same sound effect was used for Tick Tock the Crocodile's biting sound.
  • The scream that Maleficent lets out when Prince Phillip hurls the Sword of Truth into her heart is the same as the Witch's scream when she falls down the cliff from her failed attack on the Dwarves.
  • Since the death of Eleanor Audley, Maleficent's original voice actress, Susan Blakeslee has taken on that role in, the Kingdom Hearts video game franchise and the "Happy Hallowishes" fireworks show held at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom during Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party among others. Blakeslee also replaced Audley as the voice for Lady Tremaine in Cinderella. She was voiced by Lois Nettleton in both the TV series House of Mouse and the movie Mickey's House of Villains. In the stage show Fantasmic she is voiced by Linda Gary.
  • After the launch of Maleficent, Maleficent will be the first Disney Villain to have the starring role in a film.
  • Although it's a remake, Maleficent, by far, will be the only Disney Villain to have a movie having her name as a movie title (clearly based upon her).
  • Maleficent was listed #7 in Empire Magazine's The 50 Best Animated Movie Characters. Stating her stroke of genius as "She turns into a frickin' dragon; what more do you need?".
  • The sound of Maleficent's dragon fire was created properly, with the use of a flame-thrower. The sound of the dragon's teeth snapping, however, was recorded using castanets.
  • In the original French story, the wicked fairy had not been invited, because for many years ( in many versions, fifty) she had never left a certain tower and was thought to be dead or enchanted.
  • Unlike most Disney Villains who speak to their respective heroines Maleficent does not have any direct contact with Aurora. (Aside from luring her to the Spindle)
  • Maleficent might be based on a 1939 film The Wizard of Oz's the Wicked Witch of the West, as both have green skin, a black hat and coat, and a stick (Maleficent's staff and the Witch's broom).
  • According to the book Disney Villains: The Secret Files, Maleficent's last name is actually Faery.
  • In Kingdom Hearts 3D, Master Xehanort refers to Maleficent as "The Dark Faerie."
  • She is considered the most popular Disney villain.
  • She is one of the few Disney characters to say the word "hell".
  • Maleficent is Disney's best representation of pure, deliberate, evil acting towards an evil goal without mercy or compromise, all over the perceived insult of being excluded from a celebration.
  • Maleficent is mentioned in a song sung by Miss Nettle from Sofia the First.
  • It is revealed in the upcoming film, Maleficent used to have wings until they were stolen from her. Unlike most fairy wings, which are insect-like, her wings resembled angel wings, albeit with black feathers and a hook on each wing.
  • She is often referenced as both a witch/sorceress, as well as a dark fairy. Both of these are different types of supernatural beings. It is possible she is a mixed hybrid of both species, especially since her wings are not present in her most common form. However, these phrases may be labels rather than true to what she is, as she once had wings herself.
  • Maleficent's defeat was the most gory of the Disney Villains' defeats during Walt Disney's lifetime; when Dragon Maleficent was stabbed in the heart by Prince Phillip, blood was clearly visible.

  • Tuesday, April 29, 2014

    Teen Tuesday Pick: Mirk and the Midnight Hour by Jane Nickerson

    click here for catalog access

    A Southern girl. A wounded soldier. A chilling force deep in the forest.
    All collide at night’s darkest hour.

    Seventeen-year-old Violet Dancey has been left at home in Mississippi with a laudanum-addicted stepmother and love-crazed stepsister while her father fights in the war—a war that has already claimed her twin brother.
    When she comes across a severely injured Union soldier lying in an abandoned lodge deep in the woods, things begin to change. Thomas is the enemy—one of the men who might have killed her own brother—and yet she's drawn to him. But Violet isn't Thomas's only visitor; someone has been tending to his wounds—keeping him alive—and it becomes chillingly clear that this care hasn't been out of compassion.
    Against the dangers of war and ominous powers of voodoo, Violet must fight to protect her home and the people she loves.
    From the author of Strands of Bronze and Gold comes a haunting love story and suspenseful thriller based on the ancient fairy tale of “Tam Lin.”

    My thoughts:
    I was not familiar with the fairy tale "Tam Lin", so I can't judge the book in the quality of the retelling.  What I can say is that you become immersed in the South when reading this book, and the characters came alive for me.   The storyline really followed the path I thought it would take - evil people were evil, and the voodoo practitioners will not help someone without something in return.  I was surprised that Violet met Thomas, the injured Union soldier, so late in the story.  I enjoyed how Violet grew in the novel, accepting her new stepmother and stepsister's flaws, and learning to accept their companionship.  A great book for historical fiction lovers!

    Monday, April 28, 2014

    Middle School Monday Pick: New Kid by Tim Green

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    It's hard being the new kid, both on and off the field.

    It's bases loaded, bottom of the last inning, and Tommy Rust is up at bat in the championship game. This is the moment he's been waiting for. But then his father barges onto the field, and Tommy knows what will happen next. They will be leaving immediately--again--because Tommy and his dad are on the run.

    Now Tommy is in a new school, in a new town, and he is no longer known as Tommy. Brock Nickerson is the name of the new kid, and finding a place for himself is proving to be a challenge, especially when his new friend is the bully from the wrong side of the tracks. Things aren't looking good for Brock, so to fit in, he accepts a dare to throw a rock at the travel-team coach's window.

    Coach Hudgens has demons of his own, and many say he's "washed up." The travel team he's been running has lost every ball game in the last year. However, when Coach catches Brock in the act, he's more impressed by his pitching arm than angry at the prank. But can Brock save Coach's team . . . and maybe Coach himself? Or will Brock's father make him be the new kid in yet
    another town?

    Perfect for fans of Mike Lupica, and sports fans, especially baseball fans.  Tim Green also writes great books about football, so if you enjoy this book, be sure to check out some of his other books!

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

    World Book Night! I'm giving away "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" by Maria Semple

    World Book Night is an annual celebration designed to spread a love of reading and books, to be held in the U.S. as well as the U.K. and Ireland and other countries, each giving away a half million books in a single night. World Book Night will again see tens of thousands of people go out into their communities to spread the joy and love of reading by giving out free World Book Night paperbacks. The 30-35 titles are chosen by an independent panel of librarians and booksellers. The authors waive their royalties and publishers pay the costs of producing the specially printed editions. I am proud to be a part of the fourth iteration of the annual April 23 event, which encourages public reading by distributing about a half-million free books and honors Shakespeare’s birthday.  You can choose the book you give away from the selected titles, and my book is Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple, a book I feel has appeal for both teens and adults.  Both my college age daughter and I loved it!  Here's a brief summary of the book:

    check our catalog here

    Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

    Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

    To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence—creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.

    My thoughts: 

    This is a very quirky, unusual book about life of the uber rich in Seattle. It also is about how mental illness can define a family, and children will love you, no matter what. I enjoyed it, laughed out loud at some points, was very puzzled by others, and overall enjoyed the way the story was pieced together by various methods of communications - e-mails, texts and actual conversations.  If you don't get one of my 20 free copies available at the library information desk, I encourage you to check out one of our copies and give this book a try!  Maria Semple is not only an author, but writes screenplays.  Her television credits include Beverly Hills, 90210, Mad About You, Saturday Night Live, Arrested Development, Suddenly Susan and Ellen.

    Tuesday, April 22, 2014

    Teen Tuesday: Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira


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    It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more; though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was; lovely and amazing and deeply flawed; can she begin to discover her own path.

    I just finished this one - a good read.  My only comment is I thought she wrote to too many characters - I wish she had just picked one or two relevant to the story.  Otherwise, an engaging read!

    Monday, April 21, 2014

    Middle School Monday: A Death-Struck Year

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    A deadly pandemic, a budding romance, and the heartache of loss make for a stunning coming-of-age teen debut about the struggle to survive during the 1918 flu.

    For Cleo Berry, the people dying of the Spanish Influenza in cities like New York and Philadelphia may as well be in another country--that's how far away they feel from the safety of Portland, Oregon. And then cases start being reported in the Pacific Northwest. Schools, churches, and theaters shut down. The entire city is thrust into survival mode--and into a panic. Headstrong and foolish, seventeen-year-old Cleo is determined to ride out the pandemic in the comfort of her own home, rather than in her quarantined boarding school dorms. But when the Red Cross pleads for volunteers, she can't ignore the call. As Cleo struggles to navigate the world around her, she is surprised by how much she finds herself caring about near-strangers. Strangers like Edmund, a handsome medical student and war vet. Strangers who could be gone tomorrow. And as the bodies begin to pile up, Cleo can't help but wonder: when will her own luck run out?

    Riveting and well-researched, A Death-Struck Year is based on the real-life pandemic considered the most devastating in recorded world history. Readers will be captured by the suspenseful storytelling and the lingering questions of: what would I do for a neighbor? At what risk to myself?  An afterword explains the Spanish flu phenomenon, placing it within the historical context of the early 20th century. Source notes are extensive and interesting.

    My thoughts:  The love affair is chaste, so this book is quiet suitable for Middle School and up.  An interesting perspective on the deadly epidemic, although the storyline on how Cleo got involved was a little hard for me to believe.  A great cover design, too!

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    What I'm Reading Wednesday! A year of suggestions from Booklist magazine

    Booklist Online just published a list of reading suggestions that I loved and wanted to share. These aren’t suggestions about particular titles or even specific genres; they’re ideas that provide a framework while leaving plenty of room for choice.
    The list as published suggests one of these idea for each month, but there’s no need to do them in order, or even to read one a month: you could take much longer to do this project, or, if you’re ambitious and have the time, read all twelve books in one month. (If you do that, please come back and leave a comment telling us which you liked best!)
    • Read a book published the same year you were born.
    • Read a book recommended on a blog. Like our very own Teen blog for example!
    • Read a book that has been made into a movie. There are so many to choose from these days…Psst! - The Fault in Our Stars hits theatres in June, and Gayle Forman's If I Stay hits theaters August 22, 2014.  Watch the trailer HERE.
    • Reread your favorite book from childhood.  I just read Edith the Lonely Doll, and plan on reading The Witch Family.
    • Read a book from another country. Check out the display of international books in the fiction room.
    • Read that classic you never read.  I plan on reading The Count of Monte Christo by Dumas this year. 
    • Read a book you found via a library database, website, or social reading account.  Books and Authors or NoveList for good reading suggestions. Several Greece Public librarians also contribute to a Goodreads account, where you can see what we’ve read and what we thought of it. There are more reading suggestions and links on our page. 
    • Read a genre or format you don’t usually read. Mystery, memoir, romance, fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, graphic novel or graphic memoir…
    • Read a book from an opposing viewpoint. 
    • Read a selection from a local book club. 
    • Read an award winner. Remember to check the blog for links to several awards, including the Printz award. 
    • Read someone else’s favorite book. Organized book clubs are great, but a book club of two can also be fun. Ask a grandparent, parent, kid, sibling, cousin, friend, teacher…or librarian.
    What do you think? Are any of these ideas exciting or inspiring? Let me know if you embark on this reading project – I know I am going to try it!

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

    Teen Tuesday: Panic by Lauren Oliver

    check the catalog here

    Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

    Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

    Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

    For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

    Mitch, a reviewer on Goodreads says "On that note, yeah, Panic is certainly not yet another Hunger Games clone (The Testing is that way ->). It's really a quite brilliant look at a part of America that's not often seen in young adult fiction, and definitely kudos to Lauren Oliver for not only stepping out of the Delirium comfort zone, but more importantly, getting it right."

    Monday, April 14, 2014

    Middle School Monday: Tesla's Attic by Neil Shusterman

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    Tesla's Attic is the first book in a brilliantly imagined and hilariously written trilogy that combines science, magic, intrigue, and just plain weirdness, about four kids who are caught up in a dangerous plan concocted by the eccentric inventor Nikola Tesla.

    After their home burns down, fourteen-year-old Nick, his younger brother, and their father move into a ramshackle Victorian house they've inherited. When Nick opens the door to his attic room, he's hit in the head by a toaster. That's just the beginning of his weird experiences with the old junk stored up there. After getting rid of the odd antiques in a garage sale, Nick befriends some local kids-Mitch, Caitlin, and Vincent-and they discover that all of the objects have extraordinary properties. What's more, Nick figures out that the attic is a strange magnetic vortex, which attracts all sorts of trouble. It's as if the attic itself has an intelligence . . . and a purpose.

    Ultimately Nick learns that the genius Nikola Tesla placed the items-his last inventions-in the attic as part of a larger plan that he mathematically predicted. Nick and his new friends must retrieve everything that was sold at the garage sale and keep it safe. But the task is fraught with peril-in addition to the dangers inherent in Tesla's mysterious and powerful creations, a secret society of physicists, the Accelerati, is determined to stop Nick and alter destiny to achieve its own devious ends. It's a lot for a guy to handle, especially when he'd much rather fly under the radar as the new kid in town.

    Fans of intrigue, action, humor, and nonstop surprises are guaranteed a read unlike any other in Tesla's Attic, Book One of the Accelerati Trilogy.

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

    Teen Book Fest Author Lauren Myracle!

    click here for catalog access

    For as long as she can remember, Wren Gray’s goal has been to please her parents. But as high school graduation nears, so does an uncomfortable realization: Pleasing her parents once overlapped with pleasing herself, but now... not so much. Wren needs to honor her own desires, but how can she if she doesn’t even know what they are?

    Charlie Parker, on the other hand, is painfully aware of his heart’s desire. A gentle boy with a troubled past, Charlie has loved Wren since the day he first saw her. But a girl like Wren would never fall for a guy like Charlie—at least not the sort of guy Charlie believes himself to be.

    And yet certain things are written in the stars. And in the summer after high school, Wren and Charlie’s souls will collide. But souls are complicated, as are the bodies that house them...

    Sexy, romantic, and oh-so-true to life, this is an unforgettable look at first love from one of young adult fiction’s greatest writers.

    The Infinite Moment of Us is Lauren Myracle's latest teen book, but many of you may remember her for the Internet Girls series, TTYL, TTFN, and L8R G8R, all of which have new covers and have been updated for cultural references for the iPhone generation!  Click on the covers below to check our catalog.[]&facetFilters=[]

    Five Fun Facts about Lauren:

    1. I have 2 author best friends, Emily Lockhart and Sarah Mlynowski.

    2. I have done 3 back dives off the high dive.

    3. I can snort 24 times in a row without stopping for a breath of air.

    4. When I was a kid, I stumbled into a yellow jacket's nest and got stung 43 times.

    5. I received 148 rejection letters before my first novel was accepted for publication.

    Come out and meet Lauren Myracle in person on Saturday, May 18th at 9:00 am at the Rochester Teen Book Festival at Nazareth College!

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

    Teen Tuesday Pick: Jumped In by Patrick Flores-Scott


    click here for catalog access

    A perfect pick for Poetry month!

    Sam has the rules of slackerhood down: Don’t be late to class. Don’t ever look the teacher in the eye. Develop your blank stare. Since his mom left, he has become an expert in the art of slacking, especially since no one at his new school gets his intense passion for the music of the Pacific Northwest—Nirvana, Hole, Sleater-Kinney. Then his English teacher begins a slam poetry unit and Sam gets paired up with the daunting, scarred, clearly-a-gang-member Luis, who happens to sit next to him in every one of his classes. Slacking is no longer an option—Luis will destroy him. Told in Sam’s raw voice and interspersed with vivid poems, Jumped In by Patrick Flores-Scott is a stunning debut novel about differences, friendship, loss, and the power of words.

    Like poetry?  Don't forget about the Teen Haiku contest here at the Greece Public Library.  Entries are already coming in, so start writing!  Entry forms can be found here.

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

    Teen Book Fest Author Profile: Andrew Smith

    check the catalog here

    Sixteen-year-old Austin Szerba interweaves the story of his Polish legacy with the story of how he and his best friend , Robby, brought about the end of humanity and the rise of an army of unstoppable, six-foot tall praying mantises in small-town Iowa.

    To make matters worse, Austin's hormones are totally oblivious; they don't care that the world is in utter chaos: Austin is in love with his girlfriend, Shann, but remains confused about his sexual orientation. He's stewing in a self-professed constant state of maximum horniness, directed at both Robby and Shann. Ultimately, it's up to Austin to save the world and propagate the species in this sci-fright journey of survival, sex, and the complex realities of the human condition.

    Five Fun Facts about Andrew:

    1. I raise horses, dogs, cats, and chickens.

    2. I have run 30 marathons (that's 26.2 miles each) and finished all of them.

    3. The first job I ever had--when I was 16 years old--was writing for a local newspaper.

    4. I was the first child in my family born in the U.S., and my mother could not speak English when I was born.

    5. When I was a teenager, I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish in my life. Most of those things were really stupid--like climbing Mount Everest. Why would I EVER want to climb Mount Everest? The first thing on the list, however, was "write a book." I wrote several novels when I was in High School. They were all TERRIBLE.

    Andrew Smith is coming to Teen Book Fest on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at Nazareth College.  The fun begins at 9:00 a.m.  Check out his latest book, Grasshopper Jungle, or maybe Winger, his book from last year. 

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

    What I'm Reading Wednesday: The Tyrant's Daughter by J. C. Carleson

    click here for catalog access

    From a former CIA officer comes the riveting account of a royal Middle Eastern family exiled to the American suburbs.

    When her father is killed in a coup, 15-year-old Laila flees from the war-torn middle east to a life of exile and anonymity in the U.S. Gradually she adjusts to a new school, new friends, and a new culture, but while Laila sees opportunity in her new life, her mother is focused on the past. She’s conspiring with CIA operatives and rebel factions to regain the throne their family lost. Laila can’t bear to stand still as an international crisis takes shape around her, but how can one girl stop a conflict that spans generations?

    J.C. Carleson delivers a fascinating account of a girl—and a country—on the brink, and a rare glimpse at the personal side of international politics.

    My thoughts:
    One of the best teen novels I've read so far in 2014. The Tyrant's Daughter was a very different read for me, but the plot pulled me right in. Laila is a 15 year old political refugee who is whisked away to a new life in America along with her mother and younger brother. Her father, whom she and her brother have viewed as a "King", was a dictator in a Middle Eastern country. Although the country is never named, the events and people described are very believable. It was interesting to see how Laila adapted to American life and customs. Excellent! 

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014

    Teen Haiku Contest at the Greece Public Library!

    Contest Rules

    1. Entries are accepted from April 1, 2014 through close of business (9:00 p.m.) Wednesday, April 30, 2014.  

    2. Entries must be in the form of a three line haiku.  

    3. Haiku must total seventeen or fewer syllables. Typically, line one has five, line two seven and line three five syllables. 

    4. Haiku must be in English and be an original work by a Monroe County teen aged 12-18.

    5. All entries must include your name, age, address, phone number and e-mail address. You may drop off your entries to the Greece Public Library in person at the information desk or e-mail them to If using e-mail, please put “Haiku Contest” in the subject line. Your haiku may be used on the library website, social media accounts, and library brochures. You will be credited for your poem any place it appears. You may enter more than one haiku.

    Open to teen residents of Monroe County ages 12-18. Prizes are as follows: first prize $50 Wegmans gift card, second prize $30 Wegmans gift card and third prize $20 Wegmans gift card. Prizes must be claimed by Friday, May 30, 2014.  

    Winners will be notified by phone and e-mail by Thursday, May 8th. All decisions by the judging committee are final. Questions? Contact the Teen Services Coordinator Claire Talbot at 585-723-2495 or Entry forms are available at the library or here Teen Haiku Contest Form