Friday, December 30, 2011

What do you value most?

In the book Divergent, it determines what faction you belong to.
Honesty= Candor
Bravery= Dauntless
Intelligence= Erudite
Peace and friendship= Amity
Selflessness= Abnegation
Tris was born as a member of Abnegation, but decides to join Dauntless at her Choosing Ceremony. In Abnegation, she just didn't feel like she belonged. Dauntless is very different, but she has to survive initiation before she can have the privledges of membership. That means she has to face her fears, fight, and survive the bullies. But  when her family is criticized for their political leadership, and her mother tips Tris off to a dangerous plot, she will be challenged to try and save her new friends, as well as her own family. In the stages of being made a movie, this science fiction thriller is as much fun as Uglies, Matched and Delirium, and is on the new Lone Star List.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Creepy story?

It's close to Halloween, would you like a scary book to read under the covers at night? This one will haunt you! Kendall lives in a farming community that is trying to get over the loss of a sophomore girl last year. She just went missing. They looked and looked for weeks, but no sign of her ever turned up. Now it's a new school year, and their one room schoolhouse has a conspicuously vacant desk. But then Kendall's best friend, Nico, starts to act strangely. Days later, he has also vanished without a trace. Kendall is absolutely numb with grief. They search the fields, like last year, but to no avail. One day at school, Kendall sits in Nico's desk just to feel its familiarity with her best friend. She lays her head down on it and carresses the familiar carved graffiti on the desktop with her fingers. And that is when she hears it. Nico's own voice saying, "Please. Save me."

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Forever it is

Book Jacket
Ah, it is sad when a good series comes to an end. At least, I think it's over.... The door was left open just a crack in case the author decides to write more in The Wolves of Mercy Falls series. I'm not sure how much I should say, since it could spoil the ending if I say too much. Can I assume you know what happens in Linger? Ok, so on the cover that's Sam as a human and Grace as a wolf. That doesn't reveal too much. Grace's disappearance begins to be blamed on Sam by everyone in town. Isabel's parents are again petitioning to have the wolves eliminated from Boundary Wood. And Cole, well he's finally decided to put his genius to good use and see if he can invent a cure. But someone new learns the real secret behind Grace's disappearance. That's about all I can tease you with....

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Movie, anyone?

I may be a bit behind, but the May 27 issue of Entertainment had some great YA book suggestions! Actually, they were detailing books being made into movies, but all the more reason to read them.They are hoping to find the next Twilight since we are about to see our last movie from the series. So, without further ado, here are some great books being made into movies:
Beautiful Creatures
City of Bones
Delirium (a Rockett fave)
Warm Bodies

Anyone notice the predominace of one word titles there? Here's a little extra dirt on series installments I picked up from the article. The third of five books in the Beautiful Creatures series is coming in October. The Mortal Instruments series will have 5 books, but there is no word on when the last one will come out. Delirium will be a trilogy; the second one is titled Pandemonium, coming in March. Divergent is very new and will also be a trilogy. The second book will be out next May. Incarceron doesn't have a third book yet planned, but guess what? Taylor Lautner is cast for the lead! Crossed, the sequel to Matched, is due in November. Pure won't even be out until February. Hope you didn't miss the release of the 3rd book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series- Forever came out a couple weeks ago! I had not yet heard of Warm Bodies, but guess what- it's a zombie romance! Now, you have to promise to read all those before you go see them in the movie theater!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Portrait of a Book Junkie

First of all, let me explain that our boss gave us librarians a challenge for the summer. Read 12 books. I mean, she was pretty specific and all about what types, but still, I was like, whatever. How about 24? Maybe 30? Would I get a bonus? Ha! So, in preparation for that, I loaded up before I left school. This is where it all piles up. This is the life of a librarian. They are truly organized piles, and I can prove that.
So, here goes: 1. Currently reading my 9th Lone Star book. 2. A stack of non-fiction I don't get to very often. 3. Hidden box of books! You can see just a couple stacked on top of the box that was too full to put any more in- all hidden behind a Library of Congress bag (nerdy, huh?). 4. That little box is my IPod Shuffle- loaded with an audiobook- I swear!  5. Kindle!!! 6. My 7th Bluebonnet that I'm reading with my daughter. 7. Pile of audiobooks on top of a couple of other books. 8. Stack of preview copies and review books. 9. Books I finished this month! 10. Some Lone Stars and graphic novels to get to.
This is the life of a reader. Or the bookshelf. Did I forget to mention the books that are actually shelved on the bookshelf. Oh, that's just a collector thing. I do try to limit myself, honestly. You know some people are worse than me- some people actually read at stoplights and keep books in their trunks. Anyway, just thought you'd like a little insight into my reading habits. Or idiosyncracies. Whatever.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Delirium is a dystopic story about a world that has discovered the cure for love. Rather than letting people subject themselves to a lifetime of heartache and pain, everyone is surgically cured at 18. Sure, in the old days not everyone thought it was the best idea. But those who weren't actually killed were imprisoned or forced to attempt survival outside the boundaries of the civilized cities. Now everything is safe and everyone can be content. Lena hopes at least that she will be matched with a stable boy to marry after she is cured. Lena has more to overcome than most- her past is overshadowed by her mother's inability to be cured of the disease. In the end, nothing could save her mother from love, and Lena had to be raised by her aunt. But the family is tainted, as evidenced by her older sister's case of amor deliria nervosa. Lena is more than ready to get on with her future, until she meets Alex....

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


This story takes the fairy tale of the twelve dancing princesses and gives it a gothic twist.   The oldest princess is Azalea, and she’s become the caretaker of her 11 youngest sisters since her mom’s death after giving birth to the youngest. In mourning, their father the king has forbidden dancing. But the enchanted castle has a secret door in the girls’ room. There, they can dance every night to their hearts content, at the Keeper’s invitation. Azalea soon learns he is actually the former King who enchanted the castle and his own body so that he’d not die, but exist in the magical realm within the castle’s walls. HIs demands for Azalea are the source of the tension and much of the novel's gothic feel. As she is realizing what is truly at stake, and the meaning behind her father's withdrawn moodiness, the suspense and action are at their climax. The sisters are all distinct and engaging, battling with their own issues in a full family domicile. One of the highlights of the story is the parade of suitors brought around to gain the eye of the Princess Royale, and the ensuing romantic entanglements. Being such a thick book, some readers may find it hard to get into, as it could be slow and confusing at first. But those who stick with it will be rewarded.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Serving Library Patrons

Think like the customer session @ TLA
Try caring. We don't understand the customer, but we're not trying hard enough. Closing time behavior=bad.  The key to customer service is creative problem solving. Without creativity we solve problems by changing procedures, making a rule to punish everyone or spend time explaining why we don't do it instead of actually doing it. Houston Public Libraries' policies- respond to complaints within 3 days, handle important stuff right away, work on uniformity of response for complaints, flexible policies as a result of continuous improvement process. How do you get passionate, enthusiastic staff? Inspire, liberate and cherish the ones you have, and make passion and enthusiasm driving values of your organization. Job descriptions- engage well with others and provide exemplary customer service, team player who thinks quickly on your feet, excited about the prospect of growing and learning. What motivates people-Mattering, things that are interesting...

Hot off the Press

Session by Teri Lesesne:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Future of Libraries

Science fiction and the fate of the libraries session @ TLA
Look to scifi cause often scientists write it and it frequently comes to pass in one form or another. Ex- Clark's artificial satellites, computers, robots, ereaders, inet. Whole societies predicted by Huxley, Orwell, Pohl. Libraries have been around but changed radically and continually. See extinction timeline- we are extinct in 2020. Computing drives the future and is likely to grow expotentially from now on. Comparison- now at insect brain level, by 2040 will be at human brain level. Look at: bioengineering, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence advances for the future. Most changes likely to occur here.
AI singularity model- we'll lose control as tech advances. (Vinge) I.e. Terminator, Wake, or Deepness in Space present different scenarios.
Super future model- advanced capabilities with computers under our control.
Dystopia model- evil people gain control over the technology- power and wealth only held by few.
Muddling Through model- advancements made slowly and used for good but not efficiently.
This is the scenario most likely to occur- how will libraries fare in this society? Digitization and direct to brain downloads, using digital spaces like 2nd life- libraries assist with huge cost, kindles and iphones providing book access as inet gets cheaper and faster. Implanting of digital devices?? (I vote no!) Books likely to disappear. Illiteracy possible. Artificial intelligence may become a personal librarian, but we'll have to show others how to use them and evaluate the info. Proliferation of 2nd life-use of avatars, computer generated environment- expensive- likely to be in libraries for people to experience. Libraries will provide face to face meeting space for people. People are still social creatures. Will become difficult to live without ebooks and iphones- these are transitional devices to artificial intelligence. Libraries should be democracy centers and continue to help people become better citizens. Libraries provide needed access to technology for the poor in our polarizing society. 1 percent own 40 percent of wealth. Info is one of our greatest needs and if it's expensive or difficult to use, libraries will continue to prosper.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

If you give a kid a book @ TLA

If you give a kid a book session:

Liar, liar by Paulsen- MS pathological liar
Wicked Girls by Hemphill- historical fic Mean Girls- witches
Moon over manifest- combine To Kill a Mockingbird, Holes and Sting
The End of the Line- kid thrown out of alternative schools
Deadly by Chibarro-historical fiction disease story
You Wish by Hubbard- all her bday wishes from past are coming true
Flip by Bedford- he woke up a completely different guy
Girl, Stolen by Henry- blind girl accidentally kidnapped
Dark Song by Giles- good girl gone wrong
Take me to the River by Hobbs- two boys take the rafting trip alone and encounter a hurricane and a drug lord
Trapped by Northrop- snowed in at their high school
The Magnolia League by Crouch- set in Savannah w a California protagonist. Debutante society involved with hoodoo to obtain eternal life.
Die for Me by Plum- set in Paris, Kate and Vincent fall in love, but he is a ghost-angel-zombie. HS
Cryer's Cross by McMann- sm town with secrets where teenagers are disappearing
Clarity by Harrington - she can see things and is hired to find out about a murder
Trance by Gerber- sisters couldn't prevent their mom's car wreck
Delirium by Oliver- get a shot to make you happy and avoid love
Divergent by Roth- one choice at 16- which faction to be in. A divergent belongs in more than one faction. Cpid
The Limit by Landon- MS kids are no longer off limits to be a worker who gets the family's debt manageable
Across the Universe by Revis - accidentally unfrozen on the way to a new planet
The Emerald atlas by Stephens- Poe-like orphanage where there are no other children
Small Persons with Wings by Booream- girl's fairy leaves her when she tells her class
Anna And the French Kiss- realistic romance
Juliet by Fortier- Romeo and Juliet connection

Friday, March 18, 2011


Claire is special. Lightning causes her to sometimes switch bodies with other girls whose birthdays are close to hers. She was lucky to learn about this from her grandmother, a ghost/spirit who’s been around all Claire’s life- since her own death before Claire’s birth. Her grandmother’s story is intriguing- revealed later in the story to Claire for the first time. But her role in the story is to inhabit Claire’s body when Claire leaves it so that Claire will be able to return to herself safely. She can only do that when asleep. So it is extremely odd  (and a little hard to believe, even when you are suspending disbelief) when a mere shock of static electricity puts her in another girl’s body. And she can’t leave because she actually likes being the attractive girl that all the boys stare at, especially her swim teammate Nate, the Golden Boy. Eventually, she learns to appreciate her own body and life more than the one she’s been inhabiting for several days, as she learns the bad things about the other girl’s body and life.  Nice tidy story with a happy ending.  And a pretty good read in the meantime- light and definitely beach worthy as the setting is a coastal town.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


What do you think a boy nicknamed Bruiser is going to be like? Here's a hint: he was voted most likely to go to jail. He's a pretty big guy, and very quiet. Maybe a little misunderstood. Bronte, working in the library, decides to help him as he wanders around the poetry section. In high school, most guys don't spend a lot of time in the poetry section- at least, not guys with a reputation like Bruiser's. Their short conversation intrigues her- he had a particular author in mind- and she decides he is date-worthy. However, for her popular twin brother Tennyson, Bruiser is not the right guy for his intelligent sister. Tennyson starts watching Bruiser so he can report the would-be boyfriend's horrendous habits back to his loveblind sister. But what he finds instead is a very protected 10 year old brother, a very mean uncle, and a very rundown shack. What Tennyson witnesses changes his mind completely about Bruiser. So Bronte is free to continue her romance and the twins get closer to the mysterious boy. They begin to notice strange things when they are around him. Strange things about him. Disturbing, but not at all in the way they once thought of a boy named Bruiser. What if his nickname isn't because he causes bruises, but heals them? What if his distanced personality is way he protects himself? What if everyone had a story to explain their behavoir? Maybe you should find out the truth before you judge someone. That's what Bronte and Tennyson learn in Bruiser, by Neal Shusterman.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

In honor of Black History Month

Just finished an ARC that I had and picked up after I learned it won an award at ALA. Not surprised. Quite a good story. I think what I liked best was the strength of the two main characters, 11 year olds Zora and Carrie. If you didn't realize it, it is based partly on Zora Neale Hurston's autobiography, Dust Tracks on the Road. Many of the characters seem to have been drawn from Zora's own telling. The reader can tell that Zora is headed for a future as a writer. But the novel is its own unique thing, not based on events that truly occurred. The two girls are worried that a man they had met once was killed by an alligator. The signs in Eatonville, Florida, indicate that it was more likely a hate crime. But the girls embark on their own investigation to out a man who they claim to be half alligator and half man. This leads them to a woman who pretends to be white because of her dark skin, but is the murdered black man's sister. Justice is meted out in both the black town and its neighbor full of whites, carried out fairly and in secret by men of both towns, giving the story a balanced ending. Between its strong message, characters, setting, historical enlightenment and the murder mystery, the book is indeed an ammazing accomplishment for the two first time authors who co-wrote it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Black Bird manga

I've got to admit, I really opened the door wide for controversy with this one. I'm gonna lay it all out and be completely honest about it. I read a segment of it from the magazine Shojo Beat and ordered it because a student wanted me to. Hmmmm. Well of course I read the whole book when I got it in. And the first volume isn't that bad. When I say bad I mean racy. Here's the premise: Misao is the Senka Maiden, meaning that she can give a lot of power to demons if they: drink her blood, eat her flesh, or impregnate her. Now, her childhood friend Kyo is one such demon. She loved him, he left, and then came back to claim her just before her sixteenth birthday. On her birthday, the otherwise invisible demonic creatures she's always seen are increasing in number and even attacking. Kyo comes to her rescue and explains everything to her. And informs her that he intends to marry her! So, he stays near her and protects her by masquerading as one of her teachers while in secret they date and she questions his intentions- is he just wooing her so she'll have his child someday and he will never have to worry about losing his place as the most powerful clan leader. That's basically volume 1 in a nutshell. Various characters pop up and try to get in the way of their relationship.  The problem is that he's really comfortable with making her uncomfortable. Kyo loves to irritate her by turning into a pervert just when things start to get serious. To her credit, Misao socks him when he sticks his hand up her shirt. In later volumes (I've just finished 5), he is making his way around the bases, so to speak. Usually body parts are conveniently covered by either clothing or some body part. But not always. Since my book club wanted to read the series, I bought all five for the library. And now it appears the whole series really kinda centers around whether or not they will have sex. And then the other middle schools bought it, and oh, man, I'm afraid I'm gonna get in trouble!