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Monday, November 23, 2009

Announcements and Changes

Hi everybody, I just wanted to take a few minutes and give you guys an update. Alissa and I both got new jobs. It was honestly a surprise, and also completely unplanned that we both would be leaving at the same time. Alissa started her new job last week, and so far she is really enjoying it. I am so happy that she has been given the opportunity to work in a field that she loves, even though I was not looking forward to not having her at work everyday. Shortly after she received her job offer, I also received a job offer. My new job will be directly related to the degree I earned in college, so I am excited that after five years I'll actually have the chance to use some of what I learned. However, leaving this job is one of the hardest things I have done in recent years. This has honestly been the best job that I have ever had. I love books, I love kids, tweens, and teens, and I absolutely love introducing people to a book and having them fall in love with it. I will miss this job so much, but as time goes on I have to face the fact that I am a grown-up and have grown-up goals that can't be met right now. I will still be at the library on a part time basis until Christmas at least, and I will always be a dedicated patron and volunteer. I have loved the library since I was a little girl, and I don't see that changing. So, thank you all for making this experience so fantastic for me (and Alissa as well.)

Now, on to the other news. I will keep this blog running until the beginning of the year, but once new youth services people are hired I don't know what will happen to it. Even though I haven't been the most faithful blogger, I have really enjoyed having this here as a resource for local kids who can't always get into the library. Hopefully, whoever takes over next will continue this blog, but I don't know. All I can tell you is keep checking in for updates. Just in case the new people don't want to take on this project, I have a started a blog. I started it for a few reasons. 1) I like talking about books, 2) I'm afraid that this blog will not continue after I'm gone and I want the people who have been following to have some where to go, and 3) I enjoy having somewhere to talk about the things I like. The new blog is my personal blog so there is the chance that there will be posts about more than just books, movies, or CDs, but there will still be a ton of book stuff on there as well. So, if you're interested you can visit me here, feel free to follow or comment and let me know what you think.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

To Re-read or Not Re-Read

Yesterday one of my librarian pals had a question in her facebook status. The question was "When it comes to the Harry Potter books, how many times is too many times in regard to re-reading?" My response? You can never re-read them too many times. I am a huge fan of re-reading novels. I don't know how many times I have read the Harry Potter series, and each time I love them more and more. There are numerous other books that I have read over and over again, including Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, all of John Green's books, Twilight, and many more. I also do this crazy thing where if a book is part of a series I have to re-read all of the previous books each time a new book comes out. Part of this is due to the fact that I read so many books and part of it is that I don't want to have memories gaps when I am reading the newest novel. Also, a huge part of it is that I just love books. It is rare for me to hate anything that I read, and if I love a book I want to experience it over and over again. So, how do you all feel about re-reading books? And if you don't re-read books what do you do with books you purchase after you have read them once?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Review: Love Is The Higher Law


From Barnes and Noble:

The lives of three teens—Claire, Jasper, and Peter—are altered forever on
September 11, 2001. Claire, a high school junior, has to get to her
younger brother in his classroom. Jasper, a college sophomore from
Brooklyn, wakes to his parents’ frantic calls from Korea, wondering if
he’s okay. Peter, a classmate of Claire’s, has to make his way back to
school as everything happens around him.

Here are three teens whose intertwining lives are reshaped by this
catastrophic event. As each gets to know the other, their moments become
wound around each other’s in a way that leads to new understandings, new
friendships, and new levels of awareness for the world around them and the
people close by.



Love Is the Higher Law is a moving story about the events that took place
on 9/11. The story is told by three teenagers, two high school juniors
and a college sophmore. The story begins on the morning of 9/11 and
follows the characters throughout the year after the attacks. Each of the
characters is in a different place when the attack occur and each deals
with the events differently. However, as the story continues the reader
is able to see how the characters change and grow during the year. Their
relationships change dramatically and they realize that love truely is the
higher law (a lyric from a U2 song) and that only by letting other people
in can we begin to heal and grow. This is an incredibly genuine and
moving story about a tragic event which shaped each of our lives in
different ways. The story focuses on NYC and the Twin Towers, however,
the other tragic events of that day are not overlooked. This book
reminded me very much of Elie Weisel's Night (which you should also pick
up if you have not yet read it) in the way that I was able to connect with
the characters and identify with a major historical even. We will never
forget the events that took place on that historic day, unfortunatly as
time passes, the message of hope, love, and patriotism that abounded after
these events occured has been dramatically reduced in recent years.
Luckily, David Levithan reminds us over and over again that love truely is the
higher law. This is easily one of the best books that I have read this
year-and I have read a *lot* of books. Parents should be aware however,
that there is some adult language and mature content in this book.
Therefore, I would not recomment it for younger teens unless the parent
looks into it first.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Banned Books Week

This week is Banned Books Week. Each year the ALA takes this week to celebrate books that have been banned and/or challenged over time. Some popular banned/challenged books include Burned by Ellen Hopkins, Speak and Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson, The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson, and Looking for Alaska by John Green. These are just a few of the many books that are challenged each year. Show your support for Banned Books Week by reading a banned book, visiting authors' websites, and writing letters to school districts or librarians who are dealing with bok banning. You can see a list of the most frequently banned books here, or visit the ALA site here. Also, author Ellen Hopkins has written a lovely poem titled Manifesto which addresses those who seek to ban books. Ellen Hopkins and Laurie Halse Anderson both have wonderful blog posts that were written in response to recent attempts to ban books that they have written. Basically, I feel that no other person should dictate what you can or cannot read. I understand (and believe) that parents should monitor what their own children read, but not decide what is right for every child. Not every book is right for everyone, but every book is right for someone. Books, especially books that deal with drugs, alcohol, and sex, provide wonderful opportunities for parents and children to discuss critical issues. These books also give children and teens the opportunity to experience difficult situations without having to actually deal with the fallout. If you would like to be more involved you can visit the National Coalition Against Censorship as well as their blog.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Reading Funk

Hey guys. Sorry there hasn't been a lot of activity recently. I've been in kind of a funk. Work has been really crazy and we have spent 90% of our time doing boring stuff instead of the fun stuff that we usually let you guys in on. We are currently struggling to get a book order together. This is more difficult than usual because we haven't been able to order books since the beginning of the year, the state cut library funding 5% and may cut it up to another 10%, and our budget hasn't been finalized. All of that makes things pretty insane. There are so many fantastic books that have come out this year, and that are coming out this year that it is really hard to narrow down our selection. However, the point of this isn't to complain to you guys, but rather to get you excited about the library. Another reason that there haven't been a lot of reading type updates on here is because I have been in a reading stand still. I seriously have about six books started right now and I can't get into any of them. So, if you have any reading suggestions for me I would love to hear them!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

First Line Fridays: September 4, 2009

Here is this week's First Line:

"If truth was a crayon and it was up to me to put a wrapper around it and name its color, I know just what I would call it- dinosaur skin." ~So B. It by Sarah Weeks

Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Teaser Tuesday: September 1, 2008

So, recently I have been reading a lot of random books. In addition to my regular YA, I have also been reading classics, memoirs, biographies, and titles from our local eighth grade reading list. So this week I am going to do two Teasers. The first is from 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson and the second is from On the Road by Jack Kerouac.

"This bordered on being a nightmare scenario. This was adding insult to injury." ~LBE

"My aunt once said the world would never find peace until men fell at their women's feet and asked for forgiveness. But Dean knew this; he'd mentioned it many times." ~On the Road

If these two don't send you running to the bookstore or local library, then check out many more teasers here.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Back to School: YAY or NAY!!!

So today starts the first full week of school here in Wythe County. I know that school officially started last Wednesday, but for me it didn't really seem like the school year was real until I had been there for a full week. I don't know if you guys are excited or not, but as a grown-up I can honestly say that I miss the beginning of a new school year. I have cousins in middle school and I can say that I think they are going to have such awesome stuff to study this year. The eighth grade reading list is spectacular. Some people would be embarrassed to admit that they are extremely excited about an eighth grade reading list, but I am a NERD and a librarian, so I can be excited. I was at Books-A-Million last week and they had excellent displays titled "On Your School Reading List" and also "NOT On Your School Reading List." These gave me plenty of ideas about displays for the library. So, now you tell us. Are you excited about being back at school? Also, what required reading did you love and what books top your "Not School Reading" lists?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (On a Wednesday)- August 26, 2009

Today's Teaser comes from Beige by Cecil Castellucci.

"She left my dad when I was three because he was just a disaster. Everyone thought he'd be the one that ended up dead, not my mom."

If this teaser doesn't excite you, there are many more here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

ALA Teens Top Ten

Everyone needs to go to the YALSA website and cast your vote for the Teens Top Ten. This is your chance to let your voice be heard and influence other readers! There are a whole lot of awesome books on the list this year including Paper Towns, Graceling, The Hunger Games, Identical, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and many more fabulous titles by incredible authors. So, sometime between now and September 18 go and vote, then let us know in the comments which three books you picked! The Top Ten List will be announced during Teen Read Week 2009.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Identical by Ellen Hopkins

From Barnes and Noble: Kaeleigh and Raeanne are 16-year-old identical twins, the daughters of a district court judge father and politician mother running for Congress. Everything on the surface of their lives seems Norman Rockwell perfect, but underneath run deep and damaging secrets.

Kaeleigh is the good girl-her father's perfect flower, something she has tried so hard to be since she was nine and he started sexually abusing her. She cuts herself and vomits after every binge, desperate to feel something normal. Raeanne uses painkillers, drugs, alcohol, and sex to numb the pain of not being Daddy's favorite. Both girls must figure out how to become whole, but how can they when their world has been torn to shreds?


Ellen Hopkins is such a beautiful writer that it makes me green with envy. I was immediately drawn into this book and it was extremely hard for me to put it down until I had finished. Kaeleigh and Raeanne were wonderful characters and they were easy to relate to. Even though I have never experienced any of the trials that these girls did, in many ways it felt like I was right there with them. It is an amazing gift for an author to be able to draw you into the story in a way that makes you feel like you are a vital part of the plot. There were many twists and turns throughout the story, and some pretty huge shocking turn of events. At one point there is such a huge REALLY BIG THING that was so unexpected I re-read the page three times, blinked my eyes, and immediately went to my twitter account to say "Ellen Hopkins just BLEW MY MIND!!!" This was a wonderful book that was exciting and heart-breaking all at once. There were times that I wanted to cry for Kaeleigh and Raeanne and other times that my heart smiled along with their triumphs. I have said before that I think everyone should read at least one of Ellen Hopkins' books because of her unique writing style, I will say now that I believe if you only ever pick up one of her books, it should be Identical.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Teaser Tuesday: August 18, 2009

Today's Teaser comes from The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima.

"Hastings placed his hands over the wound, speaking a charm slowly and distinctly. The skin immediately blistered up, turning a nasty green and yellow, as if the poison had risen and collected just under the skin.

If this Teaser doesn't do it for you, there are plenty more here.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Princess Bookie Contest

Just a quick post to let you guys know about a really awesome contest. Princess Bookie is having a contest to give away a TON of YA books. There are 17 YA books including and ARC of Fire by Kristen Cashmore, Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, and a pre-order of CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins. I loved Shiver and have been looking forward to Catching Fire and Fire since I read the first books in those two series. Make sure you check out all the details here.

Friday, July 31, 2009

First Line Fridays

Since there isn't much going on lately to post about, and we aren't ordering books yet, I thought I would try something new on here. A big craze on Twitter right now is First Lines Fridays. It is pretty simple, all you have to do is share the first line of a book. I am going to do this regularly with whatever my current book is. I love Teaser Tuesdays, but sometimes the opening line of a novel grabs you more than a random quote from inside the book. Enjoy!

"'Oh my God, what's she doing here?' my best friend, Sidney van der Hoff, was asking, as I came up to the corner booth to hand out menus." Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (On a Wednesday)

Today's Teaser comes from Max by James Patterson. It is the fifth book in the Maximum Ride series. Enjoy!

"Fang dropped my hand to put his arm around my shoulders, his warmth searing my skin through my jacket. I really, really hoped that I hadn't suddenly sprouted a catrillion new nerve endings."

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Random Reading Stuffs

I'm currently in the middle of The Wizard Heir by Cinda Williams Chima. It's pretty good. It is the middle book in a trilogy, and the first book was very good as well. I have so many books in my TBR pile that it isn't funny. I also committed to reading 20,000 pages this summer for the adult SRP, and I have about 8,000 pages left to read in the next month. This morning I found an excellent reading list at www.teenreads.com. The list consists of 300 books that they considered must reads. Some of the books are adult books, some are classics/required reading, and the rest are YA books. I think that I am going to try to read my way through this list. I'm not really going to put a time limit on it, 300 books is a lot, but there were several books I have been meaning to read on the list. There were also several books that I have never heard of. Everyone should check the list out and met me know how many of the books you have read or have been on your TBR lists. One last thing, it is almost book ordering time and we are always looking for suggestions. So if there are books you love, from picture books through YA, please let us know! Leave suggestions in the comments!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thanks Hagrid!

So....this is Alissa today. I wanted to talk about my anti-reading reputation. First, I feel like I need to clear some things up. I am going to try and concentrate but Rochelle is to my right makign horrible noises over some communist Chinese candy her brother gave her. Random, I know. Anywho so I have a reputation for hating reading. This is not true. I actually read all the time. I love children's books so I read a lot of picture books and novels like "The Mouse and the Motorcycle." (don't judge me) I also LOVE self-help books. There is something about someone else confirming to me that I am totally mental and need a lot of therapy to undo years of damage that makes me want to read more and more. What I don't read is fiction. I used to, then a few depressing books kind of ruined it for me. People are always coming into the library and asking us about Young Adult novels and I am not help at all. Instead I'm like, "No, I don't know that, but I CAN tell you about Suri Cruise's new haircut."......I can hear the John Greens of the world pulling the triggers on their suicide guns. I know, I know. Reading is super important and valuable. I get it. I have a better time with movies of books! Last night we went to see "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince." WHOA man. If you haven't seen it you should. Neville looks like he is about 37 now and the kids that plays Tom Riddle is scarier than the guy from "The Omen." So much happened in the movie that it actually made me want to read the "Harry Potter" series finally. It has only taken me about seven years to finally crack. Today is day one of my Potter Quest. I am going to need moral support from all of you to keep reading. When Rochelle told me the last one is about 4000000098739847298798797529349287341 pages long, I almost wet myself. So any cool Harry Potter websites, crafts, recipes, or encouragement you can send to help me keep reading for the next 7 books would be super helpful. HOLY MERLIN'S BEARD BATMAN....Alissa is going to read....!!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Summer Reading Program

Don't forget that Summer Reading Program has started. It isn't too late to sign up! We have programs every Wednesday for teens and we would love to see you! I am going to be gone for the next two weeks but Alissa will be here (and will probably need some help.) I will try to update from the road with book reviews and other randomness.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Iran, Florida, and The Man

And once again we are straying from the primary purpose of this blog (to let you know about library stuff, books, and reading related things.) However, Alissa and I are both pretty passionate about the things I am posting on. Ally is really into politics as a whole (me not so much...I kind suck at politics) and I am always into protesting and standing up for what you believe in (her too only not as loudly as me!) Also, we both think that it is pretty important for you to be aware of what is going on in the world. This week there was a (possibly rigged) election in Iran. I don't know a lot about it. I know the basic facts but I am not really up-to-date on my Iranian politics. John Green seemed pretty informed in this video though. You can also type in "Iran election" into any search engine and get a huge amount of information. The point is that I don't think we have to know everything there is to know about Iran to know that if this election was rigged (which since they are recounting the votes seems pretty likely) that it is wrong. If you are going to ask for the opinions of the people then make sure you listen to what they say. Many of the YA authors that we love and support are sending their support to the Iranian people. Scott Westerfeld has a wonderful blog post here explaining the new time change in our posting. Basically in Iran there are censors who are looking at all blogs with Tehran local settings in order to find and shut down any blogs protesting the election. Since changing the settings to GMT +3:30 makes it harder for them to do their jobs, he is encouraging everyone who has a blog to change the settings. It is a wonderful blog post and you should all go read it. Like him I would like to tell any Iranian censors that I pretty much think oppression sucks and so do rigged elections. I hope that in the time you wasted reading this post that some people who actually know what's going on there were able to continue their protests! Have a wonderful day killing the spirit of your people!

Speaking of oppression...the lovely Maureen Johnson is still having trouble with her book censoring friends in Florida. Go watch her hilarious/heart warming video here to see what she thinks of censorship...(hint she's not a fan)... Here's the thing. I know that I have had several "book challenging" tangents on here...but I HATE IT!!! Seriously. Yes, you have the right to say "I don't want my child to read this," but you do not have the right to say that other children shouldn't read something. I am a librarian, I order a lot of books, I read a lot of books (obviously), I love YA lit. I have no problem telling the parent of a 12 or 13 year old that they should look at a book before their kid reads it, or that a book has mature content. That is part of my job (in my opinion) and it is helpful because I don't get a lot of challenges. However, I have about 20 teens who come and check out books. It is a lot easier for me to police my YA section than it is for librarians at larger libraries. And truthfully, it isn't our job. It is a parents job to be aware of what their children are reading. They should read entire books though, not just passages of books before they make the decision that a book is inappropriate. *Deep breath* Okay, now that my tangents are over, I hope that all of you are equally as disgusted as I am about Iran and Florida book challengers, and that you all have wonderful days!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Geektastic ARC

I am sooo excited! When I got home today an ARC of Geektastic was waiting for me! I didn't get it free but I did find a copy on eBay for like $4.00 after shipping, which was pretty awesome. I already read over half of it tonight and can say that I will most definitely be ordering a copy for the library come September! I'm sure that none of my teens are as excited about this as I was, but they will be once they have the book!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Teaser Tuesday June 9, 2009

Here's the first Teaser we've put up in a long time. It's from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I am literally one of the last people on Earth to read this book, but so far I am enjoying it.

"I keep seeing Rue speared, my arrow piercing the boys neck. Then I realized...he was my first kill."

This is such a happy teaser! I hope you enjoy it.

Monday, June 8, 2009

We're Back!!!

After an unusually long absence we are back! Things have been so hectic/crazy around here. First, Ally and I both found out that we each have 30 extra hours of holiday time that we haven't used. This sounds great, but in reality it means that we each have almost 60 hours that we have to take off work before the end of June. We found out the last week of May. Also, Summer Reading Program starts in June, so it is really hard to find time to take off. We also had a huge meeting in Richmond in May and we were out of town for three days. It was an unusual experience. We had to drive five hours to the Library of Virginia and then spend one whole day in a meeting. We talked about next year's SRP as well as some other boring library related things. Ally and I spent most of our free time shopping and spending tons of money that we didn't need to spend. After all that excitement, I took the next several days off because my brother left on June 3rd. He will be in country for the next 45 days, he will have a four day leave at the end of July, and then he will be on his way to Iraq. So, except for his four day leave and his two-week leave once he is overseas, I won't see him again for 400 days. That is a lot of days! So all of my free time was spent hanging out with him instead of reading/working/blogging. Once I finally got back to work I discovered that for some strange reason my computer wouldn't let me get on blogger. After messing with various settings for a few days I finally got things under control. So, I should be back to blogging on a semi-regular basis. Summer Reading Program does start on June 19th and it takes up a lot of our time, but I will hopefully still be able to update you guys on what's going on! Happy Monday!!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Review: Peeps by Scott Westerfeld


From Barnes and Noble: A year ago, Cal Thompson was a college freshman more interested in meeting girls and partying than in attending biology class. Now, after a fateful encounter with a mysterious woman named Morgan, biology has become, literally, Cal's life.
Cal was infected by a parasite that has a truly horrifying effect on its host. Cal himself is a carrier, unchanged by the parasite, but he's infected the girlfriends he's had since Morgan. All three have turned into the ravening ghouls Cal calls Peeps. The rest of us know them as vampires. It's Cal's job to hunt them down before they can create more of their kind. . . .


First of all I have to say that I really adore Scott Westerfeld. All of his books are a little bit dark and twisty and involve plots where the main characters find out that the "good guys" aren't always good. However, this is one thing that makes his books remarkable. Peeps is a new take on vampirism. Instead of people running around biting other people, vampirism is a disease that is spread through saliva and other bodily fluids. The parasite that cause vampirism causes the people who are infected to hate everything they once loved and to go a little crazy. Cal is lucky enough to only be a carrier. He works for an agency that tracks down people who are "parasite positive" aka Peeps. As far as heroes go, Cal is decent. The reader doesn't really get to know him, the story and his search for every girl he has come in contact with since his infection is where the story focuses. One unique element in this book was that every other chapter is devoted to a different parasite. As you read these chapters about real life parasites that humans come in contact with every day and how they manifest and mutate, your skin will crawl. However, these chapters really do add to the story. The parasite chapters help you understand the parasite that turns humans into vampires. I really enjoyed Peeps. The ending is a little strange, but that is because there is a sequel. Many questions are left unanswered that are hopefully dealt with in The Last Days. I would recommend Peeps to anyone who enjoyed Twilight, Anne Rice, or any other vampire book. Scott Westerfeld has an incredible ability to weave a story. I have enjoyed everything of his that I have read, but Peeps is my favorite so far.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Chelle's Life According To...The Beatles

Okay, so most people know that I have a sick obsession with The Beatles. Basically, I don't think that there is any situation that their music won't help. So, here is my life according to The Beatles. We will have "Ally's Life According To..."next Friday. Feel free to link your meme in the comments section!



The Rules: Pick an artist, and using ONLY SONG TITLES from only that artist, cleverly (preferably) answer these questions. This is harder than it seems! ADDITIONAL RULE: You cannot use the same artist I did, or duplicate song titles even if they were performed by another artist.

1. Are you a male or female?
Lady Madonna

2. Describe yourself.
Blackbird

3. How do you feel about yourself?
I Feel Fine

4. Describe your EX.
The End

5. Describe your CURRENT significant other.
If I Fell

6. Describe your current location.
Octopus's Garden

7. Describe where you want to be.
Penny Lane

8. Your best friend?
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

9. Your favorite color is?
Mean Mr. Mustard

10. You know that...
Can't Buy Me Love

11. What's the weather like?
Here Comes The Sun

12. If your life was a television show what would it be called?
Revolution

13. What is life to you?
The Long and Winding Road

14. What is the best advice you have to give?
All You Need Is Love

15. If you could change your name what would it be?
Sexy Sadie

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Teaser Tuesday: May 5, 2009

Today's Teaser comes from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

"How dare you approach me! How I wish I could kill you with one blow and bring back to life the two people you have cruelly murdered."

Enjoy!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Reading Suggestions

Okay, I don't really have time for a long blog post. So, instead of lots of words I am just going to leave you with a short list of books that you can read that fit into the body image challenge that I am focused on.

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Go Figure by Jo Edwards
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
The Confessions of Georgia Nicholson Series by Louise Rennison (this series is great because it shows that you don't have to be "beautiful" to be fantastic)
Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going

These are only a few of the books that are out there that focus on loving yourself for who you are. Tomorrow we are going to be gone all day, we have a meeting in Radford. I'm not really sure how the blog posting will go, but I've already failed BEDA so it's not really a huge deal if I miss another day! Happy weekend everyone!!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Body Images

Today when I opened my blogger homepage, I saw that some of the bloggers that I subscribe to (Lenore and The Story Siren) were asked to be guest bloggers for a special theme week (well more than a week because it is lasting until the end of April) that is being hosted by SpeedReader at MyFavoriteAuthor. The idea is that it isn't just teens who have negative self images, but that we all should try to love ourselves more. Obviously this is a problem that we associate most with teenage girls. We have all seen the horrible pictures of anorexic girls who have ribs sticking out of their skin and look like they are about to die. However, just because we aren't starving ourselves or binging and purging doesn't mean that we love who we are. For example, I recently lost about forty pounds, and I am still losing weight. I didn't radically alter anything in my life, I just stop eating when I'm full. I also run around and play with my younger cousins. Even with the recent weight loss and all of the people who tell me that I look good, I still have days (most of them actually) when I look in the mirror and think "Ugh." This is horrible!!! And I hate it about myself. It's true that I also have really great days where I wake up and look in the mirror and think "Wow grrrllll...you are FINE!!!" However, these days don't happen as frequently. Positive reinforcement is always nice. This past weekend two of my brothers friends questioned me about my body consciousness. I told them that I there were times I felt uncomfortable in clothes even though I have a rockin' bod. Their response? Simultaneously they turned around, looked at me, grinned, and said "yeah ya do!" And that was nice!!! Two attractive 20 year old guys complementing me? Yeah, I felt really good. Unfortunately, I can't count the number of times that someone says "I love those pants you look so good in them" and I respond with "yeah okay..." THIS MUST STOP!!! Part of the challenge is that when compliments are given you accept them. You are also supposed to find one thing about yourself that you like each day and concentrate on that. The third part is that you also let the people around you know that they are awesome too. So here is the blog post where the challenge is issued. I think that everyone should participate because it is a wonderful way to help feel better about who you are. If you decide to participate sign up at MyFavoriteAuthor and let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Teaser Tuesday: April 21, 2009

Today's Teaser comes from Identical by Ellen Hopkins.

"Nothing less sexy than stubble
when you're leg to leg
with an amazing guy.
And, teacher or no teacher,
ten years (or maybe more) my
senior or not, he is def amazing.

I love Ellen Hopkins (even though I've only read one of her books) and I really think that everyone should experience her style of writing once in his/her lifetime. However, if this teaser doesn't excite you then you can always find more here.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Library In Our Pants-Banned Books Edition

It's not Banned Books Week, but there has been a lot of noise this week about books that are banned for offensive subjects/language/etc. so I decided to dedicate this week's Library In Our Pants to some frequently banned books. It just seemed appropriate.

* And Tango Make Three (In My Pants)
*I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (In My Pants)
*The Great Gilly Hopkins (In My Pants)
*The Witches (In My Pants) (by Roald Dahl)
*The Headless Cupid (In My Pants)
*Where's Waldo? (In My Pants)
*The House of Spirits (In My Pants)
*The Misfits (In My Pants)
*One Night (In My Pants)
*Doing It (In My Pants)
*Daughters of Eve (In My Pants)

So, most of you that are patrons know how I feel about challenged books and censorship. Basically it's a load of bull. I hate when people make judgements about what is okay for everyone. If you have a problem with a book don't recommend it or don't let your own child read it...don't try to keep other people from reading it as well. Also, I am generally more eager to read a book if it has been challenged or banned. So, in the long run all challengers are doing is helping book sales!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Slow Week

So, National Library Week has been pretty boring (at least blog-wise.) We have had so much extra time/programs/outreach that we haven't even been at the library much. However, all that is over tomorrow and we will be back to our regular schedule. I promised a long blog today, but I'm not sure how I'm going to manage that since everything we had going on at the library is over...I could have a few (book and movie related rants) I guess. Tonight we had a teen movie night at the library and I showed The Princess Bride. I was truly shocked by the number of people who had never seen the movie. It is so epic! Since so many new movies for teens are not really library program appropriate, we usually end up showing older movies that Ally and I loved when we were growing up. I don't know that the teen love this, but since we usually only have three teens come it doesn't really matter. Now, as shocked as I was that kids haven't seen The Princess Bride, I was equally shocked to learn that many people are unaware of the fact that The Princess Bride was originally a book. So now, the problem is that I really want to read the book. Why is this a problem you ask? Well, I started this Spring Reading Thing challenge and I've already picked the books that I was supposed to read. This is a problem anyway because I several of the books that I picked have holds on them at the library. So, it is really looking like I am going to have to take some time on Saturday and decide which of my books I am going to have to take back to the library, and which ones I am going to put on the list. I still plan to read 28 books, they are just going to be very different from my original list. So at least now I have something to blog about on Saturday! I know you guys get really excited reading the lists of books that I choose to read! Also, in exciting blogging news, Christina at {Insert Book Title Here} gave us a Super Comments Award! I am sure that I am supposed to somehow put that cute little badge on my profile, but I have no idea how. I'll play around with it this weekend and figure it out.

Um, in an effort to make up for lack of posts this week I'll also do a Teaser. This one comes from Graceling by Kristin Cashore. This is a Teaser for me as well because I have been waiting to read this book since it was published, and I only just got it.
"When Raffin had given the go-ahead to fight a few days later, she'd insisted they fight barefoot. And in truth, she had taken more care of his face since then."
I really hope that this book lives up to all of the excellent reviews that I read! It looks fantastic! I'll let you guys know what I think of it as soon as I actually have time to read.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

In Which I Suck At BEDA (again)

Okay, so I totally didn't post yesterday!!! I'm sorry! It's National Library Week so we have a million things going on. Wythe County teens- don't forget that there is a volunteer meeting and a movie night tomorrow. We want to see you there! Since I'm typing this on my phone that's all I'm going to say today...tomorrow is open until about 4:30 so I will write a long post then! Sorry our blog hasn't been exciting this week!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Nothing To Blog

Yeah, so today we had movie day and there were several kids who came and participated. Ally and I both have strange schedules this week because we have to take ten hours each off work because we have worked overtime with the movie days and also with the benefit from Saturday. Wythe County teens don't forget that we are have a volunteer info meeting on Thursday at five and also that we are having a teen movie night that night as well. That's really all that I have...except Thursday is Support Teen Literature Day and I still have no idea what I'm going to do. If you have any ideas let me know in the comments!!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Review: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson


Cassie and Lia were best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies. But now Cassie is dead. Lia's mother is busy saving other people's lives. Her father is away on business. Her stepmother is clueless. And the voice inside Lia's head keeps telling her to remain in control, stay strong, lose more, weigh less. If she keeps on going this way-thin, thinner, thinnest-maybe she'll disappear altogether.
I recently realized that (most) every time I finish a book I think "this is the best book I've ever read!" However, this can't be true of every book I read. Regardless, I think that this is one of the best books that I have read this year. Laurie Halse Anderson has such an incredible ability to write gut-wrenching stories about characters who are broken. Lia is so sad, and your heart breaks for her more page by page. Her family is messed up, her best friends dumped her and then died, and she is starving herself to death. There is a beautiful relationship between Lia and her stepsister Emma. Emma is the person that make Lia want to be whole and healthy, but her journey is not easy. The story follows Lia as she goes through the weeks after Cassie's death.
There are many things that I love about this story. There are entire lines of crossed out thoughts. I think that it is a beautiful way to see the difference between what Lia thinks/feels and what she is supposed to think/feel. This is a common theme with most people, you have thoughts or feelings that are vastly different from what you actually express. However, Lia does this to the extreme. Another aspect that I thought was especially eye-opening was the fact that every bit of food Lia eats has the calorie count beside it in parenthesis. For example “half a slice of bread (38) + quarter tablespoon butter (25) = 63.” This helps emphasize Lia’s downward spiral.

This really was a wonderful book. Laurie Halse Anderson has an ability to suck you into the story and want to fix the broken and bruised characters in her book. You don’t feel pity for the characters though, at least I didn’t. Instead I felt a deep sorrow that anyone would ever deal with the things that Lia deals with in the book. I would recommend this book for any teen. The story will appeal to any age group and even though the main character is a female, I think that many males would benefit from reading this book as well as females. Bottom-line? This is a book about an especially sensitive topic (eating disorders) that doesn’t glorify them or make the character seem like someone who is completely unrealistic. I could relate to Lia, and so can most people. A fantastic story by an award winning author, and it was so much more than I expected.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Benefit and Haircuts

Today Ally and I worked at a benefit for a local charity to benefit children with special needs. Basically, we just had a booth for the library and talked about programs we have planned. We also got really cheap haircuts by one of the best salons in town.


***MY BROTHER JUST GOT HOME!!!!***

Okay, obviously there is more that I would like to write, but he sooo trumps everything in my life! Sorry for the cruddy blog post. I'll do better tomorrow and Ally will have more details about our charity work on Monday. Have a Happy Easter!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Library In Our Pants (Classics Edition)

Okay boys and girls. Ally and I frequently play the "In My Pants" game. If you don't know what this is, I feel sorry for you. However, a brief explanation is as follows: John Green (YA author and co-founder of the Nerdfighters {HOO!!!HAA!!!}) made this game up. Basically, any book title is funnier with "in your pants" added to the end of it. Sooo...today we present The Library In Our Pants: Classics Edition.

*Madam Bovary (In My Pants)
*Gulliver's Travels (In My Pants)
*Crime and Punishment (In My Pants)
*The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (In My Pants)
*The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (In My Pants)
*A Doll's House (In My Pants)
*The Inferno (In My Pants)
*To Kill A Mockingbird (In My Pants)
*The Outsiders (In My Pants)
*The Age of Innocence (In My Pants)
*The Awakening (In My Pants)
*Beowulf (In My Pants)
*The Call of the Wild (In My Pants)
*Dracula (In My Pants)
*Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (In My Pants)
*Hard Times (In My Pants)
*Frankenstein (In My Pants)
*Great Expectations (In My Pants)
*The Importance of Being Earnest (In My Pants)
*The Jungle (In My Pants)
*Heart of Darkness (In My Pants)
*The Last of the Mohicans (In My Pants)
*Les Miserables (In My Pants)
*Oh Pioneers! (In My Pants)
*Persuasion (In My Pants)
*The Return of the Native (In My Pants)
*The Secret Garden (In My Pants)
*Sons and Lovers (In My Pants)
*Treasure Island (In My Pants)
*White Fang (In My Pants)
*Wuthering Heights (In Men's Pants)

Sooo...do you all have any funny classics in the Library of Your Pants? If you do please let us know in the comments!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Movie Days and National Library Week

Next week is National Library Week. The theme is a very exciting one: Worlds Connect @ Your Library. Now, it's true that this theme is a huge improvement over last year's theme (A Circle of Knowledge), but it is still not super fun. However, since we bring the party, we are livening things up! On Monday April 13th we are having a Family Movie Day. Local schools are closed, so we will be playing movies all day that day. We will have free popcorn, cookies, and drinks. Here is the schedule:

11-12: A short movie about a spring holiday, a dog, and a bunch of Peanuts
12-1:30- Revist some zoo animals as they roam around Africa
1:30-2:30- A movie about a dog who is a TV action star who realizes that he isn't really a superhero.
2:30-4:30- A movie about a warrior mouse, based on a popular children's book by Kate DiCamillo
5:30-7:30- A movie about a pampered puppy who is dognapped in Mexico.

If you can't figure out what these movies are, come in the library and we'll be glad to let you know! There will be other events throughout the week. On Thursday April 16, we will have a teen volunteer meeting at 5:00. If you need volunteer hours, or if you just need something to keep you busy, come by and get some information. After our meeting we will be showing a teen movie. I will have more details about teen volunteers and the teen movie later this week.

Teaser Tuesday: April 8, 2009 (Yes, I know, It's Wednesday...)

Today's Teaser come from Laurie Halse Anderson's Wintergirls. I can already tell that I am going to be completely obsessed with this book. I just started it this morning and it is fantastic.

"I take a whole wheat roll (96) out of the basket and two buttery Brussels sprouts (35), even though I hate them. In jenniferland I am An Example and must take at least two bites of everything."

Laurie Halse Anderson is such an amazing writer. I have only recently picked up her books, but I regret waiting this long to read her work! She is quickly becoming one of my favorite YA authors. If you aren't excited by this Teaser you can always find many more here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Review: Love Is Hell

So, I said last night that I really like short story collection. Today I plan on giving you a rundown of the latest short story collection that I read. Love Is Hell is a collection of five stories written by Melissa Marr, Scott Westerfeld, Justine Larbalestier, Gabrielle Zevin, and Laurie Faria Stolarz. Before I read this I had only read books by Melissa Marr and Scott Westerfeld, so it was nice to read some new authors.

Sleeping with the Spirit by Laurie Faria Stolarz is a story about a girl who moves into a haunted house. The boy who haunts the house needs her help solving her murder. This was a pretty good story, even if it was a little strange. The whole girl meets ghost and falls in love concept is strange for me. It also becomes predictable. The story was well written, and the main character is really likable, but it wasn't one of my favorites.

Stupid Perfect World by Scott Westerfeld is a story of two kids who live in a world where there is no sickness, coldness, discomfort, nothing bad at all really. However, for a class project they have to pick one of the discomforts of the past and live with it for two weeks. Keiran chooses to sleep and Maria chooses to suspend her hormonal imbalancers. The story follows the pair as they go through the two weeks of their project. I really enjoy Scott Westerfeld. A lot. I really think that he has such a gift for creating these crazy alternate realities that are so much like our own worlds. Everything I have read by him completely sucks me in! This short story was no different. My only complaint? I wish it were a novel (or even a series) because I would love to know more about what happens between Keiran and Maria.

Thinner Than Water by Justine Larbalestier is a story about a girl who is desperate to escape from her family. She meets a guy who she loves and they are happy until her family ruins it. Jeannie must find a way to survive while her family continuously tries to crush her spirit. I loved this story. I have never read anything by Justine Larbalestier before, but this story made me want to hunt up everything she has ever written. It was a wonderful story about love, loving yourself, and not ever giving up. It was beautiful.

Fan Fictions by Gabrielle Zevin is a story about Paige, a loner nerd girl who spends most of her time in the library. One day she meets a dreamboat who sees her and sweeps her off her feet. I didn't really like this story. It was really strange, and didn't make a lot of sense to me. The ending was really abrupt and I thought it left a lot of plot points unaddressed. I don't necessarily need every little thing tied up with a pretty bow, but I hate not knowing something big. Maybe it's just me though.

Love Struck by Melissa Marr is a story about a girl and a selchie who fall in love. This was another really good story. Fairies, elves, and other fey creatures are really popular right now, and I think that Melissa Marr did a great job with this story. Legend says that if you take a selchies pelt that he/she is bound to you until he/she finds the pelt again. Melissa Marr really puts a new spin on this legend and also manages to show that if you really love someone that you don't have to change who you are.

I thought that this was a really good collection. There was only one story that I really didn't like and that was only because it seems like it was a few chapters from a book more than a story. I would definitely recommend this to any teen who is looking for a quick read.

BEDA 6 and Reading

I finished two books today!!! YAY!!! Do you ever not want to read? Or, even worse, want to read and can find nothing to satisfy you? I hate that! Right now I have so many great YA books checked out and I also have several that I have purchased, and I am unhappy with all of them. I guess I should take them back, but I really want to read the books I have. I don't know what the deal is...probably just that I am in a funk. Anyway, today I finished Promises in Death and Love is Hell. I don't know about you guys, but I love short story collections. I especially love them if they are collections with various authors. This is the number one way that I find new authors to obsess over. It is really nice to buy a book for $8-$11 that has fifteen or so different stories all by different authors. If you are lucky and like all of the authors, that's great...but if you hate some of them then you haven't spent a ton of money on fifteen different books. Anyway...short post I know, but it's late! So let us know...do you all prefer short story collections, novels, both, or something else completely?

Monday, April 6, 2009

In Which Rochelle Fails at BEDA...

Okay...so my suck level is HUGE right now!!! I totally didn't get a post in yesterday!!! Now, its true that I could post-date this blog and make it look like I posted yesterday...but I don't want to lie to you guys or jeopardize the integrity of BEDA. So I'm just going to do two blog posts today. Anyway...my plan for yesterday was to do a featured YA author. I chose E. Lockhart. It is no secret that I love her books. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is one of my favorite books I've read this year. E. Lockhart has also written several other books including the Roo series (The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, etc.), Dramarama, and Fly on the Wall. I have read all of the E. Lockhart books that we have in our system and I think that she is one of the best YA authors being published today. Frankie Landau-Banks was a beautifully written book about a girl growing up and learning about love. The Roo series is similar, except that Roo becomes a leper and has no friends, no boyfriend, and no way of fixing her problems. She sees a shrink, she deals with a skeezy ex-boyfriend and a heinous ex-best friend. The books are wonderful though. You feel sorry for Roo, and you understand her actions, but at the same time you are shaking your head wondering why she hasn't clued in yet. But she is believable!!! That is my favorite kind of character. One who is not perfect, who is flawed, who learns about life, and who is a better person in the end.

E. Lockhart has a wonderful ability to write about characters who are easy to relate to. I could have been Roo in high school. Actually, except for the tons of men, I was Roo in high school! E. Lockhart is definitely an author you should check out. If you love her books you can also find her on the web. She has a hilarious blog that you can find here and if you use twitter you can now follow her there as well.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Saturday Randomness...oh yeah and BEDA 4

Well, I finally finished Nick and Norah, so maybe for the foreseeable future you all won't have to hear me go on and on and on and on about it! Although, if I haven't already gotten this point across: IT IS FANTASTIC!!! READ IT NOW!!! So, since I finished that book up I am pretty much on track with my Spring Reading Thing Challenge (not really) and I should have no problem completing it before the deadline in June. However, I am about to do something not so good...I am going to re-read Suite Scarlett. I know, I know...I can't use it for any challenge except for my 50 (or 100) Books In a Year challenge I gave myself. However, Maureen Johnson is seriously Made of Awesome!!! I read S.S. over the summer and I loved it. I loved it so much that I almost just paid for the donated copy and kept it for myself...but I didn't! It is in my "To Be Catalogued" pile. That is how much I love you Wythe County Teens!!! Instead of buying a hardback copy of the book for a dollar I am instead waiting for May first to purchase the paperback! That's a big deal!!! You all know my budget (which is small) you know that I don't just buy every book that tickles my fancy (yes, I do!!!) That is how good this book is!!! And I'm not just saying all of this because it's BEDA, and Maureen Johnson came up with the idea. S.S. was one of the best books I read last year (and that's saying something because I read a lot of great books!) Okay, finished with that tangent.

I learned some random things today...1) April 16th is Support Teen Literature Day. Now, I'm not sure how I am going to support teen literature...I mean-I work at the library, I only read YA lit (usually, I do sometimes read grown-up books, but not really), I buy books EVERY week (seriously I need to find a used bookstore)...so I haven't really figured out my game plan for supporting Teen Lit. I already frighten the few teens who come into the library by thrusting books on them and saying "OMG!!! THIS IS FANTASTIC!!! YOU SHOULD READ IT LIKE...YESTERDAY!!!" I will let you know what I decide to do...and...if you have ideas leave them in the comments (seriously, you don't have to live in my area to give me advice.)...2) It is very, very easy to be green (and not vlogbrothers Green). Today I built a compost heap, in an hour! And it's fancy!!! There are fence posts, and a wire fence enclosing it, and a door, and a straw bottom. And that's pretty much it. Our wood chipper is out of gas so I can't build my "brown" layer today, but I will soon!!! Now this summer when we are growing our own veggies (that are totally organic) we will have mulch!!! I am so excited about this...3) It is really hard to read 200+ blogs in one day...I actually only managed to read ummm...seven...That is so embarrassing!!! Seven?!?! Geez...I am going to do better tomorrow (and maybe more today)!

Hopefully you all are enjoying reading my BEDA posts, because I am really having fun writing them. I know that they are really random, but it's still fun.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Most Teens Are Cooler Than I Am

Hey guys, its Alissa. I thought that since taking on writing every single day might make Rochelle grumpy and crazy, I would help her out by writing something on here. First of all, I am a terrible librarian for anyone over 10, because I don't read as much as I should. Unless of course it's People magazine. I can tell you all about how Jessica Simpson is in a weight battle, or how the Octo-mom is all kinds of crazy though. Really important stuff. You would think with my vast knowledge of pop culture I would be irresistibly cool, hip, and with the times. I thought I was all of these things, until I stupidly helped with a Teen Bible Study last week. The group was full of teens ages 12-17 (maybe older because I swear one of them looked at least 30). They were all really welcoming to me. I have to wonder if it has to do with the fact I am five feet tall and have braces. (and totally smokin') Anywho, we played the Human Knot which is a prime way to find out if someone has body odor or get up close and personal with someone you have a crush on. (Tic-Tacs are a must!) During the game my voice was cracking, because I was recovering from a massive cold that left me sounding like a combo between Linda Blair in "The Exorcist" and Tim Curry. I understand that unless you are over 25, you do not know who I am talking about. Google it. One of the teen girls like said "I really like your voice Alissa, its all like sexy and smokey." And like I said "Hey thanks, I think I sound really scary. I normally sound like a Muppet Baby." And like she said "What is a Muppet Baby?" WHAT IS A MUPPET BABY?!? WHO DOESN'T KNOW WHAT A MUPPET BABY IS? Come on!! Come freakin' ON!!! When your world gets kinda weird and you wish that you weren't there.....just close your eyes and make a wish and you can be anywhere.........anyone alive during the 80s can finish that sentence man. Whatever happened to the days where people watched "Pee Wee's Playhouse?" What happened to Pop Rocks? Jelly Shoes? Slap Bracelets? Punky Brewster? Whatever happened to that guy from Growing Pains, you know the other less hot brother of Kirk Cameron? These were the good ol' days. Days of tying the corner of your shirt in a knot and playing with Beanie Babies. These teens were so much more stylish and with it than I am. They were talking about celebrities I had never heard of. Who is Trevor Ariza? And when did purple and yellow mismatched socks become the posh thing to wear? I am so old. I looked in the mirror that night at my almost 26 year old face and noticed my huge patch of grey hair is spreading. Enjoy being a teen while you can even though most days it feels like it sucks. I know that acne, cliques, dating, all of that stuff can be totally miserable. But then one day you wake up and look in the mirror and wonder where it all went, and where all of your dark colored hair went. Instead of asking yourself questions like what will I wear to the prom, you ask how am I going to pay for my car insurance? So while I don't know much about books, I do know that I am not as cool as I thought I was. (Or else I am SO cool that I am TOO cool to be considered cool-yeah that's it) so yeah, that's my thoughts for today....that and how come they never showed Nanny's face? (unless you know what a Muppet Baby is, you will not know what that means)

BEDA2, Blogging, Budgets, and other "B" words

Okay, actually those are the only "B" words that I'm using...well...except for books...Anyway, onto the blog post. Today is day two of BEDA (Blog Every Day in April) and yesterday I did a teaser instead of really talking about BEDA and Maureen and stuff. So, BEDA is pretty self explanatory, and it was created (thought up by) Maureen Johnson (author of many fabo YA books.) So, during April I will be blogging every day. Saturdays and Sundays won't be exciting because I'm at home and not really working so they will be short and sweet. And that pretty much sums up BEDA!

Now...onto the other "B's"...Budgets and books. Basically the economy sucks. Hard. Right now I am in the middle of a huge budget freeze. Essentially the only thing that I am allowed to buy is program supplies. It sucks. Hard. I cannot buy books. Period. If J.K Rowling published a surprise Book Eight, the readers of Wythe County would be out of luck. So...what does this mean for the library? Basically it means that we really are depending on you, our patrons, right now. We need you to read and comment on this blog. We need you to come in to the library and check out materials. We need you to come to the programs. We need you to volunteer. We need you to be active so that the Board of Directors sees how vital our contribution is to the library itself. Another way that you can help is to donate books. We love book donations. If books that we don't own are donated then we can have the catalogued and put into circulation. If books are donated that we can't use then we give them to our Friends group. The Friends then sell the books at their monthly book sale and the money comes back to us for various things.

So...blog post number two of BEDA is a cry for help!!! We love our job, we love seeing you guys in here. One of my favorite things is introducing teens to the authors I love. So, don't be strangers!!! Support us so that we can continue to support you!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Teaser Tuesday: April 1, 2009 (Again on a Wednesday)

Today's Teaser comes from Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. Yes, I know, I have a sick obsession with this book, but it is sooo fantastic. Before we go any farther, I will say that this book has very mature content. I would not recommend anyone under the age of 17 reading it without a parent reading it first, or giving their permission. I do love this book, and I'm reading it for the third time, but I'm 25 and I pretty much am not influenced by the mature themes in this book. However, there is material that I think some parents in our area would have a problem with thier children reading. Anyway...on to the Teaser...

"'Wanna watch some nuns make-out?' Am I even speaking out loud?"

Like always, if you aren't satisfied with this teaser or your parents aren't crazy about nuns making out, you can always find more teasers here.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

BEDA

Soooo...Made of Awesome YA author Maureen Johnson is doing this really cool thing in April called BEDA. Basically, she is going to blog EVERY DAY IN APRIL. I would love to do this, but am concerned because this is a library blog and we aren't really supposed to blog about things that aren't really library related. However, I am going to do my best to blog every day in April about various library related things. Well...that or Ally and I will do a ton of those memes that are posted all over the Internet. Either way hopefully there will be something for you all to read!!! Let me know if you have any suggestions about what I can blog on. Are there things you would like to know, questions you would like answered, books/movies/music you would like reviewed? Let me know and I will try to accommodate you. Although, be warned...if you want something crazy long reviewed then you may just get several links to other reviews, I am just one (very busy) woman!!! =)

**Also if anyone is interested there are several of my favorite YouTubers who are considering doing this as well, only it will be VEDA...if you want links let me know because it will be hilarious. I also plan on having links to any YA authors who plan on participating.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (On a Wednesday) March 25, 2009

We haven't done a Teaser in forever!!!  Sorry!!!  Today's Teaser comes from Pirates by Celia Rees, and was chosen by Ally.


"I held my two hands together and pulled my jacket open, rending the shirt beneath so that he could see my breasts.  The effect was dramatic."

As always, if this one doesnt' impress you, you can find more here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

New Challenge

Okay...like I'm not doing enough challenges already. Or rather I should say ignoring enough challenges. I am going to participate in this Spring Reading Thing Challenge. Basically you just commit to finishing books you have already started and that have been sitting in you TBR pile for awhile. So here is my list.

1) He's Not That Into You
2) Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
3) Not On Our Watch
4)They Poured Fire On Us From The Sky
5) Salvation In Death
6) Promises In Death
7) Envy
8) Stardust
9) Spud
10) Nobody's Princess
11) Spanking Shakespeare
12) Slam
13) Hacking Harvard
14) I Am The Messenger
15) Rhymes With Witches
16) Blood and Chocolate
17) Peeps
18) Love is Hell
19) Gregor the Overlander
20) The Queen Geek Social Club

Okay, that's all the books that I can think of right now, but I am sure that I will have more to add as we go along. I would really like to read 28 books since the challenge lasts fourteen weeks and I have already started several of these books.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

So, last summer I was online and I saw that my celeb crush Michael Cera was going to be in a new movie. I was extremely excited because ever since I saw Juno I have been completely obsessed with him. Yes, he is dorky and awkward, but I love him anyway. His new movie was called Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. I thought that the name sounded familiar so I did a little research and found out that it was based on a YA book. So I ordered the book and read it. I absolutely fell in love with Nick, Norah, their friends, and their adventure. You all should know by now that I love books where the characters discover themselves and where the journey isn't about where you end up, but rather it is about how you get to your destination. This book fulfilled those needs perfectly. It was beautifully written and I loved reading about the night from both Nick and Norah's perspective, it really made the story itself more realistic. Needless to say I was extremely nervous about watching the movie. Generally film makers have no respect for the book-or at least it doesn't seem that way when you see a beloved novel ripped to shreds by cruddy actors and horrible filming. However, when the DVD was released I ordered it for the library and watched it. Actually, I watched the movie three times in two weeks. I loved it. It was so beautifully done. Yes, key points were changed and things were left out of the movie, but the message was there. The characters were the same characters that I loved in the book. Kat Dennings and Michael Cera were a fantastic Norah and Nick. I am so glad that the director didn't cast actors who were ridiculously beautiful, but instead found people who seemed REAL!!! It is heartbreaking to read a book, relate to the characters because they could be you and your friends, and then see the movie where everyone looks like someone from The Hills or Top Model. I was so impressed by this movie that I will be purchasing the DVD when I get paid next week-and for those of you who know me,you realize what a big deal that is! =) So my advice to you is read the book, watch the movie, repeat as necessary.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mass Insanity and Causes

Hey guys! It's been another insane week, and as much as I hate to continuously write posts about how busy we are, we have been super busy. Generally we try to make sure our posts revolve around library events, books, movies, music, and programs. However, since we have been MIA recently (and are likely to disappear again soon) I thought I would take the time to let you know why. Last week I found out that my brother will be deployed to Iraq in June. I didn't know the when or where until the end of the week though. So during the week of "Rochelle is a zombie," Ally not only kept me from falling apart on a daily basis but also did both of our jobs. Needless to say, updating was not even on our minds. We never like to neglect you guys but last week was rough. However, now that we know what is going on with my brother we have things more in control. Hopefully, we will be able to stay on top of things from now on.



I also thought that I would take this time to highlight some causes that Ally and I support. I have huge concerns about the ongoing crisis in Darfur and Chad. There are two fantastic websites that have a lot of information SaveDarfur and ENOUGH. Also, we believe that whether or not you support our current military cause, you should always support the men and women in our Armed Forces. An easy way you can support them is to adopt a soldier. It doesn't take much- just a letter or card each week and one care package a month. This is something that is extremely uplifting to soldier who are stationed far away from home. You can learn more at Soldiers' Angels. Ally has always had an interest in stopping domestic violence and helping abuse victims get the help that they need. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence has a ton of information available as well as list of ways you can get involved on a local and national level. Oprah and Tyra Banks have also recently added portions of their websites for young women looking for domestic violence information. If you need something to devote your time to check out one of these websites. Are there any specific causes or issues that you are passionate about? Please let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Teaser Tuesday: February 24, 2009

Today's Teaser comes from Evernight by Claudia Gray

"The construction worker swaggered closer, and all his friends stood up. 'You go treating your girlfriend like that in public and damn straight it's my business.'"

As always, if this one doesn't do it for you there are more Teasers here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Book Clubs?

Okay guys it's time for a little feedback. Recently we have had a few tween/teen patrons express interest in book clubs. If you live in Wythe County and are interested please let us know. We really want to be able to provide programs that you all are interested in and that you are eager to participate in as well. Depending on the various ages that want to participate we may do more that one book club. There are so many options! Obviously I am a huge reader, and I would love to see a Tween/Teen reading group happen in our library. So, if it is something that you are interested in please comment, call, or come by and let us know.

**RRPL patrons-if this is something you are interested in, please let Melissa know. If there are patrons there who want teen reading groups then we can plan programs there as well.

Gossip Girl

Here are pictures of our awesome Gossip Girl Display for those of you who haven't gotten a chance to see it in person!













Unfortunately we had to build it in the JEasy section! But it was still a really fun display to build and look at all the time! If you have suggestions about other displays that you would like to see please let us know!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Crazy Week

Oh my goodness! This week has been so insane that we have not had time to even look at this blog. Work has been stressful, Ally was sick, I had an emotional breakdown...all kinds of craziness. Hopefully next week things will be calm and we will be able to post regularly. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Teaser Tuesday: February 10, 2009

Today's Teaser comes from The Boy Book by E. Lockheart. Am I on an E. Lockhart kick or what?

"And I read how there were these gay penguins at a zoo in Berlin. A number of them, actually."

If this one isn't interesting you can always get more here.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks


Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14:

Debate Club

Her father's "Bunny Rabbit"

A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school.

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15:

A knockout figure.

A sharp tongue.

A chip on her shoulder.

And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: Matthew Livingston.

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 16:

Possibly a criminal mastermind.

This is the story of how she got that way.


This is my question: Is YA lit just better now than when I was a teen? Or is it just that I can appreciate it more? The answer: A little of both. E. Lockhart rocked my reading world! I love strong female characters, and Frankie is certainly a strong female character. The story follows her as she questions the fairness of an all male club, and takes over as their leader-without any of them knowing it's her. It also shows how everything can fall apart when you are living a lie. Frankie's trouble starts at the very beginning of the book when she is questioning her mother's decision not to allow her to walk into town, even though her younger male cousin had been given permission earlier during their vacation. Her family sees her as "Bunny Rabbit"- one of the cutest animals out there (besides a puppy sized elephant of course.) None of them seem to take her seriously, and she really isn't happy with it. The story follows her to boarding school as she starts a new school year. It shows how her class about secret societies and her own desire to prove she is as good as the boys eventually leads her to create the best stunts that her school's secret society has ever seen. The only problem is no one knows she is the person behind them and no one really understands that they are more than just pranks. The reader can see her frustration build, can watch her relationship develop, and basically see her come to understand that love isn't always enough. We also get to see her life crumble because of her actions. However, Frankie realizes that "it is better to be alone...than to be with someone who can't see who you are." Frankie is invisible at the beginning of the book, and by the end she is invisible again. Her invisibility is the saddest thing of all; however, I don't think it will last. All in all-I love a girl who will grow up to change the world!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Teen Volunteer Information Meeting

Wythe County Teens...I know we were supposed to have a meeting tonight to kick off our new volunteer program and go over information about how the program is going to work. However, we have about 5 inches of snow (at least we do at my house) and the library is closed. Hopefully you all will check the blog (yes, I know, but I can dream right?) and see that the meeting will have to be rescheduled. I haven't actually talked to Ally today so I am not sure when we will be able to have the meeting. Storytime starts next week, but we may be able to have the meeting next Wednesday. When we get the new date scheduled we will post here and in the library. You can call the office if you have questions, or leave comments here.

*Enjoy your own snow day!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Teaser Tuesday: February 3, 2009

Today's Teaser comes from The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart. Here are some of the awards that DHoFLB has won and some information about the book as well.

"She had heard Alpha talk about sex like that before, like he was having it, he'd always had it, like he'd never been a virgin and sex was no big thing. But it disconcerted her everytime he did it."

If you weren't crazy about this teaser you can always find more here.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

iTunes Meme

Today Ally and I are going to do a really funny iTunes meme in celebration of all of the awesome things that are getting ready to happen at the library-not that we can talk about them yet, but still.

Chelle's iTunes Meme

How would you describe yourself?
Big Things Poppin'
How do you feel today?
Mother Nature's Sun
What is your motto?
Paper Towns
What do you think about very often?
Who'll Stop The Rain
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Free Bird
If you could do anything right now, what would it be?
Old Red Wine
What do you want most of all?
The Lord's Prayer
What is your greatest fear?
I'm Gonna Make You Love Me
What is your darkest secret?
Whiskey In The Jar
What do you like in a guy/girl?
Under Pressure
What do you think of your best friends?
Be With Me
What do you think of the person you like?
Take You There
What is the one thing you regret?
Come Together
What makes you laugh?
Wild Horses
What makes you cry?
Virginia
Will you ever get married?
Old Friends
What scares you the most?
Blue Skies
Does anyone like you?
Let It Be
If you could go back in time, what would you change?
All Falls Down
What hurts right now?
This Is Why I'm Hot
What is your best friend's theme song?
Edelweiss
What was high school like?
Heroes and Underdogs
How is today going to go?
Amazing Grace
What song describes your parents?
Don't Bother Me
Describe your grandparents?
Fooled Around and Fell In Love (here's hoping my grandmother NEVER reads this...cause she'll kill me!!!)
What is in store for you this weekend?
Tonight It's You
What do your friends really think of you?
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Do people really like you?
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
How can you make yourself happy?
Drive My Car
What should you do with your life?
Bad To The Bone
Will you ever have children?
I Put A Spell On You
What is some good advice for you?
Search and Destroy
What's that smell?
It's Love and The Weather
What is your signature dancing song?
The Wild Rover
What do you think your current theme song is?
Love Story (uh...yeah...that's it...)
What does everyone else think your current theme song is?
Get Away
What type of men/women do you like?
Gold Digger

Ally's iTunes Meme

How would you describe yourself?
Is That All There Is?
How do you feel today?
Try A Little Tenderness
What is your motto?
The Streak
What do you think about very often?
Pollution Song
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Dennis The Menace
If you could do anything right now, what would it be?
Street Rat
What do you want most of all?
You Oughta Know
What is your greatest fear?
Genie In A Bottle
What is your darkest secret?
Your Love
What do you like in a guy/girl?
Clumsy
What do you think of your best friends?
With A Little Help From My Friends
What do you think of the person you like?
I Belong To Me
What is the one thing you regret?
Mary Had A Little Lamb
What makes you laugh?
The Player Way
What makes you cry?
The Bear Necessities
Will you ever get married?
It's All Wrong, But It's All Right
What scares you the most?
Love On The Rocks
Does anyone like you?
Single Ladies
If you could go back in time, what would you change?
Dance At The Gym
What hurts right now?
Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours
What is your best friend's theme song?
Cry, Cry, Cry
What was high school like?
Toxic
How is today going to go?
Back In Time
What song describes your parents?
Spiderwebs
Describe your grandparents?
Makin' Whoopee (uh...I think Ally is gonna be sick now)
What is in store for you this weekend?
The Tears Of A Clown
What do your friends really think of you?
Give It To Me
Do people really like you?
I Second That Emotion
How can you make yourself happy?
Accentuate The Positive
What should you do with your life?
Make The World Go Away
Will you ever have children?
Naked
What is some good advice for you?
How The Grinch Stole Christmas (read by Walter Matthau)
What's that smell?
Miss Alissa
What is your signature dancing song?
Grillz (Ally wants everyone to know if she were going to pick her own it would be "Hold Me, Bat Boy" from Bat Boy: The Tabloid Musical or "Won't You Be My Neighbor" from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood)
What do you think your current theme song is?
I'm Gonna Kill You (Heck Yes!!! Hank Green's song FTW...Hoo-ha Nerdfighters!!!)
What does everyone else think your current theme song is?
Mickey's Monkey
What type of men/women do you like?
I've Got You Under My Skin


We hope you guys enjoy all of these crazy insights into our lives! We aren't tagging anyone, but if you want to do this meme leave it in the comments or link your own site in the comments! Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Review: The Vampire Kisses Series

Seriously what is the deal with two-post-Tuesdays? I just finished the third book in The Vampire Kisses series by Ellen Schreiber and wanted to post a blog about the series while it was fresh in my mind. Basically this is a YA series about a goth girl (Raven) who lives in a dull town and is obsessed with vampires. She and her best friend (Becky) are both social outcasts but for different reasons. One day a dark and twisty goth guy moves into the "haunted" house in town. Girl meets boy, girl and boy fall in love, boy turns out to be a vampire. In the second book the boy's (Alexander) moral enemy (Jagger) shows up and tries to turn Raven into a vampire. In the third book Jagger's twin (Luna) shows up and tries to turn Raven's mortal enemy (Trevor) into a vampire. Yes, I know that is a lot of vampire-making attempts. However, these books were pretty good. If you like Twilight you will like these books. They are short and the story moves quickly. The series should be read in order so that the reader isn't confused, and the writer doesn't spend a lot of time going over what has happened in the previous books. She does remind the reader of big events that happened in the past books, which is nice if you didn't read them one after the other like I did this weekend. The story is good though. The plot tends to be a little predictable, but overall it's a good series. If you are into vampires, the goth scene, being on the outside of society, blood feuds, or dark and twisty teen angst then this series is for you.

Now for my own personal statement to vampire obsessed girls and the authors who write for them. SERIOUSLY??? You meet a guy, on your first date you realize that your true love is a vampire, and you go out with him again. That in and of itself is insane. Trust me any normal person, social outcast or not, would run screaming in the other direction. She would move to Central America and never come home. But not our heroines, they go on a second date, and ask the vampire to turn her into a vampire too! WHAT?!?!?! You have known a guy for like two weeks and you want to turn into a vampire for him? SERIOUSLY??? I know that teenagers fall in love at the drop of a hat, but eternity with a guy that you have known for less than a month?That makes no sense to me. Maybe I am jaded by recent events in my own life, and my horrible dating history, but there is no way that on date two I am throwing in the mortal towel. What do you even know about the vampire dreamboat that is makes it worth leaving everything in your life behind? The answer...nothing, except that he has to drink blood to survive and that he is "the most beautiful person I have ever seen." Whatever happened to the adage that beauty is only skin deep? Don't get me wrong, I love Twilight, I told everyone I know to read it. I like the Vampire Kisses series, and I like all the other vamp series/books that are out right now. I guess I just wish that one of the heroines of these "girl+vampire=love" books would wake up one morning and say "Hey...I love the sun, and my family, and my best friend, and my dog...maybe I shouldn't turn into a vampire." Unfortunately that doesn't happen, or rather if the heroine does take a moment to question her decision it is because boy/vamp/dreamboat refuses to "take away her humanity," and the girl always says "...eh who cares if I am ostracized from society for the rest of my life and that I am going to have an overwhelming desire to suck my little brother's blood...it is totally worth it!" On the other hand-it is entertaining to shake your head in disbelief at the insanity of these girls. Also, I am really loving the "vegetarian vamps" who never eat human blood. It is a really funny alternative and it does allow for the vampires to live in small towns without attracting (too much) attention.

Teaser Tuesday: January 27, 2009

Today's Teaser comes from Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson. Laurie Halse Anderson was awarded the Margaret A. Edwards award yesterday which honors an author, as well as a specific body of his or her work.

"A couple of them were fond of her cat, she pointed out. How could men who liked cats be bad?"

If this one doesn't seem interesting you can always go here for more teasers.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

2009 Literary Award Winners

Here is the link so that you can get all of the details. You can see what each award celebrates, see a list of all of the nominees, and learn about how the books are judged.

2009 Alex Awards

  • City of Thieves by David Benioff
  • The Dragons of Babel by Michael Swanwick
  • Finding Nouf by Zoe Ferraris
  • The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti
  • Just After Sunset: Stories by Stephen King
  • Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
  • Over and Under by Todd Tucker
  • The Oxford Project by Stephen G. Bloom
  • Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow
  • Three Girls and Their Brother by Theresa Rebeck

2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award

  • Laurie Halse Anderson

William C. Morris YA Debut Award

  • A Curse Dark As Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce

2009 Odessey Award

  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, read by the author
  • Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady by L.A. Meyer, read by Katherine Kellgren (Honor Book)
  • Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis, read by Marrion Willis (Honor Book)
  • I'm Dirty! by Kate and Jim McMullan, read by Steve Buscemi (Honor Book)
  • Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale by Carmen Agra Deedy, read by the author (Honor Book)
  • Nation by Terry Pratchett, read by Stephen Briggs (Honor Book)

Michael L. Printz Award

  • Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
  • The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II, Kingdom of the Waves by M.T. Anderson (Honor Book)
  • The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockheart (Honor Book)
  • Nation by Terry Pratchett (Honor Book)
  • Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan (Honor Book)

2009 Newbery Medal

  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • The Underneath by Kathy Appelt
  • The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle
  • Savvy by Ingrid Law
  • After Tupac & D. Foster by Jacqueline Woodson

So many of these books are on my "Must Read" list so I am really excited to see them honored. Nation and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian are two of the best books that I read in December/January. I recently discovered Neil Gaiman and I love him! His books are so good, I can't believe that it has taken me so long to read something he wrote. I have never read anything by Laurie Halse Anderson, but I have been meaning to for quite some time (actually I checked out Chains on Friday but I haven't started it yet) so now I have to put her on the top of my list! Hopefully you guys have read some of these great books, and if not maybe you will be inspired like me to read them now!

Banned Books: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

UPDATE: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian won the 2009 Odyssy Award for best audiobook produced for youth available in English in the United States!!! Congratulations to Sherman Alexie for another well deserved award!

Disclaimer: This post is about a book that was recently banned in Oregon State. I will be making quotes from the article, and some people may find the language offensive. However, the language is only used to illustrate a point.

Last February I purchased the book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie for our collection. It was a National Book Award winner, it was on several "Best Books for Teen Boys to Read" lists, and it received incredible praise. It has been a decently successful book here. We don't have many teen males who check out books, but it has been circulated. It has been on my to-read list since it came in, but it wasn't on the top of my list. Then in December I read this article, and the book shot to the top of my list.

In Crook County Oregon a parent picked up the book and wasn't thrilled with what he read. He proceeded to "copy a few pages" and go to the school board. The school board read those pages and decided to ban the book because "The protagonist in Alexie’s book discusses masturbation." I get that. I really do understand why a parent would be upset by that. However, in 230 pages the word is used five times. That isn't a lot. Arnold talks about how he loves lines and squares in geometry more than he loves his alone time with pictures of curvy girls. This isn't a celebration of this behavior. No, instead it is a fourteen year old boy struggling with his decision to leave his family, his home, and his life behind because he wants a good education. Not even a good education, just a decent education, one where he isn't condemned to use the same school books that were used by his parents more than thirty years earlier. This is the book that the Crook County School Board chose to remove from their shelves? A book that celebrates a love a learning and the struggle that every person faces between making people happy and finding a life worth living? A book about a young boy who is trying to find a better life than the one he is destined for? I think that it is incredibly small minded. Don't get me wrong. I think that every parent has a right to stop their child from reading any book that they think is inappropriate. There are many wonderful books that I love, but that I wouldn't want a middle school child to read. However, I think that it is horrible for any group to decide that something is wrong for everyone. Seriously, there are so many "classics" that deal with sex, drugs, alcohol, and harsh language that are required reading. Why is it okay for Holden Caulfield to use the profanity that he does and not be banned. Why can The Outsiders be filled with gang violence and not be banned. Today's banned and challenged books are tomorrows classics. It would be wise to realize that now.

I read this book in about twelve hours. It was great. It was a moving story about a boy who doesn't fit in anywhere, who has to fight for a place, and still feels like an outsider. He is an outsider. He deals with loss on a regular basis, some huge ones and some very small ones. It is a story about growing up and dealing with all of the things that you have to deal with when you grow up. Growing up stinks. Being an adult isn't fun. Neither is being a teenager who lives on the fringes, who doesn't quite fit in anywhere. Sherman Alexie captures this concept and illustrates it in a beautiful way. Arnold is funny and bright and sad. While reading, my heart broke and I laughed out loud as he grew up within the story. It was a beautiful Young Adult book that I think is a worthwhile read for any older teen. No, it isn't something you should pick up for your fifth grader, but I'm sure your sophomore could relate in many ways.