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?
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?
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?
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?
How is today going to go?
Back In Time
What song describes your parents?
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?
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 " 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 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.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ally's Name Challenge

Holy smokes people!!! Ally is going to do the name challenge with me!!! She is only reading "Lis" but still that is a huge deal!!! I am so excited. Maybe with time I will convince her to read her whole name (yeah I know dream big). So she is taking care of the non-fiction portion of our reading. Maybe she will post some non-fiction reviews...who knows.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Books

Two posts in one day!!! Wow, we never have so much excitement. I just wanted to get a list up of new YA fiction that came in today.

YA Fiction

  • Hacking Harvard by Robin Wasserman
  • The Lost Queen by Frewin Jones
  • The Sorcerer King by Frewin Jones
  • The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
  • Oracle of the Morrigan by Tiffany Trent
  • What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell
  • The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson
  • Love Is Hell by Melissa Marr/Scott Westerfeld/Justine Larbalestier/Gabrielle Zevin/Laurie Faria Stolarz
  • Queen of the Masquerade by Tiffany Trent
  • Dragonspell by Donita K. Paul
  • Silverwing by Kenneth Oppel
  • Sunwing by Kenneth Oppel
  • Firewing by Kenneth Oppel

YA Audiobooks

  • The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson
  • Stardust by Neil Gaiman


  • Twilight Soundtrack
  • High School Musical Soundtrack

YA Movies

  • Picture This

Teaser Tuesday January 20, 2008

Today's Teaser comes from Hacking Harvard by Robin Wasserman

"You know how Disney World has that fake Main Street? On the outside, the buildings look all old-fashioned, like Ye Olde Chocolate Shoppe and Smitty's Apothecary- but then you go inside and they're all selling the same crappy Donald Duck dolls and Mickey Mouse ice cream bars?"

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

Monday, January 19, 2009

Free E-books

I don't know how many of you all enjoy e-books, but I am a fan. It is a nice alternative to print because there are no trees killed in the making of an e-book, but it is also really nice because you can occasionally find free downloads of really popular books. For example, this week you can read Coraline by Neil Gaiman here for free. I read Coraline over the weekend and it was really good. I was expecting the book to be really creepy, since I have seen the movie trailers, and it was. Not creepy in a way that I am embarrassed to admit, but since the book is really aimed at eight-year-olds, pretty creepy. However, I honestly think that Coraline will appeal to any age group. It is the story of a young girl and her family who live in London. There is a door in the parlor which leads to her "other" house where her "other mother" and "other father" live. They want Coraline to stay with them forever, and when she refuses the other mother steals Coraline's real parents. Coraline must face her fears and rescue her real parents, buy outwitting the other mother. The other mother was a seriously creepy bad guy. She looks like Coraline's real mother, she has button eyes, and whenever Coraline isn't talking to her she vanishes. She also has complete control over the other house and she manipulates the weather and the copies of Coraline's neighbors. There are also rats who are spies for the other mother and they spend all their time trying to keep Coraline from fulfilling her quest. Coraline is a great character. She is brave and faces her fears because she knows that if she doesn't she will be trapped forever in the alternate universe (I tried so hard not to say that!!) with the other mother. There are plenty of twists and turns that keep the book exciting, and there are quite a few "whoa..." moments as well. So if you like creepy stuff, or if you have plans to go see the movie, read this book. You can get a copy at the library or download the e-book.

Also available this week is a copy of the first book in the Ranger's Apprentice books. The publisher and Scribd have a copy available here until February 15th. So, if the weather is too nasty for you to come to the library, there are still books out there that you can access. Enjoy these limited time online reads!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Read Your Name Challenge

Okay, so I found another challenge that I am going to try. Get all the details here. I plan on reading my first name Rochelle and if that goes well I may tack on my last name as well. I don't know which books I plan on reading yet, mainly because I don't want to read the same ones that I am reading in the A-Z Challenge. You can keep up with my progress in the sidebar. I will count the books I read in this challenge toward my 50 (or 100) books. I will hopefully post reviews of most of the books I read, especially if they are available at the library. If any of you plan on participating sign up at the challenge website but make sure you let me know too!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Teaser Tuesday: January 13, 2008

So today we are doing two teasers. One from Ally and one from Chelle. And this is totally serious, we are actually reading these books! No lie.

Ally's Teaser from 'N Sync: Tearin' Up the Charts

"How on earth are you going to decide which N*Sync guy will be your dream date? Apparently, you have all five to choose from as they are all available."

Sidebar: Obviously this is really old since two of them are married, JT is with Jessica Biel, Lance has a hot boyfriend, and I am not really sure what happened to Chris Kirpatrick.

Chelle's Teaser from Meet the Stars of Dawson's Creek

"That freedom can bring about once in a lifetime happiness, like first kisses and lazy days with friends chasing seagulls along a windswept beach, but it can also bring about heartache and sadness. For better or worse, the choices someone makes today at fifteen can completely change the path his or her life takes forever."

Alright, there are our teasers. If any of you have a burning desire to read either of these books we do have them available at the library. If you are looking for something else find more teasers here.

Monday, January 12, 2009


On January 30, 2009 we are having another Movie Day at the Wythe County Public Library. You guys know that we can't tell you what we are showing unless you actually come into the library (due to our license) but I am going to post our schedule here.

10-11~Kid's movie about a famous street on PBS
11-12:30~Kid's movie based on an elephant made famous by Dr. Seuss
1-2:30~ Kid's family about a chinese bear who knows karate
2:30-4:00~ Family movie based on a series of juvenile books about twin boys, their sister, and the faerie realm
4-5:30~ Teen Movie about a family who travels to the center of the planet.

If you guys have any trouble figuring out what we are playing come in and we will let you know. As always we will have free popcorn, drinks, and snacks. If there are three more snow dates in Wythe County then the date will be rescheduled for February 6, 2009.

Also we have already started planning things for SRP 2009. The YA theme is Express Yourself @ Your Library. It's a pretty cool theme and we have some really cool things planned for you guys. I will post more on SRP later when we have everything finalized.

One other thing we have starting up is our Teen Volunteer Program. We have so many things that you all can do here that are fun and easy. This is a great way for everyone to earn community services hours and look good on college applications in a few years. Some of the tasks we have are assembling crafts, crowd control at SRP (and other) programs, writing book reviews for this blog, shelving books, planning teen programs, helping us run any program for the little kids, and many more. I am also going to do a follow up for this too once we get approval from the board about what all you guys are allowed to do.

So if you guys have any questions comment, email, or come by and see Ally and me. We are here every weekday from 9-6.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Booking Through Thursday (on Friday)- Best of 2008

It’s a week or two later than you’d expect, and it may be almost a trite question, but … what were your favorite books from 2008?
1. Paper Towns by John Green
2. Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
3. Let It Snow by John Green/Maureen Johnson/Lauren Myracle
4. Impossible by Nancy Werlin
5. Stop in the Name of Pants by Louise Rennison
6. The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
7. Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian
8. Nation by Terry Pratchett
9. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyers
10. Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
Okay, I have a small confession to make...I didn't actually read Brisingr, but since it is one of the most popular check outs I had to put it on the list. I plan on reading it as soon as the hold list is less than 15 people! These books were all really great reads. If any of you need something fun to read I recommend them all (but start with John Green!!!) Get more top ten lists here!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Teaser Tuesday January 6, 2008

Ally's Teaser: "Even when your life seems to be about as good as it could possibly get, you have to manage it with purpose and drive. You cannot stop moving."

From Life Strategies For Teens by Jay McGraw

Read more teasers here.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Booking Through Thursday- Reading Resolutions

So … any Reading Resolutions? Say, specific books you plan to read? A plan to read more ____? Anything at all?
Name me at least ONE thing you’re looking forward to reading this year!

I don't have many reading resolutions. I try to read all of the YA books that I order, and most of the juvenile fiction that comes in as well (I am a youth services librarian and I like to be aware of content.) This year I am going to try a few challenges, which is something that I have tried before. I am going to do an alphabet challenge where I read one YA book with a title that begins with each letter of the alphabet. I am also considering doing either a 52 books in 52 weeks challenge or a 100 books challenge. I haven't decided which one yet, I guess I will gauge it on how my schedule looks with programs and such that we have planned throughout the year. I may try some other challenges if I see any that seem interesting. I would like to read more adult fiction, but I seldom have time and to be honest I prefer YA books to most adult fiction that I have read lately. I am really looking forward to reading Maureen Johnson's sequel to Suite Scarlett which is titled Scarlett Fever. Also, I don't think that John Green has anything coming out in 2009, but if he does then it goes to the top of my "Must Read NOW" pile.