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


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."