Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Horror--ible book.....

The Monstumologist by Rick Yancy

Rick Yancey's throwback gothic horror novel, THE MONSTRUMOLOGIST, takes its readers back to 1888 New England where young Will Henry narrates the strange tale of his master, Pellinore Warthrop, and their "search and destroy" mission against a bloodthirsty pod of monstrous killers called anthropophagi. These creatures are headless (though not thoughtless), vicious (though not foolish), and gourmands of human flesh (though not averse to mere animal flesh, if no human cuisine is on the menu). The creatures' mouths, located in the stomach-area (how direct!), are not unlike a great white shark's. Perfect for eating, in other words -- wholesale. While Yancey's YA gem is undeniably a "plot book," it is also blessed on other fronts. The characterization, for instance, is excellent. The key characters are not cardboard, but real, with traits both admirable and abominable. Dr. Warthrop sometimes lets science get in the way of his humanity, but he's nothing compared to the dashingly dangerous Jack Kearns, a fellow monstrumologist called into the fray when it is learned that there is not just one, but many, anthropophagi living beneath an otherwise tranquil New England cemetery. Kearns delights in the hunt, and the more dangerous, the better. The trouble is, he'll stop at nothing to accomplish his goals and, to him, the laws of church and state are more a source of amusement than reference. The novel also features a convincingly Victorian style, what with its more advanced vocabulary and numerous allusions to Greek mythology. Both doctors are cool under pressure (and pressure abounds in this creepy book), bringing to mind the unflappable Sherlock Holmes. Overall, it's a singularly well-written book, a riveting display of the horror genre, and, for young Will Henry, a nightmarish coming-of-age tale. Best of all? It's the first of a series. If we are to vicariously hunt more creatures and things that go bump in the night, then, count me in. I haven't had this much fun in a long time.
Review by Ken. C. www.amazon.com

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Haiti's Library....

Haiti’s National Library After the Earthquake

Fran├žoise Beaulieu-Thybulle, director general of Haiti’s National Library in the heart of Port-au-Prince, witnessed the devastation after the earthquake struck on January 12. Fortunately, the building was spared, but there’s still a lot of damage.
SLJ contacted her by email to find out how she, her staff, and her library fared in the aftermath of the 7.0 quake and how the international library community can help. Created in 1939, the National Library serves about 20 municipal libraries and sees about 400 patrons walk through its doors each day.
Where were you when the earthquake hit?

I was at FOKAL (Fondation Connaissance Et Liberte) Monique Calixte Library attending an exhibit on Catherine Dunham. I had arrived earlier, around 4:40 p.m. The quake occurred at 4:53 p.m. The FOKAL building stood, but across the street, a school filled with kids collapsed. I witnessed the screaming and lifeless bodies and body parts on the ground.
How did you locate your staff?

As communications was impossible, it became difficult to find (all 45 staff members) by phone. It took 24 hours to find out no one had died; some of them lost their houses, two of them were rescued from rubble, and one lost her whole family (two daughters, mother, brother, and sister). She was the last one to leave the library and on her way home in public transport. Fortunately, the library closes at 5 p.m. They had closed at 4:45 p.m. that day because of a blackout.
The collapsed library stacks.

What was the first action you took?

Three days after the earthquake we felt desperate. One million homeless families, the government needed volunteers to help the victims. I mobilized my personnel and joined a group of concerned citizens called BIC (bureau d’Implications Citoyenne), which channel the help from government to a group of victim’s around Petion-Ville. We are carrying help to 6,000 people concentrated in Petion-Ville camped in three public squares.
How has the National Library itself fared?

The library is located in central Port-au-Prince, nearest to the epicentre of the earthquake. The building is still up but the whole city block collapsed. We are lucky to stand. The shelves tipped over but the stacks are fine, and 30 computers of the reading room fell and broke.
What about the children’s collection?

The children collection is secure but the furniture is damaged. It has been recommended to stay out of the buildings because of aftershocks. The whole port-au-Prince area is without electricity since the day of the earthquake. The only reason I have Internet communication at home is because of solar energy.
The collapsed building to the left of the library.How did you find yourself running the National Library?

I acquired a degree in librarianship at Columbia University in 1980 and moved back to Haiti that same year. I worked a year at the Foreign Affairs Ministry library and was offered the position of director in October 1981. Ironically it was a building devastated by three successive Hurricanes 1977-1978(David) and 1979 (Allen). We had to start from scratch, and we became a member of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) and the Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Libraries (ACURIL.) I have been director ever since.
How can those in the international library community best help Haiti’s libraries recover?

Three of our municipal libraries collapsed (Petit-Goave, Leogane, Cavaillon). These also will need help such as shelving, furniture, library materials, and a lot of moral support from the library community. It is through that ordeal that I realize how the federations and associations of libraries and librarians are family. Their moral support and their offer to help in the future in any way they can, means a lot to all of us.

Sports Contest....Grades 3-6

Inspired by its partnership with Sports Illustrated KIDS, Stone Arch Books is sponsoring a nationwide contest for students in grades three to six. The challenge? Kids are invited to create their very own sports super star. Entrants will have a chance to have their fictional characters featured in an upcoming Sports Illustrated KIDS graphic novel. And the winning student, along with his or her school, will be featured on a page at the back of the new book. Online voters can choose their favorite sports character from the top five entries posted on the contest’s Web site. The top 50 entrants will receive two free Sports Illustrated KIDS graphic novels, one for the student and other for the school library. The contest runs through March 1, 2010.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Internet Scavenger Hunt.....

In case you haven't heard, the Waterford Library is hosting a scavenger hunt for teens in the month of February. Just answer ten questions to win a prize! Come in after school and go on the computer to "hunt" for the clues to answer the questions. It shouldn't take more than a half hour and it's a fun thing to do (not to mention it will improve your computer skills...or should, anyway). Just hand in your completed form to the young adult librarian, Emily Scherrer, or anyone else in the Children's Department. Good luck!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Return of the Hunger Games...

As many of you already know, the third book in the Hunger Games series will be released August 24th. Here is a sneak peek at the new cover:
Here's what USA today has to say about it: 'Game' over: Since the September release of Catching Fire, the second in Suzanne Collins' best-selling Hunger Games trilogy for teens, Internet speculation has focused on the title of the third book. The most common guess: The Victors. Not even close. Today, Scholastic reveals the title and cover of the last book in the series set in a dictatorship where teens are forced to fight to the death on TV. It's Mockingjay, out Aug. 24. In the series, mockingjays are offspring of mockingbirds and jabberjays, a government-bred mutant designed to spy on rebels. Mockingjays become symbols of resistance. Collins is finishing her screenplay of The Hunger Games, the first book. Catching Fire entered USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list at No. 1.
If you haven't read this series, I highly encourage it. Put a copy on hold at the library today!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Once upon a time....

I am currently reading 'Ash' for a YA literature course I'm enrolled in at UW-Milwaukee. It's a fairy tale with a twist and I'm really enjoying it and wanted to pass along the review. Readerviewskids.com is a great website to find books that your peers are reading and recommending. If you get some time, make sure to check it out.

Malindo Lo Little, Brown Young Readers (2009)ISBN 9780316040099

Reviewed by McKenzie Tritt (age 15) for Reader Views (9/09)

After her father’s recent death, Aisling, known as Ash, is pushed into servitude by her wicked stepmother in order to pay off her father’s debts. Ash’s life quickly goes from joyous to terrible, with no family left to console her. All she wants is her old life with her mother and father in their home on Rook Hill. The only thing she looks forward to now is her secret walks in the Wood with a mysterious faerie named Sidhean, whose intentions are hard to decipher. Ash wishes that one day Sidhean might take her away, just so she can be rid of her cruel life. And she just might get her wish.
Ash, however, meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress. All at once, things begin to change, including Ash’s heart. She forgets about Sidhean, and she begins learning about the hunt with Kaisa as her teacher. Ash soon finds herself questioning what type of a relationship the two really have: Friends or something more? But always lurking in the background is Sidhean, and he doesn’t plan on leaving any time soon.
“Ash” by Malinda Lo was a fairy tale, literally and figuratively. The prose was eloquent and flowed smoothly. The fairy tales told throughout “Ash” really added to the story, and I enjoyed reading each one. The pacing was just right, and there were never any rough parts. The story itself was unlike any I have read before, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The characters in this book were believable and were easy to feel emotion for, whether it was pity or hatred. Ash’s story was an encouraging tale about never giving up in the search for what you want, even when all of the odds are against you. My only complaint is that we didn’t get to see enough of Ash’s relationship with Sidhean. We only meet him a few times, and I never sensed a major spark between the two. That’s my one complaint, except for the fact that “Ash” ended much too soon. Based on Malinda Lo’s gorgeous writing and her excellence at creating a wonderful setting, she’s a new must-read author for me. I recommend “Ash” to those thirteen and up, especially those looking for a new take on the old classic.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Can't read this in the bathtub....

For Christmas this year I received a Kindle which I've grown extremely fond of and has basically become another appendage. Each morning I read the Chicago Tribune, once a week I devour the New Yorker, and of course, I download my books for my YA book club, school, work, and pleasure. Although the Kindle is still pretty pricey (259.00), it has great features that one doesn't normally get with a book (a built-in dictionary, a wikipedia shortcut, etc), and the trees saved due to my "going digital" makes the environmentalist inside of me very happy.
If you get the chance, try one out (I'll let you peruse mine anytime) and see what you think. Barnes and Noble also came out with it's own version called the "Nook" which has already sold of of their stores and is on back order. With the Nook, readers can "share" books with their friends and receive free wi-fi inside Barnes and Noble retail stores. The bookstore lets people check it out for free, so be sure to stop by and see what all the fuss is about!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Just finished this GREAT book.....

WHAT I SAW AND HOW I LIED by Judy Blundell (Fiction)Now Available in Paperback
When Evie’s father returned home after World War II, the family fell back into its normal life pretty quickly. But Joe Spooner brought more back with him than just good war stories. When movie-star handsome Peter Coleridge, a young ex-GI who served in Joe’s company in postwar Austria, shows up, Evie is suddenly caught in a complicated web of lies that she only slowly recognizes. She finds herself falling for Peter, ignoring the family secrets that surround him…until he mysteriously disappears. Now Evie must find out what happened…and how far she’ll go to protect her family.

WHAT I SAW AND HOW I LIED, the 2008 winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, gives us a girl’s-eye view of a dark family history.
» Click here to read a review of WHAT I SAW AND HOW I LIED.»

Click here to read an excerpt from WHAT I SAW AND HOW I LIED.»

Click here to read our interview with Judy Blundell.»

Click here to read Judy Blundell’s bio.