Monday, June 28, 2010

Beach (Ha--We're Landlocked!) Reads

I have way too many new books to show you, so I'm giving you pretty covers all in a row and not much of a description, because there just isn't space! You'll notice awfully fast that these are the "girly" books of the bunch. I promise guy-friendly reads tomorrow.

Very briefly,

I Kissed A Zombie, and I Liked It by Adam Selzer!

Vampire princess meets goth-zombie rocker boy. Love ensues.

Comeback by Vicki Grant with its oddly small picture. It is a smallish book, but still...

Ria, who is "perfect" to outside observers, loses everything she cares about as her parents divorce and her father vanishes in a plane crash. Now she discovers he wasn't the man she thought he was, and must take action to protect herself, her brother, and her father's good name.

Remember the pretty green dress from the cover of Vanity? The one I may or may not have told you I wanted, and the one that I told you (maybe I just thought it) was kind of creepy because it was like a girl was in the dress, only there was no girl in it at all, it was like Invisible Girl was wearing it? No?

Well, here is the second in the trilogy, Gorgeous by Rachel Vail, this volume following Allison Avery, the middle sister, who may have just made a deal with the devil. Can I just mention, I really love the color of that nail polish. Why is it that you never find nice colors like that when you go looking for them?

Twenty Boy Summer
by Sarah Ockler.

Best friends Anna and Frankie decide to spend their days in Zanzibar Bay searching for their first summer romance, and by meeting one boy a day, they're sure to find love. But Anna hasn't told Frankie she's already had a summer romance--with Frankie's brother Matt, who died the previous year.

The Alpha Bet
by Stephanie Hale,

Grace Kelly (just like the movie star), has been coping with her overprotective mother for years. So she studies hard, graduates from high school at 16, and starts her own life at college. Grace decides to rush the Alphas, a very exclusive sorority, tells one tiny--massive--lie, and things get complicated fast.

Swoon at Your Own Risk
by Sydney Salter.

Polly, whose grandmother is the famous advice columnist Miss Swoon, ought to know everything about boys. But she vows to spend her summer working at Wild Waves, a western-themed water park, without boys. None. No way. When her grandmother comes to stay, Polly hopes she'll be able to help. But her Miss Swoon is still just as boy crazy as Polly doesn't want to be...

Friday, June 18, 2010

T-Shirt Design!

I have pictures of our t-shirt design class! Last night, Candie Cooper (here's her website and here's her blog) taught us how to silk screen...

And it was a lot of fun!

Back when I was young, when trees covered the earth and steamboats chugged over the Mississippi, when telegrams sent the latest news and ponies still ran across the west carrying mail to the settlers, we had to make our own silk screens. We did that in drafting class (although what that has to do with architecture, I shall never know). The screens are troublesome to make, you need a special printer and it was so annoying to do that the teacher only let us make one screen.

This meant that the whole class had to pick one design we all liked. None of us liked the design. Then, we had to use all the same color because the screen could only really be used one time before it was ruined.

But now that's changed. Candie snatched up a bunch of samples at a trade show of this new product called Simply Screen--Plaid makes it (the Mod Podge people).

These are amazing.

Basically, you grab a screen (these are at big craft stores, and will soon be at Walmart) and some paint (there is special paint, also at the biggie craft stores-but-soon-Walmart). You peel the screen (which is a little sticky on one side to hold it in place) off its backing, then put the screen down on your shirt.

Then, you take your paint and squirt out a line across the top or side of the screen, about as thick as the mayo on a sandwich from Subway--well, maybe more like toothpaste from a tube. They put on tons of mayo at Subway.

After that, you use the little squeegee that comes with the screen to drag the paint across the screen at a 45 degree angle. It goes through the thin silk mesh of the design and hits the fabric underneath.

You can also just paint your shirt through the screen with a brush. Whatever you want.

And you can layer different colors of paint, leaving you with black lettering tinged with copper or pink. Very fun.

When you finish your design, you wash out the screen and put it back on the backing (sticky side down), and you can use the screen over and over again.

The whole process can take moments--my first shirt took like five minutes to make. And I love it.

The hair dryer helps the paint dry quickly. When it's done, you can wash the shirt like normal (but inside out, I'd imagine, would help keep it looking pretty). You can also glue on little crystals (or "sparklies" as I was calling them last night).

Friday, June 4, 2010

Now that you're done reading books for school--read for fun!

I managed to go through the vast majority of the new books for you, in between all the registering I've been doing for our summer reading program. It's very busy in here. You should come. The more the merrier.

After all, you're coming in for these books anyway, so you could register for the reading program (it only takes a few minutes) and get tons of points for reading books you were going to read anyway, then you could spend said points, getting raffle tickets for our drawings I told you about here or saving up for the whole paperback book order thing, which is fabulous. Just a suggestion.

Brett McCarthy: Work in Progress by Maria Padian...

Brett is a normal girl, a great soccer player, good student, has a terrific best friend, and pretty much has the eighth grade scene figured out. But then comes the prank.

Now she's a total loser, a juvenile delinquent who eats lunch with the principal every single day.

Nevertheless, Brett soldiers on, even as her entire world changes around her.

She's just smart-mouthed enough to make me very happy.

Under the Same Sky by Cynthia DeFelice...

Joe Pedersen wants a motorbike, something he's sure will give him the freedom he craves. He hopes his father will buy him one for his fourteenth birthday, but he's out of luck. Instead, his dad suggests that Joe work over the summer to earn money for the bike. Joe jumps at the chance, and joins up with the summer migrant workers on his family farm.

This novel challenges prejudices and is bound to make you think.

Warriors: Power of Three, Book Two: Dark River by Erin Hunter...

You know this series by now, I hope, so I'm not going deep into it. Just know that it's here.

Saving Juliet by Suzanne Selfors...

Juliet's horrible, pointless death proves yet again that arranged marriages have got to go. Down with patriarchy! Oh. Right. The book.

Mimi, 17 years old and forced into playing Juliet on Broadway (Sob! Your life is so hard...) opposite the incredibly attractive Troy, is catapulted with her costar into Shakespeare's Verona, Italy. Soon she realizes that she has tons in common with Juliet, who is also being steered down a path she doesn't want. So Mimi sets out to save Juliet and give her a happy ending.

Good luck.

What's next?

Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner...

If you think Percy Jackson had it bad, wait until you hear about poor Helen. As in "The face that launched a thousand ships."

Helen doesn't want to get married, but she's a beautiful princess, so that's kind of her job. *retch* Still, she trains with her brothers, dreaming of heroic adventures and freedom.

Instead of waiting for the gods to help her, Helen goes it alone, making friends with Atlanta and the non-mummified Oracle of Delphi.

A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker...

Hooray! Fiona's school has roped her into participating in Trying the Knot, a mandatory class dedicated to showing students what married life is all about. Fiona is paired up with "super-jock" (what does that mean?) Todd Harding. And then Fiona's crush is paired up with Todd's super-evil girlfriend. Fiona's best friend is fated to spend the year with Johnny Mercer, who is huge and a class clown.

Comedy ensues.

Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey...

Solange Drake is the only female vampire ever born, destined to be a vampire queen, and the girl every vampire boy wants to date. Well, marry. Or maybe kill, what with the bounty hunter situation.

When Solange is kidnapped, she must depend on her brother Nicholas and her (human) best friend Lucy to save her. If Lucy doesn't need saving herself, what with Nicholas. And then there's the vampire hunter helping Solange survive...

Epic battles, drama, humor, and so forth. Enjoy.

In Ecstasy by Kate McCaffrey...

When painfully shy Mia's popular best friend Sophie suggests that the two of them try ecstasy, Mia hopes it will help fit in. The two girls are then pulled apart as the drug changes their lives.

Although it's not written in verse, readers will draw parallels between this book and Crank.

Jack: Secret Histories by F. Paul Wilson...

Jack has discovered his talent. He's great at fixing things. At making things right. So when he and his friends Weezy and Eddie find a corpse in the woods, Jack decides to make things right...

Inside Out by Terry Trueman...

I love the publisher's blurb for this one, so I'm quoting for you: "A busy coffee shop--a robbery gone wrong. Two gunmen, nine hostages, flashing lights. And Zach is caught in the mayhem. But nobody realizes that Zach--who has no gun and no knife--has a mind more dangerous than any weapon."

It's on my reading list.

Albatross by Josie Bloss...

Overcoming her parent's painful divorce, Tess moves to Michigan. She's lost without her old life, but her attraction to Micah is beginning to help. But Micah is intense, his affection for her moving from warm and caring to controlling and violent.

Alligator Bayou by Donna Jo Napoli...

Is a must for historical fiction fans. Napoli tells the story of Calogero and his family, six Sicilians living in Tallulah, Louisiana in 1899.

The immigrants are welcomed by some in the town, but others shun them. Calogero struggles to adapt to his new home, aided by Patricia, a beautiful young black woman. But every day, relations between the white community and the Sicilians grow closer to a violent conclusion.

Based on a actual historical events, Napoli gives us a story every American should know.

Speaking of civil rights, here is Free? a collection of short stories edited by Amnesty International.

I'm excited about Eoin Colfer's story. Maybe I'll just take a peek here...

Jars of Glass by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler...

Sisters Chloe and Shana both long for their lives to go back to normal, the way it was before their mother went to the hospital. Chloe wants her mother to come home; Shana never wants to see their mother again. While Shana tries to escape, Chloe is left to be the responsible one.

When their situation gets even worse, the sisters must unite to rebuild their family.

A Touch of Sci-Fi, a Touch of Fantasy

First, I have a novel by one of my favorite authors of all time, Melina Marchetta: Finnikin of the Rock.

I love Melina Marchetta. She is fabulous. She is made of awesome. Her writing makes me swoon.

Finnikin is told that he must sacrifice a pound of his flesh to save his kingdom. He and his two friends, Prince Balthazar and Lucian mix their blood to keep their homeland safe.

But their safeguard fails. During five unspeakable days, the king, queen, and their children are murdered. The throne is seized, the land cursed, and the few who manage to escape wander homeless, dying by the thousand of illness.

Ten years pass.

Finnikin is called to another rock, this time to meet with Evanjalin, a novice who insists that Prince Balthazar lives. She urges Finnikin and his master, Sr Topher, to come with her to find the prince.

Even with all the epic fantasy awesomeness this book has, I must now throw in that Finnikin of the Rock is not for fantasy lovers only. Marchetta's writing will blow you away, even if you thrive on chick lit or, dare I say, vampire books. Try to read the first chapter and put it down.

I dare you.

Leaving fantasy behind, I steer you to science fiction--Living Hell by Catherine Jinks.

With Earth long since destroyed, Cheney and her family live on what we sci-fi buffs would call a "generation ship"--a vessel created to take a huge population of people(be it colonists, refugees, etc.) from one planet to another.

Their ship, Plexus, has nurtured them for years. At least until the radiation wave.

Now Plexus is trying to kill them. Cheney and his friends must find a way to fight the ship before their home ends their lives.

Think Aliens but with no alien, just the ship. And death, lots of death.

Second, I have some graphic novels.

Camilla d'Errico's Burn

Burn was once human, now he's mixture of both man and machine, blended physically with the horrible machine Shoftiel, one of the many robots made to serve humanity that waged war on their creators, tearing through Burn's home and leaving it destroyed. When Burn and Shoftiel emerge from the wreck, they discover they have merged, and now must battle internally for control over their shared body.

For Burn, this means escaping Shoftiel's genocidal programming, staying strong enough to remain as close to human as he can. Each drawing manages to capture the depth of emotion d'Errico explores. Beautifully done.

And because I like Buffy so very much, No Future for You, volume 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight.

In this offering, Faith makes an entrance, called on by Giles to stop one of the thousands of new Slayers, one who has decided she likes killing more than just vampires.

Oh, and have I mentioned before that the only reason I get out of bed on Thursdays is that I know Fringe will be on in the evening? Because it's true.

So when I heard J.J. Abrams had made us a Fringe graphic novel, I couldn't resist. Especially because it shows us how Walter Bishop and William Bell began their work...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I just did this yesterday, but no one was filming it.

I was laughing at this over the weekend, and now I can't get the song out of my head, so here you go.

This is what we librarians do when you aren't around.

Make Waves at Your Library!

Our Y.A. Summer Reading Program has begun!

We're doing things a little differently this time around. Last year was my first time running the show, and I had no idea what to give you for prizes. I mean, you'll read what you want to no matter what I offer up to you as an incentive, so what could I possibly do to inspire you...

This year, we're trying raffles. Instead of using your points to buy something that will only entertain you for a little while, you can use points to buy raffle tickets and get the chance at winning something more exciting.

We'll be doing five raffle drawings on Mondays, starting on June 28 and ending on July 26.


We'll be giving out tickets to Eclipse, copies of The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, a Nerf Super-Soaker Shot Blast (to allow you to fully express your love for your siblings and friends), a copy of the first DVD box set of Naruto Shippuden, and a $25.00 iTunes gift card.

In addition to all of that, you can also use your points to earn an ever-popular book order--meaning you earn 600 pts, tell me what paperback book you want to own, and I order it for you.

And we also have watches, bookmarks, and flip flop necklaces.

We also have sign-up sheets out for our next program--t-shirt design with Candie Cooper--so come by the library and register!