Friday, September 30, 2011

Overheard on the Titanic

The artist's statement is that the "Overheard On The Titanic print is part of my ongoing series of Newspaper Blackout Poems: poetry made by taking an article from the New York Times and blacking it out with a Sharpie marker, leaving only a few choice words behind. This poem came from a theater review." How sad.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Librarian's Pick of the Week: The Various

Title: The Various
Author: Steve Augarde
Genre: Fantasy
Published: 2004
Age: 12+

Synopsis: While staying on her uncle's rundown farm in the Somerset countryside, twelve-year-old Midge discovers that she has a special connection to the Various, a tribe of "strange, wild--and sometimes deadly" fairies struggling to maintain their existence in the nearby woods.

Review: In this inventive and unusual fantasy, Midge, 11, is staying on her uncle's farm while her violinist mother is on tour. She is drawn into a disused barn by the "sound" of words inside her head-the voice of a small winged horse, one of the fairy folk, or "the Various," as they call themselves. She becomes involved in their dramas and adventures as she tries to ensure that their Forest, which her uncle plans to sell to a developer, remains safe for them to live in. Augarde's fairies are very much of this world: concrete and well realized in all of their physical details, down to their tattered clothes made from scraps of fabric. The climactic scene is exciting, and the one in which one of the Various shoots an arrow into the gigantic and fierce farmyard cat and kills it is powerfully visceral. There is an air of contrivance in the story's resolution, however, as it is through events in the adult world of Midge's family that the Forest is saved. This is somewhat anticlimactic, as the efforts of the Various to save themselves turn out to have been unnecessary. Midge's character is clearly delineated, but other human characters are less well developed. The strength of the novel lies in the sense of atmosphere, and the portrayal of the fairy characters, particularly Pegs, the winged horse. - School Library Journal

If you're intrigued, don't forget to check our library's catalog for this book!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New Arrivals!

September 1st - September 15th

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Marshmallow Willpower Test

There's this psychology experiment about willpower and children, where the professor would give kids one marshmallow and tell them that if they waited to eat it until he got back, they could have two. This is a hilarious video showing children having some intense struggles during this social experiment. The blonde boy was really battling his inner demons during this video!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Librarian's Pick of the Week: The Goose Girl

Title: The Goose Girl
Author: Shannon Hale
Genre: Fantasy
Published: 2003
Age: 13+

"Those who enjoy getting lost in an enchanted world will discover here a satisfying and richly embellished retelling."

Synopsis: Princess Anidori, on her way to marry a prince she has never met, is betrayed by her guards and her lady-in-waiting and must become a goose girl to survive until she can reveal her true identity and reclaim the crown that is rightfully hers.

Review: She can whisper to horses and communicate with birds, but the crown princess Ani has a difficult time finding her place in the royal family and measuring up to her imperial mother. When she is shipped off to a neighboring kingdom as a bride, her scheming entourage mounts a bloody mutiny to replace her with a jealous lady-in-waiting, Selia, and to allow an inner circle of guards more power in the new land. Barely escaping with her life, Ani disguises herself as a goose girl and wanders on the royal estate. Does she have the pluck to reclaim her rightful place? Get ready for a fine adventure tale full of danger, suspense, surprising twists, and a satisfying conclusion. The engaging plot can certainly carry the tale, but Hale's likable, introspective heroine makes this also a book about courage and justice in the face of overwhelming odds. The richly rendered, medieval folkloric setting adds to the charm. - Booklist

If you're intrigued, don't forget to check our library's catalog for this book!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

First Position Tragedy

She just can't quite do it, though she tries so hard! How sweet.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Embroidered Book Covers

How sweet! These are embroidered book covers by the artist Jillian Tamaki? She created them for Penguin Books, and it is supposed they will be available soon.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Librarian's Pick of the Week: Ender's Game

Title: Ender's Game
Author: Orson Scott Card
Genre: Science Fiction
Published: 13+
Age: 1991

"A space-age Lord of the Flies thrill-ride."

Synopsis: Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut--young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training. Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister. Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.

Review: This new young adult edition of the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning classic sci-fi novel by Orson Scott Card, winner of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for outstanding lifetime contribution to writing for teens, includes an original postscript by the author in which he discusses the origins of the novel. is all about leadership. The novel asks: What does it take to successfully lead men into battle? The buggers have invaded Earth twice. The last time mankind survived only because of the brilliance of Mazer Rackham, commander of the International Fleet. Years later, a third invasion is feared and a new commander is sought. Ender Wiggin is only six years old when he is plucked to succeed Rackham and sent to the space station Battle School. He is isolated, ridiculed, bullied, and persecuted-but he survives and thrives. Using his astonishing intelligence, the boy learns to be a top-notch solider and, despite his youth and small stature, is quickly promoted up the ranks. By the age of 12, Ender learns the art of command and earns the respect and fear of his fellow soldiers. This audio version was created in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the novel and it's a gem. The audiobook is narrated by a full cast. Stefan Rudniki is particularly good as Ender. Despite Ender's age, this is not a children's novel. Its profound themes (and mild profanity) call for intelligent teens who appreciate a complex novel. - School Library Journal

If you're intrigued, don't forget to check our library's catalog for this book!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Pictogram Movie Posters

Viktor Hertz has combined two hobbies, graphic design and film, in this series of pictogram movie posters. Pictograms are often seen in instruction manuals and on signs, and is considered a universal language.

"I’ve always been fascinated and a bit obsessed by pictograms, with the way they are as simple as possible," he tells us." A classmate called me a 'pictophile' the other day. I can only agree. I made a few Kubrick posters some time ago, using pictograms, so that’s where it all started. Now I wanted to be consistent, and do a series of posters using the same grid and style, making them work together as a whole. "I try to bring a twist to it, and not get too simple. I want to be unpredictable and entertaining, and make something that communicates the film instantly, yet in an original way."


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Librarian's Pick of the Week: The Thirteenth Child

Title: The Thirteenth Child
Author: Patricia C. Wrede
Genre: Fantasy, Alternate History
Published: 2009
Age: 12+

"With wit and wonder, #1 New York Times bestselling author Wrede creates an alternate history of westward expansion in an amazing new trilogy about the use of magic in the Wild West."

Synopsis: Eighteen-year-old Eff must finally get over believing she is bad luck and accept that her special training in Aphrikan magic, and being the twin of the seventh son of a seventh son, give her extraordinary power to combat magical creatures that threaten settlements on the western frontier.

Review: In this alternative history, a magical barrier protects most people from the dangerous magical creatures of the Wild West. Eff is a 13th unlucky child who supposedly will cause doom and misfortune, and is twin sister to Lan, the lucky and extra-magical 7th son of a 7th son. This novel covers a lot of ground both in time, following Eff from when she's 5 until she's 18, and in distance, as Eff's family moves to the Western frontier when Eff's magic-professor father and practical mother decide that the move will hide Eff and Lan's differences. Then Lan's potential is revealed after he causes an annoying classmate to float. When he leaves to go to school back East, Eff follows her own path to learning more about magic, including assisting in caring for the magical creatures at her father's college. Her narration provides background about life in this version of early America, where magic helps with daily chores but brings its own dangers. Eff's life in Lan's shadow will ring true to all siblings of a particularly talented child, but at the conclusion it's Eff who uses her own magic to rescue her twin. Reminiscent of Orson Scott Card's "Alvin Maker" books, this is an interesting, but often slow-moving tale. - School Library Journal

If you're intrigued, don't forget to check our library's catalog for this book!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New Arrivals!

August 15th - August 31st

Monday, September 5, 2011

Was Your Dad Hip?

"Your dad played obscure musical instruments before you did and there’s a sultry flute ballad about your mom to prove it."

I just found this incredibly funny tumblr called Dads Are the Original Hipsters, which features old photos of dads looking super awesome back in the day. And each picture has a hilarious caption that points out that though hipster may feel that their trends are entirely original, they're not. Thank you Internet!

"Your dad wore tight shirts before you did and he has the stretched out fibers to prove it."

"Your dad knew how to rage before you did."

 "Your dad wore deep-V’s before you did and he has the photo of his man cleavage to prove it."

 "Your dad rode a skateboard before you did and he has a picture in Thrasher to prove it."
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