Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lockdown, Escape from Furnace by Alexander Gordan Smith

One of my favorite genres--this lived up to its expectations and I'm not a teenage boy.

Book Review: Lockdown (Escape from Furnace Book 1) by Alexander Gordon Smith
In a dystopian (alternate? future?) England, gang violence has gotten so bad that the state has sanctioned a hellish underground prison for young felons dubbed the Furnace. Once a teen criminal has been sentenced there, it’s for life – with no chance of ever seeing the sun again. One inmate is 15 year old Alex Sawyer. Alex may be a thief and a bully, but he didn’t kill his best friend – he was framed. And his only hope for justice and redemption is escape from a place no one has ever escaped from.

LOCKDOWN is very much a plot-driven action/horror spectacle aimed squarely at teen boys. You’re not going to find a lot of deep exploration of weighty themes here, but you are taken on quite the thrill ride as Alex navigates his way through his new hellish environment and plots his seemingly impossible escape. There are some very scary supernatural elements at work in the prison, and the main motivation to keep reading in spite of the nightmare-inducing setting is to discover just what the warden does with kids that are “taken” from their cells at night, never to return. And of course to hope that Alex and his buddies find a way out.

Being that there are two more books in the ESCAPE FROM FURNACE trilogy, SOLITARY and DEATH SENTENCE (coming in 2010 and 2011 in the US, but already released in the UK), this first book definitely takes over the set-up role, and although there is a measure of closure, the story you came for (i.e. escaping) is most definitely not complete (must get sequels now!).

Find out more about the trilogy on the author’s website. Also, read an interview with the author (where he mentions that dystopian classic 1984 and its "complex relationship between desperation and hope" was an influence on his work) at the publisher's website.

Book Review by

Rating: 5
Reading Next: The Monstrumologist

If I Stay Movie?

Dakota Fanning in Talks for If I Stay
Source: Variety October 21, 2010

Dakota Fanning is in talks to star in Summit Entertainment and producer Denise Di Novi's If I Stay, says Variety.

Brazilian filmmaker Heitor Dhalia is set to direct. Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) was previously attached to direct, but dropped out to shoot Red Riding Hood.

Based on Gayle Forman's novel of the same name, the film is the story of the gifted classical musician Mia and her boyfriend, Adam, an up and coming indie-rock star. Torn between two paths in life, her art or her relationship, Mia is forced to make an even starker choice between life and death when she is caught in a fatal car accident with her family one snowy morning in Oregon.

Shauna Cross wrote the script.

Author Blogs

Check out our new addition of Author Blogs. If you know any others, add them to comments. Thanks alot.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Movie Notes--Mortal Instruments Series

Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare is that much closer to becoming a movie. Here's a snippet from an article I found on

Mortal Instruments' fans received some great movie news this evening Tweeted from the newly married Cassandra Clare. Sony Pictures has teamed up with Constantin Film and Unique Features to develop City of Bones, the first book in The Mortal Instruments series into a motion picture film. The specific branch of Sony taking on the project is Screen Gems. Screen Gems has developed popular fantasy/thrillers in the past such as the Underworld movies and the Resident Evil movies. Their most recent film is Easy A, which stars Zombieland’s Emma Stone. Clare admits she thinks Stone could be a great Clary.

Jessica Postigo wrote the script and it only covers the content from City of Bones, the first book in The Mortal Instruments series. Anyone who was concern with circulating rumors that any of the books could be combined can rest easy tonight

Also, The Dark Divine by Bree Despain:

Per Variety Ralph Winter (X-Men) and Terry Botwick have acquired rights to Bree Despain's three-book young adult series through their 1019 Entertainment banner. Whitney Thomas, an exec at 1019, will also produce.

And, Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely, info from her website:

Production Studio: Wild West Picture Show Productions
Screen Writer: Caroline Thompson, writer of A Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride, and Edward Scissorhands
Director: Kimberly Peirce. Past directing credits include Stop-Loss and Boys Don't Cry.
Rating: PG-13

Status: The screenplay is in the final stages of completion.

Most of these are in early stages of development, so I doubt they'll be out soon. But, it's good to keep track!

Plus, there's a Disney Channel Original Movie this Fall based on Meg Cabot's Avalon High. Britt Robertson from "Life Unexpected" and "Dan in Real Life" plays the main character.

Have a great long weekend!

Friday, October 8, 2010


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Speak Out Against Bullying

In the light of recent news events here is an excellent website with resources dealing with bullying

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Research Hints

Need to do research for school or fun. Google isn't the only option. You can even do it from home with your library card number. Go to the library web In the left hand column, find Online Databases Look at all of the exciting options. Need specific articles, go to Ebsco MasterFILE Premier. Type in your library card number. Type in your search term and you are off and running.

What is Boolean Search?
Boolean searches allow you to combine words and phrases using the words AND, OR, NOT and NEAR (otherwise known as Boolean operators) to limit, widen, or define your search. Most Internet search engines and Web directories default to these Boolean search parameters anyway, but a good Web searcher should know how to use basic Boolean operators.

You can limit your search to Full Text.
You can search for particular publications by putting the name of the publication and the date.

Questions? More Detail? Call the library or email the library. Enjoy your Googleless Search.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Have you or someone you know been a victim of a cyberbully? Did you know there are steps you can take to help stop it from happening? Here are some great tips with a link for more information:
Tips to Stop Cyberbullying

Reposted from

Don’t respond. If someone bullies you, remember that your reaction is usually exactly what the bully wants. It gives him or her power over you. Who wants to empower a bully?

Don’t retaliate. Getting back at the bully turns you into one and reinforces the bully’s behavior. Help avoid a whole cycle of aggression.

Save the evidence. The only good news about digital bullying is that the harassing messages can usually be captured, saved, and shown to someone who can help. You need to do this even if it’s minor stuff, in case things escalate.

Talk to a trusted adult. You deserve backup. It’s always good to involve a parent but – if you can’t – a school counselor usually knows how to help. Sometimes both are needed. If you’re really nervous about saying something, see if there’s a way to report the incident anonymously at school.

Block the bully. If the harassment’s coming in the form of instant messages, texts, or profile comments, do yourself a favor: Use preferences or privacy tools to block the person. If it’s in chat, leave the “room.”

Be civil. Even if you don’t like someone, it’s a good idea to be decent and not sink to the other person’s level. Also, research shows that gossiping about and trash talking others increases your risk of being bullied. Treat people the way you want to be treated.

Don’t be a bully. How would you feel if someone harassed you? You know the old saying about walking a mile in someone’s shoes; even a few seconds of thinking about how another person might feel can put a big damper on aggression. That’s needed in this world.

Be a friend, not a bystander. Watching or forwarding mean messages empowers bullies and hurts victims even more. If you can, tell bullies to stop or let them know harassment makes people look stupid and mean. It’s time to let bullies know their behavior is unacceptable – cruel abuse of fellow human beings. If you can’t stop the bully, at least try to help the victim and report the behavior.

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

A slow moving postapocalyptic adventure set on the American Gulf Coast. The main character, Nailer works light crew; which means his job involves crawling deep into the wrecks of the ancient oil tankers that line the beach, scavenging copper wire and turning it over to his crew boss. It is a dangerous endeavor. A hurricane leads Nailer and his friend, Pima to a shipwreck and its barely live passenger. The ship is filled with valuable goods—a "Lucky Strike" that could make them rich, if only they can find a safe way to cash it in. The passenger pleads with them for help. She says if they help her, she can show them a world of wealth that they have never known. But can they trust her? More importantly, can they keep the girl safe from Nailer's drug-addicted father?

I thought this book was extremely slow moving until the last third of the book. Of course, it brings in the fate of New Orleans and the dystopian theme so recurrent in many of the new books.

Rating: 5

Reading Next: Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

"Firelight" to become a movie?

"In a pre-emptive move, Mandalay Pictures has nabbed bigscreen rights to the just-published young adult novel "Firelight." Supernatural tale, the first in a three-book series, was penned by bestselling author Sophie Jordan, aka Sharie Kohler.
Story follows twin teenage sisters, the descendants of dragons who live in secret with their endangered pride. When their mother learns that the pride has a dark plan for one of the girls who possesses the rare talent of fire breathing, she spirits the twins away to live a normal life among humans."