Friday, December 30, 2011

Analogy of a Cache

For those of you who are tech challenged--from one of my favorite tech geeks. Enjoy

It's Analogy Time: How Caches Work
Caches are pretty simple to understand. Let's say you're running a library with thousands of books and thousands of users. Allowing everyone to roam freely would create a traffic nightmare so you make all requests for books go through your help desk. A customer approaches the desk, tells your employee what book they want, and your employee runs to grab the book. This happens for each request. The time it takes your employee to return with a book after receiving a request from a customer is your service time and it's a value that you want to keep as low as possible in order to prevent you losing your customers to another library.

Over time your employee may notice that certain books are frequently requested. A smart employee would decide to have copies of these books at the help desk, to more quickly service those requests. With a large enough desk, your employee could likely accommodate a good percentage of the requests that come by. At the end of the day, doing so would lower your service time and allow you to serve more customers. Requesting a book not located at the help desk would still take the same amount of time.

If reading patterns change over time, your employee could adapt. Assuming there's a finite amount of space at the help desk, books that are no longer as frequently read as they once were could be evicted from the desk and replaced with more popular titles.

The library I've described above is an example of a cache. The books are of course data, the customers are instructions and the help desk is the cache itself. Data that's accessed more frequently is stored in the cache and as access patterns change, so does the data in the cache.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Rikers High by Volponi

Martin Stokes is known as "Forty" at Rikers Island. He is no longer a teenage boy, going to school,
hanging out with his boys, living his life. He is a prisoner at a New York correctional facility, known by
his bed number, Forty. After being arrested for what seemed like an trivial charge, Martin is trapped
in the system for months, and he is counting down the days until his trial. Martin's face is slashed with a razor on the way back from a disappointing court appearance, and he is tortured with the fact that the scars will serve as a constant reminder of his time at Rikers. The scars will tell his story before he has a chance to.

Rikers High is rich with vivid detail about the daily life in Sprung #3, the section of the jail that houses the
juvenile offenders. Brutal corrections officers, unfair strip searches, prowling gangs, and a
constant sense of fear and unease fill Martin's final days at Rikers. There is one bright spot in Martin's life -- the part of the day when he is allowed to attend high school classes within the jail. For a brief time, he no longer feels like a criminal, but more like the person he was before he made
his biggest mistake. Mr. Demarco, one of the teachers inside the jail, treats Martin like a student
instead of a prisoner -- with respect and dignity. He gives Martin the hope that when he gets out, he
WILL make something of himself.

Paul Volponi is an amazing writer, and this story feels painfully realistic. Read this if you enjoy
gritty, urban fiction with a heart.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fashion Designers Sketch Katniss's Fire Dress!

NOVEMBER 30, 2011
“I am dressed in what will either be the most sensational or the deadliest costume in the opening ceremonies. I’m in a simple black unitard that covers me from ankle to neck. Shiny leather boots lace up to my knees. But it’s the fluttering cape made of streams of orange, yellow, and red and the matching headpiece that define this costume. Cinna plans to light them on fire just before our chariot rolls into the streets.” —Katniss in The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Ever since The Hunger Games started filming, we’ve been dying for a sneak peek of Katniss Everdeen’s fire dress. The look epitomizes the heroine’s transformation from woodsy tomboy to showstopping woman full of fire—something her stylist Cinna meant intentionally. We reached out to some of our favorite designers to see how they envision this pivotal moment—click through the gallery to see their interpretations now.,,20542054_20549206,00.html?xid=people-dec2011-hunger-games-fire-dress

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Buzz About 21st Century Libraries--Virtual Panel Discussion

Friday, December 2, 2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone to be a movie!!

Paramount Plans Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Source: Deadline , Laini Taylor

December 1, 2011

Paramount Pictures is planning an adaptation of Laini Taylor's fantasy novel, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Deadline reports. Planned as a trilogy, the first book was released this past September and is officially described on Taylor's site as follows:

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Nothing is official as of yet, but the studio is likely eyeing Taylor's novel as a potential franchise.

Read more: Paramount Plans Daughter of Smoke and Bone -

Dotti Enderle

* * *

Got Gingerbread?

The Library Gingerbread Man / Gingerbread Man Superhero!

Two tasty picture books perfect for the holidays.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Another Book to Movie--Divergent

"Harry Potter" is over -- probably forever. "The Twilight Saga" is drawing its second-to-last breaths in the box office and, while "The Hunger Games" hasn't yet hit theaters, March will be here and gone before we know it.

What's a YA-meets-movies fan supposed to do?

Derive comfort from Veronica Roth's deal with Summit, that's what. The studio that brought "Twilight" to life snapped up the rights to her debut novel "Divergent" last March, and with "Snow White and the Huntsman" writer Evan Daugherty tackling the adaptation, we're more excited than ever to see Roth's chilling vision of the future on the big screen.

In honor of Dystopian Week — an online celebration we're having with our friends at theFABlife and Hollywood Crush — we talked to Ms. Roth and got the scoop on her plans for "Divergent" the movie, her casting wishes and whether she'd like to show up in cameos, a la Stephenie Meyer. (We should mention that we once mistook the 22-year-old author for a movie star at a Summit party so... yes please, cameo.)

People inevitably will make comparisons to Stephenie Meyer, since you're both YA novelists signed to Summit. She's producing her first film now -- are you planning to be Meyer-level involved in the making of "Divergent?"
Not really. At least, I haven’t really been involved with it for very long, so it's hard to say. But I really just love books and I never really watch movies. I'm more into the slow, sort of meditative process and movies are like bam-bam! Bam-bam-bam! So I don't know if it's really the place for me. I don't know, it's been really fun to see "Twilight" from the inside, but I'm really just observing, I'm not really involved.

How about casting? The studio has the final say, but are you hoping for anyone in particular?
I really don't know — when it comes to movies, I kind of like to see unknown people. Not faces that have been everywhere, so that would be my dream cast, I guess. Really talented but not really known.

The first book was optioned before you started writing the final two books of the trilogy. Has knowing you'll be seeing these characters in the flesh altered your path? Have you started writing more cinematically?
You know, I think that's how I write naturally. I think we sometimes imagine what it looks like and all the surroundings — all the things people think about when they're filming a movie, and then I just write it down, so nothing has really changed, not really. I think it would be different if they cast people while I was writing, because then I wouldn't be able to separate them in my mind but, right now, it's still all my imagination.

I think it wouldn't be terrible, but I'd rather keep them the way they are and not yet what's happening in the real world. Just what's happening in my fake world.
Veronica Roth

Meyer has cameos in a few of the "Twilight" films. Is that something you want or something you'd actively avoid?
I wouldn't say no. I think it would be so fun. And it's not an experience you think you're ever going to have. So, yeah, I'd like that. But I'm not like, "I must have one!"

I'd like to be one of the Dauntless trying to jump on the train. Or I guess... off the train. That would be fun. I don't think they'd let me do that, because I'm uncoordinated and have poor balance.

That train-jumping scene is pretty brutal. Your book, "The Hunger Games" and some others — they're not for the faint of heart. What defines YA books and movies these days? It is simply the age of the protagonists?
Partially, it's themes. If I have more adult themes in the book, and the protagonist was young and the voice was old, it might be an adult book. But these themes are intensely adolescent, it's having to define yourself and not knowing if you can, especially at such a young age, and I think that's very teen concern. It certainly was my concern when I was a teen.

I think it's mostly about the protagonist and the themes but not so much about the content anymore. It used to be, you'd kind of have to censor yourself if you were writing young adult, but I don't really think that's the case at all these days.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Harrison Ford Sought for Ender's Game

Harrison Ford Sought For Ender's Game
Source: Variety , Asa Butterfield
November 29, 2011

Recently rumored for the role, Hugo star Asa Butterfield confirmed earlier today via Twitter that he's officially joined Summit Entertainment's big-screen version of Ender's Game. Now, Variety has word that the next major bit of casting is the role of Colonel Hyrum Graff and that the producers are keen on getting Harrison Ford for the part (though there are said to be other unnamed possibilities as well).

To be directed by Gavin Hood (Tsotsi, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Ender's Game is based on the science fiction novel series by Orson Scott Card,

Read more: Harrison Ford Sought For Ender's Game -

Dotti Enderle
* * *
CROSSWIRE (Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek)
* Texas Institute of Letters Young Adult Award Recipient
* June Franklin Naylor Award for Best Children’s Book on Texas History
* WWA Spur Award Finalist

Interview with Mitali Perkins

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Berlin Boxing Club

Richie's Picks: THE BERLIN BOXING CLUB by Robert Sharenow, HarperTeen, April 2011, 416p., ISBN: 978-0-06-157968-8

"All of Germany got swept up in Max Mania. He flew home in grand style on the Hindenburg, the largest airship in the world and the pride of the Nazi fleet. Thousands turned up to greet him when he landed in Frankfurt, and the event was covered on live radio. Every newspaper and magazine featured photographs of Max and stories about the fight. Almost instantly Max's name and face appeared on products all over Europe as he endorsed everything from his favorite brand of almonds to shirt collars to motor oil. Max also acquired the rights to distribute the film of the Louis fight in Germany, and it quickly became the number one box office hit across the country under the title Max Schmeling's Victory--A German Victory."

Ten months ago, I wrote about a great new picture book for older readers, A NATION'S HOPE: THE STORY OF BOXING LEGEND JOE LOUIS. That lyrical, true story is centered around the historic second boxing match between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling. In their first meeting two years earlier -- which led to the Max Mania described in THE BERLIN BOXING CLUB -- Schmeling scored an upset, knocking out Louis in twelve rounds. But in Yankee Stadium, on June 22, 1938, Louis got even by disposing of Schmeling in the first round.

Having previously assumed that Max Schmeling was a racist Nazi pawn, it is a shock to learn from the author's note in THE BERLIN BOXING CLUB that Schmeling was no such thing. In fact, he never joined the Nazi Party and he heroically rescued two Jewish boys on Kristallnacht.

Thus it was that author Robert Sharenow was inspired to write a tale about a Jewish boy to whom Schmeling becomes a mentor. That boy is Karl Stern.

THE BERLIN BOXING CLUB is the story of how young Karl Stern, who does not "look" Jewish, and who has two parents who do not practice that religion, is nevertheless labeled as such and victimized by his Berlin schoolmates during the rise of the Nazi Party. But because his art dealer father is old friends with Max Schmeling, it come to be, in the wake of being forcibly disrobed by schoolmates (to find evidence of his Jewishness), and then badly beaten up, that Karl is offered tutoring in boxing by Schmeling -- at the Berlin Boxing Club -- in exchange for a piece of art (by a Jewish artist) that Max desires.

Over several years, as Karl's skills steadily develop (both as a boxer and as an aspiring cartoonist), life otherwise becomes worse and worse for him and his family. His little sister Hildy clearly has a Jewish "look," and so is singled out by her schoolmates. The family business is failing, thanks to art censorship and laws enacted against Jewish artists and businesses. Then, being defined as Jewish results in Karl being expelled from school, losing his sympathetic and beautiful non-Jewish girlfriend, and his family being evicted from their longtime apartment.

All through these horrors, it is the discipline resulting from the endurance and skill training dictated by Schmeling that keeps Karl believing in his ability to develop fearlessness rather than simply becoming a passive victim of the Nazi atrocities.

THE BERLIN BOXING CLUB is an excellent and exciting sports story that ties right into all the same old bullying issues and hate mongering we are still dealing with today. It is essential that adolescents have the opportunity to define themselves rather than being defined -- and defiled -- by others.

This great historical fiction sports story also enlightened me about Max Schmeling not being a two-dimensional, dumb Nazi shill.

Richie Partington, MLIS
Richie's Picks

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Neil Gaiman in The Simpsons

On Sunday a special guest star will lend his voice to his yellow-skinned Springfield doppelganger on The Simpsons: bestselling author and comics writer Neil Gaiman.

Speaking with Spinoff Online and other members of the press about his role, Gaiman began by admitting that although the episode, “The Book Job,” centers on Homer’s attempt to write a young-adult novel akin to Twilight, the author has never read Stephenie Meyer’s wildly popular books.

“I am a terrible person because I still have not read the Twilight books, and I’m the only one in my house,” he laughed.

Explaining that his daughters loved the series, Gaiman said the last time someone asked his opinion on the popularity of teen literature was shortly after he won the Carnegie Medal for his children’s fantasy novel The Graveyard Book.

“I said I thought there were too many vampires around, it was probably time for something else — and the universe obviously agreed with me because zombies turned up by the busload at that point,” he said. “Now I’m just waiting for the next thing with absolute fascination to see what it is.”

With a laugh he added, “In The Simpsons episode we did I don’t think it’s giving too much away to say Homer decided it was trolls!”

Gaiman said that playing himself on The Simpsons was “great fun,” and something he had been thinking about a lot recently.

“The thing that took me by surprise was they had been asking me for a while to do a cameo on the show and I said yes, when the right script came along,” he said. “But truthfully, what I expected was the normal kind of Simpsons celebrity cameo. You know, Homer says, ‘Not even Neil Gaiman could come up with something as weird as this!’ and then it would cut to me stroking my chin going, ‘You’re right, I couldn’t!’ and the scene would continue.”

However, when Gaiman received the script, “I started to read it and discovered that I was in it all the way through and I was actually having to act and that stuff happens! It was enormously fun and kind of weird and kind of wonderful.”

The author contrasted his Simpsons role with his other television cameos. “In the past year or so I’ve got to play myself several times, and they’re always very different me’s I was doing,” he said. “The me I did in Arthur, the PBS cartoon, was very different from this version of me. It’s kind of weird!”

“I think if they ever hand out Oscars for Best Person Playing Neil Gaiman, I have a shot!” he added.

In addition to Gaiman’s Simpsons debut, this year also marks the 15th anniversary of Neverwhere, his short-lived BBC fantasy series that he adapted as a companion novel. Looking back to his start in the 1990s, Gaiman said he thought the biggest difference in the literary and genre-fiction world was that the doors had opened up to admit teen readers.

“Quite honestly the biggest change in teen horror is there wasn’t any. The biggest change in teen lit is that it exists,” Gaiman said, adding, “If you go back even 15 years there was definitely a tendency at that point to go from kids’ books to adult books. The idea that people would be writing books aimed primarily at a teen audience is really cool and really new, and the idea of YA books being genre books is, again, cool and new.

Returning to Neverwhere, the author continued, “Fifteen years ago, when things like Neverwhere were coming out, everything I did was published as adult fiction, which it still is. [Now] winning the Young Adult Library Association Award for adult books that kids and teens would like, I’m really glad that teens have their own books.”

However, Gaiman also emphasized he feels teens should be free to read “adult” books as well. “On the other hand, I’m still a huge believer in books, and I hate the idea of anybody being cut off from books that they’d like because they think they aren’t ready for them yet,” he said.

Going back to his episode, Gaiman playfully compared the Neil Gaiman on The Simpsons to the “Neil Gaiman in real life.”

“Truthfully, the real-life me almost never hangs around in Barnes & Noble-like bookstores waiting to find a group of local townsfolk who have decided to write a pseudonymous young-adult fantasy series, offering my services — and even if I did, I probably wouldn’t be doing the catering!” he joked.

He said the biggest difference, and challenge, for acting in the episode was adopting an American accent — not because he had to do a good American accent, but because he had to do a spectacularly bad one.

“I think that was the hardest thing in the studio, because they asked me to do one line in a really bad American accent,” Gaiman said, “and I did what I thought was a bad American accent, and I was told no, it has to be to Americans the equivalent of what Dick Van Dyke’s accent in Mary Poppins is to the English.”

“I was pushed to achieve those sort of heights — or depths!” the author added with laugh.

Gaiman also promised that “The Book Job” contains many in-jokes and references to his works, although he said the biggest surprise is just how much acting he was required to do.

“The weird thing, honestly, in this was I actually had to act, which I wasn’t expecting!” he said. “Unfortunately, or fortunately, Matt Selman was the executive producer of the episode, which was written by Dan Vebber from Futurama, and written brilliantly, and I think it was Matt’s idea that I do it because Matt loves my audio books and assumed I could actually properly act because I do it in my audio books!”

Turning away from The Simpsons for a moment, Gaiman touched on his recent West Coast book and music tour with with his wife and ex-Dresden Dolls musician/songwriter Amanda Palmer.

“We had 10 days with nothing planned, and we had to get from Los Angeles to Vancouver, so we decided instead of doing this sort of ambling, vacation drive up the coast we’d take to the cities and do ‘An Evening With Neil Gaiman And Amanda Palmer’ in each one,” Gaiman said. The author added that the tour quickly sold out as fans on the West Coast got to see Gaiman, “read stories and Amanda sang, and strange and glorious things happened every night.”

However, because Palmer is recording and Gaiman is beginning work on a new novel while being involved in the HBO adaptation of American Gods, he said they wouldn’t do another tour. However, he and Palmer might hold individual events in the future. “For us it’s kind of like a meeting of the clans as the fans get together,” he said.

Gaiman, who also wrote a well-received episode of Doctor Who, laughed when asked if, after HBO and The Simpsons, there were any pop culture spheres left for him to conquer.

“You know, there was actually a point where you look around and you go, ‘OK, I’ve written a Doctor Who episode, been on The Simpsons, that’s pretty much it!’ I would really like to be a head in a jar in Futurama,” he said. “I love these weird little playing Neil Gaiman things that occasionally come up.”

However, as much as he loves doing cameos, the author confessed he now has to say no to “very peculiar things.”

“You know, like ‘Come onto the Food Network and be a judge on a show!’ No, why would they think I’d want to do that? ‘Well, they saw you on Craig Ferguson!’ I definitely don’t want to be a personality,” he said. “I’m a writer. I love doing goofy stuff, too, but it’s time to go back to being a writer now.”

This led the author back to the recent explosion in teen lit as he expounded upon what he saw as the problem that plagues fiction when a genre becomes hugely successful.

“Whether it’s wizards or vampires, whether it’s zombies or werewolves, and for that matter right now you got fairy tale characters and a whole lot more — when the stuff happens and it’s created by people who believe in them and other people look around and go, ‘Ah, this is a way to make money,’ things mean less and less,” Gaiman said. “It’s like old-style photocopies. When you photocopy a photocopy and then photocopy a photocopy, pretty soon you wind up with a gray sheet of paper with faint lines on it. I worry that you do end up fairly rapidly with the gray sheets of paper.”

However, the author said the most important thing is not the quality of the material but the ability to spark an interest in reading.

“On the other hand, I also know having grown up as a devoted reader that, as a kid, your first exposure to anything, whether it’s a good book or a bad book, whether it’s written with care and love or just tossed off by somebody who really doesn’t care, the truth is that when kids encounter books they bring themselves to them, and the place you find the magic can be anywhere,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be in a great book, it can be in a terrible book.”

Gaiman admitted he’s happy with the way his career has progressed, and that if he could go back in time to give his younger self advice, he wouldn’t do it.

“I would hate to go back and try and change anything,” he said. “It might be like the Ray Bradbury story where a guy steps on some bark and crushes a butterfly and the entire course of human history is changed. I really like it where I am and would be incredibly loathe to change anything.”

Pausing, the author then admitted the only advice he would give to his younger self was something Stephen King said to him in the early ‘90s, just as Sandman was beginning to take off.

“I think probably my only piece of advice to myself would probably be a piece of advice that Stephen King tried to give me, and given that I more or less ignored it from Stephen King I would probably ignore it from me, which is, he told me to enjoy it more. He said, ‘You’re on this great ride, just enjoy it,’” Gaiman said. “I enjoy it a lot more now.”

“The Book Job” episode of The Simpsons airs Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.
Tags: featured, Fox, Neil Gaiman, The Simpsons

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Japanese Culture Program

Thanks to Ms. Sandy Ho, our Anime Club thoroughly enjoyed our Japanese Culture Program.
The club sampled Japanese food, browsed through samples of Japanese Anime, sampled Japanese Science magazines, learned about some of the history (such as the robots or "dolls" used to serve the emperors in the 1700's) and learned some basic Japanese, such as how to write their names in that language. Enjoy some of our snapshots above.

Catching Fire Movie--Are You Ready?

Simon Beaufoy to Draft Hunger Games Sequel?
Source: Deadline

November 16, 2011

With the first film's full trailer hitting earlier this week and hopes high for a top-tier franchise, the producers of The Hunger Games are already eyeing the sequel, which will adapt Suzanne Collins' second book, Catching Fire. Deadline reports that a new writer is likely to be brought into the mix and the studio's current choice is Slumdog Millionaire scribe Simon Beaufoy.

Gary Ross, the director of the first film, wrote the screenplay with Collins, but it is suggested that his busy post-production schedule precludes him from following suit with Catching Fire. He is planning, however, to return as director.

Following Slumdog, Beaufoy re-teamed with director Danny Boyle for 127 Hours. His next work, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, is being directed by Lasse Hallström and will hit theaters March 2, 2012.

It was reported last week that, to justify a sequel, the first film will have to gross over $100 million domestically, something that the studio has every confidence in.

Read more: Simon Beaufoy to Draft Hunger Games Sequel? -

Dotti Enderle

* * *

CROSSWIRE (Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek)

* Texas Institute of Letters Young Adult Award Recipient

* June Franklin Naylor Award for Best Children’s Book on Texas History

* WWA Spur Award Finalist

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Did you Enjoy Unwind--Sequel to be Published

There is even a title for the Unwind second book now- UnWholly.

Neal's mother just suffered a stroke but is recovering slowly. He is also working on a script for Unwind, which may actually become a movie!

Tim Burton in early talks to come aboard Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children,

In a match that seems ideal, Tim Burton is in early talks to come aboard Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, the Ransom Riggs novel that 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment acquired last spring. Burton is in talks to develop the book as a potential directing project, and he would be involved in setting a writer to adapt the tale.

Dotti Enderle

* * *

CROSSWIRE (Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek)

* Texas Institute of Letters Young Adult Award Recipient

* June Franklin Naylor Award for Best Children’s Book on Texas History

* WWA Spur Award Finalist

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fictional Food--How About The Hunger Games recipes?

Does this sound good?
Everdeen Reaping Supper
Goat Cheese and Apple Tarts
Pale Purple Melon
Haymitches Basket of Love

Check out this link for the recipes and many more.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hunger Games Premiere on Good Morning America

On 11/10/2011 7:49 AM, Dotti Enderle wrote:
The Hunger Games Trailer to Premiere on Good Morning America
Source: Lionsgate

November 10, 2011

Lionsgate has announced that the trailer for The Hunger Games will premiere on Good Morning America this Monday, November 14th:

LIONSGATE®, a leading global entertainment company, today announced an exclusive partnership with ABC's Good Morning America to world premiere the highly anticipated trailer for THE HUNGER GAMES.

The debut will be hosted in person by actor Josh Hutcherson (THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT), who plays the pivotal character of Peeta Mellark in the film, in the top rated 8:00 hour of the show on Monday, November 14th. In addition to airing nationwide, the trailer will also be shown in its entirety on Good Morning America's jumbotron in New York City's Times Square.

The partnership, which further distinguishes the film as a major motion picture event, will mark the first time ever that audiences will be exposed to sights and sounds from the film such as Katniss' home District 12 and the opulent Capitol. With 16 million copies of The Hunger Games in circulation, a vast audience of book fans will also undoubtedly tune in for the first chance to hear the beloved characters speak iconic lines of dialogue from its pages.

Read more: The Hunger Games Trailer to Premiere on Good Morning America -

Monday, November 7, 2011

The R Word

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to talk about my young adult novel, The R Word, with John Drew for his Sci-Fi/Pop-Culture website, The Chronic Rift. The R Word explores contemporary attitudes about race through the eyes of a white, teen-aged girl who begins to think about race, and about her own position of privilege, for the first time.

Although The Chronic Rift usually highlights the otherworldly works of the science fiction/fantasy realm, John’s secret identity is that of a high school English teacher, which explains his interest in The R Word. Here’s the link to the interview for anyone who might be interests:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Davis Films Acquires House of Night Vampire Series

Source: Davis Films

November 2, 2011

Samuel Hadida announced today that his company, Davis Films, has acquired film rights from authors P.C. and Kristin Cast to their "House of Night" young adult fiction book series.

The ninth book in the series, "Destined," was just published on October 25. The series, from the mother-daughter writing team, has sold over 12 million copies in the United States, keeping it on The New York Times bestseller list for a record 140 weeks. The books have consistently debuted at #1 in the United States, Canada, UK, and Australia, and have been published in 39 countries around the globe.

The books chronicle the coming of age of 16-year-old Zoey Redbird, who learns she is genetically marked to either become a "vampyre" in adolescence, or be killed in the process. She leaves her family for the House of Night, a special boarding school for such "fledglings" to receive the training necessary to survive as an adult vampyre. At the House of Night, Zoey soon comes to experience a complex world where dark is not always evil, and light is not always good.

"We are thrilled to bring P.C. and Kristin's stunning series of books to worldwide film audiences," stated Samuel Hadida. "They have created a world of adolescent growth against a backdrop of supernatural suspense that resonates around the world with young readers immersed in 'Twilight' and 'Harry Potter.' House of Night connects on a profound level -- what growing up means today."

Davis Films is known for its film series, including "Silent Hill" and most notably the "Resident Evil" films. "We see with House of Night the same franchise potential," Hadida added.

Read more: Davis Films Acquires House of Night Vampire Series -

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cosplay Party

Our last Anime Meeting featured a Cosplay Party. Look at the great characters and skits.

Our winners were Baily Scribner, Catherine King and Saskia Spector.
Our name that character winner was Courtney Senior

View slideshow

Monday, October 24, 2011

What did you think? Once upon a Time . . .

TPIB: Once Upon a Time
upon a time, there were tales . . . and today, those tales are being re-told. With a twist.

One of my very favorite fairy tales retold is Enchanted by Orson Scott Card. It is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty; but what I really love about it is the way he portrays the magic of womanhood. What we call women's intuition he calls magic and as he weaves his world you know that you are a part of something special.

Some of my other favorites include Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (great book, horrible horrible movie) and Beastly by Alex Flinn (ditto). It is fun to read these twisted takes on old stories and see how they can be re-imagined.

And how can you overlook the always fantastic The Princess Bride by William Goldman. And the movie, a perennial classic that still should work with the teen audience . . .

The Grandson: A book?
Grandpa: That's right. When I was your age, television was called books. And this is a special book. It was the book my father used to read to me when I was sick, and I used to read it to your father. And today I'm gonna read it to you.
The Grandson: Has it got any sports in it?
Grandpa: Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles...
The Grandson: Doesn't sound too bad. I'll try to stay awake.
Grandpa: Oh, well, thank you very much, very nice of you. Your vote of confidence is overwhelming.

Just, brilliant. (More The Princess Bride quotes at IMDB)

Soon there will be 2 shows debuting on TV that focus on retelling classic fairy tales: Once Upon a Time and Grimm.

The zeitgeist is right to start pushing those teen fiction tales, old and new, by making displays and doing programming tie ins.

There is a pretty good list of fairy tales old and new at GoodReads.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"What's the deal with zombies anyway?"
Is this why you like or don't like zombie books?

Right now the dead have risen - both from the grave and in popularity. There is no denying that right now zombies are, erm, hot? Sure technically I guess they should be cold, being dead and all, but as far as pop culture trends go - they are HOT. World War Z by Max Brooks is being made into a movie starring Brad Pitt as we speak. Two nights ago the second season premiere of The Walking Dead aired. Zombies have made an appearance on almost every Disney show (trust me, I watch a lot of Disney so I know). In fact right now you can go play a Wizards of Waverly Place zombie themed game (Zombies on the 13th Floor) at

On Saturday, October 15th, I went to the Dallas Zombie Walk and saw zombies of all ages - from babies to teens to grown ups - walk the streets of downtown Dallas, some of them going all out in their costumes. That night they showed a sneak peek of The Walking Dead. And this month the Dallas Children's Theater is doing an all teen production of Night of the Living Dead, which I think is immensely cool. And libraries everywhere are having zombie proms and zombie programs. My library is even having a zombie themed event next Monday, October 24th. And there is no shortage of awesome zombie themed reading available at your library.
I have a tweenager, however, that is not necessarily on board the zombie train. So yesterday she asked me the question I am sure that is on a lot of people's minds: What's the deal with you and zombies anyway? (Note: zombie author Jonathan Maberry has a panel discussion up on his website that also attempts to answer this question.) And I wanted to give her a good answer and it went something like this:

What I like about zombie fiction (and I think it applies to dystopian fiction, too) is the underlying discussion of good versus evil. And the question we must all ask ourselves: who do you become in the face of extreme adversity. After a brief discussion of what adversity is (she is a young tweenager), I think she started to understand. You see, it is easy for those of us who are basically good people to do good when life is easy. The question, however, seems to be will we continue to be good in the face of extreme circumstances? Who would you, or I, become if we woke up one morning and found that there were only a few 1,000 people left on the planet and we had to spend our days scavenging for food and water while trying not to be eaten by zombies? When the tables are turned, do we still choose to be good people? Does what it means to be a good person change in these types of situations?

For example, in the second season premiere of The Walking Dead (spoiler warning!!!!), our merry band of survivors find themselves stuck on a freeway surrounded by deserted cars and decide to search them to find the necessities of life. One of the characters feels uncomfortable with this proposition because it is "grave robbing." In the movie Zombieland, the survivors often go in and "rob" stores. But the rules have changed. It's like the age old question posed in Les Miserables, is it okay to steal to feed your family. But pushed to the extreme, is it even really stealing if everyone else is dead? (To be honest, I didn't really mind the survival need to rob the store, but I was bothered by the way the trashed everything in it - although I did understand the extreme stress and release that it conveyed).

Zombie fiction (and again, dystopian fiction) is a great spring board for discussions of ethics and compassion and humanity. If my tweenager woke up one morning a zombie, what would be the compassionate thing to do? Could I be the one to pull the trigger and keep her from becoming a mindless need to feed motivated monster? (See Rot & Ruin for a great discussion of monsters vs. men.) Can we, as educators, draw parallels between this concept and discussions regarding quality of life and euthanasia and end of life decisions? Why yes, yes we can. And you need look no further than your zombie and dystopian fiction for discussions on violence and society, human psychology, government structure, etc. There is rich discussion and thought in zombie and dystopian fiction, all packaged within some fun, tense thrills and chills.

And I think apocalyptic fiction is so hot right now in part because, well, it often feels culturally like we are in fact on the verge of an apocalypse, probably more so to teens. You can't help but read every day in the news a variety of stressful news stories: we are on the verge of economic collapse, we are on the verge of environmental collapse, we are on the verge of overpopulation and a deficit of adequate resources. These are stressful and scary times for adults, they must be tremendously overwhelming for kids and teens. Even if they don't understand it all, they can't help but notice that they are living in a climate of fear and stress. And many of them are being personally affected as their parents are being laid off at worse, or at least tightening the proverbial belts and life is being lived much differently. As a nation our spirits are worn out, and we sometimes must appear as spiritual zombies just going through the motions of life as we wait for the next shoe to drop.

Many of these themes come up in teen fiction. Scarcity of resources. Check. Environmental disaster. Check. Good vs. Evil. Check. Government corruption. Check.

One of my favorite series in the zombie fiction is Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry. Don't read this next part if you haven't read it. You have been warned. In Rot & Ruin, society has collapsed and enclaves have been formed behind large walls designed to keep the monsters, the zombies, out. Resources are scarce so everyone has to start working at 15 and their rations are decreased if they don't. Rot & Ruin is the story of Benny, just turned 15 and his attempts to find himself in this new world. But it is also the story of Tom, a zombie hunter with a twist. Don't worry, I won't tell you the twist. But it is also a great discussion of good vs. evil and who we become in the face of great adversity: what makes a monster and who are the monsters?

In most zombie fiction today, zombiism (probably not really a word, but we're going to go with it) is a result of a virus that has wiped out most of humanity and caused them to re-animate. These are barely living dead people with no real brain function. They are not necessarily acting so much as they are being acted upon. But the people who live in a post apocalyptic world, the people like you and I, they are forced to make extraordinary choices in a world we could never imagine. It is interesting to see what choices they make, how they shape both their inner selves and their outer worlds. Can their choices make them monsters?

In some ways, the survivors of a post apocalyptic world are like the settlers of old - they have an opportunity to build (or in this case rebuild) a new society. Can they learn from the mistakes of the past? What would that new society look like? Will they strive for justice and freedom, or is there really an overwhelming tendency for societies to be greedy and corrupt and always on the brink? What type of people rise to power? Can ordinary people become extraordinary heroes? These are just a few of the many questions that zombie and dystopian fiction allow us to ponder. When we read it we get to go outside of ourselves and yet examine ourselves at the same time.

Plus, let's not forget, sometimes a little scary tension is just fun. Seriously, there have been studies here and there looking at why people like scary movies. I personally prefer my zombies slow and shambling, that's enough tension for me thanks. Let me put my request in right now, should the zombie apocalypse happen please let them be the slow and shambling type so I have a chance of surviving. Those 28 Days Later fast zombies scare me; unless I start marathon training in the next few days I don't have a chance of surviving that type of zombie apocalypse. I think I'll just read about it instead.

Zombies at Halloween

For those of you who love zombies, check out these books, thanks to Naomi, many have Book Trailers!!

My Boyfriend is a Monster: I Love Him to Pieces (graphic novels)

Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? By Max Brallier

Bad Taste in Boys- Carrie Harris

Zombies Vs Unicorns- Holly Black

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies—Seth Grahame Smith

The Forest of Hands and Teeth. The Dead Tossed Waves. The Dark and Hollow Places. by Carrie Ryan.

The Zombie Survival Guide: How to live like a King after the Outbreak. by Etienne Guerin DeForest

World War Z by Max Brooks

Boneshaker by CheriePriest

Generation Dead series by Dan Waters

Zombie Haiku by RyanMecum

The Maze Runner series by James Dashner

Rot and Ruin; Dust and Decay by Jonathan Maberry

Z by Michael Thomas Ford

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

Never Slow Dance with a Zombie by by Ehrich Van Lowe

The Cellar by A.J. Whitten

Dust by Joan Frances Turner

The Boy Who Couldn't Die by William Sleator

The Enemy by Charlie Higson

The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell

The Zombie Autopsies by Steven Schlozman

I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked it by Adam Selzer

Zombie Blondes by Brian James

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

BNR @ New York Comic-Con 2011

BNR @ New York Comic-Con 2011: Halo CE, Skyward Sword, and More!
By jourdy288 on 18 October 2011 in Featured, Games, News/Events with No Comments

In a plot-twist so shocking, my head still spins, I managed to go to the New York Comic-Con (NYCC). How this happened involves a wonderful librarian, an awesome family and a very friendly man working the ticket counter. As you may guess, this was a completely last minute affair, but with the help of my father I managed to obtain some awesome footage of upcoming games, along with photos and video from within Comic-Con, along with (surprise!) an interview with Jerome Jones of Robot Entertainment, the studio behind Orcs Must Die!

So what did I check out? As you may have guessed, I primarily focused on video games, and got to preview several. I started with Halo CE: Anniversary. I was greeted by a game of Slayer (team based deathmatch) and overall, it felt like the same Halo experience we all know sells, year after year. Visually, the game’s been overhauled from the original version, and while I must admit that while I haven’t played the original Halo, the other games in the series I have played feel pretty much the same as this one. Seeing as it is a remake, I wouldn’t expect much else. I am (a little) disappointed there was no Kinect at that booth, otherwise I would have had the opportunity to see how well it works with the new version. It’s quite a pity that something that’s being touted as such a big new feature was excluded!

I also took a (brief) look at Sonic Generations on the 3DS. The game is a return to its simple, side-scrolling roots, and controls rather well. The 3D effect is well used and the game is, graphically, quite appealing. Quite like Halo: CE it’s a nice update to existing gameplay.

As I made my way through the Nintendo area, I also got to try out the latest Legend of Zelda, Skyward Sword. Overall, it was a similar experience to most of the other games (surprise?), but it seems that the formula still works: the game’s still fun. I got to try out a minigame that involved catching a bright yellow bird (whilst riding a bird of one’s own) and overall it felt good to control, though I couldn’t catch the bird. Blame it on the crowd, the pressure, the urge to check out more stuff, I just couldn’t catch the thing. So, I left, letting the kid behind me enjoy the game. I suspect this will be the last big release for the Wii; I can honestly say that at least with this, the system will get to go out with a bang.

I had the chance to check Wakfu, an upcoming tactical MMORPG from Square Enix. I honestly didn’t find it particularly exciting, but it still felt like a solid game, and visually it was absolutely gorgeous. The aesthetic was rather like SNES games of yesteryear (yesterdecade?) and overall it was a good game.

I got to try out Dance Central 2 (stick with us for a full review), and had the opportunity to try the new version of multiplayer that involves simultaneous two-person dancing. It was mostly the same experience as the first game, really, but was still quite an improvement. I also got to try out the Black Eyed Peas Experience from Ubisoft, and I found it a little confusing, though graphically it is quite a marvel. The digitized Black Eyed Peas were impressive, faithful replicas of their real counterparts.

I believe it’s worth noting that this was my first con, here’s hoping I see many, many more! It was… Chaotic and beautiful, and it was jam-packed with every nerd from the tri-state area! Seriously, if you can imagine every Naruto character in real life, if you can visualize cosplayers of the last seven Final Fantasy games, and if you can possibly conceive somewhere deep within your consciousness the presence of a thousand Spider-Men, Batmen, Deadpools and Wonder Women, you have the vaguest clue of what it’s like to attend NYCC! My only regret is not planning better (I would have tried to get into more previews and such) but it was a spur of the moment affair, and still an excellent experience.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Oops! National Book Foundation Unveils Six YA Finalists

By SLJ Staff

October 12, 2011

And then there were six. For the first time in recent history, the National Book Foundation unveiled six finalists yesterday in the Young People's Literature category. What happened? Someone screwed up.

NBA(Original Import)Typically, there are five finalists in four categories—fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people's literature. But after Wednesday's announcement, a sixth book was added to the list.

"It was our mistake, and we take full responsibility," says Harold Augebraum, executive director of the National Book Foundation, sponsor of the prestigious National Book Awards. "For security reasons, we do everything by phone, and we don't write things down when [the judges] transmit the titles to our staff. And someone wrote it down wrong."

Due to confidentiality rules, Augebraum says he can't reveal the books involved in the mishap, but in order to "not take anything away from anybody," a decision was made to make an exception and include all six titles this year.

The finalists for the 62nd National Book Awards were streamed on Oregon Public Broadcasting's morning radio program, "Think Out Loud," in front of a live audience at the new Literary Arts Center in Portland, OR.

Virginia Euwer Wolff, a 2001 National Book Award winner, announced five Young People's Literature finalists: Debby Dahl Edwardson's My Name Is Not Easy (Marshall Cavendish); Thanhha Lai's Inside Out and Back Again (Harper); Albert Marrin's Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy (Knopf); Lauren Myracle's Shine (Amulet) and Gary D. Schmidt's Okay for Now (Clarion). Only later was Franny Billingsley's Chime (Dial) added to the National Book Awards's website.

Author Marc Aronson, who chaired the panel of judges for the Young People's category, says two judges who were listening to the broadcast immediately realized the mistake and spread the word. Other judges included Ann Brashares, Matt de la Peña, Nikki Grimes, and Will Weaver.

Lai, whose book is based on her own childhood experiences, tells the story of Hà, who is 10 when Saigon falls and her family flees Vietnam. "This is so much more than I ever could have expected from telling a story based on a piece of my life," she says. "I'm truly honored."

Myracle, whose gritty novel involves a vicious hate crime, poverty, and drugs, says she received a phone call from Augebraum earlier this week and felt "amazed and honored and incredibly humbled" by her nomination.

"Shine is a book that didn't get a single starred review (we author types keep track of these sorts of things), and though I've always felt accepted in the great and wonderful world of kids' books, I've never felt as if I were in the Cool Kids Crowd," says the best-selling author. "So from where I stand—not only as a writer for young people, but as writer for young people perceived to be pink, fluffy, and depraved—I have to say that it feels pretty damn good to be told that this year's panel of NBA judges read my book and said, 'Yeah. We like it.' Because they're my peers, you know?"

In Billingsley's Chime, 17-year-old Briony Larkin blames herself for all her family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin.

Edwardson's My Name Is Not Easy is a survival tale involving a group of young Alaskan natives who are transplanted from their home villages to a parochial boarding school in the Alaskan wilderness.

Marrin's Flesh and Blood So Cheap is a gripping account of one of America's most tragic workplace fires, the New York City Triangle Shirtwaist Factory on March 25, 1911, in which 146 people, mostly women—perished when they were trapped behind the locked factory doors.

Schmidt's Okay for Now is a coming-of-age tale about a 14-year-old who moves to a new town, with no friends and a louse for an older brother.
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WrestleMania 28 Reading Challenge--Read five books, Fill out a Pledge Form at your library and complete a grade appropriate project. 21 GRAND PRIZES a trip for two to wrestlemania in Florida and $2,000 in spending money.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Whatcha' Reading Now?

Whatcha' Reading Now? has a new feature on our blog -- Five in Five Fridays. The deal is that every Friday an author will answer five uncommon questions and it shouldn't take our followers any more than five minutes to read it. Today's interview is with Jay Asher. Hope you have time to stop by and enjoy it!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Geek the Library

I geek fashion and books. What do you geek?

Whatever you geek, the public library supports you. Join Geek the Library in spreading awareness about the value of libraries and the critical funding issues they face.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Although I haven't had a chance to read this book because it is so popular, and always checked out--it is definitely on my Must Do list. Let me know what you think?

By Ransom Riggs, Quirk Books, 2011

When he was young, Jacob loved his grandfather's stories about his life, especially the ones about the peculiar children. They all lived at Miss Peregrin's Home for Orphans on a tiny island in Wales, and each had different talents. They ranged from being able to lift huge boulders, to being invisible, to being able to float through the air. And there were also the monsters that were chasing Jacob's grandfather....

But as Jacob grew older, the less he listened to his grandfather's meandering tales. They were for children, and he knew his grandfather, in his old age, didn't make as much sense anymore. But one day, while Jacob was trying hard not to work in his family's business, he got a call from his grandfather. And this call changed Jacob's life.

Now, at sixteen, Jacob hears a cryptic message from his beloved grandfather, now deceased. He has a recurring dream about his grandfather telling him to "find the bird, find the loop, find the grave." His other dreams are about monsters, whose mouths are lined with dangerous teeth and tentacles. Now, he sits in Dr. Golan's office, telling him about these dreams, along with the stress of finding his grandfather's dead body and the monster he truly saw, which his doctor says is trigged by this stress.

The best curative for Jacob, under Dr. Golan's orders, is to find out about his grandfather's past, and now Jacob has a chance to find out what exactly his grandfather was talking about by going to this mysterious island in Wales. But are they truly tales or the truth?

Riggs writes a fantastical story about the modern world and those that reside beyond imagination. Not only is the story an amazing adventure, but how Riggs manages to incorporate old and unusual photographs into the story is what makes this book stand out from any other I've read. The photographs are part creepy, part intriguing, but the mash-up of both the narrative and images makes for an excellent read for adults and young adults alike. Riggs keeps the reader engaged with Jacob's discoveries about the truth behind his grandfather's stories and the possibility of leaping across time. Perfect for fantasy readers and highly recommended by this reveiwer. Publisher book trailer:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Chaos Walking Movie

Lionsgate Acquires Chaos Walking
Source: Lionsgate

October 3, 2011

Lionsgate announced today that the studio has acquired worldwide rights to Patrick Ness's award-winning young adult novel trilogy "Chaos Walking":

LIONSGATE®, a leading global entertainment company, announced today that it has obtained worldwide rights to develop, produce and distribute films based on the award-winning, best-selling and critically acclaimed "Chaos Walking" young adult novel trilogy by Patrick Ness. The announcement was made by Lionsgate's co-COO and Motion Picture Group President Joe Drake. Doug Davison (THE DEPARTED, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, THE GRUDGE) will be producing through his Quadrant Pictures.

The Carnegie Medal winning books are set in a dystopian future with humans colonizing a distant earth-like planet. When an infection called the Noise suddenly makes all thought audible, privacy vanishes in an instant. In the ensuing chaos, a corrupt autocrat threatens to take control of the human settlements and wage war with the indigenous alien race, and only young Todd Hewitt holds the key to stopping planet wide-destruction.

Read more: Lionsgate Acquires Chaos Walking -

Dotti Enderle

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

You kids are always so clever! by Geri Diorio

While perusing other Teen Library Blogs, Geri in Ridgefield wrote this interesting post:
"Anyway, this story was enough make me sit up, take notice, and want to share it with you! A 10 year old girl attended DefCon in Las Vegas last week and gave a great presentation. DefCon is a White Hat hackers conference, and this little girl showed how she hacked an online social game. (You know, like Farmville.) She was fed up with how slow it was, so she disconnected her phone from WiFi, sped up the phone's internal clock, reconnected to the game, and since it thought more time passed, the game played more quickly. Clever girl!"
Posted by Ridgefield Library at 9:01 PM

Thanks Geri

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Check out What Teens Put Together

I'm thinking of a Book Trailer Club instead of a Book Club.
This would involve reading at least a summary of the book. Putting together
one or more striking scenes and acting them out for a trailer.
Anyone interested? Check out this one for ideas.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

GET THE AURA--2nd volume is compete

The 2nd volume of The Aura is out. Stop by and get a free copy!!

Midnight by Westerfield Book Trailer

An all time favorite, if you haven't read the book, watch the trailer and check it out at your local library!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Hunger Games Opens the Capital

Has anyone signed up to get their own district?

The Hunger Games Opens The Capitol
Source: Lionsgate

August 31, 2011

Following the debut of the first teaser trailer over the weekend, The Hunger Games has now fully unveiled its viral site at You can now log in through Facebook or Twitter and get assigned to your own District, presumably as part of a continuing viral.

Opening in theaters on March 23, The Hunger Games chronicles a dystopic Capitol which requires its twelve subjugated districts to pay tribute in the form of a teenage boy and girl, forced to participate in the annual "Hunger Games," a fight-to-the-death live televised event. Katniss Everdeen's (Jennifer Lawrence) little sister is chosen in the lottery to participate and Katniss volunteers to take her place. Although persevering through hardship is commonplace for Katniss, she must start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love in order to win the games and return

Monday, August 8, 2011

Congrats Isabelle!! 5th Week Summer Raffle Winner

Wow--Enjoy the Star Wars!!

Maximum Ride: the Angel Experiment by Patterson

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson (2005)
Part one of the Maximum Ride series

Maximum Ride. She's a girl. Great name, don't you think? She chose it herself:

'Like Sally Ride, the astronaut. Maximum Ride.'

Did I say girl?..sort of. Let's ask Max:

Basically, we're pretty cool, nice, smart - but not 'average' in any way. The six of us - me, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman, and Angel - were made on purpose, by the sickest, most horrible 'scientists' you could possibly imagine. They created us as an experiment. An experiment where we ended up only 98% human. That other 2% has had a big impact, let me tell you.

They're bird kids. They've got wings. They can fly. And other stuff too.

And they've got enemies. There was another experiment that made it past infancy:

Part human, part wolf - all predator: they're called Erasers. They're tough, smart, and hard to control. They look human, but when they want to, they are capable of morphing into wolf men, complete with fur, fangs, and claws.

And guess what:

Basically, they want to rip our throats out. And make sure the world never finds out about us.

So it's down to Max. She's the oldest. She's the leader. She protects the flock. And she's dynamite, especially when her 'baby' Angel is kidnapped by Erasers. Nothing is going to stop her, except possibly the rest of the flock when they sample her driving:

I was sweating and about to jump out of my skin with anxiety about driving, but I tried to look way confident and calm. 'I mean, it's not as good as flying, but it beats the heck out of walking!'
I smiled bravely over at Fang to see him giving me a steady look. 'What?'
'Could you take it easy on the hairpin turns?' he said.
'I'm getting better,' I said. 'I just had to practice.'
'I didn't know a van could go up on two wheels like that,' Nudge said. 'For so long.'

Super-fast action, six brilliant bird-kid heroes. They're a team. Max tells the story in her own words. She's funny, tense and quick witted. Superb, tight writing. I was enthralled by this book. Couldn't put it down. Put your life on hold while you read this book.

Review by Reading

My opinion: I, too, loved this book. I had not read it before, because I assumed it was about racing or some such thing (silly me). When I actually read a review, I immediately dove into the series and have been recommending it ever since. It is one of those series that you can't wait to see what happens next. Enjoy!!

Rating: 5 out of 5

Delerium by Lauren Oliver

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn't understand that once love--the deliria--blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold.

Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Haloway has always looked forward to the day when she'll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: she falls in love.

I enjoyed reading the quotes from the health and safety handbook and various sources of books and poems at the beginning of each chapter. Oliver's writing is outstanding! She's created this twisted world where love is considered a disease. I wondered how she would pull it off and as I continued to read, I fell effortlessly into her world. Ah, the dangers of love. Who would have ever thought the idea of love could be so construed in one’s society making it deadly to one's health? Oliver's take on a society governed with rules against love captured me page by page.

The characters are well-crafted. The weight of society and its rules really takes a toll on not only Lena and Alex, but you can see its effects of the so called cured. Lena has dreamed of how life will be after the cure. She wants to forget and be free of her memories of her mother and to her the cure is the only thing that will solve this. I don't think she ever imagined that her life would turn out totally different. Alex, the love interest in this book is definitely a keeper & the two of them together fighting against the odds only endured me more to their plight. A heart-breaking romance - Just amazing!

This book had my mind churning and wondering what if? I can't imagine living in a society where you are forced to take a cure for love. Everything about the whole process of eliminating love was beyond my imaginings but at the same time, I got it. I guess this is a testament to Oliver's writing that it provoked so many emotions out of me.
Book review by Fantastic Book

Rating: 4 out of 5
Reading Next: Tension of Opposites

Monday, August 1, 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011


We started by listening to directions and building a creation from verbal directions. Wow, that was hard!!

And then on to the fun. Everyone had to create a historical landmark. They were judged on Creativity, Authenticity and Originality. congratulations to our Winners.

First Place with The White House, Michael Raffaele
Second Place with the Tank on the Green, Noah Lovejoy
third Place with the Twin Towers is Brian Dugan

Great Job!!

Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.

Men of the Hunger Games

The Hunger Games Reveals Gale and Peeta
Source: EW

July 27, 2011

The cover of the new issue of Entertainment Weekly features a first look at The Hunger Games' Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth as Peeta and Gale. What's more, there are promises of further debuting images from the highly-anticipated novel adaptation when the magazine officially hits the stands this Friday.

Read more: The Hunger Games Reveals Gale and Peeta -

Dotti Enderle

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CROSSWIRE (Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek)

* Texas Institute of Letters Young Adult Award Recipient

* June Franklin Naylor Award for Best Children’s Book on Texas History

* WWA Spur Award Finalist

Science Fun--Surface Tension

Today was our last Science Fun. Aiden Collentine did a great job teaching about Surface Tension using water and dish soap, floating paper clips and the second experiment used milk and food coloring, with dish soap, to create an explosion of color. The mosaic below shows some of the fun! Click on the image to see a larger view. Thanks also to Sam Taub who assisted Aiden for the program.

The Science Fun program was terrific. Thanks to all who participated!!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

July 22nd Summer Reading Raffle Winner

Congratulations Catherine!! Keep Reading

Is Jordan Comeman the next Speilberg?

Interview With Grant Winner/Filmmaker Jordan Coleman!
Payin' the Price

We were super lucky to have Jordan Coleman, 15-year-old filmmaker and 2009 Do Something Award finalist, stop by the office today to screen his new film "Payin' the Price." Before heading to Martha's Vineyard, where his film will be shown as part of their 2011 African American Film Festival, Jordan told us a little about how he got into the business of film making for good! When did you start making films?

Jordan Coleman: I started making films when I was 13 with my mom's help. There's no better team! I saw how a lot of African-American boys weren't focusing on their school work. They just wanted to get famous, so they focused on playing basketball or making up raps, or just trying to be cool. They weren't understanding that work is what got celebrities to where they are today.

DS: Why did you choose film as your approach to taking social action?

JC: I chose film because a lot of teens love movies. I thought that if I made a movie about teen issues, a lot of teens would see how important the issues really are. I felt like Superman almost—I wanted to use my powers for good. I've always really enjoyed giving back. My mom had a not-for-profit organization that would give away bookbags—it's in the blood.

DS: How did you make your first film?

JC: I used my money from my job with The Backyardigans (editor's note: Jordan was the voice of Tyrone the Moose on the show!) to hire a camera guy—that was the first step. I went around the street asking random people how they feel about education, but then I saw that the [the movie] got boring. I wanted to bring it to a different level, so I asked my mom how I could get celebrities to be in the film. She said I should contact their agents, so I did. They emailed back instantly saying their people would love to be in the film. We had Kobe Bryant, Reverend Al Sharpton, and Busta Rhymes.

DS: What do you want for the future?

JC: My dream is to become a successful filmmaker so that I can expand my audience so that it’s not just teens. I want to make films for everybody. I want to relate my films to my peers. My next film is about sexting.

DS: What about a bullying film?!

JC: My 10-year-old brother is writing a script about that right now!

DS: Uh-oh. Competition. What would you say to a teenager who wasn't on The Backyardigans and doesn't have the money to hire a camera guy?

JC: I'd say to save your babysitting money to buy a little flip camera. As long as you have a camera and an imagination, you can do it. As long as you have an imagination and you have hope, you can do anything. There were times that I didn’t think that my films would be successful, but I had hope and I prayed. I made them my priority—I put sports to the side; I put my friends to the side. Hard work pays off. If you're serious about something, you can get it done.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Silver Scottie Won at Your Library

Our annual Monopoly Tournament was held last Wednesday with all of our excited participants vying for the Silver Scottie.

The First Place and winner of the coveted award was Missy Macnamara
Second Place winner was Maria Carter and
Third Place winner was Harley Ostreicher

Congratulations to you all!!

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Do You Know the Phases of the Moon? Science Fun

Sophia and Vincent Rago did a fun science experiment with balloons showing how your position with respect to the moon determines the phase you see. They reinforced the phases of the moon facts by letting the students create the phases of the moon with oreo cookies--yummmmm!!

Pinball Wizard at Your Library

What a fun way to learn about the principles of levers. Howard Ho led this wonderful workshop with the help of Aiden Collentine and Sam Taub. The participants created their own pinball machine out of shoebox lids, cardboard, bottle tops and straws.

What a great experiment. No one wanted to leave!!

Rocketry at your Library

What a wonderful job the YA's are doing on Science Fun.

Look at Carly's lesson on Intro to Rocketry
They built balloon rockets propelled by balloons and bottle rockets propelled by
air squeezed through straws inserted in bottles.
What a Fun Lesson!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Iron Chef 2011

Sorry for the wait. The slideshow for Iron Chef is finally complete.
Our secret ingredient was tortilla shells. The ingredients consisted of sweet
(chocolate chips, cool whip, cookies, chocolate syrup, fruit etc) savory (nuts, torilla chips, salsa, onions) or traditional (pizza sauce, cheese, mashed potatos, onions etc)

Everyone was very creative and came up with all kinds of combinations which our judges, Amy Hambidge and Joe Russo claimed to be surprisingly tasty.

Our winners were Carly Kleinstern in First Place by a landslide with her Rocket a la Blastoff.
Amanda Corbi running for Second Place with the Sweet and Hot Pizza and
Jarod Riedl in Third Place with his Chocolate and Blueberry Surprise.

Congratulations to Everyone--you did a great job.

Now Watch Our Creations!!

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Congratulations Andre Cardenas and Brian Dugan

Andre was our First Week Summer Reading Raffle Winner.
Way to go!!

Brian Dugan(above) was our Second Week Summer Reading Raffle Winner!!
Keep up the good work!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jeff Bridges takes The Giver

Jeff Bridges appears to have machinations on adapting the 1993 young adult science fiction novel The Giver. Variety reports that Bridges and producer Nikki Silver have purchased the rights to the Lois Lowry story and that Bridges may step in to play the title character.

Set in a distant future, the book tells of a society in which the entire range of human emotion has been eradicated by removing any trace of history. Only one individual in the society -- called "the Giver" -- is tasked with remembering the past in case it becomes necessary to make use of it. A twelve-year-old boy, Jonas, is tasked to become the next Giver in line and has his whole world thrown into question when he begins tutelage with the previous, elderly Giver.

"I originally thought of the role of the Giver as a vehicle for my father, the late Lloyd Bridges," says the True Grit actor, who has been eyeing the project for some time, "however, at 61 years old I feel the time is right for me to do it."

Vadim Perelman, the writer/director behind House of Sand and Fog, will provide the screenplay and, at one point, was looking at the project to direct. There is currently no word on whether his involvement in that capacity still remains a possibility.

The original book was followed by two sequels, Gathering Blue and Messenger, the latter of which was published in 2004.

Read more: Jeff Bridges Takes The Giver -

Dotti Enderle

* * *

CROSSWIRE (Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek)

* Texas Institute of Letters Young Adult Award Recipient

* June Franklin Naylor Award for Best Children’s Book on Texas History

* WWA Spur Award Finalist

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chess Tournament Winners

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Congratulations to Everyone!! You did a great job!!!

First Place Winner Andre Cardenas
Second Place Winner Alec Cardenas
Third Place Winner Dan Reyes

Fear Factor--Were You Scared?

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Have you ever eaten a cricket, chocolate covered ant or food out of a cat food can?
How about tried to stick cheetos to someones face with whip cream or fished for balls in a bag of "worms?" How about taped an alka seltzer to your friends face and tried to dissolve it with a squirt gun? Shoot an M&M into a dish with your nostrils?
Eaten ketchup covered M&M's? Ewwww!!!

If this sounds like fun, join us in the Fall for another fun filled year with the Young Adult Council.

Eek--Was Anyone Tired

The annual Young Adult Council Sleepover was held on June 17th. Food, food and more food, pizza, ice cream sundaes, lots of candy, cookies, chips. Lots of Wii fun--singing, music and games until ll. Movies from then on. We enjoyed Despicable Me, The Mummy and Opposite Day. Hope everyone caught up with their sleep. :)

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