Saturday, June 30, 2012

Guest Blog: ALA for BFYA

We two teen librarians took three of our teens who are avid readers with us last weekend to the annual American Library Association convention for librarians, which took place at the Anaheim Convention Center this year, to speak at the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Best Fiction for Young Adults (BFYA) event. The teens had to read books ahead of time and be prepared to report on them--whether they liked them or not and why--to the committee that creates the BFYA list each year. The final list will be published in January, based mostly on the picks and pans of these 50 teens. Our participants were Erica, Susie and Henry, and this below is Henry's report:

The ALA convention was the best 10 hours I ever spent around books! At the Anaheim Convention Center, they had an exhibit hall where publishers were giving out free ARCs (advanced reader copies of books that will be released later on in the year or next year) to any teens who asked for them. I snagged 28, and a FIVE dollar hardcover copy of The Drowned Cities, by Paolo Bacigalupi and got it signed by the author!!! I also had five other books signed: two historical graphic novels filled with different stories about Native Americans and Washington, D.C., as well as Prodigy (the sequel to Legend) by Marie Lu, Matched, by Allie Condie, and a new book called Origin, by an up-and-coming author, Jessica Khoury--her first book. We also had a luncheon, and then we all went up to the Marriott to give reviews on the BFYA list nominees. This was the only negative because the same books were reviewed eight or nine times during the two-hour period. We all got home around 7:00. It was an awesome experience and I will go as many times as I can with the library. It was awesome!!!

Friday, June 29, 2012

TEEN REVIEW: Ocean of Blood

The Saga of Larten Crepsley: Ocean of Blood
by Darren Shan
247 pages
Yes, part of a series (book two)
Recommended for grades 8-10
Reviewed by:
Javey G., 10th Grade

S U M M A R Y :
This is the second installment to The Saga of Larten Crepsley series. It is crucial to the rest of the series, which I would also recommend reading.

This book is about the vampire Larten Crepsley finding his own way in life. He often becomes restless, even with his best friend, Wester, and his master, Seba Nile, by his side, so he ventures to the home of Evana, the Lady of the Wilds, from which he flees in a hurry with her fiery assistant, Malora. Soon enough, Larten and Malora – despite her wishes – travel overseas aboard a cargo ship. It is there that Larten creates the gruesome memories that will haunt his life forever.

R E V I E W :
I think this book is very fulfilling, although I did think it dragged on for a bit too long. After having become so close to the character of Larten Crepsley, it was sad to see him make mistakes of such grandeur, but I do empathize with him. I would recommend this book to middle and high school students as well as those interests in gory adventures.

The cover definitely gives the reader an insight of what will happen in the novel. It depicts a maniacal Larten Crepsley laughing, with a ship sailing the ocean in the foreground. This is an incredible turning point in the story and will affect the rest of the series tremendously.

I would rate this book as a 4: better than most. Although it was not my favorite book in the series, I still enjoyed reading it.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

TEEN REVIEW: Birth of a Killer

The Saga of Larten Crepsley: Birth of a Killer
by Darren Shan
261 pages

Yes, part of a series (book one)
Recommended for grades 8-10
Reviewed by:
Javey G., 10th grade

S U M M A R Y :
This book is about a man named Larten Crepsley, who suffers greatly at the hands of an evil man, Traz. After an irreplaceable loss, Larten’s rage drives him to murder. Fleeing afterwards, he seeks shelter in a mausoleum. There he meets an ancient vampire by the name of Seba Nile. Larten agrees to train under Seba as his apprentice. Upon leaving behind all of humanity, Larten subjects himself to harsh training, adventures, and bloodlust.

R E V I E W :

As a huge fan of Darren Shan, I feel the book was well written, exciting, and suspenseful. I have read this book twice, and it continues to surprise me. I feel as though Larten Crepsley is not just a character in the book, but rather someone with whose emotions, thoughts, feelings and actions I can identify. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the Cirque du Freak series, people who like to anticipate scenes beforehand; and 8th- to 10th-graders looking for a good read. This book sets the tempo for the rest of the saga, so strap in and enjoy the ride!

The cover accurately portrays a monumental scene in the book. Without the scene depicted on the front, the rest of the series could simply not happen. It is creatively prepared and appealing to the eye.

Yes, this book is part of a series – a prequel series to the Cirque du Freak books.

I would rate this book as a 5: Hard to Imagine a Better Book. I believe it is one of the best by Darren Shan.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The photos are UP!

If you want to see John Reiff Williams's fabulous photos from Fairy Faces and A Midsummer Night's Dream, go to our Facebook Page and look at the photo albums. If you were there, you can relive it; if you were NOT there, you can wish you had been, and be jealous! (Oh, and also you can consider signing up for Teen Summer Reading, so you won't miss anything else we have planned!)