Friday, August 24, 2012


We had BIG FUN (as big as Effie's hair! as big as Effie's hat! as big as Effie's sleeves!) at the Hunger Games screening! We want to thank everyone who brought non-perishable food items for BTAC--we had 73 in attendance, and I think we collected at least that many items, if not more. Yay for you!


5:45 P.M.
Buena Vista Library Auditorium
Costume optional
Note mandatory (if you're under 13, bring one!)
Donation requested (nonperishable food items)
Refreshments will be served
(Anarda wanted bread and water, but I overruled her...)
There might be some prizes...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Guest Blog: This Dark Endeavor

This Dark Endeavor:
The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein

by Kenneth Oppel
298 pages
Grades 8-12
Reviewed by: Daryl M.,
Reference Librarian, Buena Vista

S U M M A R Y :

Twins Konrad and Victor Frankenstein have lived an idyllic life in the family’s chateau just outside of Geneva. Their days are filled with all of the normal obligations for young gentlemen of their age--tutorial sessions, language lessons, and fencing drills--but they also seek out adventure at every opportunity. One of these adventures ends in the discovery of a hidden passage in their library that leads to a secret chamber filled with books about alchemy. Their father discovers them in this dark library and forbids them ever to visit it again. But when Konrad suddenly falls sick from an unknown illness and the local physicians seem unable to diagnose or treat him, Victor is drawn to these volumes in search of a cure. Is there something in these forbidden books about the dark arts that can save his brother’s life?

R E V I E W :

In This Dark Endeavor, author Kenneth Oppel creates a prequel of sorts for the characters from Mary Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein. The result is an entertaining read that explores aspects of the characters mostly ignored by their original creator. However, those who have already read Shelley's Frankenstein will know too much about what happens next (sort of a "spoiler" in reverse!), meaning this novel won't be as thrilling as it could be; so if you have NOT read Frankenstein yet, maybe read this book first, and let it introduce you to a classic story!

This Dark Endeavor is the first of a series, with the second book, Such Wicked Intent, due out soon. (On order at Burbank Public Library.)

Did you know? Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein when she was only 19 years old! It was inspired by ghost stories, insomnia, and a philosophical discussion with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley.

If you go to our library catalog and search the word "Frankenstein," you will find lots of other books that are spin-offs from Shelley's famous work--including a spooky Dean Koontz retelling, and Melissa's personal favorite from the children's room, Frankenstein Makes A Sandwich, by Adam Rex!

Service hours for book reviews!

All of you out there looking for service hours (especially those having a hard time fitting them into your busy schedules, what with water polo practice, choir practice, homework...), remember that you can get ONE SERVICE HOUR for every book review you write for our blog! There are some rules:

1. These reviews must be for recreational reading. Nobody really wants to read your review that you extracted from your mandatory school-related book report on A Separate Peace or The Great Gatsby. We DO want to know what you thought of the latest Jay Asher, Cassandra Clare or Melina Marchetta book!

2. Your review must follow our Book Review Guidelines. That means we want a (short) synopsis, and an opinion that consists of more than "it was awesome!"

I know we have some READERS out there. Now we want you to consider turning yourselves into WRITERS. C'mon, it's just talking on paper...and you'll be PUBLISHED. Cool.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Vote now!!!

Time to VOTE! (You have to click on the "next" button to get to the ballot.) You can vote NOW through September 15. You don't have to have read all the books to vote--pick your faves and let YALSA (the Young Adult Library Services Association) know your preferences! The winners will be announced during Teen Read Week, October 14-20.

And speaking of Teen Read Week...our annual WRITING CONTEST is coming. This year's contest:

Write a DYSTOPIAN story!

If you're saying "Huh?!" then here's a definition:
A futuristic, imagined universe in which oppressive societal control and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through corporate, bureaucratic, technological, moral, or totalitarian domination. Dystopian stories, through an exaggerated worst-case scenario, make a criticism about a current trend, societal norm, or political system.
Your writing time is from September 12 to October 12! Do YOU have it in you to write a dystopian tale? Start thinking up YOUR future-world scenario...