Friday, March 15, 2013

Foray into Mirrorworld

Cornelia Funke was here at Burbank Public Library last night to give Burbank teens an exclusive preview of her new Mirrorworld App. She has written a new series that began in 2010 with Reckless, and continues (April 2 release date) with Fearless, about a dark fairy tale world hidden behind a mirror (these books are for teens and adults, not her former children's fare), and almost a year ago she commissioned the Marina del Rey special effects company MIRADA to design an app for the iPad to go with the series. She wanted to create a visual component to her world that could go far beyond the possibilities presented by a movie, and with more control over the final product, and she certainly achieved her objective: The app is amazing.

Sixteen stories will be initially included as part of the app—some of them illustrated, some of them animated, some read “aloud” by Cornelia, others to be read silently by you. But there are also such things as a glossary of ogres, a book about the botany of Mirrorworld, instructions for sword-fighting—more than 110 minutes of content altogether, and the app will be updated with seven (or more) new stories over time. The app releases on April 17, and while the fully animated version is only available for the iPad, there will be reader versions available for Kindle and later on for other e-readers. Our audience of 85 was silently enthralled during the presentation, and full of questions for about 45 minutes thereafter. And then we all queued up for autographs! Cornelia is the most gracious author ever, and it was a great evening!

Now that she has this design project (mostly) behind her, the plan is to create more apps, first for Dragon Rider, and then for the Inkworld! Stay tuned...

Thanks to our volunteers: Natalia, Rani, and Christian for selling and counting and generally being helpful (and non-volunteer but hard worker Anarda!).

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Tonight: Reckless App

Are you ready to find out who the Tailor is? what Chanute's Tavern looks like? the secrets of the botany of Mirrorworld? Are you ready to meet Cornelia Funke?

It's our Teen Tech Week event, the very first preview of the Mirrorworld App. Bring yourself and your imagination. Bring books to be autographed, or buy one at the library (Reckless and Ghost Knight, in limited numbers). Be at Buena Vista branch at 7:00 p.m. tonight to see the magic of Mirada in action!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Guest Review: The Lunar Chronicles, Part Two

by Marissa Meyer
454 pages
Fairy tale retold / science fiction
Yes, part of a series
8th grade and up
Reviewed by Daryl M.,
reference librarian

Scarlet Benoit lives with her grandmother on the family farm. She helps tend the crops, and makes deliveries to the local businesses in Rieux, France. Three weeks ago, her grandmother disappeared without a trace. The local authorities have closed the missing person’s investigation, claiming there is no evidence of foul play, but Scarlet knows better. She knows her grandmother would never leave their farm without telling her and, even if she had, she would have contacted Scarlet by now. Scarlet is determined to find her Grandmother, but little does she know that her search will involve the mysterious street fighter with whom her friend Emilie has been flirting for the past week, the crazy news reports about the Lunar cyborg who escaped from New Beijing’s high-security prison, and some secrets about her Grandmother’s past that she never knew.

In Scarlet, author Marissa Meyer has done to the fairy tale "Little Red Riding Hood" what she did to "Cinderella" in Cinder: She takes a familiar story and re-interprets it as a science fiction adventure. While Meyer remains true to the basic elements, she has located them in a war-ravaged earth of the future. Cinder, the first book’s main character, is back, along with most of the others from the first book. In addition, Scarlet introduces some fascinating new characters who are sure to play important parts in the growing chronicles.

While Scarlet and Cinder have their basis in familiar fairy tales, many traditional storybook conventions are turned upside down. In these stories, “the prince” doesn’t always have the ability to overcome the obstacle placed before him, and none of the young women are “damsels in distress.” Indeed, the young women presented in Meyer’s books are well realized and likeable characters with recognizable flaws and, more importantly, incredible strength and determination. They are easily as compelling as Katniss Everdeen, from The Hunger Games, or other recent female protagonists from YA fiction.

The next book in The Lunar Chronicles, Cress, is scheduled for release in 2014. If you would like to look back and see Melissa's review of Cinder, it's here, and includes information about the author.

We also have Scarlet as an audio book!