Friday, April 19, 2013

Dragons--a poem

Author Lish McBride (Hold Me Closer, Necromancer and Necromancing the Stone) shared this poem (What the Dragon Said: A Love Story, by Catherynne M. Valenteas her choice to celebrate National Poetry Month, and I thought it was so amazing I decided to pass it on to you.

You can find more science fiction and fantasy poetry at Tor's website.

Meet Gayle Forman!

GAYLE FORMAN, author of If I Stay,  Where She Went (the sequel), and her brand-new book, JUST ONE DAY is coming to visit Burbank Public Library on April 22nd! Yes, next week, on Monday night, you can meet Gayle Forman at the Buena Vista branch at 7:00 p.m.! She will give a presentation, answer questions, and sign autographs. Don't miss it!

Books will be available for purchase (or you can also bring your own copies along, 10-12 Book Club!). This is a teen program, but all are welcome to attend.

Here is a description of her new book from our catalog:

When sheltered American girl Allyson "Lulu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem de Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night while on her post-graduation trip to Europe, there's an undeniable spark. They spend a memorable day in Paris, and for Allyson the spark bursts into flame...but the next day, Willem is gone...

NOTE: You can also catch Gayle over the weekend at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC, at 12:00 noon on Sunday, on a panel with Robin Benway, Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson, moderated by Holly Goldberg Sloane. For more info about the festival, go here.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Melissa and the Bee!

Do you want an opportunity to SUPPORT LITERACY in Burbank, and also support (or, yes, mock) MELISSA?

Burbank Public Library is having a SPELL-A-BRATION fund-raiser for its literacy department, and Melissa is a member of the library's three-person team, Dewey and the Decimals. (Melissa is a Decimal. This year's Dewey is Misha, our cataloger, who speaks eight languages, has a degree in linguistics, an IQ over 165, and a photographic memory. Melissa's credentials are more modest: Sixth grade spelling CHAMPION at Pachappa Elementary School, Riverside, CA, the year 19...well, we'll keep the year to ourselves!)

Come out and see them WIN THIS THING! It would be nice to have an AUDIENCE...not to mention raising some FUNDS! so tell your parents, tell your friends, BUY TICKETS!

THIS COMING THURSDAY NIGHT, April 25, 7:00 p.m., St. Leon Armenian Cathedral on Glenoaks across from Woodbury U. Appetizers, dessert bar, silent auction, a worthy cause, and COMPETITIVE SPELLING. How's that for a stellar evening?! Click on the link for more details...hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What we're reading: Sequels

I'm trying to catch up on my teen reading, which includes grabbing the sequels to things I read awhile back. This week's selection was Perfect Scoundrels, a Heist Society novel by Ally Carter. When I got partway into the book, I realized that this is the third in the series, and that I had read the first (Heist Society) but not the second (Uncommon Criminals); but aside from a few cryptic references to events in book two, I can attest that book three can perfectly well be read without having read book two, although if you haven't read book one, you will be completely lost!

Kat Bishop is still hanging with her gang of cons, criminals and thieves known as the Bishop family--an extended family group, some of whom are completely unrelated, but all of whom come through for each other no matter what. But in this book, one of her adopted family members--her boyfriend, W. W. Hale the Fifth--is in trouble, and unlike Kat's family of criminal masterminds, Hale's real family is only there for him in a severely limited way, and all bets are off when it comes to money. Hale's grandmother has died, and in a surprise move, she has made him (not his father, IV, or any of the other grownup relatives) the heir to her billion-dollar company. Since he's a minor, however, there is a trustee until he comes of age; and the naming of the Hale family lawyer, Garrett, for this job sends up red flags with those who knew Hazel Hale the best. Marcus, Hale's loyal chauffeur, hires Kat to find out whether there's been monkey business with the will, and thus starts a convoluted tale of plots, feints, betrayals, and con jobs, only this time it's both sides trying to con each other!

I enjoyed this book, even though it's all pretty unbelievable--or maybe because of that, it's great escapist fiction. Carter specializes in young heroines who aren't what they seem (she also wrote the Gallagher Girls series, beginning with I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You, in which the protagonist goes to a private girls' school for spies), and surrounds them with friends and family you'd like to have for your own. There is mystery and intrigue, the relationship between Kat and Hale is sweet (though somewhat fraught in this book), and there's the obligatory twist at the end that keeps you guessing. It's a fun, light, weekend read--check it out!

Great news for fans of both of Carter's series: She has written a crossover Heist Society/Gallagher Girls novella, called Double Crossed, and it's available FREE for e-readers here. There are also a bunch of cool trailers there for her other books, if you like to watch those.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Teen Review: Realistic Fiction

Title: Speechless
Author: Hanna Harrington
Genre: Realistic fiction
Series: No
Pages: 288
Reviewed by: Giselle F., grade 9

S U M M A R Y :
Chelsea Knot is one of the most popular girls in school, and she is also a huge gossip queen. Chelsea is known to be unable to keep a secret. So when she blabs about a secret she has no right to share, and someone gets hurt because of it, saying she’s sorry is not enough. Chelsea realizes that her words only get her in trouble and decides to take a vow of silence.

R E V I E W :
When I first got this book, I was really excited to start reading it, because I loved the premise. I knew going in that it would deal with heavy problems that are constant in our society, such as bullying and gossip, and I was curious to see how these issues would be handled.

Right off the bat, I found myself deeply invested in the story line. After Chelsea found out that one of her classmates, Noah, was gay, and ran to tell anyone who would listen, a few students decided to teach poor Noah a lesson. One thing I do admire about Chelsea at this point in the book is that she knew she had to tell someone in order to get justice for her classmate. Of course, this choice makes her the most hated girl in school, but she sticks by it and I really admired that.

One of my favorite things about this book was being able to see Chelsea grow from this shallow girl who cared about no one but herself to a person who cared about others and stood up for them. I strongly disliked Chelsea in the beginning because of the way she carried herself and for her careless actions. I loathed the fact that she would spread around gossip and look down on everybody just because she was friends with the most popular girl in school. When she came to school after taking the vow of silence, and the people she thought were her friends were shunning her for doing the right thing, that's when I started to sympathize with her. I felt as though her vow of silence taught her a few things that she needed to learn. To be honest, though, it wasn't until she started to make new friends and fell for Sam that she became a real, likable character. As the book progressed, she grew into this kindhearted, genuine person that I could care for.

One thing I absolutely loved was the romance. I loved how Chelsea’s relationship with Sam wasn’t love at first sight. I loved that it was a gradual thing. Sam’s humor, and his willingness to be kind to Chelsea when no one else would was what made him one of my favorite characters. I also loved how he was willing to defend Chelsea and help her to forgive herself for what she had done to Noah. He helped her move on from her state of guilt and sadness.

I felt the author did an amazing job handling the different issues, as well as her style of writing and how she developed Chelsea from an unlikable girl into someone I grew to love. I loved the message the book sends: Love is louder when we use our words to help, not hurt. I think that this book is a great read and it’s definitely a book that makes you think twice about what you say about others, and also how sometimes people just need second chances.

5 stars.