Saturday, February 22, 2014

Teen review: New series

Title: Frozen
Author: Melissa De La Cruz
Number of pages: 336
Genre: Dystopia, science fiction, action
Is it part of a series?

Yes, Heart of Dread #1
Reading level: High School
Reviewed by:

Patrick Castro, 10th grade

Frozen is a book you MUST pick up if you love Mel and her Blue Bloods series. In Frozen, she has teamed up with her husband to deliver a thrilling, riveting, and action-packed novel.

I have to admit this was my second time attempting Frozen, and this time I made it through! The first time around I was honestly second-guessing Mel and the book, but the second time I really wanted to like it, and I did! I cannot wait to see how Mel writes the next book in this series, and I'm crossing my fingers for it to be even better than the first.

I was like What, again?

In Frozen, we meet Natasha Kestal, a blackjack dealer in New Vegas who has dreams of going into the Blue. The Blue is a semi-mythical paradise where the sun still shines (everywhere else is covered in ice), and going there means a rich life, one in which she doesn't have to live on a day-to-day basis earning money with blackjack. Natasha is also hiding a deep secret--one she doesn't even know herself--and she would be safe in the Blue.

I really loved Nat! She was so assertive and moving. You really get into her character, and I liked watching her grow throughout the novel. She also meets no-good Ryan Wesson, whom she has to trust to go to the Blue. The romance aspect of Frozen was great. It wasn't mushy love stuff, but it was great seeing that tension between them.

The action part of the book was great. Mel finally grows away from her vampires and does some kick-ass scenes. I loved seeing them come alive in my head! It was the perfect balance of Mel's writing with her husband's more mature writing. Having good writing = strong characters and plot line, which was what made Frozen shine. The cast of characters is great--with different personalities, you get the gist of what's more to come. :-)


Fist pumps and claps 

Frozen is a MUST READ for any fan of Mel and the Blue Blood series, or anyone looking for something to spice up their current reading I really liked it, and I cannot wait for anything else Mel has in store!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Photo contest!

Were you planning to enter a photograph into the annual Friends of the Burbank Public Library Photography Contest? Because the deadline is THIS SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22! That's right, SATURDAY. So check out the rules and get 'er done! You can download the entry form HERE. Be sure to read and comply with ALL the details so you're not disqualified for any reason! We look forward to seeing YOUR entry!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

February Book Club Report

Our 10-12 Book Club met on February 4th to discuss I'll Be There, by Holly Goldberg Sloan. I think this is only the second time in book club history (well, in ours, which is during the past five years) that a book received a unanimous rating--and it was a 9! Everyone really loved it (as did the 8+9 Club when they read it last month), which is great, because Holly Goldberg Sloan is coming to see us on Thursday, March 6! (7:00 @ Buena Vista--put it on your calendar!)


Next month's book is I Am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak, and the month after we'll be reading Unwind, by Neal Shusterman. Next month's meeting is on March 4.

The 8+9 Book Club met on February 12 to discuss Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo. Although it wasn't universally loved, it received a fairly high-end rating of 8. The club members who attended the program on February 5th agreed that their reading was greatly enhanced by getting to meet author Leigh Bardugo!


For next month, we'll be reading about "hot boys and hot cars" (Ryan's book-talk summary) as we enjoy The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater. The month following we will read Adaptation, by Malinda Lo--hardcore sci fi set in Area 51. Our March meeting is on the 19th.

The 6+7 Book Club met February 18th, also to discuss Shadow and Bone. The members present at the meeting gave it an enthusiastic 9.3 rating! Most indicated they would read the sequel; some bought it at the author event with Leigh.


Our next book is Bad Girls Don't Die, a spooky one by Katie Alender; and for the following month we will follow hatmaker Sophie into Howl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones. Our March meeting is at Buena Vista, and the date has also been changed to March 18, to avoid the Back to School night for the middle schools on the 11th. (Thanks, Ms. Darwich, for the heads up!)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


"Do you know about our databases?"

Every time we ask that question, we assume the answer will be yes, and are shocked when the answer is no…but all too often, the answer is no! So let us enlighten you--you'll be glad we did!

Databases are the most amazing/awesome/useful tools you will ever discover to help you with your homework projects. Why? Let us list the ways:
  1. Materials on a database STARTED OUT AS PRINT. I can hear some of you saying, "So what?" Okay…ever been working on a research paper and had a teacher tell you, "You are not allowed to use internet sources!"? Well, databases are accessed ONLINE, but they are NOT internet sources--they started out as print, were digitized and PUT online for your convenience. But once upon a time, they were newspapers, magazines, or academic journals. So you can use them as PRINT RESOURCES.
  2. If you have a library card, you can access databases 24 HOURS A DAY. So for those of you who are PROCRASTINATORS (yes, we know you all so well) who don't do your assignment until the night before…you can look up an article on the database on your computer (or iPad or Smartphone) from anywhere, at 2:00 in the morning if you need to. The library may be closed, but the databases are OPEN.
  3. Also…if an entire class is doing the same assignment and the library only owns, say, 10 books on the subject, and you were NOT the first person to the library, guess what? Those books are GONE. But the databases are always available to everyone, all the time.
  4. CURRENT INFORMATION. If you're doing a history paper, that may not be so important--but if it's a paper on global warming? some other science topic? a current political figure or athlete? geography? Well, then, you need the most up-to-date materials, right? Just ONE database--General Reference Center Gold--has more than 80 million articles (yes, you read that right), updated DAILY.
  5. CITATIONS: You know those bibliographies you have to create? When you use a book as a reference, you have to turn to the verso page (that's the page BEHIND the title page) and find out the title, author, number of pages, publisher, publishing date, etc., and write it down in just the right order, with the commas and periods in the right places for MLA style, right? Well, with a database article, it's already done for you. Yep, at the bottom of each article. So all you have to do is SWIPE (copy) and PASTE. Lucky you!
So…acquaint yourselves with our databases, get good grades, go to an Ivy League school, graduate with honors, get a fabulous job, win some awards, and when you are on the podium accepting them, you can say, "I owe it all to my librarians, Anarda and Melissa, at Burbank Public Library, for showing me how to be my best!" (Hey, librarians can dream…)

And by the way, databases aren't JUST for school. For instance, if you are curious about an Olympic athlete (say, skier Sarah Hendrickson) competing right this minute in the Winter Games in Sochi, you can look her up and find out all about her on Biography in Context. If you want to know more about author Ned Vizzini, you can look him up on Literature Resource Center. Indulging your curiosity is a lot faster and easier on a database than it is on Google--the information is already pre-sorted, pre-evaluated, and right up front for you. Einstein would have loved it.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Closed for Presidents' Day

All Burbank Public Library branches are CLOSED this Monday, February 17, in honor of THESE GUYS:

We will reopen Tuesday morning--see you then. Happy Presidents' Day! Here are the rest:

Yes, those are COOKIES. You can read about it here. Educational AND edible!