Saturday, May 31, 2014

Guest Blog: Dorothy Must Die!

Oz. The mere mention of the name can conjure up images of roads of yellow brick cutting through landscapes of oversaturated colors (and, we imagine, scents), towards the Emerald City. For more than a century, children and adults alike have cherished L. Frank Baum’s original The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its 34 sequels (13 written by Baum, and the remaining 21 written by Ruth Plumly Thompson after his death). For first-time author Danielle Paige, the books are a jumping-off point for her all-new interpretation in the YA novel  Dorothy Must Die.

Sixteen-year-old Amy Gumm’s life is less than perfect. Her parents are divorced, and her father has remarried and started a new family. Her mother was in a debilitating automobile accident and is now addicted to pain killers and the booze she uses to wash them down. As a result of their tight financial situation, Amy is known as “Salvation Amy” at school, where she is neither popular nor an academic achiever. She dreams of the day when she can leave her school, her substance-abusing mom, and the entire state of Kansas behind, and make a better life for herself. What she never imagined was being left home, alone (except for her mom’s pet rat Star) in the mobile home she and her mom share, watching as her mom drives away in one direction while a tornado bears down from another.

After a turbulent ride in a tornado-borne trailer, Amy awakens in Oz! But it is not the Oz she remembers from the books and movie. It is duller, less vibrant, desolate and dangerous. Oz’s inhabitants are suspicious and fearful; few will actually speak to Amy, let alone help her, and no one is who they seem to be. The “good” witches can no longer be trusted. The “wicked” witches seem to be working to save the innocent. But they all are convinced of one thing: Amy, as the other girl from Kansas to arrive on a tornado, is Oz’s only chance to be restored!

Dorothy Must Die is an enjoyable and intriguing trip over the rainbow; it is the first of a planned series.

Reviewed by reference librarian Daryl M.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Teen Review: Geektastic!

The book Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd was marvelously edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci. There are 400 pages of so many different stories in each chapter. So it isn’t part of a series. This is a realistic fiction that has a lot of comedy and humor. Geektastic is fantastic for audiences in grades 9 –12 who love geekiness in general.

Geektastic shows 15 stories about sci-fi geeks, theater geeks, astronomy geeks, archaeology geeks, cosplay geeks, fantasy geeks, comic book geeks, and just geeks in general. In between each chapter there are interesting cartoons that explores more geekiness of the story. Some of these chapters will include parts about Star Wars, Star Trek and much more. Since everyone has a geeky side to them, it’s time to embrace your inner geek. This story has reminded me what it means to be a geek and to have fun while you’re at it.

Each story is a realistic look at the lives of teens that are full of geekiness and deals with the problems with it. Some stories include situations in which social boundaries are crossed, or when they deal with extreme circumstances that result from their geeky actions. For example, when geeks are online gaming. However, each story is heartwarming in its own way. Jedi, Klingons, knights, epic battles, quiz bowls, etc. were thrown in occasionally to keep each reader happy.

I love this book and so far my friends do too, because we embrace our inner geekiness. I loved how they wrote this because sometimes I just can’t stick with just one story or else I would get bored of reading it. I would recommend this book full of awesomeness to people in high school. The cover is also awesome because it represents me and my friends in some ways. I would also hope this helps other people to embrace their inner geek. So I would think Geektastic is better than most.

Reviewed by J.D. , grade 9

Wednesday, May 28, 2014