Thursday, July 28, 2016

A fun series to end the summer?

Mohammed was right! I never thought I'd say those words, but there they are. No, not the prophet--Mohammed D. from book club! At a recent Book Café, he stood up and book-talked the Lockwood & Co. series by British author Jonathan Stroud, and his conclusion was that the series gets better with every book. After his book-talk, I read the other two books (we had read the first one for book club), and...he was absolutely right!

This series is fun and entertaining fantasy/horror based on the premise that ghosts have risen from the grave to haunt the citizens of England. They call it "the Problem," and it has caused a radical change in lifestyle for subjects of the British crown--no going out at night, extreme caution around graveyards, and surprise visitations in unlike places by otherworldly denizens. The key to solving "the Problem" is the abilities manifested by children and teens; only those under a certain age are able to see, hear, or somehow sense the "Visitors." So while all the adults are locked up snug in their beds, roving Psychic Investigation teams of children and teenagers armed with salt bombs, lavender, and iron filings (all things anathema to ghosts, shades, spirits, poltergeists, and other miscellaneous specters) are out cleansing the city of danger.

Lucy Carlyle, fresh from a ghost-hunting debacle (not her fault) in the country, arrives in London hoping for a job at one of the big agencies. Instead, she ends up accepting a position with Lockwood & Co., the company consisting of Anthony Lockwood, George Cubbins, and now Lucy. They're small but ambitious, they think outside the box and, despite many mishaps, they all have confidence that someday they'll make it big and receive the recognition they deserve.

The first book, The Screaming Staircase, establishes the back story a bit, and then the series continues with the ghost-fighting adventures of the agency in The Whispering Skull and The Hollow Boy. I found all the characters whimsical and fun, the mysteries intriguing, the haunting scenarios honestly a bit frightening, and the world-building believable. I think readers from sixth grade onward would enjoy these books, but while appealing to the young, they are sophisticated enough in their humor and emotional content to hook anyone.

I probably should have waited to post this review until Hallowe'en, but who says you can't enjoy a good ghost story any time of the year?! Thanks, Mohammed, for the recommendation!


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Halftime Horror was awesome!

Mysterious mayhem ensued after the library closed on Saturday night, when it magically turned into AGATHA CHRISTIE HIGH, the site of the BIG GAME and...foul play!

Fortunately for Principal Rendell, there was an FBI agent in the house, to watch her darling nieces play b-ball. With the help of Agent Robin Wayne and Police Detective Montgomery, the crowd of basketball supporters were deputized to SOLVE THE MURDER of star player Celeste Mortimer! There were weapons, there were clues, there were suspects and people in the know to interview! There were halftime refreshments! There was CAKE. And PRIZES.

And at the end of it was CAROLINE, with a SCARF, for the SCHOLARSHIP!

Many KUDOS to our fabulous Teen Advisory Board for pulling this off. To the WRITERS of scripts, characters, and clues (special thanks to Anika and Julia, who herded things along), our decorations committee, and our Crest workers and librarians! And of course, many TAB members did double duty, memorizing their roles for the evening's activity as...


Coach Selena Tyson (Za)
Michael Garrison (Chris)
Harold Raubenheimer (Aaron)
Caroline Calamari (Abbie)
Danielle Fleming (Raquelle)
Elyse Green (Shushan)


FBI Agent-Host (Zoey)
Detective-Host (Alex)
Kevin Myrick (Ian)
Stephanie "Poison Pen" McKeel (School Reporter) (Bella)
George Santana (Michael’s Henchmen) (George)
Suzy Cullen (The girl whose leg got broken and is now on crutches) (Megan)
Principal Rendell (Melissa)
Basketball players (Jazzmin, Jordyn, Katelyn, and Lorelei, who backed up Kendelle and Raquelle)
The victim, star player Celeste Mortimer! (Kendelle)

With Anarda as "librarian," and Columbo Matlock (Hubert) and Veronique Poirot (Laura) as "school staff."

WHAT A PRODUCTION! To see a bunch of pictures (more to come next week when George and his camera get back from camp!), go to our Facebook photo album!

It was a great way to end GAME ON!, our teen summer reading program. Thanks to everyone who produced, and everyone who played!

A side note: We announced the WINNERS of the Game On! Trivia Challenge on Saturday night. First place went to Angelo Waterhouse, second place to Julia Vinyard, and third place to Rhett Hemingway. Great OPAC work, all of you! The prizes were $35, $30, and $25 Amazon gift cards. Don't you wish YOU had done the Trivia Challenge?