5 star=Go out and read this book now-you will love it!
4 star=It's a great read-you're sure to like it.
3 star=A good read-give this one a shot.
2 star=An okay book-some readers will like it.
1 star=Sorry, I didn't like it.
Happy Halloween from Pinkalicious and Michelangelo
Sorry I didn't get my picture up earlier! It's been quite the Halloween party at the Library today! We had over 250 kids and adults come through the Library earlier this morning for storytime and our Trick-Or-Treat Parade around the branch. It was so fun seeing all the cute costumes-lots of princesses, fairies, dragons and Elmo costumes this year.
I haven't posted a Day in the Life post in awhile and I thought I would share what my schedule has been like as a Youth Services Manager. (In other words-very busy!!) Day in the Life of a Librarian was started by Abby the Librarian (at least, that's where I saw it first!) This was my day yesterday:
9:30 AM-Drive to library (different branch from where I work) to attend YA meeting for YA staff.
10:30 AM-Meeting over. Call to check in with staff since I have sick employees and only one person at the desk. They're doing OK and I'll come in at my scheduled time at 12:30.
12:00 PM-12:45-Arrive at Library a bit early since we're short staffed. Check in with staff, organize my desk, check mail and unload all the crazy Printz boxes, check schedule for the afternoon, get book and questions for afternoon book club, get Wal-Mart card to go shopping for Halloween candy, find Halloween buckets to distribute to the departments for Wednesday's trick-or-treating parade.
12:45-1:30-Drive to Wal-Mart and buy candy for Wednesday.
1:30-1:45-Leave Wal-Mart and drive to school for our Chat & Chew bookclub. We discuss one of the state book award nominees each month.
1:45-2:30-Arrive for book club. This month's book is Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs. The four girls I had at book club loved the book and so far it's their favorite read of the all the nominees.
2:30-3:00-Drive back to work. Check in with staff, answer questions about the museum pass checkouts we just started. Grab pen and paper and head to a meeting.
3:00-3:45-Meet with other YA staff and Library Director about an upcoming Leadership Academy group that will be visiting the Library for a scavenger hunt on their education day. Brainstorm with staff to come up with questions about the Library, services we offer, materials we have to check out, and databases they can use for homework. I think we created a great scavenger hunt!
3:45-3:50-Head back to Children's department and check in with staff. My branch manager was looking for me so I head off to meet with her.
3:50-4:20-Meet with my branch manager about one of my employees serving on the committee for the literary festival. Catch up with her about programs we hosted over the weekend.
4:20-5:00-Dinner! I love Monday night dinners because I work with an awesome group Monday nights and we always have a fun time talking during break. I also got a bit of reading in.
5:00-8:45-Monday night is my night to work, so I worked at the Children's desk. I greeted patrons, straighted up the department, helped kids and parents find books, DVDs and audiobooks, filled up the display of Halloween books, filled up the display of book award books, checked on YA and helped teens find books, pull books for upcoming storytimes, and finally read through my stack of review journals.
8:45-9:00-Start closing procedures, check the stacks, do one last department pick up and shelf straighten, turn off computers and powerpoint TV, turn off lights and head home!
I am so excited to be attending my first YALSA Literature Symposium this weekend! I love attending library conferences. I can geek out with my fellow librarians, talk teen lit all weekend, and get excited about program ideas and library services for teens.
Be sure to attend my wonderful friends Angie, Drea, Katie, and Kelly (with help from Abby) presentation on Contemporary Lit-Get Real: Contemporary Young Adult Fiction as the Next Big Thing. They are going to be awesome!
A little bunny names Jasper loves carrots so much he sneaks into the carrot fields to eat all the carrots. He eats them everywhere and everyday. But one day the carrots start to follow him-or do they?
Billed as a Twilight Zone type of read for preschoolers, Creepy Carrots is hilarious and just the right amount of scary for young readers. The illustrations are great-Jasper is seeing carrots everywhere but no one else believes him. Readers will notice how what Jasper sees as carrots turn into other orange objects. There's a very fun twist ending that cracked me up and I think preschoolers and their adults will be laughing out loud about those creepy carrots. You may think twice about eating a carrot again though!
There's something spooky in the house! This is a ghost story told from the point of view from the ghosts. Kids are ghosthunting in her house and something sounds spooky to her. What are all those noises? This is a book that has dual stories-the ghosts and the kids. The sculpture illustrations add to the scary story. This is a fun twist on the typical haunted house story.
After reading and loving Even Monsters Need Haircuts, I hoped this followup book would be just as fun-and it was. A young chef discovers that aliens make the perfect customers for his unique creations that none of his family will eat. The illustrations are great-the aliens are creative and the text matches the illustrations with lots of humor (the topsy turvey alien loves the turnip slide down cake, bean puffs are popular with guys from the gas planets-very funny stuff!) A great read aloud and storytime book!
Rachel Hartman, author of the critically acclaimed, instant New York Times bestseller SERAPHINA; Stefan Bachmann, author of THE PECULIAR (Harper Collins), and Christopher Paolini, author of the international bestselling series the Inheritance cycle and, most recently, the INHERITANCE Deluxe Edition.
These three esteemed authors will discuss what inspires them & their characters and take viewer questions.
Fernie What finds herself lost in the Gloom mansion after her cat appears to have been chased there by its own shadow. Fernie discovers a library full of every book that was never written, a gallery of statues that are just plain awkward, and finds herself at dinner watching her own shadow take part in the feast!
Along the way Fernie is chased by the People Taker who is determined to take her to the Shadow Country. It's up to Fernie and Gustav to stop the People Taker before he takes Fernie's family.
Featuring a unique cover and beautifully dark full-page illustrations by Kristen Margiotta, Gustav Gloom is sure to be a hit with fans who love a little darkness in their lives.
Grab a friend and be Gustav Gloom AND his shadow with this easy buddy costume idea! For this costume, one person is going to be Gustav Gloom and the other person is going to be his shadow. Just like in Gustav Gloom and the People Taker, Gustav’s shadow can walk away and do whatever it likes!
For Gustav: 1. Dress in all black, the more formal the better.
2. Make your face pale like Gustav’s using white powder or face paint.
3. Paint your hair black with temporary spray-on hair color.
4. Adopt a very gloomy expression and speak in vague sentences.
For Gustav’s shadow: 1. Dress in greys and blacks, grabbing old clothes that will create a mysterious, amorphous look.
2. Paint your face, hands, and all exposed skin dark grey with face paint.
3. Paint your hair grey or black with temporary spray-on color.
4. Be unpredictable! One minute, follow behind Gustav and mirror his movement as his “shadow.” The next, who know? Dart out in front of him and trick other treaters, eat as much candy as your heart desires, and melt into the shadows whenever it strikes your fancy!
Be sure to follow the tour and check out all the great costume ideas!
One lucky winner will win a copy of all the Halloween Middle Grade Halloween Tour books thanks to Penguin Books!! Just leave a comment below with what your Halloween costume will be this year! I know I don't normally do comment contests, but I really love hearing everyone's costumes! :)
-One entry per person
-13+ to enter
-Contest ends Saturday October 27
About the book: It's 1999 and e-mail is taking over the workplace. In order to make sure employees are using it appropriately, Lincoln is hired to monitor the web filter and read e-mails and report anything that is flagged. Beth and Jennifer know their e-mails are being monitored, but they don't care-they talk about anything and everything. Lincoln should report them, but he thinks they're e-mails are harmless-and fun to read. But by the time Lincoln realizes he's in love with Beth, he's been reading her e-mails for months and doesn't know how to introduce himself.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Sometimes books come along and they are the perfect book for that moment. Attachements came at the perfect moment for me-I'd been stressed out with work and reading and wanted something light and fun and this book was just right.
The characters are all characters I'd like to be friends with. I loved Beth and Jennifer and related to them-I was as addicted to their conversations as Lincoln. And Lincoln is sweet and charming and exactly the type of guy I like to see in books. He's not the smooth, dashing hero, but instead he's the nice guy that you want to cheer for. I really liked the romance aspect of the book because it wasn't sugary sweet or too fast. It was well developed and felt real. Even if you typically snub your nose at romance titles, give this one a try. It's different and the characters are too much fun to put it down.
The story moves along at a quick pace. I listened to this one on audiobook and finished it quickly because I wanted to keep listening.
A fun adult romance with a lot of heart. I can't wait to read more from Rainbow Rowell.
Please welcome Irene Latham to GreenBeanTeenQueen! I love her memories of the Library-this is one of the reason's I became a librarian-so I could help kids find the joy of reading! (And her photos make it even better!)
When I was about eleven years old—Whit’s age—my parents went on a week-long trip and divided up the five kids to leave at one grandparents’ house or another. My parents were strategic in how they determined which kid would go to which grandparents’ house. They always paired one good kid with one bad kid—and honestly I can’t remember how things were decided for the fifth kid.
On this particular occasion, my brother Ken and I got Grandma and Granddaddy Dykes—my father’s parents—who lived in tiny Port St. Joe, Florida, which is on the coast between Appalachicola and Panama City.
My brother Ken was known to be mischievous. This was a kid who would sneak next door and cut the roses off the neighbor’s bushes.
Me, well, I was supposed to be the good one, the easy one. But on this trip I was completely homesick. I missed my mama, my bedroom with its purple walls, the horses out back. So I was giving Grandma fits—she did not know what to do with a teary-eyed, depressed little girl. Her first efforts were to cook: fluffy buttermilk biscuits, hoe cakes made from Hoover brand cornmeal and fried in an iron skillet, lima beans so tender from the hamhock they disappear in your mouth, chocolate pie with fluffy meringue, sour cream cake crusty on the top but moist in the middle.
When none of that worked, she was distraught. She told me to get in the car, and we started driving. I thought for five minutes that maybe I had won, she was taking me home.
When we pulled into the parking lot of the Gulf County Public Library in Port St. Joe, I knew she was doing the next best thing. Grandma knew personally the power of books, of story, what escape and comfort can be found in a room filled with words.
She introduced me to the librarian—“this is my granddaughter Irene who loves to read”—and I remember the delight with which I was greeted, the warm arm on my shoulder, the pillow-splashed floor I sunk into after the librarian showed me where the horse books were.
So that became our routine for the rest of the week: Grandma would cook scrambled eggs and butter grits for breakfast, I’d eat, then she would drop me off at the library. I completely missed all the excitement of my brother Ken’s go-cart adventures, and only witnessed the results: giant holes in Granddaddy’s tomato patch where my brother had spun the wheels over and over again. I had found a haven, a cure for my sadness, relief from my anxiety.
It was almost as good as being at home. And of all the libraries I’ve ever visited, Gulf County Public Library remains dearest.
As for my brother Ken? He continues to give me great material for future books.
About the Book: Whit lives at the zoo. With a mom that's the zoo director and a dad who is the head elephant keeper, it's all Whit has ever known. He feels like his parents don't pay attention to him and care more about the animals. Whit wants to experience a different life. So when he's assigned a field study project, he decides to study Bird Girl, a mysterious girl he's seen at the zoo every day. Whit meets Stella, a girl who loves to draw birds, but her life outside the zoo is something she's trying to escape.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Don't Feed the Boy would be a great book for a middle grade book club. Whit is envious of Stella living outside the zoo, but Stella's abusive father makes her life something she wants to run away from. Stella on the other hand is jealous of Whit living in the zoo, but Whit longs for parents who notice him. I think there is so much from each character that tweens can take away.
Whit and Stella are well developed characters and the author sneaks in a lot of facts about zoos and animals into the story-Whit is quite an animal expert! The author does a great job of tying little details together. She brings things into the story that seem small (like the lighter Stella gives to Whit) and ties it back to details that happen later on.
I wouldn't be surprised if this book makes it onto our state book award list as I think it lends a lot to middle grade book discussions. It's sad but happy at the same time, which I think tweens will like. But be warned-there are animals in this book and there are some sad moments with them!! (You can't say I didn't tell you so!)
Full Disclosure: Reviewed from ARC sent by Blue Slip Media for review
Julie Kagawa's Iron FeySeries has taken readers by storm. I remember when the series came out and readers in the blog world and at my library had to get their hands on the books. We've heard from Meghan, and now it's her brother's turn to tell his story, pulling readers back into the world of Faery.
About The Lost Prince
Don't look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them. That is Ethan Chase's unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he'd dare to fall for.
Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister's world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.
Want to read it? Two lucky winners will receive a copy thansk to Harlequin Teen and Big Honcho Media.
-One entry per person
-Contest ends Monday October 22
About the Book: On a typical Missouri morning, Amy Elliott Dunne has gone missing on her anniversary. Her husband Nick is the main suspect. Amy has left behind a diary that includes many secrets and a peek into what kind of life she and Nick had-and it wasn't as happy as it might have appeared. Is Amy dead? If so, who killed her? And is Nick innocent? Full of twists, nothing is as it seems.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: First off, thank you to my friend Angie at Fat Girl Reading for suggesting this book. She told me it lived up to all the hype-and she was right!
Gone Girl is a very twisty thriller-just when you think you have things figured out, the story changes. Which makes it a very hard book to talk about and review, because I don't want to give anything away. What I will say is that Gone Girl is the book I have talked about most this year. When anyone asks me for book suggestions, Gone Girl is the first book I mention. It was just so shockingly good, addicting and, I know I've already said it, but twisty, that I couldn't put it down.
I'm always a bit wary of dual narrations because I get frustrated when the voices don't match what the other narrator has already laid out. You don't have to worry about that here. Kirby Heyborn and Julia Whelan mirror each other's voices perfect. I believed Kirby's Amy voice and Julia's Nick voice. I didn't have to wonder who they were talking about, I knew because the voicing was so perfect. They also do an excellent job adjusting their voices as the story goes on and gets even crazier-their narration changes to fit the plot and it's so addicting and very easy to get caught up. This was an audiobook that I kept finding reasons to listen to-I even cleaned my house and made dinner because I wanted to keep listening! If that's not a mark of a good audiobook, I don't know what is!!
I will mention that the first part drags just a bit, but stick with it and you'll be rewarded-I promise. Also, this is an adult lit title, and it's very much adult lit-I don't know that there's a lot of teen crossover appeal since there's a lot of midlife crisis, job crisis, marriage in crisis (lots of crisis!) that I don't think teens would really care about. It's also very psychological and dark-this is not a happy, feel good book. Yet it's a book I couldn't stop thinking about and talking about, which I think makes it well worth the read (or listen).
If you're looking for your next great audiobook listen and are up for a very dark and messy tale, give Gone Girl a try-and then talk to me when you're finished because I know you'll want to!
Full Disclosure: Reviewed from audiobook purchased on Audible.com
Tween Tuesday is a meme that highlights great reads for tweens! Post about your middle grade pick and share the love below!
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars Genre: Science Fiction/Graphic Novel Release Date: October 2, 2012 Add to Goodreads
About the Book: Meg Murry is different-and she knows it. She's frustrated being teased at school and she's easily angered when people around town make comments about her strange younger brother and her missing father. On a dark and stormy night, Charles Wallace introduces Meg to Mrs. Whatsit and secrets about her father's work and his whereabouts start to unravel. Soon Meg, Charles Wallace, and their new friend Calvin are on a journey through space and time to fight darkness and find Mr. Murry.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I adored this novel as a child-I always felt as though I related to Meg. So when I found out about the graphic novel version, and being adapted and illustrated by Hope Larson, I couldn't wait. And for the most part my high expectations were met.
The plot and text are perfect. So much of the text is taken straight from the book. I think I noticed this because I recently reread A Wrinkle In Time and I'm sure devoted fans will be pleased with how much of the text makes it into the graphic novel edition. It is an adaptation that is handled lovingly and with much care and that shines through on every page. I was very pleased because it really kept true to the novel and never cut corners. This wasn't a fast read-there is so much to take in with both the art and the text to get the whole story and it made this adaptation feel spot on.
The characters are all how I imagined them (well, maybe I imagined Calvin a bit less geeky in my swoony tween years). Ms. Larson captures the emotion and angst of Meg, the charming peculiarity of Charles Wallace and the excitement of Calvin perfectly.
My only complaint about the book is the color palate. The blue scale is a bit odd and can be distracting at times. I got used to it, but it really frustrated me when we met the Man with the Red Eyes because his eyes are blue, not red, which really was throwing me off. At the same time I can see why the blue palate was chosen because it does give a very space like feel to the illustrations, especially when panels are mostly in a black background.
I would encourage fans of the original novel to add this one to your collection. It's a well done graphic novel adaptation-one of the best. It's a perfect way to share the classic story with new and old readers alike. A must add to any graphic novel collection.
Full Disclosure: Reviewed from final copy sent by publisher for review
I've been talking about Trends In YA this year and it's time for another edition! This time, it's books about being trapped in a building! This trend freaks me out-it's so easy for that plot to become very creepy.
I first noticed this in YA with last year's book Trapped (and yes, I know, it came out last year and I'm trying to focus my trends on 2012 titles, but stick with me, OK?)