Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Footballs & Cows: What a strange combination?

During the recent Florida Library Association Conference in April of 2007 I had an opportunity to meet and talk with YA author Catherine Gilbert Murdock about her book Dairy Queen which is also available on Audio CD. There is a picture of me with the author who told me that her third book is going to be a fantasy novel. Her first novel Dairy Queen tells the story of 15 year old D.J. Schwenk who is a talented and hard working athlete who is stuck working all the time on her family’s farm. When she is not milking cows, cleaning the barn and gathering hay she is training Brain a quarterback from a rival high school football team. D. J. joins her high school’s football team after realizing that she wants to be a player instead of a trainer. Murdock is coming out with a sequel to the novel called The Off Season that answers the question: Will D. J. and Brain’s love survive?

Along Came a Spider...

So, are your Spidey senses tingling? Okay, at least your fanboy/girl senses? Spider-Man 3 drops May 4 and its web is all ready to catch all our money. Judging the early looks, it just might be worth it.

We have 3, count 'em 3, villains this time: the New Goblin (Harry Osborn picking up the family business), Sandman (the CG star of the trailers), and maybe the deadliest Spidey enemy of all time, Venom--the "black Spider-Man to you non-geeks (played by...Topher Grace? No, really, it'll work). And if ol' Web Head didn't have enough on his plate, he gets a second love interest in Gwen Stacy, who has a very different history in the comics universe.

Now, why not feed your need while you wait by checking out Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 at your friendly neighborhood library? Or the shelf-load of Spidey comix we have in our catalog? You can brush up on your Venom and Gwen or just outsource your time until the movie opens.

Happy Slinging.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Power Is Yours!!!

Earth Day is tomorrow! Hence I will talk about a really cool environmental cartoon that I was very much into back when I was a teenager: Captain Planet.

The show involved 5 teenagers- the Planeteers- summoned by Gaia (the Spirit of the Earth) to Hope Island in order to save the planet from environmental devastation. At the end of every episode there was a Planeteer Alert with an environmental tip. Captain Planet aired for 6 seasons on TBS- twice every Sunday (and yes, often I would watch it both times).

The Planeteers came from all parts of the world:

Kwame, from Africa, with the power of Earth
From North America, Wheeler, with the power of Fire
From Eastern Europe, Linka, with the power of Wind (my favorite!)
From Asia, Gi, with the power of Water
And from South America, Ma-Ti, with the power of Heart

And with all their powers combined, they summon Captain Planet!

Watch out for the Eco-Villains- they're out to loot and plunder!

I watched all the episodes of all 6 seasons, collected the comic book, and even tried playing the Nintendo game.

For more info about Captain Planet, check out these sites:

- Official Captain Planet Website from Turner
- Wikipedia article on the "Captain Planet and the Planeteers" TV Series
- Captain Planet Episode Listing
- Another Captain Planet profile page

And remember, the power to save the Earth is YOURS!

Friday, April 20, 2007

MySpace News Goes Live

Always on the lookout for cool tech news, I discovered today that MySpace is getting into the News business. Checkout the blog article on ZDNet discussing the new site. They mention that MySpace is becoming a Web 2.0 portal.

While we are talking about MySpace, did you know that the library is ordering the MySpace for Dummies book so that you can learn all of the ins and outs of MySpace. You can place a hold on the book so that when it comes in to the library, you will get a phone call when it is your turn on the list. Also, since you can have your own blog in MySpace, check out the books that we have on blogs.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

T-minus 1 day and counting!

There's only 1 more day until

Support Teen Lit Day!

So let's continue our list of teen book picks with our first non-fiction choice (and our very first teen-written review!!!!)

Today's Teen Review by
by Carmen @ 78th Street Branch
Hay ya'll.

I want you guys to read this book. It's called A

It's really good because it's about a boy that is
abused by his mom. His mom was nice for awhile, but because of his drunk father,
his mom became abusive with him. One time, he was almost burned to death. His
mother told him to strip off his clothes and get in the kitchen. He got very
scared. His mother turns the oven on and told him to get in and lie down. He
began to cry and she yelled at him. He got in. He tried to get out but his mom
pulled him back. Luckily his father came through the door and his mom had to
stop. She told him "if you ever tell your brothers or your father, you would end
up in the hospital."

O.K. There’s more to the book, but you need to read
the book.

You guys might say that doesn't sounds like a really good
book, but it is. Teenagers say that your parents aren't fair, but as you see
that this boy really had a bad life. So when your parents say "no," just say
"o.k." Please read the book and appreciate your parents.

Note from Miss Jen: Carmen's pick is definitely about a sensitive subject, so it might not be for everyone. For help deciding if this is the book for you, don't forget you can always ask a parent, teacher, or even.... A LIBRARIAN! ;-)

What do YOU do for fun?

Do you get together with your friends during the week, or mostly on weekends? What kinds of things do you do with your friends? When you're by yourself, do you surf the 'Net out of boredom sometimes, because you don't have anything else to do?

Picture this: You and a bunch of your friends hanging out at the Library for programs like:

Teen Movie Night
Taiko Drum Master Tournaments
Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) Tournaments
Guitar Hero Tournaments

And to top it off, everything is FREE!

Sound like fun to you? Libraries are trying to come up with fun things for teens, but to do this, we need to hear from you! Tell us what YOU want @ your Library!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Only 2 more days...

Support Teen Lit Day is Thursday!


Today's Teen Picks
by Brian @ Seminole Heights

View Item Details Star Wars, Episode III : Revenge of the Sith by Patricia C. Wrede

View Item Details Crossfire by Terry Bisson

View Item Details Star Wars Episode 1, Journal, Anakin Skywalker by Todd Strasser

Put Your Best Flip-Flops Forward!

The folks at the Tampa Tribune are throwing down a fun challenge...

...a Flip-Flop Challenge!

They "want you to create the coolest flip-flops around using anything that catches your fancy, be it buttons, bows, ribbons, beads, paint or plastic toys. Nothing is off-limits." Sounds like fun to me! Just take a look at what's already been entered.

Deadline to enter is April 22. Contest details and submission instructions can be found here.

Monday, April 16, 2007

It's National Library Week!

Hey! Guess what? It's National Library Week! Come celebrate with us at your favorite library branch!

Can't make it? Why not take part in the festivities with us here online?

We're especially excited that the first Support Teen Lit Day is April 19, only 2 days away.

Want to take part in this celebration?

And in the spirit of the day, here's

Today's Teen Picks
by Robin @ North Tampa

View Item Details Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

View Item Details Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

View Item Details Firestarter by Stephen King

Friday, April 13, 2007

More Teen Picks

Continuing our countdown, it's 6 more days 'til Support Teen Lit Day, and here's...

Today's Teen Picks
by Antonio @ North Tampa

View Item Details The Trigun Maximum Series by Yasuhiro Nightow

View Item Details The InuYasha Ani-Manga Series by Rumiko Takahashi

View Item Details InuYasha: The Art of InuYasha by Rumiko Takahashi

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Drop Everything!

... And READ!

Did you know that April 12 is Drop Everything And Read Day? Me, neither! (until just a moment ago, that is.)

So what better time to bring you our next set of Teen Lit Picks!

Today's Teen Picks
by Jesse @ Seminole Heights

View Item Details Eragon by by Christopher Paolini

View Item Details The Naruto series by Masashi Kishimoto

View Item Details The Bleach series by Tite Kubo

Goodbye to the Monkey House!

This makes me sad...

Kurt Vonnegut Dies at 84

Though it's never been a warm and fuzzy "feel-good read," I've loved Vonnegut's work since I first read Slaughterhouse-Five as required reading in 10th grade. He combined tales of wartime brutality and sci-fi/fantasy with a sense of irony and humor that made the tough stuff easier to absorb.

I always liked his short stories best, collected in books like "Welcome to the Monkey House" and "Bagombo Snuff Box."

Goodbye, Mr. Vonnegut! And thank you!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Hot Reads, Cool Event

We're getting ready for National Library Week, a week-long celebration of all that's good about libraries and the people who run them (like us!) And new to the festivities this year is...


Since this celebration seems right up our alley, we thought it might be cool to share some favorite picks chosen by teens @ the library throughout the next few weeks.

Here goes:

Today's Lit Picks
by Chris @
North Tampa

Ghost by Piers Anthony

View Item Details Dragon on a Pedestal by Piers Anthony
View Item Details A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony

The Alethiometer Says...

So, I just finished reading Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass, the first book in his award-winning trilogy, His Dark Materials. I know, what took me so long, right? After the adventures of some hairy-toed hobbits and a certain scarf-wearing wizard, this is as cool as a fantasy series gets (Narnia, you say? Keep on saying.)

Anyway, I'm in for the long haul now. I won't get into the story here...but you can here. Needless to say, it's hard to go wrong with flame-throwing armored polar bears fighting bow and arrow wielding witches. Good stuff.

And you might want to get started right away so you can be ready for when (surprise, surprise) the movie opens this December (with Nicole Kidman as the child-stealing villainess ). Like I said, good stuff.

(FYI: The book was originally published in the UK with the title Northern Lights, which is far more fitting, though apparently somehow un-American. Good thing you don't need to understand how publishing works in order to enjoy books.)

Friday, April 6, 2007

Top Ten Teen Websites

What websites do you visit at least once per week? A recent article on the British Website Telegraph listed the following sites:

1. MySpace
2. Bebo
3. Facebook
4. Youtube
5. Vox
6. Kazaa
7. Last FM
8. Second Life
9. Piczo
10. Wikipedia

Wikipedia is one of my favorite sites. I like checking there first when I have a question on some topic.

I love my meeces to pieces!

All four of them!

Do you have any exotic pets? Last year, in addition to the more commonly kept goldfish, I bought some fancy mice. I've never been afraid of them- but had never had them as pets either. So it was a new adventure for me. Mice are social, responsive, and can be affectionate- one of them even responds to her name and lets me put her in my hand and pet her!

I keep my mice in a Critter Trail One from Super Pet- with three added expansion kits, a playground, a ladder, a litterbox, and a nest. And I feed them a seed mix with many yummy yogurt treats and a big cheese flavored snack on top. And how do I tell my mice apart? They all are different colors! One of them even has long curly hair called texel, and another one has a shiny coat called satin.

To learn more about pet mice, here are some books you can find at the Tampa-Hillsborough Library:

- Encyclopedia of Pet Mice
- Pet Mice
- The Mouse
- The Wild Side of Pet Mice and Rats

And here are some cool and informative websites about pet mice:

- The Fun Mouse
- American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association
- Rat and Mouse Club of America
- Fancy Mice

Jinx the cat may not have cared for meeces- but I sure do!

EDIT- Due to popular request, here is a picture of my lovely mice:

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Librarians Battle Forces of Darkness

Do librarians have special powers? In the new movie, Rex Libris, they do. Writers are currently making this film about "an everyday guy who becomes part of a secret sect of librarians who battle forces of darkness in chasing down overdue or stolen books."

Based on the Rex Libris comic series, the film "revolves around head librarian Rex Libris, who must protect the world's knowledge and most dangerous secrets from falling into the wrong hands, such as when a squad of goons storm the library and tamper with the Dewey Decimal System by removing a certain card from the catalog."

The movie should be out sometime in 2008. Stay tuned to see if the librarians prevail!