Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Harry Potter ... Couldn't take the Peer Pressure

Well I finally have broken down and started reading the Harry Potter Series. I am on Day 3 of reading the first book. I am hoping to be done by the end of August. So out of all of the Harry Potter books, which one was your favorite?

The other thing I am trying to figure out is what age did you start reading the Harry Potter books? I am wondering if most people started reading Harry Potter when they were in Junior High?

By the way, you can still get on the hold list for the last one "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"

Friday, July 27, 2007

If you like Harry Potter...

You are NOT out of good books to read! Now that the final book in J.K. Rowling's famous series has been released, here are some other awesome fantasy and science fiction books that teens like you will enjoy reading quite a bit!

- A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

Violet Baudelaire is a 14 year old inventor. Her brother Klaus is 12, but has already read more books than most grown-ups have. And her baby sister Sunny has four sharp teeth and can say a few words that only her siblings can understand. And these are all good things- because what will happen to them next is not so good. After their parents die in the fire that consumed their house, the Baudelaires have to go live with their closest relative- Count Olaf, who may be an actor, but who wants more than just to take care of the Baudelaires! My favorite book in this series is Book 5- The Austere Academy.

- The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

Simon, Jane, and Barney Drew have always known that their uncle Merriman Lyon was a little eccentric. Will Stanton knew he was the seventh son of a seventh son. But they did not imagine that now they were facing a battle between the Light and the Dark. Now they have to search for all the Signs- each one made of a different element. Is Will really the last of the Old Ones? And what's Uncle Merry's connection to the Arthurian world? I first read The Dark is Rising when I was in the seventh grade. And now they will be releasing a movie for these books this October!

- The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander

Remember Disney's movie "The Black Cauldron"? The Chronicles of Prydain are the books this film was based on! And Prydain is based on Welsh mythology...but with a few changes in the characters and geography! Taran finds being assistant pig-keeper dull and would rather be a hero. Eilonwy does not think it's necessary to receive education in becoming a prim and proper lady if she is already the princess. Fflewddur Flam likes being a bard, but not as much as he likes exaggerating everything. From chasing after the oracular pig to destroying the black cauldron, join the heroes of Prydain in their adventures as they grow up. Sadly, Lloyd Alexander passed away earlier this year at age 83. The Chronicles of Prydain are his most famous books- The High King won the Newbery Medal in 1969 and The Black Cauldron was a Newbery Honor book in 1966.

- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

"It was a dark and stormy night". Meg Murry felt like she could not get anything right. Her mother was a gorgeous scientist- but Meg was plain and an underachiever in school. Why couldn't she be like her normal twin middle brothers, Sandy and Dennys? Or brilliant like her father- a scientist in a top secret mission who happens to be missing? Or a genius like her younger brother Charles Wallace, even though he is just as misunderstood as she is? Meg thought that Calvin O'Keefe was popular and had it all- but he confides in Meg that nobody seems to understand him. Now Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace have met a mysterious woman named Mrs. Whatsit- who not only tells them about a "tesseract", but takes them in a faster than light journey through outer space to find the reason why Meg's father has vanished! Another Newbery Medal winner. I first read A Wrinkle in Time back in the 8th grade, but I listened to its sequels on audiobook last year.

And my absolute favorite:

- The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis

You probably watched and enjoyed "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" movie; and now are looking forward to the "Prince Caspian" movie coming up next year. So instead I will talk about my favorite, but not so well known, book in the Narnia series: The Horse and His Boy. Shasta lives in the desert land of Calormen. But he does not look like his father- or like anyone else in there, for that matter. One day Shasta overhears his father wanting to sell him off- so he decides to run away and talks to his horse while packing for the journey. But nothing prepared Shasta for hearing his horse talk! Why can Bree the horse talk? Because he is a Narnian horse. Together, Shasta and Bree decide to run away to Narnia. Along the way they meet Aravis Tarkheena and her talking horse Hwin, who are running away because Aravis' father and stepmother want her to marry the evil nasty Ahoshta Tarkhaan. Now they head together towards the Capital of Tashbaan- and somebody that Shasta has never seen comes to him and addresses him as "Prince Corin". Who is Prince Corin, and who are these new mysterious visitors from the North? And how will Shasta and his new friends make it to Narnia? And who is this mysterious cat keeping Shasta company- and the mysterious lion chasing him? I first read The Chronicles of Narnia in the 12th grade, and they have been my favorite books since then.

Hope you enjoy reading these books as much as I did!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

So I just finished the third and final book in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, The Amber Spyglass, and I think the following review from VOYA best sums up my feelings:

"The writing is flawless, the imaginative vision is breathtaking, and the conclusion is heartbreaking but fitting and proper. At the close of this masterpiece, the reader can only marvel at Pullman's genius, alternately weeping and rejoicing for one's humanity."
The end is actually heartbreaking (assuming you have a heart, of course, not that I would ever assume anything so personal about you.)

In another review, Smithsonian Magazine states that this work "confirms Pullman's inclusion in the company of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien." I'd go a step further and say Pullman has pulled out in front of both of them, but that's a post for another day.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

My picks for July

Fiction Book: The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney

What would you do if everything you knew turned out to be untrue? Janie Johnson's parents did not have any pictures of her as a baby- but they had told her it was because they did not own a camera until she was older. So Janie has never seen a photograph of herself as a toddler...until one day, when she takes a look at the "Missing Person" picture on a milk carton and recognizes herself! But she cannot be "Jennie Spring"- at least she does not recognize that name. Nor does she remember being kidnapped from a mall at age 3. But now she's having flashbacks about living somewhere else before coming to live with the Johnsons.

Janie's parents tell her that their daughter, Hannah, had joined a cult. And that Janie was Hannah's daughter, but Hannah had returned to the cult and had left Janie to be raised by Mr. and Mrs. Johnson. Janie tries to convince herself that the memories are of the cult- but she cannot get the Jennie Spring kidnapping story out of her mind. She writes a letter to the Spring family- but cannot bring herself to mail it, nor to call this family in a place that she has no memory of at all.

Non-fiction book: The Sky's the Limit- Stories of Discovery by Women and Girls, by Catherine Thimmesh

Did you know that lichens are both algae and fungi? What came first- counting or writing? How do chimps use tools? What does the earliest cave painting depict? Can most of the matter in the universe be seen, or not? All these discoveries and more can be credited to women and girls whose curiosity led them to learn more and more.

Manga: RG Veda, by CLAMP

"Six stars shall strike the earth", the prophecy says. Yasha-ou has awakened the child Ashura and sets out to seek the other four Stars in order to overthrow the evil emperor Taishakuten and his even more wicked wife Shashi. Aided by the mysterious Kujaku, the six Stars head in a journey towards the palace. There are supposed to be four generals to Taishakuten, so why do they see only three? Who could be the fourth one? And how much power does Ashura wield with the sword? Based on the ancient Hindu scripture RigVeda- but with CLAMP's famous plot twists.

Anime: Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo

It is now the year 5053. Albert de Morcerf and his friend Franz have journeyed from Paris to the Luna festival. Here they meet a very mysterious gentleman- the Count of Monte Cristo, alias Gankutsuou, who promises to visit Albert in Paris. It may be Albert's first time meeting the Count, but it is not the first time the Count (or should he be called Edmond Dantes) has crossed paths with Albert's family. A magnificent adaptation of the original novel by Alexandre Dumas. Gankutsuou is especially famous for the colors and patterns used in the characters' clothes...but it has substance and not just style!

Website: Deviant Art

Upload and display all your artwork here- whether you drew it on paper and scanned it or created it using a picture editing program! Receive and give feedback about art. There's even a message board and a news page. Great place to store and show your art if you don't have a website- yeppers, it is free!

Cyber Teens at Riverview Library-Saturday, July 14th, 2007

Hey teens!

We are having a Cyber Teen session just for you at the Riverview Library. Come in and have some personal time in the lab, sharpen your skills or share your favorite website. We will have a presentation on blogging and have time to actually post your own blogs. That is awesome!!

To quote a recent KFC commercial "kids these days have it so good".

Seating is limited so come early. The session begins at 2:00pm at the Riverview Library.

For more information check out our page at:


Check out Bruton Memorial Library's New Teen Space

In the New Teen Space one can visit MySpace.com, play video games on the computers, search the Internet, read books and hang out with friends.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Kwik-E-Mart comes to Orlando!

No, you are not seeing things...Homer's favorite store has made its way to Florida!

Can't wait to see The Simpsons Movie? Then check out the Kwik-E-Mart!

Orlando is one of 10 lucky cities chosen to get its own Kwik-E-Mart. For a limited time this 7-11 will be transformed into the Springfield convenience store.

I went this weekend and it was worth the drive. The Kwik-E-Mart is crammed full of characters and funny quotes from the show. Not to mention all of the cool products they sell, like Buzz Cola, Krusty O's cereal and Squishees. But if you can't make it to Orlando, there are lots of fun activities on the Simpsons Movie site, including one where you can make your own Simpsons Avatar. Woohoo!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

More than meets the eye

Finally, the long awaited Transformers movie is out. It even has a cool release date: 7.2.7, just like the airplane.

Some of you may remember the toys and cartoons in all their incarnations. For others this may be the first time you see the Transformers. But it's fun. Action. Cool graphics and special effects. Good vs. evil. Robots in disguise.

You don't need to travel to Planet Cybertron to see more Transformers, because they are right here at our library.