Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why
by Jay Asher

May 29th

I started this book a couple of days ago and usually start my reviews then. But I wasn't looking forward to it. I was, I picked it to read, and I am doing a book talk on it tomorrow, but the subject matter is a little icky for me. 
Hannah Baker completed suicide. 
A Baker's Dozen tapes have been left for the thirteen people who brought her to that decision.
Clay is one of the thirteen.
On the surface this is Hannah's story, it is her feelings and thoughts spoken out loud for all to know. But beneath that, just under that surface, the story belongs to Clay. He is dealing with a friend's suicide, he is dealing with know that he is one of the reasons she is gone, he is trying to hold it together. 
Hannah isn't always a sympathetic character, she blames herself for so much. She internalizes everything, every little thing that happens is thrown into her life in such a personal way.
Clay doesn't see life that way. He is hurt that he even has to listen to the tapes. He is hurt that Hannah hurts. He is concerned that no one helped her - even himself. He hates people that hurt her. 
Clay is the reason to read this book.

I hope that the subject matter doesn't scare you off. It really is a fantastic read. It is quick too.
Most of all, it feels so honest, so genuine, so real.

Hannah might be gone, but she is Clay's guide to the path of healing and forgiveness.
You can't hold yourself responsible for everything.

More facts about Suicide and ways to help after the break

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Reading Now: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
by L. Frank Baum, Eric Shanower, Skottie Young

May 23rd

This is my first graphic novel ... ever! I have half-heartedly tried to read them before without any luck and this one has the CUTEST artwork that I think I'll get through it. Plus, I know the story so it can't be that challenging. I'll let you know what I think tomorrow (although, I already miss the red shoes!)

Library Musings on a Wednesday

Usually musings are saved for Sundays, but this past week has been crazy and Sunday came and went without any musings. 

A bunch of these came from my newest favorite Tumblr - I am the Bookworm
They all link to the sites I found them on

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Dr Seuss: The Mini Biography

How much do you know about Dr. Seuss?
Enough to give a brilliant story time? Oh, don't panic, let me help out a little!

Mini Biography by Lizz the Librarian

Dr. Seuss was born in 1904 and lived in Springfield, Massachusetts. He was a funny kiddo who loved to draw and didn't really love school. His name was Theodore Seuss Geisel and he loved the zoo where his father worked. His schoolmates weren't always nice to him because he was a little different and he was German and this was the time of the war.

Ted at Dartmouth
Although Ted never did very well in school, but he applied to Dartmouth and got in! It was his mother's dream for him to go there - she wanted him to be a doctor. He wasn't a good student in college either and did not become a doctor, in fact, after graduation he had no idea what we wanted to do with his life. He went to Oxford to study English Literature when one sweet comment from Helen Palmer gave him the inspiration to do what he loved. He married Helen in 1927.

He started drawing comics for newspapers all over the country. His first book was an alphabet book with strange animals and every publisher he gave it to said they wouldn't print it. His second book, "And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street" was printed by an old classmate from Dartmouth after 22 other publishers said no. 

Two more books were printed before Ted went into the Army, "The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins" and "Horton Hatches the Egg. The first book after the war was "McElligot's Pool."

He started going by Dr. Seuss because his mother always wanted him to be a doctor and Seuss was her maiden name. Also, he thought he would eventually write books for adults and wanted to save his name for those works. Those works never did happen. He tried using the name Theo LeSieg (that is Geisel backwards) for books that he wrote but didn't illustrate, but it didn't catch on.

Dr. Seuss and The Cat in the Hat

His two most popular books were the result of bets. The first is "The Cat in the Hat" when his publisher challenged him to write a book using the 250 words first graders needed to know. It wasn't easy and took him a year, but this was the book that made Dr. Seuss famous! The second was Green Eggs and Ham when the same publisher bet him $50 that he couldn't write a book with only fifty words. Success was instant and it is one of the most read books all over the world!

Ted and Helen
Ted said that The Lorax was his favorite book and he wrote it because of his anger with pollution. 

All of Dr. Seuss' books are still in print today.

Dr. Seuss was awarded a special Pulitzer Prize for his works.

Although Dr. Seuss never became a "real" doctor like his mother wanted, seven universities gave him honorary doctorates!

Audrey and Ted Geisel

Helen, his first wife, died in 1967 and he remarried Audrey Stone Dimond. Audrey now brings stories from Ted's archives into the world for all his fans to enjoy.
 Dr. Seuss died on September 24, 1991 at the age of 87.

Books used for this biography are great for older kids too!

The Boy on Fairfield Street: How Ted Geisel Grew Up to Become Dr. Seuss 
By Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher

Oh, the Places He Went: A Story about Dr. Seuss
by Maryann N Weidt, illustrated by Kerry Maguire

Dr. Seuss 
by Jill C Wheeler

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Book Review: Almost Perfect

Almost Perfect
by Brian Katcher

As a part of my YA librarianship class, we have to read a book from the GLBTQ genre of YA lit. 
I'll be honest, I had a hard time picking out a book to read and, after starting this one, I'm glad that this is what I chose. However, let me just say that this genre isn't for everyone and if you don't think you'll like it then don't read it. Just, whatever you do, don't come and yell at me later :)

May 16th

Logan seems to be a typical teenage boy and he just had his heart broken by the girl he has always dated. He is at a crossroads. Knowing the genre of this book I assumed that he was questioning his sexuality, but that is not the case. Reality for Logan is about to become much more complicated. I'm only two chapters in so I don't have much to say - but I do want to note that I like Logan already and I don't always bond to a character. It is so rare for me to read a book with a male protagonist I'm interested in the way he thinks compared to the way I typically expect characters to think.

Interested in hosting a book talk for this or other GLBTQ books? Check out this discussion guide. Also great for keeping an open mind and thinking objectively on the subject. One of my favorite questions was, "does the gayness matter?" Ultimately does it matter that the characters were gay, what if it were a guy and a girl, would the story change? It is an interesting thought and one to keep in mind while I read something totally new to me. It should be just a relationship story, it shouldn't be about the "gayness"

May 23rd

Okay, so I finished the book ... and I don't really know what I want to say about it. I guess I'll simply say that it was different than I thought it would be. 

A bit of a spoiler alert here

It isn't a happy ending and I don't like it when there isn't a happy ending. The author has all that control, why leave the characters in an awful place? I know it isn't realistic to have endings that tie up in sweet little packages -- but I like them better that way. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Movie Review: The Avengers!

I love going to the movies, sit me down with a Cherry Coke and some Cotton Candy in a cool theater and I'll enjoy myself. It is even better when the movie is good!! 

For Mother's Day we took my mom to see The Avengers (she is adorkable because she had no idea what it was about - but she loved it none the less). 

I love the Avengers anyway (I mean you've combined several of my favorite Heroes into one book/comic/movie, obviously I'll love this!)
For those less nerdy folks I recommend you know what is going on before enjoying this movie. They don't really fill in the blanks for you so a little knowledge goes a long way. If you aren't into reading (then this is probably the wrong blog for you) then you can check out the movies leading up to this one:

If you would like to just do some research check out the Marvel Universe Wiki page for The Avengers. It will answer all of your questions. Even if you watch the movies you probably want to catch up a little with the background of Hawkeye and the Black Widow.

Want to read the comics? Good for you!! Check out the character pages at Marvel for a list of the comics each member of The Avengers.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Scratch Off Tickets

You need these for your summer reading program or any upcoming YA program! So easy and cheep!! A little time intensive, but it probably wouldn't be too bad if you got some volunteers to help!

Printed tickets
Glue Stick
Contact Paper
Metallic Acrylic Paint
Dish Soap

Seriously, dish soap is the key here? How easy is that?

These are so much fun and way better than a drawing!

The Mortal Instruments

I'm a total Mortal Instruments fangirl :) 

Have you started the new book City of Lost Souls? 

If you are on the wait list for the book at your library - check out the Prologue and Chapter 1

All Images from Cassandra Clare's tumblr

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Book Review: Abandon

by Meg Cabot

Seventeen Says: "You'll love Abandon if: ...you couldn't put down any of the Twilight books and are totally into The Vampire Diaries. Have a thing for the earthly girls who are always getting into trouble and the mysterious, tall/dark/handsome supernatural boys who love them? Then this book is definitely for you!"
Their favorite part: "Pierce is a rockstar narrator. She's bold, gutsy, and hyperaware-she might even be too brave for her own good. We love a girl who isn't scared to take action. Pierce might be a little reckless, but at least she's never a damsel in distress."

May 9th
Wow! I started this book for class and was immediately sucked in! After the last book based on the Persephone myth (Everneath, my review here), I thought this one would be equally lame and a chore to finish. Guess what? Totally the opposite? Told in first person by Pierce, the girl who dies and comes back, she makes you love her flaws and all.
She doesn't have it all under control and sometimes her flashbacks are a little hard to follow. But the voice and the action are perfect! Writing this makes me want to go back to reading ... A+ to Meg Cabot for writing supernatural YA books as well as stories about princesses :)

May 13th

Happy Mother's Day!!
Poor Pierce's mother has her work out for her, but you can't help but love how she is trying to be just what Pierce needs. What is it Pierce needs? Do you give space to a girl who came back from Hades? Do you send the girl who is seeing an Underlord to therapy?
I'm really loving this book and about thirty pages from the end ... I wish I hadn't had to work the last couple of nights so I would have been awake enough to read! It is exciting and I love the characters. A little slow moving, especially being this close to the end, but the next book is coming out soon and hopefully something wonderful happens between where I am and that upcoming book!!! 
I'll update as soon as I finish :)

May 14th

So in the end I wanted more to happen ... there were a few chapters that I felt like I was reading waiting to get to the "good parts". However, sometimes I feel like a book is only good parts and no character development and this one has GREAT character development, I feel like I know Pierce. 
Would I re-read it? Probably no, but that isn't saying much, I re-read very few books. Am I excited for the next book? YES!

Underworld came out on May 8th so your library probably already has it!!
If not read and you're excited you can read the first two chapters on Meg Cabot's website

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Library Program: Trailer Screening!

After planning what I foresee as being the funnest (yes, not most fun, but funnest) potential YA library program ever (for my YA librarianship class), I've decided to share it with the masses! Obviously the details are made up and I got to work with a delightfully huge budget. None-the-less, here it is in all of its glory!

Trailer Screening and Summer Reading Kickoff!

  Our goal is to create an event that blends the aspects of reading and media to entice teens with a wide array of interests to check out the library! We will do this by utilizing the current trend of creating book trailers. A book trailer is much like a movie trailer in that it creates a "tease" to bring interest, in this case, to the book. Using examples gleaned from Student Library Journal, the videos will abide by the following guidelines. 

  • be 90 to 120 seconds long
  • give only a "tease" of what the book is about
  • include the title of book chosen and author's name
  • cite all media used (video clips, pictures, and music)
  • have a PG rating (no violence, sex, or swearing)
  • be turned in one week before event for prescreening
More info after the break! 

Library Musings

Time for another edition of Library Musings

After a week of midterms, I need something fun! Luckily I love both BookRiot and lots of Book Tumblrs! Enjoy the book and library funness!

Stephen King really is the go to for help with writing

Bahaha ... love this!

Sad day, these circ people aren't nearly as nice as I am :) I always let the kiddos check out ... well not always, but I try!

Check out more!