Friday, September 12, 2008

Last Post by Me

Greetings and salutations~
Today is my final day as a virtual YA librarian for the Framingham Public Library, and so I thought I'd write just a few words of farewell.
First of all, we have a local Framingham author who has a new YA book coming out in October -- David Yoo and Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before. Keep an eye out for it!
I've just put in an order for bunches of new books, including Marvel and DC Comics, some great new fiction, and some fascinating nonfiction, as well. I'm also ordering some audiobooks and some new DVDs of anime. So, be looking for more things entering the YA shelves in the months to come.
This also means that I will no longer be available on Twitter or Facebook, nor will I be adding new books to the LibraryThing list (that shows in the navbar on the right).
So good luck and happy reading! Keep enjoying the library!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bookends: Princess Ben

Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Ben's upbringing with her parents had been one of happy-go-lucky days, making friends with villagers and playing outside, but when her parents are assassinated and she is taken to live in the castle with her Aunt Sophia (Queen Regent), her life suddenly takes a dramatic turn for the worse. She must learn all the courtly courtesies -- how to speak, stitch, eat, make boring conversation. Unable to take the hunger and boredom, she rebels -- and gets locked in a tower as punishment. But it's in the tower one horrible evening after a lashing from her aunt, that the wall gives way and she suddenly finds that she can walk through stone. She is led to a small dusty room, wherein lies a book of elemental spells -- how to make earth, air, wind, and fire. In a desire to escape during a ball in which she is supposed to charm a husband, Ben uses the spells she has been working on to fly out the tower window on a broom. And then she crashes into a mountain, near the camp of enemy soldiers, and is taken prisoner. From the frying pan and into the fire. When she learns of the armies plans to march into her kingdom, she knows she must return and save her people, but how she's going to accomplish that, she has no idea.

I had a lot of fun reading this book. Princess Ben (no, she's not a boy) is a great character, full of smart-alecky comments and trouble-making. She wants to do right by the people she knows and loves, but can't see how obeying her aunt could possibly make things better for anyone. And her aunt clearly does not understand her, either. But when she learns how others really see her, and also proves to herself her own value, big changes start to happen. Now, don't let this review sound all sentimental and good for you. There are plenty of chuckles in this book, some magic, and even a pinch of romance. So if you're looking for a lightweight fantasy, or if you've enjoyed enchanted princess tales before, pick this one up. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Downloadable Audiobooks (& Samples)

Audiobook downloads are becoming more and more popular -- and if you can't download them from the library, you can listen to clips on publisher websites and be forwarded to sites where you can buy them, if you want. Some authors and publishers allow free downloads, but others don't.

So here are some snippets of a few books, some of which we will get in audio, others of which we will only get in hard copy. Enjoy!

Breaking Dawn

Ghost Medicine

Door of No Return

Keys to the Kingdom: Superior Saturday

Harry Potter Suit

Nope -- I'm not writing about a suit of clothes!
I was reading an article about JK Rowling's suit against a publisher in Michigan who was publishing a book about Harry Potter Lexicon, which is based on a website based on the Harry Potter books. If you're interested in Rowling or Potter or in the ideas of fair use, copyright, and media, check out the short article. And if this isn't enough, I'm sure there will be plenty of other articles popping up in news sources around the world.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Bookends: Johnny Hazzard

This is the 25th post of this blog.

Johnny Hazzard by Eddie de Oliveira
Every summer since his parents split up, Johnny and his sister Lydia leave Austin, TX, to spend summers in London with their father. Johnny doesn't really look forward to this time away from home -- he's not comfortable being a foreigner and leaving all his friends behind. As much as he likes his dad, summers are usually pretty boring for him. Except this year he meets a girl, an older girl named January, and pretty soon he's got a serious girlfriend who skateboards -- and he's totally into her. Life changes. It's no longer about being cool or finding the hottest girl or just losing his virginity; it's more than that. And the questions and needed answers only grow when Johnny's family takes a mini-vacation to Belgium.
At the beginning of this book, I thought it might be an OK read, but the more I read, the less interested I became, and I almost considered not finishing it. About halfway through the author, spent a good number of words and pages on philosophical history about war, and when the family takes a trip to Belgium to see history, there are many more reflections on war and wars. Good points, but distracting after so much of it. The war provides a contrast against his newfound happiness at being in a relationship, but it doesn't actually work very well in the book. Nevertheless, it is a coming of age book for guys, and it might be more interesting in that regard. The relationship between January and Johnny almost hits reality. There are a few sex scenes.
I should possibly point out that some readers have given this book great reviews.


Congratulations to the summer reading prize winners!

The winners of a $20 gift card to Best Buy are:
Peter D., grade 8
Marcus M., grade 7

And the winners of a $15 gift card to Newbury Comics are:
Zachary S., 7
Sarah M., 6
Diana W., 11
Marilyn C., 10
Mariana dlZ., 12
Gabby K., 9
Gustavo N., 9

Great job all! Enjoy your gift cards & congrats again!
The names were drawn by our intern and calls were made to all the winners.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Bought Books?

Did you buy books this summer? Either for required summer reading or just for fun? Done reading them now and ready to get rid of them? Don't trash them -- recycle them! You can donate books to the library, and then those books with either be added to the collection or be sold in the booksale to someone else who wants them. Remember those three books I bought at the used bookstore a few days ago (previous post)? Well, I'll be donating them. Want more info? Just contact the library!