Monthly Archives: October 2011

YA Review

PearlPearl by Jo Knowles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The first word that came into my head when I sat staring at this blank page was “heart.” That’s what I associate with this novel. Because it’s sweet and raw and there was so much hurt and so much love. It’s a story with unique characters, who I could see so clearly in my mind. Pearl is somehow complex and simple at the same time. It was a story that I wasn’t expecting. And I don’t think I can say anymore without ruining the story, so I’ll stop now. Loved it, Jo! 🙂

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Filed under Authors, Book Reviews, YA Books

Communtiy Reading Day

Today was Community Reading Day in town and I read for my friend’s eighth grade homeroom. He suggested Seth Grahame-Smith’s incredible book, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. At first I thought he was joking, but he wasn’t. And it just so happens that I have my very own signed copy of this book. I am very  lucky, because my cousin is friends with Seth in LA and I shipped out my copy of Abe (and also my special edition of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies with colored illustrations) out to California to have them signed!

  

Now, this book isn’t exactly a kids book, or even a YA book, and chances are there might be some people out there who would think I was crazy, but I think they really enjoyed the passages I read (yeah, a bit of gore in there.) One was of young Abe’s first kill and what goes through his mind. It was pretty intense – but the kids thought it was cool and I’m hoping they’ll at least be interested to visit the library where the teen librarian reads this kind of stuff 🙂

We also talked a bit about the library and banned books, which they seemed excited about too. So, all in all, a good day for Community Reading.

If you haven’t read either of these books, you need to. They are extremely well-written and are tough to put down. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is historical fact mixed seamlessly with vampire lore and it is amazingly easy to believe that there could be some truth to it (hey, it’s fun to think it COULD happen, right?) And I am a huge Jane Austen fan, and I’ve read Pride and Prejudice a few times, so I could appreciate the humor of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. This novel is also a seamless intertwining of Austen’s classic story with the fact that zombies exist. It works off of the original humor of the novel and takes it even further. Read them! You won’t regret it.

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Filed under Authors, Book Reviews, Library, Teen, YA Books

Volunteer-itis

Ah, the library volunteer.

Volunteers are great, don’t get me wrong. There are lots of ways they can help out at the library. But here’s the thing: most people, and these are typically intelligent people, are under the assumption that being a librarian is EASY. I mean, who wouldn’t want to sit at a desk and read all day? And when this is all people think I do all day, (yes, people have actually said this to me) then it stands to reason that they can just walk in and be a librarian. No sweat. We have even had town officials suggest that the library could be run on a VOLUNTEER basis instead of having paid staff. This is how little people know about libraries.

But, back to the volunteers. It is very difficult to manage volunteers when you have very little staff. The problem is that more often than not, it actually ends up making more work for the staff. Plus, whoever is in charge of managing volunteers, which happens to be me at the moment but hopefully not for much longer, has to figure out jobs for them to do, which makes less time for actual work.  And it can’t be just any job, by the way, because the library has Union employees and their contract states that volunteers may not take work away from Union employees. So we have to find random things for people to do, which is actually more difficult than it sounds.

I know, I sound really ungrateful. Some of our volunteers have been awesome and we love them. But not all of the volunteers are there simply because their life-long dream is to help the library. We have LOTS of people working off DUIs and other such misdemeanors and those people are not typically happy campers. Usually we try to set them up with some lame job in another room so they don’t have to interact with patrons.

Today, I had one of the most interesting volunteers come in. This woman, who I will call “Linda,”  has to do about 90 hours of court-ordered community service, though neglected to offer the reason on her volunteer application. (I don’t really want to know.) Linda looked slightly uncomfortable in the children’s room as I wrote up a letter to the district court stating that she could do her hours here, pending a CORI check.

When I handed her the letter she thanked me and then said, “And just to let you know, I really don’t like children at all.”

I felt like I handled this pretty well by replying, “Um, OK. Duly noted.”

But Linda wasn’t done. “And I don’t really like working with people at all, either”.

“OK….,” I said slowly, “Well, we’ll try to find something for you to do…..that doesn’t involve kids. Or people.”

“Great,” she said. “I like to work outdoors.”

Believe me, Linda, we will keep you outside.

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Rory Raven: Mentalist and Mindbender!

We had an AMAZING program at the library a couple of weeks ago:

Rory Raven, from Providence, RI, puts on an incredible performance!

I received a flyer of his in the mail and sent him an email. He was great to work with (especially since I had to reschedule since only 4 people signed up the first time) and everyone who came was absolutely dumbfounded as to how he does it! He says he’s not psychic, yet he read many at our show! He also literally bends spoons. And forks. I have one to prove it! He also does ghost walks in Providence, which I would LOVE to do, because Halloween is my favorite holiday and I love stuff like that 🙂 Here are some pictures of the event, which was paid for by LSTA grant money. It was for older teens, but we opened it to adults for the rescheduled show because we just didn’t have enough interest.

Mr. Raven was great with the audience – the perfect amount of humor, but not overkill. He is serious about his craft and I highly recommend him! People wouldn’t leave afterwards because everyone wanted to talk to him! It was awesome.

I apologize for the state of the pictures – I didn’t put the flash on because I didn’t to ruin his concentration! See below for information on Rory Raven!

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http://www.roryraven.com/

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Filed under Library, Programs & Performers, Teen

Sunday Quiz

This is the Harry Potter Mega Quiz – 110 questions. I took it and it said I got 100 out of 121. So it stands to reason that there are more than 110 questions. Some were really obscure and I have to wonder if all the answers were checked in the books. I’ve read and listened to them all about 3 or 4 times each. But, there’s a lot to forget in 7 books! Anyways, another great way to kill time on a rainy Sunday morning!

Harry Potter MEGA Quiz

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Filed under Children's, Quiz, YA Books