Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Medieval MASH Day

You should all know that the two metallic gentlemen pictured above will soon be visiting the library. On Thursday, June 28 from 4-5 in the Community Room the Knights of Veritas will give a sword fighting demonstration for folks aged five and up, and a chain mail workshop just for teens will follow from 5:30-7.

This extraordinary turn of events is putting me in a medieval kind of mood, so here's some book recommendations of a fantastical or historical nature:

Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi: Falsely accused of theft and murder, an orphaned peasant boy in fourteenth-century England flees his village and meets a larger-than-life juggler who holds a dangerous secret.  

Blood Red Horse by K.M. Grant (Not to be confused with Blood Red Road by Moira Young, which also involves horses.): A special horse named Hosanna changes the lives of two English brothers and those around them as they fight with King Richard I against Saladin's armies during the Third Crusades. 

Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman: In medieval England, a nameless, homeless girl is taken in by a sharp-tempered midwife, and in spite of obstacles and hardship, eventually gains the three things she most wants: a full belly, a contented heart, and a place in this world.

Hush by Donna Jo Napoli: Fifteen-year-old Melkorka, an Irish princess, is kidnapped by Russian slave traders and not only learns how to survive but to challenge some of the brutality of her captors, who are fascinated by her apparent muteness and the possibility that she is enchanted.   

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers: In the fifteenth-century kingdom of Brittany, seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where she learns that the god of Death has blessed her with dangerous gifts--and a violent destiny. 

The Book of Mordred by Vivian Vande Velde:  As the peaceful King Arthur reigns, the five-year-old daughter of Lady Alayna, newly widowed of the village-wizard Toland, is abducted by knights who leave their barn burning and their only servant dead. 

Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce: Eleven-year-old Alanna, who aspires to be a knight even though she is a girl, disguises herself as a boy to become a royal page, a learning many hard lessons along her path to high adventure.

The Youngest Templar: Keeper of the Grail by Michael Spradlin: In 1191, fifteen-year-old Tristan, a youth of unknown origin raised in an English abbey, becomes a Templar Knight's squire during the Third Crusade and soon finds himself on a mission to bring the Holy Grail to safety.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mash Day- Summer Lovin'

The days are getting warmer- time for the dating drama to heat up.
Here are several beachy summer reads that indulge many aspects of the ups and downs of romance.

The Big Crunch- June never stays in one town long enough to make real friends. Wes just broke up with his long time girlfriend. But no matter how much they both attempt to avoid it, they both find themselves drawn to each other. Over the course of a year, Wes and June explore the spectrum of their relationship, with an ever-uncertain future as the only sure thing.

Why We Broke Up- There's a box on Ed's doorstep, and inside is a collection of items from Ed and Min's failed relationship. In case you are wondering what the meaning of any of those items are: egg cubers, for instance, or a wrinkled dish towel, Min's going to tell you. Well, she's going to tell Ed. In an epically long letter, Min describes the meaning of each item, following each turn in the course of their unlikely relationship. Ed's the star basketball player, and Min, well, she's "different." Definitely not sporty, not exactly arty, just different. The charm of this book lies in the pairing of the writing with gorgeous full color paintings by Maira Kalman, who can really make an egg cuber stand out in a crowd. What's an egg cuber, you ask? There's only one way to find out.

The Difference Between You and Me- Jesse wears fisherman's boots to school every day, and cuts her hair with a swiss Army knife. She believes in Full Human Rights for all Weirdos, Freaks, and Queers, and she's posting manifestos all over campus that say so. Emily doesn't believe in labels. She is also very busy getting corporate sponsorship for the fall formal, being the vice president of student council, and going out with her boyfriend Michael. But somehow Emily finds the time to passionately make out with Jesse every week in a locked room at the local library. As you can imagine, something's going to have to give. What will it be?

The Disenchantments- Colby's got it bad for his best friend Beth, and when he finds out that she's broken their post-graduation plans to travel in Europe together, he's got a lot of re-thinking to do. Unfortunately, Colby's got to do all his introspection in the confines of a VW bus while he tours with Beth and her mediocre-but-cute girl band up the West Coast.

Getting Over Garrett Delaney- Sadie's really got to get over her best friend Garrett, and she's very, very determined. She's got a busy summer job at a coffee shop to distract her, and some new friends with plenty of advice on the topic. It's just so hard to let go of such a monumental crush, but slowly and surely, Sadie begins to remember who she is on her own.

Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight- Hadley and Oliver have a classic falling-in-love-on-an-airplane thing, then lose each other at the airport after they de-plane. How romantic! I haven't read it yet, but if you read it, will you tell me if you like it?

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Top row, left to right: Becky, Pooja, Michelle, Elizabeth, Shamsa, Jayteonna, Eliana
Bottom row, left to right: Mimi, Grace M., Grace N., Sarah, Mercy, Sean

A couple of weeks ago, Teen Library Council celebrated the conclusion of another great year, and the imminent graduation of six members. All of those graduates have been essential to the council and to the library, and some of them have been members since they were itty bitty 6th graders.

We reminisced for a couple of hours, looked at pictures both old and knew, watched a couple of premier videos (like the one below), and ate toxic amounts of sugar.

I've been a teen librarian here for four and a half years, and I've seen a lot of teens cycle through the library. I've seen elementary students finally graduate into 6th grade and fulfill their wish to do teen stuff. I've seen folks who are really active for a while vanish when they achieve the impossible and somehow find something more fun to do. I've seen lots of you grow many inches, get jobs, start college and/or move away. I'm excited for summer reading events to begin, so that I can see those of you who only have time to hang out at the library during the summer months. And then there are those of you who have been around since before my time, and are now going off to start your adult lives. You know who you are. We'll miss you. We're proud of you. Keep in touch, and don't forget to be awesome.

Teen Library Council and the Chubby Bunny from Tigard Library on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mash Day: What was that book again?

If you go to Middle School in Tigard, you will probably be seeing me or Lisa in the next week. Perhaps you've already seen us. We'll be talking up Summer Reading. (Sign-ups are happening now!) We will also be talking about books. It's not always easy to remember every single book we mentioned, so I am going to post some of those books again, here, to jog your memory.
Consider this the lightning round:

Wonder- Auggie's got a strange looking face. According to Auggie, whatever you're imagining his face looks like, it's probably worse. Besides his face, Auggie's a pretty ordinary kid, extraordinary, in fact. But you'd have to get to know him to find out.

Dead End in Norvelt- Jack's been grounded for shooting off an antique rifle, and also for plowing up his mom's corn patch. Now he's an obituary writer-in-training for an old lady who cooks her hands in pots of molten wax. Throw in some girl scout cookies, rat poision, and a meddlesome old guy who rides around town on a gigantic tricycle, and you've got a winner. Seriously.

Cold Cereal- GoodCo says their cereal's got a little bit of magic in every box. But what kind of magic, exactly? Scott Doe, the new kid, saw a man with a rabbit head on he way to his first day at school. Now he's got a leprechaun riding around in his backpack. A leprechaun who's being hunted. His super-smart classmates Erno and Emily Utz were ambushed on their birthday by people in white coats, ready to take them back to the GoodCo lab. It's up to this team of kids to escape the villainous cereal employees and stop GoodCo from taking over the world.

Okay for Now- Things are not so terrific for Doug Sweiteck. He's living in a dump. His older brother is a thug. And his dad is most definitely a chump. But maybe things will be okay- He's got a job delivering groceries, a girl who is almost kind-of his friend, and a newfound drawing talent. Things could be good if his family would stop ruining everything. Need lessons in how to drink a really cold coke? Read and find out.

Cinder- I know I just wrote about this book a few weeks ago. Here's the much abbreviated version: Cinder's a cyborg, Prince Kai is handsome, there's a deadly plague ravaging the Earth, and the Lunar Queen is about the attack unless she gets what she wants. Cinderella, the re-mix.

Scorpio Races- Yes, I have also written about this INCREDIBLE book in the past. to refresh your memory: Every fall huge, strong, bloodthirsty horses emerge from the sea around the misty isle of Thisby. Those crafty enough, like Sean Kendrick, capture and train the horses for the annual Scorpio Races. Those less fortunately get eaten, or dragged under the waves. Puck's putting everything she's got left on the line- This year she's going to race- on her own horse, who is little more than a pony.



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