This is Week 2 of a 12-Week series of blog posts reviewing new young adult books. Check back each Monday for a new review.
Jem has a secret. When she looks into someone's eyes, a number appears in her head. But not just any number - it's the date of their death. She has seen the numbers ever since she was a little girl, but she didn't know what they meant until her own mother died of an overdose. Since then, Jem has had a rough life, being thrown out of one foster home after another, labeled as a problem kid in school and put in "special" classes. She has built an impenetrable wall around herself so she doesn't have to see anyone's number, and no one so far has been able to be close to her. Until Spider.
Spider is an impossible tall, fidgety boy from school, who Jem runs into one day while skipping class. Through different events they become close, and Jem realizes that she has let herself care about someone for the first time since her mother's death. One day they go together to see the London Eye, when Jem notices something disconcerting. She sees the same death date in every tourist's eyes. Unnerved, she grabs Spider's hands and convinces him to run away from the London Eye, which explodes shortly thereafter. They are caught on security camera fleeing from the scene and are considered suspects. All of a sudden - Jem and Spider, two "troubled" kids from London's projects, are on the run.
Summer is the perfect time to sit down and read some poetry. Grab a picnic and a blanket, and lay down under a shady tree with a few of the books in our new booklist, Poetry Breaks. You'll have a fun afternoon laughing at Lee Bennett Hopkins' poetry in "Oh No! Where are My Pants?" or musing over the "reversible verse" in Mirror, Mirror that puts a twist on familiar fairy tales. Poetry is so much more than just a haiku assignment at school. It can be hilarious, sad, clever, and profound, sometimes all at once.
The eSequels database, a new addition to the CRRL database offerings, is a great resource for book lovers. eSequels is "a reader's guide to novels in series," and allows you to browse by not only author and title, but also by character, location, and subject, allowing you to identify any series easily.
Series are also listed in the correct reading sequence, and annotations do not reveal any spoilers. The keyword search is a wonderful tool for discovering new series. The listings include only adult titles.
To access eSequels, click on the database title in the listing and then enter your 14-digit CRRL barcode on the main page.
This is Week 1 of a 12-Week series of blog posts reviewing new young adult books. Check back each Monday for a new review.
For me, summer reading is all about escaping somewhere else. The new vista doesn't have to be pretty, but it does need to be interesting. The world of Incarceron, introduced in the novel Incarceron by Catherine Fisher, delivers an escape like nothing else (for the reader, although not for the poor souls trapped within). Incarceron is a prison, but not like the prisons we are familiar with. It is a world unto itself, with areas of ruins and forests, and some wildernesses so wild that they are only whispered of but never traversed. Incarceron is also aware in a way that most prisons are not - it reacts to the prisoners' actions, manipulating them, and watching them with a pulsing, Sauron-like eye.
Our hero in the world of Incarceron is Finn, a seventeen-year-old prisoner who is considered "cell born" and remembers only vague memories of his life before he became aware three years ago. He is part of a band of rogues that troll the prison, called the Comitatus. He also has some freaky fainting spells, complete with visions. He believes that he was born "Outside" but no one believes him because that is very rare.
Fredericksburg port record information, collected by historian John "Jack" Johnson, is now available for searching and browsing through the CRRL history Web site.
Discover ships and captains making port in this bustling sea town or conduct a general search to get an idea of the commercial activity. For instance, on Christmas Day, 1816, a half dozen ships made port from as far away as Boston, Massachusetts, and as close as Richmond, Virginia, bringing undisclosed cargoes!
Searching the port records can be done by year, ship name, captain name, OR combinations thereof.
If you're a fan of the Chaos Walking series, you'll be excited to hear that the third book in the trilogy, Monsters of Men, will hit U.S. bookstores on September 28, 2010. In the meantime, you can enjoy this trailer and maybe re-read The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and The Answer.
If you haven't heard of this series yet (and you love intense, action-packed, dystopian novels), check out this blog post.
Join this year's Summer Reading Clubs online or at our library branches starting June 1st!
The theme for kids is "Hook a Book." Read what you want, when you want! No meetings to attend, just visit the library any time. Keep track of what you're reading if you want - but it's not required. Kids can keep having fun all summer at our free programs. Check back here starting June 1 to sign up.
While you're waiting, check out this video that tells you all about how the club works.
At our house, there are little collections of Legos in every room, in different stages of construction. But the Legos that are most coveted by every kid are part of the Lego Star Wars collection. To learn more about these, we checked out Lego Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary, which is a truly awesome compendium of all minifigs, vehicles, and other vital brick facts from the original Star Wars and the Clone Wars. You can also see a cool timeline of all of the Star Wars Legos that have ever been made, although I'll warn you now that you will be really wanting some of the older, impossible-to-find models.
Here is a clip to inspire your Star Wars Lego building:
Rick Riordan, author of the incredibly popular "Percy Jackson & The Olympians" 5-book series, has left behind ancient Greece in favor of a new mythology: that of ancient Egypt. Riordan's new series launches today with the release of "The Red Pyramid."
Here's the book description:
"Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.
One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a 'research experiment' at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.
Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them--Set--has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe--a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs."
Sounds really cool, doesn't it? There is a pretty sizeable hold list right now for the book at the library, but once you've placed your hold you can read and listen to the first chapter through Amazon here: http://amzn.to/dCVY5r
Virginia Johnson, CRRL's Web Content Librarian, has won the following awards in the 2010 Virginia Press Women Communications Contest for these LibraryPoint.org articles:
1st Place: Writing for the Web: Feature Articles
"Marlborough Point: In the Stream of History"
Judge's comments: "This article is appropriate for the audience and is virtually tailored to their needs. Images and bold text highlight information and links lead to sources."
2nd Place: Writing for the Web: Educational or Nonprofit
"The Good Doctor Was a Spy: The Lively Times of Robert Wellford"
Judge's comments: "Impressive research/fascinating story about an important Revolutionary War figure whose influence might easily be ignored or forgotten. Nicely done."
At the CRRL we have known for a long time that we are lucky to have such a talented writer on staff, who can handle emerging technologies with ease and adapt texts to different audiences. Congratulations, Virginia!