Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Contest Alert: Great Books, Cold-Weather Goodies

Hey everyone! Check out Teen Reads for some great reviews and some awesome contests! Right now, five winners each will receive a basket that includes 8 books --- AIRHEAD by Meg Cabot, KENDRA by Coe Booth, LOVE IS HELL by Melissa Marr, Scott Westerfeld, Justine Larbalestier, Gabrielle Zevin and Laurie Faria Stolarz, THE LUXE by Anna Godbersen, MELTING STONES by Tamora Pierce, ONE MILLION THINGS by DK Publishing, THE POSSIBILITES OF SAINTHOOD by Donna Freitas and RAPUNZEL’S REVENGE by Shannon and Dean Hale.

Along with the books, winners will find their basket stocked with the hottest holiday goodies --- a kit to make a mini gingerbread village, Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate mix, red and white fur-trimmed tall socks, a snowman mug, a snow globe that lights up and plays 11 songs, candy cane taffy, snowman tissues, cute red gloves, photo-frame gift cards and a cinnamon holly-scented Illuminations candle.

To enter to win, read an excerpt from each of the featured titles and fill out this form to tell us which one(s) you would most like to read and why. Good luck!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Book 3 released in January!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw will be released on January 17, 2009. If you’ve missed out on these books by Jeff Kinney, look for the hilarious Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley’s Journal and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules at the library!

Don’t worry if it’s not on the shelf. You can ask us to put a hold on the book or you can do it yourself from the catalog. If you don’t know how to do that - ask one of your friendly librarians!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Teen Movie Night: Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull

Join us TONIGHT at 6:30pm for the latest Indiana Jones movie. Set in 1957, an older and wiser Indiana Jones is pitted against agents of the Soviet Union in pursuit of the mystical Crystal Skull. Indy is joined in the jungles of South America by an upstart named Mutt who reminds him of his younger self in the fourth installment of this incredibly successful franchise. Registration is requested.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Girl Zone - The E-Zine for Girls

Hey ladies! Looking for a place to connect with the latest fashion, body advice, and quizzes? Check out Girl Zone, an e-zine created just for teenage girls. They also have contests and games to pass the time on those rainy days (like today). My favorite section of the site is called "Your Inner World", a place where you can decode those crazy dreams you've been having.

For instance, did you know that car dreams symbolize the speed with which you are moving through life? If you don't see any of your dreams already listed, you can write in to Jean for help decoding and she could post your dream in an upcoming column! So, check it out and enjoy. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Clique on DVD Today!

If you love The Clique series by Lisi Harrison, you may want to check out The Clique movie that comes out today on DVD.

For those of you who haven't read the books, here is a brief synopsis of the movie:

When new girl Claire Lyons moves to Westchester from Orlando, she immediately finds out that fitting in is going be a lot harder than she thought it would be. Claire isn't exactly a rich girl with designer duds and expensive shoes or handbags... but unfortunately, every other girl at the prestigious Octavian County Day School is. What's worse is that Massie Block, the most popular girl at OCD, is out to make Claire's life miserable --- and it doesn't help that Claire’s family is living in Massie’s guest house until they settle in (Mr. Lyons and Mr. Block are old college buddies).

Massie and her friends Alicia Rivera, Kristen Gregory and Dylan Marvil, the reigning Pretty Committee of OCD, will do whatever it takes to destroy Claire. What they don't realize is that Claire refuses to take all their tormenting lying down, and when she finally has enough, Massie just might lose her throne.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Essay Contest: Letters about Literature

Letters about Literature is a national contest sponsored by the Library of Congress and Target to encourage teens to write about something they've read that really touched them. To enter, readers write a personal letter to an author explaining how that work changed their lives.

There are three competition levels: grades 4-6, grades 7 and 8, and grades 9-12. Winners, announced in the spring of each year, receive cash awards. This contest ends on December 6, 2008 so make sure to hurry!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature - Featured Title

Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande - Mena Reece was excited to start high school, but her first week of high school ends up being a nightmare. At the beginning of Robin Brande’s novel, Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature, Mena finds herself kicked out of her church, and isolated from her friends and even her parents after writing a letter that gets members of her church sued. What did Mena say in that letter and why did she write it? You’ll have to read to find out. To add to her loss, Mena is constantly harassed and called traitor by her former friends, who are members of the church youth group. And to add to the complications of Mena’s life, she finds her emotions and beliefs put to an unwanted test when her biology class starts a unit on evolution and she is paired up with Casey Connor as her lab partner. Suddenly Mena finds herself at the center of a heated school debate, and developing a hot crush she never sees coming. Will Mena’s life and beliefs forever be changed?

Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature is the 2008 Thumbs Up Award, and it is well deserved as I found it to be a quite enjoyable book. I breezed through its 265 pages easily, and found it hard to put down at times. I loved the characters and even found myself developing my own crush. The book brings up interesting points on the whole evolution debate, and would appeal to anyone who loves science, or just doesn’t know what to think about the whole evolution versus intelligent design thing. --By Jessica Remington, Youth Services

Thursday, November 13, 2008

TAB mtg @ 6pm, Video Games 6:30-8:30pm

Tonight at 6pm, join us at our monthly Teen Advisory Board meeting. This is your chance to plan events, suggest books to purchase, and sign up to write an article for the TAB Newsletter! Then at 6:30pm, come play video games, hang out with friends, and meet new ones. Try your hand at our brand new Wii, play Rock Band, and more! Event runs from 6:30-8:30pm; registration is requested.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Paper Towns - Featured Title

Paper Towns by John Green - Margo Roth Spigelman has always been a mystery, and her neighbor, Quentin Jacobsen has adored her mysterious nature from afar. Now in high school, Quentin and Margo haven't spoken since they were kids until Margo knocks on his window late at night. This unlikely pair engage in a series of hilariously vindictive late-night pranks, which gives Quentin hope that they might rekindle their friendship.

These hopes vanish when Margo fails to appear at school the next day. And the days after that. A few strategically placed clues may shed light on her disappearance, but it's up to Quentin to decide whether he will follow these clues. Should he forgo the last few weeks of high school before graduation? And how will his true friends feel if Quentin decides to ditch them in favor of finding Margo?

I thought this book was brilliantly written, and it had me hanging on every word... at least until the end. The last 10 pages or so were just to philosophical for me, but even that couldn't ruin the overall awesomeness of this book. I highly recommend this book, as well as Green's earlier novel, Looking for Alaska. Boys will also enjoy this book because of Green's "guy" humor and his ability to accurately channel a high school boy's thoughts. Recommended for grades 6 and up.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Kiss Me, Kill Me - Featured Title

Kiss Me, Kill Me by Lauren Henderson - At St. Tabby's Boarding School, Scarlett Wakefield is not one of the popular girls. Instead, she spends her time competing in gymnastics with close friends; or at least until Plum, the most popular girl in school, invites her to hang out with the "cool" group. In an attempt to win over Dan, her dream crush, Scarlett ditches her friends, spends way too much money on a designer outfit, and goes to the penthouse party that Dan is at. Everything is going spectacular for Scarlett until Dan dies in her arms while she's kissing him.

Though Scarlett protests her innocence, she is hated by everyone at school and is hunted by paparazzi. In order to lead a normal life again, Scarlett transfers to her grandmother's boarding school, Wakefield Boarding Collegiate. And just when life seems almost normal again, Scarlett receives an anonymous note suggesting that this person knows something about the mysterious death that will prove Scarlett innocent. Will this be enough to convince Scarlett that she is not "the kiss of death"?

This book was a nice light read that many teenage girls will enjoy. The author is British, but most of the book is slang-free so it translates very well. Though some parts of the book struck me as a bit shallow (there was some talk of popular girl's plastic surgeries), it was still an enjoyable read. Recommended for grades 7 and up.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The City of Ember - Featured Title

The City of Ember by Jenny DuPrau - In the dark city of Ember, citizens are worried. Food supplies are running low, electricity is flickering, and government officials seem to have their own corrupt agendas. Only Lina Mayfleet and Doon, 12-year old friends and classmates, seem to be worried enough to act on this fear and try to save Ember.

After 200 years of the city's creation, no one seems to remember if the city's builders left a plan for them to follow. The only sign of hope occurs when Lina finds a steel box containing handwritten instructions, which she thinks may be "Instructions for Egress", meaning escape. Lina and Doon choose to bravely act on these instructions, even though it means leaving their homes, risking prison, and traveling into the darkness to search for a city of light.

This book is extremely well-written and will capture the attention and excitement of teens. After finishing this book, I found myself wishing it was much longer -- but luckily, there is a movie and a sequel to keep me occupied! Fans of Westerfeld's Uglies trilogy will enjoy this series. Recommended for grades 6 and up.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Name of this Book is Secret - Featured Title

The Name of this Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch - This book is the perfect addition for fans of Lemony Snicket and Roald Dahl. Although the narrator is intrusive at the beginning of the book, the book becomes infinitely better when the actual story begins in the second chapter. Two kids are determined to uncover the secrets of the Symphony of Smells, but in doing so they are placing themselves in great danger. This book is shelved in our Juvenile Fiction area, but it's also a great read for teens too. The sequel to this book, If You're Reading This it's too Late, is also available.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Anime Expo, TONIGHT @ 6:30pm

Join us for ROPL’s first-ever Anime Expo! It will be a night full of anime action and excitement! We’ll be watching some of our favorite anime movies, including Howl’s Moving Castle, and discussing some of our favorite anime characters. Check out the latest manga books in our collection and enjoy Pocky, wasabi peas, and more!

Cosplay (dressing up as an anime character) is welcome but not required. The event kicks off at 6:30 pm and wraps up at 8:00 pm. Registration is requested online at ropl.org, by phone at 248-246-3725, or in person at the youth reference desk.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Chasing Vermeer - Featured Title

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett - This book reminded me of the young adult version of The Da Vinci Code, with countless mysteries surrounding precious artwork. When a valuable painting is stolen from a Chicago art museum, Calder and Petra, sixth-grade students, find themselves amidst a number of coincidences which may not be coincidences at all. For instance, when the thief takes out a newspaper ad demanding the painting be correctly attributed to the correct painter, is it just a coincidence that their teacher, Ms. Hussey, Petra's parents, and a neighbor all seem especially stressed and worried over this theft?

I really loved the beginning of this book, but by the end I was tired of the worn-out plot. I also had a hard time believing that a community could get so worked up over this theft... it seemed too contrived to have citizens completely revolve their life around the happenings of a painting created centuries ago. Nonetheless, fans of mysteries and quirky heroes will happily enjoy this book. Recommended for grades 6 and up.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Notebook Girls - Featured Title

The Notebook Girls by Julia Baskin, Lindsey Newman, Sophie Pollitt-Cohen, and Courtney Toombs - Four girls from a highly-competitive high school in NYC start a notebook diary to keep a running commentary of their lives. This notebook is an unusual glimpse into the private nature of a true story of teenagers, and wasn't written with the hope of being published. The nature of these entries are gritty and often contain scathing comments from the girls about friends and others. The girls write about their lives and experiences with drugs, sex, dating, religion and 9/11.

Truth be told, I didn't finish this book because of the vapidness and gritty nature of this novel. The postings from the girls are exceptionally cavalier about serious issues such as drugs, drinking, and sex. On top of that, the book is handwritten and quite long, making it difficult to finish even if readers do enjoy the book. I get that the notebook covers important topics facing teens and it does so in a honest manner, but I don't think the novel itself is particularly valuable or worthwhile. Plenty of girls have been passing notes and writing in notebooks (ex: "The Burn Book" from Mean Girls) for decades, and this book is no more worthwhile than what you might find in an average high school girl's backpack. Read it if you wish, but don't expect anything spectacular. Best suited for grades 9 and up.