Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Overdrive Audiobooks

Has anyone taken advantage of the Overdrive downloadable audiobooks that the Westchester Library System offers? It's (sometimes) an alternative to waiting for the book you put on hold ages ago. You can download to your iPod. MP3 player, or just to your computer. Listening to books puts a whole new spin on the story. If you're lucky enough to get a good narrator, the story comes alive. You learn how certain names are pronounced. I grew up reading Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody books. Little did I know that Amelia's last name was not pronounced "Pea-body," but "Pibiddy." Likewise for certain vocabulary words that qualify for the verbal part of the SAT. I listened to the entire Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz on cd. As far as I was concerned, the narrator, David Alan Baker was Odd Thomas. Overdrive is cool because it also allows you to listen to a preview of the audiobook you're interested in. And some companies allow you to burn their books to a cd. There are current titles like Prism by Faye and Aliza Kellerman, The Luxe by Anna Godbersen, and I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President by Josh Lieb. You can get Night by Elie Wiesel and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. All you need is a library card, download the "console" and you're ready to go: www.westchesterlibraries.org/node/1663

For those of you who are in the midst of SAT frenzy, or you decided that college isn't your thing, try LearningExpress. It's a subscription database available through the Westchester Library Systems "Online Resources" webpage. Not only do you get to practice for the SAT and the ACT, but there's plenty of civil service tests also. There's information on job searching and skills, GED, citizenship tests, and Recursos para Hispanohablantes! Your little brothers and sisters need help with math? There are resources for elelmentary and middle school students. Hey, it's all free! You just need that library card to register to use the site: www.westchesterlibraries.org/node/297

Monday, November 23, 2009

New Books!

New titles ordered:

Hate List - Jennifer Brown
Going Bovine - Libba Bray
After - Amy Efaw
Intertwined - Gena Showalter
Charmed and Dangerous: The Rise of the Pretty Committee - Lisi Harrison
Splendor - Anna Godbersen
Crocodile Tears: an Alex Rider Adventure - Anthony Horowitz
Liar - Justine Larbalestier
Leviathan - Scott Westerfeld
Riot - Walter Dean Myers
The Van Alen Legacy (Blue Bloods) - Melissa de la Cruz
Dark Visions - L. J. Smith
Take Me There - Susane Colasanti
Waiting for You - Susane Colasanti
When It Happens - Susane Colasanti
Angry Management - Chris Crutcher
No Such Thing as the Real World: stories about growing up and getting a life - An Na, et. al.
Lament: the faerie queen's deception - Maggie Stiefvater
Pop - Gordon Korman
Geektastic: stories from the nerd herd - Holly Black, ed.
After the Moment - Garret Freymann-Weyr
Purple Heart - Patricia McCormick
Shooting Star - Fredrick McKissack

LOCAL AUTHOR: Everything Sucks: losing my mind and finding myself in a high school quest for cool - Hannah Friedman

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Local Author Alert!!!

Greg and Steve's families are going through some tough times. Greg's dad walked out on the family, and Steve's stepfather beats his mom and slaps Steve around. Through some supernatural occurence, the teens change places. Here's the catch: Greg is black and Steve is white. This turns out to be a big eye-opener for both as they face stereotypical thinking, racism (theirs and others), and manage to help each other's situations. The story moves along at a fast "What happens next?" pace. Ms. Peart is a writer to watch out for. "Linked" is her first book for teens. According to the publisher's website, www.demarchepublishing.com Ms. Peart's next book "The Intruders" is coming out in February 2010. "The Intruders" involves teens fron The Bronx and time travel. Exciting stuff!

Monday, November 9, 2009

New Books I've Read

I started listening to the audio of Andromeda Klein by Frank Portman. His first book is King Dork, which got some really good reviews. Andromeda is a less-than-perfect teen girl with bad hearing, bad hair, bad skin, and no body to speak of. Andromeda is a serious scholar of the occult. No New Age or "wicker" for her. There's lots of references to the Tarot, the Order of the Golden Dawn, and Aleister Crowley. The kind of stuff that drives well-meaning adults crazy. But Andromeda is no dilettante. She hopes to write her own multi-volume opus on magic and the occult. But first she has to deal with the death of her friend Daisy,the disappearance of her boyfriend, St. Steve, her crazy parents, her nonexistent popularity at school, and the evil plan of the Friends of the Library to weed the collection of her branch which includes an awful lot of the books Andromeda needs for her studies. It's just amazing how the author captured the essential high school girl experience. Portman is also a musician, so you can catch his work at http://www.frankportman.com/, http://www.doktorfrank.com/

Goth Girl Rising is the sequel to The Astonishing Adventures of Goth Girl and Fanboy by Barry Lyga. Kyra, aka Goth Girl, is released from the local psychiatric facility for trying to commit suicide. She's seething with anger, at her father, at school, and especially at Fanboy, who's gone on to become, if not the most popular kid, at least more respected. His graphic novel is released in installments in the school newspaper. Revenge is what Goth Girl wants. As she begins her plan to get back at Fanboy, however, she realizes that she doesn't hate him. She might just -- like him a little? Kyra jumps off the page like she's right there in front of you as you're reading. Reading this book was like holding a live wire. Check out the author at www.barrylyga.com

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Book Review: Alligator Bayou by Donna Jo Napoli

Calogero lives with his uncles and cousins in a small town in Louisiana where they run a fruit and vegetable store and a stand. They provide a needed alternative to the company stores, but they're not totally accepted by the white townfolk because they're Sicilian. They can't interact with African-Americans either, lest they give people another reason to turn against them. Calogero is lucky enough to have a tutor who teaches him english, while he absorbs his new surroundings. He's sweet on an African-American girl, Patricia. Eventually, things come to a violent head amidst rumors of attempted murder. The author used a real incident as a basis for her novel. Sicilian immigrants were lynched in the South just for being who they were around the turn of the 20th century. This is one sad story, but I'm glad Ms. Napoli told it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Book Review: Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Think being the new kid in school is tough? Imagine being Lucius Wolfe, the kid who blew his own hands off in a misguided home chemistry experiment. Now you have hooks instead of hands. They remind you of what you did - not only did you lose your hands, you destroyed your family's home. Your family reminds you about what you did CONSTANTLY. Your peers look at you real funny and talk about how weird you are right in your face. The only saving grace is Aurora. She's new, too. And gorgeous. She's the only one, besides the school guard who treats you like a human being. Then you get on the wrong side of Jessup Tristan. He wants Aurora for himself. Can life suck any more than it already does? A modern retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" with a modern twist. It's a good, quick read, too.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Graphic Novel Info

Publishers are going out of their way to make assigned reading titles accessible. Take a look at Classical Comics: www.classicalcomics.com They've taken some of the Shakespeare plays and turned them into graphic novels. The difference here is that they have three versions: the original text, plain, or modern English, and quick text, which gets right to the point without a lot of words. They've done the same for titles like Jane Eyre and Frankenstein. We own Frankenstein in the original text at Hart - with the quick text versions of Frankenstein and Great Expectations, the original text version of Great Expectations, and Romeo and Juliet in all three versions on order. The website also offers free downloads for teachers and students.

BTW, the Friends of the Hart Library were really generous and agreed to all the items on my wish list. That's how I was able to buy the Classical Comics and much more:

Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? - Neil Gaiman
Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? - Alan Moore
Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451: the authorized adaptation - Tim Hamilton
Fruits Basket Vols. 22 & 23 - Natsuki Takaya
Green Lantern: Rage of the Red Lanterns - Geoff Johns
Naruto Vols. 45, 56 & 47 - Masashi Kishimoto
Tales of the Sinestro Corps - Goeff Johns
Garage Band - Gipi
Afro Samurai 1 & 2 - Takashi Okazaki
Cirque Du Freak: the manga, Vols. 1, 2, & 3 - Darren Shan
D. N. Angel Vols. 12 &13 - Yukiru Sugisaki
Escape From Bizarro World - Geoff Johns
Wolverine 1: Prodigal Son - Anthony Johnston
The Flash: Emergency Stop - Grant Morrison
The Color of Earth and The Color of Water - Kim Dong Hwa
Dungeon Monstres 1: The Crying Giant - Lewis Trondheim
Future Diary Vols. 1 - 5 - Esuno Sakae
Luuna Vols. 1 & 2 - Keramidas Nicolas
Bizenghast Vols. 3, 4, 5 & 6 - M. Alice LeGrow
Mugen Spiral Vols. 1 & 2 - Kusanagi Mizuho
All Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder - Frank Miller
Amefurashi 1: The Rain Goddess and Amefurashi 2 - Atsushi Suzumi
Sanctuary - Melissa Marr
Bart Simpson: Son of Homer - Matt Groening
Simpsons Comics Hit the Road!
Simpsons Comics Wingding
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Vols. 1 - 4 - Nagaru Tanigawa
Wolverine: Worst Day Ever - Barry Lyga
Ender's Game: Battle School - Christopher Yost
Black Bird Vols. 1 & 2 - Kanoko Sakurakoji
Waiting Place - Sean McKeever
Cleburne: A Graphic Novel - Justin S. Murphy
Gettysburg: the Grraphic Novel - C. M. Butzer
Pride of Baghdad - Brian K. Vaughan
Kane De Manga: a fun, easy way to learn the ABCs of Japanese - Glenn Kardy
Kanji De Manga: the comic book that teaches you how to read and write Japanese - Glenn Kardy
Kanji De Manga 4 - Glenn Kardy
Kanji De Manga: YojiJukugo - Glenn Kardy
Manga University Presents...Kanji De Manga: the Comic that teaches you how to read and write Japanese! - Glenn Kardy
Manga University Presents Kanji de Manga 3
Shoulder-a-Coffin - Satoko Kiyuduki
Shoulder-a-Coffin Kuro 2 - Satoko Kiyuduki

Some of these have come in already. If you have any suggestions for individual titles and sereies, bring 'em on!

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Book Review and More

If you like "Twilight" and other supernatural romances, give "Lament: the Faerie Queen's Deception" by Maggie Stiefvater a look. Yeah, the same author who wrote "Shiver," which is currently on the NY Times Children's Best Seller list (Forgive them, they're adults). The Basics: Deirdre Monaghan is a talented harpist. She meets hottie Luke Dillon at a music competition and they literally make beautiful music together. There's something about Luke that's different, never mind the perfect four leaf clovers that litter Deirdre's path, and the mysterious red-haired guy who shows up every so often. Someone or something is after Deirdre, but for what purpose? Lots of thrills and chills, and faerie folklore. The sequel is "Ballad: a Gathering of Faerie," coming out in October.

Melissa Marr's "Wicked Lovely," another beware the faeries story has been optioned for the big screen. No dates or further info. yet.

October 21st at 6:30, we're having a special program for Teen Read Week. This year's theme is "Read Beyond Reality @ Your Library." The program is a Japanese writing workshop, with worksheets you can use to practice. There will be Japanese treats provided. The worksheets are provided courtesy of Japanime, publishers of the Manga University series, Kana de Manga series and "The Manga Cookbook." If you want to visit their site, the address is: www.howtodrawmanga.com

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lovely Bones

If you read "Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold, you may have heard that there's a movie version in the works, directed by Peter Jackson. Here's a link to the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWyNYxGZonI

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Check This Out!

If "City of Bones" by Cassandra Clare is on your summer reading list, and you can't get a copy of it, type in www.promo.simonandschuster.com/mortalinstruments

The book is available for free online until August 10th.

Here's something else to think about: http://www.twilightthevideogame.com/

Dig Jay Asher's "Thirteen Reasons Why?" His blog has all the international covers for his book. The covers for the UK and Italy are much cooler than the US cover. http://www.jayasher.blogspot.com/

Thursday, May 21, 2009

HarperTeen Summer


These are book trailers for HarperTeen's Supernatural Summer. Unfortunately, the authors, who include Melissa Marr, aren't headed for the East Coast. Enjoy 'em anyway.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

YA Authors Who Twitter

Take a look at the April 26, 2009 entry on this blog: readergirlz.blogspot.com If you Twitter, so do these writers.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The 2009 Summer Reading Club for tween and teens:

Catch the Title Wave
@ Your Library!

Starting June 1st, dudes and dudettes, start your reading! Record what you read (books on tape and CD count!),
Earn free stuff, and enter the “Where in the world is Bruno?” contest to win weekly prizes.

There are plenty of things to do at the Hart Library – crafts and game nights included. Check it out!

The end of the summer reading club party is on Thursday, August 13th at 7:00 p.m. Win prizes, books, and enjoy a cool, refreshing ice cream sundae!

Don’t forget to check out the teenspace page at www.yorktownlibrary.org/teenspace

John C. Hart Memorial Library
“Yorktown’s Community Library”
1130 East Main Street
Shrub Oak, NY 10588

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Stuff for the Teen Age

The New York Public Library publishes a yearly list of Young Adult books. It used to be called "Books for the Teen Age." This year they're doing something different. Besides changing the name of the list to "Stuff for the Teen Age," they've pared the list down to 100 items including video games and cds. The website's pretty cool, too: www.nypl.org/books/sta2009. There are videos of teens reviewing some of the titles. If you like what you see, then join the Hart Library's Teen Advisory Group and we'll start plannning a more interactive TeenSpace page.

P.S. There's a Twilight convention closer than Georgia: Parsippany, New Jersey. www.creationent.com/cal/twilight_nj.htm

Thursday, March 19, 2009

News! News! News!

I just found out that there's going to be a "Salute to Twilight" convention in Atlanta, Georgia in July. The link for more info is www.creationent.com/cal/twilight_ga.htm Some of the cast will be there (not the actors in leading roles).

Liionsgate just bought the rights to film Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

College Info. Stuff and Pseudoscience

CollegeWise does free presentations at the library a couple of times a year. Take a look at their website, especially their latest newsletter about being a "joiner." http://www.collegewise.com/

I was passing by the new nonfiction shelves and this title caught my eye: Death From the Skies! These are the ways the world will end by Philip Plait, PhD. If you're into The Earth's Final Days this is a book for you. It explains scientific concepts and debunks information that's just plain wrong. Dr. Plait has another book called Bad Astronomy: misconceptions and misuses revealed, from astrology to the moon landing "hoax." He has a column/blog in Discovery: www.badastronomy.com

If you like reading about hoaxes, or just getting the 411 on science and the occult check out these webpages:
www.randi.org James Randi is a debunker extraordinaire. His website posts a $1 million reward to anyone who can prove occult powers/events. I don't believe anyone has won yet.
www.snopes.com Great for getting the facts on urban myths and those irritating stories in your e-mail.

For actual books:
James Randi. Flim Flam! the truth about unicorns, parapsychology and other delusions.
Carl Sagan. The Demon-Haunted World: science as a candle in the dark.
Michael Shermer. Why People Believe Weird Things: pseudoscience, superstition and other confusions of our time.
Martin Gardner. Did Adam and Eve Have Navels? Discourses on reflexology, numerology, urine therapy and other dubious subjects. Gardner's book Fads and Fallacies in the name of science opened my eyes when I was in college.

This is just to get you started. There's loads more info out there.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I found this through Blogger, so I decided to play with it. As you can tell, I'm not really into the current music scene. Got any opinions on the addition? Too distracting or just plain unnecessary?

www.libsuccess.org/index.php?title=Blogs_for_Teens a wiki devoted to...public library blogs for teens. See what other libraries are doing. Got any ideas about what Hart Teen readers want on your blog?

Neil Gaiman's "The Graveyard Book" wins the Newbery!!! Rock on, Neil! Hart Library owns copies, ordered it on Playaway and on cd. You can check it out at Neil Gaiman's site: www.neilgaiman.com There's a link to a video tour to get a taste if you havent read it yet. If you like books on cd, listen to the author read his own works. He's a great narrator.

The movie version of "Coraline" is out. Take a look at the official webpage: coraline.com