Awesome YA author contest

Posted by kacates on July 9, 2010

The YA author Cindy Pon, who wrote the wonderful fantasy Silver Phoenix (pictured above), set in ancient China and featuring the kick-butt heroine Ai Ling, is offering a great contest on her blog.  She's giving away a collection of YA fiction featuring protagonists of color.   All you have to do for a chance to win is spread the word – post the contest info on your blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, etc., and then link back to your post on Cindy's blog before Wednesday, July 14.  I'm entering for the library.  We have most of the books in our collection already, but we can always use multiple copies, or perhaps I'll consider doing a giveaway of my own if we win.

Here are the books she's giving away:

Tomorrow, When the War Began

Posted by kacates on June 17, 2010

Looking for a fast-paced, exciting summer read? You can't do better than John Marsden's Tomorrow, When the War Began series. First published in Australia, these seven books tell the story of Ellie and her friends, who decide to spend their summer vacation camping in the Australian bush, only to find out when they try to return home that their country has been invaded and their families killed or captured.  Now they have some choices to make: Do they return to the bush and stay hidden to avoid capture?  Do they let themselves be taken so they can at least be reunited with their families?  Or…do they fight back?

Since, as I mentioned, it's a seven-book series full of crazy action, you might be able to guess what these teenagers choose.  With only the weapons available to them from raiding abandoned farms and ranches, they become guerrilla warriors, fighting back against their country's occupation.  I promise, once you start reading these books, you won't be able to put them down!  You can find all seven in the series section of the YA department here at the Normal library.  Plus, if you finish the books and still can't get enough, Marsden later wrote The Ellie Chronicles, a trilogy covering what happens to Ellie and her friends when the war is finally over.

While interest in the series has been picking up recently here in the States, in Australia, these books were absolutely HUGE, selling millions of copies.  Now, a movie is getting ready to be released there in September.  I can only hope it eventually makes it over here so I can see it!   Here's the most recent trailer to be released – the cast looks great, and from what I can tell it sticks fairly close to the book:


Don't forget Game Day this Wednesday!

Posted by kacates on April 12, 2010

Just a quick reminder to all that we're having our monthly game day this Wednesday, April 14, from 4:00 to 6:00 downstairs in the Community Room.  As always, we've got Dance Dance Revolution, Rock Band, and lots of board games.  And this week, we've got a special added bonus: the Beatles edition of Rock Band!  Join us on Wednesday to rock out with John, Paul, George and Ringo!

Don't know much about the Beatles?  Do your homework before joining us on Wednesday by checking out some of the library's books and other materials on all things Beatles and Beatlemania:

Can't Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain, and America by Jonathan Gould 

A combination of group biography, cultural history, and musical criticism. That the Beatles were an unprecedented phenomenon is a given. In Can’t Buy Me Love, Jonathan Gould seeks to explain why, placing the Fab Four in the broad and tumultuous panorama of their time and place, rooting their story in the social context that girded both their rise and their demise.

A  Teenager's Guide to the Beatles by Zane Lalani 

This fast-paced, fun-to-read guide to the Beatles is ideal for the new generation of fans. Written by a father for his teenaged daughter, this book is more than just a biography. The author explores the Beatles phenomenon and the reasons for the band’s success. Probing into many of the controversies, myths, and mysteries surrounding one of the most popular and influential music groups in history, the author examines the hot issues for today's teenaged Beatles fans.

John Lennon: All I Want is the Truth by Elizabeth Partridge 

Award-winning biographer Elizabeth Partridge dives into Lennon’s life from the night he was born in 1940 during a World War II air raid on Liverpool, deftly taking us through his turbulent childhood and his rebellious rock’n’roll teens to his celebrated life writing, recording, and performing music with the Beatles. She sheds light on the years after the Beatles, with Yoko Ono, as he struggled to make sense of his own artistic life—one that had turned from youthful angst to suffocating fame in almost a split second.

Here, There, and Everywhere: The 100 Best Beatles Songs by Stephen Spignesi and Michael Lewis 

Organized by ranking order from Number 1 to Number 100, this illustrated celebration of the best songs by the boys who revolutionized rock-and-roll includes expert commentary, historical context, interview material, and lots of great sidebars (including “best” lists from some of today's pop music powerhouses).  Appendices include a complete song list, discography, videography, and bibliography, making it a one-stop source of Beatles facts and figures.

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!: The Beatles, Beatlemania, and the Music That Changed the World by Bob Spitz 

It starts in the housing projects and school playgrounds of Liverpool, where four boys would discover themselves – and a new form of music called rock 'n roll. It takes us from the famous first meeting between John and Paul, to the clubs of Liverpool and Germany when George and Ringo join the band, down Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields, to America and the height of the Beatles' success – when they were still teenagers.

Meet the Beatles: A Cultural History of the Band That Shook Youth, Gender, and the World by Steven D. Stark 

The Beatles have profoundly touched the lives of millions. But have you ever wondered why? Why did they become the most powerful artists in history and one of the twentieth century's major symbols of cultural transformation? Meet the Beatles answers those questions and more as it examines the ways the lives of John, Paul, George, and Ringo were inextricably tied to the cultural revolutions their music helped inspire. From their long hair and interest in India to their drug use and admiration for strong women, the Beatles changed the way we look, the way we feel, and even the way we think. This is the book for those who have always been infatuated with the Beatles, as well as those who want to learn for the first time what it all really meant.

A Hard Day's Night  

If you haven't seen the Beatles' classic first film, you should definitely check this one out!  In 1964, the Beatles had just recently exploded onto the American scene with their debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” A Hard Day's Night offered fans their first peek into a day in the life of the Beatles and served to establish the Fab Four on the silver screen, as well as to inspire the music video format.

Across the Universe

Using the songs of the Beatles, director Julie Taymor tells the story of young dockworker Jude, who leaves Liverpool to find his estranged father in America and is swept up by the waves of change that are re-shaping the nation. Jude falls in love with Lucy, a rich but sheltered American girl who joins the growing anti-war movement in New York's Greenwich Village. As the body count in Vietnam rises, political tensions at home spiral out of control and the star-crossed lovers find themselves in a psychedelic world gone mad.

Looking for a good book?

Posted by kacates on February 4, 2010

For those looking for their next great read, but not sure where to start, I thought I'd post a reminder that we've got LOTS of lists of books for teens right here on the blog.  Just click on the “Books” tab at the top of this page and it'll take you to a page with all kinds of options – fantasy, mysteries, historical fiction, nonfiction – we've got suggestions for any and all kinds of readers.  And for addicts of now-finished series (like Twilight or Harry Potter), we've got some great “Readalikes” suggestions for books with a similar feel.  You can also stop by the library and pick up one of our many brochures and bookmarks with more suggestions for teen reads.  And, as always, feel free to contact me if you've got a suggestion for a book you think I should add to the lists!

Yet another Twilight-related post

Posted by kacates on November 30, 2009

Okay, I promise after this one I'll stop.  But with New Moon making over 200 million so far at the box office, this is one phenomenon that isn't going away anytime soon, whether you're a fan of the Twilight saga or not.  If you're not, or if you're just ready to try something new after rereading the series five times, you might want to check out this post from the blog for the Young Adult Library Services Association, where they suggest some great reads for those suffering from Twilight exhaustion.