Teen

Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys

Sunday, February 24, 2008
Kate Brian

I got hooked on this book from the first couple of paragraphs that I read as part of the Online Book Club (Teen one). Each day I received a few paragraphs in my e-mail for a few days - finally I could take it no longer and checked the book out so I could find out what else happens and how it ends!

A romantic comedy - A great book for teen girls and "reluctant reader" teen girls! Summer is dwindling down and Megan Meade's parents tell her that they've decided to spend the following year over seas. Megan is shocked - there were so many things she was looking forward to this coming year - including the potential to be captain for some sports teams. Arrangements are made so that Megan can stay with a family in Boston - it will be a different than where she is now but at least it won't be another country. When she arrives she is shocked that her host family has seven sons. Will she ever be able to survive with all these boys?! She is even more amazed when she begins falling for one of them. I did laugh out loud at a few parts - a very enjoyable read.

Janice, Youth Services

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The Education of Little Tree (Book and DVD)

Sunday, February 24, 2008
Forrest Carter
The Education of Little Tree

This story tells a tale both harrowing and enlightening about American Indian children taken from their parents and brought up to conform to the
customs of  "the white man." The author is a descendant and his story is that of his grandfather. This is a brilliant read and must watch movie.

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Marilyn S., Circulation

Twilight

Monday, January 28, 2008
Stephenie Meyer

So, like a good vampire story?
Not of the horror variety, but a good vampire romance?

Bella moves from sunny and hot Phoenix and her mother to overcast and damp Forks, WA and her father. She leaves behind a large school where she is lost in the crowd for a smaller town where her father is the chief of Police. Suddenly Bella finds herself drawing the attention of other students, especially mysterious Edward. And then there is Jacob. Little does Bella know just how much her life is about to change. These books will grab you and not let you go. Stephenie Meyer has created a world of the supernatural in Forks, WA in the Twilight series (Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse). Warning- you need to read them in order! And there are more books planned.

Holly, Youth Services

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Holding Up the Earth

Monday, January 28, 2008

I was raised in a home that my parents built when I was 5 years old.So I know the history of the house.I currently live in a home built in 1927 and I often wonder about the history of the house. I know a little of the history through the original deed I was given when we purchased the house.For instance, the property was originally owned by one of the McPherson brothers of Howell.Technically I live in the McPherson subdivision in Lansing.But what I really wonder about is the people who lived there before us and what their lives where like.I want that personal glimpse into the past….

When Hope was 8 years old, her mother was killed in a car accident.Hope, now 14, has bounced around from foster home to foster home.Sarah, her current foster mom is different than the others.But Hope has long given up on the thought of adoption.Sarah and Hope travel from Minneapolis one summer to Nebraska and the farm where Sarah was raised.While there, Anna, Sarah’s mother, shares the history of four generations of young women who have lived on the farm.Through letters, Hope learns of Abigail’s struggles in 1869-1870 when the property was homesteaded. Rebecca’s diary tells of her time as the hired girl in the summer of 1900.Anna tells her own story of June1936.And finally, Sarah shares her own diary of 1963 with Hope.Will the farm capture Hope’s heart as it did those before her?

 

The reviewer in Horn Book said it best:

“The stories of five teenaged girls – separated by decades, but joined by their love of a Nebraska farm- are pieced together like a patchwork quilt in this first novel…A carefully structured work full of recurring connections and patterns, peopled with strong female characters.”

Holly, Youth Services

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The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Monday, January 28, 2008

Children’s librarians and lovers of children’s books eagerly await the annual announcement of the Caldecott winner.The Caldecott Medal is given to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.The 2008 winner is The Invention of Hugo Cabret.As I’m constantly telling people, you are never too old to enjoy a good picture book and this year’s winner holds true.What is different is that The Invention of Hugo Cabret is not your typical picture book.The American Library Association’s web site describes it best…

From an opening shot of the full moon setting over an awakening Paris in 1931, this tale casts a new light on the picture book form. Hugo is a young orphan secretly living in the walls of a train station where he labors to complete a mysterious invention left by his father. In a work of more than 500 pages, the suspenseful text and wordless double-page spreads narrate the tale in turns. Neither words nor pictures alone tell this story, which is filled with cinematic intrigue. Black & white pencil illustrations evoke the flickering images of the silent films to which the book pays homage.

Regardless of your age, spend some time with Hugo; let yourself be drawn into the story and drawings- savor the magic.Better yet, share it with someone.I’ll be watching for more from Brian Selznick and others in this new picture book form.

Holly, Youth Services

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Maus (I & II)

Monday, January 28, 2008
Art Spiegelman

A memoir of sorts, presented in graphic novel (cartoon) format.

Maus ties together two powerful stories: Vladek Spiegleman - a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son - a cartoonist trying to come to terms with his father. The unique style allows the reader to experience Vladek's tale as he is relating it to his son.

This is the first graphic novel I have ever read - although I read lots of comic books as a kid! The conversational tone allowed bits of history to be interspersed with household chores. I felt as if I knew the Spiegelman family by the end.

Sue A 2, Reference

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Evil Genius

Monday, January 28, 2008
Catherine Jinks

Here's the description from amazon (which is better than a description I could come up with!):

"Cadel Piggott has a genius IQ and a fascination with systems of all kinds. At seven, he was illegally hacking into computers. Now he's fourteen and studying for his World Domination degree, taking classes like embezzlement, misinformation, forgery, and infiltration at the institute founded by criminal mastermind Dr. Phineas Darkkon. Although Cadel may be advanced beyond his years, at heart he's a lonely kid. When he falls for the mysterious and brilliant Kay-Lee, he begins to question the moral implications of his studies for the first time. But is it too late to stop Dr. Darkkon from carrying out his evil plot?"

I really liked it. Definitely has boy appeal.

Janice, Youth Services

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The Book Thief

Monday, January 28, 2008
Markus Zusak

When I started reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, I couldn’t help but feel that no matter the specifics, all of the characters were ultimately doomed.Add it up:Germans, Jews, early 1940’s.It’s even narrated by Death itself.It couldn’t really end any other way.As hard as it was to read at times, this book is something truly special.As Death states on the final page:“I wanted to explain that I’m constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race – that rarely do I ever simply estimate it.I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Kathleen M., Administration

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God Went to Beauty School

Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Cynthia Rylant
I’m going to ‘fess right up and say that I am not much of a poetry reader, but I stumbled upon this book of poems by Cynthia Rylant. They make me smile. That’s it. I truly do not have any judgment on the reverence or irreverence of the subject matter – I simply liked the poems. With titles like, “God Got a Dog,” and “God Found Some Fudge,” these poems made my day a bit brighter. Incidentally, I rarely buy books (after all, I do work at the Public Library) but I did recently buy three copies of this book – one for my mother, one for my daughter and one for my priest. It’s hard to believe that I found one book that I believe all three of those people will like...go figure.

Kathleen M., Administration

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Shark Girl

Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Kelly Bingham

A story about a 15 year old girl (and very talented artist) that has her right arm amputated after a random shark accident. How will she get past this horrible tragedy? And if she can learn to move on forward with her life, will she ever be able to do the things she loves like cook and draw? How can she manage to stay friends with people that talk about regular things like boys and makeup when she is grieving the loss of her right arm?

A good "life" book - lots of great lines to quote. Written mainly in verse, it's a quick read. Great read for teens and adults (although some adults may find it a little whiny).

Janice, Youth Services

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