Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Election time and new non-fiction

The midterm elections are "too much with us", as the Bard might say.  Bombarded by television and radio ads and dinnertime phone calls, most of us will rejoice that the season is over, no matter who wins next Tuesday.

The Youth Services department has just added a couple of series that can answer some of the questions that all of these ads might bring up.  What DOES a Senator do? or a Congressional Representative for that matter?  A new series called How Our Government Works looks at the jobs of senators, representatives, governors, mayors and even the president and describes what each position requires of the person holding it.  The books are written for elementary school students, in grades 3 through 5.

The Constitution is mentioned a lot in political debates and in political ads.   In the series Six Questions of American History, (written for grades 4 and up), one of the titles deals with the history of this important American document.  Who wrote the U.S. Constitution? and other questions about the Constitutional Conventions of 1787 by Candice Ransom provides a close look at the people who drafted the Constitution of the United States of America.  To read the entire Constitution, divided into sections and Amendments, go to this link  It is a VERY long document.

Other titles in the Six Questions of American History series deal with the history of canals in America, why the Pilgrims came to the New World, and why the Cherokees moved West. 

And parents, don't forget to vote next Tuesday!  May the best representative, senator, etc. win.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Requiem for an author

Eva Ibbotson, author of many wonderful books, including The Dragonfly Pool, Journey to the River Sea, and The Star of Kazan, passed away on October 20th at the age of 85.  She wrote over 20 novels for children and adults. 

It is always sad when a great author dies - and Ibbotson was a great author - but even sadder is the truth that now readers will not find out what happened next to characters they grew to love.  I wanted another book about the children in The Dragonfly Pool, a book that takes place at the beginning of World War II and features young people who work together to rescue a prince from the Nazis.  I will have to make up my own sequel for this story now.

Ibbotson's novels range from intensely suspenseful to silly and fantastic but her writing is always lively and her endings always hopeful.

Check out one of her books in memory of a long life spent bringing pleasure to readers all over the English speaking world.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Teen Read Week - Books with Beat

Teen Read Week started yesterday.  This year's theme is "Books with Beat".  So what does THAT mean?  Music?  Romance?  Beatnik hipsters?  Hearts beating with fright or excitement? The pounding beat of hammers and jackhammers?  All of the above.

There is a colorful display of YA Books with Beat on the counter in front of the YA shelves to celebrate Teen Read Week.  Check some of these fun, frightening, fierce titles out this week.  Click here for a book list of some of these titles.

On Friday, Oct. 22nd at 7 pm, Andrei Maurer of the Locksmiths Band will share tips on writing music with beat here at the Parkland Community Library.  Sign up in advance by calling 610-398-1361 ext. 19 and requesting a space.

Some brand new titles that did not make the list mentioned above are:
Hold me closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride.  Just in time for Halloween!  Here's the story of Sam, who discovers that he can raise the dead. The other necromancer in town is not too thrilled about Sam's new powers.

The curse of the Wendigo by Rick Yancey.  Will James tells the story of his apprenticeship with a New England doctor who hunts down real monsters.  The Wendigo starves, even as it gorges on human flesh! 

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger.  Here's scary of a different kind.  Imagine that you find yourself referred to as the DUFF - "Designated Ugly Fat Friend".  So how would you deal with that?  Bianca deals by hooking up with the biggest womanizer of all.  Suggested for mature audiences. (15 and up.)

The freak observer by Blythe Woolston.  A teen suffering post traumatic stress disorder tries to cure herself using physics and problem solving.  The human heart on the cover makes me wonder what Lisa's trauma was to begin with.  

The cruisers by Walter Dean Myers.  Four friends use an alternative newspaper to change the inevitable end of the mock Civil War waging at their school.  They learn just how much freedom of speech they really have.

So get the beat or march to your own beat!  Either way, find Books with Beat at the Parkland Community Library.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Halloween Spookiness!

Join the Teen Tellers - and me - on Tuesday Oct. 19th for SCARY STORIES! at 7 pm.  The teens like to tell frightening stories, just be forewarned.  We are suggesting that these stories are best for ages 7 and up.  Call the Youth Services Department at 610-398-1361 ext 19, if you'd like to come.  Or just show up!

Search for Ghosts and Ghouls (and cats and bats, skeletons and scarecrows) between Oct. 15th and Oct. 30th.  Each creepy creature will ask a question.  Do the research and write the answer on the answer sheet.  Then turn the answers in for a startling surprise!

Halloween books are flying out of here like bats out of a belfry!  Here are some new titles to look for - or place on hold.

AlphaOops! H is for Halloween by Alethea Kontis. The alphabet puts on a Halloween pageant and chaos ensues.   

Broom, zoom by Caron Lee Cohen.  A little witch and a monster fight over the broom.  Simple text and bright pictures make this book perfect for sharing with little ones.

Dark emperor and other poems of night by Joyce Sidman.  Poems and facts about how animals and plants behave at night.

Vampire boy's good night by Lisa Brown.  Are children REAL?  Bela the vampire and his friend, Morgan the witch, investigate one night and end up at a Halloween party.

Zen ghosts by Jon Muth.  Stillwater, the giant panda, shares a zen "ghost" story.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wimpy Kid in Macy's parade!

Greg Heffley will be larger than life on Thanksgiving as he floats above the streets of Manhattan in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  That's right!  The Wimpy Kid has his own helium balloon for Thanksgiving. 

Some lucky people will win a chance to see the parade in person in a contest put on by Abrams Publishing.  Stop by the Parkland Community Library and pick up an entry form .  The contest is open to people between the ages of 6 and 16, and the winner gets 4 tickets for a trip to NYC and seats in the VIP Grandstand.   There are only a limited number of entry forms so stop by the Parkland Community Library today.