Sunday, October 31, 2010

Finished Another Massive Read

Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness is 600 pages long. It seems a trend in YA literature-longer and longer books and more and more series. I was anxiously awaiting this tome, as I was fascinated by the first two books in the Chaos Walking trilogy. Though the story has been extremely violent, the characters are wonderful examples of the foibles of men and humankind. In Monsters of Men, the story is told from the perspective of three voices. Sometimes I got confused who was talking because the change in voices was so quick sometimes every two pages or so. I wanted there to be peace, and I kept reading each suspenseful turn of events to find out if the story ends in a way that I hoped. I am not going to give any spoilers here, but this is a sci fi story that resonates with me long after I have finished reading it. If you are a fan of dystopian literature this may be a series for you.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Love the New Book by Riordan

I often will read the first in a young adult series and end there. It gives me a sense of the author's style, and I can recommend the books to students based on the one that I have read. However, some series I get just as excited about the new volumes as the kids at school. Some of these books I won't let anyone check out until I have had a chance to read it. This would include books like the Harry Potter series, Hunger Games series, and the Walking Chaos series.

It happened again when Rick Riordan's newest, The Lost Hero came out a couple of weeks ago. I know that I am a little selfish, but I just had to read it before anyone else. I had just started it when one of my students told me that his dad had bought it for him. He didn't get to read it yet because his dad was reading it first. His dad told him that it was better than the Percy Jackson books. Even though I had read a couple of chapters, I didn't think that was possible. Now that I finished it, I think that I agree. The new characters had so much personality and took on their roles as demigods so effortlessly. I liked that. I am a big fan, and I recommend this to any mythology fans out there. It is a great adventure story with some humor and a lot of heart.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Week Full of Fun @ Patrick Taylor Library

Another Teen Read Week has come and gone. One of the highlights included the students creating a magazine with their face on the cover. In the picture below can you see a student who created his cover using http://www.bighugelabs.com/.


Below is the magazine that shows that he is a big fan of Disney.


Members of the library book group, Bookmarked, assisted with the games and contests during lunch. The three students below are taking a break. They had great fun running the Labels are for Cans not People Game.

Here are some students who particpated in the Labels are for Cans Game. Students could take one clue a day for the whole week. If they answered the clue correctly they would win a candy. The clues were all based on either classic literature or contemporary novels. The student reading the clue in the picture below is not too happy because he doesn't know the answer.



Monday, October 18, 2010

Author Scott Westerfeld Talks about Behemoth

Scott Westerfeld talks about his newest book
Today we kicked off Teen Read Week with a fantastic event. Scott Westerfeld talked to all of the freshman and sophomores about his new book Behemoth, second in the Leviathan series. It is an alternate version of World War I told from two points of view: the first a girl disguised as a boy so she could be an airman on a British flying ship as well as an Austro-Hungarian prince whose parents have just been murdered. He explained to the students about the illustrations, and how in 1914 when the book takes place, all novels had illustrations. He had lots of visuals from the book. The students were mesmerized (me too); as you can see by the picture. 
We invited Scott to stay for lunch. The library book group, Bookmarked, enjoyed an hour of visiting with him in the library while munching on shrimp poor boys. Below is a group of happily fed teenagers with one librarian and one author. 


Zerhow Chan outdid himself with the welcome poster in reds, silver and gold. Just right to evoke the steampunk style of Scott's books.
 

Scott's wife is author, Justine Larbalestier. When Scott goes on school visits, she usually spends her day in the hotel room writing. Since the room was not conducive to writing, she joined him at Taylor. While she visited, she signed her books in our collection.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Contests, Contests, and More Contests for TRW


Teen Read Week October 18th--- 22nd
@ PFTSTA Library
Books with Beat! Be Unique! Beat the Stereotype!

Bookmarked, the library book group, and I have planned some really fabulous activities for this year's TRW. Today I spent the morning copying, putting up bulletin boards, and creating the emails that I am going to send out next week advertising each event. If you want to read all about it, open this link--> http://bit.ly/dDoOnV.

The most exciting event is our visit with author Scott Westerfeld planned to kick off the week on Monday. Since he will be here at the beginning of the week, one of the prizes for our Guess the Number of Nerds contest will be a signed book. We will have four books signed, so we will have four winners.

Every year for TRW, I hold a bookmark contest. For this one, the students will need to design their bookmark based on a book with a very quirky character, someone out of the norm, someone who beats all stereotypes.

I also plan a contest that students can enter daily. This year we are calling it: Labels are for Cans not People Contest. Students will pick a clue about a book, character, or stereotype, if they answer correctly they will win a prize. Students can play once a day for the whole week. This activity is always extremely popular, and students stand around listening to the clues that the other students get.
Here are some of our clues:

Luna seems clueless. In what series is she  a character?
My name is Jack, and you can read about me in Shiver. Can you describe me?
I am a hunter, and I know Katniss Everdeen, but I did not fight in the Hunger Games. Who am I?
I am a jock and liked to be called Bobby, not Robert. I was destined to travel and have battled Saint Dane on numerous occasions. In what series will you find me?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Read My Blog Post on YALSA's Blog

As a requirement of the YALSA committee on which I serve, I have to post twice on the organization's blog. You can read that post by following the link below. Funny, I gave it the same name as my last blog post here, but I did not remember.

http://bit.ly/c2043t

Monday, October 4, 2010

Teen Read Week is Right Around the Corner

Teen Read Week (TRW), sponsored by YALSA, will be here in two weeks. I am busy making plans with my library book group. The theme this year is Books with Beat. We have decided at Patrick Taylor to Beat the Stereotype. One of our activities is going to be a daily contest, called Labels are for Cans not People. I always have some question and answer contest where students can visit the library and get a piece of candy if they answer the question correctly. This year the questions are all about characters and the labels that describe them.

Our biggest event this year for TRW will be a visit by author Scott Westerfeld. The ninth and tenth graders will get to see his presentation, but Bookmarked will get to have a catered lunch with him in the library. Today, Bookmarked, watched some book trailers of his books that I downloaded. There was a mad grab for the titles after I played the trailers. I need to do more of that with the other students.

More later when I can outline all of our TRW activities.
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