Saturday, October 20, 2012

Teens Only | Teen Read Week Trivia Redux

Last week I posted some trivia questions in honor of Teen Read Week. How did you do? Here are the much anticipated answers!

In this book/movie, an arrogant student is put under a spell that makes him as ugly as his soul. It's Beastly, of course, by Alex Flinn. The movie, starring Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer, came out in 2011. This is another great modern twist on an old fairy tale (Beauty and the Beast). 

Next one. This book was, in large part, the basis for the movie "Mean Girls." The answer is Queen Bees & Wannabes, by Rosalind Wiseman. Even though this book is targeted to parents of teen girls, it's got some really good advice for teen girls about how to deal with the many pressures that come with high school.And by the way, if you haven't seen the movie Mean Girls, check it out at the Library. If it's not available at your branch, place a request on it!

The third question was a tough one. The title of this movie is an anagram of the book title on which it is based. (P.S. An anagram is a rearrangement of the letters of one word or phrase to form another word or phrase.) Pretty clever, eh? So the answer is: October Sky. The book is Rocket Boys: A Memoir by Homer Hickham. Write it down: October Sky and Rocket Boys. Anagram. And it's a great story about a group of boys who turn scrap metal into rockets that change their lives and their town forever. "If you dream it, you can become it." -- William Arthur Ward.

Some of you readers guessed this next one. Alexis Beidel and Jonathan Jackson star in this movie based on a book published in 1975. The answer is Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. Great book! And think about it: would you really want to live at one age forever?And yes, the Library has the movie on DVD. And on CD. And in large print. And in Spanish. Seriously. What are you waiting for?

Next question: The original title of this book is Die unendliche Geschichte. The answer is The Neverending Story. If you like dragons, giants, monsters and mysteries, this just might be the book for you! And there are lots of copies of the movie available at SSJCPL library branches. Check one out! 

And finally! The last question! This author was 15 years old when he began work on this first book of a trilogy. The answer is Christopher Paolini, and the book is Eragon. This is fantasy at its best! If you haven't read this trilogy yet, read it now! In addition to several formats, we have this book as a downloadable e-book.

Congratulations to those of you who got all of these right! That's it for now. See you next Saturday!

Books On Film | Goosebumps

It may be surprising, but many children love horror!

R.L. Stine has written over 300 horror books for young readers since 1986. His long-lasting series, Goosebumps, is very popular among elementary and middle school students. The books are scary and age-appropriate, without being gross.

In 1995, Fox and Scholastic Productions adapted the books into a television show (TV-Y7). It was one of several children's horror shows airing the mid-to-late 90s, which included series such as Nickelodeon's Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Disney's Eerie, Indiana. Goosebumps was on the air for four years and the DVDs from the show are still frequently checked out at the library.

Stine continues to write in the series today and has even created a spinoff series, Goosebumps Horrorland. If you have a child that likes the scary stuff have them check out the Goosebumps series or even Mostly Ghostly and Rotten School (other series by R.L. Stine).

Goosebumps (TV Show) Intro:
[Source: YouTube]

What was your favorite scary story as a child? Comment below!

[Bibliographic Source: - About R.L.]
[Book cover courtesy of LibraryThing

Friday, October 19, 2012

Food, Food, Food! ? Vegetarian???

Without meaning to, I sort of gave up meat this week.  The last time I had any meat was last Friday evening.  I suppose it would be more accurate to say that I've started eating spaghetti with Alfredo and red sauce in a beautiful mixture with cheese for dinner rather than focusing on the lack of meat.  I am not sure how long this will last, but the weight loss is welcome and the massive amount of carbs help me sleep through the night.  The three dogs that each want to be in bed and pressed up to the same spot on my side are not as helpful. 
Tonight I am going to try something new in my vegetarian world- rice with bbq sauce, cheese and sour cream.  As I type that I realize that what I really am is addicted to carbs and dairy.  I suppose there are worse addictions.

I just grabbed this book: Vegetarian Cooking Around the World and I am certainly interested in sampling something called “Butter Cookies.”  I’d actually just like any cookie with butter spread on top of it, as long as there aren't raisins in it.  What a waste of a perfectly good grape!  Also, this book reminded me that if I stay a vegetarian, I bet I can have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches a lot more often than I normally do!  Oh and grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup.  Suddenly, I don’t miss meat at all!

Constant Curiosity | Comfort Zone

        I own 3 Kindles and a Nook.  I know.  It's a long story.  It's a good thing I do, though, since the Library is going to start circulating Nooks this coming Monday.   Here's the Nook the library will lend:

NOOK Simple Touch
Nook Simple Touch

Although some might call me traitor, I really like reading on e-book readers.  When I was not allowed to walk without wheelchair and crutches for six months, my e-book readers were lifesavers:  with wi-fi or whatever access the manufacturer provides, I could shop for books right on the device.  It was so cool.  I could light one book off the other without even having to pause for a bon-bon.   Although I did.  Once in awhile.  And it was so much easier to carry around than a stack of books.  And trust me, at the rate I read, it would be a stack.

Anyway, the library has offered e-books for over a year now and they have been very popular, so it seems a natural progression to offer e-book readers.  The readers themselves will come with pre-loaded titles, so you won't need to add your own, but for those who have wondered just what it would be like to read on a device instead of good old paper, ink and glue, here's your chance.

The other day I was reading a "real" book, as my husband put it, and it didn't feel too odd at all.  After all, reading is reading, at least to me.   And the more the merrier.  At last count I had over 2,000 books loaded to my various devices.   As Louisa May Alcott put it "She is too fond of books and it has addled her brain."  In my case, this is probably true. 

And now if I'm asked that famous old desert island question, I won't have to think.  I'll just take my Kindle or Nook as the case may be,  a solar powered charger and oh, yes, the island must have a wi-fi hotspot.  It might take me awhile to get through those 2,000 books, but you never know how long a stint it might be.  Think of Tom Hanks and Wilson.   Paraphrasing Groucho Marx:  "Outside of a volleyball, a book is man's best friend.  Inside of a volleyball, it's too dark to read."  Okay, I can hear the groaning from here.

But seriously, next time you're at the library, let your curiosity out of its comfort zone and ask about our Nooks.  You can even take one home.  It won't hurt a bit.  Trust me.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Wanderlust Librarian | Up the 101

We made it! 
My retired parents love to travel. Recently, my daughter, brother and I joined them for a quick weekend trip up the Oregon coast. Our itinerary was an aggressive, but gorgeous one that would take us up to Coos Bay, cheese tasting at the Tillamook Cheese Factory and an overnight in Portland. Lonely Planet: Washington, Oregon & the Pacific Northwest  was a great source for finding some fun gems like the cheese factory!

A huge help in planning the itinerary was Driving the Pacific Coast: Oregon & Washington. It covered the exact drive that we were going to take and some of the fantastic vistas along the way. Google maps helped to establish how long the distances were between destinations.

My parents were excited about 2 Oregon facts:
1) No sales tax!
2) It is illegal to pump your own gas. One needs only stay in their car, pay the attendant and then drive away.(My dad asked the attendant if tipping was mandatory....of course they said yes!)

This trip may have been planned quickly, but it was made easy with the books I checked out! Find your next adventure at the library!

Until then, happy travels!


Outside of North Bend
Going up 101, there are tons of trees!

Lake Marie
My dad taking a picture of the scenery.

Book Bucket List | The Giving Tree

One of the most well known and beloved children's authors is Shel Silverstein. Known for his amusing, and sometimes strange, drawings and rhymes, Silverstein has become a kingpin of children's literature. He wrote the classics Where the Sidewalk EndsRunny Babbit: a Billy Sook, and Falling Up

One of Silverstein's most famous books is The Giving Tree, first published in 1964.  The story follows a moving story of a boy's relationship with a tree, and how it changes over time.  The story starts when the boy is a small child and the tree was able to provide simple and innocent things to the boy to amuse and shelter him.  As the child grows however, his needs change and become more demanding of the tree, but the tree still tries to do everything it can to accommodate the child.  The story has many interpretations.  Some see the tree as a selfless parent, sacrificing their own needs in place of their child.  Others see the book as a warning of how far someone should go to help someone before their own needs start getting ignored and forgotten.

This is a great book for a reader of any age.  It leaves the reader with an ending that is both sweet and sad, but still open to debate.  Did the tree go to far, or did it's love for the boy trump any of the fallout of her choices?  Either way, it is a great story.  It is also short enough for anyone to read in one sitting! (What could be better than that?)

Let me know what your opinion on the story is in the comments!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


It was the last day of Fall Break for my 7 year old and she still had 7 pages of subtraction to finish.  SEVEN PAGES OF SUBTRACTION! Seven pages is the equivalent to a gazillion!  One page of subtraction comes with moans and groans.  Three pages come with whining, rolling around on the floor, and general comments about math being the "stupidest ever".  Getting her to complete seven pages of math was going to take every ounce of my patience. EVERY. OUNCE.

I decided the first thing necessary was to change the environment. Maybe she would be less likely to roll around on the floor if we were at a local restaurant? I didn't have any "second thing" planned. 

We headed to a local coffee house where I could get hyped up on caffeine and she could be treated to a cinnamon roll.  Yes, I bribed her with sweet, doughy goodness.  Anything to get her in a good mood and ready to bare down on SEVEN PAGES OF SUBTRACTION!

It worked.  Mostly.  I drank my sweet hazelnut latte and, low and behold, she worked on her math.  We took breaks now and then to people watch or make funny faces at each other, but then got right back into the meat of things until we were done.  Yes, she did still whine and moan, but it was minimal.  But the good news is, no, she didn't roll on the floor.  NOT. EVEN. ONCE.  It was great!  

After the last problem was answered (17 - 9 = 8 by the way) we packed up our stuff and decided to go do some Halloween shopping.  Which brings me to this weeks Disses and Kisses:

  • Subtraction. However, you can always bring your kiddos to the Library for tutoring - all ages!  Homework Helpers are at Troke for you!

  • Parenting Books at the Library! One of the latest books that has helped so many parents is "The Five Love Languages of Children" by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell.
  • Coffeehouses! And to the books that recognize the fun that can be had at your local cafe: "A Cup of Friendship" by Deborah Rodriguez
  • Cinnamon rolls! They are one of the oldest pastries and yet one of the best pastries ever.  Maybe on another Sunday, instead of subtraction, my daughter and I can make cinnamon rolls thanks to this book: "Teens Cook Dessert" by Megan Carle

Learning | Dem Bones

SSJCPL carries a children's magazine, Ask! : Arts and Sciences for Kids, which lends itself to lesson planning for teachers and parents.  Each issue has a particular theme; the October 2012 issue is called "Skeleton Stories." The contents range from an x-ray themed episode of their "Nestor's Dock" comic, to the difference between endo- and exoskeletons; seashells; how bones heal; the role of bones in archaeology; and even cultural significance, with the Mexican Dia de los Muertos.

Children in grades 4 through 8 will probably benefit most from this magazine, but some of these ideas may be adapted by thoughtful parents in lessons for younger children. There's a nice balance here, between scientific facts and artistic representation of these ideas. Children are encouraged to imagine what the skeletons of non-animal things would look like, if they had them. They can draw a picture of its skeleton, and submit it to ASK!  for possible publication, through their October Contest, "Skeletons in the Closet."

The themes of past issues of ASK! have included robots, electricity, numbers, wind and caves.  Any issue of the magazine will provide inspiration for exploring a subject from many sides; it's sure to inspire everybody from science buffs to budding artists and poets.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

City Librarian | Getting Social

It's no secret that the public library is about more than just books. I can't imagine the day would ever come when our primary offering is the printed word (or downloaded word, or word on CD, or word on get the idea) but the public library has always been about community as well. 

In many towns for many years, the library has been the one public place where people can come together to learn, share ideas, or simply be together in a comfortable, safe environment. That is still the case today as we have close to 2 million people come through the doors of SSJCPL locations every year!

But, as the Internet has become ubiquitous, as seen through the new variety of reading formats we now offer and by the number of our visitors who come to the library for free access to the Internet, the library as a community space has evolved, as well. 

 Today, even as we have visitors streaming through our doors every day of the week, we are building an ever growing online community of library lovers with whom we interact on a daily basis. Our "Let's Connect" online newsletter is published bi-monthly and is filled with news about all manner of goings-on at SSJCPL branches. You can subscribe to the newsletter and get it emailed to directly to you by using the subscribe link at the bottom of the newsletter.


We're also reaching out via our Facebook page where we are rapidly approaching 1,000 fans and on Twitter where we have over 200 followers. If you use either Facebook or Twitter on a regular basis, you'll love the conversations we have with our dedicated library fans.

And, if you aren't yet following SSJCPL on either of our social networking sites, we've got the books to help you learn how. Clicking on either of the book covers will take you right into the library catalog where you can check out these and other similar titles!


You can even watch the Oscar-winning film that tells the story behind the rise of Facebook from a Harvard dorm room to the largest social networking site in the world!

4 Kids | Spies, Detectives, and Plot-Maker

Hello kids! I love books that let your imagination run wild....that take you to faraway places....that introduce you to inspiring people.
But I also love books that let you have a little these! Play I Spy, pay attention to clues to solve a mystery, or choose how the plot will develop.
In Joan Steiner's Look-Alikes, the reader is invited to find over 1,000 look-alikes. The pictures in this book are of everyday objects used in unexpected ways. Play a little "I Spy" with a friend. "I spy some broccoli...." "I spy a pretzel...." Have some fun!

For you older readers who like to solve mysteries, try Great Quicksolve Whodunit Puzzles: Mini-Mysteries for You to Solve by Jim Sukach. Each chapter is a chance for you to help Dr. J.L. Quicksolve solve a crime. Pay attention to the clues and listen to the suspects. Be on the lookout for liars, tricksters and unlikely alibis. If you think you've solved a crime, check in the back of the book for the solution!
One of my all-time favorites is Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective by Donald Sobol. Encyclopedia's Dad is the chief of police who often turns to his young son for help in solving crimes. Like the Quicksolve books, the solutions are at the back of the book. But don't cheat! Try to solve each chapter first. And if you like this one as much as I do, you'll find a whole bunch of other Encyclopedia Brown books at a library near you!
My last book for you today is actually a series of books: Choose Your Own Adventure! In the book Blood on the Handle, Uncle Morgan vanishes, leaving behind a single clue: a jewelled dagger stabbed through the carpet of his study, coated in dripping blood. You, the reader, get to decide in what direction the story will go! These are so much fun! Seriously! Check them out! You'll find them at a library near you where the series books are shelved.
And if you can't find one of these books at your nearest library, ask staff to help you place a request!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Professor O | Something About Giant Robots: Patlabor, The Mobile Police

Target locked on!

Mecha: A science fiction genre, it usually centers around robots or machines.

Snikt! Snikt! The Professor has been diligently watching many of the great mecha themed anime titles located at the SSJCPL. I must say, fellow adventurer, it is imperative for one who considers themselves an "anime fan" to look into and borrow some of these wonderful titles your library has to offer.  In fact,   it behooves the fanboy.

Now, Professor O has built his share of big robots in his day, and he took many of his ideas from a wonderful anime entitled, Patlabor, The Mobile Police (2005, U.S. Manga Corps). If one is not familiar with the series, it follows the adventures of an elite police squad entrusted in keeping the peace when rogue robots or bad guys decide to have their way in the city, things like that.
An icon of anime: AV-98 "Ingram"
This series was originally released in 1990. The early 90's were great years for anime, the action is fast and the amount of detail in these cartoons show a great deal of craftsmanship. The scope of the stories rival that of Macross/Robotech or the Gundam series.

Patlabor is a must see for any discerning fan of anime. Professor O also liked,  Patlabor: The Movie. You can get that at the SSJCPL, both on DVD.

Until the next one, heroes. Fire up the mecha, and stay locked on!

Life & Style | The Sky Is Falling

The sky is falling, The sky is falling. At least that is how I feel right now. 

I am gonna be 40 very soon and I am scared. I think I should start my bucket list.

I figure, I have got another 40 years to implement these so I better get cracking.

Here is what I have got in my bucket list so far:

Save more money- I don't want to end up old and poor. That is a bad combo. I should read this book; " Money Class" by Suze Orman and hope for a miracle. 

Exercise more- I have to keep reminding myself that Library has plenty of workout books and DVDs. I would be a fool not to use them. How about this book for a start; " Beat the Gym".

Wear sunblock- and don't forget my hands and neck. 

Write a Will- This is a depressing but I have got to draft one.

Keep in touch with my family and friends more often.

Stop being so Jealous of everyone  - Repeat this after me. Stop being so jealous, stop being so Jealous. It hasn't sunk in yet. 

Start Smoking- Ha-ha- Just wanted to make sure you aren't asleep yet.

Anyway, this morning, I was really sad about approaching 40, so I went online and came across this article by Samantha Ettus called " What to know about turning 40" and after reading it, I felt much better.

So maybe, just maybe, the sky isn't falling after all.

Note to self: This too shall pass.

Signing off for the week- Panteha