Saturday, December 8, 2012

Teens Only | Imagine

Have you ever felt totally transported while listening to the lyrics of a song? That's what happens to me whenever I hear John Lennon's "Imagine," especially these lines:

Photo courtesy of
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world...

So I was walking through the teen section at the Cesar Chavez Central Library, and came across this book: It's Our World, Too!: Young People Who Are Making a Difference: How They Do It -- How YOU Can, Too! In this book, author Phillip Hoose writes about his interviews of several young people ages 8 to 17 who took steps to change the world for the better. Their reason? It's our world, too! Although the young people came from a wide variety of backgrounds and places, they all cared about others. They weren't afraid to take risks. And they didn't give up easily. And here's something really cool that all the young people had in common: they believed they had power now, even though they couldn't vote yet and still lived under someone else's roof.

I know, I know...I'm sounding a little preachy. Apologies. But think about it. Think of the power that YOU have. 

Hoose's book is only on the shelves at the Chavez Library, but it's so worth placing a request on and reading it! If you're not sure about placing a request, ask a staff person to help you. I think you'll be glad you did. 

In the meantime, have you heard about the website Free Rice? It's an online vocabulary game. For every answer you get right, Free Rice donates 10 grains of rice through the World Food Programme to help end hunger.
Just something to do while you're on your computer. Thank you.

So I started this rambling blog with John Lennon's lyrics. Pretty powerful. 

And by the way, today, December 8th, marks 32 years since John Lennon was killed. 
Flickr: Taurus Photographix

Books On Film | A Christmas Carol

How many of these actors have played Scrooge?
[Answer at bottom of the post]

1. Jim Carrey
2. Kelsey Grammer
3. Vanessa Williams
4. Tim Curry
5. Walter Matthau

*   *   *

Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol is a Christmas classic. It was originally published in 1843. It's the story of Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge's discovery of the meaning of Christmas with help from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future.

The book has been adapted into film many, many times. According to IMDB, there have been at least 140 film adaptations of A Christmas Carol. The first known adaptation was a short film called Scrooge made in 1901. In addition to the films, there have been multiple radio and stage performances of the book since the first CBS radio production premiered in 1934.

The most frequently watched version of A Christmas Carol is probably 1951 adaptation, starring Alastair Sim. It is frequently played on television during the Christmas season.

There have also been many kid-friendlier adaptions, including A Sesame Street Christmas Carol, Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure, and more. 

Answer: All of them!

Sources: IMDB/Wikipedia
Covers courtesy of LibraryThing 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Food, Food, Food | Friday Night Fun

So it's a fun Friday night in Stockton.  I am taking a fellow librarian out to dinner for her birthday.  I asked her where she wants to go and she announced that we will be going to "our place" which translates to Centrale.  Centrale just changed menus for the winter and I am so excited to get a gander at it.  If you haven't had a chance to go there, go there.  I am pretty loyal to the Miracle Mile and eating at locally owned restaurants.

Speaking of which, I noticed that The Ave (also on the Miracle Mile) is having an 80's event tonight.  They encourage you to dress for that decade.  I remember that decade all too well since I was in high school and college then.  I had a bad perm (more than once) and did indeed do the Jane Fonda workout.  (That may have been the last decade that I did regular exercise.) 

Here are some fun books that you might enjoy reading about the 1980's

Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Pat Benatar

Getting the Pretty Back: Friendship, Family and Finding the Perfect Lipstick by Molly Ringwald

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Wanderlust Librarian | Dear 16 year old Rena....

Reading Dear Me: Letters to My 16 Year Old Self  gave me the confidence to write a letter to my 16 year old self. I'd like to share that letter with you. Enjoy. 

Dear Me, 

I found the diaries you wrote in when you were 11 or 12 and almost all of the things were about travel. I am now in my 30s (GASP). Don't worry, we still look pretty young! :D

I know that you've failed your driver's test twice and you're very sad about (possibly) not ever driving or going anywhere, but don't worry, you'll get a license (third time's a charm!). You'll be the happiest, safest, and slowest driver around! You'll drive everywhere and love every minute of it. 

My greatest advice to you: travel more. 
Travel alone, travel with others...just go. 

  • Learn some foreign languages and some history about the places you're going. 
  • Being polite goes a long way. You may not know how to speak Chinese but a smile is international goodwill. 
  • Read books. LOTS of books! You'll learn a lot about culture and social norms. The information will come in handy at some point in your life. 
  • When you travel with people, find time for yourself. Sometimes you'll want to see something or do an activity that nobody else is interested in. Do it. If you don't, you'll regret not going or doing. You're worth the time. 
  • Just because you're friends with someone, doesn't mean they'll be a good travel companion. Take a short trip to see what they're like. A person's true personality comes out when they're far from home. 
  • Save. Save. Save for travel. You never know when a good deal will come up. 
  • Read travel guides by Rick Steves . The man knows his travel.
  • Don't be afraid of your interests. You are unique and not everyone is going to like visiting cemeteries. 
  • Relax. Your life is awesome. It's full of ups and downs and rivers of tears at times...but they make you who you will become. 
I'll write some more later. After all,  I write a lot and there's a lot I still want to tell you. 

Take care of yourself, 

Love, Me. 

Book Bucket List | James Bond

So the latest James Bond film, Skyfall, is out.  Everyone is telling me it is the best Bond film in years, and that I really, really need to go and see it.  I probably will go soon, but before I do I will probably go pick up one of Ian Fleming's books that were the inspiration for all of the Bond movies.

Before writing the Bond series, Fleming was a British intelligence officer in World War II.  He was involved in planning military operations and creating intelligence units.  So once the war had ended, and he began writing, he definitely knew what he was talking about.  Fleming wrote eleven novels with James Bond as the central character, which would become one of the most popular fiction series in history.

Fleming's first novel, Casino Royale, was first published in 1953 and became a major success.  It begins as Bond is assigned to take down the paymaster of the Communist group, SMERSH, and is sent to play in a fifty million dollar game of baccarat.  This novel has all of the action and intrigue the Bond novels and films are known for and started the Bond craze.

In 2006, Casino Royale was made into a film with Daniel Craig as James Bond.  This was the highest grossing Bond film to date, even though the most recent installment, Skyfall, just surpassed it.  So check out the trailers below.  The first is for Casino Royale, which you can check out from our libraries, and the second is for Skyfall.

Casino Royale Trailer:

Skyfall Trailer:

Ian Fleming's novels have been on my list a long time, and I am finally going to pick one up.  (Though I will probably go see the new movie before I finish it!)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Learning | What Would You Like to Say to Your Teacher?

I was surprised to see that Tony Danza wrote a book about teaching.  I remember him best for his character on the 70s television show, "Taxi"; I remember he played a sort of nanny on "Who's the Boss" after that.  I picked up I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had recently, because I thought the title was funny. I was surprised to learn that he had another show in 2010 called "Teach." It was a reality show, following Danza's experience as a brand new teacher at an urban high school in Pennsylvania.  This book is Danza's recollection of that year of teaching.  

Yesterday, a customer recalled her middle school Home Economics teacher, as she was checking out a book on knitting and crocheting. That teacher taught her how to crochet, when she was not necessarily interested in learning about it. "I was a tomboy!" she laughed. But she continued crocheting, and went on to make countless afghans and other beautiful items, many for charity.  "I wonder what she would think!"

Speaking of knitting and crocheting, the Troke Library has a Sew Knotty program,    on the third Wednesday of every month.  Bring your needlework to the library, to work in the company of others -- maybe you'll teach another person some tips, or learn a new skill.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Professor O | Scientific-y Comic Book Goodness!

A most belated , but excited hello, fellow fans of the graphic novel! 

Professor O has been touring space/time, here/there, back/forth and all points in between on my journey to bring you, the comic book reader, the best reads the SSJCPL has to offer. In this installment, I have a special treat: Graphic Novels about science and scientists.

The first GN we will be looking at is Evolution: The Story of Life On Earth by Jay Hosler with art by the wonderful duo of Kevin Cannon and Zander Cannon.  This graphic novel is a short, surprisingly concise look at evolution for those who normally shy away from such scientific reading. Lots of information here, a student of Professor O remarked that they understood more from this comic book than any course on evolution ever taught them! Now that is a comic book that transcends the genre! Of course, Professor O approves of learning in any capacity!

A good read for those without a time machine.

One more science themed graphic novel that Professor O really enjoyed is, Two-Fisted Science: Stories About Scientists by Jim Ottaviani (SSJCPL doesn't carry this title BUT you can request this title through an outside library with Link Plus....ask a librarian!). This graphic novel covers stories of male and female scientists and their important discoveries/contributions to science. The author did not see time travel as "science" leaving Professor O's name out of the list of lives covered in the comic. But a great graphic novels nevertheless!

There you have it, fellow adventurers. Two titles with nary a superhero in them! Two titles that (GASP) teach! Do not fear these, embrace these. Read them and see how easily it is to learn something new when it is presented in a graphic, exciting, and readable form! Science most definitely rocks! 

Until next time, adventurers, continue learning!
It is like a get-together with all of Professor O's BFFs!        


4 Kids | My Holiday Wish List

Hello readers! With the holiday season officially upon us, I thought I better get to writing my holiday wish list. Have you made yours yet?

1. Tollbooth

A tollbooth you ask? What in the world for? I want a tollbooth just like Milo's in The Phantom Tollbooth through which I can embark on a really cool adventure. (If you haven't read this book yet, you really must. It's very cool!) It's the story of the always bored Milo who comes home one day to find a large toy tollbooth sitting in his room. Along with a watchdog named Tock, Milo drives through the tollbooth into a world of adventure. I don't want to give anything away, because I think you'll really enjoy this! 

2. One Ring

You know where I'm going with this, don't you? That's right. I want the One Ring just like in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit! Here's a little history for you: The One Ring was created by the Dark Lord Sauron during the Second Age in order to gain dominion over the free peoples of Middle-earth. The Ring seemed simply to be made of gold, but was impervious to damage. A person wearing the Ring was mostly invisible to ordinary beings. How cool would it be to be invisible?  Don't forget that the movie comes out on December 14! 

3. Key

A key? Yes, a key. Actually, a certain key. I'd like a key just like the one in The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone, because this key allows you to shrink so small that you can enter the Thorne Rooms, 68 exquisite miniature rooms that were built in the 1930's and are housed in the Children's Galleries of the Chicago Art Institute. It's like a really big dollhouse, or doll neighborhood. Of course the key isn't real, but the Thorne Rooms are! This is a great book; if you haven't read it, read it now!

As always, look for these great books at any SSJCPL branch library near you. And if you don't find what you're looking for, ask a staff person to help you place a request! 

So what's on your holiday wish list? But more importantly, what are you reading? Leave a comment below about what you are currently reading. I want to hear from you!!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Life & Style | My Favorite Job


What was your dream job when you were a kid?

A police officer, a doctor, a CIA agent?

My daughter asked me this question the other day.

My answer was simple:

A bookstore owner.

So working in a library is a pretty good alternative.

Growing up, one of my favorite things to do was to walk about 30 minutes to our local bookstore to buy books. The owner was this old gentleman who was always reading. I wanted his job. 

To be exact, I wanted his job and his bookstore.

When I started working in a library, my parents weren't thrilled. They wanted me to work in the medical field.  

What were they thinking? I faint when I see too much blood and I am terrible at Chemistry.  

Anyway, did I tell you what my daughter wants to be?

A Chef.

Are we all in the business of disappointing our parents? I wonder sometimes!

I am hoping that my daughter changes her mind before she turns 18.

At least, we will always have one thing in common. We both love to read. 

So maybe, just maybe when I am retired, my daughter is going to bake me the most delicious cake while I read to her aloud in our kitchen.

One can only hope. 

By the way, if someone you know is looking for career or scholarship info, send her/him to your local library to help her/him make wise career choices. 

These are just a few examples of these resources: 

Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance

Peterson's scholarships, grants & prizes 2013 

Scholarship catalog ( Stockton Unified School District)

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha