Archive for February 27, 2007

Teen Advisory Board Meeting

There will be a meeting of the Syosset Public Library Teen Advisory Board on Monday, March 5 at 7 PM in the downstairs meeting rooms. Everyone is invited. Bring a friend. We’ll talk about possible library programs and anything else you want to talk about–library related, of course.
I look forward to seeing you all on Monday.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

The Invention of Hugo Cabret written and illustrated by Brian Selznick
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What a great book!!!! The perfect, and I mean perfect, combination of illustrations and words. The story revolves around 12-year-old Hugo and his efforts to fix an old automaton that his father found. (automaton: A machine or robot that is programmed to perform specific actions in a human-like manner, used primarily as a toy.) This automaton is seated at a desk, pen in hand as if ready to deliver a message; a message that Hugo thinks will save his life. The story opens in a Paris train station in 1931 as Hugo is running to his hiding place. An orphan, he maintains the clocks in the train station for his uncle who disappeared. He steals mechanical toys to use as parts for the automaton. When the toymaker catches him, a series of events unfolds that sheds light on the toymaker and his goddaughter, Hugo, his father and uncle and early movie makers and magicians. I have no doubt this will be in my top 10 for 2007. A must read!!!!!!

Babysitting Workshop

The Syosset Public Library will be sponsoring a babysitting workshop on Monday, March 19, from 7 – 9 PM. We will be bringing back Joanne Tanck and Georgette Basso, two registered nurses, to teach you the essentials of caring for a baby while you are babysitting. Registration for Syosset School District residents will begin on February 26, 2007 in TeenSpace, our new teen room. So, come in, call (921-7161 ext. 242) or e-mail (syoteens@syossetpubliclibrary.org) to register. And don’t forget–you need to bring a doll with you to learn the art of diapering. See you at the workshop.

My Favorite Books of 2006 – A Baker’s Dozen

There have been lots of books published in 2006, some good and some not so good. Here are my baker’s dozen list of favorites. I hope you like them.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
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This is, by far, my favorite book of the year. Narrated by Death, this is the story of a young German girl, Liesel, during World War II. Liesel is enamored by books, stealing them when the opportunity arises. But she is also attached to the Jewish man that her accordian playing father is hiding in their basement. The two form a strong bond as they tell each other stories, draw on the basement wall and try to live while death surrounds them. The book is much better than any annotation I can write to describe it. Give it a try. (It is a Printz Award honorable mention book.)
Incantation by Alice Hoffman
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Estrella, whose secret name is Esther, is a converso, a Jew during the Spanish Inquisition living outwardly as a Catholic but practicing the Jewish faith in secret. When her next door neighbor and best friend learns that the man she hopes to marry is in love with Estrella, she ‘outs’ Estrella’s family. Estrella must now confront a world she’s never imagined for herself, only seen from afar, in which Jews are tortured and their possessions confiscated. She also encounters the love of a boy who will stay with her despite the danger. Incantation is a lyrically written book that I could not put down.
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
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Margaret Lea, the daughter of a rare-books dealer, lives a quiet life helping her father and occasionally writing short pieces on obscure literary figures. She is summoned by the famously mysterious writer Vida Winter, who proposes that Margaret be her biographer. Flattered, Margaret agrees, enticed by the writer’s desire to lay bare the truth of her past. But as Margaret churns up the ghosts of Miss Winter’s past, she will end up confronting her own ghosts as well. A gothic tale of the highest caliber, The Thirteenth Tale will draw you in and keep you going until the very end. A must for any fan of the gothic genre.
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
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So you’re a guy at a band show and your ex, the girl who dumped you, walks in with the new guy. Looking for a safe exit, you ask the girl sitting next to you to be your girlfriend for five minutes…. You’re a girl at a get-together and your least favorite female strolls in. The stranger sitting next to you asks you to be his five-minute date. So what do you? You lock lips…. Nick and Norah’s instant connection begins a roller-coaster “first date” that takes them through Manhattan and into themselves. A novel concept that works and a totally fun read.
The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga
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Fanboy has never had it good, but his sophomore year is turning out to be its own special hell. The bullies have made him their favorite target, his best (and only) friend seems headed for the dark side (sports and popularity), and his pregnant mother and the step-fascist (his step father) are eagerly awaiting the birth of the alien life form known as Fanboy’s new little brother or sister. Fanboy, though, has a secret: a graphic novel he’s been working on without telling anyone. When Fanboy meets Kyra, a.k.a. Goth Girl, he finds an outrageous, cynical girl who shares his love of comics as well as his hatred for jocks and bullies. Fanboy can’t resist someone who actually seems to understand him and soon he finds himself willing to heed her advice-to ignore or crush anyone who stands in his way.
Born to Rock by Gordon Korman
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Leo – president of the Young Republicans club, 4.0 GPA, future Harvard student – has his entire future perfectly planned out. That is, until the X factor. As in Marion X. McMurphy, aka King Maggot, the lead singer of Purge, the most popular, most destructive band punk rock has ever seen. As in the biological father Leo never knew. A great read.
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
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Last year, Annabel was the girl who has everything. This year, she’s the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong. Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen’s help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends. As a Sarah Dessen fan, I loved the book. Her best. Give it a read. (Do you recognize references to her previous books?)
Notes from a Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick
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Alex decides to get even. His parents are separated, his father is dating his former third-grade teacher, and being 16 isn’t easy, especially when it comes to girls. Instead of revenge though, Alex ends up in trouble with the law and is ordered to do community service at a senior center where he is assigned to Solomon Lewis, a “difficult” senior with a lot of gusto, advice for Alex, and a puzzling (yet colorful) Yiddish vocabulary. Eventually, the pair learn to deal with their past and each other in ways that are humorous, entertaining, and life changing.
Ptolemy’s Gate by Jonathan Stroud
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In this final volume of the Bartimaeus trilogy, three years have passed since the magician Nathaniel helped prevent a cataclysmic attack on London. Now an established member of the British Government, he faces unprecedented local and foreign problems. Nathaniel is treating Bartimaeus worse than ever and the djinni is growing weak and vulnerable from too much time in this world. Nathaniel’s longtime rival Kitty has been completing her research on magic, demons, and Bartimaeus’s past. She has a daring plan to break the endless cycle of conflict between djinn and humans. But will anyone listen to what she has to say? A great ending to a great trilogy.
Under the Baseball Moon by John H. Ritter
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Andy, a free-style skateboarding trumpeter, has dreams as big as a baseball moon. Born into a family of musicians, Andy wants to take his unique fusion of Latin jazz, rock, and hip-hop straight to the top. But when he crosses paths with Glory, a softball pitcher who has Olympian dreams of her own, the mysterious fusion of their athletic and musical skills changes everything. Or is that due to the elegant, but eerie man in black? A great fusion of sports and music.
A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life by Dana Reinhardt
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Simone’s starting her junior year in high school. Her mom’s a lawyer for the ACLU, her dad’s a political cartoonist. She’s got a terrific younger brother and amazing friends. And she’s got a secret crush on a really smart and funny guy–who spends all of his time with another girl. Then her birth mother contacts her. Simone’s always known she was adopted, but she never wanted to know anything about her. She’s happy with her family just as it is, thank you. Why has she contacted Simone? Why now? A must read.
Dairy Queen by Catherin Gilbert Murdock
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D. J. Schwenk is a football-loving 15-year-old who takes over the chores on her family’s small Wisconsin dairy farm when her dad is sidelined by an injury. Like the rest of the tongue-tied Schwenks, D.J. is not much of a talker. Then she meets Brian, a snooty quarterback from a rival team who she agreed to train, and she finally learns who she is and what she wants. A unique look at girls who like ‘guy’ sports.
In the Belly of the Bloodhound: Being an Account of a Particularly Peculiar Adventure in the life of Jacky Faber by L.A. Meyer
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In this fourth installment of Jacky Faber’s adventures, the British crown has placed a price on thirteen-year-old Jacky’s head, so she returns to the Lawson Peabody School for Young Girls in Boston to lay low. But laying low isn’t in the cards for a spunky lass who finds trouble even when she’s not looking for it. A school outing goes awry as Jacky and her classmates are abducted and forced into the hold of the Bloodhound, a ship bound for the slave markets on the Barbary Coast. All of Jacky’s ingenuity, determination, and plain old good luck will be put to the test as she rallies her classmates to fight together to avoid being sold on the auction block.

Joan Lowery Nixon Writing Contest

Many of you have read great mystery books written by Joan Lowery Nixon (Laugh Till You Cry, Nightmare, The Trap). The Mystery Writers of America is sponsoring the Joan Lowery Nixon Mystery Writing Contest, open to 6th – 10th graders. Rules for the contest can be located at http://www.mysterywriters.org/pages/news/nixon.htm. Entries of between 250 and 1,000 words must be submitted (by e-mail) by February 28 and must be submitted by your teacher (one story per teacher). So, let me know if you enter and let me know if you win. Good luck to all.

The 3 Apples Book Award – 2007

The 3 Apples Book Award is New York State’s Children’s Choice award where you vote for your favorite book. This past year year, voting was limited to children up to age 13. However, this year there will be a new Teen Choice Award. Voting will occur during the month of March. So, watch for details on the blog or come to TeenSpace. I’ll keep you posted.
By the way, this year’s Children’s Choice Award went to the wonderful book Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White and illustrated by Garth Williams.
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Teen Advisory Board

The Syosset Public Library’s Teen Advisory Board is re-forming. The first meeting will be on Monday, February 12, 2007 from 7 – 9 PM. The TAB is the forum for your input into teen life at the library. You can help decide things that effect you at the library such as what books or magazines we have in the collection, what’s on the TeenSpace website, what programs we sponsor. Our meetings are informal and fun. We serve refreshments. So join us. Bring a friend. Be a part of your library.

Let Me Introduce Myself

My name is Ed Goldberg and I am the Syosset Public Library Teen Services Librarian. You can find me in TeenSpace, our new teen room on the third floor (just past the Reference Desk) of our new library. I’m available to help you find just the right book, assist with materials for homework assignments, or just to chat. So, drop in the next time you’re in the library and introduce yourself. I look forward to seeing you all.

Welcome to the Syosset Public Library TeenSpace Blog

Welcome to the newly created Syosset Public Library TeenSpace Blog. This blog will be a continually updated source of information for you. It will contain information about library programs, books, homework help, and much more. So, make checking the blog part of your daily routine. And of course I want to hear from you. Please feel free to post a comment on the blog, come into the library to talk to me or e-mail me at syoteens@syossetpubliclibrary.org.
Ed Goldberg
Teen Services Librarian