Archive for January 30, 2008

Creative Writing Workshop

We are especially lucky to have Beckie Weinheimer, author of the teen book Converting Kate, presenting a program on Creative Writing.
BeckieWeinheimer.jpg ConvertingKate Monday, February 4, 2008
7-8:30 PM
Participants will write the beginnings of a short story, essay or poem, that evokes strong emotion.
TEENS can register in person at the Reference Desk or TeenSpace or by e-mail (syoteens@syossetpubliclibrary.org) or phone (921-7161 ext. 242).

Annotation-Converting Kate
Kate was raised in the Holy Divine Church—it influenced everything from her homeschooling to her handmade clothes. But ever since her unbelieving father’s death last year, she has suspected that there’s more to life than memorizing scripture.
Taking advantage of their move to a new town, Kate—to her devout mother’s horror—quits Holy Divine, joins the cross-country team, wears shorts to public school, and even tries a traditional Christian church. As she struggles to come to terms with her father’s death and her mother’s unquestioning beliefs, Kate discovers there’s a big difference between religion and faith—and that the two don’t always go hand in hand.
Ed Goldberg
Teen Services Librarian

Books by Gordon Korman

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that Gordon Korman is one of my favorite authors. His books are humorous and his Born to Rock was on My Favorite Books of 2006 list. His most recent book, Schooled, was fun to read. So, here are a few of his books, for your reading pleasure.
SchooledBornToRockSonOfTheMobNoMoreDeadDogsKidnapped
Schooled
Cap (actual name is Capricorn) was raised by his grandmother, Rain, on a commune inhabited only by them. His contact with the outside world was minimal. When Rain breaks her hip in a fall from a ladder, Cap is forced to live with his social worker (and former child commune member) and her unfriendly daughter and attend public middle school. He has extremely long hair, wears sandals and is clueless and becomes the butt of jokes. The question is: will he ever be taken seriously? Chapters are in the first person and alternate among Cap and some of his classmates–tormenters and friends. I think you’ll enjoy Schooled.
Born to Rock
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.
Son of the Mob and Son of the Mob: Hollywood Hustle
Seventeen-year-old Vince’s life is constantly complicated by the fact that he is the son of a powerful Mafia boss, a relationship that threatens to destroy his romance with the daughter of the FBI agent investigating his father.
Kidnapped (the series: The Abduction, The Search, The Rescue)
As Aiden and his sister Meg are walking home from school one day, a van pulls over and Meg is kidnapped. There’s no way for Aiden to stop it from happening. He’s the only witness to his sister’s disappearance. Why has Meg been kidnapped? Is it for ransom? As a vendetta against Meg and Aiden’s parents? Or is there an even bigger conspiracy at work? While Meg fends off her kidnappers and plans an escape, Aiden must team up with the FBI to try to find her–tracking down clues only a brother could recognize.
Ed Goldberg
Teen Services Librarian

Gilmore Girls Night

A Night Of Gilmore Girls
Life’s Short Talk Fast

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Join us for a night of “The Gilmore Girls”. Discuss and Enjoy Memorable Episodes with other Fans.
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Dress up or Dress Down for a night in Stars Hollow.
Monday, January 28, 2008 • 7 – 9 PM • Free • Refreshments.
Registration begins Monday, January 7 for SSD residents; all others January 14.
Register at TeenSpace or the Reference Desk.
I hope to see you at Gilmore Girls Night.
Ed Goldberg
Teen Services Librarian

American Library Association Announces Literary Award Winners

On January 14, the American Library Association announced the top books for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, King, Newbery, Schneider Family and Printz awards.
The following is a list of all ALA Teen Awards for 2008:
John Newbery Medal (for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature):
Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz, is the 2008 Newbery Medal winner.
Three Newbery Honor Books were named:
Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis
The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson.
Michael L. Printz Award (for excellence in literature written for young adults):
The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean is the 2008 Printz Award winner.
Four Printz Honor Books were named:
Dreamquake: Book Two of the Dreamhunter Duet by Elizabeth Knox
One Whole and Perfect Day by Judith Clarke
Repossessed by A. M. Jenkins
Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath by Stephanie Hemphill.
Coretta Scott King Book Award (recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults):
Elijah of Buxton written by Christopher Paul Curtis, is the King Author Book winner.
Two King Honor Books were selected:
November Blues by Sharon M. Draper
Twelve Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali by Charles R. Smith Jr., illustrated by Bryan Collier
Schneider Family Book Award (for books that embody the artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences):
Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby is the winner in the teen category.
Alex Awards (for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences):
American Shaolin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch: An Odyssey in the New China by Matthew Polly
Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff
Essex County Volume 1: Tales from the Farm by Jeff Lemire
Genghis: Birth of an Empire by Conn Iggulden
The God of Animals by Aryn Kyle
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
The Night Birds by Thomas Maltman
The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz.
An annotated booklist will be available in TeenSpace soon.
Ed Goldberg
Teen Services Librarian

Interview with Maureen Johnson, author of Devilish and the Bermudez Triangle

BEST OF 2007 AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Maureen Johnson
(source: Trashionista Blog: (http://www.trashionista.com/2008/01/best-of-2007-au.html)
Sarah chose Maureen Johnson’s Devilish as one of her favourite reads of last year and I loved The Bermudez Triangle, so we had to get her to answer our questions, didn’t we. And she did. In her own inimitable fashion…
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Please describe your latest book in 15 words or fewer:
That would be Suite Scarlett, which comes out in May.
1 broke NYC hotel,
4 siblings,
2 boys on unicycles,
1 perma-guest,
15 actors,
1 ex-ferret,
1 con,
1 theft
1 suite,
and Scarlett
(Numbers don’t count, obviously!)
(Neither do things in parenthesis.)
Where do you like to write your books (in bed, a coffee shop, an office)?
Either at my desk or at a coffee shop with other writers. Never in bed. I think it is my fake Catholic upbringing that prevents me from reclining while working. But since I’m only fake Catholic, I’m okay with slumping.
Your favourite chick-lit book?
Persuasion, by Jane Austen.
Your favourite female heroine (if different from above!), and why?
Mame Dennis. No question.
What tips would you give to any of our readers who want to become writers?
I think with writing, you more or less teach yourself. The first is to read a lot. The second is to write a lot. Even in big, fancy writing programs . . . this is all you really do. After that, the advice gets a little looser. Expect (and delight in!) criticism. Keep learning. Wear a fabulous scarf or hat. Keep pet bees or raccoons or something similar to scare the neighbors. Violate at least one little-known local ordinance a day. Bamboozle, generally. Be nice to your editor and your editor’s assistant.
I know these are common pieces of advice, but they are worth repeating.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m just about to start Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey, because everyone tells me it’s amazing. And I believe what I’m told.
What are you working on now? (If you can give us a hint!)
I can give you more than a hint! I’m working on the second Scarlett book. Writing a sequel is GREAT. Aside from my overall ideas on how the series would go, I accidentally wrote seventy pages of notes (really–I have no idea how that happened) for the future books as I worked on Suite Scarlett. Now I can just go on and on and on.
Since you haven’t read the first book, though . . . there isn’t a lot of point in me giving hints about what happens in this one. Which is annoying.
Do you have a theme song?
YES. But it changes all the time. Today’s is “National Express” by The Divine Comedy.
What question have you never been asked in an interview, but think you should have been? (Tell us the question and answer it too, if you like!)
Can you explain the circumstances of your most recent arrest?
Thanks, Maureen!
Ed Goldberg
Teen Services Librarian

Percy Jackson & the Olympians News

Hi everyone,
Just some Percy Jackson news obtained from Rick Riordan’s website: www.rickriordan.com:
1. As you know, the fourth book in the Percy Jackson series, The Battle of the Labyrinth, is due out on May 6, 2008. Good news!
2. Fox is planning on making The Lightning Thief into a movie. A second script has been turned in. Great news!
3. There are plans to publish The Lightning Thief as a graphic novel, some time in 2009. Fun news!
4. And finally, if you don’t know what to read while waiting for The Battle of the Labyrinth to be published, here are Rick Riordan’s suggestions:
Rick’s Reading Recommendations
I frequently get asked to recommend other books for kids to read while waiting for the next Percy Jackson. Below are some ideas. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but these all are books that I have enjoyed, and that have been “vetted” by my sons, who are reluctant readers, or other young readers I’ve worked with. The grade levels are simply my own rough estimates. They are not set in stone.
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The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins. The first in the series is Gregor the Overlander. A boy falls into a fantastical world under New York. For grades 4th-6th, roughly. My son devoured these.
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke. My favorite by this author. It’s a fast-paced read with a great premise and interesting characters. Grades 4th-7th.
The Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz. A teen thriller series very much like James Bond. Good action and no-nonsense prose. Grades 6th-8th.
Airborn and Skybreaker by Kenneth Oppel. Adventure novels in the tradition of Treasure Island and Jules Verne, but with a modern sense of storytelling. These take place in a world where airplanes were never invented, and dirigible airships rule the skies. Grades 6th-8th. Again, my son Haley ate these up. (I loved these books. Ed)
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. Lots of fantasy and humor, perfect for middle grade sensibilities. Grades 4th-7th.
Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy. A funny fantasy/mystery featuring a detective who just happens to be a fire-throwing skeleton. Grades 4th-7th. I don’t “blurb” many books, but this one I recommend without hesitation.
The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud. The first title is The Amulet of Samarkand. A more challenging series, but brilliant stuff. A young London magician summons an ancient djinn to help him with his problems. Grades 6th-8th. (This is an amazing series. Ed)
Everlost, Downsiders, Dark Fusion series by Neal Shusterman. My son loves these books — all great adventures, very accessible. Grades 6th-8th.
And for mythology:
Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths by Bernard Evslin. Much better storytelling than D’Aulaires, in my opinion.
The Usborne Illustrated Guide to Greek Myths and Legends by Cheryl Evans. A little hard to find, but very accessible, with high-interest illustrations.
And when in doubt, always ask your local librarian (I added the underlline. Ed) or independent bookseller. They are a wealth of information when it comes to kids’ books!
I hope you find this interesting.
Ed Goldberg
Teen Services Librarian

Kayla Chronicles

I just finished The Kayla Chronicles by Sherri Winston and if you like Dance Team/friendship novels, then this is for you.
KaylaChronicles
Kayla and her friend, Rosalie, are fifteen and entering high school. They want to be role models for young girls. Rosalie convinces Kayla to try out for the Lady Lions, the renowned Royal Palm Academy high school dance team. The idea being when Kayla is rejected because she “doesn’t fit the Lady Lion image” (rather than on her dancing ability), the girls could write a scathing expose for the school paper. Well, Kayla does get accepted, thereby straining her friendship with Rosalie and causing her to re-evaluate who she is, who she wants to be and her relationship with her family.
This book is good fun.

IWasANonBlondeCheerleader
If you want more Cheerleader/friendship novels, try the Non-Blonde Cheerleader series by Kieran Scott; I Was a Non-Blonde Cheerleader, Brunettes Strike Back and A Non-Blonde Cheerleader in Love.

Ed Goldberg,
Teen Services Librarian

Cirque du Freak — the Movie

CirqueDuFreakl.JPG Hayek joins Reilly in Weitz’s ‘Freak’
Actress to play bearded lady in Universal film

by Tatiana Siegel
Salma Hayek is joining a freak show. The actress has signed on to star opposite John C. Reilly in Universal Pictures’ horror drama Cirque du Freak, which will mark her first acting role since her maternity leave.
Production begins next month….Reilly will play a vampire who drafts a 14-year-old to serve as his assistant. The youth is turned into a half-vampire and becomes the catalyst in a battle between vampires and the rival Vampanese. Hayek will play Madame Truska, the bearded lady.
(from Variety Magazine)
I’m excited about the prospect of a Cirque du Freak movie.
Ed Goldberg
Teen Services Librarian

Books to Begin the Year With – #2

Here’s the second installment of books to begin the year with. This time the author is Jordan Sonnenblick. Look for my Top 10 books of 2007, coming soon.
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Zen and the Art of Faking It
Fourteen-year-old San, an ethnic Chinese adopted by an Anglo-American couple as an infant, is as culturally American as apple pie, but he reinvents himself as a mysterious Zen Buddhist when “the thing” with his dad gets “ugly,” and he and his mom leave Houston for a new life in Pennsylvania. San elects the exotic identity partly to spite his father, who extolled blending in, but also to impress his new classmates, especially a pretty girl clearly attracted to his aesthetic persona. And just when he thinks everyone (including the cute girl he can’t stop thinking about) is on to him, everyone believes him . . . in a major Zen way.
Notes From a Midnight Driver
Having seriously messed himself up by getting drunk and decapitating a garden gnome with his mom’s car, sixteen-year-old Alex is assigned to a nursing home for his community service sentence: one hundred hours with Sol Lewis, the crankiest, most unapproachable member of the old folks’ community. At first, Alex balks about being assigned to such a cranky and seemingly obnoxious person, but soon he discovers the man’s secret past, the true meaning of friendship, and what is really important in life.
Sonnenblick has a knack for injecting humor in discussions about life. Readers enjoy a great story that will start them thinking. Let me know what you think of these books.
Ed Goldberg
Teen Services Librarian

Books to Begin the Year With – #1

Here are some books to begin the year with by E. Lockhart:
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by e. lockhart
Dramarama-for all of you theater folks (and non-theater folks). Demi, aka Douglas Howard, is black, gay and theatrical. He lives ‘under’ the radar at school so he won’t be picked on. Sadye, Sarah Paulson, is a dancer. She knows every song from every Broadway show. Outcasts, both, they become inseparable once they meet at auditions for the Wildewood Academy for the Performing Arts Summer Theater Institute. They get accepted and attend together, ready to conquer the theatrical world. Demi has star power, but Sadye finds the going rough. Dramarama portrays the world of performing arts camps vividly, the applause and the heartbreak, the fun and torture of continuous rehearsals. This is a must for anyone who has been to theater camp, joined school theatrical productions or just loves theater.
Fly On the Wall-At the Manhattan School for Art and Music, where everyone is “different” and everyone is “special,” Gretchen Yee feels ordinary. She’s the kind of girl who sits alone at lunch, drawing pictures of Spider-Man, so she won’t have to talk to anyone; who has a crush on Titus but won’t do anything about it; who has no one to hang out with when her best (and only real) friend Katya is busy. One day, Gretchen wishes that she could be a fly on the wall in the boys’ locker room–just to learn more about guys. What are they really like? What do they really talk about? Are they really cretins most of the time? See what happens when she gets her wish.
The Boyfriend List-Siegfried makes a believable 15-year-old narrator as she slips into the role of Ruby Oliver, a spirited girl struggling with identity and self-esteem after suffering the kind of social crisis that sets high schoolers reeling. Ruby’s boyfriend of six months, Jackson, has dumped her in favor of her best friend, Kim. Ruby’s resulting panic attacks land her in the office of a shrink, Dr. Z, and part of her therapy involves writing a complete list of the boys with whom she’s ever had a crush, kiss, relationship or “little any-kind-of-anything.”
I think E. Lockhart is an author who understands teens and how they think, act and feel. I hope you enjoy these books.
Ed Goldberg
Teen Services Librarian