Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hey all of you Anime guys and gals! It’s the time of the year for cheer!  Christmas is coming, and Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, and Boxing Day (that’s the day after Christmas when you box up the gifts you are going to return or donate).  Yep, the season of lights is upon us, and where do we find lights?  Why on a Christmas tree of course. And what else do we find on a Christmas tree?  Ornaments!  And what else might we find in a tree?  Cats!  Cats like trees!  So in that spirit we are going to make Beckoning Cat ornaments!  The legend goes that this cute kitty once saved a nobleman’s life by beckoning him into a shrine and preventing him from being captured by bandits.  We are also making Anime inspired holiday cards.  The Anime Club at the Pearl Library is open to teens ages 13-17 and the next meeting is on Monday December 17th from 6-7 p.m.  Hope to see you all there and from all of us at the Pearl Library we wish you Happy Holidays and a fantastic New Year!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Printz Watch 2013: Strong Women

When you read, you're always going to have a reader's bias. You always bring your own experiences into the mix.  That's part of the fun.  So as I've read through these contenders this year, what I've come to realize is that a HUGE percentage of them have female protagonists.  Now some of that really is just that there happened to be a lot of books written by and about women in 2012.  But I'm sure some of it is that I am a woman and so I tend to gravitate towards female heroines. All that to say, whether this year's field is largely populated by women or whether that's just what I've been reading, this post is about two strong women. And they are both AWESOME.

So we all know about Tiger Lily.  She was in the original Peter Pan book, and she was in the Disney movie, so we know her, right? Well, Jodi Lynn Anderson has written her backstory and she's almost completely unrecognizable.  And I gotta say, I love her this way. Narrated by TINKER BELL (y'all, it's my childhood come to life here), this story shows a different side of Tiger Lily, Tink, Hook, Smee, and even Wendy.  This Tiger Lily is stoic, solitary, introspective, and comtemplative.  She's faced with an arranged marriage to a man that she finds repugnant.  And then she meets Peter Pan, who is completely off-limits and completely fascinates her.  The Pirates are terrifying.  Smee is reimagined in a way that I would never have thought of, and painting Hook as a drunken wastrel with touches of elegance is nothing short of brilliant. The mermaids that love Peter are bloodthirsty, and Tiger Lily's tribe doesn't quite adore her the way we're used to.  I love the way that Anderson weaves pieces of the story that we know with details that didn't occur to us when we were Disney-watching children.  Seriously, though--what would really happen in a romance between a 15-year-old Indian girl--an adult, marriagable woman in her tribe--and a boy who refuses grow up?  This book got multiple starred reviews, and it's beautiful.  If you love Peter Pan--or even if you don't--try this one. You better believe the Printz committee is rereading it right about now.  Request it here.

The Crown of Embers is the second book in a series that started with The Girl of Fire and Thorns, which I reviewed during Printz Watch 2012. I really liked it and when I managed to snag an advance copy of this second book, I snatched it and started reading immediately.  I was determined to make it last as long as possible and not devour it whole. I always want to stay in Joy D'Arena as long as I possibly can.  Elisa is queen and hero of her country after the events of the first book. But she's only seventeen, and she has no experience in running a country. Her enemies have retreated, but heaven only knows how close they linger.  She's bogged down in bureaucracy, trying to figure out the day-to-day business of running her country.  Her advisors are pushing her to marry quickly and diplomatically. She's still trying to figure out her duty as bearer of the Godstone.  But things take a turn when she's the victim of an assassination attempt.  She must go on a dangerous journey and make some serious decisions.  Ok, so I'm always terrified to read second books in trilogies when I've loved the first one, but this one is GREAT.  It's easily just as strong as the first.  Elisa is growing and maturing as a woman and as a queen.  She's learning how to be her own person, how to bear the Godstone, and how to rule a country bu learning to put her emotions to the side for the sake of her people.  Honestly, I can't say all that much about this book without ruining the first one.  If you like fantasy at all, try this one.  As for Printz odds? I'm hoping they look at it, but even though it's such a strong second book, it's still a second book, and that may count in its favor.  Either way, this one deserves a read. Request it here, and then join me in waiting with bated breath for the third book!!

Happy reading!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Printz Watch 2013: Underrated Gems

The Printz award will be annouced in two short months!! I'm very excited and I'm going to step up my blogging to reflect all the awesome titles that have come out this year.

Today, I'm going to talk about three books that I've read this year that I loved, but they didn't receive a lot of press.  Which is a shame, because they're fantastic.

Miracle by Elizabeth Scott is the story of Megan, the sole survivor of a plane crash.  She's a miracle, at least that's what her whole town is saying. Everyone--including her family, her friends, and her church--can only seem to see her as Miracle Megan.  But she doesn't feel miraculous. She really doesn't feel much of anything.  When the memories of the crash start coming back, she doesn't know how to deal with them.  And her community is no help. They're so thankful that she is alive that they can't see what's happening to her.

This story is an unflinching look at post-traumatic stress disorder, though it never mentions the syndrome by name.  Megan feels broken and she feels like there is something irreparably wrong with her.  She feels guilty for surviving, and she is drowning.  Her family is so grateful that she is alive that they can't seem to handle the fact that she is still struggling.  Her feelings of grief and helplessness are drawn beautifully by Scott.  Her interactions with Joe, the boy next door with a tragic past of his own, are awkward and painful yet ultimately cathartic.  And her friendship with Margaret, a woman from church, is more helpful than anything anyone else has to say.  The story has some flaws--Megan's parents are a little too desperate to overlook her anguish and believe she's fine--but mostly, you're willing to overlook it because it's so real.  Well done.  It was a relatively small book.  It didn't get any starred reviews or buzz and somehow I have a feeling that the Printz committee won't have much discussion about it.  But they should.  And you should read it.

Small Damages by Beth Kephart is the story of Kenzie, who has just finished her last year of high school.  She comes from a prestigious family, she's bright and ambitious, and she's in love with Kevin, who is bound for Yale.  But she's also grieving the loss of her father, and she reckless chances, and she gets pregnant.  Refusing to end the pregnancy despite the wishes of her stubborn mother, Kenzie finds herself shipped off to Spain for the summer to wait out her pregnancy and give up her baby to a Spanish couple.

Kenzie's story is quiet and sad and full of emotion.  Her interactions with her mother and her boyfriend when she finds out she's pregnant are interspersed with her life in Spain.  She is learning to cook from Estela, she is learning to be friends with Estaban, and she is trying to find out how she feels about the adoptive parents of her baby.  She feels very alone but starts to find healing as she immerses herself in the culture of gypsies and bullfighting and orange groves.  As a heads-up, this isn't an action-filled book.  It's much more character-driven than plot-driven, and I know that drives some of my regular teen readers crazy. It's introspective and lovely and about how a young woman grows up. It got two starred reviews and I certainly hope there are some conversations about it.

Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara is the story of Wren. Wren Wells survived the car accident that killed her boyfriend.  It tilts her world on its axis and sends her life completely off course.  She moves to remote Maine to live with her sculptor father, to recover, but her grief threatens to overwhelm her.

Oh my gosh, THIS BOOK.  First of all, the writing is gorgeous.  Some of you poetry afficiandos will love this one, because the language is downright poetic.  This isn't an easy book to read, because Wren's grief is palpable.  It weighs her down and beats on her from all sides; it is relentless.  The setting of Maine and the weather and the snow make her isolation seem even more extreme.  Wren begins to work for Cal, which turns into a relationship.  But it's not all happy--they are both broken people.  One of the things that I love the most about their story is that Cal is not Wren's salvation, or vice versa. They're each trying to find their own way back to sanity.  They're both trying to deal with their situations, and their families, and their pasts. Their interactions with each other are very real and very human.  This one is not upbeat, but it is gorgeous.  The second I finished this book, I wanted to start it over from the beginning. You won't regret this read.  As for the Printz? I hope the committee reads it and rereads it and talks about it.  Since it's a debut, I think it's a strong contender for the Morris Award (I may have nominated it already. Ok, I did.)

There you have it, three underrated gems. All three of these are available at the Pearl Library.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to reread these pronto.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Teen Anime and Manga @ Pearl Library

 Hey all my Anime and Manga enthusiasts!  It’s that time again! Turkey Day is coming up soon and so is the next meeting of the Pearl Library Anime Club! The next meeting is November 19th, 2012 from 6-7p.m.  As always you can read Manga, draw Manga and Anime, talk about Manga and Anime or just hang out and listen to everybody else talk about Manga and Anime.  Even you guys who don’t know anything about Manga and Anime are welcome to attend.  Believe me we will tell you every single detail we know (Can you say over share?)  But, hey, that’s what the Thanksgiving season is all about right?  It is Japanese tradition to give gifts at this time of year so our craft for this month is Furoshiki. Let’s all say it  together F-U-R-O-S-H-I-K-I. In other words the Japanese art of wrapping gifts in clothe.  Oh and did I mention that there will be snacks?  As always I want to say that Anime and Manga fans are the most interesting and talented people around so we hope to see you there!
Your faithful Pearl Anime Club Host,
Miss Vickie

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Printz Watch 2013: Superstars of YA!

So maybe I've been boring all of you with my super-technical geeking out over starred reviews and YA from other countries that you might not have read, so in this post I'll be discussing two authors that you know and love.

David Levithan is a pretty prolific and popular YA author these days.  He had a book in the Printz Watch last year (Every You, Every Me), which you can read about here.  He's teamed with Rachel Cohn for popular books like Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, which I know you love because they're never checked in at the Pearl Library!  He's even coauthored with John Green!

His 2012 title is called Every Day.  Every Day is about A, whose life is very different.  Every day, A wakes up in another person's body. A different one every day. A has been black, white, girls, boys, gay, straight, sick, well, brilliant, suicidal, you name it, A has been it. A has learned over the years not to get to attached to these lives. A trudges along, trying not to disrupt them too much, trying not to be too out of character, trying to make it through the day.  Until the day that A wakes up in Justin's body and falls in love with Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon.  Suddenly, A's body-switching life becomes more and more erratic:   The story is intruiguing: what would you do if your only life had to be lived vicariously through others? This one, like a lot of Levithan's books is very lyrically written.  This is definitely a character-driven novel and the characterization is pretty great, especially considering that one character is essentially a chameleon.  I feel like maybe this one could have been longer and developed the backstory character more, but the sparse background actually made the story more engaging, not less.  This one has received multiple starred reviews and will definitely be talked about around the Printz deliberation table. Check it out by clicking here.

Maggie Stiefvater wrote the insanely popular Wolves of Mercy Falls series (Linger, Shiver, Forever) that y'all loved. I'm not a huge reader of werewolf books (I'm a scaredy cat, y'all, it's so sad!), so when last year's The Scorpio Races came out, I almost passed it by.  I'm so glad I didn't, because it ended up being one of my favorite reads of 2011 and it also won a Printz Honor! So when I got my hands on an advance copy of Maggie's newest book, The Raven Boys, I snatched it up and devoured it almost in one sitting. Blue's entire family is psychic, but she isn't.  Her gift is that she seems to make the powers of her mom and crazy aunts stronger, which is helpful to them, but pretty useless to Blue.  She's grown up with psychic predictions--like the fact that she's been told since she was tiny that if she ever kisses her true love, he will die.  She also does things like help her aunts see the spirits of the dead--which she never sees. Until the night that she sees the ghost of a boy wandering around the cemetary.  And her life makes a turn with that same boy--very much alive--comes into her mother's house for a reading.  This one is brilliant.  It has the backstory of a town, a mythology about a long-dead kind, psychics, clairvoyants, ghosts, brooding private school boys, and a raven.  The only thing that may count against this dark delight of a story is that it's the first book in a series and though some things are cleared up, there are definitely more mysteries to be solved.  I can't wait to read the next one! Click here to request The Raven Boys.

So what do y'all think? Are Levithan and Stiefvater some of your favorite authors? Will they win again?


Friday, November 2, 2012

Cupcake Wars @ Brandon

Click on picture to enlarge.
Last night our teens had a blast learning the basics of cake decorating. They didn't do a bad job eating them either! Wish you could have joined us? No worries; we will be having Cupcake Wars Part 2 on November 15 @ 6:00. Join our teens as they return to compete to find out who is our star decorator. Even if you missed part one you may still compete!

For more info call us, 601-825-2672.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Printz Watch 2013: The Land Down Under

One of my very favorite things about the Printz award is its international scope.  Though it's an award given in America by an American committee, books from all over the world are considered to be eligible as long as an American edition is published during the consideration year.  Books like Meg Rosoff's how i live now, the 2005 winner, Kit's Wilderness, the 2001 winner, and Postcards from No Man's Land, the 2003 winner, were written by British authors.  A couple of international Honor books include Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging (UK), Skellig (UK), and Nothing (Denmark).

The international scope of the Printz is pretty far-reaching, but I would argue that perhaps Australia has one of the most influential group of YA writers on the planet.  Melina Marchetta's jaw-dropping masterpiece Jellicoe Road won the Printz in 2009 (and if you haven't read that one, I beseech you to. It's in my top two favorite books OF ALL TIME).  There have been seven additional Australian authors that have received Printz Honors (and one from New Zealand---hi, Elizabeth Knox! Only Kiwi on the list--represent!). Two of these authors have received multiple Printz Honors.  But this isn't surprising.  Australian YA is AMAZING and over here at the Pearl Library, I do my very best to collect as much of it as I can.  There are still some fantastic authors that haven't been published in the US (like Shirley Marr and Kirsty Eagar), but the ones that have American distributors here are on my shelves!

This year, there are three serious Printz contenders that have been imported from Australia.

Margo Lanagan has received two Printz Honors already.  She's known for writing haunting and slightly disturbing works of fiction.  These tend to skirt the line between magic realism and flat-out fantasy.  The Brides of Rollrock Island is about a remote ocean community in which men utilize the services of a local witch to draw their wives from the creatures of the sea.  Published in Australia as Sea Hearts, this book is every bit as unsettlingly beautiful as Lanagan's other works.  This book received five starred reviews. (See our last post for information about starred reviews!)  The language is beautiful, the characters are flawed and relatable, and you can't look away.  Is it Printz-worthy? Honestly, I don't know, but with Lanagan's history of awards, you better believe the Printz committee will be reading and rereading it.  To check it out yourself, click here.

Graffiti Moon may not have received any starred reviews, but I say forget about that because it's wonderful.  Lucy has just year 12 and before her life changes forever, she just wants to find Shadow.  Shadow is a graffiti artist that only works at night, and Lucy's artistic soul adores his work.  The entire book takes place in one night as Lucy tries to locate the elusive Shadow, with the help of Ed, the last guy she wants to deal with. But Ed says he knows how to find Shadow, so they spend an all-night search going from place to place and finding out more and more about Shadow.  But as the search progresses, Lucy finds out more about herself, her friends, and even Ed.  This book is just so lovely.  Cath Crowley captures the voices, the insecurities, the inner lives of her characters so well.  We have another one of her books, A Little Wanting Song (Aussie title: Chasing Charlie Duskin), and that, it just changed the way I look at my own self.  This lady's got chops.  Y'all, even if this book doesn't get a Printz nod, it deserves a read. Request it here.

Oh, Melina, MELINA, Melina.  If this woman wrote ingredients lists on cereal boxes, I'd read them, so you should probably be aware that there is nothing that I say about her or this book that will be unbiased or objective in the least.  Froi is a follow up to her insanely popular Finnikin of the Rock, in which Marchetta tried her hand at fantasy.  And suceeded beautifully, of course.  Finnikin worked as a standalone, but then she decided to explore the character of Froi in his own work, and it was just as lovely. (She's calling the series the Chronicles of Lumatere.)  I'll be totally honest and say that it's been awhile since I've read this one.  It was published in Australia about a year ago, and I couldn't wait for the US publication date, so...I ordered it from overseas. WORTH IT.  I'm currently reading the third book in this trilogy, Quintana of Charyn, which will be published in the US in March (yeah, I ordered this one from Australia, too. Obviously.).  Do I think Froi is Printz-worthy? Based solely on literary merit, definitely. It's received four starred reviews!  But the fact is, it's the middle book of a trilogy.  There's a lot of backstory, and there's a lot of buildup to the final book.  I loved learning about the history of Skuldenore, and about Froi's origins, and continuing the story of Finnikin and his family.  I loved it and I thought it was literarily excellent, but it doesn't stand alone as a single title very well.  If you read this one without reading the first book, you'd probably be lost, and I think that will count against it during Printz deliberation.  Still, start by reading Finnikin, then read Froi.  You know I'll have the last book on our shelves as soon as Candlewick publishes it in March.

I know this one has been a long one, but I'm utterly fascinated by the way that YA is written and received in other countries.  Pick up one of these Aussie books! You'll be so glad you did.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Teens' Top Ten Winners Announced!

The teens have spoken! Here's the list of this year's Teens' Top Ten winners. Click on the link to request the book from your CMRLS library. Next time you're at Brandon, come by the YA department with your smart phone and scan the QR codes to see the book trailers!
  1. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  3. Legend by Marie Lu
  4. What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
  5. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
  6. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  7. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
  8. Where She Went by Gayle Forman
  9. Abandon by Meg Cabot

Friday, October 12, 2012

Printz Watch 2013: The Seven Stars Edition

When a young adult novel is published, it often reviewed in professional journals, like School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and the like. (These are the kinds of peer-reviewed journals that your teachers beg you to cite for your English papers!) These reviews are used by teachers and your local librarians to decide if a book is a good fit for our collection.  When the reviewer and the publication deem a book particularly excellent, they give it a "starred" review.  The books that get multiple starred reviews are a casual (though not ever definite) indicator to readers in looking for potential winners for awards such as the Printz.

Y'all, this is the year of the stars.

Three young adult books published in 2012 have gotten SEVEN starred reviews so far.  That is off the charts.  I have read all of them and here is a rundown:

John Green is always a good bet.  He won the Printz award in 2006 for Looking for Alaska.  His next book An Abundance of Katherines was a Printz Honor book in 2007. He tops the bestseller charts every time he has a book release and teens line up for his books.  He's a steady vlogger and he and his brother started the whole "nerdfighter" phenomenon.  Dude's got serious credentials.  The Fault in Our Stars is about Hazel, a cancer patient, and Augustus, a cancer survivor.  It is compulsively readable. And it's poignant, of course.  Anyone who can read this book without crying like a wretch might not have a heart.  That being said, it's awfully unrealistic in some places.  Hazel might be facing her own mortality on a daily basis and Augustus might be extremely well read, but good grief they're ridiculously erudite and mature for their age.  RIDICULOUSLY.  The author that they come into contact with is also a bit too...textbook, for lack of a better description.  All of that taken into consideration, the Printz committe will have many, many, many discussions about this book and it's obviously literariness.  Also, it hasn't been checked in at Pearl since it arrived, so you'll need to get in line to get it.  Click here to request it!

Elizabeth Wein wasn't an author I was extremely familiar with.  She's written some Arthurian fantasy which I haven't read.  However, Code Name Verity is far from fantasy.  It's historical fiction, and it's set during WWII.  As a little aside, I'm not a huge fan of war books.  I never have been.  I read mainly to escape, and I don't like to escape into the darkness of war.  But I keep seeing reviews and blogs about how unbelievably good this book is, so I picked it up and promptly read it in one sitting.  This is the story of two girls and their friendship.  Both of them met while doing pilot and radio training in England at the start of the war.  One of them, however, has been captured.  She is telling her story, and the story of her friend, to buy herself time in Gestapo prison, though she knows that the Nazis will almost certainly kill her as soon as she has finished.  People, this book is breathtaking.  Told from two perspectives, the intricacy of the plot reminds me of the great Melina Marchetta. Seriously, it's completely brilliant. The climax will shock you and if you're anything like me, you will weep. The relationship between these two young women is the center and the heart of this book.  Their friendship is strong and true and lovely to watch.  This quote from the book sums it up beautifully: "It's like falling in love, finding your best friend."  The Printz Committee will love this one, and I'd be shocked it if at least didn't get an honor.  Click here to request.  You won't be sorry.

So about as different from books about cancer and war as you can get, the last seven-star book is about dragons. Seraphina, named for the main character is a half-dragon.  She carefully keeps this fact hidden. The peace between her country of Goredd and the dragons has been carefully constructed, and though dragons can walk through her country in their human form, or saarantas, they are still deeply mistrusted by the humans.  The anniversary of the treaty between the two peoples is approaching, and Seraphina, who has tried so hard to keep to herself and keep people from suspecting that her arm is covered in scales, finds herself caught up in court intrigue, a murder, and thrust suddenly into the spotlight because of her talents.  This world is beautiful.  The rules and the culture is spelled out brilliantly by Rachel Hartman.  And obviously, dragons=fantasy but the idea that while they are in human form, they can understand and experience the full range of human emotion is so novel.  And the vibrant way that Hartman illustrates Phina's struggle to understand herself and her place is marvelous.  This one will have a sequel, which I am thrilled to read.  Will the Printz committe love it as much? I'm not sure, as fantasy has not been a genre that has traditionally received a lot of Printz attention.  But don't let the word "dragon" put you off.  This one is lush and literary.  Click here to check it out.

There's your seven-star far.  It's only October, and we still have two and a half months of publishing that's eligible for the Printz.  Something may be published next month that gets just as many stars.  If so, I'll keep you updated.  Be sure to stop by the Pearl Library or your local CMRLS branch to ask about any of the books I've talked about here.  Happy reading!


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Printz Watch 2013!!!

Ladies and gentlemen, it's time again for a blog series that we at the Pearl Library like to call the Printz Watch.

The Michael L. Printz Award is awarded each January to the book that most exemplifies excellence in young adult literature.  The 2013 award will be awarded in January, and it will take into consideration all of the books that were published in 2012.  Some of my favorite books have been Printz Winners, like Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (Printz winner, 2009).

Last year's Printz was so much fun! I didn't do well at guessing (though I did peg one of the honor books as fantastic), but I got to read and explore some YA that I may not have otherwise picked up. Click here if you'd like to flip through my entries from last year.  With the help of a School Library Journal-based blog called Someday My Printz Will Come, I'm busy reading away. I'm going to start reviewing (and guessing!) soon. If you have any suggestions, or if you think you can guess the 2013 Printz winner, leave a comment and join in the fun!  Even if you have no guesses, check back here frequently  To close, I leave you with a few covers of books (all available from your local CMRLS library!) that may be Printz contenders. 

Happy reading!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Banned Books Week

The Pearl Library heartily supports the Celebration of Banned Books Week!  Some of your favorite YA books have been challenged in classrooms and libraries all across America. The following is a list of just a few of the books that have been challenged recently (this means that an effort has been made to remove these books from schools or libraries). Click the title to request below.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Myra McEntire @ PHS!

So last week, the Pearl Public Library collaborated with the awesome Lemuria Books to bring author Myra McEntire to speak to the Super Scholars group at Pearl High School.  It was a completely wonderful experience! Myra's books are Hourglass and Timepiece (both available from CMRLS--click here to request!).  She talked to the students about her writing process, how she got started writing, and how she researches her books. The students, teacher, and librarians had a fantastic time! Thank you so much to Mrs. McEntire for joining us!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Art for Teens @ Brandon!

We've had so much fun planning for the fall and winter and we hope you can join us! Here's what October has in store.

October 4th @ 6:00 join us to make your own customized initial decor. We'll have all the supplies, you just bring your ideas! Call now so we can save you a spot.

October 18th @ 5:30 we'll take a break from arts and crafts to have a Halloween Movie Matinee for teens! Feel free to dress up, and come hungry because we'll have snacks! More info coming soon!

For more information and to register for classes please call us, 601-825-2672!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

PHS Night @ Pearl!

This week, Pearl High School students gathered at the Pearl Public Library to see everything that we have to offer them.  They learned about programs and resources, materials, volunteer opportunities, they met staff, signed up for library cards, and enjoyed food and door prizes.  If you missed it, you can catch us here any time to tell you anything you need to know! Enjoy these pictures from the night.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

DON'T miss this

This book was published in 1998 so you may have missed it.  I just have one word for you...DON'T.  While the author is African American and the cover art portrays an African-American teenager, this book will speak to you whatever your ethnicity.

FROM THE BACK COVER:  Maleeka suffers every day from the taunts of the other kids in her class.  If they're not getting at her about her homemade clothes or her good grades, it's about her dark skin.  When a new teacher, whose face is blotched with a startling white patch, shows up at their school, Maleeka can see there is bound to be trouble for her, too.  But the new teacher's attitude surprises Maleeka.  Miss Saunders loves the skin she's in.  Can Maleeka learn to do the same? 

This book is a mere 171 pages.  A winner of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent. 

If you haven't read it, request it at your local CMRLS library!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Black Light T-Shirts @ Brandon

This week at Brandon our teens made glow in the dark t-shirts. As you can see they all did an awesome job and no two were alike! Join us next week, June 27 @ 3:30 when we make our own lava lamps from everyday items. We hope to see you there!

If you have any questions about upcoming programming at Brandon please give us a call, 601-825-2672!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Hunger Games Party @ Brandon

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We had a great time today at Brandon during our Teen Hunger Games Party. To prepare ourselves for the arena, we practiced archery, spear throwing, knot tying and plant identification. We also got a chance to decorate (and eat) cupcakes at Peeta's Bakery and make our own Mockingjay pins! It was a big, big, big, day(insert Capitol accent here)! We hope you can join us next week, Wednesday June 13th @ 3:30, when we make survival bracelets. Until then, may the odds be ever in your favor!

If you have any questions about our programming, please call Brandon Public Library, 601-825-2672.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

New Anime Club Host

    The Human body is made up of :  35 liters of water, 20 kilograms of carbon, four liters of ammonia, 1 and a half kilograms of lime, 800 grams of phosphorus, 250 grams of salt, 100 grams of nitre, 80 grams of sulphur, seven and a half grams of fluorine, 3 grams of silicon, and LOTS and LOTS of ANIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     Greetings all my Anime and Manga friends out there.  I'm Miss Vickie and starting in September 2012 I will be the new host of your Pearl Library Anime Club!  I love Anime, Manga and Sci-fi and I am so excited to hear all of your thoughts and ideas about how we can grow and improve our club.  Together we can make this the best Anime and Manga Club in the area (perhaps the entire world...Whaa, haa, haa, haa!)  Our Anime Club is a place where you can come draw, read about or discuss all the topics that daze and confuse your non-otaku friends!
     The Pearl Anime Club is for Teens ages 13-17. Join us on Monday September 17th from 6-7 p.m. During this meeting we are going to discuss some possible future activities, draw ourselves as chibis and make a cherry blossom banner with all our names on it.  Spread the word because we want to see you there!
    Anime fans are the most interesting people around, so come join us and bring all your enthusiasm and your wonderful ideas!  Hope to see you soon!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Young Adult Nonfiction @ Pearl

We know you love CMRLS because of all of our awesome and up-to-date YA fiction: the thrillers, the mysteries, the dystopias.

But we also know that you're in school and that you have to write papers, do projects, and finish homework. We also know that sometimes, you're just interested in stuff. Here at Pearl, we've recently gotten in a whole lot of new nonfiction books. These are great sources for your research papers, they'll provide information for your essays, and they're more reliable than Wikipedia! We also have new books on the most up-to-date world events and issues, like the Gulf Oil Spill and the Haiti Earthquake. These books are located on the nonfiction wall of the Teen Center. Ask at any desk for help!

Here's a complete list of our newest YA nonfiction titles. And as always, if you feel that we're missing something in our collection, let us know!

Internet Piracy
Same-sex Marriage
Assisted Suicide
Obesity and Food Policing
Privacy Rights and the Patriot Act
Extremist Groups
Standardized Testing in Schools
Genetically Modified Foods
Health Care Reform
Racial Profiling
Sex Education in Schools
Teaching Intelligent Design
The Diamond Trade
The Vaccination Debate
U.S. Involvement in Vietnam
The Earthquake in Haiti
The Gulf of Mexico Spill
The Arts
Green Jobs
Children's Rights
Mental Disorders
Fair Trade
Human Trafficking
Loss of Biodiversity
Developing Nations's Debt
Domestic Violence
Indigenous People's Rights
World Population
The 2011 Japan Disasters
The Capture & Killing Osama Bin Laden
The Chilean Miners' Rescue
The Columbine Shootings
The Hudson Plane Landing
The Orphan Trains
Living with Celiac Disease
Living with Food Allergies

Monday, April 16, 2012

Look Who I Met!

Last week I went out of town to a book festival and guess who I met. Robin Bridges, author of The Gathering Storm! You may remember her from my previous entry and book review, but if you missed it you can find it here. She will be at Brandon Public Library April the 26th @ 6:00 so be sure to mark your calendars! You won't want to miss this!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Book Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

It's senior year and Greg Gaines has managed to make it thus far through high school maintaining social invisibility by being cordial but not overly friendly to every single group at his school. He has only one (albeit unlikely) friend, the short, African-American, foul-mouthed, chain-smoking Earl. During their free time, they play video games and make their own movies--horrible movies, with no redeeming value, according to Greg, but it amuses them and occupies their time.

Earl fully intends to finish out high school under the radar and hanging out with Earl in his spare time--until Rachel gets cancer and Greg's mom decides they should be friends. Against his better judgement and in spite of his almost unbearable awkwardness, he does. Or he tries to. And then he and Earl decide to make Rachel: the Film. And Greg starts to lose all hope for his invisibility.

Y'all, this book is HILARIOUS. I know it seems unlikely since the word "dying" is actually in the title, but I laughed until I cried. Greg is narrating the story, and his self-deprecating humor lightens the mood considerably, he refers to this book as a "horrifyingly inane ... unstoppable barf-fest." The best part of this book might actually be Earl: crude, rude, disgusting, and surprisingly sincere. This book is a winner. Check it out here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Young Adult Nonfiction @ Pearl

We know you love teen materials at CMRLS because of all of our awesome and up-to-date YA fiction: the thrillers, the mysteries, the dystopias, the contemps.

But we also know that you're in school and that you have to write papers, do projects, and finish homework. We also know that sometimes, you're just interested in stuff. Here at Pearl, we've recently gotten in a whole lot of new nonfiction books. These are great sources for your research papers, they'll provide information for your essays, and they're more reliable than Wikipedia (we know your teachers limit those internet sources!)! We also have new books on the most up-to-date world events and issues, like the Gulf Oil Spill and the Haiti Earthquake. We have several new biographies, and also some books about US history, with topics like the Orphan Train and US Involvement and Vietnam. These books are located on the nonfiction wall of the Teen Center. Ask at any desk for help!

Here's a complete list of our newest YA nonfiction titles. Quick to request! And as always, if you feel that we're missing something (a specific title or information on any topic) in our collection, let us know!

Internet Piracy
Same-Sex Marriage
Assisted Suicide
Obesity and Food Policing
Privacy Rights and the Patriot Act
Genetically Modified Foods
Health Care Reform
Racial Profiling
Sex Education in Schools
Teaching Intelligent Design
The Diamond Trade
The Vaccination Debate
U.S. Involvement in Vietnam
The Earthquake in Haiti
The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
Anarchism (Exploring World Governments)
Democracy (Exploring World Governments)
Dictatorships (Exploring World Governments)
Parliaments (Exploring World Governments)
Theocracies (Exploring World Governments)
The Arts (Inside the Industry)
Engineering (Inside the Industry)
Entertainment (Inside the Industry)
Fashion (Inside the Industry)
Green Jobs (Inside the Industry)
Medicine (Inside the Industry)
Publishing (Inside the Industry)
Sports (Inside the Industry)
Children's Rights
Mental Disorders
Fair Trade
Human Trafficking
Loss of Biodiversity
Developing Nations's Debt
Domestic Violence
Indigenous People's Rights
World Population
The 2011 Japan Disasters
The Capture and Killing of Osama Bin Laden
The Chilean Miners' Rescue
The Columbine Shootings
The Hudson Plane Landing
The Orphan Trains
Living with Celiac Disease
Living with Food Allergies
Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath
John Lennon: All I Want is the Truth (A Photographic Biography)
A Wreath for Emmett Till
Frequently Asked Questions about Financial Literacy
Frequently Asked Questions about Overscheduling and Stress
Frequently Asked Questions about Everyday First Aid
Frequently Asked Questions about Tanning and Skin Care

Monday, March 5, 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

You Wanted More Mystery!

One of the most frequently requested genres in the Pearl Library Teen Centers is mysteries. Almost every day we have people--both teens and adults--coming in asking for a good mystery to read. We hear you! We've put them all in one place for the month of March. Come on back to the teen center and check out our mystery display! All the intrigue, murder, and missing persons you can stand, guaranteed.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dances, Princes and the Undead.What More Could a Girl Ask For?

It's not every day that a fantasy can keep me feverishly flipping the pages to find out what happens next. The Gathering Storm did just that!

This historical fantasy is set in Russia in 1888 and centers on the life of Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg. Katerina lives a life of privilege, receiving a top notch education and excelling in her studies while still attending numerous royal balls. She dreams of becoming a medical doctor, which is extremely unladylike and has her mother fearing that she will never marry. Oh, the horror! But what her family doesn't know is that Katerina has been hiding a terrible secret; she has the power to raise the dead. This is a time of many superstitions in Russia, and almost every family of Russian nobility holds some powers in their bloodlines. It is up to them whether they use it for good or evil. When faced with a choice to rise as a queen in the dark court or defend her beloved tsar in the name of the light court, what will Katerina choose?

This first installment of The Katerina Trilogy by Mississippi author Robin Bridges had a perfect blend of history and fantasy for me and just enough romance to satisfy my sappy side without taking away from the story. Overall, this story has an intriguing and unique concept with a heroine I could imagine being friends with. You know, if I were in 1888 Russia and had supernatural powers (which would be awesome)!

BIG NEWS: Robin Bridges will be HERE at Brandon Public Library, April 26, 2012 @ 6:00 for a Meet the Author program and book signing! Go ahead and put it on your calendar and check back here for more updates!

Monday, February 13, 2012

2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults

Every year, the American Library Association puts together a comprehensive list of the Best Fiction for Young Adults. You can find the 112 books on that list here. The Top Ten books on that list are then narrowed down. You can find all ten of these books at your local CMRLS library. Happy reading!