Monday, April 19, 2021

Poetry Month

 The Academy of American Poets founded National Poetry Month in 1996. So this year is the 25th Anniversary! 

On their website, you can sign up for them to send you a verse of the day, find poetry readings near year, you can see what your state offers, or even find poems or poets. 

My personal favorite book of poetry is The Rose That Grew From Concrete by Tupac Shakur (published 1999 by Pocket Books New York)

I will not lie, I have never been a fan of rap music, but this book showed me this person in a whole new light. I challenge you to read it from cover to cover and single out just one poem that is your favorite. They are all so good. 

Today is filled with anger
Fueled with hidden hate
Scared of being outcast
Afraid of common fate
Today is built on tragedies
which no one wants 2 face.....

I exist in the depths of solitude
pondering my true goal
Trying 2 find peace of mind
and still preserve my soul
CONSTANTLY yearning 2 be accepted....

I don't have everything
as a matter of fact I don't have anything
except a dream of a better day
and you 2 help me find my way
Being a man I am sure 2 make mistakes 
but 2 keep u I would do all it takes...

Finish reading each poem from the book, The Rose That Grew From Concrete

Monday, April 12, 2021

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

     Hello all! I hope that everyone is staying safe and getting ready for the summertime.  I recently read the new release in the Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins titled, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, and I wanted to share my thoughts with you on the book. Be warned, there might be some "SPOILERS" in my review/summary of the book. I hope that I don't give too much away but just enough to entice you to read the book too.

    The book opens on the day of the reaping for the 10th Annual Hunger Games. Young Coriolanus Snow is a Senior at the Academy and will soon graduate. This year the Head Gamemaker, Dr. Gaul, has decided to create a program where the Seniors will be mentoring the tributes for the games. If the tribute that the senior is sponsoring wins the games they will also receive an award, and Coriolanus needs that award if he hopes to go to the University after graduation.

    You see the Snow family has fallen on hard times, they are poor. After losing his Mother and Sister during childbirth, then his father during the war, the only family he has left is his elderly Grandmother and a cousin, Tigirs. They have sold most everything of value and are barely able to eat. Of course, you wouldn't know that by the way Coriolanus carries himself, he uses his wit and charm to get most of what he needs.

    When Coriolanus arrives at the school to gather with his classmates to get their tributes and watch the reaping, he hopes for a tribute from one of the better districts, such as District 1- 4. However, Dean Highbootom has other plans for Coriolanus. He has a very strong dislike for Coriolanus that is not disclosed until the end of the book. He assigns Coriolanus the female tribute from District 12, Lucy Gray Baird.

    Lucy Gray is what we would call a Gypsy. She landed in District 12 after the death of her parents during the war along with some of the other children in the Covey. Lucy Gray is something else. When her name was called by the Mayor of District 12, she slipped up behind the Mayor's daughter and put a snake down her dress. Lucy Gray believed that her name was called because the Mayor's daughter wanted Lucy Gray out of the picture so that she good have a chance at Lucy's boyfriend. After the Mayor slaps her across the face, instead of shedding tears, Lucy Gray begins to sing. She captived the audience and the Capitol as she sang her song. This sparked a little hope in Coriolanus that maybe with a little luck and help, she might have a chance a winning the Hunger Games.

    Coriolanus and his classmates are assigned the task of writing a proposal with ideas that will spark everyone's interest in The Hunger Games and get them to invest in the outcome of the games. Some of the ideas were to allow the citizens to bet or place wagers on the tributes to see who would win. Another was to allow people in the Capitol to send gifts to the tributes in the arena that they sponsored for a fee.

    The day of the games has arrived and Coriolanus gives Lucy Gray a small token to help her in the games and to show her how much she cares for her. Several tributes are killed quickly due to starvation, poor health, and other contributing factors. Coriolanus learns that Dr. Gaul intends to release her experimental snakes into the arena and Coriolanus drops a handkerchief that was used by Lucy Gray in the holding tank so that the snakes will have her scent and not attack her. (Yes, I left some information out...can't give out all the details.) After the snakes have done their job, Lucy Gray is declared the winner of the 10th Annual Hunger Games.

    But wait, there is more...Coriolanus's little stunt is discovered and he is found to be a cheater. He is given the choice to leave the Academy and join the ranks of the Peacekeepers. He chooses to go to District 12 in the hopes that he will be able to reunite with Lucy Gray. After a few weeks at camp, he is joined by a fellow classmate, Sejanus Plinth. They decide to go to the Black Market in town where he has been told that Lucy Gray plays on the weekends. Everything seems to be going well for Coriolanus, he is doing well with his training, he is reunited with his classmate and he has found his love, Lucy Gray.

    Not long after their reunion, he discovers that Sejanus plans to help District 12 residents escape North. When he confronts Sejanus and one of the residents about it, the conversation is overheard by Lucy Gray's former boyfriend and the Mayor's daughter. A fight breaks out and the boyfriend is shot by the resident and the daughter is shot by Coriolanus. The resident is captured by never reveals who shot who, but Coriolanus isn't in the clear yet. Sejanus knows what he did before Sejanus can do anything about it, Coriolanus turns Sejanus in for treason, Sejanus is captured and hung. Not knowing where the gun is that Coriolanus used to kill the Mayor's daughter he decides to run away with Lucy Gray after she suggested it.

    The morning he and Lucy Gray set out in the woods to heard North, he sneaks out of the camp without anyone knowing. While traveling through the woods and talking with Lucy Gray he lets it slip that he has killed 3 people, Lucy Gray only knew of two but it doesn't take her long to figure out who the third person was. It begins to rain and they take shelter in an old abandoned home. When Lucy Gray leaves to find food, Coriolanus finds the guns that were used in the killings of the boyfriend and the Mayor's daughter. If he destroys the guns then there is nothing linking him to the murder of the Mayor's daughter. Then he realizes, there is one person that can place him at the scene of the crime, Lucy Gray.

    He takes one of the guns and goes out into the woods to search for Lucy Gray. He finds her scarf and as he gets closer, he is attacked by a snake. Fueled by anger he opens fire on the woods around him hoping to kill Lucy Gray. After a while he throws the guns into the lake and returns to camp.

     The next day he is shipped back to the Capitol where he meets with Dr. Gaul. She informs him that he will receive an Honorable discharge from the Peacekeepers and be enrolled into the University where he will begin his tutelage under her. 

    In the epilogue, Dean Highbottom reveals to Coriolanus that he developed the idea of the Hunger Games as a cruel, but theoretical event for a school project with his father. Without his knowledge, Coriolanus's father presented it to Dr. Gaul and the games became a reality. Coriolanus poisons Dean Highbottom, starting his trademark killing that will fuel his rise to power.

    The book was really good. There is a lot going on in the book and I tried to just hit the high points, to give you a general idea of what to expect. Here are the questions that I have. Did Coriolanus really kill Lucy Gray? Could she be related to Katniss Everdeen? There is no answer to these questions at this time, will we ever know the truth as to what happened to Lucy Gray, maybe not. I believe she is a part of Katniss's family, because of "The Hanging Tree". Read the book and will hopefully see the same connection

Monday, April 5, 2021

Heavy is the Head that Wears the Crown

"It's bad enough when children are kings, but it is even worse when jealousy creates unnatural divisions. That one starts the rain, but this one starts destruction." 
-William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 1 Act 4, Scene 1 (Modern English Translation)

 They say that there are exactly seven deadly sins that spur other vices and drive our behavior towards others. One sin connects to the next like one long pearl necklace: pride bleeds into greed which bleeds into lust that eventually bleeds into the fourth sin. The sin that is so inherently human that it comes as natural as breathing: envy. Call it envy or jealousy, that green-eyed monster lives inside all of us due to the grass, for some reason, always being greener on the other side of the proverbial fence.
In a new book that just hit our shelves in February, envy seems to play the key character that affects the relationship of four young internet influencers in California. Influence, by Sara Shepard (author of Pretty Little Liars) and Lilia Buckingham (17 year-old influencer), takes us on a journey of the trails and tribulations of internet stardom, of leading two separate lives both on and off social media, and appreciation life on whichever side of the fence life puts us. 

 Allow the world of influencers to intrigue and captivate your imagination. Influence can be found at your library or as an eBook on Axis360.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Spoilers and a Special Week for Us!


You have been warned! If you have not done the word search in this month's Arbor Day Take-Home kit, but intend to do so, DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER! Go forth and enjoy the activities, then return for the answers!

Now, on with the regularly scheduled blog.
Hello Teens!

Remember the library? Isn't it awesome! Even in the midst of an insane plague, we at the library are here for you! We are going to continue to be there for you, with activities, memes, and programs of all sorts! Take some time to visit your local library during National Library Week and take advantage of some of our various resources (as well as our fabulous company). Don't forget that our Virtual Library Programs are ready and waiting for you each month, so don't forget to check out our group on Facebook at! Also, if you drop by the Brandon Public Library, we have our previously mentioned Take-Home kits for you! This previous week had the theme of Adopt-A-Puppy, so there were several activities and crafts for you to do.
For those of you who received the Arbor Day kit and did the activities, here are the answers to the word search:

This next week's kit is about National Library Week (naturally)! There will be some interesting facts and crafts, so don't miss out on grabbing your kit while supplies last!

Stay safe, stay sane, and stay awesome!

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Morton Library Teen News for April

 I know that a lot of you read the author, Cassandra Clare. Her books are checked out all the time!

Well if you want to read her books in order but don't know where to start, worry not, here are a few choices for you to choose from. But first off, let me tell you a little bit about the series.

     City of Bones is the first of three books in the young adult urban fantasy trilogy, The Mortal Instruments. City of Bones is about a fifteen-year-old girl named Clary Fray, whose search for her missing mother leads her into an alternate New York called Downworld, filled with mysterious faeries, hard-partying warlocks, not-what-they-seem vampires, an army of werewolves, and the demons who want to destroy it all. She also finds herself torn between two boys — her best friend, Simon, for whom she’s developing new feelings, and the mysterious demon hunter, Jace. She becomes a part of the secret world of the demon hunters or Nephilim, and as she does she discovers that rescuing her mother might mean putting their whole world in jeopardy. City of Bones is followed by the second book, City of Ashes, and the third, City of Glass. You can find all sorts of detailed information about these books on the Mortal Instruments website.

The first and best option is to read the Cassandra Clare books in this order (based on the order she suggests, updated by us):

  1. The Mortal Instruments, Part One
    1. City of Bones
    2. City of Ashes
    3. City of Glass
  2. The Eldest Curses, Part One
    1. The Red Scrolls of Magic 
  3. The Infernal Devices
    1. Clockwork Angel
    2. Clockwork Prince
    3. Clockwork Princess
  4. The Mortal Instruments, Part Two
    1. City of Fallen Angels
    2. City of Lost Souls
    3. City of Heavenly Fire
  5. The Bane Chronicles
  6. Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
  7. The Eldest Curses, Part Two
    1. The Lost Book of the White
  8. The Dark Artifices
    1. Lady Midnight
    2. Lord of Shadows
    3. Queen of Air and Darkness
  9. Ghosts of the Shadow Market
  10. The Last Hours
    1. Chain of Gold
    2. Chain of Iron (March 2021)
  11. The Shadowhunter’s Codex
  12. The second method is to read the Cassandra Clare books in order of each series. You can start at book #1 of any of these series (but this order is recommended):

    1. The Mortal Instruments
      1. City of Bones
      2. City of Ashes
      3. City of Glass
      4. City of Fallen Angels
      5. City of Lost Souls
      6. City of Heavenly Fire
    2. The Eldest Curses
      1. The Red Scrolls of Magic
      2. The Lost Book of the White
    3. The Infernal Devices
      1. Clockwork Angel
      2. Clockwork Prince
      3. Clockwork Princess
    4. The Dark Artifices
      1. Lady Midnight
      2. Lord of Shadows
      3. Queen of Air and Darkness
    5. The Last Hours
      1. Chain of Gold
      2. Chain of Iron
    6. Books not part of a series:
      1. The Bane Chronicles
      2. The Shadowhunter’s Codex
      3. Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
      4. Ghosts of the Shadow Market
      5. Whichever way you choose to read them is up to you but they are all a great read that you won't want to put down!

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Full Circle

After all the craziness of the past year, we have come full circle to another spring break season. Was your 2021 spring break better this year than the 2020 one?

Remember last year everything locked down? Libraries, schools, businesses, entertainment, sports….life as we knew it. A face mask became a fashion statement. Waiting in line took on a whole new meaning. Social distancing, 6 ft apart, limited capacity in businesses and gatherings, non-essential travel, having your temperature taken at the door all became the new norm. I’ll just leave this here, ‘Toilet Paper Shortage’.

As we move forward in 2021, we hope you learned to adapt to using your library digitally. Even as our libraries begin to open up more and more, your library card offers so many resources free for your use whether for education or entertainment on the go. Here’s a short refresher list of what we have to offer:

ACT and other Test Prep Resources

Learning Express for all your Practice Testing

Mississippi Driver's Education Program Practice Test

Flipster - Free Magazines to Browse

Freegal - Free Music Downloads and Streaming

Magic Wall eBooks and AudioBooks eBooks 

World Book Online 

Magnolia Database - EBSCO

There are so many more you can find at CMRLS Digital Library Virtual Reference Collection

As things change and evolve in the coming months, stay connected with our libraries through social media for updates. We look forward to hearing from you as you check out our posts and pictures and leave your comments.

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