Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Top XIII First Quarter Reads

Out of the 41 books I feasted on during the first 3 wintery months of 2014, here are my top of the heap favorites.  If you want a book to take you through spring vacation week, these are just a few choice reads I would hand you. Stop by the library and visit with me if you would like other recommendations.  (Descriptions following the book titles are from the Library's online catalog.)  

FANTASY     Our Children's Librarian suggested Revenge of the Witch, to me. I enjoyed it so much that I purchased the rest of the 13 book Last Apprentice series for the teen collection. This series fits in the fantasy genre but could also be placed in the horror genre due to scary events and dire creatures that appear during the many struggles between good and evil. The most recent book, Fury of the Seventh Son, was just published this month.  Seventh Son, a movie based on the series, is due to be released February 2015.  
Half Bad is urban fantasy, set in England in the present day, and is the first book in a planned trilogy. Besides telling a story about people with magical powers this story is about prejudice.  It is also, at heart, about a boy seeking his father and his place in the world.  
It was exciting to finally hold the much anticipated prequel to Throne of Glass in my hands. It did not disappoint.  If you read Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, you have to read Assassin's Blade.

Revenge of the Witch, by Joseph Delaney, 2005.  Young Tom, the seventh son of a seventh son, starts work as an apprentice for the village spook, whose job is to protect ordinary folk from "ghouls, boggarts, and all manner of wicked beasties."  Book 1 in Last Apprentice series.


Half Bad, by Sally Green, 2014.  In modern-day England, where witches live alongside humans, Nathan, son of a White witch and the most powerful Black witch, must escape captivity before his 17th birthday and receive the gifts that will determine his future.  First book in planned trilogy.


Assassin's Blade: The Throne of Glass novellas, by Sarah Maas, 2014.  In these five prequel novellas to Throne of Glass, feared assassin Celaena embarks on daring missions that take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and avenge tyranny.


HISTORICAL FICTION   These two books are very different in tone.  Northern Light is the darker of the two with a murder mystery at its core.  A Mad, Wicked Folly, you can just tell from the title, is a lighter, frothier historical tale. Both books concern themselves with balancing independent work aspirations with romance and their heroines expected role in society.

Northern Light, by Jennifer Donnelly, 2003.  In 1906, sixteen-year-old Mattie, determined to attend college and be a writer against the wishes of her father and fiance, takes a job at a summer inn where she discovers the truth about the death of a guest.  Based on a true story.
A Mad, Wicked Folly, by Sharon Biggs Waller, 2014.  In 1909 London, as the world of debutante balls and high society obligations closes in around her, 17-year-old Victoria must figure out just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dream of becoming an artist.


REALISTIC FICTION   Panic is a modern day Hunger Games sort of story about facing fears and taking risks. You may ask yourself as I did, "Where are the people who might be concerned about safety, i.e. parents, teachers, police, etc.?!".  Sex & Violence is a psychologically gripping story that although it has a brutal beginning is sure to engross.  Winger, set in a boarding school, is by turns funny and serious.  Violence in various forms is a theme in all of these stories.

Sex & Violence, by Carrie Mesrobian, 2013.  Sex has always come without consequences for 17-year-old Evan. Until he hooks up with the wrong girl and finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. After an assault that leaves Evan scarred inside and out, he and his father retreat to the family cabin in rural Minnesota—which, ironically, turns out to be the one place where Evan can't escape other people. Including himself.

Panic, by Lauren Oliver, 2014.  A high-stakes competition marks a summer in a small isolated community and compels graduating seniors Heather and Dodge to tap inner strengths while hiding dangerous secrets and forging unexpected alliances.


Winger, by Andrew Smith, 2013.  Two years younger than his classmates at a prestigious boarding school, 14-year-old Ryan grapples with living in the dorm for troublemakers, falling for his female best friend who thinks of him as just a kid, and playing wing on the Varsity rugby team with some of his frightening new dorm-mates.

SCIENCE FICTION   Aliens, cyborgs, and video game characters people these futuristic stories in strong feminine roles.

Tin Star, by Cecil Castellucci, 2014. Beaten and left for dead, 14-year-old Tula Bane finds herself abandoned on a space station called Yertina Feray after traveling with the colonist group, Children of the Earth. An alien, Heckleck, saves her and teaches her the ways of life on the space station.


Earth Girl, by Janet Edwards, 2013.  Abandoned on Earth because of her inability to survive on other planets, Jarra crafts a fake background for herself to join a class of norms who are excavating the dangerous ruins of the old cities.  First book in a planned trilogy.



Game Slaves, by Gard Skinner, 2014.  A highly intelligent group of video game enemy non-player characters (NPC) begins to doubt they are merely codes in a machine. Their search for answers leads them to a gruesome discovery.
Cress, by Marissa Meyer, 2014.  Working to overthrow Queen Levana, a fugitive Cinder and her companions search for Rapunzel-like hacker Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood and who has received orders from Levana to foil Cinder's efforts. This is the third book in the Lunar Chronicle series.

NON-FICTION   If you have ever thought you might like a career in graphic design, or you would like to improve your skill with creating signs or posters then this book is the place to start. There are 10 design project exercises included at the end of the book such as creating your personal logo, redesigning a familiar object, and making your own font specimen sheet.

Go: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design, by Chip Kidd, 2013.  Go, by the award-winning graphic designer Chip Kidd, is an introduction to the ways in which designers communicate their ideas to the world, whether through images, color, text, or placement.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

4th Annual Themed Teen Poetry Contest


Put on your poet's hat and gear up for the Library's 4th annual Themed Teen Poetry Contest which begins on February 1. 

The Library's teen advisory board, the Teen Think Tank, chose "Technology" as the theme for 2014, from a list of themes submitted at the 2013 poetry reception.  

Two cash prize winning categories: 
grades 6-8, and grades 9-12.
Honorable mentions will be awarded.
Contest ends on April 30, 2014.
Finalists will be notified by phone or email on or about May 8th.
View past winning poems here.
Please read the contest rules carefully.



RULES:
Contest is open to teens in grades 6 to 12.
Poem's author must be a resident of Essex County, in Massachusetts.
Poem entries must be original work.
Maximum of 3 poems per author may be entered.
THEME: Poem must incorporate the theme of: technology. (Judges will deduct points from poems that do not have technology as a theme.) 
All poems must be submitted on or before midnight April 30, 2014.
Each poem must have a title.
An entry form must be filled out for EACH poem submitted.
All winners and honorable mentions are required to read or recite their poem aloud at the Poetry Contest Reception on Thursday, May 15, 2014, at 7 PM.  Your poem will be disqualified if you are not able to attend the reception.  Please do not submit a poem if you will not be able to attend the reception.  Winning poems will be published on the Library's Informed Teens blog and in local newspaper(s).



Poetry Contest Reception
Thursday, May 15, 7 PM to 9 PM

This year's featured speaker will be John Perrault.
Mr. Perrault is the author of Jefferson’s Dream (Hobblebush Books, 2009); Here Comes the Old Man Now (Oyster River Press, 2005); and The Ballad of Louis Wagner (Peter Randall Publisher, 2003). His poems have appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, Commonweal, Poet Lore, the Salmon Poetry Anthology Dogs Singing, and elsewhere. He is a New England Foundation for the Arts and NH State Council on the Arts touring artist, and a presenter for the NH Humanities Council. John was a co‐recipient of the Rosalie Boyle/Norma Farber Award, 2008, from the New England Poetry Club; a finalist in the 2007 Comstock Review Poetry Contest; and a past recipient of the Virginia Prize from The Lyric. He was poet laureate of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 2003‐2005.  Selected ballads and poems may be sampled at www.johnperrault.com.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Be Crafty - Be a Maker


   scrap paper holder and mockingjay pin made on our 3D printer
The Library's 3D printer (purchased by the Friends of the Library) arrived here a few weeks ago.  Since then library staff have been learning how to use it, and making things; ranging from cookie cutters to phone covers to bookmarks to a Dr. Who sonic screwdriver.  For my first object I downloaded a container design from Thingiverse, and then opened it in the Makerware program, and manipulated the size of the container so that it would hold scrap paper at the Reference desk.  I also downloaded a Mockingjay file, printed several copies of the object, and then spray painted and glued on pin backs.  The Mockingjay pins I made will be given away as prizes in a teen program.  Last night I showed members of the Library's Teen Think Tank how to use the 3D printer.  We made dragon bookmarks. Starting in January you will be able to make an appointment at the Reference desk to use the printer.  If you have any questions, or want to stop by and see the printer in action, let me know.
Feeling crafty? Below are some resources to help you get started:

Online Resources
See Safari Books Online, found on the Library's Electronic Resources page.  Safari Books Online is an on-demand, digital library that provides access to thousands of technology books by major information technology publishers.  For example, I did a search for 3D, Blender, and Sketchup, and found 24 books that you can read online.
Blender :  Blender is a free and open source 3D animation suite that you can download.
Google Sketchup :  Sketchup is a free 3D drawing program that you can download.  It is used by architects, designers, builders, makers and engineers.
Tinkercad : Free software to quickly turn your idea into a CAD model for a 3D printer.

H-W "Maker" Magazines You Can Borrow
  • Crafts 'N Things  
  • Interweave Knits  Patterns, projects, and articles.
  • Kiki   Uses the college fashion design curriculum to tap into creativity. Through fashion, readers explore business, fine art, craft, history, world culture, math, and even chemistry.
  • Martha Stewart Living  Crafts, projects, recipes.
  • MAKE   A magazine that celebrates your right to tweak, hack, and bend any technology to your own will.
  • Popular Mechanics   Features regular sections on automotive, home, outdoors, science, and technology.
  • The Quilter Magazine  
  • Wired   WIRED magazine is about how ideas and innovation are changing the world.
Craft Resources in the Catalog
Click on the following subjects for nonfiction resources in our online catalog.

Below are some of the craft books in the H-W Library's Young Adult nonfiction collection.  For more resources on a craft that interests you click on the above subjects to browse our consortium's collection on that topic.

An Eye for Art: Focusing on Great Artists and their WorkNational Gallery of Art, 2013.  This family-oriented art resource introduces more than 50 great artists and their work, with corresponding activities and explorations to inspire artistic development, focused looking, and creative writing.


Born Again Vintage: 25 Ways to Deconstruct, Reinvent + Recycle Your Wardrobe, by Bridgett Artise, & Jen Karetnick, 2008.  Vintage garments that have lost their luster get another chance at being fashionable.


Crochet Jewelry: 40 Beautiful and Unique Designs, by Waejong Kim & Anna Pulvermakher, 2007.  Step-by-step photographs and instructions adapted from simple crochet techniques. Featured projects include multicolored bead and crochet necklaces, lacy spider web chokers, delicate yarn and wire bracelets, lively cherry earrings, mohair flower pins, and pretty cocktail rings embellished with beads and stones.

D.I.Y. Girl : The Real Girl's Guide to Making Everything From Lip Gloss to Lamps, by Jennifer Bonnell, 2003. A step-by-step guide to making clothes, beauty products, fashion accessories, and decorative items for the home using commonly available materials.

Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-shirt, by Megan Nicolay, 2006. Explains how to transform the ordinary T-shirt into a wide variety of fashionable clothing, accessories, and other items, with detailed instructions for more than 120 projects, including braided rugs, tablecloths, pillows, skirts, a purse, and more.


Hip Handbag Book: 25 Easy-to-Make Totes, Purses, and Bags, by Sherri Haab, 2004. Provides patterns and instructions for making handbags and purses, using embroidery, old jeans, newspaper, beads, feathers, silk flowers, and other materials.


The Hot Air Balloon Book: Build and Launch Kongming Lanterns, Solar Tetroons, and More, by Clive Catterall, 2013. Author and inventor Clive Catterall provides illustrated, step-by-step instructions for eight different homemade models, as well as the science and history behind them.


How to Draw Superheroes; How to Draw Supernatural Beings; How to Draw Graphic Novel-Style, by Andy Fish, 2010, 2011.




How to Make Books: Fold, Cut and Stitch Your Way to a One-of-a-Kind Book, by Esther K. Smith, 2007.  From zines you can fold in a minute to journals and sketchbooks, How to Make Books will walk you through the basics of bookmaking.
Knits for Nerds: 30 Projects : Science Fiction, Comic Books, Fantasy, by Joan of Dark, a.k.a. Toni Carr, 2012.  Patterns for 30 iconic clothing and accessory items inspired by popular TV shows, books, films, comics, and more--including "Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars," and "Firefly."


Microcrafts: Tiny Treasures to Make and Share, compiled by Margaret McGuire, Alicia Kachmar, Katie Hatz and friends, 2011.  Step-by-step instructions for making tiny teddy bears, little ladybugs, petite porcupines, itsy-bitsy bikinis, books, boats, bottle-cap frames and much more.

Scraps: An Inspirational Field Guide to Collage, by Elsebeth Gynther and Christine Clemmensen, 2009. Few artistic pursuits lend themselves to free-form creativity like collage: using paper, cloth, old maps, memorabilia, and more. The authors provide tips on texture and coloring techniques, photocopying and image transfer ideas, and creating stamps and stitching on the surface.

Sew Subversive: Down & Dirty DIY for the Fabulous Fashionista, by Melissa Rannels, Melissa Alvarado, Hope Meng, 2006.  Explains how to embellish, customize, and transform off-the-rack clothing to make it unique, offering detailed instructions and twenty-two innovative projects from turning a t-shirt into a skirt or to turning a sweater into a halter-top.

Star Wars Craft Book, by Bonnie Burton, 2011.  Chewbacca sock puppets. Jabba the Hutt body pillows. Hanukkah droidels.



Steampunk Jewelry: Victorian, Fantasy, and Mechanical Necklaces, Bracelets, and Earrings, by Jean Campbell, 2009.



Subversive Seamster: Transform Thrift Store Threads into Street Couture, by Melissa Alvarado, Hope Meng, Melissa Rannels, 2007. Transform tacky bridesmaid gowns and pleated pants into picture-perfect tops, skirts and accessories. The two Melissas and a Hope deliver 30 projects that are achievable for even the new sewer.

Tape It and Make It: 101 Duct Tape Activities, by Richela Fabian Morgan, 2012. Offers dozens of creative ideas and easy-to-follow instructions for making everything from wallets and coin purses to novelty neckties and household decorations out of duct tape.


Thirty Minute Earrings: 60 Quick & Creative Projects for Jewelers, by Marthe Le Van, 2010.





The Unofficial LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 Inventor's Guide, by David J. Perdue with Laurens Valk, 2011.  Instructions for building and programming six robots. 

Vampire Knits: Projects to Keep You Knitting From Twilight to Dawn, by Genevieve Miller, 2010.  If you adore Twilight, True Blood, or The Vampire Diaries , this collection of 28 imaginative and beautiful projects is sure to captivate.

Woodturning Chessmen, by Mike Darlow, 2008.  Featuring a gallery of chess sets and pieces, this guide explores the symbolism of chessman and contains detailed instructions on designing, turning, and carving each piece. Ten patterns are included, enabling woodworkers of any skill level to produce their own complete set of turned chessmen.

Friday, November 22, 2013

To Chew Or Not To Chew - a novel menu of sustenance.

Listed below are books, both fiction and nonfiction, that feature food or the lack of food, or the serving of food.  Sometimes food is celebrated, sometimes denounced and shunned.  There is many a story I have enjoyed just because of the descriptions of the snacks or meals the characters are consuming.  I grew up in Hawaii, and for many years wondered what the delectable sounding Turkish Delight was.  Even though it was the evil witch who was handing this treat out, C.S. Lewis's description sounded so good I wanted some.  Maybe I will make some non-evil Turkish Delight for the holidays.  If you have a favorite story with delicious sounding and hunger inducing food descriptions, please share it in the comments section.  The summaries posted below are from the informative NoveList database found on our website's Electronic Resources page.

                            Fiction                            

Artichoke's Heart, by Suzanne Supplee, 2008. 16 year old Rosemary decides she is sick of being overweight, mocked at school and at Heavenly Hair--her mother's beauty salon--and feeling out of control. As she slowly loses weight, she realizes that other people's lives are not as perfect as they seem. Realistic fiction. Tone: Feel-good; Sarcastic
Burger Wuss, by M. T. Anderson, 1999. Hoping to lose his loser image, Anthony plans revenge on a bully which results in a war between two competing fast food restaurants, Burger Queen and O'Dermott's. Realistic fiction. Tone: Darkly humorous; High-drama

Close to Famous, by Joan Bauer, 2011.  12-year-old Foster and her mother escape from her mother's abusive boyfriend and end up in the small town of Culpepper, West Virginia, where they use their strengths and challenge themselves to build a new life, with the help of the friends they make there.  Realistic fiction.  Tone: Feel-good

45 Pounds (More or Less), by K.A. Barson, 2013.  "When Ann decides that she is going to lose 45 pounds in time for her aunt's wedding, she discovers that what she looks like is not all that matters."-- Provided by publisher.  Realistic fiction.  Tone: Moving


Gil's Fright Diner, by A. Lee Martinez, 2005.  Hired by the owner of an all-night diner to eliminate the zombie problem that is costing her customers, werewolf Duke and vampire Earl tackle an even stickier adversary who is out to take over the diner.  Horror fiction. Humorous.



Hope Was Here, by Joan Bauer, 2000. When 16-year-old Hope and her aunt move from Brooklyn to Mulhoney, Wisconsin, to work as waitress and cook in the Welcome Stairways diner, they become involved with the diner owner's political campaign to oust the town's corrupt mayor. Realistic fiction. Tone: Funny; Romantic.


Hot Lunch, by Alex Bradley, 2007.  When Molly and Cassie are assigned to work in the kitchen as a punishment for their food fight, they realize that the only way they are going to be released from the duty is to cooperate and learn to cook. Includes some recipes.  Realistic fiction.


Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler, 2010. 17-year-old Lisabeth has anorexia, and even turning into Famine--one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse--cannot keep her from feeling fat and worthless. Urban fantasy fiction. Tone: Angst-filled; Darkly humorous.
Keeping the Moon, by Sarah Dessen, 1999.  15-year-old Colie, a former fat girl, spends the summer working as a waitress and staying with her eccentric aunt. Realistic fiction.  Tone: Angst-filled; Reflective; Upbeat.



Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous, by Kathryn Williams, 2012. Although 16-year-old Sophie has grown up working in her family's Mediterranean restaurant in Washington, D.C., she is not prepared to compete on the new reality show, Teen Test Kitchen, when her best friend Alex convinces her to audition. Includes recipes.  Realistic fiction.  Tone: High-drama.

See You at Harry's, by Jo Knowles, 2012.  12-year-old Fern feels invisible in her family, where grumpy 18-year-old Sarah is working at the family restaurant, 14-year-old Holden is struggling with school bullies and his emerging homosexuality, and 3-year-old Charlie is always the center of attention. When tragedy strikes, the fragile bond holding the family together is stretched almost to the breaking point. Realistic fiction. Tone: Melancholy; Moving.

Small Damages, by Beth Kephart, 2012.  Eighteen-year-old Kenzie of Philadelphia, pregnant by Yale-bound Kevin, is bitter when her mother sends her to Spain to deliver and give her baby away, but discovers a makeshift family with the rancher who takes her in, his cook, and the young man they have raised together. Realistic fiction.  Tone: Reflective.

Taste Test, by Kelly Fiore, 2013. While attending a New Hampshire culinary academy, North Carolina high school student Nora suspects someone of sabotaging the academy's televised cooking competition. Realistic fiction.  Tone: Romantic.


Tantalize, by Cynthia Leitich Smith, 2007. When multiple murders in Austin, Texas, threaten the grand re-opening of her family's vampire-themed restaurant, 17-year-old, orphaned Quincie worries that her best friend-turned-love interest, Keiren, a werewolf-in-training, may be the prime suspect.  Urban Fantasy/Horror fiction.  Tone: Bleak; Funny; Gruesome; Steamy; Suspenseful.

A Trick of the Light, by Lois Metzger, 2013. 15-year-old Mike desperately attempts to take control as his parents separate and his life falls apart.  He befriends an anorexic girl who teaches him how to stop eating while fooling those around him.  Realistic fiction.

Tyranny, by Lesley Fairfield, 2009. In Tyranny, brisk, spare text and illustrations that deal head-on with anorexia propel the reader along on Anna's journey as she falls prey to the eating disorder, personified as her tormentor, Tyranny. The novel starts with a single question: "How did I get here?" The answer lies in the pages that follow, and it's far from simple.  Realistic fiction.  Graphic format. 

Wintergirls, by Laurie Halse Anderson, 2009.  18-year-old Lia comes to terms with her best friend's death from anorexia as she struggles with the same disorder.  Realistic fiction. Tone: Disturbing; Emotionally intense; Melancholy; Reflective.


                            NonFiction                            

Click one of the following subjects to browse the library's online catalog.  
Or come browse the over 200 cookbooks in the Library's collection - Dewey call # 641.
anorexia  baking  bulimia  cookery  food  gluten  
nutrition  paleo diet  vegan  vegetarian  weight loss  
  
Big Snacks, Little Meals, by Rose Dunnington, 2006.  A handy cookbook presents a delicious array of snacks and mini-meals that are delicious, fun to make, and nutritious--such as baked apples, guacamole, cheese straws, and chicken fingers.


Chew On This : Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food, by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson, 2006.  A behind-the-scenes look at the fast food industry.
Cook Your Way Through the S.A.T. : Recipes Worth a Thousand Words, by Charis Freiman-Mendel, 2011.  A collection of 99 recipes, 100 fun-fact blurbs and 1000 vocabulary words that frequently appear on the SAT and other standardized tests.  

The humor scientist behind Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, and Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, takes a tour of the human digestive system, explaining why the stomach doesn't digest itself and whether constipation can kill you.

The Omnivore's Dilemma: The Secrets Behind What You Eat, by Michael Pollan, 2009. From fast food & big organic to small farms & old-fashioned hunting & gathering, this young readers' adaptation of food-chain exploration encourages one to consider the personal & global health implications of food choices.



The Manga Cookbook, by Chihiro Hattori, 2007.  An illustrated step-by-step guide to preparing simple Japanese dishes using ingredients found in every Western kitchen teaches budding chefs how to make everything they see in their favorite manga--from rice balls to Japanese-style pizza.

Relish, by Lucy Knisley, 2013.  Presents an illustrated memoir of the author's early life, as she describes key episodes and the foods associated with them, and the life lessons she learned from cooking and eating gourmet meals with her parents and friends. Each chapter is book-ended with an illustrated recipe.  Graphic format.


So You Want to be a Chef? : How to Get Started in the World of Culinary Arts, by J.M. Bedell, 2013. Choosing a career in the culinary arts -- Starting a career in the culinary arts -- The chef de cuisine, boss of the kitchen -- The sous chef, second in command -- The chef de partie, the engine of the kitchen -- The pastry chef, the sweet side of cooking -- Cooking for many, cooking for few -- The restaurant business, owner or employer -- Careers in the media -- Food scientists in research and development.

Vegetables Rock! : A Complete Guide for Teenage Vegetarians, by Stephanie Pierson, 1999. A guide to plant-based diets includes sixty vegetarian recipes culled from some of the country's top chefs, including wood-grilled vegetable sandwich on foccacia, Asian corn fritters, mashed potatoes with garlic and rosemary, and chocolate devastation cake.


What the World Eats, photographed by Peter Menzel ; written by Faith D'Aluisio, 2008.  "A photographic collection exploring what the world eats featuring portraits of twenty-five families from twenty-one countries surrounded by a week's worth of food"--Provided by publisher.

You're The Cook : A Guide to Mixing it Up in the Kitchen, by Katie Wilton, 2005. Designed for the inexperienced cook. Focuses on four food products: eggs, cheese, pasta, and berries: where the food product is harvested or made, how to properly store it, its nutritional information, followed by five recipes using that food product.