Thursday, August 30, 2012

We are a SL21 Qualified Library!

I think it's important for school libraries and teacher-librarians to get some recognition for the work that goes on in school libraries.  I am proud to say that we are a SL21 Qualified Library.

Details are here:

My Library over the Summer!

This summer the library got a bit of an update.  We got new floors, a new ceiling, new HVAC and new lights.  Definitely needed.  However, the work that needed to be done to move the library was overwhelming.  It took FOREVER to pack up all the books, dismantle the shelves, take everything else down and empty my desk.  Then to put it back together may have been ever harder.  It took a crew of 10 moving men, 2 librarians and 3 assistants to get the place back to where it sort of was.

But we are open for business and the library smells new ;)



Friday, August 17, 2012

The Vampire Stalker Book Review

Author (Last name first):  Van Diepen, Allison
Title of the Book:  The Vampire Stalker
Publisher:  Point an imprint of Scholastic         Date of Publication:         2011 
ISBN# 978-0-545-28375-5   Price: $17.99     Grade Level: J/S     Number of Pages: 257
VOYA Rating: 4Q 4P

Highly Recommended

The opening scene will definitely appeal to those readers who have waited in line for a new release.  The main character is Amy, who is in line at a book store with her best friends – Luisa and Katie.  They are waiting for the 3rd book in a vampire series called The Mists of Otherworld.  As soon as they got their books, they headed for home to read it over the weekend.  Amy is in love with one of the vampire hunter characters, Alexander.  She is very active on fan fiction websites.  On Monday, Amy’s first stop is the school library to visit the school librarian to discuss the newest book.  Mrs. P, the school librarian, not only has a Masters in Library Science, but also a PhD in Physics J  Later, Amy is attacked by someone on her way home and fortunately someone is nearby to help her.  The person who helped save her is very similar to Alexander Banks, the vampire hunter she is in love with from the books.  Amy does not believe it really is Alexander, until he starts to convince her with all sorts of facts.  Turns out there is a portal linking their two worlds and somehow Alexander has crossed over.  Amy and Alex turn to Mrs. P with their problem.  Mrs. P believes their story because she was studying these portals for her PhD dissertation, when she was discredited for believing in Science Fiction (!).  A romance develops, the mystery of the portal is solved and the Vampire problem is eradicated.
I think this book is fun and well written.  Who doesn’t love a super smart school librarian???  I think this is a must read book for those of us who wait in line for books on their release date.  It’s also perfect for those who have fallen in love with a character from their favorite books.  The story is partly realistic in that it takes part in Chicago as we know it.  It is also part steam punk because Alex’s world in the other Chicago is technologically stuck in Victorian times.  It’s part paranormal because of the vampires and vampire hunters.  There is also some romance between Amy and Alex and some secondary characters (human and vampire).  Oh, and it’s also part Science Fiction because of the portals between worlds.  I enjoyed the story. Even with all the genre elements going on, the story flowed smoothly.  I think it’s a great purchase for a school/public library.  I think it would make a good book club book with lots to discuss.  It’s not overly dark and the story provides a good escape from reality.  It will appeal to tweens and teens alike.  The portrayal of the school librarian is one of the most positive ones I have ever seen.  Nothing objectionable that stood out to me.

Beautiful Days Book Reivew

Anna Godbersen
Beautiful Days: A Bright Young Things Novel
Harper: A imprint of HarperCollins         Date of Publication:         2011
ISBN# 978-0-06-196268-4
Price:  $17.99        Grade Level: J/S (9-12)    Number of Pages: 358
VOYA Rating: 4Q 4P

Highly Recommended

This is the second book in the Bright Young Things series.  The story definitely continues from the 1st book.  I would not advise reading the 2nd book as a stand alone because the characters and story have already been introduced.  Cordelia Grey and Letty Larkspur came to New York City from small town Ohio.  As the story revealed in the first book, Cordelia Grey was the lost daughter of a famous and wealthy bootlegger.  Cordelia’s and Letty’s fortunes changed and they were whisked away from the city by Cordelia’s brother, Charlie, to the family estate.  They had food, money, a place to stay and quickly entered high society.  Cordelia started getting involved in the family business and Letty kept trying to pursue her acting career.  Astrid was one of their new friends who was getting married to Charlie.  All three girls found young men they were interested in which let to summer romance.  Unfortunately, the romance was followed by heartbreak.  There was suspense and betrayal in the bootlegging business.  Money and status came before friendship.  All the girls had to deal with betrayal and disappointment. 
It was a good read overall.  Like the first book, the historical detail of New York City, the clothes, the nightlife, and the roles of women were portrayed quite accurately.  Readers will be learning about prohibition without even realizing it.  The writing flows, the characters are likable, and it’s a good mix of suspense and romance.  There is a 3rd volume that will be released.  I think this is a good book for fun reading in history classes for prohibition or bootlegging topics.  It’s a good purchase for a public or school library.  Not really too much explicit material, but definitely illegal drinking and allusions to sex.  All the girls describe their kisses, with boys, to each other.  Based on the cover art and main characters, this book is targeted towards girls.  It would be a good historical fiction series for a book club, just not as easy as using a stand alone book for book clubs.  Overall, I enjoyed reading it and I look forward to the 3rd book.