Thursday, January 27, 2011

All Worked Up

This week's letter comes frim SmokeyRat

Hi Mrs. Librarian Lady,

I am really worried right now because my teacher just assigned a book report and I have to get a biography and read it. I have no idea who I want to read about and when I go to the library I get lost in all of those books. Can you please help me I think I am going to be in big trouble if I can't come up with something very soon.

Hi SmokeyRat,

Never fear, I always have a few book ideas up my sleeve. If you aren't sure who you would like to do a book report on I can give you a few ideas. Pick someone who you are interested in and that you think will be good to write about. I always like Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Jesse James and Elvis. They all have very interesting facts about their lives and some great pictures too. You should check out the high school picture of Barack Obama it's great!

Good luck and keep on reading!

Mrs. Librarian Lady

Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman (Henry Holt Books, 2009)

Honors: YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults 2010 Winner

Review: This biography covers the life of Charles Darwin whose revolutionary theory of evolution came to light in 1859 with his published manuscript The Origin of Species. His theory has been debatable by many and even today continues between the scientific world and religious affiliations. Charles and Emma shows that even in his personal life, Darwin had issues with conflict and unresolved issues with his marriage. The two might have even been considered to have been polar opposites with his scientific theories and her forced religious beliefs. This book gives a stimulating account of how Darwin dealt with his work and his personal life.

I was very interested to read this biography considering the long standing debate of Darwinism. The book was well written, organized and interesting. I never knew that Darwin struggled with many personal issues in his marriage. The book gave quite an engaging look into the historical background of his life and work.

The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P. T. Barnum by Candace Fleming (Schwartz & Wade Books, 2009)

Honors: YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults 2010 Finalist

Review: P.T. Barnum was a master at creating the most amazing and interesting circus sideshows. This biography traces his career from the beginning of his start up in Connecticut and follows him as he becomes the most famous circus presenter in history. Done in a photo memorabilia layout with text on the sides the book has an old fashioned feeling and is highly engaging and readable. This in depth look at Barnum also offers deep insight on how undeniably interesting the 19th century entertainment world really was.

This is a really interesting and amazing book. It is full of pictures and the life story of Barnum is captivating. I never knew that there was a miniature man only 39 inches tall and that there is a Barnum museum in Connecticut.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pictures Tell the Story

This week's letter come from Trippin6

Hey there Mrs. Librarian Lady how are you doing?

I don't read a lot of books because I always feel like I have such a hard time choosing one that I will like. And then there usually seems to be too many pages and I get frustrated and put it down. The other day I saw someone with a cool book that looked like a comic book. They told me it was called a graphic novel. I think I would like to try reading one but I have no idea which is a good one. I know you read a lot of books and thought you might be able to help me with my problem. Do you know of any good graphic novels I might like?


Hi there Trippin6!

You have come to the right place to find a good graphic novel. I have been working on reading more graphic novels lately because they are so popular and really very cool too. Depending on what kind of story you like most graphic novels are not too long and are easily read in one day. If you are into anime or manga you can also find many Japanese graphic novels like Naruto, Inu Yasha, and others at your local library. Here are two graphic novels that I have read recently that I think you might like. I will post a few more later this week too!

Thanks for writing me and happy reading to you!

Mrs. Librarian Lady

Scott Pilgrim: Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O’Malley (Oni Press, 2004)
Honors: Harvey Award Winner, 2007 (Humor), Graphic Album – Original, 2008, Independent Comic of the Year, 2006
Review: Scott Pilgrim has got the best life ever. He seems to have a charmed life. He’s got cool friends, a rockin band, a sympathetic roommate and even a much younger girlfriend named Knives Chau. One day when Scott sees Ramona Flowers in the library his world gets rocked and from that moment on he only has eyes for her. He thinks of ways to get Ramona to run into him and when they finally hang out she isn’t really that interested in him. It isn’t until she sees him playing with his band that she knows he’s really cool. All along Scott keeps getting these hilarious emails and notes from some guy named Matthew Patel who is trying to challenge him to a fight. O’Malley has created a very likeable character that really can do no wrong. This is the first volume of Scott’s adventures which turns out to be his first triumph against the first of Ramona’s seven evil ex-boyfriends. The graphics are uniquely stylish that convey characters with big eyes and excellent expressions. The graphics also capture the essence of young adults in their natural element with a bit of steam punk and rock and roll.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this book, but it turned out to be great. I really liked the relaxed feeling of Scott’s world and how everything seems to turn out well for him. Even if he has 7 evil ex’s to fight and Knives wants to kill him he is still relaxed and as cool as a cucumber. That is pretty funny stuff.

Pinocchio Vampire Slayer Volume 1 by Vane Jensen & Dusty Higgins (SLG Publishing, 2009)
Honors: ALA Great Graphic Novels for Teens, 2010
Review: This is not your good old Disney Pinocchio story, no it’s the edgy vampire hunting one. Pinocchio lives in a town filled with vampires and it is his job to get rid of them. He takes his job seriously, but suddenly his father Gepetto is taken by the vampires. Pinocchio loses it and goes on an all out war against vampires. This graphic novel is deep, dark, and dreary in colors, but the intensity of Pinocchio and his ability to be invincible against vampires is incredibly likeable. Full of humor and excitement this novel is sure to boost the career of a new vampire slaying hero.

I think this book is pretty cool and hilarious at the same time. The basic concept of taking a cute little puppet person like Pinocchio and turning him into a vampire slayer cracks me up. He is pretty cool in this role though. I like the fact that he is killing vampires with his wooden nose and that he has to lie in order to get his nose longer. A great twist on the classic tale.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fairytales, Romance & Boys

Today's letter comes from Pity Princezz

Hi there Mrs. Librarian Lady!

I love a good romance book that has a fun plot with lots of cute boys in the mix! Sometimes I go for the Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot when I am looking for a book in the library but I would like to try something new in 2011. Do you know of a few good books that have romance, cute boys and are fairy tale like?

your friend,

Pity Princezz

Hello Hello Pity Princezz!

Well you know most of us girls just love a good romance and of course there has to be cute boys involved. I really love Meg Cabot too, she has so many great books and one of my favorite happens to be Avalon High which has just been made into a television show on the Disney Channel. If you are looking for some new books to read in 2011 I have a couple that I think you might just fall in love with. They are full of magic, romance and are definitely fairy tale worthy. Hope you like them as much as I do!

Happy Magical Reading!!

Mrs. Librarian Lady

My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison (Walker & Company, 2009)

Review: Not having a date for the prom can be a grim experience! After her boyfriend dumps her for her older sister, sophomore Savannah Delano wishes she could find a true prince to take her to the prom. Enter Chrissy (Chrysanthemum) Everstar: Savannah’s gum-chewing, cell phone–carrying, pink haired, sun glass wearing Fair Godmother. The funny thing is she's only a Fair Godmother because she wasn't a very good student, only a fair one. When Savannah wishes that she could have a real princely guy take her to the prom, Chrissy sends her back to the Middle Ages, first as Cinderella, then as Snow White. Then when Savannah says she wants to find a princely guy in her own time, Chrissy sends Tristan, a boy in Savannah’s class, back to the Middle Ages to turn him into a prince. Savannah feels horrible about Tristan being sent back to the Middle Ages so she goes back to help him get back home to their time. Great laughs are in store after she kisses the Black Knight, runs from a maniac goat, and beats up some robbers. Finally Savannah and Tristan must team up to defeat a troll, a dragon, and the mysterious Black Knight. A trip through time to experience life as a medieval fairy tale character is a great twist especially when it's mixed with romance and comedy.

This story is a nice twist on the old Cinderella/Fairy Godmother tale. It offers up new ideas by adding into the mixture the element of time travel. With time the travel addition, the reader is able to imagine what a real Cinderella or Snow White would have had to live like. This additive is very delightful and makes this book an extremely fun read. The ditzy Fairy Godmother is really funny and adds quite a bit of humor into the storyline.

The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2010)

Review: Elizabeth Rue gave up her shoes and has a real nose for magic. If that doesn't rhyme that's ok because there's plenty more rhymes in this magical mystery. Elizabeth is not so popular and mostly keeps to herself until her social studies professor recommends her as a page at the New York Circulating Material Repository downtown that let's borrowers check out magical objects for a short loan period. She is interested in the Grimm collection, which houses all of the magical objects that we've heard about in fairy tales. There is a dark side to working in the repository because there is a gigantic bird kidnapping pages and someone is stealing the magic from the objects in the Grimm collection. Elizabeth loves working at the repository and she gets to be very close to the gorgeous Marc Merritt, but at the same time take insults from Snow White's stepmother's mirror, which is truly not big on compliments. She has no idea who to trust and who is on her side like the elusive Aaron who just happens to show up unexpectedly almost all the time. And the cool things is that she has a real sense of smell that leads her to the magical objects she needs to help her save her friends. Shulman creates a magical world that is a step beyond the mundane and keeps the magic fresh by adding friendship, kindness, and love.

I absolutely love fairy tales and this book brought many of my favorite ones to life. I enjoyed reading this book, it keep you captivated all the way through. Elizabeth’s adventures are fun and captivating. Her friendship with Anjali, Marc, and Jaya is really nice and her uncertainty of Aaron offers an intense romance between the two. After reading this book I really wished there was such a thing as a magical material repository!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Unwind to the Future

In response to Jedi Bum's request for some action packed science fiction books I am posting a list of really cool futuristic sci fi novels that I have read. I think that anyone who enjoys reading interesting and intriguing books will enjoy these on my list.

Happy Reading to all of you out there!!

Mrs. Librarian Lady

If You Liked Unwind You Will Want To Read These:

Feed by M.T. Anderson

Titus never asks about his world, he is complacent in that the corporations control all streams of information, and of course he knows that kids learn to use the feed more efficiently in school where they are taught everything they need to know. But everything changes when he meets Violet and he travels to the moon for spring break and finds out someone might be hacking into everyone’s feeds.

The Diary of Pelly D. by L.J. Adlington

In a futuristic world, Tony V. finds an old diary in the ruins of City 5 he pockets it and begins to read. He reads about Pelly D. who was a normal girl, but later on becomes outcast of society for being Galrezi. Tony V. learns in a flash how Pelly’s beautiful life fades into sheer nothingness as she is treated horribly and moved to the slums.

The Compound by S.A. Bodeen

Eli has spent six years living in an underground bomb shelter since the nuclear war. The living conditions are stressful, the food supply is quickly declining, and his father is becoming increasingly irrational. Will Eli survive nine more years underground, or will he discover the shocking truth of his own fathers’ twisted plan?

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Ender Wiggin is a third, which means his parents were allowed to have him as a means to recruiting him in the military to fight the Bugger wars. Ender enters the academy at age six and is a captain by age twelve. He knows no other life, as he is programmed to kill the enemy no matter if it means killing all of the humanity within his self.

The Roar by Emma Clayton

Mika lives in a world where animals have the plague and are menacingly rabid. The government controls the population and people live in cramped slums with high walls in London. Mika believes his sister Ellie is still alive after she has been kidnapped and it’s up to him to break free from the mind control drugs, poisonous molds he’s being fed, and the hideous shock collars punishments he has endured in order to save his sister.

Maze Runner by James Dashner

Thomas has to learn how to survive in a strange new place where everything seems completely surreal. Somehow he must find a way to escape this creepy enclosed place that houses scary figures called the Grievers. There may be hope after all when he finds a comatose girl with a strange note.

Rash by Pete Hautman

16 year old Bo Marsten lives in a very different U.S.A. in 2076 where there are rules for just about anything you can think of. After he accidentally spreads a rash around at school, he is punished and sent to a penal colony. There, he plays football which is a very violent game, and it might just cost him his life.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Jonah lives in an ideal world with an ideal house, perfect weather, no crime and no one is ever sick. When he turns twelve, he begins to question the reasons why everything in his world is so perfectly controlled. He may have to make alternative choices in order to gain control of his own life.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson

Jenna Fox seems like a normal teenager, so why do her parents treat her like she’s a china doll that could break at any moment? She also has strange dreams and memories like she used to be someone else. What Jenna discovers about herself could change all of mankind.

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

High school sophomore Miranda and her family are not worried about the latest news of a meteor that is headed straight toward the moon. However, afterwards the world has changed and the earth is reacting wildly with tsunamis and volcanoes erupting everywhere, plus there is suddenly a food and gas shortage. Life becomes a struggle just to stay alive, and at almost the point of starvation, Miranda does not know what the future holds for her.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Intense Sci Fi Action Rulezzz

Today’s letter comes from Jedi Bum

Hi Mrs. Librarian Lady,

I was thinking that I wanted to get a really good book this week but I really don’t know what to read. I like lots of different kinds of books and I think Science Fiction is really cool. I also like a lot of action and would like the main character to be a guy. Have you read any good books lately that sound like that? I hope you had a good New Year.


Jedi Bum

Hi There Jedi Bum! I have to say that your letter has got me thinking about some really good books that I have read recently. One that comes to mind is an action packed Sci Fi thriller called Unwind by Neil Shusterman. Unwind is an amazing story about a brave young man named Connor who literally has to go on the run and fight for his right to live. His world is a futuristic world that takes place after a Second Civil War, which happened between the pro-choice and pro-life forces in the United States. After the war the government came up with a declaration that allows parents to unwind their unwanted or difficult kids between the ages of thirteen and eighteen. Being an unwind means that their bodies are surgically taken apart and all the organs and tissue are used in other people. According to the law, the kids aren’t considered dead, they’re “living in a divided state.”

When Connor finds out that his parents have signed his unwind papers, he flees his home to find a safe place away from all of the horror. Setting out, he meets Risa who is an accomplished pianist that is scheduled to be unwound, and Lev who is a Tithe, a special token to the church so to speak. The three all have something to learn from each other and an incredible journey to unravel. The book follows these three across the United States as they travel together, split up, and meet again when their destinies cross in a Harvest Camp where they are slated to finally be unwound.

Shusterman has created an intense and realistic future world that will totally give you goose bumps. I guarantee that you'll be looking over your shoulder for several days after reading this book!

Happy Reading to you!!

Mrs. Librarian Lady

P.S. Jedi Bum, your letter has given me an idea. If you like Unwind then you will love reading more books just like it. So I will be posting book reviews all week with ideas for books that you can read after you read Unwind.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Vampire Lovers Unite!

Today's letter comes from Vampyre Lvr

Hey there Mrs. Librarian Lady! I really loved the Twilight series and have read and re-read them over lots of times. I'm starting to get a little bored with that and I want to read something new that has vampires and a couple in love like Edward and Bella in it. Can you help me find something good to read that I can sink my teeth into?

Signed, Vampyre Lvr

Hi Vamp Lvr! I'm so glad that you love the Twilight series, I love it quite a bit too! I think that vampires are really cool especially when they sparkle like the ones in Forks, Washington :) If you are looking for a good book try taking a bite out of this one!

Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde (Magic Carpet Books, 2005)

High school student Kerry has a soft spot for underlings in need of help and just her luck, the one that she feels sorry for happens to be a vampire. After she saves the really good looking Ethan she finds out that he actually is a vampire but it's too late because her family is kidnapped and she has to join forces with Ethan. She is on a mission to unravel the mystery of their disappearance and find out who is wrecking havoc on her town.

This book is full of excitement and adventure and in the end you might just have a little soft spot for Ethan as well. There are definite similarities to the Bella and Edward relationship except that Ethan is much more mysterious and maybe a little hotter looking :O Vampire lovers will adore this fast-paced mystery novel and it will definitely leave them wanting more.

Happy Reading to you!!

Mrs. Librarian Lady

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Secret Secret I have a Secret

Hey there Mrs. Librarian Lady this is from one of your readers. My name is L2theL and I like to read fantasy books. Can you tell me if there are any good books out there that are about dragons? I also really like books that are filled with action so I was wondering if you have read anything that you really like.

Hello L2theL!

You have come to the right place. I have a book in mind that I think you will really like. Read this review I wrote and then if it sounds like something you might like go down to the library and check it out! Thanks so much for writing me.

Keep up the good reading!

Mrs. Librarian Lady :)

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman (Penguin/Viking, 2008).

Eon has been through a series of bad events. His leg is mangled and he has many deep dark secrets. Eon’s master Brannon has been training him as an apprentice Dragoneye. When Eon tries out he finds he has much more power than anyone ever knew. Dragoneyes are the lucky twelve chosen to be the human link to the dragons of magic. Each year, the ascendant dragon chooses a new apprentice to be trained in this magic. The Dragoneye holds the power to keep the well being of the Empire. As Eon ascends into a royal state of court, he tries to hold on to his secret. However, when the evil Lord Ido seeks to destroy Eon things get pretty dangerous. Eon must turn to his new friends he has made to help him stay alive. With his secret dangling in the wind, his and their lives are all at stake. Fast-paced and full of exciting surprises, Goodman has gone beyond the normal fantasy book, as Eon’s world does not exist yet has many similarities of the world we know. Eon evokes the idea that the power of one’s own self worth can actually help them achieve a winning hand.

**ALA 2010 Best Books for Young Adults

Friday, January 07, 2011


This week's review is a good one! Anyone interested in the fantasy world that James Patterson has conjured up tune in for this book. It's a series too so the sequel should be coming out really soon.

Witch & Wizard by James Patterson

Teenage siblings Wisty and Wit Allgood never in their entire lives thought that they would be in such great danger. Unfortunately, the world has turned against anyone who shows any signs of having witch like qualities. Teens are disappearing left and right and Wisty and Wit and their parents are roused up in the middle of the night and berated for being a family of witches. At this point, the two need to think fast if they are going to survive the night. All rights have been taken away by the head regime, which no one really knows how they can do the unthinkable things they are doing. Patterson is at is again providing intense and exciting adventures very much like that of Maximum Ride and her winged counterparts. Wit and Wisty are an amazing brother and sister team and with their combined powers maybe they will be able to fight the New Order and bring back some kind of peace in the world. Patterson is sure to give readers more as the end of the book tells us “TO BE CONTINUED.”

Conjure up some spells

This week's review has quite a few twists and turns for those who like a good fantasy novel that has mystery and spell casting!

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Sophie Mercer discovered that she is a witch mostly by accident. She has been kicked out of several schools for spells gone awry, and is about to be in big trouble with the witch council if she doesn’t get a handle on her magic spells. Her mother who is a non- witch decides to send her to Hex Hall where she can be polished up into a good little witch. The only thing that gets better is her love life and that is probably somewhat questionable because the guy she likes might a mysterious creature out to get her. Her new roommate is a creepy vampire and there is some kind of scary mystery on girls that are being killed at the school. All of this, and a ghost who is calling Sophie into the night to train her, brings forth the truth that will scare all kinds of ghost lovers. Those who are especially faint at heart should beware! Hawkins has written divine characters and an interesting plot that will keep all readers highly engaged. The sequel to Hex Hall called Demonglass will be released in March 2011.

Monster High

This review is for those who are fun at heart and can smile at the things that make themselves unique human beings. Well, maybe some of the characters in this story are not quite humans. But, this story will definitely make you smile!

Melody Carver is no stranger to being an outcast because she used to be considered homely and ugly at her old school in California. Hopefully her new nose job will help her at her new school in Salem Oregon. On the flip side, being green and a descendant of Frankenstein makes Frankie Stein have to seriously hide her differentness in order to avoid angry mobs that want to kill her. Both of these girls are striving to fit in with their new surroundings without giving away their deep-seated fears. Both Melody and Frankie try to make friends, but they still feel left out. Frankie has to deal with her family not wanting her to come out of the closet about her monster origins. After a wild night at the homecoming dance everyone will have to re-evaluate who’s hot and who’s not in this adorable tale. Harrison hits the mark by mixing monsters, ghouls, and freaks with the age- old problem of teenagers trying to fit in. The message is clear that whoever or whatever you are, it’s best to just be yourself no matter what

Write a Little Play, Have a Little Fun, Get Down Tiny!

Will Grayson, Will Grayson is kind of a wild ride for anyone who reads this book. Told in two different voices, by two different characters both named Will Grayson. One thing is for sure, the whole story focuses around the biggest person of all Tiny Cooper. Tiny is such a fun spontaneous, and joyous young man and both Will Grayson’s find him so irresistible. The first Will Grayson is Tiny’s best friend and confidant, the other is his love interest. By a strange chance meeting the first Will Grayson meets the other in a seedy porn shop called Frenchie’s. This chance meeting alters both of their lives forever. Add to the mix, Tiny’s amazing and genius life story musical that is written, directed, and produced by none other than Tiny himself. Will Grayson, Will Grayson is an inspirational tale that is creatively written, seductively cool, and so uncontrollably witty you’ll find yourself laughing out loud.