Thursday, February 24, 2011

To Zombie, or Not to Zombie, That is a Good Question Indeed

Hi Mrs. Librarian Lady,

All my friends LOVE zombies and they are really into playing video games where they get to either chase zombies or run from them. I’m not sure if I like zombies that much and don’t want to try those games yet. Do you know of a book that has zombies in it that I could read? Not too scary tho!



Greetings ??Zombiees??

I feel your pain! I am not really a big zombie fan myself. There’s something creepy about the way they drag themselves around. Oh, and the thing that I hate the most is that they usually want to eat you too. I know of a book called The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan that I would highly recommend for you to read if you are not sure about zombies. The story involves a futuristic world where humans become infected and turn into zombies. It’s not too scary and if I can read it and not be too scared then you can too! Let me know what you think because there is a companion book also by Carrie Ryan called The Dead Tossed Waves you might like as well.

Happy Reading and Good Luck with the Zombies!

Mrs. Librarian Lady

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Review: Mary lives in a nice little quiet village on the edge of a forest where nothing much happens except when someone gets bit by one of the infected dead zombies called the Unconsecrated that gather by the fences that surround the area. You may think that this sounds weird, but basically it’s all Mary has ever known. Her father has recently disappeared and turned up Unconsecrated, and her mother pretty much goes insane and gets herself bit in order to be with him outside the fences. Once someone is bit they become infected and then it is only a matter of time before they turn Unconsecrated as well. After losing her parents, Mary is in an awful state and even her own brother turns her away so goes to live with the Sisterhood who just happen to be the keepers of many deep dark secrets. In the meantime Travis, the guy that Mary has had a crush on for a long time ends mashing his leg and ends up convalescing at the chapel where she is staying with the sisters. The two become very close and have a strong connection that just may last forever. Unfortunately the Sisters have different plans for them and they decree that Mary must instead become betrothed to Travis’ brother Harry. Many things happen after this and there is a breach in the fences and the Unconsecrated swarm the village biting and eating lots of people. The only ones to make it out alive are Mary, Harry, Travis, her friend Cass, a little boy named Jacob, her new puppy Argos and her brother Jed. As they flee from their village, they leave behind the only world they have ever known. Mary always wonders what lies beyond the Forest of Hands and Teeth and would like to explore, but she is constantly being pursued by those annoying flesh eating zombies. This is an amazing apocalyptic tale that will have you on the edge of your seat and chewing your fingernails, well at least it did for me. Ryan’s writing is haunting and intense as she shows readers what life will be like when zombies take over the world dubbing it appropriately as The Return. I really enjoyed listening to this on disc and Vane Millon’s voice was perfect for Mary. Readers will enjoy this book because there is plenty of chasing and running and tons of action. Especially when Mary takes charge, that’s when some zombie heads start to roll!

You can also read this article at To Zombie, or Not To Zombie, That is a Good Question Indeed - San Francisco young adult fiction |

Friday, February 11, 2011

No More Gossip!

This week's letter come from T.lo

Hey there Mrs. Librarian Lady!

My sister only reads "gossip" books such as the Beacon Street Girls and Lauren Myracle's books. I have encouraged her to read other books (SotINF, Eragon, Funke) but she refuses to read them.
Are there any books to prepare or segue her into middle school books from her current interests?

Hey T.lo!!

Thanks so much for writing to me! It is really nice of you to want to help your sister to read more interesting and complex books. The only thing I might say is that if she really enjoys reading “gossip” books, she may not be interested in reading other genres like fantasy, sci-fi, or horror. Some advice I might give your sister is to try reading some realistic fiction that deals with real life issues that are sort of like the “gossip” books. She could start with some that are easy to read and then move on to more complex books later. Here are a few of my favorite realistic books for tweens.

Happy reading to you!

Mrs. Librarian Lady

Messed Up by Janet Nichols Lynch (Holiday House, 2009)

R.D. is stuck in limbo in the San Joaquin Valley school system. He's repeating 8th grade again and is sick of seeing the same old stuff day after day, and being Mexican and Cheyenne doesn’t help either. Living in a gangland, he’s neutral, but there are those who wear red or blue and fight for no reason at all. R.D. lives with his grandmother's boyfriend Earl, who takes really good care of him while Grandma is off with her new boyfriend and his mom is in the State Pen. One thing is for sure, R.D. has got a great heart. He does do some messed up things, but he is just trying to get by in life and some how, some way, R.D. knows he will do great things. He figures out how to take care of himself, feed himself, and make money. R.D. is a great main character who brings to light the difficulties of growing up in hard times and in diverse communities. He also ends up making some great friends and deep connections. R.D. is a great example of a teen overcoming adversity. Even more inspiring is that Lynch ascends R.D. to reach the highest heights.

**ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers 2010

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2010).

13 year-old girl Kyra lives in a community of polygamists. She doesn’t know any other way of life, but she begins to learn that she lives a very different life than others outside her community. She has one dad, three mothers and twenty siblings. However, one day the head of their community called The Prophet comes to their house to speak to her dad. In a very distressful meeting Kyra finds out that she is to be married to her sixty year-old uncle. He already has six wives and she will be the seventh. Kyra is frantic and will do anything to not marry her uncle. Through Kyra’s rebellion it becomes clear that the community she lives in has a lot of secrets and a lot of control over their people. Kyra’s decisions evoke dire consequences and she is treated brutally, which paints quite a graphic picture of the Prophet and her community. Williams provides a bittersweet ending that shows that Kyra has been removed from the community and is safe, but the price she has to pay is quite dear. The Chosen One offers an intense view of polygamy and life in a closed community.

**ALA Best Books for Young Adults 2010

Haters by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez (Hachette Audio, 2006)

Review: Pasquale Rumalda Quintana de Archuleta goes by just Paski. She’s content to live in Taos, New Mexico until her father makes her move to Southern California because his comic novels are going Hollywood. Paski's dad sees this as an amazing opportunity and Paski sees this as an end to her life. The kids at her new school come from wealthy families, drive expensive cars, drink and party like adults, and the Haters rules the school. Sticking to her strong Hispanic background Paski shows teens how to survive by being true to themselves and still making the best of situations over which they have little control.

This was a very enjoyable book. Paski is a bright and cheery character with a strong voice and will of her own. The father is somewhat annoying as he drifted from being too distant to being too clingy. Paski’s Hispanic grandmother is one of the best characters in the story as she was always giving out great advice and telling Paski to stay strong. The story also offered perfect examples of what cliques are like and how teens can deal with them.

You can also read this article on No More Gossip! - San Francisco young adult fiction |

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Crazyyy for Carrie Bradshaw

This week’s letter comes from ScribbleDitz

Dear Mrs. Librarian Lady,

I really like the show Sex and the City but I never get to watch it on T.V. and my mom doesn’t really like me watching it either. I like the show a lot and I really want to know more about the character Carrie Bradshaw. I want to be a writer and I was wondering how Carrie started her writing career and got a job writing for the New York Star.



Hello ScribbleDitz!

I think that’s great that you like to write and have the goal of becoming a writer. That is very cool indeed! I haven’t seen many episodes of Sex and the City myself, but I do know that Carrie Bradshaw is a writer for the New York Star and she writes a column every week about something that is happening to her and her friends. That sounds like a very fun job to have! I have recently read the book "The Carrie Diaries" by Candace Bushnell and I think you will find it just as fascinating as I did because it tells the background story of a much younger Carrie Bradshaw before she ever lived in New York. You should read this book because I know you will love it!

Many happy readings,

Mrs. Librarian Lady

The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell (Harper Audio, 2010)

Review: 17 year-old Carrie Bradshaw is quite a little spitfire. It’s the early 1980’s and she’s about to embark on her last year in high school and is trying to get into a summer writing program in New York. Times at Castlebury High are not always fun for Carrie, but she has a group of tight knit friends that keep her from going crazy. She finally lands the guy of her dreams, the ever gorgeous Sebastian Kydd only to lose him to her best friend Lalli because as Sebastian puts it, “she nicer to me.” Carrie seems to grow wings through her misery and starts to write about things that have a deep meaning not only to herself, but also for many others in her school. Struggling to grow up after her mother passed away when she was twelve, and dealing with obvious betrayal from boyfriends and best friends makes Carrie realize that there’s a great big world out there and she wants to not only live it, she wants to experience it in every kind of way. Bushnell creates the most believable characters in this coming of age tale that rushes at you with full force. Castlebury’s small town feeling is a great contrast with New York City’s hustle and bustle and Carrie’s determination to get there shines brightly on the pages of this glorious novel.

I really couldn’t get enough of young Carrie Bradshaw. I was never a big fan of the series Sex in the City, but I have to say that I enjoyed Candace Bushnell’s writing in this book. Carrie was sassy, fun and very smart. I liked that about her and wanted to keep reading to find out what she was going to do next. Also, Carrie seemed to always have good luck wherever she went and whatever she did. Even if her boyfriend cheated on her with her best friend, she still came out on top. Yay Carrie!

This would be an excellent book for a girl’s book club. It is set in the early 1980’s which seems to be coming back in style lately. I also think that teen girls can relate to Carrie because she is a young adult going through exactly the same thing that teenage girls are going through right now in 2011.

This letter is also featured on Crazyyy for Carrie Bradshaw - San Francisco young adult fiction |