Saturday, March 31, 2007

Ah, ranting. Not very productive, but good for the soul at times. I won't let that teacher get me down. I have had some very positive interactions lately. I got confirmation that my newsletters have been read and appreciated. The Secondary BOC librarian emailed the other day and asked me to come in to talk about the summer reading program. In reality things are going well and the worry that no one will show up is always an evil voice in the back of my head. It is frustrating trying to get the teachers to talk to me, though.

Friday, March 30, 2007


I have been so excited about my poetry event in May. I have been planning, making sure that we have the room, that we have a performer and that the Pizza will be plentiful, decent and cheap. One 2 second interaction with a teacher is making me doubt whether this event will be successful. The librarian at the school said I should go up and talk to her, introduce myself and talk about the program. I asked if it was ok if I interrupted class, and she said it would be no problem. So I wind my way up there--this school is a maze--and finally find the right door. I knock softly, then enter. The room is dark, she is doing something with the overhead, but all the kids chairs are in a circle and she is walking around with a crown on her head and a blanket around her shoulders like a cape. I waited and watched until one of the kids outed me, then went forward to introduce myself. I showed her the fliers for the event and explained why I was there. She just said "I already got those." I asked if she had given the kids the cards that won the contest and she said "yes" with an irritated look on her face. I felt very unwelcome. I just said, "well, hopefully I will hear from them soon," and skedaddled. Not my finest moment.

Now I find myself wondering if anyone will show up. Am I doing a program that no one wants to go to? And why did they give me ugly bright yellow paper when I quite plainly asked for red on the flyers? Darn it.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007


So many events coming up! Queen Anne will be seriously overwhelmed with literary happenings. We have Jourdan Keith, Poet Populist, coming to McClure Middle school in the next few weeks to give a workshop to half of the 6th grade class. That should be awsome. A month after that, we are having Teens, Poetry and Pizza. This is the culmination of my teen poetry contest that happened in December. The winners will be presenting their works and there will be a performance by Youth Speaks Seattle. Oh, and Pizza. Definitely pizza.

In July and August we will be doing our Summer Reading Program. Some of the events I am tying in with this are Gaming nights with the Wii and DDR, along with board games to fill in the waiting times, and Anime nights where we will show some of the more popular anime movies. I am hoping that The Boy will be around for some of those. Since the library will not be reopened at that point, all of these events (except the Poet Populist) will be held at the community center. They have been very accomodating and they have their own Teen room, which is great because it is comfortable and has everything we need.

My book group has been a little disappointing so far. The first one was yesterday--it was supposed to be the day before that, but they had to move it, so I couldn't be there like I planned. I haven't heard yet how many students showed up, but I am sure it went fine. They read Ulgies by Scott Westerfeld. The next one has a choice between two books, Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar and Mr. Monday by Garth Nix. The first book group also got put off by about 2 months. Next year I am looking forward to having my own library and doing my own book group rather than pairing with a school. It has been a good experience, though.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Review: Uglies, Pretties and Specials

I love this series. I have not been this enthusiastic about a YA series since I read Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. Scott Westerfeld is a magician with the written word. No description is wasted; everything in the story is pertinent, beautiful and ugly and well captured in words. There is no awkwardness of text.

Uglies begins the story of Tally and Shay, two teenaged girls who are almost old enough to turn Pretty. For the residents of Ugly town, the ultimate dream is to turn pretty. Everyone does it at the age of 16--just like getting a license. However, fate will take that dream away and turn it into a dark reality for Tally and Shay.

In Pretties, the operation has happened but Tally knows there is something wrong. She and her boyfriend Zane take a cure together, but Zane gets sick and the two of them have to go to further and further extremes to stay bubbly.

Tally and Shay are Cutters in the newest book Specials. Cutters are an extreme arm of the Special Circumstances--an elite secret police. They are charged with finding New Smoke--where all the excaped Uglies and Pretties go after they get the cure for their bubleheadedness. Things get out of hand and suddenly a war has broken out. What will Tally and Shay do to set things right?

This series is a good read for teens of all ages. Specials claims to be the last book in the series, but we now know that there will be a fourth called Extras. I am excited to get my hands on it!

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007


The Wii is so much fun!

Well, actually it is a big pain. But also fun. The instructions coming up on the screen over and over are very annoying--we get it already! Put the strap around your wrist! And yes, I can press the a and b button at the same time! See? I'm doing it, again! And there are way too many games that are only for sharpening your remote operation skills. The Smoothmoves Wario is very dumb. I can't even see little kids liking the graphics. Wario is being chased by a boulder and suddenly the screen will flash to a sort of mini game where you have to accomplish a task using the remote in a few seconds time. The animation is jumpy and loud. The graphics are bulbous and exaggerated. Very annoying.

However, Wii sports was fun, if a little slow. The tennis was malfunctioning so that it would only let one player play at a time. I know we all wished you could play one on one rather than doubles, but that isn't an option.

Wii Play was loads of fun. We only played the target shooting game, but it was a blast. My heart was really racing at the end of my round. I would buy the Wii for this game alone. We also have Zelda, but we didn't have time to crack it open.

It is a good thing we tested this out before our events start. We did a lot of trouble shooting, realizing that we will need a timer and more batteries. We also know we don't want kids playing the boxing game. Mostly we know that the kids are going to have a blast, but they might have a hard time getting us to turn over the controllers.

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Review: Black Tattoo

Black Tattoo by Sam Enthoven is in the style of Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom series, although less whimsical. Set in London, Jack's life is absolutely normal. Everything that happens to him is typical, it just figured that it is his cool friend Charlie that gets the magic powers and is going to save the world. The Scourge is coming and he wants to wake the dragon and send the world back into the void from whence it came.

Although it is a thick book, it is a quick read. The story moves along nicely and while you don't get a good feel for the characters, you get just enough to keep things real. As real as they can be when Hell is a mole on a dragon's back and the devil's favorite passtime is watching demons play gladiator games. Don't worry, God will put them all back together again.

Sam Enthoven has done a good job creating this mythical world and making the fantasy realistic enough to hold your attention. The sheer girth of the book would tend to make me recommend it to older readers, but the story line, language and content lend it to being a good read for all teens. My 12 year old son loved it.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I had a good Teen Services meeting yesterday. ReaderGirlz came by and gave us their spiel - and some nifty schwag. I felt even more privileged to get my new button and book mark after they revealed that they don't have any money. I thought about recommending that they try for a grant, but realized that would require them to become a 401c3, which would be a pain. I may still recommend it, but I will save it for an email.

Readergirlz is a group of young adult writers that encourage girls to read and to be "gutsy." They have a myspace page and a website. They encourage girls to contribute to their community in ways that reflect the themes of the books featured on the site.

I admire what they are trying to do, and so far they are not accepting publisher sponsorship in order to keep it from being a marketing endevor for the publishers (you should feature more Penguin books, etc.). Girls on MySpace seem to be excited about it and Readergirlz does a good job of getting them to participate in the site. When you friend them, they ask you to post your favorite "gutsy character" as a comment. They also have a myspace group where they encourage posts on all sorts of topics. One that a girl started up is about bullying in school, another is about things you should tell your parents but haven't yet. Of course they have the "introduce yourself" post as well, which has well over 50 posts now. I have tons of authors friending me (ok, maybe 5) based on my introduction.