Monday, December 10, 2018

Tackle Twelve - Spotlight on Read a Caldecott or Newbery Medal Winner

As part of BPL's Tackle Twelve promotion, 16 reading challenges have been issued. This week's blog takes a closer look at 'Read a Caldecott or Newbery Medal Winner' and offers up recommendations.

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

2015 Newbery Medal Winner
2015 Coretta Scott King Honor Award Winner
New York Times Bestseller

Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with the highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.




Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly

2018 Newbery Medal Winner

Lives of four misfits are intertwined when a bully's prank lands shy Virgil at the bottom of a well and Valencia, Kaori, and Gen band together in an epic quest to find and rescue him.


The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate


2013 Newbery Medal Winner
#1 New York Times Bestseller
Soon to be a major motion picture!

When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.


Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool


2011 Newbery Medal Winner
2011 Spur Award Winner
Kansas Notable Book

Twelve-year-old Abilene Tucker is the daughter of a drifter who, in the summer of 1936, sends her to stay with an old friend in Manifest, Kansas, where he grew up, and where she hopes to find out some things about his past.


The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin


1979 Newbery Medal Winner
Ranked #9 among all-time children's novels by School Library Journal (2012)
Adapted as the 1997 feature film Get a Clue

Each of the sixteen people invited to the reading of a very strange will are given $10,000, a set of clues, and the chance to become a millionaire.


The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson and illustrated by Beth Krommes


2009 Caldecott Medal Winner

A bedtime verse about the light in a house during the night.


My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann


2003 Caldecott Medal Winner

Something always seems to go wrong when Rabbit is around, but Mouse lets him play with his toy plane anyway because he is his good friend.


Golem by David Wisniewski


1997 Caldecott Medal Winner

A saintly rabbi miraculously brings to life a clay giant who helps him watch over Jews of sixteenth-century Prague.


Tuesday by David Wiesner


1991 Caldecott Medal Winner

A whimsical, hilarious look at the events that unfold on a particular Tuesday, on which outlandish things begin to happen.


One Fine Day by Nonny Hogrogian


1971 Caldecott Medal Winner


A fox begins an unusual adventure when his greediness causes him to lose his tail.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Getting to Know...Selena

Introducing another valuable member of our YA Volunteer Team, Selena Martinez! A 13-year-old eighth grader, Selena has accumulated 5.75 hours since August.

FAVORITE BOOK GENRES: "All the Bright Places" is my favorite novel.

FAVORITE TV SHOWS: Stranger Things, The Flash, Arrow

SOMEONE I LOOK UP TO: My mom. She's done a lot for me and the people around her.

MY SPIRIT ANIMAL: Bird. They're free-spirited and can fly off whenever to wherever they want.

SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT MYSELF: I've been a vegetarian since March 31, 2018.

FAVORITE QUOTE: "We do not remember days, we remember moments." - Cesare Pavese

FUTURE PLANS: I want to go to college. I hope to become a dentist and travel as much as possible.

AN INVENTION I WOULD UNINVENT: Phones or portable electronics. Although they do amazing things, they've done some serious damage to society.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Fictional Librarians

While perhaps not as popular as some occupations (medical, legal, law enforcement), librarians have been known to pop up here-and-there on television, in books, in movies, and (wait for it) even books. And even though all don't necessarily feature the stereotypical look (I do have glasses, but almost never wear my hair in a bun), most are generally intellectual, with a unique sense of style. Do you have a particular favorite? Several of the notable:


Barbara Gordon, Batgirl
First introduced by DC Comics in 1967 as a female counterpart to Batman. Busy tackling reference tasks by day, fighting crime by night! Arguably the first true librarian-as-superhero.


Eveylyn Carnahan O'Connell, The Mummy
1999 Hollywood film that produced several sequels and spinoffs. Who can forget her classic line to husband Rick (Brendan Fraser), "Look, I may not be an explorer, or an adventurer, or a treasure seeker, or a gunfighter, Mr. O'Connell, but I am proud of what I am. A librarian."


Flynn Carsen, The Librarian
Character appeared in the 2004 television film The Librarian: Quest for the Spear. Two subsequent films followed, in addition to a long-running tv series (2014-2018). True to many studying the library sciences, Carsen holds 23 academic degrees.


Henry DeTamble, The Time Traveler's Wife
Novel published in 2003 by author Audrey Niffenegger. DeTamble is a librarian at the Newberry Library in Chicago. A rare genetic disorder causes him to involuntarily travel through time.


Madam Irma Pince, Harry Potter
First mentioned in the Philosopher's Stone (1997). JK Rowling, speaking about the irritable Madam Pince, "I would like to apologize for your and other librarians present here today and my get-out clause is always if they'd had a pleasant, helpful librarian, half my plots would be gone. 'Cause the answer invariably is in a book but Hermione has to go and find it. If they'd had a good librarian, that would have been that problem solved. So...sorry."


Rupert Giles, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Fictional character created by Joss Whedon for the television series (1997-2003). Served as mentor and father figure to Buffy Summers. Occult expert of the Scooby Gang, librarian. Rupert's story is continued in the comic book Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight (2007-2011).


Tammy Swanson, Parks and Recreation
Deputy Director of Library Services in Pawnee, Indiana. Ruthless manipulative, and conniving, Tammy II battles wits with ex-husband Ron throughout the seven-season (2009-2015) television comedic run. Trivia note: According to her library card, her full name is Tammy Swanson Swanson. This is because Tammy and Ron married twice.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Tackle Twelve - Spotlight on Read a Celebrity Memoir

As part of BPL’s Tackle Twelve promotion, 16 reading challenges have been issued. This week’s blog takes a closer look at ‘Read a Celebrity Memoir’ and offers up recommendations.

Pretty Mess by Erika Jayne

The model, singer, and reality television star traces her rise to fame, the ups and downs of her family life, and the obstacles she overcame to achieve success.

And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready by Meaghan O'Connell

When Meaghan O'Connell got accidentally pregnant in her twenties and decided to keep the baby, she realized that the book she needed -- a brutally honest, agenda-free reckoning with the emotional and existential impact of motherhood -- didn't exist. So she decided to write it herself.

I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O'Farrell

Presents a memoir told entirely in seventeen near-death experiences stemming from a dangerous childhood illness, accidents, an encounter with a disturbed person, and the author's daily efforts to protect her daughter from the vulnerabilities of a high-risk condition.

Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved by Kate Bowler

A divinity professor and young mother diagnosed with Stage IV cancer shares her perspectives on friendship, love, and death while describing her efforts to remain true to her faith in spite of impossible hardships.

Stronger by Jeff Bauman

A survivor of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, who helped to set off one of the biggest manhunts in the country's history, discusses his experiences that day and his ongoing mission to walk again after losing both legs.

Tiger Woods by Jeff Benedict

In 2009, Tiger Woods was the most famous athlete on the planet, a transcendent star of almost unfathomable fame, fortune, and what appeared to be the perfect life. But it was all a carefully crafted illusion. As it turned out, Woods had been living a double life for years. Thus, leaving the world to wonder, who is Tiger Woods, really?

Robin by Dave Itzkoff

Presents a compelling portrait of Williams that illuminates his comic brilliance and often misunderstood character, his struggles with addiction and depression, and his relationships with friends and family members.

Everything is Possible: Finding the Faith and Courage to Follow Your Dreams by Jen Bricker

A gymnast, performer, and motivational speaker who was born without legs, describes the challenges of growing up different and inspires readers to remove the words coincidence and limitation from their vocabularies.

Lennon: The Man, the Myth, the Music -- The Definitive Life by Tim Riley

Granted access to previously untapped files, the author challenges many popular assumptions about the Beatle's life by presenting an authoritative examination of Lennon's life and creative legacy.

The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish

The comedian and actress presents autobiographical essays that reflect on her disadvantaged youth, her discovery of comedy, and her struggles with gender, race, and class boundaries in the entertainment industry.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Getting to Know...Isiah

Introducing another valuable member of our YA Volunteer Team, Isiah Sarille! A 17-year-old eleventh grader, Isiah has accumulated 16 hours since August.

FAVORITE BOOK GENRES: Graphic Novels. Catwoman and Harley Quinn

FAVORITE TV SHOWS: Reba, Sanford and Son, Mama's Family

MY HAPPY PLACE: Hawaii

MY SPIRIT ANIMAL: White tiger and my dogs

A TOPIC THAT I CAN TALK ABOUT FOR AN HOUR: School and friends

FUTURE PLANS: Helping my grandparents

FAVORITE QUOTE: "You're gonna be alright!" - Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil






Monday, November 5, 2018

Recently Added to the YA Bookshelf

Taking a look at some of the most recent additions gracing the shelves of our YA department:

9 From the Nine Worlds by Rick Riordan

Join Blitzen, Sarirah, Hearthstone, Jack, Alex, Mallory, T.J., Halfborn, and more on an unforgettable journey through Rick Riordan's unique take on Norse mythology.

These Vengeful Souls (Book 3) by Tarun Shanker

On the run with the grieving Sebastian Braddock, Evelyn must decide if her need for vengeance against the evil Captain Goode is strong enough to put her friends at risk.

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Book 2) by Mackenzi Lee

In this much anticipated sequel to the bestselling The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, Felicity Montague uses her womanly wits and wiles to achieve her dreams of becoming a doctor; even if she has to scheme her way across Europe to do it.

Muse of Nightmares (Book 2) by Laini Taylor

As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel's near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected.

The War Outside by Monica Hesse

Teens Haruko, a Japanese American, and Margot, a German American, form a life-changing friendship as everything around them starts falling apart in the Crystal City family internment camp during World War II.

Escaping from Houdini (Book 3) by Kerri Maniscalco

A luxurious ocean liner becomes a floating prison of madness when passengers are murdered one by one, with nowhere to run from the killer.

Sadie by Courtney Summers

Told from the alternating perspectives of nineteen-year-old Sadie who runs away from her small Colorado town to find her younger sister's killer, and a true crime podcast exploring Sadie's disappearance.

Requiem (Book 3) by Lauren Oliver

The final book in Lauren Oliver's bestselling trilogy about forbidden love, revolution, and the power to choose.

Seafire by Natalie C. Parker

Follows Caledonia Styx and her all-female crew as they strive to defeat the powerful fleet of Aric Athair, the vicious warlord who has taken their homes and families.

The Second Life of Ava Rivers by Faith Gardner

Eighteen-year-old Vera, eager to start college and escape the celebrity her family has endured since her twin's disappearance twelve years earlier, finds her world turned upside-down again when Ava returns.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Flash Fiction Winner Hanna DePoy - 10th Grade


Off My Axis


The world spun again, like my mind was its axis and my eyes were the twin suns giving light to the
sane people who still roamed freely around the globe. The cool glass that separated the world from me was never warm and never just clear. No matter which window I gazed through there were always little diamonds of thin metal laced through the panes of glass. It kind of upsetted me but my therapist never wanted to know about that kind of stuff. She just nodded, crossed her fingers my brain would heal itself, and gave me new drugs. She wasn't the best, but she was the only one who would agree to meet with me, even though everyone says otherwise, I saw a paper that reminded me that I was a threat to other's mental security. Geez I'm pretty messed up then since I'm the worst of the worst, that always make me giggle, and I guess that scared some people.


I missed the real world, the commotion and chaos, but most of all, the never ending noise. It was far too quiet in my world now, I always had noise in my life and I somehow would find a beat and dance or rap if I wanted. I reached up and stroked the smooth scar tissue where my ears used to reside before the incident, but I really don't remember what happened. No matter what anyone tries to make me remember, nothing ever works, but why does anyone want to know? I was just an average Jane Doe and then I was something to be looked at and poked or prodded whenever someone wanted. I wonder how bad someone would feel if they really knew what happened to me. All too soon I was consumed by a spell cast by the wicked witch called my brain and I remembered it all.


Somehow I was back in the dank dungeon called a lab by some weird professor, strapped down to a cold metal table with huge inch thick leather bands that Hulk may have been able to break free from, but not me. My mad scientist had a proud face with salt and pepper hair and bushy eyebrows that make her kind of look like Einstein but she wouldn't look right without them. She was tall for a woman, but had an obvious limp like one of her legs had to be dragged around.


"You ready to be the next best creation of Mankind than Wifi?" she once asked with an accent I couldn't place but shook my head anyway. "Too bad honey bunches! You are gong to be wether you want it or not."


She took my head and rolled it to the side viciously and stabbed a thick needle into my jugular and I was barely conscious as I saw her pick up her scalpel and rip into my ribcage like a bloodthirsty maniac. It was weird seeing your blood spill, and feeling all the pain, but not being able to move to stop it or scream for help. The world went dark as I focused on the woman's crazy grinning face as she carved another line.


I resurfaced later shivering and wincing as I felt my rib cage and then realized I was in freezing cold water. I started to choke as I screamed and inhaled the water I was surrounded in. Instead of suffering and feeling my lungs reject the substance, it welcomed it and I began to breather normally, while surrounded by water. My ribs moved to the flow of the circulating water and when I looked down at the cuts in my sides, they bristled and continued breathing for me. I was a human and I now had gills. Like a fish. My ears popped and I felt so much pain, but I didn't know why. I was pulled out of my tank then and shot up again before the shooting pain of switching to air could allow me to scream for help, the world was dark before I could breathe without pain.


I woke later, back in my tank with my gills doing their thing while I floated, this time the water was so cold that I couldn't feel the chill on my ears. I reached up to rub a little warmth into them and they were no longer there, just my smooth bumps that covered the once open canals.


Gills, I could hide, but how do you explain why you don't have ears? I floated there in my tank until the mad scientist let me out to check if I could still breathe air. I was placed in my holding cell and the shooting pains begun again as I changed from fish to human being. The scientist looked pleased with herself and stalked over like a predator to my cage as I lied on my back and cried as my lungs inflated.


"Well don't you look--."


I was ripped back to the present so quickly that my sides ache like I was just pulled out of the tank in real life. A pair of overly bright car lights swaying past my window. Bright lights always blinded me at night when my lights already were turned off, not by me though I would keep them on all the time to show the world I was still here, just a little off my axis.


My therapist is in my room now, she looks worried and scared, I reached out and took her cold hand in my warm ones and looked her in the eye. And said my first words to her rather than signing like I have for two whole years--another perk of being deaf.


"It's going to be okay, no need to be scared of the newest Frankenstein on the street. you want to know my favorite quote of Mary Shelley's?"


She barely managed to nod.


"Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change."


My mind couldn't handle a great and sudden change, so it broke. I hoped I didn't just break my therapist's because she just ran out of my room, leaving the door open, which they aren't allowed to do at the Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital. Especially not with me.


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Minor formatting. Story appears as submitted by the author, unedited.