Monday, January 30, 2017

Pokémon Go

On the doorstep of the seven-month anniversary of Pokémon Go, I’m moved to ask, “Are you still playing?” I loyally was, you see, until the middle of December. That’s when an update began causing the app to immediately crash. Seeking help through online forums was only met with dismay. The remedy, if it can even be labeled as such, delete and reinstall the game.

Thanks, but no thanks. Not that I hadn’t experienced moments of intrigue during the long treks to hunt for Psyduck and Growlithe. It was the thought of having to duplicate all that hard work amassed as one season changed to the next. Too many miles had been logged to simply revert back to Level 1. Too many Pidgey. Too many Weedle. Too many Caterpie.

Holding out hope that the next update would magically fix the ‘bug’ and revert the system to normal, I waited and waited some more. When the day arrived, fingers were crossed and a lucky rabbit’s foot might’ve even been rubbed. It was not meant to be, however. And so, I now live on vicariously through a coworker, Ms. Terrie Bickel, who continues collecting Pikachu for the rest of us. She was kind enough to share some of her story.

Approximately how long have you been playing?
Since August of 2016.

What prompted the decision to download Pokémon Go?
I was on a trip to Turkey Run State Park with family and two of my nephews were playing the game. Once my son saw how much fun they were having he asked to put the app on my phone. These days, I do the walking and he hatches the eggs.

About how much time do you invest in the game per week?
Approximately 1.5 hours.

What level are you currently on?
Level 21.

Do you have a favorite Pokémon?
Charmander, Squirtle, and Butterfree.

Which of your Pokémon has the highest CP?
Rhydon at 1745.

What’s the reason you continue to play?
It gets me walking!

Have a Pokémon Go story to pass along? Share it with us here at the Bremen Public Library!

This musing is brought to you courtesy of YA Librarian, Chris.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Book Review

Fallout by Todd Strasser

“Sparky touched the spaghetti with his fork, then stared at the TV. I felt my insides tighten anxiously. Dad had a gun. Mom was letting us eat in the den. Could there be any clearer signs that the end of the world was approaching.”

The year is 1962 and the United States is on the brink of a nuclear war. Tensions are high, with citizens being advised to take the precautionary step of building bomb shelters. In Scott Porter’s neighborhood, however, his family is the only one to follow through on how gravely serious the situation is. When the unthinkable comes to fruition, a mad dash ensues for the Porter’s safe haven. A dwelling designed to sustain four people becomes a community’s last hope for survival. Fighting tooth and nail, the Porter clan, and six others must adapt to existing underground.

“There’s down here and up there. The ones who feel like they’re buried are alive, while the ones who aren’t buried probably aren’t alive. Everything’s upside down.”

Due to radiation fallout, these ten individuals must remain below the surface for two weeks. How will they do so, while facing questions of shortage. Living space, food, water, air become moment to moment elements of survival. How many will make it out, if at all?

‘Fallout’ is a high-tension, fast-paced, read. Examining the Cuban Missile Crisis from a different perspective, Americans are faced with the harrowing question, “What if the bomb had actually been dropped?”

You don’t have to be a fan of apocalyptic tales to enjoy Strasser’s thriller. Chapters are brief and alternate between life prior to, and after, Russia dropping the ill-fated bomb. Characters are well-developed with unique backstories. The author balances the book in remarkable fashion, finding ways to interject lighthearted touches while dealing with a very serious subject.

Overall Rating: 4.8 out of 5

This review is brought to you courtesy of YA Librarian, Chris.

Click here to see if this book is currently available for check-out.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Book Review

Safekeeping by Karen Hesse

Safekeeping is about a girl, Radley, who comes back from a mission trip to Haiti to discover that America has been taken over by a political party that causes the country to enter into an almost apocalyptic state. Finding that her parents have gone missing, she must hitchhike across the east coast to look for them and to run from the Party. Although the story is dystopian, it is told very personally and with themes of peace and finding yourself in difficult times.

The author used her own photographs to tell the story, which gives it more depth in a simple way, and makes the reader feel they are also on a journey with Radley. Through the novel, Hesse also displays the idea that compassion and help for those who are in need can be found in our own hardships.

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5

This review is brought to you courtesy of YA volunteer, Ellen.

Click here to see if this book is currently available for check-out.