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 SPIRIT ANIMAL: White tiger and my dogs


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.

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

Friday, November 2, 2018

Flash Fiction Winner Brianna Pollard - 7th Grade

Nowhere to Run

There is no way to escape. There is no way to escape from being tied up to this metal stake, in the middle of a burn pile. I took a desperate look around, for anything. My neck locked mid-swing sending a shot of pain through my neck, once I comprehend what I had seen, a shot of pain tore through my heart. Camdon stood there with a blank look on his face, holding the lighter. Let me back up.

Just like any other day, I was walking to the training center. I was from the eighth generation of people. Of Monsters. I'm not the kind you're thinking of, at least not all of the time. That's why I'm going to the training center. Only mistakes go there. Only I go there. I am different, I have changed. She is waiting, the monster is waiting, the psychopath is waiting. She has control over me. She is Ms. Marybeth Tinning.

"What's taking you so long? Don't make me use the pillow and add your body to the rest of your siblings!"

"I'm sorry, mother. I was not trying to anger you. Please forgive me." I said these things with as much contempt as my weak body could muster.

"I will forgive you, just finish by tomorrow."

There is no way that I can possibly finish these by tomorrow. If I don't, she will kill me the same way she killed all the others who dared disobey her. The same way she killed the family that I had. I had no choice but to work all night, and into the next day. Then she came, like whirlwind of hatred, pure hatred. She began to yell at me before she even checked to see the wonderful work I had lost sleep over.

"You incompetent rat! What have you been doing all this time? Sleeping, no doubt about it. You are entirely, and utterly useless. Where is the incomplete project that you have for me?"

"I have it all done ma'am if you'll look,"

"You useless lier, if it is all done then show me."

I walked towards the cold metal table in the middle of the room, and remove the cloth that had been covering the dead man. The autopsy project had been my assignment, and I had completed it in time. As the monster that served as my mother approached the autopsy table, I knew that she could see the precise V incision on the man's chest. The wonderful incision on the side of his head in order to remove the bullet that had been so deeply embedded in his brain.

"Wow for once in your life you actually completed something. Of course, the autopsy might be completed, but your incisions are sloppy and jagged."

"My incisions are perfectly fine, and you know it. the only thing sloppy here is your, your..."

"Is my what?"

"I apologize for speaking out of turn, if my cuts are not good enough for you, then kill me and find someone else to do this."

"I can't find someone else because no one else knows what to do."

"You cant get ride of me because I know things that you need, I get it now. I am important to you, I am important to your survival. It is too bad you never really connected with me. Then I might stay."

"Why wouldn't you stay, and where would you go?"

"I would not stay because there is nothing here for me to stay for. It's not like my mother cares for me as a child and not as a science experiment. Yes, I've found out about what you did to me as an innocent baby, yes I know. I would get as far away from here as possible. As far away from you as possible." little did she know that I had a gun, friends, and an escape plan.

"Please don't leave I can change, I will start to love you just don't leave me here all alone."

"You and I both know that's not true. As soon as I would begin to trust you the slightest bit, you would stab me in the back, literally, and physically. There will be no changing on your part, we both know this. You always have, and will always be a monster."

"Well, if that's how you feel, then I have no choice but to put you into isolation."

She really does know the best way to punish me. She knows how I hate to be alone. She isn't even really my mother, she's my donor. She donated the ingredient for my life. She did so for one child in each generation. I am different, I have known this for my entire life, yet only now did it dawn on me as to why. I've noticed how my sheets end up torn in the morning, I've noticed how the monitors take a step back away from me. I've observed how the others in my generation cower at the very sight of my shadow. I was a mistake, I came from the birthing pods this way, but worse. She would not let them kill me off, sweet right?

Wrong. She wanted me alive for experimentation. She wanted to find out what made me different, there were no others that had the same malfunction as I do. No matter how many tests, or how much research, there was no reasoning for the way I am. There's no explanation, I am a cold-blooded, sick, psychopathic murderer. And She is my next victim...

I've head it's not unusual for violent parents to get murdered by their abused children, but I am far past abuse.

Twelve Hours Later...

Crouched there next to my mother's cold dead body, something I had read quite some time ago resurfaced in my mind, "Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change." This isn't the end of my story, but the beginning.

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

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Flash Fiction Winner Emery Porter - 7th grade

Hopefully Hopeless

As I feel the old pages of the Frankenstein book by Mary Shelley between my fingers I look outside of the fast moving car. I then find a bookmark to a certain page that has a quote highlighted in it. My dad had just given me this brand new book for my birthday and I was confused on why there was already something in it. I then read it, "Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change." I only had a brief second to think of what this quote might mean when something did suddenly change my life, again.

Earlier that morning

I woke up with the birthday song sung to me by my whole family. I slept in the same room as my two sisters Charlotte and Charlie, they were a set of twins. In the room next to mine is a set of triples, but is occupied by only two, the girls, Bella, and Harper. Then the third triplet Logan sleeps in his own room. All of my siblings are older than me, I'm the baby of the family. I Mya Lee Hope, was thirteen.

I hurried and got dressed and went downstairs for my birthday breakfast that my dad always fixes the birthday kid on their birthday. When I got there I realized my dad was overseas and wouldn't be able to make me a birthday breakfast for me. My siblings all pitched in to try to recreate the special birthday breakfast, but it just wasn't the same. I took a couple bites and each one made my eyes fill with tears. I was going to go to our library when I heard a knock at the door. I opened the door to find two soldiers standing there. My mom came to the door and started bawling. I had no idea what was about to happen.

The first soldier spoke, "I'm sorry Mrs. Hope, but I'm afraid your husband has died in action, they were not able to find his body." My mom just stared blankly at him with tears running down her face. She then closed the door and went to her bedroom and cried the rest of the night.

I on the other hand was sad, but mostly sad that no one would celebrate my birthday because they were all busy being sad about dad. I then got one of those cake in a box type things and baked it. I sat there alone with just a single candle. I then blew out the candle saying this as salty tears fill my eyes "Happy birthday, Mya." I then heard another knock at the door.

"I got a package for a Ms Mya Hope." The delivery man said to me.

"That would be me," I respond as I wipe tears from my eyes.

"If you could just sign here, please." The delivery man said right after I said it was for me.

"Of course." I respond and then sign for the package. I look at the box then I closed the door.

My dog Bailey came to greet me. "I think more people celebrated your birthday than my birthday." I said out loud to my dog, she barked.

I then grab a knife and opened the box. I find two things a book and a letter. The book was called Frankenstein and it was by Mary Shelley. I then opened the letter and immediately I knew it was from dad. I then walked straight to my room and thought that when I was strong enough to read it I would. So, I marched to my room with the whole box, and I set it on my bed. My sisters looked at me strangely, I faked a smile and walked out to finish my cake.

My mom came downstairs and called a family meeting. We all walked into our normal family meeting room. Everyone sat down on the couches in our living room. I offered cake, but no one seemed like they wanted any.

"I know that we all have suffered a big, tragic loss. I've been thinking that we shouldn't dwell on this one moment. We should all move on, and focus on Mya's special day. We're going out to Mya's choice or restaurant. Ok? Everyone get dressed and lets get a move on it's already 7:30." My mother states in a uplifting voice.

"You heard her lets go." Logan reminds everyone.

I get dressed as fast as I can, then think of where we should go. I then stop and think about the Frankenstein book. I grab it then I hop in the car. I'm wearing one of my favorite outfits. I have a nice baby blue shirt on that says believe and a pair of jean shorts and flats. I end up picking The Dusty Spoon. It's a more run down place on the outside but inside is beautiful.

"Hey mom I want to go to The Dusty Spoon?" I say as the rest of my family gets in the car.

"Sure honey wherever you want." My mom responds.

Everyone sees the book sitting in my lap but they don't say anything. We start driving. It's about a twenty minute drive from our house to the restaurant. So, I open my book and start reading. I get lost in my book then we hit a bump and I drop my book on the car floor. I then see something stick out of the book. I turn to that page and find something highlighted in it. I read it, "Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change."

I thought about it for a second then a big semi came and smashed right into our car. Everyone around me was dead, my family, dead. Ambulances came and dragged everyone out. I didn't remember much because I lost consciousness in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

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