Archive for November, 2008

…well, if the folks who make ’em want a good bet, then they look to the really cool teen books that we all know and love (or plan to know and just might love, if we ever get a spare moment to read for ourselves rather than school or work.  Sorry, sorry, must control the ranting…   🙂  *deep breath*

So, some movies to check out:

I’ve already mentioned Twilight a couple of times, so now you can read the professional reviews for Twilight here (Roger Ebert is pretty evenhanded), and salivate over the sequel: New Moon!

Another to take a look at is Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (10/08), based on the novel by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, with Michael Cera and Kat Dennings playing the titular characters…

nick_norah_playlist     nick-norahs-infinite-playlist-poster2    

…and there’s a screen adaptation of Daren Shan’s Cirque Du Freak (2009), featuring Selma Hayek and Chris Massoglia, due sometime next year. 

cirque_de_freak     movie_3628_poster1

Other notable releases now in theaters, on DVD, or coming soon:

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis (5/08)

prince-caspian-book     chronicles_of_narnia_prince_caspian_ver2

Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne (7/08)

journey-to-the-center-of-the-earth-book   1218465854-hr_journey_to_the_center_of_the_earth_poster

City of Ember by Jeanne Duprau (10/08)

city-of-ember-book     hr_city_of_ember_poster

The Clique by Lisi Harrison (11/08)

clique-novel     clique-dvd

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne (11/08)

boy-in-the-striped-pajamas-book  boy_in_the_striped_pajamas-movie

The Tales of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (12/08)

tales-of-despereaux1     tale_of_despereaux1

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (1/09)

inkheart-cornelia-funke     inkheartposter_000

Coraline by Neil Gaiman (2/09)

coraline-book     coraline-movie

Please note, some of these movies may be rated higher than PG-13.  You can always check the Internet Movie Database or the official websites for more information about each film. 

So, have you read any good movies lately?  (My latest fav is Blood and Chocolate starring Agnes Bruckner and Hugh Dancy, based on the book by Annette Curtis Klause).   🙂

blood-and-chocolate-book     bloodandchocolateposter

Thanks for visiting!



WHOOPS!  Almost forgot, and just to make a long post even longer, in my many online travels I came across Dragonball, scheduled for release in US theaters sometime in 2009 (always so VAGUE!).

dbvol1      dragonball1_large

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New year, new start…

Newest estimates state that the Headquarters location may re-open in January 2009, when the public areas of the library are cleaned and ready for patrons.  In the meantime, some of the branches are going to be extending their hours to accommodate the extra traffic.  As always, please call your closest branch for the most current hours and information.

You can read the full press release here.



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Notes From the Midnight Driver

by Jordan Sonnenblick

11/06/08 Review by Vicki S.


I love love love this author. His characters are hilarious, and he actually quit teaching to write teen novels. How cool is that?


Anyway, the book: Alex Gregory’s parents have been going through a bitter divorce, due in part, at least, to Alex’s dad’s infidelity. His mother has just gone on her first date, and Alex has had enough, to say the least. His plan was to “drink another pint of vodka, grab Mom’s spare keys, jump into the Dodge, and…speed through the…streets, straight and true as a homing missile, or at least straight and true as a sober person who actually knew how to drive.” Then he would confront his father in the arms of his [Alex’s] old third-grade teacher, with whom he was currently enamored.


Only it didn’t quite work out that way. After waking up in Mrs. Wilson’s front yard, having decapitated her lawn gnome, Alex finds himself at the police station, and later, in front of the judge, who would assign him to 100 hours of community service at a nursing home. And this was special community service. Alex would be keeping the company of an elderly man whose favorite activities included convincing poor Mrs. Goldfarb down the hall that she’d forgotten to wear pants, and also running off teenage do-gooders.


Oh, and there’s a girl. There’s always a girl.  🙂


Vicki is a youth services librarian at the Hope Mills Branch.

[Thanks for reviewing, Vicki!  – ml]

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A new president has been elected.  Governments on all levels have new participants, energy, direction, and resolve. 


…and if you as a teenager (or the parent of a teen or a person who happens to know a teenager) don’t think teens can or should be involved in politics just yet, well, I’ve got to ask, why the heck not? 


I mean, it may be hard to fathom, but someday teens will be old enough to vote, to be counted, and to run for office.  Right now, however, they can be heard, they can have an opinion, and they can be a part of the process. 


Now, how does Mr. Burton put it on Reading Rainbow?  Oh yeah, “…you don’t have to take my word for it…”



Wide awake

In David Levithan’s near-future, a gay, Jewish man is elected president of the United States.  Sixteen-year-old Duncan, being a young gay, Jewish man, is elated, especially since he’d been an active volunteer for the President-elect’s campaign.  Then, in an eerily familiar turn of events, the election results are challenged and Duncan and his friends join thousands of people converging on the state in contention, Kansas, to protest the “politics as usual” maneuvering to steal the election.  As crowds gather and as protestors and supporters of the recount clash, the teens take a stand for their beliefs, their country, and for their future.


I really like Levithan’s writing style.  It’s casual and confident.  The characters are funny and so realistic — they’re your best friends, – the folks you pass in the halls or on the streets.   Levithan also addresses real emotions, problems, and pleasures that his characters experience without being overly explicit, idealistic, or simplistic.  Wide Awake is an intriguing story, a heartwarming romance, a political statement (but not in a boring or preachy way), and well worth reading.  Twice.  🙂 


Interested in other materials featuring politics, elections, and social issues?


A Day for Vincent Chin and Me by Jacqueline Turner Banks

Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer

High School Musical: Get Your Vote On! by Beth Beechwood; N B Grace

Hot Air by Charles Ogden; Rick Carton

day-for-vincent-chin-and-me-jacqueline-turner-banks     hope_was_here1     high-school-musical-stories-from-east-high-8-get-your-vote-on hot-air-edgar-and-ellen

Soccer Chick Rules by Dawn FitzGerald

The Kid Who Ran for President by Dan Gutman

First Daughter series by Mitali Perkins

Vote for Larry by Janet Tashjian

soccer-chick-rules     kid-who-ran-for-president     first_daughter_white_house_rules     vote-for-larry1


Hopes and Dreams: The Story of Barack Obama by Steve Dougherty

Choosing the president 2008: a citizen’s guide to the electoral process / League of Women Voters; edited by Bob Guldin

It’s Your World–If You Don’t Like It, Change It: Activism for Teenagers by Mikki Halpin

The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama

hopes-and-dreams    choosing-the-president-2008       its-your-world1   the-audacity-of-hope1


Please Vote for Me: an experiment in democracy by Chinese 8-year-olds (2008)


We’re all in this world together.  Let’s make it better.


“Apathy is a sort of living oblivion.” Horace Greeley

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What is NaNoWriMo?


National Novel Writing Month was started in July 1999 by a group of friends who challenged themselves to write novels for the same reason, they say, “for the same dumb reasons twenty-somethings start bands. Because we wanted to make noise. Because we didn’t have anything better to do.”


Along the way, they realized how much fun there can be in the crazy, frantic, caffeine-fueled gladiatorial match between a word-processor and a calendar…and they’ve infected others!  In 1999, 21 people took part in the noveling goodness.  In 2006 there were nearly 79,000 participants from around the world!


You see, this isn’t your typical coffee-house or ‘meet at Marge’s house’ writing club.  This is a “seat-of-your-pants, kamikaze creativity, how-fast-can-you-type, don’t-you-dare-waste-precious-seconds-revising” noveling experience. 


You write.  You write quickly. 

Liberate your inner novelist – make mistakes and let the editing wait until December. 


Take a story for a ride:

Throw your main character into a den of lions…or emus…or badgers.  Then have him sing his way out of it.

Introduce a mysterious stranger, Haldovitan Maxmundialuter Triptalebovish the Third, of course, he prefers to go by “Max.” 

Explore the budding romance between a teenage vampire cheerleader and hot-bodied, but pale, surfer dude who prefers to “hang ten” by moonlight.

Relate the exploits of investigative reporter extraordinaire Alice Wundlind as she pokes around in the shady underworld to bring readers the True Fairlyland Story of celebrities like the infamous cat burglar, Goldie Lochs.

Devise new and interesting ways of killing off characters – or sending them on vacation, if you are a kinder, gentler-type of writer.


The sky’s the limit, kinda.  Shoot your novel into outer space, another time, or even another dimension.  What if humans haunted ghosts in their reality?  What if your character was a bad luck magnet?  Maybe aliens invade just so that they can watch Jeopardy in real-time rather than time delay? What if a butterfly flapping its wings in South America really did trigger a global disaster?  It’s your novel…anything can happen.

Check it out, warm up the word processors, and jump on in!

It’s not too late to sign up and go for it!  Click on the icons at the bottom of this post for the official National Novel Writing Month site or the Young Writer’s Program, sign up and register your account, search authors for “missy_teen_librarian” and add me as a writing buddy, and get noveling!!! 





What is NaNoWriMo?

How can I play?

What if I’m 12 years old or younger, or I’m a teenager who doesn’t want to write 50,000 words?


Fun Stuff:

Writing Craft & Technique — The Building Blocks of Creative Writing: Writing technique and craft, including character development, plot, dialogue, style, and point of view.

Writing a Novel: Advice on the unique challenges of starting to write a novel, and seeing it through completion.

Creative Writing Prompts to Jumpstart Your Writing: Interested in incorporating a freewriting habit into your day, but afraid of the blank page? Or maybe you just want to take your creative writing session in a new direction. Either way, these creative writing prompts, helpful for poetry and fiction, will get you writing.

Creative Writing Exercises To Generate New Short Story Ideas: Sometimes the hardest part of writing is figuring out what to do with that blank page. Coming up with new short story ideas doesn’t have to be painful, however. These exercises are designed to get you writing — and hopefully on your way to a new short story.


How To Use the Dictionary to Discover New Writing Prompts


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