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Hello all,

The Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center has transitioned to a new catalog. 

Older links in this blog that take you to our website to reserve an item will no longer work.  Please visit our site www.cumberland.lib.nc.us and click on “Find a Book” to access the new catalog.

Thank you!

Always,

Missy

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For a lot of teenagers, 9-11 is their touchstone, the big event that mars their memory. 

I was sitting around with  my friends one evening and we were reminiscing about where we were for the “big, terrible events” in the last 20-odd years…We all remembered the Shuttle Columbia disaster, Waco,  the Virginia Tech massacre, the Oklahoma City bombing and some of us remembered the Challenger disaster …I remembered sitting in my dorm room watching the Columbine massacre unfold over and over again on the television….and we all have a story about “where we were” when the Towers fell on 9-11, that shocking, horrible day.

Those images stay with you for a very long time.  …and everyone deals with them differently.  As a society we cope in a variety of ways, for good or ill, and that makes us who we are as Americans.

My friend and co-worker, Jenn Carrico, wrote a very insightful article about it for the Saturday Extra.  It’s worth reading, in my opinion.  For my part, I simply want to reflect on the fact that teens today have 9-11 as one of the major touchstones of their lives. 

Folks, you grew up in a world where terrorism was able to shut down air traffic for a whole day, and it was suddenly conceivable that fanatics could hijack planes and use them as projectiles bring down buildings on top of innocent people.  The nature of violence had changed.  What was once beyond imagining had become real.

I want to share some books with y’all, being that it’s an anniversary of sorts for September 11th:

9-11 Artists Respond (Volume 1) &

9-11 The World’s Greatest Comic  Artists Tell Stories to Remember (Volume 2)

These graphic novels are collections of short vignettes from various well-known artists.  Some pieces are stark and without words, some are subtle and nuanced, some smack you upside the head.   These volumes include works by  indie artists and as well as pieces by known artists — artists from all styles and genres contributed to this memorial.  They’re poignant and sad, some are cynical and full of dark humor, and some are flat out tributes to the fallen.  These artists poured themselves onto the pages of these books and in doing so helped a nation express our grief.

Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan

Love is the Higher Law follows the lives of three teens as they struggle in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade towers.  Claire is just trying to get her little brother home safely, Peter and Jasper had made plans to hook up at a party that night, but circumstances intervened.  Now Jasper is fending off phone calls from his frantic parents in Korea and Peter is wandering in a daze and has to decide what is really important to him.  The book is filled with Levithan’s trademark humor, despite the stark and horrific subject matter, and music recommendations abound –  you could fill a playlist from these pages.  There is heartbreak and soul-searching in Manhattan, through the eyes of these teenagers, but ultimately, as it must, life goes on.

Other literature of teen interest featuring 9-11:

With Their Eyes: September 11th: a view from a high school at ground zero ed. by Annie Thoms

The Usual Rules by Joyce Maynard

In the Shadows of No Towers by Art Spiegelman

The 9-11 Report: a graphic representation by Sid Jacobsen and Ernie Colon

Cinnamon Girl by Juan Fillipe Herrera

Where were you when the Towers came down?  

I was at work  (The Home Depot, Garden Dept. – that’s how I paid for library school) and a coworker mentioned that a plane had hit the World Trade Towers.  I thought, it must be an accident – that had happened before, small aircraft lose control sometimes and it’s unfortunate.  I hoped that not too many people were hurt.  Then a little while later, she told me another plane had hit the other tower, a big passenger plane that had been hijacked…this was an attack.  We were all stunned – scared – in shock.  My father works at an international airport.  I was worried that something might happen to him. 

The rest of the day passed in a blur.  My coworkers and I wandered around doing our jobs, heading back to the break room regularly for glimpses of the television which for once was tuned to the news channel instead of the music or entertainment station.  I do remember one encounter from that day clearly, though.  I was shifting a pallet display into a corner of the department when a teenage girl and her mom approached me.  The mom nodded to her daughter as if to tell her that it was okay to ask me a question.  The girl seemed very serene, but I could tell that she’d been crying.  When she spoke, her voice shook.

“They said you had the flags out here.  I need a flag, please”

It nearly broke my heart.  Our store had a huge stack of flags that had been sitting on a cardboard pallet display for months and we’d hardly sold any.  I helped the young lady pick one out, and then pulled the display front and center of the store.  The flags sold out within the hour.

That simple act of getting a flag helped that young woman get through the day….and I held onto that moment in the weeks and months afterwards, as I watched the horror on the TV (because I was not able to turn away).

As we remember the lives lost (in the initial attacks and the rescuers who bravely sacrificed their lives in an attempt to come to their aid) let us mark this anniversary as we would any event of such magnitude, with respect and reverence, and learn from our past so that we might not repeat it.

Peace be with you.

Always,

Missy

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You’re here?  Why are you still here?!! 

Go look at the PICTURES!  🙂

& now there’s video of the COSPLAY RUNWAY! ( added 9-10-10)

Librari-Con 2010 Cosplay Runway: Part 1

Librari-Con 2010 Cosplay Runway: Part 2

Always,

Missy

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Read The Fayetteville Observer’s article on our community’s participation in the Butterfly Project. 

One teen was inspired to create a butterfly because she’d read “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank, which is heartening; That kind of cause and effect fills me with hope.  After all, this project is inspired by the book “I Never Saw Another Butterfly: Children’s Drawings and Poems from Terezín Concentration Camp, 1942-1944” by Hana Volavkova (ed).

You can submit your own butterfly for the exhibit, too.  If you live in Cumberland County, NC, drop one off at any branch location before May 31st.  If you’d like to send yours in separately or if you live anywhere else in the US or abroad, details are available on the official project website for the Holocaust Museum Houston

Always,

Missy

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Found this really cool article at the LA Times online talking about how more and more adults are catching on to all the great stuff being published for teens these days.

Just a taste:

“YA authors are able to take themselves less seriously. They’re able to have a little more fun, and they’re less confined by this idea of themselves as Very Important Artists. That paradoxically leads them to create far better work than people who are trying to win awards.”

***

According to [Lizzie Skurnick], who also reviews adult fiction for publications including The Times, YA books are “more vibrant” than many adult titles, “with better plots, better characterizations, a more complete creation of a world.”

***

“There’s some amazing, vibrant, fantastic literature in the YA venue,” said Cecil Castellucci, a young adult author who recently started the Pardon My Youth book club at Skylight Books in Los Feliz to “help people understand that YA literature is not just for young adults.”

Read the rest here:

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-young-adult8-2010mar08,0,1082099.story

So everybody read lots and lots of teen books, m’kay? 

Cool.  Circulation stats doubled. 

Need a  suggestion?   If you’re still into vampires, I recommend the hilarious, snarky, and oh-so-romantic Hearts at Stake: The Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey

 You can also check out our After Twilight @ CCPL booklist or www.vampirelibrary.com (fair warning, this link contains both teen and adult series) for more vampy titles.

 Always,

Missy

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HERE!  CLICK HERE!!

Always,

Missy

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Have you ever read a Fantasy Romantic Comedy and thought:  who puts a clumsy Cyclops in a relationship with the Princess Udashika of Helaisissia, the most beautiful and civilized planet in the Kythera Star System?   If you think you can weave a better yarn, here’s your chance to precipitately plunge parrying people’s prodigious potential to prevail. In other words, your submission could be the best!

Collaborate with other writers to create a 4000 word Fantasy Romantic Comedy short story over an eight week period beginning September 1st and ending on October 31, 2009.  You may submit a new segment every week to continue the story. The completed story will be posted online and printed & distributed free throughout the Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center system.

Follow the linky bits for the complete submission guidelines, the story so far, and some useful definitions of fantasy romance and romantic comedy.

Credit for the cool lead-in goes to program’s main instigator Larry Gavin.

Come play!   🙂

Missy 

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