Musings

What Public Libraries Do – Part I

A new picture book, Dreamers  by Yuyi Morales relate the story of the author’s move to the United States, but is also an inspirational tribute to the value that Public Libraries add to a community. Imagine the power of coming to a new country and discovering a world of books that can be explored and even checked out free of charge! Morales shares these two powerful statements in the author’s note at the end of the story. “One of the most important things I learned at the library is that through books we can find our path and our purpose. . . Kelly and I were Dreamers in the sense that all immigrants are Dreamers: we enter a new country carried by hopes and dreams, and carrying our own special gifts, to build a better future.”

Reading this beautiful book reminded me of two other inspiring picture books that highlight the services Public Libraries have provided for immigrants through the decades.

Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora

 

Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora relates the true story of a special relationship between a librarian and the son of migrant farm workers. Tomas Rivera went on to become the first minority Chancellor of the University of California at Riverside.

 

 

 

 

 

The Storyteller's Candle by Lucia Gonzalez

 

The Storyteller’s Candle by Lucia M. Gonzalez introduces Pura Belpre, the first Puerto Rican librarian hired by the New York Public Library system. This warmhearted Spanish/English bilingual story adopts the perspectives of two children who are inspired by Belpre to enter a library for the very first time. There is now an annual award given by the American Library Association named for Pura Belpre; the award honors outstanding authors and illustrators who portray Latino culture in books for children.

 

If You Liked….Then Try….

There isn’t anything I don’t love about Cassandra Clare’s Prequel Series The Infernal Devices. The love triangle between Tessa, Jem, and Will is a story for anyone! If you’re like me, then at the end you’ll give your heart to these characters, you’ll laugh with them and even cry with them. I loved this series, and I’m guessing if you’re reading this article then you loved this series too! If you are still broken hearted over the ending of the series, here are 5 books that will help you move on from the heartache!

 

Lauren Kate captured my heart and soul with her series, Fallen. I have always been one that liked to read about past lives and loves so when I read the summary to the first book, I couldn’t keep from opening it up and falling in love with all the characters in this series.

The reason why this series is similar to the Infernal Devices is because of the paranormal fantasy part of it, the love story, as well as the boarding school that both authors incorporated within their story. I particularly adore both of the love triangles though in Fallen the love triangle is more in the first book than the others. I love the difference in both of the series too! Plus, have you seen the covers?!

 

Amanda Hocking has always been one of my favorite authors. All of her stories are unique and capture my heart in so many different ways! So much so that I recently just bought two of her series! Amanda’s trilogy Trylle has always been a beloved trilogy of mine and one that I’ve gone back to several times to reread!

Besides the paranormal fantasy and the love triangle, another reason why this trilogy is so similar to the Infernal Devices series is because of the uniqueness of the story. Besides the different world aspect, it also has imaginary creatures and two beautiful worlds that the main character is caught between! Did I mention she is a lost princess?

 

I haven’t read many of Julie Kagawa’s books but her series The Iron Fey really captured me. First, the cover was just so beautiful that it drew me in to pick up the book! Secondly, the story of Meghan was just so amazingly written that I couldn’t not read this series.

Once again, we have paranormal fantasy and a love triangle. Though, this book is perhaps maybe more like Amanda Hocking’s trilogy, Trylle, because of it’s faery theme, it also reminds me some of Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices because both Meghan and Tessa are eerily similar in many ways. They both feel different, they’re both magical, and they both are used as pawns in their stories.

 

Many people know Gena Showalter from her paranormal romance, the Lords of the Underworld but she recently just finished a series called Everlife. Tenley’s story was so unique and different that I couldn’t help but love it.

Besides the one common denominator, this story has realms instead of worlds and in order to enter a realm you have to die. Besides the worlds, Everlife and the Infernal Devices are both roughly set around a school or in the Everlife series, an Asylum. Though, there is somewhat of a love triangle, but it’s a difficult and confusing one to explain. The series is also very action packed and detailed which helps it to imagine the story.

 

 

Mother-Daughter duo P.C. and Kristin Cast aren’t as popular as the other authors in this list, but their series House of Night, are international bestsellers! The House of Night series follows Zoey Redbird as she is marked as a fledging (possible vampyre) and moves to the House of Night school. I have read almost all the books, and I have actually restarted the series and am currently on Tempted, the sixth book of the series.

Besides the paranormal fantasy genre being the common denominator, the setting of the House of Night series is also a school. There’s the common two worlds and hate crimes that are in both the Infernal Devices and House of Night. Zoey and Tessa are also alike with the love triangles, though Zoey is in more love triangles than Tessa’s one between her, Jem, and Will. I really enjoyed the House of Night series.

 

Each story is different and every author writes differently. I loved reading each series and I’ve gotten different feelings from each one. I love all of the authors and all of the characters just the same.

 

*Most of the books can be found at either library in the Teen Section.

** All the books can be found on our Digital Library.

 

 

 

 

eBooks or Print Books: The Great Book Format Debate

In today’s world of technology, eBooks have grown to immense popularity. Though, there are still many people who prefer the feel of the books in their hands that print books haven’t gone out of style and may never go out of style. So…which one is winning the fight? 

ROUND ONE:

The average production cost for a $26 hardcover is $4.05.

The average production cost for a $9.99 eBook download is $0.50.

 

ROUND TWO:

A hardcover book can weigh up to 2.2 pounds.

An eBook reader or tablet can weight up to 8.5 ounces.

 

ROUND THREE:

71% of millennials in the UK and the US (those aged 18-34 years old) prefer print books.

37% of millennials prefer eBooks via tablet.

 

AND THE WINNER IS…..

It doesn’t matter what is more popular. Everyone has their preferences and that’s all that matters. If you prefer reading on a tablet, then great! If you prefer reading printed books, great! If you are a hybrid reader (reads anything), then great! AT LEAST YOU ARE READING!!!

 

Guess the Book from the First Sentence Answers

Did you play along with the last blog post about guessing the title of a book from the opening lines? Let’s see how well you did! Here are the answers:

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Chances are you’ve read one or more of these children’s classics, so how well did you do? What about the next round?

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Did any of these classics ring a bell? Hopefully they did! Next!

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

1984 by George Orwell

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

What about the bonus? It might have been a little tricky!

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

So how well did you do? I’d love to know in the comments! Happy Reading!

Guess the Book from the First Sentence

Sometimes the opening line of a book will stick with you forever. Here are some opening lines of popular books you might have read. See if you can guess which book they’re from!

“All children, except one, grow up.”

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”

“”Where’s Papa going with that ax?” said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.”

“Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. This story is about something that happened to them when they were sent away from London during the war because of the air-raids.”

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

Those were kind of easy. Ready for a few more?

“Call me Ishmael. Some years ago — never mind how long precisely — having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.”

“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. Whenever you feel like criticizing any one, he told me,  just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small, unregarded yellow sun.”

“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.”

“It was a pleasure to burn.”

Last ones!

“This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it.”

“Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.”

“All this happened, more or less.”

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”

“In the corner of a first-class smoking carriage, Mr. Justice Wargrave, lately retired from the bench, puffed at a cigar and ran an interested eye through the political news in the Times.”

Bonus!

“It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.”

Good luck! Comment what your guesses were to see if you’re right!

 

Classics Characters’ Guess Who Answers

Let’s see how your answers stacked up with the correct ones from the previous blog. Ready?

How many of these did you get right? On to the next section!

What about the next section? Did you guess the owners of the quotes?

How did you do? How many of these classics have you read? I’d love to know!

Happy Reading!

Classics Characters’ Guess Who

This could be fun! Here are some clues about several characters from classic works of fiction.

Can you guess who they are?

Let’s start off with some easy ones:

  • A fiery redhead with a temper and a penchant for daydreaming and romance. She resides on Prince Edward Island.
  • A “counseling detective” residing at 221B Baker Street, London. He is most often accompanied by his biographer and friend, Dr. Watson.
  • A character first appearing in another work of his titular best friend, he was among the poorest of the poor in town before being adopted by a wealthy widow. After faking his own death, he sailed down the Mississippi River with a fugitive slave on a raft.
  • The second eldest of five sisters, this character is intelligent and witty, with a desire to marry for love rather than convenience. She is her father’s favorite.

Did you guess any of these? Let’s try a few more:

  • One of two migrant ranch workers searching for work during the Great Depression, this character loves petting soft animals — especially rabbits. However, he does not know his own strength.
  • An anthropomorphic character who is bounced around from owner to owner, he learns all sorts of trades, from sledding, to mining, to panning for gold. He learns how to work with others and eventually becomes the leader of a pack.
  • This character is caught up in the middle of a pirate adventure while working at his family’s inn. Deciding to hunt for coveted buried treasure, he sets off on the adventure of a lifetime, filled with pirates, murder, intrigue, violence, and treasure.
  • This character was only six years old when her story began during the Great Depression in the South. Fascinated with her recluse neighbor, she lives with her brother and their widowed, lawyer father who takes on an extremely controversial case.

Do you think you could guess the character based only on one of their quotes? Test your knowledge!

  • “Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everyone.” 
  • “Reader, I married him.” 
  • “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” 
  • “I don’t understand it. What can there be in a simple story like that to make people praise it so?”

Let us know what you guessed! Look for a subsequent blog post with the answers!

Happy Reading!

STORY TIME IS BEGINNING!

 

STORY TIME IS BEGINNING

 

Story times will be starting in September.  The first story time at the Dillsboro Library  will be Tuesday, September 4 at 10:30. The first story times at the Aurora Library will be Wednesday, September 5 at 10:30 and 1:00.

NO REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. You will be asked to complete a short form at your first story time.   Story times will continue every Tuesday (at Dillsboro) and Wednesday (at Aurora) through December 19.

During the month of September we will cover the topics of water, the five senses, seeds, and the season of fall. We look forward to seeing you at the library for story time.

 

Hold your horses…today is National Relaxation day!

What?? Who knew.

Anyway, on this National Relaxation day, I’m going to curl up with a good book and enjoy some quiet relaxation time. I might also enjoy a bubble bath and some John Legend.

I also think I’ll throw in some yoga because it always helps me relax.

But you I’d love to hear from you what your favorite relaxing activities are in the comments!

And if you want to get your relaxation on and need some ideas…

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Big book of relaxation: simple techniques to control the excess stress in your life

Only have 5 minutes?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five good minutes: 100-morning practices to help you stay calm and focused all day long

 

Iconic Coming-of-Age Stories: The Outsiders

Growing up, we all had those books we either were forced to read in elementary school or those books that we’d heard about on our own and decided to take a chance on. There’s always those books from that time that stick with us. They’re the iconic stories that each child growing up should read before Junior High or High School.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton is definitely one of the most iconic stories ever written. This book not only introduced the category juvenile fiction, but was on the American Library Association’s Top 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-1999, and is still considered a controversial book. The Outsiders has been banned from many schools and many libraries because of its portrayal of gang violence, underage smoking and drinking, strong language, and its family dysfunction. However, many schools today require the book to be read for middle and high school grades.

The Outsiders

The book was first published in 1967 when the author was 18 years old. She first started the novel when she was 15. The story introduces gang violence with two rival groups called the Greasers and the Socs (Short for Socials). It’s the typical wrong side of the tracks story.

The story is told in first person by Ponyboy Curtis. Ponyboy is a member of the gang Greasers and is leaving the movie theater when the Socs jump in. His two older brothers, Darrell (Darry) and Sodapop, as well as several other members of their gang rescue him. Afterward, we’re introduced to Dallas (Dally) Winston and Johnny, two iconic characters within the book. One night while they are fighting the Socs, his friend Johnny kills one. The murder ends up crumbling and teaching Ponyboy that pain feels the same.

This is a story that has stayed with me and grown with me and I believe that every high school student should have to read this book. When I become a teacher, it’ll definitely be required!