Monday, March 30, 2015

Teen Choice Book Awards - cast your vote!

The Teen Choice Book Awards are upon us and now is your time to vote. You may not be 18 yet, but your voice counts in this election! Launched in 2008 by the Children’s Book Council and Every Child A Reader, The Teen Choice Book Awards program was created to provide young readers with an opportunity to voice their opinion about the books being written for them.  Programs like this also help develop reading lists that keep kids reading and cultivate an appreciation for all kinds of literature. The voting is open at from March 17-May 3 and the nominees are:

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare 

From School Library Journal

In the final installment of the "Mortal Instruments" series, the Shadowhunters face the ultimate threat of annihilation at the hands of Sebastian Morgenstern and his army of Endarkened warriors. Institutes around the world have been attacked, and the remaining Nephilim have been called to Idris for safety and to determine a course of action. When Clary's mother and surrogate father are kidnapped along with two other Downworlder representatives of the Council, Clary, Jace, and their friends travel to the demon realm of Edom to rescue them and face off in a final climactic showdown with Sebastian. Veronica Mars's Jason Dohring and Game of Thrones's Sophie Turner split the narrative load of this lengthy title. Perspective shifts constantly, and with so many characters and concurrent story lines alternating, the book often drags, despite being action-heavy. Both narrators effectively differentiate between the myriad characters, though Turner's performance is smoother and more engaging. However, listeners may be jarred because of inexplicable inconsistencies in which performer narrates which character's perspective. Regardless, fans of the series will likely be satisfied with the conclusion as well as the clear setup for the next series.

Cress by Marissa Meyer 

From Booklist

As the Lunar Chronicles continue, we meet Cress, with Rapunzel-like hair, who is trapped in an orbiting satellite. For seven long years, she has provided intelligence and security for the Lunar Queen, Lavana. Her latest assignment is to search for Cinder, the escaped cyborg mechanic who crashed Emperor Kai’s ball and won his heart in spite of his announced betrothal to Lavana. Emperor Kai hopes his ultimate sacrifice—the marriage—will ensure peace between Earth and Luna. In this third book in Meyer’s fractured fairy tale series, Cinder, Scarlet, Wolf, and Cress team up to stop the emperor’s wedding, preventing Lavana from becoming Earth’s queen and thus destroying it. Once again, Meyer offers up a science fiction fantasy page-turner that salutes women’s intelligence and empowerment, with a subtle warning of the perils of misusing that power.

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousafzai

From School Library Journal
 In this young readers edition of Yousafzai's best-selling memoir, the Nobel Peace Prize winner retells her experiences at home and at school and discusses the impact of the Taliban presence in Pakistan. Her strong voice and ideals come across on every page, emphasizing how her surroundings and supportive family helped her become the relevant figure she is today. Yousafzai highlights the importance of school and how it was the only space where she felt empowered. Although at times the transitions between personal accounts and historical background feel abrupt, Yousafzai effectively summarizes her story and her advocacy for girls' education, peace, and human rights. Above all, she stresses that she doesn't want to be known as the girl shot by the Taliban but rather as a young person who actively fought for education. A strong addition to social studies, history, and biography collections.

The One by Kiera Cass

From the Back Cover

The time has come for one winner to be crowned.
When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart 

From Amazon

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

Head to today to cast your vote and peruse some of the other top finalists!

File:Your Vote Counts Badge.jpg

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Out with the Snow, In with the new

Mount Perkins still stands but she is melting by the minute! The last week of March never fails to be one of the most shape shifting times of the year in New England. It's the ultimate tug of war between mother nature with winter on one side and spring eternal on the other. That snow can't melt fast enough however, as we are hosting hundreds of you here in the library as I type during X block. It sounds like a complaint, but it is actually the time that I love most in the library. It's like having a full house for the holidays, (minus the olfactory trifecta of turkey, chestnuts and a roaring fire), otherwise virtually the same.  At times like this, I enjoy sitting at the circulation desk, catching up with as many of you as I can. Hearing of your spring break adventures, college acceptance reports and final grades on history papers!!! In the last 2 days, we have had Mr. Nichols, Mr. Scheintaub and Mrs. Gold all comment on how much FUN it is to hang out at the circulation desk. Given, we have a variety of improbable puzzles (futile really, unless you are Misha Tolman), tanagrams, trivia, magnetic poetry and (more often than not) candy...we prefer to think that our charisma and promise of stimulating conversation are the ultimate allure to hang out at the desk.

That's right we are official members of the cool librarians club, in case you were socially in arrears...

We also want to remind everyone that the Library will be hosting its 2nd annual Peep Diorama Contest! Start brainstorming for your book themed diorama now!

Make sure you check out the new Peek into Pesky newsletter and please check in with us. You always make our days!


Thursday, March 05, 2015

Spring Forward
It's time to Spring Forward! Most people who have survived this winter in New England probably don't need too many suggestions on what to do with the extra hour of sunshine from daylight saving, BUT if you are in need of any advice, we, your faithful librarians are here to help! Mrs. Thon set up a fun display with all kinds of activities to get our thoughts focused on the coming warm weather. Daylight saving time begins this Sunday, March 8 at 2:00 a.m. And even though we still have a couple of weeks until it's officially spring, (March 20) the return of that extra hour of light will have most of us whistling while we work and singing loud for the sunshine.

Being the season of rebirth, spring is the perfect time to start a yoga or meditation practice           

I love the juxtaposition of "Grow an organic garden" and "Have an ice cream cone eating contest"

Random acts of kindness are always in season, but perhaps a bit more likely with sunshine on the shoulders 

Enjoy your March break and we will see you in the Spring!

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Pinterest for Seniors


I am a huge fan of Pinterest! I tack up ideas and concepts for current and future projects that range anywhere from gardening, to plumbing, to art and fashion. I am a visual learner (with a hint of ADD?) and find the pinterest app helps me organize and refine the endless evolvution of ideas flowing from my brain. Pinterest's popularity does not surprise me whatsoever, but that Pinterest ranked as the fourth most popular social media site favored by teens did leave me pondering its' versatility as a learning tool. Then I stumbled upon this article by Lauren Barack, College Prep via Pinterest. The article discusses the multiple advantages of using social media to engage high school students and how Pinterest in particular, is the perfect platform for today's visual learners. There is not a lot of text and it is a very user-friendly, streamlined application.

 As any educator of teens knows, engagement is most of the battle with the teen brain, and if you can elicit a spark of curiousity, it becomes easier to slip in some critical content. Social media is proving to be a pivotal part of engagement and librarians have come to utilize the big guns of social media like Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. But Pinterest, you might ask? Librarians across the country are realizing the potential for it as an educational tool and it seems to be a trend that is catching on.

K.C. Boyd, a library media specialist at Wendell Phillips Academy High School in Chicago launched a Pinterest board for college readiness for her students. She included things like, common financial aid mistakes , preparing for dormitory life and even a list of  the 25 healthiest colleges and universities in the U.S. She has found that her students are very comfortable with the Pinterest medium and therefore it's a no brainer to try to lure them into content with whatever means possible

Here are some other Pinterest boards aimed at seniors that Barack refers to:

“Getting Ready for College” from the Otis Library in Norwich, CT
 “College Readiness” from the Staley High School Library Media Center in Kansas City, MO.

And some popular pins for college prep:

College Prep Checklist Modern Definition of College Readiness

22 Essential iPad Apps For College Students (+5 Awesome Games)
Finding financial aid can seem overwhelming when you're trying to get ready for college or career school. The U.S. Department of Education's office of

                                                         Happy Pinning!


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

I thought that highlighting a different research website or database each month would offer a fresh perspective for the blog. Today's website, Chronicling America is brought to you by the National Endowment for the Humanities and is available for FREE via the Library of Congress. This site has  over 7 million digitized historic American newspaper articles. The collection includes papers from 1836 through 1922, although newspapers published after December 31, 1922, are not included due to copyright restrictions.

The beauty of a site like Chronicling America is that it offers a vast collection of primary sources that might get overlooked during a research project. Sharon Slater brought the site to the library's attention when juniors were first starting their junior history paper last fall. She feels that Chronicling America allows researchers to approach one topic from a variety of angles via different voices across the country from the same time period. For instance, if you were to search the database for Lincoln's assassination, you could retrieve articles from Connecticut to Kentucky. Thus a student could construct a truly holistic approach to whatever her subject may be.

Another cool thing about the site is called "Topics in Chronicling America". From the homepage in the upper left corner, there is a tab linking to widely covered subjects in the American press of the time. From topics like Bat Masterson to Ouija boards to the creation of the Boston subway....(the latter might need to be updated, haha!)

SO, if you have had enough reading about your circle of friends' trivialities on twitter and facebook this winter, maybe try leisurely perusing some newsprint from a particular era. Not only will you find contemporary articles that were published as events happened, and learn what was important in the area and era, but you can also check out announcements of marriage and death notices. From a historical perspective, obituaries can speak volumes about a time and place. The advertisements, editorial and social columns are often what catch my interest. Like this advertisement proudly announcing a prescription for infants that "contains no opium or morphine"! What a relief!

If you would like more information on how to navigate the Chronicling America site or any database for that matter, just ask one of the librarians on duty at the desk. We will kindly oblige!

Monday, February 23, 2015

And the Oscar goes to....

I hate to admit it, but I am always the smug one who after leaving the theater reminds my friends of the fact that the books are always so much better than the film versions. 
ALTHOUGH....there have been some amazing adaptations this year and the Academy Awards honored quite a few of them last night in Los Angeles. The Oscar winners based on books include:

The Theory of Everything
Image result for traveling to InfinityEddie Redmayne won Best Actor for the film that was based on a memoir of Stephen Hawking's wife, Jane, titled, "Traveling to Infinity"
This true story covers the turbulent years of Jane Hawking's marriage to the astrophysics genius, her traumatic divorce, and their recent reconciliation.

Still Alice 
Image result for still aliceThe ever-gorgeous Julianne Moore received Best Actress for her role in this film adapted from the book by the same name, authored by Lisa Genova.

At fifty years old, a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful. An Alzheimer's diagnosis changes her life—and her relationship with her family and the world—forever.

The Imitation Game
Image result for alan turing; the enigmaThis movie won the coveted Best Adapted Screenplay award. Adapted from the book, "Alan Turing: The Enigma" by Andrew Hodges

A biography of the British mathematician Alan Turing, who according to some, singlehandedly saved the Allies from the Nazis, invented the computer and artificial intelligence, and anticipated gay liberation by decades--all before his suicide at age forty-one.

 American Sniper
Image result for american sniper amazonThis box office winner is based on the memoir of the same name by Chris Kyle, received the Oscar for Best Sound Editing. Although, Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper were probably hoping for more...

The Autobiography of U.S. Navy Seal, Chris Kyle, known as "the Legend" by
fellow American troops and "the devil" by his enemies, writes about the real pain and heart ache of war.

Big Hero 6 
Based on a comic book, this movie won the award for the Best Animated Feature.

Hiro's a genius, but what he really wants is to be like his inventor big brother, Tadashi--but one day, Tadashi vanishes and Hiro is only left with a companion robot Baymax. But the friendship that grows between the gentle bot and the lonely boy is only the beginning of their adventure... (Amazon)

 A few honorable mentions and Oscar nominees include:

Inherent Vice" by Thomas Pynchon
Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn
 “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed
 “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand

So, come on in and check one of these books out or maybe discover a book that has yet to be adapted in Hollywood -  that way you can say you knew them before they were famous!