I’m sorry that I looked at any reviews of Adriana Trigiani’s first young adult novel, because although I enjoyed reading it, I realize that some of the criticisms are accurate. On the other hand, I’m glad I didn’t read the reviews before I read the book, because I probably wouldn’t have liked it as much. Viola is a teen who has grown up in Brooklyn, NY, with all the benefits of living in such an ethnically diverse community, so she’s not too pleased when her parents drop her off at the all-girls school, Prefect Academy, in Indiana, for a year while they travel to Afghanistan to make a documentary film. Viola is a budding filmmaker, and her relationship with her camera is one of the things that sustains her when she feels she’s lost everything else. She does adapt a little too easily to living in a quad dorm room for someone who professes to be such a loner, but of course you’re happy that she finds such good friends. There’s a little bit of a supernatural element to the story, too, that I really liked. When Viola is looking at the footage she first shot when she arrived on campus, she notices a flash of red in the background. When she looks closer, she sees it is a woman in an old-fashioned red dress, who she is sure wasn’t there when she was filming. One of her friends back home assures her that it is a ghost who has something to tell Viola. Later in the book, Viola decides to make a short film to enter in a student film contest, and the identity of the red ghost-woman gives her the personal interest slant that she needs. During the course of the book, Viola gets her first boyfriend (who turns out to be too good to be true), finds out the real reason why her parents sent her to the academy for a year, and spends Christmas on the almost empty campus with her Broadway actress grandmother, who brings along her latest, much younger boyfriend. All in all, the book was a lot of fun. Review by Stacy Church
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Bayou, Volume One by Jeremy Love
The first title from the original webcomics imprint of DC Comics!
South of the Mason-Dixon Line lies a strange land of gods and monsters; a world parallel to our own, born from centuries of slavery, civil war, and hate. Lee Wagstaff is the daughter of a black sharecropper in the depression-era town of Charon, Mississippi. When Lily Westmoreland, her white playmate, is snatched by agents of an evil creature known as Bog, Lee's father is accused of kidnapping. Lee's only hope is to follow Lily's trail into this fantastic and frightening alternate world. Along the way she enlists the help of a benevolent, blues singing, swamp monster called Bayou. Together, Lee and Bayou trek across a hauntingly familiar Southern Neverland, confronting creatures both benign and malevolent, in an effort to rescue Lily and save Lee's father from being lynched. BAYOU VOL. 1 collects the first four chapters of the critically acclaimed webcomic series by Glyph Award nominee Jeremy Love.
Foiled by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mike Cavallaro
A quirky, fast-paced urban fantasy by esteemed author Jane Yolen. Aliera Carstairs just doesn’t fit in. She’s always front and center at the fencing studio, but at school she’s invisible. And she’s fine with that . . . until Avery Castle walks into her first period biology class. Avery may seem perfect now, but will he end up becoming her Prince Charming or just a toad?
Omega: The Unknown by Jonathan Lethem with Karl Rusnak, illustrated by Farel Dalrymple, colored by Paul Hornschemeier
The story of a mute, reluctant super hero from another planet, and the earthly teenager with whom he shares a strange destiny - and the legion of robots and nanoviruses that have been sent from afar to hunt the two of them down! Created in 1975 by Steve Gerber and Mary Skrenes, the original Omega the Unknown lasted only ten issues, but was a legend to those who recall it - an ahead-of-its-time tale of an anti-hero, inflected with brilliant ambiguity. One of Omega's teenage fans was award-winning novelist Jonathan Lethem, who has used the original as a springboard for a superbly strange, funny, and moving graphic novel in ten chapters. Collects Omega: The Unknown #1-10.
Check out the April, 2010 newsletter from My Wonderful World.org, a National Geographic Campaign http://newsletters.nationalgeographic.com/PS!HNk2yTS2hMgFBgIAAAAGCgFICgg3MDQ5Mjg2NgoKMjAwNzA3Mjk2NgkAQal/Cgk1MjExODIxNTUF
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Here are some of the books chosen as the top 10 best books for young adult by the American Library Association for 2010
The Demon’s Lexicon by Brennan
The Orange Houses by Griffin
The Great Wide Sea by Herlong
The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Jinks
Alligator Bayou by Napoli
Marcelo in the Real World by Stork
Lips Touch: Three Times by Taylor
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Looking for something to do this summer? Would you like to learn to knit, or have a professional help you improve your knitting? Come join us at the Westwood Library on Tuesday Aug. 3, 10 and 17 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm for a young adult knitting program. Everyone in grades 6 – 12 is welcome. Registration is required, and enrollment is limited to 10, so register early! All material will be provided. Sign up at the Reference Desk or call 781-320-1045.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
If you are a fan of the Maximum Ride series, you have probably been waiting for this book to come out.
“Fang will be the first to die.” Maximum Ride is used to living desperately on the run from evil forces sabotaging her quest to save the world –but nothing has ever come as close to destroying her as this horrifying prophetic message. Fang is Max’s best friend, her soul mate, her partner in the leadership of her flock of winged children. A life without Fang is a life unimaginable. “But there will be another…” When a newly created winged boy, the magnificent Dylan, is introduced into the flock, their world is upended yet again. Raised in a lab like the others, Dylan exists for only one reason: he was designed to be Max’s perfect other half. “To replace Fang.” Thus unfolds a battle of perfection versus passion that terrifies, twists, and turns…and meanwhile, the apocalypse is coming. --from the book jacket
Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve
Fever Crumb has been adopted and raised by Dr. Crumb, a member of the Order of Engineers, where she serves as an apprentice. At a time when women are not seen as reasonable creatures, Fever is an anomaly, the only girl to serve in the Order. Soon, though, she must say good-bye to Dr. Crumb to assist archaeologist Kit Solent with a top secret project. The assignment involves a mysterious room that once belonged to Auric Godshawk, the last of the Scriven overlords, and Fever must help unlock it. The Scriven, not human, ruled the city some years ago but were hunted down and killed in a victorious uprising by the people. As Fever’s work begins, she is plagued by memories that are not her own, and Kit seems to have a particular interest in finding out what they are. All Fever knows is what she’s been told: She is an orphan. But whose memories does she hold? And why are there people chasing her, intent on eliminating her? Is Fever the key to unlocking the terrible secret of the past? –from the book jacket
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Tom Daley returns to the Westwood Library! On April 29, Tom will host 2 poetry writing workshops as part of the library’s Positively Poetry series. Students in grades 6, 7, and 8 will meet from 2:45 – 4:00, and students in grades 3, 4, and 5 will meet from 4:15 – 5:30. Registration is required. To register, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 781-320-1042. The poems produced at the workshops will be included in the library’s 2010 Poetry Anthology.
Tom Daley teaches poetry writing at the Boston Center for Adult Education, and poetry and memoir writing at Lexington Community Education. In addition, he is a member of the faculty of the Online School of Poetry, serves on the tutorial faculty of the Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, and has been a guest instructor at Brown University, Stonehill College and SUNY Cobleskill. He has also been served as visiting poets at several schools.
Tom Daley’s own work has been published in numerous journals, including Harvard Review, Prairie Schooner, Barrow Street, Vox, Diagram, and Hacks: The Grub Street Anthology.
Positively Poetry at the Westwood Public Library is a celebration of poetry that includes the publication of an anthology of original poetry by students in grades 3 - 12, a public reading from the anthology, and sometimes a writing workshop or two!
Send us your poems for The Westwood Library's 2010 Poetry Anthology. All students in grades 3 - 12 are invited to send one original poem for inclusion in our 2010 anthology. Poems should be no longer than 30 lines, and must have family friendly language and content. Deadline for submissions is April 16. Email us at email@example.com and include your full name, grade, name of your school, phone number and email address. Check out our poetry blog at westwoodpoetry.blogspot.com, where some of the poems will be published.