Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tiger Lily- Review

Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn't grow up.

I've always loved fairy tales, and I've always loved adaptations on those fairy tales. I have Cinder at home right now and Scarlet is coming soon, I've watched a ton of those movies where they do a Grimm version of a fairy tale and Once Upon A Time is the only show I will shut down my life to watch. I would have to give this book like a 2.75 out of 5 stars. Not only was I intrigued by the idea of another Peter Pan story (I loved Forever Neverland) and even better, it was about Tiger Lily whom I've always like more than Wendy. Once chapter in you figure out that the book is narrated by Tinker Bell and I was hooked (I love her cranky nature).

I must say that it was hard to connect with Tiger Lily, she was such an internal creature and although Tinker Bell could almost read the thoughts of human and kept us in the loop on the thoughts of Tiger Lily, it was still hard to connect with Tiger Lily as a character. The emotion just wasn't there. I will say that I did feel for her during the moment when the Lost Boys were trying to decide if she was ugly or pretty, when Peter wasn't sure if she was a boy or a girl, and (BABY SPOILER) and when Wendy showed up they boys clearly approved of her delicate girl nature over Tiger Lily's rough one. I've been that girl and it sucks sometimes. However I'm not sure if I felt all of that compasion because the character made me feel it, or because I'm a suck for that kind of thing.

Anyway, what I loved the most about this story was Peter Pan. He's a child, but he's the man in charge, he longs for adventure, but he's tired of his mundane life. He'd do anything to protect is Lost Boys, but also longs for new companionship. I just about shed a tear for Peter during a few select spots in this book, the poor kid.

All in all, not the greatest book in my opinion, I just didn't feel as much for Tiger Lily as I wanted to, I had such high hopes, but I still enjoyed the book, I can think of a few kids who'd enjoy reading it.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Library Loot

"Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!"

Here's what I read :)

I Hunt Killers
By: Barry Lyga

By: Ellen Hopkins

Tiger Lily
By: Jodi Lynn Anderson

Tilt- Review

Three teens, three stories—all interconnected through their parents’ family relationships. As the adults pull away, caught up in their own dilemmas, the lives of the teens begin to tilt….

Mikayla, almost eighteen, is over-the-top in love with Dylan, who loves her back jealously. But what happens to that love when Mikayla gets pregnant the summer before their senior year—and decides to keep the baby?

Shane turns sixteen that same summer and falls hard in love with his first boyfriend, Alex, who happens to be HIV positive. Shane has lived for four years with his little sister’s impending death. Can he accept Alex’s love, knowing that his life, too, will be shortened?

Harley is fourteen—a good girl searching for new experiences, especially love from an older boy. She never expects to hurdle toward self-destructive extremes in order to define who she is and who she wants to be.

Love, in all its forms, has crucial consequences in this standalone novel. (


****Slight spoilers, especially toward the bottom****

Another great book by Hopkins.  This book was about three teens who were all connected in  one way or another and were all battling serious demons. Mikayla has to deal with her preganacy alone after her boyfriend tells her that she must choose between an abortion or him. Shane has recently come out of the closet and although he has a supportive best friend, and a great boyfriend (who happens to have HIV), his father is constantly drunk, and his mother has cut herself off from the world and her family, to care for Shane's dying four year old sister. Harley is fourteens and trying her hardest to find her place within her world. She desperately want's to feel like an adult and is making all the wrong choice.

My favorite character to read about in this book was Harley because man oh man have I been there, and I feel like Hopkins perfectly captured the voice and reasoning of girls in that age group. Although  I, personally, never went so far as to make the physical changes to myself that Harley made or made the decisions that she did, but I remember desperately waning to. I wanted to wear the attractive clothing (which at the time were bell bottom jeans and belly shirts, remember that), and I could never understand what friends of mine were doing to attract so much male attention that I didn't do as well. Harley though she'd finally hit the jack pot when a guy began to show her to attention she desperately craved, but didn't realize that he was paying her the wrong type of attention because at that age you can rationalize almost anything, especially when it means getting something that you're always wanted.

Shane and Mikayla's story also resonated with me, but thinking about the hurt that Shane felt as his faith was shaken so terribly and he began to unconsciously toy with the idea of death makes my eyes hot. Mikayla's ending is still unknown to us, did she keep her baby, or set her up for adoption, was the adoption open or closed. We'll never know.

I think endings like the one in Tile are what I like the best about Hopkins. In the real world there is no "the end" life continues and we hare forced to make tough decisions all the time, it never ends. We have to take life one day at a time and hold on to the friends and family that keep us grounded and that help us to make the best decisions possible. Sometimes we slip up and wind up in a tough spot but we have to continue to put one foot in front of the other.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Holy Cow!

Last year I planned a program that I called Campfire Nights. My plan was to make a fake campfire in the community room, turn off all the light except for those little battery operated candles and tell ghost stories while eating marshmallows and having a ton of fun. I came up with the idea for  this program while I was still an intern and I was excited and terrified.

I live in CT so of course there was some massive snow storm and the library was closed and we were never able to reschedule it. Somehow the Director heard about the program and she thought that it sounded great and that we could make it even bigger that I had originally planned. She mentioned that if I was still around for the next Halloween (A.K.A. this October) that we should plan to make it bigger and maybe do it outside and get funding and all sort of other things.

So I get a call from my Director today reminding me of Campfire Nights from last year and she has given me a month to put together activities for campfire nights and other things to do during the month. She hopes to make it something that we do annually. Holy Cow!! That was not my original idea but yeah, sure, why not.

I'm not too overwhelmed because there's still time to figure this all out, but I am pretty excited. I just hope everything works out and we're not snowed out for the second time in a row.

So far I know that I'd like to keep the scary story aspect, but maybe in a different fashion. We could have someone start making up a story on the spot and when they reach a good stopping point the next person cold pick it up changing the story and adapting it. I also want to roast marshmallows and hotdogs.

During the month of October I want to do a book club program with those Goose bump books where you pick your own ending. Most of those books provide up to six or seven different endings, it would be interesting to know what paths various readers choose in the book.

I would also like to adapt TLT's Extreme Gingerbread Challenge and have the kids make haunted gingerbread houses.

Those are the ideas I have for now, I really hope this all works out. There just a tab bit more pressure on your shoulders when the director is looking over your shoulder and trusting in you and one of your ideas.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Google saves me again

I spent all of Tuesday night agonizing on how I could make yesterdays Anime club different from the rest (where we watched two episodes and drew pictures) and dove through the web looking for ideas to steal. Somehow I stumbled across Anime Bingo. The idea is to create a bingo card with squares that say things like "The Fall", "Wind blows through hair", "cry me a river", "wide eyes" and a ton of others. A group of kids watch an episode or two of an anime, and as the things in the boxes happen you mark the square, when someone wins bingo, or anime, you give them a prize, everyone clears their board, and you keep playing. I think part of the success of this program was that we were using starburst to mark our cards (and chips, I don't know why though), and I gave a mini chocolate bar to who ever won. The kids seemed to have the most fun trying to figure out if something in the show counted as an action on the bingo card, so there was a lot of, "Does that count as a blush" followed by "no that's not a blush that's a temperature", and "Yes! she cried, it counts as cry me a river" followed by "no that doesn't count, it wasn't a big cry, it was the trickle of a tear". I think the kids had a lot of fun, and to hook them, I said that the anime meeting we had at the end of the summer could be cosplay.

Because our flyers are seasonal, the one that all the kids got back in January only go up to May. I had to routinely say "yes there will be anime club this summer, the summer flyer should be out soon with all the dates" I figure since they ask, it must mean they're having fun. Now on to start brainstorming for next month, someone said Anime Jeopardy, but that might be a smidgen too advance for me.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Keeping it up

So I'm learning that the hardest part organizing a club at the library isn't the actual organization and creation of said club, it's the up keep. I began an Anime Club at my library in December and it's taking off. I don't even have to beg kids to show up anymore because they just do it on their own *woot* however, I don't know a ton about Anime, I just know enough to make you think I know a ton.

The original plan was to show movies an let the kids draw pictures with a few drawing prompts thrown in to stretch the imagination. I got some kids who like to draw but then I drew in the die hard Anime fans and now I may be in a spot of trouble. They want to do more, but I have no idea what to do. The answer seems obvious, as them what they want and give it to them, yeah but see the problem is they want to do things like LARP (Live Action Role Play), and anime charades, and games and stuff, but I still have those kids who come every month and don't know enough about anime to properly participate in things like they (not to mention they may be too young) so I'm kind of stuck.

I'm thinking of google some games to play and ideas, maybe pinterest can help me out. I think a big part of the problem is that I have a very large age range with this club, how do I find something to keep everyone happy. Ugh!!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Period 8- Review

Period 8
In this full-length novel from Chris Crutcher, his first since the best-selling Deadline, the ultimate bully and the ultimate good guy tangle during Period 8.

Paul "the Bomb" Baum tells the truth. No matter what. It was something he learned at Sunday School. But telling the truth can cause problems, and not minor ones. And as Paulie discovers, finding the truth can be even more problematic. Period 8 is supposed to be that one period in high school where the truth can shine, a safe haven. Only what Paulie and Hannah (his ex-girlfriend, unfortunately) and his other classmates don't know is that the ultimate bully, the ultimate liar, is in their midst.

Terrifying, thought-provoking, and original, this novel combines all the qualities of a great thriller with the controversy, ethics, and raw emotion of a classic Crutcher story. (

I was a big fan of this book just as I was with Sarah Byrnes. There were clear similarities between Logs in Period 8 and Lemry from Sarah Byrnes and the way they ran the classes in their perspective books.What I most appreciated about Period 8 was that we were able to gain multiple perspectives on the events that were unfolding around these kids. the relationship between Paulie and Hannah has ended, because the book is told in their person, we hear the thoughts, ideas, and regrets of both of the kids. Much of the story and P8 conversation centers around the actions and various disappearances of Mary, and her strange actions toward Paulie. The POV of the book is made even more interesting as we hear the thoughts and reactions of not only Paulie and Hannah, but also Logs (the teacher), Hannah, and another character named Arney. 

Again I say, I loved this book, but there were a few aspects of it that bothered me a bit. Logs is a teacher, granted he's a teacher that these students feel comfortable telling secrets that they might not bring up to anyone else, but he is still and teacher. The students think nothing about showing up at his house in the middle of the night to talk about their problems. I had a hard time suspending my disbelief on that one. I do like that a police officer made a comment about it (like he thought it was strange and unusual as well), but I still had a hard time with wrapping my head around it.

Period 8 is a mystery, no one will deny that. However I found myself annoyed with just how mysterious Mary and Arney were acting. In one sentence Mary could switch from the innocent "Virgin Mary", as she's called, to this intense seductress. She claims she needs Paulie's help and that she wants to talk, but she leaves out a lot of information in an almost malicious manner that had not only Paulie, but me, going crazy. I just though it was a bit overkill. 

With the exception of those minor irritations I'd say that I thought the book was great.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Teen Space


Right now I work as a youth librarian which services everything from birth (or 0... weird) to seventeen, but the goal is to one day work just with teens. Not only have I studied this in grad school, but I've also noticed as I've library hopped from various roundtable, teen decor is incredibly important.

I was just at the Avon library this past Monday and was salivating over their teen room. There were computers everywhere, and fancy, cushy seating. Every flyer, poster, painting, and knick knack was something for teens, about teens. I'm in my 20's and all I wanted to do was hang out there. I feel like in an environment that strictly for one age group, they might be more likely to pay attention to signage that displays programs they know that regardless of what the flyer is advertising, it has something to do with them.

The libraries that don't have designated areas for specific age groups may lose interested teens or children because when surrounded by information for ages 12 and under, it's easy to ignore most of what's around you under the assumption that it's babyish and has nothing to do with you. *Sigh*

I know that I'm new to this world, but I am under no assumptions that every teen area of a library can look as fantastic as Avon or Groton or anywhere else that's luck enough to have a cool area. Sometimes there isn't enough money, or space, or time. I understand. I guess I'm getting all of this out because I wish there was enough time, money, and space. I feel like children, teens in particular, are in such a hard age group sometimes. There not old enough for adult, and they're too old for children. It's almost like the entire age group falls into the cracks if there's not someone around to pay attention.

On the up side, seeing all of these libraries gives me something to work toward!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Drama- Book Review


Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can't really sing. Instead she's the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier! (

It's embarrassing to say but I relate a lot to this book, not because it reflected my middle school life, but because it reflected my high school and college life. (Sigh). Callie is crazy about all theatre, her goal in life is to design beautiful stages for Broadway plays and musicals. Her life is made, that much more complicated when she's turned down by the a guy she likes. Trying to distract herself with the upcoming musical, he life is rocked once again by twin brother Justin and Jesse.

Although, at first appearance, the book seems to revolve around pre-teen romance, there is a greater foundation. Yes, Callie does have feels for first one of the brothers, then the other, but it's very innocent and appropriate, and that's what middle school is about, first crushes and taking baby steps toward figuring out what kind of person you're going to be.

I really appreciated Callie's focus on her dram and free spirit. One of my favorite scenes in the book was where Callie took Jesse and Justin to a book store in the mall to look at her favorite book, it was filled with images of famous play, and consequently their stages. When Callie spoke about her dream to design large stages, like the one that appeared in her book, it was in the tone of a child who would shout from the rooftops to anyone who would listen that she was going to accomplish her dreams no matter what. I also love the fiasco with the working cannon. I actually began to seriously step into theatre when I was in high school and by the time I was in college I was the head of the wardrobe department and in charge of costume pieces and quick changes and basically anything that involved clothing. If I had a dollar for every time I ran into an issue with my costumes that Callie ran into with that cannon, I'd have been rich years ago :) it was nice to be able to compare Callie's life with my own past. 

There are some who don't like this book because of the fact that the book takes place in a middle school instead of a high school, or they feel that the sexual orientation of some of the characters makes it inappropriate, but the fact of the matter is that these things are happening in middle school now and needs to be address in a controlled and appropriate manner that sparks conversation amongst out tweens, and I think Regina Telgmeier did a great job with that.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Identical- Book Review

Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical down to the dimple. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family -- on the surface. Behind the facade each sister has her own dark secret, and that's where their differences begin.

For Kaeleigh, she's the misplaced focus of Daddy's love, intended for a mother whose presence on the campaign trail means absence at home. All that Raeanne sees is Daddy playing a game of favorites -- and she is losing. If she has to lose, she will do it on her own terms, so she chooses drugs, alcohol, and sex.

Secrets like the ones the twins are harboring are not meant to be kept -- from each other or anyone else. Pretty soon it's obvious that neither sister can handle it alone, and one sister must step up to save the other, but the question is -- who? (review from


I don't want to say that  a lot of books are predictable, because they're not, but I do think it's safe to say that in many books these days (maybe with the exception of mystery novels) but by the middle of a lot of books that I've read I have a good idea of what's going to happen at the end, who may die, who the killer is, who dates whom, and so on and so forth. 

There was no way I could see the end of this book coming. The entire book bounces back and forth the opinion of Kaeleigh and Raeanne, Kaeleigh is the more timid of the two sisters. She feels trapped in the life that her family has created around her having, taking control in only in her stress binging, and finding her escape in school and the boy her loves her, Ian.

Raeanne is the bad girl who sneaks out in the middle of the night hook up with guys for drugs and other "recreational" activities. She finds way to rebel in any and every situation and looks down on her sister for her "weak" behavior and giving in the want to their dad. Raeanne can't understand why
Kaeleigh wont tell someone what their dad does, or fight against him, and she tries to set up situations where Kaeleigh could tell someone her secrete.

In the end it turns out that Raeanne had died in the car accident caused her family to spiral out of control. To deal with the insanity that was her life, it appeared that Kaeleigh had developed a personality disorder becoming her dead sister Raeanne whenever she needed to draw out a misguided form of strength. 

This is the first book that I've read by Ellen Hopkins and I can't wait until I can find time to read more of them, the twist at the end of the book was crazy because Raeanne and Kaeleigh were two distinctly different characters and the fact that one person could portray both personalities is a fantastic idea.

Five stars to Hopkins.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Busy Bee

So I haven't posted in quite some time but that's because this is my last week of school for the semester, I have this big grant writing project due on Saturday and I've been crazy busy, so I'll get back to writing as soon as that's over because I do have some things to update such as TAG's very first program! I'm so proud of those guys!