David Lubar Is Coming!

Since the visit is only a month away (March 5), it's time to start getting ready!

I've posted this before, but I think David's young adult novel kit is really humorous. Just fill in the blanks to create your own storyline! Here's my most recent story idea:

As the story opens, the main character is in jail because she feels disaffected. On the advice of her ouija board she is creating free verse about the traumatic past, during which her puppy tragically committed suicide. While recording these events, she meets a hobbit who is even worse off than her, and soon commits suicide, helping the main character realize that life is just like a puppy.


Anime Club

Last Friday, 12 members of the Anime Club met for our monthly meeting. We started with an "Actual Japanese Knowledge Quiz," which asked members to recall facts and information about Japanese geography and culture. Maria won a Japanese-English dictionary for her efforts, while other members won smaller prizes. Tim came and gave everyone trading cards based on an anime series, which was very cool. We then got snacks and watched some anime for about an hour.

Since our club has grown, we joined a new anime club called Operation Anime. They will let us borrow different shows as long as we fill out a survey afterwards. So we finished up with voting for what we want to watch next month. I haven't tallied up the votes yet, but everyone was pretty excited about the ones on offer!

If you would like to join the Anime Club, get a permission slip in the children's room. We meet every fourth Friday, and our next meeting is on February 22 from 3:30 to 5:00.

Book Review: Big Fat Manifesto

Big Fat Manifesto by Susan Vaught

Click on the cover to see which libraries own this book.

Jamie Carcaterra has a boyfriend, two best friends, pretty good grades, and a lead role in the school's production of The Wiz. Normal high school stuff, except for one thing: she is fat. Jamie is not just a size 12 suffering the injustices of social sniping. She is a large and proud 4x, bent on revealing her life and thoughts to the world through her newspaper column, Fat Girl Manifesto, and winning the National Feature Award to help with college expenses. This book is packed with humor, like when Fat Girl and her friends ambush a trendy mall store that only stocks small sizes. But Fat Girl also uses her column to reveal her innermost thoughts, especially as her boyfriend, dubbed Fat Boy, goes through bariatric surgery. Filled with social and romantic struggles that are universal, this book is appealing to people of any size. Plus, it should be especially interesting to you all at UDHS since you're doing The Wiz this year!


A Little Shopping

I went to Barnes & Noble a few weeks ago to buy some new and replacement books for the teen section. Don't worry...I still have plenty of money for future purchases! Here's the list:
  • The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
  • Forever by Judy Blume
  • The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
  • Masquerade: A Blue Bloods Novel by Melissa de la Cruz
  • I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncan
  • Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
  • Ransom by Lois Duncan
  • Haveli by Suzanne Fisher Staples
  • Shabanu, Daughter of the Wind by Suzanne Fisher Staples



In honor of her new book The Sweet Far Thing, 14 teens came to our Libba Bray Cele-BRAY-tion last night. It was basically a Victorian-style event with tea, crafts, and games. We started out with a dance card icebreaker, then had hot tea and finger sandwiches. After that, we learned about the meanings of flowers and had a contest to write down what flowers in a bouquet would be best for certain situations. Later, we played Hunt the Slipper and made Victorian valentines. Finally, we had our costume contest. Kara won (as usual!), but Kaitlyn B. had the most creative costume. She came as one of the factory girls from the new book!

People who hadn't read the books certainly will now because we had so much fun. If you are looking for the trilogy, the books are A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, and The Sweet Far Thing.

Great costumes!

The food

OMG she's wearing her wig!

It's springy!

Filling up the dance cards as people arrived

What class! What style!

Making Victorian-style valentines

Another table working on their valentines

Excellent costume contest entries!


Book Review: The Attack of the Frozen Woodchucks

The Attack of the Frozen Woodchucks by Dan Elish
Review by Stephanie S.

The Attack of the Frozen Woodchucks was a very funny book. From the first page, I was laughing. This book is about a boy looking for his father. Jimmy believes his father was kidnapped by frozen woodchucks. Of course, no one believes him but his best friend, but the evidence is overwhelming. With the help of his best friend and the weirdest girl in his class, plus his little sister, Jimmy must travel into space and save his father from the woodchucks.

The book was very well-written and fast-paced. The only thing I would change is to put the little sister into the first trip to outer space. The little girl was with her father when he found the frozen woodchucks; she should be a part of every rescue attempt. Other than that, the book was great. I would definitely give this book to all my friends to read. The ending was very unexpected but tied in nicely with the story. I can't wait for a sequel.


Get in Touch with Your Victorian Side!

This Friday night, we are having a Libba Bray Cele-BRAY-tion in honor of the completion of her amazing trilogy. These stories take place in the Victorian era, but have an excellent fantasy component and a lot of mystery. Even if you haven't read the books, you should come to the party! We are going to do crafts, eat finger sandwiches and drink tea, play parlour games, and generally act high-class. Also, dress in your best Victorian-style costume to win prizes. The event will be from 6:30 to 8:30 on Friday night, so sign up now!


Book Review: The Sweet Far Thing

The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

Click on the book to see which libraries own it.

I started the first book of this series on a snowy winter night three years ago, when I was supposed to be covering it for the library. So it seems a fitting end to my reading that I finished the third book tonight at the library, as it is snowing outside!

After years of waiting for this book, it did not disappoint. The writing style was atmospheric and haunting, much like the first book. Having bound all the magic of the realms to herself as a means of protecting it, Gemma must decide how to restore it properly. This is made complicated by power struggles in the real world and in the realms. As the story progressed, I enjoyed the suspense of not knowing who was giving Gemma true advice. And I really enjoyed her increasingly intense relationship with Kartik! The conclusion of the story reduced me to tears several times, but it was beautifully done.

If you have not read this series, check out A Great and Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels before reading this book. I highly recommend this trilogy, even though I *gasp* forgot to include it in my current trilogy blog poll!

Toolbox Jewelry

Yesterday, 11 teens came out to make jewelry from hardware store items. The stuff turned out really well, and was pretty cheap to make. Besides the craft store jewelry findings, I got everything we needed at Home Depot! We made plastic tubing necklaces, washer zipper pulls, O-ring bracelets, and hexagon necklaces. It was very cool.

All of the designs came from the awesome craft book Hardwear: Jewelry from a Toolbox by Hannah Rogge. I love this book because the crafts are actually do-able without a lot of talent, the directions are really well done, and the final products look great. Randomly, I learned today that this book has its own MySpace page!

Making O-ring bracelets.

Modeling the finished products.

Check out the bracelets, zipper pulls, and necklaces!


Newest of the New

Fresh from processing...
  • No Castles Here by A. C. E. Bauer
  • Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande
  • Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy
  • Fire from the Rock by Sharon M. Draper
  • This Is What I Did by Ann Dee Ellis
  • Hex Education by Emily Gould and Zareen Jaffery
  • Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
  • Bone by Bone by Bone by Tony Johnston
  • Undercover by Beth Kephart
  • Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
  • Boy Toy by Barry Lyga
  • Zen and the Art of Faking It by Jordan Sonnenblick
  • Middleworld (The Jaguar Stones: Book One) by J & P Voelkel
  • Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

Book Review: That Summer

That Summer by Sarah Dessen
This was Sarah Dessen's first book, and I have to admit that it made me cry. Through the story, Haven is feeling incredibly vunerable. Everyone in her family is progressing to new parts of their lives, and no one seems to think about how it is affecting her. Even Haven's best friend, fresh from summer camp, is consumed with her own stories. Then, Sumner Lee walks back into Haven's life. Haven relies on his friendship and her memories of the blissful season when he dated her sister a little too much, and finds that what seems perfect may not always be so. This book really captures what it feels like to be left behind when everyone else is moving on.


Sock It to Me!

On December 28, 14 teens came in to tie-dye socks, including a few of our grads who were home on break! Marissa headed several crazy card games while waiting for her socks to soak, and everyone seemed to have a good time. Stop by and show me your socks if they turned out well!

Squirting the dye.

Everyone was concentrating.