Monday, May 23, 2011

Mandy's Book of the Week (5/23)

Last week was crazy, which you could probably have guessed by the lack of a Book of the Week.  To make up for it, I'm going to give you a 2-for-1 deal this week.

Image courtesy of
If you've not read this book, do yourself a favor and GO READ THIS BOOK!  I read a ton and this book (or I should say this series, since it is followed by two other books) is easily my favorite in the last year.

The Hunger Games takes place in what they describe as the ruins of North America.  There have been floods, fires, and famines, among other terrible things, and what came out of it all was Panem: a country with a wealthy, posh Capitol city and 12 districts where life is hard.

Every year, the Capitol requires each district to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to fight to the death on national television.  The book opens on the day of the reaping (when the kids are chosen) and you follow Katniss, who is 16 and nervous about it all.

This book is what kicked off the huge amount of dystopian novels that are popping up in the Young Adult (i.e.-teen) book market these days.  And I, for one, am not complaining b/c I am loving it.

Image courtesy of

This book is one that is set in real life.  There aren't any faeries, ghosts, demons, werewolves, aliens, or any other supernatural force at work.  That is a real novel concept at this point in time.

This book follows Francesca, who is one of a small number of girls attending a school that used to be an all boys school.  She came from an all girl's school, so she's having some adjustment issues.

Top that off with the fact that her mother, who is the rock of her family, has suddenly lost her marbles, or so it seems, and the only other girls that she knows at her school are girls that she doesn't really want to be friends with.

She feels kind of lost, to say the least.

I really enjoyed this book.  It wasn't amazing or shocking or anything, but it was a nice read.  The author recently put out a follow up book called The Piper's Son which picks back up with the same characters 5 years after the end of Saving Francesca.  I haven't read it yet, but it is on my list for sure.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The 4th Annual Anime Mini-Convention

We held the 4th annual Anime Mini-Convention last weekend and it was a resounding success!  There were roughly 55 people in attendance.  Food was eaten, drinks were drunk, and good times were had by all.

The 2010-11 Anime Club
The Gaming Area

The Welcome Booth and Screening Area

We had a line out the door!


Art Entries

The president, Thea, giving her welcome.

There were three different contests that were held: cos-play, skit, and art.  These are our cos-play contestants:

I have a video of the winning skit, but for some reason it won't upload.  I'll try to get it here soon.

I, unfortunately, failed to get a picture of the winning art.

All in all, it was a really good time.  I got lots of compliments on the food, which was almost all made by Anime Club members, and things went really smoothly.

I look forward to next year!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mandy's Book of the Week (5/9)

I book talked this book last week, so some of you may be familiar with it already.

I LOVED this book.

I'm not a lover of the fantasy genre, generally.  I tried to get through The Lord of the Rings and didn't make it very far. 

But someone told me how good Graceling (also by Kristin Cashore) was and I was hooked.  While I really enjoyed Katsa's story in that book, I thought Fire's story in Fire was even better.

Fire is set in a world that has monsters.  Not like scary jump out from under the bed monsters, just monster variations of creatures that already exist.  You can easily identify monsters because of their unnaturally colored fur.  Horse monsters, for example, won't be the colors of a typical horse like gray, white, or black, they'll be colors like red, orange, or blue.  See?  Easy to identify.

Fire is the last human monster.  She has hair of red and yellow and orange and pink and she is breathtakingly beautiful, as are all monsters.  She is irresistible to human men, who will fight to the death to be with her, and to monster predators, who want to kill her.  Monsters also have a kind of mind control; they can enter your mind and plant suggestions there or divert your attention, among other things.  Fire's father used that power for some very evil things and Fire's reputation has been hurt because of that, even though her father has been dead for years.

Fire views her very existence as a bad thing and struggles with all the terrible things that her father did.  This story is her struggle.

I'm going to go check this book in shortly since I just finished it yesterday.  It is yours for the taking!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I have some of the best teens in the world swing by my section of the library.  Most of the time, they are kind, funny, and respectful.

When Amy, my assistant, and I decided that we wanted to honor the mothers who have raised these awesome kids, we couldn't think of any better way than to let the kids tell us why their moms rock.

Why my mom is the best mom in the world:

My mom isn't just my mom, she is my best friend.  I can talk to her about anything and everything. -Thea Grayham

My mom is the best mom in the world because she always puts my sister and I first.  She would give up anything for us. (Plus, she makes the BEST grilled cheese!) -Shayna Devore

Because she raised me to be strong and kind. -Lizzie

Because she is always there for me and anyone who needs help. -Brandi

Why my mom is the best mom?  Well, she always makes time to do what I want.  Most of the time anyway.  And she's got to take care of twins.  I should say she mostly lets US do what WE want, which makes her cool, mom-wise. -Bryston and Reece Hickman

She lives with me and hasn't tried to kill me yet or anything close.  That makes her amazing. -Janie Brown

My mom is the best mom in the world because she is always here for me and listens to my problems no matter how tired or busy she is.  She is pretty much my best friend.  I love her a lot. :-) -Chelsee Kinslow

Because she loves me, supports me, sympathizes with me, and has somehow found the willpower to put up with me for 15 years straight. -Evan Webb

She loves me, she is always there in my time of need, a wonderful listener and a fantastic cook.  She knows how to cheer me up when I feel sad.  She never judges.  Even though she seems mean at the time, she does it to prepare me for this world and teach me how to fight for what I want. -Beth Bauwens

She has all of the information in the world it seems like. -Kamden Kellogg (If only they knew!)

Because she is the one I can always talk to no matter the circumstances. -Kassi Kilgore

'Cause she is the awesomest person in the world! -Elizabeth Wilson

She's beautiful and hilarious. -Praew

I can only imagine what it is like to parent teenagers, but I get the impression that it is an arduous job.  So here's to you, moms of teens!  The love you and appreciate you.  Here's the proof.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

April's Teen Tuesday

Earth Day was just a few days before April's Teen Tuesday was scheduled, so the library council decided that they wanted to make it somewhat of an Earth Day celebration.

Unfortunately, the weather was bad (Tornado Watches all over the state) so that put a damper on it for sure, but we still managed to have a great time.

The snacks were all natural and/or organic (those are different things!).  Did you know Capri Suns are all natural?

They wanted to decorate flower pots and plant either flowers or vegetable seedlings.

Planting flowers is messy.  Who knew?
 Our last Teen Tuesday of the 2010-11 school year is on May 24th.  Hope to see you there!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mandy's Book of the Week (5/2)

Happy Monday all!  Just think, every day is one day closer to summer vacation.  It'll be here before you know it!

This week, my book has zombies in it.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan is a story about the world that is set 5-7 generations (so 125-175 years) after the zombie apocalypse.

The story follows Mary, a girl who lives in a village that is surrounded by a fence, which keep out the Unconsecrated (i.e.-the zombies).  Mary has been taught her whole life that their village is the only surviving village in the world.  They are it; there are no more uninfected people in existence.  But Mary has wanderlust in a bad way.  She just can't believe that what she's experiencing is all that there is.  There are fenced in paths that lead away from her village and, even though they are forbidden to the people that live there, she just KNOWS that there is more.

Throw in a group of very controlling nuns (called the Sisterhood) and weave in a small dose of love triangle and you have a recipe for a great book.

I'll be honest: this book gave me some nightmares.  And it isn't that the book is bloody or gory or anything, because it really isn't, but because, to me, it seems that the way they've set up the village is how things might really shake out in a post-zombie apocalyptic world.

Don't laugh!  The thought of a zombie apocalypse really scares me.

Do you have a zombie plan?