Gonzo YA Librarian
Small town librarian discusses crafts, books, comics, media, teens, and more.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
This guy was done up out of gray, white, and a little black felt, sewed together with kind of roughly with overstitching and stuffed with some scrap felt.
His intensines are yarn, I added a few details and blood with sharpies.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
A good read aloud book, or something a child can pick up on their own, the text and information is well assembled for the younger curious child. The illustrations are colorful and cute, though some children may want to see photos of actual baby bugs. Some of the humor will go over younger children's heads, but adults should enjoy reading it as well.
A good purchase for a public or elementary school library. Use along with your science unit on insects, your children's bug house, or just in spring when bugs start appearing.
Also posted at: http://www.gonzoyalibrarian.blogspot.com
Book source: ePub provided by publisher via NetGalley
Friday, April 2, 2010
I was really drawn into Winter's End at first, as the set-up of the orphanage/school was interesting as were the dog-men. It continues at a decent pace with escalating excitement as the reader discovers more and more about the world; though the love story part was less believable, with two sets of teens falling in love at first sight.
For me the book really started to fall apart when everyone from the government seemed to be incompetent and easily defeated, and that all the power the government became unbelievable. The final rebellion worked out way too neatly, and the whole book wrapped up quickly in a very neat little package. If I had read this before Hunger Games, it might have worked for me, but with a weaker evil government, a way too tidy ending, and far less perilous peril, it just disappointed me in the end. It also didn't help that while it starts out being about the two girls, the boys take the lead and have all the fighting power and leadership skills, and the girls end up singing, cooking, and longing for their boys. Katniss (and Katsa from Graceling) have raised my expectations quite high for girls/women fighting evil governments.
I think that if Winter's End had been expanded into a second book, letting things play out more fully and giving the girls more of a role in the rebellion (which you really think they are going to have for a while) I would be able to recommend the book more. I'd give it 3 out 5, because it started out really well and kept me reading and wanting to see what would happen, it just didn't finish strongly. I'd give it to teens who like dystopian books, and those who are ask me for something to read while waiting for Mockingjay, but only after I had recommended Graceling and Maze Runner.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
Gyotaku (gyo=fish, taku=rubbing) is an art invented by Japanese fishermen in the 1800’s. It allowed them to keep a record of their catches. It continues to be an art form and has been adapted as an alternative to the stuffed fish on the wall for modern sport fishers. Traditionally a real fish is used, along with high quality ink, and rice paper. Libraries can adapt the art further for a program.
Materials and supplies:
-rubber fish from Dick Blick
-Speedball Fabric Printing Ink (heatset) (Dick Blick or Oriental Trading)
-additional fabric paint, i.e. puffy paints (optional)
1. Start with tempera paint and scrap paper to get a feel for the process.
2. Coat fish well with choosen medium. It is important to do this quickly, as the paint will start to dry and you’ll lose parts of the fish.
3. Cover fish with paper/t-shirt, pressing down and molding it around the fish.
4. Pull it up smoothly.
5. You have a print. If on fabric, follow directions on paint to heatset. Touch up with a paintbrush as needed.
6. Follow directions to heatset. You may want to use puffy paints to further decorate.
Ship Breaker - Paolo Bacigalupi (book source: ARC from publisher)
Bacigalupi is fairly new author, and this is his first youth novel and only second published novel. A post-apocalyptic adventure in a world where tsunamis and hurricanes have destroyed large amounts of the coasts, oil is extremely scarce, and the gap between the haves and the have-nots has widened to the extreme. The hero of the story is a young teen who works under horrific conditions breaking apart old ships for salvageable metal and parts. He collides with a wealthy girl who becomes shipwrecked nearby (and hits many stereotypes of the character type), and gets caught up in even bigger problems when he decides that saving her might be his key out.
The beginning was a little slow, but the descriptions are good and pull you in. Definitely gets into the environmental warnings about pollution and climate change bringing the end to the world as we know it. Not the best book, or even great, but a fun read. I'd be interested in seeing more of the world, though with different characters. Recommended for teens and mature tweens who enjoy fast-paced adventures and Miyazaki movies about man vs nature.
Going Bovine - Libba Bray (book source: checked out from library)
Cameron is your typical apathetic teen, going through his day to day existence with no real goals or interest in anything other than the hot chick. That all changes when he starts to see fire giants and gets diagnosed with Mad Cow Disease. Things look pretty bleak until a punk rock angel (pink hair, combat boots, plaid skirt, and a habit of spray painting things on her wings) named Dulcie drops by and sends him off on a quest to save himself and the world. Tagging along is Gonzo, a hypochondriac video-game playing dwarf, and later a talking lawn gnome, who claims to be the Norse god Balder. The three guys set off on one of the craziest roadtrips, encountering jazz players, dimension hopping scientists, happiness cults, and reality tv.
I really enjoyed Going Bovine, so I was pleased when it won the Printz. Nothing like Bray's other books, it is a crazy ride, with lots of literary references, the whole thing being Don Quixotesque, and brings up some good discussion topics. I can see this being used in English classes, as it just has a lot, maybe a little too much, crammed into it. It is both funny and sad, and mainly unforgettable. Even if you can't get into it yourself, hand it to that 15 year old guy you know, it might just be written for him.
Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater and Wings - Aprilynne Pike (book source: both checked out from library)
Not going to get a full review on these titles, but both are good supernatural romances, Shiver with werewolves and Wings with fairies. Teen girls will likely enjoy them, as might your adult Twilight fans. They are both new authors and these are the first books in their respective series. Also, they both have very interesting takes on some classic literary creatures. Not my favorite reads, but I'll probably pick up the next in both series.
Three Cups of Tea - David Relin & Greg Mortenson (book source: checked out from library)
After nearly dying in the mountains of Pakistan, Greg Mortenson was saved by the people of the remote village Korphe. He promised to build them a school as thanks, and though it took years he kept his promise and started a campaign to bring schools to the tiny villages of the area.
This is the most amazing book I've read in ages. If you haven't read it, you should. It will open your eyes to another point of view of some of the most remote areas of the world, that we as Americans usually only see on the news in a negative light. You will be amazed that Greg Mortenson survived and continues his work. Not a read for most teens, though some might be interested in it or required to read it. Good for advanced students or those getting ready for college.
Friday, July 31, 2009
In the end we had 520 teens sign-up. This is our third summer doing a teen SRP, and we had 372 teens sign-up the first year, 368 the second, so you can see how big of a leap it was. Now, next year, I'll have some sort of challenge based on how many hours they read. My library board has suggested I jump out of a plane, which kinda makes me wonder if they are trying to replace me or something :) My main issue with the plane idea is that it is too hard to top the next year.
The programs were also very successful. I'm very pleased with the number of teens that came to the movies, crafts, and game days.
Movies: Twilight, The Clique, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, City of Ember, Hairspray, and Prince Caspian.
Crafts: Twilight crafts, bleaching t-shirts, fish print t-shirts, t-shirt tote bags, spa crafts, and marble magnets.