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Freedom to Read Week Feb 21 - 27

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

Freedom to Read Week

It's Freedom to Read week again, and if you're thinking, "so what, I can read whenever I want, I don't need to have a week about it" think again!

Freedom to read week is an annual event which challenges us to think about intellectual freedom in our society. Even in a nation such as Canada books and magazines are pulled from shelves, removed from classrooms, banned or otherwise challenged almost every day. Whether it's The Anarchist's Cookbook or Judy Bloom's Are you there, God? It's Me Margaret, Freedom to Read Week encourages us to take a closer look at the reasons books are banned.

For more on banned books check out this post by one of my favourite bloggers. Be sure to check out Freedom to Read Week's website by clicking the image above.

Emily the Strange: The Lost Days

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Emily doesn’t know who she is. At least not for the time being. You see, she has a strange case of amnesia right now, and as she will tell you: “AmnesiaEmily Strange sucks rocks: big…black…rocks.” She has managed to indentify that she is left-handed, seems to like the colour black and the number 13, and has discovered/ rediscovered that she is good at communicating with cats. There are 4 black alley cats she really gets along with, it seems, and she names them McFreeky, Wily, Nitzer and Cabbage (names which they do not seem to acknowledge...of course, fans will recognize these cats as Mystery, Miles, Sabbath and Nee Chee, but Emily with her amnesia does not!)

Emily ends up in a small town called Blackrock, where, as she tells it, “there is never an Amnesia Recovery Centre when you need it.” She also rediscovers she is uncannily good at fixing and inventing things…including a sinister duplication device, which may have gotten her into trouble in the first place (most notably by producing an accidental Emily clone!) Whether Emily can handle Emily then becomes the question, yet this story is far from being a total nightmare world...it’s more of a spooky adventure with few leads on our heroine’s identity, doppelgängers, a sandstorm generator, angry ponies, and many, many tickets issued against her (including one for loitering!).

Read Emily’s second journal and be delighted by her zany stories and fantastic illustrations – including a detailed map of Blackrock, alley cats and all – all in the vein of Emily the Strange of course. Emily has also become her own strange franchise, as somewhat of a counterculture icon, with cats and bats, golems, and attitude included.

Goodbye Salinger

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

J.D. Salinger, seen in this photo from 1951, lived a reclusive life in New Hampshire and shunned critical and media interest, giving his last interview in 1980.

J.D. Salinger, acclaimed author of Catcher in the Rye, died this past Wednesday.

You can read about Salinger here.

Celebrate his life (and Freedom to Read week) by reading Catcher in the Rye, which has been banned more times than I can count.

Angels are the New Vampires

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I'm sick of vampires. How about you? Even if you love them, maybe you've read all the good vampire fiction out there. Not to worry - there's a new supernatural being stealing hearts and souls in YA Fiction!

Angels seem to be popping up everywhere lately. Fallen angels are especially prevalent, possibly because they're rebels, which is always fun. If you're hankering for some heavenly (or not-so-heavenly) romance, try one of these!

Hush Hush Cover

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Fallen Cover

Fallen, by Lauren Kate

Kissed by an Angel Cover

Kissed by an Angel, by Elizabeth Chandler

Eternal Cover

Eternal, by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Naruto vs. Bleach: Choose Your Team!

by Alexandra May - 1 Comment(s)

Bleach Vol 1 Naruto Vol 1

This post is the second in Laura's Manga Mania series.

Naruto and Bleach are both team-centered shonen adventure series which star blond spiky-haired troublemaking teenagers. Both heroes have enormous power and a desire to protect everyone. The series are epically long (over 40 volumes each and growing), with complicated plots and a huge cast of characters.

For some reason, anime and manga fans have taken it upon themselves to pit Naruto and Bleach against one another. So I urge you, read them both, get in on the action, and pick your team!

Bleach
Art and story by: Tite Kubo

Teenage trouble-maker Ichigo Kurosaki has always been able to see spirits. But his trouble really begins when he meets Soul Reaper Rukia Kuchiki. He accidentally inherits her shinigami (death god) powers, and is forced to take up her task of sending lost souls to the afterlife and defending humans from evil spirits.

Bleach is an ongoing series, and the English translations are currently at volume 28, with a new volume coming out in December. It’s currently one of the hottest series in Japan, and has sold over 40 million copies. Bleach is so popular, it’s inspired several Original Video Animations (OVAs), animated feature films, rock musicals, video games, and a plethora of other merchandise.

Some fun facts:
You will notice the appearance of the number 15 in background art and costume design. This is because the name Ichigo can be broken up into “ichi” and “go,” which in Japanese are the words for “1” and “5.” The word “ichigo” also means “strawberry,” something that the hero is often teased about. His father meant for “Ichigo” to mean “he who protects." With Japanese kanji, it all depends on how you spell it!

Naruto
Art and story by: Masashi Kishimoto

Naruto is a story about an adolescent ninja, Naruto Uzumaki, whose skill is pulling pranks. However, his dream is to prove himself by becoming the leader and most powerful ninja in the village, the Hokage. Although this seems to be a pipe-dream, it’s not out of his reach. After all, he’s the vessel of an enormous power: the nine-tailed fox demon.

This series is ongoing, and available in English up to volume 46. The next volume is due out in December. Naruto has sold over 89 million copies in Japan and is the inspiration for: several sequels, original video animations (OVAs), novellas, video games, trading card games, and much more!

Some fun facts:
The name “Uzumaki” literally means “coil.” You will find images of coils throughout this manga (especially noticeable on Naruto’s belly). The word “naruto” is the Japanese word for a steamed fish-paste cake (looks like a flower with a coil in the middle) which is used to decorate soup or ramen -- Naruto’s favourite thing!

Freedom to Read Contest

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

Freedom to Read Week 2010 Banner

Books are regularly challenged, banned and censored in Canada! See this post for more info on banned books.

February 21 - 27 is Freedom to Read Week, a time when we celebrate intellectual freedom - your right to read, write or view whatever you want.

And we're having a contest! Submit a short essay about your experiences with censorship (has a book been banned at your school?) or about what "freedom to read" means to you. Then win prizes!

Click here for details and the entry form!

Looking for Some Magic?

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

Try this list of awesome magic fantasy books, which was created by Larissa at Louise Riley. Thanks, Larissa!


Princess and the Bear Cover

The Princess and the Bear, by Mette Ivie Harrison

Good Neighbors Cover

The Good Neighbors, vol. 1: Kin, by Holly Black

Elf Realm Cover

Elf Realm: the Low Road, by Daniel Kirk

How to Ditch Your Fairy Cover

How to Ditch Your Fairy, by Justine Larbalestier

Once a Witch CoverOnce a Witch, by Carolyn MacCullough

Into the Wild Cover

Into the Wild, by Sarah Beth Durst

M is for Magic Cover

M is for Magic, by Neil Gaiman

Tags:

School's Out for Winter!

by Alexandra May - 1 Comment(s)

So what are you going to do over the break? Try some of these great "cold" books! . . . And if you're at Nosehill Library, ask for Barbara Longair, the magnificent librarian who created this list.

Graceling Cover

Graceling, by Kristin Cashore

Bonechiller Cover

Bonechiller, by Graham McNamee

Life As We Knew It Cover

Life As We Knew It, by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Once Upon a Time Cover

Once Upon a Time in the North, by Philip Pullman

Blackthorn Winter Cover

Blackthorn Winter, by Kathryn Reiss

Tags:

Whodunnit?

by Alexandra May - 1 Comment(s)

What is it about a good mystery that we love so much? Is it the clever titles? The way they combine the crime with the profession of the victim in a way which is not lame at all?

Supermarket Cashier = Murder in Aisle 3

Optometrist = Is This One Clearer, Or Is It Murder!!??

Ok one more

Fast Food Employee = Would You Like to Murder Size that!?

That was one too many…

Mysteries are a staple of the top seller lists. Authors like Agatha Christie, John Grisham and of course, Dan Brown, have sold a lot of books... a whole lot. So why do so many of us like mysteries? Many believe it all boils down to a need in us to see reason triumph over uncertainty and chaos. We like to know we’re in control and tying up loose ends is a great way to unwind. Others just like a good puzzle. A mystery can get you thinking, and a well written one can be a satisfying challenge like a crossword, a Sudoku or my arch nemesis… Origami.

Whether you like to read mysteries, watch mysteries or just act mysteriously sometimes, the Calgary Public Library can help you out. We've got mysteries for adults, mysteries for children and mysteries written with a teen audience in mind. The next time you visit the Library take a look at the mystery section, you might find something you'll love!

p.s. Don't steal those mystery titles, I'm definitely going to write those someday... well maybe not the last one.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

As Simple As Snow


I love talking about this book because I still haven't figured out what happend. If you think you're up to the challenge, give this one a try. Then E-mail me with the answer cause it's really really really bugging me... seriously I can't figure it out.


Something Rotten

The first entry in the Horatio Wilkes series, Something Rotten is based on your favourite play, Hamlet!
If Hamlet isn't your favourite play, then don't worry, it's only BASED on Hamlet. If you like this one be sure
to check out the next in the series: Something Wicked (can you guess which play that one's based on?)


Drawing a Blank: or How I Tried to Solve a Mystery, end a Feud and Land the Girl of My Dreams.

Ummm.... what the title said. Also, it's good!

It's True!!

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YALSA (the Young Adult Library Services Association) has released their list of this year's finalists for the Award of Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. If you are at Crowfoot Library, ask our very own Betsy Fraser about the books - she helped create the list!

Almost Astronauts Cover

Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream

In the early 1960s, the doctor in charge of testing NASA’s astronauts decided to find out if female pilots were capable of passing the grueling qualification tests required of male pilots. Feasible? Yes. Allowed? No. All testing of women’s potential for the Mercury program was done outside NASA’s purview and without their permission. The reasons why will stun readers.

Charles and Emma Cover

Charles and Emma: the Darwin's Leap of Faith

After creating a list of the pros and cons of marriage, science-minded Charles Darwin chooses to marry his strictly religious first cousin. Little does he know that he is about to embark upon the most loving, creative, and intellectually important relationship of his life.

Claudette Colvin Cover

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice

Hoose recounts the largely untold story of Claudette Colvin, who was arrested and jailed at the age of 15 after refusing to relinquish her seat on a bus to a white woman. Interviews with Colvin create a vivid picture not only of the Montgomery bus boycott but also the Browder v. Gayle case, in which she was a key defendant. (This won the National Book Award!)

Great and Only Barnum Cover

The Great and Only Barnum: the Tremendous and Stupendous Life of the Showman P.T. Barnum

Thrill to the audacity! Gasp at the hucksterism! Come one, come all to the jaw-dropping, larger-than-life biography of expert humbugger, relentless curiosity seeker, and unparalleled showman P. T. Barnum.

Written in Bone Cover

Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland

By presenting a detailed examination into the work of different types of forensic archaeology at excavations in both Jamestown, Virginia, and Colonial Maryland, readers are rewarded with both a picture of this fascinating work and an appreciation for what it contributes to our knowledge of history.

... So who do you think should win?

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