A blog to keep up on what's happening for teens at Brooks Memorial Library including: • new books • events • resources available • fun website suggestions • ... and more.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Introducing Linda Hay

Linda Hay was the librarian at Academy School here in Brattleboro before she retired. She is now a volunteer reference librarian at Brooks. You can meet her on Tuesday afternoon.

She also knows alot about young adult literature. Here is a book tip from her:

For older fans of fantasy, a new book by Robin McKinley is always good news. Her latest, Dragonhaven is good news for younger fans of fantasy and science fiction as well. In it we meet Jake, son of the head of a wildlife refuge in the American West for endangered and little understood dragons. The innocent bystander deep in the wilderness when a poacher kills a mother dragon at the moment of giving birth, Jake finds the infant has imprinted on him ... thinks that he is it’s mother.

Not only must he figure out how to keep it alive, he must do it in secrecy, for his act of rescuing it is highly illegal. While he stuggles to parent a dragon, his father and others on the refuge staff must protect the refuge and its mission from the political fallout of the poacher’s death. Unlike so many stories about dragons, this is set in today’s world with yellow school buses, computers, and McDonalds, Native American’s trying to maintain their ancient culture, and media feeding frenzies.

McKinley’s books did what Harry Potter has done long before Harry was even “born”. They have spoken to both young adults and adults, anyone who enjoys a combination of adventure, subtle humor, suspense and masterful writing skills. You can read the first chapter on www.robinmckinley.com if you want a “taste” before you get it at the library (or bookstore).

Linda will be writing book reviews for the Teen Brooks blog.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Teen Brooks Blog Starts Up again

OK. We have been a little asleep here for a couple months. But we are ready to go again. Teen Brooks will be publishing reviews of books in the Library's teen collection. And speaking of the teen collection, have you seen the new rolling book shelves on the Main Floor?

More about this later, but let me introduce Nell Curley. Nell is a volunteer at Brooks and is an avid book reader. She likes to write and here is her second review which is to appear in the Brattleboro Reformer Thursday, January 17. She will be writing more reviews for the newspaper which also will appear here.

Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, by Rennison, Louise.

2000. 256p. HarperCollins, hardcover, $15.95 (0-06-028814-0); HarperCollins, library edition, $15.89 (0-06-028871-X). Grades 6-9.

If you had a hard time understanding the humor of Bridget Jones, or if you were too young to be interested in it when it first debuted, you might be highly interested in British author Louise Rennison's first of eight adolescent fiction books, Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging, about a hilarious fourteen-year-old British girl named Georgia Nicolson. Georgia records the days and months of her life in diary-like entries. She attends a strict all-girls school where she and her friends, the "Ace Gang," combat their boredom by applying makeup and making up dance routines during class. Georgia's home life consists of avoiding her highly embarrassing parents and catering to the unpredictable whims of her little sister, Libby. The aforementioned Angus is her half-wildcat pet, who terrorizes the next-door neighbors and makes plenty of extra trouble for the Nicolson family.

When Georgia's best friend Jas develops a crush on the local grocer's son, Tom, Georgia agrees to approach Tom under the guise of wanting to purchase vegetables so as to learn more about him. While she is in the store, she meets his gorgeous older brother Robbie, whom she becomes instantly smitten with and dubs him "The Sex God.” Jas and Tom's relationship flourishes, but Georgia learns that the Sex God is older than her and involved with a girl in Georgia's school, the tall blonde prefect Lindsay. The two girls are not on friendly terms at school, so Georgia has serious competition. Even worse, the Sex God seems to have a rather low opinion of Georgia and the company she keeps. Between staving off boredom (as well as parents) at home, school, and the constant revision of the Ace Gang's "snogging scale" to accommodate what number Georgia and her friends have got to with boys, Georgia wonders if Robbie the Sex God will ever be hers.

When I first read Angus, I laughed harder than I have before over a book. Really! Georgia has no inhibitions about being sarcastic or rude to anyone, and the reactions from her family members are very funny, especially during an incident where she accidentally shaves off her eyebrows. She frets over her appearance and boy appeal as much as any girl, often finds herself caught in highly embarrassing situations, and wants to have as much fun as possible. Louise Rennison creates an unrepentantly immature character in Georgia, but if you find yourself wishing she’d grow up a bit, simply read the next few installments (On the Bright Side I’m Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God, Knocked Out By My Nunga-Nungas, Dancing in My Nuddy-Pants, Away Laughing on a Fast Camel, Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers, Startled By His Furry Shorts and most recently Love is A Many Trousered Thing) and watch how she grows.

For those of you who were baffled by the titles listed above and have yet to grasp what “snogging” refers to, there are handy glossaries in the back of each book translating Georgia’s vernacular to plain American English. She’s considerate like that.

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