Today is Groundhog Day, that holiday when a little creature emerges from its burrow to see if it's sunny or not and decides whether it wants to hurry back home and curl up for 6 more weeks of beauty rest.
Regardless of what the groundhog decides to do this morning, I think curling up for a while with a good book will be my goal of the week. So grab a warm blanket and a cup of cocoa while I present for you: four teen books to help you ignore the outside world!
Nothing helps you ignore the real world better than a book about a girl ignoring the real world! Anda starts playing a massively-multiplayer-role-playing game and begins to see how the lines between the real world and the online one can become blurred. This is a gorgeously illustrated graphic novel with an interesting message to share.
If your preferred reason for staying in bed is because you can't put your book down, this one is for you. Working from letters, manuscripts, reports, books, and other documents, Swanson has pieced together the story of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the ensuing chase of John Wilkes Booth. Readers not only follow the course of Booth and his co-conspirators, but also Lincoln's final moments and the reactions of those around him. It's a serious page-turner, and you have the added bonus of saying it's a "history book" if anyone asks you any questions.
If you haven't read this one yet, go get it from a library right now. Eleanor and Park are both misfits in 1986 who have no choice but to sit next to each other on the bus one day. That act starts an unlikely friendship that grows from comic books and shared music. I know it doesn't sound like much, but you won't be able to eat, sleep, or breathe until it's done.
If you've ever spent a night on the couch watching The Bachelor while texting your friends to say you're watching The 100, this book is for you. America Singer is "Selected" to participate in a televised competition to compete to be the bride of Prince Maxon. The only problem is it's the last thing America wants. This book is a guilty pleasure that is best enjoyed from behind the book sleeve of something serious and intimidating like Crime and Punishment.
You have your list, now grab a blanket and stay inside until it's warm out!
Ever wonder how librarians hone their recommendation skills? Sometimes, our librarians play a game we call the 6 Degrees of reading. The rules are simple: choose six books, each connected somehow to the book above it, with the last book in the list connecting to the first. Periodically, we like the results enough to share them with you.
This time around: time limits and tempests.
Two stories run parallel in this novel of heartbreak and hope. Mara has five days left before she plans to kill herself before her Huntington’s Disease becomes more than she can bare. Scott has five days left as guardian to an 8-year-old foster son whose mother is being released from prison and plans to take custody. This book chronicles the five days that each has left with the ones they love.
A lonely old man is planning to kill himself now that his wife is gone and he finds he has little to live for. But the annoying new neighbors, old estranged friends, and a stray cat all interject themselves into his life and, unintentionally, find ways to foil his suicidal plans. While it sounds depressing, it is actually very funny and heartwarming.
Leo Gursky is a lonely old man who survived the holocaust but is now nearing the end of his life and worries that no one will notice when he is gone. Alma Singer is a fourteen-year-old trying to help her mother fight loneliness and depression. An obscure novel helps to bring these two strangers together where they may find salvation and peace.
Daniel Sempere is the son of a bookstore owner during the 1950s in Barcelona. He discovers an obscure novel, and begins a quest to uncover the many mysteries surrounding the book and its author. Zafon vibrantly creates a dark and mysterious Barcelona with a magical world lurking beneath the surface.
Sookie Stackhouse has a telepathic gift. But as a small-town waitress in Louisiana, her gift really only gets in the way. In this 7th book in the series, Sookie gets entangled in vampire politics which are especially dangerous since the local vampire queen has been weakened by the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. Harris presents a supernatural South where magic lurks beneath the surface.
An investigative journalist delves into what happened at New Orleans’ Memorial Hospital during Hurricane Katrina. Inadequate planning left doctors and nurses without power, leadership, or a way to getting patients and personnel to safety. Over the five days they survived in the aftermath of the storm, life and death decisions had to be made. The fallout from those decisions eventually caused several of the staff involved to be charged with second-degree murder.
Hopefully as you read this you're getting ready to head to our Harry Potter Movie Marathon! We're celebrating Harry Potter this week, and as you'll see, we found out that he's a pretty big part of our collection.
(because I hope you're wondering: the 400s (language and dictionaries) are the only Dewey Decimal category without a book that references Harry Potter in at least a chapter title; looks like you'd better get started on that Parseltounge dictionary).
As librarians, we're pretty committed to the idea that the right book at the right time can change your life. So, every time we read Harry Potter, we can't help but think that things might have gone differently for Professor Snape if maybe he'd just read the right books.
Here are five suggestions that may have changed the course of our favorite villian-not-villian, Severus Snape.
As you read the Harry Potter books, it's really clear that Snape could use some good friends. One of America's best-selling self-help books could surely help him learn how to be friendlier (we're sure these techniques work on muggles, though we've never tested them on wizards).
Sometimes the lessons we teach our kids are the most helpful; in this picture book, many princes try to climb Rapunzel's hair, only to find that it's too slippery. Luckily, a hairdresser comes to her rescue and teaches her proper hair hygiene. If Rapunzel can get rid of greasy hair, we're confident Snape can too.
Perhaps Snape should have spent some time with this classic tale of unrequited love; he may have behaved differently. It doesn't end well for the Phantom either.
Maybe if Snape had turned in a better cover letter to Dumbledore he would have locked down that Defense Against the Dark Arts position years ago!
The subtitle of this book reads: "a fashion expert helps you find colors that attract love, enhance your power, restore your energy, make a lasting impression, and show the world who you really are." Snape, throw off the black, and show your true colors!
While writing this post, we couldn't help but be a little sad thinking about Alan Rickman's recent passing; come and see his masterful performance as Snape (could they have picked a better actor?!?) tomorrow at our Harry Potter Movie Marathon. We'll start screening the first film at 9:30 AM.