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The Magic Door: Portal Fiction

Posted on March 19th, 2013 by Becky.
Categories: Books, Movies.

So…who has been to see Oz the Great and Powerful? I haven’t yet, but I would like to thank it for prompting this blog post, which has taught me a name I didn’t know existed for one of my favorite types of books: Portal Fiction!


How often have I gushed about how I love stepping into another world, like Alice, Coraline, or Tiffany Aching?! I read the term “portal fiction” and experienced that awesome “there’s a WORD for that?” feeling.

…these books feature protagonists who are transported from our own familiar world to another realm, where they encounter exhilarating adventures and come face to face with conundrums that challenge their perceptions and abilities, uncover hidden aptitudes, and help them learn about themselves.

The post linked above mentions some great titles, including The Other Normals and the brand-new Splintered. Reserve copies of the whole list here.

Got any other favorite titles about stepping into another world? Add them in the comments!

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In the Hunt: Books for Fans of the Supernatural Series

Posted on March 1st, 2013 by Mickie.
Categories: Books.

Can’t get enough of Sam and Dean Winchester and their other worldly adventures? Do you like your horror not so black, but with cream and sugar? Could you laugh at a funeral? Fans of the darkly humorous CW series Supernatural will love these quirky, somewhat funny horror stories. Click on to see the books in our catalog

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AR Book Find is Here!

Posted on February 5th, 2013 by Mickie.
Categories: All posts, Books, Homework Help.

Does your school require you to read at a certain AR Level?

Are you tired of trying to track down books that are at your level and are interesting and WPL owns them AND they are available to check out?

It is so much work to find the perfect book, it can bring on a full panda rage.

Yeah, we feel your frustration…but get ready, friends, your life is about to change.

Introducing the brand new Accelerated Reader Search brought to you by your friends at the Westerville Public Library.

Start your search.

Then enter your AR Range and interest level:

Then use our tags to find subjects and genres that you enjoy…

And then limit by availability to show what you can take home with you today.

We are pretty excited about this so give it a whirl and let us know what you think – BUT WAIT, THAT’S NOT ALL!

Act now and we’ll throw in the helpful smiling face of your local librarian who would love to show you how this nifty AR Search works, how to pick out great books that you’ll love and much, much more. This special offer will not expire!

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“And the award goes to…”: This year’s Printz winner & more

Posted on January 31st, 2013 by Becky.
Categories: Books, Events.

Have you heard? Monday was the big day for award announcements in libraryland for youth, and here at WPL, we gathered around our online streams of the announcements like it was the Oscars — ’cause, well, in our world, it pretty much is! The big awards you probably know about are the Caldecott (most distinguished American picture book for children) and Newbery (most distinguished contribution to American literature for children). But did you know there are awards for teen books as well?

image via School Library Journal

The big one is The Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature, and this year it went to In Darkness, by Nick Lake:

In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, fifteen-year-old Shorty, a poor gang member from the slums of Site Soleil, is trapped in the rubble of a ruined hospital, and as he grows weaker he has visions and memories of his life of violence, his lost twin sister, and of Toussaint L’Ouverture, who liberated Haiti from French rule in the 1804.

There’s also the Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, which went to The Fault in Our Stars, written by John Green, narrated by Kate Rudd, produced by Brilliance Audio:

And don’t forget the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. Believe me, when a nonfiction book gets an award, it’s GOOD. No dry textbook stuff here! Don’t miss this year’s winner, Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal- the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon:

In this suspenseful combination of science and history, Sheinkin masterfully exposes the international race to develop an atomic weapon and bring an end to World War II.  This true-life spy thriller features an international cast of characters and will keep readers on the edge of their seats.  -YALSA award site

Finally, I want to mention the The William C. Morris YA Debut Award, which honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens. Many of you already know this year’s winner, Rachel Hartman, and her book Seraphina:

In a world where dragons and humans coexist in an uneasy truce and dragons can assume human form, Seraphina, whose mother died giving birth to her, grapples with her own identity amid magical secrets and royal scandals, while she struggles to accept and develop her extraordinary musical talents.

These are just a few of the MANY awards that were announced this week. You can see a full list of the ALA Youth Media Awards (including honor books), and you can browse and reserve all the books from the library. Happy reading!

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Sequel surprise: Janie Face to Face

Posted on January 20th, 2013 by Becky.
Categories: Books.

If you’ve read a teen book in the past, oh, 20 years, you’ve proooobably read (or at least heard of) Caroline B. Cooney’s The Face on the Milk Carton. When Janie is a teenager, she sees one of those “Missing Children” pictures on a carton of milk — and recognizes it as herself (!!!). Several other books followed that one, as readers demanded to know more of Janie’s story: Whatever Happened to Janie?, The Voice on the Radio, and What Janie Found. Well, Caroline B. Cooney was planning to stop there, but a question from her editor, Beverly Horowitz, got her wheels turning again:

I said to Caroline, ‘Gee, whatever happened to Janie and Reeve? By now they’d be in college,’ ” Horowitz recalls. “She said, ‘I’m finished with that.’ And then a few weeks later she called me and said, ‘Oh my goodness, I’m not finished with them.’

And so, the final book in the series, Janie Face to Face, came to be. Read more about it here! (Some spoilers if you haven’t read the rest of the series!) Curious? Browse and reserve all the Janie books (they even have spiffy new covers!).

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Teen Book Challenge is Coming..

Posted on January 8th, 2013 by Mickie.
Categories: Books.

Are you prepared to delve into the shady world that these children live in?

Read the book.  We dare you to come to the meeting

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Love and Other Perishable Items: A Beta Books Review

Posted on December 23rd, 2012 by Becky.
Categories: Beta Books, Books, Events.

Airy, another avid reader at Beta Books, our read-’em-before-they-are-published teen book club, has submitted our latest review! Check out her thoughts below. Curious? Get the scoop here, sign out a book from the Teen Center, and mark your calendar for the next meeting!

Reviewer: Airy

Title: Love and Other Perishable Items

Author: Laura Buzo

What did you think of the cover? I think that the cover is okay.

Did you think it matched the story? Okay.

What did you think of the book?

The book was very interesting, and my favorite part is when Amelia and Chris’s relationship intensifies.

How would you rate this book? 4 stars — Awesome. I loved it and would give it to a friend.

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Out of the Easy: A Beta Books Review

Posted on November 26th, 2012 by Becky.
Categories: Beta Books, Books, Events.

Jayla, another voracious reader at Beta Books, our read-’em-before-they-are-published teen book club, has submitted our latest review! Check out her thoughts below. Curious? Get the scoop here, sign out a book from the Teen Center, and mark your calendar for the next meeting!

Reviewer: Jayla

Title: Out of the Easy

Author: Ruta Sepetys

What did you think of the cover? I loved the book cover design of the ARC and definitely wouldn’t change it. It’s artistic and I think the birdcage is a metaphor relating to Josie Moraine’s (the main character) life.

What did you think of the book?

I thought “Out of the Easy” was very distinctive from most YA novels. While reading, it was easy to get lost in the story. I really liked Josie – she was a tough heroine, but also had her flaws which made her seem more real than fictitious. And the setting for the story, New Orleans, was perfect. The only things I disliked were the mystery elements (which were too weak and made me lose a little interest in the story) and the supporting characters could have had much more depth to them.

I would definitely recommend this to a friend who enjoys historical fiction, but not to someone who is use to fast-paced novels.

How would you rate this book? 3 stars – Pretty good. I wanted to see how it ended.

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Books to Read While Waiting in Line to Buy Halo 4

Posted on November 6th, 2012 by Mickie.
Categories: Books, Technology.

Can’t wait to get your hands on the super anticipated Halo 4? I know many of you are pretty darn excited and have lots of questions about what is going to happen with Master Chief and the gang… Will Cortana go rampant? What will humanity and the UNSC *do* with all that Forerunner technology?

Sorry–I don’t have the answers, but I can suggest some books to read while you wait!

The Doctor and Romana receive a mysterious distress signal, leading them to Cambridge University, home of The Doctor's old friend and fellow Time Lord, Professor Chronotis. Chronotis inadvertently lets a Time Lord artifact, a book entitled The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey, pass into the hands of a clueless young student. Unfortunately, an egomanic called Skagra also has designs on the book and will do anything to get it. Can The Doctor find the book, stop Skagra's nefarious scheme, and unearth the secrets of Shada?

Enjoying his assignment with the xenobiology lab on board the prestigious Intrepid, ensign Andrew Dahl worries about casualties suffered by low-ranking officers during away missions before making a shocking discovery about the starship's actual purpose.

 

Ready Player One takes place in the not-so-distant future--the world has turned into a very bleak place, but luckily there is OASIS, a virtual reality world that is a vast online utopia. People can plug into OASIS to play, go to school, earn money, and even meet other people (or at least they can meet their avatars), and for protagonist Wade Watts it certainly beats passing the time in his grim, poverty-stricken real life. Along with millions of other world-wide citizens, Wade dreams of finding three keys left behind by James Halliday, the now-deceased creator of OASIS and the richest man to have ever lived. The keys are rumored to be hidden inside OASIS, and whoever finds them will inherit Halliday's fortune. But Halliday has not made it easy. And there are real dangers in this virtual world.

Lyle, Karen, Janie, and Reese must find a way off an island while they dodge strange and dangerous things on the island.

Twenty-five years ago, the alien Givers came to Earth. They gave the human race the greatest technology ever seen -- four giant towers known as Ladders that rise 36,000 miles into space and culminate in space stations that power the entire planet. Then, for reasons unknown, the Givers disappeared.

 

Fifteen-year-old Daniel has followed in his parents' footsteps as the Alien Hunter, exterminating beings on The List of Alien Outlaws on Terra Firma, but when he faces his first of the top ten outlaws, the very existence Earth and another planet are at stake.

 

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What your Costume Says you Should Read

Posted on October 31st, 2012 by Mickie.
Categories: Books.

 

What are you dressing up as this year? Let me see your costume and I’ll predict your next good read…

Witch

Ah, the classically misunderstood female character! Persecuted throughout history for not meeting social norms, you have seriously Feminist leanings and are good at chemistry! You should read:

Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, must exonerate her father of murder. Armed with more than enough knowledge to tie two distant deaths together and examine new suspects, she begins a search that will lead her all the way to the King of England himself.

Pirate

The hero/scoundrel scourge of the sea is a wonderful choice for those who like adventure and struggle with the complexities of grammar…you should read:

Piecing together information gained while skiing in the Alps, teenaged James Bond returns to Eton College and foils an assassination attempt, then goes on the run across Europe with a beautiful and dangerous Irish girl, Roan.

Sexy Anything

Oh, geesh…really? A sexy firefighter? A sexy Abe Lincoln!? What is WRONG with you? You should be spending more time with the witch and your parents should roll back your curfew. Here…read about how to be sexy and still wear a ton of clothes:

Spirited Elizabeth Bennet matches wits and wiles of the heart with the arrogant Mr. Darcy in this entertaining portrait of matrimonial rites and rivalries in Regency England

Vampire

Poor vampires–they think they want to drink blood like the creatures of the night, but what is really going on? Iron deficiency! Make a sammy!

Using a scanner and the worlds best sandwiches, Jon Chonko shows you how to build the best sandwiches...take a bite!

OSU Fan

Wow…phone it in much? You can’t wear your regular clothes for Halloween–that is cheating! Get a real costume…like a MICHIGAN sweatshirt, then we will all know that you are in disguise. Read about someone who is a classic geek masquerading as a successful actor, writer, director and cool guy extraordinaire!

From his childhood obsession with science fiction, his enduring friendship with Nick Frost, and his forays into stand-up comedy which began with his regular Monday morning slot in front of his twelve-year-old classmates, actor/comedian/writer/self-proclaimed supergeek Simon Pegg has always had a dangerous case of the funnies. Having landed on the U.S. movie scene in the surprise cult hit Shaun of the Dead, his rise to movie star status has been mercurial and meteoric.

Ghost

Oh a spooky ghos—what? you aren’t dressed as a ghost…you are a goth? Oh. uh…sorry *awkward silence* HERE–read this!

After being hit by a bus and killed, a high school homecoming queen gets stuck in the land of the living, with only a loser classmate--who happens to be able to see and hear ghosts--to help her.

Princess

Aren’t you precious? You secretly suspect that you were adopted by peasants to hid your identity! Too bad you have to put up with pretending you are just an average Jo….read this:

Working in her family's pumpkin patch every year, seventeen-year-old Jamie has dreamed of two things--dating co-worker Danny and being crowned Pumpkin Princess--but her beautiful and famous cousin Milan's visit may squash all of her hopes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Author Jody Casella rocked as Beta Books guest speaker!

Posted on October 25th, 2012 by Becky.
Categories: Beta Books, Books, Events.

Those of you who came to this month’s Beta Books meeting got to pick the brain of a special guest speaker: YA writer Jody Casella! Her book Thin Space will be out in September 2013, so she was the perfect person to talk to us about the real world of generating ideas, writing books, revising them (and revising again…and again…and again!), getting published, and — a topic that never gets old with us — what makes the best cover art?!

Jody wrote an awesome post about her visit on her blog — be sure to hop over and check it out. As she writes,

These kids were smart and talkative and interested, with their own stories to tell. We talked about unreliable narrators and books we liked and things that got stuck up our noses. Also, how to come up with titles and unlikely names for killers and what to do if the middle of your story starts getting boring. (Answer: make a character die.)

Aw, shucks! Thanks, Jody, for sharing your book and your wisdom with us (and playing along with our crazy nametags and icebreaker games!). Beta Books will be counting down to the release of Thin Space right along with you…and then, of course, we would love to have you back to gab about the final cover. ;)

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Teen Read Week: The Hunger Games Thursday

Posted on October 18th, 2012 by Becky.
Categories: Books.

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know alllll about The Hunger Games book series and movie. (And if not, oh no! It seems you have a giant rock on top of your life! Get out from under there and get some fresh air — quick!) We’ve blogged about books you’ll like if you liked the HG series, and we’ve tagged a bunch of readalikes in our library catalog, too.

But what I really want to mention today is the series that came before all the HG madness: The Giver series, by Lois Lowry. That’s right: long before Katniss strung her first arrow, Ms. Lowry penned a novel about a dystopian community in which authoritative control wasn’t doing the people all that much good. Sound like a familiar theme? The book was so amazing that it won the 1994 Newbery Medal, and the recent publication of Son joins Gathering Blue and Messenger to complete what is now called The Giver Quartet. Lois Lowry talks about it, and the inevitable Hunger Games comparisons, in this article in The New York Times Magazine.

So whether you read The Giver back in the day, or are just discovering it as you realize what a cool lens dystopias offer for speculating about our world and what it could become, it’s time to pick it up and see the apple again (read it and you’ll know what I mean).

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Teen Read Week: Wizarding World Wednesday

Posted on October 17th, 2012 by Mickie.
Categories: Books.

Is life in this after-the-boy-who-lived time getting you down? Are you feeling less magical and more Muggle? Are your friends planning an intervention if you don’t stop inspecting the school bathroom sinks for  “The Chamber of Secrets part II?” If any of these things describe you, you may be suffering from Post Potter Problems or PPP for short.

We feel your feel–it is sad knowing that the fun is over, but believe us–there are other GREAT magical reads waiting to be asked to dance. So stop shouting, “Accio Book 8!” to the heavens and check out these other great magical reads!

You haven't READ this yet? What's a matter with you? The movie is almost out--read it already!

North Carolina eighteen-year-old Staci tries to keep her friend Faith safe from a group of witches but winds up helping the Incan mummy the group has reanimated, who also happens to be very attractive and charming.

Seventeen-year-old Amy Goodnight has long been the one who makes her family of witches seem somewhat normal to others, but while spending a summer with her sister caring for their aunt's farm, Amy becomes the center of weirdness when she becomes tied to a powerful ghost.

Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to another pirate clan. But that only prompts the scorned clan to send an assassin after her. When Ananna faces him down one night, armed with magic she doesn't really know how to use, she accidentally activates a curse binding them together. To break the spell, Ananna and the assassin must complete three impossible tasks all while grappling with evil wizards, floating islands, haughty manticores, runaway nobility, strange magic...and the growing romantic tension between them.

Raised by a half-mad mother who dabbled in magic, Morwenna Phelps found refuge in two worlds. As a child growing up in Wales, she played among the spirits who made their homes in industrial ruins. But her mind found freedom and promise in the science fiction novels that were her closest companions. Then her mother tried to bend the spirits to dark ends, and Mori was forced to confront her in a magical battle that left her crippled--and her twin sister dead. Fleeing to her father whom she barely knew, Mori was sent to boarding school in England–a place all but devoid of true magic. There, outcast and alone, she tempted fate by doing magic herself, in an attempt to find a circle of like-minded friends. But her magic also drew the attention of her mother, bringing about a reckoning that could no longer be put off

Two powerful young enchanters, Cat, the future Chrestomanci, and Marianne, who is being trained to be Gammer of the Pinhoes, work together as friends to try to end an illegal witches' war and, in the process, right some old wrongs.

A centuries-long war between daimons and witches sets the stage for three teens caught up in a deadly struggle for power and autonomy in the exotic and otherworldly Carnival of Souls, the mercantile center of the daimon dimension

Separated since birth, seventeen-year-old twins Thais and Clio unexpectedly meet in New Orleans where they seem to be pursued by a coven of witches who want to harness the twins' magickal powers for its own ends.

 

 

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Drama, by Raina Telgemeier: A new book trailer for your Friday

Posted on October 12th, 2012 by Becky.
Categories: Books, Movies.

It’s a happy day when there’s a new book by Raina Telgemeier! Lots of readers at WPL loved her graphic novel Smile, about her own experience as a girl when she fell and knocked out her two front teeth, resulting in years of braces, headgear, and surgery.

She’s just released her latest book, Drama, in which main character Callie does the set design for her middle school play — and as much of the drama happens off-stage as on-stage! Check out the trailer below! Have you read it yet? Tell us what you thought in the comments!

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You + Books with Cool Math = Awesomesauce

Posted on October 10th, 2012 by Mickie.
Categories: All posts, Books.

Are you a math geek? I’m not, but I still appreciate a good equation now and then…and I love a good math doodle. Have you seen this cool doodle video by math-fun guru Vi Hart? Check it out – you’ll never look at your in-class doodles the same way again.

All excited about math now? Go read these! Ok, ok – these aren’t all “math” books, but hey sometimes math is the story and sometimes math just makes the story better!

 

Having been recently dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, recent high school graduate and former child prodigy Colin sets off on a road trip with his best friend to try to find some new direction in life while also trying to create a mathematical formula to explain his relationships.

Fourteen-year-old Mike, whose father is a brilliant mathematician but who has no math aptitude himself, spends the summer in rural Pennsylvania with his elderly and eccentric relatives Moo and Poppy, helping the townspeople raise money to adopt a Romanian orphan.

The call comes in from the shadowy Ternky Tower: 13 robberies, one on each floor, all the way up to the penthouse, where obnoxious importer Bevel Ternky has been relieved of the numbers garlanding the legendary Emerald Khroniker, his priceless, ancient clock. Readers must conduct their own investigations, scouring detailed illustrations for hidden clues and knotty puzzles

After Earth is demolished to make way for a new hyperspatial expressway, Arthur Dent begins to hitch-hike through space.

While hiding out from the mob in the suburbs with his mother, a singer, Jackson uses his fascination with math and numbers to make friends, but strange phone calls and even greater threats endanger not only Jackson and his mother, but his new girlfriend, as well.

"In Girls Get Curves, Danica applies her winning methods to geometry. Sizzling with her trademark sass and style"

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