26 May 2010

Book Club - MAY - i am the messenger by Markus Zusak

Discussion questions can be found at Hennepin County Library's BookSpace!

What do you think made Ed pick up the gun and go after the bank robber?
What would you do if you suddenly started receiving cryptic messages like Ed did? Would you tell anyone? Would you try to figure them out and do what they said?
How does Ed’s life change after becoming the Messenger?
Who did you think was sending Ed the cards?
Why were the messages written on playing cards instead of regular paper? Why the aces and joker?
Why didn’t Ed go to the police?
Do you think Ed would have ever felt inspired to change his life if he had never received the cards? If not, would his life still have been as purposeful?
What does Ed do to help Father O'Reilly?
Do you think that each of Ed's tasks are equally important, or are some more important than others?
What was the point of Ed's second mission for the Ace of Spades?
Do you think that the sender was right to put Ed in dangerous situations?
What does Ed's mother mean when she says "It takes a lot of love to hate you like this"? Do you think she did the right thing to treat him the way she did?
Imagine you were in Ed's position. Which of these would have been the hardest to do? Which would have been your favorite?
Who is the Messenger? Why did he do all of this?

Leave your comments for discussion! What kind of food or activities would you pair with this story?

09 May 2010

The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork

Pancho goes to live at St. Anthony's after his father and sister die because he has to. Pancho helps wheel D.J., the kid who has brain cancer and is pretty bossy despite the fact that he's dying, around because he has to. Pancho makes the choice to go to Albuquerque, though, for just one reason: to avenge his sister's murderer. Unfortunately, he's only able to get to Albuquerque by agreeing to stay with D.J. while he undergoes new cancer treatments. D.J. is pretty insistent on believing that he and Pancho are friends, trusting him with his secrets and even telling him about the Death Warriors Manifesto. Part of what it takes to be a Death Warrior is to behave in such a way that always confirms the belief that life is better than death -- not just living life to the fullest, but also shunning death. Being a Death Warrior doesn't quite fit into Pancho's plans of what he would like to do when he finally confronts his sister's killer.

With a diverse mix of characters, there are no stereotypes presented in this story, and everyone has the opportunity to decide what kind of person he or she wants to be. This story was strongly reminiscent of the song lyric "You can't always get what you want / but if you try sometimes you just might find / you get what you need."
Like the author's most recent novel, Marcelo in the Real World, this novel is recommended to readers of all kinds.

Reviewed by kate the librarian.

Bayou : Volume One by Jeremy Love

This graphic novel tells the story of a poor black girl who is betrayed by her white best friend and now has to save her wrongly-accused daddy. This is a pretty sterotypical reproduction of the idea of the "poor black girl" and the "rich young lady," but the storytelling and imagery is absolutely magical. When the writer and artist draws in fantastical elements and talking animals, the result is even more enthralling. This is the first in a series of published comics that first appeared online at ZUDACOMICS.COM. Like lots of graphic novels, this is a super quick read that will stay with you long after your finished looking at it. It's certainly worth it. (Barnes and Noble lists a publication date of January 2011 for Volume 2.)
Recommended to all ages.
Call number: YA GRAPHIC LOVE (Teen Room)
Reviewed by kate the librarian.

03 May 2010

3rd Annual NLW Teen Poetry Contest

Congratulations to the winners of the third annual National Library Week Teen Poetry Contest at Franklin Lakes Public Library!

Sasha, a sophomore at Indian Hills High School, received First Prize of a $50 American Express Gift Card.
Ariana, an eighth grader at Franklin Avenue Middle School, received Second Prize of a $25.00 Barnes and Noble Gift Card.
Margaux, a sophomore at Saddle River Day School, received Third Prize of a $25.00 Barnes and Noble Gift Card.
In addition, two honorable mentions were Connor, eighth grader at Franklin Avenue Middle School, and Sonalika, Junior at Ramapo High School.
The Teen Poetry Contest was part of the celebration of National Library Week 2010 and National Poetry Month. At Franklin Lakes Public Library and area schools, teens were given a contest entry form and encouraged to create original poems or song lyrics. We received 25 awesome poems and three winners were chosen by an array of local judges in addition to recognition of two honorable mention submissions. Second and Third Place prizes were generously provided by Access Self Storage in Franklin Lakes.