As a librarian, I of all people should know better than to judge a book by its cover. But I do – all the time. In honor of Halloween, here are three books with covers I find sufficiently creepy:
Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott Details 15-year-old Alice’s five-year ordeal of abuse and control at the hands of her kidnapper, who now demands she find the next girl for his collection if she wants to be released. Another librarian described it as “deeply disturbing,” and this cover is not far off the mark.
Through to You by Emily Hainsworth In this upcoming book, former football star Cam grieves for his girlfriend (killed in a car crash), and is pulled into an alternate reality where the accident had a much different outcome. Interesting plot, but I’m far more intrigued by the haunting cover image.
The Blessed by Tonya Hurley In Brooklyn, three very different girls (each named after a martyred young saint) are drawn together in an emergency room on Halloween and forced into an epic battle against evil. I’m inexplicably freaked out by the cover girl’s watery, puffy eyes.
Movie Monday -- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible...
OK, I know this isn't a teen book, but it's still one I remember fondly and I'm guessing you might too. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst is going to be made into a movie. According to Deadline, Disney is going to make it and Steve Carrell is going to play Alexander's father. Having trouble remembering exactly what goes wrong on Alexander's day? You'll have plenty of time before the movie comes out to check out the book from the library for a refresher.
What other picture books would you want to see turned into a movie?
Want to make gummy worms come alive? Follow these simple instructions.
What you need:
How: Cut gummy worms lengthwise to make some super skinny worms. Mix a few tablespoons of baking soda with a cup of water and stir in gummy worms. Let soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Fill a clear glass with vinegar. Drop the worms in and watch them squirm.
Why does this work? Vinegar is acetic acid CH3COOH and baking soda is sodium bicarbonate NaDCO3 (a base). When they mix they create carbon dioxide gass bubbles on the worms. NaHCO3 CH3COOH --> CH3COONa H2CO3 The H2CO3 is carbonic acid which will quickly break down into H20 (water) and CO2 (Carbon Dioxide).
See if you can name these teen books: (Answers will be posted tomorrow)
1. Captured by Nazi's she will tell them anything to get her clothes back. 2. Girls die at age 20 and boys at age 24. 3. He gets a box in the mail with 13 tapes. 4. After an animal plague all humans now live in big cities behind high walls. 5. Two teens with the same name meet. 6. She is the perfect daughter until she meets a boy who introduces her to drugs. 7. An art student in Prague has a notebook filled with monsters. 8. Odd photos intersperse this story of an orphanage on an island. 9. His arrival at a boarding school coincides with a series of Jack the Ripper-type murders. 10. Wild meat eating water horses race on the beach.
Blue Sargent, the daughter of the town psychic in Henrietta, Virginia, has been told for as long as she can remember that if she ever kisses her true love, he will die. But she is too practical to believe in things like true love. Her policy is to stay away from the rich boys at the prestigious Aglionby Academy. The boys there--known as Raven Boys--can only mean trouble. But a chance encounter with four of the boys and an unsettling experience at a graveyard makes her change her mind.
Ah Maggie Stiefvater, how I love you! First, Shiver and the Wolves of Mercy Falls, then Scorpio Races and now The Raven Boys. Yet another compelling fantasy book with great characters and exciting action. The thing I love about Stiefvater's books is that the "magic" in them is just accepted and dealt with. There isn't like one hundred pages where no one believes what is going on which always infuriates me. Stiefvater's characters live within the magic and it is just a given fact that it exists. I love that! Then you can get onto the real fun! This is the first book in a series and I can not wait for the next one!
I don't know about you but I freakin' LOVED Shadow and Bone, Leigh Bardugo's book about an orphan girl named Alina whose ability to harness a rare magic makes her one of her nation’s most coveted warriors. So I was wicked psyched to hear that Dreamworks picked up the movie rights for the book. Huzzah! The really exciting thing is that the producer of the Harry Potter movies David Heyman is spearheading the adaptation which is very promising. Read all about it here. Who do you think should play Alina? Mal? The mysterious Darkling?
The second book in the Grisha Trilogy, Siege and Storm will be out in June of 2013. Keep checking our catalog to get your name on the list!
Do you love photography? You’re not alone. A surprising number of teen books feature budding shutterbugs as main characters. Here’s a selection:
Exposed by Kimberly Marcus Told in free verse, Exposed is the story of 16-year-old Liz, a photo prodigy whose best friend, Kate, claims she was raped by Liz’s brother and stops speaking to her. Other people are avoiding Liz, too, and she finds herself torn between her friends and her family. This one will appeal to fans of Ellen Hopkins and Laurie Halse Anderson.
Snap by Carol Snow Madison is not happy when her parents uproot her and head for a gloomy town in the middle of nowhere. Madison makes new friends and throws herself into photography, but then strange people – who later turn up dead – start appearing in her photos. Snap is a fun and fast mystery.
Sources of Light by Margaret McMullan In 1962, 14-year-old Samantha and her parents move from Pennsylvania to Jackson, Mississippi. As the racially-charged atmosphere of the South begins to impact her life, Samantha uses her camera to document the stirring social change around her. Sources of Light is full of compelling characters.
Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick When an injury ends star pitcher Peter’s baseball career, he’s not sure what to do. His crush on a girl in his photography class prompts Peter to explore the box of expensive camera equipment his grandfather gave him, and Peter finds himself in many funny, strange situations as he tries to figure out if there’s life after sports.
Looking for a way to make your Halloween sufficiently gross? Try these science projects from Science Bob's Blog.
Glowing Beverages: Tonic water glows under a black light, making an eerie drink to pass out to your friends and family. The quinine in the tonic water makes the blue glow you'll see. Mix it with other ingredients (jello mix!) to see what you can create.
Slime: You can make your own slime using Elmer's glue, Borax, and the food coloring color of your choice. Follow the simple recipe and you'll be grossing out your family in no time!
Dancing Ghosts: Make a 1 1/2 inch long ghost out of a tissue and set it on a table. Rub a balloon on your hair to build up static and slowly bring the balloon down to the ghost. The static will make the ghost rise up and dance!
Lauren Oliver is one of my favorite authors. One thing I love is that her books are all sooooo different, and yet they are all so good. It's amazing to me that she can write so well in such a variety of genres. Have you read any of her books?
Before I Fall: Samantha dies in a car crash. No, that's not a spoiler--it happens in the first chapter. She ends up repeating this last day over and over again, knowing she will die at the end and trying to figure out a way to change things.
Delirium: This one takes place in the future in a world where love is a disease. Everyone has surgery at the age of 18 in order to "cure" them from the potential delirium of love and enable them to lead safe, predictable, and happy lives. Of course, ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, Lena falls in love. The sequel, Pandemonium, is also out and the third book, Requiem, is scheduled to come out next spring. (Which gives me a few months to learn how to
Liesl and Po: Liesl’s evil stepmother locks her in the attic, where two ghosts visit her to deliver a message from her father’s spirit—He wants her to bury his ashes under the willow tree next to her mother. Liesl and the ghosts steal the box with his ashes and sneak out of the house. On the way they run into Will, who happens to be carrying an identical box only his is filled with the greatest magic known to mankind, with the power to bring the dead back to life.
She has a new book coming out in October, The Spindlers. The spindlers are creatures that live underground, and they have just stolen the soul of Liza's younger brother. Uh oh!
I told you they were all different! Check out her website for her bio, FAQs about her and her writing, and her blog.
Read This! The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines
It’s 1942, and 15-year-old New Yorker Iris Anderson is dying to help her father, a private detective whose war injury makes it difficult for him to do his work. When Iris discovers that Pop’s latest case involves the disappearance of a boy from her school, she takes it upon herself to become her father’s assistant. Soon she’s sneaking out of the house, lying to almost everyone, and hanging out in tenement apartments and dance halls trying to crack the case. But Iris is in trouble when she gets tangled in her own web of lies and Pop comes reveals some shocking information. The Girl is Murderis a stylish, witty historical mystery with plenty of period detail. If you like it, check out the newly published sequel, The Girl is Trouble.
Science Fiction fans are probably already familiar with Philip K. Dick’s work – he is considered a seminal writer in modern sci-fi. But even if you are not familiar with his written work, you have probably seen it since many of his books have been made into movies.
The stories that PKD wrote in the middle of the last century were ahead of their time --he was exploring alternate realities, fractured perceptions and extremely paranoid conspiracy theories way back in the good ol’ days when everyone else believed in Leave it to Beaver (which suggested a simpler, gentler time).
His stories make more sense to us now – we’ve lived through 9/11 and Columbine; we know more about quantum physics and parallel universes; about the human mind and its fragility; about the dangers of blindly trusting anyone – whether its big business or Uncle Sam.
If you saw the 1990 version of Total Recall starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, then you probably remember the girl with the- ehem- special attributes who lived on the colonized planet of Mars. It was really one of the more memorable scenes in the movie – and according to the director of the new 2012 version starring Colin Farrell, they HAD to include a version of the girl in the new movie. PKD would be proud. Maybe.
They’re creepy and crawly and often hidden away in dark corners. Spiders may seem scary but really they are an important part of our ecosystem. Orb spiders are just one species of spiders. They spin webs in orbs, aka in circles with spokes radiating from the center. The first thread the spider puts down for the web is called the bridge. Spider silk is stronger than steel. In Southeast Asia orb spiders can make webs up to 8 feet across. People in this area use these webs as nets for fishing.
Orb spiders are found around the world and in a variety of formats. Spiders are the original vampires. They insert their fangs into the victim and suck the nutrients out of the trapped insect. Not all orb spiders spin webs. Some go fishing with sticky strands of silk. They are cunning in the methods of trapping of their food. Some emit scents similar to the mating smells of their prey and others make strands of silk that glow with ultraviolet light, tricking their prey into thinking it is flying into a flower.
These spiders can lay anywhere from 4-1,200 eggs depending on the species of orb. Most of the spiders will only live for a year and die when the first frost comes. There are other threats to the spiders as well. Wasps will sting and paralyze the spider, lay wasp eggs on the body of the spider and then bury the spider. When the wasp eggs hatch they have a readily available food source in the still living spider. Glad I’m not a spider.
Are you ready for Halloween yet? Did you hang up some spiders as part of your decorations? Now you can awe your friends with spider facts.
It’s never too early or too late for a good zombie book, movie, or in this case, book trailer extraordinare! This is the best book trailer I’ve seen all year (if you like gory)! I love zombie movies. Zombieland is hilarious! The Walking Dead is one of my favorite television series and a good zombie book is just the thing for October.
The Sacrifice is the latest book in The Enemy series and it is coming out in June of 2013. Start with the first one in the series, The Dead. But even if you don’t have time to read a book, watch this trailer! I think after you do, you may find the time to read the books. If you like the above book trailer, you might want to check out the video shot while making the book trailer; it’s called “Behind the Scenes.” It was pretty fun to watch!
Did you miss out on NDK (Nan Desu Kan) this year? Do you just love anime? Join us at the Evergreen Library on Friday, Oct. 12 from 6:30 to 8:30, where our Friday Night Teen Time will be all about anime. With help from Evergreen's Teen Advisory Board (TAB), we'll watch some of our favorite anime (including the classic Grave of the Fireflies), do some cosplay skits, and draw our own manga characters. Come meet other mountain teens who share your passion for anime!
Anime Night at Evergreen Library Friday, October 12 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Here is one of my favorite quotes : “I've always resented Hermione, because I wanted to be her so badly and she never seemed to appreciate as much as I thought she should that she got be her. She got to live at Hogwarts and be friends with Harry and kiss Ron, which was supposed to happen to me.”
Motion picture companies have expressed interest in producing movies from more than 60 young adult books. Take a look at the list and tell me which books you would most like to see made into movies. For me, it’s hard to choose. It’s like being a kid in a candy store, but a few I’d love to see made as movies are Delirium, Divergent, The Book Thief, The Graveyard Book,and...and...and … Next year’s confirmed movies from best-selling teen books are:
In a small South Carolina town, where it seems little has changed since the Civil War, sixteen-year-old Ethan is powerfully drawn to Lena, a new classmate with whom he shares a psychic connection and whose family hides a dark secret that may be revealed on her sixteenth birthday. The movie trailer rocks!
Six-year-old Ender Wiggin and his siblings at Battle School are being tested and trained to determine whether they possess the abilities to remake the world-- if the world survives an all-out war with an alien enemy.
Demi-god Percy Jackson and his friends must journey into the Sea of Monsters to save their camp. But first Percy will discover a secret that makes him wonder whether being claimed as Poseidon's son is an honor or a cruel joke.
Suddenly able to see demons and the Shadowhunters who are dedicated to returning them to their own dimension, fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is drawn into a bizzare world when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a monster.
By winning the annual Hunger Games, District 12 tributes Katniss and Peeta have secured a life of safety and plenty for themselves and their families, but because they won by defying the rules, they unwittingly become the faces of an impending rebellion.
The count down to Halloween has begun! For the month of October I will be exploring the dark side of science. This week's topic? Human cadavers. What really does happen to our bodies after we die? Medical science, organ donor, or cremation; there are many possibilities.
At the Forensic Anthropology Center at the University of Tennessee Knoxville scientists study human decomposition in different conditions. They have 1.3 acres of land they use for these studies. This helps police and other investigators as they identify corpses and create theories on how the person may have died.
There are five main stages of decomposition: fresh, bloat, active and advanced decay and dry remains. In the fresh stage the skin begins to turn blue (livor mortis) because the heart is no longer circulating the blood thus it is pulled to the lower parts of the body through gravity. The next part of the fresh stage, within 3 to 6 hours, is rigor mortis where the body becomes stiff. Algor mortis is the process of the body loosing heat after death. Soon the blowflies and flesh flies will begin to move in.
The bloat stage is where anorobic metabolism begins. The build up of hydrogen sulphide, carbon dioxide, and methane create distension in the body forcing fluids out of the body orifices and in some cases even causing rupture. This is the stage where the maggots will move in to further the process of decomposition.
During active decay the body will loose the most mass. This stage is when the maggots do the most eating of the body. The leakage of fluids into the surrounding environment will create a cadaver decomposition island, as in no grass will grow around the corpse.
Advanced decay is when the maggots have moved on to other pursuits as there is not as much cadaver material to feed on. The cadaver decomposition island will have more calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium present as well as an increase in soil nitrogen
At this point all that remains is the dry remains, the bones, dried skin and cartilage. The grass and other plants will begin to regrow in the cadaver decomposition island.
Lighthouse Writers Workshop is presenting a writing contest for teens as part of the One Book, One Denver celebrations. Details below are from the Arts & Venues Denver website:
A story, real or imagined, of a difficult journey. The journey can be literal/geographical, such as hiking the Colorado Trail, or it can be more of a metaphorical journey, such as working hard to achieve a lifelong dream. Mark your submission as fiction, nonfiction or poetry. Entries should be no more than 750 words in length, typed in 12-point font and double-spaced. Each will be judged on the quality of the writing, originality and subject matter.
Local writers will chose the winners, one from each of three age groups: 12-13, 14-15 and 16 and up, and there are prizes for winners.
Entry Guidelines: Stories must be postmarked by Monday, October 15. We prefer that you send your entry via e-mail attachment (please attach it as a PDF or Word file) to firstname.lastname@example.org Or, send them via snail mail to: One Book, One Denver Teen Writing Contest c/o Lighthouse Writers Workshop 1515 Race St. Denver, CO 80206 Please include your name, age, grade in school, e-mail/address/phone number and school name with your entry.
Why should you sign up for a library card? Here are some famous people talking about libraries:
"You dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a f****** education you coulda' got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library." Will - Played by Matt Damon in the movie Good Will Hunting
"My alma mater was books, a good library ... I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity." – Malcolm X From The Autobiography of Malcolm X
"When you are growing up, there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully -- the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you. The public library is a great equalizer." – Keith Richards, Rolling Stones Guitarist
"If I was a book, I would like to be a library book, so I would be taken home by all different sorts of kids. A library book, I imagine, is a happy book."
With the defeat of the evil Douglas behind him, Sam LaCroix is getting used to his new life. Okay, so he hadn’t exactly planned on being a powerful necromancer with a seat on the local magical council and a capricious werewolf sort-of-girlfriend, but things are going fine, right?
Well . . . not really. He’s pretty tired of getting beat up by everyone and their mother, for one thing, and he can’t help but feel that his new house hates him. His best friend is a werebear, someone is threatening his sister, and while Sam realizes that he himself has a lot of power at his fingertips, he’s not exactly sure how to use it. Which turns out to be a problem when someone close to him turns up dead
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