Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Good Reads: Robota


by Doug Chiang
and Orson Scott Card

While not really a graphic novel, Robota combines a futuristic story with spectacular art to tell the story of a world run by robots. It tells the tale of how robots conquered our world, destroying civilization and turning mankind into slaves in a vast jungle. One day a mysterious man with no memory arrives with a sentient monkey, encountering the "cubed" beasts and outlaw humans. And a revolution is formed against the robots... Robota is a quick read, made even faster by the quick pace of the story.

The real highlight of Robota is the artwork of Doug Chiang, who worked as the design director on the Star Wars prequels. A compliment to the story, his images are beautifully rendered and sometimes stunning. In some cases, his art is so detailed that it looks like a photograph.

Robota is ultimately a science fiction tale. Star Wars fans will especially appreciate the artwork, which has echoes from the movie franchise.

Robota can be found in YA fiction:
YA Chiang

Coming in February - Musical Open Mic!

The library's next YA program will be a musical open mic on February 11 at 6 p.m. in the first floor study room. Anyone who wishes to display their musical talents, whether through singing or with an instrument, is welcome to take part. It's a chance to hang out and relax with some snacks, soda and some good tunes.

Sign-ups are strongly encouraged and can be done via email ( or by calling us at 683-4863 x-350. The open mic will last until approximately 7:30 p.m.

Se YA there!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Coming soon - Wii Tournaments!

Get your arms in shape - starting in March, the Manitowoc Public Library will be hosting a series of Nintendo Wii tournaments throughout the year. At least once a month between March and November, we will running game tournaments in conjuntion with other libraries along the lakeshore, including Sheboygan, Racine and Two Rivers. As the year moves along, we will post results and keep an updated standings list on-line for everyone to see. By November, the leaders will squre off against each other for Wii supremacy.

The competition will be open to everyone in grade 6 and up. All of our contests will be held on the big screens in the Balkansky Room.

Details are still being worked out, but Super Smash Brothers Brawl will definitely be one of the games on the agenda. Other games under consideration at this point are: Madden '08, Dance Dance Revolution, Mario Party 8, and Super Mario Galaxy. These games are not definite and we may not choose any of them, but your input could help sway the decision. Vote in the poll to the right or leave a comment with any suggestions!

Keep checking back for more details as we get it all worked out!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Comic Book Corner: Buffy - Seaon 8

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Writers: Joss Whedon, Brian K. Vaughn

Penciler: Andy Owens

The end of the Buffy the Vampire TV series ended with the collapse of Sunnydale and an army of slayers being awakened across the globe. Buffy #1 picks up the story from there, as we find Buffy leading an army of slayers, under the watchful eye of Xander from their base in Scotland. To complicate matters, Willow has been gone for months and Dawn has grown to a gigantic size. The first story arc, written by Buffy creator Joss Whedon, gets the ball rolling with vampires, monsters and a government that is out to stop the slayer army. Old faces return, some much more welcome than others, and the first arc ends with a magical showdown as and a desperate bid for revenge.

The next story arc follows Faith and her undercover work for Giles, written by fan-favorite writer Brian K. Vaughn. Confronting an evil slayer, Faith ends up battling stome monsters, a wizard and Buffy before things reach their conclusion.

Overall, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic series has the same feel as the show. All the emotion, the humor and the monsters are there as the story of your favorite vampire slayer moves forward.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer can be found in YA non-fiction with the graphic novels:

741.5973 BUFFY

Go for the Gold this summer!

After the January Teen Talkback meeting on Monday, we now have a working theme and slogan for the upcoming summer reading program! Being an Olympic year, it seems only suitable to use the Olympics as our inspiration. So we will be "Going for the Gold" in our reading and in our programs. The logo is still in development, so any one with the creative drive to come up with ideas for a logo can pass them along. One of those ideas may be printed out on t-shirts and flyers!

Other things we discussed at Teen Talkback were:
  • A new day of the week to host the meetings - Thursday was suggested as a better day of the week than Mondays. We may also push the time back and serve pizza and subs if enough people attend. We also discussed the possibility of meeting more often.
  • Teen Film Festival - We did some pre-planning for the April YA program, a film festival. Any YA who wants to create their own film up to 10 minutes long can have it shown as part of the Film Festival. This is one of the most ambitious programs we have ever done for the YAs. Be sure to check back for the program details, which will be posted soon!
  • Summer programs - With our theme picked out and a working slogan, we are now developing a list of programs to run throughout June and July. The ever-popular Paint the Library program will again be held, as will henna tatooing and a Wii tournament with the game Mario and Sonic at the Olympics. Other ideas under consideration: a bublewrap decathlon, scavenger hunt relays, and a movie marathon.

As always, Teen Talkback is open to everyone in grades 6 through 12. We meet once a month to discuss programs, the YA collection and whatever else may come up. Anyone interested can e-mail us at for more info, or just show up to the next meeting.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Good Reads: The White Darkness

The White Darkness
by Geraldine McCaughrean

The White Darkness is the winner of the 2008 Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults.

Fourteen-year-old Sym Wates is fascinated with the Antarctic and the men who explored it, even to the point of creating an imaginary friendship with Captain Lawrence "Titus" Oates, who was part of the doomed Scott expedition 90 years earlier. Sym finds herself embarking on an expedition with her Uncle Victor to the South Pole, which seems like a dream come true. But Victor has his own agenda, seeking the legendary Symmes's Hole, portal to the interior of a hollow Earth and goes to great lengths to achieve his goal. As his efforts become more and more dangerous, Sym must use all of her wits and cunning to survive her experience in the arctic conditions.

The White Darkness is locted in Young Adult fiction:
YA McCaughrean

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Scrapbooking program on Saturday

Don't miss our YT Connection program on Saturday: Scrapbooking Basics!

Kids ages 9 to 13 are invited to come in a learn how to create their won scrapbooks. Everyone who participates will create their own page to take home!

The fun starts at 2 p.m. in the Balkansky Room - Don't miss it!

Music Spotlight: Death Cab for Cutie

Artist: Death Cab for Cutie
Albums: Transatlanticism, Plans, The Photo Album
Don't let the name fool you: Death Cab for Cutie is neither a hard-driving heavy metal band, nor is it a group looking simply to get a lugh from it's audience. As pop music goes, Death Cab for Cutie has the formula down to a science. They mix intelligent lyrics and sharp hooks with a solid foundation of music to make for good listening on each of their albums. Sometimes, the songs drift towards a slower, more moody feel, but they all beg for repeated listens.
As albums go, Transatlanticism is the best that Death Cab for Cutie has to offer. Starting strong with "The New Year" and leading into the catchy "Expo '86" and "Sound of Settling," the album moves smoothly from track to track. The second half takes a more serious tone, but never feels so heavy that it bogs the album down.
Plans is the band's most recent album and shows off higher level of maturity. The songs are more polished and the track list is ballad-heavy, but still has the occasional up-beat track to keep things flowing. The highlight of Plans is "Crooked Teeth," a more silly, quicker-paced song that sticks with you long after it ends.
Death Cab for Cutie is located in the Rock Music section of the music cds:
MR Death

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Next Teen Talkback on Monday

The next monthly meeting of the MPL's Teen Talkback will be on Monday, January 21 at 4:30 p.m. We will be gathering in the Quiet Study Room.

On the agenda is the Summer Library Program and developing our Olympic theme. We will be working on a logo and slogan, as well as planning the programs. As always, we will also be discussing the books, cds and dvds you want us to add to our collection.

Teen Talkback is open to everyone in grades 6-12. We meet once a month to discuss all things related to the Young Adult area. All Talkback members are involved in selecting and planning YA programs, as well as suggesting books, cds and movies to add to our collection. It is your chance to get involved in the library and do the things that you want to do. New members can just show up at the next meeting or e-mail for more information.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Good Reads: The Off Season

The Off Season

by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Following her eventful summer and fall in the book Dairy Queen, DJ Schwenk is adjusting to her status as a high school junior. She is the starting linebacker for the Red Hawk football team and has a good relationship with Brian, the rival school's quarterback. Unfortunately, things start to get rocky when she gives an unexpected interview to People magazine and keep getting worse. Over the following months, DJ must deal with phyiscal injuries, as well as emotional ones that surface among her family and her best friend.
Though it has a more serious tone than Dairy Queen, The Off Season is still full of humor and DJ's character grows a great deal as she deals with the problems thrown her way.
The Off Season is located in the YA fiction section
Call Number: Murdock

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Good Reads: Mouse Guard Volume 1: Fall 1152

Mouse Guard Volume 1: Fall 1152
By David Petersen

Collects the six-issue comic book mini-series Mouse Guard

Out of the sight of humans, mice have a world and culture all of their own. They have their own towns and methods of trade. They also, however, face serious dangers, like snakes and other predators. Keeping them safe is the Mouse Guard, an elite group of highly skilled soldiers that patrol the borders and guide mice across the treacherous land.

In Volume 1, we follow three Guard members who try to uncover a plot to destroy the Mouse Guard. Lieam, Saxon, and Kenzie look into the disappearance of a local merchanct and find much more than they anticipated. Treachery and betrayal lead to a climactic battle which sees a legendary figure play a vital role. The action is fast-paced and Petersen doesn't let the story get bogged down in details.

As good of a story as Peterson tells, his art is even more impressive. He uses his drawings to make the story come alive using the right amount of shading and color when the mood calls for it. He alters perpectives to get the most out of each moment and successfully convey the emotions of his characters.

Mouse Guard is located in YA non-fiction:
741.5973 Petersen

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

MPL hosting Comedy Improv Jan. 14

The Manitowoc Public Library's next YA program will be on Monday, January 14 - a comedy improv program based on the tv show Whose Line is it Anyway? Just like on the show, you can show off your acting and comedic skills through games like "Scenes from a Hat," "Props," "World's Worst," and "Questions Only!"

The kicks off at 6 p.m. in the library's Balkansky Room. Snacks and soda will be provided. No need to sign up for this one - you just need to show up and be ready to laugh and make a fool of yourself!

See YA there!

MPL enters the blogosphere

The Manitowoc Public Library's Young Adult Program is now online. In this spot, we will be listing our upcoming programs, highlighting new books, cds and dvds, and keeping you up-to-date on news and events that matter to teens in grades 6 through 12.

As much as we want to let you know what we are up to, we really want your feedback! Let us know what you think of the programs you attend and what you want us to host in the future. Is there a book you want us to get? Tell us!

We will be posting regularly, so keep checking back for more updates!