Friday, February 20, 2009

Coming in March: Teen Advisory Board

Next month, we will be restarting our Teen Advisory Board for anyone looking to have a little more say in what we add to our YA collection and what we do for programming. TAB members help plan programs and make them happen. they also provide input on books, movies and music that the library will acquire.

March's meeting, which will be held in the Quiet Study Room on March 16 at 5 p.m., will be an introductory meeting for anyone interested in joining TAB. Those who signs ups for the board will be eligible for community service hours.

Subs will served to everyone who attends, so please let us know beforehand if you plan to be there to guarantee yourself some food!

The TAB is open to anyone in grades 7 and up.

Chocolate-y Goodness

Monday night was our first Chocolate Fest and plenty of you went home on sugar highs not seen since last Halloween. The highlight was the Hershey's Kisses relay race that required teams of three to unwrap the chocolate candies while wearing oven mitts.

Other games included chocolate bingo (with chocolate chips as card markers), chocolate trivia, an M&M guessing game, and blackjack with chocolate serving as the betting chips. All prizes were (what else?) chocolate!

Overall, much chocolate was consumed and the time went by in a hurry. What did you think of Chocolate Fest?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Music Spotlight: Left of the Dial

Title: Left of the Dial: Dispatches from the '80's Underground
Artist: Various

If you are looking for something different to listen to that will off-set the routine sounds coming over the radio, then look no farther than Left of the Dial, a 4-disc box set that sifts through some of the best music of the early 80's that never got airplay. Of course, there is a reason for that- most of the stuff here is early punk and thrash music that just didn't fit the mold of Top 40 radio at the time. As the title indicates, this stuff really was "underground" music - primarily getting play on college stations and little else. Despite the limited airplay, the music is still strong and more in line with what you may hear today. Almost.

The artists vary considerably in this set: from bands that eventually found stardom like R.E.M., The Cure and The Pretenders, to groups that never quite caught on to a larger following like Gun Club and Wall of Voodoo. The tracks on all four discs move smoothly between more popular hits ("Radio Free Europe," "Blister In the Sun," "Senses Working Overtime") and more obscure tunes, providing a solid overall sound.

Given a set like this, there is plenty here for everyone, but obviously more for some than others. While The Smiths' "This Charming Man" makes for good listening to most music lovers, tracks like The Dead Milkmen's "Punk Rock Girl" and "Goo Goo Muck" by The Cramps are more specific tastes. Nonetheless, Left of the Dial is a great slice of music history and chock full of great tunes that you may be familiar with even if it is from more current sources (as anyone who has played Guitar Hero 3 can attest to the Dead Kennedys' "Holiday in Cambodia").

Left of the Dial: Dispatches from the '80's Underground is located in rock music box sets: MR LEFT

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Comic Spotlight: Wildguard

Title: Wildguard - Casting Call
Writer/Artist: Todd Nauck
If you were putting together a new team of superheroes, how would you do it? How about through reality television? Wildguard - Casting Call does just that. 500 heroes descend upon Servo City to try out for Wildguard in hopes of being part of the final five team members. As most superhero gatherings go, chaos results when a giant robot crashes into the theater and the hopefuls are all put to the test. In the end, only five will make the cut...
Wildguard is unique not just because of the reality TV angle, but also for the number of cool , odd and funny heroes that Nauck introduces. From the straight-forward heroes, like Red Rover and Ignatia, to short-lived but amusing ones like Adhesor the Adhesive Man, Casting Call is packed with great ideas.
Story-wise, casting call hits on all the superhero comic book elements you expects: massive group fights, traitors, unflinchingly evil villains and heroes who can overcome overwhelming odds. The action is non-stop and, with the great mix of characters, full of great characterization and fun twists.
Nauck's art holds up very well to accompany the feel of the book. He has a cartoon-y element, but it is never too over-the-top to distract from the story. The style, along with a healthy dose of color, helps maintain a strong balance between the action and the humor.
Overall, Wildguard is a solid superhero book that adds a modern twist and tells a good story.
Wildguard - Casting Call is located in Non-Fiction: 741.5973 Nauck

Good Reads: Oh. My. Gods.

Title: Oh. My. Gods.
Author: Tera Lynn Childs

Imagine having everything in your life lining up just the way you planned it - a scholarship to the college you want, two best friends who will be going with you. That is what Phoebe has set up in Oh. My. Gods. when her mother alters the plan by moving Phoebe to a small Greek island. Instead of being a distance runner at her southern California high school, Phoebe finds herself surrounded by descendants of the Greek gods at her new school and her dreams of running for USC are slipping away. To make things more interesting, Phoebe's new step-father is the headmaster of her super-exclusive school and all of her classmates have superpowers.

Oh. My. Gods. is a fun fish-out-of-water tale, but in this case, the fish is surrounded by super-powered snobs. Phoebe is determined to maintain her scholarship to USC, but racing against the descendants of the gods and trying to pass classes much more difficult than anything she has seen before make things interesting. Add in the standard love interest who may or may not be the biggest jerk in the world and a new step-sister who anything but pleasant to be around, and the story fills out with added dimension and helps make Oh. My. Gods. a light, entertaining read.

Oh. My. Gods. is located in YA Fiction: YA Childs

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chocolate Fest on Monday, Feb. 16

The name says it all! Chocolate Fest is strictly a celebration of sugary goodness. We will be eating chocolate, playing games, eating more chocolate, running contests, eating even more chocolate, molding your own chocolate, and of course, more eating. Think of it as a post-Valentine's Day party without all the mushy love-themed stuff.

Chocolate Fest will get underway at 5 p.m. in the first floor Quiet Study Room on Monday, February 16. I don't think I need to tell you that there will be food to eat (all chocolate, of course) as well as soda to wash it down. The party will go until 6:30. Be sure to come and bring any fellow chocolate enthusiasts you know along with you!

See YA there!