Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Good Reads: Prophecy of the Sisters

Title: Prophecy of the Sisters
Author: Michelle Zink

*Prophecy of the Sisters is a 2010 Battle of the Books selection

After her father dies, Lia finds her life changing dramatically. Her relationship with her twin sister, Alice, is increasingly strained as Alice grows colder, and her responsibilities have increased, as both of her parents are now gone. To add to it all, Lia finds herself in increasingly odd situations until she uncovers a prophecy that foretells of two sisters: one with the power to release Satan into the world, the other with the duty to stop her. As she uncovers more details, Lia finds that her fate, and that of Alice, is tied to the prophecy.

Prophecy of the Sisters introduces an interesting story, as told through the eyes of Lia. Though is does seem to set the table for the rest of the trilogy, the use of Celtic mythology helps enhance the back story and the teasingly sparse use of Alice keeps you reading to find out more. The narrative is compelling and will have you wanting to see what happens next. The second book in the series, Guardian of the Gate, will be released on August 1.

Prophecy of the Sisters if located in YA Fiction: YA Zink

Team Mural on April 20

Come take part as we create a mural to hang in the library. Each teen artist will be given a section to create as they see fit, then all the pieces will be put together to create one large design. All the materials will be provided, as will snacks and beverages. We will get things started at 5 p.m. in the Balkansky room.

Music Spotlight: Vampire Weekend

Let's spotlight a couple of albums from New York-based Vampire Weekend. VW started off with a lot of buzz despite any album back in 2006 and releasing songs onto the Internet only helped generate buzz until the release of their self-tilted debut in 2008.

The standout tracks on Vampire Weekend are "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" and the fun "Oxford Comma"

Here is what AllMusic has to say:
Everything is concise, concentrated, distilled, vivid; Vampire Weekend's world is extremely specific and meticulously crafted, and Vampire Weekend often feels like a concept album about preppy guys who grew up with classical music and recently got really into world music. Amazingly, instead of being alienating, the band's quirks are utterly winning. Fully realized debut albums like Vampire Weekend come along once in a great while, and these songs show that this band is smart, but not too smart for their own good.

Vampire Weekend followed that up with Contra, released in January. A definite step forward from their debut, Contra finds the band experimenting more with different sounds and mostly succeeding. The lead track "Horchata" is a fun and catchy tune.

AllMusic's take is:
The scholarly Upper West Side Soweto of Vampire Weekend’s debut sounded self-assured, but on Contra, they step out of their ivory tower with just as much confidence. In all senses of the term, this is a sophomore album. The band still flaunts the collegiate sense of discovery that made Vampire Weekend charming -- and sometimes too precious -- but with more maturity and creativity. With Contra, Vampire Weekend make Auto-Tune and real live guitars, Mexican drinks, Jamaican riffs and Upper West Side strings belong together, and this exciting lack of boundaries offers more possibilities than anyone could have expected.

Vampire Weekend and Contra are located in New Music:
MR Vampire

Good Reads: The Hollow Bettle

Title: The Hollow Bettle
Author: Susannah Applebaum

*Poisons of Caux: The Hollow Bettle is a 2010 Battle of the Book selection.

Ivy Manx lives in a world where poison is an everyday danger. Under King Nightshade, healers have been driven away and poison is the accepted way of life - so much so that professional tasters are in abundance to ensure food is safe to eat. When Ivy's uncle, a healer, fails to return from an attempt to heal the king, she finds herself on the run from royal guards and in the company of a young taster named Rowan, who's skills are questionable, and her bettle, which seems to have some magical qualities. Then there is that prophecy about the one who will heal the king...

The Hollow Bettle is the first book in the Poisons of Caux series. It is a fun fantasy tale that is rich in action and adventure. Applebaum keeps the story moving, but is also very adept and keeping the details in abundance to flesh out her world. The Hollow Bettle is a great read that will have you ready for the next offering in the series: The Tasters Guild (release date: August 10)!

Poisons of Caux: The Hollow Bettle is located in YA Fiction:
YA Applebaum

Friday, April 9, 2010

Battle of the Books 2010 Selections!

The titles for this year's Battle of the Books have been selected!

Each year we try to cover as many different genres as possible (fiction, sci-fi/fantasy, historical fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels) and select eight books to battle over in September. This Year, we have quite a wide variety to the stories being put forth:

*What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell (YA Blundell)
*Suck It Up by Brian Meehl (YA Meehl)
*Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink (YA Zink)
*When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (YA Stead)
*Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson (YA 921 Booth John)
*Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 by David Petersen (YA 741.5973 Petersen)
*Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork (YA Stork)
*Poisons of Caux: The Hollow Bettle by Susannah Applebaum (YA Applebaum)

The Battle of the Books is free to anyone in grades 7 through 12. To sign up for the Manitowoc team you can email me or stop by the Reference Desk. Keep an eye out here for more info on the battle and team meetings leading up to the event!