- May 31 - King Library Opens at 1:00 PM
Stiefvater drastically departs from Shiver, her recent popular werewolf romance trilogy, with The Scorpio Races, a unique stand-alone fantasy novel. Every cold November on the fictional island of Thisby, tourists and locals gather for the Scorpio Races. But it's no ordinary race, as these are no ordinary horses. They are capaill uisce (pronounced CAP-ul ISH-ka), commonly known on the island as water horses, and they are deadly and wild horse-like creatures captured from the sea and brought to race on the shore as spectator sport. During training and racing, it's not uncommon for them to kill each other, their riders, or any other unfortunate soul that gets in their way.
19-year-old orphan Sean Kendrick is a gifted rider and horse whisperer, and he's able to tame the water horses in a way like no other. He's a four-time winner of the Scorpio Races, and he intends to win again so he can finally buy freedom for himself and his water horse Corr from the callous Mr. Malvern's stables. However, 17-year-old Kate "Puck" Connelly is getting in the way. Puck, also an orphan thanks to the capaill uisce , lives with her two brothers in a small cottage, struggling to get by. In an effort to save the house, she hatches a seemingly-impossible plan to enter and somehow win the Scorpio Races with her land horse, Dove. Throw in the fact that she's the first female to ever enter the race, and watch the drama unfold. The chapters alternate between Sean and Puck as they prepare for the race with seemingly endless obstacles in front of them. Who will win? Who will live?
The Scorpio Races was named as a 2012 Printz honor book, and it's a unique tale. Thisby is rural, lacking modern technological conveniences, and reminiscent of a mid-20th century drizzly Celtic isle, but the exact era and location are never revealed, which is why some speculate that this is perhaps a dystopian tale that takes place in the future. The mythical water horses obviously add an element of fantasy, and there is a bit of romance thrown in for good measure.
On Thursday, March 22, the Edenvale Branch Library presented a Hunger Games Party. Participants worked on word searches, crossword puzzles and trivia quizzes. Participants also created Mockingjay pins, and decorated cookies. Everyone entered a drawing to win some Hunger Games memorabilia. After the drawing, participants gathered in a circle, and discussed the Hunger Games Trilogy as well as other interesting books including The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Iron King by Julie Kagawa and Legend by Marie Lu.
On Wednesday March 21, Sheba Karim, author of Skunk Girl visited the Edenvale Branch Library. Teens and adults listened to her read excerpts of Skunk Girl as well as excerpts of one of her short stories. Sheba spoke about many topics, including her childhood, her teen years, and her path to becoming a writer. People who came to this presentation asked many interesting questions which Sheba was happy to answer. This event was part of Silicon Valley Reads. There are several more Silicon Valley Reads events taking place in March and April. For more information, check out the Silicon Valley Reads website.
If you haven't yet read Skunk Girl, visit the library to check out a copy. You're in for a treat! If you have read and enjoyed Skunk Girl, you may also enjoy Does My Head Look Big in This? and Ten Things I Hate about Me, both written by Austrailan author Randa Abdel-Fattah.
Have I told you lately how much I love Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist? Because I do. By all means, read it if you haven't already. If you loved Nick and Norah's unconventional love story as much as I did, make sure you check out Dash & Lily's Book of Dares. Amazing authors David Levithan and Rachel Cohn have done it again, this time with a quirky tale with dashes of Nick & Norah, PostSecret, and holiday cheer.
The story opens with cynical word-nerd Dash finding a mysterious notebook between the volumes of his beloved J.D. Salinger, which he opens to find inside a series of challenges. He completes the scavenger hunt and returns the notebook to the bookstore clerk, who in turn delivers it back to the notebook's owner. Enter Lily. Aside from being inexplicably good at soccer, she is dorky, genuine, cheery, blissfully-naive, and all other pleasant synonyms for quirky, which subsequently is henceforth banned from all remaining sentences of this review. I picture Luna Lovegood in black glasses and a not-intentionally-ironic Christmas sweater and majorette boots, traipsing around Central Park petting dogs and delivering homemade ginger snaps to old people. As the notebook gets passed back and forth in increasingly-complicated series of dares intentionally designed to keep them from meeting, Dash and Lily both wonder if the person on the other end of the notebook is really all they've been hoping for. As their quir..err..eccentric friends and family begin to meddle and get involved, it seems as though their PostSecret love is doomed. But it's Christmas in NYC, which movies tell me is the stuff that miracles are made of, so anything's possible.
You can read it any time of the year, but I would imagine that this book is best enjoyed during the holiday season, perhaps on mass transit with hot cocoa, or under a snuggly blanket on a lazy day off.
Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher is intense and original. While the drama teeters on melodrama at times, it's hard not to when tackling a story like this one.
Logan is trying to get over his cheating jerk of an ex-gf Brenda when Sage bursts into his Missouri small-town ho-hum life and turns everything upside down. She's fun and eccentric and well, abnormally tall for a girl. She's like no one he's ever met before, and he quickly develops an all-consuming crush. However, her mixed signals are confusing...One minute she's flirting in science class, and the next she's pulling away in the playground. Finally the secret is revealed: Sage is transgender. She was born male, but she has always felt like she was put in the wrong body, and she has been transitioning to life as a female for the past few years. Logan, who has lived a sheltered life in a small Midwest town where people "like that" just simply don't exist, must now come to terms with his feelings for Sage and what to do with them. Unfortunately, his initial reaction is one that's entirely believable for a naive teenage boy...He freaks out in a horribly terrible trans-phobic fit of rage and swears to never speak to her again. What comes next is much more interesting. He cannot ignore his conscience, and he begins the slow process of apology and acceptance as he struggles to understand Sage and his feelings for her that still can't be denied. No, he's not gay. Yes, Sage is a girl. An yes, he still likes her. Unfortunately there is plenty of suffering and bigotry and misunderstanding and hateful people along the way. Is there any chance that they can have a real relationship despite so many obstacles, both inside and outside of themselves?
It's not the most uplifting story, but the book is eye-opening for anyone that doesn't quite understand what it means to be transgender. Add that to being a teenager in a new town, and you've got a whole lot of drama. For other stories about transgender teens, try Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger, I am J by Cris Beam, or Crossing Lines by Paul Volponi. Crossing Lines For otherFF
And are you sad that you finished the story already? Want to hear more about Hazel, Augustus and a lot about writing the story from John Green?
Well, John has set up a tumblr where you get answers to all kinds of questions:
But if you have finished the book and want to know more: the password is Darnielle