Book Spotlight!

Today’s Book Spotlight! is on War Brothers: The Graphic Novel by: Sharon E. McKay.

16276856Jacob lives in Gulu, Uganda. He’s fourteen years old and attends a seminary school for boys his age. He lives in a comfortable home with his father surrounded by friends and family. He’s going to do something important with life and he’s well on his way to making that happen. At least, that was his plan before he and his friends were abducted by the LRA.

The LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) is a guerrilla army dedicated to promoting Joseph Kony as the leader of Uganda as well as purification of the Acholi people (a group of people native to the north of Uganda).  They use the Bible to manipulate people into fighting for them. And their ranks are made up of mostly abducted children. Children like Jacob and his friends.

They are made to do horrible things: it’s either kill or be killed with the LRA with plenty of beatings and starvation along the way. Jacob knows that what the LRA does isn’t right, that it isn’t God’s will, and that it won’t help the people of Uganda, but resisting them is taking a toll on him. Death is almost certain until he meets an LRA officer who has plans to help him escape. But it’s risky and the price of getting caught escaping would be a brutal death. Jacob really wants to leave, but he doesn’t know if he has it in him to even try.

This graphic novel is brutal and heartbreaking at times. It’s very violent, although most of the violence is off-screen or silhouetted in black so it isn’t as overt. Even so, it’s a great read. If you like stories about underdogs overcoming great hardship and tragedy, you might like this book. The story of Jacob isn’t true, but it is based on interviews done with people from Uganda who have lived with and in the LRA.

We are only coming to the schools on last time before the semester ends. If you would like us to bring this book for you to check out, please fill out a book request form.

Attend Hogwarts–For Real!

I don’t know about you, but ever since I read the first Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the 6th grade, I wanted to go to Hogwarts. Writing Essays about Merlin, turning rats into teacups, and making forgetfulness potions seemed much more interesting and exciting than what I was actually doing in school. I wanted so badly to be a student at Hogwarts and it seemed completely unfair that this school was fictional. Keyword: was. Hogwarts is real now. Sort of.

Some dedicated fans of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series have created a website called Hogwarts is Here. It’s half MMORPG (massive multiplayer online role playing game–think World of Warcraft) and half online university. The website allows you to get sorted into one of the four Hogwarts houses, purchase school books and pets (with fake in-game money, of course), and take actual classes Harry and his friends would have taken at Hogwarts! You go through classes all the way from first year to seventh and when you’re done, you’re totally a certified wizard or witch!

The website is maintained by a bunch of volunteers who put in a lot of hard work, time and effort into making this a magical, fun experience. It’s all-encompassing and very thorough in terms of what makes the experience authentic (you can earn points for your house and collect chocolate frogs, just like a real student at Hogwarts would!), but the best part is: everything is entirely FREE. It literally costs you nothing and you can become the witch or wizard you always wanted to be!

Hogwartscrest

If you’re interested, you can find the website here.

Keep in mind that using this website will allow you to talk with other people across the web. Make sure you have your parent’s permission and always always ALWAYS be safe when interacting with people you don’t know. For more information about what is and isn’t safe when talking to people online, check out this video for safe online talk.

Book Spotlight!

Today’s Book Spotlight is on Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.

rowell_ep_usPark is the only Asian kid in his small town in Nebraska. He’s quiet and more interested in music and comics rather than sports. He’s survived by keeping his head down and trying to blend into as much as possible. He doesn’t want life to be any harder than it needs to be.

Eleanor is new in town and it seems like she’s a magnet for hardship. She’s too big, her hair is too red and curly, and she dresses like a total weirdo. It’s almost like she’s inviting people to make fun of her the way they do. Park doesn’t want anything to do with her because she’s certain to draw the wrong kind of attention.

Except they sort of get forced to sit together on the bus and Eleanor reads his comics over his shoulder and that changes everything.  Suddenly, Park wants to be around her all the time and he’s falling for her–falling fast. Eleanor seems to be falling for him too, but there is something holding her back and no matter how many times he asks, she won’t tell him. But Park’s okay with that. She’ll tell him on her own time, and he’s just happy being with her. For now.

Eleanor and Park is about two misfits trying to hold on to love through terrible circumstances. If you like romances, you’ll definitely want to check this out. And you might want to check it out even if you aren’t into romances. If you’d like us to hold a copy of this book for you, please fill out the book request form and we’ll have it for you the next time we come to your school!

National Poetry Month

Bullwinkle poetry

April is National Poetry month! Last week, I posted some book spine poetry that I made using the titles of books in our collection. This week, I’m inviting you to come down and check out a book to celebrate the month.

Of course, we have collections of poetry, but that wouldn’t be very fun or creative, would it? So instead, I put together a display of novels written entirely in verse. The difference between these books and normal collections of poetry is that in verse novels, all of the individual poems are organized so that they tell a story. Each chapter or section is a different poem and it  makes for a very different, fun reading experience.

I’ve created a display of books showcasing some of our novels:

novels

If you’re interested, please come down to the library and check a few of them out. If you can’t make it down, fill out a book request form and we’ll have it for you the next time we visit your school.

Book Spotlight!

Today’s Book Spotlight is the graphic novel Ghost World by Daniel Clowes.

Ghost-WorldBest friends Rebecca Doppelmeyer and Enid Coleslaw (yes, that’s her real last name!) have recently graduate high school and spend their summer hanging out around town, avoiding actual work and their looming futures. They hate everyone and everything and they don’t care who knows it. Most of their time is spent hanging around diners, shops, or with their sort-of-friend Josh who they bully for rides around town.

Rebecca and Enid have been friends forever, bound by their common disinterest with the world around them, but lately things have begun to change. Rebecca starts to drift away from the weird things the Enid likes and Enid is thinking of moving away to college without Rebecca. They start to argue. They start to fight. Neither one of them knows how to grow up from teenagers to adults with the other. Their story is told in a series of vignettes over the course of a summer. They each have decisions to make about how their lives will go on with or without each other.

If you like stories with snarky female protagonists, you’ll definitely love this one. It also has a heavy dose of angst and quirkiness that are sure to make for an interesting read. If you’d like us to bring this book to school for you, please fill out a book request form. If you’ve already read this book, let us know what you thought of it in the comments!