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Heavy Medal: Mock Newbery Awards

August 4, 2014

Mock Newbery Award
The Newbery Medal is awarded each year to “the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.” The Newbery Medal is to children’s literature what the Oscar is to the Academy Awards. In plain English: This award is given to the best chapter book of the year. Some popular Newbery award-winning titles include “The One and Only Ivan” by Katherine Applegate, “The Giver” by Lois Lowry and “The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman.

About our Mock Newbery Program:

Throughout the fall, we are inviting youth in grades 4-8 to join us twice per month to discuss this year’s Newbery finalists. Library staff will facilitate the sessions along with Nancy Baumann, a local educator and previous Newbery committee member. This is the third year that the library has offered this unique book club opportunity and we hope that you will consider signing up.

How to get involved:

Sessions will be held from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at the Columbia Public Library on the following Wednesdays: Sept. 10, Oct. 1, 15, 29, Nov. 5, 19, Dec. 3, 17. Registration begins Tuesday, September 2. To sign-up, please call (573) 443-3161.

Originally published at Heavy Medal: Mock Newbery Awards.

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2015 Gateway Award Nominees

July 31, 2014

2015 Gateway Award NomineesThe Gateway Readers Award honors a young adult novel that is selected by Missouri high school students. Even though this award is administered by the Missouri Association of School Librarians (MASL), it is the responsibility of Missouri teens to vote on the actual winner. This year’s finalists were announced last December and voting will take place in March 2015.

This year’s nominees include several dystopian books such as “Starters” by Lissa Price and “Article 5” by Kristen Simmons. There are also several promising realistic fiction titles including “Something Like Normal” by Trish Doller and “Boy21” by Mathew Quick.

My personal favorite, so far, is David Levithan’s “Every Day.” He and John Green, author of “The Fault in Our Stars,” teamed up several years ago to write a fantastic book called “Will Grayson, Will Grayson.” It’s not surprising to find both accomplished writers on this year’s Gateway nominee list.

Don’t Turn Around” by Michelle Gagnon
After waking up on an operating table with no memory of how she got there, Noa must team up with computer hacker Peter to stop a corrupt corporation with a deadly secret.

Starters” by Lissa Price
To support herself and her younger brother in a future Beverly Hills, 16-year-old Callie hires her body out to seniors who want to experience being young again, and she lives a fairy-tale life until she learns that her body will commit murder, unless her mind can stop it.

Something Like Normal” by Trish Doller
When Travis returns home from Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother has stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he has nightmares of his best friend getting killed. However, when he runs into Harper, a girl who has despised him since middle school, life actually starts looking up.

Of Poseidon” by Anna Banks
Galen, prince of the Syrena, is sent to land to find a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. He finds Emma and after several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, Galen becomes convinced Emma holds the key to his kingdom.

Article 5” by Kristen Simmons
New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned. The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes. Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow. That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings, the only boy Ember has ever loved.

Croak” by Gina Damico
A delinquent 16-year-old girl is sent to live with her uncle for the summer, only to learn that he is a Grim Reaper who wants to teach her the family business.

Burning Blue” by Paul Griffin
Beautiful, smart Nicole is disfigured when acid thrown is in her face. She befriends Jay, a young computer hacker, while visiting the school psychologist’s office, and Jay resolves to find her attacker.

The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green
Sixteen-year-old Hazel, a stage IV thyroid cancer patient, has accepted her terminal diagnosis until a chance meeting with a boy at cancer support group forces her to reexamine her perspective on love, loss, and life.

Trafficked” by Kim Purcell
A 17-year-old Moldovan girl whose parents have been killed is brought to the United States to work as a slave for a family in Los Angeles.

The Night She Disappeared” by April Henry
Told from various viewpoints, Gabie and Drew set out to prove that their missing co-worker Kayla is not dead. Meanwhile, the police search for her body and the man who abducted her.

Every Day” by David Levithan
Every morning A wakes in a different person’s body, in a different person’s life, learning over the years to never get too attached, until he wakes up in the body of Justin and falls in love with Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon.

Revived” by Cat Patrick
Having been brought back from the dead repeatedly by a top-secret super drug called Revive, 15-year-old Daisy meets people worth living for and begins to question the heavy-handed government controls she has dealt with for eleven years.

Boy21” by Mathew Quick
Finley, an unnaturally quiet boy who is the only white player on his high school’s varsity basketball team, lives in a dismal Pennsylvania town that is ruled by the Irish mob. When his coach asks him to mentor a troubled African American student who has transferred there from an elite private school in California, he finds that they have a lot in common.

Dark Eyes” by William Richter
Adopted from a Russian orphanage by a wealthy New York family then growing into a rebellious youth, 15-year-old Wally resolves to find her birth mother who stole a fortune from her murderous, dark-eyed father.

Breaking Beautiful” by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
Allie is overwhelmed when her boyfriend, Trip, dies in a car accident, leaving her scarred and unable to recall what happened that night, but she feels she must uncover the truth, even if it could hurt the people who tried to save her from Trip’s abuse.

Originally published at 2015 Gateway Award Nominees.

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Program Preview: “The Giver” Celebration

July 28, 2014

The GiverThe Giver” by Lois Lowry was first published over 20 years ago. Since then, generations of middle school students have read this short, but powerful, novel. Sometimes it is requisite reading, and other times it is discovered after reading today’s dystopian bestsellers like “The Hunger Games” or “Divergent.”

The film adaptation of this Newbery award-winning book is set to release on August 15. To celebrate, the Columbia Public Library will be hosting a book discussion of “The Giver” with some fun related activities. Join us in the Children’s Program Room from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 5. Registration is required. To sign-up, please call (573) 443-3161. Ages 10 and older.

In the meantime, be sure to check out the remaining books in “The Giver” Quartet: “Gathering Blue,” “Messenger” and “Son.” Each book invites you to explore Jonas’ society through the eyes of different person, each with a special talent or history that sets them apart.

 

Originally published at Program Preview: “The Giver” Celebration.

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Summer Reading Ends August 2

July 23, 2014

GearsOnly two weeks remain for you to complete your Teen Summer Reading Challenge! Stop by any of our three libraries or bookmobile stops with your completed punch card by Saturday, August 2 for a free book. Finishers’ names will also be entered into a drawing for a black & white Kindle eReader and other surprises! If you have questions, please feel free to leave a comment, email us at teen@dbrl.org or call (573) 443-3161. It has been a pleasure for our staff to work with the over 300 teens who participated in this year’s program!

Originally published at Summer Reading Ends August 2.

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Program Preview: Color Explosion

July 21, 2014

Color Art

The Southern Boone County Public Library will be hosting “Color Explosion” on Friday, August 1 from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m. Learn about the science of dyes and mixing and matching color while you create your own tie-dyed t-shirt. We’ll supply the shirts. All ages.

If you consider yourself crafty, you might check out these fun and artistic titles the next time you visit the library. They provide great inspiration for your next project.

Originally published at Program Preview: Color Explosion.

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Program Preview: Doctor Who Celebration

July 17, 2014

TardisCalling all Doctor Who fans! Jump in your TARDIS and visit the library circa 2014 to join us for games, trivia and activities based on the British science fiction TV series. A sonic screwdriver may be involved. Costumes optional.

Teens and adults can celebrate at the Southern Boone County Public Library on Tuesday, July 29 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Fans of all ages, including children, are invited to celebrate at the Callaway County Public Library on Thursday, July 31 from 6:30-8 p.m.

Originally published at Program Preview: Doctor Who Celebration.

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Tween Recommended Reads

July 10, 2014

Tween Reading FoxThe Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has created a Tween Recommended Reads booklist, intended to engage and encourage reading among those ages 10 to 12-years-old. This list has some familiar award-winning titles such as “The False Prince” by Jennifer A. Nielsen as well as some new gems such as “The Lions of Little Rock” by Kristin Levine.

You can pick up a printed copy of this booklist at any of our three branches, or download one directly from the ALSC website. How many have you read? Do you have any personal favorites? Let us know in the comments below.

Almost Home” by Joan Bauer
Sugar and her mother try to make a new start in Chicago, but with unanticipated struggles, they find themselves homeless. Joined by a rescue dog named Shush, Sugar learns to make the most of her new life.

Doll Bones” by Holly Black
Until recently, Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been playing an ongoing game with dolls and action figures. When Poppy takes the queen, an antique bone china doll, she is haunted in her dreams by the ghost of a girl. Can the friends stop the haunting?

Drama” by Raina Telgemeier
Callie has Broadway dreams for her school’s production of “Moon over Mississippi.” Will the drama on and off the stage prevent the show from going on?

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library” by Chris Grabenstein
Kyle and 11 other 12-year-olds win a contest to spend the night in the brand-new, high-tech library built by famous game maker Luigi Lemoncello. To be able to leave, they learn, they must find a secret escape out of the library using only what’s in it.

The False Prince” by Jennifer A. Nielsen
A devious nobleman engages four orphans in a brutal competition where treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that may prove more dangerous than all of the lies put together.

Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms” by Lissa Evans
Great Uncle Tony disappeared 50 years ago, but 10-year-old Stuart picks up the trail as if it were yesterday, and he is soon on a quest to follow the clues to his great-uncle’s fantastic mechanical magic workshop.

The Hypnotists” by Gordon Korman
Jackson Opus is a hypnotist who can make anyone bend to his whim. When Jax joins an elite group of hypnotists, he finds himself part of a conspiracy that has Jax wondering just whom he can trust.

In a Glass Grimmly” by Adam Gidwitz
Princess Jill joins up with cousin Jack and a frog; they set off on a life-or-death quest to find the “seeing glass,” encountering goblins, mermaids, and a monster. Gory, hilarious, smart, and lyrical.

Jinx” by Sage Blackwood
A wizard’s apprentice sets off on a quest through the dangerous Urwald, a magical forest full of witches and were-creatures, and discovers he plays a key role in its survival.

Keeper of the Lost Cities” by Shannon Messenger
Twelve-year-old supersmart Sophie learns that she is actually an elf. Thrust into unfamiliar elven society, she investigates her origins and the deadly fires sweeping the human world.

Liar and Spy” by Rebecca Stead
Georges adjusts to moving from a house to an apartment, his father’s efforts to start a new business, his mother’s extra shifts as a nurse, being picked on at school, and Safer, a boy who wants his help spying on another resident of their building.

The Lions of Little Rock” by Kristin Levine
In 1958 school integration was a political battle. Marlee is smart, but terrified to say things aloud in public. Then she befriends—and talks (!) to—Lizzie, the new girl in her middle school. Lizzie abruptly leaves school. Why? Marlee wants her friend back.

Odessa Again” by Dana Reinhardt
Odessa’s dad is remarrying, but shouldn’t that mean marrying her mother again? Stomping around her attic bedroom, she discovers a loophole that allows her to travel back hours in time. What would you do over if you could?

The One and Only Ivan” by Katherine Applegate
Ivan is a gorilla who lives at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. When baby elephant Ruby arrives, Ivan realizes they deserve better than their miserable environment. How does a gorilla execute a plan to give Ruby and himself a better life?

P. S. Be Eleven” by Rita Williams-Garcia
The world is changing like crazy in the 1960s. Delphine’s mother reminds her (by mail) not to grow up too fast, to remember to just be 11. But each adult in Delphine’s life has a different idea of what that means.

The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee: An Origami Yoda Book” by Tom Angleberger
Can Sara’s advice, provided by an origami Wookiee, possibly replace Dwight and the all-knowing Origami Yoda at McQuarrie Middle School?

Shadow on the Mountain” by Margi Preus
Inspired by a true story, this adventure set in Norway during World War II tells the story of a young boy who joins the Resistance, must learn whom to trust, and risks his life for the cause.

The Spindlers” by Lauren Oliver
Accompanied by an eccentric, human-size rat, Liza embarks on a perilous quest through an underground realm to save her brother, Patrick, who has been stolen by the evilest of creatures—the spiderlike spindlers.

Splendors and Glooms” by Laura Amy Schlitz
Orphans Lizzie Rose and Parsefall must save their friend Clara from a centuries-old curse that was put upon her by the devious puppeteer Gaspare Grisini.

Starry River of the Sky” by Grace Lin
Rendi, a runaway, lands at a remote inn and reluctantly exchanges his labor for room and board. Only he hears the sky moaning and notices the moon is missing. When storyteller Madame Chang arrives, Rendi faces his problems, and helps solve the village’s problem.

A Tangle of Knots” by Lisa Graff
Not everyone has a “Talent,” but orphaned Cady does; she knows what each person’s ideal cake is, and can bake it perfectly. Her special ability helps solve the interconnected mysteries of her past and present, but it also puts her in danger of losing her special “Talent.”

Three Times Lucky” by Sheila Turnage
In Tupelo Landing, the Colonel, who rescued and adopted Mo when she washed up during a hurricane as a baby, owns a café. But who is Mo’s real mom? All is well—until a neighbor turns up dead, and Mo’s best friend, Dale, is a suspect.

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp” by Kathi Appelt
Twelve-year-old Chap and Swamp Scouts (young raccoons) Bingo and J’miah must wake the ancient Sugar Man in order to save the swamp from a greedy land developer. But he might be really cranky.

Wonder” by R. J. Palacio
Ten-year-old Auggie, born with extreme facial abnormalities, transitions from homeschooling to fifth grade at Beecher Prep. Can his classmates and others get past Auggie’s extraordinary face to see the great, normal kid he is?

Originally published at Tween Recommended Reads.

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Books for Dudes – Superhero Science

July 4, 2014

Radiation. Genetic modification. Mutation. These words are often found in science textbooks. They are also frequently found in comic books and graphic novels! While the stories are often fantastical, the characters themselves owe much of their origins and adventures to science, often reflecting cutting-edge science at the time of publication.

DaredevilDaredevil: Vol 1, by Mark Waid,” is a great starting point for the title character. Hit by a radioactive substance as a child, Matt Murdock lost his site but increased his remaining senses to the point where he has radar vision. Mark Waid deftly describes how his remaining senses function, and the art does a good job of demonstrating his powers. (The cover showing different shapes made of sounds is ingenious.)

The “Hulk: Season 1” graphic novel is a great one-shot introduction to the character, and shows how Bruce Banner was turned into the Incredible Hulk during a gamma bomb ground zero test. While Bruce Banner is a man of science, the Hulk is a hero/monster of destruction. Like many characters, radiation is a big factor due to the nuclear threat of the 1960s when many comic heroes debuted.

Batman Science of Batmobiles and BatcyclesBatman Science Books are new to the library! Whether you want to learn the science behind Batman’s utility belt or how his batmobile and batcycle are engineered, these books are for you! You can even find secrets about his costume! Hopefully his rogue’s gallery won’t be reading these books anytime soon…

Fantastic Four: Season 1” graphic novel is another great origin story. See how the Fantastic Four got their powers during a space expedition and why Mr. Fantastic is smartest person in the Marvel universe.

How fast is lightning? Just ask Flash! Police scientist Barry Allen was thrown into chemicals during a lightning explosion, and the world’s fastest speedster was created. There are lots of great Flash graphic novels, but I might start with “The Flash: Volume 1, Move Forward.” Like many superheroes, Flash died and came back (with a pretty respectable gap in-between). To see how he came back to the land of the living, pick up “The Flash: The Rebirth.”

Spider-man origin storyPeter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider (or sometimes referred to as “genetically-modified spider in more modern comics), and Spider-man was born! There are a ton of excellent graphic novels to choose from…”Spider-man: Season One” is a good origin story, “Spider-man: Blue” is a good character-driven story (especially if you watched 2014′s “Amazing Spider-man 2″ movie), and “Ultimate Spider-man: Volume 1, Power and Responsibility” is the start of a series setting Spider-man’s origin in modern times.

Dark Phoenix SagaMutants are comics’ big exploration of race, prejudice, and discrimination. (Again, X-Men debuted in the 1960s, when race was a much bigger issue.) Sometimes celebrated but more often feared, the X-Men are known by all. There are a LOT of mutants to keep track of, but my library picks are “X-Men: Season One” (obligatory origin story), “X-Men: the Dark Phoenix Saga” (still one of the best X-Men stories after over 30 years), “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (especially if you’re a fan of the 2014 movie), and “Astonishing X-Men: Vol. 1, Gifted” (written by Buffy and Firefly creator Joss Whedon!).

There are tons more science-centric characters out there, such as Atom, Iron Man, Swamp Thing, and many others. Science can be pretty fantastic – whether in real life or in the comics! Enjoy!

Originally published at Books for Dudes – Superhero Science.

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Reminder for Summer Reading Finishers

July 3, 2014

KindleAs part of the Teen Summer Reading Challenge, we have asked area young adults to read for 20 hours, share three book reviews and complete seven fun library-related activities. Beginning Monday, July 7, you can bring your completed punch card to any of our three library branches or bookmobile stops and claim your free book. We will have a wide selection of juvenile and young adult titles for to choose from.

Best of all, if you finish, your name will also be entered into a drawing for a free black and white Kindle eReader! This program is ongoing through August 2, so there is still a month of good reading time left.

Originally published at Reminder for Summer Reading Finishers.

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