Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New books coming soon to a school near you!

Look what was waiting for me today!

The cat can't read so he's mostly interested in the box but I assure you, there are some great titles in here.

With some assistance from my helpful sidekick,  I'll surely have it done by the time school starts.  Next month I'll post cover shots and summaries of all the new books for the fall so be sure to check back here for updates!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Book Talk! Akata Witch

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

Okay, I'll confess something to you all.  I initially only picked up this book to read because it was one of the last books to be read and reviewed by Diana Wynne Jones, a very talented author who passed away a couple months ago.  If you're familiar with Howl's Moving Castle, she wrote that and the sequel Castle in the Air.  She also wrote The Enchanted Glass (which is a lot of fun and available in the library).

Oops, off topic- back to Akata Witch...

...anyway so I bought this book for the library because Diana Wynne Jones (have I mentioned how amazing she is?) wrote an excellent review about how awesome it was and how everyone should read it.

It seems like a lot of magic and fantasy books these days take off in the vein of Harry Potter.  And I love those books but sometimes you don't realize the sameness of them all until you find something new and special.  Akata Witch takes place in Africa, Nigeria to be specific, and the magic is so different and real that you find yourself completely sucked in and believing.

Sunny is twelve years old, she moved to Nigeria from America five years before. Her parents are Nigerian but she was born in New York City and finds herself caught between two worlds, is she Nigerian or American?  She also has to deal with the fact that she is an albino which gives her pale skin that burns instantly, (an unfortunate circumstance if you live in Africa!) and coarse yellow hair.  She's considered an outcast from her schoolmates until one day she gets in fight, makes a couple enemies but also a couple new friends.  And that's only the beginning, pretty soon she discovers that she is one of the 'Leopard People', a free agent with strong magic abilities that she must learn to harness because there is a killer on the loose who is stealing young children.

The magic is incredibly complex and exciting and steeped in African mythology.  There may not be wands but there is something just as good (I won't give it away but it's pretty cool and makes a lot more sense then a wand...)

This book is special, anyone interested in magic or sorcery or Nigerian culture should definitely check it out. And even if you're not interested in those things, it's a great book about people thrown together who are completely different but learn to be the best of friends. And if you're not interested in that, well it's an intense story with some nail-biting life or death action.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Luka and the Fire of Life animated films

Middle School English students have a lot of required reading.  And one (as you all know!) is Salman Rushdie's Haroun and the Sea of Stories.  Mr. Rushdie is also famous for writing a lovely book called Luka and the Fire of Life.

Students at Kingston University in London were asked to create short films animating Luka's story.  The winning entry is here:

There were three runners-up as well.

You can read the full article posted in the Guardian here.

If these films have peaked your interest in taking a further look at Luka and the Fire of Life, make sure you stop by and see Mrs. Julsonnet when you get back to school! We have a new copy in the library waiting to be checked out.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summer fun in the library!

There has been a lot of stuff happening in the library this summer!

 Can anyone spot Mrs. J's desk under all those books?

All of  these books are here because they aren't on the shelves!

Stay tuned for further developments, what else will the library get up to?