Thursday, September 29, 2005

Maus I: A Survivor's Tale

For years I've looked over at the book Maus: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman. Just a glance at the cover reveals that this is a book about the Nazis. There is actual another subtitle on the cover "My father bleeds history," which must refer to the author's father who lived this story and told it to his son in installments over a period of time. All this was after Spiegelman's mother died so he was only able to get his father's part of the story.

This is a powerful story because it's written in the voice of a survivor. He describes the horrors of family members going to camps for extermination by the Nazis. Friends trying to hide Jews in the cellars, attics and sheds. He lives through having little food while in hiding but ultimately ends up in the camps which is where the story ends. The rest of the story continues in Maus II.

Monday, September 26, 2005

still reading graphic novels

So, instead of reading the suggested titles for the RI Teen Book Award committee meeting I'm going to on Wednesday afternoon, I spent the weekend reading graphic novels! Both books were suggested by a someone who reads a lot of these so I figured they would be worth my time and they were.

First I read The Tale of One Bad Rat by Bryan Talbot. This one has been on the shelf for a few years. It was first published in 1995 and it remains a good read. In this book we meet a girl who has run away from home and is living on the streets of London. Through a series of flashbacks we find out she was sexually abused by her father and that was why she fled. She loves Beatrix Potter books (The Tale of Peter Rabbit) and eventually makes her way to the Lake Country in England where Potter lived and wrote.

The other title I read was Sojourn: From the Ashes by Ron Marz. It's very much a fantasy tale like Lord of the Rings but with a strong woman empowered with saving the kingdom. Unfortunately the library doesn't own the sequels to this one but it was very good. Amazing illustrations too.

Next up: Meridian,Fray and The Escapist.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Strangers in Paradise

Just finished reading Strangers in Paradise by Terry Moore. I picked up Pocket Book 1 at the ALA conference last January, added the book to the graphic novel collection but never read it. Recently I had someone tell me the series is good so I went ahead and took it home with me to read. The story of two friends, Katchoo and Francine, and all the troubles in their lives quickly drew me into the book. The artwork is very good. This one is more traditional, not Japanese style at all.

Now I've ordered a few more titles for the collection and I'm looking forward to reading more. I want to know what happens to these girls and their friends.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Ai Yori Aoshi

After having kids come in nearly everyday asking for a variety of manga titles, I finally took the time to read one the other day. Ai Yori Aoshi by Ko Fumizuki was a request by one of the regular teen patrons who comes into the library. So, while it was sitting on my desk, I read it.

First it took me a while to get the hang of reading right to left. I'm not a big fan of comic books although I do read the comic strips in the newspaper each day. As I got into the book, I liked it. I'm waiting for another suggestion for a title to read, so if you have one, let me know!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Shackleton's Stowaway

I've just started reading Shackleton's Stowaway by Victoria McKernan because it's a title to be considered for the 2007 RI Teen Book Award list. I've been reading a lot of teen fiction lately but this one is really different because it's historical fiction. Using real accounts of Ernest Shackleton's trip to the South Pole, the story is told about a young, inexperienced sailor who ends up stowing away on this fateful trip.

I've read another book geared for kids about Shackleton. It's called Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World by Jennifer Armstrong which was also really good. I've talked about that book to kids because it's so fascinating to me that although these men were shipwrecked, they all lived.

A few days ago I finished reading Invisible by Pete Hautman, another considered title for RITBA 2007. It was very creepy because during the whole story, it appears that this geeky boy has a best friend who is very popular and the two talk out their bedroom windows at night. The boy is obsessed with building an elaborate model railroad. He doesn't fit in at school and problems occur. It's an interesting story and one that I'm sure most teens will like.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Well, I never thought I would read a vampire story but I did! Twilight by Stephenie Meyer was so different from anything else I've read lately. Who knew falling in love with a vampire could be so difficult? Not only does Edward Cullen have to control his blood thirst for Isabella, just his association with her puts another vampire on her trail!

After finishing Twilight, over the weekend, watching Good Will Hunting, again, and some Red Sox, I did find time to begin and get about halfway into Rebel Angels by Libba Bray. There are many more mysteries being uncovered in this sequel to 2003's A Great and Terrible Beauty.

Just had a girl ask me about the next Harry Potter movie. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire will open Friday, November 18th. It will certainly be interesting to see how they handle the Quidditch Cup and the Triwizard Tournament!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Rebel Angels

Well, yesterday I really wanted to start reading the sequel to A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray but I held off so I could finish my other book, the previously mentioned Twilight by Stepehenie Meyer. Rebel Angels is longer than the first one but I'm guessing it will be a page-turner as Gemma Doyle and her friends try and figure out where the power of The Order comes from and who will find help them solve this mystery.

Set in the year 1896 at a girls boarding school in England, the sequel appears to pick up exactly where the other left off. The first one had something happen at the end that I couldn't have predicted. Well, actually two things. As I was listening, I had to turn it off for a while so I could figure out where I was going since I was trying to follow directions and I didn't want to miss any of the story!

Of course I switched from Victorian England to present day Oregon where a teen girl has gone to live with her father for the first time in many years. It is there she meets the mysterious Edward Cullen. He captivates her but the question is, does he want to suck her blood because it's clear that Edward is a vampire.