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Mysteries of the Magnificent Variety

Are you looking for a great mystery with some meat to it? Lewis Buzbee has written such awesome books. In Steinbeck's Ghost, 13-year-old Travis, unhappy about his family's recent move, finds he can still connect with his old life at the Salinas Library re-reading his favorite books. He enjoys Steinbeck — after all, Salinas is Steinbeck's hometown. But suddenly he begins seeing the characters spring to life. As he struggles to solve this mystery, budget cuts threaten his library. In looking for ways to save his haven, Travis uncovers many truths and stumbles into a story Steinbeck might be telling him to write.

Enter to Win: "What's Your Story?"

Tell us about your favorite book, story or character! One lucky winner drawn at random will receive a free personal audiobook to keep and your local library will recieve $500.00 worth of Children's or Teen audiobooks. Enter to win at: http://www.tapededitions.com/.
Hurry! Entry deadline is midnight March 15, 2011.

Moon Over Manifest

This year's Newbery Award winning book, Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool, presents a story within a story and is totally captivating. Historical fiction should always be this compelling. But you can read the rave reviews and plot summaries by clicking on the link to this item in our catalog. What I want to relate is why this superb novel touched me personally. One story take place in 1936, during The Great Depression. I grew up hearing stories and accounts of what it was like to live during this trying time from my parents and grandparents. My mother told about searching for stray pennies in couch cushions to buy a loaf a bread. She had to sleep on the floor so boarders could have the beds in the bedrooms.

Author Brian Jacques Has Passed

Beloved British author of the famous Redwall series, Brian Jacques, died of a heart attack in Liverpool, England on February 5th at the age of 71. Although best known for the Redwall animal fantasy series, which has been translated into 29 languages, he did write other books. Castaways of the Flying Dutchman is an awesome adventure series with magic, action, and enlightenment. I was really looking forward to book #4. Redwall fans will be glad to know, however, that the last book in that series, The Rogue Crew, will still be published this year. His novels have sold more then 20 million copies worldwide.

Ready for Another Grim Grimm Tale?

Follow Hansel and Gretel on their exciting, but bloody and gruesome, adventures in A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz. This book makes no bones about keeping to the original shock and horror of some of the Brothers Grimm's tales. It is not for the faint of heart or those looking for 'nice' endings. It is for readers who like humorous adaptations of old tales. Wit and suspense combine to make this a real page-turner. I can't give the ending away, but you won't be disappointed. If you can't get your hands on this book yet, try the Sisters Grimm series or some of the library's other fairy tale adaptations.

Turtle in Paradise

Meet Turtle, a charming eleven-year-old who is in under no illusions about the ways of the world. It is 1935 and her "starry-eyed," romantic mother (who is always falling in and out of love with total losers) ships Turtle off to relatives in Key West, Florida because her latest housekeeping job does not allow children. Turtle is thrown into a radically different way of life amid boisterous cousins, eccentric adults, hurricanes, scorpions, and windfall fruit. She isn't allowed into her cousins' Diaper Gang (no girls allowed) to earn spending money, but has high hopes she'll soon be on Easy Street like Little Orphan Annie when she discovers a pirate treasure map.

I Knew It Was An Awesome Book!!!

Check out the blog I posted on this super historical fiction book a couple months ago. It has been named a Newbery Honor Book. I know a winner when I read it! (Well… usually!)

One Crazy Summer

Rita Williams-Garcia's most recent book, One Crazy Summer, was named a Newbery Honor Book this week. So what is it about?
In the summer of 1968, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters are shipped off by their father to spend a month with their estranged mother in Oakland, CA. But their mother has no time for them. Instead of taking them to Disneyland as they had hoped, she sends them to the People's Center run by the Black Panthers so she can write poetry. Delphine is a remarkable older sister, wise beyond her years, and an expert at handling her siblings. Each girl has a distinct response to their mother and the ideas and people to which they are exposed. They develop a hard-won, tenuous connection with their mother and an awareness of injustice on a personal and universal level. With endearing characters, a vivid depiction of a pivotal moment in African-American history, and beautiful, poetic language, this is a book worth reading more than once. Readers will wonder what happens to the sisters when they return to their father in Brooklyn with their 'radical' new ideas about the world.

Author of 'Babe' Passes On

Dick King-Smith, whose book Babe the Gallant Pig inspired the hit 1995 movie Babe, died on January 4, 2011 at his home near Bath, England. He was 88. Mr. King-Smith was a farmer for 20 years before becoming a primary school teacher. He published more than 100 books — mostly about animals and often about pigs, his favorite. He once said of his animal stories, "I never dress my animals in clothes. They behave as animals should behave, with the exception that they open their mouths and speak the queen's English." His books have sold more than 15 million copies worldwide. Mr. King-Smith's first wife died in 2000. He is survived by his second wife, 3 children and 14 grandchildren.

Kudos for Clockwork Three!

Ready for an awesome page-turner with characters who just can't seem to avoid trouble no matter how good their intentions are? And when you get to the end you can't believe you won't meet up with them again in a sequel, despite your most ardent wishes? Well then, pick up The Clockwork Three, Matthew Kirby's debut novel. Giuseppe was taken from his family in Italy and sold to a ruthless master who forces him to work the streets as a musician and hand over the money he earns — or face dire consequences. Frederick was rescued from a rotten orphanage by a kind clockmaker and is very intelligent. He dreams of a creating a magnificent clockwork man, not unlike the one you might have read about in The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

Please Check Us Out!

Hey! Why aren't you checking us out?? Is it because we are behind the Children's Information Desk? We are put there to greet you when you come into the great Children's Department. Please! Take us home with you and read us. We are awesome! We are new! We are hot-off-the-press! We are the latest and greatest wonder-reads for kids of all ages! Marverlous mysteries, super sports stories, gripping ghost tales, animal adventures, historical happenings, fabulous fantasy, crazy comedies… we are all here. But we want to be there — at your house — with you enjoying us. So stop by and pick us up ASAP!

Super Science Site

Kids! Parents! Teachers! Check out TryScience. It is one awesome website that is entertaining and educational. Need an experiment idea for school? It has a deck of colorful cards with great experiments and all the info you need to complete the project. Want to visit a science museum or center while sitting at home? Just select one you would like to see from the deck of field trip cards. In the mood for some high-speed online gaming adventures? Just select from the adventure deck and go for it. You have your choice of nine languages to pick from. A search box is on every screen. Parents and teachers have their own sets of great options on pages created especially for them. Soon to come is a page for scientists and engineers. You have to see this site and poke around to really appreciate the just how much it offers. Do it now!

Tumtum & Nutmeg

Tumtum and Nutmeg are big heroes in tiny packages — they may even be the world's bravest mice. Arthur and Lucy, the children of Rose Cottage, are terribly neglected by their absentminded father and must be looked after. Just as the holidays are approaching, an evil neighboring mouse absconds with the children's Christmas gifts. Will they be able to retrieve them in time? More exciting adventures await them when they take a holiday seaside vacation replete with treasure maps and more evil mice. Even when their world gets chaotic, this is still a cozy read. Mouse-sized vehicles run smoothly, battles are epic, but weapons shoot sherbet powder and peppermint gas. Check out these heart-warming tales to be enjoyed by all during the holidays.

Tintin Returns!

The Adventures of Tintin are back in the library! They had been missing for a while, but all 23 adventures are again available for check-out from the Children's Graphic Novel Collection. Many adults fondly remember this series and want to share it with their children, as well as enjoy the adventures again themselves. Kids have always loved Tintin. Steven Speilberg must find Tintin pretty awesome since he is directing a film featuring Tintin (The Secret of the Unicorn) that will be released next year. Visit the official Tintin website and come to the library to check out our great new editions of this classic graphic novel series.

Museum of Thieves

Just when you thought there couldn't be… there is another great fantasy series in the works. It starts out with Museum of Thieves, an action-packed story filled with very strong, memorable characters. Goldie and Toadspit are two runaway 'thieves' from the city of Jewel. But you will learn that sometimes it behooves you to be a good thief. They are hidden by the 'good guys' from the 'bad guys' in the Museum of Dunt, which is a museum like you've never encountered before, so that they can help protect Jewel from a great evil that could destroy everything and everyone. Transmuting creatures, evil designs, magical mysteries, suspense, comic relief — this enticing world created by Lian Tanner has it all. You will be lucky to get your hands on a copy of the book or CD as the series is continued and word gets out!