Always a Bridesmaid (for Hire)

By nchcpl_admin,

“. . .being a bridesmaid was truly no different from being a warrior. The only difference is that bridesmaids go to battle in a periwinkle taffeta dress.”

Jen was one of the last of the single ladies among her 160 sorority sisters, friends, and family. She was never the bride but many, many times a bridesmaid.  And with all that experience and a philosophy of always being prepared, she was good at it.

It seems that being a bridesmaid can be pretty horrific. Jen describes one wedding where, two hours before the ceremony, she stumbled over a fellow bridesmaid in hysterics because her dress has been lost by the hotel.  In search of it, Jen ran into a hysterical mother-of-the-groom who had forgotten to hire the limousine. Still in search of the dress, she stumbled over a hysterical groom whose groomsmen were so hungover they couldn’t stand up.  Confronting the concierge about the dress, she found that the hotel had an available limousine.  While reviving the groomsmen she spotted periwinkle tulle protruding from under them.  And the bride never knew how close her wedding came to disaster.

Overwhelmed by invitations to be a bridesmaid from two friends on the same night, Jen had the thought that she could be a professional at this.

More on a whim than anything else, she placed an ad as a professional bridesmaid on Craig’s List. That was on a Friday, by Monday there was a news article shared by 15,672 readers. She received so many emails it shut down her account.  There were job offers, marriage proposals, and requests for jobs.  A business? Had she started a business?  Before the end of the week Jen had an offer from Good Morning America to film her first professional gig.

What does a professional bridesmaid do? She describes it as being human Xanax. Jen is there to help people: “I fall in love, just a little bit, with almost every person I meet.” After reading the book, search for Jen Glantz  on the web to see how she is doing now.

Review by Janet T., Reference Librarian

April News

By nchcpl_admin,

April is here with all of its rainy awesomeness. If the gray skies are getting you down, swing by the library and check out some of these upcoming teen programs:

4/6: Pizza and an Author–Skye chat with The Burning Sky author, Sherry Thomas, while enjoying hot pizza.

4/7: Minecraft Club–Destroy the creepers! Build the things! Teach Krystal how to make more stuff in PVP!

4/13: Bunny Mason Jars–With Easter mere days away, this craft will provide you a great place to stash your Easter candy.

4/20: Sharpie Canvas Art–Let your creative side loose with some Sharpies and canvas.

4/21: Minecraft Club–Add onto the things you did in the last Minecraft Club! Or join us for the first time and learn all about Minecrafting on a PC.

4/27: Money Smart Week: Paying for College–Learn how to pay for college without taking out a fortune in student loans. One person will win a $25 Visa Gift Card.

 

Enjoy the rest of Spring Break!

Krystal

 

The Lie Tree

By nchcpl_admin,

“The boat moved with a nauseous, relentless rhythm, like someone chewing on a rotten tooth” (The Lie Tree, Page 1, Sentence 1).

“It was not enough. All knowledge -any knowledge- called to Faith, and there was a delicious, poisonous pleasure in stealing it unseen.” Faith has a thirst for science and secrets that the rigid confines of her class cannot suppress. And so it is that she discovers her disgraced father’s journals, filled with the scribbled notes and theories of a man driven close to madness. Tales of a strange tree which, when told a lie, will uncover a truth: the greater the lie, the greater the truth revealed to the liar. Faith’s search for the tree leads her into great danger- for where lies seduce, truths shatter…” (Goodreads synopsis)

Krystal’s Review:

The first sentence sets the tone for the entire book. This book is dark and ominous–a murder mystery where lies are the answer to the truth.

Faith Sunderly wants nothing more than to be a female scientist in a world that tells her that female skulls are too small for intellectualism. Faith, her little brother, her mother, her father, and her uncle all move to a small island off the coast of England to get away from a scandal. While on the island, Faith’s father dies with most of the island believing it to be a suicide–and Faith knowing that it wasn’t. At the root of the mystery is a tree that Faith helped her father hide on the night of his death. This tree is Faith’s means to find out who murdered her father.

Faith manages to manipulate an entire island with a few well-placed lies. These lies serve multiple purposes. One: they help feed the tree, two: they serve revenge on specific people who have slighted her family, and three: they help flush out the murderer. If being a scientist doesn’t work out for Faith, I definitely think she’s got a future as a spy. I never even guessed as to who the murderer was, but I love how Hardinge tied everything together at the end.

Read-a-likes include: The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier; The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman; and The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters.

Let me know whether you like this book!

Krystal

Storm Runners

By nchcpl_admin,

Matt Stromsoe is a cop whose family was killed by a car bomb meant for him, ordered by his high school best friend, turned drug kingpin. Two years after the brutal bombing, Stromsoe is dragged from his drunken stupor by an old friend with the lure of a job as a PI. His first assignment is as bodyguard for local TV weatherwoman, Frankie Hatfield. It seems Frankie may have discovered a connected plot to auction off control of the rain in Southern California, and concludes every weathercast, “Rain is life.”

A ingenious opening sets up a poignant backstory for our two main characters that quickly segues and builds into detailed and clever character portraits. Parker further introduces a wide cast of morally grey characters with whom we are invited to sympathize. His spare writing does an excellent job of showing how circumstances and poor choices can drive people to a life of crime. Finally, Parker presents an unflinching look at prison life, as well as one of the largest and most violent drug trafficking gangs in the United States.

Review by staff member David D.

 

TumbleBook Library

By nchcpl_admin,

Tumblebooks

Attention homeschoolers! Parents with reluctant readers! Parents with readers who are gobbling up books! Parents with kids who complain about being bored! Parents who want something to entertain (and educate) their kids in the car! Welcome to TumbleBook Library! Check out these features:

TumbleBook Library can be accessed through Online Resources on our website. When at home, all you will have to do after clicking TumbleBook Library is enter your library card number.

TumbleBook Library also has a MyCloud feature that allows you to create and customize playlists that you can access from any computer in the world.

Have fun exploring the 1,000+ titles! If you have any questions, feel free ask us, we’re always happy to help.

March News

By nchcpl_admin,

March is here with all of its promises of Spring! We have quite the line-up of programs for this month.

On Thursday, March 2nd, we are Skype-chatting with Crank author Ellen Hopkins. Whether you’ve read the book or plan to read it, or just want to know more about it, swing by the TeenScape at around 3:45 (that’s when the pizza should be there) and ask the author your questions.

Other Thursday programs include “Beauty and the Beast” Day on March 16th, where you’ll make a duct tape rose to celebrate the new movie, and Shamrock Shake Day on March 23rd. For those of you who are new to teen events, all Thursday programs start at 4pm.

We have not one but TWO Saturday programs this month. The SAT practice test is Saturday, March 11th, from 10am-2pm. We still have a few spots open, so register now if you’d like to get some helpful practice in before the May SAT. If you’re taking the ACT, you’re also in luck…the ACT test practice is the following Saturday, March 18th, from 10am-2pm, and you can register here.

For all of you Minecraft lovers: March Minecraft Madness is here! That’s right, we have a Minecraft Club EVERY Friday through the month of March. Computers are limited, so be sure to register your spot.

That’s all for now,

Krystal

 

Why Knowledge Matters: Rescuing Our Children from Failed Educational Theories

By nchcpl_admin,

When looking for a good nonfiction book to read, my eyes were drawn to this title. I was curious as to what this person thought of our educational system. Anyone with children in school wants the best education possible for them. E. D. Hirsch, Jr., writes about critical issues in our children’s  education  and child development.

The book is written around six persistent problems of our education: students being over-tested; teachers being blamed; preschool students losing educational gains; curriculum being reduced to math and reading; demographic groups achievement gaps narrowed; and the reliance on standards that are not linked to a rigorous curriculum. Tests are an everyday happening at our schools.

Hirsch says that tests are reduced to measuring skills rather than content, and that students from disadvantaged backgrounds cannot develop the knowledge base to support high achievement. I don’t agree with everything he wrote about but I do agree with a lot of the content. According to Mr. Hirsch, elementary schools have shifted toward an overwhelming emphasis on reading as a skill. Students in the early elementary grades spend hours each day learning reading techniques while time spent on social studies, science, and the arts has been reduced. Reading tests go up but progress in knowledge is leveled-off or even declining at the middle and high school level.

This book gave me a lot to think about. Mr. Hirsch makes a good stand on what we need to do about our children’s education. I believe everyone should read this book to know what our choices are and what educational curriculum means to the future of our children.

Review by staff member Denise A.

 

 

 

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

By nchcpl_admin,

Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and very public fall from grace.

The only antidote to all this venom is his friendship with fellow outcasts Travis and Lydia. But as they are starting their senior year, Dill feels the coils of his future tightening around him. Dill’s only escapes are his music and his secret feelings for Lydia, neither of which he is brave enough to share. Graduation feels more like an ending to Dill than a beginning. But even before then, he must cope with another ending- one that will rock his life to the core (Goodreads synopsis).

 

“There were things Dillard Wayne Early Jr. dreaded more than the start of school at Forrestville High” (The Serpent King, Pg. 1, Sentence 1).

Krystal’s Review:

I went into this book not knowing what to expect–I really knew nothing about it except that I needed to read it for my book club and it had the word “serpent” in the title (which I wasn’t thrilled about). I did not like this book because books like this are not to be “liked” or “enjoyed”. This book was full of real-life sadness and horrible parenting…usually things I try to avoid in my own reading preferences. I love being in a book club because it forces me out of my comfort zone of YA fantasy.

With that being said, this book is beautifully written and I highly recommend that everybody read it. In fact, I would say it is one of the best books that I’ve read from 2016. Jeff Zentner has written characters who are so real that when you finish the book you will be emotionally traumatized–keep a box of tissues close by, I was a blubbering mess by the end. Lydia’s dad (the only father who is amazing and not terrible) has my favorite line in the entire book: “I want you to be careful in this world. My heart is wrapped up in you (pg 270).”

This book is about the power of: family, friendship, and hope. Read this book if you like: realistic fiction, books that make you cry, or books about outcasts who are trying to escape small-town life. Similar books include: Out of This Place by Emma Cameron, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, and You in Five Acts by Una LaMarche. As always, find me after you read the book to discuss! -Krystal

February News

By nchcpl_admin,

Good day, all! Have you seen the latest Courier-Times articles covering teen programs? If not, they are “To Fly With Dragons” and “Crafty Kids at TeenScape“. A huge “Thank you!” to The Courier-Times for their coverage of our teen programs.

We have two short weeks left of Winter Reading…if you want to win that virtual reality headset, get those reviews in! Winter Reading ends February 18th.

The TeenScape has a couple of delicious programs coming up this month–swing by the TeenScape on February 9th to make Secret Kiss Cookies and on February 16 for a Hot Chocolate Bar.

The TeenScape will be closed on these dates: February 10th, 13th, and 14th.

Stay warm out there!

Krystal

Make Reading Fun!

By nchcpl_admin,

It’s cold outside, the winds are blowing, and your children are “bored.” It’s time to find something to do. No matter what the weather is like outside, reading can be a fun outlet for kids. While opening a book might not be your child’s first choice of activities, it can become something they look forward to doing. Here are some ideas for fun reading experiences:

Another fun reading activity is participating in the Winter Reading program at the library. Our Candyland-themed program starts January 6. Pick up a reading log and start keeping track of what your child reads. For every 20 minutes your child reads, they color in a square on the log sheet. When they are halfway done, and when they complete the sheet, they get a prize. We’re hosting two movie showings, two STEAM events, a dance party, candy sushi making, and Winter Reading will end with a life-sized game of Candyland in the children’s department on February 18. Find full details on these events here: http://www.nchcpl.org/events-for-kids-families/

On What Grounds

By nchcpl_admin,

If you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, why do they have such distinctive cover art? The whole point behind the cover is to get you to buy it after all. On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle has, what I have been assured is a very typical cozy mystery cover; a genre I never knew existed before. So I was skeptical but interested enough by the cover to give it a shot.

In this book, Clare Cosi left New York and an unhappy marriage to raise her daughter in New Jersey. Now, ten years later she returns to New York and her old job as the manager of the historic Village Blend coffeehouse. Before she even settles down, she finds her assistant manager unconscious at the bottom of the stairs to the storeroom of the shop. Was it just an accident? Or was her assistant attacked?

Coyle interleaves her story with a heaping helping of coffee related tidbits and trivia. The premise, a murder in cozy coffee shop is a bit distressing, however being a cozy mystery there was never a strong feeling of danger for any of the characters. The mystery is satisfying with many twists and turns to keep you guessing.  Outside of the central mystery, a romance brews between the main character Cleo and one of the detectives on the case, a delightful shot of espresso in this coffee flavored mystery.

In the end, this book was a pleasant change of pace for a typically non-cozy reader. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy a quick read. Personally, this was not my cup of coffee, then again I’ve always been a tea drinker. It is perfect for cozy mystery lovers and coffee addicts, particularly those looking to get into a light new series.

Reviewed by Wimberly W.

Fairest

By nchcpl_admin,

I could not put this book down! Fairest by Marissa Meyer is the prequel to the Lunar Chronicles. This is the story of Queen Levana and her bloody rise to power on Luna. Seeing how the main antagonist came to be so vile and cruel is totally awesome!!! 10/10, would read again! -Bre