September is …?

I consulted my list of wacky (and not-so-wacky) holidays and discovered that September is:

  • Library Card Sign-Up Month
  • National Sewing Month
  • National Piano Month
  • International Square Dancing Month

All MoHi students already have a library card (aka student ID card) and I really can’t see putting together a display for any of the three other “months.”  Square dancing? Really??

So, what should we feature in the library for September?  Things have settled into what passes for normal around here, and the display case is empty.  What should I put in it?  What’s a good theme for September?

Got Tdap?

This image depicts a young boy who presented t...

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Have you gotten your Tdap immunization?  Have you brought proof of immunization to the Nurse’s office?  If not, hurry up!  The deadline to turn in proof of Tdap immunization is NEXT THURSDAY, September 8, 2011.  If you don’t comply, you will not be able to attend school as of September 9, 2011.  That’s right: no shot, no school.

PLEASE, if you haven’t gotten immunized yet, do it soon.  MoHi has the highest compliance rate in the district (91%) but that means over 300 students have still not gotten their shots.  This is very important to help prevent the spread of the whooping cough (pertussis) virus, which is a serious public health risk.

And besides, if you can’t come to school, you can’t be in the running for the BRAND NEW CAR being awarded for perfect attendance! :)

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Cropped version of topiary Welcome Sign at the...

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The Huntington Beach team won the Little League World Series this weekend!  Let’s celebrate with some great baseball books:

Center field by Robert Lipsyte (FIC Lipsyte) — Mike lives for baseball and hopes to follow his idol into the major leagues one day, but he is distracted by a new player who might take his place in center field, an ankle injury, problems at home, and a growing awareness that something sinister is happening at school.

Mexican whiteboy by Matt de la Peña (FIC Pena) — Danny, who is tall and skinny but has a talent for pitching a fastball, cannot seem to fit in at school in San Diego, where his Mexican and white heritage causes people to judge him before he even speaks.

Heat by Mike Lupica (FIC Lupica) — Pitching prodigy Michael Arroyo is on the run from social services after being banned from playing Little League baseball because rival coaches doubt he is only twelve years old and he has no parents to offer them proof.

Cats Rule, Dogs Drool

Cover of "Stop in the Name of Pants! (Con...

Cover via Amazon

Today is National Dog Day, which makes me think … why are there so many days about dogs?  What about the cats?  Cats deserve equal time! 

So, without further ado, some books about cats:

White cat by Holly Black (FIC Black) — When Cassel Sharpe discovers that his older brothers have used him to carry out their criminal schemes and then stolen his memories, he figures out a way to turn their evil machinations against them.

Feral by Bev Cooke (FIC Cooke) — A street kid and a small cat experience fear, hunger, and pain in a dangerous subterranean world.

Angus, thongs and full-frontal snogging by Louise Rennison (FIC Rennison) — Presents the humorous journal of a year in the life of a fourteen-year-old British girl who tries to reduce the size of her nose, stop her mad cat from terrorizing the neighborhood animals, and win the love of handsome hunk Robbie.  Also the rest of the series: On the bright side, I’m now the girlfriend of a sex god; Knocked out by my nunga-nungas; Dancing in my nuddy-pants; Away laughing on a fast camel; Then he ate my boy entrancers; Startled by his furry shorts; Love is a many trousered thing; Stop in the name of pants!; and Are these my basoomas I see before me?

The amazing Maurice and his educated rodents by Terry Pratchett (FIC Pratchett) — A talking cat, intelligent rats, and a strange boy cooperate in a Pied Piper scam until they try to con the wrong town and are confronted by a deadly evil rat king.

The wild road by Gabriel King (FIC King) — Tag, a pampered kitten, ventures outside his world of comfort and privilege in order to answer a call to bring the King and Queen of cats to Tintagel before the spring equinox, not realizing he will also have to face a human enemy who wants the Queen for evil purposes.

No one noticed the cat by Anne McCaffrey (FIC McCaffrey) — Regent Mangan Tighe, fully aware of the exact moment he will die, plans for the smooth ascension to the throne of his young prince, Jamas, by leaving behind Niffy the cat, an extraordinary guardian who, in her own particular way, will provide vital guidance to the new ruler of Esphania.



Lipstick used to make a symbolic kiss.

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Today is Kiss and Make Up Day, so here are ten books with “kiss” in the title:

  • A kiss in time by Alex Flinn (FIC Flinn) — Sixteen-year-old Princess Talia persuades seventeen-year-old Jack, the modern-day American who kissed her awake after a 300-year sleep, to take her to his Miami home, where she hopes to win his love before the witch who cursed her can spirit her away.
  • Kiss me kill me by Lauren Henderson (FIC Henderson) — Longing to be part of the in-crowd at her exclusive London school, orphaned, sixteen-year-old Scarlett, a trained gymnast, eagerly accepts an invitation to a party whose disastrous outcome changes her life forever.
  • Kiss & blog by Alyson Noel (FIC Noel) — Best friends Winter and Sloane make a pact to do whatever it takes to get noticed in their sophomore year, but once Sloane is taken up by the “popular” crowd, she quickly leaves Winter behind, and Winter must consider the consequences when she decides to take revenge by airing all of Sloane’s secrets on an anonymous blog.
  • Kissing Kate by Lauren Myracle (FIC Myracle) — Sixteen-year-old Lissa’s relationship with her best friend changes after they kiss at a party and Lissa does not know what to do, until she gets help from an unexpected new friend.
  • Naomi & Ely’s no kiss list by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (FIC Cohn) — Although they have been friends and neighbors all their lives, straight Naomi and gay Ely find their relationship severely strained during their freshman year at New York University.
  • Frogs & French kissesby Sarah Mlynowski (FIC Mlynowski) — Love spells run amok in New York City when high school freshman Rachel asks here younger sister, who is a witch, for magical help in winning the affection of heartthrob Raf Kosravi. 
  • If we kiss by Rachel Vail (FIC Vail) — Fourteen-year-old Charlie feels guilty because she has a crush on her best friend’s boyfriend, and her loyalties become even more confused when she discovers that her mother is dating the boyfriend’s father
  • Kissing the rain by Kevin Brooks (FIC Brooks) — Fifteen-year-old Moo Nelson, shy, overweight, and bullied by his classmates, finds his life spinning out of control after he witnesses a car chase and a fight that results in a murder.
  • Kissing doorknobs by Terry Spencer Hesser (FIC Hesser) — Fourteen-year-old Tara describes how her increasingly strange compulsions begin to take over her life and affect her relationships with her family and friends.
  • Silver kiss by Annette Curtis Klause (FIC Klause) — Zoe is wary when, in the dead of night, the beautiful but frightening Simon comes to her house. Simon seems to understand the pain of loneliness and death and Zoe’s brooding thoughts about her dying mother. But Simon is one of the undead, a vampire, seeking revenge for the gruesome death of his mother three hundred years ago.

Move Over, Vampires …

Cover of "Hush, Hush"

Cover of Hush, Hush

Today is Be an Angel Day, so we’re highlighting one of the newest fads in YA fiction: angels.  Because vampires are so over …

  • Hush, hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (FIC Fitzpatrick) — High school sophomore Nora has always been very cautious in her relationships, but when Patch, who has a dark side she can sense, enrolls at her school, she is mysteriously and strongly drawn to him, despite warnings from her best friend, the school counselor, and her own instincts.
  • Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick (FIC Fitzpatrick) — Nora, concerned that she seems to be in danger more than the average high school student, and having decided she relies too much on her guardian angel, Patch, sets out to investigate what really happened the night her father left for Portland, Maine, and never came back. 
  • Fallen by Lauren Kate (FIC Kate) — Suspected in the deathof her boyfriend, 17-year-old Luce is sent to a Savannah, Georgia, reform school where she meets two intriguing boys and learns the truth about the strange shadows that have always haunted her. 
  • Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith (FIC Smith) — When Miranda’s guardian angel Zachary recklessly saves her from falling into an open grave and dying, the result is that she turns into a vampire and he is left to try to reinstate his reputation by finally doing the right thing.

Well, okay, that last one has angels and vampires, but we can’t get rid of all those blood-suckers at once, can we? :)


Book Review: Stay by Deb Caletti

Stay by Deb CalettiSimon Pulse, 2011.  313 p. (FIC Caletti)

Clara and her father have come to a remote beach house in Washington state for the summer in order to escape from her obsessive ex-boyfriend, Christian.  Even though Clara hasn’t told anyone where she is, she still keeps looking over her shoulder, afraid Christian will be there.  To further complicate things, she meets Finn, who runs a sailing ship tour with his brother.  Finn is everything Christian was not, and Clara finds herself falling for him.

Clara isn’t the only one to find love: her father starts dating the lighthouse keeper, who also happens to be Clara’s boss.  But things aren’t all wonderful for Clara and her father.  Something happened at the beach when Clara was a little girl, something involving her dead mother.  While Clara unravels the secrets her father has been keeping, she suddenly gets a phone call from Christian.  Has he found out where she is?

This is a compelling story of obsessive love, stalking, family secrets and healing broken hearts.  The beach setting makes it a great summer read, or one to read in the winter while dreaming of summer.

Let’s Fly Away

Cover of "Leviathan"

Cover of Leviathan

Today is National Aviation Day.  You’re probably thinking this post is going to be about airplanes, but you would be wrong!  We’re talking airships today, those magnificent, massive mainstays of steampunk.  Think of the Goodyear blimp, but with big steam engines, shiny brass gears, and Victorian style rooms.  

Kenneth Oppel has written two wonderful airship adventures.  In Airborn, Matt (a young cabin boy aboard an airship) and Kate (a wealthy young girl traveling with her chaperone) team up to search for the existence of mysterious winged creatures reportedly living hundreds of feet above the Earth’s surface.  And in Skybreaker, Matt and Kate team up with a gypsy and a daring captain, to find a long-lost airship, rumored to carry a treasure beyond imagination.

The airships in Oppel’s books are pretty straight forward, but the Leviathan, featured in Scott Westerfeld‘s Leviathan and Behemoth, is a bit more interesting.  “In an alternate 1914 Europe, fifteen-year-old Austrian Prince Alek, on the run from the Clanker Powers who are attempting to take over the globe using mechanical machinery, forms an uneasy alliance with Deryn who, disguised as a boy to join the British Air Service, is learning to fly genetically-engineered beasts.”   Yes, the Leviathan is part airship, part animal! 

Behemoth continues the story of  Prince Alek who eludes the Germans by traveling in the Leviathan to Constantinople, where he faces a whole new kind of genetically-engineered warships.

Both series are full of adventure and just a hint of romance.  If you’re thinking of trying some steampunk, there’s no better place to start than Oppel or Westerfeld.

Grand Opening on Monday!

This is what it will look like on Monday (fingers crossed!)

Wow, it has been crazy busy here in the library these first two weeks of school!  Since the first day, we have checked out over 14,700 textbooks … and there are still more sitting on the tables in the library!  Our TAs have been moving books as quickly as possible, in between barcoding new textbooks (which are still arriving) and we plan to “officially” open the Library on Monday.  That means we’ll be open before school and after school tutoring will begin on Monday.

I know everyone is eager to get in and check out reading books for SSR and to use the computers.  We’re going to try something a little different this year regarding the library computers: an ID will no longer be required to use the computers!  Why?  We think it will help get you in and out of the library faster, and also allow us to help you better, since we won’t have to be so tied to the front desk.  This means we can get out there and help you find books, do research, use the computers, etc. without having to run back to the desk as often to check in/out a computer. 

Of course, this is only going to work if this privilege is not abused.  So remember: computers are for ACADEMIC USE ONLY, no holding computers for friends, no excessive printing … in other words, behave yourselves! :)  If things get too out of hand, we’ll have to go back to requiring IDs for computer use.

Vote for the 2011 Teen Top Ten


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Voting is now underway for YALSA’s Teen Top Ten.  You can vote now through September 15th for your favorite nominated book.  The winners will be announced during Teen Read Week (October 16 -22).

Of the 25 nominees, MoHi owns 13 titles:

Beam, Chris. I am J. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 2011. (9780316053617) J (Jeni) is a boy and has always identified himself as such, but he was genetically born female.  As a teen, J acts like a boy and dresses in baggy clothes to disguise his feminine body. He wants to begin testosterone treatments to transfer physically to a man, but his parents and best friend do not accept him as male.  J decides to run away and enroll in a school for gay and transgender students, where he is able to begin to find acceptance.  More than just a story of a transgender teen, this is the story of how teenagers live and love and cope.

Beaudoin, Sean. You killed Wesley Payne. 2011. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (9780316077422)  Teenage Dalton Rev is a private eye.  He is sent to a high school to find out about the death of Wesley Payne.  Was it really a suicide?  The school’s tight cliques have gone insane and lost control.  It’s up to Dalton to sort through a huge mess of betrayal in order to restore the hierarchy.

Collins, Suzanne. Mockingjay. Scholastic. 2010. (9780439023511)  The final book of the Hunger Games series finds Katniss Everdeen rescued from the horrific 75th Hunger Games — but not her fellow tribute, Peeta Mallark.  Now she must lead a rebellion against the evil capital with the help of District 13, which is not destroyed, but has been quietly sowing the seeds of war for years.  As Katniss beomes more entangled in war and revolution, the question of who she can trust become ever harder, and she must fight for her life once again.

Condie, Ally. Matched. 2010.  Penguin/Dutton. (9780525423645)  In Cassia’s society, most of her choices are made for her, including the person with whom she will spend the rest of her life: her Match.  At age 17, Cassia is pleasantly surprised when her Match turns out to be her best friend Xander, but when a glitch occurs and another boy’s face appears on her screen, Cassia can’t help but wonder what would happen if she were able to choose her own Match.  Now she must decide between conforming to society and persuing a life where she can make her own choices.

Fitzpatrick, Becca. Crescendo. Simon & Schuster Children’s. 2010. (9781416989431)  In this sequel to Hush, hush, a few months have passed since Nora’s lab partner Patch, actually a fallen angel, saved her from his murderous vassal Nephil and became her guardian angel.  She and Patch are now dating, but she is starting to doubt his love for her.  Is he keeping something from her?  And is she really safe now?

Grant, MichaelLies.  2010. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegan Books. (9780061449093)  Lies continues the story that began in Gone and Hunger.  Is death the only answer? Life is getting hard for the under 15s who survived.  Food is running out, the beach is burning, and things are getting tense.  The situation is getting worse for the survivors and everyone has their own battles to face.

Hawkins, Rachel. Demonglass. Disney/Hyperion. 2011. (9781423121312)  An unbelievable betrayal, an ancient spell and a love triangle all make Rachel Hawkins’ sequel to Hex Hall impossible to put down.  When Sophie goes to her father’s mansion for the summer, she thinks she knows exactly what she wants: to undergo the Removal and get rid of the demon inside of her.  But when it turns out that someone else is making demons, she has to question everything and everyone — especially Archer Cross, the boy she can’t get out of her head.

Hawkins, Rachel.  Hex Hall. Disney/Hyperion.  2010.  (9781423121305)  Sixteen-year-old Sophie is a witch sent to live at Hex Hall, a reform school for deliquent Progidium (witches, faeries, shapeshifters, etc.) after she bungles a spell at prom and attracts too much attention from normal humans.  At her new school, Sophie must face the usual teen troubles of mean girls and crushes with the added dimension of magic and learning about her own powers.

Nelson, Jandy.  The sky is everywhere. 2010.  Penguin/Dial Books for Young Readers. (9780142417805)  After Lennie’s sister suddenly dies, she finds herself torn between two boys.  One is the new boy in town, and the other is her sister’s ex-boyfriend.  While she is genuinely attracted to one, the other really understands her feelings, yet she knows it is wrong.  Who will she choose?

Oliver, Lauren.  Before I fall. HarperCollins/HarperTeen.  2010.  (9780061726804)  Popular, rich and attractive Sam Kingston never worried about how her behavior affected other people.  After dying in a car crash, Sam is forced to relive the last day of her life for seven days.  She progressively becomes a better person as she realizes the ripple effect of her actions and uses the second chance to fix her most dire mistakes.

Pearce, Jackson.  Sisters red.  Little, Brown and Company. 2010. (9780316068680)  Sisters Rosie and Scarlett March are left as orphans at eleven after their grandmother is killed by a Fenris, a soulless creature that takes the form of a man and can turn into a wolf.  Scarlett loses an eye in the attack and decides to devote her life to hunting the Fenris.  Eight years later, the sisters have vowed to protect their town from the Fenris.  Silas, a young woodsman, returns to town.  Rosie knows the Fenris deserves to die, but she’s not ready to commit her entire life to hunting them.  Can the sisters learn to live with their differences as Rosie and Silas’ friendship blossoms into something more?

Westerfeld, Scott.  BehemothSimon Pulse. 2010. (9781416971757)  This sequel to Leviathan picks up where the last book left off with Alek, the lost Austro-Hungarian prince, and Deryn, a girl disguised as a boy, on the airship Leviathan heading to the Ottoman Empire.  Upon arriving, Alek escapes and starts a revolution to overthrow the Sultan and try to stop a war.

White, KierstenParanormalcy. HarperCollins/Harper Teen.  2010.  (9780061985843)  Normal?  Yeah, right!  Evie’s biggest dream ever was to be normal, but with a faerie ex-boyfriend and a mermaid for a best friend, she might as well just throw the word “normal” right in the trash can.  Evie has the unique ability to see through paranormals’ glamours, which has made her a valued asset of the International Paranormal Containment Agency (IPCA).  When someone breaks into the Agency headquarters, Evie meets an unusual Paranormal: a boy who can shape-shift into any human.  Can Evie save the lives of unarmed Paranormals from something that is after her, too?