Fourth Rock from the Sun

Cover of "The Martian Chronicles"

Cover of The Martian Chronicles

Yesterday was Red Planet Day and on Saturday, NASA launched a new Mars rover (Curiosity) into space, which will reach the Red Planet in August of 2012.  Humans have always wondered if there is (or was) life on Mars and this new rover is going to try to answer that question.

To learn more about Mars and the possibility of life on other planets, try these books:

  • Life on the edge : amazing creatures thriving in extreme environments by Michael Gross (578.4 Gro) — Examines life forms that live in extreme environments that scientists had previously thought were uninhabitable, including the antarctic ice, hot springs, and on Mars.
  • Mars by Giles Sparrow (523.43 Spa) — This book describes Mars, the fourth planet from the sun, and discusses the formation of Mars, the Martian landscape, and the investigations of Mars by space probes.
  • A look at Mars by Ray Spangenburg and Kit Moser (523.43 Spa) — This book discusses the history of human ideas about Mars, its geology and moons, and the planet’s possibilities of sustaining life.
  • Strangers in the night : a brief history of life on other worlds by David E. Fisher and Marshall Jon Fisher (576.8 Fis) — Tells the story of the attempts to discover life on other planets and galaxies.

Mars has also been a favorite of science fiction writers.  Check out these classic Martian novels:

  • The war of the worlds by H. G. Wells (FIC Wells) — An intellectually-superior race from Mars invades the Earth with plans to enslave human beings.
  • A princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (FIC Burroughs) — Suddenly projected to Mars, John Carter found himself a captive of the savage green men of Thark. Dejah Thoris, lovely Princess of Helium, is also a captive. A thousand miles lay between them and rescue.
  • The Martian chronicles by Ray Bradbury (FIC Bradbury) — A collection of stories describing repeated attempts by humans to colonize Mars.

Other Mars books in our collection (not all of which have to do with the planet) are:

  • Life on Mars : tales from the new frontier : an original science fiction anthology (FIC Life) — A collection of thirteen stories that explore the possibility of life on Mars.
  • Mars vol. 1-3 by Fuyumi Soryo (GN FIC Soryo) — An epic romance that spans 15 volumes, Mars is one of Japan’s most popular teen girl comics ever.
  • An anthropologist on Mars : seven paradoxical tales by Oliver Sacks (616.8 Sac)
  • Men are from Mars, women are from Venus : a practical guide for improving communication and getting what you want in your relationships by John Gray (646.7 Gra) — How to counteract differences between the sexes in communication styles, emotional needs, and behavior to promote greater understanding between partners.

Looking Ahead to 2012

Cover of "A Child Called "It": ...

Cover via Amazon

Welcome back from Thanksgiving Break!  I hope you all enjoyed your week off!

The library is still in the midst of activism research paper madness, but things are starting to slow down a little bit as students finish the data gathering process and begin actually writing their papers.  The end of the semester is in just 3 weeks — can you believe it?!

When we come back from Winter Break it will be January and I wanted to give you a heads up about an exciting event that will be taking place on January 25, 2012 at Chaffey High SchoolDave Pelzer, the author of A Child Called “It” , The Lost Boy and A Man Named Dave, will be speaking at Gardiner W. Spring Auditorium on the Chaffey High campus from 6:30 – 7:30 pm.  Best of all, admission is FREE!  This event is presented by the Ontario City Library. 

If you are a fan of Mr. Pelzer’s work, mark your calendar now so you won’t forget!  Once again:

Dave Pelzer, author of A Child Called “It”

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

6:30 – 7:30 pm

Chaffey High School / Gardiner W. Spring Auditorium

1245 N. Euclid Ave.

Ontario, CA

FREE ADMISSION!!!

Just Breathe

As you may have guessed, the library has been very busy the last week or two.  We are in the midst of the sophomore English research paper, which means we are jam-packed with students all day long.  One day we had 14 classes in the library!  It’s been hard enough to stop and take a deep breath, let alone write blog posts!

Unfortunately, when we have classes in doing research, we have to be closed to other students because the library just isn’t big enough (and we don’t have enough staff) to accomodate everyone.  This means we’ve basically only been open before and after school (and the occasional lunch period) for two weeks — and the madness will continue after we get back from Thanksgiving break.  I know it’s rough, but we have to give priority to the classes that are signed up for research time, since our primary mission is to support the curriculum and help students do their very best in school. 

We are quickly approaching the end of 1st semester (!) so things are going to be even crazier as we close in on Winter Break.  Just remember: everyone else is just as stressed out as you are, so cut them some slack!  I try to remember this when I reach the end of a long and get asked the SAME question for the 300th time. :)

Good luck as you finish up those projects and study for final exams.  They’ll be here before you know it!

Brought to You by the Letter E

Sesame Street

Image via Wikipedia

Forty-two years ago today, “Sesame Street” premiered on PBS.  Generations of kids have learned their letters and numbers and great life lessons from the original educational children’s program, including me.

Did you know that we have a (small) picture book collection in the library?  The main reason is to support the child development curriculum but this is also a great resource if you have little brothers or sisters (or nieces and nephews) at home.  We have classics by Dr. Seuss (Green eggs and ham, Horton hears a who, The Lorax, Oh the thinks you can think and more), Ludwig Bemelmans (Madeleine), Marc Brown (Arthur the aardvark series), Ezra Jack Keats (The snowy day), Leo Lionni (Frederick, Swimmy and Alexander and the wind-up mouse), Arnold Lobel (Frog and Toad series), Robert McCloskey (Blueberries for Sal, Make way for ducklings), Maurice Sendak (Where the wild things are), Mo Willems (Don’t let the pigeon stay up late! and The pigeon wants a puppy!) and many, many more.

All these books are filed under E and the first three letters of the author’s last name (i.e. E Seu for Dr. Seuss books) in the Easy Books section.

Remember, Remember the Fifth of November

V for Vendetta

Image by Miss Millificent via Flickr

Tomorrow is Guy Fawkes Night, which is celebrated in England with fireworks and bonfires.  So who was Guy Fawkes and why should you care about him?

Have you read the graphic novel or seen the movie of V for Vendetta? (We have the graphic novel — GN FIC Moore) The mask worn by the main character, “V” is a Guy Fawkes mask – these masks have been showing up at the various Occupy protests taking place around the country and the world.  But who is he?  Why is he so important?  This traditional rhyme tells it all:

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,

The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,

I know of no reason

Why the Gunpowder Treason

Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t’was his intent

To blow up the King and Parli’ment.

Three-score barrels of powder below

To prove old England’s overthrow;

By God’s providence he was catch’d (or by God’s mercy*)

With a dark lantern and burning match.

Holla boys, Holla boys, let the bells ring.

Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

And what should we do with him? Burn him!

Okay, now you’re probably wondering, “What’s the Gunpowder Plot?”  Let me tell you. :)

In 1605, a group of English Catholics hatched a plot to blow up King James I and Parliament by planting a bomb in the House of Lords.  Their aim was to put James’ (Catholic) daughter Elizabeth on the throne.  The assassination plot was led by Robert Catesby, but no one remembers him today — it’s all about Guy Fawkes, who was in charge of the explosives.

The plot was foiled, of course, and Guy Fawkes was arrested when he was found in the basement with 36 barrels of gunpowder.  The anniversary of the failed attempt is commemorated with fireworks (to symbolize the gunpowder) and bonfires.  Although the real Guy Fawkes was drawn, quartered and beheaded (along with several other conspirators) he is burned in effigy on the bonfires.  Rather a gruesome holiday, when you think about it …

Devilishly Good

devilled eggs

Today is Deviled Egg Day.  There aren’t many books out there about deviled eggs, but I did manage to find some that are about devils or have devil in the title:

  • Repossessed by A. M Jenkins (FIC Jenkins) — A fallen angel, tired of being unappreciated while doing his pointless, demeaning job, leaves Hell, enters the body of a seventeen-year-old boy, and tries to experience the full range of human feelings before being caught and punished, while the boy’s family and friends puzzle over his changed behavior.
  • The Sandman, vol. IV: Season of mists by Neil Gaiman (GN FIC Gaiman) — Presents a graphic novel, written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by a variety of top comic artists, in which Lord Morpheus is commanded by his family, the immortal beings known as the Endless, to rescue a lover who he had condemned to hell, even though Lucifer has sworn to kill him.
  • On the Devil’s court by Carl Deuker (FIC Deuker) — Struggling with his feelings of inadequacy and his failure to make the basketball team at his new school, seventeen-year-old Joe Faust finds himself willing to trade his soul for one perfect season of basketball.
  • Air devils : sky races, sky divers, and stunt pilots by Ellen Hopkins (797.5 Hop) — Profiles some of the early pioneers of aeronautical sports such as skydiving, stunt flying, and airplane racing.
  • Masks of Mexico : tigers, devils, and the dance of life by Barbara Mauldin (391.4 Mau) — More than one hundred authenticated masks from the collections at the Museum of International Folk Art ranging from finely carved pieces from the 19th century to simple face coverings made in the last decade illustrate this state-by-state celebration of the strong festive mask tradition held throughout Mexico.
  • Devil in a blue dress by Walter Mosley (FIC Mosley)Devil in a Blue Dress honors the tradition of the classic American detective novel by bestowing on it a vivid social canvas and the freshest new voice in crime writing in years, mixing the hard-boiled poetry of Raymond Chandler with the racial realism of Richard Wright to explosive effect.
  • The devil’s arithmetic by Jane Yolen (FIC Yolen) — Hannah resents the traditions of her Jewish heritage until time travel places her in the middle of a small Jewish village in Nazi-occupied Poland.
  • The devil and Daniel Webster by Stephen Vincent Benet (FIC Benet) — Having promised his soul to the Devil in exchange for good fortune, Jabez Stone asks the talented lawyer Daniel Webster to get him out of the bargain.

Best of the Best 2011

YALSA’s Best of the Best 2011 is a collection of the BEST books for young adults: award winners and top ten titles in several categories.  These are the cream of the crop and MoHi owns quite a few of them!  How many have you read?

  • Amy & Roger’s epic detour by Morgan Matson (FIC Matson) — After the death of her father, Amy, a high school student and Roger, a college freshman, set out on a carefully planned road trip from California to Connecticut, but wind up taking many detours, forcing Amy to face her worst fears and come to terms with her grief and guilt.
  • Burger wuss by M. T. Anderson (FIC Anderson)  – Hoping to lose his loser image, Anthony plans revenge on a bully which results in a war between two competing fast food restaurants, Burger Queen and O’Dermott’s.
  • The dark game : true spy stories by Paul B. Janeczko (327.73 Jan) — A collection of true spy stories from throughout the history of the United States, discussing personalities, missions, traitors, technological advances, and more.
  • Guardian of the dead by Karen Healey (FIC Healey) – Eighteen-year-old New Zealand boarding school student Ellie Spencer must use her rusty tae kwon do skills and new-found magic to try to stop a fairy-like race of creatures from Maori myth and legend that is plotting to kill millions of humans in order to regain their lost immortality.
  • Hold me closer, necromancer by Lish McBride (FIC McBride) — Sam LaCroix, a Seattle fast-food worker and college dropout, discovers that he is a necromancer, part of a world of harbingers, werewolves, satyrs, and one particular necromancer who sees Sam as a threat to his lucrative business of raising the dead.
  • Last night I sang to the monster by Benjamin Alire Saenz (FIC Saenz) – Eighteen-year-old Zach does not remember how he came to be in a treatment center for alcoholics, but through therapy and caring friends, his amnesia fades and he learns to face his past while working toward a better future.
  • Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (FIC Westerfeld) — 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.
  • Nothing by Janne Teller (FIC Teller) — When thirteen-year-old Pierre Anthon leaves school to sit in a plum tree and train for becoming part of nothing, his seventh grade classmates set out on a desperate quest for the meaning of life.
  • Please ignore Vera Dietz by A. S. King (FIC King) — When her best friend, whom she secretly loves, betrays her and then dies under mysterious circumstances, high school senior Vera Dietz struggles with secrets that could help clear his name.
  • Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly (FIC Donnelly) – An angry, grieving seventeen-year-old musician facing expulsion from her prestigious Brooklyn private school travels to Paris to complete a school assignment and uncovers a diary written during the French revolution by a young actress attempting to help a tortured, imprisoned little boy–Louis Charles, the lost king of France.
  • Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick (FIC Sedgwick) – Fourteen-year-old Sig is stranded at a remote cabin in the Arctic wilderness with his father, who died just hours earlier after falling through the ice, when a terrifying man arrives, claiming Sig’s father owes him a share of a horde of stolen gold and that he will kill Sig if he does not get his money.
  • Rikers High by Paul Volponi (FIC Volponi) — Arrested on a minor offense, a New York City teenager attends high school in the jail facility on Rikers Island while waiting for his case to go to court.
  • Rules of attraction by Simone Elkeles (FIC Elkeles) — Living on the University of Colorado-Boulder campus with his older brother Alex, a college student and ex-gang member, high school senior Carlos is not ready to give up his wild ways until he meets a shy classmate named Kiara and becomes unwillingly involved in a drug ring.
  • Scars by Cheryl Rainfield (FIC Rainfield) — Fifteen-year-old Kendra, a budding artist, has not felt safe since she began to recall devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse, especially since she cannot remember her abuser’s identity, and she copes with the pressure by cutting herself.
  • Ship breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (FIC Bacigalupi) – In a futuristic world, teenaged Nailer scavenges copper wiring from grounded oil tankers for a living, but when he finds a beached clipper ship with a girl in the wreckage, he has to decide if he should strip the ship for its wealth or rescue the girl.
  • Some girls are by Courtney Summers (FIC Summers) — Regina, a high school senior in the popular–and feared–crowd, suddenly falls out of favor and becomes the object of the same sort of vicious bullying that she used to inflict on others, until she finds solace with one of her former victims.
  • Stolen by Lucy Christopher (FIC Christopher) — Sixteen-year-old Gemma, a British city-dweller, is abducted while on vacation with her parents and taken to the Australian outback, where she soon realizes that escape attempts are futile, and in time she learns that her captor is not as despicable as she first believed.
  • The things a brother knows by Dana Reinhardt (FIC Reinhardt) — Although they have never gotten along well, seventeen-year-old Levi follows his older brother Boaz, an ex-Marine, on a walking trip from Boston to Washington, D.C. in hopes of learning why Boaz is completely withdrawn.
  • Trash by Andy Mulligan (FIC Mulligan) — A group of fourteen-year-old boys, who make a living picking garbage from the outskirts of a large city, finds something special and mysterious that brings terrifying consequences.
  • Unwind by Neal Shusterman (FIC Shusterman) — Three teens embark upon a cross-country journey in order to escape from a society that salvages body parts from children ages thirteen to eighteen.
  • Wherever Nina lies by Lynn Weingarten (FIC Weingarten) — Two years after the disappearance of her older sister, sixteen-year-old Ellie goes on a quest, with help from her attractive and adventurous new friend, to find her.

Look for the “Best of the Best” sticker on these books!