Happy Leap Day!

Cover of "Jumping the Nail"

Cover of Jumping the Nail

It’s February 29th, a day that only comes around every four years.  Do you know why we have a “leap year” with an extra day in it?  We all know that the year is 365 days long … but it’s actually more like 365.25 days.  It’s hard to add a 1/4 of a day to the calendar, so we save up those extra bits and stick one whole day onto the calendar every four years.  Of course, every rule has its exceptions, and when Leap Year lands on a century year we only add the extra day if the year is divisible by 4.  Complicated, yes, but necessary if our calendar is going to match up with the natural year. 

How will you use this extra day?  I suggest reading a good book. :)  Here are some books that will have you leaping (and jumping) for joy:

Charles and Emma : the Darwins’ leap of faith by Deborah Heiligman (920 Hei) – A biography of English naturalist Charles Darwin that provides an account of the personality behind evolutionary theory and the affect of his work on his personal life, such as his relationship with his religious wife.

Jumping the Nail by Eve Bunting (FIC Bunting) – When teenagers in a California coastal community challenge each other to “jump the Nail”–leap from dangerous cliffs into the ocean–group pressure and manipulative relationships quickly drive the game out of control.

The leap by Jonathan Stroud (FIC Stroud) – After the drowning death of her best friend, Max, Charlie begins to have vivid dreams of Max in a strange land, but when she wakes up with cuts and bruises, she realizes that her dreams are real and sets out to find Max.

The jump : Sebastian Telfair and the high stakes business of high school ball by Ian O’Connor (921 Telfair) – Chronicles the life of New York basketball sensation Sebastian Telfair, describing how he went from abject poverty to riches after becoming one of the sport’s greatest point guards.

Jumping off swings by Johanna Knowles (FIC Knowles) – Tells, from four points of view, the ramifications of a pregnancy resulting from a “one-time thing” between Ellie, who feels loved when boys touch her, and Josh, an eager virgin with a troubled home life.

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

The fault in our stars by John Green.  Dutton, 2012.  318 p.  (FIC Green)

Hazel has cancer.  She nearly died a few years ago, but a miracle drug shrank the tumors in her lungs and is keeping them from growing any larger … for now.  Tethered to an oxygen tank, Hazel attends classes at community college (although she’s only 17, she already has her GED) and the weekly Support Group meeting at a local church.  People come and go from Support Group … and those who go are never coming back.  

It’s at Support Group that Hazel meets Augustus, a hot boy with an artificial leg (he had bone cancer that required an amputation) and a wicked sense of humor much like her own.  Although Hazel is reluctant to subject anyone to the inevitable loss they will feel when she dies, she can’t help but forge a relationship with Augustus, especially after she introduces him to her favorite book, An Imperial Affliction by the reclusive author Peter Van Houten.

When Augustus uses his Wish to take Hazel and her mom to Amsterdam to meet Van Houten (she had squandered hers on a trip to Disney World before her “miracle”), Hazel realizes that despite herself she’s fallen in love with Augustus.  Is love enough to make up for the pain that will certainly come?  And which of them will have to bear the pain of saying goodbye first?

This is a book about dying kids, but it’s also quirky, funny and not at all maudlin or sappy.  John Green has a talent for telling deep stories with a sense of humor, full of intelligent teenagers who don’t quite fit the typical stereotype but nevertheless ring true. 

Super Spring Events @ Ontario City Library

Cover of "Inkheart"

Cover of Inkheart

There are some great events coming up this spring at the Ontario City Library.  Start planning now!  Call 909-395-2225 for more information on any of these events.  All events take place at the Ovitt Family Community Library (main library), 215 East C Street, Ontario unless otherwise noted.

Ani-Manga Club — Do you watch anime?  Read Manga?  Cosplay?  Play Video Games?  Listen to J-POP/ROCK?  If so, join the Ani-Manga club and discuss anime/manga while creating cool crafts and unique foods.  Fridays, March 9, April 13, May 11 — 4:00 – 5:30 pm

The Hunger Games — Try your skills!  We have our own version of The Hunger Games based on the book by Suzanne CollinsWednesday, March 28 — 3:30 – 5:30 pm

Teen Karaoke Night — Calling all teens?  Are you a Glee-k? Do you like to secretly sing or sing in public?  Join us and sing some tunes at the library.  Feel free to bring your friends.  Pre-registration required.  Wednesday, March 21 — 6:00 – 7:30 pm

Teen Open Mic Night — Join us for our annual Open Mic Night where you can read your own original poetry or something previously published.  Wednesday, April 11 — 5:00 – 6:30 pm

Teen Book Fest 2012 — Our second annual event will feature bestselling authors, including Jay Asher (author of 13 Reasons Why).  All ages are welcome although teens are given preferred seating.  Books available for purchase and signing at the event.  Ontario Senior Center, 225 East B Street, Ontario — Saturday, May 5 — 1:00 – 4:00 pm

Cornelia Funke — Help us welcome the bestselling author of Dragonrider, Inkheart & Reckless.  Cornelia will be joining us for a fun-filled evening of fantasy, adventure, and ingenious conversation.  Books available for purchase at the event.  Wednesday, May 9 — 5:00 – 7:00 pm

May the Force Be With You — Celebrate Star Wars in a family environment.  Games, crafts, contests, and entertainment will be held throughout the day with plenty of fun photo opportunities.  Tuesday, May 22 — 4:00 – 8:00 pm

Book Review: The Fox Inheritance

The Fox inheritance by Mary E. Pearson.   Henry Holt, 2011.  294 p.  (FIC Pearson)

In The adoration of Jenna Fox, Jenna was saved by having her mind put into a new, man-made body.  Her father was unable to save her friends Locke and Kara, even though their minds were uploaded before death just like hers was.  Hoping to release them from the living hell they were trapped in, Jenna threw the machines housing their electronic minds into a lake.  Her friends were truly dead … or were they?

In this sequel, a dubious scientist has brought Locke and Kara back to life 270 years after their bodies died.  When they find out he is not as altruistic as he claims to be, Locke and Kara escape from him and go in search of the last link to their old lives: Jenna.  It’s a strange new world of bots and automated superhighways, and Dr. Gatsbro is on their trail.  Can Locke and Kara find Jenna?  And if they do, what are Kara’s motives?  Locke isn’t so sure anymore …

What does it really mean to be “human”?  Is it your mind or your physical body that determines who and what you are?  You’ll think about these questions and more when you read The Fox inheritance.

Tennis, Anyone?

Shot of a tennis racket and two tennis balls o...

Image via Wikipedia

Today is Tennis Day.  Sure, we have books on tennis but did you know that you can use DestinyQuest to find great websites as well as books in our collection?  WebPath Express will find you quality, pre-screened websites on the topic you are searching for.  Just go to DestinyQuest and type in your search term as usual.  Then click on the “Web Sites” tab on the results screen to switch from library books to websites.   The websites are even coded by grade level, so if you need a website for yourself or for a younger sibling, you can zoom in on which ones are at the right reading/comprehension level.

I searched for “tennis” and found 422 links (way better than the 815,000,000 that came up on Google for the same keyword search!) including:

International Tennis Hall of Fame – This non-profit organization is dedicated to preserving the history of the game of tennis and to honoring the outstanding players of the game. Use their information research center or their architectural history section for help on your project. See a calendar of events or read about the current inductees to this tennis hall of fame. Tennis is often played on a grass court and there are photos of one of those courts here as well as a link to the Lawn Tennis Club.

Moon Tennis - What would the sport of tennis be like on the moon? Andy Roddick, nicknamed the Rocket Man, serves tennis balls at more than 100 miles per hour to win games. Using topspin and the Bernouli Effect, he is able to make the ball land in bounds. On the moon, it would go long, because topspin does not work without air pressure from the atmosphere. The Bernouli Effect enables curveballs in baseball and slices in golf. Astronaut Al Shepard did try playing golf on the moon. A slice went only a couple feet, but another shot went for miles.

The Physics of Tennis - The science behind many games of sport can be as interesting as the activities involved in play. For example, this Web site uses pictures and diagrams to demonstrate how the laws of science, in this case physics, are related to the speed and direction of a tennis ball when hit by a racquet, also racket. The lesson centers around the characteristics of racquet surface, string vibration, and ball spin. A media player is needed to view the short film presentations that demonstrate the direction of a ball hit with different amounts of topspin.

A History of Wimbledon - The biggest tennis event in the world is the Wimbledon Championships. This article explains how the tournament began in 1877. Read the names of legendary tennis players who have broken records in the tennis world and won the championship numerous times. Find out when the Queen of England made her first Wimbledon appearance. There is information about lawn tennis and the first lawn tennis championship. Discover how Wimbledon changed from an exclusively British event to an event with players from around the world. Notable records are listed.

Andre Agassi Biography - The Biography Channel’s blurb about its Andre Agassi profile observes, Big hair, bandanas and flair made this Vegas native a star on the tennis court. Marriage and kids with Steffi Graf haven’t quelled his passion and he continues to play top flight tennis. The Channel’s site includes a biography of Agassi (text version), images, quotes, so-called Curious Facts (for example, in 1994, Agassi became the first unseeded player since 1930 to win the U.S. Open), and a video clip previewing the episode in which the tennis star is featured.

Fat Tuesday

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras (Photo credit: Scott*)

Yesterday was Mardi Gras (which is French for “fat Tuesday,” indicating that it is the last day to eat up before Lent begins).  This holiday is celebrated throughout the Christian communities of the world, but it is most associated with the city of New Orleans.  There’s more to The Big Easy than Mardi Gras and Hurricane Katrina.  Find out in one of these books featuring the historic city:

The river between us by Richard Peck (FIC Peck) – During the early days of the Civil War, the Pruitt family takes in two mysterious young ladies who have fled New Orleans to come north to Illinois.

Locked in time by Lois Duncan (FIC Duncan) – Nore arrives at her stepmother’s Louisiana plantation to find her new family odd and an aura of evil and mystery about the place.

A confederacy of dunces by John Kennedy Toole (FIC Toole) – Set in New Orleans, the protagonist is nearly arrested for being a suspicious character and encounters many unfortunate events.

Mississippi Jack : being an account of the further waterborne adventures of Jacky Faber, midshipman, fine lady, and the Lily of the West by L. A. Meyer (FIC Meyer) – Ship’s “boy” Mary “Jacky” Faber sets out on another round of adventures, this time in New Orleans, tricking Mike Fink out of his flatboat and turning it into a casino-showboat.

Louisiana by Ellyn Sanna (641.59763 Lou) – Examines the cooking culture and food traditions of the state of Louisiana including such dishes as New Orleans Muffaletta, Jambalaya, and Pecan Pralines.

Book Review : In Search of Mockingbird

Cover of "In Search of Mockingbird"

Cover of In Search of Mockingbird

In search of mockingbird by Loretta Ellsworth.  Henry Holt, 2007.  181 p.  (FIC Ellsworth)

Erin’s favorite book is To kill a mockingbird, partly because it’s such a good book and partly because it was her mother’s favorite, too.  The day before her 16th birthday, Erin’s receives her mother’s diary — a precious link to the woman who died when Erin was a baby.  She finds out her mother wanted to be a writer, just like she does, and even wrote a letter to Harper Lee, the author of To kill a mockingbird. Suddenly, Erin can’t stand it anymore.

She leaves in the middle of the night and buys a Greyhound bus ticket to Alabama.  She’s going to go to Monroeville and find Harper Lee, to ask advice on becoming a writer and to find out if her mother’s letter was ever answered.

It’s a long trip and Erin meets some interesting people along the way, who help her and are helped by her in return.  Will she make it to Alabama before the police catch her and take her home?  And if she does, will Harper Lee be home when she arrives?

This is a short, sweet novel about the connections between people: Erin and her dead mother, Erin and her father, Erin and the people she meets on the bus, and even Erin and Harper Lee.

New Book Alert!

New books have been pouring into the library the last two weeks!  Some are already on the shelves (or even checked out) and more are on their way.  Check out these titles:

Awakened by P. C. Cast (FIC Cast) – Neferet, restored to her position of High Priestess in Tulsa’s House of Night, sets out to lure Zoey back to Oklahoma and complete her plan of vengeance, but Zoey, recovering with Stark on the Isle of Skye where she is being groomed to take over for Queen Sgiach, is not so easily tempted; while Stevie Rae and Rephaim try to decide the course of their relationship. (House of Night book #8)

Beautiful darkness by Kami Garcia (FIC Garcia) – In a small southern town with a secret world hidden in plain sight, sixteen-year-old Lena, who possesses supernatural powers and faces a life-altering decision, draws away from her true love, Ethan, a mortal with frightening visions.


The chronicles of Vladimir Tod : twelfth grade kills by Heather Brewer (FIC Brewer) – The Council of Elders, having been informed that Tomas still lives, puts off Vlad’s execution, providing Vlad the opportunity to try to set some things right.

Clockwork angel by Cassandra Clare (FIC Clare) – Sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray travels to England in search of her brother only to be abducted by the Dark Sisters, residents of London’s Downworld, home to the city’s supernatural folk, and she becomes the object of much attention–both good and bad–when it is discovered she has the power to transform at will into another person.


The Darlings in love by Melissa Kantor (FIC Kantor) – Three fourteen-year-old best friends experience the joys and heartbreaks of first love.

Dead to you by Lisa McMann (FIC McMann) – Having been abducted at age seven, abandoned, a foster child, and homeless, Ethan, now sixteen, is happy to be home until his brother’s suspicion and his own inability to remember something unspeakable from his early childhood begin to tear the family apart.


Desert angel by Charlie Price (FIC Price) – In the California desert, fourteen-year-old Angel is on the run from the man who abused her, killed her mother, and intends to kill her too.



Destined by P.C. Cast (FIC Cast) – Zoey, safe at home with her guardian warrior Stark, confronts new forces at work in the House of Night, including Aurox, a devastatingly handsome teenage boy, created by Neferet as her greatest weapon. (House of Night book #9)



The fault in our stars by John Green (FIC Green) – Sixteen year old Hazel, who has cancer, meets Augustus at a kids-with-cancer support group and as they fall in love they both wonder how they will be remembered.



I am number four by Pittacus Lore (FIC Lore) – In rural Ohio, friendships and a beautiful girl prove distracting to a fifteen-year-old who has hidden on Earth for ten years waiting to develop the Legacies, or powers, he will need to rejoin the other six surviving Garde members and fight the Mogadorians who destroyed their planet, Lorien.

Outlaw by Stephen Davies (FIC Davies) – The children of Britain’s ambassador to Burkina Faso, fifteen-year-old Jake, who loves technology and adventure, and thirteen-year-old Kas, a budding social activist, are abducted and spend time in the Sahara desert with Yakuuba Sor, who some call a terrorist but others consider a modern-day Robin Hood.


Plague : a Gone novel by Michael Grant (FIC Grant) – A deadly, flu-like epidemic and a plague of flesh-eating creatures threaten the lives of the children at Perdido Beach while Sam, Astrid, Caine, and Diana each struggle with doubts and uncertainties.

Room by Emma Donoghue (FIC Donoghue) – Five-year-old Jack has spent his life living in an eleven-by-eleven foot space his mother calls Room and while Jack uses his imagination to create wondrous fantasies to entertain himself, his mother dreads the day her son begins to question why they must remain in Room and tries to find a way to escape.


What can’t wait by Ashley Perez (FIC Perez) – Marooned in a broken-down Houston neighborhood–and in a Mexican immigrant family where making ends meet matters much more than making it to college–smart, talented Marissa seeks comfort elsewhere when her home life becomes unbearable.



When she woke by Hilary Jordan (FIC Jordan) – Hannah Payne has devoted her life to her church and family, but when she is accused of murdering her unborn child and turned into a Chrome, transplanted into a new body that matches the color classification of her crime–red for murder–and left in a bare room where cameras broadcast her every move to the public for their entertainment, Hannah vows to protect the identity of her child’s father, a public figure who would be ruined if their affair is revealed.

Have a Heart

Happy Valentine's day!

Happy Valentine's day! (Photo credit: DonnaGrayson)

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day.  Have you ever wondered why we use the heart as a symbol of love?  Before human anatomy was well understood, there was a lot of debate about whether the brain, the heart or the liver (!) was the home of the human mind/soul.  Even though we now know that the brain rules the roost, the image of the heart as the most important organ is still with us, especially when we want to refer to the emotion of love.

Here are ten books with “heart”:

Queen of hearts by Martha Brooks (FIC Brooks) – Shortly after her first kiss but before her sixteenth birthday in December, 1941, Marie Claire and her younger brother and sister are sent to a tuberculosis sanatorium near their Manitoba farm.

The heart is not a size by Beth Kephart (FIC Kephart) – Fifteen-year-old Georgia learns a great deal about herself and her troubled best friend Riley when they become part of a group of suburban Pennsylvania teenagers that go to Anapra, a squatters village in the border town of Juarez, Mexico, to undertake a community construction project.

Tattoos on the heart : the power of boundless compassion by Greg Boyle (277.94 Boy) – Gregory Boyle shares parables he has collected during his twenty years as a pastor working in a violent Los Angeles neighborhood, demonstrating the impact of boundless, restorative love and compassion.

Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick (FIC McCormick) – While recuperating in a Baghdad hospital from a traumatic brain injury sustained during the Iraq War, eighteen-year-old soldier Matt Duffy struggles to recall what happened to him and how it relates to his ten-year-old friend, Ali.

Change of heart by Jodi Picoult (FIC Picoult) – June Nealon’s life is shattered when Shay Bourne murders her husband and daughter, but when her eleven-year-old daughter, Claire, needs a heart transplant, Bourne decides that his only chance at redemption is to give Claire his heart after he is put to death, leaving June to decide if she wants to let the man who destroyed her life save her daughter’s.

I heart you, you haunt me by Lisa Schroeder (FIC Schroeder) – Ava can’t see or touch him, unless she’s dreaming. She can’t hear his voice, except for the faint whispers in her mind. Most would think she’s crazy, but she knows he’s here. Jackson. The boy Ava thought she’d spend the rest of her life with. He’s back from the dead, as proof that love truly knows no bounds.

Heart-shaped box by Joe Hill (FIC Hill) – Aging rocker Judas Coyne, a collector of the macabre, pays a thousand dollars for a suit said to be inhabited by the owner’s ghost, and learns only after the angry spirit arrives that he has been set up by the family of his last young lover who committed suicide upon her return home.

The rules for hearts : a family drama by Sara Ryan (FIC Ryan) – Battle Hall Davies learns some truths about herself and her brother Nick when he contacts her nearly five years after he ran away from home and invites her to spend the summer between high school and college with him in Forest House, the group home where he lives in Portland.

Beating heart : a ghost story by A. M. Jenkins (FIC Jenkins) – Following his parents’ divorce, seventeen-year-old Evan moves with his mother and sister into an old house where the spirit of a teenager who died there awakens and mistakes him for her long-departed lover.


by Kathleen Duble (FIC Duble) – In early 1800s Connecticut, fifteen-year-old Lucy tries to decide whether to marry her childhood friend who unhappily toils at the Mt. Riga iron furnace or the young man from Boston who has come to work in her father’s store.

Book Review : The Death Cure

The death cure by James Dashner.  Delacorte, 2011.  325 p. (FIC Dashner)

In the finale of the Maze Runner trilogy, Thomas finds himself struggling to figure out who is telling the truth as he and his friends recover from their experiences in the Scorch.  WICKED has offered to return their memories, but can Thomas trust them?

There are lots of twists and turns to the plot, tons of action and some horrifying destruction.  I can’t say much without spoiling the plot, but I will say that I found the ending a bit unsatisfactory.  Still, overall, this is an exciting roller coaster ride that ties up (most) of the loose ends that have been dangling throughout the trilogy.