Let’s Be Honest

Cover of "What I Saw And How I Lied"

Cover of What I Saw And How I Lied

Today is National Honesty Day. In hnor of the day, I’m going to be honest about some of the things that happen in the library:

1. When we ask you to go out the glass doors and enter the textbook room from the outer door, we aren’t being mean or picky.  We don’t want students going through our interior door because then they bypass the security gate at the front door.  YOU might not be trying to steal a library book, but we don’t know that.  So … everyone goes out and around.

2. When you walk through the security gate and go “beep, beep, beep, beep, beep” it is NOT FUNNY.  Really, trust me.  Not funny at all, especially when I hear it for the 10 millionth time …

3. We would love to buy all the books you request but our budget is not big enough.  If you put a book on the wish list and we don’t buy it, it’s not personal.  We just don’t have the money to buy everything.

4. All those markers, colored pencils, glue sticks, rubber bands, scissors, etc. that you borrow from us come out of our budget.  If they don’t get returned, we have to buy more … which means less money for books.

5. We are not being mean when we ask you to finish your food and drinks OUTSIDE the library.  Water and other liquids can get spilled, even if you have the lid on.  Wet books can grow mold, which is a health hazard.  We have to destroy books that are moldy.  Food can attract ants, cockroaches and other critters.  Once we found a petrified chicken sandwich on a shelf.  Gross.  On Friday, someone brought a book up to me that had a slice of cheese inside it.  The pages are all greasy now and the book has to be cleaned (if possible). Double gross! 


Here are some novels about the consequences of NOT being honest:

Liar by Justine Larbalestier (FIC Larbalestier) — Compulsive liar Micah promises to tell the truth after revealing that her boyfriend has been murdered.

Harmless by Dana Reinhardt (FIC Reinhardt) — Instead of telling the truth about why they are home late, fourteen-year-old private school students Emma, Anna, and Mariah lie and say a strange man attacked one of them, and the untruth results in a slew of problems for themselves, their families, their community, and the wrongly accused man.

Nobody else has to know by Ingrid Tomey (FIC Tomey) — Fifteen-year-old Webber must either live with guilt or tell the truth about who was driving his grandfather’s car when it struck and seriously injured a little girl.

Rundown by Michael Cadnum (FIC Cadnum) — As a game, sixteen-year-old Jennifer pretends that she has been attacked by a serial rapist, but then she finds herself getting more attention than she wanted, from the police and her parents.

The space between trees by Katie Williams (FIC Williams) — When the body of a classmate is discovered in the woods, sixteen-year-old Evie’s lies wind up involving her with the girl’s best friend, trying to track down the killer.

What I saw and how I lied by Judy Blundell (FIC Blundell) –In 1947, with her jovial stepfather Joe back from the war and family life returning to normal, teenage Evie, smitten by the handsome young ex-GI who seems to have a secret hold on Joe, finds herself caught in a complicated web of lies whose devastating outcome change her life and that of her family forever.


We Love Meeces to Pieces

A variety of computer mice built from 1986 to ...

A variety of computer mice built from 1986 to 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The computer mouse was introduced on this day in 1981.  Yes, that little gadget has been around for 31 years!  Now that tablets and smart phones have arrived, will the mouse eventually go away?  What do you think?

In honor of the humble computer mouse, here are some books about actual mice:

Mouse Guard Fall 1152 by David Petersen (GN FIC Petersen) — A graphic comic about the world of Mouse Guard, mice with capes and swords defending themselves against their enemies as if they were Knights of the Round Table.

Time stops for no mouse by Michael Hoeye (FIC Hoeye) — When Linka Perflinger, a jaunty mouse, brings a watch into his shop to be repaired and then disappears, Hermux Tantamoq is caught up in a world of dangerous search for eternal youth as he tries to find out what happened to her.

The mouse on the mile by Stephen King (FIC King) — Tells the dark story of the Cold Mountain Penitentiary where evil is not only in the cells, but wearing a badge as well.  Part 2 of The green mile.

The mouse rap by Walter Dean Myers (FIC Myers) — During an eventful summer in Harlem, fourteen-year-old Mouse and his friends fall in and out of love and search for a hidden treasure from the days of Al Capone.

If you give a mouse a cookie by Laura Numeroff (E Num) — Relating the cycle of requests a mouse is likely to make after you give him a cookie takes the reader through a young boy’s day.

Of mice and men by John Steinbeck (FIC Steinbeck) — The tragic story of the complex bond between two itinerant ranch hands in Central California, George and Lennie, who dream of one day owning a small farm. George acts as a father figure to Lennie, who is a very large, simpleminded man, calming him and helping to reign in his immense physical strength.

 by Art Spiegelman (GN 940.5318 Spi) — A memoir about Vladek Spiegleman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler’s Europe, and about his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father, his story, and with history itself. Cartoon format portrays Jews as mice and Nazis as cats.

BONUS QUESTION: Where does the phrase “meeces to pieces” in the title of this post come from?  Give up?  Click here!

Online Learning for Free

E-learning short courses

E-learning short courses (Photo credit: London College of Fashion short courses)

Want a taste of what taking a college course is like?  Want to try out online learning?  Need help with those AP classes?  Have lots of curiosity but no money?  Try one of these websites that offer FREE online classes:

Coursera — This site offers online classes from Princeton, Stanford, University of Michigan, and University of Pennsylvania.  The classes include video lectures, quizzes, homework and in some cases exams.  Courses are offered in humanities and social sciences (world history, sociology, literature, mythology, music, etc.); healthcare, medicine and biology (neurology, pharmacology, genetics, etc.); computer science (algorithms, cryptography, game theory, logic, etc.); economics, finance and business (finance, game theory, model thinking, etc.); mathematics and statistics (calculus, cryptography, logic, statistics, etc.); and society, networks and information (Internet history, sociology, social network analysis, etc.).  You can’t get college credit for these classes, but they are FREE!

P2PU – This site is a little bit different.  The classes offered here are not from colleges or universities — this is peer-to-peer learning.  In other words, someone sets up a group and you all learn together.  These are more practical classes like Writing for the Web, How to Make Screencasts, Entrepreneural Marketing, Programming with the Twitter API, HTML 5 Introduction, Javascript, etc.

MIT OpenCourseWare – At this site, you have access to free lecture notes, exams and videos for over 2000 courses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Aside from the actual MIT courses, this site also offers courses especially for high school students, including AP exam prep for biology, calculus, chemistry, and physics.  You don’t get an actual class with this site, but you do get all the materials that are provided to MIT students, which can help you learn on your own.

NYU Open Education – This is a pilot program from New York University.  Right now they are offering a handful of classes: American Literature I, New York City: A Social History, Introduction to Sociology, Genomes & Diversity, Statistics for Behavioral Sciences, and Calculus I.  These classes are available through the NYU Open Education website and iTunesU.

These sites are a great way to try out online learning to see if it works for you.  More and more colleges and universities are offering online classes in addition to face-to-face instruction, so if you can try this format for FREE, it will help you decide whether online classes are right for you.

Have fun and happy learning!

The Nation’s Library

A 2x3 segment panoramic view of the Great Hall...

A 2x3 segment panoramic view of the Great Hall of the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., United States. Français : Vue panoramique du Grand Hall de la Bibliothèque du Congrès à Washington, États-Unis. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Library of Congress was founded 212 years ago today, on April 24, 1800.   The library began as a reference library for Congress.  After the original book collection was destroyed by fire in 1814, Thomas Jefferson offered his own personal library to replace it.  With this as its core, the Library of Congress grew into a national library.  The copyright law of 1870 required all copyright applicants to send two copies of their work to the LOC.  Today, the LOC has over144 million items, including books, manuscripts, maps, films, sound recordings, films and legal documents.

For more library fun, try these books or check out our “Cool Libraries” board on Pinterest :

The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman (FIC Shulman) — New York high school student Elizabeth gets an after-school job as a page at the “New-York Circulating Material Repository,” and when she gains coveted access to its Grimm Collection of magical objects, she and the other pages are drawn into a series of frightening adventures involving mythical creatures and stolen goods.

This book is overdue! : how librarians and cybrarians can save us all by Marilyn Johnson (021.2 Joh) — Showcases the work of librarians in a variety of fields to examine how, in the early twenty-first century, they still serve as educators, archivists, and curators despite the abundance of digital information available to the general population.

Here lies the librarian by Richard Peck (FIC Peck) — Fourteen-year-old Eleanor “Peewee” McGrath, a tomboy and automobile enthusiast, discovers new possibilities for her future after the 1914 arrival in her small Indiana town of four young librarians.

Our libraries by Dana Y. Wu (027.073 Wu) — This book explores the history of libraries in the U.S., including the Library of Congress; describes the services of libraries; and discusses how libraries are changing in the information age.



2012 Teens’ Top Ten Nominations

The American Library Association (ALA) has announce the finalists for the 2012 Teens’ Top Ten Award!  You will be able to VOTE for your favorites during Teen Read Week (October 14 – 20, 2012).

This year’s nominees are (the ones MoHi owns or has on order are in bold):

  • All good children by Catherine Austen — Max, his sister Ally and their mother return home to Middleton to find Ally’s classmates acting strange.  It is the future, and the government has created a “vaccine” to make kids easier to teach – they are less rowdy, less likely to question, and willing to obey any direction.  Max’s family has a choice: to be “vaccinated,” to flee their home, or stay and fight.
  • Ashes by Ilsa Bick — Alex, Tom, and Ellie join forces after an electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky.  The pulse kills most of the world’s population and destroys all computer devices, but it also turns some who remain into zombies or gives them superhuman senses.
  • Abandon by Meg Cabot — Pierce has experienced death before and barely escaped.  When she moves from her old town to a town called Isla Huesos – Island of Bones – for a new start, she realizes that death wants her back.  Can she escape death once again?
  • Tempest by Julie Cross — Jackson is a typical college kid until the day his girlfriend, Holly, is shot.  Jackson decides he must use his one incredible gift, the ability to time travel.  He goes back in time two years, trying to discover a way to alter the future so that Holly lives.  The future is full of uncertainty and the past is full of betrayal – is there anyone Jackson can trust?
  • What happened to goodbye by Sarah Dessen — Ever since Mclean’s parents divorced, she has lived in four towns in two years – each time taking on a new persona.  Mclean expects to leave Lakeview in six months, but soon finds that she doesn’t want to – she just wants to be herself.
  • Wither by Lauren DeStefano — In the future, experimental genetics ensures that males only live to 25 and females to 20.  When 16-year-old Rhine is kidnapped and sold into marriage, she is determined not to let her walls down for anyone so she can escape and go home to her brother.  But when she meets her sister wives and Gabriel, a handsome servant, she finds it harder than ever as she tries to plan her escape under the watchful eye of her sinister father-in-law.
  • Where she went by Gayle Forman — This sequel to If I stay is narrated by Adam, Mia’s ex-boyfriend.  Shortly after the devastating accident that killed Mia’s family, the talented cellist moves to New York, where an accidental meeting brings them back together.
  • Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen — Will Scarlett is one of the Merry Men, Robin Hood’s legendary band of thieves, but what few people know is that Will Scarlett is actually … a girl!  Disguised as a boy to escape from her past, Scarlett robs from the rich and gives to the poor.  When an old enemy of Scarlett’s appears, she must choose: Keep her identity hidden? Or keep the people of Nottingham safe?
  • Eona : the last Dragoneye by Alison Goodman — As the battle for ultimate control of her home draws near, Eona finds herself waging an internal battle that might cause more damage thatn the war threatening to break out across the kingdom.
  • The fault in our stars by John Green — Hazel and Augustus meet and forge a relationship at a support group for kids battling cancer.  As Hazel and Augustus struggle with the “side-effects of dying,” they come to learn the strength of wishes, the complexities of long human lives, and the wondrous ways of the universe.
  • Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge — When Paige Turner and her family moves to Brooklyn from rural Virginia, she tries to make sense of her new life through her sketchbook, which exposes her true personality and helps her find herself.
  • Legend by Marie Lu — June, a 15-year-old military prodigy, is hunting Day, the outlaw she believes is responsible for her brother’s death.  What will happen when the two meet and discover the government is corrupt?
  • Hourglass by Myra McEntire — Emerson Cole sees dead people – ghosts from the past blending in with her surroundings.  When a few consultant from a secretive organization shows up at her door to try to cure her, everything changes.  But diving into the world of the mysterious Hourglass Society proves to be dangerous as the past merges with the present.
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer — A futuristic retelling of the classic Cinderella, Cinder, a cyborg and talented mechanic, lives with her cruel stepmother and two stepsisters in the plague-ridden New Beijing.  Soon after meeting Prince Kai, Cinder must find the truths of her past, which may help to save the future.
  • Shine by Lauren Myracle — When her best friend falls victim to a horrible hate crime, 16-year-old Cat sets out to discover the culprits in her backwoods town in North Carolina.
  • A monster calls, inspired by an idea by Siobhan Dowd by Patrick Ness — Conor suddenly wakes up just past midnight to find a monster outside his window.  This monster wants something from Conor that he is reluctant to give: the truth.
  • This dark endeavor : the apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel — In this prequel to Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein is on a dark quest to save his twin’s life.  With help from his best friend Henry and his lovely cousin Elizabeth, the three go on a quest to concoct the mythical Elixir of Life.  How far is he willing to go to save his twin?
  • Across the universe by Beth Revis — Cryogenically frozen centuries ago, Amy and her parents are on their way to a new planet aboard the spaceship, Godspeed.  Unplugged from her cryo chamber, Amy discovers she has been awoken 50 years early, in a failed murder attempt.  With Elder, the future leader of the ship, by her side they are on an adventure filled with murder, lies, dreams, and stars.
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs — When Jacob was little, his grandfather would tell him stories of the fantastical children’s home where he grew up and the seemingly magical kids who lived there with him.  When his grandfather is killed, Jacob sets out to find the home where these children lived, unearthing a magical secret and uncovering his true heritage.
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth — Abnegation (selfless), Erudite (intelligence), Candor (honesty), Amity (peace), or Dauntless (brave): where would you fit?  Beatrice lives in a society where she must choose either to remain with her family’s faction or set off towards independence and her beliefs.  And what happens when the unity between these factions begins to fall apart?
  • Between shades of gray by Ruta Sepetys — In 1941, Lina, her mother, and younger brother are taken from their home in Lithuania and sent to Siberia.  The only thing that keeps her going is her secretly-created art and the hope that one day she’ll be reunited with her father.
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater — Every November, the beaches of Thisby come alive with the Scorpio Races.  The water horses are vicious, the terrain is treacherous, and death is likely, but the reward can be beyond anything you could imagine.  Puck Connolly is racing for her family, Sean Kendrick for his passion – but only one can win the  Scorpio Races.
  • How to save a life by Sara Zarr — A year after Jill’s father dies, her mother decidess to adopt a baby.  Mandy’s been living in different places, but now that she’s pregnant, she wants to make sure her baby has the love and support she never did.  A story of two girls dealing with grief, new life, and everything in between when their paths cross.
  • All these things I’ve done by Gabrielle Zevin — In 2083, water is rationed, paper is rare, and coffee and chocolate are illegal.  Anya Ballanchine balances a mobster family, ailing grandmother, and forbidden love – until it all comes crashing down.

How many have you read?

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Do I Have Any Volunteers?

Hands On Miami volunteers help out at Zoo Miami.

Hands On Miami volunteers help out at Zoo Miami. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today is Volunteer Recognition Day. If you do volunteer work, give yourself a pat on the back.  If you don’t, find someone who does and give them a pat on the back.  You can also read one of these novels about people who have volunteered their time:

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.

Peace, love, and baby ducks by Lauren Myracle (FIC Myracle) — Fifteen-year-old Carly’s summer volunteer experience makes her feel more real than her life of privilege in Atlanta ever did, but her younger sister starts high school pretending to be what she is not, and both find their relationships suffering.

How to build a house by Dana Reinhardt (FIC Reinhardt) — Seventeen-year-old Harper Evans hopes to escape the effects of her father’s divorce on her family and friendships by volunteering her summer to build a house in a small Tennessee town devastated by a tornado.

Kathleen’s story by Lurlene McDaniel (FIC McDaniel) — With the support of her two best friends, sixteen-year-old Kathleen tries to balance her summer volunteer work at the hospital with her responsibilities caring for her mother, who has multiple sclerosis, and her attraction to a handsome boy.

Project princess by Meg Cabot (FIC Cabot) — Princess Mia and her friends volunteer to build a house for the less fortunate during their spring break.

Rising water by P. J. Peterson (FIC Peterson) — Tracy, her brother, and the new animal care volunteer at the Jefferson Science Center travel by boat to feed a dog stranded by flooding, and end up having a full day of dangerous adventures, which give them new perspectives about themselves and about each other.

The rescue by Nicholas Sparks (FIC Sparks) — Taylor McAden’s devotion to his work as a volunteer fireman has left no room in his life for love, but when he becomes involved in the search for four-year-old Kyle who has disappeared following an automobile accident in which his mom, Denise, was injured, Taylor develops feelings for Denise that he cannot deny.

Emergency room by Caroline B. Cooney (FIC Cooney) — The lives of volunteers Diana and Seth are changed forever as they struggle to find their roles in a busy city hospital emergency room.

Close to the edge by Gloria D. Miklowitz (FIC Miklowitz) — In spite of having all the advantages money can provide, high-school senior Jenny sees little point in life until she volunteers to play the piano for a senior citizens’ band and receives the benefit of elderly wisdom.