Takoma Park Maryland Library · 101 Philadelphia Avenue · Takoma Park Maryland 20912 USA · 301.891.7259

July 24, 2008

Maximum Ride

Maximum Ride: Saving the World and other Extreme Sports
Reviewed by Jackson

It's finally that time again. You've finished your backbreaking chores and you finally have received your allowance. You run to town, eager to spend your hard earned cash. Unlike most kids, who would run into the nearest video games store, you decide to walk into a book store. When you go to the aisle that holds your favorite books, you stop. There are two books you see there. You must decide between Casablanca: A Novel, and Maximum Ride: Saving the World and other Extreme Sports. You being the child you are, have spent the whole summer reading "Alex Rider Adventures" books. Everyone needs a break from adventure now and then, right? Wrong. Completely and utterly wrong. If you were ever to feel this way, try this action packed novel by James Patterson. Ask your parents about him-- he writes murder mysteries. This book is the final one of the trilogy. Maximum Ride is a fourteen year old girl who travels with six other children across the world. They're perfectly normal, but they're only 98% human. The other two percent makes a huge difference. They have wings... and they need to stop the evil Itex corporation before they reduce the planets population by half. Are you interested yet? They best things about the book is how the author describes the breath taking experience of of flying through the sky. There is no bad thing about this book, unless you are an avian bird child and you are offended by such writing. This book is probably for the young adult audience, or the occasional 33 year old man who lives in his mother's basement and plays "World of Warcraft™ " 24/7. I write to you, dear reader, in the hopes that you will gaze past the fact that it is summer, and you should be at the video games store, and that you instead look at the fact that you procrastinated on your summer reading list last year and paid the price. But hey, don't blame me if your disappointed with Casablanca , and you would have rather received nothing but socks for Christmas.

Librarian's note: Go to YA J FIC PATTERS and look for these 3 books -
MAXIMUM RIDE ; #1 -- 2005 The angel experiment
MAXIMUM RIDE ; #2 -- 2006 School's out-- forever
MAXIMUM RIDE ; #3 -- 2007 Saving the world and other extreme sports

#4 is The Final warning.
#5, is expected in 2009.

Posted by library at 03:51 PM

July 20, 2008

Mas Chica Lit

Haters by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez.
Reviewed by Lensa

This book has a lot of interesting things but the best thing about the book is it is a page turner. U want to read more, as U read a chapter U just can't get enough of it. It is the best book i ever read. I don't thing there is any worst thing about the book but when the book ends it is really hard to accept it because it is that interesting. I know some people who read the book twice already. The reasons are that the characters do seem real, all the things that happen have shocking endings at the ends of the chapters and the setting is really interesting. It just looks like it happens right there as you are reading the story.

The story takes place at high school in California which makes it much more interesting. Paski, the new girl, didn't have a nice week because of the snotty kids in the school, except a really cute guy whom she liked named Chris who helped her through the the conflict in the school and helped her be a hero by saving lives with her visions and by winning a big race. I recommend this book for girls who like funny stories and a little romance - not too much. I don't recommend this book for boys because i think it is a little girlish book. I think U should really read the book for enjoyment or to laugh out loud. My opinion for this book is --- Ii reallllllllllly liked it so much that I can't wait till part 2 gets out....

Librarian's note: Haters is in our YA section. We also have a number of adult books by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez.
El club social de las chicas temerarias -- 2003 FIC VALDES
The Dirty Girls Social Club -- 2003 FIC VALDESR
Make him look good -- 2006 FIC VALDESR
Playing with boys -- 2004 FIC VALDESR

Posted by library at 04:56 PM

July 19, 2008

Two by Funke

The Thief lord by Cornelia Funke, translated by Oliver Latsch.
Reviewed by Julia

The Thief Lord is about two brothers who run away to Venice after their mother dies. There the brothers meet a gang of street kids who have a leader named Scipio, only a bit older than Prosper himself, who calls himself the Thief Lord, and who claims to have been in all the rich houses – but without permission. They live off of what he steals, selling it to Ernesto Barbarossa, a dishonest shopkeeper. What they don’t realize is that Scipio has a few secrets of his own – like where he disappears to every night. When the brother’s aunt comes to Venice looking for them, she hires Victor Getz, a PI, to find them. Victor ends up locked in the movie theater where they live – but not before finding out that the Thief Lord is no grand thief. Meanwhile, the gang takes on a job for an old man calling himself the Conte. When they find out that Scipio is the son of one of the richest men in Venice (who treats him like he’s stupider than pond scum) they feel betrayed. When they do the job for the Conte, they end up waking the owner, Ida, a photographer. She persuades them to let her come along to the Conte, and she tells them that the wooden wing that the Conte wants belongs to the magical merry-go-round of the Merciful Sisters, an orphanage, which had the ability to change your age. After they’ve given the Conte the wing they find out from Victor, who is now on their side after the aunt decides that she doesn’t want Prosper to ever see Bo again, that the money is fake. Meanwhile, the aunt gets Bo and is forcing him to dress up like a doll of her perfect boy and Prosper is practically suicidal. They get Bo back after he misbehaves so badly Esther never wants to see him again, but Prosper is gone with Scipio to the Conte’s island, where Scipio gets a ride on the merry-go-round for repayment. He gets to be about twenty, and he looks like a much nicer version of his father. Then Barbarossa sneaks in, and since it was his idea to give the kids fake money and he’s not exactly nice, they put him on the winged lion, which makes you younger. He gets off by breaking the lion once he’s about five years old, and they give him to aunt Esther. Bo, Prosper and Hornet (one of the kids) live with Ida, Scipio goes to work for Victor and the other kids find their own places.

This is a pretty well written story because it gives the realities of being on the streets without being too harsh. It combines the magic of Venice with a sense of reality extremely well, and ties up the loose ends pretty neatly without resorting to fairy-tale-wishes-come-true type writing. The book manages to describe the wonders of Venice without taking too much focus away from the plot, which uses fantasy and reality nicely. I’ve read this book about three times, and it’s exciting and funny every time. I would recommend this book to readers seven and up.

Dragon rider by Cornelia Funke, translated by Anthea Bell.
Reviewed by Joie

What happens if humans are about to invade your home? If you have no chance of being peaceful to each other, nor any chance of living in a place that's not populated by humans again? If your only hope was a legend dragging hundreds of years back, to where the Rim of Heaven lay? Such a journey and adventure would only be possible in Dragon Rider, by Cornelia Funke.

The humans are coming. The news circulates from a rat who has heard the event. The dragons who live in the valley only have one chance to live in an area where humans would stop coming. And young Firedrake, his furry brownie Sorrel, and one human boy must find the Rim of Heaven to save the last dragons. Packed with adventure and cleverness, a tale of dragons that will never be forgotten.

This book is recommended to any one who enjoys fantasy. It grabs you mind and attention and doesn't let go until the final twist is made. Betrayal and the ever fear of humans keeps you on your toes. Classmates agree that this is a thrilling story with fantasy creatures, and one enemy feared by all. Cornelia Funke is already an international fantasy writer with Inkheart, Inkspell, and The Thief Lord all works enjoyed by millions of people. Dragon Rider is no different. The quest will begin as soon as you open the pages of this imaginative book!

Librarian's notes:
We have the following books by Cornelia Caroline Funke -

Dragon rider (also on cassette)
Ghosthunters and the Incredibly Revolting Ghost
Ghosthunters and the muddy monster of doom!
Igraine the brave
Inkheart (also on cassette) Pictures from the movie.
Inkspell (also on CD)
Pirate girl
The princess knight
Princess Pigsty
El Senor de los Ladrones
The Thief lord (also on cassette) Pictures from the movie.
When Santa fell to Earth
Website

Posted by library at 05:07 PM

Huxley in the 60s

Aldous Huxley's The Doors Of Perception
Reviewed by Grady

The Doors of Perception is an illuminating look into the roots of 60s counterculture. It details Aldous Huxley's experimentation with the drug mescaline in order to change his perception and understand his own mind. It explores the Native American ceremonial use of the drug and compares it to American alcoholism, commenting that mescaline does not cause the disruptive behavior brought on by alcohol. I enjoyed Huxley's description of his state of mind as he describes losing interest in time and the physical shape of his surroundings while he focused on meaning. The language has the feel of a scientific journal but this is contrasted by his religious-sounding language which he uses to describe his experience. Huxley steps outside of himself, leaving behind his dystopian description of the world found in his novel Brave New World, and tries to explain what he felt was a very positive experience.

Librarian's notes:
Huxley, most famous as the author of Brave new world, wrote novels, poetry, essays, plays, and stories for children.

Have you read After many a summer dies the swan ?
Seen Huxley's Mike Wallace interview?

Yes, there were a lot of Huxleys. Aldous Huxley's grandfather was Darwin's friend, Thomas Henry Huxley; his mother the neice of the the poet Matthew Arnold; his brother the great biologist Julian Huxley.

Others in the family are less well-known today but were very curious characters in their time. One of Aldous' aunts, Mary Augusta Ward, was both a best selling novelist and a founder of the Women's National Anti-Suffrage League - yes, she was actively opposed to allowing women votes. (The league was shortly taken over by the Men's League for Opposing Woman Suffrage).

Posted by library at 04:45 PM

July 07, 2008

Percy Jackson, Demigod

Percy Jackson & the Olympians, series by Rick Riordan
Reviewed by Joie

The lightning thief Bk. 1
Epic tales usually begin faraway from home. They transverse time and space, creating a fantasy far beyond normal life. However, this story, The Lightning Thief, is about something huge and catastrophic happening right in our world.

Percy Jackson discovers a mysterious fate to be brought upon him right in his home city, New York. Greek gods start to change his life as he is suddenly thrown into a conspiracy. And somehow, he is saddled with the burden of returning an item to the gods, else face the horror of the world being thrown into chaos and nature at war.

Overall, this book sticks the greatness of the ancient Greek gods and the modern day America together to create a mind absorbing story. It is easy to understand, but a great book to enjoy on a dull day. The adventures and thrills of The Lightning Thief led my entire class pulled into its pages as they struggled with Minotaurs and boggled their minds with prophecies. People can easily see those every day weird events might be much more to one like Percy Jackson. From Greek god worshipers to people who just picked it up on the nearest shelf, I dare you to open those pages and experience a read of a lifetime.

The sea of monsters Bk. 2
Once again disaster strikes as poison seeps into the ground and satyrs go missing. An epic journey to a place, that is known too well and feared throughout, for a friend and many lives. This is the sequel, The Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan.

Percy Jackson has barely recovered from his last accusatory quest when another gets thrown at him. The protection is fading, the trusted ones are leaving, and a monster who has earned his place in legends is stirring. In one week, he must journey to the Sea of Monsters to rescue his best friend, and find the cure for his one chance at survival.

The story, a sequel to The Lightning Thief, brings in tides of fresh adventure that everyone loves. Although the story was brilliant, I felt it ended too soon. Perhaps that just goes to show how addicting it was. All my friends around me gushed over it and book trading happened for the next two weeks. New challenges with man-eating singers, orthodontist's nightmares, and more causes one to continue to read without stop. Laughing at Percy's blunders and party ponies. The detail is exquisite with the monsters specific enough to picture in your head. A plot turns your mind as you try to decide who to trust. Read and you won't be disappointed!

The Titan's curse Bk. 3
A third installment to a wondrous series, The Titan's Curse is a force to be reckoned with. You may have read the first two books, but the third holds secrets beyond imaginations.

A band of Hunters who've sworn loyalty to Artemis and a group of campers trying to prevent the gods from turning against each other at the Council. A monster so powerful that even a goddess cannot track it down. And only one week to stop the tragedy. Percy Jackson is once again on a quest. Yet this times he steals forth out of camp and faces something older, far more sinister, than the Gods themselves.

Three parts with more to come, The Titan's Curse holds readers captive. Some people might read further into the story and come up with ideas, but even just the raw text contains thrill. Friends and foes have been waiting for this moment, when the daughter of Zeus returns and the humans and half-bloods alike must fight for everything and everyone they wish to save. Twelve Gods, five quest undertakers, and one goal to save the world. Read it for the entertainment of the world!

The battle of the Labyrinth Bk. 4
The time has come once again. Words of stories and powers from the days of Ancient Greece roll off the page in a epic novel. The fourth and newest story has been brought to light. Picking up from when the ancient tales leave off, The Battle of the Labyrinth starts the threatening rising of one Titan and an tale with unexpected twists at every turn.

Being attacked is normal for the newly high schooler, Percy Jackson. These attacks usually end up getting him kicked out of schools, or destroying such schools. After all, being a half blood isn't an easy thing to be. Yet when a mortal, shrouded in mystery, comes up into his life again, followed by strange animal, automaton, and ghost monsters, a battle he has never known was possible is about to happen. The inventor, possibly insane and over a millennium old, is their only chance for survival. But with the Titans rising and Luke being called to serve his highest role, will they be able to reach him in time?

This book was checked out in my library as soon as it hit the shelves. Crowds of children line up at the library, hoping to hold it and receive it. I've read it and it lives up to all the books that Rick Riordan wrote before hand. Full of action, clever riddles, and befuddling mysteries, The Battle of the Labyrinth is one of the most breathtaking books of the series. Many line up to get it. Hundreds scream after reading it. Dash to the library and put down a hold, as the Labyrinth won't wait for you forever. Get ready to plunge into the inky depths and learn the ultimate secrets in this fabulous installment of the Percy Jackson and The Olympians, The Battle of the Labyrinth.

Librarian's notes:
Joie is right. These are very good.
A fifth book, The Lost Chariot, will be published in 2009.
Rick Riordan's blog.

Posted by library at 10:43 AM