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

October 30, 2009

Apollonian and Dionysian

Friedrich Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy
Reviewed by Grady

The Birth of Tragedy is a very challenging book but is worthwhile because it forces the reader to examine art in a very deep way. The book examines the roots of Greek tragedy as well as the concepts of Dionysian spirit and the Apollonian dream state.

Nietzsche beautifully describes the freedom brought on by the Dionysian spirit in statements such as this, "The individual, with his limits and moderations, forgot himself in the Dionysiac vortex and became oblivious to the laws of Apollo. Indiscreet extravagance revealed itself as truth, and contradiction, a delight born of pain, spoke out of the bosom of nature." The language of Nietzsche's analysis is unique and the message that he is trying to convey is critical of the greatest artists and philosophers. He spends a small portion of the book criticizing Socrates' misunderstanding of tragedy and insightfully analyses the philosopher. The ultimate power of the book is a reconfiguration of the reader's perspective of tragedy. Through his examination I gained a greater understanding of tragedy and greater appreciation of all art.

Posted by library at 02:50 PM

The Girls of Dish

Deep Freeze by Diane Mildrow
Reviewed by: Chimey

Diane Mildrow completes the eighth book in the Dish series with an astonishingly spellbinding book.
What is Dish? Amanda and Molly Moore, Peichi, Shawn, and Natasha get together for cooking and earning money, Dish is formed—the cooking group.

In Deep Freeze, Windsor Middle School goes for a ski trip. The group can't wait to get a relief from busying their tired arms in the kitchen. So they all agree to go on the ski trip and chat about it all school day. A nice, long, break. What could go wrong? Only, Angie's there.

Angie was Shawn's former friend until she started bullying Shawn's friends. Disappointed in her friend, Shawn dropped Angie and returned to Dish. Now Angie's back for revenge and Shawn's life takes a critical twist as she is embarrassed and humiliated by her rival. Many things take place as Angie plays her part.

Angie switches Shawn's bus and, separated from her friends, Shawn sits three rows away quietly from Angie and her cheerleading friends. Graffiti and gum end up on Shawn's belongings. Scared but refusing to tell any adults, Shawn remains quiet. But she tries to ignore the insults and remarks with her pals by her side.

Omar, Justin, and Connor jump into the girls' cabins, snapping a picture of them in face masks and rushing out. The next morning, there's a picture of them in the same hands thrown up position. In a hearty but determined mood, the girls decide on a plan to get them back.

They slip into the boys' cabin and set up different alarm clocks all over the cabin. The boys wake up the next morning to seven different ringing noises, tired and exhausted. They exchange woozy but slightly hearty glances at breakfast.

Is everything what is seems to be? Is everything going to be alright with Shawn and Angie? Was she really going to survive a whole ski trip with Angie? Read the rest of the book to find out.

Dish, by Diane Mildrow is one of my favorite series, especially this book, Deep Freeze. I give this book 5 full stars. I think this book is only for girls since everything is from a girls' view. Diane is a great writer. I almost felt like I was in the story! I loved the part where the boys and girls taped names up on the windows in the bus. Check this book out today!

Posted by library at 02:12 PM

October 21, 2009

Book Sale

Friends of the Library fall book sale

Saturday, November 7
10-3
Library lawn.

Posted by library at 11:35 AM

October 09, 2009

Seeking Perfection

Perfect by Natasha Friend
Reviewed by Segan

Perfect. The title may sound plain and boring, but the book is by far one of the best books I have ever read! Perfect by Natasha Friend is a REAL book and has even more realistic people and problems.

Perfect is a book about a young girl named Isabelle Lee. In the beginning of the book, everything seems fine until you find out that Isabelle's family is still coping with the death of their father. With her little sister, April (also known as ape face) always ratting her out and her mom crying herself to sleep at night, Isabelle's life is not going so great. One day, "ape face" tattles on Isabelle for trying to make herself throw up in the bathroom. Which pretty much ends up with Isabelle having to go to a Eating Disorder and Body Image Group. And if it's not horrible enough for her, Isabelle gets in for a real treat when she finds out that the most popular girl in school is in the therapy group. Throughout the book, Isabelle finds out that being "perfect" is NOT always the thing to be.

I really recommend this book for many reasons. One of them being that the book can reflect on who a person really is and what the word perfect really means. So, next time you want something to read, pick up the book Perfect by Natasha Friend.

Posted by at 02:58 PM

Flying Bunnies

Horowitz Horror by Anthony Horowitz
Reviewed by Jackson

As far as I know, every one has heard of the Alex Rider adventures, by Anthony Horowitz. Few children don't love that series. Yet, this book, Horowitz Horror, made as a collection of short stories by Horowitz himself, is rarely spoken of. After reading this book, I can see why. It's so un-scary, it's scary! This book is weak. I read the book twice, just to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. A more suitable title for this book would be Horowitz Tales of Flying Bunnies. The best thing about this book is that if you imagine enough, it can transform into a pillow for you to sleep on during American History class. The worst thing about this book is the trickery it uses. So many people love Anthony Horowitz, they assume that this book might only have one badly written story. The reader reads on and on for at least an hour before realizing that there are no scary stories, only stories about psychic computers (BLECH!!!) and respecting nature. The characters may seem real, but only if by real you mean a boy who "accidentally" walks into an arcade game. The setting changes each story, from London to farmland, and cannot hold my attention for more than ten words. I was bored to tears when I was reading this book. There was too much story, and not nearly enough action. The author called his character's parents by their first names, which was very confusing. Boys aged 8-10 might enjoy this book more than the older kids, who are probably busy reading comics. Sure, this book is scary, if you haven't read The Lottery yet. That was a scary book.

Posted by at 02:48 PM

Beware the Bunnies

Bunnicula by James Howe.
Reviewed by Joie

The latest horror is not a monster story like Frankenstein, nor a love story featuring Godzilla and King Kong. It resides in something you see nearly everyday in you daily household. A threat that would become a bunny's biggest scare. It is a tomato.

In the vampire story Bunnicula, a tomato turned white is the cause for distress in the Monroe household. Theories circle around from human to cat, while the keeper of these events finds that his nearby pet buddies are becoming stranger and stranger. Harold, a dog reporter, must determine to figure out exactly what is up with their new friend, a vampire bunny from the movies. With all the chaos descending on the household, who knows what the bunny might do?

The book was a very good read for all ages. The narrator is a likable, typical dog who allows kids to see what a household might be from a dog's point of view. The curious air that surrounds the bunny brought from the movie theater only adds to the excitement and quirkiness of the pets in the Monroe family. A entertaining read for a nice afternoon, it is light and good for kids. The entertainment of the detective work that that most children only pretend to do keeps everyone interested and laughing at a certain cat's work.

Posted by at 02:25 PM

Princess Heidi

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale.
Reviewed by Ruya

Princess Academy is the story of Miri, a small peasant girl of fourteen, named after a flower in her native home Mount Eskel, a minor territory of a mythical country. Her content life is changed forever when royal messengers come to her village and announce that a prophecy has been made: the wife of the future king is to come from Mount Eskel! All the mountain girls of an appropriate age (no one older than the prince) are shipped off to a strict school, where they learn everything that a princess should know. The best student would be the "academy princess," given special privileges, and introduced as such to the prince at the ball where he is to choose his bride. Though reluctant at first, the girls throw themselves into their studies, with the hope of marrying the prince, if only to earn a fine house for their families. Nobody works harder than Miri, who, in the process of studying at the academy, learns how to function better in her mountain life, learns the secrets of linder, a stone which is the primary export of Mount Eskel, and learns more about herself.

Princess Academy is best described as a fairy tale mixed with the original Swiss Heidi (Heidi, the Girl from the Alps by Johanna Spyri). It's got the goats (Heidi), the mountain (Heidi), the prince (fairy tale), the magic (just a touch; fairy tale), the main character with her ability to change people (Heidi mostly, but could be both), and the happy ending (Heidi ends rather happily, but happy endings are a fairy tale stereotype. Shannon Hale seems to be a fan of fairy tales, actually, because another of her books, The Goose Girl, was based on one.) While I think there are certain elements of the story that weren't explained enough, like the part about Britta's childhood, which you don't learn until the very end, those parts were unimportant to the main idea of the story. The parts about Miri learning how to negotiate, the magic of the linder, and her relationship with Peder are of more importance, and those were the parts which I think were done best. This story possesses all of the qualities that make a good story: humor, unexpected twists, entertaining characters (especially Miri. She's the kind of character you want to meet and be best friends with) and little moments that just make you smile and feel warm inside. While not the best book I've ever read, Princess Academy is definitely deserving of its Newbery Honor Award. It's the kind of book that I like to read when I'm feeling sad or depressed about something, because it never fails to put me in a good mood.

Posted by at 01:42 PM

October 02, 2009

Zhouyi (Yijing)

I Ching
Reviewed by Grady

The I Ching, or book of changes, is a powerful and influential book intended to bring universal understanding. The I Ching shows how the cycles that govern the world and the universe also govern people and social interaction. It is a work of psychology, philosophy, and religion as well as a variety of other topics. It explains why certain times are more troublesome than others and shows methods for achieving peace and getting ahead in life. The language of the I Ching is particularly impressive because it universally informs, providing advice and analyses that can be applied to any problem or question. The I Ching is ancient, but the wisdom it provides is too great for it not to survive through the generations.


Posted by library at 02:35 PM

Heidi's Hunt

So B. It by Sara Weeks.
Reviewed by Ariela

This is a wonderful book! So B. It is about a girl named Heidi who is 13 years old. Heidi lives with her neighbor and mental mother who can not talk, or do almost anything without help. Bernadette, her neighbor, has raised Heidi since she was young. Heidi has always wanted to meet her father, so Heidi goes out on a hunt to find her father, all alone. This becomes difficult for Heidi, but she stays confident in herself, for it is something she really wants to do.

I really enjoyed this book. It had a taste of everything, love, hate, drama. It has lots of action and can be very sad at times. At times it makes you cry , I sure did! I never got bored reading this book for every chapter was something new. I think girls may enjoy this book a little more because it is based on a girl and the problems she faces are more likely to be understood but a girls perspective. You can really relate to the characters in the book. They all have some sort of different personality that almost anyone can relate to. I really advise you to read this book. Its a great treat!

Posted by library at 02:16 PM