Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Epitaph Road by David Patneaude

It’s been thirty years since Elisha’s (like the Biblical prophet) Bear hit world-wide. In this world, there is no war, prisons are not full, not mass deaths, slavery or environmental disasters. Elisha’s Bear took care of all of that. Because now, 97% of the population are women. Most of the men died thirty years ago….

In the PE (Post-Elisha) world, Kellen lives with his mother, who is has an upper-level job with PAC, the Population Apportionment Council. They ensure that the current percentage of population gaps don’t close in, making the earth a more dangerous and vulnerable place that includes males. Kellen feels the sting. At school, girls are given the chance to become who and what they want to be. He has limited choices and a tough battery of tests to pass to be able to do something.

Kellen takes Tia and Sunday, two new girls, down Epitaph Road, a place where mass graves for the dead men in the Seattle area are buried. Burning crosses dot the field with Frathiests coming to make their pilgrimages. Epitaphs on a granite monolith are carved with the words of the survivors, including the epitaph to Kellen’s grandfather. Life is tough, but now governments focus of healthcare, educational reforms and clean environments instead of nuclear devices, prison reform.

Kellen soon learns that Tia is looking and searching for truth behind cover-ups and conspiracy theories, including what exactly happened thirty years ago. And when his history project turns up a defunct website, junkyarddog.bites, he begins to fit some missing puzzle pieces together….

It isn’t until Kellen overhears his aunt and mother arguing about the safety and life of his father, now a loner living at Afterlight, to spur Kellen into action. Something big is about to go down and wipe out his father’s last breath, and Kellen is determined to save him. And it’s what happens to Tia, Sunday and Kellen when they begin their journey that opens to the door to more chaos, conspiracy and death.

What a unique and different twist on a future dystopian world. Patneaude takes the minority in society to create a very strong main character in this book, creating a balance between the two. Starting as a flashback to Kellen’s father as a teen who survived, the reader gets in touch with how the world is run now, but it isn’t until Patneaude takes the reader into the unseen history that changes the novel into one of intense suspense. This book is thought-provoking, page-turning, and will have readers reading fast and furious to find out the truth in the hidden history of this book’s past, but what the outcome will be for Kellen, Tia, and Sunday. Highly recommended

Saturday, October 23, 2010

For those treading the uncertain waters of e-readers

This couldn't come at a better time for me. The SLJ Leadership Summit focused on the 21st century. I am a changed person. Change is difficult and not very well received because people sometimes become entrenched in personal beliefs and status quos. But we need to make sure we look at the change and why it's needed and be careful....don't look at one side but BOTH sides. It's so much easier finding info YOU want to support reasons for not supporting change. I had the honor of listening to Stephen Abram, among other leaders, talk, and here are some key highlights of his speech for the change from traditional books to e-books:

The internet has passed it's infancy - it's now moving into its terrible twos, and we have to control it.

"Shift happens"

Teens have collaboratively created a new language (texting) in two years. Who are we to stifle their creativity because we don't understand this change paradigm?

9 percent of books through Amazon sales has gone down.

Women are predominant buyers of e-readers. This is going to filter down to their children as reading models

Google is in collaboration with 80 percent of publishers for online books.

We don't buy albums anymore but singles online. Kindle has singles, which is a fundamental shift that will change reading of short stories and poetry.

20 percent of the population is text-based learning while 80 percent is experience-based. Think of the preference of watching a video vs reading a manual.

Reading goes on with and without binding.

50 percent of people go to Amazon to look at a book and its reviews et al before going to the OPAC.

If you feel like you're drowning in technology and it's overwhelming, start small!

And there are still some questions. Another speaker said

we don't have a common vocabulary when it comes to e- books. There are e- book and enhanced e- books. Do you know the difference?

Books now come with directions

Do we buy or subscribe? What exactly do we own when we have an e-reader

The Carnegie Foundation speakers showed that 4 million US homes have e-readers and predicts sales of more than 29 million devices by 2015.

57 percent of kids 9-17 are interested in e-readers and are more likely to read for pleasure on this format.

So I'm changing my focus and looking at the evidence to embrace 21st century reading. If I don't, then the library I work in will be the one that never changes while the rest of my school goes forward in the classroom with educational technology and standards and the new state standards that have been revamped to integrate new technologies. I'm not one who wants to be a dinosaur...I like the hip, on the top of the newest out there instead.

Now to change some mindsets....!

Remember....10 years ago with the advent if the Internet, pessimists predicted the demise of libraries. But we proved them wrong and adapted to it. We can do it again in this new digital age.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hot New Books For October!!

I was creating a new list for October, and am posting this to share with everyone. These books have been published in the last three years and have appeal outside the month of October. But since October lends itself to the spooky, mysterious, and supernatural I thought an updated version would do nicely. On top of that, I've created a playlist of excellent booktrailers from Youtube that go along with most of these books. So look for the ones with an asterick - those have a trailer with them. I also listed sequels if there is one - that's always a good thing to display as well.
First the booklist:

2010 Books
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies graphic novel by Tony Lee
* The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan
* The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
* The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Killer
* Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder (associated novel: I Heart You, You
Haunt Me)
* Dark Divine by Bree Despain

2009 Books
* The Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink (sequel: Guardian of the Gate)
The Twilight Zone graphic novels
* Sleepless by Thomas Fahy
* Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (sequel: Linger)
* Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender
Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith (sequel: Solitary)
* Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
* The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (sequels: Dead Tossed Waves
and Dark and Hollow Places)
* Soul Enchilada by David Macinnis Gill
* Ruied by Paula Morris
* Malice by Chris Wooding (sequel: Havoc)
* Eternal by Cynthia Leitech Smith
* Need by Carrie Jones (sequels: Captivate; Entice)

2008 Books
* Parliament of Blood by Justin Richards
* The Devouring by Simon Holt (sequels: Soulstice; Fearscape)
* Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley (sequels: Ghostgirl: Homecoming;
Ghostgirl: Lovesick)
Angel by Cliff McNish
* Bliss by Lauren Myracle
Night Road by A.M Jenkins
* Wake by Lisa McMann (sequels: Fade; Gone)

Story Collections:
Restless Dead
Love is Hell
666: The Number of the Beast

And here is the Youtube playlist I created. This can also be found on my Youtube channel, YA Books and More if you wanted to run it from a computer for display (of course, if you get it at school...grrrrr!!):

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink

Here's my newest trailer - this was published in 2009 but the sequel is now out.  Sometimes I review a book in advance and have to wait a year or more for the sequel...not this time!!

This is also posted on my Schooltube channel if you'd like to embed it: