Monday, September 30, 2013

And if you have any more time for Pinterest....

This is a compiled list I made from all the wonderful suggestions from librarians.  Give me a weekend without interruption!!

The Nazi Hunters by Neal Bascomb: Narrative Non-fiction

World War II will always be remembered as the war that carved death and destruction throughout Europe. The Jewish people were the main target of this "Final Solution" and weren't safe in any country Germany overcame. Ghettos were created as temporary sites, then came the concentration camps...Auschwitz, Birkenau, Treblinka and more. Over 5 million Jews were sent to these death camps and died there. The survivors left and began a new Israeli nation, but they never forgot the horror they experienced.

 The men that played pivotal parts in the "Final Solution" were a group of high-ranked Nazis, given the task to eradicate the Jews. They were the faces of darkness and evil, burned into the memories of the Jewish people who went through the process of genocide. Adolf Eichmann was one of those faces burned into survivors' memories. As head of operations for the "Final Solution, he showed no emotion as he lied to Jews and sent them to be killed without a second thought. At the end of the war, Eichmann went into hiding and was never seen again...until thirteen years later...

While some people actively sought out where he was, there were others who happened to stumble upon the information, and once Eichmann was identified, Israel began an incredibly detailed plot to find, capture and bring him to justice on Israeli soil. This is their story.

 But Bascomb also writes a multi-layered non-fiction book that shows different viewpoints of Jewish survivors, leaders of nations, Nazi war criminals and their families, and innocent people who played a pivotal role in Eichmann's capture. It's also a book about spies and one of the best kept secrets of the time. From Germany to Israel, the United States to Argentina, Bascomb takes the reader on an epic journey to find justice to many who still bore the tattoos of survival. While teens today look at World War II as history from a long time ago, the day Eichmann was sentenced for his war crimes was only a mere fifteen years since the ending of the war and the horrors and scars the Nazi party left behind.

 Taking cues from traditional history of World War II, Bascomb builds on it with the most sensational news and retribution the Jewish nation of Israel went through in the early stages of building a nation. The spies who undertook this effort not only underwent physical stress and turmoil, but it also took an emotional toll on them by forcing them into Eichmann's life and  looking into the eyes of the man who killed their families and friends.

 This is one of those non-fiction books that will reach out to YA readers and keep them riveted until the last page. And when they're doing reading, this story will take them online to find out more. That's the first thing I did after reading the citations (which are interesting in and of itself). It's hard to wrap my mind around this hatred and cold-heartedness of the Nazis, and there were moments in the book that chilled me, but that's what a good book will do. HIGHLY recommended!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Stung by Bethany Wiggins

2013, Walker Childrens.

Fiona wakes up to a world of horror.  Dust, death, decay...and demonized humans.  She can't possibly understand how or why she ended up here.  And it's not a nightmare either - it's real.  Looking down at her hand, she sees a tattoo, an oval with five lines extending from both sides.  What is it and why is it there?  She has no idea about anything and feels more than lost in a world she didn't fall asleep in.

Enter the new world of Denver Colorado.  Those who live inside the walls are protected, making sure they aren't contaminated.  There is food, medicine, clean water...everything one needs to live a healthy life, ensuring that humanity has a chance of survival.  The Bowen brothers are part of the militia willing to die to keep their city safe, including taking the most dangerous jobs available - guarding the gates from the humans turned monsters.

Then there are those outside of the wall.  They fight to survive, and many don't make it.  While some on the outside aren't as brutal, there are those who have no more understanding.  They've been completely taken over by the virus and have becoming killing machines.  Besides survival, the only common thing the Others have is that everyone of them bear the tattoo, some with two marks, some with five, some with ten.  And it's the Level 10s that are the deadliest, leaving no survivors...

The time it took for everything to change started slow and then overwhelmed.  The near extinction of bees prompted government intervention, which turned deadly.  Those who received treatment from deadly stings had no idea what it would do to them until it was too late.  Fiona was one of the unlucky ones.

Now, she's running on the outside trying to survive.  The more she runs, the closer she gets to the gates of the wall.  She knows there are things about her that's aren't normal, some things that have changed, making her anger dangerous.  And she's about to meet the militia head-on....

Wiggins writes a book full of intrigue and adventure and the path to world destruction was believable.  She lures the reader into not only a world divided, but one where trust is the most valuable commodity and the world isn't the only thing that's turned ugly.  Although the book begins slower that I anticipated, it didn't take long for me to visualize the world the main character now lives in.  The only disappointing factor was that Fiona is far different from those of Katniss and Tris. While they are kick-A girls, Fiona is much more feminine, not bearing the marks of a strong female equal in strength to strong male characters.  I'm sure the author took into consideration the circumstances of
Fiona's character and wrote about someone just entering this world, not having grown up in it.  I'm hoping to see changes in Fiona in the next installment.  Regardless of what type of girl it is, those readers who live and breathe dystopia will enjoy this story to the end. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

YA Non-Fiction: love it, don't leave it!

Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin.  2012 MacMillan

No ,this isn't just another bomb book.  It's more than that....
Sheinkin starts this book off with intrigue.  A map falls out of a book, and a spy a caught.  This is just the first of many Russian spies caught during a time when the  US was secretly making the nuclear bomb.  While not the highly publicized Rosenberg cases, the spies written about in this book have built an intricate web of deceit and information that slowly reveals itself to the reader to show the scope of the damage and information these spies created.
Another viewpoint of this book is the race itself.  Germans may have discovered how to split atoms, but who would build the ultimate bomb?  The race was on and what was at stake was the world.  Would Hitler or Russia win?  How close were they compared to the United States?  At what cost would the United States pay to be first?  And just how close were the enemy to their final product?  All of these questions and more are answered in this riveting narrative of a piece of history that made a huge impact.  The impact affected not only technology advances, but human lives and the future of the world.  I can't even imagine where we'd be now if Germany had won this deadly race...
Packed with stunning photographs and individual narratives from key people in the story (from scientists to spies to officers in the Armed Forces), Sheinkin will take you back to the beginning of it all and immerse the reader with rich stories.  Highly recommended JH/HS

Kennedy's Last Days: The Assassination that Defined a Generation by Bill O'Reilly.  2013 Henry Holt and Co.

Just what any teen wants to read for pleasure...another biography of a dead president.  But oh, contraire, let's just stop right there and really take a look at this awesome book for YA.
This is a story about two men who were destined to meet.  It's also a story of timing and coincidences.  O'Reilly takes the reader on two different paths, parallel to each other but distinctly different. 
President Kennedy's life from his early days until his death are chronologically written in a style that will attract YA readers .  But it's chapter two that creates the whole foundation for the book.  Right beside Kennedy's life is that of the life of Lee Harvey Oswald in the same time frame as Kennedy's.  From their family life as a child to their service to the military; from marriage and children to personal thoughts and outlooks; from the troubles each faced personally and professionally to the final outcome of their lives, the author weaves a story from both sides, allowing the reader to understand the whole story, not just one point of view.  And that is what will capture the reader's attention.  Not so much the assassination, but the small things that led up to this fateful meeting and how it changed America.  No textbook writing's so much better and the images are stunning.  Highly recommended JH/HS

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fall 2013 Booktalk!!

This is my favorite time of the year and I can't wait!! One of my major goals is to collaborate more with public YA librarians and this time I have the awesome Sarah Thompson from Roanoke Public Library talking it up with me! Here are the books we'll be sharing...time to get extra copies!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Great Non-Fiction Titles for Teens, 2009-2013

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

There is such a thing as a Freebie - 10 Great online storage sites

I don't know about you, but I have a drawer full of jump drives and little SD cards that I have saved anything and everything to.  The only way I know what's on a specific gadget is to insert and look at the files.  How tedious is that?

Not only that, but have you ever lost a storage device and FREAKED becaue it contained your whole life?'s happened to me before as well.

And don't even get me started on having files that are too large and won't fit, corrupted gadgets, getting a nasty name it, it's happened or will eventually.

But there IS a solution!  Instead of paying money for a jump drive, SD card or other some such, try using the free accounts online to store and access.  Here are just a few:  offers 15G offers 2G 5G offers 5G offers 5G offers 10G no limit, but limits content uploaded monthly  starts at 2G offers 7G offers 10G
So overall, you could potentially have over 60G of storage for FREE!!

Additionally, most of these services are online applications, which means that you can store and save from any device (ie smartphone, table, desktop, laptop) and open it from any of these as well using an application that allows use over multiple devices and platforms.