Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Last Exit To Normal

Abby and I hit the Review Room Friday after work. Review Room is one of my favorite places on the planet because it houses all of the free books that publishers send the district. If you read them, write a review on them, you get to keep them for your library.

The gem of the week: "The Last Exit To Normal". I wish that it was not copyright illegal to put quotes from this book in my blog because just about every single page has something hysterical or something so well written on it you can't help but admire it. That is a hard feat to accomplish when you are writing about some weighty topics. However, the ease with which the words flit onto the page make you wish that author Michael Harmon was your best friend. I know that writing isn't easy; this man can craft words, though, and he gets "it". Just reading the first paragraph of the dust jacket clued me in to the fact that this experience would be unique and wholly satisfying.

All I can say after reading that book is that I wish I had a tough old broad Aunt who thumped me with spoons when I messed up. I wish that I lived in Montana and worked on a farm. And that I am so glad that I have a family like Ben's - without all of the drama (I would much prefer to learn life lesson's through text rather than my own experiences...).
The end is a nice tidy package, which is incongruent with the rest of the book, but I still think it is worth the read and I can't wait to see what the kids think! I am sending it to trial with Jason first, though. I want to see what he thinks...I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What Superpower Would You Want?

I just opened the fridge and a coke rolled out and exploded on the floor. It completely soaked my pants and soggied up my shoes (#1 pet peeve). It went into some recesses in the kitchen I didn't know existed. And then, the dogs - in their excitement - traipsed through it all...and then started licking it up. While I was down on my knees cleaning it all very thoroughly, even the little grouty-grout pieces...I thought back to a book I finished recently. In the book, the main character (Thom) comes into his superpowers...superpowers that he didn't really know about before.

This book is called Hero and it is authored by Perry Moore (who, apparently, is the cat's pajamas, and just executive produced "The Lion, The Witch..." etc...).
Moore did a great job writing this book. He wasn't preachy. He wasn't one themed. He was multi-faceted and the book was an easy read.

Thom, despite having an unnecessary "h" in his name, was a very likable kid who was coming of age. He has a lot of issues to deal with: his home life, his budding powers of healing, his missing mother, oh...and the fact that he is gay and his father won't approve.

But what you like about Thom is that he decides he has to be true to himself and then he goes out and lives the life that makes that happen.
Many YA- GLBT books seem to stop at the fact that the main character is gay and out. Moore didn't let his book fall into this trap. Instead, the fact that Thom was gay was represented from the start...and his struggle became more about, as one of the secondary characters, Ruth, put it: choices. The choices that we make, good or bad, that influence our lives.

My superpower would be I could tell that the exploding coke was coming and avoid it all together. Altruistic, I know.
But I would use it to communicate that if we all read a little more Moore, we might be a better planet.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

"The Fortunes of Indigo Skye"

I have long been a fan of Deb Caletti's ( When I first became a librarian almost five years ago, her novel Honey Baby Sweetheart had just been placed on the TAYSHAS reading list. After reading it, I was in love with this author.

There are certain times in your life when you can completely identify with a character or a feeling. Caletti's writing is chalked full of these personal truths. I think that is why she connects so well with her audience.

Since Honey Baby Sweetheart, Caletti has gone on to pen The Queen of Everything, Wild Roses, The Nature of Jade, and her latest addition to the collection: The Fortunes of Indigo Skye. Usually with authors, they write a hit and miss, but I have yet to read a Caletti miss. She is AMAZING!!

The Fortunes of Indigo Skye is richly complex with human emotions. The main character, Indigo Skye, is a high school student who waitresses. To hear her describe waitressing changes how you treat people!! It also makes you exhausted. When Indigo gets a check/tip from a customer to the tune of $2.5 mil, she is shocked. The rest of the book is the roller coaster ride that money can be. Indigo loses herself, finds herself, and learns the life lesson about what is important (people and relationships) and how to keep it.

Normally, I would tell you to go and check this out immediately from your library (because any time I can plug a library, why not!!). However, with this book, with all of Deb Caletti's books, you need to buy them. And you need to read them with a pen handy. The way she crafts a sentence will resonate within you (no matter your age). You will want to underline the truths she buries in her work. You will want to unearth the little treasures and store them in your memory (or your quote book, as the case may be).

Friday, April 18, 2008


This week I attended TLA.
I am all about being a librarian. It is a large part of my identity. I had a great time at TLA. A great time!
However, there are a few things that I would like to point out to others of my profession.

It goes a little like this:
1. Over a certain weight limit, knit pants are FORBIDDEN. Knit pants look good on my sister. She weighs 90 lbs. If you aren't in this category, go right to your closet and "weed" those pants from the collection.

2. If you do decide to forgo my advice and keep the no-no-knits, please heed this warning: knit pants should only come in black. There is no need to match your horrible pants to your horrible shoes.

3. Shirts with applique - appliquepasa? Why? Seriously. No one needs to wear a school bus on their shirt. If I walked into my doctors office and she had a stethoscope monogrammed on her lab coat, I would probably collect my things and walk out. Where is our professional pride?

4. Why are librarians, who basically trademarked "shhhh!!!", always TALKING during presentations? Oh my gosh!

5. If you wear open toed sandals, skip the hose. If you have to wear the hose, skip the open toed sandals. Whoever said that these things go together is a horrible, horrible liar.

Not to be a Negative Nancy, but seriously folks - if we want to be professionals and recognized as such, we have a little work to do.

I am going to do my part...