Monthly Archives: July 2013

Worms! A Summer Reading Program Adventure

I may finally be prepared to write a post about a Summer Reading Program event….maybe. Okay (deep breath) I am past the half way mark for SRP programming this summer..YAY! So for one of my “successful” programs Diary of a Wormthis summer I held a Worms! Program. It was not my personal favorite program as I don’t like worms and it was uber messy….but the kids really enjoyed themselves. 

Recap:

For the program we started out with some interesting Did you knows?  about worms (which the kids did know a few of!) and then read the fabulous Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin.  After all the latecomers stopped trickling in, we moved the group outside where we made our very own Worm Hotels. Then we headed back inside, got washed up, and made dirt cups. I stuck to those three core events and then encouraged everyone to check some books out about worms or other underground creatures.

Worm Hotel:

I got the idea for my worm hotels from  education.com.  I did modify it a bit to suit my needs though and of course learned a ton from what I did do. 

Materials:

  •          Glass or Plastic Jars (I used the small sized canning jars, but in the future I would use larger ones)
  •          Sand
  •          Soil (preferably from your yard, not potting soil)
  •          Something to scoop all of the dirt and sand out with (I used plastic cups)
  •          Small Paper Bags (to put over finished hotels)
  •          Worms! (I just bought containers of them at Wal-Mart)

 To start with I set up jars on tables and on the ground outside around pails of dirt and sand.  The kids got into groups of 3-4 around the jars with their parents helping and layered sand and soil until it was near the top. Then I brought out the worms…and the kids got ecstatic! I could not believe how much they loved playing with them.  Parents were snapping pictures as the worms dangled from kids hands (unfortunately I didn’t get any because I was so BUSY). After everyone had their fun with the worms, two were put in each jar.  Then I told everyone that they could come visit their worms at the library later in the week to see the different paths they had made.  When everyone went in to wash up, I had a volunteer put a little water n each jar and then covered them with brown paper bags.

The end result: The kids loved making the hotels, but I didn’t have anyone come back to visit the poor little worms…which was okay because I was able to show the jars at programs I had within the week.  However, the paths weren’t great because my jars were too small, so I would definitely use larger jars in the future. I would have also have planned for the groups to decorate their own paper bags for the hotels to make it more personalized.

Dirt Cups:

  •          Pudding Cups
  •          Oreos
  •          Gummy Worms
  •          Plastic Bags
  •          Spoons

I like doing dirt cups at programs. They aren’t too difficult and everyone loves them. Everyone gets a pudding cup, a plastic bag with a cookie, two worms, and a spoon.  Kids get to crush up their cookies  in the bag, dump in the cup, add the worm, and ta-da….Dirt Cup. Easy Peasy!

My only problem was that I had no idea so many people were going to show up, so I ended up running out of pudding, but we made up for that with extra cookies and worms!

Overall the program as a whole was a hit and I learned a lot!

Unique and Thoughtful: The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

The Golem and the Jinni

The Golem and the Jinni
Helene Wecker
Adult Fiction
Rating 4

I wasn’t sure what was I expecting with this one, but it sure wasn’t this. I mean, I knew what a golem and a jinni were going into it and I expected a grown up story, but this was just a very different story, but I’m pretty sure I enjoyed it.  The Golem and the Jinni was a very unique story, a bit slow at times (especially when you’ve been used to reading YA for a while) but a worthwhile read. There were meaningful passages and the way it was written was quite magical. The conversations between the Golem and the Jinni were my favorite parts of all though.

“What do you think?” he pressed. “Do you believe in their God?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “The Rabbi did. And he was the wisest person I’ve ever met.  So yes, maybe I do.”

“A man tells you to believe and you believe?”

“It depends on the man. Besides, you believe the stories that you were told.  Have you met a jinni who could gran wishes?”

“No, but that ability has all but disappeared.”

“So, it’s just stories now. And perhaps the humans did create their God.  But does that make him less real? Take this arch.  They created it.  Now it exists.”

“Yes, but it doesn’t grant wishes,” he said.  “It doesn’t do anything.”

“True,” she said, “but I look at it, and I feel a certain way. Maybe that’s its purpose.”

He wanted to ask, what good was a God that only existed to make you feel a certain way? But he left off.

The story takes place in 1899 New York City which was lovely and flips between quite a few different characters point of views.  They were never hard to keep straight, but at first you wonder why in the world you’re reading about all of these seemingly random people.  I was so impressed by this element in the story; nothing was really placed in it without a purpose even though I was skeptical throughout while reading, Wecker proved me wrong.

One of the beset parts of the book though was that it really makes the reader think.  In almost every character, there seemed to be some part of them which was relatable (to me at least). And the ideas of beliefs, aspirations,  and freedom were remarkable.  So if you’re in the mood for a read that is more of a thinker that you have the time to enjoy and mull over, rather than a quick read, this is a good choice!

Two Exciting Upcoming Releases…and Where You Can Find Them Signed !

So there are two books coming out in the near future that I’m super excited about and I found places to pre-order signed copies!

The Passion of the Purple Plumeria (Pink Carnation, #10)The Passion of the Purple Plumeria (Pink Carnation #10) by Lauren Willig on August 6The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4)

AND  

The House of Hades (Lost Heroes #4) by Rick Riordan on October 8

If you’re like me, you can’t help but pre-order the books the minute they’re available online. And since I live in the middle of nowhere with absolutely no bookstores, I don’ feel bad about it.

However, I’ve only recently discovered that it’s not very hard to find bookstores where you can pre-order copies of books that are signed! So far I’ve only ordered signed copies through The Poisoned Pen (which is amazing! The books come covered and are packaged so they won’t get damaged.) and Barnes and Noble when they offer them (however, I received a signed copy from BN with a damaged dust jacket which I wasn’t too pleased about….).

This time I’m ordering  a signed copy Passion of the Purple Plumeria from the Poisoned Pen (Willig typically does signings here) and it seems like this one is only coming in paperback which is a bit disappointing since it won’t match the rest in the series….but oh well.

And I found a signed copy of Riordan’s The House of Hades on a site I haven’t used previously. I checked into the site and seems pretty legit so we will see how the book arrives.  The site I found it on is VJ Books. If any of you have used this site before let me know!

Let me know what sites you use to pre-order books from? Where do you purchase signed or collectible books from?

 

Perfect Ending to a Great Modern Day Redone Myth: Awaken by Meg Cabot

Awaken (Abandon Trilogy, #3)

Awaken (Abandon #3)
Meg Cabot
Young Adult Fantasy/Romance
Rating: 4

I was so excited when I saw Awaken, the last book in the Abandon trilogy on NetGalley! Unfortunately, despite getting an ARC I wasn’t able to start reading it until the release date anyway.  BUT, Awaken was still an amazing end to the Abandon trilogy by Meg Cabot.  If you haven’t read the first two books in this addicting Young Adult Fantasy/Romance series, they involve a modern day re-telling of Hades and Persephone. They’re very light hearted, fast reads like most everything else Cabot writes (and a main male character you wish you could date…a hot, bad boy Hades? Sounds like my kind of fictional boyfriend!)

Pierce, the fierce, pretty and uber sarcastic main character has finally fallen irrevocably in love with the lord of the Underworld, John Hayden, however, it may just be too late to tell him. Is it possible for the lord of the Underworld to die, if he’s already technically dead? Plus, the Underworld seems to be in utter turmoil with the dead not being able to leave and make their way to their final destination; be that in the good boat or the bad boat. And Isla Huesos is being attacked by a massive hurricane and a deluge of Furies.

Despite the rather intense looking plot, Cabot keeps the story humorous and light hearted with a pace which makes it extremely hard to put down.

I wanted to leap from the bed and strangle him, but I was pretty sure people who strangled blind doctors didn’t get to go on the nice boat after they died.

…He said the word here like it was the worst place in the entire universe, which isn’t true, since obviously high school is.

This was the perfect story to read while beginning my wisdom tooth recovery!

On to another book while recovering!

Anyone know of any other great modern day mythological stories?

 

Summer Reading….June Recap July Dreams!

So this summer is flying by! The library is crazy with programs having great attendance and circulation UP! Which is leaving less and less time for reading and writing 😦 …however, I’m getting an unintended mini vacation, well time off not necessarily vacation. I’m getting my wisdom teeth out today! Hopefully the few days off (even for surgery I’m a bit excited) will give me some time to read and write while I’m not sleeping…we will see.

Well in June I read quite a few great books! Click on the titles to read the reviews.

House of Secrets (House of Secrets, #1)First up was an adventurous Junior Fiction tale co-written by the director of Harry Potter, Chris Columbus The House of Secrets.

Then I finished up an adult thriller by Iain Cosgrove called The Storm Protocol.The Storm Protocol

It was on to a more light hearted Young Adult fantasy/romance by Mette Ivie Harrison called The Rose Throne after that.

Stoker's ManuscriptI was able to score an ARC of an awesome new vampire novel by Royce Prouty called Stoker’s Manuscript.

Then I finally squeezed in the Young Adult Fantasy, Mirrorworld sequel, Fearless, by Cornelia Funke I’d been dying to read for a few months.

The ApprenticesAnd then I got to read another Junior Fiction sequel to round off the month of another ARC I scored off LibraryThing. The Apprentices by Maile Meloy.

In July I hope to read a few books (some still from last month) however, I have yet to finish a book this month *gasp* . It’s horrible! However, I’m working on Abandon by Meg Cabot and will hopefully finish it shortly

Then I hope to FINALLY read:

Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pure by Julianna Baggot as part of Your Pick for Nik’s Book Club.Pure (Pure, #1)

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseni

The Golem and the JinniThe Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

and whatever else strikes my fancy….

 

 

Plus…These were are all of the Library Programs which went on in June:

* Diggin’ For Dinosaurs

*Magic Tree House Book Club :

* Chemistry Experiments Performer

* Worms!

*Bike Rodeo and Hot Dog Supper

* Wildlife Center Presentation on What Lies Beneath Your Feet!

Well I best be off to get my teeth removed! :S

How’s your summer reading or library programming been going??

Top 6 Most Intimidating Books…

Top Ten Most Intimidating Books

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

So most of the books on my list this week are there because of their size.  I don’t like reading more then one book at a time, so I feel if a book is too big I will have to take a break and start another one…which I despise doing.  So here are my top 6 most intimidating books (I have read the last 2 though, but they did scare me at first : ) :

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)Game of Thrones by George Martin

These books are so thick and I’m scared I won’t like them.  I love the TV show, but I’m afraid of the books…

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

So I’ve never read anything by Dickens I didn’t like, but this one just scares me because of its girth.  I’ve heard it’s fantastic, but I’m too afraid to start it.

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Don’t think I’ll ever read this.  It’s massive and I’ve heard it’s extremely dull, but I bought it anyways just in case…

Thirteen Reasons WhyThirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

I don’t think I can read this one. A book about a suicide and the reasons why she committed it.  Sounds a bit too depressing…

Jane Eyre by Bronte

I was terrified about reading this one.  It’s huge and my friends all loved it.  But, once I started it…it was amazing and I flew through it.

Harry Potter by JK Rowling

I remember being very opposed to reading the first book because someone I didn’t like in school liked the books…but eventually I caved and read the first one and David Copperfieldfell madly in love.  That’s the magic of books; no matter who you are, you can enjoy the same ones.

Should I read some of these even though they scare me? What are some you’re afraid of?

Wonderful Sequel: The Apprentices by Maile Meloy

The Apprentices

The Apprentices
Maile Meloy
Junior Fiction
Rating 4.5

I was so ridiculously excited when I received an ARC of this book from the LibraryThing Early Reviewer’s Program because I absolutely loved the first book in the series The Apothecary.  The Apprentices by Maile Meloy is the second book in what’s turning out to be a wonderful, adventure filled and thought provoking juvenile fiction series. It deals with extremely difficult subjects like war, death, and young love all while keeping an overall not-too-depressing feel.

In this second installment, the three main characters from the first novel are all back in action; Janie, the tough and brilliant heroine, Benjamin, the apprentice to the apothecary, and Pip, the now movie star and still petty criminal at heart. When we start the story the three characters are spread out all over the world, so we get each one’s narrative in turn.

Janie has been working on a world changing science experiment, but someone may be trying to steal it, but she doesn’t know for what purpose. And when a jealous and rich roommate at her boarding school gets ideas about revenge for Janie being “too smart”, Janie’s situation goes from bad to worse. Plus, she has no idea where her best friend Ben is because none of his letters actually hold any information.  Until one day she receives a letter from Ben with a mysterious powder, which when taken provides her with a one-way form of communication of sorts…she can see through Ben’s eyes for brief periods of time. But what she sees makes her want to find him…and help him. However, Janie is in more danger then she knows…

Ben and his father have been using the Pharmoacopoeia, a book of magical remedies and different potions (like invisibility, turning into birds…etc.), to help save people who have been hurt during various battles, wars, and skirmishes.  Ben has also taken the powder and what he sees one day (not anything dangerous…just teenage jealousy) makes him send Pip over to “protect” Janie.

However, Pip finds Janie missing. And a master plan ensues to reunite all of our lovely main characters with plenty of action and adventure along the way.

I really enjoyed this story.  It was incredibly hard to put down and I found myself with very little sleep last week, but it was well worth it 🙂 Plus, the ending leads me to believe there will most likely be another one in this series…

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