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Too young to VOTE? Cast your ballots HERE! Young Reader's Choice Award

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

Too young to VOTE? Cast your ballots HERE! The Pacific Northwest Library Association is looking for young voters. If you are between grades 4-12, live in the Pacific Northwest (in Canada this is BC and Alberta) and have read at least 2 of the book on the YRCA 2012 nominees list you can vote for your favourite book! Voting takes place in between March 15th - April 15th. We have a ballot box here at SCTF on the 2nd Floor at Central where you can drop your ballots off - and we'll mail them in for you! Or print them off here (scroll to the bottom right hand of the page for the Word document containing the ballots) and mail them in yourself. There is also a study guide for teachers (bottom left hand of the page). Impress them; encourage your whole class to vote!

Here are the Senior 2012 Nominees. They make great Spring Break reading material.

If you've read at least 2 of the books in each category you can also vote for the Junior and Intermediate categories.

My personal favourite for Juniors is The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly- A witty and apt portrayal of the combined sophistication, seediness, prejudice and refinement of the Old South; as seen through the eyes of an 11yr old girl who wants to be a scientist... at the turn of the previous century!

Winners will be announced in mid-April - check back to the PNLA website for details.

Happy Voting! Smile

Freedom of Expression 2012 Award goes to Calgary brothers!

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

Freedom to Read Week (February 26th - March 3rd) starts today and we are doing several things to celebrate including selecting the winners of the Who Chooses What You Read? contest.
We would like to invite you to attend the annual event where we honour the Freedom of Expression Award winners, and highlight the teen winners of the Who Chooses What You Read? contest. In addition, there will be a reading from The Hunger Games which was selected as a representative challenged book, and will be presented to City Council during Freedom to Read week at the regular council meeting.
Join us Thursday March 1, 2012
7 p.m @
Owls Nest Books
815A 49 Avenue Southwest
Calgary, AB T2S 1G8, Canada
(403) 287-9557


The Freedom to Read Committee has selected twin brothers Keith and Steven Pridgen as the 2012 recipients of the Freedom of Expression Award. Anne Jayne, the citizen member of the FTR committee writes the following to support the nomination made by Susan Anderson,
"The nomination of the Pridgen brothers is worthy. They were quite brave, as young university students, to take on the university over the issue of being disciplined for having a Facebook page where comments critical of a faculty member were published. Their case was recently heard at the Queen’s Bench, ruling in favour of the Pridgen’s. It is their attention to standing up for their freedom of expression, engaging the university in a formal way and drawing light to the University of Calgary student disciplinary practices."


Keith and Steven Pridgen are delighted with this news. Fortunately, Keith has recently returned to Calgary and will be available to accept it from a representative of FFWD magazine, the award sponsor. The Freedom to Read committee is especially pleased to draw attention to the efforts made by these younger citizens and the use of social media to express personal opinions.

At Central we also have a book display in both our Teen and Children's zones showcasing books that have been banned by various groups at various times for various reasons. Interested in learning more? Click this link for Censorship in Canada, click here for the most recent list of challenged books; and here is a list by Google.

We issue a challenge: pick a book to read this week in honor of freedom of expression. Let us know what you're reading in the comments section. We might just add it to our banned books list!

Additionally, the art show up in the TEENZONE (2nd Floor Central) by students of Sir John Franklin High School is called SPEAK and is a great showcase of photographs by fellow teens dealing with issues around freedom of expression. SPEAK runs alongside the city wide EXPOSURE 2012 photography festival.
Last but not least, our Freedom to Read Contest winners have been picked! Stay tuned for announcements...


(With thanks to Allison Thomson for some of the content of this blog).

***Stars, dust & magic***= Bleak, Bizarre & Beautiful continued...

by Adrienne - 4 Comment(s)

With holiday magic in the air, I thought I might get away with writing about some great fantastic (and magical books) without having a bunch of people vomit all over me... However, I also happen to know that a lot of you secretly and not-so-secretly love fantasy. And these are books with a twist.

As a teen, a friend introduced me to The Sandman by Neil Gaiman and although I had always shunned comic books, an instant romance was born. Gaiman is a mysterious magician weaving stories that are bizarre and strange, that usually leave you with more questions than answers. He also picks stunning illustrators to work alongside him. One of my favourites is Charles Vess. Vess' style could be best described as Art Nouveau meets 1930's comic book. Instructions, also by Gaiman, is a fairytale poem that might leave you rather quizzical and Stardust: Being a Romance in the Realm of Faerie, is pure indulgence! Go on fairy lovers, love it up! Of course you can always count on Gaiman to never follow the staight and narrow... There's DVD and Blu-Ray versions too. MirrorMask is a lovely, bizarre story that I reviewed earlier as an audiobook. It explores the intricacies and complications of mother/daughter relationships and I had the priviledged coincidence of listening to this in the car this summer while travelling back from Drumheller with my mother. Here's to unplanned synchronicity! MirrorMask is also a beautiful graphic novel illustrated by Dave McKean and a great video.

I discovered that Charles Vess has also illustrated some YA novels by one of my favourite Canadians (Saskachewanite to be precise), Charles DeLint! They're great! And short. In Seven Wild Sisters ginseng, bees and faeries mix! Featuring an Apple Man, an Old Aunt and Wild Hills, here's a short excerpt: "Most of her time was taken up with the basic tasks of eking out a living from her land and the forest... But you could buy your food instead of having to work so hard growing it.' 'Sure I could. But I've had to have me money to do that and to get the money, well, I'd have to work just as hard at something else, except it wouldn't necessarily be as pleasing to my soul.'... 'You find weeding a garden pleasing?', 'You should try it girl. You might be surprised.' " Medicine Road stars the Dillard twins Laurel and Bess (from Seven Wild Sisters) in a wild adventure in the Native Southwest. Check 'em out! Charles DeLint is also an artist, poet, folklorist & critic as well as playing in various bands -- he has just released a CD The Loon's Lament with his wife MaryAnn Harris and John Wood. It features cover art by Calgary's own Lisa Brawn!

The latest superstar to hit the scene earned his stripes working on animation for Toy Story! William Joyce has come up with the brilliant idea of re-working the characters of St. Nicholas, The Man in the Moon the E. Aster Bunnymund and others into "The Guardians of Childhood"; modern day super heroes inhabiting familiar, yet not-so-familiar folktales. These display some stunning SteamPunk style illustrations with a ton of adventure to boot. Maurice Sendak has said that The Man in the Moon is "a fabulous recapturing of an old, real fairy-tale world. Dark Mysterious. Stunning!" and Joyce's latest release Nicholas St. North and the battle of the Nightmare King has hit the shelves... just in time for the holidays.

And what fantasy suite is complete without a title such as The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle? “We are not always what we seem, and hardly ever what we dream.” The graphic novel adaped from Beagle's 1968 classic is lushly illustrated by Renea DeLiz and coloured by Ray Dillon. The library has just ordered Beagle's new book First Last Unicorn and other Beginnings. This includes letters, an unpublished novella about The Last Unicorn, interviews, correspondence and other snippets giving delightful insight into the creative process of this beloved master of fantasy. Over the holidays watch the DVD and Blu-Ray versions and then check our stacks in the New Year for the new book. Start the year off right!

Tolkien and Robin Hood Fans will appreciate Mouse Guard by David Petersen. Mouse life is treacherous and towns must be gaurded. Hence the formation of.. "The Mouse Guard"! Immerse yourself in a leaf-ridden, Ork-like medieval mouse's reverie (nightmare or dream?)! Mouse Guard vol. 01 Fall 1152 was critically acclaimed as best Indy Adventure Book of 2006 by Wizard Magazine and I can see why.

Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard vol. 01 also created by David Petersen. This album brings together 17 different comic artists - aka "mice", as they gather together at June Alley Inn to compete to clear their pub tabs by telling the most creative and fantastic stories (a fun nod to the classic "Canterbury Tales" by Chaucer!)

AND... I'm so excited I can barely contain it!!! Alex may geek out about being a Potter fan but I'm a total Lord of the Rings girl and.. Yes! they released an unexpected trailer for Peter Jackson's upcoming The Hobbit! .... Why can't it be next year already?!?!?!?

en...JOY!

Use Your Pencil Hugo- Bleak, Bizarre, Beautiful cont..

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

Sometimes opening something has such a velvety quality, the unknownness of it so black, the mystery so tangible you can almost feel it; like rubbing paper between your fingers. Opening The Invention of Hugo Cabret: a novel in words and pictures is like that. And the adventure unfolds from there. The biggest discovery being how Brian Selznick has almost single handedly reinvented the form of the novel and what a book can be. The story is told in pictures and then in words, back and forth, never repeating scenes. Words and pictures move the story along sequentially; they are not meant to expand on one another nor elaborate. Yet enhance each other they do. Different in this way from a graphic novel, the pictures take up the whole page adding unimaginable layers of depth. Each speaks 1000 words or more, describing both setting and scene with lush pencil strokes, sturdy in execution yet exquisite in detail. It just makes me want to run my fingers over the page, flip them back and forth, back and forth... The quality of the paper is rich as well, reminding me of the the lushness of Vida Simone's art and the memory I have of a personal performance with miniature puppets she performed for me in my apartment (among others) as part of her show at The New Gallery years ago. Telling stories in her own personal way. Hugo Cabret does the same thing.

So flip through the pages I did! And discovered, much to my delight, that the individual sequences of images throughout the book act like mini flip books, animating individual scenes, imitating the earliest animations and stop motion film sequences of silent movies. This adds a physically tangible metaphor to the history of cinema that the book probes to a certain depth; satisfying in metaphor of not breadth. To this add steampunkish elements tying clockwork magicians to the mysteries of the human heart and human bonds. It's no wonder it won the Caldecott Medal in 2008.

Et tu parle Francais? Since the book does take place in Paris.. get the the French version here. The book has so many layers. Its very form is half of it! This leaves me wondering if a film on the book can truly do it justice. Yet the story is so strong in and of itself, and.. it does deal with the invention of cinema, so a film MUST have something to add to the discussion of itself... "Hugo" In theatres TODAY (November 23rd) you can watch the trailer here. One thing I don't doubt= I am excited to see it!

I'm even more excited to read and experience Selznick's next adventure in the re-invention of the novel = Wonderstruck. Here he talks about how he wanted to tell 2 stories. One about Rose, set in the past, told in pictures and one about Ben, set in the present, told in words. At some point the stories meet in the middle and either a puzzle is solved and/or a new mystery evolves. See the website here.

Let the mysteries begin. Perhaps all is not lost to e-books and cyberspace. Selznick has given us something in these books akin to the realization that the specialness of a handwritten letter or home made card can never equal an email or Facebook Message. So go ahead - use you pencil!

YALSA Teens' Top Ten

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

Every year the Young Adult Library Services Association runs a contest where teens vote to come up with a top ten list of the best teen books.

And...the voting for this year has opened! Voting will run from now until September 17th. So...vote! The winners will be announced during teen read week (October 17-23).

The cool think about the Teens' Top Ten is it is chosen entirely by and for teens. The twenty-six official nominations are chosen by fifteen teen book groups and of course, the final winners are chosen by teens who vote. Last year, more than 11,000 teens voted for the Teens' Top Ten, choosing Paper Towns by John Green as their favorite title.

It's True!!

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

YALSA (the Young Adult Library Services Association) has released their list of this year's finalists for the Award of Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. If you are at Crowfoot Library, ask our very own Betsy Fraser about the books - she helped create the list!

Almost Astronauts Cover

Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream

In the early 1960s, the doctor in charge of testing NASA’s astronauts decided to find out if female pilots were capable of passing the grueling qualification tests required of male pilots. Feasible? Yes. Allowed? No. All testing of women’s potential for the Mercury program was done outside NASA’s purview and without their permission. The reasons why will stun readers.

Charles and Emma Cover

Charles and Emma: the Darwin's Leap of Faith

After creating a list of the pros and cons of marriage, science-minded Charles Darwin chooses to marry his strictly religious first cousin. Little does he know that he is about to embark upon the most loving, creative, and intellectually important relationship of his life.

Claudette Colvin Cover

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice

Hoose recounts the largely untold story of Claudette Colvin, who was arrested and jailed at the age of 15 after refusing to relinquish her seat on a bus to a white woman. Interviews with Colvin create a vivid picture not only of the Montgomery bus boycott but also the Browder v. Gayle case, in which she was a key defendant. (This won the National Book Award!)

Great and Only Barnum Cover

The Great and Only Barnum: the Tremendous and Stupendous Life of the Showman P.T. Barnum

Thrill to the audacity! Gasp at the hucksterism! Come one, come all to the jaw-dropping, larger-than-life biography of expert humbugger, relentless curiosity seeker, and unparalleled showman P. T. Barnum.

Written in Bone Cover

Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland

By presenting a detailed examination into the work of different types of forensic archaeology at excavations in both Jamestown, Virginia, and Colonial Maryland, readers are rewarded with both a picture of this fascinating work and an appreciation for what it contributes to our knowledge of history.

... So who do you think should win?

The Edgars

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

Every year, the best mystery books are honoured with the Edgar Allan Poe awards. Paper Towns, this year's winner in the young adult category, is definitely a must-read.

Quentin Jacobsen has been in love with his next door neighbour, the popular and exciting Margo Roth Speigelman, ever since they were children.

One night, she appears at his window, dressed all in black and requesting his help.

After a night of rotten catfish, Sea World, and revenge, it seems that things might finally be looking up. But the next day, Margo has disappeared.

The police have stopped looking and her parents don't seem to care, but Quentin needs to know what happened to the girl he loves, but barely knows.

Be sure to check out the other nominees also available at the Calgary Public Library:

And the winner is...

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

On January 26th the American Library Association announced the winners for their Youth Media Awards, including the Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in young adult literature.

Book Cover

The 2009 Printz award went to Jellicoe Road by Austrailian author, Melina Marchetta. Jellicoe Raod tells the story of seventeen-year-old Taylor Markham, who was abandoned by her mother at the age of eleven, and is now struggling to confront her past at a boarding school in Australia.

Four Printz Honour Books were also named:

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The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, vol. II, The Kingdom on the Waves by M. T. Anderson


Book Cover The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. LockhartBook cover

Nation
by Terry Pratchett





Book Cover

Tender Morsels
by Margo Lanagan







To see who won all of the YALSA Book and Media Awards, check out http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/booklistsawards/booklistsbook.cfm

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