Friday, February 25, 2011

Back to Kidlit and knitting

Well, looks like February has been a slow blogging month. But I have passed the 2,000 pageviews mark, which is kind of exciting. It's good to know that someone out there is reading what I write here. Hopefully, it's not the same person reading it 2,000 times. That would be worrisome. I've been on a graphic novel kick, but they are not graphic novels for kids so I didn't want to talk about them here. I want this blog to be about books you can find in the Marshall Lane library. I have been growing the graphic novel collection, though, because I'm a convert. There are some really good stories out there in graphic form. When I first started buying graphic novels for the library a few years ago my intention was to bring more boys into the library. I bought a few Star Wars comics and the boys flocked to the library. Those books never make it back to the shelves. They are always on hold and fall apart by the end of the year. Then I started buying Babymouse for the girls and they flew off the shelves as well. Then I noticed that some girls were checking out Star Wars and some boys were checking out Babymouse. So I decided to throw my gender biases out the window and started buying a variety of graphic novels based on quality and interest. I don't have a huge collection but they are hugely popular. And what I've noticed is that while the boys, generally, keep checking out mostly the Star Wars books, the girls are reading everything else. Which is interesting. Not sure what it means. Except that maybe my purchases are still biased towards what girls like. Perhaps I should start buying superhero comics. Well, I've waxed on about this more than I intended. Let's get back to kidlit.

I read - or rather, listened to - The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron, which was the Newbery Medal winner in 2008. The story centers around Lucky, a ten-year-old girl living with her guardian in a very small town in California. Lucky's mother has died and her absent father has brought is ex-girlfriend Brigitte over from France to be Lucky's guardian. Lucky worries that Brigitte, who is homesick for France, will abandon her also. Lucky feels sure that if she could just find her higher power, a term that she overhears the 'anonymous people' use, her problems would be solved. I liked this book. But this is one of those Newbery books that doesn't really appeal to most children. And, in fact, this book has not circulated well in my library. But it is a good story and I would encourage people to give it a read. I read it because my friend Mrs. Freeman recommended it. She's reading her way through all the Newbery books and she told me it was a good one. I trust her judgement. She told me that Al Capone Does My Shirts was good and I agree with her. I pointed her towards Odd and the Frost Giants when The Graveyard Book was unavailable and she liked that. So, the point is, get a book buddy. They help you to read things that you might not normally pick up off the shelf.

I've also just finished Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code by Eoin Colfer. This is the third book in the series and I'm really enjoying it. I was going to just stop at the first one but I'm kind of sucked in now. If you don't like series books, don't worry, these books read well as stand alone titles with recurring characters. The stories are a great blend of fantasy and high-tech thrillers. Action, intrigue, and fairy magic. Even though the main character is not always a good guy, he is likable. If you like the Alex Rider series or the Percy Jackson series, I think you'll like Artemis Fowl as well.

Well, I think I've gone on long enough. Looks like it's feast or famine here at the old Marshall Lane Library Blog. I'll close with some pictures of what I've been working on whilst listening to books:

A dear friend of mine and his wife are expecting their first baby so I knitted her some tiny shoes and a blueberry hat to go with the book Blueberry Girl by Neil Gaiman.

The object in the last picture is a Cthulhu. A cuddly one. If you don't know what Cthulhu is, you need to brush up on your H.P. Lovecraft. That is all.

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