Happy Holidays! and Library Closure

The Sonoma County Library will close on Thursday, December 23 at 2:00 pm, and will reopen on Monday, January 3, 2011.  This closure, with employees having to take a 4.5% pay cut, is part of the Library’s effort to reduce its budget shortfall in these difficult economic times.  Please click here for more information about the ten-day Library closure.

 We know that the closure will be difficult for those of you who count on the library for books, DVDs, homework resources, internet access, and more.  I hope you have all stocked up on good books to read over the break!


Here's what I'm taking home to read over the next ten days:

Bright Young Things, by Anna Godbersen

In the spring of 1929, eighteen-year-old Cordelia Grey and her stage-struck friend Letty Larkspur run away from their small Ohio town to seek their fortunes in New York City and soon find themselves drawn into situations and relationships, particularly with the dazzling Astrid Donal, that change their lives forever.

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The Girl Who Kicked a Hornet's Nest, by Stieg Larsson (Millenium Trilogy, bk3)

If and when Lisbeth Salander recovers, she'll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she will plot revenge–against the man who tried to kill her, and the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life.

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Monsters of Men, by Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking, bk. 3) 

As a world-ending war surges to life around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions, questioning all they have ever known as they try to step back from the darkness and find the best way to achieve peace.

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Pies and Prejudice, by Heather Vogel Frederick (Mother-Daughter Book Club, bk. 4)

Four girls, and their mothers, continue their mother-daughter book club via videoconference between Massachusetts and England, reading Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice," and try to put friendship before romance.

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To all of  you readers out there — I wish you a happy holiday season!

Attention: Teen Artists, Writers, and Performers!

The 25th Session of the California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA) Seeks Teen Artists, Writers, and Performers

Summer 2011 Applications Must Be Postmarked on or before February 28, 2011

For 25 years, the California State Summer School for the Arts has sought the most talented high school-aged visual, literary, media and performing artists in California.  The teenagers who are selected are designated California Arts Scholars and attend one of the country's premier summer arts institues on the campus of the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, this year from July 9 – August 5, 2011.

Over its history, CSSSA has provided its world-renowned four-week summer arts program to more than 12,000 talented high school students.  Instruction is offered in the fields of: Animation, Film/Video, Creative Writing, Dance, Music, Theater, and the Visual Arts.  For the 520 high school students accepted each year, CSSSA represents a unique opportunity to spend four weeks studying and working with professional artists, writers, and performers of national stature.  The talented teenagers who successfully complete the program receive three units of California State University course credit.

CSSSA provides the highest quality professional artistic training to the most deserving teenagers regardless of their economic situations.  Nearly 40 percent of our students receive financial aid.  CSSSA expects to equal or surpass that record in 2011.  No student who has the drive and talent to succeed in the application process will be denied admission, solely on the basis of inability to pay.

Alumni of the program include actors Zac Efron and James Franco;  animator Craig McCracken, writer Dakila Davina, dancer Sharon Grimsley Teague, and singer Katharine McPhee.

For more information or to obtain an application form, visit www.csssa.ca.gov, or call the Sacramento headquarters at (916) 229-5160.


Figment is a new social networking community geared towards teens with a focus on all things surrounding creative writing. Share your own writings, connect with other teen authors, find book reviews, read interviews of your favorite authors, participate in writing contests, and more. Check it out and sign up at www.figment.com.

It’s Slamming Time!

Got this info in from a reader– check it out, if you are a poet, or just like to watch a poetry slam:


@ Hopmonk Tavern
Sebastopol, CA
2$- 2nd sundays



or Facebook


Note:  the event listed above is NOT a Library event… but it might be good practice if you do want to enter the Sonoma County Library Poetry Slamsclick here for information about dates, times, and locations!


YA Books as TV Shows

In the past few years, there have been several popular YA book series turned into tv shows.  Often when things are adapted for television (or movie), they get cut up, changed, edited, and patched back together to fit "the industry's" vision of what the public wants.  Sometimes it's good, sometimes bad.  I'm curious, what do you all think?  Are you reading and/or watching these books & shows?  Here are some of them:


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I've watched a few of the Gossip Girl episodes, and read several of the books – the Library owns all of them, so go ahead and place a hold if you want to check them out.  I thought casting overall was decent, although I was horrified by the casting of Jenny (her defining attribute, which drove the plot in several of the books is her … um… generous chest, which is nonexistent in the show).  Also, I didn't like them changing the character of Serena's brother.  Oh well.



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The Vampire Diaries books originally came out in 1995.  They were pretty much out of print and forgotten until the TV show came out in 2009.  Now the books are all reissued and spiffed up, with a brand-new sequel just out.  Ian Somerhalder seems a bit old to me, to play Damon (I can deal with 25-year-olds playing high school students, but 35?).  Also, the actress who plays Elena is a bit too likable for my tastes — one of the things I liked about the books is how nasty she is.  Otherwise, I think the show is a decent adaptation.  Too bad it will have to fight off comparisons to Twilight and True Blood.



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This series is different in that it is actually a web series, playing on the internet and not airing on broadcast television.  The book series debuted in 2006, and the web series in 2009 (DVD just released in August, and we should have it in the SCL collection soon!).  In an interesting twist, the producers conducted an American-Idol-style casting competition, with the top contenders for the role of Kiran competing in a televised reality-TV-style contest.  I haven't seen this one at all, so you'll have to let me know if the best person won.



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This one is a newcomer to the TV show block — it's still in the midst of its first season, and not coming out on DVD until next year.  The books first started coming out in 2006, and are still going strong.  The story of the missing/ presumed dead girl who comes back to haunt her guilty friends has been done many times before, but this series actually does a good job of keeping you on your toes.  I've only seen the pilot of the TV show, and it seemed like the character development and casting did justice to the books.


So, are there any other recent TV shows based on YA books that I am missing?  Let me know, so I can add them to my read and watch lists!

YA Fiction Factory? Wow….

I just read this article from New York Books about author James Frey (known for getting busted for falsely claiming his bestselling book was a true story).  It appears that he is recruiting struggling young writers to participate in a sweatshop-style writing project to try to churn out the next Twilight-style commercial success in teen literature.  I must admit that I am a little shocked.  I actually read the "I Am Number Four" book — it was ok, not great, but clearly written with the goal of becoming a movie. 

I wonder what will happen with this company and the stuff they will turn out?  Will any of them actually become popular?  What do you think?

Read the article here:  http://nymag.com/arts/books/features/69474/


Check out this cool new website www.scholargamers.com.  Basically, it is a website for students, 13 and over,  to compete for college scholarship money by playing online video games. Competition rounds repeat every 45 days.  The first round began November 1st, but you can get in on the action mid-December.  The site is free to register and play.  Sounds like a great excuse to play video games to me.