Wednesday, August 27, 2014

YA Fiction

Peak by Roland Smith

Peak Marchello (named by his mountaineering parents) gets into trouble with the law after one of his own climbing escapades. His estranged father arrives to help with the legal troubles bringing a solution that involves taking Peak back to Tibet with him where he runs a commercial enterprise guiding climbers up Mount Everest. Peak’s father wants to take his son to the top which will make him the youngest person to reach the top of Mount Everest if he can make it before his upcoming 15th birthday. Peak is writing his story as part of an English assignment and there is a lot of family conflict to negotiate.  The descriptions of the mountain terrain and the determination to not only survive but work through the incredible stress on the body (due to the extreme physical exertion needed to make the climb) and dealing with the effects of altitude sickness keep the reader hooked.

I found Peak’s narrative voice authentic and the story kept me engrossed. The descriptions of the base camps with their pile ups of discarded equipment, empty oxygen tanks, other detritus, and frozen corpses that cannot be brought down from the mountain angered me. The reader will begin to think seriously about the commercialization and defacement of Mount Everest which is one of our planet’s greatest natural wonders. The reader will also be fully engaged with Peak’s climb and his personal growth and realizations.

Holly Raus
Information Specialist - Youth Services

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Audiobook Selection for Commuters

Commuters in and around Atlanta often find themselves in their cars for 40-120 minutes a day.  Audiobooks are a great way to pass the time and can make driving to and from work much more pleasurable. Listening to audiobooks during this time can be challenging as you will be breaking up your listening into many small chunks, so it’s important to select a novel you can keep up with.  Here are some helpful tips for making a great selection.

  1. Get audiobooks in your favorite genre or by a favorite author. This is a great way to ensure your enjoyment.
  2. Unless you are already familiar with the story, avoid any book described as ‘epic’ as there will likely be too many characters to keep track of from day to day.
  3. Avoid novels that are technical or extremely detailed.  Listening while driving should not require too much of your attention.
  4. Avoid dramas that you know will make you cry.  The Fault In Our Stars is a great audiobook, but do you really want to explain to your coworkers why you are arriving at work with swollen, red eyes from crying?  Probably not.
  5. Consider comedy.  It will put you in a great mood while you are stuck in traffic.
  6. If you commute with kids in the car, consider a juvenile title.  Classics like C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series are likely to entertain everyone.
  7. Do not hesitate to abandon an audiobook if it hasn’t grabbed your attention in the first 10 minutes.

Visit your Forsyth County Public Library to check out our extensive audiobook collection on CDs or visit our website to download an eAudiobook to your digital device.

Kim Ottesen
Information Specialist - Youth Services

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Staff Picks

The Broken Teaglass by Emily Arsenault

Terms and Conditions by Robert Glancy

The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

I’ve become a big fan of novels with something special to intrigue me. I'm especially fond of novels that are told in letters, emails and diaries; footnotes that add to the richness and humor of the characters; and documents sprinkled throughout that add to the realism of the story. These are some of my recently read favorites. I hope you'll enjoy them as well.

Mary White
Information Specialist

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Staff Picks

If I Stay based on the novel by Gayle Forman hits movie theatres on August 22 and it looks like it will be the next big movie for teens.   I really enjoyed the book as well as its sequel, Where She Went.  The first book is from Mia's perspective, and the sequel is from Adam's perspective and the aftermath of events from the first book.   These books are both emotional and I felt Forman did a wonderful job writing about first love, death, and real life. I'm very glad there was a sequel.

Meredith Bowermeister
Information Services Supervisor

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Reading Rules: A Book Club for Grades 3-6 - Cumming Library

Billy Miller, a quirky little fella with a worrisome mind learns to overcome his fears and soar. His dad is an artist and encourages Billy in his creativity, constructing found-art sculptures at home. One of his sculptures he shares with his teacher, helping to ease his fears at school. If he could only squelch his biggest school critic, Emma.

The Year of Billy Miller is the selection for the Reading Rules book club for children in grades 3 – 6.  It meets on August 28th at 1 p.m.  This book club is designed for schedules of families who homeschool their children, but all children whose schedules allow are welcome to attend.

Lorraine Lane
Information Specialist - Youth Services