Thursday, September 27, 2007


Hey guys, it's Carl. Last week was Talk Like a Pirate Day, so I'm going to tell you about a couple of pirate books. (Bill is going to do the same; wait until you see his post--and his cool pictures!) The first is What If You Met a Pirate by Jan Adkins. What was it really like to be a pirate? I can tell you that you didn't live like Captain Jack! You'll get answers to questions such as: What Did a Pirate Do All Day? How Did Pirates Attack? Did The Freebooters Wear Shoes? Where Could You Find a Pirate If You Needed One? This is a really interesting book with great illustrations, plus lots of facts about pirates that you never knew---like the real reason they wore gold earings.

The other book is the graphic novel version of Treasure Isaland by Robert Louis Stevenson, adapted by Tim Hamilton. (Sorry, no picture available) It'll grab you right from the beginning. Young Jim Hawkins and his family run the Admiral Benbow Inn on a distant English coast when an old brown seaman with a saber cut on his face asks for a room. He promises Jim a silver penny if Jim will tell if he ever sees a "seafaring man with a wooden leg." Who is this strange man and why is he afraid of the sailor with the wooden leg? You'll find out when you read this action-packed adventure. (If you want to read my review of the original Treasure Island, click here. Beware--it was published in 1883, so the language is a bit old, but don't let that scare you off. This is still the greatest pirate book ever written!)
Don't forget---October 1---my challenge to all you readers!

Arrrrrrrr, Here there be Pirates!!!!!!

Hi guys,
Today I am not the Great Sith Lord Darth Bill, but the ultra cool mix of James Bond and Captain Jack Sparrow. Let me introduce myself properly. I'm Bond....... Captain Jack Bond. Dun nu da dun da dun naa, du na du dun nuuu, du dun na du da daa!!!!! Also in the picture is my evil nemesis Captain Annie Blood of my newest adventure Pirate Royale (coming out soon in print and later to be made into a major motion picture).

Seriously though, September 19, 2007 was talk like a Pirate Day and some folks here at the library did a very good job dressing the part, but I'll let you be the judge.

Captain Bond and his horrible, nasty, bloodthirsty crew! Arrrrrrr!!!

Arrrrrr indeed, but now let me talk about a cool book that I read not to long ago:

Varjak Paw by S.F. Said, Illustrated by Dave McKean - Varjak Paw is a young Mesopotamian Blue cat. He and his large family live in a mansion where everything is grand and quite predictable until their owner, the Contessa, becomes ill and the evil Gentleman appears along with two vicious black cats in tow. Varjak knows that the Gentleman means them harm and escapes with the help of his grandfather who tells him about the Way, a secret martial art form, performed by his ancestors that the family has long forgotten about. After escaping Varjak must learn to live as a stray on the city streets, a world he knows nothing about. He also learns through new friends that he meets, that street cats are mysteriously going missing. Stranger still he starts to dream of meetings with his great ancestor Jalal, a great master of the Way, who starts teaching the art to Varjak. Does Varjak save his family? What happens in his search for a dog to aid him in his adventure? How do the Gentleman, the Mesopotamian Blues and the missing strays all tie-in together? Read this exciting book and find out.

Until next time cats, thats a joke - man I slay me,

Bill "Master of the Way"

Saturday, September 22, 2007

With Apologies to Lord Vader

Hey everyone, it's Carl. Hope you've all settled into your school routines. I imagine that your teachers have given you lists of books to read. Do you like any of them? Are any of them good? Feel free to write in and tell us about them, as well as any books you read just because you want to.
I've got a message for Mikie, aka Lord Vader. You sent me a comment about The Lightning Thief, the first of the great Percy Jackson books, a while back but I accidentally erased it! I don't know what happened, but it disappeared and I can't get it back.! Don't use the was an accident...choke...gasp...all right, I'm sorry!Would you please send me another comment about The Lightning Thief? I'll do my best to post it without erasing it! In the meantime, if you all want to read my review of that book, click here.

Don't forget--on October 1, I'll issue a challenge of my own to all you readers! Happy reading until then! (gasp...wheeze...cough)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I Knew It!

Yep, I knew Darth Bill wold give all the Jedi an in-your-face taunting. Oh, well, don't let that stop you. The big thing is to keep on reading. Maybe we could all create a galaxy in which Sith and Jedi sit down and read together in peace.

Or maybe not.

Anyway, last weekend I went to this totally cool place, Colonial Williamsburg, and got to see some fascinating sights. One of them was the Public Goal (Jail). Here's a picture:These two cells are from the original jail, built over 300 years ago! Their big claim to fame is that they once held 15 of Blackbeard's pirates!

Speaking of colonial times, here are two really great books about the American Revolution. The first is George vs. George: The American Revolution as Seen From Both Sides by Rosalyn Schanzer. This book tells the story of the Revolutionary War by giving us biographies of George Washington and King George III. Each man believed firmly that he was right and had an iron determination to fight it out to the end. We know who won, of course, but it was a long and bitter struggle and it looked like the war might have gone to King George instead of George Washington. What a great story! Read it and see if I'm right when I say that history is exciting and not boring! (PS--This book has a drawing of King George and his wife Charlotte in it. Our city of Charlotte is named after her.)

The other one is King's Mountain by G. Clifton Wisler. 14-year-old Francis Livingstone is an ordinary boy living in the Watauga Settlements of North Carolina. The Revolutionary War has been going badly for the Patriots, those fighting for independence from England, but it has not affected the lives of the families in this remote settlement. Then he and his sister have to go to Camden, South Carolina to help their grandmother run her tavern. They arrive just in time to see the English army occupy the town. It's a dangerous time for Patriots like Francis and his sister. Can they escape and get back home? And will the English army make good its threat to burn all the Patriot homes in North and South Carolina? You've got to read this terrific book. I was holding my breath the whole time, wondering what would happen to young Francis.
This book is especially interesting to those in the Charlotte area because the battle of King's Mountain took place only 40 miles from here! If you want to see the battlefield, click on the King's Mountain National Park site here. Since the battle happened on October 7, 1780, they're going to hold special events the weekend of October 6 and 7. Click here to find out what they will be. I'd like to go--maybe I'll see you there!

AND-----since Bill's challenge went uncompleted, wait until October 1, when I will issue my own challenge to all you readers! I will raise the stakes on his challenge. Are you up to it?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Quick Response!

Hey, that was quick! We had just posted Darth bill's latest comment when Joseph Eggebeen wrote back:

I have not yet read any of the 3 books. But I read Goosebumps .... monster blood 3 and I liked it a lot.
From Jacob Eggebeen

Well done, Joseph. Come in and get your free book.

Listen Up! Darth Bill Speaks!

Hello all you brave, noble, and well-read Jedi out there. It is I, Darth Bill, bravest Sith this side of the Outer Rim. Well, well, well I guess I'm going to have to have to wear a dress. Oh, wait a minute, let me recount the Jedi comments: 1, 2, 3, 4 .......... My goodness, it seems I have made a mistake. The Jedi are one commenter short! Well, I must say that I am relieved that I will not be wearing a dress anytime soon (not that I was ever truly worried that I would) and happy to see there are at least 4 literate Jedi out there. Very impressive indeed! Sad, sad, sad. If I were not a Sith, I would cry. Well, enough of this Jedi bashing; let's move on to more interesting subjects, shall we?
Sith Rule, Sith Rule, Sith Rule!!!!!!! Yeah, in your face Jedi!!!!!!! Yea, you know it!!!! Sith are the best!!!!! Yeah, you know it!!!!! Wooooooo!!!!!!!Woooooooooo!!!!!! Jedi stink!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We are the best, oh yeah! Go
Sith Rule!!!!
Sith Rule!!!!
Sith Rule!!!!

Yes, I feel much better now.

Yes, now on to other matters:

I want to talk about the first book in a really cool series I am reading now (I'm now on the 5th book in the series). The name of the book is "Artemis Fowl" which is the name of the main character in these books by Eoin Colfer. Artemis is a 12 year old who also just happens to be a genius. Unfortunately he uses his great intellect in what most would view as criminal activities. Artemis takes his criminal genius to a new level when he decides to kidnap a fairy for gold. Yes, you read what I said correctly, I said fairy. Artemis and his faithful friend and bodyguard, Butler, discover that, deep beneath the Earth, exists an extremely advanced society of fairy folk composed of elves, pixes, centaurs, goblins, dwarfs and many other creatures. Unfortunately for Artemis and Butler their choice of kidnapping victim is the worst choice they could have possibly made Captain Holly Short, of the LEPrecon (Lower Elements Police Reconnaissance) Unit. Thus starts this great book and series. This book is both full throttle action and full throttle laughs. Highly recommended!!!

I also recently finished reading this really cool graphic novel called Mouse Guard, Fall 1152 by David Peterson. If you are a fan of the Redwall Series by Brian Jacques, or not, and are into great epic adventure stories, you will love this graphic novel. This book tells stories of the famed Mouse Guard, the equivalent of King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table. Their duties are to defend the common mouse and defend their hidden cities from intruders and enemies. The main characters in this story are Lieam, Kenzie, and the brash, young Saxon who are investigating the mysterious disappearance of an old merchant mouse. While doing this they discover a traitor in the Mouse Guard, the legendary Black Axe. Other Mouse Guard stories are included in this graphic novel that are equally adventurous tales. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Well take it easy and peace,


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Too Bad!

Too bad--so sad--we didn't get enough Jedi readers to write to us in time. We won't get to see Darth Bill in a dress. And I hate to think of the taunting that he will give the Jedi! That's all right, though. The main thing is that we enjoy reading and telling each other about our favorite books.

Speaking of reading---here are 2 books that are really good. One is The New Kid At School by Kate McMullan, the first in the Dragon Slayers' Academy series. Have you ever read it? It's a lot of fun. Young Wiglaf is the third-eldest son in his family and no good in the cabbage fields. So when the family sees a sign for a Dragon Slayers' Academy that teaches kids to become heroes, slay dragons, and bring home gold, Wiglaf is naturally chosen. Does he go? Does he actually slay a dragon? You bet--but you'll never guess how! I really like this one.

The other is Man From the Sky by Avi. It centers on three people, Jamie, Gillian, and Goddard. 11-year-old Jamie can barely read because of a learning disability, so he spends a lot of time staring at the sky, using his imagination to see pictures in the clouds. Gillian is a neighbor who'd like to be his friend but hears people say he's crazy because he stares at the sky. Goddard is a grownup who has devised a foolproof plan to steal a bag containing a million dollars while on a plane. The plan almost works until Jamie sees Goddard parachuting out of the sky. Goddard is so startled that he drops the bag! Who will find it first--Jamie, Gillian, or Goddard? What will happen if the wrong person finds it? You've got to read this quickly-moving and suspenseful book to find out!

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Younling Asks, "Can One Jedi Make a Difference?"

young jedi
Originally uploaded by schw4452
Of course! We have just had a post from a Jedi reader and now we need only one more to see Darth Bill in a dress! But we have to hear from you today! The challenge is good through September 10, which is today. All we need is one! I know you can do it!

Here is the comment from our latest Jedi reader, who chooses to remain anonymous:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Obi-Wan Kenobi Says, "Write, Noble Jedi!"":

Hello, I am also One, and a true Jedi! If you are looking for two great, wonderful, and realistic books to read, then you have come to the right place! I have recently read two great books. They are called Eleven Kids, One Summer and Ten Kids, No Pets. Both books are by the wonderful author, Ann M. Martin. Ten Kids, No Pets is about a family that moves from a large apartment to a big farm. Their mother will not let them have any pets. The book Eleven Kids, One Summer is about a family that went to the beach for the whole summer. Both books are filled with adventure and fun for all.

OK, Anonymous. Come in and get your free book. Let's hear from another Jedi reader---and the more, the better!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Obi-Wan Kenobi Says, "Write, Noble Jedi!"

Obi-Wan Kenobi
Originally uploaded by brinley
...because we are getting closer! Hockey-sniper has officially identified himself as a Jedi:

Hockey - sniper is a Jedi

Thank you, noble Hockey-sniper. Now we need only two Jedi readers to write and tell us about books you like and you will see Darth Bill in a dress! But we have to hear from you by Setember 10! And the more Jedi who write, the better!

3 Graphic Novels

Hey everyone, this has been a busy day and so I'm going to write a very short post about 3 graphic novels. All 3 of them have very good stories and outstanding artwork. The first is Beowulf, a Hero's Tale Retold by James Rumford. This is one of the greatest hero-vs.-monster stories of all time. The fearsome Grendel is killing the men of Denmark. Beowulf decides to slay the monster using only his bare hands! Then he has to face Grendel's even-fiercer mother! Finally, when Beowulf is old, he must kill the dragon terrifying his country. A great story and one of my very favorites!

The second graphic novel is also based on an old legend, this time from ancient China. It's Yu the Great: Conquering the Flood; A Chinese Legend. (story by Paul D. Storrie; art by Sandy Carruthers) Floodwaters cover all of China, forcing some people to live in the trees! Only Yu, descendant of an Immortal, can help, but he doesn't know what to do. Will he ever figure it out? And who is the owl and turtle who speak to him? Read and find out!

The third is a lot of fun--Captain Raptor and the Moon Mystery. (story by Kevin O'Malley;art by Patrick O'Brien) Have you ever read a story in which the hero was a dinosuar? Captain Raptor must locate the spaceship that has suddenly crashed into Eon, the planet Jurassica's mystery moon. Can they survive the dangers of Eon and find the strange spaceship? Read along, space action fans, and thrill to the amazing adventures of Captain Raptor!
That's it for today. Don't forget to write to us by Monday, O noble Jedi, if you want to see Darth Bill in a dress!
PS--I made a mistake. The Beowulf book isn't really a graphic novel; it's an illustrated story. You won't find it in the graphic novels section, but you will find it in the nonfiction area under the J398.2 call number.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A Comment From a Real Author--of Books For Boys!

Hey Everyone,
Guess what? I just got a comment from a real, honest-to goodness author! His name is Max Elliot Anderson and he writes books specifically for boys. Let's hear what he has to say:

When Boys Don't Read

School is starting, and again this year, there will be many boys who don't enjoy reading. I understand those boys because I was one of them. I hated to read as a child. Now I write action-adventures and mysteries especially for boys 8 - 13. My blog, Books for Boys at is in the top 5 on Yahoo and the top 20 on Google. You'll find links there to my web site and to 50 pages of reviews for my books. NEWSPAPER CAPER, NORTH WOODS POACHERS, MOUNTAIN CABIN MYSTERY, BIG RIG RUSTLERS, SECRET OF ABBOTT'S CAVE & LEGEND OF THE WHITE WOLF, are compared by readers and reviewers to Tom Sawyer, The Hardy Boys, Huck Finn, Nancy Drew, Tom Swift, Scooby-Doo, Lemony Snicket, and adventure author Jack London.This year, you can change the lives of boys by introducing them to my books. They are ranked by Accelerated Reader and are already making a huge difference with boys. The good news is that girls like them too.

Max Elliot Anderson, Author

Sounds pretty good, huh? I must confess that I haven't read any of his books and PLCMC doesn't have any. Maybe your library or your school does. Have any of you read his books? Let us know! In the meantime, I'm going to link his blog to ours. I've looked at it and it's cool.

Back From the Beach With a New Comment! And the Answer to Mystery Mel!

Hey gang, I've just come back from North Myrtle Beach and had a great time. There are no Sith on that beach, as Darth Bill had on his, but they do have some great places to eat. The force is so strong in that magical place that your food will prepare itself, as you can see by this picture:

When I got back, there was a new comment from Hockey-sniper. Here it is:

I read a book called No Howling in the House by Mercer Mayer. It is about this one wolf and he had his mom's magic and the sister had her dad's howl.

I'm in second grade and live in Hawaii. I want to see a picture of Darth Bill wearing a dress!

Well done, Hockey-sniper! I really like books by Mercer Mayer. There's a good one that Mercer illustatrated called Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like by Jay Williams. The story is exciting and Mercer's illustrations are fantastic. Now, to make it official, Hockey-sniper, are you a Jedi? We have to know before Darth Bill puts on that dress. If you are, then we need only 2 more Jedi to write to us by September 10!

Speaking of the force, I have to let all of you know that Lord Vader got it right--Mystery Mel is indeed a girl. The force is really strong in him to figure it out. In fact, she's Melanie, one of our fellow coworkers here at Imaginon. She wanted to comment on our blog and I didn't see anything wrong with that as long as she told us about books boys like. What do you guys think?

Let us hear from you, especially all you Jedi readers!