Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Another Star Wars Review from Lord Vader and Some Summer Goofiness!

Hey, one and all, Lord Vader has given us another good review of a Star Wars book:

I just finished "Star Wars Last of the Jedi: Master of Deception" by Jude Watson. It picks up the story shortly after Anakin becomes Darth Vader and when Leia is just a small child. It takes place on Alderaan when Leia's presence is felt in the force because of her strength in it. The dark side doesn't know who is causing a ripple in the force but they want to find the being and deal with it. I thought this book was great and I think other readers that like the Star Wars movies will like this book as well. I can't wait to see the Clone Wars movie on August 15th.

Mikie a.k.a Lord Vader

I can't either, Lord Vakie, I mean, Mider, I mean Mikie. BTW, all you sith and jedi out there, keep your eyes on this blog for some interesting developments!

Now here's some totally goofy summer fun. This is a clip from an old movie. I put it in here because it features the great Spike Jones. I'm a bigggg fan of his. He was a bandleader wayyy back in the day and was famous for taking hit songs of the times and doing crazy things to them. He'd put car horns, hiccups, pistol shots, gargling, and other wierd noises into the songs and make fit in time with the music! In this scene, some lady is singing for a party but doesn't know that Spike Jones is the bandleader. Someone tires to warn her, but too late!!! Go look for some of his music--it may be hard to find now, but go look because it's funny, funny, funny!!!!

Did you know that he even had a TV show??? What must that have been like???

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli

I have to say gang, this is one very excited Sith here. Jay Piscopo the writer/artist/creator of the soon to be massively popular "The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli" agreed to do an interview with me on this blog site. Now this graphic novel may not be in our system yet, but believe me when I say it's coming and when it gets here........baaaammmmm!!!!!!Before I show you the interview (see next post) let me give you a quick review of the first volume (I will make a special anouncement when it is offically in the PLCMC Collection) of this graphic novel series:

The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli: The Mystery of Me, The Mystery of the Sargasso Sea; Plus Much More!!!!! by Jay Piscopo -

First let's introduce some of the characters:

Capt'n Eli - As a baby, Eli as he is to be named, is found beached in a highly advanced pod that has floated underneath the seas, with the baby in suspended animation, by an elderly lighthouse keeper and his wife. They decide to raise him as their own and because of his love of all things relating to the sea, he earns the nickname "Capt'n Eli" from his adopted father "Pops." Capt'n Eli shows a great proficiency with technology and other skills needed to command the sea along with special abilities, such as being able to hold his breath underwater for long stretches of time. Capt'n Eli is almost always accompanied in his adventures by Barney, his dog who is far from your ordinary dog, and Jolly Roger, a parrot who is 200 years old and speaks over 70 languages (See cover of Volume 1 above to see what Barney and Jolly Roger look like).

Commander X - It is rumored that Commander X is a descendant of Captain Nemo himself. Commander X explores the depths in a sub with a distinct hammerhead design. He was a hero in World War II and leader of "The Big 3." The Big 3 were made up of Commander X, The Savage Sea Raider and The Radioactive Human Sun. After the war he disappeared and has just recently reappeared on the scene. Although he was a hero in World War II, he is a mystery to all now. Some consider him a villain for sinking ships for reasons known only to himself. While others still look on him as a hero for he always takes mercy on his enemies and has rescued many seafaring vehicles from certain doom. Number 1 is his mechanical First Mate.

Not Pictured (except for the evil Hydrons):

The Seasearchers - A famous exploration team led by Professor Wow whose headquarters is their giant submarine known as "The Seascape." The rest of the crew consists of:
Dr. Amelio Bolo - Pilot and Inventor of the Hydrocopter.
Red Pepper - Engineer and designer/pilot of the Earthsub.
Commander Mark Fathom - Pilot of the Trident and Chief of Security.

The Aqarians - Pretty much the equivalent of surface dwellers, except they live beneath the sea. Their greatest city, in which their king rules, is Aquaria.

The Hydrons - The evil enemies of the Aquarians.

There are lots more characters, both friend and foe, to be found in this terrific book. I just wanted to give you a quick overview of some of them and let you discover the rest.

The first story "The Mystery of Me" introduces us to the main character of the graphic novel Capt'n Eli. This is Capt'n Eli's origin story and introduces many characters and asks many questions that you will be intrigued to learn about in future stories. In this story he joins the Seaserchers and also meets for the first time Commander X.

The second story in the book,"The Mystery of the Sargasso Sea," is an adventure tale that involves the mysterious Sargasso Sea that has been a floating burial ground for ships throughout history and the even more curious Bermuda Triangle where both ships and other seafaring vessels, planes even, have mysteriously disappeared never to be found again. This story involves time travel,Christopher Columbus, some of the very interesting history (or would that be future????) of Commander X, and lots of battling with the Hydrons. This is such a cool story!!!!!!

The last story in the book, "The Return of Baron Hydro," take us back to the days of World War II. The Big 3 (Commander X, Sea Raider, and the Human Sun) take on Baron Hydro and his Hydrons. This story is action packed and just a whole lot of fun!!!!!!!!

I really can't emphasize enough how cool I think this graphic novel is and how much I am looking forward to future releases. Also did you know that there is a tatical (super cool) card game that goes along with the Capt'n Eli Graphic Novel Series. Did you know that the library maybe (ah, who am I kidding, I should say most certainly) planning a fun and exciting "Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli" Special Event in the near future (Can you think games, comics, graphic novels, trivia, and more?????)? Stay tuned Bloggers, fun is right around the corner.

Well a big Hardy, Har, Har all,


P.S. To see and find out out even more cool stuff about Capt'n Eli check out:

Saturday, July 26, 2008

An Interview With Jay Piscopo of "The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli"

Jay Piscopo at this years Heroes Con in Charlotte from June!!!!

And now without further commercial interruptions is my interview with the one, the only Jay Piscopo - writer/artist/creator of "The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli:

1) What were the first book and/or books you read as a kid that made you think “wow?”

The first comic I ever read was Adam Strange. He transported millions of miles in a Zeta Beam
to a planet called Rann- I was amazed! The only comic books I saw were in the local barber shop
and they were all Adam Strange. For years I thought all comic books were about him!

My favorite book, as a kid was Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes. It was really cool to see a young hero involved in the American Revolution.

2) What gave you the idea for “The Undersea Adventures of Capt’n Eli” and such characters as Capt’n Eli, Barney, Roger, The Seasearchers, The Big 3 and Commander X?

A lot of the influences for the characters and stories come from the different "ages" of comics.
Commander X and the Big 3 are influenced by the mystery men of the Golden Age.
Capt'n Eli is very much like Silver age characters like Jonny Quest and Aqualad.
The Seasearchers, Silver Age again. The Challengers of the Unknown were an influence.
Another of Capt'n Eli's influences is Tom Swift and other boy inventors in early science fiction. Barney has a lot of my dogs in him (including my own) and Roger the parrot is that part of me that can’t (or won’t) shut up.

3) Who do you consider some of your biggest influences as a comic/graphic novel creator?

I love Charley Parkers work-he -invented webcomics with Argon Zark-
Herb Trimpe Steve Rude and Howard Chaykin have always been favorites of mine.
It was the biggest thrill when did pin ups for our first issue. Three artists I always think about that are no longer with us are:
Jack Kirby, Alex Toth and Wallace Wood. Studying the work of these three artists could teach you a lot about making and enjoying comics.

4) Why do you think it's cool for boys to read?

Imagination is cool. Knowledge is cool. Wisdom is cool. All of these can come from reading.

5) Is it cool for boys to write/draw? Why?

Expressing yourself and finding ways to communicate better is always very cool. Writing and drawing is a great way to organize your ideas and express them to others. Writing and drawing puts ideas into action.

6) Who was your favorite comic book character when you were a boy? Do you have a favorite character now?

I would go through phases. First it was Adam Strange and the Flash. Nowadays, I love whatever character I’m working on in the moment. I like Sea Ghost (a Capt'n Eli character) quite a bit and Commander X and Eli, of course.

7) What is your favorite sport?

I like playing softball and watching basketball.

8) What do you like to do for fun?

My work is fun, but I watch too many movies and I read a lot of old comic book scans on the web.

9) What is the favorite book you have written and/or drawn?

I love Capt'n Eli ! Wait till you see issue#3!

10) Which do you like better--cheeseburgers or pizza? What do you like on them?

Hamburgers right now as I think I’m becoming lactose intolerant. I love an even mixture of ketchup and mustard just like Dairy Queen Brazier sauce.. You asked!

Well I want to thank Mr. Piscopo for sharing some of his time with us and for creating such a great graphic novel series that I totally love. Check it out and I'm sure you will soon feel the same way.

May the wind always be at your backs me harteys,


Monday, July 21, 2008

Hacksaw Jim Keeps the Discussion Going!

Our good friend Hacksaw Jim Duggan from the Guys Read blog has responded to Lord Vader's comment on the Great Percy and Annabeth Discussion:

thank you Lord Vader!

I completely agree with you that Annabeth and Percy should go out. That reasoning just backs up my opinion that Percy should date Annabeth instead of Elizabeth.

Hacksaw Jim Duggan from Guys Read

So far everyone, except for cassiemoonlight, is in favor of PJ and Annabeth staying together. I agree but-----I have a sneaking suspicion that it won't happen. And here's why:

1. In the first book, the Oracle said that Percy would "fail to save that which matters most in the end." Percy thought the prediction had been fulfilled at the end of the first book, but I don't think it was. That book wasn't the end; Book 5 will be. So the big question is, what does Percy value the most? Is it Camp Half-Blood? Or is it Annabeth? If it's Annabeth then:

2. Annabeth was told by Janus and Hera in The Battle of the Labyrinth that she would have to make a choice. The choice had been delayed but not cancelled and the choice could kill her. What is that choice? I think it's between Percy and Luke! Annabeth has always liked Luke. Of course, she likes Percy too. I think that Annabeth will see that Luke's in big trouble. Remember how...wait a minute, I'm giving away information from Book 4 here, so skip this if you haven't read The Battle of the Labyrinth. I think that Luke became an automaton, like Daedalus, and that's how Kronos was able to use Luke's body. I think Annabeth may have to choose between saving Luke from Kronos and saving Percy from whatever trouble he'll be in and that choice will do her in--meaning that Percy failed "to save what matters most in the end."

Of course, I could be wrong. I hope so! I like Percy and Annabeth together. This story would be too sad. But sad things happen sometimes. All you Harry Potter fans know that. But what do you out there think? Am I wrong? Can you think of other ways the story could go? Tell us!!! Keep this discussion going even longer!

Not an oracle,


Sunday, July 20, 2008

What a Busy Weekend! And a Review! And the Discussion Is Still Going!

Wow! This blog has been getting a workout this weekend--two posts from me and one from Bill. Now we have a comment and review from our old friend Mikie, aka Lord Vader. Plus, he's continuing the discussion we've had on 7-1 and 7-7 about Percy Jackson and Annabeth.

I just finished "The Battle of the Labyrinth" by Rick Riordan and I loved it. I liked this book even better than the other three (they were great also though). I loved the battle at the camp and all the action that came with it. I think Percy should be with Annabeth. They have been through a lot together and know what kind of life a child of a god or goddess lives. They are always having to deal with monsters so they can relate to each other. I can't wait to see what happens to him now that he is 15 since the prophecy is suppose to affect either him or possibly Nico (but most likely him) when they turn 16.

Mikie (a.k.a. Lord Vader)

Thanks for the good report on The Battle of the Labyrinth. I really liked that book. As I've said, I've got some ideas about what will happen with PJ and Annabeth, but I'm going to wait until we hear from one more person until I tell you!

What'll happen to Grover and Juniper?


Summer Insanity

Greetings all out there in the Land of Blog. It is I, Darth Bill, cruising the known and unknown universe in my brand-new-super cool- tricked out Death Star. I've seen a couple of movies this summer such as Iron Man, The Hulk and WALL-E. I enjoyed all these movies immensely. The two out now that I really want to see are Batman: The Dark Knight and Hellboy II. Coming out in August is the movie I am most looking forward to seeing.
Drum roll please.........................................

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Well, hopefully I'll get to see one of these these soon and I'll let you know what I thought. If you have seen something cool this summer you can also write in and let me and others know about it. Now let me tell you about some really cool graphic novels I have read recently:

Acredale Kolor Komics Kollection by Harold Buchholz - First I must sadly say that the PLCMC Library System does not as yet own this fantastic graphic novel written and drawn by Harold Buchholz. This graphic novel reminds of Charles Shultz's Peanuts with a heavy dosing of Warner Brother's type humor. The graphic novel is set in the town of Acredale where Miss Goodpenny's Home for Strays has a new border. That border is Apathy Cat and this cat has his own way of doing things and is a total original. This puts him on a collusion course with a Professor Straightlace who is the sort of teacher that thinks there is only one proper way for things to be done and hates originality. Apathy Cat and his friends don't want to hurt anyone and welcome all into their gang. Professor Straightlace sees them all as menaces to be put in their places. But never fear brave reader, with Apathy Cat at the wheel victory over conformity is assured. This really is a great graphic novel and if you are interested in learning more about it check out the website for Kids Love Comics. It is on there featured list of graphic novels and rightfully so. This is great stuff!!!!!!

Knights of The Lunch Table: The Dodgeball Chronicles by Frank Cammuso - Have you ever read any of the stories about King Arthur and The Knights of The Round Table? Well whether you have or not, I think you will find this graphic novel to be very clever and extremely funny. The main character in this graphic novel is Artie King (get it?). Artie and his family have just moved and Artie is starting school at Camelot (eh) Middle School. He makes new friends with Percy and Wayne, Hannibal a tarantula, and his science teacher, Mr. Merlyn (that's a familiar-sounding name). He also makes new enemies in Principal Dagger and big bad Joe, leader of the Horde (a bunch of bullies that terrorize all the kids at the school). The fun really starts when Artie is assigned the mythical locker at the school that no one else can open; no one, that is except Artie. This starts a series of events that leads to an epic dodgeball game where the winner literally takes all!!!! This is a great graphic novel, so do yourself a favor and check it out.

Marvel Adventures Hulk: Defenders by Paul Benjamin, David Nakayama and Mario Gully - The Hulk is back in this second volume of Marvel Adventures' Hulk graphic novels. This is Volume 2 in the series and collects issues 5 -8 of the comic book series. This Volume is even more action packed than Volume 1. In this graphic novel the Hulk teams up with such marvel heroes as Dr. Strange (Master of The Mystic Arts), The Sub-Mariner (also known as Prince Namor - Ruler of the undersea city of Atlantis), and The Silver Surfer (Master of the Power Cosmic). If that isn't enough to make you want to take a look at this fantastic book, the last story in the graphic novel has all these heroes, and let's not forget Rick Jones and Monkey, all teaming up together as The Defenders to fight the all-powerful Nameless One and his evil forces. Hulk is STRONGEST of them ALL!!!!!!!!!!

Until next time peace all,


Another Side of Gary Paulsen, a Great Book For Summer, and a Good Quick Read)

I got so excited about Gary Paulsen after writing that last post that I went and found another one of his books, Lawn Boy. Guess what--it's funny! Who wold have ever thought it, after such a serious book as Hatchet?

Have you ever tried to make money by mowing lawns? I certainly did. Never got rich, but made some spending money. Well, through a series of crazy circumstances, a twelve-year-old guy gets a lawn mower and becomes incredibly rich--in less than a week!! The hero of this story is sitting around, trying to figure how to make some money to buy an inner tube for his bike, when his grandmother brings his grandfather's old (and I mean really old) riding mower as a birthday present. Heyyyy--thanks??? is his reaction because they hardly have any yard. But suddenly all the neighbors start asking him to cut their lawns and he starts making good money. How does he become rich in a week? Mainly through stockbroker named Arnold who drinks hippie tea and wears 70's disco clothes. And before it's over, he finds himself in ownership of a prize fighter named Joey Pow who always wants to "pinch their heads." This book is fast, funny, and full of crazy incidents. A really fun read.

In fact, I'm going to create a new categroy called "Good Quick Reads. If you look underneath any of our posts, you'll see categories such as "Fantasy" or "Mystery" or "Rick Riordan." When you click on that category, it pulls up all the posts related to that category. So, if you're looking for Good Quick Reads (and who isn't?), click and see.
Cutting it close,

Saturday, July 19, 2008

One Of the Great Guy Books Of All Time

I'm talking about Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. Now I wasn't sure whether or not to write about this amazing book because a lot of kids have to read it for school and I thought a lot of you might have read it already. But, since I'm going back and talking about some of my old favorites, I decided to include this one. Besides, this book is so doggone good that I couldn't resist!! Every guy needs to read this one!!

Thirteen-year-old Brian's parents have split up. Brian "gets" to spend summers with his father and the school year with his mother. Brian's father lives in Canada, so Brian finds himself in a two-seater plane, flying across the Canadian wilderness. All of a sudden the pilot has a heart attack!! Brian manages to crash land the plane in a lake and escape to dry land, but there he is. Alone. In the wilderness. No idea where he is. No way to contact anyone. No food. Only the clothes he's wearing, a tattered windbreaker, and a hatchet that his mom gave him to remember her by. How will he survive? How would you do it? It will take every bit of imagination and toughness he has. This book really makes you feel how tough it would be. This is not a weekend by the lake--one slight mistake and you could die, hundreds of miles away from anyone. Gary Paulsen has written one of the most thrilling and realistic survival books ever and I can't say enough about it. Well, yes I can--go and get it NOW!!!! This would be one the best books you'll read this summer.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fantastic! A Comment AND a Review Already!!

All right!! Anonymous has written to us about today's post already and sent an interesting review:

YIKES!!!You are right,that Blond has to be from a VERY bad dream!

Hummmm if you like old detective movies I suggest you might like reading, The Falcons Malteser A Diamond brothers Mystery By Anthony Horowitz It is a funny and clever spoof of Bogart-inspired private-eye detective films. Bogart references are everywhere, from the title (the Falcon is a crime lord, who has hidden the secret to his diamond stash in a box of "Malteasers," malted-milk chocolate candies), to the appearance of a world-weary cabaret singer named Lauren Bacardi who performs at the Casablanca Club. 13 year old Nick's older brother, Herbert (aka Tim Diamond), is one of the worst detectives there has ever been. Nick
helps him every step of the way because he needs all the help he can get. Mr. Horowitz provides a collection of the usual sorts of eccentric suspects—a dead dwarf, a crazed criminal professor "who invented computer fraud five years before someone invented the computer, and the oddly thin "Fat Man" who poisons London's pigeons just for fun. There are murders aplenty (including one of a department-store Santa). Nick narrates the story. The end of the story left me looking forward to the next installment of Nick's adventures. And about bad dreams with not so pretty blonds in them, may I suggest no more garlic and soy ice cream or whatever wierd stuff late night snacks there are to be had.

Thanks, Anonymous. The Falcon's Maltesers looks really good. The library has copies but we don't have one here at Imagionon. Too bad. BTW, did you see our review of Key Lardo on 7-10-07? Good for younger guys, it has lots of titles based on old detective movies, and are a lot of fun. And I know about Malteasers--they are the the ultimate malted milk ball candy. I thought you could get them only in England or Europe, but I've found them here in Charlotte at a store that imports British foods. YUM YUM!!! Maybe I'll eat some tonight before going to sleep and have better dreams!!!!

PS--If this is your first review for us, Anonymous, don't forget to come into the library at Imaginon and get your free book.

Monday, July 14, 2008

"It Was Summertime in the City..." A Great Time to Catch a Hot Mystery Like The Postcard by Tony Abbott!

It was summertime in the city, one of those July days In Charlotte when it gets so hot you could broil a burger right on the pavement. That day started like any other for the Bill and Carl Detective Agency. We'd been tracking down books that no one else could find. I was beat after spending hours helping anklebiters find The Cat In the Hat or assisting pretty young things look up another princess book. Yeah, it takes a tough guy to do a tough job like that, but even a tough guy gets tired and I had to take an overdue siesta. No sooner had I put my feet up, then the phone rang.

"Hello--who is it? A blonde? Send her in!" I'm always glad to rescue a blonde in distress.

Well, no sooner had I clapped eyes on her that I knew she was like no dame I'd ever seen before. (or would ever want to see again!!)

"Oh, Mr. Carl, my client wants you to take this case!

"Your client? Who is he, the Fat Man? "

"No, the Tall Bearded Dude. Besides, you've got no room to talk!"

"Never heard of The Tall Bearded Dude. What's he want with me?"

"He wants you to take this case."

"Huh??????? "

"Take this briefcase, you big dummy! He said you'll know what to do when you look inside."

So I took the case. When I looked back, she was gone! Had she been only a dream? A really, really BAD dream??

But this briefcase was real enough, so I looked inside.

There it was--The Postcard, the latest book from Tony Abbott.

So that's who the Tall Bearded Dude was. I'd met him before at the Novello Festival last year. Saw him in the lineup. Even got some straight answers in an interview on 12-13-07. I knew him from The Secrets of Droon books. I'd read his stuff before. To be specific, I'd read Kringle and written about it on 12-20-07 . Pretty good. So I pulled up a chair and began to see what this keyboard-pounder had sent me.

All right, enough goofiness. I just finished The Postcard and liked it a whole lot. Tony Abbott has knocked one another way, way out of the park. Thirteen-year-old Jason, living in Boston, has just learned that his grandmother has died. She had been very old and had a stroke. So Jason has to drop everything and go with his dad down to St. Petersburg, Florida to go to the funeral and sell the old house. Sounds like a lot of fun, right? Just what Jason wants to do with his summer. On top of all that, this funeral has made his dad seem more irritable, angry, and upset than normal. There's a lot of strange, mystrious, and unknown things about his grandmother's background. When they get there, all sort of strange things happen. Jason's dad explodes over an innocent line in the obituary, bizarre people that no one knows show up at the funeral, and an unknown person calls Jason on the phone and asks, "How smart are you?" All this seems to be tied in to his grandmother's unknown past. Then, while cleaning out the old house, a old, old postcard drops out of a desk. That postcard and a story in a cheap mystery magazine from the 1940's start yielding answers to the mysteries of his grandmother. But some really mysterious, and possibly dangerous, people seem to be looking for the same answers. Can Jason find out the answers in time? He'll find out that there was a lot more to his grandmother than he could ever have imagined!! You'll really get sucked into this story--you'll even get caught up in the magazine story that runs through this book. This is another of those books that make you want to spend every free moment reading it. Mystery, comedy, suspense--it's here in The Postcard. (This book is best for grades 5 and up)

Now I have to confess that I'm a fan of these old black and white mystery movies of the 1940's. They had real tough-guy stars as the detectives, great people like Humphey Bogart and Edward G. Robinson. So I was glad that Mr. Abbott had a mystery tied in to that time. I'm an especailly big fan of stories with mysteries from a long time ago that change the lives of characters living now, just like Jason getting caught up in mysteries from fifty years before. You can imagine, then, that I was going to be upset if this book wasn't good. Well, I was not disappointed! It was everything I hoped a book like this would be. I think Humphrey Bogart said it best:

Yep, this book is the stuff dreams are made of. Go read it, guys!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

More Summer Fun!!!!!

Well, Well, I hope you all are having a fun and pleasant summer while I, the-Sith-who-scares his-own-bad-self, Darth Bill works extra hard helping out the many denizens of the universe in need. It is a thankless job, but here are some pretty good photos of my good works this summer:

Giving the
Sandpeople girlfriend advice. Women, dealing with these creatures despite the species, can be most challenging.

Explaining to Ewoks why they can't ride really cool coasters like on the left because they are not tall enough for the ride requirements.

Trying to explain to Lord Vader that pastels are not the new black!!!!!!!!!

Some exciting news here at the library on the comic book front. We are now receiving in the Spangler Room at ImaginOn the following monthly comic titles:

1) The Batman Strikes
2) Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
3) Scooby-Doo!!!
4) DC's Super Friends
5) Tiny Titans

They're located with the magazines toward the back of the Spangler Room. So come by and read the latest issues of these titles and older issues you may have missed.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke - What if you when you read aloud, the possibility of characters from a book leaving the pages of said book into our world existed? Do you think it would be pretty cool? Would you risk it? You may want to read this book first before you answer that question. The story begins with Mo and his daughter Meggie, 12 years old, are visited by an old friend of Mo's Dustfinger late one night. Calling Meggie's father Silvertongue, it seems Dustfinger has come to warn him that an old acquaintance of his named Capricorn has located him and will be coming after him and a book that he is very protective named "Inkheart." It seems that Mo has a secret that his daughter does not know about. The ability to read characters from the pages of books, but little control in determining who comes out and no ability, that he knows, of putting them back. Thus starts a great adventure in which fictional characters are brought to life from such works as the book in this story, Peter Pan, Tales from the Arabian Nights and others. This book has great villains such as Capricorn, a man who rules through terror, his evil henchmen and a creature Capricorn wants read into existence whose mere touch or breath brings death known as The Shadow. This book has a great story and many great characters, many more than I have mentioned, and I highly recommend giving it a go over. Two thumbs up!!!!!!

The Batman Strikes #46 by Russell Lissau & Christopher Jones - This is one of the new comics we are now getting in the Spangler Room and one of my favorites to read. This issue's villain is big, green, scaly and just has awful manners when it comes to dealing with Batman, Robin and Batgirl. It's Killer Croc and he's robbing the town of roses, stuffed teddy bears, pretty trinkets, er........ Does this sound a bit odd to you? Well it's up to our costumed crusaders to figure it out and stop his vile, if a bit odd, crime spree!!!! Good Stuff!!!!

Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #41 by Marc Sumerak & Ryan Stegman - Peter Parker, like all kids in high school, dreams of the day he can get his driver's license and sit behind the wheel of his very own cool ride. Peter, in this issue, is getting his big chance to show his driving prowess to his Driver's Ed teacher, Mr. Cornblum. Peter is ready and things are looking up--um, that is until Man-Bull shows up on his driving route. Will Peter pass Driver's Education? Will Spider-Man defeat Man-Bull? Will there be mayhem and comedy? Only one way to find out. Give this issue a read. You won't be disappointed that you did.

Well, that's all I have for now, hipcats!!!!! Until next time take it light,

Darth Bill

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Poisonous Centipedes Can Be Fun (and funny!)

I saw this book with this great title recently--Harry the Poisonous Centipede: A Story to Make You Squirm by Lynne Reid Banks. Now, how could you pass up a title like that? Especially since our theme this summer is Catch the Reading Bug. So I checked it out and guess what--it was a fun read! A quick, fun, and funny book. Harry, of course, is a poisonous centipede, which you might think icky unless you're another poisonous centipede. Life can be adventurous for a venomous insect with 42 legs--there are always tunnels to crawl through and yummy, crunchy things like beetles or spiders to hunt and eat. Belinda, Harry's mom, could even go outside and bring home a tasty toad every once in a while. But life could also be dangerous--there are hairy biters, belly crawlers, and flying swoopers to watch out for. And if the centipedes don't stay moist, they could Dry Out! The most dangerous things, however, are the giganitic Hoo-mins!! Belinda warns Harry to stay away from them--and especially the Up-pipe that leads into a Hoo-min house. But when water rushes down into their tunnels, Harry and his friend George must take the Up-pipe to escape. There they find themselves trapped in a house with a real, live, enormous Hoo-min!! Can they ever escape? I really enjoyed this one. And when the two centipedes find themselves crawling across a sleeping Hoo-min and find the only way they can keep from Drying Out--well, you'll laugh and say "Yuck!" at the same time. What more can you ask for in a book?

The second one is even better. In Harry the Poisonous Centipede Goes to Sea, Harry and George find themselves trapped inside a crate of bananas and taken far across the no-end puddle to a city of Hoo-Mins! How can they ever get back home??? This one's funny and exciting at the same time. And both books have terrific illustrations by Tony Ross. If you want something quick and fun, you can't beat these two!!

Don't let the hairy biters get your last three segments!


Monday, July 7, 2008

Let's Keep This Discussion Going!

Hey, everyone, I hope you had a good Fourth. We certainly did--went to an awesome cookout and saw great fireworks downtown. Did any of you do anything cool?

We've got a new comment from our good friend Hacksaw Jim Duggan from the Guys Read blog. He's got a question for Cassiemoonlight, who worte to us on 7-1. Here's Jim:

Hey guys,

I saw the comment made by Cassie, and I've got a question for her..Why would you not want Percy to hook up with Annabeth??I finished the "Battle of the Labrynth" and I personally think it's the best in the series so far. Obviously, Percy can't go out with Calypso because he'll never find her island again. As for Rachel, I think that she likes Percy, but I think if he had a choice, Percy would rather go out with Annabeth. So, please answer my question Cassie, because I would like to know...

Hacksaw Jim Duggan from Guys Read

Good question, Jim! Who would Percy end up with? Annabeth? Rachel? Or even Calypso? What would you like to happen? I'll throw this question out to everybody, including Cassie. Who should Percy end up with?

Inquiring readers want to know,


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Fourth!

Greetings, guys, and Happy Fourth of July. OK, the Fourth is actually tomorrow, but we're closed then, so I'll do it today. Are any of you going to see some good fireworks? Where will you go? Where are the best fireworks in your area?

We're celebrating our independence this weekend, not only from England but from all forms of tyranny and oppression. Sure, our country's not perfect, but we have a lot of freedoms that many places in world don't. One of them is the right to read. Dictators don't like it when their people can read and are free to read. It undermines their ability to oppress. Frederick Douglas certainly knew it. He told a story about how his master's wife started teaching him to read. The master made her stop because reading would make "unfit" to be a slave. He'd learn new things and become "unsatisfied" with his life. And it was true. Frederick Douglas continued to learn anyway, eventually found his freedom, and became a nationally-famous speaker against slavery. READING IS IMPORTANT, GUYS! Don't ever forget it.

Enough talk--let's put this into practice. Here are a couple of really good books for the Fourth or any time:

DK Eyewitness Books--American Revolution The cover says, "Discover how a few brave patriots battled a great empire." It's true. The American Revolution was an amazing story--a nation of farmers and shopkeepers, a country that was just a strip of land between the mountains and the sea, took on and beat the greatest military power in the world. Of course, we had some help with people like LaFayette and countries like France, but, still, we came awfully close to losing and it's amazing that we won. This book, like all the DK Eyewitness books, gives you lots of good pictures, interesting facts, and makes a good introduction to this fascinating story.

The Journey of the One and Only Declaration of Independence by Judith St. George
What a story!! Can you believe we still have the original Declaration? A piece of parchment over 200 years old? It's amazing to think of that--especially when I often can't find the piece of paper I printed 30 minutes ago! The original document of the Declaration of Independence is on display in Washington D. C. but it went through a lot to get there--it had to sneaked away from the British (twice!!), shrank in the hot and humid Washington summers, endured years of chimney and cigar smoke, and was both neglected and fought over many times before finding a place in its permanent display. This book told me a very exciting story that I never knew about. Judith St. George (who wrote the award-winning book So You Want to Be President?) for making history come alive and interesting and fun to read. And Will Hillenbrand's great illustrations really add to the story.

Enjoy the weekend. Liberty forever!

Carl and Bill

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Lively Discussion!

I love it! We've got a good discussion and new reviews on here! This is great! The first thing I do when I get to work is checkand see if you all have written anything. You've made my day!

Our first comment is from a new friend, Cassiemoonlight:
percy jackson is fantastic. but i dont want percy to go with annabeth. i want him to go with rachel or calypso

Thanks, Cassie. Hmmm, I wonder why you don't want him to go with Annabeth. Are you Aphrodite in disguise? She's been trying to mess them up. I've got my own ideas about who Percy will end up with--but I'm not teliing!!!(not yet at least) BTW, Cassie, girls are always welcome to write in to us. In fact, whenever you do, we give you the greatest honor we can bestow and make you an Honorary Guy. No need to thank us--I know how grateful you must be!

Our friend Hacksaw Jim Duggan from the Guys Read blog has also written to us. He has something to say about Percy and Annabeth too:

Hey Carl & Bill
Thanks for putting me up on your blog. I just wanted to say that I've started the fourth book, and right now I'm on page 73. I'm already enjoying the book alot, especially the way Riordan does action scene after action scene. I can't believe Percy screwed up and couldn't go on his date with Annabeth!! That made me so mad!

Hacksaw Jim Duggan from Guys Read

Thank you, Jim. We always post the comments that you and your fellow readers send us. (click on your name on "Labels" at the bottom of this post to see some of your other comments) You're right--no one does action scenes like Mr. Riordan. But you've got a very different idea from Cassiemoonlight; you want Percy and Annabeth to end up together. Or it seems that way to me. Why else would you be mad that they didn't go out on their date? I tell you what, for two kids who "aren't dating" (according to Percy), they sure spend a lot of time together! As I said, I've got very definite ideas (or guesses) as to what will happen--but you'll have to wait!!

Our final comment comes from none other than our old friend Lord Vader:

Hi everyone,

I'm past the halfway mark of my reading club log. I finished Garfield: Older and Wider. It was great and really funny. A few had my mom and me really laughing. There is a "made you look" comic that I can't wait to try on someone. Garfield is by Jim Davis and this was the 41st book. The other book I finished was Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling. I liked the book because it was a little different than the movie. I liked the basilisk (I think snakes are cool). I also liked the play on Tom Riddle's name.
Mikie (a.k.a Lord Vader)

Good to hear from you again, Lord Mikie--I mean, Vader. When He talks about his reading club log, he means the Catch theReading Bug program. If you take part in it, you can get prizes for reading! I hope a lot of you have signed up. If you live outside of Mecklenburg county, there's probably something similar at your local library.

Thanks for the great discussion! Keep those comments coming!