Saturday, January 31, 2009

How Very Cool Is This? An Interview With Helen Hemphill, the Deadwood Jones Author

Yeeehaaa, partners, Helen Hemphill, the author of that terrific book The Adventurous Deeds of Deadwood Jones, has very nicely given us an interview:

Deadwood Jones is a terrific book. Your other books are set in modern times--why did you write about two African-American boys going out west and joining a cattle drive?
I read Nat Love’s autobiography. Nat was born in Davidson County, Tennessee (Nashville) in 1854. After the Civil War, he went west looking for work and adventure. According to Nat, he was the best cowboy ever born. He could out ride and out shoot any man. I loved the bravado of Nat’s voice and wanted to write a character like him. Once I did the research and found out a third of cowboys on the western cattle drives were minorities, I thought the story was one that needed telling.

Your two main characters are thirteen and eleven-year-old boys. Was it hard to get into minds of boys and write about them?

The hardest part was getting the language right. I was writing across race and time. I kept a vocabulary journal and mined words from diaries and narratives of the period. The emotional aspects of the boys seemed to evolve as I did the research and outlined the plot. By the time the actual writing started, I knew these boys pretty well.

The Old West was a beautiful but harsh and dangerous place. Much of the action happens as the characters cross that hazardous land. Would you say that the West is itself a character in your book? (what a grown-up librarian sort of question to ask!)
I don’t know if it’s a character (maybe!), but the difficulty and harsh nature of the land was so much a part of the common experience of the time. I think we tend to forget what a hardship day-to-day living was for pioneers, particularly cowboys. They had to be tough and determined. I didn’t want to gloss over that in my story.

Why is it cool for boys to read/write?
I once heard a writer talk about reading lots of comics and adventure stories when he was a boy. That’s not a bad thing at all. But one day his seventh grade teacher told him that he was reading widely, and it was time he began to read deeply. The teacher gave him a copy of the novel Look Homeward Angel. Reading and writing help us live bigger, richer lives. They help us express our dreams and our opinions and tell our own stories. It’s cool for boys to be part of that.

Did you read comics as a girl? Did you have a favorite character?
I loved Brenda Starr. She was a glamorous Chicago reporter who always had intrigue and adventure no matter what news story she followed. Smart, independent, and beautiful, Brenda had a mysterious boyfriend, Basil St. John. She eventually got promoted to editor and married Basil. I kind of stopped reading after that.

What are your favorite sports?
I grew up in Texas where football reigns, so the game is near and dear to my heart. But I’m also a chump for ice hockey. It’s fast and tough, and the guys have to skate backward.

Which do you prefer—cheeseburgers or pizza? What do you like on them?
To me, pizza is the ultimate comfort food. My fav is thin crust pepperoni with extra sauce. Then, I usually top it off with a Fudgesicle. Ah, perfection.

You seem pretty cool. Could we make you an Honorary Guy?
I would love it. I have two sons and a husband, which makes for a totally male household. Being an Honorary Guy would put me in the club—awesome!
Thanks, Ms.Hemphill! We look forward to seeing you. (DON'T FORGET--she will be at Imaginon to talk about her book and do a writing exercise based on photos of South Dakota on February 5 at 11:00 am) And we will present you the coveted Honorary Guy Certificate while you're here!
PS--here's a book trailer for Deadwood Jones:

Friday, January 30, 2009

A New Lightning Thief Fan, The Truth About The Last Olympian Excerpt, And Rick Riordan Reads a Portion of The Sword Of Hades!

Hey everyone, 'tis the Great and Powerful CARLMAN, who is now the Greatly Excited Percy Jackson Fan, because The Demigod Files is coming out in a little more than 2 weeks!!! Yippeeee! Can hardly stand the excitement. I'll tell you more in a minute. But first, let's hear from flippy, our newest fan of The Lightning Thief:

the book called the lightning thief is a really awesome book. It's all about this kid named percy is put between this war between posiedon and zues. Zues has lost his prized possesion, the master bolt. So, percy the prime suspect beacause, the gods weren't supposed to have kids so, when zues finds out, poseidon and zues get in a fight, and gods can't steal from other gods so percy is the prime suspect. So percy goes on this adventure to find the real thief. It's a really awesome book:) :)

Thanks, fkippy!! Yes, this is one of my all-time favorite books. The rest of them just get better. The final book in this series, The Last Olympian, will come out May 5.

Now let me digress for a moment. The Great and Powerful CARLMAN, who sees through space and time, knows that several people have visited this blog to find out where to read an excerpt from The Last Olympian. The only place I know of will be be in The Demigod Files, that comes out February 10. Mr. Riordan will put a tantalizing excerpt in that book, but that will the ONLY place!! No place online!! No other blog, website, or fansite!! At least, not as far as I know. The CARLMAN has been wrong before! If you know of another place, please tell me. But on Febraruary 10, you can read an excerpt in The Demigod Files. AND NOT ONLY THAT, in that book you can read interviews with the characters, see a map of Camp Half-Blood, AND read three other Percy Jackson stories--"The Stolen Chariot," "The Bronze Dragon," and a BRAND NEW ONE--"The Sword of Hades!"! In fact, here' Mr. Riordan to tell you about The Demigod Files and read a bit of the new story!!!!!!



Thursday, January 29, 2009

Announicng A New Blogger!!

Greetings, fellow reader guys in Blogland!! I'm excited to announce a blog I learned about last night. This blog is all about books for guys and the best part is---it's run by a reader boy just like you!! Yes, his name is Ian and he started his blog to tell other guys about books he's enjoyed. Bill I met him at the library last night and he is a really cool guy. Take a look at his blog called Books To Read And Games To Play and support your brother reader guy (and blogger guy)!!!

Who Will See the Movie Version of Coraline and a New One From Brian Jacques!

Sigh. Looks like there'll be another Sith/Jedi war on the blog. Well, OK, boys, go ahead--just don't slice each into so many pieces that you can't type. If it gets too bad, the Great and Powerful CARLMAN will step in once again and bring balance to the Force by getting us all to read another book together.

In the meantime, Anonymous has written to us again:

Are you planning on going to see the animated movie version of "Coraline";even though the main character is a girl?
AND what's wrong with a Sith liking puppies and kittens? They are probably shape shifters and are really wolves and tigers!

Well, I probably won't. Nothing against Coraline or Neil Gaiman, but I'm not a big fan of horror books or movies. (And I really am glad Mr. Gaiman won that award) My brother blogger and reader Rowdy Roddy at the SMS Guys Read blog says it well here. I mean, he literally SAYS it there because it's an audiofile. If you can't download it, check out the original post here.

Anonymous also turns us on to a new book by the great Brian Jacques:

New book review"Doomwyte" by Brian Jacques
Griv and her crow escort emerged into an immense cave. The sight resembled some infernal nightmare from the brain of a madman. High up in the poisonous, mist-wreathed recesses of the vast ceiling, water dripped from limestone stalactites. Heaps of protruding, decayed and yellowed bones were piled up against the lower walls. The centre of the cavern floor was dominated by a large lake. There was an island in the middle of the lake. The centre of this island was a limestone hill, surmounted by a monlithic statue of polished black obsidian. It was a monumental work, depicting a huge raven, with a snake draped about it's neck. Both the face of the raven and the snake above it, contained eyeless sockets.

This is the lair of Korvus Skurr, a huge raven. A smoothsnake named Sicariss serves as his adviser. They are the latest of their kind searching for the two rubies and two emeralds that originally were the "eyes" of the statue. Many, many, years ago Gonff, the mouse thief stole those jewels.Now Bisky, a young mouse, Samolus, his grandunk (grand uncle), Umfry Spikkle, a hedgehog, Dwink, a young squirrel, and various other Redwall characters work together to battle Korvus and his army of birds and reptiles including the dreaded Balissss, the adder.

Will they solve the riddles and find the treasure? In this the latest book in the "Redwall" series you will find adventure, interesting and sometimes frightening creatures, and above all a very enjoyable story. This is one of those "I just can't put the book down" sort of books. This book will appeal to both guys and girls. (In case you have a sister that likes to read.)

Thank you, Anonymous! I know there are a lot of Redwall fans out there. How about it--have any of you read this one?

The CARLMAN, who brings balance to the Force

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Presidents By Memory, Sleeping Freshman, and Deadwood Jones Author In Charlotte!!

This is the Formerly Sick and Sneezing CARLMAN writing to you this afternoon. I spent the weekend in bed with a knock-me-flat cold. Whew! It was a rough one but I'm back and feeling better--good enough to say


I am so glad to see a real GUY BOOK win the biggest award a kid's book can get. Congratulations, Mr. Gaiman!

I also came in and found 2 messages waitng for us. First off, Michelle, Aaron's mom has written to us:

aaron can't recite the gettysburg address but he can list all the presidents in order from memory - wanna see? :)

Sure! We'd love to see that. Come on down to Imaginon and let us video you! We'll even give you a prize. By the way, Aaron, did you ever get your free book? We like to take pictures of guys when they receive them.

We also had another good review by cyber kid 303:

Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar is an extremely funny book about Scott Hudson, a freshman in high school. He doesn't like the experience of being a freshman, mainly because of seniors who are mean. Then he finds out his mom is pregnant. This is a good book because it is funny.

We're always looking for good and funny books. Thanks, cyber kid!

And now we have some exciting news--Helen Hemphill, the author of the exciting book The Adventurous Deeds of Deadwood Jones will be here at Imaginon on Thursday, February 5, at 11:00 am. She'll speak about her book and about the Old West and have a writing exercise based on pictures of South Dakota. She's done this for lots of kids and they've all had fun. So come on!! Especially you Bruner Boys, since I know you are getting a copy of her book. And all you other guys too!! It'll be in Studio C in Imagionon on Thursday, Feb. 5 at 11:00 AM.

PS--to see my review of Deadwood Jones, cllick here.
PPS--After her talk, we'll present Ms. Hemphill with an Honorary Guy Certificate! Don't miss it!!

Breaking News on Baby Animals and Jedi

Hello all,

It is with a heavy heart that I must post this exclusive interview I found on the news this mourning. I must warn you all it is very shocking, so be sure to be sitting when you watch!!!! You should also be warned that the video is a little shaky as the heroic interviewer did this interview during a full scale earthquake!!!!!

Shocking Exclusive News From "The Boys Rule Boys Read" Blog
Investigative Team

Now I know this may come as a shock to you all that "Jedi Master Zack" is actually an evil Sith Lord. As for myself, I always had my suspicions. Now Darth Bill's perspective on baby animals is that they are needed and should be taken care of and even loved. I guess this Sith just has a soft spot in his heart for puppies and kittens - plus they are potential sith in the making. Well we tells it like it is here. Shame on you Jedi Master Zack for your views on small animals and your unprovoked attacks on me):

Sad and Shaken,

Darth Bill

P.S. I want everyone out there in the land of Blog to know that I am taking the high road in not telling everyone that in some quarters "Jedi Master Zack" is also known as "Jedi Sweetie Zack." Oh I just told everyone didn't I. Tell you what, forget you ever heard me say it.

P.S.S. Yeah for Mr. Gaimen!!!!! Your books rock!!!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Boy Book Wins the Big Award!

Hello guys, the elusive Master Jedi Zack has dug himself out of the piles of books to write again!!!

Every year around this time the American Library Association (sounds like a fun group of folk, right?!) announces the best books of the year in a whole bunch of categories. Normally us Guybrarians see this list shrug and go on with our day, but this year things are different! One of my all time favorite authors, Neil Gaiman, won the Newbery Medal for The Graveyard Book.

Darth Bill wrote about this book in his puppy and kitten post recently. The Newbery Medal is the highest honor librarians give to a children's book, and I must say I'm proud of the choice that was made this year. Read the book!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Hunger Games, a Book Review on film plus More "Croc Bill"

Hello all me mates out there in the Land of Blog, It's me once again Crocodile Bill!!!!!! Well I hate to admit when I make a mistake, but I'm big enough to do so see. The infamous Brunner Boys came to pay me a visit just the other day and corrected something I said about crocks living in the ocean. Well instead of me telling ya, let's roll the video!!!!!!!

From me world wide renowned Tele show; produced and filmed by Mrs. Brunner!!!!!

I must make an apology to the Brunner Boys. They found this information in an encyclopedia and gave me the information on a piece of paper where it could be found. Naturally I lost the information, but what they say is right on the money mates!!!!!!

You may also remember from our January 18th post that are good friend Bobby reviewed "One False Note" from the 39 Clues Series. Well I gave him his book for doing a review but could not find our camera, so we did a little impromptu video. Take a look mates:

World Renowned Book Reviewer Bobby!!!!!!

Alright now it's time for me to talk about a book I recently finished reading that really blew me away. Check it out:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - Now I have to warn all you potential readers off the bat that this book is probably a little to intense for younger readers. Not really any language problems, violence and the cruelty of the world portrayed may not be to all our blog readers taste. Okay now that I've got the obligatory warning out, let me tell you about this roller coaster ride book. It is by Suzanne Collins, who also wrote the Gregor Books, and set in depressing future. The United States no longer exist and what remains has become known as Panem. Panem is made up of the Capitol, where people have it easy and control the rest of the Panem, which is divided into 12 Districts. The Capital basically rules the Districts as a Dictatorship. Sometime in the past the Districts rebelled against the capital and lost. After the Districts defeat "The Hunger Games" were initiated. The Hunger Games is basically a reality T.V. Show where 2 tributes, a boy and girl, between the ages of 12 to 18 are selected from the 12 Districts (making a total of 24 teens) to compete against each other until only one player remains alive. The story centers on District 12's tributes Katniss Everdeen (16 years old) and Peeta Mellark (18 years old). Katniss becomes involved when her 12 year old sister is chosen for the games, which she can not bear to happen, so she takes her place. The games are violent and the tributes put through terrible treatment in the outdoor arena (encompassing a fast forest) all of which is televised for the Capital to watch. This book has so many twist and turns you will not be able to put it down. Can Katniss and Peeta beat the rest of the District tributes and even so what happens if they are the last two remaining. Only one victor is allowed. Don't miss this book!!!!! Even better news is that it is the first in a trilogy. Great Stuff!!!!!!!!! There is also a pretty cool website for this book that you might want to check out:

Also I want to make a general announcement that every Tuesday in February we will be having a Wii Bowling Tournament from 4 to 6 p.m. at ImaginOn for guys and girls between the ages of 7 - 12 years old. Registration is encouraged so if you want to give it a go, call us at 704-973-2720.

Until next time guys,


Friday, January 23, 2009

Bruner Boys, Cyber Kid, Star Wars, and The Wednesday Wars

Wow, wow, wow!!! This is AWESOME! The Bruner Boys Beware AND cyber kid 303 have written to us on the same day!! And they're talking to Aaron, one of our new reader guys. So we have some actual dialogue between guys going on here. Very great! And the Bruner Boys sent in not one but TWO messages in one day. Impressive! Let's hear the first one:

YO MAN! Austin here, where is MY VIDEO. I am really excited about what I look like on video. I wonder if I'll be famous on utube. I like utube because it's like ebay. I am a ebay mainac. I mostly search HALO stuff, anyway, back to books. You know I would like to be called CAPTIN X. IF YOU DONT MIND. I got it from commander x. Any way I have dedwood jones on hold, I know it is cool.This week I am finishing Something Wickedly Weird and then finish 39 Clues and go on a roll with Deadwood Jones.

-Captain X aka Austin
ps- thanks for the free books

Yes, sir, Captain X! Crocodile Bill is working on your video (he will explain this to the rest of you dudes later) Why, yes, you could be famous on You Tube one day. Just think, millions of eager fans signing on every day to see what the Amazing Austin (aka Captain X) will say. Eager fans lining your street just to get a glimpse of you!!! Your autograph going for hundreds of thousands of dollars!!!!!

Wait, I'm getting a little carried away. Just remember us when you become a world-wide star and worth trillions of dollars.

The Bruner Boys also had a message for Aaron, who wrote about the Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures v. 7 graphic novel a couple of days ago:

Aaron- the Bruner Boys Beware love the Star Wars Graphic Novels too! Aaron and Captain X need to hook up at Imaginon and play the online game together... and read the novels together. It's great to meet other young jedi!

Come on over, guys. we'd love to sign you up. Just be sure you have permission form your parents to use the internet and that it says so on your library cards. And we'd really love to have you meet and read here!

cyber kid told us about a book that sounds really good:

O.K., the Waynes World video was soooooooooo funny. The book, The Wednesday Wars, was even funnier. I read it for Zach's book club at the Matthews library which is named The Wednesday Warriors. Anyway, it is about Holling Hoodhood who lives in a town where everybody (except him) is Catholic or Jewish. On Wednesday everybody (except him) goes to Catholic or Jewish school. This means he is alone with his teacher. It is set in the 1960's. Everybody has more important things to worry about like the death of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. It is written by Gary Schmidt. Out of ten stars, I would give it eight.

Very good, guys! And very good to you too, Zack, for running the book club. And go back a few days and read Bill's post about a Gigantic and Most Excellent Announcement to see the video cyber kid mentioned.
Keep this good work up, guys!! And all you other reader guys too!! This makes our day!

The Very Excited CARLAMN

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Josh Recites the Gettysburg Address!

Look here, fellow guys in Blogland, we have a new friend who has boldly gone where few guys have gone before. Yes, in the spirit of brave guys everywhere, Josh has acepted our challenge to recite the Gettysburg Address. Yes, I know we started this way back in November and wanted to go only until the end of last year, but Josh wanted the prize of two free slices at Fuel Pizza so much that he went for it!! Let's hear him:

WAY TO GO, JOSH!!!!!! No, it wasn't perfect but he tried really hard. Yeah, maybe I coached him over the rough spots but he tried so hard that I just HAD to help him finish. WAY TO GO!!!!!!

I still have 3 copouns for 2 free slices at the Fuel Pizza at 6th and College streets in downtown Charlotte for any other guy who will do the same thing!! Can you do it????

PS to Master Jedi Zack--do you have any of the Fuel Pizza coupons? Would you still be willling to video a boy reciting the Address? I'd be glad to share my coupons with you.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

We Have A Quick Response!

Hey, evryone, Carl here. Our new friend and fellow reader guy Aaron read the post belowand got his mom Michelle to help put up a review of a Star Wars graphic novel. Let's hear him:

My name is Aaron and I’m 8 years old. I love the book Star Wars Clone Wars Adventures Volume 7. It is like a comic book with 4 stories in it.In one of the stories Padme becomes a spy. It turns out pretty good for Padme in the end.In another story a battle droid tells Obi Wan and Anakin to run, which they did. Then giant monsters attack them. The funny part is at the end of the story when a battle droid tells them to run again. They were sort of (gulp) scared.In another story these three friends rob a bank guarded by clones. They pretend to BE clones so they can steal the money.There’s one story left. A Jedi named Blizzard Swan has a green light saber. He captures a guy with six eyes. The guy with six eyes doesn’t have a name, and Blizzard Swan doesn’t speak a word.
(my mom is using her identity to post this comment)

Thanks, Aaron! I like the Star Wars: Clone Wars graphic novels too. So does my coworker Bill (or Darth Bill, as he likes to be known). I sure Master Jedi Zack out at the Matthews library does too. This one looks really good--I've got to see if the library has a copy. Don't forget to pick up your free book at the Imaginon or Matthews library.
PS--since your mom was so good to help you out, we'll give her the greatest honor we can bestow and make her an HONORARY GUY!!!

Two More Really Good Quick Reads: Akimbo and the Elephants and Akimbo and the Crocodile Man

"Imagine living in the heart of Africa. Imagine living in a place where the sun rises each morning over blue mountains and great plains with grass that grows taller than a man." That's how this terrifiic series starts. Akimbo and his family live on the edge of a nature preserve in Africa. In the first book, Akimbo and the Elephants by Alexander McCall Smith, young Akimbo tries to save a herd of elephants from poachers (thieves who kill elephants for their ivroy tusks) through a really dangerous plan. In the other one, Akimbo and the Crocodile Man, he goes with a scientist to tag a female crocodile and her babies. Crocodiles are deadly, right? That's what Akimbo and the Crocodile man find out!! These books are short but REALLY GOOD!!! It always amazes me how a first-rate writer can fill a short book with action and suspense while making you see and feel what the characters do. Alexander McCall Smith is first-rate and so are these books. There are two more in this serires:

They're easy enough for younger readers and exciting enough for older guys. Go get them!!


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bobby Likes One False Note

Hey, everyone, we have a comment from our new friend Bobby. He's telling us about One False Note, the latest 39 Clues book.

Bobby has left a new comment on your post "One False Note":
Hey, I love that book!!!!! I'm waiting for my birthday (end of march)to read the 3'rd book. My favorite part was when those guys that they stole the recipe from chased them until Nellie got them. I signed up to the website and have a lot of cards. I also like the part where the kids took the thing from Saladin's neck and put it in Alister Oh's cane.

Yeah, that part was good! That lawyer was right; Dan and Amy are a lot smarter than they realized! Iliked the first book better, but I enjoyed this one a lot. I'm with you--I'm waiting for the third one to come out too. You say you've signed onto the website--what branch of the family are you? I'm a Tomas and that's where Dan and Amy are headed in the next book. The Tomas headquarters are in Tokyo and that's where the next book takes place. OOOPPPSSS!!! Did I let a secret out? So what?? I'm a Tomas!! I'm not afraid of the rest of you Cahill punks!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Two More Good Quick Reads: Geronimo Stitlton

Sometimes I like to tell you guys about books I call Good Quick Reads. You know, something good that doesn't take very long. Well, I've often had younger guys come in here and ask for Geronimo Stilton books. In fact, I've had so many requests that I decided to check them out myself. So I got a couple at random off our shelves and I really, really liked them! The two I got were The Temple of the Ruby of Fire and The Valley of the Giant Skeletons. (How could you resist titles like those??) In the first one, Geronimo Stilton, editor of The Rodent's Gazette, goes with his sister Thea, his cousin Trap, and his favorite nephew Benjamin to find the Ruby of Fire in the Amazon jungles and has close encounters with piranha, overly-cheerful resort hosts, and oil-gushing fountains that can burst into flame. In the second, Geronimo and company fly off to Mongolia to find a lost treasure from a map made by their Great-Great-Great-Uncle Wally and get stranded in the Gobi Desert! These books are funny, suspenseful, and action-packed. I even learned a few things along the way! These books are definitely for our younger readers, but if you pick one up, you won't be disappointed!

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Gigantic and Most Excellent Anouncement!!!!!!

Hello all in the Land of Blog, it is I once again, Darth Bill with a really cool and special


On April 6 and 7th, that's a Monday and Tuesday, 2009 we will have a very special visitor from the great state of Maine. Perhaps you have heard of him and/or the terrific Comics and Graphic Novels he has out. Okay, no more teasing, here it is!!!!!!!!

Our very special visitor to the PLCMC System will be no other than Jay Piscopo!!!!!!!!

Jay Piscopo with two of his coolest characters Capt'n Eli (left) and Commander X (right).

Perhaps you have heard me or The CARLMAN once or twice (okay a lot) talk about the absolutely greatest Graphic Novel Series in
existence, "The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli," in which he just happens to be the creator/writer/illustrator. We're not Worthy!!!!!! We're not Worthy!!!!!

<----Volume 1 - The Mystery of Me & The Mystery of the Sargasso Sea; Plus More!!!!!!!

Volume 2 - The Mystery of the Sargasso Sea (continued) & More!!!!!!------>

<------Volume 3 - Coming in 2009!!!!!
(This is not the actual cover, but the ultra extreme Commander X Action Figure)

The Commander X Adventures Online Comic---->

If you have not yet had the opportunity to read any of these awesome stories or want to know more about them Click Here.

Yep that's who will be coming down from Maine to visit us in Charlotte!!!!!!!!

The Overland Adventures of Jay's Visit to Charlotte, North Carolina

Jay lives up here in Maine!!!!!!

We live down here in North Carolina!!!!!

He will be visiting several library locations to talk to kids about his comics and Graphic Novels as well as sharing some drawing techniques!!!! Does it get any better than this????? I don't think so!!!!!!! Keep on the look out for more information on this epic event as they develop!!!!!!!

If some of you out there are not familiar with the: "Were not Worthy!!!!! Were not Worthy" thing above, check out this really cool "Wayne's World" video with Alice Cooper (major rock star and very cool dude like Jay). I hope you think it's as funny as I do.

So one and all, in one voice, let us shout out loud and proud:

Stand By For Adventure!!!!!!
Stand By For Jay Piscopo!!!!

Peace all,

Bill "Otherwise known as Lieutenant Y Official Sidekick to Commander X - um if he doesn't mind that is"

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Three Great Nonfiction Books for Boys About Planets and Space Exploration

Commander CARLMAN here, guys. Ever since telling you about that wonderful book, Space Cadet by Robert Heinlein (click here to see the review), I wanted to brush up on my knowledge of the Solar System so that I wouldn't get lost between Mars and Neptune. I've been fascinated with space and the Solar System ever since I was a CARLBOY, so I looked to find some the latest info and, man, did I ever find some good ones!

The first is Stars and Planets by Dr. Mike Goldsmith. It has a lot of good basic information on all all the planets plus fascinating stuff like Space Clouds, the Big Bang and the Big Rip, space pioneers. designs of future space exploration ships, and buildiong space stations. PLUS, every section gives a link to a website realted to that subject!! For instance, the section on Mars takes you to
and pictures of the Red Planet. (be warned--even though this book is pretty new, some sites can change, move, or disappear and some sites will have those annoying pop-up ads and other advertisements) But even with that, you'll find some extremely good sites and good information. This book is great for anyone who's learning about the solar system for the first time or long-term space fans. PLUS, you don't have to sit and read it all the way through--you can pick and choose the sections you want. Commander CARLMAN likes to look through this one while refueling at the Jupiter Station.

Since I mentioned the Red Planet, have you wondered if there were life on Mars? Or ever had been? Then you're in good company. A lot of our best wrtiers have wondered and written terrific books about Mars. H. G. Wells and The War of the Worlds. Ray Bradbury and The Martian Chronicles (one of the ALL-TIME BEST BOOKS EVER). Edgar Rice Burroughs, the Tarzan author, wrote a whole series of books on John Carter and his adventures on Mars. If this idea has ever interested you, then you ought to read Mars and the Search for Life by Elaine Scott. The author gives a lot of interesting background on the discovery and early study of Mars, especially the "canals", and goes on to tell the story of sending space probes to explore, analyze, and photograph the Red Planet. Then she goes on to tell about possible manned trips to mars and how some people are practiciing NOW to go there! Really intersting!! And the chapters on landing probes on Mars had me turning page after page, dying to find out what would happen next! Go get this one, guys!!

The best part of Space Cadet took place when the main characters crash-landed on Venus. A lot of people speculated what might be under that unbroken cloud cover.some said there was an enormous planet-wide ocean, like C. S. Lewis did in Perelandra. Others, like Robert Heinlein, thought there a lot of marshes. The truth comes out in Venus by Ron Miller. Find out what Venus is really like and why space probes get destroyed in 15 minutes whenever they land on the surface! This one kept me turning pages too.

Both the Mars and Venus books have good glossaries (definitions of terms) in the back as well as list of books and websites. This is good because, once you start learning the solar system, you want to find out more and more.

Commander CARLMAN signing out and saying,

"Look To The Stars!"

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Lot of You Write In!

This is GREAT!!! I came into the library and found THREE different people had written to us!! Wow!

The first was from The Bruner Boys Beware, whose book reviews I posted yesterday. They question something Crocodile Bill said on his video of Tuesday (the post is called "Be Afraid--of Crocks,That Is! Be Very Afraid!")

Dude... watched the video again with Croc Bill and we were just wondering... are there really crocs in the OCEAN?

Well---are there??? Crocodile Bill says "yes" but he and I want to challenge you to PROVE him right or wrong. Oh, sure, you could just go to some website and see, but we want you to stretch your brains a bit and see if you find out from a print source. If you can get a BOOK from a LIBRARY and find out and then send us the NAME OF THE BOOK and the PAGE NUMBER (OR NUMBERS) on which you found the info by MONDAY MORNING, we will get you guys a PRIZE!!! PLUS--after you send us your info, you can come to Imaginon and make a video with CROCODILE BILL that presents your findings!! You can come to Imaginon to claim your prize or we will send it over to the Matthews library or even the Mint Hill library. Do crocodiles live in the ocean, especially in Australia? Yes or no? PROVE IT!!

The second message is a comment on a comment. Cyber Kid 303 posted a review of No More Dead Dogs way back on June 10, 2008. I actually posted that review as a comment and I posted it as a full-fledged review the next day. V. White saw that comment and added her response as a comment. If you want to go back to that post to see it, that's great. If not, here's what V. White said:

cyberkid 303,

I think it is one of the funniest books I have ever read! Can you imagine a teacher that would allow students to be that creative and change a play that much? What a wonderful teacher that would be to have.

That book must really be good. Bill called it, "Officially one of the funniest books I've ever read."

And we have one more review; a sports book review by Anonymous:

Football book review"

On the Field With...Peyton and Eli Manning" by Matt Christopher.

After reading this book about the Manning family, I have to say it must have been cool to have a dad like Archie Manning who was a Pro quaterback. He played for the New Orleans Saints. This is one time the saying "It's in the blood" sure seems right. Growing up both Peyton and Eli had first hand experience what it was like before they became pro quarterbacks themselves. This book gives you a look at what it was like growing up, plus cool photos and career stats.

The next book I can hardly wait to get my hands on is the new "Whimpy Kid book The Last Straw".

As for Comic Camp, I heard the rumor that some time soon we're getting a super treat of a visit!!! Hope this is true!

It's true!! Bill will post something Friday. Thanks for sending us a sports book review, Anonymous. We'd like to see more of those. Especially sports biographies. Bios are terrific and I really enjoy them.

Well, keep this up! We love to hear from you.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The BRUNER BOYS Are Back In Town!!

Yes, indeed, The BRUNER BOYS BEWARE are back! Darth Bill and I saw them yesterday and had a good time. We encouraged them to write again, since it's been a long time, and they wrote back right away! Let's hear them:

Master Zach already gave Austin the BIG NEWS so we are waiting for the OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT! WHOOHOOOOOOO!We are reviewing TEN things in this note to catch-up!

So, we saw the Almighty Carlman today at Imaginon and discussed some of our latest reads and checked out THESE that were just lying around... Knights of the Old Republic GN Vol 2 and Vol 3. They are awesome, of course, DUH they're jedi! And talked hush hush with Darth Bill and saw a REALLY powerful and dangerous action figure (Darth Bill says "he means business"). But Austin is half way though a book recommended by Master Zach on thursday called Something Wickedly Weird, The Wooden Mile. Austin gives this book 4 stars for being 1. easy to read, 2. A bit weird and creepy, and 3. recommended by Master Zach.
For family read-aloud we are anxious to start Inkspell because it's coming out in a movie and because Cornellia Funke is one of Mom's FAVORITE authors (she TRULY has some serious jedi writing skills).Bruner Boys also decended into the Chess Club at Mint Hill Library last Friday to sharpen our strategy skills for jedi battles ahead... we recommend it (even if the teacher is a GIRL) and are now successfully beating mom thanks to the tips we received.

We also have been watching ALL the John Wayne movies Austin can find and watched Hatari and we thought it was great(rhino catching, cheetas as pets and gun slinging)! We just finished up The Apple Dumpling Gang, which is just plain FUNNY... renting movies at the library is EASY!

One more thing to recommend... ALL THREE of the audio books of Encyclopedia Brown. You get to hear the story, then try to guess it before he tells you the answer! It great fun for the car and everyone like to listen and try to figure them out and we learned a LOT of cool stuff (like that squirlls NEVER go backwards down trees... who knew?!?!)Mom read The Alchemyst in 24 hours it was so good and is waiting patiently to get the second book. It's about a brother and sister, twins, that have these majical powers and are saving the world from the evil. It's gripping, majical, provoking. Even though she's a GIRL... she was impressed that instead of BUYING the book at Target... she could just pop into the library and pick it UP! Eldest too! PS... we want to see that mysterious author wrestle a LIVE alligator! We've asked mom to locate one so we can try out your tips.

Very good work, guys!! I'd like to find a LIVE alligator too, so we could see Darth bill wrestle it. Anyone got one at your house? Darth Bill will be very glad to hear that you're watching a lot of John Wayne movies--John W is, perhaps, Darth B's favorite movie star. You're right--getting movies from the library is easy. And you don't have to rent them; you can check most of them out for free!! (Just be sure it's ok with your parents) I' m also glad you're listening to audiobooks. They really are great fun ,especially on a car trip. One more thing--I'm flattered, but don't call me the Almighty CARLMAN. That title belongs rightly to another, but that's a conversation for another time. You can call me The Great and Powerful CARLMAN and still be right, though!!

Well, it's good to hear from you guys again! Don't be strangers. And here's something for you and all the other guys out there to rock out to--Thin Lizzie singing "The Boys Are Back in Town." (Yeah, that's how I got the title to this post) Rock on, dudes!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Be Afraid--of Crocks That Is! Be Very Afraid!!

Hello all,
It is I, Darth Bill, once again with a most excellent post!!!! First, I would like to share with you this exciting video I found of a brand new author talking about his latest book. It really looks like a cool book and I will try to find out more about this mysterious author, who identifies himself only as "Crocodile Bill" in the video and the book. But in the meantime check it out:

The Mysterious Author of "When Crocks Attack" Crocodile Bill??

Well that was cool, but now on to reviews of some cool Graphic Novels I have recently finished reading:

Marvel Adventures Iron Man Volume 3: Hero By Design by Fred Lente, Graham Nolan and Scott Koblish - This volume of Marvel Adventures collects Iron Man issues 9 thru 12. Like all the Marvel Adventures titles it rocks!!!! In this collection of stories the focus is on the search for Tony Stark's long lost dad. The first story sets Iron Man up for the hunt. In the second story he both fights and teams up with the extremely cool Spider-Woman. The third story is my absolute favorite because it features the coolest, and perhaps only, Canadian Superhero Team "Alpha Flight." Alpha Flight is made up of: Guardian (Leader of the team who wears an Electromagnetic Power Suit), Northstar and his sister Aurora (both have the power of flight and speed), Shaman (mage and mystic of the team), Snowbird (Shape Shifter), and Sasquatch (big friendly shaggy monster). The last story ties up the search for Tony's father and really does a nice job of completing the story arc. Definitely worth the price of admission!!!!!!

Odysseus: Escaping Poseidon's Curse by Dan Jolley and Thomas Yeates - Well I know we have a bunch of folks out there that love "The Percy Jackson and the Olympians" Series so you may want to check out this excellent Graphic Novel about the Greek Mythological Hero Odysseus. Odysseus was the King of Ithaca and fought in the Trojan War on the side of the victors. It was his idea to build the Trojan Horse which broke the City of Troy. Well this GN is all about his struggles to return home after the war. Unfortunately for Odysseus the Greek Gods Zeus and Poseidon favored Troy in the war and they made getting back home for him very difficult. Some of the challenges he has to face in his journey are the one-eyed Cyclops Polyphemus, the witch Circe, the Sirens who sing men in ships to their deaths, the monstrous six headed Scylla, among others. If you like Greek Myths and well done Graphic Novels, you will love this GN.

And now for something completely different!!!!!!!! Here are some pictures I recently received from the last Comics Camp we had here at ImaginOn!!!!! The next one is scheduled for 1/22/09 from 6:30 p.m. to approximately 8:00 p.m. If you live nearby and are between the ages of 7 to 12 years old, call and register as we still have openings as of now!!!!!!! Check out the picks from the December Event:

Guys and Girls creating their own really cool comics and artwork!!!!!

John DaCosta, one of Charlotte's most excellent local comic book creators, drawing with one of our attendees!!!!!!!

Herc, another really cool local Charlotte comic book creator, helping out the guys (um...I mean girls).

Two of the Comics Camps regular attendees plus (from left to right) Herc, myself and John!!!!! Everyone has a great time at these events, so if you are reading this and think it looks cool and want to attend; well what are you waiting for???? The number to call and register is 704-973-2720.

Well that's all for this time, but just to tease you a little bit, just wait for my next post this Friday where I have a really big announcement to make about a certain Graphic Novel Series and it's author/illustrator that's gonna knock your socks off!!!!!!!!! Here's a hint of what GN I'm talking about:

Stand By For Adventure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Old Book Prospector Finds Gold In The Adventurous Deeds Of Deadwood Jones

Yippee-yi-yo, partners, the Old Book Prospector sure was right about this one! The Adventurous Deeds of Deadwood Jones by Helen Hemphill is more fun than a rodeo, a shoot-out, and a saloon fight all rolled together! Thirteen-year-old Prometheus Jones and his eleven-year-old cousin Omer, both African-American boys living in Tennessee after the Civil War, have just won a horse in a raffle. A couple of racist guys refuse to believe that two black boys could have won a horse and so cause a lot of trouble--so much that Prometheus and Omer have to hightail it off to Texas, where Prometheus thinks his father might be living. They need money and join a cattle drive from Texas to Deadwood, South Dakota. The West is a beautiful but harsh and unforgiving land, however. If you're not careful every minute, bad things can happen. Even something as simple as crossing a river can mean disaster. And bad things happen in this book But there's also a lot of fun and adventure here. You've got encounters with the Pawnee and Sioux Indians, a jailbreak, the shooting match to end all shootin' contests, plus some unforgettable cowboy characters like Beck, the trailboss, Nack, and Rio. So saddle up, cowpokes, and enjoy this wild and exciting ride! Yeeeeee-haaa!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

more on Ms. Yingling

Hello all, Master Jedi Zack here with an update on our favorite Ohio Librarian, Ms. Yingling. She recently sent me a great video. Darth Bill may not appreciate one of his Sith buddies being taken down, but the CARLMAN and I agree that Ms. Yingling has earned the higest honor Boys Rule! Boys Read! can grant to a non-guy.

We now name Ms. Yingling, wait for it..........

An HONORARY GUY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Below is the video that won us over. You can also follow Ms. Yingling's blog here. She may talk about girl books from time to time, but her take on boy books is great!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Paper Elves, 2 Drummers Drumming, Lincoln Through the Lens, and a Side of "I'm Not Worthy!"

Sigh. Back to school we go. The break was fun, wasn't it? We had a good time here at the Imaginon library. One of our regular guys, Clinton, came with his dad and mom to do some djembe drumming:

Another day we had a Silly Fashion Show, in which we made goofy clothes out of leftover wrapping paper:

One manly man made (I didn't get his name) made himself into a paper elf:

Looky there--not even Legolas could look better!!

Well, school is important, so it's good we go back. In the menatime, we have lots of exciting books to tell you about this year. There's a terrific new one set in the Old West and there's a new one called Mudville about a baseball game that's been rained out for 22 years! This book's so new that it hasn't been published yet! In fact, it will be the first book this author has ever published. I'm hoping that the author will write to us and tell us what it's like to have a book published for the first time. Anddddd--The Demigod Files and The Last Olympian will come out this year, as well as the new Erec Rex and Barmstormers books. 2009 ought to be exciting!!

But I want to talk about a book that Master Jedi Zack mentioned on his 12-29-08 post, Lincoln Through the Lens: How Photography Revealed and Shaped an Extraordinary Life by Martin W. Sandler. Biographies are full of great stories and this one is no exception! Abraham Lincoln lived an incredible life, going from a nobody out in the country to president!! This book gives the story a twist and shows how the "new" process of photography helped him get elected and shped his presidency. There are a lot of great vintage photos here, including some rare (and sometimes grisly) photos from the Civil War, Lincoln's funeral, the Gettysburg Address, and an eerie photo of his second inagural speech--with an insert of John Wilkes Booth watching the whole thing!! This is another good book that's really good because the story is true!!
One last thing. Darth Bill wants to give a great big "I'M NOT WORTHY!!" to the Undersea Adventures of Cap'n Eli author. One very sharp reader, Joe Z., caught Bill saying on that Joe Piscopo, not Jay Piscopo, was the Cap'n Eli author:
Hi guys! Just a quick note to say that The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli #2 is by Jay Piscopo, not Joe Piscopo. It should also be noted that Jay is way funnier than Joe ;)

Joe Piscopo is the movie actor! Even though he's been in some funny movies, we'd all agree that Jay is much funnier. Please do not be angry with us, oh Jay Piscopo! Bill made an honest mistake. WE ARE NOT WORTHY!!!
What humility!! What honesty!! You have to admire a guy like that.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

One False Note

Hey, everyone, this is Carl, welcoming 2009 with my first review of the year. And what better book to start the year than One False Note by Gordon Korman, the second book in The 39 Clues series. This one finds Dan and Amy Cahill, with their au pair Nelllie Gomez, traveling to Vienna, Salzburg, (in Austria) and Venice to track down the next mysterious clue left by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. I turns out, though, that Mozart had a sister Nannerl that was as brilliant as he was. The location of the clue is in her diary, but the megastar rapper Jonah Wizard has already gotten hold it. And that's just the start of their troubles! They have to outsmart their incredibly rich, sinister, and tricky Cahill relatives, jump out of hotel windows, survive an underground cave-in, and out race the bad guys in the canals of Venice. Does this sound exciting? It is!! In fact, I missed the stop on my bus ride home last night because I was so totally into the story!!! You'll enjoy it a lot. Now I will have to say that I liked the first one better--there seemed to be more danger and suspense, but his is a minor detail. I liked this one a lot and I bet you will too. I have one criticism though--in an early chapter, Dan and Amy debate wheteher or not they should steal Nannerl Mozart's diary from Jonah Wizard's hotel room. They talk back and forth over whether or not it's right to steal and finally decide that they should do it. This is the kind of thing grownups love to do. They love to complicate things. A lot of grownups have bought into the idea of "situational ethics", which basically means that nothing is right or wrong in itself; the situation determines whether something or right or wrong. Don't believe it guys--we know deep in our guts what's right and what's not. Does that mean the author sat down and tried to write a book to get us to believe it? Of course not. But some grownups will and you guys should be aware of it. Besides, this was an unwelcome intrusion in good book. That whole discussion could have been left out and it wouldn't have made the slightest difference.  But, as I said, these are minor criticisms of a really good story. The next book, The Sword of Thieves, comes out on March 3. Ohhhhhh, boy!! I'll be ready!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Darth Bill's Picks of 2008

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Rock On Alll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Darth Bill Salutes You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Above is a picture of a couple of my Sith Buds I took on New Years Day. There a wild lot I'll tell ya that. These guys really know how to party!!!!!!

I was not going to do this originally, but after I saw the Calman's Post I felt compelled to do so. Okay here are my top 4 books of 2008 (the reviews are the same that I did earlier in the year):

1) Runemarks by Joanne Harris - This story is set 500 years after Ragnarok that ended the old world ruled by the Norse Gods. The main character in this story is a young girl named Maddy Smith who is born with a strange and magical birthmark. In Maddy's world "The Word" rules all with an iron-fist. In her world magic is taboo and imagination is highly discouraged. Because of what people perceive as Maddy's strangeness she is ignored by her father and has no friends. That is until one day when she meets and old wanderer called One-Eye who befriends here and teaches her to use the magic that has been lying asleep inside her. This book is filled with Norse Gods, Heroes, Villains and Monsters. This book will suck you in and you will not be able to put it down once you start reading it. This is a great book that I would put right up there with Rick Riordan's "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" book series. The one obvious difference is that this book rekindles excitement in Norse Mythology as opposed to Greek Mythology.

2) Ironhand: Book Two of The Stoneheart Trilogy by Charlie Fletcher - This book takes of where Stoneheart (click HERE to see my review of that book), the first book in the trilogy, left off. It takes off like a rocket and doesn't stop the whole way through the story. The story starts with George and Edie determined to rescue the Gunner who has been captured by the evil and mysterious Walker. Now I know some of you are scratching your head asking who or what is a Gunner and a Walker. Well this story is set in a London that most people are not even aware exists. In this London, stone statues and carvings are very much alive. The statues in London are divided into two types. The taints (gargoyles, dragons and other sorts of inhuman stone creations) are evil soulless creatures. The spits (The Gunner and other more or less human looking statues, but not always as we see in this book) whom are akin to humans in that they have souls and tend, for the most part, to be on the side of good. What it really boils down to is what the statue makers intended them to represent and thus become. The Gunner is a statue of a World War I English Soldier who helped George and Edie quite a bit in "Stoneheart." The Gunner is the Walker's prisoner because of this help after George inadvertently set off a war between the taints and spits. The Walker, a sinister sorcerer type, is a servant of dark powers and leads the taints in their war against the spits. This book moves through both present day and the past. The reader travels with the characters from present to World War I to a pre-industrialized England and other strange places and times. This book is full of wonderful twists and turns that will keep the reader turning page after page. One word of advice, if you really want to enjoy this book fully, you should definitely read Stoneheart first. Man, I can hardly wait for the next book!!!! They are that good!!!!!!!!!

3) Tunnels by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams This book rocked and I absolutely cannot wait for the sequel. The main character of the book is 14-year-old Will Burrows who along with his archaeologist father, Dr. Burrows, shares a passion for digging tunnels into the earth in search of buried historical items. Will’s family is extremely “different” and to say the least dysfunctional. His father is always involved with his work and little else, his mother watches TV non-stop, and his younger sister runs the families finances. Will is an extremely pale boy and picked on non-stop at school. That is until he befriends another outcast by the name of Chester, who is a rather large intimidating boy, and gets him interested in digging. Life is going pretty good for Will between digging with his father and digging independently with his new friend Chester. That is until Dr. Burrows goes missing and Will finds that right in their basement is a tunnel that leads to a subterranean world populated with people time left behind. This book is full of twist and turns and just when you think you know what’s going on, the book kicks into another gear to throw you for a loop. I would classify this book as a mystery/action book. Whatever you want to classify it as is up to you, just make sure you don’t miss one of the truly great books of 2008!!!!!

4) The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors and this book is a perfect example of why. The book starts out with the murder of a family by a "Jack The Ripper" type murderer. The whole family is murdered except for the baby boy who wanders out of the house and ends up in the local graveyard. There he is protected by the ghost and those who lookout over the grave yard from the murderer. The boy is adopted by two ghost and given the name Nobody Owens. Along with his ghost parents, he is raised in the graveyard by all of its inhabitants as one of its own. The book consists of the many adventures the boy Bod, short for Nobody, has as he grows up in the graveyard. There are ghouls, werewolves (which may surprise you), monsters and just plain evil people Bod meets or comes up against throughout the story and ultimately he must face up to the man who tried to kill him as a baby. This book is wonderfully written and full of thrills, action and poinyant moments that will make you remember it long after you have finished reading it. Gaiman leaves the door open for a sequel and I for one sure hope it happens. Great book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Best 4 Graphic Novels of 2008 (reviews ftom earlier post):

1) The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli Vols. 1 & 2 by Jay Piscopo - Vol. 1: 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 (evil underwater dewlers). 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 (major bad guy) and his Hydrons. This story is action packed and just a whole lot of fun!!!!!!!!

The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli: The Mystery of the Sargasso Sea (Volume 2) by Jay Piscopo - Man with this volume the Capt'n Eli Graphic Novel Series hits another gear and really takes off!!!!! As it was left off in the previous volume Capt'n Eli is still with Commander X aboard his super high tech submarine "Sub Zero." They reach the underwater city of Aquaria only to find it under attack by a race of underwater denizens known as the Outcast. It seems Aquira and it's people are now ruled by Commander X's former World War II partner, known then as The Sea Raider. We also find out that Commander X is Aqurian's sworn Lord Protector and it is his duty to protect them from all threats and enemies. Let's see what else happens in this story, we learn the history of Aquaria and its relationship to Atlantis, we learn the secret origin of the ruler of the Aquarians known by many names such as - Rex Noble, The Sea Raider and The Sea Ghost among others, Lord Hydro is back with all his evilness and Hydrons and much. much more!!!!!!!!!! I promise you if you pick up this Graphic Novel you will be unable to put it down until you have finished reading it and then you will still be wanting more.

2) The Bone Series by Jeff Smith:

Bone: Treasure Hunters, Volume 8 by Jeff Smith - Fresh into the have gained entrance into the once great ruling city of PLCMC Library's Graphic Novel Collection is the latest instalment of the Bone Series. Well kids things are really getting interesting in the Bone Graphic Novel Series. In this instalment the Bone Cousins (Phoney, Smiley and Fone Bone), Gran'ma Ben, Thorn and BartlebyAtheia. Inside and outside the city things are not well. Outside the city Ghost Circles are everywhere and Briar (Gran'ma Ben's Sister) is gathering both rat creatures and human warriors to serve the Lord of the Locust and bring an end to all. Inside the city things are not all that great either as our heroes must contend with Tarsil, The Captain of the Queen's Guard, who has turned traitor and now rules the city. So besides the dragons disappearing, enemies all around who would like nothing better than to find and crush the former royal linage of the kingdom (that would be Thorn and Gran'ma Ben) and all that support it, the nearing release the Lord of the Locust into the world and all other types of nastiness; everything is just great!!!!!! I tell ya, you need to get ahold of this latest volume as soon as possible and read it. This is really just awesome stuff!!!!!!!!!!

Bone Volume 7: Ghost Circles by Jeff Smith – Well, the seventh volume in the Bone Graphic Novel Series has finally come out and it was well worth the wait. As the title to this volume intones, things get real scary and serious in this one. The villagers and Veni Yan Monks are really put to the test by the “Lord of the Locust’ and his armies. Everything goes crazy with a volcano eruption and the appearance of “Ghost Circles” everywhere. The Bone cousins (Phoney, Smiley and Fone Bone), Thorn, Gran’ma Ben, and the recently returned Bartleby are also being pursued by the forces of the “Lord of Locust” and just manage to stay one step ahead. But how long can their luck hold? What is a Ghost Circle? Who lives and who dies? Only one way to find out, read the book. You won't be disappointed.

3) Amulet: Book One, The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishint- Wow, this is a really cool graphic novel that I encourage everyone to give it a read. The story starts out with a terrible accident that forces major changes in the lives of sister and brother Emily and Navin. Because of the accident Em, Navin, and their mother are forced to move into an abandoned house once lived in by Grandpa Silass who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. The kids find out that their grandfather was an inventor of sorts but even more importantly Em finds a magical amulet that is a total mystery to her. On the families first night in the house, they are awoken by sounds coming from the basement. While investigating the sound, a strange tentacled creature pulls their mother through a mysterious doorway to another world. Em and Navin determined to save their mom follow and thus begins their true adventure in a place like nothing they could have imagined.

4) Salt Water Taffy: The Adventures of Jack and Benny - The Legend of Old Salty by Matthew Loux - This Graphic Novel is about two brothers Jack and Benny whose parents have decided to take the whole family away from the city and to spend the summer in the state of Maine at the weird and mysterious Chowder Bay. Jack and Benny make fast friends with one of the locals known around those parts as Fisherman Angus O'Neil. One evening the boys see something huge and monstrous on the beach, but can't quite make it out. After talking to Angus they discover that Chowder Bay has a mysterious resident in the waters known as Old Salty. This leads to strange robberies by lobsters, very strange behavior by seagulls and an epic battle between Old Salty and Angus. Does any of this make sense? If not read this excellent Graphic Novel and it all will. I really loved this book and look forward to the next in the series.

Well here's to looking for great titles in 2009!!!!! If you have some books or Graphic Novels that you particularly enjoyed from 2008, write in and let us know about them!!!!

Peace all,