Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ms. Yingling's Book Giveaway Contest and The Second City of Ember Book Club Meeting

Hey, guys, our faithful follower, Ms Yingling, has told us about her book giveaway contest:
Hey, I'm giving away three Patrick Carman books over at MsYinglingReads. Encourage your readers to enter!

OK, men, click here to see Ms. Yingling's site and enter that contest. These books sound like they're really good. So go and enter! And thanks for telling us, Ms. Yingling! That's very good of you. No wonder we made you an Honorary Guy.

And here's the other big news--we're going to hold the second meeting of our City of Emeber Boys Book Club on Saturday, June 6 at 2pm here at Imaginon. We going to have some fun activities, some snacks, and some talk about The People of Sparks, the second book in the series. You have to read the book first, of course, and be from 9-12 years old. And you have to register. Call 704-973-2720 to sign up. We had a really good time at the first meeting, so we hope to see you at this one!

Your friendly neighborhood CARLMAN

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What To Read? What To Read?

Hey, everyone, it's Carl again, trying to tough out the constant pain. But, being the manly man that I am, I won't let that stop me from blogging!

We got some good comments yesterday from our brother readers at the SMS Guys Read blog. (You can read them under the Comments section of yesterday's post) There was one in particular that I wanted to talk about. It was from Koko B. Ware:

Hey guys,Its Koko B. Ware here. I was just wanting to know if you knew of any good books that I should try out. I am at a point in my life where I have read everything I can think of and I am at a loss for words, Literally!So if you guys could think of anything that you thought was interesting, send me a comment on guysread and let me know.

Thanks Guys,

Koko B. Ware

We're glad you asked! This brings up a couple of things we need to remind you of every now and then. First, if you want to find some good reads, scroll down the page and see what we've recommended lately. Or go over to the Blog Archives on the left-hand side of the page and see what we've posted this month. Click on the title of any post and it'll come up. You can also click on the little triangle by each month and bring the posts for that month. Or you can click on the little triangles by the other years, bring up the months for that year, then check out the posts for each month.

OR--and here's the big thing I wanted to say--you could go the section titled, "Here are Some Links to..." and check out the sites. All of them have links to good book sites but check out this one especially--it's the sixth one from the top. It's titled, "Here is a list of all the books we've talked about..." It's a list of all the books Bill, Zack, and I have written about AND all the books that YOU ALL have told us about. We've broken down the list into Chapter Books, Graphic Novels, Series Paperbacks, Nonfiction, and Others. We listed the title of each book and the date it was reviewed so that you can go back and read that review. Also notice that the underlined titles are the books that YOU READERS have told us about!! So go over and take a look. Go on. It's easy to find. You're bound to find something good. AND--that list can be printed!!

So print it off and impress your friends! Your teachers!! Your parents!!! Be the first one on your block to...wait a minute, I'm starting to sound like a retro commercial.
Well, I hope you find something good, Koko. And all you other reader guys too. And write and tell us what you find!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Last Olympian--Two Thumbs Up As High As They Will Go!!

Hey, everyone, this is the Great and Clumsy CARLMAN, reporting back to duty after falling off our loading dock last weekend. Yep, fell off a loading dock! Can you believe it? I was helping someone unload a few things out of a car when I suddenly stepped off the dock by accident. Fortunately, it wasn't very high and I didn't just fall right over. But I did twist my leg and had to take a few days off.

The only good thing was, once the constant pain eased, I finished The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan. MAN. OH. MAN. What a story!! This is it--the final confrontation between the forces of Kronos and the Olympians. The trouble is that Poseidon is under the sea, battling the armies of the titan Oceanus, and the other Olympians are trying to stop Typhon, the most enormous giant possible, before he reaches New York. The only ones to stand between Mount Olympus and Kronos's massive army of monsters are Percy and his friends. Can these kids possibly stand against the Lord of Time? And to make things worse, there's a spy in the Half-Blood camp! How could it get any worse?

You will LOVE this book. There is so much action, monster fighting, and desperate battles that you won't be able to stop reading. And there's also the great Rick Riordan humor. Just wait until you meet the Party Ponies. Or see the giant in the playground who keeps saying, "Uh oh." Or witness the scenes between Demeter and Persephone. And, as always, Mr. Riordan pulls some major surprises. As when you find out what Nico's plan really is. Or when the spy is revealed. You'll never guess. Nope. You won't. I guarantee!
This is a great conclusion to a fantastic series. There are very few series that are so good that they become part of your life. The Lords of the Rings is one. Some say Harry Potter is another. (I haven't finished them) With The Last Olympian, the Percy Jackson series takes its place right with them. that's why this book deserves...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Non-Fiction Coolness

Hey guys, Master Jedi Zack here with a different book offering than I usually give around here. Today I would like to talk about some Non-Fiction, yup true books this time, who'da thunk it?!

The first book I came across here at the library is The Boy's Book of Survival: How to Survive Anything, Anywhere. This book is from the people who brought you the Dangerous Book for Boys (which I trust everyone has read!) and is the definition of AWESOME. This book will teach you how to survive tight situations like a school dance and even the Bubonic Plague. The Dastardly Darth Bill should even read this book for the How to Survive a Duel chapter!

The second book I think everyone should pick up is Are You Afraid Yet?: The Science Behind Scary Stuff. This book is all about ghost stories and why we find them so scary. Of course, being the grand Jedi that I am, I don't experience true FEAR like a Sith would, but it is still fun to learn about why people are frightened by things like King Kong and Bigfoot.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!

Friday, May 22, 2009

More Discussion on Benedict Arnold, Hulk Sings and a Wolverine Graphic Novel

Hi all in "The Land of Blog,"

Tis I, The Sith with the mostest, Darth Bill. First off I feel I need to counterpoint some comments, with all due respect to the commenters, from the last post about Benedict Arnold.

First Dan commented:

"Thanks for the review. I want to look for this one and share it with my kids. Benedict Arnold is a chance to study character in the face of discouragement and frustration and injustice. He could have been a hero. In the end, he failed, not because his courage failed, but because his character failed, and embittered, he tossed his right to be a hero away. In spite of his abilities and amazing courage, he loses the character war. Character does count."

<------ Artist Rendition of Benedict Arnold

Carl also commented:

"Didn't mean to get on a soapbox, but it's true, guys. Hey, while you read the Benedict Arnold book, you ought to check out Washington at Valley Forge by Russell Freedman. (I reviewed it on the February 16 post titled "What a Book! What a Man!" It would be a good companion to the Benedict Arnold book because it shows how Washington, facing a lot of similar frustrations and discouragements, managed to overcome them."

<------ Artist Rendition of George Washington

While I do not disagree with either of them that character counts quite allot and it is a bit disappointing about some of the things Benedict Arnold did when he changed sides in The Revolutionary War, I would not go as far as to say Benedict Arnold was completely lacking in character nor that George Washington was far his superior in the department of character. One must look not through the eyes of history knowing what we know now, but look at the people and events that where happening at the time. If you read the book (and I plan on reading the one about George Washington), you will see that Arnold looked at what was happening with the Revolution at the time and from what he saw and experienced made a very difficult decision based on that. Anyway no one is perfect and hindsight is always 20/20, that's my take on it and my opinion of Arnold's "Character." Nuff Said!!!!!!

And now for something a bit on the lighter side:

Hulk The Lounge Lizard Singing "Hulk Got You Under Hulk Skin"

Wolverine First Class: Wolverine-By-Night by Fred Lente, Mark Sumerak, Francis Portela, Hugo Petrus and Scott Koblish - If you love Wolverine, you will love this Graphic Novel. The Graphic Novel collects issues "Wolverine: First Class" issues 9 - 12 and "Wolverine and Power Pack" #2. The first story included has Wolverine visiting martial art expert Shang-Chi in order to seek aid in taking on his number one nemesis Sabretooth. The second story is a two parter in which Wolverine and Kitty Pryde take on Werewolves. Things go from bad to worse when Wolverine is bitten by one of the Werewolves and becomes one of them. Luckily Kitty finds a friend in Jack Russel, a somewhat "friendly" Werewolf, to help out. The story after this one has Cyclops returning to the X-Men after a long leave of absence. Along with fighting an ancient monster trapped within a temple and keeping Wolverine and Cyclops from killing one another, Kitty must choose which one should be her mentor. The last story has Wolve inviting Power Pack to the Xavier Institute where they learn the sad truth about bigotry towards mutants when Sentinels attack. I have been very impressed with this Graphic Novel Series and highly recommend it.

Well until next time me amigos,



Thursday, May 21, 2009

just around the corner

Hey guys, Master Jedi Zack here once again.

It is nearly time for the busiest and best days at the library, Summer Reading! The program officially starts on June 11th, and here at the Matthews Branch Library we are having a big party to kick off the fun. So come by the library and join us on June 11th at 2pm.

This year's theme is Be Creative @ Your Library. So get ready for lots of programs at all of the branches. I hear that the dastardly Darth Bill and the CARLMAN may even have some programs over at ImaginOn.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Benedict Arnold, Character, Barnstormers/Sluggers, and More Reasons Why Reading Is Important

Heigh-ho, all you reader guys out there, we have two comments from a new friend, Dan. The first is about Darth Bill's review of The Real Benedict Arnold book:

Thanks for the review. I want to look for this one and share it with my kids. Benedict Arnold is a chance to study character in the face of discouragement and frustration and injustice. He could have been a hero. In the end, he failed, not because his courage failed, but because his character failed, and embittered, he tossed his right to be a hero away. In spite of his abilities and amazing courage, he loses the character war. Character does count.

You're so right Dan. Character is life. Your character determines the type of life you'll have. Good character doesn't mean you'll be rich and famous but it will provide you with a good life on the inside, where it counts. If you're a jerk and become rich and famous, all you'll be is a rich and famous jerk. And is that what you want, really? Really?? THAT'S WHY READING GOOD STUFF IS IMPORTANT!!! Frustrating and discouraging times are bound to come and good reading can give you the equipment to deal with them.

Didn't mean to get on a soapbox, but it's true, guys. Hey, while you read the Benedict Arnold book, you ought to check out Washington at Valley Forge by Russell Freedman. (I reviewed it on the February 16 post titled "What a Book! What a Man!") It would be a good companion to the Benedict Arnold book because it shows how Washington, facing a lot of similar frustrations and discouragements, managed to overcome them. Besides, it's an awesome and exciting story!
Dan also sent us a comment about the Barnstormers/Sluggers series:

Hey Carl. Thanks to you (I think it was you, but it was on this blog that I first heard) I'm reading Barnstormers Game 1. I got the first two chapters read in the little time I had before bedtime. So what's up with the hole in the ball? And what's going to happen next? I've got other books to finish and how am I gonna finish them with a book as good as this calling out my name? Anyway, mucho thanks for the tip on this one. I know I'll have to get the rest.

I'm afraid your just going to have to drop all those other books and read these because they'll keep calling you!! They sure did for me. What's up with the hole in the ball??? Wouldn't you like to know? Well--so would I! I haven't found out yet and I've finished the 4th book--but I'm getting some good ideas. Man, these books are good!

I hope you keep writing to us, Dan. We sure enjoyed hearing from you!

Keep swinging for the back fences,


Monday, May 18, 2009

Rick Riordan--DA MAN!!!!

Hey, everybody, this is Carl with exciting news about where I went and who I saw this weekend. It was RICK RIORDAN, Mr. Percy Jackson! Mr. 39 Clues! I saw him in person in Raleigh, NC at Quail Ridge Books and Music. He was there for his Last Olympian book tour, so me, my wife, and our daughter took a little odyssey to see him. (Yes, I have a daughter. I've never mentioned her because it's just never come up. I've already said that I was married) We had a good time and Mr. Riordan is a genuinely nice man who is tremendously dedicated to his fans.

The event was at 7pm and the bookstore said not to come until 6 because there had been another author at 3. So we got there at 6 and it was already crowded. By 6:30 it looked like this:That's a lot of people! And this wasn't a huge store, either. I mean, it was good-sized but your average Barnes and Noble or Borders is two or three times as large. We all squeezed in closely and waited patiently.

Of course, there were kids in costume. Medusa was close by:

AND I got to hook up with two of our brother reader guys form the SMS Guys Read blog:

That's Doink the Clown on the left and Ricky "The Steamboat" Dragon on the right.

The heads of Guy Reading in North Carolina get togetherWe had a good time hanging out together and talking and waiting. And waiting. And waiting. But at 7pm, our patience was rewarded:

Sorry that the picture's dark. Mr. Riordan spoke and took questions for about 20 minutes. He told us about how he came up with the series, visiting the set of the Lightning Thief movie, and things like that. Then he dropped a couple of good-news bombs on us. First, there will be more Camp Half-Blood books! Mr. Riordan said that kids ask about certain characters and want to know what happens to them outside the camp season. Well, those types of questions get authors thinking and that gets them to writing. So we'll have new Camp Half-Blood adventures in the future. No, he didn't say when. And, no, Percy won't be the main character. He'll pop in as a senior adviser to the characters but that's all. Percy's earned a rest! THEN he told us about the NEW SERIES!! Mr. Riordan said that, outside of Greek mythology, the most popular school subject is ancient Egypt. Sooooooo-sometime next year, probably late winter or early spring, "The gods of ancient Egypt will invade the modern world." Wooo-hooo!! That ought to be good!! Have you ever studied ancient Egyptian mythology? There's a LOT of potential there!

He could have spoken a lot longer, of course, but, as I said, he's really dedicated to his fans. There were at least 600-700 people in there and Mr. Riordan said that he wouldn't leave until he signed EVERYTHING that people brought, so he kept it to 20 minutes so he could sign things and meet his fans. He's a truly remarkable guy.

The people who bought copies of The Last Olympian had priority and there were at least 624 of them, so we went and got dinner. By the time we got back, it was about 9:15 and he was still signing:

After two hours of signing books, he was still smiling and still glad to see his fans. And it was sincere.

We got in line. The line moved quickly because of all the people, so you couldn't stand and have an extended discussion, naturally, but he said "hi" and spoke with everyone. That's our daughter with me. She asked him to sign her notebook.

I introduced myself and he remembered me. He remembered ME! Of all the thousands of people he meets, he remembered me. "Wait," you say, "how can Rick Riordan remember you?" That just goes to show what a great guy he is. He wrote me a couple of years ago and sent me some "Demigod In Training" t-shirts as thanks for supporting his books on this blog. (HE READS THIS BLOG!!) So that's how he recognized me.
He signed my daughter's notebook, my copy of The Maze of Bones, and my old copy of Bulfinch's Mythology.
Here he is, signing that ratty old book I've had since high school:Now there's a good story behind this. I wrote him a couple of years ago and asked a lot of questions. One of them was why he never recommended Bulfinch's Mythology as a resource. (It's a very famous book) His answer was that it's big, thick, and intimidating. (Not to mention that it's old--from, like, 1798! But it's very thorough and well worth it--if you think you can handle it!) Anyway, when I handed him that book, he said, "Ah, you want me to sign your Bulfinch!" What an amazing memory!

We were close to the end of the line and everything closed soon after he signed my things. I was very glad to have met and spoken with one of my heroes. I've been lucky enough to meet a lot of authors, but very few have been as friendly as Rick Riordan. Thanks for coming to Raleigh. Y'all come back now, you hear?

PS. Mr. Riordan mentioned ME on his blog!! Take a look under the section on his Raleigh visit. Thanks, Mr. Riordan! I'm honored.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

You Say You Want a Revolution!!!!

Hello all in the Land of Blog. It is I once again Darth Bill reporting from the far fringes of outer space. Well I have just finished one really cool book that deals with the Revolutionary War. That makes a perfect segway to put up a Beatles song so just lean back and enjoy:

The Beatles performing Revolution Live!!!!!

That was cool but let's talk now about the latest book I finished:

The Real Benedict Arnold by Jim Murphy - Do you know much about the American Revolutionary War? We all have read and heard about its heroes such as: George Washington, John Adams, The Marquis de Lafayette, Paul Revere and many more. One major individual we do not hear much about or if we do it is as a traitorous dog is Benedict Arnold. Well one thing you should know about history is that it is often depicted as the winners and people in power of the time paint it.

While Benedict Arnold, as a General of the Revolutionary War, did betray the Patriot's Cause and switch sides to the British, it may surprise you to know that perhaps he had good reason. People like to paint things in life in Black and White, but the real world is full of shades of Gray.

Did you know that at the beginning of the war, Benedict Arnold was a brilliant General who saved the 13 Colonies many times from English forces gathered in Canada? Most of the people he served with were timid and scared to engage the British, but not Arnold. He led his soldiers, every time putting himself at the very front of his troops, in defeating and frustrating British Armies who wanted to invade the Colonies from the north.

General Arnold Wounded at The

Battle of Saratoga Oct. 17, 1777

Did you know that he was betrayed at almost every corner by other Generals who were jealous of him or did not like him because he did not come from a prestigious family? To make themselves look good and him bad they lied about his achievements and their failures and reported just plain out lies to the Continental Congress about him. Did you know that he spent great sums of money to take care of the soldiers under his command in buying food, clothing, weapons, etc. in which the Continental Congress never reimbursed him leaving him almost broke at times? Did you know when at one point he became so frustrated with the backstabbing and lies that he tried to resign from the Revolutionary Army, he stayed because the soldiers under him and the Generals who really knew him and what he could do wrote him a letter, with all signing, begging him to not do so.

Did you know that George Washington believed Benedict Arnold to be one of the finest Generals in his army? He was one of the few Generals he knew that he could count on in any situation. In fact many other Generals ignored Washington when he was in trouble and needed more soldiers; never Arnold who responded with enthusiasm and fire bringing at a moments notice whatever George Washington requested.

I know this is a long review for me, but this book I think is important to read and is also fascinating. Yes Benedict Arnold betrayed the cause that led to the formation of The United States; but did he have good reason? Could one say that the Revolution would have crumbled without his leadership? Judge for yourself after reading this book if Benedict Arnold was the villain he was painted to be?

Well that's all for now. Until the next finished book, Up, Up and Away!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It's Here!!!

IT'S HERE!!!! THE LAST OLYMPIAN!!! Here I am with the copy I just checked out:

I've heard nothing but good reports on this one. Master Jedi Zack calls it "awesome." One boy told me this afternoon that he'd finished and agreed with Master Zack's assessment. I'll keep you all informed!!

Speaking of Percy and TLO, let me let all you North Carolina people know that Rick Riordan will in Raleigh, NC this Saturday!! Yes, he will speak at Quail Ridge Books on Saturday, May 16 at 7 pm. Click on the bookstore to go to their site and get all the details.



Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dragonslayer Likes Erec Rex; I Like It Too--and Sluggers!

Hello, fellow reader guys, 'tis Carl. Our friend, the valiant dragonslayer 1191812, hath sent us a review of the first Erec Rex book:

Hello from Dragonslayer,
I just finished Erec Rex The Dragon's Eye written by Kaza Kingsley.The story is about a boy named Erec Rex who is adopted. Erec's adopted mother has gone missing but was in fact kidnapped by two guys wearing black. Erec meets a girl named Bethany who helps him enter into another world underground through a secret passage in a sidewalk.Erec and Bethany make their way to the castle were his mother is trapped. The castle is Upside down, literally! Erec and Bethany have to go through many trials,including trying to become King and Queen so that Erec can save his mother.

Read the book to find out if Erec has what it takes to be King.Can he save his mother?Can he house break his new weredog?Read Erec Rex The Dragon's Eye,it's really good.

P.S. I just started Erec Rex and The monsters of Otherness. So far so good.
Thanks, dragonslayer! I've been a big fan of these books since last summer and I'm glad to see another fan. The Monsters of Otherness is even better than the first one. And the third one, The Search For Truth, comes out July 30!!! Does the cover look strange? It might be that Erec is turning into a dragon!!

As I said, I became an Erec Rex fan last summer but I became a fan of another series at the same time. It's the Barnstormers series, now called Sluggers. The latest one, Water, Water Everywhere just came out and I just finished it. Man, oh, man, what a book! Man. Oh. Man! What. A. Book!!! I loved this series because of all the magic, mystery, action, and suspense in the first three books. This one took all that and ratcheted it up another ten levels!! Wow! I was blown away.

Here's some background. The year is 1899. The Payne family--Mom and the three kids Griffith, Ruby, and Graham--have had to form a baseball team and travel around the country playing games to raise money because the father didn't come back from the Spanish-American War and their Uncle Owen owes $10,000 to somebody (possibly the bad guys). So the Paynes and the father's fellow veterans play exhibition games but the kids have a baseball that the father left them. When they all put their hands on the ball, strange things happen on the ball field. On top of that, there's a very nasty rich guy called the Chancellor who wants that ball and will stop at nothing to get it--even kidnapping the kids!!

In this book, the Payne family plays in Minneapolis. The Chancellor is way ahead of them, though, and has hired a crooked umpire and a pro team to make sure they can't win. What's worse, the pitcher collapsed at the end of the third book and the team has to find a new pitcher. The replacement is an African-American man named Preacher Wil. Can the team accept a black man on their team? Can the fans? And if the team is divided over Preacher Wil, can the magic work? Plus, the Chancellor's men are all over the stadium, waiting to steal the kids and their ball. Things don't look good!!!

I tell you, this book had me glued to my seat!!! I read it all in one afternoon!! The action, the suspense, and the amazing magic--it's even more intense in this book than the first three. You've GOT to read it! Run right down to your library or bookstore and find it now!!

PS--if you go to the library, look for it in the chapter books under the author's last name, which is Long. The books are still in the Barnstormers format.
PPS--one of your fellow reader guys, Jedi-J.T, wrote a review of the first Barnstormers/Sluggers book. Check it out here.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

"Take Me Out to the Ballgame..."

I'm glad you got your copy of the Percy Jackson book, Jedi Master Zack. That was very public-spirited of you, getting your own copy so that kids wouldn't have to wait. The Great and Powerful CARLMAN, though, has decided to set an example of an example of patience and tranquility. Therefore, I am waiting patiently for The Last Olympian.

I'm waitng...patiently..for...The Last Olympian.


If you want your parents to get you a copy, our friends and brother readers at the SMS Guys Read blog have given us some guidelines on what to do:

Beggin' Mom or How to get the next Percy Jackson book
Hi, this is The Undertaker and Adam Bomb, we are going to teach you how to beg your mom for books on your way home from a Guys Read club meeting.
Way number 1:
The classic whine with Bambi eyes, like so: Pweety pwease mommy, wit a chweery ontop.
Way number 2:
Beg WITH YOUR LIFE MAN!!!: PPPPPLLLLLLEEEEAAASSSEEE!! If you don't buy it my life will be RUINED! I will never do well in school again, Mom, I will end up in a box behind a Wal-mart eating chicken bones out of the dumpster from the bar next door, all because YOU DID NOT BUY ME THE BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Way number 3:
Promise to do stuff like: Clean you room, Wash the walls, Clip the cats toe nails, paint the trees, help her with work, stuff like that.

Way number 4(if she questions why you need to go that very instant):
Say that all the other kids at school will laugh at you cause you don't have the book. Promise to work it off or see way number 3.

Way Number 5:
Lie and tell her that your teacher told you that you need to have it for class tomorrow.
and last but not least,

Way number 6:
Suggest the closest bookstore. Saving gas always makes a mom happy

Yours truly,
Adam Bomb and The Undertaker
P.S. NEVER EVER beg in front of a sibling cause' they'll come up with reasons why you don't deserve the book.Beggin' Mom or How to get the next Percy Jackson book

Thanks, guys! We at the Boys Read blog would never recommend lying, of course----well, maybe Darth Bill would since he's a sith lord--but you might try some of these other methods. Check out the whole article here or go their site, which is under the Links section on the left-hand side of the page. PLUS, they wrote a truly outstanding post about Star Wars day, May 4th. Drat!! Wish I'd known about it! That's what I get for not checking their site every day

Well ,as I said before, life doesn't stop stop while waiting and there are lots of good books out there. I just finished a really, really good one called Bill Penant, Babe Ruth, and Me by Timothy Toucher. This is one of those books that makes you feel really good when you turn the last page. And you'll keep turning these pages because of the terrific story.

It's the 1920 baseball season. Young Hank Cobb spent the last summer working for John McGraw, manager of the New York Giants. After the season, McGraw sent Hank off to Anson Academy so the boy could get an education, but Hank absolutely hates school and doesn't see why he needs to be there. His great dream is to be a ball player; he can learn all he needs on the ballfield. Imagine his joy, then, when McGraw calls him out of school to work for the Giants again. But then imagine his surprise when he finds out his new job will be taking care of Bill Penant, the team mascot. And Bill Penant is a baby wildcat--a real wildcat, totally untamed! But that's not all; he also discovers that he must also "take care" of the Yankees' new player, Babe Ruth, who is rather untamed himself. (The Giants and Yankees shared a ball park back then) Can Hank work for both the Giants and Yankees? And what happens when this baby wildcat grows up? And will Hank ever go back to school or stay in the ballpark all his life? Want to know? Then you have to get this book and find out!

I tell you, if you get this one, you'll enjoy it for sure. It's funny, funny, funny--especially with all the scenes of Hank and the wildcat! But then, just as you think it'll be all fun and games, something serious happens that changes Hank's whole life. He has to face up to his fears and decide his future. Is he a coward? Or does he have what it takes? All guys have to answer that question at some point. Read it and see how Hank gets his answer.

And Mr. Tocher does a good job bringing historical people into the story. John Mc Graw was a real person.

So was Damon Runyon (a baseball reporter who went on to become one of America's most famous writers).

Speaking of baseball, let me remind you of some other REALLY good baseball books. One is Mudville by Kurtis Scaletta. It's hard to believe that this is Mr. Scaletta's first book becuase it's so good. The basic idea is that these kids live in a town in which it has rained for 22 years!! Then, one day, it stops!! And it may have something to do with a baseball game 22 years ago, a foster brother, and Native American mysticism. I didn't talk about this book nearly enough when I reviewed it on 3-12-09. The characters act like real kids, the situation, strange as it is, iis totally believable, the story gets a big hold on you, and there's quite a twist at the end. You'll like it a lot!

The other is the Barnstormers series by Loren Long and Phil Bildner. They're going to be called the Sluggers now and there's a new one already out. It's called Water, Water Everywhere. The library has plenty of copies; I'm going to check one out as soon as I'm done writing! You've got baseball, magic, mystery, suspense, and truly nasty bad guys. This is one of my very favorite series!!

Thanks for listening to me in such a long post. I had to talk so much becasue these books are good!!



Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I got it!!!

Hey guys, Master Jedi Zack here.

Yesterday I decided that I just couldn't wait any longer for The Last Olympian so I bought my own copy. This was the Jedi thing to do because 127 people are in line for the library copies and I didn't want to make one of you guys wait any longer so that I could read it. I'm on page 109 of 381 and it is awesome! I won't give anything away, but know that this book is worth the wait!!! I will keep my eyes peeled for boxes of books that come in and make sure to get any copies out as soon as I get them.

Here I am with my copy. It's mine, all mine!!!

A Planet and Not a Planet

Life can't stop while waiting for our copies of The Last Olympian to arrive. Our fellow guybrarian, blog follower, and sith lord Devin has sent us a really good nonfiction review:

Author’s Name: Neil deGrasse Tyson
Book Title: The Pluto Files : the rise and fall of America's favorite planet

This book was about:
The Pluto Files chronicles Pluto in two ways- first, as a planet and how it is discovered. And then second, in terms of modern science and trying to answer the question of how Pluto fits into our solar system.

The book is very interesting and explains, in a way that is easy for non-rocket scientists to understand, how planets are observed and discovered. The history of Pluto is complete, and the book makes you feel as though you have met all the people involved. The Pluto Files shows you how planets get names, who decides what is a planet and what words like planet and asteroid really mean.

I liked (or didn’t like) this book because:
I enjoy science and this book is full of interesting scientific knowledge in a language that is easy to read. I loved it!

Your name: Devin

Thanks, Devin! The planets are extremely interesting and the more you learn, the more interesting they become. I've always wondered who decides what a planet is and how the names are chosen. I bet you guys have wondered too. Go check this book and find out!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Oh, yes, indeed! THE LAST OLYMPIAN comes out today!! I am so pumped!! Of course, we won't get our copies today because of the way the library gets books (we get whole bunches of different titles in one shipment) but I have been assured that we will get them soon. We're all very excited today and some of us our wearing our t-shirts to honor the occasion. Here I am in my Camp Half Blood shirt: And here's Ms. Leah, our Hunter of Artemis:Darth Bill isn't here yet, so I can't get his picture. Are any of you on the waiting list? Are you going to buy a copy? Let us know!


PS--this is such big news that even The Wall Street Journal, that most grownup of grownup newspapers, wrote an article about it. Read it here. And guess what-- it says there will be more Camp Half Blood stories! No more Percy stories, but more CHB! Woo-hoo!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Tomorrow's The Day!!!

Oh, yeah, uh-huh, only ONE MORE DAY until the release of THE LAST OLYMPIAN. I've never been so excited about a new book in all the 10 years I've been with the library!!

We won't get our copies tomorrow becasue of the way the library gets books, but I spoke to She Who Orders Books and asked if the library could make this one a priority, so we should get it sooner rather than later. And I'm # 6 on the waiting list, which means I'll be among the first to receive mine! Are you as excited as I am????


Friday, May 1, 2009

Cool New Book and Free Comic Book Day

Hello all in the Land of Blog. Tis I again Darth Bill with important news!!!! Tomorrow, Saturday May 2 is Free Comic Book Day!!!!! So if you know where your local comic book store is be sure to go and pick up some really cool free swag. Here in Charlotte the best place to go is Heroes Arnt Hard To Find.

Click Here to go to their Web page for more information on them and Free Comic Book Day!!!!

And Now for Something Completely Different, a Book Review:

Gods of Manhattan by Scott Mebus - Imagine if you will a land and place where "History" is really alive. On the Island of Manhattan, not only are the spirits of people who once inhabited the land still around....some of the more famous have become Gods. Some of these Gods are:

Alexander Hamilton - God of Finance; Mayor of the Gods of Manhattan.
Walt Whitman - God of Optimism.
Babe Ruth - God of Heroes.
Boss Tweed - God of Rabble Politics.
Peter Stuyvesant - God of Things Were Better in the Old Days.
And Many More.....

A God exists as long as he or she is remembered. Once the person is forgotten they in essence die. This is the only way a God can die. That is until Adriaen van der Donck, God of Justice for Those Who Get None, is murdered! This is an event most strange in the hidden world of Manhattan that goes unseen by we mere mortals. That is until 13 year old Rory Hennessy's eyes are opened by a mysterious magician known as Hex at his younger sister Bridget's Birthday. He then begins to see strange sights as cockroaches riding rats, a bow caring Indian in the park, a kung fu fight between a rat and a squirrel and much more. There is something not right going on in Manhattan and the forces of good and evil are facing off with Rory and Bridget stuck right dab in the middle. Why? Read this wonderful and very cool book to find out !!!!!!!

Until next time young Jedi and Sith, To Infinity and Beyond,