Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Action Starts When Steve Checks Out A Book And Secret Agents Crash Through The Windows

Yep, that's right. In The Brixton Brothers: The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity by Mac Barnett, 12-year-old Steve Brixton is a big fan of the old Bailey Brothers mysteries. He's read every one of the 59 Bailey Brothers books--some of them two or three times! He also wants to be a detective, like the Bailey Brothers, and is smart enough to be one in real life. Then why is he stuck with a stupid homework assignment on early American needlepoint? When he goes to the local library and checks out the history of American quilting, the lights go out, alarms sound, secret agents burst into the building, and Steve is arrested for treason! Then the action really starts! Steve gets chased by secret agents in a bookmobile, tries to get out of a stretch limo while his arms are tied up, has to escape from his own bedroom, and is nearly run over at sea by a Chinese freighter! Wow! Is that enough excitement for you? AND this book is funny!! You'll find your selves laughing out loud one second and gasping with suspense the next. I enjoyed this book a lot. I think there are going to be more Brixton Brothers books. I sure hope so!! (PS--the illustrations by Adam Rex--who did the hilarious Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich books--are really great and set the tone well, making it look like one of those old Bailey Brothers mysteries. And wait until you see the picture of Steve trying to go undercover in his sailor costume and moustache!)

BTW, without giving too much away, you'll learn that all librarians know seven types of martial arts. Bill, of course, has the Flashing Book Ends of Death. I have the Nunchucks of Nastiness. Yes, I may seem like the mild-mannered librarian, but with a couple of rhythm sticks, some rubber bands, and a little book tape, I become the NUN CHAKU MASTER OF DESTRUCTION!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This Turkey Is Thankful...

...that the Lightning Thief movie is coming out in less than 3 months! Here's the new movie trailer:

Thanks to our faithful follower Jana for the link. To check out more, go to (I'm also thankful for all our faithful followers)

AND I'm thankful for favorite old series like EREC REX and SLUGGERS that continue to put out new books and new series like LEVIATHAN and THE BRIXTON BROTHERS, which I'm reading now and looks like it will be another REALLY great series (hope to tell you about it soon).

AND I'm thankful that we live in a country where we can read what we like. Not everyone gets to do that, guys! Don't take it lightly!

And I'm thankful that I get to work and blog with a couple of turkeys like Darth Bill and Master Jedi Zack. We had some fun this year and read some good stuff, didn't we? Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Hi all, this is Darth Bill, I agree with The Great Carl Man in that I am grateful to live in a country such as ours where we have so many great freedoms and opportunities. I am also grateful to have two bums like Jedi Master Zack and The Carl Man to work on this post with (who an I kidding, this is not's too much fun!!!!!). Hope you all have a great Holiday and Peace, Bill

My turn, Master Jedi Zack here! I too am thankful for the great and awesome Boys Rule bloggers that I work with, even if one of them is a dastardly sith. I'm also thankful for all of the awesome books that we can get our hands on around here. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Norse Gods, King Arthur and Kick-Butt Superheroes

Well I could talk about a bunch of things before I give my take on some cool reads, but I just can't wait!!!! Oh wait a minute, Jedi Master Zack's Book Club for The Graveyard Book looks awesome!!! So if you can participate I highly encourage you as this book just rocks!!!!! Now let's get right down to talking about some reads I truly enjoyed:

The Chronicles of Arthur: Sword of Fire and Ice by John Matthews and Mike Collins - This Graphic Novel (GN) tells the story of young Arthur and his tutelage by Merlin on the island of Avalon, away from the land of Great Britain (also known as Albion) that he is destined to rule. The island of Avalon is ruled by the mysterious and mystical "Sisterhood of the Nine" and inhabited by many strange people and creatures such as: The Green Knight, The evil Fir Bolg, The Questing Beast, The Great Lord Arawn of The Underworld and more. Young Arthur learns many lessons in this GN filled with adventure leading to his becoming King of Albion. This is really a well done crafting of one version of the Arthurian Legend.

Odd and The Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman - This is a great short story by the great and most awesome Neil Gaiman that deals with one of my favorite mythologies; that being Norse Mythology!!!!! The story presents the tale of a crippled boy named Odd and his encounter with the Norse Gods Odin, Thor and Loki. When the story starts winter, it seems, is here to stay. Everyone waits but winter goes on and on. Things in the village Odd lives in start to turn ugly, so he heads out on his own to stay in his dead father's hut in the woods. While staying in the woods he comes across three animals: an eagle (the transformed Odin), a bear (the transformed Thor) and a fox (the transformed Loki). He finds out indeed that these are three of the greatest Norse Gods trapped in animal form. How did they get trapped in animal form and how can Odd help them? Read this great story and find out!!!!! Also find out about cool things such as the Rainbow Bridge, Frost Giants, Asgard, a giant hammer and Vikings. What are you waiting for? Start Reading!!!!!!

Marvel Adventures Thor Featuring Dr. Strange, Ant-Man and Captain America by Paul Tobin and More - Man, this was one awesome Graphic Novel to read. This Marvel Adventures collects issues 5 - 8 of the most awesome Marvel Comic: Marvel Adventures Super Heroes. The first story stars a team-up of two of my favorite Marvel Heroes: Dr. Strange and Spider-Man. Well, with Dr. Strange in the picture you can be pretty sure magic will be involved and just general, um well... strangeness.

The Sorcerer Supreme Dr. Strange

The second story tells the origin of one of the smallest super heroes around: Ant-Man. The third features one of my favorite mythological gods, who also happens to be a super hero... Thor!!!!! He's up against his half-brother, Loki, who also happens to be the god of mischief. Thor has his hands full in this one as Loki attempts to get him in trouble with The All Father Odin!!!!

A Comic from Way Back in the Day staring Thor Vs. Loki

The last story features truly one of my favorite super heroes... Captain America!!!! Cap has just been awoken in our present from way back in 1945 during World War II. To say the least, he is a bit confused about what has happened to him and this strange future he finds himself in. It doesn't help that both SHIED and HYDRA are both after him as he tries to figure things out with his new friend Rick Jones.

The Ultimate American Hero - Captain America

This was a great read, with lots of cool artwork!!!! If you are looking for a cool GN to read, I highly recommend this one. Too Cool!!!!!!!!!!!

Until next time all, peace,


Wednesday Warriors

Hey there Guys in the Land 'o Blog, Master Jedi Zack here.

The book club I do with my Padawan (Rebecca, also known as the Matthews Teen Librarian) is meeting again on Tuesday December 8th. The book club is for 5th-8th graders at the Matthews Branch Library and is called the Wednesday Warriors.

At our next meeting we will discuss The Graveyard Book as well as vote on what books we want to read for the Fall meetings. If you are interested come by the branch or give us a call (704.416.5000) to sign up.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Black Circle by Patrick Carman

...will grab you by the throat and not let you go until you reach the very last word. Man, oh, man! I didn't think these 39 Clues book could get any better, but this one gets this suspense, action, creepiness, and mystery up to a whole new level. Dan and Amy Cahill get a strange telegram while in Cairo, Egypt that says they should go to a certain locker in the Cairo airport. What they find sends them deep into Russia with only 36 hours to traverse that enormous country to find the greatest Clue yet. Of course, they can't do it alone, so they have to make an alliance with one of the most unlikely branches of their deadly family. AND they have to solve a lot of mysteries and dodge ruthless killers along the way, climbing inside gigiantic statues and hiding in coffins with bones of long-dead rulers! I tell you, I couldn't stop reading until I got to the last page! For fun, exitement, and heart-stopping danger, you can't do better than The Black Circle!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Racing to Freedom--Three Terrifc Books

Hey, guys, I've got not one, not two, but three really terrific books for you. It's the Racing To Freedom Trilogy by Alison Hart. They're about young Gabriel Alexander, an African-American boy born as a slave on Woodville Farms near Lexington, Kentucky. It's 1864 as the story starts and the Civil War is raging. Even though there's no fighting in Kentucky, there are Rebel raiders hiding everywhere, waiting to steal horses and shoot anyone who tries to stop them. Here are biref summeries of each book:

Gabriel's Horses--Gabriel and his Pa keep the horses at Woodville Farms. Mister Giles, the owner, enters his horses in the Lexingotn races but there are Rebel raiders who also want them. How can a poor boy stop bad men with guns?

Gabriels' Triumph--Mr. Giles is so impressed by Gabe's ability to ride that he makes Gabe a jockey. Gabe is so good that he gets his freedom. In this book, Mr. Giles enters Gabe and his best horse in the races in Saratoga Springs, New York, the finest race track in the country. But some people don't want a poor boy from Kentucky winning this race and will do anything--anything--to stop him.

Gabriel's Journey--Gabriel decdes that being a winning jockey is not enough and joins the Union Army to fight for the freedom his people crave. He's too young to be a soldier but he can use his skill with horses to help the black cavalry. His unit is called out to fight before they're ready and sent to the Battle of Saltville, Virginia. The Confederates hate black soldiers and will have no mercy on them--and the worst part is that Gabe's Pa is one of those soldiers!

I tell you, guys, these books are TERRIFIC!! Alison Hart really knows how to tell a story and make you feel that you're in the middle of it. You feel the thrill of thundering down a race track or hear the bullets from the enemy whiz past you. And she knows how to punch up a story with action and build up so much suspense that you can hardly stand it. Don't miss these books! You will really enjoy them!!

PS--I reviewed Gabriels' Horses back in February. Click here to see that review. The library didn't have the third book and I had to wait until they ordered it before I reviewed the other two. In the meantime, Ms. Hart read that review and was so pleased that she sent me the whole trilogy! She even acknowledged that BOYS RULE and, for that, we made her an Honorary Guy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Monstrumologist, Alex Rider, Mike Tahler, and the Kane Chronicles (by Rick Riordan!)

Hey, all reader guys, this is the very busy CARLMAN with a few quick items. First, our faithful follower Jana sent a note about Darth Bill's review of The Monstrumologist and the new Alex Rider book.

The Monstrumologist sounds really good but everyone talks so much about the gore I don't know if I can "stomach" reading it!

Are you as excited as I am about the newest Alex Rider (Crocodile Tears) coming out this week? As you might know from my earlier rave about young James Bond I have a thing for teenage boy spies, and Alex is about my favorite. Every boy I have recommended the Alex Rider books to have enjoyed them--almost as much as I have! I hope you have read them because I think the are the bomb.

Thanks, Jana! I have to confess that I haven't read any of the Alex Rider books and that's too bad. Everyone says they're great. Maybe I can read one after I catch up on the books I'm reading now.

Then we had a good time with author and funny guy Mike Thaler today. He read from a couple of his books, drew pictures, and told us how to make up riddles. Maybe he'll give us an interview one day. In the meantime, go get his Black Lagoon books! They're funny!

And we'll finish with some big news. Our friends at the Percyquest website posted a video of Rick Riordan at the Texas Book Festival, talking about his new Egyptian mythology series (called The Kane Chronicles) and reading from the first chapter! I listened to it and, man, I'm hooked already! Here you go:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Being Horrified While Mysteriously Laughing!!!!!

Hello all valiant readers out there in "The Land of Blog." Ti's I, your Reading Advisor, the very mysterious and bearer of mirth The Phantom Strange Bill of Sith!!!!!! Today I will talk about some books that will chill you to the bone, yet also make you laugh in much merriment!!!!! Enough talk, let us begin our journey into great books!!!!!

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey - Man if you are looking for a book that is:


*a great story that will have you turning and reading page after page;

*Has great characters.

I have the book for you!!!!!!!!

Let me give you a little taste from the inside front jacket of this book: "These are the secrets I have kept. This is the trust I never betrayed. But he is dead now and has been for more than forty years, the one who gave me his trust, the one for whom I kept these secrets. The one who saved me.....and who cursed me."

This book is about a young boy named Will Henry living in the mid/late 1800s, whose parents have passed away, that lives and assist the great Monstrumologist Dr. Warthrop. What is a Monstrumologist you ask? Well let me give you the definition given in the book:

mon*stum*ol*ogy (n.)
1: the study of life forms generally malevolent to humans and not recognized by science as actual organisms, specifically those considered products of myth and folklore
2: the act of hunting such creatures

This book starts with the Doctor and Will discovering the remains of a male creature known as an Anthropophagi. The creature appears somewhat human, except that it has no head. Its eyes are found on it's shoulders. It has very long arms that end in razor sharp claws. Its mouth with shark like teeth are found in it's chest area. It is extremely muscular and dangerous whether it be male or female. Lastly, and most frightening, they prey on humans.

Somehow these creatures, normally found in northern and western Africa and the Caroli Islands, have found there way to the good Doctor's home in New Jerusalem, North America. This discovery starts the beginning of a story of adventure and horror that will haunt Will Henry for the rest of his days. Another great but creepy character that helps the Doctor and Will Henry hunt and attempt to destroy these creatures is one Dr John Kearns, whose true identity will shock you.

This is a great book that will have you turning pages in quick succession to find out what happens next in the book. However, I feel obligated to warn all that this is probably not for young children. This book contains some extremely gory scenes in addition to just being down right frightening. It scared the living "you know what" out of me and I'm far from being a child. So before starting to read this book make sure it is cool with your parents and you are not frightened easily. This is a great book and I hope there are more in the near future such that this could become a series. Highly recommended!!!!!!!!!!!

And now for something completely different:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney - This is the fourth volume of the awesome series that is sure to not disappoint. In this latest installment, Greg Heffley tells us through his diary of how he spent his summer vacation. Greg tells of the terrors of Summer Vacation such as having to go to the public pool where he has to run through the public showers to avoid the hairy shower guys he may accidentally touch! The horror of his Mom starting a a neighborhood "Reading is Fun" group in which she tries to make all the guys read books like Little Women, The Yearling, and (shudder) Anne of Green Gables. Greg also, to his great happiness, gets a dog, a cell phone, and to spend some quality time with his Dad, although all these things turn out not to be the great things he hoped them to be. This is just a few of the hilarious things that happen to Greg over the summer. You will have to read the rest to find out. I just have to add for all us guys out there, I think these books are so funny because in us all there is a little Greg Heffley. Very funny stuff!!!!!!

Finally I have one Graphic Novel (GN), I would like to talk a little about:

Salt Water Taffy: The Seaside Adventures of Jack and Benny - The Truth about Dr. Truth by Matthew Loux -
This is the third volume in a really great GN Series about two brothers Jack and Benny and yet another mystery they come across while vacationing in Chowder Bay, Maine. In this volume they uncover the skeletal body and ghost of Dr. Truth who mysteriously disappeared in the late 1800's. Through there discovers and the accusations of the ghost of Dr. Truth it appears that the great hero of Chowder Bay, Captain William Hollister, may not of only been a phony but a murderer to boot!!!!! The boys have quite a mystery to solve, but with the help of the slightly eccentric fisherman Angus they will certainly get to the truth behind the lies. This series is just allot of fun to read and I encourage all to give it a chance along with the entire series!!!!!

Well until next time Brave Blogger, farewell from the ever mysterious yet extremly confused....Sir Bill of Sith!!!!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Author From the Black Lagoon Will Be Here!

Hey, good news, guys! Mike Thaler, author of the Black Lagoon series will be here at Imaginon this Wednesday. You know his books--The Gym Teacher From the Black Lagoon, The Class Trip From the Black Lagoon, The School Bus Driver From the Black Lagoon, and others! (If you haven't read any, go out and find them!! Lots of guys have enjoyed them) His books are funny, so I bet he'll be a funny guy. He'll speak in the Wachovia Theatre in Imaginon at 11:00am Wednesday morning. Don't miss it!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld another book I liked A WHOLE LOT!! This is one of the most imaginative sci-fi stories I've ever come across. And it has lots of battles, fighting, narrow escapes, and things that blow up. Everything a guy could want in a book!

This is one of those "alternative history" stories--you know, if the South had won the Civil War, if the Martians had really landed in 1938, etc. In this story, it's 1914 and Europe is on the brink of World War I but the nations use different types of weapons. The Germans and Austro-Hungarians (called the Clankers) use mechanical walking war machines. The British are called the Darwinists because Darwin discovered not only evolution but also DNA and used the DNA "life threads" to create living weapons and dirigibles. (don't know that word? look it up!)

The story starts when the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie are assassinated and Alek, their son has to flee for his life in a Stormwalker because the Austro-Hungarian powers don't want him on the throne. Meanwhile, over in England, a girl named Deryn Sharp has cut her hair to try to pass for a boy and join the British Air Service. On her first attempt at flight, she's caught up in a storm and blown out to the English Channel. Does she get rescued? And does Alek get away with his life? Ah, you'll have to get this book to find out! But, one you do, you're in for a good time!! As I said, there's enough action and adventure to satisfy any reader guy. And the illustrations are great, too! Most of the times the illustrations are good but don't add much to the story. Well, that's truly different here. These illustrations catch the excitement and tone of the story better than just about any book out there. So there you go. This one's a winner.
BTW, there's going to be a sequel to Leviathan. Ohhhh, man! I cannot wait!!

So vhy do YOU vait? This is Baron Karl von KARLMAN saying, "Get up and march to your library or bookstore and get a copy NOW!! ACHTUNG!! GET UP! MARCH! VUN, TWO, THREE, FOUR...."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Carlman and Darth Bill on Stage!!!!

Hi all,

The Carlman and myself just finished an extensive engagement staring in "The Elephant and Piggy Show" inspired from the very same books by Mo Willems!!!! This was indeed a NERD moment , but we embraced our inner NERDs and enjoyed doing it to the max!!!!!!! For those unable to see the show in person, sit back, get a cold drink and some popcorn and enjoy the filming of out last performance.

Stunning work is it not. I expect to hear something from the Academy Awards in the days to come. Later guys,

Bill "One Cool Costumer"

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

No Nerd Pix and a Comic Book Novel

Hey, guys, I'm sorry to say that no reader guys sent or let us take any pictures for the Dress Like a Nerd contest but that's OK. This is a busy time of year for everyone. Tell you what, though, if you would still like to get one to us, call me at the Imaginon library at 704-416-4630 and I'll find a way to post it. Or leave a comment. Or come see me. I'd still love to get some nerdy photos up here! AND we'll still send a free book to Mr. Michael for sending us his nerdy photo!

All right, let's talk about some good reading! I recently checked out a copy of City of Light, City of Dark: A Comi-Book Novel written by Avi with artwork by Brian Floca. It was good!! The background to the story is a bit complicated but, bascially, it starts with the first European settlers who wanted to live where New York is now. They had to bargain with some unfriendly, if not downright evil, beings called the Kerbs who'd always lived there. They made a deal that the people could live there only if they found the token of the Kerbs' power, which would be hidden every year. It would be hidden in a common object, like an ear of corn, and the people had to find it and present it back to them on a certain night or the people would die in cold and snow. So the people desiginated a searcher who would look for it. This searcher would always desiginate her daughter to be the next searcher. Well, the story comes to the present day and the token of power is hidden in a subway token---and there are thousands in New York! On top of that, a greedy blind has learned of the token of power and wants it for himself becuase he believes it will give him his sight back. There's a lot more, of course, and it would take me all day to tell you about it, so let me just say that the story was exciting and the artwork was good and moved the story right along. I enjoyed this a lot and so will you!!