Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Heeere's Matthew!

Hey, it's Carl again. We just had a visit from Matthew, who posted about Chasing Vermeer back on October 3. (Check the post called "The Challenge Is Answered." He called himself "Anonymous" in that post) Here's Matthew holding up his free book:Is that or is that not one cool dude? Write to us about your favorite books. If you come to Imaginon and get your free book, we'll post your picture too. Then you can show the world your unbelievable coolness. If you live far away, write to us anyway--your book review will show your great coolness.

PS--you probably can't see the title, but the book's called Missing by M. Sobel Spirn.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Woooo! 3 New Comments

Hey, everybody, it's Carl. Too bad the WWE event here was cancelled. I watched Ric Flair on Fox News Got Game last night talking about being at tonight's event at Bobcats Arena. It would have been fun if the Nature Boy could have come here this morning. Oh, well, let's just give a big loud "Woooo!!" and keep on bloggin'.

The good news is that we have 3, not one but three, book comments from a new friend, The WeirdDude(MHR). Here they are:

Chasing Vermeer is about 2 kids, Calder and Petra, who learn from their teacher Ms. Hussey about a stolen painting by Vermeer, called "A Lady Writing." There are a lot of coincidences about the painting. It is full of thinking (not a lot of action) and pieces of a big puzzle that don't fit together at first but eventually do. The reader gets to help solve the mystery. I liked the story a lot because it makes you use your mind. I would recommend it to anyone who loves thinking.The Wright 3 is also about a mystery of art, except this time there are 3 characters. Calder, Petra, and Tommy (Calder's best friend) are trying to save a piece of architecture from being demolished, the Robie House by Frank Lloyd Wright (he is a famous American architect). The problem is that Tommy was away in the first book and does not like the relationship of Calder and Petra very much. The main clue of the story is 3. It is also a very good book and I recommend it for anyone who loves thinking.These two books are written by Blue Balliett and illustrated by Brett Helquist.

Artemis Fowl is about a 12 year old mastermind who is part of a family of millionaires who got their money by criminal activity. Artemis is following that path and has a theory that there are fairies on the Earth. He is proven right and kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the Fairy LEPrecon Unit of the Fairy Police. This is a book with a lot of action, most of it happening on the grounds of Fowl Manor where the fairies go to large measures to get Holly back. But Artemis outsmarts them--sort of (I don't want to give away the ending). This is a great book and I highly recommend it for anyone, especially if you like imagining that there are fairies (and these are tough fairies, not like the ones in bedtime stories).

Science Verse is a book of VERY funny poems based on science and written around other poems. I recommend it highly for science lovers.

Well done, WeirdDude! Come and get your free book! (How weird are you, dude? Any weirder than a librarian who's a Sith Lord or another who dances in Renaissance clothes?)

I just read my first Bone graphic novel last week. Man, is it great! I started with # 4, The Dragonslayer. Bill said it was the slowest one of the series. Well, if that one was the slowest, the others must be non-stop excitement! I loved it. I'm going to start #5 soon and then go back and catch the earlier books. I'll tell you about them later. Until then, take care and write to us!

PS--we still don't believe in dull and boring! Check out our sites at Imaginon or PLCMC to find out the cool stuff that happens.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The WWE RAW Program scheduled for Monday, November 26

Hi all,

It is with great regret that I must let everyone know that the WWE Raw Program that was scheduled for Monday, November 26 has been cancelled. Sorry about this guys, maybe in the future another cool event like this one will come up.



Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Turkeys, Pirates and Heroes

Hi, everybody, and happy post-Gobble-Gobble Day. Take a gander (get it, gander? Hahaha, I kill myself) at my new ride and look below. It was kinda an accident but the flame is really cool and helps me see in the dark. On the bad side, setting my pillows on fire every night when I try to go to bed really stinks--along with the no flesh on the face. Oh well, lets talk about some really good books I've read lately:

Pirates of the Caribbean, Jack Sparrow: The Coming Storm by Rob Kidd - This is the first in a really great series of books about a much younger Jack Sparrow and his early adventures before the "Black Pearl." In this first book, Jack begins his quest for the famed magical Sword of Cortes. To accomplish this goal he must recruit a crew to man his ship, the Barnacle, which he does very haphazardly, with his first two recruits being a young barmaid named Arabella and a wealthy adventure enthusiast named Fitzwilliam. He also unwittingly makes a very dangerous enemy in the person of the pirate Captain Torrents (a most bloodthirsty pirate by anyone's account), who also wants the Sword of Cortes, and pursues Jack and his crew--and not because he wants to be their friend! Well, I've given you the set up so give this series a chance. You won't regret it; pirate's honor!

Spider-Girl Presents The Buzz and Dark Devil by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz - This Graphic Novel presents the first three issues of these new characters to the world of the Marvel Universe. The Buzz is about the orphaned grandson, Jimmy Jameson (JJ), of a certain Spider-Man hating newspaper giant J. Jonah Jameson. When the older Jameson finances the making of a Human Fly Super suit to protect the citizens of New York City, he recruits ex-Navy Seal Buzz Bannon. Buzz and the young JJ become good friends and when Buzz get killed by some very bad people, JJ decides to take the Human Fly Suit and become the hero he saw in Buzz. He even names his new superhuman identity "The Buzz" after Bannon. Action and adventure follow as this new superhero learns what it takes to be a true hero. Darkdevil is also the story of a new young superhero named Reilly Tyne. Darkdevil is given powers by the demon Zarathos who hopes to inhabit the boy's body for his own evil purposes. Fortunately for Reilly, Daredevil and reformed enforcer Kaine step in the picture to save the boy. They do defeat Zarthos and force him out of the boys body but at the price of Daredevils life. Reilly decides to take up Daredevil's role as a superhero, with the new found powers gained from Zarthos, and under the tutelage of Kaine begins his path to becoming a true hero.

Well, that's all for me guys. Until next time, take it easy,


Friday, November 16, 2007

All Right, Dull and Boring, You're Going DOWN!!

Listen up, all you who think that libraries are only for little old grannies or stuck-up dweebs! This is Carl, otherwise known as the Masked Blogger, and I'm telling you that we are going to stomp all over dull and boring programs!! Like this:
That's right! We at Imaginon don't believe in dull and boring and to prove it, we've got a program coming up on November 26 at 11:00 am featuring stars from the WWE RAW!! Here's what the ad says:

Monday, November 26, 11am-12pm Witness a monster-sized mix of WWE RAW’s weirdest, wildest and wondrous superstars as they make a brutal attack on illiteracy. There’s no doubt that reading is key to success, and RAW fans will hear that message loud and clear at a rousing appearance for youth and teens in the McColl Family Theatre at ImaginOn.

If any of you guys out there can make it, this will be a great time. (But don't even think about skipping class or we'll be all over you like hot sauce on a taco!) Here's the link to find out more.

I used to watch wrestling a lot when I was a boy growing up in Memphis, Tennessee. We had a great TV show, Studio Wrestling with announcer Lance Russell, every Saturday at noon. I'd be in front of that set every week, watching the guys throw each other against the ropes, jump from the turnbuckles, or whack their opponents with folding chairs. Then, on Monday nights, my dad and I would go downtown to the auditorium and watch Lou Thesz or Dick the Bruiser tussle. (This was way back in the day--I won't say how long, but, to give you a hint, Lyndon Johnson was president and the Beatles had been on the charts for only a year) We had terrific characters like Tojo Yamamoto, who was supposed to be Japanese (he wasn't, but he did like to whack his opponents with his wooden clogs)

or Jackie Fargo with his famous "Fargo Strut"
Oh, man, those were the days! Well,the library has several good books on wrestling. Here a few:

Pro Wrestling: From Carnivals to Cable TV by Keith Elliot Greenburg--published in 2000, it might a little out of date, but it would still be fun to read about the early days.

Wrestling in action by John Crossingham; illustrations by Bonna Rouse; photographs by Marc Crabtree--a book about the actual sport of wrestling. Full of information on how to wrestle. I wish they had this book back in the day when my friends and I would wrestle! (Sorry, no picture of the book cover available)
That's it, guys. See you at ringside!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Return of Lord Vader

Hey, one and all, it's Carl. Hope you had a good weekend. Did anyone do anything special for Veteran's Day? We have a new comment from our old friend Lord Vader:

This is Mikie, a.k.a. Lord Vader. My power had been weakened over the past few months. But now I have returned. I just finished Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Sea of Monsters. It is a great sequel to the Lightning Thief. There is a fight with a cyclops. Also a ghost crew on a Confederate ship. Posiaden (I know I spelled that wrong) adds his help again as well as a not so welcome appearance by Percy's biggest enemy. There is a great surprise ending and I can't wait to read the third book.

Good to have you back, Lord Vader. I heard you had to spend some time in the regeneration chamber. He's absolutely right about The Sea of Monsters. It's one of the best things I've read in a loooooong time! So go out and get it, guys!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

In Honor of Those Who Serve

Hi guys, Carl and myself (The One, The Only, lets give a real big hand for Bill!) have decided that, in observance of Veteran's Day, November 11, 2007, we would combine our post for the blog. First I will let my esteemed colleague Carl speak about some really good books in observance of this important Day.

Hey, guys, Carl once again. This Sunday is Veteran's Day, a day set aside to remember and appreciate all those brave men and women who have served in the military, especially those who have fought a war. I said in an earlier post that the reason we're free to read what we like is because we have a Bill of Rights. Well, one reason the Bill of Rights still stands is because a lot of veterans fought for those rights. In honor of them, I'm going to talk about a couple of good, informative, and interesting books. Both of them are DK Eyewitness books. You've probably read one or two of them sometime, especially if you were looking up homework stuff. They're really valuable for getting quick overviews on just about any subject you could think of.

The first one is World War I by Simon Adams. This was called The Great War. The Great War To Save Civilization. The great war that was supposed to end all wars. "When will they ever learn..." But I digress. The political situation in Europe in 1914 was really tense. Seemed like everybody wanted a part of someone else's country or somebody wanted part of their country back. All it needed was one spark to set off a war and that's what happened when the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated on June 28, 1914. Before long, everyone declared war on everyone else and The Great War started. This was the first war in which armies used modern technology like airplanes, tanks, and machine guns. Nobody was prepared for this and the war dragged on for 4 years. (America didn't enter the war until 1917, when Germany tried to get Mexico to invade the US!) This book will tell you about great battles like Verdun, The Somme, and the War in the Desert. You'll find out about life in the trenches, gas warfare, and what "going over the top" meant. Really great reading.

Another terrific read, World War II (also by Simon Adams) takes place after World War I. Germany lost that war and the terms of surrender were so humiliating that the Germans never forgot them. So about 20 years later came a man named Adolf Hitler who told the German people that if they followed him, he would make Germany the world's greatest power. World War II started when Germany invaded Poland in September 1939. Hitler had spent a long time preparing for this war and, once again, the rest of Europe wasn't ready when he swept through country after country. (The US came in when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941) This book is full of epic battles like Stalingrad, D-Day, and the Battle of Britain. You'll learn how spies operated behind enemy lines, why the army wanted old pots and pans, and what it was like to be young in England, Germany, or Japan during the war.

Both books also have a great glossary at the ends, questions and answers, and how you can find out more. Get these over this weekend and if you know anyone who is or has been in the military, especially if they've fought or are fighting, be sure to let them know how much you appreciate them.

Great stuff Carl (man, that's a hard act to follow), now it's my turn (Bill, that is).

General George S. Patton served in World War II and was, in the eyes of many Americans, both then and today considered one of its greatest wartime commanders. He had many colorful sayings, some so colorful I can not print them here, but two of my favorites go as follows:

"The duties of an officer are the safety, honor, and welfare of your country first; the honor, welfare, and comfort of the men in your command second; and the officer's own ease, comfort, and safety last."

"You're never beaten until you admit it."

Carl has already expressed the same views I have about the brave men and women who serve in our military so
that we, the everyday citizens of the United States, as right and as imperfect as our country can be, can enjoy the taste of freedom. We owe them so very much in both the past and present day.

There are a series of Graphic Novels published by Rosen Central that we have in our Library System that I really think are great and deal with World War II. Some of these books are:

The Battle of Guadalcanal: Land and Sea Warfare in the South Pacific
The Battle of Iwo Jima: Guerrilla Warfare in the Pacific (I reviewed this book in an earlier post)
The Battle of Midway: The Destruction of the Japanese Fleet
The Battle of the Bulge: Turning Back Hitler's Final Push
D-Day: The Liberation of Europe Begins
Pearl Harbor: A Day of Infamy

I have read all th
ese books and they are just great titles to learn about the different battles, people, weapons, tactics and just about anything you want to know involved with the event the book focuses on. I will talk about the last two I recently completed:

D-Day: The Li
beration of Europe Begins by Doug Murray and Illustrated by Anthony Williams - This Graphic Novel begins with famous German General Rommel setting up defenses for the Atlantic coast of German occupied Europe that would likely be most inviting for an Allied Army attack. He starts to late and the Allied Troops begin the invasion of German occupied France on June 5, 1944 (D-Day) on both the beaches of France and by Paratroopers through the air inside France. The invasion of France by the Allies is shown to be extremely difficult, especially at the Omaha landing location, with casualties for both Allied and Axis Powers quite high. The Graphic Novel does a wonderful job of telling the story of D-Day from beginning to it's final success.

The Battle of The Bulge: Turning Back Hitler's Final Push by Bill Cain and Illustrated by Dheeraj Verma - The Battle of the Bulge was one of the bloodiest and most
important fights in World War II between the German Forces and the Western Allies. This surprise attack around Christmas 1944 would determine if the Allies would defeat the German Army or be forced to sign a peace treaty with them. This was a great and terrible battle on which the very outcome of the War would be determined. Read this Graphic Novel to learn about the battle, the heroic individuals who took part, and much more.

One last great thing about these Graphic Novels is that they include informational pages in the front about the specific World War II event, key players to each event, and detailed descriptions with actual pictures of events leading into what is depicted in the Graphic Novel. There are also after-pages in the Graphic Novels detailing happenings after the events described which are very detailed with photographs, a glossary, sources for more information and an index.

Well have a great weekend all and be sure to keep in mind both our veterans and those currently serving in our armed forces,


Friday, November 2, 2007

Yes, There are Sith on Mars

Silly Carl, don't you know we Sith are everywhere, even on Mars. Well, guys, I have good news and bad news. I guess I' ll start with the bad news. ): I finished my PS2 game, Marvel Ultimate Alliance. I was really having a blast with this game and hated to see it come to an end. I especially enjoyed playing Wolverine!!!! If you have a chance, you have to visit Tech Central here at ImaginOn where we have a PS3 with this game.

Wolverine, he really is the best at what he does!!!!!!!! I think he would make an excellent Sith Lord, don't you?

As for the good news, if you guys don't know by now, I am a huge comics and graphic novel fan. I got to meet one of my heroes and talk to him when I drove him to a local Charlotte School to do a presentation during Novello. This person was the one, the only, the great Jeff Smith!!!!!!! This is the guy who both writes and draws the Bone Graphic Novel Series and DC has just released his Shazam Graphic Novel ( we have the Bone Series at the library and I hope we can acquire the Shazam Graphic Novel because it is so excellent). Also on Wordplay Saturday, (also a part of Novello) I got him to sign some of the graphic novels of his that I own. It was a great experience as he was a very cool and extremely nice guy.

Below are some pictures from Mr. Smith's school visit:

Jeff Smith talking about Bone. Mr. Smith answering questions.

Jeff Smith talking
about Bone.

Mr. Smith answering some questions.

Mr. Smith drawing
some Bone Characters.

The Finished Product!!!!!!

Well, until next time, take it easy guys,


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Hey Mr. Renaissance Drum Man

Hey all you guys out in blog land, it's Carl. Well, looks like we missed the chance to see me in a dress. Too bad, but I know you all are busy with school and tests and everything and it's hard to find time to write us. Hope you keep reading us, though, and get some of the books we recommend. Tell you what---why don't I give you all a consolation prize? I did have to put on a costume to advertise a Renaissance program. Let me show you that picture.
Pretty silly, huh? Just remember, guys, it could have been me in that dress!

Speaking of the Renaissance, let me clue you in on a couple of really good things I'm reading. I started these books to get ready for my program on Renaissance explorers, but, boy, are they exciting! The first is The Adventures of Marco Polo by Russell Freedman. Let me tell you, this book is rightly called The Adventures of Marco Polo. What an adventure he had! Marco Polo was the first European to visit China and write about it. This was back when China was "far Cathay," a place of legend. Marco left home in 1269 (when he was 17) with his father and uncle on a mision from the Pope to visit the Great Khan, ruler of China. After spending three and a half years traveling thousands of miles and escaping sandstorms, bandits, and man-eating animals, they arrived on the border of China, where the Great Khan was waiting for them. What Marco saw there surpassed any legend he'd ever heard. His book about his travels surprised and rocked the European world so much that people called him "the man of a million lies." Some wonder even today if he made most of it up. Did he? Or did he tell the truth? Only way to know is to read this book!
The other book is Around the World In A Hundred Years: From henry the Navigator to Magellan by Jean Fritz. (illustrated by Anthony Bacon Venti) A couple of hundred years after Marco Polo returned from China, Europe was trading with the Middle East and China for spices and other goods, but it was getting too expensive and dangerous to use the overland route that he had used. So some brave explorers looked for ways to get there by sea. Yet most of the world to Eurpeans was the vast Unknown. Who was really brave enough to go there? And what would they really find? This book talks about the bold sailors like Ferdinand Magellan (first to sail around the world), Amerigo Vespucci (America was named after him), and many others including, of course, Christopher Columbus. Each story is like an epic sea voyage--incredible tales of hardship, endurance, and courage. Really exciting stuff.
And you know what? That Renaissance spirit of exploration goes on today. It took us to the moon and now we hear on the news sometimes about going to Mars. Will it ever happen? I don't know, but How To Live On Mars by Clive Gifford (illustrated by Scoular Anderson) would be good to read before we went. It's chock-full of interesting facts, funny illustrations, and science experiments (like how to make your own Martian soil). It's a good read about our neighbor in space.

OK, that's it for today. Hope to hear from you soon.
(PS--do you think there are any Sith or Jedi on Mars?)