Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year and Favorites of 2008

Hey, guys, this is Carl wishing you a Happy New Year! Hope the new year will be good for you. 2008 was good for me, especially for reading. I found some some awesome books this year. There were the biggies--The Battle of the Labyrinth, The 39 Clues--but I'd like to tell you about some books that didn't get as much attention but were terrific reads. Some were published this year and some were older, but I read them in 2008 and that's what counts. (I've put the dates of the original reviews in parentheses after each one)

Funniest Book of the Year--The Boys Start the War by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. This is the first in the Boys vs Girls series. This one is so funny that I laughed out loud. I laughed so hard, in fact, that people in my office wondered what was so funny!! (reviewed 9-23-08)

Best Nonfiction--The Last River: John Wesley Powell and the Colorado River Expedition by Stuart Waldman. It doesn't get better than this!! John Wesley Powell had lost an arm in the Civil War but was still determined to be the first human being to explore the Colorado River as it went through the Grand Canyon, an area so wild and dangerous that even the Native Americans wouldn't go there. An amazing story and all the more amazing because it's true!!! (reviewed 8-27-08)

Best Series That Doesn't Get the Attention It Deserves--The Barnstormers Series By Loren Long and Phil Bildner. Set in 1899, it's got baseball, magic, mystery, villains--in other words, everything you could want!! The next one comes out in May 2009 and I can't wait!!!
(reviewed 8-30-08)

Best Graphic Novel--The Undersea Adventures of Cap'n Eli by Jay Piscopo. No question about it, guys, this is the best. It's a mix of classic comic styles but NOT a rip-off!! I haven't enjoyed a comic series this much since I read Iron Man, Nick Fury, and The Fantastic Four back in the Silver Age. Stand by for adventure!!

(reviewed 7-27-08; interview with Jay Piscopo 7-26-08)

The Book I'd Like Most To Read Again--The Postcard by Tony Abbott. 13-year-old Jason has to go to St. Augustine, Florida for his grandmother's funeral, but there are all sorts of strange things surrounding his grandmother that Jason's dad doesn't want to talk about. A mysterious phone call, a postcard showing an old hotel that's about to be torn down, and a mystery story from an old detective magazine set Jason on a trail to find his grandmother's past. A terrific story that keeps you turning page after page. (reviewed 7-14-08)

Best New Discovery--the Erec Rex series by the great Kaza Kingsley. Wow, wow, wow!!!! Exciting, funny, full of adventure, with one of the creepiest bad guys ever, these are the books I'd like to put into the hands of every guy out there. The next one comes in 2009, and, once again, I can't wait!!! (reviewed 8-21-08; interview with Kaza Kingsley 9-13-08)


Mail Call

Hello all, Master Jedi Zack here for one last 2008 post. One great way to end the year is to get a really nice piece of mail!

Ms Yingling, from Ohio, reports that the boys in her library are fans of the blog (always nice to hear!). On top of that she has challenged them to step up to our challenge of burping the alphabet, hopefully we will see some.

It doesn't end there! Ms. Yingling also sent us a comic book and thought we should challenge our readers to make comic book style posters featuring the Boys Rule! team as super heroes. Now, I would never ask somebody to do that of me, I'm sure Darth Bill might do it. But I wouldn't say no if someone wanted to take up Ms. Yingling's challenge.

Thank you for a wonderful letter and the comic! I hope you have a wonderful New Year and keep tuning in, I'm sure Darth Bill and I will have plenty more banter for you to enjoy.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jedi = Shmedi, Capt'n Eli Volume 2 and other Silly Stuff

Hello all, it is I again Darth Bill. I see that I have been publicly bashed by the so called Jedi "Master" Zack!!!! I just want to point out that I am taking the high road in regards to his comments about myself and my fellow Sith. I could say something like - Jedi rarely read any book that has multiple syllable words in them or Jedi only like to read really long books with lots of arguing and lots of camping or even Jedi are just plain stinky. But I am above doing such, so I will not (classy of moi, no?). Sigh, why does "Master" Jedi Zack feel the need to attack me publicly. I guess he is just jealous that I am better looking, but as I said I won't go there for it is below my Sith Honor. One last note about Sith's love of reading. I bet many of you have at times wondered where we got the name for this blog. Well just look at the poster I recently found that was around before we even started this blog:

Amazing isn't it!!!!!!!!!

Okay enough of the Jedi slamming (it's just too easy), here are some really cool books and Graphic Novels I have read lately:

The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli: The Mystery of the Sargasso Sea (Volume 2) by Joe 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. Look for it in the PLCMC System soon!!!!!!!!!

Also check out these cool video about the Capt'n Eli Graphic Novel Series:

Hulk: The Incredible Guide (Updated Edition) by Tom DeFalco and Mattew Manning - This book is just too cool!!!!! It has the answers to everything you may have wondered about the Incredible Hulk and more stuff you probably did not even have a clue about. This book covers everything Hulk from his creation in the 60s to present day. Along with all the facts about the Hulk, his friends, his enemies, his history, etc., it is loaded with incredible artwork by the various artist that have told his tale from his first appearance to his latest. This really is a must read for true fans of old Greenskin (and other colors to as you will find out if you check this great book of knowledge out).

Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four: Monsters, Moles, Cowboys & Coupons written by Steve Niles, Daniel Way, Kristen Sinclair and Joe Lansdale; art by Leonard Kirk, Steve Scott, David Hahn & Ronan Cliquet - Wow!!!!!!! I really think this is my favorite Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four so far. This volume has it all!!! From a good old slug feast with the Incredible Hulk, to a rough and tough western staring the Ever-Loving-Blue Eyed Thing, along with a comedic shopping story and a soul searching story that asks why does the FF do what they do. Highly recommended!!!!!!!

Well until next time True Believers,


Blast Off, Space Cadet!

Greetings, citizens of the Solar System! This is Commander CARLMAN, hoping you enjoyed your holidays--and are still enjoying the break! SCHOOL IS STILL OUT!! YES!!! But I'm back at work now and want to tell you about a good one, Space Cadet by Robert Heinlein. This is an oldie but a goodie, written waaaay back in the day before the first astronaut ever put on a suit. A lot of people were thinking about what space travel would really be like back then and Robert Heinlein was one of them. He was also a good writer, making good stories out of imagination and science.
It's about Matt Dobson, a young guy who has signed up to join the Space Patrol, an elite group who keep peace throughout the solar system. You've got to be incredibly tough and smart to be a Patrolman, though, and a lot of guys don't make it. The story takes Matt and his friends Oscar and Tex through the rigorous tests they have to go though just to get to Cadet status and then their hard training once they actually become cadets. But then, on their first assignment, their ship crash-lands on an unknown area of Venus. Their commander gets knocked unconscious and the ship sinks to the bottom of a swamp. Can they survive a dangerous planet and strange aliens? How could they ever get back to Earth? This is a good one for guys who like science--and good stories!
(PS--if you get this out of the library, the card catalog will say it's in Adult Science Fiction. Don't let that scare you off--this was written for boys)

Monday, December 29, 2008

sometimes it happens

It isn't a common thing, but every now and then you may see Master Jedi Zack reading a Non-Fiction book. I just read the really cool book, Lincoln Through the Lens: How photography revealed and shaped an extraordinary life. Wow that is one long title!

This isn't just another book about Lincoln, it has its very own twist. Did you know that photography was a new technology during Lincoln's time? This book explores how photography and Lincoln shaped our nation's history. Very cool stuff! I think CARLMAN has read this as well, so I'm sure he will let us know his thoughts.

I hope everyone had a great holiday. I was given lots and lots of books, including the second Percy Jackson book and the second 39 clues book, w00t!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Capt'n Eli News, Graveyards, Avengers and other Fun Stuff!!!!

Hello all my friends out there in the Land of Blog!!!!!! It is I once again the not so evil, not even all that mean Darth Bill!!!!!!!!! I guess all of you out there saw the photographs of me dressed as a baby that the not so nice Jedi Master Zack posted. I just wanted to clarify for everyone out there that I was dressed this way to raise money for puppies and cats in need of good glamor shots. Here are a couple of pictures of some of the puppies and kitties that now have promising futures in dog and cat fashion magazines such as It's A Dog's Life, Chasing My Tail and Loving It, I Will Pee on The Rug If You Make Me Mad, Pet Me Now or I Will Claw You, etc. all thanks to Me embarrassing myself for charity (Shame on you Jedi Master Zack):

' m just sorry that the evil Jedi Master Zack saw this as an opportunity to try an embarrass me. Don't you want little kitty cats and puppies to have good futures and jobs Jedi Master Zack? Arn't Jedi supposed to be good and noble? I just don't understand

Man, I am so excited about what I am about to share next I can hardly stand it. Check out this video first from our friends from
The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli:

I thought this video was just to cool (I also ordered my own personal Commander X and can't wait to get him and the comic he comes with, Oh Yea!!!!!!!!!!) and wanted to share it with everyone. I also have some more exciting Capt'n Eli news that I really should share with you now, but am going to make you wait until January before I make the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!!!!! Until then if you have not read Volumes 1 & 2 of this great Graphic Novel Series, what are you waiting for?????????????? To see my reviews of these books click on the following links below:

Click here for my review of Vol. 1

For book availability-----> Click Here

Click here for my review of Vol. 2

For book availability-----> Click Here

One other Capt'n Eli Announcement if you go to The Undersea Adventures of Captain Eli Web Site we have a link to at the left or to The Undersea Adventures of Captain Eli Blog Site at, you can read for absolutely free an online comic staring the extremely cool Commander X!!!!! Give it a look. I promise you will love it!!!!!!!

And now for something completely different; two reviews of things I have recently read:

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Marvel Adventures The Avengers: Mighty Marvels by Marc Sumerak, Ig Guara and Kevin Sharpe – This GN collects issues 21 – 24 of the comic. It is in my opinion the best volume yet. Lots of action in this GN, but also some stories with great style, depth, and beautiful artwork. The first story introduces Ant Man, Hank Pym, to the Marvel Adventures universe. Hank Pym in his many incarnations as Giant Man, Ant Man, Yellow Jacket, etc since he was first introduced in the 60s has always been one of my favorite superheroes. The second story also has a special guest in the Black Widow, also making her Marvel Adventures debut. In this story she along with the Avengers take on the Crimson Dynamo one of Iron Man's long time nemesis. The third story focuses more on Wolverine, with a special appearance by the Black Panther, taking on his number 1 villain Sabretooth. The last story in the GN features an entirely different Avenger Team consisting of Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Ant-Man, Quicksilver, Spider-Man and the Black Panther taking on the cosmic villain The Collector!!! Good stuff so make sure you check it out!!!!!

Peace All,


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

And What Do You Want, Little CARLMAN?

Our brother readers at the SMS Guys Read blog put together a "Holiday Reading Wish List" of things they'd like to read over the holiday break. Take a look here. My wish would be a couple of hours to read One False Note, the latest 39 Clues book. I'll be busy with friends in from out of town to read much, but, man, do I wnat that one!! How about you? Will you get to read anything? What will it be? Let us know! And don't forget--you still have until the end of the month to get prizes for showing us you can wield a light saber, burp the alphabet, or recite the Gettysburg Address. Check here to see what the prizes are. Have a Merry Christmas, enjoy the holidays, and happy reading!!

The very merry CARLMAN

Saturday, December 20, 2008

This Magee Thing or Spotlight on Jerry Spinelli

Hi, guys, this is the Great and Powerful CARLMAN. If you remember, a few weeks ago the feuding between Darth Bill and Master Zack got so bad that one of our readers commented on it and I had to COMMAND the two guys to read one book together. It's Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli. This story is about someone who tries to get two warring parts of town to come together. Sounded like a good thing for this Sith and Jedi to read. It was one the first books I read when I started working for the library and I never forgot its tremendous emotional punch. This one doesn't have a lot of battles, sword fights, magic, or things that blow up, yet it's still one of the great guy books of all time. Why? Because Jerry Spinelli writes about things that all guys deal with; bullies, taking responsibility, friendship, and facing your fears. It also talks about racism, unthinking hatred, and trying to overcome those things. There's so much that happens to Maniac Magee that you hang on every page to see how he'll handle it. He also does a lot of amazing things that make him a legend in his town. He'll become a legend in your mind too.

He wrote some other good books about being a guy and growing up. One is Wringer, another is Fourth Grade Rats, and the third is Loser. Click on the titles so see reviews. Click here and here to read his biography and here to see a good link about some of his books. And here's a funny incident from his life:

Jerry Spinelli's memoir, Knots in My Yo-Yo String, makes it clear that he has always had a knack for drawing attention to himself. When he was in second grade, he dressed up in a cowboy outfit one day and headed off to school, sporting golden cap pistols and spurs on his boots. It was not Halloween. The teacher noticed his getup, of course, and asked if he "would like to do something for the class." Jerry got up and sang "I Have Spurs that Jingle, Jangle, Jingle."
Shortly thereafter he ceased to be a singing cowboy and decided to become a baseball player. "I played Little League in junior high and high school," Jerry writes. "I only hit two home runs in my career, but I had no equal when it came to standing at shortstop and chattering to my pitcher: 'C'mon, baby, hum the pea.'"
Then, in eleventh grade, Jerry wrote a poem about a high school football game. When it was published in the local newspaper, Jerry knew he had found his calling. He traded in his baseball bat for a pencil and became a writer.
What a guy! And now, Heeeere's Bill and Zack:
Bill's Review:

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli - This was a really cool book to read and I enjoyed it. The basic premise is there is this kid everyone calls Maniac Magee because he performs feats that amaze everyone that lives in town. Maniac Magee is a orphan who is living on his own trying to find his place in the world. The town he lives in is divided in many different ways, between black and white people, poor and rich, kind and cruel, etc. Maniac is constantly on the move meeting all kinds of different people and finding out the wonder that is in each human being. Yet something always seems to happen that makes him run from the people in which he forms bonds of friendship and love. I really liked this book because it showed that bottom line, people are pretty cool if they can just get beyond the superficial. Great Stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Zack's thoughts:

Okay, it hurts me to say this but I agree with Bill (ouch, the PAIN!). Maniac Magee is great stuff!!!!!! I know what it is like to move around a lot and that part of the book spoke to me. Going from place to place makes you meet a whole lot of people and it is always surprising to see how different, yet alike, every place and its people are.

The CARLMAN picked an outstanding book for us to read this time. I wonder how Darth Bill is coming along with the Gregor books?! I am currently reading Lightning Thief which I'm sure will make everyone happy (I know, about time!).

Thanks, guys! Ah, but it feels good to restore balance to the Force. Maybe we can all spotlight another author sometime--if those two don't slice each other in half before then!!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Seasons Greting! And Don't Kill Santa! (plus Kringle, Best Christmas Pageant Ever, and Reaction From Ms.Yingling!)

Hey, guys, Carl again. The holiday season is always fun for me. Lots of fun, lots of food, lots of cool lights, lots of food, favorite TV specials, lots of food...well, you get the idea. Speaking of holidays, cyber kid 303 has written about a terrific Christmas book:

"Don't Kill Santa!" is the best book ever!(except Bone by Jeff Smith). Set in the North Carolina mountains, these funny and also true stories about Donald Davis (the author) are great winter tales set in the 1940s. It is a collection of short stories. One time the boys' presents get repossessed. It is funny. Since it is nonfiction, the call number is J813.54.

That's where you'll find it in the library, guys. cyber kid is right; Donald Davis is a very funny man. I've heard him tell his stories and they're great. The title story of the book Barking at a Fox Fur Coat is very funny.
I'll tell you also about a couple of other great holiday books. One is The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. Imagine what would happen if the Herdman kids, "the worst kids in the history of the world," the kids who steal deserts from your lunch, have a cat so mean that the postman won't deliver mail, and who all smoke cigars--even the girls!--imagine what would happen if they took over the annual Christmas pageant. Also imagine what would happen if you heard the Christmas story for the first time--as the Herdmans do. A fantastic story! And the library has a really good audiobook version. And the Children's Theatre is doing a bang-up job of this book. Go see it!

The other is Kringle by Tony Abbot, the Secrets of Droon man. It's an epic fantasy about Santa Claus. Yes, Santa Cluas! I wasn't sure at first, but this one hooked me right away. Action, excitement, danger, really bad guys--this one has it all! See my review from last year here.

On oter news, I told Ms. Yingling, that cool middle-school librarian, about Darth Bill burping the alphabet. Here's her response:

Huh. My best friend, who's a GIRL, could burp about five letters at a time when she was 13. She could also light matches with her teeth, which as a mom I can no longer recommend.I hope that your boys are inspired to read as well as burp. It sounds like your library is a lot of fun!

Yes, we are! This is not your grandfather's library. And we do have a lot of great guys out there who read. But you know what--this sounds like a challenge! Will we be outdone by a 13-year-old GIRL? Yeah, she could burp 5 letters at once, but it takes manly endurance to get through the whole thing! Come on, guys, let's show what we can do! Besides, we're giving prizes to any guy who will let us video him burping the alphabet or wieldng a light saber or reciting the Gettysburg Address. See the post of 12-16 or the sidebar to see what the prizes are. You have until the end of the month-just when you'll be out of school and looking for something to do! Call Zack at 704-416-5000 or Bill or me at 704-973-2720 to set up a time.

Well, the three of us will probably post something before the holidays start, but let us take this chance to say how much we enjoy this, how glad we are to bring you terrific books, and how great you are. We sincerely hope you


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Itty Bitty Baby Sith

Awwwww, look at the cute little Sith in his bonnet with his bottle. Sorry about the quality of the pictures, I had to be stealth like since I was on an undercover Jedi mission.

Anonymous Tells Us About Rune Warriors

Anonymous has told about another book that sounds good:

I have a book review to share.I'm sure the boys in this book could do the same as Bill in their language.
The book is RuneWarriors by James Jennewein and Tom S. Parker. Start with names like Drott the Dim, Fulnir the Stinking, and Orm the Hairy One. Add to that, Jarl the Fair, because he has long flowing blond hair and he thinks he is the handsomest as well as best fighter around. Last, but certainly not least, there is Astrid, the Blade Mistress, even though she is a girl, her skill of throwing axes is the best in the land. Now you have a pretty good idea of the kinds of kids Dane is growing up with.
It's the eve of the Festival of Greatness and Dane has a big problem. He's yet to choose his nickname. Dane the Dangerous? Dane the Despicable? He can't decide.Fate enters and decides for him. The evil overlord, Thidrek the Terrifying, and his berserkers kill Dane's father, kidnap Astrid and burn the village. Dane “the Defiant” as he is now called, and his friends vow to rescue Astrid. Braving dangers natural (the sea) and supernatural (trolls, frost giants), they find themselves having to put aside their differences and work together because Thidrek has gotten wind of a magical weapon that will give him the power of a god. Now only a handful of boys and one axe-wielding girl stand between him and his mad desires.
The book includes stories about Viking Heros and their legendary powers and weapons. The authors are screenwriters, and it certainly shows. Modern references keep the story light, and there are several adventures along the way to the final battle between good and evil. The authors leave the story in a way that later another book can take up where this book ends.

Thanks, anonymous! I'm not sure that even Darth Bill, mighty burper that he is, could burp a whole review!! I enjoy good fantasy, especially if there is lots of adventure. Check this one out, guys! Excuse me, now, while I go and polish my magical OdinSword.

The Great and Powerful CARLMAN
PS--be sure to watch the video from 12-16 in which Darth Bill burps the alphabet!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Grinch, Lions, Tigers and Bears plus a side of Wolverine

Hi everyone and Merry, Merry, Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy Holiday Seasons from the Jolliest Sith ever to slide down as many chimneys as Santa on Christmas Night.....Darth Santa Bill!!!!!!!! Well I don't know if I will get another post out until the holiday season is over or not, so I want to wish everyone a wonderbar holiday time of year thing!!!!!!

Now I have to share a clip from one my favorite Songs and Holiday Specials ever, I bet you have already seen it and can guess the name of it. Check it out:

Now for a couple of reviews of two awesome Graphic Novels I just recently finished!!!!!!!!!

Wolverine: First Class - The Rookie by Fred Van Lente, Andrea DiVito and Salva Espin - Well let me just get this off my chest. This Graphic Novel was awesome and I blew through it so fast I read it a second time. This GN collects Wolverine: First Class issues #1 - 4 and includes Wolverine's first appearance from way back in Hulk #181 when comics cost a whole 25 cents. Wolverine is one of my all time favorite comic book heroes and in this GN teams him up with one of the newest and youngest X-Men Kiity Pryde. The GN begins with their first meeting and adventure and leads onto other stories in which they take on the likes of Sabretooth, The High Evolutionary, the Man-Beast amongst others. This GN is really well written and not just about punching out the bad guys and fighting with your partner. The stories have depth, action and make you think. In short this is how Graphic Novels should be done. Thumbs up!!!!!!!

Lions, Tigers and Bears Volume 2 by Mike Bullock, Jack Lawrence, Paul Gutierrez and Bob Pedroza - This my friends is a Graphic Novel that was alot of fun to read. I reviewed Volume 1 on April 23, 2008, but you don't necessarily have to read Volume 1 to enjoy Volume 2. To see my review of Volume 1 Click Here. This Graphic Novel is about a boy named Joey and his friend Courtney. It is also about the stuffed animals they own that come to life whenever children are in danger from evil beasties. Joey owns some stuffed animals called the Night Pride which consists of Pallo - The Leader of the Pack (an African Lion), Venus – Guardian of the Pride (a Bengal Tiger), Minerva – Huntress of the Shadows (a Black Panther) and Aries – Warrior of the Night (a Siberian Tiger). The Night Pride are the elite protectors of "The Stuffed Animal Kingdom" a land where all stuffed animals are real. In this volume King Bear is betrayed by his brother to the evil beasties and not only is the Stuffed Animal Kingdom at risk, but all children in our world. For you see once the beasties are in control and the stuffed animal protectors conquered, the beasties will be coming for the children in the real world. Check out this really well done GN for a really exciting story that you will devour and be finished reading before you know it. Great stuff!!!!!!!!

Have a good one all and Peace Out,


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Darth Bill Burps The Alphabet!!

Darth Bill has heard our challenge and answered it! Yes, right before your very eyes, DARTH BILL WILL BURP THE ALPHABET!!!!

Now THAT'S talent!!! I bet he's been saving up all year for that!! Do any of you think you can do that?? Then call Zack at 704-416-5000 or Bill or me at 704-973-2720 and set up a time. See the post beneath this one to see what prizes you could get--as well as immortal fame as a Burping Master!!


Alas, Poor Yorick or The Skull of Truth (and a chance to burp the alphabet or wield a light saber!)

Hey, guys in blogland, it's Carl. First off, let me give an ENORMOUS shout-out to Nicholas, who recited the Gettysburg Address at the Matthews library for Master Jedi Zack. (Look at the post beneath this one) That took a lot of guts, Nicholas--and brains too!! That speech is short, but it's in that old-style language that can be hard to memorize. To be fair and honest, I was in the 5th grade before I had to memeorize it (and, yes, back in my day, EVERYONE had to memorize it in the 5th grade). But you did it, Nicholas, and we are all very proud of you!! This speech is important, guys!!! If you undrstand this speech, you'll understand why this country isn't ruled by some two-bit dictator, like so many countires are in this world. Therefore, the CARLMAN has decided to extend the offer of coupons for 2 free slices at the Fuel Pizza at 6th and College Streets for any guy who' ll recite the Address. The offer is good until the end of December. Call Zack (704-416-5000 ) or Bill or me (704-973-2720) to set up a time before December 31.

BUT--if you don't think you're up to this, well, we have another offer for you. On 12-9, we posted a note from Ms. Yingling, a middle-school librarian, who told us about being made an Honorary Guy:

I'll let my students know about my Honorary Guyhood. As long as I don't have to burp the alphabet or wield a light saber, I think I will not disappoint you.

To which I said:

Well, we are so glad that you like being an Honorary Guy and our blog and will spread the word about us. Say---CAN any of you guys burp the alphabet??? Or wield a light saber??? Come down to Imaginon or Matthews and let me or Bill or Zack video you!! I'll put it on the blog!!!! (But call first at 704-973-2720 or 704-416-5000 so we'll be ready!!!)

So, if you can burp the alphabet or wield a light saber, call Zack or Bill or me and set up a time to let us video you! For performing such an amazing feat, we'll give you a free book! If you can do both, you'll get a free book and a coupon for 2 free slices! If you can do all 3, (burp the alphabet, wield a light saber, and recite the Address) you'll get a coupon, a free book, and a Camp Half-Blood T-shirt!!

And here's a new review from cyber kid 303:

THE SKULL OF TRUTH by Bruce Coville is all about Charlie Eggleston who cuts through a swamp to avoid getting beaten up. He walks into a magic shop and then steals a skull. He finds out this is the Skull of Truth and while he has it, he can only tell the truth. A lot of different things happen because of this. The skull is Yorick's skull from Shakespeare's play, Hamlet. You would be best off knowing about the play Hamlet before you read this book. I liked the book because it had lots of adventure in it.

Thanks, cyber kid! You're the first one to review a Bruce Coville book. He's a great guy writer. I hope we hear about more of his books. I got to talk with him when he came to Novello and he told me about bringing Stan Lee to Duke when Bruce was in college there!

(PS--Did you read Shakespeare's play, cyber kid, or seen a movie of it? If you guys haven't, go out and read a summary of the play. The language takes some getting used to. But, once you do, wow, is it good!!!! I'll tell you this much--Hamlet and his friend Horatio see a couple of gravediggers at work. One of the gravediggers hands a skull up to Hamlet; Hamlet recognizes it as Yorick, his old court jester. Hamlet says, "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him well, Horatio.")

Monday, December 15, 2008

Gettysburg Address Entry from Matthews

Hey guys, Master Jedi Zack here with some exciting news. The Matthews Library had the first non-CARLMAN participant in the Gettysburg Address challenge!!! Here is Nicholas reciting the famous speech, something that I don't think I could have done!!!

Great job Nicholas!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cyber Kid Writes More About One False Note!

And here's more from cyber kid 303!

First of all, I am a Tomas, and One False Note was sweet! They talked a lot about Mozart which was cool to me since I play piano. Gordon Korman wrote this instead of Rick Riordon. Dan and Amy break into the Janus base, too! It is better than the first!

I haven't read The Tales of Beedle the Bard yet, but I want them for Christmas. I heard Hermione Grainger and Albus Dumbledore are part of it. Right now I'm reading The Skull of Truth by Bruce Coville. I met Bruce Coville one year at Novello. He was really nice. After Skull of Truth, I'll read Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, if I can get it away from my mom. Have you seen the movie previews?

Thanks again,cyber kid! Or should I say, my fellow Tomas brother!! Let's go out and pump some weights or push around an Ekat!! I've met Bruce Coville at Novello also and he is a great guy! I even got to drive him to his school visits! Hve any of you other guys read his books? He seems like a really good guy writer. No, I haven't read Inkheart but I do have the official trailer to show you all. Take a look!

Looks like a good one!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cyber Kid Talks About One False Note

Always quick with a response, cyber kid 303 has written to us already about One False Note, the latest 39 Clues book:

I am reading One False Note and it is really good. If you are a Janus at you will especially love it. It zooms in on the Janus branch. I've only got 41 more pages to go. I'll write a full report when I'm done.

Thanks, cyber kid! Can't wait to hear your full report. And are you planning to read The Tales of Beedle the Bard soon? It turns out that the library already has copies (I made another mistake yesterday when I thought they didn't have any!) but there are 124 people waiting in line for it! But I'm ninth on the list to get a library copy of One False Note. So you're a Janus, huh? I'm a Tomas and I hear they cause a lot of trouble in this book.

And another cool video for your holidays. It's that king of retro rock, Brian Setzer, tearing it up with the old Chuck Berry song, "Run, Run, Rudolph." Rock out!!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Why Haven't We Written About One False Note Yet? Or Beedle the Bard?

First of all, let me give a shout-out to Darth Bill. He was good enough yesterday to point out a mistake I made. Your real friends will tell you when you goof up. On top of that he was good enough to give me a compliment a few days ago on my reciting the Gettysburg Address--and you know how hard it is for a sith to give a compliment. AND he put in a picture that same day of me in my true form and said that the CARLMAN is not an Odin rip-off!! Two compliments in one post!!! Quite an accomplishment for a sith! Thanks, Bill!

However, as to his ridiculous assertion that the Great and Powerful CARLMAN is afraid of a mere rooster, even one that calls itself The Red Rooster of Death, well, that's just too silly for words...


What was that??

Was that a......


Ummmm--gotta go!!!

Wait a minute, Bill would never let me run away from a rooster. I'll stand up bravely it gone??? Good!!!

Some of you may have wondered why we haven't written anything about One False Note, the latest 39 Clues book. Well, it's simple--it takes the library takes a long time to get new books and then it takes time to get them on the shelves. So I'll just sit patiently and wait. I'm still waiting to write about a book that came out the first of November. But if I really get impatient, I can write to She Who Orders Books For The Library and ask to hurry things along. I did that for The Battle of the Labyrinth. Same thing for Beedle the Bard, the newest form J. K. Rowling. To tell the absolute truth, I haven't read all the HP books. Yes, that may shock some of you, but I read the first 3 and just never got around to finishing them. Maybe I'll make that a project for next year. What about you, Darth Bill? Or you, Master Jedi Zack? Are you planning to read this one soon? In the meantime, some guys at the Guys Read blog have written about both of them. Take a look.

The Great and Powerful (COCK-A-DOODLE-DOOOO!!!), I mean, the plain and simple


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Carlman, Carlman, Carlman????

Hello all in the land of Blog, it is I once again the darkest sith in the Galaxy--- Darth Bill!!!!! It gives me much pain (not really, I'm giggling quite a bit), that it appears the great, powerful, awesome and wise (giggle) Carlman has made, should I say it-- yes, yes, a MISTAKE!!!!!!
In his last post he responded to cyber kid's review as follows:

"The Wish Giver was a good book about Thaddeus Blinn and his strange wish cards. Stew Meat, Polly, Rowena, and Adam all by wish cards and all except Stew make wishes they regret.This a great adventure book.

Thanks to you too, cyber kid!! It's good to hear from you again! A lot of other people have been talking lately on other bogs about The Giver, so now I'm really curious."

Dude, Carlman, I must correct you. As I said it pains me very much (hahahahahhahah) but The Giver by Lois Lowry and The Wish Giver by Bill Brittain are totally different books. Sigh it really makes me so very sad to have to correct the great and wise Carlman (not, hahahahhahahahah).

So guys whose the smartest blogger in the land?

The Carlman (?????):

Or The Sith with the mostest, Darth Bill:

Sorry, but the truth must be told!!!!!!! Peace out all,


The CARLMAN Admits a Mistake

Yes, the Great and Powerful CARLMAN must admit it---a mistake was made! I freely tell everyone that I read too quickly and saw The Giver instead of the The Wish Giver. But all who are wise know they often make mistakes--but they can also learn from their mistakes! In fact, this experience has only made me wiser and more powerful:Here you see me, holding what looks like a suitcase but is really a book, the source of my incredible powers.

And now let me say--YAY PANTHERS!! YAY PANTHERS!!!

The Carolina Panthers played probably the best game of the season as they beat the Tampa Bay Bucaneers on national TV last night. Oh, yeah! UH-HUH!! Could we be SUPER BOWL BOUND???

Speaking of Panthers, let me tell you about one of my favorite books, The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling (one of the main characters is Bhageera the Panther). It's the story of Mowgli, the boy left in the jungle, raised by wolves, trying to survive and live by The Law of the Jungle. That law is harsh but fair. Every animal has its place, a right to live, and a right to hunt. But that law, even if it's fair, is also harsh.The right to hunt also means the right to be hunted and the smallest mistake could mean death. Once again, this is not some cutesy animal story but "nature red in tooth and claw." This is really good, exciting guy stuff. (BTW, some editions of this book have only the Mowgli stories; others have have more. Rudyard Kidling inserted non-Mowgli stories in the Jungle Book and all of them are good. Some editions have all the stories and some have only the Mowgli stories. Any one you get would be good)

And speaking of guy stuff, we have another comment from Ms. Yingling, that cool middle-school librarian who wrote to us yesterday.
I'll let my students know about my Honorary Guyhood. As long as I don't have to burp the alphabet or wield a light saber, I think I will not disappoint you.
Well, we are so glad that you like being an Honorary Guy and our blog and will spread the word about us. Say---CAN any of you guys burp the alphabet??? Or wield a light saber??? Come down to Imaginon and let me video you!! I'll put it on the blog!!!! (But call me first at 704-973-2720 so I'll be ready!!!)

Monday, December 8, 2008

New Friends, Old Friends, and The Giver

Hey, gang, it's Carl. Before I go any further, let me say

Yes, the Carolina Panthers are playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the championship of the division tonight on national TV!!! Both teams are 9 and 3; both teams are tied for first place. Ought to be quite a game!
We've got two comments, one from an old friend and one from a new friend. Let's hear from Ms. Yingling, our new friend first:

Just found your site! Very excited to go through your blog roll, and hope to see a lot of good reviews of books for boys. I try my best, but never having been a boy puts me at a disadvantage sometimes!

Thanks, Ms. Yingling, and don't worry about never having been a boy because we'll make you an Honorary Guy, just as we do for all girls who write in to us. Yes, I know that's an extremely great honor and you might need a moment to recover, so just take all the time you need. There are a lot of good links for guy books on our blog roll--and don't forget that we have a list af all the books we and the guys have written about on that blog roll! Ms. Yingling is a middle-school librarian and runs a pretty cool blog too. Check it out at

The other comment is from cyber kid 303:

The Wish Giver was a good book about Thaddeus Blinn and his strange wish cards. Stew Meat, Polly, Rowena, and Adam all by wish cards and all except Stew make wishes they regret.This a great adventure book.

Thanks to you too, cyber kid!! It's good to hear from you again! A lot of other people have been talking lately on other bogs about The Giver, so now I'm really curious. I really have to finish Space Cadet by Robert Heinlein first. We've been busy and I get to read only a few pages at a time, but I'm enjoying it.

And, now, for your holiday entertainment, here is an amazing video of a house with a lot of Christmas lights. "So what," you say, "there are bunches of houses loaded with Christmas lights!" Yeah, well, I bet this is the only one whose lights are in time with that great old song, "Boogie Woogie Santa Claus." (It starts off a little slowly but picks up quickly) Enjoy!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Of Clones, Bravery and Storytubes

Hello all, Darth Bill coming at you from my fly Tie-Fighter way out here in space!!!!!! Check it out:

Okay I'm going to do something I don't do often. I am going to give a complement to "The Carlman" for throwing caution to the side and doing an excellent job of memorizing and videoing his rendition of "The Gettysburg Address." Yes Carlman, you rocked (man that's so hard for me to say for some reason....maybe cause he called me a chicken, hum.....).

That's right Carlman, meet the doomslayer of all heroes and mythic gods....... The Red Roster of Death!!!!!!!

I have some other things to talk about so lets get it rolling. First I have to tell you about this awesome new Star Wars book that I have just finished reading.

Decide Your Destiny: Star Wars, The Clone Wars: The Way of The Jedi by Jake Forbes - This is a very cool chose your adventure type of book in which you start the book as a young Jedi Knight learner at the Jedi Temple. You and a friend named Jaylen, also a young Jedi Knight learner, are summoned to see Master Yoda and from there your adventure can go in many directions depending on the choices you make. I read this book through twice with each ending being very different. In one I made a very bad decision and was captured by the Separatist and put into an arena to be feed to wild beast. In another I saved a bunch of Wookies from being sold into slavery and made a member of their tribe. This is a very cool book and I highly recommend it to both Star Wars fans and fans of chose your adventure type books. Now they need to make one for us Sith. Yea, that would be way cool!!!!! Anyway, definitely give this one a try.

Lastly I want to talk about this really cool contest that is coming up that will be nationwide (and even in parts of Canada)!!!!! It's called Storytubes and here is a little information about it:

  • Would you like to be the star of your very own movie? Well the nationwide Storytube Contest will let you do this by creating an online video talking about your favorite book. The Storytube Contest is open to students in grades kindergarten through twelfth grade. Video entries consist of either one student promoting one book to group efforts consisting of 2 to 5 students promoting one book submitted to the Storytubes Web Site. To enter, the contestant must upload the video to YouTube or TeacherTube and submit the correct corresponding StoryTubes Contest Entry Form. Partner libraries will work together to select entries to receive Judges’ Choice Awards and pick videos to go to online voting at the Storytubes Web Site for popular voting. For both the Judges’ Choice Awards and Popular Online Voting, at least one award will be reserved for each entry category. These categories are as follows: Grades K - 4, Grades 5 - 8, Grades 9 - 12 and Group Enteries. Judges’ Choice Awards will be announced by March 9, 2009. Online voting for videos chosen to proceed to popular voting will be held on the Storytubes Web Site as follows:

Individual Entries, Grades K-4

March 9-12

Individual Entries, Grades 5-8

March 16-19

Individual Entries, Grades 9 up

March 23-26

Group Entries, All Ages

March 30-April 2

Prizes will be awarded to both winners in the Judges’ Choice Awards and the online popular voting.

Things to know:

· Make your video two minutes long (or shorter);

· Feature only one book in your video;

· Be familiar with the book and have a copy for your video so you can introduce it and tell the name of the book and its author;

· Enter as an individual or as part of a group of two to five people;

· Submit entries between January 8 and February 15, 2009, but you can start working on them earlier;

· Go to the Storytubes Web Site and get more information at:

· Be creative!


The Spangler Library at ImaginOn will be having Information Sessions on the Storytubes Competition on December 20 and December 29 at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. for anyone wishing to learn more. If you have any questions about these upcoming Information Sessions or the Storytubes Competition in general, please call Darth Bill at 704-973-2720.

Man that was a ton of good information!!!!!!! Well you cats take it easy and I'll talk at you later,