Hi Teens: Sorry to interrupt your page! I want to be sure you all know that for every book you read this summer, you can enter to win an iPod, one of 2 beach towels, or a day for up to 20 people to play mini-golf at Common Acres Recreation Area and Campground. All you have to do is come into the library, write your name & contact info. on a form, plus the title and author of the book you read. You can put your entry into the container for the prize of your choice. Of course, the more books you read, the better your chances are of winning. Come visit us soon to enter to win.
There are books with good characters that you remember and like, and then there are the books with characters so amazingly real and wonderful that you will never forget them. If I could meet ten characters face-to-face, then Gen, the thief of Megan Whalen Turner’s tale, would unquestionably be among them.
There are currently four books in Megan Whalen Turner’s outstanding series, and I have just finished the latest, A Conspiracy of Kings. Though what I want to do most is write about all of them, I don’t want to give anything away, so I will only tell you about the first book, The Thief.
The land that the characters inhabit is a magnificent blend of ancient Greece and the imagination, with gods and goddesses stepping in to stir up the course of history, causing the people unfortunate enough to catch their attention to lead decidedly interesting lives.
Gen is a thief thrown in jail after bragging about his thieving prowess. After almost half a year in a highly secure cell in Sounis (one of the countries in the book), he is unexpectedly released under the condition that he help steal a mythical object for the King. For a boy who values his skin over everyone else’s, he managed to find the job that just might get him killed.
With travelling companions ranging from naïve to wise, prickly to stalwart, the long journey across the face of three countries (and two of them illegaly) could be the making of life-long friendships…or perhaps life-long adversaries.
Surrounded by enemies and danger, misunderstandings and lies, somehow, someway, Gen always manages to find something trivial to complain about, from the food to the company, but if this character doesn’t make you laugh out loud and root for him all the way, then I don’t know what will.
This book is among the few that have caught me by surprise, with an ending so deliciously unexpected that it wasn’t until I read it again that I realized the truth had been there all along.
No matter your reading preference, The Thief and all the other equally amazing books in the series are too incredible to miss. All I can say is, I pray that Megan Whalen Turner will never stop.
Michelle Knudsen paints a masterpiece in her debut work for young adult fantasy, The Dragon of Trelian. I loved everything about the book, with its well-crafted wit, moments of sorrow, and vivid descriptions of a bustling world, not to mention her quirky characters with their lively, but always believable thoughts.
I am always drawn to books such as these that pull you in until you are less reading them than experiencing everything they illustrate, and in this book you will experience magic, dragon-flight, and intrigue, alongside the more common but no less important—fear, love, friendship, and secrets.
The Dragon of Trelian is the tale of a princess named Meg and a mage’s apprentice named Calen brought together by the princess’s secret—a baby dragon found in the woods.
The setting is at Meg’s castle, just before the marriage of the princess’s older sister to the prince of a land that the people of Trelian had been at war with for a hundred years. Just when Meg is coming to terms with a mysterious and potentially dangerous connection with her swiftly growing dragon and settling into the idea of another married sister, the accidental discovery of an assassination plot leaves the fate of two kingdoms in the hands of a couple teenagers who might be a little short of time and resources….
How can you go wrong when each character has something about him or her that you can relate to—each with flaws and endearing features: the weight of royal expectations and a large family on Meg’s side, the freedom and loneliness of orphanhood in an uneventful apprenticeship on Calen’s, and all the characters in between, whether admirable or pitiable.
Therefore, I suggest this book to anyone and everyone, and I pray that Michelle Knudsen picks up her pen again and accepts the gauntlet that she so invitingly dropped at the end of The Dragon of Trelian.
What can I say about the “Harry Potter” series that hasn’t been said before? My first words are to everybody who has read these books, whatever your views about them may be. I need hardly tell the fans that the second (or third, or fourth) time around is just as much fun as the first, so mainly this is for everyone else.
When I first read the books, I wasn’t sure if I liked them myself, having been distracted by the often too-maudlin character of Harry himself and the general gloominess of the last books. It wasn’t until I read them again, only a few weeks ago, that I truly noticed the parts that make this series stand out from the other sagas of good against evil, the parts that no doubt made it so popular in the first place—the unexpected twists, hilarious characters and deliciously slimy creeps being only the beginning.
For the sake of those who don’t have a clear idea of what the “Harry Potter” series is about, I’ll fill you in.
“Harry Potter” is, as stated above, the typical battle of good against evil. However, on the loom of storytelling, J.K. Rowling has woven in some new colors and designs to the steadily more frayed and worn tapestry of this familiar legend.
Harry is a boy brought up by his tyrannical aunt and uncle, the Dursleys. At the age of eleven he learns that he is a wizard, and is whisked away to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to learn his craft. There he discovers that his parents were not killed in a car crash, as he had always been told, but murdered by the evil Lord V—well, so long as you don’t say his name aloud, it’s Voldemort. He also finds out the hard way that You-Know-Who is slowly returning to power despite being mysteriously destroyed—but not killed—on the night he murdered Harry’s parents and tried to murder Harry himself.
Throughout the books, there are the little details that make it so worthwhile—one of the most prominent being, of course, Quidditch. Rowling plays on all of our deepest desires for the ability to fly, right along with the love of a good sport in her exhilarating description of Harry’s first moments on a broomstick and his consequent place in the Quidditch team. In close second are the Weasley twins, never to be found without a joke and a pastry that turns people into canaries, lightening every situation with their vibrancy. Then there are the classes, from the enjoyable “Charms” to odious the “Potions,” the rivalries between the Houses, the teeth-grinding unfairness of the Dursleys and others, the arguments and the friendships. And always too close for comfort, Voldemort slips up behind you, looking over your shoulder and waiting for the time when, finally, he would be able to finish what he couldn’t all those many years ago.
On that note, I suggest that everyone should give this series a try, or a second chance. After all, I wouldn’t be vouching for it now if I hadn’t musingly reread the sentence that began it all: “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”
It's Amy, the librarian at the Lanpher Library. This summer, for every book in your reading level that you read, you can enter your name to win one of 4 prizes. We're giving away an iPod, 2 beach towels and a day for you and up to 20 of your friends to play mini-golf at Common Acres Campground. Only enter to win the prize(s) you want. The more you read, the better your chances are of winning.
We're also having a program for Teens and Adults with Bridget Butler from the ECHO Center: "Telling Your Digital Story". On Saturday, July 10th from 9:00-12:00, learn how to take your personal photos and videos and turn them into a digital story to share with your friends and family! Each participant will be entered into a raffle for a Flip Camera & Digital Audio Recorder. We encourage you to bring your own laptop, but laptops and other equipment will be provided. This program is FREE, but space is limited, so contact us if you want to sign up. 888-4628.
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