Pick Up Artists

Pick Up Artists

Can the first lines of these books get you to check them out?

“Looking back, none of this would have happened if I’d brought lip gloss the night of the Homecoming Dance.” “We do not know why we came from the sea to this hard and dusty earth, but we know that we are better than it.”
“They say death aims only once and never misses, but I doubt Ty Yorkshire thought it would strike with a scrubbing brush.” “I’m not a shitty person, but I’m about to do a shitty thing. And you will hate me, and some other people will hate me, but I’m going to do it anyway to protect you and also myself.”
“We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.” “I wake up. Immediately I have to figure out who I am.”
“One summer night I fell asleep, hoping the world would be different when I woke.” “They say that just before you die your whole life flashes before your eyes, but that’s not how it happened for me.”
“After Anne’s father died, her mother often said that sorrow was the only sun that rose for them. Her mother had since followed him into the darkness of death, leaving Anne to face the dawn alone.” “It doesn’t start here. You’d think it would: two terrified girls in the middle of nowhere, cowering together, eyes bulging at the gun in his hand. But it doesn’t start here. It starts the first time I almost die.”
“Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she’d been told that she would kill her true love.” “First the colors. Then the humans. That’s usually how I see things. Or at least, how I try.”
“I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.” “You stop fearing the Devil when you’re holding his hand.”
 “Joost had two problems: the moon and his mustache.” “Everyone thinks it was because of the snow. And in a way, I suppose that’s true.”
“I’m a senior at Cesar Chavez High in San Francisco’s sunny Mission district, and that makes me one of the most surveilled people in the world.” “There is nothing more humiliating than being topless in the backseat of your boyfriend’s car when someone decides to throw an egg at the windshield.”
“There was a hand in the darkness and it held a knife.” “Today was the day a thousand dreams would die and a single dream would be born.”

The Reading Without Walls Challenge

The Reading Without Walls Challenge

Take part in the #ReadingWithoutWalls Challenge issued by the National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature!

Here’s how to do it:

1. Read a book about a character who doesn’t look like you or live like you.

2. Read a book about a topic you don’t know much about.

3. Read a book in a format that you don’t normally read for fun. This might be a chapter book, a graphic novel, a book in verse, a picture book, or a hybrid book.

If you really want to go for the gold star, read a book that fits all three criteria!

When you finish, take a photo of you and the book (or just the book if you’re shy) and post it on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #ReadingWithoutWalls. You’ll inspire others to do the same!

Read without walls and see what happens.  You may surprise yourself!

Here are some titles to try out:

For more information, check out Gene Luen Yang, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

Inauguration Days

Inauguration Days

 

Inauguration Day is fast approaching; every four years on January 20th at noon the individual elected to be the president of the United States takes their oath and is officially sworn into office. This, like many other aspects of the U.S. election system is full of traditions that at this point have spanned decades. Where did these traditions come from? Have they always been in place since the beginning of our presidential system, or did they develop over time?

 

Did you know:

  • William Henry Harrison had the longest inaugural speech of any president, but the shortest term.
  • Theodore Roosevelt was the only president not to be sworn in with the bible.
  • Dwight Eisenhower, in 1953, was the beginning of the January 20th inauguration trend.
  • The inauguration of Lyndon B. Johnson was the first to take place on an airplane, and the first oath of office administered by a woman.

 


Interested in finding out more quirky presidential facts? Check out the Library of Congress’ Resource Guide here!

The Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

The Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

On January 16, 2017 we commemorate the birthday, and the life, of Martin Luther King Jr.. He was a major figure out the Civil Rights movement, perhaps the largest figure. Many of his quotes have become instantly recognizable and inspired countless kids. His dream became their dream, and it opened up possibilities that previously seemed impossible simply due the color of their skin. While Martin Luther King Jr. may be gone, his legacy lives on as a major defining part of American history.

Our libraries will be closed on Monday, January 16th to commemorate his birthday, but take this opportunity to swing by your library and pick up some books to delve into the history of this important movement.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

2016 Best of…

2016 Best of…

2016 may be over (finally!) but some of the best fiction and non-fiction titles published last year aren’t going anywhere. Explore the highlights of 2016 by coming in to your local branch of the Santa Clarita Public Library and pick up one (or more!) of these titles today.

Three Dark Crowns is a new fantasy novel by Kendare Blake, an author already well known for Anna Dressed in Blood and the Antigoddess series. Three Dark Crowns revolves around three triplet princesses; the problem is that only one of them is destined to be queen. Each born with their own unique powers, Mirabelle, Katherine, and Arsinoe are destined for their inevitable conflict. Dark forces work in the background to sway the results but regardless only one princess is destined to survive and ascend as ruler of Fennbirn.

My Sister Rosa is a novel that at first seems to be a simple example of realistic fiction, about a boy, Che (originally from Australia), whose family is constantly moving from city to city due to his parents’ ever-changing business ventures. It highlights his difficulty with constantly moving, making friends, and being shifted into new environments. My Sister Rosa does an excellent job in making this story compelling on its own, but there’s something darker that will keep the reader wondering throughout.

Che’s sister, a precocious ten-year-old whom his parents dote on and everyone seems to adore has all of the signs of a psychopath. Charisma, callousness, disregard for others person of well-being, all the signs are there but Che is the only one who seems to notice them, and is the only one who can keep her in line. The question of what Rosa is up, what she’s thinking, and what she’ll do next is a constant drive to keep reading, making My Sister Rosa hard to put down.

 

Dylan is the unfortunate victim of stereotypes. He’s intelligent, remarkably so, but he’s also big, and a football player, so while he dreams of being a Rhodes Scholar others assume that he’s just another unintelligent jock. His only saving grace is his close friendship with JP, a connection that saves him from most of the ridicule he would be receiving as he feels out of place and awkward as he grows to tower over his classmates. He ends up in a therapy group after falling off a roof and breaking his leg, where he meets Jamie, witty, confident, and smart. He quickly develops feelings for her, not realizing that he missed the fact that she was a trans teen. With some themes and connections to the original Beauty and the Beast, with Dylan not treating Jamie well after this realization and the two slowly battling with conflicting feelings as the characters transform throughout.

This final piece of the March series by congressman John Lewis, who himself a major participant of the civil rights movement, outlines the path of the civil rights movement from the 16th street Baptist Church bombing all the way to the Selma to Montgomery march. This graphic novel, with excellent art provided by Nate Powell, is part historical look back on the civil rights novel and part memoir of the author who recounts his own vicious beating during the march. This, along with the previous two volumes are a comprehensive and moving look at the movement and march that reshaped our nation only fifty years ago and the struggle to remain non-violent while being surrounded by threats of violence from all sides.


If you’re interested in more, take a look at the Yalsa 2016 Best Fiction of Young Adults and Kirkus’ Top Young Adult Fiction for 2016 by genre. Looking forward to more excellent titles coming in the new year!