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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Guest Review: Saints (Boxers & Saints) by Gene Luen Yang

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Four-Girl, left without a real name by her family because of her gender and birth order, wants nothing more than the approval of her grandfather. When her schemes to gain his favor fall flat, she goes to the other extreme: she shall become a devil. Allying herself with the "foreign devil" Christian religion which is making inroads in her area, she becomes further alienated from her family when she is baptized and takes the name Vibiana. The beating she receives at her cousin's hand finally drives her away, traveling with a missionary to a larger town. There, she works with orphans at the church, and has visions of Joan d'Arc, who speaks to her about her life as it progresses in parallel to Vibiana's. Vibiana takes inspiration from the Maid of Orleans, and when the Boxer Rebellion draws near, she is determined to become a maiden-warrior herself. As the assault overruns the town, she sees how Joan's life as a warrior comes to an end. In a final turning of the other cheek, Vibiana attempts to give her executioner something of value before she is slain and succeeds. I recommend Saints, on its own or as a companion to Boxers because the characters are honestly written, with motivations laid bare and their humanity intact, which is far more satisfying and realistic than a more Manichean portrayal could hope to be. Long a punchline in terms of boring and irrelevant history lessons, the Boxer Rebellion comes alive in all its complex, morally conflicted dimensions. As a work of sequential art, Saints is not flashy or burdened by unnecessary detail. Panel layouts are conventional, but not rigid, and use a panel border which suggests the humane unevenness of a calligraphic brush. The pencils and pens are classic Yang: sharp and expressive, and while not realistic, never veering into the overtly cartoonish. The bleakness of the life Four-Girl flees, as well as the bleakness of the life she finds as Vibiana, are emphasized by the flat, sepia greyscale, which itself serves to emphasize the inviting golden glow of the visions she has of Joan d'Arc. You would like this book if you like… Jerusalem: A Family Portrait, A Chinese Life, Koko Be Good, Rashomon, In a Groove, or Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths.

- RET3, Guest Blogger

Monday, November 25, 2013

'Twas some night during The Holidays...

‘Twas some night during The Holidays, and all through the house
I’d read every book I’d laid eyes on, even Art Spiegelman’s Maus.

You’ve seen the displays in stores since school started. You’ve heard the music since the trick-or-treaters called it a night. Now the weather has turned, and reality is setting in: you’re about to get to spend some much-deserved time away from school be forced to spend days and even weeks apart from your beloved library.

Oh, it might seem fun at first, but after the turkey & pie are in the fridge, the dreidel’s all spun out, the holiday specials’ credits roll, the gifts are given, and/or the candles are lit,  you’re going to want to settle your brain for a long winter’s read. There may be new instruction manuals around, but those don’t really offer the sort of literary edification you’re looking for. You could make the miles-long trek uphill both ways in the lack of snow to your campus library, but you’d find it locked tight and bereft of friendly librarians. What is a would-be reader to do when the mercury drops, the nights grow long, and there’s not so much as a cereal box that you haven’t read thoroughly?

While your librarians are nestled all snug in their beds, with visions of card catalogs dancing in their heads, their electronic proxies on Follet Shelf are wide awake, toiling like pointy-eared cyber-elves to find, recommend, and deliver eBooks to you wherever you can find an internet connection.

Here’s how:

- RET3, Guest Blogger

Friday, November 22, 2013

Comic: 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths, illustrated by Terry Denton

Looking for a good book?  Try reading this comic-style book talk of 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths, illustrated by Terry Denton.

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Student Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, ctd.

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The Fault In Our Stars was about a teenage girl named .......... who while having cancer would attend these youth groups led by a cancer survivor in hopes to help young adults feel better about their situation. At one of the youth group meetings she met a young man named Augustus who shortly became a big part of her life. I would certainly recommend this book because it is different than anything I've ever read. It's beautiful but it also has a dark tent to it. I think this is a book that everyone should at least read once in their life time. You would certainly like this book if... you're into love stories or if you've ever liked any other book by John Green.

- Doraezha, RRHS Student

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Rations, Hula Hoops, & Pink Ladies

As part of the year-long celebration of One Hundred Years of RRHS, the library hosted "Rations, Hula Hoops, & Pink Ladies" yesterday. The staff were dressed in attire inspired by the 1940s and 1950s , and students dropped by to take pictures in the photo booth, participate in a hula hoop contest, play 1940s bingo, complete a WWII crossword puzzle, watch episodes of Lavern & Shirley, and "buy" candy from the era using ration stamps. 

Even Principal Nichols couldn't resist this bit of retro-cool fun!!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

International Games Day @ your Library: Saturday, November 16th

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Because, libraries are about so much more than just books, over than one thousand libraries around the world will showcase gaming programs and services in support of International Games Day @ your library (IGBD). This event is a world-wide, volunteer-run free event that is sponsored by the American Library Association in order to reconnect communities around all types of games through their libraries. In fact:

"The Round Rock Public Library will join hundreds of libraries throughout the country... for the sixth annual celebration....

Like so many other libraries across the country and around the world, the Round Rock Public Library will offer special gaming programs and events suitable for the whole family.


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  • 11:00 AM to Noon -- Hula-Hoop demonstration, Main St Plaza (opposite the Library)
  • 2:00 to 3:00 PM -- Author Ernest Cline will talk about his best-selling book,Ready Player One
  • Noon to 5:00 PM -- Retro video gaming by Game Over Videogames: Joust, Pac Man, Asteroids, Pitfall and many more
  • 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM -- Board and video games in the Library gallery

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Student Review: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

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J.R.R. Tolkien is a great fantasy author. From having a evening cup of tea with the halfling, Bilbo Baggins, to slaying orcs and battling the dragon Smaug with dwarfs at your side. The Hobbit is an exciting and addicting book to read. You will never get enough of it!! Regardless if you have read The Lord of the Rings series you will love this book. You would like this book if you like… fantasy, The Lord of the Rings.

- Hunter, RRHS Student

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

One Book One Community: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

As part of the district's centennial celebrations, all RRISD libraries are supporting One Book, One Community - for which the entire district is reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Your library received copies of the book to promote its reading by interested Dragons. 

In fact, Assistant Dance Director, Tiffanie Harrison sent the following word of thanks to express the powerful impact of this novel:

"Just wanted to say thank you for introducing 
[the Dragonettes] to Wonder!

Our team has recently been working to realize both the positive and negative weight that our words can carry and I feel that Wonder could not have come to us at a more 
perfect time.

We started our read aloud today with a PJ Party and will continue to read as a team over the next few weeks. 
The book has already sparked some great discussion...."

One Book, One Community will culminate in an author visit on February 10th - at which time, students from across this district will have the opportunity to hear Ms. Palacio speak.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Interview: The Lair by Emily McKay

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In an interview with KUT, local author Emily McKay explains the world that she created in her post-apocalyptic horror, The Farm - a future in which "children are groomed to feed wild vampire-like beasts." Moreover, "good guys ... are bad guys, bad guys ... retain a touch of humanity, and a few characters [are] primed to save the world." As this world continues to unfold in the second book of the trilogy, The Lair, McKay strives to challenge her readers to question the robust nature of their own internal moral compasses in the face of a desperation to survive betrayals from both within and without. MORE

Friday, November 8, 2013

Comic: Ex-heroes by Peter Clines

Looking for a good book?  Try reading this comic-style book talk of Ex-heroes, by Peter Clines.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Ode To Librarians

Student Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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I <3 Stephen Chbosky and you will too! Put yourself into Charlie’s life and follow him through his new world in high school. Get to know Sam and Patrick as well as Charlie does, as they help Charlie come out of his shell and form into himself through the struggle of high school. You would like this book if you like… 13 Reasons Why.

- Hailey, RRHS Student

Monday, November 4, 2013

Don't do the crime, if you can't do the time!

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A Texas man was arrested last week for failing to return a three-year overdue library book. Albeit the judge acknowledged that "[n]obody wants to get arrested over a library book. The other side of that is people that go to [the] library and can’t have these materials, they’re put out too,” In the end, a copy of the overdue book was found back on the shelf .... with the perpetrator's library card inside. MORE