When you were a child, what was your favorite book? This is what I asked my colleagues at our library today, and was pleased at the amount of conversation it generated. For some there was a clear favorite, and others had to stop and think about it. Many of the responses were surprising. When I posed this question to a couple of clerks and pages, their answers included To Kill a Mockingbird, Gone with the Wind, The Iliad, and The Inferno. Of course I loved their answers, but had to ask them to modify their choices to something that could be found in the children’s section.

The librarians had great responses as well. One not only gave me the book’s title, but also provided an insightful reason as to why it was included among his favorites. The Children’s Librarian, who has experienced a lifelong passion for children’s literature, stared at me as if I had just asked her the meaning of life.

So the next time you want to learn more about a person, ask what his or her favorite book is. No doubt you will find out something about this person that you didn’t know before.

Check below for availability!

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This week for Teen Book Talk, we’re sharing a double review! One for the original book, The BFG, by Roald Dahl, and the other a review of the recent movie release by the same name.

Teen reviewers select which titles and movies they’d like to review, and opinions are their own. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Neha H., Teen Reviewer

BFGName of Movie: The BFG
Release Date: July 1, 2016
MPAA Rating: PG
My rating: 4 stars
Genre: Fantasy, adventure
Celebrated director Steven Spielberg teamed up with Disney to bring Roald Dahl’s 1982 children’s classic to life with The BFG , released July 1, 2016. Ten-year-old Sophie is understandably frightened when she is plucked away from her dormitory in a London orphanage to Giant Country in the darkness of night, during the “witching hour”. But when she discovers that her twenty-four foot tall captor is in fact benevolent, Sophie dubs him the “BFG”, or “Big Friendly Giant”. She gradually learns that he is a dream-catcher, who captures pleasant dreams in glass jars and gives them to children. However, Sophie’s presence in Giant Country does not go undetected; her scent attracts the vicious Fleshlumpeater and eight other giants, who, unlike the BFG, eat small children. Together, Sophie and the BFG formulate a plan to travel to London and inform the Queen of the evil giants before any more children are eaten.

The BFG is undeniably filled with dazzling imagery and heartwarming humor. Newcomer Ruby Barnhill, as Sophie, gives a lovable and endearing performance. Oscar-winning actor Mark Rylance wonderfully brings the beloved character of the BFG to life, through his emotive facial expressions and state-of-the-art motion capture technology. The audience is presented with several meaningful interactions between the two unlikely friends. Spielberg’s longtime collaborator John Williams provides a musical score as wonderfully riveting as the film itself.

However, Spielberg and Mathison have significantly toned down the macabre darkness characteristic of Dahl’s works, in favor of focusing more on the friendship between Sophie and the BFG. Though Spielberg’s adaptation diverged from the original storyline in many instances, the deviation from the book’s classic ending was by far the most disappointing. Despite the outstanding performances by Rylance and Barnhill, The BFG falls a bit short of expectations by keeping it too nice. It never quite rises to its full potential, and fails to truly capture the impish charm of Roald Dahl’s book.

Jiwon H., Teen Reviewer

bfg bookBook Title: The BFG

Author: Roald Dahl

Format: Book

Year of Publication: 1982

Who will book appeal to?: Young Kids

Rating: 4 stars

The BFG (short for The Big Friendly Giant) is a children’s book written by Roald Dahl in 1982. The main characters are a girl named Sophie, who lives in an orphanage, and a giant. One night, Sophie hears a noise from the street and goes out to the balcony. In the balcony, she sees the giant walking in the street with a suitcase and something that looks like a long trumpet. The giant takes Sophie with him to a place where many giants live, because his existence should not be revealed to people. Later, the giant explains what he does with the suitcase and the trumpet – he blows various dreams he has collected into people while they are sleeping. He tells Sophie that he is called BFG, because he is friendly, and also mentions that there are some giants who are not friendly at all – they are dangerous to people. They go to the Dream Country together and Sophie sees many dreams that BFG has collected. Will she be able to return to the orphanage or will she decide to stay with BFG?

This book is written as a children’s book, so obviously I recommend this book to young kids; the plot is easy to understand and not very long. However, I also recommend this book to readers other than children who like reading fantasy stories. I think readers who like fantasy stories, or young children can try reading this book. Also, the movie, which is based on this book, will give a good representation of overall story line, even though it does not include all the details from the actual book. So, I recommend watching the movie after reading this book if readers think this book is interesting.

 

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Do you enjoy discussing fiction and non-fiction books?  Dublin Library currently offers three book discussion groups for adults. All the book discussion groups read and discuss a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction books and discuss the same book titles at different times.

The Second Thursday Book Discussion Group meets on the second Thursday of every month from 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM in the Dublin Library Program Room.  On October 13th, 2016, Second Thursday Book Discussion Group will discuss “Two Old Woman: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival,” by Velma Wallis.  Based on an Athabascan Indian legend passed along for many generations in the upper Yukon River Valley in Alaska, this is the suspenseful, shocking, ultimately inspirational tale of two old women abandoned by their tribe during a brutal winter famine.  Velma Wallis was born in the vast fur-trapping country of Fort Yukon, Alaska and was raised with traditional Athabascan values.  A writer and avid reader, she lives in Fairbanks.

Adult book discussion groups at Dublin Library are limited to a maximum of 10 participants per group.  The Second Thursday Book Discussion Group welcomes new members.  If you’d like to participate, come to the Adult Information Desk and pick up a copy of the book to read and come ready to have a lively and thought-provoking discussion with group members on October 13th, 2016.

The Third Thursday Book Discussion Group and the Wednesday Evening Adult Book Discussion Group are not looking for new members at this time.

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The Teen Librarian popping in with a special post about all of the new teen books being published this fall and winter! I have a long list on Goodreads, but I thought I’d share the 10 books that I am eagerly awaiting! Listed in no particular order, and linked to Goodreads, or the Alameda County Library website, if we have the book on order.photo-collage

  1. Crooked Kingdom – Leah Bardugo. Sequel to Six of Crows and very highly anticipated!
  2. And I Darken – Kiersten White. This is technically a cheat since it has already been published, but I have a copy on my desk and I can’t wait to start reading!
  3. Empire of Storms – Sarah Maas. Book 5 in the Throne of Glass series. Readers who are invested in the series will be eagerly awaiting this installment.
  4. Ghostly Echoes – William Ritter. The third in the Jackaby novels; paranormal detective Jackaby and his assistant, Abigail Rook investigate a cold case involving a ghost.
  5. Iron Cast – Destiny Soria. Con artists. Illusionists. Gangsters. Set in 1920’s Boston. Sounds fabulous.
  6. Like a River Glorious – Rae Carson. Book two in The Gold Seer Trilogy. Book 1, Walk on Earth a Stranger, starts off this intended trilogy, set during the historic California Gold Rush.
  7. The Midnight Star – Marie Lu. Final installment in the Young Elites Trilogy.
  8. Scythe – Neal Shusterman. In a world where disease no longer exists, how do people die? That’s where the reapers come in.
  9. When the Moon Was Ours – Anna-Marie McLemore. “McLemore mesmerizes once against with a lush narrative set at the thresholds of identity, family, and devotion” – Kirkus Reviews.
  10. Bright Smoke, Cold Fire – Rosamund Hodge. Loved her two previous works, Cruel Beauty and Crimson Bound. This title is book one of a duology, and is a take on Romeo and Juliet.

What books are you looking forward to this fall? We’d love to see some suggestions for our to-be-read piles!

This week for Teen Book Talk, our reviewer is writing about a Disney movie, Lemonade Mouth.

Teen reviewers select which titles and movies they’d like to review, and opinions are their own. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Natlie L., Teen Reviewer

lemonade mouthMovie: Lemonade Mouth

Release Date: April 15, 2011

Rating: PG

My Rating: 3 Stars

Genre: Musical, Drama, Comedy

Five students from Mesa High School run into trouble with the school’s authorities, and they all end up in detention. There, they realize that their mutual musical compatibility can lead to the start of a revolution that will overthrow—or at least change—the tyrannical rule of Principal Brenigan, a man who’s obsessed with school sports, sponsorships, and his own reputation. Through their band, Lemonade Mouth, they learn to overcome personal problems, family issues, and foreign obstacles in order to prove to the world that the arts, self-expression, and friendship are all important values that should be upheld.

I’m not a huge fan of a certain dairy product called “cheese,” and it’s a bit unfortunate that this film contains a lot of it. The story itself is just like a pepperoni pizza—very simple and delightful to consume—but the creation of it could’ve used some more pepperoni, not more cheese. By too much cheesiness, I mean much of the plot and characters’ lines are predictable, which made several scenes seem to drag on forever because I already knew how it would end. I credit this lack of suspense to the fact that it’s a Disney film because—let’s face it—Disney productions are always heavy on the cheese, and everyone already knows what that tastes like.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed this film because—cutting out predictability, the fairytale-like ending to romances, and the needlessly tragic backstories—it spreads great messages to its intended audience—little kids. The themes of individuality, self-expression, perseverance and the values of friendship and family are heavily stressed throughout the whole movie. These themes are incredibly important for kids to know because they will always be relevant to real-life situations that kids will encounter in both the near and distant future.

Parents, I say this film is a fantastic way to get your children started on learning about expressing themselves without fear of parental and societal pressures. You can watch with them, and who knows? Maybe you’ll find yourself dancing to the catchy tunes as well!

September is Happy Cat Month! Started by the CATalyst Council, this month is dedicated to teaching cat owners how to have happy and healthy pets. Even if you don’t have a cat, you can still celebrate Happy Cat Month by reading stories and learning about them. Check for availability at our library below!

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Highlights:

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A Castle Full of Cats

By Ruth Sanderson

The queen is devoted to her cats and they know they are loved, but when they try to win the king’s affection, they drive him right out of the castle.

 

 

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The Cheshire Cheese Cat
By Carmen Agra Deedy & Randall Wright

A community of mice and a cheese-loving cat form an unlikely alliance at London’s Cheshire Cheese, an inn where Charles Dickens finds inspiration.

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Come and enjoy musician Marc Black’s engaging and humorous program on popular music of the 1950s and 1960s in the Dublin Library Community Room on Sunday, September 11, 2016, from 2:00 – 3:30 PM.  Audience members are encouraged to sing along from beginning to end!

Marc Black uses a wide range of popular songs along with a slide show that will slide you right back in time!  This thought-provoking, multi-media show is bound to get everyone singing and feeling about where we are  and where we’ve been.

Call 925-803-7252 for more information.