Books for Dudes – “Spirit Animals”

“Spirit Animals” is book series in which one author guides the overall story, but each novel features a different popular children’s and/or YA author (much like “39 Clues”). Brandon Mull, author of “Fablehaven” and other popular fantasy books, oversees the whole series and wrote the first book, “Wild Born.”

spirit animals 1In “Wild Born,” we follow four kids who go through a bonding with spirit animals. While many people have spirit animals, these four particular characters are bonded specific reincarnated spirit animals of legend. However, as typical with many fantasy series, dark forces of old are gathering, threatening the entire world of Erdas.

spirit animals 2The second book, “Hunted,” was recently released and is written by popular YA author, Maggie Stiefvater. The story picks off almost right where the first novel lets off, and we get some excellent character study by Stiefvater as the world of Erdas is more deeply explored.

I found the diverse cast of characters appealing in these novels. A Chinese noble girl, a street rat, a shepherd, and a girl from an African tribe make up the four kids bonded to the great beasts of legend. I also enjoyed that every spirit animal bond is different. The authors get really inventive on how each bond is different. I won’t list any spoilers, but you don’t find out how every bond works in book 1.

If you like instant gratification (or as much as you can get in the world of publishing), you’ll enjoy that book 3 (“Blood Ties”) is coming out in March and book 4 (“Fire and Ice”) will be published in June. With each book being written by a separate author, the momentum of “Spirit Animals” won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Scholastic is also promoting this series with bonus material and a fun game online where you can create your own spirit animal and play in the world of Erdas yourself.

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2014 Teen Book Tournament: Sweet 16 Announced

After an exciting two months of voting, DBRLTeen is proud to announce the Sweet 16 in our March Madness Teen Book Tournament. However, if you are just joining in the fun, here’s a little background to get you caught up. Through a series of votes, we are narrowing the library’s list of the 32 most popular teen books to one grand champion. By supporting your favorite book, you’ll also be entered to win prizes like a gift card to Barnes & Noble!

How the March Madness Teen Book Tournament Works:

  • Round 1: Voting complete.
  • Round 2: VOTE NOW through March 10 for the Elite 8.
  • Round 3: Vote March 11-17 for the Final 4.
  • Round 4: Vote March 18-24 for the final two contending titles.
  • Round 5: Vote March 25-31 for the book tournament champion.
  • April 2: The champion is announced!

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite eight titles by Monday, March 10 at 5 p.m. The winners from this round of competition will be announced next Tuesday, March 11.

March Madness Teen Book Tournament: Sweet 16

  1. Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins
  2. The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien
  3. Holes” by Louis Sachar
  4. The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak
  5. The Giver” by Lois Lowry
  6. The Maze Runner” by James Dashner
  7. Gone” by Michael Grant
  8. Legend” by Marie Lu
  9. The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky
  10. The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green
  11. Girl, Stolen” by April Henry
  12. Twilight” by Stephenie Meyer
  13. The Eleventh Plague” by Jeff Hirsch
  14. Out of My Mind” by Sharon M. Draper
  15. Beautiful Creatures” by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  16. Inheritance” by Christopher Paolini
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Mar 7 Deadline for April ACT Exam

Standardized TestThe registration deadlines are fast approaching for those planning to take the next round of ACT exams. Registration for the April 14 ACT exam is due Friday, March 7. Sign-up online.

If you would like to know more about testing locations, costs and fee waivers, please visit our  online guide to SAT/ACT preparation. The library also has a wide selection of printed ACT and SAT test guides for you to borrow.

Our most popular resource for test-takers, though, is LearningExpress Library. Through this website, you may take free online practice tests for the ACT or SAT exam. To access LearningExpress Library, you will need to login using your DBRL library card number. Your PIN is your birthdate (MMDDYYYY).  If you have questions or encounter difficulties logging in, please call  (800) 324-4806.

Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog updates for regular reminders of upcoming test registration deadlines!

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What We’re Reading: February 2014

Library staff have spent the winter reading from a wide assortment of genres: historical fiction, fantasy and science fiction. However, mystery and intrigue seems to be a prevailing theme among many of titles.  Have you already read one of these books? Submit your own book review or share your thoughts as a blog comment below!

What We’re Reading:Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan

Maid of Secrets” by Jennifer McGowan
A story of intrigue surrounding Queen Elizabeth I.

This is not a Drill” by Rebecca McDowell
Tense hostage situation.

Battle Magic” by Tamora Pierce
The continuing tale of Briar, a plant magician.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” by April Genevieve Tucholke
Lovely, atmospheric Gothic horror.I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Eleanor and Park” by Rainbow Rowell
Heartbreaking, inspiring, and highly quotable.

I Hunt Killers” by Barry Lyga
Dark and gruesome, but fun.

Everybody Sees the Ants” by A.S. King”
Raw and honest with a bit of magical realism thrown in.

Stardust” by Neil Gaiman
A young man’s quest for love in the world of Faerie.Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes
Human lab rat.

Cinder” by Marissa Meyer
Beautifully retold Cinderella cyborg science fiction mash up.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in A Ship of Her Own Making” by Catherynne Valente
Charming and delightfully strange in an Alice-in-Wonderland sort of way.

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Program Preview: “Divergent” Celebration

“Divergent” CelebrationDivergent Movie Poster
Monday, March 3, 2014 › 6:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library

Pick your faction and choose your fate! Join us for the celebration of the release of “Divergent,” the film based on Veronica Roth’s popular novel. We’ll discuss the book and do a variety of faction-related crafts. Ages 11 and older. To register, please call (573) 443-3161.

While you are waiting for the March 21 release date, here are some fun online activities to check-out:

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Voting for Sweet 16 Ends February 23

Book-Tourney-graphic-2013VOTE NOW through February 23 for the Sweet 16

Daniel Boone Regional Library has received nearly 50 ballots in our March Madness Teen Book Tournament! Through a series of votes, we are narrowing our list of the 32 most popular teen books to one grand champion. Voting for the Sweet 16 will end on Sunday, February 23. We’ll take a few days to tabulate the results and then announce those titles that will advance in our single elimination bracket on Tuesday, March 4.

Which titles will be among the Sweet 16?  “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak? “Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25” by Richard Paul Evans? “Reached” by Allie Condie? Voice your opinion by voting today! Don’t forget that by supporting your favorite book, you’ll also be entered to win prizes like a gift card to Barnes & Noble. Continue reading

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Books for Dudes – Jeff Smith’s “Bone”

While I enjoy checking out new series, there’s something to be said about enjoying an existing series from start to finish. Jeff Smith’s “Bone” series  has a complete story in the form of nine graphic novels. While these graphic novels can be quick reads, fun dialogue and bright characters pop on every page and will likely stay with you long after the story concludes.

Out_from_BonevilleIn the first graphic novel, “Out from Boneville,” we meet our main protagonist, Fone Bone. A small white creature, Fone Bone finds himself lost in a valley separated from his two cousins. Showing a talent for getting into trouble, Fone Bone immediately gets on the menu of hungry rat creatures, falls in love with a teenage girl who lives with her cow-racing grandmother, and even catches the attention of the mysterious Red Dragon. Fone Bone’s troubles have only just started.

“Bone” has something for everyone. Do you want a good fantasy story? Check. Do you want your characters to entertain you with humor? Check. Do you want an epic story with sword fights, a little romance, a lot of danger, and even some death? Check. Do you want a story featuring a sweet old lady who is just as likely to beat up monsters as to race cows? OK, maybe that last one is a little unique… Continue reading

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Program Preview: Crafts and Job Help for Ashland Teens

Duct Tape RosesOn a Roll With Duct Tape
Tuesday, February 25 › 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Southern Boone County Public Library

Duct tape is amazing stuff. People make wallets, purses, clothing and even shoes out of it. What can you make out of duct tape? We’ll provide the tape and some ideas to get you started. Students in grades 6-8.

Finding Summer Jobs for Teens
Tuesday, February 25 › 6:30-8 p.m.
Southern Boone County Public Library

Starting a summer job search now can help you find work that will contribute to a fun and profitable summer vacation. We’ll look at local resources for teen job-seekers and help you identify jobs you may be interested in and employers who may be interested in you. You will leave with resources in hand, including a personalized form which will make it easier to complete applications. Snacks served. Ages 15-18.

Photo credit: Duct Tape by hcplebranch via Flickr. Used under creative commons license.

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Staff Review of Winger by Andrew Smith

Winger by Andrew SmithWhy I Checked It Out: I read “Winger” by Andrew Smith because my book club was reading it and it has a pretty great cover.

What It’s About: Two years younger than his classmates at a prestigious boarding school, fourteen-year-old Ryan Dean West grapples with living in the dorm for troublemakers, falling for his female best friend who thinks of him as just a kid, and playing wing on the Varsity rugby team with some of his frightening new dorm-mates.

Why I Liked It: This book is funny. I don’t mean mildly amusing. I mean, from start to almost the end, it is laugh-out-loud entertainment. Ryan Dean is a smart, quirky, talented guy trying to navigate a world where all his friends and teammates are years older than him. His voice is painfully fourteen and realistic, at times immature, whiny and obsessed with girls. I loved reading and learning about rugby, because it is a sport that is tough to follow if you don’t know the rules. I even ended up watching some videos online! Continue reading

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Financial Aid Fridays: A Resource Cheat Sheet

MU ColumnsAs young adult looking for help applying to college, the best place for you to start is with your high school guidance counselor. Planning for college begins in earnest during your junior year and your guidance counselor can help you set goals and meet the many required deadlines. Below is a list of links to area high school guidance departments. You’ll find a plethora of contacts and web resources to help you fund your education.

FAFSA Frenzy
This program is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Higher Education and its goal is to assist students and families in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). As mentioned in an earlier post, this is the mandatory application used by all colleges and universities in determining your eligibility for grants, loans, work-study, and scholarships.

Review the dates and times for this free event which will be hosted at Fulton High School, Hickman High School, and the Columbia Career Center. And don’t forget to bring: Continue reading

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