R.L. Stine–series returns

The children’s series “Goosebumps” by R.L. Stine still is a favorite among the younger set.  Recently, Stine announced that he is reviving another of his series.  “Fear Street” is geared to the YA horror story reader.  Set in the fictional town of Shadyside, the most recent title in the series was published in 1995.  His newest addition is called “Party Games.”  Stine said that he was eager to “explore new horrors” in the town on Shadyside.

“The Cube”

Recently we received an email from Dan Hulse at RCLS announcing that the Cube was coming.  Truthfully, I thought it was a new electronic device.  Since I didn’t have the time to read his message, I skipped over it.

Last Saturday my husband told me he was off to the Nyack Library to do something regarding local Nyack history.  After he got back I asked how it went.   He explained that he and a friend were interviewed in the Cube.  It turns out that the Cube is a physical space and not a new electronic device.  It is a 10 foot stainless steel cube which can be assembled and then disassembled and transported to various sites.

Sponsored by the “Sound and Story Project,” the purpose of this project is to collect the stories of everyday people throughout the Hudson Valley.  Arthur was asked questions by a professional interviewer about his experiences in Nyack when the Journal News was based on Hudson Street.  His friend, a native Nyacker, told stories about growing up there.

The Cube is on the move to another library in the Hudson Valley.  All the stories collected will be archieved.  They will be available as a new app and online in January.

“Fall Into Books”

This conference is both a fun event, as well as being very informative.  The keynote speaker was Sue Bartle.  This is the second time this year I have heard her speak.  Her topic was again “Common Core.”  Her focus was non-fiction titles and how to get kids to read more of it.  She uses three criteria to divide non fiction to meet the needs of her readers.  Narrative driven, data driven and books that help a student inquire more into a topic.

The second speaker was Steve Sheinkin who is a writer of non-fiction for young readers.  He explained how he became a non-fiction writer, his background and his methods.  A low-key kind of speaker, he was very interesting and genuinely enjoyed talking about his books and writing non fiction in general.

A very worth-while day.

“The Fault In Our Stars”

I finally was able to read John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars.”  Every time I looked for it on our YA shelves, it was out.  I finally got it through ILL.  Since it is still on the NYT’s Best Seller List, week number 45, I ordered a second copy for our collection.

“The Fault In Our Stars” is as real as realistic fiction gets.  The three main characters all have cancer.  Isaac, Hazel Grace, and Augustus meet at a support group for young cancer victims.  These sixteen-year olds all have lost young friends to this disease.  Each is suffering–Isaac will lose his eyesight, Hazel Grace can’t breathe on her own, and Augustus has lost a leg.  To counterbalance their illnesses, they develop personalities that are smart and funny.

Set in Indianapolis, with a side trip to Amsterdam, “The Fault In Our Stars” is a story about three teenagers who as Augustus believes “… all want to leave our mark; most leave scars.”  The kids are stoic; the parents are emotional wrecks.  Beyond the tragic circumstances of the plot, teen readers would probably really like these characters who are much more than their disease.  Funny, romantic, and, of course, tragic this is a novel that teens will be reading for many years to come.

Open Secrets by Alice Munro

I’m about halfway through this book of short stories (although longer than many short stories) and am enjoying it very much.  Munro often has a story within a story and I’m wondering “Where is this going?” and when I finish I’m sometimes still wondering!  I like that.  She packs a lot into a story.  Her characters and settings are quickly well established and draw the reader in.  Sorry I didn’t read her sooner.  No I’m not.  Lots to look forward to.