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    by Becky C | Nov 11, 2016
    Book Review:  The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud

    “Much to his annoyance, Bartimaeus the djinni has been enslaved by King Solomon the Great, who commands his empire with an all-powerful magic ring. But things get even worse for him when he meets Asmira, a young Sheban girl sent to Jerusalem on a deadly errand.” 
    Book description.

    The Ring of SolomonDon’t read this book if you dislike authors taking significant liberty with biblical characters: while Stroud’s Solomon is wise, there is no mention of God’s assistance and lots of mention of various spirits’ endeavors.  If you’re open to an alternative version of events though, this is a fun, albeit dark read.  Bartimaeus is dangerous: he is a slave and he’s generally treated horribly treated by his magician masters.  He’s also one of the most outrageously funny characters ever:  he’s snarky, he digresses from the story often, and like Izzy Spellman these detours are delivered via footnote.  Aside of always looking for a way to escape his bondage, he’s also always looking for a way to have a good time: hence, while working on Solomon’s new temple, he opts to do so in the shape of a hippo while singing ribald songs about the King himself.  Even better than his sense of humor though is his generally ethical nature; despite the things done to him and the things he’s forced to do, Bartimaeus can still recognize and respond to goodness.

    I loved the original series so I was delighted to discover this prequel.  Published between 2003 and 2005, it’s been awhile since I’ve enjoyed the 4th level djinni’s insolent wit and shenanigans.  I remember Faquarl so it was fun to see the rivalry between him and Bartimaeus again.  If memory serves, Bartimaeus often took the form of a young Solomon in the original trilogy which had me thinking that he had a longer relationship with the king than the prequel indicates – but it has been awhile, so I may not be remembering correctly.


    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by SM | Nov 07, 2016

    Here are even more new teen romance novels to read while the leaves fall...

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    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!

    by Cindy H | Nov 04, 2016

    chemicalhearts
    Henry hasn't ever really had a crush before. His first kiss was his best friend Lola, who happens to be a lesbian. His parents have a fairy tale love story, so he feels like whenever he does fall in love for the first time he has to make it count. When a mysterious new student, Grace, walks in to class for the first time he definitely does not think she will be the future love of his life; she is wearing all boys' clothes, it looks like she's never combed her hair, and it seems like personal hygiene is a skill she hasn't quite mastered yet. When they are both chosen to be editors of the school newspaper, however, there might just be a spark between them that cannot be ignored. What Henry doesn't know is that Grace has experiences from her past that she may never be able to overcome. Can Henry break down the walls Grace has around her to see who she really is? Will Grace ever be able to let go of her past so she can have a future with him?

    Henry has a great group of friends and their witty banter is really entertaining, and I think many people will be able to relate to the feelings of angst that come with falling in love for the first time. Fans of Rainbow Rowell and John Green particularly will enjoy this book. If you are looking for a story about high school friendship, romance, and finding yourself this may be a good choice for you!
    by SM | Oct 31, 2016

    Here are yet some more new teen romance before October fades...

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    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!

    by Cindy H | Oct 28, 2016
    hp
    Harry Potter fans rejoice! There is a new story about Harry and all of the characters you know and love, except that now they are adults. We are also introduced to the next generation of witches and wizards. At first I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this story because it is written in the format of a play. I must admit it took a little getting used to. I quickly found myself engrossed in the lives of my all-time favorite fictional characters, however, and couldn't put it down. The play format actually makes the story fast-paced, making this a relatively quick read. I would recommend that any Harry Potter fan read this book, I don't think you will be disappointed!

    by SM | Oct 24, 2016

    Here are some more new teen romance for cold Fall days and nights....

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    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!

    by Cindy H | Oct 21, 2016
    Matched
    Cassia is so excited because she is finally going to discover who her Match is for the first time. Cassia lives in a world where everything is dictated by the Society, from what you eat, to where you work, to who you spend the rest of your life with. She has been waiting for this day her entire life. When her Match is revealed she is ecstatic, the person is everything she could have hoped for. Unfortunately it seems that the Society has more in store for her, however, and things will never go back to the simplicity she once knew.

    I enjoyed this book. I really like books about worlds that are like our own but slightly different (often called dystopian novels). This book reminds me of a mixture of Lois Lowry's "The Giver" and Kiera Cass' "Selection" series. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a great story about life, romance, growing up, and making difficult choices. This book is part of a series, so if you enjoy it you should check out the next book, "Crossed".
    by Cindy H | Oct 14, 2016
    HighlyIllogicalBehavior_OnlineOnly
    In middle school an agoraphobic teenager named Solomon tried to calm himself down by submerging himself in a fountain, in front of everyone at school. That was the last day anyone saw him and most people forgot he existed. Lisa, however, did not forget about him. She has a dream of going to the second-best psychology school in the country, but she needs a scholarship to go. If she can write an amazing essay about her experience with someone with mental illness she has a chance of finally getting out of Upland, California. Her boyfriend, Clark, thinks it's wrong to use Solomon's illness for her essay, but she is determined. It is soon clear that what started out as a simple experiment for a college essay is going to change all of their lives drastically.

    This book switches between Solomon's and Lisa's perspectives. I like books written like that because I think it helps you understand where each character is coming from. I really enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to anyone who wants a great story about mental illness, friendship and relationships, and growing up.
    by Scott M | Oct 10, 2016

    Here are some more new teen romance book to fall in love with....

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    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!

    by Cindy H | Oct 07, 2016
    Most Dangerous
    If you have ever wanted to know more about the Vietnam War and all of the controversy surrounding it, this is the book for you. You can’t help but get sucked in with all of the intrigue, suspense, and drama surrounding the first war the United States ever lost. As a government insider, Daniel Ellsberg saw firsthand the great differences between how the war was being portrayed to U.S. citizens and what was actually going on. Through his perspective and the recollections of soldiers in the field, taped recordings of presidents and other major government figures, and photographs from the time you really feel like you are watching the events surrounding the Vietnam War unfold. You see how Ellsberg’s perceptions change and he becomes a voice for peace and the leader in exposing the truth behind the government’s actions. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to know more about the seedier details surrounding the Vietnam War and the United States’ involvement.
    by sm | Oct 03, 2016

    Here are some new teen romance novels for Fall ...or just to fall in love with...

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    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!

    by Cindy H | Sep 30, 2016
    Family Romanov
    This narrative nonfiction book tells the story of how the last tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra, and their children came to power and ultimately lost it by being horrifically executed in 1918 after a revolution had changed the country forever. The book focuses not only on the imperial family but on the other people living in Russia at the time, including the peasants and nobles. It was very interesting to see how differently people lived depending on their station and I found many ways to relate to this book in terms of our own time with the great divide between rich and poor in the United States. The book provides plenty of facts and descriptions so you feel like you understand all of the rather complex social and political happenings of this tumultuous time. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in history and historical figures, particularly of imperial Russia. Russia is often in the news so it is fascinating to see how much the country has changed over the past century.
    by sm | Sep 26, 2016

    These are even some more new teen fantasy fiction to ponder new worlds and ways ...

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    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!

    by Cindy H | Sep 23, 2016
    bonegap
    The breathtakingly beautiful Roza mysteriously appeared in Finn and Sean O'Sullivan's barn one day and seemed to be just what they needed; life had been tough since their father died when they were young and their mother abandoned them. Even though the boys know she must be hiding something they don't care, Roza brings happiness and light to the house and she just seems too good to be true. Until the day she disappears just as mysteriously as she appeared. Finn is the only witness to what really happened that night, but no one believes his story. Can Finn convince the people in Bone Gap that he isn't a liar or crazy? And why does it seem that so many fantastical things seem to happen in this small town?

    We get to follow the stories of Finn, Sean, Roza, and some other key players in this mystery. I had a really hard time putting this book down. There are also many twists and turns and surprises that I really did not expect. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes an engaging story with just enough fantasy to make you wonder if there are secrets in the world.
    by sm | Sep 19, 2016

    Here are some more new teen fantasy fiction to tickle your imagination this Fall...

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    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!

    by Cindy H | Sep 16, 2016
    out
    This is the touching and inspirational story about a girl named Melody. She has cerebral palsy, which has confined her to a wheelchair and left her incapable of speech. Despite her physical limitations Melody is extremely bright and longs to be able to vocalize all of the thoughts in her head. Although her parents know she is smart, very few doctors and teachers seem to be unable to see it. Melody refuses to give up on her dream to finally be able to communicate; she is determined to find a way.

    Even though this is technically a fictional story, it still provides wonderful insight into the mind of someone with a disability. The reactions of the other characters in the story to Melody show the many different attitudes that people may have about those with disabilities. This story clearly shows that just because you have a disability that does not mean that you are limited in achieving great things, or feeling deeply; by the end of the story I felt like I had a greater understanding about cerebral palsy and disabilities in general. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a heartfelt story and wants to learn more about life through the eyes of someone struggling with physical limitations.​
    by Mari H. | Sep 13, 2016
    Homework Help has begun!

    What is Homework Help?
    A free community service since 1997, the program provides one-on-one homework help to students in grades 6-12.

    Who can use Homework Help?
    Students in grades 6-12 who need homework help (including math, science, and many other subjects) can attend. It is a great service for students of all academic levels.

    Is Homework Help free?
    Yes! Yes! Yes! Plus: it’s free.

    Do I need to register to come to Homework Help?
    No. Homework Help is a drop-in service, meaning you can come and go at any time during the hours it is offered. Some students visit us every night it is offered and stay the full two hours. Some students visit us only every once in a while and stay just until they have their question(s) answered.

    When is Homework Help?
    Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings, 6:00 to 8:00 pm during the school year.
    Note: There is no Homework Help when Fort Wayne Community Schools are closed for vacations or weather-related emergencies.

    Where is Homework Help?
    In the Teen department at Main Library on the 2nd floor.

    Who are the Helpers?
    Our trained volunteers are usually professionals (engineers, accountants, retired professors, etc.) with a desire to give back to their community by helping the next generation succeed.

    Will the Helpers give students the answers?
    No. Homework Helpers guide students but do not do the work for them. Helpers explain concepts and ask the right questions to help students analyze the problems and find their own solutions.

    What do the students need to bring with them?

    • Homework assignment
    • Textbook (if available)
    • Paper
    • Pencil or pen

    What is the difference between Homework Help and a tutoring service?
    Tutoring implies personal instruction in a subject area. Our Helpers are not teachers. They are here to help the students answer specific questions and complete specific homework assignments.

    What can I expect when I come to Homework Help?
    The Helpers set up at a table in the open area of Young Adults’ Services. They have blue signs at each end of the table that read, “Homework Help Available.” You may walk right up, sit down, take out your homework and let them know you are here for help. A Helper will be with you as soon as possible, often immediately.

    Some students only need help with one specific problem. Some students need help with the whole assignment. It is not uncommon for a student to come in, take out his or her homework assignment and say, “I just don’t get this.” A Helper will spend time with the student looking over the assignment and then tackling specific problems one by one, explaining how to solve them as they go.

    On busy nights our Helpers will sometimes need to help two or more students at a time. In this case the Helper will generally get you started on an assignment, take time to help another student, then come back to check on your progress, and so on.

    Can I be a Homework Helper?
    Are you at least 16 years of age? Do you have a strong math and science background? Can you commit 2 hours, one night a week during the school year? Do you like helping kids? Then the answer may be “yes.” Visit Allen County Public Library’s Volunteer Services for more information.

    Have more questions? Contact the Teen department at 421-1255.

     

    by Scott M | Sep 12, 2016

    These novels are more new teen fantasy books for you to explore....

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    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!

    by Cindy H | Sep 09, 2016
    ep
    It is 1986 in Omaha, Nebraska. Eleanor is the new girl on the bus. It's hard being the new girl, especially because she's always had a hard time fitting in; she's a little chubby, has fiery red curly hair, and wears clothes like ties with over-sized men's flannel shirts with silk ribbons tied to her wrists.

    Park does his best to fit in, although he's always felt like somewhat of an outsider. He's part Korean, which definitely stands out among his nearly 100% white classmates. He's short and wears all black. He's neighbors with the most popular boy in school, so the cool kids mostly leave him alone; he even dated the most popular girl once-in 6th grade.

    When Eleanor walks on the bus for the first time, everyone shuns her. No one will make room for her to sit. Park feels embarrassed for her, and although he offers to let her sit with him he's not happy about it; he's actually angry. Why does she have to make it so hard on herself, dressing like she does? Doesn't she care what anyone else thinks about her?

    They sit every morning and afternoon in silence, until Park realizes she's been secretly reading his comic books over his shoulder. Eventually he begins bringing her comic books to read on her own. This is the bright spot of Eleanor's day, which is generally filled with the taunts and outright harassment of her popular classmates. An unlikely friendship begins to form, until it's clear there is something between them that means even more. Maybe everything.

    I absolutely loved this book. I think everyone can relate to feeling out of place, and what it's like to have a secret. Although it does have romance it isn't cheesy; some very real issues are dealt with. You will quickly become entrenched in the tale of Eleanor & Park.
    by sm | Sep 05, 2016

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    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!

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