The Library Ninja Blog
Publisher's Description: In Ketchup Clouds, Annabel Pitcher introduces what must be one of the more unusual pen-pal relationships ever set to paper. Zoe is a teenage girl living in Bath, England, and the recipient of her letters is Mr. Stuart Harris, an inmate on Texas’ death row. At first glance, the two seem to have nothing in common, but as Zoe begins to reveal her story through her letters to Stuart, readers start to understand why Zoe feels an affinity for this doomed man half a world away.
Zoe is consumed with guilt over events that happened a year ago. What should have been a fun and exciting experience—her very first time falling in love—instead resulted in heartbreak, betrayal and death. In addition to concealing her own role in this tragedy, she’s still secretly grieving and nursing a broken heart—things she imagines that Stuart, who’s been sentenced to death for murdering his wife, also must feel.
Zoe’s letters alternate between telling Stuart about her life as it is right now—complete with family dramas and ongoing attempts to avoid the dead boy’s mother—and gradually recounting the events from the year before. Throughout the novel, Pitcher delays revealing not only Zoe’s role in the death, but also the identity of the dead boy, skillfully building suspense while inciting sympathy. Ketchup Clouds is alternately romantic, sad and even surprisingly funny, as readers come to know this quirky character through her most unconventional confession.
Why I Love It: First off, I love the title! Ketchup clouds! Ingenious! As a person who has a whimiscal obsession with clouds...and, oddly enough, ketchup...I really enjoy this unique title. I am very curious to find out how the title is represented in the novel. According to the publisher's description, this novel is about a teenage girl living in England who becomes the pen-pals with a death row prisoner across the Atlantic ocean. The first thing I wonder, is how could this be at all related to ketchup clouds? Well, I look forward to finding out.
It is hard to describe why I absolutely love this book cover. This novel's cover displays a young girl in a plain, gray dress with her blond air blowing up into the wind towards the clouds. The color of the young girl's dress reminds me of the dull color of a prisoner's uniform. Most people associate orange with a prisoners uniform and while many inmates do wear this very bright color, this is mostly just a stereotype. Many prisoners wear tan, blue, white and, of course, gray. Gray is often associated with grief or pessimism while her hair flying her to the clouds could be a desire of freedom from these feelings. I think this may play a large role in the novel.
The young girl is also seen standing against a wallpaper pattern of red clouds. Most people would associate clouds with the color white, gray or even blue but rarely red. She is also holding a black bird with outstretched wings, preparing itself to launch off of her fingertips.
There is so much constrast on this simple cover with a young girl wearing prison colors against a backdrop of red clouds. She seems to be holding steady in her spot while her hair and a bird begin to take flight, perhaps hoping to take her along for the ride. I guess, we'll just have to see.
Good Monday to you all!
So, I know that you just went back to school after the holiday break and it is only the beginning of the month but we have some great new books coming our way in 2014!
Here is just a glimpse of what is to come in the new year.
Start requesting and be first in line for some amazing new books!
Good Friday to everyone!
The 2014 Taysha Reading List was recently announced this month and this year the committee has selected some amazing titles by some familiar YA authors and some awesome newbies.
So, starting putting some titles on request to hold you over during the cold Thanksgiving break.
Be aware that this list is created specfically for teens in high school because of some of the titles' mature content.
Here is the top ten titles of the 2014 Taysha Reading List:
For the complete list, click here.
Gen TX Week run from Monday, November 18 through Saturday, November 23.
This week, our amazing GO Center mentors are working hard to promote the importance of college...and those frightening dates called deadlines.
Testing dates and application deadlines are fast approaching so get to it ASAP.
Also, if you complete any of these tasks, you get to pick a prize from the GO Center stash of prizes!
Here are some examples of these tasks
- Complete a college application
- Complete a career test
- Sign up for the ACT and/or SAT
- Complete a FASFA application
Remember, if you need help with any of these tasks, come in to any of our Youth Technology Centers and look for the GO Center desk. Our trained mentors can help you figure out what colleges you might be interested in, what tests you need to take to get accepted, what the heck SAR stands for and all the other college lingo that can be a litte confusing sometimes.
For more information on GenTX week, go to http://gentx.org/.
For the YTC and/or GO Center hours, click here.
This Sunday, November 17 at 2:30 p.m. we will be having a HUGE gaming day event just for TEENS! We are taking over the whole basement floor!
We will be having two video game screens set up for our video games tournament and plenty of brand-new, sealed Yu-Gi-Oh trading cards to give away during our Yu-Gi-Ohu tornament.
We will also have board games such as chess and battleship as well as some awesome giveaways by playing our amazing Plinko Board.
See you @ the Studio.
Do you wish you had your hands on a tablet? Or would you like to learn more about editing your own movie? Here's a chance for you to tell us exactly what you want to see at the library!
Please visit the link below to fill out a quick survey on technology for teens in the library. We'd love to hear what technology you want and how you'd use it!
Feel free to come and tell us in person, too!
Hello APL Teens,
I just wanted to take some time on this Monday morning to highlight some amazing new programs this month. Take a look:
Teen Photography Series: Mondays 7-8:30 p.m.
Starting today, November 4th!
Calling all amateur photographers! This program series is for you! Want to go beyond the simple snapshot? Learn more about photography as an art form and career!
Intro to Photography, Light Photography, Photo Journal I: Composition, Photo Journal II: Workshop
International Games Day 2013 for Teens: Sunday, November 17, 2:30-5:30 p.m.
We will be hosting a video game tournament as well as board games tournaments such as chess and battleship.
Prizes will be awarded as well as other awesome giveaways throughout this HUGE event.
Happy Hunger Games: Thursday, November 21, 5-7 p.m.
Let's find out how much you know about The Hunger Games series and we'll see who will be declared the new Hunger Games champion.
These events are only open to 7-12th graders.
Register for any of these events here: http://www.arlingtonlibrary.org/calendar
The winners have been announced! Here are the Teens' Top Ten titles of 2013.
- Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
- The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
- Insurgent by Veronica Roth
- Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
- Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
- The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
- Crewel by Gennifer Albin
- Every Day by David Levithan
- Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
- Butter by Erin Jade Lange
Did your favorite win?
Publisher's Description: Hal, a young man of extraordinary talents, skill on the battlefield, sharp intelligence, and virtue, believes he is destined for greatness but, haunted by his family's violent past, he embarks on a journey that leads to absolute power and brings him face to face with his demons as he grows to become Henry VIII. But throughout his life, he is haunted by a ghostly apparition, and, once he rises to power, he turns to murder and rapacious cruelty.
Why I Love It: Because I am obsessed with all things Henry VIII, that's why. The cover shows Henry has a young man in his late teens with piercing blue eyes, wild hair and a hint of stubble on his face. He has a very sober look to him as he holds a flawless, silver sword in directly in front of his face. Henry looks strong, confident and determined all of the characteristics that he would take with him when he eventually ascends to the throne.
I have read many non-fiction books on Henry VIII and the Tudor dynasty as well as many fictional retellings. Most of these books only touched on the subject of his adolescence and why they believe he went from a man of virtue to a vengeful murderer. Castor's novel tries to answer that very question and, as an accomplished writer and historian, she assures the reader that she attempted to write the novel as historically accurate as possible. This historically fiction novel could be a great starting point for anyone interested in the life of Henry VIII and the Tudor dynasty.
Castor has already promised a companion novel that will follow that lives of Henry VIII's two daughers, both destined to be the Queen of England, Mary I and Elizabeth I.
Teen Read Week begins this Sunday, October 13th-19th.
Teen Read Week celebrates our love reading simply for the fun of it! This year's theme is Seek Out the Unknown @ Your Library.
So, check out some of our great teen programs that are happening this week:
- Finding Your Own Voice-Poetry Workshop for Junior High Students
- Teen Video and Board Game Nights
- Movie Night
- Mindstorm Robots: Spider
- Teen Zone Book Club
- Sharing Our Voices-Poetry Workshop for High School Students
- Tween Spelling Bee
- Chess Club
Check out our website calendar to register for any of these and other awesome teen programs.
To celebrate Teen Read Week 2013, we will having numerous chances at giveaways next week.
- This one will be found down in The Studio which is located inside of the George W. Hawkes Central Library starting on Sunday. You will have to guess the titles of popular teen novels. The teen who guesses at least ONE of the five books will received a small price.
- All teens who turn in a book review for the Library Ninja blog this week will receive a free book from a pre-selected list and a free MyCard t-shirt. We will send the items to your closest branch.
- All teens who write a POSITIVE comment on our Facebook and/or Twitter page will be entered to receive a Teen Read Week prize pack which will includes a MyCard t-shirt, earbuds, frisbee, glow sticks and much more all inside a drawstring backpack.
**You are allowed to participate for all three giveaways. We will be notifying winners the week of October 21st.
This week also marks your last chance to vote for this year's Teens Top Ten books. Click here to cast your vote today!
Don't forget, voting ends October 19th, 2013. Winners will be announced the following week.
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