Gary James Paulsen, born on this day in 1939, is best known for his coming-of-age stories about the wilderness. He is the author of more than 200 books, more than 200 magazine articles and short stories, and several plays, all primarily for teenagers.
Much of Paulsen's work features the outdoors and highlights the importance of nature. Often in his novels, a character masters the art of survival in isolation as a rite of passage to manhood and maturity. Paulsen's best-known books, the Hatchet series, are examples of this approach. MRC has several of Gary Paulsen's books in our collection (he basically gets his own shelf, really), including...
- The River
- The Island
- Harris & Me: A Summer Remembered
- The Winter Room
- The Glass Cafe, or The Stripper and the State: How My Mother Started a War with the System that Made Us Kind of Rich and a Little Bit Famous
- The Car
- My Life in Dog Years [nonfiction]
- Guts [nonfiction]
The Books 'R Us Book Club will be meeting again after school this coming Monday, May 20th, in the Michael Library Reading Room (a.k.a., "the pillow room").
Join us as we snack on some pizza and start our discussion about Philippa Gregory's historical novel The Other Boleyn Girl.
Questions? Contact Mrs. Brown-Powell via email or in-person at the MRC.
Lauren Myracle, born May 15, 1969, is an American author of young adult books. She grew up in Atlanta and earned a BA in English and Psychology from the University of North Carolina, before later earning an MA in English and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She also spent some time working as a middle-school teacher. She has written many novels, including the best-selling "IM" books, ttyl, ttfn, and l8r, g8r.
According to the American Library Association, Myracle's books were the most challenged books of 2009 and 2011. Her books continue to be challenged in school libraries, usually for scenes of alleged sexuality, homosexuality, or alcohol use. Myracle is highly critical of adults attempting to keep books away from teenagers, believing that kids are smart enough to understand the message in books and learn their lessons. Regarding her own children's reading, she says "As a mom, I want my kids to read any book they want! I want them to read."
MRC has several of Lauren Myracle's book available for check out, including...
- Peace, Love & Baby Ducks
- Rhymes with Witches
- Kissing Kate
- Prom Nights from Hell [short story collection featuring an original short story by Myracle, as well as stories by other well-known YA authors]
Greetings students! Just a reminder to have all your library books and materials returned by this Friday, May 17th.
Now, if you really do need to check out or keep books past that date, you can, BUT you will first need to fill out a CIRCULATION EXTENSION FORM and have it signed by your teacher. (Otherwise the due date will still be May 17th and you'll just keep getting charged overdue fines until we get the book(s) back...)
Circulation extension runs from May 20--24 for seniors and May 20--May 31 for grades 9, 10, and 11. You can pick up/fill out a form in either library. Thanks for your help as we near the end of the year!
Here at ETHS, one of our most popular literature genres is Urban Fiction. According to YA author B.A. Binns (author of Pull), Urban Fiction is a sub-genre of Realistic YA Fiction that "moves away from small towns and countrysides, and away from the fantasy, historical, or futuristic [...] to the kinds of subject matter you might see in the news." She goes on to add that Urban Fiction "is edgy, gritty, set in modern cities and generally involves a non-white protagonist and/or antagonist dealing with today's problems." Below is a book trailer for Coe Booth's Tyrell, a good example of an Urban Fiction novel:
AlemaElma. "Tyrell: Coe Booth - Book Trailer Project (reading period 9)." YouTube. YouTube, 31 May 2011. Web. 14 May 2013.
MRC keeps a rotating display of Urban Fiction at the front of the library (next to the plants). Here's a list of some of our most popular Urban Fiction novels and authors:
- Upstate and Conception, both by Kalisha Buckhanon
- No Boyz Allowed, by Ni-Ni Simone (also Shortie Like Mine, A Girl Like Me, If I Was Your Girl, and more)
- Lockdown, by Walter Dean Myers (also Monster, Street Love, Shooter, and more)
- Bang!, by Sharon Flake (also Money Hungry, Begging for Change, The Skin I'm In, and more)
- Tyrell, by Coe Booth (also Kendra and Bronxwood)
- The Coldest Winter Ever, by Sister Souljah
- The First Part Last, by Angela Johnson
- Push, by Sapphire
- Cool Like That, by Nikki Carter
- On the Come Up, by Travis Hunter
- Black Boy/White School, by Brian Walker
- Chill Wind, by Janet McDonald (also Spellbound and Harlem Hustle)
- Rikers High, by Paul Volponi (also Rooftop, Rucker Park Setup, Black and White, and more)
- Romiette and Julio, by Sharon Draper (also the "Jericho Trilogy" and the "Hazelwood Trilogy")
- the "Drama High" series, by L. Divine
- the "Bluford High" and "Urban Underground" series, by Anne Schraff and Paul Langan
- the "Kimani Tru" series (by various authors)
As many of you know, AP testing has been taking place at ETHS this week. (Sometimes even in MRC -- sorry about that, guys!) Did you know that the MRC can be a huge help in preparing for AP Exams? It's true! First of all, we (along with Central Library) have all sorts of AP test prep guides containing tips and practice tests for a variety of AP Exams. But we also have a not-so-secret collection of books that could prove invaluable for those of you planning on taking the AP English Literature & Composition Exam in years to come...Below is a list of books most frequently mentioned in the English Literature & Composition Exam's open response questions between 1970-2011, all of which are available in MRC:
Of course, some of those books have been mentioned less frequently as years go on. Click on the 'Read More' link (bottom right of this blog entry) to see a list of the books most often cited between 2002-2011 (titles that don't appear on the above list are starred).
- Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison (24 times)
- Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte (19 times)
- Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky (16 times)
- Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens (16 times)
- Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad (15 times)
- Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte (15 times)
- Moby Dick, by Herman Melville (15 times)
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain (14 times)
- King Lear, by William Shakespeare (13 times)
- Catch-22, by Joseph Heller (12 times)
- The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald (12 times)
- Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, by James Joyce (12 times)
- The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne (12 times)
Back in December, ETHS and the Books 'R Us Book Club hosted a visit from T.M. Goeglein, the Chicago-based author of the mob-themed mystery-thriller Cold Fury (click the link to see a trailer for the book).
This Saturday, May 11, Goeglein will be back in the Evanston area, this time at the Book Stall in Winnetka! Even better, he'll be there talking about and distributing FREE COPIES of his newest YA novel, Flicker & Burn, the sequel to Cold Fury. The event is FREE and starts at 3:00pm. Don't miss it!
The Books 'R Us Book Club will be meeting again after school this coming Monday, May 6th, in the Michael Library Reading Room (a.k.a., "the pillow room").
Join us as we finish up our discussion about The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, by Heidi W. Durrow, and preview our next book selection, Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl.Questions? Contact Mrs. Brown-Powell via email or in-person at the MRC.
Out of Reach
by Carrie Arcos
How do you find someone who doesn't want to be found?
Rachel has always idolized her older brother, Micah. He struggles with addiction, but she tells herself that he's in control. And she almost believes it. Until the night that Micah doesn't come home.
Rachel’s terrified, and she can’t help but feel responsible. She only feels more guilt when she receives an anonymous note telling her that Micah is in danger. With nothing more to go on than a slim lead, Rachel and Micah's friend, Tyler, begin searching. Along the way, Rachel will be forced to confront her own dark secrets and the possibility that Micah may never come home.
Carriearcos1. "OUT OF REACH by Carrie Arcos book trailer." YouTube. YouTube, 3 Oct 2012. Web. 26 Apr 2013.
"Ellen Hopkins fans will find another look at methamphetamine addiction in this quick, realistic debut."
"The 24-hour narrative at the heart of Out of Reach expertly weaves teenage Rachel’s search for her runaway brother into the larger portrait of his harrowing descent into meth addiction. Without treacle or sanctimony, Carrie Arcos touches on almost every aspect of the adolescent experience [...] with nuance, beauty, and honesty."
--National Book Foundation (2012 National Book Award Finalist)
"Arcos paints a complex, honest, devastating portrait of what it means to watch someone you love turn into a stranger. [...A]n empathetic, highly readable tale that captures the messy dynamics of sibling relationships, the pain and powerlessness of addiction from a loved one’s perspective, and [...] the necessity of letting go."
--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)
Interested in other novels about drug addiction? Click 'Read More' to see a list of other similarly-themed books available at MRC!
William Shakespeare's actual date of birth is unknown, but is traditionally accepted to have been April 23, 1564. (His baptism was recorded on April 26 of that year, and, at that time in England, baptisms generally took place within a few days of an infant's birth.)Shakespeare, of course, is widely regarded as one of history's greatest English-language writers and is perhaps the most well-known dramatist in the world. (You can probably name at least three of his plays right off the top of your head.) While historians continue to debate how much of Shakespeare's work might have been borrowed or adapted from that of other writers, one thing is certain: other writers have definitely been borrowing from Shakespeare for centuries. The MRC (and Central Library) have copies of basically all of Shakespeare's original works (both his poetry and his plays), but here's a short list of several "inspired by" novels written by others that you can find in MRC....
- Romiette & Julio, by Sharon Draper (Romeo & Juliet)
- Street Love, by Walter Dean Myers (Romeo & Juliet)
- Exposure, by Mal Peet (Othello)
- Othello: A Novel, by Julius Lester (Othello)
- Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty, by Jody Gehrman (Much Ado About Nothing)
- Ophelia: A Novel, by Lisa M. Klein (Hamlet)
- Joker, by Ranulfo (Hamlet)
- Enter Three Witches, by Caroline B. Cooney (Macbeth)
- Ariel, by Grace Tiffany (The Tempest)
- Prospero's Daughter, by Elizabeth Nunez (The Tempest)
- A Thousand Acres, by Jane Smiley (King Lear)