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  • July 2010
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Walking with the Egyptians (Book Review)

The new book from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series author, Rick Riordan, is so full of gods and monster mayhem, you might go Nuts (inside joke -read the book!). 

The Kane Chronicles 1: The Red Pyramid delivers more of the same mythological mash-ups that we’re used to, but this time it’s not the Ancient Greek pantheon with its demigods and gorgons, this time it’s the gods of Ancient Egypt with its sphinxes, pharoes…and basketball playing baboons?

After their mother’s death six years ago, brother and sister Carter and Sadie Kane, live separate lives. Carter travels the world with their Egyptologist father while Sadie lives with their grandparents in London.  Visiting Sadie at Christmas, their father takes them to the British Museum, home of many ancient Egyptian artifacts. Their father seems nervous, especially after confronting the mysterious man who followed them to London. Carter and Sadie get nervous too….after their father ends up destroying most of  the British Museum after performing a strange magical ritual in the Egyptian wing.

The museum becomes the least of their problems when they come to learn that their father has accidentally freed the evil god Set from his five thousand year imprisonment in the Duat, the plane of existance where the gods and magic rule. But this is nothing compared to finding out that not only was their father part of a secret society of magicians thousands of years old, but so was their mother, which means magic – and something else maybe more powerful –  is literally in their blood.

Now free, Set has returned to take over the mortal world and it’s up to Carter and Sadie to stop him. They have to harness their newly discovered powers quickly and play a global game of chess to keep up with Set and his demon army. With a little help from some long lost family, some new friends (mortal and immortal), magic, and some luck, they might just save themselves, their family, and the world.

– Steve, Lawrenceville

What You Have to Look Forward To, If You Became a Librarian

One of the coolest things a librarian can do is go to the American Library Association Conference where you meet colleagues from all over the world. The latest one, this past June, was in Washing ton D.C.  There I was surrounded by authors I love, autographing  their books or appearing at presentations.

At one coffee circle, we librarians sat around drinking coffee while authors came to us to pitch their books.  John Green (who wrote Paper Towns  and David Levithan (of Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist fame) promoted Will Grayson, Will Grayson, about a gay and a straight guy who share the same name. I’ve just started reading it but I can tell the character of Tiny Cooper,who’s the best friend of one and the new love interest of the other, is going to be a hoot.

All the authors that came around to our table were pretty cool but the one who stood out was James Kennedy. While he pitched  The Order of Odd-Fish, it seemed more and more bizarre and I mean that in a good way. Among other things, it contains a dangerous teen, an order of knights who research useless information, cockroach butlers and much more. Plus he made us a playlist of songs to match his chapters.

The highlight of the conference was the Printz award winner, Libba Bray talking about what lead her to write Going Bovine. Her book is an existential exploration of a teen dying of  Mad-Cow Disease who sets out on a road trip with a hypochondriac dwarf and a garden gnome who just might be a Viking god.

                                     Tina Zubak, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh-Beechview

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