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No time to read for fun? Try these new comics!

School is starting and cutting into crucial Reading for Fun time.

Nicolas Cage Cat is sad without Fun Reading Time via nickcagecats.tumblr.com

Luckily, there are lots of new comics to read – comics can often be quicker to read, and there are some good ones that just arrived in a library near you.

New takes on the Paranormal:

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32233450&isn=1561637343&size=large&upc=&oclc=818318336&category=&format=

Zombiellenium V.1: Gretchen by Arthur De Pins

Gretchen is witch and an intern at Zombiellenium – a scary theme park staffed entirely by real supernatural beings under contract for life. She stops a guy from robbing a convenience store while picking up stuff for her co-workers, and he promptly walks out into traffic and gets hit by a car driven by a vampire – who then resurrects him. He becomes the new staff member at Zombiellenium, and his powers are yet to be realized.

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32093597&isn=9781401237639&size=large&upc=&oclc=796761419&category=&format=

The New Deadwardians V.1 by Dan Abnett

 

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32128186&isn=9781620100844&size=large&upc=&oclc=821701914&category=&format=

Bad Machinery V.1: The Case of the Team Spirit by John Allison

Shauna. Charlotte. Mildred. Three schoolgirl sleuths. Jack. Linton. Sonny. Three schoolboy investigators. Tackleford. One mid-sized city with a history of countless mysteries. Is there enough room at Griswalds Grammar School for two groups of kid detectives?

Adaptations:

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32027515&isn=9781423134466&size=large&upc=&oclc=757484342&category=&format=

Blue Bloods by Melissa De la Cruz & Alina Urusov, adapted by Robert Venditti

For this elite group of teenagers, New York is all about parties, fashion…AND BLOOD. Schuyler Van Alen is a loner, and happy that way. But when she turns fifteen, her life dramatically changes. A mosaic of blue veins appears on her arms, and she begins to have memories of another time and place. When a classmate is found dead at a night club, the mystery deepens. Most surprising of all, Jack Force, the hottest boy in school, starts showing a sudden interest in her. Schuyler wants answers, but is she prepared to learn the truth…especially when she discovers her part in it?

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b31940432&isn=9780316182713&size=large&upc=&oclc=794711915&category=&format=

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl and Cassandra Jean

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32063118&isn=9781616550547&size=large&upc=&oclc=836886897&category=&format=

Avatar the last Airbender: The Search, Part One by Gene Luen Yang, Gurihiru

Last year brought The Promise Parts 1-3, where the gang tries to unite all the nations, only to meet resistance and unrest – especially from Fire Nation. Now Fire Lord Zuko is rethinking his stance and wants to learn about his mother and his past. And he’s taking his sister with him…

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b31998598&isn=9781613775790&size=large&upc=&oclc=815381093&category=&format=

Doctor Who V.1: The Hypothetical Gentleman by Andy Diggle, Mark Buckingham, Brandon Seifert, et al.

Three Dr. Who adventures with the eleventh Doctor.

Non-fiction:

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32076526&isn=9781554514892&size=large&upc=&oclc=811407112&category=&format=

War Brothers by Sharon McKay and Daniel LaFrance

Based on a true story, it will be hard to put down this recounting of a kidnapped boy forced to go to war in Joseph Kony’s twisted child army.

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32132980&isn=1596438657&size=large&upc=&oclc=810122872&category=&format=

Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey and Birute Galdikas by Jim Ottaviani & Maris Wicks

It’s hard enough breaking into primatology if you’re a woman, and it’s also hard to produce groundbreaking scientific work. But these three women did both things, and got to live in the wilderness with the great apes.

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32043533&isn=9781595585417&size=large&upc=&oclc=818461909&category=&format=

Race to Incarcerate by Sabrina Jones & Marc Mauer

The United States’ rate of incarceration is the highest in the world. This is the  complex story of four decades of prison expansion and its corrosive effect on society.

Manga:

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b3206245x&isn=9781770461109&size=large&upc=&oclc=795174353&category=&format=

Kitaro by Shigeru Mizuki

Meet Kitaro. He’s just like any other boy, except for a few small differences: he only has one eye, his hair is an antenna that senses paranormal activity, his geta sandals are jet-powered, and he can blend into his surroundings like a chameleon. Oh, and he’s a three-hundred-and-fifty-year-old yokai (spirit monster).

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b31982773&isn=9780316245326&size=large&upc=&oclc=834540321&category=&format=

Durarara! Drrr!!: Saika Arc by Ryogo Narita

Ikebukuro, Tokyo-a neighborhood where twisted love prowls!! A series of street slashings in Ikebukuro begins to connect total strangers: A teenage girl with no personality of her own; a beat writer for a third-rate tabloid; a teacher suspected of harassment; an informant based in Shinjuku…and a headless rider straddling a pitch-black motorcycle!! Meanwhile, the slasher continues to terrorize the night, all in search of…”him”!?
http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32082587&isn=9781935654872&size=large&upc=&oclc=806016050&category=&format=
It is the year Universal Century 0079, in a space colony the Earth Federation is storing and testing a new piloted robot for use in the battle against the Principality of Zeon. The experimental RX-78 Gundam mobile suit is scheduled to be transported to Federation command in Jaburo, deep within the Brazilian jungles. Unfortunatley, before the transporter would arrive, the Federation would come under attack from Zeon. With few resources available against the Zeon’s most mobile mechs, Federation forces strike back using their new weapon, the mobile suit Gundam. Caught in the crossfire is a young teen named Amuro Ray. Not willing to see innocent people die like this, Amuro crawls into the cockpit of the closest machine around him.
http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32076976&isn=9781421555614&size=large&upc=&oclc=839682709&category=&format=
Veteran hero Wild Tiger has years of experience fighting crime, but his ratings have been slipping. Under orders from his new employer, Wild Tiger finds himself forced to team up with Barnaby Brooks Jr., a rookie with an attitude. Overcoming their differences will be at least as difficult for this mismatched duo as taking down superpowered bad guys.
http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32132906&isn=9781612623559&size=large&upc=&oclc=847658273&category=&format=
For Shion, an elite student in the technologically sophisticated city No. 6, life is carefully choreographed. School, study, and the occasional visit with his friend and classmate Safu. One fateful day, however, he takes a misstep, sheltering an injured boy his age from a typhoon. Known only as Rat, this boy is a VC – a fugitive living outside the computerized tapestry of city control – and helping him will throw Shion’s life into chaos and start him down a path to discovering the appalling secrets behind the superficial perfection of No. 6.

Adventure!:

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b3209761x&isn=9781608863242&size=large&upc=&oclc=837660472&category=&format=  http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32166023&isn=9781608863235&size=large&upc=&oclc=816030891&category=&format=  http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32166035&isn=9781608863174&size=large&upc=&oclc=813010879&category=&format=

Adventure Time V. 1 – 3 by Ryan North and Shelli Paroline

The Lich, a super scary skeleton dude, has returned to the Land of Ooo, and he’s bent on total destruction. Luckily, Finn and Jake are on the case–but can they succeed against their most destructive foe yet?

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32215782&isn=9781603091008&size=large&upc=&oclc=822893078&category=&format=

Crater XV by Kevin Cannon

An intoxicating tale of swashbuckling adventure, abandoned moon bases, bloodthirsty walruses, rogue astronauts, two-faced femme fatales, sailboat chases, Siberian pirates, international Arctic politics, and a gaggle of orphans.

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32235380&isn=9781596438132&size=large&upc=&oclc=825733940&category=&format=

Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff

Delilah Dirk is an Indiana Jones for the 19th century. She has traveled to Japan, Indonesia, France, and even the New World. Using the skills she’s picked up on the way, Delilah’s adventures continue as she plots to rob a rich and corrupt Sultan in Constantinople.

Realistic fiction:

Will & Whit by Laura Lee Gulledge

Will is dealing with some heavy stuff. She pushes it to the back of her mind and focuses on her favorite things: building artsy lighting devices, and hanging out with her friends. They discover an art carnival being planned in their town and get in on the action. It’s all great until a Hurricane Whitney lives Will in the dark without distractions from her thoughts.

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b31877369&isn=9780375865909&size=large&upc=&oclc=494980888&category=&format=

Peanut by Ayun Halliday & Paul Hoppe

Sadie has the perfect plan to snag some friends when she transfers to Plainfield High–pretend to have a peanut allergy. But what happens when you have to hand in that student health form your unsuspecting mom was supposed to fill out? And what if your new friends want to come over and your mom serves them snacks? The situation can only get worse before it can get better.

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32109192&isn=159643659X&size=large&upc=&oclc=810122869&category=&format=

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen & Faith Erin Hicks

How to steal a high school election, build a battlebot, and run away from home on Thanksgiving.

Fictional Elections

There’s a big election coming up in November. I’m sure you’ve heard about it. And if you’re 18 or turning 18 before November, you might want to look at Corey’s post about voting and voting resources or our library’s Voter and Election Information page.

While you’re waiting for election excitement, here’s a list of fictional stories about school and national politics, and all the drama, backstabbing and stress that such things entail:

All’s Fair in Love, War, and High School / Janette Rallison

When head cheerleader Samantha Taylor does poorly on the SAT exam, she determines that her only hope for college admission is to win the election for student body president, but her razor wit and acid tongue make her better suited to dishing out insults than winning votes.

My Perfect Life / Dyan Sheldon

Ella has no interest in running for class president at her suburban New Jersy high school, but her off-beat friend Lola tricks her into challenging the rich and overbearing Carla Santini in a less-than-friendly race.

Vote For Larry / Janet Tashijian

Not yet eighteen years old, Josh, a.k.a. Larry, comes out of hiding and returns to public life, this time to run for President as an advocate for issues of concern to youth and to encourage voter turnout.

I am a genius of unspeakable evil and I want to be your class president /Josh Lieb

In Omaha, Nebraska, twelve-year-old Oliver Watson has everyone convinced that he’s extremely stupid and lazy, but he’s actually a very wealthy, evil genius, and when he decides to run for seventh-grade class president, nothing will stand in his way.

Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer

Gigi decides to run for student rep, but she’ll have to get over her fear of public speaking—and go head-to-head with gorgeous California Will. Bea used to be one of the best skiers around, until she was derailed. It could be time for her to take the plunge again. And Neerja loves the drama club but has always stayed behind the scenes—until now.

Schooled by Gordon Korman

Homeschooled by his hippie grandmother, Capricorn (Cap) Anderson has never watched television, tasted a pizza, or even heard of a wedgie. But when his grandmother lands in the hospital, Cap is forced to move in with a guidance counselor and attend the local middle school. While Cap knows a lot about tie-dyeing and Zen Buddhism, no education could prepare him for the politics of public school.

The Misfits / James Howe

Four students who do not fit in at their small-town middle school decide to create a third party for the student council elections to represent all students who have ever been called names

Popular Vote / Micol Ostow

In an election year, sixteen-year-old Erin Bright sets aside her familiar supporting role as daughter of the mayor and girlfriend of the student body president to stand up for what she believes in and protect an historic park from being replaced by a gas station.

Confessions of a First Daughter / Cassidy Calloway

Unfortunately for high school senior Morgan Abbott, every mistake she makes ends up as a front-page headline because her mom is the President of the United States. When her mom has to slip away on secret business, Morgan acts as a decoy in her place.

 

First Daughter: Extreme American Makeover & First Daughter: White House Rules / Mitali Perkins

During her father’s presidential campaign, sixteen-year-old Sameera Righton, who was adopted from Pakistan at the age of three, struggles with campaign staffers who want to give her a more “all-American” image and create a fake weblog in her name.

Once sixteen-year-old Sameera Righton’s father is elected president of the United States, the adopted Pakistani-American girl moves into the White House and makes some decisions about how she is going to live her life in the spotlight.

Dragged into the political turmoil of a presidential election year, fourteen-year-old Cooper Jewett, who runs a New Hampshire dairy farm since his grandfather’s death, stands up for himself and makes it clear whose first boy he really is.
A sophomore girl stops a presidential assassination attempt, is appointed Teen Ambassador to the United Nations, and catches the eye of the very cute First Son.
When Samantha, the seventeen-year-old daugher of a wealthy, perfectionistic, Republican state senator, falls in love with the boy next door, whose family is large, boisterous, and just making ends meet, she discovers a different way to live, but when her mother is involved in a hit-and-run accident Sam must make some difficult choices.
Sixteen-year-old Jessica discovers that her mother, a charismatic presidential candidate, sold Jessica’s soul to the devil in exchange for political power.
In the not-too-distant future, when a gay Jewish man is elected president of the United States, sixteen-year-old Duncan examines his feelings for his boyfriend, his political and religious beliefs, and tries to determine his rightful place in the world.
Fifteen-year-old Isabelle loves her impoverished North Carolina beach community, but when her grandmother must enter a nursing home, Izzie is placed with distant relatives she never knew–a state senator and his preppy wife and children.
Emma’s senator-father is running for president, and when her rebellious style and indifference to rules and convention create problems, she relies on her good friends, who are also the daughters of well-known people, to help her gain perspective
Lenny Flem Jr. is the only one standing between his evil-genius best friend, Casper, and world domination as Casper uses a spectacularly convincing fake mustache and the ability to hypnotize to rob banks, amass a vast fortune, and run for president.
Tired of not being noticed, fifteen-year-old Milo decides to run for president of the United States, and through the course of the campaign, he discovers that he–and other teenagers–can make a real difference.
Fourteen-year-old Zach learns he has the same special abilities as his father, who was the President’s globe-trotting troubleshooter until “the Bads” killed him, and now Zach must decide whether to use his powers in the same way at the risk of his own life.
When sixteen-year-old Hope and the aunt who has raised her move from Brooklyn to Mulhoney, Wisconsin, to work as waitress and cook in the Welcome Stairways diner, they become involved with the diner owner’s political campaign to oust the town’s corrupt mayor.
Happy reading! – Tessa, CLP – East Liberty

Teen Review: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Samantha – Hi! I’m a 7th grader and really excited to be blogging. I LOVE to read and write so I’m most likely going to have a lot of posts. I’ll give you the most honest reviews possible. I hope you read them!

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

In the future, in the book Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, no one reads books (which I can’t imagine), and firemen start fires to burn books instead of stopping them. A fireman named Guy Montag has never really thought about the books he burns, until one night one woman loved her books so much that she told the firemen that if they were going to burn her books they would have to burn her too. That got Montag thinking. What was in these books that caused people to die rather than live without them? He thought about that so much he decided to steal a book and read it. Then he saw what that woman saw in her books.

But then he got caught, in the exact same way. If you decide to read this book and like it as much as I did, you can see the play at Prime Stage Theatre.

I saw the play A Wrinkle In Time there in the spring, and it was really good so I also advise you to see all of the plays they will be showing this year:

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Nov 2 – Nov 11, 2012
Directed by Justin Fortunato

His fear in 1953 was that television would kill books. Bradbury imagined a future of giant color sets — flat panels that hung on walls like moving paintings. Televisions “walls” and its actors as “family.”   Has his Science Fiction become our Fact?

The Great Gatsby
Mar 1 – Mar 10, 2013
adapted from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel by Peter Joucla of Tour de Force Theatre, UK.
Directed by Richard Keitel

“This new stage adaptation is filled with live jazz music to recreate the glitz and decadence of the Roaring 20’s. Gatsby’s motives are driven by love and hope, rather than greed. The absorbing drama is fast-paced, visually evocative and highly theatrical.”  Theatre Basil, Switzerland.

Walk Two Moons
May 10 – May 19, 2013
adapted by Tom Arvetis, based on Newbery Award book by Sharon Creech
Directed by Lisa Ann Goldsmith

“Flawlessly adapted, Walk Two Moons challenges audiences to look outward into a world where everyone has the immense power to help one another. Walk Two Moons has a poignant, valuable message for audiences of every age.” – ChicagoBeat.

True Tales of Snowy Terror

By mid-January, you can usually count on your Facebook newsfeed to be full of complaints about snow, sleet, and freezing cold temperatures. But in the last few weeks, Pittsburgh has been having some suspiciously spring-like days. As we settle in for winter’s late arrival, you could conjure up the cold yourself by digging into some chilling true stories of snowy terror & survival.

You’ve probably heard about the Donner Party—the group of wagon-training westbound pioneers who ended up snowbound in the mountains of California in 1846. Many of them died of cold and starvation, and the rest survived by eating the flesh of the dead. Get all the gritty details by picking up one of the many books on the subject available through CLP.

In The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride, Daniel James Brown tells the true story of Sarah Graves, a twenty-one year-old girl who set out on the ill-fated voyage with her brand new husband. Brown recounts Sarah’s terrible downward spiral of a journey, from newly wedded bliss to cannibalism. Talk about a disappointing honeymoon.


If you’re into tales of struggle and survival, you could also check out the infamous story of the Uruguayan rugby team whose plane crashed in the Andes, leaving the survivors stranded in the snowy mountains to confront isolation, avalanches, and starvation.

Pick up a copy of the classic Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors by Piers Paul Read to read all about it.


Not bone-chilling enough? Head over to Wikipedia and read about the utterly creepy Dyatlov Pass Incident of 1959. Here’s the quick lowdown: nine hikers disappear in the snowy Russian mountains and it takes weeks before rescuers finally discover their bodies. BUT to this day, no one can figure out exactly what went down. It appears they had all settled in to sleep, only to wake in the night, rip open their tent from the inside, and take off running (barefoot!) into the subzero temperatures of the mountain wilderness. What mysterious force could have caused them to leave their sleeping bags for certain icy death? Bears…maybe? Abominable snowman?

Sadly no books on this one so far…looks like a job for some brave scholar of the future.

Stay warm!

Maggie, CLP Carrick

Can You Stand the Cold? Really Cool Opportunity for Adventurous Teen Girls

Applications Now Available for the Girls on Ice 2012 Expeditions!

Girls on Ice is a unique, FREE, wilderness science education program for high school girls. Each year a team of 9 teenage girls and 3 instructors spend 11 days exploring and learning about mountain glaciers and alpine landscapes through scientific field studies with professional glaciologists and mountaineers.

This year we are offering 2 expeditions!

Girls on Ice NORTH CASCADES is the original expedition in Washington State.
Open to all girls age 15-18 (yes, international girls can apply!)
July 29 to August 9, 2012

Girls on Ice ALASKA is a new expedition, geared toward Alaskan and Pacific Northwest girls.
July 15-25

http://girlsonice.org/apply (applications are due March 1, 2012)

Girls on Ice is not a reward for past good grades or academic achievement, it is an inspiration for future academic and leadership success.

We are able to provides this program TUITION FREE to the girls through small grants, gifts from individuals, and generous support from the National Science Foundation and the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Please consider supporting the program to keep it going in the future, visit: http://girlsonice.org/support

For more information, please visit: http://girlsonice.org.

Questions? Please send an email to info@girlsonice.org.

Teen review: Goliath (Leviathan Trilogy) by Scott Westerfeld

My name is Joshua, I attend Obama 6-12 where I will be a sophomore this year. Me and my afro greatly enjoy playing magicthegathering, reading, playing soccer, fencing, doing my school’s musical and hanging out with my friends. I know how to speak some Spanish (Hola hermosa, come estas?), can pretend to speak some Swedish (jog ticker om du), am learning some American Sign Language (…), and am hoping to learn some Thai.

Goliath by Scott Westerfeld

Goliath gives a strong ending to Westerfeld’s latest trilogy

With Leviathan and Behemoth behind him, one would wonder how anyone could top them. Fortunately, we have Scott Westerfeld to do the job. The book Goliath, by Scott Westerfeld, shows his skills as a writer and researcher, but also exhibits the lack of commentary in his art.

But before I start ranting on about Goliath, I should probably tell you what it is. Goliath is the third book in Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan trilogy. The trilogy is an alternate history of World War I. It is told from the alternating viewpoints of Deryn Sharp, an English girl masquerading as a boy to join the air-force, and Prince Aleksander, the son of the duke who’s assassination started World War I. In the world of the Leviathan trilogy the different sides which we would call the Allies (Britain, France, Russia, etc.) and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, The Ottoman Empire, etc.), were called the “Darwinists” and “Clankers” respectively. These names were determined by the technology of the sides, where the Darwinists used genetically altered animals for war, the Clankers used extremely advanced steam-based walkers, aircraft and boats to fight back.

Goliath opens with Prince Aleksander and his entourage aboard the British airship Leviathan after they had been “captured” when in reality they are voluntary passengers who even help the ship with some of their technology, and only stay aboard because it suits them. The ship was headed to a Japanese port to assert British authority in the area until it changes its course on secret orders from the highest authority. When the ship reaches its new destination in the middle of the Siberian wilderness the crew who includes the two main characters, Deryn Sharp and Prince Aleksander, sees an huge swath of forest that has been flattened by an explosion. At ground zero of this wasteland stands none other than the scientist Nicolas Tesla, who the crew of the Leviathan has come to rescue. When on board Tesla tells of how he caused the destruction with his newly created weapon Goliath. It then becomes top priority for the airship Leviathan to take Tesla to New York City where his weapon is stationed. On the way they encounter the ruthless news tycoon William Hearst, and a Mexican Civil War which Hearst owns the movie rights to.

When they finally arrive at their destination, they are of course attacked by the “Clanker” (Central) Powers in an attempt to either dissuade the use of Tesla’s weapon or kill Tesla outright. Tesla does reach his weapon safely though and is prepared to use it to change the color of the sky over Berlin to flex the muscles of Goliath. However, he is attacked by Clanker war-machines, which nearly destroy his weapon, so he decides to hit Berlin with his full might. He is stopped by Prince Aleksander because the firing of the weapon would cause the Leviathan, Which has been waiting nearby for Tesla’s protection, and all aboard to go up in flames. Because Deryn Sharp is aboard the Leviathan, and Aleksander realizes he has strong feelings for her, he cannot allow that to happen. So Aleksander kills Tesla. Fortunately for the “Darwinist” (Ally) cause, the Clanker war-machines on American soil are enough to push the neutral country into the war fighting for the Darwinists. And fortunately for Prince Aleksander and Deryn Sharp, they are both alive and able to ride the Leviathan together, and confess their feelings for one another.

Westerfeld’s skill with words is shown in his ability to bring characters, and a world, to life. Were some writers may work to make sure there characters are as deep as they can be, but put them in an easily understandable setting, Westerfeld must create characters and settings. In his classic style he creates a new world that is very different from ours, and places his characters in it. However, he doesn’t use a glossary or other cheat-sheets to let us know how his world works, he shows us. He builds up from simple slang words used by the main characters, to whole political systems and intrigues, entirely of his devising. In his writing, Westerfeld even makes sure that everything matches up with our world were it must, specifically in the sciences. It is this depth and breadth of characters and worlds that shows Westerfeld’s skills as a writer.

As a researcher, Westerfeld stands above the others. To create such wondrous characters and fantastic places, Westerfeld must learn about what he is writing. He looks through not only the applicable science, as shown in the detailed descriptions of the war-machines of both sides in his book, but also the applicable history. That was something that made reading the Leviathan trilogy not only entertaining, but also educational (“Look Mom, I’m Studying World War I!”). This research is shown also in the afterwards of his books where he explains what in his books are “history” and what parts are “alternate.” Because of his detailed descriptions and meticulous notes, we can see that Scott Westerfeld is really just better at research than most writers.

However, Scott Westerfeld isn’t perfect, the commentary in his art is either weak or non-existent. He resorts to the use of different technologies to draw a very distinct line between the allies and central powers. Even the choice of technologies was not accidental with the allies using the power of life and progress, whereas the central powers use cold machines. This is not to say the central powers deserved to use the technology of life, but perhaps the allies did not either, and perhaps the line between the two sides is less distinct than we would like to think. Also Westerfeld portrays Tesla as a “mad scientist” suggesting that the wild claims Tesla made concerning his technology were promoted by insanity rather than Tesla’s need for funding. This painting of Tesla removes all fault from the system of scientific funding at the time and places it instead on Tesla himself. This lack of commentary is not only bothersome in its own right, but due to science-fiction’s standing as a method of commentary, is an abject betrayal. This cliché portrayal of both Nicolas Tesla and the allied/central powers is why I feel that Westerfeld does not have much useful criticism.

Despite, the faults I find with Westerfeld’s work, I still think he is a good artist if not good at adding extra meaning to his work. So I would Say that Goliath Is definitely worth the read.

Goliath by Scott Westerfeld is released on Tuesday–click here to reserve your copy today!

Road Trip!

In just a few short hours I’ll be packing up my car for a road trip to my home town for a visit.  I’m excited, but there is still so much to do.
When planning a road trip you have to remember so much.  You have to pack the map or the GPS, you have to remember your tooth-brush, and most importantly you have to plan some entertainment.  I’ve been thinking of tunes to load onto my iPod and books to read for weeks.

They say “Getting There Is Half the Fun” and I couldn’t agree more. And getting there is so much better when you have your favorite music and books along for the ride.  With summer coming, I bet I’m not the only one with a road trip on the horizon, so check out this list for inspiration.


Sixteen year old Bridgette is a member of a family of Travelers or Gypsies who sometimes resort to theft and dishonesty to make their way in the world.  Bridgette feels trapped by this type of life but fears stepping away from her family for a more conventional life of school and friends.



After her free-spirited Aunt Peg’s death, Ginny receives a plane ticket to Europe.  Thus begins a mysterious journey.  Ginny is guided by Peg’s European friends and also 13 letters written before just before her aunt died.





After a traumatic event kicks off this story its main characters, Jordy a homeless, gay teen and Chloe an abused and homeless girl set off on a healing cross-country adventure.  At the start of the book neither of them have anyone to lean on, but through their friendship they create a lasting family in each other.



After his most recent dumping by a girl named Katherine (all of his girlfriends have had the same name) and anxiety over not living up to his genius reputation post high school, Colin is depressed.  So his best friend Hassan decides the best way to cheer him up is an epic, rambling road trip.   The journey ends in Tennessee with a girl, who isn’t named Katherine.


Happy Trails,
Brooke

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