Thursday, February 24, 2011

Book Review: Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind
Sharon Draper
Juvenile Fiction (Grades 4 - 7)
Words have always swirled around me like snowflakes - each one delicate and different, each one melting untouched in my hands.


Eleven-year-old Melody has words running through her head constantly, hundreds of thousands of glorious words. Words like pomegranite, mayonnaise, neopolitan, Mississippi, and sneeze. She has a photographic memory and drinks in the words that swirl around her like lemonade on a hot day.

Despite her love of words, Melody has never spoken a single word herself. She has cerebral palsy and has very little control over her body. She relies on other people to feed her, bathe her, and take her to the bathroom. She can only communicate by pointing at words that others have chosen for her. She is in many ways a prisoner in her own mind.

This is a very moving story of triumph and overcoming obstacles. Melody is immediately likeable as a normal 5th grade girl who wants to have friends and wear cool clothes. On the inside, she's just like all of her classmates, but when she's wheeled into class in her wheelchair, she sometimes drools, makes funny noises, and loses control of her limbs. She's bursting to tell the world who she is, but her limitations prevent her from being able to do so.

The heroes of this story are, of course Melody herself, and those who care for her, like her parents, her aid at school Catherine, and her larger-than-life neighbor Ms. V. who never stops cheering Melody on. There are villains - the mean girls who make fun of Melody when she loses control of herself, and a history teacher who refuses to allow her potential to blossom.

This is a very important book for elementary school aged children and will likely change the way they view children with disabilities at their schools. Readers will root for Melody, feel her pain, and celebrate her triumphs. Looking for more heartwarming fiction about overcoming obstacles associated with disabilities? Try Rules by Cynthia Lord or the Joey Pigza books by Jack Gantos.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday's New DVD Releases

Here are the DVD releases for next Tuesday, 1 March 2011:

Pioneers of Children's Programs
Pioneers of Crime Dramas
Pioneers of Science Fiction
Pioneers of Westerns
Pioneers of Television: Season 2

They were the stars of the small screen in the early years of television, and much of the nation came to a halt whenever their shows aired. They strolled, sprinted, fought, laughed, cried and loved through worlds that took viewers to places past, present and future. As the originators of these innovative television formats, they provided an essential escape for millions of viewers who eagerly waited to watch them each week.

127 hours

The powerfully uplifting true story of one man's struggle to survive against mountainous odds. Aron Ralston has a passion for all things outdoors. But when a falling boulder traps him in a remote Utah canyon, a thrill-seeker's adventure becomes the challenge of a lifetime. Over the next five days, Ralston embarks on a remarkable personal journey in which he relies on the memories of family and friends as well as his own courage and ingenuity to turn adversity into triumph!

2 Weeks in Hell

Green Berets are American's unconventional warfare specialists. Go inside their selection process, a two-week hellish assessment with tasks specifically designed to mentally and physically break a man and expose his real character. Finishing this test doesn't mean they passed.

Triangle Fire

The fire that tore through the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City on March 25, 1911, was the gruesome culmination of years of unrest in America's most profitable manufacturing industry. Two years earlier, led by a spontaneous walkout in the same factory, twenty thousand garment workers, in the largest women's strike in American history, took to the streets of New York to protest working conditions. They gained the support of both progressives and leading women in New York's society.

Burlesque

Ali, a small-town girl with a big voice, escapes hardship to follow her dreams to LA. After stumbling upon the Burlesque Lounge, a majestic but ailing theater that is home to an inspired musical revue, Ali lands a job from the club's proprietor and headliner. After Ali finally makes her way from the bar to the stage, things take a dramatic turn when her larger-than-life voice causes a charismatic entrepreneur to make an enticing proposal.

Dinosaurs - Giants of Patagonia

Takes an unprecedented and unique journey into the world of the largest known dinosaurs and, in the process, explores some of the great paleontological discoveries of modern time.

Faster

A veteran cop and an egocentric hit man, are on the trail of an ex-con who is determined to avenge the death of his brother that occurred during a bank robbery years ago.

Love and Other Drugs

Free-spirited Maggie meets her match in a charming Viagra salesman named Jamie. Maggie and Jamie leap into a no-strings-attached affair, but no matter how hard they try to keep things 'casual,' they can't help falling under the influence of the ultimate drug: love!

Ultimate Wave - Tahiti

Plunge into the stunning beauty of an island paradise on a quest to find the perfect wave-riding experience. Nine-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater and Tahitian surfer Raimana Van Bastolaer and a group of friends seek out the best waves breaking on the reef at Tahiti's famed surf site Teahupo'o.

WWE Royal Rumble 2011

Whoever outlasts 29 other competitors earns himself a championship match at WrestleMania. The superstars of Raw and Smackdown, including past winners Randy Orton, John Cena, Edge, and Rey Mysterio, and superstars looking to add this impressive goal to their resume will do anything to overpower and outlast the competition as the Road to WrestleMania begins at the Royal Rumble.


Which of these will have the most requests next week?

This week’s release with the most requests is Due Date with 731 requests.

Megamind had 654 requests,
Get Low had 392 requests,
WWE - Big Show: A Giant's World had 32 requests,
Border Wars: Season 2 had 19 requests,
See what I'm saying - the deaf entertainers had 12 requests,
Waiting for Hockney had 10 requests,
I am alive: Surviving the Andes plane crash had 4 requests, and
After the wall - A world united had 2 requests.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Carla and Jaime's Teen Picks

Carla and Jaime, out at the Summerlin Library, are wired into the best Teen books! You want to know what's hot? Or just what you want to read next? They're the ones! Each month, Carla and Jaime suggest three wonderful books for teens.

Here are Carla and Jaime's picks for the month:

Life as we knew it
Susan Beth Pfeffer


Miranda's disbelief turns to fear in a split second when an asteroid knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun?

As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove. In her journal, Miranda records the events of each desperate day, while she and her family struggle to hold on to their most priceless resource--hope.


Revolution
Jennifer Donnelly


BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She's angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she's about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights' most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn't want--and couldn't escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine's diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There's comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal's antique pages--until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine's words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.


Perfect Chemistry
Simone Elkeles


When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created "perfect" life is about to unravel before her eyes.

She's forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for--her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect.

Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems. And suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Mike's Hardboiled Mystery Picks

Mike, out at the Enterprise Library, always has a great hardboiled mystery on tap. He's the man to see if you need to feed your gritty mystery addiction. Each month, Mike suggests three wonderful books in the down and dirty mystery genre.

Here are Mike's picks for the month:

Caught Stealing
Charlie Huston


It’s three thousand miles from the green fields of glory, where Henry “call me Hank” Thompson once played California baseball, to the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where the tenements are old, the rents are high, and the drunks are dirty. But now Hank is here, working as a bartender and taking care of a cat named Bud who is surely going to get him killed.

It begins when Hank’s neighbor, Russ, has to leave town in a rush and hands over Bud in a carrier. But it isn’t until two Russians in tracksuits drag Hank over the bar at the joint where he works and beat him to a pulp that he starts to get the idea: Someone wants something from him. He just doesn’t know what it is, where it is, or how to make them understand he doesn’t have it.

Within twenty-four hours Hank is running over rooftops, swinging his old aluminum bat for the sweet spot of a guy’s head, playing hide and seek with the NYPD, riding the subway with a dead man at his side, and counting a whole lot of cash on a concrete floor.

All because of two cowboys, two Russian mafia men, and some of the weirdest goons ever assembled in one place. All because of Bud. All because once, in another life, in another world, the only thing Hank wanted was to take third base—without getting caught.


Forty Words for Sorrow
Giles Blunt


When the badly decomposed body of thirteen-year-old Katie Pine is found in an abandoned mine shaft, John Cardinal is vindicated. It was Cardinal who'd kept the Pine case open - insisting she was no mere runaway - and Cardinal had been demoted to the burglary squad for his excessive zeal.

But Katie Pine isn't the only youngster to have gone missing in the rural town of Algonquin Bay, and Cardinal is now given the go-ahead to reopen the files on three other lost kids. When another youth is reported missing, he begins to see a pattern that screams "serial killer."

Meanwhile, the brass have partnered him with Lisa Delorme, newly shifted to homicide from the Office of Special Investigations, and Cardinal can't help but wonder if she's been sent to keep tabs on him. A guilty conscience makes him think so.

Superbly paced, with fully-fleshed characters and utterly convincing police detail, Forty Words for Sorrow is also a novel of place that transcends the genre. Blunt puts us in a small Canadian town in the dead of winter and makes us feel the cold, then turns the cold into a metaphor for the destruction of young lives.


Over Tumbled Graves
Jess Walter


During a drug bust gone horribly wrong, Spokane, Washington, detective Caroline Mabry faces a psychopath--and watches helplessly as he kills. The maniac called the Southban Strangler has burst full force into Caroline's life.

Now, with her burnt-out partner Alan Dupree, she will have to fight to preserve her sanity in the surreal circus that is the "serial murder industry."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Book Review: A Week at the Airport, by Alain de Botton

A Week at the Airport
by Alain De Botton

Prose was never so poetic. And to think this poetry revolves around one of the most industrial and technologically advanced creations of modern society--the new Terminal 5 at London's Heathrow Airport. More than any writer I've found in a long time, I can honestly say de Botton's writing is exquisite! He has the vocabulary and he knows how to use it.

De Botton ended up in Heathrow for a week, not because of travel plans gone awry, but because BAA, the company that operates Heathrow and other airports, wanted to hire a writer to glean the essence of airport life. For a week, he got full access to the airport--though he couldn't leave the airport--including an office desk positioned in a prominent spot to facilitate impromptu interactions with travelers.

De Botton is probably most famous for authoring How Proust Can Change Your Life, a distillation of one of the most massive - if not greatest - novels. I think that this book--about an airport--unintentionally distills de Botton's works, including: The Art of Travel, The Architecture of Happiness, The Consolations of Philosophy, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, The Seven Deadly Sins, and Status Anxiety. Yes, all of these are addressed in this 111 page volume. In fact, I don't think I can provide a better summary than just listing his titles.

De Botton is attracted to the airport for the same reason I have always been attracted to any transportation hub, be it airport, train station, or bus station. These places are portals to possibility. Airports especially can give the feeling of going anywhere, in a day's time.

I know that the title doesn't sound very appealing, but this book is only superficially about an airport. It is about much, much more. I highly recommend this book!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday's New DVD Releases

Here are the DVD releases for next Tuesday, 22 February 2011:

Border Wars: Season 2

Goes beyond the controversy and political wrangling of illegal immigration to see the real-world battles being waged by the men and women responsible for securing our borders. Season two returns with 16 episodes of real-world pursuits, surveillance, interceptions, busts, and rescue missions.

Get Low

Felix Bush, a Tennessee hermit, is either feared or hated by most of the people that live in the town. One day, he gets the idea to throw one big bash before he kicks the bucket. While he is still alive and kickin' he plans his very own rollicking funeral party.

WWE - Big Show: A Giant's World

The 7-foot giant has been a staple of the Sports Entertainment scene since his WCW debut in the 90s. He's also cast his enormous shadow in the worlds of television and movies with roles on Royal Pains; Saturday Night Live; The Waterboy; MacGruber; and Knucklehead. Includes candid interviews where Show discusses how a giant lives in an average-sized world, his sports entertainment career and more.

After the wall - A world united

After The Wall, A World United chronicles the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. This is a follow up program to The Wall ? A World Divided. Interviews with George Bush, Mikhail Gorbachev and Helmut Kohl offer unusual and intimate details about the inner workings of government at the highest levels.

Due Date

Expectant first-time father Peter Highman looks forward to his new child's due date five days away. As Peter hurries to catch a flight home from Atlanta to be at his wife's side for the birth, his best intentions go completely awry. An encounter with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay forces Peter to hitch a ride with Ethan on a cross-country trip that will ultimately destroy several cars, many friendships, and Peter's last nerve.

I am alive: Surviving the Andes plane crash

Throughout history, the most harrowing stories of human survival, like that of the Donner Party in the 1840s, have involved people whose only means of staying alive was to cannibalize the deceased around them. On Friday the 13th of October, 1972, just such a story began when a charter plane carrying 45 rugby team members crashed in the remote Andes Mountains. For 72 days, the world thought they were dead. But what 16 survivors endured was far worse than death.

See what I'm saying - the deaf entertainers

A comic, a drummer, an actor and a singer, who are all well-known entertainers in the deaf community, are followed as they attempt to cross over to mainstream audiences. These uniquely talented entertainers overcome great challenges to celebrate success.

Waiting for Hockney

Believing it is his means to fame, and fortune, Billy Pappas, a young man from Baltimore spends ten years of his life on a single portrait. After completing the portrait, Pappas begins a mission to show it to renowned contemporary artist, David Hockney, the one person he believes can validate everything he has been striving to create.

Megamind

Over the years, Megamind, has tried to conquer Metro City in every imaginable way. Each attempt is a colossal failure thanks to the caped superhero known as 'Metro Man,' until the day Megamind actually defeats him in the throes of one of his botched evil plans. Suddenly, the fate of Metro City is threatened when a new villain arrives and chaos runs rampant, leaving everyone to wonder if the world's biggest 'mind' can actually be the one to save the day?

Which of these will have the most requests next week?

This week’s release with the most requests is Unstoppable with 752 requests.

You will meet a tall, dark stranger had 184 requests.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Becky's Romance Picks



Becky, out at the Sunrise Library, always has a great romance on tap. If you need a great book to pull your heartstrings, she's the woman. Each month, Becky suggests three wonderful books in the romance genre.

Here are Becky's picks for the month:

Sinful in Satin
Madeline Hunter


When her mother, a famed London courtesan, passes away, leaving her with a mountain of debts and a small house in town, Celia also inherits her mother's mysterious and wickedly handsome tenant whose very presence unnerves her and makes her want to put her erotic training to use.


In Too Deep
Jayne Ann Krentz


Scargill Cove is the perfect place for Fallon Jones, confirmed recluse and investigator of the paranormal. It's a hot spot, a convergence point for unusually strong currents of energy, which might explain why the town attracts misfits and drifters like moths to a flame. Now someone else has been drawn to the Cove-Isabella Valdez, on the run from some very dangerous men.

When she starts work as Fallon's assistant, Isabella impresses him by organizing his pathologically chaotic office-and doesn't bat an eye at the psychic aspect of his job. She's a kindred spirit, a sanctuary from a world that considers his talents a form of madness. But after a routine case unearths an antique clock infused with dark energy, Fallon and Isabella are dragged into the secret history of Scargill Cove and forced to fight for their lives, as they unravel a cutthroat conspiracy with roots in the Jones family business . . . and Isabella's family tree.


Bespelling Jane Austen
Mary Balogh, et al.


What if Austen had believed in reincarnation and vampires? Join four bestselling romance authors as they channel the wit and wisdom of Jane Austen.

Almost Persuaded

In this Regency tale of Robert and Jane, New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh brings together former lovers who have seen beyond the veil of forgetfulness to their past mistakes, and are determined to be together in this life, and forever.

Northanger Castle

Caroline's obsession with Gothic novels winds up being good training for a lifetime of destroying the undead with her newfound beau, in this Regency by Colleen Gleason.

Blood and Prejudice

Set in the business world of contemporary New York City, Liz Bennett joins Mr. Darcy in his hunt for a vampire cure in New York Times bestselling author Susan Krinard's version of the classic story.

Little to Hex Her

Present-day Washington, D.C., is full of curious creatures in Janet Mullany's story, wherein Emma is a witch with a wizard boyfriend and a paranormal dating service to run.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Book Review: The Tell-Tale Brain, by V.S. Ramachandran

The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human
Dr. V.S. Ramachandran may be the funniest scientist around, besides being in Newsweek's "Century Club," one of the one hundred most important people to watch this century. He also admits to being a bit of a technophobe. Before reading this, I assumed cutting edge neuroscience was all about high-tech brain scans. He jokes that he is also lazy despite being director of the Center for Brain and Cognition at the University of California, San Diego.

Some of Dr. Ramachandran's recent research involves amputees experiencing "Phantom Limb" syndrome. Basically, the amputee's brain has not adjusted to missing an arm or a leg, and the individual can experience cramps or pain in a part of their body that no longer exists.

In the 1990's, Dr. Ramachandran rigged a cardboard box with a mirror turned sideways in the middle. The amputee put his remaining hand in front the mirror and moved it, giving his brain the impression that the other hand still existed. This low-tech tricking of the brain enabled dramatic improvement in the symptoms of "Phantom Limb."

Dr. Ramachandran called this "the first amputation of a phantom limb!" I think he relishes using simple techniques that could have been tried for hundreds of years, if anyone had thought to try it.

Dr. Ramachandran's basic research strategy is to take patients who have experienced brain trauma of some sort--from accidents, strokes, or tumors--and then figure out what changed in their brain to cause their symptoms. His overall objective is to uncover the essence of human consciousness, which he humbly admits is a long way off.

I am fascinated by Dr. Ramachandran's observation that to us, our sense of self is a single thing. Yet, if you analyze the symptoms of various brain disorders or injuries, you start to see that sense of self or consciousness is the interaction between many different brain functions. For example, a number of his case studies involve people who are unable to recognize people and/or objects after an injury, but otherwise function normally.

In a rapidly changing field, where this year's discoveries can push understanding a generation ahead, I highly recommend Dr. Ramachandran's book as an entertaining and informative overview!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

DVD Review: 30 Days -- TV show

Leave it to Morgan Spurlock to put the real back in reality TV. From the creator of Super Size Me, comes a series of social experiments aimed at challenging stereotypes and prejudice by placing individuals outside their comfort zone for a full month. That is where the similarity with so called reality TV ends. In 30 Days, participants experience what is real life for people very different from themselves, sometimes with comical consequences.

For example, two friends from New York City, both club workers, travel to the Dancing Rabbit Eco-Village in rural Missouri for their month. The Eco-Village is attempting to be as self-sustaining as possible, including fueling their two vehicles on recycled vegetable oil, and composting their own human waste for use as fertilizer! Later a group from Dancing Rabbit goes "dumpster diving" and the woman from New York manages to find a hair dryer.

Highlights for me include the series premiere where Morgan and his fiancé attempt to live on two minimum wage jobs and the episode where a Christian man from West Virginia moves in with a Muslim doctor's family in Dearborn, Michigan.

In a word, 30 Days is different from reality TV because it is thoughtful, without being preachy. I don't think we all need to leave our towns or neighborhoods to appreciate another person's viewpoint, but it probably would help to at least imagine living with someone else for 30 days.

I recommend 30 Days!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesday's New DVD Releases

Here are the DVD releases for next Tuesday, 15 February 2011:

Unstoppable

A runaway train, transporting deadly, toxic chemicals, is barreling down on Scranton, Pennsylvania, and only two men can stop it: a veteran engineer and a young conductor. Thousands of lives hang in the balance as these ordinary heroes attempt to chase down one million tons of hurtling steel and prevent an epic disaster.

You will meet a tall, dark stranger

After Alfie leaves his wife, Helena, to pursue his lost youth with a free-spirited call girl named Charmaine, Helena abandons rationality and surrenders her life to the loopy advice of a charlatan fortune teller. Meanwhile, daughter Sally develops a crush on her handsome boss, Greg, while her husband, Roy, becomes moonstruck over Dia, a mystery woman who catches his gaze through a nearby window. These four will find out how easy it is for their illusions to make fools of them.

Which of these will have the most requests next week?

This week’s release with the most requests is Life as We Know It with 571 requests.

Paranormal Activity 2 had 345 requests,
My Soul to Take had 252 requests,
It's Kind of a Funny Story had 289 requests,
For Colored Girls had 227 requests,
Secrets of the Dead: Lost Ships of Rome had 12 requests,
Panama Canal had 7 requests, and
When I Rise had 2 requests.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Andrew's Graphic Novel Picks

Andrew, at the Centennial Hills Library, is the Go To Guy for Graphic Novels. He reads 'em, enjoys 'em, and knows which are the best! Each month, Andrew suggests three wonderful graphic novels for Teens or Adults. (Sometimes for Kids too!)

Here are Andrew's picks for the month:

The Exile
Diana Gabaldon

After too long an absence, Jamie Fraser is coming home to Scotland--but not without great trepidation. Though his beloved godfather, Murtagh, promised Jamie's late parents he'd watch over their brash son, making good on that vow will be no easy task. There's already a fat bounty on the young exile's head, courtesy of Captain Black Jack Randall, the sadistic British officer who's crossed paths--and swords--with Jamie in the past. And in the court of the mighty MacKenzie clan, Jamie is a pawn in the power struggle between his uncles: aging chieftain Colum, who demands his nephew's loyalty--or his life--and Dougal, war chieftain of Clan MacKenzie, who'd sooner see Jamie put to the sword than anointed Colum's heir.

And then there is Claire Randall--mysterious, beautiful, and strong-willed, who appears in Jamie's life to stir his compassion . . . and arouse his desire.

But even as Jamie's heart draws him to Claire, Murtagh is certain she's been sent by the Old Ones, and Captain Randall accuses her of being a spy. Claire clearly has something to hide, though Jamie can't believe she could pose him any danger. Still, he knows she is torn between two choices--a life with him, and whatever it is that draws her thoughts so often elsewhere.

Troublemaker Book One
Janet Evanovich

Alex Barnaby and Sam Hooker are back together and fighting crime the only way they know howby leaving a trail of chaos, panic, and disorder. Evanovich reunites the duo from Metro Girl and Motor Mouth for her debut graphic novel Troublemaker, the official third volume in the Alex Barnaby series.

Green Woman
Peter Straub

New York Times - bestselling author Straub resurrects his most sinister creation, Fielding "Fee" Bandolier, the unstoppable serial killer who is now preparing to end his long career of bloodshed.

Bob Steele is a disillusioned New York detective out for redemption and to him redemption means a one-man crusade to stop Fielding Bandolier.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Catie's Picture Book Picks!

Catie, at the Clark County Library, is a magician with a picture book! She can spot the best ones a mile away. She knows what will make a kid start giggling and getting involved with the story. Each month, Catie suggests three wonderful picture books!

Here are Catie's picks for the month:

Children make terrible pets
Peter Brown


Check out this rollicking, humorous, and heartwarming twist on the classic "first pet" story about a young bear and her favorite pet boy.

When Lucy, a young bear, discovers a boy in the woods, she's absolutely delighted. She brings him home and begs her mom to let her keep him, even though her mom warns, "Children make terrible pets." But mom relents, and Lucy gets to name her new pet Squeaker.

Through a series of hilarious and surprising scenes, readers can join Lucy and Squeaker on their day of fun and decide for themselves whether or not children really do make terrible pets.

The odd egg
Emily Gravett


Each of the birds has an egg...except for Duck. So when Duck finds a beautiful egg of his own he's delighted -- even though the other birds make fun of it. But everyone's in for a BIG surprise when his egg finally hatches

The witty text and playful illustrations appear on cleverly designed cut pages that allow the visual jokes to unfold.

Just me and 6,000 rats: a tale of conjunctions
Rick Walton


When a little boy goes to the big city for the first time, he wants to do everything he can. He goes to a play, a museum, a professional baseball game, and even joins a parade. He just happens to be accompanied by a very large and unusual group of friends-RATS!

Conjunctions are used to link words, phrases, and clauses, and we use them every day. Author Rick Walton knows, and he's delivered another delightful children's book in his language arts series to teach budding new readers all about them!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tuesday's New DVD Releases

Here are the DVD releases for next Tuesday, 8 February 2011:

Panama Canal

On August 15th, 1914, the Panama Canal opened, connecting the world's two largest oceans and signaling America's emergence as a global superpower. This film, using an extraordinary archive of photographs and footage, interviews with canal workers, and firsthand accounts of life in the Canal Zone, unravels the remarkable story of one of the world's most significant technological achievements.

Secrets of the Dead: Lost Ships of Rome

In 2009, a team of marine archaeologists carrying out a sonar survey of the seabed around the remote Italian island of Ventotene made an astonishing discovery. The wrecks of five ancient Roman ships were found in pristine condition, each one fully laden with exotic goods. Remarkably, much of the cargo remained exactly as the ancient Roman crews had loaded it, suggesting that these ships had not capsized but had gone to the bottom of the sea intact and upright.

For Colored Girls

A vibrant world where friends and strangers dream, fear, cry, love, and laugh out loud in an attempt to find their true selves. Adapted by writer/director Tyler Perry from Ntozake Shange's acclaimed choreopoem, this gripping film paints an unforgettable portrait of what it means to be a woman of color in the modern world.

It's Kind of a Funny Story

Sometimes what's in your head isn't as crazy as you think. That's certainly true for Craig, a stressed-out teenager who checks himself into a mental health clinic for some time out. What he finds instead is an unlikely mentor, a potential new romance, and an opportunity to begin anew. Charming, witty, and smart, it's a coming-of-age story that's kind of a funny story.

Life as We Know It

Holly is an up-and-coming caterer and Messer is a promising network sports director. After a disastrous first date, all they have in common is their dislike for each other and their love for their goddaughter Sophie. But when they suddenly become all Sophie has in this world, Holly and Messer must set their differences aside. Juggling career ambitions and competing social calendars, they'll have to find common ground while living under the same roof.

My Soul to Take

On the day the Riverton Ripper vanished without a trace, seven children were born. Today, they're all turning 16 ... and turning up dead. Keep your heart racing with this suspense-thriller filled with twists, turns and a dark secret that will send your soul searching for cover.

Paranormal Activity 2

Just as Dan and Kristi welcome a newborn baby into their home, a demonic presence begins terrorizing them, tearing apart their perfect world and turning it into an inescapable nightmare. Security cameras capture the torment, making every minute horrifyingly real.

When I Rise

An inspirational journey toward finding forgiveness within oneself. A gifted black music student at the University is cast in an opera to co-star with a white male classmate, fueling a racist backlash from members of the Texas legislature. This small-town girl, whose voice and spirit stem from her roots in East Texas, emerges as an internationally celebrated mezzo-soprano and headlines on stages around the world.

Which of these will have the most requests next week?

This week’s release with the most requests is Conviction with 424 requests.

Let Me In had 344 requests,
Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 had 275 requests, and
Never Let Me Go had 251 requests.