Sunday, July 28, 2013

Short Hiatus

Due to an unforeseen medical situation, Lunanshee's Lunacy will be on hiatus until the end of August 2013.  I hope to be back to regular postings in early September.  

So now is your chance to catch up on past programs & book review posts!

Full list of Book Reviews available here.
All programs can be found here.
Resources (bookmarks, book posters etc) are here.

See you soon!
Rebecca (aka Lunanshee)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Review: 'The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen' by Susin Nielsen

Wouldn't it be amazing if you could write the movie script for your own life? 
I guess it would have lots of boring bits. 
But at least you could write yourself a happy ending.

Thirteen-year-old Henry never meant to keep a journal, but reluctantly gives it a try when his therapist suggests it. It has been months since IT happened. Since his whole life changed, his family fell apart, and Henry stopped trusting people and started keeping secrets too big for any one person. Now he and his Dad live in a shabby apartment in a new city where Henry is determined to stay under the radar at a new school. But with the help of an oddball group of kids at school, and the other misfit tenants in his apartment building, Henry slowly begins to face IT, heal emotionally and trust people again.

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen is one of those books that I would never have read had a friend not recommended it, and then left it pointedly where I would find it. Now that I have read it, it’s one of those books that I think should be required reading for anyone who spends time with teenagers, whether at home or work. It’s one of those books that is so phenomenal, so profound, that I hardly have words to describe it. If a keysmash could be considered an adequate review, that is how this one would end.

For all that this is a book about the aftermath of personal tragedy it is surprisingly funny and uplifting. Henry has a unique outlook on life and a journal-writing style that is by turns comical and perceptive. Despite what happened, Henry is still a thirteen-year-old boy. His reactions to the situation, his new neighbors and new friends, and his possible first crush are typical of a middle-school-aged boy: awkward and juvenile, yet sometimes insightful. And his almost religious love for the ‘Saturday Night Smash-up’, is refreshing, significant, and the perfect bridge connecting Henry to many of the people he meets. Nielsen has also done a wonderful job creating fully-developed secondary characters, adults and fellow students, each of whom has a part to play in helping Henry heal.

There is so much that I wish I could write about in-depth, but it’s impossible without spoilers. I don’t want to give away IT, because I think part of the beauty of this book is seeing Henry come to terms with what happened and slowly open up to the people around him. It’s watching Henry reconcile the people he knew with their actions. It’s Henry trying so hard to avoid talking about IT, that he inadvertently gives both readers and his new friends glimpses of the tragedy that toppled his carefully constructed life. And, ultimately, it’s Henry coming to the understanding that even though life can never go back to the way it was, he is still entitled to happiness.

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen is a beautifully written book that addresses an important subject with understanding, humor and compassion. Highly recommended to teens and adults alike.

Book Source: Friend via Random House (BIG thanks to RH!)
Reviewer: Kimberly

Recommended Ages: officially 12+, but does have mild language and addresses sensitive subjects
Recommended for Readers of:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Update: Book Posters & Bookmarks

The following Book Poster & Bookmark files have been updated on the Lunanshee's Lunacy resource page:

Book Poster
Undead Reads

Fractured Reality
Guy Reads - High School
Guy Reads - Middle Grade

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Program: Marshmallow Melee

Get your fluffy, puffy ammunition ready!

This is an inexpensive program that is sure to be a hit with your teens.  Marshmallow Melee can be held indoors our outside depending on your library's size and location.  Please Note: If you host the melee indoors you will want to tape down a drop-cloth to cover any carpet. Marshmallows ground into carpet are hard to dislodge.

  • Mini-Marshmallows (2-3 bags depending on group size)
  • Large paper cups
  • Scissors
  • Balloons
  • Rubber bands
  • Boxes (all sizes)
  • Tables
  • Drop cloth (optional)
  • Two flags (can be cloth or paper)
Creating a Marshmallow "Catapult"
Team Roo vs. Team Platypus
  1. Using scissors cut out the bottom of a cup.
  2. Without blowing up balloon, tie a knot in the end of a balloon
  3. Cut a hole in the "top" of the balloon (the opposite end from the knot).  If you are a visual person there is a great 'how to' at Kiwi Crate.
  4. Slip balloon over the bottom of the cup
  5. Secure balloon with rubber band
  6. To shoot, load a marshmallow and pull back on the knotted end of the balloon.  Release knotted end for marshmallow launching AWESOMENESS!
Prep & Execution
Set up your room/playing field with plenty of places for teens to hide behind.  (Think paintball course.)  Stash caches of "ammunition" around the room.  Divide teams into 2 groups and explain Capture the Flag Rules, only in the Marshmallow Melee teens who are hit by marshmallows are frozen (a la Freeze Tag) until the Wizard (YA Librarian) unfreezes them.

Books to Display and/or Booktalk
The Last Knight by Hilari Bell
Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
Design Your Own Coat-of-Arms by Rosemary A. Chorzempa
The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan
The Art of the Catapult by William Gurstelle
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Castle by David Macaulay
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
The Squire's Tale by Gerald Morris
Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Kick-Ass Femmes in YA Literature - Part 3

Scarlet of Marissa Meyer's Scarlet
Book 2 of the Lunar Chronicles

Scarlet's grandmother disappears without a trace and the police refuse to investigate citing her grandmother's odd nature.  Undeterred, Scarlet begins tracking down her grandmother's whereabouts with the assistance of the strangely intriguing fighter, Wolf.  Little does Scarlet know that the trail will land both Scarlet and Wolf at the center of an interplanetary war.

Traits: Loving, Curious, Insightful, Accepting
Danielle of Lauren Roedy Vaughn's OCD, The Dude and Me

Danielle doesn't fit in.  Which doesn't really bother her - she likes keeping people at a distance, but does land her in a social skills class where she meets Daniel, a boy who is determined to know the real Danielle.

Traits: Original, Quirky, Free-spirited, Thoughtful
Addison of Kasie West's Pivot Point

When faced with a choice, Addison has the unique ability to see the futures attached to each decision.  After her parents announce they are getting a divorce and Addison much choose which parent to live with, she uses her ability to view the results of her choice.  No matter which choice Addison makes, she will lose someone dear to her.  Which choice would you make?

Traits: Insightful, Loyal, Independent, Friendly
Mary Shelley of Cat Winter's In the Shadow of Blackbirds

America 1918; the height of the Spanish Influenza pandemic. Dead line the streets and Spirit Photography and seances prey on the grieving. Mary Shelley doesn't believe in Spiritualism or that the dead really can commune with the living.  But logic and reason are hard to hold onto when you are haunted.

Traits: Scientifically Minded, Curious, Logical, Thoughtful
Juliet of Megan Shepherd's The Madman's Daughter

Daughter of the infamous Dr. Moreau, Juliet is barely surviving when she discovers that her father is actually alive and in hiding on an island in the South Pacific. Finagling passage to the island, Juliet comes face to face with the horror of Moreau's madness.

Traits: Determined, Kind, Curious, Pragmatic

Who is YOUR favorite heroine?