Star Wars Read-A-Thon: The Prequel Trilogy

It’s me again, with another Star Wars Read-A-Thon post! This time, I’m digging into the prequel novelizations–Episodes I, II, and III of the original cinematic canon. If you’re not familiar, this is basically the story of how Anakin Skywalker, the most talented Jedi Knight the galaxy had ever seen, became Darth Vader, most feared entity in the cosmos. There’s more to it than that, of course–the slow demise of the Republic and the subtle takeover of Emperor Palpatine, the character growth of Obi-Wan Kenobi from idealistic student to wise but wearied master; and the introduction of completely new characters like Mace Windu and Padme Amidala.

Like most of my fellow Star Wars purists, I am not a huge fan of the prequel trilogy. As such, I didn’t expect much from the novelizations. So imagine my surprise when I came to love these books more than any other single Star Wars novel I have read to date. Literature is a very different medium from film, and some stories just work better written than on-screen. That’s certainly the case with the Star Wars prequels, even though the written versions of these stories came later.

In this review:

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, by Terry Brooks

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, by R. A. Salvatore

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, by Matthew Stover

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What’s all the hoopla about Hoopla?

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A name is destiny, or so it’s been said. A person, a place or even something as fluid and impersonal as an online media service’s path in life might be molded and shaped – or rise and fall – based on its given moniker. Names can be powerful. They can be bold, like “Brutus,” or weak, like “Walter.” Names can be self-fulfilling, and they are often our first impression of something or someone. Back in the 1970’s, Chevrolet learned a hard lesson when it tried to market the Nova in Latin America, where “no va” means “it doesn’t go.” With that said, while there’s a degree of truth in this statement about names and destiny, there are also no certainties in life and there are always, ALWAYS exceptions. In the case of Hoopla, the Chesapeake Public Library’s new digital music and movie platform, let’s cross our fingers and hope for the latter. Its name implies that this service is much ado about nothing. That’s unfortunate. Having spent some time poring over its considerable musical offerings, I can assure you it simply isn’t true. Continue reading “What’s all the hoopla about Hoopla?”

Weeding in the Library

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“Why are there weeds in the library?” you might be thinking. No, there are not plants growing inside the library that need weeding or pruning. However, it is what it sounds like. Each library has to decide what to keep and what to get rid of (i.e. weed) from their collections. The collection is everything that a particular library has that is available for lending. It includes books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, video games, etc.

Before the idea of the library getting rid of items makes your heart stop there are a few things to keep in mind. There are criteria for evaluating what the library keeps and what gets weeded. Books and other items don’t just get trashed. So, what are the criteria you might be wondering? I am so glad you asked.

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Children Travel the World Through Library Programs

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Children are experiencing different cultures and customs around the library system this spring and summer. Around April 30, librarians across the nation hold Children’s Day/Book Day or Dia de los ninos and Dia de los libros celebrations. Russell Memorial holds a large program for Children’s Day. This year children at the Central Library heard stories from Mexico, Brazil, Korea, Hawaii, India and South Africa. They played Loteria (Mexican bingo), made maracas and Mexican paper flowers and filled Cascarones (confetti filled eggs) to crack on each other’s heads. Children also experienced the Aboriginal culture in a S.T.E.A.M. class where they saw a real didgeridoo, learned about the Dream time and painted pictures using techniques as old as this ancient culture. If you missed these programs, be sure to  watch for Dia programs in the Spring 2016 edition of The Loop.

For more information about multicultural books, you can go to the National Education Association’s website. For more information about Children’s Day/Book Day, you can contact me,  Jeri Morton, at 410-7164.

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Staff Review: Private Justice Series by Irene Hannon

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Do you like suspense, with a little romance added for good measure? How about inspirational fiction from a Christian perspective? You can have all three in Irene Hannon’s Private Justice Series.

The three books in this series revolve around Phoenix, Inc., a private detective agency comprised of  former law enforcement officers. Ex-homicide detective Cal Burke is the founder of the agency. He is joined by former undercover ATF agent James (Dev) Devlin and ex-Secret Service Agent Connor Sullivan. All three are still quite young and committed to justice. Their motto is “Justice First.” They also have a standing rule, “Absolutely no personal involvement with any clients.”

The professional demeanor of the three detectives and their classy office are in stark contrast to the person greeting those who enter the agency. Meet Nikki Waters, the young, spiked hair, tattooed receptionist. But don’t let the punk rocker looks fool you. As you read this series, you will discover that there is much more to Nikki than meets the eye.

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