Young Adult Books: Recent Additions

Come check out the new young adult books in our collection. On top of my list to read are Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Gary Schmidt’s Okay for Now.  The latter  is a “companion book” to The Wednesday Wars which, without a doubt, is one of the most charming and delightful young adult books I have read in a long time. In the following video, Gary Schmidt discusses his novel, Okay for Now . In the next video, Shelly Menzer, a youth librarian, provides a nice review and overview of  The Wednesday Wars.

Ransom Riggs’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children just seems odd and creepy. Check out this book trailer to get a feel for this unusual little book.

More recent additions (please note book trailers/ teasers when available):

Tempest by Julie Cross
Welcome to Bordertown: New Stories and Poems of the Borderlands / edited by Holly Black and Ellen Kushner (featuring a short story by Neil Gaiman)
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray (Listen to the author discuss this humorous & quirky book in this trailer)
She Loves You, She Loves You Not– : a Novel  by Julie Anne Peters
Bitter End by Jennifer Brown
Breaking Stalin’s Nose by Eugene Yelchin
Cheshire Cheese Cat: a Dickens of a Tale by Carmen Agra Deedy & Randall Wright/ Illustrated by Barry Moser
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor TRAILER PART I/ TRAILER PART II/ WHO IS LAINI TAYLOR? 
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos/ Book Trailer 

Demon’s Surrender by Sarah Rees Breenan
Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma/ Haunting Trailer!
Dreams of Significant Girls by Cristina Garcia
Bad Girls Don’t Die: From Bad to Cursed by Katie Alender
Game Over by James Patterson & Ned Rust
He’s So Not Worth It by Kieran Scott
How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Jasper Jones: a Novel by Craig Silvey
Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson/ Book Trailer!
My Boyfriend Bites by Dan Jolly/ Illustrated by Alitha E. Martinez
Never Sit Down in a Hoopskirt and Other Things I Learned in Southern Belle Hell by Crickett Rumley
Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard
Queen of Hearts by Martha Brooks
Recovery Road by Blake Nelson
Sign Language: a Novel by Amy Ackley
Sleeping Angel by Greg Herren
Strings Attached by Judy Blundell (Book Trailer!)
Take Me to the River
by Will Hobbs
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel (Book Trailer!)
Time: a Jason Caldwell Mystery
by Roger Reid
Trouble on the Tombigbee by Ted M. Dunagan (Alabama Author!)
Angel Burn by L. A. Weatherly (Official Book Trailer!)
Akata Witch
by Nnedi Okorafor
Withering Tights by Louise Rennison- Watch the Book Trailer!


A Celebration of New Sports Books

It was the biggest crowd that we have ever had and it’s more than just the crowd. I thought there was a lot of passion and chemistry from our student body and that means a lot – that’s what sticks out to me. I’ve never seen the amount of numbers and support from the students. They are a part of the win as far as I’m concerned.”  Jacksonville State Head Coach Jack Crowe- JSU Weekly Press Conference, September 12 2010

     I’ve worked at  JSU for over eight years and this has been one of the most exciting fall football seasons I’ve ever experienced. The season started off with JSU Gamecock’s magical victory over Ole Miss which propelled JSU into the ESPN spotlight for weeks. From the stadium dedication which brought in a record crowd to all the homecoming festivities, I thoroughly enjoyed going to the games and sharing some school spirit with students, faculty, alum, and Gamecock fans everywhere .

     Even more excitement spread throughout campus when Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Greater London, the Honorable Roger Bramble, invited our own Marching Southerners to lead the 2012 New Years Parade in London. As the 2010 fall football season comes to a close, I can definitely say that I am so proud of our student athletes, band members, and all the students who have come out to show their school spirit this year. Although, JSU’s football season has come to an end, luckily, there are plenty of other exciting JSU sports to keep us entertained throughout the winter, spring, and summer. Right now we are in Basketball Season. Go Gamecocks!

     In the meantime, for all you sports enthusiasts, new sports books are starting to arrive! I’ve arranged a list of some of our new titles by sport with links to Amazon reviews. 


     As JSU Gamecocks consider their move to the FBS division, there are definitely some interesting debates which have been sparked for years about the fairness of the BCS. Read about the BCS and some of the viewpoints surrounding it’s controversial history in the following books.

Football is an honest game. It’s true to life. It’s a game about sharing. Football is a team game. So is life.”
~-Joe Namath

We are inclined to think that if we watch a football game or a baseball game, we have taken part in it. ~John F. Kennedy

     After Thad Burton’s controversial article “Locker Room not a Place for Women” appeared in the October 7, 2010 issue of JSU’s Chanticleer (student newspaper) , a concerned patron donated the following books. These books are for those who want to to learn how to watch football like a man (beats chest like a wild beast).  Actually, I’m not a guy but I love the game of football. If fact, if Mr. Burton is going to stereotype women, it would seem that most women should love this game. It’s full of passion, drama, emotion (highs and lows), heartbreaks, ecstatic moments of pure joy, and lots of gossip. Listening to the Paul Finebaum Show is like tuning in to a daily soap opera.

     But back to the books. Holly Robinson Peete and Howie Long, while targeting these books to women and “dummies,” have actually written two thoughtful books for beginner fans and even those who follow football regularly. They go beyond the basics and delve into more challenging aspects of the game. I’ve quizzed several of my guy pals who are football experts on some of the rules, strategies, and history I’ve learned from these books often to find these die-hard fans suprisingly clueless! After reading the books, I was pleased to find myself guessing penalties before the broadcasters and referees called them and getting them correct. What I’ve learned most is that the more you learn about this game, the more fun it is to watch. I’ve read both of these books and highly recommend them.  Holly Robinson Peete is married to Rodney Peete, former Pro football QB for the Philadelphia Eagles and Howie Long played as defensive lineman for the Oakland Raiders and is an NFL broadcaster.  

     So next time you’re at Burgess -Snow Field rooting on the Gamecocks, make sure you brush up on your knowledge of the games. There’s nothing more annoying than fans screaming with excitement about a pass that’s obviously not going to be caught. By the way, I challenge Mr. Burton to a mock football game broadcast…

     Auburn Coach, Gene Chizik, sparked off a debate on football and religion early on in the 2010 season, when he described Auburn’s win over Clemson as “a God thing.” After the SEC Championship, Chizik and Auburn QB, Cameron Newton, repeatedly mentioned “God’s blessing.” Cameron Newton also stated “a wise man said if God is on your side, who can be against you?” Who knows? They are going on to play in the BCS National Championship.  Over the last year, several books have addressed the intersection of religion and football, particularly in the South. Interestingly, one of the most fascinating books on this topic was written by Chad Gibbs, a die-hard Auburn fan. Go figure. Check out his blog, Chad Gibbs,  to learn more the author of this recently-published book.

     Before moving to Alabama, I was a huge baseball fan. I like to boast that I was in Atlanta Fulton County Stadium in 1995 at the  winning game when the Atlanta Braves clinched  the World Series against the Cleveland Indians. I used to spend summers sitting out on my porch in Buckhead, GA, listening to Skip Caray broadcast the Braves games. Years 1991 and 1992 were the most memorable. I remember having very heated debates with folks at the University of Alabama, where I was attending classes, about which sport, baseball or football, is the “True American Pastime.” I thought there was something so unwholesome about all these Alabamian’s claims that football was the real American pastime. I even wrote my first English 101 paper on the 1991 Atlanta Braves victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

     Strangely, it wasn’t until I left UA to come to Jacksonville State University that I started to get into college football (Gene Stallings had just resigned in 1996 when I started my college career at UA until I left in 2002 so I didn’t miss much). Now I root for our JSU Gamecocks and have added “Roll Tide” to my daily vocabulary. It’s nice to have two football teams to root for in Alabama. However, for me, this past season was all about our Gamecocks. That being said,  I still think there’s nothing better than sitting in the bleachers on a beautiful summer day watching a baseball game. Looking forward to watching some JSU baseball next season!

     In general, there seem to be more books published about baseball than any other sport. The Houston Cole Library’s collection on baseball history is spectacular. In part, this has been due to the efforts of Mr. Harry Nuttall, one of our reference librarians, who is a baseball history buff. Take a look at the latest treasures in our sports collection on baseball:

     I love all sports. Since I love running as a hobby, I tend to love be partial to track and field. Check out more new sports which we are in the process of adding to our library collection.

     Also, don’t forget, it’s basketball season right now at JSU!  Be sure to take a look at our men & women’s Basketball schedule and come out to support the Gamecocks.















New Children’s Books in the Library! (Fall 2010)

Great reads just in time for the holiday break. Check out the new children’s books in the Houston Cole Library. Click on each title to view book reviews, book details, and book covers from Amazon.

My Favorite Picks from Our Latest Acquisitions

Alphabet Adventures

Go West, Young People!

Informational & Biographies


    Graphic Novel…ish


    New Arrivals


    The Underground Newspaper Microfilm Collection

    Please see my new guide at http://libguides.jsu.edu/undergroundnewspapercollection

    Click on the link below to access the
    Using the Underground Newspaper Collection Tutorial:


    Free Handout!

    The new media is too important to be left to the Peter Pan and Mother Goose executives, but…(as a new artform)…can only be trusted to the new artists. ~ Marshall McLuhan

    The Underground Newspaper Microfilm Collection is a sure treasure trove for those interested in sixties & seventies counterculture. From the AA Commune to Zig Zag, this collection of over 500 small, alternative press magazines, newsletters, and bulletins centers on topics such as Vietnam War protests, hippies, vegetarianism, alternative “drop out” lifestyles, music, and civil rights. Some of the publications are  well-known such as Mother Earth News (volumes 1-24) to lesser known publications such as the Santa Cruz Free Spaghetti Dinner (say what?).  Civil rights and revolutionary newsletters include the Black Panther. Some student newspapers (The Huntsville Exponent) are a part of this collection.

    Journals, such as The San Francisco Oracle, capture the essence of  sixties counterculture with beautiful and original artwork, poetry, and essays. Many of these publications had small lifespans. A random ‘Google search” for different titles reveals that some publications have completely disappeared, not even leaving a trace in that digital heap of just about everything (the Internet).  Luckily, for those interested in sixties and seventies counterculture, music, and civil rights, many academic libraries house the Underground Newspaper Microfilm Collection. This collection might also provide unique primary resources for students and faculty working in sociology, history, literature, music, drama, and art.

    The University of Minnesota Library describes the collection as “a microfilm set reprinting the full text of thousands of issues from hundreds of alternative / underground newspapers of the period 1963-1985. Most are from the US or Canada and the great majority (but not all) are in English.  The basic set consists of 476 microfilm reels of newspapers compiled by the Alternative Press Syndicate and microfilmed by Bell & Howell in the mid-1980s.”

    The Underground Newspaper Collection is located with the 2nd floor microfilm; call number Z6944.U5U53X. Although there is not an index to the individual newspapers, use the Underground Newspaper Microfilm Collection Table of Contents to look up a publication (in alphabetical order). This book indicates microfilm reel numbers for locating specific newsletters.  Microfilm can be viewed on the 2nd floor microfilm machines and printed out. Print outs are 15 cents per page.


    New Children & Young Adult Books

    Check out some of the latest children’s and young adult books at the Houston Cole Library. Click on titles for reviews from Amazon.com. So far, my favorite picture books are Robot Zot!; Eye for Color; Mermaid Queen: the Spectacular True Story of Annette Kellerman, Who Swam her Way to Fame, Fortune, and Swimsuit History!;  Jeremy Draws a Monster; Bog Baby; and Sleepy Little Alphabet: a Bedtime Story from Alphabet TownMy favorite young adult books from this latest batch are The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis and The Sweetheart of Prosper County. I’m currently reading Tales of the Madman Underground (an Historical Romance 1973) .


    Fold in, Fold out, Fold off! Taking Picture Books to Another Dimension

    Stretch it out or shape it into a circle big enough to sit in! Panorama: a Foldout Book written by French authors, Fani Marceau and Joelle Jolivet, invites readers to explore the globe through detailed pictures which can be read in book format or folded out into a circle or any other shape. Sit outside the circle and explore countries throughout the World where it is daytime and then hop in the circle and explore these same lands where night has fallen. 

    The reader begins their journey in a city where a fellow traveler beckons the reader to “Come take a tour around the world! Come have a great adventure!”  (Marceau & Jolivet). From the city, the reader starts their journey through the Ganges River Delta in Bangladesh and takes in the sights and sounds, captured in each detailed picture, through their trek across the Adrar Desert, the Andes Mountains, the Scottish Highlands, the Bosporus in Turkey, the Carpathian Mountains, and on and on towards wherever each foldout page takes them.   When the reader reaches what appears to be the end of the book,  their journey does not end but leads them back home where the night offers different sights and sounds of each region passed through.         
                                      “Night Falls, it’s time to go home.
                                       In the dark, what is different? (Marceau & Jolivet).
    While the text is sparce, there are so many new delights to discover on every page with each new view. Many stories from across the World emerge from the beautifully illustrated pictures. So fold in! fold out! fold off! and let yourself explore a whole new dimension in picture book art.


    Frog and Toad are Back!

    In The Frogs and Toads all Sang, Adrianne Lobel, daughter of Caldecott medalist, Arnold Lobel (1933-1987), brings to light recently- discovered poems about Frog and Toad in lighthearted, carefree watercolor splashes.  Watch a video here of Ms. Lobel discussing the inspiration for this book.

    Picture copyright of www2.scholastic.com

    The poems, handmade as personal gift books for  friends,  were found in an estate sale by a collector of children’s picture books and donated to Adrianne Lobel. The poems and sketches of “Frog and Toad” were written in the sixties, prior to Lobel’s famous Frog and Toad series, and represent his first conception of the beloved characters so many of us fondly remember. Adrianne Lobel attempts to recreate her father’s sketches of Frog and Toad in this book while adding her own special touch.

    These fun and silly poems of tadpole curricula at “Polliwog School” or fast-driving frogs who don’t stop for redlights, wear fur coats, dance in the streets, and jump to the moon are sure to lighten any mood. Encore! Encore!