Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Weekly Displays: Video Game Books and National Grammar Day

Our window display this week is "Video Game Books," prompted by recent purchases of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Reamde by Neal Stephenson, For the Win by Cory Doctorow, and the graphic novel Level Up by Gene Luen Yang and Thien Pham.  It ties in nicely with our "Welcome to Dystopia" display too, since several of the video game books are set in a future world.  One of the additions to the curriculum this year was a video game design class, so we included some technical manuals as well.

Can you tell that my own video game references date from the '80s and '90s?

Ready Player One is a fantastic book; I highly recommend it.
Even though National Grammar Day fell on a weekend this year (March 4th), we have a table set up with grammar books and a "Correct the Celebrity" grammar quiz.

My personal grammatical pet peeve is the use of "who" vs. "that," so I really hope I get to correct someone today.

We asked "What's your grammatical pet peeve?" and were thrilled that so many people had such strong opinions.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Welcome to Dystopia

To celebrate the March 23rd release of The Hunger Games movie, we're dedicating the next two weeks before spring break to dystopias.  Lizz and I have been fans of The Hunger Games from the start--we read the first book when we were in grad school together working on our book club project for our young adult literature class (our book club theme was "Vending Machine Books").  We waited impatiently as the two sequels were published and met the announcement of a movie with mixed enthusiasm (movies = more people reading the books, plus we like movies) and skepticism (but what if they do a terrible job and ruin the book?!?!).  But we're fully embracing the hype now, with a wealth of dystopian and apocalyptic books and lots of Hunger Games themed activities and prizes.

I took my inspiration for the Welcome to Dystopia promotion from the classic dystopian novel 1984 by George Orwell.

They're creepy.  They should get kids' attention.

We've been building our collection of dystopian books all year, which was not too hard considering how on-trend that particular genre of YA literature is at the moment.  We're hoping fans of The Hunger Games will be equally taken with books like The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Maze Runner by James Dasher, and even so-called "adult" dystopias like The Road by Cormac McCarthy, The Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler, and Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake.  We even have some more lighthearted dystopian tales like Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.  Our copies of The Hunger Games continue to circulate, so we also expect the sequels Catching Fire and Mockingjay to be popular as well.

We'll do another post later on our Hunger Games library event, which is scheduled for next week, but for now we invite you to bask in the glory of our recent Hunger Games shopping spree.  Parent-teacher conferences were last Friday, so we took advantage of a day without class in session to go to not one but three separate shopping malls in search of a Hot Topic store that was well-stocked with Hunger Games merchandise.  We came back to school with Hunger Games pins, wristbands, keychains, mystery figurines (there are 27 figurines but you don't know which one you're getting until you open the little box), District 12 knee socks, posters, and even a Katniss pillow case.  And what was waiting for us when we got back to school, you ask?  Our Amazon.com order containing the movie tie-in edition of the book, The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook, The Hunger Games Official Illustrated Movie Companion, The Hunger Games Companion: An Unauthorized Guide to the Series, and The Girl Who Was On Fire (essays about The Hunger Games by other young adult authors).  Oh, and two plastic bows with suction cup arrows, which we immediately opened for target practice.  

Box-O-Hunger Games