Monthly Archives: April 2011

Our Favourite Heroines: Vicky Austin

Vicky Austin shows up in several of Madeleine L’Engle’s Austin Family Chronicles, but one of the best is A Ring of Endless Light. (It involves dolphins!) Vicky was Kiirstin from Rockwood’s pick for favourite heroine.

Vicky, 15 years old, is spending the summer on a small, sleepy island with her family at her grandfather’s house. Her grandfather is very sick, and the family is helping to care for him so he stay comfortably at home. Meanwhile, the death of a prominent resident of the island sends shockwaves through the community and the Austin family. This book deals with themes of life and death, and light and dark; it also deals with romance, the love of family, science and religion. It sounds like a sad book — but it’s not. It’s beautiful and joyful and fascinating.

And in case you missed it the first time: dolphins!

Weekly Poll: WCL Heroine Throwdown!

It’s the great Wellington County Library Favourite Heroine Throwdown!

We did an informal poll here among all the programming staff here at the library: who is your favourite heroine? And now we’re about to put our choices to the test. Of our picks, who is your favourite bookish leading lady?

There may be a few in here you’ve never heard of. I’ve included the titles of the books they can be found in, and over the next couple of weeks I’ll highlight each book so that you can figure out if the heroine we love is one you should get to know. (You can vote at any time, though — you don’t have to have read every book on the list before you cast your ballot.)

And don’t worry — the heroes will get their day next!

Weekly Poll: Are you a re-reader?

Some people don’t see the point in reading a book twice. Some people love to read the same book many times (I, for example, have two copies of Robin McKinley’s Sunshine just in case I wear one out). Which category do you fall into?

Friday Finds for April 15: Buried Treasure

Some of the books we’ll be highlighting on Fridays aren’t new, but they’re books that somehow seem to get overlooked even though they’ve been on library shelves for a while. If you like what you see, you can find the featured book at your local branch, or put a hold on it if it’s not right there.

This week’s Buried Treasure was submitted by Leah from the Hillsburgh Branch. Thanks Leah!


I have just finished the book “An Earthly Knight” by Janet McNaughton. This is the story of Lady Jeanette Avenel (Jenny), the 16-yr-old second daughter of a minor Norman nobleman in Teviotdale, Scotland. When her older sister, Isabel, disgraces the family, Jenny assumes the role of eldest daughter. In her new role, she comes to the attention of William de Warenne, brother and heir to the King of Scotland. While Jenny is tossed into this new world of banquets, tournaments and the life of royalty, she is also drawn to the mysterious young man, Tam Lin who has taken up residence in the ruins on her father’s property. It is rumoured that Tam Lin was captured by fairies and this is the reason for his mystical aura.

This story is based on two ballads, that were popular in Europe and Scotland, “Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight” and “Tam Lin”. For those who like authors Robin McKinley and Donna Jo Napoli, and adventure, love stories based on folk and fairy tales, this is a great choice.

Jane Eyre: Movie and Book Night

Read the book, then see the movie with the Aboyne Branch of Wellington County Library! WCL has many copies of Jane Eyre, and you can pick one to read prior to heading out with a group of like-minded teens to see the latest film adaptation at the Gorge Cinema.

Meet Wednesday, April 27, 6:45 pm at the Gorge Cinema, and then stay after for dessert and movie dissection at the Café Crêperie. Call the Aboyne Branch to register!

Erin TAG Bookmark!

The Erin TAG group has been busy making bookmarks with lists of books that we like and think other teens would like as well.  Our first has a list of our favorite authors on one side and a list of books we thought everyone should read on the other.  You can pick up a bookmark at the Erin branch, or let us know if you’d like us to send some to your local branch.  Other bookmarks in progress are fantasy, humour, science fiction, vampires, mystery, books for guys, and books that make you think. 

Our next meeting is Monday, May 9.  Bring you lunch, Lori will bring dessert!

Weekly Poll: Reading censored books

The following list is compiled partially from the Wikipedia entry on government-censored books, and partially from my own knowledge of challenges and bans that have happened here in Canada, usually in school libraries. This is not at all a comprehensive list! I just picked some of the more well-known, English-language titles. The Wikipedia list is well-worth investigating, as it includes several titles that are still banned in various places around the world, and the reasons those books have been censored. (Some of the reasons are really quite funny, if a little sad!)

What do you think? Can you see a situation where banning books might be appropriate? Who do you think should have that choice? Or do you think no one should ever ban any book anywhere? Is it important to read books that have been censored? Why? Let’s discuss! Leave us a comment after you’ve completed the poll.

Friday Finds for April 8: New on the shelves

As part of the Friday Finds feature, we’ll try to highlight some of the new books showing up on WCL shelves, as well as point you to some of the books that we’ve enjoyed and think others would too, but for some reason they’ve slipped between the cracks.

As a rule, with the new books, we may not have actually read them before highlighting them here! So if you do read one and love it or hate it, drop us a line in the comments to let us know.

Across the Universe by Beth Revis is a science fiction mystery. Amy, cryogenically frozen for a journey to a new colony aboard the ship Godspeed, awakes too early from her frozen state and discovers that someone is carefully murdering passengers — and she may have been lucky to wake up at all.  If she doesn’t find out who did it soon, her parents will be next.

Crescent Star by Nicholas Maes is a story of two young men, one Palestinian and the other Israeli, growing up, finding their place in the world, and playing soccer in the same club. They have everything in common and nothing at all. Set in the spring of 2006 when tensions are beginning to boil over in the region, Avi and Moussa must decide what their roles will be in the conflict that surrounds them.

The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard is a story of love and grief. Colt and Julia were a couple — but never in public. They lived in entirely different social strata and the year after they met was special. And then Julia is killed in a car accident, and Colt has to deal with his grief in silence and private, until Julia’s brother shows up with her journal for Colt to read.

These highlighted books are just a small selection of the new books we have available. Find more by going to our catalogue at and selecting “What’s New on the Shelves” from the top right-hand corner.

Weekly Poll: What’s your favourite genre?

Some of us have pretty wide-ranging reading tastes. Others, well, if it’s not fantasy, you’ll rarely catch me reading it…


Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

Ever wish you could sit down for a full 24 hours and do nothing but read? So did Dewey, a giant of the book blogging world in 2007. So she created the 24 Hour Read-a-Thon, in which people are encouraged to read whatever they want for as long as they can up to 24 hours, and use social media (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, whatever you have handy) to report their progress to the world. This idea was a roaring success in the global book blogosphere, and it’s now a twice-a-year event. People post about the lists of books they’re planning to read, about the food they’re planning to eat, and if they’re really ambitious, the money they collect from sponsors (this is totally optional) to give to a charity of their choice based on how many books they end up reading.

The next Read-A-Thon is on April 9, a Saturday. Intrigued? Want to know more? Check out the Read-A-Thon website, and join in or just follow along for a while as people around the world read as much as they can in 24 hours!