Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie wins 2006 Thumbs Up!

The Thumbs Up! Award committee has voted Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar as the 2006 Thumbs Up! Award winner. Sleeping Freshmen. . . is the journal of Scott Hudson during his first year in high school. It’s a year full of bullies, romance, honors classes, and brotherhood, and oh yes, his mother’s pregnancy.

The committee also chose three Honor books. They are Twilight by Stephenie Meyer which received the most teen votes, Looking for Alaska by John Green, and Peeps by Scott Westerfeld.

A "Magykal" Summer Read

For all those Harry Potter and Fantasy fans out there, there is a new series in youth literature that is a lot of fun. Angie Sage has written a series called Septimus Heap which tracks the story of a young boy who was switched at birth and raised as a soldier, away from his large, quirky wizard family. With a twist in fate the boy becomes involved in an escape with an ExtraOrdinary Wizard and a princess. He eventually discovers his true identity: that he is the seventh son of a seventh son for whom many prophecies have been foretold. While these stories are not quite as engaging as the Harry Potter series, they are still a good, light summer read for young minds (or those young at heart) and you will not be able to put them down. The first book in the series is called Magyk while the second book, Flyte, just came out this year.

Angie Sage is also collaborating with illustrator Jimmy Pickering for a new series this summer, Araminta Spookie, which will be coming out in August. The first book in the series will be My Haunted House. So check out Angie Sage for a "magykal" summer read!

Lost in the Woods

In this critically acclaimed film version of Carl Sams and Jean Stoick’s bestselling children’s book, a lost raccoon, Fernando Hernandafandavez--voiced by AADL staff member, Diego Ascani!--is confused by the signs of spring until he finally gets a little help from a wise old box turtle named Shirley. Using live action nature footage and photographic stills, filmmakers Laura and Robert Sams carefully match up the characters' dialogue and movements on screen for a fun and clever way to teach young viewers about animal behavior and their environment.

The Play Ground

The Play Ground

Ok, if you don't already know about the tragic Mimi how can I summarize La Boheme in a few sentences? I can't. But, describing Act I gives a good entre into this classic opera.
Paris, Christmas Eve, c. 1830. In their Latin Quarter garret, two starving artists try to keep warm by burning pages from Rodolfo's latest drama. They are joined by their comrades bring food, fuel and funds. Meanwhile, the landlord arrives to collect the rent. There is another knock: a neighbor, Mimì, says her candle has gone out on the drafty stairs. Offering her wine when she feels faint, Rodolfo relights her candle and helps her to the door. Mimì realizes she has dropped her key, and as the two search for it, both candles are blown out. In the moonlight the poet takes the girl's shivering hand, telling her his dreams. She then recounts her solitary life, embroidering flowers and waiting for spring. Drawn to each other, Mimì and Rodolfo leave for the café. Sigh.
La Boheme by Guiacomo Puccini, Arbor Opera Theater, June 15-18, Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre

A great weekend watch!

Boondock Saints is a great movie for anyone who enjoyed Pulp Fiction, or my personal favorite, Reservoir Dogs. This strangely religious tale is about two brothers who kill two mofia "bad guys" in self defense, and are seen as heroes. They then see it as a calling by God and start killing off mofia members one after another. Willem Dafoe play the detective trying to catch these killers, however the closer he gets to catching them, the more he starts to believe they may be doing the right thing. If you are looking for a thrilli

Oasis Definitely, Maybe Beats the Beatles

In a recent poll, 40,000 music fans voted the debut album by British rock band Oasis, "Definitely, Maybe," as the best album of all time. It topped the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band and Revolver and several others in the top 10, including Nevermind by Nirvana and OK Computer, by Radiohead. Naturally, there's plenty of controversy over the rankings. So, what do you think?

The Hostage Crisis Revisited: The U.S., Iran and Islam

A new, highly praised account of the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979-81 views the events against the background of United States relations with countries in the Islamic world and the rise of militant Islam. Mark Bowden's narrative Guests of the Ayatollah revisits the capture of 66 Americans and their 444 day ordeal. In the process the author looks at the motivation of the radical student followers of the Ayatollah Khomeini, portrays key figures on both sides including American staffers, Marine guards, CIA members, Islamic ideologues and others with a page-turning "you are there" approach. This is a well-written account of what the author terms "the first battle in America's war with militant Islam." Another fairly recent book on the topic is The Crisis: The President, the Prophet and the Shah by David Harris. Additional books on crisis are also available.

Orange Award for New Writers

Yiyun-Li's first collection of stories, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers is one of the recipients of the Orange Award for New Writers. In the title story, an old man from China tells his new friend, an Iranian woman, of the gulf he's tried to bridge with his daughter from whom he's been estranged for many years. Ironically, even with the language barrier, he's able to communicate more effectively with her than with his own flesh and blood. Other stories also speak to the dislocation of the Chinese both in their own country and in America after the ravages of the Cultural Revolution.

Zaha Hadid at the Guggenheim

zahahadid

Zaha Hadid is the first woman to be awarded the distinguished Pritzker Architecture Prize, in 2004. The Iraqi-born, London-based architect is internationally known for projects that have literally "shifted the geometry of buildings."

The current exhibition at the Guggenheim is a 30-year retrospective of her work in a wide range of mediums: paintings, sketches, architectural drawings, urban plans, models, relief models, animations, furniture, and design object. It opens today and runs through October 25th, 2006.
The exhibition catalog will be available soon but you can read up on Zaha Hadid in Zaha Hadid : Testing the Boundaries.

History Repeats Itself

Starred reviews all around for Saving the World, Julia Alvarez’s fifth novel that tells the story of a present-day Latina writer retelling the story of a real-life woman of uncommon courage, Dona Isabel Sendales y Gomez. Dona Isabel served as guardian to nineteen orphan boys with smallpox who were used by Dr. Francisco Balmis to inoculate the citizens of New Spain against the dreaded disease. When the writer’s husband, a humanitarian activist, is taken hostage in the Dominican Republic, the story of Dona Isabel prov

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