Libri Dilectio: December 2011

24 December 2011

The Thirteen Days of Doctor Who: Growing Up with the Doctor

Today, we’re doing things a little differently here at Libri Dilectio. In honor of the holiday and the best television show EVER (inarguable), I’m participating in the 13 Days of Doctor Who Blog Hop! This is the final day, so for those of you who’ve been following the hop since the beginning, you’re in the home stretch! Soon you’ll find out who won that highly coveted series 6 box set! Thank you to Erica O’Rourke for hosting and inviting me to play too!

I also have a guest hanging out at at LD with me today, my Dad, Mark! I thought no post about me growing up with Doctor Who would be complete without the man who started it all. You may remember my dad from his previous guest appearance, reviewing I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett. Today he will be wearing TARDIS blue and I’ll be in traditional black. Here we go!
Matt (2) and Becky (4) – Doctor Who babies 1989
The Doctor has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. At the age of 4, I rocked a homemade (thanks mom) mini Doctor Who scarf. My brother, 2 years old at the time, had a matching one. We drank out of Doctor Who mugs when we wanted hot chocolate after playing in the snow, and we both referred to the show as “Doctor Wubbedy” since we sang the theme song, “wubbedy wub wubbedy wub…” Yes, we were cool children.
My dad, who was always available on Saturday mornings to watch The Smurfs or Mighty Mouse, has always been a HUGE Doctor Who fan.  Dad here, actually my first exposure to the Doctor was in 1972 at the house of a friend.  His parents were watching an episode with Jon Pertwee as the Doctor.  To explain the show to me they said, the Doctor was like James Bond from outer space who had a spaceship that was bigger on the inside than on the outside (honestly, it was one of the worst explanations I have ever heard of the show).  My response was, “Let’s go hang out somewhere else and talk about girls.”
Six years later, I found myself in graduate school in Ann Arbor, in an apartment all by myself, and trying to get through the MBA program at the University of Michigan.  At that time, WTVS, the Detroit PBS station, ran Doctor Who on Saturday nights.  I started watching the show in reruns and found Tom Baker to be a wonderful Time Lord.  He made you believe that he was more than human.
Okay, so you haven’t always been a fan, but for a long time, as long as I’ve been alive. I remember watching old episodes of Doctor Who on PBS with you and not understanding what was going on. I liked Sarah JaneSmith best of all the assistants (as they used to be called) and Tom Baker was my Doctor. Obviously, I was a preschooler who wore his scarf! I’ve never hidden behind a couch to avoid the Daleks, but I knew that you didn’t want to mess with those trash bin aliens!
In 1983, I found myself managing the construction of a suburban Chicago cable TV system for Westinghouse Electric.  My plant manager was a big Whovian and every Monday morning, he would come into the office and want to talk about the episode shown on WTTW Chicago late on Sunday night.  It was him who really opened up the world of Doctor Who for me.  Peter Davison was the current Doctor Who or “Tristan” as we called him having been earlier fans of “All Creatures Great and Small.” 
When you were born, Colin Baker had become the Doctor and the show was starting to unravel. Not that that was my fault or anything. I was just born under a bad BBC star or something. Something like that. Anyway, John Nathan Turner was producing the show and the stories were weak, disjointed and sometimes just plain bad, but that didn’t stop me.  I was still looking forward to bringing my children along for a ride in the TARDIS one day.  When you were two, Sylvester McCoy became the Doctor and the shows got worse, although McCoy was a very convincing Doctor.  Then, just as it looked like Becky was ready to join the team, the end came.  Abruptly.  No final episode, no tying up loose ends.  Nothing.  It was 1989 and it was over before it had begun.
Becky and Dad, Whovian Love!
And from then on, we waited. Well you waited. I had pretty much forgotten about the show. In 1994 I found one way to fill the gap: I discovered the Doctor Who series novels and started reading them.  Those novels were what the show should have always been.  The Doctor became a more dark and lonely person, feeling the pressure of keeping the universe together and often losing patience with it.  One of my favorite lines from one of the books was, “I’m what monsters have nightmares about,” which was later used for David Tennant in “The Girl in the Fireplace” episode.  The made-for-tv movie came out in 1996 and the less said about that, the better, although I still think Paul McGann was superb and would have been a great continuing Doctor. You had high hopes for the TV movie, but sadly it just didn’t grab an audience like the BBC wanted and the Doctor went back into hibernation for another 10 years. 
Fast forward to 2005 – another job, but back home in the Chicago area.  I was traveling to Europe every now and then for business.  It was September 13th (a Tuesday – yes, I keep track of these things as any real Time Lord would).  I was lying in my bed in the hotel in London watching the BBC when a promotional spot came on.  It was a shot panning across a wall.  The voice over said, “He’s back.  And it’s about time.” And the shot pans over to the TARDIS.  WHAT??  I had not read that they had started shooting the show again!!  
The next day, I ran over to Tower Records on Piccadilly and bought the first two DVDs of the new series without any way to play them.  I figured out how to watch them on my company laptop, but that only works five times and then the DVD drive gets hosed.  When I got home, I bought a multi-region DVD player so I could watch the shows on my HDTV.  The show was just what it should have been years ago.  It had picked up the darker and more serious elements of the books, but kept the old Tom Baker humor (“Nine hundred years of time and space and I’ve never been slapped by someone’s mother.”).  I honestly could not wait to reintroduce the kids to the show.  But that would have to wait until they got home for Thanksgiving.
In 2005, during my sophomore year of college, I brought my boyfriend (who is now my husband) home to meet my family. He was still at the point that he did pretty much anything my family asked of him, including watching Rose, the first episode of the new season of Doctor Who. I was skeptical of the new reboot, but, after one episode, we were both hooked. Maybe that was the first sign that we were meant to get married.
My dad and I (and my brother, mother, husband, friends) are devoted Whovians. We remember the lines, the episodes, the characters, and the music. Doctor Who is a part of my family, and one of the only shows we really enjoy as an entire family. We’re all loving Matt Smith’s Doctor and will miss the Ponds when they bow out at the end of this upcoming season. We’ll all be watching tomorrow for The Doctor the Widow and the Wardrobe, and you should too!

To enter the grand prize giveaway, please leave a comment with your name and email address. You may enter once at every stop on the blog tour, for a total of thirteen chances. The Grand Prize giveaway is limited to the US and Canada, due to regional restrictions on the DVD. Individual contests will close at the discretion of the author, but the Grand Prize contest will accept entries on any site until midnight CST on December 24th. The winner will be posted HERE on December 25th, and be notified via email.

10 December 2011

The Adventures of a Booktalking Librarian – Part III

My favorite outreach program at the library is a booktalk we do twice a year (winter and summer) for 3rd-5th grade advanced readers at a local elementary school. The kids really appreciate the visit, and I have a great time getting ready for it. I don’t always get to go, gotta share the joy with some of the co-workers sometimes, but I did get to go yesterday! Another librarian and I each shared 10 titles with the class and then left them for the kids to read over winter break. I know we brought good books because I worked last night and 4 different kids came in looking for books from our booktalk!

Here are the books I shared this time:

How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous, Georgia Bragg and Kevin O’Malley

The awful ends of 19 awfully famous people including; Beethoven, Henry VIII, Napoleon, Pocahontas, and Queen Elizabeth I. Perfect for readers who love all things disgusting, but best avoided by those with a weak stomach.

8901945Hidden, Helen Frost

When Wren and Darra were eight years old, Darra’s father stole a minivan, with Wren inside. What happened next changed both their lives forever.

Years later, Wren and Darra end up at the same summer camp and must face each other for the first time. Both girls have questions and neither one trusts the other.

9462672True…Sort Of, Katherine Hannigan

This is the story of three kids all living in a small town. Delly Pattison is one of many siblings and always in trouble. She doesn’t mean to be trouble, everything she does seems like a good or helpful thing to her, but it’s always big trouble. Brud Kinney is a shy boy who speaks with a stutter. Brud loves basketball more than anything. He wants to be the best basketball player in the world. Ferris Boyd is new in town and she plays basketball better than anyone Brud’s ever seen, but Ferris is a very different kind of person. She never speaks and she doesn’t want to be touched…at all. Ferris ends up in the same class at school as Delly, which, of course, leads to big trouble, and big fun.

Touch Blue, Cynthia Lord51vecxKm3mL

Tess loves living on an island off the coast of Maine, but now that so many families have moved away, the state is planning to shut down her island’s school. With no school, Tess and her family would have to move to the mainland. The islanders have a plan to keep their island school open and the families in their homes, they just need more students. Several families, including Tess’, take in foster children. Tess is convinced her new foster sibling will be just like Anne in Anne of Green Gables. She can’t wait to show her all around the island and make friends, but then it turns out that she’s getting a foster brother. Aaron is a thirteen year old trumpet player who is not happy to be on the island and has no interest in getting close to Tess’ family.

9917879The Unwanteds, Lisa McMann

In Quill, thirteen is a very important age. Who you are at thirteen determines who you will be for the rest of your life, and how long the rest of your life will be. Thirteen year olds are sorted into two categories, the smart, strong Wanteds who go on to the University and a lifetime in Quill, and the artistic Unwanteds who are sent to die.

Alex and Aaron are twin brothers and also thirteen. Aaron is Wanted, Alex is Unwanted.

Alex is prepared to die; he has expected to be an Unwanted, knowing that he is too creative. When he arrives at the place where all Unwanteds go to die, he is surprised to discover that not only will he live, but he will be taught to use his creativity as magic. He now lives in the hidden land of Artime. A place filled with magic and mystery, and well hidden from the government officials who believe the Unwanteds living there are all long dead.

Even in this magical place, Alex can’t forget his twin brother, Aaron. Their bond is so strong that each can sense the other, leading to danger for Artime and a magical war that will pit brother against brother.

Wisdom’s Kiss, Catherine Gilbert MurdockWisdomskiss

This is the story of three people whose lives become completely entangled. Princess Wisdom, known to all as Dizzy, just wants to be free to live a life filled with adventure. Tips is a soldier, trying hard to keep his true identity a secret from his family and the girl he left behind. Fortitude, called Trudy, has visions of the future, but only cares that Tips return home to her.

These three very different people must find a way to work together to save the country of Montagne, protect it’s future queen, and find out who they really are. Too bad they have so much trouble getting along. Told in diaries, encyclopedia entries, newspaper articles, and plays, this hilarious story will turn happily ever after on its ear and redefine what it means to be a hero.

9726503Liesl and Po, Lauren Oliver

Liesl has a wicked step-mother, who has locked her away in an attic room. Liesl’s step-mother is so wicked that she didn’t even let Liesl out to say goodbye to her father before he died. In the attic Liesl is all alone, except for the mice, until the night she meets Po – who just happens to be a ghost.

On the same night Liesl meets Po, Will, an alchemyst’s apprentice, is supposed to make a delivery. He’s meant to deliver a box containing the most powerful magic in the entire world, but he gets it wrong. Now the magic is lost and Will, along with Liesl and Po, sets off on an epic adventure.

Wonderstruck, Brian SelznickWonderstruck

This is the story of two young people, living 50 years apart. Rose’s story is told entirely in pictures because Rose is deaf. This way, readers experience the world much as Rose herself does, through sight.

Ben’s mother has just passed away and he’s living with his Aunt, Uncle, and cousins on a lake in Minnesota. One night, he sneaks away and finds a clue to the identity of the father he’s never met. Ben wants nothing more than to find his father, so he runs away to New York City where he meets some interesting people and ends up living in a museum.

10637959 Breadcrumbs, Anne Ursu

Hazel’s parents have just gotten divorced, and to make matters worse, now her mother can’t afford the tuition for the private school Hazel’s always gone to. Hazel starts to attend public school, but she just doesn’t understand the rules or her classmates. Hazel is a daydreamer, a reader, and completely lost in her own imagination. She doesn’t have any friends at her new school, except Jack.

Jack is Hazel’s neighbor and he’s been her best friend their whole lives. Jack’s family life isn’t the best so he spends a lot of time in his imagination, just like Hazel. They are two peas in a pod until the day Jack gets something in his eye that turns his heart cold. He stops talking to Hazel or being her friend at all and one day he disappears completely.

Hazel knows there’s more going on then just growing apart and that Jack hasn’t gone to live with some relative she’s never heard of. She sets off to save him and finds herself in the middle of an enchanted forest. Hazel learns that it’s one thing to dream of adventures, but another thing entirely to find yourself in the middle of one.

The Chronicles of Harris Burdick, Chris Van Allsburg 5070-3

The classic images and captions from The Mysteries of Harris Burdick are turned into full stories by 14 well known children’s authors including: Kate DiCamillo, Lois Lowry, Louis Sachar, Jon Scieszka, and the man himself, Chris Van Allsburg.

09 December 2011

Reader’s Advisory or A Missed Opportunity

I am a librarian. I know…you’re not particularly surprised. It does say so all over the place on this site. It’s in my “About Me” section, my “Review Policy,” my header, and look, over there on the right, it’s even in my “Welcome” note. I’ve made it pretty clear that I am a librarian, but I’ve been missing an opportunity to share my librarian-ness with the internet! I said that I started my blog, “as a way to keep track of what I’m reading and to better do my FAVORITE part of my job, reader’s advisory,” but I haven’t been readers advising! Not at all! I mean, yes, I’ve been reviewing and recommending good books, but I could do more!

I really do love reader’s advisory and kids ask for it so often that it’s also become one of the most answered reference questions for me. I’m not sure if adults ask as often as kids, never worked with grown ups before…too big. Anyway, I get to recommend good books to kids all day every day at work. I’m in charge of maintaining and updating my library’s online book lists as well, so seriously, if I haven’t made it clear enough already, I do A LOT of reader’s advisory.

Now, here’s the problem, I haven’t been advising all of you. I’m sorry, but there’s an easy solution, I’m going to start! You might have noticed in my last post about The Agency series (which once again is awesome!) that I added a section for reader’s advisory. I’m going to start doing that from now on with every single review I write. I might even go back and add it to old posts (not sure about that yet. It’ll depend on how much I hide indoors this winter). Hopefully, this will be fun for readers and useful for those who have already read the book I’m reviewing, or just want to know what to read after they finish it. OR, for those of you who are also librarians, maybe it will help you with recommending books to your kids and teens.

I’m sad it took me this long to realize my mistake, but I’m happy to start remedying it now! Yay for reader’s advisory!! Now, excuse me, I have to go get ready for a school booktalk. Smile.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *