During the week of October 21st, YALSA will announce the 2013 Teens’ Top Ten winners. Here is a review of one of last year’s winners:
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (2011)
The Scorpio Races are held every November. It is a violent competition where many are injured or killed. Competitors capture and train the dangerous capaill uisce (water horses) to race along the treacherous coastline of the Island of Thisby. The story is told in alternating first-person between the two main characters.
Kate “Puck” Connolly has lost both of her parents to the capaill uisce and is about to lose her older brother, Gabe, who has decided to leave the island in search of a better life on the mainland. Puck decides to enter the race in the hopes of earning the winner’s pot in order to save the family farm and keep her broken, impoverished family intact.
Sean Kendrick works for the callous owner of the largest horse yard on the island and is the returning champion of the Scorpio Races. He hopes to win one more race in order to achieve a life of his own.
Sean is reluctant but ultimately supports Puck’s decision to join the races, even though most everyone else objects to a girl entering the races, as Puck is the first and only female to ever try. Sean and Puck develop a close relationship as Sean teaches Puck about capaill uisce and the Scorpio Races, but they must ultimately work against each other, because only one can win the race.
This book is available in print at the Hultquist Library (PZ7.S855625 Sc 2011). It is also available as an ebook from the JCC Libraries’ Axis360 Magic Wall.
The Scorpio Races was selected as a 2012 Teens’ Top Ten winner. It is also a 2012 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book and a 2012 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults.
-- Jenn Knisley
What is LGBT Life with Full-Text?
LGBT Life with Full Text is the leading full-text database for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender literature and research material. The database includes more than 130 of the most important and historically significant LGBT journals, magazines and regional newspapers, as well as more than 170 full-text monographs/books including Classics in Lesbian Studies, Gay Science: The Ethics of Sexual Orientation Research, Handbook of Research with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Populations, Queer Theory & Social Change, etc. This database was made available to the JCC Libraries through SUNYConnect.
Where do I find LGBT Life with Full-Text?
LGBT Life with Full Text is available from the JCC Libraries’ homepage (www.sunyjcc.edu/library). Select either Databases by Title or Databases by Subject under Search Collections. Browse alphabetically by title or find the database by subject under Social Sciences.
When/Why should I use LGBT Life with Full-Text?
This is your go-to database for information specifically about LGBT life, including civil liberties, culture, employment, family, history, politics, psychology, religion, sociology, etc.
How do I use LGBT Life with Full-Text?
This database is easily searched, just like any of our other EBSCO databases. To conduct your search, simply type your keywords into the search bar and select any of the available search options to narrow the number of results.
Go to the LGBT Life with Full Text database and try finding the answer to this question: What are some attitudes toward Lesbian and Gay parenting? [Hint: You should see an article title that will obviously answer this question. The article is from a 2009 issue of the Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health]
-- Jenn Knisley
I first became aware of the Dominican author Junot Diaz while listening to NPR last October. If you’re interested, the interview I heard is available here: http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=162379322&m=162382121. This interview is from 2007 when Diaz received a Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. It was being replayed because he had just been named a McArthur Fellow – the so-called “Genius” award. His own story is intriguing and I was eager to read his work, but it took me a year to finally get to it!
I have just finished reading This is How you Lose Her, a book described as “a collection of stories that explore the power of love in all its forms.” Make no mistake, this is not a book about romance! These stories are gritty, peppered with profanity and Dominican slang, a device the author uses for a reason:
I wanted everybody at one moment to kind of feel like an immigrant …. there'd be one language chain that you might not get. And that it was OK. ... [T]he experience that most of us have in the world is that we tend to live in a world where a good portion of what we hear, see and experience is unintelligible to us. And that to me feels more real than if everything was transparent for every reader. (“Junot Dias”)
Most of the stories follow Yunior (who also appears in Oscar Wao) and his life as a new immigrant, his interactions with his strict former military officer father, his lothario brother Rafa, and his stoic mother. There are no happily-ever-after stories in this collection, but it is a great read!
We have several of Diaz’s books at the JCC libraries:
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – PS3554.I259 B75 2007 (Hultquist Library and Cattaraugus County Campus Library)
This is How You Lose Her – PS3554.I259 T48 2012 (Hultquist Library )
His short stories can also be found in several volumes of The Best American Short Stories (1996, 1997, 1999 and 2000) - PZ1.B446235 (Hultquist Library)
Find biographical and other information about Junot Diaz in the Library Databases by Subject (Select Language and Literature)
"Junot Diaz." Contemporary Literary Criticism. Vol. 258. Detroit: Gale, 2009. Literature Resource Center. Web. 1 Oct. 2013.
-- Maggie McElrath
Leif Ericson Day – October 9, 2013
He was here first! Five hundred years before Christopher Columbus discovered the “New World,” Viking explorer Leif Ericson stepped ashore somewhere on the north east coast of North America. Ericson was born in Iceland around 970 CE. His grandfather was exiled from Norway to Iceland and his father (the infamous Eric the Red) was in turn banished from Iceland. The family eventually settled in Greenland and when Leif came of age he was sent back to Norway to establish trade. While in Norway, Leif converted to Christianity and was encouraged to spread the word among his pagan countrymen when he returned to Greenland. Several Norse sagas relate his expeditions to the coast of North American and interactions with the native people he found there. While it is unclear exactly where Ericson landed, archaeological evidence has been found on several sites in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.
To honor Leif Ericson and celebrate our Nordic-American heritage, the Congress, by joint resolution (Public Law 88-566) approved on September 2, 1964, has authorized the President of the United States to proclaim October 9 of each year as "Leif Ericson Day."
Read more about Leif Ericson in books from the JCC libraries. (Try searching the catalog for “Vikings.”) Several databases (http://www.sunyjcc.edu/library/databases-by-title) contain entries about Leif Ericson: Gale Virtual Reference Library and Salem History – also try searching in National Geographic Virtual Library for “Vikings” for more information about this fascinating character.
"Leif Eriksson." World Eras. Ed. Jeremiah Hackett. Vol. 4: Medieval Europe, 814-1350. Detroit: Gale Group, 2002. 47-48. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 8 Oct. 2013.
-- Maggie McElrath
|Monday & Tuesday, October 14 & 15, 2013||9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.|
|Monday & Tuesday, October 14 & 15, 2013||9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.|
Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez (Hultquist Library - PZ7 .A48 Re 2009)
Illegal immigration is a huge issue in the United States today. In the novel Return to Sender, readers can’t help but feel empathy for a family of undocumented immigrants who left their country in search of a better life. When Tyler’s father is injured in a farming accident, the family farm is in danger of being taken away. Tyler’s father hires migrant Mexican workers to help save the farm, and with these workers also come their three daughters- the oldest of which forms an unlikely friendship with Tyler. Both Tyler and his new friend Mari struggle with the issue of illegal immigration - Tyler is conflicted by his friendship with the Cruz family, the desperation of his family to save the farm, and his loyalty for his country. Mari lives in fear of being discovered. She is often bullied at school, and worst of all, her mother has been missing for 8 months after a trip to Mexico. Can Tyler and Mari remain friends through these struggles? Told by alternating perspectives of both Tyler and Mari, this coming of age novel demonstrates lessons in compassion, kindness, and generosity.
This book was the perfect choice for Hispanic Heritage month because it gives the reader a look into the culture of a Mexican family. I enjoyed this book because it is filled with positive messages of compassion, generosity, and kindness.
What is National Geographic Virtual Library?
WOW! That was my reaction when I first opened this database containing the entire archive of National Geographic Magazine from 1880 to the present – an amazing 120 years. Every page is included, so you can view photographs, maps, and even advertisements. It is an invaluable research tool, but also a wonderful place in which to lose yourself for hours (which I did!)
Where can you find it?
National Geographic Virtual Library is available from the JCC libraries’ homepage (www.sunyjcc.edu/library). Under SEARCH COLLECTIONS, choose either Databases by Title (N), or Databases by Subject (it is listed under Anthropology, History, Music and Fine Arts, Philosophy and Religion, and Science.) If you are off-campus, you can still access the database from the libraries’ homepage by using your student login.
When would you use it?
This database would be a fantastic resource for just about any research assignment. National Geographic Magazine is not considered to be an academic or scholarly journal, but it is certainly an authoritative source. For instance, I found a terrific article with stunning photography about African marriage rituals (November 1999) – Cultural Anthropology students take note!
How do you use it?
The homepage shows a selection of stories from different years. On the day I accessed the database, a featured article caught my attention from October 1952 called “Fish Men Explore a New World Undersea” by Capt. Jacques-Yves Cousteau. The article described the invention of the Aqua Lung and the development of underwater photography.
The database has a Browse Magazine page that allows you to view the cover of each issue. You can scroll down the page to travel through time! The Browse window also lets you narrow your view by date.
A search box in the upper right of the home page can be used to enter keywords. An Advanced Search feature lets you filter your search by Content Type (articles, images, advertisements), by Image Type (cartoon, map, chart), and by date. The results page is sorted by Content Type, and contains additional filters. Click on an article title to view the scanned version - I found the full-screen mode was the best way to read an article. Tools on the viewer allow you to print or email the article. There is also a citation generator (be careful!) and a list of related topics.
From the homepage, click on Term Frequency to use a nifty analytical tool. The tool allows you to enter a word or phrase, such as “global warming” to see a graph showing that National Geographic first used the term in 1983, and that the term was used most in 2007. Click on the graph nodes to see actual articles containing your term.
From the homepage, click on Browse Magazines. Using the Filter by Date tool, narrow to your birth month and year. Click on the magazine cover to open a viewer. Now you can page through the magazine issue to see articles and advertisements from the month and year you were born.
-- Maggie McElrath
Completion Day @ the Hultquist Library
Shel Silverstein was born September 25, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois. He died of a heart attack on May 10, 1999 in Key West, Florida.
Silverstein is best known for his collections of poetry and drawings for children, including Where the Sidewalk Ends (1974), A Light in the Attic (1981). He is also known for the children’s book classic, The Giving Tree (1964). These books have been challenged over the years, because the content was considered by some to be inappropriate for children. One example happened in 1985 at the Cunningham Elementary School in Beloit, Wisconsin. A Light in the Attic was challenged there, because one of the poems in the book “encourages children to break dishes so they won’t have to dry them.”
Some lesser known details about Silverstein’s life and career:
- Served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict in the 1950s
- Cartoonist for the Pacific edition of the military newspaper, Stars and Stripes
- Cartoonist for Look and Sports Illustrated
- Cartoonist and writer for Playboy magazine from 1956-1999
- Wrote country and novelty songs, including “A Boy Named Sue,” which was performed by Johnny Cash. He won a Grammy for the song in 1970
- Wrote several plays for adults
- Appeared in a film called “Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things about Me?” in 1971
- Two works written by him were published posthumously, including Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook (2005) and Everything On It (2011)
“Shel Silverstein.” Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2012. Literature Resource Center. Web. 16 Sept. 2013.
For a list of Silverstein’s works that are available at the JCC Libraries, visit:
For more information about Shel Silverstein:
• Book: A Boy Named Shel: The Life and Times of Shel Silverstein by Lisa Rogak (2007) [
• JCC Libraries’ Literature Databases:
• The Official Website:
-- Jenn Knisley