Friday, July 21, 2017

The Go-Between




Every Friday we give a new book away. To get the book, it's simple: just fill out the form at the bottom of the page and you'll be entered into a drawing. The drawing will run from Friday through Sunday and winners are announced on Mondays. (Note: you must be a Fresno County resident to be eligible for Free Fridays.)


The Go-Between by Veronica Chambers

Her mother is a glamorous telenovela actress. Her father is the go-to voice-over talent for blockbuster films. Hers is a world of private planes, chauffeurs, paparazzi, and gossip columnists. Meet Camilla del Valle--Cammi to those who know her best.

When Cammi's mom gets cast in an American television show and the family moves to LA, things change, and quickly.  Her mom's first role is playing a not-so-glamorous maid in a sitcom. Her dad tries to find work but dreams about returning to Mexico. And at the posh, private Polestar Academy, Cammi's new friends assume she's a scholarship kid, the daughter of a domestic.

At first Cammi thinks playing along with the stereotypes will teach her new friends a lesson. But the more she lies, the more she wonders: Is she only fooling herself?

With humor and humanity, Veronica Chambers offers a universally appealing coming-of-age novel that poses complex questions of identity and assimilation every immigrant must wrestle with: Who were we back there? Who are we here? Who does everyone think we are here? And how do we meld all those selves together into a new life?

Want this book? Fill out and submit the form below for a chance to win your very own copy!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A Librarian has the Best Summer Ever with the FCPL Summer Challenge: Part 5

by Fae Giffen, Community Librarian 

Hi! My name is Fae and I’m a Community Librarian for Fresno County Public Library. I’m determined to have the best summer ever by doing the Fresno County Public Library Summer Challenge and sharing my experiences with you on this blog.

#15 Contact an elected official about an issue you care about.

Politics are getting a lot of attention these days. The state of the nation is on everyone’s mind and we’re all trying to make sense of the world around us. The big picture is important, but don’t forget the old saying: “All politics are local.” Some of the policies that have the biggest impact on your life are written and implemented right here in Fresno County. Staying active in local affairs is just as important as following what's happening in Washington D.C., and learning the names of your local representatives is a great way to start. USA.gov is a good place to find contact information for elected officials, from The Office of the President to your local mayor. The League of Women Voters allows you to enter your zip code onto their website and receive a list of all of your elected officials. Remember, if an issue matters to you, it should matter to your representatives. Find out who they are and let them know what you care about. I chose to contact a local official about improving public transportation, but you should find an issue you're passionate about. The important thing is to start getting involved.

#36 Watch the movie version of a book you’ve read.

Did you know Clueless is based on Jane Austen’s Emma? Yup. Amy Heckerling’s 1990s classic teen comedy is actually based on a 19th century novel, just with cell phones and a pretty amazing soundtrack added. If you’re looking for a highly entertaining ‘compare and contrast’ this summer, I recommend you check them both out.

#20 Learn 5 words in another language.

One of my greatest frustrations in life is not being bilingual. It’s ridiculous to grow up in a country based on immigration and new beginnings and not be able to communicate with anyone who isn’t speaking English. My Spanish is so bad that it’s pretty much limited to ordering food and telling people I don’t speak Spanish. This is unacceptable. I must improve. Luckily for me the Fresno County Public Library is here to help. Have you seen our language database selection? It’s pretty impressive and they can all be logged into from you home computer using your library card. There are multiple databases to choose from that allow you to improve your language skills in a variety of ways. I chose Mango Languages, so I could use their translator function which allows you to type in one language and get a translation in another. I now know that “Welcome to the public library. Would you like a library card application?” translates to “Bienvenido a la biblioteca p├║blica. ¿Quieres una solicitud de tarjeta de biblioteca?”


Which Summer Challenge log activities are YOU taking on this week? Let us know in the comments!


Friday, July 14, 2017

Summer Unscripted




Every Friday we give a new book away. To get the book, it's simple: just fill out the form at the bottom of the page and you'll be entered into a drawing. The drawing will run from Friday through Sunday and winners are announced on Mondays. (Note: you must be a Fresno County resident to be eligible for Free Fridays.)


Summer Unscripted by Jen Klein

Girl looks for a sign. Enter: Boy.

Rainie doesn't have a "passion" like her friends do. She's more of a dabbler--quick to give up and move on. But as graduation approaches, she wishes she had more direction. So when gorgeous Tuck gives a monologue that literally puts into words exactly how she's been feeling lately, it's a sign! Tuck is her passion. How could she not have seen it before?

Girl follows boy. Enter: Second Boy.

Rainie convinces her ex-BFF to let her work at the same summer job as Tuck. She's got a foolproof plan to date him. But when she arrives, Rainie discovers that things aren't so simple. And she meets Milo, a super-cute boy who also works with her. A boy with a complicated past.

Girl needs to figure stuff out. Enter: Drama.

Update: Congratulations to our lucky winner, Lana K.!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Librarian has the Best Summer Ever with the FCPL Summer Challenge: Part 4

by Fae Giffen, Community Librarian 

Hi! My name is Fae and I’m a Community Librarian for Fresno County Public Library. I’m determined to have the best summer ever by doing the Fresno County Public Library Summer Challenge and sharing my experiences with you on this blog.

Here's what I did this week.


#38 Write a six-word memoir.

Nothing ever went according to plan.

#11 Commit a random act of kindness.

I went; I played Skee-Ball for an hour; I won a pencil; and I gave my card with the leftover balance to a kid who really wanted a new toy.


#27 Read a graphic novel.

I didn’t know much about Lumberjanes when I checked out a copy from FCPL, just that it was a camp story and was getting great reviews.



And it’s delightful! A mix of summer camp and supernatural adventure that remains lighthearted and joyful. I liked it so much I checked out the 2nd volume from FCPL’s e-catalogue.


#41 Read a graphic novel.

Read two graphic novels? Ok, I said! And out came Paper Girls. I bought this almost a year ago and then I moved. It sat in a box of unpacked books under my bed until I found it last month and decided to give it a try. Wow. Just wow. I wasn’t really trying to theme my comic reading, but I somehow chose two stories of female friends off on adventures…that couldn’t be more different if they tried. While Lumberjanes is sweet and innocent and full of laughs, Paper Girls is dark and straight-up scary at times. I don’t want to spoil anything, but check it out. If you were a fan of Stranger Things, you’re going to love Paper Girls.




#31 Read for 20 minutes.

Know what will keep you so engrossed during your lunch that you’re almost late getting back to work? Evil clowns, that’s what. 

#14 Visit the FCPL Teen Blog.

It’s silly that it’s taken me 4 weeks to include the FCPL Teen blog in my Best Summer Ever, but better late then never. You can read blogs from librarians and reviews written by teens for teens, and there’s even a weekly giveaway called "Free Fridays" that you can enter to win books. And, while you’re there, don’t forget to check out the Summer Challenge blog for even more ways to win prizes this summer

#17 Get caught up on current events – Read a newspaper or magazine.

It’s time to tell you the strange, magical story of my The Wall Street Journal subscription. I don’t actually have one. I have an e-subscription to the Fresno Bee and my Grandmother gave me a subscription to The Smithsonian Magazine for my birthday (Check out a copy sometime. It’s awesome.), but that’s it. Then one day, when I was feeling especially depressed about the state of the world, The Wall Street Journal showed up on my door step. I took it inside, read it, and expected that would be that. But that wasn’t that! It kept showing up. I looked for a name or address on the paper, so I could give it to its rightful owner, but there was nothing, and it just kept coming. It’s been five months now and I know this mistake will be corrected, but for the time being I’m just enjoying the ride, especially on lazy Sunday mornings.



#13 Create a list of five goals for the upcoming year.

My list is all about trying new things in the coming year. We all get into ruts, but that’s no excuse for staying there.

1.       Visit a country I’ve never been to before.
2.       Visit someplace in California I’ve never been to before.
3.       Visit a place in Fresno County I’ve never been to before.
4.       Make a new friend.
5.       Learn a new skill.


That's all, for now. Check back next week for even more adventures, and see my Summer Challenge activity log on the WOW! Blog.

Friday, July 7, 2017

A Crown of Wishes




Every Friday we give a new book away. To get the book, it's simple: just fill out the form at the bottom of the page and you'll be entered into a drawing. The drawing will run from Friday through Sunday and winners are announced on Mondays. (Note: you must be a Fresno County resident to be eligible for Free Fridays.)


A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes – a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.

Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

Update: Congratulations, Hailey F.!