MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

January 19, 2013

MPL offers respite from boredom of winter

By Liz Hanley
Books & More

— I know that we are in the middle of winter and for some of us the boredom has begun. This is one of my favorite times, because I geek adventure. How can I say this and never leave the city limits? Reading will take you on a journey to wherever you want to go and the Muskogee Public Library offers so many ways to reach your remotest adventures.

As a child, I loved fairy stories and one of the latest I have read is “Violet Wings” by Victoria Hanley. Zaria Tourmaline has been orphaned for three years because her parents and brother have been lost on earth. This leaves her without any relatives and she must live with her teacher. Fairies have fey laws that govern them. Zaria has now reached her 14th birthday and will be given her watch and wand.

The wing color and level (a number) inside the watch crystal determines how much power you possess. The higher the number of level the more radia can be used. Zaria’s friend Leona is happy because she has been given the violet color and level 200 radia. This is an extraordinary amount which Leona plans on using her influence.

Once Zaria discovers her wing color she seeks first the place where her parents kept their magic notes and longs for her mother’s advice. She has been given a mentor; someone on the Feyland Council. Zaria will stay positive and try to obey the laws of using her magic. Still she must find out about her earthbound parents and brother.

Have you ever wanted to be on a game show? It is another adventure of mine to be a contestant on a TV game show. In “Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen” by Donna Gephart, Olivia would like nothing better than to end up on the kids’ version of “Jeopardy.” Olivia loves trivia, but needs help with geography. Tucker decides to help her, even though he’s a little envious, but so does everyone in her family! Soon she’s breezing through the auditions and on her way to Hollywood. Hope her dream comes true.

Where in the world would you like to visit? I have always wanted to see and experience the continent and country of Australia. In “Bush Fire” by Bindi Irwin it is 80 degrees at 8 a.m. on the hike with her best friend Rosie and her father Dr. Richard. Up ahead they sight a fire in the bush! They make their way quickly to the Wildlife Hospital and work for two hours helping to bandage and aide the animals bought there.

A phone call requests the services of Dr. Richard onsite. He tells the girls to drink plenty of water and they could assist him. As they travel, the air was very thick with smoke and finally they locate a makeshift tent. The girls watched as firefighters were bringing in the animals. Bindi locked eyes with a fat little koala and watched as Richard gets him to calm down with an injection.

Believe me, I would not want to run into a fire, but could not pass up the chance to see all the unique Australian animals. Bindi has made a difference with each of her books in the Wildlife Adventures series.

My curiosity though extends to the original peoples of Australia the Aborigine. Walkabout by James Vance Marshall is not a new book, but it tells of a young girl and her brother and a new companion an Aboriginal boy, as they fight for survival.

Mary and Peter survive a plane crash headed for Adelaide to visit their uncle. Mary was successful in pulling Peter from the burning plane moments before it exploded. The pilots were not that fortunate as Mary’s reoccurring nightmares reveal. Mary must get Peter to safety and so they continue to walk, bathing in streams, fighting off creatures they do not know in the heat, while sticking close to the stream. Most of the animals slept in the unbearable heat but the insects continued to bite.

They reach the Great Australian Desert and think it is the ocean, but it is a mirage. Eventually they were able to find some fruit called quondong that was both sweet and juicy. They gathered them and suddenly Peter hears something in the bushes and Mary turns and there is a naked native boy four feet away. Mary and Peter and the boy froze.

Mary and Peter from Charleston, S.C., the modern world where food was bought in a store and prepared, while the Aborigine boy’s life was unchanged and unchanging for 20,000 years and knew how to survive from his environment. What will happen to Mary and Peter now? I believe this ending is something you’ll have to read for yourself. I could not put it down.

Is there a spy lurking within you? Yes, there is and I love a good mystery, especially with money involved. In “Floors and 3 Below” by Patrick Carman a boy named Leo whose father is the maintenance man at the Whippet Hotels soon discovers that secrets lie on each floor.

In a mysterious group of boxes Leo discovers coded puzzles. Encountering strange guests and hidden floors keeps him exploring the fantastic inventions of the missing billionaire and his fortune. This makes me want to get started on this one right away. The author has written several outstanding books including the 39 Clues.

One of my favorite dreams is to fly and I love heights. In “Peak” by Roland Smith, a digital audio book, Peak likes to climb things. Living in New York City has not dampened his enthusiasm because he is arrested by a SWAT team on the Sears building. In court he is given two choices either go to the juvenile detention center or spend time with his estranged farther in Thailand. The decision is easy for Peak, but he learns that his father plans to use his ‘talent’ for his own personal gain.

Are you absolutely, totally interested in any and everything about something?

Let us know and we will steer you in many directions as you adventure through it .The Muskogee Public Library will be your guide to your quest for fame, fortune, knowledge and success as you “Geek your library.”

Liz Hanley is the children’s librarian at the Muskogee Public Library. Reach her at (918) 682-6657 or readingliz@eok.

lib.ok.us.