Gobble, Gobble…


Happy (day before) Thanksgiving, Bits and Bramblers! Yep, it’s that time of year again—time for the Macy’s Day Parade, football, turkey, cranberries, pie, and going to bed early so you can get to the stores at exactly 3:00 a.m. to start shopping. Or not. Maybe you’d rather stay in bed, then get up and eat some more pie. (Personally, I’m all for the “sleeping in and eating pie” plan.)

And now, it’s time for a little (day before) Thanksgiving entertainment. First off, my very favorite Thanksgiving YouTube video. I can’t get over how much I love those little Bric-a-Bracs with celebrity voices. So click play and watch Christopher Walken, John Madden, and Owen Wilson teach you all about the First Thanksgiving! (Kind of!)
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As you can see, it’s important to be as historically accurate as possible when talking about the first Thanksgiving. If not, suddenly the aliens were making pie for the Pilgrims, and the Indians were looking for ways to defeat Zombies. Don’t believe me? Then check out M/RCPL’s very own Puppet Posse with their take on the first Thanksgiving. But beware, this video contains several cute and cuddly puppets. Watch at your own risk…
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HAVE A VERY SAFE AND HAPPY THANKSGIVING, BITS AND BRAMBLERS…FULL OF FAMILY, FRIENDS, FUN, AND FOOD!



It’s All About the Candy: Solving All Your Halloween Problems


I’ve been very clear about Halloween, Bits and Bramblers. Mostly it’s all about the candy. I mean, sure things like Jack-o-Lanterns, costumes, and haunted houses, are fun, but…come on. It’s really all about the candy, isn’t it? Candy is usually the least stressful part of the entire holiday. It’s all the other stuff that trips you up, right? The other stuff causes drama. Leads to questions. Like, What’s the best haunted house?” and “Are there any cheap but cool costume ideas?” or “Is there a way to carve a Jack-o-Lantern without getting coating in pumpkin guts?”

Luckily, your faaaaaaaaaavorite librarians are here to solve your Halloween-related problems, so you can focus on the important stuff, like candy. First up…costumes. Need a cool costume, but don’t have a ton of money to spend? No problem…check out this website, which has a ton of costume ideas—everything from the Orbit Gum Girl or an Outlaw Poster. That’s one Halloween issue you can check off your list.

Next up, the Jack-o-Lantern thing. Like the way carving pumpkins looks, but hate the process? Let’s be honest…getting covered with sticky sloppy pumpkin goo makes it very hard to hold a knife, and can lead to Halloween-related blood loss. So why not carve a virtual pumpkin online? All the fun, with no messy cleanup (but it’s trickier than you’d think. It’s just as hard to make straight lines with your mouse as it is to cut straight lines in a real pumpkin. Still…you’re done. Easy, right?

Okay, so now that I’ve solved all your Halloween issues, it’s time for some candy! Oh, wait…the haunted house thing. Well, that’s an easy fix. Just visit your faaaaaaaaaaavorite library! Oh, there are ghosts. Don’t believe me? Well, grab some candy and check out the Great M/RCPL Ghost Hunt! In two parts!
In part one, you’ll see some old library arches, and a g-g-ghost!
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And part two, where the g-g-ghost enjoys office supplies!
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…See? Told you. Now…watch out for ghosts, eat some candy, and have a very safe and happy Halloween, Bits and Bramblers!



READ THIS NOW: Beat the Band


Okay, Bits and Bramblers…Teen Read Week is half over. But if you’re still looking for a good “book with beat” to read, I’ve got the perfect suggestion.

So again, I’m just going to go ahead and assume you’ve read Swim the Fly, by Don Calame. If not, you’re missing out on a pretty awesome story…which continues in the new book, Beat the Band.

Now Coop, Matt, and Sean are in the 10th grade, and Coop’s pretty sure it’s going to be the best semester ever—starting with the three of them winning the “Battle of the Bands” competition. For awhile, everything’s great—the guys even make it into the competition! Of course, that was before the great “fate” project in Health Class, along with the fact that…you know…none of the boys actually play an instrument.

Check out our book trailer for Beat the Band…then celebrate Teen Read Week by READING IT NOW!
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Reading ROCKS!!!!


…Happy TEEN READ WEEK, Bits and Bramblers! Thaaaaaat’s right, it’s an entire week devoted to teens (that’s you,) and reading (which is just awesome.)

This year’s theme is one of my favorites—Books with Beat. Books about music and your favorite musicians, books of poetry…even audio books!

Now…your mission this week, should you choose to accept it (and really, why wouldn’t you?! It’s a good mission. It doesn’t involve wearing all black and sneaking around in the cover of darkness, and it doesn’t involve math, so…what’s not to like?!) Anyway…your mission this week is to grab a book, and start reading.

And if you don’t have a book, and you’re looking for a good one to read? You can swing by your faaaaaavorite library to pick up one. I don’t want to brag or anything, but we have a lot of them. In fact, I’m pretty sure we’ll have something everyone will like.

So what are you waiting for, Bits and Brambers? Celebrate TEEN READ WEEK…and START READING!
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Grab Your Popcorn: For National Popcorn Poppin’ Month!


Okay Bits and Bramblers, we’ve already discussed the fact that it’s National Popcorn Poppin’ Month. So what better way to celebrate it than snacking on some popcorn, adding extra butter (because those pump thingies are seriously awesome, right?!) and watching these movies that are headed to a theater near you.

First up, It’s Kind of a Funny Story. The movie’s based on a made-of-awesome book by Ned Vizzini. Catch it today, October 8th:



Next up, Megamind. Aliens with giant brains! Superheroes vs. Supervillians! Will Ferrell! Tina Fey! Brad Pitt! All in 3-D! Grab your glasses, and catch it on November 5th:



Last but not least, we’re getting closer and closer to the penultimate (seriously, look it up. Use it in a sentence today! Impress your friends!) Harry Potter movie! Thaaaat’s right, on November 19th, you can catch Part I of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! (Are you excited? I’m a little excited…)



Pass the Popcorn…


…’cause it’s National Popcorn Poppin’ Month! Did you know that Americans eat 16 billion quarts of popcorn a year?! Or that when a kernel pops, it’s 30-40 times its original size? Okay, okay, enough popcorn trivia…after
all, why talk about facts when you can talk about all the different things you can make with popcorn?

Like Double Chocolate Popcorn Balls. Or Bacon and Cheese popcorn. You can even eat popcorn out of an Edible Popcorn Party Bowl? (What’s not to love? No dishes to clean up! Seriously…why aren’t more bowls edible?
We should get on that…)

So get poppin’, and treat yourself to some popcorn this month! Eat it out of an edible bowl, or in a ball…or at the movies, coated in butter. While pointing out that popcorn is a whole grain, so…even with the butter, it’s still a nutritious snack (shut up. It is. This video says so. And people didn’t lie way back in the 50’s…)
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We *heart* Banned Books!


…I seriously love banned books. They break my heart. I mean, they have to go around thinking they aren’t as good as all the other books, just because someone somewhere doesn’t like them. I feel like they need to be protected, you know? They need extra love, like everyone on the Island of Misfit Toys. You know…except for the fact that there’s nothing wrong with banned books.

Now…one of the reasons I loooooove the library is that we don’t ban books. You can find all sorts of books here, and chances are you’re not going to like all of them. Which is totally fine—but that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with the book, or that it’s dangerous. But see…if you don’t like the content, you don’t have to read the book. It’s simple. So it baffles me as to why some people think the books need to be banned just because they don’t like them. Censoring what other people read just because you don’t care for it? Well, I just…I don’t get it, Bits and Bramblers.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…the fact that some people consider them so damaging and terrible that they shouldn’t be available to the public makes me want work hard to protect them even more, you know?

Which is why I think you should head to your faaaaaavorite library this week, and check out a banned book. Because we have them on the shelf, after all. And sure, there might be parts of the book you won’t like—maybe even the whole thing—but then you’ll bring it back, and get a book you might like more. Because you can. That’s how our country works…you can read whatever you want. So what are you waiting for? CELEBRATE BANNED BOOK WEEK BY READING A “BANNED” BOOK TODAY!
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Garrr…


…We missed Talk Like a Pirate Day! Awwwww, man…how did that happen?

I guess it’s because your faaaaaaavorite librarians have all been working pretty hard on our shiny new website, which we just debuted this week (haaaaave you visited mrcpl.org lately? If not, take a look around…and let us know what you think!)

Anyway, it’s possible that we were working on the last minute details and completely forgot to talk like a pirate. Even though it would have been waaaaaaay more fun to talk like a pirate while drinking lots of caffeine and working on the website (“Hey Matey! I do nay be seein’ th’ image on this page!” See? How is that not more fun?)

But really, why can’t EVERY day be talk like a pirate day? I mean, that’s how my favorite pirate of all time does it—Steve the Pirate, from the cinematic classic Dodgeball: A True Underdog’s Story. So even if you did celebrate “Speak Like a Seafarin’ Hearty Tide,” feel free to do it again today—or any day! You can even look at the library’s website (did I mention it’s shiny? And new?) and tell us what you think of it, in Pirate Speak! Use Steve as inspiration!
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Contain Your Enthusiasm: It’s Back-to-School Time!


…I know you’re excited, and why wouldn’t you be? Getting up early! Number 2 pencils! Math homework! Book reports! Gym class! Weird cafeteria food, and having to ask if you can go to the bathroom! Who doesn’t love back-to-school?!?!

Okay, so maybe that wasn’t really fair, listing all the really icky things about going back to school. I mean…it’s not all bad, right? You could have really cool teachers, and make awesome new friends, that are really good at Math and will help you with your homework.

And speaking of helping you with your homework…your faaaaaavorite library and faaaaavorite librarians are can help you there, too.

We’re pretty good when it comes to research. It’s almost like we’ve got magic powers, or something. Don’t believe me? Check out this movie to find out just how much the library can help YOU!
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There Can Be Only One!


So, who do you think would win in a fight: Jace Wayland, from City of Bones, or Ai Ling from The Silver Phoenix? Personally, I’d bet on Jace (he’s got the whole
Nephilim thing going for him, after all…)

But you can vote for yourself by heading to the YA Fantasy Showdown. The site pairs up your favorite YA Fantasy characters—like Katsa from Graceling, and Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter Series—and you vote on which one of them you think would win in a fight. The winners of each bracket go on to face each other, until we’re down to the final pair—and that fight will determine the winner.

They even make predictions on how they think each round would go, and who would come out on top (I’ll warn you, though…their take on the Ai Ling/Jace matchup isn’t pretty.)

So head to the YA Fantasy Showdown and vote for your favorites! All of them are there, from Aragorn to Katniss Everdeen (and who’s not going to vote for Katniss? She might win the whole thing…especially since we’re less than a week away from Mockingjay!)
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