December 21, 2007

Cedar Lee Literacy Challenge

(Chill out and read picture)

Everyone in the community is invited to help Cedar Lee Middle School, Bealeton, reach its Literacy Challenge goal of 100,000 books read by the end of the school year. The challenge was issued earlier this school year by the school's principal, Mr. Steve Parker, and Fauquier County Public Library pledged to support the effort.

No matter what your age or interests, you can use the library to help Cedar Lee meet its Literacy Challenge goal. Don't have a Fauquier County Public Library card? It's easy to sign up online.

Find the perfect book by perusing:
accelerated reading lists
best sellers at the library
book lists for teens and adults

Write book reviews to post on the library's teen blog Library Lounging (this one!) or post in the Bealeton Library Young Adult display areas (Contact Helena Richardson to find out how.)

Not only books count - don't forget your online
research tools. Check out audio and downloadable books - they are great for traveling and they count, too. Keep track of library books you've read using the library's Reading History service - then log your titles on the Cedar Lee Literacy Challenge site.

-Books read since June 20, 2007 count.
-Accelerated Reader books, comic books, text books, magazines, newspapers
-Every 5 issues of a newspaper read typically will count as a book.
-Each 100 pages of technical text will be a book

*Above information taken from Cedar Lee Middle School Literacy Challenge information pages and Library News and Events blog. Read the original and more complete posting - Library helps community support middle school's challenge.

Click Here to enter the books read for the Literacy Challenge.

December 19, 2007

*Speedy Reader's Book Reviews

Poppy and Rye:
Poppy goes to find Ragweed’s mother, father, and family. She brings her friend Ereth with her. Ereth’s a porcupine. It was hard to find Ragweed’s family because beavers built dams and they flood the land around them. Rye, one of Ragweed’s brothers, tries to stop them from building dams. They trap Rye in a bamboo cage. Poppy makes a plan to save Rye. Will she rescue him before the river overflows? Find out in Poppy and Rye by Avi.

Tuck Everlasting:
A girl named Winnie gets kidnapped by a family named Tuck: Mae Tuck, Angus Tuck, Jesse Tuck, and Miles Tuck. They found out about a spring in Winnie’s woods. They drink from it and now live forever. Read the book for fun and entertainment. Tuck Everlasting is written by Natalie Babbitt. (This book is available in print, on audio cassette and CD, at the library).
*Speedy Reader is a Fauquier County teen writer and reader*

December 16, 2007

Holiday picture from 1930!

Check out a magazine from the library today!

December 13, 2007

* Speedy Reader's Book Reviews

A mouse named Ragweed gets on a train headed to a city and meets another mouse named Clutch. Clutch runs into two cats named Silversides and Graybar. Silversides and Graybar wreck their club. But they find an old, abandoned bookstore to make their new club. Will Silversides and Graybar crash their new club? Find out in the book Ragweed by Avi
178 pages

Ragweed’s girlfriend is named Poppy. Poppy meets Ragweed at the edge of Dimwood forest. In Dimwood Forest there’s an owl named Mr. Ocax. Mr. Ocax watches everyone in Dimwood Forest. You would have to ask permission to go someplace or you will get eaten. Ragweed didn’t ask permission…for anything. So Mr. Ocax ate him right in front of Poppy. All that was left was the earring that Clutch gave him. See what happens as Poppy gets over Ragweed’s death. In the book Poppy by Avi.
147 pages

Sarah, Plain and Tall
A farmer sends a letter in the newspaper for a wife. A woman in Maine gets the ad, and wants to marry him. The woman is Sarah, Sarah, plain, and tall. Sarah moves to the farmer’s house and … you’ll have to find out in Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan.
58 pages


Sarah tells her story living with Caleb, Anna, and the farmer (Jacob). This is the second book of the Sarah, Plain and Tall series Patricia MacLachlan.
86 pages

Caleb’s Story
Anna helps out at the doctor’s and doesn’t have time for her journals so Caleb meets his grandfather and lots of other things happen. Read Caleb’s Story by Patricia MacLachlan.
116 pages

Ghost Girl: a Blue Ridge Mountain story

A girl meets President Herbert Hoover. She lives with her teacher and has a really good story. Read Ghost Girl by Deliah Ray.
216 pages

*Speedy Reader is a Fauquier County teen writer and reader*

December 12, 2007


December 10, 2007

Aromatherapy Bath Salts

Generic Bath Salt Recipe

½ cup of coarse kosher salt or sea salt
½ cup of Epsom salt
1 quart-size, freezer-grade zip-lock plastic bag
Food coloring
Essential oils: chamomile, lavender, rosewood, sage

Pour the kosher/sea salt and Epsom salt in a bag. Add one drop of food coloring, zip the bag shut, and shake. Repeat until you are satisfied with the color (remember that the bath water will greatly dilute the color). Add one drop at a time; too many drops will melt the salt. Add several drops of your essential oil(s) to the bag. Zip the bag shut and shake. Repeat until you are satisfied with the scent (may take 5-10 drops).

Roll a simple paper funnel to pour the mixture into a bottle more easily.

Swirl different colors and cap with a cork.

Decorate a paper label or tie on a colorful bow. Now it's ready to use or give as a gift!

The above recipe is enough for two baths. Pour contents into hot running water. Swirl until the salts are completely dissolved. Enjoy! Use body lotion after your bath (while your skin is still damp). If you use bath salts too often, they can dry your skin.

Thanks for this great program and websites discovered by Jennifer Schultz (Kiddosphere composer)!

Pioneer Thinking:
Make Your Own Cosmetics:

December 7, 2007

Aromatherapy @ libraries

This week, teens were invited to whip up aromatherapy recipes and homemade bath items at two Fauquier County Public libraries. These items are great for stress relief at exam time or to give as presents. The program was free and the library provided all supplies for fragrant bath salts.

Recipes for Natural Beauty
by Katie Spiers

"Shows women how to make their own all-natural cosmetics using natural ingredients, with recipes and planners to help readers maintain their beauty regimen"

Organic Body Care Recipes: 175 homemade herbal formulas for glowing skin & a vibrant self
by Stephanie Tourles
"Tourles, a licensed esthetician, herbalist, and aromatherapist, has developed 175 recipes that are fun, simple, and immensely satisfying to make in home kitchens. Her natural beauty treatments deliver the results promised by department store brands — skin, hair, and nails that glow with vitality and inner wellness. Lotions, scrubs, toners, balms, and masks polish and balance the skin, soothe current problems, and prevent future ones. Shampoos, rinses, and conditioners tone the scalp, boost highlights, and leave hair soft and shiny. The book's whole-body coverage also includes recipes for hand and foot care, nail treatments, shaving cream, and even popular spa treatments such as microdermabrasion exfoliants, detox and cellulite soaks, Ayurvedic oils, and herbal cold salves. Most important, there is never any doubt about the purity of these ingredients! Each formula is clearly presented in recipe style, with notes on prep time, storage, and uses. Many products can be customized according to personal needs, whim, or mood, and they all use readily available, natural ingredients. Organic Body Care Recipes is a natural treasure for every body."

Practical art of aromatherapy: create your own personalized beauty treatments and natural remedies
by Deborah Nixon

Nature's Cures: from acupressure and aromatherapy to walking and yoga, the ultimate guide to the best scientifically proven, drug-free healing methods
by Michael Castleman
"Offers an up-to-date survey of alternative healing therapies, including relaxation techniques, aroma therapy, and vitamin supplementation, explaining which therapies work, and how to use them safely" Chapter 2 Aromatherapy: when healing makes "scents" begins with a French chemist plunging his burned arm into a bowl of lavender oil. Its soothing properties began one man’s experimental journey in healing.

Aroma: The Cultural History of Smell
by Constance Classen
"The meaning and power of smell. Smell is powerful. One man who lost his sense of smell due to a head injury expressed this realization as follows: when I lost [my sense of smell]—it was like being struck blind. Some stressed the physical discomfort perfumes gave them: ‘instant headache and nausea’, said one respondent of her to be so ‘odour-blind’ that unless smell is placed right under our noses, so to speak, it usually gets lost in the shuffle. In general, men are said to smell of meat and women of fish." Can you imagine the "aromas of antiquity"? What would you smell while walking down a street during the Middle Ages? Consider "odour and power: the politics of smell" and "the commercialization of smell." Even smells are branded now. This is a serious view of olfactory issues.

December 6, 2007

Rock Salt

November 26, 2007


"Pocky is a Japanese snack food produced by the Ezaki Glico Company of Japan. It was first sold in 1965, and consists of a biscuit stick coated with chocolate. Pocky was an instant hit among Japanese teenagers, and brought in sales of 30 billion yen in its first two years. The name was changed to "Pocky", after the Japanese onomatopoetic word for the sound Pocky makes when bitten, pokkin. The original was followed by "Almond Pocky" in 1971, with an almond coating, and "Strawberry Pocky" in 1977. Today, the product line includes such variations as milk, mousse, green tea and coconut flavored coatings, and themed products such as "Decorer Pocky", with colorful decorative stripes in the coating, and "Men's Pocky", a dark (bittersweet) chocolate."

Boxes of this delicious confectionary, as well as actual pocky sticks, can be seen in various anime productions and printed manga. This includes Spirited Away!! "In the beginning of the movie when Chihiro and her family are driving to their new house a empty box of 'pock' can be seen bouncing around the back seat." -- quote taken from one website that is dedicated to Pocky -Pocky Shrine.

November 17, 2007

Grief and Fire

Revenge and Forgiveness: an Anthology of Poems edited by Patrice Vecchione
Grief by Gaius Valerius Catullus (translated by Jacob Rabinowitz)

Grief reached across the world to get me,
sadness carries me across seas and countries
to your grave, my brother,

to offer the only gift I can still give you –
words you will not hear.

Fortune has taken you from me. You.
No reason, nothing fair.
I didn’t deserve losing you.

Now, in the silence since,
as in the ancient custom of our people,
I say the mourner’s prayer,
do the final kindness.

Accept and understand it, brother.
My head aches from crying.
Forever, goodbye.

Central Heating: Poems about Fire and Warmth
by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Meilo So

"From forest fires and prairie fires to the fires on backyard grills; from chili peppers to birthday candles; to jack-o-lanterns and menorahs; to dragons who provide their own central heating--a collection of lyrical poems presents a fresh and insightful view of fire of all kinds."

Fire has contradiction
at its heart,
from that wintry blue part
to its jagged golden crown.
It gives comfort
in a candle’s cozy flickering.
It brings terror
in a forest’s burning down.
It is both the bolt of lightening
that splits a summer sky
and the burst of July fireworks
that unites a wide-eyed town.
From its smoldering end
to its sudden start,
Fire has contradiction
at its heart.

Fire Fighters
Wailing and pulsing, the rig
rips down the street
Inside, truckies and pumper crew,
turned out in their own kind of armor,
ready with crowbars and axes,
a thousand gallons of water, a hundred yards of hose
to knock down the angry Orange Man.
In the heat of battle,
they don't think about winning
till they've already won.

Remember the human, animal, and plant life lost in the recent California fires.

bonfire, n. (Oxford English Dictionary)
-A large fire kindled in the open air for a celebration, display, or amusement.
-(In general modern use) in celebration of some event of public or local interest, or on some festive occasion, as a victory, jubilee, the birth or marriage of the heir to an estate, etc.; but also applied to any great blazing fire made for amusement, or combining amusement with the burning of rubbish, thorns, weeds, etc.
-1552 (in Leland Brit. Coll. I. p. lxxvi), "In some parts of Lincolnshire..on some peculiar nights, they make great fires in the public streets of their Towns with bones of oxon, sheep, &c. which are heaped together before. I am apt to believe..that from hence came the original of Bonefires."

November 14, 2007

New critters @ Bealeton library

November 9, 2007

Sock population explosion!

Fresh black and white socks awaited the creative fingers of Fauquier teens at Bealeton's Monday night Teen Coffee House. Googlie eyes, safety pins, fake fur scraps, silk flower petals, duct tape and more! Local students of creativity flopped on the floor amidst a great array of supplies and crafted their puppets.
Ruby red mouths made of duct tape smiled. Leftover dust decorations from Spirited Away on the walls clung to the socks as second heads. Does this bring the puppets second sight? Rabbit-like ears sprout as chenille stems (formerly known as pipe cleaners).
See the black Scotty dog sock with green gelatinous protuberances like a beard?
Pairs stuck together.
By the end of the night, some socks were graced with names and became such close friends that an impromptu marriage was necessary. Professor Mousey Mouse acted as the officiate at the wedding of socks Dr. Readnmeow and Mr. Bluedude. Notice the glittering diamond ring before them. And the lightness of the bride's veil. Stunning, yes, but was is merely a performed puppet show or will this marriage last?
To create an entire puppet population, check out these books below:
Transform "worn-out gloves, mittens, and socks into a menagerie of whimsical creations, in a guide that presents thirteen entertaining projects that include monkeys, elephants, piglets, bunnies, and fish." Friendly smiles greet you on the first page of the book. Billy the dog and Marcus the monkey introduce you to their new friends made from things that otherwise would have been thrown away. The stitches are few and the rewards are many. Good for all ages and crafting skills.

The Cute Book by Aranzi Aronzo
"Provides instructions for making different kinds of felt dolls, including monkeys, frogs, and aliens. The world of craftsters is full of things Japanese Cute - kawaii, and the look created by Aranzi Aronzo is familiar to many but not until now has a single one of the hundreds of bootleg American copies they've sold been in English. Finally these priceless books of mascots, accessories, clothing and well, just about everything, come in ready-to-read English!"
The patterns won't boggle the mind, but the cuteness might. This is a great book for those of us previously averse to sewing needles and patterns. You will still enjoy plenty of creative freedom whether you stick to the originals or modify the mascot. Have fun!
Now that you may have created a cute puppet of your very own, here is a story to scare you! Read The Puppet Wrangler by Vicki Grant. It records a fictional time when "twelve-year-old Telly Mercer is sent to Toronto to spend a month with her aunt on the set of a television puppet show, she makes a surprising discovery that launches her on an adventure with an unpredictable and angry puppet." Yikes! Better call in the sock giraffe to help! OK, OK, any brave sock will do.

November 6, 2007

Asian foods @ Bealeton Library

These photos were taken before the Teen Anime Party on Monday, October 22 at Bealeton Library. Obviously, this is pre-decimation* by ravenous costumed characters. The tables were nearly licked clean, implying the food was indeed tasty and we may need a greater supply next time.

Pocky, pocky, pocky. Strawberry sweet, bitter dark chocolate "Pocky for Men", regular milk chocolate-dipped pocky, extra long pocky to weild in the air like a samurai sword before eating...ah, pocky. And for the brave, many a mouth tasted wasabi straight from the tube. Or tempered their tongues with the dried and coated wasabi peas. Thank goodness for the cool soda that flowed like a Japanese mountain spring and soothed the expressions on pained faces. Similarities to Bunraku puppets not withstanding, all costumes were superb.

*American Heritage Dictionary

dec·i·mate (děs'ə-māt')
To destroy or kill a large part of (a group).
To inflict great destruction or damage on:
The fawns decimated my rose bushes. (The teens decimated the delicious food.)
To reduce markedly in amount:
a profligate heir who decimated his trust fund.
To select by lot and kill one in every ten of.

November 5, 2007

Build sock puppets @ Bealeton Library tonight

Heidi Ann and Magpie: Human and hybrid sock-bunraku puppet

November 3, 2007

Time lapse food

Botulism by Maxine Rosaler
Are you afraid of the food that lurks in your refrigerator? Has it grown a warm moldy coat? Read this book about botulism "examining how one gets it, how to treat it, and its symptoms." Time to retire the tomato, whack that watermelon, and run away from the strawberries (they might take on a life of their own)!



Rotting strawberries

October 31, 2007

Pumpkins rot after Halloween!

Pumpkin with music
time = 17 seconds

October 23, 2007

"Open the gates!" bunraku

Time = 1:03
"In this bunraku scene, the puppet heroine wishes to help her lover outside Kyoto, but the gates to the city are locked. She climbs the watchtower and rings the fire bell, causing the gates to open so she can reach him. Notice the awesome puppetry work and realism of the gestures." Notice the ash drifting down gently. Does this frantic action remind you of Romeo and Juliet? Lovers shall not be torn asunder.

October 20, 2007

YuBaBa in the Bealeton stacks

October 19, 2007

Introduction to bunraku

Time = 7:03

"Bunraku is an integration of narrative, music, and puppetry." Popular traditions from the Middle Ages continue today. At the end of the 16th Century, bunraku began. Listen to the Tayu, narrator, and Shamisen player bring this exotic art form alive. Search the catalog from Japanese Language resources if you'd like to understand what is being sung about in these traditional, yet exotic, performances.

For more sights into Japanese artistry, read In Search of the Spirit: the Living National Treasures of Japan by Sheila Hamanaka. Can a person be a treasure? This book "describes the creations of some of Japan's Living National Treasures, artists who are involved in various Japanese arts, including Yuzen dyeing, bamboo basket weaving, Bunraku puppetmaking, swordmaking, Noh theater, and neriage ceramics."

October 16, 2007

Bunraku Puppets

Puppets and puppeteer of Bunraku
Time = 9:54

Sit with one master bunraku artist. He shares the mystery of every facial expression on these sophisticated puppets. Examine the strings controlling eyebrows, eyes, mouth, and neck. "You must always move the head in a gentle circular motion." What is a lady's proper center of gravity? See the hidden fist that is a knee. Her sleeve will be withdrawn to reveal the wooden mechanism that controls the puppet hand-gestures. "When the puppet is experiencing feelings of joy, 'Oh, how delightful!' I am transferring my feelings of joy to her. If the character feels sad, I feel sad, too." It is not just one man controlling the expressiveness of each character. "All three puppeteers must be synchronized emotionally. It would be difficult to move the puppet if we had different states of mind."

Learn how to build your own Bunraku puppet.

October 15, 2007


Goth Sock Puppets
Make goth, punk, emo, or whatever, sock puppets. Give your puppet a mohawk or mullet, a piercing or a tattoo. Black and white socks are the basis for these quirky puppets. You can trim with safety pins, chenille pipe cleaners, novelty yarn, google eyes, buttons, pompoms, ribbons, beads, and jewels if you want. All supplies will be provided.

Warrenton Library: 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27
Bealeton Library: 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5

Can you make this lamb puppet punk?

Sock Puppets sing

Stand By Your Man - Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre
time = 5:42

Featured in this video:
William Shakespeare - Sonnet #18
Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And Summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And oft' is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd:
But thy eternal Summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Louis Armstrong versus Neil Armstrong

October 10, 2007

Want to be a teen author?

TeenInk is a magazine at Fauquier County Public Library, written for and by teens. You can also read Teen Ink online and find out how to submit your own work.

Have you read teen authors S.E. Hinton or Christopher Paolini or Ned Vizzini or Dav Pilkey? You are never too young to start.


National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of junk. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and -- when the thing is done -- the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.

In 2006, we had over 79,000 participants. Nearly 13,000 of them crossed the 50k finish line by the midnight deadline, entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.

So, to recap: What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month's time.

Who: You! We can't do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let's write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.

Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era's most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.

When: Sign-ups begin October 1, 2007. Writing begins November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at midnight. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.

(information taken directly from NaNoWriMo website)

October 5, 2007

Soldiers and Letters

Please read these exerpts from letters written by Bealeton teens who attended the Cards for Troops program.

One card from all the teens:
"We're all from Fauquier County, Virginia. We either live on farms, in apartments, or in town, but we all love Virginia. Hopefully your time overseas won't be much longer, so you can come back to Virginia. Will all the best hopes +…"

Individual cards:
"I hope you are safe back there and you are very careful."
"I hope you are well and I wanted to thank you for everything you have done."
"So, to a soldier I have never met, I apologize, and am giving my thoughts to you."
"I really hope you like this letter and the pictures along with it."
"I want you to know that we're thinking of you and your friends out there."
"I love you - don’t die!"
"Hope you have a safe time."
"Thank you for fighting for us."
"I bet it is really different over there."
"Thank you so much!"

Here are a few books from the Fauquier County Public Library collection. Each publication offers personal and unique letters written by soldiers. Be sure to sample each book for new perspectives.

Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam
by Walter Dean Myers
"A young American soldier waits for his enemy, rifle in hand, finger on the trigger. He is afraid to move and yet afraid not to move. Gunshots crackle in the still air. The soldier fires blindly into the distant trees at an unseen enemy. He crouches and waits -- heart pounding, tense and trembling, biting back tears. When will it all be over?

Walter Dean Myers joined the army on his seventeeth birthday, at the onset of American involvement in Vietnam, but it was the death of his brother in 1968 that forever changed his mind about war.

In a gripping and powerful story-poem, the award-winning author takes readers into the heart and mind of a young soldier in an alien land who comes face-to-face with the enemy. Strikingly illustrated with evocative and emotionally wrenching collages by Caldecott Honor artist Ann Grifalconi, this unforgettable portrait captures one American G.L's haunting experience."

182 Days in Iraq
by Phil Kiver
"Phil Kiver's real life, moment-to-moment journal of his assignment as an Army journalist in Iraq is honest, irreverent-gripping and emotional one moment-a howl the next. Kiver, pictured above, in Iraq, with one of his heroes, Oliver North, doesn't dress for company. His journals are raw reaction, impression, and introspection. This, folks, is what it feels like to be Phil Kiver in this war in Iraq-missing his wife, lounging at one of Sadam's pools, angry with the brass, witnessing the deaths of children and comrades, nighttime explosions too close for comfort, pasta with the Italians, toasting the fallen with the Ukrainians. It's a delirium of experience with this journalist sorting through the rubble and smoke in search of the story that will one day be history."

by Michael Moore
"The controversial filmmaker shares a collection of letters from active duty soldiers, their family members, and veterans who express their thoughts and feelings about the current war in Iraq."

This "exploration of warfare from the perspectives of soldiers and civilians draws on letters collected by the author during his search for wartime correspondences, featuring the writings of soldiers from every major American conflict."