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Posts by Joanne Conte

It Was a Book Before It Was a Movie

The Hunger Games Some of the best books that I have ever read were ultimately made into movies. However, as you might already know, the books are always better than the movie. Jaws by Peter Benchley was so much scarier when I read it than when I viewed it on the big screen. Carrie by Stephen King gave me nightmares, and even though the 

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Blockbuster Books: Teens Make Trailers

I'm sure you've heard of blockbuster movies, but have you read a blockbuster book? According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary online, a blockbuster is one that is notably expensive, effective, successful, large or extravagant. For example, the Harry Potter series of books and movies were blockbusters. Other blockbusters from the past include

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The USS Intrepid Presents "Restoring History" and Code Breakers at Morris Park

This month we are privileged to be hosting two programs from The Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum at The Morris Park Branch Library. The museum is celebrating its thirtieth year of operation this year, offering a variety of educational program intermingling science and history. It offers an interactive tour featuring original artifacts, video footage and exhibits such as a flight simulator as well as its newest exhibit, The Space Shuttle Pavilion, where you can actually walk beneath the 

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Summer Reading at Morris Park

Once again the dog days of summer are here, and what better way to cool off than at your local library. Our summer reading kickoff is a memory where a good time was had by all. We are really fortunate to have such talented branch supporters who helped us with the festivities. Thanks to Celeste, a local artist, balloon animals were given to each child who registered for summer reading. In addition, an awesome college student and former teen advisory member, Laura, was a huge hit with some fabulous face painting.

So, now that the party is over, it's time to get down 

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A Snapshot of Your Life: Memoir Writing

Memoirs are the stuff of memory, or more specifically, according to Webster's Dictionary, a narrative composed from personal experience. In other words, a memoir is written from a person's recollection of a life experience. It might not all be exactly as it happened but, rather, how the author perceived it to happen. Do you remember the controversial “autobiography" A Million Little Pieces by James 

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Music: Express Yourself @ NYPL

Music is the language that we all understand. Whether it be rock, opera, jazz or hip-hop, it's all music if it causes you to tap your foot, sing along, or makes you feel emotions you can't explain. I don't really know of anyone who doesn't enjoy some type of music. Lately, I must confess, I've been listening to corny Christmas tunes like Dominck The Donkey and Alvin and the Chipmunk's "Christmas Hula Hoop" song. But now that "Auld Lang Syne" and "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve" have been put away until next December 31, it's time to reflect on the best 

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Laugh Till You Drop: Funny Books and Movies for Teens

Comedy makes us laugh, plain and simple. Whether it's standup, or a funny movie or your grandmother telling you funny stories from her youth. You know the one about her going to school with her nightgown on. Whatever, let's face it, the human condition is funny.

The comedic format can be found in books, film, plays and in stand-up comedy.  Some really cool books get their points across using comedy.  Way back in

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Teen Summer Reading 2011: We Are the World

This summer, teens at Morris Park Library have had an eventful season. The theme of One World, Many Stories has never resonated more than during this particular summer. The teens in my summer reading club have roots back to more than 10 countries. Among our specific ports of call are Bangladesh, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Haiti, Italy, Albania, Russia, Africa, Puerto Rico, and Bulgaria!

One teen, Simona, actually lives in Bulgaria and was visiting for the summer. She was part of the 

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Mrs. Conte Recommends: Great Teen Reads and Programs at Morris Park

I recently finished reading two excellent teen novels. The first novel is historical fiction set during World War II, and the second novel is a work of fiction written in verse which takes place in the present. However, no matter the time frame, their themes will resonate with teens and adults. In addition, the Morris Park Branch was fortunate to host an author visit with a young adult author, Rosanne Parry, just weeks ago. We now have her book in The New York Public Library system, and from the response that the author got from the teens in my branch, I am sure that this novel, Second 

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Close To Famous: A Young Adult Novel by Joan Bauer

Cinderella sang "A dream is a wish your heart makes."  That about sums up the mindset of the main characters in Close to Famous by Joan Bauer.  They are all wishing and hoping for something.

When the novel begins, the main character, twelve year old  Foster and her mom have been driven away from their home in Memphis to Culpepper, West Virginia by an abusive Elvis impersonator, Huck.  Foster's dad died in 

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Food, Glorious Food: Baking Blogs and Food Memoirs

I recently came upon a blog called The World Needs More Pie: Give a piece a chance. It is a blog dedicated to living each day to the fullest as if it were your last. The blogger, Beth Howard, used pie making to help her heal from the untimely death of her husband, Marcus.  She is also writing a full length book about her choice to leave a nine to five career in favor of 

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How to Research a Report for Women's History Month

Okay, so it's March 2nd and you need to do a report on a famous woman for Woman's History month.  Who do you pick and where do you start? 

The best way to pick a famous woman is to think about your interests.  When you write about a subject that you are interested in, it just comes out sounding more convincing, and instead of being just another assignment, you might really enjoy doing your homework!

Let's get started.  Do you especially love sports?  If you do, you might think about the sport you like best.  For argument's sake, let's say that 

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Love is All You Need: A Book and Movie List for the Romantic in You

Are you ready for Valentine's Day?  I am.  My house is decorated with every kind of heart imaginable to mankind, I have my valentine baking pan ready and my chocolate lollipop molds ready to be filled, but my favorite part of Valentine's day is reading about the holiday and losing myself in a romantic poem, novel or movie.  Recommendations will follow; first a little history from the Worldbook online.

Some trace the beginning of Valentine's Day observance 

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Great Literature Can Change Your Life: Great Expectations and Mister Pip

Do you think that a great work of literature can change your life?  I do.  Since reading Great Expectations by Charles Dickens as a fourteen year old, I have often thought about the many issues that the author raises.  For example, are appearances more important than the morals and ideals a person holds dear? How does gentleman Pip measure up to his blacksmith brother-in-law? In essence, who is the real gentleman? 

When asked by friends which book affected me the most in 

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Browse Through The Bronx: A Booklist About the Only Borough That Begins With 'The'

Did anyone else notice that the Bronx was hardly ever mentioned during our recent snowstorm?  We heard about streets not being plowed in Queens and Brooklyn, but I only heard the Bronx mentioned once. Sometimes it seems that we are the forgotten part of New York City. However, the humble Bronx has been the setting of many books, fiction and non-fiction alike, and it has been called home by such luminaries as

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