Film Blog: The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey

October 24th, 2014

In honor of the newest Hobbit film set to come out in December (The Battle of the Five Rings), I’m featuring The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. If you’re not completely familiar with the storyline, let me give you a little background information.

The Hobbit is a prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy set approximately 60 years before the fellowship went on its journey. Bilbo Baggins (played by Martin Freeman from Sherlock) sets out with the King Under the Mountain and his Company of Dwarves as their “burglar.” The company’s mission is to retake/reclaim their old home from the terrible dragon named Smaug (played by Benedict Cumberbatch).

In addition to the film, we also have the book by J.R.R. Tolkien The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again.

As always, I’m leaving you with a preview of the film below.


He Really Really Scared Me!

October 23rd, 2014






Read a Stephen King novel this week.


I was home sick from school, and it could have been a really nice day.  It was bright and sunny outside, and I was relaxing on the couch in my pajamas. I could hear my grandparents chatting in the kitchen as they ate lunch. The front door was open, there was a nice breeze.  I should have been watching Saved by the Bell and enjoying myself and a day of freedom from the 4th grade.  Instead, I was watching Pet Sematary and I was breathless and terrified and probably about to keel over from fright. 

He’s an American classic and he’s been frightening us for decades.   Since he’s so prolific, there’s a work for every terror you can think and every horror you don’t let yourself imagine.   So… what are you afraid of?

Kids? What about a girl who can set things on fire with her mind?   Try it.

Do you wish that all your friends would take their faces out of their cell phone screens? See how evil cell phones can really be.

Are you still having nightmares about The Shining?   Well… it’s not over.  Why don’t you check out the sequel, Dr. Sleep?

Perhaps you just want a few short stories to keep things moving quickly. We have Skelton Crew and Four Past Midnight.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Mole Day! (How big is a mole?)

October 23rd, 2014

Today is 10/23…mole day. If you don’t remember your basic chemistry, check out this video.

How big is a mole? (Not the animal, the other one.) – Daniel Dulek

Graphic Novel Series: Persepolis and Embroideries

October 22nd, 2014

Today I’m featuring a graphic novel based partially on the author’s childhood in Iran called Persepolis. Marjane Satrapi lived in Iran during the beginning of the Islamic Revolution (1978/1979) and the years after until she went to high school. In Persepolis 2, we follow the author to Austria where she went to high school.  The last graphic novel we have by Marjane Satrapi is called Embroideries, which is more about relationships between men and women than the revolution.

Here’s some interesting trivia; Persepolis was banned from Chicago Public Schools for a short period in 2013. For more information Banned Books Week (in case you missed it), check out a previous post.

In 2007, Persepolis was made into a French animated film, which was later nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film. Unfortunately, we don’t have the feature film in the library just yet, but don’t worry, we’re working on it. I’m pasting a preview of the film below, which is very much like its graphic novel counterpart. The second video is more just for fun, and features the author on The Colbert Report.

Ebola and World War Z

October 21st, 2014

Since our One Book, last year, was World War Z by Max Brooks, I found his blog post about our Ebola “outbreak” to be very interesting.

Here’s a link to a few books that we have in the library about Ebola.

Zombies, creepy old ladies and Swedish witches……OH MY!

October 21st, 2014

Halloween is just around the corner, and we have just what you need if you want to get your spook on! I’m sure you know that books are available for check out in the library, but did you know we have a large and varied DVD collection as well?  This Halloween skip the RedBox and check out some free horror that will really give you the heebie jeebies.

If it is a Zombie film you are looking for we have a list from last year’s One Book, One Campus  World War Z (hint: scroll down to the Zombie Culture section).  Our collection ranges from the classic zombies of the 1970′s through to the comedic takes of recent years.


For those that enjoy the silent black and white variety, we have the classic Swedish witch film Haxan.


Stephen King‘s books are legendary for making skin crawl, and we have two movie adaptations in the collection, Pet Sematary and Carrie.


Space is just as scary as a haunted house, and we have the classic Sci Fi films Alien and Aliens to prove it.


Let us not forget vampires, if you have never seen the original Dracula with Bela Lugosi it is a classic horror film that should not be missed.


Siblings psychologically torturing each other may be what happens around the holidays for many of us.  Before your next quarrel this holiday season, keep these not so innocent elderly sisters in mind with What ever happened to baby jane?

All you musical buffs, do not worry, we did not forget about Sweeney Todd and his bloody barber business or about that sweet transvestite in Rocky Horror Picture Show.


For those that like to be creeped out in a less gruesome manner, our Hitchcock collection is sure to please. From his earlier work in England with 39 Steps to his last film Family Plot , you will be sure to find one that tickles your mystery fancy.


If nothing here satisfies your ghoulish desires be sure to check out our catalog and type in the specific genre you are looking for.  For assistance, you can always ask a librarian!




October 20th, 2014

“All sorts of quirky and mind blowing science” is what you will find on the YouTube channel ASAPScience. Hosted by Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown, ASAPScience delivers a weekly dose of answers to interesting scientific questions in a simple and fun way. Some interesting topics to explore include things like “Can Video Games Make You Smarter?”, “Should You Hover or Cover the Toilet Seat?”, “Could We Stop an Asteroid?” which features special guest Bill Nye, and “7 Myths About the Brain You Thought Were True.” The following video about social media and your brain also includes interesting information about “phantom vibration syndrome.”

Film Blog: Lincoln

October 17th, 2014

Today I’m featuring the 2012 film Lincoln, which is partially based off the book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. The newest Lincoln film stars Daniel Day-Lewis as the brave Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. Day-Lewis won an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his role. The film also won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Production Design.

The screenplay writer Tony Kushner was nominated for an Oscar, but sadly didn’t win. Kushner has also written many other very well-known screenplays like Angels in America. We have both the book and DVD in the library.

As always, I’m leaving you with some videos. The 20 minute Lincoln Featurette can also be found in the DVD. I highly recommend it! Steven Spielberg gives great insight into how he wanted the film to look. The second is a preview of the film.

Internet of Things

October 16th, 2014

This week Chicago is hosting the 2nd annual Internet of Things World Forum at the Hyatt Regency. More than 1,500 industry attendees are hearing about and discussing the IoT. The Internet of Things is technology that allows objects with sensors like smartphones, vehicles, traffic lights, wearable devices, machinery, computers and more to share information. It is something that is going to be talked about more and more and the applications of the technology could reach almost every aspect of our lives. More than 3 billion objects have already been digitally connected and 300,000 more are connected every hour. This article from the Chicago Tribune highlights this week’s forum and the role that Chicago hopes to play in this industry. To read more about the topic, have a look at this explanation from InfoWorld.

Gaming the System: Video Games in the Classroom

October 15th, 2014

With our graphic novel symposium still fresh in our minds, and our Gaming Day along with it, you may have been left with more questions about how to incorporate gaming in learning.  Or even cooler, “how can I meaningfully put video games into my classroom?”  The link provided shows some materials in our collection that might help you do just that.  Many of these works offer insight into links between video games and literacy and video games and learning.

With video games exponentially rising in popularity since the 1980’s, it is a medium that is accessible and familiar to many students.  The opportunity to create meaningful connections in the classroom through video games surely exists.  Check out our collection to see if there might be ways you can interact with your students in new and different ways in some of your lessons!

Moraine Valley Library’s collection of resources on video games and learning/literacy