Cyborg Monday

By Amanda Alexander, Graduate Assistant, McLure Education Library


Feeling like you just can’t wait for Marissa Myer’s newest book in the popular Lunar Chronicles series, about a world in which cyborgs and humans coexist?  Fairest, the story of evil Queen Levana, is set for release on January 27, 2015.  Until then, you can participate in Macmillan’s promotions for the upcoming novel which begin on November 17, at which point several characters from the books will pop up in ten cities across the nation handing out chapters from Cinder, the first book in the series.  On December 1, the redesigned website for the series will be unveiled – with users able to unlock material related to Fairest by using the hashtag #cyborgmonday.  The website will also be hosting a competition, judged by Meyer, where fans can create a portrait of Queen Levana based on how they see her.  The winner will be given a trip to Meyer’s home town of Tacoma, Washington to attend the Fairest Launch party which will take place on January 27.  A picture taking app will also be available that fans can use to “glamour” themselves and share their image on the website and social media.  So, Lunar Chronicles fans, mark your calendars as you prepare for the holiday season!  For those new to the series, there is still plenty of time to catch up over the break and before Fairest is released.  The series’ first three books: Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress are all available for checkout in the school library located in the basement of McLure.  Also, Fairest is available for pre-order here.

Related links:

Installation Art

By Amanda Alexander , Graduate Assistant, McLure Education Library


Installation art usually describes three-dimensional works of art that are made to change the way that people see a certain area, and can be either temporary or permanent.  Christo and Jeanne-Claude are one of the most famous examples of environmental installation artists who were responsible for The Gates, a 23-mile long group of “gates” created out of saffron colored nylon fabric hung from steel bases.  For further study, Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Through the Gates and Beyond By Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, can be found in the School Library in the basement of McLure.  Installation art has also been showcased in the news lately, specifically the Tower of London poppies and the balloons in Berlin that marked the 25th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.


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In London, an installation titled the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red showcases 888,246 ceramic poppies representing each life lost to WWI in service of the British crown.  The installation has drawn millions of spectators who view the sight as a monument to the tragedy of war.  However, the memorial has also drawn its fair share of criticism from those who view that installation as a glorification of war and have counteracted by creating white poppies as a symbol of peace.


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In Berlin, a temporary wall was made to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the wall’s collapse.  The installation symbolizing the wall was constructed out of 8,000 illuminated balloons that were released into the air on November 9th to the notes of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.  The piece is one of many celebratory events that will take place in Berlin this year.



For those of you interested in viewing an installation art piece closer to home, Birmingham features an installation titled LightRails, which is located downtown in Railroad Park.  The attraction is a permanent display consisting of a system of computerized LED lights installed in an old art deco railroad underpass.  Birmingham commissioned Texas-based artist Bill FitzGibbons to create the piece in order to bring pedestrian traffic to an area that had become dark and neglected.  It is an open and inviting display of light and color used to reinvigorate a previously unused and forgotten space, making pedestrians feel safe and showcasing a brilliant work of art.


by Amanda Alexander, Graduate Assistant, McLure Education Library

snowpiercer movieSnow Piercer graphic novel

You may have seen or heard of the Korean Film Snowpiercer, as it was the first film shown for the Bama Art House’s fall schedule at the Bama Theater this past August or maybe you are a fan of international film or Chris Evans.  Whatever the case Snowpiercer, about the world’s survivors battling an ice age and struggling to live aboard a 1,001 car train with a strict caste system, is a futuristic action thriller.  The film is now available on DVD and Netflix and can also be check out locally at the Tuscaloosa Public Library.

What fans of the film may not realize is that the film is based on a French graphic novel originally published in 1982 but not translated into English until 2014.  Both volumes are at McLure; Snow Piercer 1: The Escape and Snow Piercer 2: The Explorers.  Come check out these fantastic and exhilarating reads about post-apocalyptic life aboard a massive train.

Harlem Hellfighters

By Amanda Alexander, Graduate Assistant, McLure Education Library

Veteran’s Day: The date stems from the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918—the end of the First World War.


Max Brooks’ graphic novel, The Harlem Hellfighters, tells the story of the historic black regiment nicknamed the Harlem Hellfighters.  These courageous men had the distinction of being the first African-American regiment to serve with the American Expeditionary Force in France in 1917, and spent over six months in combat.  The regiment suffered approximately fifteen hundred casualties but received only nine hundred replacements.  The graphic novel gives a fictionalized account of the experiences of the 369th Infantry Regiment from enlistment until their return home.  This is an account of bravery amidst war and racial discrimination that needed to be told.  Come to McLure and check out this harrowing read today.

More Young Adult Dystopian Novels

By Leslie Grant, Graduate Assistant, McLure Education Library

Stories set in dystopian societies are wildly popular right now, with books like The Hunger Games and Divergent becoming blockbuster hits at the box office. If you’re done re-reading  Mockingjay before the release of part one later this month, then you might want to check out some of these other young adult dystopian novels available at the library.

pasPills and Starships

by Lydia Millet

(PZ7.M63923 Pi 2014)

“Seventeen-year-old Nat and her hacker brother Sam have come to Hawaii for their parents’ Final Week. Global warming has devastated the planet, and the disintegrating society that remains is run by “corporates” who keep the population complacent through a constant diet of “pharma.” The few Americans who stil live well also live long — so long that older adults, like Nat’s parents, blow out not by natural means but by buying death contracts. While Nat grapples with the bizarre ritual of her parents’ slickly engineered last days, Sam begins to uncover a secret, wilder Hawaii hidden beneath the high-gloss corporate veneer. Their family’s Final Week races toward its climax in the face of a looming hurricane as Nat struggles to protect herself and the people she loves — Along the way forging her own surprising path to hope.”


Matched series

by Ally Condie

(PZ7.C7586 Ma 2010)

“All her life, Cassia has never had a choice. The Society dictates everything: when and how to play, where to work, where to live, what to eat and wear, when to die, and most importantly to Cassia as she turns 17, whom to marry. When she is Matched with her best friend Xander, things couldn’t be more perfect. But why did her neighbor Ky’s face show up on her match disk as well?”


Tankborn series

by Karen Sandler

(PZ7.S2173 Tan 2011)

“Kayla and Mishalla, two genetically engineered non-human slaves (GENs), fall in love with higher-status boys, discover deep secrets about the creation of GENs, and find out what it means to be human.”


Thotshe House of the Scorpion series

by Nancy Farmer

(PZ7.F23814 Mat 2002)

“In a future where humans despise clones, Matt enjoys special status as the young clone of El Patrón, the 142-year-old leader of a corrupt drug empire nestled between Mexico and the United States.”


smShatter Me series

by Tahereh Mafi

(PZ7.M2695 Sh 2011)

“Ostracized or incarcerated her whole life, seventeen-year-old Juliette is freed on the condition that she use her horrific abilities in support of The Reestablishment, a postapocalyptic dictatorship, but Adam, the only person ever to show her affection, offers hope of a better future.”


sbShip Breaker series

by Paolo Bacigalupi

(PZ7.B132185 Sh 2010)

“In a futuristic world, teenaged Nailer scavenges copper wiring from grounded oil tankers for a living, but when he finds a beached clipper ship with a girl in the wreckage, he has to decide if he should strip the ship for its wealth or rescue the girl.”


Life As We Knew It series

by Susan Beth Pfeffer

(PZ7.P44855 Lif 2006)

“Through journal entries sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family’s struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.”


These are just a few books to get you started, all of which are available at McLure in the Education School Library downstairs. Enjoy, and let us know your favorite dystopian reads.


By Amanda Alexander, Graduate Assistant, McLure Education Library

Can’t get enough of the Outlander series?  With the show on hiatus until April 4th some fans have been left gnashing their teeth and wringing their hands in anticipation.  Starz decided to split the first season of the show, based on the first book in Diana Gabaldon’s wildly popular Outlander novels, into two parts.  The first 8 episodes have already aired and are available to Starz subscribers On Demand now with the second 8 episodes set to start back on Saturday, April 4th at 8 pm central time.  For those unfamiliar with the series, Outlander follows the story of Claire Randall, a married WWII nurse, who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743 where she encounters another war and is thrown into the arms of dashing Highland warrior, Jamie Fraser.  Fans will be delighted to know that Starz has already renewed the series for a second season based on Gabaldon’s book Dragonfly in Amber, the second book in the series.   





Luckily, you don’t have to wait until 2015 to get your Outlander fix, as McLure Library has the Outlander graphic novel!  Titled The Exile, it is told from Jamie’s perspective and gives a fresh take on the books and show, which are both told from Claire’s perspective.  For those who might have a long journey home for Thanksgiving break, the full series of Outlander books, ebooks, and audiobooks can be found at the Tuscaloosa Public Library.

Links for further Outlander enjoyment: