Fun at Foster's blog

Jedi Academy: Return of the Padawan

With the next Star Wars film set to open in December of this year, it would seem only natural for me to review a comic set in the Star Wars universe. Therefore, I present to you the next chapter in the life of young Roan Novachez and his journey to become a Jedi. No, dear readers, that is not a typo (you were probably expecting Luke Skywalker, weren’t you?). Author and Star Wars fan Jeffrey Brown continues his Jedi Academy series with Return of the Padawan.

Roan Novachez returns to the Jedi Academy for his second year of training, facing tougher classes, a new cafeteria cook, and reconnecting with his friends. However, things don’t quite go as planned. He’s finally getting his chance to train as a pilot in the school’s flight simulator, but he ends up breaking it on his first try; his good friends, Pasha and Gaiana, seem to be ignoring him; and the school bullies are trying to lead him to the dark side. It’s a year of hurt feelings, embarrassing situations, and misunderstandings—so it’s pretty much what school is like for the rest of us.

Once again, Jeffrey Brown shows us the ups and downs of middle-school life, with all the angst that comes with it combined with Brown’s love of all things Star Wars. Anyone who’s ever suffered jealously, bullying, and horrible cafeteria food will certainly relate to Roan and his friends. Aside from the Jedi stuff, this could easily have been anyone’s story, and that’s what makes it so appealing (okay, that and the Star Wars stuff, I’ll admit it). Brown shows us that life isn’t any easier for a Jedi-in-training than it is for the rest of us.

If you liked his previous books set in the Star Wars universe, then you’re sure to like this one, too.


Heather, the Graphic Novel Goddess

Ghosts of Ventura County @ Foster

On Sunday, May 17, E.P. Foster Library will host a talk by noted historian and ghost hunter Richard Senate.

In The Ghosts of Ventura County, Mr. Senate will share the knowledge and experience he has gained dealing with spirits and similar phenomena during his career. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, this talk is sure to be a lot of fun!

This free event begins at 2 p.m. in the Topping Room. Stop by for a bit of local history and folklore!

California Native Plants for Your Garden

As California enters its fourth year of extreme drought, many are contemplating replacing their lawns with drought-resistant native plants. Your Resident Photographer believes strongly that your gardens will look just as beautiful as any botanical garden if you decide to choose native plants.

Over the years I’ve taken photographs of an abundance of colorful native flora. Native plants have developed to thrive in drought conditions and will certainly cut your use of water during these very dry years. In addition, plants like California Buckwheat, Golden Yarrow, Desert Bluebells, California Fuchsia, Ceanothus, and many more will attract a multitude of butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds to your garden.

If you are thinking about using native plants in your garden and aren’t sure where to start, E.P. Foster Library has books on California native plants, and our eLibrary has a variety of eBooks on native plants as well.

Resident Photographer Aleta A. Rodriguez

Korean Calligraphy Exhibition @ Foster

From May 4 to May 10, E.P. Foster Library will host a special exhibition of Korean Calligraphy by Una Gil Deok Nam.

Gil Deok Nam is a well-known calligrapher and resides in the city of Gwangju, Jeon-Nam, South Korea. Her artistry has been well received by audiences not only in Korea but Japan and China as well. At present she is teaching calligraphy courses in Gwangju.

You can view this exhibit on the first floor of the library. Stop by to witness this showcase of the beauty of Korean culture and calligraphy in general.

David's Dish: Secret Baked Portobello

Shroom: Mind-bendingly Good Recipes for Cultivated and Wild Mushrooms by Becky Selengut was a mind-opening book for me as far as mushrooms are concerned. The first thoughts I have when someone mentions mushrooms either involve a lousy tin of squishy mushrooms or a Beatrix Potter illustration of a fly agaric (Amanita muscaria), neither of which is very appealing—one is just yucky, and the other is toxic. But I delved into the book deeper and was fascinated by the different mushrooms available. Also, the photography in the book is quite exceptional.

Portobello was the cry from most of the foodies I work with, so I began looking for what I deemed the best portobello recipe in the book in order to prepare that dish. The sad thing is I didn’t find a baked portobello recipe—which is what interested me—in the cookbook, but this would not stop me for I was truly inspired by this book to create a delicious mushroom dish.

I was tempted to make the savory mushroom bread pudding, but was spared by a crumbled-up piece of paper left on my desk. Scrawled on the paper was a baked portobello recipe. Such luck! Things like this happen to me quite frequently, who knows why. The recipe looked great; on the back side of the paper it read “keep this recipe a secret.” I can’t divulge much, but the recipe is fantastic. Some of the ingredients are cheese, garlic, and onions, but there are two secret ingredients that can’t be revealed. Needless to say, this dish was one of my best ever! If you have an interest in using mushrooms in your dishes, this is the cookbook for you.


*****David’s Dish

Check out the book at Foster Library, or put it on hold—we will send it to you. If there are any cookbooks in Foster Library’s collection that you would like me to try out, please leave the title on our Facebook page and I’ll get cooking!

The Lazy Loser @ Foster

Join us on Friday, May 1, for a special talk at E.P. Foster Library. Marie Bean, author of Lazy Loser, will speak on topics relating to health and fitness.

Marie Bean busts all the myths surrounding diets and exercise and will talk about how you can eat the foods you like, move the way you like, and never have to diet again.

This free event begins at 11 a.m. in the Topping Room. Stop by to learn more about losing weight the "lazy" way. We hope to see you there!

NOAA and the National Weather Service @ Foster

On Wednesday, April 29, E.P. Foster Library will host another STEM educational presentation, this time by Eric Boldt of NOAA.

Eric Boldt is a meteorologist who will speak on the role of the National Weather Service and how his organization contributes to climate monitoring and coastal restoration.

This talk begins at 5 p.m. in the Topping Room. Stop by to learn more about this exciting topic!

CI Lecture Series @ Foster

On Wednesday, April 22, E.P. Foster Library will host the final talk in the current CI Lecture Series.

Dr. Michelle Dean, Assistant Professor of Special Education, will present research that examines the social experiences of school children with high functioning autism, focusing on how gender relates to their relationships and social behaviors.

The talk will start at 5 p.m. in the Topping Room. We hope to see you there!

"Have Space Suit—Will Travel," by Robert A. Heinlein

Having originally published this work in 1958 before the first manned mission to the moon, renowned and award winning science fiction author Heinlein dreamed of space flight and life in lunar colonies. The title of Have Space Suit—Will Travel comes from an old TV show of the time, Have Gun—Will Travel, about a brave and honorable mercenary character in the frontiers of California and an old saying then that went “have tux, will travel.”

Funny name aside, the book is about a young man’s high-adventures in space, eventually saving earth and a young girl in the process. This is one of Heinlein’s best novels written for young readers and will appeal to anyone of any age.

A clever and resourceful young man named Kip is obsessed with space flight and determined to go to the moon, but despairs at the difficulty. Only the best of the best are stationed there, and it requires a huge sum of money to visit as a tourist.

When his eccentric father shows him an ad in the paper for an advertising jingle contest, Kip goes all in and submits thousands of entries in hopes of winning. What follows is exciting, fast-paced, and humorous. Heinlein, in his characteristic style and voice, carries the reader through to the end and leaves you wanting more.

I enjoyed our audio version of Have Space Suit—Will Travel, available free through Hoopla Digital in our eLibrary.


Alan Martin, Your Friendly Reader

Read Me a Story & More: Coming Soon to E.P. Foster Library

At 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28, E.P. Foster Library will host the early literacy workshop Read Me a Story & More.

In this workshop, parents and caregivers will learn the five early literacy practices that children need to be reading ready. They will learn how to extend stories into activities, including using a flannel board that the whole family can enjoy.

Class size is limited, and advanced registration is required. This workshop is for adults ONLY. Sign up at the children’s desk or call 648-2716 and ask for the children’s department.

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