90s Night!

I think 90s Night was the best event we've had all summer!! What a great way to end our summer teen programs. Tonight, 24 teens showed up to celebrate the 90s.

A lot of people were really creative with their costumes. We had everything from Kris Kross to The Spice Girls to Jay and Silent Bob! Prizes were awarded to Laura and Tyria for best costumes, as well as to Megan for the closest spelling of "fahrvergnugen"and to Kara for matching the advertising slogans to products. Special thanks to Kara, too, for bringing excellent 90s artifacts like Pokemon cards and a Steve Urkel doll that still talks!!!

We did tons of stuff just two hours. We watched a few videos, some clips from VH1's "I Love the 90s," and finished with a 10-minute clip from Wayne's World. In between, we did dances, made "U Can't Touch This" slap bracelets, took an advertising slogan quiz, and took cheesy Mentos photos. We also ate 90s theme food: Snapple, Go-Gurt, string cheese, Hershey's Hugs, and muffins. And my crowning achievement, mini-bagels cut in half with strawberry cream cheese...to represent Mike Tyson's infamous chomp on Evander Holyfield's ear!!
Check out the photos below. I put up a lot because they were so good!!!

Favorite Movies of the 1990s

These were some of the most popular movies of the 90s. If you haven't seen them, look for them at the video store or add them to your NetFlix queue!
  • Edward Scissorhands (1990, PG-13)
  • Home Alone (1990, PG)
  • Beauty and the Beast (1991, G)
  • Wayne's World (1992, PG-13)
  • Jurassic Park (1993, PG-13)
  • Mrs. Doubtfire (1993, PG-13)
  • Forrest Gump (1994, PG-13)
  • Speed (1994, R)
  • Clueless (1995, PG-13)
  • Braveheart (1995, R)
  • Toy Story (1995, G)
  • Independence Day (1996, PG-13)
  • Twister (1996, PG-13)
  • Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997, PG-13)
  • Titanic (1997, PG-13)
  • The Matrix (1999, R)
  • The Sixth Sense (1999, PG-13)
  • Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999, PG)


Book Review: Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska by John Green

SUMMARY: Miles "Pudge" Halter is abandoning his safe, boring life. Fascinated by the last words of famous people, Pudge leaves for boarding school to seek what a dying Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Pudge becomes encircled by friends whose lives are everything but safe and boring. Their nucleus is razor-sharp, sexy, and self-destructive Alaska, who has perfected the arts of pranking and evading school rules. Pudge falls impossibly in love. When tragedy strikes the close-knit group, it is only in coming face-to-face with death that Pudge discovers the value of living and loving unconditionally. (from the inside flap)

OPINION: This edgy high school book won the Printz Award this year and caused quite a stir among adults, but I never got around to reading it until now. Even though the book was depressingly realistic at times, it drew me in to the boarding school atmosphere. Pudge's experiences with all-night bull sessions, trips to the smoking hole, and endless pranks reminded me of a glorified trip to sleep-away camp. The final prank in the book had me laughing out loud! Be warned, however, that this story is a hard one to read. Depression, substance abuse, and self-destructive behaviors often drive the action. The varied elements of this story combine to form a tone that embodies teenage vitality at the same time it creates a sense of foreboding. If you like your realistic fiction to be seriously realistic (but not preachy), this one's for you.


90s Nostalgia?

I guess it's hard to be nostalgic for the decade you were born in, but here are some sites you can visit to find out more about the 90s! Get ready for our 90s party on Friday night!!

This pop-culture site features music, movies, and television, as well as fads and world events. Right now, the homepage has people's lists of top ten songs of the 90s.

Wikipedia article on the 1990s
Technology, politics, and trends are all part of this comprehensive site. Scroll down to the bottom for a good list of links, too.

VH1: I Love the Nineties
Find out about the decade and get the showtimes for upcoming episodes.

BBC: I Love the 90s
For a British take on the 1990s!


Book Review: The Prophet of Yonwood

The Prophet of Yonwood by Jeanette DuPrau (*NEW*)

SUMMARY: It’s 50 years before the settlement of the city of Ember, and the world is in crisis. War looms on the horizon as 11-year-old Nickie and her aunt travel to the small town of Yonwood, North Carolina. There, one of the town’s respected citizens has had a terrible vision of fire and destruction. Her garbled words are taken as prophetic instruction on how to avoid the coming disaster. As the people of Yonwood scramble to make sense of the woman’s mysterious utterances, Nickie explores the oddities she finds around town, while keeping an eye out for ways to help the world. Is this vision her chance? Or is it already too late to avoid a devastating war? In this prequel to the acclaimed The City of Ember and The People of Sparks, Jeanne DuPrau investigates how, in a world that seems out of control, hope and comfort can be found in the strangest of places. (excerpted from the inside flap)

OPINION: The main story of this book tackles big questions about the nature of good and evil, and the role of God in human conflict. And it has a huge old victorian house, a hidden dog, and snakes! It was a pretty good story, but it had very little to do with The City of Ember, except in the last few pages. It was rather a disappointment and left a lot of questions unanswered. Hopefully, there will be a fourth book that tells me what I want to know. Like, how the world was destroyed and how the first citizens of Ember reacted to their new lifestyle. Still, it is an interesting story, particularly considering the current war situation and fears of terrorism. Read it, but don't expect big revelations about Ember.


Redwall Feast & Fun

Tonight, 24 teens decended on the library to eat Redwall recipes and generally act silly. And we did both equally well. We did riddles, made up traveling troupe presentations, watched cartoon clips, did a backwards crossword puzzle, and got our own Redwall names. The menu included Strawberry Cordial, Fruit Muffins with Meadowcream Icing, Chocolate Abbotcake, Hotroot-N-Shrimp Stew, Shrewbread with Bee Butter, Brockhall Badger Carrot Cakes, and Springtide Stuffed Mushrooms. Some of the recipes were from the Redwall cookbook, which is a fun little book that you can check out of our library.

If you want to know more about Redwall, visit the official site at http://www.redwall.org. It has tons of info about Brian Jacques and his Redwall series.

Scroll down and check out the event photos!!


Book Review: Smack

Smack by Melvin Burgess

SUMMARY: At 14, sweet-natured Tar leaves his small seaside town for Bristol to get away from his alcoholic, abusive parents. Gemma follows him to escape an infuriatingly repressive (to her, at least) home situation. Reveling in their newfound freedom, the two find shelter with a welcoming set of anarchists squatting in an abandoned building, then move on to live with Lily and Rob, a glamorous couple a year or so older who willingly share not just their squat, but their heroin too. Using multiple narrators, and only rarely resorting to violence or graphic details, Burgess chronicles drug addiction's slow, irresistible initial stages, capturing with devastating precision each teenager's combination of innocence, self-deceit, and bravado; the subsequent loss of personality and self-respect; the increasingly unsuccessful efforts to maintain a semblance of control. Based on actual people and incidents, this harrowing tale is as compellingly real as it is tragic. (excerpted from the Kirkus review)

OPINION: Heroin tricks your mind into thinking you are totally in control, when, in reality, you are a total junkie. This book chronicles the slow decline of teen abusers Tar, Gemma, Lily, and Rob. The sad part is that they are likable people. I was rooting for them through the whole book, no matter how many poor choices they made. This book is not overly graphic or overly preachy, but it is devistatingly realistic. If you like your realistic fiction on the gritty and streetwise side, this book's for you.


Animal Mask-Making

Last night, 14 teens came to the library to create wild animal masks using tissue paper decoupage. It was messy and a lot of fun! The masks we made looked more like Mardi Gras creatures than actual animals, but they all looked great. Check out the photos below to see a feathered tiger, a "gazebra," and an orange bejeweled bunny!


Hot Off the Presses!

Well, hot off the processing shelf anyway. Here's the latest:

  • Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • Grand and Humble by Brent Hartinger
  • Almost Eden by Anita Horrocks
  • Monkey Town by Ronald Kidd
  • Troll Mill by Katherine Langrish
  • Chicks with Sticks (It's a Purl Thing) by Elizabeth Lenhard
  • Art Geeks and Prom Queens by Alyson Noel
  • Fame, Glory, and Other Things on My To-Do List by Janette Rallison
  • Undine by Penni Russon
  • It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
  • Second-Time Cool: The Art of Chopping Up a Sweater by Anna-Stina Linden Ivarsson, Katarina Brideitis, and Katarina Evans
  • Knitgrrl: Learn to Knit with 15 Fun and Funky Projects by Shannon Okey
  • Chew on This: Everything You Don't Want to Know about Fast Food by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson
  • Monsterology: Fabulous Lives of the Creepy, the Revolting, and the Undead by Arthur Slade


Yu-Gi-Oh Tournament

Last night's Yu-Gi-Oh Tournament was attended by 26 teens and 2 judges! There were a lot of new players there, so the competition was intense. The regular club attenders ruled in the end, though, making up three of the top four players. The final four were Sean, Jamaul, Greg, and Bryant. Each of them won movie candy. The winner of the whole tournament was Jamaul, who also won two packs of Yu-Gi-Oh cards and a $10 gift card to Game Stop. Look for another tournament on the fall schedule! And look at the pictures below:


Book Review: The King of Attolia

The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

SUMMARY: Eugenides, the former Thief of Eddis, is back and just as clever as ever. As King of Attolia after literally stealing and marrying the Queen, he must convince the rest of her court and her subjects that he deserves his title. The Attolians think he's an idiot who is being used by the Queen. They refuse to believe that he and Irene could honestly love one another, considering that shes responsible for having his hand cut off. His attendants and guards mock him behind his back and play pranks on him, all the while thinking that he is too spineless and incompetent to protest. That is, until a guard named Costis punches him in the face and knocks him down. Beheading is the usual penalty for such a transgression but Eugenides devises a better punishment. It is through Costis's eyes that readers see how he and the court consistently underestimate the shrewd young man. (from the SLJ review)

OPINION: This book is the third in the trilogy that also includes The Thief and The Queen of Attolia. I read both of those a while back and didn't remember many details. So, it was hard for me to get into this book for a while. You really have to read the first two books to figure this one out. That said, it is an excellent end to the trilogy, with plenty of scheming and plotting worthy of Gen. Even though he is older now, and a king, he is just as irascible and unruly as ever. But how will this behavior convince the court guard to follow him, let alone his subjects ?


These Books Bite!

Literally. They're all about vampires.

  • Thirsty by M.T. Anderson
  • In the Forests of the Night by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
  • Demon in my View by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
  • Shattered Mirror by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
  • Midnight Predator by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
  • Blue Bloods Melissa de la Cruz
  • Look for Me by Moonlight by Mary Downing Hahn
  • Sweetblood by Pete Hautman
  • Hawkes Harbor by S.E.Hinton
  • The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause
  • Got Fangs? by Katie Maxwell
  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
  • Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber
  • Vampire Kisses 2: Kissing Coffins by Ellen Schreiber
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde
  • Peeps by Scott Westerfeld


  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (various authors)
  • Vampire's Promise by Carolyn B. Cooney
  • The Darkangel Triology by Meredith Ann Pierce (older readers)
  • The Last Vampire by Christopher Pike
  • The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice (older readers)
  • Cirque du Freak by Darren Shan
  • St. Germaine Chronicles by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (older readers)

  • Vampire Encyclopedia by Matthew Bunson
  • Vampires by Raymond H. Miller