Board Game Party

Yesterday, 15 people showed up to play board games. Groups were playing Scrabble, Scattergories, Monopoly, Taboo, Yahtzee, and even a Pokemon game! It was a great way to hang out and pass the afternoon, and it was nice to see everyone in such a relaxed environment.



Tonight, 36 teens came to the library for our first-ever Japan Night. I can't believe I didn't want to do this event! It was a lot of fun, and everyone was really enthusiastic. Several people even came in costumes. We watched some anime and other Japanese TV, had an anime quiz (Caitlin won a magnetic Naruto dartboard), made origami frogs and samurai hats, and played NES and Wii, among other things. I cooked 8 bags of Ramen noodles on the hotplate, and it wasn't enough! But, luckily, we had tons of other food later in the evening.

Thanks to the Teen Advisory Board and the Anime Club for convincing me that we needed to have Japan Night! Special thanks to Tim for sharing his expertise in all things Japanese and for bringing food from Pei Wei, to Adam for bringing his Wii (and to his parents for letting him), to Caitlin for bringing food and a for bringing great compilation DVD, to Marissa for bringing food, and to Daniel for showing people his crazy origami skills.

Samurai hats!

Fun with Nat's Japanese puzzles.

Lots of great food!


A group photo.


B&N Books

The books we chose at Barnes & Noble are getting processed this week, so look for these in the teen section:

  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments, Book One)
  • Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
  • That Summer by Sarah Dessen
  • This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
  • A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson
  • Things Change by Patrick Jones
  • A Break with Charity by Ann Rinaldi
  • Nine Days a Queen by Ann Rinaldi
  • The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott
  • Blue Is for Nightmares by Laurie Faria Stolarz
  • Red Is for Remembrance by Laurie Faria Stolarz
  • Silver Is for Secrets by Laurie Faria Stolarz
  • White is for Magic by Laurie Faria Stolarz


  • Guinness World Records 2008


Do-It-Yourself Beauty Products Today

Today we are having an after-school drop-in craft program where you can learn to make beauty products out of common household items. Stop by the upstairs programming room between 3:00 and 5:00! If you can't come to the event, or if you want to try some things at home, here are some resources for you:

  1. Beauty product recipies from the last time we did this are listed in this blog post.
  2. Check out some books from the library--look for Beauty Trix for Cool Chix; Makeup: Things to Make and Do; The Girls' Spa Book; Insparation; or The Girls' World Book of Bath & Beauty.

  3. Visit some websites with a vast array of home beauty product recipies, including Kitchen, Crafts 'N' More, Natural Beauty, and Make Your Cosmetics.

Beauty Product Recipies

Since we did are doing a few projects today that we didn't do last time, here are the recipies:

Easy Body Sugar Scrub
Recipe from http://www.makeyourcosmetics.com/


  • 1 cup sugar (brown or white)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 drops vanilla or almond extract


  1. Combine sugar and oil in a bowl and mix until a pasty consistency forms.
  2. Add two drops of extract and stir to combine.
  3. Spoon into an airtight container and put on the lid.
  4. To use, massage gently over damp skin. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry. This is great for exfoliating feet, hands, and other rough patches of skin in the winter. Don’t use it on broken, irritated, or scarred skin, though.

Candy Cane Bath Salts
Recipe from http://www.makeyourcosmetics.com/

Ingredients (double amounts for a bigger container):

  • 1 cup Epsom salts
  • 4 tablespoons sea salt
  • 4 drops mint extract
  • 2 drops red food coloring


  1. Place ½ cup of Epsom salts and two tablespoons sea salt in a Ziploc sandwich bag. Add two drops of mint extract, seal, and mix in the scent.
  2. Place the other ½ cup of Epsom salts and two tablespoons sea salt in another Ziploc sandwich bag. Add two drops of red food coloring, seal, and mix until the color is evenly distributed. Open the bag and add two drops of peppermint extract, seal, and mix in the scent.
  3. Carefully snip the right corner off the bottom of both bags. Alternately pour the white and red salts into a container, layering them to create a striped effect.
  4. Fill the container all the way to the top to prevent shifting of the contents.
  5. Put a lid on the container and throw away any leftover salts.
  6. Add a few tablespoons to your tub for a fragrant and relaxing winter bath.


New African-American Fiction

Our collection of African-American fiction has grown! I replaced copies of books that were lost and also ordered a bunch of new ones. Come in while the selection is good!

  • Jason & Kyra by Dana Davidson
  • Played by Dana Davidson
  • Can't Stop the Shine by Joyce E. Davis (Kimani TRU)
  • Drama High by L. Divine
  • Drama High: Jayd's Legacy by L. Divine
  • Drama High: Second Chance by L. Divine
  • Bang! by Sharon Flake
  • Keesha's House by Helen Frost
  • Dark Sons by Nikki Grimes
  • Blood Is Thicker by Paul Langan (Bluford High)
  • Brothers in Arms by Paul Langan (Bluford High)
  • The Bully by Paul Langan (Bluford High)
  • Payback by Paul Langan (Bluford High)
  • Indigo Summer by Monica Mckayhan (Kimani TRU)
  • Trouble Follows by Monica Mckayhan (Kimani TRU)
  • Prime Choice by Stephanie Perry Moore (Perry Skky, Jr.)
  • Problem Solved by Stephanie Perry Moore (Perry Skky, Jr.)
  • Sweetest Gift by Stephanie Perry Moore (Payton Skky)
  • Street Love by Walter Dean Myers
  • Imani All Mine by Connie Porter
  • Lost and Found by Anne E. Schraff (Bluford High)
  • A Matter of Trust by Anne E. Schraff (Bluford High)
  • Secrets in the Shadows by Anne E. Schraff (Bluford High)
  • Someone to Love Me by Anne E. Schraff (Bluford High)
  • Until We Meet Again by Anne E. Schraff (Bluford High)
  • Like Sisters on the Homefront by Rita Williams-Garcia
  • Behind You by Jacqueline Woodson
  • The Dear One by Jacqueline Woodson
  • If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson


Book Review: Alphabet of Dreams

Alphabet of Dreams by Susan Fletcher

Click on the book cover to see which libraries own it.

This book is an amazing tale of survival and adventure, with a unique twist. Mitra and Babak are hiding in ancient tombs on the edge of a city, barely surviving on what they steal. When Babek starts having dreams that seem to come true, their anonymity is shattered and they must flee for their lives. When they join the caravan of Melchior, Babek's dreams point the way toward an amazing moment in history. This book is a fresh look at a traditional story. Read it during the Christmas season!


Marie Lamba Lovefest Continued

I wrote a review of Marie Lamba's visit to our library, which included some quotes from teens who were at the program.

Here is my review:

Marie Lamba was one of the best young adult authors we have ever hosted at our library. Even though the weather was not cooperative, 23 readers in grades 4 to 12 attended the program, as well as some parents. Talking about both her journey to publication and the plot of What I Meant…, Marie created a meaningful hour-long presentation around the themes of inner strength and determination. She also encouraged listeners to find their own inner resources to deal with their dreams and challenges. Highlights of the presentation included readings from What I Meant…, great advice about writing, and a large pile of actual rejection letters. The students were very impressed with the quality of Marie’s answers to the questions during the Q&A session, and 16 people enthusiastically purchased books to be signed at the end. I would highly recommend inviting Marie to your school, library, or bookstore!

Here are the quotes:

“I liked how she described the publishing process and her difficulties with it.” --Amy, age 16

“She was very honest and in-depth about rejections.” --Caitlin, age 17

“Marie was a great guest speaker and I am really looking forward to reading about the lifeguard in her new book.” --Arwa, age 16

“I liked the fact that she was finally able to put her book In and Out of Time aside to work on a new project. It taught me that I could stretch further as a writer.” --Stephanie, age 15

“After hearing about What I Meant…, I wanted to stab that aunt in the eye with a blunt object.” --Katie, age 16

Here is Marie's response:

Thanks so much for doing this! It really is so helpful. I'll be sure to include your comments in the press I hand out at the ALA Midwinter meeting in Philly. I'll be at the SCBWI booth on Friday, the opening night. Maybe I'll see you there!

BTW, LOVED the eye-poking comment. You have such a great group of teens there. I bet you have a blast with them. And please let Arwa know that the book about the steamy bad-boy lifeguard just got mailed to my agent yesterday. Fingers crossed that it'll be accepted by a publisher soon!


B&N Fundraiser Report

On Saturday, we had a very busy day at Barnes & Noble. Lots of patrons and employees shopped to support our library, and several Teen Advisory Board members wrapped gifts through the day. The total income for gift wrapping was $60.25, which is about how much we made last year. We don't know yet what the total raised from book sales was.

Thanks to Alexa, Koumudi, Kaitlin, and Amy for showing up when they said they would to wrap gifts! We did some good shopping for the teen section, too, including a bunch of new fantasy books, a few historical fiction titles, and a copy of the 2008 Guiness Book of World Records. Look for those on the shelf soon.


Nintendo Night

On Friday, 25 people came out for Nintendo Night. We had a great time laughing at the Jeopardy! game on the original NES. For the first time ever, we ran not only a Pokemon Diamond and Pearl tournament for DS users, but also a Super Smash Bros Melee tournament on the big screen! The Pokemon tournament had 14 players, and the final came down to Rachel and Maher. Oddly, the Melee tournament, although it had 20 players, also came down to a final between Rachel and Maher! I guess we know who spends too much time playing video games!! Anyway, Maher ended up winning both tournaments and got a $10 gift card to game stop for each. All the semi-finalists got candy, which made them happy. And I got to whoop everyone at Dr. Mario on the NES, which made me happy!! Look for another Nintendo Night on the winter schedule.


New Now!

Here are this week's new additions to the teen area:

  • Firegirl by Tony Abbot (replacement copy)
  • The Poison Apples by Lily Archer
  • The Road of the Dead by Kevin Brooks
  • How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles
  • Quaking by Kathryn Erskine
  • Touching Snow by M. Sindy Felin
  • The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
  • Glass by Ellen Hopkins (sequel to Crank)
  • Bad Kitty by Michele Jaffe
  • Strays by Ron Koertge
  • Miracle Wimp by Erik P. Kraft
  • Dangerously Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • Edenville Owls by Robert B. Parker


  • Blue Lipstick: Concrete Poems by John Grandits


Marie Lamba Author Visit!

On Sunday, 26 people braved the weather to meet Marie Lamba at our library. It was a yucky day, but we had a great time. Of course, Marie did readings from What I Meant... and talked about the ideas and themes in the novel. Marie also talked a lot about writing and her journey to publication, including giant stacks of rejection letters, some of which were absolutely ridiculous. The worst one was written on an unevenly cut piece of green construction paper with red crayon scribbles on the back! The audience asked great questions and 15 copies of the book were sold to new fans. Hopefully, we will see more books from Marie in the future!

What an attentive audience!

An aeriel view

Marie shared her piles of rejection letters!

An action shot

Getting books signed

Everyone was happy!

Charm school?

Can't wait to read!

Woohoo, signed books!


80s Night...Totally Trippendicular!

Last night, 21 teens came out to our second-ever 80s Night. We did a variety of games in the beginning, including matching celebrities then and now, taking a Coke-Pepsi taste test (which actually ended in a tie), translating sentences into 80s slang, and trying the ever-popular "put Michael Jackson's faces in order" game.

Later, we tried to play an 80s-themed Don't Forget the Lyrics game, but I was surprised how few famous songs people actually knew! I thought I was picking mostly easy ones. Our snacks for the evening included Sour Patch Kids, Reese's Pieces, Cool Ranch Doritos, and chicken nuggets. I couldn't believe how desperate everyone was to eat the nuggets...I should have started cooking earlier!

Everyone enjoyed media clips about 80s fads, fashion, and technology, and we had a great time comparing the videos of Michael Jackson's Bad and Weird Al's Fat. Incidentally, yesterday, November 30, was the exact 25th anniversary of the Thriller album. We have such great timing, and I didn't even know it!

Here's some pix:

Oh my god, we are, like, so cute!

Translating phrases into 80s slang.

Pound Puppies are just so cuddly!

Our costume contest winner...no surprise there!

The Pound Puppies photo corner was a popular spot!

Even the guys were willing to pose by the Pound Puppies.


Food of the 80s

Looking for snacks and prizes for our 80s party on Friday night, I found lots of information about foods that were first available in the 1980s! Sadly, all of the beverages are no longer available, but everything else is (I think).


  • Lemon Lime Slice (1984)
  • Mandarin Orange Slice
  • Wild Cherry Pepsi (1989)
Candy & Snacks:

  • Jello Pudding Pops (1980)
  • Tostitos (1981)
  • Fruit Roll-Ups (1983)
  • Pop Secret microwave popcorn (1985)
  • Sour Patch Kids (1985)
  • Cool Ranch Doritos (1987)
  • Hershey Kisses with Almonds (1988)
Fast Food:
  • Chicken McNuggets (1983)

  • The Olive Garden (1982)
  • Bosten Chicken (1985--now known as Boston Market)


New Books on CD

A big order of books on CD just got through processing, so here's what's new:
  • Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Evolution, Me, & Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande
  • Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares
  • Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks
  • Black Duck by Janet Taylor Lisle
  • Eragon by Christopher Paolini
  • The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan
  • Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
  • The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


iPod Crafts!

Need a quick gift for a birthday or holiday? Why not make an iPod accessory! These are adaptable to other kinds of iPods than those listed, as well as other types of MP3 players, so don't feel left out!

Here are some fun links I found...


Book Review: The Declaration

The Declaration by Gemma Malley

Reviews by Marissa, Arwa, and Gretchen

SUMMARY: It's the year 2140 and Longevity drugs have all but eradicated old age. A never-aging society can't sustain population growth, which means Anna should never have been born. Nor should any of the children she lives with at Grange Hall. Children like Anna--Surpluses--are brought up to believe they must atone for their very existence. Then one day a boy named Peter appears, bringing with him news of the world outside, a place where people are starting to say that Longevity is bad. Peter begs Anna to escape with him, but Anna's not sure whom to trust: the strange new boy whose version of life sounds like a dangerous fairy tale, or the familiar walls of Grange Hall and the head mistress who has controlled her every waking thought? (from the back of the book)

MARISSA SAYS: This book was very exciting and hard to put down. When I first started reading it, I thought living forever wouldn’t be that bad, but by the end I was fully convinced that I would join the rebellion. I could not live in a world without kids and I would most likely run out of things to enjoy after living over 100. This book would make a great book discussion book due to the conflict and excitement it contains.

ARWA SAYS: This work reminded me a lot about Shakespeare and his work with man's fickleness--how changable humans. It also reminded me of how only a few select people can be leaders while the read of mankind is in the "followers" column. I thought parts of the story went too fast, while others were too slow. Yet, it still had a good, juicy plot. All in all, it was a very original piece of work that I hope does not happen in the near future.

GRETCHEN SAYS: I am an avid reader of dystopian future fantasy, so I was excited to read this book by a new British author. The concept is really interesting: in the future, stem-cell research has leads to Longevity drugs that keep people from aging. Because of this, there is a population problem and illegal children, called Surpluses, are rounded up and raised to be servants and workers for the Legals. As a reader, I cheered for Surplus Anna as she awakened to the reality and complexity of life and began to think for herself. However, I was disappointed with the writing style. The story is told from a third person omnipotent point of view, and the switches among characters are sometimes jarring. Many aspects of this future society were alluded to, but not fully fleshed out, and the ending seemed rushed. Nonetheless, the novel is a thought-provoking and frightening vision of the future. A sequel addressing the Underground Movement to get rid of Longevity and free the Surpluses from Grange Hall would be an excellent follow-up. I can forgive what is lacking in this book if there are others to follow!


Sellers Library Teen Blog Policy

Since the comment problem from a few months ago has stopped, I am allowing anonymous comments on the blog again. Just so we're all clear, here are the official rules of the blog!

  • This blog exists to promote library activities and materials for students in grades six to twelve.
  • Items posted generally include book reviews, lists of new books, links to book and author websites, teen event schedules, and teen event reports.
  • Pictures of events may be posted, if available.
  • Other topics may be included, including pop culture discussions, links to fun websites, and blog poll results, at the discretion of the blog administrator (Gretchen Ipock, Young Adult Librarian).


  • Comments are open to anyone, even without a Blogger username and password. Users do need to type in a security code (shown on the page) to post a comment.
  • Comments should be related to the post on which they are made.
  • All comments are screened by the blog administrator.
  • Inappropriate comments will be deleted from the blog. This may include factors like aggressive or confrontational language, use of foul words, or comment spam.
  • The administrator reserves the right to change the comment policy if inappropriate comments persist. The administrator may moderate comments, disallow comments, require users to login to Blogger, or limit comments to blog contributors.


  • Members of the Teen Advisory Board and others who frequently attend teen events may ask to become blog contributors. These members are allowed to create blog entries, not just add comments.
  • Contact Gretchen Ipock at yaservices@udlibraries.org if you want to be a contributor.


Duct Tape Forever!

Last Wednesday, only two people showed up to make duct tape crafts, but we had fun anyway. I had silver, white, red, and black tape available. We all made wallets, which wasn't very hard. Genni added very functional pockets to the inside of hers. She didn't even have directions! I also made a coaster for my cup and a postcard to send to my parents. If you missed it, don't worry. We will be making duct tape roses at the Anti-Valentine's Day party I'm planning for the winter!

Dance Dance Revolution

Yesterday, 17 dancers came to our afternoon DDR event. We have not done this in a while, so it was good to get moving. Especially after eating all that turkey and stuff on Thursday! There were a lot of people who were just learning to play, so no one felt too unskilled. Everyone was brave though--14 people entered our tournament! Chris was the winner (no surprise there), and walked away with a $10 gift card to GameStop. We will definitely do this again soon.

Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along

Yesterday, 10 teens came out to out Beauty and the Beast movie sing-along! It was our first Disney movie sing-along, and we will definitely have to do it again. We did notice some inconsistencies in the movie; for example, how did Belle get the Beast on the horse after the wolf attack? But it was great fun anyway! Look for another movie sing-along on the winter schedule.


Duct Tape Stuff!

Drop by today between 3:00 and 5:00 to make duct tape crafts in the upstairs program room!

If you can't come, here are some resources for you to make your own duct tape stuff at home...

  • The Original Duct Tape Halloween Book by Tim Nyberg
  • Got Tape? Roll Out the Fun with Duct Tape! by Ellie Schiedermayer
  • Ductigami: The Art of the Tape by Joe Wilson


Book Review: The Crazy Horse Electric Game

The Crazy Horse Electric Game by Chris Crutcher

Click on the book cover to see which libraries own it.

SUMMARY: The title refers to the game for the Eastern Montana American Legion baseball championship, as the star pitcher, Willie Weaver, leads his team against the powerful squad from Crazy Horse Electric. But the emphasis of the novel shifts quickly away from baseball after Willie suffers a head injury in a water skiing accident. Unable to accept the loss of his athletic prowess, the pity of others, and his parents' troubled marriage, Willie runs away and ends up in the inner city of Oakland, California. After being beaten and robbed by a gang, Willie is rescued by a black bus driver/pimp, who enrolls Willie in a school for troubled youths. (from the School Library Journal review)

OPINION: I have always liked the title of this book, but the actual text did not live up to my feelings for the title. Sad to say, this is not Crutcher at his best. The story took place over several years, but, even so, it felt like too many issues were crammed into the book. It seemed to take forever to make a point, then it ended very abruptly. I did like how Willie, a small-town good old boy in the making, found his place in the hood after his injury. Don't judge Crutcher by this book though. Look for Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, Whale Talk, or his new one, Deadline, which are all worth your time.


Book Swap Report

Today, 12 people traded 45 books at our book swap! Most people came early and stayed the whole time. We enjoyed Disney Scene-It for two and a half hours with no repeats! And some of the questions were actually challenging, even though the game is rated for ages 6 and up. Of course, there were snacks...the last of that giant bag of candy finally got eaten! We will definitely do more book swaps in the winter and spring, so look for it on the schedule.

Comedy Improv Performance

Last Thursday was the final meeting of the Comedy Improv class, and they put on a small performance for family and friends. We had 12 performers and almost 30 audience members. Vicky involved everyone in the games and ideas for improv situations, and it seemed like they all had a good time.

Vicky did a great job teaching the six-week class! Everyone learned a lot about how to think quickly and interact with others in an improv setting. Who knew being funny was such hard work?! Here are some pictures from the performance.

Improv ballet lesson

Vacation slides...the baby got sick out the car window!

Tough punk chicks!

Are you ready to rumble?

You think you can play our game?

After all that, our game was "Ring Around the Rosie!"


New This Week

We can't stop getting new books, and the room is getting ridiculously full. Come check out the newest:
  • A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly
  • Skin Hunger (A Resurrection of Magic) by Kathleen Duey
  • All-In by Pete Hautman
  • Godless by Pete Hautman
  • Snakehead by Anthony Horowitz (Alex Rider series #7)
  • Go Girl! Robots Gone Wild! by Trina Robbins and Anne Timmons (graphic novel)
  • The Lion Hunter by Elizabeth E. Wein
  • Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger


Marie Lamba Author Visit

Next time you're in the lobby, look at the display I did for our author visit on Sunday, December 2. Marie Lamba will be here from 2:00 to 4:00 to talk about her Young Adult book What I Meant..., answer your questions, and sign copies of her book. Find out more about the author and her book by checking out the display!

You can buy a copy of the book that day, but if you want to buy a copy before the program, just ask me! (Either way, the cost is $11 because we are giving you the library discount.) Thanks to the Teen Advisory Board for sponsoring this author visit. You are the coolest!

Special thanks to library employee Aparna Hindupur for loaning the sari and jewelry in the display!!


Book Review: Extras

Extras by Scott Westerfeld (Uglies series)

Click on the cover to see which libraries own this book.

SUMMARY: It's a few years after rebel Tally Youngblood took down the uglies/pretties/specials regime. Without those strict roles and rules, the world is in a complete cultural renaissance. Tech-heads flaunt their latest gadgets, kickers spread gossip and trends, and surge monkeys are hooked on extreme plastic surgery. And it's all monitored on a bazillion different cameras. The world is like a gigantic game of American Idol. Whoever is getting the most buzz gets the most votes. Popularity rules. Aya Fuse's rank of 451,369 is so low, she's a total nobody. An extra. Then Aya meets a clique of girls who pull crazy tricks, yet are deeply secretive of it. Aya wants desperately to kick their story, to show everyone how intensely cool the Sly Girls are. But doing so would propel her out of extra-land and into the world of fame, celebrity...and extreme danger. A world she's not prepared for. (adapted from the inside flap)

OPINION: This book is a semi-sequel to the Uglies trilogy. The beginning of the story is very strong, with another richly imagined future society and a different cast of characters. The story is set in Japan, further separating it from the original three books. My favorite detail of this society was Westerfeld's inclusion of people who had surgery to look like their favorite manga characters! I was very disappointed when Tally and Shay entered the story in the middle and kind of took it over. I also thought the ending raised more questions than it answered. I think Westerfeld would have done better to make this an independent story in the same world as Tally's stories, and maybe expand it into another trilogy.


British Invasion Night

On Friday, 23 teens came to our celebration of all things British. Christina, a library employee and a total anglophile, planned all kinds of great activities. We did a British English spelling bee, competed in a pub quiz on various pop culture and historical topics, watched some media clips, matched British and American English words, wrote stories using Beatles song titles, and listened to the BBC live on the internet. We had crips and crumpets (potato chips and Tastycakes to you Americans) for a snack, along with a spot of tea. Christina used Halloween crackers and Cadbury chocolate as prizes, as well as some random items we rescued from the library yard sale. Jamine was less than thrilled with her potholder featuring historical sites of London, but we all got a good laugh! Everyone had a good time, and we all went home with a poster for the upcoming movie of The Golden Compass. Thanks, Christina!!!

A group writes down words they associate with the UK.

The lucky few who made it to the second round of the spelling bee!


Fresh Fiction

Here is new fiction that we got through processing this week. Some are from my shopping trip at Barnes & Noble, and others are new publications.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion 3: Angelic Days by Fumino Hayashi (graphic novel)
  • Slam by Nick Hornby
  • Hush by Donna Jo Napoli (signed copy!)
  • Safe by Susan Shaw (signed copy!)
  • One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones
  • Nobody Does It Better by Cecily von Ziegesar (Gossip Girl series)
  • The Rogues by Jane Yolen and Robert J. Harris


Book Review: First Boy

First Boy by Gary Schmidt

Click on the book cover to see which libraries own it.

What starts as a gentle book about farm life in New Hampshire suddenly starts to read like a spy or action novel as rumors about 14-year-old Cooper Jewett's real parents hit the presidential campaign trail. Cooper thought that he lived with his grandparents on a dairy farm after his real parents died in a car accident, but events like barn burning and break-ins show him that there is definitely more to the story. With the help of two steadfast neighbors (one of whom discovers a penchant for speeding during the chase scenes), Cooper tries to elude this unwelcome attention. This is a unique story and is a great read as the US is already in the midst of the 2008 presidential race!


British Invasion Night

Don't forget that Friday, November 9, is our British Invasion night from 6:30 to 8:30. Christina has planned amazing things, including movie and TV clips, a British English spelling bee, and a competitive group quiz! She is also going to bring a lot of her pictures and items from when she lived in England. If you love The Office, The Beatles, food, or prizes, then this event is for you! If you haven't signed up yet, call the library and get on the list!!


November Book Grub Meeting

On Friday, 19 members of the high school book group (aka Book Grub) met to discuss The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga. Many members talked about Barry's visit to our library last year, and some of the insights he gave us into the book and the characters. We also spent a lot of time discussing whether Fanboy was an unreliable narrator and whether he had a victim complex. It started as a crazy meeting, but it ended up being a good discussion (much to my relief).

Next month, we will discuss A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly. It was a 2004 Printz honor book and is based on a real murder from the early 20th century. We haven't done a historical fiction choice for a while, so I think it will be good. Your copies should be ready for pick-up by the end of the week.


LOL Winners

I just did the drawing for the winners of our LOL IM contest! Every time people attended a teen event during the month of October, they could enter the contest by identifying what different chat abbreviations meant. This was in honor of the Teen Read Week theme, LOL @ Your Library. We had 66 entries during the month, and three winners: Maria, Jasmine B., and Genni. Congrats!!

Too Many Books

We get more and more books in our tiny teen room every week! This week, some stuff I bought at Barnes & Noble is ready to go, as well as a few things I rescued from the library book sale.

I finally was able to buy our area some manga, but we don't have that much money. So, Caitlin C. suggested that we buy the first book in several different series so that people could decide which ones they want to keep reading and get them on their own. We now have a mini manga collection that will hopefully expand in the future!

  • Peter and the Secret of Rundoon by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
  • The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros*
  • The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton*
  • Eagle Strike by Anthony Horowitz*
  • Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (signed copy!)*
  • New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (signed copy!)*
  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (signed copy!)*
  • ttfn by Lauren Myracle
  • ttyl by Lauren Myracle
  • Daja's Book by Tamora Pierce (Circle of Magic series #3)
  • Sandry's Book by Tamora Pierce (Circle of Magic series #1)
  • Tris's Book by Tamora Pierce (Circle of Magic series #2)
  • The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien*
  • The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien*
  • The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien*
  • Tsubasa #1 by Clamp
  • Cantarella #6 by You Higuri
  • Naruto #1 by Masashi Kishimoto
  • Bizenghast #1 by M. Alice LeGrow
  • Death Note #1 by Tsugumi Ohba

* = additional copy already in the collection


Corpse Bride

Today, 12 teens came after school to watch Corpse Bride and eat candy. It was a great way to spend Halloween! Thanks for coming, and don't forget to sign up for all the November programs now!!


Final Totals from the Yard Sale

Thanks to Maria, Arwa, and Caitlin C., the TAB was able to staff the yard sale last Saturday. It was a yucky day, so thanks for coming to help! The yard sale raised $111, so the TAB gets $55.50 from your hard work.

Overall, we got $135.50 for teen programs and materials from two Saturdays' work at the yard sale. Huge thanks to everyone who worked and who purchased our stuff!


Anime Club

Yesterday, 12 members of the Anime Club met for our second-ever meeting. We made fake sushi, which was messy and fun. And it actually tasted good! Thanks to Kara, we watched a screener DVD of Last Exile, which is very cool Steampunk anime. Everyone agreed that it was a great show and we wished we had more of it! We also watched a clip of Battle Doll Angelic Layer thanks to Caitlin C.

If you want to join the Anime Club, sign up at the children's desk. There is plenty of room for new members!


Party Time! Excellent!

This afternoon, 9 teens came out to watch the crazy movie Wayne's World after school. It was one of our humorous events celebrating Teen Read Week, plus it was a totally excellent part of 90s pop culture. We ate food and laughed at the outrageous antics of Mike Myers and Dana Carvey!

Thanks for coming, and don't forget that we are showing Corpse Bride next Wednesday (Halloween) at the same time!


Book Review: London Calling

London Calling by Edward Bloor

Click on the book cover to see which libraries own it.

SUMMARY: John Martin Conway feels out of place at his exclusive prep school, where he is constantly reminded that he is a scholarship kid. After a confrontation with Hank Lowery, the great-grandson of the school's founder, he requests to work at home on an independent study project. The World War II-era radio that his grandmother left him brings him into contact with Jimmy, a boy who lived during the war and who needs his help. He takes Martin back to the time of the London Blitz. In his own time, he focuses his research on the things Jimmy shows him and the people he encounters, discovering the truth about General Hank Lowery and his own grandfather and discovering how he can help put Jimmy's soul to rest. (adapted from the School Library Journal review)

OPINION: This time-travel mystery is full of suspense and tension, as Martin tries to solve both modern and historical problems. At first, the issues don't seem to be related: bullies at his prep school and a boy who lives during the London Blitz of 1940. But as Martin enters into the past, he realizes that Jimmy can show him the truth about his grandfather and his school's founder. History is usually told by the winners, but Martin separates truth from fiction just in time to stop the lies that have been going on for 60 years. It took me a little bit of time to get into this story, but once I got over the whole time travel thing I really enjoyed it. The author incorporates historical information without being obnoxious, which is a quality I admire. If you like a little history with your fantasy, or a little fantasy with your history, this book is for you.

WEBSITE: Check out Edward Bloor's website--http://www.edwardbloor.net/


LOL with Vicky Town

Last night, 25 teens came out to our LOL Storytelling event with Vicky Town. It was a lot of fun, with jokes, stories, improv, and even Mad-Libs! We also had silly food, including cheese with cheesy jokes, Laffy Taffy, cow pie cookies, and kitty litter cake. Even though Vicky was worried that no one would laugh, everyone seemed to enjoy the program. The staff said they could hear us laughing downstairs! It was a great way to end Teen Read Week!

Pimp My Bookcart

Members of the Teen Advisory Board are entering the Pimp My Bookcart contest with a project based on the Knight Bus from Harry Potter! Pimp My Bookcart is a contest run by the online library comic Unshelved. Here are some action shots as the TAB began work on the their entry earlier this month! We've got to get it done...pictures of the final product are due on October 31!

Making a list of supplies by the purple bookcart!

Designing a chandelier.


Fresh From Processing

Be the first to check out one of our new books!

  • November Blues by Sharon Draper
  • Slam by Nick Hornby
  • What I Meant by Marie Lamba


  • On the Rocks: Teens and Alcohol by David Aretha
  • Strike a Pose: The Planet Girl Guide to Yoga by Karen Birkemoe
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Online Romance by Ann Boger
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Cyberbullying by Teri Breguet
  • Snowball Launchers, Giant-Pumpkin Growers, and Other Cool Contraptions by Tom Fox
  • Crafty Bags for Stylish Girls: Uniquely Chic Purses, Pouches, and Pocketbooks by Elizabeth Ingrid Hauser
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Identity Theft by Michael R. Wilson

Book Review: Eulalia!

Eulalia! by Brian Jacques (Redwall series)

This book was just released on October 4. Click on the book to see which libraries already own it.

SUMMARY: Across the seas come Vizka Longtooth, with a scurrilous crew of Sea Raiders bound for plunder and conquest. Aboard, a young badger lies captive. The aged Badger Lord of Salamandastron sends forth a haremaid, questing for his successor. A young thief is exiled from Redwall. A Brownrat Chieftain, with his savage horde, ravages Mossflower Country. The fate of all these creatures, both good and evil, is caught up in this saga of war and destiny. Over the cold Northern Isles, across the heaving seas, sweeping through forest and plain, from the legendary badger mountain to the ancient stones of Redwall Abbey, the warcry thunders out...Eulaliiiiiiaaaaa! (from the inside flap)

OPINION: This is another solid entry in the Redwall series, which now numbers 19 books. I have read every single one of them! Many of the stories have dealt with attacks on Redwall Abbey, and this one follows that pattern. Some people might see this as being formulaic, but Brian Jacques has a gift for inventing engaging characters that make each story unique. Maudie the fighting Salamandastron haremaid and Rangval the rogue squirrel are my particular favorites from this book. And, of course, the food is legendary! Reading these books always makes me hungry. It has been two years since the last release, so enjoy your return to Redwall!

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://www.redwall.com/

MY FAVORITES: I particularly love The Legend of Luke, The Bellmaker, and Loamhedge from the Redwall series.


It's Teen Read Week!

October 14 to 20 is Teen Read Week, so come to the library and see what's new! This year's theme is LOL, and we have purchased a bunch of humorous teen books to celebrate. Look at them in the display case, and don't hesitate to ask us if you want to check one out! There are also more books and a complete LOL book list at the entrance to the teen area.


Book Review: The Crow

The Crow: The Third Book of Pellinor by Alison Croggon

Click on the book cover to see which libraries own it.

SUMMARY: Hem is a weary orphan whose struggle for survival ends when he is reunited with his lost sister, Maerad. But Maerad has a destiny to fulfill, and Hem is sent to the golden city of Turbansk where he learns the ways of the Bards and befriends a mysterious white crow. When the forces of the Dark threaten, Hem flees with his protector, Saliman, and an orphan girl named Zelika to join the Light’s resistance forces. It is there that Hem has a vision and learns that he, too, has a part to play in Maerad’s quest to solve the Riddle of the Treesong. As The Crow continues the epic tale begun with The Naming and The Riddle, Alison Croggon creates a world of astounding beauty overshadowed by a terrifying darkness, a world where Maerad and Hem must prepare to wage their final battle for the Light. (adapted from the back cover)

OPINION: A lot of people at our library started reading this series because of Marissa, and now we're hooked! This book is different from the first two, in that it focuses on Maerad's brother rather than Maerad herself. Despite that, it is a heart-wrenching adventure story that will keep you engrossed until the end. Hem (aka Cai) finds out the strength of his bardic powers on an epic journey to find out exactly what the Dark is up to. As he joins the ranks of child soldiers directed by Hulls, Hem has to hide his powers and curb his attitude...two things that are very difficult for him! Find out how Hem infiltrates the Dark and tries to remain part of the Light, even as older Bards are losing their lives for the same deception.
WEBSITES: Check out the new Books of Pellinor website! It has an excerpt from the final book, The Singing, which is scheduled to be published next summer! Also, check out Alison Croggon's personal website for lots more info on the series.


Our Shelves Overfloweth

The shelves are seriously going to fall off the wall from the weight of all the new teen fiction we're getting. Please come check something out!!

  • Gilda Joyce: The Ghost Sonata by Jennifer Allison (third in the Gilda Joyce series)
  • The God of Mischief by Paul Bajoria
  • Notes on a Near-Life Experience by Olivia Birdsall
  • Bearwalker by Joseph Bruchac
  • Prom Dates from Hell by Rosemary Clement-Moore
  • M Is for Magic by Neil Gaiman
  • Split Screen by Brent Hartinger (finally!)
  • Silent Echoes by Carla Jablonski
  • The Faerie Path by Frewin Jones
  • Mississippi Jack by L. A. Meyer (fifth in the Bloody Jack series)
  • Now You See Her by Jacquelyn Mitchard
  • Kiki Strike: The Empress's Tomb by Kirsten Miller
  • Pressing Hard by Stephanie Perry Moore (second in the Perry Skky series)
  • At the Firefly Gate by Linda Newbery
  • Hallway Diaries by Felicia Pride, Debbie Rigaud, and Karen Valentin
  • Harmelss by Dand Reinhardt
  • How to Get Suspended and Influence People by Adam Selzer
  • Montmorency's Revenge by Eleanor Updale (fourth in the Montmorency series)
  • It Had to Be You: The Gossip Girl Prequel by Cecily Von Ziegesar


Book Review: Keeping Corner

Keeping Corner by Kashmira Sheth
Review by Meg

This book will be released on October 30, 2007.

Occasionally, you come across a book that grabs you and transports you to another time and place. Keeping Corner is definately one of these books. The vivid detail and descriptions of India, including the scents, sights, and smells, make you feel like you're actually there. The plot is interesting, with enough twists and turns to keep your attention, but at the same time refreshingly simple in the way it twines one girl's quest for freedom from tradition with the story of Ghandi's rise to fame. Overall, a great book and one I would highly recommend!

Visit the author's blog: http://kashmirasheth.typepad.com/

Book Review: Project 17

Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Review by Alexa

This book will be released on December 1, 2007.

From the author of Blue of for Nightmares comes an exciting new novel. Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz is fresh and brilliant. I've never read anything like it. At first it may seem that there are just these six kids who want to break into Danvers State Hospital for the fun of getting spooked--because, face it, that what teenagers do. As you get deeper into the novel, though, you'll find out that you were deeply, deeply mistaken. For Derik, it's an opportunity to turn his future into something worthwhile. For Mimi, it's a way to conect her family's past to herself. Project 17 is full of nonstop action and love, where six people form bonds no one ever suspected. And it's anything but a project to read!

Visit the author's website: http://www.lauriestolarz.com/


LOL @ the Movies

On Friday night, 14 teens came out to watch the zany comedy Rat Race. This movie has a great ensemble cast that gets into all kinds of random situations in their pursuit of a $2 million prize. Everyone had a great time, and enjoyed snacks and soda (of course).

This was the first of two humorous movies we will be showing this month in celebration of Teen Read Week, whose theme is LOL @ Your Library. You can sign up now to see Wayne's World on October 24 after school!


Lots of Drama

Yesterday was the first meeting of our six-week comedy improv workshop with Vicky Town. It was great! Eleven teens came out to play theater games and work on their improv skills. We had so much fun playing games like "What Are You Doing?" and "Rumble"! I can't wait until next week.

There are still spaces available in this program. If you are in grades 6 to 12, sign up at the children's desk if you want to participate!


Avalon High...More Than Just Fluff

Book Grub, the library's high school book discussion group, is reading Avalon High by Meg Cabot for their meeting on Friday. I was preparing for that meeting this morning, and I ended up giving myself an English lesson! In Avalon High, all of the main characters have names that correspond to people in the Arthurian legends, but Elaine was one I was not familiar with. Apparently, Elaine had a relationship with Lancelot, although he was in love with Guinevere.

Every chapter of Avalon High opens with a related quote from The Lady of Shalott, a narrative poem about Elaine by Alfred Tennyson first published in 1832. Tennyson also wrote a 12-poem cycle later in his life about events at Camelot called The Idylls of the King. It includes a different story about Elaine in a poem called Lancelot and Elaine. If you want to read these poems, you can use LitFinder from the Access PA POWER Library. If you are at home, you will need to enter your library card number to do this. You could also look for the poems using a search engine.


Shiny and New

We have bunches of new fiction books cluttering up the shelves. Come get them out of here!!

  • Beige by Cecil Castellucci
  • Pop Princess by Rachel Cohn
  • Shrimp by Rachel Cohn
  • The Crow by Alison Croggon (Pellinor series)
  • Deadline by Chris Crutcher
  • The Problem with Paradise by Lesley Dahl
  • Choices by Deborah Lynn Jacobs
  • Eulalia! by Brian Jacques (Redwall series)
  • Schooled by Gordon Korman
  • The Last Girls of Pompeii by Kathryn Lasky
  • Harlem Summer by Walter Dean Myers
  • What They Found: Love on 145th Street by Walter Dean Myers
  • Freaky Green Eyes by Joyce Carol Oates
  • Tide of Terror by Justin Somper (Vampirates series)
  • Extras by Scott Westerfeld (Uglies series)


Ahoy, Me Hearties!

Tonight, 27 teens came to our Pirate Party! Only 7 dressed up, but they looked great. We celebrated International Talk Like a Pirate Day (9/19) and Banned Books Week (9/29-10/6) in style! We did a lot of piratical stuff, including watching clips from movies and TV shows. We did acutally learn some things from pirate documentaries. But then we convulsed with the hilarity of "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" song from Veggie Tales and Captain Feathersword on The Wiggles, and probably forgot it all.

We played Pirate Jailbreak, a new name for the classic game of tying a balloon to your ankle and trying to stomp on everyone else's while keeping yours intact. Genni won that game, despite Kara's pointy shoes! We also rewrote a section of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows using pirate language, which was really funny. Maria, Judy, Kara, Genni, and Kaitlin G. won for making the most changes, and Mohammed, Kenny, Deisy, and Cody got second prize for creativity. Later, in a drawing, Seneca and Alex won pirate posters. We ate excellent pirate snacks at the end of the evening, while watching the beginning of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

Check out the pictures!

Getting ready to stomp!

Sisterly love.

Costume crew.

The food--everyone loved drinking rum, grog, and rotgut!

Photo op with Johnny!

He's so dreamy!

Bunny ears!

So cute!


Stuffed Shelves

We just got a bunch of humorous books in for Teen Read Week. Some are replacements and some are titles we've never had before, so check them out!

  • The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
  • Princess in Love by Meg Cabot
  • Princess in Training by Meg Cabot
  • Ready or Not: An All-American Girl Novel by Meg Cabot
  • The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones
  • No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman
  • Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
  • Girl, Going on 17: Pants on Fire by Sue Limb
  • The Curse of the Campfire Weenies and Other Warped and Creepy Tales by David Lubar
  • Flip by David Lubar
  • True Talents by David Lubar
  • The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
  • King Dork by Frank Portman
  • The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett
  • Vampire High by Douglas Rees
  • Away Laughing on a Fast Camel by Louise Rennison
  • Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers by Louise Rennison
  • My Cup Runneth Over by Cherry Whytok
  • How to Survive a Robot Uprising: Tips on Defending Yourself Against the Coming Rebellion by Daniel H. Wilson
  • Bat Boy Lives! The Weekly World News Guide to Politics, Culture, Celebrities, Alien Abductions, and the Mutant Freaks that Shape our World edited by Dave Perel


Book Review: Deadline

Deadline by Chris Crutcher
Reviews by Amy, Alexa, Arwa, and Gretchen

Click on the book cover to see which libraries have it.

AMY SAYS: When Ben Wolf finds out he has a terminal illness, he decides to “ride it out”, to take no treatments, and to have the best and last year of his life. He joins the football team. He dates the girl he’s wanted for who knows how long. It was the best year. No doubt about that. I just have to say that once again Chris Crutcher has made another masterpiece. Despite the morbid theme of this book I couldn’t stop laughing. Over and over again Ben was cracking jokes and making sarcastic remarks. I couldn’t put this down. Although it was sad at the end, to see some one so young and full of potential, die, I could think of no better ending. As Ben said repeatedly through out the book, he never really thought he’d grow to be an old man. This was the end for him. It felt right. In conclusion, this is just one of those books that stay with you. Because of the valuable life lessons it has, and also... it’s just so funny and well written!

ALEXA SAYS: There are only two words that come to mind when trying to describe Deadline, author Chris Crutcher’s newest book, and they are absolutely breathtaking. The novel is about a high school senior named Ben Wolf and his last adventurous year of life. Making the football team, getting the girl he has only dreamed about forever, and dealing with his mother’s illness are just a few of the activities he engages in after he finds out that he has a rare blood disease...because, unfortunately, it is terminal. Chris Crutcher has been amazing me with his writing since I first picked up Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes and has definitely created a whole new level with Deadline. The characters were the most well-developed I have ever read and all the little extras, like Malcolm X and Coach’s prized truck, just made the story all the more catchy and believable. I would recommend this book to anyone who adores Chris Crutcher or people who are hooked on truly inspiring stories.

ARWA SAYS: Deadline, by Chris Crutcher, is a captivating story that reinforced the message of living each day as if it's your last. I never really thought about this until I read the book. It truly is heart-wrenching and it makes you feel like you have an impact on people; you have a legacy. If not, then, pray tell me, what is the point of living? It illuminates the idea that ordinary people can do extraordinary things, even with just a year to live.

GRETCHEN SAYS: What do you hope to do before you die? We all have dreams for the future, like going to college, getting married, or traveling the world. What if you only had one year, your senior year in high school, to get a lifetime of experience? Would you keep your illness a secret and proceed as normal? Would you opt for treatment? Or would you forgo treatment and school, and cram in as much life as possible? Ben chooses normalcy, and yet it becomes an extraordinary year. With nothing to lose, Ben enters sports, relationships, and even classroom discussions with courage that he's never had before. In doing so, however, Ben discovers everyone else's secrets while witholding his own. And he realizes through a series of conversations with Hey-Soos (not Jesus), that being normal means facing reality and truth, even when it's difficult. This book is classic Crutcher, and I am not ashamed to say that the conclusion made me cry. Check it out!

BEST FUNNY QUOTE: "There's not one part of Dallas Suzuki's face or body that is in any way Miss World, but you put it all together and I'd swim though five hundred yards of molten turds to listen to her fart into a paper sack over the telephone." (page 47)

BEST SERIOUS QUOTE: "Love turns to hate at the fringes of any belief system." ( page 141)

FURTHER READING: This story references several nonfiction books you might want to look for...
  • Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream by H. G. Bissinger
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
  • Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X