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.