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


More New Fiction

We are seriously about to bust out a wall in the teen section. Here's the newest books:
  • Such a Pretty Face: Short Stories about Beauty by Ann Angel
  • Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham
  • Enter Three Witches : A Story of Macbeth by Caroline B. Cooney
  • Harlem Summer by Walter Dean Myers
  • Forged in the Fire by Ann Turnbull
  • No Shame, No Fear by Ann Turnbull
  • Flora Segunda: The Magickal Mishaps of a Girl of Spirit , her Glass-Gazing Sidekick, Two Ominous Butlers (One Blue), a House with Eleven Thousand Rooms, and a Red Dog by Ysabeau S. Wilce


Book Review: Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List

Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

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

SUMMARY: Naomi and Ely are life-long best friends. Naomi loves and is in love with Ely, and Ely loves Naomi, but prefers to be in love with boys. So they create their "No Kiss List" of people neither of them is allowed to kiss. And this works ine - until Bruce. Bruce is Naomi's boyfriend, so there's no reason to put him on the List. But Ely kissed Bruce even though he is boring. The result: a rift of universal proportions and the potential end of "Naomi and Ely: the institution." Can these best friends come back together again?

OPINION: Growing up in neighboring apartments in NYC, Naomi and Ely have a history. Years of memories, secrets, and adventures have bonded them into an almost codependent friendship. But Ely is gay, and Naomi hasn't truely dealt with that, until the Bruce incident. Now Naomi has to face the fact that she really can't turn Ely straight, no matter how beautiful, funny, or needy she is. And Ely has to learn how to relate to people in mature ways instead of using them. This is a story of growing up and growing apart...or maybe not. Told from various points of view, not just those of Naomi and Ely, this novel explores complex relationship issues with depth, sensitivity, and just the right amount of humor.


Book Review: Neverwhere

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

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

SUMMARY: Richard Mayhew, learns the hard way that no good deed goes unpunished. He ceases to exist in the ordinary world of London Above, and joins a quest through the dark and dangerous London Below, a shadow city of lost and forgotten people, places, and times. His companions are Door, who is trying to find out who hired the assassins who murdered her family and why; the Marquis of Carabas, a trickster who trades services for very big favors; and Hunter, a mysterious lady who guards bodies and hunts only the biggest game. London Below is a wonderfully realized shadow world, and the story plunges through it like an express passing local stations, with plenty of action and a satisfying conclusion. (from the Amazon.com review)

OPINION: This was Book Grub's selection for our September meeting, recommended by Kara. And it was amazing! Everyone knows London's famous tube slogan "Mind the Gap," but Neil Gaiman infuses it with an entirely new meaning. After helping the mysterious Door, Richard Mayhew slips through a gap in space and time, entering the impossible underground world of London Below. Suddenly, what were just stops on a subway map become matters of life and death for Richard and Door. In London Below, Blackfriars Bridge houses combative friars and Islington is not just a borough, but an angel. It is really cool how Gaiman twists the real and the familiar into a strange, dark fantasy world. This book combines elements of Alice in Wonderland, legends, urban fantasy, Victoriana, and adventure into a cohesive whole that will keep you guessing until the very end.

WEBSITE: Just for fun, here's the official website of the London underground.

IF YOU LIKED NEVERWHERE: I made a list! Here are a few titles, and ask me for more.
  • Valiant (and other books) by Holly Black
  • Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophesies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
  • Stardust by Neil Gaiman
  • Mortal Engines (and sequels) by Philip Reeve
  • Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman? (and sequels) by Eleanor Updale
  • The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray (and other books) by Chris Wooding



More new books are entering the collection every day. Here's the newest:


  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • Broken Moon by Kim Antieau
  • The Princetta by Anne-Laure Bondoux
  • Double Identity by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  • Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
  • Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman


  • What Smart Teenagers Know...About Dating, Relationships, and Sex by Deborah Hatchell
  • Paper Galaxy: Out-of-This-World Projects to Cut, Fold, and Paste by M. D. Prins
  • Sex: It's Worth Waiting For by Greg Speck


Book Review: Guyaholic

Guyaholic by Carolyn Mackler
Reviews by Alexa and Maria

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

ALEXA SAYS: Guyaholic, Carolyn Mackler’s latest novel, is a short yet full story of a girl who is crazy about hot guys and physical relationships. At least that is what it seems at first. In truth, Mackler has written a complex novel that goes deeper than any other I’ve read. V, the main character, only knows how to fling, until she meets Sam Almond who tries to change her world. Sam wants commitment, but V won’t let the word love roll off her tongue, let alone the word boyfriend ! Does this have anything to do with V’s mom? Sadly, V doesn’t see her mom nearly enough to know. With fun twists and turns on both sides of the highway, Guyaholic is a quirky, lovable novel that you will sail through!

MARIA SAYS: The story is about a girl named V who attends a hocky game and gets a nasty injury to the head. A boy saves her by placing his sweatshirt around her injured head as she partly blacks out. She comes home to hear that someone is knocking on the door; Sam Almond is his name. The two fall in love with each other. As the relationship goes on, hardships, break-ups, and broken friendships happen. It is a good read. At least it burns off an awfully boring day. I recommend this to a wide range of audiences in the young adult group.