Countdown to Lubar

Only 5 1/2 more days until David Lubar is at our library!! He will be here Wednesday, March 5, at 7:00 pm for an author talk and book signing. In honor of his visit, the blog poll is asking you to select your favorite Lubar books. If you want to know more about his books, check out David Lubar's website.


Send a Leap Day Card!

Celebrate the arrival of February 29 by sending your friends a Leap Day card! Look at the selection:

11 different Leap Day cards

Photo cards of creatures that leap!

American Greetings
1 Leap Day card

123 Greetings
4 cards celebrating Leap Day birthdays

Guitar Heroics

Yesterday, 18 teens came out after school to play Guitar Hero III on the Xbox 360. It was a lot of fun, except we ran out of time really fast! Next time, we'll definitely do a longer program and have a tournament. Look for another Guitar Hero event on the schedule this spring or summer.


Shiny and New

Here are the latest additions to the teen section:

  • Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
  • Click: One Book, Ten Authors
  • Diamonds in the Shadows by Caroline B. Cooney
  • Angel Isle by Peter Dickinson


  • 99 Ways to Cut, Sew, & Deck Out Your Denim by Faith Blakeney, Justina Blakeney, and Ellen Schultz
  • 99 Ways to Cut, Sew, Trim, and Tie Your T-Shirt into Something Special by Faith Blakeney, Justina Blakeney, Anka Livakovic, and Ellen Schultz
  • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank


  • Shugo Chara! 1 by Peach-Pit


Book Swap!

Yesterday, 16 people showed up to swap books and watch movies. Almost everyone stayed for the entire three hours to watch both movies. Not a lot of people were singing, but I was! I haven't seen Aladdin or The Little Mermaid in a loooooong time. About 50 books changed hands during the swap, but some people didn't use their tickets. Don't worry, you can save them until we do this the next time! That will probably be in June.


Book Review: Stiff

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

Click on the cover to see which libraries have it.

Yes, you read that right. This book is about dead bodies, and it is surprisingly funny. Just don't try to read it while you're eating! Everything you read in this book, no matter how weird, is true. For example, did you know cadavers are used to practice plastic surgery techniques? To help interpret the data from crash test dummies? And to assist detectives in interpreting clues from decaying bodies? You never know what will happen when you donate your body to science! This nonfiction look at life after death puts the "gross" in "engrossing."


Book Review: King Dork

King Dork by Frank Portman

Click on the book to see which libraries own it.

REVIEW: Through no real fault of his own, Tom (aka Chi-Mo) has almost negative social status at his high school. And his bully protection schemes, such as making up fake after-school clubs and reading gun magazines, totally backfire with his hippie parents. The only things he has going for him are his friend Sam and their ongoing string of imaginary bands. But when the band becomes a reality and they enter the school talent show, Tom has no idea what forces they will unleash. Tom is a cynical, sarcastic narrator with opinions on everything from high school social rankings to The Catcher in the Rye to rock-n-roll. If you don't quite fit in with the "normals," you will appreciate Tom's causitic worldview, and if you are a pop-culture nerd, you will love all the references in this book. My favorite parts were the hilarious bands Tom and Sam created, as well as the glossary of terms, which was full of commentary on actual bands. And I learned a new verb: ramone. If you want to know what that means, you'll have to read the book!

RANDOM FACT: Frank Portman, the author of this book, is the leader of The Mr. T Experience, a punk band out of California. Visit his website! Also, visit Amazon.com (scroll down) to read about and hear some of the band's songs related to the book.


Happy Un-Valentine's Day!

Today, 23 teens came to our Un-Valentine's Day party at the library. Despite a two-hour delay in the morning and yucky rain all day, everyone showed up and we had a great time. We started with an anti-conversation heart contest, in which David won Sour Patch Kids. Then we watched a clip of the least romantic movie I could think of: Weird Al Yankovic's UHF. After that, groups made catapults to shoot conversation hearts through a target. Genni, Katie E., and Caitlin C. came in first, hitting the board twice and getting one heart through a hole. David, Avis, and Evan came in second, hitting the board once and getting one heart through a hole. All of them got gummy snakes, Air Heads, and Dum-Dum Pops for their efforts. It was mass chaos, but a lot of fun to see all the catapults in action! Later, we ate snacks and finished up with Anti-Valentine Bingo. People won black roses and finger traps if they got five in a row. We didn't even get to do everything I had planned, including make black duct tape roses and watch the Monty Python "Crunchy Frog" sketch. It was a great afternoon, and we will definitely do it again in the future!!

Check out these photos of us building and launching our catapults!


Un-Valentine's Day Party!

Don't forget that this Wednesday, February 13, is our Un-Valentine's Day Party from 3:30 to 5:00! Make black duct tape roses, eat snacks, play funny games, and win prizes! If you haven't already, call the library to sign up. Don't worry; we will not celebrate love or relationships in any way!



OK, so it was Friday night, but 16 teens enjoyed celebrating Saturday Night Live anyway! We watched some clips from old and new shows, did some comedy improv games, and watched the church scene from The Blues Brothers movie. We ate snacks and soda, including little chocolate doughnuts in memory of John Belushi.

The favorite improv game of the night was definitely Taxi. Basically, you set up four chairs to represent a taxi. One person acts as the driver and two or three people get in as passengers. The object is to portray who you are and where you are going while interacting with the taxi driver. It was a crazy night for taxi passengers and drivers alike! We had satanic nuns riding with a drunk taxi driver, a grandfather and his bad grandchildren riding with a taxi driver trying to sell them encyclopedias, comic book nerds riding with a strung-out taxi driver, and a nanny with bad kids riding with a non-English speaking taxi driver who didn't know her way around the city!

It was great fun, and we will definitely do it again sometime.


SNL Night Tonight!

Whether you like to create humor or just watch it, celebrate comedy at our Saturday Night Live event tonight from 6:30 to 8:30! We will watch some sketches, see movie clips, try out some improv comedy games, and have snacks. Everyone in grades 6 to 12 is welcome--bring a friend!


Not Your Mother's Hot Chocolate

Yesterday, 20 teens came to meet Dr. Elin Danien from the University of Pennsylvania and hear her presentation on the history of chocolate in ancient civilizations. We learned about how cacao was used in various ceremonies and saw photographs of artifacts depicting the bean. For a while, cacao was even used as money! We drank hot chocolate and had chocolate snacks during the presentation, then got in a really interesting discussion about archaeology and anthropology. It touched on everthing from the future of spelling to the misinterpretation of the information on a quarter! Dr. Danien had a hard time leaving because everyone wanted to ask her things. If you have more questions for Dr. Danien, just ask me for her email address. There are a lot of different programs available from UPenn, so we will hire another speaker sometime.

Look for These on the Shelves

Here are our newest items in the teen collection:

  • The Last Knight by Hilari Bell (Knight and Rogue series)
  • Little (Grrl) Lost by Charles De Lint
  • Kissing the Bee by Kathe Koja
  • Powers by Ursula K. Le Guin (Annals of the Western Shore)
  • Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley
  • The Restless Dead edited by Deborah Noyes (short stories)
  • 666: The Number of the Beast (short stories)
Graphic Novels
  • Clubbing by Andi Watson and Josh Howard
  • Good as Lily by Derek Kirk Kim and Jesse Hamm
  • Re-Gifters by Mike Carey


  • Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood by Ibtisam Barakat
  • The American Muslim Teenager's Handbook by Dilara Hafiz, Imran Hafiz, and Yasmine Hafiz


Book Grub Strikes Again

On Friday, 15 members of the high school book group gathered to discuss Rash by Pete Hautman. We talked a lot about issues of freedom versus safety and why things are legal or illegal, as well as the relationship between mental illness and art. We also expressed our love for Bork! Bork's idea about why humans continue to make the same mistakes sparked a really interesting discussion of world history. It was an altogether great discussion, as we usually have with dystopian novels.

Next month, we are discussing The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald for the We the People Bookshelf project. I have never read this book (gasp!), so it should be interesting!! And it will help us get ready for 20s Night this spring!


Crafts for Your Hair

Last Wednesday, 7 teens came out to make fun things for their hair. We made ribbon rose bobby pins, beaded pony tail holders, and ribbon-decorated pony tail holders. We also tried to make flower bobby pins, but the beads were the wrong size, which was totally my fault. So we'll do that another time! Anyway, everyone left with a few new items to make their hairstyles more exciting.

If you missed this craft event or didn't get to make everything, you will be able to make some of the items at our "Craft Closet Cleanout" later this spring!


Book Review: Sweethearts

Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

Click on the book to see which libraries own it.

Just in time for Valentine's Day comes this tearjerker from Sara Zarr. Now, it may be the pregnancy hormones or the fact that book people are often more real to me than real people, but this book made me cry worse than anything by Sarah Dessen ever could.

Cameron and Jennifer are social outcasts and inseperable best friends in elementary school, kindred spirits of the best kind. But when Cameron disappears in fifth grade, Jennifer believes he is dead. Over the years, she loses weight, goes to a new school, and completely reinvents herself. But deep down inside, she longs for the close connection that she and Cam shared. So when he walks back into her life at the start of her senior year, she is overcome with emotion. Cam's return brings upheaval in her school and social life, and causes revelations in her own family. Is childhood love enough to bring them back together?

I think what made me reach for the tissues was all the possibilies for Cameron and Jennifer that were left unspoken. I don't really believe in soul mates or the idea that there is just one right person out there for you, but if there is anyone who can prove that theory to be true, then it is Cameron and Jennifer.

Visit Sara Zarr online: http://www.sarazarr.com/

PS--Just as an aside, I actually do have some married friends named Cam and Jen. They live in California and are expecting a baby! So that made this book extra cool for me.