Shiny and New

Yup, more new books have arrived. Hurry in before they're all checked out!

  • The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry
  • Waiting for You by Susane Colasanti
  • Another Faust by Daniel Nayeri and Dina Nayeri
  • Libyrinth by Pearl North
  • Chasing the Bear by Robert B. Parker (Young Spenser series)
  • Emily the Strange: The Lost Days by Rob Reger and Jessica Gruner
  • Let the Circle Be Unbroken by Mildred D. Taylor (replacement copy)
  • I Like it Like That by Cecily von Ziegesar (Gossip Girl series; replacement copy)
  • Tell the World: Teen Poems from Writerscorps

GRAPHIC NOVELS (all donations)

  • Naruto, volume 21, by Masashi Kishimoto
  • Bleach, volume 21, by Tite Kubo
  • InuYasha, volumes 1 and 2, by Rumiko Takahashi
  • Fruits Basket, volumes 1-5, 8, 10-12, and 14-16, by Natsuki Takaya (from Caitlin C.!)
  • YuYu Hakusho, volumes 1-4, by Yoshihiro Togashi
  • Rurouni Kenshin, volumes 1-3, by Nobuhiro Watsuki


More Upcoming Titles

Here are some futher upcoming titles that are either sequels to popular books or by popular authors/imprints. I know you are looking forward to some of these:

  • 9/1/09--Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (sequel to The Hunger Games)
  • 9/22/09--Going Bovine by Libba Bray
  • 9/22/09--Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld and Keith Thompson
  • 9/22/09--Riot by Walter Dean Myers
  • 10/1/09--Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr
  • 10/1/09--Patterson Heights by Felicia Pride (Kimani Tru imprint)
  • 12/1/09--Decision Time by Earl Sewell (Kimani Tru imprint)
  • 2/1/10--Scarlett Fever by Marueen Johnson (sequel to Suite Scarlett)


Thanks to Our Summer Sponsors

I just wanted to give one last public thank-you to our teen summer reading program sponsors for 2009. We couldn't have had such a great summer without their support!

We gave away a lot of books this summer. We stocked our prize cart with paperbacks and used hardbacks for weekly and end-of-summer prizes. Four publishers provided donations of books:

Several local businesses provided us with food for prizes and programs:

Finally, we had a lot of other support:

  • Delaware County Library System provided us with the iPod Shuffle for our Prize Party, as well as a lot of summer reading materials like bookmarks, pins, and posters
  • Six Flags Great Adventure gave us two tickets for our Prize Party
  • The Brandywine River Museum gave us two tickets for our Prize Party
  • Wynnewood Lanes gave us six tickets for our Prize Party
  • Nancy Hallowell, director of Sellers Library, let me exceed my summer budget when we needed more books to give away on the prize cart
  • The Sellers Library Teen Advisory Board contributed $50 to our Winter in July program
  • Genni planned all of our summer crafts
  • Kara, Marissa, and Caitlin ran our Project Runway fashion program

Book Review: Raven's Gate

Raven's Gate: Book One of the Gatekeepers by Anthony Horowitz

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

SUMMARY: When Matt, a 14 year old orphan, is arrested for breaking into an electronics warehouse, he is given a choice of juvenile detention or participation in a country foster program. He goes live on a remote farm, and soon discovers that his caregiver Mrs. Deverill and her neighbors are not just ordinary country folk. There is something sinister happening in the village of Lesser Malling, leaving a trail of blood that brings Matt closer and closer to an evil place called Raven's Gate.

OPINION: We read this book a while ago in my Book Grub book group, and I didn't really like it. But Chris, a member of my Primos teen book group, has been hounding me to re-read it, so I gave it another shot. Raven's Gate is an action-packed contempory fantasy thriller with one narrow escape after another, and it definitely is a page-turner. I liked how Horowitz forged a connection between ancient ritual and modern nuclear power, but I found a lot of the other fantasy ideas pretty generic. I mean, couldn't modern-day witches do better than reciting the Lord's Prayer backwards? Overall, I would say this book is good for people in grades 5-8 who are looking for an easy and exciting read. If you like action/adventure series like Alex Rider or action/fantasy series like Cirque du Freak, this is a series you will get into. I did promise Chris that I would read all four of the books because he claims that they get better, so we'll see.

SERIES TITLE: This series is published as The Gatekeepers in the U.S., but in England it is know as The Power of Five. They are the same books.

AUTHOR WEBSITE: Visit Anthony Horowitz online at http://www.anthonyhorowitz.com/


Upcoming Series Releases

Are you anxiously awaiting the next installment in a series? Here are some upcoming series books for you to look forward to:

  • 8/25/09--Blood Promise by Rachel Mead (Vampire Academy series)
  • 9/28/09--The Rapture of the Deep: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Soldier, Sailor, Mermaid, Spy by L. A. Meyer (Jacky Faber series)
  • 10/6/09--Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me? by Louise Rennison (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series)
  • 10/27/09--The Shadow Dragons by James A. Owen (Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series)
  • 10/27/09--Tempted by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast (House of Night series)
  • 11/17/09--Crocodile Tears by Anthony Horowitz (Alex Rider series)
  • 2/1/10--Paparazzi Princess by Jen Calonita (Secrets of My Hollywood Life series)
  • 2/23/10--The Sable Quean by Brian Jacques (Redwall series)


Prize Party Winners

On Friday night, 53 teen summer reading participants came out to our Express Yourself prize party! It was a madhouse, but lots of fun. I'm glad we didn't have more people there because they wouldn't have fit in the room. This year, our teen program had 151 participants who read 2687 books, way more than any other summer since I've been here!! During the program, we watched a slide show of photos from summer events, booktalked some great fiction and graphic novels, and, of course, gave away a lot of prizes.

We gave away everything from small to large, and everyone who attended won something small. We started by giving everyone a pin, a bookmark, and a water bottle with a little prize inside, and then a lot of people won drawstring backpacks. Then we gave away things like glow bracelets, triangle games, and keychains. I also had some Sellers Library mugs that I filled with school supplies.

We took a break for snacks, and then I put every single slip from the summer in a box to do the rest of the drawings for the medium and large prizes. Our medium-size prizes included hardcover books, kits, and DVDs. Then, it was on to the big stuff: tickets to local attractions and the iPod Shuffle. I have some phone calls to make, but the person who won the biggest prize happened to be at the party, which always makes it more fun. Katie E. was this year's winner of the iPod, and she was super-excited! Sarah E. won two tickets to Six Flags Great Adventure, Christelle won tickets to the Brandywine River Museum, and several other people won local bowling tickets.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the teen summer reading program this year. You made it our best year ever!!!


The Craft Closet Is Cleaner

Last Wednesday, 11 teens dropped by for our end-of-summer Craft Closet Cleanout event. I put out materials for two crafts from this summer, Message in a Bottle and Scratch-Painted CD Magnets. Everything else was too messy to do indoors! People did a lot of older projects, though, such as the Washer Zipper Pull, Toaster Pastry iPod Cozy, Funky Beaded Tiara, and Necktie Belt. We even had a few people do last summer's Flower Power paper flower project. Everyone went home with at least one completed craft, and several people made three or more! Look for another CCC on the fall schedule.


Join the Teen Advisory Board!

Fall is approaching, and now is the time to join the Teen Advisory Board! The TAB is for students entering grades 8 to 12, and it's a great way to have your say at the library. The TAB plans and presents programs, reviews books, makes displays, raises money for teen projects, and generally has a lot of fun. Plus, you can count our meetings as volunteer hours for school, scouts, or other organizations. The TAB meets one Sunday afternoon a month from 2:00 to 4:00, and other days as needed for specific projects.

Interested? All you have to do is grab an application from the children's circulation desk, fill it out with thoughtful answers, and give it to the staff to give to me. Applications are due by Monday, September 14. The current TAB will vote on new members based on the strength of the applications, without names attached. We have six open seats, so we are looking for a lot of great new people to join us!

If you would like to join the TAB but know you can't attend Sunday meetings, please talk to Gretchen about other ways you can be involved.


Last Week for Teen Summer Reading!

This is the final week for our teen summer reading program, so turn your slips in by Friday! Our summer prize party will be held this Friday, August 14, from 6:30 to 8:30. Anyone who has turned in at least one slip all summer is eligible to attend. You can bring slips with you to the party, but I'd appreciate getting them earlier in the week if you are able.

Don't worry if you can't come. If you win something, I will save it for you and give you a call! Of course, people who attend get more free stuff, food, and fun activities, so plan on being there if you can!!


Movie Food Blog Poll

The blog poll for the past two weeks has asked readers to select their favorite movie food, and 43 people responded. Not surprisingly, popcorn was the winner! I put carrot sticks on there as a joke, but it got a vote, too. Here are the complete results:

sugary candy--9 (20%)
chocolate candy--4 (9%)
nachos--4 (9%)
popcorn--18 (41%)
soft pretzels--3 (6%)
hot dogs--2 (4%)
chips--2 (4%)
carrot sticks--1 (2%)


We Made Ice Cream!

Today was our last and most delicious outdoor craft...we made ice cream! Genni and I prepared for 30, but only 18 people dropped by to do it. It worked out, though, because everyone who stayed until the end was able to make another batch if they wanted to! We did it like the classic school science experiment: ice/rock salt in a big bag, whole milk/sugar/vanilla in a small bag, place small bag in big bag, roll/squeeze for a few minutes, and voila! We had toppings like sprinkles, chocolate syrup, and M&Ms to make it taste extra good.

Here are a few tips if you decide to do this at home:
  • Use freezer bags instead of regular bags. The added thickness helps prevent either bag springing a leak. Alternately, you could place the bag of ice cream mixture inside a can with a lid.
  • Wipe off the inner bag, especially around the closure. Eat the ice cream out of the bag. Both of these things help keep salt out of the ice cream.
  • Double the recipe provided in the link. More ice cream is better!

Getting ice from the coolers. (Thanks for bringing the coolers, Genni!)

Squishing and rolling are the best techniques for making the ice cream.

Some creative mixing!

Adding toppings to the finished product.

Enjoying the ice cream!

The speaker penguin provided us with some musical ambiance.


Winter in July

We held our Winter in July marathon movie event last Friday from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m., and 35 teens attended! It was crazy, but a lot of fun for everyone. We watched cold-weather movies, including The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Cool Runnings. During the movies, we did crafts and trivia. I bought a bunch of hats on clearance at the end of winter, so a lot of people won them as prizes throughout the event. We also ate a lot! Our snacks included hot chocolate with marshmallows, chips, candy canes, and lollipops. Around 6:00, we had dinner, which was ramen noodle cups, bread and butter, tangerines, carrots with dip, lemonade, and homemade brownies for dessert. It was a lot of fun...maybe we should celebrate summer in January!

Everyone had the opportunity to paint an ornament or ceramic figure.

Here's another table working on their painting.

Some people wore their winter clothes!

Two girls showing off their winter clothes, along with a craft and a prize.

Two sisters, a knitted snowman, and my icy book display.


Dance Like an Egyptian

Last Wednesday, we were pleased to welcome Habiba (a.k.a. Barbara Siegel) to teach us about traditional Egyptian dancing. The program was arranged through the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, which has a really wonderful outreach lecture program. I picked this program to tie in with the summer theme of Express Yourself, and 12 brave teens came out to learn how to dance like an Egyptian villager. Habiba teaches dance at her studio in Philadelphia, so you could even take another class with her sometime! I personally had a great time dancing in this style and would love to do it more often.

Habiba tied a traditional turban on this guy, but he was too tall to wear the clothes that went with it!

To set the tone, Habiba dressed up two teens in some traditional Egyptian clothing.

Habiba taught us about the arm movements immortalized in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. They are much more fluid than the stone carving style would lead you to believe.

In addition to teaching us, Habiba did a demonstration dance.

Something new on our blog...I took a little dance video! This is a dance movement based on the idea of greeting.

Here's another video of the group doing some movements in a circle.