Candy Sushi Drop-In Day

A record 36 people stopped by last Wednesday to make candy sushi! I had directions for four different types of sushi, three of which were the same as we made last year. The fourth one was a gunkanmaki that we filled with Nerds candy to look like fish eggs! It was pretty realistic looking, and probably tasted better too. Everyone started out with a giant plate of junk food, and some even complained that it was too much unhealthy food all at once. However, by the time it was transformed into cute sushi, no one seemed to care. Almost everyone stuck around to eat their sushi with chopsticks and take turns playing the always-hilarious WarioWare: Smooth Moves. This year's after-school drop-in days were awesome, so look for more of them in the fall.

It was fun, but it took concentration


A completed plate of sushi

Look at all the junk food it takes to make fake sushi...

It's fun to play with your food!

Another completed plate of sushi


Bunches of New Books

Here are the new titles that we added to the teen section this week:


  • Kendra by Coe Booth
  • Dawn by Kevin Brooks
  • The Six Rules of Maybe by Deb Caletti
  • Cool Like That by Nikki Carter (So For Real series)
  • Sweet Little Lies by Lauren Conrad (L. A. Candy series)
  • Cold as Ice by L. Divine (Drama High series)
  • Hourglass by Claudia Gray
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
  • Charmed and Dangerous: The Rise of the Pretty Committee by Lisi Harrison (Clique series)
  • I Am the Wallpaper by Mark Peter Hughes
  • The Sable Quean by Brian Jacques (Redwall series)
  • The Enchanted Quest by Frewin Jones (Faerie Path series)
  • The Immortal Realm by Frewin Jones (Faerie Path series)
  • Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
  • Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely series)
  • Step Up by Monica McKayhan (Indigo series; Kimani Tru)
  • Everwild by Neal Shusterman
  • The Bar Code Rebellion by Suzanne Weyn


  • Teen Cyberbullying Investigated: Where Do Your Rights End and Consequences Begin? by Judge Tom Jacobs
  • A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to Survive by Dave Pelzer


  • Vampire Knight, volumes 8and 9, by Matsuri Hino
  • Hacked by Mur Lafferty and Ryan Payne


Cheese Night

Last Friday, 28 people showed up for the Teen Advisory Board's Cheese Night program! This idea has been bouncing around among the TAB members for a few years, and we just decided to go for it this spring. It was a little random, but a lot of fun! As they came in, everyone selected a nametag of a kind of cheese and added their answers to my posterboards of cheesy questions. We did two cheese art projects, which were hilarious. First, everyone had to create a shape from a slice of American using only their teeth. Later, we made constructions out of cheese cubes and toothpicks. Of course, everyone got to eat their creations after I took some pictures! We watched clips from some cheesy movies like Marley & Me and Mamma Mia!, and we saw Wallace and Gromit's quest for moon cheese in A Grand Day Out. Throughout the evening, we also ate cheesy snacks that I cooked in my toaster oven. Overall, we ate 140 pizza rolls, 60 jalapeno poppers, and two trays of cheesy spinach dip with tortilla chips. We ended the program with yummy cheesecake cupcakes. I randomly gave away things from my cheesy prize box all night, including horrible teen library books from the 80s, books by Nicholas Sparks, dollar store junk, Kraft Mac & Cheese, and other cheesy snacks. I definitely declare Cheese Night a success! We'll have to do another one in the future.

Cheesy Pictures

Here are some pictures from our cheese art activities!

A three-legged dog

A rooster

An underwater scene of a fish with bubbles and seaweed

A ray

A snowflake

A diamond!

A pterodactyl

A dog's head

The Eiffel Tower

Two people and a dog

A pentagonal robot monster

A gorgeous jungle gym with a child playing on it

Cheesy Comments

As people arrived at Cheese Night, they added some commentary to my cheesy posters. Here's what they had to say...

Favorite Cheesy Food:
  • Ravioli, lasagna, pizza, and baked ziti
  • Mozzerella sticks
  • Cheese on cheese
  • Tacos, nachos, and quesadillas
  • Cheese fries
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Cheetos and Doritos
  • Apples and cheddar ("best combo ever!")
  • Broccoli with cheese
  • Cheese-Its (and cheese zits...)

Favorite Cheesy Love Song:

  • My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion
  • The Way I Loved You by Taylor Swift; Love Story by Taylor Swift; anything ever sung by Taylor Swift
  • Beautiful Soul by Jesse McCartney
  • Firefly by Owl City
  • Baby by Justin Bieber; anything ever sung by Justin Bieber
  • Your Song by Elton John
  • Achy-Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus
  • All I Ask from The Phantom of the Opera
  • Something by the Beatles
  • Can't Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley

Favorite Cheesy Pick-Up Lines:

  • Can I have a map? I got lost in your eyes.
  • You need a ticket because you've got fine written all over you.
  • It's a good think I have my library card because I'm checking you out.
  • Are you Jamaican? 'Cause J-makin' me crazy.
  • Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?
  • Can I have your number? I lost mine.
  • Are you from Tennessee? 'Cause you're the only ten-I-see.
  • Do you have a Band-Aid? I hurt myself falling for you.
  • Can I borrow your phone? I have to call my mom and tell her I found the girl of my dreams.

Favorite Cheesy Movies:

  • She's All That
  • A Walk to Remember; anything based on a book by Nicholas Sparks
  • Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken
  • Texal Chainsaw Massacre
  • Confessions of a Shopaholic
  • Titanic
  • 27 Dresses
  • The Orphan
  • Pokemon 2000
  • My Girl
  • Born Romantic
  • 50 First Dates
  • The Lake House
  • The Hills Have Eyes


Jean Leg Autograph Pillows

Yesterday, 11 teens showed up to make jean leg autograph pillows for the end of the school year. Thanks to Sellers staff and patrons for donating all of the jeans and the fiberfill stuffing! We used the straightest legs to make the pillows rectangular. We just cut off the cuff, fringed the ends, cutting strips about 3/4" apart and about 5 inches deep. Then we knotted the fringe on one end together, ironed on an "Express Yourself" patch, stuffed it, and knotted the other end. It was easy and cute! At the end, everyone was given a Sharpie to take home with their pillow. Some people collected signatures from friends at the event, while others saved it for school.

Getting an early start on the signatures.

Look! Pillows!

Finished products.

What to do with leftover jean parts...?!


Shiny and New

Lots of new books are getting catalogued for the teen section. I just shelved all the new vampire books and manga I got at the Salvation Army, plus these titles:

  • Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
  • Brothers in Arms by Paul Langan and Ben Alirez (Bluford High series)
  • Break by Hanah Moskowitz
  • Stranger and Stranger by Rob Reger and Jessica Gruner (Emily the Strange series)
  • The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan (Forest of Hands and Teeth series)
  • The Cardturner by Louis Sachar
  • I Will Always Love You by Cecily von Ziegesar (Gossip Girl series)
  • Kiss by Jacqueline Wilson
  • First Kiss (Then Tell) : A Collection of True Lip-Locked Moments edited by Cylin Busby
  • Vampire Knight, volume 7, by Matsuri Hino
  • Kimi Ni Todoke: From Me to You, volume 4, by Karuho Shiina
  • Sgt. Frog, volume 6, Mine Yoshizaki


Book Review: Genesis Alpha

Genesis Alpha by Rune Michaels
Click on the cover to find a library copy.

SUMMARY: Josh worships his older brother, Max. They look alike, they talk alike, and they both have the same interests, including their favorite massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Genesis Alpha. But Josh and Max have an even deeper connection. Because Josh was born for a reason. It was Josh's stem cells, harvested when Josh was newly born, that saved his dying older brother's life. Now that same beloved older brother is arrested, accused of the brutal murder of a teenage girl. Josh is bewildered. Is Max really a monster, or is all of this a terrible mistake? And if the worst is true and Max is guilty, does that mean Josh is guilty too? After all, Max wouldn't exist without him. But this is only the beginning. Before long, Josh will come to a number of searing revelations -- revelations that have dire implications not only for Max's future, but for Josh's as well. (from the product description on Amazon.com)

OPINION: Chris recommended this book for our Primos teen book group, and I think it was a great choice. It is a short book, and the page-turning plot makes it a quick read. Max's twisted logic raises a lot of fear and doubt for Josh in the story, and their relationship raises a lot of points for the reader to think about. What is the truth about good and evil? How much of our behavior is related to nature versus nurture? Are you obligated to be loyal to your family? Genesis Alpha looks at some ethical questions similar to those in Double Helix by Nancy Werlin and The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, but it is more of a thriller. The action and plot twists will keep you turning the pages! This is a great book for boys who enjoy series like Alex Rider, as well as for anyone who likes medical science fiction.


The Salvation Army Strikes Again

I don't know where the Salvation Army in Darby gets their book donations, but some of them are brand new and they only charge 20% of the cover price. This means that teen paperbacks are always between $1.50 and $2.00 each, which is cheaper than I can get things from our library suppliers. Last time I went, I bought a giant pile of manga, some still in their plastic wrappers. Yesterday, I scored fiction and more manga, all brand new! Look for these on the shelf next week:

  • Betrayed by P C. Cast and Kristen Cast (House of Night series)
  • Chosen by P C. Cast and Kristen Cast (House of Night series)
  • Marked by P C. Cast and Kristen Cast (House of Night series)
  • Untamed by P C. Cast and Kristen Cast (House of Night series)
  • Wake by Lisa McMann (Wake series)
  • Frostbite by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy series)
  • Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy series)
  • Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy series)
  • Blue Moon by Alyson Noel (The Immortals series)


  • Hayate the Combat Butler, volume 2, by Kenjiro Hata
  • +Anima, volume 2, by Natsumi Mukai
  • Ranma 1/2, volume 30, by Rumiko Takahashi


Use the Free Homework Help!

A few years ago, Delaware County started offering FREE Live Homework Help to all library card holders. With a library card and internet connection, you can use it anywhere! It is for everyone in grades K-12 (and even your first year in college) and it is now open 24/7. You can get help in your core subject areas of Math, Science, Social Studies, Writing, and English.

Try it out for yourself! Pretend you have trouble with a question from your homework. This will help you learn how it works for when you have a real problem. Also, take a second and show it to your parents or other adult so they know it's safe for you to use.

I always talk about this service when I do school visits, and I heard last week that one of the 6th graders actually went home and tried it like I suggested. Except that she pretended to be a Kindergartener who couldn't figure out how to add 9 + 3! The tutor told her to draw 9 circles, then 3 circles, then count them all. Hilarious, but educational if she had actually been a Kindergartener. The tutors won't give you free answers, but they will help you really learn how to do it yourself.


Anime Club Artwork

For the past year or so, we've included an art challenge in our monthly Anime Club meetings. However, this is the first time I've thought to bring my camera! The way the art challenge works is that we pick a topic at the beginning of each meeting, and people draw while watching anime. Everyone turns in their artwork by the end of the meeting, and I select the top four to win prizes.

If you want to join the Anime Club, we generally meet on the fourth Friday of the month from 3:30 to 5:00. This is a year-round club, and you can join anytime. You do need to register and get the permission slip signed before you can attend.

This month the theme was "royalty" and the prizes were four little puzzles that named objects in Japanese and English. Here are some of the entries:

by Sarah B.

by Katie

by Tracy

by Nikki

by Christine

by Billy

by Laurel


Book Review: Before I Fall

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Click on the cover to find a library copy.

SUMMARY: What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life? Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last. Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing. (from the inside flap)

OPINION: This book started out as the kind of book I usually hate. Not one to follow (or even care about) the drunken exploits of the popular crowd in real life, I usually don't bother reading books about them! However, I had heard so many good things about this book that I gave it a chance. Sam becomes less and less self-centered as the story progresses, which made it much easier for me to keep reading. I ended up racing to the finish, alternately crying my eyes out and rooting for Sam as she figures out how to break the repetive cycle of days. As the same events unfold, with only Sam making any changes, this book really explores how even the smallest of our choices has an effect on everyone around us. The atmosphere of this book reminds me of both Sweethearts by Sara Zarr and Before I Die by Jenny Downham. This is a must-read for those who enjoy everything from the cattiness of Gossip Girl and Mean Girls to the real-girl world of authors like Sarah Dessen and Deb Caletti.


May Reading Suggestions

This month's Teen Scene email newsletter has lots of great reading suggestions! There is a list of new books, as well as two intriguing themed lists called "Letting Go" and "Getting a Grip." And the choices are not all fiction, so there is something for everyone. I found several books that I had never heard of and now want to check out, including Hot Lunch by Alex Bradley. If you are always looking for a new book, this email is a free service from the Delaware County Library System. Just sign up, and it will arrive each month!


New to the Shelves

Here are the newest arrivals to our teen fiction section:

  • Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You by Dorian Cirrone
  • The Boyfriend Trick by Stephie Davis (First Kisses series)
  • Back in Black by Zoey Dean (A-List series)
  • Blonde Ambition by Zoey Dean (A-List series)
  • Friend Is Not a Verb by Daniel Ehrenhaft
  • Trust Me by Rachel Hawthorne (First Kisses series)
  • Chasing Tail Lights by Patrick Jones
  • If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where's My Prince? by Melissa Kantor (replacement copy)
  • Jake, Reinvented by Gordon Korman
  • New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (additional copy)
  • Street Love by Walter Dean Myers (replacement copy)
  • Far from Xanadu by Julie Anne Peters
  • A Golden Web by Barbara Quick
  • Sophie Pitt-Turnbull Discovers America by Dyan Sheldon
  • Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet by Kashmira Sheth
  • Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy by Sonya Sones
  • No Right Turn by Terry Trueman
  • Truth or Fashion by Chloe Walsh (Interns series)
  • The Debutante by Kathryn Williams
  • 100 Cupboards by N. D. Wilson


Book Review: Princess of Glass

Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George
This book will be released on May 25, 2010. Click on the picture for a link to Amazon.com.

SUMMARY: Hoping to escape the troubles in her kingdom, Princess Poppy reluctantly agrees to take part in a royal exchange program, whereby young princes and princesses travel to each other's countries in the name of better political alliances—and potential marriages. It's got the makings of a fairy tale—until a hapless servant named Eleanor is tricked by a vengeful fairy godmother into competing with Poppy for the eligible prince. Ballgowns, cinders, and enchanted glass slippers fly in this romantic and action-packed happily-ever-after quest from an author with a flair for embroidering tales in her own delightful way.

OPINION: This fairy tale is more than just a retelling, since it blends elements of several stories into a new narrative. Beautiful Princess Poppy is one of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, which does not make her an easy houseguest for her host family since she keeps turning down invitations to balls or refusing to dance. Poppy is a resourceful and determined sort of princess, though, and when the mysterious Lady Ella appears to be under an enchantment, Poppy draws on her experience to sleuth out the source. She even saves her own prince! I wouldn't say this book is particularly memorable, but it is an entertaining and easy read. I would recommend it for girls in middle or high school who likes fairy tales, light fantasy, or romance.


Teen Series List

The new teen series shelf includes fiction series in which we own five or more volumes. (There are a few where the fifth volume is not coming out until later this year, but I moved them anyway.) They are shelved in alphabetical order by series title. Within each series, the books are shelved by title (not by author or by number).

Alex Rider by Anthony Horowitz
A-List by Zoey Dean
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Bloody Jack by L. A. Meyer
Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz
Bluford High by various authors
The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica by James A. Owen
Cirque du Freak by Darren Shan
The Clique by Lisi Harrison
Confessions of Georgia Nicolson by Louise Rennison
The Dating Game by Natalie Standiford
Diamond Brothers Mysteries by Anthony Horowitz
Dragon Keepers Chronicles by Donita K. Paul
Drama High by L. Divine
Faerie Path by Frewin Jones
Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar
House of Night by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Kimani Tru by various authors
Maximum Ride by James Patterson
The Mediator by Meg Cabot
Once Upon a Time by various authors
Payton Skyy by Stephanie Perry Moore
Pendragon by D. J. MacHale
Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
Perry Skyy by Stephanie Perry Moore
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Redwall by Brian Jacques
Samurai Mysteries by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber


New Teen Series Shelf!

If you've been in the library during the past few weeks, you know that we've been doing some major shifting and reorganizing. Sarah R. rearranged the children's nonfiction collection and freed up a whole new shelf for teen books!! The shelf is located right outside the door of the teen room. You can't miss it...I used fluorescent yellow for the display signs.

So when a librarian is given a whole new shelf to fill up, it is a thing of beauty. I considered a lot of different arrangements, but ultimately decided to separate out the teen series books from the regular collection. This is great for several reasons: 1) it makes series with different authors easier to find, 2) it frees up a lot of shelf space in the teen section, and 3) it may help popular books not go "missing."

The new teen series shelf includes any series in which we own five or more items. It is organized in alphabetical order by series title. Within each series, the books are alphabetical by title, not author or number. There is a complete list of the book series in bright yellow on the top shelf, for your reference. I also put dividers between the series. Come check it out!!

The whole shelf.

A close-up of my lovely series dividers.

The top of the shelf.

Other Changes to the Teen Section

Since we relocated the teen series books, a few other things have changed as well:
  1. Graphic novels and Shonen Jump magazines have moved to the shelves at the beginning of fiction. Look to your left as you enter the teen room.
  2. The shorter shelf is now just for teen nonfiction, which is spread out over four shelves.
  3. The top of the shorter shelf is now for display, and is currently showcasing fiction books with "prom" in the title.
  4. The teen fiction section is mostly the same, but has been shifted down. Your favorite authors have probably moved!

One thing has not changed. The teen books on CD are still on top of the brown shelf outside the teen room. There's just no other place to put them!