Ice Cream Insanity

A record 35 people made ice cream at our last teen outdoor craft of the summer! Last year, we prepared for 30 and only got 18. This year, I decided not to buy as much ice. Yeah. I had to go to Wawa at 11:45 and buy 10 more bags!! Then, I ran out of rock salt and had to close up shop at about 1:20. Craziness! But lots of fun, especially when all the Summer Stagers and friends showed up after their morning performance.

If you want to do this again at home, here's the recipe. We doubled the amounts and used freezer bags to help prevent leaks. Thanks to Laurel, Arig, Anas, Amani, and Judy for the help setting up, and to everyone who pitched in and helped clean up. See you outside next summer!!

Getting ice from the cooler.

Turning the bags end over end is the best way to freeze the ice cream without freezing your hands!


A great group shot!

The indoor after party

How many teens can fit in the teen corner? (I did not pose this, by the way.)


Dancing Their Fines Away

Only seven teens dropped in today for Dance Away Your Fines, but the good thing was that they all got a lot of time on Dance Dance Revolution. I played two dancers at a time for the entire two hours and it tired me out! As everyone arrived, they filled out a card and got the desk staff to record their fines. Then they came up to play DDR. Every time someone beat me (or came close), I punched a hole in their card showing that $1 had been removed from the fine.

Altogether, the teens paid off $35 in library fines! I wish more people had taken advantage of this, but it was great for the teens who were there. Jared paid off the most, taking care of a $12 debt with some sweat equity! Also, thanks to Kaitlyn and Nitha for teaching Nehimya how to play DDR and helping him do well enough to pay down his fines.

We'll do another fun fine reduction day sometime in the future, so let me know if you have any great ideas.


July Anime Club Drawing Challenge

Sorry I'm a little late on this, but here are the manga drawings from our most recent Anime Club meeting! Our drawing theme for the month was "androids." I chose four winners, who got Pocky and fancy chopsticks. Also, thanks to Billy's mom, I selected the best contributor to win a giant kit of drawing tools.

Max was one of the winners.

Tracy's cartoon made us all laugh, and won her a prize!

Leave it to Nikki to draw the cutest robots! She won one of the prizes, too.

Tommy's picture tried to persuade me that he should win the drawing supply kit.

Eric's android

A robotic maid


Another robotic maid

This android spoke Japanese! Laurel won the drawing kit for this entry. It was simple, but skillful.

Anisa's android schoolgirl


Get Them First!

We just got a big order of teen books, so check out what's new:


  • White Cat by Holly Black
  • Faithful by Janet Fox
  • Gone by Michael Grant
  • Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski
  • By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters
  • Efrain's Secret by Sofia Quintero
  • Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve
  • Revolver by Marcus Sedgewick
  • After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick
  • The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork


  • Bro-Jitsu: The Martial Art of Sibling Smackdown by Daniel H. Wilson


  • The Chimpanzee Complex, volumes 1 and 2, by Richard Marazano


Pass the Buck: Character Is at Home in the Living Room

At the first Writer's Ink meeting, we played a writing game called "Pass the Buck." This game is a classic and produces some very interesting short stories. Every person is given a paper with a story starter, and they have five minutes to write the beginning. Every five minutes, the papers are rotated until each story has parts written by all of the participants. The end result is a mishmash of everyone's writing styles! Anyway, here is one of the stories:

Emmett was sitting on the couch, eating a load of junk food. He had soda, chips, fries, and cheeseburgers. There was a mess of trash on the floor and his mom was going to be home soon. Thankfully, he could clean it up really fast, easy as pie. “Mmmm, pie,” he thought. He ran and got the trash bags and vacuum cleaner. He piled everything into the bags and vacuumed up the floor. “Oh, crap!” he said, because he had forgotten to take the bags outside. His mom would be home any second. He looked around to find a place to hide them.

Just then, the lock on the door clicked and it opened. But instead of his mother, there stood and angry man with a large bag. He glared at Emmett and said, “You, sir, are much too wasteful.” The man became increasingly enraged at Emmett’s quizzical gaze and practically screamed, “My name is Mr. Eisenhower Jones, of the Bureau of Green Development, and YOU ARE MUCH TOO WASTEFUL!”

Emmett glanced around. What was this man doing? Emmett knew he threw trash away, but was he really that wasteful? Any why was this man barging into his house? “What are you doing here? Leave right this minute or I will tell the FBI that you are going through our trash! My dad just happens to be the chief.” It was true that his dad worked for the FBI, but he wasn’t the chief…he was the chef. He spent most of his time at FBI headquarters flipping burgers.

“Look, kid, you can’t fool me. I’m FBI, and I know your dad from the lunchroom. Kid, you need to go green; it’ll be better for you.”

“What I need is for you to leave, you psychotic weirdo. You can’t just come into people’s houses like that, even if you are the FBI. And since when does the government care about being green? That BP oil spill doesn’t help your reputation much.”

Mr. Jones didn’t really know what to say. “Perhaps you are right, kid, but we are trying to fix our mistakes. Don’t you think it’s time to fix yours?”

Emmett thought about his wastefulness, the food he threw away, the sodas he didn’t finish. Wow, he thought, I’m a mess. I’m hurting this planet. But it’s not like I could destroy the whole Earth by myself, right? What does one kid’s wastefulness really matter? There are plenty of more important things to worry about—the oil spill, war, the genocide in Darfur. What does it matter if I’m a little wasteful? I suppose I could try to be more environmentally friendly.

“Even if I am a mess, I expect you to leave this instant! I don’t believe you are even from the FBI. I have seen you before. You are from that reality TV show Save My Earth!” Emmett exclaimed.

“Well, you figured me out, kid. But I want to show you something before I leave.” Suddenly, a computer appeared and there was chart on the screen. Mr. Jones pointed at the data. “This is how wasteful you are, and this over here is how the world would be affected if everyone was as wasteful as you.”

Emmett was flabbergasted. He didn’t realize he wasted that much. Mr. Jones showed him a picture of Earth from space, and it was all grey from trash. From then on, Emmett decided to save the planet by only eating junk food that came in recyclable wrapping.


Summer Reading Winners, Week Five

I just did this week's random drawing, and we have four new teen reading winners!

Judy, grade 12, won a beach bag with two books, candy, glow bracelets, a water bottle, and locker magnets.

Ankit, grade 11, won a hardcover book and a $5 gift card to Borders.

Hannah, grade 6, won a beach bag with two books, candy, flip-flops, and a water bottle.

Emily, grade 11, won a hardcover book and a $5 gift card to Kohl's.



Newsflash ... I Exist

For anyone that has followed our blog and noticed that I never did anything until now you get a cookie. I am here to give opinions on new things. Books, Manga, Music, Video Games, Martial Arts styles, your haircut, things I found on the Internet, and many many more. To begin I would like to say that I also take suggestions on what to review, so if you want my opinion on something just let me know.

Anyway, I will start by reviewing something that none of you have heard of, my favorite game, Tales of Vesperia. This game is a rpg for the 360 from Namco Bandai. The basic story is that the game's world has become so dependent on ancient technology called blastia that most people live inside their towns for their entire lives under a barrier blastia that protects them from monsters. Imagine that for a second, you need to stay in your hometown for your entire life. No vacation, no Internet, only maps to tell you where places are. Because of this there are parts of the world that no one has explored. Now even if you like your home town, which isn't a bad thing, let's look at it from a different perspective. Imagine if a disease was unleashed in a town with a barrier. That would wipe out the entire town. Luckily for the plot the main character's home town is not visited often.

The main character's name is Yuri Lowell, he is pretty much what you get when you mix the tendency to get bored of Ryuk from Death Note, the hair and fashion sense of Sephiroth from Final Fantasy Seven, and the main characterness that you expect from the main character of a Tales rpg. Now Yuri somehow manages to save a princess, escape his city, and start the main plot in less than half an hours playing time. In a little more time you will meet Karol, a kid from the hunting blades guild, and Rita Mordio,the genius 15 year old mage that has no social life. There are a few more characters but I don't want to ruin everything for you in case you buy it. The characters are brought to life in a way that makes it almost impossible to hate them. I didn't like Karol after Rita came in but by the end of the game it was imposable for me to hate him. These characters are voiced by actors from various anime and games. For example Troy Baker, the voice of Yuri Lowell, also voices Pain from Naruto and Snow Villiers from Final Fantasy Thirteen. Many other characters have famous voice actors also but there isn't enougth time to go into that now.

The music is great. I have very little to say about it though as it is just that good. Think Final Fantasy's greatest hits and you will get the picture. But what I like you may not. The opening song is Ring a Bell by the Japanese singer Bonnie Pink. The song is in English however.

Then there are bonuses. The many titles you can earn, the many costumes you can dress the main cast in, and the skit system are awesome. Skits are like fully voiced cutscenes except they are optional. There's a link for a skit so you can see one for yourself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pv932YhU8yc

Basically Vesperia is a good game that should be owned by any rpg fan. There are so many more things I want to say but I won't because you should experience them for yourself. That is my review of Tales of Vesperia for the 360. Good Bye.

Coming Soon

Lots of new series books are coming out, so here's an update of what to look for:
  • 8/1/10--Manifest by Artist C. Arthury (Kimani Tru)
  • 8/3/10--The Atlantis Complex by Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl series)
  • 8/24/10--Empire of Night by Justin Somper (Vampirates series)
  • 8/24/10--Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games trilogy)
  • 8/24/10--Sabotaged by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Missing series)
  • 8/31/10--The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (Infernal Devices series; author of the Mortal Instruments trilogy)
  • 9/1/10--Myself and I by Earl Sewell (Kimani Tru)
  • 9/28/10--Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking series)
  • 9/28/10--Pushin' by L. Divine (Drama High series)
  • 10/5/10--Sugar and Spice by Lauren Conrad (L. A. Candy series)
  • 10/19/10--The Dragon's Apprentice by James A. Owen (Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series)
  • 11/1/10--Losing Romeo by A. J. Byrd (Kimani Tru)


Painted Picture Frames

Our drop-in craft project this week was to paint picture frames, and 26 teens showed up! The project sounded simple, but had one small catch: no paint brushes. Instead, we painted with found objects like rocks, bubble wrap, grass, forks, and feathers. Some people even used their fingers! We ended up with a lot of unique picture frames with cool designs. There are just a few frames left, which will be available at Craft Closet Cleanout on August 25.

Thanks to Genni and Christine for showing up early to set up, and also to Genni for bringing her mp3 player and speakers for entertainment. Last week's rain pretty much killed our tent, so thanks to everyone for dealing with it almost falling on us several times. We put it in the dumpster after the program and I have to buy us a new one this week!

Join us next week for our last (and best) drop-in craft of the summer: ice cream!!


Pass the Buck: Character Has Been Abducted by an Angry Mob of Alien Soccer Fans

At the first Writer's Ink meeting, we played a writing game called "Pass the Buck." This game is a classic and produces some very interesting short stories. Every person is given a paper with a story starter, and they have five minutes to write the beginning. Every five minutes, the papers are rotated until each story has parts written by all of the participants. The end result is a mishmash of everyone's writing styles! Anyway, here is one of the stories:

Thinking back to yesterday, I wonder how all of this could have happened. Just a few days ago, life seemed almost normal, sitting on my couch watching the World Cup. Now I have a story no one will believe.

It all started yesterday when I was walking home from soccer practice and saw a flying saucer. How could this be? I looked around, wondering if I was the only one who noticed it. Everyone was walking around as if nothing was happening. I checked the sky again, and sure enough, the UFO was there.

Just then, I saw an alien walking toward me. Should I run? Should I talk to it? My mind was going a mile a minute, but my legs were frozen to the ground as if they were buried in Arctic ice. But then I sprang into action, running as if my life depended on it…because it probably did. I heard the aliens call for a search team, and I tried to hide myself behind some trees and form a plan. Outrunning them wasn’t really an option, neither was surrendering.

I had no choice but to try to get some help, so I ran toward other people on the sidewalk yelling, “Help! Aliens are trying to capture me!!” People thought I was completely mental, and one passerby called the cops. They arrested me and placed me in jail, which they said was for my own good. Ha! Yeah, right. I figured the aliens would be there any minute to take me away since I was trapped. Well, there was nothing left to do but wait for them and try to outsmart them when they got there.

I never got the chance. They teleported me out of the cell to their planet! All I could see was aliens of all colors, all wearing a type of human-looking soccer outfit. One alien walked up to me and said, “You, who are such a soccer fan, must challenge us to a match.”

“But, how do I play soccer against millions all by myself?” The aliens all began to laugh maliciously, their voices sounding very robotic. “Why are you laughing?” I asked.

The aliens smiled. “You are to play soccer against only one of us.”

I shrugged. “Well, OK, I guess that’s not so bad.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure, earthling,” answered the alien. He gestured to my opponent.

I looked over and gulped. There stood before me a rather large, sis-legged alien. He had his humongous arms crossed over his chest and he glared menacingly down at me. Great, I thought, how am I going to get out of this one? Before I knew it, they blew the whistle to start the game. “Whoever gets a goal first wins,” said the first alien, an evil grin plastered on his face.

“What happens if I win?” I asked, feeling rather bold and reckless.

“If you win,” said the alien, “we will let you go free. But you won’t win.”

The ball was dropped between us, and the game began. The six-legged alien moved gracefully and with strength. All I could do was weave through its enormous legs and try to steal the ball. I was actually getting closer to the alien’s goal. I was tiring, but so was he, and I thought I might actually win.

Then, the unthinkable. “Aaaaargh! Nooooooo!” The alien scored using his telepathy.

I started to shake. “What happens now? Are you going to eat my brain? Chop me up and sell my body to different intergalactic nations as a delicacy?”

“What? No, you freak! We’re going to send you home as a trophy of our good sportsmanship. We just needed some fresh entertainment.”

“Oh,” I sighed. Instantly I was teleported back as if nothing had happened.

So that was my yesterday. What’s up for tomorrow?


Summer Reading Winners, Week Four

I asked for four prize winners in this week's random drawing, and this is who the computer chose:
  • Hazara, grade 9, won a hardcover book with a $5 gift card to Borders
  • Denim, grade 6, won a basket with two books, a water balloon kit, a water bottle full of candy, and a toilet-shaped puzzle book.
  • Rosalyn, grade 11, won two tickets to a performance at Hedgerow Theatre
  • Christelle, grade 7, won a basket with two books, a water balloon kit, a water bottle full of candy, and a toilet-shaped puzzle book.

Keep reading everyone! I have six more weeks of prizes!!


Decoupaged Boxes!

Yesterday, 23 teens showed up for our outdoor drop-in craft! We decorated boxes with decoupaged magazine pictures, which is a great project because it looks amazing but is not difficult. Basically, you just cut out pictures, words, and letters that you like. Then, you get a box with a slightly rough surface (you can always sand it if it is too smooth). Use Mod Podge and a sponge brush to glue on your pictures, overlapping them like a collage. Brush Mod Podge over the pictures as well to give the whole thing a shiny finish. Allow to dry thoroughly, and then use to hold your stuff or give with a gift inside! We will definitely do this again because everyone enjoyed it and their work turned out really well.

Big thanks to TAB grad Amy, who showed up early to help me set up and stayed to make a box. The only down side of the day was that it started raining at about 1:30 and all the teens had to grab everything and run for it! I actually went back out in the rain to bring in the tent, tables, and chairs, and got thoroughly soaked in the process. Thank goodness for my husband, who brought me a dry change of clothes. Being a teen librarian isn't always as fun as it looks!

Everyone started cutting out pictures and immediately made a mess!

People at various stages of work on their boxes

One completed project...she took her time and it shows!

A more sporty take on the project


Some teens with their finished projects...inside after it rained on us!


A County Prize Winner

I wanted to see Upper Darby represent in the county-level prizes, and I got my wish. Tina, grade 8, won an Avatar DVD in the week three drawing from the Delaware County Library System!!

There are still five weeks of prizes left, so keep writing your reviews for teen summer reading online. All of the bigger prizes are still to be given away!

Pass the Buck: Character Has Fallen Asleep

At the first Writer's Ink meeting, we played a writing game called "Pass the Buck." This game is a classic and produces some very interesting short stories. Every person is given a paper with a story starter, and they have five minutes to write the beginning. Every five minutes, the papers are rotated until each story has parts written by all of the participants. The end result is a mishmash of everyone's writing styles! Anyway, here is one of the stories:

Jade has fallen asleep, and lays deep inside her dreams, not even realizing her surroundings. Jade sees her mom running after her and reaches for her, only to find her gone. Disappointment seeps into her eyes and she starts to cry.

Jade hears a faint sound in the distance, a voice calling…calling what? Her name. The voice calls her name. But who is it? Who is calling her? The voice sounds familiar, warm and kind. The soothing lull of it fills her with calm and happiness, and feels like home. Jade’s tears dry as she loses herself in the voice. She becomes filled with determination. That voice must be her mother. But she must know for sure, she must find her mother.

She begins to follow the sound of the voice, until she reaches a door. The door is very ornate, with intricate patterns lined in gold. Jade touches the door, hoping her mother is behind it. But instead, she finds a very little man jumping up and down.

“Who are you? Why are you so tall?” he asks in a squeaky voice that sounds like a dying crow.

“I am not that tall. Why are you so…little” Jade asks, confused. She has never seen someone that short in her life. Then she sees other people behind him, all the same minute height. They all gaze up at her in wonder, whispering to each other in astonishment.

“She’s real big, Mommy!” exclaims a nearby child, infinitesimal next to the already tiny adults. The child’s mother grabs her hand, hushing her, staring up in total terror and amazement at Jade. Jade feels like she is going to cry again. She is always self-conscious, and being the odd ball in this situation wasn’t helping.

“I-I’m looking for a voice,” she tells them. Her speech sounds distant and muffled.

“How can you look for a voice when you cannot see a voice?” It is the little man who first harassed her about her height. She realizes that not one of them has opened their mouths once to speak.

This is trippy, Jade thinks to herself. She looks down at the man and speaks softly. She thinks maybe if her voice seems kinder, then someone will want to help her. “Well, I know that you can’t see a voice, but I heard it. It was warm, kind, and had this soft lull to it that would make me sway from side to side. It was a lady’s voice. It was my mother.”

The petite man roars with laughter that cracks Jade’s eardrums. “That’s not nice sounding. It sounds like a monster.”

“My mother is not a monster! How dare you say that! My mother is kind and loving, unlike you!” Jade can’t keep the tears back. She cries and runs away from all of them. The little people stand and stare as she runs off. Jade begins to think she might be going mad. Could she be in Wonderland?

Suddenly, Jade is startled by the sound of a knock on the door. She looks up through half-open eyes to see her mother! Still crying, Jade gives her confused mother a very big hug.


Newest Books

Here's what we've gotten in the teen section this week:


  • The Perfect Boy by Hailey Abbot
  • Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
  • Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
  • The Last Great Getaway of the Water Balloon Boys by Scott William Carter
  • Chosen by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast (House of Night series)
  • Marked by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast (House of Night series; second copy)
  • Untamed by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast (House of Night series; second copy)
  • Living Outside the Lines by Lesley Choyce
  • Beautiful Stranger by Zoey Dean (A-List series)
  • Half World by Hiromi Goto
  • The Clique by Lisi Harrison (Clique series; second copy)
  • Living Hell by Catherine Jinks
  • The Faceless Ones by Derek Landy (Skulduggery Pleasant series)
  • The Carbon Diaries 2017 by Saci Lloyd
  • The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon
  • Alligator Bayou by Donna Jo Napoli
  • Birth Marked by Caragh M. O'Brien
  • The Daughters by Joanna Philbin
  • Three Rivers Rising by Jame Richards
  • A Living Nightmare by Darren Shan (Cirque du Freak series)

  • Maid Sama, volume 5, by Hiro Fujiwara


  • The Six Rules of Maybe by Deb Caletti
  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia


  • No Compromise: The Story of Harvey Milk by David Aretha
  • Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: The Real Deal: Challenges by Jack Canfield
  • Middle School Confidential: What's Up with My Family? by Annie Fox
  • Eat Fresh Food: Awesome Recipes for Teen Chefs by Rozanne Gold
  • Green Careers: You Can Make Money and Save the Planet by Jennifer Power Scott


Dorney Park Ticket Winner

At our summer kick-off Luau Party, everyone received two hot pink teen summer reading slips. Teens who returned them by this weekend was entered to win two Dorney Park tickets, and I ended up with 17 slips. I folded them all up identically, put them in a box, and drew out Nancy, a 6th grader! Congratulations, Nancy!!!

There are still six weeks left of teen summer reading, so keep bringing in your slips. I have beach bags, baskets, gift cards, and more tickets to other places to give away in the coming weeks! The more you read, the better your chances are to win!!

Nintendo Night

Last Friday, 25 teens showed up for our summer edition of Nintendo Night! It was smaller than some of our other summer tournaments, but that meant everyone got to play more. And we had no major technical difficulties! I saw some great vintage games on my old NES, including Duck Hunt, Mike Tyson's Punch Out, and Super Mario Brothers 3. Everyone also enjoyed playing our various Rock Band games, with thanks to Avis for geting the cheat code to unlock all the songs on Rock Band 2.

In the Super Smash Brothers Brawl tournament, 23 entered but only one was victorious! Actually, for the first time, we had a pair of brothers take the top two spots. Andrew came in first and won a $25 gift card to GameStop, while Alex took second and a $10 gift card. The top six (Andrew, Alex, Colin, John L., Ranier, and David J.) all got candy. Even though only nine people entered the Pokemon tournament, it took a really long time. We had to finish it today during Gaming Club! Evan and David made it to the final, but David ultimately won (as usual) and got a $10 gift card to GameStop.

Thanks to the fundraisers at our Random-A-Thon last winter for providing the gift card prizes for this event!!


Writer's Ink: Magnetic Poetry

We had fun with magnetic poetry at the third meeting of Nitha's summer writing workshop. Here are some of our creations:

by Nitha

by Laurel

by Saranjeet

by Nikki

by Genni

by Gretchen

by Nitha


Summer Reading Winners, Week Three

I just did the random drawing on the computer, and we've got four teen summer reading winners this week!
  • Kathy, grade 11, wins a UDHS bag with two books, candy, a water bottle, tie-dyed shoelaces, and locker magnets.
  • Arig, grade 9, wins a hardcover book and a $5 gift card to Borders
  • Isabella, grade 6, wins a basket with two hardcover books, water balloons, candy, an insulated Starbucks cup, and a card game.
  • Joy, grade 11, wins a UDHS bag with two books, candy, a water bottle, tie-dyed shoelaces, and locker magnets.



Despite the record temperatures, 15 teens showed up yesterday to fingerpaint! We stayed indoors, taking over the Board Room and enjoying the A/C. Everyone made at least two pictures, and some did three. It was a relaxing way to spend a hot day...not too hard and lots of fun! Join us next Wednesday between 11:00 and 2:00 to decoupage a trinket box.

Works in progress.

Great color contrasts!

Guess who made this one...

Some finished products


Book Review: This World We Live In

This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer
(Click on the cover to find a library copy.)

SUMMARY: It's been a year since a meteor collided with the moon, catastrophically altering the earth's climate. For Miranda Evans, life as she knew it no longer exists. Her friends and neighbors are dead, the landscape is frozen, and food is increasingly scarce. The struggle to survive intensifies when Miranda's father and stepmother arrive with a baby and three strangers in tow. One of the newcomers is Alex Morales, and as Miranda's complicated feelings for him turn to love, his plans for his future thwart their relationship. Then a devastating tornado hits the town of Howell, and Miranda makes a decision that will change their lives forever. (adapted from the inside flap)

REVIEW: This is the third (and final?) installment in what is now called The Last Survivors series. It began with two companion novels, Life as We Knew It and The Dead and the Gone. These stories covered the same events from two different points of view, but this third book advances the plot forward while bringing those points of view together. When I first heard about this book, I thought the idea of having all of the characters meet each other sounded lame. While reading, I did think that some of the events were pretty implausible. However, I think the author ultimately pulls it off because this book is bigger than just the characters. As they all work for their survival in an increasingly hostile environment, they forge connections that wouldn't happen under other circumstances. You start to care about these people and root for them against impossible odds. That makes up for some of the other flaws! Plus, this book is a page-turner, with lots of action and tense situations that will keep you riveted until the very end.


Summer Reading Winners, Week Two

I just did the drawing for this week's winners in the teen summer reading club, and the computer randomly chose three lucky teens!!

  • Kaitlyn, grade 12, won a beach bag with two hardback books, candy, flip-flops, and a water bottle.
  • Jhoanna, grade 6 won a hardback book and a $5 gift card to Old Navy.
  • Mary, grade 8, won a beach bag with two hardback books, candy, flip-flops, and a water bottle.


Pass the Buck: Character Is Sucked into a Book

At the first Writer's Ink meeting, we played a writing game called "Pass the Buck." This game is a classic and produces some very interesting short stories. Every person is given a paper with a story starter, and they have five minutes to write the beginning. Every five minutes, the papers are rotated until each story has parts written by all of the participants. The end result is a mishmash of everyone's writing styles! Anyway, here is one of the stories:

Jacques was walking around in his attic, when he came across and unusual book. It was lying open, and it showed a town of clocks. He bent down and attempted to pick up the book, but suddenly he was inside of it! He was confused and intrigued by how that was even possible.

He then decided it would be best to take a look around. There were many broken clocks and some others that were working. The ticking was all at different times. Some of the clocks were tiny and loud while others were huge with long, swinging pendulums. Jacques looked up and found that the room he was in stretched higher than a skyscraper.

He began to feel rather frightened that one of the clocks near the ceiling would fall on him, bonking him violently on the head. Also, the ticking noise was driving him positively batty. He was scared to even move, lest he cause any of the clocks to fall.

Just then the door opened, causing Jacques to nearly jump out of his skin. An old man entered, bent over with age and wearing spectacles. He was carrying yet another clock. The man hadn’t noticed him yet. Jacques suspected the old man would be adding this one to the odd collection of clocks.

“Sir? Are these all your clocks?” Jacques asked, stepping closer into the light.

“Arrggarraa!!” The elderly man stumbled back. “Yo-yo-you shouldn’t be here! You should be in clockin’ school!”

“But , sir, what is clocking school?”

“It’s CLOCKIN’ you dimwit, and it’s the school all the kids go to. Every student has to learn about the clocks from the past and the clocks of today and tomorrow. Where are your parents, boy?”

“Uh, right now, in this universe, I have none.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I mean, I fell from this book that I found in my attic. This is all so confusing! I want to go home.”

The man did not answer, but turned and went about his business with an angry, disappointed face. Jacques started to walk away from the old man. Out of the corner of his eye, Jacques saw him drop a piece of paper to the floor. It said that he had to make all the clocks tick at the same time to get home.

Jacques sighed. It looked like he’d be here for a long, long time…