Video Voting, 2010 Edition

For the second year in a row, our Teen Advisory Board and friends were asked to vote for the winners of a teen video contest in Bucks County. Eighteen people got together for pizza and voting.  We watched all of the current entries, plus a few from last year just for the memories (towel boys!). 

The Bucks County teens were asked to make a one-minute PSA to promote next summer's teen reading theme, You Are Here.  We actually did the voting in August, but I had to wait until they officially announced the winners to post this.   These are the prizes chosen by the Sellers Library teens.  We were happy to award the grand prize, plus a bunch of smaller prizes.  Click on the links to watch the videos on YouTube!
  1. Grand Prize (unanimous)
  2. Best Comedy
  3. Best Marketing Plan
  4. Best Use of Theme
  5. Best Props (love the dogs!)
  6. Judges' Choice: Best Use of Library Building
  7. Judges' Choice: Best Selection of Library Materials
Here is our esteemed group of judges:

Wimpy Kid Balloon!

For the first time this year, a balloon of book character Greg Heffley will come down 5th Avenue in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!  Do you want to see it in person?  The publisher is running a contest in which you could win VIP grandstand seats for the parade!  (The only catch is that you have to be between the ages of 6 and 16 to win.  Darn!)


Stuffed Shelves

Here are the items that have come through processing this week.  Please come check things out...the shelves are getting too full!!

  • Tangerine by Edward Bloor (replacement copy)
  • The Queen's Daughter by Susan Coventry
  • The Au Pairs by Melissa de la Cruz (Au Pairs series)
  • The Luxe by Anna Godbersen (The Luxe series; second copy)
  • Knightly Academy by Violet Haberdasher
  • Destiny's Path by Frewin Jones (Warrior Princess series)
  • Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly
  • Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty
  • Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
  • Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking series)
  • Here, There Be Dragons by James A. Owen (Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series; second copy)
  • Janis Joplin:  Rise Up Singing by Ann Angel
  • The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook:  Middle School by David Borgenicht, Ben H. Winters, and Robin Epstein
  • Justin Bieber:  The Unauthorized Biography by Chas Newkey-Burden
  • Naruto, volume 49, by Mashashi Kishimoto
  • Fruits Basket, volume 1, by Natsuki Takaya


Recent Reads

I haven't had much time for book blogging recently, so here are several fantasy reviews in one post! All of these were read recently by our Read and Rant Book Discussion Group, which is for grades 7 to 9. If you want to read them, click on the covers to find library copies.

Downsiders by Neal Shusterman
This is one of Shusterman's older books that has recently been republished. I am a fan of his books, especially Unwind, so it's great to be able to read more of his writing. Downsiders envisions a secret society living in the tunnels under New York City, which is just possible enough to be creepy. Talon, a Downsider, knows there are strict rules about contact with Topsiders, but his curiosity gets him in trouble. After being discovered in our world by 14-year-old Lindsay, he dares to take her on a forbidden visit to the Downside. The story follows a fairly typical fantasy arc, but the world created by Shusterman is rich with images even though it is dimly lit. The Downside really captured my attention with forgotten subway stations as meeting places, dropped subway tokens and lost earrings finding new life as art, and herds of cattle (not alligators) terrorizing the tunnels. It's great for the imagination...think of what might be under Philadelphia!

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
Matt Cruise is a knowledgeable cabin boy aboard the airship Aurora in a historical fantasy setting where airplanes never replaced dirigibles in the skies. One night, he helps rescuse a dying balloonist whose last words are of mysterious winged creatures. Matt thinks his talk was just a hallucination, but that man's wealthy granddaughter, Kate, shows up as a passenger a year later and is seriously searching for information about the creatures. When their flight is overtaken by pirates and crashes on an uncharted island, Matt and Kate are propelled into action to save themselves, rescue their shipmates, and possibly revolutionize science. This book starts out slowly, as the author works to build the reader's understanding of his world. But the action really starts to take off when the pirates attack, and it does not slow down until the end! This is a good old-fashioned adventure story with a fantasy twist. It is first in a trilogy, so be sure to look for Skybreaker and Starclimber if you like it.

The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman
With the Earth's enviornment in ruins from freak weather events, Earth Mother is gathering the remaining people into the safety of the Enclosure.  When Honor and her parents are brought in from a remote island, Honor is happy to accept everything as it is presented to her.  However, her parents are much more suspicious.  They refuse to worship Earth Mother and decide to have a "selfish" second child.  It seems that the harder Honor tries to fit in, the more her parents to do stand out.  And people who stand out have a habit of disappearing.  Allegra Goodman does an excellent job of creating a dytopian world build on radical environmentalism rather than the intellectual freedom issues featured in many other books of this genre.  The story really picks up pace in the second half of the book and becomes a page-turning race against time to save those who have had their minds altered in the name of peace and safety.  Some of the plot elements seemed a bit unlikely to me, but I think that the writing style and compelling action more than compensate for them.  This is a good choice for fans of The Hunger Games and other dystopian novels.


More New Books

Lots of teen books are getting on the shelves this week because our cataloguer is catching up with a huge backlog of materials!  We love you, Mrs. Reilly!!  (And Ms. McDevitt and the children's desk staff for getting them processed in record time!)

  • Blood Is Thicker by Paul Langan and D. M. Blackwell (Bluford High series; additional copy)
  • Brothers in Arms by Paul Langan and Ben Alirez (Bluford High series; additional copy)
  • The Fallen by Paul Langan (Bluford High series; additional copy)
  • The Gun by Paul Langan (Bluford High series; additional copy)
  • Shattered by Paul Langan (Bluford High series; additional copy)
  • Summer of Secrets by Paul Langan (Bluford High series; additional copy)
  • Confessions of a Teenage Hollywood Star by Dyan Sheldon (replacement copy)
  • Lost and Found by Anne Schraff (Bluford High series; additional copy)
  • A Matter of Trust by Anne Schraff (Bluford High series; additional copy)
  • Secrets in the Shadows by Anne Schraff (Bluford High series; one replacement copy and one additional copy)
  • Someone to Love Me by Anne Schraff (Bluford High series; additional copy)
  • Until We Meet Again by Anne Schraff (Bluford High series; additional copy)
  • Nothing by Janne Teller
  • Notorious by Cecily von Ziegesar (It Girl series)
  • Faketastic by Alexa Young (Frenemies series)
  • Vampire Kisses: Blood Relatives, volume 3, by Ellen Schreiber

Just in Time for Banned Books Week...

Several episodes in Missouri this month have brought issues of school book banning and censorship to national attention.  This is just in time for Banned Books Week, which is celebrated every year at the end of September.  This year's dates are September 25 to October 2. 

Issues of book censorship can be tricky, particularly in schools.  Some content may be offensive to some people, and that has to be weighed against the educational value of a text when districts are making choices for students.  Whether it's required reading, optional reading, or just something in the school library, schools often find themselves on the defensive. 

Here are links to information about the situations in Missouri.  Remember, these articles are talking about the reasons people have for censoring the materials, so there may be content that requires some maturity.

In Stockton, Missouri, the school board voted to remove The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian from the curriculum and from the high school library.  Read more about the school board meeting in this article

In Republic, Missouri, a parent has made a formal complaint about three books used in various ways at the high school: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, and Twenty-Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler.  Watch a news broadcast summarizing the challenge, then read Laurie Halse Anderson's response in this interview.


Back-to-School DDR

Yesterday, 19 teens showed up for our first Dance Dance Revolution day of the school year!  I was really happy to see so many people, especially because I published the fall schedule a lot later than usual this time.   Ten people entered our tournament, and the final came down to Jamie vs. Ross.  It was VERY close, but Jamie edged out Ross and won a $10 gift card to GameStop.  Thanks to everyone who showed up!

Don't forget to pick up a copy of the fall schedule!  The final version is available now!!


New To Us

We just got some great donations of teen books, so here's what we catalogued for the collection:

  • Princess in Pink by Meg Cabot (Princess Diaries series; replacement copy)
  • Sealed with a Diss by Lisi Harrision (second copy)
  • Honey Blonde Chica by Michele Serros
  • All I Want Is Everything by Cecily von Ziegesar (Gossip Girl series; replacement copy)
  • The Carlyles by Cecily von Ziegesar (Gossip Girl series)
  • Don't You Forget about Me by Cecily von Ziegesar (Gossip Girl series; replacement copy)
  • It Had to Be You by Cecily von Ziegesar (Gossip Girl series; additional copy)
  • Only in Your Dreams by Cecily von Ziegesar (Gossip Girl series; replacement copy)
  • You Know You Love Me by Cecily von Ziegesar (Gossip Girl series)


  • Alice the 101st, volume 1, by Chigusa Kawai


1960s Drop In Day

Yesterday, 18 teens stopped by for our first drop-in day of the school year. The theme for this one was the 1960s. I didn't do much advertising, so I'm glad the word got out! We watched The Birds, Alfred Hitchcock's famous horror movie from 1963, and played Rock Band: The Beatles. The best part of the event was making tie-dyed stretchy book covers. They are perfect for back-to-school! Doing tie-dye definitely gave us the psychedelic feel of the 60s hippie movement even though the book covers are a modern invention. We snacked on food introduced in the 60s, including Doritos (1966), Lays (1965), Pop-Tarts (1964), and Tang (1966). Everyone was also entered to win a 60s gift basket as they arrived, which was ultimately won by Laurel. Congrats to her, and thanks to everyone who attended.

PS--Bring in your book covers if they turned out. I'd love to see them!

The gift basket had candy introduced in the 60s, some Woodstock memorabilia, an ex-library copy of the teen classic My Darling, My Hamburger from 1969, and an Archie comic book celebrating the decade.

Rubber banding the book covers gets a thumbs up! (Really, what doesn't!?)

A crowd trying to add color all at once.

A less busy time at the dye table.

Some completed book covers. They turned out amazingly well!


Shiny and New!

We just processed a big order of new books, and a lot of them are part of popular series! Come get them before they're gone!!

  • Manifest by Artist Arthur (Kimani Tru)
  • Twelfth Grade Kills by Heather Brewer (Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series)
  • Privilege by Kate Brian (Privilege series; replacement copy)
  • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (Infernal Devices series)
  • The Atlantis Complex by Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl series)
  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games series)
  • Pushin' by L. Divine (Drama High series)
  • Hunger by Michael Grant (Gone series)
  • Lies by Michael Grant (Gone series)
  • Sabotaged by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Missing series)
  • My Little Phony by Lisi Harrison (Clique series)
  • Fallout by Ellen Hopkins
  • Sold by Patricia McCormick (replacement copy)
  • The Wager by Donna Jo Napoli
  • Dead Is Just a Rumor by Marlene Perez (Dead Is series)
  • As Easy as Falling off the Face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins
  • Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick
  • Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt
  • Guys Read: Funny Business by Jon Scieszka
  • Myself and I by Earl Sewell (Kimani Tru)
  • Empire of Night by Justin Somper (Vampirates series)
  • Bleach, volume 32, by Tite Kubo
  • The Sons of Liberty by Alexander Lagos
  • Wicked Lovely: Desert Tales, volume 2, by Melissa Marr
  • An Unspeakable Crime: The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank by Elaine Marie Alphin


September Teen Scene Book Suggestions

The September Teen Scene email newsletter has lots of excellent suggestions for readers. In addition to the highlighted new releases, this month they have lists of books for people who like the Hunger Games trilogy (different than my suggestions) and people who like books by Ellen Hopkins.

Sign up now to get book lists delivered to you every month! It's a free service from the Delaware County Library System. You'll never be at a loss for your next book.


Books for Fans of the Hunger Games

If you have read the entire Hunger Games trilogy and don't know what to read next, I recommend these! Click on the links to read about the books.
Next time you're in, look for more suggestions on the cart in the teen section. I pulled a lot of different items that reminded me of various aspects of the Hunger Games trilogy, so there's something for everyone!


Book Review: Incarceron

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
(Click on the cover to find a library copy.)

SUMMARY: Incarceron is a prison so vast that it contains not only cells, but also metal forests, dilapidated cities, and vast wilderness. Finn, a seventeen-year-old prisoner, has no memory of his childhood and is sure that he came from Outside Incarceron. Very few prisoners believe that there is an Outside, however, which makes escape seems impossible. And then Finn finds a crystal key that allows him to communicate with a girl named Claudia. She claims to live Outside- she is the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, and doomed to an arranged marriage. Finn is determined to escape the prison, and Claudia believes she can help him. But they don't realize that there is more to Incarceron than meets the eye. Escape will take their greatest courage and cost more than they know. (from the Amazon.com descripton)

OPINION: This was one of the most original fantasies that I have read recently! Even though one of the major plot points was fairly obvious to me, the level of creativity and invention in this story more than made up for that. This book is an excellent choice for readers of a variety of genres, including fantasy, historical fiction, science fiction, or dystopian fiction. The world Fisher dreams up is a futuristic throwback; the government forces all of its citizens to live in a medieval setting, but uses technology to make it possible. The living prison Incarceron is a place unto itself, and the twists and turns within its confines are only surpassed by the startling revelation about its very existance at the end. This book is a page-turner, so don't start it at night or you will be up very late trying to finish it!!

SEQUEL: The next book is called Sapphique, and will be published on December 28. I can't wait! Visit Catherine Fisher's website for a synopsis.


Book Entertainment News

A random selection of book crossover info for your reading and viewing pleasure! (With thanks to Publishers Weekly for the tips.)

Because of the success of Vampire Diaries on TV, new books in the series are planned for this fall. L. J. Smith is writing a trilogy of books about Stephen that form a prequel to the TV show.

The movie version of Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You starts filming this month in New York. Check out the cast list, and don't forget to check out the book by Peter Cameron.

Ned Vizzini's book It's Kind of a Funny Story hits the big screen next month! We own this book, as well as Be More Chill and Vizzini's autobiography, so look for them in the teen section.