Welcome to our group blog by the teens and librarians at Upper Darby Sellers Library. We blog about anything related to our library: upcoming events, new books, favorite authors, interesting websites, or whatever. Feel free to comment on the posts of others, but remember that inappropriate comments will be deleted. Also, email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be a contributor. Get your voice heard at the library!
What I like about Sarah Dessen's writing is how her characters seem like people you could actually know. Mclean Elizabeth Sweet's parents had a messy, public divorce during her sophomore year, and she fought to live with her dad. After living in three towns in two years, Mclean is starting over again in a new one. Instead of adopting a persona (Beth, Eliza, Lizbet), she accidentally ends up as the "real" Mclean again. And, when life gets real, families, friendships, and relationships take on depth and meaning that can be hard to handle. As in most of Sarah Dessen's books, there is a great guy in store (Dave, in this case)! I also have to give Dessen credit for including characters' parents, and giving them their own problems and viewpoints. I didn't love this book as much as some of her others, but it was a satisfying read. It does have a few connections her previous book, Along for the Ride, which was fun. This is a good book to curl up with on a rainy day or quiet weekend!
We have a new cart in the teen section! It is a shiny sky blue and it lives near the doorway into the room. Right now, it is holding a selection of new books. Also, I flip-flopped the locations of the teen graphic novels and nonfiction to make everything fit better. The teen section is getting more and more crowded because we keep buying more great stuff for you, so come check things out!
I had to put on the wheels before I took it out of the box. Tool time!
Last Friday, 29 teens showed up for our winter Nintendo Night. This was a relatively small group for this program, so things were a bit more relaxed than usual! The Super Smash Bros. Brawl tournament had 27 entrants and I made a full bracket of 32 by randomly selecting those who lost to re-enter the tournament. The final ended up being Colin and James vs. David J. and John E. David and John won, each receiving a $20 gift card to Game Stop. They are not allowed to team together next time! The other six guys in the semi-final round (Siaka, Le, Munir, Colton, Colin, and James) received candy.
In the Naruto Shippuden III tournament, 12 people competed down to a three-way final. We played that final round-robin style, and Alex P. was the winner of the $10 Wawa gift card after two games. David T. beat out Dennis W. for the second-place prize, a $5 Wawa gift card. Dennis W. got candy for being a finalist. (The Wawa cards were purchased with donations from our recent gift card fundraiser!) Both tournaments ended a little early, leaving time for free play on both games. People also enjoyed DS games, Pokemon Stadium on the N64, and sodas during the evening. And yes, the Yu-Gi-Oh cards were allowed, even though they're not from Nintendo!
Thanks to John E. for keeping the controllers under control, to David J. for bringing his Wii and games, and to Maria for digging up her N64. This program would not have run as smoothly without your help! Look for another Nintendo Night program on the spring schedule, which will include a DS Pokemon tournament. Also, don't forget about Mario Night on Friday, March 9.
Last Wednesday, 16 teens stopped by for Brain Break, our end-of-the-semester study break! We did challenges from Minute to Win It to get chocolate, played Rock Band and Just Dance, and made papercraft Angry Birds. I had planned to use them to knock down towers, but most people didn't want to mess up their creations! Some gamers showed up as well, playing Yu-Gi-Oh! and Super Smash Bros. Brawl (of course). Everyone enjoyed the selection of comfort food, which included candy, chips, homemade cookie-brownie swirl bars (yum!), and hot chocolate with big marshmallows. Jared won a $10 gift card to Wawa in a random drawing, courtesy of our gift card fundraiser. And, now that all of your brains are rested, enjoy the second semester!!
Some of our Angry Birds
Minute to Win It challenge: Getting a cookie from your forehead to your mouth without using your hands.
Minute to Win It challenge: Stacking six dice on a craft stick held in the mouth.
Minute to Win It challenge: Getting six penne noodles on the spaghetti without using your hands.
For the last two months, the TAB has been collecting partially used or unwanted gift cards from library patrons. We combine the amounts left on the cards to purchase snacks, supplies, and prizes for teen programs. This time around, we collected a total of $136.10! That's our best year ever! Cards ranged from $50.00 down to $.10, and covered a whole bunch of stores, including Walmart, Target, Macy's, Wawa, Old Navy, Kohl's, CVS, and Barnes & Noble. Thanks to all of our library patrons for their donations. We already purchased three Wawa cards, two as prizes in the Nintendo Night tournament and one as a giveaway at our Brain Break event!
We had a cupcake decorating challenge at our Hunger Games Lock-In! Everyone had to decorate a cupcake that was in some way related to the Hunger Games. Of course, that could really be anything if you have a creative mind! To represent Peeta's skills, we not only had cans of icing and sprinkles and stuff, we had actual decorator icing in bags with special tips. It was an activity...it was a snack...it was a snacktivity!! Everyone had 15 minutes to make their best cupcake, then they had to get a Gamemaker to photograph it. The pictures ended up on three different cameras, but it helped us determine the winners without making everyone wait to eat!
Everyone working to decorate their cupcakes:
Some cupcake love:
Some completed cupcakes:
"Obey" (representing the Capitol)
"Me" (representing the Capitol)
This person creatively pulled the wrapper out and made a turtle. (Rotate it 90 degrees in your head.)
One of the activities at our Hunger Games Lock-In was to design a costume fit for a tribute to enter the Capitol! Each district got identical materials: duct tape, masking tape, four trash bags (two black, two white), one entire New York Times newspaper, and scissors. They had 20 minutes to dress up one team member and plan his or her entry into the capitol. It was hilarious! Most groups followed the tradition stated in the book, of dressing the tribute to represent the main specialty of their district. But, how they went about it was so funny. I mean, we had a mermaid and a cow along with some really crazy-looking outfits! We had everyone walk down the steps and pose in their costume while other members of their district provided music and commentary. I wish I had video!
Ra called me today to tell me that DJ Brother Jamar died this weekend from cancer. I was so sad to hear that news, but grateful to Ra for his thoughtfulness. Ra and Jamar did great positive hip hop programs for teens, and we had them at the library several times over the years. Jamar had an incredible knowledge of and passion for music, and a genuine spirit that made him very approachable. I loved how he would always invite everyone up to check out his equipment after the show! We will definitely miss him, as will many others in the Philly area.
The One Sun Lion Ra, DJ Brother Jamar, DJ Hot Blast, and me