Archive for January 21, 2010

Cupcakes on the brain

This past Monday night we had a Teen Cupcake Decorating 101 workshop with the Baking Coach. Check out their website here:
Teens learned how to decorate cupcakes with brightly colored icing and learned how to use different piping techniques with icing in pastry bags and various tips.
I think they came out great (and were very tasty!)
Every teen took home 3 decorated cupcakes to share.
Or eat themselves.
If you love cupcakes, check out the website: Cupcakes Take the Cake

American Library Association’s 2010 Awards

On January 18, the American Library Association announced the top books for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, King, Newbery, Schneider Family and Printz awards.
The following is a list of all ALA Teen Awards for 2010:
John Newbery Medal (for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature):
When You Reach Me, written by Rebecca Stead, is the 2010 Newbery Medal winner.
The 4 Newbery Honor Books named were the books:
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick
Michael L. Printz Award (for excellence in literature written for young adults):
Going Bovine by Libba Bray is the 2010 Printz Award winner.
Four Printz Honor Books were named:
Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
Punkzilla by Adam Rapp
Tales of the Madman Underground: An Historical Romance, 1973 by John Barnes
Coretta Scott King Book Award (recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults):
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Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal, written by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, is the King Author Book winner. The book is illustrated by R. Gregory Christie.
One King Author Honor Book was selected: Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis.
Schneider Family Book Award (for books that embody the artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences):
Anything but Typical, written by Nora Raleigh Baskin is the winner for middle grades (ages 11-13).
The teen (ages 13-18) award winner is Marcelo in the Real World, written by Francisco X. Stork.
Pura Belpre Award (honoring Latino authors and illustrators whose work best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in children’s books):
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Return to Sender, written by Julia Alvarez, is the Belpre Author Award winner.
Two Belpre Author Honor Books were named: Diego: Bigger Than Life, written by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, illustrated by David Diaz; and Federico Garcia Lorca, written by Georgina Lazaro, illustrated by Enrique S. Moreiro.
William C. Morris Award honors a book written by a first-time author for young adults:
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Flash Burnout, written by L.K. Madigan, is the Morris Award winner.
Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults:
Jim Murphy is the 2010 Edwards Award winner. His books include: An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793; Blizzard! The Storm That Changed America; The Great Fire and The Long Road to Gettysburg.
YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award:
Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith, written by Deborah Heiligman, is the winner of the first-ever YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award.
Alex Awards (for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences):
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope, by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
The Bride’s Farewell, by Meg Rosoff
Everything Matters! by Ron Currie, Jr.
The Good Soldiers, by David Finkel
The Kids Are All Right: A Memoir, by Diana Welch and Liz Welch
The Magicians, by Lev Grossman
My Abandonment, by Peter Rock
Soulless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel, by Gail Carriger
Stitches: A Memoir, by David Small
Tunneling to the Center of the Earth, by Kevin Wilson
Looks like some of my predictions came true! I am very excited that Going Bovine and Marcelo in the Real World got recognized!
An annotated booklist will be available in TeenSpace shortly.
For more information on the ALA youth media awards and notables, please visit the ALA Web site at
SOURCE American Library Association.

Snap – Book Review

Snap by Carol Snow
Book review by: Teri Lam
Snap by Carol Snow is one of the most exciting books you’ll ever read. Snow is a wonderful writer who creates suspense and excitement in the reader with her stories. This book, Snap, talks about a girl named Madison who had gone to a new area near a beach during her summer with her parents. She didn’t like moving at first. She left her suitcase at her old house and her motel was horrible. She missed her friends back home a lot. She did not know why she had gone there in the first place. She thought it was just a little summer vacation. Worst of all, mysterious things started to happen. Madison is the type of person who loves photography and she would take pictures of everything wherever she goes.
One time, she took a picture of the beach and when she went back to look at it on her camera, there was a women dressed in bright red standing in front of her. She admitted to her summer friends that she swore that she did not see her when she took the picture. Another time was when she went to take a picture of a window she thought was very pretty, and a guy appeared on her camera outside the window. She and her friends spent a long time trying to figure it out. After realizing it, the newspaper shows that the people in the photographs were dead. One person was hit by a car and the other because of age. Madison told them that she had taken the pictures before the day of their death.
Could the camera be telling the future of who will die?
Later on, there was this picture on her camera that she did not see before and there staring in front of her, she saw herself.
I absolutely love this book. It makes the reader want to read more. It’s a book full of romance and mystery.


Steampunk YA books
Maybe you’ve heard the term “steampunk” tossed around lately. You might be wondering what it is. I often think of steampunk as one of those “you know it when you see it” genres. But to help better explain what it is, here are some definitions and examples of books that fit the description.
“Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction frequently featuring elements of fantasy. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used–usually the 19th century, and often Victorian era England–but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions (like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne), or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date.” (Definition taken from Wikipedia. [Sidebar: Yeah, I know, but it’s one of those terms that Wikipedia was best suited to define. Kids, if you know the difference between citing Wikipedia for a research paper and using it to get the gist for a term, then you can use it at will.] Ahem.)
Anyway, if you have a book set in the 19th century and features a pocket watch that plays mp3s – that would most likely be steampunk.
Recently, I noticed an emerging trend of more steampunk young adult books being published. Usually the descriptions mention alternate histories and machinery and the covers give you a feel for the style of steampunk. Here are some of the latest examples:
Leviathan by Scott Westerfield
In an alternate 1914 Europe, fifteen-year-old Austrian Prince Alek, on the run from the Clanker Powers who are attempting to take over the globe using mechanical machinery, forms an uneasy alliance with Deryn who, disguised as a boy to join the British Air Service, is learning to fly genetically-engineered beasts.
This book has an awesome trailer that helps explain the overall steampunk look:
The Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade
In Victorian London, fourteen-year-old Modo, a shape-changing hunchback, becomes a secret agent for the Permanent Association, which strives to protect the world from the evil machinations of the Clockwork Guild.
Pastworld: a mystery of the near future by Ian Beck.
In 2050, while visiting Pastworld, a Victorian London theme park, teenaged Caleb meets seventeen-year-old Eve, a Pastworld inhabitant who has no knowledge of the modern world, and both become pawns in a murderer’s diabolical plan that reveals disturbing truths about the teenagers’ origins.
This is the book that made me go, “hmm, lots of books on this steampunk theme.” It’s currently on order and hopefully will be on the shelves soon.
There are some older books that fit the description as well:
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Accompanied by her daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments in the Far North. Part of the His Dark Materials series.
Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
Matt, a young cabin boy aboard an airship, and Kate, a wealthy young girl traveling with her chaperone, team up to search for the existence of mysterious winged creatures reportedly living hundreds of feet above the Earth’s surface. First in a series.
Foundling by D. M. Cornish
Having grown up in a home for foundlings and possessing a girl’s name, Rossamünd sets out to report to his new job as a lamplighter and has several adventures along the way as he meets people and monsters who are more complicated that he previously thought. Includes glossaries and maps. Monster Blood Tattoo series.
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
The fantasy fairy tale about a young man, an evil witch, and the sons of a lord, all seeking the star, a young woman living in the land of Faerie.
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Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
After the suspicious death of her mother in 1895, sixteen-year-old Gemma returns to England, after many years in India, to attend a finishing school where she becomes aware of her magical powers and ability to see into the spirit world.
Who knows, if this is your thing, there’s even a steampunk convention from November 19-21st in the Pacific Northwest:

The Mock Printz Awards

Secret meetings among librarians, filled with suspense and fierce debate…sort of.
Here’s a brief glimpse into our library world. Every January, the young adult librarians on Long Island get together to hold the Mock Printz award workshop. It’s an opportunity to evaluate and examine some of the titles that have been published for young adult audiences in 2009 and to vote on our winner for the Michael L. Printz award. We get to hear “statements of defense” in 2-3 minute arguments from some volunteer librarians explaining why their book is the best and should be the 2010 Mock Printz winner. Then we break up into small groups and debate the 9 selected titles up for our award. We end the session with a vote. Then we get to wait until January 18 when the REAL 2010 Michael L. Printz award is announced to see if our predictions came true. The children’s librarians do a similar thing for the Newbery and Caldecott awards. It’s a librarian thing to do, I guess.
Anyway, on to the nominees:
Charles and Emma: The Darwin’s Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman
Charles Darwin and his wife, Emma, were deeply in love and very supportive of each other, but their opinions often clashed. Emma was extremely religious, and Charles questioned God’s very existence.
The Eternal Smile: Three Stories by Gene Luen Yang & Derek Kirk Kim
A fantastical adventure through the worlds we live in and the worlds we create. From two masters of the graphic novel Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese) and Derek Kirk Kim (Same Difference and Other Stories) come three magical tales : The story of a prince who defeats his greatest enemy only to discover that maybe his world is not what it had seemed. The story of a frog who finds that just being a frog might be the way to go. The story of a women who receives an e-mail from Prince Henry of Nigeria asking for a loan to help save his family and gives it to him.
Fire by Kristin Cashore
In a kingdom called the Dells, Fire is the last human-shaped monster, with unimaginable beauty and the ability to control the minds of those around her, but even with these gifts she cannot escape the strife that overcomes her world.
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Cameron Smith, a disaffected sixteen year-old who, after being diagnosed with Creutzfeld Jakob’s (aka mad cow) disease, sets off on a road trip with a death-obsessed video gaming dwarf he meets in the hospital in an attempt to find a cure.
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
While in a coma following an automobile accident that killed her parents and younger brother, seventeen-year-old Mia, a gifted cellist, weights whether to live with her grief or join her family in death.
Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia
The lives of Leticia, Dominique, and Trina are irrevocably intertwined through the course of one day in an urban high school after Leticia overhears Dominique’s plans to beat up Trina and must decide whether or not to get involved.
Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
Marcelo Sandoval, a seventeen-year-old boy on the high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum, faces new challenges, including romance and injustice, when he goes to work for his father in the mailroom of a corporate law firm.
Riot by Walter Dean Myers
In 1863, fifteen-year-old Claire, the daughter of an Irish mother and a black father, faces ugly truths and great danger when Irish immigrants, enraged by the Civil War and a federal draft, lash out against blacks and wealthy “swells” of New York City.
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Eighteen-year-old Lia comes to terms with her best friend’s death from anorexia as she struggles with the same disorder.
Our winner was…
Let’s see who wins the real deal, stay tuned!
Sharon Long

Our 3rd Teen Open Mic Night!

So you think you can dance? Could you be the next American Idol? Are you better than the performers on Glee? We are still registering Teen performers for our Open Mic Night, which will be held on Friday night, January 15, at 7 PM in the Syosset Public Library Theater.
acoustic guitar • dance • poetry • piano • singing •
whatever your talent, we need you!

Register in person at TeenSpace or the Reference Desk, by phone (921-7161 ext 242), or e-mail at
Our first and 2nd Open Mic Nights were huge successes – and we are very excited to showcase our talented Syosset teens once again! I hope to see you all performing (or in the audience) at Open Mic Night.
Sharon Long,
Teen Services Librarian