Archive for June 24, 2010

Summer Reading has begun!

With another school year behind you, the time is right to stop by the library to take advantage of our Teen Summer Reading Program: Make Waves at Your Library. There are many benefits to joining:
1. It’s easy and painless to join. If you have 5 minutes to spare (and I know you do) you can stop by TeenSpace at the library or register online at
2. By joining, you get a free bag of fun stuff like gift certificates, candy and erasers.
3. Did I mention it’s free?
4. If you can read one book over the summer and can submit a mini-review, you are automatically entered into our grand prize raffle drawing on August 6 at the Summer Reading Wrap-Up Pizza Party. We get pretty awesome prizes donated, so you might win something cool.
5. If you submit more than one mini-review, each one is also a weekly raffle ticket – so the more you read, the more chances to win free books and weekly prizes.
6. You’ll probably be stopping by the library to pick up your required summer reading books (hint: come in sooner rather than later, kids. They are already flying off the shelves!) This way you get something fun for your efforts!
In any case, we have a lot of great stuff planned for the summer. For a full flyer of events, go to .
Don’t forget to register for the programs, because they are filling up fast!
Have a happy and safe summer!
Sharon Long
Teen Services Librarian

New in Non-fiction

If you’re interested in fact over fiction, you might actually read non-fiction books for enjoyment. And if so, good for you – I think non-fiction books can be fascinating. It spans all subjects, including biographies and memoirs and stranger-than-fiction drama. We just received some new books that look interesting to browse or read cover-to-cover.
Boyology: a teen girl’s crash course in all things boy by Sarah O’Leary Burningham.
“In this essential guide for every teen girl, author Sarah O’Leary Burningham gets the real story from real teens, and breaks down the sometimes terrifying world of boys with totally useful advice on text flirting, meeting the parents, and how to navigate the treacherous waters between boy friend and boyfriend. From the first flirt to the first date to how long it will take to survive a breakup, this is an up close and personal look at everything a girl needs to know about dating the ever elusive teenage boy.”
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Teen cyberbullying investigated: where do your rights end and consequences begin? by Tom Jacobs.
“Powerful collection of landmark court cases involving teens and charges of cyberbullying, which includes: sending insulting or threatening emails, text, or instant messages directly to someone; spreading hateful comments about someone through emails, blogs, or chat rooms; stealing passwords and sending out threatening messages using a false identity; and building a Web site to target specific people. Each chapter features the seminal case and resulting decision, asks readers whether they agree with the decision, and urges them to think about how the decision affects their lives. Chapters also include related cases, important facts and statistics, and suggestions for further reading.”
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Hidden teens, hidden lives: primary sources from the Holocaust by Linda Jacobs Altman; Holocaust research by Margaret Shannon.
“Explores the lives of children and teens who went into hiding during the Holocaust; looks at various places used as hiding spots, such as barns and attics, and different ways to hide, like assuming false identities, and how these were used as a tool to survive.”
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Learn to speak music: [a guide to creating, performing, & promoting your songs] by John Crossingham.
“A guide to help young readers learn music by revealing every nook and cranny of how it’s made. Rather than just a guide to instruments and theory, it explores every aspect of the pop music world, from songwriting and artwork to promotion and setting up a practice space. Special features include: insider’s advice on choosing and buying an instrument, finding the right bandmates, setting up gigs, overcoming stage fright, emulating high-priced studio techniques at home, and much more. Also featured is a guide to shooting a music video from MTVA-nominated director Christopher Mills.”
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1,000 comic books you must read by Tony Isabella.
“Featuring stunning artistry and memorable characters, this one-of-a-kind guide collects the best comic books produced since 1930. Each comic features cover art and background details, intriguing story notes, year of imprint, and more.”
With such a variety, there really is something for everyone in non-fiction. Enjoy!
Sharon Long
Teen Services Librarian

Ashes – Book Review

I just finished reading the book Ashes by Kathryn Lasky.
This historical fiction novel is set in 1932 Berlin as we witness Hitler’s rise to power through the eyes of thirteen-year-old Gaby Schramm. Unlike many books set in this time period, this book focuses mainly on the initial slow shifts in the public perception towards the Jews and the Nazi Party, but does not take us into the horrors of the war and the Holocaust.
The most interesting device used in the book is the way the author weaves actual characters from history through the characters’ lives. We get to meet Albert Einstein as a family friend of the Schramm family, as Gaby’s father works alongside Professor Einstein as an astrophysics professor and colleague. We see Nazi leaders woven into the mix, such as the infamous Nazi Minister of Propaganda, Joesph Goebbels. There are also many characters in the book who are based on real people from history, such as their family friends Baba and Uncle Hessie, who were based on colorful and socially connected people in history.
The ashes referred to in the title do not, thankfully, refer directly to the Holocaust, but rather to the burning books in the town square that were found to be objectionable. This included Einstein’s books of “Jewish physics” and other books written by Jewish authors or otherwise found to be controversial.
Sometimes it is the quiet acceptance of evil that is more powerful than the overtly hateful actions. We know the actions of the SA officers who are driven by anti-Semitism and how they affected history, but what about the house maid who quietly nods in agreement along with the hateful propaganda on the radio?
Although the details can be a bit slow at the start, this story of a family fighting against the grain is rich with detail and slowly leads to the historical horrors that are just around the bend.
Sharon Long
Teen Services Librarian