Archive for January 31, 2016

Teen Volunteers Wanted for February Programs

We are looking for teen volunteers for the following programs during February break.

*Please note there is limited registration for Candyland and Tech Buddies.

Maker Buddies

Tech Buddies

Candy Land Helpers






LEGO Mindstorm Coding Program

Teens had fun assembling and coding robots in the LEGO Mindstorms coding program. Using LEGO Mindstorms coding software on the computers, teens were able to code the robots to move and recognize color.




Lucybot completed

Lucybot travels around the moon and back to earth

Lucybot moon



Martin Luther King, Jr. Day -(January 18, 2016)

martin luther kingMartin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968)



Today we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. King, a chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day  is a federal holiday and is always observed the third Monday in January.

Here is some literature about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement.


march book one

A first-hand account of the author’s lifelong struggle for civil and human rights spans his youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., and the birth of the Nashville Student Movement.


I see the promised land

Describes the apartheid South in Martin Luther King’s time, which in many ways was not very different from the early days of slavery, with descriptions of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the formation of civil rights groups, and mass movements against segregation.


Chronicles the life of the civil rights leader from his recovery from a knife attack, to the controversy in Birmingham, to the March on Washington.

time to break silence

Presents Martin Luther King, Jr.’s most important writings and speeches—carefully selected by educators across a variety of disciplines—in an accessible, user-friendly volume that includes 19 selections, with an introduction by the award-winning author who is also serving as the Library of Congress National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.





New Teens Books for 2016

2016 is here, which means a year of exciting new book releases. These titles will be available this upcoming year at the library. Check out a few of these titles coming soon!


Release Date: January

Abducted by aliens periodically throughout his youth, Henry is informed by his erstwhile captors that they will end the world in 144 days unless he stops them by deciding that humanity is worth saving. By the author of The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley.

This is where it ends

Release Date: January

Minutes after the principal of Opportunity High School in Alabama finishes her speech welcoming the student body to a new semester, they discover that the auditorium doors will not open and someone starts shooting as four teens, each with a personal reason to fear the shooter, tell the tale from separate perspectives.

Riders Veronica Rossi

Release Date: February

Riders. A new fantasy adventure from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Veronica Rossi.Now–bound, bloodied, and drugged–Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he’s fallen for–not to mention all of humankind–he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger

But will anyone believe him?


Shadow Queen

Release Date: February

A dark epic fantasy inspired by the tale of Snow White, from C. J. Redwine, the author of the Defiance series. Perfect for fans ofA Court of Thorns and Roses and Cinder.




American Library Association’s 2016 youth media award winners

On January 11, the American Library Association announced the top books for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, King, Newbery, Schneider Family and Printz awards.
For the full list of winners, please go here:

American Library Association Youth Media Award Winners 2016

The following is a list of all ALA Teen Awards for 2016:
Michael L. Printz Award (for excellence in literature written for young adults):
bone gap
Bone Gap, written by Laura Ruby, is the 2016 Printz Award winner.
Two Printz Honor Books were named:

Out of Darkness, by Ashley Hope Perez

The Ghosts of Heaven, by Marcus Sedgwick
Coretta Scott King Book Award (recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults):

Gone Crazy in Alabama, written by Rita Williams-Garcia, is the King Author Book winner.
Three King Honor Books were selected:
All American Boys, by (our friend!) Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

all american

The Boy in the Black Suit, by Jason Reynolds (yay! again, what a year for him!)

X: A Novel, by Ilyasah Shabazz with Kekla Magoon

Schneider Family Book Award (for books that embody the artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences):
Fish in a Tree, written by Lynda Mullaly Hunt  and The War that Saved My Life, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley are the winners in the Middle School category (ages 11-13).
The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B, written by Teresa Toten is the winner in the teen category (ages 13-18).
Pura Belpre Award (honoring Latino authors and illustrators whose work best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in children’s books):
Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir, written by Margarita Engle is the winner of the 2016 Belpre Author Award.

Alex Awards (for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences):
All Involved, by Ryan Gattis

Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Bones & All, by Camille DeAngelis

Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits, by David Wong

Girl at War, by Sara Novic

Half the World, by Joe Abercrombie

Humans of New York: Stories, by Brandon Stanton

Sacred Heart, by Liz Suburbia

Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League, by Dan-el Padilla Peralta

The Unraveling of Mercy Louis, by Keija Parssinen
YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults.

Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War, written by Steve Sheinkin, is the 2016 Excellence winner.

Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults:

David Levithan is the 2016 Edwards Award winner. His books include: “The Realm of Possibility,” “Boy Meets Boy,” “Love is the Higher Law,” “How They Met, and Other Stories,” “Wide Awake” and “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist,”
An annotated booklist will be available in TeenSpace shortly.
Sharon Long
Head of Teen Services

Best YA books of 2015 part 2

Okay, more of the best from last year, in my humble opinion.

Walk on Earth a stranger by Rae Carson.

walk on earth

“Lee Westfall, a young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold, must flee her home to avoid people who would abuse her powers, so when her best friend Jefferson heads out across Gold Rush-era America to stake his claim, she disguises herself as a boy and sets out on her own dangerous journey.”

This was a page-turner for me.  There is a little bit of magic in this otherwise very accurate historical fiction, which felt very original.

Edgewater by Courtney Sheinmel.


“Lorrie Hollander lives with her unstable aunt Gigi in a decrepit eyesore of a mansion called Edgewater, but when Charlie, the son of an esteemed senator, takes an interest in Lorrie she is ashamed of her lifestyle until she learns Charlie’s family is hiding something too, and that their secrets are inextricably tied.”

This book was pretty much the modern version of Grey Gardens (which, by the way, you need to watch if you haven’t. It’s this documentary about Jackie O’s crazy cousin and aunt who lived in a mansion in the Hamptons and let it fall into ruin. The outfits alone are divine.)  So, yeah. Loved it.

More happy than not by Adam Silvera.

more happy

“After enduring his father’s suicide, his own suicide attempt, broken friendships, and more in the Bronx projects, Aaron Soto, sixteen, is already considering the Leteo Institute’s memory-alteration procedure when his new friendship with Thomas turns to unrequited love.”

It’s like the plot from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but for teens, and set in the Bronx.  Ice mix or urban fiction and sci-fi.

All American boys by Jason Reynolds, Brendan Kiely.all american

“When sixteen-year-old Rashad is mistakenly accused of stealing, classmate Quinn witnesses his brutal beating at the hands of a police officer who happens to be the older brother of his best friend. Told through Rashad and Quinn’s alternating viewpoints.”

This is powerful, contemporary urban fiction by the most interesting young author to watch this year, Jason Reynolds.  We met him in December and he is so inspiring in person, but his words jump off the page as well.  Read this book if you want a realistic portrayal of both sides of the Black Lives Matter discussion.

The Awesome by Eva Darrows.

the awesome

“Maggie Cunningham, who wants to enter in the family business of monster hunting, can’t get her license until she loses her virginity, but finding a normal boy proves to be more difficult than she thought.”

I know, sounds crazy, but got many starred reviews.  The cover alone gets you an extra star.  Also, and you can’t see this from the picture, but the edge of the book is black and looks so cool with that crazy neon cover. Okay, the book.  It’s like a mother-daughter Ghostbusters, and yes, my pop-culture references are all dated here, but they are making an all-female reboot of Ghostbusters this year, so it’s still relevant.  Great action, humor for days, and lol moments throughout, try it.

Homemade Candy Bars

Candy Bars

Favorite YA books of 2015, part 1

Hi and Happy New Year!

Here is a list of my favorite YA books from this past year.  I hope you find something to enjoy on these long winter nights (maybe even a snowy night if it ever snows…)

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby.

bone gap

“Eighteen-year-old Finn, an outsider in his quiet Midwestern town, is the only witness to the abduction of town favorite Roza, but his inability to distinguish between faces makes it difficult for him to help with the investigation, and subjects him to even more ridicule and bullying.”

Loved the magical realism elements and the romance, which was well done.

Challenger deep by Neal Shusterman ; illustrations by Brendan Shusterman.

challenger deep

“A teenage boy struggles with schizophrenia. A brilliant but troubled high school student pretends to engage in sports activities and uses his artistic talents to document his voyage to the world’s most southern point while his friends observe his increasingly unbalanced behavior.:

A beautiful, haunting and accurate depiction of living with mental illness.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens agenda by Becky Albertalli.

simon vs

“Sixteen-year-old, not-so-openly-gay Simon Spier is blackmailed into playing wingman for his classmate or else his sexual identity and that of his pen pal will be revealed”

Simon was a well-written character and this novel stood out as a realistic fiction gem among a sea of stranger titles.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson.


“Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are. But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.”

Let’s hear it for a complicated, deep, and well-drawn female villain character!

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt.

orbiting jupiter

“Jack, 12, tells the gripping story of Joseph, 14, who joins his family as a foster child. Damaged in prison, Joseph wants nothing more than to find his baby daughter, Jupiter, whom he has never seen. When Joseph has begun to believe he’ll have a future, he is confronted by demons from his past that force a tragic sacrifice.”

Do you want your heart broken by a novel?  Good; read this.

Okay, more books to follow!

Have a Happy New Year!

Sharon Long

Head of Teen Services