January 7, 2016

College Financial Aid Workshops–FAFSA Help

by AdrienneTheLibrarian

FAFSA imageFilling out the Federal Application for Free Student Aid (FAFSA) can be a challenge. We are offering help from experienced FAFSA advisers from the GReat Aspirations Scholarship Program (GRASP). Sign up now for a help session with a GRASP adviser at one of our libraries. You will get one-on-one help in a small group setting.

Libbie Mill Library
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
We have 18 spots at Libbie Mill, nine at 5pm and nine at 6:30pm. Call now to get your spot!

Registration begins December 12, 2015. For more information, call 290-9400 x6.


Fairfield Library

Wednesday, February 3, 2016
We have 20 spots at Fairfield, ten at 5pm and ten at 6:30pm. Call now to get your spot!

Registration begins January 4, 2016. Call 290-9330 for more information.

Twin Hickory Library
Thursday, February 11, 2016
We have 12 spots at Twin Hickory, six at 5pm and six at 6:30pm. Call now to get your spot!

Registration begins January 11, 2016. For more information, call 290-9200 x5.

Here’s what you need to bring to fill out the FAFSA:

  • Student’s & Parent’s Social Security Number.
  • Student’s driver’s license (if they have one).
  • Family’s current bank statements.
  • Student’s alien registration card (if not a U.S. citizen).
  • Student’s 2015 W-2 Forms (or 12/31/15 pay-stub) and any other records of money earned.
  • Student’s (& spouse’s, if applicable) 2015 Federal Income Tax Return, or most recent IRS Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ.
  • Parent’s 2015 Federal Income Tax Return (if student is dependent for federal aid purposes) or most recent tax return and 12/31/2015 pay stub.
  • Family’s 2015 untaxed income records – Social Security, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, or veteran’s benefits records.
    Note: If you have not filed your 2015 taxes yet, you can still fill out the FAFSA based on last years income and update it after taxes are filed. Not having filed taxes should not deter anyone from filing the FAFSA.
February 4, 2016

Read + Review — Stone Rider by David Hofmeyr

by PattyTheLibrarian

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Adam Stone lives in Blackwater, a community that is harsh and demanding. You either endured hours upon hours of hard labor, or rode a ‘Byke’ to make a living. All across the land, there are occasionally Byke races, races that will help you win a one-way ticket to Skybase, a seemingly wonderful land that watches over Blackwater and the rest of the land. Adam enters an annual Blackwater race wanting nothing more than to escape, and win the attention of Sadie Blood. The problem is that he has more to worry about than just making it out alive.

I enjoyed this novel- I really did. As I read, I was consistently paying attention to the characters, who are extremely well thought out. The rigorous and exciting mood in this book was stimulating, along with the author’s use of descriptive words and phrases. This gave me a clear, exciting video of the chapters playing in my head. It’s captivating how authors can write in such a way that you feel for the characters and feel present in scenes along the way.

I really enjoyed how the author practically invented this new world, and made it come alive on the pages of the novel. Not only did he describe the place, he gave it laws, customs, and even some new terms. I loved this book because as you anticipate the next time you will have a chance to read some, you are constantly thinking about what it would be like to live in that particular world, or in a place like it.

Reviewed by Lexi, Grade 6, Tuckahoe Library

0-four-stars1

February 4, 2016

Read + Review — Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan

by PattyTheLibrarian

Sword of Summer

In Rick Riordan’s newest novel, we are introduced to yet another demigod hero, Magnus Chase. Ever since his mom passed away, Magnus Chase has been a homeless, unkempt orphan who is surviving on the streets of Boston, Massachusetts. Although he has friends and allies, like fellow homeless vagabonds, he does have enemies. And when Magnus discovers his connection to Norse Gods, he realizes that he has more than ever.

Magnus Chase is yet another one of Rick’s captivating mythological books. When you read this book, there is no denying that his carefree, sarcastic characters are funny and unique throughout the story. I find it fascinating how someone can stir up such an entertaining yet educational story in their head, but it seems as though that is the author’s second nature. The only thing that bothers me about Magnus Chase is that if you have read his previous novels, you would see an obvious similarity between the two, and now there is practically a stereotype for ‘demigod hero’ and some of the other minor (and major) characters. But overall, I really enjoyed reading Magnus Chase.

I can’t help but love how Magnus Chase is fictional and educational at the same time. You can enjoy a playful, entertaining story and learn quite a bit about Norse mythology as you do it. And who knows- you may need to know that information someday!

si-s-three-star-md

Reviewed by Lexi, Grade 6, Tuckahoe Library

February 3, 2016

Read + Review — The Art of the Possible: An Everyday Guide to Politics by Edward Keenan

by AmandaTheLibrarian

The Art of PossibleThis book is overloaded with interesting facts about society. The book is centered around three questions: What is politics, what role do we play in politics and how does society solve its problems? It tells about influential people that affected society such as Malala Yousfzai, Zhan Haite, Kelvin Doe, Jane Jacobs and Mary-Pat Hector. In addition, the book gives information about types of government, power, conflict, authority and how society speaks out against its problems. Edward Keenan covers all topics related to society, government and types of politicians.

The book taught me a lot about politics. I learned how work and thought goes in to creating and running a successful government. Before I read the book, and my parents turned on the news, I was utterly confused and dumbfounded by the vocabulary. I thought they were speaking another language. After I read the book, I started to understand the news. Moreover, I am now interested in the news. I also learned how people react to political decisions or ideas.

Because I read the book, I will always remember that I have a large role in society, no matter how old I am. I will always remember how many people tried to alter the government.  Some succeeded, yet some failed.  People tried to change the government for many different reasons.

0-five-stars2

Reviewed by Saarthak, Grade 6, Twin Hickory Area Library.

February 2, 2016

College Financial Aid Workshops–FAFSA Help

by AdrienneTheLibrarian

FAFSA imageFilling out the Federal Application for Free Student Aid (FAFSA) can be a challenge. We are offering help from experienced FAFSA advisers from the GReat Aspirations Scholarship Program (GRASP). Sign up now for a help session with a GRASP adviser at one of our libraries. You will get one-on-one help in a small group setting.

Fairfield Library

Wednesday, February 3, 2016
We have 20 spots at Fairfield, ten at 5pm and ten at 6:30pm. Call now to get your spot!

Registration begins January 4, 2016. Call 290-9330 for more information.

Twin Hickory Library
Thursday, February 11, 2016
We have 12 spots at Twin Hickory, six at 5pm and six at 6:30pm. Call now to get your spot!

Registration begins January 11, 2016. For more information, call 290-9200 x5.

Here’s what you need to bring to fill out the FAFSA:

  • Student’s & Parent’s Social Security Number.
  • Student’s driver’s license (if they have one).
  • Family’s current bank statements.
  • Student’s alien registration card (if not a U.S. citizen).
  • Student’s 2015 W-2 Forms (or 12/31/15 pay-stub) and any other records of money earned.
  • Student’s (& spouse’s, if applicable) 2015 Federal Income Tax Return, or most recent IRS Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ.
  • Parent’s 2015 Federal Income Tax Return (if student is dependent for federal aid purposes) or most recent tax return and 12/31/2015 pay stub.
  • Family’s 2015 untaxed income records – Social Security, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, or veteran’s benefits records.
    Note: If you have not filed your 2015 taxes yet, you can still fill out the FAFSA based on last years income and update it after taxes are filed. Not having filed taxes should not deter anyone from filing the FAFSA.
February 1, 2016

Read + Review — Soundless by Richelle Mead

by AmandaTheLibrarian

SoundlessSoundless is an exciting story about Fei, a young lady who has lived her entire life in an unfair community that is suspended on a tall cliff top. All of the people that live in her village are stone deaf, and their remaining senses are beginning to fail. Not to mention that the mainland has been starting to send them less and less food since their people’s vision is weakening. But when Fei takes action, everything changes.

This book has lots of elements that make it spectacular- characters, romance, and a unique perspective of the world. The author is smart about her choice of words, and you can easily imagine the scenes play in your mind. It never seizes to amaze me how a couple thin pages can make fantasy seem so realistic. All it needs is a bit more excitement.

I have never really thought about how it must feel for people who lack senses like sight and hearing. This book gave me a new perspective of which I could think about the world. Now, I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to live without my senses.

0-four-stars1
Reviewed by Lexi, Grade 6, Tuckahoe Area Library

February 1, 2016

Read + Review — Information Insecurity: Privacy Under Siege by Brendan January

by AmandaTheLibrarian

Information InsecurityInformation Insecurity is a non-fiction book about the violation of privacy online in the 21st century. It gives examples of cases where a person’s private life, however innocent, has been wrongly intruded upon. It explains who intrudes the lives of others, from advertisers to tech companies to even our government. The book also educates others on how they gather our information, what they gather, and how to avoid having their information gathered.

I enjoyed the thoroughness of the book, in the sense that it left no information out. It had all the specific cases, quotes from large public figures in the tech world, and solid explanations. It creates good future references for the reader. One thing I did not like about this book, was the fact that I didn’t end up agreeing with too many of the points. While it tried to be, it simply wasn’t very convincing. With all of this in mind, I enjoyed the book overall because of how informative it was.

The most memorable part of this book was how it shared both sides of the discussion about Edward Snowden. The government was mainly against him, because they viewed his poor discretion of NSA habits as treason. However, the community believed he shed light onto many of the privacy issues in the 21st century with documents to support it. The book did a fantastic job of reviewing this topic.

0-four-stars1
Reviewed by Varun, Grade 7, Twin Hickory Area Library

February 1, 2016

Read + Review — Daniel X: Lights Out by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

by AmandaTheLibrarian

Daniel X Lights OutDaniel X appears to be a normal teenager, but he really isn’t. He has the ability to use his mind to create things. Daniel X has been hunting aliens most of his life. Aided by his power to create anything he can think of, he’s fought his way up the list of the galaxy’s most wanted aliens. But even after all of this fighting, there remains one alien, and this is the toughest one, the Prayer. The Prayer was the alien that ruined Daniel’s life when his whole family was murdered. And since the Prayer is considered a god, Daniel is the only one that can stop him, and he has to do it without his powers.

I enjoyed most things about the book. It combined several things that I enjoy reading about and described them in an eye-catching way. I actually disliked the main character throughout the book, but the book was still a good one to read. The reason I did not like him is that he relied so heavily on his powers, which made him seem weak without them. The writing style was very good, as James Patterson is an excellent author. The included humor and sarcasm throughout the book also made it very appealing to the eye.

The most memorable thing about the book was actually in the first 100 pages, and that was when Daniel lost his powers. This event in the book stood out to me because it combined sarcasm and drama. It was also described in great detail so it made it even more enjoyable to read.

four stars
Reviewed by Abhinav, Grade 8, Gayton Branch Library

February 1, 2016

Crush the SAT, ACT or PSAT Test! Free Practice Tests @ Your Library

by AdrienneTheLibrarian
SAT image  We have a bunch of SAT, ACT & PSAT Practice Test days coming up! All practice tests are administered by the Princeton Review. After the test, a representative of the Princeton Review will return to the library (about 1-2 weeks later) to pass out results and give tips on taking the test. To sign up for a any of these Practice Tests, please register for the test with the Princeton Review (put in your zip code and the correct date to find the test at your library). There is limited seating for each test.

Fairfield Library

Saturday, March 19, 2016; 10:00am-2:00pm, PSAT Practice Exam
Thursday, April 07, 2016; 6:30pm, PSAT Practice Exam Review

Call 290-9330 for more information.

Glen Allen Library
Saturday, March 12, 2016; 1:00pm-5:00pm, SAT Practice Exam

Wednesday, March 23, 2016; 7pm, SAT Practice Exam Review

For more information call 290-9500.


Libbie Mill Library

Saturday, February 06, 2016; ACT Practice Exam
Monday, February 22, 2016; 7pm, ACT Practice Exam Review

Tuckahoe Library
Saturday, March 19, 2016; 9:00am-1:00pm, SAT Practice Exam
Wednesday, March 30, 2016; 6:30pm, SAT Practice Exam Review

Call 290-9130 for more information.


Twin Hickory Library

Saturday, February 13, 2016; 10:00am-2:00pm, SAT Practice Exam

Thursday, February 25, 2016; 6pm, SAT Practice Exam Review

Saturday, April 02, 2016; 10:00am-2:00pm ACT Practice Exam

Wednesday, April 13, 2016; 6pm, ACT Practice Exam Review

For more information, call 290-9200 x5.


If you can’t attend any of the practice tests, we have another way for you to prep for the SAT (and other tests). We offer a free online prep site called Learning Express Library as well as a ton of study guides in book-form. All you will need to access the site or check out a study guide is your library card number!

Good luck!
January 30, 2016

Read + Review: Moth Flight’s Vision by Erin Hunter

by AmandaTheLibrarian

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This book was about the origins of medicine cats and the foundations of the clans. Following the story of the first medicine cat, Moth Flight, Hunter tells the story about how some of the Clan’s traditions came into place. Set in the forest long before the Prophecies Begin series, this book contains SkyClan as one of the forest clans. Main characters include Moth Flight, the farm cat Micah, and such ancestral cats as Cloud Spots and Dappled Pelt.

Much as I appreciated the book, I found that having read some of the previous stories to be helpful. While nothing in “Moth Flight’s Vision” required extreme explanation, subtleties and nuances crop up throughout the novel that could be appreciated better with better knowledge. Also, the past-tense, third-person writing style distances the reader from the narrator, which rankles me. However, if one judges a book by the ink marks on paper, one would never learn the stories. I did find the story a pleasurable read, even if the writing style felt stale.

My favorite part of the book is that, though you have an idea where the plot is going, it still feels surprising whence read. I feel that there is no scene that I can write about, for fear of spoiling the novel, even though I know that intuitive readers will know exactly where the story will go. I must admit, I relish this feeling of secrecy.

0-four-stars1
Reviewed by Addie, Grade 9, Libbie Mill Library

January 30, 2016

Read + Review — Telling Tales: Writing Captivating Short Stories by Rebecca Langston-George

by AmandaTheLibrarian

Telling Tales

The book is a great guide for someone who wants to write a short story. There is an in-depth explanation for each component of a short story. There is information about inspiration, setting, plot, conflict, characters, point of view, theme, foreshadowing, plot twists and figurative language. All of these things were thoroughly discussed in the book. There was also descriptions of famous authors of short stories. Some were Rudyard Kipling, Ray Bradlury, Jack London and Sandra Cisneros. The book gave many helpful tips to writing captivating short stories.

The book was interesting even though it wasn’t a story. When I was reading the book, I was encouraged to grab a pen and paper many times throughout the book. The book gave me plenty of ideas and topics as I read it. Rebecca Langston-George gave examples of famous short stories that went hand in hand with the current topic. After I finished this book, I was very confident that I could write a short story.

The author used the word, inspire, so many times it is stuck in my head. She showed that good short stories only come from inspiration.
0-four-stars1
Reviewed by Saarthak, Grade 6, Twin Hickory Area Library

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