May 22, 2015

West End TAB wants you to join the Summer Reading Club!

by MandyTheLibrarian

Watch the West End TAB’s video to promote the Summer Reading Club. The theme for this year is Every Hero Has a Story. You can be the hero of your very own reading adventure and win prizes by participating in the Summer Reading Club from June 1st through August 31st.

Click here to find out more!

May 18, 2015

(Super) Teen Poetry Contest Winners!

by MandyTheLibrarian

contest winners

Thanks to everyone who submitted poems to the (Super) Teen Poetry Contest.

Here are your winners!

Eyes Closed

by Julia G., 9th Grade, Gayton Library, High School Winner
Shut eyes,
I stand above a grand city,
The darkness is my shroud.
I am feared, I am loved,
I am the protector, I am the night.
Leaping across rooftops, stopping crime.
The sun rises, painting colors around the edges of the sky.
Night has ended, I am finished.
And now who am I.
My eyes open to light and I know,
I am a girl, with a comic book in hand.
But when I close my eyes and enter the dark,
I am much more.


Not a Hero

by Gracyn G., 10th Grade, Twin Hickory Area Library, High School Winner
I am not a hero
Never will I accept that
I have actually done good and
I have helped people
Even in the smallest ways
I’ve come to realize that
I thought I could never change someone
(Now read backwards)



by Katie T., 7th Grade, Twin Hickory Area Library, Middle School Winner
I was alone in the depths of my own mind
Remembering things that I tried so hard to forget
Lost in the sea of society
Never understanding why life had to be so unforgiving
If happiness was that hard to find
Was it really worth it?

I was ready to leave my life behind, ready for my sorrows to fade away
Just as I would
Living contently seemed so easy to so many
But to me, simply wanting to live at all
Was a challenge I faced each and every day, and I was done.

Ready to say goodbye,
I scribbled a note to anyone who would find it
But then he came; he came to me
And caught the tears escaping from my eyes.

He listened to me, like no one ever did
He heard my misery and understood, like no one ever could
He held my hand; he saved me.

The breath I thought would be my last, he made only the beginning
Of a new life filled with joy and happiness
My worries drifted away, along with my past.

He is the only reason I still breath today, the only reason I still smile
The way he understood, the way he stayed no matter what
Kept me alive.
He will always be my hero.


My Heroes

by Andion D., 7th Grade, Twin Hickory Area Library, Middle School Winner
My heroes wear no capes;
Though in my mind they fly,
Their favorite outfit flutters,
Whenever a breeze blows by.

My heroes have no powers;
They cannot shoot lasers nor fire,
Though when they speak they save lives,
While mine and yours are inspired.

They understand my feelings,
Though sometimes they make me weep.
They take away my nightmares,
So I can go to sleep.

My heroes also have villains,
But they are protected by me.
When flames threaten to scorch their tongue,
I’ll drown the fire with the sea.

I have my heroes, and you have yours,
Each one is different in looks.
But they’re our Superman; they’re our savior,
These wonders we know as books.


A Mighty Human Hero

by Ella M., 6th Grade, Tuckahoe Area Library, Teen Choice Award Winner
A mighty human
Soaring through the air
Saving the citizens
Defeating all villains.

Our guardian rises, never defeated.
Against all odds,
Our hero never surrenders,
Never fails.

May 12, 2015

Read + Review — Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story by David Levithan

by AmandaTheLibrarian

Hold me CloserHold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story is a companion novel to the book Will Grayson, Will Grayson, written by John Green and David Levithan. This book is the musical that Tiny Cooper, one of the characters in Will Grayson, Will Grayson, wrote. Tiny Cooper is gay, and unlike his name, he has a huge body. Some of the other main characters are Phil Wrayson, his best friend, and Will Grayson, Tiny’s boyfriend. Most of the story takes place at Tiny’s school, as well as other places around his town. In his musical, Tiny shows the audience his past, his experiences, his friendships, his boyfriends, and most importantly, his love.

This book was funny, entertaining, and thought provoking. There were many references to musicals, books, and movies that made me laugh. Also, the book made me relate to Tiny Cooper a lot more because of how it was written as if he had wrote the book. Also, I really enjoyed the format of the book. After I finished reading it, I felt like I had just seen the musical and had seen the actors on the stage, heard all their lines, and sung all the songs.

For me, the most memorable part about the story was how Tiny talked about love. Many quotes from the book I found to be very true, and I could really relate to them.

Reviewed by Katie, Grade 8, Tuckahoe Area Library

May 12, 2015

Read + Review — The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer

by AmandaTheLibrarian

cemetery boysThe book was about a boy, Stephen, who moves to small town Spencer. Spencer is where his Dad grew up and in the tiny town he meets the twins: Cara and Devon. Devon and his group of friends hang out in a cemetery at night that they call the playground. Devon is very charismatic so Stephen trusts him very much. As the summer goes on Devon and his group of friends get Stephen into increasingly mischievous activities which causes Stephen to question his choice of friend group.

I thought the book was very good. I liked the way that the author used the elements of horror in this book to make it a little funny. The humor was a good release from the other scary things that were happening in the book. I also liked how she made Devon very charismatic and trustworthy so it made it believable when Stephen became friends with him so quickly and trusted him so much in such a short period of time.

The most memorable thing, for me was that it all happened in such a small town, just the kind of place you would expect there to be some crazy people.

Reviewed by Zach, Grade 8, Twin Hickory Area Library

May 11, 2015

Read + Review — Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz

by AmandaTheLibrarian

prisoner b-3087This is a true story of Jack Gruener, or Yanek Gruener, who survived the Holocaust. Germany had just annexed Austria and Czechoslovakia, and they set their eyes on Poland. After Germany annexed Poland, life for Jack changed. Death plagued him at all sides, and he thought to himself, “when is it my turn to die?”

I think this is a very well written book describing Jack Gruener’s hardships during the Holocaust. There was not really anything I disliked in this book. I really liked how the editor added some fiction into this book. Overall, I really liked this book and the emotions it inflicted on me.

A memorable thing was the way the story was told.

Reviewed by Jerry, Grade 6, Tuckahoe Area Library


May 11, 2015

Read + Review — Legends: The Best Players, Games, and Teams in Baseball by Howard Bryant

by AmandaTheLibrarian

LegendsThis book was very informative about the history of baseball. It tells about some of the best players of all time and their achievements in the game. The players included in this book are Willie Mays, Sammy Sosa, and Ricky Henderson. All of these athletes were exceptional ball players. Sammy Sosa is the only one of these players to not be inducted into the Hall of Fame because of steroid use.

The author, Howard Bryant, used an exceptional ability to tell stories, great players, and their career’s to make this spectacular novel. He used some of the most interesting characters in the game and some of the best rivalries in baseball to make this a truly great read. I really did not have many dislikes in this book considering that I am a huge fan of baseball. I especially enjoyed the inclusion, of what he considers the best games of all time, this really made me enjoy the book more and it made it more knowledgeable.

The most memorable thing for me in this book was how he had some of the most memorable nicknames ever in baseball and it shows his extreme knowledge of the game.

Reviewed by Zach, Grade 8, Twin Hickory Area Library

May 11, 2015

Read + Review — Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

by AmandaTheLibrarian

gathering blueGathering Blue is the second book in The Giver Quartet. Kira is a part of a village that wants her dead. She has an injured leg and can’t work properly, but she soon discovers that she has a special talent that could save her life.  Kira, along with her friends Matt and Thomas, try and uncover the mysterious secrets of their home.

Gathering Blue kept my attention and made me eager to find out what happened next. Why I especially loved the book was because I kept trying to figure out how it connected to the first book in the series, The Giver. The book seemed to end very suddenly without a complete resolution, but because there are other books in the series, I think that everything will later be explained.  Also, this book brought up some thought provoking themes while I was reading it, such as how society may change in the future and how others are judged based on how useful they can be to society.

What I found most memorable in this book is how Kira’s society compares to ours, and how it compared to the one in The Giver.

Reviewed by Katie, Grade 8, Tuckahoe Area Library

May 9, 2015

Read + Review — Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

by AmandaTheLibrarian

gathering blueKira is an orphaned girl who was born with a deformed leg. She must learn to live in a society that would normally leave the weak and crippled to die by the hands of “The Beasts,” dangerous creatures capable of killing a grown man. Luckily, Kira was saved from such a fate by a friend of her dead father. This friend argues with those who would leave her to “The Beasts” by telling them of Kira’s incredible skill in embroidery. To survive, she must use her skill to create a robe for the singer of an annual gathering ceremony. Later on, Kira makes friends with a young, orphaned boy named Matt. Matt possess amazing skills in wood work, and he’s job is to create the staff that the singer will be holding at the annual gathering. However, on the gathering day, Kira learns the truth behind her job, and the truth is enough to change everything.

This story was extremely entertaining in my opinion. It was full of secrets and big surprises that blew my mind. Lois Lowry is a great author with more talent in writing than Kira had in embroidery. Her book was full of suspense and impossible to put down.

One thing I learned from this story is that people have different talents. It’s true that Kira was deformed and crippled, but she had an incredible talent that kept her alive. So even if someone might not be good at one thing, there is always something they are good at.

Reviewed by Shivesh, Grade 7, Twin Hickory Area Library

May 9, 2015

Read + Review — Game Seven by Paul Volponi

by AmandaTheLibrarian

Game SevenThis is a story of how baseball changed a young man’s life forever. Julio Ramirez Jr.’s father is a pitcher for the Miami Marlins and this has caused his own baseball prowess to be over shadowed by that of his father. His dream for years has been to play baseball for the Cuban national team, but his father fleeing for Cuba might destroy any chance he had at playing for his home nation. This story is set in Cuba for most of the book.

I really enjoyed this book. I liked how it was mostly about baseball. The fact that it was about baseball did not overshadow the fact that other things were going on in the book also, and that made it a lot more enjoyable. I also liked how things in this book actually happen in real life. For example, aspiring baseball players actually do have to flee Cuba to have a shot in the big leagues.

The most memorable thing in this book, for me was the incorporation of things that can and do happen in real life and fictional aspects of the book.

Reviewed by Zach, Grade 8, Twin Hickory Area Library


May 9, 2015

Read + Review — Allegiant by Veronica Roth

by AmandaTheLibrarian


Tris Prior lives in what use to be Chicago. She is also Divergent, which means she doesn’t only belong to one specific faction, which is how her government divided and controlled the people. In the previous book of the series, Insurgent, Edith Prior explains in a video the truth about the factions and how they must go outside of the city. Tris, along with her love interest, Four, and her friends, venture outside of their home to discover the truth about being Divergent.

This book was exciting and filled with action. I wanted to discover the truth about the society that Tris lived in and why people were Divergent. It was great to finally get some answers. Allegiant was a great conclusion to the Divergent series.

I loved seeing how Tris and Four’s relationship would unfold.

Reviewed by Katie, Grade 8, Tuckahoe Area Library


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