April 8, 2015

TAB CON at Dumbarton Library

by LisaTheLibrarian

tab con 15

Participation limited to 40 people. Register with your library card number here!

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March 31, 2015

(Super) Teen Poetry Contest

by MandyTheLibrarian

SuperTeenPoetryContest

Calling all teen poets!

Click here to submit up to two original poems about this year’s Summer Reading Club theme of Superheroes/Heroes.

Poetry submissions will be accepted April 1st to 30th through the online submission form. You can choose any poetry form you like–rhyming, haiku, free verse, iambic pentameter–you name it! Poems will be judged by a panel of librarians for creativity, interpretation of the theme, grammar and spelling, and overall writing quality.

Need some inspiration? Click here to read some examples of teen poetry on the topic of superheroes.*

Your super poem could win! Two middle and two high school winners, and one Teen Choice Award winner, will receive snazzy writing journals, and winning poems will be published online on this site!

*Courtesy of Power Poetry, “the world’s first and largest mobile poetry community for youth.”

April 18, 2015

Read + Review — Four: A Divergent Collection, by Veronica Roth

by MandyTheLibrarian

four

Tobias Eaton has been living in the Abnegation faction his entire life. But when he turns sixteen, he chooses otherwise. Joining Dauntless, the brave, he soon faces his fears, and learns to deal with all of them. Unfortunately, life isn’t so simple for our main man. Corruption seeps into the very core of the faction, and powers soon takes control of the shadows. When he (now called Four) meets the girl Beatrice (Tris), the veil is pierced with force. Who will come out on top? Who will survive? And more importantly, will Tobias finally find the truth of the factions?

I heard a lot of hate over this book, maybe because it wasn’t what people expected, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Deep at some points, funny in others, and the just right amount of action. Tobias Eaton maybe wasn’t the most expanded-on character in Divergent, so to hear everything from his perspective…well, it gave me a new perspective on the ever-growing world of Divergent. The one thing I didn’t like was how the plot moved, although it was consistent, it was kind of boring, not much new ideas, characters, or themes added for me.

I feel like one of the most memorable things in the book was the fears of Tobias (this is kind pf hard to explain without spoiling). I feel like it was a harsh slap to the face, followed by a mix of feels in which I hated and enjoyed at the same time.

Reviewed by David, Grade 6, Twin Hickory Area Library

0-five-stars2

April 18, 2015

Read + Review — How It Went Down, by Kekla Magoon

by MandyTheLibrarian

wentdown

The book takes place in the small suburb of Underhill, a part of town plagued by gangs and violence. The story begins with the shooting and killing of a 16 year old boy named Tariq Johnson, causing an uproar in the community. Tariq Johnson was black, but his killer, Jack Franklin, was white. The police had found Franklin soon after the shooting, but reports say he was released soon after, due to a plea of self-defense. People cry out, screaming of racial prejudice against African-Americans. Everyone’s saying different things about what happened, whether Tariq had a gun or if he didn’t, whether he was a gang member, or if he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The book is narrated by a myriad of people, such as Tyrell, Tom Arlen, Junior, Brick, Noodle, Jennica, Kimberly, and quite a few more, though I think it’d get a little repetitive if I kept going. Either way, the community only knows one thing; Tariq isn’t coming back.

I personally enjoyed this book quite a bit, mainly because of its many narrators, telling their story from their point of view, from what they saw and thought on the day Tariq was shot. Some people say one thing, but the next person you ask says something completely different, and you don’t know what’s true. Another thing that was truly great about this book was its unique writing style, a style that was just so descriptive about everything, even the most minute things. It immerses you in the book, and really makes you feel for the characters.

In my opinion, the most memorable moment in the book is when the whole neighborhood of Underhill organizes a hoodie march in remembrance of Tariq.

Reviewed by Ryan, Grade 6, Tuckahoe Area Library

0-five-stars2

April 18, 2015

Read + Review — I Am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai

by MandyTheLibrarian

i am malala

I Am Malala: the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot By the Taliban is about a young, determined girl’s fight against the brutal Taliban in Northern Pakistan, and their extremist views of taking away the right to women’s education. Yousafzai describes her everyday experiences with the militant group, and her near death experience after being shot in the head by the Taliban. With her family, Yousafzai watches as the Taliban slowly take over her hometown of Mingora. Unlike most school girls her age, she speaks out against the Taliban’s unjust beliefs, and grows support for her cause from all over the world. Her strong-willed personality and urge to attend school empowers the reader throughout the book.

From the minute I started reading this autobiography, I was hooked in and amused by the new things I learned about Pakistan and what life in Northern Pakistan is like as a girl my age. Being a teenager, even Yousafzai enjoys to watch normal teenage movies such as Twilight and TV shows like Ugly Betty. This aspect built a strong connection with me as a reader. Yousafzai’s character and personality is very pleasant, and I admire her fight to advocate the importance of attending school for both boys and girls all over the world. Her determination, courage, and peaceful traits inspire me to be my best every day! If you enjoy reading about inspiring humanitarians and like to explore other cultures, I highly recommend this book for you!

Malala Yousafzai’s horrific shooting was particularly disturbing. Yousafzai had been a target for a Taliban ever since she had been advocating the importance of girls’ education in a highly conservative society. Her work has inspired me to put forth more effort towards my education as an IB middle school student.

Reviewed by Riwa, Grade 6, Twin Hickory Area Library

0-five-stars

April 18, 2015

Read + Review — The Hangman’s Revolution (W.A.R.P. Book 2), by Eoin Colfer

by MandyTheLibrarian

hangmans

The second book in the W.A.R.P. series, begins back in the future. Though the future is ruled by a dictatorship known as the Boxite Empire, under who the familiar protagonist Chevron Savano is stuck. After a confrontation with the Thundercats (not actual cats), Chevron gets sent back in time to Victorian London before Box takes over it. Now Chevron must again work together with Riley, an assassin’s apprentice, and Otto Malarkey, leader of the Battering Rams, to stop Box.

I enjoyed the book and the characters that it brought back. The only problem I could come up with was the character development of a few certain characters, they either progress too quickly for me to grow any connection to who they are or they don’t progress and fade into obscurity. Other than that the book was solid with the amount of tension as the protagonists never seemed to have the upper hand. The setting was historical accurate considering that it is set in historian London. Overall, a fun and exciting read.

The best moment is near the beginning of the book, in which Riley displays his prowess of magic to the rowdy crowd of Rams while making his retreat but before he could, the future caught up to him.

Reviewed by Alsharief, Grade 11, Twin Hickory Area Library

0-four-stars1

April 18, 2015

Read + Review — Best Friends Through Eternity, by Sylvia McNicoll

by MandyTheLibrarian

bestfriends

Fourteen year old Paige is hit by a train when taking a shortcut home in order to avoid some bullies. While unconscious, a part of Paige travels to a realm between life and death where she encounter a long lost childhood friend, Kim. However, overwhelmed by unfinished responsibilities, Paige is determined to find a way back to her former life. This book shows Paige embarking on a journey of self discovery and cultural identity.

The concept of this book was interesting for it touched upon realistic issues in a surreal way. Although the book was short, the characters were beautifully developed and each had depth. The characters in this story were easy to relate to because they faced very common problems that the average teenager faces. Overall, the plot was engaging and also unpredictable.

Something memorable about the book was that the problems that the characters had to deal with were real and believable.

Reviewed by Bonnie, Grade 8, Twin Hickory Area Library

0-five-stars2

April 18, 2015

Read + Review — I Remember You, by Cathleen Davitt Bell

by MandyTheLibrarian

rememberyou

Juliet is an overachieving high school junior who has her life planned out for college and law school. On the other hand, Lucas, a senior, knows that he will enlist in the Marines, following the footsteps of his father and other relatives. Ever since their first meeting in Physics class, Lucas encounters feelings of déjà vu towards Juliet. He claims to have memories of their romance and that he have already experienced it. Initially, Juliet was skeptical of Lucas’s claims, but as the story progresses, Juliet realizes that his flashbacks will unravel the future of their blossoming relationship.

This book consists of a blend of romance and science fiction. In the beginning, the story was quite fast paced and the romance between Lucas and Juliet seemed a bit rushed. At times, it suffers from certain cliche scenes that are typical of the romance genre. However, the story becomes more exciting as it progresses and the ending was satisfying and well-written. This book is great for people who enjoy teen romance, angst, and a bit of science fiction.

This book was memorable in the way it was able to successfully capture the bittersweet feelings of a first love.

Reviewed by Bonnie, Grade 8, Twin Hickory Area Library

0-four-stars1

April 18, 2015

Read + Review — Fantasy League, by Mike Lupica

by MandyTheLibrarian

fantasyleage

This book was mainly about Charlie Gaines’ love for the game of football. Charlie strongly supports his favorite NFL team, the Los Angeles Bulldogs, and he develops a strong relationship with the owner of the Bulldogs, Joe Warren. The main issue in the book is when Charlie Gaines begins helping Joe Warren with player picks, and this causes discrepancies with the rest of the community. As Charlie’s relationship with the owner progresses, Charlie’s personality also seems to transform. He becomes increasingly egotistic, and this causes tensions with his best friend Anna Warren.

In my opinion, I believe the book was written wonderfully and I would definitely not mind reading again. As I examined the complicated relationship that Charlie and Anna Warren, Joe Warren’s granddaughter, seemed to develop, I noticed that the event is very similar in the real world as well. I also enjoyed how a young 12 year old such as Charlie Gaines could become such good friends with a 79 year old. This relationship proved to me that friendship has no age limit.

One memorable thing about the book was the passion that Charlie Gaines had for football. The way the book was written, it seemed as if Charlie was willing to give up anything to be involved with football.

Reviewed by Sampath, Grade 8, Twin Hickory Area Library

0-four-stars1

April 18, 2015

Read + Review — I Was Here by Gayle Forman

by MandyTheLibrarian

I was here

With a mother who worked at a bar and basically stayed the night at a different house every day, Cody spent most of the time with the Garcia family. That is, until she received an email from her dead best friend on how she poisoned herself. Meg Garcia, the same best friend she shared secrets with and thought of as a sister. Even so, Cody didn’t know everything about Meg. When she visited Meg’s college dorm to pack, she found an encrypted file containing secrets that Cody never knew until it became unlocked.

I liked the book a lot and would recommend it to those who enjoy drama as there are a lot of broken relationships and unknown stories in the book. It’s about grief and moving on in life. I wish there was more action. Furthermore, I really like how there aren’t many characters because once they are introduced, everything else really falls into place.

One memorable thing about this book is how Meg and Cody were not alike at all but were still extremely close friends.

Reviewed by Angela, Grade 8, Tuckahoe Area Library 

0-four-stars1

April 18, 2015

Read + Review — Hollow City, by Ransom Riggs

by MandyTheLibrarian

hollowcity

After the safe time loop Miss Peregrine created for her peculiar children is destroyed, the evil Wights and Hollowgasts swarm in to kill the children. The peculiar children must flee with Miss Peregrine, who is stuck in her bird form, to London. Along the way Jacob learns more and more about his peculiar friends and their special abilities. He also learns more about who he is, as a person, and a peculiar.

I thought Hollow City was a well written book with a lot of constant action and sudden fights. The entire book was about the children on the run, which made it very interesting in the beginning, but after so much action it started to run together. However, watching the characters develop on the journey and in their interactions with each other made the book very enjoyable. The characters become much deeper people and begin to become more important to the overall story.

The character development is incredibly important in the overall story and in Hollow City, it is definitely the most memorable thing about the book.

Reviewed by Silas, Grade 8, Glen Allen Library

0-three-stars

April 18, 2015

Read + Review — The Rule of Thoughts by James Dashner

by MandyTheLibrarian

The Rule of Thoughts by James Dashner

After Michael goes on an incredible adventure in They Eye of Minds, he’s back, except this time he’s on his own. The virtual world of the Sleep can be one of the best places on earth, however it can also be one of the most dangerous. Best friends Michael, Sarah, and Bryce have found this out the hard way. They embark on an adventure in the Sleep and reality to defeat the evil Kaine. He wants to use the mortality doctrine to populate the entire world with computer programs and he’s already begun.

I enjoyed how James Dashner built Sarah and Bryce up as they became bigger, more important characters. His surprises and sudden twists keep the reader on their toes. One of the best and worst parts of the book are the cliff hangers. Some are large, some are small, some are answered, and some are left hanging.

Any reader will always remember the exciting cliff hangers, they are the best part about the entire book.

Reviewed by Silas, Grade 8, Glen Allen Library

0-four-stars1

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