Read + Review is Back!

Happy first week of school everyone!  Read + Review is now open – so you can start earning community service hours for submitting your reviews of our New YA books. You can earn up to two credit hours for each review, up to ten hours a semester. Check out our website for the latest reviews!

Visit our Read + Review page to learn more, and check out our handy guide to getting awarded the maximum two hours service credit for your reviews below.

Best wishes for an excellent school year, and happy reading from your HCPL Teen Librarians!

Read Review Infographic

Teen Summer Songwriting Challenge

Teen Summer Songwriting Challenge

In celebration of our music themed Summer Reading Club, we will be featuring a series of songwriting challenges over the next month and a half. All aspiring teen songwriters are encouraged to get creative and participate.

Each week from June 18 to July 23, we will introduce a different musical genre. We will give a little background history of the genre and its Virginia roots. We will then provide you a writing prompt and you will have a week to submit a song (no more than 300 words).

All songs submitted must be the original work of the person who is submitting. That means they need to be written in your own words; do not plagiarize.

The winner will receive a songwriting book appropriate for that week’s theme.

Check in with us during the next six Mondays to learn about and enter the weekly challenge. The winner will be announced the following Monday.

Featured genres will include:

  1. June 18 – Pop / Rock
  2. June 25 – Blues / R&B
  3. July 2 – Country
  4. July 9- Hip Hop
  5. July 16 – Punk
  6. July 23 – Your Choice – Enter here for this week’s challenge

And don’t forget to stop by your local library and sign up for the Summer Reading Club. Make sure you register in time to get one of our HCPL custom kazoos! Available while supplies last.



Henrico County Public Library Presents: LibraryCon 2018 @ the Twin Hickory Library

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Like comics? Do you have a favorite fandom? Like to read? Do you like to dress up as your favorite character? If you answered yes to any of those question, then you will want to go to Henrico County’s LibraryCon that is happening June 30th from 1-5 PM at the Twin Hickory Library! (5001 Twin Hickory Road, Glen Allen, VA 23059).

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There are going to be events for all ages! Including an all ages costume contest, green screen photo booth, door prizes, teen gaming, anime screenings, karaoke,  and Harry Potter and Star Wars themed escape rooms! There will also be local vendors you can buy comics and fan gear from. Plus there will be a special appearance from local storm trooper squad, the 501st Legion. You are not going to want to miss this event! For more info call the Twin Hickory Library at 804-501-1920, or ask your teen librarian! Check back here or at for more info leading up to the event.

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Read + Review is Back!

Happy first week of school everyone!  The first day of school is also the first day of Read + Review – so you can start earning community service hours for submitting your reviews of our New YA books.

Visit our Read + Review page to learn more, and check out our handy guide to getting awarded the maximum two hours service credit for your reviews below.

Happy reading from your HCPL Teen Librarians!

Read Review Infographic

Read + Review: The Disappearance of Sloane Sullivan by Gia Cribbs


Sloane Sullivan has been nineteen different people in nineteen different places in the span of six years, so starting at a new high school nine weeks before the end of senior year shouldn’t be a problem… right? Except this time, it’s different. Ever since she entered WITSEC as a child after both her parents died, it has just been Sloane (at least, that’s what she’s called now) and Mark, her agent and might-as-well-be older brother, on the run from her past. No one really seems to know exactly what happened to trigger this turn of events, and even Sloane doesn’t remember it. All she knows are the countless survival and self-protection skills Mark has taught her over the years. Because all is not always as it seems, and Sloane may have to face the possibility that the life she’s been living for the past six years just might be a lie. As everything she thought she knew is questioned, Sloane must find a way to uncover the truth… and stay alive.

I picked this book up hoping for a good mystery, and it absolutely blew me away! The Disappearance of Sloane Sullivan is Gia Cribbs’s first and only novel, and it is everything you’re expecting and more! The author has a fantastic writing style, with flawlessly executed twists and turns, a fast-paced story line, and just the right amount of description. The characters are all thoroughly developed, and she captures them well. Cribbs also writes with such emotion that we want to cry and laugh with the characters themselves! There were a number of \unexplained questions throughout the book, but the author did a nice job of rounding it all out in the resolution. Although, there was never a lack of heart-stopping surprises and bewildering discoveries.

I loved the way the author seamlessly intertwined a familiar high school coming-of-age story with a mystery of this magnitude. With just a touch of romance, humor, and more then a little excitement and danger, she delivered a realistic novel that surpasses any other thriller I’ve read!


Reviewed by Sanjana Murugavel, Grade 9, Twin Hickory Area Library

Read + Review: How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You by Tara Eglington


Through the eyes of Aurora Skye, a person’s first kiss is the most crucial moment of his or her life. It’s a momentous event that has Aurora avoiding any awkward lip contact on her front porch after a date. While waiting impatiently for her prince, Aurora assists her friends with meeting their own knights in shining armor. However, Hayden Paris, Aurora’s next-door neighbor and the bane of her life, constantly interferes with her friends’ love lives. What’s atrocious is that Aurora may have to share her first kiss with him because of their leading roles in the play Much Ado About Nothing. Aurora will go to great lengths to prevent Hayden from taking her first kiss, but it’s all in the hands of fate.

The mind of a sixteen-year-old teenager with impulsive behavior is depicted flawlessly by the author. Aurora’s audacious attitude and her chemistry with Hayden have people on the edge of their seats. Every page has comical and amusing moments, and the story balances out the humor with the drama induced by Aurora’s peers and family. How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You is a lighthearted read that highlights the twists and turns of high school and romance.

One memorable event in the book was Hayden standing up for Aurora despite the large percentage of the school pitted against her because of a false rumor. His loyalty and dedication to Aurora are endearing, and readers come to love their relationship even more because of his devotion.


Reviewed by Jessica Chau, Grade 10, Glen Allen Library

Read + Review: The Last Girl on Earth by Alexandra Blogier


The Last Girl on Earth is a thrilling novel that follows the carefully constructed life of lies that Li’s father and sister have helped her maintain; Li is the last human on Earth. The Abdoloreans, creatures that look like humans but have exceptional intelligence, strength, and other abilities, took over the planet sixteen years ago. A human-sympathizer, Li’s father took her in and raised her as his own, training her in the woods behind their house so that Li could keep up with the effortless agility of her peers. The devotion of Li’s father and younger sister Zo, paired with her own determination and brilliance, has allowed for Li to become top of her class among the Abdoloreans. Li soon meets Ryn, a mesmerizingly mysterious Abdolorean from another planet. As Li’s relationship with Ryn deepens, she begins to feel the burden of living such a massive lie. She has to figure out how to balance Ryn, getting through Assessments so that she may earn the title of officer, protecting her sister from Braxon, and helping her best friend Mirabae, all while under the guise of being an Abdolorean. This is no small feat.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Li and Zo because the two girls are extremely close. They definitely have some disagreements, but this only makes their bond more authentic. The writing style is very concise, which fits the overall implication that things could go awry at any moment; it intensifies the plot. Additionally, I found it extremely interesting how Li’s father pays special attention to seemingly trivial details of crafting Li’s dissemblance. With that said, I would have liked to know more about the years leading up to Li’s current dilemma, as well as more about her father’s interactions with other members of their community.

Li and Ryn’s first time meeting is definitely memorable. That initial encounter foreshadows the inexplicable energy between the pair that draws them together again. Also, the situation in which they are introduced is awfully dangerous for Li, which just goes to prove how she’s willing to risk nearly everything for Ryn from the get-go.


Reviewed by Elizabeth Celentano, 10th Grade, Varina Area Library

It’s Written in the Stars @ HCPL


An astronomical literary event is here! Get ready for Teen Read Week!

Originating from the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), this Teen Read Week is from October 7th-13th, and its theme is “Written in the stars”, all to encourage any reading in fantasy, science fiction, and anything else otherworldly-in order to expand your imagination and thinking with out-of-the-box ideas!

If you’re whirling out of orbit and can’t think of any titles, we can get you started with some suggestions:

35181314Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston

This is a fast paced science fiction tale about Ana, a space pirate, and the lengths she will go to fix her sentient android, D09. Also available as an ebook.

27919232Autonomous by Andy Marino

William wins one of the new driver-less cars and takes some of his friends on a cross country trip that turns out to be more action packed than they anticipated.

35140574The Diminished by Kaitlyn Sage   Patterson

Bo is a singleborn and destined to rule. Vi was born a twin, but her twin died in infancy, marking her as one of the diminished. Bo and Vi’s lives intersect after a shocking revelation. Also available as an ebook.

Henrico County Public Library offers a slurry of fun programs to accentuate Teen Read Week-for learning and entertainment! Games, science, escapes, and more:

October 8th-10th “Teen Read Week” at Tuckahoe Library, 5pm-7pm

October 9th “Escape the Upside Down: A Stranger Things Escape Room” at Varina Area Library, 7pm

October 10th “Teen STEM Club” at North Park Library, 7:30pm

October 11th “Night Sky Astronomy” at Varina Area Library, 6:45pm

October 13th ” Hocus Pocus Film Screening” at Twin Hickory Library, 2pm

Register on our website, or give us a call!



Read + Review: Rebel with a Cupcake by Anna Mainwaring


Jesobel Jones is fat. Yes, she’s a perfect straight-A student, never gets in trouble, and has two amazing best friends, Hannah and Izzie. But Jesobel has always been labeled as the fat girl. Being bigger than those around her has never made Jesobel feel lesser than, but a spiteful confrontation from some mean girls has her rethinking her positive connotation of “fatness.” Struggling to understand what to do, Jesobel soon meets Matt, the guy she’s been falling head over heels for. With her rebellious attitude starting to come to light, will Jesobel still give in to societal beauty standards to be with her dream guy? Or will the power of love overcome her desire to love her body?

I originally thought that this novel’s plot would be about Jesobel finding love; however, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it also focuses on her identity and self-worth. In a world where larger people are shamed for their bodies, Jesobel Jones is the epitome of rising above the hate and proving that success comes in all sizes. I enjoyed that Jesobel seemed out of place among her “perfect” family members; these foil characters brought out the qualities of Jesobel even more. However, I wasn’t fond of the fact that her sister, Cat, barely ate any food throughout most of the novel. On the brighter side, food seemed to be the catalyst for Jesobel’s growth throughout the novel, and that was interesting because it’s different from similar books I have read. All in all, I would recommend this book, as I gained quite a few life lessons from this story.

There are definitely some underlying hints of body positivity throughout the plot, which is an important topic that needs to be spread to a wider range of audiences. I think Anna Mainwaring did a great job of showing that healthiness is important, but healthiness does not always equate to the size of your body. You can be skinny and unhealthy, bigger and healthy, or vice versa. Yet, she also shows that, not only is it important to be healthy, but you must also be happy in life.


Reviewed by Mitali Barik, Grade 11, Twin Hickory Area Library