Wednesday, August 31, 2011

DIY Jewelry

Why don't you........

Make really cool, original, one of a kind jewelry with ribbon, hemp, thread, stretch cord, beads, buttons and whatnot.

For inspiration one should peruse the jewelry collection at the MFA, watch "The September Issue" and read Diana Vreeland's Allure

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Test Prep

The start of the school year is coming! (Like you could forget.) And among all the things you're looking forward to, don't forget standardized tests!


Did you know that we have a fantabulous resource available for you to use right here in the library or from the comfort of your home computer?

Step 1: Go to the library catalog.
Step 2: Select "Databases" in the Research and Information box.
Step 3: Scroll down and select "Testing & Education Reference Center."
Step 4: Prepare to crush the competition.
Step 5: Attend prestigious university, become president of the United States, and announce on national television that you couldn't have done it all without your local library!


Monday, August 29, 2011

Nothing by Janne Teller

It's easy to find a book about ghosts or monsters or vampires or zombies, but I find the scariest books to be the ones that about real people doing real things. The spookiest stories are the ones that you think could maybe happen in your neighborhood, to people you know. There is nothing supernatural in the book Nothing by Janne Teller. Yet it's one of the most chilling books I've read in a long time.

A young man announces in school one day that life has no meaning, that it's a series of random events that pile up until you die. He walks out of the classroom, climbs a tree, and refuses to come down. The idea that life has no meaning at all is upsetting to his classmates, so they set out to prove him wrong.

In a small shed outside of town they start a pile-up of the most meaningful things they can find. It starts out simple. A favorite book, a new pair of shoes. The bigger the pile grows the more desperate they become to find things of real meaning. Sacrifices are demanded, sacrifices are made. Cruelty is revealed.

This book is not for everyone, and it's not for the faint of heart. It's a short book that goes from a quiet parable to an upsetting mess. Quickly. I actually had to put it down a few times and walk away from it. But I always came back. I wouldn't say i enjoyed reading this book, but it for sure made me think. I read it over a year ago, and here I am writing about it still.

Like I said, not for everyone. Very dark, kind of upsetting. Makes you think.

Autobiography of Malcolm X on Studio 360

This weekend's program featured an in-depth look at how the book was written and how it has affected people over the following 46 years.  Whether you've already read the book or are waiting until the last minute, it's worth a listen.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Some of you may have read this as a summer reading elective, but those who haven't should pick up a copy for a little extracurricular reading. This is definitely a good read for the beginning of the school year! The characters deal with very realistic issues concerning friendships and emotions, and puts one's actions towards others into perspective. At the risk of sounding corny, I don't want to get into how important it is to be nice to people, no matter their I won't go any further. Just trust me, I'm sure you'll identify with someone in this book and then struggle with who to side with.

Sharks & Boys by Kristen Tracy

Enid has relationship issues.  Her father has had several affairs and is currently living in the basement while her parents sort out their marriage.  So she's pretty hung up on fidelity.  Her mother is a wedding caterer, and crafting happy marzipan brides and grooms does nothing to help Enid's insecurities.

When Enid's boyfriend, Wick, tells her he thinks they should take a break and heads down to Maryland for a graduation party, Enid...well, she goes off the deep end.  She takes off in her mom's car and stalks Wick, her brother, and their friends, hiding on board the sailboat where they are partying.

When she wakes up, the boat is out to sea and a storm is raging.  Boat sinks, Enid and boys get bashed around and finally get into lifeboat.  Which has no emergency supplies.

Oh, and another thing:


And I am a terrible person, because this is where things get fun.  Enid and the boys (who are all sets of twins, by the way; Enid and her brother are fraternal twins) struggle to survive not only the SHARKS but one another, as old grievances and grudges come to the fore.

Plus there are SHARKS.  Not only is this book a great primer on the worst way to survive at sea, it is also a fantastic example on how to have a terrible romantic relationship.  A terrific way to end your summer reading!  One last trip to the beach, anyone?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Not quite as exhilarating as Beth's S.A.T. Quizbowl

But good practice:

MTV & Figment sponsoring a 9/11 writing contest

I think most of you know MTVFigment, if you don't already know it, is an online community for writers to share and collaborate and for readers to read something new!

And now like peanut butter and chocolate, two great tastes are coming together to encourage tolerance and diversity.  To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the September 11th tragedy, they are sponsoring a contest where participants will collaborate with other readers and writers to craft an original story.  The three winners will receive and Apple iPad and be featured on MTV Act and Figment.

Head over here for the complete details and start writing!


Do you guys have any idea what kind of crazy things we find in returned library books? I once heard a story about an entire smooshed Cadbury Egg in a returned library book.

Do you guys need bookmarks? I kind of feel like you need bookmarks. Tomorrow in the Teen Room we'll have all the stuff you need to mark your page in style.

When: Wendesday @ 2pm

Where: Teen Room

What: Making bookmarks that are NOT made of Cadbury Eggs.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I had no idea you could soup up a Ford Fiesta like that

Oh man, it's like a real, live video game.  This could be my next dream job.  I wonder what kind of benefits these guys get?  Besides driving a car into a yeti on top of a ladder?!?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tomorrow: unending fun

Starting at 2:00 with duct tape wallets and continuing at 3:00 with Wii gaming.  So much frivolity your head will explode!

image credit: Larcova

Monday, August 15, 2011

So Good They're Bad

We all have characters in books we love to hate. The evil villain with a soft side. Or better yet the evil villain with NO soft side.

Josie Pye.

President Snow.

The crazy aunt from this book about goats I just read*.

You're not supposed to like these people, you're supposed to like NOT liking them.

The woman behind the blog Bookshelves of Doom wrote a little post about a different kind of book character - the hero you're supposed to love, but really just really can't stand. Have you ever been reading a book and realized you're kind of rooting against the main character? Have you ever just wanted to shout "Shut UP, Katniss, it's not all about you!"

If so, this list is for you! Check out the comments, and add your own list here!

(I have to say it made me laugh when she mentioned Stargirl. I liked that book, but she has a point.)

*It's called What Comes After and it's by Steve Watkins. It's great but SUPER sad.

**The picture of Mrs. de Winter from the movie/book Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Also a great book, but man, do I ever want to give her a good shake.

Hey 12th grade: Kite Runner book discussion + movie today

The book discussion starts at 2:00 and we'll begin the movie at 3:00.  Hope to see you there!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Two mysteries, two stoic dudes

Reality Check by Peter Abrahams

Unlike his girlfriend, Clea, who gets top grades, Cody knows football is his only ticket to college.  And when Clea's father ships her off to a prestigious boarding school in Vermont, Cody knows if he really loves her he shouldn't hold her back.

So he breaks up with her.  Then his knee gets destroyed during a game and college goes up in smoke.  Cody has dropped out and is working for the local lumber yard when he hears the news that Clea has vanished...

Dooley Takes the Fall by Norah McClintock
Ryan Dooley just wants to get through high school.  He's clean now, after a year and a half locked in juvie when a robbery went bad.  Dooley lives with his uncle, a former cop who has made it clear that if Dooley screws up just once, he's on his own.

All this means Dooley's not too thrilled to deal with cops after a kid goes splat off a bridge right in front of him.  Dooley doesn't want them to know that he knew the kid, who was kind of a jerk.  Because that could make Dooley suspect number one -- unless he can uncover the real killer.

I enjoyed both of these books for their straight-to-the-point writing style.  Both feature main characters who are smarter than they think they are; McClintock's Dooley would fit right in with S.E. Hinton's crowd.

My Unfair Godmother

I am back on the book recommendation train, people! Because summer isn't over yet, thank goodness, and there is still time for fun reads.*

Perhaps you are that studious, well-behaved kid who sees moving in with your dad and his family for your senior year of high school as the perfect opportunity to reinvent yourself.

As bad. Real bad. Dating a rebel with a motorcycle, eyerolling, sarcasm -- the whole ball of wax. Because your dad (who is a librarian, by the way) has never been there for you after the divorce, so why should you care what he thinks?

Then you get busted for spray painting city hall and being bad is starting to feel lousy. If only you could fix things. Like with magic, yeah, that's the ticket.

Sadly for our heroine, Tansy Miller, a lot more is going to go awry before she can make peace with her dad, his wife, her stepbrother, the mayor, and the police chief's hottie son. When her fairy godmother, Chrysanthemum Everstar, takes her on as an extra-credit project, Tansy rates 78% pathetic on the Pathetic-o-meter.  She has three wishes -- three chances -- to put her life on the awesome track.
                          I picked at my pillowcase dejectedly. "Money won't buy me friends."

                          "If you wish for enough, it will," Chrissy said brightly. "People like to say
                          they can't be bought, but they really can."

Tansy's wish-tasptrophe results in Robin Hood and his merry men holding up convenience stores all over town, a highly unpleasant trip to medieval England, and a nasty ex-fairy targeting Tansy and her future child.  Not to mention the police chief's son is still peeved with her.

It is all extremely hilarious.


*Because you've finished all your required reading, haven't you? I knew you could!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Movie tomorrow afternoon

Wow.  I am still so impressed by that yo-yo guy.  Wait, what?

Oh, you're here!  and you want to know about the movie tomorrow?

It will be funny.  There will be romance and adventure, and a 70% chance of dancing.  If there is no dancing, then I will dance, how about that?

Obligatory popcorn will be served.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Yo Yo Interlude

Brand New Bag

Well, what is old is new again -- in this case

1 T-SHIRT = 1 No-Sew BAG!

How is this possible, you ask?  Come by the Teen Room tomorrow at 2:00 and find out.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

"A man ought to read just as inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good."
Samuel Johnson

And yet required summer reading continues, leading us all into dissolution and a life of crime.  Well, make the best of it guys, and join the book discussion for The Book Thief this Monday at 2:00 in the Teen Room.  Guess what?  I've never read it either, so I'll be slogging away all weekend, just like you.  Feel better?