Category : Blog
Book review by Emma Kraus
Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
Ruby, used to not trusting anybody and making her own decisions, soon finds herself being turned over to her older sister, Cora, by Child Abuse Police. All her freedom is taken away when her mother disappears, and she is forced to stay with her sister and brother-in-law. Not seeing her sister in years, and thinking she did nothing to help her get out of her abusive relationship with her mother, Ruby is angry at Cora. But after living there for a couple of weeks, maybe, just maybe, she thought she might have the story all wrong. Nate, the boy next door, is trying to open up to Ruby, but Ruby doesn’t want anything to do with him. As she gets to know him more and more, she finds she should not keep things from him any longer. However, as soon as Ruby starts opening up to him, she finds he is pushing her away as if he is hiding something. This bothers Ruby a lot, and she tries to find out what it is. The big question is- will Nate allow Ruby to help him, or will he push her further away? Ruby learns a lot over the first couple of months, like just how important family really is. But, the most important lesson she learns is that by helping someone close, you might just help yourself too.
I know there hasn’t been a ton going on lately, either online or at the library. It’s because we’re getting ready for summer reading, which is going to be AWESOME this year. You’ll hear all about it at school (if you go to Wakefield public schools anyway) pretty soon. I’ll be at Galvin and the high school again this year talking up some of your summer reading choices as well as explaining the program and showing off some of the prizes. Sign ups start June 17 so be ready for that! For a preview, I’ll tell you that our theme this summer is “Beneath the Surface” and we’re going to go in a lot of different directions with that. If you want a sneak peak of our programs, take a look at the Room Reservations Calendar here on the site. Anything with YA is ours.
I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of familiar faces, and meeting new incoming 5th graders and other new friends!
Immortal Lycanthropes by Hal Johnson
Review by Brandon Johnson
This book was about a kid named Myron who looks like he is still eight but is really fourteen, he is also very ugly. Because he is ugly he gets bullied everyday by a variety of people. One day something very unexpected happens when he was getting bullied and suddenly he is on an adventure. He meets many people such as Gloria and Spencer. These people are called Lycanthropes. This means they can turn into a certain animal. Lycanthropes never die unless another Lycanthrope kills it when they are both in animal form. Myron soon finds out that he is a Lycanthrope but doesn’t know how to turn into an animal or what animal he is. The whole story is based on Myron’s adventures, figuring out what animal he is, and preparing to fight the Lion who has killed many Lycanthropes.
This book was very good but was very hard to follow. I was always waiting for the action to start but it just never came. That is my review on the book.
Hey! I know a lot of you love science fiction and fantasy, and that’s GREAT because I do too. It’s cool if you don’t like it all, I’m not judging. I just want to focus on that for this post is all. In particular I want to talk about short stories, and how cool they are.
Short stories get a bad rap. Most people would rather grab a novel than a collection of short stories, and they have their reasons. Short fiction can be exciting and fun, though!
Think of a short story like a Fun Size candy bar at Halloween: you can have a little taste, or you can eat a bunch of them at once and get a variety without commitment. A short story or fifteen can be the perfect break between longer reads, and short fiction is also a great way to try out a new author and get a little taste for their style. Where to find all of this great short fiction?
The library has many collections of short stories for adults, teens, and kids. We’re always happy to help you pick something out, just come ask! There’s a lot more than collections out there, though.
If you’re at all interested in Science Fiction or Fantasy, there are tons of amazing free online magazines. Some of these offer electronic or print subscriptions if you want the stories delivered directly to you on a regular basis and want to support your favorite markets. Most of them are available for free to read on the internet though, and it’s a great way to try a lot of different magazines, writers, and stories with no commitment.
A few to try:
Strange Horizons. Weekly free speculative fiction, podcast (meaning you can listen to someone read the free story each week), poetry, column, and reviews. Fiction includes science fiction, fantasy, horror, slipstream, and “all other flavors of fantastika.”
Beneath Ceaseless Skies publishes every two weeks, and features two longer short stories, and a podcast of one of the two stories. BCS is available as an e-subscription for multiple devices, and is dedicated to publishing the best “literary adventure fantasy.”
Clarkesworld is monthly, and includes at least three pieces of original fiction as well as interviews and articles. The fiction is also available in podcast form, and electronic subscriptions are available. Clarkesworld has won the Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine twice.
Mythic Delirium publishes four times a year with three stories and six poems. Starting in July each issue will be available online as well as through electronic subscription. Mythic Delirium tends towards weird and spooky content, and is massively fun.
Apex Magazine describes itself as “an online prose and poetry magazine of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mash-ups of all three. Works full of marrow and passion, stories that are twisted, strange, and beautiful.” Apex publishes monthly, with a mix of original and reprinted stories as well as interviews and articles. Content can be read free online or through electronic subscriptions.
Goblin Fruit is a quarterly magazine of fantastical poetry. All content can be read for free online, and they occasionally publish chapbooks for sale.
Give some of these magazines a try and share your favorites with your friends!
February is so short it really *shouldn’t* surprise me when it’s over, but with all the snow this year it also seemed incredibly long, didn’t it? So now it’s going to be March and I’m just massively confused.
I don’t want you to be confused though, so let’s talk about what’s going on in March!
First up, Advisory Board Meeting! Wednesday, March 6 at 3:00. I’m really sorry about the February meeting being canceled guys, I was miserably sick. So we’ll try again next week and cross our fingers it doesn’t happen again! Come have some snacks and talk planning with me. I also still have a few more book reviews to post, and if you’ve got one for me bring it with you or email me!
We’re also doing a Video Game Day this month, on Wednesday, March 13 at 3:00. If you haven’t been to one of these before we’ve got four systems to choose from, and plenty of games. Feel free to bring some of your own games, just nothing M-rated please.
Finally, of course, Anime Club. Saturday, March 23 at 2:00, we’ll be watching a TV-14 rated show. Come join us and check this out! We always have a lot of fun and are always happy to chat with new folks!
That’s it for now, I’ll be back in a few days with more fun stuff!
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a book review, which is silly! I’m getting them from you guys regularly and just need to get them up here. A reminder that if you read something you just NEED to tell the world about, write me a review! If you need something to get you started, come talk to me and I can give you a questionnaire to fill out. Email me your reviews and I’ll post them, and soon we’re going to have a shelf of books you guys recommend!
This week we’ve got a review from Brandon Johnson, a 6th grader at Galvin.
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes (Put the book on hold here!)
This book was a very interesting book for many reasons. There were four main characters their names were: Lucia, Magnus, Jonas, and Cleo. There were four main kingdoms and they are all at peace to begin with then towards the end of the book they started to argue and eventually it became a war. Whenever it was at the other kingdom’s point of view you always think they are the good guy in the story. The story ends with a very big cliff hanger so I think there will be another book.
If I had to rate this book I would give it a nine out of ten stars. I would rate it like this because it wasn’t the best book I have ever read and it wasn’t my favorite genre. I also liked this book because it ended with a cliff hanger and I love cliff hangers. Cliff hangers usually mean there will be another book and if there is another book then I’ll be the first one to buy it. That is why I liked this book.
It’s been a while since we’ve talked about some of the cool technology we have at the library, so I thought I’d give a quick refresher on some of it.
Obviously there’s the computers and the internet and that’s all great, but did you know about the laptops available for middle and high school students? You have to have your library card (for real, the physical card, if you don’t have it you can get a new one upstairs. I think it’s a whole dollar.) to check out the laptop. It’s great for the times when you want to work on a group project but the youth room is too loud! Check one out from the Youth Desk and we’ll set you up in the Homework Center. You get the computer for two hours.
Like to draw? DID YOU KNOW? We have Photoshop installed on the computers in the Youth Room, AND we have WACOM Bamboo tablets available! Same rule about the library cards, have it with you. Check it out from us at the youth desk, plug it into the USB port on the computer, and get drawing. If I’m around I can help you get started with it, but I’ll warn you, I am NOT an artist, and I only have a very basic knowledge of how the tablets and Photoshop work. I know enough to get you going though! If you’re really interested in learning how to use it, we have a few books that will help you with the more complicated stuff. Again, just ask us at the desk and we’ll show you where they are.
If you’re getting stuck on your homework, check the list of quick links on the right side of the webpage. See the one for tutor.com? That’s a FREE tutoring service available for Wakefield residents. During afternoons and evenings you can log in there and get matched with a live tutor who can help with whatever subject you’re having trouble with. If you’re not on during that window of time, there are other resources there available all the time. Ask us how to get on and what’s there for you, we’re glad to help out!
After all of that maybe you want to relax with a game. Well, the library is still there for you. Bring your library card to the youth desk and you can check out a Nintendo DS and a game to play. These stay in the library, but you can play for two hours here.
And of course, speaking of games, this Wednesday, January 16 2013 is a video game day! 3-4:30 in the Lecture Hall, snacks and soda and games. Come join us! Ask me questions about this post and I might even have a surprise for you!
That’s all for now, check back soon for more updates!
Woah ok January is here, the holidays are over, y’all are back in school, and it’s a new year. Ready to go? We’ve got stuff going on here that you should definitely check out.
This Wednesday, January 9 is a meeting of the Youth Advisory Board. Definitely plan on coming to that if you can, we have a lot of events to talk about and plan, and I need your ideas for more fun stuff we can do this year!
The following Wednesday, January 16, is another Video Game Day! I know a lot of you enjoy those, so come by after school for games and snacks. Feel free to bring your own games (but no M-rated games please).
Finally this month on Saturday, January 26 we’re having Anime Club! Come by and hang out with us while we watch some anime on the big screen, make some new friends, see something new!
So, this isn’t an event, but does everyone know where to find our calendar? I can give you links but instead I’m going to tell you how to find the calendars, so you can get to them anytime. Ok, if you scroll to the top of the page you’re on right now, do you see the tab that says “Events and Activities”? That isn’t just for adults! The top link in that dropdown says “Event Calendar” and if you want a calendar you can print out and stick on the fridge, maybe circle YA events in red marker and remind your parents to drop you off at the library that day, THAT is the link you want. It’s a pdf to download and print, and updates every month. If you want to see what’s coming up in the next few months, go to the link right below that one, that says “Reservation Calendar”. That’s the whole library calendar and has EVERYTHING on it, which can be overwhelming sometimes. Anytime there’s a program you have to sign up for, the sign up form is on that calendar. Also here’s a little trick: up in the top left corner of the calendar, you can click a button where it says “Teen” and it’ll JUST show you our events. Which is AWESOME and super useful when you just want to see when the next gaming day is.
So did that make sense? If it didn’t, come talk to me at the library and I’ll show you what I mean. It’s a good way to get an overview of what’s going on, and means you won’t be at the library and sad because you didn’t hear about something cool, like the time that guy brought live owls.
Ok, that’s all for today! Come talk to me for book recommendations if you need something to read! As always, follow us on Facebook and Twitter for Youth Room updates!
All YA activities are limited to kids in grades 5-12.
I seriously feel like June was just *blink* and then GONE. July is here, and I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday! Assuming we all got drenched, but eh, it was worth it, right?
So! New month! New activities! All kinds of good stuff this month, so get ready, ok? You haven’t missed anything yet, we’ve only had time for a video game day and we’re doing another one soon. Our next event though is a Hip-Hop dance class! Sharon Wyatt of Catch the Funk Dance School has generously donated her time and expertise for us, and is doing an hour-long beginner’s hip-hop class. If you have experience with this that’s fine, come enjoy dancing with us and show us how it’s done. If you’re completely new, that’s fine too, we’re going to have a great time. The class is on Tuesday, July 10 at 6pm, and registration is required, so sign up here. The next day, Wednesday, July 11 at 2:30 is our first Knit Graffiti meeting of the summer. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, don’t worry. Basically what we do is knit whatever wacky things we can think of, and then we use the knitting as graffiti in the library. If you look around you’ll probably see some of the stuff we did last year! This is a really fun project for the summer. If you know how to knit or crochet GREAT, come make something with us! I’ll provide some materials, but if you have needles or yarn you want to use, feel free to bring them. If you don’t know how to knit, that’s ok too! I can teach you, no problem. Again, I have materials. We’re meeting next Wednesday and again in August, so come to both or either as your schedule permits, and whenever you finish your piece we’ll put it up together. It’s fun, you get to learn a new thing and hang out with people, and let me tell you, it makes people in the library SO HAPPY.
Tuesday July 17 at 2:00 is the next video game day, like I promised. If you haven’t been to one of these they’re pretty chill. We have a PS2, PS3, Xbox360, and Wii, and a lot of games for all of them. You can bring your own games too if you want, but nothing M-rated. T or below, please. So you come, you play some games, have some snacks, challenge someone to a Smash Brothers brawl, it’s a fun time. Following that we have another craft program, happening on Wednesday July 18 at 2:30. This is the Create a Journal program, where you get to decorate a journal with fun papers, glitter, stickers, markers, whatever. Last year we did this and made a HUGE mess with the glitter, which was pretty great I must say. This is another one you have to sign up for, but there’s plenty of room right now. Sign up here.
Tuesday July 24 at 6:00 is yet another awesome craft program, we’re going to make glow-in-the-dark t-shirts! I’ll provide the materials, including a shirt (just a plain white tee). Since I have to get shirts I really REALLY need you to sign up for this one. Do that here, and do it fast because it’s filling up really quickly. But yeah, we’ll splatter ‘em with fabric paints and glow-in-the-dark stuff and I think they’ll be pretty great.
Later that week we have the July meeting of the Anime Club, it’s on Saturday July 28 at 2:00. We’re going to finish watching the show we started last month (rated TV-14) and probably start something new. Hope to see you there!
Our final July event is another Museum of Science traveling program. This time it’s about rockets, and I can’t WAIT. I haven’t seen this one before, and it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun. Basically they’re teaching us about how space rockets work, and we’re going to try to make our own and shoot them across the room, which sounds pretty great to me! There are two sessions of this, both on Monday, July 30. Sign up for the 2:00 session here, and the 3:00 session here.
So make sure you get signed up for the stuff you want to do, I can’t wait to see you guys!
Oh hey it’s summer again! Honestly I’m pretty sure it was February like, ten minutes ago? So I don’t really understand how it’s summer but whatever, the point is that school is out and it’s hot outside and there are tomato plants in my garden.
So what does this mean at the library? IT MEANS SUMMER READING IS HAPPENING. This is a big deal, and definitely deserves capslock. If you aren’t signed up yet, get down here (we have air conditioning, FYI), get signed up. You’re going to spend at least *some* time reading this summer, right? So you may as well keep track and get raffle tickets, maybe win the library sleepover? That’s a thing. If you read for 48 hours, which isn’t even really that many, you can get a t-shirt or a bag, so there’s really no *down*side to signing up. It’s not like we round up the people who don’t read enough and feed them to sharks or anything. And yes, if you’re in high school, you can still do the summer reading program.
What about activities? Is that what you were going to ask me next? Of course it was. Well, how about some karaoke? Yeah that sounds good to me. So everybody going into 5th grade and up, come to the library on Friday, June 22 at 3. We’ll have the karaoke DJ here until 5, so you’ll have plenty of time to sing your little hearts out.
Wait, did someone say PLANETARIUM? Oh right it was me, I did. A late-breaking addition to the summer reading program which unfortunately didn’t make it onto the calendar, The Boston Museum of Science is bringing their AWESOME inflatable planetarium here on Tuesday, June 26. There’s a session at 6pm and a session at 7pm. If that sounds like a thing you want to do, you should sign up for it here (for 6:00pm) or here (for 7:00pm). Space is limited, so get signed up fast. If the sign up form gives you any trouble just call us or come by and I’ll walk you through it.
ALSO I know how wildly-talented you guys are, so I have to make sure I tell you about the Talent Show! That’s happening on Wednesday, June 27 at 7:00pm, and you should sign up for it by calling or coming to the desk, um, now, or as soon as possible, so we can get you in the program. Dance, sing, hula-hoop, whatever. Although it is happening in the Lecture Hall, so sadly I just had to turn down a kid who does fire eating. That’s not a joke, that’s what his dad told me. Maybe next year we can figure out a way to make that happen, IDK.
This post is getting too long, I know, but one last thing for June: Anime Club this month is Saturday, June 30 from 2-4, and I’m going to show you guys the best weirdest anime I know. It’s going to be awesome, lol.
I think that’s enough for now, but I’ll come back in a few days with a post about July, which is EVEN MORE jampacked than June. Can you believe it? We should do some kind of guessing game on how much tea I’ll need to drink to get through this summer, but I’m not sure I’m capable of keeping track.
SO TL;DR: Summer reading has started, get signed up, come to Karaoke on Friday and the Planetarium next Tuesday, Emily needs tea.