Thursday, June 30, 2016

What we're reading: Victoria (V. E.) Schwab

Last year, a guest blogger (Daryl M.) wrote a great review of A Darker Shade of Magic, by V. E. Schwab, known to some of you in book club as the author of Vicious. While Schwab herself divides her writing into books by Victoria Schwab, which are intended specifically for a teen audience (like The Archived and its sequels), and books by V. E. Schwab, which are intended for adults, her adult books are great fantasy writing that is completely accessible and appropriate for older teens!

The second book in the "Shades of Magic" series, A Gathering of Shadows, was published in late February, and I was finally able to check it out last week.

It's been four months since the events that took place in the first book, and for some those four months have been quite eventful. Lila Bard, who always wanted to buy, borrow, or steal her own ship (despite the fact that she doesn't know how to sail), has not yet quite achieved her own captaincy, but has found a place on a crew and has departed the Red London docks in search of adventure. Kell and Rhy, now tied together by one life force, are becoming increasingly restless at their forced inactivity--particularly Kell, who has had to give up his smuggling activities in the other Londons and stay in the Arnesian capitol in Red London, in order not to put himself or Rhy in jeopardy. But for all the players (and some delightfully complex and slightly weird new ones), the primary focus is the upcoming Essen Tasch, or Element Games, an international competition of magic being hosted this year by the Arnesians, designed to maintain a healthy relationship devoid of war between their country and two others. Rhy is in charge of designing the games and the venue, while Kell and Lila eventually play their own complicated (and surprising) roles. Meanwhile, as the book's synopsis mysteriously says, "A shadow that was gone in the night will reappear at morning." Da da da DUM. Something sinister is lurking...

Don't you love it when the sequel completely fulfills the promise of the first book, which you already loved?

GREAT characters, both from the previous book (Kell, Delilah, Rhy) and from the current one (ooh, Alucard Emery!). Lila is still one of the best heroines out there--smart, fierce, and funny. The language is beautiful, with detailed and evocative descriptions, and the dialogue is sharp and snappy, with wonderfully snarky repartee. The world-building and spectacle continue. Stuff is happening behind the scenes that sets us up for the next book. And hey, you can't go wrong with pirates, nor with a magical tournament! Awesome.

Can't wait for the third. Have to, but can't. Go, V.S., go!

Editor's note: Burbank Public Library owns the first book in hardcover, audio, and e-book. The second book we have only as hardcover, but the e-book is on its way!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Makerspace 2016!

We thought you might like to see some photos of all the fun we had at our Makerspace craft last week! We brought together 32 teens with a diverse group of ingredients and turned them loose. The results were pretty awesome! Take a look at our Facebook Photo Album.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Game On! Events this week

How's your summer going? Don't let it pass without a visit to Book Café! This Wednesday night, June 29, we're having another session at Buena Vista Branch at 7:00 p.m.

Our special guest will be young adult author Mary McCoy, who wrote a noir murder mystery for teens called Dead to Me. Right now, we only have one copy available for check-out (at the Central Library), but more copies are expected soon; plus, you could win a copy at the event itself!

As usual, we will hang out and chat, partake of coffee house treats, and do a little book-talking, as well as getting to hear from, and talk to, Mary McCoy! We hope you'll join us!

Then on Thursday night, June 30, at 7:00 p.m. at the Central Library, we'll be showing the movie Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. What could be better than an awesome free movie, complete with air conditioning, snacks, and a prize drawing at the end of the evening?

If you're a teenager who is not yet signed up for Game On!, the teen summer reading program, what are you waiting for? There's no commitment if you do sign up--you can attend one thing, everything, or nothing! You can keep a reading log, or write book reviews, or do the Trivia Challenge, or all of the above! But if you are NOT signed up, then you're not eligible to win prizes, and we have some great ones. Three (or more) drawings at each event or program, plus weekly drawings for reading log and book review readers and writers! Gift cards, movie tickets, and more...

Go here, fill out the very short form, and you're in! Then stop by any Burbank Public Library reference desk to pick up your swag bag.

Other events coming up this summer: two more Book Cafés (with two more amazing guest writers), a Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit Tournament, and our finale, an after-hours lock-in murder mystery game called HALFTIME HORROR. That alone is worth signing up for!

Our wonderful, creative TAB (Teen Advisory Board) has been hard at work writing the scripts and creating the clues for you to find the murder weapon, interview the suspects, and figure out whodunnit. There will be food, photo ops, and a grand prize drawing at the end of the evening for two tickets to Universal Studios!

All these events are for teens in grades 7-12 only. Check out the brochure for the entire summer, and join us at the library!

Saturday, June 25, 2016




At Central:
Brenden B. = $5 Yogurtland card
Georgianna N. = $5 Starbucks card
Mary M. = $10 Target card

At Northwest:
Grigor Y. = $5 Yogurtland card
Alexa T. = $5 Starbucks card
Mary Y. = $10 Target card

At Buena Vista:
Luvin L. = $5 Yogurtland card
Marion H. = $5 Starbucks card
Cami M. = $10 Target card

BOOK REVIEW (Drawing #1 of 3):

Elizabeth Digestion = gift certificate for See’s Candies
Kayla Javed = two AMC movie tickets
Katrina Darwich = $15 Target gift card
Natasha Watson = $15 Barnes & Noble gift card
Joseph Bez = $15 iTunes gift card
Evelyn Reyna = $15 Target gift card

CONGRATULATIONS to all of you! Keep reading, keep writing, keep WINNING! And check the hints and tips for writing a good book review (rather than a book report or a summary) here! 

Guest blog: new LGBT fiction

If I Was Your Girl
by Meredith Russo
280 pages
Realistic LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) fiction
Recommended for 14 and up

High school senior Amanda Hardy just transferred to a new high school for her senior year. She plans to go to her classes, maybe make some friends, but not draw attention to herself. She just wants to get through the school year. But then she meets a great guy at school named Grant. He is handsome, sweet and has a great sense of humor, and he is also crazy about Amanda. She wants to get close to him, but is afraid that if she does, both of them will get hurt by her secret. What is she hiding? The truth is that, at her last school, she was Andrew.

This is one of the best books about a transgender teen that I have read in a long time. Not only is it a beautiful, touching story, but it allows readers to see another side of the transgender experience: what happens after a person transitions. I really liked this book because it normalizes Amanda's experience and shows us all her fears and hopes and how she is not so different from other girls. I think it also helps the reader understand more about what it means to be transgender. This is really needed, since there are so many misunderstandings in our society about what that term means. This book is partially inspired by the author's experience as a transwoman which I think adds to the authenticity of Amanda's character, voice and story.

I have mixed feelings about the cover of this book. I like how it looks mysterious and makes the reader want to know about the contents of the book. On the other hand, when I first saw the cover, I thought it was a book for adults, not for teens. I don’t think the cover will necessarily drive teens away, but I’m not sure it will draw them in either.

My rating is 4 stars out of 5, and I'd like to add that people who enjoyed the book Luna, by Julie Anne Peters, would probably like this one as well.

Reviewed by Elizabeth B., reference librarian
(soon to be a teen librarian in Solano County--we're sorry to see her go!)

Friday, June 24, 2016

BMX photos!

If you want to see a few photos of the BMX show at the Northwest Branch on Wednesday night, take a look at the album on our Facebook page! We didn't have too many teens turn up, so the ones who did were very happy to take home all the prizes! $20 to Barnes & Noble, $20 to Big Five Sporting Goods, and two admissions plus skate rentals to Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale! A big thanks to Moonlight Rollerway for donating the tickets to teen summer reading! Teens, we have prize drawings at all of our could be a winner if you come!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Local business celebrates Harry Potter!

You can "relive the Magic of Harry Potter" this month on Friday, June 24, at 7 p.m. at BARNES & NOBLE, BURBANK.

Enter the Harry Potter Limited Edition Cover Prints Sweepstakes for a chance to win a set of 7 Harry Potter Limited Edition Cover Prints, available exclusively at Barnes & Noble. Customers can continue to enter for a chance to win (one entry per store, per day) up until the July 30 Countdown to Midnight Party, when two customers at Barnes & Noble Burbank will be chosen at random. (No purchase is required.)

At the June 24 event, Barnes & Noble Burbank will set up a coloring station where participants will have the opportunity to color various Harry Potter-themed materials including the 4 House Crests (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin) and a special Owl Post Postcard exclusive to Barnes & Noble that they can send to friends to invite them to the Countdown to Midnight Party. In addition to trivia and activities for Harry Potter fans to enjoy, many giveaways will also be available at the event while supplies last, including Harry Potter vintage posters, bookmarks and more. Plus, the Barnes & Noble Café will be offering special Harry Potter-themed treats!

Countdown to Midnight Party–Saturday, July 30, at 8:00 p.m.

Barnes & Noble Burbank will host a special Countdown to Midnight Party leading up to the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One & Two, a special rehearsal edition script book, which goes on sale July 31 at midnight. The party will feature a special Muggle Wall where customers can share their favorite memories of Harry Potter as well as several amazing giveaways. On Sunday, July 31, customers can return to Barnes & Noble Burbank to discuss the new book and participate in special Harry Potter-themed events and activities, as a follow-up to the Countdown to Midnight Party the night before.

Burbank Public Library is having its own Potter activity in July--a Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit Tournament on Tuesday, July 19, at 7:00 p.m., at the Buena Vista Branch. You can test your knowledge of the books and movies by putting together a team of three to compete for Potter-related prizes! Name and sign up your team by emailing today!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Makerspace Options!

Wondering what MAKERSPACE is all about? We provide crafty opportunities for you, and you get to choose what to make! Here are three of the MANY things you could make at our Makerspace Event this Friday at 3:00 at the Central Library.



Yes, we still have lots of Altoids boxes! Make an emergency kit!
Sewing, earbuds, snacks, bandaids and can thematically
ModPodge the outside to decorate it!


You could decorate a SWITCH PLATE for your room...using SHARPIES!


You could make a refrigerator MAGNET out of a flat "marble," some ModPodge,
and a cool picture! (Bring a picture with you if you have something specific in mind.)

We have a few more ideas up our sleeves as well...or you could just grab random items and make it up yourself! That's why we call it Makerspace--are you game?