Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Book Clubs! TTT!


Summer reading is over…NOT! It's time for the members of the TEEN BOOK CLUBS to get together, meet the new members, and choose their first book of the year, to discuss in September at their first meeting of the school year!

We meet TONIGHT, July 30th, at 7:00 p.m., at the Central Library (upstairs). This meeting is for book club members only.

Please note that the 10-12 Book Club is full, but we are accepting names for the waiting list. If you are a teen who wishes to join either the 8+9 or 6+7 Book Clubs, please contact teen librarians Melissa Elliott and Anarda Williams, at burbank.teens@gmail.com--before tonight if possible, so that you can be included at this meeting. There are still a few places available in those two clubs.

Current members: Bring suggestions of books you would like to propose that we read! Your fellow book club members would much rather read something recommended by YOU! (We will bring some ideas as well, if you're stumped, but THINK!) Remember that they have to be age-appropriate to your group…


Another reading-related reminder--there are still ballots for the Teens' Top Ten books of the year available, and soon the voting will begin! You can download the ballot here, and keep track of the ones you have read, pick a few more you want to read, and prepare to vote! We will post when the voting is open.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Teen Review: Running With Scissors

Reviewed by Amy Sepulveda

Running with Scissors
is a disconcerting memoir of the author, Augusten Burroughs, who had a sad childhood and had to constantly deal with his mother’s psychologist’s family, who were the exact opposite of himself. Burroughs’s mother and father had a very intense, verbally and physically abusive relationship. While he was just a young boy (around seven years old), he is mentally and emotionally harmed by this, although he does not particularly notice his own troubles. After his parents’ divorce, his mother somewhat abandons him at her psychologist’s home, saying Augusten must live in the "tornado of disgust" that is their house.

I thought that the people in Augusten’s surroundings had sad lives, and even though they had a psychologist for a father, they did not get the real help they needed. There are details in some parts of the story that could be somewhat disturbing, based on one’s personal maturity level and their tolerance for others’ ways of life. I would recommend Running with Scissors to people who have unhealthy home environments, or to anyone interested in psychology and how patients should be treated. The cover art shows a child with a box on his head, obscuring his face and eyes from everything, which might symbolize what should have been shielded from the horrors that once awaited Burroughs at home when he was a child.

The book is 315 pages, and I believe it deserves a 4/5 rating. This is definitely a high school (or more mature) reading level.

Editor's note: I agree with Amy that this book is definitely an adult book that some mature high school readers may also enjoy. It received widely differing ratings on Goodreads (from one star to five!), so it seems like it's a book that really depends on what its reader is looking for to be appreciated.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Lucky Prize Winners!!!


Speaking of which...in case you don't know this, the Friends of the Burbank Public Library sponsor ALL of our summer reading programs, and they PAY FOR all the programming, snacks, and PRIZES. So next time you come to the Buena Vista branch, stick your head into their little bookstore and say THANK YOU! Next time you are at the twice-a-year book sale, let them know you appreciate them! Or...you and your family could JOIN THE FRIENDS and feel good about being the benefactors for TEEN SUMMER READING! We are so lucky in our Friends group...

Now, on to the prize winners:

READING LOG PRIZES

AT CENTRAL:
Eileen K wins a $5 Target gift card
Erika A. wins a $5 Baskin Robbins gift card
Alyssa P. wins a $5 Barnes & Noble gift card

AT BUENA VISTA:
Kelly N-D. wins a $5 Target gift card
Anthony C. wins a $5 Baskin Robbins gift card
Vahagan S. wins a $5 Barnes & Noble gift card

AT NORTHWEST:
Alexa T. wins a $5 Target gift card
Abbie F. wins a $5 Baskin Robbins gift card
Dania T. wins a $5 Barnes & Noble gift card

Pick up your prizes at the reference desk of the branch where you won!
Be sure to bring some kind of identification--
we don't want to give your prize away to the wrong person!

BOOK REVIEW PRIZES

George S. wins two movie tickets
Abby F. wins a $15 Best Buy gift card
Isaiah M. wins one pound of See's Candies
Paula J. wins one pound of See's Candies
Zachary H. wins a $15 iTunes gift card
Georgia K. wins a $15 Target gift card

These prizes will be available at our FINALE PROGRAM TODAY!
If you don't come to that (but why wouldn't you?!), then pick them up at the Buena Vista branch at the Reference Desk. If that is not convenient, email Melissa and we can send your prize over to another branch, for pick-up TUESDAY.


SET FORTH! TRIVIA CHALLENGE WINNERS

#1 with 49 right answers out of 50 =
MARION H., a 6th-grader!
She wins a $30 Barnes & Noble gift card!

#2 tie with 48 right answers =
ROSE A., a 6th-grader
She wins a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card!

#2 tie with 48 right answers =
GRACE A., an 11th-grader
She wins a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card!

#4 with 47 right answers =
YAAKOV W., a 7th-grader
He wins a $20 Barnes & Noble gift card!

#5 with 45.5 right answers = three way tie:
EILEEN K.
ALEXA T.
DANIA T.
all three of whom win
a pair of movie tickets and a free burger at IN-N-OUT

These prizes will be available at our FINALE PROGRAM TODAY!
If you don't come to that (but we REALLY hope you do!), then pick them up at the
Buena Vista branch at the Reference Desk. If that is not convenient, email Melissa
and 
we can send your prize over to another branch, for pick-up TUESDAY.


Thanks for joining us for
SET FORTH! NEW WORLDS AWAIT YOU...
We had fun! We hope you did, too!


TODAY is the END!


Today is the LAST DAY of the TEEN SUMMER READING PROGRAM! But we are definitely ending it with panache--TODAY we have a CRAFT at the Buena Vista branch at 3:00. We are decorating T-shirts with stencils and either spray bleach (to lift a design) or paint (to apply a design). So BRING YOUR OWN T-SHIRT--everything else is supplied! (Dark for bleach, light for paint.)

There will be ICE CREAM. There will be PRIZES--SO many prizes.

First of all, the five winners of the SET FORTH TRIVIA CHALLENGE will be announced and will receive theirs; second, today is the last of the three BOOK REVIEW drawings, so there are six more prize winners; and finally, there's the regular PROGRAM prize drawing, which awards five random people in the room with such treats as movie tickets, gift cards, or books!

So join us, bedeck yourself with a new(old) T-shirt, and maybe take home something extra!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Don't panic!

You missed it! You missed The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Readers' Theater on Tuesday night at the Central Library! Oh no! You had it on your calendar, but somehow...you forgot to come.

DON'T PANIC!
(That's a line from the Guide)


We have an ENCORE PERFORMANCE TONIGHT! (July 23) at 7:00, at the Buena Vista branch. To intrigue you and make you even more determined to hitch a ride if you have to, here is a photo album on our Facebook page! Thanks to Johnny Williams for this beautiful documentation of our AWESOME SHOW. Please join us!

There's a prize drawing at the performance for all teens signed up for TEEN SUMMER READING. Not signed up? It's not too late! Click that link up at the top of this page (it says "sign up," duh) and YOU are eligible for our drawing on Wednesday night!

This is a teen program, but ALL ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND! See you tonight?


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What we're reading: More serial killers!

I posted not too long ago about a new mini-trend in YA fiction: serial killers. This book is written from the more traditional viewpoint, from the other side (the hunters of the serial killers), but with a few twists that give it some flair.

Cassie has a particular skill--from trailing around the country during her childhood with her "psychic" mother, she has learned to pick up people's "tells"--the tiny details that reveal who you are and what you want. Now she's on her own, existing uneasily with her grandmother and exuberant extended family but not really fitting in. Then the FBI approaches her--they are beginning a classified program that uses teens like her to try to solve notorious cold cases. Cassie definitely wants in.

She's sent to live with a group of teens whose skills are as unusual as hers--an emotion-reader, a profiler, a lie-detector, and an odds-calculator. Soon, their theoretical study of cold cases gives away to an active case that threatens them all and makes their gifts vital to their survival.

This was a nice moment of serendipity: On my way out the door of the library a week ago on Friday night, I realized I needed something to read for the weekend, and grabbed a book off the new books shelves in YA--this first in the Naturals series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I wasn't sure I'd like it--I read her book Nobody, and although I thought the idea was really clever, the execution was disappointing. But this one held my attention throughout. I liked the idea, the protagonist, the other characters. There is a little conflicted romance, but it's not insta-love, and the mystery/suspense part of the plot had an unexpected resolution. It ended up being a great read!

Anyway, the week before, my friend Carey had walked into my office and dumped a pile of about 20 young adult ARCs (advance reader copies) she brought back for me from her trip to the American Library Association convention in Las Vegas (I love Carey). I hadn't really looked through them yet (yes, I know, crazy, but we're in the midst of the teen summer reading program!), until Anarda (the other teen librarian) came over to my branch to meet with me, and started poking through the pile. I was telling her Oh, I just read a YA book I think we should consider for book club (and we should!), when she pulled one out of the pile and said Well, then, if you liked it so much, you'll want to read THIS--and THIS was the sequel, Killer Instinct! Nice.

So I brought it home this weekend and just finished it, and it, too, did not disappoint. It takes up a few months after the end of the last book, with all the cast of characters mostly intact but adding one more to the mix, and it has a similarly intriguing and baffling mystery that I have to admit I did partially figure out before the big reveal, but still--good one! I look forward to the next. That's the down side to getting an ARC--this one I just read doesn't come out to the public until November, and then begins the long wait for the third...

And by the way, this book has been described by some reviewers as if these kids' skills are paranormal, but they're really not--they have, instead, developed them because of childhood traumas that have made them super-sensitive and perceptive beyond the level of most people, that's all. When I say "that's all," that's not trivial, but--not paranormal! So if you are not fond of the paranormal aspect, don't shy away from these books. They are really FBI-style police procedurals but from the teen point of view. A bunch of people on Goodreads called them Criminal Minds fan fiction for the under-18 crowd. I have never watched that show, but it sounds right.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Teen Review: John Green

No, NOT TFIOS! (smiley face from the editor)

Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Number of pages: 221
Genre: Realistic Fiction/Coming of Age
Series: No
Reading Level: High School
Reviewed by: C. G., 9th grade

Looking for Alaska has been brought to us by the exceptionally talented John Green, who has also brought us such works as The Fault in Our Stars (which was spectacular by the way). It has won the Printz Honor for excellence in young adult literature from the American Library Association, as well.


First off, I think I ought to mention that Alaska is not the place, but rather a girl in high school. The story, however, follows Miles “Pudge” Halter’s recollections of his junior year at a boarding school in Alabama. He is nothing short of reclusive when he suddenly finds himself surrounded by friends when he starts going to a boarding school called Culver Creek.

The book is divided into a "Before" and an "After"; like a Part One and Two. So the entire time that you are reading, you are trying to figure out what the major turning point is; at least I was! So whereas "Before" is leading up to the event, "After" is how Pudge’s life changes because of it and trying to find out exactly what happened and why. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I should just stop right there.

Another thing I noticed was that all of the five main characters within this novel are so well thought out and different from each other. It creates not only diversity, but a different dimension. I should expect nothing less from John Green material. Although the five friends are "corrupt" in a way, they are still very smart and intellectual.

The entire 221 pages were well worth my time, and the theme of the book is something memorable; similar to "ignorance is dangerous." This book not only deserves a 5 out of 5 but earns it. You go, John Green! Also, if you read and liked The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I highly recommend this book.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Reading log winners!


THIS WEEK'S READING LOG PRIZE WINNERS ARE...

AT CENTRAL LIBRARY
Eileen K. wins a $5 Starbucks gift card
Georgiana N. wins a $5 Target gift card
Oscar M. wins a $5 In-N-Out gift card

AT BUENA VISTA BRANCH
Tigran S. wins a $5 Starbucks gift card
Mariah S. wins a $5 Target gift card
Millie R. wins a $5 In-N-Out gift card

AT NORTHWEST BRANCH
Abbie F. wins a $5 Starbucks gift card
Alexa T. wins a $5 Target gift card
Shane M. wins a $5 In-N-Out gift card

Congratulations!

KEEP READING * KEEP WRITING * KEEP WINNING!