Friday, November 2, 2012


No, we haven't lost our minds and started spouting gibberish. That stands for "National Novel Writing Month Young Writers' Program," which is an initiative to get teens to write an entire novel during the month of November! No, they haven't lost their minds either--it's possible, and the website gives you the help you need to do it! You can sign up and get prompts, advice, and resources, and keep track of your word count on their website to help you meet your goal.
Go here:
and click on "How does it work...for young writers?" to register and get started on YOUR novel!

High School Book Club next Tuesday!

Last chance to pick up your book (Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, by Lish McBride) and get reading! Book club is Tuesday night the 6th, so be ready to discuss and VOTE for a new book for next time. Yes, it's also Election Day, so if you're 18 and CAN do so, be sure you DO vote before you come to club! We're going to!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Weren't they fantastic?!

Our Readers' Theater troupe worked really hard over the past month, attending four rehearsals and practicing on their own. Then on Tuesday night, they thrilled and chilled a mixed crowd of 54 children, teens and adults with their Scary Stories program! Eleven teens read stories and poems and performed three readers’ theater scripts excerpted and adapted from such authors as R. L. Stine and Neil Gaiman, including everything from sinister clowns to walking coffins, from haunted Hallowe’en costumes to friendly ghosts and reluctant zombies.

Here was the program:

— O U R    S T O R Y T E L L E R S —
(in alphabetical order by last name)

Allen Alvarado, Molly Buffington, Hoda Farhat,
Tamara Farhat, Narae Gharabagi, Mason Keefe,
Henry Marston, Anika Maskara, Susie Miller,
Louise Panaligan, Arsh Zahed

— O U R    P R O G R A M —
Key to the Castle (poem), by Dave Calder .…... various
I’m Not Afraid (story), by Dan Gutman……....… SUSIE
Zombie (story), by Allen Alvarado ………..….. ALLEN
The Surprise Guest, by R. L. Stine                                    
                         (adapted for Readers’ Theater by Melissa Elliott)
The Hook (story), an urban legend ……...…....... ANIKA
Joe is Not a Monster (story), by R. L. Stine ….…..ARSH
An Easy Gig (story), by M. T. Anderson …..….. MOLLY


Mary Worth (story), an urban legend …....……. NARAE
Lavender, an urban legend                                                
                          (adapted for Readers’ Theater by Melissa Elliott)
                        SUSIE, ALLEN, ARSH, HODA, NARAE
The Coffin (story), an urban legend …...…...…. LOUISE
How Nobody Came to the Graveyard, by Neil Gaiman    
   (excerpted & adapted for Readers’ Theater by Anarda Williams)
hist whist (poem), by e. e. cummings ……...... everybody

At intermission, the audience and cast socialized over cups of hot apple cider and a selection of cookies, to provide a festive introduction to Autumn. Another fun and successful readers’ theater performance! Here is our talented troupe (left to right):

In front: Mason, Molly, Tamara, Louise
In back: Allen, Susie, Henry, Anika, Arsh, Narae, Hoda
Ages span from 11 to 18. We're so proud of them!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


October 30!
7:00 p.m.!
Buena Vista Library!
300 N. Buena Vista St.

Scary stories and readers' theater by our TEENS!
Don't miss it!

Monday, October 29, 2012

What We're Reading: Re-told Fairy Tales

by Marissa Meyer
390 pages
Fantasy / Science fiction
Yes, Book one of the Lunar Chronicles Quartet
8th grade up?
Reviewed by Melissa

Of all the retold fairy tales I have read, this one is the oddest and traveled farthest from its genesis as a traditional fairy tale. That doesn't mean I didn't like it (I did!) or that it didn't work (it does); I'm just saying this because if you are looking for a thinly veiled version of Cinderella, this isn't quite it.

First of all, Cinder is a cyborg--she has one articulated metal hand, a fake foot, and some other less obvious modifications, including an interface capability. She is also a mechanic by trade (thus, instead of sweeping up the ashes, she repairs the TV), and has an android/robot sidekick.

Some of the familiar elements are there, although a bit obscured: The prince is destined to be, not a king, but an emperor, and the action all takes place in New Beijing (China) in the future, post World War IV. (I guess there was a WW III in there somewhere...) The evil stepmother is Cinder's legal owner, one "stepsister" is nice and one is nasty, and there aren't any glass slippers, although there is a ball. There is also a nasty plague, an evil queen (from Luna, aka the Moon), and a big secret, the revelation of which will change Cinder's life forever.

Marissa Meyer has an awesome website, and you should explore it thoroughly, because there are lots of interesting tidbits (for readers, for writers, for techies) contained in the FAQs and on her blog--even some recommended reading lists (for the books of others--Cinder is Meyer's first book) and fan art. For instance, she learned the writing trade by writing fan fiction (40 manuscripts for Sailor Moon!), and she wrote the entire first draft of Cinder in two weeks!

There is a countdown function on her website, and according to that, the sequel (Scarlet) is due out in 98 days. I'm looking forward to it!