Saturday, July 11, 2015

Teen Review: Sweet mystery series

Killer Calories
by G.A. McKevett
295 pages
Adult mystery series

Recommended for grade 10 and up

Reviewed by Kayla, grade 11

Savannah Reid is a sweet, sassy, Southern private investigator. She loves solving crimes but that comes second to her love of sweets. This time she has been hired (through an anonymous letter) to track down the killer of a beautiful movie star who has fallen from fame. Along with her trustworthy and crazy friends, can Savannah track down the killer before he or she kills again?

I absolutely loved this book. I loved it so much that I couldn’t put it down, and read it--along with its two predecessors--in one day each! I recommend this to anyone who loves mysteries or just good, hearty characters. These characters are full of spunk, but always get down to business to solve, well, anything really. I cannot wait to read all the other books in this series!

I rate this book as a 5 (but if I could rate it as more than that I would!).

Editor's note: For those who are baffled by how to figure out the order in which the many books in a series such as this one are published, go to, and put in your author's or series' name. You will receive a list of the books in order of publication. If they don't have your author or series, however, you can also usually just Google, for instance, "Maximum Ride series in order" and come up with an answer that someone has published. Things are so much easier with the internet...

Friday, July 10, 2015


The WINNERS for Week #4's READING LOG drawings are:

Kelly N-D  $5 Target card
Eileen K. – AMC movie ticket
Vache S. – $5 Ben & Jerry’s card

Catalina S. – $5 Target card 
Hailey M. – AMC movie ticket
Katelyn B. – $5 Ben & Jerry’s card

Antonia N. – $5 Target card
Tyler N. – AMC movie ticket
Nick W. – $5 Ben & Jerry’s card

And for those of you who have been writing BOOK REVIEWS, here are the six winners from this week (Bi-weekly drawing #2):

Jordan N-D wins a $10 Wahoo’s card
Brenda H. wins a $15 Barnes & Noble card
Christopher A. wins one pound of See’s Candy
Isaiah M. wins a $15 iTunes card
Abbie F. wins a $15 Target card
Aaron Y. wins two movie tickets

All of you who won prizes from the weekly JAR drawing may pick up your prizes at the reference desk of the branch where you won.

Those who won prizes in the bi-weekly BOOK REVIEW drawing should email Melissa directly at to say where you would like to pick up your prize! This afternoon and tomorrow, the prizes will be at the Central Library reference desk for pickup; otherwise, email and say where you'd like it sent and we'll let you know when you can pick it up.

Please bring some form of I.D.! We don't want someone else claiming your prize!

Speaking of writing book reviews, REMEMBER: If you only describe the book, it's a book REPORT. To make it a book REVIEW, you also have to tell us what you thought of it—did you love it? hate it? and WHY? Then it's a review. If your review is not in this format, chances are it has NOT been approved, so you won't be eligible for the last drawing on July 24! But if you go back and fix it, you will!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Teen review: Memoir

Reviewed by Amy Sepulveda, grade 11

Jeannette Walls’ memoir The Glass Castle is an extraordinary book telling the tale of her past and childhood. She takes readers on the journey of her life from her perspective, and describes in detail the horrors and hardships with which she has dealt, along with her brother and two sisters.

Right from the beginning, readers find out that Walls’s father is an alcoholic. Neither parent treats the four children well, leaving them to fend for themselves. The family moves from place to place every few months, and the kids can never truly fit in at any school. Many times, Jeannette and her siblings had to dig through trash cans for food during lunchtime because their parents would not provide for them. It is a remarkable story of survival, to which almost anyone can relate as they put themselves in the shoes of Walls as she tells her story.

When I picked up The Glass Castle because of the suggestion given to me by a friend, I had no idea what to expect. In the 288 pages, readers’ eyes can be truly opened up to the world and the lives people lead around them. It is amazing how much people take for granted as a part of everyday life, when it is in fact a sort of luxury. My mind was blown when I put myself in the place of Jeannette Walls, and it helped me learn to appreciate the smaller things in life as well. I would absolutely rate this book a 5/5.

Editor's note: We would suggest this memoir for more mature readers (high school). It is available at Burbank Public Library as a book, an e-book, an audio book, and in Spanish.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Meetups this week!

Central Library, 3:00 p.m.

We provide the materials, you bring the ideas! Drawing tools, papers, paints, fabric, yarn, buttons, found objects, stencils, stamps…all laid out for you to get creative! We’ll have some suggestions and YouTube videos, of course!

SKETCH JOURNALERS: This meetup is for YOU, too! Meet others who are keeping a journal, and be inspired and inspiring! Use our materials and supplies!
(We will be making watercolor palettes out of
Altoids tins...) This activity is for grades 7-12 only!

Buena Vista Library, 7:00 p.m.

Book Café is a gathering place where teens (grades 7-12) can share what they're reading, trade books, and hang out for coffee house-style refreshments.Bring whatever you're reading with you, as well as your BOOKMARK from your swag bag! There are two more Wednesday-night sessions of Book Café this summer: this Wednesday, July 8*, and on the 22nd. If you attend three of the four sessions, you get a FREE BOOK! (You get to choose the one you want from our fabulous stash.)

*Please note that the BROCHURE says our third Book Café meetup is on July 15, but it is ACTUALLY on July 8. There was a scheduling problem with the auditorium.

Northwest Library, 7:00 p.m.

MUSIC MEETUP, starring the band FLOOD ZONE!
Dance or just hang out at a concert in the park! Everyone is welcome to this concert. Bring a picnic dinner! (Yes, fans, that is Allen Alvarado on lead guitar on your right...)

Not yet signed up for Teen Meetup in the Burb? You can do so here. There are more meetups to come, but the summer is going fast--so sign up today!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Teen review: Fantasy series

Reviewed by Baron Kelly, grade 11

This Isn't What It Looks Like, by Pseudonymous Bosch, is a 423-page mystery novel and the fourth of a five-book series called The Secret Series. In this novel, Cass (the main character) has eaten Time Travel Chocolate from the previous novel of the series and fallen into a coma. While in her coma, she goes back in time in a ghost-like form (solid and there, but invisible). While in the past, she has to try to find “The Secret” and then get back to her own time.

Meanwhile, while she is in the hospital in a coma, Max-Ernest (her best friend) has to get her back to their time before it's too late or she'll be trapped in the past. The only tool he has to accomplish this goal is a special monocle.

The story was a bit strange to pick up, as I had not read the previous books, but it was easy enough to get into. It's a fairly silly book (for example, it randomly cuts for two pages and gives silly step-by-step instructions about “how to disguise your book”). Despite silly intentions, it has an interesting plot and is creative in its own way: For example, it starts at chapter 10 and counts down for the chapters that involve Cass in the past, but when it is Max-Ernest's perspective, it starts at chapter 1 (which is actually chapter 2) and counts up. It proceeds as chapters 10, 1, 9, 2, 8, etc.

I'd recommend this book to most people in grades 7-11 if you're into creative books that have a mystery aspect and can mess with you a little bit. I'm currently in 11th but read it in 10th grade. It's a fairly simple book, but it does require a lot of paying attention, and if you miss the fine details, it can sometimes lead to extreme confusion.

I would give it a 4 out of 5 mostly due to the tricks it plays on the reader, but if I had read the previous books it would most likely jump to 4.5. I would recommend reading the previous books before this one, but reading this one alone as I did is fine too. But if you read it, just remember: This isn't what it looks like.