Saturday, July 2, 2016

Six Word Plots

People do this with movies too, but this one
would work for either the book or the movie!
We played a fun game at last week's Book Café. We put up cards on each table with Six Word Plots--wherein people describe the plot of their favorite (or a) book in only six words. My favorite is "Ethnically diverse group returns defective jewelry." Can you guess what book that is?

So first we challenged the teens in attendance to guess the books from their six-word descriptions; if they guessed one, they got to pick a book from our accumulation of ARCs (advance reader copies). Then we challenged them to write some Six Word Plots of their own! Here are a selection--see if YOU can guess any of them. (People wrote these on the butcher paper covering the tables, and didn't identify themselves, so we can't say who wrote them--but good job, whoever you are!)

Hints: Some of these are classics, and some are contemporary YA fiction; and the last four are all the same book!

Aristocrat falls overboard, saved by fishermen.

Desegregation begins and girl meets girl.

Teenage zombie hunter trains with brother.

Planet dying, live in video games.

Heavily tattooed man, tattoos tell stories.

Man steals bread, begins new life.

The American Dream: unobtainable and deadly.

The name Ernest is very popular.

Everyone's in love with Ryan Dean.

Adorable dead boy gets minimal screentime.

Teenager missing her mother fights demons.

Treasure hunter, save brother, jade skin.

Cute boy has vendetta against shoes.

Antisocial boy is obsessed with feet.

Rock murder leads to lifelong "friendships."

Best friends go stargazing in desert.

You can email the answers (if you guess any or all of them) to If you do, there could be a book light or some earbuds in your future! And if this inspires you to think of your own Six Word Plots (it's kind of addicting, once you get started), email them to, and we'll publish yours here too!

Remember that we have more Book Café sessions this summer, on the next two Wednesday nights! Next week our visitor will be Michelle Gagnon, author of Don't Turn Around, Don't Look Now, and Don't Let Go, and week after next it's Robyn Schneider, who wrote The Beginning of Everything, and Extraordinary Means. Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. at the Buena Vista Branch!

Friday, July 1, 2016

And the winners are...



VACHE S. = ROCKET FIZZ $5 gift card
ROMAN M. = STARBUCKS $5 gift card
ISAIAH M. = TARGET $10 gift card


ROMAN M. = ROCKET FIZZ $5 gift card
CAMI M. = STARBUCKS $5 gift card
EMMY C. = TARGET $10 gift card


EVELYN R. = ROCKET FIZZ $5 gift card
NICK W. = STARBUCKS $5 gift card
ANGELO W. = TARGET $10 gift card

Next week: Reading log AND book review drawings!

You can pick up your prize at the reference desk of the library at which you won it. Be sure to bring picture I.D.--we don't want to give your prize to the wrong person!!!

New book lists! Actual and virtual

We have new book lists in the library, and also a couple that you can access directly in our catalog!

We have made "genre" book lists for the library, with two genres apiece. There are: Sci Fi / Fantasy, Historical / Realistic (including magical realism), Romance / Paranormal, and Mystery / Suspense paired with Nonfiction.

The other feature of these book lists is that they have two sides, and there are selections for each genre for both middle school readers and high school readers, so you are always able to find something age-appropriate!

All these book lists are available in the teen section at each branch.

In addition, we have created a "Sports" book list that has short stories and fiction for teens, including most major and a few minor sports; and we also made (just for the fun of it) an "Angels" book list with the (surprisingly) many books incorporating angels into their story lines, again for grades 6-12.

Those you can also find in print in our teen sections, or you can access them directly online from our catalog (and place them on hold if you want!). Here is Sports, and here is Angels. We hope you find something fun to read on one/some of these lists over the summer!

Don't forget to write down everything you read in your reading log, and bring it to the reference desk for tickets! We'll be drawing a new set of prizes (three from each branch) today (Friday) at noon, so get in here for your chance to win!

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!