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Program Preview: Family Game Days

December 22, 2014

ScrabbleFamily Game Day
Columbia Public Library
Tuesday, December 23 • 9:30-11:30 a.m. –OR– 2-3:30 p.m.
Drop by to play board games. We’ll have favorites, old and new, but feel free to bring your own games, too. For families with children of all ages.

Wii U Family Game Night
Columbia Public Library
Thursday, January 8 • 6-7:30 p.m.
Try out the library’s Wii U game console. Become a dancing superstar in “Just Dance 4″ or a bowling champion playing “Wii Sports.” Pizza served. Ages 10 and older. Parents welcome. Registration begins Tuesday, December 23. To sign-up, please call (573) 443-3161.

Photo by Flickr User peddhapati. Used under creative commons license.

Originally published at Program Preview: Family Game Days.

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Homemade Holiday Gifts: Hardback Charging Station

December 20, 2014

Kindle HolderAt my house, we have quite a few electronic devices: MP3 players, cell phones, digital cameras and e-readers. It’s a mess, and I can never find the right cord and charger when I need it.

That’s where the handy repurposed book comes in! It’s the perfect place to keep all of those devices out of sight, organized in a lovely, old-fashioned book that looks nice sitting next to your bed or on your bookshelf. You will find complete instructions to make your own at studenthacks.org.

When you are selecting your book to repurpose, make sure it is roomy enough to fit all the things you want to hide with a bit of space to spare for airflow and easy removal. In fact, you may want several books for several devices. Or, you can just find an enormous title that’s big enough for all of them while making you look like a serious reader. (“War and Peace,” anyone?)

These hidden charging stations make a great gift for anyone else you know who might need a bit of help corralling their stuff, too. Bonus: This project can also be modified to fit those ugly remote controls that always seem to make their way into the crack of the couch cushions.

If you enjoy crafting with recycled odd and ends, you should borrow the following titles from your library:

If you’re an online learner, check out our Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center. You can access this website for free with your library card number; your PIN is your birthdate (MMDDYYYY). You’ll find many fun project ideas available with instructions and inspiration for all sorts of interests.

Photo credit: Kindle Case Mosaic by litlnemo via Flickr. Used under creative commons license.

Originally published at Homemade Holiday Gifts: Hardback Charging Station.

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Homemade Holiday Gifts: Catnip Fish

December 18, 2014
Catnip Shadowfax

Shadowfax enjoying his holiday present.

Handmade gifts are not just for people. Here is a fun and easy gift to make for your cat; or, skip the catnip and make it for a special puppy. I made this in a single evening after dinner. It took me about an hour and a half, but I had all the materials on hand.

Supplies

  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Pins
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine or sewing needles
  • Fabric batting
  • Catnip (I got mine at Clover’s Natural Market)
  • Funnel

Catnip Crafts

Step 1:
Make a pattern.

Step 2:
Cut out the pattern pieces and choose your fabric. I chose a scrap of colored cotton and some felt from an old sweater I washed/shrank.

Step 3:
Trace the pattern on the cloth with a pencil. Double the cloth and pin it so it won’t move while you cut it. Cut two pieces at once; one for each side of the fish. I used pinking shears so the fabric wouldn’t unravel.

Step 4:
When you are ready, sew with the right sides out. Pin the felt fins so that they are well inside your fish and will be securely caught by your sewing.

Step 5:
Sew around the fish about 5/8 of an inch inside the cut edges, catching the felt fins with either a sewing machine or by hand. Backstitching works best for hand sewing. Check out this YouTube tutorial for a live demonstration. Make sure to leave a gap so that you can fill the fish with a combination of batting and catnip. A funnel or chopsticks can be helpful when stuffing your fish.

Step 6:
Sew up the gap and sew around again if you think it needs to be extra secure. Now it’s ready to be presented to your special pet. If you’re interested in making other kinds of pet toys check out “Pet Crafts: 28 Great Toys, Gifts and Accessories for Pet Lovers” by Heidi Boyd at the library!

Originally published at Homemade Holiday Gifts: Catnip Fish.

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Best Teen Books of 2014

December 9, 2014

Best Books of 2014If I Stay” by Gayle Forman. “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green. “Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell. These were the heavy hitters on this year’s New York Times’ “Young Adult Best Seller List.”

Whether you’re looking to purchase a holiday gift for that special bookworm in your life, or you’re looking to get lost in the pages of a good book over the winter break, here are some “best of” lists of recommended young adult titles.

The Young Adult Library Services Association produces several lists each year which encompass books from a wide assortment of genres:

Be sure to check out these lists created by the publishing industry’s most renowned book reviewers, many of whom are librarians:

With 2015 fast approaching, stay ahead of upcoming trends by subscribing to the library’s YA email newsletter. This monthly publication features reviews on the the most popular new releases in young adult fiction. Best of all, this newsletter is delivered straight to your inbox.

It’s also a good idea to monitor Good Reads’  lists of the “Most Exciting Upcoming YA Books” and “Upcoming YA Novels of 2015.” With your library card, you can reserve many upcoming titles before they are even published! Be sure to check out our online catalog, or give us a call at (800) 324-4806  to check on a book’s availability.

Originally published at Best Teen Books of 2014.

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Homemade Holiday Gifts: Spicy Ranch Pretzels

December 7, 2014
Pretzels

Find a similar recipe at MacaroniAndCheesecake.com

As the holiday quickly approaches, the perfect gift to give is on the minds of many. My favorite tactic is giving the gift of food. It’s always a hit.

Like socks, sweaters and dish towels, if the recipient doesn’t like your gift, eventually it will disappear. But, if they love the food you gifted, they will have the delicious memory lingering on their taste buds and the recipe to make more and gift forward. It’s a win-win for everyone!

Below is a super yummy recipe for Spicy Ranch Pretzels. This my friends, is a CROWD PLEASER. At first glance they look like ordinary pretzels, but trust me when I say your friends and family will think you are a kitchen genius.

You can package this yummy treat in glass jars, decorate it with bow and attach a cute homemade gift tag along with the recipe. Boom! Holiday shopping, done!

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz bag miniature pretzels
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 pkg dry ranch dressing mix
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Mix dry ranch dressing mix, cayenne pepper and garlic powder with the oil in a medium bowl.
  3. Place pretzels in a larger bowl and top with oil mixture. Stir well to coat.
  4. Let sit in bowl for 30 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes.
  5. Spread pretzels on a large cookie sheet. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool before packaging.

Don’t forget to check out these great cookbooks with gift ideas for all the foodies in your life. You can borrow them for free with your DBRL library card!

Originally published at Homemade Holiday Gifts: Spicy Ranch Pretzels.

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Register by 12/19 for John Green’s Autograph

December 5, 2014

Will Grayson AudiobookTwo weeks remain to register for the “Will Grayson, Will Grayson” audiobook giveaway! This title is co-authored by award-winning YA writers John Green and David Levithan. They have each autographed the copy that we will be giving away to one lucky winner on Friday, December 19.

The narrators of this audiobook, MacLeod Andrews and Nick Podehl, take turns reading alternate chapters, helping you understand the very complex personalities of two boys who happen to share the same name. This book was selected as an expert pick for LGBTQ Fiction for Adults and Teens. You can listen to a five-minute sample at AudioFileMagazine.com.

Originally published at Register by 12/19 for John Green’s Autograph.

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Program Preview: Project Teen & Pizza

December 3, 2014

Project Teen: MemoriesMemory Jar
Monday, December 15 at 6 p.m.
Columbia Public Library

Craft a personalized memory jar as a gift or in preparation of the New Year, and enjoy free pizza. Ages 12-18. Registration required. To sign-up, please call (573) 443-3161. 

In the meantime, check out these cool YA novels that will play tricks with your memory: “The Giver” by Lois Lowry, “The Program” by Suzanne Young, “Forgotten” by Cat Patrick and “The Adoration of Jenna Fox” by Mary Pearson.

Photo credit: My Memory Jar by JocelynLehman via Flickr. Used under creative commons license.

Originally published at Program Preview: Project Teen & Pizza.

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Homemade Holiday Gifts: Rag Wreaths

December 1, 2014

Submitted by Katie Long, Children’s Associate at the Columbia Public Library

Recently I stumbled upon a type of decoration called a rag wreath. They have become one of my new favorite ways to add to add character the front of my house. I love how super simple they are to make, and the possibilities for colors are endless. The great thing about these wreaths is while they look complicated, they are quite simple, and can be made while watching television, or talking to friends.

I don’t like sitting for long periods of time without something to do with my hands (say during a football game on T.V.) and these are the perfect project. It is easy to pick up where you left off and rag wreaths don’t take much brain power.

Supplies:Rag Wreath
You need only two things: a wire wreath frame (found at craft stores) and roughly 5 yards of scrap fabric.

Step 1:
Cut the fabric into strips, about six inches by one inch (or 1.5 if you prefer). I recommend using fabric scissors, but you don’t have to. Also, do not fret over getting every piece exact. No one will be able to tell if one or two strips are an inch short, or if they aren’t cut perfectly straight.

Step 2:
Knot one strip to one of the wires on your frame.

Step 3:
Repeat over and over, using different fabrics to form a pattern, or go random. As you go, twist your knots toward the front of the wreath. You want the back to be smooth, and the front to have the majority of the fabric. That’s all. It takes several hours to tie all those knots, though.

Some ideas of possible wreath themes include your favorite team colors, holiday themes, favorite colors, or just whatever fabric scraps you have on hand. Note that some fraying will occur as you handle the fabric. This is okay and it actually helps all the fabrics blend. If you want your colors to pop more, or are going for a cold/cozy theme, try using fleece or flannel fabric.

If you enjoy fabric crafts, you might also check out these titles at your library:

Photo credit: Rag Wreaths by heather via Flickr. Used under creative commons license.

Originally published at Homemade Holiday Gifts: Rag Wreaths.

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Book Cover Contest: First Place Winner

November 21, 2014
Artwork by Amelia Martinez

Artwork by Amelia Martinez

At the conclusion of our Book Cover Contest, we prepare for the launch of our next competition, the March Madness Teen Book Tournament. Through a series of votes, we are narrowing our list of the 32 most popular teen books to one grand champion. Each round you vote, your name will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win cool prizes like free book sets or a Barnes & Noble gift card. Subscribe to our blog updates to get program reminders and learn which titles will be advancing to the next round.

We are excited to announce that Amelia Martinez is the first place winner of our Book Cover Contest for her re-imagined artwork for “Burning Blue” by Paul Griffin. In this book, beautiful, smart Nicole is disfigured when acid is thrown in her face. She befriends a computer hacker named Jay while visiting the school psychologist’s office and he resolves to find her attacker. This title is also a 2015 Gateway Award nominee.

Amelia will receive a $20 gift card to Barnes and Noble as her award. Congratulations to all our winners and many thanks to our talented teen patrons for their participation! We hope you will check out the gallery of all the eligible entries we received this year!

Originally published at Book Cover Contest: First Place Winner.

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Book Cover Contest: Second Place Winner

November 19, 2014
Artwork by Ashley Hrdina

Artwork by Ashley Hrdina

Today we continue to recognize the winners in the DBRLTeen Book Cover Contest. But first, did you know that the library has four apps that allow you to access free movies, music, ebooks, audiobooks and magazines?

Overdrive offers access to thousands of eBook and downloadable audiobook titles, including many of the most popular young adult novels. Download the Overdrive app for your iOS device and Android device.

Hoopla allows you to watch movies, or listen to music and audiobooks with your computer or mobile device for free. Download the free Hoopla app for your  iOS device or Android device.

Zinio offers over 100 free digital magazines for you to read on your computer, tablet or mobile device such as Seventeen, ESPN, Girl’s Life, Rolling Stone, Popular Science and more. Get the app for your Android, Apple,Kindle Fire, Blackberry, Nook HD, or Windows 8 mobile device.

Finally, we recognize Ashley Hrdina as the second place winner in the DBRLTeen Book Cover Contest. She will receive a $20 gift card to Barnes and Noble as her award. In her entry, Ashley shared her vision for the cover of “Out of My Mind” by Sharon Draper. In this book, a brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy, considered by many to be mentally retarded, discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time. It is a powerful story and one of the most requested among teens at the Daniel Boone Regional Library.

On Friday we will wrap-up our contest by recognizing the first place winner and showcasing all the entries received in an online gallery.

Originally published at Book Cover Contest: Second Place Winner.

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Book Cover Contest: Third Place Winner

November 17, 2014
augusta_nickolaus

Augusta Nickolaus

Many thanks to the young adults who submitted their artwork into the DBRLTeen Book Cover Contest. We received 24 entries from throughout Boone and Callaway counties.

If you are looking to develop your skills as an artist, the library has plenty of resources to help. We provide free classes through our online service called UniversalClass. Learn more about digital photography, drawing, watercolor painting and other visual arts. These are just a few of the over 500 courses offered. To log in, you’ll need your DBRL library card number; your PIN is your birthdate (MMDDYYYY).

We are pleased to announce the third place winner in the DBRLTeen Book Cover Contest: Augusta Nickolaus. She will receive a $20 gift card to Barnes and Noble as her award. The subject of her contest submission was “Crush” by Gary Paulsen. Afraid to actually ask Tina Zabinski for a date, eighth-grader Kevin spends most of his time theorizing about love and romance and observing and analyzing male-female interaction.

Join us on Wednesday as we announce the the second place winner!

Originally published at Book Cover Contest: Third Place Winner.

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“Will Grayson, Will Grayson” Book Giveaway

November 13, 2014

John Green Holiday GiveawayTo celebrate the holiday season,  DBRLTeen will be giving away an autographed copy of “Will Grayson, Will Grayson” on CD! This audiobook is about two teenage boys with the same name, whose lives intersect in unexpected ways.

“One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, Will Grayson crosses paths with . . . Will Grayson. Two teens with the same name, running in two very different circles, suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, and culminating in epic turns-of-heart and the most fabulous musical ever to grace the high school stage.”

Will Grayson, Will Grayson” is a collaboration between two well-recognized authors, John Green and David Levithan. Green is the author of “The Fault in Our Stars,” while Levithan penned the novel, “Every Day.” Both of these titles are on the current list of Gateway Award nominees, and among the most heavily circulated teen books in our regional library system.

 “Will Grayson, Will Grayson” debuted at #3 on the New York Times bestseller list for children’s chapter books, the first book starring gay characters ever to appear on the list. Check out the video below of John Green reading the first few pages of this acclaimed young adult novel and register today for your chance to win a free copy of this audiobook! The lucky winner will be contacted on Friday, December 19. 

Originally published at “Will Grayson, Will Grayson” Book Giveaway.

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2015 Winter Program Preview

November 11, 2014

Winter Program Collage

March Madness Teen Book Tournament
In mid-December, we will announce the 32 contenders in DBRL’s March Madness Teen Book Tournament. Starting in early January, we will begin voting for the Mid-Missouri teen book champion. Each time you vote, your name will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win cool prizes like free book sets or a Barnes & Noble gift card.

Wii Olympics
Southern Boone County Public Library
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 • 2:45-4:30 p.m.
Compete in a variety of Wii sports for a chance to win a gold medal and strut your stuff. We’ll have treats and other goodies. Grades 6-8.

Project Teen: Memories
Columbia Public Library
Monday, December 15, 2014 • 6-7:30 p.m.
Craft a personalized memory jar as a gift or in preparation of the New Year, and enjoy free pizza. Ages 12-18. Registration begins Tuesday, December 2. To sign-up, please call (573) 443-3161. 

Family Game Day
Columbia Public Library
Tuesday, December 23, 2014 • 9:30-11:30 a.m. , 2-3:30 p.m.
Drop by to play board games. We’ll have favorites, old and new, but feel free to bring your own games, too. For families with children of all ages.

Wii U Family Game Night
Columbia Public Library
Thursday, January 8, 2015 • 6-7:30 p.m.
Try out the library’s Wii U game console. Become a dancing superstar in “Just Dance 4″ or a bowling champion playing “Wii Sports.” Pizza served. Ages 10 and older. Parents welcome. Registration begins Tuesday, December 23. To sign-up, please call (573) 443-3161.

Dance-Off
Southern Boone County Public Library
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 • 2:45-4:30 p.m.
Think you have the best dance moves? Prove it! Bring your moves and your friends to this fun dance competition, using “Just Dance” on the Wii U. We’ll have treats and other goodies. Grades 6-8.

Finding Summer Jobs for Teens
Columbia Public Library
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 • 6:30-8 p.m.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 • 6:30-8 p.m.
We’ll look at local resources for teen job-seekers, help identify job possibilities and employers who may be interested in you. You will leave with resources and a form to make completing applications easier. Snacks provided. Registration begins Tuesday, January 20. To sign-up, please call (573) 443-3161.

Wii Olympics
Southern Boone County Public Library
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 • 2:45-4 p.m.
Compete in a variety of Wii sports for a chance to win a gold medal and strut your stuff. We’ll have treats and other goodies. Grades 6-8.

Wii U Family Game Afternoon
Columbia Public Library
Friday, February 13, 2015 • 2-3:30 p.m.
Try out the library’s Wii U game console. Become a dancing superstar in “Just Dance 4″ or a bowling champion playing “Wii Sports.” Snacks served. Ages 10 and older. Parents welcome. Registration begins Tuesday, January 27. To sign-up, please call (573) 443-3161.

Poetry Out Loud Competition
Columbia Public Library
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 • 10 a.m.
Area high school students will be competing for a spot on the Missouri state championship team at this recitation competition. Missouri’s winner progresses to the national Poetry Out Loud championship held in Washington, D.C. Come observe and encourage the students as they perform their poems. This program of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation is coordinated locally by the City of Columbia Office of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the Missouri Arts Council. For more information, go to www.poetryoutloud.org. (Alternate weather date: February 25.)

Originally published at 2015 Winter Program Preview.

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Books for Dudes – The Iron Trial

November 7, 2014

The Iron Trial, Magisterium Book OneYou usually read stories with characters who want to succeed, whether in an adventure, a quest, a mission, etc. But what happens when the main character wants to fail?  From popular teen authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare comes “The Iron Trial,” the first book in the Magisterium series that takes a sharp left from the traditional hero’s journey.

Our protagonist, Call, has been warned all his life by his father to stay away from magic. Magic finds Call anyway, and he’s off to be trained at the Magisterium. However, lots of secrets revolve around Call – oddities in his mother’s death, his connection to a big war on magic, the origin of his crippled leg, etc. You’ll find many answers in this book and at least as many more questions.

I like the rules of magic in this book. Much like other magic-based stories, Black and Clare emphasize the elements…fire wants to burn, water wants to flow, air wants to rise, and earth wants to bind. A fifth type of magic is chaos magic, which wants to devour. Each magician specializes in one of these five types – gee, can you guess which magic the main villain specializes in?

This book has gotten a lot of praise, but it’s had one primary complaint from critics – this book is too much like Harry Potter. And admittedly, there are some similarities. Child has a parent (but not two in this case) killed by a dark lord of magic. Check. Child ends up at a school for wizardry. Check. Child is initially unpopular but is befriended by two friends, a boy and a girl. Check. Dark lord of magic causes mischief. Check. So yes, I’m not denying any of the above. However, I suspect that most critics tying this book to Harry Potter have not actually read the whole story – to figure out what I’m talking about, well, you’re just going to have to read this one yourself. Magisterium Book 2 is expected to be released sometime in 2015.

 

Originally published at Books for Dudes – The Iron Trial.

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Safe Place: A Resource for Teens in Need

November 5, 2014

On average, 2.8 million teens runaway from home each year. Rainbow House, a local emergency shelter for youth, receives 10-15 calls each month from teens who have either been abused or kicked out of their homes. To help combat this serious widespread problem, the Youth Community Coalition partnered with Rainbow House to launch the Safe Place Program.

How does Safe Place work?

Youth can stop by one of 20 Safe Place sites, including the Columbia Public Library. Then, they simply find the first available employee and let them know they are in need of a safe place. Young adults will be connected to emergency shelter and other supportive resources available through Rainbow House.

If you’re in trouble and can’t make it to a Safe Place site, you can call (573) 818-8288, or text “SAFE” and your current location (address/city/state) to 69866.

Where are Columbia’s Safe Place sites?

Columbia Fire Stations No. 1-9; Blind Boone Community Center; Columbia Housing Authority; Columbia Public Library; Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services; Activity & Recreation Center; Stephens Lake Activity Center; The Armory; Family Counseling Center; Rainbow House; Voluntary Action Center; Youth Empowerment Zone; and, QuikTrip Gas Station.


View Columbia Safe Place Sites in a larger map

Originally published at Safe Place: A Resource for Teens in Need.

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Project Teen to Celebrate New Hobbit Movie

November 3, 2014

hobbit banner
Celebrate the upcoming Hobbit movie and the Dwarven new year with dwarvish crafts and a free pizza lunch! Join us for either of these sessions of Project Teen:

  • Friday, November 14  at the Columbia Public Library at 1 p.m. Ages 12-18. Registration is required. To sign-up, please call (573) 443-3161.
  • Saturday, November 22 at the Callaway County Public Library at 12 p.m. Ages 12 and older. Registration is not required for this session.

Originally published at Project Teen to Celebrate New Hobbit Movie.

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November 7 Deadline for December ACT Exam

October 30, 2014

Standardized TestBe sure to register online by Friday, November 7 if you plan to take the December 13 ACT exam. If you would like to know more about testing locations, exam costs and fee waivers, please visit our  online guide to SAT/ACT preparation. The library also has a wide selection of printed ACT and SAT test guides for you to borrow.

Our most popular resource for test-takers, though, is LearningExpress Library. Through this website, you may take free online practice tests for the ACT or SAT exam. To access LearningExpress Library, you will need to login using your DBRL library card number. Your PIN is your birthdate (MMDDYYYY).  If you have questions or encounter difficulties logging in, please call  (800) 324-4806.

Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog updates for regular reminders of upcoming test registration deadlines!

Originally published at November 7 Deadline for December ACT Exam.

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2014 “Teens’ Top Ten” Winners Announced

October 21, 2014

Teens' Top TenVoting for this year’s Teens’ Top Ten took place from mid August through Teen Read Week, Oct. 12- 18, with more than 12,000 votes cast. There were 25 nominees that competed for the “top ten” list. Below are this year’s winning titles.

The Teens’ Top Ten is a “teen choice” list, with teens nominating and choosing their favorite books of the previous year. Nominators are members of teen book groups in 16 school and public libraries around the country. Nominations are posted on Celebrate Teen Literature Day during National Library Week and teens across the country vote on their favorite titles between August and October.

Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell
The year is 1986 when Eleanor arrives in town to live with her family and abusive step-father. It’s been a year since the last time she lived with them, and she doesn’t expect life to be any better. Park’s life, on the other hand, is going steady. He’s got a spot in the popular crowd and he’s about to get his driver’s license. But when the two meet on the bus, things change drastically. Even though they both know high school romances never last, they’re going to try everything they’ve got to make it work. But in end, will everything they have be enough?

The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave” by Rick Yancey
Present day – the aliens have invaded the planet, or as Cassie likes to call them, the Others. Almost everyone has been killed off by the 4th Wave, and now, Cassie one of the few survivors living now during the 5th wave, roams the country while trying to stay alive to find her brother – that is, if he’s still alive. When she’s taken in by a boy named Evan, she realizes that he’s different. He’s not like her, but he’s all she’s got. Cassie has to overcome her doubts and trust issues if she wishes to survive the 5th wave.

Splintered” by A.G. Howard
Alyssa, a girl already struggling with life in general, is pulled into something dark and mysterious. She follows in the footsteps of her ancestor, Alice, and goes down the rabbit hole to right the wrongs that Alice caused to cure her family of their “curse”. Instead of finding Lewis Carroll’s beautiful wonderland, she finds a dark and twisted version with monstrous creatures that aren’t as nice as the ones in the novel or as pretty.

The Rithmatist” Brandon Sanderson
Joel wants to be a Rithmatist more than anything. Rithmatists have the power to bring two dimensional beings called Chalklings to life and defend against the wild chalkings that threaten to overcome the Rithmatists. Joel is student at Armedius Academy, a prestigious school where Rithmatists and wealthy children go to learn. When a string of kidnappings begin to occur Joel must gain assistance from the Rithmatists at Armedius Academy in order to bring order back to the academy.

Monument 14: Sky On Fire” by Emmy Laybourne
Monument 14 by Emmy LaybourneWhen disaster strikes in the city of Monument, 14 kids are huddled in a Greenway store for shelter and survival. They decide their only chance of living through this nationwide disaster is to make their way to Denver International Airport where the military is evacuating people to safety. Will they make it alive or will they meet their doom like others?

Earth Girl“by Janet Edwards
In 2788 humanity has developed technology that allows them to portal between many habitable worlds except for those are deemed “the handicapped”, those who are born with a one in a thousand chance of having an immune system that cannot tolerate other planets. Jarra, a handicapped 18-year old student with a passion for history, creates a false identity for herself and enrolls in a college course for students from other planets in an attempt to get revenge for the way the handicapped are looked down upon.

Steelheart” by Brandon Sanderson
Ten years ago, Calamity came; a light in the sky that appeared one day and many believe that somehow it was connected to the rise of the Epics. These beings, once human, now have all kinds of amazing and dangerous powers that have enabled them to take over the world, and one could argue the most dangerous one is Steelheart. Able to bend the elements to his will and turn any non-living substance to steel, many say he’s invincible because they’ve never seen him bleed — except for David, who will stop at nothing to get his vengeance and see Steelheart bleed again.

The Testing” by Joelle Charbonneau
The Testing by Joelle CharbonneauCia is chosen to participate in The Testing, a government program that will select the brightest graduates who show potential for becoming future leaders in this post-apocalyptic world. Cia’s excitement of being chosen soon dies when her father warns her of the experiences he faced when he was chosen. Cia must trust no one if she hopes to come back alive. However, will she be able to face the dark, unholy truth about the testing? One kept whether you leave… Or don’t?

Siege and Storm” by Leigh Bardugo
Alina, a sun summoner on the run from the evil Darkling, is searching for a way to increase her power and save the ones she loves. But as her power grows she falls deeper in the Darkling’s grasp and farther away from her best friend and love, Mal. When the time comes Alina must choose between her love, her power, or her lust for the Darkling and all of his power.

The Eye of Minds” by James Dashner
Michael is an average kid who plays video games, but this video game, the Virtnet, is different than others. You can die in it physically and mentally, and that happens to a girl named Tanya who rips out her core and commits suicide. Suddenly, Michael is whisked away by the designers of the VirtNet and is given a mission by them to find a cyber terrorist, named Kaine, who is suspected of killing gamers.

Originally published at 2014 “Teens’ Top Ten” Winners Announced.

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Great Graphic Novels for Children & Teens

October 7, 2014

Great Graphic NovelsGraphic novels are simply stories organized in a comic-strip format. With the popularity of books like “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” and “Dork Diaries,” there has been dramatic growth in the quantity and quality of graphic novels available for children and teens.

Graphic novels are a great tool to use with reluctant readers. Text is broken down into manageable chunks, instead of lengthy chapters, and illustrations provide context clues that enhance comprehension. Graphic novels allow children and teens to gain confidence in their reading skills while learning to like reading in a way they may never have before. These books are also helpful when working with children with special needs and English-language learners.

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), has created Graphic Novel Reading Lists intended for children from kindergarten through 8th grade. The books on this list are  defined as a full-length story told in paneled, sequential, graphic format. The graphic novels chosen for these lists include classics as well as new titles that have been widely recommended and well-reviewed, and books that have popular appeal as well as critical acclaim. Below is the list of those titles appropriate for teens in grades 6-8. 

Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography” by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón
Drawing on the unique historical sites, archives, and expertise of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, this authorized biography is the complete account of the lives of Anne’s parents, her first years in Frankfurt, the rise of Nazism, her life in the annex, and her arrest and tragic death in Bergen-Belsen.

Anya’s Ghost” by Vera Brosgol
When Russian American teenager Anya falls down a well and meets the ghost of a girl who was killed, they become fast friends as Emily helps Anya, and Anya vows to solve Emily’s murder.

“The Arrival” by Shaun Tan
A wordless but very moving story about a lonely man who has just arrived in a new city in a world not unlike our own.

Best Shot in the West: The Adventures of Nat Love” by Patricia C. McKissack and Frederick L. McKissack Jr., illustrated by Randy DuBurke
This exciting story follows the life of legendary Nat Love, a former slave and one of the most famous cowboys of the Old West.

Bone: Out from Boneville” by Jeff Smith
The adventure starts when cousins Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone are run out of Boneville and later get separated in the wilderness, meeting monsters and making friends as they attempt to return home.

Cardboard” by Doug TenNapel
A simple birthday gift of a cardboard box turns into something more when a boy and his father discover that whatever they make out of the cardboard is capable of coming to life! Also recommended by this author: “Ghostopolis.”

Chiggers” by Hope Larson
Summer camp angst follows Abby, a girl attempting to make new friends, who finds that her alliance with weirdo Shasta puts her in danger of becoming an outcast herself.

Coraline” by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by P. Craig Russell
When Coraline steps through a secret door in her house, she finds a marvelous new world much better than her own. However, when her “other mother” wants to keep her there forever, she must use her wits and the help of an all-knowing cat to return to the real world in this graphic novel version of Gaiman’s popular title.

Drama” by Raina Telgemeier
Drama abounds on and off the stage in this hilarious take on school theater productions. Also recommended by this author: “Smile.”

Foiled” by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mike Cavallaro
Aliera is a star at fencing, but at school no one notices her—until her new lab partner Avery begins flirting with her. Will Aliera’s first date be ruined when magical creatures try to steal her foil?

Friends with Boys” by Faith Erin Hicks
A young homeschooler transitions to high school, along with the mystery of the ghost who has followed her most of her life.

A Game for Swallows: To Die, to Leave, to Return” by Zeina Abirached
Zeina’s parents have not returned from visiting the other half of divided Beirut during the civil war in Lebanon. Zeina gathers with neighbors in the safest place in the apartment, where they play games, talk and support one another.

Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword” by Barry Deutsch
Mirka Herschberg lives in an Orthodox Jewish family and dreams of fighting dragons. A witch appears and issues a challenge, giving Mirka the chance she has always wanted.

Jane, the Fox, and Me” by Fanny Britt, illustrated by Isabel Arsenault, translated by Susan Ouriou and Christelle Morelli
Hélène delves deep into the world of Jane Eyre to escape the cruelty of her everyday life at school, until she meets a friend in an unlikely location.

“Kampung Boy” by Lat
Lat, a noted Malaysian cartoonist, tells the story of the early life of a Muslim boy growing up on a rubber plantation during the 1950s. The sequel is “Town Boy.”

Laika” by Nick Abadzis
History comes alive in the heartbreaking tale of a little stray street pup that was chosen to become a worldwide sensation in the space race.

Lewis & Clark” by Nick Bertozzi
This historically accurate graphic novel begins with President Jefferson’s call to explore the western region and continues beyond the conclusion of the famed Lewis and Clark expedition.

Little White Duck: A Childhood in China” by Na Liu and Andrés Vera Martínez
A fictionalized memoir of a youth spent in post-Mao China. By turns touching, funny and smart, this graphic novel offers a slice of life in a distant country.

Marble Season” by Gilbert Hernandez
This semiautobiographical story traces the escapades of the author and his siblings and friends in 1960s California as they grow from infants to teens.

Page by Paige” by Laura Lee Gulledge
When Paige’s family relocates to New York City, she has to start over. As she fills up a sketchbook, she finds the courage to become exactly who she wants to be.

Rapunzel’s Revenge” by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
Two traditional fairy tales— “Rapunzel” and “Jack and the Beanstalk”—merge in a fresh and funny adventure with a western flair. The sequel is “Calamity Jack.”

“Save Yourself” by Jeremy Whitley, edited by David Dwonch, illustrated by M. Goodwin
Princess Adrienne is no damsel in distress. Along with Sparky, her dragon, she will rescue herself and have a few adventures in the meantime.

The Storm in the Barn” by Matt Phelan
It’s Kansas in 1937, and life is bleak during the Dust Bowl. Jack is left to his imagination in this graphic novel that is part historical fiction, part tall tale.

Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection” edited by Matt Dembicki
This collaborative effort by more than 40 writers and artists presents 21 Native American trickster tales in graphic novel format.

“Twin Spica” by Kou Yaginuma
Asumi wants to be part of Japan’s first manned space mission. Does she have what it takes?

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty” by G. Neri, illustrated by Randy DuBurke
Based on true events and told through the eyes of a younger boy, this graphic novel tells the story of Robert (“Yummy”) as he tries to navigate the dangerous world of a Chicago neighborhood.

Zebrafish” by Sharon Emerson, illustrated by Renée Kurilla
Vita and the members of her rock band Zebrafish raise money to help the children’s hospital where one band member is receiving cancer treatments.

Originally published at Great Graphic Novels for Children & Teens.

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Program Preview: Ashland Scavenger Hunt

September 25, 2014

Scavenger Hunt

Starting October 1, stop by the Southern Boone County Public Library in Ashland to pick up a list of challenges and clues for a library scavenger hunt. You can work solo or with a team of friends.  Bring in your list and proof of completed tasks to the first ever Ashland Tween Night on Friday, October 17 at 6:30 p.m. Scavenger Hunt winners will receive a Barnes & Noble gift card. Ages 11 and older. Parental permission required.

Originally published at Program Preview: Ashland Scavenger Hunt.

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