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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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October 9 Registration Deadline for November SAT Exam

September 22, 2014

The Official SAT Study GuideThe registration deadline for the November 8 SAT exam is Thursday, October 9. Sign-up online.

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 October 9 Registration Deadline for November SAT Exam.

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Author Antony John Visits October 16

September 19, 2014

Antony John Collage

Young Adult Author Antony John will visit the Columbia Public Library on Thursday October 16 at 7 p.m. Antony is the author of the award-winning book “Five Flavors of Dumb” as well as “Elemental” which is a current Truman Award nominee.

Before moving to St. Louis, Antony lived in England where he was raised on a balanced diet of fish and chips, obscure British comedies and ABBA’s Greatest Hits. Along his journey to becoming a writer, he worked as an ice cream seller on a freezing English beach, a tour guide in the Netherlands, a chauffeur in Switzerland, a barista in Seattle, and a university professor.

Five Flavors of Dumb” was Antony’s second book for young adults and won the prestigious Schneider Family Book Award. This award honors writers for their creative depiction of what it’s like to live with a disability. Dumb is not the name Piper, a high school senior who is Deaf, would have chosen for a heavy metal band, yet she volunteers to manage this disparate group of would-be musicians.  In her attempt to make Dumb profitable, Piper learns a few things about music and business, striking a chord within herself. Read the first chapter on Antony’s website.

Elemental” is the first book in Anthony’s fantasy trilogy. “Firebrand,” the second title in the series, is his most recently published book. The main character, Thomas, has always been an outsider. The first child born without the power of an element—earth, water, wind, or fire—he has little to offer his tiny, remote Outer Banks colony. Or so the Guardians would have him believe.

In the wake of an unforeseen storm, desperate pirates kidnap the Guardians, intent on claiming the island as their own. Caught between the plague-ridden mainland and the advancing pirates, Thomas and his friends fight for survival in the battered remains of a mysterious abandoned settlement. But the secrets they unearth will turn Thomas’s world upside-down, and bring to light not only a treacherous past but also a future more dangerous than he can possibly imagine. Antony also has excerpts for both “Elemental” and “Firebrand” on his website.

Books will be for sale by Barnes and Noble and a book signing will follow the program.

Originally published at Author Antony John Visits October 16.

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Book Cover Contest

September 11, 2014

Teen Read Week Banner

Teen Read Week is an annual celebration of reading! This year’s theme is “Turn Dreams Into Reality.” In honor of this theme, we want to see what new covers you can dream up for your favorite book. Just pick a title and redesign the cover with your own original artwork to show us how you imagine the story.

Entries will be judged on composition, originality and quality of artwork. Winners will be announced in November at teens.dbrl.org and each will receive a Barnes & Noble gift card.

Contest Deadline:

Entries must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, October 17.

Eligibility:
  • The contest is open to participants between 12 and 18 years old.
  • Participants must reside in either Boone or Callaway County, Missouri.
The Rules:
  • Contest participants must enter their artwork using the DBRLTeen Book Cover Contest entry form.
  • The  book title and author name should be incorporated somewhere in your design.
  • You may use any art material you like to create your book cover, but your design must be flat and it must fill the rectangle on the back of the entry form.
  • Only one entry per person will be allowed.
How to Enter:

Download an entry form, or pick one up at your nearest library branch or bookmobile stop. Once you have designed your book cover and filled out your information on the back, you may submit your entry form one of two ways:

Option 1: Turn your entry form in at the Children’s Desk at your nearest library branch or bookmobile stop.

Option 2:  You may mail your completed entry form to:

Daniel Boone Regional Library
ATTN: Brandy Sanchez
100 W. Broadway
Columbia, MO 65203

Originally published at Book Cover Contest.

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Books for Dudes – Every Day

September 5, 2014

Every Day,” by David Leviathan, challenges how we think of a main protagonist. This story is about A, who wakes up in a different body every single day. A tries to live each person’s life as they would or, at the very least, to not interfere at all and go unnoticed.  A is a unique character, as there’s no real assigned gender – sometimes A is a boy, sometimes A is a girl. Both genders feel natural.

Every Day, by David LevithanWhile every day is different, A’s life has a certain regularity until falling for a girl named Rhiannon. After making this fateful connection, A’s life changes…whether boy or girl, A tries to get whatever body being inhabited back to spend time with Rhiannon, telling her the secret of A’s life…and A wants Rhiannon to love him/her every day, regardless of whose body is being inhabited.

Obviously, this relationship doesn’t make things easy for Rhiannon, as she tries to adjust to seeing a different face every day. In addition to the romantic conflict, a mysterious reverend is trying to find out more about A, and the “why” infuses the story with an increased sense of danger and urgency.

This story really made me think about A’s predicament. If you go to Amazon or Goodreads, A is assigned a “he,” although in the story itself, there’s no assigned gender. A has been switching bodies every day since birth. And how would it feel to inhabit the body of someone else, even someone we knew, for a day? Would we be tempted  to nose around in people’s lives, to make changes?  Could we possibly still value their privacy, as A tries to do?

Every Day” is not easy (you’ll be pondering all sorts of scenarios in this book), but it is a really good read. I would love to know what happens next at the end of this novel, which usually is one indicator of a good story. Check it out and see what you think!

Originally published at Books for Dudes – Every Day.

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Voting Begins for “Teens’ Top Ten”

September 3, 2014

Vote for the “Teens’ Top Ten!”

The “Teens’ Top Ten” is a list of recommended reading sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association. In fact, it’s the only reading list with titles nominated and voted on by teens.

How does it work?

  • Sixteen young adult book clubs from libraries nationwide are responsible for narrowing down a list of nominees for teens to consider. (Does your book club want to get involved? Learn how.)
  • Based on the recommendations of these teen book clubs, the list of this year’s 28 nominees was announced in April during National Library Week.
  • Throughout the summer months, teens are encouraged to read as many of these titles as humanly possible.
  • Readers ages 12-18 are invited to vote on their three favorite books through September 15.
  • During Teen Read Week, October 12-18, the 10 most popular titles will be announced as the official 2014 “Teens’ Top Ten” list. Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog updates to have this and other teen book news delivered to your email inbox!

Originally published at Voting Begins for “Teens’ Top Ten”.

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Registration Dates for Upcoming ACT & SAT Exams

August 29, 2014

Standardized TestThe registration deadlines are fast approaching for those planning to take the next round of ACT and SAT exams.

  • Registration for the October 25 ACT exam is due Friday, September 19. Sign-up online.
  • Registration for the November 8 SAT exam is due Thursday, October 9. Sign-up online.

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 Registration Dates for Upcoming ACT & SAT Exams.

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Upcoming Teen Game Nights

August 26, 2014

Wii U Dance-OffPizza
Wednesday, September 17, 2:45-5 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. No registration required.

Wii U Family Game Night
Columbia Public Library
Thursday September 18, 6:00 p.m.
Drop in to 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, September 2. To sign up, please call (573) 443-3161.

Originally published at Upcoming Teen Game Nights.

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Photo Contest: People’s Choice Award Winner

August 23, 2014
Greta Cross, "Runaway Bride"

Greta Cross, “Runaway Bride”

At the conclusion of our photo contest, we prepare for the launch of our next competition which will be a book cover contest. To celebrate Teen Read Week, we want to see what new covers you can dream up for your favorite book. Teens can submit original artwork by Friday, October 17 for a chance to win a Barnes & Noble gift card. Find contest rules and submission guidelines after Monday, September 8 at teens.dbrl.org.

Earlier in August we asked our patrons to choose the “People’s Choice” award winner by “liking” their photographs on the library’s Facebook page. Winner Greta Cross received nearly 90 votes for her submission, “Runaway Bride.” She 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! To receive email reminders about our upcoming Teen Book Cover Contest, be sure to register for our blog updates!

© All rights to the photographs contained herein reserved by their respective photographers.

Originally published at Photo Contest: People’s Choice Award Winner.

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Photo Contest Winner: Portrait Division

August 22, 2014
Lucas Desmit, "The Curious Dog"

Lucas Desmit, “The Curious Dog”

Did you know that with our new digital service, Hoopla, you can watch videos or listen to music and audiobooks with your computer or mobile device? It’s like Netflix, but free!

Hoopla allows us to offer streaming music, movies and TV shows for the first time. Plus, you’ll never have to wait on any item through Hoopla because more than one person can access the same movie, album or audiobook at the same time.

Download the free Hoopla mobile app on your Android or iOS device to begin enjoying thousands of titles from major film studios, recording companies and publishers. Hoopla items can also be streamed through your computer’s Web browser. Additionally, the library provides free downloadable YA titles and magazines through our Overdrive and Zinio services!

And now, we are pleased to announce the winner among those contestants competing in the Portrait division: Lucas Desmit. He will receive a $20 gift card to Barnes and Noble as his award.

Tomorrow we wrap-up our Teen Photography Contest by recognizing the winner of the “People’s Choice” award.

Gallery of Portrait Submissions


© All rights to the photographs contained herein reserved by their respective photographers.

Originally published at Photo Contest Winner: Portrait Division.

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Photo Contest: Nature Division Winner (Ages 14-18)

August 21, 2014
Hunter Dougan, "Reflection that Captured Dragonflies"

Hunter Dougan, “Reflection that Captured Dragonflies”

Today we continue to recognize the winners in our “Spark a Reaction” Teen Photography Contest. The library received 40 eligible entries and contestants were separated into four separate divisions:

Contestants have been judged on the following criteria:

  • Composition, the overall arrangement of elements within the photo.
  • The use of color, light and shadow to capture the image.
  • The creative interpretation of their chosen theme (portrait, nature or artistic showcase).

And now, we are pleased to announce the winner among those contestants ages 14-18 competing in the Nature division: Hunter Dougan. He says, “I liked the look of the reflection of the clouds in the water with my shadow and then noticed the dragonflies.” Hunter will receive a $20 gift card to Barnes and Noble as his award.

Join us tomorrow as we announce the winner among those entries submitted for the Portrait division.

Gallery of Portrait Submissions


© All rights to the photographs contained herein reserved by their respective photographers.

Originally published at Photo Contest: Nature Division Winner (Ages 14-18).

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Photo Contest: Nature Division Winner (Ages 12-13)

August 20, 2014
Ethan Mott, "Morning Dew"

Ethan Mott, “Morning Dew”

Our teen blog not only provides access to the library’s helpful online resources, but it also serves as a gallery for our creative teen patrons. In addition to our Homework Help databases and ACT/SAT test prep guides, be sure to check out our two published booklets of “Flash Fiction” short stories and our teen photography showcase. Subscribe to our blog updates and get news of upcoming writing and photography contests delivered directly to your inbox!

Today, DBRLTeen is excited to announce that Ethan Mott is the winner among those contestants ages 12-13 competing in the Nature division. When asked about his photo, “Morning Dew,” he explained, “Dew on grass in the early morning is somewhat unique. Seeing a dew drop up-close gives you a better look at the world in a small sense.”

Ethan will receive a $20 gift card to Barnes and Noble as her award.  Tomorrow we will announce the winner among those contestants ages 14-18 competing in the Nature division.

Gallery of Nature Division Submissions (Ages 12-13)


© All rights to the photographs contained herein reserved by their respective photographers.

Originally published at Photo Contest: Nature Division Winner (Ages 12-13).

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Photo Contest: Artistic Showcase Winner

August 19, 2014
Megan Reed, "Eruption"

Megan Reed, “Eruption”

If you are looking to develop your skills as a photographer, the library has plenty of resources to help. We provide free online classes through our online service called UniversalClass. Learn more about digital photography, digital scrapbooking, 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).

You should also stop by to check out our extensive collection of photography guidebooks such as:

Today marks the first day of recognizing our photo contest winners. Megan Reed is the winner of the Artistic Showcase for her photo, “Eruption.” When asked about the inspiration behind this photo, Megan said, “My brother and cousin were shooting various targets such as watermelons, water bottles, a plastic helicopter, and a newly shaken 2 liter orange soda bottle.  I wanted to capture the soda bottle exploding when it was shot.”

Megan will receive a $20 gift card to Barnes and Noble as his award. Tomorrow we announce the winner among those contestants ages 12-14 competing in the Nature division.

Gallery of Artistic Showcase Submissions


© All rights to the photographs contained herein are reserved by their respective photographers.

Originally published at Photo Contest: Artistic Showcase Winner.

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Vote for “People’s Choice” Award on Facebook

August 18, 2014

Spark Burst Slogan 2The library has received 40 entries in this summer’s Teen Photo Contest. While a panel of staff judges will decide the official winners, we are asking for your help in selecting the “People’s Choice” award. Visit the library’s Facebook page now through Wednesday, August 18 to vote for your favorite photographs by “liking” them.

Originally published at Vote for “People’s Choice” Award on Facebook.

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2014 Fall Program Preview

August 13, 2014
Fall Program Preview

Submit your ideal book cover for a chance to win a Barnes & Noble gift card, get first-hand writing tips from teen author Antony John, boogie down at our “Just Dance” competition and celebrate the release of the last “Hobbit” film.

Teen Book Cover Contest

To celebrate Teen Read Week, we want to see what new covers you can dream up for your favorite book. Teens can submit original artwork by Friday, October 17 for a chance to win a Barnes & Noble gift card. Full contest guidelines and a downloadable entry form will available after September 9. Ages 12-18 living in Boone and Callaway Counties.

Wii U Family Game Night
Columbia Public Library
Thursday September 18, 6:00 p.m.

Drop in to 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, September 2. To sign up, please call (573) 443-3161

Wii U Dance-Off
Wednesday, September 17, 2:45-5 p.m.
Wednesday, November 19, 2:45-5 p.m.
Southern Boone County Public Library

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.

Scavenger Hunt
Wednesday, October 1
Southern Boone County Public Library

Starting October 1, come pick up a list of challenges and clues for a library scavenger hunt. You can work solo or as a team to complete the list by Oct. 17 when we’ll compare answers at the first ever Ashland Tween Night. Be prepared for the unexpected and ready to act silly, that’s all we can say! Ages 11 and older.

Wii Olympics
Wednesday, October 8, 2:45-5 p.m.
Southern Boone County Public Library

Compete in a variety of Wii sports for a chance at a gold medal. Show us which sport you rock. We’ll have treats and other goodies. Grades 6-8.

Author Antony John
Thursday, October 16, 7-8 p.m.
Columbia Public Library

Antony John is the award-winning author of the “Elemental” trilogy, “Five Flavors of Dumb,” “Thou Shalt Not Road Trip” and other great teen books. He will be visiting the library to help us celebrate Teen Read Week. Books will be for sale by Barnes & Noble and a book signing will follow the program. Ages 11 and older.

First Ever Ashland Tween Night
Friday, October 17, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Southern Boone County Public Library

Challenge your friends to a game on our Wii U console or to a board game tournament. If you’ve played our scavenger hunt (clues available Oct. 1 at the library), bring in your list and proof of completed tasks tonight. We’ll see who did the best as we eat some pizza! Bring your friends for this after-hours event. Ages 11 and older.

Project Teen: Hobbits

Celebrate the upcoming Hobbit movie and the Dwarven new year with dwarvish crafts and a free pizza lunch! Ages 12-18.

Columbia Public Library
Fri., Nov. 14 at 1 p.m.
Registration begins Oct. 28
To sign up, call (573) 443-3161 Callaway County Public Library
Sat., Nov 22 at 12 p.m.
No registration required.

Originally published at 2014 Fall Program Preview.

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ACT/SAT Test Prep Resources @ Your Library

August 11, 2014

Do you have questions about the ACT OR SAT exam? Well, DBRLTeen has answers.  We have compiled a list of resources to help you prepare for these college entrance exams.

  • How much does the ACT OR SAT exam cost?
  • Where are the testing centers in Boone and Callaway counties?
  • What are the deadlines to register for the ACT OR SAT exam?
  • Most importantly, how can I prepare for these tests?

Learn more by reviewing our online guide to ACT/SAT preparation. Young adults are also encouraged to borrow one of our many printed ACT or SAT test guides, or take free online practice exams through LearningExpress Library.  And, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog updates for regular reminders of upcoming test registration deadlines!

Originally published at ACT/SAT Test Prep Resources @ Your Library.

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Books for Dudes – The Amulet of Samurkand

August 8, 2014

The Amulet of Samurkand” – intriguing, but kind of a hard title to remember. Instead, remember this name – Bartimaeus. While young Nathanial is the star magician in this story, it’s the djinni he summons, Bartimaeus, who makes this book such a worthwhile read.

Bartamaeus trilogy, book 1Chapters alternate in narration between Bartimaeus…a long-lived djinni who survives by his wits as much as his magic, and Nathanial, an apprentice perhaps too smart and ambitious for his own good. When Nathanial is painfully humiliated by a magician while his own master stands by and does nothing, Nathanial takes matters into his own hands by summoning Bartimaeus. However, even with the “help” of Bartimaeus (who at the beginning of the novel would love to turn his mischief on Nathanial himself), the misguided apprentice gets himself from a bad situation into a much worse one. He is NOT Harry Potter–his motivations are initially all about revenge, and he makes some pretty petty comments throughout the story. Good thing he has Bartimaeus along – or is it?

One gem of this book is its footnotes. Now sometimes, footnotes just annoy me. The little numbers can be a distraction, and the footnotes themselves often contain historical references to something not directly related to the plot. Not so with this story, however. Bartimaeus gives insight into the magical world, explains his motivations for certain actions, and even explains why he censored an interrogation in the story proper. And he narrates all these footnotes with wit and humor – don’t skip over them!

Like many books, this story is part one in a series. The author, Jonathan Stroud, does give a conclusion to this book. I’m betting, however, that if you venture to read book 1, you’ll be on board for books 2 and 3 (and a Bartimaeus prequel as well). Enjoy!

Originally published at Books for Dudes – The Amulet of Samurkand.

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Stay Connected @ Your Library

August 6, 2014

With the end of summer fast approaching, I wanted to share all the ways the library helps you stay connected to the books and services you love most. All you need is an internet connection, an email address and a library card.

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/YourDBRL.

Download an eBook or audiobook.
Get the most popular teen titles on your iPod Touch, iPhone, Android, Nook, Kindle, or other device. Check out our Quick Start Guides or watch our online video tutorials to get started.

Watch movies or stream music.
Our newest online service, Hoopla, allows you to watch movies, or listen to music and audiobooks with your computer or mobile device for free. Download the free Hoopla mobile app on your Android or iOS device to begin enjoying thousands of titles from major film studios, recording companies and publishers.

Submit a book rave or rant.
We love to hear about what teens are reading! Using this form, share your thoughts on the the books you love… and loathe. Select reviews will be highlighted on DBRLTeen.

Subscribe to our teen book eNewsletter.
Get a monthly email newsletter focusing on the most popular new releases in young adult fiction.

Join an online book club.
Each weekday you will receive successive five-minute selections from the beginning of a current teen book. By the end of the week, you’ll have read 2-3 chapters.

Register for our monthly teen program update.
Receive an email each month with a listing of our upcoming programs like writing workshops, book giveaways, art contests and teen gaming nights.

Sign up for DBRLTeen’s blog updates.
Get library program reminders, contest announcements, as well as book reviews and recommendations delivered directly to your inbox.

Originally published at Stay Connected @ Your Library.

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Heavy Medal: Mock Newbery Awards

August 4, 2014

Mock Newbery Award
The Newbery Medal is awarded each year to “the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.” The Newbery Medal is to children’s literature what the Oscar is to the Academy Awards. In plain English: This award is given to the best chapter book of the year. Some popular Newbery award-winning titles include “The One and Only Ivan” by Katherine Applegate, “The Giver” by Lois Lowry and “The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman.

About our Mock Newbery Program:

Throughout the fall, we are inviting youth in grades 4-8 to join us twice per month to discuss this year’s Newbery finalists. Library staff will facilitate the sessions along with Nancy Baumann, a local educator and previous Newbery committee member. This is the third year that the library has offered this unique book club opportunity and we hope that you will consider signing up.

How to get involved:

Sessions will be held from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at the Columbia Public Library on the following Wednesdays: Sept. 10, Oct. 1, 15, 29, Nov. 5, 19, Dec. 3, 17. Registration begins Tuesday, September 2. To sign-up, please call (573) 443-3161.

Originally published at Heavy Medal: Mock Newbery Awards.

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