“Code Name Verity“ tells the story of two friends, Julie and Maddie, who both get involved with the British war effort during World War II and then crash land in France. Julie gets captured and interrogated by the Nazis, and when she says she’ll tell them everything, they give her paper to write down her story.
Why I checked it out: It’s a Teens’ Top Ten award nominee this year. Plus, I liked the title!
Why I liked it: It had fun twists and turns, lots of suspense, and characters I would love to know in real life. I don’t normally go for historical fiction, but this was very well written. I also learned a lot about the roles women played in WWII. I listened to the audiobook and it was very well narrated; the characters’ accents were excellent. Parts of it were very painful to listen to due to the subject matter (I probably shouldn’t have been driving while listening to the tear-jerker parts), but the humor helped lighten the mood.
Three words that describe this book: suspenseful, heartbreaking, adventurous.
Originally published at Staff Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.
“Catching Fire” Release Party
Wednesday, October 30 › 6:30-8 p.m.
Columbia Public Library
Hunger Games champions Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory sparks a rebellion throughout Panem. Would you have the strength to survive The Quarter Quell? Test your mettle in our Hunger Games Trivia Contest and Cornucopia Challenge. While there will be no battle to the death, there will be a battle for points. This will also be a great time to discover other dystopian titles you might like. Ages 11-16. Registration begins Tuesday, October 15. To sign-up, please call (573) 443-3161.
Originally published at Program Preview: “Catching Fire” Release Party.
Ender is Earth’s only hope against an aggressive alien species referred to as “Buggers.” Ender is sent to Battle School, where the best and brightest are trained to take out these aggressive aliens once and for all. Ender is…only six years old.
People have been buzzing about “Ender’s Game,” by Orson Scott Card, due to the movie coming out on November 1st. The truth is, this story has been around since 1985 (and even before that as a short story) and is still rising in popularity! And while Ender is only six, his genius level makes him talk, act, and think like a teen or adult throughout the story. Don’t expect these characters to be treated like kids—the anti-gravity battles, the strategy games, and the team organizations are all in preparation for a potentially brutal battle against the Buggers.
While this book has all the benchmarks of a standard sci-fi novel, it contains a lot of real issues for today’s teens, too. The author examines Ender’s struggle of isolation, his attempts to control his aggression, and how he copes with the resentment others feel at his perfection. Other in-depth themes include what makes a monster and how politics can be easily manipulated (in this case, by a couple of super-genius children).
“Ender’s Game” lets all of us—children, teens, and adults—dream of what it might be like to battle aliens in space. And while the premise may seem over the top, the subject matter is as deep as space itself. At the heart of it is a story about how society uses special children, and what the end result of that means for Earth. As one character points out in the novel, “They have a word for people our age. They call us children and they treat us like mice.” Read this book and find out what happens when small children are tasked with saving the human race.
Originally published at Books for Dudes – Ender’s Game.
Teen Game Night
Friday, October 18 › 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. We’ll have various games available as well as supplies for art projects. Refreshments provided. (Please enter through back door.)
Originally published at Program Preview: Teen Game Night in Ashland.
The Youth Community Coalition is looking for volunteers to join them in celebrating Youth Service Day on Saturday, October 12. The day will start at 9:30 a.m. with a kickoff at Columbia’s Courthouse Square on 8th Street and continue with service projects throughout the community such as:
- stream clean-up at Hinkson Creek.
- graffiti removal in the downtown district.
- home repair for the elderly.
- sorting and organizing clothes at The Wardrobe.
- sorting and organizing food at the Central Missouri Food Bank.
If you are interested, please download and print this registration form. It should be submitted to Erin Carrillo, Program Coordinator with the Youth Community Coalition. Registration forms are due this Friday, October 4.
You can mail your registration form to:
Youth Community Coalition
Columbia, MO 65203
You can email your registration form to:
You may contact Erin with questions
at (573) 449-1993.
Originally published at Volunteers Needed for Youth Service Day.
This is a reminder to all our blog readers that October 9 is the deadline for submitting your Six-Word Memoir. Winners will receive a gift card to Barnes & Noble and we’ll share your stories at teens.dbrl.org during Teen Read Week, October 13-19.
Looking for inspiration? Below are some Six-Word Memoirs that were submitted that last time we hosted this writing competition.
- Two dogs, feather boa, drama queen.
- An alligator ate my crazy sister.
- Legos, Magic, The Gathering, more Legos.
- I was born; now I’m here.
- I am a unicorn with cannibalism.
- In the beginning; to be continued.
- Caterpillar, cocoon, struggle, fly…Bird food.
- Life is hard, eat a cupcake.
- How extraordinarily normal it all is.
Originally published at October 9 Deadline for Six-Word Memoir.
While attending a London boarding school, Rory, a young American, witnesses a murder committed by a Jack the Ripper copycat. Gradually she figures out that something else weird is going on — she can see people when others can’t.
Why I checked it out: It’s a 2014 Truman Award nominee.
Why I liked this book: It was a fun romp of a mystery with loveable characters. There’s even a logical explanation of why some people can see ghosts and others can’t.
What I didn’t like: I listened to the audiobook, and I have to say that I found the narrator a bit distracting. When Rory’s dialogue was spoken out loud, she was voiced with a distinct Southern accent. However, the accent disappeared when Rory was simply thinking to herself. This shift in narration really threw me off. Though it was still fun to listen to, I think I would recommend reading the print version instead.
Three words that describe this book: mysterious, paranormal and fun.
Originally published at Staff Review: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson.
The registration deadlines are fast approaching for those planning to take the next round of ACT and SAT exams.
- Registration for the October 26 ACT exam is due next Friday, September 27. Sign-up online.
- Registration for the November 2 SAT exam is due Tuesday, October 3. Sign-up online.
If you would like to know more about testing locations, 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 and SAT Exams.
Fun Fact: The Daniel Boone Regional Library owns all five titles in Heather Brewer’s “Chronicles of Vladimir Tod” and our patrons have borrowed these books over 2,000 times in the last five years! Mark your calendar now for this best-selling author’s visit to the Columbia Public Library on Wednesday, October 16 at 7 p.m.
If you haven’t had a chance to read all about Vlad’s hilarious story as a coming-of-age vampire, there’s no time like the present to catch up. You can borrow a print copy from the library, listen to the audiobook or download the eBook to your tablet or smartphone.
Originally published at Author Heather Brewer Visits October 16.
This year we had over 300 area young adults participate in the library’s annual Teen Summer Reading Challenge. As part of this program, teens were asked to read for 20 hours, complete seven library-related activities, and submit three book reviews. The library collected 315 individual book reviews from teen summer readers! Below is a list of those titles that received that most rave reviews.
- “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins
- “Divergent” by Veronica Roth
- “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien
- “Hidden” by Helen Frost
- “The Mark of Athena” by Rick Riordan
- “Catching Fire” by Suzanne Collins
- “Hush, Hush” by Becca Fitzpatrick
- “I Am Number 4” by Pittacus Lore
Originally published at Summer Reading’s Most Popular Teen Titles.
Wii U Teen Game Night
Wednesday, September 25 › 6-8 p.m.
Columbia Public Library
Test drive the library’s new Wii U game console. Become a dancing superstar in “Just Dance 4,” or team up with friends to conquer Bowser in the new “Super Mario Bros.” We’ll also have snacks and a selection of the library’s newest teen fiction, music and DVDs for you to check out. Don’t have a library card? We’ll have library card applications on hand for your parent or guardian to sign. Ages 12 and older. Call (573) 443-3161 register!
Originally published at Program Preview: Wii U Teen Game Night.
What can you tell us about yourself in just six words? This limited-word writing challenge can be infinitely easy or very tricky depending on how you think about it. No writing experience is necessary; after all, you’re the master of this subject.
Share your six-word memoir by October 9 for a chance to win a Barnes & Noble gift card. Submit your entry online, or fill out a form while you’re at the library. We’ll share your stories on our teen blog during Teen Read Week, October 13-19. This year’s theme is “Seek the Unknown.”
Originally published at Six-Word Memoir Writing Contest.
I never had to worry about nightmares involving flesh-eating chalk monsters…until now. Brandon Sanderson’s “The Rithmatist” is a fresh story completely different than many cookie-cutter fantasy books out there (although I enjoy the formulaic variety as well).
This alternate reality world is set in the American Isles (the United States made up of islands). In this world, Rithmatists are select individuals who are able to bring life to simple chalk drawings and use them to fight against wild chalkings–monstrous chalk creatures that can eat flesh right off the bone.
The main protagonist, Joel, would give anything to be a Rithmatist. While his home is at the best academy for these chalk conjurers, Joel has a lowly status and failed the ceremony of becoming a Rithmatist. He can only watch as those around him learn how to create chalk creatures and use them in duels.
However, Joel’s unique status of being knowledgeable of Rithmatists without being one helps him as he attempts to solve a mystery involving an increasing number of Rithmatist kidnappings. Joel is helped along by a struggling Rithmatist named Melody and the timid professor charged with investigating these crimes. Readers follow the odd trio along from one discovery to the next.
In some ways, this book reminded me of a twisted version of Pokemon–people having duels involving creatures they unleash. However, I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen Pokemon savagely devour victims. The duels are a significant part of this book. You’ll even find diagrams of chalk duels with explanations of strategy, complexity, and when to use each defense. Add Sanderson’s memorable characters and a fast-paced plot, and this fantasy adventure becomes a highly recommended book. Be warned, this book is the first in a series (shocker, I know).
Originally published at Books for Dudes – Rithmatist.
With the recent release of the movie “Sea of Monsters” and the upcoming publication of “House of Hades,” Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series continues to gain popularity. Explore his new take on Greek mythology with activities and crafts. Ages 9-14. Registration begins Tuesday, September 17. Please call (573) 443-3161 to sign-up.
Originally published at Program Preview: Percy Jackson and Greek Mythology.
This summer we hosted a wildly popular teen program called “Project Lunch.” Young adults were invited to each of our three branches to enjoy lunch while working on craft projects together. Now that school is back in session we will be transitioning this program to a new title, “Project Teen.” Join us for free pizza as we make survival bracelets from paracord. Ages 11-16. Registration begins Tuesday, September 3. Please call (573) 443-3161 to sign-up.
Originally published at Project Teen: Survival Bracelets.
Why I checked it out: The title intrigued me. Plus, it’s a 2014 Gateway Award nominee.
Why I liked this book: This is a fun, light read and all the chapter titles are college essay topics that relate (though sometimes very indirectly) to what will happen in the chapter. Gobi, a foreign exchange student from Lithuania, stays with Perry’s family during his senior year, but Perry doesn’t really spend much time with her because she’s very mousy. When his parents make him take her to prom, he discovers she’s actually a highly trained assassin.
Three words that describe this book: fast-paced, action-packed and humorous.
Originally published at Staff Review: Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick.
The Newbery Medal is awarded each year to “the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.” 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. At the Columbia Public Library, we’ve just started staging our own mock Newbery awards, and it’s not too late to join in the fun!
About our Mock Newbery awards:
Throughout the fall, we are inviting youth in grades 4-7 to join us at the library twice per month to discuss Newbery finalists and defend the book you feel is the “Heavy Medalist” of the year. Library staff will facilitate the sessions along with Nancy Baumann, a local educator and previous Newbery committee member.
How to get involved:
Sessions will be held at the Columbia Public Library on the following Wednesdays: Sept. 11, 25, Oct. 9, 23, Nov. 6, 20, Dec. 4, 18. Registration begins Tuesday, August 27. To sign-up, please call (573) 443-3161.
Originally published at Heavy Medal: Mock Newbery Awards.
At the conclusion of the Teen Photo Contest, we prepare for the launch of our next competition, Six-Word Teen Memoirs. What can you tell us about yourself in just six words? This limited-word writing challenge can be infinitely easy or very tricky depending on how you think about it. No writing experience is necessary; after all, you’re the master of this subject. Find contest rules and submission guidelines after Monday, September 9 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 Brianna Bogucki received over 40 votes for her submission, “A Bug’s Life.” She will receive a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble as her award.
Brianna said, “I find that in Missouri, we often only see cicadas as a nuisance. They’re considered noisy and unattractive. In my photo, you can see all the intricate details and colors on the cicada’s wings, and its bright eyes really stand out. I thought that my photo may be able to make people see cicadas as maybe not gorgeous, but perhaps fascinating for just a moment.”
Congratulations to all our winners and many thanks to our talented teen patrons for their participation! To receive email reminders about our upcoming Six-Word Teen Memoir 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.
Did you know that you can follow DBRLTeen on Instagram? With three library branches, two bookmobiles, and nearly 3,000 visitors a day, there is almost always something or someone to photograph! Get previews of our upcoming teen book displays, learn more about our programs, or just have fun following our shenanigans online. We invite our teen patrons to share photos of the books you’re reading and then upload them to Instagram. If you tag the library (#dbrlteen), it will appear here on our teen blog!
And now, we are pleased to announce the winner among those contestants ages 15-18 competing in the Nature division: Helen Temporal. She says, “I was in a class where we were supposed to take pictures and I was just in the right place at the right time.” Helen will receive a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble as her award.
Tomorrow we wrap-up our Teen Photography Contest by recognizing the winner of the “People’s Choice” award.Gallery of Nature Division Submissions (Ages 15-18)
Originally published at Photo Contest: Nature Division Winner (Ages 15-18).
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 Rebecca Rubinstein is the winner among those contestants ages 12-14 competing in the Nature division. When asked about her photo, “Florida Sunset,” she simply explained, “We had been on the beach for a while and I saw how bright and pretty the sunset was so I just had to get a picture.” Rebecca will receive a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble as her award.
Tomorrow we announce the winner among those contestants ages 15-18 competing in the Nature division. On Friday, we will announce the winner of the “People’s Choice” award and share news of our teen contest planned for the fall!Gallery of Nature Division Submissions (Ages 12-14)
Originally published at Photo Contest: Nature Division Winner (Ages 12-14).