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Books for Dudes – The Accidental Highwayman

January 9, 2015

The Accidental HighwaymanAre you a fan of the “Princess Bride?” If so, then I highly recommend checking out “The Accidental Highwayman” by Ben Tripp. To give you an idea of the wit and humor in this book, you only need to look at the FULL title to this book: “The Accidental Highwayman: Being the Tale of Kit Bristol, His Horse Midnight, a Mysterious Princess, and Sundry Magical Persons Besides.” And every word of that full title is on the front book cover, with illustrations besides.

This swashbuckling adventure for young adults does indeed star the title character of Kit Bristol. Unbeknownst to poor servant Kit, his master is a legendary highwayman by night. When his master dies, Kit is ensnared in all sorts of adventure and intrigue…most notably being obligated by magical contract to rescue Princess Morgana, who is at the heart of a conflict involving England, Fairy kind and more. Kit is unsure if he is qualified to help anyone, especially when he realizes he has hold of a magical map that predicts him hanging at the gallows by the end of his journey.

I enjoyed many of Tripp’s creative characters in this story…the unsure hero, the feisty and stubborn princess, a confused ringmaster, a tightrope walker,and a souless vengeful pirate, and more. Like “Princess Bride,” this story has so many different and unique elements, but Ben Tripp manages to pull everything together into a wonderful tale. I highly recommend this book, and you can join me in waiting for Kit Bristol #2, as this book is the start of a trilogy.

Originally published at Books for Dudes – The Accidental Highwayman.

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Resources for Your History Day Project

January 7, 2015
Missouri's 2008 Delegation to the National History Day Finals

Missouri’s 2008 Delegation to the National History Day Finals

Each year, more than half a million students, encouraged by thousands of teachers nationwide, participate in the National History Day contest. If you are one of these participating students,  the Daniel Boone Regional Library has lots of resources to help you!

An important part of your History Day project will be finding and learning from primary sources. These are documents created during the time period being studied by people who lived then. The library has a collection of free online databases that will give you access to hundreds of primary sources like amendments, petitions, speeches or newspaper articles.

To access these online databases, 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 (573) 443-3161 or (800) 324-4806. You can also try the library’s chat reference service to visit with a librarian who can help in real time from your computer. Learn more.

Don’t forget that the library also has dozen of print resources available with primary sources. As you begin your project, we encourage you to visit any of our three branch locations for assistance with your in-depth research.

Originally published at Resources for Your History Day Project.

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Registration Begins for C.A.R.E. Program

January 5, 2015
Young Adults Working at New York Deli

C.A.R.E. program participants working at New York Deli.  Photo courtesy of City of Columbia.

Each summer the City of Columbia sponsors the Career Awareness Related Experience (C.A.R.E.) program which prepares young adults for the workforce. The goals of this program are to provide paid, real-world experience while helping teens develop life skills and foster mentorships.

The C.A.R.E. program lasts eight weeks and they hire approximately 185 teens (14-19 years old) at minimum wage to work up to 20 hours per week. The online application must be submitted by Monday, February 2.  Interviews will begin the on February 13. For more details and a list of last year’s local summer work site partners, please visit the City of Columbia’s website.

Originally published at Registration Begins for C.A.R.E. Program.

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Audiobook Giveaway Winner Announced

December 31, 2014

Congratulations to Nila Palaniappan! She is the lucky winner of DBRLTeen’s “Will Grayson, Will Grayson” Book Giveaway. She will receive a free autographed copy of “Will Grayson, Will Grayson” on CD. If you’d like the chance to win more free books or a gift card to Barnes & Noble, be sure to support your favorite book in the upcoming March Madness Teen Book Tournament. Through a series of votes, we will narrow our list of the 32 most popular teen books to one grand champion. If you’d like to be informed of when voting begins, be sure to subscribe to our blog updates!

Originally published at Audiobook Giveaway Winner Announced.

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2015 March Madness Booklist Announced

December 29, 2014

2015 March Madness Booklist

VOTE NOW through February 20 for the Sweet 16!

A new season of book rivalries has begun. Vote for your favorite titles from a pool of the 32 most popular teen books of the year. Your votes will narrow down the list to the 2015 Mid-Missouri teen book champion. For added excitement, 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.

Vote at your library, or online at teens.dbrl.org, until February 20 for the Sweet 16; then four rounds of weekly voting will take place in March. We will announce the winner on April 7.

Who can participate?

March Madness is open to all teens ages 12-18 who live in either Boone or Callaway County, Missouri.

How It Works:

  • Round 1: VOTE NOW through February 20 for the Sweet 16.
  • Round 2: Vote March 4-11 for the Elite 8.
  • Round 3: Vote March 12-18 for the Final 4.
  • Round 4: Vote March 19-25 for the final two contending titles.
  • Round 5: Vote March 26-April 1 for the book tournament champion.
  • April 7: The champion is announced!

Each round that you vote, your name is entered into our prize drawing! Limit one ballot per person, per round.

March Madness Teen Book Tournament Finalists

Originally published at 2015 March Madness Booklist Announced.

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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.


  • 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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