Caring for Houseplants = Caring for You

Posted on Wednesday, March 20, 2024 by Megan

A close up of a plant with green leaves. Text reads Caring for Houseplants = Caring for You

It’s officially spring as of yesterday! And if you’re like me springtime can be a mix of joy and misery. Joy! 😃 The sun is out longer, the weather is warming up and flowers blooming. Misery. 😭 The flowers are blooming. I’m an indoor cat through and through, so I’ll just sit in a sunbeam and soak up the spring vibes from the comfort of my couch. That doesn’t mean I can’t bring some nature indoors – I’m looking at you, houseplants! Having houseplants is a great way to get a daily dose of nature without all the itchy, watery eyes. Caring for houseplants is also a great form of self-care. Here are just a few benefits (according to WebMD):

  • Stress relief – being around plants can have a calming effect
  • Sharper focus – in classrooms with potted plants students performed better on tests than those without any plants
  • Better mental health – nurturing your plants can also nurture your emotional health

Continue reading “Caring for Houseplants = Caring for You”

Collectors and Their Collections

Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2024 by Nigel Church

You are of an age to be collecting things, I know this because you are of an age to be reading this blog. And if this happens to be the first thing you’ve ever read, congratulations! There will be many more words to collect in your future.

My collecting of things started, and you awarded no points for guessing this, with books. Or rather with book. My first book, let’s say Green Eggs and Ham, was not a collection. One, because I did not acquire it deliberately and you cannot collect things without some level of intent. And two, because I drooled on it* and put it in my mouth and if you are going to collect a thing you shouldn’t drool on it, even if it’s like baby bibs or something, and you shouldn’t put it in your mouth unless you are collecting Olympic gold medals and then only the once. Continue reading “Collectors and Their Collections”

Good for Her

Posted on Thursday, March 7, 2024 by Dana

 

In honor of Women’s History Month, I’m celebrating the growing genre of “Good for Her.”

Good for Her stories have a female main character that fights against an unjust power or system. She often subverts the expected rules to obtain her justice and doesn’t feel bad about it. Good for Her stories present systemically oppressed people with dreams come true. We love seeing a woman triumph, whether it’s against an abusive lover, a rigged contest, the school bullies, or the patriarchy.  There is so much we can’t control in life, from the families we are born into to the potentially toxic teachers, classmates, and coworkers with whom we must get along in order to survive. This is why witnessing other unseen, underestimated, and exploited women win feels so, so good.

So if you’re craving some righteous, delicious feminine retribution, peruse the titles below.

And for some more options, including movies, check out this list. Continue reading “Good for Her”

The Selector’s Selections: February 2024

Posted on Wednesday, February 28, 2024 by Brianna

I’m back! I’m all settled in at work (literally, I’ve got multiple blankets and a space heater), and I’m ready to tell you about some new books! As always, if you prefer reading digitally, check the catalog after the books’ publication date to see if we have the e-book or e-audio.

cover“A Tempest of Tea” by Hafsah Faizal

Arthie Casimir is an orphan who has created a criminal empire for herself based on secrets. She runs a teahouse that caters to wealthy humans by day, and at night becomes an illegal bloodhouse for vampires. She’s proud of her success, especially in a city where her brown skin closes more doors than it opens. But now someone is threatening her business, so naturally, she decides that a dangerous heist is the best solution. As she gathers her crew from the fringes of society, she prepares to steal information that will help her take down the corrupt and colonizing East Jeevant Company. With a setting reminiscent of Victorian London with some nods to Arthurian legend and the 1920s, this historical fantasy has been described as “Peaky Blinders” but with vampires. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: February 2024”

Award Season for Books – Youth Media Awards 2024

Posted on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 by Megan

It’s finally here! It’s award season … for books! Early every year, the American Library Association (ALA) hosts its annual Youth Media Awards Press Conference. At this time, authors and illustrators of children’s and young adult literature are honored for the outstanding works they have published over the last year.
Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, ALA awards guide parents, educators, librarians and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Selected by judging committees of librarians and other literature and media experts, the awards encourage original and creative work. Below are the awards honoring distinguished books for young adult readers. Be sure to check out the book lists for the complete list of winners and honorees!

Continue reading “Award Season for Books – Youth Media Awards 2024”

If You Hate Valentine’s Day…

Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2024 by Laura W

Trust me, you are not the only one. There are lots of reasons to not be the biggest fan of the holiday. Personally, when I was in high school, I actively dreaded the day. For many reasons, I never really dated in my teens. I struggled a lot with my mental health. I wasn’t quite sure of my sexuality. And on top of it all, I went to a very small school and was very unpopular, so no one even wanted to date me. It was a sore spot on a regular day. On Valentine’s Day, it became an active wound. When I started seeing how based in consumerism the holiday is, my dislike turned to active hatred. If you feel like I did back then (some mix of unlovable and alone), first of all, you’re not alone and you are so so worthy of love, in whatever form fits you. Secondly, you might desperately want something NOT love-related during this frankly unpleasant period. Or you might want some examples of love that aren’t horrifically painful and awful. If either is the case, I’ve got you covered. Continue reading “If You Hate Valentine’s Day…”

DIY Sticker Sheets 🐸✨

Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2024 by Grae

Cover image featuring the text "DIY Sticker Sheets." On the left side of the image is a photograph of various emoji fusion packing tape stickers laid in a grid on a piece of non-porous parchment paper. On the right side of the image is the text "DIY Sticker Sheets." Between the text and the image of the parchment paper sticker sheet are four different graphics from Canva, including a pixelated pair of black sunglasses, a light green frog with its mouth open and stars twinkling above its head (suggesting amazement), a speech bubble with a pink heart inside, and the word "WOW!" in white bubble letters outlined in bright pink.

In another installment of Grae finds household objects and turns them into art — a.k.a mundane magic🪄 — today we’ll learn how to make your very own sticker sheets using toner-printed images, packing tape and waxed or parchment paper! This craft has it all: it’s easy and engaging; astonishing and adorable; low-cost and endlessly customizable. Moreover, thankfully stickers never seem to go out of style, which is probably all thanks to Lisa Frank. Thanks, Lisa!🦄 Continue reading “DIY Sticker Sheets 🐸✨”

DIY Dip Dye Ceramics

Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2024 by Megan

DIY Dip Dye Ceramics

I know we aren’t very far into winter (not even a month since the longest night of the year), but TBH I’m already over it. Don’t get me wrong I’ll be complaining about the heat too – there are two weeks in the fall I will find happiness, the rest of the year is debatable. Anyways! If you need a quick craft pick me up this one is super simple and BONUS you can use the excess nail polish you have lying around from NOT giving yourself a pedicure. Below I’ll show you how to transform a few household objects into a marbled piece of artwork! Read the supply list and directions carefully before attempting this project. It is very easy, but it also needs to be very quick otherwise the nail polish will congeal – it’s not bad, but it may not be the look you are going for either. Continue reading “DIY Dip Dye Ceramics”

Is It Worth the Hype? Volume Two

Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2024 by Dana

Here I am again, with another installment of “Is it Worth the Hype” to let you know if you should spend the time on that book that everyone is talking about or if BookTok is delulu and you should move on to something else on your to-read list. Every book has its readers, but it can be disappointing when a popular book doesn’t hit you the same way it does for everyone else.  You can share your hot takes and ALL your feels with us by filling out our Teen Book Reviews form. Who knows, we may feature your review in an upcoming blog! Continue reading “Is It Worth the Hype? Volume Two”