Friday, October 7, 2016

Book Review: If I Stay

(Book review from our TAB member Matylda! My apologies, she wrote this early in the summer)

I recently finished Gayle Forman’s “If I Stay” at approximately 11:45 p.m. last night. Needless to say, it was a good book. I have not seen the movie or read the sequel (though I plan to do the latter,) but I thought I might review it anyway. I do not plan to see the movie because it was a very emotional book, and while reading it is one thing, seeing it on a screen with real people is another. I would not recommend this book to everyone, simply because it is just too emotional. There are also some slightly gory/graphic scenes. The book was set up so for one “chapter”, the main character narrated the present, while for the next she had a flashback, which made me feel more connected to her and also helped me understand the people around her and her connection to them.
There were, however, a few things I found odd. For example, Mia, the main character, did not have her name revealed until page 24, and for no reason in particular. And I know this is a minor annoyance, but in my 20% off edition purchased from Target, it ended on page 234 and then had about 70 pages of “great bonus matter from Gayle Forman”. In the beginning, the dialogue was also pretty dull. And I was unsure what decade the story was set in, though I am sure a more experienced reader than I could have deduced it. Aside from that, the story is beautiful with complicated and realistic characters that you fall in love with and is absolutely beautifully written. I mean that sincerely. I found myself reading sections three times over to absorb it more. Gayle Forman’s voice and description is absolutely stunning. I will definitely read “Where She Went” the first chance I get.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Book Review - The Magicians

(I've asked some teens from our TAB group to write posts or reviews if they want, so here is our first from Matylda! Opinions expressed belong solely to the writer of the review. In this case, the Richmond Library has this book, the Magicians, in the Adult fiction section. - Ms. Eileen)

Dear Fellow Readers,
The book reviews and recommendations you will see you may strongly agree or disagree with, but that’s okay. The world is meant to have opinions. Reading fanatics like myself should always keep an open mind, and who knows, may find something good or something to avoid.
The reason for that introductory paragraph is that I am about to give a book that many people like, a 1/5 star rating. This book is "The Magicians” by Lev Grossman. Not the whole trilogy, just the first book. Two words: Total. Rip-off. This book is basically jerk Harry Potter goes to college-Hogwarts in Narnia. Grossman ripped off our beloved Harry and Hermione – named Alice and Quentin, who were characters that I just came to hate. They had no motives, no pure intentions, and no struggle for something good or something better. They were just selfish teenagers. And most of the characters were, I might add, accustomed to get drunk, smoke, and take drugs. This author doesn’t seem to get the whole thing that when the reader falls in love with the characters and can relate to them, it’s a good book.
Another thing that drove me crazy was that this school, this college-Hogwarts called Brakebills, only accepted people who were geniuses. But the characters in this book never did things that were smart. They were told they were smart, and the author told you they were smart, but they never did anything to implicitly display their intelligence. In “Harry Potter”, Hermione is an actual genius. She figures everything out before everyone else, she always knows the answer in class, and she can get out of sticky situations with her quick and clever thinking. But if Quentin and Alice are smart, how come they never do anything to show us that? Though I know a lot of you might like “The Magicians”, my advice is to stay away from it at all costs.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Teen Advisory Board

We had a great turnout for the first meeting of our new Teen Advisory Board! Thanks to those who
came to the meeting. The next meeting will be:

Friday, October 23 @ 4:30pm at RML

If you're interested in volunteering, please come to the meeting and fill out an application.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Seeking Members for Teen Advisory Board (TAB)

The Richmond Library is currently forming a new Teen Advisory Board for the 2015/16 school year. Interested students in grades 7-12 can pick up an application at the Richmond Library, or attend our first meeting on:

Friday, September 25 at 4pm at the Library

This is a great opportunity for students who need community service time for school, and for those interested in books and their community. It also looks good on college applications!

Possible Activities for TAB:
help in selecting materials for the Teen Section of RML
help in developing Teen programs
Volunteering at Library events such as Book Sales and children's programs
Service time spent on projects such as displays, library maintenance, organization
Monthly meetings
Opportunities for Book Club and other interest clubs
Fundraising activities
Meeting other area teens
Maintaining the teen blog
(ok, we'll have snacks too) 

TAB Coordinator,
Eileen Washburn
Child/YA Librarian @ RML

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Winners of 2015 Summer Teen Video Challenge

The Summer Reading theme for 2015 is "Unmask!" - coordinating with the overall "Every Hero Has a Story" theme of superheroes, both in fiction and in real life.
The Collaborative Summer Library Program holds a video challenge every year for teens to make a video to go along with the theme. Here is a link to the winners:

Teen Video Challenge

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

ALA Media Awards Announced

 Here are the winners that may be of interest to teens - if there's something you'd like to read that we don't own, let me know! (The Newbery winners are all great!)

CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA)  announced the top books, video and audio books for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery and Printz awards – at its Midwinter Meeting in Chicago.
A list of all the 2015 award winners follows:
John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature:
“The Crossover,” written by Kwame Alexander, is the 2015 Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Two Newbery Honor Books also were named:
“El Deafo” by Cece Bell, illustrated by Cece Bell and published by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS.
“Brown Girl Dreaming,” written by Jacqueline Woodson and published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults:
“Brown Girl Dreaming,” written by Jacqueline Woodson, is the King Author Book winner. The book is published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.
Three King Author Honor Books were selected:
Kwame Alexander for “The Crossover,” published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing.
Marilyn Nelson for “How I Discovered Poetry,” illustrated by Hadley Hooper and published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Books (USA) LLC.
Kekla Magoon for “How It Went Down,” published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC. 

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults:
“I’ll Give You the Sun,” written by Jandy Nelson, is the 2015 Printz Award winner. The book is published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group USA, a Penguin Random House Company.
Four Printz Honor Books also were named:
“And We Stay,” by Jenny Hubbard, and published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., a Penguin Random House Company.
“The Carnival at Bray,” by Jessie Ann Foley, and published by Elephant Rock Books.
“Grasshopper Jungle,” by Andrew Smith, and published by Dutton Books, an imprint of Penguin Group USA, a Penguin Random House Company.
“This One Summer,” by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki, and published by First Second.

Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience:
“A BOY AND A JAGUAR” written by Alan Rabinowitz, illustrated by Catia Chien and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, wins the award for children ages 0 to 10.
“RAIN REIGN” written by Ann M. Martin and published by A FEIWEL AND FRIENDS BOOK, is the winner of the middle-school (ages 11-13).
The teen (ages 13-18) award winner is “Girls Like Us,” written by Gail Giles and published by Candlewick Press.

Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences:
“All the Light We Cannot See,” by Anthony Doerr, published by Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
“Bellweather Rhapsody,” by Kate Racculia, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
“Bingo’s Run,” by James A. Levine, published by Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.
“Confessions,” by Kanae Minato, translated by Stephen Snyder, published by Mulholland Books, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
“Everything I Never Told You,” by Celeste Ng, published by The Penguin Press, a member of Penguin Group LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.
“Lock In,” by John Scalzi, a Tor Book published by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.
“The Martian,”  by Andy Weir, published by Crown Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.
“The Terrorist’s Son: A Story of Choice,” by Zak Ebrahim with Jeff Giles, published by TED Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
“Those Who Wish Me Dead,” by Michael Koryta, published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
“Wolf in White Van,” by John Darnielle, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults:
The 2015 winner is Sharon M. Draper, author of more than 20 books, including: “Tears of a Tiger” (1994), “Forged by Fire” (1997), “Darkness Before Dawn” (2001), “Battle of Jericho” (2004), “Copper Sun” (2006), and “November Blues” (2007), all published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children:
“The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus,” written by Jen Bryant, is the Sibert Award winner. The book is published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Five Sibert Honor Books were named:
“Brown Girl Dreaming,” written by Jacqueline Woodson, and published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.
“The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, & the Fall of Imperial Russia,” written by Candace Fleming, and published by Schwartz & Wade Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.
“Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker,” written by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated by Christian Robinson and published by Chronicle Books LLC.
“Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands,” written and illustrated by Katherine Roy, and published by David Macaulay Studio, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press.
“Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation,” written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.

Stonewall Book Award - Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience:
“This Day in June,” written by Gayle E. Pitman, Ph.D., illustrated by Kristyna Litten and published by Magination Press, an imprint of the American Psychological Association, is the winner of the 2015 Stonewall Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award.
Three Honor Books were selected:
“Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out,” by Susan Kuklin, photographed by Susan Kuklin and published by Candlewick Press.
“I’ll give you the sun,” written by Jandy Nelson, published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.
“Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress,” written by Christine Baldacchino, pictures by Isabelle Malenfant, published by Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press.

William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens:
“Gabi, a Girl in Pieces,” written by Isabel Quintero, is the 2015 Morris Award winner. The book is published by Cinco Puntos Press.
Four other books were finalists for the award:
“The Carnival at Bray” written by Jessie Ann Foley and published by Elephant Rock Books.
“The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim” written by E.K. Johnston and published by Carolrhoda Lab™, an imprint of Carolrhoda Books, a division of Lerner Publishing Group.
“The Scar Boys” written by Len Vlahos and published by Egmont Publishing.
“The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender” written by Leslye Walton and published by Candlewick Press.

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults:
“Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek,” written by Maya Van Wagenen, is the 2015 Excellence winner. The book is published by Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group.
Four other books were finalists for the award:
“Laughing at My Nightmare” written by Shane Burcaw, and published by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan’s Children’s Publishing Group.
“The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia” written by Candace Fleming, and published by Schwartz & Wade, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.
“Ida M. Tarbell: The Woman Who Challenged Big Business—and Won!” written by Emily Arnold McCully, and published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.
“The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights” written by Steve Sheinkin, and published by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A $500 Prize, wow!

I'm so excited to tell you about how one of our great Teen patrons won $500 for the Library! Read on...
In honor of YALSA’s Teen Read Week™, held every October, author Donna Labermeier sponsored a contest for 6th – 12th graders to win money for themselves and their Library. Marlborough resident Sophie Caplan, age 13, entered the contest and won third prize in her category! The contest had something for every talent and interest – whether you liked acting, writing, public speaking, art, film‐making, music and more. Sophie made a book trailer based on the author’s first book, The Healers. Here is a link to her video on YouTube: 
YouTube Book Trailer

In addition to winning $500 for herself, Sophie won $500 for the Richmond Library. The Library also received the second book in the author’s Healers Trilogy. The money will be put toward Teen materials and/or programs. Thanks to Sophie for being so creative and for thinking of us! 

More on the Healers book:
"They live in separate countries and don't know each other, but three teenage heroes share an astounding destiny: they were born to heal the world...They are “The Healers”.
With the guidance of an old master named Agostino, the three teenagers embark on separate missions around the globe to vanquish the planet's darkest forces. Koemi saves people from self‐destruction. Harata thwarts would‐be terrorists. Eleanor helps others grow their natural psychic abilities. Individually, The Healers are powerful agents of good. Working together as a group, who knows what unimaginable energy might be unleashed?!
The question is, what drives the villainous Venceslao, who is on a mission to capture the three Healers and others like them, then harness their talents for his own malevolent purposes? It will be up to The Healers to find a way to stop this deadly adversary in time to save all of humankind from utter annihilation."

From the author:
In Donna's own words, she says, "I sincerely hope that my readers will come away from these books with the realization that they have more power than they ever dreamed possible.”