Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I ask you to run, not walk, to your library and check out The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The author was inspired to write this book first out of a childhood love for Greek myths, especially Theseus and the Minotaur, and second after spending some time channel surfing between Survivor, The Amazing Race and news coverage of the war. From these dramatic and fatalistic inspirations comes a trilogy that you CAN NOT STOP READING.

Katniss Everdeen (our hero) lives in an America way in the future that has been divided into 12 different oppressed Districts that all serve the wealthy elite living in the Capitol. There used to be 13 Districts, but the 13th was supposedly crushed and devastated in a failed attempt by the Districts to overthrow the Capitol.

Now, to celebrate the Districts’ defeat and remind them of what they have to lose by rebelling, every year there is a “Reaping” in each district and one girl and one boy between the ages of 12 and 18 are drawn by lottery to participate in the Hunger Games. These games are a true contest of survival, televised for the amusement of the Capitol and the horror of the kids’ home districts, in which all the chosen ones must battle to the death. Each year there is only one survivor.

Katniss is NOT chosen to participate in these games, but….her beloved younger sister is. Katniss takes her place and is off to the Capitol for training and wardrobe fittings and interviews and soon, probable death.

Because in the Hunger Games she faces 23 other kids fighting to survive, some who may be potential allies, including the boy from her District who claims to be in love with her. But can she trust him? After all, there will only be ONE survivor, so any potential ally will inevitably become your enemy…

Katniss is unlike any other character I’ve read – she annoyed me with her stubbornness and surprised me with her strength of character. And Peeta, the guy who says he’s in love with her, is a true mystery – surely NO guy is that good a person! But they are characters you can’t stop wanting to read about, and I hated finishing the book and saying good-bye to them…luckily, The Hunger Games is just book one in a three book series (and it's being made into a movie)!


Friday, October 29, 2010

Bonechiller, by Graham McNamee

In the dead of winter in the isolated small Canadian town of Harvest Cove, something inhuman is hunting teenagers. Newcomer Danny and his friends Ash and Howie are in a race against time as the beast turns it's attentions to them. The hunt is on! Bonechiller is a fast-paced novel, that will keep you on the edge of your seat! ~ Robbie

Monday, September 27, 2010

Banned Book Week
Sept. 25 - Oct 2, 2010

What do the books To Kill A Mockingbird, Animal Farm, and Clockwork Orange have in common? Each has had attempts made to ban it from school and public libraries in the United States. Surprised? It happens more often than you think! To bring awareness to the ever present danger of having books removed from the shelves of local libraries to protect young readers from their "scandelous" content, the American Library Association annual celebrates Banned Book Week. This year it runs from September 25th - October 2nd. To find out what classic books have been most frequently challenged, check out this ALA webpage!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Efrain's Secret, by Sofia Quintero

Efrain Rodriguez is a high school student with a burning desire to make life better for himself. He's taking honors course at his South Bronx high school, and working as a peer tutor to help raise money for his dream of going to a true Ivy League college. He just scored his school's highest SAT score ever, though he wants to take it again so he can do better. But his father walked out on the family many years ago, and his family simply doesn't have the money to make his dreams come true. So in a heart-breaking decision, Efrain decides to start selling drugs to get the money he needs!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Yeah! It's Back to Shcool Time!

In case you miss the evening news, Southern Guilford High School was recently treated to a misspelled word on Drake Road in front of their school. The road was being repaved, and a subcontractor was in charge of writing the message that accompanied that section of the road. Yikes!

I hope you have a fun school year!


Monday, July 26, 2010

How to Ruin Your Boyfriend’s Reputation, by Simone Elkeles

In this sequel to How to Ruin a Summer Vacation and How to Ruin my Teenage Life, 17 year old American Amy Nelson-Barak finds herself lonely because her boyfriend Avi is off serving his mandatory military training time in Israel. So she packs up her bags and makeup kit, and along with her friends Jessica, Miranda and Nathan fly to Israel to sign up for a summer of training with the Israel Defense Force!

Amy didn’t count on the lousy bed springs, bad indoor plumbing, and mediocre food. But she’s even more surprised with Avi doesn’t seem happy to see her! What’s the problem???

This is a fun novel, and it gives us a glimpse into the mandatory military training in Israel. It’s a light read – perfect for the summer months! And don't miss this fun YouTube trailer for the book!


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Looking for a good book to read? Check out NoveList, the library's special online service that recommends terrific books to read! It's fun and easy to use. Grab your library card and surf to the Greensboro Public Library's homepage. Cick on DATABASES at the top of the screen. On the next webpage, skim down to find the link for NoveList. Remember, you'll neeed your library card number to get in.

Once inside, enjoy NoveList's simple search features. Type in a few key words to describe the type of book you'd like to read, click the "Teens" option, and search to find a great assortment of terrific young adult books. Each comes with a detailed plot description and a link to our catalog so you can put it on hold!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Gossip Girl, by Cecily Von Ziegesar

"This book is a very good read for anyone who likes, or spreads, gossip. Gossip Girl, as she calls herself, is spreading vicious rumors about Selena, all of them are untrue, but noboby wants to doubt a gossip. In this book, Selena is back from boarding school in France, and not everybody is fond of her being back at Constance High. Blair, Selena's former best friend, is especially angry. When Selena left, she was the most popular girl. But will that change? Read the book and find out." ~ Mandie, 8th grade, Columbia Middle School

Friday, July 2, 2010

July 4th!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Modern British Poetry: "The world is never the same,” edited by Michelle Houle

I must make a confession: I am not a great lover of poetry. Rhyming couplets, dramatic monologues, blank verse, stanzas and quatrains??? It's mostly just blah blah blah to me. So I was a little surprised with I picked up a copy of Modern British Poetry: “The world is never the same,” part of the Poetry Rocks series, and found myself liking what I found! The author, Michelle Houle, has done a nice job pulling together interesting information about eleven British writers from the 19th and 20th century, showing the reader one our two of their more famous poems, and then helping the reader understand what the key messages are in the poems being showcased. It even comes with its own small glossary of terms often used to describe poetry.

Sure, some of the authors I had previously heard of, like Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Alfred Lord Tennyson and W. B. Yeats. But others were unknown to me. For example, I happened to find a small chapter devoted to Wilfred Owen, who enlisted in the army and served in the front trenches in France during World War I. His poem Dulce et Decorum Est (Latin for "It is sweet and right to die for one's country") poignantly brought out the horror of watching a fellow soldier die during a gas attack in World War I. Of course, once you've read one interesting section, you want to press on to see what's cool about the next writer. I hope you’ll give this little book a chance!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Darklight, by Lesley Livingston

If you’re a fan of Lesley Livingston’s earlier work Wondrous Strange (published in 2009), then you’ll love her sequel, Darklight. Kelley Winslow has returned to New York City to pursue her acting career, but she ends up right back in the Otherworld. She reunites with her true love Sonny, a member of the elite Ganus Guard, to again take on the forces of evil. But will Kelley’s powers, passed on to her by her mother the Faire Queen, be enough?

This is a good sequel to read if you like fantasy, and enjoy the mix of a magical world meeting our own!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

11 birthdays, by Wendy Mass

"11 birthdays was a great book. If we had to rate stars it would be 5 stars immediately! It is about a girl who shares her birthday with her neighbor and best friend (who's a boy!) and one day they have a fight and switch places. It is a fun and exciting book. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did." An wonderful review by an anonymous reader!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Say the Word, by Jeannine Garsee

When Shawna was only seven years old her mother left her father, Jack, and moved in with her life partner. Ten years later Shawna learns of her mother’s death, and meets up with her partner, Fran, and their two kids – Arye (17), and Schmule (10). Shawna has to deal with her controlling father, who is out to ruin Fran financially, and cope with her own feelings toward gay rights, all while she embraces a budding romance and a search for her own independence.

If you liked Jeannine Garsee's earlier book Before, After, and Somebody in Between, then you you'll love her latest novel. And check out this 2009 interview with Garsee by Debbi Michiko Florence.
I really liked the part where she confessed to doing much of her writing while sitting in a local coffee shop typing away for hours and hours . . . .

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Riot, by Walter Dean Myers

In the summer of 1863 New York City was rocked by violence when the federal government, desperate for new military recruits for the Union army during the Civil War, passed the Enrollment Act. This allowed the government to draft any man between the ages of 20 and 45 into military service. Many recent immigrants, especially the Irish who recently had moved from Ireland to escape the potato famine, rose up in arms against a war they did not feel was theirs. To make matters worse, part of the law allowed the rich to pay a substitute $300 to serve for them. This angered a large number of the poor. Crowds turned violent, buildings were burned down, and African Americans were assaulted and lynched. In four days over 1,000 people were killed and 50 large buildings burned by fire.

Walter Dean Myers new novel, Riot, is set in New York City during this tumultuous time. Claire, the 15 year old daughter of an African American father and Irish mother, finds her loyalties to her family and friends tested as the City is torn apart by racial violence.

What set’s this story apart is that the narrative is arranged like a movie script, with the location of each “shot” set up for you. For example: “AERIAL SHOT, then the sound of music rises as the camera slowly moves in once again. The streets of Lower Manhattan are indistinct but sharpen gradually. . . . .” This makes the book both dramatic and easy to read! This is the same style Myers used in his popular book Monster.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sixteen year old American Abby Sunderland is abandoning her attempt to sail nonstop around the world. The high school junior from Thousand Oaks, California, is heading towards Cape Town, South Africa, where she will have her 40-foot boat's faulty autopilot replaced. The guidance system is essential in order to keep her 40-foot sail boat on track while she's cat napping. This means the title for youngest person to circumnavigate nonstop around the world solo will go to Jessica Watson, the 16 year old Australian who should complete her trip in May. Once Abby's replaced her faulty navigation system, she will head back to sea, and try to become the youngest person to solo-circumnavigate our planet in a sailboat. You can check out Abby's amazing adventure by reading her blog!

If your interested in learning how to sail, visit our library and check out Richard Creagh-Osborne's classic book This Is Sailing. Another good book to read is Sailing for Dummies, by J.J. and Peter Isler. Both do a great job showing you all the basic moves and tricks of sailing, and have nice illustrations. And if you'd like to take classes in how to sail, the Lake Townsend Yacht Club is teaching lessons as well!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Once Was Lost, by Sara Zarr

In the sleepy little town of Pineview, California, there's a crisis brewing. Fifteen year old Samara Taylor's mother is in court-ordered rehab for her drinking problems, and her father, a local pastor, is having problems dealing with it. "Sam," as everyone calls her, is also having a crisis of faith. As she puts it: "I don't know when God stopped being someone I saw as my true friend, and turned into something I'm mostly confused about." With the summer heat beating down on the town, and with both her home's air conditioning AND her bedroom fan broken, it promises to be a miserable time for Sam.

And then one day, watching the news, she catches part of a local newscast. Something horrible, unimaginable has just happened. Young Jodi Shaw, a young member of her church, has just been abducted!

Zarr does an excellent job creating believable characters and she provides a tense plot line. I thought it was a bit strange to try and weave a romance into the story, but then again it adds a nice spice to her story! ~ Robbie

Friday, April 16, 2010

Are you curious about how investors pick their stocks and mutural funds? Don't miss the Morningstar Investment Research Center training session at the Central Library on Tuesday, May 18th from 4-5:30 pm. It's free, but you do have to register. Contact Martha Larson at T: 373-4559 or martha.larson@greensboro-nc.gov. The workshop is part of the Future Cents financial literacy project for young adults and their parents.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sideshow: Ten Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists, and Other Matters Odd and Magical. Edited by Deborah Noyes.

Have you ever been to a circus "sideshow"? It's an odd collection of oddities (both human and otherwise) that will amuse, intrigue, and yes - even shock you. Just the thought of a sideshow immediately brings to my mind images of the bearded lady, the super-strong weight lifter, the contortionist, two-headed snakes, and the always popular sword swallower. They used to be quite an attraction, and a fun part of going to the circus. But the times have changed and these freak shows aren’t so popular. Yet their memories still live on . . . .

Sideshow: Teen Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists, and Other Matters Odd and Magical, edited by Deborah Noyes, is a wonderful collection of ten original short tales of intrigue and suspense by a fun collection of writers. All the stories share a common bond: the freaks, magic, oddities, and everything else you might encounter in a “show.” For example "The Bread Box", by Cecil Castellucci, is a delightful story about a girl visiting her great-aunt Eden for the first time while her parents are out of town. Pressed into making bread with her aunt, the girl discovers the family secret: the starter for the bread (the part with the yeast) is really alive, and has been with the family since 1846 in Oregon! In "Those Psychics on TV", by Vivian Vande Velde, a boy talks his mother into visiting a psychic to prove that their all phonies. But are they really fakes????

I liked this eclectic collection of stories; I hope you do to!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Check out our fun new teen programs in May at the Greensboro Public Library!

Teen Art Studio - Painting with Jean Muson. Teens age 11 to
19 can learn about painting with acrylics. Supplies provided,
registration required. If you want to share a technique or
volunteer as a guest artist, contact Kelly Prewett at 373-2925.
Tue., May 4 and Tue., May 18 from 6:30 - 8 pm at the Hemphill Branch.

Brave New Voices - Watch as 45 teams of teenage ‘slam
poets’ from Honolulu to Philadelphia journey to compete in
the National Slam Poetry Championship. Narrated by Queen
Latifah. Sat., May 1 from noon - 1 pm. McGirt-Horton Branch.

Teen Game Night - Join us for board games, card games,
and fun. Thursdays in May from 7 - 8:30 pm. Vance Chavis Branch.

Haitian Heritage Month - This month-long celebration honors
Haitian General Toussaint L’ Overture, who helped Haiti
gain its independence in 1803. Check out books and learn
more about this important historical event. McGirt-Horton Branch

Teen Movie Night: Iron Man - Rated PG-13. Thu., May 6
from 6:45 - 8:50 pm. Vance Chavis

Third Thursdays - This series of workshops and activities
provides city youth with the tools necessary for positive
decision-making, personal growth, and community involvement.
Guest speakers, teen discussion sessions, and refreshments.
Intended for teens ages 11-18. This event is FREE,
however we encourage pre-registration: 373-5810. Thu., May
Visit www.greensborolibrary.org for tutors who can help with 20 from 6:30 - 8 pm. McGirt-Horton Branch.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

There IS light at the end of the tunnel for you. High school won't last forever, and then there will be new adventures to challenge you. But really, is that all there is to it? Take those last few exams, grab your diploma and make a sprint for the school door? Authors Steven Jenkins and Erika Stalder start their new book 97 Things to do Before You Finish High School with this bold statement: "As a teenager, you have the capacity to learn anything you want to at a speed much faster than people who are only five years older, and your curiosity and insightfulness are at an all-time high." Without preaching they simply lay out things you should try BEFORE graduating. Each idea comes with a simple explanation about why it's important to try doing it, and what you'll gain from the experience.

So what do Jenkins and Stalder suggest for things for you to do before graduating from high school? Here's just a sampling:
  • Research your family tree! Get connected to your family's roots by discovering how your family got to be where it is today.

  • Watch the sunrise! Get up early and sneak out to enjoy the sun as it first peeks around the horizon.

  • Detox you body! Clean your body and mind of unwanted chemicals that might be slowing you down.

  • Feed the needy! Help those in your community who are down on their luck

  • Learn a martial art! It will sharpen your mind and body.

So are you up for a personal challenge? Check "97 Things to do Before You Finish High School" out and try and few suggestions out!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Poetry GSO 2010!

Celebrate your love of poetry with Poetry GSO 2010! Here are great young adult events planned for Greensboro in April:

Poetry Jazz and Java - Hear live music and some of the best poets in the area. Starbucks in Quaker Village • April 1 at 7 pm.
An Explosion Of Words II - This event is for young poets, musicians and singers 13-17 years old, their families and friends. DJ T-Nice will provide the music. Snacks and drinks will be provided. April 10 at 3 pm • Hemphill Branch Library Local Voices - Sunday April 11 from 3 - 5 pm • Vance Chavis Library

Teen Poetry Workshop with Glenis Redmond - Learn to use brainstorming, imagery, and layering in writing powerful poems. Bring poems you are working on. April 12 at 4 pm • Central Library Poetry Reading with Glenis Redmond - April 12 at 7 pm • Central Library
Spoken Word & Art - Bring your best poem, share with others and participate in a project where we create art from found objects. Bring canned food to share with Second Harvest Food Bank. April 14 at 6:30 pm • Hemphill Library

One Purpose, One Voice: Poetry With A Purpose - See how poetry can re-shape your community; a gathering of more than 40 poets. Saturday April 17 at 7 pm • Greensboro Historical Museum

Poetry Reading with Marilyn Nelson - The entire family will enjoy this award winning poet. Music by Triad Youth Jazz Society. April 18 at 3 pm • Greensboro Historical Museum

Monday Night Poetry - Join us for Open Mic night. April 19 at 7 pm • Central Library

International Poetry Night: A Multilingual Celebration of Poetry - Hear or share a favorite poem. Previous years included poems in English, French, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese, Portuguese, German and more! April 20 from 7:45 - 8:45 pm • Glenwood Library

Open Mic: Spoken Word - Sign up for Open Mic at 7:30 pm; program starts at 8 pm. April 24 • Tate Street Coffee House
Poetry Reading With Julia Ebel & High School Poets Laureate - Hear some of our best teen poets. April 25 at 2:30 pm • Central Library Monday Night Poetry

Open Mic night - April 26 at 7 pm • Central Library

The Sweethearts of Rhythm - Enjoy selected poetry readings from Marilyn Nelson’s book about the famous female integrated swing band that toured the U.S., breaking attendance records, from 1937 to 1946. After the reading there will be a screening of the documentary about the band. April 27 at 7 pm • Central Library

Rumi Poetry Reading - Hear the spiritual poems of the ancient mystic Rumi. April 26 at 7:30 pm • Central Library

National Poem in Your Pocket Day - Stop by any library to get a free poem for your pocket to share with friends, family and co-workers. April 30

Poetry Jazz & Java - Local poets and live music. April 29 at 7 pm • Catitude Cafe, 718 W. Market St.

Reading & Reception with Jimmy Santiago Baca - From prison to National Book Award nominee, Jimmy Baca has led an interesting life to say the least. April 30 from 5 to 6 pm • Central Library

Día de los Ninos/Día de los Libros - Featured poet Jimmy Santiago Baca will offer a reading with plenty of entertainment for the entire family. Games, food, music, crafts and more! May 1 from 1 to 6 pm • Center City Park, Downtown Greensboro

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Triad Teen Poetry Meetup!

Do you like writing and listening to poetry? Then the Triad Teen Poetry Meetup wants YOU! Young adults ages 13-17 who love the written or spoken word are encouraged to join this new local organization devoted just to poetry! Regular meetups will be scheduled throughout the area, so you can meet and share your poetry with other local teens. And as a member you can use TTPM's new online forum to track other local poets and share your own poetry!

Visit the Triad Teen Poetry Meetup's website to join today. Minors will need parental permission to join. Only the adults who organize the meetups or who serve as writing mentors can participate. Sponsored by the Greensboro Public Library.

"In its nature poetry is pure and simple" - - Keith C. Douglas

Monday, February 15, 2010

Goldsmith's Daughter, by Tanya Landman

In this tale about the ancient Mayan culture a young girl named Itacate is being raised by her father, an important goldsmith, after her mother dies in childbirth. Her brother, according to custom, is in training to follow in his father's craft. But Itacate is the one to show the true gift to work with gold!

Set at the end the Aztec's reign of power (when the Spanish army arrive), the Goldsmith's daugther raises the question "What would it be like to live back then?"

Monday, February 8, 2010

Winter's End, by Jean-Claude Mourlevat

In a bleak oppressive society four desperate teenagers escape their prison-like boarding schools and try to make their way to join the underground rebellion to strike a blow against their government! Only one is recaptured, and is forced to fight in barbaric one-on-one fights to the death for the amusement of his captors. Can he be rescued in time?

Winter's End is an award winning book in France, and only recently translated into English.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hamlet, by John Marsden

Murder! Revenge! Lust! Remorse! Betrayal! Sounds like a great young adult novel, right? Shakespeare's enduring story about Hamlet's struggle to revenge the death of his father, who was killed by his own uncle (now king) Claudius, has been around now for over 800 years. But while our language has changed a lot over those years, Shakespeare's words have not - leaving readers to read and re-read his plays to better understand them. How frustrating! Have you ever wished that someone would just get around to rewriting Hamlet using the words we use today?

The wait is over! Hamlet, by John Marsden, IS set in modern times. It has much of the basic plot of the original story, and the characters are named the same, only now it's almost - - dare I say it - - FUN to read! School Library Journal called this "a wonderful treatment of the play: engaging, gripping, dark and lovely."

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mare’s War, by Tanita S. Davis

She wears high heels, a pushup bra, drinks bourbon with lemon, and drives her sporty red car like a “bat out of hell.” Grandma Mare is definitely NOT your average grandma! And this summer her granddaughters Tali and Octavia will find themselves driving cross country with her on their way to a family reunion. They quickly strike a bargain: the girls won’t plug themselves into their radios if Mare doesn’t smoke. Taking advantage of the silence in the car, Mare then begins to tell the girls her life story . . . .

This is an exciting read! Mare helps her sister and herself escape her mother’s lecherous boyfriend, followed by her quickly joining an African-American regiment in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II. The narrative switches between her early life adventures, and their modern-day cross country trip, so you don’t get bored.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

L8r, g8r by Lauren Myracle

It's their last year in high school, and Zoe, Maddie and Angela keep the IM messages flying about their adventures, plans after they graduate, senior prom, and (of course!) their boyfriends. Told exclusively in instant messages and chat room sessions, L8r, g8r is a funny book that will appeal to anyone who has spent moments on their cell phone anxiously typing out messages to their friends!

And if you like L8r, g8r, don't miss the two earlier books in this funny series: Ttyl and Ttfn!