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Beta Books: The latest reviews are in!

Posted on August 8th, 2012 by Becky.
Categories: Beta Books, Books, Events, Words & Writing.

The readers at Beta Books, our read-’em-before-they-are-published teen book club, have been super-busy this summer! Read on for their latest reviews. Curious? Get the scoop here, sign out a book from the Teen Center, and mark your calendar for the next meeting!

Reviewer: Emma D.

Title: October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

Author: Leslea Newman

What did you think of the cover? It matched the story because it was the scene of the incident that happened.

What did you think of the book? I loved the format of it being in poems but hearing the feelings of inanimate objects. Yes, I would recommend it, but to someone who could handle it.

How would you rate this book? 4 stars – Awesome. I loved it and would give it to a friend.


Reviewer: sema3

Title: The High-Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate

Author: Scott Nash

What did you think of the cover? I think the cover reflected the story well. I don’t think the cover should be changed.

What did you think of the book? My favorite part was the part where the half destroyed ship flew along with gabriel flying in front of the ship. Another good part was when they were steeling weapons from the crows armory. I think I would recommend the book to a friend.

How would you rate this book? 5 stars – Unbelievable! I’d rather read this book than sleep!

Reviewer: edrictheninja

Title: The Classroom: The Epic Documentary of a Not-Yet-Epic Kid

Author: Robin Mellom

What did you think of the cover? it helped you imagine all of the characters appearances

What did you think of the book? i thought it was very entertaining and funny, i would reccomend it to a friend, and my favorite part was the end where he dumped orange soda on Coreys head and he ran into the girls restroom

How would you rate this book? 4 stars – Awesome. I loved it and would give it to a friend.



Everyone’s Beautiful: Westerville teens tackle bullying with love

Posted on July 13th, 2012 by Becky.
Categories: Technology, Web sites to watch, Words & Writing.

Many of you saw local teen Cole interviewed last night on NBC4 (in the library, even!) about the Facebook group he founded, Everyone’s Beautiful. This group has grown virally to over 11,000 members worldwide in just a couple short weeks! It provides a forum for teens to share their stories and, most importantly, be in contact with a huge support group of both friends and strangers who provide positive messages and words of encouragement. Curious? Join the group on FB and you’ll stay up-to-date on the latest events, outreach, and developments as the movement continues to grow. And when you’re not online, don’t forget what your friendly neighborhood librarian always says about tough topics: there’s a book for that.

1 comment.

Someone you know wrote that: Getting published on Teen Ink

Posted on July 11th, 2012 by Becky.
Categories: Words & Writing.

Greetings, fair readers! Did you know that one of our own teen library patrons and volunteers, Lily, has been published on the Teen Ink web site? TWICE?!? Teen Ink publishes a magazine, web site, and books — all written by teens. Read on for the links to Lily’s stories and what she says about them:

It’s Really Not Funny

I’ve been wanting to write a “plague fiction” story for some time now, and my novel-in-short-stories-in-progress provided me with a perfect opportunity. This piece is set on the planet Theta Prime, on which a colony of humans has recently been established. They have no way to leave or communicate with Earth, and the colonial outposts are scattered widely across the planet. With isolation, overcrowding, and stress comes disease.

Long Fingers (an Editors’ Choice award winner!)

In conversation with my mom, I expressed a frustration with the lack of short-fingered geniuses in literature. She suggested that I write a story about one. This is what came out instead.

Congratulations, Lily! :D

Want to become a published writer yourself? Use the library to check out the Teen Ink magazine, submission guidelines on web sites like Teen Ink and Figment, or some books on writing! Go forth and get published!


Poetry Jam workshop this Sunday!!

Posted on April 12th, 2012 by Becky.
Categories: Books, Events, Words & Writing.

Calling all writers age 12-16! This Sunday from 3-4 pm, poet Jennifer Hambrick will be hosting Poetry Jam: Bringing Your World to Life in Poetry.

Maybe you’ve never written poetry and want to try your hand at it, or maybe you’ve written some free verse and want to write more. Either way, here’s your chance!

We’ll find poem subjects from the world around us, turn them “on their heads,” mine them for meaning, and tell their stories in free verse poems. We’ll also workshop our poems and learn how to give and receive constructive criticism.

Bring plenty of paper and pencils and come prepared to look at your world a little differently! Registration requiredclick here to register online, or call 614-882-7277 x 5006.


Short But Sweet: R.L. Stine Tweets a Horror Story

Posted on February 29th, 2012 by Becky.
Categories: Books, Technology, Words & Writing.

Did you guys see that R.L. Stine recently tweeted a mini horror story? You may know his name from the Goosebumps series, but did you also know he’s an Ohio dude? You can find out more about his hometown roots in a biography.

Personally, I’m intrigued by Twitter storytelling. It’s abbreviated, so it has to get right to the point, and you can ratchet up the suspense of a horror story by choosing where you cut off the words and how long you wait to post the next installment — much like cliffhanger chapter endings. Then again, you could look at it as a writer’s cop-out. What do you think?




Calling All Writers: The 2012 Celebrate the Arts Writing Contest

Posted on January 9th, 2012 by Becky.
Categories: All posts, Events, Words & Writing.

Psst! Writers! It’s that time again! Our annual writing contest is back, in which the Arts Council of Westerville, the Westerville Public Library, and the Westerville News & Public Opinion invite participants of all ages to submit original work of 800 words or less. The entry deadline is Tuesday, March 6, %2012, at 9 p.m., so you’ve got lots of time. Full details can be found here. What are you waiting for? Write up those great stories and send ‘em in!

And if you find yourself with a little case of writer's block, be sure to check out some of our great resources, whether they are from this very blog or ye olde library bookshelf!


From Mysteries to Chronicles: Harris Burdick Gets an Update

Posted on November 10th, 2011 by Becky.
Categories: All posts, Art & Craftiness, Books, Words & Writing.

How many of you have read The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, by Chris Van Allsburg? It’s a fascinating collection of black-and-white drawings with weird captions that just beg to have a story written to explain them (and in fact, many Language Arts teachers have had this same idea for a writing assignment!).

Now The Chronicles of Harris Burdick has just been released, offering 14 authors’ attempts to tell the story behind the surreal pictures — including Walter Dean Myers, Kate DiCamillo, and even Stephen King.

“Mr. Linden’s Library:

He had warned her about the book.

Now it was too late.”

As a cool tie-in, don’t miss Figment’s writing contest, which invites you to submit your story for a chance to win prizes, including a copy of the new book!

Love this kind of book? You may also like other plot-your-own stories, and don’t miss Twice Told: Original Stories Inspired by Original Art.


Untranslatable: A post for the word nerds among us

Posted on November 9th, 2011 by Becky.
Categories: All posts, Homework Help, Web sites to watch, Words & Writing.

I just stumbled across this, and it may be one of my new favorite posts: %20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words from Around the World. If you speak another language, are learning one in school, have traveled to another country, or are generally a Word Nerd (as am I), you may appreciate some of these:

Jayus (Indonesian) — “A joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh.” I don’t know about you, but these are the jokes that often make me laugh the hardest! Closely related are jokes that make you think this.

Iktsuarpok (Inuit) — “To go outside to check if anyone is coming.”

Prozvonit (Czech) — This word means to call a mobile phone and let it ring once so that the other person will call back, saving the first caller money. In Spanish, the phrase for this is “Dar un toque,” or, “To give a touch.” (Ha! I’ve done this…but only occasionally…*cough*)

Do you know a word that exists in another language but doesn’t have a corresponding word in English? Tell us in the comments!

And if you’re interested in learning another language, you definitely need to check out one of our online services, Mango Languages. Mango is an online language-learning system that can help you learn languages like Spanish, French, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, German, Mandarin Chinese, Greek, Italian, Russian and more. Create an account, hear and see the vocabulary, and track your progress!


Totes down with these abbrevs: Some new slang

Posted on October 14th, 2011 by Becky.
Categories: All posts, Books, Random Fun, Words & Writing.

You guys! I was obvs so glad to see this list! I love words and slang, especially how it changes over time. If you look up the words I use, they probably have an asterisk* but it’s cool, right?

Want to know more about words and slang? Check out a book!

* words Becky uses have an 85% chance of being So Five Years Ago


Love Is Respect: A Teen Dating Violence PSA

Posted on September 28th, 2011 by Becky.
Categories: All posts, Guest blogger, Web sites to watch.

I’m so glad that local teen Grace shared this link with me — it’s a video PSA that she made to bring attention to the issue of teen dating violence. Sometimes it can be hard to tell if you’re in an abusive relationship — and even harder to let anyone know. For more information, visit or check the library.


“I had to keep reading”: The latest ARC reviews are in!

Posted on August 8th, 2011 by Becky.
Categories: All posts, Beta Books, Books, Events, Words & Writing.

Calling all readers! Our next Teen ARC Club meeting is Friday, August 19, 4-5 pm! All the details are here (and you can also find them under Pages on the right of this blog), and we’ve got some awesome book reviews in the comments of that post. The latest are from Matthew, and I posted one of them here as well:

Reviewer: Matthew Hu

Book: Shelter

Author: Harlan Coben

What did you think of the cover?

The cover of the book matched the story. It had a picture of a shadow in a dark house and the title was almost transparent. I wouldn't change anything to the cover although it seems a little creepy.

What did you think of the book?

There was nothing that made me dislike the book, but what I liked the most was what happened at the end of the chapters. Once I finished the chapter, I had to keep reading. I would recommend the book to a friend.

How would you rate this book?

4 stars - Awesome. I loved it and would give it to a friend.


Bear With Me: Caption This Picture

Posted on July 26th, 2011 by Becky.
Categories: All posts, Caption This Picture, Random Fun, Words & Writing.

What do you think is the best caption for this picture? Leave it in the comments! And then, if you’re a fan of da bears, check out a book about ‘em.


Accio Memories: Remembering Harry Potter in a Magicky Wordle

Posted on July 15th, 2011 by Mickie.
Categories: Movies, Words & Writing.

Today I feel nostalgic as fans everywhere queue up to see HPatDH part II…I feel as cackly as Babbity-Rabbity and as fiery as Hungarian Horntail and I feel as happy as a boy who lived.

How do you feel?

Join us in recording our feelings and memories about Harry Potter in your own words. Take a look at the questions below and leave your answers in the comments.

The Questions

  • Describe your earliest or best Memory of Harry Potter.
  • Name your five fave characters and give one word that describes them.
  • Your favorite Harry Potter Spell is _______.
  • Harry Potter to you, means…
  • If you could tell Harry or JK Rowling anything, it would be?

We’ll take all the answers and plug them into Wordle and then we’ll post the beautiful word cloud in celebration of how Harry and Hermione and Ron and Hagrid and Dumbledore and Neville and ….well, how everyone in Harry’s world has touched ours.


Don’t mock me!

Posted on June 6th, 2011 by Becky.
Categories: All posts, Books, Words & Writing.

Alert readers have noticed a “mocking” trend in teen book titles — some older (like TKAM), but many very recent. Observe and be curious:

What do you think? Coincidence…or something more?? And for an even curious-er occurence, check out the paperback cover of Mockingbird — AND ITS TWIN.


Caption this picture

Posted on April 7th, 2011 by Becky.
Categories: All posts, Caption This Picture, Random Fun, Words & Writing.