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12-12-12 Books to Blow your Mind

Posted on December 12th, 2012 by Mickie.
Categories: All posts.

You KNEW this post was coming, didn’t you? I couldn’t let this mind-blowing date pass us by with out wrangling it into a book post so here ya go…you’re welcome.

The twelve days of Christmas, it is 12-12-12 and here are your requisite 12 crazy books that have nothing to do with the holidays but are my picks to get you through those annoying lovely family get togethers…enjoy!





Give the Gift of Technology: Great Apps and Digital Books for Teens

Posted on December 4th, 2012 by Mickie.
Categories: All posts.

Looking for something to give the teen who has everything? Sneaking a new tablet into your teen’s stocking and want to load it up with some fun stuff so she can dive right in on Christmas morning? Need some way to clue your parents in to what you’d like to have as a gift? LOOK NO FURTHER! This blog post is for you.

Santa Mickie will pull gift ideas for every teen out of her big red sack–Ho Ho Ho! Want even more great suggestions? Visit School Library Journal’s Top Ten Apps list of 2012.

For the Book Worm:

YALSA Teen Book Finder- FREE for Apple

Find the best books and media for teens, as selected by library staff and educators across the United States!

For the Nerdfighter:

DFTBA: Hank and John’s Awesome Adventure- $1.99 for Apple

Play John or Hank Green as you battle the minions of World Suck. which have invaded the land of Nerdfighteria. Play through 8 levels of platforming awesomeness, from the video game level, to the Evil Baby Orphanage, to the Internet itself.

For the Gamer Geek:

The Oregon Trail- .99 cents for Apple and Android

An oldie, but goodie--this game lets you pack up your wagon and MANIFEST DESTINY as you travel West into the American Frontier. Did you pack enough nails? Will Mary die of dysentery?

The Dragon Slayer- FREE for Apple and Android

The Dragon Slayers are hunting once again and you have answered the call. Dragon Slayer is a visually spectacular, magic-based combat game

For the Artist Geek:

Wreck this App- $4.99 for Apple and Android

Based on the book, Wreck this app encourages kids to create outside the page. Doodle, deface and deconstruct all in the name of making something new!

For the Puzzle Geek:

Polymer- $1.99 for Apple

Polymer is a strategic shape-creating game that combines the logic of Rubik’s Cube, the sliding mechanism of Chuzzle, and the creativity of Lego.

For the Internet Geek:

Echograph- $1.99 for Apple

Wired magazine calls this app the "instagram of Internet GIFs" it allows you to make GIF (snippets of animated photos) files that are instantly sharable on social media sites.

For the Science Geek:

The Science of Reality-$13.99 for Apple, Nook and Kindle

The ultimate digital book experience from Richard Dawkins, one of the world’s greatest scientists. How do we know what is true? Explore the magic of natural science with clips, interactive demonstrations and beautiful animation and photography.

For the Big Ideas Geek:

Ted Books FREE (with in app purchases) for Apple and Android

TED Books are short original electronic books produced every two weeks by TED Conferences. Like the best TEDTalks, they're personal and provocative, and designed to spread great ideas. TED Books are typically under 20,000 words — long enough to unleash a powerful narrative, but short enough to be read in a single sitting.

For the Hipster Geek:

Stachetastic $.99–3.99 for Apple and Android

With this easy to use photo editor, you can take a new picture or select one from your photo library and instantly add a mustache or beard from a selection of sweet facial hair.

For the Manga Geek:

Viz Manga FREE (with in app purchases) for Android and Apple

You now have the greatest manga from Japan at your fingertips, at long last in a convenient, downloadable format for your device.

For the Comics Geek:

Dark Horse Comics FREE (with in app purchases) for Apple and Android

Have your favorite Dark Horse comics at your fingertips - anytime, anywhere! Read free digital comics along with hundreds of your Dark Horse favorites starting at 99 cents.





Holiday .GIF Giving Storytelling Contest for Teens

Posted on November 30th, 2012 by Mickie.
Categories: All posts.

Have you ever used .gifs? GIFS or Graphic Interchange Formats are little repeating image files that make a few still images look a little like a movie! They are sometimes interesting and artistic…

and sometimes ridiculous and silly…

But I think they are really fun! That brings me to our challenge. I offer you…the Holiday .GIF Giving Storytelling Challenge. I challenge you to re-tell your favorite holiday story using GIFS to accent the story this example that I made where I retell Olive the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh. Do you like how I made with the funny?

Ok. So here is how it works…

  1. Pick your story–something simple is always better, but you do what you want. Here are some ideas to get you started.
  2. Retell the story…you can be serious or funny. It is your story! Type your story out–if you have a Tumblr or you blog somewhere you can type it out there. if you don’t, no worries! You can type it in a Word doc and send it to me or come into the library and you can type it out on one of our computers.
  3. Choose your GIFs–you can start by googling a term that you want to find. For example, for the GIF above, I searched for “Thank you gif” and it sent me to a Tumblr page with a bunch to choose from. You can also search for GIFs at GifSoup and Gifbase or Tumblr.
  4. Keep it appropriate and no bad words!

Now Friends---Auntie Muriel reminds you to be careful when searching for things on the don't want to look at gross stuff so keep your searches clean! You may also want to get an OK from your adult if that is appropriate.

After you find the .GIFs you like, copy the URL for it and put it in your story. Just like you grab a URL for a picture to send to a friend or post to Facebook–if you can do that you can do this. Want a tutorial for how to do that? Check this one out. Still not sure? E-mail me (  or stop into the library to see me and I’ll help you out!

Happy GIF giving!




“Sure we have a copy of the Hunger Games available!” Said…

Posted on November 29th, 2012 by Mickie.
Categories: All posts.

….NO librarian ever. Until now!

Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (that means Reserve it!)


Out of the Easy: A Beta Books Review

Posted on November 26th, 2012 by Becky.
Categories: Beta Books, Books, Events.

Jayla, another voracious reader at Beta Books, our read-’em-before-they-are-published teen book club, has submitted our latest review! Check out her thoughts below. Curious? Get the scoop here, sign out a book from the Teen Center, and mark your calendar for the next meeting!

Reviewer: Jayla

Title: Out of the Easy

Author: Ruta Sepetys

What did you think of the cover? I loved the book cover design of the ARC and definitely wouldn’t change it. It’s artistic and I think the birdcage is a metaphor relating to Josie Moraine’s (the main character) life.

What did you think of the book?

I thought “Out of the Easy” was very distinctive from most YA novels. While reading, it was easy to get lost in the story. I really liked Josie – she was a tough heroine, but also had her flaws which made her seem more real than fictitious. And the setting for the story, New Orleans, was perfect. The only things I disliked were the mystery elements (which were too weak and made me lose a little interest in the story) and the supporting characters could have had much more depth to them.

I would definitely recommend this to a friend who enjoys historical fiction, but not to someone who is use to fast-paced novels.

How would you rate this book? 3 stars – Pretty good. I wanted to see how it ended.


Stories from the Mall–Just in Time for Black Friday!

Posted on November 21st, 2012 by Mickie.
Categories: All posts.

Are you going shopping before dawn tomorrow? Me either! At least I am an adult and don’t have to go if I don’t want to. Or maybe you are DYING to go and no one will let you…

Well if you are stuck waiting in the car or can’t wait to get your driver’s license so you can take yourself next year, here are some books all about the joy, the terror and the suspense of that American icon…the suburban shopping mall.

The good, the bad, the mall.

In a futuristic alternative school set in a shopping mall where video game-playing students are observed and used by corporate sponsors for market research, Katey "Kid" Dade struggles to figure out where she fits in and whether she even wants to.

When high school junior Tessa Reynolds falls into a coma after getting hit in the head during gym class, she experiences heaven as the mall where her parents work, and she revisits key events from her life, causing her to reevaluate herself and how she wants to live.

After a virus destroys most of the world's adult population, a group of children are delighted to discover a colony of adult survivors in a Florida shopping mall but soon find that they are not as friendly as they appear.

While working at the mall, organizing a school fundraiser, and trying to prove that her best friend's boyfriend is seeing another girl, high-school student Charlotte's best intentions always seem to backfire.

Teens Shay, Marco, Lexi, and Ryan, quarantined in a shopping mall when a biological bomb goes off in an air duct, learn that in an emergency people change, and not always for the better, as many become sick and supplies run low.

Happy shopping day!



Peace, Love and Pass the Cranberry Sauce: Thanksgiving Books for Every Taste

Posted on November 15th, 2012 by Mickie.
Categories: All posts.

Do you love the holiday or hate? It doesn’t matter–we’ve got a book for that!

Want to warm you heart with stories of good people and helping hands? Look no further--read on and store up all the warm fuzzies that the holidays bring!


Hate the holiday and all that touchy-feely junk? Here is a twisted story about a detective who gets psychic impressions from everything he eats....did I mention that he solves murders? Yeah...guess how he gets clues. *shivers*

Do you feel like an alien during the holidays? Are you sure that your family is a bunch of weirdos? This book is kinda like that--it is the flock's first turkey! What can go wrong?

Are you worried about what is going on with your school friends while you are off on break? So do the girls at Waverly...drama and turkey--enough for seconds!

Mmmmm....more Thanksgiving drama than a football game in overtime!

Speaking of football---can't get enough of the couch and the game is over? Here are some short stories about that favorite Thanksgiving day past time!

Vegetarian? No turkeys were harmed in this book--in fact, this turkey stirs up a Lakota indian reservation by its presence and changes a few lives. Gobble Gobble!


Books to Read While Waiting in Line to Buy Halo 4

Posted on November 6th, 2012 by Mickie.
Categories: Books, Technology.

Can’t wait to get your hands on the super anticipated Halo 4? I know many of you are pretty darn excited and have lots of questions about what is going to happen with Master Chief and the gang… Will Cortana go rampant? What will humanity and the UNSC *do* with all that Forerunner technology?

Sorry–I don’t have the answers, but I can suggest some books to read while you wait!

The Doctor and Romana receive a mysterious distress signal, leading them to Cambridge University, home of The Doctor's old friend and fellow Time Lord, Professor Chronotis. Chronotis inadvertently lets a Time Lord artifact, a book entitled The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey, pass into the hands of a clueless young student. Unfortunately, an egomanic called Skagra also has designs on the book and will do anything to get it. Can The Doctor find the book, stop Skagra's nefarious scheme, and unearth the secrets of Shada?

Enjoying his assignment with the xenobiology lab on board the prestigious Intrepid, ensign Andrew Dahl worries about casualties suffered by low-ranking officers during away missions before making a shocking discovery about the starship's actual purpose.


Ready Player One takes place in the not-so-distant future--the world has turned into a very bleak place, but luckily there is OASIS, a virtual reality world that is a vast online utopia. People can plug into OASIS to play, go to school, earn money, and even meet other people (or at least they can meet their avatars), and for protagonist Wade Watts it certainly beats passing the time in his grim, poverty-stricken real life. Along with millions of other world-wide citizens, Wade dreams of finding three keys left behind by James Halliday, the now-deceased creator of OASIS and the richest man to have ever lived. The keys are rumored to be hidden inside OASIS, and whoever finds them will inherit Halliday's fortune. But Halliday has not made it easy. And there are real dangers in this virtual world.

Lyle, Karen, Janie, and Reese must find a way off an island while they dodge strange and dangerous things on the island.

Twenty-five years ago, the alien Givers came to Earth. They gave the human race the greatest technology ever seen -- four giant towers known as Ladders that rise 36,000 miles into space and culminate in space stations that power the entire planet. Then, for reasons unknown, the Givers disappeared.


Fifteen-year-old Daniel has followed in his parents' footsteps as the Alien Hunter, exterminating beings on The List of Alien Outlaws on Terra Firma, but when he faces his first of the top ten outlaws, the very existence Earth and another planet are at stake.



What your Costume Says you Should Read

Posted on October 31st, 2012 by Mickie.
Categories: Books.


What are you dressing up as this year? Let me see your costume and I’ll predict your next good read…


Ah, the classically misunderstood female character! Persecuted throughout history for not meeting social norms, you have seriously Feminist leanings and are good at chemistry! You should read:

Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, must exonerate her father of murder. Armed with more than enough knowledge to tie two distant deaths together and examine new suspects, she begins a search that will lead her all the way to the King of England himself.


The hero/scoundrel scourge of the sea is a wonderful choice for those who like adventure and struggle with the complexities of grammar…you should read:

Piecing together information gained while skiing in the Alps, teenaged James Bond returns to Eton College and foils an assassination attempt, then goes on the run across Europe with a beautiful and dangerous Irish girl, Roan.

Sexy Anything

Oh, geesh…really? A sexy firefighter? A sexy Abe Lincoln!? What is WRONG with you? You should be spending more time with the witch and your parents should roll back your curfew. Here…read about how to be sexy and still wear a ton of clothes:

Spirited Elizabeth Bennet matches wits and wiles of the heart with the arrogant Mr. Darcy in this entertaining portrait of matrimonial rites and rivalries in Regency England


Poor vampires–they think they want to drink blood like the creatures of the night, but what is really going on? Iron deficiency! Make a sammy!

Using a scanner and the worlds best sandwiches, Jon Chonko shows you how to build the best sandwiches...take a bite!


Wow…phone it in much? You can’t wear your regular clothes for Halloween–that is cheating! Get a real costume…like a MICHIGAN sweatshirt, then we will all know that you are in disguise. Read about someone who is a classic geek masquerading as a successful actor, writer, director and cool guy extraordinaire!

From his childhood obsession with science fiction, his enduring friendship with Nick Frost, and his forays into stand-up comedy which began with his regular Monday morning slot in front of his twelve-year-old classmates, actor/comedian/writer/self-proclaimed supergeek Simon Pegg has always had a dangerous case of the funnies. Having landed on the U.S. movie scene in the surprise cult hit Shaun of the Dead, his rise to movie star status has been mercurial and meteoric.


Oh a spooky ghos—what? you aren’t dressed as a ghost…you are a goth? Oh. uh…sorry *awkward silence* HERE–read this!

After being hit by a bus and killed, a high school homecoming queen gets stuck in the land of the living, with only a loser classmate--who happens to be able to see and hear ghosts--to help her.


Aren’t you precious? You secretly suspect that you were adopted by peasants to hid your identity! Too bad you have to put up with pretending you are just an average Jo….read this:

Working in her family's pumpkin patch every year, seventeen-year-old Jamie has dreamed of two things--dating co-worker Danny and being crowned Pumpkin Princess--but her beautiful and famous cousin Milan's visit may squash all of her hopes.










Author Jody Casella rocked as Beta Books guest speaker!

Posted on October 25th, 2012 by Becky.
Categories: Beta Books, Books, Events.

Those of you who came to this month’s Beta Books meeting got to pick the brain of a special guest speaker: YA writer Jody Casella! Her book Thin Space will be out in September 2013, so she was the perfect person to talk to us about the real world of generating ideas, writing books, revising them (and revising again…and again…and again!), getting published, and — a topic that never gets old with us — what makes the best cover art?!

Jody wrote an awesome post about her visit on her blog — be sure to hop over and check it out. As she writes,

These kids were smart and talkative and interested, with their own stories to tell. We talked about unreliable narrators and books we liked and things that got stuck up our noses. Also, how to come up with titles and unlikely names for killers and what to do if the middle of your story starts getting boring. (Answer: make a character die.)

Aw, shucks! Thanks, Jody, for sharing your book and your wisdom with us (and playing along with our crazy nametags and icebreaker games!). Beta Books will be counting down to the release of Thin Space right along with you…and then, of course, we would love to have you back to gab about the final cover. ;)


Teen Read Week: The Hunger Games Thursday

Posted on October 18th, 2012 by Becky.
Categories: Books.

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know alllll about The Hunger Games book series and movie. (And if not, oh no! It seems you have a giant rock on top of your life! Get out from under there and get some fresh air — quick!) We’ve blogged about books you’ll like if you liked the HG series, and we’ve tagged a bunch of readalikes in our library catalog, too.

But what I really want to mention today is the series that came before all the HG madness: The Giver series, by Lois Lowry. That’s right: long before Katniss strung her first arrow, Ms. Lowry penned a novel about a dystopian community in which authoritative control wasn’t doing the people all that much good. Sound like a familiar theme? The book was so amazing that it won the 1994 Newbery Medal, and the recent publication of Son joins Gathering Blue and Messenger to complete what is now called The Giver Quartet. Lois Lowry talks about it, and the inevitable Hunger Games comparisons, in this article in The New York Times Magazine.

So whether you read The Giver back in the day, or are just discovering it as you realize what a cool lens dystopias offer for speculating about our world and what it could become, it’s time to pick it up and see the apple again (read it and you’ll know what I mean).


Teen Read Week: Wizarding World Wednesday

Posted on October 17th, 2012 by Mickie.
Categories: Books.

Is life in this after-the-boy-who-lived time getting you down? Are you feeling less magical and more Muggle? Are your friends planning an intervention if you don’t stop inspecting the school bathroom sinks for  “The Chamber of Secrets part II?” If any of these things describe you, you may be suffering from Post Potter Problems or PPP for short.

We feel your feel–it is sad knowing that the fun is over, but believe us–there are other GREAT magical reads waiting to be asked to dance. So stop shouting, “Accio Book 8!” to the heavens and check out these other great magical reads!

You haven't READ this yet? What's a matter with you? The movie is almost out--read it already!

North Carolina eighteen-year-old Staci tries to keep her friend Faith safe from a group of witches but winds up helping the Incan mummy the group has reanimated, who also happens to be very attractive and charming.

Seventeen-year-old Amy Goodnight has long been the one who makes her family of witches seem somewhat normal to others, but while spending a summer with her sister caring for their aunt's farm, Amy becomes the center of weirdness when she becomes tied to a powerful ghost.

Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to another pirate clan. But that only prompts the scorned clan to send an assassin after her. When Ananna faces him down one night, armed with magic she doesn't really know how to use, she accidentally activates a curse binding them together. To break the spell, Ananna and the assassin must complete three impossible tasks all while grappling with evil wizards, floating islands, haughty manticores, runaway nobility, strange magic...and the growing romantic tension between them.

Raised by a half-mad mother who dabbled in magic, Morwenna Phelps found refuge in two worlds. As a child growing up in Wales, she played among the spirits who made their homes in industrial ruins. But her mind found freedom and promise in the science fiction novels that were her closest companions. Then her mother tried to bend the spirits to dark ends, and Mori was forced to confront her in a magical battle that left her crippled--and her twin sister dead. Fleeing to her father whom she barely knew, Mori was sent to boarding school in England–a place all but devoid of true magic. There, outcast and alone, she tempted fate by doing magic herself, in an attempt to find a circle of like-minded friends. But her magic also drew the attention of her mother, bringing about a reckoning that could no longer be put off

Two powerful young enchanters, Cat, the future Chrestomanci, and Marianne, who is being trained to be Gammer of the Pinhoes, work together as friends to try to end an illegal witches' war and, in the process, right some old wrongs.

A centuries-long war between daimons and witches sets the stage for three teens caught up in a deadly struggle for power and autonomy in the exotic and otherworldly Carnival of Souls, the mercantile center of the daimon dimension

Separated since birth, seventeen-year-old twins Thais and Clio unexpectedly meet in New Orleans where they seem to be pursued by a coven of witches who want to harness the twins' magickal powers for its own ends.




Drama, by Raina Telgemeier: A new book trailer for your Friday

Posted on October 12th, 2012 by Becky.
Categories: Books, Movies.

It’s a happy day when there’s a new book by Raina Telgemeier! Lots of readers at WPL loved her graphic novel Smile, about her own experience as a girl when she fell and knocked out her two front teeth, resulting in years of braces, headgear, and surgery.

She’s just released her latest book, Drama, in which main character Callie does the set design for her middle school play — and as much of the drama happens off-stage as on-stage! Check out the trailer below! Have you read it yet? Tell us what you thought in the comments!


You + Books with Cool Math = Awesomesauce

Posted on October 10th, 2012 by Mickie.
Categories: All posts, Books.

Are you a math geek? I’m not, but I still appreciate a good equation now and then…and I love a good math doodle. Have you seen this cool doodle video by math-fun guru Vi Hart? Check it out – you’ll never look at your in-class doodles the same way again.

All excited about math now? Go read these! Ok, ok – these aren’t all “math” books, but hey sometimes math is the story and sometimes math just makes the story better!


Having been recently dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, recent high school graduate and former child prodigy Colin sets off on a road trip with his best friend to try to find some new direction in life while also trying to create a mathematical formula to explain his relationships.

Fourteen-year-old Mike, whose father is a brilliant mathematician but who has no math aptitude himself, spends the summer in rural Pennsylvania with his elderly and eccentric relatives Moo and Poppy, helping the townspeople raise money to adopt a Romanian orphan.

The call comes in from the shadowy Ternky Tower: 13 robberies, one on each floor, all the way up to the penthouse, where obnoxious importer Bevel Ternky has been relieved of the numbers garlanding the legendary Emerald Khroniker, his priceless, ancient clock. Readers must conduct their own investigations, scouring detailed illustrations for hidden clues and knotty puzzles

After Earth is demolished to make way for a new hyperspatial expressway, Arthur Dent begins to hitch-hike through space.

While hiding out from the mob in the suburbs with his mother, a singer, Jackson uses his fascination with math and numbers to make friends, but strange phone calls and even greater threats endanger not only Jackson and his mother, but his new girlfriend, as well.

"In Girls Get Curves, Danica applies her winning methods to geometry. Sizzling with her trademark sass and style"

1 comment.

Are you Free to Read? Banned Books Week is September 30- October 6

Posted on September 29th, 2012 by Mickie.
Categories: Books.

Banned Books Week is upon us! But why should you care? Everyone should care about book banning or, more commonly, book challenges. What am I talking about? Here is how The American Library Association explains it:

A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.

Choosing what to read is a personal thing and if you are a teen–personal decisions may still involve discussion with your parents, your religious leader, your friends, your teachers or anyone else whom you look to for guidance. Most librarians take your freedom to read really seriously–that is why we celebrate Banned Books Week. It is a way to bring awareness to issues of censorship and have community discussions about books and why every citizen should value his or her freedom to read them.

You might be surprised by which books have been challenged or banned–often they are considered classics! Frankly, once I hear that a book has been banned, I can’t WAIT to read it! Can you name these famously banned books by their descriptions?  Give me your answers in the comments and be entered to win a signed copy of Ship Breaker by Paulo Bacigalupi. It hasn’t been challenged that I know of…it is just a wicked good book!!

Mystery Banned Book Number 1

This book is about a girl who risks her life to save her sister’s in a television program gone mad. Reasons Banned: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence

Mystery Banned Book Number 2

This book about an African-American woman living in 1930s Georgia won a Pulitzer Prize and is a frequent class pick for honors level English. Reasons Banned: homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit.

Mystery Banned Book Number 3

The book is about a crime fighter with an unorthodox sense of style. Reasons Banned: anti-family content, sexual content, unsuited to age group, violence

Mystery Banned Book Number 4

In this book about a road trip before cars were invented, two unlikely friends make discoveries and question assumptions while enjoying the scenery of Middle America. Reasons Banned: offensive language, racism

Mystery Banned Book Number 5

This book is about a neglected orphan trying to make friends at a new school while trying to unravel the secrets of his mysterious past and his parents’ deaths. Reasons banned: Occultism, Satanism, violence, anti-family