Friday, December 28, 2007

Wicked Lovely

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr is a book about a young girl who can see faeries. Most mortals can't. Aislinn has always been able to see them. Now one of them is pursuing her. Keenan is the Summer King and he believes that she is his Queen. If she is his true Queen, she will be able to free him from the Winter Queen's trap. His mother is the Winter Queen and she doesn't want Keenen to have any power over her. This is just the start to an adventure involving good and bad faeries. Aislinn believes that they are all bad. Keenan knows that there are good and bad faeries, and he's one of the good ones. This book is not just about good and bad, it's about what it means to be human and not quite human. It's about Winter time on earth and Summer time. If summer doesn't come will winter rule forever? If Aislinn isn't the Summer Queen what will Keenan do? What can he do? This book is not the usual happy sweet faery book you may be used to reading. This book is darker and more intense. I would love to read a sequel about what happens next.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Life and murder in the country

A Northern Light
by Jennifer Donnelly

Mattie Gokey is the closest thing to a mother her father and her three sisters have after her mother died from breast cancer. Mattie has to take on the responsibilities of a housewife in the early 1900s while still being a teenager.

All Mattie wants is to write her own stories and read everything in sight. Everyday she picks a random word from the dictionary and tries to use in her daily conversations. Mattie is thrilled when she finds out that her and her friend Weaver have been accepted to college in New York with full scholarships. Only then does she remember her promise to her dying mother that she would not abandon her family.

Eventually things get tight and Mattie is allowed to work at a summer resort for the wealthy. When a neighbor boy seems to fall in love with her, Mattie pushes aside her dreams of independence and education in New York and focuses back on the life she has in her small country town. While working at the hotel, Mattie is surrounded by the suspicious murder of a young female guest of the hotel and Mattie is the only one with the means to discover the truth.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The White Horse

Cynthia D. Grant takes us into the life of a young girl named Raina in her book, The White Horse.
Raina's life was taken over by drugs. Her mother did them, the love of her life did them, and on occasion, she even did them.

When something big happens, Raina decides she needs to change her ways. She has to be clean and stay clean.

Find out if Raina is strong enough to fight off the white horse.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

It's a Snap!!

It's back! The 2nd Annual Teen Photo Contest is happening right now! The Teen Desk is accepting entries through January 5th from teens in grades 6 through 12. You have to use your own camera. Any entries can be altered with any photo imaging software. Remember, any obscene submissions will not be accepted.

Once we have all the submissions, there will be open voting in the library and online.

Stop by the Teen Desk to get a complete list of rules today!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Christmas Time is Here

Here at the library there is a decoration contest. It is each department for themselves. The fact that everything is so decorated really got me into the Christmas spirit. Normally I really am not a big fan of Christmas, but I don't know, I walk into the library and seriously feel the Christmas cheer. I think everyone should come into the library and just walk around and look. Everyone has decorated so great. Another suggestion is, if you are not already in the Christmas spirit, decorate your house, your room, your locker, your car, ANYTHING, and I promise you will get in the holiday spirit!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Does My Head Look Big in This?

Amal is an Australian-Muslim high school girl who makes a big decision--to wear the hijab, or Muslim head scarf, full-time. She's worried about how her friends will react, what her enemies will say, if her parents will support her decision, and if her crush, Adam, will react differently, but her faith is strong and she wears the scarf anyway. Amal isn't surprised when she runs into trouble, from taunts on the bus to snide comments at school, but she handles it all and manages to stay true to herself.

Simply put--I loved this book. It's a great story about being a teenager and trying to fit in while not compromising your beliefs or feelings. It's a story about tolerance that isn't preachy in the slightest. It taught me a lot about Muslim beliefs and made me wish there were more stories like it. Along with the religious aspects you'll find a well-written book that you can't put down. If you're looking for a story about crushing on boys, hanging out with friends, dealing with parents that don't understand you, and surviving the mess that's called high school, you'll enjoy this book. Pick up Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah asap.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Can you burn your guilt?

Gail Giles brings us a compelling story of a young man who is trying to live his life beyond the terrible guilt he is faced with. Right Behind You, introduces us to Kip, whose name changed after he murdered a boy in Alaska, faced four years in a mental institution. He was only nine years old when he entered the hospital and he was also the youngest because the institution normally only took in children twelve and up.

While in the hospital, Kip spent every day with children who did the most unbelievable things. He gave nicknames to all of the people who were in the institution, which represented his habit of shying away from people.

At age fourteen, Kip finally got to leave the mental hospital and try to lead a normal life. He moved to Indiana, changed his name and history, and for an entire year he kept his old life a secret.

Read Right Behind You to find out what Kip did to end up in a mental institution, what his real name is, how Kip did in Indiana, and if he burnt his guilt.

Friday, November 16, 2007

AVATAR! Deadline

If you're a writer, a poet, a journalist, a critic, a photographer, or an artist (and who isn't at least one of those?), don't miss the deadline for submissions to AVATAR!, our Teen newspaper. We'll be taking submissions through Tuesday, November 20 for publication in the December/January issue. We are looking for articles on books, music, movies, sports, essays, photos, drawings, or writings about whatever YOU think is interesting!

Turn in your submission at the Teen Desk or via email to Not all submissions will be chosen.

View back issues of AVATAR! here!

Monday, November 12, 2007

His Dark Materials series by Phillip Pullman

This well-known fantasy series by Phillip Pullman starts with the book The Golden Compass. In this book Lyra and her daemon, Pantalaimon eavesdrops on a secret meeting with her uncle and various scholars from the university that she calls home. Lyra learns about the controversy surrounding dust and the experiments being carried out in the north. Shortly after the secret meeting, children from the area start going missing, including Lyra's friend Roger. Lyra takes it upon herself to find the missing children and uncover the secrets and lies that surround the people known as the Gobblers.

With the help of the Gyptians, an armored bear named Iorek Byrnison, a witch named Serafina Pekkala and a truth-telling device called an atheliometer, Lyra makes her way to the north to take on Mrs. Coulter and the other members of the General Oblation Board.

Keep your eyes open. The Golden Compass is coming to the theaters in early December. Read The Golden Compass and rest of the series before you see the movie!


Parents always tell their teens not to drink and drive, to not put themselves in that situation, and they will get home just fine. What parents don't tell their children is that there is always a slight chance that even if their teen doesn't drink and drive, someone else might.

Anna was never a big partier, but her best friend, Ellen, started to be. Anna and Ellen went to a party and Anna chose to be the designated driver, but she fell into the pressure and had a few drinks. Although Anna was okay to drive herself and her best friend home, there was always that chance that someone else wasn't.

Wrecked brings a new twist to drinking and driving, and the consequences are fatal. Read to see how Anna copes with what happens and how her life changes forever.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Knitting Knots

Come and join Miss Patti for a Knitting knots afternoon. Beginning Wednesday, November 7th, through Wednesday, December 19th, from 4:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. The program will be held in the activity room in the Youth Department on the lower level of the library. If you need help with a knitting project, bring your yarn and needles and Miss Patti will help you get your naughty, knotty knitting all straighted out! If you don't know how to knit, bring some needles and yarn, and she will show you how to get started. If you need to purchase a set of needles try to get size #10, 10 inches long. Come and join the fun and help us make this program a success.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

New Books!!

Check out some of our new books!

Click: One Novel, Ten Authors - This is a book that's literally written by ten different people. Popular authors such as Eoin Colfer (author of the Artemis Fowl series), Gregory Maguire (author of Wicked), and Margo Lanagan (author of Black Juice) each take a chapter and tell a story about a brother and sister and their grandpa's legacy.

Some other new books to try out are Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin, Boy Toy by Barry Lyga, and Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Grab your dancing shoes!

This Saturday, stop by the library any time between 2pm and 4pm to show off your dancing skills. That's right folks! It's another DDR competition. The player who gets the most amount of perfects per level wins a secret prize.

So free up your calenders and stop by Saturday, October 20 @ 2:00pm and help us celebrate Teen Read Week with a little rug-cutting!

This program is for teens in 6th-12th grade!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Make a Gock Puppet

What's a gock puppet? Why, a goth sock puppet, of course! If a gock doesn't sound like your thing, you can make a regular sock puppet (or a punk sock puppet, or a puppet with big 80's hair, or whatever your imagination can dream up) at our Sock Puppet Class on Tuesday, October 16th at 6:30 p.m. Last time we offered this class it filled up quickly, so call the library before Monday to sign up. Grades 6-12 welcome, all supplies provided. What will your puppet be? Watch for pictures to be posted to our Flickr account after the class!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Anti-Catcher Cult

Saying that Tom "Chi-Mo" Henderson is on the bottom of the social ladder is am understatement. He refers to himself as the king of the dorks, and he is happy with that title. He has at least one friend. Sam Hellerman is his friend by alphabetical means. They've had lockers by each other forever so friendship seemed inevitable. Sam Hellerman is also the bass player of Tom's band, The Plasma Nukes also known as The Stoned Marmadukes also known as The Chi-Mos or whatever they decide the name will be on any certain day.

Tom is forced to read The Catcher in Rye...again. He remembers that there was a copy of the book amongst a bunch of boxes in his attic. The copy he finds belonged to his dead father. As Tom looks through the book, he discovers random underlined sentences. With his curiosity sparked, he looks through the remaining books to find other novels previously owned by his father. Book after book, Tom discovers clues that lead him on a search to find out what his father was like as a teenager.

Frank Portman's colorful novel King Dork follows Tom on a quest to find out information about a shadowed past, to find the elusive drummer for his band that will help put him on the map, and to find an understanding of life's greatest mystery....girls.

Check out King Dork today!

Chat with your favorite author this month!

Would you like to talk to Stephenie Meyer about Edward, everyone's favorite vampire? Ask Lauren Myracle where she got the idea to write a book in IMs? Talk to Ellen Hopkins about her novels in verse (like the one Jackie reviewed just a few weeks ago)? Ask Ann Brashares if she owns a pair of traveling pants? How about talking with Chris Crutcher, Rachel Cohn, Carolyn Mackler, John Green, Sonya Sones, or 18 other YA authors?

It's not a dream... you can. To celebrate Teen Read Week, is hosting 31 Flavorite Authors chat for the entire month of October. Every night a different author will talk with readers and answer your questions about their novels, their characters, and whatever else you can think to ask. View the full schedule and details on how to chat by clicking here. If you talk to an author, leave a comment and let us know what you asked them (and what they said)!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Science project got you stumped?

If you've been assigned a science project this year (or know you will be), don't miss our Science Project Strategies program on Wednesday, September 26 at 6:30 p.m.. In this hour we'll give you tips and tricks on how to complete your science project, from how to pick a topic to what words to search for, from what books to use to great websites that can help. You'll get a strategy guide to take home with lots of information as well.

Whether your project is for Science Fair or just a general science project, Science Project Strategies can help make it easy (and fun)!

Registration not required but encouraged; register online or call the library at (708) 474-2447.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Read for a Lifetime sign up is coming to a close

It's true folks. Dry your eyes everyone. You still have until October 1st to sign up. Why sign up? Well if you didn't you would miss out on a coupon to Borders and a certificate signed by the Secretary of State, commending your accomplishments. It looks good on college applications as well. It's so easy to get these rewards too. All you have to do is read four books like American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Wang from the Read for a Lifetime list by March 31st. That's six whole months away!

Stop by the reference desk Youth Services to sign up or for more information!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ellen Hopkins did it again!

A New York Times best seller, impulse, by Ellen Hopkins brings you into the lives of the sick and twisted. Ellen Hopkins is also the author of Crank, which is a very popular young adult book.

Aspen Springs may sound like a nice vacation spot, but it is the total opposite-a treatment center. In Hopkins' impulse, three teens meet and form bonds more important to them then ever. Vanessa, a pretty teenage girl who cuts herself to left out how she feels, was sent to Aspen Springs after her little brother found her slicing her wrist with the cold steal it ached for in the bathroom. Conner, a stud, smart, cool, rich, and athletic, was put under too much pressure of his parents' need for perfection. After he tried to commit suicide and failed, he was sent to Aspen Springs. The last of the three introduced in the book is Tony. Tony is sexually confused, and at first claims to be homosexual. He figured out the hard way that if you down a half a bottle of Valium and then toss in a fifth of Jack Daniels, you pass out. He also figured out that if you pass out on the side walk, and then cops catch you, you go to the hospital first, and the loony bin follows.

Check out impulse and read more about why Vanessa cut, why Conner's life seemed to much for him to handle, and to find out if Tony really is gay, why he did so many drugs, and what exactly he did, other than overdose on drugs, to get him into Aspen Springs. You will get emotionally attached to the characters in this book, it will keep yourself asking questions and you'll no doubt fall in love with the three main characters. Read to see how and if each one makes it through the levels of the treatment center.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

TAB is back!

Hey everyone...
Do you think that you know what should be happening at your library? Do you wish that we had more books that you like? Are you constantly waiting for a program that hasn't happened yet?

Starting September 20 @ 4:00, Teen Advisory Board is back! Every third Thursday of the month will be TAB day! This is your chance to speak up so take advantage of it!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Marching to her own ukelele

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli is a story about a girl....a girl named Stargirl. That may seem like an odd name but it's no stranger than Mudpie, Hullygully, and Pocket Mouse, which are other names Susan Carroway has named herself.

From the moment she arrived at Mica High, Stargirl was the topic of conversation, both negative and positive. She roamed the halls in outfits that resembled Halloween costumes and played "Happy Birthday" to fellow students during lunch while accompanying herself on the ukelele. At first Stargirl seemed to start a revolution of individuality. Stargirl's new-found popularity vanished overnight after a disastrous basketball game.

Now Stargirl has to decided whether to listen to her boyfriend Leo and try to fit into the Mica High mold or be the one-of-a-kind girl she has always been.

Check out Stargirl today. Don't forget about the sequel, Love, Stargirl.

Monday, August 20, 2007

AVATAR! in full color, and thicker than ever!

The newest issue of AVATAR! is out for viewing, and it is in full color!

Cool features of this issue include:

  • Sudoku Puzzle
  • Summer Writing Group Special Entries
  • Invention Challenge
  • Teen Artwork

The invention challenge - a new section - gives you until Thursday September 20th to create an invention using a Shoe Box, Rubber Bands, String, Cardboard and Masking Tape.

What does the invention have to do?

Pick up the AVATAR! to find out!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Rage like a runaway train

Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn

Nick Andreas made a mistake. Now he has to live with the consequences.

At the beginning of the school year, Nick notices Caitlin. Caitlin is the girl of Nick's dreams. After living his whole life in the shadow of his rich, abusive father, Caitlin seems like the only good thing in his life. The relationship starts off fairly normal with both parties head over heels in love. As time goes on, Nick starts tapping into a side of himself he never noticed before. A temper, similar in every way to his father's, erupts from Nick and falls in the closest target, Caitlin.

One night things got a little out of control and Nick must obey the restraining order instituted by the judge. He also has to attend anger management classes taught by patient, yet firm Mario. Mario insists that everyone in the class keep a journal to record the events in the way they saw them happen.

After the incident with Caitlin, Nick has nothing left except the group. His friends won't talk to him and school in a nightmare. Nick turns to the journal and other members of the group for comfort and uses it as a way to learn more about himself. The book is written in the present with journal entries that show the events that led up to the fateful night.

Check out Breathing Underwater in the novel form or on audio cassette!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Graphic Novel of a Classic

It is one of those stories that your teachers tell you that you have to read and they all think it's pure genius, but it's a little bit over your head and should you pretend that you get it and just write a bunch of mumbo jumbo or should you be honest and tell them that you just DON'T GET IT...

NEITHER. With this graphic novel as a secondary source, you can not only get BEOWULF, but you can get into it too. This is not a replacement for the copy your teacher tells you to read. But it is something you can and should read either before or after the other. It can really help you visualize what is going on.

With really cool pictures, this is totally a modern graphic novel. The fight is harsh and the creature is ugly. Cool.

check it out! BEOWULF - by Gareth Hinds

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Razzle Dazzle Life!

In Dramarama by E. Lockhart, we meet Sarah Paulson. Sarah is unhappy with her life. One day she makes a drastic change in hopes of escaping her boring life in Ohio. She reads about auditions for a prestigious summer drama camp. While waiting for her chance to perform, she meets Douglas Howard, Jr., or Demi, as he prefers to be called. The two teens click instantly over their love of the theater and Liza Minnelli. Demi convinces her to change her name to Sadye in order to get in touch with her inner glam. Despite their immediate connection, the two are different as night and day. Sadye's a girl, while Demi's a boy. Sadye's straight, while Demi's gay. Sadye's white while Demi's black.

The duo get accepted to Wildewood Academy's summer theater program. They have to privilege of learning under one of the best director's in New York. They meet a slew of talented and interesting people from all over the country, some with prior theater experience, some without. It's a crazy time with chicken hats, unitards, microrecorders, stage combat, and malfunctioning man-eating plants. It's during this summer that Sadye discovers the truth about herself and her quest for fame, fortune, and that special mint chocolate chip guy.

Check out E. Lockhart's website to listen to some of the songs that Sadye talks about in the book.

Check it out today!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Battle of the Books

Tuesday, July 31 is our annual Battle of the Books for 6th-8th graders. Come and watch as our four teams compete to the death for fabulous prizes!

Okay... it's not a competition to the death, but the prizes are pretty good (autographed books and gift cards) and there's pizza for all involved. Come support your friends and be amazed at their knowledge!

The battle will start at 6:00 p.m. and will be over by 8:00. It'll be a summer tale of 16 players, 4 first place prizes, and a very interesting librarian...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Change the World...One person at at time

Iggy Corso is an average teenager who is constantly misunderstood. Many people think Iggy is a trouble-maker, but that's not really the case. Sure Iggy got kicked out of school for allegedly threatening a teacher but he just wanted to learn Spanish that day. His home life doesn't help him much either. His meth-using mother tends to vanish for weeks at a time while his drunk and usually high father passes out on the couch for hours on end. Iggy has one friend, a 20-year-old pothead who dropped out of law school to "experience life".

While weighing out his options, Iggy comes up with a plan. If he can do something very great to help the community or even the world, the school would have to take him back. Now Iggy has only a few days to accomplish his goal before his hearing with the superintendent.

Friday, July 13, 2007

$50 for Best Buy

Don't forget, tomorrow (July 14) is the last day to enter for your chance to win a $50 gift card to Best Buy. Bring your book reviews in... and be sure you're writing them on books from our YA section, as we won't accept other reviews. Good luck!

And here's a big congratulations to our $50 Target gift card winner, Jaquece C.! Watch for her smiling face to appear in our Flickr pictures soon.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Living the life of a "wise guy"

"My father. They call him Honest Abe Luca instead of Anthony because he's so straight in his business dealings, no matter how illegal they may happen to be. Never rip anybody off. Never break a promise. Except one: Honest Abe just can't seem to make good on his word to keep his line of work completely separate from my life." - Vince Luca from Son of the Mob

Vince has a tough life. His best friend, Alex, wants a love life, but will settle with living vicariously through Vince. His dad is constantly on his case about taking over the family business or at least, finding some direction in life. Not to mention, Vince's occasional run-ins with his numerous "uncles" and the sleazy Jimmy Rat at the least convenient moments messing up his chances with the ladies.

But such is the life for Mob Prince Vince Luca. Even when Vince thinks life couldn't get more complicated than his dad's "vending machine" business, Vince meets wanna-be journalist Kendra Bitely at a party. Vince discovers fairly quickly that this relationship with an FBI agent's daughter is going to take a lot more work than he thought.

Check out Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman today! If you read this one, check out the sequel, Son of the Mob: Hollywood Hustle in which Vince tackles film school.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Newer than new books

Did you know you can place a hold on a book before the library even gets it in? "On order" books can be requested and when they arrive we will call you and let you know. You can see all the YA books we have on order by clicking here.

Some on that list that look especially promising:
Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli: A sequel to the popular Stargirl.
Everybody Hurts: an essential guide to emo culture by Leslie Simon and Trevor Kelly: The title just says it all.
Vampire Kisses 4: dance with a vampire by Ellen Schreiber: There's already four names on the waiting list for this one so place your hold soon.

Is there a book you're looking for? Call, email, or IM us and we can order it for you!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Show Your Stuff In The Teen Talent Show!

Come show off your talent to the entire library!

We'll be performing 2 short plays, doing some improv games and maybe even a couple of songs; all with a space theme!


Come to the meetings, be ready to have fun, be open to new things, and invite everyone to come to the show!

1st meeting: Wed June 27 2pm
2nd meeting: Wed July 11 2pm
Performance: Wed July 18 2pm

The Lansing Public Library

Why Not?!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Teen Writing Group!

Are you working on a novel? Writing a lot of poetry? Is songwriting your thing? Or do you just like to put words on paper?

Come to the writing group and use our word games and writing challenges get help fine tuning your words into the wonderful final product they can be, and have fun!

Final products from teen writers will be published in the next issue of AVATAR!

MONDAY JUNE 18 - 2pm to 3pm
MONDAY JULY 2 - 2pm to 3pm
MONDAY JULY 16 - 2pm to 3pm

Summer Reading is finally here!

Stop by the Teen Desk and sign up for the Teen Summer Reading Program, Mission: Read! If you read at least 1 book a week, you can get a small prize by bringing your reading log to the Teen Desk. If little prizes aren't enough for you, enter the raffle and try to win either a $50 gift card to Target, a $50 gift card to Best Buy, or a Meade Refracting Telescope by submitting up to three book reviews per week. The book reviews must be written on library supplied index cards and about books from the YA section, the Rebecca Caudill nominee section, or the Read for a Lifetime section.

Don't forget about our other programs! For a complete list of every program you are eligible to participate in, stop by the Lansing Library Teen Desk and sign up today.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Wonderful Fiction!!

East by Edith Pattou

In this imaginative re-telling of the folk-tale "East of the Sun, West of the Moon", a young girl takes off for parts unknown with a large- and magical- white polar bear. In order to save her sister from illness and make her family's money problems go away, Nymah has to live in a magical underground castle with the mysterious polar bear.

The castle is wonderfully entertaining, with rooms just for books, rooms just for music, rooms just for anything you can think of, but Nymah still becomes lonely after a time.

The nights are only interrupted by the mysterious presence that gets into the large bed with her each night. She knows somehow that if she sees this person, something very bad will happen. Yet one night her curiosity gets the better of her with disastrous results...

This beautiful and exciting story is so engrossing that despite it's size, you will not want to put it down, and you will probably read it faster than many smaller books.

check it out!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Block Party this Friday

Friday, June 8 from 5-9 p.m. is the big Community Block Party on the front lawn of Lansing Library. What's there to do at the block party, you ask?

* Carnival-style games, like beanbag tosses
* Lightsaber Limbo (okay, that's just the limbo, but the pole LOOKS like a lightsaber)
* Dance Dance Revolution
* Karaoke Revolution
* Stump the Librarian--think up a question our librarian can't answer and you'll get a prize. I know you've got a good question in mind...
* Live music
* Board game tournaments, like Scrabble, chess, and others
* K-9 unit and fire trucks
* Solarscopes--did you know you can look at the sun and actually see what looks like flames with special telescopes?
* Food--bring some cash for hot dogs, popcorn, candy, and more

Of course, you'll want to sign up for our Summer Reading Program too. Sign-up starts Friday and you will get all the information on our different summer programs and prizes when you sign up.

Even if you don't plan to attend the party, be sure to remember the library has special hours on June 8: we will be open fron 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. only. But you should plan to stop by the block party for at least a little while--it'll be great!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

A World Ruled by Teens

Everlost by Neal Shusterman brings up a different view of the Afterlife. When someone dies, they head toward a light which brings them to wherever it is they were going. But sometimes something happens that knocks you off track.

Allie and Nick were in different cars when the crash happened. Next thing they knew, they were floating in a dark space heading for a bright light. Somehow, they bumped into each other and both went flying off course. Nick and Allie woke up in a large forest where they meant Lief, who had been there for a while. Lief told them they were in Everlost, a place where lost children go when they die.

Despite already being dead, there are some major obstacles to get around. The biggest one is the ground. Unless you are standing on a dead zone, a place where a death had happened in the past, you will slowly start sinking into the ground toward the center of the earth. According to Lief, there is also a monster named the McGill running around who eats children.

The trio head toward Nick and Allie's homes. On the way, they run into gangs of boys who think they're tough, a know-it-all girl who lives in the Twin Towers in New York City and rules all the kids, and the McGill.

Find out how Allie, Nick, and Lief cope with the Afterlife today!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Who wouldn't want to be younger?

That's the question that 15-year-old Liz Hall faced after she got hit by a taxi in Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin. One day Liz was crossing the street and the next she was on a boat. Liz died and was on her way to Elsewhere, a form of afterlife. While traveling on the boat, Liz made a few friends, one being the lead singer to her favorite band who died of an overdose and the other, a young girl who was killed accidently in a shooting. When she landed, Liz found her grandma that she never met waiting for her at the dock, who appeared to be about 35 years old. Betty, her grandma, explained that Elsewhere is the place people go after they die. Everyone ages backwards until they are babies and then they are reborn on earth.

There were lots of things to keep Elsewhere residents busy. Everyone is required to find an avocation or job. Liz discovered that she can speak Canine and got a job in the Division of Domestic Animals of the Department of Acclimation where she places newly dead animals with new owners. There are also Observation Decks where people can watch their loved ones who are still alive, but those can be dangerouly addicting. Despite everything around her, Liz has a problem getting into the swing of things in Elsewhere.

All Liz wanted was to turn 16 and get her driver's license. Now she won't ever reach 16 years old.

This book is on the 2008 Read for a Lifetime list. Any questions about the program or how to sign up, visit the Youth and Teen Reference desk.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Here comes the Spider-Man...

Spider-Man 3 opens in theaters today. Can't make it today? Theater sold out? Grounded? (uh-oh...) If you need a Spider-Man fix, check out some of the graphic novels we have here at the library. Much cheaper than the movie (although not quite as colorful).

Oh, and that Mary Jane book by Judith O'Brien that comes up in that graphic novel link? Great story about how Mary Jane sees things when Peter gets that fateful bite--and how she deals with high school, her parent's divorce, and much more. There's a sequel (Mary Jane 2) that's just as good too.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Teen Poetry Podcast

Did you miss the Teen Poetry Cafe at the library? Listen here!

Listen to Lansing area teens read their original poems!
Teen Poetry Cafe 2007

Did you enjoy this program? Add a comment!

How to listen:

You can listen to the podcast right on your computer using Windows Media Player (Windows) or RealPlayer (Mac). You probably already have one of these installed on your computer if you've listened to audio before, if not, download for free using the links above.

You can also download it to any brand of MP3 player and listen on the go, in the car, while you work out, on the bus, wherever! (Some people have even been known to download the podcasts, burn them to CD and play them in their car stereo, home stereo or portable CD player.)

The easiest way to subscribe (and make sure you don't miss our next podcast) is to download "JUICE" a podcast aggregator, or podcatcher.

A podcatcher is software that allows you to subscribe to your favorite podcasts using their RSS feed. When new content or episodes are available, your podcatcher will automatically download them for you, and then you’re ready to listen to them on your computer or transfer them to your MP3 player!

We have step-by-step instructions on how to subscribe with Juice, iTunes, or Yahoo Podcasts on our website.

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Monday, April 30, 2007

Babies with babies

The First Part Last by Angela Johnson

Sixteen year old Bobby and his girlfriend find out that they are pregnant despite how careful they were. Bobby ends up raising his daughter, Feather, by himself. He still goes to school, after dropping off Feather at the sitter. His parents don't help much and he rarely gets to spend time with his friends.

Bobby soon realizes that his whole life revolves around Feather....and he loves it.

The First Part Last is written in alternating time periods, now and then. Johnson keeps you wondering what really happened throughout the book. It is a quick, yet powerful read!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Gleaming Bright - A Fantasy Novel

Gleaming Bright by Josepha Sherman

Princess Finola, a tomboy who still likes to wear dresses, has to go on a quest to find a gleaming box that can grant wishes, otherwise the whole country may starve because of drought; or worse, be taken over by a horribly cruel king.

Sometimes the characters in a fantasy novel are thin and not worth reading. This one is a little different. Although I don't really care about the king and some of the other background characters, the lead character and her friends quickly become your friends and you want them to win. Find out what happens!

This book is great for younger teens, grades 5 through 9.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Janet McDonald

Author Janet McDonald passed away on Wednesday, April 11 in France. Ms. McDonald wrote the books Spellbound, Chill Wind, Harlem Hustle, and Brother Hood. Remember this great author by reading one of her wonderful novels.

Check them out here!

Monday, April 09, 2007

UGLIES - Winner of the Lincoln Award

UGLIES by SCOTT WESTERFELD not only won the prestigious Lincoln Award for 2007, but it is a GREAT book.

The world as we know it has collapsed because of a virus that infects the gasoline in our cars, exploding and generally causing havoc.

The new world we see is through the eyes of an Ugly named Tally. She can't wait to turn 15 so she can have the Pretty surgery and hang out with her best friend Paris again. While she's waiting, she falls in with another Ugly named Shay who livens up her nights with hoverboard trips out to the ruins and forbidden trips into New Pretty Town.

But when Shay decides that she doesn't want to be surgically altered and she likes her body just the way it is, she runs away to Smoke, a hidden town of Uglies who hide from the city, dodging Pretty surgery. This leaves Tally in a terrible position, because the one thing she wants - to be pretty - is taken away from her; unless she finds Smoke and betrays her friend. It is a tough decision, but it seems like a no-brainer, until Tally finds out the real truth about becoming Pretty. But is it too late to turn back from her path of betrayal?

This book is not only well written, it is exciting and fast paced and really makes you wonder: what is ugly?

Friday, April 06, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the last book in the series, will be released July 21, 2007. Place your hold by clicking here!

While you're waiting for the book to be released, check out Scholastic's website. They have a discussion board, close-up views of the new cover, trivia, and more!

They also have podcasts you can listen to discussing "the world of Harry Potter, how it changed with Book Six, and what... might happen in Book seven." You might learn something new!

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Drums, Girls, & Dangerous Pie

In this book, a 2008 Rebecca Caudill nominee, author Jordan Sonnenblick tackles a subject that is overlooked by many authors. This book tells the story of 13-year-old Steven and the troubles he endures when his five-year-old brother Jeffrey is diagnosed with leukemia.

Steven has two passions in life: playing the drums and Rene Albert. Suddenly his world is turned upside down when his brother falls down and gets a nose bleed. Steven is forced to decide whether or not to tell his friends and teachers. With his mother gone with Jeffrey all the time and his father's recent spiral into a unemotional zombie, Steven tries to overcome loneliness, nightmares, and adolescence. The one thing that keeps Steven centered is his love for the drums.

This is a powerful, yet incredibly humorous book that will reel you in after the first page.

Check it out or put it on hold!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Poetry Contest!

April is National Poetry Month. We are starting our celebration early with our 4th annual Poetry Contest for grades 6-12. You can write a poem in any style you want about anything you want! Enter today for you chance to win great prizes and get your poem published in our poetry magazine, Random Inklings. Everyone who turns in a poem also gets to come to our Poetry Cafe on April 27 from 6:00-7:30.

If you go to a Lansing school, check with your librarian for an entry form. If you don't go to a Lansing school, come to the library for more details.

All entries must be received by April 1st so get creative!

Monday, March 05, 2007

7th Grade Drama


Zoe is the youngest of 5 sisters. Clothes and everything she owns belonged to someone else first. All Zoe wants is her own best friend. And soon, her friend CJ starts to get closer and closer to that best friend status. But then, Zoe and CJ end up liking the same boy.

In this book about friendship and growing up, Zoe and her friends introduce themselves. There are more to the series and once you read one, you'll want to read the rest, just to know what happens to them!

Emoticontest Voting

Voting is open, click here to select your favorite human emoticons!

All ages are welcome to vote!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Vote for the Abe Awards

Visit the teen desk for details!

Test of time

Test of Time: a novel approach to the SAT and ACT: An eccentric writer, (Mark Twain) is finishing a manuscript about a rebellious boy named Huck when it suddenly disapears and in its place appears a strange contraption - a college student's laptop that has traveled through time. This is a captivating time travel mystery that incorporates vocabulary words from the ACT Test.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Are you Born to Rock?

Gordon Korman, author of the hilarious books Son of the Mob and No More Dead Dogs produces yet another side-splitting novel. Born to Rock is the story of a smart boy named Leo. Leo is a founding member of his school's Young Republicans and has been accepted to Harvard with a full scholarship. Leo is accused of cheating on a test and loses his scholarship.

At the same time, his best friend punk rock Melinda tells him all about the reunion of the famous punk band Purge. Purge was considered the rudest band ever during their time and now the middle aged rockers are making a comeback. Leo stumbles on his birth certificate which brings up some questions. Leo discovers that his birth dad is none other than Purge's front man, King Maggot!

Leo finds King Maggot and shares his new-found secret with him. King asks Leo to go on the reunion tour with him as an attempt to get to know each other. Leo looks at this opportunity as a chance to pay for his college.

Watch Leo as he tries to make his own place in the punk rock world among roadies, groupies, poodles, and aging rockers!

Check Born to Rock out today!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

February Teen Newspaper



All written by teens...


Monday, February 05, 2007

Teen Pregnancy And Rising Above

When life gives you lemons...

you make lemonade. It's an old saying, but it is just as true now as it was when it was first said. If you can look at a situation and find the good in it, you can better yourself and the situation. It is the power of positive thinking.

In the book MAKE LEMONADE by Virginia Euwer Wolff, teen pregnancy, urban decay, lack of education and lack of money are the lemons. The lemonade that is made by the 14 and 17 year old main characters is sweet without being too sweet. There are no quick fixes here. Nobody ends up rich and living in a mansion in the suburbs at the end of this novel, but there is tons of hope to go around.

Check It Out!

Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood

Ann Brashares' beloved series about four girls who share a magical pair of jeans that fit them all ends with Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood. The series began in 2001 with The Sisterhood of the traveling Pants, The Second Summer of the Sisterhood was released in 2003, and Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood in 2005.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Flavor of the Week

Flavor of the Week by Tucker Shaw is a present-day adaption of Edmund Rostand's play, Cyrano de Bergerac. In the original play, the main character, Cyrano, has a large nose and writes poems for a girl he admires but signs them as his best friend.

Flavor of the Week
is slightly different. Cyril is an overweight boy who loves to cook. In fact, he hopes to get into the American Institute of Culinary Arts and then become a famous chef; that is if he can pass the strict audition. But few people know of his cooking skills. Not even his best friend and crush, Rose, knows his talent in the kitchen. One day, his old best friend Nick moves back to town. Nick has a crush on Rose and wins her over by telling her he made Cyril's famous kitchen sink cookies. That is the jumping off point. Now Nick has Cyril cooking entire meals to call his own in order to impress Rose. It's quite a pickle!

Will Cyril get into the AICA? Will Nick continue to pretend he can cook? Will Rose realize who really has feelings for her?

Check it out right here!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Freaks: Alive on the Inside

Annette Curtis Klause touches an interesting part of the past in her book Freaks: Alive on the Inside. In this book, Abel Dandy is a freak. But the term "freak" is in the eye of the beholder for Abel is the only normal person living in a freak show amusement park called Faeryland. Abel's dad has no legs, his mother has no arms, and his first kiss was with Phoebe the Dog-faced girl. Aspiring to be a knife-thrower, Abel takes off to join a circus. Abel begins having dreams about a mysterious Egyptian girl. Abel discovers that he was not the only one to make a break away from home. His friend Apollo the Dog Boy followed him on his journey to find fortune.

While his dreams get more and more realistic, Abel and Apollo find themselves in all sorts of trouble. The worst being a traveling freak show run by Dr. Mink. Abel finds himself in a position to be a hero, save his friends and get the girl.

See if this book is on the shelf or put it on hold here.