Normal Public Library Teens

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    This is a space for teens and teen librarians to discuss books, library events and activities, and news related to teen services at Normal Public Library.
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    Normal Public Library
    206 W. College Ave.
    Normal, IL 61761
    Teen Services Librarian: Kristi Cates
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Archive for October, 2009

Teen Halloween Party

Posted by Kristi on October 27, 2009


Just a reminder to all that the annual teen Halloween party is Thursday night from 4:00 to 6:30 in the NPL community room!  We’ve got a lot planned for the event, including gross food and games, a costume contest, and a showing of the movie Coraline, so don’t miss out.


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The results are in…

Posted by Kristi on October 23, 2009


…and John Green has trounced Stephenie Meyer in the 2009 Teens’ Top Ten awards!  His Paper Towns tops the list, followed by Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer.  Here’s the full list:

  • Paper Towns by John Green (Penguin/Dutton)
  • Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
  • City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry)
  • Identical by Ellen Hopkins (Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry)
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins)
  • Wake by Lisa McMann (Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse)
  • Untamed by P.C. and Kristin Cast (St. Martin’s Griffin)
  • The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart (Disney-Hyperion)
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore (Harcourt/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Visit the ALA’s Teens’ Top Ten website for more information, including an announcement video featuring several WWE stars and John Green himself.  I’m thrilled to see several of my favorites from the past year on the list, including The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, Graceling, and The Hunger Games.  How about you guys?  What are your favorites from the list?  Are there any books from the past year that you think should’ve made the cut?  Let me know in the comments.

Posted in Awards, Reading suggestions, Teens' Top Ten | Leave a Comment »

Let the Wild Rumpus Start!

Posted by Kristi on October 16, 2009


Where the Wild Things Are opens in theaters today.  Directed by Spike Jonze, with a screenplay written by Jonze and Dave Eggers, the movie comes from Maurice Sendak’s classic book, which contains less than 40 pages and only ten sentences.  So what do you guys think?  Is it possible to make a good film out of such a short book with so little plot?  How do you think it will compare?

I’ll be up front and say that the book is one of my favorites ever and one of my strongest memories from childhood is of having it read to me.  The images and visual look of the book is incredible, and from what I’ve seen of the trailer, Jonze’s adaptation seems to capture at least some of that.  Plus, the director was picked out by Sendak himself, who seems to approve heartily of the project.  At any rate, I’ll find out tonight when I go to see it in the theater.  Anyone else planning to see this one?

Posted in Just for fun, Movies | Leave a Comment »

October Game Day

Posted by Kristi on October 12, 2009

wii remotes

Ready for a gaming break?  Come out to the Normal Public Library after school this Wednesday, October 14 from 4 to 6 pm for Rock Band, Dance Dance Revolution, and lots of board games, plus food!

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NASA has bombed the Moon!

Posted by Kristi on October 9, 2009

Yes, you read that right. Early this morning, a NASA mission blew a hole in the Moon (well, sort of) in the process of testing for water.  Anyone who’s read Life As We Knew It knows what to expect now, right? I’m planning to stop off at the grocery store on the way home to stock up on canned goods. Get ready for the end of the world, everybody!  And I would definitely encourage you to come in and check out Life As We Knew It, if you haven’t already.  I’m reposting my review of the book below.

lifeLife As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Whew. After I finished this book, I had to just sit and stare at the wall for a while. This was definitely a page-turner and a nail-biter! It’s written as the diary of a girl named Miranda, who leads a completely normal teenage life, complete with all of the usual worries about homework and prom dates, until a meteor hits the moon with a far greater impact than expected, knocking its orbit askew and completely wreaking havoc on life on earth. First there are the disastrous tides caused by the moon’s near proximity, then there are the massive volcano eruptions, which send so much ash into the air that the sun is completely blocked and temperatures plummet.

So yeah, lots of disaster here – but it all pretty much happens off-screen. What we see is a much more intimate portrait of how Miranda and her family deal with all of these end-of-the-world catastrophes as they become increasingly isolated from the world outside their home. I was iffy on this book at first, because I thought the initial plot catalyst was so far-fetched, but in the end I loved it. It’s incredibly tense in a quiet, smothering kind of way. I love Miranda’s voice – she and her family face problems that would have been unthinkable just months earlier, and she shows a lot of strength and growth, but she’s still just such a normal teenage girl that I couldn’t help but love her. The depiction of her family and her relationships with them was wonderful, too.  I recommend this one highly to everyone.

Posted in Book Review, Reading suggestions, Science stuff | Leave a Comment »

New Science Fiction and Fantasy

Posted by Kristi on October 6, 2009

blood-promise Blood Promise by Richelle Mead 

The recent Strigoi attack at St. Vladimir’s Academy was the deadliest ever in the school’s history, claiming the lives of Moroi students, teachers, and guardians alike. Even worse, the Strigoi took some of their victims with them…including Dimitri.  He’d rather die than be one of them, and now Rose must abandon Lissa—the one she has sworn to protect no matter what—and keep the promise Dimitri begged her to make long ago. But with everything at stake, how can she possibly destroy the person she loves most?

waters The Waters and the Wild by Francesca Lia Block 

Bee gets bad grades, writes poetry with her left hand, dances in her room, surfs the net, and Googles images of the tattoos her mom won’t let her get. But her world belongs to someone else. Someone who lives below the concrete of Los Angeles, someone with wild eyes and twigs in her hair.  And she wants her life back.

catching-fire Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins 

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. And the Capitol wants revenge.

catching-fire Alyzon Whitestarr by Isobelle Carmody 

Alyzon Whitestarr is the most normal member of a very eccentric family…until the day that an accident leaves her more unique than she ever could have dreamed. Suddenly colors are more vibrant to Alyzon; her memory is flawless; but strangest of all is Alyzon’s sense of smell. Her best friend smells of a comforting sea breeze. She registers her father’s contentment as the sweet scent of caramelized sugar. But why does the cutest guy in school smell so rancid?

academy 7 Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund 

Aerin Renning is shocked to find she has earned a place at the most exclusive school in the universe. Aerin excels at Academy 7 in all but debate, where Dane Madousin—son of one of the most powerful men in the Alliance— consistently outtalks her. The two are at the top of their class until Dane jeopardizes everything and Aerin is dragged down with him. When the pair is given a joint punishment, an unexpected friendship—and romance—begins to form. But Dane and Aerin both harbor dangerous secrets, and the two are linked in ways neither of them could ever have imagined…

Posted in New Fantasy, New Science fiction | Leave a Comment »

New Fiction

Posted by Kristi on October 2, 2009

waiting Waiting for You by Susane Colasanti
At the beginning of her sophomore year, Marisa is ready for a fresh start and, more importantly, a boyfriend. So when  Derek asks her out, Marisa thinks her long wait for happiness is over. But several bumps in the road—including her parents’ unexpected separation, a fight with her best friend, and a shocking disappointment in her relationship with Derek—test Marisa’s ability to maintain her new outlook. Only the anonymous DJ, whose underground podcasts have the school’s ear, seems to understand what Marisa is going through. But she has no idea who he is—or does she?
How to Steal a Car How to Steal a Car by Pete Hautman
Some girls act out by drinking or doing drugs. Some girls act out by sleeping with guys. Some girls act out by starving themselves or cutting themselves. Some girls act out by being horrible to other girls.   Not Kelleigh. Kelleigh steals cars.
messed up Messed Up by Janet Nichols Lynch
With all of his biological family out of the picture, R. D. lives with his grandmother’s former boyfriend, Earl. It’s not much, but it’s par for the course in a life filled with the threats of Latino gang violence and failing eighth grade (again). Then Earl dies. R. D. does the right thing—he calls 911 and they come to take his body—but slowly R. D. realizes that as long as no one else finds out, they can’t send him to a group home. So he begins to teach himself everything he’s always avoided: how to shop, how to cook, how to work, how to pay bills.
shine Shine, Coconut Moon byNeesha Meminger

Samar has never known much about her Indian heritage. It’s never bothered Sam, who is busy with school, friends, and a really cute but demanding boyfriend.But things change after 9/11. A guy in a turban shows up at Sam’s house, and he turns out to be her uncle. He wants to reconcile the family and teach Sam about her Sikh heritage.  At first, she’s wary, but slowly Sam begins to realize how important being Indian American is to her identity.

gorgeous Gorgeous by Rachel Vail
She’s looking good…but Allison Avery can’t believe it. Growing up with beautiful, blond sisters, Allison has always been the dark-haired, “interesting-looking” Avery. So when the devil shows up and offers to make her gorgeous, Allison jumps at the chance to finally be noticed. But there’s one tiny catch, and it’s not her soul: The devil wants her cell phone.
vivian same Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian

On her first day of summer art school in the big city, Emily feels like an outsider. She’s left her bland strip-mall and Starbucks existence behind to dive into the artist’s life. Fiona, a bold and inventive student who draws shadows, takes Emily on as a pet project and new best friend. As the semester unfolds and Emily’s skills improve, she begins to see that the glamorous and gritty art life has its own share of petty cliques and drama—just like home.

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