Divergent Contest

Laura : 30 June, 2014 5:43 pm : Books

DivergentTriviaICON_SYSThe Divergent series follows Tris, a young girl coming of age in a futuristic dystopian society where your future is determined by which faction you choose. There is the Abnegation who are selfless, the Dauntless known for their bravery, the Erudite who seek only truth, Amity the peaceful and Candor who believe honesty is most important. But there is another choice which embodies two or more of the factions and is thought to be taboo in Tris’s world. Tris is Divergent.

What Faction would fit you the best? Take our Divergent Quiz to find out what you know about the Factions. The winner will receive a new copy of the Divergent DVD! Take the quiz as many times as you’d like during the month of July then leave a comment with your faction here. We’ll choose one person, at random, in August after the release of the Divergent DVD. Contest is open to anyone 11-17.




Eat Well and Be Fit for Summer!

Amanda : 25 June, 2014 3:14 pm : Books

School is out for summer!

Now, you can either fill the next three months with junk food binge eating and video games (because video games are awesome) -OR- you could start working on eating healthy and getting fit, which in turn will help the body and the brain get ready for the next school year.

There are plenty of books and blogs out there that can help you find your workout niche and the perfect diet as well (like the chocolate diet…I am sure that is good for you). The best way to figure out what routine will fit into your lifestyle is to visit your local library and check out some books on the subject.

You can find a few -> here. <-

If you are interested in getting started quickly, here is a great link to the men’s and women’s health magazine website. The Fit for Life Summer Challenge is a great start for those wishing for the basics.

Have fun this Summer!

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Summer Reading Suggestions

Laura : 16 May, 2014 4:01 pm : Books

If you’re taking our Summer Reading Challenge or just looking for something new, check out our book suggestions.

Non-Fiction Suggestions

Grossology - Sylvia Branzei and Jack Keely
Amusingly illustrated book explains the scientific facts of some of the more disgusting aspects of human physiology.

Oh, yuck! : the encyclopedia of everything nasty - Joy Masoff and Terry Sirrell
From ants to zits, this reference guide to the gasiest, slimiest, most noxious things on earth is backed with loads of scientific research, photographs, and cartoons to explain all the gross things around us.Table of Contents

The art of the catapult : build Greek ballistae, Roman onagers, English trebuchets, and more ancient artillery - William Gurstelle
The history of siege warfare is explored through the stories of Alexander the Great and his battle of Tyre; Saladin; Richard the Lionheart and the Third Crusade; pirate-turned-soldier John Crabbe and his ship-mounted catapults; and others.Table of Contents

Bones : dead people DO tell tales - Sara L. Latta
Uses true crime stories to explain the science of forensics and physical anthropology.Table of Contents

Naked eggs and flying potatoes : unforgettable experiments that make science fun - Steve Spangler
A collection of easy and entertaining home science experiments from the creator of the popular “Mentos soda geyser” viral video.

Doctor Who : the visual dictionary - Neil Corry
Packed with details and photos of monsters, gadgets and other wonders from across time and space, this updated guide to the hit television program has been expanded to include the Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Doctors.

Electrified Sheep : Glass-Eating Scientists, Nuking the Moon, and More Bizarre Experiments - Alex Boese
Chronicles eccentric, irrational and extreme scientific experiments that have been performed throughout history by famous and lesser-known figures, including a team that attempted to set off nuclear explosions on the moon, a doctor who performed his own appendectomy and Benjamin Franklin’s mouth-to-beak resuscitation on an electric-shocked chicken. Table of Contents

The stunning science of everything : science with the squishy bits left in! - Nick Arnold and Tony De Saulles
Funny twists and turns take a realistic look at the world in which we live, highlighting strange and disturbing facts about our environment, planet, and universe.

Why Pandas Do Handstands : And Other Curious Truths About Animals - Augustus Brown

Ideas that changed the world - Julie Ferris
An in-depth reference guide to technological developments that changed the world describes each invention and explores its place in history and how it influenced civilization, discussing inventions from the wheel to computers.

How to be a genius - John Woodward, Serge Seidlitz and Andy Smith
Kids will learn how the brain works and how it makes them the people they are in this challenging, informative, and practical look at the different functions, areas, and states of the brain; at each stage, there are cool games, quizzes, puzzles, brain teasers, and more.Table of Contents

How I killed Pluto and why it had it coming - Mike Brown
A dramatic account by the astronomer who inadvertently triggered the “demotion” of Pluto in his effort to officially recognize the solar system’s 10th planet describes ensuing debates and public outcry while revealing the behind-the-scenes story of his discovery.First Chapter  Table of Contents

Stiff : the curious lives of human cadavers - Mary Roach
A compelling look inside the world of forensics examines the use of human cadavers in a wide range of endeavors, including research into new surgical procedures, the testing of the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, space exploration, a Tennessee human decay research facility, and a Scandinavian funeral directors’ conference on human composting. Reprint. 100,000 first printing.

The disappearing spoon : and other true tales of madness, love, and the history of the world from the periodic table of the elements - Sam Kean
Explores intriguing tales about every element of the periodic table, sharing their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, evil, love, the arts, and the lives of the colorful scientists who discovered them.

Primates : the fearless science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas - Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks
An engrossing, graphically illustrated introduction to the lives and work of three eminent primatologists shares insights into their educations under mentor Louis Leakey while exploring their pivotal contributions to 20th-century natural science. By the #1 New York Times best-selling author of Feynman.

Mythbusters : don’t try this at home! - Mary Packard
Presents various urban myths and legends, describes how the “Mythbusters” set out to prove the myths, explains the results, and provides instructions for how to do similar “mythbusting” at home.First Chapter

The new way things work - David Macaulay, Neil Ardley and David Macaulay
A Caldecott winner demystifies the machinery of the computer age with the help of a charming woolly mammoth in a completely updated version of an earlier work which details the latest innovations from cars and microchips to watches and lasers.

Popular mechanics 101 things that go fast : planes, trains, and automobiles you can make and ride - Inc. Hearst Communications
Features 101 projects that capture the self-sufficient spirit of the 1910s and 1920s, calling for raw materials and limited technology to complete such projects as attaching a sail to a bicycle and making a monorail sled.

The book of general ignorance - John Lloyd and John Mitchinson
Presents a whimsical compendium of popular misconceptions, misunderstandings, and common mistakes based on “common knowledge,” culled from the fields of history, science, literature, and biography, presenting such “helpful” facts as French toast comes from Rome, camels originated in North America, coffee is not made from beans, and more. 80,000 first printing.First Chapter  Table of Contents

Fiction Suggestions

Ender’s game - Orson Scott Card
An expert at simulated war games, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin believes that he is engaged in one more computer war game when, in truth, he is commanding the last Earth fleet against an alien race seeking Earth’s complete destruction. Nebula and Hugo Winner.

The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy - Douglas Adams
Chronicles the journeys, notions, and acquaintances of reluctant galactic traveler Arthur Dent, accompanied by never-before-published material from the late author’s archives as well as commentary by famous fans.First Chapter

The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
In the best-selling first volume of the trilogy set in the cruel world of Panem, the annual Hunger Games pit young children against one another in a battle to the death on national television, so when Katniss is ordered to represent her district, she knows an important decision between survival and the love of another will have to be made when she is called to enter the ring.

Matched - Allyson Braithwaite Condie
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her, so when Xander appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate–until Ky Markham’s face appears for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The maze runner - James Dashner
Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape.

Delirium - Lauren Oliver
Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until right before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, when she falls in love.

Code Orange - Caroline B. Cooney
While in a panic to do a last minute report for his Advanced Bio class, Mitty Blake glances through some old medical books in his family’s weekend house and discovers an old envelope containing two things that will forever alter his life.First Chapter

Gone - Michael Grant
In a small town on the coast of California, everyone over the age of fourteen suddenly disappears, setting up a battle between the remaining town residents and the students from a local private school, as well as those who have “The Power” and are able to perform supernatural feats and those who do not.First Chapter

The 100 - Kass Morgan
Sent from cities in orbit around Earth’s toxic atmosphere to recolonize the planet, 100 juvenile delinquent teens endure a brutal crash landing on the savagely beautiful planet, where they struggle to form a tentative community and scavenge for resources while learning how to trust and love each other.First Chapter

Across the universe - Beth Revis
Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet three hundred years in the future, but her frozen slumber abruptly ends when someone on board the ship tries to murder her.

Robopocalypse : a novel - Daniel H. Wilson
A tale set in the near future finds the world thrown into chaos by rebelling artificial intelligences under the leadership of a murderous technology called Archos that kills its creator and takes over the global network, triggering an unprecedented united front among all human cultures.First Chapter

Adaptation - Malinda Lo
In the aftermath of a series of plane crashes caused by birds, 17-year-old Reese and her debate-team partner, David, receive medical treatment at a secret government facility and become tangled in a conspiracy that is, according to Reese’s friend Julian, connected with aliens and UFOs.

Ashfall - Mike Mullin
After the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano destroys his city and its surroundings, Alex must journey from Cedar Falls, Iowa, to Illinois to find his parents and sister, trying to survive in a new society.

Black hole sun - David Macinnis Gill
On the planet Mars, sixteen-year-old Durango and his crew of mercenaries are hired by the settlers of a mining community to protect their most valuable resource from a feral band of marauders.

Cinder - Marissa Meyer
As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take on the Cinderella story.

Leviathan - Scott Westerfeld and Keith Thompson
It’s 1914 and Europe is on the precipice of war–the German Clankers and British Darwinists are armed with futuristic weaponry and biotechnology; in the midst of the chaos, Alek, a Royal and potential threat to the throne, and Deryn, a common Darwinist, meet on the run and forge an uneasy alliance that will dramatically change the course of the Great War and their lives.First Chapter

Uglies - Scott Westerfeld
Just before their sixteenth birthdays, when they will will be transformed into beauties whose only job is to have a great time, Tally’s best friend runs away and Tally must find her and turn her in, or never become pretty at all.

The giver - Lois Lowry
Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.First Chapter

The house of the scorpion - Nancy Farmer
In a future where humans despise clones, Matt enjoys special status as the young clone of El Patrón, the 142-year-old leader of a corrupt drug empire nestled between Mexico and the United States. A Newbery Honor book. Reader’s Guide available. Reprint.

I am number four - Pittacus Lore
John Smith–one of nine aliens from the planet Lorien–struggles to outrun his past, discover his future and live a normal life in Paradise, Ohio, as one by one his fellow Loriens are being killed by evil beings.

Legend - Marie Lu
In a dark future, when North America has split into two warring nations, fifteen-year-olds Day, a famous criminal, and June, the brilliant soldier hired to capture him, discover that they have a common enemy.

These broken stars - Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
The first novel in a sweeping science fiction trilogy tells a timeless love story about hope and survival in the face of unthinkable odds as two star-crossed lovers, Lilac and Tarver, must fight for survival when they crash land on a seemingly uninhabited planet.

Among the hidden - Margaret Peterson Haddix
Due to government restrictions on family size, Luke is born an illegal third child who must hide from sight for his own safety, yet when he secretly encounters another “shadow child” on the connecting farm, Luke is willing to take big risks to develop the friendship.

Rot & Ruin - Jonathan Maberry
In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother’s footsteps and become a bounty hunter.First Chapter

The Forest of Hands and Teeth - Carrie Ryan
Through twists and turns of fate, orphaned Mary seeks knowledge of life, love, and what lies beyond her walled village and the surrounding forest, where dwell the Unconsecrated, aggressive flesh-eating people who were once dead.First Chapter
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New Book: After the End

Laura : 8 May, 2014 6:11 pm : Books

endAmy Plum, author of the Revenants series, has a new book, After the End coming out soon. Searching for fellow survivors of World War III, a girl from a remote Alaskan village discovers that the war never actually happened and that she must now adapt to a strange and dangerous modern world. If you’re a fan of dystopian stories, science fiction, or conspiracy thrillers, you might enjoy this.

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Cinder – A Dystopian Fairytale

@shley : 7 April, 2014 1:46 pm : Books

cinderFinished with The Hunger Games series? Still reeling from the final book in the Divergent series? Looking for a new dystopian series to obsess about for a while? Interested in a modern take on classic fairy tales? Look no further than The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, starting with Cinder.

Cinder takes place in a society where humans and androids crowd the streets, while a deadly plague ravages the Earth’s people. From the moon the ruthless Lunar people with their mysterious mind-warping abilities pose an ever-looming threat. The fate of the world rests on one cyborg girl – Cinder.

A gifted mechanic living in New Beijing, Cinder is a second-class citizen with a hateful stepmother who blames her for her stepsister’s illness. When she becomes involved with the handsome Prince Kai, Cinder finds herself caught in the middle of an intergalactic struggle where uncovering the secrets of her past might be the only way to save the world.

The next two books in the series, Scarlet and Cress, continue the action and introduce new characters that intertwine perfectly with existing character, creating a diverse and dynamic group to help Cinder combat the fierce Lunar Queen, Levana. The fourth and final book in the series, Winter, is coming in early 2015, so jump on this series before it’s over!

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Fake ID

Laura : 4 April, 2014 10:00 am : Books

fakeFake ID by LR Giles. Nick Pearson is hiding in plain sight…

My name isn’t really Nick Pearson.

I shouldn’t tell you where I’m from or why my family moved to Stepton, Virginia.

I shouldn’t tell you who I really am, or my hair, eye, and skin color.

And I definitely shouldn’t tell you about my friend Eli Cruz and the major conspiracy he was about to uncover when he died—right after I moved to town. About how I had to choose between solving his murder with his hot sister, Reya, and “staying low-key” like the Program has taught me. About how moving to Stepon changed my life forever.

But I’m going to.

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Roses are Red

Meghann : 1 April, 2014 3:43 pm : Books, contest, Crafts, Fun stuff, Library program, Writing

blackoutpoetry2Roses are red.

Violets are blue.

(Oh, no. Not a poem.)

I’ve written this blog.

Just for you.

(*head desk*)


April is National Poetry Month and to celebrate, I’m going to share with you a few silly poems from our mass collection of poetry. The first and silliest poet that comes to mind is Shel Silverstein. This Chicago native began writing when he was very young and although he was also performer and a recording artist, he is best known for his silly poems for children. Here is my favorite.


Early Bird

Oh, if you’re a bird, be an early bird

And catch the worm for your breakfast plate.

If you’re a bird, be an early bird –

But if you’re a worm, sleep late.


Sometimes you can take an old rhyme to surprising places like the book Whatever Happened to Humpty Dumpty? by David T. Greenberg.


There Was an Old Woman

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe;

She had so many children she didn’t know what to do.

She gave them some broth without any bread,

Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.

Did things work out for that mom and her kids?

Sadly, the answer is no, ma’am,

For a giant stuck his foot in the shoe

And now they’re all in a toe jam.


blackoutpoetry1Feeling poetic? Visit one of our library branches all through the month of April to create your own Black Out Poetry. The best poems will be posted anonymously on our Teen blog. If you need a little inspiration check out these books on poetry or visit the American and English Literature Collection database to search for your favorite poem.

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New Book by Laurie Halse Anderson

Laura : 27 March, 2014 8:29 pm : Books

knife Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson. For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own. Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over?

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Scar Boys

Laura : 24 March, 2014 10:00 am : Books

scar Scar Boys by Len Vlahos. A severely burned teenager. A guitar. Punk rock. The chords of a rock ‘n’ roll road trip in a coming-of-age novel that is a must-read story about finding your place in the world…even if you carry scars inside and out.

In attempting to describe himself in his college application essay, Harbinger (Harry) Jones goes way beyond the 250-word limit and gives a full account of his life.

The first defining moment: the day the neighborhood goons tied him to a tree during a lightning storm when he was 8 years old, and the tree was struck and caught fire. Harry was badly burned and has had to live with the physical and emotional scars, reactions from strangers, bullying, and loneliness that instantly became his everyday reality.

The second defining moment: the day in 8th grade when the handsome, charismatic Johnny rescued him from the bullies and then made the startling suggestion that they start a band together. Harry discovered that playing music transported him out of his nightmare of a world, and he finally had something that compelled people to look beyond his physical appearance. Harry’s description of his life in his essay is both humorous and heart-wrenching.

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No Obligation Book Discussion for March

Laura : 14 March, 2014 6:33 pm : Books

enchantedDon’t have time for a traditional book club but you’d still like to talk books? Try our online book discussion, the No Obligation Book Group on Goodreads. This month we’re talking about Enchanted by Alethea Kontis.

What’s the Story…

It isn’t easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.

When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises. The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo.

If you liked this book, try

  • The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
  • Tiger Lily by Jodi Anderson
  • Entwined by Heather Dixon
  • Graceling  by Kristin Cashore
  • Far Far Away  by Tom McNeal


Join us next month to read:

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

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Lauren Oliver Readalikes

Laura : 24 February, 2014 10:00 am : Authors, Books

oliverIf you like Lauren Oliver, you might enjoy:

Matched by Ally Condie. All her life, Cassia has never had a choice. The Society dictates everything: when and how to play, where to work, where to live, what to eat and wear, when to die, and most importantly to Cassia as she turns 17, who to marry. When she is Matched with her best friend Xander, things couldn’t be more perfect. But why did her neighbor Ky’s face show up on her match disk as well?

Maze Runner by James Dashner. Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape.

Giver by Lois Lowry. Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.

Evermore by Alyson Noel. Since the car accident that claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras and hear people’s thoughts, and she goes out of her way to hide from other people until she meets Damen, another psychic teenager who is hiding even more mysteries.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. In all the years she has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house, Grace has been particularly drawn to an unusual yellow-eyed wolf who, in his turn, has been watching her with increasing intensity.

All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin. In a future where chocolate and caffeine are contraband, teenage cellphone use is illegal, and water and paper are carefully rationed, sixteen-year-old Anya Balanchine finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight as heir apparent to an important New York City crime family.

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Cassandra Clare Readalikes

Laura : 17 February, 2014 10:00 am : Authors, Books

citybonesIf you enjoy Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series,  you might also like:

Tithe by Holly Black. Sixteen-year-old Kaye, who has been visited by faeries since childhood, discovers that she herself is a magical faerie creature with a special destiny.

Dangerous Angles: The Weetzie Bat Books by Francesca Lia Block. Presents five novels of life in modern Los Angeles, where Weetzie Bat and her friends and family interact with ghosts from their past and with each other as they search for love, connection, and acceptance in a glittery, gauzy world of wonder.

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. After the suspicious death of her mother in 1895, sixteen-year-old Gemma returns to England, after many years in India, to attend a finishing school where she becomes aware of her magical powers and ability to see into the spirit world.

Marked: A House of Night Novel by PC Cast. 16-year-old Zoey Redbird, a fledgling vampire, enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire–that is, if she makes it through the Change.

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia.  In a small South Carolina town, where it seems little has changed since the Civil War, sixteen-year-old Ethan is powerfully drawn to Lena, a new classmate with whom he shares a psychic connection and whose family hides a dark secret that may be revealed on her sixteenth birthday.

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld.  Transformation into a super beauty on her sixteenth birthday and reuniting with her friend Peris will only happen if Tally Youngblood’s friend Shay also agrees to the operation.


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Great Teen Reads

Amanda : 25 November, 2013 8:21 pm : Authors, Books

everyNeed something to read over the next few holiday breaks?

If you are interested in fantasy you will love the Caster Chronicles by Margaret Stohl. The books follow a young caster named Lena and her relationships before and after she is “claimed” by the light or the dark.

Maybe you like reading sci fi novels to make the time fly by. In this case I would try Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card or Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis. Both offer a future world that is not exactly what it seems.

If you prefer romance try Every Day by David Levithan. This book follows A, who wakes in a different person’s body, in a different person’s life, learning over the years to never get too attached, until he wakes up in the body of Justin and falls in love with Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon.

Happy reading!


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Learn How to Publish and Be a Teen Author!

Amanda : 18 November, 2013 5:50 pm : Authors, Books, Fun stuff, Library program


Local Author J.S. Bailey on Writing

Do you enjoy reading ghost stories and fantasy? Do you like Christian fiction and mystery? We have good news for you!

Local author J. S. Bailey will be visiting the Union Township branch November 26 at 6:30pm to discuss her books, writing, and the route to publication. Bailey’s suspenseful works often involves mystery, suspense and faith. Her recent novels include Rage’s Echo and The Land Beyond the Portal. For more information or to register, call the library at 528-1744 or sign up online here.

If you would like to do a bit of reading before the visit, try these two titles by J.S. Bailey:

The Land Beyond the Portal

Rage’s Echo


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Ghost Hunting

Laura : 26 October, 2013 10:00 am : Authors, Books, Library program

feghostOhio ghost stories come alive on the pages of the new book, Ghosthunting Ohio: On the Road Again. Meet the author of this chilling new book and learn more about his local ghost hunting adventures. John B. Kachuba will show photos and more in this not-to-be-missed presentation. He is the author of other books including Ghosthunters: On the Trail of Mediums, Dowsers, SpiritSeekers and Other Investigators of America’s Paranormal World. Join us at the Felicity Branch on Monday, Oct. 28 at 6:00 p.m. to hear him speak. Register by calling 876-4134 or registering online.

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Lizzie Borden Talk

Laura : 23 October, 2013 10:00 am : Authors, Books

spookfestLocal author, J.T. Townsend discusses the true crime that rocked the nation and spawned over a century of ghost stories, conspiracy theories, countless books, an opera and two films, the Lizzie Borden case. He’ll be speaking at the Union Township Branch on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 1:00 p.m.  Reserve your spot by visiting the branch, calling 528-1744, or registering online. This program is for ages 14+.

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YA Fantasy: The Nostalgia Tour

Emily D : 22 October, 2013 1:26 pm : Authors, Books

sabrielImagine a time before “Paranormal Romance” was a major section of teen books at the store, before Twilight and The Hunger Games were written, when one still had to wait for the next Harry Potter book to come out. (Can you imagine having to wait a whole year between reading The Sorcerer’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets? It was tough, let me tell you!) This was in the 90s, when I first discovered YA fantasy books.

I know a fellow blogger has already mentioned how new YA is as a genre, , so I’ll spare you my own old lady stories of walking uphill in the snow to get books at the library.  But since I’m in a reminiscing mood, here are some of my favorites from the good ol’ days:

Tamora Pierce, my first literary hero, remains one of my favorite authors for her spirited heroines and detailed fantasy worlds.  I started with her Circle of Magic, The Song of the Lioness Quartet and The Immortals Quartet.

Robin McKinley‘s books also feature epic fantasy stories and strong female protagonists.  I just saw another blogger mention one of her early books, The Blue Sword, and I loved the sequel, The Hero and the Crown.  She also wrote several fairy tale retellings, where the heroine takes a more active role in the story rather than just waiting to be rescued.  Both of these authors are especially recommended for fans of adventure stories like Graceling.

Meredith Pierce’s Darkangel Trilogy combines a unique fantasy world with a classic Beauty and the Beast-style love story, though the final book contains some surprising twists.

Garth Nix‘s Sabriel also features a great heroine and an interesting approach to parallel worlds and magic–the titular Sabriel is learning to be Abhorsen, a necromancer who specializes in putting the dead to rest, rather than raising them.  It’s the first book in The Old Kingdom series, and a fourth book is currently in the works.  His post-apocalyptic book, Shade’s Children, is another favorite.  I traumatized my 7th grade class with a book report about it, which included a detailed description of the Overlords’ gruesome methods of ruling over the humans in the story.  (But I still got an A.)

Philip Pullman’s complex and controversial His Dark Materials Trilogy has a fascinating plot and a many interesting characters.  This series required a re-read to fully understand the story, but it was well worth it.

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes wrote and published her first book in her teens–very inspiring to me as I just started to dream of becoming a writer.  Her Den of Shadows series, started in 1999 with In the Forests of the Night, was my first experience with teen vampire books–a sort of Twilight-before-Twilight, though with much more action.  Fans of L.J. Smith should definitely give this series a try.

I also would like to mention Diana Wynne JonesChrestomanci series and Madeleine L’Engle‘s Time Quintet, which starts with A Wrinkle in Time.  The earlier ones are aimed at a slightly younger audience, but I discovered them about the same time I found the above.  All of these greatly shaped both my reading preferences and inspired my own writing.

Some of these are hard to find in bookstores now, but they are well worth looking for!  And we still have a few copies at CCPL.  If you’re tech-savvy, you can find plenty of them in e-reader format through The Ohio E-Book Project and our other digital services, or you can request them from outside the system through MORE.  Don’t be shy about asking your friendly neighborhood librarian for help requesting them–you might even catch a gleam of nostalgia in their eyes as they type in the titles.

For readers of classic fantasy, then and now, which are the authors and books that most inspire you and/or make you nostalgic?  Share your favorites in the comments!

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Which Faction Are You?

Meghann : 21 October, 2013 3:41 pm : Authors, Books, Fun stuff, New

divergent The Divergent series has taken the book world and thrown it into another round of dystopia chaos. Some people are calling it the next Hunger Games. If you haven’t picked up this new breakout series by Veronica Roth you should be ashamed of yourself! Go to your local library and fix that right now!

The series follows Tris, a young girl coming of age in a futuristic dystopian society where your future is determined by which factor you choose. There is the Abnegation who are selfless, the Dauntless known for their bravery, the Erudite who seek only truth, Amity the peaceful and Candor who believe honesty is most important. But there is another choice which embodies two or more of the factions and is thought to be taboo in Tris’s world. Tris is Divergent.

Which faction would you be? Try out our DIVERGENT QUIZ and find out.

Don’t forget the third and final installment of the Divergent series, Allegiant, comes out October 22nd and is available for request through the library. Get on the list to get this new book as soon as the library has it available!

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Skyrim Read-a-likes

Amanda : 4 October, 2013 5:04 pm : Authors, Books, Fun stuff, Gaming, Movie

dragon One word: Awesome!

I love playing Skyrim on my free time and diving into the vast landscape and character development that this game offers. Sometimes, I feel the need to dive into this world but my console is far from reach. My solution: I check out a few books on the subject!

If you cannot get enough of the video game itself or the new online version that will be released in 2014, maybe a few books that take you on a journey through Tamriel would suffice.

Dragon Age: The Silent Grove (e-book)

Lord of Souls: an Elder Scrolls Novel

Wizard’s First Rule (1st book in the Sword of Truth Series)

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Author Visit from Richard Crawford

Laura : 26 September, 2013 7:20 pm : Authors, Library program

Join us at the Owensville Branch on Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 6:30 p.m. to hear Richard Crawford, local author and Clermont County historian speak. Mr. Crawford, an expert about the paranormal. will talk about the true ghost stories of Clermont County!

Sign Up Now! Space is limited, so please reserve your spot by visiting the branch, calling 732-6084, or registering online.

Books Richard Crawford.

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