Friday, September 28, 2012

Voldemort vs. Sauron

Voldemort vs. Sauron

We asked, you voted, & the results are in!

It was Battle of the Evil Wizards. All September, we asked who YOU thought would win in an Ultimate Wizarding Duel: Voldemort of Harry Potter or Sauron of Lord of the Rings. The results are in: 24 of you voted, and Voldemort just barely beat Sauron, 13-11. 

Congratulations to our three winners, chosen at random form everyone who voted: Amber Soukup, Victoria Stothers, and Rachel Young.

While in the Teen Area, keep an eye out for the yellow voting box and future contests like this one.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Banned Books Week 2012

September 30-October 6 is Banned Books Week!

So what is a Banned Book?
It's a book that, for a variety of reasons, has had its contents challenged by parents, schools, churches, etc. Some popular examples are: 1984, Catcher in the Rye, Perks of Being a Wallflower, and the Harry Potter series. But there are several others--and the list grows each year. For more information on Banned Books Week or for a more complete list of banned and challenged books, visit this site.

So celebrate these your right to read whatever you want by checking out one or more of these awesome books. --AJB

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Story of Survival

When she hears about the recent political unrest in the United States, Radley, 17, rushes home--even though she'd been in the middle of volunteering at an orphanage in Haiti. Radley's worried about her parents, her friends, her cat. But when she finally arrives, she learns her flight has been re-routed. Radley is alone in a strange city with no money, no cell phone, and no way to contact her parents. In a last-ditch effort, she starts walking home, doing her best to stay out of view of both law enforcement and vigilantes. But her house has been abandoned. Figuring her parents went north to Canada, Radley begins another long journey. Along the way she befriends Celia, another teenage traveler heading for the border. The girls learn to trust each other and eventually come to rely on each other for survival. What will happen?

Safekeeping has dystopina elements, but isn't as dark as others in the genre. This book is mostly about friendship between the two girls and how they're able to survive because of that friendship (the dystopian elements are only vaguely touched on every so often). If you're looking for a dystopia, but don't want anything dealing with global destruction or where characters are forced to fight to the death, Safekeeping is for you. Enhancing this story are black and white photographs taken by the author. A quick read on the lighter side of dystopia. --AJB

Monday, September 24, 2012

Ooh La La!

Looking for a truly satisfying read that's just as good as (if not better than) any romantic comedy movie out there? Pick up Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. 

Anna has her Senior Year all figured out: She'll finish up her high school career, hang out with her friends, work her dream job at the local movie theater, and her crush will finally ask her out. Then comes a major curve ball: Her bestselling novelist father is shipping her off to Paris where she'll attend a high school for artistic American students, where she won't know anyone and doesn't speak a word of French. Although initially frustrated and homesick, Anna soon makes friends and finds several opportunities to immerse herself in her passion (film and video). She also meets the handsome St. Clair--who seems interested in her as more than a friend! But St. Clair has a girlfriend. And Anna's crush from back home has been emailing and calling her... There are several deliciously romantic encounters and near-misses. But will Anna and St. Clair ever get together? 'Cause it's obvious from their first meeting these two are meant to be A Couple--right?  AJB

Hunger Games Program: Friday October 5!

Have you been thinking about attending our exclusive Hunger Games Lock-In next Friday (October 5)? There's still room to sign up. However, space is limited--and those spaces will likely fill up fast. So sign up soon! You can do so either online or at the Teen Reference Desk.

So what's this program all about, anyway? Well... We'll be playing Hunger Games-themed games, serving pizza & other snacks, and hosting a one-time-only screening of the Hunger Games Movie (PG-13). A fun evening is in store.

See you in the Arena.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Movie of the Weekend

Looking for a good movie to rent this weekend? Head on over to the Teen Video Area and check out Pleasantville (PG-13, 2000), starring Reese Witherspoon and Tobey Maguire.

Teenage siblings Jennifer and David can't agree on anything--least of all what to watch on TV. Then, one stormy night, a magical remote control transports them into David's favorite 1950s-era TV show, Pleasantville. Jen and David find themselves cast in the starring roles of this black and white series about life in a Utopian small town where everyone is happy, it never rains, and firemen spend their days rescuing cats from trees (because, of course, there are no fires). Despite trying to "play along" until they can find a way home, these modern teens inevitably have an effect on Pleasantville and its people. These changes are shown by the increasing apparences of color. Soon Jen and David find themselves in the middle of a social and political revolution that will forever change the town and its citizens. But is this change for the worse or for the better? You decide.

This one feels a bit dated (check out the lack of cell phones and the old-school TV that's supposed to be modern), but it's still a good movie. If you're into dystopian stories, or of you just like movies that are a bit different, Pleasantville is a great choice! --AJB

Even More Recommendations

Liked what you've seen so far on this blog, but want even more recommendations? Stop in the library and check out our new Staff Picks Display, located next to the New Books shelves at the entrance of the Teen Area. Here you'll find books we've read and enjoyed--and thought you might like too. Some are new releases, but others have been out for a while (and may have even been buried on the shelves). These books are so good we'd offer a money back guarantee if you don't like them. Except--oh wait!--checking out books at the library is FREE!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Darkly Awesome

After his parents mysteriously disappeared when he was only a couple years old, Christian Cage became obsessed with "The Sideways Place," a alternate dimension where he's convinced himself his parents are trapped. This, and an incident involving the suicide of one of his teachers, has made Christian an outcast among his peers. A highly accomplished artist, Christian finds he has the ability to draw the fears and nightmares of people around him. And then bad things happen to those people. Things escalate after an incident of vandalism--which Christian apparently did in his sleep. Christian begins to have violent visions of a WWII era murder that happened in his sleepy little town, but was apparently covered up by a powerful factory owner. When Christian must perform community service at a local assisted living facility, he gets the surprise of his life: Could one of the patients there have the answers to his disturbing visions and the mystery of The Sideways Place? To find out, Christian must face his own darkest fears.

Draw The Dark has about it a certain Stephen Kingish, hairs-on-the-back-of-your-neck quality that makes you want to sleep with the lights on and keep checking behind you as you read (because you're sure something's there). This is one of those strangely creepy books that stays with you a long time after you've finished it. So if you're looking for a good suspenseful read as Halloween approaches, this one's for you! --AJB

Monday, September 17, 2012

Girl of Fire and Thorns

Think your parents, teachers, boss have high expectations of you? Doing well in your classes, showing up for work on time, being nice to your little brother (or sister)... This is nothing compared to what's expected of Princess Elisa, the main character of Rae Carson's Girl of Fire and Thorns.

Princess Elisa is born with a magical gemstone in her navel, a sign prophecized to mean its bearer is destined for greatness. But Elisa--lazy, whiny, and completely naive about the world outside the palace walls--doesn't feel very heroic. In fact, the most daring deed she's ever performed is to sneak into the palace kitchens to steal pastries. Then on her sixteenth birthday, she is secretly married off to a neighboring king as part of a political contract between the two kingdoms. Her new husband hopes she will be instrumental in an upcoming war. Then shortly after the wedding, Elisa is kidnapped by a band of rebels who live deep within the desert. These people hope that, as the Chosen One, Elisa can save them. But how can Elisa help anyone when she can't even find the courage to help herself?

Girl of Fire and Thorns is an absorbing fantasy-adventure and a great coming-of-age story. Throughout the course of the story, Elisa does a lot of growing up, and it's refreshing to see her transformation from a spoiled princess to a courageous young woman. This is only the first in the planned trilogy, so there's more to come. If you enjoy books by Tamora Pierce and Alison Croggon, you'll like Girl of Fire and Thorns. --AJB

Sunday, September 16, 2012

John Green

One of our favorite authors in the teen department is John Green.  His books for young adults are full of brilliant wit and gripping emotional honesty.  His first novel, Looking for Alaska, won the Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in Young Adult literature in 2006.  An Abundance of Katherinesalso a Printz Award Honor Book, is a fun book about a boy who only dates girls named Katherine, and ends up getting dumped each time.  Will Grayson, Will Grayson is a realistic story of two boys, both named Will Grayson, meeting by chance on a street in Chicago.  Green explores the larger issues of life and death with amazing sensitivity and honesty in The Fault in our Stars Paper Towns is a fascinating look at the power of imagination and perception when a boy is taken on a wild overnight adventure with Margo, his best friend (and long-time secret crush), who then disappears.  Come discover these John Green gems or find other great reads today!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Talk Like a Pirate Day is September 19

Ahoy, mateys! Strap on yer eye patches and polish yer peg legs, 'cause Wednesday September 19th be National Talk Like a Pirate Day! To celebrate, Oxford Public Library's Teen Area will be holding a special screening of Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (PG-13), featuring everyone's favorite swashbuckler, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), and his crew of misfit pirates. The show begins at 6:30 p.m. Snacks served.

Attend...if ye dare!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Every Day is Different

Every day, a traveling, genderless soul named A wakes up in a different body and to a different life. Sometimes it's a guy. Other times it's a girl. Race, religion, economic status, healthy or sickly, anything else... it doesn't matter. The change happens. The only constant is the host body is always the same age as A. It has always been this way. And A has gotten used to it. The only rule is A must not interfere in anyone's life. And A has kept to that rule. But then A meets Rhiannon, the girlfriend of a boy A inhabits. Despite better judgement, A falls in love with Rhiannon and attempts to stay in touch with her. Results could be disastrous.

As with all David Levithan's books, Every Day is highly unique, yet exceptionally enjoyable. This is not a straightforward love story where boy meets girl and everything is peachy (except for some slight drama at some point). The reader never even figures out if A is male or female. Rather, this is about whether we can recognize the inner essence (if you will) of someone we connect with, no matter what that someone looks like. An interesting concept explored in an even more interesting way. And well worth checking out. --AJB

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Artistic "Expressions"

Whether cartooning, animating, sculpting, or life drawing, Facial Expressions is your one-stop shop for how to create lifelike artwork of the human head. This book's 250 + pages contain 100 models of different genders, ages, and ethnicities posing in a variety of moods. All to inspire your artwork. For animators, there's a sequential-expression gallery and a phonemes gallery (how the mouth shapes different sounds), both to help you accurately chart your animation sequence from beginning to end. There's even examples of drawings--some lifelike, some caricature-like--to further inspire you. So if you're looking to get into any sort of artwork involving facial expressions, give this book a browse. You're sure to find it helpful--as well as entertaining! --AJB


Lately, many of you have been stopping by the reference desk asking for memoirs. To help you, we have created a booklist bookmark of many of the great memoirs shelved in the Teen Area. These bookmarks contain the title, author, and brief summary of the book. Stop by the teen desk and ask for one!

You will find memoirs shelved with the biographies throughout the library. If you don't find what you want in Teen, try the Youth and Adult collections. If you're still not finding what you're looking, ask any of the reference librarians to do a search for you. We'll be happy to help. --AJB 

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Most Popular Girl

If you enjoyed Beauty, by Lisa Daily, this blog's book of the day, and want something like it, check out Teen Witch (DVD).

Louise Miller feels like a nobody at school and at home. Her crush doesn't notice her, the It Crowd shuns her, and her parents treat her like she's 6 instead of 16. Nothing is going right, and Louise can't help but feel her life would be better if only she were popular. Then she gets her wish: While riding home one dark and stormy night, Louise's bike tire blows out. She takes refuge from the storm in a spooky old victorian mansion owned by quirky fortune teller Madame Serena. It is here that Louise learns she's a witch, and will come into her powers on her next birthday--which is only a week away. After some experimentation with small spells, Louise does what any geeky teenager with witchy powers would do: She works a spell to make herself the most popular girl in the school. And it works better than she ever imagined! Suddenly Louise has the lead in the school play (opposite her crush, of course), the It Crowd wants to hang out with her, and hottie Brad (who looks like a very young Tom Cruise) is suddenly paying her a lot of attention. At first, Louise is content. But then she can't help but wonder: Does Brad like her for herself or only because of the spell? Only by undoing the magic can she find out--IF she has the courage to do so.

Teen Witch is the epitome of cheezy 80s movies. A cliche-heavy plot all dressed up in wild clothes and big hair and concluded by a synchronized dance number at the Prom (where everything works out, of course). This little-known movie is just as awesome as the better-known Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. So if 80s movies are your guilty pleasure, Teen Witch is sure to please! --AJB

Friday, September 7, 2012

Reunion Tour

Back in middle school, Alice, Summer, and Tiernan were inseperable BFFs, united by their obsession with the band Level13. But when the band broke up their freshman year, the girls had a falling out and went their separate ways. Now, as they're about to graduate, Level13 announces a one-night-only reunion show--2,000 miles away. The girls decide to go. Together. But having barely spoken to each other for the past four years, the former friends are practically strangers. And the question is raised: Was their shared love for this band the only glue that held their friendship together? Or can they rediscover their friendship on a deeper level? Either way, this could be the most awkward road trip ever!

Reunited is for anyone who obsessively obsesses about a favorite band. And for anyone who ever did. Not exactly a deep read, but there's a lot of humor and heart here. If you're looking for some light chick lit, try Reunited. --AJB

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hunger Games Event!

Are you a teenager (6th-12th grade)? Then you are eligable to participate in the Teen Area's special Hunger Games Lock-In Event on Friday October 5 from 6:30-11 p.m. Play competative games with tributes from other Districts, showcase your knowledge of Suzanne Collins' landmark trilogy with Hunger Games trivia,  and enjoy a one-time-only screening of the Hunger Games Movie on our big screen.

Register online or at the Teen desk. But space is limited, so sign up soon! May the odds be ever in your favor!