Monday, December 30, 2013

Elvis... is IN the building!

You don't have to be a fan of "The King" to celebrate Elvis Presley's birthday (January 8) here at Oxford Public Library. Just look for the pictures of Elvis we've hidden throughout all three departments (Teen, Youth, and Adult). They could be hidden inside books, behind signs, or even in plain sight. If you find one, bring it up to the reference desk and you'll get a surprise!

But keep it fair and fun for everyone. One surprise per person per day!

A Tangle of Knots

Typically, we stick to reviewing teen books here, but not always. Every so often we'll read a book from other departments (Youth or Adult) that's so awesome we just have to recommend it to you--even though it's not, technically, a teen book.
This is one of those cases.
In A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff (a book you can find in the Youth Department), almost everyone has a special Talent. That's Talent with a capitol T, in case you're wondering. These Talents could be for anything: Spitting, knot-tying, cake-baking... Anything. One character even has a particularly diabolical talent--which you'll soon learn about as you read.
On an unusually foggy day, young orphan Cady is baking the perfect cake (her Talent) in the kitchen of Miss Mallory's Home for Lost Girls. Then, by chance, she is adopted by a strange man who works for an even stranger employer. She ends up at the Lost Luggage Emporium where she meets the Asher family, elderly mute V, and the mysterious Owner, who is obsessed with collecting powder-blue suitcases. Add to this the mystery of a missing recipe for the best peanut butter ever and an unexpected plot twist regarding Cady's missing parents, and you've got yourself a story you can't put down. Sure, it's a kid's book, but it's still awesome.
This one was a lot of fun to read. It's fairly short (less than 250 pages), and short chapters told from various viewpoints keep the action quick. Plus there's a happy ending for everyone. You really can't go wrong with A Tangle of Knots. Highly recommended! --AJB

Friday, December 27, 2013

ACT/SAT Practice Test

Attention Future College Students!
Getting ready to take the ACT or SAT test, but not sure what to expect? Worried about your scores or how well you'll do in a testing environment? Wonder no longer! A representative from Kaplan Test Prep will be visiting Oxford Public Library in early January to administer a combination ACT/SAT practice test. This will let you see exactly how you'll do--and which areas need work. Whether you're nervous or not, you'll definitely want to take this practice test before tackling the real thing!

ACT/SAT Practice Test: Saturday, January 4 @ 10:30 a.m.
ACT/SAT Practice Test Review: Saturday, January 11 @ 10:30 a.m.
Register by phone, online at, or at the Teen Reference Desk.
Questions? Give us a call (248) 628-3034.

Closed for the Holidays

Just a reminder: Oxford Public Library will be closed Tuesday December 31, 2013 & Wednesday January 1, 2014 for the New Year's holiday. We will re-open Thursday January 2, 2014. Please have a safe and happy new year!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Reading: It's Good for You

It's no secret to librarians, teachers, literacy advocates, and bookworms, but recent studies have proven that reading is healthy! From improving social skills to reducing depression to increasing your overall mental health, reading is apparently your golden ticket. But don't take our word for it. See (or read) for yourself!

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Hobbit Read Alikes

With this weekend's long-awaited release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, we're expecting an influx of requests for The Hobbit. Since we have limited copies of this awesome book, we've created a display of Hobbit and Lord of the Rings read-alikes for you to read while you wait for it to become available. So if you've a taste for adventure, be sure to check it out (its located on top of the curved fiction shelf).

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I Solemnly Swear That I Am Up To No Good!

Sir John Hargrave's Mischief Maker's Manuel is marketed as "The definitive guide to pranking and mayhem," and that claim couldn't be more accurate! This nondescript-looking book (located at T818H in the nonfiction section) contains detailed how-to's on everything from classic pranks like the Salt and Sugar Switcharoo to more advanced shenanigans (see page 197). Just don't skip the ever important sections on prank safety, not getting caught, and, most importantly, never allowing your hoaxes to cross over into the realm of bullying. Check out this awesome book and you'll be a master prankster in no time! --AJB

Saturday, November 30, 2013

This Week in the OPL Teen Department

Monday December 2:
After School Movie @ 4:30 p.m. We will be showing Iron Man 3 (PG-13), starring Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow. When Tony Stark/Iron Man finds his entire world reduced to rubble, he must use all his ingenuity to survive, destroy his enemy, and protect those he loves. But a question remains: Does the man make the suit? Or does the suit make the man? No registration required.
Tuesday December 3
Otaku Central @ 4:30-6:30 p.m. Do you love Anime and Manga? You won't want to miss Otaku Central, OPL's teen-run Anime & Manga Club! Watch Anime, discuss your favorite series, Cosplay, and more! This is a great place to meet other fans and discover new series. No registration required.
Thursday December 5
$$$ For College @ 6:30 p.m. Thinking about college, but not sure how you're going to pay for it? Attend this helpful annual seminar where expert Sheryl Krasnow (of College & Career Counseling Associates) will talk about how to seek out and apply for financial aid, grants, and scholarships. A must for anyone considering college! Registration required!

Monday, November 25, 2013

You Learned THAT from a MOVIE?

It's no secret that studying for the vocabulary portion of the ACT (or SAT) can be quite tedious, but don't let this seemingly heinous chore leave you in a state of utter despondency. Did you know you can acquire a cornucopia of high-level vocabulary words just by watching your favorite movies? Inconceivable, right? Wrong! Cruise on over to the New Nonfiction Shelf and peruse Name That Movie! A Painless Vocabulary Builder. This helpful guide will show you how you can learn over 1,000 vocabulary words and increase your test score infinitely (yes, just by watching movies). So grab the popcorn, park yourself in front of the tube, and start that movie marathon. If your parents inquire why you're watching TV in lieu of studying for the SAT (or ACT), say you are studying. And if they need to verify that claim, just hand them this book.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Unsolved Mystery or Man-Made Hoax?

From Alien Abductions to the truth about Zombies, this fun little browsable book has it all! Dead Strange, located on our New Book Shelf, contains the latest up-to-date information about 50 of the world's most popular urban legends. Is Sasquatch a native creature or a visitor form another galaxy? Can the practice of Dowsing really be used to find water, oil, and lost valuables? Is there really a Loch Ness Monster? Men in Black--fact or Hollywood fiction? Check out the book and decide for yourself. You may not find all the answers you seek (after all, this book isn't endorsed by the Mythbusters), but it's a lot of fun to read just the same!

Friday, November 15, 2013

"I can't ask my parents THAT!"

Ok... Let's say you've been talking to your friends about life (and stuff) and now you have some really important questions you need answers to, like, soon. You could ask a parent, teacher, or guidance counselor, but, the thing is, these questions are really kind of embarrassing. And these adults might get the wrong idea about you if you did ask them. So the only logical solution is to say silent and believe all the gossip and rumors, right?
Not anymore!
Look no further than our new book shelf for 100 Questions You'd Never Ask Your Parents (T306.7H).  Here you will find straight, honest, and accurate answers on blush-worthy topics like sex, drugs and alcohol, body issues, and other issues teens need to know about. Does this book make your questions any less embarrassing? No. But you will find the answers you seek without having to endure humiliating confrontations with adults.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Harry Potter: The Stamp?

Love all things Harry Potter? Now you can say it with a postage stamp! Starting this month, the United States Postal Service will have available limited edition stamps featuring characters from each of the Harry Potter movies. These stamps will feature 20 different designs and provide a good excuse to say what you need to say the old school way (with a letter) rather than a text or Facebook post.


Jobless and hopeless, Mike wants nothing more than to buy his young son, Cam, an awesome birthday present. But when there's no money, an awesome present is kind of hard to come by. But then a google-eyed street vender gives Mike an ordinary cardboard box. Or at least it appears to be an ordinary cardboard box. The vendor tells Mike there are two rules if he accepts this gift: 1. He must return all unused cardboard & 2. He can't ask for any more. Thinking the old man is maybe more than a little crazy, Mike takes the box and gives it to Cam. Being an imaginative kid, Cam instantly comes up with something cool to make with his cardboard. Then the unexpected happens: At the stroke of midnight, the creation comes to life. This sets Mike, Cam, Bill (the cardboard creation), and the neighborhood bully off on the adventure of their lives!
Cardboard is something I picked up by chance and started paging through while I waited for my computer to reboot. And, quite unexpectedly, I became caught up in the story. Sure, there's enough action here to grab just about anyone's attention and keep them invested, but there's a lot of heart too.  Cardboard is one of those books I'm very glad I took a chance on. I'd recommend this to anyone. --AJB

Friday, November 8, 2013

We Cause Scenes this Saturday

Whose Line is it Anyway? Yours! We Cause Scenes, OPL's teen-run improv acting group, will be meeting this Saturday @ 1-3 p.m. So if you've ever wanted to run, laugh, jump, and be loud and silly here at the normally quiet library, now is your chance! Try your hand at acting, play interactive games, and be prepared for the unexpected. Program is free for teens 6th-12th grade.
Questions? Give us a call! 248-628-3034.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Not The Disney Ending

You know these stories, don't you?
Sure you do!
They were read to you as a child.
You repeatedly watched Disney's versions.
Princesses, Princes, Castles, and Magic.
The Good Guys always won.
The Bad Guys... They were always defeated
(although nothing very bad happened to them)
And Happily Ever After.
Always a Happily Ever After.
Of course you know these stories!

Or do you?

After reading  Ron Koertge's Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses, you won't be so sure about any of these (well-known?) tales anymore.

Teen Reviewer

Teen Reviewer Olivia read Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. She had some reservations about the book, at first, but ended up very much enjoying this historical mystery:
"Out of the Easy is a historical fiction novel set in the New Orleans French Quarter in the 1950s. Josie, an ambitious and brave senior, faces many challenges as the daughter of a prostitute entangled in the middle of a murder mystery case.
Now upon finding this book, I said there was no way I would read a book about prostitutes! It simply wasn't an aspect I enjoyed reading about. But Ruta Sepstys is one of the most gifted writers at coming up with characters. She portrayed The House and the women who worked there perfectly. All the girls were original, fun, classy (yes, classy) characters, all of whom will remain my favorites in the literary world. Also, I was starting to get tired of love triangles and their predictability, but the love triangle Josie is ensnared in was so beautiful and heart-wrenching I was literally jealous of her, a fictional character. This book very quickly became one of my all-time favorites, and Sepetys's characters will forever be some of the best out there for me."
Olivia recommends Out of the Easy for teens 16 and up.

Teen Reviewer

Teen Reviewer Annie read All The Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry. She was originally intrigued by the book's pretty cover, but ended up loving the story.
"All The Truth That's In Me is about a girl named Judith who was kidnapped at the age of 14. She returns home at the age of 16 having lost the ability to speak. Over the course of the book, we come to know why she can't speak, where she's been, and who murdered her friend Lottie. The novel is told like Judith is speaking to the boy she loves, Lucas, whose father plays a very important role in the mystery.
This book was absolutely fantastic. At first the writing style made me hesitate; I thought it would become irritating after a while. It didn't at all. Actually, it was fascinating. I've never read a book that was written to one of the main characters. The protagonist was an amazing character and I was jumping up and down when she finally found her voice. The story was perfectly paced and never made me feel bored.
All The Truth That's In Me is a beautiful story about a fiercely determined 18-year-old girl who discovers her voice again and then some."
Annie recommends this book for teens 13 and up.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Top 10 Announced!

Each year, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) asks teens across the country to vote on their favorite recently-released books. Voting takes place between mid-August and the end of Teen Read Week in October. This year, 28 books were nominated and more than 32,000 votes cast.
The official 2013 Teens' Top 10 are:
1. Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein
2. The False Prince, by Jennifer Nielsen
3. Insurgent, by Veronica Roth
4. Pushing the Limits, by Katie McGarry
5. Poison Princess, by Kresley Cole
6. The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater
7. Crewel, by Gennifer Albin
8. Every Day, by David Levithan
9. Kill Me Softly, by Sarah Cross
10. Butter, by Erin Jade Lange
Oxford Public Library owns all these awesome books. If you haven't read them yet, we recommend you do! --AJB 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Halloween Movie: Alien v. Predator

Don't feel like Trick or Treating but still up for a scare or two? Stop by the Teen Area on Halloween night for a special screening of the extraterrestrial thriller Alien v. Predator: A team of archaeologists begins an Antarctic excavation of an underground pyramid and, in the process, wakes an Alien queen. Predators are there too, and they're using the Aliens in as part of an ancient initiation ritual. Much chaos follows...
The movie starts @ 6:30 p.m.
There will be a random drawing for a cool prize following the movie.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Unraveling Isobel

It's bad enough Isobel's widowed mother remarries so soon after her father's death. But now Isobel has to leave her friends and her entire life behind and move into her new stepfather's creepy island mansion. Oh yeah, and did we mention her new stepbrother is a jerk? All those problems seem small when Isobel begins to be haunted the ghost of a young girl shortly after arriving at her new home. Gossip on the streets hints that the recent drownings of her stepfather's first wife and young daughter may not have been accidental. Curious, Isobel probes deeper into these mysteries--and uncovers evidence linking these deaths to her stepfather! Is Isobel onto the truth or is she really as crazy as her stepfather would have everyone believe? (after all, her father was crazy...and everyone knows mental illness can be hereditary) Worse, is she the next victim?
Unraveling Isobel is a nicely creepy story and an entertaining mystery. There's even a touch of romance. A great choice for Halloween Reading. --AJB

The Girls of YA

When it comes to strong female characters in YA books, names like Hermione Granger and Katniss Everdeen probably come to mind. But what about Meg Murry, Scout Finch, or Anne Shirley? "Who are they?" you ask. Check out this Flavorwire article to find out about them...and about other heroines of classic YA Literature. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Places to Read

So you've finally got your hands on that book you've been waiting forever to read. Whether it's the concluding volume to a trilogy you've loved so far, a stand-alone you've heard a lot about, a book that's about to be made into a movie, or an old favorite, the fact remains the same: You finally have THAT BOOK! 

But just as important as having a great book is finding that perfect place to read it. Check out this flavorwire article featuring some of the most unique, most book-friendly chairs we've ever seen. 

p.s #12 is our favorite!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Super Graphic

Do you like Superheroes? How about charts? Tim Leong's Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to the Comic Book Universe combines the best of both worlds for a fun and informative guide to all things superhero (and super villain). From the book's nearly 20 different types of brightly-colored graphs and charts, you'll learn more than you ever wanted to know about superheroes and their evil villain counterparts. And some of the knowledge is pretty obscure:

For example: Why is Donatello (of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fame) always getting teased by his shelled companions? What is the difference between Cosplay and Crossplay? How did DC Comics determine the fate of Robin in 1988? And which Marvel Comic superhero (or super villain) is the strongest, smartest, and fastest. 

See... Aren't you glad you checked this book out?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Percy Jackson Read Alike

The empty shelf is evidence: Rick Riordan's "Percy Jackson" books have been experiencing a renewal in popularity lately. This is thanks in part to the "Sea of Monsters" movie and the recent release of "The House of Hades," the newest addition to the "Heroes of Olympus" series. As librarians, we love when books are so heavily circulated (means we're doing something right) except for one thing: Sometimes, there aren't enough of a certain book to satisfy demand. Of course we can always place a hold on our copy the coveted book or procure a copy from another library... But what if the patron wants something "now"?

Bummer, right?

Not really. Fortunately, there's a pretty good solution to this dilemma: The Read-Alike

In this case, I'd like to recommend Michael Scott's "Secrets of the Immortal Nicolas Flamel" series (Yes, this is the same Nicolas Flamel mentioned in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone). Beginning with "The Alchemyst," this exciting six-book series boasts just as much magic, mythology, and excitement as Percy Jackson. The series follow the adventures of mortal twins Sophie and Josh Newman as they travel through time and space, assisting Nicolas Flamel in trying to retrieve a magical book stolen by the diabolical Dr. John Dee. If they don't retrieve it in time, the world (and everything and everyone in it) will be destroyed. Once you start this series, you won't be able to put it down! --AJB

Library Closed: Mark Your Calendar

Just a reminder that Oxford Public Library will be closed on Monday October 14 in observance of Columbus Day. We will re-open our doors Tuesday October 15. Enjoy your weekend :)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Book to Movie

Good news for fans of John Green's "The Fault in Our Stars": The movie adaption of this wildly popular book has been given an official release date of June 6, 2014. It stars Shailene Woodley, Willem Defoe, and Ansel Elgort. 

For those of you who haven't yet read the book, the story is about Hazel, a young woman with terminal cancer. At a meeting of support group (which she hates), she meets Agustus, another cancer patient. As the two bond over a very unusual book, they make it their mission to meet the author and ask him why he ended the book as he did. Meanwhile, their friendship grows into love. For those who haven't yet read the book... What are you waiting for? 

Be sure to bring the tissues, though.  

Great Book, Ugly Cover!

Great Books. Bad Covers.
You've heard the old adage, "Don't judge a book by it's cover." Although it's likely this saying originally didn't refer to literal books, in this case it does!

In honor of Halloween and all things frightening, the Teen Department will feature a month-long display of books whose covers are so hideous they're scary (*insert horror movie scream here*). But despite the atrocious cover art, the stories between the covers are really quite awesome and definitely worth reading! Check one out today...if you dare! --AJB

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Re-Issues of Old Favorites

When I was a teen, the Big Three writers in teen fiction were Christopher Pike, Caroline B. Cooney, and L.J. Smith. Sound familiar? No, you're not stuck in a time warp. Recently, to cash in on the popularity of the paranormal genre, these authors have re-released many of their older books (many of which were published in the 1980s and 1990s). Sometimes these stories have been "updated" to include things like cell phones and email. Other times they're re-released in their original form. Either way, they're awesome!

Long before Bella met Edward, there was L.J. Smith's Vampire DiariesThe four-book series is about Elana and the two vampire brothers who are at war over her. Originally published in the late 1990s and re-released for a new audience, the series now boasts several spinoff books and even a TV series. Another Smith re-release? The Nightworld saga (1996-1998), repackaged for you, the teens of today.

The first book in Christopher Pike's Remember Me trilogy was originally published in 1989. In it, ghosts Shari and Peter team up to solve Shari's murder... and fall in love in the process. Although the book works best as a stand-alone, Pike chose to continue Shari and Peter's story over two more books (1994, 1999). The trilogy was re-released in 2010 as an all-in-one volume. Also by Pike is the Thirst series. Originally published as the six-book The Last Vampire series (1994-1996), the series has been re-released and expanded upon. All the better to be enjoyed by new audiences.

And speaking of vampires, lets look at Caroline B. Cooney's Vampire's Promise trilogy. (early 1990s). Although best known for The Face on the Milk Carton, Cooney was no stranger to the even darker side of YA books, exploring evil boarding schools and, yes, vampires. But not romantic, crushworthy vampires who glitter in the sun and pamper their mortal girlfriends. No...these vampires were every bit as dangerous and scary as any other nightmarish monster. In the Vampire's Promise trilogy (re-released 2011), three unfortunate teens encounter a vampire in a creepy old house. He offers to grant them their heart's desire...for a terrible price.

Stop by the Teen area and check out one of these new old-school books. --AJB

Monday, October 7, 2013

We Cause Scenes: Rescheduled

We Cause Scenes, the popular teen-run improv group, will NOT meet this Saturday (Oct. 12) as specified in the newsletter. 

Rather, the program has been rescheduled for the following Saturday (Oct. 19) @ 1-3 p.m. Please mark your calendars.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

What the Vampire Say?

Ever notice how sometimes a picture cries out to be captioned? We do...and we're not just talking about the cute and sometimes scarp stuff featured on LOL Cat. That's why we've put empty speech balloons on some of our monstrously seasonal coloring pages. All month long, you'll be able to write what YOU think the vampires, zombies, and other creepy creatures in these coloring sheets might be saying or thinking. It could be something funny or creepy or mundane. Fill in the blanks and turn your creation in at the Teen Desk. Your creation will be entered into a random drawing for a prize at the end of the month (please remember to include your name & contact info on the back).

These creations will be on display in the Teen Area, so please keep your captions clean.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Family Movie: Frankenweenie

Stop by the library this Sunday @ 2 p.m. and catch Frankenweenie, our October Family Movie.

When young Victor's beloved dog, Sparky, is hit by a car, he is heartbroken... until his science teacher shows his class how electricity can be used to reanimate a dead frog. There's a science fair coming up, and the competition will be fierce. But Victor has more in mind than winning the grand prize for the best experiment. One dark and stormy night, Victor heads over the the local pet cemetery, shovel in hand. A flash of lightning later and Sparky is alive. Alive! Victor tries to keep his electrically-enhanced pet a secret, but soon the cat (or dog) is out of the bag and the whole town is in an uproar. When a gang of monstrous re-animated pets terrorizes the town, it'll be up to Sparky to save the day.

Frankenweenie (animated), directed by Tim Burton, is rated PG. This means all ages are welcome. However, there are some sad and scary parts that might disturb very young children. Stop by. It's an awesome movie. --AJB

Song of the Quarkbeast

With the infamous Dragonslayer incident (mostly) behind her, Jennifer Strange, foundling and acting manager of Kazam Mystical Arts Management finds herself with a new problem in The Song of the Quarkbeast, the sequel to The Last Dragonslayer

By order of King Snodd, the Kazam team is pitted against their biggest rival, iMagic (cause everything is more hip with a lower case "i" in front of it) in the biggest wizarding dual in centuries. The winner will win the rights to control all the Ununited Kingdom's magic, which has been growing since the dragon incident. But it's hard for it to be a fair contest when the king's personal wizard The Amazing Blix (who just happens to be the head of iMagic) has several of Kazam's wizards arrested on questionable charges. And that's not including the ones who have been turned to stone by an ancient spell gone wrong. 

Jennifer has only a couple days to find a way to reverse the stoning spell, get her wizards out of jail, and find the Great Zambini. Otherwise the future of magic is doomed. There are those who will stop at nothing to prevent her from succeeding. But the answers are found in the most surprising of places. And not even the Remarkable Kevin Zipp, Kazam's resident psychic, could have predicted how things would turn out. 

Author Jasper Fforde packs just as much awesomeness into The Song of the Quarkbeast as he did with The Last Dragonslayer. Both books combine the humor of Terry Pratchett with the creativity of J.K. Rowling, and are must read!  --AJB 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Monstrous Mystery

Fantastical creatures, a deadly curse, a mysterious haunting, a forbidden romance...all are part of Elizabeth Fama's fantasy thriller, Monstrous Beauty

Unlike other girls her age, Hester Goodwin is forbidden to fall in love. Because love (specifically, having a child) has always resulted in death for the women in her family. Fearing the same fate, Hester keeps her distance from all boys...until the stormy night she meets Ezra on the beach. Despite the strange circumstances surrounding their meeting, Hester finds she can's stay away from this odd, yet intriguing boy. Soon, Hester finds herself drawn deep into a mystery that's plagued her coastal town for nearly two centuries. A mystery involving mermaids, hauntings, and revenge from beyond the grave. If Hester unravels this mystery, she just might get to the root of the curse that's plagued the women in her family. 

Despite the popularity of John Green and writers like him, the Paranormal Romance genre is still huge. That is, storied about love between a human and a vampire/werewolf/zombie/ghost/whatever. On the surface Monstrous Beauty sounds like it would fall in with the rest of those books, but it really doesn't so much. True that there is romance and there are mythical creatures, those elements really take a backseat to the mystery of Hester's family curse. But everything works together to create a unique and awesome story. --AJB

Scary Stories

Its October, and that means creepy creatures like Zombies, Vampires, and Werewolves (oh my!) and other things that go boo and bump in the night will be even more the rage than usual. And we at the OPL Teen Department aim to please! All month long, we'll have special displays up featuring books about hauntings, murders, mysteries, suspense, and other things that will keep you awake long into the night, listening to and analyzing every little sound. 

Don't see the sort of book you want? Ask a librarian. We're here to help you find the perfect book for any occasion :)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Simon's Cat and Beyond

Simon's Cat. By now, you've probably all seen the hilarious YouTube cartoons of that cat who is always demanding food of his harried, hapless owner. And if you haven't, you need to check it out right now!

Well, now this internet phenomenon has two new books, both of which you'll find on the graphic novel section of our "New Books" shelf. These are: Simon's Cat Kitten Chaos and Simon's Cat vs. The World. In these hilarious volumes the famous feline has all sorts of adventures, from taunting the local wildlife to tormenting the new kitten. And always, always demanding more food. And don't forget the original Simon's Cat book, which is located on our Graphic Novel shelf

Although thick, these books are all text-free and make for quick reads. The simple, yet expressive, artwork is packed with humorous observations about feline life--sometimes realistic, sometimes fantastical. All are sure to have you laughing, whether you're a cat owner, cat appreciator, or just a fan of humor.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Don't Let it Make You Crazy...

October is nearly here, and all month long this blog will be focusing on creepy books and movies.

Look no further than the New Book Shelf for Asylum, by Madeleine Roux. When Dan, Abby, and Jordan meet at a summer program for gifted students, they have no idea they're in store for the most terrifying five weeks of their lives. Brookline Dorm, where they're staying, used to be a psychiatric home (that is, an insane asylum). Before long, the three friends are deep in the asylum's disturbing and murderous past. 

Fans of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children will enjoy the format of Asylum, which has short chapters illustrated by (totally creeptastic) historic photos from real asylums. --AJB

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Don't Live a Boring Life

Is your life stuck in a boring rut of sleep, ear, school, homework, and Facebook? STOP RIGHT NOW!!!  Break from that routine that's eating up valuable moments that could be spent doing something awesome! And Jessica Hagey's How to Be Interesting is a quick start guide on how to do just that in 10 Easy Steps! This book discusses how to Explore and Discover. Why it's important to embrace your individuality, no matter how quirky or weird (hint: weird is good!). When and why you need to turn off/unplug from that TV/computer/iPhone/whatever and Do Something (and I don't just mean signing up for a different social networking website)...and do something often! And don't be afraid to try something new. And don't follow the crowd.

But better yet, put down the book and actually get out there in the world and experience life as it was meant to be. You'll be glad you did!

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Teen Avengers

The Teen Avengers 
Teen Volunteer Group
Wednesday September 26 @ 4:30 p.m.

Hey Teens! Want to have a say about what goes on in the Teen Area? Have an idea for a program or a book purchase? Need volunteer hours for NHS or scouting? Attend a meeting of the Teen Avengers and discover how to have fun and make friends with other community-minded teens while helping out at your library.

The Teen Avengers meet monthly on the fourth Wednesday, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Interested? Stop by or call 248-628-3034

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Planning for College

Planning on attending college but not sure you're readyExpert Sheryl Krasnow will be on hand to answer your questions on everything from standardized testing to applying for $$$ (financial aid, scholarships, grants). 

The first of this annual two-part workshop, College Planning: Strategies & Timetable, is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday October 3

A second workshop, Dollars for College, will be 6:30 p.m Thursday December 5.

Register online, at the teen desk, or by calling 248-628-3034.

Arrgh! It's "Talk Like a Pirate" Day!

Avast ye scurvy dogs! Today be Talk Like a Pirate Day! So to celebrate, today's blog digs up a treasure trove of pirate-y books that ye won't even need a map to find. Can you say, "Arrgh"?

In The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook: A Swashbuckler's Guide from Pirates of the Caribbean, everyone's favorite pirate, the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow, teaches you everything you ever wanted to know about being a pirate. It begins with basics like establishing an identity and acquiring a ship and crew and progresses through to more advanced lessons like what to do with the booty once you've pirated it and how to survive if marooned. There are even overviews on how to deal with the various creatures one may encounter whilst sailing the seven seas. Is that a Kracken off the port bow? Not a problem if you have this guide handy.

Dealing with an angry Kracken is nothing compared a curse, which does exist in the world of pirates. And notorious buccaneer Emer Morrisey is about to discover this particular sting when, upon her dying breath, she is cursed to live the lives of 100 dogs. When she finally re-emerges in a human body almost 100 years later, she finds her pirating instincts and ambitions are still very much intact. But digging up buried treasure and seeking revenge on the one who cursed you aren't so easy when you have to deal with homework, school, and curfew.What's a girl to do? Find out in Dust of 100 Dogs.

Everyone with even the basic knowledge of pirates has heard of Captain Hook, the pirate who lost his hand to a hungry crocodile and had a vendetta against Peter Pan. But thus far, we only know one side of the story--and it's not much of a story at that. From troublesome school days (where we learn there's more to his dislike of the Darling children than just their association with Peter) to his failed love affair with a princess to how he came to be the notorious villain we all love to hate. This story holds nothing back. Want to know more about this terrible pirate? This book's for you! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Back to Scarborough Fair

Lucy Scarborough might have broken the curse that plagued the women in her family for 400 years, but Fenella Scarborough (the girl who started the whole mess in the first place) is still stuck in the Faerie Realm, impossibly long-lived and taunted by the very creature who cursed her family. Desperate to become mortal so she can die, Fenella strikes a bargain with the Faerie Queen: If she can commit three acts of destruction to counter the original curse's acts of creation, she will become 100% mortal and be free of all ties to Faerie. Fenella agrees--even after she discovers the destructive acts must be committed against her own family. Thus, Fenella returns to Earth and, after she gains the trust of Lucy and her family, instantly begins to do whatever she can to sabotage their safety, their love, and their hope. And if she refuses or fails? The Scarborough women will once again be victims of the original curse. Eventually Fenella succeeds in the destructive acts, freeing herself and, by association, her family from all ties to Faerie. But how can her family accept her after all the terrible things she's done? The fact Fenella got herself into such a terrible mess is Unthinkable.

This sequel to Impossible (2008) fails to measure up to its predecessor. Unlike Lucy, who the reader can certainly root for, Fenella is a selfish, untrustworthy, unlikable character who never manages to redeem herself in the eyes of the reader. How can one feel anything but scorn for a character who purposefully does terrible things (arson? kidnapping? attempted murder?) to characters the reader already knows and likes? Worse, beloved characters are reduced to cardboard cutouts of their former selves. Even spotty romance feels forced. The one bright spot is Fenella's faerie feline helper, who is snarky, funny, and does a complete 180 by the end of the book.  If you liked Impossible, my advice is to skip Unthinkable. It'll only spoil the original story for you. --AJB

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Last Dragonslayer

Action, adventure, fantastical creatures, imaginative places, humor, complete and total awesomeness... Jasper Fforde's The Last Dragonslayer has it all!
In orphan Jennifer Strange's world, magic was once of paramount importance. Wizards were regarded among the highest members of the society which depended on them for everything--from fixing a clogged drain to keeping the world safe from the dragon menace. But no longer. Magic has been fading, and wizards have fallen from their once lofty favor. And Jennifer? She's been left in charge of Kazam Mystical Arts Management, a floundering magical business employed by the most rag-tag, misfit group of wizards this side of Hogwarts. When mysterious magical power surges begin, Jennifer, accompanied by her terrifyingly adorable pet Quarkbeast, investigates. She learns that the magical surges are due to the impending death of the last dragon...and that she, of all people, will be the one to end that dragon's life. Not one to crave the public eye, Jennifer wants nothing to do with any of the dragon drama. But the more she seeks to avoid it, the deeper she falls into it. But wait! There's a twist at the end. And you definitely won't see it coming!
The Last Dragonslayer is one of the most creatively awesome books I've read in a long time! And I'm ecstatic for the sequel, Song of the Quarkbeast, which was just released. Check this series out when you can. You'll be happy you did! --AJB

Forbidden Romance

Forbidden romance is not a new topic to the world of Teen Literature, but author Sara Farizan puts an unusual spin on the concept with her first novel, If You Could Be Mine. Set in Iran, where laws strictly govern personal freedoms and ways of life, this story centers around Sahar...and Sahar's forbidden romantic feelings toward her best friend, Nasrin. In Iran, homosexuality is not just frowned upon by the conservatives. It is a crime punishable by death. So the girls carry on in private, careful to keep their feelings and activities a secret. Then Nasrin's family announces she is to be married. And Sahar's world falls apart. Then comes a surprising, albeit highly unorthodox, solution to her problem: Gender reassignment surgery, which would be both supported by and paid for by the government. If Sahar went through with such a thing, she could be with Nasrin. Legally. But first she must prove she's actually a male trapped in a female body (which she isn't). As the date of her friend's wedding approaches, Sahar has some serious thinking to do. Will she be willing to sacrifice everything about herself for a relationship that may or may not work? No spoilers here. You'll have to read the story for yourself to see what Sahar decides to do.

If You Could Be Mine serves as a cautionary tale in tackling (in a very extreme way) an issue that teens often face when it comes to relationships: Trying to change who they really are in order to be with someone who may not be best suited for them. It could be something as simple as saying they hate Mexican food when their favorite restaurant is Taco Bell or feigning interest in video games when they, in reality, can't stand them.  Or, in the case of Sahar, actually considering life-altering surgery. And the moral of the story? You guessed it: Being true to yourself above all else, even if it means you can't be with your crush. 

If You Could Be Mine isn't a book for everyone. It addresses some very controversial topics and situations that may make some readers highly uncomfortable. So fair warning! Just the same, If You Could Be Mine is a beautiful and well-written coming of age story. 

If You Could Be Mine can be found on our New Book shelf.--AJB

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A version of the truth

A colonial village, a tortured young girl.  It doesn't sound compelling, but All the Truth That's in Me is a definite page turner.  Judith is a 16 year old girl, recently released after being held captive for two years. At the same time Judith went missing, another young girl was found dead in a river. Only Judith knows the answer to her disappearance and the other girl's death - but she isn't talking.  The story unwinds in tense chapters.  The villagers treatment of Judith leaves the reader feeling dread, while her love of her neighbor Lucas adds tenderness to the story.  Julie Berry's debut novel showcases a compelling heroine in Judith. 

All the Truth That's in Me is being released in September and will be in Oxford Public Library soon!


Friday, September 6, 2013

After School Movie: Beautiful Creatures

Back to School also means the Teen Department will be restarting its After School Movie program, slated to happen the first Monday of each month. We'll be kicking things off this Monday (Sept. 9) with Beautiful Creatures (PG13), the movie based on the wildly popular book by Kami Garcia. Showtime is 4:30 p.m. Snacks (popcorn) will be provided.

Beautiful Creatures (PG13)
Monday September 9
4:30-6:30 p.m.