Monday, April 29, 2013

After School Movie: The Amazing Spider-Man

Looking to add a little excitement, adventure, suspense, or romance to your Monday experience? Drop by the Teen Area and catch our after school movies, shown the first Monday of the month (during the school year) @ 4:30 p.m. These aren't your typical after school specials, though. Only newly-released (within the past 12 months) blockbusters will be shown here!

For May's movie, scheduled for Monday May 6 @ 4:30, we will be showing The Amazing Spider-Man (PG-13 2012), staring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and Marc Webb. Abandoned by his parents, teenage Peter goes to live with his aunt and uncle. He struggles with the usual teen drama like high school and a relationship with his first crush. Add to this super Spidey powers! A mysterious briefcase leads Peter to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Connors and Connors' evil alter-ego. 

If you're into superheroes, you won't want to miss this action-packed movie. Snacks (popcorn) will be served.

Please note: This will be our last After School Movie Monday until September. We will, however, be showing Wednesday Double Features as part of our Teen Summer Reading Program (registration June 7). Be sure to check this out! After School Movies will resume after Labor Day.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

We're serious about series!

Have you checked out the 'Teen Series Books' shelves lately?  I love browsing this section.  Every time I look, I find something that I have not seen before.  Yesterday I discovered the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter.  I was already a big fan of the author after reading her Heist Society trilogy (check these out in our fiction section!) so I picked up the first book and started reading.  The series focuses on an all-girls boarding school in Virginia.  But, instead of the usual academic courses, these girls learn 14 different languages and how to disarm a bomb!  Most of them will eventually work for the CIA as spies.  It is very light and fun, a perfect beach read this summer or great as a break from the more serious homework and school-related reading during the school year.

If fantasy is more your thing, we have many series you might enjoy.  I started The Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan this past winter and can't get enough of it!  The Redwall series by Brian Jacques is popular with students in fourth through seventh grade.  The Doctor Who series is fantasy/science fiction that can be read in any order.  Let us help you find what you are looking for!

Do you like romance?  We've got you covered!  The Gossip Girl series lets you experience the privileged and sometimes cut-throat life of  New York City's Upper East Side.  S.A.S.S is a little more tame but still fun.  We have dozens of romance series to choose from.  Come and browse or ask a librarian for suggestions.

We have a series for you!  Take a look next time you're in.                       KR

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Screen Free Week 2013

Turn off your TV, step away from your computer, put down your iPad and your Smart Phone and celebrate National Screen-Free WeekStarted in 1994, this annual observation encourages people of all ages to engage in activities that don't involve sitting in front of a screen for hours on end. So what's there to do besides update your Facebook status? Lots of stuff! The possibilities are endless! Just use your imagination. But just in case you're having trouble coming with enough activities to fill an entire week,  the OPL Teen Are will be featuring a display of books filled with things to do. Check them out today!

p.s. Just so you know, National Screen-Free Week is NOT an excuse not to do your homework. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fault in Our Stars

Hazel Grace Lancaster never expected to find love--least of all in the cancer support group her mother makes her attend each week. A three year survivor of stage four cancer, the only things keeping Hazel alive are daily doses of experimental meds and a portable oxygen tank she takes everywhere. One day there's a new boy at her support group, the cute and charming Agustus. Their connection is instant, however much Hazel tries to deny it (she's afraid of hurting any more people by, well, dying, and she's trying to minimize the damage). Their shared passion for an unusual book leads them to Amsterdam to meet the author and, hopefully, get answers about the book's cliffhanger ending. Eventually, Hazel and Gus give into their feelings for each other. Like you knew they would all along.

Given the serious health issues facing the young characters in The Fault in Our Stars, you know right off this relationship (however sweet and swoonworthy) can't end well. Yet, like with all John Green's characters, you can't help but root for them. TFiOS may not be my favorite of John Green's books (that honor still belongs to Paper Towns), but it comes close. And despite the depressing ending (spoiler alert...but you already knew that), I'm glad I caved into peer pressure and read it. Unlike certain other widely popular books that shall not be named, TFiOS definitely lives up to the hype surrounding it!

Speaking of John Green, are you wanting to read (or re-read) one of his many made-of-awesome books, but find there are none on the shelf? Don't despair! We've created a display of John Green read-alikes. This can be found on top of the curved Fiction shelf, right above where Green's books are shelved (when they're not checked out). Here you'll find authors who write in a similar style and/or books within the same genre. They may not be exactly what you want, but they're close enough to get you through until your hold comes in. --AJB

UPDATE May 13: OPL Teen now owns the audio version of this fantastic book. So if the print copy isn't in, the audio might be. 

Friends of the Library Book Sale

Want to get your favorite gently-used books, movies, and music at a bargain price without having to pay for shipping like you would on Amazon? Check out the Friends of the Library used book sale, lasting through Saturday April 27 in Community Room A. Sale inventory includes: Bestsellers, hardcovers, paperbacks, cookbooks, a variety of non-fiction topics, audio books, music, movies (DVD and VHS), and more! Stop by and browse. There's some really cool stuff in there!

Sale hours are as follows:
Thursday April 25: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Friday April 26: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Saturday April 27: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

There will be a special, exclusive pre-sale sale today, Wednesday April 24, for Friends members only (one of the many perks of being a Friend). Interested in becoming a Friend? Memberships can be purchased at the door.

All proceed from the sale benefit Oxford Public Library.

For more information on the Friends Book Sale, contact the library at 248-628-3034. Or just stop by and check it out. There'll be a lot of cool stuff to choose from!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Poetry Month Activities

There's still time to participate in one of our many National Poetry Month activities: 

Browse our collection, pull some titles that sound good together, and create a Book Spine Poem.

Want something you can point to and say, "I did that"? Stop by any of the reference desks and ask about Black Out Poetry. That is, we give you a stack of old books. From that, you take out a page at random (or read through and find one you like) and words on that page to create something with an entirely new meaning! Want some examples? There are several on display in the Teen Area. 

Or, if you want something easy, simply recite a poem to library staff. This is Poem In Your Pocket. It doesn't have to be a long poem (although, if you want to memorize an entire Shakespearean play, we're fine with that!). It can even be an original poem you penned yourself!

Each activity will earn you an entry for our Poetry Month prize drawing April 30.

365 Ways to Save the Earth

Happy Earth Day! As part of our week-long effort to promote our collection's planet-friendly books, today we offer 365 Ways to Save the Planet. Combining photographs by nature photographer Philippe Bourseiller with, quite literally, 365 little ways you can change your life to be more eco-friendly, this colorful book is both helpfully educational and beautiful. A fun book to browse. --AJB 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Up-Cycled Clothes

With Earth Day fast approaching (hint: it's Monday), we will be featuring books about reusing, recycling, and all that planet-friendly stuff. In today's spotlight: Up-cycled Clothing!

Got a closet full of old, out-of-style jeans? Rather than throwing them out or sending them to the Salvation Army, why not jazz up those tired old blues and create a one-of-a-kind item that's OMG (instead of eew). Check out Jeaneology: Crafty Ways to Reinvent Your Old Blues, a fun crafty book that'll show you how to easily do just that. Projects are rated from quick and easy (headbands, bracelets, blinging out shorts) to time consuming and difficult (slippers, purses) to everything in between (boho skirts, converting skinnies to flares, iPod cases). All projects are fun and are sure to cure your blues' blues.

There's almost nothing more frustrating than when the dryer eats one sock but leaves the other one unharmed (and fluffy soft). Don't throw out that odd, unmatched. Create Stupid Sock Creatures instead.Follow one of the patterns in this book, combine your favorite features of several, or invent something completely your own. Keep for yourself or give as a unique gift. And if that odd sock DOES return from that alternate universe where all missing socks go, as they occasionally do, you can always make a second sock creature to keep the first company. After all, socks DO come in pairs.

Buying that expensive angora sweater set seemed like such a great idea at the time, but now it's so 2011. Ew, right? But don't throw it out or try to pawn it off on your fashionablly challenged little sister. And don't just let it gather dust at the back of your closet until it comes back into style in 10 years (if it ever does). Re-invent it into something cool with Sweater Surgery, a fun and funky book that shows you how to transform old sweaters into everything from purses, to mittens, to hats, to slippers, to scarves, and to pretty much anything. No one will ever know that IT dress used to be an outdated sweater set. 

Want more like this? Check out our collection of fun crafty books. --AJB 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Earth Day Every Day

Ideally, we should always keep the good health of our planet in mind ('Cause, really, it's the only one we've got--at least outside the world of Sci-Fi. Or until NASA makes some major discoveries they're willing to tell the general public about). But this should especially be the case on April 22, Earth Day

In recognition of this uber-green holiday, Oxford Public Library's Teen Department will be featuring a special display spotlighting environmentally friendly books about recycling, reusing, repurposing, and, overall, being good to the Earth. From hundreds of ways (small and large) to save the planet to making cool crafts from recycled materials, you'll find a book on it here. And what if you don't find the book you seek? Well, ask the librarian on duty. We're always happy to help you find that perfect book!  

Happy Earth Day! --AJB

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What We Saw At Night

Looking for an interesting read this weekend? Try Jacquelyn Mitchard's What We Saw At NightThis page-turning mystery stars Allie, Rob, and Juliet, three teens suffering from Xoderma Pigmentosum (XP), a fatal allergy to sunlight. As a result, the three must live their lives in darkness and be constantly vigilant to the dangers even dim light could bring. But danger finds them anyway. When Juliet, the most daring of the trio, takes up the xtreme acrobatic sport of Parkour, Allie and Rob have no choice but to follow suit. One night, Allie witness what appears to be a murder in progress. And, unfortunately, the supposed killer turns and sees her. What follows is a fast-paced mystery as the three try to find and expose the killer before he can strike again--or before he finds them first. 

What We Saw At Night is an interesting story with interesting characters that's sure to keep you glued to the pages to see what happens next. There's even a bit of romance, although this doesn't overpower the story as with some books. Perhaps the only downfall is (*spoiler alert*) the cliffhanger ending, which hints at a sequel. This is problematic because the very nature of this story seems to demand there be a definite conclusion. And by the time said sequel is released, the essential details of the story's beginning will likely be forgotten (or at least lose much of their initial impact), requiring a re-read of book 1. But if you want a good mystery and don't mind this sort of ending, this one's definitely worth checking out! --AJB

Teen Advisory Board this Saturday!

Teen Advisory Board
Saturday April 20 @ 1 p.m.

Programs? Books? Movies? Music? Craft projects? What do YOU want to see in the Teen Area? Attend the Teen Advisory Board this Saturday (April 20) @ 1 p.m. and let us know what YOU think is important! 'Cause we can't know unless you tell us. Attention NHS members: Regular participation in TAB counts toward your community service hours.

Monday, April 15, 2013

kitties, kitties, kitties!

Seriously, who doesn't love kitties? From Grumpy Cat to LOL Cat to funny/cute Facebook posts to the countless Youtube videos you can watch any time of day or night. With their playfulness, attitude, independence, adorableness, tendency to get into hilarious situations, and ease to own (it's awesome; they totally clean up after themselves), it's no small wonder that the cat has recently surpassed the dog as America's #1 favorite pet.

Here at Oxford Public Library, we have exactly what you're looking for when it comes to those furry feline friends. Smitten: A Kitten's Guide to Happiness artfully combines photos of adorable kittens with quotations about how to live life to the fullest. Whether you open this book at random or read it cover to cover, Smitten is sure to brighten your day no matter how rough was school, traffic, unexpected dramatic confrontations with friends, parents, and/or teachers. Unless, of course, you're looking for a good laugh. In which case we recommend LOLcat or Stuff On My Cat. Both contain hilarious cat photos with those trademark misspelled captions. Both are sure to make you OMG and LOL until you ROTFL. And there's plenty of informational and educational pet books in our collection as well. No matter what you're looking for, OPL has it. Just ask!

Prefer pups? We've got something awesome for you as well! --AJB

Friday, April 12, 2013

2013 Battle of the Books Winners

Congratulations to The Warrior Wolves, reigning champions of this year's Oxford Middle School Battle of the Books competition! This team of avid readers also won the 2012 Battle and, last night, successfully defended their title against five other teams! The Warrior Wolves are: (left to right) Alexis McGuire, Georgia Waters, Isabelle Abraham, Clarissa Keefer, Annastacia Singleyn, and Maggie Hartman. Congrats, ladies!

The 2013 Battle of the Books was held last night, Thursday April 11, at the Oxford High School auditorium. For this annual event, teams of middle school students are given approximately two months to read a selection of books and learn them backwards, forwards, and inside-out. On the night of the Battle, the teams compete against each other by answering trivia questions about the books they've read. A panel of three unbiased judges score the accuracy of their answers. The winning team members each receive a special medal. But no one walks away empty handed. Each participant is given a ribbon and certificate in recognition of their hard work. And, of course, afterward there are cookies for everyone! Battle night is always a festive occasion!

The Battle of the Books takes place each April. It is made possible by continuing collaboration between Oxford Public Library and Oxford Middle School. 

Again, congratulations to The Warrior Wolves and to all the middle school students who participated. And thank you to the parents, teachers, and staff who worked behind the scenes. Without your continued encouragement, enthusiasm, and support, the Battle of the Books could not happen. --AJB

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Lost in Translation: Overcoming the Language Barrier

English is an extremely confusing language. Even those of us who speak it as a first language would likely agree with that statement. All that slang, confusing syntax, double meanings, those odd verb placements, grammatical oddities, words that aren't spelled anything like they sound, contradictory rules... The list is endless. But if English isn't your first language, the learning curve can be quite challenging. Language expert Oliver Radtke, who has done his fair share of world traveling, offers us Chinglish and More Chinglish, two hilarious books detailing the misuses and misunderstandings that crop up when directly translating Chinese into English. Sometimes gross, sometimes mildly offensive, sometimes filled with hilarious and unintentional double meaning, sometimes just plain bizarre, these bloopers will have you laughing out loud. Literally. But these books also serve as reminders that correctly mastering (or even slightly grasping) ANY new language isn't nearly as easy as it might seem. --AJB 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Geeked Out!

Calling all: music geeks, drama geeks, library geeks, math geeks, computer geeks, sports geeks, science geeks, outdoor geeks, comic geeks, Clique-ers, Jedi, Trekkies, Whovians, Gleeks, Jocks, Gamers, Cheerleaders, Marching Band members, animal lovers, Punkers, Rockers, Metalheads, knitters, crafters, scrapbookers, collectors, Team Edward, Team Jacob, Team Whoever, anti-Team, artists, fangirls, fanboys, Otaku, Advocates, Environmentalists, Conformists, Non-Conformists, popular kids, loners, and everyone in between. If this is you, listen up!

No matter what clique or category (or non-clique/non-category) you use to define yourself, chances are there's one thing, one very special thing, that you totally and completely "geek out" over. Whether it's a TV series, a certain band, a hobby, a sport, a book, or whatever. It's your "thing" and, to you, it's the most awesome thing in the world. That's the focus of Geektastic. In this short story collection, some of today's most popular YA authors write about what makes them geek out--and all the humor, heartbreak, and obsession that goes with it. Whoever you are, you'll find something to relate to in Geektastic.

We Cause Scenes: This Saturday

We Cause Scenes
Saturday April 13
@ 1-3 p.m.

Whose Line Is It Anyway? YOURS! Check out We Cause Scenes, OPL's teen-run improv acting group. Try your hand at acting, play fun interactive games, meet new people, and be prepared for the unexpected! We Cause Scenes meets 1-3 p.m. the second Saturday of each month.

For more information, stop by the Teen Desk or email Alissa Bach at

Friday, April 5, 2013

Chilling Reads

The nights are still chilly enough to curl up with your favorite warm blanket. So why not add a chilling book to the equation? OPL's Teen Department has plenty to choose from!

Suspense writer Dan Poblocki offers readers The Nightmarys (plus two other spine-tingling books): People who anger Abigail are suddenly finding that their worst, most private fears are coming true. But if there's a connection, why is Abigail being haunted too? It's up to Timothy to find out...IF he's brave enough, that is!

The Monstrumologist, by Richard Yancy, details the life of 12-year-old orphan Will Henry and his apprenticeship to a man who hunts monsters for a living...often with terrifying results. This first installment kicks off this excitingly scary series that's perfect for fans of Darren Shan's Cirque Du Freak.

The Moth Diaries, by Rachel Klein, is one of theose books where the reader must draw their own conclusions based on first-hand information that may not be entirely accurate. Is Ernessa really a vampire? Or just an innocent (albeit odd) girl with whom the anonymous narrator develops a dangerous obsession? You judge! Uncommonly suspenseful!

Katie Alendar's Bad Girls Don't Die is more of a stereotypical haunting story, but it will still keep you awake long into the night: Something is very wrong with Alexis' little sister Kasey, who is exhibiting increasingly bizarre and dangerous behavior. Can Alexis get to the bottom of this before it turns deadly?

Want more? Look for the "Horror" and "Suspense" spine stickers. Or ask the on-desk librarian for recommendations. --AJB

Thursday, April 4, 2013

April is Poetry Month

Celebrate April is Poetry Month by checking one of our many poetry books. Think this means Shakespeare, Poe, or Dickinson? Think again! We have several novels written in verse (meaning the story is made up of several poems linked together) by current authors that deal with current topics and current interests. All month long, we'll be featuring a display highlighting such books. Including:

In Heaven Looks A Lot Like the Mall, by Wendy Mass, Tessa discovers the afterlife is nothing like what she expected. And of course there's a handsome boy mixed in. In I Heart You, You Haunt Me, by Lisa Schroeder, Ava feels responsible for Jackson's untimely demise. But is his ghost really haunting her, or is it just her overwhelming guilt? In Sold, by Patricia McCormick, Lakshmi, a young woman living in Nepal, must do the unthinkable to help support her financially-struggling family. And in Crank, by Ellen Hopkins, former good girl Kristina is introduced to the dark world of drug addiction...and her life spirals downward.

And there are several more just like these to be found throughout the Teen Area. Just look for the yellow "poetry" spine labels. Need more suggestions? Ask the librarian on duty. --AJB

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April is Poetry Month

Oxford Public Library is celebrating April Is National Poetry Month with a variety of wordy programs and activities. These are:

Book Spine Poetry: Have you ever browsed a shelf of books and noticed that some titles (completely unrelated) seem to relate to one-another? With a bit of creative stacking and re-arranging, you can make short phrases. This is called Book Spine Poetry. Stop by the library and create your own. Then show any of the reference librarians. We'll post the best poems on our Facebook page. all ages

Poem In Your Pocket: Stop by any of the library's reference desks and share a poem (original or not) with on-duty staff. You can read it out loud or, if you're not crazy about public speaking, just show your poem to whoever is on desk. For each poem shared, you will be entered to win a prize. Drawing will be 5 p.m. April 30. all ages

Blackout Poetry: A fun way to express yourself through recycling pages of old books. How does it work? Tear a random page from an old book (we'll provide this) and circle various words throughout to make new phrases. Black out (with a sharpie) any words you didn't circle. You'd be surprised what you can create. teens & adults

For more information on National Poetry Month and other word-y activities, visit this site.  --AJB

Monday, April 1, 2013

Seeking Teen Reviewers

Have an opinion--positive or otherwise--about that book, movie, or CD you just experienced? Here's your chance to help other patrons know what to check out and what to avoid by making your opinions heard! We're currently looking for Teen Reviewers to write for this blog. Interested? Stop by the Teen Desk and pick up a review card. Include the title, author or artist, genre, a short plot description (if applicable), and whether you're reviewing a book, movie, or music. And don't forget to include your opinion! Be sure to organize your thoughts well and to check your grammar and spelling.

For more information on becoming a Teen Book Blogger, stop by the Teen Desk or email Alissa Bach at --AJB