Wednesday, July 31, 2013

More Teen Reviews

Even more reviews from our Teen Readers:

Piper read Unwind, by Neil Shusterman: "The story follows three teenagers--Connor, Risa, and Lev--as they try to escape their fate of being unwound in a dystopian future. After the Heartland War, abortion is now illegal. However, parents can now chose to send their kids to harvest camps to have their body parts harvested for donation. Will Connor, Risa, and Lev be able to survive? Find out in Unwind!"

Ariana, 15, loved A.G, Howard's Splintered, which is part of the Welcome to the Real Wonderland series: "Amazing! The writing is brilliant and will captivate the reader from beginning to end. A real page turner with believable and lovable characters you can relate to. Many good metaphors and a wonderful take on Wonderland."

Did you really like (or dislike) a book? Write a review! 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

More Reviews from Teen Readers!

Teen readers have been enjoying lots of books from series this summer!  I can't blame them -- I love a good series, too.  
Tommy read Eragon by Christopher Paolini (first in the Eragon series) and said, "I really loved this book because of the amazing storyline and how the first book is organized.  I really like fiction and fantasy and there are dragons, and knights and evil kings.  If you like fantasy, this is the book for you."
Skye read Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia (first in the Beautiful Creatures series) and said, "Really suspenseful and fun to read.  I'm reading the next in the series.  A lot like Twilight but the girl is different, not the boy."
Tori read Monster High 4: Back and Deader Than Ever (book 4 of the Monster High series) and said, "This is the last book in Lisi Harrison's 'Monster High' series and I really enjoyed reading it.  I think it ends this series well because of many reasons.  The characters are more friendly towards each other, and they finally get to live their lives to the fullest as they always dreamed of doing."
Come check out these great books and others before school begins!


Monday, July 29, 2013

TSRP Ends Wednesday!

Just a reminder: Wednesday (July 31) is the final day to turn in your Teen Summer Reading gameboards. It's also the last day to earn tickets toward the final drawing. So if you haven't yet gotten credit for all your hours read, activities completed, and programs attended, you may do so up until closing time Wednesday night. Those of you who have earned 15 or more spaces on your gameboards qualify to attend our exclusive end-of-summer lock-in after hours on Friday (August 2). 

Have questions? Stop by the Teen Desk or contact us @ 248-628-3034.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

More Reviews by Oxford Teens

It's great to see so many teens so enthusiastic about reading that they're willing to write reviews about the books they love (and sometimes hate). Not only are these reviews helpful to other teens who are looking for something to read. They're also helpful to staff so we can see what's popular and order similar books. Here are a couple more reviews:

Eighth grader Haley read Siobhan Vivian's The List while on vacation, and gives it the highest possible rating: "Each year, a high school makes a list saying the prettiest and ugliest girls from each grade. Each chapter talks about how each girl's life changed (because of the list). I loved this book so much! I could not put it down! It is my favorite book. I think every girl should read it because it has a really good message at the end."

Hannah, 14, enjoyed Dragonspell, the first book in Donita K. Paul's Dragonkeeper Chronicles: "I love this series and have recommended it to many. The plot is amazing and has you laughing and crying with the characters." Hannah tried this series because her mom remembered that her older brother read and enjoyed it--and thought her daughter might like it too. She was correct.

Oxford Teens are awesome! Thank you to everyone who submitted a review!

Friday, July 26, 2013

More Teen Reviews

Even more reviews from Oxford Teens:

Kaitlyn, 12, read Cloaked, a fairy-tale retelling by Alex Flinn that is a mash-up of The Elves & the Shoemaker and The Frog Prince: "I would recommend this book to anyone who likes books with adventure, fantasy, and romance. It ties many classic fairy tales into a modern world and depicts the struggle between supporting your family and following your dreams." Kaitlyn recommends this story for teens 12 and up.

High School Senior Kati read and loved Underworld, by Meg Cabot: "Underworld only proves that Meg Cabot's abilities go above and beyond the well-known Princess Diaries. This sequel (to Abandon) captures the audience from the beginning and leaves not a moment dull. The cutoff point of each chapter is so strategically chosen that the author knows it will be impossible to put the book down. This novel was full of suspense and unending action. Meg Cabot does it again!"

Not all teen reviews are positive, as proven by 10th grader Margaret's review of Cami Garcia's Beautiful Creatures, which was recently adapted for the Big Screen. Margaret read the book on a friend's glowing recommendation. However, she didn't agree: "I didn't really enjoy this book much. It's just another teen romance thing with the same old black and white/good and evil scenario. The emotional depth of this book fits, maybe, a 13-year-old mindset. Honestly, I don't see how anyone could genuinely like this book. Something like (this story) is absolutely meaningless. Don't waste your time." Needless to say, Margaret won't be recommending the Beautiful Creatures series to anyone anytime soon.

Kayla, 11, recently finished Jeanne Birdsall's The Pinderwicks on Gardam Street. She too read the book because a friend suggested it and, although she didn't absolutely love it, she felt it passed the time: "I thought that this book was very interesting and I can kind of relate to it because (the characters) had a lot of kids and I also have a lot of siblings." Kayla would probably recommend the book to a friend.

Do you like reading and writing? Submit a review at the Teen Desk for possible publication on this blog! --AJB

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Teen Reviewers

As part of our 2013 Teen Summer Reading Program, we've offered to trade book reviews for duckies (not real ones), and the turnout has been fantastic! Here are but a few reviews from OPL teen readers:

Ariana, 14, read The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin, and she loved this mystery: "(The Westing Game) was brilliantly written and captivating from start to finish. It had characters you can understand and an amazing plot!" Ariana would recommend this book to everyone!

Noah, 12, read The Fourth Stall Saga, v. III on recommendation from the librarian, and ended up sharing it with others: "I recommended this book to a friend because it puts a different take on everyday middle school life. And it's got a big cliffhanger. Whenever you think something's going to happen, a complete opposite thing happens. It's an overall good read.

Nicole, 12, loved Katie Alendar's Bad Girls Don't Die: "It's a great book! The dialogue seems pretty true and the plot is somewhat believable. This book is well-written with a distinctive voice. It's pretty interesting. And it's very descriptive." Nicole would recommend this suspenseful story for ages 12-15. 

Kendall, 14, really enjoyed Airborn, the first in Kenneth Oppel's Airborn saga: "I liked the book because the main characters are about the same age (as me). Also, I liked the adventure and a little bit of the romance. The inventions and modes of travel are very Steampunk and cool, if you like that sort of thing." Kendall recommends this sci-fi adventure for all ages. However, she warns, there is some violence.

Interested in writing for this blog? Stop by the Teen Desk and pick up a review form. Reviews don't have to be long. They don't even have to be positive (we except negative reviews too!). And these reviews most definitely are not book reports like you'd do for school. Think of these reviews as telling a friend how much you loved (or didn't love) a book. Your reviews just might help another teen find their next favorite book. How cool would that be!--AJB

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

TSRP Reading Logs DUE Soon!

Wednesday July 31 (that's a week from today) is the last day to turn in your Summer Reading Gameboards. So if it's been a while since you visited the Teen Desk to collect your tickets and hole punches for activities completed, now is the time to do so. Also, keep in mind you need a minimum of 15 hole punches to qualify to attend the lock-in on August 2--so there's still time to get those final activities completed. 

Any questions? Call us (248-628-3034) or stop by the Teen Desk. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Book Hedgehogs: Round #2

Our Book Hedgehog program was so popular, we've decided to repeat it to give everyone a chance to make (and decorate) one of these adorable recycled creations. A second session is set for Monday July 29 @ 3 p.m.. But this session is filling up fast, so be sure to register soon! As with our other craft programs, registration is mandatory to attend, as space and supplies are limited. Teens only, please!

Unable to make it to this program? Make the craft at your convenience using these simple instructions. You can even decorate your hedgehog! Need some inspiration? Check out these Avenger Hedgehogs!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Do you dig...Magic?

Magician Jeff Wawrzaszek will bring his funniest and most amazing magic tricks to life tomorrow night (Thursday July 18) in the library's community room. The entertainment begins at 7 p.m. This is an all ages show, so everyone is welcome!

Space is limited, so registration is required for this program.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Henna Program: A Success!

Our recent Henna program this past Wednesday was exceptionally successful! Honilynn of Gilded Lotus Henna returned to OPL to talk about the origins and cultural significance of Henna. After this short lesson, she gave each of the 24 teens who attended a small Henna tattoo. The teens were also able to practice this ancient art on themselves, their friends, and, in one instance, library staff. Everyone's designs turned out fantastic, and an awesome time was had by all!

The above photo of a teen's personal design was taken by Charli Osborne. For more photos, check out the library's Facebook page.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Towering, by Alex Flinn

Alex Flinn is at it again with another fairy tale retelling. This time she puts a modern spin on Rapunzel with Towering. But don't expect a lighthearted Disney romance (for that, check out Tangled). This novel is, in its own way, every bit as dark and suspenseful as the original Brothers Grimm version. 

When Wyatt moves to a remote Adirondack town to escape the aftermath of his best friend's violent death, he hopes to find some sort of peace. To forget. Instead, he finds a mystery: Here several teenagers have vanished without a trace, including Danielle, the daughter of his host, the creepy but kindly old Mrs. Greenwood. Oddly, no one in town seems bothered by any of these mysterious disappearances. Then there's the voice he hears on the wind, the voice no one else seems to hear. Or is it just that they won't admit to hearing it? What's going on here? When Wyatt decides to follow the voice, he stumbles upon a ruined tower hidden deep within the woods...and finds Rachel, a girl his age who has been a prisoner in the tower all her life. And this is where the fairy tale part comes in: Rachel has the look of a fairy tale princess. And, for some reason, her hair grows with surprising speed and strength. Plus she has other unusual powers that reveal themselves as the story develops. As Wyatt and Rachel inevitably develop feelings for each other (because this is a fairy tale after all), they set in motion events that will blow the cover off a secret drug testing operation that has been plaguing the town--and its teenage residents--for decades. Expect plenty of action, mystery, and, of course, the sort of romance you'd expect from a Flinn retelling. Overall, lots of teen appeal. 

Towering is perhaps Ms. Flinn's best retelling since Beastly. However, a word of warning to parents and tween readers: Towering includes some violence, teen pregnancy, and other sensitive topics that make this book better suited to older teens (14/15 and up). --AJB

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Teen Reviewer: Strangelets by Michelle Gagnon

Teen reviewer Clare, 14, picked up an advanced reader copy of Michelle Gagnon's Strangelets because a friend suggested she read it. She ended up really enjoying this suspenseful dystopian thriller. Here is her review:

"Strangelets by Michelle Gagnon is difficult to describe without spoiling it, largely due to the amount of twists and turns the story takes. The novel begins with the three main characters dying...until they wake up together at the same eerie, abandoned hospital. The setup was unique, and very much unlike any other novel I had read prior to this. From that point, the story gradually morphed into a dystopian novel and, while I disliked this, the likable and believable characters more than made up for it. The mystery that surrounds what is happening to the characters is what fuels the novel. The answers are all given to you at once, making the second half much less exciting than the first. Despite my complaints, Strangelets is still an interesting and well-written that, while not perfect, has a satisfying ending and plot developments that will have you on the edge of your seat!"

Strangelets was released in April 2013.

Teen Reviewer: Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher

Teen Reviewer Sidney, 14, read Ketchup Clouds, by Annabel Pitcher. The book jumped off the shelf and hugged her. Although it wasn't the best book ever, Sidney found it entertaining enough to keep her attention. Here is her review:

"I liked Ketchup Clouds a lot. I liked the setup of the book and how it was written as a letter to Mr. Harris (a prisoner on Death Row). I just wish we could have gotten a few replies from Mr. Harris and learn about him in more detail. Zoe was a success as a character. She was a very real and likable person. My personal favorite (character) was Aaron. I liked him a lot. The book itself was very entertaining and well-written. I also loved the fact it took place in the U.K. Throughout the book, Zoe says how guilty she feels. You can feel her guilt in her writing to Mr. Harris.  

Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher was a very entertaining, well written book. I would recommend it to friends and many others."

Ketchup Clouds is a follow-up to Pitcher's 2011 novel, My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece, which is about a young boy dealing with the death of his older sister from a terrorist attack. Ketchup Clouds was published July 1, 2013.

Teen Reviewer: Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

Teen Reviewer Kate, 13, read an advance reader copy of Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith. She'd heard about this suspense novel on Goodreads, and was entertained by it. Here is her review:

"Wild Awake is not a typical teen book, but I liked it. The author developed her main character, Kiri, at the very start. Through this book, I slowly saw the perfect Kiri fade. I just don't think she was the same by the end of the book, which is why I liked it so much. The plot of the book, I think, is what really stands out. There is never a slow moment. The end of the book was rushed. The author didn't take much time on ending the book. It just ended. Although I didn't think the ending was great, the rest of the book was pretty good. I felt the details and characters really shined. The author knew what she wanted to do with these characters, and they turned out great. I really think this book is worth reading"

Wild Awake was released May 28. 2013. Kate would not hesitate to recommend it.

Teen Reviewer: The Infinite Moment of Us

Teen reviewer Olivia read an advanced reader copy of The Infinite Moment of Us, by Lauren Miracle. Despite the book's pretty cover, Olivia wasn't very impressed with the story. Here is her review:

"This is the type of book I'm glad to have read, but won't remember. The book is about a high school graduate named--love this name--Wren. Wren is an only child and lives on her parents' terms. Wren has a hard time falling in love and also going against her parents' wishes. The book, I felt, was too rushed. There weren't very many themes that were explained. They were mentioned, but they just didn't have an effect. There wasn't a good balance of material, because it's written in a childish, innocent, lovable, admirable fashion meant for 12-16 year olds. However, the sex scene was highly inappropriate, and I did not enjoy it at all. I felt it paid no meaning to the essence of the book. It really just made the reader uncomfortable. The cover of the book is gorgeous, and I found myself more interested in the minor characters instead of Wren and Charlie. The last half of the book was extremely predictable, and I felt the climax as well as the ending was rushed"

The Infinite Moment of Us will be released on August 20, 2013. However, it's not likely Olivia would recommend it.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Teen Reviewer

Teen reviewer Sidney, 14, read The Testing, by Joelle Charbommeau. She picked it up because she liked the cover, and, although it wasn't the best book she'd ever read, she ended up being entertained by it. Here is her review:

"I thought that this book was very well-written and entertaining. The plot of The Testing was very similar to Divergent and The Hunger Games, but was different enough to make it its own. Cia was a very interesting character, as was Thomas. Their relationship with each other is very close from the beginning. It took a few chapters to get into it, but once it got interesting it stayed that way throughout the rest of the book. One of the coolest details about the book were the bracelets. I liked how they are all personalized and important during the testing. Had it been more original, I think it might have been a 4 (out of 4 stars). Overall, the book is a 3-3.5 (of 4)"

Sidney recommends this Sci-Fi/Dystopia for teens 13-15.

Teen Reviewer:

Teen reviewer Olivia, 14, read an advanced reader's copy of The Beginning of Everything, by Robyn Schneider and thought it was awesome, fantastic, and everything a good book should be (and more). She would absolutely recommend the book to someone else. Here is her review:

"Where do I start? This book is perfection! It was painstakingly true, and I found myself laughing as well as crying as Ezra and Cassidy's story progressed. Ezra was the "It" guy: Charming, athletic, intelligent. That is, until a gruesome car accident shatters both his legs and his reputation. Ezra then falls in love with new girl Cassidy Thorpe, who is a mystery all in itself. I cannot help but say this book made me find myself. Ezra is a male version of how I think: He cares too much what others think. The book ended and I cried, not only because it was over, but because Ezra Faulkner and Cassidy Thorpe helped me realize that pure, silly happiness is possible and that we ALL have our own personal tragedies. And yet, despite this, there are still perfect moments in life. I could not put this book down because it was so unlike anything I've ever read. Hilarious character development, excruciatingly true aspects of adolescent life, unpredictable plot twists, and a respectable ending. That's what makes this a perfect book. Thank you, Ms. Schneider. I feel blessed to have been able to read your book!" 

The Beginning of Everything will be published August 27, 2013. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

OPL Closed July 4th

Oxford Public Library will be closed on Thursday July 4 in observance of the Fourth of July holiday. We will re-open on Friday July 5.

Have a safe and fun holiday!

Guest Reviewer: Lance Kennedy

Teen Reviewer Lance Kennedy, 12, read A Dangerous Path by Erin Hunter and loved it. A Dangerous Path is book is #5 of the original Warriors Series, a continuing saga about four clans of feral cats (Thunderclan, Shadowclan, Riverclan, and Windclan) who co-exist together in the wilderness. However, dealings between the clans aren't always peaceful.This 6-book series centers around Fireheart, a former kittypet (pet cat) who ran away from home to join Thunderclan. Despite his pampered beginnings, Fireheart eventually earned the respect of his clanmates, raising to the rank of deputy (second in command) and eventually taking over the clan when the old leader dies.

Here is Lance's review:

A Dangerous Path was about the challenges of Fireheart and how he deals with Tigerstar (Shadowclan leader), his worst enemy. Bluestar (leader of Thunderclan) is dying, and Fireheart needs to figure out what Tigerstar is up to. Fireheart finds out Tigerstar plans to unleash giant dogs on Thunderclan. Fireheart saves his the whole clan, except for Bluestar, who dies. This means Fireheart is Firestar, the new leader of Thunderclan.--Lance Kennedy, 12, guest reviewer

Lance feels this book is most appropriate for readers 12-15. He would highly recommend this book-and this fantasy/adventure series-to a friend.